Kinky Fuckery 101: What Does BDSM Stand For?

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I wrote several pieces about kink approximately two years ago when I was writing for GetLusty, but it occurred to me recently that I don’t think I’ve ever really addressed kink for beginners here on my blog. I realize that some of my readers are vanilla, some are seasoned BDSM practitioners, and some of you may consider yourself kink-curious.

If you’re kink-curious you might have thought about light bondage in the past, or may have a fantasy that revolves around servitude. Maybe you have sexy dreams where you boss people around and punish them for misbehavior. Maybe you’ve read 50 Shades of Grey (god help you) and your interest was piqued. To the kink-curious among you: The Kinky Fuckery series is dedicated to you.

Previous lessons:

  1. Models of Consent

Defining BDSM

Bondage/Discipline, Domination/Submission, Sadism/Masochism

Leather Neck Wrist Restraint from Stockroom.comBondage

Bondage is the practice of tying or restraining a partner for the purpose of pleasure or aesthetic sensibilities. From the silk tie bondage that you’ll read about in Cosmo or 50 Shades of Grey to metal cuffs linked to steel spreader bars, playing with restraints can be a satisfying and arousing experience for all parties involved. Sometimes you will be tied up to show your submission to another, or will be chained to something so that you can be punished accordingly. Some people just like the feeling of being restrained. Others enjoy using things like rope and bondage tape for aesthetic purposes, as is the case in kinbaku (also known as shibari). Don’t worry, you’re going to learn a lot more about bondage as we go through this series… but you’re not going to learn it now.

Discipline

Discipline is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Typically this goes hand in hand with domination and submission – you’ll normally see a submissive being disciplined for “undesirable” behavior. I put undesirable quotes because some of us (particularly brats like me) may act up because we want the punishment, particularly if it’s corporal punishment.

Domination/Submission

Domination and submission are roles in a consensual power exchange. The dominant partner typically takes charge and directs the sexual encounter. The submissive partner obeys the dominant’s commands. The submissive partner may endure pain, discipline, or simply be bossed around. The submissive may worship or serve the dominant in some way. There is some wiggle room in the roles I’ve described – for example some submissives are resistant, and some dominants are loving and gentle. There are a wide variety of D/s dynamics that I will address in the future.

Sadomasochism

Sadomasochism refers to sexual pleasure that revolves around pain in a consensual setting. Sadism – enjoyment of inflicting physical or emotional pain – is named for the Marquis de Sade, a French aristocrat and noted libertine who spent a great deal of time writing particularly filthy erotic books in prison.

[Trigger warning: this paragraph briefly mentions sexual molestation, sexual violence, and some pretty fucked-up regular violence, a great deal of it directed toward children.]


De Sade’s most notable work is probably The 120 Days of Sodom, a book I read as a teenager (thanks, Internet!) and don’t recommend. You have to understand that I can be sex-positive and sex-critical, and I definitely have some harsh criticisms of 120 Days of Sodom. I’m not condemning the fart-in-the-mouth stuff, the urolagnia and scat… all of that is fine. Those things may be hard reds for me, but it’s whatever floated de Sade’s boat, and plenty of people still get off on that. No. My complaints are with the kidnapping of children and raping them, the incest and various forms of rape, the involuntary mutilation of people, and the snuff bits about people skinning children and torturing girls to death. I’m critical of the scary stuff that absolutely deserves to be condemned. That’s not what BDSM is about.


[Trigger over.]

Venus in Furs coverWhen we celebrate sadism in BDSM culture, we are NOT revering de Sade’s tendencies toward rape and murder. BDSM involves adults giving informed consent to participate in activities that are pleasurable for all parties involved. Sadism just happens to get its name from a man who liked inflicting particularly fucked-up levels of pain on people. Masochism’s etymological origins are considerably less offensive.

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, masochism’s namesake, most famously penned Venus in Furs, another book I checked off of my reading list years ago. While I wouldn’t call the book perfect it at least has a distinct lack of murderporn (as far as I can remember), and after reading de Sade’s work that is literally all it takes for historical erotica to earn two thumbs up from me. A quick spoiler-free synopsis: The main character of Venus in Furs is completely enamored of a woman and he begs to be her slave. She eventually complies and degrades him in the ways he asks. Other things happen, the book ends, a psychiatrist names the fetishization of enduring pain after the book’s author, and Bob’s your uncle.

 

I realize that these explanations are all very brief, but there are generally a lot of elements involved in the various roles and activities covered under the BDSM umbrella, and I will touch on those in future posts. I’m trying to be thorough, but it’s going to take a lot of time, and I’m bound to miss something along the way. In any event, the next Kinky Fuckery 101 post will be about aftercare!

If you have any questions, thoughts, or interesting factoids to share about BDSM’s roles and the etymological origins of the terms encompassed by BDSM, by all means feel free to share them in the comments below!

    The Word of the Nonporous

    It’s time, folks. Time that someone told you the truth about your sex toys.

     

    The Sex Toy Bible is very clear. The Four Manufacturers of the Apocalypse shall come and you shall know them by name: California Exotics, Doc Johnson, Pipedream, and Topco. When the first four seals are opened they shall ride forth from Hell and leave destruction in their wake.dildo crown

    Pipedream

    I looked, and behold, a white dildo, and he who sat upon it had a Jelly Gems toy; and a fuzzy dildo crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

    greatamericanDoc Johnson

    And another, a red dildo, went out; and to him who sat upon it, it was granted to take health from the genitals, and that toys would melt one another, and a great dong was given to him.

    Topcolovedoll

    I looked, and behold, a black dildo; and he who sat upon it had a pair of masturbators in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A pound of TPR for a hundred, and three pounds of jelly for a hundred, but do not damage the cyberskin and the inflatable love dolls.”

    masturbatorCalifornia Exotics

    I looked, and behold, an ashen dildo; and he who sat on it had the name California Exotics; and Jopen¹ was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the industry, to burn with chemicals.

     

    Do not fear, family, for there is a brighter future in the light of safe toy materials. We can combat the evils of the four horsemen, but only if we study

    the Word of the Nonporous.

    Congregation, we shall now read from the first passage of the book of nJoy:

    Stainless steel does not dishonor others, it keeps no record of wrongs.

    stainless steel

    The book of NobEssence:

    Wood is patient, wood is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast.

    wood

    Verse 23 of the book of We-Vibe:

    Silicone never fails. Where there are patent disputes, they will cease; where there are lawsuits, they will be stilled; where there is a settlement, it will pass away.

    wevibe

    The book of Vixen:

    Vixskin I leave with you; my Vixskin I give you. I do not give to you as Pipedream gives. Do not let your genitals be troubled and do not be afraid.

    vixen

    Psalm 16 from the book of Fucking Sculptures:

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the manufacturer, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you orgasms and a future.”

    fucking sculptures

    The Song of Tantus:

    The name of TANTUS is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

    And an extra verse from the Song of Tantus:

    For every butt deserves a silicone plug, not some shoddy piece of toxic crap.

    Tantus

    ¹ Some of us actually admire some of Jopen’s toys… the Key Comet is an amazing G-spot wand. But they are owned by Cal Exotics, so make of that what you will.

      Sale Time~ 5/16/2015

      Here’s the sale, it never fails, it makes me wanna wag my tail, when it comes I wanna wail, “SAAAAALE!”

      Shevibe logo

      Shevibe

      20% off select Tantus products

      But 30% off their Connoisseur harnesses. (While supplies last.)

      Tantus Amazon Harness Tantus Black Widow Harness Tantus Nurse Harness

      Left to right: The Amazon, the Black Widow, and the Nurse.

      You can also get some other toys, in particular the little Amsterdam and the big Amsterdam!

       

      15% off Fuze Silicone until 5/26/15

      Fuze Rebel Dildo Fuze Tango Dildo Fuze Velvet Dildo

       

      Left to right: Fuze Rebel, Fuze Tango, Fuze Velvet.

       

      40% off She-Stim while supplies last.

      She-Stim Electro Butt Plug She-Stim Halo Clit Stimulator She-Stim Rocket Electro Dildo

      Left to right: Electro Butt Plug, Halo Clitoral Stimulator, Rocket Electro Dildo.

       

      Tantus Hungry Banner

      Tantus

      Maybation: 20% off most solo toys and lube Buy any toy grab bag or limited edition for 15% off30% off rings and slings permanently

      And this just in: I’m a Sliquid affiliate now!

      Sliquid banner: get 10% off your order with promo code 'sugarcunt'

      You get a shiny discount with my coupon code:
      10% off your order by entering the code “sugarcunt” at checkout!

      If you want to help keep my site running, please consider using my affiliate links when you shop at any of these stores. Clearing your browser’s cookies and then clicking the banners and images in my posts and on my sidebar grants me a commission percentage whenever you make a purchase. It happens at no extra cost to you, and it helps me “keep the lights on,” so to speak. If you do choose to support me this way it means the world to me!

        The Bodispa Almighty

         

        This is your genital guinea pig reporting in with a new vibrator after my long absence. I asked SheVibe for a Bodispa wand vibrator because I was intrigued by it. For starters it’s called “The Bodi-Spa Almighty Hot-Cold Body Massager” and if the use of the word “almighty” in a product’s name doesn’t pique your interest then you’re dead inside. I was super curious about the hot/cold functionality and really excited about the idea of putting something toasty on my genitals.

        The box was enormous. The toy is enormous. As we all know I have a unique difficulty with product specs. Even with a ruler out I just don’t get them… so nothing prepared me for how huge this thing is. I mean I thought the Amsterdam was big but I did not understand that the tip of the Bodispa would be bigger than a men’s shoe. I pulled the Bodispa out and gasped, “This is wider than my entire vulva.” It is roughly the size AND weight of a scepter. It kind of reminds me of the scepter in Super Mario Brothers.

        Wendy_O_Koopa
        You know the one.

        When I marvel at the size of it I know that it is not made for genitals. That much is apparent. The manual doesn’t say “put it on your junk,” but neither did the Hitachi and Wahl manuals. In fact I’m fairly certain that the Wahl warns you NOT to. (I’m a blogger, I LAUGH in the face of danger!)

        I mean of course I tried the Bodispa out on other places, but I don’t generally request products unless they have some sexual function. In fact, if I CAN’T put it on my genitals or use it to rub someone down, tie someone up, and/or (consensually) beat them, I usually pass on it.

        In broken English the Bodispa manual tells me all the important stuff: charge for eight hours, don’t use on broken skin, don’t stare directly at the sun, whatever. The manual says one charge should last 45 minutes, but I’m not sure whether that’s with or without the temperature settings.

        If you need small toys, this is not the toy for you. If you need discreet toys, this is not the toy for you. If you want to hear your porn, this is not the toy for you. The first time I heard it I decided that the BodiSpa Almighty sounds like a tractor fucking another tractor in the tailpipe. My partner says this is a slight exaggeration.

        The Bodispa AlmightyThe thing that drew me to the BodiSpa was that it has heating and cooling settings. To the BodiSpa’s credit, it heats and cools REALLY quickly, and doesn’t seem to have much trouble going from one setting to the other. The temperature stuff is transmitted through a big metal circle in the middle of the head, and it has pretty colored lights around it to indicate what temperature setting you’re on.

        The warm setting on my vulva is pretty nice as long as I don’t think, “Am I peeing myself? I might be peeing myself.” Because I’m not peeing on myself when I use it, and don’t recommend peeing on yourself with this piece of equipment pressed against your genitals. It has vent holes and you will ruin it. The cold setting is very refreshing. I anticipate summer coming up because I’m probably going to spend a lot of time with this thing nestled between my legs on the cold setting… assuming I can ignore the numbness in my thighs from the vibrations.

        This thing vibrates a LOT. It’s not very buzzy; both speeds are really rumbly, so the massager vibrates my legs. I’m pretty sure that whenever I have it between my thighs for a long time I can actually feel my body stop shaking a few seconds after the toy turns off. It’s not orgasmic shaking, it’s just shaking because the toy has been jostling me around. I actually wish it had just a temperature-on setting without vibrations because I’d love to have the temperature stuff without the hellaciously loud vibrations.

        When I tried the BodiSpa out at first I was not impressed. I didn’t think I was going to get any orgasms out of it because of how the vibrations are spread out. Back when I had my hood piercing I found that I preferred broad stimulation over pinpoint, but these are too broad.

        With the shape of my vulva (it’s fat) there’s also no way I can get this vibrator directly up against my clitoris – instead I just have to let it vibrate the top of my vulva… which actually works! I’ve had several orgasms thanks to the BodiSpa, but they’re not the most amazing orgasms I’ve ever had. It’s kind of like having the orgasm equivalent of being in a shallow wave pool – you know the waves are more substantial in the deep end but you keep getting washed closer to the shore. I have no idea how to get to the deep end with this thing, and I’m not sure there’s actually a way to get there just because of the shape of my body and the size of the toy.

        The Bodispa AlmightyWith that said, I actually really like this massager. Do I recommend it as a sex toy? Ehhh. I think that you probably need to have a very specific genital configuration or the ability to get off by vibrating your overall genital region. If you need pinpoint stimulation I absolutely do not recommend this. Obviously. It’s huge.

        With the BodiSpa’s iffy sex toy capabilities aside, I think it’s a pretty awesome massager. I keep finding myself using it, turning the heat setting on and massaging my thighs, my shoulders, my vulva. I use it more for massaging than I do for trying to get off. It’s like I’m not even a sex blogger anymore. The hot/cold functionality is pretty awesome. Pressing the massager firmly against my body doesn’t feel like it dulls the vibrations.

        It is so cool and so not-obviously-a-sex-toy that I’m seriously considering getting one for my mom.

        If you want your own BodiSpa Almighty to keep your genitals toasty you can get it from SheVibe!

        Shevibe logo

        Thank you, Shevibe, for sending me the BodiSpa in exchange for an honest review!

          A Real Neat Blog

          real neat blog award

           

          The awesome Mr. Will from Mr. Will’s House of Thrills “nommed” me as a “Real Neat Blog.” I am touched, because I never get over hearing how awesome I am. Apparently once we answer the questions we “nom” people now and even though I read the post over an hour ago I JUST realized that “nomming” is short for nominating. It’s roughly the same length so I’m not sure why we’re calling it “nomming.” I’m just gonna call it nominating because I can’t keep up with you darn kids and your slang.

          The Questions

          1. Why did you start blogging?

          My house burned down in the spring of 2011 and the one thing we had a little bit of after that was money. That summer I tried to fill the hole in my life with sex toys. In the process of researching toys I found Epiphora’s blog and laughed my ass off for hours. I started thinking, “I like to write… I like sex… and I want to buy some sex toys.” So I started a blog.

          2. If your site had a goal, what would it be? How do you feel you’re doing with that goal, right now? How do you feel you’ve done with that goal over all?

          I think the overall goal would be entertaining education. I want my readers to be informed sex partners and informed sex toy consumers. I think I’ve been doing well with the entertainment part, but I’m trying to author more funny posts that are educational rather than just toy reviews.

          3. How has blogging influenced your life?

          Well I definitely wouldn’t own this many sex toys if I hadn’t started blogging, because there’s no way I could afford this sweet stash of fucktoys on my own. It has made me a lot more confident in my writing and my ability to build a brand. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of engaging with people, particularly on social media, and building an online presence. It has taught me a lot about networking and forced me to work around my shyness, because networking is vital in the sex industry and blogging community.

          4. What is your favorite part of blogging?

          The part where I get to make people laugh. The sex toys are a close second, but knowing that people enjoy my work is a lot more satisfying to me than an orgasm.

          Buttons
          5. Are you kinky? How did you come to this conclusion?

          I am. When I was in high school I discovered dominance and submission through reading a woman’s blog and I realized that was totally hot. I started learning whatever I could about BDSM through reading and I’ve got a pretty long list of kinks now.

          6. What do you want to be when you grow up?

          I actually used to say what Will said for this – I want to be happy. But I’m actually doing a good job at promoting my happiness. I’m not sure I’ll ever grow up, but if I do then I want to be a sex educator, for sure.

          7. What is the most important thing about you that you want everyone to know?

          That I’m open, motivated, and friendly, but also mentally ill, constantly-drained, and easily-overwhelmed. I work hard to provide a steady stream of content but sometimes my body and mind do not do the things I want them to. Putting pressure on me doesn’t help because I put a lot of it on myself. Sometimes I need to withdraw to feel safe in the space I have created, even though it’s just on the internet. None of these things are because I quit, or because I’m lazy, or because I don’t like you. They’re just realities of my life.

          I put a lot of work and passion into my site and the community, and while I do it for fun it is also work, many consecutive hours of work, and I absolutely do not make a living from any of it. I would love to be able to make enough money to pay a bill or to attend sexuality conventions, but in order for that to happen I need your support. If you re-tweet me, reblog my tumblr posts, share my blog with your friends, and clear your cookies so you can use my affiliate links when you buy sex toys, you’re helping me out and that means a lot. Words cannot express how much I appreciate it.

          My Nominations

          Questions are below. Add the banner up top to your post, answer the questions, nominate some folks you like… annnnd GO!

          1. Why did you start blogging?
          2. If your site had a goal, what would it be? How do you feel you’re doing with that goal, right now? How do you feel you’ve done with that goal over all?
          3. How has blogging influenced your life?
          4. What is your favorite part of blogging?
          5. Are you kinky? How did you come to this conclusion?
          6. What do you want to be when you grow up?
          7. What is the most important thing about you that you want everyone to know?

            Dear Glamour: Say What You Mean

            I read an interesting article in Glamour the other day. This article was by a nice young man named Jake. Jake’s column is called, “Jake: A Man’s Opinion.” As a new reader of Glamour I was instantly relieved that they took the time to ask a man his opinion on something, because when I’m flipping through magazines aimed at women there are two things I want to see: make-up tips and what men have to say. I think that on the whole everyone in my readership can agree that women (Glamour’s assumed audience) in particular never hear enough male opinions.

            Anyway, here I am flipping through a “women’s” magazine filled with ads for fashion design by men, perfumes by men, and articles on how to meet men, and I find this piece written by a man titled, “We Need a New Word for Cuddling.” It’s an opinion piece where Jake tries to be funny while he pleads for us to abolish six words from our dating and sexual lexicon: cuddling, chemistry, G-spot, make love, doggy style, and orgasm.

            I hope you’re wearing your rain slickers because there’s a storm a-brewin’.

            In Jake’s opinion the word “cuddling” is juvenile and you can’t have a serious conversation when you use it. “Say ‘cuddling’ five times out loud and you instantly feel like a five year old.” Okay, fine, you know, I will admit that there’s something about the “dl” sound in cuddling that does make it feel youthful. I will also admit that cuddling, by nature, is something that many of us associate with young things: we cuddle our kids and we cuddle baby animals. Jake thinks we should call cuddling “couch time” or “pillow time.” Because those don’t sound childish at all.

            Next up: “Chemistry.”

            “I don’t want a science experiment; I want a connection. (But I don’t want to say ‘connection,’ because that’s too New Agey for a first date.) How about ‘vibes’? ‘Dinner went well – we had good vibes.” I could say that with a straight face.”

            “Connection” is too “New-Agey” but “vibes” isn’t? In my mind Jake has morphed into a beach bum carrying around a guitar and a bong. Anyway, whatever you want to call it is fine with me. I like vibes, but I think that when Jake says good vibes he’s not talking about my kind of good vibes.

            Magic Wand Original

             

            NEXT!

            “G-spot: I feel gross even typing that. But it’s not just something you can ignore. Can we just call it ‘the zone’? As in, ‘You are totally in the zone now.’”

            Why does G-spot make him feel gross? Because it’s in a vagina? Because of that study that claimed that female ejaculate was nothing but pee? I mean, blessedly for Jake’s girlfriend he recognizes the G-spot’s importance, but he never explains why it’s gross. Did he have a run-in with a G-spot in the midst of a bacterial infection? Has he seen a horror movie where a woman’s G-spot exploded in a rain of spiders? Does it have to do with pus? I think everything is gross with pus.

            But I don’t think any of those things happened. I don’t know what happened. What I do think is that it’s pitiful that a grown-ass man is frightened and disgusted by the very mention of the G-spot. It turns him off! What a shame for Jake, because some of us are turned off by his alternative, which makes me think of football and city planning while my vagina dries right the fuck up.

            “Make Love” is up next, and he thinks it sounds like something you’d hear in a Saturday Night Live skit. His alternative? “Melt.” I have no opinion one way or the other on “making love” but I can say with certainty that I don’t want to replace it with the word for what a face does when you look at the Ark of the Covenant. You’re not batting a thousand here with your suggestions, Jake.

             

            We’re finally approaching the end of the list. “Doggy style” should be replaced with “wrestling” as far as Jake is concerned. I’m sorry to tell you this, puppy play enthusiasts, but Jake is certain that no one wants to be compared with a dog. “I repeat: no one.” All I have to say about this is that if we took Jake’s suggestion I would actually watch Wrestlemania.

            And finally “orgasm” reminds Jake too much of sex-ed class. It’s too clinical, but “cumming” is too pornographic. God forbid we use clinical or pornographic terms to refer to sexual activity.

            Jake’s complaints that I have the most issue with are the obviously ones where he says certain words are “gross” or “too clinical”. One person’s discomfort prevents him from using real adult words to say what he means. This is like when we deny children agency over their bodies by calling their genitals things like, “Wee-wee,” and “Coochie,” because we’re too ashamed of words like vagina and penis. It’s ridiculous. Words have meaning. Say what you fucking mean.

            Jake ends his article with, “And next time you’re melting with your boyfriend, I hope he’s in the zone.”

            What a sweet sentiment. This is for you, Jake:

            be less of a cockburn

              Self-Esteem and Growing Up Fat

              Trigger warning: self-mutilation, disordered eating.

              I spend a lot of time ruminating on the fragility of self-esteem and how difficult it is to maintain in our society. How many female-identified people or people raised female can say they have a high opinion of themselves? My self-esteem problem has always been my weight. As an adult I’m a pretty confident person, but I carry a lot of baggage that stems directly from being fat as a kid.

              I have always been considered obese. Recently I was talking to a female friend who is roughly my size. She told me that growing up she never really felt like she was very fat; she wasn’t really picked on because of it. That’s the exact opposite of my own experience.

              Sugarcunt, age 4

              Sugarcunt, age 4

              I was surprised to hear she never really felt like she was very fat as a child. So many women can recall how young they were when they started thinking, “I am fat.” I can’t remember how young I was when I first thought I was fat and ugly because I simply can’t remember a time after the age of 5 when I wasn’t ridiculed for being fat and ugly. I spent my childhood years painfully aware of my size, feeling like my body was quicksand in which my personality was mired. I can’t remember the first time my fat ass knocked a cup off a table; instead I have had a lifetime spent ever-vigilant against my swinging, protruding body parts that were prone to breaking things.

              She said she didn’t want to curl up and die if a seatbelt didn’t fit. I do own a seatbelt extender; while it’s not required in every car, I harbor a great deal of anxiety when I get into a vehicle that isn’t my own.  Sometimes the plate won’t even come near the latch. Sometimes the plate will come so close to the latch that if I were merely just an inch smaller it would click into place. If I don’t have my extender with me I just sit in the backseat and hold the seatbelt against my body, knowing full well that I could be killed if we have an accident. For a brief moment – when the seatbelt can’t latch – I look forward to that possibility.

              Sugarcunt in her favorite Missmonster shirt

              Sugarcunt, age 20

              She wasn’t mercilessly teased from ages 4 to 18. She didn’t develop the self-deprecating sense of humor that I adopted in fifth grade to convince bullies that I was on their side. She didn’t develop the lethal talent for slinging verbal abuse that I acquired in seventh grade when my humor wasn’t enough to deflect bullying.

              As a teenager she never felt like her thin friends deliberately excluded her. When the tides of bullying calmed I found myself treading water alone off the coast of an island. All my friends were on land, tall and thin, surrounded by boys and attending parties while I floundered, cold and tired, in the depths of self-hatred.

              I was surprised to hear she didn’t diet as a child.  I drank Slimfast before I was 10 years old. I poked at my plates and hated myself for not liking salads more. I spent lunch periods sleeping in my creative writing classroom so that no one would notice I wasn’t eating and I wouldn’t be awake to feel hunger pains. I tried restricting my food intake while I participated in sports teams and marching band hoping the activity would shave off a few inches, but I would inevitably quit after the season ended because I had lost no weight.

              It doesn’t seem like she spent her nights looking at pro-anorexia blogs and wishing that she had an eating disorder. I would stare at photos of women whose bodies were shutting down on them and think two things simultaneously: “If I had willpower I could do that,” and, “I am a horrible person who doesn’t deserve to live.” The longer I stared at thinspiration the more I hated myself for envying women who had a deadly, legitimate mental illness. The longer I stared the more I berated myself for lacking the willpower to stop thinking that way, and, more importantly, to stop eating.

              She has absolutely never fantasized about mutilating her body. Once a week I stand with my hands on my hips and press as hard as I can, willing them to narrow at least two inches. I can grab the fat hanging from my upper arms and squish it in my fingers, clutching it hard until the pain reminds me that it might not be to my benefit to rip it from my body. I still look in the mirror and sometimes see myself grabbing great chunks of fat from my belly and cutting them off like one would slice a ham.

              Sugarcunt in 2013

              Sugarcunt in 2013

              If you asked my current peer group, they’d probably guess that I have a lot of self-esteem. Some days I actually feel that way, but others are not so great. My youth was a mental minefield. That positive self-image didn’t come to me until I was in college. My esteem is a delicate thing, like a spider’s web that takes days to recreate once someone has ripped through it. I wonder if it would be different if our culture didn’t shame and disrespect the obese. Feeling good about myself is an uphill battle, so I’m amazed when I meet people my size who are love themselves.

              My friend had a pretty happy childhood and today she is well-adjusted; she doesn’t feel like I do about myself, and she didn’t grow up like I did. Meanwhile, I am surprised on the rare days when I can pretend I grew up like her.

                Kinky Fuckery 101: Models of Consent

                Sugarcunt's Kinky Fuckery Banner

                I wrote several pieces about kink approximately two years ago when I was writing for GetLusty, but it occurred to me recently that I don’t think I’ve ever really addressed kink for beginners here on my blog. I realize that some of my readers are vanilla, some are seasoned BDSM practitioners, and some of you may consider yourself kink-curious.

                If you’re kink-curious you might have thought about light bondage in the past, or may have a fantasy that revolves around servitude. Maybe you have sexy dreams where you boss people around and punish them for misbehavior. Maybe you’ve read 50 Shades of Grey (god help you) and your interest was piqued. To the kink-curious among you: The Kinky Fuckery series is dedicated to you.

                Models of Consent

                Before I start talking about the glory of being tied down and tormented, I want to talk first about the importance of consent. Since you don’t live in a bubble I hope you are familiar with the idea of sexual consent by now, and while consent can be very complex the bottom line is as simple as this: “No” means no. “Ouch” probably means no. “Don’t” means no. “Stop” means no.

                The reason I feel like it’s so important to recap basic rules of consent is that when you’re in an agreed-upon BDSM scene, “no,” “ouch,” and “don’t,” and sometimes “stop” may not always explicitly mean no. Maybe you said “no” because you’re playing the reluctant submissive who wants to be coerced. Maybe you happily bent over for a flogging because you like the pain but you said “ouch” because… duh, it hurts, but you like that.

                Toggling Consent

                Consent is ongoing. All participants in sexual activity have the right to revoke consent at any time, and once consent is revoked the activity stops. In BDSM your safeword is generally your consent toggle. If you’re gagged, always hold something in your hand, ideally something that will make noise (like keys), that you can drop if you hit the safeword point. The minute you say or drop your safeword you are revoking your consent. You are telling your partner to stop, that you are either done with that particular activity or that you need to talk to them to re-negotiate how you two are doing it. More on that later.

                Informed Consent

                Before you even get to the point where you’ll need a safeword, you and your partner need to establish informed consent. Informed consent means that you know exactly what you’re agreeing to. Talk about everything that everyone involved wants to do during this scene and what your limits are. Be sure that you bring up things that may trigger you so your partner can avoid them. Make sure that if you’re using acronyms when negotiating that all partners know what they stand for. You don’t want your partner to agree to a WAM scene online and then be shocked when you start pelting them with pudding. The idea of informed consent is that all parties understand what will be done and what those activities entail.

                SSC and RACK

                SSC stands for “Safe, Sane, and Consensual,” a commonly-known tenet among BDSM practitioners that is pretty straightforward: all partners must be of sound mind and consensually agree to participate safely in an activity. The concept of SSC is good, but the current popular interpretation is kind of iffy.

                The first problem with SSC is that the word “sane” is pretty ableist. Plenty of us in the BDSM world have mental disorders that may not classify us as “sane,” but we are still capable of consent and that shouldn’t disqualify us from playing. The word makes some of us feel alienated. It’s also very subjective – the activities that one player might consider “sane” may differ wildly from another player, and I think that leaves a lot of room for people to get judge-y. One could argue that wanting to be beaten or degraded in the first place probably isn’t “sane”. What I find that most people interpret “sane” to mean is that participants shouldn’t be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and I agree with that.

                It’s easy to get carried away or make regretful decisions when you’re under the influence, and drugs and alcohol may dampen your pain receptors, which might seem like a good idea if you’re looking to get beaten, but can easily work against you. If you can’t feel what’s being done to you, you risk severe injury. It’s the same reason that you shouldn’t use numbing lubricants.

                The second problem is that many kinky people don’t like “safe” activities. While “safe” was initially coined to indicate ethical play, many people have begun to associate the word “safe” with “risk-free.” That’s not really feasible for BDSM anyway because most S/M activities are never 100% guaranteed to be safe, much like anything else in life. The popularity of the “risk-free” idea puts a good portion of kinky people out on their asses, because many of us enjoy edge play, which is play that generally straddles the line of SSC. Edge play is a term that is somewhat subjective, but encompasses activities that have the potential to be pretty dangerous: asphyxiation, knife play, gun play, fire play, cutting, branding, needle play, and blood play.

                Many people greatly prefer the acronym RACK: “Risk-Aware Consensual Kink.” In addition to not containing any loaded, subjective, or ableist terminology, it acknowledges that all activities come with risk and nothing is completely safe. Within the RACK framework the spectrum of activity does not go from safe to unsafe – instead, it goes from safer activities to less safe activities.

                Safewords and Stoplights

                My safeword with my husband is “blueberry pancakes.” My safeword with my previous partners was “bananaphone.” Find a word that will probably never come up in the context of your play and designate it as your safeword. Safewords are a vital part of BDSM and are all too often overlooked by people who have no idea what they’re doing.

                As I stated earlier, your safeword is a consent toggle. If you only designate one safeword that means no then that word means “stop this right now.” It doesn’t always mean that the scene has to end for good, but the activity occurring needs to stop. Maybe your ass is too tender to take more spankings. Maybe you can’t emotionally handle being called a cumdumpster any more tonight. Maybe something triggered you and EVERYTHING needs to stop. Whatever the reason for pausing or stopping, always have a safeword to ensure that you can do it. Do not ever fear using your safeword, because it’s there to protect you.

                Some people say they don’t want safewords because they are afraid they’ll use them too soon, or because they prefer to take on the role of slave and desire the feeling of total powerlessness to fulfill their fantasies. All I can do is tell you that you need one, no matter who you are. If you’re afraid of using your safeword too soon, why? If you think it’s time to use your safeword then that’s when you need to use it. It’s not like saying your safeword has to kill the scene. It can always start back up. If you’re interested in serving as a slave, would you still be content doing everything your master said if they started disregarding your hard limits? What if they told you that you’d never be disciplined again? Would you still want to play? Safewords are intended to interrupt the fantasy, however briefly, because they’re telling your partner that reality needs attention.

                If you prefer a method of safewording that is short and to the point, try the stoplight system. “Red” works the same way a regular safeword does; it’s a full stop. “Yellow” indicates that you might need to discuss some things, may need something to change, or may be reaching your limit. And obviously “green” is GO, GO, GO!

                Checking In

                As a bottom, you need to be proactive about voicing your limits, and as a top you need to be proactive about checking in with your bottom. If you’ve been whipping your masochist a little while it’s okay to check in with them, and you don’t even have to break character to do it. If your submissive is being very quiet, check in with them to make sure they haven’t fallen deep into subspace. You want to make sure that your partner continues to consent to what you’re doing throughout the scene, because you absolutely don’t want to hurt your someone more than they want to be hurt. You can do this as simply as saying, “How are you doing?” It’s the decent thing to do, and while you may not want to be a nice top, surely you want to be a decent one.

                Got something to say about consent? Insight into safewords? Share with us! Leave a comment below so we can learn more.

                  Pretty For a Fat Chick

                  Since I’ve re-entered the dating world I’ve heard things like “you’re beautiful despite your size,” and “you’re beautiful because of your size.” Neither of these is what I want to hear. Am I being too picky? I don’t think I am.

                  They say, “You’re beautiful despite your size.” As if no one could be beautiful at my size, and as if my size cannot be a part of what makes me beautiful. “Your fat is an obstacle that you have overcome by virtue of having a cute face! Good for you! Part of you is pretty enough to make up for the fact that I consider you deathfat!”

                  The other ones, the fat fetishists, say, “You’re beautiful because of your size.” That’s a little closer to what I would like to hear because it’s always nice to know that there are people out there who do not consider obesity to be the most disgusting thing in the world, but it’s still not perfect. I don’t want to be admired solely because I am a person of size. I am sexy, but I am not a sex object and my body is not something to be fetishized. I don’t want to be distilled down to a body that I’ve spent years wrestling with and that I fight every day to accept. I’m not a walking, talking Rubens painting that fucks for your enjoyment.

                  A full body photo from 2012

                  Sugarcunt circa 2012, repping the Obesity Cabal.

                  Don’t make this mistake with other fat people, admirers. I know I can’t speak for all of us (you know, the OBESITY CABAL), but I have heard this sentiment voiced by a few people of a similar size. I’m sure your intentions are good. You want to say, “Your size doesn’t make you less desirable to me.” That’s not a bad thing! But unless I’m in some kind of self-hate spiral about being fat I don’t need you to say something to assure me that my fat is not a dealbreaker.

                  I know some people are like, “Well what does she want? We can’t like her fat, we can’t hate her fat, and now we can’t mention it in passing either?” Honestly… yes. Pretty much that. Another person’s body is not yours to comment on, no matter what the size. If you want to have a conversation about my fat and our relationship supports that sort of topic, let’s talk about it plainly, but with tact. Trying to slip it into a compliment is not tactful. I don’t need you to compliment me in some kind of code that tries to discreetly address my fat. You don’t have to acknowledge my fat like it’s another person in the room that you don’t want to ignore for fear of seeming rude, so you don’t have to add further qualifiers onto “you’re pretty.” Just say I’m pretty. Don’t tell me I’m pretty… for a fatty.  I don’t need you to other me by using my body to set me apart from the “normies.”

                  All I ask for is someone who appreciates me as a whole package. I don’t want a partner that tolerates or ignores my fat because they like everything else, and I don’t want a partner that focuses on my fat before everything else.  My husband is one person who handles this with grace. He isn’t a “chubby chaser,” and he doesn’t cringe every time he sees me naked. He likes to see me naked, in fact! He would never make the stupid mistake of tacking something about my body onto the end of, “You’re beautiful.” Why is just plain, “You’re beautiful,” so hard for some people to say? Just stop talking after the second word. Why does my size have to come into it at all? Why can’t I be beautiful AND fat? Why is there automatically an assumption that my fat must impact my view of my beauty and self-worth? How about you just worry about loving me, and let me worry about being fat.

                    Courtney Trouble’s Live Sex Show

                    I was privileged to obtain a copy of Courtney Trouble’s Live Sex Show, and I’ve had it for quite a while.  With all of the mental health hoo-ha that came up last few years, it’s no wonder that I never got around to reviewing it in a timely manner, and so when I glimpsed the DVD in one of my bins of sex stuff, I was like, “Oh shit!” So here we are in 2015, with me finally reviewing this film.  I apologize from the bottom of my heart for its lateness.

                    On the whole, I really like Live Sex Show. It’s sexy, the performers are clearly into it, and it covers a range of sexuality. Would I recommend it? Absolutely.  What follows is a description of the scenes, but my descriptions can’t come close to capturing the awesomeness that you experience when you watch it.

                    Kimberlee Cline starts off the film by performing a strip tease and solo scene. She wears a crotchless fishnet bodysuit, and goes from 0 to 60 in a very small amount of time. It’s a short, sweet, and sexy.

                    Peter Devries and Jolene Parton have very organic sex. It’s flowing, and doesn’t have a lot of noise other than moaning. The scene progresses naturally, and it’s filled with kissing and cuddling. I don’t have a lot of commentary about it – it’s not particularly hardcore because they don’t open up for the camera. It just looks like comfortable, intimate sex, which is something I can really appreciate since you don’t see that much compared to mainstream pornography.

                    April Flores begins her scene by masturbating on the floor. The Matador joins her and they have absolutely gorgeous sex. One of my favorite parts of the scene is when The Matador reaches around April and rips her fishnet tights. The oral sex during this scene is totally awesome. The Matador looks like he eats pussy like a god.

                    Tina Horn and Roger Wood are next up. Their scene begins with some impact play – a nice hard spanking and some flogging with what appears to be a leather flogger. Roger wields the flogger expertly, and I was really impressed with how he handled it once he got warmed up. The two use a strap on for some rough sex, and watching them fuck is glorious. Her ass ends up bright red, and Tina’s expressions really capture how she’s riding the line between pleasure and pain. One reason I love this scene is because there’s a lot of smiling and laughing. When they stop because they think they’re out of time, they’re told they can go on and so they get back to it and have more sex. Their enthusiasm is fantastic!

                    Nina and Jiz Lee have a brief negotiation where Nina goes over what’s good for her. Jiz announces that they shaved their legs, “which felt really kinky.” I can relate to that. Nina and Jiz get down to business, and things quickly escalate to fisting. Not a bad way to get things rolling, if you ask me. After several orgasms, Jiz fucks Nina very slowly and slaps her cunt a little bit before Nina whips out the Magic Wand.

                    There is a steady stream of back and forth that goes on during the Nina/Jiz scene. My favorite exchange is when Nina gives Jiz a Magic Wand. Jiz asks Nina to tease them at least once before allowing them to orgasm, and Nina says, “Oh, if you wanna do that then, no, fuck you!” as she yanks the Magic Wand away.

                    The scene between Jiz and Nina is probably one of my favorite scenes on the DVD. Not only does it star not one but TWO of my favorite porn stars, it’s filled with choking, fisting, slapping, dirty talk and laughter. I did notice that Nina uses the wrong pronouns for Jiz, which was a little disconcerting. There may have been any number of reasons for this, and I’m sure none of them are malicious. Maybe they didn’t talk about pronouns and so Nina didn’t know. I have no idea. It just stood out to me every time Nina used female pronouns to refer to them.

                    Then the Courtney Trouble gangbang starts. Jiz, Nina, April, Tina, and Roger all fuck Courtney, blindfolding them and piling on top with strap-ons, gloves, and the Magic Wand. Nina comments on how strong Courtney’s muscles are. Someone plays off that comment and makes a joke about it being horrible for anyone that tries to rape Courtney. That killed my boner a little bit. Nina says, “Consensual rape,” possibly trying to tone down the joke, but that didn’t help me get it back up. I’m sure some people probably wouldn’t even have noticed, but it stood out to me because I don’t think comments like that are funny, even when they aren’t threatening in any way. I imagine that some people who hate rape jokes wouldn’t care because it wasn’t a joke that framed rape in a positive light. I cared.

                    Aside from that comment making me cringe, the scene is a highly respectable gangbang, and Courtney has what sounds like a great orgasm. They even ejaculate, and I think they’re the only performer in this film who does so. 

                    Courtney Trouble and Carol Queen did a great job putting this together. The performers have great chemistry, everyone looks happy, and it’s hot as hell. All around I’d say it’s a win involved for everyone: the organizers, the performers, and viewers like you. If you haven’t seen it and you like the other work of any of the stars involved, I give it a 9 out of 10 and think you should buy it right now.  It’s $15 on Courtney Trouble’s web store!

                    As a note, if I have misgendered any of the stars of this film, please let me know in the comments so I can revise my writing.  Some of the participants don’t have much information about them on Courtney Trouble’s site or IAFD.