Submissive ‘n’ Stoned: Reflections on Weed & Kink

Marijuana is magic. I have known this for quite some time, and then a summer romance drives the point home for me.

But I’m not fully committed to this boy, emotionally; my mind is elsewhere, and that’s reflected in the way I talk about him. Tweeting on my way to see him one afternoon in July, I call him my “pothead fuckpal.” He’s normally thrilled when I tweet about him, but this time, he’s irate. I think it’s “fuckpal” he objects to moreso than “pothead.” Because, while it’s irredeemably true he is a pothead, he wants to be more than just my fuckpal. I’m not sure I can give him that, and we’re not talking about it yet.

But I am a bad girl who writes bad things on Twitter, so I deserve a punishment.

We smoke up when I arrive at his house, like we always do – me from my little glass pipe and him from his enormous DIY bong. He’s smoked for years longer than I have, and has years’ more sexual experience under his belt, so I guess he knows what sweet havoc weed can wreak. I always get way too high at his place, nervously smoking more than I should because I’m uncomfortable and don’t know what else to do with my hands. I sit there glued to the couch, and he begins to touch my thighs.

Weed makes every touch significant, every movement a story. He traces circles and lines on my skin and they spin off into wild visions, all radiating sensation back to my clit. My arousal builds slowly but steadily, like a ski-lift gliding up a mountain. He works his way toward my clit in maddening circles, and I want his touch there but it’s an unhurried want: we will get to that when we get to it, and that’s fine.

Stoned sex is a magnificent blur. Journaling about it in days that follow, I always have to tell the story in point form, free of narrative or coherence. So one moment he’s touching my clit, and the next I’m draped over his knee getting pummelled by a wooden hairbrush, and the next I’m kneeling between his legs with his cock down my throat. Oh, hello.

I love stoned blowjobs and submissive blowjobs for many of the same reasons: they absorb me, anxieties and all, in a way that sober vanilla sex rarely can; they free me from inhibitions and scripts so I can enjoy what my mouth is feeling instead of suffer what my mind is whispering; and they allow me to focus wholly on the task at hand (or… at mouth). I am a good girl, an orally talented girl, a very very high girl, and I love it.

I shouldn’t have called him my pothead fuckpal. I shouldn’t have agreed to date him when I knew I could never love him. But all those shouldn’ts don’t matter now because there is weed smog in my head and a cock in my mouth.

The first time I discovered weed makes pain feel near-orgasmic to me, I was doing yoga at a party, but I’m a perv so of course it didn’t take me long to figure out how to apply that to kink.

In September of last year, I had a near-weekly tradition. I would go to a boy friend’s house (a boy-space-friend, not a boyfriend, you understand), we would smoke weed, he would catch me up on his various Adventure Zone headcanons, and then he would spank me.

The weed served two purposes. First of all, it helped us two awkward anxious bunnies relax around each other. And secondly, it made his spankings feel like molten-hot fireworks exploding in my skin.

“Do you wanna go to my room?” he’d ask when we’d been chilling on the living-room couch for an hour or two, and that was code for: “Do you want me to beat your ass raw with a paperback novel?” Every time, I’d quirk a grin at him and say, “Yeah.” And we would go.

Though I’ve loved being spanked for years, it wasn’t until I met this boy that I thought I might be able to come from it. It always seemed nearly-mine, like an apple on a swaying branch beyond my grasp – but I could never quite get at it. The trying was fun, though.

What I loved most about our arrangement was that sex was never assumed, never a foregone conclusion. The spanking was the main course. The weed was the garnish. The good conversation was the appetizer. And when the meal was done, I could shimmy back into my skirt, say goodnight, and go home, wetness dripping down the inside of my thigh in a guilty ribbon. “Text me when you get home safe,” he’d tell me sternly at the door. He wasn’t my dom but he was a good snack to tide me over in between feasts. A good friend to have. A good warm hand on my ass.

Marijuana extends time in my brain. I can get lost in a moment of sensation and have no idea afterwards if it lasted eight seconds or forty minutes. This is all well and good if my partner is also high, or if they’re someone I know I can take my time with. Less so if I’m nervous.

“How long have you been doing that?” I ask you while you’re two knuckles deep inside me. “I have no sense of time right now. I need you to tell me if you want to stop.” Because I never want you to stop. I want your fingers pressing stripes into my most sensitive spots ad infinitum. I want to live in this hotel room with you and your devilish fingers forevermore. I want to come and come until I’m a husk of a human.

You sigh, with the careful, caring discontent of someone who sympathizes with my sexual anxieties but thinks they’re silly nonetheless. “You just lie back and relax. This is not strenuous for me. I’ll stop if I want to. Right now I just want you to feel good.”

Though our dynamic isn’t kinky, I hear this as a command. I lie back. I relax. And you must’ve said the magic words, because within minutes, I am coming, loud and unrestrained.

You slip your fingers out of me and let me catch my breath before suggesting a mid-sesh intermission to top up our intoxication levels. This entails sneakily smoking in the bathroom of this no-smoking hotel room, because we don’t have a balcony and fuck if we’re gonna throw clothes on and brave the current January windstorm in this state.

I stand in front of you in the yellowish fluorescent bathroom light, and we’re both poetically, unselfconsciously naked. I watch, rapt, as you grind some weed and load your one-hitter. You hand it to me along with your lighter, but I can’t get it lit, so you have to help me. I am a quivering little girl making doe eyes at you as you flick the sparkwheel and make a flame for me. I inhale deeply and feel so sexy, so safe.

The trick, you explain, is to exhale through a damp washcloth toward the exhaust vent in the ceiling; that way we’re least likely to set off the smoke alarm. You’ve pre-moistened a cloth for this purpose, and after watching me inhale, you grab it and lay it flat over my mouth, pressing the edges down tight. I breathe out and make a rusty stain on the white rag. “That was maybe the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done to me,” I joke.

I take another hit, and you wink at me – the big, broad, unexpected wink of someone who knows about my thing for winks – and I can’t laugh because my lungs are full of precious smoke. I grab the washcloth and push my breath through it, along with a rush of pent-up giggles. “Oh, you were trying not to laugh out the weed,” you realize. “I thought it seemed strange that you didn’t react to my winking. That never happens.” My whole body, my whole brain, wants to hug you and kiss you and suck your dick. C’mere, loverboy.

Minutes later, in our big hotel bed, I’m on my back with my legs spread wide and you’re sitting cross-legged between them, like my vulva is a movie you’ve been dying to see. You slide the S-Curve into me while I snuggle my Tango up against my clit. Despite having come twice already today and being, traditionally, a one-and-done kind of girl (a one-hitter, you might say!), I feel an orgasm building almost immediately. Be it the comfortable environment, the familiar partner, the excellent toys, or the weed, I don’t know. And I don’t really care to analyze it.

You push the toy’s rounded glass tip against my A-spot hard and I fall apart completely, an orgasm bursting through me and extinguishing all thoughts. The combo of climactic incoherence and marijuana incoherence is a funny one. I want you to keep fucking me, harder and faster, all the way through my orgasm, but instead I’m just shouting, “Aaaahhh, I want, I want,” and “M-m-please-m-m-moooore.”

You indeed keep fucking me, but also, you bark, “English!” The frustration in your tone seems to extend my orgasm, to stretch it out like taffy. But this command also jolts me just enough that I can collect my wits. “Harder, please,” I clarify, in perfect English, and you give me what I want.

Sometimes, when I’m in my head and struggling to come, you tell me to fantasize about whatever I want.

It’s a remarkably generous offer. Most people want you to focus on them, and them alone, while they’re fucking you. They want your eyes open and affixed on theirs. They want to do you so right, they blow your other thoughts away.

But this ignores, for many of us, how our sex-brains work. I can think you’re gorgeous and still need to picture someone else to get me over the edge. I can love what we’re doing, but get even more turned on when I think of us doing something else. I can adore you the way you are, but still envision a different version of you when I’m on the brink and I need something extra to get me there.

Tonight, in my bed, we are high, and you are fucking me, and I am close, and you say it. “You just relax and think about whatever you need to think about.” Your voice, as always, is steady and calm. And generous. So generous.

My mind moves in hazy kaleidoscopic shapes, searching for that one image or phrase that will get the job done. I see spirals of light, blinding sunsets, scenes from another dimension. But beyond all that, what I come back to is you. A different type of you, an alternate-reality version of you, but you, nonetheless.

“Be a good girl and come for me, princess,” the you of my fantasies mutters as you never will. And I come so hard, it clears the smoke from the rafters of my brain.

You’re Vanilla. I’m Not. But I Love You.

It’s a giddy-hot summer in Toronto and I am out having lunch with my new boyfriend (soon to be ex). My collar is chafing my neck in the sticky heat, so I unclasp the buckle and slide the leather off my neck and into my purse.

Boyf looks up from his menu. “You took it off,” he comments softly. “You should’ve asked first.” A wicked grin creeps over his boyish face.

I giggle and blush, but it’s perfunctory. When he says dom-y shit to me, it’s like I’m watching a porn scene: it turns me on, in an abstracted sort of way, but it doesn’t thrill my innermost subby self because it doesn’t feel like it’s happening to me.

Because he’s not my dom, not really. You are. And you don’t even know it.


I am a kinkster who loves a vanilla person, and it feels like this:

I plunge my hand between the bones of my chest until I find my heart. Closing my fist around it, I pull it out of me til it’s freed from my body with a sickening pop.

With the gingerest touch, I reach out and place my heart in your open palm. We both watch it, beating, twitching. My blood drips between your fingers and onto the floor. When at last I feel brave enough, I drag my gaze up to meet your eyes… and you look horrified.

“What the fuck,” you mutter under your breath, and toss my heart into the gutter. “Gross.”

I know you don’t mean to make me feel that way. But you do. It’s no one’s fault you make me feel that way. But you do. You didn’t choose to be the vanilla-est vanilla boy in all the land. But you are. And I didn’t choose to be collar-over-heels, sweetly-starry-eyed, dreamily-devoted in subby love with you. But I am.


I notice it first in the way I always sit below you if I can help it. The night we met, you sat on my piano bench and I sat cross-legged at your feet, staring reverently up at you like I was six years old and you were telling me a story (you probably were). It becomes a pattern with us: at your place or mine, in the bedroom or the kitchen, surrounded by friends or just the two of us, if you’re on a chair then I’m on the floor. It just feels… right.

You’re barely taller than me, and when we crunch down crowded streets together, we look like equals. I don’t want to be your equal, have never felt like your equal. Sitting at your feet restores a natural equilibrium I can feel but you can’t. I know you can’t feel it because you always ask me, “You sure you don’t wanna sit up here? You’ll be more comfortable.” You don’t get it. I’m comfortable when I’m where I belong: on the floor, looking up at you.

We trade sex secrets and carnal confessions over pints in the brew pub. Your eyebrows knit together in that way they do when you’re trying to understand something incomprehensible. In this case, it’s my kinks.

“I just kind of fall apart when someone calls me ‘little one,'” I tell you. What little nonchalance I can muster is being channelled into keeping my voice steady, trying not to betray how much this means to me. “If I’m having trouble coming, sometimes that’s The Thing that finally makes it happen.”

You stroke your chin in a broad gesture of thoughtfulness and reply, simply: “Interesting.” I wonder if you are filing away this piece of information to be used at a later date. But probably, you’ll just forget. You never call me “little one.” You never call me “princess” or “babygirl” or “sweet darling.” You just call me my name, sometimes. And never in bed.


Names are important to me. Names frame my understanding of a sexual situation. Names are the real-world manifestation of the archetypes and roles floating around in my white-hot kinkster brain. Names matter.

When you’re fucking me – with your fingers, a toy, or your cock – sometimes I want to call you names. They float at the periphery of my awareness; sometimes they ghost across my lips. My mouth forms the syllables “Oh, Daddy” or “Please, Sir,” but no sound comes out. I’m ashamed. I hide these silent pleas in the crook of my elbow, bury them in the warmth of your shoulder. I don’t want to ruin the moment or make you uncomfortable.

It’s agony that the words which would flip your switch from “on” to “off” are the same words that rev my internal motor. Sometimes you ask me, “How can I make you come? What would you like me to do?” and I list physical acts I know will work on the mechanical level, because I don’t dare ask for the mental-emotional-psychological stuff that might scare you off.


You ping my teacher’s-pet kink without even realizing it. One night I send you a draft of something I’m writing, wanting your feedback, and your critique jokingly begins, “Well, if you want to earn an A+ from me…” Of course I fucking do. I make all the changes you suggest, even the ones that conflict with my own taste and voice. I feel that old familiar sense of surrender I’ve experienced while tied up or getting spanked: the deep belief that someone else knows what I need even better than I do. When I show you the finished piece, you tell me it’s perfect, and I feel a rush of something halfway between “just got a 95% on my philosophy exam” and “just gave the best blowjob of all time.”

On bad mental health days, I feel like a useless, unsalvageable failure. Friends remind me I’m smart, funny, talented, kind, and valuable – but I don’t fully believe it until I hear it from you. Earning your A+ makes me feel accomplished, whether you’re complimenting my sexual skills, my writing, or my overall value as a human being.

One night, I’m anxious as hell about an impending deadline. It feels like an end-of-the-world emergency: if I don’t get this article done in time, or if my editor hates it, all will be lost. My head is swirling with panic; I hyperventilate at you via text. “You’ll get it done and it’ll be great,” you tell me, with more confidence than I have ever felt about anything. And suddenly, I know that you’re right. In the hours that follow, I get it done. It’s great. It’s all for you, and you’ll never know.

“Service submission” has never particularly resonated with me. I’ve occasionally fantasized about it, but I’ve never done it with a real-life partner, because I’ve never wanted to. Until I met you.

When I show up at your place with the exact kind of beer you like, or accompany you to events you’re nervous about, or ask a waitress to move us because a wobbly barstool is hurting your bad back, you tell me, “You’re a good friend.” But that’s not really what this is about. I’m not being generous; I am serving you. Being your good girl. Of course, you don’t see it that way, and I’ll never tell you.

When you go out of town to attend a work conference, I sit at home fantasizing about how I’d serve you if I was your plus-one. I picture myself bringing you your coffee first thing in the morning, made exactly how you like it. I would organize your schedule, prepare the documents you needed, choose and press your outfits. At the end of a long day, I’d kneel in front of you, slip your shoes off, and ask you if a nice blowjob would help you relax. I’d suck you off and then bring you a beer, and watch you drink it from my favorite vantage point on your floor.

Service-submission feelings toward a vanilla person are essentially a deep, carnal desire to be their unpaid personal assistant. I’m a feminist and so are you, so I get the sense you wouldn’t accept my “help,” even if you knew what it meant to me. We speak different languages; my word for “purpose and fulfilment” translates to “heartless exploitation” in your native tongue. This can never work. But I still sometimes think about shining your boots.


It occurs to me one day, as I’m walking home in a shirt you let me borrow because I misplaced my dress amid your bedsheets somewhere, that you’ve never left a mark on me. Other partners smack bruises onto my ass, bite toothmarks onto my fleshy hips, carve crimson hickeys into my neck – but you’ve never left so much as a friction-burn on my thighs. It’s ironic, I think, as I pull the sleeves of your shirt down over my chilly hands, that you’ve marked my heart more deeply and irrevocably than anyone else I’ve banged, and yet signs of you have never shown on my skin.

My one souvenir of you – which embarrasses me to even contemplate – is a dime on my bedroom floor. It fell out of your jeans pocket the first time we made out in my bed, and after you left in the morning, I just… kept it there. For the better part of a year. Friends who knew me well would visit and say, “So that dime’s still there, huh? When are you gonna move it?” I’d respond, “It makes me happy to look at it. I’ll move it when that’s no longer true.”

The day I decide to get over you, I text my best friend: “I picked the dime up off the floor.” They reply with a blue heart emoji. There’s nothing else to say, really.


Once, we’re out to dinner, and the subject of kinks comes up. (It always fucking does.) “I just feel like you could be such a good dom if you tried,” I lament for like the twentieth time. I’ve had too much rice wine and am being an asshole.

“Being dom-y makes me anxious,” you tell me through half a mouthful of sushi. I know this. You’ve told me this before. I hate myself for not wanting to accept this answer.

“I dunno, a lot of things used to make me anxious before I got good at them,” I counter. “Maybe if you practiced more, you’d feel more confident about it.” The conversation stagnates and we switch gears.

I’m wracked with guilt for days afterward, and text you: “Hey, I’m sorry I got kinda pressure-y the other night. You said taking charge makes you uncomfortable and I should just respect that. I won’t ask you about it again.” It’s the only decent thing to do, but it feels like giving up on the thing I want most in the world.

“It’s okay,” you text back. I sigh, from relief, or sadness, or something.

What’s in a Name?

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“What do you want?”

He’s got me backed up against a fence, in one of the many residential alleys that crisscross through the Annex. The fence is painted bright turquoise, and it must make a beautiful backdrop for this foreground: a pale and blushing babe in a blue dress. Me.

His hand is on my ass. He knows what I want, but he’s still gonna make me say it. “I want you to spank me, sir,” I choke out, his lips so close to mine that he must feel my words as much as he hears them.

He chuckles. I can tell he likes it when I call him that. “I don’t have a name for you yet,” he replies, like this only just occurred to him.

I am more than prepared for this eventuality. “I like to be ‘princess,’ or ‘little one,’ or ‘babygirl,'” I list off. These names are well-traversed in my life, but they still feel fresh and important. They’re heavy on my tongue and hot in my ears.

“Okay, princess,” he says with a dark smile. “You gonna be a good girl for me?”


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“Princess” was my first kink honorific, the first name I remember loving being called. A dominant fuckbuddy casually mentioned it one day while we were discussing my burgeoning DD/lg kink. It felt right to me when he said it, in the same way it felt right when I discovered other words that describe me, like “femme,” “queer,” and “submissive.” I sexually identify as a princess.

Not a literal princess, you understand. I don’t have a kingdom to rule over, royal subjects, a family of other monarchs. I am a princess in the way that Veruca Salt and Angelica Pickles are princesses: a treasured and perhaps slightly spoiled little girl whose daddy unflinchingly loves her and dotes on her. A dainty little thing, with a bratty streak that comes out when provoked or challenged. A precious but ultimately powerless little gem of a person, revered but not really respected. I’m that kind of princess.

Though I’m enamored with the “Daddy Dom/little girl” dynamic, I almost never call partners “daddy.” It feels wrong to me, and not just because it’s taboo. I’ve never used that word with my actual dad either; it feels babyish and saccharine in a way I don’t particularly enjoy. I don’t say that to shame anybody’s kinks; if you like that word, that’s fine and good for you! But for myself, I gravitate more toward “sir.” It communicates what I want it to, without making me cringe. And, if I’m honest, calling partners that makes me suuuuuper wet.

“Little one” was introduced to me by the aforementioned dom fuckbuddy, too. He dropped it into our dialogue mid-fuck one day and my reaction far surpassed what I could have predicted. He was the exact same height as me, probably even weighed less than me, and yet, with those two simple words, he made me feel inescapably smaller than him. Diminutive and defenseless. A mere insect under his boot heel.

My relationship with this title is fraught with guilt, because I worry it’s related to patriarchal size-shaming. I’m a chubby lady so maybe it makes me feel better – sexier – to be literally told that I am small. But I don’t think that’s the whole story. Smallness is associated with traditional femininity, sure, but it’s also connected to powerlessness, a state of being that I eroticize deeply. When someone calls me “little one” and I get wetter and hotter, I think it’s more about the condescension and coddling than the physical littleness being evoked.

“Babygirl” is more ambiguous. Vanilla partners call me “baby” sometimes; it’s a common epithet, in this world of Biebers and Backstreet Boys. But there’s patriarchy baked right into it: this name infantilizes its subject in the most literal sense. My inner feminist struggles to accept my affinity for being called patronizing names. My inner sex-positive feminist, however, knows it’s okay for me to like whatever I like, as long as I don’t replicate those power injustices in my actual life.

Names, labels, identities: these things are important, regardless of what the “Labels don’t matter!” crowd says. Labels help us organize ourselves, understand ourselves, understand who we’re attracted to and what we want. Not to mention, they can be really fucking hot.

One night I was at a party, and several people were sporting tiaras. A domly friend of mine made a paper crown for Bex, since their gender identity isn’t always tiara-friendly. “How is the king?” he asked Bex later, when their makeshift crown was atop their head. And then, looking at me: “And the queen?”

“She’s not a queen, she’s a princess,” Bex retorted, before I could even respond. And they were right.

Behold: My New Thigh Tattoos!

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When I say that kink helps me in ways both sexual and nonsexual, I mean it. Being a good girl gives me a sense of value and accomplishment that I’d otherwise often lack. Pain and punishments help with my productivity and even my mental health. The potential of impressing a domly beau – whether that person is real or just hypothetical – gives me superpowers to do things I’d otherwise be too weak or scared to do.

Like, for example, getting huge-ass tattoos on a highly sensitive part of my body.

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The conversation that started it all.

The idea for these tattoos came to me in a flash last month. I was chatting with Georgia, one of my most-tattooed friends, about possible works of art I’d like to get put on my body. I wanted something kink-related, because my kink identities have become more and more intertwined with my overall identity in the past year. I didn’t have a clear image in my mind of what I specifically wanted – just phrases that resonated with me.

But when Georgia suggested I get “GOOD” on the back of one thigh and “GIRL” on the other, I saw it so clearly. I wanted girly bows underneath the text, marking me forever as a pretty plaything, a fancy femme, and a good girl. I wanted these images and words to be visible while I got spanked, posed for saucy pictures, or walked around half-clothed at a sex club. There was no question in my mind of whether or not this was a good idea; I wanted these tattoos immediately.

I felt the same way when I contemplated getting my first tattoo, a solid red heart on my lower belly. There were no “Do I really want this?” worries. I knew I wanted that heart on my skin forever. Just like I knew I wanted pink bows and “good girl.”

Once I’d made up my mind, I asked Georgia for tattoo parlor recommendations. (My first one was done impulsively at Two Trolls in Dundas, Ontario because some friends happened to be going there, but it was super simple. For something more complex, I wanted to do more research and pick the right place and the right artist.) She suggested Adrenaline. My brother and a guy I’m dating had both gotten inked there and had positive experiences, so it seemed like a good bet.

As I scrolled through the Adrenaline Instagram account, I kept clicking on my favorite tattoos to see who had done them – and in most cases, the ones I liked best were done by Laura Blaney. I loved her use of color and shading, and the way her work could appear simultaneously realistic and cartoonishly stylized. I knew I wanted my bows to appear three-dimensional while still being bright and cute, and it seemed like Laura could definitely handle that. So I emailed her some reference images, booked a consultation, talked over my idea with her, paid a deposit, and booked my actual tattooing appointment.

There was a three-week wait time between my consult and Tattoo Day. That time felt interminable; once I had decided I wanted it, I wanted it now! But I knew it’d be worth the wait, and as that time ticked past, it was comforting that my desire for these tattoos didn’t abate. You should be sure before you put something on your body permanently, and I was sure.

Laura is such a skilled and experienced artist that she totally understood what I wanted. I didn’t have to do much: I just explained my idea to her, showed her some bows I liked the shape of, and sent her an image of the words “good girl” in the font I wanted (it’s called Black Rose). When I arrived for my appointment, she showed me some sketches she’d done of bows, asked me where I wanted the text placed, and chose some shades of pink that matched what I wanted. I thought I’d be nervous handing over creative control of art that would remain on my body forever, but I trusted Laura. She was confident, her art looked great, and I had the strong sense that she knew what I wanted.

At one point, I showed her a reference image of a bow I liked the look of. “The one I do will look better than that, but I see what you’re saying,” she said, with complete certainty. (Laura is a total badass. She did my tattoos while six months pregnant. God, I love strong smart talented women.)

imageLaura applied stencils to the backs of my legs, reapplying a few times until they were perfectly straight and even. Georgia snapped some pictures for me so I could check to see if I liked the placement. I wanted the bows pretty much right under my butt, so they’d peek out of my shorter skirts and dresses but still be easy to cover up for conservative occasions when necessary.

When both she and I were happy with the placement, Laura had me lie down on my stomach on the tattoo table. She fired up the needle and got started on outlining.

The pain was bad, especially toward the beginning before the endorphins kicked in, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. I chatted a bit with Georgia, who’d sweetly accompanied me; I listened to music on my iPad, read some articles, and tweeted a little. But what really helped was to invoke the same strategies I use when I’m enduring a spanking: I focused on my breathing, purposely intended to enjoy the pain rather than recoiling from it, and reminded myself time and time again that no moment is unendurable. Any time the pain was particularly bad, I knew it would be over soon, so I could get through it.

imageThe first bow, and its accompanying word (“girl”), took about an hour and 40 minutes to complete. Toward the end of it, I started to tire of getting poked with a stabby needle and wanted it to be over, but it really wasn’t that bad. The pain was less bothersome than it had been when I got my heart, I think because back then I was more scared of pain and hadn’t yet experienced it as a consensual and even pleasurable sensation. Plus that tattoo was a lot smaller, so I didn’t have time to get into an endorphin groove the way I did with these larger pieces.

We took a break, during which I got up, walked around, stretched my legs, ate a granola bar, drank some coconut water, and posed for some pictures of the half-finished product. I asked Georgia what she’d do if I chickened out and wanted to leave at that point, and she said she’d gently but firmly dom me into finishing the other leg. See: kink is important and helps get shit done!

But I didn’t chicken out. I laid back down on the table, flipped around the other way, and Laura started on the second bow. It hurt more than the first one, for whatever reason, but it also didn’t take as long. I warbled along to some old Regina Spektor songs while continually reminding myself that the pain would be over soon, and it would be worth it.

After the second bow was done, Laura wanted to go back into the first one to fix up a couple spots that weren’t as vivid as they should’ve been. That was the worst pain of the whole evening, because she was revisiting areas that were already sore and tender from their earlier pummeling. But I groaned into a pillow and gnashed my teeth and it was over soon enough.

When the tattoos were done, we snapped some pictures and then headed downstairs to the main desk so I could pay for my beautiful works of art. I hobbled and limped a bit, because my muscles were sore from holding the same position for three hours and the backs of my thighs felt like they’d received a selective, intense sunburn.

All told, this tattoo session cost about five times more than my little heart tattoo did – but it was a bigger and more complicated piece, with more customization involved, and the artist was more experienced and skilled. I firmly believe that if something’s gonna be on your body forever, you should be willing to pay as much as you feasibly can for it, because you really do get what you pay for. I was so pleased with every aspect of my tattooing experience, from the planning to the inking to the finished product.

Photo on 2016-08-16 at 12.32 PM
The day after getting tattooed. Still a little red and swollen.

Do you have any kink- or sex-themed tattoos? Can I see?!

Beating the Stigma: Whipsmart Thoughts on Kink and Mental Health

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It’s funny to me that many people think of kink as dark, dangerous, and edgy. It can be all of those things, of course. But for me, it’s not scary or mysterious. It’s a key part of how my brain works and how I relate to other people. It’s a sexual interest and also a non-sexual paradigm. And sometimes, it’s a boon for my mental health.

Earlier this year, I entered the last semester of my four-year journalism degree, and found myself unable to cope with the challenges it brought. Newsrooms are an anxiety-provoking place to begin with, and I was also experiencing one of the worst anxious and depressive episodes of my life – so, as much as I wanted to be up to the task, I just wasn’t. Two days in the newsroom were enough to convince me of that: the real work hadn’t even begun yet, and already my heart pounded, my mind shouted self-hating epithets at me, and I found myself thinking everything would just be easier if I walked out in front of a speeding truck.

I spoke to one of my instructors, and she – blessedly – was sympathetic to my cause. We discussed possible accommodations and arrived at the idea that I’d get my final credit by creating a journalistic audio series on a topic of my choice.

Over the preceding months, I’d found that my bad mental health days could sometimes be turned around by an intense spanking, a service-submission BJ, or various other acts of kink. Giving up control to a partner made me feel, ultimately, more in control of my life. So the intersection between kink and mental health was front-and-centre in my mind at that time, and I pitched that as a topic for my audio series. My prof loved it, and so I began.

I spent the next six weeks producing Beating the Stigma. Several local sweethearts volunteered for interviews, and generously lent me their time and energy to discuss this topic on tape. Our conversations ranged from intense to funny to mindblowing, and were often all three. I’m so so grateful to my interviewees for being candid and clever every step of the way.

You can listen to the whole series by clicking here, or you can skip to specific chapters below:

Chapter 1: Introductions

Chapter 2: Pain

Chapter 3: DD/lg

Chapter 4: Dominance

Chapter 5: Safe, Sane and Consensual

Chapter 6: Trauma and Recovery

Chapter 7: Sex 2.0

Chapter 8: Aftercare

I hope this series sparks some thoughts and feelings for you! The process of producing it certainly brought a lot to the surface for me.