‘Masochism’, or ‘Why I Like Being Punched In The Tit’

So I’m a masochist.

Kind of an emotional masochist in a lot of ways – but that’s psychological crap we really don’t need to go into in this post.

I’m a physical masochist. I love pain. Physical pain. Nothing – nothing – makes me feel better than being pushed into a state of pain so intense that it fills my entire body and mind with pure, inescapable sensation. Stronger than pleasure, impossible to ignore. I try every time to fight it, and every time I give in to its call.

I love being hit and kicked. I love being whipped and flogged. I love being tied into unmanageable positions and having sensitive parts of my body like my nipples and clitoris tortured. I love being cut. I love being burnt with wax, and I love having needles stuck through my skin.

Writing it all down like that almost freaks me out a little bit, so you must think I’m completely insane!

I’m ok with that though.

If you like going on rollercoaster rides or parachute jumps, you’re probably like me. If you’re an athlete, you’re probably like me. If you’re a fan of metal or dubstep, you’re probably like me. We all push our bodies to extreme places in order to trigger a rush of chemicals that create a natural ‘high’. The way that I do it is less socially accepted than the way that you do it, but we’re essentially doing the same thing.

When I get, oh, for example, punched in the tit (by a friend or partner, after requesting that they do it), it knocks the wind out of me. I stagger back. Then there’s a deep ache inside. My instinct is to run away from the pain, to distract myself with lullabies and safe thoughts, to allow my breathing to get away from me, to scream it all out. But when I manage to stay with my pain, eyes locked with my partner, feeling and feeling and feeling it without resistance, I get an incredibly euphoric feeling.

Oh and another thing. I get an incredibly sexual feeling.

Not just mentally. There’s a place I can get to, and in that place, anything and everything that happens to me whizzes directly to my clit. A whip on my backside can cause shuddering orgasms, without my genitals ever having been touched.

OK, so I’m a freak. But this is what my body likes. This is what my mind likes. When I’m being hurt physically (with consent), my mind shuts down to all but the most basic of thoughts. It’s like meditation or being stoned. I relax completely, especially when the person I’m playing with is someone I can trust entirely with my body and mind. I give over control and just…feel…

It’s addictive, OK. But so are sex and drugs and rock n roll. Discovering this side of me has taught me a huge amount about who I am as a person, and I’ll never go back. Not now I know.

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The Mists of Avalon

Ok, so it’s been a while since I wrote a book review. I was intending this to be a regular feature of my blog, but it seems I’ve only really done one so far. I suppose that one was a book I felt very intensely about, though. So maybe I’ll only review books that mean a lot to me, politically and emotionally (and intellectually, lol).

With that in mind….

The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

9780140177190

I’ve just finished re-reading this book for the nth time (I tend to do that). Essentially, it’s a re-telling of the Arthurian legend, but told from the perspective of women. It’s more than that, though. It’s a challenge to everything you thought you knew about the foundations of our society. It’s a powerful argument against the tyranny of Christianity, and it’s a bloody frustrating read!

We follow several different women through the familiar (and in some places, not so familiar) stories of King Arthur and the Round Table. Morgaine of the Faeries (Morgan Le Fey in most tellings of the story), Gwenhwyfar (Arthur’s Queen, generally known as Guinevere), Igraine (Arthur’s mother) and other characters lead us through the generations and through the central struggle between the old religions of the Druids and of Avalon, who worship the Mother Goddess, and the new, Christian religion, with its priests.

Looking at Christianity from this perspective; that of a threat to the traditional ways and worship of Britain, paints it in a completely different light to the way we are used to seeing it: as a key component to British culture. To the Priestesses of the Mother Goddess, Christianity is the only religion that the followers of the Goddess and the Druids cannot weather, as it is the only religion that proclaims that its God is the only true God, and all other Gods are tricks of the devil. The depiction of Eve as the root of all evil, and women as an extension of that evil, goes directly against the matriarchal society that ruled before the Romans brought Christianity to Britain.

In the traditional, pagan world that is being phased out by Christianity, tribes, villages and kingdoms are run by women, living incarnations of the Goddess, who protects her people as the Mother Goddess does. A king is a war duke, useful for protecting the people in times of war, but it is not his job to govern his people or their consciences.

The central narrative of the book concerns the struggle to prevent all worship of the Mother Goddess from being stamped out by the intolerant Christian priests…and this is where we get to the frustrating bit. Because (spoiler alert!) we all know who wins. The Christians do. We know this because, until the late 20th century, it was unthinkable/illegal for anyone in Britain not to follow the Christian religion. We know this because we became a country with a monarch who we are expected to believe was placed there by God. We know about the huge numbers of innocent people killed in the Crusades, we know about Witch Trials, we know about Catholics and Protestants killing each other for the crime of believing in a slightly different version of Christianity.

The world in which the Mists of Avalon takes place is, of course, imagined. To an extent. But it’s true that, pre-Christianity, none of the religions practised in Britain were religions of one intensely jealous god. Many religions had multiple gods and demi-gods, many religions had no gods at all, and, more importantly, the religions were able to tolerate and live peaceably with each other. When I read the Mists of Avalon, I can’t help wondering what our world would be like now if the pagans had won the fight for Britain’s religious conscience, all those years ago. I can’t help wondering how many thousands of people wouldn’t have suffered violent deaths.

Breakup Recovery and How to Spot an Emotional Grown-up

Source: Breakup Recovery and How to Spot an Emotional Grown-up

Awesome advice for polyamorous – or any – people going through a break up. Actually wait a minute – has just made me realise, perhaps for the first time, that jealousy or upset about a breakup ignores the fact that yes, it’s over, but actually, maybe the way it happened shows that it wasn’t worth holding on to. Either it’s a good relationship that had had its time, or it was a bad relationship which you’re well rid off. Emotionally immature people take up a lot of time and energy, and after a break up you’re free to dedicate that time and energy to other partners, yourself – anything you like really! #closurefeelsgood

On being invisible and unprotected

I’ve always been aware of discrimination. Sexism, homophobia, racism, all are blatant in our society. But all are also protected from discrimination by law. Our anti-discrimination laws are becoming increasingly stringent. If, for example, I wanted to rent a house with my girlfriend, anti-discrimination laws prevent me from being refused to rent by the landlord because of my sexuality or from having complaints lodged against me by neighbours because of the homosexual sex I’d be having. However, as it happens, I want to rent a house with my girlfriend AND my boyfriend, and I want to partake in consensual fetish and BDSM activities within that house. Neither my neighbour or my landlord have anything to prevent them from refusing to rent to me or getting me evicted on either of these grounds.

So I suppose I’m experiencing a new (old), kind of discrimination. Discrimination that is unchecked, that is condoned by society. It feels a little like stepping back into the 50s. It also feels kind of…scary.

Before I go any further, let’s quickly clear a couple of things up. I’m polyamorous. And no, that doesn’t mean that I cheat on my boyfriend, or that I’m unable to commit, or that I’m a huge slut. In terms of attractiveness to a landlord, my thruple relationship should be a big plus. There are three of us to pick up the rent, much like renting to sharers, but unlike sharers, we’re committed to each other just like a professional couple would be.

And I’m kinky. And this shouldn’t have any effect on my attractiveness to a landlord. OK, there might occasionally be some loud(ish) noises coming from my bedroom that could annoy a neighbour, but nowhere near as loud or annoying as the experience of living next to a constantly arguing couple, partying students, or a family with a young baby.

So really, it all comes down to the moral ‘rightness’ of my ‘choices’. Kink can be scary if you don’t know anything about it, but I play safely, sanely and consensually at all times, so really, what makes my knickers wet shouldn’t concern anyone who’s not involved. Poly is often misconstrued as well, but really, why should loving two people make me any less of a ‘normal’ person than loving one? We admit that it’s natural to love more than one of your children with the same intensity, so why shouldn’t it be natural for me to feel romantic love for two people at the same time? After all, a lot of people do it, they just don’t tell either of the two people what’s going on (also known as ‘cheating’). Poly is all about communication and honesty, and being in polyamorous relationships have definitely required more communication and honesty than my monogamous relationships have ever done.

Maybe I’m overreacting: maybe if I told my landlord the truth about myself, they’d be ok with everything. Maybe they’re an enlightened soul who’d never dream of judging me based on my sexual and romantic private life. But, unlike a gay or mixed-race person, I have no protection against people arbitrarily shitting on me because of who I am. I could be evicted. I could lose my job. If I had children, I could lose the right to see them. Because of who I am. Because I do things, consensual things, that society thinks are wrong.

Where do we poly kinksters go from here, then? Well, how did women, ethnic minorities and LGBT people win legal protections? They fought. They died. They were tortured. They were lynched. They were raped. They still fought.

I wish it wasn’t necessary to fight for the right to be who I am. But sadly, it is. Laws reflect society’s attitude, and the attitude of my society needs changing. But it won’t change while we ‘different’ people are hiding in our homes, scared to be who we are, scared to be visible in society. I suppose we’ll be hurt for it. I suppose we’ll be bullied, ostracised. Some of us may lose our lives. But we’ve seen this fight played out enough times now, for enough minority (and non-minority) groups, to know that, in the end, we will win.

The Barren Field

Whatever

So, my problem recently is that every now and then I get it into my head, “Hey, I should write a Whatever entry about something,” and then I go through the list of things out there to write about, and by and large the emotion I feel about them is “oh, Jesus, like I give a single shit about that right now.”

And it feels great! I am bathed in enjoyable lassitude about pretty much everything right about now. I don’t imagine it will last — it never does, I’m a cranky bastard — but for the moment? It’s kind of lovely. I think I will appreciate it while it lasts.

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Coming Out: Polyamorous

Here, in the ‘Coming Out’ series of posts, I write on a different topic every time. Generally they will be stories of me coming to terms/coming out about various ‘taboo’ subjects. These posts are a blend of the personal and political, so stay with me!

So. I am polyamorous. This is a very new discovery. I’ve only realised this in the last couple of months.

Some misconceptions about polyamory.

1. I’M NOT A SWINGER.
Swingers have sex with other couples/partners in a non emotionally intimate way. Poly-amory literally means many-loves, and although my partner and I will ‘play’ with people we’re not emotionally attached to, that is not polyamory, and the people that we are polyamorous with mean something to us. I care about these people deeply. I offer, and receive from them, the same level of emotional support and care that I offer and receive in my relationship with my live-in partner. I am open to the potential of a live-in relationship with more than one other person.

2. IT IS NOT A CHOICE.
I like to call it ‘relationship orientation’. Like sexual orientation, it is not something that I’ve chosen. Like sexual orientation, it fluctuates and changes throughout my life. Many people would not be suited to intense emotional and romantic relationships with multiple partners. But to me, discovering that I am polyamorous is like coming home. I’ve always been a very tactile person and a very loving person, and always had an excess of love and loyalty to give. Having multiple partners allows me to give and receive as much love as I have always wanted to without holding back. It’s just right for me, in the same way is it feels right for me to be with both women and men.

Politically….polyamory is difficult. Simply put, society seems to view polyamory these days in a similar way to how it viewed homosexuality thirty years ago. We have no legal rights. Our marriages are illegal. Our practices are frowned on. Being in multiple relationships is regarded as cheating, when actually, central to polyamory is being open and honest with all partners about outside relationships.

My opinions of marriage have changed as well. I’ve suddenly been given new insight into how it feels to be outcast from society’s narrow ideas of what the main ‘acceptable’ idea of relationships are. And it makes me angry. Marriage doesn’t mean much to me, with its’ history of religious and ownership connotations. However, it means a lot to society, and having your relationship denied by society, when it’s a consensual loving relationship, is intolerable.

Coming out as polyamorous is harder than coming out as bisexual has been. I’m still not fully out because I know that judgement is rife against polyamorous relationships. Mainly because of misconceptions I think. Still, I’m not ashamed of who I want to love, and how I want to love, and whatever the reactions are to my lifestyle, I won’t be shamed out of what is the best expression of who and what I am.

Coming Out: Bisexuality

Here, in the ‘Coming Out’ series of posts, I write on a different topic every time. Generally they will be stories of me coming to terms/coming out about various ‘taboo’ subjects. These posts are a blend of the personal and political, so stay with me!

This is now quite a historic piece of writing, which I never posted when I first wrote it. But I didn’t want to not post it. So although I’ve come a long way concerning my sexuality since this post in terms of experience, etc, I still present as a straight woman most of the time, so the issues I talk about here are still (I think) relevant to the person I am now.

So. Bisexuality. When I had the idea for doing a series of ‘Coming Out’ blog posts, of course, the first one had to be about my coming out process as bisexual. I want to give this series a political touch whilst remaining centred in my own experiences, so I’ll be discussing my own sexuality, and understanding of it as well as the wider implications of being bisexual, and the difficulties bisexual people experience in coming out.

I grew up in a fairly understanding setting. My parents aren’t homophobic, and from the age of around 12, my close female friends and I found ourselves explore our sexualities through sexual games etc. In fact, my first kiss was with a girl. Growing up close to Brighton meant that being gay didn’t seem a terrible or terrifying thing – however, I was of the first generation that used the term ‘gay’ as a negative adjective; ‘Your trainers are gay’, ‘That band you like is gay’, ‘My mum’s so gay’. This meant that, although non-straightness wouldn’t, in serious conversations, be thought of as an awful thing, ‘gay’ was weird, and odd, and defective in our normal parlance, and our ideas of gay people were of exclusively men that were incredible camp/transvestites.

I worried hugely when I first felt attracted to another girl as a young teenager, and worried even more when I confessed my attraction, freaking the other girl out so much that she wouldn’t speak to me.

After that, I decided I liked boys and just got on with it. I continually found myself attracted to women, watched female-only porn and experienced mini crushes on various female friends, which I viewed as intense friendships.

As I got older, I privately started to explore my feelings about women, but only really in my head and on computer screens. I did that fake lesbian kissing that girls do in clubs when they want to turn boys on, but never felt ready to explore my feelings towards women.

When I did feel ready, I joined a dating website and looked for both men and women. I even went on a date with a woman. But then I met my partner. We are perfectly suited to each other, and they understand and support me in a way in which no one else has ever done. I also fancy them a lot, and we have great sex 🙂

My partner, though, is a man.

In fact, despite all my feelings, explorations and sexual curiosity towards women, I’ve never been in a relationship with one. And this is the problem with being bisexual. Bisexuality is so invisible, so easily deniable, because it isn’t based upon behaviour. I am attracted to all genders, but all that anyone sees is a straight girl (or if I was in a relationship with a woman, a lesbian girl).

Being seen as straight, being assumed to be straight, has its benefits. Unlike gay and lesbian people, I can walk down the street with my partner and be accepted by the strangers I walk past. I don’t have to be scared for my life just because I want to hold hands with my loved one. My bisexuality is very easily hidden.

But being easy to hide doesn’t mean that my identity isn’t a challenge.

Common responses to telling people that I’m bi?

“It’s just a phase”
“It’s greedy”
“You’re just not ready to come out as gay”

It’s pretty exhausting to have this invisible sexuality. But I will never regret knowing myself well enough to be sure of who and what I am, and being proud of that, despite whatever misconceptions and stereotypes people throw at me.