taiWelcome! I’m Tai Scarlet Kulystin, the creatrix of Purveyor of Pleasure. I am a somatic sexuality educator, occultist, professional harlot, and gender & relationships coach. This blog is my personal exploration of gender, sexuality, spirituality, kink, and the pitfalls of an overanalytical nature.

I identify as a queer fat genderqueer polyamorous switch and prefer the pronouns ne/nem/nir or they/them. I spend a lot of my time thinking about sacred sexuality, sacred kink, relationships, the body, queer theory, depth psychology, erotic psychology, sexological bodywork, and so much more. I'm in a long-term live-in relationship with my partner Onyx, and I also have a few other relationships and lovers.
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KASB: Slap Me

While I have gained skills or many new activities through numerous Kink Academy videos, such as bootblacking, rope bondage, and fire play, I have found that watching videos on activities that I already engage in is also extremely valuable. Instead of exposing me to a new way of looking at the entirety of something, like other videos have, usually watching videos of an activity or skill I already participate in or possess exposes me to a different perspective or slightly different techniques than I have used before.

I can’t remember exactly when Onyx and I started playing with face slapping, but we’ve been engaging in it a lot more in the last year or so than in the previous five years of our relationship. I think part of that has to do with the higher level of trust and intimacy we’ve experienced in this last year compared to all the others. I know we’d played with it casually before that, but it has become a pretty significant part of our play. Face slapping is one of the few activities that both turns me on and gets me into a submissive frame of mind practically instantaneously. It is quite powerful. [...]

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By Any Other Name

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I call myself, the names I go by. Scarlet Lotus (St. Syr1) for some things, Scarlet Sophia for others, and Scarlet Tai elsewhere. When giving my name I usually say “I’m Scarlet” as opposed to “My name is Scarlet,” a subtle but notable difference. Scarlet is less of a name to me than a title these days, which may sound a little absurd, but that’s how I feel about it. That is a whole other post, however.

The more I think about it the more I wonder about having these different names. I’m beginning to think I just need one that I use for everything, but at the same time that thought makes me nervous. I’ve also begun thinking I need a name for my growing male side. At one point I started using Quyn, but I don’t feel it fits anymore.

In all this thinking I was reminded of a post by Aiden Fyre aka Mina Meow titled What’s in a Name? where they talk about having been born with a bi-gendered (or, other-gendered) name and wonder about that chicken and egg aspect of their gender journey. I was also born with an other-gendered name of which Tai is a nickname, a nickname I’ve been called most if not all of my life. Most people hear the name as Ty, but either way it is usually masculine-gendered. My full name is exceptionally unique easily searchable so I’m not yet comfortable disclosing it on here, perhaps one day that will not be the case.

Point being, however, that Tai feels like home, but now so does Scarlet. I don’t just use Scarlet online, either, most of the people I know here in Seattle know me by that name. At this point I kind of see myself as having a feminine-gendered name of Scarlet, an other-gendered name of Tai, and in need of a masculine-gendered name. Part of this desire for multiple names may be to act as a cue to aid others in understanding my gender at that moment, but at the same time I’m not confident that this is a good idea. It seems like too much work in some ways. At the same time, though, I like the idea of having different names.

I’ve also been feeling a lot more of my male side lately. With the rise in my sex dissonance I’ve come to realize my lack of masculinity. I’m not that interested in being butch or masculine, but I’m interested as presenting as a male, specifically a femme male. I’m feeling more like a femme trans man than I ever have before, and I want a name for that other than Scarlet or Tai. Though maybe I don’t need one.

This all is basically me thinking and analyzing through this post, it’s not any sort of conclusion, just musings. I don’t know how I feel about all of this yet. I don’t know how everything is going to play out yet. I don’t know where this gender journey will lead me. I do know that I have been binding more lately, I haven’t been feeling female but I’ve been exploring the femmeininity that comes up in me when I feel male, which is extremely different. I’m not interested in passing as a woman, in fact I’m sick of it. The problem is that I’m separating maleness from masculinity and that is difficult to present.

I don’t know what to call myself anymore, the name dilemma is only part of the problem. I have been fantasizing about so many new things lately, almost to the point of uncomfortability. I’m still trying to figure it all out.

  1. though I am moving away from using this as my last name []

KASB: Shoeshine Boy

I still have my first pair of knee-high leather boots. They were Fluevog Angel Boots, though I didn’t know what Fluevog was at the time, I was sixteen. Although the soles are now virtually nonexistent and the toes are scuffed beyond recognition I still have them, because they are a part of my past, a part of my life for so long. I still remember going to birthday dinner at my favorite chinese place in my hometown the same evening I got them and being so excited to have them snug around my calves.

I’ve been a lover of leather boots ever since. I’ve been thinking recently that leather boots may go so far as to being a fetish of mine, and not just in a talismanic sense. The feel of leather surrounding my flesh is intoxicating, and taking my Owner’s boots off for him or the idea of his boot pressed against my body fills me with pleasure. I discovered Lee Harrington‘s video Sole/Soul: The Art of Leather (a free video that anyone can watch, btw, even if you’re not a member) a while ago and even before watching it I had the desire to learn bootblacking, but it inspired me to start seriously looking into it. [...]

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04.04

2011

Call For Submissions: Sacred Power, Holy Surrender

Both Onyx and I saw this call on Lee Harrington’s site and immediately we both wanted to write something. We’re going to submit a piece together and we’re going to make the time in the seriously crazy month ahead to do it. We have temple this weekend (Thursday-Sunday), then are taking an alchemy class the next two weekends (Saturday-Sunday), and have a Beltane gathering the weekend after that, when the essay is due. We’ll make it work, or get burned out trying.

In any case, I wanted to share the call along, since I had not seen it before Lee published it, even though it has been out there calling for submissions for a few months already. Here you go.

http://fetlife.com/users/117165/posts/508213

Call for Submissions:

Sacred Power, Holy Surrender: An Anthology of Spiritual Power Dynamic

I’m looking for people who are actively in power dynamic relationships (dominant/submissive, master/servant, master/slave, owner/property) and consider those relationships to have a strongly spiritual aspect – or perhaps even to be the mainstay of their spiritual path – to write essays about your experiences of spiritual power dynamic relationships. I’m looking for essays from both M-types and s-types, or from couples if you’d like to write something together. You can write under any name of pseudonym. If you feel comfortable with it, I would love to have essays accompanied by a photo of the two (or more) of you.

Any religious or spiritual perspective is acceptable so long as that perspective is not blatantly intolerant of others, and there is no generalization about what the behavior of others ought to be. Keep it to one’s own experiences, please. Write about what moves you on this path, and what you would have wanted to see written down about spiritual power dynamics when you were first starting out. If you really want to write for this book but you’re having trouble organizing your thoughts on the matter, ask me to send you a questionnaire about the subject, which you can fill out with in-depth specific answers and I’ll edit it together into a proper essay.

Essays should be 2000 – 8000 words, emailed to me at cauldronfarm@hotmail.com as a Word or Word Perfect attachment. Deadline is May 1, 2011. Each contributor will receive a .pdf copy of the book.

Please pass this CFS around to anyone you think would be interested!

Thank you,
-Raven Kaldera

Gender Journey

I’m having trouble with gender dissonance1 again and am working on getting to a place of doublethink2 around my gender. I just wrote about this, in case you missed it. Because of this I’ve been thinking a lot about my gender journey, my process to get where I am today, and I’ve been wondering about what will come in the future.

Most of these images are up somewhere on this site already, though a couple of them are new. Click for a larger version.

  
  
 

After compiling these, though sure there are plenty others, I am struck with just how long my genderqueerness has been with me. The first image is from somewhere around 2002, the next three from 2005 & 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and, finally, 2011. The very last one is from today. Even when I was presenting mostly femme I was gender bending a bit, usually at least a few times a year doing drag if nothing else, but often as a side part of me that I just pushed aside for a while, thinking I could just be femme.

I’ve come to a lot of realizations recently over why I did that, ones I’ve shared with Onyx and which I think make sense in a way. I’m becoming so much happier now that I’m integrating all of me, though I’m discovering even more identities, even more parts of me that are all me yet slightly different combining sex, gender, sexuality, and power in different ways to create a sub-category of me. I’m a service submissive boy, a demanding genderqueer Top, a bratty masochistic femme kid, a loving Daddy, a glitterfag, an innocent and excitable little kid, and more.

While a lot of the images above may seem similar, and they are, undoubtedly, are me, they each show a different gender expression in my eyes. A lot of them look similar, but I can see the first time I felt sexy and confident as a femme, the first time I really embraced my genderqueerness, the fun of dressing in drag in so many different ways. They are all similar, but all different.

Now, with my short peacock hair, flat chest, round hips, and eye makeup I’m becoming more comfortable with the self that changes into the red lipstick, twirly skirt, and low-cut top wearing femme that changes into the steampunky gent that changes into the bratty femme girl and so on and so forth. How I present varies, but my identities are all inside me all the time, choosing who gets to come out to play.

  1. traditionally the word for an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously, though now often used in place of dysphoria in reference to gender issues []
  2. simultaneously accepting as correct two mutually contradictory beliefs []

KASB: Back to Service

I’ve always had kind of mixed feelings when it comes to service. I wrote about service once before for Kink Academy where I talked a lot about intention and some background in my relationship with my partner of six years, Onyx. If you haven’t read that one I encourage you to do so.

This week, however, I’m writing about new service-oriented videos that just came out, specifically those by Mollena Williams. I’m not the only one who has written about her, no doubt because the videos are awesome and Mollena is an amazing teacher. I have only seen her speak once in person, at a conference a few years ago, but I have been following her on Twitter for far longer than that, so I was really excited when I saw her first Kink Academy video pop up in my feed reader. [...]

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International Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31st was the first International Transgender Day of Visibility and I hope it won’t be the last. While I don’t exactly identify as transgender1 I think this was a wonderful idea and want to help it spread for next year!

It also happened to be the same day that I got my first official binder. After some work to get it on, for which I enlisted Onyx’s assistance, I wore it all day long, including to class that evening. I’ve been wearing my makeshift binder around lately but I needed an upgrade, and this definitely is one. It doesn’t exactly make my large chest go completely flat, but it does what it can.

Here is what I wrote on my non-blog-related Facebook wall for the day: “March 31st was the first International Transgender Day of Visibility and I want to make myself visible. I currently identify as genderqueer, an identity I have claimed for quite a few years. I love that a day like this now exists and want to take a moment to extend heartfelt gratitude to everyone in my life who have supported me on my gender journey, and those who will (continue to) support me in the future as I continue on my path. I also want to take the time to thank the trans* and otherwise gender-variant people that have influenced me, both those I have met face-to-face and who I’ve only me through their writing or video, especially those that came before me and made it that much easier for me to discover my own gender. Without all of you I would not be who I am today.

I didn’t get any responses, but I got a whole lot of people who liked the post, so that was good enough for me. It’s not something I usually talk about so openly, especially on the FB profile that has my family and friends from High School on it and such, but I was happy to do it, and for a reason to do it beyond just my own desire to come out.

I look forward to having the opportunity to be visible again.

By now, most people are aware of the Transgender Day of Remembrance that happens every November 20 to memorialize the people we’ve lost.

Over the years, there have been calls by some trans people to make the TDOR a more happy-happy joy-joy event, to which the founders and others have resisted. TDOR does serve an important function in terms of focusing attention on anti-transgender violence.

Rachel Crandall, the head of Transgender Michigan is one of the people who asked why couldn’t the trans community or someone start an event that celebrates who we are?

Then she asked the question that led to the formation of this event, ‘Why isn’t that someone me?’

Hence the first annual International Trans Day of Visibility was born.

  1. though I am starting to think I should more and more []

Ride the Spiral to the End

Just when I think I understand my identities the universe decides to throw me another one. It’s understandable, really, I’m forever expanding, growing, living laterally, and I don’t look at identities as fixed entities but as forever fluid, changing/shifting/evolving right along with me.

I’m not frustrated or upset by this, it’s actually quite amusing to me, but it usually disturbs my daily life until I integrate it. I tend to analyze whatever new is coming up in me individually before bringing it to anyone else, too, which doesn’t work too well. I think that I’m just going on as usual, but I’ve come to realize that what actually happens is I become internally-focused and often my sex drive suffers because of this.

Such is what has been happening for the last few weeks. I finally started expressing the sudden desires that have been arising in me lately to others which has really made a difference. I think part of the internalization had to do with me needing to make sure it was “real” before I told anyone else (whatever that means) and being somewhat afraid of making it real by voicing it to another person.

Words have power, and declaring something for a partner or the universe to hear is a pretty big thing in my world, not something I want to do idly, hence my hesitation. On the other hand, it would depend on the language used, and the language I did end up using wasn’t limiting or certain in any way.

I think the other part of the internalization was being afraid of it. I guess I should actually tell you what I’m talking about, shouldn’t I?

I wrote about it a little bit right when these feelings were starting up: for the first time I can remember I’m experiencing some body dissonance1. It has been a bit of a bumpy ride since I wrote that post talking about being Many/And Not Either/Or and about my masculinities being shy, not in a bad way just in a new and unexpected way. Maybe a roller coaster is a better description than a bumpy ride.

Not long after I wrote that post Onyx and I attended the Delving Into Power workshop. I was in femme drag the first day, boy drag the second (including a button-up shirt and tie that night), and somewhere in between the next. I realized at that workshop that I was tired of being read as a woman. The next weekend at the Aphrodite Temple I was mostly in femme drag in devotion to Aphrodite, but I found myself desiring a flat chest at the same time. Since then I’ve had this fantasy of figuring out how to make that happen: to bind to a flat chest but wear a (semi-)low-cut shirt at the same time. I’m not sure how that will work.

I say that this is new but I can’t say I haven’t thought about transitioning before. Mostly I wrote it off, though, especially because I don’t feel particularly male or butch/masculine. I do know there are femme trans men out there, though, but for as much as I want to have a flat chest and sometimes I wish I had facial hair or a deeper voice I also want to have hips and breasts.

Perhaps needless to say, I’ve been binding a lot more lately and dressing in a more masculine way with a flare of femininity. I actually find myself more interested in flashy eye makeup when I’m dressed masculine, my glitterfag coming out perhaps. It is rare that any gender expression of mine aligns completely with masculinity or femininity, usually it’s some sort of genderqueer just like me.

My makeshift binder is a little too big on me now, though, so I just recently bought an actual underworks binder (988) which I should get tomorrow! I’m actually quite excited about this. Looking back on posts I’ve written and the progression of my gender over the last many years I’m not at all surprised by this new phase, I’m actually somewhat surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

Expressing all of this to Onyx and now writing about it helps clear up some of the dissonance somewhat, making it easier to get out of my head. The disconnection I was feeling with Onyx while I was analyzing everything is definitely gone, which makes our relationship easier on so many levels. I have a feeling we’re going to start playing more with my boy selves together, too.

Ultimately, I don’t know where this is heading, and I won’t until I get there. I’m firmly committed to this gender journey, though, to keep going no matter what I find. I’m reaching out to embrace whatever may come, not knowing what it is, but excited for the opportunity to grow and change and learn.

  1. often called gender dysphoria []

03.28

2011

KASB: Gender Talk

Okay, so I’m only kind of cheating this week because I’m not exactly going to be talking about things that I learned from the videos I watched this week, although I will be talking about some awesomely fantastic videos. My life for the last week revolved around my first public workshop, which was on Thursday. I was presenting on the topic of gender. For most of the week I was gathering data and information from both books and web sources to be sure that what I presented was the latest and most up-to-date gender theory that I could be presenting.

Part of the reason why I want to write about this and these videos this week is because I want to bring attention to them. It is easy to focus on kink when looking at videos on Kink Academy since, well, it’s right in the name and there is a vast library of videos to choose from. While gender can be a kink for some (it certainly is for me–but not in the sense that I fetishize gender-variant people, in the sense that I get off talking about gender and gender theory–but I digress) that doesn’t mean that everyone is open to talking about it.

Learning about gender should be something required for everyone, not just those who are gender-variant or don’t fit within the gender binary. Everyone has a gender, but often people who are cisgendered (their sex and gender align with what they have been assigned by society) are forgotten when talking about gender because people who fit into the norm often do not get discussed because we assume that everyone knows what that means. However, I also think it is necessary for us to talk about cisgendered people to attempt to un-other gender-variant people, but that is a whole other topic. [...]

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Why Do I Do It?

The day of my first public workshop on gender came and went so I’ve been thinking a lot about why I want to be an educator. It was just a couple months shy of a year ago that I wrote “I want to be an educator, to teach topics that are interesting, to help expand people’s minds and knowledge base on a wide variety of topics.” In some ways I’ve been doing that for a while on here, expanding people’s minds and knowledge base on a wide variety of topics, but it’s definitely not the same as teaching a class on gender or sexuality out there in the big bad world.

So, what calls me to it? It’s not the money. It isn’t exactly a wildly lucrative job. Sex educators are not making money hand-over-fist, in fact many of us do not make much money at all doing what we love. It’s not the fame. I don’t see myself becoming an internationally renowned sexpert or anything like that, not that I would be against it should that happen, of course. It really is all about spreading the knowledge.

I really love sharing knowledge. Turning people on to a new fact, concept, or idea and/or expanding their consciousness and awareness is extremely gratifying for me. It is something I’ve always wanted to do. It is something I am called to do.

Really, I’ve already been doing that on this blog and my other projects for years online and now I’m overjoyed at this new step in my path: actually teaching classes and workshops. I will probably be teaching about one class a month as part of The Living Love Revolution1 which is seriously fantastic. I have many ideas for the future as well, including teleclasses and doing more skype and phone consultations for those who want coaching from me.

Speaking of, I’ve been working on a new professional site2 in the last few weeks and I’ve been working on writing a mission statement. I want it to express what I’m about and my purpose for doing what I do. It’s still in the works, being crafted by my mind one word at a time, but when it is ready it will be up on Joyful Pleasure.

  1. I redesigned the site, also, have a look! []
  2. it’s not done yet, but you can go look if you want anyway []
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