Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Women in Movies

"Watching a fossil like Shayla LaVeaux makes me grateful that former Vivid girl Savannah blew her head off while still young and beautiful. No porn girl should work past 30."

That's a quote from Adam Film World Guide's 2007 Adult Film & Video Directory. Can you believe in this day and age some two-bit reviewer can get away with such shite? It really is pathetic more than anything else. Like the dying gasps of a fish out of water. No wonder I usually just look at the pictures in those magazines, with crap text like that!

While definitely nothing quite incendiary as what's quoted above, I have read reviews of mainstream movies that came off as nothing more than petty femme-bashing rather than critical analysis. One of Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider saying that she strutted around like she thought she was so great (so what?). Or one review of Original Sin, another Jolie feature, which I thought was one of the best portrayals of a woman caught in the web of her own overpowering sexuality, which described it as silly romance novel trite -this time by a woman reviewer. Bias against the femme perspective - eg romance=derogatory - is not limited to men.

But I am gratified to see how many more powerful roles there are for women in film and TV these days. There was such a dearth when I was growing up. It was all about the fetishization of women as victims back then, screaming and tripping in their stilettos. Or two-dimensional, decorative accessories for the men. Besides Meryl Streep, it was pretty much a mini Dark Ages for femmes in cinema during the 80s and early 90s.

Look at films from the 30s, 40s and 50s. Women were often stronger, more opinionated and sexually respected, even if more restrained within gender roles. I remember reading how Julia Roberts during her heyday was the first woman the studios could rely on to carry a movie, whereas actresses like Betty Davis and Joan Crawford were consistent box office superstars in their day.

Maybe I sound a bit out of touch, but I can't stand all the rutting that goes on in Hollywood films today. It just comes off as embarrassing for the actors. Why not just leave it to porn?

Maybe not everyone compartmentalizes like me. But when I want to be turned on in prelude to actual play, I watch XXX-rated scenes. When I want to think, follow plot and conversation, and be stimulated in a more cerebral or emotional way, I watch non-porn fare.

I do love the sizzling sexual tension and double entendres of older films, before everything could be so spelled -- and acted -- out. It's that same sexual tension I can play with in scene. Sometimes repression can be sexy. The unspoken, or the hinted at. Toying with that excitement til you feel like you could burst at the seams. Old-fashioned cinema is like tease and denial.

I've even heard that sex scenes have affected the average height of actresses, because one has to consider how compatible they will look lying horizontally beneath their acting partners.

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I have been enjoying the new Terminator series The Sarah Connor Chronicles. When they mentioned the Singularity, the Baghavad Gita and the Manhattan Project -- all in the third episode -- I knew I was seeing something unique on broadcast television: a show which didn't dumb down the big questions.

I may not agree with its seemingly luddite take on the prospect of an emerging machine intelligence, but the questions it raises so dramatically make for extremely compelling viewing. For all the hopes I had for the new Bionic Woman, it looks like the Terminator series is the best current offering within the grrrl power genre.

Though I will never forget how inspiring Linda Hamilton was in T2 with her badass muscles and smoky voice - one of my fellow domme friends says watching her was her first inspiration to work out - Lena Headey creates her own formidable presence as the killer mama of the "savior of mankind."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Interview on Sadistic Mistress

I was pleased to be interviewed for Sadistic-Mistress.com.
Check it out here.

Or if that's not working, read below...

Q: Mistress, would You kindly tell us a little about your background and how you became involved in Domination?
A: I entered the field in 2002 after a long-simmering interest in sadomasochism, gender-bending and femme power. I had been leading a life of straight-laced business with plenty of hedonism on the side. Yet I felt the world was changing and a certain innocence had been lost. Mindless indulgences and impersonal work no longer held their sway. I felt an urge to connect with the darker elements of my sexuality as well as establish a creative presence. It was during these tumultuous times that I found liberation from the last ties to convention which held me back from assuming this cherished role.

Q: Mistress, what advice would you give to slaves who wish to serve you?
A: Read my website. Get to know me by taking in my words. Be honest with yourself and ask "What is it that I'm really looking for?" If the answer is genuine submission to a superior woman, then I am interested.

Q: Mistress, what are your favourite types of session?
A: I am what I call a total immersion dominant, and my favourite sessions reflect my philosophy. I do not believe in breaking out of role at any point - whether on the phone, in email or in person. Of course, there will be times when we need to break out of scene, like when checking in after a safeword has been called. Yet the fundamentals of the Dominant woman/deferential man equation must be maintained. This means no dropping of titles or taking on an overly familiar manner, even when play is over. I believe this maintains the integrity of the power dynamic, which after all is the basis of our relationship!

Q: Mistress, do you attend any clubs relating to BDSM/Fetish lifestyle?
A: I'm more of a behind-closed-doors player. Granted, the very nature of professional domination means I am in the public sphere. Yet I see kinky play as a supremely private experience and it works best for me that way. But public events do have their place, and have had a definite impact on my journey. For a number of years, I flirted on the edge of the lifestyle, frequenting the local pervy danceclub here in San Francisco - Bondage-a-go-go. I enjoyed the hard-edged sexiness, the music and the twisted exhibitionism on display. Though there was a special area to do scenes, it existed only on the periphery of my awareness. That all changed one night when I met a beautiful woman clad in high fetish. We flirted and then played. I was completely mesmerized. Later on, I found out she was a dominatrix. That was a pivotal moment for me - understanding what that role really meant. That was when I stepped through the looking glass.

Q: Mistress, What do you prefer to wear during sessions?
A: I was a ballet dancer throughout my childhood, and have always loved how costumes can transform and transport us. The two styles I like best are high fetish - black vinyl, leather and latex - and business outfits, because of their natural association with power. I also enjoy creative scenarios which call for unusual attire. It's great to mix it up, be a bit of a chameleon, and have fun imagining being a sexy secret agent or undercover superheroine with all these different looks.

Q: Mistress, please could you describe your style of dominance?
A: Elegant yet passionate, a melding of the heart and mind. It truly is all about the connection, finding that link between kinky souls. The rest follows from there. I do like to keep my submissives on their toes, guessing what's next and surprising them with changes in direction during scene. It's pleasure but so much more. I believe each encounter should be a lesson as well. Sadism is key, be it psychological, physical or mixture of the two. Subjugation, control, restraint, interrogation, service, humiliation, exposure and pain are powerful tools. I am not interested in blindly imposing my will, or forgoing all rewards. Everything is done for a reason.

Q: Mistress, do you also indulge in other activities such as phone domination, email/online, training?
A: I am primarily an in-person domina, though I have enjoyed phone training via my Keen.com page.

Q: Mistress, what are the things you most like and dislike in a slave?
A: I like slaves who appreciate the boundaries I establish. I dislike slaves who believe they are exempt from my rules.

Q: Mistress, what are your favourite gifts from a slave?
A: I appreciate the gift of my slave's submission and suffering. The gift of their pride laid bare as they kneel before me. I consider it a truly courageous act, especially because we live in a world where men are always supposed to be so "alpha."

Q: Mistress, what advice would you give to a novice who has never visited a Mistress before?
A: Do your homework. Err on the side of caution. Have a clear idea of what it is you are seeking, yet at the same time keep an open mind and leave your expectations at the door.

Q: Mistress, do you own any 24/7 slaves?
A: I am involved in kink in my private life, but do not believe in 24/7 total power exchange. I believe in free will and personal responsibility outside of playtime.

Q: Mistress, what about those slaves looking for a long term serious commitment of slavery to you. What would be your requirements of such a slave?
A: I thrive on long-term interactions. In my experience, a well-suited Dominance/submission dynamic only gets better with time, as the extent of the connection is built and progresses. A large part of my stable have been seeing me for the past four years or more. I welcome new applicants who are serious about training under me, especially those seeking ongoing servititude.

Q: Mistress may you please tell us how we may obtain more details about you and how to serve you?
A: My website is www.Xia-BDSM.com. I advise seekers to fill out the submission questionnaire on my site and send it along with a short introduction to me at XiaVox@gmail.com. When it looks like there is potential for a rewarding energy exchange, I conduct a telephone interview. I then invite a suitable submissive to serve me during an initial, evaluatory session.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Grab the Bull By the Horns
Free Will & Slave Games

The new year brings not just resolutions for Mistress. I see it as a time to reflect on the meaning and symbolism behind the kinky play that is so much a part of my life. It's gratifying to feel a sense of progression in my philosophy, with the greater clarity achieved through active self examination.

Readers who have been with me for some time may recall that the topic of my own spiritual explorations has creeped into more than a few of my posts. Learning to open my heart to people and unwind my own ego attachments were powerful experiences, and I believe these steps were important to my development.

I now find myself re-balancing that receptive energy with a dive into a more assertive mode. I've come to believe more than ever in free will: the power that each individual holds, and how every one of us must make a choice whether to be passive or take life by the horns.

So how does my reinvigorated indeterminism fit with my role as dominatrix, with its games of enslavement? How can I espouse personal responsibility seemingly in the face of its abdication? The answer lies in that it is a game we are playing, no more and no less.

By definition, a game is the playful, peaceful way of learning about a thing. It gives one the ability to consummate a desire without it being anything as serious as a life or death matter.

It also is a means of release. For there is no doubt in my mind that the urge to submit and suffer, to be made to kneel, crawl and beg, to feel the hot burn of humiliation or the the cold hold of possession - these are very real. For many of us, there must be a catharsis.

Our modern society has developed outlets so that we may continue to challenge ourselves, test what we're made of, and feel closer to that primal self which resides within each of us. Kinky play is one such outlet. It does not require that you jump out of a plane or ingest some drug, though it can be equally as intense in its effects.

For me, the play is fun exactly because it is make-believe. I do not really want to own a slave. Not in the sense that I want to rule over another who has no rights of his own and no power to object. The consent of my "victim" permits me to indulge and enjoy my sadism and my desire for control.

Of course, there are those who dream of a 24/7 total power exchange. Just as there are those who flock to the various dogmas of the world, some think it's better to be told what to do. They abandon free will for the elixir of assurance in the face of the great mystery; the unanswerable Why of it all.

In my experience, play works best when it's an embracing of the truth rather than an escape from reality. When we have the courage and liberation to run into the heart of darkness, feel the fear and the dirtiness as well as the ecstasy and the exaltation, wrestling happily with the demons which are our shadow.

Yes, invoking our deepest-held and most taboo fantasies is one way of grabbing onto the bull horns of life. Then we gain not only pleasure but something else: an invisible badge of our twisted journey, marking what we have seen and earned.

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Speaking of exercising free will, my dear friend Mistress Victoria has recently left The Gates to session independently. She joined me last week and we had wickedly sadistic fun with a lovely submissive. We have great scene chemistry, especially for heavier play involving humiliation, bondage, CBT, NT and corporal. Feel free to get in touch with me if interested in a double whupping!

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I recently updated the password to my special gallery. Those in my stable may contact me for the new one. Have a wonderful weekend...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Advice to a novice seeker

Below is something I just wrote up in reply to a sincere novice applicant who recently sent in his completed submission questionnaire. I thought it succinctly eludicated some important points for novices interested in serving me, so I thought I'd put it out there for all the rest.

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. . . I understand that you are a total novice, in terms of actual real-life D/s play. I applaud you for taking the courageous first step towards fulfilling your innermost desires!

Now a few important points for you to consider. Firstly, with whomever you begin training with, remember to leave your expectations at the door. No doubt, you have been fantasizing about this for a long time. An entire universe may have been constructed in your head. In my past experiences with total novices, it sometimes seems that these prefabricated notions can actually become obstacles to surrending oneself in the here and now. So something to keep in mind as you prepare to meet the Mistress.

You mentioned attending a few munches, but I take it you have not played with anyone you met there? So you have decided to begin your training with a professional dominatrix rather than attempt a "lifestyle" relationship. Since you have no experience in either, I would expect you may have some confusion as to the differences. There are many, and they can be subtle. Some within the lifestyle community, a fair number of whom seem reflexively dismissive of pro dommes, would say that the difference is that those who do this for a living are "pretenders."

Of course, I see it in a more complex light. For one, I enjoy the well-defined boundaries of a session-based dynamic. And while I do consider myself a genuine dominant, my bandwidth is such that my training of new submissives is limited to session time. Remote sessions or other forms of training may also be possible, within my time constraints and with appropriate tribute. I note this in regards to your desire to have assignments and duties between meetings.

If this all sounds suitable to your submissive aspirations, feel free to follow up with me. . .