KotW Laughter

Puck from a Midd summer night's dreamI’m not sure if laughter in and of itself is kinky but it certainly is one of my “tells” during sex, play, and life in general. It doesn’t mean that I’m nervous like i notice in a lot of people, in fact it’s a sign of complete comfort. A laugh, giggle, or cackle…evil or otherwise should be taken as a huge compliment.
In fact in all areas of life I laugh a lot and fairly loudly. Have I ever mentioned I’m not really the shy introverted type?
The most common cause of it is my own hang ups, mishaps and stupidity. In fact I probably laugh at myself more than everything else combined. The ability to find humor in my own train wreck life and over privileged tanking rock star behavior is one of my most endearing qualities. Self effacing humor is a trademark of mine add to that I’m usually a complete smart ass. Just this past week in a vanilla meeting I was asked if there was anything in my background that would cause concern. My reply was “I have less Girlfriends than Bill Clinton and my wife knows about them all so I should be fine”.   If you know me it was both a typical snarky comment made for laughs and a way of being honest to a group of people who have no idea (or reason to know)  about my actual life. Everyone laughed and well it was a truth hidden in jest.
Then there is my evil laugh. I’m told it sneaks out of no where and is common when something wicked is being planned, said by another, or about to happen. Some friends have endearingly called it “laughing like the devil” and while not necessarily kinky it’s certainly mischievous and outside of polite social norms. You know like planning to drive an uptight right wing creationist anti gay type through pride week activities or shopping for a toy like a massive double ball end ass hook just so you can torture someone with screen shots, tracking info, technical specifications, and a manifesto length philosophical musing on the appropriate type and amount of lube. That is if you decide to use any lube at all.
Of course there is the mid sex laughter like when someone asked “why do you want me to turn over?” when they damn well knew the answer and should have just flipped over and taken it or the mid play laughter when during a scene you realize a dog is not only watching what you’re doing but is also going out of its way to make sure you don’t go too far like a canine dungeon monitor and then runs around and nuzzles the bottom’s face to comfort her and makes sad eyes at you.
For the record the last one can really fuck with your head space because it’s really hard to beat someone; even for fun with a dog making sad eyes at you. Then add in stopping to reassure the dog that she’s ok and likes what you’re doing. Well that’s something that isn’t covered in any of the kink books I’ve ever read. Maybe there’s my next book “Kinksters and Canines – helping your pooch understand consent”  Like the dog could understand even a straight forward plain explanation of spanking play and it’s joys for both parties yet this moron tried to appease the pup.
So I’m still not sure if laughter is kinky but it’s something I do a lot of and find sexy as hell in others as well.  In general it just sort of fits because after all there is a little something Puckish about me to begin with.
Kink of the Week

Seeing your Kinks on Stage

A Modern Take on Willaim Shakespeare - The Bard with a Black T and tattooed armsIn the opening 30 seconds a tall blond and uniformed type (and not to mention blind folded) man walks across the stage, grabs a woman, kisses her passionately and delivers a well place blow on her lovely back side with a riding crop.   An hour later there is a woman tied to a post wearing only her under garments (granted they were more bloomers than lingerie).  In between the two there were several muscle bound male Fairy types parading around in body suits, twirly pixie skirts, and edgy make up.   I know you think this another one of those posts where you think “well Duh captain obvious you must have been at another fetish performance or burlesque/drag/ whatever the fuck else goes on kind of events.”   And normally you’d be right but this time we were sitting quite literally front and center at a mainstream production of Shakespeare’s a Mid Summer Night’s Dream.
Don’t get me wrong it was not a fetish themed adaptation. It was a legitimate theater event with traditional scripting (excluding a few humorous asides), and costumes updated from the Victorian era to be pre world war one.   It had the General, the Officer, the debutant, her over bearing father, the cry for traditional Athenian justice etc.   Just in case you don’t know it’s a comedy and in this case was very well done.  So if you need something to do this coming weekend it’s at the Grandel Theater for 3 more performances ( It’s a cool small theater just around the corner from the Fox and Powell Hall).
The next morning over coffee with the Blonde we were discussing the play and the riding crop got mentioned.   I guess in a lot of ways it depends on your perspective how you view things.   First off a 1913 era general would most likely have a riding crop with him as part of his daily tools. Horses were still an everyday part of the military back then.  She remarked that she thought it was edgy he swatted her.  I on the other hand thought hmm.  I wish he’d give her a few more licks but guess it really isn’t that kind of show.   More or less I took it to be more playful and flirtatious.  It wasn’t a John Wayne take over your knee move which wasn’t all that edgy either if you ask me.   My summation is that men have been smacking women on the ass for one reason or another rightly or wrongly since before the missionary position was invented.   I thought of it as nothing more than boys being boys.  Having smacked a few asses over the years I do have a jaded point of reference.  Then again I tend to  keep the company of women who don’t mind and even like a few smacks on their butt.  As a matter of fact odds are if you don’t you’re probably not my kind of girl.  To each their own.
Then one of the female leads (Hermia if you must know) was tied to a tree stump.  I get it that was nothing more than part of the plot line and added to the comedy but the next morning  the fact it was done rope work was done so hap haphazardly irked me a bit.  That point was met with “It was funny,and the rope was not suppose to be the art. You’re a rope freak so get over it”.  The Blonde had a point but Jesus couldn’t they have cast just one cow boy, mountain climber, or rope top to not drive the occasionally kinkster in the audience crazy?  Oh right I’m not sure how you’d ask for that in the auditions.
As for the young muscle bound mystical creatures, their king, and queen, and the cross dressed Mechanical and butch-ish female Mechanical.  I found them fun and playful, it made me realize I was missing a gender fuck burlesque show on the other side of the highway but for the most part I just laughed along.
Still even in its own mild and not really kinky way it is always a little odd to see your kinks on a stage where you wouldn’t expect to.  Stepping away from my usual topics here’s my assessment.   St. Louis for as much as I make fun of it for being puritan, and conservative does have a good theater scene;  if you know where to look.  Once you get beyond the shows that are national touring productions at the big place in town there are tons of college, professional and, community theater groups worth checking out.
Probably the wildest thing of all is that I can walk up the night of a show and get tickets to most of them, in particular Shakespeare productions that are not complete sell outs amaze me.  Where I come from you had to pre order tickets to high school productions and professional Shakespearean theater that wasn’t sold out every night is unheard of.

Strumpet, Whore, Othello & a Conversation with my Daughter about Slut Shaming

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis Othello PosterIt was a beautiful night. There were hundreds if not a few thousand people of all ages and from all walks of life gathered.  Lawn chairs and blankets were laid out on the grass of the gentle rolling amphitheater, wine flowed, feasts and picnics were abundant.  A gentle breeze danced across our backs from the west, the sun began fading into the hills behind us.  The sky was clear and blue, hours later it would be dotted with twinkling stars. The temperature was as perfect as one could expect on a mid June night in St. Louis, hovering in the low 80’s and fading into the low 70’s as the day gave way to night.   This is the setting as I settled in with my 13 year old daughter Lilith to take in the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ 2012 production of Othello. We arrived 2 hours before the main production was to begin and the hill top was already buzzing. Strolling minstrels, sword fighting, belly dancers worked their way through the crowd to keep us entertained and to set the mood.
A short version that they referred to as Shakespeare in a Breath was performed on a smaller stage.  It was a wonderful 20 minute precursor to the main production with what can only be referred to as a  telling of the story’s highlights with young actors in garb that was more steam punk than old school Bard.   As a child I lived at the University of Pittsburgh’s productions every summer.   Somewhere beyond the business suit and behind the black boots I stomp through life in lives a literature geek.  This though is a topic for another time.
This was Lil’s first time seeing a full Shakespearean production and her first experience attending a play in the park.  As the main production began she sat mesmerized.  If you get nothing else out of this find a local festival and take it in.  In St Louis these events are free although donations are accepted.  We have the means and gave generously, as I’ve said before I believe in paying for art so others can also enjoy it.  Now on to the real topic.
This past year I encouraged Lil to read Macbeth as one of her novels at school. The truth is she has grown up with references to Shakespeare all of her life and doesn’t even know it.  My sister’s dog is named Paris. My Parents’ Golden was named Caliban (for non lit geeks Paris is a Count who pursues Juliette in Romeo and Juliette.  Caliban is from the Tempest and always a monster who is portrayed in a variety of ways depending on the production. If Daniel Tosh were the producer it would undoubtedly be a freckled Ginger in hot pants and glitter).  I’ve always greeted the animals with lines from the plays. Of course they just wag and pant and hope this fat bastard has a treat for them.
She watched, completely absorbed by the actors.  At intermission we discussed, the implications of couples of religious and racial differences both in the time the play was written and today’s society.  How a Muslim and Jew marring would cause the same concerns from family and friends today.  The play’s message that a person should be wary about who truly has their best intentions at heart.  Then into the second act it happened.  It’s not like I hadn’t read the play.  I’ve seen several other productions before, although it had been years.  It isn’t like I didn’t know what was coming. I certainly did but as Othello raged at Desdemona; berating her, the repeated accusation of being Strumpet; her denial. Othello’s continued harsh accusations, his blind rage, followed by her sincere and genuine denials of the cruel cold accusations.  The confusion she felt as to what had led him to this type of unwarranted and unjust behavior towards her.  Before he finally referred to her as Whore, throwing money onto the stage as pay for her services; this too struck me.  In truth even more deeply and personally but again that is a topic for another time.   Whore was a word that took her time to even be able to say.
I hear it from time to time… the term slut shaming.  Regardless of the words used to describe it perhaps the behavior is as old as time.  I know there is a movement within the Sex Positive community to make those types of taunts into something they feel empowered by, as a positive part of their own sexuality, as a defiant snub to the portions of society who use those words to brand them as lesser or tarnished.  I will admit that the term slut is in my vocabulary but the only time I use it is during play with people who “enjoy” be called such a thing.  Whore however is much more complicated for me.  I consider myself to be a whore. I exchange my services, albeit not sexual ones, for money on a daily basis by not doing what I truly love but rather selling part of who I am as a service that others desire.  I’ve long held the belief that the word should be applied more broadly, that every single living soul is a whore, although not in the sex worker sense of the word.
On the drive home we discussed the play. Othello’s jealousy, however misguided came up. We discussed how men use such actions as a means of control over women. How perhaps it was from a primitive concern that one’s property might be passed to a bastard child instead of their own blood. How religion only further uses such labels as a means of control of the faithful, to repress reproductive rights, to attempt to control a woman’s own right to use and display her body as she sees fit, sexually and otherwise. How just like in they play there doesn’t even need to be any truth to the accusation for it to have damaging consequences, to cost someone their relationship, and potentially their life.
In truth I see women use these words to take a negative stance toward other women far more often than I’ve ever seen men do it.   It’s not uncommon to hear otherwise civilized and intelligent ladies refer to another woman as a slut for perceived sexual dalliances.  They are the ones I often see branding another a whore for dating too many men, for something as trivial as clothing choices, and for being perceived as promiscuous.  Men are not saints, from early on many of us are aware of which girls are rumored to be easy, fast, and yes slutty. I’m not foolish enough to live in a glass house and throw stones at others.
Sometimes I suppose this labeling and name calling happens out of genuine belief and action by the other.  If a woman truly lures a man out of a monogamous relationship while I can’t condone the name calling on a primal level I get the rivals reaction.  But why do they call her a whore if he went looking for such a relationship? Because she fulfilled her needs with a man who broke his commitment to another.
As the thoughts raced through my head we moved on to “It’s awesome, everybody important died! I love tragedies”  my beautifully dark child blurted out.  The important part is Lil had fun but like so many other things in life, what begins as simple turns into something far more complicated.  Going to a play is never just going to a play for me.
A final serious thought.  If you have children, daughters in particular odds are someday someone will call them a name like tart, or strumpet or something far more vile and hurtful in today’s vernacular, or already has.  Oh it might not be in the town square, it could be in hushed whispers at a party or dance, on a social media site, in an anonymous text message, or even in a conference room or business meeting.   Why and for what it doesn’t matter.  It’s up to us as parents (and men as husbands and lovers) to make sure they know how to best manage it, to have enough confidence and self respect for themselves for it to not matter and perhaps most importantly be comfortable as whoever they choose to be, whether it is Strumpet, Whore, Virginal or something in between.
If you’ll excuse me I have to figure out how to work Strumpet into my greeting for the Chesty Blonde when she gets home from traveling tonight.   After all it’s something I’ve never thought to call her before and plan to do it with a devils grin all the affection and love I can muster as I kiss her hello.    After all no matter what polite society tells you most men want the women we love to be whores and strumpets…even if it is only with us.  Now where the fuck are my tights and puffy shirt?