Saturday, November 7, 2020

Ace Until Proven Guilty


 This year has been a weird one on the sexuality front for me. I've never really had cause to question my sexuality, aside from my first days in the kink community as a young newbie submissive, when every dom I talked to tried to convince me I was bisexual. Newsfash, I'm not. Of course, at the time and for most of my life, I've considered myself to be straight, despite my general ambivalence and sometimes distaste for the male sexual organ. 

I didn't have my first sexual encounter until I was deep into 19, which involved kink and sexual activities, although not sex itself. I didn't have sex for the first time until a week before my 20th birthday. And, well, it was pretty awful, if I can be completely honest. But, as a virgin who'd never even dated, I didn't really know what to expect beyond the unrealistic fantasies of my romance novels, which my first relationship spectacularly failed to live up to. 

Last year, I began to realize that I was most likely demisexual, an idea suggested by some of my friends in the sex blogging community based on how I described sexual fantasies. i.e. my masturbatory musings never include actual people. They are always about sexual acts with faceless actors or scenarios between characters I have written. It explained a lot. My utter inability to engage in casual sex. My painfully monogamous nature. The fact that I never dated or found anyone I even wanted to date in high school. The fact that I've only had 3 sexual partners ever.

Although, I wasn't aware at the time that I initially took on this label that it was on the asexual spectrum. Asexuality never really occurred to me, because I have a libido. I like reading about sex, writing about sex, and I mostly enjoy having sex. 

I know I am capable of experiencing sexual attraction. I did with my second partner. But, it didn't really occur to me until after I ended my most recent relationship, that my previous partner was the only partner I'd experienced actual sexual attraction to. 

I had never really noticed because it's sometimes rather difficult to separate sexual and romantic attraction. Trying to parse my first relationship is all but impossible due to the emotionally abusive nature of it. 

It wasn't until my most recent relationship that I began to really consider the asexual aspect. I liked him. I found him visually appealing. I was comfortable enough to engage in sex with him, although that emotional bond never really took hold. But I found myself no longer enjoying sex (although part of it was physical incompatibility). In fact, I was almost dreading it. When we did have sex, I was never really able to be in the moment. I often found my mind wandering to completely random shit, or just general navel gazing. I felt bad about this. It feels rude to not be able to focus on your partner while engaging in intimacy. 

So, I hopped into the asexual subreddits to try and figure some of this shit out. Because, maybe I was more asexual than I thought?

But how could I be ace? I mean, I like sex. I think. Well, I like all the stuff that leads up to sex. I can write sex like a boss. I get horny. I know I like men. I mean, I can only really say I've experienced true sexual attraction twice in my life (meaning with two men, not two specific instances).

Oh, sexual and romantic attraction are different? 

Right. 

Okay. 

So now the concept of a heteroromantic demisexual starts to form. But what does that really mean?  It was a comic post on r/lgballt that really hit it home for me. I can't find it right now or I'd share it but it basically explained demisexuality as being asexual until you develop a strong emotional bond. Which I mean, is basically just the definition of demisexual, but I'd never really seen it put in those terms before. Ace terms. 

I am romantically attracted to men, and romantic attraction is so intertwined with sexual attraction for me, that the rare instances I experience sexual attraction will be toward men, because I won't develop a romantic bond with a woman. But the vast majority of the time, I'm not attracted to anyone. 

And now that we've had that revelation, so many things make sense now. I'm not picky. I'm not a prude. I'm not broken. I'm just fucking asexual 95% of the time. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

KAMP Primal 2020: A Virtual Primal Intensive (September 18-20)

 

Click me!

Anomaly of Arkansas is hosting a virtual Primal intensive this weekend (Sept 18 - 20) via Zoom and Discord. There will be numerous classes and panels throughout the weekend as well as social events. Since it's all online, anyone can join in!

I'll even be teaching a class Saturday night, Bestial Rhythms: Primal Expression Through Dance which will be discussing primal expression through movement using the concept of Zar ritual dance as an example.  

Other cool classes include: 

We've got a ton of great speakers and panelists coming from all over the U.S. to speak about primal, so if you're interested in joining in, check out the KAMP website and RSVP to the FetLife events. 

We've also got a Virtual Vendor Bazaar featuring kinky crafters from around the country. I will also be offering my work up for sale. So if you're interested in getting one of my collars or cuffs, check it out! 

Click me to see more products!


I'm excited that we get to involve the wider community this year. COVID has been a real bitch, but it has really opened up kink education opportunities. Everything is free this year because it's virtual, but we are also supporting the NCSF through raffles and direct donations. We also have some official KAMP merch which will be supporting Black Lives Matter. I hope some of my readers will be able to join us! I'm sorry it took so long to post about it.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Star Talker: Part 33: Descent

 Rha’han


Two hours later, the conditions of Selima’s assistance were hammered out and the damned woman was all but skipping out of the lift with her smug satisfaction. Rha’han followed behind her, utterly baffled by the meeting he just sat through. He had never seen anyone haggle with Amrach before, certainly not with the degree of fearlessness this tiny woman had displayed. No one threatened the Shara. No one looked him in the eye and threw ultimatums in his face. Such acts were dangerous at best, suicidal at worst, although he was not known for executing women.  


Rha’han caught her by the arm and pulled her around to face him. “What was that?”


She tilted her head, still smiling with her victory. “What was what?”


He gestured vaguely at the lift with his left arms. “All of...that! Why didn’t you tell me any of that before we walked in there?”


She arched a brow. “Did you tell me that Ashrad was your father?”


Rha’han frowned. “You didn’t seem fazed by the information.”


She tugged her arm free of his grip. “I had already figured it out before that. Your reaction to my brand. You being the nephew of the Shara. I know he has multiple brothers, but who would have the opportunity to knock someone up off planet besides the same one that picked me up?


“I…”


She crossed her arms over her chest. “If you want information, you actually have to ask for it. You’ve been too busy fucking me or beating me to actually ask any questions.”


Rha’han grimaced. “Fair.”  


“Besides, it’s best to withhold information until it can be most useful. You would have had to go through your chain of command with it. With that many middle men, I would have lost some of my bargaining power.” She turned and stared wistfully at the balustrade. “Are we going back to your apartment now?”


Rha’han considered her for a moment. Her voice had a touch of sadness in it when she spoke the question. It bothered him more than he liked to admit. 


“First,” he said, catching up her hand in one of his own, “they are our apartments. Second, no. It would be a shame to waste all this beauty on one meeting with my uncle. I thought we might go to dinner. There is a nice place on the sixth tier that I think you’ll really enjoy.” 


She turned back to him with cautious curiosity in her eyes. “Oh?”


“Yeah. My friend and his wife own it. The food is good, and they even have a dancer that performs,” he said, pulling her toward the opposite side of the promenade where the public lifts were.


She seemed to perk up the instant he mentioned a dancer. Her happy skipping continued as he led her along, allowing him to take a more natural stride since he didn’t have to accommodate for her diminutive size. People stared at them with mild disgust, scandalized by her undignified bouncing. He would feel much better when they got to the sixth tier, where everyone would be much less snobbish and stuffy.



Selima  



I skipped happily into the surprisingly empty lift beside Rha’han, excited to be seeing more of the Citadel. I was already riding high from the negotiations with the Shara, but Rha’han was taking me to a restaurant, and he said there would be a dancer! Enta Omry came unbidden into my head, so I started humming it. My father had had an extensive collection of 20th and 21st century music from our ancestral country on Terra. It was rare that it wasn’t playing during waking hours at home. When I had settled in on Centauri Prime, I had made sure to scour the archives for every artist and track I could remember and filled my own digital library with that music. Unfortunately, it was stuck in the Centauri data nebula and Rha’han and Amrach were determined to keep me as far from a WiFi connection as possible.


“Not that I mind--you are rather cute--but were you trying to get all those dirty looks?” Rha’han said, lifting an eyebrow as I continued humming.


“Not really. You’re just tall. But fuck ‘em.” 


He snorted, shaking his head a bit. He reached up and slid the gold cuff off of his arm, pocketing it. 


“Feeling overdressed?” 


He looked down. “A bit. I’ve never been one for silks and jewels. It feels like a costume that doesn’t fit. You won’t see much of them on the lower tiers. Not real ones, anyway.”


I shrugged. “I prefer semi-precious stones, myself. You get a larger variety of colors. And you can make more effects with glass.”


A slight smile appeared on his face. “I’ll keep that in mind. Zeinab likes the glass ones too. She’s always covered in huge glittery stones, but even with the restaurant, I don’t think she and Kesh’ra could afford gems of that size. Not in those numbers.”


I froze, squinting up at him. “Did you just say Zeinab?”


“Yes. She owns the restaurant I’m taking you to. It’s called Khan el Khalili, although Zeinab tells me I pronounce it wrong.” 


I stared. “You do. You have a restaurant named after an Egyptian souq?”


His brow furrowed with confusion. “Egyptian...souq?”


I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Egyptian is what I am. Like you are Klotharan.”


“I thought you were Gizan?”


“Giza was originally a city in Egypt which was once a nation on Terra, one of the most ancient civilizations of that planet, actually. New Giza is named after that city because it was settled by Egyptian peoples.” I frowned in thought trying to find the right Klotharan equivalent to souq. “Khan el Khalili is a famous...um...marketplace from the capital city of Egypt.” 


“The decor makes sense now. I told you I’d heard of New Giza before. Zeinab is from there.” 


I blinked. A woman from New Giza? It had been a long damn time since I’d met anyone from my home planet. I had encountered several who shared my native language, but New Gizans weren’t much for traveling in this sector of the quadrant. The instant the doors of the lift opened, I was pushing Rha’han out of it. 


Yalla binna! Let’s go!” I said, shoving at the small of his back. He laughed, grabbing me by the hand and leading the way. 



Wicked Wednesday

Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Agony and the Asexuality

I know I’ve been remiss these last couple of years with my posting. Sometimes inspiration just dries up and you need a break. Sometimes loneliness is more powerful than the need to create, and in the absence of participation, you just stop having all those thinky thoughts about kink that you once had. 

This week has been a difficult one for me. A few months ago, I embarked upon a new relationship. Yesterday, I ended that relationship. I cannot adequately convey the depth of agony I went through this week coming to that decision. I cried and stressed and worried so much that I made myself physically ill. I haven’t been able to sleep properly. My appetite has been pretty much nonexistent and I even developed a fever and a constant feeling of mild nausea.

Because, how do you break up with someone who has done nothing wrong? He was/is a wonderful person. He treated me well. We were compatible in a number of ways. But, something just never clicked. Our souls never connected. I haven’t much experience with such things, of course, but something inside me told me there was something wrong. 

Gift giving is one of my love languages. I am known for my ability to come up with intimately personal gifts for those in my life, but, for the life of me, when I tried to come up with something for him, I was drawing an absolute blank. We had many talks and I know he told me about his interests, but it was like reading a book and then not being able to remember what happened in the story. I’m typically very obsessive about the collection and storage of information about my partner, but not this time. 

Physical incompatibilities also got in the way. My friends have long playfully mocked me for being an “anti-size queen.” I’ve talked about it on this blog before, but I am a small person internally. I just can’t handle large members. I would talk about his size being an issue and people would dismiss it with “Oh that’s such a terrible problem to have.” But they don’t quite understand, I think. I am a masochist. I like pain. But there are some types of pain that are just too much, and unfortunately I inherited my mother’s smallness in all of the least convenient ways. 

Demi Flag
Sex was painful more often than not, particularly the last time, which led me to wonder about my own sexuality. Did I not enjoy sex because of my demisexuality, or was it just the physical mismatch of our bodies? I began to examine my sexual experiences, which are admittedly fewer than most, and I noticed a pattern that once the intercourse started, my mind would often wander to other things. I was rarely focused on the moment, and I would eventually get to the point of “is he almost finished yet?”

This is a common thread with most of my sexual experiences. I enjoy kink. I enjoy foreplay, but the actual intercourse loses its appeal after a few minutes. I began to question my sexuality. The sex blogging community is what brought me to the realization of my demisexuality, but I started to wonder if I were more asexual than I realized. 

I was beginning to dread the idea of sex, when I used to have a rather substantial libido. I began to fear that I would come to hate sex, and I don’t want that. And I didn’t want him to have to deal with that either. 

After talking with my friends and my mother, I chose to end it. It wouldn’t have been fair to either of us to drag it on. I still feel horrible about it. I hate hurting people. And part of me is still afraid I’ll never find someone. 

Ace FlagBut there are things I need. I need to be dominated. I need to serve. He and I had far too conflicting ideas about BDSM as a lifestyle, and I knew that from the beginning. I foolishly thought I could bring him to my side, but we all know that never really works. Hopefully he and I can move on to find people that can love us the way we need to be loved whom we can love the way we need to love. 

I do plan to continue to explore the asexuality thing more though. Do I think I’m completely ace? No, not really, but I am on the spectrum and I think it’s a good idea to look into it more.  


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Introduction to Belly Dance as a Form of Service

Erotic/Sensual dance is a type of service that often comes up when discussing slavery. It was actually one of the types of service that drew me into the world of M/s. Although, it is obviously not exclusively the realm of M/s. We’ve all seen images of harem girls in diaphanous silks dancing in the middle of a great hall for a sheikh or sultan. Orientalist artworks are some of my all time favorites, even if somewhat problematic from a cultural perspective.

My initial interest in belly dance came from the idea of including it in my offerings as a slave. Its actually a prominent feature of the slavery depicted in the Gor novels. One of the books is even called Dancer of Gor. Although the dances described in the books are not explicitly belly dance, their descriptions do imply that belly dance is what inspired them.

Dance has long been a way for people to express intense emotion. We have long used it to express sensuality, passion, and, well, outright sexuality. For the s-type, this can manifest in various forms. We have performative dances, in which you dance for your partner, or some other audience, and then participatory ones, in which you dance with your partner.

I’m going to speak about belly dance (a performative dance), as that is what I have experience in and they are something you can learn even if you are unpartnered. It is also something that can be learned independently. There are classes and workshops during normal times, but I will be providing resources for distance or independent learning due to current conditions. I also learned independently myself.

This style of dance can be a wonderful addition to your service repertoire as well as easily incorporated into any fitness routines you might have. It’s fantastic for learning how to be aware of your body, as isolation is a big aspect of the dance. You can even use some of the hip movements to spice up the bedroom once you’ve mastered them.

Costuming can be a thrilling way to express your sensuality with this dance, and costuming is important. While nudity is fun and all, belly dance costuming is all about the mystery and the movement. You want your costuming to enhance and emphasize the movements of the body, to draw attention to the delicious way you express the music and demonstrate your control over your body. Yes, you can do it nude, but it’s less fun that way. It’s amazing what a good costume can do to improve your dance.   

There are several styles of belly dance, but they are broken up into 3 main categories.


  • Tribal
  • Cabaret
  • Oriental


Tribal and Cabaret are both American styles, tribal having been created in America by an American woman, and Cabaret being a style that developed in the 60s and 70s and is a combination of different elements of oriental styles which evolved from MENAHT (Middle Eastern, North African, Hellenic, and Turkish) immigrants combining their different styles.

Oriental refers to the various regional styles of the MENAHT regions, although the most popular professional styles are Egyptian and Turkish. I specialize in Egyptian styles.

Keep in mind that tribal and oriental have very different movement styles and terminology, so it’s best to concentrate on one style to start. American Cabaret includes elements and terms from both of these styles, but on the whole, resembles oriental more than tribal.

Tribal


Tribal or American Tribal Style is an improvisational dance style that is typically performed in groups, although it can be performed as a solo. This is the style in which you find the more “gypsy” aesthetic costumes. (It is important to note that “gypsy” is considered a slur and its usage is frowned upon within the belly dance community) Huge multilayered circle skirts, tassels, hair pieces, coins, baubles, flowers. It is also most often performed with finger cymbals.

Tribal fusion is a set of styles that are based on the tribal dance vocabulary but incorporate elements of other types of dance. Any type of dance. Latin, hip hop, Bollywood, ballet, etc. Hence fusion. If you see solo performances of tribal, they are typically tribal fusion.

Tribal/fusion styles are the easiest to find classes for (In my personal experience) because there is an established teaching format.

ATS Example:


Tribal Fusion Examples:

General fusion:


Flamenco Fusion:


Indian Fusion:


Caribbean fusion (More of a Cabaret Fusion than Tribal):



American Cabaret


As mentioned before, American Cabaret is a style born of the MENAHT immigrants in the 60s and 70s and combines elements of oriental styles to create something new. This is probably what most Americans think of as belly dance. Two piece sparkly costumes, lots of chiffon, and coins and fringe. It is often performed with finger cymbals as well, but this is not required. It shares elements with tribal styles. AmCab came first, but I am unsure who developed the current terminology used in both styles. American Cabaret has a largely Turkish foundation as far as move set and posture.

Examples of AmCab:

Modern:


Vintage:


Group:



Oriental


Oriental (Raqs Sharqi [Arabic], Oryantal Tansi [Turkish]) refers to the various regional styles of the MENAHT region. This includes Egyptian, Turkish, Lebanese, and Persian (Iranian), among others. There are other folkloric styles within these different cultures, but they would not necessarily be called “oriental dance” although belly dancers will learn and perform them on stage.

There are so many of these and my expertise is with Egyptian, so I’m just going to link you to several examples.

Egyptian:

Modern:


Baladi:


Saidi:


Shaabi:


Turkish:

Modern:


Turkish Rom:


Lebanese

Modern:


Dabke:


Persian:

Oriental:


Bandari:


Traditional:


Iraqi:

Hosa:


Kawliya:



Men Belly Dance Too!


Don’t feel left out, guys! There are lots of male belly dancers out there, so you can totally join in on the sexy fun. There are male dancers that practice more feminine styles, and others that choose to go with a more traditionally masculine effect. The point is, men can do it too!

Male Belly Dancers:

Classical:


Lebanese:


Tribal Fusion:


Modern Egyptian:


Egyptian Oriental:


Egyptian:


Tribal Fusion:


Modern Egyptian:


Props


There are also a number of different props that can be incorporated into the dance, although you want to learn the basics first, of course. Here is a list of examples of different props and how they are used in performance. Any one of them can add a degree of sensuality and complexity to your dance.

Veils: 

Double Veil:


Hand Veils:


Isis Wings:


Melaya:


Poi Veil:


Fan Veils:


Sword:

Tribal:



Cabaret:





Cane:

Fire:

Shamadan:


Candle Tray:


Votives:



Where Do I Start?


If you’re interested in learning belly dance, my first recommendation is to look at examples of the different styles and find which one speaks to you the most. If you can’t decide? There are numerous online tutorials for Tribal, Fusion, AmCab, and Egyptian/Turkish belly dance on YouTube for you to try and see what feels best with your body.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t pick it up right away. And don’t be afraid to try. Trust me, EVERYONE sucks when they first start. Isolation is a bitch to learn if you’re not used to it, and you have to get a feel for the music. Because, that’s the biggest part of this and any other type of dance, being able to feel and interpret the music. Choose music that speaks to your soul. Find the music that makes you feel things, gives you emotion that you can express with your body.

Belly dance is a very body positive style. It is for all bodies, regardless of size or gender. I don’t necessarily consider myself particularly sexy, but I always feel sexy when I belly dance. But, remember, this is a dance, an art. It is something you have to learn. Don’t go into it thinking you’ll master it in an hour, because you won’t. It takes time and effort just like any other art.

Resources For Learning


DVDs

https://worlddancenewyork.com/collections/beginners

This site has a lot of great programs with high production quality. They also have burlesque and exotic dance programs if those interest you.

http://www.cheekygirlsproductions.com/

This site has numerous programs on various types of belly dance from beginner to advanced. I find these programs tend to overall be a bit meatier than some of the WDNY programs, although they are somewhat lower budget productions.

https://www.bellydance.com/instructional-belly-dance-dvds

Here you can find many of the programs from the other two websites, but also DVDs that you can’t find elsewhere. This site also has different costuming options if you are interested in those, as well as music CDs.

Youtube (Free):

https://www.youtube.com/user/Labellydanceacademy

This channel has been posting full length classes on their youtube channel during quarantine, as well as hula and yoga classes.

https://www.youtube.com/user/tiazzawilson

She is currently inactive, but she has hundreds of little bite-sized lessons to pick from, as well as some workouts and choreographies that you can dip your toes into.

Online Classes:

https://daturaonline.com/ (Tribal Fusion)
https://bellydanceapp.com/en/Home (Oriental & Oriental Fusion)


Books:

The Belly Dance Reader
The Belly Dance Reader 2
The Belly Dance Handbook: A Companion For The Serious Dancer
Grandmother's Secrets: The Ancient Rituals and Healing Power of Belly Dancing
Tribal Vision: A Celebration of Life Through Tribal Belly Dance
The Belly Dance Book : Rediscovering the Oldest Dance
American Tribal Style® Classic: Volume 1
The Belly Dance Book of Practice Prompts: Inspiration for Tribal, Cabaret, and Fusion Dancers
HowExpert Guide to Belly Dancing: 101+ Tips to Learn How to Belly Dance from A to Z

Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition: The Raqs Sharqi Revolution, 1890-1930

  • This is a very dense anthropological volume. I recommend it for those interested but it is NOT light reading at all.


Before They Were Belly Dancers: European Accounts of Female Entertainers in Egypt, 1760-1870

  • Another academic work. I have this, but have not yet read it, so I can’t speak to its readability, but it’s one of those recommended to those interested in the history of the dance.