Friday, April 30, 2010

Personal v Professional Life

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I read about a blogger who was recently fired from her job for blogging about her personal life. Not her work life, not her boss, or any company secrets....just blogging about a subject that she enjoys. It's a blog that I, and many others have found interesting, educational, and even at times downright titillating. But as she found out, the internet is hardly a place for anonymity.

That makes me wonder about what might happen should my blog ever be linked to me. I have the advantage of having a geek for a boyfriend, which helps me cover my tracks a bit. But the danger of someday being found out for my kink is a real one. It's a risk that I really hadn't thought overmuch about until today. Until I read the note by The Beautiful Kind.

We can all have sympathy for TBK and the fact that there are people out there that we deal with that still find all things to do with sex or kink to be freakish. So much so, that they'd fire a valuable employee for expressing her thoughts on a personal blog. But it was a wake up call for everyone who blogs. And for me, it's a motivation to continue.

While I can't imagine being put in the position of what this person did to TBK, so much so that she felt like she had to apologize for having a life she loved in addition to a job, I can imagine a day when perhaps my granddaughter won't be fired from a job she loves for the same kind of thing. I don't have illusions that my blog is read by a great many people, but I do have an illusion that should someone find out about me, that they'll remember that I'm more than my kinks.

And that I have a more understanding boss than TBK did.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Transitions, Changes and What the HELL is THAT?

As people might know by now, Daddy and I have taken a jump into the abyss ---otherwise known as we're sharing a house. And by sharing, I mean that I've taken over most of the closet space, much of the kitchen space, and lots of the wall space. Sorry about that Daddy :)

Since we spent most weekends together already, and since I have a full time job which causes me to leave the house before Daddy gets up, nothing really changed. Well, with the exception that I go to sleep with him nearby every night. And wake up next to him every morning.

I'm not really sure how things will look over time. There's lots of things that I hope never change: that he can't keep his hands off me while I'm cooking; that we can be in the same room, sharing the same space, without really tripping over each other; and that, while I still don't feel "home" yet (mostly because of an issue we're having with the house, 27 inches of water in the basement and no hot water heater), I feel more at ease there than I ever have before.

I don't really think that we're transitioning into a 24/7/365 D/s relationship. Even when we didn't live together, I belonged to him. Even when I slept in my own apartment, I was still his. And even when he wasn't looking, I still (mostly) remembered that. I think we already HAD that kind of D/s relationship, it just looked different.

I still can't wait to see him. I still love to watch his smile. I still love to hear his voice. And I still love that he looks at me the way I always wanted someone to. Just now, I get to see those things more often.

He's given me pretty much the OK to do what I want in the house. Eventually I'll get us there. Hopefully sooner than later because clutter annoys me, and I do have other things I'd rather be doing than finding places for my things. I've hung some of my pictures, hung curtains, and tried not to move too many things from where he already had them. He's walked through the door and has been surprised by a cat gargoyle, an owl, and I'm sure various other things. He always smiles, and asks "what the hell is that?" At first, I rushed to remove the offending whatever, and subsequently I was a little hesitant to do any decorating or organizing without his explicit OK. But then I realized that it's easier to do it and just give him the option of telling me that something didn't work for him. Sort of like a scene. We don't negotiate first. We do it and if it's not working, we change it.

I'm hoping that things just continue to get better. Oh I know that there will be some rough's inevitable. But that's where I think that having a D/s relationship can make a huge difference. I'll only argue over a Really Important Matter. Everything's his thinks that are in charge of mine. At least that's one aspect of D/s that we kinda mostly always get right.

The rest? Well......we're making up the rest as we go along.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Labels Schmabels

This is a hard post for me to write. Mostly because I'm almost certain to offend someone by writing it. If I offend you, I'm sorry. That's certainly not my intention. My intention is to try to explain what I've felt watching an ongoing argument between friends degenerate to the point where I'm afraid to even try to ask a simple question for fear of offending people I enjoy being around.

I grew up in a nuclear family, in New England, went to school, held jobs, and I think I had a pretty ordinary life. Oh sure, I've had a difficult time of things off and on. Nobody's life is perfect and mine certainly was so far from it at times that I often wondered if the TV shows I watched were the way "real" families acted, why was mine so different? It was hardly a culturally diverse state, much less a sexually diverse one. Oh, and did I mention that I grew up without the benefit of the internet and all the wikis, blogs, and encyclopedias of what I "should" have learned?

But I did have some advantages.

My first exposure to the world of alternate sexuality was from my uncle. He was a crossdresser who only dressed when out of the house. Whether or not my aunt ever knew, I still haven't asked. But he'd take me out on his motorcycle, make a stop, and emerge dressed. We'd drive to another town, where he'd take me for ice cream. Purse, makeup and skirt intact. I didn't exactly know what was going on, but I could feel his fear. He trusted me and except for one person, I've never told another family member about our little forays. I asked him a few years ago why he trusted me with his crossdressing. He told me that just once, he wanted someone to see him dressed as just a natural part of who he was and if he just didn't make a big deal of it, and presented it as just a normal thing for him, I wouldn't view him as a freak. But I knew that my mother would have freaked. I knew it wasn't "normal" and that if she'd caught him dressing and parading around as my aunt that all hell would have broken loose. It became normal to me, but that normal was tinted with his fear of being found out, and the fact that it became a secret I kept.

My sister is a lesbian and although I probably knew that she liked girls more than boys from the time I was pretty young, she came out to me in a rash of self-loathing, self-destruction, and confusion. I still remember that call late in the evening, after I'd gone to bed. I remember her voice when she told me that she was a lesbian and that she was afraid. I assumed she was afraid of coming out to our parents. But her biggest fear was that I wouldn't understand and that because of it, I'd prevent her from seeing my children. It was a real fear for her. I was married to a man who was intolerant of all things gay. But I assured her that I loved her and I couldn't imagine a better aunt for my kids. And yes, my children have known she's gay since they were little. To them, she's their aunt. A fun woman who does all sorts of cool things that they'd never do with their mom. She's not their "gay aunt".

My two best friends for over a decade were a couple of gay men. Or as I like to say, one was gay, the other was only mostly gay (and believe me, I still giggle when I say that). One of those two men was such a little swish that Nathan Lane would be put to shame. The other was more circumspect. He was quietly gay in a world where his family would have disowned him. He was a strong man who balanced who he was with wanting to maintain family ties that were important to him. His parent's religion, age and background would have immediately cut him off from them. He almost completely cut himself off from his family because of being gay.

I knew them when the HIV epidemic quietly started making mainstream evening news media coverage, when it was devastating families, leaving people without friendship or support, at at time when being gay was still talked about in hushed tones and thought of as something that happened in "other people's families". I sat through those newscasts with my family, listening to the off color jokes, the slurs and the hatred of gays and being powerless to stop it. And I knew them when being gay was a shortcut to being blamed for the disease itself. I held both of them when a friend of ours died. I listened to their anger.

So although I don't have any experience in trans issues per se, I do have some experience with people whose expression doesn't match mine. I'd say that I'm pretty typical of the "whitebread" background that I grew up in. My milieu as it were, acknowledged that some people expressed things differently than I did, but it wasn't discussed at the dinner table. I don't think I'm that different from a lot of people in the kinky community. We're just people who grew up with varied backgrounds, with varied societal norms, and with a language based upon those.

So, a crossdresser, a lesbian, a swish and a bisexual. They didn't have any common background except the fear that they all had when dealing with "normal" people. But my uncle, my sister, and my friends had one very important thing in common. They provided a way for me to learn about those expressions without being made to feel as if I were "the enemy". And they also forgave my faux pas. The understanding that my curiosity came from interest in their lives and from love . They didn't love me because I was "not" those things. And they didn't answer my questions in order to "educate" me. These were their worlds and I was the one stepping into them. And like all tourists, bound to make a mistake or two in local custom along the way. Explaining the customs to me in their language was difficult. But had I been kicked out of those countries for trying to explain my confusion using my native language, we would have missed so much.

I recognized that these were the people I loved and if they received joy from life, then not only would I support them, but that my support didn't come from jumping on the bandwagon of "gay rights". It came from my desire to just love them. These were simply people that mattered a great deal to me. I didn't love them because of, or in spite of, those parts of their lives, I loved them for the joy they added to my own life. What mattered to me was that my uncle was a hell of a mechanic that always helped me with my cars; my sister is a wiz at explaining baseball, cocktails and traveling; G was a hell of a fashionista who taught me makeup, flirting, and even how to insert a freaking tampon. And J. J meant more to me than anyone. He was a fabulous artist, a quiet man who could paint for hours and helped me find the beauty in my own life. He was the most important person in my life until I met Septimus.

So, as I'm thinking about all those people in my own life, it occurs to me that none of what is happening on Fetlife matters much to me. Sure, I get offended by being pigeonholed into being "cis-privileged", but after I got over my offense, I realized that if someone wants to label me without knowing a thing about me, simply because I'm in a hetero relationship, or that my gender/expression/whatever is aligned, then they're missing out on knowing the real me. I mean, I didn't even know I was "cis" anything until reading that thread. It was an unfamiliar label. I always just thought I was a person. If I ever thought to label myself I generally don't start with my sexual habits or descriptions of what I may or might have anatomically on my body.

I suppose it may be "cis" privilege that I don't have to focus on those things primarily. It's a privilege that I can't control....society has granted it to me. But all my cis-privilege doesn't help me in the least when deciding to tell someone I know about WIITWD. That at least is a commonality for trans and cis to understand. I am no more welcome talking about WIITWD at the dinner table in my parent's home than a trans person might be in their family home.

But labels are important for some people I guess. After all, it's important to have those labels so that we can identify "those not like us" right? Kinky/Vanilla, Gay/Straight, Butch/Femme, Male/Female, Top/Bottom, Trans/Cis. For people who don't like to be pigeonholed into one behavior....the kink community seems to thrive on binary labels. Which only leads to "us/not like us" thinking.

And the funny part is that I don't use the label "trans" anything. I don't walk up to someone and say " know my friend Lydia?....she's a transwoman who likes to cook." Nope, I walk up to my friend and say "meet Lydia....she makes the most delicious chocolate fudge I've ever had in my entire life! But don't ask her to play cribbage....she'll beat your pants off!"

I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that when you introduce yourself to me, or when I introduce myself to you, I'm doing it because I want to know you. My attraction to you doesn't depend on anything except what's between your ears. I can't control the world, or how anyone sees anyone else within it. All I can control is my own view of that world. And my view doesn't start with what's between your legs. Be who you are, act how you will, and I'll do my best to not offend you. If I use the wrong pronoun, by all means tell me. But realize I'm not doing it to be nasty and that I might forget again. After all, it's not a country that I'm used to living in. And even a country I may have visited often, changes from time to time.

I don't ask if you're a trans anything and I really don't care if you are. When I ask you to tell me about yourself, I'm not asking you what you are.....I'm asking you who you are. Do you have hobbies, interests, thoughts that don't revolve around kink or gender? And if you really feel the need to reduce yourself to being a trans first, above all the other really cool things you like, feel and think, then please forgive me if I get a little confused. I'm not used to dealing with people as opposing sides to an either/or equation. I'm used to dealing with my uncle, my sister, and my friends. And if I should use a word you find offensive, please don't bite my head off.

Labels are for products, not people. If all you'd like for me to know about you is your label, then you can hardly fault me for not seeing the person....or for not reading the packaging.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Connection, Anticipation, and Frustration

I was looking forward to being suspended last weekend. And I was really looking forward to what I was sure was going to be a really hot scene after I'd gone up. The fact that we're still having some issues with suspension left me disappointed. It was my fault really. I shoulda known better to anticipate. Things really do work out much better for me if I don't. But despite my better judgment, I'd really been looking forward to the party. And the high I was on with the anticipation was difficult to deal with when it didn't live up to my expectations. You see, even I still make the same mistakes. Even I sometimes just can't figure out how to stuff my disappointment in a drawer and move on. I disconnected and couldn't figure out how to turn it back on. Despite all my talk about one of the skills of a good bottom, sometimes even I can't turn it.

Daddy asked me the other night, if he'd "ruined" rope for me. And last night at dinner, he asked me again if I really disliked rope. I tried to assure him that he'd done nothing to ruin it for me, but that at the moment, rope and me.....let's just say that I'm less than enthused.

I don't like rope for the rope itself. I don't have a fetish for rope. Or ropesters. OK, sure. I like the scratchy feeling of jute, I like the silky feeling of bamboo, I even like the fun colors of mfp. I like the beauty of a well-done tie. I love playing with it, tying knots, and making art of the combination of a human body and the rope. But I don't like rope because it's rope. I like rope because of the feelings I can experience when in rope. The connection is what's important. I've personally never felt anything as wonderful as I can feel in rope.

But without the connection, rope is just as lifeless and dead as a crumbly fall leaf. Without the connection, it's just a thing. Inanimate. Cold. No more than a tube of paint that never is put to a canvas. Throw rope on me without the connection and I am no more than the dining room chair. It's meaningless, and it's unfeeling and uncaring. Or maybe that's just my attitude when I'm wrapped in rope that way. It's like line dancing. Two people may be in the same room, doing the same steps, to the same music....but you could be doing it alone.

But used between two people to begin that connection, rope becomes magical. It quivers, it wraps, it sighs and it hugs. It speaks in a language all it's own. The twisting, the wrapping, the knotting, the power all express without speaking. The dance of rope when it's working right expresses daddy's dominance without even saying a word. It holds me, makes me safe in my vulnerability, and is an extension of the bond that daddy and I share. It becomes our own world, where nothing else exists and creates a bubble or a cocoon where I become completely his. I don't have to think. I just have to feel. I can feel his anger, his annoyance, his distraction....and his love, through the ropes.

Rope relaxes me. It embraces my fears and allows me to experience a place where those fears belong to daddy's trust. And that trust is powerful. It's meaningful, and it calms me in a way that is really too difficult to put into words. It makes me catch my breath, gives me butterflies in my tummy, and makes me feel beautiful. Daddy has said to me that there's a face that I have when I'm "his". Those times when he really knows that I'm enthralled within his power. When nothing and no one else exists within that bubble except for him. That's what rope does to me. It creates a connection with someone that allows me to experience him. It lets me slip in under the bullshit of the day, to that place where there's no possibility of escaping him. The rope is an extension of him, his will, and his power....wrapping me into his world, where I wouldn't want to escape. It's a safe place for me. And one where I'd be quite happy to remain.

Anyone can tie someone. The mechanics of rope are shown in books, on videos, and taught at classes. But what you really can't teach is how to use the rope to connect to another person. Daddy knows how to do that. Far from ruining rope for me, the way Daddy has done that, has ruined me for anyone else's rope.

And maybe that's what I'm so angry about at the moment. I anticipate that feeling when he brings out the rope. My wishful thinking kicks in and I want to feel that way with him. And lately, my wishes have mostly been squashed when I hear the words "I want to practice something". His rope bag has turned from an anticipation of a secret place shared by the two of us to a secret wish crashing in defeat.

I really should remember anticipation is the killjoy of actuality.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Suspension of Aversion

On Saturday, Daddy and I went to another class. This one was planned by a good friend of ours, Topologist, and was designed as a small class to learn suspension. The teacher was someone we'd seen at Shibaricon last year and since we enjoyed her class then, Daddy thought it'd be a good way to feel more comfortable with suspensions. Sir C didn't disappoint.

Because I'm not a fan of suspension (I'll explain the reasons why in a minute), the night before the class, I'd joked with Daddy about finding him a substitute bottom. I have a couple of friends who would have loved to spend the first really nice day of Spring uncomfortably trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey in rope. OK, so it really wasn't a joke. I was looking for a way out of my predicament. Daddy however, just looked at me with disappointed eyes and said that if I really wanted to stay home and find him a substitute, it was my choice. But pretty much, I was going to go.

I put on a good face and tried to prepare for really sore arms and finding a headspace that would get me through what was bound to be a disappointing day, without disappointing Daddy too much. Trying to figure out how to smile while all you want to do is be somewhere else is difficult to say the least. We also talked about my being cooped up all day, and he'd agreed that I would be able to get outside for some sunshine during the breaks. I went into the morning with a decent headspace and with some small hope that Daddy wouldn't be too disappointed.

The class began with Sir C telling us about herself and her philosophy about suspension. As I was listening, some of the things she was saying started giving me some hope that perhaps I could figure out how to at least tolerate suspension. And I also had a teeny little bit of hope that with what she was saying....I might even like it.

When I mentioned to Sir C that I disliked suspension and Daddy said that we didn't usually do suspensions, she wondered why we were there. I told her that I was hoping to learn something that would change my mind. She asked me what I disliked so much about it. I said that there were several things:

a) it usually took too long to tie the ties necessary to get up in the air, and by the time I was, I was ready to come back down;

b) it was extremely uncomfortable being in a box-tie for the length of time it took to tie the rest of the suspension and my arms weren't able to keep that position for very long. It became painful and so it wasn't an activity that was pleasant. And I don't mean "good hurt", I mean "I can't feel my arms, fingers or do any work for days" kind of hurt.

Daddy added a third one:

c) because of the pain I experienced with my arms, and because I had to be brought back down quickly, there wasn't much time to DO anything once I was suspended.

I added that I thought that too many people teach suspension AS the play, rather than a means leading TO the play and that I really wasn't interested in "just rope".

Sir C understood what we were saying and as she said, her philosophy about suspension is somewhat different. She understands that ALL bottoms have different issues and because of that, adapting the ties, tying the arms in last (or not at all) and tying all the support lines on the floor first, are some of the ways she's found to alleviate the problems. At least the problems I've had with suspension. I was dubious. She also stressed that there's a difference in suspending for photographs (porn suspension) and suspension designed so that you can torture your bottom once they're up. I like looking at the former, but I'm not such a fan of being a picture.

We went through several suspensions. The first was a dynamic one where the bottom can move around, flip head over feet, and generally be mobile while in the air. The second was a sideways one, and the third was a sitting one.

I worked with Daddy to fix some of the issues we found during them that were unique to me. We adjusted ropes, moved things and changed the ties to make things easier on my body. And it surprised me that I wasn't uncomfortable, wasn't hurting, and wasn't ready to come back down almost immediately. I don't know right now if I enjoyed working with Daddy more or if I enjoyed the flying more. I think that I wouldn't have enjoyed flying had I not been an active participant during the tying. That's what made the difference I think. I was able to watch, learn, and help him during the tying and we worked together. That always makes a huge difference for me.

I enjoyed all three of the suspensions. So much so in fact, that I was a little disappointed that Daddy was so tired from the day and I knew that we wouldn't be doing any at the party later that night. But my disappointment was tempered by the fact that Daddy found a new way to hurt me that sent me flying....but with my feet on the ground.

Sir C was wonderful. She understands bottoms, knows that many people like suspension not for the aesthetic but for the practical. And was able to help Daddy and me learn enough to overcome both our aversion to suspension. I can't think of a better way to thank any teacher than by saying " helped me see things so differently, that you've changed my entire outlook".

So thank you to Sir C, Topologist and Daddy. Without the three of you and that class, I'd still be avoiding suspension like the end of a cattle prod. Or even more.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

HNT: Coffee and Cleavage

What's better on a rainy afternoon while out searching for munch locations?

Love and BDSM

A recent post by a dear friend got me started thinking. It's something I've written about several times in my roundabout way. And it's something that Daddy and I have discussed several times. Can love work in a bdsm relationship?

One phrase in her letter to her Daddy, made me smile:

I found you before I knew I was looking for you.

And as I've read that phrase over and over again, it occurred to me that that was exactly what happened with me and Daddy.

We met at a class. I was with someone else. And he was just this cute guy that flirted with me, talked to me, and intrigued me. We met when I least expected to meet anyone like him. And when I'd thought I'd gotten this whole d/s thing out of my system. I didn't want to be owned. I didn't want to submit. I just wanted to have a little fun. And he was a devilishly adorable sadist. Although we were both interested in each other, I don't think that either of us thought about falling in love. I know I assumed that I'd probably play with him once in a while, perhaps do a vanilla date or two, and we'd both move onto something else. He called my attitude about it as my being a "party submissive". And I thought that's what I was looking for. I had my own life, and I didn't want things cluttered up by emotional attachments to anyone....especially a dominant someone. I thought I was fully capable of having a d/s relationship without loving him.

I was absolutely wrong.

I found that now, where I am with myself, I didn't want one with him any other way. As things progressed with Daddy and me, I realized that I'd found something in him that I hadn't even been looking for. I found that I not only wanted him, but that I didn't want him without love. And when I realized that, I almost ruined everything because I couldn't see how love and d/s could work together.

Daddy asked me really early on, to tell him what I wanted. What I needed, and what my hopes were. He also asked me how he could help me achieve them. Basically, I thought he was asking me "what do you want from me". And my answer at the time was "whatever you're willing to give". I didn't believe that we'd be a couple, we'd be monogamous, or that he'd fall in love with me. I was used to things happening in a certain linear way, and making deviations from a course I'd already followed once, didn't seem like a great idea at the time.

So it came as a surprise to me, when I realized that I was indeed, in love with Daddy. I was certain that love and a D/s relationship couldn't work together. It was as if an invisible line needed to be drawn. After all, how could I expect him to "hurt" me if love got mixed into the equation? I'd experienced first hand how easy it is to forget that when feeding our desires in sadism/ can turn that to abuse in the guise of getting your jollies off. And he'd wondered if loving me would affect his desire to hurt me.

So while BadBadGirl wonders if falling in love will ruin her d/s relationship, I sometimes wonder if our d/s relationship will ruin the love. I've never loved any of my d/s partners in the way I love Daddy. I've had weekend 24/7 relationships, I've had one really long term m/s relationship, and I've had lots of playmates. But I've never had a love relationship and a d/s relationship with the same person at the same time. Being in love with your d/s partner creates issues that likely would cause the same relationship without the d/s part to fall apart. Issues of jealousy, monogamy, fidelity, trust and commitment. Emotions that create stress on a love relationship can be negotiated into a d/s one. Can those things ever really be negotiated in a love one? Can both change enough to overcome those emotions?

I think we've both found out that love does change things. But I think that it makes it better. Harder sometimes, but infinitely better. Balancing the roles each of us plays is much harder when you add love into the mix. We're still working out all the bugs, but we're doing it together.

And that's just the way I think that we both prefer it.

The idea of having love in a d/s relationship was something I was unprepared to understand. Thankfully, one of Daddy's really strong suits is knowing me better than I know myself. That, and a heck of a lot of patience.