To play or not to play

Anyone who has been reading Pleisure knows that my fall 2016 rope walkabout was rough. I called one scene because I was being mauled. A Canadian man I really liked, and who seemed to really like me, ghosted. Etc. So I decided to be more careful about who I play with by getting to know a rigger before scening. After a successful first coffee, a potential partner and I made a plan to play a few weeks later. This seemed like a distant event, so I suggested we have dinner sometime in the intervening weeks. His dinner conversation was deeply discouraging. He told me he’d read my Fet profile and couldn’t give me what I want. He told me that he hates the idea of doing anything and that he loathes leaving his house even though he always enjoys himself when he goes out. He didn’t take me up on either of my sexy conversational gambits. I listened to what he had to say and responded patiently, but he persisted, insisted “It’s not you, it’s me.” I was remarkably calm when I told him that I didn’t see myself playing with someone who dreaded the idea of it. “Anticipation, shared between me and my partner, is essential,” I said. “I want to play with someone who is excited about playing with me. I’m not going to come up with a cute outfit for person who might not even show up.” I told him I’d think it over. So there I was, seriously considering passing up a rare opportunity to play, and to bottom for the first time since December, and not feeling like it was the end of the world. I might not be able to do better, but I was glad I could say I want better.
The next morning I texted a friend: “Am I getting to know people in order to weed out the idiots, or in order to find out how idiotic they are and adjust my expectations accordingly?” Her answer was “Both?” I was heading out of town so I had five days to think about what I wanted to do. My potential partner found some enthusiasm in the meantime. At dinner I told him I’m curious about far more than what my profile specifies, and I named some of my fantasies. This hadn’t moved him. Telling him we probably shouldn’t play and I’d get back to him apparently warmed his feet. After I got back into town, I contacted him and suggested we keep the date but not actually scene. “Let’s just do some rope.” He is now sending upbeat texts that conclude with exclamation marks. My suggestion that we aim for discomfort and dishevelment elicited a smiley face. Now I am the one who is reserved. I have an outfit in mind, but it’s not cute: a long silky voluminous dress will challenge the rigger in him rather than put my body on display. And I’ve resolved to negotiate for a hands-off aftercare—no cuddling, no compliments, just conversation. About carabiners, perhaps.

Credits
O V H [aka Overhigh] .Agnes Coat . maitreya (at Versus; this is an amazing steal because it’s a pack featuring four colours—black, grey, white and olive green)
AZOURY – Suzon Headwear with fur&rhinestones Gold [Black]
Le Morte – Lock3d Faith – Black collar
fri. – Sugar.Platforms (Lilac) for Maitreya Lara
Ama. : Taken : Black [face tat: may have been retired or may still be on sale] (I love Ama.)
9 RARE -[TWC]- Blossom tattoo maitreya (recently past gacha; not taking this off ever)
-Glam Affair – Sia Artic tone – 02 G (just plain old)
{S0NG} :: Chibi~ Abyss Eye
mijn.botique accessories / studded earrings n.2 (not available)
Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V3.5
Marukin poses
[Kres], Kinky Neon Signs Gacha 10 [Obey] (at Kinky Monthly)

Bliss as a bottom

pale hedda This weekend I had the pleasure of demo bottoming for a shibari (kinbaku) class at the local dungeon. This is something I never thought I would be able to do, on account of my advancing age, my funny face and my generous stomach, not to mention my inexperience. (Where “experience” means two or three years participating in a committed heteronormative relationship with weekly painful, upside-down suspensions mimicking circus-style professional rope performances and/or high-end photographs of full-time bondage models.) It’s true that I wasn’t asked to bottom, but when I found out that the man I’d started playing with was going to teach a class, I volunteered by text and he responded with an (admittedly non-stoked-sounding) “okay.” In January at Shibaricon, I had stepped up as a last-minute bottom when he, a total stranger, needed a partner for a private class with a fabulous rigger. That was an extraordinary experience. I thought it was only fitting that we recreate it. We’d played a couple of times before we met for this week’s rehearsal. I had discovered that he is really mean and prefers to be brutal, and I am not someone who wants to be brutalized. (I had, it’s true, enjoyed grappling with him and trying to evade his assaults. The vicious hairpulling and unrelenting pressure-point-pushing were tough but … well, let’s just say that, if he ever asks, I will not hesitate to deny any interest in breast slapping and nipple twisting.) So I arrived at his place feeling like there wasn’t much hope that we’d be anything but teammates for a single class and thereafter wave to each other at munches. But then we rehearsed and my feelings changed.
pale dramaWe discovered that my top doesn’t have to thump me to be mean. He has the option of meanly keeping me in line, something I never thought I’d allow. The type of rope he was set to teach is derived from Yukimura Haruki’s style and philosophy. It’s designed to exercise close control over the bottom’s body, and yet because the techniques of capturing and tying the bottom use the bottom’s body “against” her, I got to be far more mobile than I could be in a typical partial suspension with impact play. An aspect of this style that I particularly enjoy—because I like to feel humiliated—is the top exposing the bottom’s body. The day we rehearsed, I was wearing a long skirt. My top reached out along my extended leg to slowly pull the skirt up till it covered only a few inches of my upper thigh. When I half-whined “My leg is cold,” he responded “Tough.” This made me giggle on the inside, so he wouldn’t hear me, because it was the perfect rebuff of a gratuitous complaint. When we taught the class a few days later, he gave me the option to demonstrate how fruitless it would be to struggle. That seemed lame, so I said “ummm” and then tried to escape completely. He brought me down easily. I yelped and groaned and knelt with my head to the mat to demonstrate my complete surrender. He rotated me 45 degrees so that the class could see the next part of the demo and then shocked the hell out of me when he smacked my foot to drive my leg back into the proper position. I deserved that, exactly that, as a correction to my behavior, and it was perfectly satisfying. He felt that way too. (There’s nudity under the cut. For realz.) Continue reading

We pictured me in rope

portia says relax My former top and I did a photo shoot. It was one of three bad experiences that contributed to the break up I detailed two posts ago. He wanted photos of a bottom in agony but he didn’t tell me that going into the shoot. He put me into an awkward pose, combining a gunslinger tie for the arms and a futo momo. He blindfolded me as we’d agreed to protect my identity, and gave me a rope gag when I said I was craving one. So far so good. He then occasionally thumped and shot me while I grew increasingly upset, but not because I was scene-time suffering. We were suspended some place between everyday interaction and scening, and that was not a place in which I felt safe. I should have stopped it. The larger problem turned out to be the photos themselves. I looked like limbs attached to a belly fattened to feed a cannibal army. The rodent-like contours of my face were not hidden by the blindfold or rope gag. The single-source stark light made everything worse. The good bits were shadowed: my breasts looked like collapsed lungs. The bad bits were lit like a prison yard during an escape attempt. I panicked at the thought of these photos going online. When I called to ask my rigger not to post them, he was disappointed, and I apologized for letting him down. I couldn’t have anticipated the way I would react. Then I asked him to try to Photoshop one of the pics, and he instantly refused: his style is to capture real people having real experiences and Photoshop is fakery. The visible distortions of my face and body were the point for him. The sight of a suffering bottom is “hot” to him; I am “hot” to him; hence the photos are beautiful. I never find rope photos hot. They can be exquisite, but the suffering bottom has to be glorious enough to transcend abjection. I transcended nothing. Continue reading

Sway in the swarm

ushas wings Suspended awkwardly from her thighs and ankles, Portia is thrilled when licorice allsorts take to swarming around her body, until she realizes that she’s already got something in her mouth. Portia wears Zibska’s Usha, which comprises a headpiece and pieces for the upper and lower arms and hands. They can be copied, so there’s no reason not to bury your avi in baby blocks. The HUD allows you to change the colour of two separate batches of black-striped blocks and to blow them up or shrink them down.
twisting Surrealia Anatine of Stockholm & Lima has just released the RLV compatible Nightingale Cage at ROMP. There are perch, bondage and shibari options. (And probably sex. Sex shmex.) The shibari poses are animated (with a pleasing variety of head positions) so you can watch your bunny swing vigorously until she tosses her licorice allsorts. (Or use the slow motion option in the Developer menu of Firestorm.) There are fewer bars in the cage, and they disappear for some of the perch poses. This affords you the new thrill of snapping a picture of every inch of your imprisoned av, as opposed to the nipple or nose you can glimpse between the bars. As with previous Stockholm & Lima props, the dressing process, though streamlined in permission requests, is involved, and if you crash you have to start again. The leg straps are still too big, even though Portia is not a barely-thighed beauty, so I hope that there will be a resize option in the future.

Credits
Zibska, Usha (at We <3 Roleplay; ty Zib!)
[theSkinnery] Sona eyes (at Chapter Four)
-Glam Affair – Sasha skin – India 02 NB
.random.Matter. – Misery Brows
~Tableau Vivant~ Curly hairbase (tintable)
Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V3.5
creator unknown, BoltedXMetal v1.2 gag (As usual I don’t recall where I got this, though I thought it was Marketplace. I know I didn’t pay for it.)
shot at The Bower, Hollowtree

Pretty smitten

brightrosiedayMy second Shibaricon was nothing like the first, where I took about a dozen classes, tying with a different top each time and learning all I could about the practices, histories and philosophies of rope bondage. This year attendance was down, so there were almost no spare tops. I was lucky enough to meet a cool couple who both wanted to top. I prefer floor play to suspensions, and I don’t like extreme pain, but I surprised myself the first day by taking two suspension classes and a torture class. (Leg binder over-layered with an unlocked futo momo to fashion a partial suspension. Why, eh?) In one of those classes I had intended only to observe but I was summoned into bottoming by a rigger whom I recognized from her stage performance in 2015. She appeared coolly sadistic on stage and I discovered, somewhat to my relief, that her onstage command translated into a no-nonsense attitude in class rather than torture and cackles. Still I could not relax, and when I asked the translator to tell her I was nervous, the rigger’s attitude did not soften. We did not bond. After the third and final suspension she sat crosslegged on the floor bundling her rope. Lying at some distance from her I was surprised to find myself slipping into sub space. And then I was astonished when she noticed and slapped her thigh to direct me to lay my head on it. I obeyed. Being ignored while she kept rebundling her rope snapped me right out of my swoon. I hope this doesn’t sound like kvetching. She was highly respectful of my comfort in the ropes and did not overwhelm me with the lightning-fast tying I’d seen her perform on stage. Now that I think about it, it may have been the ordinariness of the encounter that left me disconcerted. An experienced and focused top is exactly what I needed as I faced my frustration with suspension. But it might have been nice if she’d also hypnotized me and reduced me to a groveling whip-crazed slave. (Still frustrated with suspension, btw. I can’t get over how much the ropes hurt my tender widdle arms.)
wellbredOn the second day I was lucky enough to bottom for a four-hour-long private lesson with my favourite rigger and his glorious partner. The top who needed a bottom for the class posted a message on FetLife and got only two responses. It amazes me what people miss out on. I can only assume that a person with a top thinks s/he doesn’t need any other kind of experience at Shibaricon, and a person without a top isn’t confident enough to take a chance on doing a class with a stranger. The rigger who taught us subscribes to the idea that tying should be a dialogue between the top and bottom, a corporeal call and response. He also insists that whenever possible the rigger should have one hand on the bottom’s body and one on the rope instead of both on the rope. In addition to using the rope to move a bottom’s body, he applies gentle hand pressure at key points on the body: one touch on my lower back straightened me out of a slump! It felt like a magical form of control. Any rigger who likes her/his bottom to be enthralled should learn it.
cradleUnfortunately, the physical and emotional demands of all this rope took a toll on me. I dropped into a terrible depression and had to sleep the afternoon away. I had a nightmare that I was in a mostly empty museum without any pants. Out the window I could see eight lanes of highway standing between me and my hotel. I reasoned that I had somehow gotten to the museum half-naked and should thus be able to leave and get back to my hotel without any fuss. I wrenched myself awake before my dream self had to steal a museum guard’s pants. This was my first experience of drop, and it was so awful that once I was back into circulation I acted as though I would explode if anyone tried to put rope on me. (I was rope-open the next day, although a bit wary.)
carrotmeetsstick Without doubt the best part of Shibaricon was my regular play partner, who I’ve written about before. He took care of me when I was struggling with drop. He agreed to a dinner-time cuddle and made me feel perfectly at ease when I showed up at his polyamorous pad. He and I snuggled while his primary partner and her play partner ordered Chinese food—and no one fell into a jealous rage (possibly because we were united in hunger). I learned that I have been underestimating him. I’d figured that like many men I’ve met before he is reserved and taciturn because he has little to give and express. I even assumed that he would never make eye contact with me while we played. It turns out he has just taken a reasonable amount of time to open up to me; and during that time I have come to trust him and thus be more open and affectionate with him. Our eyes are meeting left and right. These days I’m goofily delighted to be his bunny. But I’m also apprehensive. Now that I know how sweet he can be and how much I like it, I may find it tough to encounter the reserved and taciturn version of him when we play. This could make for a thrilling dynamic but it could also leave me as confused as I was during childhood when my father would shift into asshole mode on the slightest pretext.

Credits to creators
Now that I am no longer a dedicated SL fashion blogger I feel free to use old items in my av’s wardrobe. If you’re coveting that carrot you will be disappointed.
-Pixicat- Malignant.Dress – Pink (Maitreya) (I GIMPed some severe damage to the bottom of the corset where it meets the skirt. It seemed to be visible no matter what pose my av took. Caveat emptor.)
Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V3.4
White Widow, Deadman tat
(epoque hair) Sharp – Heat
Zenith, Lolita Rose Hat (epiphany gacha—check Marketplace)
.LeLutka.Mesh Head-STELLA v1.3
Skinnery, Love Spark Milk applier for LeLutka (may have been an event exclusive)
[F]oil- Wing Chains Hoop Earring Gold (not available as [F]oil but see if you can track down creator Tracei Moore’s latest line)
{Meghindo’s} ~ Vintage pink satin rosette ~ bracelet (very old gift)
pose pic one and three: [[RH]] Design House, Old Rose Bouquet -Red (bouquet comes in three colours with choice of three poses)
pose pic four: Ma Vie, Mistress pack (in pic three I added Schadenfreude, Motivation on a string carrot (freakishly old prop))
Mesmerize Dungeon, Padded Cell Hospital
outdoor pics shot at Mercy Falls

In the hanging garden

all mod cons bwHe called to cancel our date on Friday afternoon. His father is seriously ill. He wouldn’t see him till Sunday. He couldn’t think about anything else. I cried on public transportation for 75 minutes. If it had been a crowded rush-hour train all the bodies would have afforded me some privacy. (One very nice man did give me a napkin and encouraged me to open it to get the most out of it.) In texts, I tried to suggest alternatives to the elaborate rope scene my top and I had been planning. I was selfish, but… I don’t know him very well. It’s possible a little light bondage is the perfect thing to relieve his stress. Tops are said to lack control in their lives and enjoy controlling the bottom’s body; for rope tops this extends to the intense focus of the tying. (Bottoms are said to seek relief from obligations to act. [Obligations to act might be called “power” if most bottoms were men.] My career as a professor saddles me with more responsibility and authority than I want. And yet I’ve never been in a scene that freed me from making decisions. The possibility of nerve damage keeps me alert.) (There’s RL lingerie and, yes, some tasteful avatar nudity after the dreaded cut.) Continue reading

Ear play is not my kink

no fond farewellI spent two weeks trying to write—and avoiding writing—an account of a partial suspension rope scene that left me bummed, not blissed, out. I want to be truthful about the downsides of BDSM. It’s not always ecstatic, and it can go wrong in ways that aren’t as notable and traumatic as injury or consent violation. I got bogged down writing up the details of the rigging, comparing the depressing partial suspension to the uplifting partial my regular top and I did the previous month. Suffice to say, the dispiriting tie was not torture, just challenging, an unintended predicament. The predicament extended beyond the rigging in both space and time. We were at a pro dungeon party and other attendees were sitting on a couch directly across from us, watching us play as though we were television (premium channel, I hope). I think this made both of us tense. More importantly, I had spent more than a week feeling all colours of upset because my top would not commit to a date to scene. He needs to get it together. But I had fucked up by agreeing that we could “play it by ear,” even though I know that I am not capable of being laid back or spontaneous. Ear play, it’s not my kink. (You’ll get an eyeful under the cut, so don’t proceed if eye play is not, y’know…) Continue reading

Don’t call me kitten, or do (I can’t decide)

dont callmekitten Believe it or not, one of my soft SL limits is sporting a collar that’s tagged with a sweet word like “Princess” or “Precious” or “Kitten.” IRL I do not like being called a rope “bunneh”: I’m not a pea-brained, silent furry creature that’s fun to pet! (I just like being tied up. And petted.) It is the case, however, that I admire lines like tsg and Altair. When I saw the cute Kokoro collar, Altair’s fundraising contribution to the Lexi Project, I figured that it might be okay to buy it and take it for a spin. For charity. I set the tag to “Kitten,” collared my cute alt Hedda—instead of the more womanly Portia—and was not surprised that despite the good cause “Kitten” felt demeaning. (Don’t venture under the cut if you think veiled nudity is just as bad.) Continue reading

Green, I am envious

hungup I Flickr follow a number of talented SL photographers who favour BDSM themes. I am envious because I can’t figure out where they source their bondage outfits and props. For years Prairie Kawashima has unknowingly taunted me with her androgynous naked Asian av, who poses modestly in perfectly snug delicate rope harnesses. Driscol Byron’s subs, Laura, a Surprise Package in the Kink Department, Sacha Audeburgh, Ash and Laura Demonista appear latexed and leathered, wrapped and strapped, and bound and gagged to within an inch of their corsets. But with the exception of the gifted Surprise Package, who has begun to blog, none of them names her sources. This leaves me searching for kinky gear on the Marketplace, where I was finally rewarded for my submissive patience (or obstinacy) when I found some affordable fetish wear from DRBC. Continue reading