Change

March 21st, 2013

Times, they are a’ changing.

I am living on my own these days. The details and such are not for public forums, but I’m writing this post, because I want to say that everything will be alright.

As I often say, I have an amazing life. I have been given the opportunity to do so much. To see so much and to experience so much. I have lived in different states and different countries. I have loved a lot of people and met so many more. I have had stable employment (if not always stable hours) for the last decade, while pursuing my many and varied dreams. And the end of a single, though very important, relationship, is not going to put an end to the greatness of my life.

I do not regret the relationship. I do not regret the time we spent together, and all that we shared. I only regret the pain we caused one another these last few years, but even that has made us both stronger. Has forced us to grow and to learn.

I am not alone. I still have a loving boyfriend, and his poly-cule. I still have all my chosen family, my friends and my blood family. I have love and support all around me, including that which hubby is still providing. But, I am also ready to be on my own, independent and strong.

I’ve always been afraid to live alone. Afraid I could not make it on my own. I told my parents once, when I was young, that I needed a husband to start fires and open jars. Well, I’ve long since discovered fireplace lighters, and I’m working on a solution to that jar problem(suggestions, please leave a comment). But other than stubborn Prego jars, I finally feel confident in myself.

That, my friends, is the best feeling in the world. To know, in your heart, that you can stand on your own two feet, and stride forward, chin up and eyes on your dreams. I am eager to see where life takes me next, and to steer my course where I want it to go.

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Three Years

May 17th, 2012

I started this blog three years ago this week. I’d been in the local community about one year at that point. So, four years in the kinky community. It has definitely been the “bumpy, wild and sometimes very dark” ride that I promised in that first post. I has also been wonderful, amazing and very fun. There has been love and joy. There has been anger and pain. There have been incredible highs and dizzying spirals. My life has been filled with new people, new experiences, new love, new family, and new growth, I have battled old demons, old habits, old programming, and old beliefs. I have learned new skills, new ways of being, new ways of communicating, and discovered new strengths inside myself. I have made plenty of mistakes, uncovered weaknesses, become lost and broken. But through it all, I have found support, I have learned, I have grown, and I continue to strive for better. I have found joy in helping, in serving, in teaching and in guiding others.

I have discovered things that did not work for me, but they do not make me a failure. I have learned from these experiences, just as much as any others, perhaps more. And I am still learning from them, and teaching from them. That is one of the reasons I created this blog, so others who might read it would not feel alone, would know that others are having similar experiences. I have often found it hard to write about these things when they are happening, but I think I got around to most of them eventually. Often when the problem was solved, or at least finally understood, was I able to reflect publicly on it.

I started this blog anonymously. I think it was a year before I started sharing it with people, with my significant others and with my friends in the community. About the same time that I created PervertedImp.com and started double posting at both WordPress and the .com. I still haven’t decided if I’m ever going to stop the WordPress one and just have it forward to the .com. I don’t have much of a following there, but I do have a few. (WordPressers, comment if you’d like me to keep that blog up, or just come join the rest of us at .com.) I still keep a separate Fetlife account, though the lines are getting a bit fuzzy with Modern Dungeon Quarterly posts. And it is the pen name I use for my erotica. The internet created feelings of protective anonymity in my generation, and I find it useful to keep.

Well, that paragraph went around in a lot of odd circles. Let’s move forward.

I’ve put together collections of my erotica from this blog, both stories and scene descriptions. Organized by subject matter, into short PDFs with a few things that were never posted here. Some were posted on Fetlife and some were published in Pill Hill Press’s erotica anthologies. I want to offer them to you, my readers, for free. You can find them on the new Erotica Collections page, where you can also make a donation if you like, or click over to HP Magcloud to purchase a printed copy. Each week I’ll post another one, until they are all up. I’ll also be putting together an anthology of all of them together which will be available next month.

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Memory Pain Fear

April 12th, 2012

We are not born afraid. Very young children are fearless. They don’t know there is bad in the world. It is through experience that we gain fear. It is through pain that we become afraid. Physical, mental, emotional, our own or someone we love. I wasn’t afraid of needles, snakes or sparks until I had a bad experience. Loud noises didn’t bother me until they meant pain and fear. A lot of things in the kink world, I didn’t know to be afraid of until they happened. It is that memory of the pain, of the fear, of the trauma, that triggers now. Stronger than the reality. A stun gun pressed tight against my thigh causes far less reaction than the threat and crackling of it six inches away. The memory of the pain causes fear.

Today, I remember pain. A terrible pain, full of confusion and disbelief. And I am sad and crying. But I am also afraid. Afraid of losing someone else. Afraid of reliving that pain. Afraid of being ripped wide open and bare with nothing to hold on to. Afraid it will be worse, closer. So many are far apart, I don’t see them anymore. Today I remember, but I have to let go of the fear.

My family is far and wide. Idaho to Maine to the UP of Michigan. My college family is even further. Stretching over the ocean into England and the other way to China. Both groups have a few more local. My brother and his family. A couple college friends are still in town. My chosen kinky family is here for the most part. Here full of love and support (and all the typical family drama). No matter what happens, there are plenty of people who care and who I can turn to, in one way or another. Living in fear denies their contribution to my life. With their support, I can get through anything.

One day at a time.

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Emotional Blackmail

December 10th, 2011

Finally move to my new webhosting company so I can post this week’s post. 🙂

I read Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward this week, and while there is a lot to it, and a lot that does not apply to my own situation. I found myself realizing that while I don’t let others blackmail me, I may be doing it for them. I have hot buttons from my past, that I use against myself to control my current behavior. I scare myself into behaving certain ways, even though I don’t want to. So here they are, and my attempts to disarm them.

Fear of anger or raised voices. There was hardly ever any yelling in my house as a child. Occasionally, my brother or I got yelled at, but mostly when we were too young to remember or doing something dangerous. But there was a single instance where my father yelled at my mother, called her a bad name, and she left the house. I heard the yelling, I still don’t know what it was about, and I saw her drive away. She came back, I don’t remember how long it took, but that set a hot button in my developing mind. Yelling and anger equals a loved one leaving. I struggle with that one, I fear raising anger, I fear conflict. I have become a peacemaker, which is not bad, unless it is at the expense of my own needs or wants. I blackmail myself – don’t do that, it’ll make them angry. You don’t want to see them angry. What if you make them so angry they just leave? Which is unfair to the other person, I’m not giving them a chance – to react to what I want, or to show that it doesn’t make them angry. And unfair to myself – I am not being true to who I am.

Emotional responsibility. I know I’ve talked about this before. Especially in the Ethical Slut posts. But I find it hard to not feel responsible when my partners are sad/upset/depressed. Or at least responsible for making them feel better, or to avoid causing those feelings. Obviously, none of us wants to upset our partners, but I can also take this too far, into blackmail. Don’t say that, you’ll only upset him. It’s not really that important, you don’t want to make him feel bad. Look at how miserable he is, how could you do that? But I am not the gauge of what will make a person sad. I am not responsible for how they react and deal with things. I should not avoid things because they’re uncomfortable to talk about. It only leads to deception and bottling, which is way worse than a few tears before things get worked out. I can offer to help, and keep talking through things. But I should not try to stop someone else feeling their own emotions and reactions.

Self worth. I’ve often struggled with replacement fears since becoming poly. I’ve always struggled with my self image and self esteem. Those things have been growing by leaps and bounds since I found a community here that loves and supports me for who I am. But there’s a hot button left over from college and my second boyfriend. I tried to date him a second time(or was it a third, I had an odd dating record), late in my sophomore year. He told me, he didn’t need the ego boost that dating me gave him anymore. He was popular now. What a strange thing to say, and even odder still to internalize. What it wrote in my head was, I’m only needed by guys who aren’t confident or popular, I’m just an ego boost until someone better comes along. This has played a major role in my replacement fears – worrying the new girl is better than me, so I won’t be needed anymore. It took a much stronger sense of self, this last time, to not go there. I am finally fully confident in my worth, and did not feel that I even Could be replaced.

 

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What’ve You Got To Lose?

December 1st, 2011

A journal entry from earlier this week:

The longer you’ve been around, the more you have to lose. As wife, before girlfriends exist, you have everything. All the love, time, attention, interest. Then comes girlfriend, and love multiplies, but time and attention are divided, and if you’re lucky, interest gets multiplied by the extra energy. Sometimes, though, NRE can make it feel like she gets more and you get less. It can take time to rebalance.

The cycle continues for girlfriend. You get all you can until second girlfriend arrives. Then, by the needs of reality, time and attention are further divided, love is multiplied, and interest fluctuates, hopefully ending up in the positive direction. As more partners are added, balance gets harder to maintain, and needs and wants are weighed more carefully.

One ripple causes waves throughout, and if it starts as a wave, storms can appear. Tidal pools of spiraling emotions, pulling everyone down until someone catches a life-preserver and pulls the rest back up.

So, how do you survive the divisions? By enjoying that which is multiplied. By believing the benefits outweigh the cost. By being heard, even when you don’t get everything you want. By being gracious, compassionate, compersive and by compromising. Life is a state of constant change, you have to keep up and ask for the love and support you need to do so.

 

This is relevant in two, completely opposite directions in my life right now. One, hubby is down to just me. This makes the time he has to spend with me greater, though my availability has not truly changed. It may, if needed, or as schedules naturally morph over time and situation. But he and I must find a new balance, as he will be home for time I’ve previously spent alone, and he may find a desire for more of my time than he currently has.

Two, he is up to a wife and four girlfriends, and his wife is changing to day shifts next week. For a while now, most of the time divided by him, has been time she is usually at work. Now, though, it won’t be, and I imagine she is feeling the sting sharper for the amount of time she now has available and the huge chunks of it already scheduled with us. So, we look for balance, not only of time between the five of us, but of place, to give her space in her home.

We don’t have answers for any of this, yet. But we are all committed to making it work. For the love we all share, and the community we are creating together, makes us all stronger and better, and fills our lives with incredible joy.

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Within Ourselves

June 10th, 2011

My academic pursuit this month, otherwise known as “I’m tired of packing project,” (unfortunately, yesterday, when I got tired, of packing I fell asleep instead of posting) is The Ethical Slut, by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt, which I posted about the first time I read it. This week, I read Part 1: Within Ourselves, and took down quotes I found pertinent or important to me. So, I thought I’d make this week’s post a discussion of those quotes. I divided them into five categories: Sex, Poly, Social Programming, Communication and Internal Struggles.

Let’s start with Social Programming. This group is about overcoming our social programming so we can live the life we want to live and be true to oneself. “Our programming is changeable.” “You are already whole.” “ Great sluts are made, not born.” “People… free of shame, would trust their own sense of right and wrong.” (pp. 6, 34, 59, 71) So, what do all these quotes mean to me?

I grew up in a religiously based household, taught ‘how things ought to be’ from a young age. One husband, one wife, kids, and pets. Sex inside marriage only. And no kinky stuff. So, the first quote, of programming being changeable. I don’t have to live with the programming my parents gave me. It worked for them, but it does not have to be mine as well. If it doesn’t work for me, then I can change it to fit myself. The third quote goes along with that. It takes work to overcome social programming, to make myself into what I want to be. I cannot just assume I have all the skills and understanding to live the way I want to live. I have to learn and grow and create my life.

The second quote. Being whole. Society likes to push marriage and kids onto us. You aren’t a grown up, until you’re married. You aren’t fulfilling your purpose until you have kids. And on and on. Not everyone wants to be married, not everyone wants to have kids. There is nothing wrong with either of these things. You are a whole person, in and of yourself, without the need for a relationship or offspring to validate your existence.

The final quote, came from Wilhelm Reich’s speeches to young Communists in Germany in 1936. He was speaking against free expression and sexuality, because this would prevent an authoritarian government. I think it is a good point, though. Without social programming telling us that what we feel is wrong and dirty, we would be free to trust our own judgment, our own selves, about what was good and right for us, and what was wrong. That would certainly reduce our unnecessary guilt and self-recriminations.

So, on that note, let’s move on to Internal Struggles, a lot of which come from Social Programming. “Each person owns her own feelings. No one ‘makes’ me feel jealous, or insecure – the person who makes me feel that way is me.” “Knowing, loving and respecting yourself is an absolute prerequisite to knowing, loving and respecting someone else.” “You must speak truth, first to yourself, then to those around you.” “Shame, and beliefs we were taught that our bodies, desires and sex are dirty and wrong, make it very hard to develop a healthy self-esteem.” “Do remember: your sexiness is about how you feel, not how you look.” (pp. 65, 67, 67, 93, 94)

To live this life, I have had to look inside me, to consider myself and my truth a lot more than I ever did before. I have to take responsibility for myself, my feelings, and my actions, something that in today’s society it seems to be more popular to blame others for. Yes, things people say or do upset me, but it is me choosing to react that way. Me choosing to let it bother me. Me choosing whether to talk to them about it, or brood silently. My choice to let negativity fester or toss it out into the light to die. To be in control of my emotions and my reactions, I have to know myself, love myself and respect myself enough to look for the truth in myself. I have to figure out what’s really going on inside me, so I can share it with those that matter.

A wonderful side effect of this lifestyle I have chosen, has been a much better body image and self-esteem. I grew up hiding my body, wearing baggy shirts and jeans year round. Boys hardly every looked at me before college, and I never gave them a reason to. One day in high school, my mother must have been having a bad day, because she told me I was fat. I took this to mean she thought I was ugly and unattractive. Just one stray comment and I held onto it for years. I didn’t believe that I weighed too much, but unattractive, absolutely.

Then I started dating, but I was still hiding in my clothes. Boys were interested in me, some told me I was attractive. But I didn’t believe them. I started having sex and doing kinky things. Boys didn’t run screaming from my body. That seemed like a good thing. My dad once told me I should get sexy underwear so I’d feel better about myself. That was strange. Dated some more, here and there and around the world. Still hiding. Got married, continued to hide, though I got cuter clothes from hubby and his mom. Other men were still attracted to me. That was strange to me. Why would they look at me? Talk to me sure, I’m bright and fun, but look at me?

We swung a bit and then became poly. We joined a few groups, and started going to events. I got more and more compliments, and people appreciating my body, my energy, my sexiness. I was encouraged to wear cuter (and shorter) outfits. I gained confidence in not just my body, but myself. The community is full of so many people of different body types, and people are attracted to them all. People are attracted to skin, to body parts, to men, to women, to everything and everyone. I learned that you don’t have to be perfect, or a certain size, shape, or height. You just have to comfortable and happy in your own skin. If you feel sexy(and sometimes even when you don’t), you are sexy.

Next, let’s explore Poly. “We tend to like our lives complicated, with lots of stuff going on to keep us interested and engaged.” “Is there some virtue in being difficult?” “The human capacity for sex and love and intimacy is far greater than most people think.” “What rewards can you foresee that will compensate you for doing the hard work of learning to be secure in a world of shifting relationships?” “I don’t have to fulfill every single thing my partner needs or wants.” “Faithfulness is about honoring your commitments and respecting your friends and lovers.” “You don’t have to force anyone into a mold that doesn’t fit: all you have to do is enjoy how you do fit together, and let go of the rest.” (pp. 7, 29, 36, 59, 59, 63, 73)

I’ll start at the top. Complicated lives. I’ve always kept busy. Band, theater, gaming, volunteering, writing, working, studying. My love life was often complicated, even before I came out as poly. I spent time with multiple guys, or with guys who had girlfriends elsewhere, or with different guys in different countries. I flirted online a lot, with men, women and couples. The first time hubby proposed to me, he was already engaged to someone else. I love order and organizing, but my life has always been fairly complicated. It’s not that I’m easy, I have standards, but I agree with Dossie and Catherine, why be intentionally difficult?

Our capacity for love and intimacy is huge. We love family, friends, lovers, pets, people we see on TV, even characters in books or shows. All in different ways, perhaps, but that’s a lot of love, and we always have more for new people coming into our lives. Why should romantic love be different? If everyone is honest and respectful, then, to me, everyone is being faithful. I always did like the song from Kiss Me, Kate with the chorus “Always true to you baby, in my fashion. I’m always true to you baby, in my way.”

Then we get to the rewards for all this learning and growing into the people we want to be. And the remaining two quotes answer that one. In poly, thanks to poly, I don’t have to try and be everything, and do everything, and fit into a mold of the “perfect partner.” I can be me, and they can be themselves, and we find out what needs we can fulfill for each other, and enjoy those things together.

This leads right into Communication, the most important thing, for me, in poly. “Consent – an active collaboration for the benefit, well-being and pleasure of all persons concerned.” “They may be shy in the seductive stages, and bolder once welcome has been secured. Women tend to want explicit permission, and for each specific act.” “Talk clearly and listen effectively.” “Being able to ask for and receive reassurance and support is extremely important.” “It’s vital to be able to give reassurance and support.” “Lots of hugging, touching, verbal affection, sincere flattery.” “You need to know how and when to say no.” “The historical censorship of discussion about sex has left us with another disability: the act of talking about sex… has become difficult and embarrassing.” “What you can’t talk about, you can hardly think about.” “Most of us have been struck dumb by the scariest communication task of all – asking for what we want.” “If you are not free to say ‘no,’ you can’t really say ‘yes.’” “You have a right to your limits and it is totally okay to say no to [anything] you don’t like or are not comfortable with.” (pp. 21-2, 49, 61, 61, 62, 62, 63, 95, 95, 101, 103, 106)

Several different subcategories here. Staring with general communication – being able to speak clearly as well as listen. I have learned, over the last few years, that what one person says and the other person hears, are not always the same thing. I have learned the importance of restating what I think the other person is trying to communicate, so he can agree, or try another way of explaining.

Being able to communicate needs and wants (as well as knowing the difference), and being able to hear the same from my partners has been vital to our relationships. I still have trouble taking about sex out loud, and am sometimes embarrassed to write about it. But we work together, and talk together, and we open with each other and I am more and more able to talk about it. It’s still not perfect, nothing ever is. But I am learning and growing, and overcoming the embarrassment and shame of my social programming.

Being able to ask for and receive reassurance and support, in any number of ways, can be hard. Why should I have doubts and need reassurance after all this time? Well, because I’m human, and imperfect and the little devil on my shoulder, or the little voice in my head gets too loud sometimes, and I need help shouting him down. And it has been very important to me, that my partners have been there to give me that. Even if all I need is a hug, or the words I love you, to calm me down, and even more so, when I’ve wanted a flogging or tight rope bondage.

Then there is consent. I like their definition: “an active collaboration for the benefit, well-being and pleasure of all persons concerned.” We want to have fun, be safe and healthy and work together for these things. Consent is for everyone, tops, bottoms, masters, slaves, doms, subs, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends. It is not just one person consenting to the other, it is both(or more) people consenting to each other. And being able to say no, is just as important as being able to say yes. You have to be able to say no, or yes doesn’t mean anything. There’s consensual non-consent, and there are no-limit slaves, but in the end, if you cannot ultimately turn and walk away, then you are not really consenting to be there.

On to happier topics – Sex. “Sex is nice and pleasure is good for you.” “We have never met anyone who has low self-esteem at the moment of orgasm.” “The existence of her clitoris was proof positive that God loved her.” “Sex is whatever the people engaging in it think it is… if you… feel sexual… that’s sex, for you.” “Sex is a healthy force in our lives.” “We like to think that all sensual stimulation is sexual, from a shared emotion to a shared orgasm.” “When sex becomes goal-oriented, we may focus on what gets us to orgasm to the exclusion of enjoying all the nifty sensations that come before (and, for that matter, after).” “Sexually successful people masturbate.” (pp. 4, 19, 27, 39. 40, 92, 96, 98)

We live in a culture of double standards. Sex sells – well, everything. But we are taught to avoid it, that it’s dangerous, that it’s only for marriage, that touching ourselves is disgusting. We are taught to be embarrassed by sexuality. But sex is wonderful, and it’s not just about intercourse, or orgasms. Being a kinky person, there are so many different ways that I find sensual and sexual pleasure. Being poly, hubby and I have a very strict definition of what sex is, in regards to our rules about who we can “have” it with. But that is about intercourse and sexual//reproductive health. We give and receive sensual and sexual stimulation with a lot of different people, in a lot of different ways, including our own selves. Intercourse is great, orgasms are great, but they are not the end all and be all of our sexual lives. We like things complicated, remember? I really enjoy the sex-positive nature of this book and the confidence it reminds me to have about myself and my desires in a culture that tells me I am wrong and disgusting in so many ways. I love my life, and I am happy with who I am.

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The Writing on My Thighs

March 17th, 2011

What’s really there is that I have an awesome boyfriend who loves me, who trusts me, and who wants to continue our journey together, in life and in kink.

What’s really there is several new paths we are taking, one including an awesome woman who has decided to be our toy.

What’s really there is stressful work and health situations that are not who we are, but simply things we are doing and dealing with.

What’s really there is drama in our worlds and families that we need to deal with and solve together, supporting each other.

What’s really there is amazing opportunities for love and companionship and play and fun together, that I never would have thought possible five years ago.

 

These sentences are currently written on my thighs. I wrote them in a chat yesterday, and we decided I ought to write them on myself for a little while. “Until the message sinks in,” you might say. I need practice focusing on the positive. I need to not let the negative build up and build up, because “it’s just a little thing,” until it becomes a whirlwind of fear, doubt and crazy. I’m a writer, a good thing, but also bad. I write stories in my head, make assumptions, fill in the blanks. I live inside my head a little too much. I need to remember there are other people out there, often right beside me, who have the real answers, the actual truth of the matter, and sometimes, a far better grip on reality than the tangled mess I sometimes get myself into. Speculative fiction is awesome to write and sell and share, but reality is strange enough without me getting creative on it.

So, lesson of the week: Communicate!

How many times have I written about communication? And yet…

Things are far easier to deal with and discount and conquer when they are small. And nothing is too small to mention. A grain of sand creates a pearl, but a fleck of metal can blind you and a single spark can burn down a forest. He is good at noticing when something is wrong or off, but I am not always so good at realizing he is right. So, communication. Don’t dismiss it when he questions, really look and try to shake loose the thought that is keeping me off balance by hiding in the corner. Life is always crazy and busy and stressful, but letting things bottle and build up is only going to make things worse. Explosions are far more damaging than a firecracker. Just don’t hang on too tight, toss it up in the air and see what it looks like in the light.

 

I am loved. I am wanted. I am needed. I am worthy.

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Renegotiation

September 10th, 2010

When you’re going to play with someone new, you talk about the scene, you talk about limits, you talk about health. When you’re going to play with someone you’ve been with for awhile, sometimes you don’t talk at all. You just do what you’ve always done. Play in the boundaries you’ve always had, or push the boundaries you know you can push. So what happens when the rules change? What happens when the boundaries get drawn differently? How do you take a step back and say, okay, that place is off limits for now?

I was writing about renegotiation of my submission yesterday, and the comment came to mind that it was incomplete submission. That without giving up all control, I was holding back, keeping something from him. Over the last six months, I had been striving to not hold back, to give him all the control he would take. So, for me to say that I cannot do that right now, that I have to put a limit back on the table, was difficult. The dream of no-limits submission is seductive, but it is not always possible. Even in the way we were doing it – in short spaces of time, not 24/7.

I find myself struggling with my sense of self – self awareness, self confidence. There is a picture on a book about the female brain that is a large mass of tangled phone cord. In one of my favorite fantasy books, the city designed by the female deity is akin to a labyrinth. Sometimes I feel that way about my own mind, it takes me a while to navigate and process and distill what is really going on for me. A friend commented she thought I had been getting better at this over the last few months, or at least at articulating it. She gets to talk to me only after I have done a lot of processing, though. I want to be better at on the spot self awareness. As well as the confidence to trust in myself and my instincts and act on them in the moment.

What does all this mean? What am I on about? Some of our more rough mental play hit harder than expected, and I had trouble dealing with it appropriately. I broke and let things spin out of control. Now I have to heal and grow, and pick up the pieces. I aim to come out of this an even stronger person than before. I have a wonderful life, and so many amazing people in it, who support and love me and help me grow.

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I Need You, Baby

July 29th, 2010

I told Hubby last night, that I can do all the things I do because I know, no matter what, I have him to come home to, forever. Once upon a time, when we were dating, he called me his Rock. I was more stable and grounded and he could always count on me, to be there for him. He is that for me, too. My life is crazy and busy and wonderful, but no matter how busy, how crazy, how much running around I do, I can always come home to him. Even if he is out when I get here, I know, that if I need him, he will always be there for me. His love and support do not waver. He is my Husband, my Master, my Primary partner. I love him, I want him, and I need him. I am so grateful to have him in my life.

A short post this week, but important. I have some work I want to get done. I am compiling journal entries, emails, chats, and random writings from over the last two years. Lots of thoughts come up and mill about while I am doing that, but today, this was what I wanted to say.

Thank you, Hubby, for all that you do and all that you are. I love you.

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