Of Hot Tubs and Body Love

I guess we all suffer varying degrees of body shame. This is probably even more of a problem for trans people than for others. I mean we are all, according to a certain narrative, supposed to suffer from body dysmorphia and   believe that we are trapped I the wrong body. I have talked before about why this narrative is deeply problematic but whilst I can feel happy in my body as such there is still the matter of showing my body to people other than sexual partners. And this is all to do with having a body that in certain important respects doesn’t correspond to my identified gender.

Yet I am active in scenes like the fet scene, the swinging scene and also the very much interconnected sex blogging scene where being naked in front of people is actually no big deal. And  the swingers clubs I go to  have jacuzzis because, getting into a bath with a load of other people is part of what it’s about. So if I was not going to get my kit off at some point I was going to miss out.   Smutathon has brought this to a head because the plan was to rent a house for the weekend with an outdoor hot tub. This was the big attraction of the house and something I could not miss out on. Would I  be able to overcome my hesitation and enjoy this with the others?

Well the answer is yes. I broke the barrier last weekend at a fet event at a swingers club in the Midlands. I went along feeling tired and run down. It was a hot day too and really I felt I had no energy. The plan was to sit and chill with a few ice cold soft drinks. But I wasn’t on my own, I went with my submissive male partner and I had to take his needs into account. So we sat and chilled foe a bit before going upstairs for some very satisfying sex.  After the buffet was served we had a little CP play on the lawn where the spanking bench had been set up for us to take advantage of the sunshine. After that my partner wanted to go to the Jacuzzi as he usually does when we visit this club.  I had always resisted persuasion before but this time, well, it was a hot day and that Jacuzzi suddenly seemed rather enticing. So I threw away my inhibitions and went in. I loved it. I suppose I should have expected that no-one would give me a second glance. or that no one would engage with me any differently when they saw me with my clothes on again. No oe there really gave a damn what I looked like. So, I thought. Why should I?

And so to the Smutathon weekend. I had an hour in the outdoor hot tub last night under the stars. I also had half an hour this afternoon between blog posts. It was fun. I am so glad I took the plunge, , you know, not the one into warm bubbling water,


Beanflicks or A Night at the Pictures

I so nearly missed this. It was a post on the Birmingham Feminists Facebook group that alerted me to it and I went along, not actually with any of the feminists but two of my best friends, who I shall call Angie and Sarah. Sarah is a long serving kinkster and swinger but had never been exposed to porn of this kind before. Angie is going through as sage of disillusionment with men accepted our invitation to go to a swing event with her, I guess as much out of curiosity as anything. But she is quite attracted to the idea of having good sex without all the emotional shit……   of which more later

I was interested to hear their views. No ice cream, no popcorn, just gin and tonic and we took our places in comfy seats at the back of the Mockingbird Cinema in Birmingham’s Custard Factory.  There were half a dozen films, their lengths ranging from two to fifteen minutes, including solo sex, couple sex, an orgy in a paddling pool and a femdom scene from Ms Tytania’s Urban Chick Supremacy Cell.  Feminist porn is not high budget and glossy but often the precisely the opposite. This is, of course, a good thing as it lends both immediacy and authenticity. And this can be uninspiring. People of my generation remember the famous edition of the punk fanzine Ripped and Torn that showed three chords and exhorted readers to “go out and form a band” Because this kind of porn is something any of us could make. You could even make a short film on your phone.

As to the content, cocks were normal size (with one exception)but, more importantly, female pleasure was foregrounded. Some had storylines to  hang the sex together, some didn’ t while the paddling pool film had a crazy plotline that I soon gave up trying to follow. But when you have a lot of people making out together and clearly enjoying it, you don’t really care.

It was all interesting, educational, funny too.  You can have a laugh as you make out. It works. But notwithstanding the heat and the effect of the gin, I found myself thinking that this didn’t quite work to get me horny. There wasn’t really anything that had ne itching to take 5 in the ladies. Then again each to her own and some of the stuff that gets me off isn’t actually intentionally pornographic at all, but rather images that trigger fantasies.  And maybe, maybe, we need to ditch the word pornography with its connotations and cultural baggage? Let’s call these just films, films that celebrate human sexuality and the human body in all their glorious, beautiful, diversity, films that also happen to make some viewers horny. Not me on this occasion but maybe if they had wrestled in lube in that paddling pool?

Would I go again? Most definitely. It was an inspiring evening and  I did get to chat to some really interesting and inspiring people.

As for my friends….well we had a lovely evening together, and plotted our campaign for our night at the swingers’ club but I had the impression they were both a bit disappointed. Sarah was unconvinced by the label “feminist” as applied to these films while Angie admitted that it was not really her bag, although the stuffiness of the cinema on a warm and humid night didn’t help. But she has overcome her reservations about swinging and is keen to go and dip her toe in the water. We are going out to play next week. I will blog about our experiences.