Friday, July 19, 2013

Crimson Moon, Here I Come!

In less than one week, the big summer party held by Chicago Crimson Moon will be under way. Now that CM only does two parties a year, they mean a lot more. I have been trying to get packed, work full time and keep my mounting insecurities at bay this week, all the while battling the heat. I guess what I'm trying to say here is I need a party. It's been three months since Boardwalk Badness Weekend and my play has been sporadic at best. As the tension mounts, I desperately need some away time. About three weeks away, Mike (my wonderful top) whisked me away to Chicago for 24 hours of great fun. We hit Carson's Ribs (said by many to be the best ribs in all of Chicago) for some barbecue:

Words can't describe how silly I felt wearing that bib, but it saved my clothes. I'm an absolute pig when it comes to eating and most of my friends know it. I ate every bite of that half chicken and the au gratin potatoes. Plus, Mike and I split a taramizu. I practically had to be wheelbarrowed out the door. Before we went to get food, Mike gave me the cook's tour of his condo, which is in a high rise on Michigan Avenue. I'm petrified of heights and hate elevators, so it was an adventure. We did manage to get a photo, thanks to a very nice couple that were on the observation deck. I think we were interrupting something, but oh well.

As much as I love the city, and enjoyed looking around, I wanted to play. A spanking girl always wants to get spanked. I don't think he was prepared for how much I hate elevators. He teased me mercilessly, but it was all in good fun. When we got back from eating, it was time to play again. This time, we decided to shoot a couple of caning videos, which I uploaded on Fetlife as soon as I  got home (after first trimming them down).

Don't let the "ouchie face" fool you. I'm having the best time here. Caning is my favorite thing and Mike did a great job accommodating me. The only bad thing was that I had a stomach full of food here. We had a great time in the city. The next day, he took me to Navy Pier for a fun afternoon  before we had to hit the road. We took a water taxi to Navy Pier, something I'd never done before. I hadn't been on a boat in over 30 years; not since we used to spend vacations at my grandparents' place on Table Rock Lake back in the 70's.

The trip only took a few minutes, but the weather was absolutely perfect. There was a nice breeze on the lake that day. However, I deeply regretted forgetting my sunglasses and my sunscreen. You can see in this photo that ours wasn't the only taxi on the lake that day. There were all kinds of boats on the lake. I was awed by all the tall buildings and quaint cafes we saw. I think half the people took it for granted. As I stated in one of  my blog posts concerning the party in Atlantic City, I haven't travelled much and it shows. I was practically stretching my neck looking up at the skyscrapers. Mike got a kick out of my excitement. He told me that Navy Pier is his favorite place to "people watch". I've never been much of a people watcher myself. I'm much more curious about hearing what people have to say. I love listening to conversations and there was a lot of that going on as we ate. We hit a little cafe in the park called (I think) Rivan's. They serve crab cake sandwiches that are to die for. Anyway, it was soon time to get going and hit the road. Mike assured me to time until the Crimson Moon party would go fast. It hasn't. It has been dragging, all the while I work and pack, then unpack and re-pack. This is something that I've always done.

I have the usual summer assortment of cropped pants, peasant tops, dresses and sandals. In fact, I have a separate suitcase just for my shoes. I'm probably over packed, but that happens all the time. I would rather have too many things than not enough. You just never know what you might need at a spanking party. This will be Crimson Moon's 20th Anniversary party and so it's going to be a little special. I bought the two dresses because I felt the need to dress up a bit more. Mike likes to go to nice places to eat and I feel self-conscious in jeans when we're in a nice place. One of the dresses necessitated the need to purchase my first strapless bra in many, many years. I was a bit chagrined to discover that the bra cost more than the dress.

As I think back on my years of attending Crimson Moon parties, I have a ton of memories of the good times I've had. I still remember my first party like it was yesterday. However, I don't have any photos of that first party because I was absolutely against being photographed at a party. That changed with my third party though. It was July, 2003.

This is me and Ian, the London Tanner. He had just caned me and I asked him to sit for a photo with me. He was very obliging for the camera, I must say. I should never be photographed from the side. But Ian was so nice and I enjoyed his company so much. I really do miss him since he moved back to England and doesn't come to parties anymore. He was a party all by himself. The stories he told were worth the price of admission alone. That was my first time being caned by a real Englishman. It was amazing. I still remember it completely.

One of the traditions that has held from hotel to hotel is the communal breakfast. Because most hotels offer a free breakfast to guests, breakfast at CM parties is always an event. Of course, because of vanillas lurking around, we can't play or even talk about spanking. But it's always interesting to see everyone drag themselves down to the lobby. The main topic of conversation is usually how much (or how little) sleep everyone got the night before. Most of us show up looking like something the cat drug in and I'm no exception:

This photo was taken in January, 2004, back when CM still had a January party. I think that's scrambled eggs and maybe a chocolate muffin on my plate. I'm pretty sure I'm drinking cranberry juice here because I always do at parties. This was taken on Sunday morning right before we had to get on the road to go home. Nowadays, I take a lot more photos at parties, but back then, I was still a little bit hesitant to be photographed at a party. Of course, I kick myself now because I don't have much of a record of those early parties.

Another tradition at CM parties is that you can always count on someone stopping you in the hallway and wanting to get a photograph with you. Cigi had always worn her hair short but my pixie cut was a new one. I can't get over how heavy I looked here, but Cigi looks beautiful, as always. She had had her right breast removed only six months earlier and she carried her prosthetic in a beautiful box that resembled a hat box. Someone once asked her "Hey, what's in the box?" and she replied "My boob!". That's how she was. I really do miss attending parties with her. This was taken in July, 2007.

You also never know when a chance for public play will happen. I adore playing publicly because I'm a ham and I love to show off. The following photo was taken in October, 2007 in the public room of our hotel. Since it was the Halloween party, I'm dressed as the Black Dahlia (well, before the psycho got hold of her anyway). Everything I had on was black.

I'm getting the London Tanner prison strap from Richard Warmlion here. He was dressed as a gangster and it was my idea for him to carry his toys in a violin case (the way the old-timers used to carry their gats).

It's fun to look back at past parties as this one approaches. One thing is for sure: there will be a ton of photos.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spanking Is Fun? Why Yes It Is!

At least once a week without fail I receive a message in my Fetlife inbox offering to help me with my "disciplinary needs". Most of the gentlemen doing the offering don't live close enough to me to make even meeting a reality and yet they insist that I should be accountable to them. People who see spanking in a purely punitive light have always annoyed and, at times, enraged me. I'm not slamming people who see spanking that way. Many people are in the scene simply to meet a dominant or Daddy to fill this very role. And if that's what someone seeks, who am I to look askance at them? However, when such behavior is directed at me, I feel I then have the right to protest. I'm usually polite to such people, unless he's a multiple offender. I tell them I'm sorry but I have no disciplinary needs that need met. With rare exceptions, I get a response, sometimes carefully worded, sometimes not. The responses generally fall into one of three categories:

1) "All women are bad little girls who need a man to spank them and put them back in their place (wherever that is)."
2) "You're in denial, sweetheart."
3) "All people who get spanked are submissive and also harbor a deep guilt over enjoying spanking. Spanking helps purge that guilt, along with other naughty feelings."

Responding to these messages is always a painstaking process for me. I don't want to step on any one's toes or come across as argumentative. All three attitudes have their adherents on both sides of the lap. But I have found that getting into philosophical discussions with any of the holders of these three prevailing attitudes is a total waste of time. The first one, where the man groups all women into the "bad little girl" category, is pretty easily identified as men who read too much spanking fiction or have seen one too many spanking videos where the "men are in charge" attitude is prevalent. The second one, the accusation of being in denial about needing to be disciplined, says a lot about the man who holds that attitude. Most of the uber-doms I know have this  attitude. They have a sense of entitlement and always have to be "right". The third one mostly comprises men who have read a lot of books on BDSM and the D/s dynamic. They tend to generalize about what spankees (whom they always refer to as "subs") might actually be after. Their attitude is "I've read all of this so I must be right. Never mind the fact that I've never actually played."

When I write the gentlemen back and tell them that, for me, spanking is fun, they almost always seem stunned. "Spanking is NOT supposed to be fun, young lady. You're supposed to be learning a lesson!" This ties in with other messages I've received concerning my habit of smiling while being spanked. Shockingly, I also get messages on occasion from submissives who ask "Can spanking really be fun? I asked my Sir and he says that's rubbish." What usually follows is several messages back and forth, with me trying to convince the poor girl that her Sir is wrong. But I sincerely doubt I've ever changed any one's mind.

I first encountered this punitive attitude towards spanking when I joined spanking Yahoo groups in my early days in the scene. There was no Fetlife back then. Many of the men spoke about "punishing bad little girls who go to spanking parties". It was a dichotomy--the men enjoyed the company of the women who attended and were glad they came, but still felt the need to "punish" them for this bit of naughtiness. As a relative newbie who was still dealing with her own feelings about spanking, I found all this talk about discipline and punishment confusing. It was on the Crimson Moon Yahoo group that I first heard the term "good girl spanking". Apparently, a good girl spanking is much more desirable than the nasty, painful bad girl spanking. I was a VERY hard player in those days and a hard spanking would have been a good girl spanking to me. When I would voice this, the men would come out of the woodwork to correct me on my wrongful thinking. "You're not really supposed to like that kind of stuff" one long-time scene denizen wrote me. "Most of the ladies like bunny fur and other sensual toys." My favorite toys have always included canes and prison straps. Bunny fur just doesn't cut it.

Now even though I'm making a face indicating that I'm in some discomfort, this doesn't mean that this isn't fun for me or that I didn't enjoy it. The tawse my top is holding here happens to be from The London Tanner, one of my favorite implement makers and my favorite when it comes to leather. I was feeling this tawse for the first time. I posted this photo to my Fetlife profile to appease the people who don't like the ones of me smiling; the ones who enjoy tears and pleading. I'm not saying there isn't room for both attitudes in the spanking scene. I understand that a lot of tops and many doms are turned on by facial expressions that somehow indicate that the spanking is punishment or at the very least non-consensual. I can play act this particular facial expression very well. But what's on the outside is rarely what counts. Inside, I was in heaven. This strap is divine. It's worth every penny I paid for it.

This is how I'm much more likely to look after being spanked. Admittedly, the spanking here wasn't that hard. But it was hard enough that I think the average person would have had a hard time smiling. In fact, I've been told that, since spanking is my only real kink, I'm practically vanilla. I hate to break it to be people who feel this way, but vanilla people don't do this. I admit that I'm a bit of a masochist, but I really do enjoy being spanked. I enjoy the feelings of closeness with the person spanking me. I enjoy the little shows of affection that invariably happen during a scene. So whether other people like it or don't like it, this is what I love about spanking. You don't have to "get" it. Just respect the fact that I do things a bit differently than some (most probably). For me, spanking is a wonderful experience that gives me great joy. The men who top me and the women who sometimes share the spanking with me are people I count among my best and closest friends. I understand myself better than I ever could have had I chosen to stay in the closet about my kink.

Yes, spanking is fun! And it can be amazing with the right person. If you're a newbie, don't let anyone tell you categorically how it is. Spanking can mean anything you want it to mean. Yes, it can be for punishment if that's what you need. But don't let anyone tell you it HAS to be that way in order for you to be doing it right. Within SSC, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just enjoy it in whatever way makes you happy and forget the ones who try to tell you you're doing it wrong.