These violent delights.

He has big features. He once said that to me, over a dazed breakfast. “I have big features. I have big hands, and big feet, and big facial features. People have told me that before.” He was right. His hands could fit (almost) all the way around my

throat.

He is a chef. (Was? I haven’t had any contact with him for over 8 months). He worked as aggressively as he fucked, by the sounds of it. Keeping his staff in line with verbal backhands, rewarding with a dirty joke, drinks and a joint.

You have to know what he looked like. He was stocky, formidably strong, with a chest you could punch and kick and your fist would meet flesh and warm, solid muscle. You’d be cringing, because the look in his face was

“You’re going to fucking get it now”

But, I don’t want to give the impression that he was a ranting, angry guy. He was sharpened as delicately as one of his knives. His aggressiveness was always under the surface, and if, like me, you were sensitive to picking that kind of stuff up then you could definitely notice it. The potential for him to fuck you up was very real, very present. But, he was also hilarious. God, he would make me laugh! He spent a lot of time thinking, wrote affirmations to himself on his bathroom mirror, had 2 tiny fluffy dogs, worked out, smoked weed, socialized, travelled, had girlfriends. We went to a party together, dropped some MDMA and danced and laughed and tried to pick up women.

We brought out the darkest in each other.

He made me bleed, by holding my jaw open and fucking my mouth so hard that my teeth cut a long, thin slice into my upper lip. He slapped me until he bruised my cheek and jawbone, which clicked for weeks. (By chance, a friend of mine who was an osteopath did some work on me, and after running his fingers down the sides of my face exclaimed, ‘huh, you’re a bit out of line’, and jolted my jaw back into place). He bit me so hard that I screamed “Red” (the only time) and  the bruise, the size of my closed fist, purpled my thigh for close to a month. He would work his fingers inside me until I would

bleed

and then go harder. While I’d be screaming in pain and

ecstasy.

Now, 8 months later, in therapy. I start making the link between

the prevalence of self-harming tendencies that she began acting on in her teenage years, and

asking this man to fuck me til I cry.

Fight. Come. Submit.

Lightening flashing outside, photo bulbs. Half smoked pipe on the window sill and I’ve flung the window wide open, welcoming in the damp, dripping, humid night. Quiet, stoned mind. It drifts and settles on J.

A huge man. A quiet man. Law student, PhD, powerlifter, married, polyamorous, quietly dominant. He wears thick glasses, walks with a very still upper body, has a cheeky smile, is highly, intimidatingly, knowingly intelligent.

We fight. In a hotel room in suburban Vancouver, prearranged, I turn up in a pencil skirt and blouse, no panties, no bra. At his command I kneel on the bed on all fours, he walks around me, observing me like an animal at auction. I’m frowningly obedient, bratty, scratchy. Hands, on me, running over my ass, down my thighs, between my legs. He slaps them apart, and, surveying me, slides his hand between and dips a finger inside my wet pussy. I moan.

He steps back and orders me to strip. I’m now naked, standing in front of him, skin tingling, alert. He’s almost naked, boxers still on and muscles and tattoos leap out at me. He has a hammer and sickle on his shoulder, and the union organizer in me notices this, I warm to this man even more. He’s silent, still, and this makes me nervous. My toes are nudging each other, fidgeting, sweaty palms. I look him in the eyes and through the stillness and silence he taunts me…go on.

I take one step, and then another, and then a faster one and then I’m throwing myself at his chest, strength and adrenaline pulsing into my forearms, clenched hands, fingernails bunched in fists, striking hard muscles and warm skin and I’m angry! He flips me, I’m on my stomach on the bed and he’s forcefully twisting his hand up between my thighs. I’m wet and horny, but my nervousness has gone and I’m pissed, determined, stubborn. I kick wildly, barely missing his head and squirm away from his grip, but he growls, clamping onto my leg, dragging me back towards him with speed and aggression. His spare hand is between my legs again and before I can take a breath he thrusts both deep fingers inside me. The feeling is overwhelmingly good and hot and I scream pleasure and madness into the pillow.

He can’t win this easily.

I writhe out of his grasp again and get off the bed, facing him, crouched with hands in fists, panting, sweaty. He gives me that look and I launch myself at him, this time with a yell, throwing myself across the bed and punching, punching, punching, punching him and I’m raging and storming, adrenaline and anger, and I hit him with all my strength again and again. And when he’s had enough he calmly flips me on my back and thrusts his fingers inside me.

We play this way for a while, each time I attack and he bats me off, and then he starts making me come, over and over, thighs slick with wetness, shining with sweat and tangled hair and smudged mascara and fiery eyes. I orgasm, screaming pleasure and frustration and rage into the mattress, and then kick out at him afterwards, tempting him into another bout. He never speaks, never loses control, he observes me with amusement and interest.

I’m exhausted, and slowing down. I’m lying on my stomach, the sheet bunched in my fists, my chin hanging off the side of the mattress in my attempt to crawl away. Legs are clamped wide open under his thighs and his fingers are working inside me again, and I’m coming hard: muscle-clenching-body-shaking-pussy-spasming-eyes-squeezed-mouth-silent-pleasure hard. It subsides and the pressure on my gspot is too intense and I’m begging: “Please no more please please no more now please”. He pulls out, spanks my ass leaving a wet handprint and walks to the bathroom.

And I’m still. I don’t move, I don’t try to roundhouse kick him in the mouth or elbow jab his ribs. I listen to my breath, short, quick pants as my head hangs over the edge of the mattress. I’m aware of my sweaty, sore, exhausted body, my wet and tingling pussy. My fingers and hands relax. I stare at the sisal carpet and follow the floor to the full length mirror on the wardrobe door just in front of me. I slowly look up until I can see my reflection: crazed hair, legs sprawled wide, cheeks red and makeup smudgy, lips puffy and slightly open. I am a hot mess. My eyes are bright, glazed, watery. I see defeat, exhaustion. I want to cry, and at the same time, I feel such relief, such peace.

I burrow my face into the sheets. My body cries, but no tears come to my eyes.

He is beside me on the bed now, pulling me into him. His fingers are stroking, claiming, owning my body and there is no resistance, I don’t even think about fighting. This man has beaten me and he has won my submission. This feels very good. I shyly nuzzle into the space between bicep and pectoral and tell him this. He chuckles, the first sound I’ve heard him make for hours, and looks at me under his glasses, one eyebrow raised, quizzically.

That look says: Good. That look says: You interest me. That look says: I never doubted that I would have your submission. That look says: Is there any other way?

On being a slut

I started having sex two months after my 16th birthday, and I loved it.

I lost my virginity on the beach my family have been camping at for years, bathed in a full moon, moaning enthusiastically, and thoroughly enjoying myself. Later, recounting this at a party with friends and hearing their stories of virginity regret, I felt awkward and mumbled something along the lines of, “Yeah, I wished I had waited until I had done it with a boyfriend.” But this was bullshit, because I didn’t regret anything about this. On a beach, deliciously doggy-style, with a gorgeous man 2 years my senior who I had only just met? Perfect! Sex was fun, pleasurable and I liked it!

Slut.

This was what was whispered behind my back, and then to my face. I was happy and excited about sex, and naturally, I told my ‘friends’. I made trips to see my beach hook-up a couple of times more, and enjoyed hours of sweaty, clinging, exclamatory sex with him. Then, I was curious to see what it would be like to have sex with someone different, so I met a man at a party and I did. I told my friends all of this, and then was surprised, and ashamed and hurt when rumours circulating my high school got back to me. I think these made it as far as my parents, because I remember my mum buying me condoms, and quickly saying to me that since we live in a small town, it’s a good practice to keep ‘personal’ things to myself. We never talked about my blossoming sexuality, I never told her about my first time. I think she just sort of knew, but not in detail.

So, I stopped talking. I had my first real relationship around this time, and this lasted 5 years. This gave me licence to explore, and I did with so much pleasure. My boyfriend was initially taken aback with my enthusiasm, but he was wonderful and open, and we experimented with spanking and hints of D/s. I didn’t broadcast all the new fascinating things I was discovering about myself, but it was a small town and word still got out. “Slut” wasn’t said outright, rather I would be referred to, with more than a little bit of passing judgement as “___’s nympho girlfriend.” This became so common place that it was said to my face, my boyfriend didn’t argue it, and I was a little unsure what it meant so I stayed quiet, smiling uncertainly. People started relating to me differently. Men would hit on me, hoping to ‘score’ me (even though I had a boyfriend), but not viewing me as a potential partner, only as a trophy fuck. Women felt threatened by me and gossiped. I was viewed as a sexual object, age 16.

However, I had the right amount of bullet-proof naivety that none of this stopped me. I was just so…driven…and curious…to explore everything that had the potential to be sexually pleasurable; with a partner, or several, or just by myself. I was fascinated by my body’s reactions, by secret little spots that could make me feel so good! Honestly, writing about it now brings a smile to my face. My exploration was wonderful!

My curiosity also spelled the end of our relationship. We separated for various reasons, but one was that I cheated. Twice. When I went to university I was madly curious to see what it would be like to sleep with this particular person? Or this one? In this way? With this dynamic? (A small, secret part of me was also curious to see what it would feel like to hurt my partner, and myself by doing this. What would it feel like to shatter trust and cause pain, to both of us? Could I survive it? This fascinates me: why was I so interested in exploring emotional pain?)

Both times I cheated I told my partner the next day, and after the second time, after calling me a slut, he understandably finished our relationship.

Sexual confidence and enthusiasm took a bit of a nose-dive. My rebound man was a marathon runner, with the most beautiful cock I have ever seen. He was right-wing, arrogant, immature. We fucked on and off for 2 months, and when he called it off he told me that I was TOO open with him, and that he wished I had been more secretive so he could work harder to get to know me. The subtext of this was that he wished I had ‘withheld’ sex for longer, so he could feel that sleeping with me was more of a challenge. He also called me a slut.

This hurt, and in my already fragile state I took this on board. I decided that there was something wrong with me, that I was a ‘nympho slut’ (in all the negative sense of the word) and that I should grow up and conform to the feminine ideal: hard to get, shyly flirtatious, make men work for ‘it’, not give ‘it’ up too easily. I decided the easiest way to do this was by cutting all penis out of my life and becoming celibate, age 21.

I stumbled into the weird world of ‘with-holding’ sex: if I told a man that I liked him but wasn’t interested in sleeping with him because I was celibate, they would take this as a challenge, and do everything they could to ‘make’ me have sex with them. It was a side to men I’ve never seen before- ultra charming, manipulative, attentive to the point of harassment, they would pursue me with vigour. Creepy. My trust in men plummeted.

It struck me as completely wrong that I could be enthusiastic about sex and met with judgement, yet be actively celibate and have men flocking to me, trying to ‘win’ my sex.

And then, thank god, in a culmination of different circumstances, I acknowledged that I was kinky. I started reading BDSM blogs, I was introduced to the world of sex positivity, to amazing phrases like “yes means yes”, and “ethical slut”, and I felt like crying and laughing and shouting and rejoicing because this was my space, and these were my people! I fit here! This was me!

Now, I’m 25, and have slightly more maturity to see through the dating, pick-up bullshit. I choose men who are attracted by enthusiastic consent, because of course, they are definitely out there. I am not at all interested in men who want to play games with me, who view sex and my body as something to be won, as a challenge to be conquered (because, of course, they are also definitely out there). I am really drawn the performance model of collaborative sex (Let’s Jam!). The term ‘enthusiastic consent’ has given me freedom, and a place where I can relax. I was reflecting that before I came across any of this the only exposure to sex-positivity I had in my late teens was Christina Aguleria and Little Kim singing “The guy gets all the glory the more he can score / While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore“. Isn’t that sad?! I’m planning to become a sex educator to work on changing exactly this, but that’s something to talk about later.

Now. Let’s turn this all on its head.

Through BDSM I explore the dark side of myself, of relationships, of sexual interactions with men and women. I go to places I’m too scared to go in my vanilla life. And one of these places has been around enthusiastic consent.

Okay…writing this feels complex and very sensitive. As I write I’m very aware of all the “Yes, buts” that can be thrown at this…’Yes, but aren’t you just propagating gender stereotypes”, “Yes, but haven’t you been brainwashed by a life of patriarchy”, “Yes, but aren’t you just giving another man a chance to ignore you as a woman and treat you like an object.” I ask myself these things regularly (and recently, I found this blog post which asks a lot of good, challenging, difficult questions). I haven’t yet been able to come up with a perfect answer to these “yes, buts”. BDSM has taught me so much about communication, negotation, trust and self reflection, more than any sex education class. And, selfishly, it makes me happy.

I’ll try to write this next part as cleanly as possible.

In my ‘consent play’, I’m drawn to scenes where I don’t LOOK enthusiastic, where I actually say “No!”,  I struggle in partner’s grasp, physically fight them, try to run away. I’m drawn to scenes where my partner exhausts me to submission, where they trap and trick me, where sometimes, they even force me. I’m drawn to scenes with physical violence and emotional manipulation. I want my partner to call me a slut, and a dirty whore, and a nympho bitch. I want them to degrade me to the point where I feel like nothing more than a vagina on legs. I want them to sexually objectify me.

But. Here is the beauty. After all this has happened, they gather me up in their arms, and stroke my hair, cheekbone. Kiss me gently all over and pay adoring attention to every inch of my tender, sensitive body. They tell me that I’m a good girl and that they’re proud of me, and make me hot chocolate and silly jokes and we giggle.

It is empowering for me to explore these feelings of shame and fear in a situation I’ve created, and I can emerge from as a whole person, with my partner’s support.

(Would I feel the need to be treated like this if I had grown up in a sex positive community? I’m unsure. My attraction to this type of BDSM wasn’t necessarily a conscious plan, I just knew I needed it. I have spent hours asking myself “why?”, but at the end of the day, as long as I feel my practices are RACK (risk aware consensual kink), then I do angst over why like I used to).

Because, I have ultimate control. I create these scenarios, I consent to being used in this way, I negotiate with a partner and have safe words I can call anytime to stop, if I’m not enjoying how things are going (and I have done this!). I now explore what intrigues me without hurting others, in a community that is as sex-positive as I could have ever hoped for. I AM a slut! And how awesome is that?!

This feels so damn good. I am very grateful I let my sexual curiosity, awakened in my teenage self, prevail and lead me to this beautifully kinky world.

The model in the tower: image and consent in San Francisco

Exhibitionism.

This word hissed into my life with a chance, and I leapt at it. It represented something I hadn’t realised I’d been craving until I got to explore it. Then, I donned the title of ‘Exhibitionist’ like a scarlet cape, wrapping it around my shoulders, whipping it over my head, flirtatiously smiling as I passed it across my face.

I was good at it, and I was hunted for it. Rue99 was the “mack daddy of fet photography” (as one of his fans dubbed him) and he wanted me to be his muse for the weekend. No matter that I had only had two photo shoots in my life. No matter than I was as fresh as a (mt cook) daisy.

He picked me up from the youth hostel in San Francisco, and whisked me off to his spare condo in a gritty upmarket neighbourhood where I was to stay for the three days we had together. My middle-aged, Asian prince charming, armed with a camera and a nervous smile. He had the worst people skills of anyone I’ve ever met, but the intelligence, bluntness and intensity of a fast friend. We clicked quickly, and my appreciation for him grew after his embarrassed apology for a “very nice” comment when I stripped. He didn’t like to personally appraise his models. He didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable in any way. And, exhibitionist that I was becoming, I didn’t.

I danced naked in his condo, rolled in playful masturbation on his hardwood floors in the sun, snuggled my tummy into his white fur rug, lounged on silk while exploring my g-spot. He clicked away, snapshots. When he went home I ate almonds, played Drake obsessively, read Marquis de Sade (masturbated some more), practiced distracted yoga and preened myself. I was his model in a tower.

We met for a purpose, and on our second night together I was released from the tower. (I don’t entirely know why I’m writing it as if he was holding me captive. He really wasn’t, I could have left anytime I wanted to. In actual fact, I really enjoyed being in one place, having only one very large open plan room to process and live in for a couple of days. At that point I’d been on the road for over a month. My world needed to shrink for a while). We’d agreed that I was going to model for him at Masqerotica, a kinky ‘lifestyle’ expo in San Fran. “Lifestyle” is the key word, and in retrospect, I don’t know why I picked up on this earlier.

Let me back track for a second to how we met. He emailed me, with this:

I’m looking for a model for a photo shoot performance event for Masquerotica which will show the shots on a 20′ screen while posing for/with attendees. Last year’s was a huge amount of fun.

1. Twenty something years old (must be at least 21)

2. Reliable, energetic, fun, and being an exhibitionist doesn’t hurt

3. Nice figure/face

4. Two or three 30 minute modeling sessions from 9 pm to 1 am

5. No experience necessary

He had me at exhibitionist.

I asked him what I would be wearing?

You’ll be mostly naked. I can cut some duct tape for nips. Do you have a skimpy black/flesh thong for the bottom? Also, a sexy top is nice for an option.

Without baulking, I wrote back:

Everything sounds great! I have a light pink thong with a cute black ribbon- it’s basically flesh coloured. I also have a red one which I love! Duct tape is fine, but I’m happy with uncovered nipples, if that’s allowed. I’m comfortable with pretty much anything. I’m happy with touching, nudity, being manipulated into different positions.

It was a done deal.

San Francisco’s Premier Annual Lifestyle event. I stalked in: lacy gstring, silver tape over my nipples, red lipstick, black eyeliner, red fascinator, stilettos and a smile. Excitedly I helped him set up, met his helpers and the other models. As I’m finding more and more often at fetish events, these meetings are full of warmth and good cheer. Kinky people love other kinky people. However, there was a difference between the kinky performers and the “kinky” voyeurs. For the latter we’re talking fluffy handcuffs, 50 Shades of Grey and some light spanks before orgasm.

I’ll be brief, this doesn’t warrant more than one more paragraph.

Masqerotica, San Francisco October 2012. Photo credit: Rue99

Masqerotica, San Francisco October 2012. Photo credit: Rue99

Positives: took hundreds of photos, was seen by thousands of people. Compliments were rained on me. I was the centre of everyone’s attention- each time a photo was taken it was projected onto a huge screen. This attracted a three-person deep crowd just watching the photos happen. I got to try lots of different postures and expressions for modelling. I was the exhibition.

Negatives: I was the exhibition. I no longer had any say, any control over who had my image. Cellphones were on me, taking photos of R taking photos. People I didn’t know had photos of me, posing suggestively with strangers, in a gstring and duct tape pasties. Compliments were rained on me. I felt consumed. I felt powerless. I felt a little bit icky.

By the end of the night I was thankful to return to the tower. The next day, on the way to his studio, I discussed this ick with R. Our discussion boiled down to consent. I am consenting for R to take my image, and I have an element of control about how it is used. However, Mr “Likes it Rough” and his girlfriend at Masqerotica do not ask my consent when they whip out their iphone, they do not ask my consent when they capture me posing for someone else’s photo, and they do not ask my consent before they publish this photo on Facebook. This is troubling for me. We have a good discussion about consent and image theft.

This doesn’t trouble me enough to stop shooting with R. However, I can now draw a line in the sand to where my exhibitionism will take me. I am only an exhibit with consent. If my consent isn’t explicit, then I am simply consumable. This doesn’t do it for me. This doesn’t make it to my fetish list.

Our shoots culminated with rope and challenge: a wrist suspension in his studio, my legs tied to cinder blocks and stretched wide, my entire body weight hanging from my tiny wrists in a taught X. I didn’t just survive this suspension, I modeled it. I looked right at the camera lens with a “come fuck me” expression and R was jumping in delight and ejaculating praise. My wrists hurt for days afterwards, but that was a small price to pay for the rush. This rush is addictive…adrenaline from pain, overcoming physical challenge, pleasing a well-known photographer, making myself proud.

I kicked ass. Turns out, this woman from little old New Zealand is a fetish model, and a trooper at that!

(I love this, and keep it close to my chest, my secret to help me through my computer tapping, flourescent lights glaring, airconditioned office days).