You’re allowed to be shy

One of many things that irritates the shit out of me is the idea that shyness is a terrible awful hideous unspeakable apalling horrifying character flaw that will ruin a shy child’s life unless they are pried out of their shells and forced to interact with hostile strangers constantly.

Shyness is not the end of the world! I’m shy and I’m fucking fine. I have a good job, a husband, friends, a social life. Now, to be fair I’ve been getting less shy over the years to the point where I will sometimes to go to events where I don’t know anyone, but even when I had just left college and was still much more shy I had friends and a good job. Even the combination of shyness and being a new grad didn’t make it impossible for me to find work.

As a bit of an aside I think a big part of my becoming less shy was changing my environment. I left the miserable pit I grew up in and suddenly I wasn’t surrounded by dirtbags who were assholes to me all the fucking time. Strangely enough, it’s a lot easier to interact with people when you aren’t either convinced you shouldn’t bother because they’ll just be dicks or are braced for them to start being dicks because that’s what you’re used to. It took a while, but after a few years of people generally being nice to me I started to see that as normal, which made me much less anxious about talking with strangers.

Anyway you know what my life would most likely be like if I was still as shy as I was when I first moved out here? Fine. I would be perfect goddamn fine. Because shyness is not the end of the fucking world. Shy people do not need to be fixed. Social anxiety (and other anxiety disorders), on the other hand, is a different thing. If it’s fucking up your life and making you miserable then it’s probably more serious than just shyness and you deserve an expert’s help. But if you just feel a little nervous about meeting new people, that’s totally normal and you’re fine.

Okay let’s see if I can drag this back to any relevance to kink 🙂

It’s very common for people to recommend going to a munch to meet other perverts, and it’s also very common for people to not want to because they’re shy. That’s okay! You don’t have to love munches and you don’t have to go to them if you don’t fucking want to. Lots of people either dislike them or just can’t be bothered for all sorts of reasons. If interacting with a bunch of strangers you might have one and only thing in common with sounds like hell on earth to you, don’t do it.

Just don’t whine about how lonely you are when there’s a really effective way of meeting people that you could do if you felt like it and we’re cool.

Also shyness is not life-ending. You can in fact suck it up and do things that are uncomfortable (again, if you really for really real can’t, that’s not shyness, that’s probably social anxiety or another anxiety disorder and you should try to get treatment for it). The world won’t end if you feel awkward as shit for a couple hours one evening. It still won’t end if you do that a few times to start getting to know people.

If you do want to go to events and are shy, there are plenty of workarounds to make it less awkward. Ask the organizers to introduce you to people who are especially friendly to shy newbies. We all remember being new and not knowing anyone, there will be lots of people who want to pay that forward by being extra nice to newbies. Ask if there’s anyone willing to meet you for coffee and go to the munch with you so you’ll have someone to sit with and someone to talk to who you kinda sorta know. Like I said, we were all new once, we remember what it was like. Ask if you can volunteer for anything. This generally works better at parties or workshops but if you do the volunteering first and then go to the munch, you’ll probably see some of the other volunteers or other people you met at the event.

Oh and you can goddamn well be shy and dominant at the same time, just like you can be an introvert and dominant at the same time. Being dominant is about how you like your relationships to work, being shy is about how you relate to strangers or people you don’t know well. They’re not fucking connected!

Finally, as supposed “character flaws” go, shyness is incredibly fucking minor. It’s not like you’re a shitty tipper or rude for no reason or mean to animals, you’re just a little anxious about meeting new people. Oh noes, the horrors. Also, people who pressure you to “come out of your shell” can fuck right off. Encouragement can be helpful if you even fucking want to come out of your shell (and you don’t fucking have to choose to be less shy), but pressure is not encouragement and it’s not helpful. You are not harming anyone by being shy and do not owe it to anyone to become the life of the party on demand. People who pressure you to do stuff (outside of a freely negotiated d/s relationship, of course 😉 do not give a shit about helping you be happier, they just like making you do things. Seriously, it’s a huge red flag for abuse when people decide that they know better than you what your life should be like and what parts of your personality that aren’t fucking hurting anyone need to be “fixed.”

Go forth (or stay in) and be shy, fellow shy people!

Why is it so common for dominant women to dislike brats?

To be fair I don’t actually know if it’s common everywhere or just where I hang out online, but every time the subject of brats comes up in that one fetlife group I like, most of the comments from women are about their total lack of interest in brats. That group is very long term relationship oriented, which probably skews the results, but it’s pretty consistent so I think there’s something worth digging into there.

My suspicion is that women get enough shit from men on a daily basis that we just aren’t interested in getting it from men who are supposedly submitting to us. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who only endures a little bit of disrespect on a daily basis, it’s still fucking exhausting to not be able to finish a sentence in a meeting because men keep interrupting you. I think that kind of daily bullshit makes us so sensitive to disrespect that there’s almost no level of playful poking that’s actually fun for us. Unless you’re extraordinarily perceptive, it’s incredibly easy to slip over the line from playful bratting to serious not-fun-anymore disrespect.

I even like a little smart assery in a scene (I think that’s a fun way for my play partner to encourage me to hit them harder), but I’m just not into actually having my authority tested. Either you want to submit to me or you don’t, and if you don’t, what are you even doing here?

Bratting can also be really manipulative. If you do it just right it can be a fun way to invite your partner to play with you, but if you’re even just a little bit off it turns into trying to make your partner feel obligated to play with you and that’s such a dick move. I’ll play when I fucking feel like playing, I’m not here to entertain my supposed partner on his preferred schedule. Which isn’t to say submissive men should never get a say in how often they and their partners play or that they should never try to initiate play, just that it’s easy to fuck it up and irritate the shit out of your partner so you should be careful.

I’m worried I’m making women sound like hypersensitive assholes, which is not at all what I think. What I’m trying to get at is that just existing in the world as a woman can be a huge pain in the ass and a lot of us just want a fucking break from it for five whole minutes. Imagine you had really sensitive ears and what everybody else experienced as normal everyday noises were much too loud for you. Wouldn’t you want some quiet time?

Yeah, actually, women like porn: part 3 of many

Why no, I’m still not done hammering this point home 🙂 Women do in fact like porn, we just don’t like shitty porn.

Today’s example is Laurell K Hamilton, specifically the Merry Gentry and Anita Blake series‘. The Anita Blake series started out as primarily urban fantasy / supernatural police procedural with some sexy parts and started to contain more and more sex in later books. The Merry Gentry series is also urban fantasy but has always contained a lot of sex.

In the interests of honesty I liked the Anita Blake series better before it shifted from police procedural with some sexy bits to sexy bits with a smidge of police procedural now and then, but given that the series is up to 27 books I think it’s safe to say that sex sells 🙂

Here’s an excerpt of the first book in the Merry Gentry series, A Kiss of Shadows:

We ended on the bed. My clothes were gone, though I didn’t remember them going. We were naked and slick with oil on the clean white sheets. The feel of his body sliding over mine brought my breath shuddering from between half-parted lips. He kissed me, tongue probing, and I opened to him, rising from the bed to force his tongue deeper inside my mouth. My hips moved with the kiss, and he took it as invitation, sliding inside me, slowly, until he found me wet and ready, then he slammed the length of him inside me, as fast, as far as it would go. I cried out under him, body rising off the bed, then falling back against the sheets, staring up at him.

Now, I’ve read more graphic sex in fanfic but that’s still pretty explicit. And there are nine books in that series, which is eight more than there would be if the first one hadn’t sold, which tells us what? Oh that’s right, women like porn!

While I’m at it, how about an except from one of the later books in the Anita Blake series, Kiss the Dead:

He took me at my word, and began to move faster, harder, but each stroke ended in that caressing roll of his body, as if he were petting, massaging deep inside me. It was an amazing sensation. I felt him hesitate, and looked back over my shoulder to see his face. He had his eyes closed; one, so he could concentrate on his body, feel his way inside me, but the other reason was so he could last. Most men are visual, and without being able to see himself going in and out of me, he was able to fight off that last moment a little bit longer. I watched the concentration on his face as my body rocked and moved against the bed under the push and power of him. I had a second of warning, and then the orgasm caught me. It dug my fingers into the bed, it screamed its way down my throat, and out my mouth.

Hey look, more porn! It’s like women enjoy writing this stuff or something. As far as I know the earlier Anita Blake books without explicit sex in them sold just fine (otherwise why would her publisher keep publishing them?), so it’s not as if Laurell K Hamilton desperately added sex to her books so she could pay her rent. I’m pretty sure she (gasp) just likes writing sex scenes.

Yeah, actually, women like porn: part 2 of many

I’ve talked about how much I love Spike’s work already, but hey, why not really drive the point home? When I blogged about the Smut Peddler 2014 kickstarter, it was over 500% funded and still had 13 days to go. It ended up raising $185,301 of the original $20,000 goal. Yeah, that’s 9 times the amount of money Spike needed to publish it. Wanna tell me again that women don’t like porn?

Or hey, let’s look at the kickstarter for the Yes, Roya and My Monster Boyfriend double header. It $161,169 of a goal of $40,000. Okay, four times the goal isn’t as much as Smut Peddler 2014 raised, but but that’s still a serious expression of consumer interest. Now, probably plenty of straight guys would enjoy Yes, Roya (as long as they aren’t freaked out by MMF threesomes), but I submit that straight men are perhaps not the primary buyers of an anothology called My Monster Boyfriend.

Then there’s Letters for Lucardo, which not only raised $22,143 of its $8,000 goal, it hit that goal so quickly that Spike added another reward to thank the backers for basically insta-funding it.

And let’s not forget, Smut Peddler is explicitly woman-friendly porn written and drawn primarily by women. How exactly are women “just not interested in porn” when so many of us write and draw it? Don’t believe me? Check out the contributor lists for all of those anthologies. And don’t forget that Yes, Roya was written by Spike, a woman, and illustrated by Emilee Denich, another woman. Letters for Lucardo was written and illustrated by one woman, Noora Heikkilä. Either Spike has some bizarre gift and has found and published every smut-writing/drawing woman on the planet, or maybe, just maybe, there are fucking tons of women who like porn enough to make it.

Or in other words: yeah, actually, women like porn.