Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Storytime with Tashi (uno)

A few years ago, I had finally managed to move away from home. This was something of a victory for me, since I was in my mid-20s and still living in my moms' apartment and, later when she got a house, her basement. There are a lot of reasons for this, but primarily among them was the long term undiagnosed depression that seemed to plague my every attempt at going forward with my life. After I finally got the help (and medication) I needed, the major step of moving out and being my own person, with my own place, was a giant boost to my self-esteem and mental health.
The place itself wasn't much to write about. It was a small house in Verdun (a burrough of Montreal) that was transformed into a pair of apartment, side by side. The large front and back porches were still connected, but it was split down the middle into a mirrored layout inside. Each place had a den, a bedroom, a kitchenette and a bathroom. It was not huge, but it was comfortable, the heating was included in the pretty fair rent (which if you've ever lived through a rough Montreal winter you'd be every so thankful for), the landlord wasn't an asshole and actually seemed to give a shit about his tenants (when I had informed him about a problem with the back door windows, for example, he got on it within a couple of days and redid the caulking on all of the windows in the place, just to be doubly sure). All told, I liked it.
My neighbour was a young woman that mostly kept to herself. We crossed paths every couple of days or so on the front porch, and I generally nodded or said hi. She didn't speak much, but when she did I did detect a faint eastern-European sounding accent. She was polite and courteous, if a bit closed off, and being something of a loner myself I respected her privacy and didn't pry or ask questions. I rarely heard music or television from her place, considering the walls were pretty thin (sound insulation in this city seems to be primarily of the "stick a couple of pieces of drywall and call it a day" variety) and I decided to not be a dick back and listened to my music, movies and TV using headphones.
I'd been there about seven months, and it the weather was finally starting to turn into pleasant spring. The days were getting longer, the snow was melting, dog shit was thawing on the sidewalks and the birds were singing. I'd moved from night shift to day shift at work, so my sleep cycle was still adjusting and I'd find myself waking up at odd hours until my circadian rhythm settled down to something resembling human normal when I first heard the crying.
It was the easily recognisable hitching cries of a newborn. It started suddenly around 2 AM with a sharp wail that slowly rose in pitch and volume, cut off by the ragged drawing of a breath and the rough cough of a young throat and set of lungs unused to violent outbursts. I groaned to myself, knowing from experience that this could last for a while and trying to block it out of my mind. I couldn't quite do it, since the child seemed to be in the room right across the wall from mine. I resigned myself to a sleepless night, wondering when my neighbour got herself a child (I think I would have noticed pregnancy in that slight frame), and finally decided it was probably family and friends visiting her and staying the night. Finally, a little before five, the cries faded out and I managed to catch a couple more hours of sleep before I had to get up for work.
I was, needless to say, pretty groggy that morning. I grabbed a couple extra red bulls from my fridge to power me through the day and left for work. My neighbour was leaving her place at the same time, and I smiled at her and made a remark about the crying. I don't remember quite what I said, but it was something about family coming over with a baby. I'd had experience with that kind of thing, as my brother and his wife had four kids and they were often at my moms house for the holidays. When I worked nights, it was hell as I was surrounded by screaming and crying kids during the day when I desperately needed to sleep. I think I was trying to make a sympathetic joke to her, but her reaction managed to pierce through the fog over my brain and shock me half awake.
She looked at me alarmed, her eyes growing shockingly wide, and she grabbed the little crucifix she wore. She shook her head violently and rushed off without locking her door, leaving me standing on the porch with a pretty befuddled look on my face. Confused, I just shrugged and locked my door and trundled off to work, hoping I would be able to last the day without killing myself with heart-palpitations from the caffeine.
I somehow survived without fucking up too much at work, and decided to call it a day early and slip into bed. I even managed to sleep for a while, until 2 AM rolled around and I was jerked out of sleep by the same howling cries of a newborn from next door. I swore (possibly loudly enough for whoever was in the room next to mine to head) and tried to curl my pillow over my ears to block out the worst of it. It didn't work quite well, and I made a mental note to pick up some earplugs from the pharmacy the next day after work.
Like the night before, the crying finally petered around between four and five, and I dozed restlessly until it was time for my pre-work prep. I stumbled out the door and half-wondered if I would encounter her on the porch again. I didn't, and tried to concentrate on making it through another day on bad sleep. Anyone who's ever had any trouble sleeping would understand how hard this can be; your brain is in slow motion, it feels like your moving through thick syrup, and your emotions get frayed and snap very easily. I even remembered to pick up the earplugs that evening, and settled into bed early again.
They did help some when the crying started that night. It felt distant enough for me to integrate it into my dreams instead of just bolting awake as previous, but it didn't help in the long run. I was running through a hedge maze filled with children stuck in the brambles, all of them looking at me curiously as I was desperately trying to find the one crying. I don't quite remember the logic of the dream, but it was important that I did find the child, before all the other ones started to cry too, and if they cried it would draw the minotaur to me.
Dreams, man.
I floated out of sleep at some point, confused about where I was for a few moments until reality reasserted itself. I groaned and stumbled to the kitchen for a drink of water, wondering if I should pair the earplugs with my Mp3 player to drown out the sound entirely and actually get some sleep. While I was fiddling with my playlist, looking for something to listen too, I heard something else weaving itself into the sobbing of the baby.
It sounded like a grown person crying.
That morning I finally decided to do something about it, if only to quiet my curiosity. I called in sick to work, and was debating whether or not to knock on my neighbours door to confront her directly about what I was hearing. The debate mostly revolved around if it would be creepy to block her in her house and demand answers when I heard her leaving her apartment. In a rush, I put on my coat and boots and ran off to try and follow her. I still wasn't sure if I would buttonhole her somewhere on the street, so I settled to keeping sight of her as she walked to one of the major streets in the burrough, and then into a church. I paused for a couple of minutes, still debating with myself, then I finally just mentally said "fuck it" and followed her in.
The church was dimly lit, and almost entirely empty. The only person I saw was my neighbour, near one of the front pews, kneeling down facing the giant garish crucifix and praying. I stayed near the entrance, feeling uncomfortably voyeuristic and was about to just leave when I saw the priest exit the confessional booth and walk towards her. She didn't notice him until he was right next to her and touched her shoulder lightly. She recoiled violently and got to her feet, shaking her head. The priest said something and took another step towards her and she answered by spitting at him, turning around, and running from the church. I stared in confusion and shock as she ran past on the other side of the pews from me, and I could tell she was crying again. The priest watched her leave, his face grey.
Feeling even more like a voyeur, I turned and left myself. My neighbour wasn't in sight and I just headed home feeling... Strange. I even knocked on her door and rang the bell, half-hoping she wouldn't be there. She wasn't. I knew there was something going on, but I couldn't decide what it was. My stomach was tight and my throat was dry, no matter how much water I downed, and I turned on the TV to dry and keep my mind from dwelling on things.
It didn't help.
My thoughts keep turning over and over, wondering where the child came from, and who's child it was. I didn't think it was my neighbours, which had to mean it belonged to someone else. But I was also fairly sure that there was no one else living in her apartment, since I didn't hear anyone but her during the day, or night, except for the child. So, if it wasn't hers, and no one else was there, then she was babysitting... But if she was babysitting, why haven't I heard anything while I was there during the day? And why would she leave without the child, leaving what sounded like a newborn all alone without supervision? And, if she was just babysitting, why did she look so horrified when I asked about it that first day? What was up with that confrontation in the church? As far as I saw and knew, my neighbour was a Catholic, and they don't generally spit on priests without a reason... right?
Round and round it went, going from nothing to nowhere in a hurry.
I must have dozed off on the chair at some point, because I woke up with a start and realised it was past midnight, and the baby was crying again, accompanied by the adults sobbing again. I swallowed, my throat feeling dry and swollen again, and I could feel the creeping bile and shriveling testicles of fear start to grip me. I got out of my chair, trying to make up my mind about knocking at her door, when the pitch of the grown-up sobbing changed to out and out screaming.
I couldn't quite make out the words, since they weren't in english or french. The tone, however, was unmistakable. It was full of fear, and pain... and grief. The child stopped crying, but the adult continued to scream, her voice turning ragged and torn. There was something in it, something that terrified me more than the sobbing...
I rushed to my front door and threw on my boots, then raced to my neighbours door. I pounded on it, yelling, and repeatedly rang her bell. There was no answer except her continued yelling, which was starting to fade. My terror suddenly increased, and I had a lead ball in the pit of my stomach. I pounded on the door harder, still yelling at her to let me in, asking what was going on. I even started to hit it with my shoulder, but the solid oak barely budged. The noise inside has subsided to weak mewlings and soft crying from my neighbour.
I banged on the door some more, only succeeding in hurting myself, when I remembered that my back door was a lot thinner and weaker than the front. Realising that hers would be the same, I rushed through my apartment, threw my back door open, and kicked at my neighbours back door. I could hear the frame begin to split, so I kicked it a few more times until it finally ripped free and swung open. I ran in, dread mounting.
I found her in the bedroom, collapsed on the floor. Her forearms were split open from wrist to elbow and there was blood everywhere. Shocked, I got down next to her and supported her, checking for a pulse. It was weak, but present. Shivering, I slapped her cheeks lightly, trying to bring her back to consciousness and looking around for something to wrap her arms with.
She looked up at me, her face pale and her eyes half-closed over the dark pockets. She smiled wanely and whispered something. I could barely make it out, so I leaned in closer.
"He won't bother you again," she whispered again, then went still. I could feel her body just... drop, and become dead weight in my arms. I choked, and checked for her pulse again.
It was gone.
I didn't realise I had started to cry, and I slowly layed her out on the floor. My pants and shirt were soaked with blood, and the puddle under her was growing slowly. I wish it had run faster, because then I wouldn't have noticed what was near the door. It looked almost like a pair of tiny footprints, tracked in blood, turning to head out of the room.
I managed to call the police and paramedics, and they got on the scene about ten minutes later. I was waiting for them on the front porch, head in my hands. They took my account, and I told them about hearing her sob at night for the past few days, and how I heard what seemed to be a loud breakdown that evening. I never mentioned the baby crying, or the footprints. They'd been covered by the flood of blood by the time they got there anyway.
I moved out of my place a few weeks later. Not because of anything more happening, my neighbour was right about that. I just didn't feel like I could stay there... There were days when I walked up the front steps and got flashbacks of that night. Of sitting on that porch, covered in tacky drying blood, the coppery smell of it coating my nose and throat, my ears ringing with the echos of my neighbours final screams... and her low, apologetic whisper. I told my landlord, and he let be break my lease without penalties. Like I said, he was a pretty good guy.
I still get full body shivers when I hear a baby crying in public, but that's about the extend of my trauma. I still remember, and though I'm not religious I do have family and friends who are. So whenever I accompany them to a church for something, I always light two candles.
Because I still remember.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

addendum to previous post

I brainfarted and entirely forgot about something.

There is a dream sequence in the novel, where Lyssa is remembering a party her uncle had when she was leaving home. It turns into a nightmare that ties into the events happening in the plot, but is otherwise not that important except to explore a bit more of Lyssa's mental state at the time.

Her uncle has two people working for him, one a man the other a woman. I described them wearing their fineries for this party, and the guy was wearing a fancy baldrick and a sword while the woman had her finest jewels out of the occasion. It seemed fitting, after all. Women were jewels all the time!

But then, thinking about it, I realised that it wasn't what I was going for. The man had a sword, which implied he was a warrior and a strong person, able to defend himself and fight, and the woman was on display with shinies, which implied she couldn't. As I was writing it, I didn't think twice. It was just... a thing. Only in retrospect did I see what I was unconciously doing in the subtext (and actual text).

An hour or so later, after re-reading and digesting, I went back and re-wrote it, adding jewels to the mans baldrick and sword, and changing the womans jewels for a fine set of daggers. A small change, some may say, but I think it was important. Even just a few years ago, I wouldn't even have considered that what I did was problematic. This, if nothing else, shows me how I've changed in my views of how women are represented and how the world treats them, and I took a concious choice to change that and give her the same kind of place and unspoken agency of strength and ability as I did the male character. It is, verily, little things like this which are important, I feel.

If I wanted to be a smart-ass, I'dve have shifted the sword to the woman and the jewels to the man but that's not really what I wanted to do. I wanted to show that, even in minor roles of little to no importance, a womans abilities are the same as a mans. It may be clumsy and silly, but I thought it important enough to include.

Women in fantasy

I am, on occasion, plunking away at a fantasy novel. The main character (who was originally one of three, but I've since edited my notes) is a woman. I didn't really go "I WILL MAKE A FEMALE CHARACTER THE FOCUS BECAUSE FEMINISM", but just organically decided "I'd like to try writing a female character in a fantasy setting". A lot of it is because I've explored a lot of fantasy, in roleplay and novel form, but never really saw many women at all.

A part of me did go "shit am I going to be put on the rack for trying to push this as if it was an agenda" (which, considering that male fantasy fans seem to get spontaneous orgasms whenever they engage in sexist behaviour against female authors and characters, is not really what you'd call a slim chance), then decided "fuck it, it doesn't matter. This character is forming in my mind, her adventures are growing, and I want to write this. Not because she's a woman, but because she is the main character in the story I want to write. And if anyone decides to bitch me out about it, I will devour their faces".

As a (self identified and generally cis) male, I don't have that big of an idea of what a woman goes through in life, or how their thoughts go. Thankfully, as a generally smart person who is a strong feminist, I tend to imagine that women are basically the same as men in most ways (some physiological differences aside). And, since it's a fantasy world I've made up, I can neatly avoid a lot of the social constructs that generally plague women in our world (and in many fantasy universes that are based off of reality, like G.R.R. Martins A Song of Ice and Fire, which keeps a lot of the European christian based sexism while in a polytheistic world).

There is still a lot of things I have to struggle with when trying to write her (Lyssa is her name, so I'll just use that whenever I need to refer to her). I distinctly remember one specific point, near the beginning of the story, where Lyssa was faced with escapping from a group of thugs sent after her for nefarious purposes. My original concept was to have the underlying threat of rape happening at one point, where she was cornered and near caught. At the time, it felt appropriate, cause after all these are thugs right? and that's what they do with women they're cornering, right?

Then I paused and considered the thought process that brought me to this idea. In a society where there isn't a clear Patriarchal world order following a regressive and mysogynistic form of religion and order, *would* rape be used like this? I honestly don't know. Our culture has been run from that point of view for so long, and any other social structure has been destroyed, dismantled, erased and stricken from history so that there isn't much at all to go on.

In a world with actual, functioning and intersceding Gods, of which half are female or ambiguous gender, would our understanding of sexual violence exist? In a world that was, originally, based off of a D&D campaign I wanted to run where either (and all, though I've rarely seen, run or played in a game with somebody playing a *trans or other gender) can be exactly as capable and society aknowledges it, would the male domination of power still be the same, and engender the same sort of perils for women?

The short answer is "probably not". The long answer is... Complicated. At the end of the day, I just took that entire idea out of the story because I didn't think it was relevant, it would add in a horrible little bit of possibly triggering text for people just wanting to read a silly little escapist fantasy story, and honestly the scope of the story (and my skills as a storyteller) just aren't up to addressing those kinds of questions. And, instead of trying to address it and doing it poorly and just making a mess, and fucking up the *actual* themes I want to address, I'm just going to not go into it. It's easier for me, easier for anyone who would want to read it, and just honestly better off in general.

There was another aspect that I changed heavily, as well. Originally, Lyssa had a love interest. He was a poor, simple son of an apothecary. Simple, kind, caring, etc etc etc and just about every generic "nice guy" attribute my fifteen year old (at the time I was drafting) self could put into a character. She was to fall in love with him, and have him dramatically taken away and break her heart and fuel her anger and magic to almost kill her while she took revenge for his death.

I have since grown up and calmly decided that this idea was stupid. It was fueled by basically every regressive and fairly sexist stereotype I had growing up, and was a bit of a gender-swap wish fulfillment fantasy. I got rid of the idea so entirely that Lyssa, in fact, has no love interest at *all* in the book!

As of right now, the only actual people *with* a love interest are those with whom that love interest is a part of the setting and plot of the work. Outside of them, everyone else is too fucking busy being big damn fantasy adventurers to bother with finding twue wuv. And, I honestly think it'll work out better this way.

I'm still a bit worried at times, though. Then I pause and consider the state of women in the world, and in fiction, and I tell myself "fuck it". It may be seen as me pushing an agenda, it may be seen as me being some sort of gelded-feminist-lapdog, but I'm going to do it anyway. Because, in the end, the fact that this kind of thing is so rare, and gives me such pause, is fucking attrocious. And if my one silly little book can help to make the world of fantasy fiction (or fiction in general) characters slightly less male-dominated, then it's a win.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

ugh illness

I was supposed to go to work last night, but I got a sudden attack of Gastro so that didn't happen.

The ironic thing is that I wanted to call in sick anyway to spend the night drinking and watching silly movies. But, thanks to gastro, I called in sick for real and just read Cracked articles all day.

I've been fairly busy with work and trying to not collapse into a puddle of horrible emotional depression, but I've had a couple things keep me up and not dying.

Sleepy Hollow is a surprisingly amazing little show on FOX that I hope keeps going for a while. The writing is amazingly smart and fun, and while maintaining a solid grasp of the internal logic of the world it still manages to have a sense of humour about it all. Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie are both wonderful in the lead roles (and Nicole is now my TV crush because goddamn <3 she be hot and smart and just unf tashi want). In fact, the amount of black actors in major roles in this show is great in general, and I'd love to see more of this kind of casting.

Agents of SHIELD is less fun and amazing, but still worth the hour or so a week I spent on it. I keep hoping they'll expand the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe world a bit more, but they haven't really done much to play with it yet. Hopefully, with the big names behind it, it will have more time than a Whedon show usually has these days and can spread its wings and find the proper balance of everything, and match the potential of the conceit.

Top Chef is still an amazing guilty pleasure of mine and I will never regret squeeing about it and getting emotionally involved in all of the drama and backstabbing and cooking and also Padma is my other TV crush.

man its starting to look like I have non-white-woman-fever.

The Olympics are on again, but I'm not really watching. With the whole clusterfuck of Russia and their bigot laws happening, I don't really feel comfortable joining into the whole paen of celebration and shit. The only real exception I'll make is for the Womens Hockey, once the round robin is over. Not Mens, since if I wanted to watch NHL players doing NHL hockey I'd watch the fucking NHL.

Frozen is Spectacular and everyone should see it. If Disney can continue like this (after Tangled, Wreck-it Ralph and Frozen), they're going to take the crown of Animation Superiority from Pixar.

I haven't finished a single game I was talking about playing last time. That's how it goes with me these days, I lose focus super quick on stuff. Bleh.

The meds are working, but still not 100% on the emotional front. Still missing a few things, and can't find them.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

holy shit an update

I've been lazy and tired recently. At least I don't have many fans to dissapoint?

Today, I just had a conversation about "political correctness" with someone and it veered into them basically claiming that the social justice concept of calling out bad behaviour is bad, and we should not do it. They claimed that this kind of thing will just "sweep the problem under the rug and make it harder to fix", while basically ignoring the idea that biggoted speech and behaviour helps to maintain the status-quo of social injustice and disadvantage. They even further went on to say that the Social Justice concept of calling out this speech and behaviour is censorship, and censorship is *always* wrong no matter what so we shouldn't do it. There are a lot of problems with this.

For one thing, censorship.

What is censorship? At the most basic, censorship is when an organisation or group in a position of power mandates the elimination of a particular idea or speech from media and society that it finds distasteful for some reason.

What censorship is *not* is the population in general going "this is distasteful" and speaking out against it, refusing to purchase things containing this idea, or otherwise activisting (it is TOO a word) for the elimination of this behaviour or speech in general.

When a group of bloggers or summat go "stop making rape appologising comments you assholes" they're not censoring speech. They literally *cannot* censor speech as they are not in the position of power to do so, and are GENERALLY speaking for a group that is in a disadvantaged position.

The other problems are a bit more complicated, but they basically boil down to giving the people with biggoted behaviour and speech more care than the people affected by their behaviour and speech. It is, quite literally, saying "how can you be so mean to those poor racists. They don't deserve it :("

I don't think I actually need to explain why that's problematic.

do i?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

On the Holidays

i be tired yo

I am recovering from some kind of... plague. I don't know what about, I think me and eggs are no longer best friends for a while.

The holidays are night over, all that's left is buying up the cheap crap they're putting on sale right now. Working in a particular bit of retail shipping, I've seen some glitzy and gaudy christmas crap over the past couple of months. And I've seen it all working night shift. Goddamn but does changing your sleep cycle mess with you.

I've also been watching some TV and movies (mostly TV). I was *very* pleased with the Doctor Who fiftieth special (omg squee), but less so with the Christmas one( >:( ). Agents of Shield finished its first run, and I'm waiting for some more. Sleepy Hollow was *very* fun and I want it back now damnit. Hannibal, Game of Thrones, Sherlock and... Something? are coming very soon oh yes.

I am also pleased as punch Game of Thrones always releases when I have six feet of snow outside.

I actually have *things in the pipe* (I know, I'm frightened). They're longer and more involved than I expected, so I'll probably break them into smaller parts (man, some of them are already smaller parts D:) One is on vidya games, namely the Ultima series. I got a ways into it then got bogged down in the sheer volume of things I wanted to address, I kind of lost my point.

The other is Movie Time with Tashi, wherein I watch movies and then either bitch about them, or say they were good. First up is Man of Steel and good godfuck is it something I want to bitch about. That fucking movie. Don't pay for the rental. (Wreck it Ralph was pretty damn charming and good, see it).

Gaming wise, I'm... No longer playing Ultima (which is why I wanted to write about Ultima) and am now... Minecrafting again. It passes time and I'm making a great castle and mine (as in large, impressive, awefull (full of aw(why do i love doing this so much))) for my nephew to fuck around in at some point.

Also Fallout: Tactics. Why? I don't know. I made myself a Charisma 10 super diplomat to barter and scrounge and hire amazing bodyguards to do all my fighting (except I still unload two shotgun barrels into raiders from like ten feet away and, to quote the game, "gut(ted) alive" people left right and center. Goddamn I love doing that in fallout (hi nsa).

so, the tashi is alive, just adjusting to being awake when every right minded person in the city is sleeping. The holidays did not help with sleeping, what with four screaming children in the house (not mine. but ye gods)

Monday, November 4, 2013

On past bad experiences (part 1 of possibly more)

I haven't had a lot of experience in D/s or BDSM (or love in general), but one of my first experiences was just... Fucking terrible. It set a metric for what I do not want in a relationship, and set up a lot of red-flags for me that, hopefully, will make it easier for me to steer clear of this kind of clusterfuck in the future.

First of all, this happened online. For all of those who don't believe that online things can have real emotional weight, and damage, attributed to them I will say a hearty "fuck off and die in a fire". In all seriousness.

The Domme in question was called Jess, and, at the beginning, it felt like a good match. We seemed compatible on several kinks, and the interactions I had with her seemed to be going good. One evening, in fact, she randomly gave me a small task which struck right at the heart and made me feel deliciously submissive and sexy, and I loved it. I wanted more from her.

This also hit at a kind of bad time for me, where I was feeling hellaciously down, depressed, and lonely. I was out of a job, money was tight, and I felt like I was never going to find anything good in my life. The evening where Jess and I made a thing of it was in the middle of a terrible patch, where I was (in fact) crying for being so lonely and watching others be together on the chat we were on. So, not the best of starts admittedly.

Jess had two other "subs" from the same place, Donna and Jade. After a week or so, it began to feel to me as if she gave more attention to those two than to me. For one, she was more openly affectionate with them in public chat, and she gave them more tasks in general than to me. In fact, unless I specifically brought it up and pressed for it, I wouldn't get a damn thing from her.

About a month into it, I decided to confront Jess about it. I said it, and got in return a bunch of vapid plattitudes about "oh no that's not what's happening at all" and so on. I felt temporarily mollified.

Over the next while, I started to feel worse and worse. I would never get any attention I didn't specifically press for, or begin. I started noticing more and more that Jess wouldn't mention me or talk directly to me in open without me poking her about it. In fact, several times she was mentioning fantasies or dreams she had involving all her wonderful subs, but only mentioned Donna and Jade by name.

I began to wonder if I was just being needy, and jealous. I started to doubt myself, and to feel just horrid. "Am I being a bad sub? People keep telling me I'm making too much of it, maybe they're right?"

This went on for two more months. I finally put my foot down (after I'd spent about a month basically ignoring her, and not restricting my orgasms/touching (it was an orgasm denial type relationship)) and asked her about it directly. She finally admitted I was right.

In fact, she said I had been right about it from the first week of our relationship on. She, in her literal words, "just didn't feel the spark anymore". The bottom fell out of my stomach. I had spent three months doubting myself, my emotions and my character for nothing. When I asked why she didn't say anything, she said "I thought we could get that spark back".

I then went from being sad to being angry. Very fucking angry. To this day I am still pissed at her and how she treated me. For one thing, though she claimed to want to rekindle that spark, she quite literally and honestly took no action to make it happen. Everything we did while "together" was prompted by and decided by me, ultimately, the sub in the relationship. She had the "veto", but it hardly mattered when I was the one pushing our activities through.

She ignored me unless I was pestering her about things. And yet she wanted to rekindle the spark. To this day, I am still convinced that she thought I was too much work and therefore lost interest.

how was I too much work? Because it took more than a couple of pictures of her favourite latex model to make me weak in the knees. Because it was more effort than a couple of quick mentions of something sexy to get me to moan and writhe. She wanted something easy to make herself feel good, not a relationship or a sub that took work, effort and time to engage with. That would cut into the time she was gaming, after all.

The situation killed my sex drive for months, and made me an emotional wreck for a bit longer. It was one of the things that made me go for my first actual consult to figure out what was wrong with my brain and emotions (a low grade depression by all accounts), so that helped. And it sent up my flags so now I know what to look for and won't be distracted by assurances to the contrary.

But it still hurt, at the time and a bit now. The bitterness won't leave for a while yet, I think, and the anger is going to stay for even longer. Both because it honestly didn't seem to affect her at all. The moment we had our final conversation, she resumed her openly flirty and playful ways out in the open, me a broken and forgotten wreck of a person in her wake. I don't think it ever registered to her exactly what she did, or even if it can. She was done, the spark was gone, and Mass Effect 3 had come out.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

On Crossdressing and Feminization (part 2 of ?)

I read a recent blog post on male submission, and it made me think about some of my kinks again. Specifically, this one talks about the repeated tropes in FemDom/MaleSub that you find online. You can find Part 1 of my own personal series here.

On the topic of sissy/sissyfication; there was a time when my online handle involved the word "Sissy" in front of the Tashi. It felt like the "proper" thing to have there, considering who and what Tashi represented for me. As time went on, and I started to think it through for myself and grow in my personal exploration and grasping of my kinked nature, the label became less and less appealing to me. For one thing, appending the label to myself made it so that's *all* that people saw and reacted to, which ended a few opportunities before they could even begin. For another, the term itself was just... Distastful to me after a while. I can't pin exactly what it is about it that I found drew me off, but it just didn't feel like it captured what I wanted to feel, and express, with myself and my sexuality.

A lot of that probably has to do with how sissy/feminization is presented in general. It is difficult to find examples in story, or pictures, or video, where it is found to be something sexy. It's generally something treated with disdain, or disgust, or outright pity from the Domme. When those are the emotions being triggered, it doesn't feel sexy at all. It feels like what I enjoy, and what makes me feel sexy and desirable, is wrong and shameful.

There is also the intensely sexist attitudes prevelent in all of the media involved in it. I honestly cannot count how many times I've seen or read the retread of the following;
"I am the woman, I make all the rules because I'm better than you. So, as the powerful woman, I find you pathetic and sad therefore you will be a woman because you can't be a man. And now, I will go feel like a real woman by submitting and being fucked by a powerful man with a big cock. And you will also do it, but it's wrong and shameful for you."

The fact that the big strong powerful man often tends to be black (with a stereotypical "black name") adds an extra layer of racism on top of the problem. Tasteful!

So I'm left looking for something that is never (or, rather, *very* rarely) represented in the sexy media I consume to get off (yes I jack off get over it), which makes it hard for me to get in a good mindspace for it a lot of the time. Further, it gets hard to find someone to explore and do this kind of thing with outside of porn, since their expectations and reactions often seem to be modeled after the same kinds of media and "helpful" sites. It is frustrating on every level.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

so very tired (and various updates in the life of a tashi)

I just started working this week, which is a good thing. otherwise, I'd still be broke and looking for work. It's at Target, which is newly opened in the province of Quebec, and I'm working the nightshift unloading/stocking position.

The hardest part of the job, up to now, was getting my sleep schedule figured out. On Monday (the 21st) was orientation, then I got my schedule to begin working Wednesday. At 9:30 PM, until 5 AM. So getting my sleep schedule flipped around has goal 1, and I think I'm almost there right now.

The work itself is physical and hard, but not too terrible. The atmosphere is fairly relaxed, co-workers aren't generally fuckbats and are fairly nice, there's a fair bit of banter going on during the work shift so it passes by fairly quick. All in all, not terrible. Could do worse with myself (Like going back to being a phone-salesman for a credit-card processing broker. ugh)

On the other fronts, I've been mostly quiet. The Vampire LARP I run has been going good, and shit finally came to a climax last game. Now it'll be a couple of quiet games while everyone tries to bring the pieces back together in some form of order until we knock it down all over again.

I've purchased a bunch of old RPGs, like the Ultima series, which I need to button down and actually play. I've been waffling about wondering about it, but it's not bad and I wanna get the shit done already. Also an old, but interesting, looking RPG called Darklands. It looks very immersive and amazing, but not as user-friendly as Ultima was, so it's on the list for a bit later.

Movie/TV wise, I've been watching a couple of the newer geek shows like Agents of SHIELD (which is alright, but should start getting better soon if the last couple episodes are a measure) and Sleepy Hollow (A whole lot of silly, fun, kind of creepy and overall cheesy supernatural amazingness with great writing and good characters).

This blog has been the most writing I've done in the past couple of months, which considering the huge amount of dry-spell I've had in the past few weeks makes me feel kind of terrible. I'm not entirely happy with my last post, either, as I feel it kind of meandered off at the end of it and lost the point I was going for. That happens to me a lot, as I don't really plan where I'm taking a post, I just go "I HAVE A TOPIC WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" and get to typing. The few times I've tried organising a proper outline of shit has had those posts stuck as drafts for months now (I had a big one about Ultima, game design, and open-world feel in RPGs I was really excited about but couldn't get through properly ;_; one day)

Nothing really new on the kink or sex scene for me, I've been too broke/isolated still to really do much. Though I did get a linkback from Miss Pearl recently so that's nice (I hope a couple people stuck around. Hi to people who did!)

Friday, October 18, 2013

On being creepy

Miss Pearl (a very good friend of mine) just posted something about an online dating horror story she had.
Granted, "Horror story" is a bit of a strong word here, but it's what she used and I am nothing if not open to being told what to call things.

This is of interest to me for a couple of reasons, the biggest one being I personally know everyone who was involved in the whole thing. Eyeballs, as she calls the gent, is someone I consider to be generally unpleasant to be around as a guy who is into the same things he's into, and I've seen evidence of him being... Well, lets generously call it "socially awkward" (and not generously call it fuckin' creephatish) around the female of my geek (and non-geek) species.

To quote;

"Eyeballs has an actual name, but was made most distinct by the fact that he was trying to bore a hole through me with the aforementioned gaze capacity all night. I did not particularly find him attractive, through no fault of his other than the staring and lack of talking. Wistful leering is not my thing."

This, in general, is how he did things. He doesn't talk much, he just stares and leers. Now, I can understand why he did this. Pearl is a rather attrative woman, and has a pretty striking personality even when she's not flailing around on a dance floor. Heck, she is a person who has packaged her boobs up to be more visible and attractive as a plot for the Vampire LARP she plays in (and I run). While she does have limits for things, she is often comfortable enough in her own skin to, at the very least, not mind being eye-candy.

So what did Eyeballs do wrong? Well, for one thing, the *only* thing he did was leer. He never did walk up to Pearl and actually try to open up a conversation. Considering who it was, it may very well not have changed anything, but it certainly would not have hurt. It would have demonstrated, at the least, that he considered Pearl a person to be talked with, and not just an object to lust after from a distance.

Speaking from experience, I can understand being shy and uncertain, and having low self-esteme. I've myself longingly looked at attractive women and not quite had the courage to step up and talk to them. Luckily, I got better at it. However, I also never just... Laser-leered at them constantly.

How can you avoid being like Eyeballs?

It's pretty simple. I'm not even asking you to stop staring at sexy women! (though there is obviously a line you shouldn't cross when you do). It all comes down to attitudes. If you stare at a woman like an object, it comes through in how you do it. Women are, as a rule, fairly keyed to this kind of thing. They unfortunately have to be, considering SCHRÖDINGER’S RAPIST (you should all read that if you never have), and giving that kind of leering stare tends to be an alarm bell.

The next step is obviously just going to talk to them. Even if you're awkward and nerdy and bumbling. Just say something like "Hi, I think you're pretty and I was wondering if you would like to talk a bit". Or, in Eyeballs case, "Hey, I think you're pretty, how'd you meet [mutual friends A and B]".

i lost where i was going with this goddamnit

but, in short; staring, leering and not approaching for even a polite "hello" is generally a good bet for being labeled as a creeper. So, like, don't do it.