T is for Tormented

Middle English (as both noun and verb referring to the infliction or suffering of torture): from Old French torment (noun), tormenter (verb), from Latin tormentum ‘instrument of torture,’ from torquere ‘to twist.’

Tormented serves as a very ‘good’ word for my recent state of mind. I haven’t written anything in months. Haven’t commented. Haven’t cared about much of anything. For some reason every year I forget how I feel about The Holidays. In simple terms: I hate them.

Beginning before Halloween and lasting until the New Year, all my self-doubt and -loathing get all twisted up with memories and emotions that have never been settled, never mind with any permanent closure. It doesn’t help that my other personalities have different desires; some (as in Rose) love the hype and color and social doings and would be partying every night if I let her. Some of the others that lived before me, and more importantly lived through the trauma, roll their eyes at her and want to stay in their rooms until spring. But, having to work ‘nearly’ full-time in order to keep a roof over our heads and the larder stocked, means that five days a week I have to grit my teeth, force all my feelings back into the closet and do my best to survive. Plus, being my wife’s caretaker can get stressful.

None of that feeds my creativity. I’m never been someone that uses adversity to strive for change. I tend to pull back and curl up into myself. My only escape is to read. Or YouTube; but I won’t blame my depression on that addiction. I/We have always been depressed to some degree, but medication doesn’t work and therapy became a crutch. I don’t really want to be tormented all the time, but I don’t know how to stop.

Lest you think this is self-pity or a ‘woe-is-me’ diatribe… it’s not. Rose slaps me upside the head (well, inside the head. So to speak.) whenever I wallow. As she points out — and I know — there are billions of people on this Earth who can’t fathom the luxury and security of my lifestyle. I just get stuck. Internally. I can counsel someone else quite readily but when it comes to introspection, I suck. I don’t blame anyone. I accept full responsibility for my lack… of many things.

This was not what I intended to write today, but it needs to be said. I write when I feel like it, not to make a living. To some of you, that undoubtably disqualifies me from the Authors Guild, but that’s okay. The pen maybe mightier than the sword, but in my case, at least it doesn’t serve as a tormentum. I’ve got my mind serving that post.

And it is a very, very competent torturer.

The Mystery Blogger Award

This award was Created by Okoto Enigma to highlight blogs that may be less well known.

This badge is courtesy of Anarie Brady, from her blog when she nominated me. I’m not going to nominate anyone however. I know, I’m a rule breaker. If you read this post and want to nominate yourself, go right ahead. 🙂


Rules:

Put the award logo/image on your blog.
List the rules.
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
Answer the questions you were asked.
You have to nominate 10 people.
Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question.

Anarie’s questions for me:

1. What made you decide to begin a blog?

Back in February, 2006, I started my original blog as a way of bringing attention to a particularly grotesque and abusive situation involving women in the public retail sphere. After a few months, I started writing poetry and fiction. Within six months I started a novel and discovered — much to my amazement — that many of my female readers were spankos. I decided in 2009 to start this blog, Lurv Spanking, but kept it secret from my followers. At one point I had seven blogs; I currently have two active with three private plus one more under my real name. *See question #3 below.

2. Has blogging been an inspirational journey for you?

Short answer: No. What has been inspirational is the many friends — and some lovers — I’ve met along the way. They have encouraged me to write, to express, to embrace my true self and without them, I’d be a poorer man.

3. Do you write under a penname? If so, why?

My penname is Byron Cane. I decided to publish all my spanking and/or erotic fiction under that name. I’ve never linked my real name to spanking and very few readers of this blog know who I am.

4. Does your significant other, friends, and/or family read your blog?

No, no and no. My first blog, yes, yes and yes. Spanking is not something I talk about in real life. Although, I did have a co-worker who was interested in my fiction after he bought my first novel.

5. If you could have 24 hours with any writer, who would it be?

I honestly can’t think of anyone I’d want to spend time with. More than 24-hours, sure, but that’s in the future. I’ve probably read over 30,000 books in my life along with at least that many newspapers and magazines. I love to read, but have never desired to meet the writers.

Three things about myself:

1. I’ve lived in five different states, and have felt earthquakes in each one. No, never been to California. I grew up in Wisconsin. Moved at age 20 to Virginia, then Maryland. At age 22 moved to Massachusetts — where I met my wife — then to Connecticut. At age 36 moved to Florida where we’ve lived ever since. [I’ll be 55 this year.] 🙂

2. I had my first job when I was 12, and joined the wacky, wonderful world of retail sales at 16. 🙄 The most hours I ever worked in a week as a store manager was 110. ‘Nuff said.

3. In November of 2006, I self-actualized as a multiple personality. Up until that time, my entire life was a puzzling mixture of missing memories and a soft-focus dream-like quality of existence. In an instant, everything became sharp and understandable. “So that’s why!” My life made sense. I don’t blog about it here, because I did so ad nauseam for the next year plus on my original blog. The only one of the six of us — besides me — to spin off and blog, was Rose, but she stopped blogging her *two blogs back in 2009, with several attempts over the intervening time, the most recent in 2017. She may start again, but you’ll have to ask her: I’m just the bus driver.

Transgender ban versus science

The ban on transgender individuals serving in the United States military was reinstated on August 25th, by the current President. This was not a surprise given the rhetoric during the campaign and the promises made to the winning electoral base. Given the plethora of ‘fake news’ accusations being hurled by ‘both sides’, I wanted to contrast the decision to sign the ban, with a trio of recent articles in magazines.

Before I link to the information, I wanted to state for the record that, although I do not identify as LGBTQ or any of the currently more than 50 ‘labels’ for gender’; I do understand what it’s like to exist with different genders and orientations inside. As a multiple personality who is male by birth, has an incredibly vibrant and compassionate woman as the strongest other, and who himself is several personalities removed from the original boy: I know from first-hand knowledge that gender is not genitals, but centered in the mind.

The January 2017 issue of National Geographic Magazine, featured a transgender girl on the cover. The article title, How Science Is Helping Us Understand Gender, leads into an exploration of how the mind and hormones determine gender. I doubt very much if the issue changed many minds, but it certainly solidified my support for transgender rights.

National Geographic, by Robin Marantz Henig: Many of us learned in high school biology that sex chromosomes determine a baby’s sex, full stop: XX means it’s a girl; XY means it’s a boy. But on occasion, XX and XY don’t tell the whole story.

Today we know that the various elements of what we consider “male” and “female” don’t always line up neatly, with all the XXs—complete with ovaries, vagina, estrogen, female gender identity, and feminine behavior—on one side and all the XYs—testes, penis, testosterone, male gender identity, and masculine behavior—on the other. It’s possible to be XX and mostly male in terms of anatomy, physiology, and psychology, just as it’s possible to be XY and mostly female.

Each embryo starts out with a pair of primitive organs, the proto-gonads, that develop into male or female gonads at about six to eight weeks. Sex differentiation is usually set in motion by a gene on the Y chromosome, the SRY gene, that makes the proto-gonads turn into testes. The testes then secrete testosterone and other male hormones (collectively called androgens), and the fetus develops a prostate, scrotum, and penis. Without the SRY gene, the proto-gonads become ovaries that secrete estrogen, and the fetus develops female anatomy (uterus, vagina, and clitoris).

But the SRY gene’s function isn’t always straightforward. The gene might be missing or dysfunctional, leading to an XY embryo that fails to develop male anatomy and is identified at birth as a girl. Or it might show up on the X chromosome, leading to an XX embryo that does develop male anatomy and is identified at birth as a boy.

Genetic variations can occur that are unrelated to the SRY gene, such as complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS), in which an XY embryo’s cells respond minimally, if at all, to the signals of male hormones. Even though the proto-gonads become testes and the fetus produces androgens, male genitals don’t develop. The baby looks female, with a clitoris and vagina, and in most cases will grow up feeling herself to be a girl.

Which is this baby, then? Is she the girl she believes herself to be? Or, because of her XY chromosomes—not to mention the testes in her abdomen—is she “really” male?

Continuing the gender wars, Vogue magazine weighs into the fight with two articles in the August 2017 edition. This first tackles the fashion industry with the quote “You see boys wearing makeup, girls buying menswear—they are not afraid to be who they are. This category or that category—who cares? They want to define themselves.” The essay itself leads off linking Virginia Woolf with Tumbler.

Vogue Magazine by Maya Singer: Midway through Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando, a startling transformation takes place: Our hero, Duke Orlando, awakens from a seven-day slumber to find that he has switched genders. “Orlando had become a woman,” Woolf writes, “but in every other respect, Orlando remained precisely as he had been. The change of sex, though it altered their future, did nothing whatever to alter their identity.”

He becomes they. The pronouns shift, but the person remains the same. Woolf’s words, written in 1928, could easily be mistaken for a manifesto posted yesterday on Tumblr, the preferred platform for the growing cohort of “fluid” young people who, like Orlando, breezily crisscross the XX/XY divide. Fashion, of course, has taken note of the movement, which is sufficiently evolved to boast its own pinups, including Jaden Smith, recently the star of a Louis Vuitton womenswear campaign, and androgynous Chinese pop star (and Riccardo Tisci muse) Chris Lee. But where, exactly, is someone neither entirely he nor she meant to shop? And how, exactly, is such a person to be defined?

This new blasé attitude toward gender codes marks a radical break.

“I have a friend who identifies as ‘all boy, all girl, all male, all female,’” says Gypsy Sport designer Rio Uribe, who is known for his party-like fashion shows cast with pals from all along the gender spectrum. “It’s like—what is that? But it doesn’t matter what it is.” Eluding the labels, constructing an identity apart—for Uribe, that’s “a clapback to a society that wants to define you.”

For a demographic so keenly attuned to being looked at, style serves as a convenient means of liberation. And so it’s always been, as Marc Jacobs points out.

“These kids—I’m not sure they’re any different from the people I saw at Danceteria or Mudd Club in the eighties,” Jacobs says. “The difference is that back then, the expression—extreme looks, cross-dressing, what have you—was hidden away in a speakeasy or a club. Today, thanks to the Internet, that culture is widely exposed.”

The second article builds upon the National Geographic story, by interviewing parents and their transgender children. How the Parents of Trans Teens Are Fighting for Their Kids’ Lives, shows how love and acceptance can be a powerful force for change when faced with an often hostile school system, medical and insurance industries in denial, and the suicide provoking pressures of a judgemental society bent on ridiculing those with differences.

Vogue Magazine by Rebecca Johnson: Almost a decade ago, Judy Caplan Peters’s four-year-old made an announcement that would shake their family’s values to its core. “Mommy,” the little one said, hand on chest as if to recite the pledge of allegiance, “I’m a boy.”

A simple enough statement except that, up until that moment, her child had been raised a girl. Sander*, as he’s known now, had been born with a girl’s anatomy, went by a girl’s name, and dressed in girls’ clothes.

His mother did not try to argue him out of it. She’d seen the signs, beginning with the phone calls from school advising that her child refused to sit with the girls when the students were divided by gender. Or saying that Sander had a headache, a stomachache, or just wasn’t feeling well and wanted to come home. She knew Sander was not happy on some fundamental level, which, for her, meant she did not have a choice in the matter. “You either love your child for who they are,” she says, “or you don’t. It’s that simple.”

Simple but not easy. “I had to go through a grieving process,” Caplan Peters admits, “because I was losing my daughter, but then you realize that your child is not dead or sick or lost, which, God forbid, some parents have to deal with. Your child is healthy. There is nothing wrong with them. This is how they were born.”

Previous generations of transgender people look at the children taking hormone-blocking drugs in awe. When the writer Andrew Solomon attended a gender conference to gather research for his groundbreaking book Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, he met trans people who openly wept when they encountered young people who would never have to go through what they had: puberty as the wrong sex. “It’s fantastic,” says novelist and trans activist Jennifer Finney Boylan about hormone treatment. “I was OK with my androgynous body as a child, but when puberty hit and the girls started going one way and I had to go with the brutes, I thought, Oh, no, this is going to be bad.” Thirty years later she transitioned to female, becoming one of the movement’s earliest and most articulate voices.

We in the BDSM community attract unwelcome attention and scorn for our chosen lifestyle, even though D/s and spanking is more mainstream than ever before. But being more visible doesn’t translate to being accepted. I grew up in a liberal/progressive big city, but even there, hetero marriage with a white picket fence was the ideal. I don’t ever recall a conversation or dialogue about sex outside the norm of male enters female and reproduces, and fluid gender was about as remote as watching live events on a mobile phone.

To give you a reference point, when I was a senior in high school, Bruce Jenner came for an assembly that was held at the track field. There was no way anybody in the audience of thousands, could have ever envisioned a day when he, would transition to she, and be known as Caitlyn. I was four years old when biracial marriage was declared legal in the United States, and six years old when the Stonewall riots happened in Greenwich Village.

I watched Star Wars seventeen times in the theater when I was thirteen, and ESPN launched just before I turned sixteen. When CNN started broadcasting the following year, I watched the first 24-hours without a break; enthralled that the world was now only a satellite linkup away. I don’t remember what year I got my first email account and scrolled through the World Wide Web via a dial-up modem, but back then, LGBTQ and BDSM information was very hard to find.

Every generation lays claim to the title of ‘Most Changes’, but for Baby Boomers such as myself, the sheer speed of social change playing out in live streaming color, belies the fact that—as Virginia Woolf wrote—fluid gender has always been a part of human existence. The acceptance of others who are different than us, is up to each individual. Who would have guessed that starting a blog eleven years ago would have led to discovering my true identity? But here I am, a straight Dom male, with a bi switch female always hovering around peering over my shoulder. I accept who we are.

So does she.

  • Corrupted

    Now available, "Corrupted", an anthology from Sexy Little Pages, including my short story, Ghosting Past Emily. Click the picture for ebookstore links.

  • Ghosting Past Emily — part of the Corrupted anthology

    After Amsterdam and Berlin, Tokyo was her favorite place to explore the latest in technological sexuality. Unlike in Europe though, in Japan she would always be gaijin, and the locals off limits to her needs. On the crowded streets of Ginza she felt the stares and heard the unspoken contempt, Go back to where you came from, which was something it had in common with America. She was too tall, too confident, too yellow and most of all, too female. She channeled the perceived insults into taboo actions.
    It was a tired and bitter Emily that touched down ten hours later in a San Francisco of bone-chilling damp and a watery rising sun. She needed a hard session at the Armory before returning to work on Monday. Her slave had better be ready to grovel and be pussy-whipped.

  • Purchase: The Case of the Disciplined Valentine

    Click the picture to purchase, The Case of the Disciplined Valentine.

  • The Case of the Disciplined Valentine

    A comedy of Victorian manners mixed with delicious spankings and sexual encounters guaranteed to raise even a vampire’s blood pressure. Byron Cane sets a torrid pace in his historical paranormal erotic novella.

    It is 1854 in steampunk London, and Sir Nachton MacRath is warily returning to his home isle after decades abroad. He has good reasons to steer clear of the Royal Family, but is immediately snared by the Queen herself, who anoints him, Her Chastiser of Loose Morals, complete with elevation to the upper reaches of the aristocracy. Rather than a quiet existence as a vampire, he is now a Peer uneasily rubbing shoulders with the most powerful men in the Empire.

    Phoebe Hayward is a lady of good breeding, but like all her contemporaries, longs for some excitement and romance. Valentine’s Day is only weeks away, when their paths cross with a bump. Despite later discovering the man ordered to discipline her is actually a vampire, she can’t help falling in love. The more encounters with Sir MacRath she has, the more her body yearns to know what it is to submit to his vampiric touch. When he reluctantly agrees to be her Valentine, thus begins a Domination and discipline the likes of which she’s never dreamed.

    MacRath doesn’t feel he deserves Phoebe’s love, and attempts to push her away by taking her deeper into sexual submission. She surprises him — and herself — by eagerly submitting to his every desire. Together, they explore the sensual heights that a woman and a man — a vampire — can reach. But politics and conflict are never far away, and the Valentine’s Day deadline comes all too soon.

    Note: The original version of this book was included in the Lust in Lace paranormal romance anthology.

  • Purchase: The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie

    Purchase The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie by clicking the picture.

    Pity poor Stephanie: twenty-five years old and still spanked daily. She was intelligent, a college graduate with honors, articulate, a fashionista with a good job and an all-round delightful person with never a cross word and always a genuine smile for everyone. It was to her misfortune that she also exuded an innocent sensual charm, leading both men and women to have one uppermost thought in their minds: spanking Stephanie’s spectacular and epic rounded bottom. It was not her fault; genetics had blessed her with both the ideal rear end and a delightful bewildered submissiveness. It simply never occurred to her to challenge her discipline. If someone needed to spank her, well, obviously she was guilty of some offense and thus deserved to be spanked.
    When Stephanie crashes (quite literally) into the life of Ross, high flying exec in the fashion world and eligible bachelor, she is stupefied he wants her as his. Under Ross’ tutelage, as Brat to his Sir, she learns that she can be spanked for more than just being naughty! And Ross — he discovers there’s much more to Stephanie than just her submissive need to be disciplined, as he falls more and more in love.
    A brilliantly funny, light-hearted, spanking erotic romance novella by Byron Cane, with memorable characters and a beautiful love story interwoven into the sexiness, lending a contemporary twist to the princess fairy tale.

  • Lust in Spring

    Click picture to go to Lust in Spring Amazon page

  • Lust in Spring anthology

    In Byron Cane's, The Witch of Olympus Hollow, it’s 1952, and Gale Johnson is outraged when her parents send her packing to a tiny town in Appalachia to visit the mysterious great aunt she has never met. In the foothills of North Carolina, Gale will discover a wondrous birthright. A lifetime of discipline and sexual satisfaction awaits, but her destiny comes at a cost.
  • Lust in Lace

    Purchase Lust in Lace on Amazon Kindle. Click picture to go to Amazon.

  • Lust in Lace anthology

    In Byron Cane's Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine, MacRath is a centuries-old vampire returning home after decades of absence. It is 1854 in steampunk London, and Her Majesty has appointed MacRath Her Chastiser of Loose Morals. Phoebe Hayward is a lady of good breeding, but quite a handful. Despite discovering the man ordered to discipline her is actually a vampire, she can’t help falling in love. MacRath will ensure she is well punished and dominated in all ways as befits his naughty Valentine.
  • PNRLUST

  • Paranormal Erotic Romance

    Come visit the Paranormal Erotic Romance website for information about the Lust anthology series. Read Lust by the Sea, Lust on the Wing, Lust in Tooth and Claw, Lust in Winter and Lust in Lace.

  • ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ Oops. Does that date me? These are the top posts.

  • Back writing 6/30/16 short stories and a spanking novel