For those who have somehow avoided the news coverage, on August 9th 2014 a white cop, Officer Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18 year old. Since Michael’s murder there has been increasing unrest in Ferguson, which I blame on law enforcement’s mishandling of both the crime and the protests. Wikipedia (not the most credible source, I know) has a timeline full of more credible links. There is also abundant coverage at The Guardian, NBC News,CBC, and VICE, just to link a few.

The latest insult to the personhood of black people came when the grand jury failed to indict Darren Wilson, who we should remember murdered an unarmed 18 year old. If that shouldn’t automatically go to a trial, I don’t know what should.

Depending on which news coverage you’ve seen, you may have been told all sorts of ridiculous bullshit about Michael Brown’s murder. This masterpost addresses many of the lies told about Michael Brown and Darren Wilson.

The lie that makes me the most angry is that Michael Brown’s murder was not about race. Michael was walking to his grandmother’s house with a friend. Eric Frein, on the other hand, was captured alive with only minor injuries after killing a cop and leading police on a 48 day manhunt. Using only those two sentences, I’m sure you can guess who was black and who was white. There is not a chance in hell a black cop killer would have lived a second longer than it took the officers hunting him to get a clear shot.

If you would like to do something to help, the Ferguson Defense Fund, St Louis Area Foodbank, and Ferguson Library could all use your donations. There are also many non-financial things you can do as a white person – I’m assuming that most of my audience is white, given how white the kink community is.

Given that this is a kink blog and I’m white, some of you may be wondering why I’m ranting about cops murdering black people. It’s my duty as a decent human being to use the platform I have to speak out against injustice. I think we also have a duty as kinky people to understand how power can be hideously misused and to make sure we use ours responsibly.

Guest post from Jess Mahler

Jess Mahler, an excellent author and blogger was kind enough to offer me this guest post on the subject of abusers and the lies our culture tells us about them. Thanks Jess!

The stories we tell ourselves matter. So often I hear people say “It’s just fiction!” Conveniently forgetting that we use stories as teaching tools in school because they work. But I’m not going to beat that horse today. Instead, I want to talk about one specific story. The story of the abuser.

The abuser is a mean, selfish, angry man. He is a control freak who uses manipulation, coercion, and threats of (or actual) violence to keep the people he claims to love under his thumb. He is a horrible, evil person who may also be insane, but also may be redeemed by the power of love.

This is the story our culture tells about abusers. We have been seen it in movies, read it in books, talked over, around and under it, but we almost never look at it straight in the face and talk about it. It is this story which underlies all out discussions about abuse, our attempts to address abuse in the scene, and our ideas about what an abuser looks like.

This story is a lie. Abusers are rarely any of these things. Many abusers are like this young man, thinking they are helping the person they abuse. Some don’t know how to have a healthy relationship and believe thanks to many romcoms, romance books and porn, that they way they  are behaving is healthy. Others may know that their behavior is wrong, but not know what is right or where to go to get help. Some may be dealing with mental or physical illness, lashing out from pain or inability to do anything else. And some are, in fact, the angry selfish prick of our popular narrative. Perhaps the most dangerous lie is that all abusers are men.

If we are ever going to deal with abuse in the scene, we need to change how we think about abusers. We need to stop thinking of monsters, and start thinking of people. We must be willing to look past a charismatic personality, to not dismiss the possibility that someone we like might be an abuser. And most importantly we need to be willing to look at ourselves.

The scene generally promotes an awareness of our behavior and its consequences in the dungeon. We encourage each other to know the risks of our chosen activities, to keep communication going within a scene in case problems develop, to honestly assess our mental state and ability to play safely, and to regularly check ourselves for the possibility that we may make a mistake. We need to start taking that same self-awareness to other parts of our interactions and relationships. To build healthy communication outside of scenes so we can recognize and deal with problems as they develop. To actively seek out and learn healthy relationship techniques, the way we learn new bondage techniques. To stop and assess our words, actions, and ask ourselves “Is this the way to build a healthy relationship?”

We need to understand that each of us can be an abuser, because only then will it be possible for the people who abusers to say, “I’m fucking up, I’m hurting people, I love, and I need help learning to stop.” For as long as saying, “I am an abuser,” is the same as saying, “I am a monster,” we will never be able to build the structures to effectively address abuse within the scene. (And for the rare abuser who is the selfish, angry, control freak of popular culture? We can’t help them, we can’t change them, we can only remove them to protect ourselves and others.)

Before I wrap up, I want to make one important distinction. Abusers are not rapists. Studies have shown that contrary to our popular view of the drunk college boy who got carried away, the majority of rapes are committed by serial rapists who deliberately plan out their attacks–yes, that includes so-called “date rape.” Rape and abuse may overlap, but they are not two sides of the same coin.

Repost: How NOT to introduce your partner to femdom

The reposting continues! This rant about how Elise Sutton is a) wrong about everything, and b) almost certainly a submissive man running a scam, was originally published in early 2013, and the comments on the original post are worth reading if only for this gem posted by perversecowgirl:

Let me just be perfectly clear here: in an Elise Sutton-y situation where I’m a “goddess” and my partner is inferior to me, I’m not going to prance around in a fucking leather thong and stiletto boots. Outfits like that are uncomfortable and restrict my movement; I have no reason to want to wear them. Certainly not to titillate my partner; why would I have any desire to please some inferior male that way? Might as well dress up pretty for the family dog.

That’s just such a great skewering of the idea that women are somehow both superior to men and exist to turn them on.

I also have a followup post, How to introduce  your partner to femdom, for people who would like something a little more helpful than a long list of don’ts.

Or, how many things can Elise Sutton get wrong in a single article? There’s a lot of bad advice out there for submissive men, but I think Elise Sutton’s is especially bad.

In the very first paragraph of her article How To Introduce Your Wife or Girlfriend To The Female Domination Lifestyle she says:

All women are superior to men and all women are a potential Dominatrix.

The idea that any gender is magically superior is so stupid it’s just boring, so let’s move on to the other horribly offensive part of this sentence. The idea that all women are potential dominatrixes is bad and wrong on so many levels. First of all, it’s hugely insulting to submissive women, switches, kinksters who aren’t interested in power exchange, and vanilla women to act like their preferences and identities don’t count. I think that submissive men are the hottest thing since humans discovered fire, but that doesn’t mean I can’t respect other people’s desires for dominant/switchy/kinky but not into power exchange/vanilla men.

Not only is saying that all women can be dominant insulting, it’s just wrong. Not all women can be or have any interest in being dominant. Given that, it’s just cruel to give the submissive men that article is aimed at false hope. Even if the wife or girlfriend they hope to introduce to femdom actually turns out to be interested in it, there’s no guarantee that her interests will be compatible with his. What if she ends up really enjoying giving orders, but what makes him feel like a good submissive is knowing what she needs before she has to give an order? What if she gets into verbal humiliation and cuckolding, but all he wants is some bondage and a spanking now and then?

This is a little bit of an aside, but for fuck’s sake people, not everyone has to be kinky. Enjoying missionary position sex with the lights out doesn’t mean you’re unadventurous or unevolved or boring or whatever. It just means you enjoy missionary position sex with the lights out.

Therefore, if you are a submissive male who is married or in a serious relationship with a woman, you need to search no further for your Dominatrix. She is right in front of you. The challenge for you is to draw out her dominant nature with your submissive nature. This is not always easy, as most women have been programmed from the time they were born that they are to be in subjection to men.

The first part is just.. ugh, but the last part isn’t completely awful. It does take some time for women in particular to get used to the idea that being dominant doesn’t make them unlovable harridans.

However, if you seduce her dominant nature and draw it out of her, once it starts to come to the forefront then you can introduce her to some D&S and B&D activities. So how do you seduce your wife’s dominant nature with your submissive nature?

You begin by treating her like a Queen. You begin by serving her as if she was already the dominant woman of your dreams. Be humble and submissive around her. Don’t argue with her, don’t yell at her, and don’t give her any back talk. Your purpose in your relationship is to serve her. What she says goes, so be quick to agree with her.

Not every woman has a dominant nature! But moving on, don’t you think it would freak a woman out of her husband suddenly started acting ‘humble and submissive’ around her? Also, who’s to say your version of ‘humble and submissive’ has anything to do with what the woman who’s being submitted at actually wants? ‘Submissive’ is not the word I’d use for someone who does what makes him happy without asking me if that’s what I want. ‘Self-absorbed’ is what I’d call that. Agreeing with everything I say isn’t actually helpful either. If I come up with a plan, I really want to know if it’s a terrible plan. Just being submissive doesn’t mean a person’s input isn’t valuable.

Another thing that you can do to seduce your wife’s dominant nature is you can offer to give her foot and body massages.

Not everyone likes massages! Not everyone likes having their feet touched! It’s almost like there’s no dominant female hivemind.

Go and kneel next to her, take off her shoes, and rub her tired feet. As she relaxes in pleasure, work your massage up her legs and massage and lightly scratch her legs.

That’s awfully specific. Also, scratch my legs and I’ll slap you. I have extremely dry skin, and scratching it actually makes the itching worse. While we’re at it, a shoulder or neck massage would do me a lot more good than a foot massage since I spend my work day sitting down in front of a computer.

Eventually, you might take more liberty as you rub her feet. You might start to kiss and lick her feet. I wouldn’t do this the first time, but if she responds positively to the massages, then keep adding to them. You might work your kissing and licking from her feet, up her legs, and then to her crotch.

Not everyone likes having their feet kissed or licked! For that matter, not everyone likes having a massage suddenly turn into sexytimes. And that’s assuming the woman even likes oral sex, which not everyone does!

Kiss her body all over and make love to her with your mouth and tongue. Do not ever penetrate her with your penis, unless she requests it.

What if she doesn’t request it? Given the lack of communication this article assumes, I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to wonder what happens if this woman never feels comfortable requesting a particular sex act. Thanks to all of our culture’s myths about men and sex, she might even assume her partner doesn’t want to penetrate her and feel hurt and rejected.

Eventually, you might want to buy a vibrator or a dildo and you can please her with it.

Not everyone likes vibrators! Some women, like me, really really like bio cocks.

The goal is to get both you and her in the habit of viewing sex as being for the woman’s pleasure. It will be for the man’s pleasure only if the woman says so.

That’s a perfectly good goal if both partners get a chance to consent to it, but it’s kind of weird to just spring it on someone. She might be really turned on by her partner’s reactions, in which case sex that’s all about the man doing things to her could be boring and unsatisfying.

Whenever she give you permission to enter her or whenever she is giving you pleasure, always ask her permission before you climax. She will again probably be amazed that you are even asking, but eventually she will come to really like the idea that she controls your orgasms.

You’re not the boss of me, Elise! *stamps foot and pouts* I will not like orgasm control just because you say I should! Orgasm control also doesn’t work without fucking talking about it like grown ups. How is this woman supposed to know it’s okay to say no? How is she supposed to know how to handle it if her husband/boyfriend/partner gets frustrated? How is she supposed to know how much denial he can take before he needs an orgasm? I guess she’s just supposed to be psychic. Funny, I thought psychic-powers levels of anticipatory service were a submissive thing, not a dominant thing.

Still another way to seduce your wife’s dominant nature is to buy her little gifts, bring her flowers, and write poetry for her. Take her out to dinner or shopping. Perhaps you could even cook dinner for her and serve her dinner like a waiter. Another thing you can do is to prepare her a bubble bath, undress her, bathe her, then take her to the bedroom and orally service her.

Not everyone likes gifts, flowers, or poetry written for them! And again with the oral service. It’s almost like this whole article has more to do with what turns submissive men on than what might actually make their partners happy.

You could buy her a leather skirt or a pair of leather pants and compliment her on how sexy she looks in leather and how submissive seeing her in leather makes you feel.

Really? Dressing her up like a dolly is supposed to make her feel dominant? Also, I missed the part where the man explains what submission is, how he feels, and why she would want him to feel extra submissive.

Whenever she asks you why you are treating her so good or acting so submissive around her, tell her it’s because you love her and because you have come to realize that women are superior beings, and as such they should be treated like Queens.

Yeah, being told that my partner has suddenly decided women are superior beings wouldn’t make me want to head for the hills. That’s not creepy at all.

When do you bring up D&S and B&D? When she starts to respond positively to your submission and she starts to ask you more about Female Domination.

Not ‘if’ she starts to respond positively to your submission, but ‘when’, huh? It’s awfully convenient how absolutely all women can be molded to fit their male partners’ fetishes.

From this point on, slowly introduce her to D&S and B&D. Buy her some fetish clothes, and maybe a leather paddle or a whip.

Not everyone likes fetish wear! Not everyone likes impact toys! Not everyone who likes impact toys like whips or paddles in particular. Learning to use a whip takes some work, deciding for her that she’s going to take up a time-consuming hobby is kind of a dick move.

 Not every woman will react the same and not every woman will grow at the same pace. However, I believe that if you are persistent and consistent than your wife will eventually overcome her inhibitions and she will allow her dominant nature to freely flow out of her.

Oh for fuck’s sake. Damn straight not every woman will react the same way. Some of us aren’t dominant! What you call persistence that could convince a woman it’s safe to try to overcome her inhibitions, I call relentless nagging that a woman eventually gives in to so she can have five minutes of peace.

Then she will totally seize the reigns of your relationship and she will fulfill her potential as the dominant woman that she was meant to be. Good Luck.

Take your ideas about what women are meant to be and fuck off. Female domination is more than just another way for women to fail to measure up.

Repost: Bottoming as a Step on the Way to Topping

Here’s another blast from the past, this time from July 2012. Sadly, the link to Lily LLoyd’s blog is broken, but I like the think the post basically makes sense without it.



LilyLloyd wrote this amazing post about how “The whole born dominant bullshit is… well, bullshit”. It’s fantastic and you should read it right now. And it gets better! A Feminist Sub left this brilliant comment:

Really interesting post! I do have to say that I have a problem with the old Leather idea of bottoming as a step on the way to topping, because I think it conveys an idea that topping/domming is more valuable than bottoming/submitting. Like subs are simply people who couldn’t cut it as doms.

I don’t *think* that was the intended message with that tradition, but I do think that it’s contributed to domism in contemporary BDSM culture – I think the “standards” for calling oneself a dom are much higher than for calling oneself a sub. To be a sub, you just need submissive desires – to be a dom, you need credentials. Hence all the ranting about how there are no “real doms.” And I think that’s another reason that it seems like there are so many more doms than subs.

That blew my mind. It makes so much sense, but somehow I just never saw it before. Of course we don’t see submission as valuable in its own right if we treat it like it’s just a stage you go through before you reach the real goal of becoming dominant.

Why don’t we ever suggest that submissive/bottom type people try topping? We tell tops all the time that you should bottom before you top. It’s certainly true that there are lots of things you can learn by bottoming, but there are also plenty of things you can learn from topping. I can tell someone I really do want to hear about what my bottom wants until I’m blue in the face, but if they try topping it might click for them that’s it really is helpful to get some feedback.

Then again, it would totally destroy the dominant mystique if any lowly submissive could pick up a flogger and try it out for themselves. Anyone can bottom after all, it’s only the chosen few who can top. And if you actually believe that, there’s a Nigerian Prince who would like to speak with you, you poor stupid fuck.

Assuming that just anyone can bottom but topping is special is pretty much the dictionary definition ofdomism. With how passionately I hate the idea that I’m somehow more worthy because I decided to call myself dominant, I’m amazed and kind of disturbed that I never saw it before. I should know better, but I just didn’t see until A Feminist Sub pointed it out. This is how ingrained domism is in BDSM culture, and this is why I rail so hard against it when I see it.

Jian Ghomeshi links

As a kink blogger with an interest in social justice, I kind of have to have something to say about Jian Ghomeshi. I’m very short on time lately, but fortunately other bloggers have already made most of the points I would if I had more time.

In case any of my readers don’t already know the background, here’s a good summary of the situation. The Toronto Star was the first to report that the CBC fired Jian not because he was kinky but because he had abused multiple women. The Star also has a timeline of how the situation has unfolded which shows how things have gone from bad to worse for Jian. As I write this post there are currently nine women accusing Jian of abuse, a number which I expect to become out of date shortly. Three women, another number I expect to change, are being interviewed by the Toronto police as part of their investigation into the allegations of physical and sexual assault.

So far two women have even come forward publicly. Actor and air force captain Lucy DeCoutere (who plays Lucy on Trailer Park Boys), and author and lawyer Reva Seth have both done interviews with the Star about their experiences with Jian.

Let me be entirely clear: if I personally knew those women, I would high five them until our hands were sore. Coming forward publicly is terrifying, but sadly necessary. As Lucy said in her interview, she wanted to tell her story, which she described as not that painful, in order to help other women with potentially much more painful stories to feel safe coming forward and “not have to deal with the brunt of any kind of media stuff.” That is fucking amazing of her to come forward to try to protect other women, knowing that Jian’s supporters will come after her and that her story will be torn apart in the news.

As for the “media stuff”, to quote the article about Reva:

She debated coming forward for fear of “judgment, online trolls, the questioning of all your other choices,” as well as possible assertions that her experience was not bad or happened too long ago.

Seth also believed if she came forward, that she would be “eviscerated” because she had willingly gone to Ghomeshi’s house, drank and smoked marijuana with him, and had a sexual past.

That’s the problem I really want to talk about. Jian is just a symptom, he’s not the root cause. The real problem is women getting torn apart because they weren’t the “perfect victim” (that is, a perfect, virginal white woman who was brutally attacked by a stranger in a place that should have been safe and who physically fought back and had never gotten drunk, done drugs, had casual sex or done anything “wrong” in her entire life, ever). The real problem is how many people knew Jian was trouble and didn’t know what to do about it besides warn people as best they could. The real problem is the many lies of rape culture that help keep women from coming forward. The real problem is the trouble we all have with understanding that liking someone personally or enjoying their work doesn’t mean they can’t also have done terrible things. The real problem is that when a man posts on Facebook saying he’s innocent, people’s first instinct is to believe him, but when women say they’ve been abused they’re liars unless they go to the police and they get a conviction, which I would like to remind everyone is extremely unlikely.

The one thing I do find heartening about this case is that despite Jian’s attempt to paint himself as a poor persecuted pervert, to quote Andrea Zanin, the media, at least in the articles I’ve read, has a shockingly good understanding of the difference between consensual BDSM and what Jian did. Here’s hoping his attempt to use the “I’m just kinky” defense leaves it forever tainted and unusable by the assholes who would try to pretend that hurting people is okay if you slap the label BDSM on it.

Note: comments are closed because I do not have it in me to deal with some shitstain crying about “innocent until proven guilty!11!!!”. I’m not a judge, I’m not a jury, I’m just a fucking blogger. I’m allowed to have an opinion. For the record, my opinion is that when nine women accuse someone of something, he fucking did it.