Sunday, December 19, 2010

Finding Accessible Kink Info

I was first introduced to kink by a blind boyfriend back in college during the mid '90s. Thank goodness for the Usenet newsgroups and soc.subculture.bdsm because I knew absolutely nothing and he desperately wanted a Domme. #Femdomme on IRC was, erm, interesting to say the least but I sure wasn't going to learn the basics there. While each FAQ I read had good information if I remember right they often pointed to books to learn more.
Now, books are great unless you can't read them. I have a few options for reading works in print. The first is the Library of Congress' National Library Service. While the NLS does have the Beauty fiction series in its' collection that's about as far as it goes. Another option is RFB&D but they are focused on reading course materials for students and similar academic/technical books. The newest option is Bookshare who I'm happy to say does have Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns but it is very unlikely that they will have books on every kinky topic a person might be interested in.
If a print book I want to read is not available via one of these services I have two options. The first is to have someone read the book aloud and preferable record them doing so. I don't like asking my Master to do that and I don't want to ask my regular readers to read kink materials.
The next option is to scan the book page by page and then run it though some form of optical character recognition software. With a book edge scanner the scanning is tedious but fairly easy. With a standard scanner it is best to take the book to a place like Kinkos and have the spine cut off. (Despite the name of the place I'm still not sure I want to take my pervy books into a shop in our small town.) OCR tech has vastly improved over the years and it will be fairly accurate but there are always problems especially if the layout is creative.
The world wide web has been a great resource for me. Usually I can find basic information by using Google with SafeSearch off. However, articles online still tend to refer to books.
Kinky conferences are also fairly popular these days. I haven't been to one since they can be more expensive than buying a book and one has to be healthy enough to attend. That said, they're great options depending on your accessibility needs.
Kink Academy is an interesting option. From my understanding most of the material is presented via video. I don't pretend to think that this is the best option for totally blind kinksters. However for partials who use screen enlargement software or people with learning disabilities that make it hard to read print this could be a great option. Also, home bound auditory or visual learners might really like this.
Currently Submissive Guide is having a contest to win a one year membership to Kink Academy. I'd love to win so I can edit this post with first-hand experience with Kink Academy. I've gotten to a point in my learning about myself and my submission that Google searches when something comes to mind for me or my Master no longer meets my needs.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sexuality, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and Me

Okay, normally I'd put this post on my regular blog but I don't want to make that one Adult. So, there won't be a lot of kink content here. If you've come here from a search, be warned there may be some content that's quite graphic and kinky.
What follows is an explanation/list of how my EDS changes my sex life. Each person with EDS is different so all these things might not happen to everyone and something might happen to you that doesn't happen to me.
I've learned that orgasm is the best possible muscle relaxer for me. While it isn't guaranteed to work for me, it won't make me worse the way things like Flexaril will. So, I like to try to have an orgasm when my muscles are really bothering me. I still like sex despite the problems listed here.
Sex with EDS can be tricky. I'm lucky in that most of my skin is more prone to stretch than to tear. However skin associated with mucus membranes, like that of my vulva, is much more likely to tear. It doesn't take rough monkey sex for tearing to happen either. Usually, after sex I'll have to be very careful to lean forward to pee for about a week until I'm all healed up.
Even prior to orgasm sex or masturbation tends to be a fun and relaxing activity. This means that subluxations and dislocations are more likely. Combine that with the athleticism that is involved in even the missionary position are you have a recipe for problems. There are some sexual positions that do not involve spread legs even for a death fat woman but I haven't mastered them.
Many companies make positioning aids including firm foam furniture and assist straps. I haven't tried any of the specialty products because most are out of my price range or I'm just not sure whatever will work for two death fat people with disabilities. (If you'd be interested in having people like us test/review your product then please leave a comment or email me.)
Just to be clear, unplanned subluxations and dislocations do not count as Good Pain in my book. Unplanned labia tears that make it hard to pee don't count either. Although, I gladly deal with them. However, I'd be much happier if I could find a way to avoid these things.
I sometimes find vaginal penetration painful. Now this could be caused by my endometriosis or ovarian cysts but both are being well managed at the moment. So, my guess is that it is being caused by my uterus or other pelvic organs prolapsing, yet another aspect of EDS. (I'm trying pelvic floor exercises with Smartballs to help with this and minor stress incontinence.)
For fellatio, I have problems with my jaw. If I open my jaw too far it can pop out. My neck is highly unstable and movement can trigger headaches, nausea, dizziness, and muscle spasms. So, I have to be very careful. I doubt that my horrid gag reflex is related to my EDS.
Anal play can also be difficult. EDS can cause constipation or other GI distress. GI problems so bad that a complete clean out isn't possible. The problems with collagen can lead to hemorrhoids or tears that can get in the way or cause pain. If I relax enough to make anal sex possible then my hips have lost any concept of 'located'.
Digital stimulation can also be complicated by EDS. I first dislocated my right thumb during a weekend in bed with my girlfriend at the time. Stopping to put small joints back in place will break a rhythm but doesn't take long. I don't have good hand strength, my gross motor is iffy, but my fine motor is comparatively good. This seems to vary from person to person. Also wearing splinting during sex can be awkward, messy, or lead to injuring your partner with hard plastic edges.
Another thing about EDS is the mark-ability factor. If I have a doctor's appointment coming up I basically have to skip activities for about a week so I won't show up with hickeys or other weird marks that might get someone called because the doctor suspects some form of abuse.
After orgasm I'm experiencing sharp low pelvic pain. It may be caused by movement of the pubic bone or pubic synthesis. This is a definite disincentive from orgasm.
Now, I don't only engage in partnered fun. Masturbation is fun and relaxing. However I don't lubricate well so I need lube even for external stimulation with a vibrator. Also, I can have trouble holding onto a vibrator. Self-digital stimulation is out due to my bendy fingers.
I feel like I'm painting a pretty bleak picture. In a way, I am. However, there is enjoyment. Sex still serves as a way to foster connection. Overall, it's still worth having. Gradually we may rely more and more on power exchange, sensation play, and other forms of ‘kinky’ fun. I'm glad to have the options.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Twilight & BDSM

A few vanilla friends of mine are Twi-hards. A few others enjoy posting links to stories to Twitter about how anti-feminist the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer is and how horribly written the books are. Eventually I decided to make up my own mind by reading the books. Due to my legal blindness I chose to read them on CD. AFAIK, all my copies were unabridged.
I devoured the books. Poor Master got to listen to me babble about the latest interesting tidbit from the books or my latest mini-rant about how clueless the articles I'd been reading seemed. A few times Master even had me restart a track so he could better hear something he'd only partially heard. *giggles* I admit asking him to sit few a few tracks to see if I was imagining my kinky interpretation of what I was reading.
I read the books a few months ago and I've concluded that in order to truly flesh out this piece I'm going to have to re-read the series. Honestly, they aren't high on my to-read list at the moment so I think I'm going to post this and will possibly post more later.

Apparently I'm not crazy. Twilight as Girl Crack by Sarah J seems to indicate that I'm not the only one noticing a kinky tone to the series. It isn't overt, this is a Young Adult series after all. Frankly, when I was a young adult trying to figure out my sexuality I probably would have related with Bella Swan but the Twilight series wouldn't have been the best into to kink in my opinion.
Who knows if the kink is intentional. I doubt it. If you listen to The DungeonPlace Podcast for long enough you'll probably overhear the theory that Mormon girls are pretty much brought up to be service submissives. Bella strikes me as a service sub. She seems happy taking care of those around her. She doesn't seem to be a neat freak because her own room is described as being in a normal amount of teenage disarray. That tells me that her housekeeping is about helping others and the act of service rather than the look of the results.
Bella and Edward Cullen never seemed to have formalized their Domination/submission relationship but neither did they ever seem to discuss the point when they officially began dating. It is a dynamic that they both seem to have unconsciously and naturally slipped into. This lack of communication is part of why I feel that Twilight isn't a good intro to BDSM for young people.
One example of the power exchange they engage in the way that they kiss. While Bella asks, sometimes insistently, for what she wants. Edward is always the one in control. Yes, he has to be in control of himself but he also takes control of Bella and her actions. He controls how far the kissing goes and how long it lasts.
Many people see Bella as a bad role model for girls because of her submissive relationship with Edward and to some extent Charlie Swan, her father. Bella is not submissive by default and isn't even submissive with Edward when they aren't dating. I'm specifically referring to the period of time after Edward left her and prior to their reconciliation after the trip to Italy.
Bella does stand up for what she doesn't want. However, she does think about the feelings of those she cares about. There are limits to that, however. Dating Jacob Black would clearly make Charlie the most happy but Bella stands her ground and refuses to do so because that won't make her happy in the long run. Whenever people want to coerce Bella into doing what they think is best, they seem to remind her about Charlie. Bella does consider Charlie but there are times she puts her own wants, needs, and feelings over those of Charlie. I think this shows that she is not completely submissive to Charile. She's even done this when Charlie and Edward would agree, iirc.

It isn't clear if Bella likes the bruises that come with sex with Edward prior to being changed or if she's simply willing to accept them as inevitable. So, I'm not clear on if there is more than power exchange here for Bella and Edward. Power Exchange is enough to build a kinky relationship on. While I think most relationships eventually incorporate sensation play, bondage, or impact play it is by no means required.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My collar from Kitten Cream - a review

A few months ago Master treated me to a new collar from Kitten Cream.

I have a large neck for a female and as far as I know they didn't bat an eye at my 17.5" collar which has about 1" of adjustment. The adjustment is done with velcro so there is some risk of getting your hair caught or damaged but I haven't had a problem as long as I'm careful.
My collar has a toggle clasp which I find easy to use. It is quite thick and sturdy and easy to manipulate while not clashing with the aesthetics of the collar. I haven't had a day where I couldn't put it on independently.
The inside is smooth and there's only one spot where I can feel a trace of what I'm guessing is a knot of clear thread against the backing fabric. I was worried that this would cause some discomfort but I'm incredibly comfortable even with my sensitive skin. The edges are rounded. I haven't worn this collar in the summer so I don't know how well it handles sweat.
The bondage ring in the center front looks nice and has handled some light tugging and being attached to my tether. This is where my only small complaint is. At one point the D ring O ring combination fell off. Luckily I found all the pieces. Apparently, the plate that holds the D ring to the collar is held onto the collar with screw on rivets. My guess is that as my collar has slid around my neck one of the rivets had come unscrewed. Master was unable to fix it but I was able to screw the pieces back together with the help of a towel for grip and friction. (I have good fine motor skills compared to my gross motor so randomly I can pull something like this off.) Also, the rivets may be slightly crooked but honestly it isn't noticeable from a distance.
I don't wear this out in public because it is a bondage collar but if it were a plain collar I'd be okay with wearing this around people unless I know they're nosy.

FTC: This was purchased by my partner with his own money. We are not affiliated with the company.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm amazed I'm not in trouble

So, my tendency to say 'I'm sorry' came to a head today. It was awful. We both yelled and I cried a great deal. Well, Master is the Master so I've finally agreed to give this up and stop saying 'I'm sorry.' However, I did stand up for myself and admit to him that I'm horrible at determining when it is an okay time to say 'I'm sorry' so that I need him to tell me if he wants an apology from me. Master has agreed to do his best to tell me when I really have done something he wants an 'I'm sorry' for and otherwise I'll do my best not to say it. I also told Master that it is very scary for me.
I honestly don't know what will come from this. Right now I just hope that I'll annoy Master less. I suspect that Master hopes it will help my self-concept.
At one point during our talk about whether I should be allowed to determine if I have done something to apologize for myself because I'm inside my head and I know my intentions and my feelings I actually said something like the following: "I agreed to you being my Dom but not my God." I proceeded to start to freak the heck out and luckily for me Master starts cracking jokes about "People who believe in Gosh get durned to heck." Whew, was I lucky there!

Later on I'm laying in bed after Master tucked me in with the laptop. He brought me some lemonade to try to get me un-dizzy and we both realized that I'm not usually dizzy at this angle. "Now I'm starting to fret" he said. 'You're not allowed to yell at me when you're worried about me" I teased. Surprisingly he said "I'll do my best." Again I was surprised to not be in trouble. "Okay, I'll do my best not to worry you just so you won't yell at me". We both got a good laugh and now Master is threatening me with a new t-shirt that says "I will not worry Master just so he won't yell at me." He thinks it is funny, I suspect most people would go 'baroo?'

The flea is this weekend. We really wish we could go. Have a great time. I'll go virtually via Twitter I guess. :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thoughts caused by Bob Flanagan and 'SICK'

Some weeks ago, someone on FetLife mentioned Bob Flanagan and how he had influenced their life. I'd never heard of him before so I did a bit of research and was surprised to find the movie about him on Netflix, it is called Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Suprmasochist. One day, I wasn't feeling well enough to play MMORPGs but wanted to do *something* so I settled in to stream the movie by myself.
Watching the scenes where Bob performs some of his poetry I got to thinking about my origins in kink. Like Bob, I had a lot of medical experiences at a very young age. My parents talk about how hard it was for them to see me strapped down to a papoose board for eye exams. Luckily for me, I was done eye operations around age two and all was left after that was every three month pressure checks that I could handle without sedation by elementary school.
It is hard for me to believe that pre-verbal experiences that can still cause panic attacks could have lead to my adult sexuality. Well, I could see it if I was strongly opposed to bondage but that's not the case. I would by no means say it is a fetish or I'm hardcore but I do feel positively towards light bondage and I might like more if my body could let me experience it. 
Another thing that came up is that Bob experienced pain from a pre-verbal time, just like me. I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which is a genetic collagen disorder. Also, I have Fibromyalgia which I may have had since early childhood. Plus, at about 12 I got what I called 'the flu that wouldn't end.' (Still hasn't and I'm 33. There's a chance it was the beginning of myalgic encephalomyelitis/CFS.) Did my lifetime of pain cause me to like consensual pain? 

I don't like pain overall. I really don't like the pain from my messed up body. (Dislocating your hip can really frakking hurt.) I want that pain managed as well as possible. That doesn't mean that I don't get off on pain at times. Plus, the higher my baseline pain level is the less likely it is that I'll find any sensation pleasurable.
Yes, I had a period of self-injury in my past but honestly, in terms of sexual enjoyment that pain works much better when it isn't self-induced. However, there's still context. I won't get off on having one of my hips dislocate during sex even if I'm currently getting off on having my breast squeezed. 
I think it comes down to control but if that's the case, why am I submissive? I'm giving up control to someone else. However, I chose to give consent to Master without the extenuating pressuring circumstances that tends to accompany medical care. Master is someone I trust and not simply because some authority figure says I should or he has a pretty piece of paper. 

The part of 'SICK' that scared me the most was the conversation between Bob and his wife Sheree where she asked him to at least mentally submit to him. I wanted to hug Bob and had such mixed feelings towards Sheree. Sometimes I feel that my body is a separate entity and it is the head Dominant in my setup. Both Master and I have to submit to the whims and limits of my body. I suspect that Bob's Cystic Fibrosis was demanding so much from him and had taken so much from him that he had very little left for himself much less his Domme. I'm hopefully not within a year of my death but I can still relate to not having it in me to sub. It can be difficult to achieve that headspace when distracted by extreme pain, shortness of breath, pulse and blood pressure irregularities, and abdominal pain. Oddly, when not dealing with 'all of the above' I can sub and find it liberating, calming, fun, and all sorts of pleasant things. With 'all of the above' I go into survival mode and I can't risk submission. Risk? I don't have another way to put it. I'm afraid to let go. If I do I might 'lose' to the body-Domme who decidedly doesn't take good care of her property, unlike Master. 

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting Support as a Sub

I'm not going to give any solutions here. I just don't have any. That's part of the point. However, I do realize that this may apply to my particular dynamic of male dominant and female submissive.

Every relationship has problems. Mine with Master is no exception. While we try to work out our problems between ourselves there are times when one of us needs a friend or some outside help.

I've tried talking to old friends about my relationship and any frustrations I have that come up and have learned that it is generally a bad idea.
My friends know my history of abusive partners and are on the lookout for my continuing that pattern. This shows how much they care about me and I do appreciate that however, sometimes they gauge a situation wrong. I also tend to be submissive in general and that causes warning signs for them that aren't really necessary in my opinion because Master is good to me.
Also, my friends are quite liberal. So, they're open minded in many ways. However, most of them firmly believe that because I'm female and my partner is male that I'm at risk for Domestic Violence. Honestly, Master is at more risk from me but I'd never convince my friends of that.
My friends are my friends and by and large don't know Master. So when something comes up they're going to side with me. Plus, they just don't have a full unbiased perspective on things and can't get it from me.

Occasionally, I'll end up talking to my Mom about things. Now, I'm not 'out' to her and I never could be. She's a Feminist and from what I can tell she sees my submissive personality as anti-Feminist. Yes, I have a Master, but I'd like to think that I'd treat any partner of mine with respect. The efforts I take to show my partner respect seem to confound my Mom and say to her that I have no self-respect.

I've looked for ideas and support on various internet sites that focus on BDSM, in hopes that there the BDSM won't be a barrier to getting support. There's some very good information out there depending on what you are looking for. However, perhaps it is how I tend to read things or the information I found, but the impression I sometimes get is 'if it isn't abuse then the submissive should focus on him or herself.' I'm very glad that I'm not being abused. I'm willing to do a lot of work on myself however this approach hasn't been good for me long term. No matter how much I've tried to change my attitudes and worked on my communication skills it just didn't seem to improve the situation at home and my still being unhappy just seemed to indicate that I just needed to try harder/better/differently.

If my Master does a few things that hurt me and make it hard for me to be what he wants or how he already sees me, I don't necessarily want to throw my relationship in the trash if there's anything that can be done about it. However, I sometimes feel that there's a focus on the sub should do all the changing and if they have a problem with their current Master then they should go find a new one or just shut up/hide the pain better. Not my ideal solution, partly because I can't seem to hide my pain from my Master and that causes him pain. Plus, he doesn't want me to go so I have to find a way to work things out.

I've done years of individual therapy to help me with my personal issues. My most recent therapist, K, was excellent but I have to admit to not being entirely honest with her. Since I'd finally found someone who I trusted and was making progress with, I was hesitant to do anything that might damage that relationship.
One of the best things about K was that she remembered that I was giving her my perspective on the situations in my life and reminded me of that. She gave me the best advice she could on how to help myself and to best evaluate my life.
Eventually K recommend couples therapy so that someone could hear from both of us. We tried less than a handful of sessions with K but since K was *my* therapist neither of us felt entirely comfortable. Partly he felt he was taking away from my time. I was concerned that Master might feel K was biased in my favor.

So, we opted for couples therapy. Again, while the therapist said he was willing to talk about sex with us we did not disclose our D/s dynamic. We'd never met with this person before and he was a student. The couples therapy made things worse. The T managed to push all of the buttons that both Master and I have. I felt I was pushed to go against my nature and what we'd laid out for the T at the beginning of treatment. The resulting anger and 'wants' made me unhappy and caused additional stress between Master and myself.

We've made some mistakes. Disclosing our D/s dynamic and Master's probable Asperger's Syndrome would have been best in hindsight. However, our hesitancy is understandable, I have a disability and don't fully understand when someone might be compelled to report things to Adult Protective Services. Our income is quite limited so we don't have many options when it comes to therapists and have learned that sometimes no therapist can actually be the best choice.

The Kink Aware Professional List is often mentioned when kinksters complain about therapy options. I'm not sure how many people who recommend this resource have actually used the list to find a professional live in a small town, are on a limited income, and/or are picky about the credentials of their professionals.

My Master is my best friend but at times, a person has problems with their best friend and needs help to work those problems out. Unfortunately, I don't have such a person and I've run out of ideas on how to find such a person.