Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Let the Wikifest continue...

Alright, so this story is going to make my dad cringe, but whatever.

When I was 16, I was friends with this girl in high school who lived on the West Side of town like me. She was nice enough, but naive. Her boyfriends were all older hipster boys. Of course, this was hipster in 1995, which is not nearly as cool, it was a lot of Army Jackets and too much of the Cure. Her parents lived in a cookie cutter subdivision house, and made bread every morning. They made things like French Onion soup for dinner, which was the first time I’d ever had it because I hate onions but when you’re over other people’s houses, you eat what they serve you. The dad was a professor at the local college, the mom was a soloist in her church, blah blah blah it should not surprise you that this girl eventually moved to Beloit Wisconsin. However, she was very nice, they were very nice, moving on.

This girl set me up with one of her friends, a family friend. He was older, but so was every other guy I was hanging out with. I don’t remember exactly how much older, but I think he was over 25. It was a blind date, and it was a double date with Girl and Current Hipster. We went to her favorite suburban Chinese food restaurant. We went to a movie (I have no idea which one). Girl had picked me up, so at this point Date Boy offered to drive me home. Fine. I wish I could tell you what he looked like. All I have is this hazy impression of dull blond hair, doughy cheeks, slacks. He wore a yellow polo shirt. He drove some sort of sedan. There was nothing about him to leave a sharper distinction. He was one of those men who are defined by what TV shows they watch, and where they went to school. I was thoroughly bored.

Which is probably why I made out with him. I was not, and really am still not, picky about whom I’ll make out with. It’s something to fill up time. It’s something to tell a story about. If I hadn’t made out with him then, you wouldn’t be reading this now, after all.

So instead of driving me home, we make out in the car for a little bit, and then he drives me back to his apartment. I really don’t have any interest in going upstairs, but I’m kinda stuck now, since he’s my ride and all. The apartment is in one of those modern complexes with hallways of terra cotta and cramped beige rooms. There is a plant in the hallway which is obviously plastic. There is a possibility that I am mixing up a memory of this hallway with something from 90210.

I do remember the inside though. It’s as innocuous as you could want. There is a brown couch facing a TV. There are some sterile bookshelves. The corner with the computer is full of books and glasses. I remember that he didn’t know what to say once I was there, he just kind of puttered around unsure of himself. I sit on the couch with my arms on my knees, I make a comment about how I should go home soon. I think about calling the Girl. She is probably not home yet with Hipster, and I don’t want to get her in trouble with her mom.

I’m sipping on something, probably alcoholic. It’s been like 20 minutes of nothing. Then really casually, anxiously, he asks me if I’m into handcuffs? Whips? Basically this guy ten years older than me wants to tie up 16 yr old me. But he’s asking me nicely? He shows me his leather stuff. I politely tell him I don’t know anything about this, and I would like him to drive me home.

Miraculously, he does without a problem. The next day I just about massacre the Girl, who also never talks to him again. She was a virgin until out of high school, and this guy used to baby sit her, so imagine how she felt. Of course, she did set me up with the guy who used to baby sit her.

I realized two things that day:
1. I really needed to be more careful with where I went, since I was only 16. I, at least, needed to make sure I had better transportation.
2. I really don’t like guys who aren’t aggressive.

Yeah, that’s right. If he hadn’t been such a dickless wonder about the whole thing, I probably would have gone for it. And I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it the next day. So, that was my first experience with the BDSM world, and it left a dry stale taste in my mouth (which makes me think I was probably sipping red wine that night).

I’m telling you this story because the random Wiki click of the day was Jon Jacobs, the author of some culturally defining (according to wiki) book about this kind of stuff.

It’s a very short entry on him, but it’s full of reasons to hate him. First, they describe him as an “influential freelance writer”. Now what is that about? If you’re actually influential, they don’t keep the freelance in front of your name. Also his slave’s name was Polly Peachum. Polly Peachum. I understand that if you’re somebody’s slave, they can change your name and all. But my loyalty and trust in someone would be sorely tested if they named me after one of Strawberry Shortcake’s sidekicks.Especially when his name makes me want to sing Jon Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. Also, Good Ol’ Jon didn’t like the “softer” side of BDSM, like you know, safe words and limitations. No, he liked what they call the Total Power Exchange.

I think if I had gone on a date with this guy, things wouldn’t have turned out so nice for me. I would have ended up with neck chafing and a tattoo of “Penny Periwinkle” on my ass.

Now I happen to agree with Mr. Jacobs contention that safe words and all that is just "playing", its not a real power exchange. You're not helpless, you still have a modicum of control. I also happen to think the idea of giving up all control to another human being is just the stupidest most moronic thing I can think of. But you know, that's me.
Usually I can find something in a fetish to relate to. But not here.

But the "safe" stuff I understand. I've attempted many times to get in on that scene. The problem is that I think too highly of myself. I'm not going to let some schmuck with a crappy job and hidden Catholic guilt tie me up. And I'm not going to let you pretend to be strong, you have to actually be strong. Stronger than me. That's the point after all.

Every guy I've met who's been really into this stuff has been someone who in normal life I would look down on. I should amend that statement. I know two very nice guys who are into it, and they are very nice smart successful people who are married, or soon to be, (and they still wouldn't be stronger than me, because they are so darn nice to me). But the guys that I meet when I'm specifically looking for that sort of thing are lamers. There is a dire lack of cool people in this scene. I'm like the nasty princess who's dad keeps sending suitors and she sends them off on impossible tasks because they are so not good enough. I'm waiting for the guy who can figure out how to drain the pond with a slotted spoon, or sort 12 tons of feathers in a single night.

I'm not going to even try and go into the psychology of other people here, but it makes you think about how others might relate to roles you take for granted in your life.
Like, Employee. Citizen. Girlfriend.
I don't consider myself a slave to any of those things. But some people out there do, especially the first one. People with higher positions than mine. Maybe I'll read Mr. Jacob's book, and it will give me some insight on how to get a raise...


  1. As a freelance writer, I can back you up when you say that "If you’re actually influential, they don’t keep the freelance in front of your name."

    'Freelance' is the pleading word that we put in front of 'writer' when we're trying to get jobs, or justify not having jobs. The only thing I'm influencing anyone to do at the moment is to work harder at university.

    I like your blog! Funny. I also like fights-composed-entirely-of-paper.


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