I showed my new leather over bust corset to my vanilla friend Jane.
“I’m surprised you got one” she said, “I remember you saying that that sort of thing was more for submissive women.”
And it is true that most of the corset wearing women I know on the scene identify as femsubs. Corsets are associated with restriction and restraint, the modelling of the female body to a template designed to please a dominant, privileged male. Maybe, I had thought, my slave’s eagerness to buy me a corset was a kind of sartorial topping from the bottom?
But the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea and even if being tied in by my slave seemed a bit unusual, I have always liked the look of a corset and the smell of new leather awakens my deepest and earliest fetishistic responses. So we bought the corset at the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar last month.
Bound tightly in it I could see how it feminised my body, gave me the hourglass figure I had craved. I teamed it with a latex pencil skirt, another form of restrictive but arousing clothing and….. if a woman I think is fucking hot describes me in the same words I know it has to be right.
My slave looked at me longingly and I looked at him, at the corset wrapped tightly around me, at the skirt that I could do no more than hobble in. As I did so I felt a powerful wave of sadistic desire surge through me. My slave will be richly rewarded for his generosity…….in pain and humiliation.
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!
Some time ago I attended a meeting of a TV/TG support and social group in a gay bar just round the corner from the Nightingale Club where the monthly Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar is held. Conversation soon turned to the BBB which one lady had mentioned as a safe space in which to spend the day dressed (which, of course, it is). Another lady commented that I would surely find shocking the things I might see there, what with whips and gags and those things you stick up peoples’ bums.
“Well” I said, “probably not You see, I identify as kinky and BDSM is a big part of my life. I enjoy hitting people and sticking things up their bottoms”
The meeting fell silent and the lady who was so appalled hasn’t spoken to me since. This was all a bit disappointing. I still fail to understand why people who identify on the LBGTQ spectrum have a problem with the accoutrements of consensual BDSM and feel the need to cut a fellow transwoman who identifies as kinky. There is stigma and prejudice enough, as most of those reading this will be only too aware, without such reactions from those one might expect to be more understanding.
So it was a degree of apprehension that I invited my friend Jane to join me and my slave and ta the February BBB. I haven’t known Jane that long. We met through a shared interest in vintage fashion last year and have met up on a few occasions since. I told her a while ago about my kink and she seemed understanding and non-judgemental. I could have guessed that she would react like this. Ladies who are into vintage tend, in my experience, to be tolerant and accepting. Jane likes burlesque and there is a considerable crossover between this and fetish clothing. And my Vivs have always attracted admiring comments at fetish events.
Nonetheless it was an eyeopener for her. We went for lunch and she had more questions than I had time to answer. She was intrigued by the relationship I have with my slave and genuinely curious. She loved much of the clothing that was on sale and had even tried on a latex dress but decided against a purchase (even though I think she looked fabulous in it). But her main impression was about the people.
“Everyone was so friendly” she said “so normal. And I hadn’t expected there wold be so many women.”
And this is the point for me. Look beyond the toys and the clothing and you see people, old, young, able-bodied and not, all genders and sexualities, and none. Just people, among them some of the loveliest people I have ever known. And I thought, too, how good it is to have a vanilla friend who sees that.