Reasons not to have sex, Part 1

Most people know that when they look back, flat on their back in a hospital bed, hopefully with an oxygen tube, good drugs, hot nurses and howling loved ones, they’re going to spend more time thinking about love and sex than about money or work. And that they’ll regret the sexual opportunities they passed up far more than they regret any fucks they did have, no matter how indiscreet or just plain wrong those bad fucks were.

So why do people turn down sex? First reason: you don’t fancy the person who might be available and interested. That’s a good reason.

Another reason is that you might hurt someone else by having sex with that person. That’s a good reason too, though you can take it too far.

For example, there are women who’ve had another male suitor hanging around for years, and he’d pursued her pathetically, listening, worshipping, being kind and decent, and so on. I’ve felt sorry for that guy, because sometimes he’s been around when a girl has taken me to her bedroom. But the hurt you do him isn’t a good enough reason not to have sex with that girl.

I know this because I’ve also been that guy a couple of times, which is once too many, and I know that it’s best to learn not to be that guy. That learning necessarily is painful. But the lesson is worth it: women hate that guy.

I’ve also found that women who break that guy’s heart as they take you into their bedroom often want something that night: the opposite of worshipful respect. Maybe I’ve found that because I’m a dom, and so I’m sensitive to some signals. Maybe I’ve missed other signals someone else would see.

Anyway, women who’ve been worshipped too long often want things done to them that border on bdsm, but that you can reasonably do without having a negotiation first. Like holding her hands together and pushing them above her head and into the mattress; like growling at her to keep still while you suck and bite her nipples; like finding a reason to give her arse a smack. A certain bastardly lack of worship can be like rain after a drought.   

But if you’ll hurt your own lover by having sex with someone else, then there’s another good reason not to. 

We’re working around to our topic, which is: times not to do bdsm.

Bdsm in the workplace: a confession

Today’s a working day. 

I don’t have time to continue the Diane anecdote today.  

Here’s a much shorter story. It’s a confession.

I edited a magazine for a couple of years. A typesetter I hired in the second year kept doing the punchline from the Galahad sequence in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. That’s when all the castle virgins cry out: A spanking! A spanking! And after the spanking … the oral sex! Well, “After the spanking, the oral sex,” was pretty much her catchphrase.

Also, she was a terrible typist. Slow, and inaccurate. Anything she typed  I’d have to wait for, and when it came it’d be full of mistakes. A proof-reader’s nightmare.

Fate was trying to set me up with a strict boss/naughty secretary scenario. Dropping it in my lap, as it were. And … I never did a damn thing about it. 

What does it mean, “oh please sir not the cane i’m a good girl really”? 2

Umberto Eco wrote – I think it was in “Travels in Hyper-reality” – that there are some things that people can’t say in a post-modern world. His example was that you can’t just say, “I love you”, because those words have been spoken so often, for example by actors in daytime soaps and characters in true romance novels, that it just sounds insincere or else naive when someone says it in real life.

Eco said a young man wanting to declare himself to his loved one would have to take into account all the other times those words have been said or typed, and express his emotion while at the same time acknowledging that the words have become a cliché.

Brady & Chloe, from "Days of Our Lives". Oh god, how they could love

Brady & Chloe, from “Days of Our Lives”. Oh god, how they could love

So instead of saying, “I love you”, he should say, “Well, as Lohengrin once said to Elsa, in the words in which Brady opened his heart to Chloe in “Days of our Lives”, as Paul McCartney’s songs so frequently declare, I love you.”

And so, Eco argues, the young woman will still receive the emotional message, but be charmed and impressed at the way her young man has managed to surround his emotional confession with quotation marks and irony, deftly avoiding cliché.

Eco was one of the least wanky of the post-modernists, but that still left him a lot of room to be wanky in.*

Eco’s claim about the impossibility of saying “I love you” would be fatuous even if it were true.

But the problem of fatuity doesn’t really arise because, first and foremost, it’s complete bullshit.

The words “I love you” are still available to be spoken with sincerity and emotional force, regardless of all the other ways they might be spoken. Anyone who really has trouble saying those words because someone used the same words in a bad soap opera is as nuts as those Christians who think their marriages will become meaningless if gays and lesbians are allowed to marry. 

The school skirt she bought mail order. But finding a desk that looked school-y, ay about the right height: that took serious shopping

The school skirt she bought mail order. But finding a desk that looked school-y, at about the right height: that took serious shopping

So take that phrase, “oh please sir, not the cane; i’m a good girl really”. Let’s say it’s spoken by a woman in her thirties who has bought herself a saucy pleated skirt and a white blouse, and she’s about to bend over a school desk.

She’s just waiting for the command of her dom, or master. Anyway, her lover, who is standing just behind her, flexing a cane.

When she begs not to be caned, she may or may not be being sincere.

If getting the cane is part of her life, then the chances are that even if she doesn’t enjoy the cane strokes at the instant they land, she likes being a submissive woman whose discipline and control includes the cane, and she especially likes being a submissive woman who’s just been caned. Once the immediate pain dies away to warmth, and she’s being comforted in her dom or master’s arms, having just been caned can be a happy, loving, sexy feeling.

Still, she might genuinely be afraid of the caning just before it begins. She knows that begging not to be caned won’t work, except possibly to get extra strokes, but perhaps it’s sincere. 

But when she says she’s a good girl really, what in the world do those words mean? Not in the fantasy they’re playing with, but (ahem) really

* What did I mean, Eco “was”? Well, post-modernism is dead, and a lot of the key pomo writers are dead too, but Eco is still alive. Still, like a lot of people who were once liable to refer to something like massacres in Syria as “discourse”, and to talk about living in “post-modernity”, he doesn’t talk in pomo cliches any more.

Watching a former post-modernist get reminded of something they once said about Lacan, say, is rather like watching a dog-owner walking away from their dog’s turds on a neighbour’s lawn, pretending they never knew about it and it’s got nothing to do with them.

What does it mean, “oh please sir not the cane i’m a good girl really”?

In the fantasy scenario, the girl forgot her gym shoes for the third day running; she called a woman teacher a rude name, she did something. She did it deliberately or unconsciously to attract the attention of the older, but still fit and sympathetic, teacher whose name she whispers to her pillow when it – the pillow – is clasped tight between her thighs.

And now she’s alone with him in his office, about to bend over his desk, lift her pleated skirt, and wonder if she’ll have to lower her panties as well. She hopes not, but when she fantasises about this moment, she always hears the command to take down her panties. When she dares, in her dreams she is told to undress, and she bares herself completely for the man she desires so badly.

She has bent over, and she waits. She listens for information about the man behind her. She hears the faint rattle that tells her he has selected the cane and not the strap, and in a kind of panic she pulls her skirt higher for him.

She hears his slight cough when she lifts her skirt so high, as he takes in the delicate bones of her lower spine, the delicacy of her waist, and her desire to please him. The knowledge that she has moved him with her obedience and her body overtakes her with a rush of emotion and passion. She cries out, “Oh sir, please not the cane. i’m a good girl really.” 

Whatever ‘really’ means.

But in reality, that line is likely to be spoken by a woman in her 20s or her 50s or anywhere between, who left school and tremulous virginity long ago. She speaks the sentence knowingly, mocking it while also acknowledging the power of the scenario in which it’s embedded. 

Vampire girl #14

Diane reached to undo a button – there were just three keeping the shirt on – then hesitated. She looked at my eyes. She said, “you’re not fooling me.”

“No. But you know that if you don’t get that shirt off, I’ll take this switch to the backs of your legs. Till you’re crying, and then while you’re crying. Right here, right now. You doubt that?”

“No, that’s not what you’re bluffing about. You’d do that. In a public park for fuck’s sake. You wouldn’t even think it was a weird thing to do,”

“You’re right. But why are you going to take your shirt off?”

“Because you’ll whip me if I don’t. Which, by the way, is a weird thing to do.”

“No, try again. Why are you going to do as I say?”

“Ah. Because it’s sexy. Doing as I’m told turns out to be hot. Which is weird too.”

“That’s better. But I’ll still whip you if that shirt’s not off by the time I count to five. One.”

“Wait.” Diane fumbled with buttons, hurriedly. 

“Two.”

“Hey, not so fast.” But she had two buttons undone. 

“No, you hurry. Three.”

“Bastard.” But she had the buttons undone, and pulled the shirt off when I said “four”.

Diane was a naked vampire, with her shirt in her hand. I never said “five”. Instead, I said, “good girl. Now give it to me.”

She looked at me, eyes, breasts, belly and cunt all turned my way. There’s power in that. And there was power in her focus on whatever I might do next, or make her do. To keep this hot I had to keep the lead. Diane crumpled the shirt into a ball. And tossed it behind her. Over her shoulder.  

The Lithuanian for clitoris

This is Gabrielė Martirosianaitė, Miss Lithuania 2008. Varupé not shown.

This is Gabrielė Martirosianaitė, Miss Lithuania 2008. Varpute  not shown.

I’ve been thinking (hat-tip to bellbird, in her comment on the “Victorian clitoris” post, below) about better words for clitoris: who would have a word that sounds like you might want to get your tongue around it?

And I decided: I’m betting on the Lithuanians. Because what a nice name for a language “Lithuanian” is.

Anyway, their word for “clitoris” turns out to be “varputė”. 

Yeah, I think that’s better. 

New Zealand Maori call it “tikana”, and that’s good too. 

In Mandarin, a tasty, tangy language, if you spit out the pips, it’s 花蕊. Which is pronounced huāruĭ. 

But I’m afraid the Hungarians call it csikló, which sounds like a Vietnamese bicycle taxi. And that’s wrong, believe me. 

“Clitoris” in Victorian – or Edwardian – literature?

in the 1980s Grove Press published what they said were volumes two and three of “A Man with a Maid”. They claimed that all three volumes were written in the late Victorian age, or perhaps early Edwardian in the case of the last two volumes.

I think Volume 1 really is an Edwardian bdsm classic, but I suspect that the second and third volumes are modern fakes, written for Grove Press by some anonymous forger.

If it is a modern(ish) pastiche, it’s a good one. It feels more authentically in period than the book “Beatrice” did. “Beatrice” was published as a long out-of-print piece of Edwardian porn, but turned out to be written by a guy who wrote for Penthouse. It’s not a bad hoax, or a bad book, but I was never convinced that it was Edwardian, or written by a woman.

But the supposed second and third volumes of “A Man and a Maid” feel reasonably credible as Edwardian writing, to me. Or they did until a sequence in Volume 3 in which the hero, the redoubtable “Jack”, is buggering some freshly tawsed and obedient girl, keeping her happy by stroking her “clitoris”. 

The word “clitoris” did exist at the time, but it was a medical term. If a porn writer wanted to mention a clitoris, he’d write “her little bud”, or some other indirect phrase, letting context do the rest.

I don’t know of any other instance of the word “clitoris” popping up in an erotic scene, until the 1970s.  

“Clitoris” probably escaped the medical textbooks and got into pop culture through the Masters and Johnson books on human sexual response, big sellers in the 1970s. Writers felt they should mention clitorises in sex scenes, to show they were up to date, but they were still a bit awkward with it. For example, there’s a scene in some pulp thriller from the early 1970s in which the hero plays the heroine’s body like a beautifully tuned violin, as chaps in books tended to do in those days, before he triumphantly “entered her clitoris”. Yeow! 

So: it is likely that we’d find an accurate and casual reference to a “clitoris” in Edwardian erotic fiction? Probably not. So volumes 2 and 3 of “A Man with a Maid”, published by Grove Press, are forgeries.

I could be wrong. Does anyone know of any examples of the word “clitoris” appearing in fiction written before, say, 1970? 

Vampire girl #13

Diane had said that vampires didn’t get whipped. I said, “Well, you do.”

“Well, I’m a vampire pervert. Um. Jaime?”

“Yeah?”

“Does it hurt? I mean, you’re going to make me bleed, with these.” She nodded at the bundle of switches in my hand. “That’s the idea, yes? Will it hurt?” 

This is why we should have started this conversation earlier. I said, “truthfully, yes. But also not exactly. If you’re turned on and it’s all working, then it’ll hurt you a lot and it won’t hurt you at all. Like firewalking. Don’t stop and you’ll sail through unharmed. But: you’ve had someone bite you.” 

“Mm.” 

“Well, I don’t know what that’s like, but I think this could hurt about as much, but its more like a good pain. When it’s sexy it doesn’t hurt.” 

“It’s not only biting. Sometimes vampires cut the skin and suck, if they don’t want to bite.” 

“Yeah, well, that’s a vampire problem, I don’t care. When I’m birching you, the issues are going to be different. And if you find it’s too much, I don’t want to be doing something that’s no fun. The main thing there is: well, you’ve heard of safewords.” 

“Yeah. If I say the safeword, then you stop, right?” 

“That’s right. Well, your safeword is ‘monozygotic embryology.'”

“Mono-what? My safeword is WHAT?” 

“Yeah, what I mean is: you don’t need to remember a magic word. In practice, if it’s not working for you, just tell me it’s too much, or it’s not sexy, and you want me to stop it. I don’t care what words you use, and I’ll stop. And if you want I’ll fuck you stupid instead. Okay?” 

“Okay. I can say ‘psychotic embolism,” or whatever that was, but I can just say, ‘hey, this is no fun.’ Okay.”

We’d calmed down too much, with all this meta-talk. It was time to pick up the energy and the pace. “Good. I’m not going to talk about rules again. Take your shirt off.”

“What?”

“Take your fucking shirt off, right here, right now in this park. Strip. Now.”