Sunny Days in DC

Jack of All Trades, Master of 3-ish.

Why the Kink World is So Angry About the 50 Shades of Grey Movie, or… “Hey, I Bet A Bunch of People Are Gonna Die.”

The global BDSM scene is heaving a (probably corseted) sigh of frustration as of late. I’ve been in the Scene for just about 10 years, which is long enough for me to be able to say that I absolutely do not speak for everyone. I speak for myself and my experiences. And in my experience, very few people are suddenly aware of sites like Fetlife, or are born knowing that they enjoy rope bondage more than a thuddy flogging. Most of us come (ha!) to the world of kink either through a friend, or through media. Things like websites, movies, literature… when you’re sitting in a movie theater and the sight of a man or a woman tied down to a chair does more for you than for pretty much everyone around you, you tend to be curious as to why. So you look, you communicate with others, and you realize that there is a whole world of people just like you (or worse!), and they like it dirty!

So no, I’m not opposed to a film supposedly about BDSM. I even welcome the discussions about sex, both “vanilla” and kink, about consent, about age, about what is still taboo in our culture, that this film will inevitably bring. What I, and most people I know from the Scene, find most upsetting, is the Disneyfication of who we are and what we do.

And it’s very, very dangerous. Like, fucking LIFE OR DEATH.

Having never actually read 50 Shades of Gray, I’m going to make a few assumptions, but please do let me know if I’m wrong. Based on what I’ve heard, a young virgin falls for an older, wealthy, kinky dude, and he “lures” her into his lifestyle. So, right off the bat, the kinky person is devilish and dark. Ok, fine, sure, I know heaps of people in the Scene who wear mostly black and like to meet younger, less experienced people. But, where’s the talk about consent? What about education? What about CIRCULATION?!

Not exactly clear on what I’m talking about? Well folks, on average, most “riggers” (that would be, people who suspend others by rope or other means) spend HOURS AND HOURS learning how to do it properly. Let me amend that: YEARS. I know people who have spent YEARS learning. Even tying someone to a chair can end badly if that person has circulatory issues. There is preparation, there are ‘back-up plans,’ and yes, there are MOTHERFUCKING SAFETY WORDS.

Guess what folks?? Most of kink is actually REALLY BORING.

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*”Yeah, yeah… pinch the nipples, cut off her clothes. Whatever.”*

But it’s boring for a reason. My husband and I were attending a house party in New York once, and a young, inexperienced man had a girl standing on a chair, hands tied behind her back, and was about to put a loop of rope around her neck.

Raise your hand if you can already spot the problem.

My husband quickly stepped in and showed the young man a different, safer, way of accomplishing the same end goal. But most people haven’t spent HOURS AND HOURS in classes. And by the way, this is all assuming that your kink scene includes sex… which MANY DO NOT. “But hey, that’s really complicated,” says hollywood. “Let’s skip to the fucking.” I applaud your focus, hollywood, but not necessarily your tactics.

So people will go to see this movie, get all hot and bothered, and decide that they want to do a “Rape Play” scene, or maybe they want to meet another kinkster and get into a “Consensual Non-Consent” scene, not knowing how those terms differ, or even what they really mean. So some chick will say she’s “down for consensual non-consent” to some dude she meets online because it’s “totes romantic,” and she’ll end up locked in a metal cage for a week before escaping. And then she’ll go running off to the cops crying ACTUAL assault. And everyone will look surprised and we’ll all wonder WTF just happened. Or worse, people will die. Because this movie, I’m guessing, will show the fun-fun-happy side of kink. It won’t talk about the hours of negotiation, of contracts and detailed discussions that HAVE TO HAPPEN before you even take off a stitch of clothing. Does your partner have asthma? Do they have emotional triggers? Yeah, that’s all shit you need to know before you start beating him or her, making them call you daddy, and shoving a dildo up their ass.

And worse, this girl is a VIRGIN?! How the hell does she know what she wants? Most people in the scene shy away from virgins. They bring drama and confusion. They’re just discovering themselves and have no idea what their limits are. They don’t know how some past trauma will impact a sex-positive scene, because they’ve never had sex. There are the rare exceptions, and I’ve met them; people who are experienced in everything except penetration. Fine. Whatever. These folks are the exceptions that prove my rule.

So, we’re putting a film ALL ABOUT DANGEROUS SEXUAL ACTS out to a public with little or no knowledge about how to perform these acts in a safe and consensual way. Knife play, rope play, take-downs, electrical play, flogging…. if you know how to do them, it can be a lot of fun. But if you don’t, frankly, you’re setting people up for a very, very dangerous evening.

…not that hollywood cares.

15 Comments »

My New Year’s Resolution: Supporting wordpress stars!

Some of you may be readers of John Howell on here, and so by now you’ve heard that one of our own is PUBLISHING A BOOK!!! Since I believe in doing the right thing and supporting good people, I’m posting the details to his new release on here. Please take a minute to read through the post, and maybe consider buying it with all that sweet, sweet, end of the year bonus money you got from…. well, let’s not call it porn…. let’s say “enhanced acting ventures”! YAY!!!

Don’t be a jerk. Go support John!!

**********************************************************************************************************************************************

Big Launch in 2014 My GRL Fiction Thriller

By John W. Howell

Now available from Amazon here  https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 

 

Published by Martin Sisters Publishing

                 

“My GRL by John W. Howell is fast-paced thriller that shows how your life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. . . It is a well-written story that kept me glued, page after page.” Readers’ Favorite Five Stars – Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi.  Click here to read the full review. http://readersfavorite.com/book-review/14417

Blurb:

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Photo by Tim Burdick

John W. Howell’s main interests are reading and writing.  He turned to writing as a full time occupation after an extensive career in business.  John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. He also has a three times weekly blog at Fiction Favorites .

John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author Contact:

E-mail: johnwhowell.wave@gmail.com

Twitter: @HowellWave

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

3 Comments »

I Live in a Sorority House… and it’s full of idiots.

I’m not a passive aggressive person. I’m not even an “aggressive-aggressive” person. I’m generally a, “let’s not piss each other off,” person, and I lean toward the “let’s all order pizza, hang out on the couch, and watch some bad movies” kinda gal.

I’d like to think I’m zen about life, but mostly, I’m just lazy. And getting all stabby means I have to get up from my chair.

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*tl;dr*

So, I think we can all be a LITTLE impressed with me, when, upon first moving in to our lovely new apartment, I went straight to the neighbors downstairs and said, “Hi! We’re new, and we have a small child. I really want us all to get along, so if there’s ever ANYTHING that concerns you, please feel free to talk to me.” I EVEN CHECKED IN WITH THEM. AND I WAS NICE. One might even use the word “charming!” It would be ill-advised, but one could!

Anyway, then, a few weeks after that, they wrote us this nasty letter saying that we shouldn’t let our son play in the communal courtyard, because that’s right near their bedrooms, and we should know better. Let’s all take a minute and reread that phrase. Did you see the word “communal” in there? YES, BITCH. That means *I* pay for the space, just like you do. But, since I’m on this “charming” kick, I won’t let our Max play out there, because I am a nice person. And also, my husband hid all the knives.

Then, on Wednesday night, they were playing their music extra loud. And it was that BAD music. Like, euro-trash, disco-sweat, gonna-wear-a-speedo-to-the-beach, whatever-nonsense… but I let it slide, because the husband and I were able to fall asleep, so ok. Then…. THURSDAY NIGHT COMES ALONG. That music is now SO LOUD, my floor is vibrating with the bass. So, the hubs and I put the wee one to bed, strap on our big kid trousers, and go downstairs. Now, we had waited a while, because we remember what it was like to not have offspring and have lives.

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*this looks correct*

…so we didn’t want to be the assholes who go downstairs at 9pm, and tell the whipper snappers to turn it down. BUT WHEN 12-FUCKING-30 ROLLS AROUND, YOUR ASS IS MINE.

We go downstairs, and I knock. I knock again. Now I THUD on the door, because I KNOW your ass is in there, you passive aggressive little shits. Well, they turn off the music and all their lights, and don’t answer the door.

So, since they started this silly note-writing-thingy, I write a note and POLITELY ask them not to play their music so loud past 10pm. That seems fair.

And now I got some crazy ass ranting note BACK from them. We gave it to our landlord. They’re mad because it’s a “circus” up here, what with all the walking we do on our floors. And also because our son cries sometimes at night.

Hey, you know who hates it when our son cries at 2am? ME, MOTHERFUCKER. I FUCKING HATE IT. I HAVE TO GET UP, SOOTHE HIM, GET HIM BACK TO SLEEP…. YOU GET TO STAY IN YOUR NICE WARM BEDS. Is it inconvenient? Sure. And do I feel sorry about that? Eat a bag of dicks Yes, yes I do. But that’s apartment living.

And I say ALL THIS to say, they’re downstairs right now, slamming doors. Guess who can sleep through that shit, because she has had to sleep through a crying child for almost two years? THAT’S RIGHT, MUTHAFUKKAH. SLAM THAT SHIT. I hope you get your fingers caught in it.

5 Comments »

Why I Would Set My Daughter Up To Fail

My one year anniversary of starting this blog has come and gone. I got an email notification in my inbox, and my first feeling wasn’t of happiness… I as sad. I SHOULD be happy. I have met some wonderful people on here, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every one of your blogs, whether or not I comment or you know I’m there. But at the same time, in late December 2013, I was in the same spot I had been in late December 2012; starting a new job, strapped for cash, a small child, and constantly stressed. Constantly exhausted.

On the one hand, we would have moved for the husband’s job, no matter what… but I was making moves to leave the contract I had been on, anyway. It was stressful and horrible and my two managers were fucking nuts. I was constantly talked down to. While male coworkers were heaped with praise, another female coworker had to deal with my manager asking her when she would get married, and to be careful about the “state of [her] eggs.” The job before that, I lost while five months pregnant. I’ve  walked into boardrooms and been told to keep my mouth shut, or been told that I’m not “demure enough” for a woman. Most successful women I know, have had to fight tooth and nail to get where they are. And I’m not male-bashing… half the time, they have to fight other women who, instead of SUPPORTING and lifting each other up, will burn you.

So, when I saw this, I wasn’t surprised. It seems that the discrepancy in pay between men and woman start with our allowances, or pocket money. Boys are often given more for just being boys. The reporters discuss how parents should be sure to pay each child equally, and not to discriminate.

But why?

You know what you teach girls and boys when you pay them equally? That the world is fair. That Disney is right, good always wins, and you will *always* get that last cookie from the box. And it will be delicious. But the world ISN’T fair, and what has Disneyfication of our world gotten us? The Kardashians. Honey Boo Boo. Closing schools, and a recession.

I say we should set our daughters, AND SONS, up for failure. Pay them differently. Then switch it next week, and make the other one debate or develop an argument as to why they should be paid more. Very few people are handed opportunities in life; most of us work and struggle and negotiate our ways through the world. Kids should learn that at home. They should learn that $4 as pocket money is ok, but why not TRY to get more? Even if they fail, they’ve learned to TRY.

Likewise, we put our little girls into ballet classes, but often the boys go into karate. Why? I was in ballet, and I can honestly tell you that I have never once been granted a raise based on my ability to pirouette. SET YOUR GIRL UP TO FAIL. Let her know that the world can be dangerous and scary. Let her know that there are people out there who may try to hurt her. Because it’s true. AND THEN tell her that she can take ballet, and that’s lovely, but she will also be taking karate because grown-ass woman (and men) don’t start fights, but they DO finish them. They take pride in themselves, and they take pride in doing the right thing by defending others who may be assaulted or bullied. 

But most people don’t. They set their kids up to “succeed” with equal pay and ballet and Disney movies where birds sing songs and crows are outdated racist stereotypes. Tell your kids that life isn’t fair. Let them know that goals are obtained through effort and negotiation and hard work, not because everyone is nice. Set your kids up to fail, so that they can learn how to work around it and actually succeed.

And now, I will get down off of my soapbox for the day.

Happy New Year, you guys!!!!!!!

16 Comments »

Merry Christmas!!!

Does anyone else think about masturbating, and then just feels too tired and ends up taking a nap? I dunno. Maybe it’s just me.

7 Comments »

Let’s talk about your Hard Limits; my safety word is “Mercy.”

The husband and I got a sitter and went to the Dublin Burlesque festival. It was AMAZEBALLS! I promised you all a photo of me in my outfit, and as soon as I pry them from my husband’s cell phone, that’s what you’ll have! I was REALLY proud of my outfit!! But anyway, we went, and while I applaud ANYONE with the courage to get up and essentially strip in front of a crowd (that includes actual, self-identified “strippers”), I must say that there were only a handful (b-cup at best. HA!!….sorry) of acts that I thought were actually good.

Ok, I should redefine that. There were several acts that were “good,” but not necessarily to my taste or style. Fair play to them, it takes all kinds. But there was ONE dude who, I think maybe he thought they were casting for Magic Mike? I’m not sure. It was bad. It was like, “$30 bachelorette party male stripper” bad. I mean, he was a good looking dude, and I don’t even mind if that’s your kink, buddy. Run with it. If you get off by being on stage and stripping: a big ol mazal tov from (probably) the only Jewish chick in that crowd. But damn… at least be GOOD at it.

HE STRIPPED DOWN TO BLACK TIGHTY-WHITIES! REALLY?! I mean… at least be creative with your undies. Or at least have a good act!! Whatever. The only boylesque act I saw, and mama was disappoint.

So… what did *I* do with the bulk of my night (other than watch many lovely ladies strip down to their pasties)? Oh, I was on the HUNT! I was supposed to meet up with one woman who was coordinating the show. I met her when I first walked in and introduced myself, but of course we could only exchange brief hellos before she had to run off and help set things up. She told me to come back and find her after the show, and we would talk about getting me into performing. So, like the crazed bloodhound I can be when there’s something I want, I looked for her periodically throughout the evening. Finally, I stood against the wall watching the show. A really nice woman in a kick-ass outfit stood next to me.

“Hey, are you enjoying the show?”

“Uh, yeah. Yeah, I am. I just really wanted to meet with D before the end, and I have to leave soon… and I can’t seem to find her.”

“Oh? What did you want to talk to her about?”

“Well, I really want to try to perform.”

“Oh, then you don’t want to talk to D…. you want to talk to me. I run all shows in Dublin.”

…………..I’m not even making this up. She literally said those words to me, and I kinda lost it. My head may or may not have exploded at this point. I AM fairly certain that I grabbed her hand, shook it furiously (I was SLIGHTLY intoxicated), and introduced myself as, “that American chick who SUPER wants to perform!”

So, I was told to email both of my contacts today or tomorrow, at which point I will be added to the women who “kitten” for a show. That means I’ll assist the performers in getting ready, and clearing the stage of *ahem* garments when the performers are through. That will, hopefully, give me more insight into how a show is done and what is expected from performers. Then, I get to audition.

But first, I have to let the club owners know what I am, and am not, willing to wear.

That’s a loaded question to a woman who openly admits to being part of the fetish scene. No gimp suits? No ball-gags? No 4″ heels, and I absolutely will NOT dress like a pony. Those are my hard limits. Otherwise, why would I be getting into burlesque if I’m overly concerned about what I’m wearing? The whole goal is to take it off by the end of the night, anyway. Hmmm…. should probably wax though, huh?

I guess we’ll see how it goes! Wish me luck, kids!!

3 Comments »

It’s NaNoWriMo!!!

This is like my New Year Resolution. I’m going balls to the wall for the first two weeks (if I’m being honest, it’ll be like, 5 days) and then something will happen and that shit won’t get done. I need a partner in crime, you guys. I need someone else who is writing this year so that I can exchange emails/telephone numbers and we can be like, “Did you write? DID YOU WRITE?! WRITE, DAMMIT!!!! DO IT NOW!!!!!!!!”

………psychopathic serial killers need not apply. Unless you’re funny. If you’re funny and don’t have a taste for short Jews, we can work something out. 

 

Anyone??

 

9 Comments »

Halloween in Ireland is… different.

It seems that, not so very long ago, the Irish Halloween was extremely different from the American version. There wasn’t so much candy and kids dressing up, and obviously there was a lot more cultural lore and pagan rituals than we might get in the US and Canada. Having survived my first quasi-Irish Halloween (we were sick, so we didn’t really go hardcore this year), I can honestly describe it as follows:

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1) Nail down your shit. Halloween is a night of bonfires and as much paganism as the Catholic Church will allow/people can get away with. Nail down your shit because anything that can burn will be taken and burned.

2) Get candy anyway. It used to be that teens and adults would stop by homes begging for food or drinks or whatever, saying “help keep the halloween party going!” I guess kids might have been included too, but my understanding is that this was really more for the adults. I think SOME costumes might have been involved… fairly certain lots of booze was! Anyway, just get the candy. Kids trick-or-treat nowadays, so you might as well be prepared!

3) No naked orgies to date. I know, I was a little disappointed, too, but let’s be fair: I didn’t have a sitter ready, and that’s just not the type of thing you want to have happen in your house with a sleeping toddler nearby. Say it with me moms and dads: orgies are only for when the kids are away at sleepovers.

That’s just called Good Parenting.

4) No virgin sacrifices. I don’t even know where you’d FIND one in Dublin. Good luck.

5) They set off fireworks like it’s 4th of July in the US. They’re illegal. They do it anyway. If you find missing pieces of someone’s hand, you probably should call the cops and not touch it yourself. Not that I would do that….. again.

So, that’s what I’ve learned so far. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand a quick update on my life:

A) I got a job! I just need to switch my visa status, and I am a contributing member of Irish society! FUCK YEAH!!

B) The Dublin Burlesque festival is coming up next week, and yours truly has been all a frenzy of trying to find just the right outfit. I found a wicked vintage shop, and being poor is the only thing that stopped me from buying EVERYTHING. So, I think I have my outfit and makeup together (will post a picture before we go). Now I just need the shoes. Anyone have a pair of black wingtip heels? Anyone? anyone?

Bueller?

11 Comments »

Is It Still Prostitution If We Don’t Screw?

When my guy and I moved to Ireland, one of the terms and conditions was that if he was going to restart his life, so would I. That meant writing and giving a shot at burlesque. Not like a, “sure, lemme take a class here and there,” but legit performance.

Have I written about this before? I can’t tell. It’s late and I’m trying to do a brain purge so I can finally go to sleep.

But it occurred to me: burlesque is dancing, a strip tease, for an audience. What’s really the difference between that and pornography? Or art, for that matter. I’m not slut shaming, I’m asking a legitimate question. When people go to see Dita von Teese, many go for the performance, for her costumes, for the excitement of seeing someone famous… but she GOT famous because of lust… how is performing on a stage by riding a giant pink mechanical bull any different than filming a porno? You’re not having sex with the audience in either case, and in either case you have no control what your audience takes from the show. Either way, the come back for the sexual high.

Part of me is asking this because if I DO really want to get serious about this, then eventually photos will be taken and they’ll find their way to the internet. So I have this dilemma: what do I say to my son when he gets old enough to see photos of mommy stripping? How do I tell him that sex isn’t a game, when there I am, playing by my own rules? How would I feel if he told me he wanted to be in porno, and what could I say to him as someone who would have done burlesque?

The flip side of this is, of course, you can’t live your life trying not to offend anyone, trying to be what you think others MIGHT want. Well, you can. Just ask me; I’ve done it for years. But eventually, you make a choice, even if you do so by NOT choosing one path. In school, I chose NOT to study writing because I was worried I wouldn’t make any money and be poor. Well kids, over the past three years, I’ve been about as close to that as I ever want to get… so what have I gained by following what I thought would be the easier path? Maybe the lesson *is* to leap, and hope that a net will appear. Maybe there is no net, and the illusion is that there ever was to begin with.

Eventually, I will have to justify my decisions to my son, whether that’s to say, “I chose security, stability, and to swim with the rest of the fish,” or, “I chose me. And it wasn’t a popular decision, and maybe I chose it later in life than some others, but I did it. So your lesson is that you can make a choice, realize it’s not what you want, and decide a new path.” Maybe that’s what I tell him, and hope that he understands. Who knows? Maybe one day, when he’s older, he’ll read this blog post and realize that one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make, was figuring out whether to take a shot at living my passion, or crush myself in hopes of stability.

27 Comments »

Your Ten Month Old Daughter is a Whore, and No I’m Not Overreacting (and other tales of mommyhood).

Ahh Ireland. Everyone kept telling me we were having abnormally beautiful weather, what with my being able to see the sky and all. Now it seems we have returned to “the new norm” for me, and the plain ol’ regular shite weather for everyone else around here. Interestingly enough, too, there is NOTHING to do in my neighborhood with a toddler on a rainy day. It’s like they’ve never experienced the combination of children + rain. It’s Ireland, y’all…. that’s pretty much the only two things people think when they think of this country! RAIN, AND BREEDING. Well, and Guinness… ok. Three things.

So, that leaves me with a bored toddler.

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*Where’s the government funding to end bored toddlers, you guys??*

So naturally, I accosted every mom, mum, nanny, and child-minder I could find until someone begged me to leave them alone came up with an idea. IKEA has several play centers in their Dublin shop, so why not try that?

You know why not? BECAUSE OTHER PARENTS BRING THEIR KIDS, TOO. Parents with little blond girls that come up to my son and kiss him and try to throw him down on the wee little “KRITTER” beds or whatever they are. Listen other parents, yeah, your toddlers are cute, but I’m too young to be a grandmother yet. Handle your women-folk.

 

Also, our downstairs neighbor hates us, because Max gets up at 6:30am and decides it’s time to throw things on the ground as HARD as he can. HA HA HA… YOU MAY NOT HAVE CHILDREN, DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBOR WHO THOUGHT SHE WOULD BE ABLE TO SLEEP THROUGH THEY NIGHT, BUT YOU GET TO EXPERIENCE MOMMYHOOD, TOO!!

To be fair, I do almost everything I can (short of duct tape, because those abuse charges are a BITCH to get expunged) to keep him quiet in the mornings. I am a fairly respectful person. But she screamed seven different kinds of f* bombs at Max the other day from inside her apartment, so now the living room is filled with all the fucks that I don’t give. FILLED, I SAY!!

Also, for those wondering, the Guinness IS pretty good here. Come visit!

7 Comments »

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