Then this happened…

My travel day from Mexico was something of a clusterfuck. The morning had started nice – M (my Canadian) and K and I had coffee and snuggles and played a little and talked and it was, truly, a lovely goodbye, if one can say that about saying goodbye to people you know you won’t see for probably another year. (I hope it’s not that long, but you never know.)

But it quickly went downhill from there.

The plan was to take K to the ferry to go on her own little adventure to Cozumel before taking me to get Covid tested and then to lunch, and then to the airport for the start of my 10-hour travel day. But we dawdled too long (none of us wanted to actually start the goodbye process, I think) at the apartment and K ended up literally having to run to catch the ferry. M and I knew where the ferryport was from the drop-off point, and pointed it out to her, watching as she hurried away from us. But as she disappeared into the crowd, I suddenly asked M to pull over so I could run after her to make sure she made it on. I ran all the way down to the port, looking for her, but finally had to give up, hoping I hadn’t seen her because she had got on okay. We did tell her to message us as soon as she was aboard, which, five minutes after I got back to the car, she did. Mission accomplished – but that sense of anxiety was to stay with me the rest of the day and night.

It started with an overweight bag at the airport, and the super-friendly-trying-to-be-helpful ticketing agent insisting I “just repack” some of my checked bag into my carry-on (10 lbs worth) to save me the $100 overweight fee. Right there at the check-in counter, with hundreds of people in line behind me. In a mask, my glasses fogging, and already feeling the anxiety from the morning and from having to rush around to find a Covid-testing station. And from knowing that when I opened my bag it might not rezip (the zipper had been off the track that morning and had taken 20 minutes to get sorted out) and that I had BDSM implements and sex toys in my bag that very easily could fall out. Right there in front of hundreds of people. I was more than willing to just pay the $100 – she was more than willing, insistent even, to help me save the fee. I capitulated and reorganized, amazingly not dumping whips and canes and a Hitachi on the floor, and managing to rezip the damn thing. (The airport personnel were not as lucky, I don’t think, as when I got my bag back in StL it had been thoroughly rifled through – but at least they didn’t confiscate anything, as they had in Cuba – I lost a Hitachi there.)

Anyway. The rest of the day was a jumble of not being able to charge my phone in the airport or on the plane, having to go through customs, retrieve my bag and recheck it as well as go through the TSA lines in Miami again, and then traverse the entire Miami Dade airport, lugging my now-20 lb carryon bag on my shoulder. All this cost me so much time I almost missed my connecting flight, even though I had a two-hour window between one and the other, and had planned to get a bite to eat in that window. As it was, all I had to eat all day was a bag of M&M’s and some pretzels on the plane. I was harried, exhausted, stressed out and starving by the time Adam picked me up in St. Louis at ten o’clock that night, and so so sick of my mask, that had been on since arriving at the airport that morning.

And, hanging over my head this whole time was the certainty that I was going to have to tell Q, my Sir, that things were just not working for me.

As it was, he was the one that brought it up in a phone call a couple of days later. It was amicable enough. There just wasn’t the spark between us that there had been early on. I’m guessing that the spark flickered out because I set off on my Mexico travels too early in the “bonding” phase of things, and he didn’t know how to create and maintain a long-distance connection. But that was valuable information to learn sooner than later, as any partner of mine does need to have that skillset – and desire. If I can travel, I will. Often spur-of-the-moment, and often with – or to – someone, but on my own as well. Working remotely has given me the ability to do that, and now that I have the bit in my teeth, I can see it happening again. Maybe not for three weeks, and maybe not to Mexico…but. It’s a possibility. I had thought – hoped – that he would be a lovely kinky hiking partner, and that we’d have three or four day weekends hiking, playing and cabin-ing, but during my trip I had come to realize that it probably wasn’t going to be. Still, I held out hope, until that last travel day, when he was too busy to text or call me for even ten minutes all that long, torturous day, when I was having a mini-meltdown and needed a strong, calming presence – preferably my Dominant’s – to help anchor me. I realized in that moment he had already checked out of the relationship, and probably had weeks before. I had known it, felt it in my gut, but hadn’t wanted to acknowledge it.

That’s one lesson I hope to have learned from this experience – trust my gut. My instincts had said he was just going through the motions a lot earlier, but I held on, hoping that when I got back, we’d put things to rights, and that it had just been the distance between us that had stalled things. After all, I was still really invested in the daily habits and tasks he had me do, even if none of them were sexy fun. I like having a Dominant. I crave it, really, and love being a submissive. I like having tasks, being told what to do, accomplishing the things I have been tasked with. Obeying, and feeling that I have pleased my Top. I hoped that once we had time together again, the sexy part of things would be there as well. But I think I knew, even before I left, that his heart wasn’t in it the way mine was. Not “heart” as in love, but as in the desire to form a strong, sexual D/s bond. And if I had been honest with myself – if I had listened to my gut – I would have admitted a lot earlier that I wasn’t feeling that pull to him, either. I do think he will make a good Dominant to someone – just not to me. I need obedience, but I also need heat, and it just wasn’t there for us.

The Second Price

There’s a blog I enjoy a lot called Raptitude. Raptitude is “a blog about getting better at being human.” Yesterday’s reading, Everything Must be Paid for Twice, really resonated with me. The “second price” of everything is the effort we must expend to enjoy, or benefit from, the things we buy – or even, extrapolating here, the relationships we embark upon.

For instance, in his post, he talks about buying a book. The first price is the cost of the book. The purchase gives you happiness – you have this new book you’ve been wanting to read! But the second price is the cost of time and effort in reading it. You can’t fully benefit from the purchase of the book until you expend the time and energy to actually read it. And yet, convincing ourselves to actually spend that time/focus/energy is sometimes really hard.

This extends to lots of things. The tarot journal I bought at Christmas, the budgeting, yoga and menu planning apps, the treadmill, the garden, all my beautiful, colorful yarn, and even the puzzles and games I have bought over the years. I have books I’ve never read, games that have never even been opened, summer plants that I could have wintered over with proper care but that I let die. The treadmill – while it got a lot of use at first – has sat unused for all of the winter, when it should get the most use.

But using them, getting use out of them, costs that second price: effort. Attention. Perseverance. It’s easier to let myself do things with a low second price – play phone games, zone out to television, lose myself in social media – than to expend the effort of the second price that these things demand.

And yet it is that very effort that makes the first price so worthwhile, and every time I expend it, I am glad that I did. I have recent examples: finishing my year-ahead reading in my tarot journal, using my specialty winter gear to hike in blisteringly cold weather, completing my budget in the new app I downloaded. I finished an afghan I’ve been working on forever and discovered new games that I love. Cooking delicious meals.

Our latest Ticket to Ride game.
Winter hiking.
A year of perseverance – worth every minute to see my Mom smile when I gave it to her.
The year ahead.

Other things – things that feel like they demand a higher price, like the treadmill and the yoga app and the sock organizer (lol) – well, I just need to remind myself that the first price is only worth it if I pay the second price – and it is the effort that the second price takes that makes it all worthwhile.

So what about relationships? How does this apply?

For me, the first price of finding a new kink/D/s relationship, was vulnerability. Allowing myself to be open to a new relationship, to the angst and potential rejection and pain it could bring. That was a steep first price, but, ultimately, one I paid… as I always will.

And the second price? Why the work, of course, in developing and embracing a healthy D/s dynamic. But oh how the work makes it worth it.

It’s Been a Minute

All right, more than one. And yes, it seems like every time I come back I say, “hey, I’ve been gone awhile, but I’m trying to come back!” And then I never really do. Call it a lack of inspiration…the pandemic…the breakup…a loss of my sense of self as a kinky person, as a sexual person. Or laziness or fear or… I don’t know what, or why. I guess the thing to do is to stop trying to analyze it and just…do it.

Or don’t. That’s also acceptable.

I’d been thinking about doing a 2021 retrospective. To try to sum up all the things that happened over the year, gain some perspective on them, move beyond them. But damn, it was such a shitty year in so many ways. Not just for me and mine, but for the world. I am so over raking through all of it in my head. I got over that shit, damn it. I don’t need to stab myself in the heart anymore.

I have finally reached a place where I am not stabbing myself in the heart all the time. Yeah, regrets poke at me occasionally, but…there are many – many – times that I think, “I’m glad it’s over.” I’m glad I am free of the angst of six difficult years. I am glad for what I learned from it, and for who I have become in the aftermath – and I won’t ever regret loving him, or all the fun and high-jinx we got up to – but, at least the last two years, maybe three, all that was wrong overshadowed the rest.

I don’t blame him – or her – or me, for that matter, for what happened to us. We were all complicit in our own ways. I wish I’d known…well so much more. But I guess that is what experiences are for, to teach us, if we will learn.

So, the year has passed, and here we all are. New beginnings, and all that.

Here’s some fun stuff that happened toward the end of last year, Adam’s birthday, actually, and I think when I was just starting to know that I was going to be okay, I was going to survive my broken heart. I was going to be okay, even if I didn’t find someone new (although I did, quite by accident, but that’s another tale.) But this weekend happened to be the one that I said to myself, “I can do this.” It’s also the weekend that I “got my kink back.”

The border between the US and Canada had finally opened, and my Canadian Top, M, had come down to visit me. He stayed with us for two weeks, and I got to have someone share my bedroom with me (we built the house with a master bedroom and a separate “kinky” bedroom, for me.) Only V had been in it before, and…it had always been his and my bedroom in my mind, though he’d only stayed here three times before we broke up. But it left me feeling…conflicted…about the space. I love my bedroom, but I couldn’t sleep alone in it anymore. (I am a restless sleeper and had often started out in the big bedroom with Adam only to decamp to my room when I was unable to go back to sleep after awakening.) But when we broke up, it hurt to be in that room, imagining the last night we’d stayed there together, when I had thought we were just taking a break…only to break up completely 3 months later.

(Sometimes I wonder – was that his intent all along? Was he just too cowardly to make a clean break? But that’s the bitterness coming out. I have to believe he was as conflicted and confused as he purported to be, as I was, and intended that we would come back from that time away healthier in mind and spirit, with a desire to forge a stronger, healthier relationship. Of course there is also a part of me that recognizes and reminds myself that a “stronger, healthier” relationship wasn’t possible, for so many reasons – reasons that ultimately made me glad that it ended.)

But I digress.

M was here, and we shared the bedroom, and it helped banish the ghosts that V had left behind.

One of the weekends while he was here was Ad’s birthday. Adam and I had had a wonderful week away about a month earlier, that ended in an impromptu stay in Louisville, in which – because it was impromptu – we were unable to do the two things that I had wanted to do there: watch live racing at Churchill Downs and do a couple distillery tours. So, with M here (who I knew also enjoyed horse racing) we went back to Louisville and celebrated in style, going to the races, doing distillery tours, having amazing food, and – because I’m me, and a trip away always has to = kink in some form – a lovely kink session with the two of them.

The setup: I offered (sweet, giving woman that I am) to take Ad’s bday spankings. To accomplish this, I suggested that each of us choose 5 implements from my extensive collection of ass-beating toys. We all did.

And then, after a heart-pounding and amazingly exciting day at the races…

My shit-eating grin after winning on a horse called “A Girl with a Dream.”
Mint Juleps, because you have to, right?
Me losing (“Pink Horse”) and Adam winning.

And after some interesting distillery tours…

We ended up back at the AirBnB with me half naked and them with implements of destruction in their hands (I know, shocking.) Here’s the fun part: they offered to only do part of Adam’s fifty-six whacks with each implement – totaling fifty-six – but I said, no! Fifty-six whacks with EACH one…not adding up the total in my head because, well, I’m me… 15×56 in other words. And I had to count each one.

And much hilarity ensued.

Wicked Wednesday

Endings, & Self-Care

As the “hiatus” with my kink partner looks more and more like it’s an “ending,” I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care, and trying to practice it as much as I am capable of doing. Sometimes, no amount of self-care helps, and there’s just the tears, the self-recriminations, the anxiety, the what-if’s. It’s hard to walk around my house and not think about him being here, sitting at the harvest table, with me in my bedroom, showing him all that I’ve accomplished over these past months in making my house a home. It hurts like a toothache – unending, always in the back of my mind until a sharp pain brings it to the fore. But…as time goes by the pain is dulling, dulling just to an ache. Maybe, someday, it won’t even hurt anymore at all. It’ll be like I got that tooth pulled, and just every once in awhile my heart will dip into the empty hole, probing the phantom ache. I don’t know. Meanwhile, self-care looks like this:

  • Not drinking too much. I have had a tendency to drown the ache in my heart – or try to. It never works for long. So I’ve been making a concerted effort not to drink so much while we go through this.
  • Exercising regularly. This is a challenge when all I want to do is curl up in a ball on the sofa and cry, but I have been moderately successful at making myself do a run when it gets to be too much. Running really does help clear my head, though sometimes the tears still come and then I am running, blinded by tears, and hoping no one sees me.
  • Keeping up with housework. This is a weird one. But when I organize and clean, it helps alleviate the tight ball of ache in my chest, and wandering around a clean, orderly house also helps.
  • Doing my crafts and working in the yard. Always my go-to when my head is too full and my heart is heavy. Making a beautiful piece of art, decorating my house with favorite photographs, growing flowers and herbs has always been part of me, and turning to these activities when my heart is heavy or my anxieties are ratcheting skyward usually helps.
  • Self-love. This is a harder one, as my orgasms were (and still are) so tied to him & the fantasies he spun for me. He had control of my sex for almost six years, and when we went on hiatus, that didn’t end for me. He discarded his responsibility for them without a backward glance, but my heart and my cunt stayed his. I’ve been trying to pleasure myself at least once a day this past week, when I realized that things might be heading to an end rather than just a temporary break, but it’s been…well, an act of determination each time, rather than pleasure. And act of will, which isn’t the best way to approach it. But I have to find a way to unhitch my orgasms from him, and this seems the only way to do it.
  • Therapy. I’ve been seeing a therapist since we started this, and it helps to have someone to parse all this out with. At times I wonder if she is sick of me moaning about my father’s, brother’s and sister’s deaths, Warren’s death, and now what feels like the impending death of this relationship, but I guess that’s her job, poor thing. I’ve wanted to quit a few times, but have stuck with it. I do believe it is an act of self-care to continue.
  • Dating. How is that an act of self-care? Sometimes I am not sure it is. Dating – no matter how lovely the people are that I date – is hard. So much easier to be around someone that knows you inside and out, that you don’t have to be “on” for. But the truth of the matter is that he didn’t always know me inside and out, nor I him – we had to date to learn each other, as I have to do with anyone new. But as an introvert, it can be a challenge. But dating – as hard as it is – is fun, too, and affirming. I feel alive and exciting and attractive – and attracted – again when I’m doing it. It reminds me there was love and kink before my kink partner, and there will be love and kink again.
  • Playing with others. This is important too, because that, also, was so deeply tied to him that I have wondered if I could enjoy it with anyone else. I have discovered that I can, and I intend to explore that more. Owning these things about myself will only make me stronger.
  • Being gentle with myself. This is perhaps the most difficult task of all, because being gentle or kind to myself feels like excusing myself, absolving myself, of all the ways I messed up throughout the past 6 years – hell, my whole life – and I am not good at forgiveness when it comes to my failings. But I am trying (therapy helps.) Being gentle with myself also means letting myself cry when I need to cry, and letting myself be happy or enjoy the moment – whatever the moment is – when it is available to me. This last is harder than letting myself cry, oddly enough. I had a lovely day at our Botanical Gardens on a first date last weekend, and was able to enjoy and stay in the moment, for the most part. But there is still part of me that says, how can you be smiling, how can you be happy, when your heart is breaking?
  • Spending time with friends and family. I’ve made a concerted effort to honor my time commitments with friends and family. So often it would be easier to just stay home and hide. But I feel better after time spent with them (even if sometimes time with my aging parents is fraught with other anxieties.) But my world had more or less closed down to my kink partner and Ad (as I am wont to do) even as I realized it wasn’t healthy. It really is what I do: I don’t need that much stimulation in my life, or so I think. But I have realized that was an error, especially in this relationship. And so I am trying to unlearn my hermiting habits and take advantage of the wide circle of friends, family, and playmates that I have, deepening and broadening our relationships, if I can, and giving more of myself in doing so.
  • Appreciating my nesting partner. What more can I say? Showering him with gratitude and love for all that he is and does, for all that he has brought to my life, for always being there, steady, loving, stalwart and generous of heart – it’s an act of self-care, because remembering how loved I am is important, and remembering how much I love him even more so.

a to z challenge – p is for pikachu

But probably not the Pikachu you may know (and, if you’re me, love – yep, I’m a Pokemon Go player, and I wanna catch’em all! Okay, I’ll stop there. But seriously, if you play and want to friend me, I’m PiecesofJade on there too – I always like to gather new Pokie friends!) Anyway, this post is only tangentially about something Pikachu-like, but it made the “p” for the Alphabet Challenge work, so here we are:

That’ right, it’s a Pikachu Buttplug. As my local kink partner used to say – anything can be made kinky. So what’s up with the Pikachu buttplug? Well, I’ve started accepting tasks from my long distance dominant partner, M (the Canadian, as I usually refer to him.)

This hiatus that my local kink partner and I are on is necessary for us both, but it’s left a vacuum in my life where I used to have the structure of a loving, rules-based D/s relationship. (It’s also left a big hole where there used to be sex and kink, but that’s another story.) Now, I am not rushing in to have those needs met by just anyone else. What we had was deep and abiding, and can’t be replaced by some dial-a-Dom on the internet. Nor am I ready to give up entirely on it coming back to us, and as such, that part of my submission truly is still his to Own, if he ends up wanting it back. But meanwhile…meanwhile, there is this hole inside of me, there are these needs I have.

Step in – and up – My Canadian. He knows me as well as any, and he recognized that I’ve been kind of floundering about without the structure that D/s provides, and he asked if I would like to engage in some D/s-based activities with him while things get figured out with my local partner. I miss the structure of rules-based D/s, and he has always wanted to engage in more D/s with me, but the situation and timing was never right for us to do much in this way. It appears that time is nigh – I agreed, and here we are.

Week One of beauty’s tasks!

Today’s task:

It’s “Yellow Monday.
Wear one item of yellow clothing;
eat one yellow food;
find a song with yellow in the title;
find a yellow sex toy (either owned or on the internet.)”

I was not really surprised to realize I don’t have a yellow sex toy. I thought one of my glass toys would have yellow on it but was disappointed that none of them do. Oh well, that meant I could go window shopping online. And how fortuitous – someone actually wrote an entire article about yellow sex toys! And that, of course, is where I found the Piky Buttplug.

Next up, I had to finnd something yellow to wear. Strangely enough, yellow isn’t part of my wardrobe. I couldn’t even locate an blouse with yellow on it, though I know I have a summer dress or two with yellow flowers on it, but I haven’t unpacked all my summer clothes yet. But hey, I have a bright yellow jacket! So, maybe not sexy…or, maybe…?

I like that it matches my butterfly.
And check out my pandemic hair! It’s grow out a lot.

Next up, find a song with Yellow in the title. “Yellow Submarine”? How about “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree”? Nope, I went with something a little more modern, from one of my favorite bands, Counting Crows, “Big Yellow Taxi.”

And lastly, a yellow food. How about some canned peaches! (Yumm it will soon be time for fresh peaches…)


And there you have it. A Pikachu (and etc.) Task completed.

Innies, Outties & Three-Ways

This post probably isn’t anything about what you think it is, considering the title – though things that go in and out and three-ways are delightful topics, and ones I think about often. (I know, you probably thought I was talking about belly buttons, didn’t you?)

But no, this post is about introverts (innies) and extroverts (outties.) And three-ways? Three-way relationships, not sex. (Tho three-way sex is often part of this particular three-way relationship.)

Where to start…  Maybe the beginning?

So. Once upon a time I was sick. And alone, and miserable. I was also probably dropping after a weekend of fun and bondage and play.  And because I was alone, and felt needy, and didn’t get the attention I wanted, I got my feelings hurt. And…I said so. The problem is, my timing sucked. W had his own emotional shit going on, and my shit collided with his shit and…well…shit hit the fan. And went everywhere. I couldn’t know how badly it sucked, I didn’t know that the person on whom I unloaded (W) would have the emotional reaction he did, and worst of all, I wouldn’t realize the impact it would have, or be able to address it, for several days, because of this whole “innie/outtie” thing.

It was a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Three really bad days, actually.

I don’t like this about myself, this neediness. Let me just stand up and say it: “Hi, my name is Jade, and I’m needy.”  I know, you’re not supposed to say that. Especially if you are an Evolved and Grown-Up Woman. I’m also going to admit something else that “strong” submissive-type women are probably going to look down their strong, independent noses at: I think that being submissive in my relationships heightens this neediness at times.  In particular, being submissive to W heightens my clinginess and neediness for him.  I am not needy in my “outside” world: with my family, workmates, or even, most times, with Ad. But I need W’s attention like a plant needs water; I wilt without it.  And when I am sick or dropping, when I feel most vulnerable, is when I am neediest.

But it is also when my own ability to think clearly is at its lowest, and when I might say things without my usual mindfulness, things that I realize (sometimes not until later) are hurtful. Like a hurt animal, feeling cornered by own careening emotions, I snap and snarl, when what I want and need most is a kind hand. (In my own defense, my “snapping and snarling” was the comment, “I can’t believe you were out here (by my house) and didn’t stop by. That hurts.”)

In this instance, what I said and what he heard were two vastly different things.

To my mind, being able to say that to him, to clearly say, “I am hurt by this,” was an act of bravery. Yes, I am very open in my communications. But I struggle with being open with my needs, when I feel that those needs might not be met. Being open with my neediness with W is a huge step forward for me, and is a mark of the trust I have in him and in our relationship. I have finally come to a place where I don’t think that he will reject me for it, where I am not afraid of rejection. Where I can be needy and know he still loves me.

Except that there’s still that little voice inside my head that is afraid of rejection.  That is absolutely convinced that this very vulnerability, this neediness, will cost me the relationships I value most in my life.  That one day the people I love will walk away because I need too much. Perhaps that is one reason that I crave BDSM play that brings me down to that level of vulnerability and neediness, because in play I am “safe.” I can be vulnerable there.  It is acceptable to be weak.  And afterward he holds me, with no recriminations for my weakness, and I know he still loves me: he shows me that he does, right then, right there. But if we are apart and I feel weak, feel needy, feel vulnerable, I am consumed by a kind of terror that this time he will say, “Enough!” and wash his hands of me.  Because outside of play space we are in the “real world,” and I know he wants (and admires) strong, capable women, not this needy one that I become at times.

But that is where this outtie and innie thing comes in.

I can’t not let him know what I am feeling.  I am not the strong silent type. I am not the type to hide away while I work through my emotions. I am not the type to be a good girl and keep it all inside. I spill it all, I vomit it out, I bleed out all over my sleeve.  That’s how  I process stuff.

(But also…if I am being completely honest with myself, I have to wonder if it (allowing him to see this in me) isn’t a kind of unconscious test. “Will he still love me?” Because somehow there is a part of me that doesn’t feel I deserve to be loved because I am So. Fucking. Needy. So I give him an out. And I say and do the very things that I assume will cause that exact thing to happen: he’ll go away, be disgusted, think I’m too damn difficult, too much effort. Self-fulfilling prophesy, anyone?)

And yet. The truth is, I am trying, honestly, to communicate my needs. I am both fearful of communicating them (and having them rejected, of being seen as weak and needy) and very aware that if I don’t communicate a) there is never a chance of having them met; and b) my head will explode.

Wait, wait…!  I meant to say that b) I need to get it out there, verbally or in writing, because that is how I process. I need to communicate. (Or my head will explode.)

I’m an outtie. I process externally. I need to get it out to make sense of it. Usually, that happens in this space or in writing of some sort, though, rather than in speaking directly of it. Asking for what I need is just too damn scary. (Or so it feels to me.  I am learning to do so – that is part of my own effort to grow emotionally – but it is hard.)

W’s an innie, though. He needs time and space to process, before he can talk about it. And that, at times, causes me emotional trauma and angst, especially last week. It was mostly just a result of bad timing, a sequence of events (both emotional and physical) that combined to create the “Perfect Storm,” and the added stress of that whole innie and outtie thing, but…damn, it was rough.

So we spent three days in hell, and are really just now, with lots of mutual love and support – and talking – recovering emotionally. It’s been a rough patch, but I think…in the end…that we will be better for it. I think we’ve made leaps and bounds in moving towards the middle in our communication styles, and in learning to understand each other’s styles.  I also think this will help us to avoid this sort of issue in the future.

And here’s where the three-way relationship comes into play. Ad made an interesting observation during all this. We have a V, with me being the “hinge.” As such, everything revolves, in some form or other, around me (yeah yeah, it appeals to my outsized need for attention, go figure.) That’s the upside. The downside is that when there is an emotionally weighty issue, I am also involved. If it’s my issue, of course; if it’s my issue with the Guys or theirs with me, of course; but also, if they have anything going on emotionally – this time the parts of W’s issue that weren’t with me, or Ad’s recent struggle with depression, for instance – I also get the brunt of it.

But I don’t have to bear it alone. When Ad was depressed and I was dealing with that, W was there, supporting, explaining, playing devil’s advocate, letting me vent or cry or just talk when I needed to. He was there for Ad, too, without ever having talked about the issue with him, because he constantly supported Ad to me, as well as supporting my own emotional needs. And visa versa in this whole thing with W. Ad was my rock, he held me when I cried myself to sleep, he let me vent and spew all my anxiety and fears, and he constantly supported W’s need for time and space, and encouraged me to be patient.

I talk all the time about the fun sexy aspects of three-way relationships. This episode really made me appreciate a different aspect of being in a three-way relationship, and for that (as sucky as it may have been) I am grateful.

The Boys, Me and Keith Urban

Another post from A Poly Life that rightly deserves its place here. Unfortunately the video that I originally linked to in the post is no longer available, so I’ll have to make do with a pic from that night.

Somehow, I don’t think ya’ll mind/ ;-)

(From January 2010)

I have been productive this weekend.  And kinky. Kinkily productive too. (Is that a word?)  Had an amazingly fun night last night with The Boys.  We got back from dinner at our favorite Mexican place, me a little tequila’d up (ok maybe a lot), enough to bring out Sassy Jade.  I had on boots and jeans, which I promptly stripped out of to show off the new brown lace panties and bra set I had on, then put the boots back on, because they matched. Then I pranced around, showing off, being a flirt and a tease.

I guess my boots inspired some Wild West thoughts, because the guys took me upstairs and soon had me rigged me out like a pony, hobble-chains around my booted ankles, hands chained behind my back and a bit gag in my mouth, to which Ad attached two long, thick, heavy leather reins.   And then they proceeded to try and tame the SassyJade pony. Hah!  This pony will not be broke!  But hell, they sure tried.  They whupped the heck out of me, when they weren’t trying to wrestle me to the floor, or wrestle me on the floor…I was a wild-ass pony, bucking and fighting.  It was crazy.  (And fun.  Did I mention fun?)  I have sore spots all over, from the leather reins Ad used to whip me as well as haul me around as I ran and danced around him, and from body parts that connected with the chains and the floor and various body parts on either guy.

Keith Urban is now officially scene-music.

But it wasn’t over yet.  After I managed to free myself and they gave the pony a rest break, they rigged me up so that I couldn’t move in the middle of the room with rope and chain (huh, think I wore them out, that they didn’t want to have to chase me around anymore?) They then proceeded to cane me, both at once, in time to the music. I wish I could figure out which playlist I had my iPod on so I could remove the damn six-and-a-half-minute song right in the middle. “Isn’t that fucking song over yet?” I think was the last totally coherent thought I had before I sort of fuzzed out, sensory overload, and just floated, hanging in the rope and chain.  Next thing I knew, I was on the hardwood floor, W on one side, Ad on the other, holding me as I came back to earth, no recollection of having gotten there.  Fucking heaven.

Between last night, the day and night I spent with W  Thurs/Fri and the…was it Monday?…scene I had with W, I am flying high.

And now I am sitting here eating leftover Mexican food and basking in the tired, sore, fuzzy glory of my life.  Can it get any better than this?

***********

Ok so I lied…I just spent an hour on YouTube watching and listening to my man. (I only meant to find the one from the original post!) This isn’t it…but this is the song that makes me think of my guys.

Acceptance

I was browsing through some old posts over on a A Poly Life and ran across this one. I don’t know if I ever linked to it from here, but even if I did, I think it deserves a place of its own here, since it involves BDSM dynamics (at least to a degree.)  If you’ve already read it there, I apologize.

It also comes up because of some painful things that happened between W and I this past couple of days. I reacted recently in ways that I am deeply ashamed of. I said some harsh, thoughtless words and hurt him, and even though I was reacting out of my own sense of insecurity and hurt, that does not excuse my behavior, especially when what he needs is the care and nurturing of a loving, supportive partner, not temper-tantrums and recriminations.

I won’t excuse myself.  In fact, “I hate myself,” I said.  And I meant it.

“I love you,” he wrote back. “Please love yourself too.”

That shook me. Deeply, to the core, to tears.  He forgave me; he loves me.

I am trying to forgive myself.  To love myself anyway. After all, if he can still love me, in spite of what a rotten cunt I can be, shouldn’t I at least try to live up to that?

I am so imperfect in so many ways…but I am trying.  To change what I can, to accept the things I cannot, to love myself in spite of those imperfections.  The acceptance I talk about in the following piece is much more lighthearted, but it is part and parcel of the whole.

*****************************************************************

(From May 2011)

I had some interesting insights and discoveries into myself this past weekend. Nothing too deep or earth-shattering, but…interesting.  W and I were discussing relationship dynamics. Specifically, 24/7 M/s or O/p relationships, as opposed to our own dynamic. I am sexually submissive to W, and that bleeds over, because of my personal mental/emotional makeup, into other areas of our relationship, and I do consider the relationship of the Owner/property category–he owns and controls my sex life. This dynamic is much deeper and more internalized for me than him, I think, again because of my particular emotional makeup, but he totally gets it. He said something very perceptive the other day. “I think if I’d been the kind of Top that wanted to control your life more, you would have responded to that and become more of a submissive in everyday life as well.” He’s exactly correct, I think–and in an interesting dichotomy, I think it is precisely because I am a submissive at heart that, rather than seeking out another relationship that would satisfy that need in me, instead I molded myself and my own desires to my Dominant’s. It is a testament both to my own self-awareness and to W’s relationship skills that we were able to recognize that I do need some balance between the two extremes, and he was able (and willing) to explore that dynamic on at least some levels more with me, in order to assure that those needs are met as well.

But I digress a bit. To continue on with my original point…

The reason that W and I aren’t in a more “traditional” M/s style relationship boils down, essentially, to one simple fact: neither of us wants to work that hard. We do this because it brings us pleasure, it makes us hot and it leads to some crazy hot sex.

Now, I understand that for many people, it is in the act of self-sacrifice, it is in doing something difficult, and doing it well, that they derive pleasure. For many people, it is the hard work that makes a thing worthwhile. I get that and respect that–immensely.

But that’s just not me. Furthermore, that trait informs not only my BDSM-relationship style, but also many, many other areas of my life, if not all of them. It wasn’t until W and I were talking about it that I put it all together tho, and made the connection.

It came about because we were trying to draw an analogy from vanilla life to WIITWD and the different dynamics. What we came up with is the comparison between an athlete that runs marathons and one that does 5k’s. Or, to personalize it, someone like me, that runs ~3 miles, max, and has no desire to run further, because after that, it gets hard, and I just don’t want to work that hard. I run because it is a pleasure, a joy, but once it starts hurting and getting to be a chore, once it becomes work–forget it. That’s why it is so hard to get myself to restart running consistently, because that first mile of every run sucks. I hate every minute of it. But if I can just get past that to the other side, the pure pleasure of feeling my body move, of feeling it do what it’s meant to do, of feeling, for that tiny amount of time, “athletic,” well, then it is no longer work. Or if it is, the cost/benefit ratio tilts heavily in favor of benefit, and I am willing to pay the cost.

But honestly, it takes a lot to tip the scales in that analysis, and to be blunt, most things that are hard or difficult or make me miserable in the doing of them just don’t have that big a benefit to warrant me doing them.

It’s easy to see how not living an M/s relationship 24/7 fits into that. Being a slave is hard, and more about sacrificing one’s own wants to another than engaging in it for one’s pleasure. But it wasn’t until I turned the idea over in my head that I recognized how many other places in my life this has had an impact.

For instance, school. I love to take classes. If I could afford it, I’d probably take a class every semester. But as deep as my love of learning goes, and as many college credits as I have, I’ve NEVER completed a degree. Not because I can’t, nor even because I don’t want to, but because, frankly, it’s a lot of work! There are classes I have to take that I just don’t want to. And frankly, sometimes even classes I enjoy get to be a drag after 3 months, so I stop going. But given the appropriate cost/benefit ratio, and yes…I’ll do it. For instance, that fucking math class. The benefit–a feeling of accomplishment in the face of adversity, the knowledge that W and Ad would be proud of me, and the knowledge that I would be setting a good example for my kids–became a huge benefit, enough, finally, to force me past my fear of failure, past my desire to take the easy way, and on to finally finishing the class.

That feeling of accomplishment–of forcing myself to do something I am afraid of–is actually quite a strong motivator on the “benefit” side of things, btw. It made me take a job as a waitress when I was so shy I could barely walk into a room alone. It made me hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, knowing that at the bottom was a scary-ass suspension bridge over the Colorado River that I’d have to walk over. It made me take a bus with 50 other women I didn’t know to Washington DC for the march for freedom of choice, and to stand up on that same bus and tell the story of the abortion I had chosen to have, something I had never told anyone else. It’s what made me start running in the first place, what made me climb the rock wall and to the top of the High Temple on our cruise. It led me to offer to take on countless jobs, including the one I am in now, without knowing I actually had the skills to cut it. It’s what drives me to explore the intersection between pain and pleasure, and why I seek out some of the more extreme corners of that kind of play at times.

On the other hand, the desire for pleasure, for experiencing joy, led me to choosing to end my marriage of 15 years. It led me to conquer my fear of being rejected and made me reach out to a stranger–W–on Fetlife. It’s led me to cut toxic people from my life and to choose to take my children on trips rather than to buy a new car. It’s allowed me to accept that maybe I won’t finish that novel (just too hard to do) but to accept the joy I find in writing here and on PoJ and in writing short stories.

On the other hand, this very trait has cost me at times as well. There is no amount of benefit that will ever make me a good wife, housekeeper or cook. I’m a loving partner and a great girlfriend, but domesticity just doesn’t do it for me.

I will probably never be able to afford to retire, because I spend money too freely on transient pleasures.

I will probably never really accomplish anything of true, lasting value or worth. That novel? Ain’t gonna happen. The half-marathon I want to do? Nope. Get a degree and get an important job? Not so much. I probably won’t become a world-famous blogger or be asked to speak at events or change the world in any large, lasting way.

But…

I’m okay with all this. I am okay with the bad and the good.

I can accept these things about myself. I can live with–and love–me. Just as I am.

I Suck. (And not in the good way. Tho okay, I do that too.)

I was whining the other day about  not being invited to a friend’s birthday celebration. It wasn’t a very loud whine, more a whimper of self-pity, but nonetheless, it was something that, if only momentarily, made me feel sad.

Why don’t I get invited to play in any of their reindeer games?

Of course the thing I have to admit is that there’s a very good reason:  I’m not a very good friend.

Oh, I’m a very good acquaintance.  And, if you ever ever need anything, real help in any way, I’m there. No questions asked.  I will do anything for my friends. Seriously.

And when we meet each other out, we have a great time together! I’m a lot of fun, generous and loving and giving.

But I’m not a day-to-day kind of friend. I don’t call, text, email all the time. Or even very often. I very seldom make lunch or dinner or any other kind of dates. I don’t go shopping with my girlfriends, or do girls’ night out, or get my nails done with them…or whatever else it is girlfriends do.  “Hang out.”

Sometimes, I miss that. When I don’t have anything to do, and I think, “Hey, if I had someone I could just call up…”

But I don’t.  And I’ve pretty much accepted that I don’t.

The reality? I’m pretty self-involved.  Involved with my guys, my kids, my writing, my job, my life.  And sometimes…just with myself.

Sometimes…too much with myself.

See, I can be okay with the fact that the price I pay for my hyper-involvement in my own world is that I don’t get to “play in any of their reindeer games.” We all make choices about what’s the best use of limited resources, and I accept the consequences of my choices, even if I feel bad as a result sometimes.

But what I really hate is when my self-involvement impacts those around me in negative ways.

In an amusing “for instance” there’s this:

I usually remember Ad’s birthday. Like, before the actual day. In fact, I have planned a cruise and two different getaways for us during his bday time in the past…

Okay, okay, I confess that it just so happened that I planned the trips and then realized they fell on his birthday. But they still count! (Right?)

Sigh.  Maybe not. In the end, he’s had a great time, and I usually remember the actual day when we’re there, though…  That has to count for something, right?

Gah. I really DO suck.

Anyway. This year there is no trip. And so…I almost forgot about his birthday entirely (yes that’s how bad I suck.) I remembered because my office closes on Veteran’s Day (his birthday.) That’s how I remember his birthday.  (See? I really do suck!)  This year I am getting him a Kindle. And I had actually planned on it a long time ago!  But I would not have remembered if not for this convo at my office:

Boss Lady: …and the office is closed Friday…

Me: Closed Friday? Why?

Her & Coworker: Because it’s Veteran’s Day!

Me: Oh, cool!  A day off.

(Pause)

Me: OMG–wait! Veteran’s Day is Friday??!?

Them: Yesss….

Me: That means it’s Ad’s birthday!  OhmygodIhavetobuyhimapresent!!!!

Boss Lady and Coworker just shake their heads.  Yep, they know me.  Boss Lady makes me order the Kindle right there in front of her to be sure I did it, and get the two-day shipping. (They, um, take care of me, right?)

So yeah, I ordered it, and I got the two day shipping.  And he’s gonna have a Kindle! So yay!

But see? I really do suck as a girlfriend.

Other times it’s not so amusing.

This time that W spends at his mother’s house in Florida isn’t easy on him. And sometimes, I get so involved in my own drama of missing him and missing play and missing sex and just being bored out of my fucking mind, that I forget that he’s suffering too, for real, in ways that have nothing to do with play and sex and kink and silliness.

And I regret that.

I wish my Boss Lady would remind me of that every once in awhile.