Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Mercurial Limits



I’ve noticed that when people discuss limits in BDSM they tend to come across as being something fixed and static.  Some websites allow you to create yes/no/maybe lists and often people have what they are into and hard limits on profiles on sites such as Recon.  It’s occurred to me recently that this is too simplistic and actually limits are more fluid and changeable.

When I started out in kink I had very firm things that were hard limits and were not up for discussion.  Things like fisting and scat were definitely off the menu to me, they were too extreme and I didn’t want to go there.  However, as I did more kink and started playing more, my limits shifted.  As I got more into being a pig, I got curious about scat and wanted to try it, and now it’s something I enjoy.  Likewise, I started watching videos of fisting and wanted to try it and experience what all those deep moans were about.  It’s natural for limits to change over time as your experience increases, but it’s worth keeping a check on things to make sure that in the cold light of day you’re happy with that.  For example, bareback is now much more open and being talked about, if you’re barebacking make sure it’s because you want to, rather than just because “everyone” else is doing it.

Limits can also change with the people you are playing with.  When I meet someone new, we’ll discuss what things we’re into and what’s on and off the menu and limits.  But for the first few sessions I’ll very deliberately keep things simple and not throw the kitchen sink at a scene.  Yes, you might be horny and want everything, but it’s far better tactic to keep a few session simple and build up rather than to do everything and end up safe wording and then have to have a discussion and if it goes wrong maybe loose a good playmate.  As a Dom, I’d much rather build up scenes and take someone to a place at a slower place, together even if that takes longer.  When subbing, I’m very fussy about who I sub to and I want to make sure that they “get it” in terms of safety and how to manage a scene and my headspace. So, it’s ok to start simple.  It’s also ok just to have different limits with different people, maybe one person is good at X but you don’t rate them at Y.  For those of us into many things, it’s natural to have different playmates into different areas and for some things to be off the menu with different people.

More than this, limits can also change day to day or week to week because of stuff going on internally with you.  Maybe work has been stressful and a session with lots of verbal isn’t ok today.  Maybe work stress means actually getting tied down and made “helpless” is way up the list.  The stuff you’re into can ebb and flow, and it doesn’t even need a reason.  What you want to do in a session is always a conversation and discussion and it’s important you speak up if for whatever reason there is something you don’t want to do, even if it’s usually on the menu.  Likewise, even as the subbiest sub if there is something you do particular want – ask for it!  Personally, when I’m Domming I hate it when people start exhibiting bratty behaviour to try and get something.  I’m more than happy to terrible things to you, but ask, don’t’ try and push me into it, I’ll just disengage.  An angry frustrated Dom isn’t a safe scene.

So please, don’t view limits as something fixed.  They are much more fluid than most of the discussion around them suggests and it’s ok for them not to be rational and to ebb and flow.  But if someone is trying to push you and it’s something you don’t want to do and aren’t comfortable with then say no and if need be walk away from playing with them.  Don’t be pressured or manipulated into something you don’t want to do.  Your time is precious and giving people your kinks as a Dom or a sub is a gift to someone that should be treasured and respected.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Meth



Crystal meth (methamphetamine) photo credit The New York Times

Chemsex used to be something that was fairly rare - I knew about it, but messages asking for it or offering chems were few and far between.  But over recent years it’s become far more prevalent.  On Grindr, people are very open about offering chems and dealing. Particularly, I’ve seen an increase in people coming across meth.  This begs the question; how do we look after our friends and ourselves?

It’s important to note, I’m not a health expert of any kind; these are just small practical things I’ve gleaned from people – this is not a substitute for advice from experts, and I can take no responsibility for the suggestions here. You do things at your own risk. 

If you are using chems, even if it’s just been the once, please talk to your local clinic and get some advice and support - most can refer you to specialist services.  If someone is unconscious or unresponsive having used chems, please call 999 immediately.  You may have concerns about the police getting involved, but it’s far more important that person gets treatment and their life saved!

If you’re about to do meth, slamming it (injecting) is the riskiest way to take it and has a harder comedown.  Smoking it is somewhat less harmful as is booty bumping (putting up your ass).  Consider how you do it, as well as the drug you’re taking when thinking about risk.
  
Make sure you don’t mix meth with other drugs or with alcohol, if things go wrong it’s much more difficult to treat with more substances in your body.  In particular – make sure you don’t take caffeine in any form, it increases the effect of it in the body and is really dangerous – avoid all caffeine while you’re wired. 

So, you’ve taken meth?  Now what, you’re probably feeling something pretty amazing I guess, really horny.  If you are at someone else’s place, make sure you get home safely, get an Uber or registered taxi rather than public transport and certainly don’t try and drive.  Ideally set a time with a friend to check in so someone can make sure you get back home safe.

But the comedown is rough with meth.  You’ll find you won’t be able to sleep for a few days, it’s important you do rest otherwise you are liable to just crash out exhausted and may collapse or go unconscious.  Take it easy, lie in a dark room, maybe with some gentle music on.  Not being able to sleep can be very unsettling in itself, it will pass and you will get some rest, but it might take a while. 

As you come down, you’ll find you have no appetite and may not want to eat.  Given that this again, can last a while, try drinking some protein shakes (ones with extra vitamins in are good) to make sure you are getting something in you, maybe try snacking on fruit.  Stay hydrated - watch the colour of your piss to keep an eye on this. 

Particularly if you’ve slammed, you may find the come down harsh and may experience paranoia.  This can be very frightening; it may be feelings of being watched or followed, being judged, or may even be physical sensations.  Find a friend you can trust and talk to them about it, if you can get them to come and sit with you and try and make you comfortable - again gentle music, a blanket, maybe watching something very easy going on Netflix.  Don’t watch anything with action or drama, as that can make things worse. 

As you come down and feel more normal you may experience other feelings, such as guilt, or regret. Worrying about what you have done, especially regarding sexual health.  If you take PrEP, make sure you keep taking it.  If you think you have missed doses, or don’t know what has happened, get to a clinic or Accident and Emergency as soon as you can.  You have a 72-hour window after having unprotected sex to get PEP. 

Even with PrEP it’s important to get to a clinic and get a check up as other STIs are easily passed around and if you have injected meth there is risk of Hepatis C if needles were shared and precautions were not taken for safe disposal.

Unfortunately, it does also happen that people get raped while on meth and having chemsex, as your ability to consent may have been reduced, and you may have done things you would not normally.  You may have put yourself in a situation by taking chems, but that does not mean it’s ok for people to push you or take advantage.  Talk to your local clinic, who will be able to refer you to specialist services and support, reach out to friends and people you can trust.

I think we need to change the message about drugs.  Saying don’t do it and they are bad and stigmatising it isn’t stopping the problem.  We need to talk about it and focus on harm reduction and keeping people safe.  Please talk to people and don’t be alone.