So sweet. So innocent. So old-fashioned.
Yet, once we go on to taste – literally and metaphorically – what sexual delights are on offer, kissing almost becomes perfunctory. At best an appetizer that leads to the entrée, rather than a pleasure worth lingering on for its own sake.
This common disregard for simple pleasures always brings to mind an incident involving one of my favourite literary heroines: the chain-smoking, eminently hard and unfailingly deadpan Adora Belle Dearheart. Whose nicknames of “Spike” and “Killer” far closer reflect her personality than any of her given names.
In a rather memorable scene in Terry Pratchett’s Making Money, Adora Belle Dearheart is standing next to her hard-swallowing, perpetually-on-edge boyfriend Moist von Lipwig. They are exploring the Chairman’s Suite, at the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork when suddenly they find themselves faced with the contents of Sir Joshua Lavish’s wardrobe.
To Moist’s horror (and to the delight of Mr Fusspot, the lapdog), the contents that have spilled out on the floor include a whole lot of kink-wear and quite a bit of kink-ware too. Moist goes into mind-freeze mode but Ms Dearheart calmly offers her shocked boyfriend a simple, intuitive explanation for the predilections of the former chairman.
Adora Belle Dearheart’s Horseradish Sauce Hypothesis is as follows:
Everyone likes a beef sandwich, right?
But just to vary the flavour one day, you put a little horseradish sauce on it.
You discover you like horseradish sauce, so the next time you do a beef sandwich you put a little more sauce on it.
Then a little bit more.
Then a little bit more.
Until one day, you put so much horseradish sauce on the sandwich that the beef falls out.
And you don’t even notice.
An interesting thought. Sobering enough for this feminist to put her bottle of Heinz chilli sauce down. A reference, I am aware, that you my darling might not know me well enough to follow. Never mind. Suffice to say there is a photo floating about the web waiting for you to discover it.
Thank you for bringing my Freddo upstairs. I guess you have never been to this part of the house before. That’s not surprising – very few people have. This room was originally intended to be a walk-in wardrobe. It does indeed provide a safe-space for most of my outfits and for far more pairs of shoes than I care to admit to owning.
However, this room has also evolved into a deeply personal space where I withdraw to be alone. Sometimes I listen to music; sometimes I read; sometimes I write. But when I gravitate towards this room, it is usually because I need to do nothing. Except think and be still.
One word that would perhaps convey the function of this particular room in Cruella Towers is ‘boudoir’. But I am reluctant to use it. The word “boudoir” originates from the French verb ‘bouder’, which means ‘to sulk’ or ‘to pout’. This is so outrageously sexist, it is almost funny.
I can just imagine how the term was first coined.
“Me avoiding you, dearest husband? Sacre bleu! I am just a little woman hystérique, who needs a lot of space to be hystérique in. Preferably, without being disturbed. Got that, dear? Good!… See ya!”
Kissing and Telling
In this boudoir-centred book, de Sade illustrates how a private space creates the conditions for personal conversation and interaction. He also shows that these conditions are a prerequisite to sexual liberation and the exploration of one’s sexuality. And as any teenager will tell you, the link between talking about it and actually doing it, is none other than kissing.
Whatever etymological objections I might have to the word ‘boudoir’, the idea of a private space in which one can connect with intimate friends is very appealing. No wonder the boudoir has inspired an entire genre of sensual and suggestive photography.
It is precisely because it allows for the kind of relaxed, intimate behaviour that is only really possible behind closed doors and between people who are comfortable in one another’s company. And it is because as soon as lovers kiss they immediately become a team of two against the world.
This isn’t attributable simply to the self-delusional early stages of love. It seems to be written into our basic genetic programming.
Get a room, will ya?
Think back to a time you kissed someone you were so attracted to, being near them put your body into sensory meltdown. Do you remember how the world fell away as soon as your lips touched? A bit like being at the centre of a mini Big Bang just for two, that has caused the universe to rapidly expand in every direction around you. (If you are one of my darling physics geeks and my last sentence feels like I have inserted an E-stim wand directly into your brain, please sit down, breathe deeply and rock back and forth until the mental pain passes.)
Our bodies have the astounding ability to create a sense of psychological privacy for lovers who kiss, no matter how crowded their surroundings. On the surface, blocking the world out so you can enjoy a little snog with the person you fancy makes little sense from an evolutionary standpoint. After all, for most of human history, we had to worry about far more serious risks to our survival than our girlfriend’s dad walking into the room or a drunk ex-boyfriend taking a swing at us on the dance floor.
So, the fact that our bodies have held on to the ability to conjure up this illusion of romantic isolation tells us that kissing and, ideally, some quiet space to practice kissing in, are crucial to our health and quality of life.
This is why I think it is not an exaggeration to claim that the concept of ‘a boudoir’, has contributed greatly to sexual experimentation. Undoubtedly, a lot of kissing has always gone on within a lady’s private apartments. As it certainly does in mine, when I am done being alone and feel like socialising and reconnecting.
Welcome to my kissing chambers
I should make it clear that this private room of mine bears no resemblance to what de Sade’s Madame de Saint-Ange would consider an example of rococo elegance. There are no giltwood antiques or porcelain figurines and nothing is covered in chintz.
There is a wooden desk and some bookshelves. A comfortable leather recliner and a high leather armchair. And there is a coffee table, of course. If you absolutely had to use a word to describe the style of this room you would have to settle for ‘eclectic’ because I like to be surrounded by objects that make me smile. And my hobbies and interests vary wildly.
Let’s look around, shall we?
There is an as yet unfinished Lego model of the Star Wars Millennium Falcon on a side table. There is a delicately ornate metal birdcage hanging on the wall, that currently serves as a pretty prison for a small pot of geraniums, rather than a canary.
This very much reminds me of my slave’s Jail Bird and so never fails to cheer me up when I look up from my armchair. It’s a reminder that summer will end and the chastity challenges we have been facing will cease to be an issue.
I love this birdcage so much that I hope one day I will be in a position to order a custom made, wrought iron, human-sized bird cage to hang on a pole in the private walled garden of a house I don’t yet own. On my less dreamy days I am aware this possibility might not just lie a long time into the future, but also in a galaxy far, far away.
What has got me pondering today and has at least partially inspired this post is hanging on the wall directly opposite me. It is a vintage poster of a guide by Life Magazine, from 1942, called How to Kiss Properly.
It is broken down into four images, each one illustrating a profound insight about the art of kissing. I would summarise this advice as ‘It’s OK for your genitals to be in close proximity if you are on kissing terms’ and ‘Try not to look like you are considering strangulation as part of foreplay.’
Timeless advice we should all heed, I’m sure.
Like Sir Joshua Lavish, all of us kinksters are guilty of benumbing our senses by over exposing our sensory receptors to erotically powerful sensations with unfailing regularity. There is, of course nothing wrong with that. But we should balance this out by firmly putting kissing – slow, explorative, sensual kissing – back on the daily rotation.
Do you remember Pretty Woman? (Who me? Watch that film? Purlease! I was a cool, rock chick who owned nothing pink. OK, so maybe I watched it once. Or twice. Three is all I am prepared to admit to.)
It’s worth watching again if only to gawk at Richard Gere’s ridiculously humongous cell phone. But there was also a meme that emerged from that film, before memes were a thing, and that was Julia Roberts’ character Vivian Ward, claiming that she was happy performing any sexual act for money. Except kissing.
Her reasoning was that kissing is intimate and meaningful whereas with just about everything else you could switch your mind off and get on with on autopilot. We could argue about the wisdom of treating anything Vivian Ward says with the reverence one would reserve for Yoda. But I propose that in what she says, a speck of truth there must be.
After all, it is not uncommon for kinksters to outsource some activities they enjoy, if, for example, their partner is unwilling or unable to share into kinks such as flogging, rope restraints, impact play etc. But romantic kissing isn’t generally one of them, unless there are romantic feelings to back it up. Which rather supports the original argument.
I do think it is not possible to do kinking properly until you have done kissing properly. And the wise kinkster will spend some time connecting in the boudoir before moving the action into the dungeon.
So pucker up and get ready for some French kissing.
And while we are all at it, we might as well go all the way and make peace with calling whichever room serves as our kissing chambers our ‘boudoir’. After all, feminist linguistic objections aside, I’m sure we all agree ‘boudoir’ sounds far classier than ‘the necking room’.
Responses to last week’s QotW
Before I leave this room and start bracing myself for the outside world, big thanks to each of you for your responses to last week’s Question of the Week on Erotic Humiliation.
slave Tom’s story of how his Mistress, during one of their travels, treated him to the thrilling humiliation of a public pedicure followed by a hot pink nail polish made me laugh aloud. This is both inspired and inspiring. As soon as my slave and I find ourselves abroad I am going to be following the example of your Mistress, slave Tom. Thank you for sharing.
Question of the Week
Do you have any stories to share on the subject of kissing, and how important it is to bonding with a sexual partner.
- How do you feel about kissing? Is it crucial to you or can you take it or leave it?
Think of this newsletter as an extension of my boudoir, darling. Feel free to talk and share your views with me in the comments section below! I love your stories.
Until next time…
Oh I could work, I suppose. There is a master list about the all the sub-lists of things to do, and none of them include master and subbie fun. So, I am going to stay in this room instead. I’m going to think and I’m going to be still and let time wash over me without looking at my watch.
And when I feel ready to reconnect, I will summon my slave to join me for some fun and games. Strictly first-base.
Hugs. And kisses.
Stay well, darling, till next time.