Ask me anything post
lipstick
oddlilpup
Ok. This post is a permanently-at-the-top-of-my-journal space where if you have any questions for me or things to say to me, you can ask them. Questions are best, abuse is discouraged. I promise to either answer you honestly or outright say what information I am declining to volunteer.

All comments are screened UNTIL I reply. If you want your comment to say screened, say so explicitly in the comment.

Anonymous comments are welcome and encouraged, though if you ask something that I would only answer through private message I won't be able to contact you.

Oh, also: Most of the entries in this journal are friends-only, so if you want to read them you'll need to be added as a friend. I will probably add you automatically if I know you, but a prod to get me to do it wouldn't hurt.

The Coin-Operated Boy
lipstick
oddlilpup
(x-posted to FetLife.)

As many of you know, I currently have a temporary prohibition concerning kink events. I've been thinking that it would be nice to relax the prohibition, but I haven't figured out a way that I could attend a kink event without a 'handler' or partner without hitting anxiety triggers.

Then, plumbing the depth of ideas/fantasies that turn me on, I thought of this idea. It would require a present friend at a play party who is willing to take some time (but not as much time as a scene would take) to help me enact the idea by distributing tokens. Here it is in its larval form; I welcome suggestions or comments. This post may change as I get more ideas.

The Coin-Operated Boy

Frozen in time and space with a single hand outstretched, he waits for someone to come by with one of his special tokens. Once a token is placed in his hand, he comes to life to serve you!
[Each token brings me to life for a different task, specified on a sign near me. Some tokens, like dancing, are readily available. Some, less so.]

He Dances!
[I hear that I am a pretty good dancer, and losing myself to music makes me feel very confident and at-ease. If I can find a corner of a party remote enough to play my own music without disturbing anyone, I can have a small music player to which I would dance on command.]

He Serves!
[One token would serve to make me into a timed 'escort'. For a period of time (I'm charmed by the idea of having timed things function with a tick-tick-tick-tick-RING! egg timer, but maybe that's rude? It's just so thematically appropriate) I will follow the token-giver, providing company, performing simple tasks, possibly assisting in scenes(?) and otherwise being a follower-servant.]

He Soothes!
[Backrubs, footrubs, head/temple massages, hair-petting, hair-brushing, and other platonic type stuff that makes you feel good. I am thinking that this one will probably be popular even if people don't want to 'play' with me.]

He Comforts!
[Snuggling, possibly making out if it seems like both the token giver and I want to do it. This one appeals to me because it starts out as something I am willing to do with anyone, and I am a good enough reader of body language to suss out whether someone is interested in more than that.]

And More!
[There is probably room for more stuff and more risqué stuff that I could coordinate with my token-distributing friend, depending on how much they were willing to buy into the process. Some I could potentially distribute myself.]

Musing on the viability

Pros:
  • The very concept of the idea is a fulfilling fantasy to me.
  • I set my limits, and having a sign nearby means that my safeword(s) are readily referenced (was planning to use green/yellow/red/safeword).
  • I am semi-public property (this is hot).
  • A friend is looking out for me without having to babysit.

Cons:
  • It requires me to claim space, which requires at least a semi-roomy party and a complicit host.
  • What if nobody is interested and I sit frozen for hours until I decide to go home?
  • It's kind of hokey.
  • I cannot choose my partners, which is fine for the simple stuff but maybe less so for more intimate things. Maybe a cohort check-in process for token distribution could solve this, but it requires more of my cohort.
  • Requires non-trivial buy-in from a trusted friend.
  • I may not have the guts to do it. :P

Other misc notes:
  • I would probably want to have my own store of tokens, so that if I run out of time with someone but would like to play with them again, I can give them a token before I return to my frozen state.
  • Sign design would be critical. It should provide all the safeword info needed, and also have a reasonable explanation of each token's purpose.

I would love feedback on this. Suggestions are super welcome, caveats/comments/modifications are good too.

This is my kink identity.
lipstick
oddlilpup
You can find this username on FetLife and twitter as well.

If you know my main username or real name, please avoid mentioning it anywhere that this username appears; it's in my interests to keep these google-separate.

Sub chart.
lipstick
oddlilpup
I had a few thoughts about my preferred 'modes' of submission and made a quick-and-dirty chart to summarize them.



These are relative labels, but they decently describe the most comfortable roles that I fantasize about or have played for people. All four of these are desirable states/descriptions for me.

A note: 'autonomous/obedient' may not be the right set of words for the y axis, but it was the best immediate description. 'obedient/pliable' might work too, or 'active/inert'. It's hard to describe.

Genderquoi
lipstick
oddlilpup
(xposted from my main journal.)

I've been thinking about gender and sexuality.

I am a bisexual cissexual man.

Simple, right? But every day I feel more widgy about my identification with all three of those words.
I feel that my understanding of them, of how they're used by the people in my life who care about gender theory and sexuality, becomes shakier every day. In the end, I think that they're in need of some examination.

A lot of my trouble comes with a failure to understand the fundamental meaning of gender. I am not very tuned in to its significance, and I carry enough privilege that I can ignore it without significant impact on my life. That said, a rundown of the basic definitions of each term is in order.

I'm going to crowdsource the definitions of each of the terms I listed above by taking their definitions from Wikipedia. Please leave a comment to correct me if WP's definition is particularly off-base from the perspective of the QUILTBAG community.

Bisexuality: "sexual behavior or an orientation involving physical and/or romantic attraction to both males and females, especially with regard to men and women."

Cisgender: "individuals who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity"

Manhood: "The term ... used to refer to the various qualities and characteristics attributed to men such as strength and male sexuality."

One by one:

BISEXUALITY

I consider this more or less the easiest one to tackle, and given how confusing it is anyway, that's saying something.

Beyond 'heterosexual' and 'homosexual', other sexualities tend to trickle down into three major terms: 'bisexual', 'pansexual', and 'omnisexual'. The definitions of the latter two seem to be under a great deal of debate; WP believes them to both mean the same thing but some relatively well-distributed posts on the matter assert that there is a difference. For the purposes of this discussion, I will be using the term 'pansexual' and ignoring 'omnisexual' until somebody provides a compelling source showing me that I should do otherwise.

By most accounts, the distinction between 'bisexual' and 'pansexual' lies in the notion of binary gender. A bisexual is attracted to both men and women but, under this distinction, nothing in between. A 'pansexual' is attracted to people of any and all genders.

So while I typically call myself bisexual, this is demonstrably untrue: I have been attracted to several people of genderqueer and genderfluid status. I am pansexual. I guess.

Part of me feels weird about this, though, and here's where stuff starts to get confused. I have a lot of sexual/relationship experience with people who identify as women, and virtually none with people who identify as anything else. Do I even 'count' as bi/pan? I am attracted to a strikingly low percentage of male-identified people I know, as opposed to the high percentage of female-identified people I find attractive (worse, the male body types I find attractive tend to be the ones that the teevee tells me I should like. Let me tell you how that makes me feel). This makes me question myself a lot.

Moreover, even if I decide that I am pansexual, I am still likely to refer to myself as 'bi' in most cases because it's a more widely-understood term and there's a part of me that resists using neologisms without test driving them a lot. I suspect I'm not the only person who feels this way; I suspect that a lot of self-styled bisexuals really don't care that much about gender and care more about whether they are attracted to their prospective partners.

Maybe I'll get used to it now that I've used the term in association with myself in a semi-public forum. "I am pansexual." I'll give it time.

Now that we've kind of messed around with my sexuality, let's move on to gender.

CISGENDER

Cisgender has been a difficult term for me to swallow and adopt; when I first encountered it I tripped over it during a virulent discussion about privilege. It was being used with all the affection that an angry waiter affords the word 'sir.' Over time I've seen it proliferate and I've come to be more comfortable with its use, both as a simple identifier and as an acknowledgement that those of us who are not trans, GF or GQ operate under extraordinary privilege.

Most of the people who know me will readily and without hesitation identify me as a cismale. I use the male pronoun, I look like what you expect a dude to look like, I refer to myself as male, I carry all of the male privilege that a cismale generally carries.

But when I actually wear the term and look at it closely, it does not fit the inside of my head very well. To help explain why, I'm actually going to move on to the next term and come back to this one after we've addressed it.

Switcheroo!

MANHOOD

This word has caused me a hell of a lot of confusion lately and I'm gonna try to unpack that confusion here. It will be messy. I will probably need help. Here goes.

What is a man?
  • A human with a penis? (no, the genderbread person tells us it's not that simple.)
  • Someone broad-shouldered and narrow-hipped, with no breasts? (no. the shape of your body does not determine either sex OR gender.)
  • Someone with a strong will, integrity, and honor? (no, many of the women in my life have these traits.)
  • Someone sexually dominant? (no. don't get me fucking started on this.)
  • Someone legally identified with an 'm'? (no, manhood is not determined by the government.)
  • A miserable pile of secrets? (no, Dracula was defeated many times and therefore doesn't get to set our gender norms.)
  • Someone who runs around the forest looking for fights? (only if you wear tights, apparently.)
  • Swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon? (no, you can never trust Disney's fact-checking.)
  • Fierce as a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon? (see above.)
  • Someone who identifies as male?

...
Hmm.
Is that it?

Are you a man when you identify as one? There's no entry fee, no paperwork, no requirements?

So ... what's my motivation? What does it mean to identify as a man? Why am I doing it? Privilege? I hate male privilege. I've spent the last several years trying to ferret mine out so that I can work against it and I plan to continue doing so indefinitely.

What it boils down to is that not only do I not understand what determines your manhood and/or manliness, I don't know what it means to have either.

Having thoroughly failed to established what manhood is, I shall return to the previous discussion topic:

CISGENDER (again)

Ok so! Cispeople are "individuals who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity," right? Specifically, the term 'cissexual' has been posited as "people who are not transsexual and who have only ever experienced their mental and physical sexes as being aligned."

Tricky.

As we have established above, I have a thoroughly confused and fairly permissive idea about how I am supposed to identify manhood. The WP definition, again, is as follows: "The term 'manhood' is used to refer to the various qualities and characteristics attributed to men such as strength and male sexuality."

So I guess that to determine whether I am cissexual, I should figure out the above-mentioned qualities and characteristics and see if they jive with my mental gender identity. But what are those qualities and characteristics? Most of what I have to work from is stereotype: the values that men are encouraged to have by media and 'conventional wisdom' when opposed to the values that are valued in women.

I'm gonna do a little exercise where I put down a bunch of words that have ostensibly neutral to positive meaning and are stereotypically attributed to one gender or the other by media and tradition (yes, it will be a somewhat infuriating list). I will bold words that I like and want to have associated with me, and I will italicize words that I don't like and don't want associated with me. Words I feel neutral about I will leave alone. If you feel that I'm leaving out or misplacing any of these words, please say, but remember that I'm drawing from our stereotype-loving media.

Stereotypical 'masculine' adjectives:
strong, macho, manly, dominant, primal, powerful, chivalrous, handsome, stoic, righteous, protective, competitive, honorable, aggressive
Stereotypical 'feminine' adjectives:
graceful, beautiful, soft, gracious, submissive, empathic, emotional, obedient, helpful, kind, sensual, faithful

I'm sure that I missed a lot, but even as I continued to add words when the internet suggested them or I thought of them, a clear trend emerged: I don't identify with the societal image of my assigned gender. Of course, many women I know will probably find the same thing about their gender, but in part that's probably because this stereotypical feminine image is largely constructed and maintained by men. I'm not sure what the excuse is for the male stereotype, but it ain't me.

A friend suggested that in part we may bristle at the things we've been told that we 'should' be because of our birth sex, and therefore push them away harder than we might push away potentially negative traits of the opposite sex of our birth one. But if that's true, that means that there's no value in these societally determined characteristics anyway and the last means that I had to establish what manhood means is out the window. Now I'm REALLY confused!

Okay, let's take a few steps back. Before I got muddled, I identified as male. Why?

Well, I am a man much like I am an American.
I was born into it, I was told what it is supposed to mean, and I continue to watch people fight about whether that meaning is valid or not. I do my best to exemplify its positive attributes but often feel widgy about the people who are most enthusiastic about the label. I have no particular objection to the label itself, but I see stereotypical facets of other labels and wonder if maybe I would be better off with that label over there ... or maybe no label at all.

But it's easiest to just keep the label they handed me when I was incapable of decision-making, so I do.

Gender is totally a thing, but I'm not sure how I'm supposed to treat it.
I know transfolk who feel gender identity very strongly, and it's very important to them. I know genderqueer and genderfluid people who loathe gender and wish it would go away.

I don't know how I feel.


There's one other weird thing about my self-identification that I'm not sure is related, but ties into some of my confusion.

I think that a lot of people feel some kind of dysphoria concerning their physical form. I don't know of any people offhand who have always been satisfied with the way they look and feel, and most people arrive there (if they do) through a combination of altering their bodies (exercise, dieting, calorie balancing, plastic surgery, fashion, hair, makeup, etc) and altering their self-perception.

I've been trying to do some of both alterations for many years, and have had some success, but my body and I have not historically gotten along very well.

For example:
I think that wearing makeup is great. Stage makeup is okay, but I like the more decorative stuff better. Eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush, glitter, mascara. I like having pretty hair. I also think that dresses look awesome and skirts look comfy. Kilts are okay I guess but they're not the same.
But most of you will have noticed that I pretty much never ever dress in drag. Ever.
Well, yes, I dressed in drag that one time in Threads, but you know what? I did it for a comedic role. I did it while playing a cowardly fool who was supposed to look ridiculous. It was not pretty.

This is one element of a larger web of influences that come from my failure to fit my perception of myself into a lot of images that appeal to me. I'd be hard-pressed to try to break it all down, but it's the same wellspring of problematic thinking that made constantly makes it difficult for me to accept myself as bi, to accept myself as submissive. I picture myself [in a dress/tied up/made to look pretty/flirting with an attractive guy] and I just get this nasty gut reaction right away. Gross! Nobody wants me like that. Nobody.

Yes, I am aware of how incongruous and strange that reaction is. There are male-identified people on my friendslist whom I'd be actively interested in seeing in drag. Even though there are other people who wouldn't be personally physically attractive to me in a slinky dress and heavy makeup, I would still encourage them to do it if they wanted to, and I wouldn't react with the same revulsion that I have when I imagine myself doing so. I have a very special, very virulent internal reaction to the idea of putting myself in these images.

Some of it I believe boils down to a failure to step out of my own head and the fact that I'm not my type. Whatever the case, it's difficult. I have actually caught myself having a nearly coherent thought along the lines of "I don't flirt with the men I'm attracted to because those men would never be attracted to me" -- the kind of shit I thought I got over in high school.

I'm not actually sure where I'm going with this, so here's where I sort of trail off while I think of how to wrap everything up nicely. Probably I'll just end up leaving this line as is and write some sort of kludgey "This doesn't wrap up nicely" conclusion.


So these issues obviously don't wrap up very nicely.

My personal definition of gender is diffuse and lacking. My sexuality is confused and blocked by image/perception issues.
I'm not actively unhappy or angry about any of this, nor am I leading an unfulfilled life. I just think that I have a lot of reflection and thinking to do. I'm open to any feedback or perspectives that people want to give, and I'd be happy to participate in conversations, including those that show me some way that I could improve my perspective. There's a lot for me to learn and I look forward to learning it.

It's all pretty funny. I went into this post hoping to talk things through and clarify them, but I came out of it with more questions than I went in.

Some people are bicurious or genderqueer. I think I'm biconfused and genderquoi.

Dear Scene
lipstick
oddlilpup
Hey, the Scene. Thanks for coming by. How've you been, good? Yeah, stressed out, I know.

Anyway.

I think we both know why we're here. I'm a male submissive, and you are a nebulous mass of communities loosely bound around the commonality of sexual subculture. I represent ideas that are embarrassing and uncomfortable to the kyriarchy, and you, so far as I can tell, represent the kyriarchy's seamy underbelly. I am sensitive to social issues and civil rights, and you are just now figuring out that saying the word 'consensual' over and over again doesn't actually stop abusers.

I know. It's clear that you're working on that, the Scene, and I really appreciate it. But I think it's too late for us.

I came into this relationship with a lot of hope, and I was ready to be patient. I think you know how fulfilling I find service submission; before I started this thing with you I had an amazing experience with S. Remember her? I love kink and I love sexual expression. If that was what this was about, the Scene, I'd love you too.

Yes, I know. I could have done more. I could always have done more. But you know how I get at munches. I'm at sea, and the social anxiety kicks in, and the panic attacks happen. But that's not all. I've got a lot of triggers, and I didn't know that I had them at first. I've dated a lot of submissive women, you know, and I've gotten a really amazing front seat to abusive behavior from heterosexual cismale doms and tops ever since well before I considered myself kinky. I just don't trust them as a group, the Scene, and my time with you hasn't helped that. Time and time again, the ones who don't acknowledge their privilege and understand how much damage they can do will do that damage and I can't stand watching it.

So I'm done. Hearing jokes about controlling and hurting women, real threats and rage. The endless horror stories of abuse and rape being covered up. The awkwardness of feeling like my kink isn't wanted in kinky space. Being treated like an obstacle, invisible, or something creepy and crawly. That endless, repeated assumption that as a man, I must be a top, that I am competition.

I'd say that I'll treasure the good times we've had, but ... let's just leave it at "It's been an educational experience," ok? I have learned some important things, but I could only learn them when I put up my walls and pretended not to be kinky in a kinky space. The Scene, I had my best times with you when I was pretending not to be kinky. That's messed up and I can't keep doing it.

Look, don't flip out, but I've brought some things for you to read. I know we're breaking up, but some of these people are your friends and they've got good things to say. I honestly want you to keep working on this stuff so that maybe we can be friends again someday. Ok?

If you only read one thing, read Thomas's post about Domism and Role Essentialism. It's about how you treat Doms like they matter more as human beings than subs.

Here's a post about the devaluation of male submission, which has been a pretty huge part of our relationship, and hurts female doms too.

You know how I wish you would stop making jokes about molestation and rape? It's not funny.

You also talk about trying to avoid 'Drama' a lot, so please go over the Geek Social Fallacies of Sex.

And I know you're really sick of this, but there is still more work to be done about abuse.

Ok.

That's all, I guess. It'll take me a little bit to get gone, so I'll be here through the end of the week, but then I've got to take care of myself and I'm going to start ignoring your calls and e-mails, at least for a while. I know you're big on telling hurt people that they are wrong, but this is my space and I'm going to actively police this conversation if you start acting like an asshole. I know I was trying to be helpful, but when you get right down to it this conversation isn't for you.

It's for me.

Goodbye.

Added some friends
lipstick
oddlilpup
I just added a bunch of friends to this journal, so those of you who have been added can now read the protected posts further back in this journal.

Going to Rapture tomorrow
lipstick
oddlilpup
Tomorrow I'm going to Rapture at Boston Haven.

It's funny, if I'd considered the idea of going to a play party several weeks ago, I would have figured that it would be a very risky idea. One of the things I've said, however, is "What I feel like I could really use is somebody to go with whom I know wants to scene with me."

Well, mephki specifically pointed me at the event, and has specifically said that she'd like to play.

Here goes!

Saturday Summary
lipstick
oddlilpup
Okay, so today was a very mixed bag for me. There were some minor bad points, including a small panic attack that struck during a 'pair up' point, there were a few minor high points, and mainly the day went all right. Not enthusiastically successful, but fine.

Most importantly, I am getting to know people and my face was seen and I acted with respect and not like an idiot.

Hopefully this will be my first step toward healing my relationship to kink. Also hoping that tomorrow will be interesting.

Lesson Number One
lipstick
oddlilpup
... never go to a meet-'n-greet.

They are crowded, there is nothing to do, and nowhere will I feel so much like I have no ability to start, sustain or enter a conversation.

Today is a very heavily programmed day; I hope that it proves to be a good inlet into the stuff that I would like to be doing, and that the activity raises my confidence and familiarity enough to feel comfortable at the parties. As opposed to last night, though, I am now more nervous than I am hopeful.

I ranted about the community, but I knew that I was at least partly culpable for my inability to integrate. Maybe I am not cut out for this.

?

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