Is there a difference between my sudden embrace of kink and anyone else’s midlife crisis? I don’t believe so. I can’t be the only person to regret time lost or wasted, to claw my way out of a moribund state, of years-long depression and more than a decade fearing sex. Over the past year I have become capable not only of “extreme” and “perverse” acts and emotions but of acts and emotions PERIOD. I have rediscovered sociability, friendship and intimate relationships. I leave my house at night to spend time with people. (Weeks of tracking my insomnia show me that I sleep best when I come home from an outing and go straight to bed.) I have the peace of mind and confidence to reconnect with professional peers and my mother. I even started shopping again. Now that I am buying lingerie, sex toys and rope for my dungeon nights, a pair of completely unnecessary brightly striped loafers might seem like a comparatively conservative and practical addition to my wardrobe. (Reader, I purchased them.) Continue reading
I’ve been researching the global exploitation of women’s reproductive labour. In the same part of the world where many resort to prostitution and are victims of sex trafficking, Romanian women are favoured producers of eggs for IVF because they are fair skinned. They undergo the procedure of hyper-stimulation of the ovaries, which is not without risk, in order to produce between 16 and 30 eggs per cycle, for which they may be paid three thousand dollars. Meanwhile, a smart, athletic, blonde college girl in the USA could earn up to twenty thousand for the same labour and yield. (Keep in mind that unlike sperm eggs are a finite resource, so Romanians who donate two or three times to make enough money are jeopardizing their own fertility.) Reproductive tourism flourishes in India and Thailand. Gay couples and single would-be parents as well as infertile hetero couples who cannot access IVF in their countries, or who want to do it less expensively, can hire a surrogate at a rock-bottom rate. Three thousand dollars per gestation is wealth for an Indian woman. It is also between twenty and fifty percent of the amount a North American woman would earn. Indian surrogates are valued because they are closely monitored, often housed in dormitories for the duration of the pregnancy. The disparity in wealth and rights between would-be parents and surrogates was illustrated recently when Israel evacuated the babies carried for its citizens from quake-stricken Nepal but left the surrogate mothers behind. This is the nature of any contract: once the terms have been fulfilled the relationship between the parties is at an end. In India, surrogacy businesses are not regulated by law. Nor are clinics that sell fake stem-cell therapies. In the west, women are asked to donate eggs or IVF-derived embryos for research into cell therapies. The “supernumerary” IVF embryos are going to be destroyed anyway, so why not donate. Women who donate eggs for research often have family members who suffer from potentially treatable terminal diseases; and they are already primed to donate because of the hype associated with the miracle cures in the offing. Thus far, only one stem-cell therapy (for macular degeneration) has been tested. It took a year to produce enough cells for the treatment—and that’s for the eye, a relatively small body part. Research into methods of producing stem cells without destroying embryos has been deemed “inefficient” because it requires hundreds of eggs, which are in short supply. Because a method like SCNT does not express any of the egg donor’s genetic traits, poor women of colour from around the globe will be ripe for exploitation. Racism will not prompt rejection of donors, but it will ensure that the women are paid very little.
As a relatively privileged western feminist, I have the luxury of condemning the commodification of other women’s bodies and body parts. From a position in which I assume that my body will never be sold, I can argue that poor women do not actually have the freedom to choose whether or not to sell eggs or rent their wombs. I can state that any woman who is already suffering sexism and racism as well as poverty is being coerced into this work. Thinking only in terms of western values, I can argue that an Indian woman does not have the “freedom to choose” when she contracts to do reproductive labour. (That in itself is a neo-liberalist marketplace concept of individual freedom, one that I have the individual freedom to abhor.) Looking for a less myopic approach to the issue, I have found at least one compelling argument: affluent westerners’ exploitation of poor women’s reproductive labour is unethical as long as we are doing nothing to end systemic immiseration around the globe.
r2_A/D/E ayame[M]nude2 (at Collabor88 till the 6th of July)
.HW. [Hollyweird], Thrive – Belly Tattoo- FADED
Noodles – Luna Chain Top Rose Gold XS
r2 A/D/E ayame arm warmers[S]nude (at Collabor88 till the 6th of July)
r2 A/D/E kagetsu boots[XS]sheer
Slink Female Feet (AvEnhance) XXS – High
.:EMO-tions:. * TIZIA*/black with EMO-tions base black – 5
Slink, Avatar Enhancement Hands V2.1 – Casual
Clemmm – Damaged Hands *Bruises and grit* 1
[Haste] Satire Bracelet – Rose Gold (gacha)
-Glam Affair – Mokatana – Jamaica 07 A
.random.Matter. – Misery Brows
pose one: Flowey
pose two: not available
shot at Hangars Liquides
Anorak gets chills at the thought of two massive robotic arms. I savour the prospect of two-hundred metres of natural rope. (The rope is probably more expensive, but it doesn’t servo-whine.) Last weekend a very talented woman introduced me to rope suspension. Ecstacy (a feeling of elation and innocence), followed by normalcy, followed by emotional—not physical!— drop. (The theory is that an endorphin high inevitably leads to a low.) Because of my experiences with despair the feeling of drop was familiar. It was tough to find myself in that state. Luckily it didn’t come with the despairing content, and I was able to work my way out of it. I relied on a friend, a struggle to tie my first harness on that poor friend, a dozen rounds of online gin rummy with a program that invariably favors sixes, and staying up well past my bedtime.
R2 A/D/E: her slinky see-through space rompers give good butt. Continue reading
I spent the whole fucking weekend trying to put together an outfit. You know the problems: something highly shiny doesn’t look right with something deeply matte, something engineered perfectly doesn’t work with something rough hewn. (To be honest, a pair of sexy boots got me caught between dungeon and space-station looks. Catsuits aren’t as straightforward as they seem. There’s latex for S&M and there’s latex for traveling to Saturn. The first kind says flog me now. The second kind says people who are going to be held in stasis for years do not need pockets.) Eventually I realized that I had The Secret Store’s cropped bomber, which is so hot and so well made that it not only works with anything but can tie together a flounce skirt and bantu loop hair. And, as you will see after the cut, the bomber can even enhance a sweetheart of a skin. Continue reading
The leather crop never goes out of style. Portia’s toy comes with Ma Vie’s pack of Mistress poses created for the latest round of Romp.
I like this candid AO-only shot displaying Portia’s deep shame at being ejected from Insilico for several offences.
Ma Vie. – Mistress pose pack (comes with crop) (for ROMP)
Exile::KIssing Strangers Natural Fusion 2 (at Collabor88)
r2 A/D/E hika[S]sheer1 (at Collabor88)
r2 A/D/E kagetsu boots[XS]sheer
[Chariot] Cyborg Fashion Choker – White
. a i s l i n g . Simple Nosechain / Gold
[Modern.Couture] Jewelry – Mika Bracelet Gold
-Glam Affair – December skin – AFRICA 02 A (Arcade gacha)
shot at Insilico
I rarely go all out for newness and can’t recall the last time Portia looked this sweet. Her cute combined dress and coat is Nevery Lorakeet’s latest offering from Les Petits Details. It’s called Mandarino and it’s also available in a brown abstract and a grey tweed version.
Sopha Portal has outdone herself with Jang, a gorgeous Asian face that you will find at the Xiasumi School Festival. Some participants are donating proceeds to the children-centered Japan Tsunami Earthquake Relief fund. The Xiasumi campus is huge. Go to the actual school building and then do yourself a favor by using area search. Portia’s hair is new from Little Bones at Collabor88. You can change the shade of the left half of the hairdo by choosing one of the streaks options on the HUD. I have been avoiding these hat hairdos because they give me Culture Club flashbacks, but I was powerless to resist the center part and controlled curls of Spell Circle.
*LpD* – *Mandarino* Dress-Coat Blue (Mesh – XXS) (NEW; ty Nevery!)
[ MUDSKIN ]_Jang_Makeup1_Sunny (NEW at Xiasumi)
[ MUDSKIN ]_Gallaxy Eye_Grey1_w1 (not currently available)
A*S, Thigh High Canvas Boots_XS_ (NEW at The Thrift Shop)
little bones. (hat) Spell Circle [L] Landslide pack (NEW at Collabor88)
Zaara : Banjara silver choker (NEW at Collabor88)
:::LP::: Pyramid_Stud Pearl/Onyx (old gift)
Label Motion – My Balloon Pet (old gift)
It’s a good week to go shopping. With the exception of new releases, all the fatpacks at booN are on sale for 78L until October 31st. booN’s cornrow ‘dos are the best on the grid. (Be sure to buy the pack of bases—discounted to 50L—as well as the individual styles.) Spiked gladiator boots from Bens Beauty in dusky silver or bright gold can be had at Fi*Friday for 55L each.
Sian Pearl’s Patmah mask for Chariot takes Genre’s current theme of androgyny into creepy territory—just in time for Halloween.
[Chariot] Patmah Mask – Gold (no strap) (NEW at Genre; ty Sian)
(fd) Turtleneck Dress – Grape S (at Collabor88)
Bens Boutique – Danger Gladiator Boots (S)-(S) SILVER (at Fi*Friday)
booN MMK375 hair blueblack
booN cornrows hairbase blueblack
Glam Affair – Margot – India 03 – Black
+ROZOREGALIA+*Gemma*EARRINGs (old gift)
poses: Grafica, Adah pack (ty Alyx!)
I just bought my first corset (see pic on Flickr). It’s an underbust, mostly black with decorative laces on the sides and stainless steel closures in the front. I tried a long-line overbust corset that didn’t fit my short-waisted bod. It appealed to me because of the fabric: a somewhat old-fashioned floral pattern, chysanthemums I think, in pale pink, red and white. The vendor told me this one is rarely bought. I was drawn to it because when I think about a kink wardrobe I imagine myself in loose flowing dresses in lace (think Free People) or tap pants and a teddy in pretty fabrics rather than tougher looks in tight leather or latex. Something about my submissive side puts me in touch with the soft, subtle part of me. That part of me was not, however, controlling today’s purse strings. I am pleased to reassure all my readers that the corset I bought better reflects my true self. It’s a little evil. [Update: waking up to spy one’s new corset lying on the floor is disturbing. It looks like alien tech and it weighs far more than an hourglass.]
On her pudendum Portia is wearing Cyril, new from Sian Pearl for Chariot. It’s a lovely swan-shaped metal codpiece [with matching crown, sold separately] in soft silver, bronze and blue tones. It’s very resizable so SLadies like Portia can pretend it’s a merkin. I have to confess that I have long wanted to buy Portia a pair of well-stuffed men’s briefs. I think Cyril may have led me to the slope all slippery with swan shit.
Credits (My internet access is limited. You will find URLs at Seraphim.)
-Pixicat- Vintage.Corset – Allure (xs) (at Collabor88)
[Chariot] Cyril – Gentleman’s Accoutrement (NEW; at Mystic Realms fair; ty Sian!)
Barely Legal – Endeavor Cylinder Boots S (Polka Minnie)
[LeLutka]-ALEXAND hair – BlondeFun (NEWish)
No. 07, Geometry Eyelashes (NEW at L’Accessoires; ty Sugarplum)
-Glam Affair – Sia – Pearl – Dead Doll (group gift)
Hela – Pearl Eyebrows (gacha)
Hela – White Ruff (gacha)
pose: Ma Vie, Revealed pack
location: Tierra de Fuego
Aliza Karu of Angels and Demons Creations is back with dramatic gowns designed for the latest edition of Ferosh magazine, which is fabulous. I stripped 00:00 down to the bones: lots of rear ruffles calling attention to long bared legs and a harness decked with lace-filled picture frames. You can wear just one picture frame but I figure three gets you the full-on Guilty Remnant feel. (That’s not an obscure reference if Justin Theroux makes you melt.)
Turn about is fair play. I hear tell of a tiny female domme who is topping a top I dislike. All she’s needed is an evil laugh, a little rope and a smattering of seeding. It couldn’t happen to a meaner guy.
[AD] 00:00 (NEW; see the whole outfit here; ty Aliza!)
Exile::Check Out Time (NEW at Collabor88)
[theSkinnery]Ming-Bare face(ebony) BB CL2
Nox. Beauty Marks [Four]
Visage, Beauty Marks – set 07 – dark
*MY UGLYDOROTHY -Freckles w Moles
.la petite morte. regret under liner. black
Goth1c0: Arcane tattoo chest (ye olde iteme)
*BOOM* Fearless wrist cuff (v2) Silver
*Reign.- Monarch Heels- Black
shot at Tierra de Fuego