Sunday, October 9, 2016

Nitpicker's Corner: "Colors" by Laleh

Just because it's black in the dark
Doesn't mean there's no color
I absolutely love the song in question. To be honest, I love pretty much everything by Laleh.

However, we have to talk about those two lines of the chorus.

Color is what happens when light of a certain wavelength within the visual spectrum interacts with the eyes, or whatever similar organ, of a living being. Objects reflect only parts of the visual spectrum due to their physical qualities (which I do not pretend to understand in detail), and that is why we get objects of different colors.

Color is not an intrinsic property of objects, but the result of those objects reflecting light. If you direct a source of red light on a green object, then (if I'm not completely mistaken), the green object will absorb, i.e. not reflect that light, and it will appear gray or even black.

So, in the dark there is indeed no color. It is black exactly because of that fact.

With a more subjectivist philosophy in mind, one could even argue that color only happens when said light interacts with a light-perceiving organ, i.e. an eye which is connected to a working, living brain. Without light to shine on them and an eye to percceive them, the physical properties of the object are still there, of course, but nobody cares. They are, one might quip, potential colors, not actual ones.

So, after all, colors appear to be there before they are hit by lightwaves, waiting to be perceived, like buds that have not opened yet. Just like the acorn is, in a way, a tree in waiting, so is unperceived color a sense perception that just has not had the chance to happen as of yet. The green object hit by red light would, then, be a sadly missed opportunity.

Simply because I'm such a literature buff (and because, by pure chance, I am just at the right time, namely right now, re-reading James Joyce's Ulysses), I shall have to quote the opening lines of the Proteus episode to you:

Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How? By knocking his sconce against them, sure.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Narrative Appeals of BDSM

It has long been my view that one of the appeals of BDSM is its inherent narrative structure -- its dramatic capacity.

Take, for instance, the classic "9 1/2 weeks". Both the novel and the movie were bestsellers back in the day (I think); even if bdsm practitioners will tell you (and they are right) that they're lousy examples of actual BDSM, because everything in them is based on non-consensual acts, or abuse for short. What titillates the most is not Kim Basinger's body, or Mickey Rourke's smile, but the drama of a woman who falls for an abuser, enjoys it for a while because it is so erotic, and then tries to escape his iron clutch. We may protest the inherent sexism, and rightly ask why anyone would like to make out in the cold rain (without catching the common, absolutely unerotic cold!), but few of us can help feeling slightly aroused by the hot action in there.

Never-ending happiness is endlessly boring, just like mindless fucking.

Even in the simplest bondage scenario, there is a sub struggling against the ropes, crying in "pain", sighing pleasure. There is a dynamic, there is dramatic structure, there is tension and climax and payoff. Of course, simple phantasies will never fully exploit the potential therein -- but it is there, nonetheless.

This is why 90% of BDSM porn is about non-consensual violence, rather than politically correct, SSC-conforming scenes. Knowing you can safe-word out of your predicament is great in real life, but in our imagination, we want the racy stuff. Those cries better be for real. Those sighs better be just as real, too.

Of course, the narrative thrill is there in real life, too, because of our tendency to get lost in the game and ignore its game-like characteristics. It's what can make long-term games and mind-games so appealing. Many a sub completely forgot that there even was a safe-word agreed upon. So lost were they in the crazy world of commands, humiliation, and ropes.

Will the chaste sub make it to the end of the set period of no-action? Will he come out at the other side, a changed person? Will he be able to fulfill all the tasks he was given? Will the domme finally grant him his well-deserved release, or will she find some excuse to prolong his suffering?

These are the sort of questions that drive a well-written story. Character arc, challenges, pro- and antagonists... it's all right there.

The appeal of BDSM is not necessarily "just" pain and cruelty, even when simulated. Our inborn craving for well-told stories is just as good an explanation as any.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Stripping the Gurus

No, the title is not in reference to any kinky activities, though some of the personalities mentioned on the website below might (have) enjoy(ed) them a lot.

"Stripping the Gurus: Sex, Violence, Abuse and Enlightenment" by Geoffrey D. Falk
It is about the odd and abusive behaviour that lots of "holy men" engage in,. Holy men ranging from Ramakrishna to the Dalai Lama to Paramahansa Yogananda.  To some, this might be shocking news, for others just interesting reading material.

It didn't tell me anything particularly new, and I don't know if I agree with some of what he writes (plus, honestly I only browsed it), but I thought it was probably interesting for others, so I'm posting the link here.

Do monks and nuns feel this way, too?

Don't even try to argue that you don't know what I'm talking about.

So... do they, or don't they?

Due for release

Tomorrow I'm due for "release", as they say in kinkalese professional terminology. Seeing as my beloved is void of any sadistic urge, I'm sure I'll get it, too.

I am looking forward to it, sure. But not at all in the way I used to, or in the way I expected.

I feel like I am now a bit more calm about this whole chastity thing. I also feel like I got over the initial craving. Yes, it feels like cold turkey. (At least as far as I know it from going off cigarettes 15 yaars ago.)

I am looking forward to the intimacy, being with her and inside her. It's not so much a race for a goal as it used to be. I wonder what my feelings will be after the "finish".

I told her that we can and should freely express our wishes and desires, the both of us -- only, mine are optional while hers are always binding. It seems to me she is good with that. She did, for what it's worth, send me to go pick something from the store across the street a few days ago. That's a good start!

I have to admit I just love "serving" her, pulling her a bath and giving her feet a rub and stuff like that. Not even nessecarily the sexual things. And she seems to feel in a similar way, so we might be up to a "race of kindness" in the future.

ETA: In an online forum on FLRs I read this:

There is a part of us submissive males that realizes we want to let go of our ego, that it is actually better for us if we do. 

This feels very true. The question is whether this is simply due to hormone fluctuations. After that, this probably being the case, the next question is: Does it matter? After all, our emotions ARE our hormones, to the highest degree. We cannot distinguish the physical from the psychological in this case. So, if I hack myself via orgasm control to become a better person, then I do have changed myself. It's actually a rather huge thing, once you start thinking about it.