Archive for June, 2010

Carnalnation’s “Bootblacking: Not Just for the Boys”

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

I saw this video interview this afternoon when it was published on Carnalnation, and I love it so much I’m going to repost it.  The original post is here.

Twisted Monk interviews International Ms. Bootblack 2009, pony, while she sits on the floor and polishes his boots.  It’s lovely to watch, and it’s a really nice interview.  I’ve felt incredibly fortunate to have gotten to see and hear about the 2009 International Ms. Leather and Ms. Bootblack – an Asian female and a femme bootblack, respectively.  As an Asian female and femme-identified (budding) bootblack myself, it’s great to have these women as role models.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Categories: links, video

the saga continues…

June 29, 2010 2 comments

I’ve almost finished braiding the first layer of my whip.  Although – three hours and a torn off blister later -I’m wondering if my hands will last a second braiding.  Continuing with the theme of making this whip in the most tedious way possible, I hand cut the laces using a cutting mat and exacto knife.  I had gone to a local leather store in the hopes of finding a lace cutter, but all they had was the equivalent of a pie cutter for leather.  However, they did have six foot long leather straps a half inch wide, and for $2 each I could get the leather I needed fairly cheaply.

I also buckled and ordered an Australian strander for help with cutting the overlay laces.  Maybe by the time it gets here, my hands will be up for another round of leather braiding!

Here is a close-up of the whip so far:

It started out with 8 strands, and I just dropped it down to 6.  I will braid it a bit more before dropping it down to 4 and finishing it off there.

Some things I didn’t do:

  • bevel the edges of each strand.  Those white outlines on the lace show where I cut the strands and exposed leather where the dye didn’t penetrate through.  If I’d beveled them, the strands would have laid a bit more snugly, and those edges probably would be less noticeable.
  • use braiding soap to lubricate and condition the strands before braiding them.  Mostly I wasn’t very motivated to find a pound of lard.  If I did this over, I would try to make up this mixture, though, because it was a bit difficult to braid the leather smoothly.  Perhaps for the overlay…

However, since this will be the belly, these things won’t be noticeable and hopefully won’t affect the whip’s performance.  What I have been most careful with is keeping the braid straight, as I’ve read that a skewed braid will impact the way a whip throws.

Part 1: Shotbag and bolster

Categories: firsts, geekpost, links, photos

about that phobia…

June 27, 2010 Leave a comment

I was going through the archives, wanting to revisit some specific moments from last year, when I reread this post, entitled “childhood phobias”.  I suppose it is a testament to how long it’s taken me to process Max breaking through my needle phobia that I’ve not yet written about it – here, at least – since it happened in April.

My SEAF weekend visit to Seattle at the end of April was intense in many ways.  Of those days, Saturday and Monday were particularly memorable.  But Saturday is what this post is about.  It was a full and eventful day: a late morning brunch with new friends, a surprisingly stressful shopping trip, a short break for dinner and some chores before heading out to SEAF again, and then, there was the rest of the night.  The post-SEAF evening found me tied by my hair to a tree branch outside Max’s house, in frigid Seattle April weather.

Before long, I was inside the house, on my back, my hands tied behind me, already buzzed and high and not at all expecting to hear the popping of a container lid as Max said softly, “It’s time to poke some holes in you.”

And because I was already soaking in endorphins, it took a moment for the impact of that statement to fully hit me.  By then, Max was already sitting on top of me, taking needles out of a little black box (an evil black box), and before I had time to exhale the breath I didn’t know I was holding in, he was sliding needle after needle into my chest.  I would have screamed – from feeling that first pinprick of pain, then the needle sliding sickeningly against skin and flesh, and the second stab of the needle coming back out – except I was afraid to move my chest.

By the time Max was done, there were seven needles in my flesh, and I was utterly gone.  My eyelids felt like stone, and I was breathing short, shallow breaths.  I could barely think past the high, much less speak.

And removing the needles was just as heady and intense.  I could feel how the needle dragged across my flesh as it slid out.  Max counted each as he pulled them out swiftly and methodically, dropping them into the sharps container nearby.

And then it was over.

Afterwards, in talking with others about this scene, I was asked frequently if I enjoyed it.  And I’d hesitate, finding it difficult to give a short response.  I don’t know how well I responded to that question for the first week after it happened, but now, what I would answer with is this:

I can’t tell if I enjoyed the needles specifically, it having been my first piercing and a built-up phobia.  But then, this was not about enjoyment.  It was about giving someone a part of me that was very hard for me to give.  It was about trusting someone enough to let them take control.  It was about the intention of the act, and knowing the pleasure he took from it.

Taking all of that into consideration, then, I can say that I enjoy the aftereffects of the piercing.  It was a powerful experience, and one that brought me closer to Max.  In the earlier post on phobias, I wrote: “For something like this, I’m sure it will take a much longer-term relationship: of building closeness, trust, and intimacy over time.”

It is pretty thrilling to realize that I have been able to build up that level of closeness, trust, and intimacy with someone.  And, well, it is pretty spectacular that that someone is Max.


June 25, 2010 7 comments

If you didn’t think I was serious about the whips, here is proof that I am actually obsessed.  Yesterday I got the package I needed to start making my whip: 3 boxes of 50 cartridges each of rifle ammunition.  Why did I get tiny copper bullets that I then needed to pry open to get the lead shot out, instead of just a bag of lead shot?

That would be because I didn’t find that site until just now, despite it taking hours to even find a site that sold #12 lead shot.  Sigh.

Well, now I know.  But yes, instead, I bought 150 copper cartridges filled with tiny balls of lead.  It was the tiny balls of lead that I needed to fill the core of my whip.  So my afternoon was spent prying each cartridge open with scissors and an allen wrench and dumping each ounce or so of lead shot into an empty pill bottle.

Once I’d done one box, I decided to start making the shotbag.  Following these two tutorials, I cut a tapered strip of leather, duct-taped it into a cone shape, and filled it with the painstakingly-extracted lead shot.

Over the shotbag, I tied on a leather bolster, which is now as far as I can go until I cut some laces to start braiding on the first layer of the belly.  So, there’s still a lot of work to do, but I am still inordinately proud of how the whip looks so far.

I can’t wait to start braiding!

Categories: art, geekpost, photos

Penis envy

June 22, 2010 Leave a comment

For as long as I have been sexually active, I’ve held a particular fascination for the male genitalia.  Even before I ever touched a penis, I would watch (bad, pixellated) clips of porn and wonder what it felt like for the guy to have sex.  I found it difficult to translate the stroking of a hand, penetration, or lips and tongue around the shaft, to what I felt while masturbating.  Did it feel the same?  Or similarly? I would wonder.  Do guys feel the same surges and sensitivity that I feel when I touch my clit, expanded over a larger surface area?

And once I did start having sex with a male partner, my curiosity just continued to grow.  I love hearing those sounds that lips, hands, and cunt can elicit from men.  I’m fascinated that I can make another person feel that way.  And I’ve always maintained a strong association between erection and power.  That admission probably makes me a very bad feminist, but I do find the erect penis to be an extremely powerful symbol.  I like the idea of being able to physically grasp at arousal – to feel it pulsing and hard and hot in my hand.  When I’m aroused, I’ve often wished I could grip onto my lust and desire as a physical object.

Despite all of this, I don’t own any strap-ons or even any realistic dildos.  I’ve certainly thought about it, but it doesn’t have quite the same appeal.  So for now I just deal with having, from time to time, a little penis envy.

Categories: fantasy, reflection, sex

2. obsession

June 17, 2010 1 comment

I obsess.  When I develop an interest in something, I dive headlong into it until, weeks or months or years later, I re-emerge, exhausted and ready to move on.  Thus far, rope has held my interest the longest, and I’m pretty sure it’ll stick around for awhile, although I no longer obsess furtively over “best conditioning practices” or whatnot.

Easy access to the Internet has allowed me complete research power for finding out every factoid, rumor and forgotten technique I could ever want to know concerning my subjects.  From Photoshop to rope to bootblacking, and most recently, leather whip-making, I literally have the expertise, learning process, and detailed examples of thousands of people to peruse, from blogs detailing a personal project to forums dedicated to the topic.

I suppose you could say that my sudden interest in learning to work in leather is more an extension of my growing passion for bootblacking.  It is a fairly natural progression to want to expand one’s knowledge in leathercare beyond just footwear (delightful as such footwear can be).  When I was at IML, I received some great advice on how to care for my leather jacket – an article of clothing whose condition I’d taken for granted.

But back to whip-making.  Brought on by sudden inspiration, curiosity, and the question “just how hard is it to actually braid leather into a whip?“, I started searching for tutorials online.  Youtube is a really tremendous resource, and I quickly found these gems.  So now I want to make my own leather whip – a 4-foot snakewhip or signal whip, I think.  I don’t really want or need a handle, nor do I want a monstrous 8 foot bullwhip.

Granted, this would be a tremendous project, given the time and materials it requires.  Precut lace at the width I’d need (6mm it seems) is expensive, so my other option is to collect leather straps and make lace myself.

We’ll see if this ever comes to fruition, but in the meantime I had fun de-cording some nylon rope I had and making a test whip with 12-plait braiding (and an 8-plait belly).  It was actually quite easy once I learned the braiding pattern, and the whole thing took less than 5 hours, including undoing and rebraiding the belly once I got the hang of dropping strands.  Like learning to make rope, once you’ve seen how it’s made, it becomes demystified.

Yes, I am obsessed.

Categories: geekpost, photos, sundry

I love Rachel Maddow and HATE everyone else

June 16, 2010 Leave a comment

At least – everyone in this video clip.  It’s painfully evident how little the oil industry cares about this oil spill.  What will it take to stir these sleeping giants out of their complacency and show any – any – empathy?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

On the flip side, Rachel Maddow has been diligently, passionately, and dedicatedly covering all aspects of the oil spill on her show.  That she is deliberately moving this to center stage speaks volumes about her.  Not that I ever have anything but gushing praise for her anyway.

Categories: news, tragedy