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Before I did phone sex for a living, I would have told you that I didn’t have a dominant bone in my sexual body. Didn’t want it, and didn’t think I could do it. But then I started phone work and I had to learn it, because that’s what women with my kind of voice (“mature”) get slotted into with phone sex.
Fortunately for me, I discovered a few approaches that worked to get me in that head space.(Read about some of my early domme strategies here.) Fortunately for you, these approaches work for any kind of role play. So if your partner wants to try something that just “isn’t you,” give these a shot to help get you there:
Take traits that you already have and BLOW THEM UP. Really push it out to extremes. As I mentioned in the linked post, I found that some of my clients really enjoyed it when I would get super articulate on their ass, teasing them, fencing with my words. It was one of my favorite fem-dom things to do, because it wasn’t really removed from my usual self so it was easy, and if a challenge ever did come up, I could respond well because I was really grounded in my own self.
Find some traits that you don’t have and PLAY. These could be psychological traits or just facts. Are you a nice girl in real life? Try on being a Steel-Toed Bitch for a night; really let loose with some viciousness. Are you a sub with a slutty streak but not a stitch of bad-girl clothing to your name? Take some time with your dom/me to describe your fantasy wardrobe in excruciating detail.
Get or give information in character. Start your playtime before the playtime starts by getting in some kind of character before asking your lover for details. If you are the boss, have the conversation about what you want to do, while your lover is in a computer chair and you are sitting on the desk above them. If you are a slutty house-wench in the queen’s castle, pull your blouse down a heap and try talking with your face always downcast.
Respond to uncertainty in character. If you’re playing a student in a role-play game, and you don’t understand what your teacher dom/me is asking you to do, ask for clarification as if you actually were a student: ask for permission to speak, maybe raise your hand, make sure to use the correct form of address. Stay in character!
Of course, you should deal with the important details—safe words and who has the bedroom with the thickest, most soundproof walls—before the scene, face to face, as two consenting adults. But once you’ve gotten that stuff down, you can learn and internalize the ropes surprisingly quickly if you just step into it and calibrate your exact shade of role-play both to your own personality AND to the character itself.
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How do I get my wife to embrace her innate, wonderful, amazing ability to squirt? (Every time. it's amazing. but she's embarrassed.)
There are some things that I do during sex. I don’t even deliberately do them, they are just part of my array of physical reactions, like sweating or my pussy lubing up or my chest flushing like a polluted-sky sunset when I orgasm. I have no control over them, they just happen.
If my partner went on about any of these, I would get really annoyed, really quickly.
The way that you write about this feels just a touch fetishizing, is my point. Your wife didn’t learn to squirt; it’s just the way her bits are set up. She’s probably tired of soaking through towels or having to buy puppy pads or whatever she has figured out to do to accommodate this aspect of her sex response. Do you praise her for squirting every time? Stop. Take a break from that while you figure out other strategies, because if she’s embarrassed and having other emotions, your lavish enjoyment is pretty likely to kick up some push-back.
The whole situation is complicated by, well, how complicated societal response is to manifestations of women’s sexuality. On the one hand, women are told in mainstream sex media (Cosmo and other “advice” purveyors) that they should be able to squirt, and there are ways of learning to do this, and what kind of uptight prude are you if you can’t? On the other (sticky) hand, and in the broader media, women are shamed for natural bodily traits or functions like discharge spots on knickers or floppy labia or gushy orgasms. (This is very much slut-shaming, by the way, in which neutral physical traits have become symbols for "loose woman.")
Your wife may have internalized that dichotomy—sexually liberated woman vs soaked-sheets whore, all for a quality that she doesn’t actually control—and so this whole topic is going to be a fucking mess. But you can’t “get” your wife to do anything with her own attitudes about her own body; you can only be supportive. What does that look like?
I would definitely focus for the foreseeable future on mixing up your praise repertoire: make sure you are TALKING ABOUT THINGS OTHER THAN HER SQUIRTING FUNCTIONALITY. What other things about her body do you like? What are things she actually does sexually that you like? Is she a champion deep-throater? Are her nipples unbearably nommable? Make sure you tell her about those things!
Check your own behavior around her squirting: don’t sniff the towels, don’t gleefully dance off to the washing machine with the soaked sheets. And don’t try to hide your love of her squirt in euphemisms like, “I love how juicy you are.” She knows what you’re talking about, and she’s heard it before. I know this may feel like you are repressing your own sexual enjoyment, but if you know she doesn't like to hear it and you keep talking about it, you're kinda being an asshole. If you sincerely want to be present for your wife around this, you have to turn off the spotlight of your attention and leave room for her complicated feelings.
After you’ve dialed back on the squirty love for a little while, maybe consider asking your wife what’s going on when she gets embarrassed. Don’t have this convo right after she gushes; maybe leave it for the post-coital cool-down period, when everyone’s got their favorite hot beverage and you’re basking but you've got your verbal skills back. Ask her something like, “I’ve been wondering, sweetie, you often seem to have strong emotions about your squirt, and I don’t understand. Can you tell me a little more about that? What is going on in your head during that time?”
(I should mention that in general I would prefer to have this sort of conversation about sexual issues outside the bedroom and not immediately following sex, but I’m not recommending that here because if you aren’t regularly checking in with your wife in this way, this will not be the best time to start.)
Just keep your questions gentle and open-ended. If you want to be supportive, you need to get a better idea of what is actually happening for her emotionally. At the same time, be prepared to drop it, if she’s not down with talking about it yet. Just let her know that you’re ready to listen, and then go back to gushing about things other than her squirt.
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“Sold out” is supposedly a neutral term, in a box-office sense: your performance venue has sold all the possible seating it has available that doesn’t violate fire code. Some festivals have different and more precise parameters for this; for example, I think in Edinburgh Fringe if you sell 95% capacity, the show qualifies as “sold out” for slapping the designation on your marketing materials. Either way, these are easy enough to define.
Hang out with any group of Fringe performers long enough, though, especially when they have had a few and they’re talking about their Fringe run, and you will quickly sense the second meaning of “selling out/sold out,“ which is quick to plant itself in the conversation. Selling out your venue is a good thing, but underneath that is the faint echo of “sold out”: made artistic or ethical compromises, greased the wheels with an unseemly amount of money or networking or something other than artistic input, committed to working with other folks who are not interested in the art but only making money or some other tradable commodity.
I don't think that this is an actual, inevitable part of selling lots of seats, and making lots of money. But I think many artists are afraid that it is. I know that I’ve been carrying that second meaning around as the primary meaning for a while. It’s certainly a less humiliating view on the problem of not making enough money on one’s art, if one posits that the art that does make money is less artful in some way.
But this year at Edinburgh Fringe has pulled me up short around this subject, when what I think is my best work to date, nerdfucker, has been a serious box office underperformer. I’ve been wrestling with this, and my urgent need to make money, for weeks, months, maybe a couple of years now, and it kinda came to a head last night after Smut Slam, when I was hanging out with a couple of artist friends and I half-jokingly said that next year at Edinburgh Fringe I wanted to sell out. I think I made a smile or a wink that indicated clearly I meant making money and probably doing something that was not a purely artistic effort.
One of those artists, who had been nose-deep in a pint of beer, sat up and set the glass down on the table with a snap. “I’m tired of that phrase, ‘selling out,’” she said. “It makes it sound like there is something wrong with making money, with creating works with an eye toward making money. Artists need to eat.”
You’re right, I said, of course you’re right. I guess I mean commercially viable.
“Okay,” she said, settling back down into the hotel lobby chair. “That’s fine.”
Theatre companies of a certain size have followed this pattern for a long time: produced guaranteed money makers—usually around Christmas, like A Christmas Carol—as well as more surefire productions (what I would consider conservative offerings), then occasionally something that is a little more groundbreaking or confrontational for their audience.
Solo performers and tiny companies maybe don’t do that so well. Not as a matter of course. And I'm going to change that for myself.
Previously I had written works that “felt like they needed to be written”; none of these works have yet gone on to more than moderate festival success, even including Phone Whore, which is the most visible and “popular” of my plays. So, next year I am going to turn my hand to a work that “needs to make money.”
I don’t know how this is going to go yet; I’ve never approached this issue from the start of a project before. It will be fine, eventually. I am just not quite sure, right now, how to do it. I’m already finding myself second-guessing working titles and content and outreach. But I’m hoping I can push beyond that quickly and get to the nitty-gritty of the work, which is writing what I want to write and what I feel the world needs to know, while giving it to people in a way that they can handle. When selling out, the second part of that equation has to take precedence.
I’ll be honest, gentle readers: I don’t know what to do otherwise. As my friend said, artists need to eat. That is to say, I want to feel comfortable in my life, be able to plan ahead, not always scramble and fight to keep the wolf away from the door. Just as importantly, I want to be able to give myself room to create the less financially viable stuff and not have to worry about whether those will survive.
Because nerdfucker and Phone Whore and Hearthcore (my next non-commercially viable serious play, don’t worry, you didn’t miss it) are good plays. In my mind, these plays do need to be done. But I don't have family money; I never had a great job. So until such time as I get the commissions and grants and government subsidies, I need to learn how to subsidize myself, with things like Smut Slam and Sidewalk Smut and next year’s sell-out commercially viable comedy show (announcement coming shortly).
I have to reassure you, and also myself: my sell-out work will still be my stuff. It’ll still be about opening up space to talk about sex and other awkward shit in a really authentic way. It just won’t have a title that has to be censored just about everywhere; it’ll be a little more accessible to more mainstream audiences.
Selling out can mean lots of people are seeing what I want to share, and paying money for that privilege. Lemme see if I can wrap my head around that for a while.
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The quandaries of festival sex: HOW DO I GET THIS GLITTER OUT OF MY CERVIX???!!!
If you’re having painful penetrative sex post-festival, and you feel pretty sure that extreme intra-vadge glitter is the culprit, I would get thee to a doctor and ask for their opinion. My general understanding is that vaginal douching is a terrible thing—it would just push glitter further up, for starters, and irritate the membranes—but I imagine that it might be medically necessary in some specific instances, and the doctor would be able to advise on best practices, if not actually do the procedure for you.
If you’re NOT in pain, and you’re just worried that every time you wipe after peeing you’re getting glitter on the TP, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. Burlesquers and strippers have been living with glittery bits for ages. A well-functioning vagina has mucous that will keep the glitter moving along.
This question made me think of all of the other challenges of festival sex, and what are some preventative measures that festival-goers should take:
- MUD IN ORIFICES (or playa dust, for Burners). This is kinda unavoidable, when you’re doing the deed out in nature. However, you can minimize the impact by reducing the exposure of your fucking area to the elements (e.g. a tent) and keeping a wash cloth or sponge and a bit of clean water aside to wash up before and after, whatever your bits are. If you have a good way to keep your garbage together, there are wipes for before/after that work. I will say that the idea of having certain kinds of sex, like butt sex, out in festival conditions makes me feel a little queasy—like there is no way to be as clean as I need to be—but you do you, darling. Just remember that you’re not going to have running water anywhere near you.
- Drink enough water for a number of reasons, not the least of which is keeping your pussy in proper working order (natural lube!). And normal pounding sex can be exhausting under normal conditions, never mind when you’re tired and hungover and layering more booze or drugs on top of that.
- 99 percent of festival goers the world over agree: clothes are a pain in the ass when it comes to fest-sex. They get in the way, and if they don’t get lost or left in a stranger’s tent, they get juicy spots on them that are not going to smell or look nice after 72 hours of not washing. Consider going commando, and definitely pack in skirts, whatever your gender, if you know you want to be fooling around. Skirts or kilts are the ultimate easy-access sex attire.
Y’all, these are clearly a very specific set of circumstances that I will, god willing, never be in again (I went to Burning Man in 1999 and 2001). I am not a neat freak, but I do like a shower nearby for freshening up as and when needed, and that is not something one can really expect at a festival. So all I can say, when I look at the issues of glitter vadge and spoogy fest clothes is: good luck, and isn’t that the sort of thing you like to tell stories about anyway?
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I want to get more involved at kink events, but I'm too anxious and self-conscious. What can I do to ease myself in?
It’s not clear from this question if today’s fuckbucketeer means involved, like, being on the senior prom committee or involved like getting their frequent flogger card stamped at the local dungeon, but both interpretations call for more or less the same approach, with a bit of fine-tuning.
If "involved" here means getting to play more, or feeling more comfortable about showing up at active kink events and getting some action, then we can turn to the last fuckbucket for the answer. That advice-seeker wanted to know how to find the fun events in the first place, and my main point was simple: it’s very difficult to find play on its own. You can't just insert yourself into a sex party without knowing people non-sexually first.
The more connections you have with people—real, person-to-person connections—the easier it is to be aware of play environments and be invited into them. Show up at the munches regularly, make a deal with yourself to talk to the people on either side of you at the pub table (give yourself a reward afterward, too!), participate thoughtfully in online discussions… these are just a few ways to get more involved in and connected with the kink community or communities where you live.
Once you have made the connections and gotten into the kink events, those awkward feelings will still come up. If you’re not used to public kink—and most of us aren’t, at first—you will not know where to look. This is okay. Many dungeons have orientation sessions, and some kink communities offer workshops, for new folks. General etiquette: don’t stare too much, don't touch without asking, and if you see a person whose look you like, just talk with them for a few minutes and then pop the question.
Now, if you’re talking about getting involved in the kink community in a more social sort of way, like wanting to get “into the club,” the same basic rules apply. You need to have people get to know you as a person. Show up and don’t worry about whether anyone is going to want to get with you.
Other things you can do:
Volunteer your ass off. Be of service. Pick an event that you are curious about, and check out volunteer opportunities. If they don’t have anything listed on the web site, just drop them an email. Offer for positions that you have skills in, or even in areas where you want to develop skills (sound equipment or dungeon safety or whatever). Bonus: this is also a great way to get into an event for a reduced rate or for free!
Skip that whole “fashionably late” game. The times when I’ve tried that, I just ended up feeling more lost, because everyone else had already met and were already getting their game on. Get there on time, and ask what you can do to help, because even experienced party hosts will have last-minute party crises.
Put down your phone. I know. It’s difficult. At kink events like play parties, probably phones aren’t allowed out beyond the cloak room anyway. But even at munches or other non-play events, if you are looking to make connections with people, you have to be present for them.
Find the other people by themselves. You will not be the only one feeling self-conscious. But if you make yourself a social director with an assignment—talk to other soloists for a few minutes a piece—it will a) feel like you’re being useful and b) take you out of your own misery for a little while. And part of what feels awkward for me about being at events is the idea that other people will see me off by my lonesome and they will think I’m a loser. (I know, sometimes we are still in high school.) But if you are out there talking to people you’re not alone.
NOTE TO THE REGULARS AT THESE EVENTS: See how people stress out about this shit? Make it easier on them: be welcoming, introduce people to other people, let new folks help. Even if your kink social awakening was effortless, be aware that not everyone’s is. Most people’s aren’t. Besides, socializing new folks well is one of the ways that we can help make kinky community safer and more awesome for everyone, ourselves included.
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