Tag Archives: review

London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage- Part II

Dear reader; I am so sorry for the delay with the updates on this blog.  This summer has been amazing, but I was caught in a net of writer’s block and lazyness.

As the Sunday evening came, so did the main-party. Thanks to Clover and Dave I was provided with  an obi, holding together the kimono I wore.It was also Dave who kindly tied said obi It was indeed one of the most comfortable outfits I ever worn to a party, which just shows that it was not a real kimono… All in all, it was not a genuine kimono nor a ‘genuine’ look, but it was very comfortable to run around in that outfit.

By Echo Photograph

Bunny and I met, her looking gorgeous as always. We wanted to play during the evening, and as the first show started we were already up on the mezzanine, but when Dasniya Sommer went on stage, we took a break to stand and watch a mesmerizing dance between two people. Sommer’srope-partner was wrapped up in a piece of fur, creating beautiful contrast to Sommer, who was naked, if one disregard her amazing haircolour, which matched the color of her pubic hair (attention to details indeed.

The fur and the music made me think of Russia for some reason, but speaking to Sommer a bit later, she said that it was more alluding to animals at play. The double suspension, in which her partner was first suspended and then she joined in was magical and very different from many other shows seen before.  The shows throughout the evening had those unique qualities that made my both cry and laugh, never becoming bored. But as any party, there was a lot of socializing going on, making me miss a performance every now and then.

Shadow did one amazing show again, and with her signature of strong, playful session while still remaining in full control, maintaining the energy from the beginning to the end, using her body as well as the rope to shift the balance of her gorgeous rope-bunny.
It was indeed an evening that both showed the skills of the riggers but also of the rope-models.

The show by Mistress Amrita was one which took us to a interesting place where there was sea, and mermaids and nets, the performers enclosed in a big plastic bag, giving them a sphere where we could see them and they could see us but still a small layer of plastic was between the audience and the performers, giving it even more of a otherworldly feeling and maybe also pushing buttons on voyerism and exhibitionism. Who is actually being watched?

The mermaid was released from a net,suspended, taken down, transformed into a human, to then be pushed head first into water. This piece was so well thought out, with music, outfits, ropes and props taken in to account.

Boykitten,  did a dramatic and powerful selfsuspension in ballet-boots At one point he started to thrash around testing the ropes to the limit and pushing his own body and in the second after, complete control and stillness.  Very impressive and also one of the youngest (the youngest one?) on stage during the weekend.

The highlight was Kinoko’s performance. He had no music, and it was like you were watching private play between two persons. I’ve never been in a room with a couple of hundred people and it been so silent as it was during his performance. When he hit with tiny bamboorods on the top of her feet, you heard the audience draw their breath, and you heard every squeel from Arisa as she was placed in positions I did not know was possible. There was a complete trust, and I can really recommend to view the video. Sensual, emotional, painful, perfect.

Two other performances, both spellbinding and intense in their own right, was still working on very different levels.  Nawashi Murakawa drew us in to a world which felt like travelling through history, to the japanese country side, him walking with two gorgeous female prisoners with ropes around their necks.

Please press play for music similar to the one used in Nawashi Murakawa’s performance.
Hypnotic to say at least, and it really gave the audience something completely else.  The music, the rope-artistry, scenography, it all came together and made complete sense, creating a dream.

Contrasting that was Esinem and Electric Fairy, who did a school-themed suspension scene, with even the music fitting perfectly. (Queen and Pink Floyd to mention a few).E.F was the naughty girl caught perving over her teacher, who then discovers masses of rope in her bag, some sex toys and then an apple. Suitable punishment followed. Esinem always effects you as a viewer, I’ve never seen a show or play by him and not felt it. He and E.F oozes of chemistry and his ropework  is fast, precise and in his sadism there is so much care shining through that they both radiate.

When the shows were all over around 3 o’ clock in the morning the play and party still continued and I only had about 3 hours of sleep before heading back for a final day of related activity.  Let’s hope that post wont be taking as long for me to write as this one.


London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage- Part I

First, an apology:
This post has been long due, and I’m sorry about being so slow. It was due to personal reasons and other worldly things getting in the way of my typing paws.

At times this account of the event is going to be personal. I will do everything I can to not make it too private and uniteresting for you as a reader, but the weekend in itself became something very personal, making it hard to write about it in any other way.

When last year’s London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage (LFAJB) took place I had not started to tie yet. I was still enjoying restraints, but my knowledge about restraining someone with rope was limited to the cat’s paw and that was it. I was not in the country when the first annual LFAJB took place, but heard so much about it, and since my situation had changed quite drastically now it was an event I was really looking forward to.
It was easy to click home a full weekend pass, but I was more hesitant about booking a ticket with Kinoko Hajime’s masterclass, which would be the start of the festival on the Friday. I was hesitant because of many reasons. One is that I am a beginner. As a beginner I still fiddle with the basics, getting it not entirely right from time to time. Another thing is that I don’t think I do shibari at all. I do have an interest and a certain affection towards the aesthetics of Japanese culture , but when I tie I can’t call it shibari per se, because that is not yet what I have learned. Because of these things I was afraid to be a liability instead of someone who would be an active learner. In the end I decided it was too good of a chance and did my best to silence those weird voices telling me I would not be able to do it.

As I met my lovely ropebunny for the course  in the morning, we had a talk, drank some water and found our way to the Resistance Gallery,  and we had some time to relax inside while the prep work for a whole weekend with rope went on around us. A huge suspension-frame which needed about 6 people in order to get in place was placed on the scene on the ground floor.

The venue consists of a main ground floor with a stage and a mezzanine,both parts used for classes. With one suspension frame on each floor, one large one on the stage and one slightly smaller on the mezzanine, there was plenty of possibilities for flying. With mats provided for the floors, it was also possible to do a lot of floorwork, or just sit comfortable
.There was a lot of beautiful art on the walls, a stand that would sell really nice japanese food, including sushi that unlike

most part of London was not overpriced. The bar is always in-expensive at the gallery, providing not only alcohol but also tea and coffee for those in need. The whole space was decorated with rope and bamboo-rods, making it homely in a different manner, but homely nonetheless.

Food and drinks on the spot was much appreciated, making it possible to stay late during the whole weekend. Esinem sold his rope, so did www.ouchy.ne.

As the class started I realized I did not need to worry. Kinoko Hajime demonstrated two upper-body ties, both of which names I have forgot (those who were there, could anyone add their wisdom and tell me?) and we students followed him as he tied. It was a hands on, step by step class, and it was very healthy to get this kind of break-down of the components of the ties. The ties themselves were beautiful and demonstrated by our tutor very thoroughly, communicating partially through a translator and partially through  basic English. It became very clear early on how skilled he is, both in his craft and as a tutor, very humble and relaxed, taking a lot of time to make sure we got it right, walking around looking at all of the participants work, correcting here and there or just giving a compliment or constructive advice. All this made up a very relaxed atmosphere. The second tie was demonstrated a bit faster and I just could not keep up the pace, but thank heavens Kinoko handed out a step by step guide to this one, with 112 steps :)

I understood that the experience of the participants was split over the whole spectra, some people tied for the first time, while others followed him and then dared to developed the ties, but what caught my eye was how it was a moment to get an insight of the structure and thought behind a purely Japanese style tie, and how specific Kinoko was on this point.

Before I forget it I also want to say a massive thank you to the ropebunny, Electronic Doll, who was a big help if I lost track or was unsure of what I was doing. She was indeed quick to note small things, and I probably would not have been able to finish in a dignified manner without her help.

The two and a half hours ended all too soon, and we packed our bags, parted ways and left for a couple of hours rest before the opening night.

Returning to the opening party in the evening, there was people socializing and viewing the art, as well as tying every here and there. This was something that would continue throughout the weekend, people were not only tying during the classes, but used the space as much as they could, and in every manner possible, which is just one of the many proofs of how successful it was.
As the evening went on, the shows started, and due to illness I had to leave all too early, missing both Kinoko’s first performance, but also missing Maleficent Martini and some other amazing performances.  To read an account of what Electronic Doll saw and did during the Friday evening, click here.

What I did see was Shadows performance, together with Felix. Shadow is a major inspiration of mine, both as a performer and as a teacher. Watching her play with Felix, tying and suspending him touched something very deep within me, a feeling that I later discovered that I shared with many. There is so many strong connections between them, and they shared their experience with each other as well as inviting the audience in to a very visual, emotional and as well physically demanding performance. Felix is very much taller than Shadow but that was of no importance when she started to tie him up.  Their performance was about much more than the physical difference between them (although it is very impressive to see what can be done!)  and it felt like I’ve could have watched them for hours, as she played with him, using rope, antique scissors and knifes, a red cloth, her body and her mind to move her partner.

The classes during Saturday and Sunday

As Saturday came I was happy about not staying up too late and left fairly early together with the guests I had in the house for the weekend, Clover and Wykd Dave, to go to the gallery.
I met Bunny there who is someone who I have been tying with for some time, we had bought the couples ticket in order to get as much as possible out from the weekend together. The first one was a talk with aforementioned Shadow, who spoke about how to take care of rope. Now some people, like me, are lazy bastards. I love my rope and I like to be able to take care of it well. So far I’ve only bought treated rope and I’ve never been disappointed. But she made me a bit curious, and as the summer approaches I think there will be enough time for me to treat rope for the first time, thanks to a very thorough talk done by Shadow. One of the top tips she gave was the microfiber towels that are excellent for cleaning the ropes, something I’ve started doing.

Another talk was Esinem’s talk on bondage and safety. I attended this, because my general view is that even if you heard it one time before, or 10 times before you can always hear it one more time. One of the most important bits that he mentioned was nerve-damages, how they can occur, what a damage can be and above all, how different we all are. As he said, no one looks the same on the outside so why would we look the same on the inside? Esinem is very keen on getting in contact with anyone who has ever experienced nerve-damages, as a bottom or top, by the way.  Since there is not much information or even research being made on bondage-related nerve-injuries he want to rectify that. If you have something that you would consider sharing on the matter, I think he would not mind to get in contact with you.
Another thing in the rope and safety; I find it very handy to be aware as a bottom also, to know your body, and know how you might react to different things. Security is for everyone basically.

Me and Bunny did a chest tie class as well, together with Kinoko. This was a repetition of one of the ties from the masterclass, which was very handy to get another try with. Kinoko did several talks during the weekend, one of which was a demo about some of the differences from how shibari looked like 50-60 years ago. There was many details that were different, such as cinches on chest-harnesses, or wraps of rope around a limb, and although it might sounds like small differences, he emphasized the reason why shibari had changed since. To sum it up in one word; safety. The developed style is now much more safe, and it is only those who are very, very experienced who should try to emulate or play with that style. Another class with Kinoko, was one in which he went through how to actually make rope something more than wrapping a person up. He demonstrated different techniques, using everything he could from the rope, like sound and smell (tracing the rope close to the ear or face), to himself (different punctuation, varying speed,) and there was always, always much emphasis on balance and not only aesthetically but also the physical body.  One of the first things Kinoko did was emphasizing this, showing it how with his hands making sure that the rope-bunny is grounded and as a way of starting the scene it was also interesting to see how he made that into an element in which the scene started, and through different types of touch, for example making sure that a chest tie is leveled, he placed his hands on the rope-bunny, using them both practically and as a way of maintaining and harnessing the contact. This can be seen in the video’s that Esinem so kindly has posted from the weekend.

Two workshops were running in the same time, one on the mezzanine and one on the ground floor, with the mezzanine one often on a more introductory level.

Many of the classes were hands on, some of them talks, and some of them demo’s, due to practicalities. It is literally impossible to cover all of the topics that was dealt with during the Saturday and Sunday, and my memory is not the most well-functioning, but some other topics; self-suspensions, lower body ties (including a suspension harness by Kinoko that made the translator having to say ‘cunt’ on stage). Seeing Arisa (Kinoko’s partner) squirm from the tight crotch-rope and to the be suspended just centimeters of the ground was something else. Other topics were; connection with your rope-partner, partial suspensions, introductions to Shibari,introductions to suspensions, bondage photography, yoga with rope, suspension and transitions, and that is only a part of the selection.
Due to the large selection and a tight schedule delays occurred early, and when there was a small mishap with a introductory workshop being cancelled, Dasniya stepped in and held beginners classes by the side of the stage, creating a third possibility to learn more. What was great about all of this was that the organizers did not have any problems with letting each and every class take the time it was supposed to, and everyone who was a part of this really thought on their feet, adapting to what was happening. Even then during the breaks people continued tying, talking about rope etc. All this made the learning days into something wonderful.

So, that was the part which dealt with the classes, what more happened? The Saturday evening had movies on the schedule, one of which was the London premiere of Kinbaku, the art of Bondage (2009), which you can see here, but also order from Esinem if you want a copy of your own.

The movie itself was wonderful to see on a larger screen, and once again I’m amazed how Finns manage to turn everything so dark but still keep the passion. Is it the vodka or the sauna’s that create it? Maybe the reindeer meat, I don’t know.

After many movies and a lot of tying everywhere, many were venturing out to Subversion which had a Japanese theme for the evening. I was not one of them, I was still feeling rough in a bad way and wanted to last the whole weekend.
As a slight side note, but still important, was my sudden pang of ehhh…bravery when I started talking with Kinoko during the evening. I said how much I appreciated what he taught so far and was looking forward to the coming show the day after. And all of a sudden I hear myself, through the interpreter, asking Kinoko Hajime if he, at some point, maybe, could possibly want to tie me. I think I out of nervousness added a couple of words that I for now don’t remember, but suddenly I had said it and thought that the worst thing that could happen was me getting a no. I didn’t. Stunned, I saw him smile and nod, and saying something in Japanese that was translated into a ‘yes, maybe tomorrow?’.

Being tied by Kinoko Hajime

I guess that was when I started to blush and stutter a bit. But I decided later to skip the party and got some sleep. Or well I was mostly nervous, twisting and turning in my bed, trying to not think ‘what ifs’; ‘what if my body goes into sick mode and I will miss this’; ’what if my muscles decide to fail me in ways they have not failed before?’; ‘what if I don’t know my abilities and just asked for something stupid?’; ‘what if I can’t communicate with him when it’s time and I need to tell him something’. And so on.
On the Sunday, the classes started a bit later to give everyone who was out partying a chance to get a few hours of sleep. When me and my friends arrived, the classes had already started and we sat down in the sofas to listen in a bit on the class that went on at the mezzanine.

Kinoko sat also in one of these couches, we said good morning and then all of a sudden asking me if it was possible for me to be tied up  in the next break. I nodded and smiled (and probably blushed) and my nerves went off again.

He started with me sitting on the floor, tying my arms in front of my, like I was praying.From the beginning, he was paying attention to every little detail, correcting the ropes if they were not millimeter perfect. I found myself looking at the red ropes he was using, thinking that I had nothing to worry about. Being tied by Kinoko is something I will never, ever forget. First of all, all the worries I had about language, not being able to verbally communicate disappeared when he started to speak to me with rope and I had only to feel to give an answer. Second of all; I felt strong, despite being tied tighter and tighter my muscles responded and dealt with the different pressures. The way he tied me, made me feel strong, and I was allowed to feel his skills  trough the rope. When he attached the first rope to the suspension ring (kindly provided by Wykd Dave in the last minute) everyone and everything around me disappeared, except for what he was doing and it became harder and harder for people to invade the bubble that was the rope, him and me. The cloth used as a blindfold soaked up a few tears I shed. Strangely, I really recall that feeling, of tears drying off, disappearing, rather than slowly dripping. I was suspended in a sitting position, and the minutes flying like seconds. It was like every cell of my body could feel the red rope and I truly hope that he felt that I felt just that.
The untying was as dynamic as the tying, as Kinoko utilized the rope, its sensations, sounds and movement. When the blindfold came off I suddenly saw everyone, became aware of people watching and I just wanted them to look away, while in the same time feeling proud and somewhere deep inside, the exhibitionist started to giggle. We moved aside a bit to do the last untying, but it was not until the final rope was gone that the bubble was almost gone. My legs were shaking, we thanked each other and my legs were still shaking. They continued to do so for a large part of the day which meant that I missed a lot of the classes, at least as my brain refused to function properly.

That day went by quite quickly, and then it was time for the main-party. Which will be in a separate post.


Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

 

Tomorrow, I am making use of the American so called Black Friday. I’m going to get two dresses from House of Bias and some other lovely thing, and since the dollar is so weak + the sale is on, it’s going to feel so good. And I’ve got something very blasphemous ordered yesterday.

Essays are getting written and I don’t really have the attention span to write on two blogs in the same time.
But I would like to make a quick note of a couple of awesome experiences that I’ve had lately:

A very rewarding beginners bondage workshop with London’s own Esinem. A full day of ropetalk and tying. What not to like is there, really?!
Esinem works from the codex of ‘tie people, not parcels’. That means that it is the interaction with the involved that matters, actions and reactions. Tying people, not on armlenghts distance but being close. Expressing, with rope, the connection. Not talking about Two Knotty Boys here, but the oh so wonderful ways of connecting with ropebunny.

So, while he was learning us single and double column ties, he also spoke and showed us ways to keep the connection, keep it flowing and basically, keeping it hot and exciting. There was tricks there that suddenly fell into place, but at some points I also fell flat. Because suddenly a two column tie seemed like the toughest thing in the whole world. I react in the same way when going to a dance class. I concentrate so much on following the steps that I can’t do it at all. Very frustrating.
But as the day went on and more and more jute fluff flew around in the room I relaxed. A very nice relaxed lunch was topped with some videos with the work of Osada Steve, but also some of the work that Esinem himself has done. Here is an example of what I see is a very strong performance, using bondage in a provocative,political, thoughtful, creative and downright amazing way.

Anyhow, after some well deserved lunch we continued, and in the end of the day there was even some time to try out a chest-harness. Before that I decided to do some self-bondage and it became something really nice that I know enjoy a lot as an activity. In regards to the chest-harness I must admit that I only came halfway, but that halfway through a chestharness gave me more thoughts and insights that any other has done so far.
I can recommend the course, and if you feel that a beginners course is a bit to simple for you ( I would love to do the same again so I could frame everything better and practice with more supervision!) there is alos a intermediate course and a advanced.  It’s well worth the money, Esinem teaches very well, give you tips, insights, inspiration, and you will have a lot of fun.

A couple of days later I attended a peer-rope workshop. Which was also amazing. A sunday afternoon and evening and the hours flew by all to fast. Watched some wonderful ropework being done, including a lot of suspensions.  Did again some self-bondage, got some help with that, then had a really beautiful spiderharness done, and in the end having very fun with an amazing woman. We hid a bit, found a calm space with dimmed lightning and sat down on the floor. And this is where I keep coming back to. Those 20, 30 minutes with her. Because afterwards, my legs were shaking, I was giggly and calm in the same time. And I had been the one doing the tying. Not since this summer I had felt anything like it (yes, I miss Korrosion) and it made me love the event even more. So, if you are in London, like rope, not busy on a sunday,  check if the peer-rope is happening and go.

Last, but certainly not least. A new shining star on the club sky in London. Crimson is so fucking good. With a focus on the playspace, they must be the most well-equiped playclub in th U.K with at least two suspensionframes, numerous crosses, spankingbenches, a spitroast, bondagebed, medical play area, etc, etc. There is always space to play, but still very easy to be social and feel relaxed. All in all, it feels like a very, very big houseparty that is so kinky that it would make your jaw drop. Next one will be in february and I will be there.

//

V


The Lies about the Lies, part 2

First part by Xzenu Cronström Beskow can be found here.

To recap, the ten lies that Melissa Farley claims to uncover, are:

  1. 1. Pain is pleasure; humiliation is enjoyable; bondage is liberation.
    2. Sadomasochism is love and trust, not domination and annihilation.
    3. Sadomasochism is not racist and anti Semitic even though we “act” like slave owners and enslaved Africans, Nazis and persecuted Jews.
    4. Sadomasochism is consensual; no one gets hurt if they don’t want to get hurt. No one has died from sadomasochistic “scenes.”
    5. Sadomasochism is only about sex. It doesn’t extend into the rest of the relationship.
    6. Sadomasochistic pornography has no relationship to the sadomasochistic society we live in. “If it feels good, go with it.” “We create our own sexuality.”
    7. Lesbians “into sadomasochism” are feminists, devoted to women, and a women-only lesbian community. Lesbian pornography is “by women, for women.”
    8. Since lesbians are superior to men, we can “play” with sadomasochism in a liberating way that heterosexuals can not.
    9. Re-enacting abuse heals abuse. Sadomasochism heals emotional wounds from childhood sexual assault.
    10. Sadomasochism is political dissent. It is progressive and even “transgressive” in that it breaks the rules of the dominant sexual ideology.

Part 2: The Strawman Sadomasochist
To some extent, all ten points listed in part one are to some extent a “Strawman Political” version of sadomasochists. In this part I will focus on six points where this “Strawman sadomasochist” is the main problem, while the next part will instead deal with the four points where the main problem is radical feminist dogmatism.

1. Pain is pleasure; humiliation is enjoyable; bondage is liberation.

For some people, the RIGHT kind of pain in the right degree and context can indeed be enjoyable. Same thing goes for humiliation and for being tied up with ropes – which is what the word “bondage” refers to in a BDSM context. (BDSM stands for sadomasochistic sexual practices: Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, Sadism & Masochism.)

During my decades of experience with the BDSM scene, I have *never* encountered a person who claims that all pain is enjoyable. However, I have often encountered this stereotype among people who are prejudiced against sadomasochists and their BDSM practices.

It is also worth noticing that this first point of Farley’s is homage to the novel 1984 and the propaganda of the evil regime in that novel: “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.” The problem here is not the homage itself, but that she attributes it to the sadomasochists. The strawman sadomasochist she is “exposing” have more in common with the villains of children’s comic books, standing on mountaintops shouting “Muahaha, I’m EVIL!” to the raging thunderstorm, then it has in common with actual people. I assume that Farley has made up the ten points herself, incorrectly presenting her prejudice against sadomasochists as if it was the actual opinions of actual sadomasochists. If the list actually do come from someone who claim to be a sadomasochist, and Farley has not twisted the words or ripped them out of context, then Farley has indeed been extremely lucky with finding a source that is easy to mock. Continue reading


The Lies about the Ten Lies, by Guestblogger

Ve: When I first read Melissa Farleys piece ‘Ten Lies about Sadomasochism’ I wanted to respond.  I did not know how, but kept the text in the back of my head.

Then, time went by, and I did not give a proper response. Instead, a couple of weeks ago I saw the text was mentioned in a discussiongroup. Closely following, I realised a fellow sex-positive activist who is also an acquaintance of mine was saying all that I never managed to express when it came to Farley’s badly informed rants.

So here, we proudly present our first guestblogger; here is Xzenu Beskow and the first part out of 3, with an examination of the claims made by Melissa Farley.

Part 1: Totalitarian categorism in Radical Feminism

It is said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this metaphor is very true for totalitarian branches of radical feminism. Tough everyone divides things and people into categories, it is all too easy to make the categories into prisons instead of tools. This is the point at which categorization turns into what I call categorism: When categorization by skin color or ethnicity turns into racism, where categorization by gender turns into sexism or transphobia, where categorization by sexual orientations turns into homophobia, heterophobia or paraphobia.

Feminism focuses on the categorization of people into men and women, and on the oppression of the second category. At best, this focus is liberating by fighting oppression and by making oppression visible. At worst, however, feminism can be misused to lock people into narrow categories of what it means to have a certain gender or sexuality. And thus, certain branches of radical feminism are infamous for prejudice against gender identity minorities (notably transsexuals, for example with Raymond’s book The Transsexual Empire) and against all sexualities that do not fit their narrow normative orthodoxy.

Such orthodoxy can be relatively harmless when it is very far from what the mainstream believes. If a debater claims in the name of feminism that all heterosexual women are brainwashed victims of male rapists, then the debater is unlikely to accomplish anything other then giving antifeminists an opportunity to ridicule feminism as such. But if the same debater instead claims that all masochists are brainwashed victims of sadistic rapists, then the debater has a chance to cause real harm to real masochists since this sexual minority is already viewed with mistrust and prejudice by many in the mainstream.

One good example is Farley’s “The Ten Lies of Sadomasochism”. In this text, the author makes the claim that there are ten claims that sadomasochists usually make about themselves. She also claims that these ten statements are lies, and that she has successfully exposed them as such.

Three things are wrong about this statement. First of all, her list is highly questionable. Some claims are twisted into generalizations, others are outright outrageous. It is obvious that it is the list of a radical feminist who want to portray sadomasochism in a bad light, not a list that the sadomasochist subculture would agree on. Thus, her whole argument is based on a “Strawman Political”. (See http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StrawmanPolitical )

Second, not only does she use heavily ideological definitions of what certain words mean, but she also pretends that sadomasochists agree with her definitions of these words.

Third, she generalizes in ways that very consistently imply the word “all” without using the word itself. She talks about how all sadomasochists are, without ever using the word “all”, taking for granted that all sadomasochists form one coherent group. This kind of generalization is a hallmark of categorism.

The ten so-called lies are:

1. Pain is pleasure; humiliation is enjoyable; bondage is liberation.
2. Sadomasochism is love and trust, not domination and annihilation.
3. Sadomasochism is not racist and anti Semitic even though we “act” like slave owners and enslaved Africans, Nazis and persecuted Jews.
4. Sadomasochism is consensual; no one gets hurt if they don’t want to get hurt. No one has died from sadomasochistic “scenes.”
5. Sadomasochism is only about sex. It doesn’t extend into the rest of the relationship.
6. Sadomasochistic pornography has no relationship to the sadomasochistic society we live in. “If it feels good, go with it.” “We create our own sexuality.”
7. Lesbians “into sadomasochism” are feminists, devoted to women, and a women-only lesbian community. Lesbian pornography is “by women, for women.”
8. Since lesbians are superior to men, we can “play” with sadomasochism in a liberating way that heterosexuals can not.
9. Reenacting abuse heals abuse. Sadomasochism heals emotional wounds from childhood sexual assault.
10. Sadomasochism is political dissent. It is progressive and even “transgressive” in that it breaks the rules of the dominant sexual ideology.

In the next two parts we will take a closer look at each of these claims. I have divided this into two chapters: The Strawman Sadomasochist and Sadomasochism Versus Radical Feminist Dogma.

To be continued

By Xzenu Cronström Beskow

The author is a  queerfeminist veteran, active both in struggles against sexual abuse and  for the rights of sexual minorities. Xzenu got  academic degrees in psychology and sexology.

 


Skin Two Rubber Ball

Ve:

Last time I placed my well dressed foot at SE1, was at Torture Gardens Birthday Ball. A packed event, with great layout, cool acts, great feeling and heaving with amazingly dressed kinksters

Sadly, this is not the same when I enter SE1 this time. Or well, the amazingly dressed kinksters are still there..

The layout is well thought of, but leaves many empty spaces of “nothing” especially since it was so few people showing up. Hearing a lot about the Skin Two Rubber Ball, as being one of the highlights of the kinky calendar in London, I was a bit disappointed. But in the same time, it was easy to move around,easy to see faces and really buzzing with different languages. A big contingent from Sweden was there, partying hard and playing all weekend. Also heard german, french, spanish, and of course American.

It was an effective entrance, queuing not too bad, and fast cloakroom. Always thumbs of for that. Well inside, there was a Jazz Lounge of some sorts, several bars, a room dedicated to the runway with loads of shows, a big dancefloor, a couples room (which I missed) and a fully equipped dungeon which I had the opportunity to try out. The set up of the dungeon was a bit different with a small fence around, which prevented people coming and sitting on the dungeon-furniture, and also made it less crammed. Dungeon-monitors was on their toes, not interfering if it was not necessary, but still very aware and very approachable.

The furniture itself was brilliant. Well built, easy to manoeuvre (and if there was any questions, a DM was happy to help) and many times innovative.
I took a safe shot, the S:t Andrews cross. Spanking benches and suspensionthingybobs can wait until I know how to use them properly.
The scene me and A had during that evening and the evening before can be read about in this and this post.

It so happened that I for one of the first time actually saw the shows, and several of them . When going to bigger parties in London, like Torture Garden, there almost everytime fashion shows and other entertainment, but being me often makes me miss these. Getting stuck (figuratively and literally speaking) in the dungeon or on the dancefloor happens every once in a while.

Not this time. Unfortunately. I have seen a couple of different and really good burlesque-performances, which always seem to tickle that part of me that do love to create femininity that’s a bit more than the heterosexistic bullshit that creeps up every once in a while. Roxy Velvet is a brilliant example on a performer who creates her own stage and is very well aware of every move she makes and what kind of images she create.

Photograph©Gothic Image. Design©Pretty Pervy

Photograph©Gothic Image. Design©Pretty Pervy

Not counting an opera-singer, Pretty Pervys show
(everyone loves a latexbug!)
and a hilarious American with a bullwhip,
most of the shows was too long,
to dull and too serious.
Standing and watching not only the performers, but also the audience.
I saw more than one yawn a
nd several people just walking away.

And then,pardon my french, but what the f*ck is going on with the persons booking the acts? I have no problems whatsoever with women getting objectified, I know that they are all entertainers and choose to entertain. I can also sign up for the kind of drooling that I saw many did ( a couple of minutes with the ballerina, that’s all I ask..I can hold her..tutu) with me, but. Hey. Come on. Can it please be possible to objectify some hot men as well?! The ratio was horrendous on this point and made my blood boil. I started to think about politics, gender, and representation and power, instead of. Well. Partying. I got so mad, and still feel annoyed and also sad. I tend to distance myself from the normative fetish world, not being able to connect with it and not wanting to. But every now and then it pops up and I can’t escape.

I want more buffed or sleek men on the stage. Oily. Having to take their clothes off really slowly but only getting cheered on when they get more and more naked. Or have to bend their bodies in ways that requires a massive amount of training. Having outfits and props that cost a massive amount of money. Is it too much to ask?
I want porn with the same things, images that makes me question my lust and my connotations of what gender and power is, and in the same time, I want to see people fucking and enjoying it. I wan’t representation of as many different bodys as possible.

People say there is a time and a place for each and everything, but seeing all this makes me really happy that there is another scene as well. A diverse and open, that’s constantly seem to, even if being unaware of it, challenge gender and norms. I celebrate that.

Kisses to all who’s a part of that.

And no more Rubber Balls for me.

Pretty Pervy
Skin Two Rubber Ball
Roxy Velvet


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