All posts by Rant

Rant is an experienced Dominant involved in the San Francisco Bay Area BDSM scene. He may occasionally also answer to Tirade.

Thank you

My last post was about my currently very uncertain health condition and it was written at a time when I was very scared for my own continued existence, not to mention my ability to keep walking and writing.  Immediately after I posted it, I started to receive emails from readers with concerns and well-wishes, and it helped immensely to improve my outlook in general.  

Firstly – a heartfelt Thank You to all of the people who have sent in their messages of support or offers of assistance.  I am extremely fortunate to have such a large network of people who care about me.

Secondly – while I still do not know the nature of the numbness and tingling and lack of sensation that I am still continuing to feel, the symptoms have lessened in some places and changed in others to be more consistent with an injury rather than any sort of dangerous degenerative disorder, so while I am not certain of anything yet, the probability that I am facing something that will kill me seems to be reduced along with my fear.

I am not out of the woods just yet, and I have many more appointments with specialists yet to come, but the prognosis is a lot more hopeful and the likelihood of a full (or nearly full) recovery is much higher, which has left me feeling a lot more positive about things in general.

I may yet be facing a potentially dangerous surgery, but for some reason that is a lot easier to face than some unknown demyelinating disorder, which was the original tentative diagnosis.

Thank you to everyone who has chosen to be a part of my life – you are the reason that my life continues to be as awesome as it is.

  • Rant

On mortality

“Well, we think that it’s equally likely that you have some sort of transient condition that we don’t fully understand that will resolve itself on its own, or that you have one of these six syndromes with similar symptoms, five of which are degenerative, untreatable, and fatal within a year.”

This is not the sort of thing that you want to hear from your doctor… but it is exactly what I heard when I took myself to the emergency room with some numbness in my extremities two weeks ago.  I have to admit, it’s kind of been fucking with me since then and I am good and fully scared.

I have fallen a bit behind on my posts and in answering emails lately – and this is the reason why – I do apologize.  I am trying to get caught up again beginning today.

I’ve never experienced having a doctor tell me something like “there’s a 50% chance that you’ll be dead within a year” before, and I have to say, it’s not one of my favorite things.

It does sort of put a lot of things into perspective though… 

I’ve known for some time that I would not likely have a terribly long life span.  I’ve got a family history of heart disease, mental disorders, and hypertension. I have been involved in several auto accidents (none of which I was found to be at fault for) – at least one of which resulted in serious long-term injuries that still bother me almost daily and are a cause for chronic pain, and all of these things are known to reduce lifespan.  I figured it would be unlikely that I would live to see 80, but I was okay with that.  I’ve seen what my grandmother (who is now 98) has gone through in recent years, and her quality of life is not very good.  In fact, for the past two years, every time I’ve seen her, she has said at least once that she is ready to and even wants to die.  “No one should have to live like this…” she has said more than once.

However – and this is a pretty big thing – I never even considered the possibility that I wouldn’t live into my 70’s or better, and that should still be decades away.  Being told that there is a 50% chance that I might not live to see another birthday after this year was a pretty big blow – one which I am still processing.

I had a will, of course – it would be pretty irresponsible for any parent not to – but it hadn’t been updated in a while, so I’ve done that.  I made sure that the beneficiaries for my insurance policies were properly set, and I had to change my emergency contact information as well. That was pretty rough too.  I had had my emergency contact set to be my former partner who broke up with me earlier this year. I even had her listed as a 10% beneficiary for my life insurance policy – I don’t remember doing that, but it’s perfectly in line with something that I might do.  At the time, I wanted to gift her with enough money to pay off her student loans if I should happen to expire accidentally while we were together. Now – I don’t even want her at my funeral.

My current partners are all trying to be supportive, but there is really nothing that they can do – nor is there anything I can do except to sit in my discomfort and wait for something to change.  This is a very difficult place to be. I am doing my very best to take everything in stride and to be hopeful – by telling me that there is an equal chance that it is something that they don’t understand or something on the list of scary-ass-shit, my doctors were basically telling me that they have no idea what is going on or how to treat me.  That is frightening, but if I can alter the narrative a bit and just cling to the notion that they don’t know what is wrong, it is slightly less terrifying. Slightly…

It’s really hard to say “my life is awesome” when you’re living with something like this hanging over your head, but it is still true.  I am loved by many and I know that my passing will be mourned, but I am still hopeful that they won’t have to mourn my passing for decades yet to come.  I will admit to stress eating and making bad decisions based on the idea that “either I’m fine and this won’t really hurt me, or I’m dying anyway and should enjoy the time I have left.”  I suppose I am still a hedonist at heart.

I have confronted my mortality once again, and I really don’t like it, but I am happy in general with the life that I’ve led, the people that I’ve chosen to keep in my life, and the contributions that I have made.  I would really like another century or two of healthy and happy life, but if my card gets pulled tonight, I’d feel as if my impact on the universe has been a net positive, and I can live with that for now – and hopefully for much, much longer as well.

 

How did you do it?

After people get beyond the novelty of talking with a former sex worker and I answer all of the questions that I did in my last post, the thing I most often get asked about is how it is possible for me to create connections with people right away.  

In the context of the work that I did for Mistress Simone, this was trivial.  I already had a certain amount of native talent in the area. I was fit, good looking, well spoken, and I have a fucking amazing voice.  The people that I saw were already primed and seeking a connection – all I had to do was not fuck it up. Of course, I still sometimes did – and not being an idiot, I try to learn from my mistakes and do better the next time, or at the very least, make new mistakes. 

All of those first-date like meetings served to teach me rather well in how to create a connection and how to maintain someone’s interest once I do.  As a result, I’ve created the neural pathways to instinctively know how to attract and maintain the attention of almost anyone.  

I don’t necessarily mean a romantic or sexual connection here – and it would be impossible for me to create such a connection with anyone, since there are at least a large number of people out there who would not find me attractive – at least, not right away.  But even when you are not taking sex into consideration, it is often very useful to be able to establish a connection right away, even if it is shallow.  This is a core skill for salesmen, or personnel managers, or product marketers, or just about anyone, actually. 

People are already hard-wired to look for connections.  Humans are social animals – without a clan, we die – and when an opportunity arises to meet a new person, you make a snap judgment – whether you want to admit it or not – about how you feel about that person.  Is this a person that I want to fuck? Is this a person that I want to talk to? Does this person make me feel threatened, or does this person make me feel safe? I can almost guarantee that all of those questions are going through your mind about every new person you meet, every time you meet someone new.  You may not be cognizant of them all at the moment you meet, and the answers to those questions can (and do) change – often quite quickly – but every person answers all of those questions, and dozens others besides, about every person they meet, within moments of meeting them.

The good news is that most people are actually pretty decent people, and that most people really do want a positive outcome to meeting anyone.  That does not mean that everyone wants to fuck you, but it probably means that more of them do than you realize. 

The worst part of this post is coming right now: there is a trick to it.

It’s not something that I started doing intentionally, but eventually I noticed the effect, and I can occasionally be something of a social scientist brat – so I performed experiments.  I talked to my friends in new ways, I talked to their friends and watched their reactions intently, and I interacted with total strangers.

It’s actually much harder to do this in the context of a normal social club/bar/party setting than it is as a contracted sex worker, but the stakes are also a lot less and I really didn’t care about being rejected – I was inoculated to rejection when I was a younger, more instantly visually appealing man.  Which is to say – I’ve been rejected a lot…

But I said there is a trick, and it would be really mean of me to mention it and not tell you, wouldn’t it?  So here it is: if you want to create immediate connection with someone, no matter their gender, age, or motivation, the answer is always the same…

Make eye contact and smile.

Seriously.  That’s all that’s needed.  Most of the time, you get a smile back and then you can move to the next step, but often you will get a shy look away or a terrified turn of the head or even see them get up and run away.  Don’t worry – you’ll get another chance, but there’s also the chance that they just don’t like what they see and you should give up.  

If they look away but eventually look back towards you, you can try it again one more time – but more than that and you are being creepy and need to stop.  Otherwise you’ll ruin my reputation. More often than not though, if you don’t stare at them and try to will them into talking to you, they will be intrigued by the non-threatening smile and return their attention to you and give you a better chance – but it’s a bold thing to hold someone’s gaze who isn’t expecting it, and it intimidates a lot of people at first.

The next step – and the crucial one, I’ve found – is to ask them for a favor.  It has to be something trivial that they can complete without needing any skill in a short period of time, and it cannot be in any way sexualized.  Anything creepy here is going to just push them away and tickle their ‘not okay’ vibes. Besides – you’re not in this for the sex anyway, because if you were, you’d be smart enough to realize that the best way to accomplish that is to just pay for it.

This will require you to actually think a bit, perhaps, but as a good example, imagine that you saw an attractive, clean-cut, non-threatening looking man smile at you and give you some time to react, then he gets close enough to ask a question and says, “Would you mind holding my drink for me for a moment?  I’ve just noticed that my boot is unlaced and I’d like to fix it.” Then he hands you his drink.

Most of you are thinking, “well, now I roofie him and when he’s good and lit, get him to take me back to his place where I fuck his brains out and then roll him for any cash he might be carrying on my way out – hoping never to see him again.”  

No.. wait.. That’s not what I want – and that’s only happened once…

But you do see the point, right?  You’ve created a connection, immediately.  You’ve engaged their compassion as well as curiosity and maybe lust. 

But isn’t this all terribly manipulative and premeditated and awful, Rant?  How is this different from any of that pick-up artist crap that you are always shitting all over?  Aren’t you just using psychological tricks to manipulate people?

Well – maybe.  But name any interaction that you have with anyone, ever, where there is not some form of manipulation taking place.   The whole point of communications is usually that there is something that I want (even if it’s pretty mundane) and I want you to help me with it in some way.  And more to the point – you do have to start somewhere, and while I could just stand next to someone until I hear something that I can talk about and then try to jump into the conversation… that is a really weak place to start, putting yourself in the submissive position before you even begin to communicate – verbally, at least.  

By asking for a trivial task to be accomplished, you’re giving your conversant the power to say ‘no’ and walk away, or to pick up the gauntlet and do something trivial in the interest of more conversation. And conversation is the goal here, so you have to follow up after this and actually have something interesting to talk about.  There must have been some reason you wanted to talk to this person. Maybe you overheard them talking about something you are interested in, or maybe you just really like the way they make that dress look and you want to fuck their brains out.  Talk about it – whatever it is – or let it go and forget about it entirely. 

Interesting – or perhaps the opposite, actually – is that this works equally well with people who are sexually attracted to me as those who are not.  In either case, I’ve engaged their curiosity and given them a focus, and then all I have to do is hold it. 

Of course – you must also be charming and debonair and have impeccable sartorial choices if you want to maintain this contact, and that becomes a much more involved process and there are no tricks for that – either you will establish a real connection, or you won’t – but that is entirely up to you.  The vast majority of the work involved in making a new connection is in those first moments of uncertainty, and by looking for a smile and asking for a favor, you can short circuit a lot of that. 

What was it like?

What was it like?

That’s the question I get more often than anything else.  It’s a part of my past, and there are posts about it here on this blog (starting here, and then going through parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – and more to come) but once people learn that I used to be a sex worker, that is the question that I get more than anything else… 

 

What was it like?

 

Well – it’s not really an easy question to answer…  I could come up with some suitable metaphor if I spent a moment trying to do so, but that would only give you a part of the answer, and the real answer is quite complicated.  

It was different things at different times.

In the beginning, it was fucking awesome…  literally and figuratively.

Oh sure, I was terrified at first, but once I got over that and sort of jumped into it with two feet, it was really pretty amazing for awhile.  Though eventually I started to become unhappy. I had no control over my own schedule, no choice in who I saw, no vacation days, no benefits, and while partying all of the time can be great for a while, eventually I started to burn out and then I just wanted to be a real boy again.

And this is where I start getting interrupted with questions about specific things…

 

Did you ever have to have sex with a client that you didn’t find attractive?  

 

No – not really.  I worked for what amounted to a high-end brothel that operated right under the noses of everyone around, and maintaining such an enterprise required a lot of money, so my Mistress (Simone was her name) charged a lot for my time and kept the client list pared to those that properly fit in with her aesthetic.  I am still not 100% sure that I know what that was, but nearly all of my clients were married women in their 30’s and 40’s, and they tended to spend a lot of time and money on their appearance. They chose me not because I was younger/hotter/better than the men they could get – almost any of them could have easily found sex for free in the wild, but they were paying for discretion and often for a very particular set of interests.

It did happen that I would have to see clients at times when I was not particularly “in the mood”, and unlike my female counterparts, I did not have the option to just lube up and lie there, so I learned all about pills and creams and pumps and rings, and I employed them all from time to time.

 

But did you ever have to have sex with someone who was just fat or ugly?

 

No – I had clients who were overweight by society’s standards, even obese in some cases, but I would never classify someone as fat unless it was a name they claimed for themselves, and the only ugly I ever see is the kind that stains a person’s soul – and has nothing to do with their body.

 

Did you ever have sex with men?

 

No – or at least, I don’t think so… I was offered money to on several occasions – sometimes it was quite substantial, but trauma in my past has always prevented me from being sexual with men – at least from the active position, and if I were ever used as an inactive participant, I was not present for the act.

I used to be adamant that this never happened, but I get glimpses of memories that make very little sense otherwise, so I have to wonder what I don’t have full memories of… 

There was certainly a time where I could not conceive of the possibility that this may have occurred, and I will fully admit that even writing these words causes a spike of anxiety for me, but in retrospect it really makes very little sense that I never saw male clients. 

I was certainly involved in several group-sex scenarios where men were present.  I can remember those pretty clearly.

 

Where is the most interesting place that you have had sex?

 

Interesting is such a strange word… but my answer to this question is actually pretty easy, and it has nothing at all to do with my life as a sex worker.  

I had sex in the confessional of Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco.  The only thing that would have made it better is if she had been wearing a nun’s habit when we did it.

I know.. I’m a blasphemous devil who will burn in hell for all eternity…  

I’ll keep the lights on for you.

 

How much money did you get?

 

Not as much as I should have…  this is not to say that I didn’t ‘sell’ for exorbitant prices – my time went anywhere from $200 to $700 an hour, depending on duration, activities, and when in my ‘career’ I was engaged.  However, Simone managed and held the money in almost every case. There were a few outcalls where I would be expected to collect the fee and return with it, but more often than not I saw people in the apartment that Simone provided for me and she handled the money before they ever arrived at my door.   She covered my expenses, kept me clothed and fed and housed, and gave me chunks of cash from time to time with the idea that I would use it to splash out and have fun of my own. It probably contributed to some of my idiosyncratic spending habits now… all of my day to day expenses were handled for me and I didn’t have to worry about them, and while I did have bank accounts and credit cards of my own – for the most part I always paid cash for everything and carried large amounts of it.

I honestly have no idea what my income was for the not-quite-two-years that I spend under Simone’s direction, but as I was her property, I didn’t decide many things and I didn’t really keep track of what I did.

I probably spent close to $50k in cash across the time I was with her, and my expenses probably ran close to $100k per year, but I was living at a much higher standard of living than I would have chosen for myself and didn’t have much choice in the matter. 

All told, if I had to do some diner napkin mathematics to guess at the totals… I probably cost Simone close to $200k per year, and I probably earned her about 3-4 times that, quite possibly more.. Most weeks I ended up with appointments for at least 15 hours – sometimes as much as 50 – but those were generally inclusive of longer sessions with discounted rates, so I’m not quite sure how it evened out.

The important thing to realize though is that I never really got to keep any of that.  Perhaps I could have been more responsible and pocketed or even deposited some of the cash that I was given, but I tended to spend it – just as Mistress Simone had instructed me to do, and often at the places where she instructed me to do it.  But it was not all bad – she took me shopping somewhat regularly and put me in expensive clothes (that I also didn’t get to keep) and generally kept me up well – I just had nothing to call my own, not even my body, and I viewed it all as normal and expected.

 

Did you ever have sex with any famous people?

 

Depending on how famous you are asking about.. yes, but no one on the A-list or anything like that.  More often they were important people than famous people.

 

Who were they?

 

I’m not telling you that.

 

How many clients did you have?

 

I had several regular clients who I would see on a regular schedule – or sometimes an irregular schedule, but I also saw a lot of clients only once.  I’d say it was close to a 50/50 split between clients that I saw only once and clients that I saw more often than that. Some of them would see me at the same time every week – almost like going to see a therapist or a chiropractor, and I suppose I served a very similar function to some of these women.

All told though, I don’t really remember how many it was over the span of my time working for Simone.  I tried to stop counting at 150, but ended up keeping track up to about 180 and then I really did lose track.

 

What was the weirdest session that you had?

 

There were a few that stand out, but I do think the mother/daughter doubles session that I had was probably the strangest.  The mother of the pair was a regular client of mine, and her daughter was a purported virgin at 26 and that was apparently a problem for both of them.  I would honestly have had no qualms at all about seeing the daughter in a separate session, but her mother brought her along to hers and was present the entire time. 

I did not end up interacting – physically – with both of them that day, I only interacted physically with the daughter while the mother watched and provided commentary and instruction – to her… it was all very odd.

 

Did you ever have a problem ‘getting it up’ with a client?

 

Yes, I did, but it was not frequent – and it was almost always because I was pushing my body too hard rather than anything else, though I can occasionally get in my own way, psychologically, as well.  I had a pump that I could use if I absolutely needed to have an erection, and strangely enough – even though I suspected that it would cause problems, it almost never did.

There are exceptions, of course… and I was punished for those.

 

Did you always have sex with your clients?

 

We always performed some sort of sex act, yes, but it was not always penis-in-vagina sex that was happening.  I had one regular client, in particular, who would visit me at the same time every week and have me spend her entire hour just going down on her as she climaxed over and over again.  We almost didn’t even speak about it. It was all very utilitarian, but she would usually orgasm around 20 times in the hour.

Some of my female colleagues would talk about their clients who would just want emotional intimacy and often only limited physical contact, but I never had a client like that.

My theory is that the women who would come to see someone like me had already made their choice and were not going to be dissuaded by last-minute cold feet that affected many of the men, or that the men sometimes rationalized things… right up until it came time to make the action that would be the point of no return in their mind.  The women had already passed the point of no return before they walked through my door. 

 

Did you ever get asked to do something you didn’t want to do?

 

Sure – that was pretty frequent.  Most of the time I had to do them anyway, but sometimes I was allowed to say ‘no’.

 

Okay – what kinds of things?

 

Well – I was not terribly keen on the mother/daughter virgin team that I talked about previously, and there were some of my clients who really enjoyed degrading me or physically causing me pain, and while I found that I could lean into the physical pain, my reactions to the degradation were all over the place and never positive. 

 

Did you ever fall for a client?

 

No – though I did have clients fall for me.

I was emotionally walled off from the ability to care for anyone other than Simone at that time of my life.  She was my world, and everything I did was to please her. 

 

Did you ever run into clients in ‘the real world’?  And if so, what did you do?

 

Yeah, I did – though rarely.. The places that I would go to socialize catered to a different caliber of folks than the pool of people from which Simone’s clients was taken. 

If I saw someone who I recognized from the job, I would pretend that I didn’t know them, even when one of them once made the mistake of recognizing me and then perking up to start to say something, realizing the company she was in, and then didn’t know how to handle things.  I told her politely that she must have made a mistake and that I have ‘one of those faces’ that everyone finds someone recognizable in. It helps that that is actually true. 


I have been asked other questions, of course, but these are among the most common.  If you have other questions that you would like to ask – I respond to emails as quickly as I am able, and you can always write in the comments section as well.  I will do my best to answer anything you ask.

PSA: No – some hacker did not record you masturbating

I’ve received dozens of emails like the following, where some ‘anonymous hacker’ writes to me and tells me that I have been caught masturbating and that if I don’t send them bitcoin really soon, they’re going to send a video of me masturbating to everyone in my contact list and completely ruin my life.  Given how common this is, the chances are pretty good that you have received a similar message as well, or that you will someday soon.

This email is from this past January – and while I did remove some of the parts about how to pay this guy, with what remains, you can clearly see that I’m well beyond the 72 hours that I was promised, and this ‘Brant’ did not even do me the service of sending people my masturbation video like he said he would.  How rude.  I’m pretty sure that most of them would have liked to see it…

LAST WARNING lordrant@domrant.com!

You have the last chance to save your social life - I am not kidding!!

I give you the last 72 hours to make the payment before I send the video with your masturbation to all your friends and associates.

The last time you visited a erotic website with young Teens, you downloaded and installed the software I developed.

My program has turned on your camera and recorded your act of Masturbation and the video you were masturbating to. My software also downloaded all your email contact lists and a list of your Facebook friends.

I have both the 'Lordrant.mp4' with your masturbation and a file with all your contacts on my hard drive. You are very perverted!

If you want me to delete both files and keep your secret, you must send me Bitcoin payment. I give you the last 72 hours. If you don't know how to send Bitcoins, visit Google.

When you pay in full, I will remove both files and deactivate my software.

If you don't send the payment, I will send your masturbation video to ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES from your contact list I hacked.

You саn visit the police but nobody will help you.
I know what I am doing. I don't live in your country and I know how to stay anonymous.

Don't try to deceive me - I will know it immediately - my spy ware is recording all the websites you visit and all keys you press.
If you do - I will send this ugly recording to everyone you know, including your family.

Don't cheat me! Don't forget the shame and if you ignore this message your life will be ruined.

I am waiting for your Bitcoin payment.

Brant
Anonymous Hacker

P.S. If you need more time to buy and send 0.587043 BTC, open your notepad and write '48h plz'. I will consider giving you another 48 hours before I release the vid, but only when I really see you are struggling to buy bitcoin.

I would really love to just eviscerate this message, because there are so many things here that simply make no sense – like, anyone who knows me knows that I don’t have an active facebook presence, so threatening to use my facebook contacts is a pointless threat, and there are numerous other reasons why this is ridiculous, but I don’t really have time for that…

I will admit though, I do kind of like the whole “type ’48 hr plz’ into notepad” thing – that implies scrutiny is continuing, which ups the fear level a bit.

It is admittedly pretty scary, if this is something that you would pay attention to or be scared by.  And with shows on TV like Black Mirror and all of the other various techno-dystopian views being presented to us all of the time, along with real threats like identity theft, this can be a very disconcerting thing.  However – I can authoritatively say that I’ve received many, many messages like the above and never once has anyone ever been shown a video of me masturbating – even if they really wanted to see it.

This is not to say that things like this are impossible – it’s certainly within the realm of possibility, which is probably why it is an effective scam, but that’s really all that it is, a scam – it’s not true extortion and you’re better off keeping your money or your bitcoin to yourself and just deleting the message from your inbox.

The invasive and insidious nature of hate

I recently posted about myself again, and it continues a pattern that has been reinforced since I first started writing here.

My posts to this blog seem to generate interest in a few different forms.

Sometimes, people find what I write about interesting or informative and they either want to ask a question or have a comment and will comment on the post directly here on the blog.  Most of the time this happens when I am writing either informative or erotic pieces.

But sometimes, people find what I write about emotionally impactful, and I get email directly.

Often – more often than not, thankfully – these are positive things.  I get messages from people all of the time telling me that I have made a positive impact on their life because I shared something difficult or I exposed something that they could relate to in a way that made their own experiences easier to understand or more acceptable somehow.  I’ve been told that I have been directly or indirectly responsible for saving peoples’ lives. That alone is some heavy stuff, but it’s good – I can feel good about the fact that I am helping people, and I can feel good about the example that I try to set for how I live my life.

But sometimes… people find what I write about emotionally challenging in some less positive ways.

I also get a lot of hate mail.  Not as much as I used to, actually, but I recently gave these people more ammunition to use in an attempt to hurt me with my diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder and some of the other things that I have recently said and done as part of my life in the BDSM scene – and some of the things that I’m getting emails about are related to things that I have not even revealed on this blog – which ratchets up the fear a notch or three.

This means that I am getting hate mail to my blog from someone who knows me personally.

Even when it’s only an email, or its just someone filling in my Contact Me form, it is difficult to see messages where people tell me to kill myself.

It is difficult to read that someone thinks I have so little value as a person that I would be doing the world a favor by removing myself from it.

It is scary as fuck to read that someone knows the city I live in and would take any opportunity they had to beat the shit out of me or that they might show up at my house and set it on fire.

It hurts to read that someone that I have personally interacted with believes that my way of life is so repugnant that I should subject myself to terrible, painful, torturous ways of killing myself, and that the lives of everyone that I love would be improved by removing the stain of my existence from their lives.

Recently, I’ve made calling cards.  I’ve been trying to more closely engage with my community and to put myself out there a bit more for the good that I may be able to do as well as to increase my own exposure and possibly increase my reach.  It’s never been a strong goal of mine to create a personal brand or chase fame on the internet, but the good things that I hear urge me to try to at least reach a bit further – until I hit the barriers that I am coming up against again now.

This becomes important because those calling cards are the first time that I have linked this blog to my fetlife profile (where there are pictures of my face) and my phone number – and only recently have I started to receive text messages and phone calls from people who are spewing hate as well.

Honestly, it makes me want to run away.  It makes me want to pull up shop here, stop writing altogether and even to withdraw from my community.  It makes me afraid to go outside sometimes. It makes me afraid to have my kids stay with me at my own house.  And while I can rationalize away the fear and despair, I can never really get rid of them completely, and it weighs on me, heavily.

I have nightmares almost every night.  These are the result of trauma from my youth more often than not – memories that I have suppressed trying to percolate back up into consciousness – so I know that these are not necessarily only because of this newly increased volume of hate that I am receiving each day, but I would be incredibly foolish if I didn’t consider that it is having an effect.

I don’t know who is making these threats and sending me so much hate – and while I could probably find out, I am terrified to learn the answers to those questions, terrified to learn that someone I love harbors such deep seated loathing for me and feels like they can only express it pseudo-anonymously and with such bile.

I do not always succeed in putting forth the best version of me, but I do try very hard, and I try very hard to be open to criticism and discussion about how I act and the ways in which I may have made you feel.  And if you know me personally and I have somehow offended you, I would very much appreciate the chance to rationally discuss the things that have hurt you, but if you are just a hateful stalker who wants only to cause me harm, I can tell you that you have succeeded.

The hate that I feel seeps into my soul and makes everything seem bleak.  It gets into everything that I think and everything that I do and it makes it almost impossible to concentrate or accomplish anything of substance.  I try to counter it with love, and to an extent I succeed, but the fear never seems to completely disappear. I try to ignore it and focus on the other things that make my life the amazing thing that it is.  I have amazing people in my life who love me and support me, and even those who no longer wish to be a part of my life, or those who I care about but cannot make fit into this chaos claim to love and want to support me, if but from a further distance – and I feel the same way about them.  Much of the time I succeed, but sometimes the hate seeps back in like an oily stain that you can never quite remove from your favorite jeans.

I am Rant, and I am not going nowhere, but you have made me afraid.  Bully for you.

 

The many faces of Rant

I have made a number of difficult admissions through this site.  This is probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever contemplated posting to a public site and it has nothing to do with BDSM but everything to do with me.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have been through psychotherapy and have been on prescriptions for psychoactive drugs at various times in my past – over the course of writing this blog, even.  However, I have not been completely open about one of the more challenging aspects of my atypical neurology, and in order to be consistent with my mission, I have to be unflinchingly transparent and vulnerable, so here I am…

I have Dissociative Identity Disorder.

For those of you who don’t know what that is,  you can follow the link above or just accept that it is the current accepted terminology for what used to be called multiple personality disorder.  There is literally more than one person living in my body – though the degrees to which they make themselves known can vary tremendously.

The ways in which it can manifest are legion, and I have been in deep denial about my own condition for years, which created more than a few problems for me.  I was able to conceal it from almost everyone, even from myself – perhaps most especially from myself, by being paranoid and attempting to control every aspect of every moment of every day of my life.  I spent huge amounts of mental and even physical energy in just monitoring myself for consistency and trying to portray an unbroken narrative for myself and everyone who interacts with me.

It was exhausting.

I developed habits though… I repeat myself a lot, both in written and verbal communications.  Most people completely fail to notice, but those who do tend to think that I am merely emphasizing the things that I want to say for effect – and often that is the case, at least in part, but sometimes I’m also doing it so that I can make sure that I will remember…   I meditate – and when I forget to do that, or when life gets in the way too often and I don’t make the time – I suffer for it. I use drugs to force my mind into the state I want it to be in sometimes as well. Nootropics and psychoactive chemicals are my friends and allies.

The memory gaps are the worst thing.

I can be working, sitting at my desk, writing code and being in the zone, and then I will lose track of time and space and my consciousness will return and I will find myself in a completely different part of the office or in the kitchen or even in my car, completely unaware of hours of time that have passed where I have had conversations with coworkers, accomplished work goals, even eaten meals or used the bathroom.  That happens with some frequency, and I’ve just grown accustomed to it. I have learned to ask leading questions and prompt people to fill in missing information for me in conversations all of the time, because when I’m at work, about a third of the time it isn’t really me there.

Sometimes when I go out to my favorite weekly event – Bondage a Go Go – I will end up finding myself at home in bed and not remember how I got there.  Sometimes there are people with me throughout this entire process – my former partner would frequently accompany me to and from BaGG and spend the night with me, and often I would not remember things from some point after our arrival until the next day.  Often pieces will come back to me, but sometimes they won’t – until my personality shifts again, and then all of the corresponding memories come flooding back in again, only to be lost anew when I shift again.

My personality shards – my alters – to use the common parlance, each have different motives and desires and personalities and while I am fortunate enough that these are almost always in concert with each other, sometimes they are not.  Sometimes they even conflict with each other… and as you can probably imagine, this makes dealing with me difficult sometimes.  I can seem like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at times, I’m sure.

Recently, this has all been very different though – and not in a very flattering way.

When I was suppressing the expression of personality shifts, I would minimize the impact, even when they happened.  I would go on with life as if I was always the one at the controls and while I had gaps in my memory of things, I could usually fill them in pretty effectively and by denying the gaps existed, I was presenting myself and everyone around me with an unbroken narrative.

And that is how we experience the world, I’m realizing… I mean, I’ve always known this, but it is not something that I usually spend much time thinking about.  We experience everything as a continuous story, beginning when we are born and ending when we die.  This is the normal, expected, and understood way in which people live their lives – when you’re trying to explain anything to someone else, one of the most effective ways to do that is to relate it with a story.  

With the exception of our daily sleep periods, humans experience their entire world as an unbroken narrative.

Except — I don’t.  There are breaks in the narrative for me – every day.  When I was not monitoring myself as much, and when I denied my interior pieces, I failed to notice this, but the narrative of my life is not unbroken – and there are pieces missing for me all of the time.

I had no idea how much this was affecting me.

To be experiencing so much missing time and to be openly accepting the transitions was causing my mind to fragment even more.  Personality characteristics that are dominant with one alter were beginning to bifurcate more tenaciously and rapidly, leaving my dominant self, the one who I most often consider to be me, with the least agency that I can remember ever having.  

The parts were growing at the expense of what remained of me.

For some reason that I can’t explain – maybe it’s self-selection bias, maybe it’s something else – the BDSM community seems to be home to many more people with DID than would match population statistics.  I know several people in my local scene who also have DID and one of the more fascinating things to me is how the disorder manifests differently in different people.

Most of my friends and acquaintances who have the disorder have the ability to conduct conversations between their alters within their own mind.  The only way that I have ever been able to have an actual conversation with a different part of myself was very recently when I was staring at myself in the mirror and having a conversation with myself.  

My alter – who is known as Damien, though he doesn’t refer to himself that way except to note his presence to those in the know – would talk through my mouth at me as I stared at the mirror, and he would respond to things that I thought back at him – so anyone watching the conversation would only hear Damien’s voice, and I imagine it would have been really fucking freaky to watch.

Damien told me about the world as he sees it, a little bit about what he wants, and a lot more about how he wanted my former partner to succeed, and plans for how she can probably do that.  He told me about his disappointment in me. He told me that he does not understand why I let myself get hurt, and he offered to take over for me. Permanently.

I almost let him.

It is something that I still think about.  Since having that weird conversation with myself a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been unstable.  I have a very hard time concentrating on anything at all. I can tell that he feels much more stable, more in control, more complete than he used to be.  

A completely different alter – one who lives in a very different world than I do, and who believes in things like magic and supernatural connections between things – led Damien and I through a ritual that was intended to close some of the gaps in my memory and help him to cope with the fact that his carefully laid plans were falling apart and give him some broader context in which to operate.  

As far as I can tell – from his perspective – it was a complete success.  I feel slightly more grounded than I did, and it did return a small portion of the personal agency that I feel was eroding, but he is resplendent.  He has been staying out of the light because I did not accept his offer to take over control for me, but his fear and doubt are gone, and mine still remain – and may be even greater, and while I don’t actually know if his offer is still valid, it tempts me even now.

But it is a terrifying thing.  It feels like a lesser form of suicide.  If I do this – who will I really be? I know that I won’t disappear entirely, Damien doesn’t when he is no longer in control – and he continues to learn and grow.  

I am nearly certain that this is something that I have already done once before – not to let Damien take over for me, but for me to take over for the one who could no longer handle living.

I may very well be the result of a first suicide of this type, and the original progenitor me is still locked inside me somewhere, but he never comes out anymore – would that be my fate if I were to surrender to the more Dominant part of me?

Who knows?  Perhaps it is all delusion anyway.

I’m still too afraid to try – still too afraid to know.

And so – I remain Rant.   For now.

 

A quick and dirty primer on quick and dirty bruising

Before I begin, I need to make the disclaimer that I am not a healthcare professional and that any information that I provide here is taken from my personal experience and memory and is entirely fallible.  You should really completely ignore any advice that I give, for the most part.

At some point in nearly every submissive/bottom’s progression through their journey they reach a point where bruises are a badge of honor and they will invariably want to be able to show these off to others either in person or online.

Of course – bruises can also be problematic in other contexts, so please be mindful of this and make sure that everyone involved in the bruising activities is enthusiastically consenting, or just don’t do it.  It can be a big problem if you bruise someone in an area that they cannot easily cover if they have to interact with anyone who does not understand the BDSM lifestyle, so be careful with where you leave marks as well as how.

Bruising occurs because capillaries in the muscle tissue are damaged and bleed into the interstitial tissue and epidermis.  There are six accepted levels of harm for bruising commonly referred to in the medical field (at least in the US, where I reside) where 0 represents light bruising with no lasting damage or potential for lasting damage.  A level 0 bruise may by only barely visible and may not even hurt after the initial impact or it may not be visible at all, subject to being tender to the touch, either symptom is enough to diagnose bruising.

This ranges through level 1, where there is considered to be mild damage to the tissue around the bruise – which, barring complications, will heal on its own in a relatively short period of time.  Levels 2 and 3 involve higher levels of tissue damage, more visible and larger bruises that last for longer periods of time, but again, the expectation is that such things will heal on their own, given time.  Some level 3 bruises and nearly all level 4 bruises are significant enough to cause real harm and may lead to other complications including compartment syndrome (where swelling blood can cut off blood flow to areas of tissue entirely, which could result in tissue death or necrosis) or begin to impact nerve and tendon function in the areas near them.  Level 5 bruises are significant enough that they could overwhelm the body entirely and result in death.

Level 0 and 1 bruises tend to heal fully in about two weeks time in most healthy persons without diabetes or another complication that might result in more tissue damage. Level 2 bruises can last slightly longer and level 3 and up may take months to heal.  Repeated impacts to a bruised area can increase the harm level and keep it ‘active’ for much, much longer, but at the risk of increased tissue damage.

The really big, colorful bruises that most submissives crave to show off are usually level 1 bruises, sometimes level 2.  These are shallow bruises that damage a lot of capillaries and result in a lot of interstitial bleeding, but little actual harm, and most of the time when we’re trying to create bruising, this is the sort of bruising that we are trying to create.

There are several considerations to keep in mind when trying to create bruises:

  1. Deeper impacts create deeper bruises that last longer and produce more tissue damage, but may not be as visible
  2. Contracted muscles will bruise more deeply than relaxed ones and run the risk of doing more damage to tissue that gets compressed between the bone and impact
  3. Bruises at or near the joints are more dangerous and tend to involve ligament, nerve, or other tissue that does not heal as quickly as muscle
  4. Ribs are really easy to crack if you aren’t careful – and the pain of a cracked rib is intense and lasts for a very long time
  5. Just stay away from the head – concussions are serious and unpredictable and potentially life-threatening

So – bearing these things in mind, and with the goal of creating level 1 bruises – very visible, large, and colorful – there are a few things that we can do to improve the chances of them showing up and reduce the chances of there being long term damage to any part of the body.

The first thing to bear in mind is that bruises are caused by damage to capillaries near the surface of the skin.  So – we want to create conditions where it is easy to break these. In an otherwise perfectly healthy person, this means that we want to increase blood flow to the skin, reduce muscle tension, and then to reduce inflammation after the impact.  Inflammation can lead to a lot of the potential complications that can come from severe bruising and reduce the surface area over which the interstitial spreading of the bruise occurs. So.. we want to reduce inflammation while increasing blood flow and damage the tissues nearest to the skin to get the best results.

If you have not read my post on finding subspace, I talk a little bit there about the physiological shifts that can occur when in subspace, and those are – coincidentally? – almost exactly the same as the sort of conditions that are required to make for really nice bruises.

Some other things that can help are to make sure that you are fully hydrated, rested, and relaxed.  If you are the sort to do such things, taking an NSAID in advance – most especially aspirin – can also help, but do be careful about drug interactions and if you are taking any sort of blood thinners (warfarin, etc.) then you should not be trying to bruise yourself at all due to the dangers of increased harm.

Bruising can be more difficult to accomplish for people who have darker skin tones or more developed muscle tone.  It is not that the bruising does not occur, but the visibility of the bruising is reduced. Trying to keep the bruising as shallow as possible can help.  To this end, it can often be useful to slap the skin or repeatedly tap it before attempting to strike with the force required to create a bruise, but when you are actually trying to strike to create the bruise, you want to hit a much narrower/smaller area with a larger force.  The bruise will spread out from the point where the capillaries are damaged.

A technique that I like to employ and have found to be particularly effective with canes, rods, bats, or other blunt instruments of the same sort is to very quickly and repeatedly tap the skin directly where I intend to strike between 5 and 10 times and then to come down on the very same spot once, very hard.  From that point on, more hits to that same area should increase the harm level and amount of bruising fairly significantly. This works well even with my current submissive partner who has darker skin and well developed muscle tone – but was also shown to work well with other partners who had lighter skin and less muscle tone.

However – the most effective and least damaging way to cause bruising is actually suction… fire cupping or even just making hickies will create very visible bruises that are almost purely capillary bursts and involve very little tissue damage beyond that.  But – those are not the kind of bruises that most people want to show off, so we’ve chose to focus mostly on those created by impact play.

So, to recap, the best ways to increase bruise potential are:

  1. Be well hydrated and relaxed
  2. Possibly take aspirin (or another NSAID) in advance – but be careful.  Topically applied aspirin directly on the area to be bruised is also very effective – perhaps even more so than orally administered aspirin
  3. Whatever steps you can take to get to subspace will also likely be very beneficial
  4. Tapping or slapping the area to be bruised will help to increase the visibility and range of the bruise
  5. Consider suction
  6. Avoid the head entirely, the area over the ribs, and all joints – try to confine your strikes to the ‘meatiest’ parts of the body, preferably areas that can be covered by clothing.

As always – think about it before you do anything, don’t trust any single source of unsubstantiated information (including me or this blog), and make sure that you exhaustively cover issues of consent – both with the impact itself and with the likely bruises that will follow.

And then take pictures!  Everyone loves to see pictures of bruises, right?

Fly safe.

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My sacred mission in life

It kind of started out as a joke.  The statement was completely true and made without any sort of deception or guile, but it seemed so outrageous that even though I was the one saying it, I had a hard time believing it.

I was on a date, and my date and I didn’t know each other very well as normally happens in the early stages of dating, so she asked me, “What is your passion?”

Such a broad question…

Normally this sort of question kind of puts my mind into overload as I try to think about all of the different possible answers and I get kind of paralyzed, but on this particular occasion the answer came quickly and almost without thought.

“I make it my sacred mission in life to make it acceptable for every person to be who they really are at their core.”

I usually actually try to go further than that and help everyone to be the best version of themselves that they can be, but that requires a great deal of work on their part, whereas the above statement only really requires that I be interested, nonjudgmental, supportive, patient, and caring – and I’m really quite good at those things, most of the time.

I’ve tried to refine this a bit, especially in the case of the people that I actually have close relationships with, because with those people I can take a more active hand in helping them to realize the things that are holding them back and realizing how they can be the best versions of themselves that they can be.

Of course, none of this is worth anything without me also doing work on myself and learning along the way as well, and I do my best to do that, every day.  

One of my former mentees likes to tell people that I am responsible for her being kinky – or, she did, until I started to correct her each time she said it, with something like this, “No, little one, I didn’t make you who you are, I just accepted you and made it okay for you to be who you were all along.”

My goal in life for myself is to be as authentically me as I can manage.  I try to let go of the guilt and shame that I’ve been gifted with by family and religion and society and I try to listen to the internal voices within me, understand their needs, and so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone to do so, satisfy them.

My sacred mission in life is to help you do exactly the same.

 

Just Another Wednesday

Every Wednesday I go to an event called Bondage a Go Go.  I think I may have mentioned it before.

In keeping with my continuing desire and goal to say what I mean rather than couch my insecurities about showing enthusiasm with understatement or otherwise deflect, I’m going to call myself out for saying such things as, “It’s just another Wednesday,” or something similar.  It’s an inside joke, and anyone that I say it to understands that around here, Wednesdays are something special.  But I should just come out and say that.

Wednesdays are special because that is when BaGG happens, and BaGG is the best and longest-running weekly kink-friendly social event ever, anywhere.

Full disclosure – I am a member of the BGG Association that promotes and puts on Bondage a Go Go, but I have no financial stake and all of my efforts to advertise it here or in person are volunteer – because I am an acolyte.

Today is Wednesday, and I am elated – because no matter how bad life gets me down, on Wednesdays I have BaGG, and BaGG is therapy, family, validation, energization, and grounding all rolled into one.  BaGG is where I can be mostly safe in being mostly me, and it is glorious.

“It feels like I’m in a movie.” – F

I still remember the first time that I went to BaGG.  I didn’t know anyone, and I was alone, and it was overwhelming.  It’s really just a bar, but it’s dark inside and people are wearing next to nothing and acting sexy as fuck.  There is a dance floor in the front and two bars along with seating areas, a house masseur, a swag counter, and a dungeon in the back.

The first time you’re seeing something like this, it can be a lot to take in.  Even as a seasoned kinkster, it was more than I expected in some ways and less than I expected in other ways, but one thing became abundantly clear to me within moments.  BaGG is not a place or an event, BaGG is a people.

That first time that I was there, I was not a part of BaGG – I was present, I was physically there and I was watching and I was drinking and I was dancing and I was socializing, but I was not really a part of it.

I was disheartened, and I would leave to go home, knowing that it was something special, but feeling on the outside, and it would be years before I would return.

BaGG is a “kink-friendly take over of a night club” – C

BaGG is really just a weekly party in a bar with kinky themes.  It’s not a BDSM event in the more general sense.  There is not a dungeon floor where people are heard making noises of pleasure and pain surrounded by a wall of silence from the onlookers.  There are not rooms where people can sequester themselves and do nasty, horrible things to each other.  There are no classes or lessons or things to learn.

There is a dungeon, and it is small, and exposed, and your audience will cheer for you as you get beaten.  There is a tradition of very public spanking with the entire bar cheering for you on your birthday or the birthday of your Dominant.  And I will have to tell you, the three young ladies who took my spankings for me and the three Dominants (they were not all male) who delivered them while I stood by and basked in the glow of adoration from the crowd certainly contributed to make my year last year.

The dungeon is great fun, largely underutilized despite the fact that you have to wait for your turn more often than not, and also completely not the point of BaGG.

“I just go for the dancing.” – S

The dance floor at BaGG is amazing.

No where else that I am aware of do you have as many ultra sexy people dancing alongside straight up freaks – and often they are the very same people.

It’s right there in the name – there are Go Go dancers.  You can tip them if you like.  They won’t take off their clothes for you, but they’re not wearing that much to begin with.

The greatest show doesn’t come from the dancers on the stage or in the cage though – it comes from the people on the floor.

I don’t spend nearly enough time on the dance floor at BaGG, but if I don’t get out and dance every once in awhile, I get restless – and I don’t really dance anywhere else.

I’m a terrible dancer – I have to be only part of me to have any rhythm at all, but I don’t really care.   My partners dance, my friends dance, I’ve met people on the dance floor, no one cares that I’m terrible at it – it’s just another part of the wonderful pervasive blanket of love that falls on me when I am there with my people.

“…people generally seem to know each other.” – A

I wasn’t a part of BaGG at first, but I went, and I put myself out there, and I kept going back and talking to the same people and learning that they felt the same way that I do – about politics and kink and love, but most importantly, about BaGG.

It was the piece that was missing for me until I just kept showing up.  I’ve always felt like I could be at home at BaGG, but even still it took time before I felt like I was a part of it.

“How do I become a member?” I asked.

The answer is simple.  Show up.  Talk to people.  Get to know the club and the personalities, let people know who you are, and then when two members in good standing will speak up for you and say, “This guy is not an asshole,” we’ll collect your dues and you will be one of us.

It’s nice to be one of us somewhere.

I’m at BaGG almost every week – it’s rare that I’m not there.

If ever you want to meet me, go to BaGG, look for the guy in a waistcoat and fancy knot in his tie, and you’ll likely find me.

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