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CCSS #3: Asking for What You Want

June 30th, 2012 by

This is part of a series of Consent Culture Sex Stories: explicit posts describing real sex, including the communication around what happened, how we got what we wanted, things that didn’t go right and how we adapted. Their purpose is to make clear and enthusiastic consent more than an abstract idea discussed by sex nerds–to show how this actually works in real life, and that it’s hot. The first CCSS post is here, and the second is here.

 

Robin and I were hanging out with our friend Alex. We’d been friendly and flirty all evening, and eventually wound up at my place cuddling and talking. Robin made the obligatory shy innuendo, and Alex asked lightheartedly if he was suggesting a threesome.

“If he’s not, I am,” I clarified.

“I’d be down with that …” Alex said cautiously, and Robin made an enthusiastic noise.

Knowing that we were all interested, we didn’t have to immediately switch gears into sex. We continued cuddling, and when my face wound up next to Robin’s I nuzzled and kissed him with familiar freedom.

“Want one too?” I offered, turning to Alex.

“Sure,” he smiled, and I leaned over and kissed him. Then Robin did the same, and we snuggled a little closer and got a bit more hands-on. When we started to reach under clothes, I checked in with Alex about whether there were any places he was less comfortable being touched. (I was thinking at the time that for some trans* folk certain sexual touch is dysphoric, and I’d rather be kind of awkward upfront than step on buttons later. In retrospect, the question’s just as useful for a cis partner.) He was startled, and said no, it was all good.

It was all great, actually. Alex was squirmy, responsive, and vocal, all things that I love to play with. We didn’t get particularly kinky–some enthusiastic spanking, and I can never resist biting (after checking in about leaving marks), but other than that it was just friendly exploratory sex.

My favorite part was at a lull in the action, after I’d come back from getting some water.

“So, there’s a thing I’ve always wanted to try with two other people,” Alex confessed, “But I’m kind of embarrassed about it.”

I grinned. “I have one too–tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine? Maybe it’s the same one.”

“Well …” he hesitated. “I’ve always wanted to go down on someone while they were getting fucked.”

I blinked. “Okay, no, mine’s not the same one … it’s the complement of that.”

“Wait, what?”

“I’ve always wanted someone to go down on me while I’m getting fucked.”

We stared at each other and then laughed. “All right. So … how do we do this?”

“Uh, sixty-nine plus doggie-style maybe?”

Robin was agreeable, so I settled into place on top of Alex and made a happy noise when Robin slid into me. It was a little bit of a balancing act–not so much that we couldn’t do it, but enough keep me from focusing completely on how nice it was to have a mouth on my clit and a cock in my pussy at the same time. I took advantage of the position to lean down and run my tongue along Alex’s vulva, but honestly I think we were both paying more attention to what he was doing with mine. (I was sheepish later about my inexperience, and he reassured me I’d done fine.)

We adjusted positions a few times, and eventually my hips got tired from straddling Alex’s face. He slipped out from underneath me, I brought my legs together, and Robin and I shifted into a pattern that we’d already learned hit some good angles for both of us. Alex watched as Robin fucked me faster, and I arched back into him and groaned when I felt him come.

“You guys are so hot,” Alex said appreciatively. I blushed. We cleaned up, snuggled up together, and eventually slept in a satisfied pile.

CCSS #2: Robin

April 8th, 2012 by

This is part of a series of Consent Culture Sex Stories: explicit posts describing real sex, including the communication around what happened, how we got what we wanted, things that didn’t go right and how we adapted. Their purpose is to make clear and enthusiastic consent more than an abstract idea discussed by sex nerds–to show how this actually works in real life, and that it’s hot. The first CCSS post is here.

 

I was at a play party with Robin, a casual partner, watching some friends of ours give another their first play piercing–more of a low-key demonstration than a serious scene. They were doing it in a small room, with only two places to sit: the medical chair that the bottom was using, and a low bench in the corner, built into a cage. Robin helped herself to the bench. I flicked my eyes from her, to the bars, to her again, and closed the cage door.

She looked at me with that head-down-eyes-up look that radiates submission. “If you’re going to close me in here,” she said, “you have to be the one to let me out. I don’t want to let myself out.”

My heart squeezed, as did other things. She wasn’t just telling me it was okay, she was showing me that it pushed her sub buttons in a way that fit my dom ones perfectly–hitting that delicious intersection of sweet and sexy. No one else in the room took any notice when I slid the latches on the cage door closed. I pulled a few binder rings out of my toybag and used them to fasten the door1; Robin watched, but said nothing. When I was done, I turned back to the demonstration. She followed suit, and for the duration of the needleplay scene I kept glancing over and seeing her there–my good girl–and smiling to myself. A few times I caught her glancing back, and she’d give me a shy smile before turning away.

When our friends were finished, some filtered out of the room while the rest started cleaning up. I leaned casually against the doorframe. Robin had stood when she saw the scene ending, but when I made no move to release her, she sat back down and waited patiently. When everyone else and finally left, I walked over to the cage door.

“Come here,” I said. She stood up again and took a small step forward, about all she had room for. I grabbed her by the belt, pulled her against the bars, and pressed my lips to hers. She melted into me and I held her there, kissing her with all the pent-up passion that had been waiting since I closed her in.

Unfortunately, the dungeon was about to close, so we didn’t have time to continue. I grudgingly opened the door, kissed her again, and led her upstairs. As we packed up to leave, I came across my collar in my bag and asked if she wanted to wear it.

“Now? But the party’s over.”

“Are you comfortable wearing it out to your car?” We had parked a few blocks away. The street was pretty quiet at this hour, and in San Francisco it was unlikely that anyone would bat an eyelash at someone in a leather collar and street clothes, but it was nevertheless her boundary to set.

She thought for a minute, and then nodded. I brushed her hair out of the way and fastened the collar around her neck. As we walked out, it was hard not to admire how good she looked in it–and when we got home, it was easy to pick up where we left off.

When she was naked but for the collar, I tied a bit of rope through it to make a quick leash. In tugging and playing with it, I experimentally wrapped the loose end a half-turn around the base of her cock and was immediately rewarded with a soft “Yesss.”

“Mm, I see,” I said, delighted, and pulled with a little more pressure. She moaned. I glanced around, confirmed that my EMT shears were handy, looped the rope around into an overhand knot, and very slowly tightened it.

“Tighter,” she encouraged, and I tightened it, keeping a finger on the tension and an eye on her skin under the rope, even while distracted by her happy moans and squirms. She kept asking for more, but because I wasn’t sure how far would be unsafe or how to tell, I stopped when she was only moderately constricted and doubled the knot so it would hold. I hope she wasn’t too disappointed when instead I gave the head of her cock one satisfied lick, put a condom on, and then climbed on top of her.

  1. The venue in question prohibits real locks on its equipment. “Not,” as it was explained to me, “because we don’t have bolt cutters here or are afraid to use them … but because we live in earthquake country.” If thinking that one through doesn’t make you shudder a little, you’re more callous than I am. []

CCSS #1: This Is What Consent Culture Looks Like

February 15th, 2012 by

This is the first in a series of Consent Culture Sex Stories: explicit posts describing real sex, including the communication around what happened, how we got what we wanted, things that didn’t go right and how we adapted. Their purpose is to make clear and enthusiastic consent more than an abstract idea discussed by sex nerds–to show how this actually works in real life, and that it’s hot.

 

I was having a let’s-see-if-our-interests-are-compatible conversation with someone I’d met a few times but didn’t know well. We chatted a little about vanilla things before cautiously getting into the more personal stuff: D/s, petplay, strapons, impact. I told him about some specific memories I enjoyed, including one of tackling someone onto a bed, biting his neck, and having him instantly recognize it out loud as the alpha-dog gesture it was.

“I like being tackled,” he agreed.

There was a pause. We were sitting across from each other on my big nest of a bed, he reclining against some pillows and I cross-legged, and had been discussing things that turned us on for a while now.

“Can I tackle you?” I asked.

“Sure.”

“ … you’re already lying down.”

He sat up, obligingly. I shoved him back down and pinned his chest under my body weight. My forearms were over his shoulders, our faces a breath apart. The fine hairs on my cheek stood up.

“Can I kiss you?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said, and several minutes later I was straddling him and breathless. I asked how far he  was comfortable going.

“I wasn’t expecting to have sex today,” he admitted, “but I would be okay with that.”

I had been thinking roughly the same thing. Without moving from my position on top of him, I told him how recently I’d been tested and what my risk factors were; he shared the same information, and told me clearly that he wanted to use “stop” or “no” or anything similar to that as a safeword–in other words, that he wouldn’t be saying any of those things unless he meant it. Since we now had a good idea of how far we wanted to go and what precautions we’d be taking, I could move a bit faster. I pulled his shirt off and brought my teeth down to his shoulder.

“How are you about marks?”

“I like them, but I’d want to check with my primary partner first.”

“Mmkay.” I still bit down, hard enough to make him moan, but without the suction that would leave a bruise.

“I’m going to struggle a little bit,” he warned me a little while later. “It doesn’t mean anything.”

I grinned delightedly and noted that while a verbal “no” from him was genuine, physical resistance was play. “Okay.” When he pushed up against me, I grabbed him and held him down. Given clearly-defined boundaries, I was confident enough to slip into the power fantasy. “Nope,” I informed him cheerfully as he tried to escape. “Mine. You know why?”

“Why?”

“‘Cause I’m bigger than you are.”

His eyes widened, and his body language shifted to show me a hint of trapped prey animal. I smiled to myself at having read him correctly and gave his neck another nip.

There wasn’t a lot of explicit asking after that. I just watched his responses and tried to do more of the things that made him sigh and squirm and go wide-eyed, less of the things that produced no reaction. It was very first-time-with-this-person sex: exciting and exploratory, but a little awkward due to the unfamiliar terrain. We had fun, though, and parted on good terms.

Over the next several days, we traded some email to check in with each other. He was having some strange feelings about sleeping with someone other than his primary partner; while their relationship was open and healthy, he hadn’t done that in years, and something about it didn’t feel right. I felt a little selfish disappointment, and told him so–there were things I had been looking forward to trying again with him–but also let him know that of course that was fine. Amicably, we left it there for now.

Galen

February 5th, 2012 by

Chaos and I were arguing with a friend a few months ago about whether it’s possible to submit to someone without their consent. The (vanilla) friend didn’t see it; it seemed to him that if you act submissive to someone who’s not dominating, you are at worst a bad lay. I disagree with him on both counts. Submitting without consent to dominate doesn’t necessarily make you a bad lay, but being a bad lay isn’t necessarily the worst thing that happens, either. Here’s a story, for the second round of Kitty Stryker’s second Safe/Ward Blog Carnival. Decide for yourself.

(TW: There is no nonconsensual touch nor specific trauma in this story, but there are references to self-harm.)

 

I say that Galen was my first kiss. It’s not precisely true, but his was the first one that meant something, the one that came at the end of the sort of intimate cuddly evening where you’d expect to find a good first kiss. Immediately exposing the depth of my self-doubt, I asked him bluntly why he was doing this. I don’t blame him, in retrospect, for not having a good answer; who asks that?

He was certainly a lot of other firsts, over the next year and change. First time I slipped my hands down someone else’s pants; first person I went down on. First time I penetrated someone else or made them come. Several firsts I wouldn’t recognize as BDSM until much later: tying him up with a belt or a ribbon, using knives as sensation toys, and leaving bite marks on him that could last for weeks (savoring the pride and the intimacy).

I still had about eight years to go before someone would teach me the term “D/s,” but in hindsight the signs of it were delicious. He was beautifully responsive, arching his back and parting his lips when I traced my fingertips over just the right spots. When I sat behind him he sank back into my arms, and would sigh if I leaned down to kiss his neck before unbuttoning his shirt. He was beautiful and sweet–still is–and probably one of the defining influences on my taste in submissives.

When we finished, more often than not, I would pull away from him, curl up in a ball, and cry.

Nobody since has made me feel quite as undesirable as Galen did. With him I was awkward and shy and hesitant, nothing resembling the powerful dominant I found in myself years later. When he didn’t reach out to touch me, never looked for the places he could slide his fingertips and make me moan like I had looked for his, I didn’t know any conclusion to draw except that he didn’t want me. That he tolerated my attention because he was getting off on it, but felt no desire to reciprocate. And why would he? I already had a lifetime of social conditioning telling me my body could not be sexy; this was just more evidence. But he was so sweet, so caring and giving in other ways, that every new time he left me untouched, fully dressed and aching with desire, I didn’t know what to do or to think and instead I just cried.

We never talked about why I was hurting. We almost did, once, but then he had to be out of town again for a while and one thing led to another and he ended up breaking it off (for unrelated reasons) before the conversation ever happened. We never talked about sex. I never said “Will you finger me while I do this?” or even “Touch me. Here,” which I suspect would have gone over famously. But I couldn’t presume then that anyone would want to touch me, and couldn’t bear to hear that rejection or see it in his face.

We didn’t talk about boundaries. He never said “I enjoy being penetrated, but don’t really want to penetrate you.” I never said “It scares me to use a knife on you, when not that long ago I was using one on myself.” Yeah, that was happening around that time too. (The picture you’re getting of how happy and stable I was those days is pretty accurate.) He’d seen the marks on my wrists, though, and when we tried playing with the knife I trembled, then crumpled, and he held me reassuringly. I think he understood, but the most I remember exchanging by way of words about it was “You trust me with this; I don’t.” I had no confidence in myself, and without confidence had no foundation for dominance.

And that’s the point: we never talked about D/s. He never said “I want to submit to you” and if he had I wouldn’t have known what that meant. I never chose to step into the complementary role; I just fell into the vacuum left behind by his passiveness. Accepting exchanged power, without ever feeling in control, is not dominating. I couldn’t give informed consent to D/s because I wasn’t informed, either about what he intended and wanted or about its alternatives. Remember that this wasn’t just my introduction to kinky sex; this was my introduction to sex. For all I knew, touching someone who never touched back was all I could get.

This is why I have a special hatred for the “ice queen” stereotype–the dominant who gets all the satisfaction she needs from touching others. I’m not that dom, never was and never will be, but I have played the part unwillingly for someone I wanted to please because neither of us knew how to articulate what we’d rather have. To this day I don’t know if that’s what he genuinely wanted from me, or if he wasn’t comfortable asking for something else, or if he’d been looking at femdom porn and thought that what it showed was just how this was supposed to go.

Some of the effects of that relationship are still with me. It got easier, later, when I started having egalitarian sex with someone else, and then again much later than that when I started learning and talking about BDSM. But I’m still afraid, always, that no matter how much a lover likes me as a person they’re only putting up with my body. That no assertive touch means no desire. That asking for what I want is imposing. It makes it hard to find confidence when I want to dominate, and after a scene in which I don’t get physical attention it makes me feel used and angry.

My experience with Galen is why it means so much to me to hear and see clearly that my partner finds me sexy. It’s also probably one of the reasons I’ve really enjoyed playing with someone who is, on the whole, more dominant than I am. When I’m bottoming to Leon, his desire is unambiguous. It might not be for sex–he might want to tie me up, flog me, or frankly just get me to comply for its own sake–but whatever he wants, he wants me, this whole physical human in front of him, and when his attention is focused on getting what he wants from me, I can’t forget that.

 

It was a long time before I started to see what Galen’s perspective on our history might be. He was more experienced than I was but not by much; I honestly don’t know how much he knew about what we were doing either. He wasn’t an adult preying on an innocent teenager, he was a slightly older teenager who had a hard time talking about sex, and who, like me, had never been taught that those conversations are necessary or how to have them. I don’t regret my relationship with him, even if parts of it were flawed and hurtful, and I no longer blame him for the fact that they were.

We’re still in touch, and have been close on and off. A few years ago, after a lot of maturing but still before I knew much about BDSM, we wound up fooling around a bit at his place. The day after, he told me he was still feeling sore from something new I’d tried, and described how it had felt as “about a four.” When pressed, he clarified that it hurt enough that he didn’t enjoy it, but he would do it for his dom. (A five would have been what I’d now call a hard limit.) I was incensed. I couldn’t believe he wouldn’t tell me at the time if it was that bad, and then expect me to intuit the scale he was using as if there were a standard I should already know. It hit all the same buttons that our silence had in the past, and I threw up my hands and gave up on the idea of trying to connect with him honestly.

About a year later, I told that story to a mutual friend, venting some frustration that the memory brought back. “I just wish he would tell me these things, instead of expecting me to read his mind!”

“It sounds like he was trying to,” she said.

That stopped me cold. She was right, of course. When we’d talked the next day, he was giving me exactly the kind of feedback I wanted–just later and in a different format than I expected. And I’d yelled at him for it. No wonder it was so hard for him to talk to me about sex!

The next time I saw Galen, I brought it up. “I don’t know if you even remember that,” I said, “but I’m sorry for getting mad about it. I know you were trying.”

“I don’t,” he admitted, “but thank you.” I knew from his smile that he meant it. Words may be hard, but at least there are some ways I know that I can read him.

 

We’re getting better at the talking part, too. I woke up recently from a hot dream, enjoying the memory of it as it faded. I grabbed my phone and sent Galen a text:

“So I definitely just had a dream in which I asked if you wanted to make out some time. And the dream was pretty sexy, so what the hell. *Do* you want to?”

The reply came the next day: “Sure :)”

Such a simple thing, but that’s all that needs to happen: ask and answer. Maybe we’re finally figuring out how to do this thing right.

It’s important to tell the stories of when communication and consent are difficult and complicated–we need something to replace the pattern in people’s minds which says that the only two sides of the consent line are “both partners magically get what they want” and “a stranger leaps out of the bushes.” By the same token, it’s important to tell the stories of when clear communication results in great consensual sex, to replace the patterns which say that talking about it is a turnoff, or that everyone’s supposed to have sex the same way.

On that note, consider this the prologue to a upcoming series of short posts about communication gone right. They will be true, explicit stories of sex and BDSM scenes, including the parts where we talk about what we want and don’t want and the parts where everything isn’t magically easy but we make it work. I’m calling them Consent Culture Sex Stories (or “consent porn” for short), and the first one should be up within a couple of weeks.