Xia’s Secret

Colette: It was 2005 when I first saw the Gates’ website. The site back then wasn’t like how it is now, it was quite stark. It looked like it was created in the mid 90’s and never got updated, all of which which kind of added to its underground feel. The spartan layout consisted of rows of photos of each girl who worked there all centered around the two mirrored b&w photos of Sage (the headmistress) set against a black background.

Whoa. All these women are dominatrices. I clicked on every photo, which led me to the individual profile page of each domme. I carefully studied their photos and text as if I was collecting data. I was trying to arrive at an answer to my naive question, “What does a dominatrix look like?”

The more important question was “Could I see myself doing this?” I wasn’t sure. Some of the women there were older than me, some were taller, some were pierced and tatted. For the most part, they seemed different from me. Then I came across this photo (that you see here). Wait. Who is this girl? I stared at her torso. It kinda looked like mine. She was slender, elegant, slight but not delicate. Her outfit was simple, just a bra, panties, and stockings, but she wore it with feminine perfection. I was transfixed by the way she held her crop: composed, neutral, and at ease. In a single image, this woman had won me over and showed me the way. Her name was Xia.

And I am thrilled to have her back(!) here as a contributor to Pervette.

And oh, the secrets she can tell you.

Thank you Xia. For being awesome you, and saying yes…

Xia: Awww thank you for the warm introduction, Colette.

As some of you may know, I was a professional dominatrix from 2002 to 2008. What a delight when Colette came calling with this exciting project, Pervette! Admittedly, I was reticient, for it had been quite some time since Xia had made an appearance, virtual or otherwise. What a wonderful thing then, to be so inspired by Colette’s generous spirit, her wild ambition, and self-assured passion, that I soon found myself committed to adding my voice to her grand project. I count myself blessed to be a part of Colette’s circle of sisterhood, and look forward to contributing to her vision of all things kink.

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Xia’s Secret

by Xia Vox

When online vigilantes the Impact Team revealed that they had invaded “cheaters” dating website Ashley Madison and dumped all the data onto the dark web, ostensibly to punish the business and its users for their moral offenses, I had to have a talk with my partner of twenty years. But no, it didn’t involve any tears, begging for forgiveness, or reprimands. And it turned out he had an Ashley Madison account too.

We are committed, but non-monogamous – polyamorous, as the current lingo goes, “swingers” being the popular term when we first ventured off the traditional path – playing together with others as well as indulging in our own side scenarios in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” arrangement. So our discussion had more to do with making sure our credit cards were safe, as well as having a laugh about the whole thing. I mean really, hackers as prudish enforcers?

I’ve been waiting years for the wider world to catch up to my vision of what a successful, loving, longterm primary partnership can look like – and what it doesn’t have to look like – and I am still waiting. The secrets I harbor are not sources of shame, hidden from those ostensibly most close to me. They are open secrets, such that the nearer you are to me, the more obvious they become. On the contrary, it is that greater world from which I muffle the details of my private dalliances. My secrets are held in the tradition of a long line of libertines who towed that fine line between daring to defy the hypocrisy of the standard narrative and working to benefit themselves within its system.

And as I write these words, it has become apparent to me that in order for this dreamed of day to come – when we can all be more open about our need for affection and novelty across relationships, when we can embrace our desires more whole-heartedly, without the damning assumptions that they are selfish, weak and destructive, or that our fulfillment of them is indicative of some evil lying dormant within us, such that our urges become an insipid excuse for irresponsible and reckless behavior –  well, I need to do more to step up and engage within the public sphere, contributing my battle-earned wisdom. What a blessing then, when Colette invited me to join the conversation on Pervette. The opening topic being secrets and coming out jogged a memory from years ago…

1999

“By the way, did I see you in Oakland last night?”

I sat in my cubicle in downtown San Francisco at the hip and bustling dotcom where I was a sales associate, still groggy from a smattering of sleep, revving up for another day of bountiful ad sales. Irrational exuberance was in the air, and the feeling was catching, all of us young go-getters walking around thinking, “I’m gonna be rich, bitch!”

So there I was reading over my stack of emails. I opened one from the HR guy, a response to a routine request for some form, when the last sentence popped out at me on the screen, planted like a cipher waiting for my heightened attention. It was one of those time-slowing-down moments, early morning automaton phase transforming into distracted befuddlement and then dawning realization, my body imploding with queasy, prickly horror.  I had gone to the Edgewater the night before. He had been there.

The Edgewater was a notorious swingers’ resort near the Oakland airport, the kind of place whispered about and then disavowed in “polite” company, though known to just about every hotblooded freak in the vicinity. Ramshackle but infused with a pervy, pioneering spirit, the Edgewater’s ring of motel rooms encompassed a central gathering hall complete with dance floor and bars, stripper pole and couch-lined walls, overlooking a spacious courtyard swimming pool framed by palm trees and flowering bougainvillea. Its uniqueness came, in large part, from a special adult assembly license, which allowed for public nudity and sexual relations between consenting adults. So infamous were its exploits, HBO’s Real Sex had come calling, featuring the venue in an episode entitled, “Queen of Sexploration.”

I was there to see Alisha Klass. A natural beauty with alabaster skin and raven hair, her infamous tattoo of pornographer/boyfriend Seymore Butts’ name on her derrière, she epitomized the gung ho attitude of early gonzo porn. As one of the most popular anal stars of the era, I appreciated her unbridled enthusiasm, a heady mix of glamour and gumption, as well as the ease and realness of her flashes of kink. I had once seen a magazine spread depicting her inserting various vegetables into her anus, afterwards chopping them up into a nice bowl of salad which she beheld with a mischievous smile. This Snow White lookalike made you crossed-eyed with her outrageous antics.

At the Edgewater, she had poured chocolate sauce all over her body – indeed, it reminded me disconcertingly of scat play, not being one of my predilections – before commencing a gleeful, finger-by-finger countdown which ended with her entire hand disappearing up her ass. Her performance was dirty, hilarious and down to earth, just as I would have hoped. For a microsecond, I had thought I had spied the HR guy on the periphery of my vision, both of us audience members gathered in darkness around the main stage. But I had shrugged it off, cognitive dissonance not permitting me to process the sighting any further, so delineated had I kept my secret life of pleasure from my public life of work.

Though even before he had caught me out, I had a feeling the HR guy was a deviant like me: a cerebral introvert with a dirty mind. There were two of them, him and his friend in sales whom he frequently visited. Something about the way they would confer in hushed tones at the latter’s cubicle, then let the conversation lapse as soon as someone passed by. And that one time, the odd look on his face as I caught him noticing the black heart tattoo on my ankle. I was surprised by the shiver it had sent down my spine, filing away the memory with a little red flag.

Thus I had already suspected that this co-worker was a fellow sex nerd. There is a particular pride in having honed my freak radar, sexuality being its own surreptitious language, an undercurrent sensed not only in the subtleties of body language and micro-expressions, but also in the gaps between words and the spaces between people. Most think it’s the attention-getters, the boorish braggarts and saucy hip-swishers, or the inked up anti-heroes and other showy types that get all all the action. Yet for every loud and proud player out there – and I’ve found they often turn out to be pretty vanilla –  I believe there are an equal number of undercover explorers.

It’s the low key ones who are often the most intrepid, perhaps because it is less about proving something to others and more about finding something for oneself. It has struck me as bordering on the absurd, how easy it is to fool the average person into complacent acceptance of one’s so-called innocence through a certain restraint in presentation, the inevitable gaping-mouth surprise of people from the straight world who find out about my wilder habits. Admittedly, I get off on it, the mental corsetry of one’s carriage like a silent challenge: can you see through the illusion of uptightness to what lies beneath, the smoldering cauldron of passion and playful perversion? And even if you did, would you be able to handle it?

Despite my fleeting sense of panic, the incident remained a ripple rather than a tidal wave. My instincts were right, and it seemed that the man from HR had as much to hide as me. He was no bro who had just happened to come out for a walk on the wild side. Thus, we mutually agreed to keep our lips sealed. My life remained in its neat, separate compartments.

And here we are now in 2015. These days, it feels like there’s a lot less reason to remain closeted. Indeed, in this age of technological transparency, it appears to be a feat on the verge of impossible. But beyond that, there is a sense of imminence within our culture, that we may finally be ready to move away from our puritanical roots, away from equating sex with shame and fear-based reactivity towards a more compassionate, celebratory and honest exploration of relational intimacy. For the price is too high if we cannot find it within ourselves as a society to break on through to the other side of this tiresome narrative: the perpetuation of traditional roles which place a premium on the control of women as property (excuse me, but I don’t want to wear a rock on my finger denoting my supposed price), and the status of men as conquerers (jealousy as social construct, as an extension of winner-takes-all patriarchy).

That is where we find ourselves now as we emerge into this brave new world of constant connectivity, at an inflection point. Do we cling to black-and-white thinking and find ourselves downward-spiraling into less intimacy, fewer relationships, and more porn addiction (because we don’t want to treat the ladies badly, but the boys have got to satisfy those cravings)? Or do we try to move beyond the madonna-whore mentality and all the other overly binary tropes?

Perhaps there still is a chance for us yet, to ascend to a place of greater liberation, where sluttiness is not a bad word or a reason to disrespect, where I don’t have to read a Vanity Fair article about the latest dating app “devaluing” the young women, where the same old games can be called out for what they are, and affection and good feelings can be shared rather than possessed. I’ll say amen to that!

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Copyright Xia Vox. All rights reserved.

photo of Xia circa 2005

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