SoSS – August

And so to August, still summer but with days that are now noticeably shorter, the month in which, in the words of Vernon Scannell,  “the windows of the inn rehearse the winter welcome” . We are now well into the second half of 2020 knowing that 2021 gives us more grounds for fear than for hope. We are also a year on from the Government’s ultimately thwarted attempt to prorogue Parliament to deny our elected representatives the opportunity to challenge their attempts to leave the EU without any kind of deal but it is clear that the populist coup, stalled then, is gaining momentum, with the country effectively being run by an unelected adviser and people like Claire Fox, defender of paedophiles and holocaust denier, being made unelected members of  the legislature. Meanwhile the Government’s utter incompetence in managing the COVID 19 pandemic means that we remain in semi lockdown limbo with no prospect of a return to normality any time soon. We are living in dark times and I have really been struggling with my mental health. I guess I am not the only one. This has made writing all the more important to me. It has also been reading the work of others that has helped to keep me going.  Here are some of the things that I have particularly enjoyed in August.

August 1st is the national day in Switzerland and also Yorkshire. There is actually a Little Switzerland near Hebden Bridge where Yorkshire resident Swiss people used to gather on that day to celebrate, so there is a kind of link between the two. So this by Focused and Filthy from the first Sinful Sunday of the month seems a good way to start this roundup.

May More wrote about personal growth and the lessons of lockdown here

As a female dominant myself this  by Modest Abaze had a definite appeal. In fact I can identify with both participants in this scene!

The first Wicked Wednesday theme of the month was Loony Tunes, no, not the doings of the UK Government, but actual cartoons, and I enjoyed this from the Sassy Sub daily

Meanwhile the new Quote Quest meme continues to provide both interesting quotes ad really interesting posts. The first quote of the month concerned freedom and I was not surprised to see some interesting discussions about BDSM and freedom, and particularly what is, to people outside the scene the paradox of freedom being attained through submission and servitude.  To me this is not a paradox at all.  If being able to be your true self and being nurtured in this by a loving and supportive dominant is not freedom then what is? Victoria Blisse discusses this beautifully in this post.

I love old cemeteries, the ones where you can barely read the inscriptions on moss covered headstones that lean at alarming angles, where you have to watch very carefully where you place your feet, the ones where you would not want to be after nightfall. Such cemeteries also make wonderful settings for photographs. This shot of Honey by Exposing 40 is amazing.

Delphine’s school adventures continue with the latest chapter by Posy Churchgate.

Starcross reflects here on the approaching end of a relationship. His and K’s time together was limited by lockdown and I know he feared they might part without seeing each other in person. I am really happy for both of them that they have been able to enjoy fun times together. But parting is always hard.

Girl on the Net has just been through a breakup herself and writes about breakup nightmares here.

A Sinful Sunday highlight of August was this Triptychin Lace shot by Exposing 40.  I understand that one Twitter user didn’t like it but I guess you can’t please everyone. I found it really hot.

It is always good to come across new blogs and I enjoyed this by A Practical Sub, which brilliantly conveys the power that a scene can have, and the subspace that follows.

I am taking part in May More’s new venture, an erotica relay. May started off the story here and Cousin Pons continued it here.

And guess what? Tabitha Rayne makes the earth move!

And so on to food. I finally got to go to Padstow in 2009 and a delight it was. We didn’t eat at THE Rick Stein restaurant although we did go to his fish and chip restaurant and one of his bistros which was both excellent and reasonably priced. The dominance of his empire also serves to set a high bar for everyone else in the town and the best meal we had was actually at a non-Rick place whose name I now forget. I had monkfish with butternut squash risotto and have managed to recreate it at home with passable results.

For the risotto this recipe by Tom Kerridge works well.

The fish is the easy bit. Place an anchovy on each monkfish tail, fold it , wrap it in pancetta and  secure with a tooth pick or similar. Season and place in an oiled, ovenproof dish. Place a few baby plum tomatoes around the fish, place in the oven (pre heated to Gas Matk 5) and heat at Gas Mark 5 for about 45 minutes. Arrange on top of the risotto and serve. This goes really well with an Alsace Gewurztraminer.

 

 

 

Delphine’s Schooldays Chapter 9

A continuation of the school adventures of young French aristocrat Delphine de Lotbiniere. Read the previous chapter here 

The school has its own railway station. The green nameboards proclaim “Hernmere –  for St. Faith’s School” Before the war the two daughters of the General Manager of the Southern Railway attended the school and he arranged for the reference to the school to be added. Not all trains stop here, you may have speeded through yourself on a Waterloo to Guildford train, but we have a direct link to London. Before the war the Southern Railway provided special trains at the beginning and end of term, the guards van piled high with the girls’ trunks, but these days fewer girls arrive by train. Most families have motor cars.

I am taking the train today. I am going to London with Lotbiniere. She does not know it but we are going to visit Catherine Spencer-Harrington. This is a day I have been dreading. After I had recovered from my food poisoning I waited fearfully for the phone to ring.  It was two days before Catherine rang but her cold fury was unmistakable. Like me she had spent the night bent over the toilet. Unlike me, she had spent a further two days in bed. Her constitution was clearly not as strong as mine. Then she rang.

“You are to bring the little slut to me on Wednesday next” she hissed.

“But milady, I fear that will be impossible.”

“You will do it or face the consequences. I have two of my security guards coming in specifically to fuck her, to take her virginity and loosen her cunt a little, ready for the paid work she will be doing.”

“But, please, I can’t…”

“You will bring her to me or face the consequences.”

“Yes milady.”

When my secretary came in with letters for me to sign I was shaking.

I had a restless night with vivid dreams. I was in the presence of Catherine, dressed in a Dior gown from which protruded a forked tail.

“Kneel before Lady Beelzebub!”  commanded a voice from behind a heavy velvet curtain. I knelt, and noticed that I was dressed in leather trousers and sleeveless leather doublet. Both my forearms were tattooed with the number 666. In the mirror on the right hand side I saw that my head had been shaved and the stubble dyed blonde. She handed me a crop.

“Take this crop as a symbol of your service. I anoint you Angel of Satan she said, spitting in her hand and rubbing the spittle over my forehead. Now take the crop and bring me Lotbiniere!”

I was taken by a demon with a scarred face and stooped gait to an adjoining room where a dozen young woman knelt, in chains and manacles, in shapeless grey dresses. I saw Lotbiniere, a look of utter hopelessness on her face. I pulled her to her feet and gave her six with the crop.

“An Angel of Satan has no pity” I said to myself as I led her through to Lady Beelzebub’s chamber. She walked slowly, weighed down by the chains.

As we came into the presence, I pushed her down and she knelt, head down, quivering with fear.

Lady Beelzebub stood up and walked round her.

“Lotbiniere you are to suffer the Torment of a Thousand Cocks.”

A scar faced demon came in, dragging a gynaecological table.

“Prepare her!” I was ordered by Lady Beelzebub.

I pulled Lotbiniere to her feet and unlocked the chains which fell to the floor with a clank. I took a knife and sliced off her dress. I cropped her again until she screamed with pain.

When she was secured on the table, her feet in the stirrups, her cunt exposed, I turned to Lady Beelzebub.

“The victim is prepared Milady.”

Lady Beelzebub clicked her fingers and I watched in astonishment as cocks grew out of the body of the demon, out of every limb, out of his torso, out of his hands, his feet. A thousand cocks each fat and hard, veined and throbbing, a thousand bell ends, angry purple and glistening.

“A thousand cocks will penetrate you. You will take them in your mouth, you will swallow the come of a thousand cocks. You will swallow come until you are sick. Just as you made me sick. A cruel punishment. But a deserved punishment. Sub Demon Phallocentrus, she is yours to use and abuse. Let the torment begin.”

The demon went up to her, pushed in with a cock on the palm of his right hand. Lotbinere screamed, I moved in to hold a gloved hand over her mouth.

“Keep quiet you dirty little slut!”

I was woken by the alarm, I had the feeling of orgasms exploding through me. I put a finger in my cunt. I was dripping wet.

In the waiting room at Hernmere station Lotbiniere asked me

“Why are we going to London Madame?”

“I want you to meet a friend who will be able to help you in your post school life and then I thought we would have time to visit the British Museum.”

We heard the London train approaching, heard the huff and puff of a grimy steam locomotive, and went out onto the platform. As the train pulled out Lotbiniere said

“I have never been on an ordinary train in England Madame. I have been on the Golden Arrow but not on such a dirty local train. I think our SNCF in France is much better.”

I said nothing. I was struggling to fight back tears. Tears of shame.

From Waterloo we took a taxi to Soho. I paid the taxi off on the corner of the Charing Cross Road and Old Compton Street and we walked from there. We turned into Frith Street. It was still early but there was a lady out, in a thick fur, plying her trade.

“Good morning ladies! It’s a bit nippy today.”

We hurried on.

“Madame, that lady had such a deep voice. She is not a man?”

I said nothing. We turned another corner. I saw ahead the building where Catherine had her club.

“Madame why are we in this neighbourhood? I thought we were going to a museum?”

Lotbiniere looked anxious. I took a step towards the club and stopped. I turned to her and said

“Lotbiniere I have business here.”

I took a ten shilling note out of my purse and gave it to her.

“Buy yourself lunch. There is a British Restaurant over there, on the opposite corner. I can recommend the toad in the hole.”

“You eat toad in this country Madame?” She looked genuinely puzzled.

“You eat frogs legs don’t you? Run along Lotbiniere, it is for the best, believe me. I will meet you by the station clock at Waterloo at 4 o’clock. We will be back at school in time for supper.”

She grimaced at the mention of supper and walked off. I took deep breaths, and a nip of Scotch from my hip flask and approached the door. By the bell push was a small typed notice that read

“The Gentleman’s Retreat. Strictly by Appointment. ”

I pressed the bell. The maid opened the door and led me up the stairs to Catherine’s office on the first floor. She did not get up from her desk, did not invite me to sit down.

“Where is the French girl?”

“I am sorry Milady but I cannot, I really cannot”

“You were to bring her here for punishment and training. I made that clear!”

“Milady, it is do difficult.”

“Maybe prison is easier? ”

She stood up and took a file from a filing cabinet.

“I only need to take this to the police. And if I do I think you’ll be spending the next 5 years in Holloway”

She laughed.

“I see you on your knees rather a lot, scrubbing floors. And that grubby prison underwear!”

She laughed again.

“But you know all about grubby underwear, don’t you?”

I felt myself going red with shame.

“You need practice. I am a pussycat, Ranson, compared to those lesbian wardresses. Learning here will save you a lot of trouble later on.”

She laughed again and pressed the bell. Trudy the transvestite maid came in and curtsied.

“Ranson is going to scrub the stairs. Show her where the water is and the scrubbing brush and watch her. Take a crop from the SM room and discipline her if you think she is slacking.”

“Yes Milady”.

Trudy curtsied before taking me by the ear and leading me out of the room.

After an hour of scrubbing my knees were causing me agony and my bottom was stinging from Trudy’s crop. The doorbell rang and Trudy went to let in the  new visitor.

I heard the door close and a man’s footsteps coming up behind me. I froze at the sight of shiny gentlemen’s shoes and pinstriped trousers.

“Miss Ranson?”

I looked up and saw the tall figure of Sir Reginald Carless, Chairman of the London and Home Counties Bank, and father of Delilah Carless, Head Girl in 1949.

“Sir Reginald” I said, remaining on my knees.

He shuffled his feet in embarrassment and followed the maid up to the first floor. My humiliation was complete.

It was five o’clock when I reached Waterloo.

“I must apologize Lotbiniere. I was unavoidably delayed. Come, the Hernmere train leaves in three minutes.”

We ran and jumped onto the train as it started to pull out. I slammed the door shut, raised the window and hooked the leather strap.  We sat down.

“So Lotbiniere, what have you been doing?”

“Well Madame I found some very interesting bookshops on, how do you call it, the Charing Cross Road?”

“How interesting.”

She handed me a brown paper package.

“It is a book for you Madame. They tell me it is not an allowed book in this country. I bought it, how you say, under the counter.  But I know it is the perfect book for you.”

She smirked as I opened the package. I read the title “The Well of Loneliness.”

I scowled. She was openly mocking me. I had felt pity for her, faced with the revenge of Catherine Spencer-Harrington. No more. I was going to make her suffer.

TO BE CONTINUED

A post for Wicked Wednesday. You can find more wickedness here

 

Thoughts on Lockdown and a Jane Shilton Bag

I am actually quite proud of my Jane Shilton bag, one of only two authentically vintage items I possess. I attend quite a few vintage fairs but rarely buy anything. Partly this is because there is often not a lot to buy, particularly when it comes to clothes, and sometimes you wonder whether some of the traders have just bought their stock at charity shops, such is the dearth of real vintage pieces. Partly it is because I am eternal procrastinator and turn a piece of, say, costume jewellery over in my hand three times before deciding not to buy it. Mainly, however, it is because I don’t like to haggle.

It was a vintage scene friend who helped me over this hurdle, at Bletchley Park a few years ago. I showed her the handbag I was looking at and she examined it.

“How much is she asking?”

“Fifteen ” I answered.

“It’s probably worth that. Why don’t you offer her ten and bite her hand off if she says twelve.”

I plucked up my courage and did precisely that. For twelve pounds the bag was mine.

It was at my next vintage fair, in Birmingham, a few months later that I saw the Jane Shilton bag, in leather and crocodile, with a strap that can be removed so that it can be use as a clutch. It was priced, coincidentally, at fifteen pounds. This time I had the confidence to ask

“Will you take ten?”

“You are so pretty darling, and look so lovely in that dress, you can have it for ten.”

A lovely new bag and a compliment. Wow! No wonder I am so fond of the bag!

Lockdown prevented me from seeing my friends for a long time. It also gave me a lot of time to think. And I thought a lot about the things I have that one belonged to someone else and how a shared enjoyment of those things can create bonds across generations, across decades. It is not only clothes and accessories. I have an old hardback, Gothic print edition of the poems of Goethe published in Leipzig in 1898. A label in the inside cover proclaims that the book was awarded to Hilda Cornes at King Edwards’s Grammar School for Girls, Aston in December 1901. Hilda was the best in the school at German. I thought about Hilda too.

She must have been born around the mid 1880s. Was she still alive when I was born? Did she ever visit  Germany? By the time she retired the country had fought two wars against Germany. How did these affect her? In 1901 it was by no means inevitable that we would end up at war with a country whose royal family were close blood relations of our own. Indeed the British royal family was still proud of its German heritage, its members still spoke the language. And if I had ever met her our common love of the language and of the poetry of Goethe would have given us plenty to talk about. Maybe we would have bonded over Kaffee und Kuchen? In any event I admire anyone who can read that old fashioned Gothic print without difficulty.

I know a little about Hilda, and can surmise other things. About the original owner of my bag I know nothing. Yet I feel closer to her. I put my lipstick in the same bag, mirror, powder compact. When I touch up my make up part way through an evening out, I do exactly what she did. This feels almost like a physical connection.

Statistically she probably married, probably had  children, may have had a career, may have been forced to leave her job when she married (it happened back them). Almost certainly she had struggles and frustrations that I never will.  She had only limited ways of controlling her fertility, she suffered discrimination. For all the occasional glamour of a night out in a circle dress, clutching the Jane Shilton bag, hers was surely not an easy life.

The 1950s are something of a lost decade. They defy easy categorization. On the one hand, there is the early 50s,  Barbara Goalen modelling Dior, tweedy chaps in Jaguar XKs, there are coffee bars and circle skirts in the late 50s, rock and roll and Teddy Boys trashing cinemas, the influence of  American pop culture, there are race riots, peasouper fogs, the hanging of Derek Bentley, the persecution of gay men, suffocating social convention, mass protests against the Suez intervention, the Aldermaston marches, in fact a kaleidoscope of contradictions.  1950s Britain was a country undergoing rapid change against the background of a long economic boom whose effects did not reach everyone. In the inner cities many poor people lived in slums until well into the 1960s. Mass vaccination programmes had not succeeded, even by the end of the decade,  in eradicating old and feared diseases. The Birmingham City footballer Jeff Hall died of polio in 1959.

This was a confused world, a changing world, a world in which progress and reaction walked together, a world in which a woman bought a Jane Shilton bag and treasured it. . A woman who, I guess, enjoyed her femininity but was acutely conscious of the disadvantages in life those two X chromosomes had given her.

Her life was real. Her struggle was real. She did not live in a vintage theme park. We should all be aware that women stand on the shoulders of those who came before. Our struggles may be different, although many are the same. But they helped make us who we are.

When I pop my lippy and my compact in the bag and head out for a night out with the vintage girls, she is there with me. I reach out to her in sisterly love.

 

E Lust Edition 133

Image courtesy of On Queer Street

Shitty Dating Advice Marketing I’m Sick Of

Birthday nude: Is this what you want?

This One Was Just Right: A Goldilocks Story

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Little Switch Bitch

Bitch in heat

Molly’s words make me ache. I ache because I know how heartfelt her words are. She means every single one but equally, I feel the emotions. I understand that need. In fact, it’s not far from how I feel right now!

Aftercare

Lilly writes with such an honesty in her words.. It’s almost as if I am reading a diary log of her thoughts. Her post has made me wonder about my own aftercare and how I react. Fab thought provoking post.

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

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Self-Doubt – The bitch that tries to quieten

Erotic Non-Fiction

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Sex We Never Had, Places We N
Wicked Wednesday: In the Realm of the Sensei

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

July

Books and Movies

Eurotrip (2004): The Celluloid Dungeon

Body Talk and Sexual Health

Self doubt and how it impacts me

 

How I Became a Woman

As I lost consciousness I fell into dazzling whiteness at the bottom of which was a long shining corridor to a large oak door. I entered into a chamber where a magnificent woman sat on a throne, peacocks at either side.

“Come kneel  before the Goddess of Cunt and make your petition.”

“Gracious Goddess of Cunt, oh Queen of all Vulvas, I humbly request that I be made a woman.”

“Why do you request this?”

“It is what I have always wanted. I desire the beauty of the vulva, the ecstasy of the clit, a slick vagina inviting in a hard throbbing cock.”

“You desire to be fucked by a man?”

“Yes Goddess.”

“Stand up and walk over to the table.”

I walked over to a table where 6 clay vulvas were laid out.

“Choice is a privilege. I hardly need mention that it is not a privilege granted to those born female.”

“No Goddess.”

“Take a look. Feast on the beauty of each one. And make your choice.”

I looked up and down the row.   They all looked the same to me.

“Well I don’t really know…I….”

“Use your imagination girl. Imagine being the first man to have you. I am sure you can still manage the male gaze. You won’t just want to be fucked will you?”

“Well,,,”

“Of course you won’t. You want his face buried in your bush, tonguing the slit, fingering you. massaging your clit..”

“Well yes I suppose so.”

“You suppose so? You suppose so?.”

Her tone of mock surprise was accompanied by a contemptuous sneer.

“Yes I do Goddess.”

“So you need vulva number 2.  Those thicker outer labia  are just perfect for a man to get between his lips, to suck and enjoy. And you will enjoy.”

She waved her hand and the other 5 vulvas disappeared.

“You have a choice now. I can send you back to Earth and you can see what sex is really like for women. You can be fucked by a guy who stinks of beer, who is done in a few seconds, shoots his load, rolls over and falls asleep.”

“And do I get to come?”

“Of course you don’t! But do you think the average man cares?”

I said nothing.

“You can make out with the man who has picked you up in a bar. You insist he uses a condom because you are sensible like that. But he slips it off just before penetrating you, stealthing as they call it. And then you notice a sore. So it’s down to the STI Clinic for you. Or the clap clinic as they used to call it.”

“Men do that?”

“What won’t men do darling. You have so much to learn.”

“Or you meet Mr. Superstud via a dating app who talks such a good game but when you get to the bedroom, oh dear! He can’t get it up and he blames you. The thing is there are so  many women out there having shit sex. And, having looked at your file, I have to say that you have been responsible for some of it.”

I remained silent.

“I could call it karma. Couldn’t I? But you have another option ”

“What is that Goddess?”

“It is to serve the God of Cock.”

She clicked her fingers and clouds of dry ice filled the room. There was a flash of light, fiercely bright but damped by the mist so that I did not need to turn away. I saw a figure.  fly down from the vaulted ceiling and land. As the clouds cleared I saw a large bearded man, about six feet tall, with a huge cock protruding for his trousers.

“I am the God of Cock. Ever hard, ever needy, ever ready to fuck. Serve me and you serve me for ever. Your cunt will be mine and mine alone. You will always be ready, you will never say no. Think about this before you say yes. My offer is of eternal sexual servitude.”

I said nothing.

“Kneel before me and contemplate.”

I knelt before him, looked at the huge cock, at the prominent vein running down the back, looked at the tip, at the end straining to burst the bounds of the foreskin. I saw it throb. I saw the gleam of pre-come in the spotlight that the Goddess of Cunt was shining on it. This could be mine for ever. I only had to say the word and the God of Cock would make me his and fuck me, fuck me hard, for all eternity.

“Oh most magnificent God of Cock, I choose servitude, I offer you my cunt for all eternity, I crave to be your sexual plaything. Please make me yours.”

I leaned forward to kiss his sandalled feet. I cried.

They watched me for a few minutes, before the Goddess of Cunt said

“Come to me, you who are to be made woman,  lie on the couch.”

I lay down. She came over to me and with a sweep of the hand tore off my cock and balls. She held them up before me, smiling. I felt no pain, only relief, and no regret as she threw them onto the fire, which spat and crackled as the flames consumed them.

She took the clay vulva, licked it on the reverse and laid and gently over my crotch, carefully moving it into place. She placed a finger in her own cunt, took it out, held it up, It was wet. I could see that from the way it glinted in the light. She rubbed the finger over my vulva, saying

“Oh great Goddesses, may you, through the medium of my juices, bless this woman and her vulva, may she walk proud, may she never be ashamed of her sexuality.  May her cunt be considered beautiful. May she be fucked as she earnestly desires. Amen”

She stood over me in silent contemplation. She made a sign over my crotch with her hand, saying words that I could not make out. There was a moment of silence. I felt euphoria rising within me.

She took my left hand and guided it my crotch. I felt the roughness of pubic hair, I felt softness, I felt an opening. She gently pushed my finger in.

“Feel that. You have waited all your life for this. And now you have it. And this,” she guided my hand upwards, “is your clit. Touch it, feel it, love it, make it your best friend”.

“Thank you Goddess, thank you.”

Again I felt a tear running down my cheek.

“But there is a price. You have chosen eternal servitude to the God of Cock. Play with yourself while you wait for Him to make you His.”

I began to rub my clit, and the intensity of the sensations soon had me moaning, I saw the God of Cock  walk across to me.

“Keep playing with yourself. We will come together before I fuck you.”

And we did. I came just as The God of Cock ejaculated and filled a golden goblet with his come. He handed it to me saying

“Drink the drink of sexual servitude”.

I sat up and drank. It was like no come I had tasted before. It was very slightly fizzy, had the saltiness I expected, but an unmistakable aroma of elderflower.

“This is the nectar of the Gods of Sex.  It will dilate you and make you big to take me as now you must.”

He took the goblet from my hand. climbed on top of me, grabbed my wrists roughly and pushed me back onto the couch. He drive his cock into me and thrusted quickly and forcefully, oblivious to my discomfort and pain. It was hurting,  it was really hurting and I wanted it to stop. I called out but he ignored me. He was fucking me into submission, showing what servitude means. I felt his cock growing even bigger inside me, swelling as my cunt couldn’t. It was going to burst, I knew it, I……

“Please Oh God of Cock, please stop, please…”

He roared with contempt, his excitement at my predicament made him bigger still, ever bigger, ever…

Please! Please!”

I came round . I saw that I was back on the ward. The operation had been done. It hurt like fuck and I was aware of something hard in my new cunt.

“What is that?” I asked a nurse”

“It’s a perspex block we use to dilate the neo-vagina” she said. “The body thinks it is a wound, so it tries to close it up. You’ll need it for a while yet I am afraid.”

“Only thing I want inside is a cock” I replied. “The fat throbbing cock of a guy who is going to ram me sideways, thump me so hard that I bang against the headboard and beg for mercy”

“I beg your pardon?” .

“I am sorry. That was really inappropriate”

“It certainly was.”

” It is just that I have wanted to be fucked by a man all my life.”

“Well I suppose I can relate to that” she answered.

She walked away, then stopped and turned to me with a smile on her face.

“When it does happen, I just hope you are not too disappointed.”

 

A post for Wicked Wednesday. For more wickedness click here.

A Digression on Leg Spin

As I write this the Pakistani leg spinner Yasir Shah is twirling his way through the England batting order at Old Trafford and watching him do it is a beautiful sight, even for a cricket loving Englishwoman. For top class leg spin is a thing of delight in a sport that is not short of them.

For the uninitiated let me explain briefly: leg spinners spin the ball from right to left as the bowler looks at it, with three main variations, the top spinner that dips in the flight as it hurries straight on, (think top spun forehand in tennis), the googly (known in Australia the Bosie after its inventor BJT Bosanquet) which spins the other way, and the flipper, a ball that doesn’t really spin at all but skids through, not bouncing much as it generally doesn’t land on the seam. And the batsman never knows quite what to expect. A good bowler will give nothing away in their bowling action. Leg spin is both sublime mystery and aesthetic pleasure.

Leg spin was considered a dead or dying art when I first got interested in cricket in the 1970s. But time has proved the pessimists wrong. Possibly the greatest bowler of all time, the Australian Shane Warne was a leg spinner. And he is 7 years younger than me.

The first great leg spinner I saw in the flesh was the Pakistani Abdul Qadir who sadly died last year. Qadir made bowling into theatre, each ball an act in a drama where he cried out in anguish as the batsman missed but survived, sank to his knees before the umpire imploring him to give the batsman out, glared contemptuously at batsmen who hit the bat and played him with their pads (it was much harder for spinners to get lbw decisions in those days) . It was attacking cricket, cricket played with style and panache. It was compelling.

What, you may ask, has this to do with personal growth? I think it is that there is a sense in which cricket has given me a schooling in life. For it is unlike any other sport in the way it combines simplicity with complexity, in its chronological expanse, in the way that context can make the mundane dramatic, in the literature it has inspired. The writer and critic Neville Cardus used music to illustrate cricket. The  Trinidadian socialist CLR James in his book Beyond a Boundary (still the best book about the political and cultural connotations of the game) suggested that Cardus could also have used cricket to illustrate music. He saw cricket as art. The beauty of cricket has inspired me. The rhythms of the game bring serenity. The outcomes of the game tell me that there is more to life than winning.  Learning abut cricket is the work of a lifetime. And playing, even at the level I once played at is a source of the small achievements that boost my self belief.

And that moment when the batsman fails to spot your top spinner hurrying through,  plays back when he should be playing forward, when you know that the ball is about to  clatter the stumps, sending bails flying, is a moment of catharsis. It is a moment in which you know that you can win at life, for winning at life is as much about little victories as big ones. The new batsman might hit you for six, there will be defeats in the battles that remain. But your name will be recorded in the score book. never to be erased.

A post for May More’s Personal Growth Matters meme. Click the badge below to see the other posts

Personal Growth Matters

 

Keep Fit, Keep Kinky

It is sometimes said that that BDSM can be cathartic, giving people the chance to work through emotional baggage in a safe and non-judgemental environment, reenacting things as parody, turning pain as pleasure. I agree that I can. And that is the key word. I know kinksters who have experience things so painful that BDSM simply doesn’t work as catharsis and would simply bring back the demons. I have play partners who enjoy humiliation play but with clearly defined hard limits relating to those things that are too traumatic to be part of a scene.

I don’t recall any really traumatic experiences from childhood but there were a number of humiliations that have marked me. PE lessons were one of them.  I had no ability at PE or games and was subjected to verbal humiliation by teachers, I hated cold. muddy fields, I hated being naked in front of others. I hated it all, and was glad to leave school and not have to do it again.

BDSM gives me the chance to visit these humiliations on others and exercise (spelling  intended!) my own demons. I actually discovered this by accident when I did my first prison play event. I had planned in a little light forced exercise, but only light as the prisoner was 60 years old and I had risk assessed accordingly. As it turned out he looked very trim and fit and let on that he ran half marathons and worked out at the gym 3 times a week. So, I thought , I am going to have some fun with you.  (Tip for submissives in session. Be careful what you tell the dominant!)

So I had him running round the dungeon, doing star jumps and press ups as directed by by my whistle, just like a jack in a box in an orange jumpsuit.  One blast meant run at normal pace, two, run at the double, three, stop and do five star jumps, four, five press ups, while five blasts reversed the direction he had to run in. Did all this confuse him? That was the whole point! Each mistake earned a stroke of the cane and the startled, fearful look on his face was a joy to behold.

And so I learnt, by accident really, to use forced exercise as form of humiliation play. I got to apply the lessons I learnt in cold gyms, grubby showers,  muddy sports fields, all those years ago. Painful things recreated as parody to give pleasure. This, for me, is the greatest joy of BDSM.

A post for Kink of the Week. Click on the lips to see more thoughts on exercise and kink.