It’s Painful but Is It Art?

Playing in public at clubs means that you are going to be watched. There are those who find this a distraction.  I realised early on that I didn’t and remember an occasion, early on in my domming career when I was so absorbed in the scene that I didn’t notice that a dozen people had gathered round, in silence, to watch. It was only when I turned round to select another toy to hit my sub with that I saw them, totally absorbed in what I was doing. But I was more absorbed still and pleased that only my play partner existed fort me in that hour. That is as it should be. We play for each other and not to put on a show. Or do we?

I find that at the big public events, such as the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar or Cirque de Chaos play primarily is about putting on a show. The noise and general business make it difficult to get into the required headspace, on the one hand, and I also found it difficult to read the verbal and non-verbal signals from my sub that I need in order to pace the scene properly. I think I tend to err on the side of caution in these circumstances although my slave would probably beg to disagree. I also worry about losing equipment as has happened a couple of times over the years.

I think that, in a sense, all play is performance, even private play without an audience.   I once had a conversation with a highly experienced pro domme who told me that domination was all in the head and that she could dominate any one of her regular clients in sweatshirt, jeans and Uggs. Allowing for the possibility that there are people out there with an Ugg fetish, I don’t entirely agree. When we play we are taking ourselves out of the drab real world for an hour or two, we are creating our own theatre and the costumes we wear are part of the fantasy we create.  The aesthetics of BDSM  have become increasingly important to me over the last year or so. I have a range of traditional fetish out fits in PVC and latex and so on, but have also played in a schoolmatronly skirt suit, in my lovely Vivien of Holloway repro vintage. The latter can be quite disconcerting. Latex, PVC and boots are the sartorial language of sadism and dominance. Feminine 1950s repro vintage isn’t. It can be hard to come to terms with a girly girl in a cerise rose circle dress and pink petticoat who smiles as he wields the cane and the whip, who hurts and humiliates with genuine relish. It is, as they say, a mindfuck.

The dressing up, the make up, the attention to detail are as important as the planning of the session, the skill in using the toys. It is an act of self giving to turn myself into the Goddess that my slave needs me to be, to help him into the headspace, to lure him into the theatre where he can be his true self, where he and I indulge our fantasies and where the pain and the marks I inflict are balm for the stresses  of daily life. Let the curtain rise!

Going to Cirque

I guess most of us are on our own at the start of our journey, knowing that we are somehow different and maybe burdened with feelings of shame about our feelings and fantasies.  Some never really get beyond that phase and kink for them will always mean, for example, sessioning  with a pro domme when time and money allow. After each session they will go back into vanilla life and bury their kink selves as deeply as they can, that is, until the urge again becomes irresistible and they pick up the phone.

If you had asked me a year ago I would have had no hesitation in saying that this was bad for them, that they needed to get out into the scene, go to a much, go to a play party or tow and see what is out there. I am now a little older and wiser, a lot more experienced in the ways of kink, and can see that for many people this is the only viable option. This is certainly true of some of the deeply submissive men who meet me for play. Deep down they are content with that. Having a rich kinky fantasy life, with occasional forays into the world of real life kink for the relief they crave, works for them. I will not judge them. And, let us be frank, the BDSM scene isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. There are predatory and abusive individuals out there, unskilled would be doms whose play is downright dangerous, there is politics too , as everywhere else in human life. I have known deeply kinky people who have turned their backs on the scene, bitterly disillusioned.

But staying in the closet wouldn’t have worked for me. All the more so as, knowing I was really transgender as well as kinky, I was in two closets. And while there have been disappointments along the way, there have been many more positives than negatives. I have met some wonderful people and formed lasting friendships. Through interacting with others, playing in some cases, I have learned deep truths about myself. I know I am not the only one who feels this.

One moment will always remain with me. This was the first time I went to Cirque de Chaos. This, for those that don’t know, is a popular fetish event held in the West Midlands, one that involves live performances, play and plenty of socialising, a place where you dress to impress. People come from all over the country to attend.  As I walked in, nervously and looked around, took in the sheer numbers, the age range of  literally 18 to 80, the multiplicity of shapes and sizes, of sexualities, of genders,  I experiences a thrilling moment of empowerment and liberation.

“My God” I said to myself, “There are so many of us.”

I will be at Cirque again this Sunday, no longer a nervous newbie. There will be live performances, fabulous costumes, friends to catch up with and, not least, new people to get to know. I will be in a iliac skirt suit and brogues, looking a bit schoolmistressy with my cane. Do come and say hello if you see me. I won’t even require you to bend over for six of the best, not, that is, unless you have been very naughty.