May 23rd, 2013
Had a good thoughtful post all outlined last night, to fill in the blanks today, but then I got accepted to grad school for the fall, and my brain is all a tizzy with excitement. Fortunately, I also wrote a different blog post type thing last night at 3am because I couldn’t sleep with camping excitement, so we’ll just go with that for now, there might be the original post later.
You hear it all the time – “You must be in control of yourself before you can give/take control to/from another.” We bottoms seek out tops who are “in control,” and tops (one assumes) seek out bottoms who are, as well. But what does that really mean?
I thought I knew. But often power is mistaken for control. Leadership positions are mistaken for control. Confidence, physical prowess, and popularity are mistaken for control. But these are all surface things, and can have very little to do with self-control. When you dig deeper, you might just shatter the illusion.
Sometimes you do find someone who is “in control” and some of these times, you feel you are “in control,” too. Then you feel like you’ve done it right and you’re ready to jump in. But life is messy and so many things are outside our control. So many things are chomping at the bit, just waiting for the unguarded moment, to slip out of control. Often in poly and kink, you are trying new thing after new thing, that you haven’t yet learned to keep in control. And it slips, and all off a sudden you are out of control.
We are human, imperfect, flawed, and weak. Control is something we strive to maintain. It is not a place in which we can live, not if we intend to interact with the world, our partners, and sexual and kinky exploration. Some spiritual traditions may disagree, from one end of the spectrum to the other. But, for me, being “in control” is a practice of constant mindfulness and acceptance that I will slip from time to time, and tumble out of control until I get righted again.
This is most often accomplished with the help of my friends and loved ones. When we are lucky, only one of us falls out of control at a time. Other times, it feels like an acrobatic skydiving team; tumbling off one another as we fall faster and faster. But we come together in the end, and chutes are pulled and control is regained.
So, look for people who are “in control,” but also, notice what they do when things spiral out of control. Anyone can control a rowboat moored at a dock on a quiet day. How do they react in a storm?
April 16th, 2013
Fear – Knowledge – Understanding – Acceptance – Normativity
New ideas are met with fear. People fear what they don’t understand. So, those with the new ideas keep talking, bringing knowledge about the idea to others. They educate people so that there can be understanding. Once there is understanding, people can begin to accept these new ideas. Once enough people accept an idea, it becomes the norm.
The trouble comes when fear closes eyes and ears. When it stills tongues. When fear kills a new idea before it can even be explored. Fear can be strong, so strong, that new ideas are met with violence. Over and again in human history, ideas beget fear, and fear begets violence. When there is fear and violence, there is no learning, there is no science, and there is no progress.
And sometimes we move backwards, and we have to start the cycle all over again. Homosexuality is nothing new, it has been part of human culture since the ancients. But somewhere along the line we moved backwards, and acceptance of homosexuality became a new idea again. And it is met with fear, and sometimes violence. Today, the knowledge is overwhelming the fear more often, and understanding is growing again. But we are still too far from acceptance, and much too far from normativity.
I mentioned to gay marriage to my mother, a retired pastor, this week. Her response to me was to mention that a different denomination approved of it. Her answer to my disappointment in the Church I grew up in, was to change denominations.
The idea of multiple loves, and marriages, is nothing new. Around the world today, various cultures approve or disapprove of it for various, mostly religious-based reasons. People interpret their holy texts in the way they see fit, and base their values around it. And that’s fine, the trouble comes when they try to make others live by their chosen values. This is a nation based on freedom. Freedom of religion. Freedom of expression. But we make laws about who can love who, who can marry who and how many. Why is that even part of the legal system?
Health benefits, death benefits, power of attorney. You can have a wife and three kids on your family insurance, why not two wives, if you pay for it the same? Child custody is just as complicated with marriage, divorce and remarriage and divorce as it would be in multiple parent households. We were founded by people fleeing religious persecution, only, centuries later, to be basing our laws on Judeo-Christian religious values.
I went to church this past weekend and the lesson was the parable of the Good Samaritan. The lesson was to love, not just those that believed as you did, but to love everyone. The world gets more crowded every year, we have got to stop pretending that we are right and everyone else is wrong. There will never be peace while there is fear, hatred, and intolerance. Fear breeds violence, and violence brings change to a screaming halt.
December 3rd, 2012
“Behind every great man, there’s a great woman.” Or reverse that, if you’re the other way around. I’m not a leader. I don’t play the politics game. I am a follower, an organizer, a communicator and a peace-maker. I stay behind the scenes, quietly helping things run as smoothly as I am able.
This community of ours is large and quite diverse. I am lucky to be a part of a local community with so many active groups that I’m not sure I can even name them all. And in a kink community, with so many alpha(Dom) personalities, it really takes something to be a leader. It takes something I don’t have, and I’m very grateful to those that do.
It isn’t even just about running one of the many group meetings or parties. These leaders bring together people from all walks of life, with kinks as varied as the stars, and they create community. They create spaces where everyone can be their true selves without fear. They lead by serving, always active in their events, and in the events of others. They also mediate disputes, with fairness and understanding. They stay true to themselves and their agreements with the community at large, to keep everyone safe. Even when doing so makes people unhappy. You can’t make everyone happy all the time, especially if you’re a leader. Sometimes you have to put the group above the individual. Even if you care for the individual very much. I couldn’t do it, and I’m so very grateful for and proud of those that do. And do so with discretion and care for all involved.
Well, that was not what I had intended to write. But since it’s what came out, it probably needed said. I was going to write about community. What does community mean to me, was the question I was asked. So, let’s go from there.
Community is a group of people with a common interest (most dictionary definitions stop there, but I go further), who come together to support each other and share with one another. In the context of this blog, that common interest is Kink. We are a group of people whose sexual expression is outside the societal norm. We come together to learn and share and protect each other. Not to mention meet each other, it is harder to be kinky alone, though not impossible. Self-love, after all, can be quite fun, too.
So, what about this community I call home?
I love it. We have big groups that host amazing events. We have little groups that have dinner together. We have a couple groups that focus solely on rope. We have groups that teach a wide variety of topics. We have groups that throw parties. We have a group that goes to hookah bars. We have a group that goes bowling. We have a group for littles, groups for FemDoms, and one for photographers. And as mentioned above, I’m sure I’m forgetting some others. (Oh, yeah, there’s a poly group, too.) It is amazing the wide variety of options available here.
And yet, we are still one big community. People can attend nearly every single one of these groups, and quite a few do try. Most days, you can find a kinky gathering going on, and often, if you can’t, someone creates one, even if it’s just a movie night or a game night or a thrift store trip. Weeknight events can gather 30-40 people, play parties upwards of 100, and the big events 300+ (often limited only by the space available). It is incredible the joy, energy and caring that comes together in this community. And once again, a shout out in gratitude to the folks who make these groups and events happen.
So, what does the local community mean to me?
It means acceptance, understanding, strength, growth, learning, sharing, and caring. It means a place where I can be myself. Where I can serve and love, learn and teach, scream and cry, giggle and chatter, fly and space out. It is a place where dreams come true, and reality is even more exciting than fiction (and yes, stranger, too). It is also a place of humanity. Where people make mistakes, where bad things happen, where relationships don’t always work out. Where people fight, spread rumors and believe half-truths or all-out lies. But it is also a place where people can learn from the bad, where we can grow beyond our mistakes, where the end of a relationship, doesn’t have to mean the end of a friendship. Where truth can cut through the rumors, and bring healing, in time. Because we are here together, to share and support each other. If we didn’t, it’d be a pretty poor community, and we would not have anywhere near the strength that we do.
January 1st, 2012
One of my best friends has been doing this for a couple months now, I thought I’d give it a try for January. Start the year off right.
Five things I’m grateful for:
1) My Hubby
2) My Boyfriend
3) Our Toy
4) Loving and accepting Friends
5) New Experiences
October 9th, 2011
“Do you enjoy this?” “You’re having fun, aren’t you?” “How’d you get this job?”
Questions I get asked every weekend. I do violet wand scenes for strangers, and friends, almost every weekend. It’s volunteer, it’s not a job, though occasionally it feels like it. I do it for fun, for my chosen family, and for those random strangers who walk in off the street and are curious, drunkenly brave, or scared but pressured by their friends. Even the most macho of drunken frat boys gets a little jumpy the first time a glowing violet bulb comes near his skin.
I got the ‘job’ by showing up. By helping out, by wanting to be around, to participate, to learn, teach and share. I found family and they accepted me. They taught me, they shared so many things with me. And what could I do, but join them, and pass on what I had been given? Life, for me, is about experiences. The best gifts I have received have not been things, but adventures. Roller coasters, festivals, conferences, conventions. Flying through the air, held only by a few hemp ropes. The thrill of the first glowing bulb on my skin. The crazy run of emotions in all sorts of scenes. The first time I asked for something I wasn’t sure I really wanted, to make him happy, or because I was curious. The joy of my first virgin scene, and the one after, and the one after…
There’s nothing like that. Introducing someone to something new. Showing them there’s nothing to be afraid of, or that the fear can be intoxicating. Helping them enjoy themselves, let go a little, relax. Getting them to want more. I can’t even count the number of people who’ve sat down in the chair terrified, and got up planning to browse eBay for their very own wand. That’s why I do it. That’s what I enjoy.
And more. When they come back week after week, month after month. The ones who really enjoy it, really get into it. The ones who have no where else to go to get this particular feeling. I do it for them, too. The ones that squirm in their seat, giggle or moan. The ones who clearly enjoy themselves and give back the energy to me.
It keeps me going on nights when the macho men feel like they have to sit perfectly still and show no reaction. Or the girls are too afraid to let their boys see how much they like it. Or the ones that just feel embarrassed by their pleasure and sit stiff and nervous. I don’t mind the ones that don’t like it. I share with them the experience, the range of sensations, and if we can’t find one they like, no problem. Not everyone enjoys electricity. But the ones that don’t react at all are draining. I’ve learned to read people and I do the best I can, but when all the energy is going out and being absorbed with no return, it can be a very long night.
But even on those nights, I keep on going. I still enjoy it. Because I know, some of them will still come back. Still try again, and maybe next time, they will be calmer, more relaxed, give something back. And even on those nights, most of them still thank me, and smile when I’m done. And almost every one of those nights, I get a scene that makes up for it. A new, excited, squirmy, giggling, moaning virgin, who exudes pleasure and recharges me as I charge them up. And if all else fails, I’ve still got my family around me, and with just a few pokes and tickles, I get the energy I need to keep going.
July 7th, 2011
Been a busy time lately, sorry for not posting last week. Here’s what should have gone up, a silly little post of lessons learned.
Had a good time at practice, and learned a few lessons. Let me share them with you.
- The correct answer to “Do you think I can hit your nose with this Dragon Tail?” is “Yes, I do, but please don’t.” instead of nodding and standing very still, hoping he’ll just snap it in front of you a few times.
- Dragon Tail strikes to the mouth a) hurt like hell, b) are scary, and c) leave the area feeling indented. The first two made me cry instantly, the third was a very odd sensation.
- I am not fond of the use of an extra large shoe horn as a paddle.
- “For love and service” is a good phrase that I learned from hubby’s girlfriend, to describe why one might still take the shoe horn even if one doesn’t particularly like it. I agree with these reasons, but also tend to take things because the after affects are what I’m really after.
- Keep still – Don’t move the target he is aiming at. I (re)learned this rule, and also that I really can do it when properly motivated.
- Canes on the top of the feet/toes hurt a helluva lot.
- The toe next to my big toe acts as a fulcrum to a cane, and thus gets the most bruised.
This past weekend, I went home. Well, to the closest thing I have to “going home.” I went to visit a few friends from High School. One who I still consider one of my best friends, and a couple that I still see/talk to on occasion, and their respective families and friends. Hubby and his girlfriend were going up, too, though they were going elsewhere the first evening.
The couple was hosting a 4th of July picnic. I didn’t know who was going to be there, and spent the drive wondering if maybe some others from school would be. I was also pretty sure I had not spoken to them since I began this journey into kink and poly. I had some Dragon Tail kisses on my thighs and some bruises on my calves. It was warm out, but I decided that the marks were a little too much and wore jeans. Hubby and his girlfriend were just dropping me off, so I wasn’t really worried about questions, but we did discuss that she was just a friend for the weekend in reference to anyone from home.
People didn’t question my jeans, especially as the weather was rather windy and stormy, and no one asked about the random girl in the car. But I felt uncomfortable. I was careful what I said around everyone, but my best friend who was thankfully there, as well. I only made one poly-oriented comment, and no one took it seriously. As I stared into the campfire, later in the evening, I found my shoulders tensing quite badly. I was around a lot of people I didn’t know and I was having to hide who I was. It was good to see my friends, but I did not like putting that mask back on.
That night and the next day were somewhat better. The marks had faded a little more, and I was only going to be around my best friend and her parents, so I could wear shorts while kayaking. Hubby and his girlfriend would be there, too, but though my best friend knows the truth, her parents easily accepted that she was just a friend. Her dad did ask once, possibly due to the high heeled boots in the car, but accepted the story I gave him. The crowd of strangers that were expected to canoe with us got ahead and we never caught them, so that stress stayed away. I was still wearing a mask this day, but it was less strenuous than the night before.
February 12th, 2011
An interesting week. Sorry for the late post, hopefully Monday’s tided you over until today. Last weekend was great, and I was happy to share my joy. This week has been about letting go, for me. As in relaxing, as in accepting uncertainty, as in moving forward instead of holding onto the past.
We have a toy. I have never had a toy before, someone I am responsible for and to, and who wants to please me, and us, from a bottom type role. I have also never had a trio relationship. Three of us in one relationship. She is Our Toy. Pleasing us, playing with us, trusting and trusted by us. It is a new situation to all.
So, full honesty here, because what good is a blog without occasional soul baring, I freaked out this week. I was going on all good and solid and just asking questions and trying to get clear answers, and feeling good about it all, if concerned. Then, I missed a bus… and in chasing after it, I got run over. At least I realized it, and asked for help, this time.
I started getting worried about the future. I started becoming afraid of the risk. I imagined all sorts of bad. I became terrified of emotional pain and hurt and loss. I wanted to try having a toy. I knew it was risky. But I got stuck on the question of accepting that risk.
He helped me. He let me talk and cry while he poked and asked pointed questions. He let me calm down while he said out loud what I was not listening to in my own head. Everyone gets hurt, we all hurt each other, life is risky, but it is worth it. It is fun. It is the way we grow. He even offered to stop it if I could not accept the risk. This is for Us, and if I’m not happy, then it won’t work.
So, I grabbed his hand and pulled myself up off the road. Invited her over, explained my fear and accepted the uncertainty and the risk. We still have a lot to figure out, as we move forward, but we all know it and accept it, so we Can move forward.
I had a couple other bits of letting go and moving forward this week, as well. They say that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, but there is a difference between remembering the past and clinging to it. Remembering mistakes of the past to learn from them is good. Remembering past pain and trying to avoid it again at all costs is bad. Trying to recover something purposefully lost or destroyed is bad. Building with the rubble to a better future is good, but I think that might be the topic of another blog.
So, let me end with the paragraphs echoing in my mind. I will not over think. I will not cast doubt in myself. I will not allow fear to consume me.
January 27th, 2011
One of the things on my mind when I was doing the Thirty Days of Kink meme was openness. There were two questions I linked to the same post about being open with my friends, but not with my family. Then the post about misconceptions – BDSM is not abuse. And my brain wandered off – wondering, is this why I don’t tell my family? Is this what I’m afraid to explain to them, afraid they just won’t understand? Afraid they’ll think I’m broken or, worse yet, that they did something wrong in raising me?
I make excuses – it’s my sex life, why would I talk to my family about the kind of sex I have? We don’t talk about such things. It’s where all my ideas about what’s “proper” or “appropriate” come from. Those words that The Ethical Slut talks about as social programming that limits us and makes us ashamed of ourselves. But what about poly? That’s my love life, that’s people who mean a lot to me. And it still falls into “inappropriate” and “improper” behavior. But people I care about is a topic of family discussion.
I think I’m wandering here. Reel it back in.
BDSM is not abuse. I posted that simply and without comment on the misconceptions day. There are so many ways that discussion can go. From how BDSM is about love and respect, to how to recognize abuse, to how to prevent abuse, to how some people just don’t understand other people’s needs and desires. To how some people’s kink is just not other people’s kink, to how some people’s kink is too extreme for other people. And on and on.
But the point in my head, when I started this post, was, is that what I’m afraid of? Is that what I don’t think I can explain to my god-fearing, bible-carrying family? You betcha. My dad once commented that a girl in college wanted him to spank her and he thought it was very odd of her and he sent her packing. I don’t know why he told me (and Hubby) that story, other than for something to say while we were traveling cross country on a family vacation, but I worried even then that I could never tell him the truth about myself.
I’ve seen a friend’s parents react very badly to the idea of their daughter being kinky. The dad did read a book on rope bondage and come to accept it as a sexual expression. But what about pain, how do you get vanilla folk to understand, or at least accept, that pain is a healthy expression of sexuality? There are kinky people who don’t fully understand the levels of pain I enjoy, but at least they’re accepting. Usually along the lines of, well, if it makes you happy.
Isn’t that what our parents want for us? That we be happy? Yes. But generally the want us to be happy within social norms, or whatever Their social norms are. Would my parents really deny me because my expressions of pleasure are different from theirs? Would they stop speaking to me because controlled pain in a life when uncontrolled pain in typical makes me feel better? Would they try and have me committed because I like a bit of electricity running through my body even when I’m not at a chiropractor? Probably not. But I still shrink from those conversations, afraid of disappointing them, or confusing them. Or that I am wrong about their capacity for acceptance.
Honestly, it’s my brother who I think would try to understand the least. And it’s poly that I think that my parents would be most upset with. I promised to my father and before my mother to be monogamous until death. I think extramarital relations would be the harder sell. I love my Hubby, and he loves me, but to forsake all others would not be true to ourselves. Love grows when it is shared.
January 23rd, 2011
Since you first developed an interest in kink, have your interests/perspectives changed? How so?
One year after joining the local community I wrote this. I have grown in so many ways. When I first got into the community and people asked me what I was into, I’d respond with bondage, spanking and nipple pinching. Just look at the list I posted on Day Two. I have come so far, and am still moving forward. I have learned a lot about myself and what I can do, and what I like. When I first developed an interest, I thought I was weird and strange, and alone. But I have found acceptance, love and support. Those things have made all the difference.
January 3rd, 2011
How did you discover you were kinky?
I liked strange things. I had odd fantasies. Vampires turned me on. The monster under my bed became a man who wanted to kidnap me or have sex with me. I liked the thought of someone having control over me with just a look. I fantasied about Spot Conlon taking me over his knee for starting a fight on the docks. But I didn’t know what to do with these thoughts, these feelings, as a teenager living at home with religious parents. I couldn’t very well look on the internet for information with my father sitting behind me. I did not have a boyfriend to experiment with in High School. With my friends, I talked about cute boys and kissing, and occasionally whipped cream, but we didn’t talk about our darker fantasies.
In college, my second boyfriend opened me up to accepting that I was kinky, and learning what that meant to me. He liked to bite my neck and play with knives. He had piercings and tattoos and was everything my parents would disapprove of.
So, how did I discover I was kinky? When he asked to bite my neck and I realized I was not alone, that these feelings and thoughts I had were not bad and wrong. That other people felt the same way, were turned on by the same things. Realized I wasn’t just weird and disgusting. I was kinky and it was okay. (I’m not a lumberjack, but that’s okay, too. Silly Monty Python in my head.)