Embrace The Glorious Mess That You Are (Berlin)

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I can’t recall a period of my life when my human relationships were messier nor richer than they are now. There’s been a fabulously confusing mist of boys & girls dancing hectically around me in the last month.

Let me describe the course of the events exactly as they have been unfolding.

On a Wednesday at the end of October, I went on a set up date with a barber born the same year as me. That was promising as ALL the girls from 1983 are awesome. We had a great time. I remember genuinely laughing and being relieved to find someone easy going. She then disappeared in the middle of a text conversation and hasn’t really reappeared since. To be continued?

The following weekend I had extreme sex with a dominatrix from Greece at a party called Girl Pile which concept is “Cookies & Girls only sex”. You can choose to bake or fuck or both at your convenience. The queer dom was my first Greek since the one who broke my heart. I decided this would seal my reconciliation with the Hellenic culture. I kept marks on my body for a few days but it was instructive and funny. I found out that, by a tour de force of fate, the next party of the kind is going to take place in the building where I used to live with the above mentioned Greek who broke my heart. I’m definitely going. Synchronic closure.

The day after, I received a message from a doctor that I was chatting with in March. We didn’t meet back then. She reappeared eight months later, simply saying “Hello”. I replied, amused by the interesting timing.

A few hours before Paris terrorist attacks, I made a step into the direction of the man whom I’ve been wondering for eighteen months if I like him or if it’s something else. My curiosity suddenly became unbearable: I got an irrational urge to investigate the nature of that unusual attraction. I drafted a message and pressed Send at 3.18pm after much tergiversation. I slept my way through the rest of the day out of emotional drain. It may sound exaggerated, but exposing some unspoken feelings to a man that I don’t really know was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

The man replied. It was hard to interpret his answer. I replied to his reply. He replied to my reply again. I left it there cause he’s not seizing the balloon I am throwing at him. It’s not going anywhere. He’s obviously not interested in me at the extent that I thought he would. I am burying my first ever desire for a straight man with the satisfaction that I’ve tried something and that I’m a brave love soldier.

The day I made a definitive cross over him, I decided without any apparent correlation to forgive the Greek who broke my heart (see above). Was there a correlation? As in getting rid of the two strongest yet hopeless heart swings I’ve had in my life. Like a curettage after a twin miscarriage. A few instants only after I verbalised to the universe that I was forgiving her, she coincidentally and indirectly manifested in my inbox. Dear her. Our timings have always been energetically so tuned, like our bodies used to be when we were making love. I hadn’t heard the sound of her voice since August 2014. That epic time, we had the last and memorable fight out of a long traumatising series: I yelled at her on a train platform and stored the memories of her in a faraway galaxy.

As she manifested, I felt the moment had come to dissolve our ghosts. I called her in the middle of the night. “Hello. Have we met?” I said when she picked up. We laughed. It feels like it was the first time we were on the same wave length and we were understanding each other. We spoke two hours about what had been occurring in our respective life since that ugly ending. In substance, we told each other: “I’ve been working my ass off at recovering from you and trying to find myself and my place in the world. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m ok now and I will always care for you.”

A couple of days later, I was supposed to finally meet the above mentioned doctor for the first time, but I was washed off by my disorganized emotions and I was dreaming of a solitary cinema screening. She called me in the evening whilst she was packing to spend the weekend in Berlin. I was hearing her voice for the first time. “Why don’t you come to Berlin with me?” she asked. “OK”, I said. I booked tickets, threw clothes in my flowery suitcase and made my way to a stranger’s house in order to travel with her.

This is how I landed under the heavily snowing skies of Berlin yesterday morning, wearing a thin shiny raincoat, to hang out all weekend with a lez GP, an adorable Ecuadorean girl who makes jewels shaped as shits and a giant Australian guy who’s a dyke hag. Me and the girls were all about 5ft tall and the dude was 6ft 6. I asked him if he felt like Snow White with us. He did. We went from one party to the other till 6am. At our first stop in a regular house converted into a bar just by hanging a disco ball from the ceiling, a choir of lyrical singers was performing. At the next venue, a very intoxicated guy made jokes about my height and wouldn’t let go off my hand. He was super excited to tell me that in Australia, he knew a gastro-enterologist called Doctor Butt.

Berlin night life.

We slept four people in a flat booked for one person. Tall Australian guy put his hand around my waist in my sleep. It took me by surprise that I liked it. Will my next love affair be a boy? I have a vague intuition that it will.

My “date” was the weirdest I’ve ever had. I am not sure if she 1/was intimidated 2/was testing me 3/found me obnoxious from the moment she opened the door 4/had a humour that I couldn’t get at all. I was thrown off the whole time. At some point she told me that it took her days and days of shopping to find the perfect sofa that she would want to look at everyday, and it was the same with the perfect partner. So I felt evaluated like an Ikea item. When we really managed to talk about real stuff face to face, it was nice, but overall it feels like she consciously or not did everything in her power to discourage me. I chose to laugh at the situation and embrace the glorious randomness of my life. I am glad I went on that human adventure.

Between each recent episode of my life, my gay husband Í consoles me, advises me, listens to me and cuddles me. He sleeps in my bed every Monday and we analyze my love disasters of the previous week. We touch each other very slowly and spend hours discussing our repulsion/attraction of the opposite sex holding each other in the dark. Another kind of ghost dissolving.

I’m on the plane back from Berlin as I’m compiling the highlights of the last five weeks. I’m somewhat nerve-wrecked and even more emotionally exhausted than usual. But I love it because I don’t know anything else.

There’s always been a shit ton of people in my perimeter, yet I sleep alone most of the time.  People only seem to be into the first layer of me. Do they freak out at the thought of opening Pandora’s box?

Right before getting on my Berlin trip, I told my best friend that I was aiming at spending a normal weekend for a change and that I failed again. She said: “Have you ever had a normal weekend in your life? You’re LIVING.”

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Full Moon

Magdalena-Lutek-Nishe9Photo: Nishe9 by Magdalena Lutek

 

I am walking away from my own beaten path with that post, diving into the topic that is my personal beast.

Family.

I don’t know how to write about family, because I don’t know how to talk about family, because I never talk about family. I’ve become an expert at avoiding the topic.

Why?

I don’t have an answer myself.

Is there anything I am ashamed of? Is it painful? Sensitive? Am I running away from something? Are there any words out there in the lexicon of the world to even articulate my situation?

It has nothing to do with love. I do love my family. That’s what makes it tough. We all love our family to the point that it becomes a vampire that sucks us into guilt. We are all loyal to our respective family system, whatever form our loyalty may take.

That’s seven years that I haven’t been to my parents’ home. I was still a closeted student at Paris 3 University with short hair and big cheeks when I went there last. I have seen my parents and siblings in the meantime, but always in “neutral ground”, far from the house where I grew up.

My great return was planned last weekend. I had booked plane tickets for a family gathering and I had confirmed my presence. Everything was set.

I played for time until the very last minute. I sent an email the day before. “I am sorry. I am not coming.

It took me weeks to finally make that decision. Although I am the rebel of the family, although I have a big mouth and I am not the last to tell people to ‘fuck off’, although I’ve always been fiercely independent and moved abroad with my little suitcase when I was 18 and 2 weeks, you know what, that no show decision triggered the biggest amount of guilt I’ve ever felt. After being physically apart from my family system for most of my adult life, I think it was finally the first time that I was consciously stepping out of it. I visualised the family party with my empty shoes around the table. I remembered being told that healthy guilt can be healing.

I didn’t have the strength to hold myself back and compose a smooth character. I didn’t have the strength to elude the routine matters or tactfully filter my words.

I would like to go back to the people who’ve brought me into the world and be able to be my full self, the one that my friends and adopted family find colorful, funny and groundbreaking. I don’t want to be the pale version of myself any longer, not even for a moment. I am renouncing to pretend.

I want to casually tell my mum: “So, in a nutshell, last year I had this exploration phase of what is called ‘the BDSM scene’. That stands for ‘Bondage-Sado-Masochism’, and I found out that I am BD but not SM. I am not against it, I just don’t like it. It was truly fascinating. I met really nice people in sex parties, really, you’d be surprised how interesting and caring people can be. I had a fling with one of my gay ‘husbands’ around new year. It was awesome. He wears my clothes. I started questioning my desire after that. Maybe I also like a certain type of boys and I’ve been missing out? I had a CRAZY physical passion with my female neighbour a month later, but it stopped abruptly when I found out that she was an addict. Then, I shut down for a while. I am trying to become more emotional, and dare I say it, more ‘romantic’, although I have a hard time with the naiveness of the term. But I don’t think emotion is naive after all, because it takes great courage to be that present to yourself and surrender to another person. Right now, there are girls and boys that I like. I am rewiring myself, it is a tremendous job. I recently realised that my spectrum is so wide, you know. I’ve been infatuated with straight girls and boys and gay girls and boys. I even briefly fell in love with a girl who is now a boy. It is quite an achievement, don’t you think? You should be proud of me and of my human research. I recently made a new friend. She was born a man and is transitioning to become a woman. We catch up to talk about men because it is all new for her as well. We are at the similar stage of our woman’s life. She makes me think of my own femininity from a different perspective. I give her fashion tips. It’s a great connection. The variety within the human kind fills me with joy. That’s what my life is about.”

But my mum is a fundamentlist Catholic who has the word Jesus tattooed on her forearm. She was in the demonstrations against gay marriage in 2013, knowing about me. She campaigns to ensure that gay people won’t have the right to reproduce. She’s not a bad person, though. She feels guilty as f*** that she ‘failed my education’ for I turned out the way I am (see above). And I am equally feeling guilty for not being married to a guy as stable as a washing machine and not having popped out his ugly kids.

What can we both do about the way we are? I doubt we’ll ever meet. I think she would like to love me more but she can’t, given that she’s the one person on earth who certainly knows me the least.

My parents know about 10% of me, the acceptable part that I am comfortable to expose to judgment. It is not only that I can’t talk about my relationships and my human explorations as frankly as I’d like. No one really discusses that with their parents. But I can’t talk about my friends, my beloved queers and creatures, I can’t talk about what I write, what I read, what I love. I have to silence every topic that turns me on and gives me a reason for hope in the mess.

They only see me under a mainstream light that narrows me down, just like our vision of the moon is partial most of the time. Adjacent to the crescent moon, there is this fullness and roundness hidden in the dark. We furtively catch its full beauty once in a while.

I would like my family to see my full moon.

How do I proceed to change that?

Attache-moi! (Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down)

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When I returned from San Francisco, I decided to become a bondage expert. I wanted to manipulate rope and be the dominant one – the “rigger”, as they say in the jargon.

I joined a rope group for female riggers called Hitchin’ Bitches. It was taking place one Sunday afternoon per month in a dodgy pub. The rule was: men allowed but only for being bunnies (being tied up).

I showed up for my first class, positively excited. I turned my head and spotted this girl across the room. She was tall, athletic, boyish, with a short hair. I instantly sensed she was gay. I instantly sensed I liked her.

She was teaching the class. Bondage Professor. She had a boy name, and cherry on the cake, she was American (I have a fetish for American girls). The topic of the day was “pelvis harness”. I discovered she was one of the top international people in rope, which is a fairly small community. She’s so good that she even creates her own knots and name them.

After class, I went to her, and I took her contact to get private lessons. Yeah. “Private lessons”.

A couple of weeks later, I found myself in a girls only Play Party in a dodgy sauna. Dodgy is fun. I turned my head, and there she was. Bondage Professor was randomly standing in the same room as me. My heartbeat accelerated. I knew that if I was playing it well, the night would be awesome.

I slipped my way to talk to her, I slipped my way in the sauna with her, and I slipped my way to tell her that if she needed a bunny for the night, I was her woman. I scored. She said: “Shall we do that now?”

She took me to a private booth. It was the size of a fitting room, with an Amsterdam Red Light District lighting, a mattress on the floor and some kind of beam for suspension.

One of the most intense and troublante intimate experiences of my life began.

She took out ultra-sophisticated equipment, like only a surgeon of bondage would have. Ropes of every size, colour and texture, wooden sticks, clothes pins and other things that I can barely remember or describe.

We kneeled on the floor face to face and she explained the rules. I was wearing my magical silver bikini, the one in which crazy things always happen (such as this or this), with a zipper on the top as an invitation to explore.

She first checked with me if I had any body injuries. She insisted that the communication had to be clear : it is crucial not to play games in the verbal communication, like saying “no” for “yes” and vice versa, cause safety can be at stake. And it is important to express any discomfort or pain for the same reasons. And she added: “Remember. There is no “supposed to”.

I agreed and before I could finish my sentence she grabbed my wrists with authority and I found myself in seconds with rope handcuffs. She instantly took the power over me. Oh. My. God.

I discovered that night what complete surrender means. I really was her thing. I let her manipulate me like a doll, do whatever she wanted with me within complete trust. It was a new stage of my life, because I find easy to let go at… 82%, but I have a hard time letting go at 100%. I went beyond that in no time.

She was putting me in overelaborated pauses, twisting me, stretching me, suspending me, and she could go really creative because I am hyper flexible. “Go for it, I am a dancer”. When she was finishing one creation, I was finding myself in a crazy position that was yet comfortable, so we were taking a break to talk. I was chatting her up completely under restraint, and we had casual first date exchanges: what do you do, why did you move here, how did you get into bondage. Surreal.

There was a strange contrast in how shy she was in the talk and how dominant she was in bondage. It felt like she was almost autistic and rope was her only true mean of connecting with others.

She was restless. As soon as she was liberating me from a position, she was getting me into a new one. Her creativity was endlessly stunning. She even tied knots with my hair.

As hours were passing, it got more intimate. She got the call for the zipper on my bra. I was surprised that she asked me. “Can I open it?” What a question. “Yes”, I said.  

I don’t know many hours we stayed in there, probably close to 3 hours. But time was suspended, just like me. We created a very special timeless dimension in a minuscule physical space.

Close to the end, I really started wondering if she was ever going to “do” me in a “traditional” way. At some point she removed all the rope off my body and gave me a giant hug, she held me super tight and I could feel all the intense emotion that we had both put in that moment finally releasing.

The only violence that night was to go back to the outside world. Inside the bondage cocoon, everything was incredibly soft and respectful.

A question was burning my lips though, I really wanted to ask her “Why? Why didn’t you fuck me?”

But I suddenly understood that she did, in a way that no one had ever done before. Bondage Professor fucked my brain.

The title of the post is a tribute to my adored film director Pedro Almodovar

 

(Lesbian) Sex (Mafia) & The City

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First Play Party in New York on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

It was called ‘Submit’, was organized by the Lesbian Sex Mafia group for women & trans and took place in a basement in Brooklyn.

It is always exciting to arrive at a Play Party, because it is entering an underworld, a secret society. It is not advertised publicly and the venues are kept hidden. There was no way anyone would guess what kind of crazy stuff was going on inside this building unless they were part of the Mafia.

The venue was just dodgy enough, dark and organized as a maze. All the private booths had holes for voyeurism, which was more than half the fun. The usual BDSM rooms with crazy equipment (which I tend to keep away from) were hosting a wide spectrum of creatures.

Girls girls girls everywhere, of every style shape size age color femininity masculinity. There is so much diversity in this world that it becomes overwhelming when you are gender-fascinated. When you see such a clear sample of the rainbow range of the sexual identities concentrated in the same space, it gets so obvious that there are way more than 2 sexes.

I was one of the first to get some action going. Why not? It was strange. She was a little Asian girl playing dominant but who was awkward and kept apologizing, which made me way more dom than her because I always stay cool and in control even though I often inadvertently end up as the sub. There are many ways to be dominant beyond bottom/top, and mine is to trust and let go. How can one pretend to be dominant if they are themselves afraid of losing control? She was into strangling. I said OK why not, strangle me. There is nothing I frankly say no to, so then I end up laughing a lot. I can’t say I liked or didn’t like it, it was “interesting” and released my nerves until next time.

Then I wandered and watched the creatures for the rest of the night. A very tall girl whom I thought was a trans caught my eye, because she looked like a drag-queen (my ultimate fantasy). But I think she wasn’t. It is fascinating to read people’s story from the history of their body or the way they dress and present themselves.

I got my usual down after a few hours. It always happens when I am alone in a crowd, especially a type of crowd which can be disturbing when you feel lonely. But altogether there is support and good spirit in those events, like a human fishnet that prevents you from falling. People are kind. More caring than in the outside world because they live up their life and have therefore less animosity inside them.

I had a moment of sorrow because I still miss her and I fight that back with everything I have, but sometimes I run out of strategies or will. The DJ chose that moment to play Björk’s “All is Full of Love” and it was a strange contrast to wander those dark corridors with that tune in the background covered up with the sound of spanking, screaming, whipping.

I believed in it more than in any other context. Yes, all is full of love and all our regular or strange practices are on the path to our giant search for love. Most of us are fighting this secret battle.

Then, I met J². I had been looking at her all night and I dived my eyes into hers a few times, but she didn’t seem responsive. Towards the end of the party, she finally talked to me. I thought she was the sexiest prettiest girl of the night, one of those boyish girls with beautiful face whose blurry gender stings my imagination.

I don’t know how one of the first questions she asked me was: “Are you heart-broken?” which took me by surprise because 1/ I didn’t bring the subject 2/ you rarely hear that in a sex party 3/I am uncertain of the answer.

I had to think. I said “No… but it’s been hard”. It stunned me that she saw beyond. She said not to worry “because you are beautiful”. I replied thanks but if beauty was solving anything or cure pain we would know. We talked for a while. The venue was closing. I wrote my Fuckbook contact on her hand as she doesn’t have a phone (I like this.) She hugged me to say bye – our lips touched but it would have ruined everything to kiss her now although she’s the only girl I’ve been drawn to kissing in a long time.

I told her not to wash her hands.

Geeking out @ Columbia University

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I attended a conference last week at Columbia University called “Geeking out about Consent”. It was held by a transsexual lawyer (female to male) and was attended by a broad spectrum of people from the queer/weird/BDSM scene.

Columbia Campus, close to Central Park,  is ridiculously beautiful and ‘Ivy League’ style. I felt in the Dead Poet Society for a minute and it was fun to imagine for a couple of hours that I was part of the elite of the nation.

The crowd was interesting – we had to introduce ourselves and specify which pronounce we like people to use best to refer to us (he, him, his/she, her, hers/they, them, theirs). I start realizing that it is a New York thing. More than anywhere else, I see a lot of people whose gender is impossible to identify (often they like being referred to as ‘they’). I wonder why New York has a higher concentration of gender-blurry people? Fascinating.

I had a short moment of loneliness when I realized that everyone identified as “geek” and started sharing anecdotes of abuse – that’s why the class was about Consent. The main focus of the class was how to express your desire and say no when you are geeky. A boy/girl named Vanessa was like: “I went to a party once and someone wanted to lick all my tattoos and I didn’t know what to reply.” I was totally the odd-one-out, cause I am not a geek and I have no stories of abuse so it was even more interesting for me to attend the conversation as a spectator and not get any of their geeky jokes.

A few really good questions were raised though, which made me think about my own approach of things : what stops us from asking someone what we really want? What are we afraid of when we want to say “no” and we don’t? Why do we go for average things just because we don’t want to miss out on any opportunity?

We ended up the class with an exercise in pair : one had to ask “Can I ….. ?” and the other had to reply “No, but…..” or “Yes, and….”.

Man. Expressing our desires is difficult.

The Underworld (Play Time)

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My last day in San Francisco was a Saturday.

I reached the town centre by my own means – which is always an adventure in California as the public transportation is fairly nebulous.

I wandered in the city alone and aimless (my usual way to travel). San Francisco is quiet, colourful and laid back, and has some Mediterranean charm in the air. Maybe the bougainvillea?

I took a coffee at the Four Barrel, another coffee in the sun, talked to a Buddhist monk, to a French artist, to a homeless saving for weed. I spied through gates to admire secret gardens. I walked up and down the hills of Hayles, tried on crazy attires in vintage shops (I save you the pic of my butt in a tiger dress.)

When the sun started going down, I went back to Oakland. The way back was scary. I got lost in dodgy areas with no living soul. But I only got told that I had a cool jacket.

I met β³ at his place. We got ready for my first ever Play Party (Sex Party). In the car, he asked me if I was anxious or if I had any questions for him. I didn’t have anything to ask but I was anxious indeed, just at the idea of soaking with the perv’ and feeling like a virgin. I couldn’t imagine one second that this could be healthy. But I had a strong call from my darker side to be set free at the time, and I am grateful that β³ stood on my energetic path at this precise moment to help me satisfy the urge. He held my hand into a world of desires and it felt like earth opened under my feet to reveal a strong part of my universe which I had been ignoring all this time. 

The party was taking place in a private 2 floor loft, warehouse type. Huge space. The theme of the night was “Games”. We were about 150 people. Upstairs was buffet, dance floor, social space, neutral room (no sex allowed in there). Downstairs was “Fucking zone” (floor covered with cushions, hot tub, bed, BDSM equipment.) The space was punctuated with Angels dressed in white. Angels are resource people you can talk to if you feel bad, confused or lost, or if something goes too far. It can be easy to feel strange or very lonely in such an environment. Better to go when you feel fulfilled and are on a strong ego phase, otherwise it can be quite damaging. It won’t fill your inner void.

Of the few parties I’ve been, this one was by far the best. The first half an hour, I was feeling like Mylène Farmer in the clip of “Que mon coeur lâche, and all of a sudden, I felt home and I spent an extraordinary night full of magical encounters.

We started with an ice breaker game, to meet people and open up. We had to go in pairs trying to explain what our expectations for the night were. For some people the answer was straight forward, and for some others, like me, it was an abyssal metaphysics research. I wasn’t clear even to myself: what urge pushed me to accept coming here? And what unknown force made me feel irrationally excited about it way more than scared?

We did some exercises in order to express to someone else a desire we could have for them ; and accept the proposal or decline it in a non offensive manner. The ABC of desire : expressing yourself/saying YES/saying NO. Such a shame this is only taught in the Underworld and not at the surface, I mean, why do you have to join the “scene” to learn the basics of human connection like that? Why don’t we learn that at school? It is fundamental. First revelation of the night.

I teamed up with this guy and when I asked him why he was there, he replied that he was going to be off sex for a while. Me: “- Why is that?” Him: “- I am going to jail for 3 years in 12 days.” Drug deal. What could I possibly reply? “Make the most of it?” Poor guy. Everyone had so unique and different paths. People were generally way more interesting and respectful than in a “normal” party or bar, because the rule of the Underworld is to always check in the other’s consent before doing anything. This is obviously not the case in the regular world.

I had fabulous conversations with a social worker guy, with a painter, with a pretty girl who had thrown her own “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” festival (one of my most cult movies). I wrestled with guys who wanted to kick my ass. I watched the most improbable couples-for-the-night fucking. I received a beautiful kiss from a questioning hippy girl. I got my first bondage lesson with β³. I tied up a woman in her 40s. When I started restraining her with rope and going dominant, something triggered in my brain. An animal signal was flashing in my head, saying “THIS IS THE TRUE NATURE OF YOUR EXISTENCE”. Second revelation of the night. I whipped too, but I didn’t like it. I can’t possibly be serious doing this. I’d be a disastrous Dominatrix, cause I laugh all the time and I make jokes that ruin the fantasy. 

At about 5am, one of the male Angels started hitting on me. He lent me his phone to do my online check-in as I was flying only a few hours later. Energy started fading away, but there was still some action going on as dawn was breaking. He & I talked for a while with moans in the background. He was a Burning Man aficionado. We had a cool talk. He gave me a lift to the station with my massive luggage. I went straight from the Underworld to LAX airport. I can’t recall any of the journey back from San Francisco to LA. I was in a secondary state for hours (maybe days?) because of what had just happened. A lot of my representations, certitudes and preconceptions had shifted in my head.

San Francisco deeply altered some aspects of my life.