Success!

Regular and observant readers will have noticed my blogroll has gone through a few iterations in recent months. My original dynamic one stopped working with the latest versions of WordPress, so I’ve been forced to use a simple static one for the last few weeks. Multiple people left me comments and emails saying how much they liked the old dynamic blogroll, so I spent a bunch of time looking for a good replacement. Unfortunately nothing out there had the performance and the features that I needed.

Luckily, I’m both a software developer and a masochist. I also love my readers. So I took some free time over the holidays to teach myself PHP and WordPress internals (definite masochistic appeal there) and wrote my own. The result can be seen to the right (desktop) or bottom of the page (mobile). This should still give zippy page response times while picking up new posts to display in an hour or two. It also adds some nice features like post snippets and the ability to drop sites that haven’t posted for many months. If anyone spots problems with it or has suggestions for improvements then please let me know via a comment or email.

After wrestling with code and weird bugs for the last few days, I now feel a little bit like this lady. I’ve beaten the software into submission and stand triumphantly above it. Sadly the original source for this image appears to have been less successful and is now a dormant site.

Limits of consent

While writing yesterday’s post on the Folsom Street Fair, I came across this article on the issue of photographing participants in these kind of public events. I though the issues it raised and the article subsequent comments where interesting. The trigger for this was an Ask First campaign that wanted to raise awareness around consent. They used stickers to remind people to ask before touching or engaging with people. They also extended that to photographs. The first part sounds excellent to me, the last part I’m not so sure on.

Shared public spaces are for everyone to use. That means their for the kinky, the non-kinky and the occasionally curious. They shouldn’t be majority ruled or driven to the lowest common denominator of taste. As I’ve argued before, as long as the goal isn’t to piss people off, kinky people should be able to do their thing in public. However, at the same time, when the kinky people become the majority at somewhere like Folsom, they shouldn’t turn around and takes rights off others. It’s the photographers public space as much as theirs, and part of the social contract around public spaces is that you can be identified and photographed in them. That goes for the public, the police and the perverted. If being identified is such a big deal to you then either dress conventionally or wear some sort of mask or hood. You’re in a public space – that has consequences.

Of course if you want to combine photography with privacy, then the best way to go is the selfie. This lady seems to have mastered that pretty well, thanks to the help of a mirror and a handy doormat.

femdomselfieThere’s no watermark on this, but my domme sense tells me that’s Empress Jennifer who has filmed for sites such as Men are Slaves and Asian Cruelty.

Twofer

Here’s my final foot themed image in this particular sequence of posts. I think I’m running out of kinky variations for people and feet. Fortunately, we’re ending on a twofer. This has trampling combined with foot worship. We’ve got a toe sucker and a human pedestal, not to mention the charming lady with the lovely smile. Hopefully there’s a little something for everyone in that.

Trampling and foot worshipThis is from the Young Goddess site which is sadly no more.

She flies through the air

This is kicking (ahem) the foot theme up a notch. In three posts we’ve gone from foot worship through trampling to – trampolining? That’s at least the name given to it in the post where I stumbled across the image. It’s original from the Trample City site.

I don’t normally feel an urge to include a safety warning in my posts, but this really doesn’t look all that safe. I’d imagine that jumping up and down on someone could risk cracking or bruising something quite badly. Maybe I’m wrong, but I really wouldn’t try this at home (or anywhere else).

Femdom Trampoline

Balancing on his body

This is kind of a continuation of the previous foot themed post. We’re moving on from foot worship and onto the more painful foot related activity – trampling. I have a really low pain tolerance when it comes to this, so I’m always impressed to see women stomping around on the top of guys. I’m also impressed that people can do it in high heels and not fall over. The average male does not make a particularly smooth walkway.

On an unrelated note, I seem to be having technical problems with comments which I’m still trying to diagnose. So apologies if you’ve had problems leaving them. They’re working sometimes but not others, and I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on.

Trampling

A triumph of stupidity

Governments doing stupid things is nothing new. Just in the last few days we’ve had the British PM suggest banning encryption on the internet (bye bye all electronic commerce!) and the US goverment put the idiotic Ted Cruz in charge Nasa and science programs. However, I think Russia has outdone them all with its latest law. Having already made a name for themselves with previous anti-LGBT laws, they’ve now banned transgender people from driving. In fact, when you dig past the headline, it’s not just transgender people. They’ve also banned sadomasochists, exhibitionists, fetishists and transvestites. If that kind of law ever became widespread I’d guess most of my readers would be walking to work. A completely crazy law and a continuation of a worrying trend for Russian citizens.

The image below is from the Russian Mistress site. I hope for the ladies sake that the local traffic police never see it. That certainly looks like sadistic behavior to me.

A Sadistic Russian MistressI found this via the Slaves of Elena tumblr.

Implicit associations

Today’s link to ‘thing that’s not really femdom, but I liked it and wanted to share’ is to something called an implicit association test. This is a test which can supposedly uncover associations that you make unconsciously and may not be aware of. It takes about five minutes to do and you don’t need to register if you don’t want to, simply proceed as a guest. There are tests for (allegedly) revealing your instinctive biases on things like skin-tone, weight, religion, etc.

I found the idea fascinating and headed immediately for the sexuality and gender tests. On the sexuality test it reported I had “little to no automatic preference between Straight People and Gay People.” That put me in a neutral group of about 17% of people. Apparently 68% of people taking the test expressed a preference (from slight to strong) for straight people compared to gay people, and 16% for gay people over straight people. Normally being in the middle of any issue is boring, but I was kind of happy to be in that middle bucket.

The gender test result was slightly more surprising. It tested the association between men/women and career/family. For that the standard curve has 76% of people associating men->career and women->family, 17% neutral and only 6.3% associating women->career and men->family. I was in that latter group with a “moderate association of Female with Career and Male with Family”. Apparently (according to the site) our implicit assumptions come from our everyday experiences. Yet I’ve always worked in an environment of >90% men and as a child I was brought up by a stay at home mom and a working dad. That suggests I’m definitely an outlier here. Or that the test is broken.

I’ve no idea how solid the science is behind it, but I thought it was fun to try. Plus, all that talk of gender and careers gives me a chance to feature an everyday office scene. Perhaps she implicitly associates men with doormats?

OfficeScene

This is from the Under Feet site.

Perfectly poised, posed and pert

I stumbled across this image while looking for a trampling shot for yesterday’s ‘Worthless worms revisited‘ post. It didn’t fit that post’s theme, but I thought it too beautiful not to share at some point.

It’s from a trampling sequence, yet their lithe bodies and the elegant surroundings put me in mind of two dancers working and rehearsing together. I like to think that’s her victory pose having defeated him in a mythical balletic battle. I’ve never been to the ballet (despite live close to the Seattle company), but I’d be a season ticket holder if it ever looked anything like this.

A trample victory pose

Fans of more conventional trampling shots, featuring heels and pantyhose, may appreciate this image and this image from the same sequence.

Worthless worms revisited

My post ‘Worthless worms : Hot or not?‘ attracted a lot of thoughtful commentary. It’s clearly a topic that provokes strong opinions from both sides of D/s slash. This post is intended to address a few follow-up points that struck me after writing it and reading the responses.

In the original post I used degradation, humiliation and objectification interchangeably. That was careless as they’re related but different concepts. If I had a virtual whiteboard I’d be standing at it now drawing partially overlapping circles. The worthless worm trope is primarily about the sense of self and personal identity. It’s very directed degradation (you pathetic sniveling coward, you’re not fit to lick my boots, etc.). Humiliation is more situational. Anyone can be humiliated in the right circumstances, no matter how self-assured and confident they might generally be. Objectification is about removing humanity and personality. It’s not about being worthless, but identifying worth through function and utility. A lot of people get off on a mixture of these kinks, but when writing about a possible F/m mismatch, I was primarily thinking of the first. I rarely observe female dominants write or blog about degradation, but objectification and, to a lesser extent, humiliation, does crop up in positive contexts.

Ferns astutely observed that this is a style of play that often conflates the person with the kink. Presenting themselves primarily through their fetish is a common problem for guys who’ve spent too long surfing femdom porn. I think it’s particularly likely to happen with this kink, because it’s primarily about the perception of the person and their value. i.e. Exactly the things that are emphasized, normally in a positive fashion, when building a new relationship. I guess the (badly broken) thought process is ‘Why bother to put myself forward as a valuable person to know, when I ultimately want to be treated as if I’m not?’

It’s also true that cliches of commercial femdom don’t help anyone into this style of play. For men it gets them lumped into the same bucket as the jerk offs writing emails about how they’re not fit to lick the dirt from the boots of any female dominant blogger they encounter. For many dominant women it’s a stereotype they’re trying to push against, and writing about it is only likely to lead to more emails from the aforementioned jerks offs.

All that said, I do standby my entirely anecdotal observation that there’s a mismatch here in F/m that doesn’t exist in M/f. As someone who doesn’t have this kink, I’m selfishly kind of glad about that. Many of the F/m tumblrs that focus on degradation and humiliation tend to veer all to easily into misogyny. I’m happy that it’s incredibly rare to encounter misandry in femdom blogs or forums. If you are a submissive guy who occasionally enjoys a bit of pathetic sniveling, then the best advice would be to make sure you compartmentalize it and treat it strictly as a kink like any other. While there might be male dominants who’ll respond to a new submissive describing themselves as a worthless slut in need of training, your odds of success with that opening line and a female dominant will be very close to zero.

Her feet in his face

Trampling beneath a dominant woman’s feet often seems to be a theme of the ‘worthless submissive’ style of play. This is from the appropriately named Woman Worship site. I particularly liked her choice of reading matter.

Inadvisable advice

Today’s post features an advice column and an inquiry about becoming a dominatrix. It’s kind of an odd letter, with what sounds like a sudden jump from BDSM newbie to professional domination, but I’m going to give the writer the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s been heavily edited. I’m feeling less forgiving about the advice which has two particularly bad statements in it.

…you won’t be good at dominating another person unless you know what it feels like to be on the receiving end. Have you ever been a partner’s true submissive, consenting to bondage, gagging, whipping and verbal abuse? …. You will understand why they do it if you’ve experienced the scope of it.

I would have thought it obvious that BDSM isn’t symmetric. Unless a person is wired to be submissive or masochistic they’re not going to get anything from being on the receiving end. If you’re not into pain and corporal play, then getting whipped isn’t going to be instructive, it’s just going to hurt. That’s not to say a top can’t experiment with sensations and try out some toys, but that’s about understanding the physics and biology of the situation. Not being someone’s ‘true submissive’ (whatever the hell that means). Oddly nobody ever tells submissives that they need to try dominating someone before they can really understand how to play.

You’re effectively creating a complete power exchange. You are stripping a human being of their autonomy, dignity and free will — and physically abusing them on top of it.

This comment annoyed me even more than the first. I certainly do not lose my autonomy or free will when I play. I might temporarily cede control and give up some power, but I always the retain the ability to make my own informed decisions. Submitting does not make someone less than human. And while some types of play deliberately mess with dignity, a lot do not. Personally I’m pretty proud of my scenes and how they’re conducted.

What I think the columnist should have said is – go learn from pro-dommes already out there. Read their blogs. Scan their forums. Go to their conferences. See if you can apprentice with one in your area. By all accounts it’s a tricky job with many pitfalls. Better to learn those from someone else than repeat them all yourself.

Mistress Absolute

The image is of Mistress Absolute, a London based pro-domme. According to this article she shares my thoughts on starting out as a submissive.

There’s a school of thought that says you should start out submissive before you become dominant,” the dominatrix says as students begin to arrive. “That if you don’t know what it feels like, how can you do it to someone else? I don’t follow that thought. I don’t have a set of balls, but I torture balls.”