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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stupid, stupid gay tops are just as bad as other men and women

I realize this is very old news but I wanted to share this little gem of a message I receieved the other day on the piss-poor web site ALT.com. For fairness (and because it's funnier that way), I'll quote the thing in full without breaks:

Master has attached a copy of his profile.
It may be a little long but if you read it you will understand Master better. Read what Master has to offer and wants.
There are a few question in the profile for you to answer.
Reply show respect.

------ Profile Attached -------

Master owns His bussiness and hom.
Free of all STD's and drugs; as slave must be!
Sane and safe.

Over five years Experience as a true MASTER.

Slave should be 18 to 38; slave should be in good shape and health.

If slave is free of all STD's not just HIV, AIDS but herpes and all STD's then MASTER willing to talk with and plan on relocating; live in, room and board.

Master looking for a slave to care for all slave's needs.

********************READ FUTHER**************************

> Master is free of all STD' as slave must be.
> ARE YOU FREE OF ALL STD's?
> Master will give his slave room and board.
> Master wants a Master slave relationship and more.
> Master has been train to be a Master over eight years.
> Master has been an active Master for five years.
> Master's last slave need to tend to his mother.
> Master want a slave who knows it's place.
> Master know what He wants from his slave.
> Master is safe and sane. Owns his home and businesses.
> Master need to know if slave has any medical needs.
> Master want to know if slave has food slave can not eat.
> Master can help relocate if we get to that point.
> Limits respected

Slave's reply will show respect.


Okay, I could rip into this forever. Respect? No, that's not something you're going to get.

For instance, it's clear to me this person is suffering from some kind of disassociative state since he only seems capable of referring to himself in the third person. Maybe he's spent so much time looking at himself in a mirror he forgot he's not actually two people. I actually have additional evidence to support this hypothesis; along with this articulate writing sample came a cropped photo of a naked man's body obscured only slightly by the camera's own flash. I can thus also deduce that this person doesn't know how to use the timer feature on a digital camera. I'm frankly impressed he can use a keyboard seeing as how he can't even keep his facts about himself straight. (Five years 'experience'? Eight years? Oh fuck it all, why not fifteen years?)

However much fun the ripping into is, this message does actually illustrate what's been said dozens of times before, but is interesting because it's an example of a gay man doing it. I don't think that's something a lot of people realize happens, or if they do realize it happens, don't realize just how similarly pathetic and stupid it is as all the straight women (and straight men!) who do similar things. It's at least illuminating to see the cold, hard copy-and-pasted evidence that this shit goes on regardless of sexual orientation.

A variant on the above example is also the reason why I've never been able to find myself that interested in the gay leather community, rife with its protocols and traditions. Whereas this man is simply pathetic and arrogant (a dangerous combination if you ask me), the gay leather scene that I've encountered is rigid and formalized, with a much more unyielding cultural structure, an expected path. This is especially true for younger men.

It is identical, in my mind, to the completely head-in-ass thought process that leads "normal" people to think that school, then college, then a job, then marriage, then kids, and then a house is going to bring them happiness and fulfillment regardless of personal feelings. In the gay leather scene, this path is often being a bottom, usually some daddy's boy, getting trained or "molded," thereby learning to serve, then eventually growing up and becoming a daddy by one's self. (Yes, I do realize this is a narrow view of the gay leather scene, but I'm not talking about the scene at large. I'm talking about the one I've experienced directly.)

In all of these things are expectations; expectations like these make me angry. Jaw-clenchingly, fist-poundingly, I-want-you-to-try-to-hit-me-as-hard-as-you-can angry. They do not make me feel submissive. Anger, I think, completely destroys submission because submission, by its very nature in a relationship context, is voluntary.

I get angry whenever I feel as though I'm being saddled with expectations that I interpret as matching any of these very touchy chords—touchy because I've always had long-standing battles with authority figures since I was 6 or so. It's not only a kink thing. I still don't speak to my mother very often because our relationship has been on rocky footing since she all but forced me to attend a religious school I despised. I've seen her once in maybe the last half year, and she lives not three blocks away from me. (Perhaps this is a shame; there are things about her, like her staunch persistence, that I admire.)

But tell me to do something without apparent reciprocal gain or respect, expect it of me, and you'll only strengthen my resolve to fight back or give me impetus to "rebel." (What an immature word; damn useless thesaurus.)

This is not actually at odds with my sexually submissive tendencies at all, by the way. My sexually submissive tendencies are self-serving, self-centered, and selfish, as are yours, and they're healthy that way.

Also, in case someone's thinking it (because I know someone is), non-consensual fantasies and fetishes are not a waiver of liability to disregard a partner or place your own expectations on them. So fuck non-con bull shit. I love non-con stuff, but if you think that submission or even so-called "slavery" (and certainly that crap about 24/7 "Total Power Exchange" in whatever form it shows up) is non-voluntary then you're headed towards a disaster. Voluntary means free of coercion, duress, or undue inducement, which is not the same thing as consent (which merely means, in English, to say okay).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

When I'm not feeling submissive

I cycle a lot. (Not a surprise, really, for many reasons, but moving on….) Sometimes I'm all submissive and hurt-me-use-me and sometimes I'm not.

I haven't felt very submissive lately. Not "not submissive" in the sense that now I'm a top or a dominant, not like "oh, see, you're a guy so you're not really submissive anyway." I fucking hate that crap, which is the same thing as "you're a woman so you're really a submissive, at least a little bit."

I feel like anyone, anyone who's expecting me to get down on my knees for them is going to get smacked upside the head. Get me on my knees? Hah. Laughable. Because secretly, you see, I am actually the incredible hulk and when I am irritable or angry—or not feeling submissive—I become the emotional equivalent of a raging juggernaught. Only way you'll see me on my knees is in seven-inch thick steel, because I could break anything thinner and I would actually take a bullet before I voluntarily unlock my knee.

I don't like that I don't really understand why or where this comes from. I probably would enjoy the seven-inch thick steel, but I'm probably too ornery to actually make it a good scene.

Maybe it's been all the tech geekery that's turned me off from the submission for now (temporarily, I assure you; this has happened before). I spend all my time "being productive" and then when I'm feeling this way playing just feels like a waste of time. Like I could be doing something better with my time, as stupid as that sounds.

I am very picky about who and what gets access to my time. My time is very valuable to me. I only have so much of it. I've already used up 23 years of it. I loathe the idea of wasting anything.

I typically don't spend time thinking about things I don't care about. I get angry at people who I need to interact with when they are slow, physically or mentally. Of course, sexual playtime is hardly what most would call a waste of time, but I digress.

Naturally, this is sometimes problematic relationship-wise. Eileen calls it "not being in sync" (or something like that?) which sounds an awful lot like biorhythms, something I'm skeptical about at best. Still, there's no denying the cyclic nature of everything about me, which itself would be a complete summation if I were willing to accept it as such. (I'm not, of course.)

When "not in sync," however, what happens? One of us gets frustrated, in the bad way, about not getting to do what we want. "It's been a long time since you've wanted to get hurt," Eileen tells me a lot. "You used to get all moany when I pulled your hair, now you just say 'ow.'" I had to remind her: "I was all moany at the fact that there was a beautiful and sexy dominant woman paying attention to me. The hair pulling always made me go ow." (Yes, Eileen's attentions were my first that count. Being pissy about that is another rant entirely.)

Relationships cycle just like I do. Or maybe my relationships cycle because I do. Whatever it is, it's pissing me off. But don't try to put me on my knees because I will hurt you.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Orgasm Logger source code available

I realize I've gone missing in action with regards to this blog. I have proper excuses, don't you worry, but instead of sharing those boring tidbits of my life with you I thought I'd instead share this rousing development: the source code to Orgasm Logger is now publicly and freely accessible.

I've set up a Trac installation to manage the project, and the svn source code repository is freely available, too. To get at it, simply do a plain ol'

svn checkout svn://maymay.homeunix.net/orgasmlogger

with your favorite Subversion client. Just be nice and don't laugh at my horrendous lack of coding skillz. :)

More information is (or will soon be) available on the the Orgasm Logger project homepage. Anonymous users are welcome to submit bug reports, feature requests, or patches. Naturally, I'll still do my best to make sure the site is up and running and is (ploddingly) improved.

In completely other news, happy Celebrate Bisexuality Day!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hardware rearrangements cause Orgasm Logger to come down

While switching up my computer set up, something along the way has caused a problem with my web server, causing it and Orgasm Logger to come down. Unfortunately, I'm not able to remedy the situation right now and tomorrow is a work day, which means I'll have to put this on hold for a while. So, unfortunately, I have to announce that Orgasm Logger is down and expected to remain that way for the immediate near future. Hopefully this issue will be resolved come the weekend.

Advance apologies if this causes any inconveniences for anyone using the site.

Update: So it turns out that the problem with the web server was, unfortunately, a catastrophic hard drive failure. Literally, it was working one moment and on the next reboot I could hear the platters spinning around loosely inside the drive. Thankfully, I have a very recent backup from September 11th that I'll restore to working order as soon as I'm done with everything else. (This means if you've recorded an orgasm or made an account after September 11th, you may need to re-enter your data. I'm sorry about that.)

To make a longish story short, I've taken the opportunity to completely rearrange my hardware set up here, consolidating a number of different machines together and upgrading the server from which I was first serving the Orgasm Logger site. It'll also make my life at home a lot easier, which I'm looking forward to.

The site is still down, though now the dedicated server is nearly ready. I hope to have the site back up before the work week starts, but this may have to wait just a few days longer. I do appreciate everyone's patience.


Update: Orgasm Logger is back up and running, restored from a backup made on September 11th. If you find that some of your information is missing, you may have to re-enter it. Again, I'm sorry about that. Otherwise, if you notice any problems, please don't hesitate to email me about them. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How not to fuck up a D/s relationship

Tech geekery in both my professional and personal life has kept me away from this blog for a short while, but it was relationship angst that initiated the suspension of my time here. I got upset with Eileen for one reason or another (it doesn't really matter for this entry).

When you're in a relationship—any relationship—it can be hard to express being upset. When you're in a relationship that's specifically structured around power imbalances and the notion that things are unfair, it's that much harder to express being upset. Being actually angry doesn't always even present itself as an option.

Something somewhat astonishing to me is the fact that a lot of people who are enticed by the "things are unfair" idea seem to think this kind of emotional repression is actually the way such relationships are supposed to work, and that there's nothing wrong with that. Some people even use phrases like "Master/slave relationship" or "protocols" or other intelligent-sounding words to codify this behavior into a full-fledged system or "lifestyle."

Ultimately, this is not actually so hard to understand. Like so many other things, this behavior is an example of people structuring their relationships around their fantasies instead of structuring their fantasies around their relationships. The trap is in a particularly persistent blind spot most people have: their sexual desires.

Kink in Exile articulates one manifestation of this so clearly that I simply have to quote her:

I have seen more than one d/s relationship that seemed to be founded on at least one of the partner’s fear of being an adult and having to make decisions. Explain to me again how you willingly give power to your master or mistress if you don’t have that power to begin with? Submitting has to come from a place of power and control over your life, otherwise what’s the point? Otherwise you are not handing control of your life or even your evening over to your dominant, you are seeking out a caretaker.


Of course, doing anything like this is what we tech geeks call a Bad Thing. When people do this, they consistently fail to identify distinctions between different components of their relationship to one another and in doing so they often fail to address even the most basic of relationship concerns. In other words, a slave in a "Master/slave relationship" is still a person in a relationship first, and a slave second.

There's this concept of layers, or more technically a stack, that is fundamental to the construction of many things in our world today. The basic idea is that one layer builds upon the things it receives from the layer beneath it and provides things to build upon to the layer above it. In this way, a robust and reliable system can be developed—and maintained—by segmenting different pieces of the system.

I think that a D/s relationship could benefit from a construction similar to this. It's the way I think about my relationship with Eileen. I am at once her friend, her lover, her boyfriend, and her slave. Indeed, I am her slave because I am her boyfriend, and I am her boyfriend because I am her lover, and I am her lover because I am her friend.

Our relationship developed in a decidedly organic way; right place, right time, right person. I'd been playing for long before I met her, and I'd been looking for submission in a number of venues. When I didn't find fertile ground, I thought maybe submission wasn't for me. That's why I was a self-described bottom and not "a submissive." Of course, I'm submissive now to Eileen but this is because submission is the top (or last) layer that rests upon quite a few other things.

It turns out that, at least for me, any meaningful submission requires a foundation of both friendship and sexual attraction. Only once these things are established does the opportunity for submission seem to be present.

Being aware of this construction helps in many ways. One of the first questions I ask myself these days when confronting some kind of emotional obstacle (or novelty) is: "In which layer does this interaction belong?"

For instance, it's clear that asking for her permission before I allow myself the pleasure of an orgasm is an interaction that belongs in the D/s dynamic we've engaged in. Thus, it's a higher-layer interaction, and it relies on the well-being of lower layers. Contrastingly, cleaning the bathtub because it's dirty and we don't want our drain to clog is probably something that belongs in the friendship layer; I'd do that for any roommate, not just one that sexually dominates me. As Tom puts it, doing nice things for each other is one of the lubricants of a good relationship.

For the first time in over a year, I asked Eileen for a break from orgasm denial that weekend when I was feeling upset. I had already accidentally had two orgasms, felt terrible about them, and was in an emotional state in which I couldn't deal with maintaining that explicit D/s dynamic because the boyfriend dynamic was having trouble. Of course, this was an extreme case, but it serves as a useful illustrative example of this concept in action.

This entire concept is, of course, a drastic simplification of emotional interactions. Obviously, I clean the tub sometimes because I am submissive, and I'll ask for an orgasm because I'm Eileen's lover and my own sexual gratification is served by the asking. The difference between theory and practice, is, of course, that in theory practice is the same as theory whereas in practice they are different.

That said, the point still stands. When there are problems, you need to address them at the layer or with an approach that actually confronts the issue, instead of sidestepping it. That's what Eileen and I do when we have issues to work out. She never pulls the "but I'm your Mistress" card when we're not dealing with an issue that's a part of the D/s layer. It would be harmful to do so.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sex is nice and porn is good for your society

Due to personal reasons, I've decided to drop off the radar a little bit this past week. Instead of sex, I brought you Mario.

Tonight, however briefly, it's back to the sex.

Lest you think this is merely a pulp post, let me make my point explicitly (pun intended).

No matter how hard some people want to stop sex, it just doesn't work. Hypocrisy, oppression, and repression is always a losing play.

Sex crosses every boundary you can imagine.

You can't stop the signal.

(Some links via Gloria Brame.)

Monday, September 03, 2007

And now for something completely different

Speaking of culture, even though I rarely do this, now for something completely different:

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Sex and Technology: How technological innovation pushes the boundaries of human sexuality and vice versa

Back in June, I began writing down some of my thoughts regarding how technological advancements, particularly telecommunications technologies, have changed the way people relate to sex and sexuality. I've been thinking about this sort of thing for a very long time, but what finally solidified it in writing was the deadline of August 25th, the day I was scheduled to do a one-hour long presentation on the topic for The Floating World.

Thankfully, despite weeks of worry, I managed to get way more than enough material to fill an hour and gave what I think was a rather engaging talk. The feedback was positive and quite a few people seemed to get a lot of new ideas out of my presentation. That was my goal; I wanted to get people thinking.

Finally, after a week of procrastinating, I've managed to re-work a fair portion of my notes into a sort of white paper on the subject and post them online. While far from what I would consider complete (there's not even an ending, for instance), it's certainly dense enough to post and share with the rest of you.

If you were at my presentation last weekend, a lot of this is going to be the same (there is little new material). However, if you weren't able to attend and want to know what the hell my presentation was all about, check this out.

I'd love to hear feedback on the content or suggestions for improvements. At the moment, the thing is pretty much a copy-and-paste affair from my haphazard, plain-text writing style, so please forgive the lack of hyperlinks and whatnot for the time being. When I have more motivation (and less emotional haze, as I do right now) I'll see if I can go back through it and clean things up.

In the mean time, enjoy my white paper on Sex and Technology: How technological innovation pushes the boundaries of human sexuality and vice versa.

Also, if you're really interested in this sort of thing and are lucky enough to be able to work out the logistics, you may enjoy learning about Arse Elektronika, a three-day conference hosted by Kink, Inc. all about technological innovation in the pornography industry. If you do go, please tell me about it, you lucky bastard.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Flying, the kinky sex orgasm, and the lack thereof

People often draw analogies between things in kink sex and vanilla sex. They do this sometimes out of necessity and sometimes out of a desire to avoid the overhead of defining every term they use, but mostly they do it (as I'm about to do) because it's something they've heard done before.

I've never "flown" in a scene. That is to say, I've never "checked out" or "seen my body from outside itself" or "felt like the pain was sexually pleasurable," or many of the other things lots of people who do what I do and claim similar labels as I claim have often told me about their experiences. Typically, they call this experience flying, and I've usually heard it discussed as though it was the BDSM version of an orgasm.

Well, if flying is the BDSM version of an orgasm and scenes are the BDSM version of sex, then I've never come.

Of course we all know that different people play differently and for different reasons and different goals and it's all good no matter who you are or what you're into or whatever, but whenever this subject gets brought up it makes me feel a little anorgasmic in regards to kinky things.

A part of me is always wondering if I'm just too technically-minded, too focused on comparing experiences with descriptions that I've missed the boat already in the same way vanilla people sometimes seem to me to be so concerned with orgasms and ejaculations that even when they experience them they sometimes didn't know that they had. And then part of me says to myself that it must be practically impossible not to notice something like an orgasm ("oh, you'll know!"), so a kinky scene orgasm should be similarly impossible not to notice, and since I've never noticed one I've probably never had one.

A lot of people talk about flying by talking about how pain, when experienced at a certain intensity, rhythm, and circumstance, makes the rest of their existence kind of fade out and brings into focus only the lovely sensations of the moment. I can understand that very viscerally; one of the reasons I love BDSM (and kinky sex, and sensual experiences in general) is because they help me get out of my head and into my body, for lack of a better description at the moment.

However, these same people tell me that the pain is sexually exciting. That's not something I can relate to. Friends have told me stories about whippings and beatings that have left them wet or hard and rutting in place, making their very thought processes change somewhat dramatically. I wonder what that sort of an experience would be like. It honestly doesn't really make a lot of sense to me, because as I've said before, pain doesn't turn me on.

As a perfect and somewhat humorous example, take a very sexy takedown scene that happened recently. Having been pulled away from Eileen for purposes completely unbeknownst to me at the time, I got worried about her when a friend said they had ended their scene because Eileen seemed "a little ADD at the end." Strange, I thought, Eileen only gets that way when something is wrong. I should go check on her.

I quickly turned around and started walking back toward her when several more friends appeared and stopped me. No, hang on, I told them, I need to check on Eileen and make sure she's okay. Then, when they pulled a hood over my face and quickly grabbed me by my limbs, you want to know what my first thought was? It was:

Oh, this is a takedown. Eileen's probably fine.

This was no surprise to Eileen, who later remarked, I knew your brain would keep working. It did. My second thought was, "In takedowns, the victim gets to struggle. I'd enjoy doing that!" So of course I struggled as much as I could while staying (as) careful (as I could) not to inadvertently kick the wrong person in the genitals.

This illustrates a very typical experience that I have when I play: I'm very often completely conscious of what's going on and very aware of the reality of a situation. When Eileen and I play with knives, I'm not scared that she'll purposefully cut my throat, or gouge my eye out, I'm scared that she'll do it accidentally. (The risk is what's appealing.) When she whips me, I'm often adjusting my position and I'm motivated to do so by the conscious awareness that my back is no longer straight after that last stroke and that it should be made straight again, or that the sound of the whip and the feel of the air it pushed toward me means the whip is approximately four inches in that direction so I should turn appropriately.

Really, and I'd hate to destroy people's illusions of my kinky sex if they have any, but I'm actually extremely unsexy in my head when I play. Rational thought processes are not really that sexy no matter how you try to dress them up. Everything sexy is entirely about emotion.

Getting beaten with a nightstick is just that; a stick and a body. It's all very mechanical and not very hot. However, with some feeling in there, like being forced to the ground and invited to violently show the emotional aspects of aggression by fighting back, then physically losing and giving in to overwhelming force, now that's sexy.

It's very, very hard to get me out of my head. The only two things that have ever succeeded in doing so have been intense pain and intense pleasure (not necessarily orgasmic pleasure), and even these things don't manage to do it for very long stretches at a time. The way lots of people describe flying, it seems as though they experience some kind of emotional or spiritual climax too abstract for words. This is all wonderful, but is far too abstract for me.

I don't deal very well with abstracts. I'm a rather technical person, obviously, so I like things that make sense and which are grounded in rational thought. When people try to explain things to me that they say are based on "auras" or "energies," I usually just smile and nod. I have no problem with these things, most recently evidenced by a sudden interest in my social group with tantric practices, but I'd prefer to keep a critical eye pinned consistently in that direction.

So when I think about flying, in all the experiences I've had the one that comes closest to it has been getting suspended in rope bondage. Because that's when I was in the air, swinging around, and that's what flying means to me.