The Cycle of Change, Simplified

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.

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Reality is Better than Fantasy

November 4th, 2012

This story starts with an elderly gentleman buying Fifty Shades Darker from me yesterday. He told me that he really liked the first book. I told him that others had said the books each are better than the previous. He gave me a disbelieving look/sound, and said that the last one is called Freed, how could that be better than the other two? I checked myself from going too deeply into it, and said, that while I had not read the books, “freed” didn’t necessarily mean the relationship ended. He nodded, but I don’t think he understood what I was trying to say. No, I don’t really want to know if the relationship ends in the third book, and they get “free” of each other. But I do think it’s important to understand that freedom inside your relationship and inside your kink, is a great reality, regardless of whatever fantasy you’ve built up in your head.

Onto another fantasy. Interrogation. I mention it here and there, I write fantasy ones. I get worried that I’ll never get an interrogation scene. I talk about why not. But this morning, it occurred to me that it’s a fantasy that doesn’t mesh with my reality. I don’t really want an interrogation scene. I mean, sure, it’s fun to fantasize about, and write about, but what is it really? A stranger trying to torture information out of me, without a care for me, my safety, my sanity or anything but getting that information. Again, a sexy fantasy, of complete loss of control.

But where’s the reality, what is it that I really want out of such a scene? What I really want and enjoy in extreme scenes, is the challenge, the push, the seeing how far I can go. I recently read a summary of a biography written by a woman with dwarfism. It was a teacher that first called her a dwarf and asked her what she could and couldn’t do. The summary says she has spent the rest of her life pushing herself to do more and more. I was diagnosed with RA in HS, but in college, when I saw the fencing club, I decided to do it. So what if I couldn’t straighten my right arm, or if my left knee didn’t bend or straighten fully? I would push myself to do what I wanted to do. My kink is similar, I love to push myself, to see how far I can go, what I can do, in spite of assumed physical or mental limits. Most importantly, I love doing so with him, because he loves me, cares about me, but is also willing to push me further than I think I can go. A lot further. And still knows how and when to stop. Not some random fantasy stranger who I don’t know and wouldn’t play with in any case. Reality is much better than fantasy.

There was a third part to this topic, but I’ve lost it in the football game. 😉

 

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Polyamory & Boundaries

July 29th, 2011

It’s been a long time since I posted my reflection on the first section of The Ethical Slut, but I finally made it back to Part Two. It’s been a busy week, so I didn’t manage to get a post done on time. I’ve divided the quotes up into four sections, here is the first set. The topic is Polyamory and Boundaries.

“One of the things people get out of multiple relationships is the chance to be all of their various selves. … Being different things to different lovers, we might find ourselves having different boundaries, limits and relationship styles in different circumstances.” (123) I’ve talked about this before, how I have different relationships, boundaries and dynamics with all of my partners. Poly, for me, is a chance to explore all the different sides of myself.

“Forget about fairness.” (123) “Fairness does not mean equity.” (194) “We have to learn to give freedom to our partners if we’re going to get it for ourselves.” (174) For me, these quotes are about making agreements that work for everyone. In poly, not everyone is going to have the same boundaries or rules, things don’t have to be equal and fair, so long as everyone agrees. And it’s important to remember that sometimes, letting your partner have a little freedom will help them feel comfortable giving you a little freedom.

“You may believe that you have to take your share away from somebody else… if someone else gets something, that means there must be less of it for you.” (125) “Time is the biggest real-world limit we encounter in trying to live and love as we like.” (127) “This is not a contest, this is not a race, and no one is the prize.” (157) These quotes are around the ‘economics of starvation’ that many of us learn growing up. Dividing up time in poly is often the most difficult, it’s important to use your time wisely and well, because it is so limited just by life itself. And that goes for non-poly relationships, too. One of the easiest ways to counter starvation economics thinking, when one is being rational and not in the middle of an emotional freak out, is to remember that having more kids in a family doesn’t mean you love the first (or second, or third) less than the newest edition. Love and affection do not run out, they only grow.

“It is impossible for anyone to predict what depth of feeling may potentially exist in any sexual relationship.” (158) “Relationships change, people grow out of them, people change.” (166) “Remember that your soon-to-be-ex-partner is still the same terrific person you used to love. (171) These quotes are about the inevitable changes of people and relationships. You cannot predict when you will fall in love, or out of love. You cannot predict how long a relationship will last, or how it could change. Some relationships last lifetimes, some a few days. Sometimes people fall in love, get married, fall out of love, get divorced and then are the best of friends. Sometimes people never speak again after a relationship is over, sometimes they become play partners or close friends. Sometimes people don’t speak for a year or more after a break up, and then get married a few years down the line. Life is crazy, people and situations change. It can get a bit quantum sometimes – things defined by the way they are observed, even though they are in an ever-changing or undefinable state.

“To be an ethical slut, you need to have very good boundaries that are clear, strong flexible, and, above all, conscious.” (117) This quote is about being clear about yourself and your boundaries. You need to know your boundaries, discuss your boundaries and make sure everyone involved is clear and accepting of them. Some think that poly people have no standards, no boundaries, they just do whatever they want. But that’s not sustainable. You have to take care of yourself and your relationships, or neither will last.

 

 

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Rope Scenes

July 14th, 2011

I’ve posted a lot about rope. About why I like it, what I like about it, about scenes I’ve had with it, about buying it, about learning to tie it. There have been a lot of classes on rope lately, with more coming up, especially at COPE in September. The most recent was on Eeling. And he said he learned more about me by attending than about the subject, because he and I don’t play like that. Way back when we first met, he challenged me to get out of a tie, but not since. Our scenes are about other things that escape. So, it brought to mind today, what kinds of rope scenes are there, what kinds do I enjoy, and what do I get out of the different kinds?

Suspension is one, well, two really. There are high-flying suspensions, and there are static.

High-flying suspensions I have written about a few times, describing particular scenes or the freedom in it. The care for comfort of the tie, and the attention to detail of the rigging are very important. Swinging from a point 15-20′ in the air by thin ropes tied around the body is a feeling like no other I’ve ever experienced. We compare it to a swing set of childhood, or a roller coaster ride. But it is so much more than the first, and so much more sensual than the second. It is about trust and control. Giving it all to the person tying and flying you. One mistake and bad things could happen. But when it’s done right, with care and attention. The energy, the joy, the sense of freedom, is incredible. The dizziness from spinning well worth the feeling of the spin. The rope marks can last for days, bright red lines where the ropes lay, holding you in the sky. And for me, the scene doesn’t end when I’m back on the ground. I float as he unties, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, leaving burns with the lines. And then I sink back down to earth, surrounded by the rope, coiling it up, breathing it in. Landing mentally, only when it is all put away again.

Static suspensions share a lot of the same sensations and feelings with high-flying ones. But they tend to be more sensual for me. More about the rope touching and holding. More about the feel of him close to me, often playing with me while I’m suspended. Static lends to deeper space, less wide-eyed excitement. I sink into rope space whenever I am tied, but when left to hang in it, my mind sinks deeper into my body. Feeling everything. And floats out to him, feeling the energy and the exchange.

A similar state is achieved through floor scenes. When he ties me, not to a suspension point, but into a ball, or a hog-tie or some such, self-contained tie. These, though, have me grounded, literally, and mentally. I am not floating away, finding the freedom of being suspended. I am tied into myself, molded into the shape he wishes. I am made vulnerable in a completely different way. No longer is my life hanging by a thread, but rather, I am at his mercy. I am where and what he wants me to be. I am bound and helpless, and available for whatever he wants to do, with less safety concerns to distract. (Yes, there are always safety concerns, but not maintaining steady breathing, or a numb limb isn’t going to end a ground scene nearly as quickly as a suspension.) Floor scenes can be as simple as tying and leaving to melt, whether in a ball on the floor, or walking around with just the upper body bound. Or tying and then tormenting – whips, floggers, paddles, pinches, nipple clamps, tickling, what have you. A fully sensual and power exchange scene for me.

Coming off floor scenes, there are bed scenes. Tied down to a bed, for sex and torment. To be tied completely open and vulnerable. These have a different feel from ground scenes, for various reasons. One, obviously, if the intent is sex, is quite a bit different than the above feelings. But the other, for torment, is still different, too. Tied in a ground tie, immobilized and tormented is one thing. Often you can’t see what’s coming, or you can curl and squirm at the very least. Tied out spread eagle, unable to even pretend you can protect or defend yourself. Waiting, watching, often enduring torment that you can do nothing about. It is a similar, but uniquely delicious space. For me, there is far less sinking into the rope in these scenes. Sometimes I use pulling on the rope to process the pain, or as a focus point, but these scenes do not take me to rope space nearly as much as a ground tie.

The last type, I want to talk about is what sparked this post. Eeling. Getting out of the rope you were put in. I used to do this type of scene with the other a lot, or folks on the crew, just playing around when we were bored. See how long it took to escape a particular tie. Or tie myself up so the other could watch me escape. Or be tied up and left to escape on my own. Or one particular friend like to keep adding rope as I would untie the first few. These were interesting scenes for me. Scenes of challenge. I like challenges, challenging myself, being challenged. The ties were puzzles to be solved. And learned from. I love learning, too. I started learning suspension ties by untying them. I learned a lot about floor and bed ties by untying myself. There was discussion about what about eeling turns eels on, and about the rollercoaster that eeling scenes can be. For me – the joy of being tied, the thrill of the challenge set before me, the frustration of a difficult (or improbable to escape) tie, the thrill of getting a knot undone or getting some slack, the frustration that it did no good, continuing on to either end with the satisfaction of escaping, or the arousal of surrender. These scenes can be very tricky. The frustration can overwhelm, or the eel can cause themselves physical injury, or panic can set in (especially when combined with abandonment). But if the balance can be maintained, the frustration can be channeled and the panic controlled, and injury avoided, I enjoy these scenes very much if it is what the top is also after. I am not one to get out of any rope put on me just to see if I can. I like being in it far too much for that.

Are there any other types you enjoy? Do you have a favorite? What about the different types do you like?

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Thanks for Everything

November 25th, 2009

It is that time of year, here in this part of the world, to give thanks for, well, everything. Gratitude is an incredible force in my life. I have been given the opportunity to do, be and explore so much in my life, especially over the last year and a half. I often joke about thanking certain people for “getting me into this” or pointing me down this road or showing me just how good it feels. This week, however, I am making it a point to honestly thank those people who have enabled me to live this life. There are a lot of people who helped me get this far, and who constantly encourage me to keep going. There are also people that I am grateful to, who have no idea where their support and teaching has allowed me to go. I thank them to, though more quietly and tactfully.

I am grateful to my husband for taking this journey with me. I am grateful to the one who took us to our first demonstration. I am grateful to the one who invited us to our first poly meeting. I am grateful to the one who invited us to our first dungeon and hosted my first kinky birthday celebration. I am grateful to the one who took me to my first Practice. I am grateful to the one who taught me the love of rope and the joy of suspension. I am grateful to the one who showed me how beautiful I am. I am grateful to those who welcomed us into this community. I am grateful to those who have brought love into my family. I am grateful to those who have taught me about myself. I am grateful to those who have accepted who I am. I am grateful to those who have listened and those who have offered advice. I am grateful to live in a time and a place where I can live my life however I chose.

Thank you for reading my blog.

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Flying Again

October 21st, 2009

 

I saw the strap swinging out of the corner of my eye. I looked, was it really there? Was it really the suspension strap? Oh gods, please say yes. I rushed out to see them with the extension ladder, putting up the clamp and strap. He asked me to get the rest of the gear and I bounced all the way back to the tub and brought out the rest. We hooked up the ring and then decided to move it over a little more. He put it more centered and then added the paper airplane that goes with the rig always. I grabbed the ring and began spinning gleefully. He laughed and took the pulleys off my shoulder and I spun even more. Then I swung, my feet slipping on the floor, back and forth on the ring, from hands out of practice, and my smile grew even wider. He took a few swings himself, let the bouncers have a pull and then tied it off to wait. There would be Flying tonight.

 

I was bouncy and giddy as the club opened, pouncing all my friends with glee at the prospect of suspension later. They giggled and hugged me back, understanding my excitement. Things got going and the club started filling, and then he asked me to check on the hemp, make sure it was all in one tub, and then bring it out to our stage. I brought it out and we grinned at each other. It had been a long time, but there was no doubt, he was going to make me fly again.

 

I bounced, unable to contain my energy as he began to tie. He quizzed me here and there, and I was happy to note I had been imagining the tie correctly these past couple weeks in anticipation of this moment. When it was time to rig me to the ring, I lay on the mat, my feet still bouncing on the floor, grinning over at a few familiar faces in the crowd. Our photographer was snapping photos of the whole thing, but he seemed to catch me at moments when I was sinking into the rope, eyes closed and mind floating. I had to stop tapping my toes when he got to my ankles, my my fingers started tapping instead. Finally fully rigged it was time to go up.

 

He pulled me off the ground and my eyes flew open and I was in heaven. He got me hooked into the strap and with a couple quick adjustments we were ready. The slightly higher ring than usual actually helped get the rigging even and level. With the pulley tied out of the way, he grabbed my shoulders. Was I ready, oh I’d been ready all evening. We grinned at each other as he started to push, and then I was off, flying through the air, arms and legs spread wide, soaring high above everything.

 

It had been a long time since I’d been up, even longer since I’d been flying. But it all came back, the breathlessness, the glorious freedom, the total rush of it all. The energy was incredible, he was pushing me higher and higher, spinning and twirling me through the air. I can barely describe how good it felt, how grateful I felt, the energy flowing between us.

 

My stamina is not what it once was and I knew I wasn’t going to last much longer, but I asked to go for a spin. He happily obliged, twirling me faster and faster on the swivel. All the blood rushed to my head, harder that it had done in a very long time. But I wanted to go faster still. I forced my body to curl, and it actually made my head feel a little better, curled into my chest. Then I flattened out to try and slow, but it didn’t feel like it helped much at all. And then he was spinning me again, and I didn’t want it to stop. But when he went for a third round, I grabbed his arms and heard him laugh as I did stop myself.

 

He jumped back up, asking if I wanted another push, but I clung to him, getting my bearings and finally able to say I was done, my body would not forgive me if I pushed it any more that night. He quickly hooked the pulley up and had me down. I sank into the mats gasping for breath, not because I had forgotten to breathe, but because the energy was still raging through me and I was now on the ground in relative stillness. He quickly unrigged me from the ring and pulled me to my feet and I hugged him tight, so grateful, and needing to share the incredible energy he had given me. Finally able to take hold of the ring, he was able to untie me and pile up the ropes for me to take care of. When he was done, we hugged again, both relaxing down from the high of the scene, and still so very grateful.

 

He left me with the rope, to finish coming back to earth and take care of the hemp that had been holding my life by simple strands. I pulled it all to me, just feeling it in my hands for a few moments before sorting out the thinner lengths he’d used for my ankles. Starting with the big pieces, I ran them through my fingers, inspecting and feeling, enjoying the smell and the coarseness. Coiling and wrapping the rope and stacking it all together beside me, pausing occasionally to relax into myself.

 

I was nearly done, with just the little pieces left when one of the crowd could not stay away any longer. A girl came through the strapped off barrier and plopped down in front of me. She hadn’t seen the scene and wanted to know what I was doing, what the rope was for. So I explained the suspension and told her there were pictures in the back of other suspensions if she wanted to see what she missed. She picked up the rope I wasn’t working on and I motioned for her to put it down, barely not snatching it from her, I get more than a little protective of the rope, especially after a scene. She said she was just playing, coiled a little and then set it back down. When I picked it up to wrap it she told me her name and I told her mine and then she wandered off again. Finished cleaning up, I picked up all the coils and packed them away in the tub and then brought it back to our area to wait for the next scene.

 

I was buzzing with energy the rest of the night, eager to do my electric scenes, and very happy when he motioned me over be part of the second suspension as well. Remembering how her ties went made me very happy with myself. I grinned up at her as she flew, knowing she was feeling the same as I had earlier that night. There is nothing in this world like it.

 

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