Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Simple Pleasures

I took in the warm weather and good music on the bay this weekend at one of the summer day parties which I look forward to every year. I wore a batik sundress that flowed against my body's curves and let the sun's rays heat my skin, and couldn't help but feel appreciated by all the compliments I received.

Club culture is really my natural playground. From extended family celebrations in childhood to my kiddie raver days to the more sophisticated gatherings of the present - dancing, chatting and lounging with a community of like-minded souls has always been a part of my life. When I was deeply involved (read: obsessed) with my pro domme career, I let a lot of that fall away. The rush of taking on this role of "dominant on demand" temporarily replaced my other outlets for connection. I guess we all get caught up at times. Now I feel like I'm finding myself again.

I've been having fun playing the femme in pretty dresses spiced up with touches of my own unique style. There is something so innocent about taking in the sweet admiration of those moved by my appearance, without that undercurrent of an ulterior motive that comes with being more than just an amateur at seduction. I revel in the simple pleasure of flirtatious compliments from strangers in polite society, the rush of mutual attraction from furtive glances and nuanced body language, the victory of achieving an intriguing sartorial balance of self-expression and the fashion zeitgeist. When I consider what to wear for an event, I allow my mood to guide me, delighting in all the clever little ways we can convey our feelings in our dress. Slight shifts in fabric choice, cut, color and accessories can make a huge difference in messaging, changing the tone from assertive, to exotic, to sleek.

I'm fortunate that in my daily life, I am constantly reminded that I am blessed. Perhaps for some who turn pro, it's an opportunity to feel special. Yet for me, trying to fit into that commercial role squeezed out some of the complexity and artistry of my self-expression, dumbing down my assets for the masses. As I evolve into my next incarnation, I feel myself relaxing back into my natural confidence, wiping away the memory of having my body and face graded on a scale of 1-10 like an everyday product for consumption. When men pay, they are much more scrutinizing and critical. This is the ugly side of turning your womenly charms into a money-making enterprise. At a party, I only hear the good stuff. But when you put yourself out there on the market, you hear the bad stuff too.

Men don't really get how sensitive women can be to this process of evaluation because they haven't been trained their whole lives that their value is intrinsically tied to their physical attractiveness - I suspect most men would have an easier time than most women giving a number rating to their appearance. We are taught that it's ok to poke fun at a man's bald spot or paunch, but that it is extremely rude to do the same with any part of a woman's appearance. We are not allowed to laugh at women's exterior, maybe that's why there are so few ladies in comedy. Women are trained to have a hair-trigger sensitivity to criticism about their appearance, and that certainly doesn't engender a good sense of humor.

So perhaps the trial by fire that women in the entertainment industry are put through is good for them, facing that achilles heel of our fixation on beauty. That may be so, but I have to say I am enjoying my newfound freedom away from the harsh glare of the professional arena. There is both a heightened subtlety and refinement in real-life encounters, as well as an unpredictability and rawness from the unscripted, and the extra leverage to be had as a lifestyle pleasure-seeker. I'm too spoiled by my real life to have stayed a strictly session-based Mistress, which in the end could only satisfy on one level. It feels like I'm melting back into my true role as a radiantly multi-dimensional, intellectually inquisitive, creatively driven woman of the world - and that much wiser for my experience in the trenches.

I am diving back into a regular meditation, yoga and non-violent communication practice, as I am wanting to fully process and understand the roller coaster ride of these past few years. I am giving myself time to step back and see the bigger picture, placing my journey as a pro domme in the greater context of my life as a polyamorous, spiritual adventurer, integrating the positives and shaking off the rest, and endeavoring to come to a meaningful exploration and assessment of it all.