March 7th, 2013
Personal identity. Gender identity. Sexual identity. Secret identity.
I think of identity as internal, as opposed to the exterior-ness of labels. Identity is who I am. It is how I feel. It is my proclivities, my interests, my views and my way of being. It is the unique combination that makes up me.
But then, someone asks me, who are you?
And I try to put it into words. These shapeless, unspoken thoughts of me. I use labels that other people have created, that other people have defined. And they are the closest I can come to create communication, but they are not the truth. Because I am so much more than words. I am so much more than someone else’s definitions. So, new words are created, but they, inevitably fall short, too. I try whole lists of words, sometimes seemingly contradictory, just to get the point across that I am more than.
More than a single concept. More than a strict definition. More than a simple category.
I am so much more than my job, my hobbies, my submission, my service, my masochism, my body, my sarcasm.
Who am I? You’ll never know. Because you are not inside me, and no matter how much time you spend with me, you will always filter me through who you are.
But sometimes I want so badly to be understood, to be accepted, to be loved. That I try to fit in. Fit into the molds society has created. Fit into the roles that someone else has defined. Fit into boxes that people understand.
And when someone does not understand, I try to explain. But sometimes words just aren’t enough. Because they do not feel as I feel, they do not experience what I experience. Their frame of reference does not allow for understanding. And I can let myself feel alienated and ashamed, or I can remember that they don’t have to understand me. My identity is not based on anyone else’s understanding.
October 20th, 2012
So I was reading posts on Fearless Press, looking for ideas for today’s post. I liked a lot of the posts, and, as I said in the previous post, the idea of labels and active D/s came to mind. Well, I guess, not labels, but label – submissive, to be precise. I might get into dominant a little, too, due to the nature of the discussion. We’ll see how it goes, shall we?
Sea’s post What is a Submissive and Who’s on First? goes into the impossibility of strictly defining what a submissive IS. He suggests, rather, starting with a ballpark, and asking the specific person about their expressions of submission. Bendyogagirl‘s post If you were really submissive, you would… talks about people’s expectations and how her style of submission did not match one her previous partner’s style, and how it got to the point where it was causing her to question if she really was submissive. This, in turn, allowed her to be able to express her experience of submission. In both this post and her post titled Respect & Cherish, she explains how it is an active exchange for her. In the former, how she needs active dominance, that brings out her submission. In the latter, she also talks about how she wants her submission to be received. She respects the dominant and wishes, not to be respected in return, but cherished. She holds him in high regard, gives him authority, and wants, in return to receive the affection of being cherished.
So, what does this all mean to me? What did I get out of it?
It got me thinking about definitions, and words, expressions and active exchanges. I get caught up in labels sometimes. In my desire to feel special, to feel wanted, to feel important. To feel owned? I put a question mark there because the words were in my head, but I’m not sure what they mean to me right now. I look at M/s dynamics, at some of the 24/7 folk, and I know that isn’t what I want. But then we’re back to defining things by others’ standards. I don’t want to be a slave, well, except for in those masturbatory fantasies. But in reality, slave is not the right word for me. I like submissive, most days I like service submissive, but I’ve only ever been that to him. I’ve been told that is untrue, that my nature is to serve and assist people. But back to the question of active exchange, those “other people” are not ones I expect anything back from for my service. (Well, except my job which pays me to help people.) And maybe that’s how my expressions of service works, I do service for the joy of helping others, but I am a (service) submissive to him, because he gives back to me. I will not be submissive to someone who does not return with dominance. That does not mean that someone who tries to show me dominance automatically receives submission. I am not a door mat, I choose when to let my submission shine.
I think I went off track there, talking about service and submission. But what about that “owned” question? Perhaps “claimed” would be a better word. He once told me that he liked the fact that without outward symbols like a collar or a ring, everyone still knew I was his. I wrote recently about enjoying the word “my” from his lips. We all like to belong in society, and I also like to “belong” to my partners. We tease that sometimes his protectiveness turns into possessiveness, but sometimes, when I’m feeling lost, I like that possessiveness, too.
He and I have gone through many changes during our relationship. At one point, we were backing away from the D/s nature of things, to give ourselves time to heal from one of our biggest explosions. He was concerned that I would continue to do things for him, as was my nature, but might begin to resent the lower rate of return from him, as he worked to rebalance things. But even during the time when we had said “No D/s” at all, we never fully let it drop. We couldn’t, it is part of how we interact. It certainly changed tunes, from heavy metal down to classical piano, if you will, but it was still there, softly playing in the background. I look at FetLife labels every now and again. He and I removed our D/s labels back then, and after a while, set them to service labels. Sometimes I want those D/s labels back, some days, I really wish I had a collar. But then I look at our relationship, and I know we are still growing. I know that service is one of the biggest parts of our D/s relationship right now, and I know that there is a lot of road left to travel.
What about active exchanges? Sometimes I look at “In service to” and “Receiving service from” and I am annoyed by the passivity of the latter phrasing. Receiving can feel so one-sided, but it really isn’t, if you’re doing it right. If you are receiving a blow job, do you just sit there without moving or reacting? I hope not. If you are receiving a promotion, didn’t you work hard to get there, and now have to work harder to keep it? I hope so. If you are receiving an award, didn’t you do something to earn it? It is the same with us. Our relationship is a very active one, we both work hard to maintain it. I serve him in various ways, all of which he is sure to acknowledge and show gratitude for.
At one convention, his wife noted that when he gave me tasks, he didn’t always thank me for doing them. He replied that he wasn’t sure I wanted it. At the time, that type of verbal, immediate gratitude would have landed wrong. I would have been embarrassed to have my service publicly acknowledged. What he did do, was at the end of the weekend, catch me privately, and tell me how much he appreciated all my hard work and service to him. That made me feel so much better than twenty thank you’s scattered about throughout the weekend ever could have.
These days, it is often done both ways. Small thank you’s throughout an event are acknowledgments that make me smile, even when he is too busy to spend individual time. And then after an event, when there is time, the private gratitude and appreciation gives one big dose of warmth and love.
You might ask, but how is showing gratitude part of a D/s exchange? How is that returning my submission with dominance? I’ll have to go with Bendyogagirl on this one, it makes me feel cherished. I thrive on affection and acknowledgment. I serve him and he values that service, and both of those things build trust between us. That trust allows us to go further, for me to serve him in more ways, and for our relationship to continue to grow.
But what about “active dominance?” What about “put you on your knees, give over complete control to him” types of D/s exchange? We have that too, in our play. It isn’t something we maintain in our day to day relationship. That is an energetic ideal, but our respective available energy and time is nowhere near the ability to maintain that anymore. Would I like a little more of that flavor in our lives? Sure, I always want more out of life and work towards that, but the first step there is figuring out what works for us. Right now, saving most of this for our scenes is what works for us.
May 6th, 2011
I’ve written about labels many times, but I have generally ignored names and titles between people. By that I mean, I ‘ve written about labeling oneself Dom or sub, but not about calling someone Master X or Slave Y. Last year, calling him Sir was a big thing, part of object space, part of the game. But I never really wrote about what using the word meant to me. Hubby is my Master, I call him that when we play, and he calls me slave or little one, but I’ve never written about that either. Words are very important to me. Names, they say, hold power. Labeling yourself something is one thing, being called that by someone else, another. We all know the power of our parent using our full name in anger, or our loved one using a pet name in joy. This week, there was a question about what I would be called on Monday nights, by toy and by him. And it sparked a lot of different thoughts in my brain. I’ll try to get them out onto this blog if I can.
A long time ago, in a country far away, I had a Daddy. But he was Daddy for nonsexual reasons, so I never called him Daddy in bed. I called him Sir. He called me a lot of things. Including a few I didn’t like. A few that upset me, made me feel like less of a human being. I did not tell him, I didn’t know how to tell him, I was afraid to tell him. So, I tried to ignore those words coming out of his mouth, but they still stung. Years later, the other used them, in the same types of situations. And I let him, and they didn’t hurt anymore. They reminded me of the time when they did, but the sting was no longer there. They were entertaining and useful and sexy when the other said them. Words can hurt, but it is all in how they are delivered and received.
My name is special to me. I like it, I like how it is spelled. I like that it came equally from both my parents. I do not use someone’s first name in casual conversation with that person. It feels strange to me, to do so. Using a first name, to me, puts significant impact into what I am saying. If I am talking to someone, they know I’m talking to them. I don’t need to say their name unless I am trying to get their attention or if I want to emphasize what I am saying. So, when someone already has my attention, and uses my name, what they are saying has more impact on me. I honestly don’t know if other people feel this way or not.
Then we come to how I refer to people I am playing with. Sir, to me, is the most natural title or name for a male I am submissive towards. It is what I call male customers at work, though I’ve had a few object to that (Don’t Sir me, I work for a living.) simply out of respect and not knowing their name. It is a term of respect, deeply ingrained in me. Last year we made it into a task I repeatedly failed at by requiring it in every sentence to him. I guess I wouldn’t do well in the military, but we already knew that. But even then, it was couched in terms of my respect for him.
We are returning to that now, with the contract. We will respectfully call him Sir. I find that when using Sir, I will say it far more often than I would have normally used his name. It holds my respect for him, but less of the power of his name. On which point, his name, during such times that we are calling him Sir, is a safeword. It does have power. The power to alter headspace. To denote something is wrong, and that we need him, not the Dominant he is being for us.
I call hubby Master, because that is what we chose to use. He likes that term and he is first in my life, above any other Dom or Top that may be part of my life. He is the one who takes care of me, day to day and the one I come home to. I am collared to him, married to him, and forever his. That is what calling him Master means to me.
I have never bottomed to a female and used any type of label or title. There are a few who I call by their chosen names: Domina or Mistress or Lady. But these are just like using their first names, not out of any sense of my respect for them, just an identifier of who they are.
Toy is the first bottom I’ve had a name for. It is her relationship to us, and a tool to help her stay in the headspace. It is a term that she enjoys hearing, and depending on inflection, can be very useful in getting a message across. I am still learning about what this means to her and to myself.
So, what about things people call me?
Toy calls me Miss. A counterpoint to Sir. But not all the way up to Mistress or Madame. I wasn’t comfortable with those. They felt too high, too strong. I’m just the little d, afterall. Miss, I like. It’s what we call young women. I am very young in this topping role, so I feel that it is still respectful, and it fits me.
Hubby calls me slave or little one. Slave is the counterpoint to Master. It is filled with all those same feelings of love, and care and forever. Little one, is a term of endearment that has been used by several men. I am not tiny, but I am rather small in comparison to a lot of my partners. Certainly, I’ve been shorter than all of them. It makes me feel protected and cared for.
Other names I have been called(again, not labels, but names): kajira, slut, whore. These last two being the names in question in paragraph two, and most often used by the other. Slut and whore were used sexually, to heighten a moment, for dirty talking or teasing. To push emotionally and mentally. Kajira was a term of endearment, around our mutual love and use of rope in our play and sex. It held all the sensations and attachment of rope at it’s core for us. I was not just a rope slut in those moments, but a slave to the rope. And it felt good.
So, full circle, then. To what sparked this post. What, if anything, did I want him to call me during Monday playtime? I am terrible at naming characters in stories. In my erotica, I tend to write without names. I did not want to use names used by hubby or by the other. He had only ever used my name last year. Names from other venues had their own attachments. Toy had a few suggestions, but none of them felt quite right for us. In the end, he decided that for now, he would just use my name. As we have always done. As I am learning to do with Toy, he is able to do well, put the meaning behind his voice that he wants there by tone and inflection.
February 3rd, 2011
My mind is full and swirling this week. I thought I had about five different topics to write about, but in just a few seconds of brainstorming on the page, I came up with ten. Discussions this week have ranged from masturbation and orgasm, to STDs, to interrogation, to labels, to song and dance, to cathartic release and pleasure from pain. A new relationship is being established and others are struggling to survive. There’s a big event this weekend, but I won’t be there, I regret missing the classes, but the play parties never really were my thing. So, let’s take some of those topics and look a little deeper.
What do you want to do with our toy? He’s been asking me that for a couple weeks now, since we established she wanted to be our toy. I talk about teaching her, or helping her, or getting her to buy cute clothes. But what do I want to Do with her? I don’t know, I’ve never had a toy before. Fair to say she’s never been a toy before either. But we’re all very curious and excited about the possibilities.
I see myself in her, just starting her journey into kink. I remember when, to me, kinky was a pair of handcuffs, a set of nipple clamps and a spanking during sex. I remember coming into this community and meeting him and lover and having the doors thrust wide open before me. I remember barreling through, glad they were the ones holding my hands. There was so much to learn and do and experience, and now we have a new toy, just starting her journey and I’m excited to be the one holding her hand.
One of our conversations this week was on labels, if she wanted to take a public label, and she decided not yet. She decided that it was something she wanted to keep personal for now. Those who needed to know, would know, but it didn’t need to be declared to the world at large. This got me thinking for myself, too.
He and I are rebuilding things, and have left off kink labels, as well. I have had varying degrees of comfort and discomfort with this. I felt like I had lost something, lost something very important to us. I tried on a label for a couple weeks, but it didn’t fit well and I couldn’t explain why I wanted to wear it. I realized at the end of that attempt, that trying to label something that was still being created was just going to add to the confusion, and I stopped.
Yesterday, I was visualizing myself standing in the middle of a rushing river, I had a hand stretched out to the cliffs on either side. One cliff labeled Girlfriend, the other labeled Submissive. But back in August, the Submissive cliff broke off in my hand, and I was left floundering, with only Girlfriend to cling to. I eventually got back to my feet, with the solid help of the Girlfriend cliff, but then I started trying to shove the broken piece back into the cliff, trying to find a place where it would fit.
I realized, that I really just needed to get out of the river, stop fighting the current, there was no need. I could easily and happily sit on the Girlfriend bank, on the solid ground of our relationship. I’d like the submissive bank to be part of our life, but building a bridge to it with him is a much more secure way to get there, than standing in the rushing water, fighting to stay upright.
January 29th, 2011
Do you have a BDSM title (e.g. mistress, master, slut, pig, whore, princess, goddess, ma’am, sir)? What is your opinion of the use of titles in general?
I call them labels as opposed to titles. Here is my most recent post on Labels. My opinion, simplified, is that they are personal. And my personal title is submissive.
December 9th, 2010
I had a stray thought today, of putting all my writings, emails and musings from the past three months into a book and titling it Broken. That is not to say that things are fixed, but just my way of saying that I now can see a path forward. We broke things back at the end of August, the big risk we took, came to a screeching halt and disastrous end. I broke, trust broke, our dynamic and mode of play broke. Our relationship suffered and stuttered, but we held on to each other to keep that from breaking, too. It took us more than three weeks to figure out what caused the break. I spent the next month focused on healing from that break and the realizations we came to. I then spent the last month trying to find the path again. Setting goals, making small steps, offering service, trying to find common ground, trying to get back to where we were, or where we could be again. But, while some of it worked, a lot of it was just not connecting. So, I realized that while I thought I knew where he was and what it all had meant to him, I was apparently missing something in translation. We are all occasionally guilty of projecting our understanding of events on other people, and it occurred to me that I needed to sit down and talk to him and get things clear.
The first talk was last Thursday, for an hour. The second talk was Monday, also for approximately an hour. The third talk was Wednesday, starting at three in the afternoon and lasting for over four hours, then picking up again for a bit on the drive home late that night.
The first conversation got some things out in the open, but in a way that I did not fully understand. I left that conversation confused and hurt, but trying to process both those feelings on my own. I came to the conversation with one question – can we be the way we were before? The answer I heard was no. But I was unable to understand the reasons, I was unable to ask appropriate follow up questions, I was unable to let go and react to that answer, so that the conversation could keep moving forward. I heard a request for more time and more space, and so I walked away from that conversation too early.
I reacted privately, or as I would later put it, I overreacted privately and between violent movies with Hubby later that night. I cried and I had thoughts of him never wanting to ever play with me again. I had thoughts of no physical affection. And I knew these were wrong. I knew he had not said any of those things. We had both said how important our relationship was, and keeping that going was. But I was in emotional overreaction mode, and logic was waiting for me to finish and come back.
So, I let it sit. I did not have opportunity to talk with him on Friday. On Saturday, we were at the club, and we try to keep relationship conversations away from that public eye, or more specifically, those public ears. The night was slow, and a lot of our usual crowd was attending other events. He poked me and pinched, and made me squeak and squeal for a few minutes between electric scenes, and I felt a lot better. I had physical proof that I had overreacted on Thursday night.
On Monday evening, we spent the night in the kitchen. I watched him make beef stew from scratch. We talked about other partners, and ex partners, and work and crew and everything but our relationship and Thursday’s conversation for most of the night. He was waiting for me to bring it up, he was waiting for me to react. I was trying to give him space and time, trying to have a quiet evening where I did not add stress or pressure. Again, I was going at it the wrong way.
He finally brought it up, because he had concerns and questions he wanted answered, and he was, rightfully, afraid I was not going to say a word. He told me he was concerned that I had not reacted to the conversation. I told him I had reacted, but not in front of him. I explained that I had overreacted, and what thoughts had crossed my mind and that I knew they were overreactions. I explained that Saturday’s poking helped solidify that they were overreactions. I explained that I was giving him space. He pointed out that I misunderstood and not talking about things was not what he wanted. It never is.
His biggest concern, beyond worrying that I was bottling and not reacting, was around an inequality in our relationship. I was still serving him, providing service in a number of ways, but he was not giving me the usual exchange in return. He was deeply concerned that this would change my service to him, or that I would become jaded in my service, if I was not getting the things I wanted in return. I took a few moments to seriously consider this, think about my service to him and what it means to me at this point in our relationship. The more I thought about it, internally and out loud, the more I realized that it was not about that anymore. My service began out of a desire to thank him for scenes, putting the rope away after was the very first service I offered him. It continued as a way to show my gratitude for all that he gave to me. Now, I serve him because it makes us both happy that I do so. I serve him and take care of him because I like doing so, because I love him, and because he does take care of me in so many different ways that have nothing to do with kinky interactions.
We occasionally dipped our toes into other topics during that discussion, but kept returning to the above topic. Then his wife got home and our conversation was ended as the stew was served. It smelled delicious, and the little test bites I had were wonderful. But our evening was at an end, our conversation incomplete.
Tuesday morning, I chatted with Hubby about the conversation of the previous night, and he expressed concerns that I had not fully shared my reaction (my tears) with him. Hubby and I got clear about what was discussed and that more discussion was desired.
When he asked for my reactions to Monday’s conversation, I was in a hurry and tried to quickly summarize my gratitude for his concern the night before, and Hubby’s concern that I did not tell him of my tears. I did not communicate clearly enough, and our busy days distracted us both, so we left that conversation quickly, unable to find clarity at that moment.
Wednesday afternoon, I went to him, to speak in person and clarify Hubby’s upset and my reactions. I went step by step through my reactions, from Thursday night up through our ill-timed chat on Tuesday. I was reminded that while I am responsible for my emotions and my reactions, he cannot help me deal with them if I don’t tell him about them. And he wants to help me deal with them, and he wants to help me understand and not be confused, that is the only way we can move forward. He did not ask his girlfriend to back off, it was the kinky part that needed space.
Once that was settled, we moved on to my specific reactions, and confusions and misunderstandings. I told him things I had heard and not understood. I heard a suggestion that my offer of returning the paragraphs was a day too late to be accepted. He truly had only meant that it was ironic that I had made the offer a day after he realized he had been waiting for it for six months to no avail.
I heard him say he would think about suspending me privately, but not publicly. I reacted with hurt and confusion and tears. And this turned out to be a very important point in the discussion. This was the best illustration for me, that actually allowed me to hear and understand where we stood. This turned into a conversation about how deeply things had broken and how shattered the trust was. He was able to explain to me in a way that I could understand, that the trust that was broken by our object play, had been based on the trust we had created in the high flying suspensions, which had been based on the trust built by the static, simple suspensions that began our play together. With the shattering of that trust, it needed to be built back up again, and so, logically, a path to do that would be to return to the beginning. I had made offers of varying degrees, but all of them were too much, to far forward. What we need to do is return all the way to the beginning, and build trust anew. I have often reminisced about those quiet, simple, spaced-out suspensions. Flying is awesome, in every sense of the word, but my favorite memory is still a quiet dark night in his basement, hanging with him nearby. Looking at a simple ceiling suspension point, I feel the quiet pull of floating, bound securely and so free.
Our relationship is very different now than it was when we first started. In both senses of that word. When he started suspending me, I was new. new to the community, new to him, new to rope and new to suspension. When we started object play, we had just started dating, we had just started figuring things out as more than play partners. Everything was fresh and exciting and worth the risk. We knew there were risks to our play. RACK and all that. We acknowledged that this was play too risky for our primary relationships. We knew it could destroy our newly formed partnership. But we were willing to take that risk. We went running in with all the energy that NRE entails. And we had a good run, we explored and pushed and played. Then we crashed and burned. Fortunately, we had been together long enough at that point that we were able to cling to each other in the wreckage and not lose the romantic relationship we had created.
Now, as we look at starting over and rebuilding trust, we glance at the future, at where we might go. And we look at the past and where we have been. That kind of risk, that kind of danger, may no longer be palatable. We are deeply invested in each other now, in staying together and protecting each other and what we have created. We go forward from here, much more cautious about the risks we might take. Much more thoughtful about the dangers and rewards of anything we might do.
The conversation then turned to a touchy point. Is there a risk that I could go elsewhere for the type of play he no longer offered me? The thought had crossed both our minds, with varying reactions. I do not play out much at all. I don’t go to play parties and find random hookups. I don’t make play dates with people outside my relationships. And I am not looking to add another partner. I like the number two. Three was lovely while it lasted, but two is what feels right to me when I think about the future. He pointed out that when you’re not looking is usually when it finds you, but there is no use worrying about what might happen. I am not looking to go have my needs met elsewhere, and as I don’t intend to let him go, we have plenty of time to see where we can go and what needs and wants and desires we can meet.
The end of our conversations wandered around to him poking me to keep talking, seeing as how I was being so open and honest and it was going so well. I hit on the topic of labels. In my musings since Monday, I had considered recasting his concern in the terms of I was still submissive to him, but he was not returning dominance towards me. My brain, in that light, then wandered over to the label In Service To. I shared this with him last night and he grabbed it quickly. Asking if that was something that was important to me, because that was something we could address.
I considered it for most of the rest of the night and some more this morning, both out loud and to myself. Back when we first established our relationship, labeling what we were was important. I wanted to be publicly acknowledged as his girlfriend and his submissive. My other partners had already identified me as his submissive, but I wanted him to say so, too. That leads to the other point. Certainty. Knowing my role, being able to say what I am to him, how we both agree that we view the relationship and connection. There is another aspect to the label as well. Being his. I wrote in one of my last five hundred word emails, that I while I was still acting submissive to him, I was not feeling like His Submissive. There is something special about that feeling, of belonging. Not that I want him to own me, Hubby owns me, heart and soul. But the acknowledgment that my submission, or my service is for him, special to him and to us. I know that this is important to me, because while I was writing it, all the doubts and self-conscious thoughts of last night were silent in the face of writing how I really feel.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, may not have been able to put Humpty together again. But they were impatient and not vested enough in Humpty to put forth the effort to find that one big piece to form the base from which he could be rebuilt with time, love and care. Love is not all you need, but it is a good base to start from, and stronger than hundred mile an hour tape.
November 11th, 2010
Last week, after making my post here about drop, I found a new blog called Fearless Press and posted a few comments on a couple posts dealing with labels: The Beginning and What Did You Call Me? I last posted on labels in June of 2009. So, that’s the topic I want to make my own post on today. Labels in the kink community.
Most of my dealings with labels lately have been in reference to defining relationships as opposed to defining self. Who am I to my partner and what does that mean to us? The difficulty, as pointed out by Amethyst Wonder’s post is “that like most language, labels don’t mean the exact same thing in different people’s minds.” This is why communication is so important in relationships, to define the labels for yourselves. None of my relationships can be explained by a single word and truly be understood. We have to decide and discuss what it means to us personally, and to our other partners, as well.
Personal labels have become even more situational as I have grown and expanded my horizons in the kink community. They have become a way to explain what I’m doing, instead of who I am. I label as service top at the club where I do violet wand scenes. I label as a rope slut when talking about my love for and experience with rope. I label as a pain slut when I talk about physically intense scenes. I am all of these things, but none of them define me completely.
Submissive is the label I use most often, because it is the word I associate with my overall kinky nature. However, my submissiveness manifests in different ways with my different partners. I often find myself explaining these differences, the word is not a simple definition, but a starting place for discussion. I do not let other people tell me how a submissive should act, or that it is wrong to show different kinds of submission or different levels of submission to different partners.
Mako Allen commented that “Lao-tzu had it right. When you stop worrying about the kind of kinky person you should be, you can fully embrace the kinky person you actually are.” I enjoy what I do far too much to worry about what others think I should do. I also enjoy teaching and sharing, so labels give me a framework to start from. Then I expand that out, to share the richness of my life and my journey, to those who ask and are willing to listen.
August 12th, 2010
He asked for an evening of service.
I began to plan. What types of things could I do for him? What would he enjoy? What would be most useful? He cautioned me to not get too specific, to have a general idea, and remember that things do not always go as planned. (Sometimes it feels like they do not Ever go as planned.)
This was easier, making general plans of service. I would be visiting at his, so I took each area of the house and came up with an offer of service, depending on where he wanted to be and what he wanted to do. Lawn work and gardening for outside. Organizing and cleaning for the basement. Dishes and cooking for the kitchen. Cup holder, foot stool, foot rubber and/or story teller for the living room. Oral pleasure for the bedroom.
Not having a structured plan, but simply offers made the evening go more smoothly than it might have otherwise. Work ran long, we got together late, and he spent some time reminding me that I cannot jump over the steps right in front of me to get to ones I think he wants instead. I did, however, get to serve him. I helped him a bit in the kitchen and I rubbed his feet in the living room. Most importantly, I got to spend time with him, but it got me thinking about service and what that means to me.
In the second post I ever made, Serving Him, I talked about him labeling me a service sub, my struggle with that label, and my acceptance of it through the joy of serving him. Last November, I wrote about Service Space – the warm fuzzy happy space I am in when I am serving and giving to others. In April, I wrote about including service in my Ritual to come out of object space.
What does service mean to me now? Why do I do it? How does it make me feel? Who do I serve? When do I serve? (Yes, I wanted to see if I could get all the question words in.)
One side of my service is serving in exchange for what I have been given. I was once thanked for taking care of him, and I simply responded, he takes care of me. I serve him because I am grateful for all that he does for me, and sometimes in gratitude for a specific thing/scene he has done for me. At work, I serve our customers in exchange for being paid. At the club, I am a Service Top in exchange for the chance to learn, teach, share and be part of the crew.
On the other side, serving makes me feel useful, gives me a purpose, a goal to achieve. I enjoy doing for others, and generally put a higher priority on that than on doing for myself. I was brought up to help others, to be a caretaker. The people in my life are very important to me, and if I can make things a little easier for them, or make them a little happier, by serving, then I feel fulfilled.
June 24th, 2010
In college, there were times when I was in love with not-yet-Husband, and dating other men. He first proposed to me while engaged to someone else. I did not say no, not until I met her, anyway. When he proposed the second time, and I said yes, it was on the condition of monogamy. I accepted that he was flirtatious, and loving towards others, but we made an agreement that there would be no other relationships when we got married.
Two and a half years in, and we were both finding ourselves interested in other people on a level more than just flirtation. We talked about swinging, playing outside our marriage. I played with one friend, trying to keep emotions out of it, but when he decided he could not continue, I was hurt. Friends invited us to a swingers party where I was fairly wide-eyed and quiet the whole night. Then we moved.
We looked around online for potential play partners. We played with one couple, and we met another, but neither turned out well. Then we found the local kink community. I agreed that Husband could be true to his poly nature, and I would continue with the label of swinging. I was afraid of getting hurt again, swinging felt safer, it was not about love, or relationships. It was about experiences and having fun.
Then I met Lover, and Him. We started playing, in various forms, and it quickly became apparent that emotions would always be involved, that there was always risk, that the trust required for the way I wanted to play was not something to be given casually.
Husband has formed various relationships, girlfriends and play partners, looking for what he wants to add to his life. Together we explore our rules and agreements. We deal with jealousy and time management. We grow together and we follow our own paths. I love him, I am in love with him, I will love him forever and always.
I had a hard time with labels and defining relationships outside my marriage. Lover started as a play partner. Love grew between us, but in different ways. There are many kinds of love, and my love for him does not feel like the romantic, forever love of a Husband or a Boyfriend. It feels like the love of a cherished and trusted friend, a confidant. I chose the word Lover for him because I do love him, and we do play and make love, but it is a different kind of commitment that I feel for him.
Him, Rigger, Mentor, Dominant, Boyfriend. He and I have gone through many stages of our relationship. Growing closer over the last two years, taking things one step at a time. We began trying to define things around the turn of the year, or rather we tried to move forward without truly defining things, and found that it would not work anymore. After some stumbling, we defined what we had and what we wanted, and what boundaries that created for us, to keep us and our relationships safe. I love him, but more than that, I am In love with him. In the life-sharing, forever kind of way, and I am incredibly grateful that his wife is accepting of my love for him.
Compersion is an important concept in how I do poly. I love my Husband, my Lover and my Boyfriend, and because I love them, I want to see them happy. Their other partners bring love and happiness to their lives, so I am happy for them, and those relationships. I do not always want the details about how their other partners are making them happy, but sometimes it is fun to share the excitement and experiences, and it is definitely fun to share the energy created by those experiences. Jealousy still crops up, and relationships are not always happy, but over all, I know that love is not divided between us, it grows and expands to include everyone in our lives.
Polyamory has been a quite a journey, and I am still exploring the path.
December 30th, 2009
Forty posts and four hundred tags. I like those numbers, nice and round. I couldn’t think of anything to post earlier today because I didn’t want to change those numbers. They looked nice and comforting to me. It’s the end of the year, and I’ve only been posting for about seven months, so those numbers look nice and solid.
But what’ve I been posting about?
Looking at tags, my stats tell me I have 11 posts on Rope and Control, 10 on Love, Pain and Suspension, 9 on Bondage and 8 on Sex.
That’s a pretty good summation of things, I’d say, with another 393 tags to give life variety and make it interesting.
My top five(six, because 5th place is a tie) most popular posts are: All orgasms are not created equal (61 views), Foreplay (58 views), Abandoned (57 views), 20 Hard Limits (43 views), Fear (42 views) and Just For Him (42 views). My bottom five(again, six because fifth is a tie) least viewed posts are: Labels (1), A Closed Door (3), Flying Again (3), Processing Intense Sensations (3), Power Dynamics (4) and Welcome (4).
My biggest day was November 3rd, with 41 page views. Which helped make November my busiest month, coming in at 283 views.
Have I mentioned yet that I like numbers? They’re just so delicious. And when I press the publish button, most of these numbers will go up again.
So it has been a good year for me and I look forward to 2010 to have even more fun and connect with more people and discover new things. I hope you stick around for the ride, I’d love to hear from you.