March Roundup

So onto March, and the first anniversary of our lives going into suspension, a month in which I turned 59, a month in which my countdown to retirement gathered pace. A month, too, in which the toxins of populism continued to infect the politics of our country, a month in which a 33 year old woman was abducted and murdered on her walk home, a month in which women gathering to remember her, and to protest against male violence against women, were assaulted by male police officers, a month in which the Government introduced a bill that would effectively make peaceful protest subject to police permission, a month in which protests against the bill led to riots of the kind we haven’t seen since the Poll Tax riots over 30 yeas ago. The national mood was turning ugly. But, at least, we have a prospect of life returning to something approaching normality. March was also the month in which I received my first dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine. The days are getting longer too and that always lifts the spirits. For me personally things could be a lot worse. And, yes, I am resigned to Albion going down!

The first Sinful Sunday of the month was actually on my birthday and the prompt was Surrealism. There were some amazing images and I have chosen two to highlight here, this from Focused and Filthy and this from Lovedyoualongtime which is a new blog to me and one that I will definitely follow.

I loved both the image and the sentiments in this by Sub Bee,

The 30 day Orgasm Challenge is just around the corner and this by Tabitha Rayne about her ADHD and how orgasms saved her life was thought provoking and, yes. beautiful as an account of how she learned to love herself and how, to put it into a wider context, love of our sexual selves is key to good mental health.

Week 38 of Quote Quest was about soulmates and I liked this by Coffee and Kink about why she doesn’t believe in soulmates. And this by Violet Grey on mirrors has made me think in a new way about my past and present relationships

There was a Wicked Wednesday prompt of “Mouth” and Submissy went on a different path from the other contributors by talking about talking about sex and very interestingly. Talking about our needs and feelings can be so difficult and personally I aw always caught between being tongue tied and hesitant on the one hand, and oversharing on the other. She was a bit worried that this didn’t really fit the prompt but it does, brilliantly.

Kink of the Week moved on to bulges and I found the posts fascinating, not least because I had never really thought about bulges as a kink or fetish, in fact I had never really thought aboit them much at all. This is the great thing about thoughtfully put together memes, you can learn so much from others’ posts, and find yourself inspired to explore new territory in your own writing. Emilyboots09 is a new blog to me and I did enjoy this post (maybe the colours appeal!)

And so onto music and Jae Lynn’s Musically ranting meme. I only recently discovered this and have posted on it a couple of times. This, by Jae, herself was for the theme Musical Therapy and is a discussion of her health problems and their impact on her blogging as well as the music that helps her get through the days,

This piece by Paul Bernal, an academic specialist in social media and a highly recommended follow on Twitter, makes the case that arguments for a ban on pseudonyms on social media accounts miss the point and that the proposed solution will actually be harmful. I think that most people reading this, sex bloggers, erotica writers, kinksters or sex workers, will themselves have pseudonymous accounts and will understand the importance of Paul’s arguments. I can actually forgive him for being a Wolves fan!

And back in the world of kink I was intrigued by this post by Marie Louise about spanking and squirting. As I said above, every day brings something new. And how could anyone ever tire of sex and kink? There is so much to explore!

And the exploration of the delights of sex is something that too many people still think does not, or should not, apply to people with disabilities. Molly McCully Brown discusses her experiences in this piece in British Vogue

This piece on pride.com is actually five years old but still relevant. I had always struggled to understand why lesbians who had never made out with penis owners were sometimes called Gold Star Lesbians as if this made them better lady loving ladies. Each woman’s Sapphic journey is different (like any sexual journey for that matter) and, as this article argues, the term reeks of both biphobia and transphobia and should be ditched.

I used to blog a lot about sex work but these days mainly leave that to those who know more about it. That said I am fucking angry about yet another attempt to impose the so called Nordic Model, this time by Diana Johnson MP, This post by Mistress Elizabeth Swan, laying into condescending middle class feminists, is superb.

And talking of sex workers it is sometimes said, rather glibly at times, that they can be therapists. This is a cliche that is often used about the professional dominatrix. In this thoughtful post, Bibulous One reflects on his own experiences as a long term client of a dominatrix and also of seeing a therapist (both relationships which have now finished) and explores the parallels and the differences.

This Girl’s Weblog was one of the very first blogs I followed in my early days on the internet and continues to provide both interesting writing on BDSM and some seriously hot bondage photography. I loved this post for National Poetry Day.

Victoria Blisse wrote a poem about the empowerment that comes from accepting our otherness.

This post by Brigit Delaney contains two truths and a lie. I can’t even begin to guess which is which. They all sound pretty hot to me!

It was in March 2014 that I first went to Eroticon. On the last afternoon I met Eye and we have become friends over the years. I have actually seen more of her than before over the last year as we have had regular WhatsApp chats. These conversations have been deep (deeper than I initially expected) but utterly inspiring. Her writing inspires me too and as I stand on the threshold of my seventh decade this was particularly inspiring.

The story of Delphine’s Schooldays is nearing it climax (pun intended) and Posy writes here about the celebration of Coronation Day at St. Faith’s School. I wonder whether any of this will have consequences for Miss Ranson?

This pic of Barefoot Sub, from the final Sinful Sunday of the month, was simply amazing.

And what about my music? For this, my birthday month, I am going back to the year of my birth 1962, and this instrumental, produced by the tormented genius Joe Meek. Meek actually used his flat on the Holloway Road as a studio and created sound effects by banging things in is kitchen, flushing the toilet and playing the tape backwards, and a host of other ways. Some of these can be heard in the intro to this. It was here too that he died in 1967, alone and debt ridden, taking his own life after shooting his landlady who had come to see him about his rent arrears. There is now a blue plaque on the building, which is a few doors down from the Vivien of Holloway repro vintage shop which was once a favourite haunt of mine. 1962 was in happier times for Meek so enjoy Telstar.

Not Lost For Words

“Give me words that make my mind curl before my toes.”— Rachel Wolchin

Without words there is nothing. St.John The Evangelist understood this well. Even if you are not a Christian, or even a believer at all, the opening of his gospel is stunning in both its simplicity and its profound truth.

“In the beginning was the Word”

 Words, and the discourses we create with them, are our reality. Nothing that exists outside us can be accessed without language. Words are precious.  The Anglo-Saxon word for vocabulary was wordhoard, meaning that words are literally treasure. Modern German has the same concept – Wortschatz

It follows from this that words are both essential to our sexual self-expression and too precious to be used lightly. Words have too often been used to construct sexualities as deviant, as other, to construct sexualities as dangerous, as things to be controlled. This is especially true  of female sexuality. Words can set us free. They can also chain us tin the prison of  cisheteronormaivity that many of you reading this and so language becomes a battleground, a terrain where we fight for our right to be ourselves.    

This is true too of the world of BDSM with its protocols and rituals, where language is imbued with powerful depths of meaning.

When my slave calls me “Mistress” and I call him “Slave” we are doing much, much more than sticking labels on each other. We are defining ourselves relative to the other, giving voice to the essence of our relationship. We open doors to our souls.

With our language we set in train a dialectic that brings us to enlightenment, to self knowledge, ultimately to freedom. Can a submissive ever be more free than kneeling humbly before their dominant? Can that freedom be realised other than in language, in the dialectical discourse of Mistress and slave? Freedom is rooted in the treasure of words.

A post for Quote Quest. Click here to read more words on words.

QuoteQuest

And the Last Fight Let Us Face

I take her flowers. I lay them on her grave. I raise my fist. I sing the Internationale. I stand in silence. Then I turn and go. It is a cold day at Lichterfelde Cemetery in the East of Berlin. I raise the collar of my coat, pull my gloves on tight and had off to get the tram back to the city centre.

There are two women whose graves I visit who I never knew. One, as some of you will know is Marlene Dietrich. She is buried far from here in the western half of the city. Today I have been paying my respects to a very different woman, the socialist revolutionary, Rosa Luxemburg who died in 1919, murdered by far right thugs, 43 years before I was born.

Rosa was born in the Russian partition of Poland in 19871 and ended up in Berlin after studying in Zurich. She was a committed socialist, a principled opponent of the War as most of her party the SPD obediently danced to the patriotic tune, later on a doomed revolutionary in the chaos that engulfed Germany in the months that followed the collapse of the Kaiser’s regime. She was, above all,  a woman of wide ranging interests, (she was a keen amateur botanist for example, but a woman of intellectual brilliance, fluent in five languages, incredibly widely read but always hungry for new knowledge, new ideas. It was this that attracted me to her. She is my secret crush, a crush that transcends time. I can never know her body. But I can engage with her mind. And engaging with brilliant minds can be deeply erotic.       

My sexual energy is what powers many aspects of my life. It powers my deep reading both of fiction and history and philosophy, it powers my writing, it powers my activism. It opens doors to me. Doors to engage with a range of people in ways that are erotically deeply satisfying, but which do not have to involve my body engaging with theirs. This realisation has been a life saver over the last year. And Rosa is always there for me, as a symbol of this.          

These are dark times for progressive politics generally, let alone socialist politics. The I too will not live to see the overthrow of the capitalist neoliberal order and the struggle will be, for all of us, about scraps, about small gains, I so what I do as an act of love for her, who loved, for love is what will save us all, it is what makes our brief journey through this mess worthwhile.       

A post for Kink of the Week – Sapiosexuality. Click on the badge to see how this theme has inspired other bloggers – some of them with minds more brilliant than my own and who I might, just find rather sexy.

Delphine’s Schooldays – Chapter 17

The story continues. Read about how Delphine and Belinda made an unauthorised trip to London in Chapter 16 by Posy here

“You are really going to have to learn to curtsy properly Trudy.”

I walked round her as she stood on the carpet before my desk shaking with nerves, and adjusted her dress, her frilly apron. I ran my fingers over her chin.

“You are going to have to learn to shave properly too. That male beard is far too visible, and your chin juts too much. You have to be more feminine. It is very important that you pass. I am taking a big risk for you. If it became publicly known that the senior mistresses’ maid was a transvestite male, my position as Headmistress would be untenable would it not?”

“Yes Miss Ranson.” replied Trudy and curtsied again.

“Your loyalty is to me, and only me.”

“Yes Miss Ranson.”

“The girls have been summoned to see me on Thursday at 2 o’clock precisely. I thought it best to delay their reckoning for a few days. That way, their fear and apprehension are immeasurably increased. I will have my sport with them. And you are to assist me. Now run along and clean my bathroom.”

“Yes Miss Ranson” said Trudy and left through the door that led to my small flat.  

I left through the door that led to the school. I smiled. I was going to enjoy my rounds today.  

On Thursday at 2 o’clock the girls walked into my study.  They stood, heads bowed, blushing furiously. I watched them, saying nothing, like a big cat circling its prey.

“Where did you go?” I asked.

“We went to Guildford Miss, we “

“And what did you do in Guildford.”  

“Miss, we went for a walk, we went to some shops and we went to a tea room.”

“And what is the name of this tea room?”

“Miss, it is Alice’s Tea Room and Cake Emporium on the …”

“On which street”

“It is the High street Miss”

“Very good.”

I reached into a desk drawer and took out the telephone directory. I handed it to Coningsby-Firth.

“Find me the telephone number. I wish to telephone them to confirm your story.”

The girl blushed even more and I noticed her lower lip trembling. She began to leaf though the book, starting at the back.

“I think you will find, girl, that Alice’s is at the front of the book, under letter A”

Coningsby-Firth shut the book, took a deep breath and opened it at the front, leafed through the pages very slowly. Like a fish wriggling on the line I thought, and a most satisfying sight.  

“Hurry up girl”

“Miss, it’s not there. They don’t have a telephone. I remember the lady mentioning it to another customer.”

“Do they not? How very convenient for you both. There might, of course, be another reason why Alice’s Tea Room is not in the telephone directory might there not?”

The two girls stood silently, no doubt wishing he ground would open up and swallow them. There would, however, be no quick end to their torment.   

“The reason is that Alice’s Tea Room does not exist. Is that not so?”

“Yes Miss.”

They bowed their heads again. Tears started to roll down Coningsby-Firth’s cheeks.  

“So you told me a lie. And what further lies did you tell?”  

“No more lies, Miss. We did go to a tea room but it was.”

“Lies! Wicked lies”.

I stood up and walked round to the girls. I gripped Lotbiniere’s ponytail firmly and pulled her head back.   

“Where did you go?”

“To Guildford Madame”

“In that case why did the stationmaster at Hernmere railway station tell me that he sold you tickets to London?”

“We didn’t buy tickets Madame”

“It will be better for you both if you tell the truth. What is the punishment for liars?”

“Mouthsoaping Miss” answered Coningsby-Firth quietly, quivering with fear.

“I don’t need to ask what you were doing in London as I have a witness.”

“A witness Miss?”

“Trudy come in!”

The door from my flat opened and Trudy walked in, carrying a bar of soap on a plate ad a knife.

The girls both gasped and Coningsby-Firth dropped to her knees sobbing.

“Please Miss Ranson, I will tell you the truth, I will tell you everything, it was Lotbiniere’s idea it was…”

Lotbiniere flashed her a look of contempt.  

“I am not afraid of you, I know all about you and I know where the documents are.”

“Permission to speak Ma’am” interjected Trudy

“Speak Trudy.”

“Ma’am they thought they had some information about you and Miss Spencer-Harrington’s business. I took them to the brothel but I gave them nothing of value.”

“But I have other documents” said Lotbiniere.  “I know that you have been stealing money from the school to pay for the services of that putain.”    

“How dare you use that word about Miss Spencer-Harrington! She is a better person than you will ever be. “

“Pute!” repeated Lotbiniere, almost spitting the word out.

Trudy moved towards her and shaped to slap her face. I grabbed her wrist and held it fast.

“Trudy, I decide when and how to punish the girls. Know your place”

“Sorry Ma’am” said Trudy and curtseyed.

I seized Lotbiniere by the ear and twisted it. She cried out in pain.  

“So, tell me where you have the documents.”

“No! I will never tell you, you pervert, you..”

I put a hand over her mouth.   

“That is enough from you young lady. Trudy, prepare the soap. ”

Trudy took the knife and cut the soap into slices. I took the plate and went up to Coningsby-Firth.

“Take a slice and eat it.”

She began to cry.

“Please Miss no.please”

“Very well. You will go and you will write a full account of your trip to London. I want every detail.”

“Yes Miss.”

“And I require 200 lines. ‘Through truth and obedience I will become a better person.’ By 2 o’clock tomorrow. Otherwise you will have your mendacious mouth cleansed for fourteen days. Is that clear?”

“Yes Miss.”

“Good. Now run along.”

When she had gone I turned to the French girl.

“You friend has abandoned you. I think you will find that, from now on, she will be as docile and obedient as a puppy dog. She will tell me all I need to know about your perversions and duplicity.”

Lotbinire said nothing.

“Next week we have a special day do we not?”

“Do we Miss?”

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second will be crowned Queen of our glorious nation, Queen of our wonderful Empire and dominions and we at St. Faith’s will be celebrating this. And you, young lady, will play a leading role in the celebrations”

“I will not!”

“You will! Trudy, fetch the dress!”

Lotbiniere started as she saw the knee length Union Jack dress.

“You will wear this. And you will lead the school in the singing of our glorious National Anthem God Save the Queen.”

I smiled.

“I will not!”

“If you don’t you will suffer exemplary punishment.”

“Miss?”

“The girls call you Bin I believe?”

“Yes Miss.”

“You will lose the whole holiday on the day after Coronation Day and you will stay in school performing menial chores under the supervision of Trudy. Specifically, you will be emptying out the bins, and the kitchen bins are, I hardly need add, heavy and dirty and stinking. You will be bin of the bins.”

I couldn’t resist a chuckle at my evil wit. When Lotbiniere flashed me a look of pure hatred I knew I was winning. I also knew that, regardless of her behaviour on Coronation Day, she would be doing the bins the following day.

“Trudy, take her away and wash her mouth out. If she has to learn to tell the truth and show respect the hard way, then so be it.”

She fought had but Trudy was too strong for her. She took Lotbiniere to my bathroom to administer the soaping. I sat at my desk and, as I heard her cries, I felt waves of pleasure rolling through me. If only there were more girls at the school as defiant as Delphine de Lotbiniere.

A post for Wicked Wednesday . For more wickedness click here

February Roundup

February. Bloody February. Another month in lockdown. Another month where friends were just images on screens, another month of lies, evasions, another month when the utter disaster of Brexit was laid bare, and most people didn’t seem to care. But also the month of Photo Fest and there are a few pics I want to iclide here.

Like this by Jayne Renault on the Smutathon site. Or this by Floss who celebrates her pregnant body so wonderfully.

May More has been running a meme on the subject of money and I could totally relate to this post, especially the bit about the wonderful things to be found in charity shops.

I actually prefer tea to coffee in the morning and so does the Artful Muse. Never actually had tea with cuffs though!

I enjoyed this guest post on Stella Kink.

Kink of the Week in the first part of the month was about hoods. These are a kink I have never really got into but maybe I need to? I loved this by Sub Bee who talks about how the dehumanising aspect leads to rougher treatment (which for Sub Bee is a definite bonus!)

And February Photo Fest was awesome throughout the month. I make no apology for plugging the contributions of fellow Smutathon committee members. I really liked this by Quinn Rhodes

Kink of the Week for the second half of the month was Pain. I enjoyed this by Focused and Filthy

Posy Churchgate posted the latest chapter in our collaboration about Delphine’s Schooldays which is now building nicely to a climax (pun intended!)

And finally my music for the month. The mid 1970s were a strange period between glam rock an the arrival of punk, There were two groups whose sound stood out with its startling originality at that time. There was Sparks, of whom more in a future month, and there was Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel. I will never forget the first time I heard this.