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.

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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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.

Introducing My New Sir

“Turn to an entry in your journal or diary from a year or
more ago. What has changed, and what has stayed the same since then?”

In my last post I mentioned that there’s someone new in my life, and even shared the image below on Twitter after a play session the other night, but I haven’t really said too much about him here yet. Maybe I’ve been waiting to see how it settled, maybe it’s just too new (we’re only a couple of months in), maybe I just haven’t been ready to share yet.

Aftermath

Maybe it was this 5-year diary that my sister gave me, One Line a Day, in which you write (as it says) one line per day all year, then just beneath the first year’s lines, you write the next, and so on and so forth, for five years, that shook loose what I needed to feel comfortable sharing here.

The idea fascinated me – yes I can look back in this blog to see where I was and what I was doing at roughly this time last year, but (especially in the last six years) I haven’t always kept up, and when I did it was heavily self-censored and I was often deeply self-conscious (and anxious) about who might read it, and what the fall-out might be. So it hasn’t been a very accurate look at what’s really going on in my life. My OLAD diary is for my eyes only and as such, I have been very upfront about my daily life – what is challenging me, what is making me happy, what is making me sad, what I am feeling in the moment and what I have found important enough to put down in one (or two) lines there. And, as I record each day, I can look back and read where I was on that day last year.

And holy hell it’s hard to read.

This time last year…hell, all of last year (but especially the first half) was really fucking hard. It is PAINFUL to read where I was, what I was going through. What I was putting myself through. I just want to gather myself in my arms and rock myself, tell myself it’s going to be all right. It was about that time that I wrote a note to myself that I stuck to my monitor: Everything changes. I am not sure I believed it then, but I put it there, to remind myself of that truth. “It’s true, believe it!” I would tell myself if I could go back. Because it was all right, eventually. Things did change. And not because I met someone new. No, I was all right before that happened – in fact I believe I met the new person in my life – and was ready to explore a new relationship – only because I was finally all right. I wouldn’t have been ready to be here, now, if I hadn’t made it through the past year and come out the other side whole and healthy. In fact only about a week before we met I had written, “I’m all right. My life is good, just as it is.” And it was.

I mean, of course the fucking pandemic still raged. Of course my aging parents were still a challenge. Of course there were challenges in all of the changes that have happened. But I was happy, for the first time in a long time. Happy in myself. More than just “over” V, I had found myself again.

And then I met my Sir. I met him in a hiking group that consists of kinky folks. The hikes aren’t kinky – but they are open in that we are all in the lifestyle in some capacity, new or long-term, 24/7 or just exploring, and as such it’s a very open, freeing experience. We talk about anything and everything, as varied as our travels, pets, careers, relationships, curiosities, books we’ve read…as well as kinky topics. I don’t have to be careful of how much I share about my life and experiences, and I love it and the group.

Plus, you know, hiking. The last one was ten-and-a-half miles in below 30* weather in the Ozarks. It was beautiful, it was challenging, and it was so much fun. Afterwards we all played card games and ate and drank and laughed and talked, and I was at the heart of that group, with friends – and with my Sir.

He runs the group, and as its leader, I kind of naturally gravitated towards him as we hiked that first time all those weeks ago. We talked a lot that first hike, and later I emailed him about a hike that I had mentioned. We ended up messaging back and forth, planning to meet up to do the hike outside the group, kind of feeling each other out, what we were looking for – as potential hiking partners and eventually, as potential play partners. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but his profile made him sound like someone I might be interested in playing with – I was looking for a play partner – and I told him as much.

We started seeing each other, and in a very considered, deliberate, and yet natural way, we ended up realizing that being play partners was not what either of us ultimately wanted – we wanted more. He wants a D/s dynamic. Initially reluctant to embrace that – due to feelings of betrayal of those desires in my relationship with V – I came to realize and accept that really is what I want and need. It has been since the beginning when I discovered kink. Play is good, play is fun, but I crave the depth of a D/s-based relationship. It fulfills something in me that feels hollow and empty without it. And just because it ultimately didn’t work with V, doesn’t mean it can’t work with someone else.

And so here we are. In a developing D/s dynamic.

I’ve realized, in reading through my previous year’s entries, how very broken things were with V and I. This is not to place blame on V. He struggled and suffered just as I did – maybe, in some ways, more. We neither of us was good for the other by the time we tried to get back together at the beginning of last year. I should never have said that I would try again – we were well and truly broken, and no amount of love or wanting it to be different was going to put it right. But only in reading it now, from the perspective of a year on – and in the midst of what feels like a very healthy dynamic – especially comparatively – can I see that.

But the truth is, I learned so much about myself in that last, impossible year. How can I regret the growth it brought me, even if that growth was gained through so much pain? And how would I even recognize the growth, if I didn’t have my own words – honest, heartfelt, in-the-moment words – to read, to listen to?

So anyway. That was the impetus for this post, as well as the prompt from 365 Days of Submissive Journal Prompts, a PDF he sent me from submissiveguide.com – to introduce my new Sir – Sir or SirQ – here, and also to celebrate the fact that I can write here again. (Actually it’s a task he has given me, weekly (at least) blogging.)

And ah hell, since it is my kink and sex blog, here ya go – the one “kinky” thing I did while hiking, because if there’s an opportunity to get the girls out… well, you know.

(I know, I know, big surprise, no? No.)

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: w is for wants & needs

During this hiatus that my kink partner and I are on, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about wants and needs. What do I want in a kink relationship? What do I need? Do I need kink in my life? Do I need sex? I’m getting long-distance kink right now, and it’s lovely, but I miss hands-on kink. And sex. And feeling someone’s desire, at close range. I miss kissing and being held and being desired physically.

I asked Adam why we stopped playing. I had just read a post from this very blog (Mouth) in which I talked about going to a kink event with Ad – just he and I – and we played. A lot! And it was fun. But it’s been years since he took an active role in our kink life. Yes, he’s played with me with other kink partners, and he’s even played with me alone when I have asked him a couple times. But while he was never toppy or dominant before, now we don’t play at all.

The thing is, I thought it was me, not wanting to play with him because he’s not dominant enough But what he said was, “I’m just not in that headspace.” And that gave me pause. It’s not me (I’ve been feeling guilty.) He isn’t interested in kink. So my feeling that I just don’t have that connection with him is actually correct – and it’s no one’s fault, I knew all along that he wasn’t kinky for himself. He did it for me, because he dug the fact that it affected me so much. Not because he wanted/needed it. And that’s okay. We have other things we share. But…I do want those things. I think…maybe…that I need them. I mean, I’m pretty sure I need kink to get off. I’m just programmed that way.

Part of my issue right now is that I’ve just started a new anti-depressant. And I feel…a little dulled. The sharper edges of my libido, which had been ragged and snarly since I haven’t played with anyone or had sex in weeks with anyone, have been smoothed down. Is that just a result of getting used to not being with someone? Or is it the medication affecting me? I don’t know.

I’ve thought about playing with others. Dating others. In fact I have a few irons in the fire – an old flame; a girlfriend I’ve played with before; a new boy from OK Cupid. And I can honestly say that none of those situations are just me looking to (selfishly) scratch an itch. I genuinely care about the first two, the last is a flirtation that yes, I might not have entered into if my kink partner and I were seeing each other right now, but it’s fun and sexy and gives me a little spark. And then there’s my Canadian – topping me and tormenting me from afar.

But do I need any of this? For that matter, do I need it from my kink partner? If, when things settle down with him and we see each other again, if he was to say, “nope, don’t want that anymore,” what would I do?

I don’t know. Does a thing have to be a need? Can’t I just want it in my life? Can’t I just say, I want this in my life, and have that be enough.

I don’t know anymore.

I got to this topic by way of Marie’s post, Life happens, love binds, on the topic “When Life Gets in the Way,” from the “Tell Me About…” meme. That topic is over, but it still resonated with me. A lot of what I am going through is because life got in the way – of my kink, of my kink relationships. The pandemic, life going sideways, lockdowns and border closings, depression and anxiety, it’s all taken a heavy toll. I get that when the dust settles everything may – probably will – look different. But right now, life is standing there being a bully to us all. And so I sit here and wonder: What do I want? What do I need?

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.

More Gratitude Ponderings

Since it’s still November, I think I’m allowed to keep gushing about how filled with gratitude I am, for my life and the people that make it so wonderful, tho I promise this is going to be a lot shorter than the Great Kinky Novel on gratitude that I wrote earlier.

Molly (of Molly’s Daily Kiss) wrote in her comment that there was a lot to ponder in that post. I have to agree, as the one that wrote and revised and deliberated and wrote and wrote and wrote on it, I was doing LOTS o’ ponderin’, before I ever set fingers to keyboard, during the Writing Marathon, and afterwards.

I need to talk a little about risk here. Emotional risk. Placing oneself in a vulnerable position. As I have mentioned before, I enjoy the feeling of emotional vulnerability, of being on the emotional bottom in a situation, where fear of losing (love, respect, face) heightens the intensity of the situation. I believe that my reactions to most humiliation/embarrassment scenes come from this place and the heat I find in those scenarios is engendered precisely because of this. Mostly this is played out in safety, in the context of a scene. I discussed it here in some detail, and (re-reading it) I can really see the truth to what I have written there. But to go even further, I can see that even in the context of real life, knowing that I am emotionally vulnerable, and that my own emotional stability is at stake, can be – dare I say it – a turn-on. But because it is REAL life, and not a play scene, it’s an edge that isn’t always nice to play on at times, or play with. It’s a place where the stakes are very high, and the risks of emotional damage very large.  Even using the word “play” in that context isn’t exactly right, because it isn’t play.

Guh. I feel like I am not explaining myself well. Sigh.

Okay, I’ll just plow on, because the point of what I want to say is out there, and in here <pointing to my heart> and maybe getting to it will clarify my non-point above.

So. W has always insisted that I write whatever I want or need to here. At first I know he just wanted me to have a space where I felt safe in not censoring myself, where I could piss and moan and vent and cry and throw a tantrum…or romanticize and rhapsodize and gush and blush and plant flowers and play with unicorns if I wanted to. Later though, he recognized the value in my blog as more than just me playing with words and making us both (and hopefully you all) hot. He recognized how good it is for us to be able to communicate this way and he encouraged me even more to feel safe here in communicating with him.

He has never, in all the time that we have been together, made me regret writing anything here. Even the uncomfortable things, the things that sting, the painful things. And yet…every time I hit “post” on something that I know may not be easy to read, I am fearful. Fearful of causing pain, and fearful of being rejected because of what I have said. “Be a good girl, be quiet, don’t rock the boat.” And every time, he comes back with strength and compassion, empathy and understanding. He has also called me on being out in left field and reined me in when it was called for, but never in a way that made me feel threatened or afraid emotionally. Time after time he has proven to me that when he says, “Do not censor yourself,” he really, truly means it.

The thing is, I may be afraid in the moment, but the reality is that I have never felt safer in being myself and expressing myself than I have felt with him.  And so, even in that, he allows me to explore that edge – of vulnerability, of fear – in a safe space.  Yesterday only proved it all the more.

I am so very, very grateful that he is exactly who he is.

An Unexpected Gift

 (This was written on Thanksgiving, but because the Missy and I are in the backwoods of Missouri for the weekend, internet connectivity has been sketchy, so it’s taken me til now to upload it.)

I am grateful today. Grateful for the unexpected gift of a beating.

I know, that sounds odd (or maybe not, if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time.) But it’s true.  And I know, it’s Thanksgiving, there is no gift-giving on Thanksgiving. But this gift has me filled with such gratitude that I have to share it here with you, and I believe it fulfills the “what am I thankful for” requirement, though this isn’t something I could share around the dinner table with my bio family. But you all? Why yes, yes I can. And I should (after all, you haven’t heard from me for real in days.) And so I will.

I went over to W’s Wednesday feeling unsure about a lot of things. I left his house later that day feeling re-centered, full of hope and joy and a certainty that everything would be okay. And I know, the fact that he played with me, tied me up and whipped me and said nasty things to me and fucked me, shouldn’t be the content of a “Thanksgiving” post, right? But the other kind, the more conventional kind, where I tell you all about the amazing weekend I spent with my daughter, and the joy and gratitude I feel for my family and loved ones, that will come in a later post.  But now, right this minute, this is what I want to tell you about.

Have you ever heard the saying, “If you say it often enough, it becomes truth?” Most times it’s used when child-rearing. Tell a child often enough he is a worthless piece of shit, and eventually he believes he is worthless. It works when we do it to ourselves, as well. Eventually we internalize the tapes that we play in our heads: “I’m unattractive,” “I’m unlovable,” “I don’t deserve it.”

(As an aside, there is a fantastic book, one of the first feel-good self-help books that came out in the 1960’s, called Psycho-Cybernetics, that addresses this exact phenomena. I found a dog-eared copy in a pile of my father’s books when I was going through his things many years after he died, and though I don’t read the genre for the most part, I found reading this book to be a life-changing event. So if any of what I said rings true to you, go and read it. Seriously.)

Moving on.

There is a thing that W always says used to say but doesn’t so often anymore, that he said from perhaps Day One of our relationship, and that is that becoming familiar with each other, becoming lovers, becoming friends, becoming comfortable with each other, is a kink-killer. Oh, maybe he didn’t say it quite that way. I think what he actually said is that once you know each other well, once you have established a relationship, the edge is gone. And for him, for kink to be really hot, there has to be that edge, of the unknown, of uncertainty. Maybe even, for certain types of play, of fear. Once that’s gone, once you know each other, the edge is gone. That doesn’t mean that the kink won’t be good, but, well, it won’t have the sharpness – the edge – that it once did.

I have spent the last 3 years of our 4-year long relationship trying to prove him wrong. And, I think, succeeding for the most part, showing him the error of that thinking, as I think he has come to see that the deeper you know someone, the deeper you can go, and there, too is an edge to play on. The edge of the abyss: deep and dark beyond imagining (and a far more powerful place, in my opinion.)

And so, in many ways, that tape has been quieted. Not silenced; I hear it raise its querulous voice occasionally still, especially when I see the sharp desire in his face to play with someone new, someone unknown, and I know that he is hearing its siren call, playing that tape in his head again. And…I have learned to accept that. I have learned that, as long as he acknowledges that it is not the only edge to play on (and thus lost to us forever), I can acknowledge that for him, it is an edge that he wants and needs to occasionally explore.

But that is not the only tape that he plays in regards to relationships, and how they work (or don’t.) The other one he says is, “Familiarity breeds vanilla.” In other words, after having been with someone long enough, the kink dies, or at least dwindles. Kind of like long-term marriage kills sex, right? Newlyweds start out fucking like bunnies twice a day, then eventually it dwindles to twice a week, then twice a month, and finally, twice a year. (I just read this line to my daughter. “The solution to that is obvious: don’t get married,” she said. In my head I replied, “Or get kinky.” But I digress.)

Personally I refuse to believe it. Or at least subscribe to it. (And have said so many, many times to W, loudly, vociferously, and at times, petulantly.)

In terms of our relationship, because our relationship is both kink and vanilla, a little less kink isn’t necessarily a relationship-killer.  Even if we aren’t as kinky as often as we once were, we still have vanilla, and we actually like vanilla with each other an awful lot. We like each other, we still have hot sex (though admittedly less often) and when we do play, it’s still intense and as hot and ferocious as ever. But…as he has said, it’s easy to fall into vanilla when you see someone all the time, because you know that there is all the time in the world to play. There’s always tomorrow, or next week. There is not the aegis to do something that you have when you only see someone once a month for a weekend, the imperative to playplayplay! because that’s all you’ll get for a month or more. So you fall into routine and habit (an enjoyable routine and habit, but still…) and the kink becomes something you do every other time you see each other, and then every third time, and then maybe once every couple of weeks. Or the scenes you do become shorter, and where once you might have walked in the door and found yourself in some kind of play scenario all weekend long, going from one thing to another with vanilla time interspersed between scenes, the scene becomes a two-hour event interspersed between everything else vanilla you do that weekend. Or where once he made you wear heels and shackles to bed, or attached a chain to your ankle while you worked at the computer, the shackles now hang on the wall as decoration, your heels are only put on to scene, and the chain, well, who even knows where that is anymore?

And eventually you are proving the adage to be true. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And that is the sad part. I don’t believe it’s a truth, but because he says it so often, because he listens to the tape in his head, sometimes he makes it true.

We have addressed this, and are working together on ways to combat it. Things that make us both feel connected to our kink and each other, such as setting up some low-key protocols for when I come over to his house. They fulfill my need to know that the kink is still there, while not placing a burden on W to do anything except enjoy the fruits of my submission. ;-) Since these are things that he doesn’t actively have to do (well except for one, small part that I don’t think he minds), and since they are things that have grown naturally out of our four years of knowing each other, and lastly since they aren’t hard and fast “rules” (a concept that always squicks W out somewhat) it has worked pretty well.

But…I do still miss playing more often, and in the ways that we used to. I can’t help it, he is my Dominant, my Owner, my Kinky Partner, the one that makes my kink-o-meter run and my juices flow. It is through kink, when we are in that space deeply together, that I feel our connection the strongest, and in a way that no one else has ever made me feel, not even the Ex.

Also, I’m a ball of kinky energy; I like to play. So, yes, this “we have all the time in the world to do things, we can just enjoy each other’s company,” is terrific, but I need my kink. And frankly, our proximity to each other (living in the same town), or the fact that we see each other every week, should NOT mean that we allow ourselves to settle into 90% vanilla. I just don’t think familiarity has to mean that.

This is how I see it. In a vanilla marriage, yes you could let your sexual interactions become routine. You could let it be a chore. That’s easy to do, and you hear about that all the time (hell, I lived it, before kink, with the Ex.) But it doesn’t have to be that way. Successful couples make the effort to keep things fresh, to stoke the other’s interest and their own in each other. It can, and is done.

Kink couples are no different. And we have such a wider range to play with, to explore with, to experience with each other. Unless we just aren’t feeling it anymore (and that happens to) why wouldn’t you want to play with each other as often as possible? I’m not talking about elaborate, four-hour long or weekend-long scenes. I’m talking about little bits of play here and there, or small scenes, or even just the “bend over I’m going to fuck you in the ass, cunt,” kind of scenes. (Though yeah, the four-hour long going-from-one-thing-to-another type are amazing and sorely missed as well.)  But, as I said, there are ways to combat that. With some effort, with some desire. As we have started to do with the aforementioned protocols-that-aren’t-really-protocols.

What? You want to know what those things are? Okay, I’ll spill:

  1. He chooses a pair of heels and places them at the door for me to change in to as soon I come in.
  2. Before I leave his house for home, I am to grind beans for a pot of coffee and leave his coffee pot ready to go. (I was so fuzzed when I left yesterday I forgot!) :-(
  3. I am to make him hard each morning that we wake together, if he doesn’t already wake that way.

As I said, these are not hard and fast rules, and I don’t get punished if I don’t do them (although I might wish to be, LOL) but they have become part of our routine, and a part that I cherish, not just because of the way it makes me feel to do them, or even because I know that these are not arbitrary rules he just made up to appease me, but because by implementing them, he acknowledged and validated my need for them, and found a way to feed that need while pleasing himself.

This truly is what relationship is about, and this is what makes our relationship so fucking good.

But it’s insidious, that little saying. It worms its way into a person’s brain, into our belief-system, and soon even I start to wonder. And worry. Are we really at that point, the point of such familiarity that kink is no longer interesting?  Or is it (my worse fear, the one that my own “I’m not good enough,” tapes hit on) is it me he isn’t interested in anymore? Maybe I just don’t turn him on anymore, at least in that fearsome, hot, aggressively kinky way that I love?  And that is where I have been lately, wondering and worrying if he just doesn’t feel…the passion…in what we do anymore. But as he is always telling me, I have an overly dramatic sense of things. I read, “He doesn’t want me anymore!” into an innocuous event that meant nothing. Again, my own negative tapes playing. And maybe that’s all that’s going on. Me reading shit into things that don’t mean…shit.

Travel presents a particular challenge for me. For some reason, when we mix vanilla and kink, and when we travel in particular, the kink part of his brain shuts down – whereas it throws mine into overdrive. This is how my head works when I am thinking about traveling:

  • Yay! Road trip! That means Kinky Car Games! I envision playing a game in which I am told to flash truckers (juvenile, I know) or we stop to take bondage pictures, or I am made to use Baldy, with the game being that I have to start or stop every time we pass a truck or come to a certain number sign. You get the drift.
  • Yay! Hotel! That means Kinky Hotel Play! In the bed, in the bath, on the floor, in the window, wherever!! The last time I mentioned this, W said, “It’s just another hotel room. There’s nothing ‘special’ about it.” To me, anywhere that is not home is special. And the added spice of trying to do something nasty in a hotel room and not get heard, well that makes it all the more ‘special’. It has nothing to do with the actual space.
  • Yay! Event! Kinky Event Play! Play before, during and after! Being displayed, being used, being played with off and on, whether we are doing it on the sly at dinner somewhere vanilla or he makes me wear or do something that only we know about, or blatantly at the actual event…I look at an event as an opportunity for full-on, 24/7 kink and/or sex slave play and/or slutty-girl time. And lastly…
  • Yay! A new city/country/place to explore! Places to pervert with clandestine kinky play, or guerrilla rope bondage, or just being made to be aware that even there, in the vanilla world, I am still his slut, still his sex toy, and could possibly be made to do nasty things. Even there.

I don’t expect that these things will be happening 24/7 while we travel, and in fact, W and I both agree that it would get tiring to be doing it all the time, but honestly, for me, sometimes just being told to “keep my legs apart during dinner,” or to wear my chain and lock when we go out that day is enough. It’s the symbolism. It is that he knows about it, that he wants me to do it, that he wants me reminded of our dynamic. For me, if we aren’t actually playing, the symbols are often enough. At least to tide me over. ;-)

I love love LOVE travel with W. We are so very much alike in how we travel, the things we enjoy doing and seeing, and we both enjoy exposing the other to new experiences, places and ideas. We truly delight in each other so much as traveling companions. But that is all on the vanilla plane. As I mentioned above, for me travel is an excuse to mix in the kink, and really instigates and intensifies kink for me. And I very much want and expect it…or I have in the past, until I realized how much W disconnects the two. I have slowly come to realize that kink (and consequently sex) is the farthest thing from his mind when he travels. Even to a kink event. It is not until he gets into “kink space” that he throws himself into that frame of mind. And yes, this has been an issue for me every time we have traveled, although I have tried to circumvent it by making up the travel games, or giving hints, or asking outright for play, which works to a degree.

And by trying to tamp down my expectations.

So then we went on this cruise.

You can see where this is heading, can’t you?  I am already in an anxious frame of mind, worrying about where we are as a kink couple, and then to top it off, we go and do something that is bound to kick all my anxieties into high gear, because I am (being me) naturally going to have all those expectations, and he is (being him) going to do this compartmentalization thing: “this is not kink,” and…it’s going to exacerbate the anxiety I am already feeling. I probably should have said something, but I didn’t want to make him feel pressured, I wanted him to just be him, and I wanted to try and manage my own expectations (in other words lower them by a WHOLE lot.) I even considered asking him not to bring kink toys, but then we had been pretty vocal about the dungeon space on the ship, and Ad was getting into the idea, and…well, fuck. As I said, for me, travel IS kinky.

And, additionally, there was the obvious point that the whole point of this cruise was to be sexual and kinky with a whole lot of other open, sexual, kinky people.  So of course W would feel it, right?

I was so excited. The opportunity to be slutty and kinky and sexual with my Guys in public, in front of everyone, every day – I couldn’t wait! I imagined that W would have me wear things on my rings (I even made some pretty beaded danglies on the way down) and tell me what a nasty, sexy slut I was, and make me behave in just-this-side of inappropriate ways on board. I imagined sex and being tied up every morning in our cabin, and later in the dungeon, and maybe even in the bars on the ship. I imagined playing every night and every afternoon, either in the dungeon or in the sex rooms.

As you have probably guessed, the reality was quite a bit more…tame…than that. We went to the dungeon a total of twice, and the sex rooms twice, with three of those times at my behest. Ad woke up ready for sex every morning, but W…well…it seemed like he had kind of shut down. He was his usual vanilla self, but his sexy/kink self? Didn’t seem to be there. And when it was, it only seemed to be triggered by the possibility of play with others. I was glad to give him that experience, but the knowledge that he just wasn’t interested in doing those things with just me? Kinda made me feel…well, all that stuff from before all that more acutely.

His words, “Familiarity breeds vanilla,” rang loudly in my head on the cruise.

This paints a worse picture than I wish to convey. In all ways except kink, this was an amazing trip.  We had a great time, had some wonderful adventures, and even popped a couple sexual cherries (we three had sex in the playrooms and W and I actually had a “swinging” scene in the playrooms.) The places we went, the relaxation and pleasure in each others company…it was heavenly.  If we had been a regular old vanilla couple or triad, it would have been absolutely perfect.  But honestly, I left the ship wondering even more than before where W’s and my kink relationship was headed. Wondering if he really was bored with me, if he had become so familiar with me that he was no longer interested in kink with me. If he had internalized that tape in his head to the point that it couldn’t be changed.

I will admit to my own fault in all this. When W didn’t seem interested in me sexually or in a kink way, I turned that off too. I made excuses not to want to do things, so that he wouldn’t feel pressured, and so that I wouldn’t be disappointed and feel rejected. And by the end of the cruise, I had decided (and even mentioned to Ad) that on our next vacation, even if it is on a lifestyle cruise, I would ask W not to bring his kink toys. Then I wouldn’t fight so hard for something that he obviously didn’t want. I wouldn’t have expectations then, and be disappointed.

That was what I thought about that last evening on the ship, and as we drove home. What if that was the case? Could I give up wanting those things as much as I did? Could I live with 90% vanilla, if that is what he wanted? I could go on a vacation and live without kink during it (I think) but to give in to a relationship that was mostly vanilla, or in which I was the driving force, the instigator, of our kink…could I do that? I knew that I could make it happen that way – be the instigator – if I could accept that role. He would do it, play with me, if I asked. Gladly. And well. And enjoy it.

But that isn’t what our relationship is predicated on. I even put it in my profile: “I show up, and he does things to me.” That’s the relationship I wanted, and missed.

The damn thing is that even when I am the one saying, “Let’s do this,” it is still good. I still want it. But it’s not enough.  And it’s not why I started things with him. I can get that with Ad, or any other number of play partners. I can bottom to anyone. What I want and need is someone that wants and needs to do those things to me.  And it felt on the ship as if…perhaps that was lost. Whether he had internalized his own tapes, or really just didn’t feel it toward me anymore, I no longer felt that I “show up and he does things to me.”

Once I asked him, “If I didn’t want to be kinky anymore, would you be satisfied with our relationship?”

He had answered truthfully. “No, I want a kink partner.” But now I was asking myself that very question. Could I be happy with someone that I had to ask to play with me every time? That I didn’t feel wanted me with the same intensity that I wanted him?

This has nothing to do with love. I have absolutely no doubt that he loves me as deeply as I love him. But as entwined in a love relationship as our kink is, it is still its own element, and important in its own right. Pull that out – and more specifically, pull out the essential element of our kink, coercion play – and could I be satisfied?

So Wednesday after the cruise came. I had spent all day Tuesday pondering this, and wondering if I should say anything to W. Wondering how to address it, or if I should. Was I just being a selfish, greedy bitch, always wanting more? Was W right, that this was just the price we had to pay for being “too familiar?” Words he had said earlier on the ship when I had brought it up came to mind though: “We have to fight against it,” he said. They gave me hope that perhaps it was just circumstances (his inexplicable inability to mix kink and vanilla) and allowing himself to believe his own rhetoric. Maybe we could fight it. But I was tired. Tired of wanting and not getting, tired of having expectations and having them unmet. So when I went to his house Wednesday I had decided two things:

  1. I was NOT going to bring it up. W knows how I feel, and to bring it up again would only make him unhappy; and
  2. I was not going to have expectations.

What this meant was that I wasn’t going to treat going over to work with him like a potential play date. I got ready to go to his house, and I didn’t do the things I normally do, in anticipation of even the possibility of play (shave my cooch, wear something sexy or at least wear a thong, put on make-up, do my hair.)

No expectations. Not even my heels at the door.

Until I saw them there. I don’t think the sound of my heart jumping in my chest when I saw them was audible, but it sounded deafening in my own ears. My mouth went dry and for a moment, tears actually obscured my vision. I know, ridiculously emotional reaction, but one that I couldn’t help. I walked quickly into the other room to hide my reaction. Then I returned, put on my heels, and we had our work day. It was a lovely day, and every time I moved I felt my heels on my feet, and every time I walked I felt them, and my heart soared and I felt light as air.

Still, when he said something about me needing a sound thrashing before I left, I didn’t let myself get my hopes up. He’d said that before and nothing came of it, and I didn’t want to want it so bad that I asked for it. If it happened, it had to come from him. It wouldn’t work any other way.

The afternoon wore on, and finally I was done with work, and he mentioned turning the heaters on upstairs. He mentioned play again, and though I smiled, I schooled myself not to react too much. While the heaters kicked on, we sat downstairs and talked and I fed us ice cream. Until he said, “Hand me some rope.”

Just that casually.

My heart did a stutter-step and I swallowed as I reached for his bag. I want him so very very badly that it is like this for me, painful, when he decides he wants me too. But I played it cool, and dug out rope. I don’t know if he saw my hands shaking when I handed it to him. And soon it didn’t matter, because he was doing something that made any shaking impossible: tying my hands around his hard cock.

It started as silly play, with us both laughing and joking about what he was doing. Then suddenly it wasn’t silly.  Suddenly an amusement turned into something more for him, and I could feel the change, in the air, in him, in myself. My pussy clenched, and I could feel the wetness between my legs.  We spent the next hour with him forcing my mouth down on his cock and forcing me to pump him with the hands that he had tied excruciatingly tight around his cock. I ended up with rope around my ankles and waist and neck. I ended up exhausted, with a sore jaw and fantasies that he put in my mind of being made to do this to other men. I heard his words, and felt how hard he was, and realized I had instigated none of this, it was all him.  And then he untied me, and told me to turn around and get on my hands and knees so he could fuck me from behind. First in my cunt, then in my ass. “Make it come,” he said, over and over, as I struggled to use hands that he had rendered useless. “Do it, you little whore,” he commanded, whipping me across the back and shoulders. And I did, whimpering in pain and ecstasy. Then he got out Baldy and made me do it again, and again, all the time telling me to “Come! Do it, slut,” until his words and the words in my fantasy (being made to masturbate in front of a roomful of people) were one and the same. I was shaking, and sore, and exhausted, by the time he let me up off my hands and knees.

But he wasn’t done yet. Without a word he yanked me up and tied me between the posts in his downstairs front room, my legs shaking from my orgasms earlier and my thoughts fuzzy. And he flogged me ferociously until I could barely stand. Until I was shaking like a leaf and begging him to stop.

It was an incredible, blissful, wonderful afternoon. And all weekend, I have been holding my knees open, my ankles crossed, while I write. And thinking about him, and our afternoon, and smiling.

So what was this gift that I mentioned in the beginning? It’s simple. It was the gift of hope, and of him showing me he still wants to do those things to me, and that maybe we don’t have to accept that “familiarity=vanilla.” He’s right, it could mean that. But it doesn’t have to. And I don’t think he wants it to any more than I do.

No wonder I forgot to make his damn coffee, right?