Friday, August 31, 2007

Doin' it right.

I was talking to my friend Moogie a while back and I mentioned a situation where I said "safeword".

"You mean you said 'red'?" she asked.
"No, I mean, I literally said 'safeword'."
"That's wrong. That's not what you say. You say 'green', 'yellow', or 'red'."
"You can, yeah, but a safeword can be whatever you agree on, really."
"No it can't! A safeword has to be 'green', 'yellow', or 'red'! Didn't you read The Guide To Getting It On?"

Obviously this is silly. But I hear--or even more insidiously, think--similar things far too often.

Home Depot rope. Benny and I use Home Depot rope. Isn't that horrible? It's absolutely true that Twisted Monk rope is better; from what I hear it's woven from the treasure trails of the gods themselves. But what bothers me is the idea that Monk rope is right and Home Depot is wrong. Not lower quality, not more limited in uses, not requiring more caution, but... incorrect.

Bullshit. I'm not going to write a whole paragraph elaborating on this because my opinion fits in five words: Nothing that works is wrong. You can put Heinz on filet mignon if that's what tastes best to you.

And hey, while I'm speaking of safewords: Benny and I don't have one. If we wanted to stop, we'd just say "stop." And yes, I do sometimes say "stop" and not mean it. But I guess we just trust each other to know the difference between "ooh, stop stop stop," and "NO. STOP."

(By the way, one of the worst manifestations of the "gotta do it right!" attitude I'm thinking about here is the idea that what Benny and I do isn't even BDSM. Because, honestly? It's mostly just spanking, rough sex, and overhand knots. There's no medical-grade electrical boxes or 10-gauge needles or ultra-realistic walrus dildos. And I always feel oddly inferior, almost like a poser, for calling something BDSM that doesn't even draw blood half the time.)

I'm pretty sure this has to do with geekiness. Geekery and BDSM have a big overlap and overly serious thinking about a very silly activity is a symptom. I believe that the reason you can't wrap a girl's tits in deliciously harsh and earthy truck rope is intimately connected to the reason that an elven warlock can't wield a battleaxe.

And in both cases, really, it's a damn shame. It's fantasy, it's pleasure, it's private, fuck stupid little rules.


  1. hey, i just wanted to give you a big "right on" for your blog. i'm only seventeen, and until recently, i thought that being horny, and female, was some sort of malfunction, that only i had.

    but then i thought, everyone MUST have this deeply sexual side, male or female. . .some of us just wear it on our sleeves.

  2. Hi Jessie! Thanks!

    I don't think everyone does have a deeply sexual side. Some people, sadly, bafflingly, aren't horny, and the majority I think aren't GLORIOUSLY horny like you and me and a couple of my friends. However, if you are a horny bastard, good for you, that may not be "normal" but that doesn't make it one bit less okay. Have fun with it!

    (And because you're 17 I feel obligated to preach: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use condoms for everything. Or you die. And don't sleep with people who're good in bed but messed in the head, you won't die but you might end up wanting to. And, um... stay in school!)

  3. OK, i came here wanting to comment on the whole "doing it right" thing -- and I will, but first i must pause to giggle at your (very wise, and correct, and accurate) words of... well, wisdom to the 17 y/o Jessie.

    I *so* appalud your sentiments in this post.

    I enjoy the occasional submissive moment, but to say that I am a submissive would be inaccurate. However, to read some of the literature on submission, you'd think i was just plain deluding myself.

    The truth is pretty much exactly how you phrased it: nothing that works is wrong. Or at least that's how I've always felt. Does it make me a *bad* submissive if i like to switch occasionally? Hell, no. Does it mean that I'm not doing it *properly* if set certain limits (a nipple pinch or a bite is one thing, but a clothes peg belongs in the laundry, and don't come near me with it, unless you want me to reciprocate, bub)? Of course not.

    Thank you for saying what I thought. And doing it so eloquently.

    Warmest --
    Juno x

  4. If your elven warmage has Strength 12 or higher, he or she can use a Greataxe just fine. But for every point of Strength lower than 12, there's a -1 skill penalty.

    Knowing is half the battle.

  5. Now c'mon, BDSM isn't just about violence and drawing blood - half of it is psychological. You sure can take a whipping though. I can't decide if I want more than just a strong man's hand.