Faith and Kink

Someone recently started a thread on FetLife title “reconciling faith and kink.” I thought my response was telling enough about what it is we do that it merited sharing here.


I can’t tell you how to find the wholeness you seek, but I can share parts of my own story.

I am a Christian, as are both of my girls. I don’t know how traditional most would consider us (Christianity is 2000 years old and contains within it a lot of traditions, yet most often when I see “traditional” used in the context of Christianity it’s in reference to modern Evangelical Christianity, which is just not all that old), but what we do works for us.

I believe that God was so in love with his creation that he became a part of it, that his Logos was one with a 1st century Palestinian Jewish man. In him is the most complete revelation of God. The Word is Jesus himself, and everything must be seen in his light. This includes the scriptures. As much as they tell us about Christ, Christ must tell us about them as well. This hinges, of course, on believing that God is still moving and communicating in the world today, that Christ is active and alive and a part of the world around us.

I don’t believe that Jesus gave us a sexual ethic to which we should adhere. He gave us an ethic of love and that ethic can be applied to our sexual lives. God has, time and again, shown us his value of these bodies. He created us not as souls inhabiting a shell, but as bodies filled with his own breath. Flesh was so beloved by the creator that he became flesh. Our bodies are beautiful, holy things. Our loves, our passions and our desires are gifts from the creator that blessed flesh in its creation. So then our bodies are not to be overcome, our desires not to be held as corrupt. Instead we look at how we can best listen to those desires and treat those bodies within the ethic of love given to us by God incarnate.

For me that starts with recognizing each person as a loved child and creation of God, as well as a reflection of God himself, and an equal to an inextricably linked to me. (“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” and “We, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.”) From that, I honor the person as a unique creation and reflection of the Lord. As the voice said in Peter’s vision, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.”

So in any interaction I do not ask myself “Am I holding to the proper list of do’s and don’ts?” I ask, “Am I treating this body as sacred, blessed by the creator and of worth equal to or surpassing my own?” If I can answer that with an unqualified “Yes” then I am acting in the ethic given me by Christ.

Being Bodies: Me, Mine, and Others

Gabe and I had a complex conversation the other day, that has led to some insight for me around a whole cluster of dynamics: what kinds of poisons our culture has always sent my way, the nature of my physical my reality with Gabe, and how to balance a life of joyful resistance with a life of submission to the holy.

All my life, I’ve been told by others that they know my body *better* than I do. Doctors have assumed they knew me better than I did, both as a child and an adult. School nurses repeatedly told me that I was wrong in believing I was sick because I didn’t have a fever (I rarely get them). Both the well-meaning and the more vicious weight bullies insist they know my body’s health better than I do, and that I’m ignorant of its needs and desires. Every incident where a straight person told me I was wrong for my body loving women, or a gay person told me my body was wrong for loving men, was a denial of my body’s wisdom. Every sex-negative message is a statement that my body is wrong for finding sex holy. Advertisers constantly try to convince me of my smells I don’t know about and my ugliness I don’t see. Every problematic message has been accompanied, either implicitly or explicitly, with the demand that I need to be relinquish power in some way, to refrain from getting in the way while this other voice wields power over me: physical power in an examination or medication, or ideological power to shape my understanding of myself or reality, or some combination of the two.

All of the mechanisms that try to tell me I’m wrong for seeing sexism, racism, classism, oppression and coercion around me are telling me some of my most visceral knowledge is wrong, that my body is wrong in what it receives from the world around me. Some truths are held in deep places in our flesh, and those truths are often the ones denied most vehemently by others. Our greatest gifts as a species — our compassion, our love, our care and our connection to others — are rooted in our creatureliness, on the basic fleshly needs that echo from one body to another and call us to see others as much like ourselves. Every act of denying compassion, every act of denying clean food and water, every denial of shelter, every act of violence against another person is a negating of body wisdom — the wisdom of the body being victimized and the wisdom of all other bodies that instinctually lunge for solidarity. There’s not a day that goes by where I’m not being told by someone that they know my body better than I do. That is one of my most visceral experiences of the sick society around me. It is a basic survival mechanism for me to be constantly alert to such demands on me, and to not let the sneaky bastards in. This can effect how I hear messages, related and unrelated.

At the same time, Gabe knows my body better than any other person that isn’t me. He knows it better than anyone else ever will. I am only beginning to scratch the surface of this multilayered reality. My body is his, and his is mine: we have said that, and in speaking it we are both creating that reality and acknowledging what is already there. By virtue of the profound commitment we’ve made to one another, the exploration we do, and the ways we open ourselves, he has deep knowledge, both practical and esoteric, of my body. And this is the reality after only three years together, with many more years to come. He also knows things I don’t, by virtue of his unique perspective. He knows things about the character of my boobs and belly and ass that I do not and will not, by virtue of absorbing their existence from a different visual perspective.

But I’m the only one that knows what my body is feeling and sensing. I’m the one that has that information within me, and no one else can lay claim to that knowledge. There are some psychic spaces that are impossible – and unnecessary – to coexist within.

So my next lesson is to practice how to embody these two life-giving dynamics simultaneously: how to vibrantly resist every single demand for abdication of personal power, both mine and his, while also jumping headfirst and wholeheartedly into this fleshly connection, this sacred use of power between us.

No vote, plenty of nookie

Apparently Sarah Sloane kicked off the #novotenonookie hashtag on Twitter, in which a lot of sex bloggers and other professed sex-positive folks decided that those who didn’t vote on Tuesday were undeserving of sex.

Yep. “Sex positive” now includes convincing folks to refrain from having sex with an entire class of people.

I don’t vote. I haven’t voted in many years. I’m not lazy, apathetic nor jaded.

I’m a pacifist.

Governments are inherently violent. Even democracies and republics are inherently violent. They are built on coercion, force and lack of consent. Governments are the ultimate bad tops. You don’t get to opt out. You don’t get to safeword. And if you don’t comply you get hit with a taser, jailed, stolen from or killed. Nearly every law is a justification for violence, so every vote I cast translates to a quite literal blow against someone. Voting is compliance with nonviolent people getting busted for possession. Voting is compliance with the way prostitutes and their clients are treated by law enforcement.

I’m not refraining from voting because I think my votes don’t count. I’m refraining from voting because I am responsible for what is done with the power I willing hand over to others.

Majority rule may be more fair than other systems, but it is still inherently violent. I choose not to participate in that violence of my own free will.

Out of principle, ethics and love I refuse to vote.

Luckily I still get plenty of nookie.

Coming Soon: Halloween!

Okay, I PROMISE we will continue with our 30 Days of Kink! In fact, we have over half of them written already!

Here’s the sticking point for us: Day 11 asks us to articulate our ethics of kink. *blink blink* How much time have you got? And have you seen how much we love pontificating about ethics, sexuality, values, theology, spirituality, relationality and personal decision-making? Essentially, I’m very busy over here trying not to write you a complete dissertation for the next Day of Kink. And it’s hard! Sooo hard!!! 🙁 [Note from Gabe: That’s what she said!]

So, I’m here to tell you that patience will be rewarded. We’ll have our next answers here soon. I’m also here to tell you that we’ll be offline for the weekend, as Sunday is Gabe’s birthday. That’s right! Zillions of people will celebrate his birthday by dressing up in great costumes and pursuing debauchery of the candy, booze and sexins variety. Join in! Take pictures! Share them with us! 🙂

Have a great Halloween on Gabe’s behalf, and know that a lot of work is going into the upcoming posts you’ll find here soon.

Day 10 of Kink: Hard Limits

The questions for “30 Days of Kink” can be found here. Play along at home! We’d love to see your answers here or on your own blog.

Day 10: What are your hard limits?

Elizabeth: Many of my hard limits are emotional in nature. I don’t do things that feel damaging to me (or that I feel will damage others). I may get put in my place, in a sexy way, but I don’t do humiliation or degradation. I don’t receive punishment from anyone for actions I’ve chosen to take; those choices are mine to make and no one’s to judge. I’m not going to humiliate or degrade someone else, or do anything that feels to me that it is damaging to their personhood.

For activity-based hard limits, I don’t expect to ever be interested in scat, vomit or animals. I have a work history in the medical field, and my disinterest in medical scenes almost borders on a hard limit. I really don’t like drawing blood, mine or others, and don’t expect that to change anytime soon (though menstrual blood’s not a limit). I don’t like needles, or sounds. I dislike cock-and-ball torture. I have asthma, and find actual breath constraint to be a big turn-off (though I like the psychological impact of a hand gently around my throat).

Gabe: I don’t do scat or vomit. I refuse the type of submission that would have me making all of someone’s decisions for them. Anything glorifying or fetishizing the military or police is an instant boner-killer. I don’t do dubious consent. Anything else I can think of is at least open for negotiation. I don’t receive pain or domination, but that’s more a preference than a limit. I’m not opposed to it. It just doesn’t do anything for me.

Coming Out

Today is National Coming Out Day.

The act of coming out is necessary only when something about us – about our lives, selves, or reality – is assumed inaccurately by the people around us. For me, the act of coming out depends partly on who I am communicating with in any given moment, what their assumptions are about me, and what I know about those assumptions.

In various circumstances, I have come out as bisexual, feminist, kinky, queer, monoromantic with a poly partner, anarchist, Christian, clergy, previously being Pagan, having mental illness in my family, asthmatic, childfree, and various other characteristics.

What assumptions do you make about the people around you? What do you assume to be true about their reality? While living daily life may encourage us to make assumptions about others, it’s a huge tradeoff. The more assumptions we make, the more our own vision is obscured, and the less time we spend truly in the presence of the people that surround us.

Day 9 of Kink: Music

The questions for “30 Days of Kink” can be found here. Play along at home! We’d love to see your answers here or on your own blog.

Day 9: Post a kink related song or music video you enjoy.

Elizabeth: I couldn’t find a video, so here are the lyrics to “Beat Me” as sung by the Bedlam Bards.

 

 

 

 


 

Gabe: Second Skin – “Sweet Nothing”

 

 

 

 

Day 8 of Kink: Erotic Images

The questions for “30 Days of Kink” can be found here. Play along at home! We’d love to see your answers here or on your own blog.

Day 8: Post a kinky image you find erotic.

Elizabeth: I Stumbled Upon this and don’t have crediting information. I find finger penetration of all kinds to be deliciously erotic, and the blindfold, of course, is… mmmmmmmm! I also very much enjoy the androgyny of the person with the blindfold.

 

 

 


 

Gabe: I’ve had this “Human Harp” photo saved for several years. (Link removed at request of the artist.) I likely snagged it uncredited from an imageboard. A little googling tells me that it’s by Jim Duvall.

This picture says something about how I approach BDSM. The way I interact with the other person feels very much like playing an instrument. I do my best to elicit the responses I desire. I lovingly and precisely work them over, working with their natures, to create a set of sensations and responses. Topping someone, to me, feels an awful lot like being the player of this human harp.

Day 7 of Kink: Favorite Toys

The questions for “30 Days of Kink” can be found here. Play along at home! We’d love to see your answers here or on your own blog.

Day 7: What’s your favorite toy?

Elizabeth: One of the things I learned as we started our porn blog is that I don’t have a high level of hunger for sex toys, lol. Sure, I had my trusty Adam dildo from Good Vibes, who was a steady companion in my single days. And Gabe and I fell in love with Flexi Felix anal beads from Fun Factory the first time we used them. I like pegging, so I like my strap-ons and harnesses, though they’re not perfect. As a bottom, I have varying emotional relationships to Gabe’s implements of destruction. And now that I top, I am collecting items that give intriguing sensations. But toys have generally been a means to an end for me. Whatever’s handy is what we use. I’m probably more emotionally connected to the lube we use (recently ID’s silicone lube has been our standby, with Astroglide pinch-hitting when there’s a silicone toy involved).


Gabe: If you felt how damned heavy my toy bag is, you’d know how tough I find it to pick a favorite. My shorter, thicker nylon rope flogger is a favorite, as is my crop. I have such an affinity for my homemade toys (like the aforementioned flogger), whether they’re as simple as rice filling a tube sock or as fabulous as my discostick (a black, glittery mini baseball bat). For what I like to be on the receiving end of, I adore Fun Factory’s FlexiFelix and this one soft, fuzzy scarf of Elizabeth’s. I also like my Fleshlight quite a bit, even if I don’t use it often. Oh! And Eliz has this delightful, small, pink Tantus cock that feels fantastic in my ass.

Day 6 of Kink: Fantasies!

The questions for “30 Days of Kink” can be found here. Play along at home! We’d love to see your answers here or on your own blog.

Day 6: Describe your weirdest/most interesting a sexual fantasy. [We don’t really pay attention to what’s “normal”, so labelling something “weird” is odd to us. We also find all of our fantasies interesting, or they wouldn’t be our fantasies! So we edited this question a bit.]

Gabe: This is kind of a tough assignment. I used to have all kinds of fantasies, things I’d store in my mind and return to over and over. These days, fantasies are more often just… plans! I used to fantasize about having a d/s relationship, and now I have a de facto one with Elizabeth and I’m building a more structured one with Kristi. I used to fantasize about group sex, and now I have lots of group sex. I hear fantasies from those I’m involved with and we start working out the details to make them come to life. True, some of them are best left unfulfilled (generally for safety and health concerns), but even then they often end up leading into some permutation that we can act on.

So really, my fantasy? It’s my life.

Elizabeth: One of my most common fantasies involves having a lot of cocks to play with all at once. Sometimes it’s a playful fantasy, and sometimes it’s consensual nonconsent. Sometimes it’s a fantasy of my adult self, and sometimes it’s an ageplay fantasy. I know I find the idea hot, and I have to believe that at least in some situations, the real-life sensations would be amazing too. Gabe and I are beginning to ponder how to explore that.

Here I mention a fantasy that I do intend to act on at some point, but it’s also important to me to let some of my fantasies remain just that. They’re just as valuable as stories in my head, or stories I tell a lover. For all kinds of different reasons, some very hot ideas don’t have to be acted on.