Friday, May 27, 2016
The Many Note Challenge
Today, I got into a conversation on Twitter with @TGStoneButch (who writes incredible erotica under the name Xan West) about the way that representations of kink can sometimes feel one-note, as if there’s only one way to react to certain sensations and experiences.
I commented that this phenomenon feels isolating to me. As someone who always worried that my sexual reactions were “wrong,” sometimes the experience of reading kink erotica or hearing presentations at cons can make me feel alone in an environment where I had hoped to be included.
I think it’s really important to think about how the same actions might be given and received from very different perspectives.
Indeed, what kicked off that conversation was something from the Forbidden Fiction release party last night. There, I was talking about how I initially got a thrill from seeing trangressive words or actions in erotica, but that over time that faded. Now, what gets me—interested and/or aroused—is characterization and psychological intent. All of which depends on the opposite of that one-note approach.
It’s serious, important stuff, and I want to think a lot more about it. That led me to an idea for a fun exercise.
I want to show this variety of characterization and intent in action. So I’ve written a series of short snippets about the same simple activity, each one demonstrating a different mood. I’m calling it the Many Note Challenge.
The activity I’ve focused on is the tying of a takate kote—a box tie that fastens a rope bottom’s arms behind their back.
I wrote six of them. I’ll post the first two now (so I’m never showing one mood in isolation!), and then the rest over the course of the weekend. The first ones I wrote were from the bottom’s perspective, but I wound up writing an even number from the top’s as well.
If you think it would be interesting to do this, too, I invite you to participate. I’m keeping the dialogue and specific actions very similar for fun—you could imitate that, or go your own way. Feel free to tag me on Twitter @AnnabethLeong with what you come up with. I would be so excited to see how others might present the same simple action.
Beverly Yuen Thompson, licensed under Creative Commons)
When she pulls my arms behind my back, I giggle. From the moment I caught sight of her rope out of the corner of my eye, I knew playtime was about to start. Just that word, playtime, makes me happy. I feel like a kid again, being just naughty enough to have a good time.
“You ready?” She purrs into my ear.
I feel silly in the position she guides me into—arms behind me, chest pushed forward. I ham it up, flinging my head back as if I’m on the cover of an old-style romance novel and she’s ravishing me. We both giggle this time.
She begins to loop rope around my wrists. Its coarse fibers tickle me, and I squirm in her arms.
“Hold still,” she admonishes playfully, kissing the back of my head. “I won’t get this on right if you can’t hold still.”
When she pulls my arms behind my back, I drop straight into the feelings I normally pretend I don’t have. Rage. Helplessness. Rage. From the moment I caught sight of the rope out of the corner of my eye, I knew where she wanted to take me. I think I can do this today—I think I want to—but I can never quite be sure until it’s happening.
“You ready?” She whispers into my ear.
If this goes the way we both want it to, it’ll clean me out, leave me exhausted but purified, give her the feeling that she does have a way to reach the deep parts of me that I normally keep from her. If it doesn’t—well, we’ll have a long conversation ahead. Nothing we haven’t dealt with before.
“If either of us says no at any time, everything stops, right?”
We both know that, but I always have to say it.
“Of course,” she says. Her fingers tighten on my arms, and I can feel how badly she wants this.
I nod. “Go ahead.”
She guides me into position—arms back, chest forward. I already hate it. There’s a slight strain on my shoulders and an unpleasant stretch across my sternum. I fling my head back to get a big, clean breath of air as I endure it. I remind myself that I usually like what I find on the other side of a session like this.
She begins to loop rope around my wrists. The sensation of its coarse fibers gives me slight relief from the stormclouds already gathering in my head. I squirm in her arms, trying to feel more of them.
“Hold still,” she admonishes, giving the back of my head a kiss that I know is meant to show she’s not upset with me. “I won’t get this on right if you can’t hold still.”
That's it for today. Check back tomorrow for the next two vignettes!