Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

For most people in western societies and in many other cultures around the world, a successful relationship is one that lasts “forever”.

But this is an inadequate definition for many reasons.

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Rough Take: Self-Sabotage

Posted: September 17, 2019 by Isaac Cross in Advice, Learn Something, Rough Take

I host/facilitate/staff a lot of social events within sex-positive communities. As a result, I overhear a LOT of flirtatious conversations.

There is this heartbreaking thing that I see happen CONSTANTLY where I’m listening in on a conversation and this dude is about to get laid in a life-changing way. I know her, she’s gonna turn your world upside down, my dude. Just DONT FUCK IT UP.

And then the guy says something gross about trans people or says he would only be in a threesome with two girls, or whatever. Something completely unnecessary to say that shows he isn’t ready for the good good. And maybe never will be.

And she hears it and her whole demeanor changes. He doesn’t notice, he still thinks he’s in, cuz she was flirting a second ago, but he didn’t notice that he just cock-blocked himself by saying some ignorant, closed-minded bullshit.

Now she’s looking for the posted exits from this conversation but he’s just plowing on like the black knight refusing to acknowledge the mortal wound his chances with her has just suffered.

The guy probably isn’t a bad person. But he hasn’t realized he’s in a room where you need better than a penis and high school level charm to get anywhere. He hasn’t realized that there’s homework he hasn’t done. These hot alt folks are a master class in human sexuality and he’s not even up to date on the remedials, let alone the full list of prerequisites. But she might have waved those requirements if he had just not said some stupid shit that didn’t need to be said. For one night of fun, she might have been willing to not look too close at him, but then he felt the need to shove his asshole in her face like a cat so she can’t possibly ignore it.

And I just cry inside. Because he doesn’t know what just happened and probably never will.

I’ll pour one out for you later, man. After I subtly suggest you attend one of my classes.

Own You Existence (Rough Take)

Posted: February 24, 2019 by Isaac Cross in Advice, Learn Something, Rough Take

This “Rough Take” post has been published without review, editing, or revision. Rough Take posts are designed to communicate thoughts and ideas that haven’t been fully developed in order to spark discussion and responses which may fuel later, more refined articles. 


How do we change our partners when they don’t want to change? How do we get what we want from them when they aren’t willing to give it? The quick answer is, you can’t. (more…)

(The following is the keynote address delivered at the Leather Fiesta conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico on November 11, 2018)
© Isaac Cross XCBDSM@GMAIL.COM

Here’s a challenge: I want you to believe what I am about to tell you. Not just hear it, not just understand it, but believe it. It’s a fact that you already know to be true, but have never been able to fully accept, and it’s this: you are going to die. You, the person listening to me right now, are going to die.

It’s difficult even to imagine, isn’t it? Take a moment and try to picture what it’s like to not exist. You can’t do it. You’re Imagining darkness, black. But there will be no black. There will be no color because there will be no you to perceive it. And your mind recoils from that idea. It’s basically unable to conceive of its own nonexistence. So, it concludes that it is impossible, that you’ll live forever. But you won’t. All things end. All motion slows. All heat becomes cold. Life is an eddy in that current of entropy. A brief chemical reaction that lights up the darkness and then, it’s fuel spent, dissipates back to nothing. Just like you will.

Your body is a marvelous and intricate machine, built out of millions of interconnected, fragile systems. And as you age, each begins to slowly but surely deteriorate and break down. When one fails, a doctor may be able to repair it, but at some point, there will be too many interlocking failures to proceed. And like a cascade of dominoes, your joints, your eyes, your heart, your lungs, your memory, your entire body will fail. It will happen. And while it is difficult to hear this truth, it is essential that you accept it. Because every second that goes by in which you don’t is a second of your precious and finite life that you risk wasting.

So I’m Going to say this one more time, and this time, try as hard as you can to believe me. You, yes you, will die, and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

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Ethical Kink

Posted: September 25, 2018 by Isaac Cross in Advice, Learn Something, Philosophy
Consent is absolutely mandatory, but what you do is not automatically OK just because you have consent. 
 
I do not have the right to tell you not to do something I view as irresponsible, but I do have the right to choose not to be involved with it. and in fact, I believe I have a responsibility and an obligation to decline participation in a scene that I think will cause harm, even to those who have consented to it. 
 
Those who see me doing crazy things or listen to my stories may be surprised to learn that I turn down invitations to scenes more often than I accept them. Often it is because I don’t have time or energy to spare, or because I simply don’t think the scene is a good fit for me. But often enough, it is because the scene being proposed is one that I believe has unacceptable risk and because the individual(s) involved (most commonly the bottom in the proposed scene) is unwilling to compromise to make the scene less risky.
 
The late David Stein is the one who convinced me to adopt this value. Talking with him and reading his writings caused me to entirely overhaul my presentation on BDSM ethics, as well as my personal approach, under the central guiding principle of “First, do no harm to oneself or others.” Before I encountered this idea (about four years ago), I must admit that I was guilty of participating in both scenes and relationship dynamics that did not meet this definition of ethical. I cannot change this. But I can work to do and be better and to advocate for others to do so, as well.

I encourage you to read Stein’s article titled, “How to Do the Right Kinky Thing- Ethical Principles for BDSM

 
It changed me. And I hope that it might guide you, as well. 

(The following is the keynote address delivered at the Beyond Leather convention in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on April 28, 2018)
© Isaac Cross XCBDSM@GMAIL.COM

Egbert van der Poel - Fire in a Village

Egbert van der Poel – Fire in a Village

There is an African proverb that says if a child is not embraced by the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth.

When I attended my first play party at age 21, an older gentleman remarked to me that young people like myself were ruining the kink community, a sentiment I’ve heard echoed more times than I can count within my own story and that of nearly every young kinkster I know.

Many of us young people are feeling a bit cold and we can’t help but notice how flammable the village looks these days. (more…)

I was teaching a kink 101 class on Saturday and I emphasized that:

  • Power/Authority Exchange,
  • Kink / SM / Fetish Play, and
  • Sex

Are all different things and two (or more) people can enjoy one without either of the other two if that’s what works for them.

As always, it surprised some people that I would say that. And I’ve seen some people around the internet assert otherwise, so I thought I would post this here, along with the following incomplete list of clarifying statements:

– Even if YOU wouldn’t enjoy one without another, the fact is that many people do. So please stop telling people they can’t.

– Non-sexual kink is a thing and is awesome. Lots of people like it

– Many people can and do have fulfilling power exchange relationships that don’t involve kink play or sex.

– You can be a submissive without being a masochist.

– You can be a dominant without being a sadist.

– You can be a submissive and still not give consent for sex with your dominant.

– It’s ok to bottom without submitting.

– It’s ok to bottom while dominating.

– People who prefer non-kinky sex and egalitarian relationships are not less enlightened or boring. They just like a different flavor of ice cream than you do.

– You do fucking you. Find what makes you happy and someone willing to do it with you. Fuck everyone else’s conception of what things are “supposed” to be like.

– You should NEVER be expected to participate in other people’s power protocols until or unless YOU agree to.

We are all rebels against mainstream ideas of what we are supposed to be and explorers of the full breadth of the human condition. So stop trying to make others conform to your idea of what is an acceptable style of kink/relationship/dynamic.

By all means, debate what is ethical or not. Share your views on what you see as too coercive or deceptive to be considered consensual. We NEED to keep having those talks.

We NEED to keep talking about how best to achieve fulfilling relationships and sharing tools and ideas.

But we DON’T need people telling new folks that they have to submit to a dominant in order to find the fulfilling kink play or rough sex that they seek.

We DON’T need people telling new folks that they are a “real” dom or sub unless they like (or are at least willing) to do particular activities.

We DON’T need people re-enforcing the idea that there is nothing more to kink than deviant sex.

Kink is far more “normal” than people know. But it is still considered fringe because we are spending all of our time an energy keeping our community artificially small by excluding people who don’t meet our definition of “kinky enough” or they don’t kink “the right way”.

Please try to meet people where they are. Educate with compassion and remember that everyone is not necessarily looking for the same things as you, so the way you do things may not be right for them.