Priestex of Pleasure

Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: playing with power

KASB: My Favorite Toy

Once upon a time Onyx and I were running late for a queer play party. We were making our way out of the elevator of our building on the ground floor when I saw something slip from under his jacket and slide neatly through the thin crack between the elevator and the main floor. It was one of our toys: the wicked, short, thin, red acrylic cane. While it was not my favorite cane its sister cane—a thicker and longer red acrylic cane—had also recently been taken from us as well, it was stepped on and snapped during a passionate moment. I was quite sad since this brought our total cane count down to simply two.

It wouldn’t be as much of a problem if we only had two paddles or crops or straps, in fact we only have two or less of each of those, but canes are a different story. I love canes. As you probably figured already from the title of this post, canes are my favorite toy to play with, both as a Top and a Bottom.

I have written about canes before for Kink Academy, so if you’ve been following my posts you have already read about my love of canes once, but it bears repeating again. Why? There are more wonderful caning videos to talk about now, of course! […]

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Disappointed

This is a word that carries a lot of weight with me. Just how much weight I wasn’t completely aware of (consciously) until last night. As I have mentioned before Onyx and I have begun to create lists of tasks for me each night that I am to get done while he is at work. These are all sorts of things such as housework, spiritual work, making a living work, relationship work, or whatever else. They are to keep me on track and so I have a tangible thing to look at when I’m feeling like I haven’t gotten anything done that night and say “no, see, you have finished things!”

I’m not entirely sure why but the last few days I’ve been slacking a bit. I have not completed things by the time I have to go to bed and last night I forgot to send him my nightly text at 3am until nearly 3:45. This was not good, of course, and I knew that but sleep was necessary. The night before we had been talking on gtalk and he mentioned he was disappointed about me having to go to bed before everything was done but that it was acceptable because of circumstances that had happened. Following closely, last night he said he was disappointed in me for missing my nightly text.

I started bawling. Him saying that felt like punishment enough for what I had done because I felt so poorly about it. I knew it was a disproportionate reaction and I could actually examine my emotional reaction as it was happening, which was nice and is something I’ve been working on. Neither of us would have guessed I would have reacted so strongly to such a small thing, but I did. I was somewhat shocked, actually, and thus commenced my analyzation of why that term has such power over me.

When I was growing up I was rarely punished for bad behavior. My mother is big on developmental and child psychology and my father would just get withdrawn and upset but rarely directly punish me. I can only think of one instance where I was even sent to my room, so mostly my “punishment” was guilt or being told they were disappointed in my behavior. Naturally this created a trigger in me. I strove to never disappoint them (or never let them know about what they would be disappointed about). Disappointment was the worst thing I could do to someone.

That’s not to say I don’t and haven’t disappointed people. There are plenty of things I have done that I feel bad about, but for the most part those are small things, there is nothing in my life that I regret.

I attribute the weight of his words last night to be partially because of the new power dynamic that we have been building between us and partially because of hearing it two days in a row. I was already feeling down from the day before and I was already beating myself up about not doing what I was supposed to and he said that. For the record, I keep saying “he said that” but I’m not placing blame on him for my reaction or anything, neither of us could have predicted that is what would happen. Vaguely I remember recognizing disappointment from others as a source of pain for me, but it hadn’t come up in so long I just had no idea I would react so strongly.

I also have a tendency to subconsciously punish myself. I was feeling extremely down after that happened and although I got myself to feeling a little better through the hours before Onyx came home when he came home I closed myself off and didn’t allow myself to find the comfort in him that I might have been able to if I wasn’t, essentially, punishing myself. There was no time when I thought “I’m going to do this” but that is what happened. I was sad and closed off and I had done the same thing the night before as well, though to a smaller extent.

Onyx and I had a talk about this earlier today so he knows about what the word triggers in me and we discussed possible options for punishment that he could inflict that would not be as damaging or affect me for so long. Of course, if I do something or don’t do something that carries a lot of weight with it he also knows that he can use that word to hit home the true weight of the situation to me. Ultimately, this is another tool for him to use in our dynamic.

30 Days of Kink: Ethics

This is the eleventh of my 30 Days of Kink, coming after quite a long hiatus. I will be answering each of the thirty questions in different posts. I thought these would be interesting to answer and (hopefully) interesting for you to read. These will be posted in order, but not always back-to-back (as I have shown).

Day 11: What are your views on the ethics of kink?

I’ve been stuck on this question for a while now, partially because I don’t know where to begin there is so much that could be covered with this question so I’m just going to start anywhere and see where this goes.

First, I have to define ethics. Ethics are a type of moral philosophy. In the realm of kink/BDSM/WIITWD1 it can apply to a variety of things but mostly I’m going to talk about the moral philosophy of kinky activity in general. That is how we make sure that the play we engage in is itself ethical.

I’m a firm believer in RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) and SSC (Safe Sane and Consensual) which are both familiar terminology in the BDSM/kink world. They are slightly different but essentially mean the same thing. Some people say RACK is better because some activities–breath play, for example–are rarely if ever “safe” but they can be done in a “risk aware” manner or you can do things to make them “safer”2. Basically this means not engaging in anything without consent or thought. The more you know about what you are doing the less likely you are to make a mistake and actually cause damage.

Consent and intent are what separates bdsm & kink from abuse. Which is also why I have a difficult time playing with anyone who is angry or who has been drinking, as it is far more difficult for the intent to be acceptable to me when either of those have occurred. Mollena wrote an amazing post about intent: “The intention of the person in a Leather or BDSM interaction is mutual satisfaction, whatever form or means that takes. Sometimes it looks so much like an abusive interaction that our only signal is context.”

I agree with her assessment, also, that intent matters far more than consent since so many of us, myself included, love to play with consent and push that line between consent and non-consent. However, if mutual satisfaction is not the intent of the interaction then where is the line between play and abuse? When does it become taking advantage of the other person? It’s called power exchange for a reason. Just like everything there is an exchange: an exchange of enjoyment, energy, pleasure, pain, satisfaction, power, etc.

There are outsiders who think of kink as horrible, wrong, terrifying, and so on simply because they don’t understand this simple difference. They assume that all participants must either have been (sexually) abused when they were a child or victims of patriarchal socialization (especially for female submissives & male dominants), that in order to engage in such practices there must be something wrong with us. Little do they know, playing with power and pain can be a way to empower ourselves, to break away from the socialization, to make up our own minds about what we want, to use a “base” tool (sexuality/sexual interaction) for a “higher” type of liberation3. Of course, not everyone is engaged in kinky activity in search of personal enlightenment but I do think it’s a by-product of it, or at least it can be. This topic is getting away from me a little bit, though, so I will bring it back to ethics.

Part of the appeal of kinky activities is often walking that line between consent and non-consent, between acceptable and too much, testing our limits and finding out if we can handle as much or more than we thought we could. The thrill of it is just as fun as the taboo. In order to play with the edge without going over it requires skill, knowledge, and communication. If the intent is negative or one-sided that makes it far too easy to cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed or do negative damage.

  1. What It Is That We Do []
  2. just as it is now referred to as safer sex rather than safe sex []
  3. I put those both in quotes because I do not necessarily agree with all that connotes, but I do not have better language right now to express those ideas without writing many more paragraphs []

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