ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the February 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] bairnsidhe, [personal profile] freshbakedlady, and Starbit. It also fills the "interracial or interspecies love" square in my 1-31-18 Romantic card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth and the general fund. It belongs to the series An Army of One.

Note: This poem features dominance and submission; implements of high-impact affection and penetration are present but not in use. If that's not your cuppa tea, you can skip it.

"The Stimulation Den"

When Bumpers approached Bottleneck
about coming to the new establishment
called the Stimulation Den, he was dubious.

"I like things quiet," he said. "I've heard
that place is all flashing lights and loud noise."

"Well yeah," said Bumpers. "Sargasso Base
is mostly boring so it doesn't overload people.
But sometimes a little overload is fun. Besides,
we have quiet rooms for other activities --
everything is soundproofed -- and it's not
exactly a secret you're not fond of your wife."

Bottleneck sighed. "Can't argue with that one,"
he said. "It was an arranged marriage.
We're trying to make the best of it, but ..."
he shrugged. "It's not really my thing."

"Just come give the Stimulation Den
a try," said Bumpers. "You don't
have to stay if you don't like it."

So after his work shift, Bottleneck
went to the Agora where he found
the door marked, If you're seeking
sensation, you've found it!

Inside, the social room had
tables and chairs, a bar, and
a row of arcade games with
people milling around them.
Multicolored lights flashed
along the walls, and music
filled the air, but not too loud.

There was a little basket of earbuds
that read Take One, so he did.

"Welcome to the Stimulation Den,"
said a bright voice. "I am your host,
Coruscant PL4. What do you seek?"

"I don't know," Bottleneck said.
"Bumpers invited me, so I came."

"Why don't you tell me what
you like, and I'll help you find
something," said Coruscant.

"I like making things and
putting things in order. I'm
good at following orders,"
Bottleneck said. "Bumpers
told me that this place had
some quieter parts."

"I know just the thing,"
Coruscant said. "Go to
the back of the social room.
Look for the blue screen.
Turn right. There will be
a door on your left. Enter it."

The directions were
simple and soothing, so
Bottleneck followed them.

The next room was
covered in red curtains,
some with lights behind them,
and full of ... furniture.

Bottleneck wasn't sure
what it was supposed to do,
except for the tables holding stuff
on top of them like tables typically did.

"Go to the curtain with the flashing light,"
said Coruscant. "Move it aside and
you will find a door. Enter it."

Bottleneck obeyed.

Inside, he found
a much smaller room,
done up as a bedroom
with a kitchenette and
some other odd furniture.

On the bed lay Bumpers,
dressed in nothing but
her black underwear and
yards of glowing pink rope.

A man sat beside her,
tickling her foot with a tassel.

Bumpers wriggled around
and managed to spit out
the coils of rope in her mouth.
"Bottleneck! You came!"

"You invited me," he said.
"Besides, this place is ...
kind of interesting."

It was more interesting
than any of the things
he'd done with Armelle.

That's wasn't her fault,
really; he just tended to find
things more interesting
than he did people.

"Now what do I do?"
he asked Coruscant.

"Look at the foot of the bed,"
said Coruscant. "There is
a mess. You will clean it up."

Bottleneck looked. There was
a heavy canvas bag spilling ...
stuff ... all over the floor.

He recognized the ropes.
He could also identify
chains, couplings, hooks,
and other hardware.

There were balls,
but he didn't know why
they had ropes through them.

Then there was all the junk
that he didn't recognize --
what looked like handfuls
of rope with handles on them,
odd little clamps and clips,
and even less familiar things.

Plus a bunch of fake penises
like Bumpers sold in her shop.

It seemed as if someone
had put a foot in the bag and
kicked it over, spilling the contents.

"Um, I don't know what all this is,
let alone where it goes," Bottleneck said.

"That is all right," Coruscant said
in that shining voice. "I will guide you."

And it did, naming each item as
Bottleneck picked it up and telling him
where it belonged inside the bag.

He liked handling the things
as he put them away.

The glowing rope was
cool and slick as he
coiled it into a hank.

Another kind was
warmer and silky,
which came in
several colors.

Then there was one
that he thought might be
a natural fiber of some kind,
rougher and dyed in a rainbow.

The metal pieces chimed
and sang as he put them
back into their storage bags.

There was a paddle with
holes all the way through it,
and a fuzzy blindfold that
Bottleneck enjoyed touching.

Then he moved on to
the artificial penises.

Some of them were glass,
others plastic or metal.
Most were clear with dots
or swirls of another color,
but some were solid colors.

"Those are called dildos,"
Coruscant said helpfully.
"The name comes from
Italian diletto, for delight.
People enjoy inserting them
into various bodily orifices."

Bottleneck guessed that might
be fun if you liked inserting things.
Maybe he should get one for Armelle.

He was having more fun, here,
kneeling on the floor and stroking
things before putting them away
wherever Coruscant told him.

"Where should I put these?"
he asked as he sorted them.

"They go in the metal case
behind the bag," said Coruscant.
"Match the shape of each dildo
to its hole in the protective liner."

They had mostly different shapes,
so that wasn't too difficult.

By the time Bottleneck finished
straightening up all the toys,
Bumpers had been unwrapped
from the glowing ropes.

Her partner thanked Bottleneck
for cleaning up all the mess on the floor,
and Coruscant praised him too.

"What do you think of
this place?" Bumpers asked.
"It has turned out better than
I hoped, but I'm still looking
for feedback from guests."

Bottleneck looked around
the quiet bedroom with
its weird furniture lit by
pink and blue lights.

It was peaceful,
and yet exciting too.

He thought about how
Coruscant had met him
at the door and helped
him find the perfect way
to relax and have fun,
even though it wasn't
what most people liked.

Bottleneck cupped a hand
over the earbud and said,
"I think I'm in love."

* * *


Bumpers -- a neurotypical woman with a voluptuous body. She describes herself as megasexual. Her sex drive is high enough that she doesn't fit in most places, but she enjoys running a sex shop on Sargasso Base. The shop has lots of autoerotic materials. Introduced in "The Order of Their Stars."

Bottleneck -- a neurovariant man with an interest in materials, who takes up some of the manufacturing as the Lacuna starts to produce its own goods. He is the husband of Armelle and the father of their daughter Embry. He likes things quiet, but enjoys some types of sensation play and detailed directions. Bottleneck is introduced in "Seeking a Happy Medium."

Coruscant PL4 -- the AYES of a cruiser jumpship originally from the Carina-Sagittarius army. It was discovered among the derelicts of the Sargasso and revived, but the ship was unsalvageable and Coruscant didn't want another shell. Instead, it struck up a friendship with the scrounges and mechanics -- many of them sensation-seekers -- and convinced them to turn another ship into a play palace attached to the Agora portion of Sargasso Base. Now Coruscant runs the Stimulation Den instead of flying a ship, and it is quite happy with that arrangement.

Armelle -- she is neuroambiguous, the wife of Bottleneck and mother of Embry. Armelle lost her entire family in the Massacre of Cascabel, except for her husband and daughter. Armelle and Bottleneck aren't close; the marriage was urged on them by their parents because it's what people do. Eventually she tracked Bottleneck down. Introduced in "New Wine in Old Bottles."

* * *

Stimulation poses issues for people with sensory processing disorder. It can go either way, feeling too much or feeling too little. People who feel very little may become sensory seekers. SPD often occurs alongside other forms of neurodiversity. It persists into adulthood. Among the ways of coping with it is developing a sensory diet.

is a form of power exchange that appeals to many people. A good dominant should know how to give orders well. A good submissive should know how to please people. Their relationships can become complex. Here are some ways to get started in kink.

The Stimulation Den features different rooms for different purposes. They are all soundproofed to avoid interfering with each other's activities. The social room connects to the Agora at the front at the main dungeon at the back. The dance hall lies to the right of the social room, and connects to the main dungeon at the back. The bathrooms lie between the social room and dance hall in front and the main dungeon in back. The main dungeon is behind the social room and the dance hall. Behind the curtains, doors lead to smaller private rooms. Around the edges of the main dungeon are several smaller private dungeons, decorated in various ways for different interests. Around the edges of the main dungeon are also several bedrooms. Each one typically includes a bed, a kitchenette, at least one piece of recreational furniture, and storage space for toys.

Bumpers enjoys being tied up in one of the bedrooms.

Bondage ropes come in many styles. Among the exotic ropes are UV rope and artificial silk rope. Jute is popular among natural fiber ropes.

This is a typical toy bag and some of its contents.

1. An object shaped like an erect penis , used as a sexual-aid ; an artificial-penis with or without a scrotum .
Etymology: From the Italian diletto, little darling or delight or from the Old English dyderian, meaning to cheat or deceive. Shakespeare uses the word dildo in The Winters Tale, when Autolycus sells dildos to 'jump her and thump her'.

A collection of dildos is stored in a metal case.

Bottleneck is likely graysexual, as he shows some of the traits such as low sex drive and intermittent interest. He doesn't seem particularly repelled by it, just doesn't see why other folks are so excited by it. I think he's actually more squicked by the social aspects of marriage.

Physicality aside, Bottleneck seems perfectly capable of forming a romantic attachment quite quickly. Perhaps he is sapioromantic or noetiromantic. (Here's another version of a sapiosexual / sapioromantic flag with a brain design.) In any case, he's comfortable attaching himself to someone of another species who does not have a mammalian body to interact with -- and indeed seems much more excited by this than by previous interactions with other humans.

Acceptance is a human need. The need to please people is essential for civilization, although too much is not a good thing. Therefore, people crave approval and praise. People generally want to be good and do things right. These needs and desires are especially strong in submissives. People with autism or other neurovariations may feel like they can never measure up to expectations. So you can see the appeal of a place where folks can go to get positive attention, where someone will find things they enjoy and do well, and they get praise for it.

Being organized is an essential life skill that ties into many human needs. Children naturally sort things to learn about their environment, and some adults retain a sense of pleasure in such acts. It should only be considered a problem if it interferes with everyday life. Paranoia over autism and other neurodiversity encourages people to pathologize activities such as lining up toys. As for purpose, it's usually one of three things: it's fun, it helps them understand the objects, and/or it soothes their mind. Those are all good things, no matter how "weird" it looks, as long as it doesn't break anything or hurt anyone. Notice that Bottleneck has found a career in which this is an asset.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-02-12 08:44 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: (space colony)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
I like this a lot. Coruscant PL4 sounds like an interesting character, with an unusual career choice; I hope we see more of it.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2018-02-12 09:25 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
>>This is meant to have potential for a long-term relationship.<<

Cool! I'll try to keep that in mind for future prompts.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-02-14 01:06 am (UTC)
bairnsidhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bairnsidhe
Yay. Happy feelings with this. I knew there was someone in the Army o' One that needed headspace, but I couldn't for the life of me place who, but this is perfect.

I hope Armelle can also find a way to be happy with the adaptations Bottleneck is making, rather than get bent out of shape or jealous. Although, jealous can also make for good story, especially if mixed with misunderstanding the actual connection (i.e. thinking Bottleneck is sleeping with Bumpers, instead of squishing hard on Coruscant PL4) or going to the Den trying to pull a turnabout and finding something she really likes. Which, given how many Autistic people process passive aggressive attempts to start fights, would likely be met by Bottleneck happily endorsing her choices and basking in that sweet compersion.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-02-21 06:27 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
>> Which, given how many Autistic people process passive aggressive attempts to start fights, would likely be met by Bottleneck happily endorsing her choices and basking in that sweet compersion. <<

happy *clap clap clap* agree *snap snap snap*

Whyever not? She is a person and can make decisions; if she wants Bottleneck to do something different she could just tell him, right? *laughter at own mindset; rueful self-knowledge; delighted acknowledgment that it is Always More Complicated than that because people are different from each other*

Re: Well ...

Date: 2018-02-22 02:26 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Excatly. I'm laughing at myself for formulating that thought because I *know* that even though *I* work that way, most people don't.

A culture that values blunt honesty will be interesting to follow developing; how can one be transparent and yet deal with subtleties, be direct and yet address complexities? I think I have a few hints, but not a complete picture. Frex, the friend who always wins at complex strategy games by making it obvious what the *visible* board-state is and how it favors attacking someone *else*; the statement 'I know, and it doesn't help, but you listening does,'; the image of heat-ripples in clear air and turbulence in clear water.

I need to not miss the *next* Fishbowl, really and truly!

(no subject)

Date: 2018-02-14 04:25 am (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
Everything is just Better when my Things are in their Places.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-02-21 06:25 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Mmmmmmm. Yes.

Reminds me of the woodworking project I have going at the moment; I so enjoy holding and petting and gently working on a lovely small object. For me any voice would interfere with being absorbed in the sensory detail of a small perfect thing or a collection to sort, but I can see how for someone else that might dovetail well with a submissive streak.

I'd love to see a sequel with even more focus on the sensual quality of being able to deeply pay attention to the color and texture and heft of an object.

Basically, :) :) :) ... though I have sympathy for Armelle and hope someone finds something right for her, too. I think she and Bottleneck could maybe be a good team, if people and things around them can take enough pressure off the two of them and the idea of them-as-a-couple to figure that out.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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