Playing the Role

This was the most intense BDSM experience I have ever had. Strangely I only realise this in hindsight. I meet my slave for one to one play as often as we can manage to fit it in around busy lives and the various scene events we both like to attend. Usually these sessions are not unlike the sort of session a pro domme might have with a client, except that I feel free to experiment and that we know each other well and can have bits of intimacy that would not be appropriate in a professional context.

Last week we had the opportunity to book a filming suite for four hours so I immediately thought role play. The suite did not have much in the way of play equipment but an office, a school room and a bed. It was, therefore, eminently suitable for what I had in mind.

I enjoy roleplays not least because they locate the play in the heads of the participants and are a challenge to my imagination. I do not have a lot of the practical skills with rope and so in that many dom/mes have, but I do have a rich, lively and sadistic imagination. I also have a rich fantasy life, much if it dark and about which I am generally reluctant to talk. In this sense the scenario that I chose was an act of trust in my sub. For me acting out the scene was as much an act of self revelation as were his reactions to what I did to him. And as he absorbed himself in his role and get deeper and deeper into the dark places I had prepared, he drew out my sadistic impulses and I turned up the pain to levels he had not previously experienced with me and which, I think, he was only able to endure because he was so deeply in role.

At the end of the session he was shaking and crying. For him the experience had been terrifying real and as he put it to me his mind was “totally fucked.” I was in a different place too and have spent quite a bit of time reflecting on the feelings and urges the scene unleashed in me. I came face to face with a part of myself that I do not always like to think about. And I find myself thinking whether the boundary between consensual non-consent and non-consent is as firm as I would like it to be.

And I have learned too about the power of role play and specifically the power it gives me. I need to learn how to use this better. The scene was never out of control and the safety of my sub never in question but it is only over the last few days that I have understood the emotional power of the forces I was unleashing. I will drop my sub again into a dark abyss or two in our role play but I have to be damn sure I can bring him back.

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Trans Women, The New Misogynists?

Some time ago I lay on my bed, closed my eyes and tried to imagine being pregnant. I then imagined myself giving birth, holding my newborn child, bonding with it. I fell into a deep, beautiful sleep from which I awoke with a feeling of desperate emptiness. I felt my body, its curves, its contours and felt a sudden disgust at a body that was not fertile, not fruitful, would never know certain core feminine experiences.

I got over this, not least because of my some wonderful sex with both men and women, and I now love my trans body. But bodily self disgust is, I think, something that transgender people are quite prone to.   Many speak of feeling trapped in the wrong body but most know deep down that no hormones and no surgery can ever, quite, give them the right body. All trans women know that there are differences between them and cisgendered women, know too that many key issues for women can never affect them directly. We reflect on these and our reflection colours and patterns our relations with our cisgendered sisters.

I, and many trans women, actively support the struggle for reproductive rights,  the right og women to decide for themselves what to do with their bodies. We have cis women friends, confidants, lovers. Yet, however we engage with cis women, the radical feminists continue to abuse us as “mentally ill gay men” “drag queens” “not real women” and so on.  And, in a new tack, a recent blog posts suggested that we are misogynists,  seeking to erase “real” (that is biologically female) women in order to further our own unjustified claim to be women, that we privilege our struggle over that of cis women,  and that, ultimately, trans rights are fundamentally incompatible with women’s rights. This explains the rad fem furore over Government suggestions that the current intrusive,  medicalised and bureaucratic, process for gender reassignment should be replaced by one of self certification, based possibly on the system that has operated for two years in the Irish Republic.

Much of the claims made are nonsense. For example trans people do not require a Gender Recognition Certificate to use toilets corresponding to their self identified gender and the idea that a man would go to the trouble of putting on a dress and make up just to invade women’s spaces to sexually assault them always seemed farfetched.  As we have seen recently it is far from necessary for a man to do this in order to assault women. These arguments also elide areas where the stuggles overlap. For example, bathroom bans in certain US states have led to the ejection of cisgendered women from the ladies’, allegedly for not looking feminine enough.  The control of trans bodies is actually an aspect of the control of the bodies of all women.

Am I a misogynist? I have a number of close women friends who have supported me in my transition, who have shown me love and been there for me when I needed them. These are women who can relate to me as a woman and want to be part of my life. Do they consider me a misogynist? I cannot recall meeting a woman in recent times who was not wholly comfortable with trans women. The women I know encompass a wide age range, a wide variety of backgrounds and levels of education.  I suggest that they represent a representative cross section of the female population. I suggest too that the radical feminists, as in many other questions, are simply not where the majority of women are.

Do I want to erase women? I do not. The simple fact is I could not live without them.