Essays by Jamie Joy Gatto


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Note: The following essays are all Copyright (c) 2000-2001 Jamie Joy Gatto. All rights reserved.

Contents

Champagne Rouge: Sex Advice for Creative Lovers is a question and answer forum for sex-related questions offering gentle, expert advice, appearing quarterly at www.MindCaviar.com

Power Principles: a BDSM Philosophy Column currently runs in T.E.S. Prometheus quarterly BDSM magazine.

Twisted Urges: Where Society and the Sexual Meet is a socio-sexual commentary on how American society perceives and deals with all things sexual. Currently running quarterly at www.suspectthoughts.com An author bio is also available for you to read.


Champagne Rouge: Sex Advice for Creative Lovers #1
A Toast to Our Readers!

Here it is: your column, written especially for my readers, Champagne Rouge. The place where we answer the most important questions of all-- the real intimate questions with hard to find answers, the questions you may even be a little ashamed of asking, the ones you are not sure whom to ask, or what resources to use to look up the answer. Go ahead, ask Jamie Joy. She'll tell it to you gently, but be assured she'll tell it to you straight. We've even added links to help you find additional sexual information and resources.

Question:

I consider myself to be a pretty open person, but something has been bothering me a lot. About a month ago, my boyfriend asked if I'd have anal sex. I told him, ok, I'd try it. At first, I thought he meant for him to be doing the sex to me. But, what he really wanted was for me to use a sex toy anally on him. So far, I keep putting him off. I am wondering if he might really be gay, or if it's just something that's ok or even normal. To tell you the truth, I'm pretty scared of doing it. Even though the idea doesn't really turn me on, it doesn't turn me off either. I'd like to try it since he's a cool guy and we have a good sex life, but I'm just not sure what to do. I know this sounds gross, but is it messy? I don't know if I could deal with that. Any advice would be helpful.

Jamie Joy Says:

First of all, I'd like to thank you for being brave enough to ask such a personal question. There are scores of resources on anal sex, anal health, tips and techniques for both men and women and I will be happy to share them with you.

As you probably already know-- your boyfriend is not "gay" simply because he likes to be anally stimulated. It is commonly assumed that all gay men frequently perform and absolutely love anal sex. This is simply a stereotype. Who likes anal sex? Straight men, gay men, bi men, straight women, gay women, bi women...transsexuals, hermaphrodites and everything in between. As a matter of fact, it is perfectly healthy and even quite normal to have sexual feelings associated with our perineum (the area between our genitals and asshole) and anus (asshole), even though we are socially raised to believe that our anus is dirty and disgusting and that we should never even touch it, much less derive pleasure from it.

Of course, we must be careful about keeping ourselves clean when we are playing anally, as we do harbor some bacteria in the rectal area and it is very easy to contract vaginal infections if we are not careful. The main thing is to wash and flush the area well with a mild anti-bacterial soap and clean water. If you like, you can have your boyfriend clean out his rectum with an enema in private (which is easier and less weird than it sounds) to avoid any potential "mess" (which is usually not often a big problem, anyway).

I absolutely recommend using condoms on all your sex toys, and even on make-shift toys such as candles, cucumbers, carrots, etc. for a number of reasons: first of all, this simple act will preserve the life of your expensive sex toys and also keep them cleaner, giving them more years of use. Secondly, it's just plain tidier, and thirdly it can help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. If you would rather use your fingers, I highly recommend wearing latex gloves. Not only will it make it more comfortable for your partner, but this will allow you to keep your hands and fingernails more clean. Using your finger(s) is a good way to start, slowly building up to using larger toys.

There is a rule of thumb (pun intended) for anal sex: YOU CAN NEVER USE ENOUGH LUBE. Don't even think about not lubing up, and make sure your lube is water soluble such as KY. Never use a petroleum-based lube like vaseline, baby oil or hand cream in conjunction with condoms. The latex will disintegrate along with the condom's intended protection.

A word of caution about using those "homemade" toys: be careful that the object does not get lodged or pushed up into the rectum too far. Keep a good grip on it or make sure you use toys designed for anal use that have a flared end to keep the toys from getting stuck or "lost". Please seek medical advice if this type of emergency should occur.

Lastly, communicate with your partner, go slowly at first, be brave and never stop talking to one another. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. You might. Don't be afraid of a little possible pain for your partner at first, especially if this is a first time anal encounter. It's likely. When we are nervous, we tend to clench our muscles tight, making both anal and vaginal sex more difficult. This is a great way for you to connect, both physically and emotionally since you will both be learning something new and exciting together. Remember to relax, have fun and don't forget to LUBE!

Resources:

Terrific Video by Carol Queen: Bend Over Boyfriend. Not only is this sexy and explicit, but its also educational, packed with answers to questions expressly demonstrated for women who wish to penetrate men anally.

Want to watch without all that instruction? A great video for the more experienced: Bend Over Boyfriend II: More Rockin' Less Talkin'

Everything you need to know about anal health can be found in Jack Morin, PhD's book: Anal Pleasure and Health


Champagne Rouge #2
Cheers! To Pleasure

I've been reading and writing about sex for quite a long time and I've been practicing it even longer. The one universal theme that seems to keep popping up is that everyone seems to want to please their partner, often even more so than wanting to please themselves, sexually speaking. This holds true for men just as much as women, if not more! It seems our sexiness and the way we feel about the sex act itself is often dependent upon how we feel we are being perceived, both physically and performance-wise in the eyes of our beloved (or be-lusted). So, keeping that in mind when we frolic, fuck and fornicate may help us all to rest a little easier, play a little harder (with a little less self-consciousness) and have a whole lot more fun.

Question:

Hi, my boyfriend and I have a good sex life. The only thing is, he doesn't usually last long enough for me to have an orgasm. He normally lasts about 10 minutes, if that sometimes. We don't commonly do foreplay. Even when we do engage in foreplay, he still lasts about 10 minutes. As far as I know, he has experienced this all his life. I take great pleasure in pleasing him but I'd like to feel the orgasmic rush every once in a while. Is there anything I can do to help him last longer? We're both pretty open to trying anything. He is 22 and he doesn't have any medical problems I know of, other than high blood pressure. The doctor told him to exercise and eat healthy, which he is doing. He works out everyday. As for eating, he eats at a military galley, if that says anything.

Jamie Joy Says:

Thank you for having the courage to ask such a personal question and thanks for all the added information. You are wise to include any health and medical information as that will surely help me to answer in the best possible way. There are many possible causes, but most importantly, there are lots of solutions!

Let's start with the most obvious part of the problem: the time your partner takes from his arousal to his ejaculation. First of all, premature ejaculation (let's call it PE) is usually classified as not being able to maintain an erection long enough to please a partner. However, each partner may have a different time frame that it takes to achieve their orgasm. When you consider that most men, during intercourse, will last from approximately 10-15 minutes, your partner's usual erection time falls right there at the normal level. Then, when you consider that (according to various sex studies) only about 40% of women are able to achieve orgasm from intercourse alone, you've got a double whammy-- and what seems to be a very common problem for a lot of male-female sex partner combos.

Secondly, the fact that your partner has high blood pressure indicates to me that his body responds in a very negative way to stress, and please note: high blood pressure is a potentially deadly disease and must be monitored regularly by a physician. Stress also happens to be the number one cause of PE. If your partner does feel extremely stressful about sex and has a great deal of performance anxiety, then please have him seek help from a sex therapist and/or another medical doctor. Many times drug therapy, combined with relaxation techniques is the appropriate treatment for PE. This can only be determined by a physician.

Let's say you've ruled out the possibility of any medical and/or psychological root and you are ready to proceed on your own. Here's the tricky part: pleasing everyone. There are lots of tricks that any man can learn to help make his erections last longer and his orgasms occur more slowly during the course of sex play. The first one is called "Stop and Start". "Stop and Start" takes a lot of practice, but what a fun thing to practice! The practice should be done first during masturbation in order to allow a guy to get to know his levels of arousal so he may ultimately be able to control his ejaculation. Basically, he should not allow himself to ejaculate right away, but stop before he comes, then begin to masturbate himself until he almost comes, again and again, not allowing himself to come for some time. At first, this may seem impossible. Guys: don't get stressed out! Stress is the number one cause of PE.

Once you get good enough at "Stop and Start" you can take it into the bedroom and into mutual sex play. Now, in order to STOP in the middle of intercourse, you've got to be able to warn your partner that you're going to stop and you've got to be able to use restraint and really stop! So make sure you talk it out before you begin.

The next trick is called "The Squeeze" a trick brought to fame by Masters & Johnson. This technique also consists of the guy telling his partner when he is close to orgasm. His partner then gives a firm squeeze, either to the tip of the penis (works best) or the base of the penis, if the tip is not available because of penetration. This will often stop the orgasm, so sex play can continue for a longer time. "Stop and Start" and "The Squeeze" can also be used together, but, as with all things worth it, it takes practice. If it doesn't always work-- look forward to next time. And Guys: please, try to please your partner through oral sex, masturbation or some other means. Just because you just came, doesn't mean that sex is over!

Another thing to take into account is his age-- 22 is very young and he can certainly masturbate many times a day (if time allows). Men almost always last longer the second and third time they've come within a certain time frame. Frequent masturbation alone, even without learning all these tips and tricks will most certainly add to his sexual stamina, adding ultimately to both your pleasure.

Now that we've got your guy practicing all these new tricks and getting to know his dick better than the palm of his hand-- with the palm of his hand, you should know that there are lots of tricks you can do, too. Again, it's a matter of learning what gets you off and exactly how to make yourself come. Since most ladies don't orgasm through fucking alone, I suggest you guys jump right into that foreplay you usually don't do and get your little wooch so hot, you can't help but come during that following ten minutes of intercourse, if not several times before. This also will take practice and it will also take learning some masturbation techniques.

When you are alone, take the time to learn what feels good to you, so you can teach your partner by guiding has hand, mouth, fingers, sex toys and even his un-inserted penis to help bring you to orgasm. I suggest you completely refrain from having intercourse until you have had at least one orgasm through foreplay. Later, once you learn to allow yourself the time to come before intercourse, you can learn your point of no return and have your partner penetrate you just before you come-- allowing the orgasmic rush to happen while he is inside you. With practice you may both even learn to come simultaneously. It's all a matter of first getting to know yourself, then teaching your partner what you've learned.

Resources:

A Great Book for Lovers: ESO: How You and Your Lover Can Give Each Other Hours of Extended Sexual Orgasm by Alan P. Brauer, Donna Brauer and Richard Rhodes

Want to learn how to give yourself orgasms that will simply blow you away? Betty Dodson is the foremost authority on self-pleasuring. Read her book, Sex For One to learn tips and tricks for both men and women to enhance your private sexual time.


Champagne Rouge #3
Here's to an Appetizing Start!

Food and sex: the most likely top two indulgences on every hedonist's list. Combine the two and you're in for an unforgettable and gratifying experience. Slake two lusts at once and see how amazingly you're already hungry for more...

Question:

I once saw a show about food and sex and food fetishes. Until recently, because of bad past relationships and experiences, I haven't had the chance to play with that combo. Can you tell me more about how I can use food as a turn-on for me and my boyfriend? I love to flirt with men; stuff like teasing and arousing my boyfriend is the most fun thing of all to me. What do you suggest?

Jamie Joy Says:

What a fun question! And I'm so glad and proud of you that you are now with a supportive guy with whom you can share your sexy scenarios and act out your food fantasies. Where shall I begin? Aphrodisiacs, Appetizers, Sex Play? I think I'll have to cover all three... just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

Aphrodisiacs

Isabelle Allende comes up with thousands of aphrodisiacs in her book, Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses, some of which are ancient and folkloric, and other recipes are a touch more modern. "Caviar," she writes, "is one of the most expensive aphrodisiacs in the world... and I can think of a thousand pornographic ways to serve it..." Almost any food can be an aphrodisiac, as long as it is served with passion and finesse, and so long as it is both delicious and palatable by the one who is indulging in it.

Some commonly known aphrodisiacs are oysters and other seafoods such as shrimp, squid, scallops, and of course, eggs (including the most coveted sea eggs: caviar), vegetables such as the artichoke, asparagus, and anything phallic like the carrot or cucumber are good ones, and don't forget testosterone-rich raw celery stalks. Garlic is a hearty aphrodisiac, but that one must be shared so as not to offend with one's odorous breath and skin. Italian legend says that garlic eaten on the right evening and shared with a lover can create everlasting love. Roasted garlic is so yummy, used as a spicy, buttery spread I'd give it a shot any moonlit night!

Sweets can almost always woo a lover, especially if they are packaged in elegant wrappings. Chocolate is well-known for being associated with love. Berries and other ripe fruits, creams, sauces and anything that is savory or sweet and edible can be used to suggestive purposes.

Appetizers

Some foods actually look sexy, so sexy, in fact, that it can be suggestive enough just to serve them. Take plump, ripe figs, for instance. The resemblance to so many sexy body parts, including a man's balls, a woman's shapely derriere, and when cut or split open, figs may even resemble the wet, ready vulva. And when you bite into them, you get an instant burst of sour and sweet flavor and such an unusual texture, I dare you to resist the urge to fornicate. Sound delicious? Give it a try.

Don't like figs? Try plump strawberries, succulent plums, tart blackberries. Just about any fruit will do. Bananas? Peel one seductively, your lover will get the hint! Mangos with their slippery flesh and odd, exotic aftertaste will surely put you both in the mood.

Feed delicious and exotic foods to your lover, by spoon, fork or especially your finger and you'll surely win their heart, especially home made foods prepared with love and lust in mind.

Sex Play

Even the Kama Sutra, which is centuries old, offers ideas for food regarding sex stating, "Men who do not eat in the evening become weak." I'd have to agree. Sharing a meal with one's lover may be the sexiest thing two people can do apart from having sex itself. It is such a sacred and intimate act, and it can lead to even more intimate, physical contact. My advice is to play with your food! Never mind what you were told as a child, you are a grown-up now, so go out and have fun. Get messy! Lick it up... smooth it on, taste it, smell it, eat it! Most of all, share it.

Just be careful about contact with hot, peppery foods on skin and other body parts. Some foods you might not be aware of that may cause pain or heat are ginger, wasabi, cinnamon and peppermint. Those foods and foods that contain those ingredients may be too strong or too intense for some people, so be very careful or completely avoid sex play or skin contact with those foods.

And ladies, watch what you put inside your vagina. Sugary things can cause all kinds of bad reactions later, including infections, so as fun as it may sound to do, please avoid popping strawberries or squirting whipped cream inside yourself. Save that and the honey, chocolate and buttercream icing for external parts, like the clit or the nipples... or the ass, or your puckered kissy lips... yum! Dessert anyone?

Resources

Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook by Martha Hopkins, Randall Lockridge. "Filled with gorgeous, sexy photos and divided into 17 sections, each one devoted to a particular food with aphrodisiac qualities, from chocolate and chilies to black beans and oysters. Following these are recipes for massage oils, seasonal dishes, and meals to appeal to every astrological sign and every stage of a relationship, from first date to golden anniversary."

Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses by Isabelle Allende. "There is something about reading suggestive material that awakens the senses-- too often ignored in the fray of modern life-- and fires the imagination. Aphrodite is a long, savory, enthralling ode to sensuality filled with delicious memories and sexy recipes."

Food as Foreplay: Recipes for Romance, Love and Lust by Ellen Albertson and Michael Albertson. "Over 100 quick, easy, fun recipes and dozens of tips that will get you out of the kitchen and into the bedroom. It covers every aspect of a romantic meal, from appetizers to dessert, and proper kitchen etiquette (cleaning up means showering together). You'll learn why cooking is like making love, and how to stock your passion-filled pantry."


Champagne Rouge #4
Here Here! A Toast to Honesty

Why does it often seem so hard to talk to the one person with whom we are the most intimate-- our primary, our mate, our lover? After all, this is the one person with whom we should feel the most comfortable: the person who sees us at our most vulnerable-- when we are naked, when we are being sexual, when we orgasm. The reason is, of course, because negotiating with our loved ones leaves us feeling even more emotionally exposed and open, and with so much more to lose than by having simple talks with other people. It's risky business! But beware; we need to learn to discuss these matters freely or else risk losing something even more important than our mates-- and that is our integrity, our respect, and our dignity. I know it's easier said than done, but by learning to communicate with your mate, you might even get what you want. Give it a try!

Question:

I was just surfing the internet and came upon your page. I have been involved in a two and a half year long monogamous relationship. I think we have come to a fork in the road, and I was just wondering if I could get your opinion. My girlfriend wants to have a threesome. I agreed that another girl would be fine-- I'd love to try it. Unfortunately, this isn't what she had in mind. She wants to have a threesome with her ex boyfriend.

I don't know how to say yes, and I'm convinced if I don't, she'll just have a secret twosome, and not let me know. I'm not saying this relationship is a healthy one, far from that actually. But, We love each other. We are both bisexual, or would like to say we are, but we haven't sexually experienced the opposite sex, yet. So we are kind of wannabe bi... but open to anything.

Anyway, my question is: do you think this threesome idea is a good idea? The sight of my girlfriend and her ex going at it is something I don't think I'll enjoy. I want to please my girlfriend, I just don't want to destroy our relationship in the proccess.

Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks!

Jamie Joy Says:

Thanks for writing. It takes a lot of courage to ask a total stranger to help you with details regarding your sex life, and I appreciate your trust. My best advice is to go with your instincts. If you would feel uncomfortable having a threesome with your girl and her ex, certainly any reasonable person can understand the apprehension involved in dealing with past relationships and those former ties. I suggest you talk to your girlfriend about why she is interested in reviving an old flame, and furthermore, ask why she's trying to include you in the situation, as well. It seems to me there are issues at hand which do not necessarily include bisexuality or even sexuality, but rather, unresolved feelings your girlfriend may have for her former beau.

Communicate with her in person. Be honest. Set limits. Try a threesome only if and when you are comfortable with the situation. It's not fair for anyone to pressure their partner into a sexual situation in which they'd feel uncomfortable. I'm sure she would only agree that she'd wish to be treated with the same respect. After all, if the tables were turned, would she be willing to do the same for you? Even so, we each have our own limits and special needs in relationships. Respect yours and make yourself be respected.

Love and life are not a contest. There are no winners if there is a loser in a relationship. Don't let her bully you, or guilt trip you, either way she'll make you out to be the loser. If you think she will leave you over this "problem" then you may want to re-evaluate your relationship as a whole.

There is one point in particular I'd like to add, and that is that monogamy is certainly not the best way of life nor the only way for each and every relationship. For some people, it is definitely the best and most comfortable way to go, for others, it feels idealistic and constricting. Polyamory (loving many or more than one person) is also a possible lifestyle, and does not necessarily mean you would have to play second lead to anyone, but you would have to be willing to "share" your significant other, and to allow room for other interpersonal and sexual relationships other than your own.

Remember there are many sides to each and every problem, therefore there is no one singular solution, either. Trust your instincts, go with your heart, communicate, and try to keep an open mind. Only you know what is best for you to do at this time. I heartily suggest you try to communicate your feelings to your girlfriend. If you have trouble talking it out, why not try writing it out? I wish you all the best of luck and good negotiating!

Got a Question? Ask Jamie Joy [sexcats@earthlink.net]

Links to Polyamory Sites and Resources: http://www.Polyamory.com and http://www.Polybi.com


Champagne Rouge #5
Cheers! To Our Diversity

It damn near breaks my heart when I get letters from readers who are questioning their sexuality, and who are so afraid they may be doing something wrong or bad by being themselves and exploring their own sexuality, they are frightened to the core of their soul. Why can't we all just accept that love means love, no matter what gender is present? Sex is good, and healthy and the reason we all exist today! Sex is natural and sexual diversity is the norm, not the exception. Let's try to give up basing our sexual desires on what society dictates is correct and moral and right. Only we know for ourselves what is right for us.

The following is correspondence I received from A Bi-Friendly Place newsgroup member. I am posting it in hopes that it might help others who may be facing a similar dilemma, and that applies to anyone who is afraid of coming out as gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgendered, a cross-dresser, a panty-sniffer, (fill in the fetish) kinky, or any other "unusual" sexual practice outside of plain vanilla heterosexual orientation.

Question:

I don't know why I feel this way but I do. I can't help but feel like I'm doing something bad, by even writing to a bisexual oriented newsgroup. I am shaking as I type this now. You see, my family is very Catholic, and I am still unsure of how I feel about all of this. I don't even know for sure if I am bi or not. I have only come out to one friend of mine, but she says that I'm just a freak, but she loves me anyway. I don't think that just because I have the same feelings for both men and women that it makes me a freak. I thought the saying "love knows no bounds" was suppose to be just that.

I can remember feeling this way when I was in the 2nd grade. I never said anything to anyone, but I can remember the first crush I ever had on a girl like it was yesterday. I didn't know why it was wrong, I just knew that it was wrong, so I always kind of stayed away from everyone. I never had too many friends because I was always afraid someone would find out. Then in high school I seemed to be a magnet for bisexual and gay friends. They were some of my best friends, and I never knew they felt like I did. I am sure I am not alone going through these feelings and any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Jamie Joy Says:

Thank you for having the courage to share your story with A Bi-Friendly Place newsgroup. We are here to support you. We do not think you are a freak, as a matter of fact, many of us would argue with those who oppose your beliefs and sexual practices that bisexuality is the NORM, not the exception.

The only reason you have felt that you were "bad" or "wrong" is because of the blatant homophobia that runs rampant due to Judeo-Christian beliefs and laws set in our society based on these archaic belief systems. Please try not to let other's hatred bully you into believing you are somehow a bad person because you have natural feelings of sexuality, sexual attraction and love.

Bisexuality is not a lifestyle, but a state of mind, a place in the heart. You do not have to run out and have sex with both (or all) sexes in order to be "initiated" somehow. Simply having a sexual attraction to both sexes, whether or not equally, is what being bisexual means. You are not alone. Try not to feel afraid. We are here for you.

I urge to to read through all the articles at A Bi-Friendly Place [http://www.mindcaviar.com/bi/bi.html] in order to explore various issues of bisexuality. It will help you to learn about other's experiences, so hopefully you will feel less ostracized. Even if you do not agree with each article's point of view, it will help you to see the breadth and scope of the bisexual experience, a learn how others are trying to change the view of bisexuality in today's world.

Again, thank you for having the courage to speak out, and to join our support group. I cherish every member, even if they are only here for dating, swinging, curiosity, or exploration of sexuality. We are all in this together. We are all a part of a very important movement in our history: the bi-visibility movement. Together we can learn to love ourselves, and we can show the world we are here, we are valid, don't count us out!

Reader's Reply:

Thank you for the reassurance, and thank you for the link. I actually have that one bookmarked. It was the link that led me here. I have been reading a lot on this, and it's hard for me to make the decision as to whether or not to tell my family. I am more afraid of what would happen if they found out on their own. Trust is a very important value to my parents. I think it would hurt them more if they felt I couldn't trust that they would still love me, no matter what. Here is the problem: I have a cousin who is gay, and my parents always seem to make rude comments concerning her. They will often say things like, "It's her choice, she has to live with herself." It's very frustrating, but I'm sure in the end I'll make the right decision. Thank you, again.

Jamie Joy Says:

Deciding to come out is a very personal choice. I am out to some family members, but not to others. My reasons are personal, but I'd like to share them with you. I choose not to come out to certain family members because I feel it will not help or further our relationship in any way. I don't think it's necessary for everyone to know everything about me. I don't discuss sexuality in any form with my grandmothers and older relatives. Sex is a taboo subject to them, so why should I bring up this issue to them? I feel it would be inappropriate, and it may possibly embarrass them. We don't share that sort of closeness, so I think it best to leave it that way. However, if I were asked by them to discuss my sexuality, I would gladly agree to do so. I am not ashamed, but I feel by not disclosing this information, I am being genteel, discreet and polite.

If you are looking for acceptance from your family, you may not get it. Are you willing to tell them and not be accepted? You need to explore your reasons for wanting to tell them. If you think it might further your relationship with them, then that is a good reason. If you are trying to test their love for you, that is an unhealthy reason. If you are scared they might find out somehow, and this idea frightens you, ask yourself why you feel you may be bullied by your parents, especially as a grown woman.

It seems to me, from what you've written, your parents are not accepting or even tolerant of homosexuality. Apparently they have been taught and believe it is wrong, and still cling to those beliefs. This may never change. Likely you will get at best, the same treatment as your lesbian cousin, and at worst total ostracization. Please consider all options carefully, and most importantly, consider your reasons for wanting to come out.

There is a great article on coming out at Bi-Friendly written by a man who was once a practicing psychotherapist. It has a lot of answers and many ideas to explore. I hope it offers you some relief.

Got a Question? Ask Jamie Joy [mailto:sexcats@earthlink.net]


Power Principles #1: Kink Think for the Real World

"Who Are All These Kinky People?"

If you're a person who's put off by the word "kinky" or who's troubled when you encounter the acronym "BDSM", then you are not alone. Often people picture in their mind's eye, bloody torture, rape, extreme beatings and mistreatment, such as deep humiliation and psychological degradation which takes place during a horrible imbalance of power, especially where women are made out to be the ones who are helpless and abused. Unfortunately, these are gross misconceptions concerning what kink is all about and what Power Exchange, bondage and Domination (BD), Domination and submission (D/s) and other forms of Sado-masochism (SM) really stand for. Because it's considered to be both sexual and deviant, it's not often openly discussed, and like most legends, BDSM has acquired it's own status of fear-raising and blatant untruths.

In a world where what people's real sex lives are like is shrouded in white lies and lots of dirty little secrets, it can be hard to define exactly what "kinky" means. There's such a gamut of possible fetishes: everything from a little innocent toe-sucking to tying up your lover with a silk hanky to a little over-the-knee spanking, all the way up to things most folks tend to consider disgusting, like bloody piercings or shit-eating. Of course, there's a lot in between, including crossdressing, shoe worship, and whip play, to name just a few flickers of color in the sexual kaleidoscope. After all, there are those who would consider any form of sensory deprivation "kinky," even if it's just using a blindfold during what might otherwise be considered very "vanilla" (basic, non-kinky) sex.

So how can it be that all of these activities, sexual pastimes, and so-called deviances get lumped under the same category of BDSM/fetish play? They all seem so different in nature and severity. As I see it, just about the only thing that seems to make kink kinky is that a) it's a sexual turn-on and b) it's a hush-hush activity because it's somehow "different." It's no wonder that people try to keep these things a bit on the quiet side. Nobody likes being called a 'pervert' for real, especially in a world filled with a history of sodomy laws and often extreme medical 'treatments' for homosexuality, masturbation, and other dire "ailments." For instance, we all know Joan of Arc was burned for her political clout and the threat she represented to authority, but few people realize that it was a law against cross-dressing that put her to the stake legally.

I propose that we are all theoretically 'kinky' at heart, or at least in thought -- yes, even vanilla folks. I can't really see the fundamental difference between a woman who really digs screwing guys with beards and the boy who likes to masturbate while wearing his girlfriend's pantyhose. Isn't the objectification of body hair and the objectification of articles of clothing comparatively at the same depth of kink? Remember, in the 1950s no decent American guy wore a beard, and in centuries past, all guys wore beards and stockings. It's changing societal perceptions of what is 'normal' and what isn't, in terms of gender and other things, that makes us believe there's got to be such an enormous gulf between "us" and "them."

I submit that even having sexual fantasies about or pretending to be, a naughty nurse, a young Catholic virgin, or a seedy hustler during sexual encounters, and even during masturbation is kinky activity. Anyone who has ever thought about boffing someone else while screwing their current mate has engaged in kink. After all, conscious role-play is part of what defines us creative sex practitioners, and role-play can take a lot of forms. You might imagine doing the nasty with a former partner you're no longer seeing. You might do a little role-play dialogue about being a harem slave, or playing out a cruel teacher role as a running interior monologue, or just catch fleeting glimpses of your fantasies in your mind.

Of course, the arena for sexual role-play can leave the metaphorical closet and take a delightful leap into the literal one: corsets, high heels, and open-toed pumps, whether the Mistress wears them or a man finds sexual solace in teeter-tottering in his girly pumps on the way to the bedpost, can be big turn-ons for sexual inspiration. Lots of men get off on women wearing lacy lingerie, but if a man wears the same lingerie to please his lover, or to please his own sexual whims, it's labeled fetish. Call it what you will, 'kink' is really just a matter of certain tastes that help define our sexual selves.

Not everyone views sex as an exalted, spiritual thing. That's one of the reasons I think it's important to try to help dispel some of the myths about BDSM, including the assumptions that it's icky and weird, that it's 'merely' sexual, and that it's invariably sleazy. On the contrary, BDSM, along with sex, and all the facets of both, is a spiritual and emotional journey. Spirituality doesn't have to be celibate, boring, or sexless. Spirituality can be hot, and in my opinion, it should be. It should invoke all the senses, create a feeling of euphoria, expand one's existence to other planes, create a sense of well-being, give you the ultimate high then the ultimate calm. That's what Heaven is all about. If it takes sleaze to get someone there, so be it.

"I'm Just Not Into Pain..."

No thanks to Hollywood and other distorted media images, most people unfamiliar with BD/SM play truly believe that it's sick and twisted, that it's all about inequality, humiliation, pain and torture. I don't have anything against two willing participants engaging in these pastimes in a consensual fashion, but, to set the record straight, most people involved in role playing do not think of it as dehumanizing torment, but rather find it to be liberating, empowering, transcendent, sexy, and fun. Of course, this side of things isn't given the same amount of media attention as the "bitch with a whip" or the "dark and twisted" image.

Influenced by their supposition that BDSM must mean whippings and manacled slaves whimpering in misery, many people listen to me talk about BDSM and are interested in the concepts, but then say "I'm just not into pain". I'd argue that BDSM isn't really about pain so much as it is about sensation and contrast: the juxtaposition of pleasure and pain, the manipulation of the senses. It's about the playground of the skin, where the flesh and mind coincide. It's about balance, about finding out what one can do, how much one can take and then transcending that limit. Any good Dominant worth her/his salt knows to start slowly and to gradually build, playing one sensation off the next, mixing caresses with teases, soft with harsh, visceral with topical. You must keep in mind that during sexual and other arousal, such as fear, joy and panic, our bodies respond differently to pain. As endorphins rush through our veins, some senses are dulled while other sensory perceptions become sharpened.

This may help answer some of the pressing questions asked by people who are curious about BDSM but who have never tried it. For instance, why would anyone want to get spanked? Because it's very sexually stimulating! Your ass is right next to your genitals, and the lovely red bloom that spreads over your skin after a quick slap can creep right into your perineum, teasing you no end. People also like being spanked because it's sexually humiliating, which can be quite arousing to some folks. Role playing during spanking can cause some very sexy mental pictures, which we all know can lead to some rock-hard erections and stiff little clits. There are countless other sexy, decadent reasons, but these certainly are two good, and very prevalent, ones.

On that note, I'd like to say a few words about humiliation and torture, how they're perceived, what's assumed about them, and how they actually exist in safe, sane, consensual BDSM play. Any way you look at it, humiliation is a highly subjective term. What is degrading to one person may allow another person to enter a state of spiritual and erotic grace. For example, one person may find the act of kneeling to another person to be disgraceful, but in the context of a BDSM scene, the very same action might become an object of desire, a transcendent symbol of trust and love.

Similarly 'torture' is a word that means something very different within the context of consensual Power Exchange than it does in the outside world. In consensual Power Exchange, there is no reason that coercion would be either desirable or necessary-- and real torture would certainly not be safe, even if it were sane or consensual! In safe, sane, consensual BDSM, compliance on the part of the submissive is a given, although resistance may be acted out as an intentional part of a given scene. Both parties should be aware of this and have discussed it during negotiations. If a "kidnaping," "rape," "interrogation," or "molestation" scenes are to be acted out, they should be done in a completely safe environment with defined parameters, physical and emotional limits, and with safewords that mean "stop" or "slowndown" (and safe attitudes) that would enable either party to end the scene at a millisecond's notice.

"Is It Sick to Act Out These Perversions?"

Even once they understand that BDSM isn't about inflicting harm on other people, and that the point is safe, sane, consensual sensation for the purpose of erotic focus, a lot of people still wonder if it's really okay to act out their 'darker' desires. I think if more people were safely acting out the forbidden fruit of their repressed, denied or subconscious desires, there might be a lot less hate, crime, rape, abuse, pedophilia and impulsive psycho-sexual behavior.

Rather than being unleashed on the unwilling, those urges might have a chance of remaining where they belong: behind the closed doors of mutually consenting adults. Ideally, in a more kink-friendly environment, those who liked could pair up, or group up, to scratch whatever twisted itches were present, providing a healthier outlet for all those anxiety-provoking desires that so many wrestle with and which may drive people to inappropriate, non-consensual, hurtful action.

Trust Yourself

If you are feeling insecure about your hidden kinky desires, just remember there are always kinkier people out there. The trick is to find them! After all, if you don't share your fetishes with others, they'll never be able to play with you. There are many alternatives and healthy outlets to express your desires, and you'd be surprised at how many others may share your same tastes. There are lots of support groups and play groups; the Internet is a great resource for finding local BDSM groups and clubs. It's a lot safer and more helpful to get to know a community of people who are BDSM players or into a particular fetish than it is to find one person through personal ads. In a community, you know who you're meeting and what they're like, can find out about their reputation and proclivities and make sure that person is both a safe person for you to play with, and also that their tastes match up with yours.

Be proud and comfortable in the position you choose in any role playing situation. Remember that it's only a game, that it can end at any time, that people are not perfect and that if everything doesn't go as smoothly as planned, there's always next time. If you find out you hate to be spanked, you don't ever have to do it again. If someone is flogging or pinching you too hard, please take a time out to politely tell them. If you discover you love latex, rave over rubber, go crazy for corsets, then by all means, go for it! Accept mistakes, practice, communicate, and most of all, enjoy.

Be brave enough to communicate your desires, even if you think they may be unusual and respect those that divulge theirs to you. If your fetish is destructive or illegal, perhaps you should seek counseling with a kink-friendly counselor. If you start to feel silly in the middle of a scene, take a break, tell your partner, maybe save it for later. Don't feel you have to be the perfect slave, Mistress, doggie or whore. Remember there's a little kink in all of us just waiting to be expressed. We're all sexual beings and creatures of habit that have special things that make us purr, make us wet, make us hard, make us horny. These are the same things we go back to again and again, in sexual fantasy, in the sexual arena, to achieve delight, to make our connections, to find that little piece of Heaven.

Resources

Looking for BDSM and kinky community? Here are some links to help you in your search for locally based and regionally based community:

How about some good info on how to make kinky sex safe sex? The Eulenspiegel Society has excellent guidelines - http://www.tes.org/resources/safe/safe.html

Here's where to find kink-aware, respectful medical and psychological help: Kink-Aware Professionals http://www.bannon.com/~race/kap/

Copyright 1999-2001 Jamie Joy Gatto. All Rights Reserved. "Power Principles #1" first appeared on-line at www.ScarletLetters.com, and is currently being run as a quarterly column in T.E.S.'s Prometheus.


Power Principles #2:
Welcome To Kinky Fantasy Island. Wanna Play?

When we're hot and horny, we tend to think about weird things... some of us cream over dreaming about being tied up and ass fucked, gang banged by a pack of hot lesbians, or maybe even being raped by a stranger. Perhaps the idea of spanking someone else until they are bleeding and begging for more is luscious fodder for jerk off sessions with your ever trusty shower massage. Does this mean we want these extreme scenarios to become a reality? Not necessarily, and in some cases, most definitely not.

Even skilled veteran role players tend to keep their most transgressive fantasies to themselves. Some fantasies are so nasty, so seemingly shameful, taboo or ugly that we'd rather play with them by ourselves, in our heads. Shameful and unspoken, they are labeled, yet these are often the same fantasies that give us mind blowing orgasms over and over again.

There are times when we mentally push our physical bodies over that juicy waterfall of arousal straight to orgasm by focusing on these thoughts. Visualization and imagery plays a hot and healthy role in our sex lives. I'd even go so far as to propose that our sexual health is dependent upon a richly varied mental wardrobe of different, even unusual, desires.

Most of us prefer to use the same mental scenes over and over during masturbation, the ones that take us to the fastest, hardest, high. Of course, many of these fantasies will never be acted out, whether the reason is that they are logistically unrealistic, emotionally improbable, or just physically impossible. After all, it's impossible to have sex with the long deceased blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe, and it still would be even if your fantasy were a necrophiliac one.

You probably won't be able to ass fuck the hip swiveling pop idol Ricky Martin with a strap-on dildo even if you are living la vida loca. And it's probably even less realistic to consider fucking a zoo animal, sucking off a space alien, or coming all night with the whole neighborhood's cocks rammed up your ass while your cousin Sue eats you out.

And yet, in the minds of people everywhere, people are acting out the most sordid, down and dirty sex acts imaginable, simply because they are just that: imaginable. They are tucked away privately in our minds where we can feel they are safe. There are so many ways that sexy, dirty, even taboo thoughts can influence and enhance our sex lives, whether or not we ever act upon these fantasies. After all, what we might find truly distasteful, even disgusting, in real life may become quite tantalizing in the privacy of our own minds. There, we create a place where we will never be judged or caught, or be denied or punished for the very acts for which we lust. In our internal fantasy world, we can live them out again and again, safely, in a place where we can always be young and healthy and where anything can happen, even the unspeakable.

In fantasy we are in a place where there is little to no risk, emotionally and/or physically. We are free to play in sexual ways we'd dare not think of in more lucid moments. When we are alone is a good time to try out new sex or sensation toys, such as nipple clamps, dildos, or even whips and restraints that we can use on ourselves. This can be a safe way for us to test our limits, to see what we might physically feel, to learn what we enjoy or what we do not. What better time to find a new way to fulfill our sex lives than through a dirty, sexual game in our own mind, along with props to pleasure our own bodies? What a gift we can give to ourselves!

During masturbation, we can try out the things we crave, even if we don't want to (or aren't prepared to) make them a part of our outward lives. Relationships can become complicated, there are morals and values and religious beliefs, societal strictures, and personal ideologies. Some of what we fantasize may even be against state or federal law. No wonder the idea of bringing our most intense fantasies to life can feel so scary.

Sometimes our fantasies might make us scared of ourselves, afraid that we may be sick or warped, crazy or criminal. While most people think about unusual sexual situations, most do not act out their every whim. Our minds and dreamscapes, allow us to safely play with scenarios or situations that we might otherwise not be allowed to enter. Some of us use fantasy to heal from past bad experiences or to express psychic pain by mentally acting out abuse, rape or incest. This can be a truly cathartic and healing aspect to sexual fantasy. Other people may use the power of the mind to play out forbidden fantasies that they know they will never ever act upon in real life, retaining the ability to find sexual euphoria in a completely, personally taboo experience where no one gets hurt. We can learn a lot about ourselves, and about how we function, by simply allowing ourselves to think and trying not to mentally censor ourselves.

Because it is not always easy, or even desirable, for us to share these private, sacred sexual ideas and scenarios, but it's still fun to have the fantasy along with actual sexual contact, many of us play them out in our minds while actually having sex with a partner. One fantasy idea can play off of another during a real sexual encounter while we are engaged heavily in our daydreams. The dialogue in our head may seem to seamlessly coincide with the movements of our partner, almost to the point where we think that he or she must be reading our mind. With practice, and by trusting ourselves to fall deeply into our own fantasies, these mental scenarios during sex can feel as if they are really happening without ever having to discuss the details of our fantasy with our lover.

What if we like what we do in our head or what we think about during masturbation so much that we want to try to share it out loud with a partner? This is not the easiest thing in the world to bring up. It can make us feel vulnerable. It's deeply private stuff, so private we may have edited the words from our own diary.

Before you decide to share a fantasy with your partner, think about why you really want to share it. Is it something you think you might really want to act out and share in real life, or is it something you want to divulge as simply a sexual fantasy that gets you hot?

Sometimes telling a partner is a great idea, but sometimes it can be disastrous. Not every man or woman may take kindly to your fantasy of having sex with his or her sibling. Not every person's psyche and ego is ready to hear that you have always had a thing for primates, or for Tom Selleck, for that matter. But if you trust and know your partner well enough that you feel safe and confident that he or she will take kindly to or at least be respectful of your decision to share your most intimate thoughts, by all means, tell. It can make your life richer, not to mention hotter, to having a partner that appreciates and accepts your fantasies, and who may even wish to act upon them with you.

Please keep in mind that once you share your secrets, they are no longer solely yours. This may lead to your fantasies becoming less of a taboo or even less of a turn on. However, if it is your goal to share them, to act upon them, go for it! Trust your instincts.

You also have to consider the possible fallout. Do you think there's a significant chance that divulging your fantasies might upset or interfere with your interpersonal and/or sexual relationship(s)? What if you tell your partner and they go berserk or get grossed out? It's a risk you take when you decide to reveal your fantasies. What if your partner suddenly feels pressured to act upon something you only considered to be a fantasy, never a reality? Be clear about what you mean and what you want when you are discussing your fantasies. Make sure you let your partner know exactly whether or not you ever wish to act upon the fantasy. And do be diplomatic! Make sure you let your partner know they are still loved, that they are still sizzling hot in your eyes. Be sure to share the reason you are telling them your fantasy is because you want to better your intimacy and with them, not because you want to trade them in on another model.

Communication is key to any fantasy sharing, especially if your fantasies are really detailed and specific and these details are vital to your sexual arousal. This is a particularly important skill to learn in negotiating role playing with a partner. In Domination and submission fantasies, as well as other highly creative, interactive sex scenes, such as bondage or dress up, you need to express your interests, sometimes in exhaustive detail, as well as your limits.

Be flexible. If your partner gets turned on by part of your private fantasy, but gets turned off by another aspect, remember you can always use your own imagination to fill in the blanks. There may be a scene or a role for which you simply can't find a partner you trust well enough to act out. You may be unable to find someone who is interested enough in your fantasy to play along with you. Don't despair. Your imagination is rich and multidimensional, sometimes even more so than real life.

In fantasy, there are no bloopers and blunders, unless, of course you want them. In sex daydreams, there are partners who touch us just right, women who have endless orgasms, partners free of disease, hang ups and sexual dysfunction. There are worlds of lovers and situations that exist solely for us, to please us, make us happy, or simply to get us off. There are entire worlds that can mutate and change and grow within us, places that can last a lifetime or only a few seconds. They may be illegal, vile or insane, but they belong to us. Getting in touch with your inner fantasy life helps you find a partner who will never let you down you, yourself, your own mind. Get in touch with your kinky, don't-tell-a-soul side and ride that wild pony to orgasm - yeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!

Copyright 1999-2001 Jamie Joy Gatto. All Rights Reserved. "Power Principles #2 first appeared on-line in Scarlet Letters"


Power Principles #3:
A Practical Guide for the Cherry Domina

So, you're a virgin? An S/M virgin, that is... We've all been there at one time or another and it can really be a nerve-wracking place to be, especially if you're eager to try your hand at playing Domme to a more experienced submissive. It's not quite like you're simply entering upon the basic sex act itself for the first time, which is a pretty simple thing to achieve for most of us, at least physically speaking. Insert tab A into slot B and you've got yourself deflowered in a matter of seconds, no turning back. Of course, I'm simplifying the entire mental process and package that comes along with losing one's literal virginity. Let's not forget the emotional and psychological mind flips and all the guilt trips that our mothers, ministers, grannies and/or the Vatican tend to dish out to us beginning at a wee age, especially to girls, regarding the importance of virtue.

Now pile all those taboos on top of wanting to become a Power Domme, including, "Good Girls Don't" along with, "Ladies Never Raise Their Voices" on top of a "sexual deviance" and you've got yourself worked up into a moralistic pickle. Add a healthy sprinkling of, "Gee I don't even really know what I'm doing." Toss in a touch of rationalizing, "I'll never be any good at this," and you are well on your way to becoming mentally road blocked from Domme-dom. No wonder you're a bit nervous! Just thinking about it makes me want to go shopping. Which, by the way, is a very good place to start. Nothing raises a woman's confidence more than having the feeling of power she can achieve by wearing the right look. Want to feel good about yourself? Start with the mirror. I know it's a cheap shot-- we are all raised to believe we should be counted for what's on the inside, but C'mon! We know we've got it on the inside, we just want to let it shine through. Take it from the method actors: costuming is of the utmost importance in order to get into character. You wanna be a Domme? First you've got to look like one.

Now, I'm not saying you ought to flip open your latest Dream Dresser catalog and start by ordering every color of stiletto-heeled, six-inch shoes, emulating all the cliche'd Dominatrix attire down to the five hundred dollar, handmade corset. What I am saying is this: wear what makes you feel powerful. If you're a jeans and Tee kind of girl and putting on a totally out-of-character Laura Ashley print dress makes you feel like a stern elementary teacher, offering you the feeling of power and strength that will drive you to play Mistress, I say, go for it! For some of us, simply slicking our hair back and pulling it into a tight bun at the nape of the neck and donning a bit of red lipstick will be all it takes to throw our Domme gears into overdrive. Keep the jeans and Tee if it works, maybe you'll transform into the ultimate butch with a killer attitude. (Now you're getting me hot!) It's all a matter of taste.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not discounting the look of the traditional Dominatrix. I happen to own quite a collection of the leather, vinyl and chain numbers that work their magic by transforming me into the Bitch-Goddess I love to play. But that is certainly limiting as a role, wouldn't you say? And I happen to be unable to wear those humongous fetish shoes. How powerful of a Domme could I be lying flat on my face in the middle of a scene with a sprained ankle? I actually prefer to play barefoot, at least ultimately. A little shoe/boot worship can be fun for me at first, of course, while I'm seated. Since I do feel more dexterous and in control sans shoes, I tend to play a better Domme without them. It's up to you to decide what works for you and exactly what costuming makes you stand three inches taller-- whether or not you choose to play in heels.

So you've found your look and you are pumped! Now what? Do you need lots of Domme gear? Whips and chains? Paddles and feathers? Ropes and candle wax? What-- are you crazy?! That's like telling the eighteen year-old, cherry virgin high-school girl that on her very first roll in the hay, she needs to be wearing the Fredericks of Hollywood special ensemble along with vibrators, dildos, lube and french ticklers... don't forget the porno flicks for ambience... oh, and a water bed... are you getting my point? You don't need all that stuff, at least not until you get the basics down. Don't you dare pick up a paddle without perfecting the following fundamentals. The Basics: 1) Attitude 2) Willingness 3) A Willing Partner 4) Communication. Not only will you save yourself a lot of trouble, money and potential embarrassment, it may save you a trip to the emergency room.

Attitude starts with confidence. I realize trying anything brand new might make your self-assurance waver a bit, but you've got to know, you've got it, baby! And most importantly, you've got to be able to respect yourself and to show respect for your submissive. "What? That lowly worm! Aren't they supposed to be worshiping me?"

Unless you can honestly say, "I respect you as my equal," regarding your submissive, you are not getting the point of Power Exchange. The Ultimate Dominant's Credo: "To Lead Is Also To Serve." Once you have established this concept, both intellectually and emotionally, you and your willing partner are ready to begin communication.

Are you willing? Really willing? The only way to find out is through communication. A dialogue between the participants is the most important aspect to successful S/M games and role playing. I know, this isn't the fun and glamorous part, it kind of sounds like a drag, huh? Well, it can be quite fun and sexy, if you decide to make it that way. Exchanging ideas and sexual fantasies is one way to gear up towards BDSM play itself. You don't need to talk it to death, but you do need to establish some parameters.

Maybe you'll discover some stuff you think is icky, maybe you'll both have different ideas at first, but with two willing participants, you're certain to find some sexy middle ground. That's where the fun part is, the part that maybe makes you blush to talk about, the part where you see that spark in your lover's eye that makes you want to jump right in, take the reigns and go girl, go!

Communicate with body language, as well. Testing your limits can be quite fun, as well as silly. How bossy can you be without laughing yourself to tears? How hard can you spank your partner over your knee before you start to feel like your hand is redder than their ass? Remember, life aint like the movies. There will be trial and error. There will be times when you or your partner may need to take a break, to step out of character, to call a time out. In the real world, there is sneezing and cramping and oops! farting and even, "I'm bored now, let's try this..." Which is okay, as a matter of fact, its the best way to play.

Don't be afraid to establish and to use your safewords. Not sure what safewords are? Do familiarize yourself with the basics of S/M play by reading Jay Wiseman's SM 101: A Realistic Introduction, and get to know your submissive's head as well as your own by studying Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism by Philip Miller, Molly Devon and William A. Granzig. Another great resource is The Topping Book: Or, Getting Good at Being Bad by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt, although I recommend you read this book only in conjunction with a good book on safety and technique such as Wiseman's.

Once you have role played and done it well, you are ready to start getting more physical, playing with all those toys and sexy accoutrement. Those resources listed above will help to guide you with the basics, as well as offer you safety tips for physical play. And for Pete's sake, don't try anything you don't truly feel comfortable with. Be honest with yourself, as well as your submissive. Make sure your submissive is being honest with you and not simply trying to please you.

Please don't play with dangerous toys, like whips and floggers, without practicing first on inanimate objects (pillows are good for starters). Besides using references and being a good listener, a good Domina uses her instinct, her intuition and plain, old-fashioned common sense. You have what it takes, you just have to nurture it. Let it blossom, then practice, practice, practice.

My wish for you, as a brand new Domme is that there will be sexual discoveries that will blow you away, emotionally, physically and quite possibly even spiritually. There will be a special connection between you and your submissive, one that will remain with you, even if you have only played together but once in your lifetime. Do your reading, do your soul searching, talk to your partner. Now get Yourself dressed, take a good hard look into the mirror and find that place, the Goddess within that will allow You to go out and rule the world, even if it is done by just one submissive at a time.

Copyright (c) 2000-2001 Jamie Joy Gatto. All rights reserved. "Power Principles #3" first appeared on-line in Scarlet Letters.


Power Principles #4:
What's So Funny 'Bout SM?

Ahhh! Sensation Play. Of all the wonderful sensual and sensory experiences that are all a part of the complete BDSM spectrum of gourmet sex, play, laughter, whimsy, humor and surprise are some of my favorite areas to explore. "What?" I hear you say, "Where's the cruelty, the whips, the ultimate in punishment?" Well, if you've never tied up and tickled your playmate til they've begged for mercy and maybe even wet their little subbie panties, then you have no idea what real torture can be.

Enough of that naughtiness! Let's have some happy laughter. Here are some of my favorite ways you can create a playful and exciting atmosphere in your scenes-- something new, something fun something wild.

Bubbles

Bubbles belong to childhood, they belong to summer days and clouds and winds, butterfly flights and all of outdoor fun. Even the word can bring a smile or a giggle. "Bubbles," say it out loud and I dare you not to want to smile.

What can you do with bubbles? Lots! Take these tiny iridescent globes indoors to the grown-up bedroom or sexy bath time and you will certainly liven up your sex life. Bubble baths are a great way to soothe your obedient submissive's sore bottom, or for subs to pamper their Dominant, complete with the perfect luxurious and loving pedicure and tender back scrubbing. Not enough time? How about a fluffy, bubbly foot bath? Talk about a pampering! One of you (or both of you) surely deserves such love and TLC.

Dommes, here's a nifty tip for you to play the bubbly trickster. Talk about sensation play... this will be a new sensory experience for the both of you. However, bubbles are dangerously slippery and can ruin the finish on some floors, so please heed my precautions.

Buy a large, multi-faceted bubble pipe and non-toxic soap bubbles. (Disney makes some great ones). Ask your submissive to lie on the floor, on a large, waterproof mat, like a tarp or an old shower curtain. For your willing subject, I recommend a bit of rope work, cuffs, or whatever type of bondage is to your liking. It's awfully fun to watch your submissive squirm in delight as you stand above them, blowing bubbles, covering their nude body with tiny froth, tickly bursts, which pop and foam all along their skin and body. I dare you not to giggle as you blow tremendous wreaths of bubble chains from your pipe and watch your subbie squeal in delight.

Want to make it even more interesting? Order your sub not to squirm or squeal... then administer your favorite form of punishment if they should happen to slip up on your orders. Don't forget to end your play in bath time. Bubbles are slimy and leave a soapy residue which must be washed clean, especially from private parts. Ooooooooooh... Imagine the endless possibilities!

Tickling

I've already mentioned the ultimate in torture: the mighty, the ferocious, the itsy bitsy tickle. Tickling can make a grown man cry, it can even make the most serious woman roar with delight and even in cry out in tormented pain. Here are some ideas to tickle your tickling fancy:

Ostrich Feathers

Just about any kind of feathers will do, even the feathers attached to a clean feather duster. I prefer to use long, ostrich feathers so I can cover more skin surface at once. You can vary the sensation by using a broad sweeping movement to caress and relax, then surprise your victim by targeting the most ticklish area by flipping the feather over and using its base or stem to scratch and barely tickle the tender insides of the crook of the arm, opposite the elbow, or to tease armpits, or to ravage behind the knees. Bondage always heightens tickling sensations: a struggle can create both physical and psychological tension in your subject.

Remember to delight in finding that one ticklish spot your submissive is sure to hide from you. Is it those twinkly toes? That sweet spot near the navel? The tiny area so close to the genitals, but not quite there? When you do find it, make sure you use it to your wickedest advantage.

Nerve Wheels

Nerve wheels, also called Wartenburg wheels were created as a medical device to test nerve reaction in patients. Nerve wheels look a bit scary, painful and spiky, almost like a maniacal pastry cutter or a wand attached to a cowboy's spur. Actually, the sensation of the wheel on skin is not painful at all when little pressure is applied. Rolling it lightly along the skin can be quite chilling, even creepy. Some have described the effects of the nerve wheel on the flesh as similar to the sensation of walking through a spider web. It can raise goose bumps and even summon yelps of surprise when used deviously, quickly tearing the wheel across tender skin in order to give a lightning quick shock to the nerves.

For fun, I like to use the wheels on well-warmed skin. After a flogging or spanking, quickly roll the wheel along the reddened skin to get a really hot reaction. It often tickles so much, it can be shocking to someone who has been worked up into "pain" mode. I just love watching the expression of shock and delight on a surprised submissive's face after I radically juxtapose pain with delight.

Nails

Fingernails, even long household nails, and talons which fit over the fingers are all great devices to use to create tickling and scratching sensations. Go ever-so-lightly and listen for squeals of delight. Laughter is infectious, so why not tie up two subjects together? Watch one squeal in anticipation as the other writhes and yelps in ticklish delight. Soon the room will be filled with laughter, even as they beg for mercy for you to stop.

Food for Fun

What's more fun than a food orgy? Having your submissive BE the food orgy you or you and your friends get to eat. This works better with a little help from your friends... and it's all the more fun that way, too. Wrap your favorite naked submissive in Saran Wrap (Be sure to have your safety scissors handy) and let's make a chocolate sundae you will never forget. If you don't have a sweet tooth, you can create a human sushi platter, a BBQ feast or even a fruit and cheese appetizer plate. Your imagination and your appetite is the limit.

Pile high your favorite toppings, right on top of your human platter, and dig in. If you choose to create a sundae, be aware that the ice cream melts fast, but be sure to lick and bite and slurp your platter clean. Hand out straws to slurp up the gooey stuff! The coolness of the ice cream and the warmth of hot fudge, combined with a group of friends chowing down on the living canvas of flesh is sure to create an amazingly fun, sexy and frolicking atmosphere.

To make your human sundae, you will need: your favorite ice cream, sundae toppings, whipped cream, various chopped fruits, straws and don't forget the chopped nuts and cherries. Have your submissive ready all the sundae fixings before you prepare your human platter. Your human platter should be a willing participant, ready to be stripped naked and they should be prepared to experience a gamut of sensations during play, especially tight, highly restricted bondage.

Once your submissive is undressed have them lie on the floor or a very sturdy table which is covered in a table cloth or washable blanket as you and your friends help to roll him/her up in the Saran wrap. Do not cover the face and neck area, as this can be fatal. People wrapped in plastic wrap tend to get very hot very fast, so please have lots of ice water handy in a glass with a straw to help your human platter replenish fluids and to keep their body temperature safe. Put someone responsible in charge of water duty, as you will be too busy licking and slurping your way to the ultimate pleasure in dessert. Don't forget to give your loving human platter a taste, too!

When you're all satiated and fat as a happy little hog, be sure to carefully cut your human platter free from its wrapper with your safety scissors, and give your dish a sweet treat by preparing a nice, mildly cool shower in order to cool down their body temperature. Who says BDSM is all serious! Aint we got fun???

Copyright (c) 2000-2001 Jamie Joy Gatto. Power Principles #4 first appeared on-line at Scarlet Letters.


Power Principles #5:
Trust - the Most Important Gift

I have often been asked by others who like to role play, whether or not I'm a switch-- someone who likes to be both Dominant and submissive. That's not an easy question to answer, since role reversal can mean so many different things. Yes, I enjoy being on the receiving end of sensation play, but my form of play would probably be considered wimpy, even laughable to many. You see, as a pain taker, I'm a total wuss. Although I do enjoy sensation play, I just have to be treated very differently from most people. What's extreme to me, is probably nothing to most, but that is because of my strange physiology. The floggings I've given others would have literally split my skin.

I'm so completely sensitive, it nearly overwhelms me just to live in my skin. I have this very thin, ice white, translucent flesh. You can see blue veins all over it. All my life people, even strangers say, "What beautiful skin you have!" I always smile and say, "Thank you," but it's so difficult to live in this skin, and they just have no idea.

I'm even allergic to grass yes, plain green grass, including almost all varieties of lawn grass. I cannot sit on the lawn or I'll get horribly itchy welts. While I realize there is a kink for just about anything, I've never been asked, "Mistress, please make me itch!" Most masochists I know just don't find unbearable rashes a form of kinky fun. That kind of pain is just not fun for me!

I went to the ER last spring because I tried a new conditioner on my hair. I had to take steroids for three weeks so I could become normal. My eyes shut from hives I was welted and red from head to toe all along my meridians it was insane. I looked like a monster, like an alligator creature. I was told that without proper medication I might have died. Maybe some people find sex with mutants kinky, but I wasn't feeling very sexy in my new-found crocodile flesh.

I am really a lot like the character in the story of "The Princess and The Pea," the girl who could not sleep comfortably on a hundred mattresses because one pea hidden underneath them all caused her extreme discomfort. To me everything feels so much, anyway, I simply cannot imagine doing something to cause more negative feeling, or what most people call pain, to myself. I am so sensitive, my joints are always inflamed, I live with chronic joint pain due to an autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and my muscles are often sore due to lack of mobility. I cannot be massaged deeply it is so painful, or I might literally bruise from the pressure. Is this a masochist's dream, to be in my skin? To be in constant pain? I do not know.

What I do know is that there are at least two sides to everything, and there is always a balance in nature. And because my skin is so rich in nerve endings, and so frail to the touch and easily damaged, sensations on my flesh are more intense than usual: a lovers hands lightly brushing me can make me melt, a mere feather can make me shiver uncontrollably, and a whip, used carefully and with proper education of my flesh and its responses, can even make me come. My response to sensations is always going to be more extreme, and that goes for pleasure as well as pain. That is why trust is the most important gift I can bring both myself and my partner to a role playing scene.

So let this be your lesson in play, especially if you are playing the Dominant role: always talk to your partner. Never assume you know what sort of sensation is good, or right or best for your partner. For one thing, there is no such thing as "right." Never assume that there is. We are all individuals, we are all unique. Some of us enjoy cutting, piercing, flogging with a single tail whip, and other extreme SM sports, such as suspension by one's own flesh. For others, simple bondage in nylon rope may cause unwanted rope burns that may take a long time to heal-- while on the other hand, this may be a desirable result to some people. But, you'll never know until you experiment, discuss and learn to trust.

As a Dominant, you ask your submissive(s) to trust you, but you must learn to trust your submissive(s) to let you know how much they can-- or want -- to take. Listening and communication are so vital to good, healthy, delicious, sexy play. Pay attention to all signals: both verbal and non-verbal. Watch skin coloring: is it overly red? Welting? Is this ok, maybe desirable, or a real problem? How will you know? Communication. Watch facial expressions: is that a sigh of ecstasy, or one of unwanted, unbearable pain, or even of boredom? Take a minute to check, that's all it takes.

No need to worry about "breaking character," one little whisper is all it may take. A hand on the shoulder, and a reassuring, "Are you ok?" can make all the difference in the world to your scenes and to you and your partner's relationship. Especially in the early stages, when you are establishing a BDSM relationship, you really need to learn these things about your partner. You might even be surprised when the answer is, "Please, I'd like MORE!" When you thought you were giving it all you've got. You just won't know until you ask.

Don't let your ego get in the way: if you can't trust, then maybe you are not ready to play. Remember that trust games, sensation play, bondage and all those goodies in the big yummy bag of BDSM are based on one thing: power exchange. Power exchange means trust that goes both ways. Be a strong dominant, and prove it by really listening to your submissive(s). Let them, and your intuitions and good communication be your guide. And if your submissive(s) happens to be blessed or cursed with a body bearing my crazy skin, and if even I can enjoy being on the receiving end of trust games, then you know you'll be able to negotiate just about anything with just about anyone. Give your partner your full attention, lots of love and lots of time.

Copyright (c) 2000-2001. Jamie Joy Gatto. All Rights Reserved.


Twisted Urges: Where Society and the Sexual Meet #1
Busting The Reich Myths

"I still dream of Orgonon... I wake up crying." --Kate Bush

Kate Bush's famous, haunting and dreamy song, "Cloudbusting" was written about Wilhem Reich, a native Austrian, who became a psychoanalyst under Freud while in med school in Vienna. You may wonder why you've never heard of Reich nor learned of his theories since he was obviously an important figure in the beginnings of psychology as we know it. You see, his works were banned in the US in 1954 because of his sexual findings.

Eventually, Reich broke from the traditional Freudian school, developing a theory which held that neuroses resulted from repressed and/or nondissipated feelings of sexual energy. Reich wrote scientifically of the need for regular orgasms for the mental health and well being of both men and women, publishing his findings and theories in many works, but most importantly in The Function of the Orgasm (1927).

I can attest to my foul moods when I've been neglected in the orgasm department, how about you? Isn't there an old, sexist joke, one we've all heard: the woman is cranky because "she ain't getting any"? The idea that orgasmic health can lead to contentment is practically common sense to us as a society, yet Reich was persecuted and eventually died for his simple beliefs.

With his radical discussion of sex, and sexual theories, especially including women, he was expelled from the German Communist Party in 1933 and the International Psychoanalytic Association in 1934, and finally immigrated to America in 1939. Once established in the US, he built his dream home, laboratory and school in Maine, which he eventually called Orgonon after his greatest discovery: orgone.

Reich found scientific evidence to support the healing powers of orgone, learned to channel this power to curative results in energy accumulators, and named the energy itself "orgone", a measurable energy which is present in all living things. Reich considered orgone to be the life force itself. He was even able to use this knowledge to create changes in weather, which he called "cloudbusting." Sound too strange to be true? His "Cloudbuster" still stands at Orgonon, fallen in disrepair from years and disuse.

When writing this article I noticed that both the words "Orgonon" and "orgone" were not included in my spell check dictionary the software did not understand these words. And the reason why? They were banned by the US government. Reich's theories would never be put to universal use, would never be taught in mainstream schools, universities or used to cure or heal as they were intended to do.

In 1954, orgone energy was declared nonexistent by the US court. A permanent injunction was granted stating that all energy accumulators were to be destroyed and all of Reich's books, Orgone Institute Journals, bulletins and pamphlets were ordered burned. This included books written and published by Reich well before he discovered orgone energy or came to live in the US.

Reich died alone in jail after being prosecuted for promoting a fraudulent treatment. Orgonon still stands, a natural history museum. You may visit the museum in person, or take a peek online. [http://www.rangeley.org/~wreich/].

Next time you are typing up a letter in your word processing program, do the world a favor and remember Wilhelm Reich, add the word "orgone" to your dictionary. And next time your face flushes aglow with waves of orgasmic joy, I dare you not to believe that somewhere in that rush is healing power: strong, potent, and somehow measurable.

Copyright (c) 2000-2001 Jamie Joy Gatto. All Rights Reserved.


Twisted Urges: Where Society and the Sexual Meet #2
One Tough Cookie!

What's it like to be bi in New Orleans? It's tough, I tell you! Unfortunately, the "bi community" in New Orleans is completely nonexistent; we are merely the lonely "B" in the GLBT community title. And the worst part-- most bi's in New Orleans are disconnected and closeted.

"Come out, come out wherever you are!" you can often here me crying aloud along the dark streets of the Quarter on a Saturday night, half-joking, half-wondering if my spoken spell will enchant some openly bisexual person to cross my path. I often feel so alone as a bisexual, and so lonely for kindred people with whom I might share some solidarity. I feel lonely for acceptance. I feel lonely for the means in which I or my husband might find a bi date for a bi dinner or a bi dance. It would be nice to feel understood and supported in one's own community.

But, why are all these bisexual people closeted? I've often wondered that myself. We live in a progressive, artistic city, one well-known for it's open gay community and it's "loose morals." Certainly being bi in New Orleans should be easy, it should be simple, really.

Of course, there are all the usual reasons to remain anonymous, sexually speaking, and those reasons often stem from homophobia and all it's ugly implications. Also, the local lack of bi support groups, and the complete lack of bi-visibility in general can lend itself to wanting to keep one's sexual-identity concealed. Oh, but here in New Orleans, there are so many more reasons to stay closeted.

Let me explain. First of all, there is little to no acceptance from the gay and lesbian community for bisexuals, regardless of the "B" in the title of GLBT, on the signs, on the flags, in the cheers, and in the mottos. And without bi support groups and without even support from our brothers and sisters and everyone in between in our gay community, fear of standing the battle alone will certainly override most people's innate sensibility, sense of trust and reason.

Why should anyone here come out? There is nobody there to greet them, there is nobody there to guide them, there is nobody there to support bisexuals. And bisexuality lends itself easily to cloak clandestinely within either the gay or straight community, and so there it lies: alone and lonely. Bisexuality in New Orleans is loitering, just waiting for somebody trustworthy to say, "Psst! It's ok to be yourself! Really!"

My recent treatment in a bar here in New Orleans certainly proves my point. On Carnival weekend this year, just a few days before Mardi Gras, the streets were packed with tourists and revelers. I was out carousing in a skimpy little costume, perfectly in tune with the Mardi Gras spirit, when I attended my favorite gay bar in the Quarter with both a male and female friend.

We were drinking, dancing, partying and quite ordinarily getting very horny with all the sex in the air. Below us, downstairs at the same bar, studly bar top dancers were revealing all they've got for a dollar. Outside, men and women were showing off their naughties to anyone who'd throw them a bead or cheer loud enough. We were drunk, we were happy, we were kissing...

And then, it happened! One of the most humiliating moments as a bisexual happened to me that night. A bartender, who I'd never seen before, started shouting at the three of us, flashlights were shined on us, lights were turned on overhead in order to expose and embarrass us. We three were just standing quietly in a corner, simply kissing. We were laughed at, mocked, exposed! In essence, we were bounced, and I've never felt the same as a person since.

You see, there is a particular irony to this story: Good Friends, the bar in which this unseemly incident took place, is the very same bar featured in Best Bisexual Erotica 2000, a book in which I contributed bi-erotica. In my short story, which also happens to take place during Mardi Gras, a married couple cruises the bar successfully for bi boys. In real life, the bi-erotica writer and bi activist gets thrown out on her bi ass.

There are many more reasons to stay closeted as a bisexual other than the lack of support from the gay community. Of course, there are no bi support groups and little enthusiasm in creating interest in bi-visibility. Of course, there are no bisexual bars and nightclubs, meeting places or other sort of community access. And, there's no secret handshake and there's no special bi hanky code.

Just to look around, you'd think there were no bi's in existence in New Orleans. But you and I know different. There are just as many bi's in the city of New Orleans as there are in any relatively populated city in the US, or the world for that matter. But where are all the bisexuals in New Orleans? They are hiding. And one of the important reasons they are hiding is not from southern politeness, or Christian values, or all the rest of the reasons I've already listed. They are hiding because it is against the law to be bi. It is not only possibly shameful, it is completely illegal and punishable by law.

On July 1, 2000 Louisiana State Legislature met and decided to overturn the recent appeals and re-instate the archaic sodomy laws in Louisiana. Louisiana code prohibits consensual "unnatural carnal copulation" with members of the same sex or opposite sex. The "use of the genital organ of one of the offenders of whatever sex is sufficient to constitute the crime." Punishment for the crime against nature is a fine of not more than two thousand dollars, or imprisonment, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or both.

Since oral copulation between two women constitutes the crime against nature, you'd figure lesbians here would be worried, right? And if placing one's mouth upon a penis constitutes the crime against nature, you'd figure nearly all homosexuals and loads of straights are taking part in the "unnatural" act at home on a regular basis, right? Well, all those groups are, by these laws threatened, and yet, in their communities they are also protected. They are not alone, they have leaders to turn to, they have their people. Not so for bisexuals. Here, we are completely alone.

Want to screw a Louisiana corpse? Sexual intercourse with a dead body is not illegal in Louisiana. Go figure. I wonder if it's illegal if the corpse is the same sex? Or if you screwed the corpse in the ass? I know that sounds tasteless, but considering that oral sex of any kind, even among married couples is illegal here, how crazy can a law be? And what about people's simple privacy?

You might wonder why I remain a citizen here in New Orleans. Sometimes I wonder that myself. I've tried and failed to create interest in leading a bi support group in the area. I've tried and failed even to create an on-line support group for bisexual or bi-curious New Orleanians. But I am still writing, I am still teaching, even if I must travel out of state to do so. I am still creating websites geared to enlighten and to create interest in sex, sexuality and bisexuality: [http://www.mindcaviar.com] Mind Caviar, A Bi-Friendly Place [http://www.mindcaviar.com/bi/bi.html] are my recent triumphs and contributions to exposing, advocating and encouraging sexual diversity. From my desk here in The Big Easy, I'll humbly do what I can.

I guess we southerners do tend to be tenacious. I love New Orleans. I love its history, its culture, the society and art. I love its food and its seductive nightlife, and I love a good challenge. You might call me crazy, but I like to think I'm just one tough cookie. One tough, proud and openly bi cookie, that is.

Copyright (c) 2000-2001 Jamie Joy Gatto. All Rights Reserved. Twisted Urges: Where Society and the Sexual Meet first appeared on-line at suspectthoughts.com.


Twisted Urges: Where Society and the Sexual Meet #3
Kissing Cousins: When Little Girls Grow Up

I know it sounds unhealthy, and I'm sure it is, but I'm often dependent on other people for my orgasms. Jerking off never quite does it for me. I mean, sometimes I do actually try to masturbate, and I really like it while I'm doing it, but it's that wimpy little come that makes me mad I ever did. I just get hornier. After that, I tend to get aggravated, anxious, and at worst I get weepy, feeling lonely, longing for the Big Bang, wet lips on my now ready clit, someone else's hands or cock penetrating me.

Even so, there are times I can't resist jacking off, especially in showers, bath tubs and swimming pools. They tend to naturally accommodate the process with those swirling, silk fingers of water that seem to reach with purpose into crevices and cracks and right through bikini bottoms. It's as if the water wants to make you come in it, seed it, give it life.

The yummy accoutrement are equally as appealing in the bath: soap is always slippery, a lubed-up kind of slimy; the flowering scent can be as alluring as a lover's perfume. Shower gels translucent and thick as my own cream just beg to be played with.

In pools, the water's color is as cool and blue as an old flame's eyes, the taste of it bleachy-clean and chlorinated fills my mouth full with a taste bittersweet as semen. The smell of freshly cut grass near a pool is enough to make me want to take the garden hose right into my cunt, turn it on full blast, hovering in a state of self-induced orgasm right there, pool side, as I dip my summer toes into the water, screaming, coming Niagara Falls. Believe me, I would, if only it was that easy.

Don't get me wrong, I have a clit built like a trigger. I can come and come and come, sometimes so fast it scares me. I can come by pressing my legs together tight, then releasing, by rocking back and forth in my seat in tight pants, or even by meditation, a sort of self-hypnosis. I can come without touching myself. I can come by reading the right book. Sure, I can create those faint, chilled bursts of clitoral pleasure that fade fast as cheap fireworks, even cause them to repeat on automatic, lose a bit of breath in the meantime, but I never get to that heavy g-spot, Tantric brain-expanding, sweating, moaning like a bitch in heat, getting it good from behind variety of come. The problem is I never scream, never shudder, never fall into an empty space through time like I do at orgasm with other lovers. I guess that's why I dream.

Now, I've been told outright by doubters that there is no such thing as a wet dream. Some disbelievers even go as far as to tell me they think only adolescents can have wet dreams--a sort of uncontrollable bodily rite of passage, awkward and akin to classroom boners and period stains on white gym shorts. Let me tell you, when you awake in colorless night to the sound of your own moaning, or snap open your torpid eyes to a slice of shocking midday sun with an orgasm still humming its last three notes before dying, your lips shuddering, hips humping, body trembling, pushing shut your lids to grasp at lingering scenes of being fucked by dream demons, licked wet by Goddesses, forming impossible positions with multiple ex-lovers, trying to hang on to the fleeting images of a sex scene you just lived, but won't truly remember flashing behind your eyelids, you'll be a believer, a believer of something that can only be classified as decidedly adult, as well as an extremely creative way of dealing with sexual tension, nocturnal emissions notwithstanding.

If I wasn't such an over-sexed person, finding sensual possibilities in the design patterns of tiny flowers and hints of eroticism in the rolling gestures of clouds, blurring mental lines between gender and age, simply finding a good conversation enough of an attraction to make me want to fuck whomever has given me that momentary click, maybe my inner sanctum wouldn't try to compensate for my lack of self-pleasuring with the aid of dreams. It's not like I can control being one of the horniest people I've ever met; at least I'm self-aware of that constant draw to meld and make the beast with two (or three or four) backs.

I've often wondered why I feel this way: I'm sex-positive, a sex writer, a sex educator, and yet I'm not prone to playing with myself. I should practice what I preach, right? I own lots of sex toys, and I know how to use them. I just prefer to not use them when I'm alone. What surprises me is the basic, and seemingly fundamental, trace that leads me back to my peculiar lack of desire, or aversion to, self-pleasure and masturbation in general. It's simple really, like most problems, it all began in childhood, although I did not realize this until only a few years ago, as a 30+ year old woman. I have come full circle from a childhood bath episode that can still bring a blush to my face, and shame to my emotional surface just from thinking about it.

When I was five years old, still quite a young five, and rather smallish for my age, I had a girl cousin, I'll call her Sara, who was two years younger than me, whom my family used to visit sometimes on vacations. Being both small and young, we were often bathed together as children. One day we were left alone in a bath tub to play Barbies while my busy aunt had other mommy things to attend to. Alone together, facing one another in the bath, legs outstretched, we began to kick water at one another, splashing with abandon. This was certainly something we would not have been allowed to do, had we been attended by an adult. I had already begun to feel mischievous from all the splashing.

Soon our little feet were kicking closer and closer to each others genitals. As the water splashed over our tiny bodies, I began to feel a special tickle between my legs, especially when Sara's foot touched the space in between my legs. The giggling grew to a frenzy, as we both found out what fun water play, combined with our first mutual masturbation, could be. So we both began to scream shrilly, to kick harder, as we purposefully forced water, and our tiny toes, toward one another's now open legs. This is my first memory of pleasant sexual experience: Sara's toes and cool water splashing against my warm genitals.

My aunt came in amidst all the splattering and giggling and little girl's shrieking, and I knew we were in big trouble. We immediately stopped; I was trying to catch my breath, panting as I awaited a scolding for making the bathroom so wet. But what I got was far worse than I could have ever imagined in my tiny world at age five. My aunt grabbed us each by one arm and dragged us out of the bath tub and jerked us onto the tile floor. There was so much yelling, I could barely hear a word uttered. Sara was shrieking in pain and regret, and I was crying out loud, mouth wide in shock and fright. My aunt was huge, all mouth, shouting, "You girls will never touch yourselves there again, do you hear me? You are naughty, dirty girls!" We were both shamed verbally, repeatedly, and then punished with no dessert after supper.

After that incident, my aunt, who to me was a beautiful and special woman, and my part-time caretaker on vacation, began to give me the cold shoulder. I overheard her talking to my grandmother, telling her it was all my fault, as I was the eldest of the cousins, that I had caused her daughter to misbehave so badly. I was shocked, unable to speak for a whole day after the event. Sullenly, I went to bed early that night and cried myself to sleep. I thought I had ruined my relationship with my aunt and my cousin, and that I was a dreadful, dirty, naughty girl. I did not know any better, for that was what I was told, and how I was treated ever after, or so it seemed ever after, to my five year old mind.

Now, each time I try to get over my jack-off shyness, I no longer have to work as hard to overcome shame and anger, as I did as a pre-teen and teen. I let myself fall into the rhythm of it all, and just go with it. Instead of turning that shame inward, and repressing it, I can understand now where it all began. If I'm bold, and I want to purge those feelings well, I let my anger fall into a place where it belongs: to the woman, my aunt, who made the decision that day to shame her niece and her daughter, and quite possibly to have caused us both to lose years of precious self-pleasure and sexual exploration, even basic self-esteem. I forgive her, but this is a lesson to be learned by all women. Of course, it is an endless cycle which needs to be broken, as my aunt, no doubt, was taught by her mother that her genitals were bad and wrong, and something to be hidden and untouched.

Nevertheless, I will not forget that day nor the effect it has had on me, my womanhood, my self worth and my value as a sexual woman. Sometimes I wonder about my cousin Sara. We are no longer in touch. Perhaps she was young enough to have forgotten. Perhaps by me being the childhood scapegoat, Sara was able to not have had to take the brunt of that incident and its psychological repercussions. I can only hope she has grown a healthy sexual self-esteem.

I know I'll not forget, and I'll never neglect, my pussy, my clit and my big girl cunt, of which I am now the proud owner and user, abuser and masturbator. Now, I'm a dirty girl; I can be a dirty, naughty girl-- only it's during fun, adult sex play-- some place where I feel safe, in control, and coming in orgasmic buckets. No shame, no pain-- but it took so much work to get to this place.

This is my plea to mothers, big sisters, aunts and grandmothers, to all baby sitters and caretakers of young girls everywhere: allow our girl children to touch themselves without being made to feel shameful, sinful or wrong. Allow our girls to grow into mature, healthy women with a strong sexual self-worth through welcoming, rather than by chastising, sexual exploration, experimentation and sex play among themselves, as well as with other children.

If we are forbidden, at such an important age of discovery and development, to pleasure ourselves, and to learn about others, what type of message does this send to our children? If we are not even allowed to touch our own bodies, how will we ever grow to learn to trust others to touch us in a loving, healthy way? If we are not allowed to gain knowledge about what is sexually gratifying on our own, if we become so sexually needy, so sexually dependent upon others (most often men) for our very orgasms, what does this say about how we view ourselves, our girls, our women in this world?

I challenge all women and men in charge of young girls to consider re-learning the myths we were taught about our bodies and our genitals in our own youths, to re-evaluate what we learned (or didn't learn well enough) about masturbation and orgasm, to re-educate ourselves in such a way that we may facilitate raising a new generation of healthy, sex-positive girls who will grow into strong, sexually self-supportive women. I believe our young women deserve at least that chance.

Copyright 2000-2001 Jamie Joy Gatto. All Rights Reserved. Twisted Urges: Where Society and The Sexual Meet #3 first appeared on-line at suspectthoughts.com.


Author Bio

Jamie Joy Gatto is a writer and editor from New Orleans, a sex educator, and a bisexual activist. She is editor-in-chief of the webzines Mind Caviar [http://www.mindcaviar.com] and A Bi-Friendly Place [http://www.mindcaviar.com/bi/bi.html]. She also writes a BDSM philosophy column, "Power Principles" which appears quarterly in the T.E.S.'s Prometheus [http://www.tes.org] and a column, "Twisted Urges" which appears quarterly at suspect thoughts [http://www.suspectthoughts.com].

Her short fiction has appeared in Best Bisexual Erotica 2000, The Unmade Bed: Twentieth Century Erotica, Unlimited Desires: An International Anthology of Bisexual Erotica. Her work has also appeared numerous times in Black Sheets, and other zines such as Parchment Letters, Tears on Black Roses, and is scheduled for Best Bisexual Erotica 2001 (Circlet/Black Books) Love Shook My Heart II (Alyson), and S/M Dreams (Circlet) Best SM Erotica (Black Books) Guilty Pleasures: True Tales of Erotic Indulgences (Black Books). You can usually find her fiction on-line in various high class smut venues such as Venus or Vixen?, CleanSheets, suspect thoughts, and Peacockblue. Her first collection of short fiction, entitled Sex Noir: Stories of Sex, Death and Loss will be published in 2002 by Circlet Press, and soon to come an eBook of erotic flash fiction, Suddenly Sexy (Winter 2001 at www.BrilliantSmut.com) as well as a hand bound, limited edition chapbook of original poetry, Unveiling Venus (Fall 2001).

Jamie Joy also writes and publishes literary (non-erotic) fiction, as well as poetry that has been included in international markets as diverse as coffee table books to graduate studies text books. At present she is co-editing a fiction anthology with M. Christian, Villains and Vixens: An Erotic Celebration of the Scoundrel, and editing a non-fiction book, Celebrate Sex: Activists Speak Out. She's recently joined forces with Oceania, "The voice of erotica" to bring you Yes Mistress Audio [http://www.yesmistressaudio.com] for your aural stimulation, and she's both a staff and celebrity author at Custom Erotica Source. [http://www.customeroticasource.com]


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