Can you really develop a “tolerance” for a fetish?

In which Stabbity mines the Novices & Newbies group for post ideas 🙂

It seems to be pretty common for kinky people, especially those of us who are new to kink, to be worried that our interest in kink will take over our lives like some kind of addiction and we’ll need to do more and more extreme things all the time to get off and I don’t know, end up getting murdered or murdering somebody or some shit like that because we didn’t know when to stop.

It’s probably pretty clear what I think of that 🙂 That’s not very helpful to someone who is worried that they’ll end up getting hurt or doing something terrible, though, so let’s talk about it.

First of all, you do not develop a tolerance for a fetish or kink as if it’s a drug. That’s just silly, and there’s a much simpler explanation: people get bored when they do the same thing all the time. Take food for example: I love pho and I’ve been eating a lot of it since it started getting cold where I live. Right now, I would probably eat pho every day. But as much as I love pho, if I actually did eat it every day I would still get bored of it after a while and need to eat something else. Same with kink and with sex in general (not that kink always have to involve sex), if you do the same thing over and over eventually you want to try something else just for a little variety.

It’s also not unusual to eventually start wanting to try things that freaked you out or actively turned you off when you first got into the scene. Again, this is totally normal in other contexts, people just get weird about kink and/or sex. Let’s take my career as an example totally unrelated to kink, I always swore I’d never work for a game studio (fuck crunch time) or a startup (fuck brogrammer culture), and what happened? I used to work for a game studio and currently work for a startup. Turns out not all game studios expect you to work 80 hours a week to release a game on time and not all startups are run by brogrammer douchebags who are frightened and confused by the idea that anyone would want to have a life outside of their work. As you gain more knowledge and get to know more people who enjoy things you aren’t into, your perspective on those things can change. Again, totally normal.

Sadly, it’s not uncommon for people to do terrible things and say “I never meant to hurt anyone, I just got carried away!” That’s some bullshit, to be clear. Things can and do go wrong in scenes without anyone being malicious, but if you fuck up so bad you actually got arrested and it went to court and you ended up in the news, that’s not “getting carried away”, that’s “I thought I could get away with it.” If you really are worried you’ll get carried away and hurt somebody, the solution is simple: get a fucking spotter. Find somebody you trust to recognize when you’re about to go too far and who you know can stop you, and get them to supervise your scenes.

On the other hand if you bottom and are worried you’ll get carried away and not safeword when you should, that’s, uh, not unusual? Lots of people go nonverbal or get deep into subspace or otherwise can’t safeword. When you really into the scene and your endorphins are flowing, you may not even realize you’re getting injured. Some injuries, like nerve damage from bondage, may not hurt at all while they’re happening. You’ve got to get to know your top really well and be sure they know how far they can take you if you know there’s a risk you won’t be able to safeword.

Also, if it’s just your fantasies that freak you out, that’s totally normal too. Just because you fantasize about something doesn’t mean you actually want to do it – I’ve ranted enough about how fantasizing about an intense weekend scene in no way means that your butt could actually hold up to a whole weekend of spanking, flogging, whipping, and paddling. The fantasy is great, but in real life you would be sore and bored in half a day, tops. And if you eventually build up to being able to handle a weekend scene, you’ll probably also be fantasizing about week-long scenes. Fantasies are pretty reliably more intense than what you would actually want in real life to make up for the fact they aren’t actually happening.

If your fantasies really scare you it’s probably worth talking that out with somebody (maybe anonymously with strangers on the internet if you can’t afford a therapist or find one who understands kink?), but if you’re just worried that fantasizing about a thing means you’re inevitably going to do it that’s just not true. I’ve spent plenty of time fantasizing about telling former managers to go fuck themselves and walking out of my office, middle fingers held high, but I don’t actually do it because I’m a grownup and because I really like getting paid. If you understand that some things aren’t okay to actually do, you can fantasize about whatever you want and still be a good person.

In short, don’t worry. If you’re a decent human being and have any semblance of common sense, you’re going to be okay. Kink will not take over your life and make you into a monster.

how. original.

To think I was worried I wouldn’t find something to be angry about this week. I was reading Captain Awkward, as you do, and in the comments somebody linked to this fucking bullshit and I remembered how much I hate it.

Now, I’m more than a little late to the party here, but hey, I’m still getting a blog post out of it and maybe I’ll be less pissed off about this massive dickbaggery by the time I’m done 🙂

A quick summary for people who may not be interested in reading another blog post so they’ll understand this one: Ms Asshole wrote a post about how she feels happy and accepted in the tech community. So far so good, right? Yeah not so much. As much as she likes to think she’s not saying “fuck you, got mine” she’s absolutely saying “fuck you, got mine.” Yes, there are good things about the tech community. Many a nerd has been delighted to find a place where they can win arguments by being right, not by being popular. It’s okay to like that. What’s not cool is to tell other women:

What I’ve got, and what I wish the rest of the “women in tech” community who rage against the misogyny they see everywhere they look could also have, is a blazingly single-minded focus on whatever topic I happen to be perseverating on at the moment. It has kept me awake for days puzzling out novel algorithms and it has thwarted a wannabe PUA at a conference completely by accident. It is also apparently the most crashingly successful defense against attempts to make me feel inferior that has ever been devised.

which boils down to: have you considered just not caring when people treat you like shit because you had the poor taste to be a woman?

how. original. I have never been told to stop having feelings about it when people are jerks to me because I committed the terrible crime of being a better programmer than them and having tits at the same time before. what. an. amazing. revelation. Who could ever have possibly guessed that if I didn’t care about being treated badly then I, uh, wouldn’t care about being treated badly. Honestly, this asshole sounds exactly like every straight white man who just can’t believe there could possibly be a problem with tech because everyone is nice to him and obviously his experiences are universal. Newsflash: people who aren’t exactly like you do in fact exist. People who aren’t like me, do in fact exist too. Being a woman in tech can be a huge pain in the ass but because I’m white, there’s a massive amount of bullshit I just don’t have to deal with. But because I’m not a self-centered jackass who is incapable of caring about anyone but themselves, I believe people of colour when they say tech is shitty for them in ways that I haven’t personally experienced.

I want to be clear that I’m not attacking this self-centered asshole for being non-neurotypical, I’m attacking her for being a self-centered asshole. Being autistic does not mean you can’t empathize with other people (although it can make it hard to show it in a way that neurotypical people recognize, which is a separate issue), it does not mean you can’t understand that other people have experiences that aren’t like yours, and it does not mean you get a pass for acting like a complete douchebag.

My compilers are coming with me, but you can borrow my shoes, if you want.

Borrow your shoes? I would have to cut my toes off to fit into them, asshole. I WILL NOT STOP HAVING FEELINGS. I AM NOT WRONG FOR HAVING FEELINGS. I WILL NOT CUT OFF PIECES OF MY HUMANITY TO SUIT YOU.

The absolute nicest spin I can put on this shit is that Ms Asshole has only ever found one place where she fits in and is scared it will change and she won’t fit in anymore. What I think is more likely is that she has built her whole identity around a frankly toxic community and is taking any suggestion that maybe people who notice when they’re treated badly and experience emotions about that could be included too as an attack on her very self.

Nobody is saying that there’s nothing good about the tech community. Nobody is saying it would be a bad idea to have a place where technical correctness instead of popularity would win arguments. The problem is that magical place where the quality of your ideas is the only thing that matters DOES NOT EXIST. When an idea comes from a woman it magically becomes questionable at best and she will have to prove over and over and over that she isn’t stupid and does deserve to be there. The exact same idea becomes a heartbreaking work of staggering genius when it it proposed by a man. Where’s your meritocracy now, fuckface? No seriously, WHERE THE FUCK IS IT. How can you possibly say tech is about technical merit when women have to do much more work (and god fucking forbid you’re a black woman, you’ll have to work at least twice as hard as a white woman to get even less credit) to be taken less seriously? You know how much more work I could get done if I didn’t have to fight my own goddamn coworkers to listen to me for five goddamn minutes?

Not only do white men have to work less hard to prove they know what they’re doing, but not having to defend themselves constantly gives them far more time and energy to think about their tech. And let’s not forget that to this day women do far more household labour than men do. Not only do women have to work harder, we get less time to do our work.

Not only has a true meritocracy never existed (unconscious bias, it’s a thing), but not tolerating assholes is good for everyone. We cannot possibly know how many people who could have been amazing programmers have been driven out of the community by jerkbags who convinced them it was just not worth it to keep trying. We cannot know what incredible things could have been built if the tech community as a whole rewarded cooperation over proving you’re the smartest.

Seriously, what the fuck would we collectively lose if we as a community stopped being such incredible fucking douchebags to people who aren’t straight white men with no social skills? You can value technical correctness and also not be a raging asshole, I swear. If you can’t see how technical rigor and compassion can coexist, it’s not because they can’t, it’s because you’re an asshole who doesn’t give a shit about anyone’s feelings but yours.

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.

Spite week: recap

Another spite week is over! Here’s a roundup of links in case for some reason you had better things to do than read my blog every day 😉

Spite week: Diablo III
Spite week: fall!
Spite week: book rants
Spite week: handling money
Spite week: terrible puns
Spite week: bad YouTube tutorials
Spite week: cooking shows

In case that’s not enough spite, there are also roundups from the first and second times I did it.

Spite week: cooking shows

I have a bit of an obsession with cooking shows, more specifically cooking competitions like MasterChef and The Great British Bake Off. As a food nerd, I love seeing how creative the contestants can be, and it’s really interesting seeing new people and new challenges every season.

Sometimes you just want some relaxing television, and while there can be a bit of drama in cooking competitions, generally the worst thing that happens is a cake not rising (can you tell I’ve been watching Bake Off lately?). I also don’t hate seasons not ending on a terrible cliff-hanger to make sure you come back next year 🙂

Of all the cooking competitions I watch, MasterChef Australia is my favourite. Because they just crank out more episodes than the US or Canadian versions, you get to know the contestants a lot better and you get to see a lot more interesting food. Also, Australians are apparently ridiculously nice. A few seasons ago one of the contestants had a bit of a freakout because they had to butcher a whole eel for a challenge and they had a phobia of them. On US or even Canadian MasterChef, the other contestants would most likely have just shrugged their shoulders and let them go home. On Australian MasterChef, one of the other contestants took time out of their own cook to come over and partially butcher it to the point where they could do the rest. And they do stuff like that all the time!

Australian MasterChef is also more focused on the food than the other versions I’ve seen. Where MasterChef US deliberately stirs up drama by doing things like making contestants pick teams and then twisting the knife by asking whoever got picked last how they feel about it, whoever runs the Australian version realizes there’s plenty of drama in people pushing themselves to do their very best at something really hard and skips the boring shit-stirring.

Even though I’m not much of a baker I still love The Great British Bake Off too. There’s just something charming about a show where the prize is being named the UK’s best amateur baker and having a picnic in a beautiful park with all the other contestants and their families.It’s a bit of a slower-paced show than MasterChef just because baking is a slower-paced activity. There’s not much excitement you can get out of everyone hanging out having a cup of tea while their loaves of bread bake.

If you’d like a nice relaxing watch, I definitely recommend any of those shows.

Spite week: bad YouTube tutorials

Full disclosure, I stole this idea directly from Ferns:

YouTube tutorials make me want to set things on fire, they are unbelievably aggravating. I don’t know what makes people think yammering on about nothing for 99% of the video and having maybe 3 seconds of actual useful instruction is going to get them more subscribers because all it makes me want to do is kick them in the shins. Most of the tutorials I come across are for nerdy things and you know what’s great about stuff you do on a computer? YOU CAN TAKE A FUCKING SCREENSHOT. Seriously, there is no programming task that can’t be explained just as well with screenshots and text, which also has the advantage of allowing readers to skim it quickly to get an overview and search for the one part they actually give a shit about.

To be fair, there are some things video is better for. If you’re learning to cook or do makeup or make a new kind of craft, it’s really helpful to see exactly what motion the person is making and how they’re holding the tool. But even then, you need to get to the goddamn point. If you want to spend ten minutes (aka a YouTube eternity) talking about the theory of the thing, your personal experiences doing the thing, other ways you could do the thing, fine, but do it AFTER you show people how to do the fucking thing. That way nobody will wish they could find you just to poop on your lawn.

Spite week: terrible puns

Why terrible puns? Because I can 😀

http://badpunsrus.tumblr.com/post/162474246572/bearly-dressed-i-came-here-to-shitpost-and

http://badpunsrus.tumblr.com/post/160540952522

And I’m not even sorry 😛