Probation Officer #96:

So Sa’afia didn’t really hit me. But she did say, “You’re with me. Can’t you forget about about fucking Ana for a fucking second?” 

I got up on my elbow and looked at her. She had hurt in her eyes. I felt anger at myself for that, and fortunately the anger was what showed up on my face. I said, “I’ve got to see the cops tomorrow. Mostly I’m seeing them about a flasher. That’s a long story and I can’t tell you anyway.” 

“What the fuck have flashers got to do with it?”

“Nothing. Wait, okay? And I’m bringing the head of Probation with me, because he’s interested in the flasher. Okay? So I’ll never have so much power again, or not for a long time, when I’m talking with the cops. And I’m going to do an ambush. While I’m at that meeting I’m going to get them to stop hassling Ana, once and for all. You have a problem with that?”

You'd really rather be talking?

You’d really rather be talking?

“Don’t be horrible. Of course I haven’t. You didn’t tell me anything about this.”

This was true. “Okay. That’s true, and I’m sorry. But I asked you about Ana’s father, not Ana. And I asked while I still remembered, because I’m bound to forget it. Because I’m with you.”

“Nice try.” But she was a bit happier. “What about Ana’s tama?”

“Tama, yeah. As far as I can see, Ana’s never committed a crime that’d get any other girl arrested. But she’s got this long criminal records full of bullshit charges. I’m thinking that someone’s using Ana to get at her … tama. You see? So I’m asking, why would the cops hate Ana’s father?” 

Sa’afia sighed. The sex we’d been having, and that we should continue having, was better than this. She said, “Okay. Make me a cup of tea, and I’ll tell you about it.” That bit is true. See? I told you she was full of feist.

Probation Officer #95E: Assertiveness and submission

Neither Sa’afia nor I could have wanted to punch the other, even as mock-violence, even as an affectionate “joke”.

In sex, Sa’afia wanted to give her surrender and to have her surrender taken. She wanted to be given orders and to feel herself obeying them. She wanted me to find reasons to punish her, so that she could feel that she had no choice when she obeyed and served me. It wasn’t enough to surrender: she wanted to feel it. She wanted her surrender to be palpable, something she could wrap around herself like a cloak.

Dominance and submission is about tightly focussed attention.

Dominance and submission is about tightly focussed attention.

I wasn’t very experienced in bdsm. I had a lot to learn. But at least I knew ways to let her feel her surrender, and intensify her experience. While we were exploring those feelings together she didn’t want to be anything as trivial as “feisty”. She was strong and courageous. Even waiting for me, naked in her kitchen simply because I’d told her to over the phone, was extremely brave.

She could have ignored that instruction and our evening would still have been good. We’d still have found our way to bed, and I probably would have smacked her bottom lightly. I’d have done it after her first orgasm, when we were building to her second, and I thought it’d be a safe experiment: she’d like pretty much anything I did.

So we’d still have explored some very light surrender, but it would have been a much safer and flatter night.

She chose the riskier option, a definite, explicit act of obedience. It could have gone wrong. She must have worried that I might laugh at her, or that I’d take her surrender and do something stupid and cruel that genuinely hurt. She put her dignity and her safety on the line for what she wanted. That pushed us past various polite pretences and it pushed me up to match her courage. I had to take back the lead, take her surrender, and make her feel it.

What a submissive does when they kneel to serve their dominant, or they present themselves to be fucked or hurt, may not look like any traditional picture of courage. But it’s honest, assertive and brave.

At other times, Sa’afia and I would be shopping together, and she might laugh at the clothes I wanted to buy, or my taste in music. Then she might be playful, and do “feisty” like a fucking Disney fucking princess, as she’d have said. But in sex she preferred something stronger than feist.

Probation Officer #95D: Standing while kneeling

Sa’afia wasn’t just a dolly who’d do whatever she’s told. She was a submissive woman. She  did things that she liked, that turned her on. 

cuddleShe stood up for herself, even when she knelt. Or bent over to be spanked or fucked, knowing that she wouldn’t choose which happened. But that was something she wanted. I provided it for her.

When it’s moving right, bdsm  connects the people involved with incredible intensity and intimacy.

It’s a sententious thing to say, but bdsm is the opposite of violence. 

Probation Officer #95C: Samoan nipples?

nippleupIt’s always nice to talk about nipples, isn’t it? For example, the German word for “nipple” isn’t really “Brustwart”, or “breast wart”: it’s “Nippel”. Now, here’s the thing about Sa’afia’s nipples. They’d be purple-black and flat when she was resting, but when I kissed and squeezed them and they woke up, they’d perk up, all erect and yearning to be kissed and bitten. And they’d turn from purple-black to purple-pink.

I loved making that happen. Now, she wouldn’t have had nipples like that if she wasn’t Samoan, or didn’t have Polynesian ancestry. But were they Samoan nipples? Nah, they were just Sa’afia’s.  

Her mouth was wide and her lips sweetly full. And there were freckles, for heaven’s sake, on her forehead and cheeks and nose, under the brown. She owed those things to her Polynesian ancestry too, and I thought they were wonderful. 

I liked things about her that were Samoan culturally, though not genetic. Her body was slightly shiny when she was naked because she rubbed herself with cocoanut oil. When I licked her she smelled of cunt and cocoanut.

I liked the tapa cloth on her wall, depicting her parents’ village. I liked the little carved canoe with sea-shell eyes, on her bedside table. Even the care she took not to make her mother have to admit she was having sex appealed to me. For no reason except that it was different. Those things were hers because she was Samoan, too. But I liked them because I liked her. Not the other way around. 

Sa’afia’s other fear was that I was with her only because I really wanted Ana, and I couldn’t have Ana. That I was fucking her because she resembled her cousin. That was the nerve I’d touched when I’d asked her about Ana’s father. 

Probation Officer 95B: Sa’afia didn’t actually punch me

When I said Sa’afia hit me, I was trying to make two points. Both of which were true. The first was that Sa’afia was hurt when I asked her a question about Ana, while we two were in the middle of doing something very intense and sexually powerful. I’d re-awoken her worry that I was with her for reasons that weren’t about her. 

I’d got her to suspend disbelief on one of her worries, which was that I might be interested in her because she was Samoan. There were white boys who went after Samoan girls, because they thought they were easy, or they had a fetish-y thing for them, or whatever. She wanted always to be certain that I liked and desired the individual she was: Sa’afia.

nippleShe was right to give me the benefit of the doubt on that one. I do and think lots of dodgy things, but I’ve never found that I get turned on, or turned off, a woman because of her race. Once we were lovers, then I liked the brown of her skin and the shape of her nose, slightly broad and slightly snub, and I loved the firmness of her flesh and the strength of her body. I loved a lot of things, some of which were Samoan things.

Actually, there was something I really liked about her nipples, but I’ll save that for tomorrow. 

Probation Officer #95A: “You’re with me!”

[The project is done and the cheque’s in the ether. I hope. So I can get back to the Probation Officer story. In the last episode, we got as far as this:]

Sa’afia froze. Immobility is not affectionate. Then she hit my shoulder, hard, with her fist. She said, “you’re with me. Can’t you forget about fucking Ana for a fucking second?”

Update: This is a true story. So far I’ve only changed details to make sure my client Ana and her cousin Sa’afia can’t be identified, even by someone who managed to work out where it was that I worked as a probation officer. It’d be pretty hard to identify Svitlana, too. 

boxerBut in that post, the one I quoted above, I’ve told a lie. I think it’s the first genuinely and gratuitously untrue thing I’ve said. I was trying to improve the story: Conflict! And look, she’s not just submissive; she’s feisty! Hey! But the truth is that Sa’afia never hit me and she would never have wanted to. Even if she was angry.

Neither Sa’afia nor I knew much about dominance or submission, really, though I’d had more experience than her. She knew what she wanted, and I knew enough to be able to guess roughly what she wanted and provide her with it. She could be a wonderful version of herself in that place I’d provided. She’d been incredibly happy, when her ass burned from the rod and she knelt to suck my cock. She’d wanted to know what that was like, and she’d known she’d like it. She also knew that I would treasure her, when she served me, and she wanted to feel treasured.

In that place and in that mood she couldn’t feel anger. She could only be angry if I behaved so badly that I shocked her out of submission and back to normal time, to everyday life.

So no, she didn’t hit me.

Orientalism #4

Of course, not all orientalist erotic painting is about race. Partly, it was about Victorian rules about nudity. You could show naked women in a “classical” setting, or you could paint naked women in some other culture, some far-away place.

angieThis painting, for example, is of Angelica chained to a rock, from a scene in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso. So if you wanted to do an image of a bound, naked woman, you could do a painting of Angelica or of Andromeda (naked and bound in very similar circumstances), and present your bondage pic as high art. 

But if a Victorian painter made a picture of a naked woman with her hands tied behind her back, waiting for her lover, in a Victorian house, Victorian critics would have lost their shit on a scale that would make Nick Cage’s acting look minimalist.

The woman would have been called a whore, the subject would be damned as utterly indecent and perverted, the painting would certainly be banned from display, and the painter quite possibly prosecuted. So there is a reason apart from racism for Victorian painters to place their pictures of captive, naked women in Eastern, generally Mid-Eastern, settings. 

marketBut a lot seems to rest on the idea that slavery, or being naked and inspected by clothed men, is more intense when the woman is white and the men are not. It’s interesting that there aren’t more examples, in Victorian bondage painting, of naked black women being inspected by clothed white men. Maybe it was too close to home, in a century where the British had been supporting the slave-owning states in the US Civil War.

Maybe Victorian painters thought their audiences wouldn’t find naked black women as sexy as naked white women.  

I’m still working. The Probation Officer story will proceed shortly. 

Orientalism #3

exposeThere are a few things to notice here. For example, the slave woman (dark-haired but white-skinned; possibly meant to be Spanish?) has her hands above her head, with her wrists together. The painter could say, if challenged, that she was flamenco dancing. Maybe. But really she has her wrists together over her head to suggest bondage without actually showing it.

The black woman is also an attractive woman, but she is clothed. Because there’s a dichotomy in these paintings. The naked woman is helpless and enslaved, in the situation. But in the painting she has all the erotic power, and the viewer’s gaze is focussed on her. So the white woman takes the lead sexual role for the painting’s  audience. The black woman may have more power in the situation, knowing the rules better, and perhaps having a training role. But in the painting she  is secondary decoration for the plight of the white woman. That’s what’s important, to the painter and his imagined audience. 

Meanwhile, the non-white (Arab) man watches the slave girl, but he’s perhaps more interested in his opium dreams (note the hookah) than in the woman. Sometimes the woman is humbled in these paintings not by being “indecently” inspected, but by being naked but still ignored. Slave girls: men in the East have so many they can take ’em or leave ’em.

So there’s a dual message: slave girl humiliation, and the idea that the East is decadent and effete, due to fall to a stronger civilisation. Perhaps some muscular, cricket-playing Christian chaps should take their lands off them, says a lot of Orientalist art, and free their slavegirls. After all, those poor girls have been terribly treated: still, they’ll be properly trained and inventively grateful. 

Well, that’s the flip side of every rescuer fantasy.

I’m still working, but I’ve seen the on-coming train poking its refulgent nose into the tunnel. I’m doomed.

Orientalism #2

orientThere are a lot of images on the net, most of them painted in the 19th century, of naked white women slaves being examined by non-white, generally Arabic-looking owners. The images are painted by white men. 

The idea was that a white women is more humiliated by being owned, and seen naked, by non-white men than she would be if the slave-owners and traders were white. Increasing the humiliation of the white woman made the image more erotic for white men.

At least for those white men who liked those images. Clearly, these images were popular and a lot of them were painted, so it wasn’t the taste of a small minority.