Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Not Listening”!

February 23, 2017

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Freckles”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Not Listening”! (MC MF MD)

There’s a trick to avoid being hypnotized. She knows that. You just have to close off all distractions, ignore the hypnotist, and focus very intently on something else. But if you’re not paying attention to the hypnotist, and you’re focused on something very intently…in what sense are you not hypnotized already? Here’s a taste:

“Play with your nipples,” he says, but she’s already pushed the words right out of her conscious mind. She imagines a whiteboard in her head, and every time he writes something on it she moves in just as quick as a bird and wipes it all away, leaving her mind smooth, blank and empty. She won’t even remember the stupid ‘commands’ he keeps giving her. She’s just going to focus her attention on the wall, tighter and tighter on that one spot until it’s all she thinks about. She has a moment’s difficulty when the clasp on her bra distracts her, but then she manages to get it unhooked and even that little irritation goes away. She’s perfectly calm now. She’s perfectly relaxed and concentrating steadily on her point of focus. She’s not thinking about his voice at all anymore.

“Spread your legs,” he says, but she refuses to pay him any mind. As far as she’s concerned, she’s all alone in the room. She imagines his frustration as she sits there, resolutely staring at nothing, teasing him by playing with her bare breasts and stiff, plump nipples. Not responding to a word he says. Not even looking at him. It’s got to be driving him crazy by now. She knows he has to be getting incredibly turned on. She wonders briefly for a moment if he’s admitted it, but that would mean listening to him and she’s not going to do that. She knows how vulnerable that would make her.

Hope you enjoy it!

How Chess Club Prepared Me for Kink (and Poly, Too!)

February 19, 2017

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 47 giving and kind Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about chess lately, but it’s been on my mind of late. Not that I’m any kind of chess savant or anything; I know how the pieces move and I can fake my way through an opening, but I generally get impatient in the midgame and jump on a small advantage without thinking ahead far enough, which inevitably leads to my defeat against anybody with a decent degree of skill. But thinking about chess always leads me back to my time in junior high chess club, which in retrospect…well, if I say that it “set my feet on a path to being a kinky poly bisexual porn writer,” it will probably give you a much more exciting impression of chess club than it probably deserves. But it’s not entirely untrue.

Because even though (surprising as it may seem) a bunch of junior high chess enthusiasts weren’t exactly what you’d call adept in the arts of forbidden love, we did all enjoy playing chess. We frequently played it for fun between ranked matches, teaching each other new strategies we learned in books and practicing against each other in games timed and untimed. And inevitably, after a cumulative hundred hours or so of getting used to the rules and the tactics and the grander game, someone brought up fairy chess.

Fairy chess, for those of you who’ve never touched a pawn in your life, is a collective term for any number of variants on the standard chess rules. You may decide to randomize the placement of the back row, or play with a different arrangement of pieces for the two sides, or play with a differently-shaped board or even two boards side by side. You can set up different goals for victory, set new rules for the movement of pieces…there’s pretty much no limit to the number of variations you can come up with, so long as all the players involved (some of the variants involve teams or even free-for-alls with multiple players) agree on the new rules. It’s a fun way to keep chess from turning into a dry, rote, entirely-expected execution of pre-determined strategies, and even some of the greatest grandmasters indulge in it from time to time.

And then about four years later I met my first kinky girlfriend. You can probably see where I’m going with this.

Being introduced to fairy chess helped me understand on an intuitive level the idea that the rules for any social situation operate much like the rules of a game. We have a certain, highly specific and universally agreed upon set of rules that we practice with strangers, because to ignore the rules without negotiating new ones to replace them is just breaking them, and nobody wants to be around someone who can’t follow rules. But once you get to know and trust someone, it’s okay to negotiate new rules. You aren’t always honor bound to follow the default settings for socializing, so long as everyone is clear on what is and isn’t allowed and everyone’s having fun. Even adding extra players is okay, so long as it’s not unfair and nobody’s feeling frustrated by the new conditions that they’re playing under. What might seem like anarchy to an outsider, with pieces moving every which way and players teaming up in strange pairings that don’t make any sense, is perfectly normal once you understand the new rules everyone’s agreed on. And while there are a lot of common and accepted variants out there, sometimes it’s fun to brainstorm up something entirely new with your playmate and see where it takes you.

Chess isn’t a particularly kinky game. (Well, maybe…I mean, the queen is the most powerful piece, the bishops take other pieces from odd angles, and there are two horsies on the board…) But when you learn that you and your partner can make up any rules you want, it can’t help but spark a few new ideas about applying that somewhere else. Probably any game can say the same, of course…but I think I’d probably wind up having a lot more arguments if I relied on Monopoly to teach me the same lessons.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “I Dream of Wires”!

February 16, 2017

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Sympathy”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “I Dream of Wires”! (MC FF)

Have you ever had a dream so vivid and terrifying that you were certain it was real? Because there’s someone out there who has them every single night. Dreams of wires, snaking their way across her sheets and tangling around her skin. Dreams that she’s afraid are driving her insane. She’s finally decided to talk to someone about it, but can a therapist even help?

Here’s a taste:

I’m all over the place because I had the wire dreams bad last night. Really bad. Like, I kept waking up and brushing at my face to make sure they weren’t really–inside me. Like, in my face. In the dreams, they go inside me. They’re really thin, like thinner than needles. Thinner than hair, but I can still see them because there’s so many. They go into my skin, but they don’t leave any marks because they’re so thin. It doesn’t even hurt, it just feels kind of warm.

No, I don’t know where they come from. I mean, it’s all just a dream, right? Dreams don’t have to make sense. I never really thought about where they come from, they’re just…there. All around me. Like a swarm of bees or something. I guess now that I think about it, I can always see them curving a little, so…under the bed, maybe? Does that even make sense?

No, yeah, you’re right. I mean I’m right. Dreams don’t have to make sense. I just see them everywhere, dripping some kind of clear stuff from the tips. Waiting for me to notice them. Sometimes I pretend I’m still asleep–in the dream, I mean. The dream always starts with me in bed, waking up with the wires everywhere. But sometimes I dream that I pretend I’m still asleep so that they won’t notice me. Those are the really bad ones, when I’m lying there in the dark and I know that if I breathe wrong or open my eyes or twitch then the wires will get me.

Hope you enjoy it!

More Fun With Statistics!

February 12, 2017

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 47 great and glorious Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

Literotica has made a few changes to their website of late–I’m not sure if any of it has shown up on the front end, but they’ve definitely done a very nice overhaul of their author’s side of the page, and I wanted to give them a nice shout-out because I don’t know how many authors are talking about it. They’ve made the submission page smoother and easier to work with, they’ve added a friendlier tagging system and a better notifications page (for things like reader comments and favoriting). And they’ve also made it possible to sort stories by things other than “A-Z”, which is really nice because Literotica has always had a very robust rating and commenting system, but you could never see exactly how one of your stories compared to another without copying the whole page into an Excel spreadsheet and reformatting it. Which is not fun to do for 300+ stories.

But now, I can just sort it and see things like, “What story is getting the most hits? What story is getting the most favorites? What story are people talking about the most?” And because that kind of thing can be a fun way to learn about an audience, and you are after all my audience, I thought I’d share it with y’all!

So, let’s see what the wisdom of crowds has to say about my best stories. The stories with the highest rating are:

  1. Baby Got Back. (4.71 out of 5 on 143 user ratings.) I’ll admit, I don’t think of this as my very tip-top story, but I’m glad to see it ranked highly. It’s a body-positive story with realistic hypnosis and consent, and I do think it’s very hot, so I’m good with its placement here.
  2. Smoke From a Distant Fire. (4.71 out of 5 on 55 user ratings.) I’m also good with this one–I think that despite being shorter than its predecessor (which also placed in the top ten) it wound up being very much hotter, probably because the hypnosis was more prominent and that’s my jam.
  3. How Far We’ve Come. (4.70 out of 5 on 92 user ratings.) I’m glad this one is still fondly remembered; I was very proud of my descriptions of telepathy in this one, and I kind of feel like there’s a sweet, if bizarre, romanticism to it.
  4. Fascination. (4.70 out of 5 on 498 user ratings.) Now this, I think, is probably the best thing I’ve ever written. And I think it shows in the consistency of the ratings. Despite being rated by almost five times as many people as some of the others, it has stuck to a crazy high average. I think that “498” tells more of a story than anything else.
  5. One Thing Leads to Another. (4.67 out of 5 on 218 user ratings.) Huh. I mean, I like it, it’s got lesbian seductions and everything, but…huh. I guess the wisdom of crowds really has something to teach me.

So if those are the ones that scored highest, what are the ones the most people considered a personal favorite?

  1. Fascination. (141 Favorites.) Yes, that’s more like it. I’m stupidly proud of this story, so I’m glad to see that a lot of other people love it too.
  2. Good Morning Little School Girl. (72 Favorites.) This actually doesn’t surprise me–I think a lot of people in my target audience like the idea of being able to go to school to learn how to control people, and probably think of being brainwashed themselves as a worthwhile tradeoff.
  3. Mother’s Milk. (68 Favorites.) I think this is scoring high because if you have that shared kink of lactation and hypnosis, there aren’t going to be many places to get that fix.
  4. Flesh for Fantasy. (56 Favorites.) It’s been ages since I posted this–it was written within the first few months of coming back to the EMCSA the first time, back in 2008–but I think it holds up remarkably well. (It also rated pretty high in the rankings scale, too.)
  5. Glycerine. (54 Favorites.) Again, this one surprises me a little, but it does have a certain purity of concept that I can see people who liked it wanting to return to.

And if those are the ones people liked the most, what are the ones they read the most?

  1. Mother’s Milk. (325.3K views.) As I said, I think if you really want to get both lactation and hypnosis in the same package, you’re going to come back to this one a lot. Lots of favorites translates into lots of views, in this case almost as many as the entire population of Minneapolis.
  2. Good Morning Little School Girl. (157.9K views.) Again, there’s undoubtedly a lot of overlap between “this is my favorite and I will re-read it a lot” and “this gets viewed a lot”.
  3. Sweet Surrender. (125.9K views.) I’m glad this one popped up somewhere on these lists, because I do love it. Not so much for the body transformation aspects, as for the detailed exploration of Martha’s sexual awakening. I feel like I did a good job with that.
  4. True. (105.9K views.) This is one I admit to enjoying more than I should. It’s a fun, silly, playful and hot story, even if obviously you shouldn’t want to do any of the things Dave does. (Although I suppose maybe Julie only thinks she thinks she wouldn’t/didn’t consent…)
  5. Fascination. (105.1K views.) Pulling off the trifecta! I know it’s not useful to equate “views” with “individual readers”, but it’s still hard not to imagine the number of people who have read this story as being roughly equivalent to the crowd at San Diego Comic Con.

After all that, it does appear that “Fascination” is the most overall popular story, which I’m okay with. I may experiment a lot, but if there’s anything I want to take as a model for “write more like this”, I think I do a whole lot worse.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Under Control”!

February 9, 2017

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Out of the Black”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Under Control”! (MC FF)

Delfina’s looking out for the daughter of an old friend, trying to keep her safe by getting her away from a predatory ingenue named Constance Danforth. She thinks she knows what’s going on. She thinks she’s got everything under control. But it turns out that Constance has a way of figuring out how to take control away from people. Here’s a taste:

“Oh, um…hi, Delfina,” she says. She doesn’t sound drugged. A little confused, maybe, but not drugged. “What are you doing here?” She’s naked on the bed, her hair plastered to her skin, her whole body drenched with sweat, smelling like crazy hot pornstar sex, and she acts like the weird thing is that one of the women from her neighborhood dropped by.

“Looking for you,” I tell her. “Your mama’s worried sick about you.” I put a little scold into my voice when I say it, but it’s hard to look stern when you’re trying real hard to stare anywhere but at the naked girl on the bed. Why can’t she hide under the covers or something? Jesus fuck. What a fucking time to finally notice that Guadalupe Rivera’s little girl grew up in all the right places.

“There’s nothing to worry about,” Constance says from behind me. I try not to flinch. I almost forgot she was there, I was so busy not looking at Martina. Or not not looking at Martina is more like it. Hard to stop staring when her pussy is right there and I can smell it from where I’m standing.

Hope you enjoy it!

Liner Notes for January 2017

February 5, 2017

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 47 brilliant and beautiful Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

Another month has gone by, so it’s time to talk a little bit about last month’s stories! Looking back at this month is a little sad, because two of them were written for someone who left the community (her story isn’t mine to tell, but it was some unrelated issues that were making it difficult to socialize over the Internet. I still miss her.) Even so, I’ll try to give some nice writing-process stuff to keep from getting maudlin, so here goes!

Red Head Vs the Pretty Red Bracelet: This was the first of the two; it was actually a fantasy at the time, although we later did something similar to it in real life (the real person took less than five seconds to go under, though). This is your basic hypnotic anchor at work; you take some sort of sensation, be it the feel of a bracelet on the wrist, the sound of a clicker or the taste of mint, and you associate it very heavily with a desired state while the subject is in trance. In this case, it was wearing the bracelet and feeling…not directly hypnotized, but fuzzy and scatterbrained and susceptible to trance.

It does work, as I can personally testify–the most interesting part was actually afterward, when she took the bracelet off and realized how much more focused she felt–and it can be a fun way to induce altered states that doesn’t necessarily feel like an actual trigger. I’m not sure how well it worked as a story, though; I think it wound up being a bit too short and a bit too eager, because I wrote it in anticipation rather than reminiscence.

Entangled: One of my favorite tropes in “romantic” mind control stories (ones where the relationship is consensual and the submissive has given blanket permission to have their mind played with in ways they may not consciously be aware of) is the “predicament” stories, where the submissive is following a subconscious instruction that their conscious mind views as a problem they can’t seem to fix. “My hands are stuck to the bedposts,” “I can’t stop masturbating,” “I can’t seem to get my clothes on,” that sort of thing. This draws on that same well of inspiration; obviously, the reason Ellen can’t get untangled from her bedding is that she’s doing the entangling, but half the fun is that the reader knows something she doesn’t. (The reader and the hypnotist, naturally.)

Golden Slumbers: I think I saw this on a Beatles compilation album (I thought it might be ‘1’ at first, but that came out too long ago and doesn’t feature this song anyway) and thought it sounded strangely like an olde-timey euphemism for hypnosis. I pictured some mutton-chopped libertine guffawing to a friend about some glassy-eyed young thing who was just a little too out of it, “Ha! It appears that So-and-So has been a bit too much in your ‘golden slumbers’ of late, eh?” While elbowing yet another friend in the ribs. (Imaginary Muttonchop Guy is a bit of a boor. But he’s the kind of person who doesn’t take a hint, and it’s just easier to let him in and keep him distracted with booze, and…anyway.)

More importantly, I pictured some other young thing seeing the exchange and being very curious, and coming back to the libertine to find out just what the heck Loose-Lipped Muttonchop Boor was talking about…leading, of course, to him showing her. It turned out that writing the story was as simple as that, in the end.

Passenger: The other of the two stories I mentioned at the beginning. She asked for me to record something that was specifically for her (which is why the suggestions tend to be less general than my other scripts), as well as long and very heavy on the brainwashing, that could be looped and listened to repeatedly, and that had no suggestions involving direct action so she could listen to it on the bus. I asked if I could post the script as a story, and she said that was fine, but we agreed that the recording would be just for her. She still has a copy. I don’t think she’s listening to it now, because I don’t think she’s in a place emotionally where hypnosis is fulfilling for her, but I hope that someday she can get back to a state where the recording makes her as happy as it did when I first gave it to her.

And on that slightly bittersweet note, we put January behind us and look forward to February! Which, due to the scheduling of weekends this year, has already started, and which goes by quickly. So more blogging next week and another Liner Notes very soon!

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Magic Works”!

February 2, 2017

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“His Eyes, Her Eyes”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Magic Works”! (MC FF)

Min is a die-hard Harry Potter fan, and she’s finally met the maker of some of her favorite fan videos! But it turns out that Dumbledoreen has a little secret when it comes to those videos, one that’s going to make the world of Harry Potter unexpectedly real to Min. Here’s a taste:

“You have watched all my videos, haven’t you?” Doreen asked, breaking into Min’s train of thought. “I mean, if you are a very big fan, I expect you would have.”

“Um, yeah,” Min said, determined not to make this any weirder than it already was. She was just going to keep cool, answer the questions, stick to talking about editing and not get confrontational about stuff. Doreen could pretend to be a secret agent if she wanted, it wasn’t like her videos became less good, right? “Five or six times, some of them. I’m trying to learn how it’s done myself, so I’ll watch some of the really long ones over and over.”

“That’s perfect!” Doreen said, almost breaking into giggles. “In that case…” She pulled her wand free from its belt and pointed it at Min. She gave it a tiny swish and flick, and intoned, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” And suddenly everything changed.

Min felt it inside her brain, like there was a whole secret tracery of hidden thoughts that slowly revealed themselves, each one intricately wound around her normal waking mind. She suddenly knew things without knowing how she knew them, each one a deep and unshakable truth that felt as solid and real to her as gravity. She looked at Doreen’s wand and then her own, seeing them in an impossible new light. “I…what just happened?” she whispered, half in awe.

Hope you enjoy it!

I Finally Figured Out Why I Need Your Help!

January 29, 2017

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 45 kind and giving Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

Okay, that’s not true. The truth is, my readership helps me every day in countless ways, from validation to support to just generally convincing me that human beings can be pretty damn awesome despite the constant flow of evidence coming from the White House. But something specific occurred to me, and it’s something that will help you while helping me help you.

As you’re probably already aware, I have a lot of stories up on the EMCSA. As you may be less aware, there’s a webpage called “Svengali”, which adds some functionality to Simon’s original design, such as searchable story tags. I knew it existed, but for the longest time I didn’t know why my stories had very few or no tags when others had tons. But now I do!

Turns out that when you go to a story, there’s a box in the upper right-hand corner that says, “Assigned Tags”. Unchecking it gives you a huge list of tags, any of which you can select as being applicable to the story. The idea is that if you notice there’s a tag missing, or a tag that doesn’t apply, you can add it or remove it as needed. It’s basically crowdsourced story tagging, and that’s awesome!

That’s awesome, that is, unless you’ve already written 320 or so stories before finding out about this feature. I’ve been going through and doing some retagging, but as just one person, that kind of defeats the purpose of crowdsourcing. So I figured I’d write this post, signal boost Svengali as a very useful site for mind control erotica enthusiasts (which, if you’re not one, um…what are you doing here?) and in the process hopefully get my stories tagged more accurately so that if you have specific tastes in EMC porn, you can find the things you like a bit easier and you’re not stuck rummaging through hundreds of stories looking for the one tentacle-horror piece I wrote eight years ago.

(It’s “Two Tickets to Paradise”, okay? I’ll give you that one for free.)

Belated Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Freckles”!

January 27, 2017

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Passenger”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Freckles”! (MC MF FD)

Ryan’s been teasing Siobhan about her freckles. It’s not that he doesn’t like her…in fact, maybe it’s exactly because he does like her…but he’s been joking about her having too many to count. Turns out she just called his bluff, and in more ways than one. Here’s a taste:

He decides to play along with the joke, or the request, or whatever it is. “One,” he begins, pretending to peer closely at a random spot on her skin. “Two, three, four…”

“Ah! Not like that,” Siobhan responds with a mock sharpness to her voice. “Count silently. And methodically. Focus on a point, say…the tip of my chin. Keep an eye on a single freckle there, really get to know it so that you’ll be able to come back to it later if you lose count. Memorize its position, its shape, watch it move as I talk. When you close your eyes, you should still be able to see it.”

Ryan trails into silence and stares, feeling increasingly uncertain about the whole thing. He’d rather be looking at her hazel-green eyes, which seem far more fun to get lost in, but she’s clearly expecting him to keep going with this and he’s not quite sure how to get out of it now without upsetting her. So he finds a freckle on the tip of her chin, part of an adorable little dusting of red specks that scatter across her jawline, and he watches it. He looks at the way it fits into the pattern of freckles around it, studies its position relative to her lips and her nose, blinks once or twice to make sure that he can find it when his eyes refocus.

Siobhan seems satisfied that he’s following instructions, because she says, “Got it? Good. Now…start counting. You can move in a spiral pattern, moving out from that freckle to the ones around it. Count each one, let your eyes go in a widening circle radiating from that spot and moving outwards. You’ll need to stay focused, of course. If you pay too much attention to my words, you might lose your count, and then you’d have to start over. It’s far more important to keep watching, keep counting…”

Hope you enjoy it!

The Obligatory FetLife Post

January 22, 2017

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 43 wise and wonderful Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

I feel obliged to write something about the recent shake-up to FetLife, which has resulted in (among other things) my decision to stop using the site as a venue for my stories. Let’s start with the informational part first, for those of you unaware of the situation (or, for that matter, unaware of FetLife):

FetLife is a social media site devoted to kink, originally started in 2008 by a man named John Baku who wanted to make it easier for practitioners to find each other. The site allows you to set up a profile which lists your fetishes, so that you can then find others with the same fetish and message each other; it also gives you the ability to start interest groups and plan events. It’s become a staple site for the BDSM community for the same reasons Facebook became such a popular vanilla site–there’s a large audience, and most people find it easier to use the tools that FetLife has to organize their local community than to create their own.

However, there have been issues from the start, and they’ve only gotten worse. FetLife has never taken serious steps to find a kink-friendly merchant system, meaning that they’re at the mercy of their current credit card provider. They also apparently decided that they bore more exposure to liability from libel lawsuits than aiding and abetting rape charges, as the policy specifies that posts making accusations from a member are against the Terms of Use but posting anecdotes to your profile about the rapes you’ve committed counts merely as you indulging in your fetish.

All this came to a head this week when FetLife panicked and pulled a ton of user content. They were facing pressure from their credit card processor and staring down some extremely bad publicity from an Australian rape trial coming up in which the accused apparently a) used FetLife to search for victims, and b) shared details of his crimes on FetLife, which the admins were made aware of repeatedly. As such, they did a keyword search of the site in the wee hours of the morning and deleted a whole bunch of fetishes and groups, without any notice or explanations. These deletions involved not just rape and rape play, but also blood, needles, alcohol, incest, scarification, branding, vampire play, consensual non-consent, and oh yes hypnosis. Basically, they took down anything the credit card companies asked them to take down, along with anything they thought might expose them to further risk of lawsuits and/or criminal charges for aiding and abetting.

They then went into radio silence, bunker mode for a couple of days while everyone got increasingly outraged, before making an insultingly condescending post where they said things like “we can’t give them a reason to vilify us” and “As a community, we need to stop turning a blind eye” (particularly ironic, given that FetLife’s stated policy was to delete posts by victims and ban victims who continued to call out their accusers) and “Maybe I’m just a naive optimist, but I believe this is an opportunity for us to set the bar higher”. The posted ended with a sycophantic ‘FAQ’ with questions in it like, “Is there any way that we, the community, can help you?” and “How are you doing, John?”

Informational part over, editorial part begins here. This last week has really exposed, as far as I’m concerned, what a bunch of incompetent dipshits the site admins really are. After eight years of lurching from one minor crisis to another without ever thinking that maybe they should take steps to limit their financial dependence on kink-hostile financial servicers and hosts (there’s an inadvertently hilarious bit in the FAQ where they say that moving their servers to a kink-friendly country wouldn’t solve the problem because some people in countries with repressive Internet policies wouldn’t be able to access them anyway, which totally misunderstands why you might do such a thing), or that maybe they shouldn’t place their priority on censoring rape victims and protecting rapists (FetLife literally would not expel a member for anything less than a criminal conviction for sexual assault)…they’ve now decided on a carpet-bombing approach to the problem that nukes several communities that practice consensual kink, and insinuated that they were probably bad people anyway and FetLife had to get rid of them for the Greater Good.

I don’t feel like I can trust FetLife anymore. I honestly don’t feel like anyone can trust FetLife anymore; now that they’ve shown that they’re willing to cave under pressure, I imagine that they’ll only see more pressure, not less. They’ve decided that they can make a deal with people opposed to their very existence; the next step will be to alter that deal, reminding them at every step of the way that their increasingly meek and meager existence is the alternative to oblivion. Basically, FetLife is being boiled like a frog, and the water just got warmer.

So I’m pretty much done with Fet. I will no longer be using them as a venue for my stories, in no small part because they’re probably against the new, double-secret Terms of Use agreement, and I will be looking (along with the rest of the hypnokink community) for a site that doesn’t conflate us with rapists in order to satisfy a bunch of moralists who aren’t going to be satisfied with us anyway. I’m also, I admit, going to be a little leery of my fellow kinksters; there were a lot more people than I expected going around in the wake of the mass deletions and saying, “You should be grateful he did this, it saved our community!” I thought there would be a bit more solidarity given that one of the supposed pillars of the community was “Your Kink Is Not My Kink and That’s OK”, but the kink-shaming started quick once people realized there was an actual advantage to be gained by throwing someone else’s fetish overboard.

I’m obviously not a supporter of rape, but a lot of consensual play was tossed under the bus here. Needle play is perfectly safe when performed within basic protocols that the community makes sure to educate people about…or did, until their ability to educate people about safety vanished. Hypnosis is basically just people sitting around and talking. The idea that these are somehow more dangerous and threatening than bondage (which, if performed by an unskilled practitioner can result in loss of circulation to limbs, as long as we’re being needlessly alarmist here) is just a patent lie made to disguise the fact that the site is in financial problems of its own making and needs to suck up to people that it should have made an effort to avoid needing years ago.

(Literally. At one point in the comments John Baku says that he spent “five years” fighting to keep hypnosis acceptable under the Terms of Use. Apparently five years isn’t a long enough time to find a kink-friendly credit card processor. Jesus Christ what a bunch of chuckleheads.)

At this point, I would like to remind everyone that this is not unconnected to the new Trumpian political climate. There is a strong sense that they will be coming after us–maybe not Trump himself, who probably doesn’t give a fuck what people do in the bedroom with hookers…at least not in Russia…but certainly Pence and his merry crew of Christian Dominionists. But we can’t do what FetLife did. We can’t sacrifice our principles and our community in the interests of making ourselves a smaller target. Because while the nail that stands out farthest gets hammered down first…in the end, if all you have is a hammer, sooner or later everything looks like a nail.