Choosing Happiness

January 8th, 2014

I have always maintained that happiness is a choice. That is not to say that I always choose to be happy – as the song says, sometimes I just want to be mad for a while. Or sad. Or scared. These feelings in and of themselves are not bad, it is what I do with them. If I use mad or scared to make improvements in my life, that’s a good thing. If I use sad to let out some stress and tension, that’s a good thing. These feelings become negative if I use them in destructive ways – self-destructive, relationship-destructive, or burn-down-a-building-destructive are all bad things.

The super cold weather has left me lethargic and spacey. He kept asking me what was wrong the other night because I felt off to him. But there wasn’t anything wrong, I was just being my reptile self – having less energy in the cold. I need to work on actively combating that drain, because it’s going to be winter for several more months and things are about to get busy again.

I choose happiness this year. I choose to focus on improving myself and my relationships. I choose to do whatever I can think of to make this year excellent.

That could include more blogging. It could include more coloring (I got adult-crayons for Christmas). It could include more photos. It could include more reading (I just received Bootblacking 101 from Amazon). What it does not include is being negative, lethargic, or passive. Time to get my ass in gear for a great 2014.

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Your Own Little World

October 10th, 2013

I saw this meme on Facebook today. And, while it is all good advice, the fourth one hit home with me today, in several ways.

Make peace with your past
so it won’t screw up the present.

What others think of you
is none of your business.

Time heals almost everything,
give it time.

Don’t compare your life to others.
And don’t judge them. You have no idea
what their journey is all about.

Stop thinking too much
it’s alright not to know the answers. They will
come to you when you least expect it.

No one is in charge of your happiness,
except you.

Don’t compare your life to others. That hit the hardest. It is really easy to do. Society does it all the time. You have to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ (you know, I’ve never tried to write that one down, how do you pluralize Jones…), whoever they are. ‘You should be more like your brother, sister, cousin, friend, husband, wife, that guy over there.’ ‘Why isn’t my life more like hers?’ ‘Why don’t I have what she has?’ ‘Why does she have all the luck?’ You are you, you aren’t someone else, you can’t have someone else’s life. You have your own life, and it simply doesn’t compare.

And don’t judge them. The above also comes with a flip-side. ‘I’m glad I’m not them.’ ‘Why does she have to be like that?’ ‘How can he live like that?’ I find myself judging people, and I have to take a step back. I have to remind myself that I don’t know what they are going through. I don’t know what brought them to this point. I don’t know anything about them or their life.

You have no idea what their journey is all about. And they don’t know what your journey is either. They won’t understand you, in the same way you don’t understand them. There is no way you know what a stranger is going through, and friends don’t know everything in your life. Even lovers don’t live inside your head and your skin. In the general scheme of things, no one is with you 24 hours a day 7 days a week for your entire life. We all create our own realities, and it is impossible to know someone else’s reality.

Then I looked at the whole list from a poly perspective. And it all fit quite well into poly thinking, too.

Make peace with your past, so it won’t screw up your present. Nothing is more frustrating to a new partner, than continuous talk about an ex partner, except being compared to that ex partner. Make peace with your relationships when they end, so they don’t haunt your future relationship.

What others think of you is none of your business. This is a hard one, because we care about what our friends and family think. And when they are supportive, it is great. But when they disapprove, it can be devastating. If you are happy, and you are being who you are, it doesn’t matter what someone else thinks.

Time heals almost everything, give it time. This one is hard for people, especially after a break-up. Don’t push. Give yourself time to heal. Give everyone else time to heal. Then give it a little more time. So much extra damage can be done if you push while feelings and nerves are still raw.

Don’t compare yourself to others. And don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Especially important in polycules. Don’t compare yourself or your relationship to another in the group. You are not them, your relationship is not theirs, your path was not theirs. You may think you know everything that is going on, but see above. Your reality is no one else’s.

Stop thinking too much, it’s alright not to know the answers. They will come to you when you least expect it. Guilty. I think too much all the time. That’s why I took up meditation. To stop the wheels, and let the answers come in their own time. It is also why I don’t feel bad emailing an answer a day or two after a question was asked. It is okay to not know how you feel about something and ask for some time to think about it. Do remember to let them know when the answer comes.

No one is in charge of your happiness, except you. (I changed the line-breaks on this one above, the original meme had it broken up to say only ‘No one is in charge’ on the first line, which is not the point of the sentence.) If you are unhappy, it is your responsibility to act, to make a change, to talk to your partner. And I don’t mean tell your polycule and expect them to fix it. It is your happiness, not theirs. They could make changes that help you, if it is within their power and purview. But it is your responsibility, not theirs, to make choices about your happiness.

Food for though tonight, to go with the massive hibachi dinner I had with my polycule.

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Social Ramblings

September 19th, 2013

350 posts. No wonder I had to keep myself from writing my first grad school paper like a blog post. Eesh, that’s a lot of blogging, and this is only one of the three blogs (plus one currently dormant), that I write. As I skim through my spam folder, I keep wondering about locking comments on old posts, but then I get into the question of where to draw the line. And what about someone who stumbles across a post and it moves them? So, I don’t, and Akismet keeps plugging away. Over 20K spam messages blocked so far. But I still have to check the queue, because e[lust] pingbacks end up there every now and then, thanks to all the links. I’m still terrible at Twitter posting. I hardly ever post more than my blog link of the week. I find my lack of social (networking) skills disturbing sometimes, though it is no surprise.

Close friends are hard to come by, for me. I grew up moving ever few years, so I don’t have any “childhood friends.” The furthest my friendships go back is to age 11, and that’s just one person I still associate with. At 13 and 14, I picked up one more friend each that I still talk to today. It wasn’t until I was in college that I started forming more long-term friendships. And they are scattered to the winds now. Fortunately, I’m better at Facebook than Twitter.

There are a lot of folks in town who I consider friends these days. My gaming friends, a couple college friends, my kink friends, my fleet friends. All in their nice neat little boxes, though the latter two groups have cross-over. But, close friends? I seem to stick to my poly-cules. So, when break-ups happened, some friendships have died. I regret these loses, but just as I struggle to make new friends, I often haven’t a clue how to repair the damages, or if it is possible, or desirable. So, I try to reach outside the “safety” of the poly-cule, without getting dragged into the whirlpools of drama. But, I don’t have a lot of extra time, even less-so with school now and holiday hours soon. And as stress increases, my cynicism grows and my patience decreases.

I wouldn’t want to be around me when I’m cranky, so I don’t expect anyone else to either. So, this starts with me. Reducing stress, finding calm and happiness. Taking care of myself and my happiness, so I am someone others want to be around. I have a lot of events coming up over the next three months, with a lot of friends. It isn’t about putting on a happy-face, it’s about Being happy, and having joy in my life.

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Owning My Shit

August 22nd, 2013

A friend of mine posted recently about his young son, after being yelled at, saying “Daddy, I made you angry.” He then had to pause and reflect on his anger and tell his son, “I am angry, but you didn’t make me this way.” He realized that his anger was his own reaction, not his son’s doing.

I get cranky sometimes, at things people say or do. We all do. But it is important to remember, this is how you are Choosing to react. It is not the other person’s fault, it is a choice you are making. When people get cranky at me, my gut reaction, is to get snippy back. This is still a choice, it is a learned reaction, by my own choice.

Today, I chose to be more aware of this behavior in myself. The only way for me to unlearn this choice, is to teach myself something else. I cannot control what other people do, I can only accept them for who they are, and choose to react in a way that serves me better. And in the end, this will serve my relationships better than adding negativity to the cycle.

This also goes along with holding grudges/holding onto hate/dislike for someone. If you hold on to negative feelings for someone, especially someone you don’t actually ever interact with, it is doing nothing to them, and only harming yourself. If it is someone you do interact with, you may feel justified, by making them feel as bad as you do, but look around, you’re making life miserable for everyone else around you, too, not just the person you’re mad at.

Something I am working on with all of this, is to analyze my reactions. Why did that upset me? Why did I react that way? What is really going on? In the moment, these are very difficult questions to remember, let alone answer. Sometimes the answers go along the lines of “it ruined my night” or “time is limited and precious” or “it’s not fair.” But then I have to ask, but did it really? Is it really? Usually the answer is no. Usually whatever negative thing happened only darkened that moment in time. Usually there is plenty of time left, or coming, or the ultimate optimistic thought: “we have the rest of our lives.” And let’s not even get into trying to define “fairness” in life. Every person is different, every relationship is different, fair is a ball hit between first and third base. Trying to define it anywhere else is ludicrous.

Sometimes the answer to “what is really going on” is envy or jealousy. Both normal, human feelings. And, as has been stated many times before, and being the point of this post, what matters is what you do with that feeling. Becoming angry or upset, lashing out or freaking out, will hardly ever get you the result you desire. I know, I’ve tried. 😉 When those feelings rear their heads, it is time to sit down with myself. To think about why I am feeling that way, and what I can do to resolve those feelings. Do I need to ask for something? Do I need to work towards something? Do I need to take a deep breath and just remember all the wonderful that I have?

I am in charge of my own happiness. I get to decide to be happy, or not. I get to decide how I react to stimuli. I get to decide how I express myself and all my crazy emotions. And I get to decide who I share all of this with.

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Great Expectations

August 30th, 2012

While sitting in the theater, waiting for Avenue Q to start, hubby turned and asked me about expectations. Hubby felt that my boyfriend and I had a good handle on setting expectations and asked how we did it. Or more specifically, how He had done it with me. I jokingly said that when you tell a girl for a year and a half that you are a sexually satisfied man, and then start dating her, expectations start out pretty low. In all seriousness, though, he and I usually played three times a week during most of the year prior to dating, and had already started conversations on expectations and happiness.

One of those conversations began with him asking me if I could be happy without him suspending me for a whole year. I had passed through most of my newbie sub-frenzy by that point, so I could actually consider the question. It took a little back and forth before I understood the intent of the question. It wasn’t about him denying me what I wanted, it was about expectation crashing with reality. What if he got hurt (which happened)? What if we lost our suspension point (which has happened repeatedly)? What if I got hurt? The real question was did my happiness depend on suspension, or could I be happy without it? This started the thought process in my brain that expectations have to mesh with the reality of the situation.

Another set of conversations we had was him asking me if I Deserved to be suspended. At the time it felt like a trick question, given the dynamics we were involved in. But it was really about suspension not being a think I could deserve or earn. It was a gift, given because he wanted to. Not because I deserve it or expect it. Giving affection only because it is expected or only when someone has “earned” it can lead to abusive situations. For me, affection must be given because both parties want to give it. But beware putting expectations on what defines affection.

Back to the question that I started with. When he asked if I could be happy without suspension, he wasn’t asking if I would be happy not seeing him for a year, simply without one form of play. In our relationship, I expect to see him fairly regularly and I expect affection. Sometimes that means a hug, sometimes a text message, sometimes a flogging and sometimes it means dinner and a movie. When it’s been a long day, it can simply means his arm around me while he falls asleep. He shows me affection in whatever way he is able, mentally, physically and emotionally. As I do him.

Another way we have set expectations in our relationship was to write them down. In our contract with toy, we wrote out what all the expectations were. What we all did before play, what types of play there would be, and what could preempt or prevent play. It was very clear what we could all expect, and even then there were surprises.

So, what do we do then? What happens when expectations are not met? No matter how clear you think you have been, or how mutual you think your expectations are, you will still face disappointment occasionally. The important thing to do, of course, is to talk about it. What were my expectations? Were they the same as his expectations? What happened that caused them not to be met? Was it reasonable? Were the expectations reasonable to begin with? Was it just a special case that won’t happen again? How can we prevent this situation from repeating itself? Do the expectations need revised, or does one party need to be more conscious of meeting the expectation?

For me, another good conversation to stay on top of is wants and needs. My needs tend to be where I set my expectations, so I have to communicate that those things are needs. And I have to set reasonable expectations of where I’m going to get those needs filled. Being poly, they don’t all have to be filled by one person. Wants are things I would like to have, and I have to communicate them, too, else they won’t have a chance to be fulfilled. But the important thing to remember is that I cannot expect all my wants to be fulfilled all the time. Life isn’t that simple. But I can work on getting them filled through expressing them and making plans. And sometimes my needs aren’t met either, at which point we return to the previous paragraph of questions to have another look.

As always, the most important part of setting expectations has been clear communication. Second to that is acceptance that we are human and life isn’t perfect. Talk about your expectations. Unspoken expectations Cannot be met. Understand that life gets in the way, even of needs sometimes. Be flexible, accepting, and keep talking. And while you are talking, offer solutions. Once the problem has been stated, clarified and understood, move forward and find ways to avoid future disappointment from that source. During your conversations, if the other person has expectations that you cannot meet, have a conversation about why and about what can be done instead, or how to change that expectation. Expectations are a two-way street, both parties must be actively involved in setting, meeting and revising them. Everything changes, keep talking.

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Needs, Wants, Emotions and Logic

November 3rd, 2011

I don’t know what to post about this week. One of my best friends suggested monkeys. I’m not all that into animals, and monkeys tend to be into scat play, as well. So, I’m just gonna ramble a bit. Whirligig, whirligig, spin spin spin. OpenOffice tells me that’s how it’s spelled. Wants and needs, where’s the line? Emotion is to reactions as logic is to solutions.

Needs. There are physical needs: food, water, clothing, shelter, air. There are emotional needs: love, self-worth, respect, and happiness. Then things get a little muddy. Or perhaps they already were, as meeting those emotional needs can mean a lot of different things. And I tend to get a little muddier around happiness, though I put it on the list. Happiness is nonnegotiable, in the long term, but is unrealistic to expect every moment of every day. Things go wrong, arguments happen, mistakes get made, people get hurt, tragedies occur. But when all these needs are being met, including happiness, it’s hard to feel like life is all that rough.

Then there are the six basic human needs that they talk about in the kool-aid circles, let’s see if I can remember them: Certainty, Variety, Significance, Connection, Growth, and Contribution. I only forgot significance. And, according to Mr. Robbins, everyone puts very different value on these six things. Personally, certainty is the top of my list, followed by connection(love). The rest jockey for position regularly, with significance generally(but not always) coming in last in the broad scheme of things. They say opposites attract, so you know, with certainty at the top of my list, I’m attracted to people for whom variety tops the list. I couldn’t say for certain it is the Very top for all of them, but it certainly seems to rate high.

The ones I rate lower, I tend to feel cross over the line from need to want for me. But it’s that line that gets a bit fuzzy for me. I want to learn new things and grow, but do I need to? They say if you stop learning, you’re dead, but active growth often gets put on the back burner for me. I want to contribute to the world through my writing, but I don’t need to. I appreciate every private message saying how people enjoy my blog or got something out of it, and every comment that gets posted, but if it was really a need, wouldn’t I put more work into it? Significance is trickier. As long as I am important to the people who love me, do I really need to be important to anyone else? Given what I enjoy doing, and what my family do for a living, I’d say staying off the national or world stage is probably best for everyone. Variety. It’s true that I enjoy new things, that I like a lot of different kinks, that I’ve often had two or three partners. So, I certainly enjoy variety, to an extent. But I’m not someone who goes to a big event with a dance card, or is looking for many partners. I don’t want a stable, I just want all my needs and most of my wants met.

So, what about certainty and connection. Well, connection basically means love, and I’ve already listed that at the top. An absolute need. Certainty is what drives me crazy. Look no further for emotional break down than for me to not know what is going on or what to expect. Now, I don’t mind a bit of spontaneity, I enjoy unplanned scenes. But if I don’t know where I’m sleeping on a night, I get a little antsy. If I don’t know how bills are getting paid, I freak out. If a new shiny appears and I don’t know her intentions, or his, I get all wibbly-wobbly. (OpenOffice doesn’t know how to spell that one.) If I’m told something might happen, maybe, but I don’t know what, I get all nervous and jumpy. I like plans. I like lists. I like schedules. And yes, sometimes it’s really hot to be grabbed and dragged off at a moment’s notice for some unplanned, but much needed stress relief.

So what about that line? Needs – Wants. If I have all the physical needs, and emotional needs, and certainty met – is everything else just cream on the top? How do I judge happiness being met? Play makes me happy, not playing doesn’t necessarily make me unhappy. But not playing for a long time can. Or not playing when I really, really want to can. But then, I control my reactions (usually), so if all else is good, not playing shouldn’t make me unhappy. There’s always tomorrow, tends to be my rational to achieve that. Private time with him and hubby makes me happy. Not having that private time on a particular day is disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world. Spending time is always happy, but that doesn’t make not spending time a necessary sad. I think I’ve lost my point in here somewhere. I’m trying to sort out whether play, time and private time fall under needs or wants. Given their relationship to happiness. Which isn’t only direct, they also affect the health of the relationship, which is a source of happiness. They are all ways in which affection and love are expressed, but a lack of one does not equate to a lack of love. Most often it is a lack of time, or opportunity. So, they are not necessarily needs in and of themselves, but are wants which fulfill both the needs of connection/love and happiness.

Then we get down into specifics. Specific types of play, or time, or private time. Specific types of affection and attention. Those are certainly wants. None of them is specifically a need. They are, again, ways to get needs filled, and we often say “I needed that,” but I’d say they are strictly on the want side of the equation. We are referring to the emotional need that got filled by the action when we say we needed it. So, it seems, by my rambling, that for me, the more general a thing, the more of a need it is, and the more specific, the more it lands in want territory.

Toy commented to me she’d been advised to feel her emotions before solving problems. I agreed with this statement. Often, I react emotionally to things, and on the surface, I think the problem is one thing, but as I’m reacting and talking about how I’m feeling, I dig deeper and find the real problem. If I try to solve the problem at first reaction, often I end up trying to solve the wrong problem, or even one that doesn’t really exist. So, I’m learning to ride through the emotions, often getting him to help me dig into them, so I can find out what’s really bothering me and deal with it. A brown leaf, when cut off, doesn’t fix a poisoned root.

The other half of that, is if I ride through the emotions, feel them all and let them rise and fall. After it is done, then I can be logical and find solutions. Nothing drives me more crazy than when I’m reacting and being emotional, and he throws logic at me. I’m often not ready to be logical, yet. Though, sometimes, it’s enough to snap me past the emotions to the point of logic. Other times, I just need to cry, let it out, get all the emotional baggage out from behind my eyes and between my shoulders, or I’m just going to be useless and run in circles. Emotions are good for finding problems, logic is good for solving them.

 

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BDSM Is Not Abuse

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.

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Lessons in Negotiation

December 30th, 2010

These last few weeks have provided many lessons in Negotiation. First as an observer and then as an active participant. I watched several new people learn their first lessons in trying to fence with him, and in trying to assist one of them, became part of the scene. Bear with me and I’ll tell you all about what I ended up agreeing to do. So, what have I learned?

No wishing for more wishes. This seems simple enough, most of us remember Robin Williams’ genie quoting this to Aladdin. But in the heat of the moment, when you don’t have any better ideas. A blank check, while dangerous, seems simple enough. You must, however, remember to stipulate, that it cannot be cashed in for more blank checks, otherwise, a single scene at his whim becomes many more.

Don’t forget your limits. Not that you might forget your limits such as they are, but always remember to include them in a negotiation. Whether it is telling a new partner what your limits are, or stipulating that the above blank check(s) cannot violate them. It is all well and good to push your limits when you want to, but make sure you want to.

Be specific. At all points of the negotiation, be clear and precise. What are you offering, what are you getting, what are the terms and the rules and the boundaries. “Test me!” might be a fun thing for an excited student to shout, but it behooves one to specify what they want to be tested on. “School girl outfit” can mean different things to different people. “Skirts” come in many different lengths and styles. “Tied together” sounds fun, but do you really want to leave the binding material up to his imagination? Stockings, hose, fishnets, knee-highs, socks all very important distinctions in how much leg is covered or uncovered.

Offer something of value. Different people value different things from different people. Some people value sex. Some people value service. Some people value suffering. Some value the passing of knowledge. Learn what it is that will be of value and find ways to offer it.

Be creative and then be even more creative. Don’t offer things you have already given or things he already has. Offer something new, offer something bigger, offer something more interesting. Start with new and interesting offers, and then push them one step further. And don’t be afraid to make them well rounded – paint the full picture, not just the center of it. Bootblacking is good, but bootblacking while naked and kneeling is better, and bootblacking while naked and kneeling followed by some boot worship is even more interesting.

Don’t let other people negotiate for you. Stay in control of your side of the negotiation. Keep your wits about you and keep your mouth moving. If you want to be happy with what is agreed to, stay actively engaged in the discussion. Stick up for yourself and stand your ground when you have to. You do not have to agree to everything they say, keep seeking compromises that work for both parties. Unless agreements to the contrary are already in place, you can always say no, and most times even then.

Be reasonable and trust the other people in the negotiation. If you have a real problem with something, explain it, trust that they care about you and will listen. (If you don’t trust them or they don’t care about you, well, that’s another entry entirely.) Then, negotiate to find a way to make it work for everyone. Try not to just say no, that is impossible. Look for solutions that benefit everyone. Most problems are only little bumps in the road.

Be flexible and open minded. Understand that everything is not going to go the way you want it to. Understand that your definitions may not be the same as his definitions. Accept that sometimes comfort zones are meant to be left behind, it is how you can grow. I am incredibly curious, sometimes I have to let the curiosity override the fear.

Relax and enjoy it. Negotiation is where you get to learn about the other person. You get to see how their mind works, what they like and don’t like, how they feel, what their state is. You get to know them, and get to share yourself with them. You are not going to get it all right, but you’re not going to get it all wrong,either. But if you’re both/all happy when it is over, then everyone wins. Keep talking until you’re happy.

So, I promised to let you know what I got myself into. A new friend was starting a negotiation with him, and I was offering some advice. When he was presented with that fact, he suggested that since I was trying to help out, perhaps I should join the negotiation. Her fate and mine became intertwined. We spent most of the rest of the night negotiating. When it was all said and done, we had quite the scene lined up:

Three of us, dressed as school girls (clothing was one of the largest parts of the negotiation) – Japanese, American and British, respectively (I hear there may be a chalkboard hung high up on the wall for sentence writing). We may not say no for the entire night (creativity will be flowing). The evening will start with bootblacking, and we will be available at any time for massage. At his leisure, he may put us in the dog cage (with a violet wand kit nearby), or bind us all together (quite possibly with saran wrap, followed by ice and then hot wax). And at some point during the evening, there will be a Japanese song and dance (whaddya mean I have to dance when I’m sober?) in front of an audience of undetermined size (our voluntary third musketeer is joyfully plotting choreography to the song chosen last night).

It shall be a Very interesting evening. I can hardly wait.

What are you thoughts on Negotiation? What traps have you fallen into?

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Joy in Pain

July 8th, 2010

Last night was an wonderful scene. It started out as teaching a new person about how we flog. He dragged me up from kneeling by the hair and asked if this piece of meat would do. She agreed and I was tossed up on the cross, shirt pulled up and targets drawn on my back. She had very light flogs and he had a set of heavy rubber ones. It was a good warm up, heavy hits between teaching and light swings. Hands as well as flogs. I enjoy helping teach new people, even if I don’t have the skill myself, I’ve learned to give feedback as a bottom. She went out to smoke and he took back the scene.

He used his hands, the heavy flogs, the really big deerskin flog(mmm… oh how I’ve missed that one), some slappers and paddles and a cane, the dragon tail, the stun gun and the electric fly swatter and a leather strap – on my back, my ass, my legs, my breasts, my feet, my arms, my crotch. It was a heavy scene, but not a full throttle flogging. He let me react to the hits – scream, jerk, fall, twitch – however I wanted to. He waited for me to return to position. I love that, I love holding myself on the cross, and getting back up to offer my body to him again and again.

He often came around in front of me, behind the cross to look at my face, to smile at me, and ask if I was crying yet. I was almost always smiling. He commented on it, he was not hurting me enough, I was still smiling. Where were the tears? It was such a joyous scene for me.

I was happy. I was not looking for a cathartic release, it had been a good week. I wanted to play with him, I wanted to submit to him, to give him my body for our pleasure. I did not need to be moved to tears, beaten to a pulp so I could relax. I always enjoy our scenes, find joy in our scenes. But last night it made me smile from start to finish. The kind of smiles that once drove a photographer crazy.

Even when I cried, triggered by a painful strike and continued by fear of the stun gun, it did not last very long. I was too happy and the energy was not the kind for tears. At the end, when I Sir-ed him, and said I wanted to please him by pleasuring his cock, and forgot the Sir. I was, even then, grinning and happy and full of joy and love for him.

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Reflection

May 20th, 2010

These last few weeks, I have not done justice to myself, my partners, or to you, my readers. Last week’s post was the best of the bunch, a description of a wonderful scene. But what has been going on? What’s been happening along my journey? What were those cryptic and scattered posts about? And what ever happened to those needles? Let me begin by acknowledging my failures and then discussing them.

Firstly, when I brought him the needles, I did not beg for him to put them in me. I had been told to do this, and I had agreed to do this, but I did not. Since realizing that failure, I have only begged for the needles twice in person and once on IM. Other failures and issues have come up, and I do want the needles and we have talked about them here and there, but I find myself putting aside this want while I work on other things. It is important to me, but I continue to give other issues priority.

My second failure was letting fear and uncertainty keep me from going into object space. I was not initiating it and when he tried, I was putting him off with some form of ‘not yet’ and then not going back to it myself. Since acknowledging this failure, I had two evenings when I began initiating but did not follow through, one evening when I followed through and only slipped up once, and one evening when I followed through for a majority of the evening, but then let outside influences disrupt my focus.

I also had last week’s scene where he put me into object space for the majority of the scene. I felt very grateful that he was willing to take me there again. Within the scene, it was also a very helpful anchor for processing as he had taken away my anchors of sight and touch. The focus that it created put me in a mindset of being an object for his pleasure and his use and allowed me to not just endure, but enjoy the pain, the fear, the tears and the relinquishing of control.

My third failure involved acting like a spoiled little child. I did not just question his decisions, I flat out told him no. I whined that I was learning and and that I was doing what he asked, all the while, doing the exact opposite by the very objections and fight I was putting up. I let my initial confusion turn into fear and doubt instead of being clear and accepting and communicative. I was so far into myself that I could not even see what I was doing. He took the time, once again to hold up a mirror and shine a bright light on it until I could see. He gave me back the paragraphs I had copied for him about being looking beyond imperfection, being happy, working hard, doing without question, being intelligent, helpful, serving and not letting fear and doubt get in my way. I had failed to do any of these things, and I was to keep the papers until I could actually live up to them.

The previous day we had a scene which had me kneeling for forty-five minutes, fifteen longer than I had ever previously done. It began with begging for the needles, and ended with the only thought in my head being that I could not get up until he told me I could. I had given over all my wants and needs to that one single thought, that one want – to please him at the expense of all else, by staying on my knees. It was quite a delicious scene, to let go that fully – freeing, and cathartic as I cried for the last ten minutes of it. He ended it by lifting me off the ground and onto the couch, covering me with a blanket and bringing me water. Our time was limited that day, but he made the most of it, for us both.

The next day, he had concerns that I needed time to reflect on that scene. Walls were broken down and I needed time to reflect and heal stronger. He also had concern for the number of people installing programming in my head and the possible dangers in that. Conflicting programming could lead to hesitation and doubt. Two people pushing the same button could take things further than intended if they did not know what the other was doing or thinking. This led to more communication with all my partners about wants and needs. Defining boundaries more clearly for all involved.

My fourth failure was being presumptuous and selfish and in a hurry. I tried to give back the paragraphs. I tried to play the I’m learning card again, forgetting that what he was asking of me was not just learning, but doing – putting the learning into action. And putting it into action consistently, not just for a few days. Giving the papers back was not ‘the next step’ it was four or five steps further along my path. I had only just begun putting my lessons into action, and in fact, just two days before, I let others ruin my focus and keep me from doing what I wanted.

I spent this conversation on my knees, where I had gone to offer the papers. He kept me there until I answered his questions. I stayed there because I had put myself there, offered that submission to him, and it was his until he was done with it. I did ask to get up once and accepted his denial. At the end, he set a timer for five minutes and told me to think about how not to end up there again, not on my knees, but having failed in that way again. He would burn the papers the next time, if we both did not agree I had lived up to them. I do not know how long I was on my knees that time, over thirty minutes I know, but beyond that it did not matter. I focused on what I had done and why, and on putting learning into action. When the timer went off, he asked me if I needed to get up. I said yes, and he told me to stand. I forced myself up onto completely numb feet, using the table for support. Looking into his eyes, and using my drive to do ask he asked as motivation, I was able to stay upright while circulation returned. Determination and motivation are wonderful tools.

My fifth failure was lack of focus and attention. I had some trouble assisting with suspensions last weekend. I had not been keeping up my tying practice. I did not read situations as quickly and as well as I should have been able to. I did not keep my eyes moving between all the participants of the scene. I am grateful that he was able to communicate with me about these situations and explain to me more clearly his expectations. We had five good suspensions each night, and the patrons all enjoyed their flights and are eager for more. I have since practiced my ties, and have a clearer idea of my responsibilities in our scenes. I expect further insight on this topic once we have both had time to reflect and discuss.

So, where does all this put me now? I am learning and growing and doing. I am making mistakes, I am failing, but I am still moving forward, albeit sometimes with tiny steps. I am lucky to have him holding my hand and guiding me – showing me the path when I lose sight of it or get turned around. Our love and trust for each other keeps us together, and enables us to overcome challenges, failures and miscommunications. The image of a feudal system just came to mind: I serve him and he keeps me safe. Sometimes, he asks more of me than I think I can give, but his belief in me moves me to go beyond my own expectations and push harder and reach further than I thought possible. I have a wonderful life, wonderful partners and I am learning and growing and doing more than I ever imagined was possible.

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