The one where I vent on a deeply stupid article

I’m happy that BDSM and kink are gradually getting more mainstream exposure. I know some people like the thrill of doing something somewhat illicit, or enjoy being in a secret club that is hard to join, but that never appealed to me. In a philosophical sense I’m a ‘more the merrier’ type  -while being a ‘get the hell out my face and leave me alone’ type in the literal day-to-day sense.

Unfortunately, the problem with more people being aware of kink is that more people are going to write stupid stuff about it. Even worse, they’re going to conflate it with abusive behavior and offer protective cover to assholes who treat people like shit. As a case in point I give you this Rolling Out article on R Kelly and his abusive relationship with Kitti Jones. It’s based on a Rolling Stone article that couldn’t be more cut and dried. It describes classic abuser behavior of isolation, degradation of self-worth, emotional manipulation, finding fault, jealousy, etc. It could be used as a case-study on abusive behavior. Yet somehow, from all that, Rolling Out magazine decides a great article title would be ‘Are women victims or willing BDSM submissives?

The articles final paragraph is jammed with so much stupid bullshit it’s hard to pick out a single quote. Perhaps this is the best, by which I mean absolute worst.

However, the description of Kelly and the multiple women he has been involved with seems to fall into what is known as domination and submission. Kelly can be considered a dom, in these relationships if the women are to be believed.

If the women are to believe, Kelly can be considered an abusive manipulative asshole. It’d be bad enough to try and connect his behavior to a consensual BDSM relationship based on his statements. To try and make that connection via what the women have said is insane.

I’ve no idea what the solution to this kind of journalism is, other than kinksters doing their best to educate people about the importance of negotiation and consent whenever they get the chance. I’ve also no idea what would a suitable image to accompany this kind of post. Maybe this one of a woman responding in the correct way to a man trying to pull off any stupid bullshit in a relationship?

Heavens Above!

I swear a fair amount in daily life. I always find a well placed curse word to be highly satisfying. Typically I never use religious expressions – except when I’m playing. No idea why that is. While I might scatter the odd ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ around my daily screw-ups, bend me over and beat my ass, and suddenly I’m muttering ‘Oh, God’ and “Jesus! That hurt.’

There are probably some deep psychological issue at work here. Possibly having a domme in charge brings the idea of a higher power to mind. In the meantime I should probably avoid playing with committed Christians. They might take offense and beat me even harder, leading to an endless spiral of blasphemy and increasing violence.

This gentleman seems to be invoking an entire pantheon of higher powers. I’m afraid I don’t have an original source for the image.

More Yapoos

I’m not sure if 11Dutch spotted my post from yesterday or it’s just great blogging karma, but a year after his last Yapoo themed post, he has just put up another one in his series. Even better, he has managed to find someone working on an English translation of the original novel. There are only 3 chapters completed to date (out of a total of 14), but that’s a good start and I’m going to enjoy catching up with what’s there already.

My thanks to 11Dutch for his excellent find and to the translator N A Feathers for the work to date. This is also gives me a chance to feature some more pictures from the Team Rinryu site. I try and avoid posting their more extreme material on my front page, so I’ll go with a couple of drawings from their blog that were obviously based on the Yapoo themes.

Movie Night

I went to watch the new Blade Runner movie tonight. Paltego’s hot take is that it’s a good movie, where the original was a great movie. Ryan Gosling is a perfectly fine actor, but watching this made me appreciate just how good Harrison Ford was in his prime. The original is packed with classic scenes, and while this version has a lot of emotional depths to mine, it never really manages to find them. There’s certainly nothing to match the “I want more life, fucker” or the ‘tears in the rain‘ speech.

From the femdom angle it did strike me that Joe’s electronic companion is the ultimate tease and denial. Beautiful, flirty and entirely untouchable. I also loved the sequence of the woman blowing shit up while getting her nails done. That was a lovely contrast of elegance and controlled brutality.

A big stiffie

Twitter is definitely proving to be a great source for the kind of interesting play images that don’t show up in conventional kinky porn shoots. The image below is from 七海(natsumi) and, as far as I can figure out from the post, she has encased a man in plaster of Paris soaked bandaged. You can see another angle here. I’ve seen plaster used before in scenes, I’ve even been on the receiving end myself, but I don’t think I’ve seen a posed and standing statue created.

It’s a shame there wasn’t a small pedestal she could have put him on. That would have added some nice objectification to the bondage and sensory deprivation. Just in case a full body standing plaster cast wasn’t quite kinky enough for you.

Twittering

So having just burnt a series of posts on the dangers of maintaining dual identities on social media, what’s the next logical thing for me to do? Obviously it’s to create a new social media account. So you can now find me on twitter as @paltego1.

I’m not actually sure what I’m going to do with it. I originally created it just to get rid of all the ‘This media may contain sensitive material’ twitter warnings that were driving me crazy. Sensitive material is 90% of my reason for doing anything online. Then it seemed a good way to follow interesting kinky people. Now I’m debating if I should more actively manage it. Maybe use it as an overflow for links I don’t get to cover here? Or as way to bookmark articles before I have change to write in more detail on them? At the very least I can use it to publish the existence of a new post here.

If you’re a twitter user feel free to follow me and maybe I’ll end up doing something useful with it. I’ll also be on the lookout for interesting people to follow, so feel free to point me at anything or anyone you like!

Twitter does seem a particular rich source for fun kinky shots and short video clips. Most of them are casual shots snapped with a phone, but occasionally you get a gem like the one below. This is Domina M in Paris and was shot by Will Santillo.

Who are you? (Continued)

I hadn’t intended to write a series of posts on the intersection of social media and online identities, yet somehow, here we are with a third post. In a previous comment on my first post Ferns raised the issue of transparency and how companies hide the ‘how it works’ aspect. That’s a fascinating topic in itself, and so I wanted to circle back on it.

It’s clearly true that companies should do a better job of notifying users of what data they’re collecting. They don’t want to do that because there are only negative consequences for them. No user is going to say “I love that this huge faceless corporation knows all this stuff about me, but you’re missing out on a lot more private stuff I haven’t shared. Let me help you access that as well.” In reality, given more visibility of the data gathering process, users are only going to want to add constraints, which in turn hurts the companies product and their advertising revenue.

When it comes to the interpretation of the data – for example, why Facebook makes the friend suggestions that it does – then the story is more complicated. Machine learning and particularly deep learning is driving a lot innovation in big tech companies these days. Traditionally a  software developer would analyze a problem and code up an algorithm to solve it. Now that same developer will specify the end result they want (these people are friends, these people are not friends), gather as much input data as they can (user location, hometown, school, posts they liked, etc.) and try and train a system to figure out the end result from the inputs. Typically this involves throwing a huge amount of computational power at the problem (which is why this has only become practical recently) and results in a black box that nobody really understands. Given the right inputs (e.g. data about users) this black box might be able to make excellent predictions about who is friends with who, but it can be difficult to say exactly why it makes any single prediction. So when companies say it’s difficult to share why certain suggestions were made, they might not be lying. They might not know themselves.

As an example of this, let’s consider the original case of the sex worker I talked about in my first post. I should be clear I know nothing about this beyond the public articles and I know nothing about Facebook’s internal algorithms or what data they have. This is speculation designed purely to illustrate the issue. That said, imagine if Facebook had access to the WiFi networks people accessed from their phones over time. Being on the same public network as someone else doesn’t mean much. Even repeatedly seeing the same networks at roughly the same time doesn’t mean much. Maybe you just happen to regularly go coffee at the same time and place as some other random person. But repeatedly being on the same networks at the same time, but in different places over many months would be indicative of a possible relationship. That’s the kind of correlation that a machine learning system could figure out. It’s also the kind of correlation that would occur for a sex worker regularly meeting the same group of clients at different hotels in a city.

Apologies if anyone visited here with the crazy idea of reading posts about femdom. Hopefully I’ll get back on that track in the next day or two. In the meantime I’ll continue my theme of old school anonymity via masquerade style masks. This is the lovely Anne Hathaway, the one bright spot in the otherwise terrible Dark Knight Rises.

Better Than Life (final)

An interesting post on the liberating experience of VR porn from a trans man perspective got me thinking about femdom and VR again. I previously posted about my experiences with it, current niches it was suited for and the potential for combining it with e-stim technology.  I’ve been meaning to write a post on its future potential, and I guess this is going to be it.

My first prediction is that the VR future will be interactively rendered scenes that you can move around in, rather than simple 3D recorded movies. The latter are fun to try, but in many ways emphasize the limits of the medium rather than play to its strengths. So with that assumption taken, let’s make some simple technology projections…

  • Headsets will get lighter, wireless and offer better quality displays.
  • Computers will be able to create interactive VR scenes and people that are indistinguishable from recorded film.
  • Motion and facial capture will be able to accurately capture movement and gestures using simple cameras with no fancy bodysuits or reflective dots.
  • Speech technology will support voice warping to mimic any particular intonation/pitch required.
  • Somebody will build something similar to the kind of e-stim device I described here. It won’t mimic touch or allow you to feel virtual surfaces, but it will be able to create interesting and complex sensations across your body.

None of these things require any new technology breakthrough. They’re simply extensions of what’s already happening. The last one is probably the most risky projection, and that’s only because it’s a niche product that doesn’t have the obvious mass market applications of the others. If you put all these pieces together, what kind of experience could you create?

Imagine two people located in different parts of the world but sharing a virtual space of their choosing. The environment visualization and their embodiments in it are indistinguishable from reality. Their headsets are light and untethered, meaning they can freely move around. As they do so, the system captures the body position and facial expressions and mimics them in the space. A bow, a wagged finger or a blown kiss are perfectly captured. Their bodies and clothes can be whatever they want them to be. They can talk and their voices will be modified to a desired intonation. They can’t touch one another but, using a mixture of computer controlled e-stim and vibration devices, they can create complex and interesting sensations across their physical bodies. A particular gesture could be a gentle tickle, a sharp zap or a wave of pulses and vibrations. Would all that be a compelling experience?

I guess some people might see that as a depressing scenario. Two isolated people surrounded by technology in a fake space pretending to be someone they’re not. Personally I think it’d be incredibly liberating and empowering. It’d allow experimentation with roles and a sense of self. Gender, age and appearance all become malleable. It’d allow complex long-distance relationships and allow people to escape physical or geographical limitations. It could be used for everything from casual chatting and hookups through to complex roleplay and storytelling. It’d be fun as hell. Like creating your own Gollum, but in realtime and with a much sexier character. Unless your idea of sexy is a slimy, hairless grey creature, in which forget that last part.

I’m sure the sex industry would also quickly figure out a commercial angle. People already pay cam girls and pro-dommes for live streaming sessions. Imagine if, rather than in a 2D computer window, they were suddenly sitting on the couch next to you. And the couch was in the middle of an orgy in ancient Rome. Of course the beautiful domme sitting next to you with the sultry voice might actually be a 60 year old guy in Wichita.  But at least that means people previously shut out of the sex industry because of gender/age/appearance would now have new opportunities to shine.

Not all of this is going to happen in the next year or two. But I’d be amazed if it hadn’t been realized in the next five to ten years.

This 3D rendered image was created by xrenderer in 2007. It still looks pretty good, but in computer years, that’s an eternity ago.