Saturday, August 29, 2009

Venus in Furs

I've been rereading Venus in Furs...
"Tread me underfoot!" I exclaimed, and flung myself face to the floor before her.

"I hate all this play-acting," said Wanda impatiently.

"Well, then maltreat me seriously."
Yes, Masoch actually touches on the cruelty paradox, though not in any depth. He's more interested in idea that...
Goethe's 'you must be hammer or anvil'is absolutely appropriate to the relation between man and woman.
In short, the message is; Equality is hard work to achieve, so why not just give in. Besides, women unfettered by morality are so very marvelous...

And yes, he's already setting out on the cuckold fantasy, something I would have said does not interest me except that if you make it a Sapphic cuckolding fantasy, then I'm in hog heaven.

Did this book influence my fantasies? I'm not sure.

I came to it in my pre-Internet youth looking for answers and found only an uncomfortable mirror. Severin, the "hero", faces the familiar real-world problem of drawing a strong woman into an S&M relationship.

He succeeds so far by topping from the bottom, and then - and I haven't got to this bit yet in my reread - she ostensibly tries to cure him by ambushing him with more than what he wished for. He flees the reality of the fantasy and sets himself up as a Gorean-style master.

What was this ending suppose to be? A sop to morality? A warning? It didn't feel like happily ever after. Perhaps Masoch was saying: Warning - most women don't actually want a lifestyle relationship.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Consensual slavery and playing at evil (1)

How can we use the term slave when slavery itself is evil?

There's nothing erotic and everything tragic, wasteful and disgusting about being flogged to death on a plantation in some Caribbean hellhole.

From time to time, somebody online points this out, and goes onto argue strongly (understatement) that using "slave" as a tag for a consensual submissive or bottom is at best in poor taste, definitely disrespectful, and at worst, undermine the public perception of the appalling practice of chattel slavery then and now.

(More to follow)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Two ways to throw away the key without hypnotism...

One of my friends blogged on hypnotism in femdom. It's an intriguing thought. Half the fun of masochistic roleplay is the delicious ambivalnce - the wanting and not wanting to suffer. No chastity belt is indestructable, no slave contract legally enforcable, so we can only take that sufferring so far for so long. Wouldn't it be nice to use hypnotism to throw away the key?

I wouldn't want anything that negated the discomfort of my erotic roles. However, I'm sure something would work that exploited my ambivalences about freedom. For example...
Your erection is tiny and fragile. It cannot truly satisfy a woman. One day a vagina will crush and maul it. Only the chastity belt will keep it safe.

Your penis is ugly. No nice girl would want to see it. Only the chastity belt will keep it hidden.

All men are potential rapists. Only the chastity belt will hide the shame of being male.

Sex is dirty. No woman truly consents to it, even if she says she does. Only the chastity belt can save you from being a bully.

The snag is, I'm not convinced I - or my lady - could switch this off, ever. We're really just transtemporal tourists. Most of the time, we like vanilla sex!

Fortunately, there are two easier and safer ways to make it hard to break role:

#1 Reduce the need for decision making during play
  • Adopt a culture that satisfies both your needs and hard limits.
    This doesn't mean you need to dress up as Romans, just that you need to identify a cluster of shared fantasies as inspiration so that you naturally stay your happy zone.

  • Agree that a slave's health and safety has value.
    That way, all safety communications can be in-game.

  • Set a time limit.
    No need to keep revisiting, "Has she/have I had enough yet?"

#2 Amplify the real world consequences for quitting early
  • Dress up and prepare in proportion to the length and intensity of the session.
    The more you've invested, the greater the moral and emotional pressure on you to follow through on your side.

  • Use hard to replace bondage gear, and timelock the keys away in something even harder to replace.
    If you can't get out of the props, you might as well stay in role.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Venus in Furs

Interesting book that. Here's the picture that kicked off Masoch's fantasy:And here's the original opening....
My company was charming.

Opposite me by the massive Renaissance fireplace sat Venus; she was
not a casual woman of the half-world, who under this pseudonym wages
war against the enemy sex, like Mademoiselle Cleopatra, but the real,
true goddess of love.

She sat in an armchair and had kindled a crackling fire, whose
reflection ran in red flames over her pale face with its white eyes,
and from time to time over her feet when she sought to warm them.

Her head was wonderful in spite of the dead stony eyes; it was all
I could see of her. She had wrapped her marble-like body in a huge
fur, and rolled herself up trembling like a cat.

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