The other day I had a lively discussion about verbal and written agreements and how they relate to play, whether you are in a public space or a private home. A friend approached me about playing after seeing 50 Shades of Grey and wondered how realistic contracts were. I have been fortunate that in my longevity in the BDSM community, I have negotiated verbal and written contracts. But unlike 50 Shades of Grey, my first contract with my Sir was only 4 pages long. When I began to explore play more frequently, I learned a lot about myself from both the top and bottom perspectives when it comes to scening.
I recently came out of a monogamous situation yet again due to compromising too much of myself in order to meet my partner’s needs and her unable to meet all of mine which has me re-considering poly. Poly-amorous arrangements can work as long as all parties communicate effectively in an honest and open manner. It can however be difficult when emotions run high or if one person wants more than the others involved. This can sometimes create conflict within the entire poly-arrangement, but despite the risks, it has been my experience that these relationships, because they are ongoing and intimate, fulfill multiple desires and/or wants much better than most conventional one-on-one situations because we are programmed to believe that one person should meet all our needs, but how realistic is that? So, what exactly does poly-amorous mean?
I think Shakespeare was correct when he penned, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” The popular verse was written about 1590s-1600s and still seems as accurate today as it was back then. I can certainly relate to this perspective as a leather gay woman who happens to be a switch and being a part of a culture that tends to put people in a box or force individuals into neat little roles, at least that’s been my experience. Identifying as a switch can be a double edge sword, full of variety but with certain limitations. Some might say the only people who understand switches are other switches. However, what people may not realize is that it’s not a choice necessarily to be a switch, it just is.
With November being Trans-Awareness month, I thought it might be apropos to write about this topic. I’ve had a few people ask me about the piece that got published in Minerva Rising about loving beyond gender. It was an excerpt from my memoir “Scenes from a Not-So-Ordinary Life” that I am still working on finishing. Some of my readers have shared their thoughts about this and inquired about my own experience some 16 or so years ago when I was in a relationship with a woman who had transitioned to male. It was a confusing time for me which I’m sure those of you who may be going through this now with your partner who is trans can relate to. It was the second of the five years we were together that I watched him administer injections of testosterone weekly to assist in his transition.
I recently went to GLLA’s (Great Lakes Leather Alliance) 15th Anniversary in Indianapolis. It’s one of those great events where you can reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in a while, go to the contest, workshops and enjoy the diverse play spaces offered depending on your interests. I’ve attended at least half of their 15-year event history and I keep coming back no matter where I am in my life or in my leather journey which has undergone much change through my 18 plus years. As many of my readers and extended families in and outside the community will attest, it continues to be a struggle balancing the many wondrous interests I have and the stamina it takes to keep it all together, as well as the motivation to remain in service to the community especially when you are no spring chicken. Seems I’m not the only one that has experienced this minor disconnect as I discovered that weekend.
WCB Music Writer Megan Purazrang There are times in music when an electronic-based sound is nothing more than a misfit, and lacks decent substance other than noise. However this is not the case for The Way Back, an electronic rock band consisting of Alex Ellis and Jeff Kinney (former member of Roanoke and The Brisbanes) as well as Daniel Cole and Paul Herman. The band’s EP is only a taste of the potential the full-length album will most likely hold when they begin 2013 in the studio. The electronic rock band consisting of Alex Ellis and Jeff Kinney (former member of Roanoke and The Brisbanes) as well as Daniel Cole and Paul Herman blends several genres giving an authentically created feel including: hip hop, pop, rock and even hints of experimental instrumental rhythms.“Messages Get Lost” carries a pop-rock pulse with detailed percussion guiding the lyrics through. “Out of Control” takes a more laid back ballad feel, bringing to mind a more mellow boy-band less straining version of that seen in the unique vocal techniques of Linkin’ Park lead singer Chester Bennington. In the song “How It Has To Be” the band shines with the perfect batch of electronic beats and smooth vocals that vibrate with an R&B/hip hop style that has the potential to be a hit.
April Barkley WCB Movie Writer Director- Henry Joost and Ariel SchulmanStudio- Room 101Starring- Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton,Brady AllenRating- 1.5 out 4 starsThe now famous paranormal movie franchise has released their newest movie: Paranormal Activity 4. This series is starting to feel like the Saw movies. They keep making more and more but downgrading on the scares. The first couple Paranormal Activity movies were awesome. They were scary, had great plots, and made you excited for the next installment.
Megan PurazrangWCB Music WriterFun, Some NightsReleased – February 14, 2012Label – Fueled by RamenProducers- Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie, Jake One Indie-rock today is a completely blended genre. Finding an album that can stand uniquely alone is borderline impossible. “Some Nights” the second record from the native NYC indie-rock trio fun. will appease listeners for the first half and leave them exhausted and bored by the end. In the debut (“Aim and Ignite” 2009) the band was clearly experimenting with its sound.
April BarkleyWCB Movie Writer Director- Mark TonderaiStudio- FilmNation EntertainmentStarring- Jennifer Lawrence,Max Thieriot, Gil Bellows,Elisabeth ShueRating: 2 out of 4 stars “The Hunger Games” Jennifer Lawrence isn’t fighting to the death in the woods anymore but she is fighting to survive. “House at the End of the Street” does have a few dead ends though. This new horror and thriller movie provides a few scares but it does lack a few twists and turns that should have been there.“House at the End of the Street” follows Elissa Cassidy (Jennifer Lawrence) who moves to a new town with her mother. Their new home is spacious, attractive, set in the woods and for some reason, very reasonably priced. Mom and daughter learn that they live next door to a house where a young girl had murdered her parents.