Curious about BDSM? Listen Up.
A working class high femme gives us a (NSFW) peek into the world of leather and BDSM.
My history with BDSM is as old as my sexuality. As a child, I can remember making whorehouses out of my brother’s blocks and tying up poor Barbie. She had no choice but to lie naked and string clad for short-haired dyke Barbie (in Ken’s clothes) to come and do very nasty things to her plastic body.
When I around 12, I used to get in playful scuffles with friends. We were a tough knot of colt legged girls. We enjoyed pushing the limits of those scuffles, hitting harder. I can distinctly remember the sexual pleasure of hearing their panting, mewling voice as I punched them while sitting on them. The sound of our laughing bodies as we hurt one another and the hugged after was precious. There was something in the testing of our physical limits that pushed us closer to some edge that we always brought each other back from. It was akin to a kiddie Fight Club, but with sisterhood and a pureness.
One day when I was newly single from a long monogamous relationship, I started feeling a tugging. I had that old feeling of the days of pre-teen fight club. I started to think about bruises and the endorphin joy of how they are earned. I felt the urge welling up inside me to learn more, push harder, and find others who shared this want.
My heart was beating inside my cage like a hummingbird. I can remember looking at my hands, the lines in the palms, the half moon dents where my nails had pushed into them. I wanted to do something about this feeling. I wanted to know this feeling in a physical space. I wanted to know what it was like to release myself into this emotion.
I wanted to go to a play party.
I carefully waited, talking to friends that I knew were involved in the kink scene, trying to keep a low profile. I dipped my toes into the waters with delicious trepidation. I finally got up the nerve to attend an out of town play party.
I sat still in my fishnets, low cut dress and heels. I tried to remain inconspicuous and watchful. I pressed my thighs together every time I watched that butch strike that femme, her legs kicked apart. Every single one of my senses was on overload. The smell of lube, latex, leather, vinyl and pheromones engulfed me. My hands were like marionette hands, jerkily picking up the skirt of my dress and dropping it again. I pushed my hemline up, lacing fingers through fishnet, smoothing it all down again. My mouth was a marionette mouth too, opening and closing, tongue trying not to lap outside it, teeth pressing into lips, and lips pressing together, trying to hold it all in. My eyes became vessels, huge and oceanic, engulfing and recording everything. Ready for playback later.
I struggled a lot with submission versus feminism. I turned it over and over in my fingers, deep in my subconscious pocket. How could I call myself a feminist and at the very same time love the feeling of submitting to the whims of someone who is often times in a masculine identified position of power? Even further, how could I call myself a feminist when my face presses against the hand that tells me what a pretty little girl I am and praises me for doing their will? The answer is so much simpler than I wanted to make it. Clearly, it's because I choose to. In these last few years I acted on this image of choice. I forced it out of darkness. I have said no more saying no to anything that feels good. I stepped into this new life with solidity, excitement and wonder. I pushed limits I didn't even know existed, and even still, I know I have more limits. I knew I have more to give, I knew there is submission out there that I don't even know about.
I knew was ready for International Ms Leather.
My first International Ms Leather conference attendance was last year, 2010. I was nervous. I knew that I would have some friends there and I was rooming with some people that I was very close with, but I had no idea what to expect at a leather conference. The BDSM I had experienced seemed suddenly paltry in comparison to the visions my writer head was dreaming up. Although I definitely considered myself kinky prior to the conference, I was unable to wrap my head around Leather. I put myself in one category “kinky light” and the leather crowd in “kinky maximum."
Instead what I found was people with the same values as I had. I found people who had regular day jobs and families that they love. I found young and old and kind and respectful. I found a family tree of people who have been playing for years. IMsL was so welcoming. The bear hugging and the laughter that rippled across the whole conference was beautiful. Don’t get me wrong; people were there to play. They were there to hurt each other in a myriad of fantastic and painful ways. They were there to fuck each other and have late night room escapades. The cruising, covert or overt was fun to voyeur and then to watch unfold later in the dungeon.
IMsL is thoughtful in their set up. They have all of the safer sex items you would need. They think of accessibility. They have volunteers everywhere to corral, answer questions and to monitor the dungeons. The classes are very informative, absolutely reaching out to all skill levels and comfort zones. International Ms Leather has been around for 25 years. They know a thing or two about throwing a big party.
And what a party it is.
Alysia Angel is a working class high femme living in Portland, Oregon. She is a published writer and a full time student. You can find some of her writing online at alysiaangel.blogspot.com.