Try Love, Not Anger

January 18th, 2016

I read a post by a good friend of mine today, and it raised two topics in my mind, (one I have posted on before). Today’s post was about not taking things personally when people ask questions about your lifestyle choices. My favorite section of the post was:

“Everyone has their own stories, their own experiences, their own truths, and their own filters that they view the world through…why get angry because someone didn’t ask something in the right way? Or assumed something? Or had a wrong definition? Are you angry because you are truly angry? Or because you’ve read an article that says you should be angry if someone asks you insensitive questions.”

With all the political correctness going around, we tend towards offense if questions are asked in an insensitive way, or asked based on incorrect assumptions. She suggests that one not take it personally, but rather as a chance to share one’s truth. I think this is a great outlook, and a good way to face a critical world.

  • “Why aren’t you happy with just one partner?” Well, I am happy with one partner, but I am also happy when I have two.
  • “Aren’t you cheating on both of them if you have two partners?” No, in fact, they are both fully aware of each other and supportive of my relationships with each other.
  • “How could you let him do that to you?” We only do what we have both agreed and consented to do. These are things we both enjoy, is there a particular scene or interaction you did not understand?

People’s questions are not about you. They are about misunderstandings, about the person’s own beliefs and stories, the way they view the world. If you take offense and don’t take the time to think about why they asked the question, you’ll just perpetuate their misunderstandings, beliefs, and stories. So, next time you are offended by a question, try to take a breath, and answer with love and sharing, instead of anger.

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List Fifteen – Relationship Questions

February 15th, 2014

Ideal Pre-Relationship Discussions

  1. Are you poly, what’s your flavor of poly, do you currently have partners, what are your agreements?
  2. What should I know about your physical/mental/sexual health?
  3. What are your interests (kinky and vanilla)?
  4. What are your boundaries and limits?
  5. What are your intentions and expectations?
  6. What are your needs, wants, and desires in regards to me?
  7. Why do you want this relationship?
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Lists, Clothes and Betterment

January 30th, 2014

Today when I logged in I had over 1600 comments in the spam folder. Wouldn’t it be nice if that many people had actually visited my blog in the past week? But no, I average around a 100 a week, 200 if I’ve been posted to e[lust] recently. Ah well, the spam machines are busy, and Akismet does its job.

So, in 2011, I did 30 Days of Kink in January. In 2012, I did 31 Days of Gratitude in January. Last year, I was just surviving. This year, I was slacking. 😉 So, I’m going to make up for it in February. I’m going to do 28 Days of Lists. I’ve only come up with 12 so far, so if you have ideas, drop me a note, a comment, a tweet, whatever. They tell me lists are a good form of blogging, so I hope you enjoy them.

Next weekend is Winter Wickedness. I am very excited. There are so many great presenters coming, and so many interesting classes available. Not to mention the parties and the fun. It’s going to be a great weekend. He actually made a clothing request this year – skater skirts. So we each got one and are creating an outfit around it. I’m not sure what I’m wearing the second night. More thrifting may be needed. I ordered a new dress off Amazon, but they say it won’t arrive til the end of February, so that’s not going to work. I’m sure I’ll come up with something fun and shiny.

Been reading Bootblacking 101 by Andrew McDiarmid. Finding I like his talking about the experience more than his initial instructions. It is old school leather, so very much the boy in the leather bar, but the mentality is still something I can relate to. “You are a Bootblack.”

I also decided to step out of my shell a bit and bought a ticket for a service intensive. Not that service is out of my shell, but going to a kink ‘event’ without a partner, and taking steps to spend a day with like-minded individuals bettering myself as a service submissive. I’ve never even gone to a submissive roundtable before. But I know I will be surrounded by friends from this community and friendly new people I have yet to meet. It isn’t until April, but I’m looking forward to it very much.

Speaking of bettering myself and lists, my best friend made a really good suggestion to me today, that she uses in her own life. When stressing out, write things down in a list. Things That are Stressing Me Out, for instance. Acknowledging things so they are less scary is what I use my journals for. Getting it out of my head so I can see it. But the next step she suggested is important, too: look at those things and see if you can do anything about any of them. Make the things you can do into a To Do list. Do those things, or if you are already doing those things, realize that you are doing all that you can (and stressing isn’t going to help). And if there are things that you can’t do anything about, stop fretting over them (again, stressing isn’t going to help). That’s the simplified version, but it is definitely something I need to do more often.

There was also an article about asking better questions which caught my eye this week. While I found some of her questions strange, the point of the article held true. “How was your day?” or “How are you?” rarely get informative answers. Asking more personal questions, that have direct relevance to their life, will facilitate better answers and more communication. Something to keep in mind as you go about your day.

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Day Twenty – Do You Understand

January 20th, 2011

Talk about something within kink/BDSM that you’re curious about/don’t understand.

I don’t understand you (I don’t understand you)
I just don’t understand you (I don’t understand you)
I don’t understand the things you say
I can’t understand a single word
I don’t understand you (I don’t understand you)
I just don’t understand you (I don’t understand you)
I cannot understand you (I don’t understand you)
I don’t understand you (I don’t understand you)
~They Might Be Giants, Fingertips, Apollo 18

I don’t always understand the other side of the coin. I am grateful that my partners want to do to me the things I like, but I don’t always understand where their enjoyment of it comes from. Sometimes I remember to ask, I must do that more often.

He and I had a recent discussion about how both perspectives are important. That hearing from both the top and the bottom when learning a new skill helps everyone to understand it. This was a very good point, and one I hope to work harder to include in my journey.

My 30 Days of Kink

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Communication, Emotion & Insecurity

January 6th, 2011

I am woman, hear me roar?

So many things in that one little phrase and the way I typed it. I am woman – identity. Hear me – communication. Roar – emotions. Question mark – insecurity. I am secure in my identity, especially as a woman, but it is those other three things that trip me up. On a fairly consistent basis.

I am a writer, I communicate well through the written word. But that is almost always an impractical form of communication in the real world. I cannot write things down for my day job. I cannot sit with a notebook with my friends. I cannot use a whiteboard when I am talking to my loved ones. But, as I have posted over and over again on this blog, communication is of Utmost importance. In life, in poly and in kink. And in most of these cases, it needs be Verbal Communication.

Here is where the other two things come into play for me. Emotion and insecurity.

I am an emotional person and I am not entirely at peace with that. I cry when I’m upset or angry, and I am certainly not at peace with that. I have been working on both of these things. Accepting my emotional reactions, and letting them manifest through tears. I started to type there “when necessary” or “when appropriate,” but that is the trouble. I try to judge my emotions and bottle them if I think them too much. Now, it is a given that crying makes it harder for me to verbalize, and that is another reason I try to stifle it. However, that does nothing for communication. My emotional reaction, my tears, are part of communication. If I am upset, stifling the tears only stifles the communication of my reaction. If I hold it back, bottle it, and do not react, I am not honestly communicating how I feel.

This leads into insecurity. Sometimes, I feel like I am overreacting, or that my reactions are wrong. I let myself feel like my reactions, wants or even needs are not as important or are inappropriate and therefore do not deserve being communicated. I worry that my words won’t come out right and won’t communicate what I really mean or am thinking. I worry that I’ll say the wrong thing and offend someone. This also leads to me not asking questions when I am not clear. I feel like I should be clear, or I should work it out myself, or I’ll upset them by questioning them because I should understand what they said. It’s a vicious cycle that needs breaking.

So, where does this put me?

Thanks to a conversation with him this week, I was at a breaking point. This time, however, it’s a breaking point where I have found the leverage for positive change. This time, I’m taking the peak emotions and using them to move forward instead of curling in on myself. Through meditation, writing and discussion with him. I am able to see these problems more clearly than ever before and create a path to growth.

One, I need to ask questions. I need to trust that people do allow for my crazy. And if I need it to get the question out, I can always say, hey, this sounds crazy, but… because sounding crazy in the moment, and getting it solved, even if it is hard, is far better than holding onto it. Because that can lead to assumptions and false stories that only eat away at me.

Two, I need to allow myself to react. I need to not judge my reactions because that only leads to bottling and unclear communication. Tears are not bad, they simply are a reaction. Obviously, if I’m crying, then something needs to be talked about. Not allowing that reaction out simply allows the problem to continue, perhaps unnoticed.

So, let’s try that first sentence again, with feeling, confidence and sincerity.

I am woman, hear me roar!

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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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Kneel and Reflect

March 18th, 2010

He asked how I wanted to be conditioned when I was already kneeling at his feet. I told him that kneeling was special to me. I thought I had given him clues to that before, but I had never told him outright that I liked it. That I wanted it, craved it.

He taught me the position he wanted me to practice then. Knees spread comfortably wide, to allow access and increase the feeling of vulnerability. Sitting on my heels, feet flat on the ground. Sit up straight and tall, shoulders back and chin only slightly lowered. Hands, palm up on my thighs, with fingertips at knee caps and thumbs pointing outward.

He asked me to practice that position, starting with five minutes, adding one minute at a time, until I could maintain it for thirty minutes. I set myself a goal, to be at thirty by March 26th, the last weekend of the month. I will be at twenty-five minutes when I kneel today and I still have not found a solution to the onset of high levels of pain around the fifteen minute mark. The numbness and tingling after is far less of an issue than simply maintaining the position through the pain.

The last few times, I have ended up repeating a mantra of “My pain for his pleasure” to get me through to the end of the time I have set for myself. It becomes an exercise in breathing, concentration and control. At home, I am kneeling barefoot on carpet, I have not even begun to try to train up kneeling in shoes or boots, though that is how I kneel for him at the club. Wearing boots puts a different angle on my feet and knees, but in both cases, it is my ankles that have the most trouble with this position.

So why do I do it? It is a connection to him, time out of my day when I do something for him, whether he is near me or not. It gives me time to reflect on our relationship, on our scenes and on our recent discussions. I have time to think about questions he has asked me, and the answers I have not yet found or given. It is a time when the rest of life is set aside and I just focus on him and us. I usually do Tai Chi and Yoga before kneeling, to bring my mind down and let go of the world so by the time I get to kneeling, I am ready to simply sit and reflect. I do not always find answers there, but I always at least find new thoughts and new questions. It leads me further along my path, helps me find more clarity. I keep myself fairly busy all the time, but when I am kneeling, I am forced to stop and be quiet and still. It brings peace into my life, and strengthens my connection to him.

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