Friday, 31 August 2012

Market Musings

We had a nice day out at the Environment Fair in Carshalton on Bank Holiday Monday. I mean, give me a field, a bar and some live music and I'm likely to be as happy as a pig in poop anyway, but fairs and festivals also provide me with the chance to do a little hustling of various kinds. So I handed out some cards, metaphorically donning and doffing several of my work-hats in the course of the day (Yes, like most self-employed people, I have cards for several different clients...) but I spent a fair percentage of the time asking various stallholders if they'd ever considered trading at a market I sometimes stall out at.

It's this one: Merton Abbey Mills and it's one of the nicer environments to take yourself to: decent places to eat and drink nearby (and a Sainsburys if you are feeling budgety rather than indulgent), historic setting, my beloved River Wandle flowing past. Etc.

(photo lifted from the MAM facebook page)

At the moment, it's a little quiet and could do with more customers and, more importantly, a few more stalls. And I just wanted to say that I thoroughly approve of the way they are going about the business of acquiring more new traders. Some markets would do pretty much anything not to have a vacant stall about the place, so they scrabble around madly encouraging new traders no matter what the traders sell. With the predictable result that what was once an arts and crafts market turns into a car boot sale; first there's a deluge of been-there-seen-that imported hippy tat and dope-smoking implements, then in come the dodgy DVD sellers and the five-lighters-for-a-pound merchants and the whole thing collapses under its own weight of boredom.

But this isn't what's happening here. The management at Merton Abbey Mills offers reasonably-priced stalls to people who are selling interesting or good-standard artsy-craftsy or vintage-type stuff but, more importantly, if you make what you are selling yourself and it's interesting and of a good standard, you get a free pitch.
Luckily, what I do counts as make-your-own, as of course it should. Yes I purchase blank badge components and blank fridge magnets and use a computer to create stuff, but I wouldn't put myself in the same category as those people who buy How To Do Craft magazines with bits on and faithfully copy the designs suggested.

The other Hard Work bit I do in preparation involves picking over each stock category and dividing it into Clean and Smutty.

As you might imagine, this can sometimes take a while. But now I've learned to stick the badges on five different smaller pinboards according to theme, it's getting slightly quicker.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Way to go, feminist freedom fighters!

Any veteran feminist will have spent a good few chunks of time having to explain that feminism doesn't mean hairy-legged lesbian fun-spoiling whiners. Many of us will also have had to explain that criticizing male privilege isn't the same as hating men, and that banning porn and persecuting sex work is not the 'feminist' position, it's just what some feminists think.

And then here come these fucking idiots. I'm certainly not going to disagree that 50 Shades is an appallingly-written crock of shit. I'm not even going to disagree that it sends out the unfortunate message that abusive men are romantic, and that women can 'heal' them by putting up with their horrible behaviour and just... just loving them so much. Puke. But I am going to disagree that the best way to deal with this is to burn copies of the books.

The Internet is hoaching with brilliant, funny, angry, intelligent takedowns of this wanky trilogy, of which Bizzybiz is about the best. Circulate those and encourage your mates to read them by all means. But don't call for book-burnings. It makes you look ignorant, spiteful, controlling, attention-seeking (what does the stupid woman mean, 'no one is speaking out against it'? See above, you fuckwit! Just google 'Feminist criticism 50 Shades') and makes women who might benefit from a bit of feminism percieve feminists as bullies. Because only bullies burn books. You'd think some feminists would have learned  by now that pro-censorship is not a comfortable position as censorship has always been used against women, against progress, against freedom. Because censorship is about defending the interests of the powerful, the stupid and the egotistical, and there is not one single example of book burners anywhere, ever, turning out to be the Good Guys.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

It's really FUCKING simple...

The next post on this blog was going to be a nice bouncy one about how I'm off to White Mischief in a couple of days with a whole load of new badges and stuff. But the news is all full of screaming arseholes again, so I felt like addressing them.

And yes, OK, sorry, got to be done, TRIGGER WARNING.

If you are doing any kind of sex with any other person, it's not just a matter of behaving as if they won't mind if they don't notice. Or if no one else notices that you did or are doing it to someone who is not screaming and shouting in protest.

If you are doing sex with someone that person should be expressing appreciation and participating with equal enthusiasm. That's the bare minimum of civilised sexual interaction. If you are in a state where you are incapable of noticing whether or not the other person is enthusiastic about what's going on, you're not fit to be having any kind of physical contact with human beings (or with livestock, before anyone starts...)

But, but, but, waa, waa, waa... Here are some of the things that people who are well-intentioned but not all that smart sometimes say.

'I don't mind when my partner touches me up if I'm asleep/we grope each other in our sleep and we've been doing it for years. Should one/both of us go to jaaaaaaaiiiiiiiil if those nasty feminists say so?'

If you are in a happy relationship and both of you have agreed that half-asleep sex is romantic and lovely, that's fine. If your relationship is a healthy one, both (or however many there are) of you will also know at a very deep level that if the initiating touch is greeted with a sleepy grumble or a moving away, the toucher STOPS touching.

'We are into BDSM/roleplay and it turns us on for one person to be doing all the doing and the other one to be either lying still or tied up and gagged.'

You've negotiated it beforehand. (If you haven't, then the active one is either a predator or a fucking idiot.) You've agreed a method of checking that it's all OK, at intervals, which doesn't break the fantasy. (If you haven't, then you are both idiots, even if the active one has no wish to abuse the other. People who are enthusiastic and willing about all sorts of out-there sex can still get asthma attacks/cramp/sudden remembrance that they left the gas on and need to STOP the sex and deal with the problem).

'S/he is a person with disabilities which mean that s/he can't actively participate/speak his/her appreciation.'

Yes, that's on the edge of likelihood but hey, people with disabilities are not necessarily asexual. However, if a person has *no means whatsoever* of communicating pleasure or displeasure then this is not a person you should be engaging in sexual activity with. If you are contemplating sexual interaction with someone whose methods of communication are limited for physical reasons, you need to be very careful in establishing a method that works quickly.

Oh, and the old grey areas of confusion (50-shades-of-grey areas of confusion is a whole other blog post. Which I might get round to fairly soon). There's a difference between confusion and sexual assault, and the difference is that the confused-but-harmless person WILL STOP at the first objection. I had an encounter with a harmless idiot once. We met at a party in a house he lived in. We chatted, in the course of the evening, about kinky sex. We had a lot to drink and we went to bed together. I woke up while he was in the process of tying me to the bed, very incompetently.

So I yanked my hand free and whacked him with it, and read him a righteous lecture on how lucky we both were - him, that I wasn't about to press charges and me, that he was a fuckwit and not seriously dangerous. His justification was that his last girlfriend had found it erotic. I explained to him that different people like different things, that it's unwise to assume anything and finally, you total bellend, you hadn't listened to a word I said, had you? I'm a TOP! I'm the one who does the tying up!

He was very sorry. To this day I think he was a wally rather than a sexual predator. Because he stopped, straight away. This is why I believe women who say they have been assaulted and/or raped, even if they were drunk, even if they were wearing short skirts, even if they had snogged the face off the rapist earlier. We know the difference between an idiot and a rapist. We know the difference between crappy, clumsy, drunken sex that we rather regret, and a sexual assault.

Anyway, if you've nothing to do on Thursday night, come and buy some badges. I'm still working on slogans that sum up the above...

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Here we go then.

Oh... hello. Anyone out there? That's all right then. If I were to say this is less of a blog and more of a flog, would you all get the wrong idea? Maybe I ought to change the profile pic, even though these days my arse is probably more appealing than my face (as long as I stay off the Ikea Meatballs; oh boy do those things make you fart!). Anyway, until I get another pic, that one will have to do, but don't be fooled into thinking I'm a sub and this is a thinly-disguised appeal for some berk who's read the hype about 50 Shades of Shit to send me a photo of his willy and a command to rock up to his Red Shed Bungalow Bedsit of Pain Ann Summers sale goods for a spot of anal fisting.

Basically I am too idle and incompetent to build a proper website, so I've decided to set this up instead as a way of letting you know what stuff I've got for sale, where I'm selling it, and anything else interesting that comes to mind. I've been running Decadent Media since about the turn of the century, mostly at the London Fetish Fair.  I've always sold books, right from the beginning; and over the years I've added (and subtracted, and sub-contracted) T-shirts, photographs, badges, keyrings, stickers and other odds and ends.

Currently, like quite a lot of people in the adult industry, I've been capitalizing on the hype around That (piss-awful) Book and hope to carry on doing so. 

The Guild Anthology has been doing quite nicely and I've been having a little success with The Master's Voice as well. 

But I haven't achieved the height of audacious cool demonstrated by this British hotelier. There are few things I love better than watching someone pull the public's tails and get themselves masses of free advertising by exercising a bit of wit.