Asking

November 6th, 2016

There are a lot of platitudes in relationships about communication – especially if you happen to be in poly relationships. But, let me go ahead a list a few – The most important thing in a relationship is communication, Communication is the key, S(he) cannot read your mind – you have to tell Her/Him, You have to Ask for what you want. And they are all true, to a point.

I’d argue that the most important thing in a relationship is trust, that without trust, you have nothing to talk about. I’d argue that, after you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, while they still can’t read your mind, there are something things they should know or remember, that you shouldn’t have to keep telling them. But, I don’t argue that you have to ask for what you want, though I concede, most strongly, that this can be Very Hard.

Because asking for what you want makes you vulnerable. Opens yourself up for pain and/or rejection. But it also opens you up for joy and compassion. Asking for what you want can be very scary. What if the answer is no? What if they think it’s crazy you even asked? What if the answer isn’t just no, but never? What if they say yes, but don’t really mean it? What if they say yes, but then it never happens? Or sometimes, the scariest question is, what if they say Yes?

Let’s face it folks, loving anyone makes you vulnerable. And if you can’t be vulnerable with the people you love, who else is there?

Doubt and uncertainty, for me at least, are far worse monsters in my head, than vulnerability. Do I ask for everything I want? Of course not, I’m not perfect, far from it. But do I try? Do I ask for what I want and need? As often as I can. Do I ask for what I desire? Far less often, but I’m working on it.

My biggest trouble with asking for what I need/want/desire, is that I often haven’t taken the time to sit down and figure out what that is. That’s what I’m trying to work on with all this writing. Getting my head in order, so I can get my heart, my life, in order. Really suss out where I am, and where I’m going, and where I want to be.

Generally, I state my relationship needs as: Attention, Appreciation, Affection. I need him to give me his attention, meaning spending time with me, paying attention to me. I need to be appreciated, as a person and a partner. I need to feel his love for me through hugs, kisses, snuggles. My relationship wants vary between partners, and are generally extensions of my needs, but more specific things. And these are the things I need to nail down better, but I generally feel like they are being mostly met. Desires are generally more fleeting – scenes or play, dinners or dates, events or experiences.

Desires were once described to me as “the cherry on top” things. And are thus, the most difficult for me to ask for. These are the extras, the special things, the “rewards.” And I often let myself feel like I don’t “deserve” them. Or I’m silly for desiring them. Or there are more important things going on than worrying about some frivolous idea I had. Or that I’m being selfish to ask for something for myself. I’m supposed to be serving him, after all.

::Shakes head::

That’s a lovely spiral, and one that needs broken. It isn’t about “deserving,” and it never has been. The people I’m with, that choose to spend their time with me, want me to be happy. They want be able to give me those little things that will make me feel cherished, and they can’t do that unless they know what they are.

Ask.

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Good Posts by Other People

March 11th, 2015

Consent: Not actually that complicated

Most Women Won’t Let Men See the Most Magnetizing Thing About Us

 

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Thoughts and Communication

August 8th, 2013

What’s on your mind? What are you afraid to say?

Those two questions drive me to distraction sometimes. My mind is a twisted, fucked up, dark little thing, and I don’t always want to share its activities with the real world. Also, it takes running leaps of logic and word association that anyone, myself included, would be hard-pressed to follow when it really gets going. Sometimes I explain these out loud, because just saying what I’m thinking the moment they ask, would make absolutely no sense. I backtrack to what they said and give them the line of bounces along the way until they asked the question.

You said teddy bears are cute… I went to teddy bears, teddy ruxpin, talking dolls, chucky, nightmares, fear play, scary movies. So, you were talking about teddy bears, and I’m thinking about Saw. Makes sense, right? Oh, that’s not what you wanted? Sorry. Brain went for a run.

Another blogger friend talked about sexual desires and feeling embarrassed to express them. I have blogged about that at various points over the last few years, but that’s especially one of those times I don’t want to share what’s on my mind. Then I get mad at myself for being shy, meanwhile my brain keeps running further, and I get more and more embarrassed and if anything comes across my vocal cords it’s mumbled, quiet and fast. Those closest to me, who actually want to hear these thoughts can get quite frustrated by my hesitance at speaking them, others find sadistic joy in forcing me to slow down and speak them louder.

I am also quiet a sarcastic person, so I may not want to share my thought because it could come across as rude, mean, or at the very least, smart-assed. Most people have a vision of me as a quiet, polite young woman. Other people actually hear the comments that come out of my mouth. I’ve been called a brat, but I prefer to think of myself as a SAM. I make smart-assed comments, I don’t play the “you can’t get/top/hurt me” games.

One of my biggest communication hurdles is asking for things I want and/or need. Especially, if it is something I feel like I’m not going to get. Whether that’s because I can’t have it right then, or I don’t know how I could get it, or I don’t think the person wants to give it. If I think the answer will be no, or not now, I wait. I wait until I think the answer will be yes, or until I have a plan for how/when/where to offer. Or, if I’ve already been asked and been denied. I will rarely ask again, unless it seems the answer might have changed. And even then it is hard for me to ask, because I feel like I might be pushing, and if the answer really has changed, maybe I should just wait for them to offer it.

And this is exactly how I over-think things. So many things. Fear of rejection has me second guessing every need, want and desire before I speak them. Often even before I label them. Is it REALLY a need? Is it Really even a want? Or is it just a desire? Am I being selfish? Or is it reasonable? And on and on.

Thus, the learning of meditation. To calm the constantly running brain. To let go of the clutter and the double-speak. To just find calm, where rational thought and communication become much clearer. But I’ve had to pull this meditation out of my BDSM practices. There was too much else going on with it for me to really clear my mind and find calm. I had to pull it out of those things to just focus on me, and finding my center and my calm. Because it is from that space that I can go forth and do everything I want to do.

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Needs, Wants & Desires – Part 2

July 1st, 2013

My previous post talked about my needs, wants, and desires when I bottom in the scene. I also said that was the first way I would address them, so I suppose I should keep my end of the bargain and address them as a top, as well. I don’t top much, I service top for the show, so my needs, wants, and desires are probably much different from “regular” tops.

Needs. I need full and eager consent. If someone shows hesitation, or fear I talk to them gently, to find out if they really want to do it. If they seem to be being forced into the scene by a friend or partner, I will refuse. If someone is in a state that makes them incapable of giving consent (we work in bars), I will also refuse. If it’s a good friend, I will tease and poke, but never go forward without consent.

Wants. I want connection, an exchange of energy. I want to see them smile, or hear them moan. I want to see them writhe or wiggle or jump. I want to hear them giggle, or sigh. Bottoms who sit rigidly still and silent, who don’t even look like they are enjoying the scene, are hugely draining. It makes me wonder if they really wanted to be sitting in the chair at all.

Desires. What’s the cherry on top for a service top? That huge grin when I’m done. The, Oh my gods, that was wonderful! The thank you’s. The hugs. The requests to take me home. The appreciation of the bottom. Those first timers who come back again, and again, and again.

I mostly only top violet wand scenes, so my needs, wants, and desires are pretty simple from a top perspective.

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Needs, Wants & Desires

June 27th, 2013

Last night, I was introduced to a new way to view things. I have talked before about wants and needs, but this is a different way to look at them. We were talking specifically about scening, and broke it up into Needs, Wants, and Desires. We were talking about Role Play, and the presenters set forth that if you know what you need, want, and desire, then you can find creative ways to do have good scenes. I found this concept very interesting to think about narrowed down to just scenes/play.

I will be addressing these, first, as a bottom, which is my preferred place in a scene.

Needs. What do I need in a scene for it to work for me? Without what, is a scene just pointless and flat? First, connection. I need to feel an emotional connection to my scene partner. That can be friendship, love, or even just attraction. Second, power exchange. I need there to be some giving and taking of control. This necessitates the third, trust. Without trust, there is no scene.

Wants. What do I want out of a scene? What, if I don’t have it, will make the scene feel off afterward? Bondage. Mental or physical. Rope, leather, chain. Stay there. Don’t move. Don’t let go. Keep quiet. Hands behind your back. Hands on the wall. I want the power exchange to result in control of my physical being in some manner. Intense sensation. I’m a masochist, I love intense sensation. Pain, pleasure, adrenaline, endorphins. If I’m blacking his boots, I don’t need him to grind the sole into my leg, but I certainly want him to and I feel like I missed something if he doesn’t. If I’m flying through the air, I want to feel the bite of the rope, and the adrenaline of the flight, and the pull when I spin. Floating can all soft and comfy just isn’t the same, fortunately hemp is good at biting in even in floaty scenes. Not to mention the feel of it sliding over my skin going on and off.

Desires. What are the figurative cherries on top? What makes a scene extra special? Spacing out. Reaching rope space, pain space, sub space. Often in that order. I love pushing through pain space to bliss out in subspace. Or using rope space to get to one of the others. Break down. Sometimes pushing through pain space doesn’t get me to sub space, it leaves me in a puddle of sobbing goo, and that can be awesome, too. Sexual intimacy. Orgasms, hand jobs, blow jobs, boot licking, sex. Even just cuddling up naked after a scene. That skin on skin contact to ride the waves back down.

So, how do these things play out. Let’s take last night’s play as an example. A dragontail and paddle scene.

Needs: connection, power exchange, and trust. He and I are very connected, in a loving relationship for over three years, and a friendship for even longer. I am submissive to him, and when he comes at me with that dragontail, it is definitely me giving up control to him to let him hit me with it. And I trust him absolutely, to not slice me open or hit me in the face.

Wants: bondage, intense sensation. When he comes at me with the dragontail, my hands go instinctively behind my back. When we play in that venue, I have to control my volume, or cover my mouth. When he’s hitting me, I have to try my best to be still. Pain? Oh hell yeah. Dragontail stinging and paddle smacking, awesomely intense sensations.

Desires: Last night, the cherry was pain space, into sub space. After a while, I was squeaking less and breathing more with the strikes. When I was done, I was all cuddling dopey sub spaced out for a few minutes. And I got some hugs and kisses to top it off, too.

Needs, wants and desires met.

Part Two

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Hook-Up

June 20th, 2013

He was staring at her, she could feel his gaze as she danced. Every time she glanced his way, he met her eyes. There was no shame in that look, he did not mind being caught watching her. She was always the first to look away. Quickly at first, blushing because he was handsome. As the night drew on, however, she found herself searching for him.

She slipped off the dance floor, and he was there, right in front of her. She froze and looked into his eyes. They stayed perfectly still for several minutes, until he broke the spell.

“Would you like a drink?” His voice deep enough to cut through the music still blaring away, he held out a bottle of cider, just opened.

“Sure, thanks.” She took it and as he guided her to the nearest table, she continued, “You’ve been staring at me all night.”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because you are a very beautiful woman; and you didn’t seem to mind.”

“Thank you. No, not after a bit anyway.” She took a sip. “But, don’t you know that it’s rude to stare?”

“I’m sorry. Shall I go, then?” He started to rise, but she waved him down.

“Apology accepted.”

“Why didn’t you mind?” He caught her gaze again, held it as he spoke. “You kept looking back to me.”

“Well, you’re a very attractive man.”

“And?” he pressed, leaning towards her.

“And… it’s nice to feel wanted.” She tried to sound flippant, but it came out breathy, so she took another swig of cider.

“It is, isn’t it? Do you want me?” He brushed the back of her hand with fingertips.

“Yes. I mean… well, okay, yes.” She fumbled and dropped her eyes.

“Look at me.” His voice still low; his fingertips left her hand and lifted her chin. “Why are you embarrassed?”

“I don’t know you. I don’t even know your name.” She looked into his eyes, trying to stay calm.

“Nor I, you.” He slid his fingertips across her cheek and jaw to the back of her neck. “But I know I want to kiss you.”

He leaned toward her, and she toward him, their lips met, his hand a gentle pressure on her neck, one of her own, slipping up to touch his chest. When he pulled away, she gasped for breath, her heart pounding and her body throbbing. She resisted the urge to thank him.

“Are you ready to go home?” he asked.

“With you?” she answered without even thinking.

“Is that what you want?” He held out a hand to her.

“Yes, very much so.” She took his hand and he led her out of the club.

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Wants, Needs, and Poly

July 21st, 2012

I am a woman of many desires. I have a lot of interests, a lot of curiosity, and never enough time and energy to do it all. I enjoy the outdoors: hiking, camping, stargazing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking. I enjoy computers: programming, web design, internet browsing, WoW. I enjoy writing: blogs, stories, journals, articles, novels. I enjoy reading: fantasy, erotica, motivational, entrepreneurship, health, fiction. I enjoy movies and television: crime, drama, scifi, fantasy, action, cartoons, some anime. I enjoy kink: bondage, corporal, electricity, fire, wax, suspension, body manipulation, power exchange, service, and more. I enjoy sex: intercourse, masturbation, oral, vibrators, dildos, hugging, kissing, licking, biting, massage. I enjoy learning about everything.

But there is only so much time in the days, days in the weeks, weeks in the year. So I don’t get to do everything I enjoy. I have to work, I have responsibilities, and I have to eat, and sleep and take care of myself. The same goes for my partners.

That’s what is great about Poly. I have many wants and needs, but I can’t do everything I enjoy myself, so I know that one person cannot fulfill all my wants and needs either. I live in a wonderful kink community, within my community, I have a poly family. Within this poly family there are many individuals, each of whom adds to my life in the way he or she is able. I do not expect any one of them to fulfill my every want or need. And if a member leaves my poly family, I don’t expect the others to fulfill the wants and needs that one was carrying. Sometimes someone can and does, but to expect them to take on more than they were already doing is unfair. Each person gives me what they are able, and in return, I give them what I am able.

And this changes sometimes. On both sides of the equation. People and relationships grow and change all the time. What one is able to give and receive can change, as well. Time, affection, attention. And as we can see from the divorce rate, even love changes. It is unrealistic to expect relationships to be constant, or even consistent. The only way to manage this is through communication. Keep talking. Keep being honest with yourself and your partners. If you notice a change that has not been communicated, ask. Maybe they didn’t realize it was happening. Find out if it was intentional, or caused by exterior forces. Do not assume the worst. Ask first.

Just because one person cannot fulfill all your wants and needs, doesn’t mean you can’t ask for what you want or need. It means accepting no as an answer. When you love someone, you want to give them everything. But that is not always possible. Being able to accept no, being able to be happy with the yes’s they can give, is very important to maintaining a healthy relationship. If you constantly focus on what you’re not getting, you will never be satisfied with what you have.

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The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt

January 19th, 2011

Just finished reading The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt, original edition. I was only a few chapters in when I realized that I would be reading it over again, with pen and paper in hand, if not moving up to the revised edition with the same. I’m not looking for free love any time soon, but I do have a freer love than a lot of the people I know. I currently have two partners, my husband and my boyfriend, and for a couple years I had another boyfriend as well. I do a more poly-fidelity type thing, than free love. I establish solid relationships these days more than random hookups. So, what do I need with The Ethical Slut?

It is not a book just about sleeping around and getting it on with anyone you find attractive. It is a book about relationships of all types, and communication, and being sex positive, whether or not you’re actually having intercourse with someone else. It is about being comfortable with yourself, and your wants, needs and desires first. Then going out and talking to your partners about them. Then considering the possibility of other partners. And lastly, learning to live safely in the world you are creating.

Something I’ve posted about repeatedly is my shyness around sex and asking for what I want. This book addresses it directly. Talks about societal causes and gives ideas on how to work through your social programming to get what you want out of life. It is not just about intercourse, but about any of your wants that aren’t being met. Sex can have a lot of different connotations to a lot of different people. I’m kinky, sometimes I get better orgasms from an intense rope scene than I do from traditional intercourse. Is this sex for me? It can certainly be highly sexual.

Recently, a game was proposed in which points could be redeemed for activities, and lists would be required of said activities. The game did not commence, but the idea is still stuck in my head. Simply because it is an organized way of thinking about and asking for what I want. What with the convention this past weekend, I have not created said lists, but as I am currently couch-ridden, they will probably be created soon. Getting past my insecurities of “what if he doesn’t want to” or “what if he says no” is something I am still working on. But putting ideas out en masse for future consideration, seems easier than saying I want something right here and now. One step in the right direction anyway. With more to come.

The book also talks about communication, and the importance not just of communicating, but of setting aside time to do so. In poly life, time is a valuable commodity. And sometimes we hesitate to use it fighting, or having hard discussions. “I just want to relax.” “We can talk about it next time.” “It’s not really that important.” And then we spend the whole evening stewing about it and it is days before we see them again. They call it scheduling a fight, and I resisted this terminology at first, because I don’t like fighting. The reality is, however, that high emotions can turn into a fight, and if you set a time to discuss something, it gives a release valve for the emotions. It gets rid of the feeling that “he doesn’t even know anything is wrong” and replaces it with “okay, I just have to wait until X and then we’ll sit down and figure this out.” A much more useful thought to have, and it gives you both a set time frame to get clear and ready for the discussion.

Overall, a great book, with lots of good things to think about and discuss. One read through is definitely not enough.

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Why Practice Isn’t Enough

November 18th, 2009

I go to Practice every week, for the crew I’m on. We practice our craft for the weekend shows. We go to reconnect with each other, to talk and play and share together. We go to teach the newer members, as well as the guests. We go because we are always learning, always finding something new, always have room to improve.

We practice flogging against the wall, against the cross and on each other. We do electric scenes, checking the wands and trying out the toys. We practice our brand of fire play, training on all three stations. We don’t have the space for much suspension practice currently, but once in a while we get that, too.

But, for crew, practice isn’t enough. The skills are there, we learn what to do. But our weekends are full of strangers, with different reactions, different bodies, different needs, wants and desires. For us to “perfect” our craft, we need more than just our Practice night. We need to work with all sorts of different people, under the low lights and loud music. We need to deal with drunk, sober, shy and loud. What we do is very different, and very unique. It takes more than swinging a flogger or firing up a violet wand.

For me, it also takes a desire to serve and to share. I could just attend practices, and have time with them and do what I want to do. I could just be another attendee and sign up on the lists. I volunteer for crew to share the experience. To provide others the opportunity to learn and do what they might not have a chance to do otherwise. It fills a need in me to give back, to contribute to the community. Just going to Practice is no longer enough for me. I want more.

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