The Other Side of Expectation

I found myself in the middle of a wonderful moment the other night. It was simple enough, I was eating dinner with a couple friends in my bedroom. I was dressed comfortably for the cool weather, and relaxed on my bed as we ate. We were in my bedroom because I have just moved to a new apartment and don’t have any furniture for the living room yet, and our kitchen is too small for a table… One of my friends was collared with a dog collar around their neck and topless, wearing only a rope harness I had tied onto their body earlier. They were eating out of a dog dish with no hands at the foot of my bed and grinning ear to ear while chatting about this and that between mouthfuls… This charming pup/boy had cooked dinner and served my guest and I: a wonderful and tasty vegan dinner paired with wine. They were collared and harnessed because they are my pup/boy, and it was the least I could do in appreciation of their service and care for the evening. (Well, I suppose I also beat them up a bit as well — just enough to get them giggling and smiling and merrily on their way to the kitchen…)

My other guest was stripped completely naked and kneeling properly on a blanket on the floor by my side. Beautiful posture, quiet demeanor, and holding a small tea saucer and chopsticks in his hands. His eyes were big practically unblinking saucers throughout our meal, experiencing the moment he was in wholly, and taking small bites of the food I placed on his dish from my own plate. His attention was studied and careful, eating when I ate, drinking when I drank, and gracefully taking the whole experience in. This guest of mine had just cleaned my bathroom while dinner was being made. Earlier in the evening I had brought him to his first proper sex positive/kinky/queer/feminist sex store… If his eyes were dark saucers of pupil now during this meal, you can imagine how the soft brown of his irises had disappeared in that environment earlier. Under my instruction he had bought a new toy he was curious about trying out. I am holding the gift in my home until he has learned enough about pleasing me to earn his reward…

In the middle of our simple dinner I thought to myself, “Oh this, this is my life — this is my life and I am so very happy and grateful for it”.

Is this blog meant to brag about my situation? No, but I do want to talk about that feeling. I experience this particular shade of gratefulness not infrequently in the midst of nontraditional happenings. It creeps up on me during sex and fetish parties while trussed up in bizarre predicaments, or watching a room full of people vulnerable, raw, and connecting deeply. I get it performing onstage with talented politically adept fellow actors who are telling their stories and raising fists against the ghosts and injuries of their pasts. This feeling washes over me on perfectly temperate days sitting in the sun deep in nature away from other humans, and it comes to me when I’m lost in writing or my art making process. This feeling tastes like contentment infused with excitement, there are hints of sensuous power at the edges of it’s balanced and grounded finish. The feeling is a restful animal, turned on, full, knowing all is right with the world.

How did I find myself here in this beautiful moment surrounded by good food, a happy pup, and turned on houseboy? In short, I got here because I made it happen. The more detailed answer is through years of hard work examining my own issues and trying out different paths towards pleasure. I got here by fighting for my own identity to be acknowledged — first by myself, and then by others around me. I got here by studying sexuality and human behavior, by making mistakes along the way, and acknowledging the depths to which I self-repress. Like most people I sometimes release my needs sideways, which is a problem I’ve consciously kept examining and challenging, and committed to work towards a more and more direct path to pleasure — my own and others’. I’ve zig-zagged through relationships which did not suit me finding a million reasons to better learn “no”, I’ve learned to stand my ground about gender, sexual identity, non-monogamous heart longings, kink-over-sex limitations (my healthy preferences)… I’ve had to accept myself first against deep fears that I will be abandoned or slandered by those who don’t understand my wants and needs in effort to be happy. I’ve battled guilt about advocating for my desires, and I’ve come to the other side stronger and more fully realized after each ending.

Along the way I’ve met more and more friends who understand me layers down deeply. Friends who see me and who value my voice as I celebrate and thrill at the creatures they are too. I’ve met people who have given me permission to be wholly myself, who’ve demanded I say what I mean rather than what I think anyone listening expects to hear. I have learned to better love from these imps and faeries as they’ve allowed me. I’ve started to dare showing up in spaces I was afraid were not mine to inhabit (though I’ve fantasized for decades about being welcomed in them), and I’ve felt my jaw drop in awe at the beauty there which I’ve spent years missing out on, by way of fear, self worth traps, and denial.

This is what it’s like to live outside the comfort of dominant society. There are gifts glittering in the trees and campfires of our queer Elders who reside on the outer edges of normativity. I’ve found new breath in dirty drafty bars smelling of stale tobacco, leather, cheap beer, and human musk. There are concrete rooms draped in cloth and furnished with benches, wooden rigs, and outfitted with toys of every imagined use, which hold onto the sweaty stench of lust while nightly showcasing mad desires and the everyday stunt people who conquer knives, needles, whip lashings, feather ticklers, gruff melting words to the ear, bootprint bruises, chains for hitting or bondage, seduction via a potent mix of jealousy/shame/compersion/voyeurism released during a bull’s intentional thrusts, and in dark corners you can find instances of heartbreaking love coursing through the body of a kneeling silent creature holding onto the well known leg of their Master…

From the years of puberty on we are taught to see some “thing” that we want, and conquer it with a quick fuck, a ring, relational rules tempered by selfishness and leading frequently to lies. I am grateful to be sitting in a room with people who make my heart sing. I am thankful to have scattered across the country playmates of varied genders and relationship styles who are as happy to have me in their bed as they are to simply take tea and catch up, or choreograph an evening of humiliation and pain, or submit to my will, or mold me, putty that I am, between their own fingers for a night… I like this adult life of eyes which sparkle, pupils that dilate wide in awe and anticipation of what comes next in our scene, of building trust through clear and open communication of our fantasies, our desire, boundaries, always ruled within the constitution of presentness, consent, respect, and earned trust.

We are a tradition of animals who have told ourselves “no” enough times to understand what we are capable of, and not starting in until we are ready to jump. We are improv performers gifted at exiting gracefully from our scenes when we are ready for an end. We are bodies full of scars and pleasure points hidden sometimes from even ourselves, scouring each other’s maps for adventurous answers to common problems. We are simple. We are ridiculous. We are educated in the dangers we employ, and oathed to take responsibility for inevitable downfalls, for our mistakes and unforeseen consequences. We find happiness in silly places — and goddamn if that in itself isn’t some kind of satisfyingly sexy win.

If  you didn’t know it, this is a love letter. Thank you to the scores of friends who have guided and helped shape my journey, to the hands pleasuring my way on each new adventurous day, and to the future teachers and students of my body, my heart, and my mind. That I can experience and articulate my joy is in service to every single one of you. May my findings be permission for others to wonder what might be if they seeked out a new kind of happiness, one that looks like a private fantasy but exists somewhere safely and consensually close by, a fantasy shared by other architects and creators of desire.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

Please support my work on Patreon. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist 
~Thank you.

Telly from Sesame Street

Telly from Sesame Street, remember? Most people don’t. He was the purple monster (I think I learned in later years — our tv was black and white) who worried all the time. He walked around like a muttering animated fur covered ulcer feeling awful, guilty, and worried about e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. He was constantly being talked down from ledges and explained to that everything was going to be ok.

Telly was my favorite, even though I hated his scenes.

I really felt him. I understood those overpowering huge feelings — unquenchable terribleness concerning anything and everything — in my little two and a half foot tall body. On the inside I was more often than not like Telly as a kid. I don’t think I’ve outgrown him, but the Telly inside me and I are better friends than we used to be.

Inside me there are settings that look very black and white. Yet I don’t believe in such dichotomies. The dimmer switch doesn’t work that well, it jumps around turning the lights on and off jarringly. Life is complex and even though we are constantly trying to hold on to some sort of “truth” to keep the fear of hopelessness and meaninglessness at bay, we are also lunging forward every day with mistakes and experiments. Our animal selves are reaching out to connect with one another in the most meaningful and inappropriate ways, and our brains are making rational decisions irrationally based off a chart of “acceptable ethics” we didn’t each actually internally create.

When I’m emotionally strong and feeling well I celebrate my feral deeds with hedonistic campfires and the barbaric yawp of an animal in heat, victorious in my fuckall war against repression — crystal clear about the effigy burnt up made of shame. When I am low, depressed, shaky, or weak inside, out come the tears and quivers, begging forgiveness for what I have done, thought, or risked, infected with remorse and self loathing at my counter-understanding of the the world, different from what I’ve been taught… Fear bleeds and creeps under my skin and I lie awake terrorized at who I might be: in fact who I am. What I’ve done for the freedom of my soul and the pleasure of my skin, I wring hands over moments later awash in guilt and shame. The concept that I should ever become an anybody terrifies me when I realize I might be crushed under the weight of facing this monster publicly who is me…

Neither of these, of course, represents truth. My mind ravages my body, my body in turn continually finds time to overpower my mind. Each of these moments an ultimatum for my heart, poor beatup civilian in the middle, to take sides. My stomach seethes and rebels, trying to shut the whole system down, while my head chatters incessantly allowing me no repair and no rest, so my heart (Maria or Gordan in this story), searches for the answer to this chaos, the understanding which will bring meaning to each of these feelings, mellowing out to find the line I can live with somewhere in between. Inside there are many wars being raged every day.

Why, even as a young child, did I perseverate so deeply, disquietly questioning the very basic impetus to remain tethered within my own skin? Why such intense and early connection to guilt and shame. I had (have) a ton of it.

When I found out about the concept of reincarnation I was appalled and depressed for days. I worried that there was any truth to it because “WHO THE FUCK WANTS TO DO THIS AGAIN?!?!?!!!!” I was staunchly aware that I didn’t. Life was not weight which should be borne again and again, one time was enough! Maybe even too much. To imagine rediscovering all the pain that emotions bring, again and again, even once, seemed too much for my young mind. Later on in High School I read Camus and learned his theory of the “Theater of the Absurd”: nothing was, nor ever will be again, this window of living is but an absurd moment in chaos. Theater. I was finally pacified, satisfied, and hopeful about my eventual nothingness.

I’ve gotten older though and I want to travel the world outside of storybooks, and I doubt I’ll be able to see as much as I desire. I probably won’t build that house with my own hands. I don’t think I’ll have children. There is a growing list of professions and experiences I’d like to have which I never shall wrap my hands around, a list of mouths I’ll never kiss, stages I’ll never touch, levels of ecstasy I’ll never reach, plateaus of peace I’ll never find…

In this life I’m living I’ve repeatedly made mistakes, gone too far, felt remorse, cut myself off, pushed boundaries I felt were important to push, trusted my instincts, fallen on my face, picked myself back up better skilled, and championed the challenge. I am teasing free this ball of twisty knotted line and it is chaos theory, way way bigger than only me. The older I get the more easily I recognize the cycle of it all too. I can, from further and further distances away, observe my moments of burning high flight before the fall. I recognize myself bottoming out. I know I am not in truthful territory during these highs and lows. But there’s Art there. Struggle is integral to seeing complexity and finding undiscovered degrees of perspective. I connect with ideas that are beyond me, larger than the sum of of my experiences, feelings I could not follow were I not here now in the middle of the up and down agony of… whatever it is I’m flying and crashing about right now.

The up and down agony of reality. Nothing about our lives is ultimately controllable, yet without our struggle to organize, life is not energetically sustainable.

So I come to my theory of perfect tension. The meaning of life is, I think, to find proper tension. Adjusting constantly, tendrils snaking out to each body one is connected to, keeping time with the cyclical humming we are all a part of/immersed in. Now tighter, now loosening up, now hold it firmly and breathe, breathe together, let go slowly, don’t fall if you can help it… We’re balancing in our separate corners with the million lines to one another continually supporting and threatening each other as we go. I am feral. I want to be loved. I am perverse and sexual. I want no shame within my vulnerability. I must trust. There are walls. No one will catch me but me. Autonomy. Interconnectedness. It is a mess to be born of atoms, and a challenging blessed practice to be.

Does it matter that I cheated on my vocab test in second grade? I was a wreck for weeks. I didn’t tell anyone until now. Really. The shame of being a disappointment to my parents. Whispered promises to a god I don’t believe in begging for some peace from this feeling of inner decay. I begged to that anonymous bigger thing in high school too, worried so deeply, hoping I’d start to bleed. I find myself there in adulthood about saying the wrong words to people I love, or afraid I’ll have a heart attack from eating the wrong recreational thing, or when worried I’ll find myself exploited for my mistakes which might look like tresspasses to the people not inside me… Of course I do better on my strong days, a purring lion-faerie riding dandelion seeds on the wind. On those days nothing can harm me, for I believe above all in my reasons for doing what I have done, in my own intentions and decisive jumps. Still, moments, weeks, years, decades later I can locate each rotted gut feeling, tendril upon tendril of tension wracked with guilt and disharmony carried alongside me still, worried I did the wrong thing. It is a messy gaping bag of cancer I haven’t figured out how yet to set free.

This is the struggle of humanity. Born alone, dying alone, with all of these others that we feel around us — so deeply, so tenderly, so savagely, so cuttingly, so movingly (for better and worse) — in between.

I’ve been told more than once that I’m a path cutter, wielding my machete and hacking into wilderness, looking for the more that there is. Covered in scrapes and bruises, falls, twisted ankles, yet also sitting in wonder at the solitude and beauty I find when the moon is just right and the animals and insects around breathe with me.

I make mistakes, I’ll never stop. I try things I’ve been told not to and creep toward being a better more understanding animal. I stand up for my beliefs and hold a tense line when I must in the face of judgemental reproach. And I am weary some days. I am wrong now and again. I get crazy ideas and start racing head down into the unknown future: danger be damned! This is ultimately all I know how to do, and yes, I know it ain’t pretty… But when I stop and listen: “Human child” I hear my heart say, “there is no other way it is possible to be”.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

Please support my work on Patreon. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist 
~Thank you.

Building Lust

It takes more than getting out the ropes and my vibrator to get me here. Foreplay often begins by being in the moment and not assuming we’ll get here at all.

Building lust, building desire, building an energetic fire is important. Why? Because not everyone has access to being turned on whenever the people they care for are. Because being filled with lust is its own particular type of delicious torture. Because feeling lustful energy thrive is where a lot of the fun begins…

Being in the BDSM community is liberating and it can also feel like a lot to navigate. People get all sorts of things out of sceneing, and sexual pleasure is often one of them. This is not true for everybody though. Kink is not synonymous with sexual gratification, and not everyone wants sex mixed in with their kink. I, for one, enjoy a wide variety of kinks, and respond happily to various forms of pain play. I love to Dominate, it turns me on to see reactions from the person I’ve been entrusted to touch and handle. I love to seduce, and I feel quite powerful in that position. Whether I get my partners off sexually or non-sexually, I find I’ll often get myself off energetically through the experience. As a sub, taking pain and turning it into energy which keeps my Top/Dom high and working on me is thrilling. I’ve enjoyed kink scenes five hours long with no “sex” involved and felt higher and more turned on and more intimately connected to my partner than any sexual intercourse I’ve ever had. There’s great value in a wide array of connections and experiences beyond what society considers “the norm”.

When I negotiate BDSM with someone I almost always negotiate scenes that are non-sexual. To me this basically means “don’t touch my junk in a sexual way, and don’t expect me to touch yours”. I usually just plain don’t want my kink mixed up with sexual expectation. Except sometimes. That sometimes is something that evolves over time with a very tiny portion of my play partners. Why is that so? I don’t know, really. I do have a lot of sex-specific baggage, and while I can feel safe with the right person beating me, needling me, or any other number of nasty and perverse things, the moment someone expects sex from me I frequently shut down. My body warms up to sexual feelings extremely slowly — over years of consideration and intrigue sometimes — if at all with most people. Chemistry matters too, and I find I just don’t feel sexual around a lot of people that I do feel extremely sensual or even turned on around. These days I don’t feel the need to change this. I spent years thinking I was broken, and it destroyed my sexual impulses more and more deeply to feel so “wrong” about the way I’m wired. Thankfully I’ve learned to feel intense and even orgasmic pleasure in non-sexual ways with people who respect my boundaries and enjoy turning me on and playing with me. I don’t think my reality is that strange or rare. Even though culturally we’re taught to “want sex” (meaning intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, and other genital-centric stimulation), people experience pleasure in very different ways. If pleasure is something you value, it’s only fair to learn how to find it for yourself, and to respect how your partners get theirs (similarly and differently) too.

So how do we start? Everyone is different, and what works for some people will be the opposite of what works for others. Talking about your preferences when negotiating matters. This means you need to know something about what turns you on and what cools you off and you must be willing to say it to the people you want to play with. Everyone assumes to some extent that our experiences and the way we function is how others operate. Challenge these assumptions in yourself and ask your partners questions instead. Some of the suggestions below will sound great to you, some maybe not so much. That’s great information to start thinking about. Communicating about why you do or don’t like a certain approach will help your partners understand your sensuality and sexuality more usefully. Take it slowly with new partners, especially if you’re having a hard time reading what they want. There’s probably a reason (psychological, emotional, physical, chemical, etc.) that you have to do some work to get that fire going. If I’ve learned anything about sex and BDSM, it’s that it’s worth taking your time to get a proper fire roaring before going for the gold.

One way to get people into a playful mood at the same time you are is by agreeing to beforehand. Schedule a specific time and space to scene together. Looking forward to your date is a form of foreplay and helps people prepare to be sexually or sensually open when the time comes. This could make it easier for someone who has a hard time giving into their feelings, to look forward to doing just that. “Wanting to” is a first step on our journey to pleasure. Anticipation can build desire: wondering what you’re in for, preparing yourself thoughtfully in the way that you dress or plan a date, making choices which make you feel special or that send energy into the person you’re meeting. Building desire might also help you break the ice when you finally come together to play.

Knowing someone’s sexual and sensual triggers (if they have them and you have permission to engage them), can be a wonderful starting point for play too. Maybe every time someone hums in your ear, bites your neck, grabs the base of your hairline, tickles your sides, runs their finger down your spine, pinches or scratches your skin… you get turned on? Maybe you have triggers that immediately turn you off too, or certain activities you can tolerate but they kinda cool you down, or maybe you absolutely love a certain activity but only when you’re already super turned on and if it’s initiated prior to being in that headspace it’ll send the whole scene crashing down. We learn these things little by little about one another, and it’s important to be able to talk about them. For better and for worse the triggers of another human being are theirs. Try not to take feedback about someone else’s body personally. They’re telling you what works and what doesn’t work, and even if it worked in the past, it might not today. Celebrate how you can connect, and respect the ways you cannot. Pressing someone to accept something they don’t enjoy can be harmful. Also remember that people make mistakes. People don’t always understand the unfavorable reaction another person has to something they themselves enjoy. It’s important to educate one another about our feelings and not assume someone intends harm when something we don’t enjoy happens. It’s important to hear people when they express displeasure (or ecstasy) and learn.

Grounding myself and slowing down is my favorite way to enter into sensual and sexual play. Clearing my head, and breathing for a minute before I touch someone and touching slowly and curiously usually helps me find an ember to ignite. It may feel strange not to expect anything outside of the moment you are in, yet is one of the things that works for me as both giver and receiver of physical attention. The moment something is assumed, I find our symbiotic footing is often lost.

Clearly saying what you want and expect can be really helpful. Sometimes people have anxiety about not knowing where things are headed or what they’re supposed to do to please their partner. A way to alleviate that tension is to be clear. For instance, I find it’s easier to relax at the gynecologist’s office when my doctor tells me what to expect while it’s happening. Being told, “I’m going to touch your thigh now. The lube is a little cold, and I’m inserting my fingers now. You’ll feel some pressure as I feel around for a moment. Tell me if anything hurts.” (medical play anyone?), helps me accept what’s happening to my body in a way I might not otherwise. You can build an entire scene this way with a person who relaxes around knowing what to expect, if you are willing to talk about your intent as it unfolds. Also, asking for feedback can be really hot, as can guiding and teaching someone what works for you when you’re both prepared to give and take, speak and listen, ask questions and offer feedback.

These are just a few ways to reach out and connect. At the base of my desire and my lustful feelings is a need for energetic connection. Energy is important. I can get off thinking about certain people without touching myself or even being touched. Sexual and sensual energy belongs to our bodies, and it is an art to share it pleasurably with others.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

Please support my work on Patreon. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist 
~Thank you.

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