Fifteen years ago, I had this conversation with a GQ subeditor:
Subeditor (while donning cerise pant): The column is fine but can you dial down the sex?
Me: You get that the column is about sex, right?
Subeditor (while donning cerise pant): Sure, but our readers are a bit finicky about the sex stuff.
Me: Your readers are men, right?
Since then, GQ has had a sex makeover worthy of a fetish club. It’s recommending butt plugs, nipple clamps, shackles… it’s enough to make a vanilla man creep under his desk beneath a pile of lever arch files. The world is not only becoming kink aware but kinky. Even researchers are finding that at least a quarter of the human population has kinky fantasies. The next generation will surely be born wearing collars.
For just a second, I was beginning to think kinksters were becoming the new normal, but then a (vanilla) feminist told me kinky people can’t be raped. Apparently, the latest thought error is that having fetishes means being up for sex anytime with anyone. Libido, capriciousness, and BDSM are inseparable in the minds of the masses. It’s not all that shocking…
This week I Google-stalked Jim B, the classically good looking, absurdly rich man who took me to his five-star hotel for a week of clumsy sex 15 years ago. I tracked him down because I couldn’t for the life of me visualise his face. His 10-inch penis? That I remember well, and not because of its size. Jim was apparently terrified of it because, arrogant as he was outside that hotel room, the second his clothes came off, he had no clue what to do with himself.
I’ve never had a reason to feel sad for anyone except Jim when it came to sex, and he had what most men would trade a kidney for if they could—the cock and the cash. Funny how that works… how the dude with the supposedly alpha traits was the least memorable man I’ve slept with. (Don’t call me, Jim, I’ll call you)
Steven wasn’t the type you’d think of when you imagine a sex god, but that’s a man I can still see when I shut my eyes. He had to negotiate his shyness and speech disorder a minute at a time, but that was some of the best sex I’ve had. If you must know, no, his cock was not monstrous and he had no money to speak of. What he did have was an understanding that nobody could do Steven like he could, so the sex was authentic and gritty.
I’ve made mistakes in D/s relationships that I swore I would never make. I’ve allowed physical contact when I didn’t want it. I’ll give you one wild guess as to how that turned out. I’ve stayed with a dom after my consent was violated. I’ve accepted play without risk awareness. I’ve played in utter sub frenzy so bad I didn’t know my ass from my elbow…
Let’s just shorten the list and say that I’ve made every mistake in the book. In most cases, not much harm was caused, but in some, the damage was life altering. I’ve spent months trying to get my health back after one such mistake, and there is one reason that I managed to get myself into so much trouble: I accepted excuses as though they were reasons, so when small mistakes were made without accountability to fix the damage, I stayed instead of putting my safety and wellbeing first.
Figuring out how to tell the difference between excuses and reasons is a survival strategy I’m now learning, as is using past behaviour as the best indicator of future behaviour. Sure, some of us change, but statistics show that past abuse is highly likely to continue.
I have to start this post with a cliché. I’m too lazy to be original. Get ready. Here it comes. Chronic illness is like a rollercoaster.
I warned you it was going to be bad.
I’ve had two major seizures in two days and my head is too muggy to think through. Life always has healthy phases that introduce me to something called “A Full Life”. Parties and visits and dinners, oh my! Even income becomes something I can control. Want a wardrobe of new summer dresses? No problem. Just work as many hours as you want to and get it.
Being well is awesome…
… but hope damns me every time. When you’re in remission, there’s a moment when you switch from enjoying a rare high point for its scarcity to thinking it will last forever. The problem with hope is that disappointment always follows. Always.
Expectations are a motherfucker. They’re without a doubt the hardest low for me to manage on this chronic illness ride. How do you wallow utterly in the good days without thinking, “I’ve joined The Land of the Healthy People forever and will now live happily ever after”? How do you cope with the initial bad days without falling under the weight of all you’ve lost? Months or years of physical hell are easier for me to cope with. It’s the one-week-up-two-weeks-down that makes me fall over my feelings.
You can throw a bucket of water at a roomful of people and hit 30 who want to be writers. Few ever move past showing their stories to Aunty Moira. T.S. Eliot said that writers don’t write because they want to but because they need to. That aching need that draws out the 10 000 hours of hard work needed to turn talent into skill is rare, so when I see so many self-published books coming out on Fetlife, I worry for those writers.
My mentor refused to let me get published for three years after I began writing. He said journals would accept my work, but that didn’t make it good. He wanted me to wait till my writing could support the reputation I would eventually build decades later. I’m still grateful for that guidance because looking back on the stuff I was putting out in those days is horrifying.
I waited till he said I was ready to publish my poetry, but I was a bit more impatient with my prose. Again, he was right: Those first publications stick to you like ticks. People were still coming across those magazines almost 20 years later. And it was humiliating.
Winston Churchill once said, “Check your @ sign a gazillion times a day, but not while walking.” It’s with terrible grief that we must announce that SpanishRed didn’t get that memo. While checking her @s on the way home this morning, she walked into a pole and died peacefully screaming. She was a dedicated creator of crumbs whose last words will always be remembered:
”If you play with his cock after sex, sometimes you get a bonus round.”
This veritable poetic treasure will be engraved in gold on the wall of St Andrews Church in Rome, where it will serve as a constant reminder of Miss Red’s saintly nature. She was an avid artist whose creative talents were epitomised by her creation of this meme:
This is just one example of her famous Ermagherd Phase, which was as enthusiastic as it was tragically brief. She produced 14 of the things in only two days, and they were shared by an all-time low of three friends. We have no idea why. Perhaps, as Pablo Picasso once said, “artistic genius is only appreciated on Pinterest.”
I’m a glitchy sub. There are viruses written into my code that make me go bug-eyed. My biggest malfunction sets in when I encounter The Uber Mentor-Type Dom: the guy who thinks dominance means teaching your submissive how to be a better person.
I missed the lesson about sexual preferences raising your emotional quotient. The fact that submission gets me off does not make me inferior to you. You’re just another imperfect person, and the second you think otherwise is the second you lose my respect. Respect being somewhat important to my submission, your lack of modesty turns me into a domme. I will whip your ass into shape faster than you can say, “Ma’am.”
Sadistic preferences don’t qualify you as a lay therapist cum life coach. A desire for sexual control doesn’t make you more gifted at living than those who prefer to give up control. Do they teach you life skills in Dom School? Or did you just have better parents than we lowly subs did?