Tag Archives: kinktober 2019

Nameless, faceless strangers

Fairly dark photo of the legs of three people standing on a wooden floor.

Content note: This post talks about different kinds of anonymous sex. The last paragraph is mildly explicit, but doesn’t specify genitals or genders.

A darkroom where touch is the only language. A masked ball where no one sees each other’s faces. An internet chat room where everyone goes by a pseudonym. A cruising area where no one asks for a name. A glory hole where almost an entire wall keeps us anonymous. Carnivals. Adult movie theaters. Public bathrooms.

Spaces to be nameless, faceless strangers to each other.

Spaces meant to free us from expectations and assumptions; spaces created to protect us from exposure and persecution. Spaces carved into an unwelcoming landscape to allow us to meet at all; spaces reserved for those who already have all the privilege in the world and now want even more freedom from responsibility.

***

What would I do if no one knew it was me, and I didn’t know it was them? Would that really free me to be more of myself, to express my desires more clearly, to indulge without shame? Or would it make me — and everyone who’d touch me there — default to even more assumptions, an even narrower set of behaviors because there was no room for fine-tuned negotiation and personal connection to replace them? Would it make me feel safer to get lost in an anonymous crowd, to not have a name, to narrow myself down to the purpose of sex? Or would it make me feel more at risk because there was no room for me to be an individual who needs more than a few gestures to express her complex sexual desires? Would I feel a sense of unspoken camaraderie with my fellow nameless strangers who share this fleeting union? Or would I feel even more alone because no one knew my name and there was no next time to meet again?

***

The nameless, faceless stranger suggests freedom from everything that makes things between us humans complex and, often enough, complicated. The nameless, faceless stranger promises no need to listen to anyone’s backstory, no need to dig into one’s own. No commitment beyond that moment, no future, no past. No messy, sticky feelings, just messy, sticky fucking. No doubt, I see the appeal.

Nevertheless, I’m fairly sure the nameless, faceless fuck is not for me, at least not beyond the occasional solitary, selfish fantasy. When I fuck people, I want to talk to them first, want to seduce them to open their minds to me by flashing them bits of mine. I want there to be an emotional Room of Requirement for my issues (and their issues) because that’s what makes me feel safe these days. I want there to be a (potential) next time. All of that makes me rather incompatible with anonymous sex of any sort.

***

I still dream, though. Of touch that just happens to be right without elaborate explanations. Of speaking with hands and eyes and the distance we keep or close. Of darkness and breath and clothes shoved aside. Of damp leaves under my boots, dry brick walls in my back, wet fingers between my legs. Of murmurs of others nearby, of moody bars, of dirty bathrooms.

Of dancing with nameless, faceless strangers.


This is a post for the Kinktober prompt “anonymity.”


Image source: Pixabay

Oh, boy…

Inside of an abandoned building with several columns and crossbeams, stylized in black and white

Content note: This post describes parts of a consensual BDSM scene (consent is mostly implied). It contains age play, rough body play, D/S, an unplanned gender switch, knife play, and boot play. Cocks are mentioned twice; none of them belong to cis men.

Perhaps I could have known. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the subtle shift in my attitude once I had changed into cargo shorts instead of my usual skirt or dress for this scene. Perhaps I shouldn’t have dismissed the determination in my jaw or the trace of stomp in my walk through the hallway before we began.

As it was, however, it caught me by surprise.

Our dialogue had spun a loose story of me being in a place where I knew I shouldn’t be and you being there in the hopes of taking advantage of that. It was dark there, and damp and gritty, and the sea was close. I felt young, much younger than my actual years. I was lonely, more lost than I liked, and yearning for someone to find me and tell me what to do. For someone to take care of me. Not out of pity, though, because pity meant someone would take away my power, and I wasn’t going to let anyone do that again. No, I wanted to be seen, to be chosen, to be considered worthy of attention and direction and affection. To be challenged into giving my best to someone who would know if it was. On the outside, however, I wore my disdain for the rules of propriety and tried to wrap myself in a rather threadbare cloak of “I don’t care.”

You were a mysterious stranger with an air of danger around you. I remember the dull gleam of your leather, your heavy boots, your solid stance. The way you looked up into my eyes as if you were actually taller than me.

“How old are you?” you asked.

“Old enough,” I spat back. I needed you to know that I was no clueless child; that I was in this risky place on purpose. That I had chosen this, even though I wasn’t quite sure what exactly ‘this’ was.

You took that response as the invitation it was and got right up into my face. There was some wrestling and then my hands were held together behind my back and my back was pushed against the wall.

Maybe it was the wave of stubbornness that had suddenly risen within me, covering the unexpected vulnerability that had pooled in my stomach and stuttered through my heart.

Maybe it was the way you took away my t-shirt and then made me put my leather vest back on over my bare skin.

Maybe it was the way you looked me in the eyes when you stepped on the toe of my boots, grinding down hard through the delicate layers upon layers of shiny black I had applied earlier with so much tenderness and patience. The exquisite cruelty that lay in the simultaneous recognition and destruction of my work was so beautifully heart-wrenching I almost cried.

None of this was what we usually did with each other. Except for your leather and my willingness to bare my heart to you. Except for our habit to never go where we had initially agreed to go because our scenes always developed a mind of their own. Still, this was unusual, even for us.

Maybe it was the sea. Maybe it was the stories that bubbled up in my memory, the waves of narrative ancestry pulling me under.

I don’t know what it was. But suddenly I was a lot closer to boy than to girl.

It registered with you even before I myself understood what was happening. You said something I have forgotten, then gave your suspicion of my cock an experimental squeeze through the denim. I responded with a gasp as I willed my body to fill your hand.

Then my mind became a kaleidoscope of shattered gender fragments, swirling around in many-layered patterns, never quite settling down again. I almost cried again a little later when you cut my satiny underwear to shreds, rawly torn between wanting to protect the girl I had initially brought to the scene, wanting to save the femme without losing the boy, desperately wishing I wouldn’t feel so utterly disloyal to myself no matter what I decided. Trying to be everything at once and failing to be anything but deeply unsettled by the unsolvable paradox of gender I had stumbled into. Deeply afraid your desire for my boy implied a rejection of my girl when she was less than perfectly girly. Furiously trying to anchor myself on the few solid places in that storm: your leather, the certainty of pain, and my tongue on your boots.

I never fully settled into boy, but I kept hovering close to it for the rest of this encounter. I never quite lost touch with femme, but also never got a hold of its comforting familiarity again that night. Girl floated away into irrelevance at some point. Eventually, I stopped caring and just became a head to lean against your thigh, a chest to dig a boot heel into, a tongue to wrap around your cock, a body to curl up at your feet, a mind at peace.


Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wickedThis is a post for the Kinktober prompt “gender play.”

I’m also submitting it for the Wicked Wednesday prompt “out of character.”


Image source: MaxPixel, color edited by me.

When I dream of tentacles

Photo of an octopus with one of its arms draped across its head. The suction cups are turned towards the viewer.

When I dream of tentacles,
it’s not the potential for restraint that captures me,
nor is the force of penetration entering my mind.

Instead, I dream the firm fluidity of their embrace,
wet slither across my skin, the suction
of eight armfuls of kisses.

I dream their many-fingered strokes, strong
on my flesh; their suckers sliding, dragging over skin.
the overwhelm of elasticity.

I dream the lazy swirl of winding arms,
a dance, slow-motion, limbs entwined;
their suction cups my flesh in gently pulsing lines.

I dream a slow, close hold; full-body
touch. Sharp, piquant pain as blood surges, bursts
beneath my skin, blooms into mottled purple.

I dream the tightening and the release;
limbs falling soft, breath easy under water,
flesh sinking to the ground. A sigh.

I dream the loss, the loosening, the slipping off;
a final kiss, a wave. Until next time, my strange
and wondrous lover.


This is a post for the Kinktober prompt “tentacles.”

For the zoology-minded amongst my readers: Yes, I know that octopus arms aren’t the same as tentacles. This is poetry, though, so I don’t care.


Image source: Pixabay, color edited by me.

When your dating pool is more like a dating puddle

Someone pokes a twig into a puddle in a parking lot. Clouds reflected in the puddle.

“Plenty of fish in the sea!” You may have heard this sentence before. Standard dating advice assumes there are many, many compatible people for each and every one of us out here. And all you have to do to find a match for yourself is join some social groups to pursue your shared interests with a bunch of other human beings and/or make a profile on a dating platform of your choice and go on lots of dates. And sooner rather than later (or so goes the story you’re told), you will almost inevitably meet a great match for a relationship! (And if you don’t, you probably just didn’t do it right.)

But what if that’s not true?

What if you’re limited in your mobility (and therefore your dating radius) due to a physical or mental disability or a lack of money for travelling, or by previous commitments you’ve made (e.g. being a parent or caretaker, or having preexisting partners or a location-bound job you want to keep)? And what if you don’t live in a big city, either?

What if your desires are rather far from the mainstream because your version of kinky is less ‘silk scarf blindfolds and sensual spankings’ and more ‘boot licking and impact play that leaves plate-sized bruises in fifty shades of dark purple or multiple bleeding wounds on a regular basis’ or ’24/7 Victorian-style M/s relationship with a side of pony play’? What if you also don’t switch? And what if you don’t do vanilla sex at all to begin with, so the ‘consensually grow your own kinkster’ approach isn’t an option, either?

What if the range of genders you’re attracted to includes neither feminine cis women nor masculine cis men but nearly exclusively people on the nonbinary or androgynous spectrum? What if your own gender has needed major customized hardware changes and/or continues to require a bunch of workaround hacks and a much-annotated user manual before you can enjoyably get down and dirty with anyone (if you even find someone who is into all of that, “niche product for a discerning market” that you are)?

And what if you’re affected by several of these factors at once? (Not that this list would be anywhere near complete, mind you.)

I’m sure few people would argue that so much intersecting deviation from the dating norm will shrink your dating pool to a size that is more like a dating puddle.

In other words, sometimes, the reality of your dating pool is a lot less like a vast ocean full of exciting and hugely varied fish that you might encounter if you just keep swimming — and a lot more like a tiny aquarium where you’ve already dated at least half of the available and roughly matching ten fish at some point in the past, ruled out another two of the remaining five (because one is already dating your roommate/best friend/boss, and the other is best friends with that ex you don’t talk to anymore, and that’s just too many social complications) and simply have no chemistry with two more of the remaining three fishes. Which leaves exactly one fish who is a match for you. Maybe. If you don’t look at the details of everyone’s needs and desires too much.

And then we haven’t even started looking at things like your politics, any unusual interests (beyond kink) you may have, and all the gazillion other characteristics and preferences that may also play a role in your partner selection (or in other people’s selection of you as a partner). Or any of the many, many places where things can be hard in the world of finding compatible people for romance and/or sexytimes and/or kinkytimes. Never mind the necessity to weed out the creeps and abusive assholes from the group of people who would potentially be a match otherwise.

But hey, don’t just take my word for it. I’ve recently listened to an older podcast that was looking at online dating from an economic perspective. It’s guests explained how being in a ‘thick market’ for dating (that is, a situation where there are lots of theoretical matches) means more options altogether but also requires more screening to find “the right one.” Whereas being in a ‘thin market’ (that is, a situation where there are very few theoretical matches to begin with) means you should probably be less picky. And while it’s true that online dating platforms make it much easier for members of ‘thin markets’ (examples given in the podcast were gay or lesbian people, Jewish people in the U.S. looking for a Jewish partner, or people with “very, very specific sexual preferences”) to find a match at all, that doesn’t change the fact that we genuinely do have a much, much smaller number of theoretical matches to choose from than the average straight, vanilla(ish) person in their 20s or 30s. So I highly doubt that just because it’s online “it’s enormously easy to match on very, very specific sexual preferences” (as one podcast guest claims). Compared to finding a match for highly specific kinks offline and outside of the BDSM community, perhaps. But certainly not compared to finding an online match as a straight, vanilla(ish) person. Especially — as I said above — if we belong to more than one minority category that’s relevant in the dating world (e.g. as a kinky, nonbinary transfeminine person of color over 40 with a chronic illness who is living in a fairly small town[1]).

And I want us to have room to occasionally express our frustration with that reality and perhaps roll our eyes a little bit about people whose biggest problem seems to be that they have too many offers and now need to filter for the ones that aren’t crap. I mean, I am extremely grateful that I’ve so far been spared most of the harassment that seems to arrive in large amounts in the inbox and mentions of everyone else who isn’t a cis man these days. But sometimes I still wish I’d at least get crappy offers instead of almost none at all. (No, this is not an invitation to send me crappy messages.) To give you some numbers: In the past six years, during which I’ve been very active in the BDSM community and went to many, many munches, playparties, and other kink events, I’ve gotten offers for kink/sex from about 20-25 people altogether, both online and in person. And I’m being very generous in counting something as an ‘offer’ here, which means, I’ve included all the random messages of people who clearly didn’t read a single word of my FetLife profile (not all of whom were cis dudes, by the way). Every one of the very few messages I’ve ever gotten on a dating platform has either been strictly friends-only, or (once) a drunk ‘mistake.’ Every other flirty contact, whether it ultimately resulted in play/sex or not, was originally initiated by me (which is ironic, given the fact that one of my kinks is not initiating things). On bad days, this makes me feel like I’m horribly undesirable and far too weird in my erotic tastes to ever find someone who actually wants me as I am, let alone for more than a one-off scene. Even though I know (and my repeat play partners tell me) that this is objectively nonsense. In reality, I’m fucking awesome; I’m just suffering from an extremely ‘thin’ market.

Nevertheless, let’s go back to hypotheticals and say we have indeed found that one match. One ‘fish’ should be enough, right? Let’s not be greedy here. (Then again, why on earth not?) So you try really really hard to make it work with that one fish.

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! There’s nothing wrong with investing some time and effort into calibrating communication styles to find common ground. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting one’s own expectations to something a real-life human being can realistically fulfill. There’s nothing wrong with compromising on some things. There’s nothing wrong with realizing that no one person can fulfill our every social, sexual, and kinky need (yes, that’s true even for the monogamous folks).

However, such real, measurable scarcity of potential partners can also reinforce our tendencies to keep trying to make things work that just never will, to keep thinking “we can fix this” against all evidence to the contrary, to keep enduring things that make us feel awful. It can make us accept behaviors and incompatibilities we’d otherwise find unacceptable because we can’t stop wondering if there’ll ever be a next time, a next one at all. Never mind someone who would be an actual good match for us.

It can even create a situation where it becomes even harder to escape an (emotionally, psychologically, and/or physically) abusive partner. Especially when the other person has a lot less structural power/privilege and/or individual ability that would enable them to a) recognize the abuse in the first place and b) get out. Yes, I’ve been there. Yes, that experience has made me even more picky than I used to be, especially when it comes to romantic partners or D/S dynamics that aren’t entirely scene-based.

And still: The puddle is real. And the desire to find a match nonetheless is also real. Megan Stories has expressed it like this:

“And, I am heartsick. For eleven years, I have wanted this thing. I couldn’t have put a name to it at first, but what I’d call it now is abundance. I want sex and play, and the particular kind of emotional connection that comes with them, and I want enough. Enough that there is time and space to learn and explore and grow and try things and make mistakes. To meander into different corners of my desire. To surprise myself by liking things I didn’t expect. To watch my edges shift, to move with them. To have kinds of play that feel comfortable and easy, and others that challenge me. To do things wrong and learn to pick up the pieces.

By and large, I haven’t had this. And today, I am filled with sadness for the things I haven’t done and for the ways I feel alone now.

Someone asked me recently if there was ‘anyone special’ in my life. I answered that there were many—the housemates I live with, friends near and far, but as for ‘special’ in the romantic way, no. ‘And you’re okay with that?’ she asked, sort of marveling at it. And the truth is I’m not, really. It’s not what I’d choose for myself if I had the choice. And the other truth is that I am. It is what it is, and I’m proud of choosing to be alone rather than accepting partners (romantic, sexual, play, etc.) who are wrong for me.

But it hurts. It hurts to lack some fundamental kinds of intimacy. It hurts because I am someone to whom desire and intimacy matter deeply, and there are parts of myself that I can’t fully access alone.”

And boy, does this resonate with me these days. Not all of the specifics, but the general sense of wishing for abundance in a situation where there’s anything but that. The sense of wishing even just for ‘enough,’ knowing that that’s probably still too much to ask for.

And then I see yet another instance of people advising each other to “just dump them!” over minor misunderstandings or differences of opinion or taste. And I think that I probably wouldn’t have had a single relationship (erotic, kinky, and/or romantic) in my entire life if I had been that picky and unforgiving with my partners.[2] Because “just dump them!” becomes a lot more difficult than it is for everyone else already if you know with absolute certainty that there aren’t plenty of other fish in that puddle just waiting for you to become available again. And that, if you end this not-quite-satisfying situation, you’re very likely facing an ocean of absence, and not just for a while.

I don’t have a solution for this. I don’t think there is one, beyond accepting the dating puddle and occasionally making some time to grieve the absence of abundance. This post is a part of that.

(So please, keep the dating advice and everything along the lines of “I’m sure you’ll find someone someday!” to yourself today, okay? Other comments are welcome, as always.)


Notes

[1]  These descriptions may sound like exaggerations to some. But while I don’t personally know anyone with this particular combination of marginalization characteristics, I definitely do know multiple people with a similar number of deviations from the straight, white, cis, vanilla(ish), thin, non-disabled, young, middle-class, and living-in-a-big-city norm.

[2]  Which is not to say that there aren’t also many, many cases where I wonder why people are still writing letters to advice columnists or posting on Reddit and haven’t run away screaming three years ago. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. Which is also not to say that I myself shouldn’t have run away screaming much earlier than I did in a few cases.


This is a post for the Kinktober prompt “too little / too much.”


Image source: Flickr / Alan Stanton, CC BY-SA 2.0, cropped by me

The perfect loop

Photo of a metal sculpture forming a double loop.

Content note: Brief descriptions of various sexual acts. Body parts, including genitals are named but not associated with a particular gender.

My porn collection consists mostly of GIFs. Earlier this year, I wrote:

“One of the most cherished folders on my computer holds my collection of hand porn GIFs. Hands touching genitals through underwear: clits and dicks of all shapes and sizes, cocks and cunts leaking through fabric in response to that touch. Fingers sneaking into panties, shifting under lace and mesh. Palms stroking cocks encased in soft, worn cotton. Smooth gloved fists sliding into wet cunts. Fingers rubbing hard clits in endless circles, thumbs brushing back and forth across a glans. Fucking. Fondling. Kneading. Tapping. Gliding. Squeezing. Countless variations of hands between legs in infinite loops.

Other GIFs in that folder show hands touching faces, throats, thighs. A gentle caress of a cheek, followed by a harsh slap; a finger trailing down a bent neck, a hand closing around an arching throat; fingers weaving into hair, grabbing, pulling. Spit-covered fingers sliding into mouths. Flat palms resting on chests, nipples held firmly between fingertips; hard hands smacking into large, soft butts. Fingers digging into flesh. And many, many hands moving up under skirts, sliding between legs, pushing thighs apart, invading intimate spaces that open up eagerly under their touch.

Sometimes, there’s a forearm to go with the hand, muscles moving under skin. Sometimes, swollen veins stand out on backs of hands. Finger joints bend, both delicate and strong. Maybe there’s a reaction face included, mouths open in silent gasps, heads thrown back, eyes closed in pleasure.

I could watch these GIFs for hours. And I probably have.”

There are other GIFs in that folder, of thighs sliding against each other, eyes closing, legs falling open, tongues gliding over boots, hips tilting towards hips. Of slow wet kisses, cocks rubbing against cocks, mouths on nipples, necks bending, backs arching, teeth scraping skin. Of lips between legs, cunts riding on thighs, breaths mingling, breasts exposed, panties drawn aside, skirts pushed up. Of loops of rope, threads of spit…

Without a doubt, my favorite type of porn is GIFs. Their content and style varies from hardcore fucking to tender caresses, from reaction faces to genital close-ups, from high gloss to low-res. I like the whole range, as long as it comes as a GIF.

As long as it’s captured in eternal loops of six seconds or less.

Because the loop is what makes GIF porn so unique. There’s something about the endless repetition of the same moment that draws me in. The focus created by seeing the same moment over and over and over. Of being able to really look at that moment, to see every single fraction of it, every element that makes it what it is: an angle, a shadow, the tightening of a muscle, a smile that’s almost out of the frame, that one single gesture. A porn GIF rarely captures the full screen of the original, so it allows me to zoom into the smallest detail and savor it. As often and as long as I like, without ever having to rewind or skip back to a moment before that moment.

A great porn GIF captures something that would get lost in an entire scene of too many other moments to count. I don’t want to watch the whole scene, the whole movie. I just want that one perfect fraction of a scene. Because that one moment, that one movement, that one look, touch, gesture is exactly right. A great porn GIF shows so much more than a still image; it’s not a frozen moment but a transition from one point in time to another. It feels alive, just slower and more focused. It breathes. It moves, shifts, undulates.

I credit Tumblr TV fandom for learning to see like this. For the collective search for the perfect moment, the perfect frame, the perfect time span, the perfect loop. For the ability to enjoy movement in tiny portions that suggest much bigger stories. For the rush of pleasure when in the sea of meaningless cuts and loops, there’s finally another GIF that is it. That is perfect. That I could watch for hours.

Like fandom GIFs, GIF porn often feels like someone carefully chose it, both for themselves and for the world they shared it with: They selected the original source (be it Hollywood movie, TV show, or porn film), they searched it for the perfect moment, they chose a frame and a length and edited it into a smooth loop. The final GIF is a glimpse into what someone else sees, what they think is important in an erotic scene. And because the GIF now exists, I know I’m not the only one to enjoy this moment. Even if I never even find out who originally created the GIF, let alone what the source material is, that creates a sense of connection.

The only thing I don’t like about GIF porn is the fact that it’s almost by definition pirated material that I haven’t paid for. I suspect that several performers also sell GIFs, but I mostly see offers for photos or clips that are much longer than six seconds — and neither of those two hits the spot for me. I’m also incredibly picky about the moments I actually save to my collection, so I tend to scroll through a lot of GIFs that do nothing for me until I stumble across one that pings my synapses. Almost every single one of roughly 1.000 GIFs in my folder comes from a different original source. In most cases, I don’t know what these sources are or how to even search for them (because more often than not, there aren’t even any faces or other identifying features in the frame). I’m not sure how to come up with a payment model that would allow for this much variety in such tiny doses of the original product. I also don’t want to buy a bunch of porn clips and make the GIFs myself. Instead, I want to find them, more or less unexpectedly. That element of chance, of randomness, of unpredictability is part of the joy for me. So for now, I’ve resigned myself to living with a bit of a bad conscience over not paying the creators of the original material (or even the GIF makers) for their work.

And I keep watching nothing but the perfect moments. Because GIF porn is porn that allows me to watch only the bits I really, really enjoy, without making me wade through all the rest that is either boring or a turn-off. I don’t have to brace myself for the moment that ruins things for me (and since I’m a very picky porn user, there are a lot of things that can ruin it for me). I can just relax into looking at that one super erotic second over and over again.

You see, the perfect porn GIF feels like a wave, without any harsh jumps from the end back to the beginning. Just movement merging into movement merging into movement. It can swoop me up and take me with it, letting everything else fall by the wayside as I zoom into that perfect moment, into that inevitable arousal.

And I’m still curating my collection of perfect loops.


By the way, it seems that I’m not the only one who likes GIF porn. There are even academic articles about the phenomenon (which I may need to read eventually), with titles like “Giffing a fuck: non-narrative pleasures in participatory porn cultures and female fandom,” “Pornophilia: porn gifs, fandom, circuitries,” and “Fleshy motions, temporal sinks: affect and animated gifs” (because it’s not a proper academic article title if it doesn’t have a pun, a list, an alliteration, and/or a double colon, right?).

Also: I still miss Tumblr how it used to be.


Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked This is a post for the Kinktober prompt “pictures, videos.”

I’m also submitting it for the Wicked Wednesday prompt “Camera.”


Update (12 October 2019): This post has been chosen as one of the top 3 for the Wicked Wednesday prompt “camera.” Molly Moore Rebelle, who selected the top 3, said about my post:

“Turns out I am not the only one with a folder on my computer of porn gifs. Like K and N they are my favourite type of porn and in this piece they capture perfectly what it is about them that works for me too.”

Thank you! I’m especially proud to say that both of my recent two submissions to Wicked Wednesday have been chosen for the top 3 (the other one was this one, which I submitted two weeks ago).


Image source: Needpix / Violetta, cropped and color edited by me.