Friday, January 31, 2014

Overachieved On Self Care and Lovey-Dovey February Goals

I limited the goals for January because, like I said yesterday, I thought the month would be a lot harder. But the further my old relationship gets behind me, the happier and better able to take care of myself I feel.

For February, I really want to celebrate my ability to love and be loved. I've tended to be annoyed with that side of me before, but the more I let it in, the more aligned and healthy I feel. Regardless of who shows up, I'm planning to bathe myself in all different kinds of affection and romance.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Song of the Week: January Hymn

I expected this first real month post-Sweetie to be much harder than it was. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for the blizzard of support and kindness that's come my way all year so far. Special praise to all of the snuggle-friends and snow angels who made this cold month mostly about love.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Single Life Week Eight: Some Good Closure and a Brand New Sex Adventure

It was a hard week but full of good progress and nice surprises. First, the hard part: during the big snowstorm of Tuesday night, right at the moment I was writing that post about self-love, Sweetie was getting onto a city bus and slipped, cutting her leg open badly. She has a condition called venous stasis that keeps the blood in her legs from circulating and makes her skin there very thin and hard to repair. She called me from the ambulance and I was scared to death, both for the normal still-care-about-her reasons and the bone chilling fear that this would be she’d have to move back in with me.

I know that might seem selfish, but I felt like the universe (caution, magical thinking ahead) was going to take away all of the good steps we’d taken, and that seemed so unfair to both of us, especially to her. She finally has a good job close to home, we’ve been working so hard to get ourselves apart, and it felt like fate was forcing us back together. (Sheesh, sometimes I sound like a character on Lost)

I knew without a doubt that I shouldn’t drive through a blizzard to go to the hospital and see her. It wasn’t safe physically or emotionally, so I did what I try and do whenever I’m panicky and overwhelmed: I went to bed early.

When I woke up the next morning, there were a whole bunch of texts from her dad on my phone and a nasty facebook message from her sister, sniping at me for abandoning Sweetie in her time of need. I freaked but wrote and backed her off, saying that I hoped someone was on their way because Sweetie’s family needed to be the ones to take care of her. “I thought y’all were still family,” she said. Funny how I hadn’t heard from them in the last six months and now all of a sudden they’re family.

I felt like such a bitch, but I knew I was doing the right thing. The sister had unfriended me but I went ahead and blocked her anyway, just for the relief of it. I blocked her aunt’s number when she called, and when Sweetie’s roommate emailed me for updates, I told her to please update people herself.

It all felt really harsh, but I really love the hard-won progress we’ve made and I feel very protective of it. I’ve been calling to check on her, I’m not a monster, but it was an enormous relief when it finally sunk in that nobody was gonna make us move back in together, that her dad was on the way to look after her and she and I could keep choosing to go forward.

Sweetie was a really, really hard person to take care of—stubborn, volatile, fragile, self-neglecting, and dependent on me for nearly every single social and emotional need (I think this is part of why lately I’m attracted to people who have a million partners—I like knowing they’re taken care of when I’m not fawning over them.) I felt horrible that I couldn’t love her in the exclusive, consuming way that she loved me, but I could never make myself have enough patience and compassion to give her what she needed. I hadn’t felt that guilt in a while, but last week there was a blizzard of it. And then I woke up the next day and the knots in my stomach were gone. I was set back a little, but I knew we’d separately be okay.

Partly because my Mystery Man said the wisest, most comforting things on that hard snow day, my break went back to “mostly.” I resumed lavishing him with attention and receiving lovey-dovey notes in return—so much of his appeal is that he lets me be my ridiculous, doting self instead of expecting me to try and be cool, which would be a futile effort anyway.

I cheerfully re-started sex-brainstorming with the Recurring Character for when I see him at the Big Poly Conference in a couple of weeks, and I reached out to Mr. Sweetface, too.  I’d been wondering if maybe he didn’t have enough attention for me, but he told me he thinks about me all the time, so I thought it’d be worth another date, especially one for which I could stay in my pajamas. But the weather got all dramatic again so I wasn’t sure if he would make it.

Know who’s good to have in a snowstorm? A Twitter guy. I’d already decided that we should consummate our relationship, and what better way get some company while I was waiting for Mr. Sweetface to make up his mind.

The Mystery Man is beyond chivalrous and polite (probably I’m the only girl ever to learn how to be treated chivalrously via the internet…) so I’d kind of wondered how I was going to get smutty with him. After about two tweets, though (you can read my side of the exchange here if you promise to forgive me the sex-typos) the special underpants I’d put on for both of them (blue sheer with tiny multicolored stars) were COMPLETELY soaked and I was swooning into the desk between interactions. (Guys. How old-timey am I? Why do I not have a smartphone or even a laptop? These are weirdly intimate moments to be having at the same desk where I type in my grades.)

I LOVED the fact that we were loving each other up on the public feed, and even though I got a little stage fright whenever somebody (especially a stranger!) favorited or replied, it appealed to the showoffy part of me that’s been kind of under wraps lately. One of the best parts was when I @mentioned one of his wives midscene (she’s his Mistress, and so I felt a little self-conscious about writing the spanky part) and she sent me some encouragement. “Well, as long as you believe in me Ma’am,” I typed with an enormous grin on my face.

When Mr. Sweetface texted to say he wasn’t coming, he may have found me surprisingly magnanimous about it. I do miss him and I was sad about it later, but I loved being absorbed in my Mystery Man and I was enjoying the challenge of trying to write something good and hot when all of the blood had rushed south from my brain.

One of the Mystery Ladies had been in the room watching him and she sent her applause as he finished. I took a bow and felt very adorable indeed. Aftercare took the form of chatting sweetly about other things until I felt sleepy and typed him a chaste kiss goodnight.
There are things that everybody kind of thinks of as normal that just completely fucking blow my mind. Internet sex has been around for two decades, but that was the first time I tried it, and I’m still trying to get my head around it. Being here in my body but also out in the ether with him felt natural at the time but was really quite a shock to the system—the next day I had a hangover from it, similar to ones I’ve gotten after happy-but-harsh nights at the dungeon.

I spent Sunday feeling surprisingly vulnerable about him, afraid the friendship would change, afraid that he wouldn’t like me anymore or that I wasn’t special or that he and the ladies would somehow be gone now. I’m so proud of what I did about that feeling: I told him. Even though I’m pretty sure I was interrupting some other fun, we got to talk about it. It didn’t make the fears go away, but it feels really important that I showed him my insecurities and had them met with kindness, reassurance, and love. I’m doing my best to take that to heart.

It feels very scary to let myself like someone, even just online, but I’m glad to be letting myself feel it, letting myself play a little part of his cute poly life that is so much of what I aspire to someday when I’m ready. But sheesh, everybody, there need to be some real-life spanks in my life pretty soon. Dear heart and soul, please keep healing, so I can get the heck back out there.

Holy Christmas, I Gave Somebody Advice!

Over the weekend, I got to be extremely proud of myself when a friend and reader I love and admire asked me for advice. The relationship issues she shared went along with a lot of the themes I obsess about here, so I thought my response to her was worth sharing. I was shocked to find myself sure of what to tell her, but if you ever need the strength to leave someone, I might be the girl to ask; it felt like I was also writing the letter to myself.

"Okay. Rereading your letter this morning made me really sure of what I want to say.

First, as much as I’ve tried to be open minded about people’s fantasy lives, I completely agree with you about his rape fantasy. I think it represents an unhealthy desire to be disconnected during what is supposed to be the most connected of times. Aside from what it says about his view of your personhood (and his own) I don’t see any potential in that kind of scene to bring you two closer. But all of that is moot, really, because you don’t want to do it. To me, that is the most powerful and valid of reasons not to do something, sexwise. Your wants and preferences are important, especially when it comes to something that has such a high physical and emotional risk factor.

And the part of you that’s not getting fulfilled? The sexy part? It’s important, vital, lovable, and (I think) divine. It’s life itself, the force that moves the universe. You deserve to feel it, to express it in whatever way feels good to you. Anybody who doesn’t want to love and honor and DEVOUR that part of you is absolutely not worth your time.

And your counselor is right: you can’t change him. For the part 12 years, I had very similar pains and frustrations with (Sweetie), I spent so many years BEGGING her to get her teeth fixed, to take care of herself, to get out of the job that was rotting her soul, etc. You wouldn’t believe the RELIEF that came when I realized I didn’t have to do that anymore, that I’m no longer responsible for her, that I never have to make her into someone I can stand to live with. I’m so grateful that I never, EVER have to nag her about anything ever again and I thank heavens every day that those are no longer my teeth to worry about.

A bad relationship can make you blind to the things that make you lovable, can make you feel like you can’t have or don’t deserve an escape route. But you can and you do. You are brilliant, powerful, tenacious, and loving and (if you don’t mind me saying) one of the most desirable people I’ve ever met. (Pause to take the sexTARDIS back to 2001 and leap upon you and yours…) It might not look this way now, but I could not be more sure that, after however much alone time you want, you could have absolutely ANYONE your heart desires.

To egalitarian-minded girls like ourselves it might to be hard to admit this, but it’s true: the world is full of people who are not good enough for us. He isn’t. He might be for someone, some day, but not for you, not now.

So take the alone time you want. Try to get inside yourself and see how brave and loving and worthy you are. Don’t dismiss your sex drive as unimportant; it’s there for a reason, and it deserves to be celebrated and appreciated.

There’s happiness and sex and joy ALL OVER THE PLACE waiting for you, and no matter what you decide, I’m here ready to send you all the gold stars.


Friday, January 24, 2014


Is how much I can be on a break. Will have to find a road to enlightenment besides chastity, I guess.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why a Break and the Next Quest

It should be noted that I wished for extra time to write and draw this morning and then we got an early dismissal because of the blizzard. And a snow day for tomorrow! It’s pretty superstitious but I do consider snow days to be evidence that the universe hearts me.

As I’m typing this I reallyreally miss my Mystery Man (Yes, I got smitten with somebody via Twitter, are you even a little bit surprised?) but here’s how I realized I had to take a break even from him: On Sunday afternoon I was getting ready to go out and having a nice exchange with a couple of the Mystery Ladies and just for a tiny second I thought they might be displeased with me. (They were not.) Before I could stop and think, tears were coming right out of my face, and I realized several things:

1. Ohyeah, I’m kind of a submissive. And also just kind of not okay.

2. Even though I’ve never (as far as I know) seen him/them and only know some of their names, I have real feelings for him and his family. As Twitter followers and then as friends and then a flirtation, they’ve been in touch almost everyday for the past while, and I can’t afford to lose that.

(Also I can totally understand now how people get invested enough in strangers to be Catfished.)

3. He’s not a loophole, he’s just a guy I really like.

4. The internet is magic.

So when I got home from my weepy date with the new Spike Jonze movie (on not entirely unrelated themes) I wrote a love letter 140 characters at a time explaining why I have to let our cute little nice thing go for a while, and he wrote back all kinds of wonderful supportive poly-mensch things that made him even more irresistible. I feel like I’m fighting the tide of myself, but I can’t can’t can’t be worrying about messing up and losing friends right now.

The tears weren’t about the Mystery Ladies, of course. They were for all of the trying and failing to be good for Sweetie, for the emotional land mines I’ve kept running into over the past few years, for how hard it was to ever do anything right by anybody’s girl sometimes.

Last year, counting immediate metamours, I broke up with/broke things off with/ let go of at 11 people. Given that one of those was my wife of 10 years and there was also the whole Scary Party fiasco and a brand new career on top of everything, it’s no wonder I’m still randomly weeping.

I don’t want to take a break. I don’t want to keep saying no to genuine affection when it’s been my wish for so long. But in order to really be able to experience the love I’ve been wanting, I think I do have to shift the tide a little. I think that some of the crazy, excited, twitterpated love that gushes out of me all of the time (sometimes making a mess) is actually meant for someone in particular: me.

From years of bad decision, self denial, abuse and self-abuse, I’ve got the proverbial hole inside me. Like any vacuum, it’s eager to fill itself up, and will do so hungrily and desperately if I let it. The (sorry, there’s really no other way to say it) hole in my heart doesn’t care what’s healthy or fruitful, it just wants to be filled.

So I think what I really need to do here is to slow all the way down and let it be empty, then work on gradually filling it up with self-love. I’m not supersure how to do that, but I know that if I keep trying to love while I’ve got that emptiness, things will keep getting poisonous and broken, and I will really never learn to let myself be loved.

(It really is hard to write this without clich├ęs, I apologize…)

I don’t think that I can fill up the whole thing in just a few months, but maybe I can learn some new habits, break the old patterns and learn some better ones. I think that if I can find a way to give all of the ridiculous love I keep feeling to myself somehow, I can turn myself from a vacuum to the endless fountain I was probably born to be, and give some nice people the infinite, generous love they deserve.

I got a pink glass vase from the dollar store to remind me of the gap in my heart I’m trying to allow to be not-filled-yet. I didn’t get anything to put in there, it’s just sitting there being pretty, with an empty space inside. (Okay, yes, like some other poor neglected pink parts I could name…)

The first few years of this story were all about learning to love my body, finding my inner Bettie Page, and as the Nakedest Person at thePagan Festival, I certainly achieved that. Whenever my work friends are fretting about their body issues, I kind of feel like they’re speaking a different language.

But now I would like to learn to give some of that brazenness and bravery to figuring out how to love my heart. I’ve spent so much of my life impatient with it, trying to tamp it down, pretending it doesn’t want things that other people decided I couldn’t have. In pursuit of experience and adventure, my poor heart has been through the ringer and I would really love to learn how to treat it kindly.

So the question is, what can I, on my own for now, give to my heart, to make it feel celebrated and loved like I did for my body? What’s the heart equivalent of Shibari or fireplay? Where is my heart’s nude beach?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Song of the Week (Okay, Just Letting it Win)

In the course of starting to write about why I'm on a break, I decided that this is a good song to belt out in the car a lot. Sorry, part of me that used to be cool.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Single Life, Week 7: Life After “Thrift Shop”

It’s too early to know what the song of this year will be, but “Thrift Shop” was my song of last year, the one I woke myself up with on the way to work, sweated to at the gym, and heard in my head when something, yes, fucking awesome was happening.

I wrote last fall about how it’s a good philosophy of life; just being delighted at what you find, letting chance and serendipity show me where I need to go. With that theory in place, I left the year with an armload of experiences, many of which were unequivocally awesome, some that didn’t fit, some that were stained and downright nasty. As unegalitarian as it feels for me to say this, chance threw some things my way that simply weren’t good enough for me, and I took them home anyway.

I like that seeing play as a magical thrift shop helped me to take down a lot of the structures of control that I had in place. Though I still do love planning and anticipating, I think that my calendar fixation was a lot about trying to make things stay the same, trying to keep things safe and cozy for Sweetie so that she wouldn’t yell at me and call me names. I learned how to be more flexible, to adjust my expectations, and even how to not want to claim people immediately upon kissing them. Well, a little shaky on that last one, but still.

I really, really miss it, just powering through and experiencing every single sensation that I could, even when the emotional cost was high, even when I had to fight my own instincts to do it. Last night was my first night skipping the Regular Dungeon in a long time, and though I had a fantastic time, I still felt nostalgic for the nights where I was able to experience thing after thing after thing, to slip seamlessly from bottom to top, from fire to floggers, and feel like a princess superhero while doing so. It occurs to me that very, very little of that experience had to do with the Steampunks, so I probably don’t have to give all of it up just because they don’t like me. I hope to eventually return to some of it after the wounds have healed.

Back to my metaphor: In real life, I don’t shop like “Thrift Shop.” Not even when I’m IN a thrift shop. I tend to mostly browse, enjoying the bright randomness of everything and only picking anything up if it’s really special, like a tulip-glass pitcher or a perfect grandma cardigan. I would certainly never take home anything that needs fixing, especially if I already had a broken keyboard at home.

In regular stores I’m even pickier. In fact, I’m currently refusing to buy work pants until tapered legs go out of style. I don’t have a shape or a budget for careless shopping. I’m a grown-ass woman who knows what she likes and should never have to settle for anything that doesn’t fit or that I don’t completely love. If I’m that picky with spending my money, can I be a little pickier with spending my heart?

When my therapist got unavailable because her supervisor wanted to Girl Interrupted me, I refused to even look for another one. I couldn’t stand the strangers’ input that came from the 10-minute screening process. So I waited seven months for my real therapist to get her own practice, and now she even makes house calls. There’s a lesson there about waiting for something that works, rather than trying to fit with things that don’t.

My point, and I do have one, is that I hope to find a balance between the natural excitement and momentum in my heart and the discernment that will allow me to get what I want and deserve. That way I can have chance and magic but also, you know, sanity.

That said, I reallyreally hate being on a break from the pursuit of sexytimes. My emotions are grateful to have the time to rest, but my body is like what. the. fuck?

But remembering what pants-on activities I enjoy is rewarding and comforting. On Thursday night, I sat in the meeting room of a neighborhood historic building (we have a lot of them) and drew while I listened to my friends sing and play the most lovely and gently moving music. I was flooded with a sense of (mostly) platonic wellbeing that nonetheless made me have to go home and ravish myself.

Last night, Gold Star Winggirl (So named because she sends me gold stars whenever I’m awesome at being on my break) came with me to a Bhakti dance, and by the end when we were Om Shanti Shanti-ing, I felt so good and loved that I could have Om Shanti-Shanti-ed for about 10 more hours. The best part was getting lots of time to catch up with GSW and root for her adventures too.

Transcendent and fulfilled as I was though, I still would have liked to have driven over to the Regular Dungeon and handed out some what-for. Funny how that’s the thing I miss most.

But guys! Guess what. Granted, it’s only happening on Twitter (hence the loophole) but for a few weeks, I’ve been spending attention on a guy who actually gives it back. Who is actually nice to me! Who checks on me if I’m sad and whose girlfriends and wives and metamours all seem to be delighted by our exchanges. I’ve never even seen any of their faces and at the moment I’m not ready too, but I do feel a genuine connection and I think this is excellent practice for letting myself be treated kindly when it comes time for IRL flirtations. A gold star for me, and one for the Mystery Man and his family. (I’m quite sure they’ll be good at sharing a star.)

Likewise, the Recurring Character is being internet-adorable, telling me semi-daily which of my (G-rated) body parts he is rooting for. So a gold star to him, too.

Okay, so I’m somewhat terrible at taking a break, but I am still making a lot of progress: Friday I told Sweetie we can no longer do groceries together, and yesterday I told her that this is my last week of sharing the car with her. Next weekend I am going to try and find a car of my own. I’m getting better at letting Sweetie-things go, and that’s progress.

PS. As I leave on pop song behind, I just want to take a moment to celebrate and thank the part of my soul that will always sound like this:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Song of the Week (This Week in Cute)

Sure, I'm already jumping out of my skin from being on a break, but it's important to note celebrate the Mystery Man who tweeted this song at me the other day:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Single Life, Week Six: Antsy But Enjoying the New Goals

Last weekend, I told my therapist that sessions might be boring for a while, and that’s how it might be with the blog, too. (Though adventures must not have been particularly unboring when I was hitting the same patterns again and again…) Anyway, I’m supposed to be mostly taking a three month break from sexytimes. In a way, it’s liberating, not having to worry about making plans or scheduling dates, and maybe letting the (already pretty lax) shaving routine lapse a little bit.

But since even in this hard transition I am still my horny, half-extroverted self, I feel antsy. The adrenaline of the past couple of years, though not always healthy, kept me fueled and inspired most of the time, and now I have to look for quieter, more sustainable forms of inspiration. I’m a little afraid that if I let myself rest for these few months I’ll suddenly wake up 60 with no one but cats. It’s the stupidest of tropes, but there it is anyway.

I know where the next adventure’s coming from: there’s a big poly conference coming up soon. And I don’t think I’ll be away from the dungeon forever—I’d thought I was probably graduated from there, but this morning when I saw the invite in my Fet inbox I felt a little surge of joy—right before I RSVPed no. In pursuit of this break-taking goal, I now even have a friend who’ll text me a gold star any time I RSVP no or just stay home in my PJs for any reason. It’s nice how the right influences tend to come along.

The story now is about self-care and about slow, safe progress. One big obstacle-removal is that Sweetie got a promotion and now works closer to home, allowing her to fully take over the car payments so that I can save up for a car of my own. Yay my future little red car! Trading the car back and forth has been a too-often chance to see each other, and that’s getting dicey. Plus, pretty soon I will never again have to drive the car that I jumped out of.

In some ways, it’s getting harder to let Sweetie go. Now that she’s free from her terrible commute and the job she hated, she’s getting frustratingly appealing. I’ve had to stop having her over for TV because the other night I got the biggest urge to hold her hands during some Community reruns. As the pain of the bad parts starts to heal, all I can see it the love and it’s hard to move on, even though it’s paradoxically the moving on that brings the appeal. It makes me both reluctant to and impatient to get further and further apart. Sometimes we still do groceries together but it ends up feeling like a date, so I guess we’ll have to knock that off too.

The big excitements of the past week or so have been little acts of self-care: staying late on Friday to give my Monday-morning self a break by getting the homework packets ready. Remembering to buy batteries, adding DVDs to my Netflix account so that I can have better movie nights. The big social adventures have been after-church brunches that have made my heart so happy and full. (Resolution with the Cute Church couple: “Waffles in ‘014!”)

Slowing down has given me the chance to do what I always wanted to do: feel all the feelings. I feel sadness at letting go of Cute Master and Pretty Slave, but a happy hope that I’ve left a pattern behind. I feel nervous excitement at making new neighborhood friends and navigating social situations at which I have pants on. I feel frustration, of course, at being away from sex adventures, but pleasure in knowing that I’m the only one I have to please.

I vacillate between shyness at the year’s goals and wanting to show them off, but I like the way you guys help me keep myself accountable. The theme of the year is kindness to myself, which I know will make some friends and readers (and also, me) sigh with relief. It’s fun thinking of new ways to care for myself, to reach out to people closer to home, to look for magic in the world, to try (though I’ve always had a nice time keeping it at arm’s length) to embrace my faith.

I’m still smarting from everything I’ve let go, but sometimes when I’m washing the dishes or making the bed or cooking myself breakfast for dinner, I feel the odd sensation of liking myself. It’s a real thing and I think I can learn it.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thank You, Readers!

Just wanted to give you a bigbig Friday hug and say that I love you and appreciate your support so much--you're helping me love myself better and I'd do practically anything for you in return. Superhearts!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Bittersweet Breakthrough “No”

I was over the moon. It was finally going to happen. Cute Master and Pretty Slave were
planning to come over Saturday night for dinner and a playdate and he was excited to be my (at long last) first ass guy. I’m super tired of that storyline, but because this quest is riddled with a Three’s Company level of misunderstandings and pratfalls, a six-letter word had to get in the way.

Day after yesterday, he was sending me a series of exuberantly smutty texts about how hard he was going to fuck me, and I was getting happier and happier. Turned on and glowing, I wrote their names on the calendar and added a cute little Snoopy sticker marked “sleepover.” And then he said this:

“I’m going to make you cum from raping your ass.”

*record scratch…*

What…huh? Raping? I thought we were friends? Doing this together for…fun?

We had a nice text-conversation about why not to use that word, but really, should this really be a thing I have to tell people not to say? What kind of a WORLD is this? I didn’t want to call off the plan but the trigger was triggered and…I just couldn’t. It hurt my heart to say no to a fun night with favorite pals, but I did. I don’t really know what it means for our friendship and I’m really hoping that Pretty Slave isn’t mad at me. But even if she is, I know I did the right thing.

It’s not that using the word in a sext means he’s likely to do it, in spite of rumored allegations to that effect, my body’s always felt mostly safe with him. It just represents a worldview that I just can’t be okay with. To me, using that word meant that we wouldn’t really be in it together, that one of us would get to be a person and the other one, just a thing. I don’t think that was his intention in saying it, but it’s the feeling I got.

I’ve always felt out of sync with the way people joke about rape and throw the word around, like it’s nothing, like it isn’t a deep horror. This is why watching a Seth MacFarlane movie feels more transgressive to me than, say, getting set on fire. To me, lighthearted use of the word "rape" feels contemptuous not just to rape victims, but to humanity in general. It’s a vicious and untenable thing that feels impossible to fight, pervasive as weather.

Because this attitude that the word “rape” is no big deal is so pervasive and rape culture is so much the norm and on the surface in my local BDSM community, I’ve tried to adapt and make peace with it. Because being a rape victim has caused me to overbuild my defenses, I’ve tried to be a little bit less dogmatic about how people speak and act when it comes to matters of consent. There’s the dungeon owner I really like but who regularly dispenses the advice “Don’t go over to someone’s house unless you are ready to have sex with him.” as if driving over there is somehow an implied yes. There’s the way even some of my favorite kinksters often dismiss rape accusations as “drama.” And of course there’s the Scary Party staff treating its patrons like an all-you-can-take-advantage-of buffet. None of it is okay at all but I’ve played happily right in the middle of it for a couple of years. So what does that say about me?

It’s complicated because parts of my inner fantasy life isn’t super-consensual, but I guess what I’m realizing is that that doesn’t mean that I have to accept a guy for whom rape is part of the fantasy. The idea of sexytimes in which one of the people isn’t enjoying it makes me sick, and I don’t want a partner who’s turned on by that, even as a casual playpal.

From a vanilla standpoint, most of this seems like, yeah, duh, but it has been a boundary that is surprisingly hard from me to draw. I have had this semiconscious compulsion for a couple of years that rape culture is something I need to accept, something I need to compromise with in order to move forward. Because hating it sends me to such a dark place, I thought it would be better to love and accept it, and I have loved a few embodiments of it (though this is not that) but it doesn’t make me any less dark. It tunnels the darkness down to a pinpoint and makes me blind to everything else.

I’ve sometimes grabbed myself by the metaphorical hair and shoved myself into unsafe situations because if I could learn to love the dark things that have happened to me, if I could desensitize myself and not wince at little everyday cruelties, I could somehow reclaim the dignity I’ve lost. If I could love it, then I could make it my fault somehow and just say I’m sorry and move on. But I can’t get the dignity back, I can only hold onto what I have now, which is a choice every time somebody gets in my space.

All of this is a lot to get from one hapless and essentially harmless text, but I’m exhilarated by the breakthrough of it. Saying no to him because he used that word, even though it breaks my heart and makes my ass mad at me, means that I’ve stopped trying to compromise about this. The only rape I have to accept is what’s already happened to me. There’s never going to be a way to swoop in and save myself from the past, but I can do it in little calm ways every day in the present.

When I’m triggered, there’s a little voice in me that says I’m worthless, that if I say no to this person who made me feel yucky then I’ll never learn to be part of the world and I’ll never be loved, that I’ll never go to a party or have any friends. The little voice says no one will want me unless I can be exactly what they want, which sometimes means being nothing. As my readers well know, that voice has stopped me from taking care of myself too many times. I’m glad I was able to slow myself down this time, to see a choice instead of a catastrophe.

Today I kicked the bad little voice’s ass and closed the door on a whole set of compromises that I just don’t want to try and force myself to make anymore. Once the fear simmers down and the horizon widens out again, I think the world will look a whole lot brighter and freer. Welcome to me just not liking the stuff I don’t like. Personhood, huzzah.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Naked New Years as Benchmark: So Many Gold Stars

As I alluded to last week, the Sweethearts came down for the Lady of the House’s annual New Years party, and to my delight they offered to stop by my apartment on the way. I was so excited to make them soup and catch up—hard as it is to believe, we hadn’t seen each other since the Sparkly Festival of Awesomeness, when he was part of my first threesome and she brushed my hair after.

When we started getting ready, there was a spark of energy in the air, and not just because we were enthusiastically comparing shiny butt plugs. At my encouragement, she came in to keep me company while I was getting dressed and we agreed that my Snoopy Christmas underpants were much more festive than my lucky polka dot ones. I found my shiny red bra, packed my red satin heels in my trusty suitcase, and chose a pretty outfit that would certainly not be on for very long.

I was shy around Mr. Sweetheart at first (Well, my version of shy…) but his body felt warm and welcoming. While they were sitting together on the couch getting the directions situated, I made some room for myself and kissed him, still the same softness, still the same lovely, steady connection. Then I got up the courage to lean across him and kiss her. She was a fit, just as I always suspected she would be. It is a wonder we ever made it to the party, but we did, in spite of my somewhat haphazard driving. (Note to self: become a better driver before the next time I drive someplace with a butt plug in.)

Shortly after we got there (While we still had clothes on, even!) the friend whom I’ve just named The Recurring Character arrived. He tends to be present at many of my formative experiences: He was the first person I (sort of) cuddled at my first cuddle party, he was in the clothing optional workshop where I first (sort of) stripped down, he was even there the first time I went to the nude beach. Last February, with Sweetie’s help, I was his first rope top. Like many of my guy friends, he’s a belle-of-the-ball type with lots of partners. Maybe I gravitate towards characters like that because they’re the most approachable, or maybe because I kinda want to be like them. Maybe both.

The Lady of the House’s parties always have a designated play space, adjacent to the rest of the party but not visible. That’s where the Sweethearts and I headed before too long. Last year, even though I was having a lovely rope scene with Sweetie, sex at a party seemed like a distant dream. Not even one year distant, it turns out. (Pause to high five Pretty Slave and Cute Master, who got to be that first. Jeez 2013, you were awesome sometimes.)

The aim was to have my first anal sex before midnight, but it was not meant to be. The universe seems determined to have me wait on that one, I don’t know why, but I’ve decided to settle in and be patient about it. Well, as patient as possible, anyway.

Anyway, playing with Mr. and Ms. Sweetheart was perfect. Especially considering that I’d been fantasizing about it for half a year! I always thought she looked like some badass Nordic goddess, all pale skin and smooth, heroic curves, an ass like a Romantic-era odalisque. (Yay I just used my Art History degree everybody!) Mr. Sweetheart is still such a wonderful combination of gentle and mean, though in this case, more gentle. The kindest spanks I’ve even known, kindest finger in my asshole.

As I lay between them like a loved-up princess, the Recurring Character asked if he could join, and after a quick soul-search I said yes and was plunged into the middle of the three of them. He kissed me while the Sweethearts played with my breasts, while Ms. Sweetheart ran her fingers over the front of my more-and-more-wet underpants. Everyone wondered how I could possibly still be wearing underpants and worked together to get them off of me. They were kind enough to let me leave my socks on, though, as all the best people are. With them everywhere on me, I felt helpless and goddesslike all at once, floating/submerged/drowning in an ocean of ecstatic sensations, the most perfectly myself I can imagine, all white light and joy.

At midnight, we all got up and toasted, danced with the Lady of the House, kissed and ate cookies and drank wine and caught up with friends. There was no one I wanted to text at midnight, though I did text a few at 2 AM. I was fully present and immersed in things, that was the real difference between this year and last year.

After the midnight revels, Mr. Sweetheart put a rope harness on me and fucked me so perfectly that I had to put my hand over my own mouth to stifle the screams. This was the first night I had PIV sex in front of other people; there was something comforting about hearing my friends’ conversations nearby while I was in the throes of him. Heartwarming. Connected. Shortly thereafter, I put Ms. Sweetheart over my knee and spanked her while Mr. Sweetheart sat and petted us both. I was proud to turn this powerful woman into a sweet, sleepy angel.

I’d planned to stay over and snuggle with them, but this was a rare night where I’d had enough.  Enough closeness, enough kisses, enough snuggles. I wanted to be in my own bed and I hadn’t drunk much at all so I had a soda, found my clothes, and said my prolonged and grateful goodbyes. It was an astonishing feeling to be so filled up by others and yet still self-contained.

When I met the Sweethearts last New Years, I couldn’t have predicted what we would become. I still can’t. The same goes for when I made friends with The Lady of the House by cuddle/wrestling her the June before last, or the first time I laid eyes on Cute Master and Pretty Slave or any of the other characters. We never know what magic we’re making or where connections are leading, but I’m more convinced than ever that there’s a current underneath it all, taking us where we need to go. The Sweethearts seem to have fucked me full of faith.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

And One More Song for New Years Blessings

Awesome at Life in '014: Thanks, Mr. and Ms. Sweetheart! Plus Another Song

My family always says that whatever you're doing at midnight on New Years is what you'll be doing for the whole year. I got up from a hot and heartfelt threesome (briefly a foursome) to watch the ball drop, then danced around naked with my friends. I'll try to say some coherent things about it later, but for now, I'm optimistic and tired. And so grateful to the Lady of the House for deciding to throw her annual party.

The best part is that after all of the revelry and snuggles, all I wanted was myself and my beloved bed. I'm so proud to be on my own, of how far I came last year, and I think I can get to where I need to go. This is the song that was playing as I gathered up my stuff to go: