On wednesday, I will walk up to one end of a long line of men. Sometimes there are women, but it’s always mostly men. They are there to watch me, and I am there to be watched. I start at one end, smile at the first man I encounter, and begin. Slowly. Carefully, I take off my glasses and fold them neatly, just like my nighttime bedroom ritual. Then I lean over and unzip one long black platform boot, and then the other. I present each piece of footwear as proof — as if the sudden shortness in my height, and its message of vulnerability isn’t evidence enough. I am now smaller, more feminine, and a little more helpless. I take off my earrings, my necklace, deliberately placing the girlish silver with my glasses. I’m usually still smiling now, because it’s time to take off my belt. I know what’s going to happen. I unbuckle the metal and leather, sliding the belt through its loops around my waist, which serves to loosen my pants and move the denim to and fro as I work the belt free. The top straps of my g-string always peek out; I can’t help this. I unzip my hoodie and peel it off, revealing the light cotton tank top I always wear. And even though it makes no sense, I always take off my stripey arm warmers, because if I don’t, they *make me* take them off. So I do it in a subtly slow demonstration, one opera-length glovelet at a time. Next, and last, I unclip my hair, letting my almost waist-length black and blonde locks down over my now-bare shoulders and arms.
They all watch. Then I wait for their commands, and their approval. I do what they say, unconditionally, and this is an unspoken agreement between me and the men. Hardly a word is said, and I make sure to smile as I softly pad past all eyes, which are on me, even if just for a flicker or two. Then at the end of the line, I slowly dress — I like to take my time putting my clothes back on.
My favorite part of the security screenings at airports, while stripping for strangers in a nonsexual power-exchange context is undeniably erotic, is the fact that my laptop moves with me the entire time. On my iBook, a big sticker reads “Don’t Get Caught.” So they watch me a little more.
I’m going to Seattle on wednesday for a few days, to attend the friday night screening of HUMP! and for a long-awaited Shibari session with Twisted Monk, who will tie me up, hang me from a winch and photos will be taken. Of course I’m thinking about this Boing Boing post about the TSA vibrator prank. But what I related to you above is very much my experience when I go through security. There is no coincidence that since I’ve started editing the Best Women’s Erotica series that I regularly get erotica submissions about airport security screening search scenes. I am a post 9/11 editor of the series. It makes sense that this is even more in our erotic fantasy lexicon now as a culture than ever before. I think it’s not just because as humans we are drawn to sexualize certain experiences — but because when you think about it, the modern process of going through pre-boarding security has far more kinky sexual elements than it should. Here’s why:
* You have to undress.
* While you undress, you are being watched and sized up.
* It’s a power-exchange scenario.
* Lots of uniforms.
* You are totally vulnerable, and it is humiliating.
* You are exposing intimate details of your person and dress in front of dozens of strangers.
* Your submission is unspoken, it is a rule, and it is unconditional. Your submission is for public consumption.
* There is a constant threat that a stranger will touch you. They can touch you anywhere, and in your most intimate places if they want to.
* There is an undercurrent and tension that they will open your posessions and touch your private items, such as your underwear, clean or dirty.
* It is nonconsensual. And in garden-variety BDSM practice, even this is forbidden territory.
I’m just saying, I think people pay like $700 an hour in New York dungeons for this kind of thing. SFO is way cheaper.
So next time you see me strip at SFO, be sure to tip, because those security guys are cheapskates.
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