Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Don't Move

The other day I got myself into trouble.
I know, what else is new?
What happened was, Husband fell asleep on the guest bed for a late afternoon nap...and I kinda painted his toenails with nail polish.
I gotta tell you, it was a nice color—and sparkly! Very very pretty, if I do say so myself.

Husband did not agree.

Oh, he laughed when he woke up and saw it. He kept shaking his head and muttering "I can't believe you did that." But when I pressed him on it—Oh? You really can't believe I did that? You do know me, right?—he would just chuckle and shake his head some more.
He told me I'd be punished. know...I didn't really worry too much about it.
See, that's the thing about the Brat Brain: it doesn't really let you worry about the consequences of your actions. It keeps fooling you into thinking you'll get away with whatever mischief you want, every time.
Thank God, Husband loves me and my Brat Brain. Sometimes he does let me get away with my shit.
Sometimes, he doesn't.

The punishment didn't come until a few nights later (GOD that man loves to make me wait). He ordered me to get naked and lie face down on the bed, spread eagled.
I thought he was going to take my ass, brutal-like. Which, you know, is painful, but also makes me come.
But then he got the cane out.

"Now hold on," I started to stammer. "You didn't mind the nail polish that much. You laughed, remember?"
"Don't move." Without a blink of an eye, he raised the cane high in the air and swatted it against my butt.
I shrieked. I yelled. He swatted my ass again. I took a sharp hiss of breath, and shifted my butt away.

"Do not move," he growled. He met my look of indignation with his own expression of ruthlessness, paused...and swatted my ass again. "Better bite the pillow."
"No!" I was full of resentment at this point; I thought he was being grossly unfair. Okay, maybe not grossly unfair, but—damn it, it hurt! I tried to scoot away again, and he dragged me back, pinning my legs down.
"Every time you move, I'm gonna add five more." He pressed his hands against my legs, as if pushing his point across. But then, he let go of my legs to smack the cane against my thighs.
I shrieked again, wiggled my hips, remembered his threat, and turned my head to give him a look of cold fury. "You could cuff me down, you know!"
"No," he said, his tone just as cold. "I'm not going to get the cuffs out. You'll keep yourself still."
And that's when I got really scared.

I identify as prey. That means I do not take it like a champ. I do not lie there and submit so easily.
I struggle. I fight. I move. 
It's one of the ways I like to play.
So it makes sense I get cuffed, pinned, or chained down a lot. And I love that. I love being manhandled, thrown down, and forced to stay still.
But the cuffs sometimes turn into a crutch. Of course I'm going to struggle and flail against my bonds, because duh, the bonds will keep me from moving too much to disrupt the scene. I get to try as much as I want to fight as badly as I can; it's not like I'm going anywhere.
In that sense, bondage offers me a unique sense of freedom: freedom to fight within whatever confines he's restricted me. My perimeters are finite and firm.
What he was doing to me now was taking away that freedom to struggle, at least in the physical sense. Now, I had a purely mental struggle to deal with: fight against my own urges to move.
That, for me? That is real torture.

"Hold onto the bars," he said, directing me to the cold iron headboard.
"I don't want to." I couldn't keep the whine out of my voice.
"Up to you," he said. "But you move, and things will go worse for you."
I wrapped my hands around the bars.

The caning went on from there, with neither of us saying much; at least, not directed torward each other. I would shriek and yell; he would laugh. He would mutter to himself about where the next strike should hit; I would release a litany of "no"s.
But every time I lifted my legs, or scooted my butt too far away, or tried to shield my burning ass with my hands, he would add another five swats to the tally. And I would wail.

When he was done with the cane, he got out the hairbrush.
Then he got out the switch.
"Don't move," he kept telling me. "Don't move."

I couldn't sink into subspace; I couldn't let my brain fly away. I had to keep my focus on not moving. Breathe, I told myself, breathe, relax, don't move, breathe—
Every swat felt like another shot of adrenaline right into my blood stream. All I wanted to do was turn over and fight, or roll over and run away—
But instincts can be overcome. Impulses can be controlled, with the right incentive....
Or the right detriment.

When the beating was over, he fisted me and forced me to come over and over again; cause he has that power over me, too.
But that is the topic of the next post.

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Writing Process: A Blog Tour

My friends Jack and Jill from Frisky in the 916 asked me to participate in this blog tour, started by Amanda Nicole over at Peaches in Missouri. Since it's been a while since I blogged about my writing, I thought, sure, why not. 

1. What am I working on?
HAHAHAHA Aaaand right there is our first problem. I am supposed to be working on a BDSM erotica take on The Lady of Shallot story.
Before that, I was trying to work on a BDSM erotica take on the story of King Thrushbeard, but I kept getting snagged up in the writing process. The Lady of Shallot is a much easier flow for me; I know what the steps are, where the story is going.
But—BUT—it feels like lately I'm suffering from a severe lack of time to actually write. I cannot write BDSM erotica while my kids are home, and for some reason, it feels like lately, they are home all the fucking time.
Spring Break has not been my friend, people.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, I think the big thing is that I don't go for this non-consensual non-consent business. I go for consensual non-consent, most definitely; but if I write in a scene where a woman says "no," she has no other way of stopping the scene, and no other safeword has been negotiated? My Top stops, period. I don't enjoy reading scenes in which the Top hears a woman say "no" and continues anyway, with this misplaced belief that her "no" wasn't genuine somehow. I hate that.
I see this all too often in vanilla romance novels. More so, in fact, than in BDSM erotica novels. I think authors who write scenes full of "she-said-no-but-she-really-meant-yes" are perpetuating rape culture.

3. Why do I write what I do?
Because it's hot. Because it makes me wet. And because I want my readers to get hot and wet, too.
I want to give people another way of looking at BDSM from what they probably read in that "Fifty Shades" book.

4. How does your writing process work?
It starts with the characters: Who are they? What do they want? What will happen if they don't get what they want? What'll happen if they do? I find that if I start with the characters first, and what the stakes are, then the plot takes over from there.
If I can't figure out why my characters are doing what they're doing, what their motivations are, then chances are, my readers won't be able to figure that out, either. Then I have to stop and reassess.

Thank you, Jack and Jill, for inviting me into this blog tour. And thank you Amanda for starting it!
Want to answer the questions yourself? Go for it! Just link back to Amanda's blog—and Jack&Jill's. And mine, please. :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Dear Shelby Answer

I read different variations of this question in advice columns all the time, and invariably, I disagree with the answer. So today, I'm going to play advice columnist, and give a D/s version of what I think the appropriate response should be.
Keep in mind, given my own personal dynamic, the Husband here is the Dom, and the wife is the sub.

Dear Shelby,
I just found out my best friend has been putting the moves on my wife. While she has not gone out of her way to welcome these advances, she has not shot them down, either. What's worse, she never told me about them; she didn't want to ruin our relationships.
I found out about my so-called best friend's advances on my wife through looking through her cell phone texts. I know I was snooping; I know that was wrong of me. But now I don't know what to do. Should I confront my wife? Confront my (ex) friend?
Confused Husband

(Typical advice columnist answer: You were totally wrong for snooping through your wife's texts, now you have to come clean and apologize, tell her you know about the texts, go to a therapist, blah blah blah)

My answer:
Dear Confused Husband,
First of all, you did nothing wrong by checking your wife's phone. That is YOUR RIGHT as her husband. In your house, you are the top of the chain of command, and as such, it is your job to make sure everything and everyone under you is running smoothly. Spot checks like this should be expected.
In other words, you do NOT owe your wife an apology for looking through her phone.
Second of all: your wife should have come to you as soon as the first advancement was made by your friend. Again, you are the top of the chain of command, and you cannot do your job unless you have all the information available.
However—and this may be hard to hear—if your wife was, for some reason, too afraid or hesitant to come to you with this, this is something for which you must take responsibility. You must find out why your wife's first, instinctive reaction was not to come to you. Did she fear you would lose control? Did she fear she would lose you? 
Are her fears justified?
Did she want to keep the possibility of a more intimate relationship possible with your friend?
The only way you're going to get answers to your questions is to talk to your wife. Make it clear you offer no apology for going through her phone, but do express regret for not making it clear, from the beginning, you expect her to come to you with these matters posthaste. Stay calm and in control of your emotions and the situation. Listen to what she has to say, but make it obvious in your demeanor and attitude that while you take her wants into consideration, whatever happens now will ultimately be up to you.
Make a contract between the two of you outlining what you expect of her in the future, with clear guidelines—and exemptions, if any. Perhaps you don't mind if your wife has some fun on the side with your friend...or perhaps you do. Either way, she should always feel safe to come to you with whatever is on her mind.
The last thing is to punish your wife soundly to assuage any guilt she may still be harboring for disappointing you.
The punishment will hurt in the short term, but in the long run, it will help both of you move on, and learn from this experience.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How I Vet for Others

I've not been in the Scene for that long, relatively speaking; but I've been around long enough that I've been sought out more than once when it came time to "vetting" another potential play partner. 
Inspired by a certain Fetlife thread, I thought I'd shed some light on how I, personally, share information with others when "vetting." 

Obviously, if I've heard nothing about the person in question, I'll admit that; but I might also know someone who can answer your questions, and steer you to them. 
If I've heard only glowing things about the person, I'll say so. The protocols below would still apply for positive feedback as well as negative. 
If I've heard negative things about the person you're asking me about, I'll divide up the information I give you into three categories, and be very specific under which category the information I'm about to share falls.

The information will be specified thusly:

1. What I can backup with proof. "Proof" includes receipts, legal documents, screenshots of writings, etc.; in other words, concrete ways I can back up what I'm telling you the person did. If I say, "this person said this, and I have proof," it means I can show you something to prove what I'm saying. 
Of course, documents don't always tell the entire story, and screenshots can be doctored. It's your choice whether you believe me or not.

2. What I've seen the person do with my own eyes and heard the person say with my own ears. These things are not hearsay for me; these are things I saw, heard, and experienced for myself. 
However, I have no proof to back up my claim of what I saw or heard. It's your choice whether you believe me or not.

3. What I've heard about this person. This is obviously the weakest information to gather. It's all hearsay. I wasn't there, I don't know what happened; I am going by what other people have told me. Obviously, if I hear the same thing over and over again, the information begins to bear more weight. 
But it's up to you to make up your own mind.

And that's the point, really: in the end, it's always up to you to make up your own mind. It's not so much the information you gather, it's what you do with it that matters. 
If you listen and decide it's all a bunch of hooey, that's your choice. If you listen and decide it's worth being cautious around that person until you verify more information about them, that's your choice. And if you decide it's just not worth taking the risk to play with that person, that's your choice, too. 

And if you think people shouldn't be talking at all, because that's not free speech that's libel and slander and Oh Em Gee what are they saying about me, 
and fuck you. Seriously, fuck you. Some of us are trying to keep people safe. Consent cannot come without all information given. If you're so afraid of what people are saying about you, try living your life as an honest, decent individual. Eventually, people will realize who and what kind of person you are. 
They always do.
If you've made mistakes, own up to them. If you've hurt people, learn from that. Cause you know what I love being able to tell people? Seriously, I'm not kidding, I love being able to say this:
"This person made mistakes, yes...but that was a long time ago. They've learned. They're a different person now."
I think that's probably true for most of us. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sunday Bible Story: Don't Be That Person

Ok, cats and roosters, I'm about to get biblical.
NO, NOT IN THAT WAY. Stop looking at my blouse buttons.

The story in the bible goes like this: The people of Israel wanted a king; so God commanded his prophet, Samuel, to anoint Saul as King, the proverbial Chosen One.
For a while, Saul was a very good King. He was groovy with God.
But after a while, Saul began to fuck up. And it was not just little fuck ups, it was big fuck ups. 
God didn't like the big fuck ups, so he told Samuel he was done with Saul as King, and it was now David's turn to rule. 
So Saul went and anointed David as the new King of Israel.

Now here's the thing: Saul did not just up and stop being King. No, he was the guy with the power; he was not just going to give that up, not to anyone, certainly not this little shrimp called David. Fuck that. 
So for a while, David was the chosen King of Israel...but was not. He had no power. He had to hide for a while. He steered clear of Saul's wrath. David knew he was a wanted man, and the last thing he wanted to do was stir the pot, poke the beast, and start a possible war. He made himself scarce.
And he waited. 
Soon enough, a great battle was had, Saul was killed by his own sword, and David was officially made King over Israel.

There is a lesson to be learned here, my friends. There is an important moral story to be had by looking at what David did...or rather, what he did not do.
David, by all rights, was the true King of Israel the moment God said so. As soon as Samuel anointed him, David could have challenged Saul for the throne...and he would have won. God and the people were on his side, you see. David could have staged his own coup, and there wouldn't have been a damn thing Saul could have done about it.
So why didn't David do it? Why did he wait until the throne came to him by other means? 
Because he didn't want to throw a coup, and possibly start a civil war, that's why. He didn't want to start his reign as The King Who Killed the Last King. He didn't want his reign to start through evil means.
He didn't want to be that person. 

Sometimes, recognizing the distinction between what you have a right to do, and what is the right thing to do, is really fucking hard. But it's an important distinction to make if you don't want to be that person.
Don't be the person who behaves out of malice.
Don't be the person who plots vengeance. 
Don't be the person who does things or says things not to make your life better, but to make someone else's life worse. 
Don't be petty.
Don't be unworthy of your own person.
Rise above. Be a King.

And sometimes it's really fucking hard. Sometimes people will say things and do things that will hurt you so fucking much, all you want to do is hurt them back. You have the right to hurt them back, nobody would fault you...tit for tat, right?
But who does that make you?
What kind of person do you want to be?

I'm not saying passivity is always the way to go. David was far from a passive King; in fact, by the time he was done ruling, he had more bloodshed on his hands than the next few Kings combined.
But he always acted out of a sense of duty, to do what was right for his people, to keep his country safe and secure. His motives were always pure, or at least, as pure as he could make them...because he knew if he acted out of malice, or greed, or arrogance, God (or karma, whatever you want to call it) would be coming after him. 
And he was proven right.

It's an important lesson we can all learn: when action is required, let it be for justice, not revenge. Protect the innocent when necessary, but do so without wrath for the guilty; for what they deserve is only your pity.
Don't act out of anger. Don't confuse integrity with a simple desire to get even. Revenge is sometimes quick and easy, while justice can often come fucking slowly.
As does forgiveness. 

It is hard. I know. It is so fucking hard sometimes to be that person.
But I think it's something worth striving for.

But dear God, it is hard.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Most Embarrassing Story I Will Ever Have to Write

...I hope.
Seriously, if you know me, you might not want to admit it right now.

SO I just had to run to Target. Son3 had a birthday party to go to, and I needed to get a gift for the birthday boy.
If you know me, you know I suffer from terrible allergies. I always have a collection of tissues in my bag. Yes, I know, I should see an allergist about that. Believe me, after today, I AM GOING TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

So I'm at Target, I'm in the toy isle, and lo and behold, my nose starts to run. I reach into my purse to get a tissue, and find out...I don't have one.
My purse is empty of tissues. NO NO OH NO.
What do I do, what do I do?
My nose is running really bad now. I am not above using my sleeve if it's a minor case and nobody's looking, but sleeve would just not cut it. I needed a tissue.
What to do?
I began frantically to look through every nook and cranny of my purse, desperate for anything I could use to wipe my nose, the slightest thread or rip of a tissue. I found nothing....
Nothing but a couple extra emergency tampons.

Yeah, you know what's coming.

I opened up a tampon, grabbed the cotton wad, and started wiping my nose with it.
There was suddenly a lot to wipe. It was as if, once the cotton touched my nose, my nasal passages let loose; I had a spout of snot on my hands.
And a tampon.
So I did what any quick thinking idiot would do...I stuffed the tampon up my nose.
My intent was to have it there for a split second, I swear; just long enough to clear the air.

At that exact moment, a mother with a child who looked to be about three years old walked into my aisle. She looked at my face...saw a tampon stuffed up my nose...and stopped in horror.
I looked at her. She looked at me. Then she grabbed the child by the hand, turned around, and led him out of the aisle.

I blew the tampon out my nose. My sinuses felt better, but my dignity did not.
Monday morning, I am making that appointment with that allergist.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

His Therapy Problem

Remember a while ago, how upset I was when I realized the kids could hear Husband and I having sex? Yeah, well, I'm over it.
For the past few weeks, a pattern has established itself at Casa Cross; a ritual, if you will:
Son3 goes to sleep. Husband and I spend some time on the couch, watching t.v., talking, and catching up. While we are in the family room spending time together—in a completely innocent and vanilla setting—Son1 and Son2 are invariably in their own rooms, doing their own stuff.
Husband and I then go upstairs for some good-time-biblical-sexy-sex fun.

At some point after we are both naked, and usually, after we have started to get serious with the sexy sex
(it's never before we've taken off our clothes, it's never before we've started the scene and can just calmly interrupt the action and open the door, oh no, that would be too easy)
one of the older kids, either Son1 or Son2, comes upstairs for some stupid ass reason.
Sometimes it's to use the bathroom that's right next to our bedroom door (they have a bathroom next to their own bedrooms, but for some reason, at that time of night, they have to walk upstairs and use this one); sometimes it's to check something on the calendar on my desk (because they can't use their own fucking calendars); sometimes it's to ask Husband a question (does he want to check out this thing on Reddit right now this minute? No, he does not).

The other night, sure as shit, Husband and I got down to some yummy sexy sex...and just as he was entering me, we heard footsteps on the stairs.
The bathroom door opened, shut. The toilet flushed. The door opened and shut again.

While this was happening, Husband was not moving. I was not moving, either. (Although for different reasons: my wrists were cuffed to my ankles, and with him splayed between my legs, I couldn't really move anyway.) We waited for the footsteps to recede back downstairs and disappear.
They did not.

Husband started thrusting into me.
"What are you doing?" I hissed. "Whoever came upstairs is right outside our door. He can hear us."
"So?" Husband grunted.
"So this is not okay!" I said. "My son is listening to his parents having sex!"
Husband did not skip a beat. "Wife," he said, "this is a big fucking house. He can go somewhere else. If he chooses to be right outside our door while we're having sex, that is his therapy problem."
I was about to protest, and rather emphatically, when I realized...Husband was right.

Our kids are not children anymore, at least not our older two. Hell, they might know more about sex than I do. They've taught me about Clop Clop...but that's a topic for another post.
My point is, this was no longer something I should have to shield my kids from. This is something that goes on between their parents they should have the kindness to treat with dignity and grace.
In other words? They should give us some fucking privacy. 

So I shut my mouth...except for the moaning, of course. Husband kept going and I kept coming, and then, the sexy-sex was over.
As soon as we started walking around and making other sounds—non sexy-sex sounds—there was a knock on the door.
"Go away," I said loudly. "We're still getting dressed."
My son had the decency to give us another few minutes, I'll grant him that.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Introducing: Esmeralda

Scene: Husband and I are in the car, on the way home from a date night. He has been talking a little too much about his coworkers, and I am growing annoyed.

Me: Can we talk about something else? Something more relevant to us?
Husband: Sure. Let's talk about your ass, and how lonely it is. 
(He was bringing this up because I had just texted him that morning "my ass is lonely," which, in our code, means "I want you to fuck my ass, please.")
Me: We can't talk about that now.
Husband: Why not?
Me: We're almost home. 
Husband: You know...we really need to think up a name for your asshole. That way we can talk about it without worrying so much who's in earshot.
Me: A name? should be something cute and delicate. 
Husband: Cute and delicate?
Me: Yes. How about...teacup?
Husband: No.
Me: How about a flower? Like Daisy?
Husband: No. How about Candy?
Me: Candy is a stripper name. How about—
Husband: Esmeralda. 
Me: Esmeralda? 
Husband: Yes. It's perfect.
Me: ...Esmeralda? Like from the Hunchback of Notre Dame?
Husband: Yes! Like that Disney princess! It fits! She's pretty, and naughty, exotic, but kind of dark—
Me: Hey!
Husband: Well you haven't exactly been bleaching lately.
Me (grumbling): She's a gypsy, not a princess.
Husband: Your asshole's not a princess, either.
Me: If my asshole is Esmeralda, then your dick is Quasimodo.
Husband: What, the hunchback? does lean to the left a little....
Me: And it's all cross-eyed, like this— 
I try to do a pantomime of Quasimodo, tilting my head to one side, sticking out my tongue to the other, and crossing my eyes
—like this!
Husband (laughing uproariously): I see. It's only got one eye, you know.
Me: Yeah, well, it's crossed. 
Husband: Okay then.
We get home. The house is quiet; the kids are in their rooms, occupied with their own stuff. I go upstairs to change my clothes. A few minutes later, I hear from downstairs...
Husband: Esmeralda! ESMERALDA!
Me (running over): WHAT!
Husband: Are you feeling lonely tonight?
Me: NO!
Husband: We can do it like that scene in the Disney movie, you know! You'll be tied up at the stake and afraid, and I'll swoop in...only I'll leave you tied up, and light the fire under you!
Me (laughing): Stop it!
Husband (singing as he walks towards me): And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire, the ring of fire....

So here I sit, dear kinky readers: at my computer, contemplating the strange, strange conversations Husband and I have with each other. I swear, I cannot make this shit up. I don't know if other married couples talk to each other this way and just aren't so public about it, or if Husband and I are just really, really weird....
You know what, scratch that. I know Husband and I are really, really weird. 
But we are also really, really fun. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Line I Cannot Cross, Even In My Writing

I don't usually do posts on my writing, but once in a  while, I make an exception. 

Since finishing up Blood and Desire, Seduction and Murder, I've been working on (what's supposed to be, anyway) my next book, King Thrushbeard: An Erotic Fairy Tale
I actually started this book before B&D,S&M. I got about 20,000 words into it...and then I had to stop. There were too many holes in the sequence of actions, too many questions of motives I couldn't answer; and if I can't explain the motives of my characters, if I can't make sense of the plot in my own head, there's no fucking way I can expect my readers to. 

While I was writing B&D, S&M, I let King Thrushbeard stew in my head for a while. If you're a writer, you know what that's like: letting the characters breathe a little bit so they can reveal, one scene at a time, what they want, and what they're willing to do to get it.
Once B&D, S&M was done, I started in on King Thrushbeard once again.
And again.
And again.
I have never had to do so many plot revisions and re-writes with a manuscript before. Never. This book is driving me fucking nuts. 
But I think I've finally figured out my basic problem.

In many of my books and stories, I push the envelope a little bit, and dance around the issue of consent. I force my submissives into situations that make them struggle to resist the urge to flee; sometimes, I don't even give them the option to flee. I dive into portrayals of dubious consent, consensual non-consent, and the like.
In all my Hotel Bentmoore stories, all the characters are there at the hotel because they want to be there. It might not be for the kinky sex, it might be for different reasons entirely, like making their Master happy, or saving their marriage; they may even have been blackmailed into it. But for whatever the reason, the characters always have the choice to be there. Nobody put a gun to their heads and forced them to step one foot into the hotel. They always have their safeword, and they always have the option to leave. 
In my other book, The Taming of Red Riding, the heroine is kind of seduced into a D/s relationship. But again, she enters into it on her own volition, and gives her full consent. In fact, the Dom refuses to enter into their dynamic until he has her complete, and vocal, agreement. 

So as a writer, I am willing to play around with dubious consent and consensual non-consent. 
What I'm not willing to do is cross the line into true non-consent. I'm not willing to give the Dom complete allowance to "have his way" with a sub unless he is completely sure it is what she wants.
Because even if the submissive ends up loving what he does to her, even if she ends up having twenty thousand orgasms and can't imagine sex being anything else every you know what it's called when a man forces himself on a woman who isn't consenting?
And I will not go there. Not even if, "in the end," the submissive loves it, and it fulfills all her heretofore unknown fantasies. 
A guy who engages in BDSM with a woman without knowing he has prior consent is not a Dom, he's just an asshole. 
I will not write my heroes to be assholes. 

So. I will need to re-write, yet again; and this time, I will have to find a way for my hero to seduce—or force, if necessary—prior consent from my heroine to engage in some heavy BDSM before any action happens. 
She may be his prisoner, and he may have full rights to her body, but that's not good enough. She may discover that she loves the way he treats her, but that's still not good enough. 
She has to give prior consent, in some way, for him to begin to go down this path with her. No matter what her reasoning is, no matter why she agrees, on some level, he must know she wants it, too, before he lays a finger on her.
Once that happens? I think the scenes will fly.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Post on Gags

Last Saturday night was supposed to be an epic scene night for Husband and me. The older two kids usually go out that night, and the youngest, well, he's such a deep sleeper, we'd have to worry about waking the neighbors before we'd have to worry about waking him.
Husband had the whole scene mapped out in his head, he had been taunting me about for two days...and then, Saturday morning, Son2 came upstairs and dropped the bombshell.
"Guess what!" He said. "We're not going out tonight! So you guys can go out to dinner together if you want! Have a date night!"
NOOOoooooo I thought. "Thank you telling us!" I said.
I turned to Husband, and saw he was now giving me a frightful look. It was a look that said, figure this out, Wife, because my plans for you tonight will be altered for nothing and no one.

Husband's and my number #1 problem is our noise. Well, okay, my noise. Husband likes to make me scream, and the truth is, I love it, too. Screaming is a release. If I have to worry about how much noise I'm making, if I constantly have to remind myself to shush, the scene is just not going to be as much fun for me.

A plan was put into action.
"I'm going to Leather Masters," I whispered to Husband, "to get a new gag."
"Have fun," he whispered back. "You don't have to just get a new gag, you know. Look around, see if there's anything else you want."

When I got to the car, I decided to call my Mistress, and see if she wanted to come along. She did; I picked her up, and away we went.

Now, for those who don't know, there are many different types of gags.
The most common type of gag, I think, is the ball gag. They come in various shapes and sizes—there are even some made with huge jawbreakers—but they are designed to fit into the woman's ( or man's) mouth, and prevent her from speaking. She will try, of course; the words will, however, be garbled.
The problem with this gag is that, while it prevents the wearer from speaking, it does not prevent the wearer from screaming, and the volume of the screams is unaffected.

Bit gags are another type of gag that are supposed to keep a person's lips shut. But these are more of a fetish wear, in my opinion, designed for a specific kind of play, to degrade and humiliate the wearer. The person has to "bite down" on the gag, but if they can't...they can't. It does not prevent the wearer from talking, and it certainly does not muffle any screaming.
Spider gags are a different breed entirely. They are designed to keep the mouth open, not closed. While they are fun and useful in the right circumstances, they were obviously not what I was looking for.
No, I was looking for something more like a muzzle. Something that would go all the way around my mouth, and keep my jaw closed completely. Something that would really muffle my screams. 

The problem? Muzzles are fucking expensive.

When Mistress and I got to Leather Masters, a quick perusal around the store told me all their gags were going to be either too inadequate, or too extravagant for our budget.
I left with nothing.

In the car on the way home, Mistress tried to teach me how to make a do-it-yourself gag.
"You take a sock," she said, "and stuff it into the leg of a pantyhose. That goes in the mouth. Then you wrap the whole head around the mouth with an ace bandage."
"I'll ask Husband if he wants to go to Walgreens with me later, and pick out supplies," I replied. I was despondent at that point; I had really been looking forward to a new gag. But I decided having my mouth stuffed up and wrapped up by Husband's knowing hands would probably work, too.

Husband didn't think so.
"If you couldn't find a gag," he said, "then I guess we're not using a gag."
"We'll have to keep the noise down then," I answered sadly.
"You can keep the noise down," he said. "I don't care. I'm still gonna do what I had planned."
"No, Husband, please," I begged. "You'll make too much noise. I'll make too much noise. The kids will hear us."
"Then you'd better keep it down."
"No, seriously—"
"The only negotiations you're allowed right now," he said, "is whether or not I use lube. And since you don't want to scream, I think you want me to use lube."
"Good. Then negotiations are over."

Like I said, there are many different types of gags.
But, perhaps, the best type of gag might be the threat. Specifically, the "don't scream or I'll ream your ass with no lube" threat.
Turns out, that works pretty well.
A comletely gratuitous picture. You're welcome.