Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Experimenting with BDSM

This is in no way a comprehensive introduction to BDSM. It’s simply a newbie’s tale of her encounter with the BDSM lifestyle, after being familiar with swinging. In fact, if there is anything I have learned from talking to people in BDSM, it’s that there’s no one definition for any relationship or experience in that domain. This post simply reflects the observations of a woman with more experience with the swinger community, poly relationships and online dating, who sought to educate herself about BDSM in an ongoing journey to see what, if any, kinks from that world might appeal to her.

Not so Submissive Outside the Bedroom

I decided to broaden my perspective on BDSM, after previous confusing interactions with men I met through online dating, who identified themselves as Doms. With the first Dom who contacted me, I didn’t even get past the “interview” process. Whatever my qualifications or lack thereof in other respects, I noticed his initial enthusiasm cooled over text and conversation when I challenged him:

Him: “I am very original.”
Me: “How do you know you are original?”
Him: “People tell me that I am.”
Me: “Is it possible that how people qualify us tells us more about them than us?”


After this exchange, and others, where I failed to agree with various categorial statements he made, I received a veiled offer for a weekly “sex lesson,” but only on three conditions: I was not to text him, call him or fall in love with him. Needless to say, the relationship was over before it ever started.

Keep in mind that most sex-positive women and men are GGG -- good, giving and game -- we enjoy giving our partner pleasure and are willing to push our limits in that respect. However, many of us expect some reciprocity in return. In fact, BDSM, like swinging, is built on reciprocity. So, if you don’t feel like your needs are being met in a potential d/s relationship, it may not be because of BDSM, but because you are not compatible with the other person.

False Doms and Ethical Doms

Unfortunately, there are plenty of people (in my case, I only interacted with men), who use the language of BDSM as an excuse for a one-sided relationship, where they treat the sub or bottom purely as a mental and physical masturbatory accessory. In fact, if the Dom is a narcissist, it will actually be impossible for him to know you. Like the pool of water into which the mythical Narcissus gazed, the Sub in this kind of unhealthy relationship is simply there to reflect the Dom’s desired perception of himself. If the potential sub calls him out on his behavior, this kind of Dom will call accuse her of being judgmental and “not understanding his kink.” Then, he most likely will terminate all interaction with her.

A friend of mine, who is an experienced submissive, describes these false Doms as the sort of man who has read “50 Shades of Grey” and thinks being a Dom is a free license to be a narcissist and boss women around. It is also worth noting that “50 Shades of Grey” and “The Story of O,” which is far more extreme, did not involve informed consent. Since the subs in those books had no way of knowing what they were consenting to, these books are essentially rape fantasies.*

The point is that a “False Dom” doesn’t really care if you enjoy what he does to you or what benefit, if any, the scene has for you. He may; however, enjoy controlling the Sub’s orgasm or bringing her to orgasm. This is because he enjoys control and seeing proof of his prowess. If you question the benefit of the scene for you, he will tell you that “other women," (undoubtedly more interesting than yourself) enjoy it. While that may be true, keep in mind that some, non-negligible percent of the BDSM community is using BDSM as repetition compulsion to re-enact or get over past trauma, some more successfully than others.

Ethical BDSM



A true dom/sub relationship involves an interchange of power and the Sub has quite a bit of power. She does not simply relinquish her power to the Dom. The Dom must prove that he is worthy of her submission. In order to make sure the Dom is giving the Sub what she needs in the relationship, he needs to educate himself about her past, physical, emotional triggers, her desires, kinks, limits, turn ons and negotiate with her to determine how they can best meet each other’s needs. After this education and negotiation, if the inexperienced sub determines she wants to do a scene with the Dom, the Ethical Dom will take her to a public BDSM play space before engaging in any private play.

One of the best places to read about and engage in discussions of kink and the BDSM lifestyle online is FetLife. FetLife bills itself as a “Facebook for kinky people.” It is a great place for following and participating in discussion groups on various aspects of the BDSM lifestyle and learning about “munches,” the BDSM equivalent of meet and greets; dungeons and BDSM-related activities in your local community. What FetLife is not is a dating site, though the number of men trying to use it that way may put you off at first.


A respected BDSM dungeon will have rules for safety, enforced by experienced dungeon monitors (DM’s), who are there to observe and ensure everyone’s safety. The potential sub should take a tour of the dungeon and talk to as many people as possible at the munches and dungeon. For BDSM to be ethical, the sub must give her informed consent. However, she cannot give her informed consent if she does not know what she is consenting to. This is where a good dungeon is a real learning experience, because of the opportunity to see a variety of types and intensities of play. You don’t really know what something will feel like; but seeing a scene (don’t interrupt people at play!) and then talking to the participants afterwards is about as close as you can get. You can inform yourself if you make the effort.

Safety

An Ethical Dom is humble and studies for years to be good at what he does. Many aspects of BDSM are dangerous - rope work (known as rigging), electro-play, impact play, suspension. You better hope your Dom has studied these kinks, not only reading about them, but learning in person from experts, because he could inadvertently injure the Sub if he is not aware of all the dangers of what he is doing and the correct technique. He should also carefully question the Sub about her medical and psychological history. He needs to familiarize himself with her psychological background and ongoing treatment (if any) so he can make sure that the scenes in which they engage will not trigger negative emotional reactions from the sub.

Also, the after-care (taking care of the sub once the scene is finished) is as important as what the Dom does during the scene. Not all subs want or need aftercare, but some do. By giving up power and control to the Dom, the Sub places herself in an extremely vulnerable position. She should only do this with a person who has earned her trust and deserves to experience this level of intimacy with her. Once again, an Ethical Dom will not play with an inexperienced Sub before going to the trouble to educate himself about her, educate her about BDSM, negotiate with her, obtain her consent, and play with her in public multiple times before they ever play in private.


Playing in public ensures the Dom’s own safety as much as it does that of the Sub. What do I mean by this? The simplest reason is that without informed consent, which is a lot easier to prove if the scene was done in front of reliable witnesses, some of what is done in BDSM is against the law. For instance, in the great state of Texas, you can own an arsenal of weapons, but owning two dildos is against law. That’s actually true, but facetiousness aside, some of the main legal charges risked by BDSM kinks are assault and battery, false imprisonment and rape. Assuming the Sub is acting in good faith, even if she is experienced; if they are interacting for the first time, the Dom doesn’t know her and he does not know how she will react to scenes with him. Even if she has not been pushed physically over the edge, she may have emotional triggers, that will put the two of them in a very difficult situation. Having witnesses in case a scene does not go right and dungeon monitors to ensure her safety, protects the Dom as much as it does the sub.


A False Dom will not encourage a potential new sub to educate herself about BDSM, observe it in public, vetted places, or interact with other members of the BDSM community; whereas an ethical Dom will encourage these practices. Also, there is a greater chance that a Dom who interacts with the broader BDSM community, and encourages the sub to do so as well, has been vetted as being an ethical participant in that community.

Caveat
I apologize if this post seems too clinical or too negative. From my own observations and discussions with people who partake in ethical BDSM, they experience a lot of benefits from this world and community. I am not an experienced BDSM participant, but Audrey and I do look forward to asking friends who are to share the stories of their journey, on this blog. Experienced people in BDSM often say two things: “We are people with kinks, we are not our kinks.” and “Your kink is not my kink, and that’s okay.” Which is to say, the BDSM community may seem strange, but it’s one of the most accepting subcultures you can find.

Quick and Non-comprehensive Vocabulary Lesson:

Scene: What the top and bottom have negotiated to do together in BDSM, or the actual activity
Top: The person in charge of the scene, who takes control.
Bottom: The person who gives up control, in the scene.
Dominant: This is part of the person’s identity and defines their status in BDSM relationships, and is not limited to one scene. The person who likes to take control.
Submissive: This is part of the person’s identity and defines their status in BDSM relationship, and is not limited to their participation in a given scene. The person who likes to give up control.
Switch: A person who moves fluidly between Dom and Sub roles, or has both kinds of play partners. *Not that there is anything wrong with a person having a rape fantasy and re-enacting this in a safe, consensual way, or sometimes even in a therapeutic way to overcome past trauma.

Monday, September 25, 2017

What Sex Positive Women Would Like To Tell You

So If You Meet Us...
Women are already historically and culturally demonized for liking sex, so the last thing we need is for the men who want to have sex with us to add to this. Per the Rolling Stones song, “Sympathy for the Devil,” if what’s puzzling you is the “nature of our game,” think about it this way: a sex positive woman is a relatively rare and special thing. If you have the good fortune to interact with one, have “Some courtesy, some sympathy, and some taste. Use all your well-learned politesse...”

If I were to sum up the main thing that sex positive women complain about in their online dating experience, it’s being punished for being the “cool, easy-going girl, who isn’t high-maintenance.” This is typically done by guys who take advantage of these qualities to invest zero back in their interaction with us. Kristen Wiig’s relationship with Jon Hamm’s character in “Bridesmaids” provides a useful illustration of what this experience looks like.


Sex-positive does not mean “universal donor”: Contrary to what some men like to believe, sex positive women are not nymphomaniacs. We don’t do this for validation. We aren’t desperate. An attractive, independent, experienced woman, who enjoys sex, has PLENTY of options when it comes to “interested parties.”

Sex is just ONE aspect of our lives: Most of us have a lot of other responsibilities that compete for our time and attention. So, if you contact us in person or online, please don’t think you are “doing us a favor” by providing us with "what we need"...aka your dick. If we need sex, we know where to find it.

The MILF Myth: A lot of men think MILFs are untapped sexual potential -- the Shangri La of easy pussy. I don’t know about untapped, but News Flash, most mothers are pretty tapped out from taking care of their offspring, not to mention their spouses and and from working a regular job or jobs. Unless you look like Brad Pitt or truly are interested in providing us with the empathy and attention we lack, providing for your sexual needs (especially the more specific and niche they get...) may not necessarily be the relaxation we are looking for.


Introducing Yourself Online: An attractive woman will get, on average, 5 - 10 messages in her inbox a day, sometimes many more. Make the effort to actually read her profile, or notice her as a human being. Comment on some specific aspect of her profile or background that demonstrates that you relate to her and have something in common. Be humble. Don’t assume women are automatically interested in you, even if you are good looking or successful. Put some effort into flirting. Extra points for correct spelling, avoiding texting abbreviations, or making her laugh or smile.

Generic Cut and Paste Lines: “S’up...ur hot.” This just says, I am a Basic Bro who contacts 20+ women a day and is waiting for this to work so I can get a generic piece of ass. I put zero effort into reading your profile.

The HBB 2 for 1 Special: While texting a new guy, we mention that we sometimes play with women. The guy immediately texts back, asking if our hot girlfriend wants to join in the fun. Hold it right there. We may not have decided if we want to have sex with you yet. Unless our attractive girlfriend is our BDSM “slave,” we can’t begin to speak for her. Oh, and by the way, we can’t recommend you, since we haven’t played yet. Not very appealing when a new text partner shows he is less interested in us, than using us as leverage to fulfill his generic fantasy of a 3Sum.

Drive by Date: basically the dating equivalent of the drive-by ass-grab -- the man who makes it clear that he will only pay for coffee or drinks, but doesn’t consider the woman worth the investment of taking to dinner. He then expects sex to ensue. It’s not even that we expect a certain amount of money to be spent on us before “putting out.” We aren’t Rules Girls. Even if we go Dutch, taking us to dinner or some kind of real date tells us you think we are worth the TIME investment.


High School Sex: Sex in public place, car or low-rent hotel. Ok, we’ve all been there and sometimes it’s fun to get wild and crazy and go back (minus the cheap alcohol)... but not as an ongoing habit. Also, not ideal if this is your first encounter. If it is and you don’t step up your game, don’t expect there to be a next time.

Dry Pussy Moment: This is the female equivalent of a boner shrinker.  I was raised with the dictum that “‘assume’ makes an ass out of you and me.” Some women like porn language, gestures and role play. However, if this is your first date, you’re safer off discussing first or going slowly here.

Porn language or gestures: telling her to get on her knees, pulling her hair, assuming she likes hard-core things like throat fucking or expressions like “worship that cock”...

Mommy: Those of us who are moms hear that waaay too many times a day. And it is NOT a turn on.


My Little Girl: Can be a little creepy...Second best way to turn off a mother is to make her think you want to have anything sexual to do with children or teens.

Baby: The Swinging Sixties ended a long time ago. Unless you are being intentionally ironic or are Austin Powers, teleported into the 21st century, this just sounds like an unoriginal line from a teen romance series.

Mommy Dearest or All My Ex’s: Most women are not really interested in being proxies for your issues with your mother or ex-girlfriend. We all have parents and we all have exes. That doesn’t give us a get-out-of-jail free card to expect other people to put up with a one-sided relationship or lack of true intimacy.

Furries: I once asked an extremely hot, younger man, who declared himself dominant, what his kink was. He told me he liked to have his ex-girlfriend be his sex kitten, dress up in a cat costume, and "pleasure him.” NMK, not my kink. Hopefully he joined a FetLife group with women who share it.


Demanding Validation During Sex: A good rule in life is never ask the question unless you really want to hear the answer. Examples: Don’t you love my big cock? Pounding a woman for several minutes and asking her: “Doesn’t this feel great?” There is a chance this is true. However...worst case scenario: you’re a triple threat -- vain, clueless, and needy. Not very sexy.

Gay for the Day: Sex therapy for clueless hetero men. The European protocol is that you are never allowed to be dom in the official BDSM world until you have first been a sub. Maybe all heterosexual men should try being gay for just long enough to develop a sense of perspective when it comes to their dick size and what it feels like to choke on a dick or be pounded.


Boom, what’s up Fuck Buddy!: Man who ignores you for significant period of time, then pings you for last minute booty call. See social behavior and Autism spectrum.



No thank-you-text or really bad one: We usually interpret the absence of a thank-you-text as a message that the man doesn’t want to see us again. Regardless of what he wants, it very often guarantees a woman with self-respect won’t see him again. Only slightly better than no thank-you-note is a bad one. This is the text typically sent a day or several days after play, that says something like “I had a great time. Let’s do again soon.” This leads a woman to believe you view her as a disposable, interchangeable piece of ass.

Comparing Her to Previous Lovers: Or mentioning them in a way that makes her feel like she is in competition with them, or you would rather be with them. In the immortal words of Brandy Clark, “If you want “The Girl Next Door” (or whatever)...Go next door. Go right now!”


Treating a woman like a whore: It is not lost on attractive women who enjoy sex, that we often provide all the services of an unpaid professional. Some of us enjoy this role play. Some of us feel more ambivalent. If we were getting paid by the hour, it might compensate for male partners who are selfish and inconsiderate lovers, not to mention the ones who exhibit every single “turn off” behavior mentioned in this blog post. Meanwhile, “sex positive” does not equal “professional sex worker.”

On the contrary,

A Sex Positive Woman Knows Her Value: She may not necessarily be the prettiest, thinnest or best-dressed woman in the room. But that doesn’t matter, because she is, by far, the sexiest and the most fun to be with. She isn’t just fun to be with when you are having sex with her. She is the most fun to hang out with, period. Women love her as much as men. Because she isn’t insecure, she doesn’t need to put other women down or play high school social games with them to boost her own self-worth. She loves being a woman and she is empathetic to other women. She loves men and she is empathetic to them. The fact that she is comfortable with herself, allows her to be comfortable with and put other people at ease, whether or not she has sex with them. When it comes to sex, her knowledge, playfulness, creativity and love of sex make her, hands down, the best lover you will ever have.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Au Claire de la Lune: Claire’s Best Of’s from Online Dating

Claire sends a message in a bottle, looking for someone or something she does not know exists. To the tune of Fallulah’s “Give us a Little Love


Highlights of her Profile

I look for resonance and signal amidst the noise, striking a note on a tuning fork out into the ether. I look for pattern recognition in memes and archetypes. My chosen medium is literature. In American literature, it’s Oedipa Maas from Thomas Pynchon’s “The Crying of Lot 49” in the moment she returns to San Narciso on a Sunday afternoon and parks her rented Impala on a hill...Six things I could never do without: Empathy, Humor, Respect, Honesty, Authenticity, the Kindness of Strangers, Willingness to Learn…

The Dominant Ex
Claire realizes she is too much like Tracy Lord in "The Philadelphia Story," which is really just Katharine Hepburn playing herself, and she has yet to find her Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, or Spencer Tracy.
The Beginning

C: What makes you think I’m submissive?
DE: Your entire writing cries out with it. You’re exhausted taking care of your house, your family and your spouse. You are tired of being in charge, having to be in control. You long to have someone take care of you.
C: No doubt. However, in my experience, that is 95% of mothers.

The Middle

DE: ...How are you doing?
C: Trying to take care of my family, find time for my writing and not wind up with my head in the oven like Sylvia [Plath].
DE: We all die some day...

The End

DE: “Every time your feelings are hurt, take it as a great opportunity. Examine it carefully, Try to figure out “why” or at least, how the hurt happens. It’s a golden opportunity. That is why I chat with you often 😏
C:...I would hope you chatted with me because you enjoyed communicating with me.
DE: No, because you insult and diminish me. It’s liberating.
C: Good God.
DE: Like playing to an empty house. It’s truly treasure…I wouldn’t bother with you at all if I didn’t care about and like you. There are LOTs of unaware people I don’t chat with 😏...You called me a pedophile.
C: I did not. That relationship was perfectly legal. It’s just that I’m a mother; so, to me, a 20 year old is a child when it comes to life experience. It implies a sort of Daddy dynamic when the man in question is in his early 50s, not a relationship of equals.
DE: And sometimes….well...do you think you might have been worthy of the attention of an older man when you were twenty?!...The correct answer is “Yes, ___, I would have been totally up to the challenge of attracting an older man when I was 20.” And I’m making that assertion based on your brains, not your tight pussy. Come to think of it, forget whatever books, I recommended to you a while ago... Read the first few parts of “Radical Honesty” by Brad Blanton...It’s a dreadful book in all, so you don’t need to read that much of it...But the intros and first couple of chapters might be mind bending…
C:...To be radically honest, I am terrified you are….
DE:...Dear Claire,
I don’t want to hurt you or anyone else. Just in this morning’s text you’ve used the words twisted, contempt, condescension, disgusts, degrades, narcissist, manipulates, insulting, abusive and degrading….I enjoyed our time together, and will remember you fondly. I wish you nothing but the best.

Christian guy who discovers he prefers men after going out with you
Starts texting Claire of the blue, after ghosting for some time


CG: U seeing anyone?
C: Not really. Was, but it didn't work out.
CG: Are u ok?
C: A little sad, but other than that, all good.
CG: Why?
C: Because I cared about the other person and did not expect it to end.
CG: Sorry. Why end?
C: Because he wanted me to be something that I’m not.
CG: What’s that?
C: Submissive
CG: I want you!
[Sends Selfie]
C: Cute picture, you’re probably drinking, horny and you have a boyfriend.
CG: I want to fuck u
C: You and a lot of men. You had your chance.
CG: Sorry, I want u physically and mentally
C: It’s probably just the alcohol talking. You’re forgetting two things: I’m married and I’m a woman.

The Foreign Artist
We first connect over discussion of Wedekind. He introduces me to "Fräulein Else" by Arthur Schnitzler. My mind is on psychology and depression.

C: Have been feeling depressed all day because of break up. I started reading the introduction to the David Schnarch book you recommended and the first page already made me feel better because he talks about differentiation, and how we should NOT cave into pressure to conform to a partner who has emotional significance in our lives, and how important it is to stand up for what we believe and hold onto our core identity.
FA: You sit on top of my dick in your ass. You suck the slave until he comes in your mouth. You enjoy the juice and play with it, let it drip on your breasts. The slave can hold you so you need less effort to ride me and come easier. I want to come in your mouth too…

Conversation with Her Husband



H: Still neglecting us? The children are eating left-overs for lunch.
C: There’s cold-cuts, chicken salad and fruit. Oh, wait. Forgot, I also couldn’t resist buying some pumpkin candy corns, I got them at Fresh Market, so hopefully they’re organic and made with real cane sugar, so better than real drug store candy corns.
H: This is not acceptable
C: As our children’s longtime pediatrician said, back when I was pureeing all kinds of fruits and vegetables to make baby food for them and they threw most of it on the floor: “No healthy mammal ever died next to a source of food.

Attractive Late 30s Surgeon

S: You seem quite sexy: I’m relatively new here and have been working non-stop. Looking for some fun without the commitment of a long-term relationship. Seems like we may be on the same page. Such a gorgeous brunette.
C: Thank you. Yes, our relationship needs sound like they could be compatible…
S: What’s your schedule like: If we could find some free time, I bet we could help each other a lot....
C: The fact that I’m open-minded, know what I want and have quite a bit of experience does not make me a universal donor. Far from it. I don’t need help. I get plenty of offers of that sort. I have limited free time, so for me to make the effort to go out, I need some kind of connection. If it’s purely physical, but with no mental connection, I need more pictures. Also no dick pics, unless I ask for them.
S: I like how you think and communicate. I can’t stand games and have no time for them. I don’t want you to be a donor. I really get off from giving...I hope you like receiving. I’ll say hi on Kik… Conversation with Sex-positive Girlfriend SPG: So how did that one end up? C: We had a very nice conversation at a coffee shop. He was very respectful. SPG: And? C: I felt like it was awkward/stalled, especially since our texting had been very explicit about what we liked. SPG: So? C: I asked him how he liked to spend first dates. SPG: And he answered? C: That he hadn't been on many first dates lately. He turned around the question to me. SPG: How did you answer? C: That if I was attracted to the other person, I liked to end them by making out. SPG: He was amenable to that? C: Yes. We went to a local park. SPG: A children's park?
C: Well, yes, but school was in session. There weren't any children there! SPG: What time was this? C: Noon SPG: That's right about the time all the "bad" kids skip high school and head out for the park! C: I don't know about that, but we were alone. However, at a certain point, I did get nervous about people showing up and pushing the limits of "public indecency," so we went to his car. SPG: This is from the woman who started out her chat with this guy talking about having "standards." What are you, in high school? Did you have a fifth of MadDog in the car with you? C: Stop judging, will you. No, I did not! Now, I'm worried because even though he said he had a good time, he hasn't texted me back. Do you think he disrespects me now, for being so easy? SPG: Not sure if there is such thing as being too easy in the male psychology. It's more about desire and opportunity/availability. He's probably just busy with work. I mean sex is like pizza to them. They like Hawaiian pizza, pepperoni pizza, pizza with white sauce, pizza with red sauce. In the general universe of pizza, it's all good. C: Yeah, you're probably right.
6’3, good-looking, fit, 28 yr old Surfer

28: May I say you are stunning. Are you open to dating younger guys? You caught my eye so I wanted to say hello.
C: Thank you. I am, but I don’t have a lot of free time. So I definitely need both a mental and physical connection to pursue further.
28: I totally agree, I am looking for the same! May I ask the youngest you have dated. Honestly I contacted you because of your looks, not age :)
C: So far, the youngest I’ve dated has been 40.
28: Ok. What makes you curious about us younger guys?
C: Well not so curious at the moment, as I feel we have a disconnect in the amount of life experience. I’m interested in more than eye candy. I need intellect, passion (for something in life besides just sex)...and life experience.
28: I’m putting myself out here for some experience haha. I think what a person has inside is more sexy than what’s on the outside. If they have both, then that’s a bonus :) Conversation with Sex-Positive Girlfriend SPG: Ok, what's wrong with this one? He sounds like your best bet. Hot, young and horny. C: I just don't think we have anything in common. SPG: Ok, your standards are waaay too high. What is this? "Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediment." You aren't there to have a discussion about literature. You are there to ride his rod. How about defining success as: you both get off and, when it's over, nobody harvested your organs? C: Yikes! It's just that it's hard to be turned on when they open their mouth and start talking.
SPG: Well, then shush him every time he does that. Or wait, better yet, he's open to experience right? Just stick a ball gag in his mouth!
Literate Henry Miller Fan

HMF: I remember when I was in my early 20’s and I was on a heavily ivied college campus and saw how the symbol for the Trystero System inked on the wall. I thought it was wild, but my host told me it was standard freshman fare. If I came across the trumpets today, I would still get excited. Literally excited enough to write to someone named Claire (maybe?)...

Older Former Athlete and Successful Executive

FMG: I enjoyed your profile...you appear to be quite a “pistol”...a good thing. Miss Claire, Did you ever see the movie “Wedding Crashers,” Rachel McAdams character was Claire.
C:...Thanks, I think I am seeing the benefit (as a mother) of avoiding men who hated their mothers, are looking for ingenues as opposed to fully grown women; as well as seeing that men who dominate other men in fields like sports and their given profession, often don’t have the need to dominate women...which might be a healthier dynamic for me.

Conversation with Therapist

T: Has any man ever given you a gift? Perhaps you need better filters and to ask yourself: "Is this a man who would give me a gift?"

C: Well, there was my Fairy Godfather. Did I ever tell you about him? He started out in French vaudeville and knew all the great personalities like Mistinguett. He then went to Hollywood in the Golden Era, made a movie with Hitchcock, then played leading roles on the London stage in the 1950s. He would tell me personal anecdotes about some of the Hollywood stars, like telling me to carry my purse in front of my stomach in Paris -- so nobody would snatch it from me. He said that Greta Garbo did that and this is why he called her “Little Mother.” He took me out on the best “date” I’ve ever been on. He was gay, so there definitely was no ulterior motive of sex. This was in Paris, when I was seventeen. At that time, I was trapped in a total alienated state from myself, so not in any position to give anything back to anyone else.

He took me out to lunch to a fun Vietnamese restaurant in Paris. Then we walked on the Champs Elysées to the House of Guerlain where he told me that I was old enough to pick out a perfume for myself, that he treated me to. Then he took me to Astroflash to have my horoscope read. This was late 80’s and there was a Wizard of Oz-like computer that took in your astrological data and produced a read-out. Today that would seem like nothing, but back then it was all very novel and high tech. I can’t remember what the reading said, but I remember it made me cry because it seemed so spot on, at the time. After that we went to Fouquet’s where he showed me the chair where Francois Truffaut always sat and we had hot chocolate and Mont Blanc, this lovely dessert, with meringue and chestnut cream. All in all, it was my most memorable day and he gave me a few material gifts, but that was not the “gift.”

When you spent time with the Fairy Godfather, he gave you the gift of being interested in you and acting like you were the only person he was focused on. He was one of the few people I have ever met who not only was happy and at peace with himself, but was able to help you feel the same way when he was in your presence. He and, to a lesser degree, other older men I interacted with when I was young, gave me the gift of self-esteem. They accepted me, brought out the best in me and made me hope that I could do the same for others one day.

As for my Ex, the Dom, he said that “teaching women to fuck the way that men ‘who knew how to fuck' liked to fuck them” was his “gift “to them. He felt that I needed “throat training,” to learn throat fucking technique. Supposedly sexy to some, but really just like being gagged with a penis, if you ask me. No doubt, I could leverage that nifty little whore’s trick, possibly breath-play too, to pretend to pass out during some sort of “overwhelming” orgasms, if I sought a high status Dom, but that wasn’t and isn’t what I’m looking for.

Claire’s Conclusion

In online dating, I have met men who were attracted to my looks, men who were attracted to my mind; just as I have been attracted to their looks and sometimes their minds. The Dom would have liked me to believe he was attracted to his 20-year old ex, for her brain. Maybe she was a real brainiac. I wouldn't know. Meanwhile, I wonder, in my online encounters, if it is asking too much for a person who is in their late 30’s, has a high-level graduate, professional degree and is extremely accomplished as a specialist in their field...to be able to spell correctly? I met men who were attracted to my answers to the sex questions, which they, no doubt, translated as  Notorious S.L.U.T. And, when I was attracted to the men in question, I enjoyed reading their answers to the sex questions. I met men who validated me and I met men who put me down. I learned that just because another person likes the same poem or work of literature you do, does not necessarily make them deep or compatible or even mean they understand that work the same way you did. I have learned that I projected onto these men and they very often projected onto me.

Very often I felt like they were using me as a mental and physical masturbatory accessory and, no doubt, I did the same with some of them. The only ones that hurt you are the ones you start to give your heart too. Why do we give our heart to the wrong ones, even as every red flag warns us: this won’t end well? Repetition compulsion? Or the the foolish hope that, this time, we can change the script, this time we can “take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them?” Or, more disturbing yet, does our attraction to those to whom we are least suited reflect a darker urge; where we seek not vanquish monsters, but are rather drawn their potential to lead us to the cliff’s edge, the chasms we dare not face, to the roiling and unknown sea below? Because only in the battle and the fall will we find annihilation. Or the transformation we seek? Not Gandalf the Grey, but Gandalf the White?
“Neither he nor the Balrog was killed by the fall, and Gandalf pursued the creature for eight days until they climbed to the peak of Zirakzigil. Here they fought for two days and nights. In the end, the Balrog was cast down and it broke the mountain-side as it fell. Gandalf himself died following this ordeal and his body lay on the peak while his spirit travelled outside of Time.” The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien.

As Pascal said: “The heart has its reasons that Reason knoweth not.” All I know is that I still hope for that connection and to stop risking our heart is to give up on it.

Claire de Lune: French Children’s Lullaby

Au clair de la lune,
L'aimable Lupin;
Frappe chez la brune,
Elle répond soudain:
–Qui frappe de la sorte?
Il dit à son tour :
–Ouvrez votre porte,
Pour le Dieu d'Amour.

By the light of the moon
Likeable Lupin
Knocks on the brunette's door.
She suddenly responds:
– Who's knocking like that?
He then replies:
Open your door for me
For the God of love.