Thursday, May 20, 2010

Touched by the Support

I have caught a few episodes here and there of the re-imagined TV series "V," about too-good-to-be-true aliens from another planet who proclaim they come in peace but are secretly intent on the destruction of humanity. I have a certain nostalgia for the original '80s series, having watched it as a young child. For me, nothing can match the original V's bright red uniforms, echo-laden voices, or Diana's shocking engulfment of a guinea pig, her jaw unhinging like a snake. The new conceptualization is more a play on the idea of "What if the good guys had to be the terrorists?" In any case, I watch it intermittently now mainly because I am drawn to Morena Baccarin, the actress who played the space travelling courtesan Inara Serra in Firefly and who is the supremely evil V leader Anna in this series. In the reconceptualization, she is more than a political leader of her people, she is an actual biological queen in a sense analogous to that of a queen bee. She rules her subjects mercilously, in part through her administration of "bliss," which is some sort of innate, hypnotic power she has over the others of her species.

Then there is her teenage daughter, Lisa, who is set by Anna with the seemingly trifling task of seducing a human boy. What was interesting in the season finale was watching Lisa transform from hapless daughter to a powerful woman in her own right. When confronted with the choice to betray her cold-blooded mother, she initially vacillates, but ultimately makes the right decision. It is in one these scenes that I resonated the most. Joshua, one of the leaders of the V underground resistance, has been found out and Lisa goes behind Anna's back to release him from captivity. Before they take leave of each other, Joshua surprises Lisa by bowing his head and quietly uttering, "My Queen." In that moment, Lisa realizes her destiny.

Since allowing Mistress Xia to reemerge, I have felt the ripples of excitement from friends, supporters, and lovers. I have been touched and my eyes widened by the response of the men in my life, an emotional reaction akin to falling to one's knees and saying, "My Queen." There is an almost tangible sense of relief in some quarters to see me coming back to myself, an embracing of my power once again. It's a marvelous thing to be surprised by oneself through others. To finally feel comfortable in one's skin, holding onto the reigns of power firmly yet lightly. To come into one's own, this time having earned through hard experience the strength and compassion to rule wisely. I have tried to be like everyone else. Many, including me, are thankful that I have failed. I'll say it again: it is good be back.

With Gratitude,

Mistress Xia

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Embrace the Paradox

Oh my - reading my last few posts, what contradiction! Shame on me? Quite the opposite. As my favorite inspirational writer of writers Brenda Euland once wrote, "Consistency is the horror of the world!" The mercurial ebb and flow of our divine essence is beyond binary logic. Embrace the paradox. . .

Experiment Over, Back to Being Me

Sometimes we have to diverge from our path to truly appreciate where we were before. I had been anxious about putting myself out there again. I relished the idea of tip-toeing back in, testing the waters a bit. So I experimented - as it turns out, ever-so-briefly - with a different persona, and in a channeling of dark desire, I also embraced the ambiguity and surrender of the switch. Like Catherine Deneuve's icy-hearted masochist Belle Du Jour, I toyed with the cold heat of lurid, semi-anonymous encounters, but for me within a house of domination rather than a so-called house of ill repute. I needed to cast out Xia to find her again. To vandalize my own creation, so that I could burst forth again like a phoenix from the ashes.

And now I am back where I belong: at the helm, with my treasured submissives at my feet. For this is who I am. I can breathe a sigh of relief, to have liberated the Goddess within. She gets to play again! Damn, it's good to be back.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Wicked Grounds of Power

Finally made it to Wicked Grounds, a unique coffee shop here in San Francisco that caters to the openly kinky. Even my marginally perverted acquaintances had already made it there, so it was about time! The opportunity arose when my friend Mistress Victoria gave me a call today. She told me she was there with her personal sub P, who was visiting from out of town, and that they were planning on doing a public scene.

The cafe was a quaint little space tucked in the South of Market area, conveniently located just down the street from Mister S Leather & Fetters. I found Victoria in the back, looking smashing in her mix of rocker and vintage pin-up looks. P soon made an appearance decked out in black rubber, his arms restrained against his torso and a breathing/sucking tube attached to his face mask. He was gleefully teetering on edge, having already spent a fortnight in a metal chastity device with 70+ metal teeth pressing against even the thought of an erection. Part of his humiliation was having to explain to airport security why he was setting off the metal detectors!

It was such a fun and relaxing afternoon, drinking tea and snacking as we chatted and casually tormented P with even the slightest touch, he was that sensitized. We zipped up his mask so that he could no longer see, and then he sat back and really went into subspace. I especially liked his gold-coated stiletto boots, which really made him look like a nasty rubber slut!

Victoria ran into another gentleman friend at the cafe. While they caught up, I got to tease and torture her sub 'til he squealed and yipped like a little dog. Then I looked at my watch and realized I'd be late for my personal training session - when I get my butt kicked by a sadistic Vietnamese exercise buff who could be a dominatrix in her own right. I quickly said my good-byes, which gave them all a chuckle after my wham-bam mini-scene. Well, P wasn't chuckling - more like whimpering and cooing, sweet thing!

Before we got into play mode, we had been chatting about how strangely unwelcome switches can feel in the scene. Even though people give lip service to the idea of creating more balance in one's life, when it comes to BDSM, one often feels forced to "choose sides." Even more than that, one's attractiveness as a domme does not necessarily carry over when representing oneself as a switch player. There is less glamour there for some because one is no longer the unyielding, unattainable Venus in Furs.

Yet in most cases, being "strictly domme" is more a delusion than reality. At The Gates, I remember how tiring it was to have to watch my own actions and demeanor like a hawk because certain so-called slaves would become unhinged at any perceived sign of weakness on my part. From making sure I didn't get on my knees when rigging bondage, to abhorring the color pink, to stating that I was being "served" even as I was presented with an exhaustive list of activity requests - the ridiculous symbolism was all that mattered because it was more about fantasy than authentic power exchange, with me as fill-in-the-blank dream domme. Talk about the making of burn out: passive aggressive men who insisted that they were submissive and looking for truly dominant women, yet exacting in their specifications of things like scene details, the mannerisms of the domme, and the kind of attention showered upon them. Like most people, they were skating on the surface, going through the motions, focusing on the materials and goal-acquisition rather than the moment or the journey. Mindlessly grasping, thinking that doing equals being; as if to say you are one way and then to pay for others to treat you as such can make it so.

When it comes to pro dommes, by pushing this misguided fantasy of individuals who are "born to rule", we may actually be encouraging the continued disempowerment of women. Because being 100% dominant is typically a fallacy, the pro BDSM industry makes a joke out of genuine femme power by insisting on an untenable position of "perfection", thereby creating a sense of constant insecurity in the women who practice the craft. By overstretching the truth, we make imposters out of our own powerful selves, placating the existing male-dominated authority with the trifling level of our bold assertions, especially confined as they are to the sexual realm.

I am struck time and time again by how, on a fundamental level, we can all see that women hold the keys to power and that most of what men do as individuals is to attract and bewitch women. Yet on the level of societal structures, we are still dealing with male politicians attempting to take away reproductive and sexual freedoms, dictating not only how we as women should live, work, play, and breed, but also how and if we are allowed to mix any of these things together. What happened to the Goddess? She was pimped out.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This is Late, but. . . Rest in Peace Veronica

I have been out of the pro domme scene for quite some time, and am not someone who socializes much in the scene. But my curiosity has been reawakened as of late, and after my friend Ren mentioned the message board of Irene Boss, I decided to check it out. It was on that board that I learned of the untimely death of Miss Veronica, pro domme and international fetish model. She was a very special woman who I had the privilege of hanging out with on several occasions over the years.

She took her own life last August, and now I am sitting here in shock and tears - I can't quite believe that it's true, or that I could not know for all this time. I look at her myspace page, which has turned into a memorial to her, and see comments from mutual acquaintances. But I guess this isn't the sort of thing to come up in casual conversation on the rare occasion I run into these people.

Veronica was the real deal. She used her real name. She was genuinely kinky and truly unique. She always stood out to me. The first time I met her was at the Climate Theater space, I believe after Folsom Street Fair. She was so striking and her energy was so open, we struck up a conversation and she told me she was a switch and had just started at The Dominion. A few years later, I saw her at the fetish ball thrown by Mr. S. She had come into her own, had transitioned to independence and was jet-setting around the world for fetish photo shoots. It was three years ago that I ran into her at AVN, looking incredibly stunning in a leather bodysuit with thigh high boots, trolling the GayVN section for twinks (her personal fetish). We spent the afternoon together bonding over our experiences not only as dominatrices but as avid scuba divers. It would only have been a couple years ago that I hung out with her last, took her to the End Up for a night of dancing, then dropped her off at Simone Kross' place.

Wow Veronica, you were an amazing presence that graced this world for not long enough. I feel like this world failed you Veronica, and I am so sorry that you weren't able to make it to 30 (The Daily Show on in the background in my living room: John Stewart interviewing Rosalyn Carter about the dire need for reform in our mental health system). Your memory will live on, you quirky, brilliant girl who shone so bright and went away too soon. R.I.P.

That's all I've got on this. Thanks for listening.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Sometimes I feel paralyzed to write. Not so much writer's block, as there are usually more than a few ideas swirling in my head, but more of an existential angst - a why does it even matter anyway? So though I pride myself on my autonomy, it does feel good when I meet new people who have been following my blog. I may express weariness with the process at times, as is the case in virtually all creative expenditures. Yet it is like the air I breathe, and I doubt I will ever really stop writing, universe willing.

I have been lightly stepping back into various enterprises to help subsidize the cost of my graduate education. I had thought, half in denial and half in naivete, that I could simply utilize my free hours towards this goal without having it all spill over into the rest of my very busy life. But there is something about doing this work that engenders fixation. Like the myth of Narcissus staring at his reflection in the pond. Maybe it's impossible to disentangle one from the other. Like getting paid to shoot up while trying not to get high (no, I don't do that stuff - still, an apt analogy). The pleasure and the ego stroking are part of the package.

So now, I am trying my best to strike a balance. I do think I'm doing a better job than before. It's nice to have one foot in the vanilla world. Not just to keep grounded, but because everything else seems that much kinkier.

I saw this interesting talk from ethnobotanist Kathleen Harrison, former wife and colleague of psychedelic legend Terence McKenna. She spoke of the need to value folk research - the millennia of soul-searching on ayahuasca that has become a part of the knowledge base of Latin American tribes, but which modern researchers too quickly discount. She also spoke of the systematic and brutal repression of traditional herbalists in Western Europe, who also possessed esoteric knowledge about mind-expanding plants. These herbalists and healers were predominantly women.

Countless were silenced and killed to make way for modern, patriarchal structures which channelled power into the hands of male authority. From my own research, I know this happened in the Philippines as well. Women had been leaders in the villages. They were mystics and healers. They were pushed out and replaced by the priests, and then made to fit their powers into a role based on the virgin Mary, with all the impossible challenges such a model evokes. Women had their feet knocked out from under them, their confidence in their own power trampled, and in many ways we are still scrambling to recover from that historic fall.

The thought that keeps coming back to me is what a massive brain drain we still have when it comes to women. And I am not even talking about countries that actively maintain gender inequality. That can almost be seen as the easy part - getting our rights is pretty straight forward. It's in a society that has progressed as far as we have that the intangibles get in the way. Vanity - maybe the church was right in making that a deadly sin. Women are taught to value themselves based on their looks and their femininity. Not only does the maintenance of vanity take away precious time in this world when we could be focusing on more important things, it is a drug in and of itself. It induces mental laziness in women, reinforcing a tendency to skate on the surface. Because batting our eyelashes is all we need to do to have a man take care of things. Women have legal equality in our society, yet we play a double standard. We demand all the rights of men, but also many more privileges.

The time will come when these sacred cows of femininity will get torn down. I often think one sign will be when there will be more female comedians. When we can poke fun at women with the same permission as men, when we can tolerate being laughed at equally as well as men - I think that will be a better sign of having "come a long way" than getting to pick up a gun and fight. That and strap-on play in every bedroom. Amen!