Haven't been posting a whole lot of animals this summer but I just could not resist this big fat smiling meatball of marsupial pulchritude. Check out the claws on this baby.
is sex for your brain -
Haven't been posting a whole lot of animals this summer but I just could not resist this big fat smiling meatball of marsupial pulchritude. Check out the claws on this baby.
Hard to believe, but in one school where a bunch of brats thought it was hilarious to slap each other on the bottom as they wandered the halls, two boys were singled out and now face trial as sex offenders. WTF? Is the DA *insane*? In my day, you were sent to detention when you did something obnoxious, and were suspended when you did something violent. Fist-fighters ended up in the principal's office, not the police station.
If the boys are charged and, heaven forefend convicted, the stigma of being sex offenders will taint the rest of their lives. I hope someone with a moral conscience makes sure their cases never go to trial.
Oh, yeah, baby, you can take your whips to work in this little beauty.
(Thanks to Ketzl for the link!)
Don't you just hate it when this happens?
....The "gPod," a phallic-shaped vibrator, is designed to respond automatically to sounds picked up by an accompanying handset, which can plug into anything from a telephone to a music player to a television....
"You can use it in many ways, for example hooking it up to your mobile phone," said Ichiro Kameda, the machine's inventor.
"The dildo vibrates through the same waves as a voice. So one of the ideas is that you can use it here in Tokyo when your boyfriend in New York is talking to you on the phone....."
Image snagged from GPod. Turn on your Japanese translator if you want to try and order.
Hey, deputy. If you don't want to see a man jerk off, LOOK AWAY. If you just keep staring, you're as guilty as him: he may be the exhibitionist but you're the voyeur soaking it all in.
Am I the only one who thinks there's something odd about the fact that she seems to have made a study of male prisoners' masturbatory habits? I wonder how much she mind-fucks male prisoners.
I just don't think it's reasonable to cage people like animals and then expect them to sit there sipping tea all day. Punish them for violence against guards and each other. Punish them for breaking existing rules and regulations. But to punish a prisoner on whim, for jerking off in his cell, is the biggest pile of BS I've ever heard.
....The sole witness in the case, BSO Deputy Coryus Veal, testified that Alexander did not try to hide what he was doing as most prisoners do. Veal saw him perform the act while she was working in a glass-enclosed master control room, 100 feetfrom Alexander's cell. There was no video tape or other witnesses.
Alexander's attorney argued that the prison cell was a private place and that what Alexander was doing was perfectly normal.
''Did other inmates start masturbating because of Mr. Alexander?'' McHugh asked Veal. ``Did you call a SWAT team?''
''I wish I had,'' Veal answered.
Veal, who has charged seven other inmates with the same offense, insisted that she was not against the act itself -- just the fact that Alexander was so blatant about it. Most inmates, she testified, do it in bed, under the blankets.
Veal said this was the third time she caught Alexander, and she had had enough....
Yeah, her neck must be hurting from all the twisting and turning she does, trying to catch glimpses of naked prisoner cock everywhere she looks. Damn. I can almost hear her internal monologue....
Inside the Deputy's Mind "I'm watching you, you bad evil man. Are you touching yourself? You better not be touching yourself while I'm looking. That would be .... Oh! You touched yourself. I saw it. Evil! Evil! Go on, you scum, I dare you to grab your cock...OOOH, you monster! You absolute monster! You grabbed it. You grabbed it and now you're holding it. Disgusting! How dare you. You better not rub that...Oh Jesus! You ARE rubbing it! Have you no shame!?! You're rubbing it right in my face, you bad bad evil evil monster. And look how big it's getting. Save me Jesus! Look at the size of that thing! YOU EVIL DISGUSTING MONSTER! You must be punished! Punished HARD!"
(Oops! Better stop now, before some lust-crazed sub emails me asking for her phone-number....)
AOL and other mainstream media are creating some fake news today with the story that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's past might make him too sexually hot for American voters to handle, whispering about how his "sexual secrets" could haunt him if he runs for President. Yes, folks, another example of the Liberal Media doing their darnedest to make up stories that help the Republican party. Those funny liberals!
Dredging up a sexual harassment suit from Bloomberg's past, the story suggests that it could hurt his chances with voters and lavishes readers with titillating details about Bloomberg's salty talk. But the real point of the story seems to be the shocking news that Bloomberg -- a filthy rich heterosexual man -- loves to fuck women.
What? A single heterosexual man who likes to have sex with women? We can't let this dangerous predator become president!
"I like theater, dining and chasing women," [Bloomberg] once told a reporter. "Let me put it this way: I am a single, straight billionaire in Manhattan. What do you think? It's a wet dream."
I like Ron Jeremy lots. He must be the world's most jaded whore, considering the life he's led, yet he has a great sense of humor and seems completely comfortable with himself and his choices. Instead of the sad decline we more typically see in long-time porn stars, Jeremy's aging with class and style. Caught him on an episode of the Kathi Griffith show a coupla weeks back and he was her BEST date. Hope she stuck around him long enough to benefit by ALL of the amazing Ron Jeremy's talents.
But gag me with a crucifix: debating the anti-porn Christian preacher boy, Craig Gross? Why, Ron, why? (I can almost hear his manager's answer: "Money, Gloria, money.")
This reminds me of those strange years when Timothy Leary and G. Gordon Liddy would team up to go out to flog their philosophical convictions with the passion of schizophrenics.
If anyone goes, PLEASE send us a report.
OK, so it's not a Lelo (sort of the Rolls Royce of vibrators and IMO the best ride a clitoris can buy), but the Rampant rabbit Wave is definitely a must-have for ladies who love to cum with penetration.
Too bad we can't get Elmer Fudd to endorse this in the US. I would love to see him advertise the Wampant wabbit wave.
(Thanks to Mike for the link, and to Mithras for correcting it!)
A Welsh word for homosexual is 'gwrywgydiwr'.
As may be obvious, I'm focusing on contemporary erotica of the very kinky kind today, and have selected artists whose names were unknown or barely familiar to me - but whose work immediately made a big impression. Admittedly, it's because they all work in the BDSM genre, some of them devoting most if not all their creative energies to translating their fantasies and personal experiences into works of art.
Researching my second choice for today's show, Japanese artist Namio Harukawa, I was bemused to realize that, well, there's a kind of SAMENESS to his work, no? While all artists have favored subjects, it's the rare artist who seems to be drawing more or less the same fantasy over and over. And over and over. And over. Again.
In Harukawa's case, that would the fantasy of a helpless, insignificant male smothered and degraded by giantesses who squat on his face. Although he does venture into other types of SM play (golden showers, bondage, pony-play, smoking fetish, Amazons, uniforms), the structure is always the same: a little man being completely ERASED by monumentally voluptuous, coldly amused vixens. My goodness. I aimed for variety (just LOVE the one of the high heel), but still ended up with a whole lotta Lady-Ass-Eats-Little-Man images. Wow. This guy is strange. He is to devouring female asses what R. Crumb was to gigantic legs. He's HOT!
New to me but perhaps not to fans of erotic comic art, Italian artist Leone Frollo (born in 1931 in Venice, Italy) creates mouth-wateringly sensual images of BDSM and sex fantasy. Dreamy!
Find out more about Frollo here.
Regular readers know that, despite my Jewiness, I think circumcision is a risky, unnecessary, primitive and mutilating practice. It serves absolutely NO purpose though some camps have tried determinedly for a century now to prove that it has some health advantages. What they've basically done is look for light under rocks - and when they see a glimmer reflecting off some mica, they cry, "Eureka, that's why people 5000 years ago came up with this idea - because they knew something about male health that modern science cannot grasp!"
I don't think so.
So it was with great interest and delight that during one of my occasional readings through the Jewish Forward, I discovered there's a tiny but, hopefully, growing number of Jews who feel the same way I do. Maintaining old rituals that clearly serve little or NO purpose in modern life is ignoring the notion of progress and rejecting the path we humans are on, towards better and clearer understanding of how the human body works. To my mind, the only difference between circumcising men and performing clitorectomies on women (the procedure that draws such outrage in the allegedly enlightened West) is that men retain adequate functionality to reproduce.
But at what cost? Decreased sensitivity; risk of damage and infection; risk of scarring and even deformity. The single greatest advantage of circumcision is reducing smegma under the foreskin and thus reducing the likelihood of infections or transmission of STDs. But modern hygiene eliminates the NEED to remove the foreskin. All a man needs to do is bathe regularly and remember to soap himself all over. That's it.
Now, a tiny percent of men do develop foreskin adhesions - for them, circumcision is a possible alternative, though other non-surgical treatments are now available as well. A bigger percent of men, however, develop complications and loss of sensitivity from circumcision than will ever develop a complication from having a foreskin.
"Activists Up Efforts To Cut Circumcision Out of Bris Ritual.
....a small but vocal minority of Jewish activists have begun to question the importance, and even the morality, of circumcision. Some have even begun using alternative “bris-less” brisses to welcome their sons into the world....
The article provides a link to sign the petition they've set up to urge Jewish leaders to rethink the ritual. I signed it and encourage those of you who feel the same to do so too.
I suppose she could just be a free-spirit who enjoys shopping in the nude, but a part of me wants to believe she was sent out that way by her Mistress or Master. Sure wonder if her solitary gold bracelet had a lock on it.
One thing bugs me about this story. She's clearly getting a free pass because she's a tall slender young blonde babe. I don't think people would be nearly so light-hearted about it if she was unnattractive, elderly, or a male. I hate that double standard. And not just because I'm a short zaftig aging brunette.
Um. Well, I hope not. Bitterness is so unattractive on a femdom. :)
Perhaps one of you has a better understanding of the purpose of this curvature (you'd have to, since I know squat about it), but I'll kick out some random guesses. Perhaps....
The curvature protects the penis by drawing the head in towards the body? It can be longer - to stress the wearer's masculinity - with a curve and not get in the way of vigorous physical activity? (Hmm...how DO tribal men who wear very long, straight sheaths manage to avoid getting their dicks stuck on scrub when they're walking through thick brush?) Is there some special ritual significance to this curvature - like does it mimic the shape of the penis of some other creature deemed to be very powerful? Or perhaps it's meant to mimic a horn - like the scary one on a rhino?
The tiny adornments on the ball sac are an interesting touch. I'm guessing this is/was ceremonial wear. You certainly couldn't fuck anyone with it on.
Oh no. You don't suppose that it's a tribal chastity device!
(juuuust kidding, folks)
I may do a little more blogging on Thunder but plan to catch up on some bits and pieces around the Net that have caught my eye in the last week....beginning with this oldie but greatie from The Onion, in which a self-deprecating and insecure pervert (or at least a writer who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night) agonizes over the eternal question, Does This Cock Ring Make Me Look Fat?
Hmmm....I wouldn't know how to answer that, myself.... It is, I think you'd agree, a highly subjective call. Perhaps I could get a huge group of men to wear them so I could do a very serious aesthetic study of the subject......Any volunteers? It's for the sake of science.
Thunder organizers had asked me to do a fund-raising event, and the lucky recipient would be the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), one of the leather community's favorite charities. I came up with a silly idea that sounded like great fun - at least for me. I offered to autograph any part of anyone's body for a donation. Ketzl, always happy to be in kahoots with me, worked intensively on a "price" chart idea she came up with: grabbing anatomical drawings of people and then highlighting zones: the more private the part, the higher the price of the autograph.
From the moment I conceived this perverse "Pornograph" event, I had visions of penises dancing before me. I warned Ketzl and Shepsl that they would have to serve as fluffer should any man not be quite up to the task of providing a stretched canvas for my signature. I reasoned that, with both a man and a woman to fluff, our table would be able to satisfy the pansexual needs of every comer. So to speak.
Oh but it was sad. Whether it was because a last-minute realization that putting me in the planned lobby spot meant that nudity was out of the question so we had to hasten to a room completely hidden from view; or because people preferred to eat lunch than to hit a fund-raising table; or because my personality drove everyone away .... well, whatever the reason, NO ONE showed up, except us and an embarrassed Thunder staff person. Oh la la, so sad that no one would get to see the hilarious posters that Ketzl had worked so hard to create for the event. Then: Eureka! I handed one poster to Shepsl and one to Ketzl and ordered them to go pimp the event in the vendor area like walking SM billboards. At least people would get to see the K's cleverly subversive artwork. Off they went. Then they returned. Without anyone. One kind person had handed Shepsl $10 for NCSF but STILL didn't want to come to the signing. Folks, really, I swear: rumors that I was going to use a shishkebob skewer to sign y'all were exaggerated!
Anyway, herewith the posters my Ketzl made to amuse the crowd-that-never-was:
Over the weekend, I came up with an original clinical diagnosis of a frightening new disorder that apparently can strike a submissive at any time, without warning. Having observed it up close, I consider it my professional duty to draw it to your attention.
I call it Geographical Positioning System Domination Syndrome, or GPSDS for short.
GPSDS strikes mainly when you are in a moving vehicle. It appears to be a severe stress reaction to a talking GPS system. Such as the system that Ketzl had rented from Avis to ensure we did not end up in Wisconsin instead of the Denver Technology Center. Not that we ever HAVE gotten that badly lost, but knowing us, it's not completely impossible either.
(Example: the infamous Step 12 adventure. Coupla years back, Ketzl was driving me to a party at Catherine Gross's house in Georgia. I had charged the kinky K with mapquesting the route and, diligent as ever, she had done so and printed it all out so I could read the directions as we went. It was all proceeding quite beautifully, until I got to Step 12. Because, you see, there was no Step 12. The printer had loaded that particular page oddly and Step 12 had been printed off into oblivion. Leaving us to conclude that somewhere between Step 11 and Step 13, we had to do something. You know, like make a crucial turn or something? Many hours later (and many hours later than we should have arrived) when we finally found Snellville, I firmly resolved never to let Ketzl live down STEP 12. Revenge is sweet. Sadism too.)
We all LOVED LOVED LOVED the GPS. I loved it because it so totally appeals to my anal, controlling nature. Plus, as Will has often said, "I love living in the future!" Right at our fingertips, the technology to find the services and sites we need and then guide us to them effortlessly. I can't say I place complete trust in it; I still pay attention to street signs and want to know how to get around should the thing break. It's just a little machine, after all, and sooner or later it will go on the fritz. Just as I don't want my slavegirl driving me to Wisconsin by accident, I'll be damned if a buggy GPS sends me over a cliff.
Ketzl and Shepsl loved it too. But, as I soon discovered, for different reasons. They loved it, I believe, because it was someone telling them what to do. If they followed the directions exactly as given, they would be rewarded by getting exactly where they wanted to go. All they had to do was be perfectly obedient and everything would be good. Even better, they could ASK for what they wanted (the destination) and the magic authority would gently guide them, step by step, towards their goal. Even when they didn't KNOW their destination (say, all they knew is they needed to find a gas station, but didn't know which ones were close), just ask Mistress GPS and SHE - all-seeing, all-knowing, all-data-surfing - would TELL you which gas station was closest and once again lovingly steer you to its door. Ahhhhh. It made them so happy. So fulfilled.
But by the second day, I noticed a darker shade to their relationship with Mistress GPS. It occurred whenever we missed a turn or made an unplanned stop. Naturally, the Mistress was programmed to accommodate human error, so she'd say "Recalculating" and resume with new directions.
"Do you hear the way she says it?" Shepsl blurted from the backseat after a couple of "recalculatings" had echoed.
"What?" I laughed, in the front seat.
"I know," Ketzl agreed with him, "Like she's disappointed."
"Yeah!" Shepsl warmed to the subject, "Do you hear the difference in her tone? Re-CAL-culating."
Ketzl experimented with it too. "Re-CALCU-lating. Like she's sighing."
"Have you both gone barking mad?" I politely inquired.
Well, okay. They were having fun and playing. I know that. I really do. I know that despite the fact that they kept playing this game with each other (and me), and insisting that the GPS system knew they were naughty and was telling them so, and that her voice was filled with judgment when they failed to follow her orders precisely.
But I'm telling you: GPSDS, man. Never underestimate the power of the masochistic submissive's mind to punish and torture itself or to give power up to any perceived authority.
Thank God for consent.
After a long and intense (and intensely joyous) few hours in the dungeon last Friday, it was time for yours truly to take her favorite form of a break: a big bubbling cup of frothy steamy capuccino and (the horror!) a long smoke on a sinister cigarette. Mmm. I let my minions use the bathrooms and refresh their perspectives on life with a cold drench of cool water.
While waiting for them outside, I bumped into and got a heads-up from Boymeat (who my unrelentingly frisky Ketzl - part slave, part succubus, and ALL smart-ass - kept referring to as "Mr. Meat," I guess because she couldn't bear the thought of calling a man who'd so thoroughly whip her smarty-ass "Boy"...or maybe just because she really IS that much of a snarkie-face).....
Boymeat filled me in: a group of women had just high-tailed it out of the hotel to head to the local Barnes & Noble where THE LAST BOOK IN THE HARRY POTTER SERIES WAS GOING ON SALE AT MIDNIGHT.
Please note all the caps: I use them to replace genuine sentiment, because if you think that Harry Potter and his adventures mean anything to me, you'd be SO SO very wrong. All I see is a popular madness in response to the world's biggest, most cynical marketing machine. (With apologies to J.K. Rowling because I think HER life story is fascinating, and that she is infinitely more fascinating than adolescent boys with magic powers could ever be.)
Now about Harry and my family: Ketzl and my darling husband, Will, both of whom I adore and respect and think are two of the most brilliant people I've ever met are - inexplicably to me - MAD about the series. MAD, I tell you! They devour the novels and the movies with the enthusiasm of those millions of androgynous little girls who scream with pre-pubertal pre-lust when Daniel Radcliff's name is mentioned. Oh the shame of it! This is worse than the year they made me watch Buffy the Vampire-Slayer re-runs!
As it happened, Ketzl had rented us a fine, fine vehicle in Denver. And paid for valet service, so it could appear and disappear on command round the clock. So, what's a good dominant to do? I sent Shepsl to arrange for said vehicle to be brought out front, and when Ketzl joined us announced that we too were going to the bookstore so she could have her next big orgasm of the night: she'd get to line up with all the breastless blonde babies and get her very own fresh outta-the-box piece of pop cultural illiterature.
She would have squealed if she was the type. Instead she bounced a bunch, her merry eyes shone with delight and I believe her hands grew temporarily disconnected from her wrists as she flapped them around in joy. With a signal to Shepsl, we all hopped in the car. Thanks to the idiot-proof GPS system Ketzl had rented with the car for the weekend, she had only to punch in a couple of commands, and soon the GPS Mistress was giving us precise orders on how to get where we wanted to go.
What a scene. Denver. Midnight. Silence everywhere except in the parking lot at Barnes & Noble where - predictably - it seemed like both a junior high and a high school had unleashed its populations upon the store. Little stick-figures racing around carrying piles of Harry that could've broken a camel's back, grabbing every copy they could for, presumably, every friend they'd ever had, and possibly several more they hoped to woo with this final tome of the series. (And I do mean tome: if you haven't seen it yet, it looks about twice as thick as Different Loving. I think Rowling's going for the Stephen King Verbiage Prize.)
Shepsl and I sat down on the steps, hugging a rail so as not to be trampled by the flip-flops wildly dancing around us, and Ketzl went inside. Shepsl, by the way, is also a writer (a very good one, I might add), and, like me, is your basic mid-list kind of author. We pour our souls into books we know will appeal only to limited audiences, and whose shelf-lives are, at best, a matter of sheer luck.
"I wish I could write a book that pre-pubescent girls went insane over," he said softly, mournfully, shrinking closer to me to avoid being trampled by his desired audience.
"You just want pre-pubescent girls to be insane over you," I laughed.
"Not me," he said with wounded pride, "my books."
I patted him sympathetically. "Resign yourself to having a day job."
By now, about half an hour had passed. Ketzl briefly appeared to wave a colored ticket at us then vanished again. Holy shit. They were distributing tickets the way they used to before Passover at the kosher fish-mongers of my Brooklyn youth, when you had to wait in endless lines to get your fresh-killed carp to make gefilte fish. And no one was even complaining. Since your average writer usually has to promise to give blow-jobs to all her/his friends to get them to come out to a book event, Shepsl and I sank into a yet-more nuanced existential gloom, as screeching adolescents careened past us, racing towards the scores of tired but loving parents who patiently waited for them in dark cars.
I finally decided to go check on Ketzl. I fought my way into the place, walked past the table the store had set up with softdrinks and cookies (WTF?! most authors are lucky if our publishers remember to provide us with a bottle of water so we don't choke on our own words while reading), and into the madness that was B&N that night. You might think that at an average bodyweight of 80 pounds per, it would be easy to push your way through this crowd of bony children, but did I mention they were there for HARRY POTTER? You know how your 12 pound cat or dog can suddenly weigh 200 pounds when it doesn't want to move where you want it to move? Now imagine that 'tude on an 80-pounder, and you grasp the difficulty of navigating this stubborn crowd.
But at last I found her. Or rather I found her group. Because there, glued to the SciFi/Fantasy section was a small sea of black leather and spandex. The Dark Side Incarnate! Or, more familiarly, Midori, UltraDomme, Robyn (of NCSF), Laura Antoniou (and possibly someone else I'm forgetting now, mea culpa) and, of course, my over-excited Ketzl, who was absolutely star-struck by the SM celebrity she was now surrounded by and chattering up a storm with UltraDomme. In the past, Ultra's invited me and my family to come out to St. Louis to visit her and partake of the ultra-yummy kosher brisket she can cook up better than your typical Jewish grandma. She had repeated this invite to Ketzl but, as best I could tell, the only brisket Ketzl was thinking about at the moment was located on UltraDomme's voluptuous upper body. Oh yeah, Ketzl, you're BUSTED. So to speak.
So there it was, folks: amidst a chill Atlantic ocean of crazed babies running wild in pastel shorts and pink tank-tops I found the small Sargasso sea of dark adult perversion. Did the children around us see anything but a group of middle-aged women dressed like rockers on MTV? Probably not. But it was just a wonderfully cozy feeling to find a leather contingent pottering around where most straights would least expect us.
A very personal list of the ten best moments over the weekend, ranging from the profoundly intimate to the sheerly hilarious.
1. Being with my two primary subs (my girl Ketzl and my boy Shepsl) and both of them doing their best to make me proud of them. To say I was proud of them was an UNDERSTATEMENT. Both are exceptional human beings anyway - exceptionally smart, exceptionally loving, exceptionally sweet, exceptionally cute, exceptionally depraved (oh how I love that!), and just truly good, decent human beings. And all that soul-deep goodness was focused on their Mistress this weekend. How did I get so lucky? I don't know but I took full advantage of it :)
2. Getting to meet some SM luminaries I've emailed with over the years, particularly Cleo DuBois (who I've admired for years, and who lived up to all my expectations and then some by being even wiser and more centered than I'd imagined), Larry Townsend (the author of The Leatherman's Handbook, the first SM book I ever read) and the totally outrageous and big-hearted UltraDomme of St. Louis. Plus getting to catch up with some other SM stars I haven't seen in years, including Diva Midori, my favorite SM princess Lolita, and the forever-incorrigible Boymeat (who did a super hot single-tail scene with my Ketzl).
3. That moment when-- after traveling the length of the hoppin'-and-poppin' dungeon, traversing dozens of bondage, flesh-pull, whipping, caging, pony-play and other scenes, and with me leading my slaves through our own private cavalcade of depravity (let's just say that Ketzl had a bunch of unexpected orgasms by the time we'd gotten from one side of the room to the other) -- I had a stunning realization. I didn't care if I got to see the Denver butterfly house I'd been planning to see, hoping to lift my spirits after the death of our beloved little doggie Theo 2 weeks ago. Thunder's dungeon WAS my butterfly house. All the beauty and power and sweetness of life was right there. I was loved by people I loved. I felt complete. I felt restored and healed. I didn't need anything more for my happiness.
4. People couldn't have been nicer or more complimentary One small example: a man who told me he was one of the poets I'd published a few years ago on my website, when I ran my old annual poetry competitions. He said it remained a source of great pride that I picked his work and he still sent friends to see it. As a token of his gratitude he brought me a tiny notebook he had made with a little dragonfly printed on the cover. AWWWW. There was just one darling person after another at this event.
5. This was not exactly a "best" moment but I guess it was the funniest one. I was doing one of my classes and to make a point, lifted my tank top, thinking I'd tease the crowd. What I knew that the audience didn't know was that I had a modest camisole with bra underneath, so all they'd get to see was a little cleavage. But when I did it, and to my surprise, no one looked disappointed - in fact they looked titillated. Um. And then I heard a vague murmur about "nipple." And I looked down. Well holy shit, one of the "ladies" had poked her nose out of my damn bra. AGH! "WARDROBE MALFUNCTION!" I cried, turning 12 shades of crimson while shoving the offending nip back in. It took me a moment to compose myself but oh well, I've always been of the opinion that a good sadomasochist should be able to be naked without shame. (*BLUSH*)
6. The Jew Factor. If you know anything about me, you probably know I was born Jewish. I say "born" because I'm what you'd call a secular Jew - raised that way by atheists. Married a nominal Christian and lapsed pagan (ergo the "Brame" affixed to the Glickstein) and lead as lapsed a life as any Jew can short of converting. But I'm a Jew and always be, for cultural reasons if nothing else, and it just blew me away to realize how many other Jews were at this event. We had more than enough Jews there for a several shuls-worth of minions. I'm thinking about what, if anything, it means that Jews were such a high percent of the SM crowd when we're such an insignificant percent of the American population. The single most touching Jewish experience: I met a woman who, like me, is the child of Holocaust survivors. We shared so much personal history we were freaking each other out - and peppering our talk with Yiddishisms I hadn't heard in 20 years. Then we discovered that we share the same Jewish name: Gitl. Tears came to her eyes when we realized this. Lemme just say: it was half-mindfuck, half-mitzvah.
7. The Age Factor. For the first time at an SM event, I was extremely aware of just how many of us have gray hair (or would if we weren't so vain that we used certain unnamed beauty products to cover our roots, ahem). Sure there were lots of folks in their 20s and 30s but I was surprised and remain very intrigued by the sizeable number of folks in their 40s and 50s (and quite a few in their 60s). The 40-60 crowd seemed to be the majority. I think it contributed to the success of the event. The older population meant there was a lot of stability (established couples and leather families); they had real careers (tons of professionals from all fields - I met a lot of business execs, lawyers and college professors); they had money to spend; and there was an awful lot of wisdom, maturity, and understanding. I hope they've found, as I have, that SM gets even better with age (as long as you aren't making the same mistakes again and again, that is). It was such a joy and a relief not to be around the kind of people who so depressingly have filled other SM events in my past: i.e., the lost, confused, self-hurting (or abusive) emotionally damaged orphans who drift through the SM scene and fuck it up for the rest of us.
8. After my class for femdoms ("Breaking the Patriarchal Death Grip on Female Dominance"), Midori came in to set up for the class she was teaching after mine. We chatted a little bit and she wanted the quick and dirty summary of what I'd said. I mentioned how I focused on the non-pro het femdom (i.e., the tiny minority of women like me in the Scene) and some of the ways in which non-pro femdoms go astray by trying to emulate or compete with pro-doms. It's a recipe for failure. Midori nodded and assented, saying, yes, of course, professional female domination is "entertainment." It isn't the real thing. Then she said something I'll never forget: "Being a prodom is like being a clown, only with different shoes." LOLOL!!
9. The single most intense, personal, emotional experience: having both my subs pierced by the wonderful Sharon. I made the arrangements and paid for it, as a good dominant should. For Ketzl, it was a re-piercing of her ear. About a year ago, we made our commitment to each other visible by getting "buddy" piercings: I added a third hole to my left ear, she got a second one in her right ear. Alas, on a business trip a short time after, her ear piercing got itchy, and she didn't have the special soap with her to cleanse it, so she removed the ring and ZIP the hole closed up overnight! When we got to Denver, she announced she would like it redone. We now wear matching earrings.
More intense, though, was my decision to have Shepsl's right nipple pierced. We'd discussed it: I knew he both craved it and was petrified of it. He had gone back and forth in his mind for days about it - really terrified of the pain, as much as he wanted that mark of ownership. When the moment came, though, he was wonderful. Sharon made the experience as warm and relaxed - and the piercing as quick - as imaginable. I sat beside him, cradling his head in my arms and stroking his face and hair as she worked, whispering tender words of love and comfort in his ear. He wailed when the needle went in. He suffered for me. He did it out of love for me. It meant everything to me. It made me high. We were both so high from it in fact we couldn't stop talking and cuddling until 5 a.m. (which was actually 7 a.m. for us east-coasters). The rest of the weekend I kept teasing him he needed a t-shirt that said "Ask me about my orgasm" because WOW, my slaveBOY had a multiple orgasm that night. (WOW. I guess I really AM that good.) ;)
10. I think I saw Ted Haggard at the airport when we left for home. No shit. The line for airport security was hideous, the air-conditioning pitiful (it was 99 degrees in Denver) and I was shifting and schvitzing and sighing when I turned around and came face to face either with Haggard (I looked at a hundred photos of him when I was blogging about him) or his twin brother. I gasped loudly, "Oh my God, it's Ted Haggard." He heard me: our eyes met. He froze. I saw panic (or think I did). Then he turned and ran the other direction and vanished. Holy shit. Was it really him? Maybe: he is from the Denver area, after all. What I like to think is that OF COURSE it was that hypocritical scumbag. And not that he had a clue who I was but that it was readily apparent from my tone of voice, the look on my face and the way that I was dressed that I was not your typical mainstream kind of person - more like your sexual pervert who knew ALL about him and might just come over and slap his smug, hypocritical face.
As many a blogger has said, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
There's so much to tell about my weekend in Denver, that I'm gonna tell it all in a series of vignettes, lists, short subjects, whatever helps to condense into blog form the fantastically complex experiences of my weekend adventures.
I'm starting with a list of the 10 things that made this event stand out for me from all the rest I've ever attended. Consider it a kind of guide/paradigm on how to take SM event organizing from competent to truly spectacular.
TEN BEST THINGS (Organizationally) ABOUT THUNDER
1. The perfect venue in a perfect location. The hotel was a conference center geared to business executives. That meant top-class everything: great food, great service, great privacy (located in an executive park), great rooms, great amenities, great staff.
2. The hotel LOVED us. Most hotels tolerate us; some are bemused by us; some try earnestly to be open-minded about us. This hotel LOVED us and it showed. Apparently we are among their most civilized respectful and well-heeled guests. The lobby cafe, usually open until 6 pm, loves us so much they arranged a special second shift so they could stay open until 2 a.m. - which is when the dungeon closed. Meaning that you could get fresh cappuccinos, croissants, sandwiches, candy, beverages, fresh fruit or anything else anytime you needed a break from playing. Staff was both enthusiastically friendly and hands-off: there when you needed them, invisible the rest of the time.
3. Event organizers were STRICT and SERIOUS about SECURITY. No recording devices allowed, and that included cellphones (lest someone use one to snap pix). You could not go into any area where there would be discussion of SM, the sale of SM toys or, of course, any type of play, without showing both your conference badge and an official photo ID. There were usually at least two strong-looking SM people standing at every entrance to check. Didn't matter WHO you were: everyone was checked and rechecked every single time. They also made sure people leaving restricted areas did not walk out naked or leashed into public areas.
4. No one was whining and bitching and crying like babies about the security or breaking event guidelines. OMG. FINALLY! Real mature, adult SMers who take themselves and their sexuality seriously and want to cooperate with each other! OMG. I didn't see a single hissy fit the whole time I was there. OMG. There were divas galore in attendance - and none of them acted like divas! OMG. It was fantastic.
(A rambling aside: People who don't think SM events should have tight security are deluded. It isn't just about protecting "them" from us. It's about protecting US from (ooh, scary!) THEM. Thunder has had right-wing infiltrators trying to get the event banned; they've had huge community/political pressure and bad publicity based solely on right-wing Christian anti-sex rhetoric from local church leaders. So to ignore the fact that, as a group, we SMers do have enemies who'd like to destroy our community is willful stupidity.)
5. Thunder organizers and staff PAID ATTENTION TO EVERY DETAIL. They had an incredible number of unbelievably competent, professional and hard-working volunteers who did things I would've thought impossible, based on previous experiences at events. They not only created the most brilliantly organized, mind-alteringly HOT dungeon spaces, they RAN ON TIME. When your schedule said something ran 12 to 1 or 7 to 9, that is exactly when it ran. Thunder staff was constantly in the background making sure of it. As someone who's about lost her mind several times at events where things ran one and two hours late, leaving audiences to claw out their eyes from sheer boredom, this was the most impressive aspect. The event respected the attendees! It didn't waste our time! It was efficient and considerate! OMG. It almost didn't feel like an SM event. (juuuust kidding...but with a big whack of truth in it) Seriously: I've never seen this level of organizational competence anywhere but at large-scale business conferences.
6. There were ONE THOUSAND ATTENDEES and it all ran smoothly. I repeat: we were 1000 strong and if there was any drama, it must have happened far behind the scenes. Out front, this was one of the happiest, most functional crowds I've ever been in - and I'm including the many conferences I attended when I worked on Wall Street. There was UNITY. It was incredibly powerful. And I believe it flowed from the two men who own this event: Rich Docktor and his husband Bryan. They moved in a little cloud of love, happiness, pride, joy, commitment and friendship that flooded out to embrace us all and set the tone of this event. I barely spoke to them but fell in love with them both.
7. The best play spaces I've ever seen and what made it even more impressive is that they put 'em up and took 'em down with breathtaking speed and talent. Everything about the spaces spoke to the competence of the organizers. Two vast spaces (a gigantic ballroom and a big garage for grungy fun), maximized for pleasure and efficiency. A truly phenomenal number of large-scale equipment (scores of St. Andrews' crosses, bondage tables, cages of various sizes and shapes, suspension equipment, scaffolding, and MORE MORE MORE), which enabled several hundred people to play at the same time with enough room to move around and use long whips. You cannot begin to conceive of the energy that rose out of the main dungeon. Just walking into it was an immediate sexual thrill.
8. FREEDOM. OMG. As careful and honorable as everyone was in the public areas, the private play spaces were the most liberated and liberating play spaces I've ever been in. You and your beloved(s) could be anyone and do almost anything (just don't mess the carpets or damage hotel property) and it was ALL GOOD. It THROBBED and VIBRATED with magickal sensuality and spiritual transformation and raw pig sexuality and everything in between. (BTW, DMs were everywhere, yet everywhere they went they were respectful and discreet, and everyone they talked to quickly complied with their requests.)
9. LOVE. You could feel it. You felt part of something special. You felt you could make lifelong friends with hundreds of the people there. The rules were laid out clearly at the first night's "meet and greet" and people were eager to work together to give each other a good time. Rich and Bryan came up with a creative way to help people feel at home: mainly by humiliating staff and presenters by having us all submit photos of ourselves as kids and gawky teenagers, then running a big PowerPoint presentation. It was INCREDIBLY humanizing. Everyone connected. It broke down the barriers between presenters and attendees. We saw ourselves in each other - gay, straight, lifestylers or play-stylers. It was intimate. It was REAL.
10. HONOR. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPECT. The event put across a message that has become buried over time (and perhaps in no small part because of the loose, lazy and often deceptive atmosphere of Internet SM). As SMers we MUST have a code or it all falls to shit. We MUST be more honorable, more responsible and more respectful than vanillas because we're making up a new set of rules - and we want them to give us more happiness, more fulfillment and a deeper level of reality (and transcendence) than vanilla life ever did. We play on the edge. If we don't learn how to do it gracefully, someone's going to get hurt: and it will be us.
Yes, friendly folks and fellow pervs, I am finally back from a truly spectacular weekend in Denver at Thunder in the Mountains and am very happy to say that it was - OMG - the BEST SM event I've ever attended. And since I've been attending SM events of one kind or another since 1986, that is indeed high praise! I'm still buzzing from the weekend.
I'm going to be blogging impressions, notes, even summaries of the classes I taught, over the course of the next coupla days or so. So much to tell! Stay tuned for a Thunderingly delicious series of reports on mile-high depravity. I'll do 'em as vignettes and bits and pieces and plan to let it rip!
....or fun things to do when you're a Sadhu.
No, no, no, not ME - but my name. How weird. Jen just discovered it a few minutes ago when she went looking for something on my site!
If you visit google and type my name into the engine, instead of being directed to my website at gloriabrame.com the top (and only) link that comes up directs you to a phony phonesex site which has stolen all my content. Yikes. Some call it google-bombing, some call it page-hijacking, some call it spam-dexing, and I call it HOLY CRAPOLA, get a life, people!
Here's the google link, if you're curious.
Got my crack attorney working on it now and will let know what happens next. Meanwhile, if any of you know how this was done (or how to undo it), let me know!
--writing from Denver, where we arrived this morning and are getting ready to head out for some fun.
I'm going to take a few days off from blogging (though you might still hear from Mithras, if he has the time). Me and my *ahem* "peeps" are hitting the road for Thunder in the Mountains. If you've been meaning to sign up for it yourself - you're probably too late, unless they still have tickets at the door.
We're really looking forward to the event. When I'm not teaching classes I'm hoping to sit in on some; when not doing that, or doing the fundraiser or talking to friends, I hope to escort my peeps to the dungeon and do very terrible things to them (I'm sure they're counting on it!..hmmm...now where DID I put that hacksaw....). I'm also hoping we can find at least a couple of hours somehow in the schedule to check out Denver, which I visited only once in the 1980s. At the top of my list is a visit to a nearby Butterfly House.
There's nothing more beautiful to me than a butterfly, whether in motion or at rest. To be surrounded by perfect beauty - I wish I could make that my sole mission in my life. But perhaps I can make it a mission for an hour or two this weekend. It would be a soothing aesthetic and emotional balm at this moment in life.
What I haven't talked about on the blog, and barely told any of the people I know, is that last week, we had to end our dog, Theo's, life. It's been too painful to talk about.
He came to us in 2005, after years of abuse and dysfunction. Under our patient care, Theo had become a wonderfully affectionate, happy, amusing, and unbelievably loyal little love-boy. A dog who'd never fully bonded with anyone, Theo had fallen completely utterly in love with my husband Will. As far as Theo was concerned, heaven looked like my husband's ass because whenever Will sat anywhere, that's where Theo lived: glued to him like a barnacle. My big tough biker-looking husband didn't quite know what to make of this funny little dog's passionate attachment at first but over time not only got used to him but grew to love him almost as much as the dog loved him.
We don't really know how it happened or exactly when but Theo ruptured a disk in his back. Whether it had been coming on for weeks or perhaps months, or whether it happened with one bad jump on or off a bed while we were out of the house, all we know is that when we returned from shopping a week ago Saturday, he was acting strangely, being unusually quiet, not wanting to play with his girlfriend (our mini-poodle, Venus), not interested in food. We watched him Sunday and he seemed fine, just limping a little. We attributed it to a sprain or a chewed paw. But when he wouldn't eat dinner Sunday night we decided to take him to the Vet on Monday to see if he needed a cast or a pain pill.
We were speechless when she told us it was his back. An injury she'd seen all too many times in long-backed dogs like him. The prognosis wasn't too hopeful. He'd lost some use of his muscles. On the other hand, she felt that a big-ass steroid injection and a course of medication would likely heal him. The existing damage would stay - he'd still limp and be shaky, but heck, so what. We didn't mind having to carry him around more than usual or cleaning up after any incontinence problems he might have. He'd never been that religious about doing his business outdoors anyway so a little more pee or poop didn't bother us. We went home reassured that he'd perk up by evening, and waited for Theo to sit up and look happy again. We waited and waited. He was sad. He wouldn't eat. He didn't even want water. All he wanted to do was sleep. We told ourselves that it was probably the steroids making him logy, and it was good that he was sleeping so much. No doubt it was a relief not to be in pain, and the little tyke was just worn out.
But on Tuesday, he was much worse. The limp had turned, seemingly overnight, into a terrible wobble, so bad he could barely raise his rear end off the ground. We were trying not to panic or over-react but I went into my office and quietly called the Vet to ask if it was normal for him to feel so crappy the day after the injection. The receptionist said, "Bring him in right away."
I knew why she wanted me to bring him in. Still I had to ask, "WHY?" I could hear the anger in my own voice when I said it: they were going to tell us he couldn't be saved. "Because he isn't getting better," she said. I couldn't argue with that.
We knew what was coming next. The Vet had warned us the day before. She checked him gently and confirmed all our fears. He hadn't responded to treatment. His condition had significantly deteriorated. The only other option - an expensive, drawn out back surgery, which we'd discussed with her the day before - was very iffy for a dog his age, and particularly one with so many emotional problems. Frankly, I wasn't even sure the dog could survive being away from his beloved Will for any length of time, much less get through the experience of back surgery.
We were both in such shock, half-numb, half hysterical, unable to speak. Being very controlled and brave as the doctors and assistants shuffled in and out, and beside ourselves when they left the room. We said our goodbyes and petted him and talked to him and held him tenderly as our Vet gently injected him with an overdose of drugs. Within minutes, his body relaxed, he uttered a few last death rasps, and he was gone.
I was the one in my family who had to give instructions to doctors to take my own father off artificial life support when he was in the last stages of Alzheimer's in 1999. I loved my father deeply but somehow it was easier to make that decision than this one. Perhaps because my dad had suffered for so long, and declined as far as any human being can, and I was SURE it was what he would have wanted. Positive about it because his views on the subject had always been very clear.
But how do you know with a pet? Theo looked at us pleadingly, fully conscious, with a sadness I've seldom seen on any creature's face. Except, perhaps, my husband's on that day. Did Theo want to go or did he want to fight? The Vet certainly didn't think he'd win the fight. But how can one ever know these things with finality? I've relived the scene in nightmares a hundred times since then.
We still keep expecting to hear his silly bark, his near-constant panting laughter, to find him canoodling with the poodle or hugging Will's feet wherever his Master went. I was almost coming to terms with it until I went to pick up Theo's cremains. Just holding the urn filled me with inexpressible emotions, including grief and incredible guilt (should we have gone for the back surgery? could we have prevented this? had he given signs earlier of a bad back that we missed?). I know everyone who's ever lost a pet goes through this. It's so terrible that they can't tell you when something's wrong so you can forestall even greater tragedy. Their fragile little lives are just that.
We've consoled ourselves with platitudes and memories and acknowledgements that we did achieve our goal with him: to take an abused old dog in and let him know a few months of happiness before he died. We never expected him to last 17 months with us; nor did we expect to see him transform into one of the world's most darling dogs and become such a beloved part of the family. He knew true happiness with us and received true love and tenderness, and we are incredibly grateful we were able to give him that.
Nothing can erase the pain of losing him. But I hope I get to the butterfly house. Perhaps spending some time in a magical world of pure beauty, surrounded by the ephemeral works of God, will restore my more typical philosophical center and help me to remember that life is in the here and now.
See y'all next week.