Burns on love #2

Robert Burns got his name attached to most of the poems in “The Merry Muses of Caledonia”, a collection of poems in Scots dialect, mostly about fucking. The rest concern … farting.

The idea of “The Merry Muses” is a bit better than the reality, though, because the poems could only seem funny if you were heroically drunk, and they aren’t all that sexy, either. Here’s a slice of one of the best ones.

From: Haed I the Wyte She Bade Me

Robert Burns: partial to a ploughman’s funch. Less partial to female lust, though. 

I pat six inches in her wame,

A quarter wadna fly’d her;

For ay the mair I ca’d it hame,

Her ports they grew the wider.

My tartan plaid, when it was dark,

Could I refuse to share it;

She lifted up her holland-sark,

An bad me fin’ the gair o’t:

Or how could I amang the garse,

But gie her hilt an hair o’t;

She clasped her hochs aboot my erse,

An ay she glowred for mair o’t.

(Robert Burns)

So Burns’s idea of a sex poem is a man complaining that some woman didn’t find his cock big enough and wasn’t ready to stop when he was. If it was just one poem, you could say it was characterisation, where you’re not meant to take the singer’s point of view, like in a Randy Newman song. Trouble is, they’re all like that. Except the ones about farting.

This is a Scotsman who doesn’t write poems about the wummin being too lusty for him. Mind you, he’s a painting.

It makes you wonder how Scots blokes got their romantic reputation. I know a woman who swears she will fuck any man who asks her nicely in a Scots accent.

Actually, that’s probably true of every woman I know, ach the noo. Sean Connery’s doing a lot of the carrying, I guess.

On the other hand, the Scots gave us the little kilt, essential wear for women pretending to be schoolgirls, and the tawse. And if you like welts and weeping (that’d be wauts and greetin’, if Burns wrote poems about that sort of thing), then the tawse is your implement.

I bought my tawse in Lochgelly. I’m a traditionalist, when I remember.


Sensory deprivation

I met a guy recently who is passionate about not just being tied up but also wrapped up. He likes it as a bdsm practice, a sexual and sensual pleasure, and also as something spiritual.

I don’t use the word “spiritual” much. It’s a word that seeks applause for quite a few things that don’t really deserve even respect. But people also use the word to mean that awed sense of the wonder and wonderfulness of the universe, especially when you’re looking at the night sky or a grove of trees or a shore-line. And there you are, paying attention for once to the reality that the world is the most extraordinary place, with incredible beauty and grandeur and a certain sense of absolute rightness.

People also use the word to mean various altered states of consciousness, when they’re perceiving things about the world, or their own inds, which – again – they don’t ordinarily pay attention to.

That’s what this guy got from mummification. He’d be wrapped in plastic, with his nose and mouth free, but a blindfold and perhaps ear muffs. As well as enjoying the helplessnes and immobility in bdsm ways, he could meditate, tune out, and go on internal voyages that he estimated lasted many hours.

It reminded me of an old Pelican psychology paperback: “Inside the Black Room: Studies in Sensory Deprivation”, by Jack Vernon, first published (I just checked) in 1963. It told the story of some of the first experiments with sensory deprivation in the 1950s and 1960s.

They found that people found sensory deprivation nearly intolerable. The experimental subjects were put in a small space, on a soft mattress, with gauze and goggles to block out vision, earmuffs, and asked not to move or talk. In practice most of the test subjects simply fell asleep and stayed asleep as long as they could, to escape the boredom.

Because they had no idea of the passage of time, they mostly assumed that they’d been in the small black room much longer than they really had been. Most, nearly all if I remember it rightly, hit the panic button, asking to be let out, well before the 24 hours was up.

But there was one guy who lasted his 24 hours with ease, and was ready to do it again. The reason?

He was a Turkish political dissident, and he expected that when he returned to Turkey there was a good chance that he’d be tortured. (And in fact governments and armies have picked up on sensory deprivation as a form of torture since the experiments reported in “Inside the Black Room”.) So he already had some experience of unpleasant activities by secret policemen and their jailers. And he wanted to see if he could stand this new variation.

He could.

Anyway, this is relevant to a bdsm-themed novel I started a couple of weeks back, though there’s no sensory deprivation planned for that book.

But it’s interesting that the same experience can be torture, or a personal test, or a meditation aid, or a sexual pleasure. Or it can be combinations of those.

That’s part of what the new book’s about. But I’ll talk more about that later.

Burns of love #1

A dialogue:

“God, Jaime, I think you put my back out. Fo. I mean my bum’s on fire, and it even hurts to walk.”

“Well, if you don’t want to get yourself whipped and fucked, then stop calling me Master.”

“Yes, Master.”

[Smug pause.]

“Yeah, yeah, that’s cute. Master. But look at this.” [Shows really quite severe bruising on back of right thigh.]

Ah, carpet burns. Oddly, not usually caused by shag pile.

“Whoo. That is angry, isn’t it? Well, you’re a little warrior, darling, wounded in the cause of love. Let’s say. But you’ve got to wear marks of love proudly. Like carpet burns. Carpet burns are good, aren’t they?”

“Yes, Master.”

“Told you so.”

“Yowch! Master!”

“No, hold yourself still, girl. I think this is going to hurt.”

Trouble in Paradise

There’s this bit of dialogue in Ernest Lubitsch’s 1931 film, “Trouble in Paradise”.

Gaston Monescu: Madame Colet, if I were your father, which fortunately I am not, and you made any attempt to handle your own business affairs, I would give you a good spanking – in a business way, of course.

Mariette Colet: What would you do if you were my secretary?

Gaston: The same thing.

Mariette: You’re hired!

Gaston Monescu, by the way, is played by Herbert Marshall, who acts, talks and moves impossibly smooth. But he did his entire film career on a wooden leg, because he’d had the original blown off in the First World war. You’d never notice. Mr Suave indeed.

That Lubitsch touch, that meant so much.

Here’s another still from “Trouble in Paradise”, showing that Gaston Monescu knew his duties as a secretary. It’s not all filing correspondence and spanking the boss, you know.

I’ll come back to Lubitsch films later, because they’re surprisingly, and persistently, perverse. But in the meantime the next post is going to start dragging the tone of this blog down. Not before time.

Blog archeology. Also fur bikinis.

People always talk about the opening sentence of a novel, but no-one ever reads the first sentence of a blog. My book about bdsm opens with: “About twenty-one thousand years ago a tribe crunched across white grass in the frozen landscape that is now Russia.”

That’s okay, as beginnings go. It’s not about bdsm, but at least it suggests the possibility that the cast will turn out to be wearing lambskin boots and fur bikinis. As seen in pretty much all films about caves, clubs and fire-starting.

Hammer Films' idea, in 1967, of what women wore in 1,000,000 BC. The fur bikini offers excellent protection from pterodactyls, but may be unsuitable for swimming.

Raquel Welch is the obvious example, from the film poster that became a lot more famous than the film it publicised. That was “One Million Years BC”, from the Hammer Horror crew in 1967, and it had babes, dinosaurs, grunting-as-dialogue and Harry Harryhausen’s stop-motion pterodactyls. Also a man-eating brontosaurus, which must have annoyed dinosaur-savvy kids even at the time. Raquel Welch plays “Loana the Fair One”, and she’s out-acted by the pterodactyls. But it’s still a cool film.

Anyway, by the time I get readers this first post will be long buried.

But greetings to anyone who finds this. If you’re a web archeologist from 2023, drop me a note and I’ll send you a Special Gift.