The Gift of Reality; or ‘It’s Just a TV Show’

‘It’s just a TV show.’

‘Calm down, it’s just a movie.’

I used to think people who said these things were insane. They didn’t get it. Fiction created by other people was important. It was near life or death, okay? What the hell was wrong with them? Why were they all, ‘It’s only tits and dragons.’

I used to get really invested in my entertainment, is what I’m saying.

Like, really invested.

Television and film were the big ones. And the lives of people involved in my favorite shows and movies. Things created by people I would never know or who would ever know I existed would rule my life and my emotions.

I was personally invested in these things. Barbra Streisand married James Brolin and I was: How could she do this without consulting me? I felt slighted, somehow. It gave me a stomach ache.

(source)

(source)

Background: Why I Was Delusional—It Makes Sense in Context

I have avoided reality as much as possible for most of my life. Reality and I were simply not on speaking terms.

Reality was alcoholic parents, a genetic predisposition to depression and anxiety, growing up gay in the American South and all sorts of other fun things that I did not want to deal with. And can you blame me?

Luckily we had two things in my house that helped in my quest to focus on anything but what was happening in the actual world around me: televisions and VCRs.

I watched a lot of TV and I recorded my favorite shows and re-watched episodes for hours at a time.

Every week an episode of whatever show I was obsessed with would air. I would tape it and watch it until I had it memorized in time for the next episode to air the following week.

But that wasn’t enough. I also learned all about the actors on the shows. Everything. Birth places and dates, who their best friends were and their birth dates. No fact was too random.

This was before the internet so this sort of stalking required buying magazines. My bedroom was a firetrap with all the magazines.

Also music—I listened to music constantly.

But it was mostly the shows and movies. You don’t want to know how many movies I had on video. You probably couldn’t know, because I never counted, but it was probably hundreds.

I binge-watched shows before it was possible to binge-watch shows. I’d sit in my room and re-watch the same five episodes over and over and over.

To this day, I can identify any Designing Women episode on mute by the clothes the women are wearing.

I was firmly convinced that, if I could only meet whatever celebrities I was obsessed with at the time (and it was obsession) we’d be best friends.

They’d take me away with them to one of their houses (and I knew where all of their houses were) and I’d never have to see or think about my family or the jerks I knew ever again.

So fast forward to 2015.

The University of Texas at Austin published a study that shows people who binge-watch television are more likely to be lonely and depressed.

They found that the more lonely and depressed the study participants were, the more likely they were to binge-watch TV, using this activity to move away from negative feelings.

No.

You’re kidding.

I also think seeing something familiar repeatedly is comforting. I’d watch the same episode dozens of times because it was a known to me—I had control over it in a way. These were my friends and they wouldn’t let me down. Unlike literally everything else in my life, which was a giant unknown and was bound to make me feel terrible about myself.

How I Learned to Love Reality

A few things happened.

I met my long-time biggest hero-worship celebrity at the height of my adoration. That experience changed how I thought the world worked and made me never want to meet another famous person ever again.

Actually, first, it made me want to be famous so I could treat people like shit and get away with it. (I have since recovered from that philosophy but it made me appreciate the decent human beings who’ve attained fame.)

Then I moved to a town where they film movies and TV shows and for many years I worked in a place that celebrities frequented on occasion. So I’ve met a fair number of them. Some are nice, some are assholes. Some look exactly the same in person as on screen, some… makeup is miraculous. (The camera adds more like twenty pounds, btw.)

I do not go out of my way to meet any though.

The other thing that happened was I slowly began to enjoy my actual life. The one happening in front of me. This was a gradual process that began in my early thirties and has really solidified this last year.

Kink—The Final Draw into Full-Time Reality

I hadn’t been really taken with a television show in some time when I came into the kink scene a little over a year ago. At that time, though, I was into a show for the first time in awhile, for whatever reason. That sort of, ‘Time to re-watch that episode I’ve already seen twice’ that I was familiar with from … all of my life.

But then I discovered this kink thing. It was interesting—it was teaching me things about myself. It was making me see the world in a different way.

I want to help other people learn about themselves (eventually I’d like to become an educator), I want to teach about consent issues and generally make the kink world a safer place. And the vanilla world, if they’re interested in using ‘yes means yes’ rather than ‘no means no’.

Being happy with myself and my own life means I look forward to getting up in the morning and no longer need distractions from reality. I only wish I had more time in the day to do all the things I want to with the reality I now have.

I no longer need to watch an episode of a show twelve times. Once is plenty. I don’t have time to watch television at all, mostly. House of Cards is supposed to be great, but I’m trying to decide if I want to shoe-horn it into my schedule of learning, reading and writing. Personal growth seems more important than a fictional show.

I, however, fully support Mr Radcliffe's opinion. (source)

I, however, fully support Mr Radcliffe’s opinion. (source)

A Note About Fiction—It’s How You Use It

Fiction is great—I’m a writer—I love fiction. I write it all the time and I enjoy reading it. I have conversations with fictional characters I’ve created a whole bunch.

I’m not saying fiction isn’t important and can’t teach us things about the world and about ourselves. Or that entertainment isn’t important. But there’s a huge difference between using fiction to enhance your life and using it to hide from your life twenty-four seven.

Celebrities’ lives are their own form of fiction. Who you think they are is not who they actually are. It’s not a good idea to get too attached. Still, there are certain ones I have an inordinate amount of trivia about in my head. That stuff doesn’t just disappear. Listening to people debate what a person (who is basically a fictional character) is going to do, as though they have any actual knowledge about that person’s inner life reminds me of me. I knew exactly how all of my favorites thought and what decisions they would make from who’d they’d marry to what underwear they’d put on to what color they’d paint the bathroom in the guest house at their vacation home in Ireland.

Hint: No I didn’t. I had no idea. And neither do you.

It was all a fiction. A method of focusing on something other than my actual life that could have been used to either work on my own problems or better the world in some way.

Gossiping about people you don’t know is like that person who is up in everyone else’s business. Do they seem happy to you? Are they walking around giving unsolicited advice because they’re so damn happy they need to share it with the world? Or people focused on the sex lives of others. If you’re happy with your own life you’re really not bothered by what other people are doing. Being obsessed about something that’s either fictional or policing other people’s perfectly legal behavior is a way of not focusing on your own problems.

I had a subscription to People during my pre-Internet firetrap days. (source)

I had a subscription to People during my pre-Internet firetrap days. (source)

The Gift of Reality

Real life is so much more compelling now than any fiction another person could create for me. Another person’s life isn’t nearly as captivating as what’s happening right here.

My emotions are no longer controlled by the whims of a writer who probably didn’t write each episode in such a way that it could withstand being dissected by discussion groups on the internet. They write on short deadlines and lots of caffeine. (Or other stimulants.)

I get to be in control of my own life now. Or at least I get to see where reality takes me.

I get it now.

It’s just a TV show.

When the Good News is the Bad News and Vice Versa

Previously on WTF, Are You Kidding Me?!:

Two and a half weeks ago I found out I have HPV.

After doing some research I wrote an essay (HPV: The Cockroach of STDs) to deal with the initial influx of overwhelming emotions.

Being an asexual lesbian I found this very surprising.

People who don’t have sex aren’t supposed to get sexually transmitted diseases.

I knew it could be passed just from skin-to-skin contact and thought I must have contracted it recently, as, well, STDs and STIs all have short shelf-lives, right?

So I must have shaken hands with someone.

This was my logic.

I wash my hands regularly, though, I figured…

But I did more research and learned you can’t get it from holding hands or hugging.

The Good News that Was the Bad News

An idea had been in the back of my mind, but I’d dismissed it because it seemed impossible.

I’d had one experience… Well, one fifth of an experience, really, with my husband, where no bodily fluids were exchanged.

But there had been one other experience when I was seventeen that was unconsensual. Bodily fluids had been exchanged. That guy was older than I was, not in great health, and had had many sexual partners, all things that make a person more likely to carry the virus.

When the thought had first occurred to me I thought, ‘That was twenty years ago and it was one time. If I was going to develop something it would have happened by now.’

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ‘cancer often takes years, even decades to form after a person contracts HPV.’

Decades. Plural.

If you’re looking for the good news in there, it’s that at least I worked out where I got it from. The bad news is it was that guy.

[And before you want to murder him—he died a few years ago of natural causes unrelated to HPV.]

The Vice Versa (When the Bad News is the Good News)

So this has kinda sucked.

Every time I have to go for my super duper regular pap smears now I get to think about a person and time of my life I thought I had put behind me.

And if I ever have to have cancerous cells removed through one of the various delightful procedures—he’ll be with me then, too.

But!

I have learned how supportive my friends are. One friend in particular I’d been flirting with–after I told her I said I was scared she wouldn’t like me anymore.

She verbally kicked my butt about it, starting with ‘Are you fucking kidding me?!’ Then she laid several paragraphs of truth on me. She said exactly what I needed to hear.

Shitty situations will show you who the cool people are.

So that’s something good that’s come of this.

And I’m glad I know before I go out there and do get into anything physical with anyone for reasons that will become apparent in the next section.

Other Important Information

Because I’ve been learning all the things, I thought I’d share.

This information comes from the American Cancer Society and the CDC.

  • There are 100+ strains of HPV—most are harmless and will be cleared by the body without the person knowing they have it.
  • The strains that cause cancer are not the strains that cause warts.
  • HPV can be spread through vaginal, anal or oral sex.
  • There are no tests to determine if a person is a carrier. The only way to find out if you have it is for cervix-owners to have pap smears. That will detect if you have abnormal cells on your cervix that could possibly cause cancer. There is no test for men.
  • If you’re diagnosed with one of the strains that can cause cancer, you will go in for more frequent pap smears. If cells become cancerous, those cells will be removed but you will still have HPV and it could become cancerous again years later. (Or it may not ever develop into cancer.)
  • Though there are no tests for men, they can still carry it and pass it along and it can cause cancer of the throat, tongue and tonsils, as well as penis and anus. Women have anuses, too, obviously, and it can also cause cancer of the vagina and vulva. Those are less common, but it’s not just the cervix.
  • Safety: It is passed through skin-to-skin contact so even using condoms, gloves and dental dams won’t completely protect you but are still really good ideas since you don’t know if you’re a carrier, or if the other person is and they don’t even know it. Since it may not develop for years after the fact it’s not exactly a person’s fault if they accidentally give you something there’s no test for.
  • Get your kids vaccinated if they are 11-12.
  • Get the vaccine yourself if you’re under 26. It won’t work if you’ve already caught the virus, but if you haven’t, you will be vaccinated against it and won’t be thinking, ‘What kind of bullshit is it that I have to worry about cancerous cells on a part of my body I don’t use for anything? I don’t want kids and I don’t have sex.’

I mean, damn. My mother had stomach cancer when I was a toddler. With my sense of humor I’d be like, ‘Hey, me and my stomach had have some good times. At least I’ve got some use out of it.’

But my cervix? Talk about utter nonsense.

Reference links:
CDC page on HPV
American Cancer Society page on HPV
The Perverted Podcast talked about HPV in episode 41
Multiamory talked about HPV in episode 51

As mentioned in my previous writing about HPV, I did get an HPV plush from Giant Microbes:

His name is Jesus. I pronounce it hay-ZEUS. Because Zeus fucked up things all the time.

His name is Jesus. I pronounce it hay-ZEUS. Because Zeus fucked up things all the time.

You can also get your own plush here and support the site.

My Sex Map 1.0

After sitting in my folder for months, I’ve finally got around to filling in my first version of Franklin Veaux’s sex map.

It’s a map of a fictional land and surrounding islands of various kinks, interests and play. You make your own map by sticking digital pins in it, which indicate you’ve tried something and liked it, tried it and didn’t like it, want to try it or are interested in something in terms of fantasy only.

I said it’s my first version, as I’m sure pin colors will change as I expand my kinky horizons.


Find out where I’ve journeyed
on the Map of Human Sexuality!
Or get your own here!

Because I don’t get out much there are currently more pins signaling things I’d like to try than things I have tried, but I was interested in more than I thought I would be.

It would be an interesting way to negotiate with someone. Just have a glance over at the map and discuss what districts or counties you are NOT or very much ARE interested in journeying through.

I was surprised that there was only a handful of things I had to look up. Score one for the nerd team. So very many paraphilias listed. Much geekery on display, too. Just reading the map was fun.

Here are some of the more creative sections:

Fittingly, 'reflectoporn' was one of the words I had to look up. On Urban Dictionary.

Fittingly, ‘reflectoporn‘ was one of the words I had to look up. On Urban Dictionary.

 

Sex Map Land of Mundania

Amitie Amoureuse is romantic friendship and it’s just lovely.

 

I didn't know so many people were into fictional things. Then again, of course, people are into everything.

I didn’t know so many people were into fictional things. Then again, of course, people are into everything.

As I was taking screenshots of mine to make those images I saw a few places I should have placed pins. Dang. Unfortunately, you can’t edit your map, you just have to start over, but it’s not exactly a drag.

The map is available in a printed version for $19.95, which I ordered to go over my desk where I record the podcast. Currently there’s just a blank wall there and this will work nicely.

Episode 006 The Slave

Episode the Sixth; in which The Pageist celebrates her first year being kinky, visits her first dungeon and almost envies *the* slave.

1.05 Intro & Announcements:

  • Power Exchange Summit–Early Bird tickets are still available. If you’re into the power exchange thang, then you should go to it.
  • The place I’m getting my sweet player–PodTrac–also has survey functions available and I love me some demographic info. If you wouldn’t mind, I would super appreciate some information about you. It’s anonymous and only takes a few minutes.
  • Clicka this button to get started:

Podtrac survey image

2.30 My Submissive Life:

  • (Diary Pages has a new name) This episode’s personal segment was about my first year being kinky–my kinkiversary. What I did and what I learned and how I’d grown. I called out the Perverted Podcast crew, amongst my EAPN friends for helping me along my journey.
  • To celebrate I went to my first dungeon for an electricity play educational and learned some very important things about myself and my husband. (He’s not as vanilla as he thought.)

14.20 Book Review

  • This episode’s book review is The Slave by Laura Antoniou, which is the second book in The Marketplace series. I reviewed the first book in the first episode of the show and wooboy, this was a good one, too.
  • Robin is a successful art buyer who has always been kinky and has always wanted more from her power exchanges than her partner could offer. A trainer for the Marketplace has mere weeks to get her ready for the biggest sale of the year. Does having a slave heart mean she has what it takes to be in the Marketplace?
  • I would have realized I was kinky much sooner if I’d found these books years ago.
  • To get your own copies of The Marketplace books with bonus stories, go to Laura’s own shop. She has an incredible deal on that is definitely worth it.

21.00 Sexy Section

  • Nothing like some solo kinky time, eh?

26.55 Closing Remarks

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • Several shows on the Erotic Awakening Podcast Network will be hosting an episode for another show. I’ll be hosting an upcoming episode of The People of Kink and the Multiamory gang will be hosting an episode of The Pageist. I can’t wait to hear about whatever they read.
  • The next episode (with my voice–if it’s not the Multiamory people) will be Stjepan Sejic’s Sunstone comic about kinky lesbians.
  • Things you can do to the Pageist:
  • Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads
  • You can also subscribe to this website through the email form in the sidebar
  • Subscribe and rate on iTunes here.
  • All episodes are listed and playable from this page.

HPV: The Cockroach of STDs

This was never supposed to happen to me.

No, really. An STD was NEVER supposed to happen to me.

I’m an asexual lesbian. As in, a woman who is romantically attracted to other women but is not interested in sexual contact.

But today I learned that HPV can be passed by skin-to-skin contact.

I learned this when I found out I have cervical dysplasia, which is a precancerous condition caused by HPV.

(There are many, many strains of HPV, most of which are harmless and nearly everyone gets it at some point in their lives, read this awesome comic by Erika Moen for very useful information.)

I’m married to a man, yes. My best friend who is also asexual. We tried sex once nine and a half years ago and got bored maybe thirty seconds into the process and decided to do something else.

He had had one partner before that. But it wasn’t from him anyway—he didn’t ‘cross the finish line’ and that experience was too long ago.

I must have touched someone recently who had it.

Now, I wash my hands all the time and I don’t masturbate a great deal by any means (every other month?) and I usually use latex gloves when I do—I just like the feel.

I mean, damn, I’ve been having safe sex with myself by sheer accident.

Yet here we are.

The HPV plush from Giant Microbes. I'm getting one.

The HPV plush from Giant Microbes. I’m getting one.

My Way: Regrets. I Had Not a One.

Due to things that happened in the first twenty years of my life I decided I was going to live in such a way as to never have regrets. This required doing nothing—taking no real risks.

This was fine by me. Every risk I had taken had failed miserably up to that point. So the plan was to live the rest of my life with no regrets. I had banked more than enough, I felt.

So I lived behind my computer screen and with my books and my own writing and everything was fine.

Then I realized I was kinky and that, maybe it would be worth it to get out there take some risks with my feelings. Maybe I could try some of the things I had thought about. I was on the verge of approaching the lake to dip a toe in…

The whole power exchange thing sounded amazing. I could actually have something I had wanted for years before I even knew what it was called.

Two days ago I set up an OK Cupid account, even, and I’ve been putting together a slave resume.

I haven’t played with anyone yet. The most I’ve done with any of the kinky people I’ve met have been shake some hands in hello and hugged some people after munches or leaving play parties.

I was so careful not to do anything I would regret. Sex didn’t interest me so that wasn’t something I avoided—it just wasn’t a consideration at all.

This is like finding out you have a mortgage when you were never even interested in buying a house.

Winning the Cockroach Lottery

HPV is every-fucking-where like cockroaches. I don’t know why it’s considered a sexually transmitted disease. It should be called an everywhere disease.

Look. If I can get it you can get it, okay? So for those of you cervix-owners who hate going to the doctor—go. Do it. Even asexual lesbians can get it. So can you.

I’m going to name mine Jesus. ‘Going to get Jesus looked at. Make sure he’s not acting up.’ Because now I have to have more regular pap tests. It’s manageable/treatable if you catch it soon enough. I’ll know more about my treatment options at my follow up appointment at the end of the month.

Oh joy, more frequent pap smears.

You can imagine how much fun paps are for basically virgins, I’m sure. I get queasy and light-headed.

Most strains of HPV are dealt with by your immune system. But there are some bitch-ass types that cause warts or cancer. I won the cockroach lottery. Go me.

So Now What-chu-what-chu-what-chu WANT?

Glad you asked. I WANT one of those bubble suits so I don’t have to touch anyone.

I feel contaminated. I’m terrified of giving this to another woman since I have the strain that can cause cancer. I know that most people’s immune systems will deal with it. But some won’t.

I get to tell people I have HPV—this is a conversation I’m really looking forward to. I’ll just point them to this writing, probably.

Being that sex isn’t high on my priority list I’m not super bothered by not being able to have, just, ALL the kinky sex, but what about toys and activities? I want to try certain things and I don’t want to worry about someone coming into contact with my sweat from a leather toy. There’s only so much cleaning a person can do.

Though sex isn’t high on my list, there are certain things I’ve fantasized about within the right context that are now off the table because I would be putting another woman at risk. And since all it takes is skin-to-skin contact… Where’s my bubble suit?

Black Humor to the Rescue

If you think I don’t see the irony here, though, you’re wrong. Oh ho, the irony. It is rich and it is heavy. I’m going to be so jacked from lifting all this irony.

If I believed in fate or the universe sending signs I would think this was one saying, ‘Wait now, don’t go thinking it’s a good idea to actually interact with people!’

I could also look at it like, living life in a way that left me with no regrets still gave me a heavy dose of Jesus STD. So that plan worked.

There are parents who don’t want to vaccinate their 12 year olds because they think HPV is only a sexually transmitted disease. Well, guess what, parents? Me and Jesus over here beg to differ.

TL;DR

If you have a cervix: GET A GODDAMN PAP SMEAR

Oh, and

VACCINATE YOUR KIDS

Because knowledge is power:

HPV and Cancer in the LGBT community: Regarding gay men and lesbians. We are not immune and actually have a higher rate. (Especially the sexually active people.)

Information about HPV Duration and Incubation

Info from the U.S. Center for Disease Control

How to Support The Pageist

I have been pretty aimless for most of my life, well, all of my life. Over the last year I’ve realized what I really want to do is learn about kink, write about kink, talk about kink and eventually teach it (to law enforcement and law-makers, as a mediator–that sort of thing).

I’ve written before how much realizing I’m kinky has changed my life–for the better. If everyone were as comfortable as I am with myself now the world would be a happier place, let me tell you.

For the first time in my life I have a goal. I understand those people with a five year plan. I didn’t get those people before. I’d think, ‘I don’t know what I want for dinner, let alone what I want to do next year.’

Now I know what I want to do with my life–I want to help people be comfortable with their kinky selves and I want to help the people who aren’t kinky understand there’s nothing wrong with the people who are.

My husband and I do not live an extravagant life, nor do we want to. My husband’s job pays a good portion of what we need, but we don’t really have any savings in case of emergency and if our 18 year old Jeep dies we’re screwed. Where we live only understands the words ‘public’ and ‘transportation’ as two separate concepts, not a joined phrase.

‘Of course,’ I now think, ‘I’ve chosen a life path that isn’t exactly lucrative.’ But I’m okay with that. As I said, I’m not an extravagant person. I’d just be happy helping other people be happy and comfortable with themselves and getting other people to the point of not being frightened of what they don’t understand.

So if you think the site and podcast is bringing a little more kinky goodness and information into your life than was there before and you’d like to support it (and me in the process) you can do so by purchasing books and films reviewed. Purchases must be made through the links provided on the reviews (I’m currently adding links to films I’ve reviewed–the books are complete.)

Don’t worry–I won’t be adding banners or ads–the yellow doesn’t go with my theme and I like having total control over content. I know, I know, I’m so submissive, right?

This decision also won’t affect how I rate media, meaning I won’t give higher ratings as a way to ‘sell’ product. If something isn’t great it isn’t great.

In the coming months I’ll be setting up a Patreon account for the podcast, with various perks so if you’re not interested (or already have) the media on offer, but still want to contribute you can wait until then.

Also in the works is a Zazzle shop with bits and bobs.

(A PayPal donation page isn’t possible, as they do not allow sex-based sites to use them.)

If you’re feeling generous in some completely other way, here is my Amazon Wishlist. It’s mostly books.

What your generous donations will go towards

  • Food sometimes, as occasionally money gets tight at the end of the month.
  • Food for our 17 year-old-cats. They need special food, for they are ancient.
  • Books. Information is important for my brain and goals.
  • I would like to become a member of NCSF–the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom–and/or make donations to them. They do great work. And I’ll probably end up volunteering with them.
  • Kinkpacks from KinkAcademy. Oh, the kinkpacks. There’s so much to learn, people! If I got these I would probably definitely review them.
  • The occasional travel expenses, as I would like to attend other kink-events.

If I made enough to cover what little I make as a freelance writer then I could focus all of my energy on the site and podcast. I recognize not everyone gets the opportunity to do what they love, but for the first time in the nearly four decades I’ve been alive I wake up with a purpose and goal every day. It’s pretty amazing.

 

Where I am Led Month 04

Similar to the previous three months, these are the most thought-provoking (for me) posts from the previous months’ prompts from the Where I am Led workbook by Christina ‘slavette’ Parker.

This month had five weeks’ worth of prompts, which is five guideposts and writing assignments each and ten weekly thoughts to choose from.

Weekly Guidepost

Curiosity. A genuine desire to learn and grow is a quality that should be carefully nurtured. Feed your curiosity, but trim it back when it starts to overwhelm you.

This one reminds me of when I start doing research for a book and I get so into the research I don’t want to start writing. There is a plethora of information out there for submissives and I’m so thankful for that. But it’s difficult to know where to start and it’s easy to get drawn down the rabbit hole of FetLife. It’s also difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff when you’re starting out. And I want to consume it all. The blog helps, I think, as it means I have to write one journal prompt a month and find a useful mentor post per week and keep up with my Where I am Led prompts, as well as my book reading and film viewing while writing reviews of those so I’m looking at those more closely. Still, there’s so much more I don’t have the time to get to yet.

Thoughts for the Week 01

Every task you perform for your Owner frees up his or her time to do something else. It is important for you to understand what your Owner is doing with that time since you are, in effect, assisting in those efforts. This is just one reason why it is important for an Owner and a slave to have similar ethical values.

In one way, I feel it shouldn’t be my place to ask what my Owner is doing with her time. I should be focusing on whatever task I’m doing. In another way, I figure if I’m in the sort of relationship where we know one another inside and out and we already know everything about one another then I won’t have to ask what she’s doing because she’ll have told me of her own accord as part of her day.

I would definitely tell her everything I was doing, even if she didn’t ask, though I would assume she’d want to know what I was doing with my time if only as a way of being with me even when she wasn’t physically with me.

Thoughts for the Week 02

Your Owner has offered guidance, protection and comfort. If you hide your feelings or do not seek guidance, you are denying your Owner the pleasure that he or she gains from providing for your well-being. It is the same as if you were denied the pleasure you receive from serving.

That’s a way of looking at it I hadn’t considered. I’d think of it as keeping small problems to myself in order to work on them on my own rather than bothering her with them, as she’d probably have more important things to worry about. It makes sense that, certain types of Owners would want to help their slaves with anything they were struggling with. That alone would be something I’d need to work on (asking for help).

Writing Assignment

In-depth Exploration—Integrity.

Go to the dictionary and find the definition of ‘integrity’. Pretend you are trying to explain ‘integrity’ to someone who has never heard the word and write your own definition.

Integrity was the prompt for week eleven and I said I hadn’t known the definition of the word until I’d read the prompt (which included the definition as being your deeds matching your words). Still, I’ve now consulted by Oxford paperback dictionary and thesaurus and the second definition is: the state of being whole or unified.

I would probably say that to have integrity is to always be the same person no matter who you’re with. A person without integrity may pretend to be one person with one group of people and another sort of person with another person or group of people, but because he’s never his true self, or a good person, eventually the cracks will begin to show.

Monthly Practical
The monthly practical project for the fourth month had to do with planning the packing list for the travel project of the third month including specifics for shopping for particular items.

Returning to My Original State

In my early twenties I made the decision to become English, at least in writing. I had moved away from the tiny, toxic town I’d grown up in, changed my first name and changed my accent from the Deliverance-worthy American Southern thing I’d been raised with to a generic American accent. But I needed to put more distance between myself and the first twenty years of my life.

I could not be anything like the small-minded people I was raised around or the terrible people who’d done terrible things to me. I was building a wall that consisted of extra ‘u’s and ‘s’ where there used to be ‘z’s. Some people drink or take drugs in order to separate themselves from what they don’t want to face. I learned a dialect of English. I’ve always been a word person, what can I say.

Becoming English in writing took no small amount of work—there are over 3,000 words and phrases that are used differently or that don’t exist between the two countries. Then there are certain, minor grammatical differences. I bought books and watched obscure TV shows and made notes like you wouldn’t believe. I knew more about the British news than the news in the U.S. because the World Service was what I listened to and the BBC News site was what I read.

I figured that, if it was important enough and it happened in the U.S., it would make the British news.

A British food shop opened near my house and I bought everything I ate from there except milk but that was because they didn’t carry milk. That’s how I learned about English food. It’s not bad—the names are just questionable.

I swear to you, it is a dessert and it's wonderful. (source)

I swear to you, it is a dessert and it’s wonderful. (source)

Much like altering my accent, it wasn’t long before what had started with conscious effort became second nature. Items that had two names became confounding—some months into my conversion to English I found myself staring at a biscuit and I couldn’t think what an American would call it (a cookie). Then they naturally switched to whatever the ‘correct’ name was.

When I asked at a shop for something and the assistant didn’t know what I meant I realized the word needed to be translated to American. I took it as a sign of progress. My brain could be trained to think differently from how I was raised. What was considered the only way was alterable if you made the effort.

I was moving further from my roots mentally if not physically.

(This turned out to be quite useful once I married an Englishman and he moved to the States, as we didn’t have communication difficulties. If he wanted a courgette I told him to look at the zucchini and now cotton was going to be thread because in the States cotton is what he’d call cotton wool.)

My English dictionary (from England). If a thing could have another name, I checked this. Useful for spelling, as well.

My English dictionary (from England). If a thing could have another name, I checked this. Useful for spelling, as well.

I wasn’t trying to deceive anyone—I never told anyone I lived in England or was English—it was a survival tactic to deal with what I needed to deal with. It wasn’t about impressing anyone. It wasn’t about other people at all. It was entirely to do with separating myself from my background.

Which is similar to how the American language came about. Noah Webster decided the U.S. should have different spellings just to be different from Britain. He also thought words should look more like they sound (good job there, bucko!) so when he was making the first Webster’s Dictionary he changed spellings of words. And that’s why American English is spelled differently from every single other English in the world. Just because.

He also wanted to spell ‘women’ ‘wimmin’ but someone reined him in on that.

However, if he’d got his way and words looked like they sounded we wouldn’t have three words that sound like ‘thair’–but not one of which is spelled that way.

But I digress.

One of the tenets of being a good submissive or slave (or D-type) is knowing yourself and being honest about who you are. It’s being aware of the garbage from your past and confronting it. Rather than building walls made of books full of idioms and cultural references.

So, reluctantly, I shall be returning to the States after a fifteen year hiatus. Though I will jettison ‘u’s and swap out some ‘z’s, which I suppose I have to start calling ‘zees’, I refuse to re-adopt my original accent. Trust me, no one wants that. Likewise on my birth name. When characters on TV and in movies have that name they are always prostitutes and strippers. Always. Thanks, mom.

The idea of taking off this piece of armor—and it does feel like removing something that was protecting me from others—makes my heart race. Lowering a protective barrier I’d carefully built one swing and roundabout at a time is scary and makes me feel vulnerable.

But just because it’s scary doesn’t mean it’s not a healthy decision.

I’m keeping certain phrases, though. Some just sound better, more fluid. ‘At the weekend’ sounds better than ‘on the weekend’.

‘Identity parade’ sounds better than a ‘police lineup’, no? But I rarely need that phrase.

And everyone should use ‘whilst’ whilst I’m on the subject. And ‘shan’t’.

And I’m keeping all the swears.

Where I am Led Month 03

Similar to the previous two months, these are the most thought-provoking (for me) posts from the previous month’s prompts from the Where I am Led workbook.

This month had four weeks’ worth of prompts, which is four guideposts and writing assignments each and eight weekly thoughts to choose from.

Weekly Guidepost

Integrity. Your actions are a reflection of your beliefs. Integrity comes when what you do matches what you believe.

Not to be glib, but I didn’t know that’s what integrity was until I read this prompt. I knew it was a positive trait everyone should aspire towards, but couldn’t define it.

I would certainly want my Dominant to have integrity and since I would choose the sort of Dominant I wanted to emulate I should strive for that, as well. Of course, it’s easier to have high ideals than it is to live up to those ideals.

The sort of Dominant I would want would not only hold herself to a high standard, but would expect me to behave in ways that made her look good. And I would want to do so. As I’ve been on this journey I’ve been asking myself how I would behave in certain situations if I knew my actions would reflect poorly on my Dominant. I don’t know why it’s more important to me to make someone else look better than myself, but it is.

Thoughts for the Week 01

Even the most tiresome and tedious of tasks can become pleasurable to perform over time. Initially, focus on the pleasure your Owner will gain from the finished product. Next, focus on the pleasure you give through your willing compliance and continued dedication to service. Finally, take pleasure from what you have learned, your accomplishments, and your added valued as a slave.

This is extremely useful for when I’m looking for any reason not to do something and then trying to talk myself into doing it anything. Generally, I think of it in terms of, ‘I don’t want to disappoint my Dominant’ and ‘I’ll feel badly if she’s unhappy with me,’ but these are three excellent points to keep in mind and I’m going to transcribe them into my assignment notebook as motivation to get on with my assignments.

Thoughts for the Week 02

In ‘vanilla’ society, people are often judged by the company they keep—and this is even more prevalent in the Master/slave community. Your actions are a direct reflection on your Owner, the quality of training you have received, and the standards of behavior that have been set for you. It is up to you whether you are an asset or a liability to your owner.

I absolutely agree with this and would strive to always be the person my Owner knew I could be whether we were together or apart. I view Dominants and submissives as being two sides of the same coin so I would want to reflect the sorts of behaviour—calm, rational, intelligent—that I would appreciate in my Dominant. I’ve always been attracted to (and felt submissive towards) women I wanted to be like. And I would want a D-type who could help me be more like her, if only by modelling honourable behaviour. By constantly being around someone who was the sort of person I wanted to be and who wanted to guide me, I couldn’t help but want to please her by making her look good by being a better person and by serving her.

Writing Assignment

A Song in Your Heart. Name one song that you would sing to your Owner that would describe your relationship and explain why you have chosen that song. (If you are not in a relationship, what song describes how you would like to feel about your Owner.)

The first songs that came to mind were dark—’Venus in Furs’ and that sort of thing, but that wouldn’t be the sort of D-type I’d want. I’d want the sort of person I could sing Natalie Merchants’ ‘Kind and Generous’ too. The lyrics are about a person who is infinitely giving and patient and kind. Very much in line with a nurturing Dominant. And the person singing recognises what that person gives them and is grateful. That’s how I would feel about the sort of person I chose to serve.

These are the lyrics (written by Natalie Merchant):

You’ve been so kind and generous
I don’t know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I’m in debt to you
For your selflessness, my admiration
For everything you’ve done

You know I’m bound…
I’m bound to thank you for it

You’ve been so kind and generous
I don’t know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I’m in debt to you
And I never could have come this far without you
For everything you’ve done

You know I’m bound…
I’m bound to thank you for it

I want to thank you
For so many gifts
You gave with love and tenderness
I want to thank you

I want to thank you
For your generosity
The love and the honesty
That you gave me

I want to thank you
Show my gratitude
My love and my respect for you
I want to thank you

I want to…
Thank you…

Monthly Practical
The practical project for the third month was to do with planning a complex trip. Due to a death in the family and multiple work deadlines I haven’t been able to do the project, though I will still be completing it.

Being Asexual and Kinky

What I Mean When I Say She’s Hot (Being Asexual and Kinky)

Recently, I updated my FetLife profile and added this:

I’m an asexual lesbian married to my best friend, whom I love dearly and who is a man. He is asexual, as well, and one of the best people I know. He knows I’m kinky and is 100% supportive.

I wasn’t planning on sharing this information here, as I tend to catch grief about it (I’m not a unicorn—people have met me in person and can attest I do indeed exist), and prefer to explain how I feel as I get to know people. But in case someone does decide to read my profile: I am not interested in sex as a thing to do with another person. It’s an interesting concept intellectually. I’ve read a lot about it. I write about it sometimes, but I’ve never cared to do it myself.

Dominant women are hot, though.

I should probably write a blog post explaining what I mean when I say that.

So this is that blog post.

I’ve always been fascinated by sex. Anything that’s considered taboo is going to get a curious person’s attention and in my house sex was taboo. And little readers are going to read about it. So I read a lot and learned a lot.

But I wasn’t interested in doing it.

I thought women were lovely to look at. Particularly older, intelligent, confident women. It was a very specific type. And I wanted to do her bidding. I wanted her to tell me what to do. (Dear lord, a confident woman bossing me around…)

Errand-running, fetching and carrying, general secretarial work. Yes and please and how else might I assist you, ma’am?

A woman in a suit. Can I get an ‘Amen’? Skirt, slacks, or a tux. Testify and go tell it on the mountaintop.

Still, I had no desire to see those women naked or do anything to those naked parts.

People are just more interesting looking to me with clothes on. They don’t have to be dressed like Nanook of the North—I love me some fetish wear—nudity is just kinda… meh.

Though I do appreciate a nice nipple.

Though I do appreciate a nice nipple. (Seriously. I tried searching for a human nipple but wanted to finish this post tonight.) (source)

(Seriously. I tried searching for a lovely human nipple and got distracted. I wanted to finish this post tonight.)

There are different types of attraction. Romantic, sexual, intellectual, emotional, aesthetic. Vanilla people have those.

Then, when you get kinky with it, there’s power exchange, pain stuff and kinky things, oh my. If someone is good with a flogger, do you need to be romantically attracted to them? Or in a power exchange? For some people yes, for others, no.

Most people equate romantic attraction with sexual attraction, but for me, thinking someone is swell has nothing to do with touching their genitals. And I’ve known sexual people who can outright despise a person but find them sexually attractive. I find that fascinating. For me, no matter how interesting I find a person, if it turns out they hold particular views (being racist or transphobic, for example) I instantly lose all interest. It just evaporates. No more errand-running for you, no matter what you look like in a suit or how much command presence you possess.

Then I go 'whoosh' right away from you. (source)

Then I go ‘whoosh’ right away from you. (source)

It took me a long time to realise I was kinky because, though I’d read about pageists under the masochism heading in Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis they were non-sexual like me, and kinky people are portrayed as being highly sexual in our media.

And it is a very sexual way to be. There’s a sexual energy there, even when sex isn’t being done. (It’s something you do. You don’t have it, like a garden gnome or a Lionel train set.)

The gnomes... they know what you do with your naughty bits. (source)

The gnomes… they know what you do with your naughty bits. (source)

It’s difficult to be what I am (a pageist) in a vanilla world, because when you want to do errands for another woman they think you want something from them. Generally sex. Because everyone wants the sex.

No, see, the service is the sex for me. All you have to do is be genuinely grateful and give me more chores to do.

This caused no end of pain growing up because I wasn’t like other people in many ways. Let’s enumerate them, shall we?

1. Lesbian (not common or popular in my conservative, religious area).

2. Not interested in sex (you’d think this was a plus being one of the dreaded Gays, but it just makes a person feel more isolated, as the other gay people you meet do want sex).

3. Possessing a ‘You must be over 50 to ride this ride’ sign. (Wasn’t I supposed to be swooning over the hot chicks? I wanted to date Helen Mirren. Well, I wanted her to pat me on the butt and tell me to get her a coffee. Same difference.)

I was just sitting over in the corner with my books and my music. Speaking of. My favourite musical artists from age 12 to 19? Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand. All the other girls? New Kids on the Block and … whomever else was popular. I can’t recall; I try not to think about that time of my life.

My peers LOVED me, is what I’m saying.

When I attempted to befriend them it only frightened them more. (source)

When I attempted to befriend them it only frightened them more. (source)

It was only after working out the entire being kinky thing that I realised I could have a power exchange with a (what I now see would be a Dominant) woman taking over certain parts of my life (what I wore and ate and such) as well as doing certain types of bondage and pain things like spankings and floggings. Prior to that I’d fantasized about being of vital importance to two women—the one at home who’d be kind and nurturing and run my life and give me cuddles—and the one at work who’d tell me what to do and bend me over the desk and spank me. (This was before Secretary came out, but that film made my life.)

Being brought up in a culture where violence is a threat that nice people never commit meant the gentle, nurturing sort of Dominant I would want would never strike someone they love. The concept of both the spanky funtimes and the life-coach, enforced bedtimes being administered by the same person didn’t enter my head.

B-HAHA. I’m a little late to the game, but I’m catching up quickly. Evil sticks look interesting, by-the-by.

Pictured: Also interesting.

Pictured: Also interesting. Along with 75% of everything else at Leatherbeaten. (source)

I’m not sure how I personally feel about sex in regard to my own kink. I certainly write about it. And I get how other people find BDSM sexy. I’m not sexually attracted to anyone, but the idea of submitting sexually in certain ways to a dominant woman I was in some sort of power exchange with has some appeal, though I don’t know if that’s only a fantasy. If the right situation never happens that’s fine. If it does somehow then I’ll jump off that bridge when I get to it.

I still consider myself asexual, though, as asexuality is not having sexual attraction (which is not the same as libido—you can be hungry and not have anything particular in mind to eat). I’m certainly not interested enough to bother pursuing it. I love my life the way it is and would rather hang out with my husband, practising ties or reading than trying to find the person I could be interested in sexually.

If it happens, though, it happens. I’ll keep you informed.

A Submissive Rite of Passage or Two

A Submissive Rite of Passage; Well, Two, Actually

Some weeks ago someone contacted me through my site and wanted advice about a new stage of their submission. I couldn’t give advice being that I’m new to everything, which I’m open about on my blog. I said as much but that I was happy to befriend this person because they sounded interesting and I want to get to know more kinky people.

Straightaway this person wanted very personal information like my real name, which I allowed myself to be pressured into giving. And pictures, which I didn’t. Mostly because I don’t have pictures of myself. When I didn’t provide photos this person understood if I had self esteem issues, was unattractive or was overweight, etc. And they were all right with that, kind individual that they were.

[I simply don’t care to be photographed and don’t generally go places where there’s a reason to break out a camera. I’m a little older than the selfie culture where it’s typical to take a photo of yourself for no reason. I’m not saying it’s bad to do that, I’m just saying, for someone over a certain age, you need a reason to take a photo other than ‘This is what I look like today.’ It simply doesn’t occur to some of us to take a photo of something unless we want to remember it forever—like a trip or a special dinner or something of that nature. I think it’s because we used to pay to have film developed and it was expensive.]

Pardon my digression. Back to the story. This person didn’t get photos of me.

But, if I didn’t respond to emails every day, they complained—we ‘met’ online very shortly before I went on a trip and I said I would be away for several days—packing, being on holiday, then unpacking and recovering from all the extroversion. They said they understood, but still, complained about me never being around.

It takes me a long time to open up to people emotionally and I don’t generally give a great deal of myself away in conversation straight off. People usually enjoy talking about themselves so I’ve found a successful tactic has been to ask people questions about themselves and they’ll happily talk about their favourite subject (them!) for ages.

This is fine with me, as it takes time for me to want to talk about intimate things and I like learning about other people. It’s usually a win-win.

But that wasn’t going to fly with this person.

I shared what I was comfortable with and because that didn’t match with the way that person saw the world they said I was lying. That they were telling me all sorts of intimate things about their life and I was making ridiculous things up.

That sound there was a record scratch.

Or brakes being applied. (source)

Or brakes being applied. (source)

This person’s life was the sort of situation that would make any vanilla person’s brain crawl out of their ears and form itself into an actual question mark over their head. But my life sounded like a lie.

I was incensed by this accusation, as I’m incapable of lying even when it would make my life easier, but also because I’ve gone through seriously traumatic experiences just trying to live my life in a way that’s true to myself.

First, I tried explaining things and once this person realised they’d misunderstood something or other, they’d backtrack and say they meant something else.

Then they’d say they enjoyed the lies I was telling them anyway, as they were amusing.

I finally lost it with this individual and sent a couple of incredibly snarky emails, which were greeted with phrase, ‘You don’t seem like a submissive.’

Now, some people are bothered when a stranger tells them this. One person I told this story to said she cried the first time someone said that to her.

But I knew it was going to happen, because it happens to everyone. So for me it was more of: Person who knows nothing about you says you’re not submissive. LEVEL UP! +1000 POINTS I felt like I was really part of the community.

This stellar addition to the community helped me to level up twice, actually.

The second Rite of Passage I …passed through was having my lifestyle judged by someone else in the lifestyle. I’ve seen it and knew it happened, but it was the first time it happened to me since coming out as kinky. (All my vanilla friends have been amazingly supportive—how ironic the first person to judge me was a kinky one.)

I do not understand this.

I.

Do.

Not.

Under.

Stand. (I know it’s one word, but I’m breaking it up)

This.

You’re being judged all day, every day by society.

You could lose your homes, families, jobs, whatever, and you judge someone?

(source)

(source)

I didn’t ‘get’ this person’s life, but I figured that, as time passed and we got to know one another, I would grow to understand it and that (and this is the big part) it didn’t matter if I understood the dynamic, only that this person was happy and the dynamic answered something within them.

Because I get that different people live different lives and you can’t know what goes on in someone else’s head or heart. You can’t know what goes on between two (or more) people. It’s not for you to decide what makes another person happy.

After losing my temper I told the person not to contact me again, but of course they did—they just had to get one more snide comment in. Saying it was my fault for not telling them my life story right from the beginning.

Humans deserve respect without having to be told every awful thing that’s happened to them. Most people don’t need another person’s life history before they decide the person they’re talking to is a real, actual person with real, actual feelings.

They also told me I was an unpleasant person. Yeah, that’s how I react after being nice to rude people doesn’t work. I get unpleasant. Maximus Sarcasticus. My friends call the person I become when I finally lose my temper Lady Macbeth. But that’s after some time of dealing with b.s. because I hate confrontation. I don’t like being that way or losing my temper.

Meanwhile, if that person was trying to hurt me or make me feel less of a submissive, it didn’t work.

Instead, I levelled up! Twice! I got 2000 extra points!

(I recommend viewing all negative experiences this way—as experience points. Eventually you level up and can have cake. Or alcohol.)

If Nietzsche were alive today, no doubt he’d say, ‘What does not kill me gives me enough experience points to level up, motherfuckers. You are as dead as God to me.’

And then someone would call your mustache a hipster and you'd be: ?? (source)

And then someone would call your mustache a hipster and you’d be: ?? (source)

[Addendum: I’d finished this piece and was checking for typos when it occurred to me—this person was bossy and rude, pushy and prying the entire time… and they were telling me I didn’t seem submissive?

I’ve been operating under the belief that a person is submissive if they submit to their D-type, but the sort of person who likes to tell others what ‘real’ submission is should exemplify submission itself, correct? And I wouldn’t think a ‘submissive’ would be bossy, rude, pushy and prying. Methinks that person wasn’t very submissive. Tsk tsk.]

Where I am Led Month 02

Similar to last month, these are the most thought-provoking (for me) posts from the previous month’s prompts from Where I am Led: A Service Exploration Workbook.

This month had four weeks’ worth of prompts, which is four guideposts and writing assignments each and eight weekly thoughts to choose from. I couldn’t narrow it down to just two Thoughts for the Week and wound up choosing three.

Weekly Guidepost

Surrender. True surrender is a victory, not a defeat. When you can embrace the unknown and find strength in your vulnerability, then you will know real freedom.

The idea of being so comfortable with my Dominant—and so able to trust her—that I could surrender myself physically, emotionally, mentally, etc, is freeing. And empowering. There’s power in both sides of the equation, I think—caring for someone and protecting them and allowing yourself to be cared for and protected and completely surrendering yourself to another person’s will. It must be remarkably freeing to get to the point where you know that, no matter what happens, your D-type will guide you in the direction that’s the best for you as a person and for the two of you as a couple. To not have to second-guess or worry and to trust that as long as you take care of your Dominant, she’ll take care of you.

Thoughts for the Week 01

A slave should not seek to be punished. However, when mistakes are made, a slave should seek to earn the privilege of being punished and forgiven. This privilege is earned by consenting to the punishment deemed appropriate by the Owner, demonstrating genuine remorse for the shortcoming and making a sincere effort not to repeat the mistake in the future.

As I would choose a Dominant I respected completely, her disappointment would be devastating to me. I would rather be punished in whatever way I had agreed to in our contract and whatever way she deemed appropriate at that time in order to earn her forgiveness and prove I was genuinely sorry. Knowing I could be punished would also keep me in line, I think. Knowing my Dominant knew I was capable of so much that it was possible to let her down to the point she would need to punish me to bring me back in line and not wanting to do that (also knowing she had that level of confidence in me) would make me want to live up to her ideals.

Thoughts for the Week 02

As you explore new areas of physical submission, don’t overlook the emotional and spiritual aspects. These areas can provide you with as much fulfillment and satisfaction as you gain from physical acts of submission. As you grow and learn, you will find these areas will become more integrated and very often indistinguishable from each other.

I’ve never understood what ‘spiritual’ aspects are, but emotional submission comes easily for me. And the integration of physical and emotional submission has also been quite natural, as well. I concur whole-heartedly that emotional submission is fulfilling. That was first for me and the easiest—the most natural. Submitting emotionally answers something within me that’s difficult to put into words. The physical part is secondary, and more difficult for me, so it’s interesting that this prompt is worded in a way to suggest that’s what people focus on. I suppose kink is often more focused on the physical rather than the mental. That’s probably worth a blog post.

Thoughts for the Week 03

A valuable talent for a slave to have is the ability to anticipate and fulfill an Owner’s needs, wants, and desires. This ‘talent’ is actually a learned skill that is acquired by remaining focused on your Owner and observant of even the slightest facial expression. Watching your Owner interact with others can be especially enlightening. What traits does your Owner find pleasing in others? What topics of conversation fascinate your Owner? Are these things you can incorporate into your service?

Anticipatory service is something I find both intriguing and baffling. I’m never been able to read people well—it’s why I enjoy being told what to do and why I like routine because then I know what is expected of me. I’m often amazed by the average person being able to just know how another person is feeling so the idea of knowing my Dominant so well as to anticipate her needs is beautiful to me. I would like to be able to do that. I think perhaps it would have to begin by her giving me some sort of non-verbal cue. When she wanted tea she’d do some subtle movement and I’d know—something of that nature.

In terms of watching my Dominant interacting with another person in order to be more pleasing to her—that’s something I hadn’t considered before. I’m not sure I would consider simply being more like the things she likes would be part of service as it would just be part of a normal relationship. A willingness to learn about things my Dominant found interesting would seem to show I cared, to my mind, though I suppose it could also be a part of service, as well.

Writing Assignment

Characteristics Essential for Ownership. What qualities or character traits does an Owner need to have in order to gain your consent to serve? Name at least three or these qualities and explain why you feel they are important.

1. Intelligence. I couldn’t serve a person I didn’t respect and I couldn’t respect an unintelligent person.
2. Controlled. I respect a person who never loses their calm—who responds to difficult situations with a level-head.
3. Kind. I respect a person who is kind. Someone who tries to find the best in others but also doesn’t suffer fools.
4. Able to be vulnerable. I respect a person who is capable of showing their humanity. I couldn’t be with someone who seemed perfect or felt to need to pretend to be invulnerable.
5. Funny. A sense of humour is a must. Life is ridiculous sometimes and it’s important to be able to laugh.

Monthly Practical
The practical project for this month concerned leather care, which I wrote a separate post about. I’ve also posted some links to useful sites in the Service section of the Resources section of the site.

How I Accidentally Became a Rope Top

Look. None of this was planned, okay.

Last February (has it only been since then? It feels like years) I finally had the whole ‘Yer a submissive, Harry. I mean, Paige!’ realisation and started reading and writing about power exchange and was happy with knowing there were other people like me.

I’ve never been a social person and didn’t intend to become one. Being around more than one person for more than a couple hours leaves me needing a nap. It’s too much faff. I’d just read and write my personal essays and continue relating to the world through my computer, just as I had before I got my letter from Hogwarts, I mean, the Armory. (That’s where the kinky letters come from, right?)

Note the flags. (source)

Note the flags. (source)

But then it turned out there was a kinky group in my area… I could talk to people like me. In the same room.

Which was so weird of a proposition I just had to try it.

Talking, though. To strangers… Small talk is not something I do well.

Then someone hosted a kinky crafting event and we made blindfolds/sleep masks and that was quite fun. Having something to focus on helped because I knew if I was at a loss for words I could focus on mangling my sleep mask.

A few months passed (due to personal stuff that’s boring and had nothing to do with kink) and I didn’t go to anything, but I knew that I could indeed have a conversation with new people with vomiting or eating my own face.

So once everything was settled from boring personal things and suchlike I thought, ‘I have this new corset. I’m never going to get to wear it anywhere fun unless I get vetted.’

So off I trotted to a munch, which was a great time. Everyone was very nice and I had a blast. Though I did go home and crash like an introvert who’d just been social.

Then, a couple weeks later I checked to see what events were coming up, figuring it would be films or coffee, and there was a Rope Bite event in my area—most of those sorts of things happen some place that’s a 45 minute drive away.

I’ve never had an interest in being tied or tying anyone, but I do think shibari is beautiful to look it. I’ve always seen it as art.

Lady Caribou tied by Bodhi photographed by Ma’iitsoh Yazhi (source)

Pictured: Art. Lady Caribou tied by Bodhi photographed by Ma’iitsoh Yazhi (source)

So I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll go look at how the art is made and hang out with some kinky people without having to drive an hour and a half.’

The workshop was taught by Bodhi, who has a website called RopeSpace. He makes his own rope. Speaking of, at the start, they passed out thirty foot lengths of rope to everyone there and I said, ‘Oh, I’m just here to watch.’ The person passing out the rope said, ‘Well, just in case.’

Just in case indeed.

I don’t think it was sixty seconds before I’d uncoiled my bit of rope and was tying Walter’s hands. Walter is my husband who, when I described him as being vanilla said, ‘I don’t think I have a flavour. Like water.’

Guess who liked being tied, though.

Look what I did!

Look what I did!

He liked the pressure of the rope, saying it felt like a hug. Little hugs on his wrists or around his chest when I did something around his torso.

Bodhi showed us some basic knots and explained about anatomy using such technical terms as ‘the squishy bit’ and ‘the poky bit’ (he also knew the medical terms, but his presentation was great). He also talked about circulation and nerves and how to help a person lie down once their hands are tied.

Also about how the knotted ends of rope have eyeball magnets in them and they will always hit the bottom in the eye so to be careful.

At the end, he and the woman who was bottoming for him that evening did a scene that was intimate and powerful. Some other people there were chatting quietly and I was thinking, ‘Are you not seeing what I’m seeing? How can you have a conversation right now?’ It didn’t seem like Bodhi and his bottom noticed, though. They seemed to be in their own little space.

Not to give my fellow kinksters a difficult time–they’d probably seen the scene before and were catching up with people they hadn’t seen in awhile.

After Walter gets paid again we’re buying some rope so I can start practising. We were talking about how terrible we are at everything. We can’t even do this right. My 6’4” husband getting tied up by his 5’5” wife.

It’s completely nonsexual to us…as is everything, as we’re asexual, but that makes it that much more entertaining.

As this was going on and I was happily trying to work out how to do the knots and such, I suddenly remembered how my mother said that as soon as I learned how to tie knots I would tie everything that could be tied together together. Jump ropes, shoelaces, things she’d never considered as tie-able before. She was constantly having to untie things.

I never had the urge to tie people, though. And I’m sure I’d be perfectly happy with some vaguely human-shaped thing to practise on.

That sounded creepier than I intended.

Even creepier--it could be one of these morphsuits stuffed with pillows. (source)

Even creepier–it could be one of these morphsuits stuffed with pillows. (source)

The good news is that I don’t have to pay anyone to make a rig for me to practise on or (god forbid) have to deal with other human beings’ schedules, as I have a person living in my house that is vaguely human-shaped. And he’s happy as long as he can fiddle with his phone.

So I’m not a rope top yet, but I look forward to learning more and going to future events and annoying Bodhi to death with questions. (Preemptive apologies!)

On a final note: The rope bite event is held at a gay club, which allows us to do this for free, amazingly. Afterward everyone went upstairs to buy some drinks as a thank you and as we were leaving we nearly ran into two huge drag queens. I heard one say to the other, ‘Oh honey, let the pedestrians through first.’

As we were all on foot, I took it she was using ‘pedestrian’ to mean ‘straight’ or ‘boring’ or whatever. And I nearly laughed out loud.

Darling, sweetie pie, booboo kitten, you have no idea.

Sub Journal Prompt 004: SM and Pain

004. If SM is part of your dynamic explain how pain works for you. Is it a sexual turn on, a healing release, a spiritual moment, a session of giving?

I’ve not experience the ‘good’ kind of pain so this is entirely conjecture, but I think it would depend on the circumstance. I’m not a spiritual person so it’d never be a spiritual experience for me. I think that usually I would want pain as a way to bring me out of my head. Pain is immediate and would help me forget whatever was worrying me at the time. Then the neurochemicals would kick in and the experience, whilst still painful, would become the good kind of pain. And there would be the positive after effects of a good scene, as well.

In some circumstances pain could be sexual—spanking to me is more likely to be sexual than other types of pain, whereas flogging, whipping, coin stripping, evil wands, those are all pain for release.

I’m not sure what ‘a session of giving’ means. I’m reading it as pure submission, which seems to be what’s happening during the other two scenes. Perhaps if I wasn’t feeling stressed or sexual but was feeling submissive and wanted to show that by enduring some level of pain that would count. That’s not something I had considered before and I don’t really know my capacity for endurance. But now that I think on it, I like the idea of offering that up for someone. What more demonstrates submission and trust than allowing someone to physically hurt you? I’m fairly certain I’m not a painslut, so I don’t know how frequently I’d want to engage in that sort of pain play, but it’s an interesting motivation.

This prompt came from SubmissiveGuide.com

30 Days of Kink Day 23: Perspectives

Day 23: Since you first developed an interest in kink, have your interests/perspectives changed? How so?

I’m not sure I’d say my interests have changed—more that I’ve realised there was a name for the way I’m oriented so now I know where to look for more information on those things in order to learn more about it and more about myself.

Though perhaps my interests have changed a bit. When I first started reading about certain activities I thought, ‘Eh, that, that and that over there really aren’t my thing,’ but some of those have changed. Certain activities have become more interesting the more I’ve thought about them.

And I’ve definitely become less prone to being shocked by anything. My initial reaction to what some people would consider extreme behaviour now tends toward the technical. ‘Oh. Huh. So how do you keep the potato salad from going off over that length of time? Doesn’t it clog the gears of the PlungeFuhrer3000? And how do you affix the fourteenth person to it, again? I’m not seeing the straps…Oh yeah, I see it now.’

Like this. Tell me about your fire play, clown branding orgy and I'm just. 'How did you keep the wigs from bursting into flame. They seem highly flammable.' (image source)

Like this. Tell me about your fire play, clown branding orgy and I’m just, ‘How did you keep the wigs from bursting into flame. They seem highly flammable.’ (image source)

Overall, I’d say my interests have evolved or grown to encompass more rather than change into something completely different. It’s also made me a more accepting person—both of others and of myself.

Where I am Led Month 01

A little over a month ago I started Where I Am Led: A Service Exploration Workbook by Christina “slavette” Parker.

The book is set up to be completed over a year’s time, which I like. I’m not sure how I feel about some of the monthly assignments, which you’re supposed to learn how to do even if you never plan to take up, but I’m going to do my best.

There are monthly practical projects, weekly guideposts, twice weekly thoughts and a weekly writing assignment.

From the book:

Monthly Practical Projects: These projects are designed to help you develop skills that will increase your usefulness to your Owner. While you may never put into practical application the specific projects you complete, you will have many opportunities to apply the skills you will develop as you complete the project.

Weekly Guideposts: These are single words associated with the concepts of service. For each word, I’ve provided a short quote. These quotes are meant to be a starting point for exploration of the concept. What images or emotions come to mind when you think about the guidepost word? Do you have any examples from your own life that help define the concept for you? Keep the guidepost word in mind as you go through your week.

Twice-Weekly Thoughts: The thoughts in this book are bits of advice and insight I have gathered on my own journey. Do you agree or disagree with what I have written? Does what I have written remind you of something specific? Do you have additional comments to add?

Weekly Writing Assignments: The weekly writing assignments are designed to assist you in self-exploration while focusing that exploration in positive directions. I encourage you to be as detailed as possible when you are completing the assignments.

Once a month for the next year I’m going to post my responses to the most interesting/thought-provoking prompts (one each of the Guideposts and Writing Assignments and two Weekly Thoughts) as well as how I got on with the monthly practical project.

This first month had five weeks’ worth of prompts, which is five guideposts and writing assignments each and ten weekly thoughts.

Weekly Guidepost

Learning. ‘It is the people who can do nothing who can find nothing to do, and the secret of happiness in this world is not only to be useful, but to be forever elevating one’s usefulness.’ – Sandra Orne Jewett

In realising I am submissive I have discovered an entirely new world of things to learn about. I’m excited about learning in a way I haven’t been in some time because it’s learning about some part of myself that has been hidden from me until this point. It’s like opening a door I hadn’t noticed before. And the more I learn the better of a submissive I can be.

Thoughts for the Week 01

When I think of the awesome responsibility that accepting control of another human being entails, I am humbled. To know that someone believes that this burden is worth shouldering in order to have my submission is a precious gift. It is that state of humility which urges me to continue to improve the quality of my service so that I might ease the burden of Ownership.

Knowing how difficult it is just to take care of myself—I can’t imagine taking on the responsibility of caring for another person to the level a Dominant does for her submissive. It’s clearly part of her nature and something she gets a great deal of satisfaction from, but can also probably be a lot of work, being that she is taking care of both herself and another human being. That is why it would be imperative for me to be the best submissive I could and to make her life as easy as possible in my own way. I think of it as my Dominant running my life so I can make sure hers runs smoothly. So it’s a continual cycle that feeds into itself. I think we should work together to find the ways we can both do our parts of the cycle best—what ways she can best run my life that will allow me to help hers operate as smoothly as possible.

Thoughts for the Week 02

There is a strong power that can be gained through surrender. It is not a power that comes from manipulation or passive-aggressive control over another person. Instead, it is a peaceful, internal power that fills the heart and soul of the slave who recognizes the pleasure that quiet obedience gives to an owner.

Power through obedience is similar to power through silence. There’s a stillness involved in doing as you’re told. At first ‘power’ seemed an odd word choice to me, it makes sense in that anything can hold power if it causes an emotion. To me, ‘power’ is always active—something a person does or has. So the idea of a person whose power comes from obeying, from being still, seems backwards. But it’s like when everyone is yelling and frantic and there’s one person who’s calm. That person seems to have power. Sometimes not doing what you want to do is using your power.

Writing Assignment

The writing assignment I’m choosing is the only one I couldn’t finish, though it wasn’t from lack of trying. The prompt was this:

Name three fictional characters who would be good role models for an aspiring slave and explain why.

After several days—near the end of the week I had to work on my prompts—I wrote this:

This is terrible, but the first thing that came to mind and wouldn’t budge was Vera Bennett from Wentworth. And she was an example of a terrible submissive. She had the opportunity to serve a commanding, naturally dominant woman (Joan Ferguson) and she was naturally submissive and then she messed it up royally by questioning her guidance and lying to her.

It took awhile for me to come up with even one character who would qualify and eventually I came up with Lee Holloway, the protagonist from Secretary. It seems obvious that someone from a film about kink would be a good sub, but actually most fiction is about forced submission, so it’s rare to see someone who took to it so gleefully.

Lee Holloway is a good role model for aspiring submissives because she blossomed when she found her Dominant. She became more confident as a person and as a woman. She even helped him open up and become more comfortable with who he was, proving that the D-type didn’t have to be the all-knowing, god-like figure of the relationship.

Over the last week I’ve thought and thought about it and I can’t come up with another one. I suppose because I’m always paying attention to the dominant women and never the people serving them. From now on I’ll definitely be paying attention and will update this entry when I come across possible role models.

I rather hope people will leave a comment about characters who make excellent s-types. Because I am still at a loss.

Monthly Practical

This had to do with being a nutritionist and meal-planning, which is something I would sincerely hope a Dominant would never ask me to do. I dislike cooking like you wouldn’t believe. However I did find some excellent websites like A Girl Called Jack and some places to download meal planning calendars like this one.

30 Days of Kink Day 19 Improvements

Day 19: Any unexpected ways kink has improved your life? If so, what are they?

Everything is Awesome

Sorry for the earworm (credit, the shirt is no longer available)

Kink has improved my life in every way. I mentioned the essay Kink Fixed Me a few days ago and I mention it again here, as it describes many of the ways kink improved my life. The short version is that I grew up in a very repressive culture where women weren’t allowed to own their sexuality and being gay was extra terrible. I wanted certain things that didn’t have anything to do with sex (which I now know are D/s related) but didn’t have words for it and felt different from everyone else.

Once I learned I was kinky everything fell into place and suddenly I wasn’t the one who was different or wrong, it was the people trying to make me feel badly about myself who needed to be shoved off a Norwegian fjord.

Another way kink has improved my life is it’s given me a focus—sets of books and films to consume and analyze and lots of things to learn and synthesize. Having an overarching theme to learn about has given my life a sort of meaning. I’ve always enjoyed critically reviewing books and film—I’ve done this for years on my vanilla site—but now I have a topic that speaks to me on a deeper level.

One other way is I liked the idea of being in a 24/7 D/s relationship and being given daily assignments by my Dominant. I wanted to train myself to complete assignments, so I got a notebook and began keeping track of the things I needed to do, what I wanted to do and how many of those I actually got through. (I’ll be doing an in-depth post about this in the coming weeks.) Having assignments/goals written down helped me see what I was actually accomplishing in a day and over the last months I’ve been more productive than I have been in years, my house has never been cleaner and I’m exercising regularly.

In short:

The lyrics to this song are apt.

30 Days of Kink Day 16 Difficult Aspects

Day 16: What are the most difficult aspects of having a sexuality that involves kink or BDSM for you personally?

'I've had this many problems.' :holds up no fingers: (credit)

‘I’ve had this many problems.’ :holds up no fingers: (credit)

Thus far I haven’t had any difficulty, really. Quite the opposite, which I go into in the essay Kink Fixed Me. It’s about how realising I was kinky solved several life-long problems I’d had with my sexuality and self-esteem relating to it.

Perhaps the only problem is that BDSM is not more widely accepted or talked about so I didn’t know of it until I was in my mid-thirties and therefore went through a large portion of my life feeling different from everyone else.

30 Days of Kink Day 4: Early Hints

Day 4: Any early experience that, in retrospect, hint at your kinks?

I refer back to yesterday’s post where I went through my early experiences as a way to explain I had been exhibiting signs of kinkyness and subdom long before those dreadful books and film were unleashed on the world to wreak their havoc, which prompted an article that finally activated the light switch in my dim brain so I finally realised what should have been obvious all along.

There is nothing I wish more dearly than that I had paid more attention upon that first reading of Psychopathia Sexualis in 2002. I could have saved myself a lot of pain (gained myself a lot of pain?) and got into the scene thirteen years ago. It was so blazingly obvious. Boy, was I a doofus.

Of course, I read that three years after Dame Helen (again, see yesterday) Dommed my brain into a puddle of submissive goo as the sadistic Mrs Tingle. I’d been teacher’s pet at school (and loved the hell out of it) so that film was pure hormone fuel for me. Jeffrey Tambor played her lover and he snuck into her house and intimated they’d done some kind of kinky…something the previous time they’d got together so I’m guessing she’s got a strap on somewhere. Katie Holmes got to unbutton her pyjama top. Marisa Coughlan got to wrestle with her (and lose, lucky bitch). And Barry Watson got to feed her. I mean, my GOD, they showed this in a cinema where teenagers could watch it. What is the world coming to? Wait… you mean we were supposed to be rooting against her? I don’t understand.

'You call this an essay? Come to my house for...detention.'

‘You call this an essay? Come to my house for…detention.’

Looking back, I thought I wanted two separate things. I fantasized about living in a happily sexless but romantic relationship with a woman who would be, what I now see, a nurturing Dominant. I’d do chores and she’d set my bedtime and bathe me sometimes and brush my hair and I’d sit at her feet at night and she’d choose my clothes and generally be in charge of me. Then I’d go to work and have a boss to whom I was indispensable and we’d have spankings and kinky sex. She’d run my work life. And I always wanted to be the assistant, never the Head Bitch in Charge (HBIC) as a friend of mine called it.

It never occurred to me a person could have both of those things in one human being. Or that you could even have a person run your life full stop. And I’ve had those two fantasies since I was in my late teens? Early twenties? I’m in my late 30s now so it’s been awhile. Then, as I said yesterday, I came across that article and numbers 2 and 7 talked about how BDSM didn’t have to be about sex or pain—that it can be about one person doing what the other person says all the time. And I realised—that woman I lived with in my mind that I wasn’t having sex with but who ran my life—she was my Dominant. But that person could also enjoy sometimes doing sexy, pain things, too. That could be one person.

Oh.

Light bulb

30 Days of Kink Day 3: Discovering You’re Kinky

Day 3: How did you discover you were kinky?

I’ve known realized I was submissive to a certain sort of woman since August of 2002 when I read Psychopathia Sexualis, which I’ve written about in my first two essays. Even though my kink (pageism) was under the heading of ‘masochism’ I still didn’t put it together that being dominated emotionally counted as kinky.

I’d purchased both rubber and suede floggers from online sex shops because I liked the way they looked—something about them appealed to me—when I was in my late teens. That’s probably when I got my first set of handcuffs, as well. I didn’t have anyone to use them with and really had no intention to use them anytime soon, I just liked owning them. Something about having them around made me happy.

I’ve also had spanking fantasies since…I genuinely have no idea. I wish I did know.

I went to see Teaching Mrs Tingle in the cinema in 1999–for several years she was my number one celebrity crush; I have since moved on to taller, darker pastures—and Helen Mirren spent a good portion of that film tied to a bed. I rather enjoyed that. Which is sort of interesting, as I’m the one who’d want to be tied to the bed. I have zero interest in tying anyone to anything. In my fantasy at the time I saved Mrs Tingle from her evil student kidnappers and untied her and she was very grateful. But ahem. (She spent the other portion of the film being a stern bitch of a teacher–I couldn’t believe porn was being shown in a regular cinema. I was literally white-knuckling the armrests and glad I was there on my own. I went to see it twice.)

'Oh thank you for saving me. Let's switch places...'

‘Oh thank you for saving me. Let’s switch places…’

I put it all together—the lightbulb went off, so to speak when…this is so embarrassing…oh god…don’t make me say it… I was reading an article about things that you wouldn’t learn about BDSM from 50 Shades of Grey. I’m so ashamed. All the pieces were there for so many years and it wasn’t until that article that it clicked into place.

I hate that that abomination of a phenomenon had anything to do with it even tangentially. At least it was an article informing people of all the things the film and books won’t teach you. I take some comfort in that. Number 6 on the list in that article is how cringe-worthy every shade of grey is.