THE WEEK: The female price of male pleasure

The world is disturbingly comfortable with the fact that women sometimes leave a sexual encounter in tears.

When published a pseudonymous woman's account of a difficult encounter with Aziz Ansari that made her cry, the internet exploded with "takes" arguing that the #MeToo movement had finally gone too far. "Grace," the 23-year-old woman, was not an employee of Ansari's, meaning there were no workplace dynamics. Her repeated objections and pleas that they "slow down" were all well and good, but they did not square with the fact that she eventually gave Ansari oral sex. Finally, crucially, she was free to leave.

Why didn't she just get out of there as soon as she felt uncomfortablemany people explicitly or implicitly asked.

It's a rich question, and there are plenty of possible answers. But if you're asking in good faith, if you really want to think through why someone might have acted as she did, the most important one is this: Women are enculturated to be uncomfortable most of the time. And to ignore their discomfort.

This is so baked into our society I feel like we forget it's there. To steal from David Foster Wallace, this is the water we swim in.


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The female price of male pleasure by Lili Loofbourow
The Week, January 25, 2018

BUSTLE: How To Start Exploring BDSM With A Partner

Despite what Fifty Shades might suggest, kink isn't about coercion but consent, if pain is involved it is eagerly asked for and given with pleasure, you don't have to be a billionaire to play — and, perhaps most importantly, it isn't inherently patriarchal by any means.

So if you're curious about kink, the best place to go for introductory tips would be the kink community itself — not a Rihanna music video. I caught up with New York City dominatrixes Dia Dynasty and Lucy Sweetkill, the owners and proprietesses of femme domme dungeon La Maison Du Rouge who are dedicated to sharing their conscious kink with the world.

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How To Start Exploring BDSM With A Partner, According To The Dominatrix Duo At La Maison Du Rouge by Kristen Sollee
Bustle, February 16, 2017

Slave New World: A Sci-Fi Femdom Story

by M.L. Paige

A familiar high-pitched hiss filled my ears, the staticky klaxon the only warning I had that I was about to regain the rest of my senses. Then it all came flooding back: technicolor sight burning savage color in my retinas, a cacophony of chatter and shuffling and breathing, the overripe pungency of human bodies and the fecund earth they stood on, the bacterial taste of my own stale saliva mixed with the harsh chemicals of the gag that had stretched--and then numbed--the muscles in my jaw before deflating into nothing.

There was no return of my sense of touch though because the Ascendatrixes never took that one away. I suppose it was too useful to them to deny us that, no doubt the result of some belabored optimization weighing male suffering against male motivation. Under the Ascendatrixes’ merciless governance pain has always been the vector that drives us males; deprivation is just one method to amplify that pain.

The steel-toothed choke collar tightened around my calloused neck as Ascendatrix Pandora forced me to focus on the two hundred or so Ascendatrixes that stood in a wide circle, their male charges cowering at their boots and completely naked save for the mandatory implants all males are fitted with in this new world of ours. I’ve never gotten used to the sight of another male regaining his senses, the way they look as if they’ve been shoved head first into some other dimension that they are woefully unprepared to experience.

But such a sight is nothing compared to what rested at the center of our circle. There, lashed to a crude steel post by a heavy chain attached to a metal belt welded shut around his waist, was a fallen male. Well, that’s what the Ascendatrixes called them anyway but we all knew the truth. Along his body were sewn-up surgical scars where his implants had once been, patches of still wet iodine streaking his pale skin, his hands balled up and stuffed into padded leather mittens that were cracked and faded. A rusted ring gag yawned his mouth open, revealing to us all that this fallen male no longer had teeth.

The hiss in my ears faded and I heard it: the fallen male was crying. Sobbing, actually, blubbering his lungs out in a primal plea that all us males knew would go unanswered.

“Sisters,” said a booming female voice from the edge of the circle that I recognized as belonging to Prime Ascendatrix Calypso. “I want to thank you all from the bottom of my breast for coming here today to bear witness to what is perhaps the least palatable of our sacred duties: The Ritual of Emptying.”

The murmurs that spread throughout the crowd were interspersed with heady excitement. For a long time there had been barely any Rituals at all--let alone Emptyings--but in the last month alone The Ritual of Emptying had been performed weekly, signaling some sudden shift among the Ascendatrixes. Were they preparing for something? Simply demonstrating a show of force? Or, as was so often the case, were their motivations so beyond the scope of us males that it was impossible for me to truly know the ramifications?

I suppose that regardless of the answers to those questions, it didn’t matter. No male could stop the Rituals and even suggesting a desire to do so could easily land a male at the center of one. I kept as stony of a face as I could and watched as Prime Ascendatrix Calypso strode towards the center of the circle.

There was a time when I would have called her beautiful. Such a word did not seem appropriate anymore, my vocabulary now mutated by the gravity of her power. Awesome--as in filled with awe--was a word for Prime Ascendatrix Calypso, as was terrible and ethereal and omniscient. That last one I knew not to be true for the Ascendatrixes because while they were advanced they were surely not that far beyond us males.

Nevertheless Prime Ascendatrix Calypso truly did seem to know all things, no matter how insignificant. At times she even seemed to know one’s thoughts, as I can attest to from my one (and thankfully only) face-to-face encounter with her. On that day she looked into me with violet violence, her sharp stare cutting into my brain as if to read my very mind only for her to find it pitifully boring. I sensed she was looking for something, some glimmer of intel or secrecy, and I have little doubt that if she’d suspected it lurked within me it would’ve been much more than her stare that did the cutting.

Prime Ascendatrix Calypso took her time walking across the grassy field, petulant gusts of wind blowing back the heavy velvet mantle she wore at all times. Underneath that wide-shouldered ebony garment was an impossibly lithe frame covered in an iridescent second skin that caught and bent our dying sun’s rays in such a way to exaggerate her full breasts and taut everyoung hips. Unlike the other Ascendatrixes, she did not wear boots made from buckles and lace but instead went everywhere barefoot which gave her gait a strange quietude, like a predator constantly about to pounce on prey.

Another gust of wind blew back her mantle’s hood and revealed a face rarely seen. It sent electricity down my spine, reminding me of my short-lived interrogation with the Prime Ascendatrix, though I imagine it might have done that anyway if this were the first time I was glimpsing it. She had alabaster skin and violet eyes, with neon lips painted to match that were set in a perpetual sneer. From her nose hung a perfectly circular ring of diamond and I knew--as did every male--that the Prime Ascendatrix’s decoration proceeded the mandatory implants we males received, ours of course being broken circles made from metal to show how imperfect we were compared to the Ascendatrixes. And, as was the fashion for many, Prime Ascendatrix Calypso also had her jet-black hair pulled back into a tight ponytail that revealed the near-white symmetric tattoo that crowned her forehead. I’d yet to figure out the purpose of those tattoos but almost all Ascendatrixes had them; it was certainly a mark of power but was there more to it than that?


NYT: Here’s How to Deal With Men (Thwack!)

“So you like breaking rules, do you?” Kasia Urbaniak said to the bald man seated before her. “Or do you like getting in trouble? That’s pretty greedy of you, to come here and do something right away to warrant punishment. I haven’t even had a chance to assess what kind of punishment you need.”

She paced across the bright stage in her platform leather boots. An audience of 130 professional women — bankers, marketing directors — were observing this demonstration in the parquet-floored ballroom of a rented Midtown Manhattan co-working space. They took careful notes and, when prompted, shot their hands in the air to volunteer to role-play on the stage.

Ms. Urbaniak, 39, worked as a dominatrix for 17 years, independently and in dungeons in New York City. Now, in something she calls the Academy, she teaches women what she has learned about men. In a moment of cultural reckoning around gender and harassment, the Academy is one of the new unconventional entities, including anonymous spreadsheets and Hollywood-run legal defense funds, emerging to fight harassment, discrimination and bias.

So the point is not her leather riding crop. Her mission is to teach women how to employ a dominatrix’s rhetorical tools in any scenario when there’s a power imbalance with a man, whether or not it’s about sex. The scenarios happen everywhere.

Sometimes, it’s in an office elevator. “I worked for nine months negotiating a multimillion-dollar contract, and the day we closed, my boss suggested I look into lunch arrangements while he and his boss signed,” said Hanna Kubiak, 46, a business development director for an aerospace company.

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Here's How to Deal with Men (Thwack!) by Alice Hines

January 20, 2018

KINK DOCTOR: Pilot Episode with Dia Dynasty

The Kink Doctor Pilot (46:43)

Kink Doctor is a talk show web series that gives an intimate look into the world of kink/BDSM. Fun and entertaining, educational but not overly didactic, Kink Doctor normalizes and universalizes kink, and clarifies common misconceptions of BDSM. Each episode focuses on a kink-identified person with a story to tell about the impact kink has made on their life. In the pilot episode, KD and Bastard Keith have a conversation with Domina Dia Dynasty about transformational domination, coming out of the kink closet, erotic humiliation, good vs bad shame, among many other kinky things.

THE SLUTIST: Mistress Lucy Sweetkill

An enthusiast of the unconventional, Mistress Lucy Sweetkill is co-owner and co-proprietess of one of NYC’s most decadent and discerning dungeons, La Maison du Rouge. This fem domme siren delves into her conscious sadism and kink positive outlook as our February Slut of the Month.

I am: Mistress Lucy Sweetkill (aka Daddie Lucy)

By Day: Dominatrix, Dungeon Owner, & Mother of a bunny named Moose

By Night: Purveyor of erotic experiences, Destroyer of taboos and egos, Food Club maven, Conscious Sadist, Excel spreadsheet fetishist, Co-Conspirator of La Maison du Rouge, and overall deviant.


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February Slut of the Month: Mistress Lucy Sweetkill by Kristen Korvette
The Slutist, February 6, 2017

SAMPLE SPACE: Mine to Own, part 3

Mine To Own: Part 3 (55:57)

A dominatrix, a romance novelist, and a new mom walk into a podcast episode… this episode! The final part of our 3-part series on “Periods, Pussies, and Power: Asian American Woman & Our Sexuality” and what happens when we assert ownership over our sexuality: we get to see and value our bodies in a totally new way, we get to dole out our own happiness and pleasure, we get to define what a woman’s sexuality is and who it is for.

Periods, Pussies, and Power: Asian American Woman & Our Sexuality” is a 3-part series of stories from Asian American women about our sexuality in all its color, nuance, and embarrassing hilarity. We explore getting our period for the first time, losing our virginity, discovering masturbation, pursuing sexual pleasure, and through it all, find what it is we stand to gain in embracing our sexuality as Asian American Women.

September 10, 2017

BUZZFEED: Want To Learn About Boundaries And Consent? Listen To Sex Workers.

Opinion: Their work demands the constant creation and affirmation of sexual limits in a professional setting — something most people clearly struggle with.

There’s a group of people who are uniquely qualified to lead the rollicking global conversation about sexism, sexuality, privilege, and power that is being fueled by daily reports of sexual assault by powerful men. These are people who know more about the negotiation of sexual boundaries than anyone else on the planet — and right now, they are barely being listened to.

As an attorney, I’ve been representing and advocating for sex workers for over 15 years. Their working lives are spent grappling with how to safely satiate sexual desires in a puritanical society that tells us sex is mostly bad and shameful. Their labor demands the constant creation and affirmation of sexual limits in a professional setting — something most people clearly struggle with.

When it’s done right, sex work is a straightforward and consensual form of sexual interaction in a deeply uneven world — money is power, sex is power, and the two can be consensually exchanged for mutual benefit in clear and honest ways. The entire sexual self can be acknowledged, seen, and enjoyed.

Not all sexual labor is empowering or even consensual — I have represented dozens of survivors of human trafficking who have suffered extreme abuse at the hands of traffickers, police, and to a lesser extent, clients. This is labor exploitation — and yet, again, survivors of this horrific abuse know more than most about the importance of consent and the creation of boundaries — and about the pathologies of men inclined to disregard these things.

It’s worth noting that, as you are reading this article, a veteran sex worker is at the heart of a presidential scandal. If you pay close attention to the words of Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, as she describes her sexual relationship with President Trump — one in which she clearly never sought his affection or romance, and for which she eventually got recognition and payment — it gives an insight into Trump’s character that few others were talking about back in 2011, when she gave her tell-all interview.

Read the full article: 

Want To Learn About Boundaries And Consent? Listen To Sex Workers. by Melissa Broudo
BuzzFeed, February 1, 2018

image: Adult film star Stormy Daniels visiting a restaurant in downtown New Orleans as she explored a possible US Senate run in 2009. Bill Haber/AP

BROADLY: A 'Lifestyle Slave' Is More Than a Sub Who Does All Your Chores for Free

The dynamic between a dominatrix and her 24/7 sub can be one of tender, mutual support.

When I was in my mid-twenties, I was a dominatrix for a couple of years.

I moved to New York at the age of 24 and was blogging, but I needed a job. I didn’t have any professional qualifications or a college education, so to make money—and avoid being a waitress—I became an assistant to a dominatrix. I was working in her dungeon (her decked-out kink lair) and she’d be like, “Hand me that gag.” And I’d be like, “Alright.” That was sort of my intro to the world of BDSM.

The mistress I worked for had a lot of submissives. Most of them were dudes who paid her by the hour to whip them in a dungeon—which is what most people think of when they think of BDSM. But she also had “lifestyle slaves.” These were men who wanted to be in her service all the time, not just in the dungeon. If she needed someone to change her air conditioner, they would come and change her air conditioner. They would drop her off at the airport if she was going on vacation—things like that. This dynamic was so foreign and intriguing to me. What exactly were these lifestyle slaves getting out of all these chores?

To find out, I thought it would be interesting to explore in intimate detail the relationship between a dom and a lifestyle sub. They are actually huge parts of each other’s lives a lot of the time, which is a side of BDSM and power-play relationships that people don’t typically see.

So, I spent a few days with a New York dom called “Mistress Lucy Sweetkill” and her sub, “Pain Puppy.” It was so interesting because they are so close that it felt like their relationship transcended the normal dominatrix-sub dynamic. They are very committed to each other, and they give each other so much mutual support.


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A 'Lifestyle Slave' Is More Than a Sub Who Does All Your Chores for Free by Karley Sciortino
Broadly, January 1, 2018

GO MAG: Kink And Trust - How Some Trauma Survivors Find Healing Through BDSM

As a survivor of sexual violence, I’ve found that exploring my kinks with partners I trust is a truly cathartic experience. It gives me a chance to reclaim my body as a source of pleasure—instead of anxiety or depression or trauma. I have complete control over how hard I want to be flogged and what sensations I want to experience with the other person. Through this, I’ve learned how to better communicate for myself and understand my desires.

BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism) is a powerful act that’s practiced for many different reasons. It can be a sexual practice, about power dynamics, or experiencing pain as pleasure. Play can even be used as a tool to help process trauma. BDSM is interdisciplinary, and therefore the actual practice varies for everyone in the community. That’s because kinks come in many forms—suspension play, role play, physical restriction, power exchange, administration of pain, spanking and age play just to list a few.

And while there’s a lot of debate around the topic of BDSM in general, people get especially up in arms when they hear that some trauma survivors have found healing through their kinks. Though psychologists have historically pathologized kinky behavior as “Sexual Sadism and Sexual Masochism Disorders”—there is research that shows people who practice BDSM are actually less neurotic, more extroverted, more open to new experiences, more conscientious, less rejection sensitive and have higher subjective well-being than non-kinky people. A similar U.S. study found BDSM-identified couples reported less stress as well as increased intimacy following play.

This is all to say that BDSM is a healthy and consensual form of expression—in fact, the current BDSM 4C Consent Model is based around caring, communication, consent and caution. “Fully engaged kink insists on full presence without pretense and the willingness to connect your raw humanity to another’s raw humanity,” says sex writer Midori.

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Kink and Trust: How Some Trauma Survivors Find Healing Through BDSM by Corinne Werder

November 20, 2017