Monday, June 27, 2011

Her Majesty, Pharaoh Hatshepsut

Who is a woman in history you respect?

I'm not sure if "respect" is a strong enough word for the woman I'm going to mention here.  Perhaps something more along the lines of "idolize"?  I can never live up to her legacy, but she has been an inspiration for me since a very early age.  The only female Pharaoh.  Not just queen consort.  Not just queen regent.  Pharaoh.

There are a handful of Egyptian queens who are known to the modern lay-person.  Nefertiti.  Cleopatra.  Perhaps even Nefertari.  Yet, despite their achievements, these women never reached as high as Hatshepsut.  Ironically, Hatshepsut ruled several centuries or so before Nefertiti and many centuries prior to Cleopatra (VII, if you need to know which one I'm referring to).

After the death of her father, she took a husband - her half brother, Thutmosis II.  He was sickly and died shortly after.  However, despite the fact that Thutmosis II had produced a male heir by one of his consorts (Prince Thutmosis III), he was too young to rule and Hatshepsut moved from the position of Queen Consort to Queen Regent.  Her daughter, Neferure (presumably fathered by her husband Thutmosis II, however this is debatable) also moved up in rank.  Shortly after this "upgrade", it became apparent that Hatshepsut did not intend to give over her rule to Thutmosis III.  She was crowned Pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt circa 1479 BC.  Some scholars believe that her father had groomed her to rule as his successor, sensing that his son was weak and ill-equipped for the crown.

Her rule was greatly successful and surprisingly unopposed.  In general, it was a time of peace - however she did successfully lead military campaigns in Nubia, Syria, and Levant.  She expanded Egypt's trade network a great deal.  Perhaps more telling of her success is the fact that she was a prolific builder - the  sign of a successful pharaoh.  The Deir el-Bahri complex still stands today, as does the Red Chapel and one of her obelisks (at the time, it was the tallest in all of Egypt).  You may find more about her building exploits here.  As time went on, she was depicted as a man in the friezes telling stories of her life.  In court, she worn the traditional false beard of the male pharaohs and was known to occasionally drop the feminine "t" at the end of her name and go by "Hatshepsu".

Truly, Hatshepsut was pharaoh.  A great pharaoh.  Yet, her rule did eventually end as you'd expect it to. She died after ruling for 22 years, sometime in her 40s or 50s.  An abscessed tooth prevented her from eating and she had the misfortune of suffering from pain and malnourishment for several months before her death.  She was buried with full honors - as a king.  As a pharaoh.

And, despite all this, there were still rumors that she was having a love affair with the Royal Architect, Senenmut.  Some were not happy that a woman was on the throne.  For example, here is a rendering of some graffiti found in a construction area that, I think, remained unfinished.  Presumably it was drawn by a workman:

What we have here is a woman, wearing the nemes crown (image here, for reference) unique to male Pharaohs, apparently taking it from behind.  It is assumed that this is Pharaoh Hatshepsut and Senenmut, presumably indicative of the fact that some people continued to be disturbed by the idea of a woman on the throne.  After all, being penetrated means weakness, yes? *insert eyeroll*

This woman has my deepest admiration and has had it since I was a child.  I aspire to be like her: Diplomatic, yet unafraid of conflict.  Pragmatic and practical, yet able to build a prolific legacy.  Down to earth, but pious.  And, perhaps most interestingly, able to wield the control, power, and intelligence associated with masculinity while still being able to exhibit the beauty, grace, and sensuality of femininity.  Hatshepsut was a fascinating blend of stereotypical male and female attributes.  This is something that I relate to deeply.  In some sense, I too was trained by my father as his "heir" and "son", despite the fact that he once had other male children.  But that is another story for another time.

My relationship with this idol is complicated.  I too struggle with this blending of male and female, and even the struggle of blending dominance with slavery.  I have mentioned before that my slavehood feels like a contradiction to the rest of me.  I wonder if Hatshepsut also wondered these things, sitting on the royal dias and wearing sandals painting with her enemies on their soles (so that she might crush them with each step) by day, and perhaps falling into the arms of a man at night, releasing the anxiety into his embrace.

It is a strange duality.  Although I seriously doubt that Her Majesty the King would ever consider herself a "slave", I am sure she felt loves pull - and even vanilla people refer to love as a form of slavery.  I think she would understand.  Across the centuries, I wish I could have known her.  So much of the time, there is no one here to answer these questions about myself (save for me).  I feel, again, that she would have understood the strength and struggle in being both a ruler and a subject.

"Now my heart turns this way and that, as I think what the people say.  Those who shall see my monuments in years to come and who shall speak of what I have done." -Hatshepsut, Pharaoh Maatkare (meaning "truth and justice in the soul of Ra").



I don't think I've ever had as much sex in a 24 hour period as I did yesterday.  I'm not sure I will ever have that much sex in one day again. X_x

The strange part is that nearly all of the sex was initiated by me.  How odd and how lucky I am that Master obliged me.  I am rarely so horny.  In fact, episodes of horniness are few and far between for me.  But occasionally I'll get into these cycles where the more I get, the more I want, and the sorer my pussy becomes, the more I need it to be filled.

Ah, masochists.  We're a strange group, are we not?  I never thought of myself as much of a masochist, but it's something that Master brings out of me I suppose.

I'm lacking words.  I don't have much to say.  I feel like the drama of last week has passed.  Things are going well, which leaves me content and without a whole lot to say.  Sometimes I have concerns that my blog makes it seem like constantly unhappy or doubting myself, mostly because inspiration comes with confusion and hardship.  Oh well.  I ought to finish those posts that I've been promising for so many ages.  I swear, I haven't forgotten.

I'm just content and tired from so much fucking. :P


Friday, June 24, 2011

Five Dollar Sushi

I write you from work.  I am on my lunch break, sitting next to a half finished California roll that I really wish I hadn't spent $5.50 on.  I've found my appetite suddenly absent, and I'm not sure for what reason.  Still, I have 4 pieces of sushi that I don't want that will expire on Sunday.  Now what? *le sigh*

The aftermath of Sunday's events has been interesting.  It's strange how an event that lead me to self-loathing and floundering can later transform into a bonding experience.  I feel safer with Master than ever before, for some reason.  And the contradiction is striking (to me at least).  Part of me is worried that he'll be holding back for a long time because of what happened... I don't want that.  In the dance of consensual non-consent, there is a lot of grey area.  I'm comfortable with grey.  I trust with him grey.  I'm just wondering how long it may be before he trusts himself with grey again.  Another day?  A week?  More?  I guess we'll see.  I won't be pushing.  The decision is his, after all.  It always is.

We've been reading together lately, which I've enjoyed.  It makes me feel comfortable, in a way.  I'm sure why, but it's a relaxing activity to have together.  I read aloud to him, and he'll lay in bed next to me and stroke my hair (perhaps brush it if I'm lucky).  Master has always taken excellent care of this piece of property, and for that I am thankful.

The bruising around my neck is clearing.  As usual (for me), it wasn't visible but the ache under the skin was very tangible.  That is subsiding, along with my concerns.  Maybe I am vulnerable, but why should that necessarily be a bad thing?  I like to be vulnerable to him.. and I'm looking forward to sharing that with him for a long time.  Slave mentality is a funny thing, and occasionally, I get disturbed when I find myself thinking or behaving in way that is... well, the way a slave thinks.  It can be damned terrifying when it creeps up on you.

Somedays I think I have too much autonomy and freedom.  And then there are other days.  Days when that illusion crashes down all around me in rubble.  Because that's what my "autonomy" is - illusion.  I might even go so far as to say that it's delusion.

It can be frightening when suddenly you realize that you already have exactly what you thought you wanted.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Running Scared

Something very odd happened to us two nights ago (the night before last).  I don't want to explain the situation entirely.  Doing so would be unfair to those involved (namely, Master and I).  I will try to summarize, but it will be nebulous.  This may make him look bad in the eyes of some - and I will remove or privatize the post should he ask me to.  But is his human and imperfect, which is a very large part of why I love him.  Besides, how strange would it be if I were solely responsible for all of our issues?  As they say - it takes two.

Without too many details: I was "punished".  I was "punished" without warning, out of anger, suddenly, and severely.  I was "punished" without having done anything wrong.

And for the first time in our years together, I really was afraid of him.  I felt betrayed, hurt, and terrified.  If a friend had told me that this happened to her, I would tell her to leave.  Just go.  But all my friends are vanilla.

And besides... it's his prerogative, is it not?  I gave him permission to do what he sees fit with me years ago.  M/s and O/p are rarely so simple as "just leave".  I would never take something like that from anyone...

But I'd take it from him.  The whole thing brought up so many feelings.  Master is not a brute and he is not abusive.  But to err is human, and I suppose that with the nature of our relationship, this sort of thing was bound to happen.  Mostly it's hard because I have no one to talk to about it.  My vanilla friends would see it as abuse if I ever breathed a word and I honestly don't know anyone in the kinky world (which is mostly restricted to the internet for me) that I feel near enough to to confide in.

I didn't know how to feel about being legitimately fearful of him.  I have always been so trusting of him and it was hurtful and frightening to have that taken away so suddenly.  (Am I being dramatic?  I feel like I might be.  I'm sorry, because that isn't my intention).  Some people claim to fear their masters, but I have difficulty putting "fear" and "trust" into the same equation.  He pushes me to face my fears and I have been afraid of various sadistic wants that he has.... but I've never been afraid of him.

I still trust him with everything.  Again, it's expected that he will eventually make errors like I do (although his are fewer and farther between).  Yet... it's hard to explain.

I suppose it was just a reminder that really, I am nothing.  I have no value other than what he places on me.  I have no power other than the power he chooses to grant me (which he can remove at any time).  It was a reminder of how open I really am to him after seeing how something that can happen so fast could totally flip my mental schemas on their heads.  A reminder of how easily he can wound me, physically and emotionally, without even intending to.  Despite knowing all this, having it shoved in my face so suddenly was... painful and scary.

Perhaps a better slave would have welcomed this.  Perhaps a better slave wouldn't have been surprised or upset... But if I am honest with myself, being reminded of my place in such a manner was simply... unpleasant.  Not arousing or comforting as it normally might be.  There was something about the situation and the fear that just made the flood of realizations in the aftershock make me feel disgusted with myself.  Like I was nothing more than some smear of dirt on the sole of a show... pitiable, perhaps.  But utterly insignificant.

This isn't very "true"-slave of me, is it?  No reveling in the wonder of my position.  I guess I don't have a slave heart (is anyone surprised, really?).

I just feel weak.  That's what it really made me feel like...



Monday, June 20, 2011

The Outsider

"Now I ride with the mocking and friendly ghouls on the night-wind, and play by day amongst the catacombs of Nephren-Ka in the sealed and unknown valley of Hadoth by the Nile. I know that light is not for me, save that of the moon over the rock tombs of Neb, nor any gaiety save the unnamed feasts of Nitokris beneath the Great Pyramid; yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage.

For although nepenthe has calmed me...

I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men."


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Safer Sex in the City

I'm a fan of charity.  A big fan.  And I have an opportunity here for those of you who also love charity.  The best part is?  You can give without pulling out your wallet if you aren't able to do that right now.  I love things like this because there is no reason not to participate when you can help someone with little to no effort.  As they say - why not?  But before I get into details, let me explain what the charity is for.   It is aimed at helping those with HIV/AIDS.  This particular event comes to us from a group in New York City, the AIDS Service Center in NYC.  They are hosting an annual event called Safer Sex in the City.  But what can I do, zelda?  I don't live in New York!  Me neither!  But there is still an easy, free way to lend a hand.

However, I've been asked to talk a bit about how HIV and/or AIDS has touched my life.  I'll be honest - I've been quite sheltered from it.  I'm in a purely monogamous relationship.  Master and I... well, without getting too deeply into our history - let's just say there is no risk of catching anything from each other.  It's been this way for me since day one.  I never had to worry after an unprotected encounter with a stranger because I've never had one.  But I do remember looking in through a window, so to speak.

I was at my university's health center.  I was there because I had someone how managed to contract mono (I don't even know.  Did you know you can get it just by sharing drinks or utensils?  I didn't.) and I was waiting for my own test results.  But I wasn't the only one in the waiting room, that day.  There was also a man.  He was probably a few years older than I was at the time, in his early 20s with red hair in dreadlocks.  He was nervous and perturbed, but I wasn't paying much attention to him.  I was more worried about what it would mean if my mono test came back negative (since I was told that could mean something more serious was wrong).

A nurse called the man's name and handed him an envelope.  He took it and left in a hurry.  Again, I wasn't paying it much heed.  But then he came back, moments later.  He grabbed the nurse's arm saying, "Excuse me, I have a question, um... so.. I don't have AIDS?"  He looked so afraid, on the verge of being told he was HIV free, yet still seemingly fearful that he had misread the results.

"No," she said matter-of-factly.  "We would have made it very clear if it had been positive."

"Oh.  Well, thank you."  And off he went again.  I imagine he was greatly relieved, but was probably still too shaken to take much joy in the news.

I was an interaction I hadn't been planning on seeing.  I didn't know who the man was and I haven't seen him since that day, about 2.5 years ago.  But it made me stop and think about how lucky I am to have never been exposed to something so frightening.  It is easy to judge and to think "perhaps he should have kept it in his pants".  And maybe there is some truth to that.  But there is no way of knowing what happened to that man to make him have to wonder and wait in terror for those test results.  A cheating lover.  A potentially tainted blood transfusion.  Who knows.

In general, I don't worry about AIDS personally.  But I do worry about it in a global context.  And no one is immune - anything can happen, which is again why it's so important not to be judgmental and why we should keep searching for the cure.

Now, how we can help.  EdenFantasys has teamed up with Safer Sex in the City and for every person who "likes" the fundraiser page on facebook (provided in the previous link), EdenFantasys will donate $1.  I know some of you may be thinking that a dollar doesn't seem like a lot, but those dollars add up!  And you can help out 100% free.  So please, if you have an extra five seconds, just click the "Like" button on their facebook page.  :)  Or if you're in the area, buy some tickets!  After all, it's for a good cause.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Apologies for the lack of updates & love

Dear friends (if any of you are still out there),

I am sorry for my absence.  Master has been very sick the past few weeks and I have been bogged down with absolutely AWFUL allergies.  In fact, Master is off at Urgent Care right now trying to get antibiotics.  I'd be there with him, but he didn't actually tell me where he was going (there are many urgent care options where we live.. I called a few and can't find him.  Damn.) so I'm left here to wait.

Sometimes, I wish I could talk to you about my professional life.  What I have been working on the past few weeks is really, truly fascinating to me and I'd love to share it with you.  But my position is unique and it was utterly blow my already flimsy anonymous mask.  It's part of why I have been away.  Sometimes when I can't talk about what I want to talk about, I simply don't talk at all.  So I am sorry for keeping you all in the dark.

It's not just here, though.  I've withdrawn in a lot of areas lately.  I've almost completely withdrawn from Fet.  I don't think I've logged in for other a month, which is unusual for me.  Lately I have had a sort of... issue with hearing out everyone else's opinions.  It's sort of odd.  It's not as though I am judgmental of what others do (trust me, as long as I'm not involved, you may all do what ever you please), but... I suppose I've sort of stopped caring.  It's not an apathy toward my own relationship or power exchange, but I am apathetic regarding what other people are doing in their homes.  I mean really, why does it matter?

I realize that there are, in fact, things to be learned from the successes and failures of others.  And I swear, I am still reading all of your blogs even if I haven't been commenting.  Blogging is different, so I hope that none of you here will be offended.  But regarding Fet, everything is so PC.  "Well, this is what WE do, of course it's totally different for everyone else, but MY Master (or conversely, MY slave) does blah blah blah..."  .... if it doesn't matter and is totally different for everyone else, why are we all here listening?  It feels less like people want to engage in dialogue and more like everyone is simply standing around waiting to talk about themselves.

(Remember that question from Pulp Fiction?  During a conversation, do you listen or just wait to talk?  There is a big difference, and it's usually easy to tell who listens and who is just waiting their turn.)

Threads of Fet have sparked some interesting conversations between Master and I, but sometimes it just drags me down.  I'm sure I'll be back to it eventually.  I do like to listen to other people, even when it isn't directly related to my own life but... I think I am simply trying to focus more on Him the directions/demands that he gives to me (while worrying less about what the rest of the world is doing).  Frankly, I don't care if we're "doing it wrong".  We'd be total exiles in the community anyway.  We don't play with others, we don't go to play parties and make appearances, we're total squares.  I wouldn't mind attending, but Master is simply not social and if he isn't interested, it isn't happening.  To some that would make us BDSM or Lifestyle posers, but please do remember - I really don't care.  My focus is him and it will probably stay that way, even if I'm willing to listen to what input others may have.

I'm not sure if it's just me who feels this way or if it happens to others.  But, it is what it is.  Feel free to comment and let me know if you occasionally tire of wading through the details of other people's lives.

*le sigh* I've missed blogging!  I know it's only been a few weeks, but it's felt like AGES.  Again, I am sorry for withdrawing.  I have several half-done posts hanging out in my queue, so perhaps I'll get back to work on those.  One is about my favorite female historical figure - a woman I have admired since childhood.  Another is about Anahata, the heart chakra.  And a few others are in there too.  Additionally, there will be another toy review to look forward to (damn I love doing those).

Thank you to those who have stuck with me and who still read here, despite my occasionally fickle posting patterns.

Master has ordered some new implements to try out with me.. that ought to be interesting, in the least. ;)


P.S. - For those wondering, the 30 days of self love project ended up being continued in private.  Some of it was too identifying in the end. :P