A few weeks ago on Tumblr or maybe Fetlife, I ran across the sentence “I’m in permanent chastity for the rest of the month.” Putting aside the source for the moment, the sentence was one of those syntactical jumbles that, while grammatically correct, fails on the technical aspects – not unlike “Hey, toss me that refrigerator,” or “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”
When we get to the point where “permanent” is a few weeks, then maybe we need a new lexicon.
Naturally, I understand that there are nuances in usage, and we often need clarification when we discuss this. When someone says that they are in “permanent chastity,” both the dick-measurers and the curious newbs ask what the person actually means, and from the answers that I’ve seen over the years, it almost never means “I have a device locked on my todger that never, ever comes off.” Generally, the situation is more like “I’m locked up 24/7, except for occasional cleaning and hygiene breaks,” but sometimes it means “I’m locked up until my partner wants to play,” which may be weekly, monthly, or randomly.
From those responses, the newbs are usually impressed (“Wow, the longest I’ve been locked up is 12 days!”), while the dick-measurers often jump in to the effect that they measure “permanent” in some completely different (and inherently better, sniff, sniff) way. (“Wash breaks? I have an open cage so it doesn’t need to come off for that.”).
To make things even more confusing, some people confound “chastity” with “denial.” (“Your domme allows you to have an orgasm every month? That’s not permanent enough – I haven’t had one in three years.”). Sometimes you see guys wondering if ruined orgasms “count,” (“How ruined was it?”). And where do those people who abstain without a device fall into this matrix?
I don’t actually have an answer, but I will note that the “chastity community” (such as it is) has existed for at least fifteen years in various online forums, and I’m amazed that there now seems to be less agreement or understanding of the terms than ever. I’m suggesting that, when you consider the proliferation of inexpensive devices, and how they are making their way into the mainstream kink world, maybe it’s time that we come up with a more consistent syntax or usage for the terms that we toss around; the lack of foundation is why start seeing statements like “I’ll be in permanent chastity all month.”
Again, I want to stress that I’m aware that there are nuances to how we use these terms.
We live in the real world (well, most of us) and there are practical limitations to what we can/will or can’t/won’t do. For example, while I’m aware that *in theory* I can wear my device on an airplane, in practice I really do not want the potential hassle of that one TSA (or foreign equivalent) agent not knowing what the hell that hunk of metal in my pants is doing there (or in my luggage), so I’ve traveled sans device, and carried along a plastic CB3000 to put on after we hit the destination.
Likewise, both Mrs Edge and I like the ridiculously named A272. It’s a solid tube device, and in the interests of hygiene, etc., it’s going to come off at least once a month for a couple minutes in the shower, where I can have a thorough cleaning of both my tonker and the inside of the tube. Over the past year, it has come off for a few doctor’s visits, a couple of routine medical procedures, a few long distance bike rides, and (at her insistence), for a few hours when I was doing something potentially dangerous and of questionable legality (she didn’t want any issues with an EMT needing to cut through the metal if something went awry). In other words, you could measure the time I’ve been unlocked over the past year in hours.
I know that a lot of you are in similar circumstances. You’ve been wearing a device for months, or even years. You have few, possibly random, or maybe even no orgasms, and you’re probably going to be locked up for a good portion of the rest of your lives. The term “permanent” here is not used in the literal sense, but is poetic, figurative, evocative. It conveys an idea of what your situation is. And I’m not suggesting that you stop using the term in such a fashion.
That said, however…
When we use a term in a figurative sense, without having a foundation for what the literal circumstances would be, we help set the tone for people to use it in less and less literal ways. I mean, sure, for many of us, the fantasy of “permanent” is kind of hot. But the community – really, a very disjointed bunch of people who have widely varying perspectives on chastity devices and orgasm denial – is actually communicating with each other (never mind to outsiders) very poorly, and it won’t be long before we finally arrive at statements like “I’ll be in permanent chastity for the entire weekend.”
Mrs Edge hasn’t used the word “permanent” yet. However, she does say “never” quite often…