Feb 23 2017

Episode 045: Girl on the Net

Episode the forty-fifth; Wherein the Pageist explains why darning socks is so fascinating and freaks out over humans. The book reviewed this episode is Girl on the Net: How a Bad Girl Fell in Love by Girl on the Net.

.47 Intro & Announcements:

  • I’d like to thank my special guest, Winter Storm Doris, for providing the atmosphere of being on a ship at sea.
  • No new Facebook likes, but I’ve just noticed the ‘follows’ number. Hello to all 41 of you!
  • The show is now in Croatia, Pakistan and Zambia. A special hello to the scads of Danes who’ve been downloading the show in the last week or so.
  • A brief, anonymous survey, if you’d like to provide some much appreciated feedback.
  • Many, many thanks go out to my supporters on Patreon: PC, Barrett, deebs, AuntieSocial, BeeTee, Peej and Nug.
  • Where you can listen to my live interview on Sunday 7pm Eastern Standard time or midnight UTC: TPOK Radio

4.10 My Submissive Life:

12.58 Book Review:

23.31 Closing Remarks:

Feb 21 2017

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy

[This is the text of the book review from episode 44.]

The book this episode is The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy by Violet Blue.

Shortest version possible: The internet is out to steal your information and sell it to the highest bidder. Or everyone. It doesn’t even have to be the correct information.

But!

You can lock down as much of your online life as possible using the tips in this book, which is good to know, because I was holding my phone in one hand to read and packing to move to a cave with the other hand.

Walter the Intern(also known as Walter my husband) put together a resource page of the apps, extensions, browsers, data back ups and other things Blue suggests.

The reason this book is aimed at women (I admit ‘girls’ raises my hackles and it’s the word for women used throughout the book) is because women are targets online merely for existing. A man and a woman can make the same controversial statement on the internet and the guy may receive a ‘fuck off’ but the woman will receive gendered insults, rape threats and death threats.

These tips can be used by any person who wants to have control over who receives their information.

There’s a long section where the author explains exactly what a malicious person could do with only a phone number and email address that’s more terrifying than any horror film.

What I learned is—never use your phone number for two-step verification. Facebook doesn’t need it. Facebook just wants all of your information because the more info it has on you the more your information is worth when they sell it.

If this sounds like paranoid fabrications—warnings about the evils of the internets! Everyone’s out to get you! Then have some background on Violet Blue. This is from the end of the book.

Violet Blue is an investigative tech reporter at CNET, Zero Day, ZDNet, and CBS New, as well as an award-winning sex author and columnist.

She also broke the story of Anonymous hacking the U.S. Federal Reserve, when Snapchat was hacked and its user database was exploited and when Comcast was hacked, amongst other stories about large companies like Apple being hacked. Do you remember that video of hackers showing how to hack an iPhone in 60 seconds? That was her story.

This isn’t some random person in a tinfoil hat in a shack in Nebrahoma, ranting about the Government trying to steal your memories through your phone.

Some companies want your information so they can target ads to you. But some of the things people can do (or actually do) is malicious. If you want to shut these evil bastards out of your online life as much as possible—start with this book.

The first section is called Get Smart and covers several things you should do right now like covering your webcam, since they can be turned on remotely and in such a way you won’t know it’s on. I bought this book bundled with a set of stickers made for this purpose on Violet’s site—they’re easy to remove and won’t leave a residue. You can also get the stickers on their own. Or just use a post it note.

The second section is about why your phone number is not ‘just’ a phone number. It also has a list of information that’s safe to give out, information you should be wary about giving out and information you should never give out when signing up for an account. These are labeled with traffic light (or consent colours) green, yellow and red. If a site is asking for Red information—that’s no good. That’s information that leads directly to you.

The third section covers what to do if you’ve been hacked. Just having that information laid out where I can reach it easily made me feel better, somehow. I’ll do my best to keep it from happening, but if it does, at least I have a guide to something other than ‘have nervous breakdown, rinse, repeat’.

The section after that is about a special kind of miscreant—it’s how to deal with revenge porn. Any woman this has happened to—more power to you for getting through it. If you’re dealing with it right now, we’re with you, okay. Whatever scum on the bottom of the dreg of humanity did this… This is not on you, okay. There were some excellent resources and ideas in this book for how to deal with the situation. None involved breaking kneecaps, unfortunately.

Section five is Identity Theft—what to do if it happens and how to do it and how to avoid it happening in the first place.

Then we’re on to Social Media. The section that made me want to set Facebook on fire. It seems to exist to get personal data out of you so it can sell it to other people. This section also includes information on setting up a new phone for minimal tracking and stalking from all the companies who want to do so right out of the gate and how to dispose of phones and computers in ways that keep your information private.

Section seven is the one that gives me the screaming jeebies. People Search Websites. You may have seen the sites that claim they’ll help you find your high school classmates or long-lost family members or whatever. Go to one of those and type in your own name.

I did one of these (and cannot recall the name now) and it returned my name before I got married—the first name I was given at birth (which I changed in my early twenties), every address I’d ever lived at, several phone numbers I’d been connected with and most of my relative’s names. As well as my husband’s name.

Nnnnnooooooope. That site had an easyish opt-out form, but many don’t. Some require you to sign up—giving them all of your information—in order to ask them to remove you from the database.

Where do they get all of that info from? Facebook. Anywhere and everywhere you’ve put in your details. They purchase it, combine it (it doesn’t matter if it’s correct—some of mine wasn’t) and charge people who use the site to make their money back.

I nearly had a damn heart attack. If you’ve ever known a person who has looked you in the eyes and said, ‘I know you. I love you. And you would love me back if you’d stop being such a bitch.’ And you know that they genuinely believe what they are saying and you also know they ‘know’ a fantasy version of you and they have a temper and a gun—you don’t want your information out there. The idea that people you don’t consent to having your address having it… god. And they know all your relative’s names so they can find them on Facebook, too? They’re are some crazy people out there.

Many of those sites not only make it really hard to find a place to even ask to have your information removed, but you need to check back every 90 days. If you don’t lock down your data, they’ll keep buying it, scraping it or getting it from somewhere else in order to sell it to the people who access the site. This book has a sample letter to send to various sites so you can type it up, fill it in with what you need to add and send it off—probably while swearing.

Section eight—online dating and sexytimes. How to do it without ending up in an array of garbage bags along with countryside. Also—how to tell if someone was on your computer.

Then there’s a section called Ninja Tricks and Advanced-Fu, which has some pretty interesting things in it—the sort of things that sound like something a television writer made up on a TV show—except it’s real, which is cool. Ways to encrypt communication, stealth your mailing address and phone number and other things that would have me humming the Mission Impossible theme whilst setting them up.

The final section is called I Hate Passwords. Preach it. It’s how to deal with password hatred and not have a series of passwords that are some variation on 123456stealeverythingiown789.

Actually, that wouldn’t be too bad.

Within all of the tips, tricks, hacks and information about how these companies work are some insightful observations about being a woman online and how safety is perceived so differently between the sexes. For the men reading this—which they should because, guys, you don’t want companies having all this info, either, I’m guessing, seeing the nonsense women have to deal with for simply being a woman and going online will be enlightening. Don’t worry, though, most of the book is how to keep your info to yourself. The feminazis aren’t going to keep you from your MRA meetings.

This book is U.S. based, to a large extent. The privacy information for Facebook and other apps is useful globally and learning how everything is connected was fascinating/terrifying, but how to handle fraud alerts and some other things were for Americans only. In the U.K. it would be illegal to have some of this information on people—privacy is muy importante here, let me tell you.

The U.K. has a ‘yes means yes’ policy about data—you have to opt in to people getting your information—every site that uses cookies tells you and you have to click ‘okay’. If you try to sell data on people here the authorities are likely to go after you due to data protection laws.

Meanwhile, the US has a ‘no means no and we’re not going to tell you you’re allowed to say no’ policy. Selling personal data is an entire industry. Capitalism!

I would still recommend this book to people outside the United States, but how private data is handled where you are will vary wildly so you may need to do some research in your own country. Learn how to handle identity theft in your country.

Of course, being that right now, the U.K. and the U.S. governments are both being increasingly nosy about what their citizens are up to (in the U.K. is just our porn habits they want to know about—we can have all the other privacy we’d like) The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy is incredibly useful.

5/5

Feb 20 2017

Eroticon 2017 Virtual Introduction

NAME (and Twitter if you have one)

Paige, sometimes people call me The Pageist. @thepageist

What are you hoping to get out of Eroticon 2017?

This is my first Eroticon so I’m looking forward to meeting people whose work I enjoy and who have experience doing what I’m still fairly new at.

Simply being around other people who do a similar job and understand the wonderful weirdness involved (that an ‘erotic creative’ can’t necessarily share with the other people in their lives) will be refreshing.

I suppose I’m most hoping to get community out of this year’s Eroticon.

This year’s schedule at Eroticon is pretty full on, but which 4 sessions do you already have marked down as ones you want to attend?

Plotting the Erotic Story (led by Ashley Lister). Learning how to be a better writer also improves a person’s critical reading skills, which will benefit the book reviews I do for my podcast. Two-for-one special, there.

A History of Erotic Writing and Obscenity in Britain (led by Kate Lister a.k.a. Whores of Yore). I’m a big fan of the Whores of Yore Twitter account and this talk would be right up my street anyway, so the fact that it’s being taught by someone whose work I’m into is a bonus.

Alternative Endings (led by Rachel Kincaid). I am always interested in new ways of approaching story and since my own kinks are a little different from the typical erotica fare (meaning I’m going to have to write my own) this class seems relevant to my interests.

How to use your blog to educate (led by Emmeline Peaches, Formidable Femme, Hot Octopus). One of the reasons I started my blog was in order to educate so… yup.

Also, I’ll be camped out with the Kink Craft people, making some fun stuff. I wouldn’t miss that for anything. I interviewed them on my show about what they’d be making this year and I’m very excited.

Tell us one thing about yourself that not many people know.

This is difficult because I tend to feel like I rabbit away at people, yammering all about myself. Then it turns out I’ve known someone for five years and they think I’m an only child because I’ve somehow never mentioned I have four half-siblings, eleven nieces and nephews and six great-nieces and nephews.

I keep more to myself than I realise so I don’t know what most people don’t know.

If you made the papers, what would the headline be?

Idiot American (who’s lived in England long enough to know better) hit by bus after looking wrong way AGAIN.

If you could have one skill for free (i.e. without practice/time/effort) what would it be?

The ability to play the violin by ear so I could play any song I heard on piano, guitar, etc on violin.

Complete the sentence: I love it when…

People neither tell me to smile nor comment on the fact that my resting expression looks like that of a serial killer—they just let my face sit on the front of my head without feeling the need to make me self-conscious about it. My skull carts my brain around—it’s purely decorative. I’m more concerned with what’s in it than its appearance.

 

[If you’d like to see introductions of more people coming to Eroticon, check this page.]

Feb 19 2017

Statement of Purpose 2017-18

Statement of Purpose: Traditional vs Kinky

In the vanilla world, a statement of purpose is something graduate schools ask applicants to write to demonstrate their aptitude, interest and suitability for the programme to which they are applying.

In the world of power exchange, a Statement of Purpose is a document an s-type engaged in self-training creates as a way to define their aims in training. The concept comes from Training with Miss Abernathy: A Workbook for Erotic Slaves and Their Owners.

According to the book, in the Statement of Purpose, the s-type should make:

…a personal commitment to work through the training program. Since you are essentially both trainer and trainee, be sure to specify the responsibilities you have toward yourself: excellent self-care, sufficient food, sleep, exercise, and recreation, and most of all, compassion.

There wasn’t a written example in the book, though, so I adapted her guidelines for my own purposes and have included it below. If it’s useful to you, feel free to use it as a basis to make your own.

Sections

Start Date and Date of Review

Start and end dates were not recommended for a Statement of Purpose, probably as it’s meant to be a commitment to complete the training in the book and that will take however long it takes. If you’ve designed your own training regimen or would like to make your document feel more like a contract you’re holding yourself to, you can add a start date and a date of review, when you can evaluate your progress and perhaps redefine your needs and goals.

Intention

This was also my addition—it’s a brief section on why you’ve chosen to write a Statement of Purpose. What does submission bring into your life? What do you want to get out of the training you’re committing yourself to? Why have you set the goals you’ve set?

Philosophy of Submission

The most challenging part for me was writing down my Philosophy of Submission, the idea for which came from the guidelines on making a training contract between a D-type and s-type.

The suggestion of both members engaging in a training contract including their philosophy of Dominance and submission appealed greatly to me. It makes sense to have it articulated at the start so if your theories of how power exchange is supposed to be clashes you’ll know immediately.

I wanted to include my philosophy in my Statement as a way of keeping in mind what I enjoy about being submissive/get from Dominance. It took awhile to formulate into words exactly what submission meant to me and my philosophy of it, though, so that exercise proved to be useful. Once I found the words they felt like a foundation—like part of my core, as though they had been sitting there, waiting for me to write them down.

At the very least I’ll have an answer if a D-type asks me what I think the point of submission is. Prior to this exercise my response would have been, ‘Um. I must have an opinion on it. Can I get back to you on that?’

(My philosophy of submission is not the only way. My personal philosophy may seem overly strict or too service-oriented for some people, just as other people’s philosophies would be overly lax or based in sexuality to work for me. What’s important is that your philosophy complements the person’s you’re with.)

Goals of Training

According to Training with Miss Abernathy, this section of a training contract:

…may be as simple as ‘the training of a slave to our mutual satisfaction’ or a list of skills to be acquired

I am an advocate of measurable results, so set mine up with a baseline of where I am currently on whatever habit or activity so, at the end of the year, I won’t have to try to recall where I was a year before.

Also, make a plan that can be implemented immediately—small steps—to start on whatever task is being undertaken.

Responsibilities

Following Miss Abernathy’s guidelines—as you are your own trainer, you must look after your property properly. Lay out your responsibilities here and how you will uphold your responsibilities to care for yourself.

Benefits and Further Thoughts

Having your goals, intentions and philosophy written down with a plan and a set time to review it can help get (and keep) you focused on your training.

This can also be a useful addition to your submissive resume, if you have one. Or even a way to start one.

Don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on too much—one thing at a time is plenty if you have a job and family and other responsibilities. If you discover an aspect of your training isn’t working for you, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad submissive; take some time—work out why it isn’t working for you. Break it into smaller steps or work on something else for awhile.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but a yearly Statement of Purpose on my kinkiversary with measurable results is more meaningful than an arbitrary day on the calendar when everyone else is trying to magically become a new person overnight.

If you have a paperwork fetish like I do, you may check out Ignixia’s site—she teaches a class on contracts, Letters of Intent and other such gloriousness called ‘Let’s Make it Official’. I have a handout from the class she taught at Power Exchange Summit that I treasure. If she’s teaching it near you—or you can get her to teach it somewhere for you—attend.

[The Miss Abernathy books are out of print separately, but are available in an omnibus called Erotic Slavehood—this is the edition I’m reading and loving to bits.]

________________________________________

Statement of Purpose

Starting Date: 14/02/17 Date of Review: 14/02/18

Introduction

Over the previous two years I have kept a submissive journal and made weekly goals and daily assignments in order to improve as a person and submissive. This year will begin my third year and I feel I’m becoming better at some things while I have slipped in others. Though, overall, I have improved as a person since discovering and developing my submission. This year, I intend to intentionally focus on the habits below, as I feel they are important to becoming a more balanced person and better submissive.

Philosophy of Submission

A submissive should enjoy making their Dominant’s life easier. A submissive should know exactly who and what they’re about and why they enjoy what they do, as well as what they need from a power exchange. They should be forthright but polite about their needs and desires. A submissive is a representative of their Dominant at all times—even when in the presence of people unaware of their dynamic—and must be a credit to said Dominant.

Goals of Training

1. Adopting a regular exercise routine.
Current routine: None.
Plan: Begin doing stretches and light cardio at least a couple times a week and work up from there. Hope it helps me feel better soon, which helps me stick with it.

2. Adopting a regular work routine that allows for recreation
Current routine: Rather scattered and not something I stick to.
Plan: Pay attention to how I’m spending time and where I have extra time. Also, how long it actually takes to do various things (as opposed to how long I think it takes) then make a new schedule.

3. Learning to attend to one task at a time.
Current success: Middling. Scale of 0/5 I’d give myself a 3.
Plan: If I have an idea for something that needs to be seen to whilst in the middle of something else, make a note of the new thing and keep going with what I was doing.

4. Being more aware of unproductive behaviour and eradicating it.
Current success: Awful: 0 of 5.
Plan: Go to bed when I’m tired. Keep from checking social media for more than five minutes at a time. Don’t check social media ‘just one more time’ before bed, as that always turns into 1.5 hours. Don’t fall for click bait articles. Pay attention to what I’m doing in general.

5. Listening more than speaking
Current success: Less than Brilliant 1 of 5.
Plan: Start with being more aware of what I’m about to say—think before I speak. Does it need to be said?

Responsibilities

Responsibilities to myself whilst training include:

1. Getting adequate sleep, without allowing myself to sleep too much.
Plan: As a life-long insomniac, this is always going to be a challenge, but perhaps regular exercise and a healthier diet will help. I’ve also been practicing breathing techniques at night.

2. Eating healthily and drinking enough water.
Plan: I’ve been eating healthier than ever over the last couple of months and have been making an effort to drink fluids that aren’t tea or coffee. It’s a matter of keeping to that.

3. Keeping myself to the high standards the Ma’am I would like would keep me to, whilst also being as kind to myself as the Ma’am I would like would do.
Plan: The first part shouldn’t be difficult, it’s the second bit that will be the hard part. I have to remind myself that giving myself a nervous breakdown is no way to improve as a submissive.

4. Fitting in recreation—even if it’s forced into the schedule.
Plan: Scheduling in downtime on Sundays, at least, to do something just for me.

Feb 17 2017

Episode 044: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy


Episode the forty-fourth: Wherein the Pageist celebrates her second kinkiversary, goes in search of a good night’s sleep and makes an exciting announcement. The book reviewed is The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy by Violet Blue.

.47 Intro & Announcements:

9.44 My Submissive Life:

  • An assignment for my American listeners: next time you’re in the grocery store–go look at how much melatonin and baking soda you can buy! It’s amazing!

20.57 Book Review:

34.31 Closing Remarks:

Status update

This week’s podcast and film reviews will each be a day late, as my insomnia has won one too many battles this week for it to be on time. A big announcement awaits during the podcast, though!

Feb 15 2017

Coming in Through the Library

Coming in Through the Library: The Three Ways to Discover Kink, Two Ways to Experience Life & How They Intersect

I often compare kink to Narnia, where, at first glance, it appears to be a wardrobe full of leather, rubber and latex, but if you push through, there’s an entire world of wonders you couldn’t have imagined.

Sometimes I think it’s a bit closer to the building from Poe’s ‘The Masque of the Red Death’, where one decadent, lavishly decorated room leads into another, each deeper and darker in hue. Guests can progress as far as they’d like, but at the centre… Actually, it’d be a hell of an idea of a theme-night at a dungeon. Without the piece de resistance.
Perhaps it’s a combination of the two. Not quite so whimsical as Narnia—not quite so dire as Red Death.

I envision kink as having specific rooms, but, unlike Red Death, there are only three and they are connected in a way to allow a person to move freely amongst all three.

A person can begin their journey in any of the three rooms, which are:

The Three Ways To Enter BDSM

  • The Bedroom. Someone swats someone on the butt during sex or someone tries some scarves or whatever. Next thing you know, kink is happening.
  • The Dungeon. A person knows what BDSM is and they run full-tilt into the dungeon and throw themselves at any and everything that will allow them to be kinky the way they want to be. You know, frenzy. This happens to both tops and bottoms and doesn’t have just to do with activities—it can also be power exchange.
  • The Library. People who read a lot (not fiction) actual information—education, theory. Forums, books, articles. These are the Hermiones. The sort of people who create websites and podcasts about kink to better organise their thoughts, share what they learn and learn from others. (Not that others don’t do this—but I’ve found a high number of library-dwellers out here.)

Whether (or how quickly) a person finds their way into another room depends on a couple factors, the largest of which is which of the two ways the person primarily appreciates life.

Two Ways to Appreciate Life

  • Physically: These are people who see something and want to touch, taste, smell it, fuck it, whatever. It’s not real to them unless they’ve physically engaged with it.
  • Intellectually: These people observe and think about an object/activity’s place in the world and why it works the way it does, how it got there, who made it and the sociological implications of its existence.

Neither of these are correct or incorrect—it’s just the way people are. A person can’t change which one of those they are, though they can be more aware of their inherent nature and either:

  • slow down and read something or take a class or
  • get out of the house and have a conversation with an actual human

Shame: The Deciding Factor

The other factor, which I believe plays an important role in the way a person progresses through the rooms is shame. If a person experiences the world intellectually and would normally research everything that interests them, they may still look for their kink, but perhaps from a ‘why am I this way’ perspective rather than ‘people like me near me’ or ‘how to do what I want safely’.

The internet is always ready to shame you if you ask the right question.

Whereas, a person who experiences the world physically first may simply never look for information, as that would be admitting they enjoy their kink. Black men who participate in the ‘down low’ culture don’t use condoms because that would be admitting someone planned to have sex, (which is gay, which is bad), even if it’s two men who get together to have sex regularly. There will be a pretense of watching a game or show, but sex will ‘happen’ (every time) and every time it will be a ‘surprise’ so no one will have a condom.

For people with shame about their kink, who appreciates the world physically first, I imagine it would work similarly.

This risks not only physical injury to everyone involved, but also emotional and psychological damage. Leaving off that shame is damaging on its own.

Dangers of Both Types

Physically: If a person is a little late in visiting the library (or never gets there) they risk everything mentioned in the previous sentence. They also risk being labeled a predator or being assaulted because they don’t know any better. That may seem hyperbolic, but if you’ve learned everything you know about kink from the media, as a top or D-type you could understandably think you’re allowed to do or say anything you’d like and as a bottom or s-type you could understandably believe you were supposed to take any abuse (physical/verbal/emotional) from someone calling themselves a top/D-type.

People come into the scene, have a few terrible experiences because they didn’t visit the library (and didn’t happen across anyone who had) and then disappear again. That is a damn shame. Those people not only leave with whatever mental scars (and possibly physical ones, as well), but also shame at any kinky desires they still have, and a skewed idea of what kink is really about.

Being labeled a predator simply because you believe what the media tells you probably sucks. (Some people in the kink community genuinely are predators—they know the rules but they also know they’re are new bottoms who don’t know the rules and they use their innocence against them by proclaiming themselves ‘Real Doms’ or some other nonsense. This isn’t about them.)

I know. Reading is boring. Taking classes is deadly dull. Finding a mentor—yaaaa-AAAWN. You know what’s not boring? Being sued. Having to explain that arrest for assault at every interview for the rest of your life. Or doing a scene with someone you genuinely like and respect and finding out they felt assaulted in every way possible afterward. That’ll wake you right up and make you know you’re alive. Probably also make you feel like the worst person on Earth, if you have a conscience.

More information is always better than less. For both sides of the equation.

Intellectually: I’m going to admit a bias here in that, being a person who experiences life brain-first, I don’t think there’s a danger with being intellectual. The argument would be that you’re not really ‘living’, but what is living? Something you can put on your Instagram account? Are experiences the only thing that count as being alive? Does that mean people who are house-bound aren’t living?

Experiences last brief periods, but a vibrant mind—a person has that twenty-four hours a day and it doesn’t need to be packed full of external experiences to be vibrant. Being entertained from without is something small children need to keep quiet.

However, it is possible to be intellectual to the point of losing touch with reality. The argument-for-argument’s sake sadists (life is difficult enough) for example, are not being useful—they’re controlling people with words by having conversations that have nothing to do with anything and that they themselves don’t even care about.

It is possible to hide behind words, thoughts and theory in order to avoid the task of living—certainly—which is why it’s important for the people who tackle life brain-first to remind themselves to engage with the world on occasion. But thinking isn’t going to land you in hospital or the morgue or on a psychologist’s sofa.

When it comes to kink, bypassing the library is the most dangerous thing a person can do.

Get your library card today. Make sure everyone you know has one.

Feb 14 2017

Kinkiversary Number Two

Today is my kinkiversary (yes, it happens to be February 14th–I am not a romantic person so the irony is not lost on me).

Two years ago everything changed (for the better). For more on my kinky beginnings, you can read this post.

For the first time I have something to look forward to. I went from just getting through the day to enjoying my life. From being the sort of person who did the bare minimum at whatever job I had to being happiest working.

Because I’m trying to make reading, writing, thinking, listening to and talking about kink and sex education my job. I want everyone to have the opportunity to find their happiness the way I have.

Realising I was kinky has not only made me more comfortable with myself and helped me figure out what I’m supposed to be doing with my life, but it’s also introduced me to some of the nicest, most giving, hilarious human beings you could hope to know. The sort of people who make you want to be a better person and whom you genuinely want to see success and you know they want the same for you.

The professional kink community (that I’ve met thus far, anyway) is a great bunch of humans.

It’s been two years of incredible experiences I couldn’t have imagined two years and two weeks ago, and I am so excited to see what’s around the corner both personally and professionally.

Feb 14 2017

DIY Review: Kink Craft Mini-Flogger

Manufacturer and Primary Information

I’ve talked about Kink Craft a few times on the site already, reviewing their shop site and podcast and interviewing the owners’ of the shop/hosts of the podcast.

This is a review of the DIY mini-flogger from their shop–where they send you the materials and a link to the video course that teaches you how to make the toy and you do it yourself.

I received this for free, but I’m already ready to give them money to make the larger flogger, cuffs and snake whip (which isn’t even available yet). So… there you are.

Colours and Materials

All of their kits are available in a variety of colours (always black and a colour to offset it)—I chose black and green because Slytherin.

Colour options. Image from the Kink Craft site.

They primarily work in paracord (vegan friendly!), though you can just purchase the video courses and choose your own material. I’m curious how suede would work with this design. (Some courses are free—check out their site.)

If you buy the kit that comes with materials, the video course is bundled with that for free. You can watch the videos as many times as you’d like/need to.

I WANNA PLAY! How Long Will It Take To Make The Thing?!

The projected time for making the mini-flogger is 30 minutes. It took me an hour and a half, but that was with taking photos for this post, two breaks to make tea, a brief chat with my husband about U.S. taxes, re-watching a couple sections a few times to be sure I was doing things right and another brief break to watch an absolutely ridiculous (SFW) thing the husband had found on Facebook.

If I were to make another one right now it would probably take half an hour, is what I’m saying.

Each course contains short videos that break down the process into a few minutes at a time so it’s easy to keep up or pause or find the place you need to re-watch.

Was Making the Good-Time-Thing a Good Time?

Making this was much fun. I enjoy working with my hands–perhaps because it’s nice to have a physical object for my efforts at the end (and when that object is kink-related, well, bonus!) but the wrapping of the handle was repetitive, as well, which is also meditative, in a way. That bit made me want to start on the large flogger immediately.

(I also wanted to make a bunch of mini-floggers in Hogwarts house colours since I’d just have to buy the correct size paracord in the colours I needed. And you know there are some kinky geeks out there who’d be all about that. I ‘d be tempted to make the falls longer to be able to put more or thicker knots in, as well. Or perhaps wooden beads–I’d need to research to see if those would be safe.)

So, yeah, it was a good time. I could happily sit and make the things and be creative whilst listening to podcasts for ages. It’s well-worth the money.

Was the Good-Time-Thing Worth the Effort?

I haven’t used it (it would be used on me) and don’t know when I will do. (I’m pretty sure I’m a thuddy person, but I’m not ruling anything out at this point.) In the right person’s hands, who knows how it can be used.

It makes a great swoosh-swoosh sound flying through the air. The vanilla husband enjoyed swinging it around.

I tested it on my arm and it has a little sting to it–with enough force on a tender enough area I’m sure it would wake someone right up.

Unboxing Experience

I was not expecting a DIY kit to come in a gift package. Partially because it’s something you put together yourself and partially because I was receiving it for free.

This is what arrived:

Which I can just picture a Dominant presenting to their eager sub: ‘Make this so I can use it on you.’

Inside:

The only things you need that aren’t in the box are a tape measure–I used a seamstress’ tape–and scissors.

Making the Thing

Remove things from nice box. Place on poorly lit desk.

Nowhere in my house has decent lighting at any time during any point of the day. I’m not kidding and I don’t know why.

Unravel paracord. Do a better job than this.

Picture me fighting with this as though it were actively fighting back then throwing it on my keyboard and taking a photo.

I figured out how to unwind the second one with less faff. Standing up and letting it unwind itself is a start. That’s nothing to do with Kink Craft and everything to do with me being awkward.

After cutting your paracord to specific lengths, there’s some folding to be done.

I took a photo at the end of each section of the course so you can see how well they break it down for you.

That handle is WRAPPED, baby!

You’re supposed to wrap it for the hand of the person who’s going to use it. This will be a woman. I’m a woman but I also have tiny hands, so I made the handle slightly longer than my grip.

Paracord entrails.

Then it was time to wrap the handle with one length of paracord that had been set aside and debagged. (I don’t know why my brain wants to call it that. Debagging was a term for yanking someone’s pants down and came into use in the 1920s or so in Oxford and Cambridge. It was called that because men wore a style of trousers there called ‘Oxford bags‘ that had legs so wide some looked like skirts. So to ‘debag’ someone was to yank their ‘bags’ down. Maybe my mind uses the term because to remove the insides you have to work the outer casing down, which can be like attempting to remove tight jeans.)

The other word choice is ‘disemboweled’ the paracord. Take your pick.

Beginning of the wrapping of the handle.

The wrapping and tying of the handle is a meditative thing to do–it’s also one of the times you’re supposed to pull as hard as you can (wrapping the cords with the electrical tape is another) which is an excellent way to relieve any stress you may be dealing with at the moment.

After that’s done there’s a little cutting and tying to be done and you have a new toy to add to your collection:

I call it Snape.

I give Pixie and Andrew credit–this is what was left over at the end:

They’ve kept the waste at a minimum.

Rating

5/5 Would Will make again. Very much looking forward to making the things they’re bringing to Eroticon.

Feb 13 2017

Podcast Review: Why Are People Into That?!

Type of Podcast & Premise: Interview format. In each episode, the host talks to someone who knows a thing or two about that episode’s topic to find out why people are into [spanking/bondage/humiliation/whatever].

The Host: Tina Horn (Who is into quite a few things herself) [I reviewed (and loved) her book about sexting real good in episode fifteen of my show.]

Length of Episodes: The earlier ones were an hour up to an hour and 40 minutes (it’s an interview about interesting subjects—you’re not going to cut someone off). Now Horn breaks the episodes into two pieces to keep them from being too long.

Post Frequency: I believe they started out being once a month but now it’s twice a month—one interview broken into two listenable chunks. Plus an Interrobang (described below).

Current Number of Episodes: 45 (some are broken into two parts, but the second half will be label ‘B’ of whatever episode number… there have been 45 topics—I’ll put it that way.

There are also Interrobangs, which is this symbol: ?! And are short segments that complement previous episodes.

Number of Episodes I’ve listened to: Looking down the list I counted 19, but it felt like more than that. Perhaps because I’ve learned so much and laughed so hard. They’re all downloaded, so I’ll get there eventually. The show is still in production as of this writing.

Platforms: iTunes, acast, you can also use the rss feed to subscribe.

Website & Other Social Media: whyarepeopleintothat.com, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr

Review: Horn has been part of the kink scene, as well as involved with sex work and porn in a variety of ways for years so she knows many people who have bags of experience to share. The list of her interviewees is like looking at the best answer to the question, ‘Who would you invite to your dream dirty dinner party?’

As with any podcast that focuses on specific topics—I first listened to episodes on things I’m interested in and had some knowledge of:

Service with Laura Antoniou (ZOMG amazing!)

Role Play with Mollena Williams (this also covers race-play and is spectacular) (this is the second part of the episode)

Submission with Steven Elliot (I need to have this person on the show—we have similar feelings about submission in odd little ways)

Age Play with Siouxsie Q

Spanking with Jillian Keenan (I reviewed Sex with Shakespeare based partially off this interview)

Power with Sinclair Sexsmith (sugarbutch, who is awesome).

These episodes were all A+ and made me think about my own interests in ways I hadn’t previously considered.

Then I sought out episodes on topics I simply do not get. Not like, ‘Eww, gross!’ But… why do people dress up like sexy nurses? I genuinely do not understand this. You don’t see sexy doctors. Medical play makes sense—it’s not the fetish that confuses me… That’s not what this post is about though. There’s an episode about Naughty Nurses with Zil Garner Goldstein and why people are into it. I think I get it now. So, thank you Tina and Zil.

Then there were ones I either didn’t know existed at all (bicycles, Poppy Cox taught me there are people attracted to bicycles—it makes total sense, really, there’s even a porn festival for bike-sexuals) or things I didn’t know very much about but now do and am a little intrigued. Latex was a big one for that (thank you, Abigail Greydanus), though fire was also fascinating and now I want to watch people do sexy stuff with fire. Particularly Lamalani Siverts.

Episodes that fell into the category of ‘Things I’m interested in but hadn’t given much thought to’ were blood (with Maxwell Lander) and bondage (pt2). Both of those were excellent, but the bondage one with Troy Orleans! You have to listen to that episode. Orleans is a dominatrix who specialises in heavy bondage and she has a body bag that’s made of the leather they make the seats of Italian sports cars from.

Horn responded to this information by laughing out a, ‘Shut the fuck up.’

I’ve not had the slightest curiosity about body bags until then. The finest leather known to mankind, you say? Completely encasing my entire body, you say?

What’s happening? Oh yeah, a review.

If none of the topics I’ve mentioned toast your crumpet, here are a few of the other subjects that have been discussed:

The fantastic Cooper S. Beckett does the Swinging episode.

Horn thinks about sex and kink and the politics of the body and gender a lot and the people she interviews do, as well—the conversations are always intelligent and hilarious. There’s always a warmth, a rapport, between Horn and whomever she’s interviewing. Inevitably they’re going to tell some insane stories about something one of them did and it’s going to be wonderful, eye-opening, educational, and it’ll probably make you laugh out loud.

During every episode I learned something—whether it was a new way to experience or view an existing kink of my own, that perhaps there was an aspect of another kink I may be interested in but hadn’t known of before, or simply learning what other people got from their own kink that I didn’t inherently connect with. (I think that might be the point of the show. Well done, there.)

Rating: 5/5 – If you’re looking for more information on your own grown up interests or are wondering what is up with the people who like xyz (or are simply a sex nerd), this is the show for you.

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