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.

R is for ROLE PLAY

“I thought to bring my own exam gown, as the paper robes are so scratchy. I trust you’ll let me know when it is the right time to change for you…”

“Doctor, my body feels strange and tingly all over, and I’m getting headaches. I’m distracted and can’t seem to get anything done… The source of my madness seems to be the swollen button between my legs. Let me know if you need an accompanying photograph for your files. Thank you for being on call…”

“My preliminary diagnosis is one of nervosa cliterosa… a rather extreme example of female hysteria. It will take considerable effort to treat and will most likely require the insertion of a probe deep into the genitalia… You can see what the probe looks like below. I will also send a picture of other tools that I may employ.”

Who said negotiation can’t be fun? Slipping into character is not always easy, and what feels safe, flirty, and fun over text may not carry into a face to face situation effortlessly. However, role play, for all the cheese and clumsy attempts at cleverness, mixed with the desire to turn on and be turned on, is perfectly emblematic of the “adult playground” which is kink.

What are good role play ideas? Great question! Yes.

That didn’t answer my question… Well, it did though. If all parties are voting yes to a role play idea, why not move to negotiations, scene building, and try it out in a safe, sane, and consensual risk-aware manner? The entire idea behind role play is that we can make fantasies we’d like to experience come to life. Are all fantasies come to life going to prove to be great ideas in the end? No. Just like every time you have sex it’s not the greatest sex, and every day at the office is not the best day there. Don’t be afraid to critique what worked for you and what didn’t when you’re all in a headspace which allows for it. Try again if something in there really worked. Next time keep the good parts and edit out the stuff that fell flat. Add in the stuff you forgot to do or were inspired to try but hadn’t negotiated for yet… You’ll learn a lot about yourself, and potentially one another. Maybe you didn’t know you need the aesthetics of the scene to be really vibrant to get into it, or a wig is all you need to talk filthy dirty, or the feeling of being emotionally powerless was a huge turn on, or that ankle restraints are great for setting the scene — but please make sure they’re undone before fucking because you need to move your legs around to get the best angle for pleasure, or that your partner likes being tickled as long as you’re using that voice, or that you really want to be coerced and emotionally manipulated way more deeply than your partner felt comfortable doing today… Practice makes perfect. This play is yours to write, rewrite, and evolve.

Building a scene: This happens first so a successful fantasy can play out. Building a scene can happen in a lot of different ways, but it must happen beforehand, and it requires a willingness to (probably graphically) talk about sex, talk about desire, and talk about boundaries. Building the scene is a negotiation period where the participating parties figure out what the role play will look like, who plays what character, what might/will/won’t happen in the scene, who’s responsible for what actions/props/environmental controls/costume elements/”extras” casting… and as many of the details as you can figure out to feel safe and secure enough to let go while playing with one another in imagination land.

Character Development: This is an important, and often overlooked part of role play. Character development asks you to look at who your character is, what they want, and how they’re going to get it in the scene. It is entirely one thing to say “I want to do a Doctor/patient scene”, and entirely another when the patient shows up expecting a sexy pornographic gynecological exam, but ends up behind the curtain with a mad scientist Doctor wielding fists full of scalpels and needles, or a MD type who is newly researched and emphatically prepared to give an actual pelvic exam and who would never be comfortable breaking their patient’s trust… When I say “Doctor”, to which flavor of Doctor are we referring? When you say “exam”, what style of exam are we prepping for?

Set, Props, Location, Costume: You can enter role play as instantaneously and fluidly as you can change your voice. You can also spend weeks creating the perfect costume pieces, acquiring props, and revelling in the details of every moment you have planned out. Frequently our scenes fall somewhere in between. What do you want for this role play to feel fun and sexy (or dirty and evil, or exhilarating and uncomfortable, or…)? Maybe all you need are the right shoes or wig to really feel into it, maybe the prevalent image in your head for this scene is the moment someone’s naked body is draped over a furniture piece waiting for you, maybe you just want to feel a wrestling of wills until someone loses and suffers the consequences, maybe as long as “X” happens your partner can flesh out the rest of the night how they please and you’re happy to just be along for the ride, maybe you really don’t want to do this scene at home you need the fresh energy of a foreign room, or… Whatever little details you see or feel or want from a scene are things you should be up front about and plan to include. These details or events will act as triggering forces helping you appreciate the actual situation you are in.

It’s all fun and games, but what if I start feeling feelings? This totally happens. You are in a heightened state employing your psychological and intellectual endowments as well as physical, environmental, and sensual experiences. It’s easy to have your heartstrings pulled when you relax enough to buy into your imagination. To feel yourself empathize with a character, or to suddenly connect more deeply on a personal level with what’s happening in the room, to “feel” the fantasy, and sometimes be triggered by it, are all potential experiences which role play can bring on. We are no different than we were as kids who might have gotten their feelings hurt when they didn’t get what they wanted out of playing house with our friends… Our minds are powerful fuel for behavioral experiments. Know  that. Think about potential triggers when you plan your scene. Play honestly with people you trust. Talk in depth about what you want and what you don’t want in a scene, and be prepared before you start. The first aid kit of fantasy role play may be filled with bandaids, toys, and prophylactics, but it should also have an agreed upon script about what to do when someone [starts crying, gets angry, seems out of it, isn’t responding “normally” within the scene, gets agitated…], and of course, safe words and agreed upon aftercare and/or after scene check-ins are important in this type of play too. It might take a little longer than normal to process experiences which are not predominantly physical in nature. Concerning healthy expectations: the more risky the fantasy content (physically, emotionally, psychologically), the more you need to prepare ahead of time, and the more trust you need to have between play partners.

“I’m stepping out of character for a minute”, is a great check-in phrase if you need a reality check, and there is no reason not to take brief time outs when anyone feels the need for one. Sometimes taking 30 seconds out of character helps alleviate a situation more efficiently than searching for a way to say what you need “in character”, or in “code” which might not be interpreted correctly by your scene partner. In that vein, I find calling out discomfort to be the easiest way to get over feelings of inadequacy, nerves, and actual discomfort. If you’re engaging in role play of some kind, chances are that you are someone (and/or with someone) who has a creative mind who wants to use it. Stumbling blocks are often a fear of getting tripped up somehow and falling ungracefully on your face, or offending or hurting someone inadvertently. Repeatedly I’ve found that the surest way to get back to the sensuality and ease with a partner I’m feeling friction around is to call out what’s happening when it isn’t working so we can both take a moment to recalibrate and decide to get back to what works. It also gives opportunity to address the friction if it’s symptomatic of a bigger issue going on between us. Adjustments don’t have to be boner killers, and when they are, well, there was probably a good reason to kill that one — rest assured boners can be built back up. “Back in character now”.

Have fun and laugh at yourself and with one another. Don’t be afraid of catharsis if it’s healthy and everyone around is prepared. Let yourself learn new tricks, let go a little deeper when you feel safe doing so, and lose yourself for a moment in play. Isn’t that why we love this playground in the first place?

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

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

Creatures Talk

Photo by RADskillZ Photography 2013

As I navigate perpetually, the adult and kinky world, I find it ever more interesting to come in and out of conversations with people who are looking for that “something” they cannot put words to. I understand this intimately, of course, as I’ve had my own years of no words for urges — and sometimes resistance to the words I do know.

I remember being young when sex was brand new and I had feelings and desires to please, but no understanding of how my own body worked really (I’m still learning). The emotional rollercoaster of trying new things and feeling afraid that I’d done something wrong the day after… Those were the rough and tumble Gen-X days where “no meant no”, before “yes meant yes” was even a thing, and honestly as long as no one was saying no, you just kept watching for signals, picking up on the language of the body in front of you, and asking questions… Well, I asked a lot of questions. I was repeatedly brushed off by some partner’s resistance, mumbling that I was weird for asking: “how does that feel?”, “can I bite harder?”, “Tell me about your fantasies?”, “What was sex with your last partner like?”… It just seemed natural to ask — I wanted to know and I wanted to please, I wanted to understand what actions felt like to other people. Vulnerably talking about sex has always been a turn-on. Talking about sex makes sex feel safer and more accessible to me.

The partners who were experimental were always my favorites. We would work out algorithms in bed, or construct science experiments to find out what might happen if… We would unfold our fantasies for hours with one another and surprise each other with an instruction video about “how to” that thing, or a new toy tossed on the bed, or… or… or. Mmmm.

The partners I’ve had who didn’t like to talk about sex triggered my own stuff, locked up in fear and shame. I had a hard time feeling turned on with those people, though I loved them, because I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know if I was ok to try. I constantly thought I was going to get in trouble for doing something wrong… No one was asking me what I wanted in those relationships either, so if what was happening didn’t work, frustrations would often abound when I tried to speak up and connect about it or shift the scene elsewhere. Explosions sometimes. Too often. For years I just tiptoed further and further into my own underground, suspending my pleasure in an effort to un-disruptively please. There were some who were half and half — eager to learn from me and play but withholding of their own inner worlds — desires I could never understand because the answer to what they wanted always just fell flat. So we would come up up empty handed in our ups and downs leading to fun-and-unfulfilled in the end.

Can I teach you how to talk and listen? Can I help you practice saying the words? If I could be your lover/sub/Dominant I think those might be my favorite games…

I want you to challenge me and my libido by getting into it with me when we’re together. Good, bad, ugly, divine — can we remain open in our primal elements near one another’s critiques and fantasies? Curiosity seems the most natural way to be. I want negotiation be the song which gets our hips shifting in time and both of us smiling.

I want to unlock your/our/my potential when we connect. I want sex and kink and all the things we intimately desire to be like a vacation or a road trip together. Your body is a map I am discovering with a missing key that together we construct, figuring out each easy-to-complex symbolic meaning. Let’s hunt paths to their natural conclusions or trace back origins, learn new ways of interpreting each idea and riff off into uncharted land… Through trust let’s conjure instinct, and just ’cause instinct let’s not abandon conversation.

I often cannot give an enthusiastic yes to your blunt sex question, but I can usually give a thoughtful and honest “let’s try”! I’ll let you know if it isn’t working, and you’ll probably know if it is. In our current world ruled by articulation via keyboard we’re losing attention to detail — scent shifting, facial spasms, breath patterns, energy flow, eye connection… If you hate what just happened, kindly tell me please. I have no desire for you to endure my experiment which was designed to try and turn you on in the first place. Let’s talk and listen in all the ways about what we’re doing. Let’s figure things out rather than fight about intentions in the face of failed experiments or miscommunication. Let’s utilize our primal instincts and check in. The instinct of good loving is animal, and creatures talk, after all.

Play On My Friends,
~ Karin

If you like my blog, please check out my Patreon Page and support me. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist

~Thank you.

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