My fourth TASSP is done, and it was a wonderful time. On the plane, as I was headed to England, I started to think about the past three years of my life in the National spanking scene, and all that has happened since I first arrived at TASSP in 2012.
I remember the overwhelming, full body anxiety I felt as I first showed up at the old TASSP hotel. What if no one liked me? What if I didn’t make friends? Could I really handle a whole weekend full of getting spanked? And play with people I didn’t know yet? Would it be weird to watch others playing? What would the activities be like?
I imagined that, realistically, I was probably going to have a pretty good time. I didn’t imagine that on that day, I was going to meet people who, upon seeing them three years later, I’d run down the hallway to tackle hug, or who would get tears in their eyes when it was time to go at the end of the weekend.
I guess what I mean to say is that I didn’t know when I first arrived at a National party that I was actually arriving at my home for the first time, that I had found a kind of acceptance and a feeling of belonging which had been lacking throughout my entire life.
I didn’t really feel it at that first party. I met people who I really liked, but in the couple of days that I was there and my shy nature back then, I didn’t get to know them that well. I think back on some of the people who I met for the first time there, and I can’t even imagine my life without knowing them. Some of them were people I spent a lot of time with at that party and never stopped wanting to spend a lot of time with. Others were people I only met in passing, but would spend more time with at other parties in the future and become fast friends.
I met someone at my first TASSP with whom it would take years, literally up until last month, for our friendship to properly blossom due to miscommunications and someone negatively influencing our ability to get along. Now, we’re finally having the friendship we should have always had, and that’s an amazing feeling. Telling her that I’ll miss her and that I was so glad we got to spend time together this weekend as I left and both of us knowing that we really meant it, finally, was one of the most refreshing feelings.
I made a friend at that party who ended up doing a lot of really hurtful and destructive stuff to me, but the spanking world can’t always be perfect. I have met people who were just incredibly toxic through the scene, yes, but it’s important to remember that for everyone who has hurt me, I’ve met countless more who have enriched my life and made it wonderful, and those are the ones I want to focus on.
I was a very different person than I am now when I first showed up. I had no idea how much I would grow over the next few years. I was very new to modeling, and almost no one knew who I was. I didn’t really even participate in most of the events for models, although I did do several shoots at that party. I worried that I didn’t fit in with the other, more established models, including some of the people who I now think of as very good friends! In general, I was pretty awkward. I was kind of still in my post-grad years where I wasn’t sure of my identity yet, and I think that the way that I dressed and presented myself suggested that to whoever was looking. I had pretty bad skin still, and didn’t know what I was doing with my hair or makeup in the least. It took me a few more years to figure this stuff out: I’m feeling pretty good about it these days, finally.
I had never switched before, and still didn’t really understand the social parts of bottoming, either. Roleplay and play punishment were still brand new things to me, and I was straight up uncomfortable with the idea of bratting. Asking people to play? That was a little much for me! Saying no to someone who asked me? That also wasn’t happening. I didn’t go to The Dark Party my first year because the idea of possibly witnessing sexual play made me nervous. I don’t remember if there was a little’s party or not at my first TASSP, because if there was, I definitely avoided it. I had not yet embraced that side of myself in the least, and was working hard to repress it.
And now? Look at how I’ve grown! I felt so in my element this weekend, whether I was bottoming, Topping, roleplaying, age-playing, giving a presentation or running an event. Like many people, I had my moments where I got overwhelmed and emotional, but I had my friends there for me, and these problems were quickly straightened out so we could all get back to enjoying the weekend. It’s hard for me to believe that three years ago, I was as meek as I was.
I see these changes in many of the friends that I first met at my first party, too. Years in the scene have helped us to find ourselves, and the friendship and support we’ve found there have helped us to grow confident. We’ve slowly been shaking off the years of shame and repression that we felt when hiding our kinks, and when we could feel safe being ourselves, we’ve truly flourished. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
The scene itself has grown and developed, too. It’s a slow process, but things are growing more diverse and accepting. This party was probably the most diverse one I’ve ever attended. There was a lot of racial diversity, people of a good mix of (18+) ages, lots of both seasoned party goers and newbies, those who were local and those who came from far away, people who are spanko purists and those from the greater BDSM scene who share our love of smacking ass, lots of LGBTQ people. I hope this trend continues to grow. It makes me so sad to think that there are people who worry they won’t be accepted in the spanking scene because of another aspect of who they are.
Dates tend to mean a lot to me, so celebrating my third years of parties by partying hard with lots of amazing people was definitely great. I can’t wait to see what the next three years bring me. I’m so ready.
I’m going to get a bit personal here, for a moment, and talk about things that I normally keep to myself.
At 5’8″, I’m of fairly average height for a woman. I’m not particularly tall. At a 150 pounds and a dress size eight, I’m really quite average all around.
I’ve never felt like it, though. I’ve always felt like this:
Maybe it comes from the fact that I was told by doctors that I would likely grow up to be over 6′ tall, and I began intentionally stunting my growth for fear of that when I was just a little girl. Maybe it’s the fact that I was taller than my mother by the time that I was ten, and that I reached my current height before I entered middle school. Maybe it’s the fact that one of my childhood best friends was so tiny that in third grade, our teacher couldn’t see her over the desk and thought that she was absent on the first day. Maybe it was that I grew up in a small house with low ceilings and tiny rooms that gave me a sense of claustrophobia. Whatever it is, I never, ever wanted to grow. I always felt that I was too big.
I’ve done various things to make myself seem smaller– I wear lots of vertical stripes and clothing which is cropped in a way that shortens a person, I choose prints and patterns which are cute, dainty and diminutive, I slouch as much as I can possibly get away with (which I was doing fairly well for myself with, I felt, until Malignus decided that I needed to improve my posture) and I’m never seen wearing heels. I did bring a pair with me to TASSP, and it was the first time that I wore heels in as long as I can remember, certainly at least a year.
There was one thing which I always took comfort in, sort of an adage that I’d come to love: “All girls are the same height when they’re over a lap.” I really, truly believed in this, and it did wonders for me. While being spanked OTK, no matter by whom, I felt truly small. I don’t mean that I felt “little” or that I felt “young.” I felt like a small thing, and it was an absolutely beautiful feeling.
Recently, I was talking to one of my Tops about these feelings, and about how badly I wanted to have a smaller body, and I said “At least I can take comfort in the fact that when I’m over your lap, you can’t tell!” “Well, you know that’s not actually, true, right Alex?” he asked. I shook my head. I thoroughly believed that it was true. “I can still tell how far you stretch out to, and your center of gravity is still in the wrong place.”
I never believed in Santa, or in the Easter Bunny, or any of that stuff, and I originally didn’t believe in God, then forced myself to, so when I stopped believing, it wasn’t painful. As a result, this was the first time in my life that I really experienced having something which had previously been rather sacred to me taken away.
|You’re sure? I’m still too big?|
I still haven’t recovered from it, entirely. It never mattered to me what my size was compared to the person spanking me, but suddenly, it’s become something which is on my mind. I know I’ll get over it. I know I’ll let go and stop worrying and let myself feel safe and good while being spanked. I’m just still a little heart broken.
The day that I had that conversation, I called my doctor friend and my scientist friend and asked them if there was a way that I could be shrunk. When they promised me that there was no safe way, I started doing research on my own, JUST IN CASE.
I know that I’m just going to have to find a way to accept myself.
For a while now, I’ve been dating a boy here in Sioux Falls. He’s clever and funny, he gets my sense of humor, and on our first date, we spent most of the time discussing Hume’s empiricism. He’s also 6’5″ and extremely strong because he does physical work. For the first time since I was a teenager, I felt small beside him. I could put my hand up to his and feel like I had little, tiny fingers. He could pull me down with the tiniest of efforts on his part. We were just “getting there” romantically, but I had high hopes for it. See, I don’t need all of my relationships to satisfy every part of me. That would be very against the point of Polyamory for me. I was hoping that if I had, for the first time since I was a girl, someone who made me feel small sometimes around, then I would get over the complex that I’m big in general. I imagined that having someone who made me feel small would make it so that I never felt “too big.” I thought that it would make me alright with my body.
|Sorry, not happening!|
Anyway, it doesn’t matter what I imagined might happen, because he met someone with whom he wants to have a monogamous relationship, so we won’t be seeing each other anymore.
I realized tonight, that this may actually be a good thing. There are no “drink me” bottles floating around, and I’m stuck with myself for the rest of my life. The truth of the matter is, I don’t need someone else to make me feel good about myself. I have to rock what I’ve got and be truly confident in myself in order to be happy and successful. The way that I look or appear to others or seem next to them shouldn’t influence the way that I feel.
The truth of the matter is that I’m the only one who thinks that I’m so large that I take up the entire room and I’ve got my head on the ceiling, but as long as I’m seeing myself this way and acting like that, people *are* going to see that I’m not fully comfortable with myself.
So, I’m going to be alright with myself, no matter where my center of gravity is. I’m not going to surround myself with environments that make me feel better about myself. I’m going to feel okay with myself.
I’m not entirely sure *how* I’m going to get there, but I know that I will, because I am nothing if not determined.
I use formspring to answer questions that are posed by friends, readers, fans, whoever. Today, I checked my inbox and among some sexual questions that I didn’t feel like answering was the following query:
Who are you really?
At first glance, it’s the simplest question possible. I’m Alex, duh. But it came at a poignant moment for me, and it had a positive influence on my thought processes for a while. It’s one of the most important questions one can be asked or ask one’s self and it’s something that has been on my mind quite a bit recently. I’ve gone through a phase where I’ve been less than focused on being my best self. This isn’t to say that I’ve been something other than myself, or that I’ve been bad or awful or something. But when I read my older writing, there’s a difference. It isn’t that I lost something; more that I misplaced it. At worst, I’ve lost a sense of focus. I’ve been withdrawn and going through some things recently, and I’ve started to come out the other side. I know that this is vague, but I’m alright with that.
To answer this question, I could point to my fetlife profile, or post a photo, or do a bunch of other things, but I think what I’ll do is make a list of what I know to be true.
NOTE NUMBER THE FIRST: This entry has a lot of non spanking related photos in it. Know why? Because I’m on vacation. Kthnx.
NOTE NUMBER THE SECOND: Go ahead and play this in the background while reading this blog post. I’ve been kind of humming it to myself for the past few days. 🙂
NOTE NUMBER THE THIRD: The end of this gets mushy. You were warned!
I arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday. R. picked me up from the airport and drove me back to my old apartment. It was lovely to be back in a place that was so familiar to me for a long time. I had an immediate sense of belonging as we took the Chinatown exit and R. slapped my thigh with gentle excitement. I was overjoyed to get to cuddle my kitties again, too. It’s hard to have a long distance relationship with a pet. 🙁
|Gizmo DID miss me! He snuggled me from the first minute I walked in the door!|
We spent some awesome time “catching up” and visiting and then went to a favorite Japanese restaurant in my old Little Tokyo stomping ground. Before the meal, R., Zeki, and I played a game of hangman. Those two know me pretty well: they got mine without missing a single letter and it wasn’t even in real English.
I went into the market there and checked out things that were once common parts of my life, but because I’d been away from them and living in a culture where they are not normal, had become novelties. I took photos like a tourist in the place where I once did my grocery shopping. I was jumping around with joy as I remembered just how common place adorable things are in Los Angeles.
|The amount of cuteness just overwhelmed me!|
|I DIDN’T buy a Hello Kitty Bunny Ice Cream Cone keychain because I’m trying to spend money like an adult!|
|I did, however, decide that I’m going to go back for eye makeup that’s specially formulated to run when you cry. It seems like a worthy investment in my line of work. This package advertises that it produces “120% More Tears!”|
|Engrish is even MORE AMUSING than it was before!|
I spent Thursday with Maddycake and had a wonderful time. Los Angeles is having beautiful weather and the plants know that it’s spring:
We went to the zoo where we ate kettle corn and saw the only bear in Los Angeles.
|I mostly took this photo for Heather, because she loves elephants!|
We had a lot of awesome conversations and shared feelings about spanking, modeling and submission. I love being with people who can relate to me on those levels and getting a variety of viewpoints. I also just love Maddy because she’s the greatest.
I know it probably makes me sound a bit whiny, and it’s surely a First World Spanko Problem, but I really miss Malignus. I feel a lot of nostalgia for the time when I first met him and we lived halfway across the country from each other. I don’t mean that I preferred the way that things were back then, or that I even miss it, but I feel a warm happiness at the memory of a time which was very different but also very good and extremely influential to my life. I did, however, have a “you can’t go back” kind of moment: the particular corner in my old bedroom (since R and Zeki still live in the apartment that we shared, but with different roommates) which I spent a considerable amount of time in under Malignus’ will now has an L shaped desk in it. I wanted to go back into the space where I did a lot of thinking, learning and developing. Since I was unable to do so, I ran over many greatly influential moments in my mind. I learned long ago that a thing or a place does not hold memories: one does in oneself.
Being here, though, makes me very aware of the path that our relationship took and makes me both proud and happy that things came to the place where they are now. Sometimes, I get bogged down in our work schedules and the dirty dishes and things that need to get done and the small conflicts that inevitably take place when one lives with another person.I don’t lose sight of how important my relationship with Malignus is, nor how much we love and mean to one and other, but I occasionally need to take a step back to be reminded that I’m living my dream life when it comes to the really important stuff. Being given, essentially, a tour of my previous life reminds me of the growth and changes that have occurred in the past year and a half.
Honestly, in nearly every way, Los Angeles is superior to Sioux Falls. The ways in which it is not are pretty simple: the price of things and the traffic. Being in LA has made me aware of all the things that I miss from here: In-N-Out Burger, a variety of Dungeons, kink groups and BDSM stores, cheap and delicious ethnic food, the Pacific Ocean, the fog making Malibu Canyon into another world, Amoeba Records, a wide variety of people who have read the books I’ve read and wish to discuss them, Archlight Theaters, Little Tokyo, hot girls in bohemian dresses, beautifully crafted tattoo work, creperies, cup cake shops, gourmet food trucks, four Sanrio Smiles stores in one city, pretty much every store ever, the Santa Monica Promenade, gay bars, rock clubs, organic burger places, the Gold Line train and the Chinatown flea market. The list goes on and on. Los Angeles is pretty freaking amazing (if hella expensive!). When I’m catching up with friends and meeting those who joined my cliques while I was away, I’m always getting asked why I moved to South Dakota and whether or not it was worth it.
I look around at all this stuff, all this glittery and gloriously entertainment, the libraries full of books, the museums full of paintings and photographs, the parks and the theme parks.
Am I happy without all this? Yes.
I’m amazingly happy to visit Los Angeles and would love to do so frequently. But at the end of the day, I’m looking forward to getting back to a place where I can drive without worrying about causing an accident that kills 80 people, where I can afford to go to dinner and a movie without feeling guilty about spending so much money, and far more importantly, where I’m with Malignus nearly every day. Spending my days with him and Heather is a greater joy than I ever expected to know.
Note from the future: I don’t actually support a lot of what I said in this post anymore. There are A LOT of signs that my relationship was unhealthy that can be seen here.
For the past few months, I’ve been working on a particular skill within the realm of submitting to spankings. I’m very, very good at taking hard spankings with the right atmosphere. The atmosphere, however, has always been highly important for my success with these things. I generally experience these things as if I am being “guided” to a particular headspace and then kept there. I think this is partially because my early spanking experiences were highly directed and I never learned how to create a headspace for myself and partly because when it comes to physical things, I’m far better at passive submission than active submission. Recently, we’ve been working on my ability to give myself over to a hard spanking without direct assistance.
It is way, way more difficult than it sounded to me in the beginning.
No atmosphere means no phrases of comfort or reaffirmation, no “good girl”s, no questions that focus my mind on submission like “to whom does your body belong?” or “do you want this spanking?” It turns out those things go an extremely long way towards creating a submissive headspace for me.
It also means no warmup. This is the biggest difference between the kinds of non-punitive spankings I was used to getting and the kind that I’ve been getting recently. A warmup eases me into a scene both physically and mentally. The mental side of it is what’s the most important for me. It gives me time to accept the fact that I’m being spanked and slowly start giving myself over to the spanking, suspending my sense of self preservation and surrendering my free will for the time being. It’s like slowly inching forward to get wet in a lake before going swimming (this analogy is particularly effective for me because I have a strong fear of water so preparing to submerge myself is far more mental than physical, but I’m sure that it will make at least some sense to others). You take one step, then another step, then another and at first every step makes you gasp from the cold but eventually, you put your head entirely under the water and then you’re ready and can swim for however long you want.
Without a warmup and with few words of guidance or correction, I’m more like a cat who has just been dropped into a full tub for her bath than a swimmer slowly preparing to enjoy the water. The first smack hits my bottom and I pretty much immediately start crying out, rolling back and forth on Malignus’ lap, yelling in the style that Ami would call “like a dying monster” and being entirely incapable of keeping position. This is relative to my normal ability to be extremely still: I’ve seen other girls who simply have to be held down and pinned in place to take a spanking, and recently, I saw one of my friends climb over a couch when her arms were being held down and she was trying to escape swats. The logistics of that maneuver still befuddle me. To my own credit, I will add that I’ve never put my hand back during a spanking, that I’ve never gotten off the Top’s lap, that I’ve only kicked a Top in the face twice and that it’s been over three years since that time that I broke a lamp. Basically, I’m not horrible, but I try to cling to my resistance as much as possible and relaxing and giving myself over to being spanked isn’t the first thing on my mind. In fact, instead of thinking about how much I want to be spanked and how I never want it to end, I find myself latching onto thoughts of how it’s too hard, it hurts too much, I can’t be still for it and I want it to be over. Not very productive.
|That’s my brain, basically, when I’m not doing things right.|
I’ve been working on this for a long time, and that’s not to say that every spanking I receive is done in this method and intended to work on this. Malignus had told me that I’d been making progress but I personally was getting frustrated with myself: I knew what things I should be doing during a spanking and I just never brought myself to do them.
Last week, we obtained a new implement. Peachy Keane sent it to me as part of a gift box. I’ve talked about Jenny before: the wooden spatula that Malignus loves and most girls hate. Here’s a photo of Jenny, in case anyone wasn’t sure what it looked like:
Ben is about 1.5 – 1.75 times as thick as Jenny. This was EXTREMELY noticeable the first time I was spanked with it. Jenny was my “warm up” (this was quick and very firm) and then he started to hit me with Ben. I kicked and bucked around and screamed and could barely be kept under basic control. I’m pretty sure that the spanking ended earlier than intended because I was taking it with so little grace and dignity. But geeze! That thing is HORRIBLE. It’s the epitome of an awful spoon (you can tell because scotchgrove calls his “the perfect spoon.” )
The other day, I got into a mood and I started having a really awful attitude while Malignus and I were trying to get things done in a limited amount of time. I’m really ashamed of the way I acted. I was scolded about my attitude and just a minute later, he asked me something and I responded rudely and immaturely. He then started to scold me very, very harshly. I snapped out of my funk immediately and began to cry guiltily. I was suddenly aware of just how badly I’d been behaving. A minute or so later, he called me into the bedroom. He was sitting on the edge of the bed holding Ben. I felt a mix of terror and relief– despite my extreme dislike of that implement, I knew that I deserved to be disciplined for my behavior and I wanted him to spank me very hard. Once I had bared my bottom and gotten over his lap, he gave me another stern scolding and then did just that. It felt as though he really laid into me with it (I say this in non-concrete terms because the way that I experience pain during a disciplinary spanking is different than usual and often much more severe). There was no denying the fact that he spanked me very thoroughly, but because of my mindset at the time, I lay quite still and did nothing but cry submissively into my pillow. The spanking finished with corner time followed by a long, comforting hug and a chance for me to behave better. I spent the rest of the afternoon focusing on being cheerful and getting things done, and I was successful at both.
Later, when we were driving in the car to go out to eat, Malignus noted that I had been very still for my spanking. It hadn’t even registered to me that I had: I had been focusing on other things. This was important for me because it had reminded me just what I was capable of. When I want to, I can endure anything. This had stopped being a reality for me when I had continuously failed at my earlier attempts to fully submit. That night, Malignus gave me a bedtime spanking with a different spoon. My bottom was still sore from my discipline earlier that day, but I know he didn’t spank me as hard or with as fast a pace as he usually does. Still, I was able to channel the same feeling of wanting to be spanked and I successfully gave over to the spanking. I was very proud of myself, indeed, and Malignus told me that he was proud as well.
|This post has too many words in it! It needs one of these!|
Since then, I’ve only had one other spanking, which was also with Ben. I took that one similarly well. It’s exciting to feel like I’m on a roll and finally mastering something and making real, measurable progress.
Note- This post is kind of mushy and self-serving. I’m okay with this.
As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t remember a time before I was obsessed with spanking. It was always there in the back of my mind and it felt like some sort of strange defect in me. There were times when I felt like it would ruin me. There were times when I felt like I needed to be institutionalized because of it. There were times when I wanted to kill myself over it. Dramatic much?
Now that I’ve met the most amazing man, made some of the best friends I’ve ever had and been part of one of the most positive communities I’ve ever been involved in because of spanking, it seems pretty stupid. I’ve talked before about my anxiety, but to most, I think I seem pretty well adjusted about my life in Spankingland. And I am. I love it. It’s a source of positivity, joy, happiness, growth and relief.
That said, I must confess to feeling something that I know many other spankos either feel or have felt: shame.
Shame was a corner-stone of my upbringing. The Christian environment in which I was raised taught me that there was a particular way that God made humans and that deviation from that norm was sinful and shameful. My early rational mind believed that things should make sense. If something didn’t make sense, there was probably something wrong with it. Unfortunately, my obsession with spanking didn’t fit the way that I believed I was meant to perceive a “normal,” godly individual, nor did it make any sense.
I got over the God part. I rebelled against the idea of the social norm and preferred to simply be myself. I came to enjoy being a blatant and unabashed sinner. Still, I want to live in a world which makes sense. I want to understand the origins of my actions. I want to know who I am and why. When something is veiled from me, I become angry and frustrated. I taught myself never to accept “just because” as an answer to things. I want to know why I’m like this. I want to know what made me this way. Is it genetic? Is one of my parents secretly a spanko? Is it something I was exposed to when I was very young and before I had the ability to retain memories? Is it entirely without reason, some random fluke? I’ve long believed that knowing why I ended up a spanko would make being one easier for me.
The truth is, I can’t know why, and knowing why wouldn’t be useful to me anyway. It wouldn’t change anything. It wouldn’t make anything that feels wrong feel right. I, however, can do those things without any answers being required.
The origin of my affliction may be unknown, but the nature of the beast is not.
I’m a spanko. I like to be spanked. I like baring my bottom and lying over a lap. I like the feeling of being bare and vulnerable. I like the spanking itself. Even when it’s horrible, even when it’s with an implement I hate, even when I struggle and have a hard time lying still. I like to be spanked until I cry. I like to have my thighs spanked. I like the feeling of submission, of giving up my will. I like to be spanked for fun. I like to laugh during a spanking. I like having someone in my life who will give me disciplinary spankings when I am not my best. I like having an opportunity to grow. I like being corrected. I like being put in the corner. It makes me feel safe and contemplative. I like being put there with my bottom bare after a spanking to remain in the feeling of vulnerability, gather my thoughts and get the most that I can from the experience. I like getting spanked with my female friends. I like being comforted after a spanking, a gentle hand rubbing my back or my sore bottom. I like waking up and still feeling sore from the night before. I like learning about myself as a submissive and striving to be better. I like being rewarded with a hard spanking that brings me to happy tears when I’ve done an excellent job. I like getting a hard smack on my thigh or bottom at random, just because he feels like it. I like being a vessel for sadism. I like spankings that relieve my stress. I like spankings that make me feel loved. I like spankings that hurt terribly. I like spankings that don’t hurt quite as much.
I’ve found a way to be happy with who I am. It doesn’t matter why I am the person that I am. It only matters that I admit it and that I am going to force myself to stop feeling ashamed. Because you know what? You’re here, too. You like it, too. You wouldn’t be here, reading this, if you didn’t like spanking: giving it, getting it, watching it, thinking about it. Whatever. There’s a part of it that you like. That’s okay. Maybe you were born with it, like me. Maybe this is the first time that spanking has ever crossed your mind. Maybe you’ve got some other kink, or you’re mainly a BDSM person, and you’re interested in spanking. I won’t judge you. I won’t judge myself, either. And if someone DOES know, if someone DOES have the ability to read my mind when I’m thinking about spanking in the grocery store, if someone IS mentioning it in vanilla conversation because they suspect something about me, then oh, well. There’s nothing I can do about that. It’s certainly not the worst thing in the world. If people don’t like me for it, then there’s nothing I can do about that, either. It won’t be any different than the friends I lost for having a girlfriend. I’m not going to throw it anyone’s face, but I don’t see the point in being so afraid anymore.
Really, I have nothing to be afraid of. Except the cane. And the lexan. Aaaaaaaaaaand pretty much anything on my thighs. 😉
Note- this entry has very little spanking in it and mostly deals with submission, sadism and video games. Kthnx.
I don’t really remember how the whole thing got started. It had to do with the fact that I made the mistake of bringing my N64 and the combined collection of me and my elder brother’s game cartridges with me when I moved. I had figured that Malignus and I would have fun playing classic games together, that I could play Pokemon Snap, and that there would probably be something in my selection that Malignus would enjoy playing himself.
Little did I know that in that cardboard box, I had packed my new worst enemy in the form of a shiny, gold game cartridge that was once my brother’s.
It turns out that Malignus loves The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. I had watched my brothers play parts of it when I was a girl, but had found it too frustrating for me and never even maintained a save file. At some point, Malignus got the idea that he was going to make me play it. What started out as a simple assignment quickly turned into a nightmare: I’ve never been worse at anything in my life. I’m not kidding when I say that. Every frustrating thing I’ve ever attempted- learning to drive, doing ballet, jumping hurdles when I ran track and field, learning about Quantum Physics, writing characters in traditional Chinese with a brush and ink- they all pale in comparison to the difficulty that I have with playing Zelda. It’s worse because I’m traditionally a fast study at video games, even those that I don’t like. Yet here are a few scenarios that I’ve run into when playing this one:
* I attempted to get past one hallway which is littered with traps a total of 37 times before I got through.* I prepared for a boss battle by collecting two red fairies (items that let you regain all your life when you die) and having full health and then died entirely before I entered the room. That means that I lost 30 hearts in a single hallway which was supposedly so simple that the people who make walkthroughs for Zelda didn’t even bother to say anything besides “avoid these guys and go in the door.”*I spent a total of two and a half hours attempting to beat a boss that is described in the walkthrough as being able to be beaten in literally less than a minute.*I dedicated three hours to completing one dungeon. At the end of the first half of that time, I had not yet made it past the first of five steps it takes to ENTER said dungeon.
|The Trinity of Terror +1|
The first couple of times that Malignus told me I was going to play Zelda after it was shown just how horrid I am at it, I responded by whining and protesting in a way most out of character for me. This attitude was quickly abandoned when I was asked if I needed a caning to motivate me. Still, there were times when I simply didn’t listen to what he was instructing me to do in the game, or I didn’t try, or I just kept royally failing at things and he decided that I needed that “motivation.” You know what words are always scary?
“I’m getting the cane.”
That can never not be scary. Some very stupid part of me didn’t except Malignus to actually come back with a cane the first time he said that regarding Zelda. I mean, who gets caned over video games? Answer: me. Not only did he come back with one, but he came back with the scariest one I own (pictured above) and gave me a pretty hard stroke with it. He then continued to sit near me waving it back and forth (it’s extremely flexible) and hitting the furniture to “keep me focused.” I guess it kinda worked. I certainly started putting forth full effort. Slowly but surely, putting in an hour or two at a time, I made it through quite a bit of the game. In some ways, I improved, but I remained horribly bad at platforming, dodging traps and fighting bosses.
Yesterday afternoon, Malignus told me to start playing Zelda again and I responded by asking if I could finish something first. I didn’t stop right away when he said “No,” even though we’ve “talked” (I’m sure you understand what that means, right?) about that sort of thing fairly often recently. As a result, I ended up getting sentenced to play through two dungeons of Zelda before bedtime instead of one. Because I’m a highly responsible person, I played until he left for work and then went to the store to get waffles, then played a little more, then talked to a partner, then took a nap, then text messaged Peachy for a while, then talked to Heather online and only started playing with true focus and dedication at 8:30 PM.
I kept playing for the next five hours and I still didn’t finish the amount of game that I’d been told to do. While I played, I felt a flurry of emotions. The primary one was frustration. I was frustrated at the stupid game for being so damn difficult, at Malignus for making me do such a stupid thing, and, more than anything else, at myself for sucking so hard. I nearly broke my controller at least once. I got so pissed off that I started intentionally abusing my horse, Epona, who I had originally promised never to hurt, just to have a vessel for my rage.
At one point, I got so angry about it that I got tears in my eyes. It was then that I had to remember why, exactly, Malignus was having me play Zelda. It wasn’t purely sadism (although I can’t help but believe that it was at least part of it). It was to teach me to persevere without getting angry, to apply the things I already knew about the world to new situations, to use my brain and to be patient. It probably also had to do with time management: something I’d failed at yet again. With this in mind, and with the knowledge that my D/s dynamic is founded around the idea that I may not fail myself, I continued to trudge forward.
When I finally fell asleep at 3:30 this morning, I hadn’t finished the amount of Zelda that I’d been assigned, but I was damn proud of myself for my endurance in making it as far as I did. There’s something very satisfying in giving something, even something that seems dumb, your all. I know that next time won’t be as bad. It’s kind of amazing how horrible/educational everything can be.
I’m a pretty confident girl, right?
Back-tracking through the stories I’ve told on this blog, I’ve been photographed topless in Manhattan in the winter, done my first spanking video as a model, traveled to San Francisco to attend the Folsom Street Fair, shot with several other spanking production companies, gotten hot wax poured on me, a needle shoved into my body and cups full of suction on my back and moved across the country.
My image appears in various states of undress and bruisedness quite a few places on the internet. I’m perfectly acceptable showing a lot of sides of myself in photographic form.
Publicly, I’m as okay with being this girl:
As I am being this girl:
The other day, I was hanging out with one of my friends. We were having a lot of down-time, and every now and then, I’d space out and start daydreaming. After a little while of this, she said:
“Alex, what’s going on? You’re glowing like a pregnant fox!”
It took me a minute to figure out WTF she meant. Eventually, I figured out that she was making a reference to the film The Fantastic Mr. Fox.
So, I didn’t look exactly like that, but there’s no denying the fact that I’ve been very, very happy on a regular basis. There’s a lot of stress, sadness and uncertainty in my life right now, but everything is overwhelmed by a feeling of joy, excitement and mushiness. (No, I’m not pregnant.)
In just one month, I’ll be starting on the adventure which will bring me to my new home in South Dakota. Moving is inherently stressful. I have a long list of things that I need to get done in the next 31 days. It’s also bittersweet: Los Angeles became a home to me in the past two years that I’ve lived here. I realized that the next Pasadena Roses and Thorns munch will be my last (until I get back to LA for a visit and to do more spanking modeling) and that was a saddening thought. Roses and Thorns was my very first kinky event. I attended it not even a year ago. There, I met awesome people who would become constants in my experience in the community. I also met Princesstoy, one of my best friends in the kink world and out of it, through that munch, and later Epipelagic, Charlie Frown and MaskofNormality: friends who have never failed to bring a smile to my face and an engaging conversation to any setting.
My experience with Roses and Thorns lead me to step up to the challenge of creating a The Next Generation munch for Pasadena, which later evolved into PTNG: an amazing group of young people who have a ton of fun while educating ourselves about the kink scene. I’m going to miss that group, terribly. I’ll especially miss Maddycake and Sir_Siq, who have been there since the very first munch and who have become a very important, joyful part of my life. I’ll also be missing all the people I’ve met through Threshold, Fet Noir, The Eastside Munch and, especially, Sherman Oaks. I’ve had a few uncomfortable experiences, that’s true, but in general, I love the Los Angeles scene. I will always feel at home there. I’m very thankful to everyone who has made that experience what it’s been for me, and I’m looking forward to spending the next month having as many fun and rewarding interactions with everyone as is humanly possible. I can’t list everyone who has touched me (both emotionally and *ahem* physically) for lack of space, but know this: you are wonderful people, Angelinos. I’m very, very grateful that I got to know you and that I’ll be able to continue to interact with you long distance and on my visits.
The sadness of saying “goodbye”, even if it is not forever, plus the stress of having what seems like hundreds of things to do in the next month seem like they might overwhelm a girl. It’s true: I’ve certainly felt vulnerable. There have been times since the plans were set in motion when I let myself get a little too emotional and abandon some of my rationality, especially when talking about things that could be scary in the future. Still, the majority of my time has been spent with a giant smile on my face. Malignus (my boyfriend and Dominant with whom I am moving in) and I love each other a lot, and we complement each other beautifully. I’ve never desired to share my time and space with someone so strongly. I know it’s mushy, but I’ve talked a lot about the things I wanted but thought I’d never have, and a relationship like the one that the two of us share is at the very top of that list. I’m mostly focused on the excitement of the future.
|This is me, being positively unable to stop smiling.|
I hadn’t taken the time to talk about the fact that this is going on in my life in this particular venue, and I do feel it’s something worth sharing. I’m downright giddy at the prospect of the two of us being able to share our days. This Summa Cum Laude graduate from a Seven Sisters University is currently spending her days dreaming of making sandwiches, cleaning house and getting spanked on a daily basis. <dreamy sigh.> I’m sure there will be a lot of posts about things relating to this in the future, so I wanted to keep everyone up-to-date.
As I mentioned in my last post, I headed up to Folsom Street Fair last weekend with three of my friends from the Los Angeles scene. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing, but I’m very glad that I ended up going. For those who are not familiar, Folsom Street Fair is the world’s largest BDSM gathering and is held every year in San Francisco. It has a very heavy Leather focus and is largely (but by no means exclusively) attended by gay men. I was warned in advance that San Francisco’s kink scene in general, and especially the fair, had a much stronger presence of Old Guard practices and high protocol.
In order to explain why attending this event was a rather big step for me, there are a few things that need to be established first. I identify as a spanko, and I didn’t really see Spankingland as being a subset of the BDSM community. I’ve always viewed it as a similar but parallel community that often gets lumped together with BDSM due to said similarities. At my worst, I can get downright snobby about the differences between spankos and “regular” kinksters. I’ve often felt slightly out of place in the general kink community. My move to Los Angeles and my involvement in the scene here, however, changed some of these feelings. I discovered that not only did I have a place within the scene, but I was able to become a group leader and event organizer. I even went so far as to get myself involved in local Leather politics on the side of female submissives with male Dominants. Despite these things, I still felt very ill at ease around anything stemming directly from the Old Guard tradition. It’s a tradition that was founded around something very specific which has nothing to do with me. Protocol has always felt to me like it was trying to force the wide world of kink into a tiny, black leather box. I want my relationships, my experience and what I participate in my community to be my own, with everything tailored to my needs, desires and comforts.
Still, no matter what other feelings exist, I love the people I’ve become close to through the scene in Los Angeles. Whenever I’ve felt like an outsider, or like I don’t truly belong, the people have kept me coming back. I headed up to Folsom mostly because of the people: I wanted to have an adventure with my friends. In a way, though, it was a quest for better understanding of the larger kink community and whether or not I belong within it.
We had a good time driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco. We had fast food, we chatted, we had a passionate sing-along rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and we honked the horn all the way through every tunnel. We rolled into San Francisco after dark and checked into our hotel, then showered and got ready to go to The Citadel, one of their local Play-Spaces. We met up with a friend’s (scene) Daddy and Mommy and headed over with them.
I’ve only played in BDSM Play-Spaces a handful of times, and I’ve never played anywhere that allowed sexual contact, so seeing the amount of straight out sex that was happening at The Citadel made me slightly uncomfortable. It isn’t that I’m any stranger to sex, it’s simply that sex and kink simply do not mix for me. My brain kept coming up with error messages as I observed a latex clad Mistress pegging a man in a sex swing right next to a man whipping a nude girl in high heels. Eventually, though, I got more comfortable, although I don’t think I would ever be comfortable being spanked in a setting like that. The dim lighting, the fancy, intimidating looking bondage furniture and the industrial soundtrack were cool, but they certainly didn’t “do it” for me.
None of us really ended up playing at The Citadel, but it was interesting to get to observe another city’s scene. Aside from the sex, it really didn’t seem that different than what I’ve observed at Play-Spaces in Los Angeles. There seemed to be a pretty even mix of men and women, and I didn’t feel any different attitude towards protocol or tradition. Maybe, it occurred to me, I was worrying about nothing. We got back to the hotel fairly late and I was too sleepy to go with my friends to Denny’s, so I went up to the room and fairly immediately fell asleep. I woke up later to eat the french toast they brought back for me with my hands, then fell immediately back to sleep. I love sleeping.
|It was a gray day at first.|
The next morning, we got up, spent a while getting dressed and then headed down to the fair. On our way over, we stopped at the store Mr. S Leather. Let me tell you: “unacceptable” does not even begin to cover my feelings towards the implements they sell there. They had metal canes, paddles covered in corse sandpaper, paddles made entirely of some kind of awful, dense rubber that made my rubber “running track” paddle (which is up there on the list of things that make me cry) look positively snuggly and things that they called “slappers” but I’d call “excessive force for riot control.” I also got to handle something that I’ve long considered “unacceptable”: a wooden paddle with a piece of tire tread set inside of it. I left there with a strange set of warm and affectionate feelings towards all of my implements ;).
Upon entering the fair itself, I felt rather uncomfortable by the variety of people representing their various niches that surrounded me. There were a ton of gay leathermen, naked people, people in medieval garb, furries, ponyboys and girls, those in corsets, those in latex… the list went on and on. While at first I found myself looking around to see if there might be even one other spanko in the crowd, after I got more comfortable with my surroundings I came to an interesting conclusion: there were no two people in this crowd who had exactly the same kink experience or desires. The community was a fragmented group of people who were all okay with each other. There were people from Old Guard Leather groups next to young women with pigtails and their boobs out. There was a shibari booth just down the way from a group into puppy play. There was a free HIV testing clinic next to a booth about barebacking it.
|There was even a girl dressed like this 😛|
There was an incredible variety of vendors there. There were corsets and jock straps and fur tails and butt plugs. There were solid metal paddles and rubber canes that could take (if I remember properly) 32,000 pounds of force. There were wooden paddles that I wouldn’t bother buying because one scene would leave them in pieces. There was even a t-shirt that was appropriate for me:
|I think it’s on the back so it can be read while I’m over a lap, where I belong 😀|
I also suspended my sense of self preservation for a moment and bought this unacceptable thing:
I mean, seriously, that’s like, what a panda eats. It just feels dull when tested but after the lag is full of ache and bite. Have you seen how thick that is? Is that even legal? Why do I DO these things to myself? Also, my face is amazing in that photo. I just need to point that out.
What’s more important, when I wandered off on my own part-way through the day, I was able to have one on one conversations about the history of the SoMa (or “South of the Slot”) scene with a number of older men who had been around for a long time. I found it a great honor that they would choose to share their oral history (please, no puns!) with a young girl from a very different niche than them. I found my feelings of prejudice practically melting away and my respect for what all of us do growing. Folsom Street Fair taught me that there is no right and wrong in the community as long as it doesn’t harm anyone and everyone gives consent. I always knew this in my mind, I always believed this for myself, but I feel like the community validated this for me. The Spanking Community is my home, but I feel very OK with my home being a subgroup of a big, crazy scene full of all types of people and activities.
I’ve long felt spite about the fact that women were not included in the scene for a very long time and that prejudices against them still exists in some Old Guard circles. I expressed this to an aging man that I met at one of the quieter booths when he asked me about how my experience was as a young woman in a place where there are still a few “Men Only” signs. What he said almost brought tears to my eyes. He said:
“I regret the way we treated the women, especially the dykes, early on, but it’s true: we didn’t make the scene for everyone. We did it for ourselves. We did it because it was in our blood. We did it to create the first place where we could be free and safe. We did it to protect ourselves. We did it for love and passion. We did it because we had to. Now that everything is said and done, I want nothing more than for everyone to do the same thing for themselves. Do what you have to do to be happy, but for God’s sake, don’t get AIDS.” (This is paraphrasing. I did not tape record any of the conversations I had during this hour or so that I spent exploring and asking questions, since I didn’t really plan on taking oral history, but I really wish I had and I intend to next year.)
I showed the man my bandage from where I had just been given a rapid HIV/Hep screening and told him that I tested negative. I saw in his eyes the pain of being a survivor when your friends are dead or dying from a horrible illness. I wondered about the people he was thinking of as his eyes glazed over for a second. I, too, thought of the people I’ve lost to AIDS already and those that I’ve been slowly losing over the years.
I know it is off-topic, but it is extremely important to me. Know your HIV status. Practice Universal Precaution. Teach your friends how to stay negative. Test even if you don’t think you have any risk factors, especially if you play in public spaces. Those men in our community that died of AIDS in the 80’s and 90’s (including the philosopher Foucault, who I am in love with on an intellectual level) simply did not have any way of knowing what they were up against. There was no research. There was no education. With the information, prevention strategies and prenatal treatment options that we have now, there is no reason for anyone new to be infected. We have the power to let education spread more quickly than the virus.
When I finished these conversations, I felt taken aback and very introspective. I didn’t talk to anyone about them until today: I came back to my friends and kept what I’d been doing to myself until I had time to process it. I then had some fun messing around with awesome people at the SoCal Shibari booth, then my friend’s daddy took us to get Indian food and introduced me to Mulligatawny soup, thus changing my life forever. Seriously, it was the best thing I ever ate. I ate most of it, even though it was supposed to be for sharing >_<. Then we helped pack up the our friends’ booth and headed home. The drive home always feels a lot longer than the trip there, but we got into a lot of important and frank conversations about our lives and histories. I got home feeling too tired to move, but the experience was one of the most educational ones I’ve ever had. It’s a beautiful thing to observe your own mind opening.