Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It poses an interesting challenge in this work: to dominate from a place of pure intentions, compassion and lovingkindness. Whether one comes from a place of healthy play or dysfunction, I have seen that one can be successful. Like attracts like as we mirror each other's hidden pains, secret aspirations and basic sense of self.

In this way, letting one's ethics lapse can be a downward spiral - negative elements can cling and pull one down even further. The hope is that it won't be too long before one surfaces with the realization: I need to clean house! I admit to having gone through this on several occasions. What is pretty amazing about this work is the incredible range of play within its borders, which makes it relatively easy to shift from one way of being to another. The trickier part is keeping one's heart open in whatever one's current incarnation.

Cruelty is a characteristic which is often considered a positive in this line of work. Yet to me, cruelty with callousness, without forethought or reflection, is more of an energy drain than an energy exchange. Empathy is key. It allows me to enjoy the ride along with the submissive, but also tells me when we are treading on psychologically dangerous territory.

A simple question to ask oneself when topping: Would it be OK if someone did that to me? Even if you are strictly domme and never switch, the question is still valid. It cuts to heart of the matter. Namely, am I acting in a humane way? Top or bottom, domme or sub -- we are all still human.

Indeed, cruelty is a trait which I possess in good measure. I would like to think I am proficient at controlling my sadistic urges in a manner befitting my position. I do feel very fortunate to have this outlet.

Four years of sessioning on average seven times a week. That's a lot of scenes. Countless intense, intimate and magical encounters with the known and unknown. It makes sense to me that I learn at an exponential rate because of the gift of these wealth of experiences. I know that if I hadn't found this vocation, it would have come out anyway -- the scheming, erotically ravenous side of me. But it would probably not be as consciously articulated, as wholesomely contained, or as embraced and celebrated!

I have seen others who have subjected themselves to the seedier side of sex work for years. By the time they say "Enough!" there is so much heaviness there, the baggage left behind from a world of pain. It's not necessarily that the work they chose was inherently exploitative and degrading (though that is debatable -- I for one, could only do what I do!). Rather, it was as much about how they approached it as anything else. I have seen the cycle. The money that's so good for the amount of time put in, it makes all other work seem less desirable. The alcohol or drugs used to numb the discontent. The disassociation with what one is doing. Then the anger at all who participated, including oneself. I have seen these ladies finally end up in the pro domme arena, ready to take it all out on the men. And I actually think it's not a half-bad way to go. Working out one's issues in this way can be empowering and even fun. What is of utmost importance, in the big picture, is approaching it all with a sense of gentleness and compassion towards oneself and one's play partners.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Hey "extended" slave -- your email is bouncing! I will be at The Gates until 6 today.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Catching Up on Emails

I've been completely swamped and am a couple weeks behind on returning emails from new people. As you may have guessed, I get a lot of inquiries as well as spam! The appointment line at The Gates can be a helpful source of information as well - 510.261.7243.

Friday, September 15, 2006

If we are to survive, we must reinvent cultural practices that satisfy our deep-rooted need for non-ordinary states, interpersonal bonding, and the intensification of both our individuality and our tribal belonging. we must create contemporary forms of sacred pursuits that are at least as engaging, enlivening, and complex as war, and which, more importantly, engender life, thriving communities, healthy natural environments, genuine education, joyful service, soulful maturity, cultural evolution, and love.

Soulcraft: Crossing the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche
Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.

I have been a spiritual seeker and BDSM player for some time now. The issue of how the two fit together is still not entirely clear to me. Admittedly, I keep my work affairs to myself when around my yoga and meditation brethren. But there is no shame there on my part. It's more that there is so much misunderstanding about this kind of play that I'd rather not get into it at those moments. Yet I am not a believer in an absolute world who is simply turning a blind eye to a state of dissonance. It would be too easy to say that BDSM play, because it incorporates so many elements associated with the aesthetics of evil-doers, is incongruent with peaceful, positive personal growth.

Perhaps a case can be made that BDSM play makes for a convenient hiding place for dysfunction. I have seen evidence of abdication of personal responsibility and mindless cruelty, particularly within the community which define themselves as lifestylers (the idea of manifesting outwardly inequal power dynamics on a permanent basis seems to be a central stumbling block). Certainly, as in all relationships, there needs to be vigilance and mindfulness to stop the slide into unhealthy co-dependencies.

Yet this is balanced by the advantage of greater and more clear communication than more traditional relationships. Negotiation is key in a typical BDSM interaction. Play partners discuss their desires, limits, concerns and state of mind before delving into a scene. This level of premeditation is rare in most vanilla versions of sensual power play -- and as far as I am concerned, all sex is power play. The darkness may still come out, but the shyness, shame and fear which prevented an open discussion beforehand makes it that much more likely that someone will leave feeling hurt, disrespected or misunderstood. In good BDSM play the darkness is negotiated, channelled and controlled. It is not denied. Rather, it is given space to breathe its fire.

I have been struck how in both the realms of spiritual exploration and BDSM play, one seeks out a connection to the divine and mystical. One shirks off the limitations of the individual self, giving in to greater forces at work. And in both, there can be a frustrating desire to find salvation through the power of another -- be it a deity or your "owner" -- when the truth is we all can only save ourselves.


Some more thoughts on this...

I was talking with a surfer who, at my behest, was regaling me with his own version of "war stories" from his time on the water. He is a BDSM player too, so as he spoke of these immense waves with their ferocious beauty he also related the experience to submission to a Mistress. How at some point the resistance stops and you just have to let go or be pummeled into the ground. He also talked about how important it is to be mindful when you are out there, to let the ego rest and be in tune with the endless flow.

Surfing, women's power, and spirituality. Teasing the big picture out of my head...

As women, we are deeply attuned to the forces of nature. Our very cycle is aligned with that of the earth's moon. And each month we bleed, we are reminded of our true animal nature: of the smell of the soil, the flow of rivers, these mortal coils we inhabit, and life itself.

Bill Plotkin's Soulcraft and other works view the shift long ago from matriarchal, goddess-worshipping societies to the current patriarchal paradigm as the denial and outright castigation of the infinite mysteriousness of natural creation and feminine wildness. The words "soiled" and "dirty" take on negative meanings in this new world, as does the very act of sex. Women's innate powers are suppressed and dismissed.

In the Philippines, before the Spanish came, women were the mystics and healers of their communities. Their special bond with nature and their keen intuitive powers were acknowledged and elevated into central, decision-making roles within the village. These roles were overtaken by the arrival of the priests with their western medicine and mutually exclusive religion. Yet that was only 600 years ago. One can still see the power of women evident in Filipino culture, where there have been two women presidents and Mother Mary is always in the background.

Women's wrath as a force of nature. Seeing a dominatrix as an act of primal submission, as a metaphor of one's submission to the forces of the universe. Harkening back to a time when the sacred and sexual were not separate and polarized. When ecstasy of the body and spirit could be one and the same. When heaven was a place on Mother Earth.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I love nerds. I come from a family of nerds. Introverted and introspective, yet highly articulate (you know that nerd tendency to talk too loud? A few of my brothers have it). Into science fiction and fantasy, comic books and anime, computers and tech, as well as arthouse movies and liberal counterculture. Beyond the glamour and the feminine affections, I am a nerd at heart :-)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I've been venting in recent posts. Perhaps I am alarming some of you? No, I am not turning into a man-hating domme. But I think it's important to express oneself honestly. If darker emotions surface, one should not flinch. Rather, one should embrace and explore the meaning behind it, thereby growing larger in one's perspective. And besides, it is my truth and it is real.

What's interesting is how after I write a blog which is critical in one way or another about men, I find that some of my more thoughtful and sensitive slaves will write to me to commiserate. It's ironic because these are the men who already get it on some level. So no need to apologize for all the rest!

And no, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be submissive sometimes. It can be just fun. For a woman, this is too often the assumed state of being. So I rebel against that. But for a man, it is a very brave thing indeed to step into one's submissiveness.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

When it comes to porn with a little kink in it, no one does it better than the Europeans. I don't know if it's because of our Puritan beginnings, but when Americans try to do it kinky it often just looks silly.

I've seen two gonzo-style porns lately where the man has sex with the woman's armpit. That's right. Putting the stud's cock between her upper arm and side, then pumping it in and out. Of course, she moans like it's the hottest thing ever. Must've been hard not to laugh!

How about this for absurd? I saw this one vid where the woman sucks up semen from the other lady's ass with a straw, spits it out onto a table, makes rails out of it with a credit card, snorts it up her nose, then shoots it out onto the camera lens. Nice. Now that's a real turn on ;-)

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

"Let me see the piercings on your ear," she said to her friend, a beautiful blonde Brasilian woman who pulled back her long hair to reveal her lobe. "Oh yeah I like that one up high. Nice jewelry too."

"I never take it out."

"I'm the same way. I never take any of my piercings out either." Pointing to her belly button, "This one I've had since '95. Same niobium ring."

"Navel hurts the most!"

"Yeah but the great thing about piercings is once they're in, you'll never lose them. I can't stand wearings rings or bracelets. After a while my fingers feel too swollen and my wrist feels like the circulation is getting cut off. When I'm drunk i just end up taking them off and forgetting about them."

"I know. I'm the same way."

"So you guys don't like being cuffed, but getting pierced is fine?" a third friend interjected.

"Ha ha. Hate being cuffed, but don't mind being penetrated. That's it!"