Posts filed under ‘childhood awakenings’

100 sexxay things about Omnivore

Inspired by Wendy Blackheart at Heart Full of Black, I give you 100 things about me, the sex list (with some love and truth and beauty thrown in for good measure).

  1. I took my own virginity.
  2. No, really. With a small, pink, very ladylike bottle of roll-on deodorant. I broke my hymen, and that hurt a bit, and then I pushed the bottle in farther and it felt good. And then I stopped. Because I was afraid.
  3. This was after an aborted attempt to “give” my virginity to a boy in the back seat of a car.
  4. While he was pulling down my pants, I asked him if he had a condom. “No,” he said, rising up to kiss me, “but you don’t want a piece of plastic in you the first time, do you?”
  5. He couldn’t penetrate my little 13-year-old cunt.
  6. There was no foreplay, which probably didn’t help.
  7. We broke up soon afterward.
  8. I was 14 years old and a freshman in high school the first time I had sexual intercourse.
  9. I was 19 years old before I had sex without a condom.
  10. Twice I went to the same anonymous HIV-testing clinic with a man so we could fuck without a condom.
  11. I think it’s kind of romantic to go get STD screenings together.
  12. I paid attention during sex ed. Back then, they actually told you about the various forms of birth control and how to use them.
  13. According to the current abstinence-only curricula taught in public schools across the country, I am a piece of scotch tape that has been stuck to so many arms that it can no longer “bond” properly.
  14. I’d rather be a slut than a whore.
  15. I reclaimed the word “dyke” early on.
  16. I didn’t reclaim the word “slut” until I was over 30.
  17. I didn’t reclaim the word “bitch” until this year.
  18. I fell in love with a little red-haired girl when I was in the first grade.
  19. I fell in love with a little brown-haired boy when I was in the second grade.
  20. I told my fourth-grade teacher that I loved my best friend so much that if I could I would marry her. Her response shamed me deep into the closet for a decade.
  21. When I was a toddler, I remember discovering the interesting folds of my vagina while sitting in the living room watching TV. “That’s a private place to touch,” said my mother. “You should only touch that when you’re in the bath or in bed alone at night.”
  22. I didn’t have a real orgasm until I was in college.
  23. The boy who gave it to me was a black boy with a moustache. We were never really dating.
  24. He did it by going down on me with enthusiasm, and by doing it longer than anyone had done it before.
  25. The first time I ejaculated was with a small, hard plastic vibrator. I was about 19 years old.
  26. I had to throw away that futon less than a year later because it started to smell really funky.
  27. My boyfriend said “Are you sure it’s not pee?” the first time I came on his face.
  28. Later, I asked my girlfriend what it tasted like and she replied, “your hot, salty cum.”
  29. The first woman I fell in love with was a summer exchange student from a local community college.
  30. She gave me a tiny hickey, and when my mother asked me who had given it to me, I told her.
  31. My mother’s initial response was “Ew”.
  32. Later, my mother told me she loved me no matter who I was or who I was with. She bought me combat boots and a toolbox.
  33. It took me ten more years to realize I didn’t have to be butch to be a dyke.
  34. I didn’t come to terms with my bisexuality until five years after I came out of the closet.
  35. I used to call myself a traitor to my own kind.
  36. I am very, very good at eating pussy.
  37. I am very, very good at sucking cock.
  38. I can deep throat, but only if I’m really into the guy.
  39. Finger-fucking gives me carpal tunnel syndrome.
  40. I like 69ing, but I’d rather be on top.
  41. My favorite way to come is on my back, with intense stimulation on my clit.
  42. After I turned 30, I started having vaginal orgasms regularly and repeatedly.
  43. When I come during PIV sex, my cunt has been known to clench so hard it pushes my lover’s cock right out.
  44. I have been known to ejaculate from PIV sex.
  45. I have been known to ejaculate from a spanking.
  46. I think cybersex is cheating.
  47. I don’t think I’m really polyamorous, but I like to pretend when I’m single.
  48. I once spent seven years in a lesbian marriage (the old-school, illegal kind) that suffered from serious Lesbian Bed Death.
  49. I have cheated on more than one partner.
  50. The part of cheating I hate the most (in myself and in others) is the dishonesty.
  51. I like to have sex at least three times a week.
  52. I can go for extended periods of time without any kind of sexual contact, without missing it.
  53. Twice after long-term relationships I’ve used Craigslist to find and fuck a good assortment of lonely, horny men.
  54. Once I got an email from the girlfriend of a man I’d slept with once. It turned out that he had lied to me about being single. I apologized to her and confirmed that he and I had slept together.
  55. I have never had sex with a transgendered person.
  56. I find butch women very attractive, I’ve had sex with many “gay” men, but men in drag do nothing for me.
  57. I see transgendered people as my siblings in gender rebellion.
  58. I’ve fucked women with my “psychic cock” and made them come.
  59. I’ve come while fucking women with my psychic cock.
  60. All of my genderfuck is behavioral. On the outside, I’m very clearly a girl.
  61. I’ve taken people to task for using the word “queer” as a pejorative.
  62. I love the word “queer” because it includes all sorts of sexual and gender minorities.
  63. I have had lovers of many different races and nationalities.
  64. I lost count of the number of lovers I’ve been with sometime in my early 20s.
  65. I used to feel deeply ashamed for having so many sex partners.
  66. I have been deeply in love somewhere between four and six times in my life.
  67. I have never consistently enjoyed anal sex as much as I have with Bran.
  68. I didn’t come to terms with my BDSM tendencies until January 2008.
  69. The first time I heard about fisting was when Susie Bright came to speak at my college in the early 90s.
  70. Less than a month later, my tall, rangy boyfriend with the really large hands managed to fit all five fingers inside me.
  71. Cunnilingus is my favorite thing in the whole world.
  72. Sexual intercourse is my favorite thing in the whole world.
  73. Rubbing my face in a woman’s wet, juicy pussy is my favorite thing in the whole world.
  74. Group sex is my favorite thing in the whole world.
  75. The first time I made out with more than one boy was when I was 15 years old.
  76. My first threesome was with two men, as a freshman in college.
  77. FFM is my favorite threesome combination.
  78. Bran and I have fantasized about bringing a submissive woman to bed with us.
  79. I fall in love very easily.
  80. I’ve often confused lust for love.
  81. I’ve had sex in the back of a car on Highway One in Northern California, on the beach outside of Santa Cruz, in a hotel room with lots of other people having sex around me, on the kitchen floor, on a golf course, while driving, and probably lots of other places I can’t remember.
  82. I find double-penetration (one in the cock, one in the pussy) fascinating.
  83. I have never been fucked in the ass and the pussy at the same time by two actual men with actual penii.
  84. I have experienced double penetration twice with a man and a handy dildo, and each time it was AWESOME.
  85. Once, when I was walking by some neighbors, I heard them repeating something I’d shouted rather loudly the night before.
  86. The thing I’d shouted was, “Oh, baby, fuck me in the ASS!”
  87. The windows had been open.
  88. I was embarassed.
  89. I’ve let a butch woman get away with emotional and physical abuse I would never have tolerated from a man.
  90. I attended a support group at a local women’s shelter to get the moral support I needed to get out of that relationship.
  91. I thought I was different than all the other women in the room because I was gay and they were straight, but our stories ended up being exactly the same.
  92. On two separate occasions I have violently pushed my female lovers away from me.
  93. I used to think that men were made of iron, that I could say all sorts of mean things to them and they wouldn’t feel it.
  94. The only time I’ve ever hit a man was during a scene.
  95. I love to wrestle and win.
  96. I love to wrestle and lose.
  97. I love to dominate my lovers.
  98. With Ace, I discovered exactly how sexy it is to hurt someone.
  99. It’s only sexy if they’re into it too.
  100. I like to say I love power exchange more than sadomasochism, but sometimes I wonder if that’s true.

September 16, 2008 at 9:10 pm 9 comments

Auntie Omnivore

I’m visiting family in California this week. My niece, whose name is definitely not Tracey, is a complete bundle of love and sweetness. She is also very strong-willed and, just possibly, a little spoiled.

My sister and I had a pretty tough time growing up. Our father’s head exploded right around the time I was four years old and he traded in my mother for a younger model. Mom moved us out to the East Coast, I guess because the weather in Northern California was just too gorgeous. The sum total of Dad’s child support was a single check. That bounced. So we grew up wearing hand-me-downs and playing with toys other children had thrown away. I used to long for new Barbies and a canopy bed. But overall, I was pretty happy, in spite of the fact that I didn’t have the Osh Kosh overalls and the newest, shiniest toys.

My sister moved back out here for college, pursued a high-powered career as a corporate lawyer, and married a software mogul. And she’s giving my niece everything we didn’t have growing up. has every possible advantage you can give a small child. Piano lessons. Ballet lessons. Swimming lessons. Private school. Dollhouses. Dolls. Princess dresses. Fairy wings. Enough toys to entertain a small army of children.

I really love spending time with my niece. I’d never really understood what all the fuss was about with babies, but when I first held Tracey in my arms, I really could see the family resemblance. And right from the beginning, I felt the bond between us. I turned to my sister and said, “I want one.”

“Are you sure?” she replied. And her eyes were the eyes of a new parent, sleep-deprived and worn.

I wonder sometimes if I really would love having a child day-in and day-out. Auntie Omnivore is cool and fun to play with. But Mommy Omnivore might be a little crankier.

Of course, Tracey managed to find the one thing in my suitcase that I’d rather she didn’t. I’d packed my most discreet vibrator, the Water Dancer with the little bunny attachment that flicks back and forth across my clit and makes me scream. “What’s this?” she said.

“Oh, that’s for massaging my temples,” I said, taking it from her.

“Can you show me?” she asked. I pulled off the bunny and turned it on for her. She held the little buzzing thing against her hand, and I slipped the bunny-top, which would be much harder to explain, into a pocket of my suitcase.

“See, that’s for my sore muscles,” I said. “Sometimes my jaw gets really tight, and that feels good.” I held it against my temple to show her.

“Can I play with the bunny?” she asked.

“No, it went back East,” I said.

Auntie Omnivore really hasn’t felt much of a use for her vibrator since she came to say with her niece Tracey.

August 20, 2008 at 7:02 pm 2 comments

Found femdom from the diva of pop

Madonna’s new album and the accompanying buzz in the blogosphere has had me reflecting on my own relationship with the diva of pop. The righteous babes at Feministing do an excellent job of summing up my own complicated relationship with this role model from my girlhood. And yes, she was a role model. But I was so clueless about so many things when her first album came out! I was about nine years old, and at the time it was still a toss-up who was going to be a bigger star: Madonna or Cindi Lauper. In many ways, I respect Cindi Lauper’s career more than Madonna’s even though it wasn’t as prolific. I think that Lauper remained more true to who she was; choosing an authentic voice over what will sell in the current zeitgeist requires a tremendous amount of integrity.

But I do admire Madonna as a woman who has always been unafraid to go for exactly what she wants. Her overt sexuality paved the way for other women to come out of the “slut” closet and proudly own the fact that we, too, enjoy sex. But her message is confusing at times.

I remember when “Express Yourself” came out on MTV (yes, once upon a time, Music Television actually showed music videos). I was a sullen drama chick at the time, disdainful of anything remotely mainstream. But twenty years later, the narrative of this piece really stands up on its own. The visuals express in a clear and yet question-raising way the power play inherent in sexual politics. Money, class, gender, and sexuality all bring with them their own kinds of power. It’s important to understand the power of each so that you can decide whether you want to own them, reject them, deny them, or appropriate them for your own purposes.

This was also the first time I saw the sinous muscles of Madonna’s back. Phew. A few years later, I’d realize I was more interested in the singer herself than the hunky guy down in the boiler room sweating away (although I know Bitchy likes that). Twenty years later, I’d realize I was also really, really interested in the woman at the top of the stairs dressed in the traditional trappings of male power.

PS: A tip of the hat to Axe’s awesome collection of found femdom. I could never compete.

May 8, 2008 at 4:41 pm 2 comments

First orgy, worst orgy

It was right around this time of year, actually, perhaps a bit later. I was a junior in high school. We’d just finished our exams, so it was either mid-term or the end of the year. We all jumped into Rich’s car and headed north to April’s house. April, whose mother up in Maine had despaired of ever taming her wild daughter, finally threw up her hands and sent her to live down in Fairfield County with her dad. She lived in a little shack behind the main house. It had no indoor plumbing and relied on a wood stove for heat, but it did have something far more valuable to a wild 17-year-old: privacy.

The year was 1990, and Rich popped in a tape of all five radio remixes of Madonna’s Vogue. There were six of us: Rich, April, me, young Susan (a mere freshman), Hester, and April’s beau Thom. Aside from chiseled good looks, Thom had few redeeming qualities. But I don’t think she liked him for his conversation.

“I’ve got that feeling,” I said aloud as we sped north.

“Like you’re going to be bad?” said Susan. And I nodded. We were thrilled, glad to be alive, free of schoolwork, free of parents and obligations, free to be bad.

Once at April’s place, we clambered up the steps (more ladder than staircase) to the little loft above the main room. Someone produced a case of beer — the cheapest kind imaginable. There was some shotgunning of beers. And then people were passing a joint, tiny, mostly paper, and almost gone before I’d become aware of it. That was most likely the first time I saw anyone actually smoking pot.

And then someone–Thom or Rich, I’m sure–came up with the bright idea of tying up all the girls. We were all in the drama club except for Thom, whom I’d never even seen at school, and Rich was the flymaster. This meant he was adept at tying knots. He demonstrated this skill fairly well, and pretty soon we were all prettily trussed and bound on April’s rat’s nest of a bed.

When Rich first appeared on the scene at the beginning of the year, I’d developed a crush on him. Along with every other single female member of the drama club. Since then, I’d come to realize he was just a conceited ass. And yet there I was, hands bound above my head, undulating as he teased me with his hands.

“I’ve got to have more beer in me to do this,” I said. And shotgunned another beer. That turned out to be a big mistake, because pretty soon the bed and the room were spinning. “I’m going to throw up,” I said. And without further ado, I did. Right next to the bed.

Folks obviously weren’t too pleased, but I was too far gone to do much about it. I clambered downstairs without falling on my head and stumbled through the bright spring sunlight into the main house. I took a shower in her parents’ bathroom, then headed back out to the porch. Hester had quietly excused herself when the rope came out, and the two of us sat there talking and smoking cigarettes. Across the lawn, we heard the noises of our disporting friends through the open window of April’s shack.

April called to me through the open window. “I think I just had an orgasm!” she said.

Strange that she would call it out to me, with two boys and a girl right there in the bed beside her. But she did.

Later, she gave me a full-on kiss, lips, tongue, passion, and all. Hester told me she was surprised, since April had made some comments earlier in the year that expressed a clear dislike for lesbians. In vino veritas.

I made my way back up to our coltish little orgy, intending to clean up the mess I’d left. But my friends had beaten me to it. And then Rich was guiding my hand into Susan’s pants. I pulled down her fly and slid my hands into her panties, felt her wetness, probed further, intrigued and amazed at myself at the same time. “Too hard,” she said, and I pulled my hand out, too awkward and afraid (afraid of what? everything.) to try again. Susan was soft and chocolate-colored, with a fine nimbus of black hair framing her round face and green eyes. I loved her body, had always thought she was gorgeous. But she was also like my little sister. I lay with my chin on her chest and talked. Next to us, April and Thom writhed against each other.

Much later, Hester drove Susan and me back to our crappy little downtown apartments. I watch the green, green lawns slide by. The sky was grey and overcast, like my head in the aftermath of all that beer and transgressive sex.

March 27, 2008 at 5:39 pm 3 comments

God: I do not think it means what you think it means

This is the third of a three-part essay about semantics and a quote from The Princess Bride. Read the first part here and the second part here.

So. God. Right. I’ve been having trouble writing this section because I’ve been talking and writing about God for a long, long time. In my parallel existence, I’ve actually been encouraging others to talk and think about God/Goddess/The Universe/The Divine/A Higher Power for quite some time. There are so many angles I could take to discuss this issue. I could talk about my own life and my own arrival at the God of my understanding. I could talk about history. I could talk about organized religion and the ways it works and doesn’t work.

But I think I’ll just give you the short version. In bullet points, even, because people like bullet points. I’ll number them so that it sounds like a logical progression. But you should be forewarned, in case you don’t already know, that God is not a logical thing. Thinking about God, arriving at a concept of God, even deciding to believe in God, is not a logical thing. It is a need that some of us have. Or, apparently, don’t have.

  1. In the United States, most people, whether or not they consider themselves Christian, associate the word “God” with the Lord, the Father, the One True God. This notion of a One True God began with Hebrews’ Elohim, or Yaweh (or, more politely, YWVH). A good number of Christians seem to use the words “God” and “Jesus” interchangeably, but according to most Christian theology (and there are many, many versions of Christian theology, just as there are many, many flavors of Buddhism and Islam and paganism and other religious traditions), Jesus is the son of God, not God himself. Mary is not divine. Special, but not divine. A sort of elevated house slave with some pull with the Massa’. Let’s refer to this God, this semantic meaning of the word, as “God the Father.”
  2. God the Father really loved his “thou shalt nots.” In the older books of the Bible, he used to open up a lot of cans of whoop-ass on people who shalted when they should have shalt-not’ed. Jesus was a bit more kind. He said things like “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Of course, he also busted shit up from time to time. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all stem from this original Abrahamic religion. Admittedly, I don’t know as much about Islam as I do about Judaism or Christianity, and I know a hell of a lot more about Christianity than about Islam. But the fundamental message I find in these three faiths is that the body is bad, the pleasures of the flesh are bad, and they need to be controlled. If you don’t control them–sometimes in ways that look really unnatural to me–God hates you. I know a great many people who grew up thinking that God hated them. Because they were homosexual or bisexual or just slutty or addicts or had parents who hit them or maybe just had a different concept of God than the one in the holy books. I was one of those people, for all the reasons listed above. But I also had some wonderful religious experiences in the Franciscan-flavored Catholicism of my childhood.
  3. I tried going without God altogether. Some folks do it very successfully and it seems to work for them. Most of them believe in personal responsibility and ethics and proving their worth and dignity and stuff to their fellow human beings. That didn’t work for me.
  4. When I was 14 years old, Mom dragged me to Alateen, which had this friggin’ awesome concept that has stayed with me ever since: God as we understood him. Alcoholics Anonymous and the related 12-step programs was influenced to a great extent by the Oxford Movement, which promulgated the necessity of a direct connection to and relationship with God. The Oxford people were Christians, so they assumed that you’d be hanging out with God the Father and maybe Jesus a little bit. But cutting out the middleman of the priests and the saints and whatnot. But one of the original members of Alcoholics Anonymous was a staunch agnostic. He was responsible for insisting that Bill Wilson include those four little words in the 12 steps, which are pretty much the core of the AA recovery program. A lot of the literature has this annoying tendency to assume that God is male, and depending on which meetings you attend, some people have an annoying tendency to assume that everyone understands God as the Christian god. I was pretty fed up with the Christian God by the time I went to Alateen. So after learning this mind-blowing concept, one of my first visions of God was of a great sheet of graph paper (this was way before everyone knew what a pixel was). And that each of us, every thing in the world, people and rocks and trees and cats and dogs and giraffes and cars and books and ideas and orgasms, was one of those little moving squares on the sheet of graph paper. And that God was the totality of that graph paper, but since were right there in the middle of the moving squares, we couldn’t really grasp that totality. Just parts of it.
  5. There is a difference between spirituality and religion. I see spirituality as a direct experience of the Divine, of the thing or things that exist beyond the experience of the five senses. I see religion as a group of people with similar experiences of the Divine, and with beliefs about ethics and behavior and responsibility that extend from their experience of the Divine, coming together to celebrate and study and worship and form a cohesive community of faith. One of the etymological interpretations of the word religion comes from religare, “to bind fast.” A religious community is bound together by common belief. I was born into a religion that told me from infancy what my beliefs were. By the time I got to confirmation classes and realized what they expected me to believe (we’re all inherently sinful, women can’t do the same things as men, sex is bad except for procreation), I was pretty fucking pissed. Eventually, I found a religion system that worked better for me. I did a lot of soul-searching and research to find it.
  6. Now, I see the word God as a variable. Maybe instead of God, we should all just call it X. I think everyone should be forced to remember the basic principles of variables and values, and how the two differ. I mean, most of us who attended at least one year of high school (and that’s most of the folks in the U.S.) learned this concept in Algebra I. A variable is like a pot. The value of the variable is what you put into the pot. You can take things out of the pot and put things into the pot. The variable’s value does not change the variable itself. The two are separate. Of course, not all of us were paying attention or remember what we learned umpteen years ago. But it’s an important concept, expressed beautifully by Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride: “you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” In another context, he and Vizzini might have been standing at a blackboard, and he might have been saying to Vizzini, “I don’t think you solved for X correctly.” This is where the mathematical analogy fails, however, because unlike in math (at least the sort of math they teach in Algebra I), where there is always a right and a wrong answer, ALL the values for the variable God are correct.
  7. A few more illustrations of this concept: one is from the Vedas: The Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant. (Hint to n00bs: click on things that are underlined). Another is of my own invention, or at least if I got it from somewhere else, I no longer remember:

    God is a diamond, too large for us to see in its totality. Each of us sees one facet of the diamond, but not the diamond as a whole.

    Or, the tapestry, like the moving graph paper mentioned above, but with echoes of the Greek fates.

    Or, God is the top of a mountain, with many paths up the mountain. Silly humans, fighting over which path is the right one to take. They all get there eventually.

  8. The facet of God I usually like to talk to these days is the Great Mother, the Goddess. Sometimes it’s the Universe. But I like a nurturing Goddess image. I love all the names people have made for her over the years: Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Inanna, Kali, Athena, Ameratsu. Sometimes I talk to the All-Father, too, but he’s a more generous sort of fellow than that jealous old God of the Hebrews. I like the Dagda a great deal. Sometimes I like goaty Pan, or the wild Cernunnos or Herne. I am a daughter of Yemaya, the Yoruban goddess of the ocean. The God/dess I worship in all its various forms gave us physical pleasure as a gift. As Doreen Valiante wrote half a century ago, “All acts of love and pleasure are her rituals.”

March 9, 2008 at 4:19 pm 3 comments

Sum total of my kink experiences to date, or why you should never hire me as a prodom

Age 3: I am the Queen of the Boys in preschool. We play Star Wars. I am Princess Leia, of course. They lock me in the tricycle shed and then duel with their lightsabers. Luke Skywalker defeats Darth Vader, but forgets that I’m still locked in the tricycle shed. I get myself out.

Age 7: I smother Jeffie, my second-grade boyfriend, with kisses. He never stops me.

Age 14: People ask me if I have a nickname. I tell them they should call me Dominique, because I like the name. Someone jokes that I should be Mistress Dominique, mimes the sound of a whip cracking. I laugh along with the rest of them.

Age 15: I’m at an arts camp. I’m making out with my boyfriend in his dorm room and he tells me that he likes… I think the word he uses is “dominance.” I’m freaked out almost immediately. It’s not whips and chains or anything, he tells me. I just like to be told what to do in bed. I run away as soon as possible. We never talk about it. Years later, I realize he knew me better than I knew myself.

Age 19: I’m in my sophomore year at a college that is very sexually open. My boyfriend and I experiment with bondage, with anal sex. I don’t enjoy either very much. We split up in April.

That summer, I realize I like girls and get my heart broken. A few months later, I meet an older man who seduces me with cooking and a foot rub. He is a wonderful lover, considerate, sweet, experienced, communicative. He loves to go down on me. Once in passing, he mentions that he and someone else used to tie their friend to the radiator in San Francisco. I’m intrigued but don’t ask further. He spanks me a bit, and I like it. When I like something, I tend to be vocal about it. Once his roommates tease me because they could hear the sound through the vents. I’m embarrassed.

Age 21: April and I are the Big Dykes on Campus. At the annual “gay” dance, a BDSM student group from a neighboring college creates a dungeon in a side room. They cover three walls with black plastic sheets and set up a sort of whipping post with ropes that dangle from the wall. They don’t actually tie people into the ropes — people just hold them while they stand belly up to the wall. They have informational packets about safety and ways to save money on floggers, whips, etc. I’m wearing a long, form-fitting dress that zips up the back. The group members very gently guide me to the ropes, unzip my dress, expose my shoulders and back. A lovely woman in a leather miniskirt whips me with a crop. She checks with me over and over again, rubbing in the marks with her hands. Before she uses the flogger, she warns me against the dangers of wrapping, especially to the sides of a woman’s breasts. People are watching. Afterward, I’m not prepared for the rush, but the group members are. I step away from the wall, feel dizzy, they guide me gently to a chair, offer me water. A beautiful woman with coffee-colored skin comes up to me as I sit there in the post-whipping rush. “Did that feel good?” she asks me. “You have no idea,” I answer.

I do some reading. A few months later, I start telling a friend of mine to shut up, over and over again, while we’re hanging out with other people. He calls me later and tells me that he got turned on when I did that. “I know,” I say. I don’t know how I know, but I know. I tell him I’d always been curious about being a dominatrix. Dominatrixing, in my mind, is something you get paid for. He’s also particularly unattractive, and I am living with April–we have a quasi-open relationship, one that’s never really negotiated or processed. He runs a soup kitchen, so we work out an arrangement.

Every week or so, he brings us a bag of groceries, washes our dishes (we are complete slobs and let them pile up to the ceiling), and cooks us dinner. Afterward, I put on my best business suit and sexiest shoes, make him strip to his underwear, kneel him on the living room floor, and beat him with the various implements he brings me. I especially like the riding crop. I spank him, call him names, pull his hair, put my feet up on him, read him dirty stories. Once, I make him lick my shoes. He does it so eagerly, and the feel of his tongue on the suede, so close to my feet, arouses me. I can’t deal with the idea that this ugly little man might make me feel anything but contempt and a rush of power. I never let him lick my shoes again.

During these sessions I first experience top drop — the complete exhaustion that can happen when I direct all of my energies into a beating. I don’t know what to do with this either. Topping is a lonely, exhausting business. April is jealous.

Once during lovemaking, April says “you’re treating me like a common whore!” I apologize immediately. “No,” she says. “You’re treating me like a common whore!” I slap her face, too hard, and she recoils. I apologize immediately, cringing at my ineptitude. I kiss her, make love to her, then loop my belt around her neck and make her walk on her hands and knees around the kitchen.

Eventually, April leaves me for a man even less attractive than my sub. My sub is the one who helps me pack up the U-Haul. I move to another state, and he visits me there. He buys me an electric wok as a housewarming gift. I tell him it’s a terrible gift, and I can tell that this hurts his feelings. I never give him a proper goodbye. I look back on the scene with April with regret.

Age 24: I have a brief, violent affair with Pura. At one point while she’s fucking me with a strap-on, I ask her to treat me like a bitch. She slaps me across the face so hard it jars me. Another time, she’s fucking me with her hands and I tell her it’s hurting me. “Take it for me,” she says. And I do. Pura has been to jail twice for assault; I call the police once when she punches me in the nose.

Age 28: I spend some time at a place in Arizona that specializes in childhood trauma recovery. They draw up a treatment plan for me. In it, they say I have a sexual disorder, NOS (Not Otherwise Specified), because I have “experimented with sado-masochism.” I protest, but not enough to have it removed from the chart.

Age 29: Badger uses a collection of silk neckties his mother sent him to tie me to the posts of his cheap, aluminum bed. I almost always escape, usually while he’s fucking me, because I want to touch him. Once, he takes my face in his hands and kisses my eyes, my cheeks, everywhere except my mouth until I am begging, begging him to kiss me on the mouth. He refuses. It is one of the hottest experiences I’ve ever had.

Age 31: Kristen and I (just friends) go for a walk in the woods. She won’t stop bleating about all the disastrous dates she’s been on in the past few months. I wish she would shut up so I can hear the sound of a stream, so I can hear the quiet of the woods. In a high, scrubby place, I look at her and say, “This is a magical spot. We have to tell each other a secret here.” She tells me that she put herself through school as a professional dominatrix. That I can’t ever tell anyone else about it. I’m incredibly curious. I tell her about my dishwashing sub.

I’m self-employed at the time, struggling financially, and learning about Kristen’s former avocation makes me consider seriously going pro. I have no idea what I’m doing. I post to Craigslist with a sort of Victorian theme. I meet two potential clients at restaurants but never go through with it. I realize something important: I never want to do sex work. I enjoy sex too much; getting paid for it would be like getting a job at my favorite restaurant. Plus, I don’t like the idea of being financially dependent on anyone, especially not the kind of man that visits prostitutes.

Six months later, Kristen and I become lovers. I can tell that she’s reluctant to experiment with kink–working as a dominatrix has ruined it for her. I’m so very relieved when she agrees to do some bondage. She says I’m what she’s always been looking for: a femme top. And I realize that’s what I am. I like to be the one doing. It’s hard sometimes for me to allow someone to touch me. The power, the control, I can’t always give it up. It was like this with April sometimes, too. I can make love to her, revel in the sounds and the smells and the taste of her orgasm, but I can’t always submit to her caresses. I can’t–it’s too much for me. I need to be in control. I can’t always let myself go. She complains about this, about the gradual reduction in our sex life. She complains about a lot of things. I realize she’s not happy unless she’s complaining.

Age 33: Kristen and I split up in January. I resolve to stay celibate for a year, but then springtime comes. I post an ad (vanilla, W4M) to the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist and am immediately overwhelmed by responses. I go on a lot of first dates and am rudely re-introduced to the horrors of dating men (especially the kind of man who trolls the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist). Dating is a rough sport, but I’m a tough girl. My friends and I laugh about the man who texted me to tell me that he wanted to fuck me in the ass.

Eventually, I meet a nice man who tells me, upon examination of my photograph, that any man should be happy to spank me. I meet him at a coffee shop, take him home. When he kisses me, he sounds like a man enjoying a very good meal. In the aftermath, I ask him to tell me a story, and he tells me about performing with Women of Sodom as their slave. I’m thrilled.

The next time he comes over, I tie him to the bed with scarves, break out the riding crop that has been sitting in the back of my closet since R and Z mailed it to me from DC. I flick his erect penis with my fingernail and he gasps. I put him in a ball gag. I use my nails and my teeth on him. At one point, I say to him in wonder, “you like it when I hurt you.” It’s as though I’ve discovered something that’s been missing my whole life, something I didn’t even know I should be looking for. I fuck him in the ass with my hands, just as I used to with Kristen. Once, he makes me come by rubbing his chin against my shoulder. He’s less than dependable, prone to disappearing for weeks at a time then phoning me out of the blue. I don’t really mind.

Around the same time, I am bellyaching to a good friend that I can’t afford to pay a maid. I hate cleaning the house–it seems like such a waste of time! He half-jokingly suggests that I advertise on Craigslist for a houseboy. I remember my dishwashing sub. I receive at least ten serious inquiries to my post, along with a number of emails from men who think I should come over, wash their dishes, and give them blow jobs. At least five people tell me that I am an unnatural pervert. The ad gets flagged fairly quickly, although Craigslist is full of advertisements from men looking for women who like to be spanked and humiliated.

I meet a man who likes to dress as a sissy maid. He tells me that he’s looking for the whole package, a relationship both BDSM and vanilla. I’m not interested in a relationship with him, only in service. He comes a couple of times to clean, I talk sternly to him, order him around, beat him once with the crop when he doesn’t do something fast enough. But I find the cross-dressing unsettling and am exhausted with supervising him. He meets someone at a kink event and stops coming.

The second houseboy candidate I meet turns out to be one of the potential clients I met when I was considering going pro. I don’t find him attractive, but he is very eager to please and very good at housework. I beat him with the crop, spank him with my hands, make him soap my back once when I am in the tub. I bind his arms and legs, drop candle wax on his back. Once, when I’m rubbing lotion into his poor, abused shoulders, I find myself admiring his powerful muscles. He faithfully expresses his gratitude at being able to serve me and once, when I don’t email him in a timely manner, begs me not to discard him. Over the Christmas season, I stop hearing from him and send him a plaintive email in return.

Just after Christmas, Ace contacts me via OKCupid. We have similar politics, similar interests. He’s fun to chat with and to talk to. I am attracted to him. It’s clear from some hints in his profile that he is submissive. He’s not really ready for anything approaching a relationship, and I’m not sure if I am or not. The first time we kiss, I scratch his neck with my nails, bite him, and from the noises he makes I can tell he likes it. It’s hot for me because it’s hot for him. He tells me about BDSM dating sites, points me to the good porn. We talk about Bitchy Jones’s diary. We talk about what we’d like to do, what we haven’t done, how we can do things better. Sex with him is like exploring a magical garden, always with new paths to walk down and discover.

I talk about my adventures in kink with friends. Some of them are freaked out, many of them don’t know the first thing about it. The important ones assure me that there’s nothing wrong me, I’m not sick, I don’t need therapy. The next time I meet with my houseboy, I drop the roles, talk to him like one human being to another. “I’ve been ashamed of my kink,” I tell him.

“That’s surprising to hear, since it comes so naturally to you,” he replies.

It does. And I have so much left to learn.

February 5, 2008 at 5:22 pm 8 comments

Friends and lovers

I had a long talk two nights ago with R. He lives down in DC with his partner Z. The two of them are on my short list of friends whom I love with the love of a chosen family. I think R is probably one of the few people I’m still in touch with who knew me when I was a teenager. One of the formative experiences of my young life was a summer program for the gifted. I went for two years: the summer before my freshman year of high school, and the summer after. That first summer, I’d just discovered kissing boys, and proceeded to find and kiss as many boys as possible in the three weeks I was there. My RA (Residence Advisor, or, in this context, glorified babysitter) gave me the “Most Likely to Be Late for a Hall Meeting Because She’s Off with Some Guy” prize at the end of the session.

The SATs were not the only thing I was precocious about.

The second summer is when I met R. He was a teaching assistant, which meant that he actually got to develop the minds of the insufferable brats who took college-level courses, instead of having to deal with their hormonal drama. My first memory of him is giving him a hard time while he tried to drive us out of our dorm rooms and off to the afternoon program of “mandatory fun.” I was laying on the grotty carpeting in the hallway, my feet up against the opposite wall, and I think I said something smart to him as he came walking toward us.

He looked at me, and he spoke to me like a fellow human being instead of a child. I was both, of course, but when you’re 14 years old and no longer a virgin it’s vitally important that no one remind you of the fact that you’re still a child. It was that, more than anything, that motivated me to get up off that grotty carpeting.

Later, R took the time to teach me theatrical lighting, something I’d begged our stage manager back in high school to teach me all year. He was always very appropriate with me. But the skater dude I’d been trying unsuccessfully to shag all summer (they scheduled us to our eyeballs just for that purpose!) dumped me because I was spending all my spare time in a dark theater with a grad student. There was, in fact, another teaching assistant who was not as scrupulous as R. He grabbed me once during the weekly dances and made my little 14-year-old knees go weak during a slow song.

I kept in touch with both R and his unscrupulous colleague for a while using this now-obsolete technology called pen and paper. I also corresponded with classmates. But these friendships eventually went the way of all pen pals. Someone forgets to write, someone moves, a letter comes back undeliverable.

When I was in my late 20s, I got an email from R. He’d found me via a website I ran under my given name. Fifteen years later, it was like we’d never stopped being friends. At the time, of course, I was living with Angie, who kept me on a very short leash. She eyed my renewed correspondence with R with suspicion, but Angie eyed almost everything I did with suspicion. Later, I left Angie. And dated Badger. And split up with Badger. And eventually, R and I finally saw one another in person again. The first time, I was down in DC for a weekend sailing trip and we met up in Annapolis. Over dinner, he told my friends what I was like at that summer program. His description was so drastically different than my own memories of the summer, it was like he was talking about someone else. It was very flattering, though.

The next time I saw R, he came to visit me. I was rather lonely, and asked him to cuddle with me. Cuddling turned to kissing, which turned to what kissing usually turns into in my bed. Sex with R was amazing. He’s one of those rare kinds of men: sweet and kind and giving and well-hung to boot.

R and I had already corresponded about his open relationship with Z, but I still blushed and cowered when he called her afterward. My own forays into the world of polyamory had almost always ended up with heartbreak or guilt–although I’m not sure how my forays into the world of monogamy have really differed. She thanked me for making her partner feel so welcome. Later, I went down to visit them both in DC, which is where I confirmed what I’d assumed would be the case: R’s partner Z is bright, articulate, sexy, and sweet. I felt really honored when she invited me into their bed together. Threesomes are a rich treat in my experience, like caviar. They’re delicious, intense, and rather hard to come by.

Everything happened so quickly that year. I’d begun dating Kristen just a few months prior, and after that weekend in DC I came home both glowing from my time with R and Z and guilty. Kristen knew what would likely happen during my visit. But I could also sense it wasn’t what she wanted. And sure enough, she laid it out for me over dinner that night. She never told me I couldn’t do what I wanted, just that if I kept sleeping with other people she wouldn’t take me seriously. She wanted the picket fence and all. I wanted a picket fence with a gate in it. But I thought I’d try to be a good lesbian again.

Three years later, Kristen isn’t speaking to me, but R and Z stood by me through the rough months of the breakup. Last night, R told me he’s been happy to hear me talk and write so openly about my adventures in kink. We got to talking about early indicators of sexual predelictions. “You were always pretty alpha,” he said.

I’m going to see him and Z again in April, and possibly March. I don’t know if sex will be on the menu. If it is, it’s not likely to be kinky. I hope I remember how to be soft and sweet. I hope I get to cuddle with them both. They’re a very special couple of people and I’m glad to have them in my life.

February 1, 2008 at 11:55 pm 2 comments

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