Doing it for free

So I’ve written about deciding to sell adult IM roleplay/cybersex sessions, and how that’s gone so far.

I have, in the process, rediscovered my love of online textual cybersex in general. I knew I had a talent for it from previous forays into IRC and from some great sessions with my (now former) partners. Memories of those IRC adventures and the reawakening inspired by the few potential clients through my doors so far led me to think about going out and revisiting my old online stomping grounds, or finding some new ones.

My main venue used to be the bondage.com IRC servers. Sadly, Alt.com bought up bondage.com, and because bondage was better on all points than Alt, Alt eventually closed down bondage – including the IRC servers. Collarme used to have a webchat service, but after a dispute between the partners, Collarme has changed its URL and the owner of the original domain name is raising funds to start a rival, “kinkunity“, that looks like it will take some time to get off the ground (but might be exactly what’s needed in the market if it does). I never really liked the atmosphere in the Collarme chat that much, anyway, so that meant I needed to find out if there were other BDSM IRC or webchat services out there. I found one that seems okay, in kinksterschat.com (via the petition pages on Fetlife, where people would like Fetlife to offer a chat service).

One thing that has struck me all over again since re-engaging with Collarme, and playing around on KinkstersChat, is how conservative BDSMers can be. It was very noticable on the old bondage.com IRC, and it hasn’t changed, that gender and roles are heavily policed. The rooms I liked best on the old IRC were those in which asking a/s/l (Age/Sex/Location) and opening private chats without asking in-channel first, were frowned upon. But people still wanted to know these things, and weren’t shy about it even if they had to go a slightly longer way around getting there.

On AdultWork, I’m not happy to advertise as “TS/TV”, which means the closest fit is simply “male”. That’s fine, I’m selling a service, and male/female is the most common search term.

But when I’m off-duty, and looking for fun on my own terms, then I am assuredly going to use the wonder of the internet to strip away the meatware and enable the virtual body to take over. In short, I fully embrace and celebrate my genderfluidity. I choose a username that is not obviously gendered, and those who ask A/S/L get a quick education in nonbinary identification.

The next question is always some variation on, “Yes, but what were you born with?”

It shouldn’t matter in the slightest. It’s make-believe. Nothing I type really happens. Some, of course, are after webcam scenes but since I’m not, the answer to that is always “no”. It certainly doesn’t matter unless we’re actually going to have a scene, but to get a scene with me takes more than any of these people care to offer before they ask. And even then, it doesn’t really matter. Some guys assume I’m a cis woman and if we have a scene they’re utterly clueless that my cunt is imaginary (I suspect a lesbian might guess, but that hasn’t been an issue yet). I love being a virtual woman for online sex, and if someone, knowing my gender fluidity, asks me to be in a female headspace for their scene, I’m happy to join in with that role. Equally, if they ask me to be a crossdressed person or male, as long as they make me feel sexy, I’m willing.

The quickest way to rule out a scene is to insist on knowing my r/l genitalia.

It isn’t only in A/S/L terms that gender policing is rife. I am very happy that there should be “no men allowed” chatrooms for kinky lesbians to get it on for their own amusement. I am less happy that these tend to be trans-exclusionary in their ethos, or at least, they were when bondage.com was in its heyday, and the language they use on the collarme service looks similar (typically, trans* and non-binary folks get their own room, lumped in together). It doesn’t affect me directly, since I rarely identify as “woman” any more than I identify as “man”, always somewhere in the middle. So it’s not my fight. But it bothers me to see the same language and attitudes used in kink circles as by TERFs and their ilk.

I recently had the pleasure (read, “misfortune”) to go along with a developing scene with a guy who assumed I was a cis woman. Since I’m off-duty, I was keen to take what I wanted and not merely be his wank-fodder. He, on the other hand, seemed to equate “female” with “submissive”. Eventually, I revealed my plan to put my strap-on up his arse, to which he objected and then disappeared.

That kind of role-policing linked with gender is not frequent in interactions, but on the old IRC servers, and on the collarme service, room names and descriptions that equated femininity with submission were commonplace – and there are some still on collarme. The kinksterschat service has so far not gone along that route but the potential seems to be there. It is more often that clear delineation is spelled out between Doms and subs. Switching is either frowned upon, or relegated to specific rooms. On the collarme chat service, the custom of using “voice” as a marker for submissive role is so widespread that I feel nervous about attempting to adopt a sub role, since it seems likely that the change of role will be recorded across all channels, instead of allowing me to be sub for just one scene.

Heteronormativity rules: being bi, I am happy to play with men or women (guess who most often approaches…) but (again, linked to the genitals police) there seems to be a strong whiff of homophobia about the attitudes of many I encounter, and above all, no one (whether they ask A/S/L or just assume my gender) bothers to ask what my orientation is. If they assume, then it must be I am a het, cis woman (who wants them).

I hope that there are sex-positive, gender-liberated kinky webchat spaces out there. I haven’t found them yet, but maybe they exist and I can have tons of the best internet textual sex possible if/when I find them. In the meantime, I have to make do with what I can find.

At first, when I started having a few scenes, I worried that by giving it away for free like this, I was devaluing the service that I waant to earn money for. I’m putting the same effort and art into the scenes I do for free as I would for a paid scene. Why, then, would someone pay, if they can get it for free?

But then I thought, “Imagine I’m a full-service sexworker, who loves sex. Imagine I do not have a long-term relationship, and in fact, the sex I want on my day off is hot, filthy, no-strings fucking. Imagine I go to bars and pick up guys to get what I want. Imagine I use all the skills I have to get what I want from him and, though I like it when he’s happy too, his happiness is incidental to whether I am getting what I want. Am I then devaluing the service I sell?”

I reasoned that, no. A sexworker in any branch of sex work has the right to seek whatever kind of sex zie wants, when zie’s off-duty, for whatever reasons and with whomever zie chooses, and certainly does not devalue hirself, or hir services, by doing so. Hir clients are not going to get what they want for free, even if they happened to turn up at the same venues where the sexworker is looking for hir pleasure. At the bottom line, sex work is work providing a service, the client chooses what (within the limits set by the sexworker, and subject to the sexworker’s veto, of course) and for how long, and pays to have their desires fulfilled. Satisfying those desires may well be a satisfying or enjoyable experience, but it is not there to satisfy the desires of the sexworker, it’s done to satisfy the desires of hir bank balance. But when that sexworker goes seeking, zie sets the tone, zie knows what zie doesn’t do (or doesn’t get to do) when working, knows what zie wants to receive in exchange for hir participation in sexual activities. Zie isn’t going to go into a sexual encounter (of whatever sort) without expectations, and if it seems the other person isn’t willing to put in the effort to meet those expectations, then zie will have none of it. After all, you don’t give away for free what you normally charge for.

This, at least, is that attitude I take into these webchat venues these days. If you want to scene with me, you have to put in more, enough to make me feel like I’m getting my urges satisfied. If you want someone to feed you wank fodder – here’s AdultWork.com, buy a session from someone there (maybe me, most often a cis woman to match their fantasy).

There is an art to IM cybersex, and it’s closely related to writing in general. When all you have is the text on the screen, if you don’t describe it, it might as well be invisible. Obviously, the mantra, “show, don’t tell”, is useful here, although feedback (telling) is useful too. You need to use words to paint a picture for your partner, and I want them to paint me a picture in equally vivid detail so that I can add my next layer to it and vice versa. One sweet fellow managed to perform a striptease without saying anything. One moment his pants were on, the next he was naked! I expressed my displeasure and said, “watch and learn”. Yes, he got a freebie, but I had fun performing a sultry (and admittedly quite stereotypical) tease, detailing each move and finishing with “hands on my hips – ‘well?'” I recommended he buy services at AdultWork…

Some guys, with a little coaching, are able to get the hang of it. One or two get it straight away. A good cybersex partner, it seems, is hard to find. And as I said, if you aren’t able to give me that rich descriptive scene that I crave, then I won’t be staying.

The trouble with the “Submissive” role is that too often, that’s taken as permission not to put the effort in, not to be creative. Assuming it’s a male person trying to scene with me, it’s permission to resort to “pounding” his “throbbing member” a few times, with no greater imagination or description than that (tell me how it feels to you, tell me where your hands are, what they’re doing, describe your breathing, where your face is, what’s happening in your body… just describe stuff!) This is not acceptable. So I typically start to impose a more Dominant role, more intending to fuck than be fucked (which, let’s face it, is my natural inclination anyway). To be in-role as a female intending to use a male in her own way is very satisfying. It means I can demand more of what I want (description, as well as types of activity) and gain satisfaction that way.

Only one guy has won me over. He was accepting of my genderfluidity and proceeded to seduce me. I let him, and thus accepted a more submissive (small ‘s’) part in the scene. This was entirely down to (a) his acceptance of genderfluid without further questioning, and (b) his willingness to invest the descriptions that enabled me to picture myself in the role, and how he was wooing me.

You know what? Sure, if you’re willing to put in the work, equal to or greater, than I put in, to create an awesome hardcore BDSM torture & fuck cybersex scene with me, then yes: you can have that as a “freebie”. Show me your literary as well as sexual skill, give me something to read that will have me distracted for the rest of the day and night with the mental images it produced. That’s what I’m aiming for, whether you’re paying for it or not, every time, because I take pride in what I do and create, and I really want you, whether you’re a paying client or just some random person I met in a chatroom, to have an awesome time with me. So if you want it for free, you kind of owe me some effort. Right?

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About ValeryNorth

I overthink everything.
This entry was posted in Economics, Gender, Sex, Writing about writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Doing it for free

  1. Pingback: Gender, online roleplay and media | Valery North - Writer

  2. Pingback: 4 months and a few quid later | Valery North - Writer

  3. Pingback: Sub power, Domly Vulnerability | Valery North – Writer

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