NOT THE GOLF CLUB….PLEASE

I have never had the slightest interest in golf, that is apart from the time some Frenchman called Van der Velde threw away the British Open on the final afternoon after getting stuck in a stream where it was canalised in a concrete trough and dropped a dozen shots as he hacked away like an amateur. Cue laughter and schadenfreude oh and a little anger at the crass misogyny of Peter Alliss who apparently thinks the sole function of any woman in his life is to make his tea. But I digress…..

One of the reasons golf has never really appealed is that most golfers belong to clubs, which are expensive to join, have bars full of back slapping self-satisfied white men and that, if these things weren’t off-putting enough , you have to be proposed and seconded by existing members if you want to join yourself. I have never been a fan of anything that required you to be approved by somebody else before joining.

I am concerned, therefore, to see that Fetlife is now effectively an invitation only club. New people can only sign up if invited by an existing member. Just like the golf club, really, but without the G and Ts and the Pringle sweaters……unless that’s a particularly esoteric fetish that has passed me by.

I can see why they might have done this. In my early days on the scene I got to know a man who was banned from Fetlife for stalking and harassment of one particular lady and kept rejoining under new IDs and I know, too, if only anecdotally that abuse, trolling, and general dickheadery are not uncommon. I have had to block a couple of people because of the latter. But the new rules will not necessarily deal with these issues. What, for example, is to stop a troll inviting him or herself under new names to have an account ready for when they are banned? And what about those who are simply blocked and ignored but never reported and remain on Fetlife to seek out new victims?

For those not yet in the scene this is a disaster. I, and no doubt many of you reading this, struggled for years alone with my fetishes and fantasies, unaware of the scene, unaware that there were so many like-minded people living within five miles of me. Joining Fetlife opened up to me a world of munches and play events, and led to me meeting a number of lovely people who helped me to love myself as I am and were influential, often in ways they might not realise, in making me the person I am today.

So, Fetlife, please think again. Think of those who don’t know anyone on the scene who have no-one to invite them and, because they cannot join, have no way of finding out about the munches and play events where they can meet kinky people. You have left them isolated in a vicious circle and made it impossible for us, as a community, to reach out and welcome them. Do not deny them the opportunities we all had.

We Are Like Ships in The Night

Sometimes friends mention things in conversation that give you a jolt because they express things that have been gnawing away at the back of your mind and make you think about them in a more focussed way. This happened a while ago as I enjoyed a pub lunch with fellow blogger Eye. She commented that many, if not most, friendships on the kink scene are essentially ephemeral. And this got me thinking.

I had been thinking anyway about how kink friendships differ from vanilla ones, in particular how there is often a weird kind of dislocation. This is particularly true of friends who have been play partners. I can think now of say half a dozen people I am no longer in contact with, who have been naked before me, who I have flogged and caned, spat on, humiliated in other ways, people, in short with whom I have enjoyed moments of great intensity and intimacy. And yet there are so many things I don’t know about them that even casual acquaintances in vanilla life know. I have explored the darkest recesses of their souls, they have bared themselves before me in more than physical ways, and yet, I know nothing about them.

Maybe it is because I know nothing that they are able to have these moments of intimacy. They know too, as I know, that we can disappear out of each other’s lives and they may never be able to find us. I suppose I am fortunate in never having had a major falling out with anyone on the scene although I have been close to others who have, and know just how traumatic these things can be. Mostly I have lost contact with people because, as in vanilla life, we move on, we change, or maybe stop going to the same events. Then there are the people who decide that the kink scene is no longer for them, who press the button on Fetlife and just disappear, knowing that we will not be able to find them. A couple of my former play partners have done this. I respect their choice and will not try to look for them.

A few months ago, at a private party, I met a dominant lady who shared my passion for vintage clothes, and specifically, Vivien of Holloway. She accepted my invitation to join in my play with my slave and we became friends on FetLife . We agreed to meet up again at the BBB and wear our Vivs. The other day I decided to message her about the next BBB and noticed that her profile too had disappeared. She was never really a friend as such but someone I felt I would like to have got to know better but this is not to be.

Falling out is not pleasant but I can handle it, drifting away from people you no longer feel much in common with I can handle too. But the sudden disappearance from the scene of people you liked and respected is different. It always leaves me with a feeling of wistful longing. Even in matters as ephemeral as kink it is sometimes nice to say goodbye.

It’s Painful but Is It Art?

Playing in public at clubs means that you are going to be watched. There are those who find this a distraction.  I realised early on that I didn’t and remember an occasion, early on in my domming career when I was so absorbed in the scene that I didn’t notice that a dozen people had gathered round, in silence, to watch. It was only when I turned round to select another toy to hit my sub with that I saw them, totally absorbed in what I was doing. But I was more absorbed still and pleased that only my play partner existed fort me in that hour. That is as it should be. We play for each other and not to put on a show. Or do we?

I find that at the big public events, such as the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar or Cirque de Chaos play primarily is about putting on a show. The noise and general business make it difficult to get into the required headspace, on the one hand, and I also found it difficult to read the verbal and non-verbal signals from my sub that I need in order to pace the scene properly. I think I tend to err on the side of caution in these circumstances although my slave would probably beg to disagree. I also worry about losing equipment as has happened a couple of times over the years.

I think that, in a sense, all play is performance, even private play without an audience.   I once had a conversation with a highly experienced pro domme who told me that domination was all in the head and that she could dominate any one of her regular clients in sweatshirt, jeans and Uggs. Allowing for the possibility that there are people out there with an Ugg fetish, I don’t entirely agree. When we play we are taking ourselves out of the drab real world for an hour or two, we are creating our own theatre and the costumes we wear are part of the fantasy we create.  The aesthetics of BDSM  have become increasingly important to me over the last year or so. I have a range of traditional fetish out fits in PVC and latex and so on, but have also played in a schoolmatronly skirt suit, in my lovely Vivien of Holloway repro vintage. The latter can be quite disconcerting. Latex, PVC and boots are the sartorial language of sadism and dominance. Feminine 1950s repro vintage isn’t. It can be hard to come to terms with a girly girl in a cerise rose circle dress and pink petticoat who smiles as he wields the cane and the whip, who hurts and humiliates with genuine relish. It is, as they say, a mindfuck.

The dressing up, the make up, the attention to detail are as important as the planning of the session, the skill in using the toys. It is an act of self giving to turn myself into the Goddess that my slave needs me to be, to help him into the headspace, to lure him into the theatre where he can be his true self, where he and I indulge our fantasies and where the pain and the marks I inflict are balm for the stresses  of daily life. Let the curtain rise!