Monday, March 31, 2014

Rants with Rabbit: Sexual Preferences Are Not Bigotry

I’m just a teensy bit pissed right now, so this could probably be classified as a rant. One of my biggest pet peeves about the lifestyle is how much people shame others for their sexual preferences in the name of tolerance. It amazes me how many people equate not wanting to date or have sex with someone as being some form of bigot.

So, let me say it right now. You are NOT obligated to be attracted to everyone. You do not have to justify your sexual preferences to anyone. No one should have to justify why they find certain traits attractive or certain traits unattractive. Having those preferences doesn’t make you shallow or a bigot. It’s part of what makes you unique.

Despite my size and the general school of thought that tends to go with people my size, I do not believe that men who are not attracted to me because of my size are shallow. That would be extremely hypocritical of me as I have my own preferences. Not being physically or even emotionally into someone does not make that person shallow. Treating someone like shit because they are not what you find attractive is being shallow.

I also see this line of bullshit that if you aren’t physically attracted to certain races, and choose not to date someone because of that means you’re racist.


1. A belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

2. A policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

3. Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Note how none of those are “not wanting to fuck members of a certain race because you aren’t physically attracted to them.” The idea that I’m not allowed to find physical aspects undesirable in a partner just because they happen to be a different race than me baffles me. I happen to be into white men, Middle Eastern men, Hispanic men, Indian men, and Native American men as far as coloring and features go. It just happens to be my thing. I’m not generally attracted to black guys or East Asians. Now, does that mean I’m racist?

No. I don’t hate East Asians or black men. I don’t think they are inferior to me. I don’t refuse to associate with them or think we can’t be friends. I’m just not interested in having sex with people who have certain physical features. For the record, I’m also not into blonde guys, but I’m not magically racist against blonde people.

I’m also straight and not remotely into women, but I’m not sexist either.

Here’s the point in the rant where I express my fierce hatred of the overuse and misuse of the word “phobia.”

Do you know what a phobia is? It’s fear.

Not dislike, not disinterest, not lack of attraction, or disapproval. It’s fucking fear.

That means, my not wanting to fuck you because you possess a trait of some kind that I don’t find attractive or find unattractive enough that I’m not willing to deal with it does not make me a whatever-phobe. I’m not afraid of you. I’m not afraid of this trait. It just doesn’t make my panties drop. And personally, I don’t feel obligated to date someone I’m incompatible with just to gain the approval of those people who feel I should be an indiscriminately equal opportunity fuck puppet.

You know what I’m afraid of? Spiders. Not bisexual men or switches. Spiders.

I’m not sexually or romantically interested in bisexual men or switches, but I’m not afraid of them. I’m afraid of spiders. And heights. And social interaction with strangers.

I’m not remotely turned on by guy-on-guy sex or submissive men. I find these traits unattractive, so I have not sought out these traits in a partner. Switches and bisexual men possess a set of desires that I cannot possibly fulfill even if I had the inclination. And, being monogamous, I would not feel comfortable being with them and allowing them to seek out those other desires elsewhere, but neither do I want to prevent them from engaging in those desires period. Therefore, I do not engage with them at all in a romantic or sexual context.

I do not feel bad about that, and I shouldn’t.

And the “what if he’s what you’re into physically and you match perfectly emotionally” question is invalid, because those two classifications are automatic deal-breakers for me, much like non-monogamy in any form.

But guess what? I’m not bigoted against poly people either. I’m just not poly. Who’d’ve thunk it?

My point is, do not allow other people to shame you for your preferences. Having preferences does not make you a bad person. They do not make you shallow, or racist, or phobic, or sexist. You’re allowed to be picky about who you fuck and who you date. I don’t know anyone who isn’t picky about those things. Don’t let people bully you into feeling bad about having preferences. If we all liked the same shit, the world would be awfully boring.

We're different!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mine: Jealousy as an Expression of Love

I think there a lot of misconceptions about jealousy. It is typically painted always as a negative emotion. I think part of this is because jealousy is often confused with envy as a term.

There are several definitions for jealousy, and they all present a different concept of the emotion.

  • Jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another's success or advantage itself.

This is the definition that I equate with envy and is not really what I’m discussing here.

  • Mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims.

This is the one that people often speak about when they talk about jealousy and its negative aspect. They write it off as a result of insecurity or fear, and try to show the superiority of either monogamous or poly relationships through its supposed presence or absence in that dynamic.

  • Vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.

This is the definition I think of when I think of the positive aspects of jealousy

Jealousy for me is not always a bad thing. It’s a deeply rooted emotion in everyone I think. The need to protect and guard what’s ours, a sense of possessiveness of the things we own. I think it’s more pronounced with people, because people are harder to protect than things.

Possessiveness is a large part of this lifestyle. If it weren’t, concepts like ownership wouldn’t be so popular. I adore possessive men. There’s something satisfying about that deep, primal expression of “Mine.” It’s one of my favorite games to play with Daddy. I’ll claim some body part is mine, and he’ll respond with “My Rabbit.” It pushes all my happy buttons and feeds that inner need to be possessed.

Daddy has a rule about me not playing with men. He’s also always very stringent about people not touching his pets without permission, or at all. Now, this is not because he fears me being stolen away or that I’ll leave him. It’s the simple emotion of “this is mine and no one should touch it, because mine and I don’t share.” Sort of like marking one’s territory. I love that he would get violent on my behalf. He feels it is his place to defend me if he is present, even though I could stand up for myself. He has expressed in the past that if the situation were to come up, he would want me to let him come to my defense rather than defend myself. I found that extremely sexy.

I find jealousy of this kind to be an expression of love and pride, wanting to be the only one to possess a person or a thing. Maybe it’s a primal thing, although, there are primals into sharing, but I feel this love of possessiveness and need to be possessed is part of my primal identity. I want to be jealously guarded like a precious treasure.

I see nothing negative in this type of jealousy. It makes me feel loved and valued. After all, you want to protect the things you care about the most. It’s one of those wordless expressions of love that nestles in the back of your brain and gives you all those warm fuzzies. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Not a Pyro Pet: Experiences in Fire Cupping

Throughout the course of my roughly 3 years of being active in my local community, I’ve probably seen a couple dozen fire play demos and probably twice that number in fire play scenes. I’ve seen four different methods of fire cupping. I’ve watched people draw designs in mousse on people’s backs and light them on fire with either a lighter or even a spark from a violet wand. I’ve seen both open-flame candle wax play and heated wax play. I’ve seen that little trick where they swab you with alcohol and light that shit on fire. The most unusual fire play thing I’ve seen was flash cotton.  A little tuft in your hand can make it look like you can conjure fire balls, or a string of it lying on your belly while the flame speeds toward your face can freak you out.

However, despite having witnessed all this, my own experience with fire play is rather limited. I’ve done the following:

  • Open-flame wax play (Bottom and Top)
  • Fire cupping (Bottom)
  • Fire swab thing

I’ve never been too terribly interested in fire play. I think it’s pretty to watch, but the only thing that has really interested me was hot wax play because I enjoy the feeling of scalding hot water running over me. Although, my first experience with open-flame candles wasn’t too pleasant.

My first experience with wax play.

The first time I ever saw fire cupping, it was at my first kinky Halloween party in October of 2011. I was still with my ex for some stupid reason, so I wasn’t really allowed to do anything except top at parties. I can’t remember if I did that night or not. But I did get to see my friend, and sometimes play partner, get fire cupped. It was a neat thing to see the first time, and her back looked like it had been raped by the Kraken.

It was a year before I actually tried it for myself. I had brought a male sub friend to a party I hadn’t expected to get to go to. Well, I suppose he brought me, as tagging along on his random road trip was the only way I was getting back to town for the party. It was his first kink party ever, and his first time with fire cupping as well. He absolutely loved it.

Marks from male sub friend's first cupping.

I on the other hand, didn’t have so great of an experience. I had been told by unnumbered bottoms that fire cupping didn’t hurt, that it felt like a massage. The resident fire expert was in attendance cupping everybody because fire cupping is one of the most popular fetishes I’ve seen other than flogging. So I figured what the hell. Maybe I shouldn’t have, because I wasn’t feeling that well and I couldn’t really breathe through my face, but I did.

Once he put that first cup on my back, I was silently cursing every lying bitch who told me it didn’t hurt. It felt like someone was crushing a cup into my shoulder blade. It fucking hurt, and not in a good way. I think I might have started crying a little bit. I can take a heavy amount of certain types of pain, but there are others I can barely tolerate. He tried to fix it, but I only made it through two cups before I had to give up.

Marks from the first cupping the day after. I don't mark terribly
well, and when I do, it's hard to capture on film
because I'm so pale.

After that, I’d simply determined that fire cupping wasn’t for me. I wasn’t too eager to try it again, although I continued to see different fire play scenes.

Last night, I attended the monthly munch and party, which had a theme of flogging, but as usual, fire kits were brought out, because, oh my shit, did I mention fire play is popular? Tonight, the one doing cups was a woman. It was the first time I’d met her, but, like her dom, who I’d met before, she radiated confidence and good knowledge.  I’m limited in what I can do at parties, since Daddy only allows me to play with women and there aren’t a lot of female tops around here, so mostly I just stick to knife play with my friend. But I figured, I’d give it a go, since I had the opportunity and I had already mentioned my poor first experience earlier in the evening.

Fire swabby prep stuff. 

I got through 6 cups this time, and not a single one of them hurt. So, now I’m a little confused as to what happened the first time that made it suck so much. There was no pain this time, and no marks, although she did only do light suction because of my issues with deep tissue pressure. I can’t say that it produced any sort of intense sensation like I’ve seen others react to. I didn’t find it unpleasant, but I didn’t exactly find it pleasurable. It was more of an “eh, okay” sort of feeling. My favorite part was when she moved them around, because I could feel more then, and it was similar to the sensation of having my back scratched, which I enjoy.

Second cupping experience. Ignore mah undies.

So, my second experience was a million times better than my first experience, but I think I still have to come to the same conclusion that fire cupping really isn’t my thing. I know people who find it simply amazing and can even subspace from it, which is a difficult state for me to achieve, but it just wasn’t a sensation that elicited any sort of reaction from me. I don’t think it will be something I actively seek out in the way I do knives. Which, the only fire play that Daddy is really interested in is wax play, so it works.

I recommend trying it at least once or twice, just to see if it’s for you. Pretty much everyone else I know who’s tried it has loved it. I’m just the weird one.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dancing For Master: 6 Songs for the Sensual Dancer

I absolutely love sensual belly dance. It's one of my favorite forms of service because I just feel so beautiful when I do it. The hardest part for me, is finding music that feels right, especially for more private performances. So, I have compiled a list of 6 songs here that represent that feeling. I hope you like them, and perhaps they'll inspire your own performances.

1. Jamilla/Jemilleh - John Bilezikjian

A rich and beautiful song, you can just feel the sensuality in these melodies and rhythms. John has a beautiful voice that flows over the oud so well, you never really notice how few words the song actually has. I love this piece. I even did a video for it on my own youtube (not the one I posted below). I think I'll eventually do a new dance to it, now that I've improved. You can find the translation here.

2. Al Baladi - Mario Kirlis

Although, I tend to prefer lyrical pieces as I find them easier to follow, this is a great song. The steady beat ads a nice punch to the melody that slithers over the top of the drums. It does speed up a bit in the last third, but that can be a good way to build up the frenzy and end with a nice dramatic finish. 

3. Yearning - Raul Ferrando 

If you've looked at any belly dance videos on YouTube, you'll notice that this song is extremely popular among belly dancers. And for good reason. There's so much passion packed into this song, you get a little breathless just listening to it. Don't believe me? Watch this dancer. This performance was my introduction to the song. A great one, I think. I also recommend Wishful Thinking by Raul Ferrando. I couldn't find a youtube video for it, but you should give it a listen. It's available on Itunes and Amazon. It's deceptively speedy in the beginning, but has a sudden switch to a more earthy, sensual tune fairly quickly.

4. The Sensual Chifti - Eddie Kochak

I just found this one today. I have such a hard time finding sensual music that evokes the sort of mood I'm looking for when I dance. I feel fortunate to have stumbled across this one, and from one of the greats of belly dance music. It has a steady medium paced rhythm with a slower melody over the top. I'd probably choose to dance predominantly to the melody.

5. Raqset Kahramana/Mkhtarat Wahab - Farid Al Atrache

Yeah...I can't pronounce it either. It's a good pick though. It flows back and forth between slower and faster sections. It has a wonderful vintage vibe, because it is from the Golden Era and is often paired with vintage style performances. You could get wonderfully flirty with it.

6. Lamma Bada Yatathana - Lena Chamamyan

This is probably more romantic then sensual. It's not quite as earthy as the others. However, it is fluid and beautiful with a female singer this time. There are numerous versions of this song, this one just happens to be one I like. You can find the translation to the lyrics here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kink Lit: Fifty Shades of Ugh, You Want How Much For Porn?

So, I took a trip to the local Books-A-Million today in the middle of a quest to find a wireless mouse for my laptop. I went in search of the erotica section, which moves around frequently, I’ve noticed. I rarely ever buy anything, but I like to look at it every now and then.

Before I found it, I ran across a shelf kind of tucked in at the end of the Romance section titled: After Fifty Shades. Containing the urge to vomit, I stop and look. The top shelf of the case is dedicated to copies of 50 Shades, a 50 Shades party game (I don’t even want to know what you do in this game), and some auxiliary volume called Inner Goddess (I think). The last one was bound in black faux leather with metallic red lettering embossed on the cover. I think it was supposed to be a diary or something.

$47.95 at Books-A-Million for a boxed set,

There were about two shelves dedicated to various works by Sylvia Day, and further down was more, but I can’t remember what any of them were. I picked up one of the books reluctantly, as I tend to shy away from things that are being promoted as similar to 50 Shades, although, I know it just means that it’s kinky. Son of a bitch was $14. Paperback. Not even 100 pages. 11-12 point font.


I’ve admittedly never read Fifty Shades of Grey. I’ve heard terrible things about it. I’ve watched numerous comical readings on youtube where they do the cartoon voices, but that’s the extent of the content I’ve heard, aside from various critiques and bitch rants on Fet. Anything that started as Twilight fanfiction and spawned all those free kindle e-books titled Blah Blah Tied Up or Something (My Dom is a Billionaire Volume 3/7), can’t be good. I should probably read them, so I can legit bitch about them, but honestly, the reason I haven’t?

I’m not interested in paying $50 for what I already know are shitty books.

Now, I’m sure those of you who have a beef with Gor and have read my Kink Lit post about it are wondering how I know they’re shitty when I like Gor. Well, there are different types of bad writing and you can get away with certain shit in different genres. At least Gor is meaty, where as a lot of this type of stuff is kind of like eating cotton balls.

Plus, I got 16 Gor books for the same price I would pay for the 50 Shades trilogy. I’m a lot more grouchy if it’s terrible and I paid a fortune for it.

Set of 16 John Norman books I bought from some
dude on ebay for $50.

There is a reason why I don’t read Teen fiction. It’s because they inflate the size of the book and make the font big enough to appease the blindest of bats, and then charge you twice the price of a standard paperback with twice the content. That, and I’ve long since lost interest in stories that take place in high school.

So, perhaps my biggest beef with 50 Shades is that they are marketed like Young Adult Literature. Big, fluffy books with little content for a big price. Because of this, not only are there 50 Shades clones like there were Twilight clones, but they’re all big fluffy books that cost like $16 dollars a pop.

I don’t know if they are good or not, and I suspect I never will, because I’m just not big enough on porn to shell out that much of my measly paycheck for it.

I paid a pretty penny for the Beauty trilogy by Anne Rice with the fancy Renaissance painting covers, and I don’t think they are very good either. The main character reminds me a lot of Alice from the Lewis Carroll books and makes me a little head-desky. The lack of thought from the main character bothered me a lot. I had the same problem with Story of O. But, the Beauty books are unabashedly porn, so I can be a little more forgiving. It’s also easier to skip all the YKINMKBOMGE (Your Kink is Not My Kink But OMG Ewww) parts.

I paid somewhere over $40 for this trilogy. Which makes me sad,
because I lent them out and not sure I'll see them again. 

I tend to be a little reluctant to read kink erotica because it’s hard to find something that caters to my specific fetishes. I also lack the voyeurism gene, so I tend to disfavor realistic porn anyway. I have an easier time with stuff written within the context of a fantasy world for some reason. The more couched in reality it is, the more uncomfortable I am. I guess it’s because I have my own views about how the lifestyle works and I want to argue with various authors. Something portrayed as fantasy is easier to digest because I’m working in a different set of parameters within the context of the culture of the book.

The rules are different.

So, I figure, I’d probably dislike 50 Shades even if I did read it because of my lack of interest in porn as a whole. Although, a 21 year old whiny bitch bagging a mid-20s emo billionaire is pretty damned fantastical.

But, I’m cheap, so I’m not going to pay $16 dollars for erotica when I could probably imagine up more entertaining stuff when I’m masturbating.

And it’s free.

Seriously, though, recommend me some good ones and I might change my mind. I just don’t like buying blind and then ending up with bullshit.   

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Primal Submission: From the Prey Perspective

As I have mentioned before, or elsewhere, perhaps on the About Rabbit page of this blog, I identify as a primal. I am a member of the main primal group on FetLife, but I don’t typically participate a lot in discussions for much the same reason I’m not in a lot of pet groups. Most primals are animal identified, as are most pet groups.

This is from the description of Primal Play – The Animal Within (see, it’s in the title too!):
“A list of Primal Kinks usually include, but are not limited to: Wolf play, Biting, Pursuit Takedown and Capture, Scratching, Blood, Leaving Bitemarks, Primal Play, Animalistic Sex, Cuddling, and so on. It doesn't matter if you self-identify as a Lycanthrope, Atavist, Therian, Barbarian, Otherkin, Caveman, Cat Girl, Feral, Furry, Were-creature, Klingon, or just plain Primal...if you enjoy feeling alive and the instincts that drive your inner nature, you are welcome here.”
So, for me, I have the following primal type fetishes:
  • Biting
  • Pursuit, Takedown, and Capture
  • Scratching
  • Cuddling 
  • Animalistic Sex
  • Force play (including rape play)
  • Wrestling

Most of those fall under the list in that group description. Now, I honestly don’t know what a lot of those labels listed above are, such as Therian, Atavist, or Otherkin. Not my kink. I guess if I had to pick one, I’d say I identify most with the barbarian type. The most vivid image of the kind of primal I jive with is probably the Dothraki depicted in the tv series Game of Thrones.

Yeah, yeah, if I don’t identify with animals, then what’s with the Rabbit thing? Well, I didn’t pick that. Daddy has a habit of giving his pets pet names. Mine happened to be Rabbit. I actually don’t remember when he started calling me that, or why exactly, other than my abject skittishness. I have made that my sort of symbol, by choosing a triskele made of rabbits, but I still feel I am a human primal and a human pet.

My rabbit trisekelion pendant.

However, in keeping with the rabbit thing, I do identify as more of a prey type. My fight or flight response is heavily skewed toward flight, although enough pain can trigger my fight response. I prefer having a large disparity in physical strength between my master and I.

In the last couple days, I’ve encountered a few views on primals that I haven’t seen before. However, admittedly, I don’t know a lot of people who ID as primal or are familiar with the concept.

A thread was started in the primal group where the OP stated this:
“I get told, on an alarmingly frequent basis, that a ‘primal submissive’ is just a bad sub, or secretly topping from the bottom, or a switch.” 
I found this odd to say the least, because I have never gotten that reaction to that label. That’s more something I hear in response to brat label, but, typically, more people respond to the brat label than they do the primal one.

In response, a male primal type stated this:
“I would put forth that in my experience a primal sub will challenge a/their dom. The dom needs to be able to show that they are dominant in an primal or animalistic way. In other words the dom must make the sub submit. Primal submission must be earned, it is almost a trial by combat.”
Now, he did say “my experience,” because putting my in front of something is the key to making everything you say cool beans, I guess. But I seriously disagree with this, as did others. I don’t challenge my owner’s authority. That’s just bad survival instincts there. My owner can curl more than I weigh, and I’m no small burden. He needed the right ability, personality, and energy to make me want to submit, but submission is not something I feel needs to be pulled out of me. It is a natural reaction to him. If it had to be forced out of me, I wouldn't feel like our energy was well-matched.

And, of course, because some of us said we don’t challenge our d-types, this was said:
“Saying you have a primal side, and yet I would never challenge my Dominant if they do not wish it seems to me to be contradictory to being in a Primal relationship.”
I don't think so. Hierarchy can be a very rigid thing for a primal. I mean, wolf packs, for instance. A loooot of primals identify with wolves. My owner feels a connection with the wolf as well, and packs are very hierarchical. Sure, challenges do happen, but an Omega isn’t going to challenge the Alpha.

The wolf triskelion I bought for Daddy. 

Personally, I'm very aware of my partner's strength. Challenging his authority would be incredibly stupid. It would also make him rather grumpy. I like rough play and violent interaction, but I am also quite aware that I am not high enough on this particular food chain to go toe to toe with my owner in that realm. I'm not dominant. He's in charge. I know that. He knows that. A physical challenge can be nothing more than play for me. Challenging his authority just wouldn't work.

Now, that doesn't necessarily mean I'm docile all the time, but I don't think a primal relationship is always predicated on a constant battle for dominance.

Primal is a label that is as wide and varied as any other role in BDSM, kink, whatever. There are numerous types and relationships that can all be primal without fitting into one mold. And primal submission, although it seems kind of antithetical if you haven’t really looked at all the possibilities, is still a thing. I can be wild and rough and still be obedient. I can enjoy the thrill of the basic instincts without wanting to upset the balance of power. Primal is not a power struggle for me. It’s embracing the sensations, the instincts, and natural reactions to people and the energy they radiate. And sometimes, that natural instinct is to submit.

We can’t all be alphas.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Hardest Rule to Follow

Daddy doesn’t have a lot of rules for me right now, and several of them could be collapsed into one simple edict of “obey me.” It’s mostly an easy list, and the one I find most difficult is probably one of the simplest.

I am not allowed to call myself fat…or any other potentially derogatory term for squishy. 

My favorite euphemism for big is delightfully squishy.
He lets me get away with that one. :D

He has had this rule for every pet he’s had because he exclusively dates larger women, as in, a size 12 is his lower limit and that’s pushing it. I’m around a size 18.

Now, I’ve been big since I was a kid.  The one time I lost any significant amount of weight, I did it by eating turkey sandwiches once or twice a day for 2 months. Weight loss has never been easy for me, and I always end up somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 pounds. Now, he has no issue with this obviously, but when you’ve been big most of your life, you get used to the ridicule and try to do your best to own it when changing it doesn’t work.

I kind of developed the whole thing where if I establish that I’m aware of my size and can be flippant about it, others can’t hurt me with it. If I show I’m not bothered by it, then maybe others won’t be or at least won’t waste the effort to point it out.

I made this after a certain number of idiots on FetLife
decided to inform me of my girth.

 Self-deprecation is a hard habit to break after so many years. I’m very picky about pictures because I don’t like ones that make me look bigger than I am. I’m annoyed that I can’t manage to compose a dance costume that doesn’t try to roll under my belly. I’m also annoyed that I don’t have the big boobs many other big girls have.

It’s not fair, I tell you. I just want them to match my ass. It would also help the wardrobe situation, since clothing designers always assume that plus-sized women have huge tits. Hence, why I can’t find a bra that fits.

But, as much as he tells me I’m pretty and he likes it, I can’t shake the self-consciousness. I can’t stop myself from being devastated that I’ve gained a few pounds. I mean, I’ve kind of resigned myself to it, as long as it’s under the 210 mark, but it’s really disappointing when it finally goes over. It also doesn’t help that my mother, who is somewhere between a size 0 and a 2, sits around and complains about her own weight.

My favorite shirt ever. I wish I had 10 of them.
I don't feel so big in it. 

So, I’ve failed a few times on that rule (fortunately not where he could hear), because habits are habits. He grumbles whenever I talk about weight loss, or imply I wouldn’t look good in something because of my weight. He’s sad that I won’t wear a bikini in public. But, seriously, no. I respect his opinion and all that, but I don’t need that sort of grief. I’ll stick to my bathing suits that look like short dresses, and not wearing shorts in public. I think they flatter me more, even if he disagrees.

And, perhaps that’s not very slavely of me, but I’ve never claimed to be good at it. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Belly Dance: Opulent Motion with Sarah Skinner DVD Review

A couple years ago, I started getting into belly dance. I thought it looked wonderfully sensual and sexy and figured it would be a great fitness activity as well as a good service for a future master. I waffled a bit on style but eventually found a sensual version of the classic/cabaret styles to be to my liking, mostly inspired by Blanca from World Dance New York.

Last week, I bought Opulent Motion: The Artistry of Slow Moves with Sarah Skinner. I’ve wanted it for a while, but I finally bought it.

After watching the whole thing, I find this DVD to be wonderful. It’s packed full of material, with a Tutorial section which teaches the foundation moves in the DVD, sections discussing different slow rhythms and movements that go with them, a section devoted to movement sequences followed by a practice flow, and then over 30 minutes of improvisational dances complete with commentary about musicality and expression. What I like most is that the DVD is geared more toward teaching technique and style rather than mostly about teaching you a specific choreography.

Now, normally, I tend to skip the move tutorial at the beginning of my DVDs unless I’ve never encountered the move before, because I’m far enough along in my studies to find having learned moves explained to me to be boring, but for the purposes of review I watched that section on this DVD. I think that Sarah explains the moves well, and I like how she puts emotion into the explanations and gives you familiar actions and feelings to relate them to while performing them.

The next few sections discuss how to produce organic movement and the different slow rhythms and of belly dance and patterns of movement that work well with them: chiftetelli, slow maqsoun, masmoudi, and slow 9/8 (not in that order). I really like this because I don’t see a lot of the DVD’s I’ve found explain the different rhythms. Before this DVD, I’d only heard the term chiftetelli and had no idea what that actually meant.

The move sequences are fairly easy to follow, although there are a few things I can’t do, or can’t do well. I have problems with stomach undulations, reverse undulations, and deep knee bends.  My biggest nitpick on the DVD is that the practice flow is relatively short. After doing a 40 minute practice flow on Blanca’s Sensual Bellydance DVD, the one on Opulent Motion feels disappointingly brief. However, this can be made up for in the musicality section.

Here we have probably 38 minutes of improvised dances, both with and without props to different rhythms and styles of music. You can watch them with Sarah’s commentary where she describes her movement choices, the emotions behind them, and how you can use them in your own performances. You also have the option of turning off the commentary and watching them as performances with the music only. It’s a great feature, because you can sort of continue the practice flow into the improvs by improvising right along with her, trying out what you’ve learned, or following along with her.

At the end of most belly dance instruction DVDs is a performance. The performance on this DVD feels kind of out of place. It’s a veil performance, and I feel that it doesn’t relate to the material at all and should have been on a different DVD, because she does do a veil DVD. But, the previous section with the music off more than makes up for this awkwardly placed performance.

Overall, I think this a great buy. The price is phenomenal, only $14.98 for over 2 hours of material and it typically ships really fast. I like the class-like feel of it where I feel like I’m learning style and not a choreography I’ll probably never perform. I like Sarah’s teaching style and her way of explaining things. It would be a great addition to anyone’s dance library, especially if you’re interested in adding more sensuality to your dance. I really wish she had more like it.

You can find this DVD on both the World Dance New York website under “The Most Sensual Belly Dance” and on Sarah’s website Shakemyday, both of which are listed on the Belly Dance Resources page of this blog. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Brats and SAMs

This is definitely one topic that gets my feathers all ruffled when it comes up. Growing up, my dad and I wrestled and picked on each other constantly, so he called me brat a lot. It was always said playfully as a term of affection. So, I never attached negative feelings to the word. Sure, I understood that it could be used in a derogatory way, but that was the association I made because it was never used that way toward me.

Once I got on FetLife, it became an insult to throw at subs who basically did anything undesirable. Of course, there is also the other side of the equation of s-types that proudly identify as brats or SAMs (Smart-Assed Masochists). Now, I’ve been called a SAM and I do identify with the label of brat, but I don’t identify with it in the terms in the way most people mean them.

Brat to me, means playfully resistant and teasing in order to provoke a certain reaction from my owner. I operate within acceptable parameters that do not violate my core set of rules. It is a method of communication for me, which I explain up front. Despite my love of writing, I’m not always fantastic at verbal communication. I’m horrible at asking for things, because I’m always afraid of either being rejected or being harassed before getting an answer. It’s something I developed over the years dealing with a particularly passive aggressive parent. So brat play is how I ask for S&M or rough play from my Daddy. It’s something he enjoys as well, and it doesn’t go over that line. If he says stop, I stop.

I think this pretty much covers it. 

So, I don’t like people who think of brat in the context of “spoiled brat” or a misbehaving child attaching their definitions to me when I say I’m a brat. I think it’s unfair that they attach their own baggage to labels I choose for myself. It’s unfair to other brat types as well who do so with their masters’ blessings. I see a lot of disdain coming from others when someone IDs as a brat. But, there’s a difference between a brat and a disobedient bitch/asshole in my mind. They are not the same thing.

With the way I define brat, a SAM is essentially the same thing to me. However, I see more acceptance for the term SAM than the term brat. “You might be a redneck” type lists float around for SAMs and brats and they are often the same lists for both labels, but those who ID as a SAM will often resist being labeled as a brat.

I think this is probably an age thing. I see a lot of disdain for diminutive terms like “subbie,” I suppose because it gives the connotation of childishness. I think the fact that brat is often something that is used to describe a child makes it more distasteful to people. I see a bit of an age break between those who identify as SAMs and those who identify as brats. Older s-types typically prefer SAM over brat and younger s-types tend to go for brat over SAM. Now, this is not an absolute by any means, just a trend I’ve noticed in the time I’ve been active in the lifestyle.

I don’t think being a brat or a SAM is a bad thing. I actually think it can be a safe way to get out all the rebellious feelings sometimes if your owner/dom/master/whatever is into that kind of play or is willing to play with it. I don’t think one is better than the other. I will say, if you identify with the brat label, don’t let others bully you into dropping it because they see it as a bad thing. I would advise finding someone who is comfortable with and enjoys brat play so you aren’t trying to suppress that part of yourself because it annoys them.

If you have a negative view of the term brat, that’s okay, but don’t apply your definitions to someone else’s label. They may not define it the way you do. So before you judge them based on that label, ask them what they mean. I can pretty much guarantee that someone who identifies as a brat probably doesn’t mean they’re mean-spirited and deliberately disobedient. That kind of contradicts the whole submissive thing, after all. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Kink Lit: John Norman's Gor

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not Gorean. Not to say that I feel I need to defend myself from that idea, but I want it understood that my perspective is not a Gorean one, whereas many opinions about the books other than saying their terrible or stupid typically comes from Goreans.

So, here’s something different.

If you’ve been on Fetlife or CollarMe or other fetish sites for any length of time, you've likely encountered Goreans or the concept of Gor. There tends to be no small amount of contention between Goreans and non-Goreans, but there’s contention between all the schools of thought when it comes to power exchange and kink at some point. But, that’s not what this is about.

This is about the books.

I ordered the first 16 books of the series a couple months ago and have been slowly making my way through them. I've read the first six, and I must say, I quite enjoy them. Now, I went to school for writing, so I would like to think I can recognize good writing, or at least, awful writing. Of course, everyone’s biased by their personal tastes, and I happen to find several of the classics to be incredible bores. However, I disagree with the loud majority that these books are terribly written.

Sure, they have their flaws, but all books have flaws. Literature is not something that’s ever perfect. I also think you have to read books in the right context and take them for what they are. Many complaints about the books have to do with the sexism and the gender roles portrayed in them. Really, though, sexism is a stupid reason to hate a science-fantasy novel from the 60s. If you thought they were going to be full of feminism and equality, one, you don’t know science-fiction, and two, you don’t know science-fiction from the 60s. And, either way, books would be boring if they didn’t involve politically incorrect themes and topics.

The sexism doesn't bother me at all. I can appreciate the world John Norman has created here. Whatever opinion you might have about repetitive plot elements, because there are quite a few, as well as repetitive phrasing, you can’t deny that the world of Gor is lovingly and meticulously fashioned. The sheer amount of detail he puts into these cultures is astounding and definitely impressive. It makes my inner anthropology nerd squee like a fangirl. And while the repetitive phrases can be a little irksome when you've been trained that variety of language is a staple of good writing, his voice kind of gives the stories a more epic feel. Something like a very detailed fairy tale.

I also quite enjoy stories that involve that romanticized version of slavery. I like the large focus on slavery in these books. It’s one of the main focuses of my own fiction. I like exploring the facets of slavery and the different kinds of slavery that can exist. While there’s really only one type explored in Gor, it’s still an interesting one. It’s not a slavery I would want to participate in myself. But the elaborate nature of it intrigues me, and I can always appreciate the fantasy of it.

It lights up all the same places in my brain that the concept of the Odalisque does.

So, I think these books are worth the read if you’re looking for kinky fiction or M/s fiction to read. I think they can be more engaging because they aren't porn like a lot of kink fiction tends to devolve into. There is very little of the explicit in the Gorean novels, and while I kind of wish there was a little more sex in it, the lack of that is probably to its benefit.

If you can find them, pick them up, although I do recommend strongly that you read them in order. The experience is better that way. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Formality in the Lifestyle

I notice that there is always a lot of emphasis on negotiations in this lifestyle. Even the first people I ever played with went on and on about negotiations, but I can't really say that I've ever negotiated a relationship.

Most people who know me know I dislike the concept of references, applications, and interviews when it comes to relationships. I'm of a mind that it's a relationship, not a job interview. As much as I hate applying for jobs, I don't want to expand that into my personal relationships.

I'm not a formal person. I'll make a homemade manual for gardening and homesteading and all that junk. I'll create elaborate outlines of cultures for a story. But the idea of sitting down and writing out a contract is just all sorts of meh. I'm a creature of routine, but not exactly ritual or protocol.

Okay, definitely not protocol.

I enjoy rules, but not the arbitrary trappings of high protocol.

It's actually a rather odd combination, the stringent need for explicit instruction and resistance to change of routine that comes with my particular disorder while hating these formalities. But I am infinitely practical if not entirely rational, and if I can find no practical purpose to a protocol, I find it silly. I also prefer natural instinctual action and reaction, hence my identifying as pet and primal. Protocol feels stilted and awkward and more of an artificial response on my part. Of course, that is in my personal relationships. I am resistant to protocol with outside persons for a whole slew of other reasons.

Because of my desire for organic reaction, I have never found a practical purpose for contracts in my own relationships, as things are constantly changing and evolving and trying to encompass all acceptable action in one document would be exhausting. Sure, I write rules down and whatever tidbits I find useful to remember, but it's not something I would use as a communal reference for the relationship. Besides, I write that shit in IPA and he can't read that. lol

I didn't really negotiate with either of my partners in any significant way. "Negotiation" with my ex was a series of afterthoughts. I mentioned hard limits in the beginning, but even then, that was the beginning of the beginning when such things were murky and theoretical at best at that stage in my life. Some of the minor ones may or may not have been summarily ignored on occasion, not that I've ever been vocal enough with my men to mention such things. Even safe words were an afterthought. Several hours into play did I finally remember safe words were a thing. And for most of the relationship it was simply "safe word" and never used.

Negotiation wasn't really a thing with Daddy either. We've known each other for years and at a distance, most things are theoretical. I'd also moved into the M/s circle of thought by then, and, in the beginning, it was nothing more than a temporary distraction for the both of us. Discussions were mostly ineffectual at the start, as he would answer questions within the context of how they pertained to me in that temporary construct. Things evolved over time, complete with discussions that were little more than casual conversations about a subject we'd discussed so many times before. We discuss things when they come up, but there's never been any conscious negotiation or bargaining, with, perhaps, the small exception of the practicality of certain rules at specific points.

So, I have a hard time answering questions about negotiation and "what do you ask a potential partner" and all that jazz, because I've yet to be in a situation where I had to approach a relationship in such a way.

I'm a planner in a literally obsessive-compulsive kind of way, but I can't bring myself to approach relationships that way. Or rather, it never occurs to me to do so.

LDRs Kinda Suck a Little

Long distance relationships are a bitch, I tell you.

I’ve known my Daddy for around 6 years. We met doing some nerdy literary role playing back when MySpace was still a thing and I was still on the edge of jailbait. When I was a mere nooblet, although less jailbaity, with no knowledge of FetLife or most kink websites, he was my encyclopedia of kink. He disappeared for a while during my college years, but around last March, he popped back out of the woodwork and our friendship was renewed.

Sometime in April, he brought up a sort of long-distance playmate arrangement as a temporary amusement until I found someone more local. That, of course, never happened because the pickings around here are slim and he is one charming bastard. So, at some point, we decided this could be a thing. So now it is a thing, complete with plans for relocation when things fall into place.

Now, back to the bitch part.

I’m not much of a protocol whore. I like rules and restrictions, but not random ritualistic stuff that makes things all formal and awkward. I like knowing my dynamic is there, or feeling it, as it were.

For the past couple months, my Daddy’s been kinda distracted by work…and a tiny little microfracture in his spine. Yeah, dude worked so hard he literally broke his back. So for most of January it was work, sleep, work, sleep, work, sleep. And February has mostly been full of sleep because of broken spines and such.

I don’t fault him for this. I mean, really, how could you fault a guy for having a broken back? But, I miss him, I really do. I miss the regular phone calls. I miss the rules. Well, there are still some rules, but not very obtrusive ones, and some got suspended for practicality. And it sucks to be a service type and not being able to do anything but sit there and be quiet while he sleeps off the broken bits.

I’m just kind of sad right now. It’s been one impediment after the other. He was supposed to visit back in July, but then work became a beast, and, now, with the injury, I’m worried he won’t get to visit at all. I hate the distance. I hate the silence. I hate not being able to do anything to help him.

Long distance. Oi. I no recommend if you can help it.