piranha: red origami crane (Default)
[personal profile] piranha
as i mentioned in a prior post, i'm seriously squicked by certain aspects of BDSM, and i've worked for some years on getting the squick down to at least be respectful of people into it, since strangely enough a fair number of people with whom i am friendly are, and not all of them have filters or even use cut tags for that stuff -- and i don't actually WANT to be judgmental of them. i've pretty much managed that, overall.

though whenever i see BDSM drama on my flist, my eyes still roll a little harder -- sane, safe, and consensual seems to not work as well in practice as it's advertised, and many people in that subculture seem to me to have personality traits that make me wonder whether they don't need counseling more than another scene (especially doms). but it's not like the poly community is all bunnies and daffodils either; i know i am not being as fair as i could be.

anyway, this isn't about them, this is about me, and my unreasoning squicks. i don't like to have those.

so i am reading, both nonfiction, and fiction, because the fiction gives me more of the emotional "flavour" which the nonfiction tends to miss. if you want to recommend something, please feel free -- i'm currently perusing different loving by brame & brame & jacobs in the nf category, and have just finished the deviations series by owen & payne (which is remarkably well written, insightful, and erotic as all get-out for me, despite it being heavily BDSM). when recommending fiction, please let me know which sexual preferences are represented (i much prefer m/m, but i will read others), and what sort of potentially squicky things i might come across.

there is background for some of my squicks -- physical abuse, and some sexual abuse. i don't want to go into detail on that, and i well realize intellectually that there is a huge difference between consenting play (or even lifestyle), and things forced upon a child.

not surprising giving that background, my major squicks are pain, humiliation, and d/s. i am ok with bondage, as long as it falls short of pain. i am utterly not fine with blood play, spanking makes me shudder (not in a good way), and whipping makes me want to stab the person wielding the whip because i so do not have good memories of whipping. oh, gags -- hate them hate hate hate them. master/slave terminology is just SO WRONG.

so those are the things i want to most understand.

my attitude towards pain is that it is to be avoided, that pain is a signal that something is wrong with my body somewhere, and that i need to stop doing whatever is causing the pain. i read about people where pain leads to entering subspace, or where pain lies so close to pleasure that they run into each other, and i do not grok it. i don't know WHERE subspace is. when pain gets too much for me, i don't pass into some form of trance, i pass out (and i pass out fairly quickly).

the whole pain/pleasure complex is likely related to endorphins, and i think i might have a deficiency there. the famed runner's high? i don't get it. people who feel great after exercise? i envy them -- i never feel great; i feel tired and hungry, or nauseated if i pushed it too far. sex? even when it's great, the earth doesn't move, and i don't feel transported. ever. i read about people and the amazing feelings they have during sex and especially orgasm, and uh, it's like i am an alien because i just don't. it feels nice, but nothing special, a scrumptuous meal feels just as good, and there are a number of things for me that feel better.

i am starting to fade, but i want to touch on one more part of the d/s aspect -- now that i am reading m/m fiction i am realizing that some of what turns me so off about d/s is the standard dom = male and sub = female formation. that just goes against the grain so badly, while i seem much calmer about d/s when it's all-male. power exchange games work better intellectually for me when the power balance seems equal before the play starts. of course the power balance for individuals isn't the same as it is for societal gender roles, and i need to ruminate on that.

there's lots more; this is just starting to shake loose.

on 2008-06-06 09:21 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] serenejournal.livejournal.com
I feel almost exactly as you describe here. I don't, however, really have much desire to banish my squick. As long as we're being respectful of people, I think that's okay.

(I do have a thing where if I'm really aroused, it becomes a bit harder to hurt me, but that's different -- I still don't like it when the sensation passes over into pain. That's why I joke that my safeword is "ouch".)

on 2008-06-06 09:45 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] saluqi.livejournal.com
I will think more about this, but I think BDSM is a pursuit that can attract people for reasons that might not be all that healthy and I say that as a long time practitioner. I suppose for me it's sometimes been a good path to "seeing" what hasn't been healthy in my emotional inheritance, as it can foreground matters for examination.

Also what you tend to see on LJ in BDSM and poly is the drama. The ordinary getting on and just being tends not to make it (it sometimes does, of course).

Anyway, BDSM is a risky business, and SSC does not make it not so.

WRT d/s I have an affinity with d/s, or I had, and may have again, and I also find heterosexual male dom/female sub d/s really problematic in most manifestations I have observed. That whole "housework and blowjobs on command" thing. I think het d/s is a major reason why I don't participate in BDSM forums anymore. They used to be fairly queer and diverse, but are no longer and I really can't stand watching people with bad gender politics yuk it up.

I think pain functions in a variety of ways in BDSM. Some people want to conquer it/themselves, some want to be punished/hurt, some enjoy the sensation, some have an affinity with a hurt/heal dynamic. Some can process it a number of ways. Physically speaking I don't relate to most BDSM writing/scene reports I have read.

on 2008-06-07 01:27 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] surelars.livejournal.com
I agree there are manu reasons for people to be into BDSM, and not all healthy. Same for poly. And golf, probably.

The prevalence of M/f D/s is tiresome; much of it downright worries me. Also, as a male sub, I'm ever so often annoyed that every darn picture, story, bondage technique illustration, book, whatnot one finds is making the (for me) wrong gender assumption.

On the other hand, I enjoy F/m play tremendously. Only for me it has to be a bit more than just play; I'm not good with roleplay, so I can't walk in and out of scenes. For me to enjoy D/s it must have place in the relationship. Sub is something I am far more than something I do.

on 2008-06-07 05:45 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
how about m/m? because i can make recommendations for stories. :)

i do think there are more people with broken stuff who get into BDSM than into golf, but i also think more people with broken stuff become mental health practitioners than become golf instructors. by their nature some areas attract people with issues that tie into certain defining aspects of those areas.

i envy people who can do roleplay. i am too self-conscious for it.

roleplay and BDSM

on 2008-06-08 02:34 (UTC)
ext_6381: (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] aquaeri.livejournal.com
If you consider "roleplay" in a different sense, from the gameplaying perspective, I've actually engaged in a moderate amount of BDSM roleplay. The characters I was playing had a different attitude to these things than I do, and it all made perfect sense inside that context. Nothing to do with "me", other than the usual self-discovery when you play a character completely different from yourself, and discover that actually, you have points of commonality.

[I think it's really interesting that there are three significantly different arenas of roleplay (that I know of) which nevertheless seem to overlap a lot in their effects when you get into them: gaming (eg D&D, which is where I came from), BDSM, and psychotherapy.]

on 2008-06-06 10:24 (UTC)
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] liv
Thanks for this post. I think I'm in a similar sort of place; I'm trying to be more understanding and less judgemental around BDSM, which means getting over squicks.

Why do I have the squicks? Partly just that I really can't deal with pain. I have a ridiculously low pain threshold, I'm really a total wuss. But also I find pain a huge turn-off; I have been in (totally vanilla) situations where there was chatting during foreplay and the conversation happened to turn to someone getting hurt or being ill, and it made me totally lose interest in anything sexual. So although intellectually I know about endorphins, and I can theoretically see why people might seek out the thrill and intensity of painful sensations, emotionally, I just do not get it.

I am really uneasy, though perhaps somewhat less squicked, about power stuff. I think I'm coming from a similar position to yours about power exchange being horrible when it reinforces existing power imbalances. Morally, I don't believe it's wrong for men to top women consensually, but emotionally it upsets me, and I do agree that that kind of sexuality draws some men who have an unhealthy attitude towards women (so does vanilla, I know).

A lot of other things which aren't straightforward M/f fall into the same category: any kind of domination which involves feminizing the sub, whatever the gender configuration, for example. I do find it hard to be as open-minded as I'd like when it comes to subs pretending to be children or slaves or rape victims. Again, my rational mind knows that playing with these scenarios is not the same as actual child abuse, slavery or rape, but emotionally find it hard to understand how such obviously horrible things can be positive and arousing.

Aggressive domination seems to cut across both categories for me: it's making sex into an attack, and the frisson comes from the sub getting hurt, even if emotionally rather than physically. And it reinforces the bad real world dynamic where aggressive, rude, bullying people quite literally dominate meeker, more vulnerable people.

Things I can more readily see as potentially positive: as you mentioned, bondage that doesn't involve pain. (I also find gags really upsetting, though.) D/s where there's some kind of respect being enacted between the players, such as some of the "service" stuff. Playing with the edges of pain and being aroused enough to be able to enjoy intense sensations that would normally be painful. (I think that for a woman there's always some element of this in any sex, so why not extend it?) I like the idea of intensive negotiation around sexual scenes, so that you can try out either sensations or roles other than the most obvious and expected ones, but with cast-iron consent and really open communication. Opening up possibilities to make sex more complex and interesting is always going to appeal to me.

Reading material: I've not yet found fiction that strongly works for me, but then there's very little erotic fiction that does even when it's vanilla, because of bad gender assumptions and the like. Online, though, I am learning a lot from [livejournal.com profile] trinityva, who writes really interestingly about BDSM and how it fits in with gender, including some lyrical descriptions of sexual experiences which I can see are hot even if miles away from the kind of thing I personally enjoy. For orientation she's a somewhat male-spirited / butch woman, dominant, sadist, mostly heterosexual. Dw3t-Hthr writes both intelligently and personally about sexuality as a mostly female genderqueer, heterosexual submissive. Ugh, labels, but you wanted to know what kind of sexuality was going on and that's the best approximation I can give you. I don't know any good m/m stuff; the only stuff I've liked is occasional woman authored slash fanfic, and you probably don't want recs for that.

Squicks you might come across

on 2008-06-06 10:34 (UTC)
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] liv
Oh, also, both writers I've mentioned are abuse survivors, and sometimes talk about how that affects their sexuality.

Re: Squicks you might come across

on 2008-06-07 05:07 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
thanks for the recommendations! that will be particularly interesting.

on 2008-06-06 15:03 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] rysmiel.livejournal.com
A lot of other things which aren't straightforward M/f fall into the same category: any kind of domination which involves feminizing the sub, whatever the gender configuration, for example. I do find it hard to be as open-minded as I'd like when it comes to subs pretending to be children or slaves or rape victims. Again, my rational mind knows that playing with these scenarios is not the same as actual child abuse, slavery or rape, but emotionally find it hard to understand how such obviously horrible things can be positive and arousing.

One angle I have seen people come to this from is reclamation; that horrible thing X that happened to them no longer defines them, that they can, to pinch theological terms, divorce the accidents of whatever-it-was from the substance, such that they can place the accidents in a different context and therefore weaken the horribleness of the associations said accidents have. That there can for some people be a scale of victory beyond getting away from abuse and learning to interact in a healthy way and finding good people to have healthy relationships with, in terms of being able to reach back into what was a bad thing and use it and take it apart and understand it and make it less of a present-day emotional presence thereby.

Aggressive domination seems to cut across both categories for me: it's making sex into an attack, and the frisson comes from the sub getting hurt, even if emotionally rather than physically. And it reinforces the bad real world dynamic where aggressive, rude, bullying people quite literally dominate meeker, more vulnerable people.

The thing about that done sanely, though, IME (from both sides of the dynamic) is that the control really lies with a sub who can safeword at any time, and who can thus experiment with how much control they can surrender to the other party, and what they might find in there to enjoy. The power of it for me, again from both sides, is in the depths of trust it allows one to explore, in giving over that much control or taking on that much responsibility for another person respectively, and also in the existence of a context where modes of interaction for which there is no other readily available ethical context can be experienced and thereby better understood. (Feeding the writerbrain new experiences is something I am easy to hook by, definitely.)

on 2008-06-06 15:27 (UTC)
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] liv
That description of reclamation is very powerful, thank you. I'm normally a great believer in using empathy and imagination to connect to other people's experiences, but I really don't think I can usefully say anything about how someone who had horrible things inflicted on them should address that in their sexuality. But it's information about how at least some part of the world works, so I shall continue to contemplate it.

(In case it's not clear, the point of my comment was not to say that this kind of thing is morally bad, just that I personally have a hard time coming to terms with it. I likewise don't think it's evil if people who haven't been traumatized at all are into this stuff, if it's consensual I don't think there needs to be an excuse.)

on 2008-06-06 15:43 (UTC)
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] liv
I'm sorry, I'm trying to create a category here that I don't know the name for. You seem to be talking about power exchange in general, and you're saying interesting and informative things, so thank you. Giving control and taking responsibility and exploring trust are all things that at least somewhat make sense to me.

I was trying to talk about aggression, specifically. To me, dominating someone by yelling at them and calling them names falls into a similar category as dominating someone by whipping them. I'm not against it on principle, I just can't really imagine how it can be fun. And it reminds me of something that is nasty in real life, the thing where shouty and rude people trample over sensitive and gentle people.

on 2008-06-07 04:53 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
i call that "humiliation", and i doubt i'll ever lose my squick of it, and i am not at all sure i want to.

i can't even stand people fighting in my presence. the cutting words my mother used against me have stayed with me longer than the scars, and the memory doesn't go away. i doubt i could reclaim anything if i let somebody else call me the same names.

reclamation, trust

on 2008-06-07 05:16 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
*nod* -- the reclamation angle makes a lot of sense to me, and i've done plenty of reclamation myself in a number of areas, and it has usually been even more powerful than the mere fixing of things that were broken.

i think i might have to seriously think about some of my squicks in that light -- not all of them; as i said to livredor below, i don't think i even _want_ to lose my squick about humiliation. but oy, even beyond that the dynamics of so much of it are so hideous to me. yet one more reason to have a sex change, *wry grin*, which is also never going to happen.

i also understand the trust angle -- that's in fact the very first thing i understood about d/s, and i can see how that would be powerful, from both sides. i don't know that i even want to trust anyone that much, but i know it would be a total rush if somebody trusted me like that.

the edges of pain

on 2008-06-07 05:07 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
Playing with the edges of pain and being aroused enough to be able to enjoy intense sensations that would normally be painful. (I think that for a woman there's always some element of this in any sex, so why not extend it?)

there is? i've been trying to get at the pain -> subspace idea from thinking about things that for me hover at the edge of pain, but there seems to be nothing there but a black abyss (i too am a total pain wuss). i can't think of anything ever done to me sexually that was an edge case; it's always either pleasurable or painful -- of varying degrees, of course, but there's a very clear boundary.

Re: the edges of pain

on 2008-06-07 10:58 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] papersky.livejournal.com
I don't see how there is either. I mean just out of my own experience, no, there isn't anything in sex that would normally be painful and isn't.

Re: the edges of pain

on 2008-06-07 18:35 (UTC)
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] liv
I don't think I can clarify this line of thought without being fairly explicit; is that acceptable to both of you?

Re: the edges of pain

on 2008-06-08 01:19 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
yeah, explicitness is completely fine.


on 2008-06-06 10:55 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] the-siobhan.livejournal.com
I do get the endorphin "high" when I exercise hard. I also get it after piercings or pain play. Now that I think about it, if I get it after accidentally injuring myself I don't notice it. But I do tend to have an extremely high pain threshold, so it's entirely possible it's there and just busy preventing me from feeling the negative effects.

Most of my limited play has been around that pain threshold. It also has huge trust component for me - being able to trust my partner is strongly erotic for me.

I have interest in the physical aspects but not really in power play. I don't want a slave and definitely don't want to be somebody else's. (I do enough shit around here as it is, thanks.) Humiliation is right out. Slapping my face gets an instant kill response.

I'm also an abuse and sexual assault survivor, so I don't know if that figures in at all.

on 2008-06-06 11:34 (UTC)
nitoda: sparkly running deer, one of which has exploded into stars (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] nitoda
I'm a sexual submissive who can play with either gender. I don't have a problem with my male partner who is my dominant. Any "real" power role doesn't lie with him in our triad, but with my female partner who, like you, is seriously squicked by bdsm. (Go figure! We sometimes affectionately call her our vanilla domme.) I am pleased to see you trying to work on your issues with bdsm. I don't think it's necessary for everyone to understand or desire it however. :-)If you want a book suggestion, I'd say look at "Screw the roses, send me the thorns" by Molly Devon and a/n/other whose name I can't remember - it's a very loving and gentle and humorous introduction to bdsm and covers emotional angles well if memory serves me.

on 2008-06-06 14:19 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lorres.livejournal.com
Insofar as I get erotic rushes from watching bdsm (I don't participate myself) I think those erotic surges are from the mixing of "bad" and "good" and "forbidden" that eros does so well. It helps me to think of it as eros because that also slows down my tendency to rationalize it. Am I squicked? Yeah, but I think that squirmy queasiness is part of the whole scene, don't you?

I'm not convinced that there are more sick people doing bdsm than there are sick people doing other kinds of erotic intercourse. Some people just can't do sex without hurting someone [and not in the s/m way], and their partners are equally difficult to understand if they stay and keep getting hurt.

Anyway, that's my noodling about the whole thing. Good on you for trying to think about it and work with it.

on 2008-06-06 14:49 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] rysmiel.livejournal.com
I'm not convinced that there are more sick people doing bdsm than there are sick people doing other kinds of erotic intercourse. Some people just can't do sex without hurting someone [and not in the s/m way], and their partners are equally difficult to understand if they stay and keep getting hurt.

While that entirely makes sense to me, I can also see how some aspects of the worldview-constructions of the BDSM community might appeal to particular kinds of sick people and tend to attract a disproportionate number of them.

on 2008-06-07 05:21 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
thanks for the recommendation! that's really interesting that you have a partner who's squicked by it too (and i love the nickname).

no, i don't think it's necessary for everyone to understand, but... hm... well, understanding feeds tolerance. i read news reports about people being persecuted and prosecuted for their kinks, and i definitely wish that to stop, and i don't know whether it will unless more people understand.

on 2008-06-06 14:46 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] rysmiel.livejournal.com
The thing that drove home to me the extent to which "pain" as a signal conveyed by a certain set of nerves and "pain" as a thing that the person concerned doesn't like are distinct and differently varying sets, is realising that for the majority of people I know, foods that are spicy enough to register as painful to my mouth seem to be an entirely enjoyable experience.

on 2008-06-06 14:52 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] surelars.livejournal.com
I have comments on the D/s stuff, and possibly on other BDSM aspects too, but I think I should collect my thoughts first.

However, I will say a thing about pain. I used to be a really good athlete, and I still like to, say, go on hard bike rides. I learned to think of pain as one of several ways my body communicates with me; to me, pain does not always mean "danger - back off!".

When I ride hard and hit a hill, the muscles in my legs will react to the strain. If I then accelerate, the reaction is pain. But this good pain - it's not pain caused by things breaking. It's a reaction to the body being asked to perform at the limit of what it can do - and to keep doing it. It's a pain I can face and then "go through", and that's a remarkable feeling. There's this saying in sports that the biggest win is when you win against yourself, and that's that to me.

It's not the same as "runners high", I think. The experience of the pain is much more direct. It's not the endophins - it's more that this kind of pain make me aware of my body like nothing else, make me present in the here and now and experience my body at work, my body performing like a fantastic machine, real close up. It creates a physical awareness that's amazing to me. And it's an awareness that will last for a good while after; I guess it puts me in a frame of mind where I'm out of my head in into my body, if that makes sense.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Maybe more when I'm more coherent.

about pain

on 2008-06-07 05:31 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
that wasn't rambling at all. thanks -- i know what you mean about pushing one's body past certain limits because i do that when hiking. but i don't call those signals "pain", probably because i don't push as hard as it sounds you do, i sorta come at the boundary more slowly, and my muscles don't exactly hurt, they just stretch a bit beyond what they're used to.

i know that athletes talk about "the burn" but i've never been an athlete, and if anything burns, i back off slightly.

but i do get into a zone where it feels a little zen-like when i continuously, regularly, keep pushing myself just a little bit, if i keep stretching my abilities a little more. i'll feel quite good while i am doing it, very centred, and even a bit floaty at the end -- if i am alone, that is; if somebody else is there, they distract me from paying attention to my body and just sorta sinking into that zen feeling.

is that zone something akin to subspace?

on 2008-06-06 15:04 (UTC)
ailbhe: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] ailbhe
Well, it's something I've only found useful when I needed to work through fundamentally unhealthy feelings, so I'm all kinds of biased about it. And my attitude to consent and pain and so on has changed hugely since The Great Birth Incident Of 2004. But I do not now and have never liked the male dom / female sub thing once it goes beyond play. It freaks me the fuck out.

on 2008-06-06 15:06 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] huashan.livejournal.com
I have what is probably a fairly unique view of bdsm. I'm not into it, but I am into (nearly) anything that makes my partner get off. I have no interest in dominating other people, and even less in being dominated. However, because of my size, strength and what I know, I can pretty easily physically dominate a large percentage of the population. So...I attract a lot of subs.

This is where one of the problems comes in for me. I have absolutely no interest in doing something to someone that they don't want done. What I've been told by several people I've played with is that talking through those things ahead of time makes it not work for them as well because they're into the sub thing at least partially for the thrill of the "danger". Again, another reason people pick me is that they know I have no interest in actually hurting them or doing things they don't want, so as long as we don't talk about it ahead of time they can feel the "danger" while knowing deep down that they are completely safe.

That doesn't cut it for me...that creeps me out. Especially with how some of the date rape laws are written, etc. So, for these situations to work for me at all, I have to be positive of everything that the other person wants done, and how they want it done, but for it to work well for them, I have to have figured that out completely on my own without having spoken of it directly beforehand. Now, since I'm perfectly fine with talking about past sexual escapades (yes, on ice, with skates) it's generally easy enough to lead someone down the path where they talk about things that have happened in the past that they liked and didn't like and so find out some boundaries.

I also really wonder sometimes about there possibly being a significant mental/emotional broke part to people who want to be dominated and especially the people who want to be hurt. It echoes to much of cutters to me. Especially the woman who eventually made it clear that at some point she wanted me to literally force her to have sex. Creeped me right the fuck out, so I stopped everything.

At least with the people who are into just bondage, that's easy. It's easy to tie someone down so that they aren't being hurt, and they can make their own fun by struggling against the bindings.

So I'm with you on some of the squick. It hurts my brain.

on 2008-06-07 05:36 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
oh, i can totally see how that would creep you out. and yeah, while i am quite willing to do a lot of things to give a partner pleasure, i wouldn't want to do potentially hurtful things without a roadmap.

that doesn't have to happen during or right before sex, but it does have to happen before sex, some time. if somebody wants the sort of danger that comes from me not knowing what i'm doing, i'm not a good partner for them.

on 2008-06-06 16:32 (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] snippy
I don't like bondage, or d/s. I don't get an endorphin rush from exercise--or maybe I just never exercised enough, although I was a competitive swimmer when I was 13. I just get exhausted and hungry.

I do get a huge endorphin rush from orgasm--sometimes the room spins, I see abstract color patterns, I can't stop laughing, and I can't walk.

I also got an endorphin rush from being tattooed. And another the one time I was whipped at my request. But neither of those were erotic, they were pleasure in another direction entirely.

Being aware of adults who like to do consensual d/s hurts my brain and challenges my tolerance.

on 2008-06-07 05:38 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
that's interesting that you get it from some things and not from others. i need to do more reading on physiology.

i sometimes ponder getting a tattoo in this general context (aside from liking the art). maybe i should try for a small white one, *snicker*. i'm worried i'd pass out though.

on 2008-06-06 17:16 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] pyrzqxgl.livejournal.com
I'm totally not into it, including in fiction, but I find some of the online BDSM people incredibly appealing as friends and people to admire, because they're so willing to be joyfully out, such articulate writers about themselves, so friendly and with a good sense of humor about BDSM and everything else. So yeah, totally not my thing, but I have no problem with other people doing it.

on 2008-06-07 05:39 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
*nod*. yes, exactly. i doubt that i would be interested in working on those specific squicks if it weren't for those people.

on 2008-06-06 18:18 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lynn-massa.livejournal.com
The Classic: _The Story of O_ by Pauline Réage

Also very good: _Exit to Eden_ by Anne Rampling (Ann Rice) TEH HOT!!
The Sleeping Beauty Series by A.N. Roquelaure (Ann Rice)

on 2008-06-07 14:20 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] selki.livejournal.com
The Story of O was a big turn-off for me, though there were some parts in it that I enjoyed. I really didn't like O's "development". (not arguing with you, just a caveat)

I liked Exit to Eden. I have read some BDSM fiction I liked a lot (the names of which are not popping up for me).

on 2008-06-08 01:23 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
sleeping beauty is something i actually would have thrown against the wall if i were inclined to throw books against a wall. i've stayed far away from anne rice since.

is exit to eden m/f?

i read the story of o some decades ago and remember nothing about it.

on 2008-06-08 03:16 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lynn-massa.livejournal.com
The main story of Exit to Eden is F/m, with an intro of M/m and a tiny side story F/f. In the main story there is complex exchange in both directions, which is what makes it an interesting read.

The Anne Rice stuff is less literature, more wank material.

on 2008-06-08 03:22 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] selki.livejournal.com
As I recall, Exit to Eden is mostly (all?) m/f (F/m, with M/f memories) with some f/f.

on 2008-06-06 18:34 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] tiger-spot.livejournal.com
I don't like heavily gendered BDSM, especially in the M/f direction. (I don't much like heavily gendered anything.) People doing BDSM in whatever gender combination don't bother me, as long as the dominant/submissive or top/bottom orientation isn't presented as tied to gender (and they're being careful about what they're doing).

I haven't got any fiction recommendations, but I read a lot of blogs with plenty of emotional flavor. A short list: Devastating Yet Inconsequential (http://devastatingyet.wordpress.com/), Dev's sub's LJ The Slave Within (http://joscelinverreui.livejournal.com/), A Place to Draw Blood Laughing (http://bloodylaughter.com/), Eileen's sub's blog Maybe Maimed but Never Harmed (http://maybemaimed.com/), Bitchy Jones's Diary (http://bitchyjones.wordpress.com/), and Under the Boot (http://undertheboot.wordpress.com/). These are all dominant women or submissive men (neatly alternating, like proper dinner party seating, except I put the partners together which you're not supposed to do at dinner parties really).

Lately in my own head I've been picking apart the different strands of things that are all lumped together as BDSM. A lot of things are associated in the general culture that just don't have much to do with each other for me. (Not in the sense of different activities like spanking vs. whipping vs. bondage, as you mention in the post, but different kinds of dominance and different kinds of submission.)

on 2008-06-07 02:46 (UTC)
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] firecat
For me and for people I've played with there is a territory between ordinary sensation and pain. I call it "intense sensation". It might look like pain to other people because of what is done to get there, but it's very different inside my head.

Humiliation and d/s -- I am imprinted on my own fantasies about subsets of them (I use the term "imprinted" because I can't explain why), but attempts to act them out in real life, no matter which role I was taking, mostly don't work out. It just feels weird or silly.

d/s in the bedroom I don't have a squick about, wrt other people, but I have a squick about 24/7 d/s, even though there are people I highly respect who do it, so there must be something I'm not understanding about it.

Cheese, peanut butter, and bondage

on 2008-06-07 05:58 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] daev.livejournal.com
I'm sure you've heard about how posting a brilliant essay exposing your thoughts and feelings to the world never garners any responses, while you can get three pages of replies by writing "I like cheese!"

Someone yesterday told me the same story, only she said it was "I like peanut butter!"

Who would have thought that BDSM is the magical third topic?

BDSM thoughts

on 2008-06-07 12:47 (UTC)
ext_6381: (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] aquaeri.livejournal.com
I've explored BDSM much less than you have, but have a lot of opinions about it :-).

I'm not into BDSM, I haven't been physically or sexually abused (I suffered some emotional abuse in the form of bullying at school). I can get endorphins from exercise, but not from pain. If I'm sexually aroused and I experience something that feels like pain (or believe the other person suffered pain) my arousal literally disappears and I have to recover from the pain and then get back on the arousal track (if that feels worthwhile).

I don't know what subspace is meant to be, but there's a place I sometimes get to during sex that might be the same thing, only "subspace" is (from my point of view) completely the wrong name for it. To the extent that I believe that place is the same as subspace, I can understand why subs want to get there, and at some emotional level why they take the path they do to get there, but it's completely the wrong route for me. I'm not sure there are any further words on this topic, certainly in that space I don't have words for anything, including myself.

I was a "tourist" in a BDSM club once, and it was a fascinating experience. I went because I wanted to make sure my lack of interest in BDSM wasn't just that I was absorbing social messages about its wrongness, so I wanted to be in a place it was okay and normal. I felt very much like an anthropologist among some tribe with a culture almost unimaginably different from my own. There was no doubt the club was about sex; the arousal in the air was so palable I was getting aroused from it (which is an interesting thing to know about myself, of course) - but whenever I looked at the actual BDSM activities - which were generating this atmosphere, the participants and the onlookers - I went straight back into "these people are strange, how can they possibly get this from that" mode.

The other thing I found very, very interesting - I was there as part of a group of four, one (T) our "guide" and somewhat of a regular there. Late in the evening, when we met up to talk about whether it was time to leave, K complained about how much she was being hit on. I said I hadn't been hit on at all, and wondered about being so much more undesirable (I mean, I could understand K getting more, but the relative numbers seemed completely out of whack from my experience). T said I wasn't going to get hit on, but there were a number of people he'd seen who were waiting for me to hit on them - apparently K came across sub and I came across dom.

It helped me understand certain aspects of some past "vanilla" non-relationships better - the BDSM language allowed me to say that these people were attracted to me and wanted to sub to me, and I had no interest in that.

As a result, I've decided that dom-sub isn't a linear axis, but two more-or-less independent axes. I score low on both, but enough lower on the sub than the dom axis that I get read as dom by people who are trying to fit me on the single-line scale.

Re: BDSM thoughts

on 2008-06-07 16:37 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] tiger-spot.livejournal.com
As a result, I've decided that dom-sub isn't a linear axis, but two more-or-less independent axes. I score low on both, but enough lower on the sub than the dom axis that I get read as dom by people who are trying to fit me on the single-line scale.

Hey, that sounds a lot like the butch/femme discussion over at my place just recently. Also covers the distinction between people who just aren't interested (androgynous/vanilla) and the people who are interested in both (genderfuck/switchy). Neat.

No more linear axes!

on 2008-06-07 21:12 (UTC)
ext_6381: (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] aquaeri.livejournal.com
I sometimes wonder if my life mission isn't to pull linear axes apart and demonstrate that they're actually more complicated. Because I agree with you on the butch/femme thing completely - if that's even anywhere near a complete description, because there's some multiple axes-pushed-into-one-thing stuff there too.

I use it to explain why, even though I test as N on the N-S axis of Myers-Briggs I often prefer hanging out with S rather than N (I'm both N and S, just more strongly N, but strong N without S drives me batty.) I also want to pull T-F apart because most of those questions feel like "embrace the power of AND" to me (and explains a lot of my problems fitting into science). I'm busy pulling apart E-I at the moment - I've always tested strongly I but I'm starting to suspect I'm at least moderate E with fairly major social anxiety.

"Intelligence" as a linear scale is of course laughable. IQ is a self-reinforcing statistical illusion. Autism spectrum, I suspect similarly, because I'm just plain tired of being counted as a fellow-traveller when I share what to me are obviously quite distinct characteristics that are just more easy to identify in people who are what I think of as on the primary Autism axis.

on 2008-06-07 20:21 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] dirtynumbangel.livejournal.com
Think of the pain thing this way:

Have you ever had a bad mosquito bite or something, and it hurts and it's all achy and yuck, and then you scratch it really hard for just a second, and it hurts but feels good? That's basically where masochists are at all the time.

on 2008-08-01 20:51 (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
a little late for this comment, but i have had problems in my life with my squick for BDSM, and i feel that the person(s, though there was really one main one) who wanted me to be down with this form of sexplay had, frankly, control issues. in my attempts to be what mr. savage calls "good, giving, and game," i found myself in some sport with a bf that ended up with huge orgasms for him (though i enjoyed it, as well!), and my blood having been drawn. oh, i thought it was fine, and i "understood" -- and, honestly, it wasn't much more than a pinprick. and i was capable of talking myself into a whacked-out place during the play that made me feel like it was something like enjoyment; kind of the state i imagine that pentacostals get into when they roll around on the floor during church service.

but. my inner self was not pleased, and could not handle it, and became gradually enraged -- and it snuck up on me, because i was trying to be GGG, and put the subterranean rumblings in the category of "unreasonable squick," and, hell, i was having orgasms too. seriously, it didn't hurt that much, and the guy was really careful. and he deeply appreciated that i wanted to give this to him.

but. i was mad, and it was growing, and there it was, and there it is. i left the relationship in a raging fury, still not even sure myself of what the hell was going on -- there were, of course, other issues. but the other issues seemed to me to be an outgrowth of the evil games, and in the end, i was scared of the guy, who, really, is a gentle soul. except. and but.

i am still angry, and "see red" when i think of having given in to the kind of play i put myself through -- though i really had no idea. perhaps because i too was taken advantage of sexually as a child, by an older boy next door? is it my own issues that made me so deeply vulnerable?

in any case -- sometimes these games can fuck shit up in ways that you yourself don't understand until it's too late.


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