Anal sex and bdsm

It’s sometimes assumed that anal sex is almost a sub-category within bdsm, that anal sex is inherently bdsm, and people who do bdsm necessarily have anal sex.

Of course this isn’t true. Lots of vanilla heterosexual and vanilla gay couples have anal sex without it having any bdsm resonance for them; it’s just a variation. And lots of bdsm people don’t have anal sex in their repertoire. They are different categories, bdsm sex and anal sex. Some people do both, and some people do one or the other.

Still, I’m one of the people who does both. And I find that I feel very masterly, very dominant, while taking a submissive woman anally. It doesn’t have to be a bdsm thing, but when it happens in a bdsm context, then for me it becomes very strong, very intensely bdsm.

So, I thought, how come? What are the connections between anal sex and bdsm? 

The obvious and wrong answer is that the submissive receives and the dominant penetrates: they take the “active” role. But that isn’t necessarily how anal works in bdsm works. Aleister Crowley, for example, used to flog his male submissives, and then make them bugger him. He’d give instructions on how fast or how deep, and they knew they were in trouble if they didn’t please their master. 

It’s never what you do, in bdsm: it’s what it means.

I think the thing that’s common to both anal sex and bdsm is that they have a kind of hard intimacy. I think of the Nine-Inch Nails song, “I want to fuck you like an animal; I want to feel you from the inside.” Which isn’t necessarily a song about anal sex. Still, it’s that urge that I’m thinking about; to be truly inside one’s submissive’s body, to feel her.

The vagina is in a sense part of the outside of the body. (Germaine Greer got in trouble for pointing this out, a few years back; but for once the mad old bat was right). It’s not a hole; more like a fold, or an indentation, in the body, a thick-skinned one, evolved to deal with the outside world and with intrusions.

The anus is different. It’s thin-skinned. That’s one reason why anal sex is more risky, in terms of contact injuries and viral transmission.

In a strict medical sense the anus can also be said to be outside the body, the same sense in which the whole system involving the mouth, the throat, stomach and entire alimentary canal, is outside the body. Think of it was the inner part of a tube; the interior curve of a tube is still part of the exterior surface of the tube. Or, if you like, think of a tea-cup. You put tea “in” the cup, but the tea-receptacle part of a cup is still outside of the cup itself. Inside the cup, it’s porcelain.

But still, the hell with science and medicine.

The experience is that anal penetration is intimate. You are closer; you have to take greater care because of that; there’s great intimacy, of sensitive male flesh and skin inside sensitive female flesh and skin, moving together, carefully, body to body. (Leaving pegging out if it, for the moment: the dildo doesn’t feel anything. It’s the symbolism, not the sensation, that counts.) 

Dominants and submissives need to know each other, to be in something close to telepathic contact. Sometimes that very close contact can be experienced in anal sex.

There are other connections between anal sex and bdsm, but intimacy seems to me to be the most powerful. 

Bdsm guilt, and doing good works

Being into bdsm means knowing that you’re different from most of the people around you. I learned that early. I was with my older brothers and sisters – who didn’t want a 4-year old’s company, but my parents hadn’t given them any choice – and they went to an abandoned forest workers’ hut, that happened to be in the neighbourhood.

For generations, children and adolescents had been going there to play sex games.

Bottles got spun and boys kissed girls, girls cuddled boys, and the penalty for losing a round of any game they played was taking off an item of clothing. And so on.

Anyway, I was much younger so I didn’t take part. I mostly climbed up the shelves on the wall, and found a place where I could look down if I wanted to. A lot of the time I just day-dreamed. But one day they played a game of “school”, where, at the end of each round, someone got spanked. A girl called Donna getting spanked caught my attention, very strongly.

With my little four-year-old hard-on. 

That’s not “why” I’m into bdsm, of course. I was already into bdsm before I entered that shed; I just didn’t know about it. Rather, it was the first time I realised that this was something I was into. It was going to be important to me. And it wasn’t important, it seemed, to anyone else who’d been in that shed. 

But it didn’t take very long to find out some other things. The first is that this is a minority sexuality. My friends weren’t interested. It was just me.

The second thing I learned was even less welcome: people who had this sexual interest weren’t admired and respected, to put it mildly. 

People like me were the villains in movies and TV shows. We were evil. We were sick. I was a priggish little bastard when I was a kid, so I wasn’t happy about being evil. I wanted a moral pass-mark, at least.  

So I devoted most of my life to Good Works. My first job was as a psychiatric nurse. Then I did a social work degree. I helped set up the first domestic violence women’s refuge in my part of the world. I set up the first union for unemployed people that’d existed, in my part of the world, since the 1930s. I helped set up Shelter in my part of the world.

I campaigned for, and won, changes to landlord-tenant laws that meant landlords couldn’t just go round to tenants and throw them out of the property and change the locks any more.

I went on anti-racism events and got clubbed by cops. Though ridiculously straight, I’d put on my pink triangle and go on gay rights marches and vigils. You get the picture. 

One thing that strikes me, looking back on this period, is that I hardly ever hung round with political people when I wasn’t doing politics. I didn’t actually like them very much.

I didn’t like their jockeying for power, and I didn’t want power for myself. The social changes I worked for all had the effect of sharing out power, not concentrating it. Especially not into my hands.

(The people I hung round with were more drug-oriented artist types. Much more fun, and much sexier.)

You can’t get more evil than Frank Thring. The thing simply can’t be done.

My point is that I wouldn’t have done all this, I don’t think, if I hadn’t felt guilty about being into bdsm. I wanted to be a good person. You know, not a saint, but at least not as floridly evil as a James Bond villain. Or Frank Thring.

They were all good causes, and I’m still proud of the work I did. But in part it was compensation.

It meant that in the self-critical darkness of the night I could argue to myself that I couldn’t be all bad. I might be one sick fuck, but at least I was a useful one.

Has anyone else had their life course shaped in this way, by social attitudes to bdsm?

What is this “hard, rough and unprotected” thing in women’s bdsm porn?

I’ve got a novel that I expect to have finished and on the market by the end of this month. One of my beta readers said it was “like Ben Elton, but with explicit sex”. I’m happy with that as a genre.

I don’t want it to be marketed as “erotica with comedy elements”. I’d rather it was “an extremely sexy comic novel”.

Though, of course, I want it published, and once I have a publisher I don’t care if they market it as “the best thing since Nigella in the Kitchen“, so long as they give me money. 

But I was looking through Kindle, checking out bdsm books, for the marketing and the prices. There are writers out there asking for $6.99 for a semi-literate 15-page wank fantasy, and I have to say that I think they’re dreaming. For all that I think writers should be paid in diamonds, rubies, oysters, champagne and free sex, I still think asking for about $1.50 a page, for 15 pages, is eye-wateringly lazy and greedy.

On the other hand, I expect that no one buys that stuff, so perhaps it doesn’t matter. Nice try, is all.

Anyway, the other thing that struck me was the amount of anti-condom messaging, where one of the hot bits for the intended reader (the target audience seems to be women) is the bit where the male lust object tells the heroine that he’s going to fuck her hard, without a condom. 

I wondered what the hell that was about. Here are my three guesses.

  1. Maybe it’s some kind of cultural side-effect of the resurgence of the religious right. Anti-birth control measures are not just getting into US laws, they’re also getting into the porn. 
  2. Most people who use condoms probably don’t actually like them. I use condoms. But where we’re being sexually exclusive, been tested, and so on, skin to skin is far more intimate, more sensual, and, in the Erica Jong sense, more zipless. But the “hard, rough and unprotected” porn usually won’t even mention condoms, or the advantages of bareback. Still, maybe for once they’re being subtle.
  3. A fair proportion of the books end with the heroine in advanced, blissful pregnancy. Her sexual rival – often her mother – has gone, and now she’s happy being looked after by the step-father. She didn’t get a billionaire, but at least she got a guy who owns his own home and has a job. So, like the billionaire porn, it’s partly sexual and partly an economic fantasy.

The truth is, I don’t really understand “hard, rough and unprotected” porn. When I read a sex scene in this genre, I tend to see it as something like this:

“He pushed her down and as her legs sprawled apart, helpless from her own wanton desires, with one powerful, masculine lunge he exposed her to STDs and unwanted pregnancy.”

This is not hot, to me. But obviously it is for a lot of people. I’m not being a snob and I’m not mocking. I genuinely want to understand this genre. 

Can anybody help?

 

Julian “I’m Wearing You” Assange

One other point, since we’re talking about condoms.

If you get sexual consent by agreeing to use a condom, and then don’t use a condom without informing your partner, the law on obtaining consent by deception is clear in pretty much all jurisdictions in the world.

If you do that, you’re a rapist.

What can doms say about submission?

The legendary and wonderful Molly was a bit irritated by my saying that, in one sense, submission is simple. See  here.

This isn’t another instalment in an argument. Peace has broken out. I love and admire Molly, and she thinks I’m sort of ok.

I meant that obeying an order is usually simple physically (psychologically is a whole different question). Therefore a dom may say his or her order is “simple” to obey. While deliberately ignoring how far from simple it is, in psychological or political terms, or in any way other than physically.

That is, a submissive doesn’t need to be an Olympic athlete to bend over a desk. But there are many other reasons why that may be difficult for the submissive. When the dom says it’s “simple”, he or she is deliberately ignoring a lot of complicated things,

What’s worse, the dom is ignoring those psychological truths for fun and sexual pleasure.

But doms, even twoo-doms, often don’t tell the absolute truth, in a scene. For example, a dom might say the submissive is a silly girl, or silly boy, when the dom knows perfectly well that the submissive is anything but silly.

But being put down a little can make the scene hotter for some submissives, so things like “you silly girl” get said. Sometimes what a dom says, in the heat of the moment, is intended to create a scene and make it sexier. When we’re doing that, we are not on oath.

 

Anyway, I want to explain why the stories in this blog are written the way they are. 

The first issue is that almost all of what I write in this blog is based on things that actually happened. I’m only one of the people who took part in that experience, so there’s a whole story or side of a story that isn’t told.

There’s always at least one woman involved in the story. Sometimes there might be two or three perspectives on my actions as a male dom. But I can only write as me, and what I did and what I saw, heard and felt.

An observant dom learns a lot by paying attention in a scene, but it’s still not telepathy. The submissive is another person, with their own thoughts and feelings. 

When I write about a woman (or women if it was a threesome or some other complicated arrangement), I think I have three duties. 

1 I have to preserve their privacy. She (or they) shouldn’t be identifiable, not even by people who know who I am. I change things, cunningly, to make sure that people, sexual partners in particular, preserve their anonymity. I can’t give an example of what I do, for obvious reasons, but sometimes I’m pretty damn clever about that. 

2 I should write about the information the woman or the women gave me about what she/they thought and felt about what was going on.

In writing that, I should always respect those women as people, sexual human beings, and never write about them as male fantasy figures. Though I should write about how sexy they were/are, and the pleasure they gave me and (though it sounds immodest even to mention it) the pleasure I gave them.

3 I should not presume to speak for them. If a woman came, I can say that she came. If she said something nice to me, or critical, I can tell you that. But I can’t presume to get into her mind and tell you what she thought.

I can report responses, actions, things said by the submissive. i try to do that in a way that gives a real sense of both her and me, and makes it reasonably clear what she thought, in general terms. That includes when she was thinking I’m being an idiot, which i try to be honest about.

So I’ll write about her words and sounds and movements of her body, which say a lot, but I ain’t no ventriloquist. And she ain’t no sock puppet.  

So in this blog you get bits of my inner monologue, but not of hers. To me, that silence is an act, or omission, of respect. 

What do you mean, ‘submission is simple’?

On Sinful Sunday I wrote the words, “submission is simple”. 

Those words aren’t entirely true, to put it mildly. I put them in the post because they are, or can be, part of the dialogue between dominant and submissive. The dom may say, “It’s simple. You just have to do as you’re told. I’ll look after the rest.” 

It’s only a limited sense in which submission is simple. If you are the submissive, and your session is going well, and the dom and sub are in synch with each other, then the submissive’s choices are indeed simple. If the dom says, “bend over the table”, or “onto your knees,” or simply, “stay there, don’t speak and don’t move”, the submissive knows what he or she has to do, and does it. 

Simples! 

But the process of acknowledging one’s own submissive desires, as you become sexually active, or at least thinking and desiring sexually, is not simple. That can be a long and hard process, as my acknowledging my own domness was.

The process of going from ordinary head space to a submissive head space, in the interaction between dominant and submissive: that’s not simple at all.

Doms do things that they think will help the submissive make that transition, which vary from person to person. Currently, I give lots of hugs and cuddles and the occasional smack on the bottom, and lots of praise and reassurance, slowly heading to the first use of the command voice. That’s with my lovely girl. If it were a different submissive the approach would be different. 

Like any dom, I can only provide an atmosphere in which it might feel both safe and sexy to submit. The mental work of shutting off the usual rush of thoughts, focussing on the moment and then “dropping”: that’s done by the submissive. 

As a non-switch I don’t have direct, personal access to what moving into the submissive headspace is like.

But just as submissives know things that help bring out the domness in their lover, doms know a certain amount about how submission works and even (imaginatively) what it feels like to enter it.

All lovers work out as much as they can about how and what their partner is feeling, drawing on lovers’ intuition, observation, sand listening.  

So when I said, “submission is simple”, I meant it as a piece of dom rhetoric, the sort of thing that I might (and do) say to the woman in that photo, at about that moment. It focusses only on the part of submission (being told what to do, and doing it) that is – in one sense – simple. 

After that it gets philosophical: nothing is simple, and yet everything is simple. 

“You should be stronger than me”

I’ve been thinking about this Amy Winehouse song for a while now. It’s an odd song. 

In places it sounds like a frustrated submissive telling her dom to lift his game and take over, stepping up to his role. 

Bdsm si! El patriarcado non!

In other places (more often, to be honest) it sounds more like a woman who’s completely internalised patriarchy and sexism. As such she expects a man, any man in any relationship, to take charge. Because that’s the only way it’s right for men to be.

Not because the two of them agreed for it to be that way, maybe after a discussion in which the possibility of other power balances and imbalances was at least recognised. 

Because her man doesn’t tell her what to do and is emotionally open, she’s uncomfortable. She accuses him of being a “lady boy” and asks him if he’s gay.  

Sometimes it sounds like a bdsm song to me: “Dominate me, Henry” . Other times she sounds like those mad, angry Christians who complain that boys are taught to be softies, and go apeshit when gays and intergender people are treated as anything except punching bags. 

In the video, the problem is that the guy drinks and falls over a lot. It completely misses the point of the song. It’s not about drinking problems, it’s about the man and woman having completely different ideas about their roles.

Still, if you were directing a video with Amy W in it, I can see how “drinking and falling down” might have occurred to you as a theme. 

Anyway, I still think the song is hot. Not for the best reasons, but there it is. 

A dom should not be an idiot

When I arrived in Italy, I wrote off a car. It was the first time I’d driven a right hand drive vehicle. I was following a guy who was showing me the way to the castle. 

Never trust a Fiat

But though I’d said he should go slowly he set off at a pretty fast pace down narrow, winding back-country roads. I was trying to be careful by keeping to the right side of road.

Anyway, I managed to catch the tyre on a tree, and the rubber flew off and the car dropped onto the rim. The chassis was absolutely undamaged. It was just a glancing clip that took off the tyre. 

Life being what it is, this happened in front of a carload of cops, carbonieri munizipale. Though at least they took a look at it, decided I hadn’t broken any road rules, and fucked off. Anyway, I’ve listed the extenuating circumstances, but the fact is, I was at the wheel and it was my fault. 

A complete idiot and incompetent

The thing cost me 900 Euros. Worse, it took a huge chunk out of my self-confidence. I don’t like feeling a complete idiot and incompetent, and yet that was exactly the way I was feeling. A man, in particular, isn’t supposed to make mistakes like that.

I know that’s stoo-pid, but it’s what I was taught growing up. And I’d never had to confront that part of my upbringing before because I’ve never hit anything with a car before. So I felt an idiot, and I felt unmanned.

Then my love arrived to join me. She’s a good girl and my support, and I need her. So I got my shit back together. 

But it reminded me forcefully of another fact about domming. Sickness will leech away the energy and the certainty of will that makes me able to do it. So will considering myself to be an idiot. 

A dom, faking it. As we all do

A dom is supposed to have his or her shit together. She or he is supposed to be competent, and therefore reliable and trustworthy. I don’t think my girl felt the worse of me, but I did. It took real focus to lift myself up to the psychological state in which I could could dom.

We doms need certainty that we know what we’re doing and are competent. So, therefore, doms should not be idiots.  

 

Domming with no energy

I’m still recovering from being very very fucking sick. I had a rush of energy a few days ago, and thought I was up and over it, but the last two days have shown me I was, um, mistaken. 

I can’t walk far or do any of the work that needs doing. And I can’t focus enough to write anything that takes focus or concentration. 

But I got to thinking. Right now I couldn’t dom a Jack Russell terrier, let alone a submissive girl. I could probably deliver a spanking, if it wasn’t too strenuous, but overpowering even a submissive who wants to be overpowered is probably beyond me right now.

It’s not about physical energy. It’s mental energy. 

Partly the mental energy involves planning, thinking about what she and I want, and working out a path for getting there, taking in some interesting stops on the way. The nipple clamps? The tawse? Cuffs or rope? Start where? What’s the climax? That kind of planning.

But the real thing is the certainty a dom has to have. Not just when giving an order, but from the very beginning, so the submissive knows she can relax and drop. It’s a great mental space to be in, for the dom, because you can see it working, and because simply being a dom is hot. Simply domming

Domming takes a hell of a lot of energy and will. I don’t mean Will in a magic sense, exactly, but will is really important in bdsm. The dom has to gather it, hold it and use it. But right now, if I ordered a kitten to go away, I think it would ignore me. 

Safewords: is “stop, I’m not enjoying this” a safeword?

In my time as a dom, I’ve accidentally caused emotional distress or excessive pain because:

  • I spanked a girl with my hand instead of a hairbrush, and she thought that meant I was genuinely angry with her and not just playing. That made her emotionally desolate, and triggered some bad stuff that had happened between her and her mother, which she’d never told me about before; 
  • I used a riding crop on another girl’s inner thighs, because the week before she’d loved it when I used my belt there. But this time she was having her period and for her that meant her pain threshold was much lower. The intensity was the same, but this time she experienced it as excessive and a complete sexual turn-off;
  • I had my cock in a girl’s throat, and she started to panic because she couldn’t breathe.

None of those submissive women used a safe word to communicate their distress. The first girl had floated into a bad psychological space, and couldn’t speak. The second couldn’t remember her safe word, and anyway the pain meant she stepped completely out of her submissive headspace. She didn’t care about safe words: she just wanted this to stop. The third girl couldn’t speak, but fortunately she was still keeping her eyes on mine, as I’d ordered, and so I saw submission change to panic.

I stopped, and didn’t start again till I’d found out the problem and dealt with it, the submissive was ok, and was ready to go on. 

Each of those events was unpredictable. The girl who spun into a bad mental state because I’d hand spanked her hadn’t known that was going to be her reaction. There was no way I could reasonably have expected it either. It’s the mildest impact play that there is.

Only up to a point, Lord Copper

Each situation turned out ok and happy because I didn’t wait for a safeword. If I had insisted on the safeword, the first girl would have had a psychologically damaging experience, and lost her trust in me. The second girl would never have continued, or played with me again. The third girl could have have been asphyxiated. 

One more safeword story. I valued the first girl’s trust, because it gave her a safe place to do bdsm. Never mind altruism, she was hot. One reason why she trusted me was that she’d last been with a dom who got a lot of his rules and practices from the internet rather than reality. He tended to dole out physical punishments that were tenuously justified and extremely severe, because he liked to give very severe pain. He’d tied her to a cross, and was whipping her when she broke up with him.

She told him to stop. He kept on whipping her. She told him they were through and she wasn’t taking any more. He kept on whipping her. She was bleeding. She started screaming, by now half angry and half terrified, for him to fucking well stop. But you haven’t safeworded me, he said. He’d sounded smug: that meant he was winning. All you have to do is safe word me. He kept on whipping her.

Um, Rumpelstiltskin? Armidillo? Let me loose NOW, or I’m going to the cops? Mercy? Um, red?…

She couldn’t remember what her safeword was. He’d given it to her, which made it harder. It was Armadillo or Rumpelstilskin or something. She’d blanked on it. She was in an angry, fearful state and she couldn’t calmly ransack through her mind to find it.

Eventually he untied her and said her punishment was over, and to get on her knees and suck his cock.

She left without a word and never went back. I made her tell the story, with the guy’s name, to other submissives. Strictly speaking and technically, he could argue that he’d followed the rules. But he was a dangerous idiot, and a criminal from the instant she’d said they were through. 

So in general I treat, “No”, “Stop” and “This isn’t working for me”, also certain kinds of non-responsiveness, as safewords even though they’re not the agreed safeword. Yes, there are rules in bdsm, but they should never get in the way of a submissive’s health and safety. 

Sometimes, though, I will ignore “No, please stop” because it isn’t the safeword. But that’s only where the submissive and I are in a relationship that includes consensual non-consent, and where she (this applies to male and female submissives, but I’m saying “she” because my experience involves women submissives) has explicitly told me that sometimes she wants to be able to beg and shout and protest, and have me ignore that and continue.

Stop! Ha ha, just kidding!

I enjoy that, but that’s for when you know someone well, and you know you can read between the lines, and tell pleasure from real distress in her body language or her voice, or her silence. So that you know she’s safe and in a good mental state, even as you gleefully ignore her pleas for you to stop.   

Even then, truth be told, if I believed that I detected real harm or distress I’d stop even without the safeword.

You can think you’ve worked out everything in advance, and that the rules you’ve agreed to will cover everything. But humans are unpredictable creatures, and emotionally driven and changeable, whether they acknowledge that or not.

Both parties have to be flexible enough to take that into account, and to respond to the person’s needs (and their own needs) in the moment, and not just stick to a set of rules. 

Except one rule: the dom’s duty of care, to do no harm to a submissive, comes before everything else, including “I’ll stop if you safeword me but not otherwise”. Even when they’re not, “no” and “stop!” are still safewords, if the submissive really means it. Whatever the agreed protocol might be.

Klick on the kiss for more Kink of the Week posts!

Some bdsm-related reasons why hitting children is a bad idea 13: Summing up and concluding

So 1 in 20 teachers and children are likely to respond sexually to child-beating in schools: what’s wrong with that?

We managed to get rid of this shit...

We managed to get rid of this shit…

That may seem an obvious question, but it’s worth taking it seriously. 

As we know from the Irish and Australian Commissions of Inquiry into child abuse in schools and other institutions, in very authoritarian schools the child-beating scenario too often leads to child rape. 

Why would a ritual which includes removing some of the child’s clothing and always involves forcing the child to present his or her buttocks submissively lead to rape?

It’s because those teachers and other officials experienced it as sexual: beating the child turned them on, and the “corporal punishment” rules put them in a position of enormous power over the child.

One in 20 teachers, assuming that teachers are the same as the rest of us, is sexually attracted to bdsm, and turned on by bdsm situations. This is true whether or not the teacher is aware of their sexual response, and is doing his or her best to suppress it.

Mostly, the one in 20 teachers who interpret and respond to school “spankings” sexually don’t actually rape the child.

Well, it’s always a compulsory sexual act forced on a child by an adult who is likely to find the scenario arousing, even if they try not to. It’s just not rape if you define rape as involving penetration.

It’s still … extremely undesirable.

It’s odd that many parents who would be fearful and irate if a gay sports teacher gave their son a back massage seem to take genuine mistreatment of their children with complete calm.

Awakenings 

When Charles Moser studied a California-based bdsm community he found that about 5% of people currently engaged in the bdsm community had had their interest in bdsm awakened by a physical punishment received in childhood.

That may lead some people to conclude that child-beating is not okay because it increases the number of “perverts” undermining society and having weird street parties. But that’s not my point at all. First, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being into bdsm. Second, those children will, if they’re not beaten in schools or at home, almost certainly become aware of their sexual interest in some other way.

The real problem is that it’s psychologically harmful for children to be forced to discover an important part of their sexuality, when they’re too young to assimilate it, in a non-consensual setting of guilt, pain and fear.

happyWe all believe that children should not have sexual experiences forced on them by an adult. Sex is something they should discover for themselves, in their own time, as they become able to handle it. It’s time to put that belief into practice, and put an end to child-beating.

In the meantime, in the immortal words of Roger Waters, “Hey! Teacher! Leave those kids alone!”

 

Note

This is the end of a series. The earlier posts, including the statistics behind the conclusion that about 1 in 20 people respond to bdsm scenarios, sets and settings, can be found here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12