So Jetta Rae/Doublecakes is going to be joining us as a staff writer and editor, so this is not, strictly speaking, a guest post, but rather a post I’m adding because I have yet to make another login. I particularly like this piece because it speaks to the dynamic between D types and s types, how often it becomes about what the D type can provide in a Mad Libs type of way, rather than a connecting of interests and desires. I’ve spent time as both, and felt like I was being objectified whether I was the Domme or the submissive- like I was just there to impersonate someone’s fantasy, rather than speak to my own. Consent requires being able to make space for each other, I think.
There but for the grace of this Old Navy’s clearance swimwear section go I.
Sometimes I’m still a child, drumming on my gut, reckoning the ripples through the hot frost of the bathroom mirror. Waiting for my mother to come, to beat down on the door. She hates this. More than being called “mumsy”. More than action figures that “sweat”. Nothing makes her billy goat gruffer than me playing with my own fat.
Was it plain shame, or does a mother know–the gulps and groans and gags of passerby and fellow fitting room tenants? Was she trying to prepare me for adulthood, a life in exile on a world without pity, where the suffering of fat people, specifically fat women, is so ubiquitous and commonplace that it’s become written into our social contract. Doctors, airlines, the Forever 21 on Bay Street–it seems no stratus of our waking life remains that has not capitulated to the fear of a Size 20.
I ask not for whom this chorale of cringe emanating through the fitting rooms tolls for. I mean really: it just wouldn’t feel right without this affronted backdrop. Baby’s first bikini, la vie en lime green, with ruffles. It’s not quite the hue of green that I was hoping for–but it’s not the top that I’m admiring in the mirror.
The ochre has given way to a muddy yellow, laid over blemished black. Two on my left breast, one beneath the collarbone, and a bitemark at the back of the neck. The bikini gets a score of four out of four; she’ll be able to see her work, and in doing so, see me.
My wings have been singed. I once played that apex prey–the lifestyle Domme. A two star motel matriarch, I have captivated a cavalcade of “it’s complicated”s, from Peoria to Menlo Park. I would chain your heart to my boot heel and feed you the key for breakfast!
I’m missing so much tupperware.
Maybe there’s some in my dresser. No–just orphaned butt plugs and t-shirts two sizes too small. A song as old as rhyme.
But your husband can just microwave something for himself, right? No, that bus doesn’t run 24 hours. You’ll need to get an Uber.
“It’s not so cut and dry, Mom,” you say. “There’s a lot of moving parts, you know. She’s trying to get a job as a head librarian. She’s still living with her parents. She’s sponsoring her husband to live here and you know, the government just doesn’t get polyamory, you know? They all love me. I have an abundance! I have so much I can’t ever tell anyone about it. Like the lottery!
Well what do you know, Mom? You date men.”
They cry “there’s never enough tops!” and I do my little turn on the catwalk.
Please hurt me, mistress. Please punish me. I’ve been bad, Mistress. I need it, Mistress. I need you to wear this, Mistress. I need to you come over tonight if you can, Mistress. And I need it to be not so expensive, Mistress. Please, Mistress: I’ve been very bad!
A swayed gaze at the wayback: I’m needlessly tip-toeing into my house. It’s instinct. It’s awkward. I left a suicide note on the fridge a couple days ago. Bad form.
There’s a strange girl in the living room. Or rather, a girl who I do not recognize. Everybody’s strange, now. So nobody is. I’m from a heyday where a hot pocket dipped in ketchup meant something. Now everyone throws birthday parties for house bugs and quotes song lyrics to authority figures.
“I loved your zine! I’ve been looking for a Mommy for like, forever! I showed it to my mom, and she loved it too! Especially that part where you talk about ‘washing out someone’s mouth with cock’”–
And now she’s in my bed. And naked. And my roommate is drinking in the living room, probably upset with me that I sneakily swept their hopeful hookup away with my charming tale of just getting out of the hospital and feeling frail and like I should be alone.
That dress, man. That red polka dot dress. I got apprehended on the Golden Gate Bridge, I got held for two days in a psychiatric hospital–not so much as a sweat stain. I come home and some drunk earlytwentysomething gets beer drool all over it trying to kiss me.
When I was younger than this girl, my ex would call me girl’s names during sex to prove how much happier I’d be if I transitioned. I joked that I’d wear earplugs in bed from then on. And sometimes I wish I’d followed up on it–those first few months or years would be hard but after a decade of practice I’d be almost superhuman at understanding people through earplugs and no wayward sub could coax arousal from me by drunkenly whispering the name for such a core element of myself.
She likes spankings, but not too hard. She likes the word “client” over “John” because it’s more compassionate. It’s amazing how much you can know about a person without, like, being able to identify them and what they did to you.
“Thank you for last night and especially this morning. Once my divorce with my husband is over–”
No, this isn’t the next day. It’s three months ahead. I only have so many dresses. And there I am, waiting to get into the club to get dressed for wrestling. I’m nervous–I’m wrestling a woman I just started dating. And here comes hashtag clients not johns. She’s introducing me to her Daddy. Oh, how have I been? Did I know she’s thought of me since that day?
Would you rather not, with this, right now? Well, I’ve got the whole series of “Crying By Myself On The BART Station Because I Got 65 ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ Texts But Not One Offered To Make Plans With Me”.
It wasn’t well received by critics, as it were, but still very popular and long-running.
You know: this is not what I had in mind when we moved to change the party line to “The Submissive Has The Real Power”. I’m not saying I wish we hadn’t changed it. All the other ones we had before this were fucking awful. I just wish we had thought to make room for an acknowledgment that the D could use some TLC and R-E-S-P-E-C-T when it comes to their boundaries and consent.
They cry “but only butches are ever tops though, right? femmes can’t top” and I do my little turn on the catwalk.
Despite myself, I get it. We’ve been laid low all our lives, told that we are lacking. That we need to give, give, give to make up for this deficiency of normalcy within ourselves.
And it feels good to give. Flat facts here. It feels good to serve.
Until you’ve tasted your partner’s armpit sweat, get out of my face with this “a relationship is built on trust” shit. We’re survivors, hustlers roughly rehabilitated mental patients. Who the fuck trusts us?
I live in a world where a shared netflix account is not a kindness, but an act of necessary mutual support. Some days you just need to write an IOU to the battle royal outside and watch Black Books in it entirety, for sanity’s sake.
The bubbling cacophony of contentment and feeling sated that pricks the back of my throat when she slaps my face–it’s probably not trust. It’s smallness and safeness. It’s knowing we both got what we wanted without half-truths and coercion. It’s everything and it feels good.
It feels good to give; we should be doing more to make it good to receive, too.
The receipt of unprovoked tweets asking to lick my feet or trying to wake me up through fervent phone notifications so I’ll flirt with you does not feel particularly gratifying. It feels being loaded with so much unwanted information that I can’t boot. It feels like I’m being overwritten in real time. Especially when you subject your Dom/me to the self-same stigma you decry in squaresie vanilla cishets.
You cannot achieve liberation by burning the closet and then showing your partner out through the back door. Those of you who have backdoors.
Let me lay it down here: if you live alone and you see your partner out through the fire escape you should probably be put on a list somewhere.
The person who puts you on that list needn’t be me. I’ve retired, purged the full-time persona. I’m not a Mommy. I’m not a Domme. I’ve fought hard to hold onto this. My gender. My fatness. My still being alive. I’m awkward and I’m scared and I once threw candy on myself when I met Shaq and I need that to be viable, visible. Heavy weighs the crown; I will not give oblivion the right of way.
I’m just a sick fuck looking for a clean break. A fattie in a dressing room preening her bruises. A combat queen. Okay: maybe a little full of myself, still, but I sure as hell didn’t learn that from you texting me about how long it’s been since you’ve come at 2 in the morning while I’ve got strep throat.
I say “our empowerment of the sexually realized submissive cannot come at the cost of the de-personing of dominant people and the current narratives we are afforded on how consent is negotiated between people confines us to a rigid binary of active vs passive agents and you know sometimes you should fucking check in with a dominant person before you describe splaying your ass to them on twitter”, and you do your little turn on the catwalk.
On the catwalk, yeah. On the catwal–okay: so Shaq used to play for my hometown hoop squad, the Phoenix Suns. He would do this thing on twitter where he would tweet where he was and if you came up and talked to him then he’d give you tickets for the game. But tickets to a Phoenix Suns game are just an ephemeral fetter, man! It’s temporal. But recreating a scene from the cinematic sidewinder “Kazaam” is forever. Just like the duration of your ban from Chandler Fashion Square. It’s something you can count on.
You are beautiful, and deserving of the desire of others. Not despite, but in spite of society’s blaring brainwash. You don’t need to convince me or any other Dom/me that you’re worth our attention/s.
Try instead to convince us that you realize aggressively oversharing with us in public space in the face of our attempts to assert boundaries isn’t that far off from a man on the street who won’t take “no” for an answer because, and here comes the money shot: IT TOTALLY ISN’T. It doesn’t matter how big a butt plug you can take in or how long you can massage a foot with your tongue before it gets tired; why bother being a good little slut if you can’t be a decent fucking person? There’s nothing radical and transgressive about your kink if you don’t treat your Dom/me any better than an RNC attendee treats a craigslist hookup.
You know what you can do for your queer sexual revolution? Take your Dom/me out for ice cream and shut up about how heavy of a paddle you can take–if only for a fucking minute. Maybe see if they’d like to hold your hand while you get to where you’re going.
To neglect someone who provides you with things you need, things that make you a more whole/complete person–it’s the wrong kind of masochism.
Not that my “flex my fat in the mirror” masochism is the only right kind of masochism, but it comes from a good place. She sees me–the way I want to see myself, the way my mother may have seen me–she sees it and digs her finger into it until I moan in front of a room of half-naked burlesque dancers and it feels like I’m the epicenter of an electrical storm where the wind is made of screams and the rain is my own sweat and it feels so nice and right.
It’s inciting and exciting, to commit myself to the command of another, a denouement to a decade-long power trip. It’s also really scary–I mean shit: the closest thing to a role model about respectful submission are the assholes that made me reconsider kink altogether. Thanks for all the textbook examples of how not to a consent-dismissing taint stain, I guess!
I’ll do my best to do right by her. I can’t say that I won’t fuck up, but I will endeavor, without end, to –impress or disappoint–to see her through it all.