How about you?

The Kink of the Week is “Breasts,” and of course today is Friday so it’s Boobday! I thought about taking the easy way out, and just posting a pictire of my tiny-but-powerful titties, but…well…I actually have some words about them. I know – surprise! right? But first, okay, since you asked so nicely…

I recently watched the video of myself that this clip came from. It was hot, and weird, and sexy, and uncomfortable watching myself do lewd things on video. I’ve got lots of images, and I’ve made more than a couple Marco Polos, but there’s not a whole hell of a lot of video of me doing nasty things out there, and less often do I watch them myself. The topic of this video – and the way it came about – was particularly kinky, and something I haven’t yet decided to share. But what I did want to share was this image of my breasts.

I’ve always loved my nipples. Perky, delightfully-shaped, delicate in color and oh-so-sensitive – I am a fan of them, as are and have been most of my lovers, once they discover their secret. And sometimes even if they don’t.

My breasts, on the other hand…

I’m not a hater of tiny titties. I have loved quite a few in my days as a lover-of-women. And there are times when I see them and think, okay, they are kinda cute. I love having them manhandled, mashed and pulled and squeezed and pinched. I like them bound and clothespinned, tied in rope and cropped with canes. I’ve enjoyed having them flogged and whipped with a singletail and splattered with hot wax. I’m not a huge fan of having them bit or slapped, though truth-to-tell even that I enjoy if only for the perverse joy in taking it for my Top. But all that is mostly enjoying them for what they can do, or have done to them. I don’t often look at them and think, “Wow, pretty!”

They are a little lopsided. They aren’t quite round, and they aren’t really much of a handful. They don’t spill out of my tops or fill out my bras; I’m not exactly a candidate for giving a good tittie fucking. Sometimes – especially when I see others’ beautiful breasts in all their full, rounded, luscious glory – I feel…less-than. Found lacking; unfeminine. Not always – it’s not like I dwell on it. But sometimes.

But then, as I did the other day when made to watch the video above, I see them as beautiful. So sexy and so female that I was mesmerized for a moment, as though I was watching someone else. They bounced and jiggled so delightfully, I loved the creamy tecture of their skin, and that smattering of freckles – wow, they are beautiful.

They may not be “perfect,” but that’s okay. I’m a fan. How about you?

It’s been a few heady days.

I’m up at 5 a.m. because I realized, late late last night, that I haven’t written or posted anything since…Sunday? I’d say I’m just crazy busy (and I am!) but it’s not entirely that. I had time last night when I could have sat myself down and written something. And I have a lot of somethings to write about! But I get distracted, or veg in front of the TV wih Adam instead (that happened last night.) And no writing gets done.

That’s lack of self-discipline.

I have spent the last three weekends with K. Adam has been a part of that time off and on too, dinners and hanging out, but a lot of that time K and I have been pretty focused on each other. Which is good and normal, especially in a newly-minted relationship, but which can lead to some pretty intense NRE and even some droppy feelings when we aren’t together. I wrestled with that last week even as I looked forward to our weekend away, and now I am dealing with it as I resume my (normal for now) life of needing to do things to help out my parents, and he does his normal social stuff. I don’t actually want to spend every minute of every day/night with him (okay there is part of my brain that says, “yes! every minute!” but that’s a result of the chemical soup my brain is simmering in – lol.) But I definitely have a healthy dose of FOMO, especially when he spends time with mutual acquaintances who have maybe not yet seen us as a “couple.” Now that we have acknowledged that – couplehood, and a formal D/s dynamic – to ourselves/each other, I want others to know too. I’m sure most of that can be attributed to some weird leftover biological/societal programming, and I need to resist it, but… *shrug*. It is what it is.

All this is mostly by way of musing…figuring out the why’s of my head. Yeah, navel-gazing, more-or-less. But it’s what I do. I think he might have said, “Don’t overthink things,” at some point this last weekend. And I just cocked my head and thought (or maybe said) “Do you know me?” lol This is the woman that has taken the art of thinking out loud, of at-times overthinking out loud, to the nth degree, having been doing so here and in my various other internet spaces fairly faithfully for over 20 years. Hah.

But seriously. It’s all really really good. Being “out” with his friends will come. Being together at social functions will come too, though I will have to make myself not throw myself into all the activities he takes part in, as he is far more social than I am. I need to set boundaries for myself and honor my need for space away from other hoomans to recharge. Otherwise I will burn out eventually. And don’t no one want a burnt-out Jade.

On the flip side of that, however, is the reality of coming out of the past two years, and finding a need to be more social, to reestablish friendships and more-ships, to make up for lost time. I really took to hermitting pretty hard, and for awhile I thought that would be the way it would always be from now on, but the recent forays I have made into being a social creature again – hiking, bowling, game nights and play parties, going out and about in the world again – have been really positive, and not left me drained and feeling depleted.

I think balance is the key. Now I just have to figure out where that balance is, what it looks like in a post-pandemic world for me.

Gah. Here I have blathered on and on without sharing any of the fun juicy stuff, even though (judging by the title of the post) that was what I had intended to write about originally! Apparently my head had other words to get out first. I’m going to wrap up here for now, and maybe try to get to the fun stuff the rest of this week. ;-)

Anticipation 3

Being poly/having multiple partners – if one doesn’t live with both/all – is (often) a game of anticipation. It can be both sweet and, while maybe not bitter, at least frustrating: a delicious ache of longing for the one(s) you aren’t with, even as you enjoy the time you are spending with the one(s) you are with. I’ve balanced on the edge of these seemingly disparate emotions for most of my adult romantic life (wow, it seems weird to even think that, but it’s true, I have been poly now longer than I was mono.) And I have managed them in a myriad of ways, sometimes effectively, sometimes not so much. Being in the present and enjoying the company of one partner and yet savoring the thought that I will soon be in my other’s presence = good; too much alcohol and too much pining, not appreciating what I have right in front of me = not so good.

In my two longest relationships of this type (both with Ad as one of my partners), these feelings manifested themselves differently and elicited different actions/interactions accordingly. I believe a lot of that had to do with how secure I felt in the relationships themselves. I almost always felt secure in my relationship with W; I seldom – even in the very beginning – felt that kind of security with V. Part of that could be the fact that V had a partner, and interactions with her – both mine and his – informed my anxieties and insecurities. The fact that he (V) was also prone to anxieties and insecruities, and his way of interacting with the world (and me) often fomented same, really exacerbated the situation. These aren’t excuses for my at-times poor behavior, but they are reasons that influenced my ability to cope with grace and an even temperment, or even to view our time apart as anything other than a misery.

It is too soon to know how our by-neccessity separations are going to play out in the long run in my new relationship. Right now it’s an ache hightened by the excitement of knowing we’ll be together over the weekend, and punctuated by remote playtime, texting off and on, and a good deal of flirting. It seems to be a healthy – and at times heady – mix. Not too overwhelming, but not so little that I begin to fret. Also, even when he is with another partner, I don’t feel…forgotten or neglected. He’s good at finding the right balance there – not catering to my sometimes-insecure side, while gently reminding me that I am important to him.

Rabbit Holes (the not necessarily fun kind)

Falling down rabbit holes – especially these days – usually consists of discovering and or exploring something new, something wicked and fun, or maybe something – what were the words I used this morning? Oh yeah: craven and lascivious. The one I fell down just now wasn’t either of those things, though. Even if I was perusing Fetlife.

I haven’t spent a lot of time on Fet since W died, because it was just too hard to see our images, to see that beloved face. These days – almost 10 years on – I can look at most of the images I have there, images that span the entirety of my relationship with W, without pain. I don’t feel the hitch in my heart; I just feel…grateful that in my deepest grief I didn’t delete them all.

It was a close thing.

Lately when I do get on Fet I am on to check out the Events section, to see what’s happening where. I was on today because I wanted to doublecheck the date for a play party. Instead what I stumbled on, what sent me down a rabbit hole of reading, pondering, spiraling a little and reading some more, was someone’s post on Fet. Someone I didn’t know writing about the death last year of someone I did know, if only peripherally. It was anguished and heartbreaking, the death an accident cutting off a life in its prime. We expect death in the elderly. Even I accepted that W would die long before I did. But that doesn’t make it easier. I felt every word she had written as if they were my own. The sorrow, the denial, the anger. The bite of it has gone, and yes, I can look at pictures again, I can even read some of my writings again, but those other feelings are a part of who I am now.

And yet…where I landed, after all that, was in acceptance. Sad, yes, but that’s okay. I can be sad sometimes and then not-sad.

Everything changes.

What Do I Get Out Of This?

So I was asked “What do you get out of this?” in a text conversation recently – “this” being BDSM. It seemed too wide-ranging a topic for a text message, and it’s something I have thought a lot about, before, during and since my relationship and subsequent break-up with V, and then also during my short-lived dynamic with SirQ. Hell it’s something I’ve thought about from the beginning of my explorations into BDSM, because to be able to answer that is to know What I Want, which seems to be the perennial question. If I know what I get out of it, and thus what I want, then I can find, or craft, the perfect relationship(s), right?

Yeah, maybe not. There’s really no such thing as “perfect,” and frankly, things would probably be pretty boring if they were. It’s the journey that matters, after all, not so much the destination. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in pondering on the question, in seeking out answers for myself.

Author’s note: I started this post WAY back when, weeks ago while my daughter and I were on vacation together., so some of the time references reflect that.

I wanted to blog on the topic at the beginning of the week, because it kind of fit in with that week’s Kink of the Week (Punishment) and MPB’s Five Questions (Impact Play) but, alas, time got away from me as I spent vacation time with my daughter exploring the Pacific Northwest, and both prompts are now over. I am still there in fact – we just settled into our last AirBnB here on a farm in Damascus (just outside Portland, Oregon) – but I finally have some down time to write, so, regardless of prompts, I’m going to set myself to answering the burning question: What do I get out of this?

There are many so different aspects of WIITWD (What It Is That We Do) that appeal to me, all in different ways. Here are a few.

Impact / Pain Play
So, yeah, there is definitely a headspace that goes along with impact and pain play: feeling small, feeling overpowered, feeling overwhelmed. I like the feeling of being beaten down, into a small, helpless ball, a puddle at my Top’s feet, with absolutely nothing in my mind but him (or her.) There are times I crave that, to be in that abject physical space, to be panting and gulping and shaking, dreading the next strike, and so relieved when it doesn’t come…only to be disappointed that it hasn’t come in the next instant. I want it, I don’t want it, I crave it, I’m afraid of it. I want to be reduced to that puddle of goo that can’t form a thought – even as I fear it and fight it. I want to be pushed into that space, driven there by someone more powerful than me. Someone in control that isn’t me – to have no choice but to endure.

But there are also the times that not feeling overwhelmed is the object – when I want to know that the person inflicting pain on me is so in-tune with me that they know exactly where my edge is, how far and how long to push, until I reach the exact state of almost-but-not-quite overwhelm, and pull me back from the brink and into their arms to feel safe and cared for once again. It’s a question, it’s a test – do they really know me? Do they really know when I am not going to act in my own best interests, and push myself to take more more more? Because it is also a challenge I set myself. Can I take it? Will I take it?

Then there is that other headspace, the one that is about submission, that is all about him (or her) and what they want. Will they do exactly what they desire? Do they desire it? Is this just to please me, or do they truly get off on it? Because that is so damn important to me – that it’s not just because I want it. And that ties back to the previous – because if I know they want it – and if I am feeling truly submissive to them – the more I want to please them – the more I will take, the more I want to take. The more I will push myself to take. So they have to know me – I have to trust them to know me – enough to give into that space, to let the control go.

The not-being-in-control part is huge, too. Not having a say, not having to say, not being the initiator or driver. Just being, because whoever is on the other side of the whip wants to control me, the situation, to make a thing happen – whether it’s giving me pleasure, pain, embarrassment, pride, making me obey or reveling in my obedience and willing submission. I can let my mind quiet, because I don’t have a choice. He or she and I are all there is in those moments.

And then, of course, it’s also about the endorphins. Flying, subspace, the intensity of emotional and chemical soup that we float around in during a pain or impact scene. It’s there that I find release, an exhalation, a breath, and room to breathe. A place to find quiet, to float.

And last but certainly not least, it’s about connection. The intense connection that only comes in those moments between the moments – so sharp and so clear it’s like melting into one another, sharing blood and bone and thought and desire. I crave this more than anything else, and in the end, that’s what it’s all about.

D/s
Impact and pain play can be a part of D/s, but doesn’t have to be. I prefer it to be a part of the relationship, but it doesn’t have to be…

Or does it? Can I subsist on domination that doesn’t have a physical element to it?

Hmm…no, I don’t think so. I think I need the physical, in some form. Maybe not daily, or even weekly…but it has to be there in some way. But…that’s another discussion for another time.

Right now I’m talking about what I get from D/s. I will define that as the act of giving up control to another person – not in a physical sense, as in an impact scene, for instance, but as in various aspects of my life. Obedience, submission, doing what I am told simply because I am told to do so. The hot kinky stuff: asking for permission to orgasm, being told to reveal fantasies, being made to edge or wear a buttplug or video myself… The more mundane things: what to wear, how to speak, what to eat, when to sleep, how much to exercise. I need both in a D/s dynamic. I want to be the kinky sex toy, but I also want to have a real-world dynamic. Structure and rules make me feel safe and confident in a relationship, especially when I know that these things matter to the other person as well. And especially in a relationship in which we aren’t physically in the same space every day or night, it helps me to feel connected to them.

Rules & Punishment
I don’t term these as play, because, to me, they aren’t. And they are (in some ways) outside of D/s. I mean, not really, but they have their own space because (I think) you could have D/s without rules, punishment & corrections.

I don’t need a lot of rules in my “real” life. I do pretty much as please, when I please, and with whom I please (I mean, aside from showing up to work and to fulfill my obligations to my family). I live with Adam, but I don’t ask permission to do anything (though I am respectful of his time and needs.) We’ve been together long enough, and I have been independent long enough, that it’s not really a question anymore. But in a D/s relationship, I need to know there are rules. I need to know what they are, that there are boundaries, and I need to know that I have followed the rules and instructions – or that I have not. I need expectations to live up to. And I need consequences if I have not. Punishment – preferably corporal – fulfills that need. I feel renewed, refreshed, forgiven and relieved when it is over. I have paid for my error, and we can move on.

Shame/Embarrassment/Humiliation
I’ve played a lot at the edges of humiliation/degradation play before, though my preference is in the lighter side of those kinds of play : sexual embarrassment and shame as opposed to degradation. Of course, that all depends on how you define those things, though, doesn’t it? Is it degrading to be pissed on? To be called degrading names, to be given away or forced to perform sex acts? These things are hot to me: making me display myself or ordering me to perform sexually, calling me a slut or a cunt or whore, treating me as a sex object, as “holes” to be used or filled. In this kind of play, words are as exciting as the acts, and what I get out of it is pretty basic: it fuels my arousal. It doesn’t often go deeper than that. Now that I’ve said that, though, I have to admit to one kind of “degradation” play that is both a physical turn-on and does something deeper in my brain: piss play. Being pissed on, or in. It makes me feel small and…something like humiliated, but at the same time deeply owned and marked. The only thing I specifically requested of W that I only do with him was drink his pee. Of all the things we did together, that was the only one I didn’t want to do with anyone else. In thinking about it, I think that this kind of play – and how I perceive it – is very much contingent upon the relationship.

Pet Play
Those of you that have read me for a long time will remember my pony persona, Onyx, who was W’s, and my wild pony, Topaz, who was her own wild self, but who came out to play with Adam. And with V there was kitty, though I never truly embraced a kitty persona of my own. It was more like…bringing to life one of the catgirls he fantasized about – for him, not me. But being pony was a special place for me. I didn’t have to be me anymore…Onyx was a parade pony, a show pony, proud and a little skittish, flighty and high-strung. And I could just melt into her, and know that W would take care of her and adored her. It was a lovely space to be in. Topaz, on the other hand (or hoof), was wild and unruly. She fought being tamed and that wildness – that fighting back – was an integral part of the kind of play Adam and W did with her, and it let me not be obedient, it let me step outside my submissive self and into that other space.

There are so many more nuances to WIITWD, but that kind of sums of the big ones. Maybe I will revisit later, if other kinds of play become a topic of their own.

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.

February Photofest – It Doesn’t Matter What Day

The last couple days after my last post were a mixed bag. My mom went back in the hospital, work was incredibly busy, and I was living more like a local, just living my life and trying to get by, than like an adventurer exploring my new world on my own.

Oddly enough, that settled me into this space in a way that felt…more authentic? Getting up, doing my morning routine, walking to a little coffee shop I’d found, then working hard all day, dealing with the complications of my aging parents and a sister stretched to her limits by having to deal with everything on her own, I experienced what it might be like to be an expat here. What the rhythm of a life apart here might be like. I opened my door and let the humidity enfold me like a warm, wet blanket, listened to the sounds of traffic and the cacophony of birds, to the men on their food-and-drink bikes calling out their wares; had a beer in the tiny, lovely backyard after work, took the trash out, dealt with tropical bugs and enjoyed a refreshing, cooling rain late one afternoon.

Last night, my last night on my own in Tulum, I wandered back up to the restaurant and shopping district I had found the last time I ventured out, and had dinner in a delightful little outdoor restaurant with trees in the middle of it and fairy lights and cool trip-hoppy music, and sent back Marco Polos to my people back home, because I wanted to share the magic I was feeling with them. I listened to the cadence of a language I have vowed to learn before I come back (everywhere I went I tried out new phrases, asked “como se dice…?” and tried to stretch my very limited vocabulary.) I felt at once a pang of longing to be home where the world was familiar and known, and the magic of being somewhere wholly new and enchanting – and that was, even better, becoming quickly known and familiar as well.

I had an interesting exchange with Sir, trying to explain the mystery and delight I felt in the dichotomy of being both wholly in the moment here and yet still able to recognize the gentle ache of longing for home, my dog, Adam – even him, though we have not known each other for long. Apparently he is not able to experience more than one thing in that way, and I felt a little sad for him. My world is such a wonderful kaleidoscope of experiences, thoughts and emotions all tumbled together, while at the same time each being experienced in its own, exquisite perfection (even the sadnesses, the pain, the sorrow) that to not experience it that way feels like a constriction. My goal, my desire, is to open my heart to all of it, to not deny one iota of my existence and to experience it all in its immediate, messy, tangled glory. Maybe, on a baser level, that is why I can experience pleasure and pain at the same time, orgasm through the lash of the whip, laugh through my tears.

Today is a beach day with the Canadian and K, though our snorkeling trip got canceled due to rough water. I’m looking forward to lazing about under the shade of a palapa, talking, and watching the clouds race across a painfully blue sky while the turquoise sea crashes against the rocks. Tonight I head back to the Canadian’s place in Playa del Carmen with him and K, and then Saturday I am headed to the airport and back home. I hear it’s cold and snowy there, and I am relishing the feel of an icy wind again, of a brisk hike bundled head to toe, of seeing stark, naked trees outlined against a gray sky. And to finding my home routine again, before I set off for another adventure, this time to the Pacific Northwest with my daughter in March.

And since I am behind so far on February Photofest, I’ll share a slideshow now of these lovely days I’ve had here in Mexico, from the mundane to the naughty to the magical. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I did making them!

Celebrating Life

I have so many reasons to celebrate lately. It feels a bit like bragging: “Oh my life is so wonderful” and I feel guilty about being happy when things are so damn hard for a lot of people, but I have just gone through a shite time, and things have been so hard and so ugly and depression and anxiety has been such a devouring beast, sucking the joy from my life for so long, that having things to celebrate, even the small things, feels absolutely necessary and appropriate.

Wow, how about that for a compound, rambling sentence? But that’s what it feels like to me, this bubbling, tumbling feeling of…joy. Hope. Happiness.

When you’re in the middle of darkness, it’s hard to believe that you’ll ever feel any other way. That things can ever be bright again. Intellectually I knew they would. I reminded myself daily, when in the midst of the depression, that “this too shall pass.” I mean fuck, if I could come out of those awful days after Warren died, I could sure as hell get through a break-up. (And the pandemic and the Trump presidency and selling my house and moving away from my beloved city and dealing with the complexities of becoming my parents’ caregiver.) And I learned something during those dark days. I learned to give myself pause when it seemed hopeless, when missing V and that life filled my every thought, and when depression set in as I realized I would never have it back. I made myself pause, and breathe, to allow myself to feel even the dark feelings – because feelings change. I made myself lean into and experience it, all the while reminding myself that I wouldn’t always feel that way.

Oh, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns now. My mom had a pretty big health scare that made my sister and I face the fact that we can probably measure the time we have left with her in years, not decades, and maybe not many of those. I still miss V (acutely at times) and our long, rambling, sometimes contentious discussions about all things robot and brain science and the meaning of consciousness and AI and self-driving cars. I miss, too, the way we related in D/s and our sexual connection, even as I am building and experiencing a new one with SirQ. Not as often, for sure, but it rears its head every so often, and still twists my heart just a bit. And while the move has been successful, and I love my new house and I am so glad I am here – especially when something happens like this past incident with my mom – I still miss my solo poly city girl life.

BUT –

My Mom got out of the hospital and is relatively healthy.

I have this wonderful new relationship that reminds me every day why I am not in that old one.

Adam and I are better than ever – it appears living together is good for us both as we approach out first year-in-the-house anniversary.

My daughter and I – though we had a recent, highly unusual rift – are back on track and planning vacation time together.

I’m getting the opportunity for travel again – to see the Canadian & to work remotely for a couple weeks in February; to travel with the daughter to the Pacific Northwest in March; and then with Adam to hike in Utah in April.

Life feels…good again.

So, yes, I’m celebrating.

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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.

tell me about: sexual health – masturbation

I wonder why masturbation became such a shameful activity? It’s healthy, good for mind and body, is a simple way to inject pleasure into one’s life, and doesn’t need anyone else or anything but yourself to accomplish. (Well, most times it doesn’t need anything – some folks do need or prefer mechanical or other physical aids to get themselves to orgasm. I’m one of them. I can make myself come with my fingers, but it’s so much easier with a vibrator, and one vibrator-style in particular – a Hitachi-type – so I almost always use it, with or without various other toys.) But I – like so many other people – am filled with embarrassment and shame about masturbating – even though I find it super sexy and hot when others do it! The topic is even hard for me to write about (which is why I am writing about it.)

What is also challenging for me is getting into the mental space to have a self-pleasuring session. Without a dominant in my life telling me to do so, masturbation takes a back seat to everything else, and I often don’t think of it until I can’t sleep at night (another benefit t of masturbating – it can be a sleep aid.) This use of masturbation would probably be the one I would do, dominant or no, but unfortunately I’ve swallowed the “feel shame for masturbating” kool-aide, and so can’t bring myself to do so next to my sleeping partner. So now, living with Ad, I seldom use masturbating to help me sleep. I even talked to him about it (red-faced, embarrassed, trying to adult and failing), and asked him if it would bother him if I did. He of course said no – but I still can’t bring myself to go there. So I get up and go to my bedroom, but by that time I’ve woken fully up, and lost the half-asleep-jerk-myself-off-into-full-sleep mental space.

In preparation for this piece, I masturbated yesterday in the middle of the day. Even home alone, though, I had to go up into my bedroom, shut the door and get under the covers. Ridiculous for a grown woman! But that’s how deeply the feeling of shame and embarrassment runs in me. I tried again last night, in desperation when I couldn’t sleep, but couldn’t get to an orgasm. It was frustrating and ultimately more unsatisfying than if I had not tried at all. I really needed my kink-partner- on-hiatus’s words in my ear, his nasty stories in my mind, his instruction and direction, to get me there.

I remember some delightful sessions where my kink partner and I played with that shame – he was very good at those games, ordering me to masturbate in deliberately humiliating places and ways, and it was defininitely not the effort it is to get to orgasm the way it is now, when I do it without his direction. A lot of my mental kink is playing with those edges, those things that feel taboo, and he used those spaces a lot in our psychological play. I miss those games with him, acutely. I wonder if he misses them too?

I thought about doing a “daily” masturbation session for this piece, each time with a different toy, and reporting on them, but I am not sure I could commit to it. For one thing, I’d have to do it during the day if I wanted privacy, or tell Ad what I was doing and go off into my bedroom of an evening, and that feels embarrassing – the kind of embarrassing that doesn’t get me off (shame games don’t work with he and I because we don’t have that dynamic.) And because he is not in a sexual space right now, that notion is even more fraught with anxiety for me (what does he think, is he sad I’m not sharing it with him) – not a good place from whence to start a sexy session.

But maybe I should do it anyway to normalize it? Okay, so he’s not in a place where he wants sexual activity, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped being sexual (this goes for my kink partner’s headspace as well) so maybe I need to take back that space for myself. I dunno. Sounds all gung-ho and strong, modern woman, but the reality is what I’ve said up there – it just doesn’t work very well without being directed to it.

Anyway, in anticipation of maybe trying to do a “once a day, different toy,” marathon, I thought I’d get an establishing shot – here’s my sex toy stash! If it happens, I won’t be reporting on it daily (way too much pressure that I know I’d never make good on!) but I might do “round-up” posts. Keep an eye out for them – and let me know if any of these look particularly interesting – that might help get me over the “hump” late at night when I need something extra to get there!