Yesterday became increasingly dark for me, even though I kept my good humour alive on Twitter in an attempt to keep my mind off things, so when my aunt called me in the evening to see how I was doing, I suddenly broke into the biggest cry I’ve had in a while.
I tried to downplay my financial worries and my fears, tried to be a bit more of a “man” about things, but it didn’t work out very well. I got off the phone and literally wailed, “I want my mommy!” It wasn’t one of my finest moments.
This morning she rang me. Her and my uncle are sending me a gift of cash to tie me over, as I’ve only ever been this desperate once before. I was so relieved I flat-out bawled yet again.
But yay for me. Yay for seeing that little light in the tunnel. Yay for my back feeling a bit better. Yay for maybe turning the page on the darkest part of my recent trials. Continue reading →
In Cronenberg’s A History of Violence, we’re given a great beginner’s demonstration of how to perform low-stress, low-prep role playing games.
In that scene, Viggo Mortensen’s character is seduced by his wife, who says, “We never got to be teenagers together… I’m going to fix that.”
She abandons him in the bedroom for an uncomfortable length of time as she vanishes into the washroom to prepare for her antics. Finally, she emerges in a high school cheerleading costume and stands there in the doorway, toying with her oh-so-short skirt to reveal a pair of girlie white cotton feminine briefs, complete with a little frilly ribbing.
Just standing there, hiking her skirt up enough to show these oh-so-innocent little panties is enough to drop his jaw.
The fact is, role playing may seem stupid and weird, but why should it? As children, we grow up pretending to be other people and we think it’s fun. “You be the patient and I’ll be the doctor. Open up and say, ahhhhhh. And maybe a little oooooh.”
When does the switch get flipped that tells us pretending to be someone else is bad? Why do we feel so silly? What’s so absurd about remembering to play over the age of 18, hmm?
The thing about sex is that it’s supposed to be that one time — that one time — when we let our guard down enough to be utterly vulnerable. We’re there, naked, in every sense. Splayed and ready for enjoyment. And then, we lose a little control. For the good? For the bad? You decide.
Men and women tend to be pretty different in some regards, outside of the obvious, I mean. For instance, the reliability and comfort factor of a relationship tends to be really important to a woman’s sense of security. Men can get a little nervous about that, and they like to have things shaken up sometimes so they don’t begin to feel trapped. Don’t get all silly and think, “Oh, my man doesn’t feel trapped.” What, YOU never feel trapped? Admit it. You KNOW he does. It’s primal. Who we are. Get over it, but bloody well accept it. Everyone knows what feeling trapped is like.
So, it’s simple — you just change things up. Cook a different meal, wear a different perfume. Wear a wig, even, on a playful night in. Or, adopt a costume. (Change the decor of a room to be more masculine and dark for the night. Anything that adds new elements or airs will make the experience richer for the guy. Just cleaning up and tidying it will make a woman happy, sadly.)
And why shouldn’t variety make it richer? Variety is the spice of life.
One of the things I always loved about sex in the car was that it meant never having to have sex in the same place twice. Nothing quite like a game of strip Monopoly come rent time in the back of a hatchback, you know what I’m saying? One time by a river, another on a lonely stretch of rural dirt road, another in the abandoned car lot on a full moon night. It’s almost worth the handle imprint on the ass, the rug burn, and the crick in the back, you know?
There’s a digression for you. (Hi, I’m Steff, and I’ll be your tourguide tonight.)
What I loved about the role play scene in A History of Violence is how incredibly simple it is. It’s realistic. It’s easy to do. It doesn’t take a whole night of arranging and wooing. It’s reasonably spontaneous on one partner’s part, and is almost like a gift. Or, you can plan to play in advance. Set a date on the calendar… “Saturday, July 29th, 6pm: RP Games.”
Role play ain’t just for dungeons nor dragons, you know.
The advantage in booking the night and time in advance, where you explicitly say “This is what we’ll do” is that you get this wonderful goodness that comes in the form of committing to be together in every way… and the anticipation it brings. Guys LOVE to know they’re getting laid at a certain time. Let them look forwards to it with a little idea of what the night is to bring them, and man, you could find yourself with a pretty eager guy. Don’t you agree, boys?
If you’re a newbie to this shit, there’s nothing to be concerned about. You’re playing dress-up and having a cheap evening in, okay? That’s about the size of it. The pay-out is a little no-holds-barred fun that allows you to forget about who you are for a little while and adopt a fantasy life. It’s not stupid or childish, it’s just fun. Let your pride take a walk, and have a little fun, will ya?
If you’re a vixen-wanna-be, then check out the beginning of the movie (15 minutes in, give or take — I haven’t watched it all yet, so I’m not giving a whole-movie review; just scene approval!). Watch the scene where she seduces him, and pick up cues from that. The “Let’s go, Wildcats!” jump was a little much for me — after all, do you really want to risk jumping on your loverman’s mid-section when you’re about to try to get nailed? And another point, if you’ve taken the time to get a costume and have an idea in mind for playtime, take a moment and clean the kid’s toys off the bed! Jesus Christ! Get them out of sight. That happens at the beginning of this scene, when Viggo’s cleaning the toys off his bed, and that’s not really the cool thing to have happen. You’re about to get shagged — who wants to think of their kids? Again, Jesus!
It’s not rocket science, people. It’s fun. It’s carnal, it’s biblical, it’s illegal in some states, but it’s just downright fun. Why, someone oughta charge some admission.
While all the good little people were out getting in touch with their god of choice, I was having a lovely Sunday morning watching a BDSM fairytale, Secretary.
I’ve been meaning to see Secretary since its release in 2002, as I’ve been a lifelong fan of James Spader ever since I loved hating him in Pretty in Pink when I was just 13.
I remember being apprehensive about the movie, though, way back in 2002. BDSM, I thought, was largely for Weirdos. I suspect the movie was the first really mainstream movie to introduce the lifestyle to a large percentage of the population who probably walked out of the theatre with a silly grin pasted on their lips. It’s not so bad, they likely thought. A little odd, and weird, but certainly not this horridly perverse thing their churches had them believing it was.
Since then, my eyes have opened. No, I’m not into S&M, though I don’t mind a little smack on my ass from time to time, but I’ll probably never join the movement. I ain’t, however, writing that in stone.
The movie Secretary does not dispel the notion that those who gravitate to this pain-for-pleasure lifestyle tend to be somewhat broken inside. It echoes the common perception that the participants are hurting after a life of shortcomings and trouble, and this is their way of finding a coping mechanism. Control the pain that pains you, and you will control the life around you; this seems to be the prevailing wisdom.
So there are those who scoff at them and scorn them, as if they should find healthier mechanisms for dealing.
Aren’t we all hurting to a degree, though? Don’t we all nurse regrets and fears and wishes and wants? Sure we do. But the rest of us got the magic “All Better Now” button installed when we were manufactured. Or did we? Hmm, perhaps we could use a little coping, too.
And what would you suggest? How about a more socially accepted method? Alcohol to cure to ills? Cocaine’s making a comeback, you know. Perhaps cardio-holism is more your thing. Sweat, then, baby. How about a double-banana split? A bag of Doritos? How about shoplifting a new shade of red lipstick? Say, I hear they have a double-bill at church this weekend.
The point is, we all confront our demons in ways particular to us. The notion of willingly allowing ourselves to be hurt seems to be one that most people can’t handle. It’s not as if life doesn’t bruise us often enough as it is, is what people think.
And, sure, there are some right-fucked sadomasochists out there, but there are also some incredibly well-balanced ones as well. It takes all kinds, just like bowling. The thing is, do you understand why you like to have pain inflicted on you? Are you aware of what it does for you? By that same token, are you aware of why you want sex and romance to be all feathers and soft kisses?
It’s all about self-knowledge, this life thing. The more you know about what motivates you to do what you do, the greater your grasp on things will be. If you’re oblivious, then you’re in trouble. Simple.
I’d argue that the person who likes only the soft love – the gentlest of kisses, the lightest of touches – is equally as mentally ill-equipped as the out-of-touch person who prefers only pain. I’d say that they probably fail to realize just how sheltered they’re trying to be from the harshness of reality, and that they need to wake up and smell the rough sex.
I think anyone who’s only into pain for pleasure, and has no other outlets, is unbalanced. Just like in Secretary, there are plenty who like a little roughness and pain in between the soft kisses and lingering caresses. Balance is good. Experimentation is good. Sticking to vanilla all your life, or just Rocky Road, is probably never a healthy way to go.
There is nothing wrong with loving a little roughness. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to enjoying your lover smacking your ass so hard it’s red when they’re done. There’s simply nothing wrong with liking anything, as long as you understand why you like it, and you’re not just using it to cover up the ills of your existence.
Society doesn’t understand BDSM, and they’re not going to anytime soon, either. Acceptance is increasing, but as long as it’s all the hardcore folk riding front and centre and playing the roles of spokespeople, there will always be a negative perception about the lifestyle.
It is what it is. Enjoy what you do, and know that being discreet doesn’t mean being ashamed; it’s simply self-preservation in a society that just doesn’t understand. Sounds like being gay in the ’40s, don’t it? Oh, well.