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The Smut Club

sleepingbeautyOnce a month a small group of submissive women friends get together to here in NYC to review a work of erotic literature. This month and the previous month we did two classics; The Story of O by Pauline Reage and this month was The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, by Anne Rice. Just like last month the story was very easily divided into the loved it and hated it groups. There were a few common themes in the discussions for the past two meetings. This month we took a little more time to discuss why the two camps might happen.

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty is not the fairy tale you may remember of your childhood years. One of the girls talked about when she first found the book at a local book shop and picked it up and bought it. She said when she picked up the book she had no idea what she was getting into and what she thought she was buying  was the more common variety of romance smut. She said if she had known she would have at least blushed a bit and been embarrassed when she took it to the counter to buy it.  She also recounted that when she got home and started reading it she found the book disturbing, but yet she couldn’t put it down and was excited.  One thing we all agreed on is Beauty and all the other prince & princesses spend a lot of time getting spanked. The spankings are never ending. I am fairly sure there is spanking in every chapter. Another consensus was that Beauty cries a lot and was very whiny. Some of the women were annoyed, “I wanted to tell her to shut up. Nothing had even happened to her yet and she would be crying!” Another spankingperson was quick to point out most the whining and complaining was actually happening in her head and not out loud. That we were privy to her thought processes. All agreed to that and understood how we do that ourselves. This book is filled with sex, spanking, crying, more spanking, pony play, exhibition, paddles, dildos, humiliation, voyeurism, more spanking. What it didn’t have and the big topic of discussion was the lack of consent. This is a adult fantasy book.

SSCThis month we found our little group again divided in the discussion of consent in the book. People had issues all over the map regarding the questionable ages of the characters and lack of consent period. My argument for this both times was to look at the dates that these books were published and that this was fantasy writing. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty was published in March 1, 1983. It is exactly at that time, in 1983, that David Stein was writing a statement of identity and purpose for the now defunct New York group Gay Males SM Activists (GMSMA) and it was most likely the first time the future mantra of Safe, Sane, & Consensual was penned. I tried, perhaps not too well, to tell them about the difference in the times between then and now. We had conversations on consent, but it wasn’t like it is now. I can’t even hug someone now without asking consent. Is that good or bad I am not sure, but I digress. I tried to tell them that SSC, and now RACK, PRICK, or whatever mantra people are using… well SSC came to be some type of creed or slogan that slave david stein ever meant it to be. Here david writes,

“In the beginning, however, ‘safe, sane, and consensual S/M’ wasn’t a slogan

but simply the preamble to a statement of purpose that goes on to talk about

such things as community, responsibility, tradition, education, and gay

liberation.” … “The ‘safe, sane, and consensual’ formula was put forward as a minimum

standard for ethically defensible S/M, because that must be the basis for any defense

of S/M rights. Today, however, and especially in the hetero and pansexual

communities, S/M itself (or “BDSM,” which some find more palatable) is

frequently defined in terms of SSC, while the SSC slogan is treated with quasireligious

reverence and even explicitly referred to as a “credo” or “creed.” Instead

of asking people to think about what it means to do S/M ethically, and to make

the hard choices that are sometimes necessary (if only between what’s right and

what’s right now), many organizations today act as if these issues have all been

settled, assuring us that sadistic or masochistic behavior not deemed SSC isn’t

S/M at all but something else — abuse, usually, or domestic violence or poor selfesteem.”

It was during this long conversation about consent one of the women asked a question and made a point that I think resolved why we were so split on the liking or disliking of the book and also on our issues of consent. One comment was the observation that most of the other books we have read so far in our Smut Club were not fantasy and this book and O were both fantasy based. You have to be able to apply suspension of disbelief. I’d say it’s likened to believing in fairies! Just for a moment you must be able to believe the unbelievable. Those who enjoy fantasy books, like this one woman, will be more likely to enjoy the Beauty Trilogy. The other question and observation was regarding to when we read the book in reference to when we entered the S&M scene. Myself and a few others read this book before or near the beginning of their journey in BDSM, while others had been involved in the scene long enough that they don’t think of themselves and novice per se, but having some experience. We didn’t get much of a chance to even get into character discussion, but I think the favorite character from what I recall was Prince Alexi. The least liked character was the Prince. The impression was he turned out to be too much of a mamma’s boy. He wasn’t dominant enough *gasp*! Overall this book was not hated as much as O, but I think the majority of women in our group do not lean toward fantasy writing.

As much as we women enjoy the discussion about our smut the truth is we love to be around people who make us laugh, smile, and feel welcome as we are. Each month our Smut Club moves around the city and this week we were on the Upper East Side. This month our host, who is a vegan, asked we keep her home a meat free zone. I have to admit that it was great. Usually we all bring the unhealthiest gluttony of baked goods and preserved items anyone can imagine. I hope everyone enjoyed the snacks as much as I did and that we start bringing more yummy goodness. So gathering together over smut although it stimulates are minds in a laid back way is really just a very good reason to munch out and socialize. At this moment the Smut Club is probably the best female social group for submissive/slave/bottoms in NYC.

Along the lines of good smut, next month I’ll be doing a book review here as part of a virtual book tour of author Xan West‘s newest book, “Show Yourself To Me: Queer Kink Erotica” Its a book filled with 24 short stories. The book will become available is eBook and old fashion paper on October 2. My review for the tour is scheduled for October 12th.  I’m looking forward to checking out all the good girls, bad girls, fierce girl and the Daddies in this newest release of queer erotica!

Busy as a Bee

the_bee_and_the_flower_204010I’ve been busy and I’m happy to say it has not been all work. I’ve been busy in a good way going to a lot of fun places and events with new and old friends. I’ve been reconnecting with people. Or maybe it’s that I am finally connecting in a deeper and more sincere way to people who I was only able to be acquaintances with or friendly with in the past. I am filled up in the present and the past becomes more and more of just that – the past. It’s still an open wound, but each day it becomes more of a place through which light enters. My present is filled with a lot of goodness. For all this I am grateful. Continue reading

Kink and Politics

Over the past two decades I have seen a number of BDSM organizations, clubs, parties implode due to politics in the kink community. I’ve also seen personal politics force people out of the community. I have to remind myself of a concept a former partner and I shared that said, “We (the BDSM ‘community’) are just a microcosm of the greater social community.” In other words, what you find in the BDSM community is only a representative of what you will find outside of it.

dontvteWhen I was a young girl I was very active in current events and I believed we, as individuals and as groups, could make a difference. Maybe parts of me have become hardened from life experiences or maybe it is indifference? Either way, a long time ago I began distancing myself from what I viewed as the negative forces in the world. First it was in small ways and then steps became larger and larger. One of the first steps I took at distancing myself from the negative energy that involves political things was to stop viewing television. It’s interesting to me to watch the reaction of people when I tell them I haven’t watched television in 15 years. Then I decided to stop voting. That was hard. It was particularly hard for me, because for many years I had a motto, “If you don’t vote, then you have no voice, and your opinion doesn’t count.” Holding myself to that standard was a hard pill to swallow. I have come to believe my views are not in alignment to that of my country. At times I have thought about leaving the United States and giving up my citizenship. I find myself at times isolated and unable to participate in some conversation due to my intentional detachment from all that is political.  My detachment is because of my strong opinions. I feel too often that I cannot align with the majority and worse I cannot be understood by the majority. The way I have dealt with this loss of voice is to choose to not participate consciously in the conversation.

KeepCalmBDSMIt seems apparent that I cannot escape politics even in my leather. Politics is alive and well in the kink world. There are times that I see a group struggle, a kink/fetish/leather person struggle, or our subculture struggle and it hard to stay quiet. I want my little world to be calm, peaceful, and structured! These politics cause chaos and thus… woe is unto me. I have to laugh at my silliness to think I can escape politics. I do try though, oh yes, I do try.

Last week I went to the New York Female sub/slave Forum Group that meets monthly at Purple Passion. When I moved to New York I looked specifically for an all woman’s group to fill what I had enjoyed in Florida at WOLF (Women of Leather Florida) and this was the one I found. Unfortunately I had missed the past two month’s meetings. I was extra happy to be attending, since I had finally gotten my little sister jade to come along for her first time at this group. I was disappointed to see the lowest attendance I can recall. Regardless of the numbers we had a good time and a great discussion. Frankly the discussion might not have been as good if it had been a large group. The size of the group made us all feel comfortable to speak very personally about serious issues specific to BDSM relationships. It was definitely not novice level topic and conversation. I left this meeting though thinking about how personal politics has possibly affected the attendance of this group. I like this discussion group and I realize that if I want this group to continue then I need to show up more consistently. So, this is how I vote now. I vote with my attendance. And the great thing is that I don’t have to choose sides. I can attend both this old group and a newer one that seems to be taking the place of the old one. It left me a bit sad that the attendance was so low and wondering if the women who used to attend really no longer see the value of this discussion and support group?

I attended my favorite group, MAsT Metro NY this past year with fervor. It seems that now this group is also in a growth or implode impasse. I love this group and it has been my home since the first month I moved to NYC two years ago. I literally joined as a member the first meeting I attended. I just knew, the way a mother knows a good apple when she see it. This group has been around for 13 years. A new group is forming, but its purpose is not take the place of the other existing group. People forming the new group as far as I know still planned to attend the older group and support it. Not that I participated heavily in the discussion, but at this point I have given up reading the online political conversations period. It smells too much of political jockeying for position. Instead swimming around the murky politically charged waters, last night I decided to shut down my outside voice and I will speak with my vote. I do not like this mixing of politics with my kink. I am starting to again remember why I prefer the quiet and look with disdain at politics.

The mixing of politics and kink would seem to be unescapable. I remember a BDSM pansexual social/educational organization called S.P.I.C.E. in south Florida. I stepped away from my leather community for a few years and when I came back it had imploded. I had the good sense to not ask questions. I was sad it was gone, but the fact was that the people I knew from that group were still around and after that implosion they chose to start something new without a board, without a membership, without by-laws, and instead with more of a dictatorship. I’ve got to be honest, I really do love my structure and dictatorship is something I can work with. I just need to know the rules and then I can make an informed choice to stay or leave. I am simple like that. So far, the new group without all the political hoopla is growing and flourishing. Interesting?

I have to accept that politics of one sort or another is going to seep into my world. I continue to believe that if you don’t vote then your opinion doesn’t count. I find myself having to vote, sometimes with my attendance and sometimes with a ballot. Very grudgingly I am using my voice. I am exploring and deciding again how much I want to accept and what I may have to leave behind. I can do without a lot of things in my life, but my leather community is not one of those things.

Leather & Unity

Sir Raven and jade with an image of Sir Raven avec leather chaps in the background (flagging black on the left!)

Sir Raven and jade with an image of Sir Raven avec leather chaps in the background (flagging black on the left!)

The words leather and community and their meaning are a source of constant conversation in our subculture. Yesterday, in NYC there were many BDSM events happening throughout the day. Sometimes in a city as big, fast, and kinky as NYC it is difficult to choose. With very little pushing and pleading I managed to get Sir Raven and my leather sister jade to come to CCreaneImages, one night only exhibit of her work, Leather Women’s Photographic Documentary; and then to take a quick jaunt over to the annual Unity Munch. When I think about what leather and community mean to me it made it obvious where my priorities had to be and I wake up this morning knowing I made the right choices. There have been recent times when I thought to go off and move away from my leather roots and thankfully moments like last night with C. Creane and my leather family brings me back and reminds me I am right where I belong.

Jade with "Karida, New York 2014, Leather girl, Bootblack" in background,

Jade with “Karida, New York 2014, Leather girl, Bootblack” in background,

Last night at the Leather Women’s exhibit, on the lower right corner, next to an image was a small tag that said,

Karida

New York 2014

Leather girl

Bootblack

Too many times to count people have asked me what it means to be leather. There is always the disclaimer about “you will get as many different answered as the number of people you ask.” How I feel my leather, how I show my leather, how I share my leather is as unique as I am. Continue reading

What do you do in the meantime?

Reading, reading, and more reading, yea!

Reading, reading, and more reading, yea!

I’ve been reading Partners in Power by Jack Rinella for tomorrow’s Leatherfirst NYC book discussion and it has given me some thoughts about this past months MAsT meeting on the topic, “Masters without slaves, slaves without Masters: What do you do in the meantime?” If I had read this book before that meeting I would have remembered what I did before my most recent relationship and realized that in some ways it is what I am doing again, since I find myself single. Continue reading

I Am The Good Wolf

This has been a wonderful weekend for me with many things going on in the city. I awoke much too early and my mind was a bit flooded with images and thoughts of all that has gone on this weekend, but this is not bad. I sent out some thank you notes, did a little casual web surfing, and updated some information on a profile. I am feeling renewed and realizing a sense of my former peaceful self again.

The weekend started out with an invitation from my leather sister and her Daddy to a birthday karaoke party. So, Friday evening found three introverts and one Build-a-Bunny on the way to midtown NYC. None of us even remotely have any singing talent. All went well though since it seems the rest of the crew did and they were contented to permit me and my little sister to be their attentive audience. We just sat and had our cocktails, ate the food snacks, and smiled a lot. There was all kinds of dancing, and singing, and moving to the grooving… umm ya… and someone drank a bit too much and was doing “the robot”. Not me! What the world decade is that from?! The bestest part were the cupcakes. Birthday boy had four dozen cupcakes with rum shots. We snuck the cupcakes outside and ate them on the sidewalk. It was a very messy deal. We devoured the cupcakes, walked past Bryant Park and took a train home. I sat alone opposite my friends on the train and tried to stay awake and fight off that twilight sleep. I almost make it to their home and I fall asleep one stop before ours. Me+alcohol=sleep fast. I was gently woken by a soft hand rubbing my cheek. That made me happy. 😀 Continue reading

Sacred Trust: The Responsibilities of Master and slave

…is the topic for this Sunday, August 3, 2014 MAsT (Masters And slaves Together) Metro NY meeting. The timing of the topic is perfect for me, because I am in the midst of looking at and defining what it is that I want from a relationship and Trust was number one on the list. I believe trust is a basic tenant of any healthy relationship. I feel that within power and authority based relationship that need for trust becomes intensified exponentially. As a girl, when I enter a hierarchical relationship, I am giving a person my trust and access what makes me most vulnerable. Opening oneself up, making oneself vulnerable, turning over your power to another, following obediently takes immense trust. A misuse of that trust has the potential to do great harm. Trust is sacred.

A quick disclaimer: I am not a slave. I do seek a hierarchical relationship, so since this are my thoughts about the topic tomorrow. I will use the M/s and O/p terminology for simplicity sake. I mention this, because there is an enormous difference between a slave and a girl within the BDSM culture. I do think a girl can fit into an M/s household if the Master finds purpose to have such a person belong. Okay, now some more thoughts on the topic… Continue reading