Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Typology of Coping Strategies - maybe it's simpler

OK, my last attempt was way too complicated!

I still think coping strategies revolve around D&S (the "evil" power relationship) and S&M (the "evil" acts themselves), but I think they all fall into three categories:
  • Cool: Has no qualms about playing at evil from time to time.
  • Distancer:
    D&S- Uses fantasy or e.g. BDSM culture to provide permission and context.
    S&M - Regards S&M acts as e.g. nurturing, or acts of trust, or quasi initiation.
  • Identifier:
    D&S- Identifies with his/her role, and adopts a morality to justify it, e.g. female supremacist.
    S&M - Would honestly say, "This is the real me."
This gives us 9 possible combinations, which we could write thus: CC,CD, CI, DC, DD, DI, IC, ID, II.

It's very hard online to tell if somebody's D&S coping strategy is to Distance or to Identify; the long postings about small penises and female supremacy could be one handed typing (distancing), or genuinely held beliefs.

Similarly, the rhetoric accompanying an S&M act may be entirely misleading. The lady with the whip may enjoy teasing her "victim" by talking about giving pain as a form of nurture, or she, or her fantasy persona, may be a distancing. Also, it's hard to know if somebody is cool with acts of sadism and masochism, or actually identifies themselves with them.

Even with this simpler typology, the potential for confusion and crossed wires is immense.

Strangely, in my erotica fiction, most of my characters are ultimately are II; they identify with both their role, and the S&M acts themselves.

Monday, December 14, 2009

BDSM and the problem of evil: Incompatible coping strategies

To recap, I've observed that BDSMers cope with playing at evil in several ways... (I've revamped these a little)...

They each comprise a pairing of context - how they place BDSM mentally - and a style - either distancing themselves from the evil, or accepting it:
  • Fantasy Acceptor: e.g. "Rape me in a car park (since it's only a game)."
  • Fantasy Distancers: e.g. "I'm a Celtic slave and she's a Roman Widow (so we know it's only a game)."
  • Experiential Acceptors: e.g. "I enjoy doing this. What of it?"
  • Experiential Distancer: "This isn't sadistic punishment, it's a ritual of trust etc etc. (Evil? Moi?)"
  • BDSM Acceptors: e.g. "Men/Women deserve to rule over women/men. (I'm not kinky, I'm righteous.)"
  • BDSM Distancer: e.g. "I'm into BDSM. This is what BDSM folks do. (Our power relations are nothing to do with the real world.)"
This has practical implications, since not all coping strategies are easily compatible.

I've found that Experiential Acceptors make for the best play partners, since you get a 100% authentic experience (bounded by time, of course) - they just get on and enjoy being boss.

The snag is that I've tended to preserve my self esteem by being a Fantasy Distancer.
Experiential Acceptors simply aren't interested in pretending to be Amazon Queens, or don't have the acting talent. At length they get pissed off and the sessions ebb away. My solution is to create scenarios as close to our real world as possible - and that seems to work very nicely, thank you.

Of the others, I only have direct, if disastrous, experience of Fantasy Acceptors. These always seemed to offer the possibility of shared fantasy. However, I quickly found that they would go places that icked me out, and in turn they took my squeamishness as a rejection.

What remains are types observed on the Internet.

The "BDSM Acceptor" turns me on. What could be more scary than to be in the power of a female supremacist? However, we'd be totally incompatible. First, I don't agree with any kind of sexism, and don't really respect people who are sexist. Then, there's the problem that she'd be very unkeen on doing anything that fulfilled my S&M fantasies, for the simple reason that I'd be enjoying them. Wires would be fantastically crossed.

I'd have no problem with a "BDSM Distancer", except I'm not really interested in the paraphernalia. Leather and latex don't speak to me of my fantasy worlds, and they reek of pandering to a male-driven aesthetic.

A "Experiential Distancer"... well, I'm afraid I'd find her rather cloying. My fantasy is about descending into the darkness. Trust is involved... nay, required, for that kind of trip. However, it's not about trust. I don't take a whipping to prove my love, or please my mistress, I take it because I'm a slave (and because it shows I'm a slave).

Looking back up at the list, I wonder if the two styles are always incompatible. We've already seen what happens between Fantasy Distancers and Fantasy Acceptors. BDSM Distancers and Acceptors would also be ultimately doomed, because each would always be chafing at the limits and demands of the other - hence some of the arguments we see in BDSM forums. Experiential Acceptors would see Experiential Distancers as cloying, but the Distancers would see the Acceptors as plain sociopathic or self-destructive.

When relationships cross between contexts, then things get more complicated...

I suspect Fantasy people tend to treat BDSM as a sort of fantasy, but would hit a brick wall with an BDSM Acceptor who wanted it for real, 24/7.

Experiential Acceptors would be happy with both kinds of Fantasy people, and BDSM Distancers as long as they didn't make too much of a fuss - which could be a drawback for the other side of the equation.

Experiential Distancers probably usually embrace BDSM culture, and express themselves ostensibly as one of the two BDSM types. However, I bet they're often at cross-purposes with both...

So, I think to build a kinky relationship, you have to know your coping method and that of your partner, or face the unerotic consequences.

The first chapter of my chastity belt novel... (and the rest for free)

It's almost Christmas, so have a present from me: the whole of my novel "The Chastity Belt" - the first chapter here, and the rest as a free download.

The novel previously went out with a proper publishing house, but has had its (successful) print run and the copyright has reverted to me. It was written from the heart, so I'd quite like to share it around some more. Hence the free download. All I ask in return is that, if you liked it, you review it on Lulu...

* * *

Wanted: Healthy male students to test cure for sex addiction and compulsive masturbation. Apply to Dr. Jones, Human Sexuality Institute, University Campus. Good money.


Chapter 1

Mark huddled into Cassandra’s doorway and tried to calm his breathing. He pinched his jeans, feeling for the chastity belt’s edge beneath the denim. The device was still there, locked around his hips and groin, as unobtrusive as a second skin. Mark exhaled slowly, extended a trembling hand and rang the door bell.

"Mark?" Cassandra's clipped tones crackled from the entry-phone. "I shall be down shortly," she said without buzzing him in.

A crowd of female students rustled past, laughing girlishly as they kicked through the autumn leaves.

Mark’s gaze wandered amongst the forest of knee-boots, some shiny and new, others nicely crinkled, veterans of several winters. His grip tightened on the chastity belt.

A pair of impossibly long legs swept into view, moleskin pants hugging each sweeping curve, black suede boots clacking on the damp pavement. They halted and turned slightly towards Mark’s hiding place.

He froze, not even daring to breath. Slowly, as casually as he could, he relaxed his fingers and slid them innocently into his pocket. He raised his gaze from the boots and discovered a blonde girl looking him up and down with cold blue eyes.

Abruptly, she turned on her heel and vanished into the gathering dusk.

Fresh bootsteps echoed from behind the door. Mark jumped back into the street. "This will work," he said aloud. "It has to!" The door creaked open and he forced himself to take slow, measured breaths.

"Mark? Are you quite all right?" asked a very BBC English voice. As always, with her bobbed hair, fur-trimmed coat, and ankle-length A-line skirt, she looked straight out of his copy of 1930s Ladies.

"Cassandra!" Mark's heart leapt into his mouth. People wove past, but he just stood and stared at her, fighting back the old desire.

Mark's penis tried to erect itself inside the chastity belt. At first the sensation was familiar; like getting a hard on pointing the wrong way in tight jeans. Then the shaft met the walls of the internal tube. Instead of subsiding, the captive member throbbed violently, trying to split its hi-tech prison and rear itself upright.

Mark struggled to keep his feet against a rising tide of panic.

Cassandra eased the door shut and looked at him sideways over her fur collar. Delicate crows-feet formed around her twinkling brown eyes. "Have you been drinking?" she asked primly.

"No," he said over the sound of blood rushing in his ears.

Cassandra gave him a quizzical look. "I have a study date with my roommate," she said, striding out. "You may chum me to the library if you so wish."

Mark shouldered his rucksack and caught up with her. It was then that he noticed her new boots, his favourite kind – knee high patent leather gleaming in the light from the streetlamps. The tightly laced uppers hugged her curved calves up to the hem of her severe skirt and beyond.

"Are you quite all right?" asked Cassandra without slowing.

Mark couldn’t answer. This was his masturbation fantasy come true. Cassandra in boots, old-fashioned boots with prim squared off toes, lace-hooks like a row of steel teeth, high arched insteps, and tapering block heels that clip-clopped with each precise step. She just needed stockings and a garter belt to complete the vision.

The throbbing rippled out from his chastity belt, as if every artery in his body was forcing blood into his imprisoned cock. Mark staggered drunkenly, fighting for balance, the world a blur except for beautiful, untouchable Cassandra, her swishing skirt, and shiny boots.

It was like that first time, a year ago. He'd stumbled across the canteen just to queue behind the mysterious girl who dressed twice her age and made it look good. More grown up than grown up, he'd thought as he fumbled at conversation. It was only later, when she developed a fad for retro clothing, that Mark realised who she reminded him of.

"A little eccentricity will repel unwanted attentions," she'd declared. “I will surrender to no man.”

Cassandra was safe with Mark now, safer than with any other man in the world. If he told her, perhaps she'd trust him to take her to the cinema. He'd sit next to her in the dark for hours on end, brushing arms and shoulders, aware of every stretch of her long legs, hearing her boot leather creak during the quiet moments.

But if he told her about the device, he'd also have admit that it was supposed to be a cure for unrequited love.

"Mark?" Cassandra halted under a street lamp.

Slowly, Mark forced his gaze away from the gleaming boots and made himself look at the special wrist watch that came with the chastity belt.

November’s digital guardian angel shook her finger back at him. Her halo already looked patchy. The more he got turned on, the more of her would vanish, until the chastity belt’s time lock started running backwards. Mark tried to imagine spending the entire year in the device, without masturbating or any chance of sex. He shuddered.

"Yes. I’m fine," he lied, feeling sick and unbearably turned on at the same time. Why hadn’t he stayed away?

"Well then," began Cassandra then smiled past Mark. "Ah, Moira! You made it."

"Sorry!" Cassandra's petite roommate brushed by Mark and stood between him and the taller girl.

Moira reached back to smooth her hair. It was carrot red and gathered into a ponytail which made her look younger than she was. "The Riding Club Committee overran," she said, her fresh Highland lilt out of place amidst the dreary concrete buildings of the university campus.

Mark just stared at nape of her freckled neck. Mentally, he stripped off her Arran sweater and imagined the freckles speckling her back, her slender hips and pert buttocks as well. Did they reach as far as her thighs?

Moira turned to Mark and smiled up at him. "Hiya!" She brushed a stray red lock back from her face and Mark pictured pubic curls in the same spicy hue. What would she taste like?

Moira's green eyes widened. A blush blotted out her freckles. "We’re going to the library," she blurted and scampered behind Cassandra.

Mark's cheeks burned. He didn’t usually leer at Moira like that.

"So," said Cassandra briskly, setting off again. "Do you notice anything different?"

"New boots?" he asked offhandedly, trying to ignore the way his half erect penis quivered each time their soles smacked the damp pavement.

"A treat from last year's Class Prize." Cassandra pursed her lips into a toothy smile. "Practical and nicely old fashioned, don't you think?"

"Very Mary Poppins," said Mark, grasping at an image as far away as possible from his book of pre-war pornography.

"I am no Julie Andrews," she snapped. "Marlene Dietrich, perhaps."

Oh yes please! he thought. "So, is the Blue Angel costume next?" he heard himself ask.

Cassandra rewarded him with a frosty look that sent tendrils of ice to his chastity belt. "That would be pandering to male fantasies," she said and marched inside, Moira in tow.

Mark watched through the glass doors as she swept through the foyer like a ghost from more elegant times. He cradled his head in his hands and rubbed his forehead. How could he have hoped to flirt with Cassandra, let alone date her?

The library doors closed then whirred again for a vision of black fishnet clinging to unashamedly – no, deliciously – chubby legs.

Mark's gaze lingered over the girl's wide hips, barely hidden by a leopard-patterned mini-skirt, then fixed on the curve of her breasts where they overflowed her low-necked top.

A familiar round face smiled at him.

Mark swallowed. Felicity, the class flirt, had always been sexy. But now she was captivating. His penis beat like a second heart and, in the corner of his eye, the digital angel shook her finger.

Felicity's cheeks dimpled. She pushed her lips out into a pout and fixed him with bedroom eyes as black as her wild hair. Then she twitched her hips ever so slightly and purred, "Hello Mark," making it sound like an invitation to sex.

Mark glanced at the digital angel in time to see her halo dwindle to just a thin circle. "Got to go," he gasped and fled into the night.

He was still trying not to think of Cassandra’s boots and Felicity’s bosom when he reached his top-floor room. He shut the door and thought, Thank God! Now I can masturbate.

Except, this time, he couldn't. Not for at least a month. Longer still, if he kept getting aroused. No masturbation until he broke the cycle and escaped his obsession. In theory, at least.

Without touching the light switch, he turned to the mirror and slowly, like a man peeling off a bandage to inspect a wound, eased down his jeans.

He shuddered.

In the gloom, there was just a neat gap between his legs, as if Dr. Jones had sheared off his penis and testicles.

Staying back from the window, he clicked on his reading light. Now he could see the sexless bulge that hid his genitals. It was featureless except for a slit for peeing and a discreet hole for the special shower attachment.

The hi-tech material – Quantumite, Dr. Jones had called it - coated the rest of his loins like a slick of crude oil. Everything about it said hi-tech, evil, and permanent.

It’s designed for much longer than a month, he thought dizzily. He sank onto his narrow bed, only to land on something hard. He reached under the duvet and retrieved his battered copy of 1930s Ladies.

He picked it up, meaning to throw it in the bin. But it was open at his favourite photograph: a statuesque girl in a corset, who, thanks to her bobbed hair, looked a lot like Cassandra. She was frozen in a moment of self-gratification, slumped in a chair with her stockinged legs spread, garters stretched over her thighs, and elegant fingers curled over her pubic mound.

A cold hand seemed to clutch Mark’s genitals. He felt a familiar, bleak thrill in the pit of his stomach.

He frowned. There was something about her that brought him back to the same page, time and again, even before he met Cassandra. Yet, he couldn’t imagine interrupting her, let alone having sex with her. There was no trace of a man in the picture, except for the long-dead photographer's flash lamp reflected in her knee-high boots.

Mark remembered Cassandra's new boots, and for an instant she seemed to take the place of the girl in the photograph. A tremor ran through his groin. "And now, I'd jerk off," he said aloud.

He sighed. That summed up his sex life for the last year - spend time with Cassandra then masturbate in his room using old pornography to fill in the blanks. He might as well have been wearing the chastity belt from the moment he met her. No wonder he was still a virgin.

Beyond his dirty windowpane, a dozen fireworks lit up the sky.

November the Fifth. Bonfire Night. The other – normal - students would be partying, flirting, looking for sex, or just holding hands and watching the fireworks. But not Mark.

Across the quadrangle, a light blinked on in the third floor of Dacre Block. A girl appeared at the window.

It was the tall blonde who'd eyed him up so clinically outside Cassandra's front door. Another untouchable woman, thought Mark.

She shucked off her sleeveless Barber jacket and stooped to get a silver-bottled energy drink from her fridge. Even at a distance, Mark liked the way her sweater hugged her full breasts and slightly flared hips. But she was out of his league if she could afford a Dacre apartment.

A second light came on. It backlit a pair of net curtains, turning them transparent so Mark could see down into the blonde's bedroom. Feeling a little guilty, he started to close his roller blind.

The blonde pulled off her sweater in a single smooth movement. From the waist up she was all honeyed flesh and lean muscles, except for where a white bra cupped her jutting breasts.

The blind cord slipped from Mark’s fingers. He pressed his face against the glass. Perhaps if he’d only spoken to her, he could have been in the room with her now. But then what would he do?

The blonde unzipped her boots and pulled them off. The movement set her breasts quivering. They quivered again as she rolled her leggings over her hips and down her sleek athletic legs. She high-kicked the stretch moleskin across the room. Now she stood framed in the window, a vision in white underwear.

Mark imagined running his hands over her lean body and felt a tightening inside the chastity belt. He knew his arousal was eroding the digital angel. Even so, he just could not look away. All he could think was, Why did I waste a year on Cassandra?

The blonde raised her hands to the ceiling and stretched. Then she bent at the waist and touched her toes, making her breasts swing beneath her and drawing her white knickers tight around her angular buttocks.

Mark flexed his fingers. It would be nice to stand behind her and grind against that muscular bottom, then to lean over and grab her pendulous breasts and squeeze.

Mark grimaced. He'd probably hurt her or something. It was not as if he’d much experience.

Oblivious to his gaze, the long-legged blonde switched on her hi-fi and skipped and twirled to whatever the music was. Finally, her path took her to her bed. She dived onto the covers then rolled onto her back to lie sprawled out, her feet towards the transparent net curtains, her white knickers stretched across her crotch.

How would I get her bra off?

Her thigh tendons tensed. She arched her back and reached behind herself to peel off her bra. Her breasts sprang free and flopped to either side, the rosy nipples clearly visible against the honey-toned flesh.

Mark licked his lips and wished he could suck at the dark pink nubs. Meanwhile his penis throbbed and strained to unfold itself.

The girl shifted her hips and, before Mark's eyes, writhed out of her knickers. Her pubic hair was white blonde, a heart-shaped splash of snow between her thighs. Thick, blood red inner labia divided the neat fuzz. They sparkled slightly, as if covered with glitter... or already speckled with moisture.

Mark’s penis went berserk. It butted against the bottom of its tube, again and again. Instinctively, he reached for his groin and found just the chastity belt's cup, blank except for its narrow slit.

He pressed hard against the cup, trying to joggle it or make the tube shift just a little around his bloated penis... and felt not the slightest change in sensation, just a new, primal fear wrapping its claws around his spine.

Across in Dacre Block, the tall blonde caressed her own flanks and slowly spread her long legs. Her left hand swept up over her flat stomach and captured a lolling breast. The right formed a hook and burrowed into the radiant white curls between her thighs.

Mark's eyes widened. All the moisture fled his mouth. Girls didn’t really play with themselves, except in pornography, not on his dirty concrete campus at least.

The blonde rubbed, driving the digits in and out, faster and faster. Her face went pink, then beetroot red. The blush swept down her throat and between her breasts.

Those could be his fingers, if only he'd talked to her!

Mark trembled. His pulse thundered in his ears. His penis expanded and contracted forlornly in time to her movements. The pressure built up until his testicles ached and he whimpered in dismay.

The blonde squirmed then tilted her hips. Like a great spider, she drew in her shuddering legs and planted her bare feet on the mattress. She curled her toes then pushed off the bed, raising her buttocks until all her weight was on her shoulders and her pale thighs framed her flushed face.

At last, she screwed up her eyes and opened her mouth in an orgasmic moan made silent by distance between them.

Mark's penis spasmed. Something hot and sticky squirted onto his hand. The watch chimed.

He stared at the puddle of semen in his palm. Then he remembered the noise from the watch and checked the digital angel. Half of her had gone. Worse, she still wagged her finger at him, though lazily now.

He grabbed his rucksack and pulled out the big attaché case that came with the chastity belt. He flipped the lid and opened the glossy manual. "Ejaculation," he read out. “Ejaculating halves the guardian angel, or doubles any penalty weeks.”

He dropped the book and stared at the angel on his watch. Day One in the chastity belt, and she was down to one wing, two legs, a head and an arm. Surely she wasn’t supposed to be this sensitive? He reached for his phone and dialled the 24-hour emergency number.

"Dr. Jones? It’s Mark Armstrong here - It’s a mistake, I want out."

"I’m sorry Mark," said the doctor. "There is no override – that's what makes the Tough Love Chastity Belt the perfect treatment for your masturbatory obsession with... uh... Cassandra, wasn't it?"

"But suppose you misdiagnosed me..." began Mark.

Still flushed, the blonde put on lacy black bra. She sat on the bed, pointed her toes and lovingly unrolled a black stocking up her leanly muscled leg.

Just like in 1930s Ladies! thought Mark. His limp cock twitched in agreement.

Dr. Jones was saying, "...so the diagnosis doesn't matter. The device will release when you're cured." She sighed. "Or at the end of the one year safety limit... unless you feel the need to self-medicate, that is.”

"I’ll...."

The girl rolled on the other stocking.

Mark bit back a moan and continued. "I’ll cut my way out."

"With a tame nuclear explosion, perhaps," said Dr. Jones, amused now. "As you well knew when you signed the waiver, Quantumite is almost indestructible. Do try not to injure yourself. Let me spell it out for you, again..."

The blonde fished a pair of black high-heels from under her bed and tied them to her ankles with ribbons that went almost all the way up her calves. Then she rose and stood in front of her mirrored wardrobe, legs slightly apart, like a centrefold model - black bra, stay-up stockings, high-heels, and no knickers.

Dr. Jones's voice seemed very far away. Mark registered technical words like "super conductor" and "quantum action-reaction", but all that really mattered was drinking in the sight of the blonde. She was every bit the modern girl now, but she might as well have been in a photograph for all the chance he had of touching her.

The blonde rummaged in her bedside drawer and took out something pink and sausage-shaped.

Mark’s jaw dropped as he recognised the sex toy. My missing cock. Somehow, his own penis revived and swelled in its prison.

“We are paying you quite well, after all," concluded Dr. Jones.

"I bet you do have an override and you won’t give it to me!" he blurted.

"Believe me, Mark, there really is no override."

Across the quadrangle, the blonde lay back on the bed - this time almost side-on to Mark. She pointed her stockinged toes and spread her legs until they touched either bedpost. She probed between her thighs with the dildo then, abruptly, plunged the artificial cock into her vagina. It came out glistening with her juices.

Mark shook his head from side to side but could not dislodge his gaze from the blonde's window. His hips twitched involuntarily. "I’m... I’m going to get..." He licked his lips and tried again. “Legal advice,” he managed and ended the call.

The blonde’s arm worked the dildo like a piston. The flush returned to her face and spread over the honeyed skin between the black cups of her bra.

"Go on!" urged Mark. He rocked back and forward, as if his hips were driving the dildo.

Her toes curled. The flush spread over her belly and down her thighs and vanished under her stockings...

...and Mark’s penis spasmed for a second time. Again, the watch chimed. I came before she did! He looked on numbly, semen dripping from his chastity belt, and imagined her scorn, or, worse, pity.

But, across the quadrangle, the blonde knew nothing of Mark’s inadequacy. She worked the dildo like a plunger, churning her vagina, on and on, not needing him or any other man to give her pleasure.

An age later, as Mark’s cock hardened, her blue eyes widened, her jaw set, her spine arched and her mouth stretched wide. Then she flopped back, limp and spent.

The blonde lay as still as a picture until her flush faded. Then she rolled onto her side, presenting Mark with the backs of her stockinged legs and naked thighs.

Half an hour slid by as Mark watched over her, hypnotised by the throb in his chastity belt.

Then, at last, the blonde sprang into movement. She leapt off the bed, cleaned the dildo, and, without putting on knickers, slithered into a little black dress. Now she stood framed in her window, rich, sensual, sophisticated and ready to go out on the pull.

"So out of my league," murmured Mark.

Below, in the quadrangle, somebody whooped. There was a whoosh and a huge firework exploded.

When Mark got his sight back, the blonde was standing in front of her net curtains with her face pressed to her own window. She glanced up at him, then drew heavy drapes, cutting off the light from her bedroom.

Mark closed his eyes and mentally replayed the image of her masturbating. His penis responded immediately and he snapped them open again. But already the digital angel had lost all trace of her remaining wing.

Then he noticed the time.

He'd been part of the experiment for less than three hours and already he had – what? – one quarter of the angel to last him until the end of November.

Now he understood that the chastity belt meant far more than no sex or masturbation. If he so much as thought about sex, he risked being trapped right up to the one year limit.

Mark frowned. A year without wanking was too big a price to pay for curing his obsession. It really was time to take legal advice.

In the mean time he should try not to recall the way the blonde writhed to her own touch.

Quietly, without any fuss, the digital angel's sleeve lost its pleats.

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