Sunday, January 27, 2013

How An Appointment Reminder Card is A Lot Like BDSM Negotiations

My dentist (whom I love) has this bad policy of sending out "appointment reminder" postcards when it's time for a checkup. See, what they do is, they make you an appointment, put it in their calendar, and then do you the favor of letting you know they've gone ahead and put you in their schedule by sending you a postcard. What ends up happening is you get a little card in the mail with your appointment date and time stamped on it, with the message "please call!!" politely scrawled beneath.

The first time I got this postcard, I ignored it. The office manager called me a week later, asked me if I'm coming to the appointment, and I said no, I couldn't make that time. She rescheduled me.

The second time I got this postcard, I was a little bit more pissed off, but ignored it. The office manager called me a week later, asked me if I'm coming to the appointment, and I said no, I couldn't make that time. She rescheduled me.

The third time I got this postcard, I decided I could make the day and time the office manager had graciously allotted me. I called up the office to let them know.
"Oh thank you," she said, albeit a little sarcastically, making me bristle. "It was nice of you to call this time." Her tone got me defensive.
"Well I assume you know if I don't call, I'm not coming," I said.
"Funny, some people think the exact opposite," she replied.
"What do you mean?"
"They think if they don't call to cancel, that means they are coming. We really wish people would just call and let us know."
After getting into a small but heated discussion on the wisdom of their policy of making appointments for people without their knowledge or consent--which resulted in her putting a note in my file, 'call patient first before making appointment'--I hung up.
But the conversation got me thinking.

Preliminary negotiations between a Top and bottom work much the same way as an appointment reminder postcard. A Top sends out the message he wants to play with a bottom; the bottom indicates she's interested. Now the negotiations start.
Too many times, I've heard of cases where things go bad during the scene because the bottom did not make her wishes and limits clear enough. The Top (if he's experienced at all as a Top) will know to ask certain questions, and keep a checklist in his head of things he needs to know. But there is no way that checklist is going to encompass everything the bottom wants him--needs him--to know.
It is up to the bottom to tell him.
But what if she doesn't?

The bottom assumes, if they haven't discussed it, it's off the table. If she hasn't made it perfectly clear it's ok, then it's an automatic no.
But the Top assumes if they haven't discussed it, it's a possibility. If she hasn't made it perfectly clear it's a no, then it's a maybe, which he might be able to slide into a yes if he plays his cards right. And hey, she's always got her safeword, right?

If the play is light, the differing way they view the situation doesn't have to become too much of a problem. The Top will do something, or say something, which rubs the bottom the wrong way; she'll let the Top know what he did was not ok with her; he'll likely apologize, and tell her he didn't know, since she didn't mention that limit in the negotiations; she'll accept his apology, and the scene will move on.
Hopefully, she'll be a little wiser for it.

But if the play is heavy, things get more perilous. The bottom may sink down into subspace far enough that she no longer has the headspace to protest what the Top is doing. Whatever he's doing is not life-threatening, it's nothing that hurts hard enough to pull her up out of subspace...but it's definitely something she would not have agreed to if he's asked her during the negotiations. It may well be something she regrets later. She's just unable to formulate her response to it at the time, to voice her opposition.

What ends up happening is that after the play is over, and she's had time to recover, the bottom feels like something happened to her that she did not want, and did not ask for. She may well feel violated, or at least uncomfortable enough to refuse to play with the Top again.

The thing is--and I know I may get some flak for this--these situations are not the Top's fault. Or at least, not solely the Top's fault. It is up to the bottom to make her limits clear; it is up to the bottom to decide on the extent of the scene; it is up to the bottom to communicate her wants, wishes, aversions, edges, triggers, rules and restrictions.

I was bottoming in a scene one time where I had told the Top in advance not to pull down my panties. He had nodded; he got it. But I had not specifically told him not to let the flogger he was using touch my cunt, even over the panties. It had not occurred to me. So when those flogger strands whipped over and up, biting into my pussy, I jacked straight up and turned around.
"Don't let that happen again," I said.
"Okay," he answered. He nodded; he got it.
That was all. The scene went on. And the next time I bottomed for someone I had never played with before, I specified: no touching my cunt, with anything, even over the panties.
Live and learn.

Tops aren't mind readers. They don't know what's going on inside your head; they don't know where you've been. You need to tell them.
Believe me, they (the good ones, at least) want to listen to you explain things to them as precisely as possible. They want to know every last detail about what you want (and what you want to avoid), so they can give you the best damn scene possible. They want you thinking about them every time you touch yourself for the next week. Hell, the next month. They want you remembering your scene with them and thinking, that was so fucking hot.
The aim, of course, to get you to want to play with them again.

So bottoms, remember this: tell your Top what you want, and what you don't want. Be as specific as possible. Don't assume he knows how to 'play' a certain way, or to use a certain toy; don't assume he'll be like the last Top you had, who used a certain technique you liked (or didn't like). Don't assume he'll know not to do that.

And if you fail to mention it to him, and he tiptoes over your boundary line...let him know, quickly, firmly, but politely. Don't assume the worst. Don't let it ruin your scene. Let him make it up to you.
And enjoy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Story Apropos to Nothing

I sometimes get asked questions like 'how often do you and your husband have sex?' and 'can you really not come without pain?' and 'is it always BDSM-y with the two of you?'
To answer the first question, we try for every night, but that obviously doesn't happen, which isn't to say we're not doing other things which might not be technically called sex, so the whole question gets a little convoluted; to answer the second question, no, I really cannot come without pain; and to answer the third depends on your definition of BDSM.

Since I can't come without pain, I need to get in some S/m if I'm going to orgasm, but the amount varies, depending on the situation. If, for some reason, Husband does not want me come, or does not care if come or not, then that very mentality touches on our D/s power exchange relationship, which would also hit upon elements of our BDSM.
But really, more often than what I think people would believe, a lot of our sex is pretty vanilla-ish; at least, what I consider vanilla-ish. Yes, there is always some nipple pinching involved, some ass slapping, maybe some hip grabbing and 'hold-still'ing, but don't vanilla couples engage in that sort of behavior, too? I mean, how do you have sex without some amount of push/pull, give and take?

So the question is, during the times we're having sex but not making it into a whole "scene," are we being vanilla, or is the simple truth of it is that sex is a power exchange activity, and plenty of vanilla couples make their own little romps and forays into BDSM without realizing it? Where does vanilla end, and kink start?

This story won't answer that question. It's just a funny story.
Last night, Husband and I were enjoying our ritualized 'cuddle/kiss/talk/touch/now-shut-up-and-get-your-mouth-on-my-prick' time, when I accidentally poked him. Let the records show, I state for all to see: it was accidental. 
Did he take it that way? OF COURSE NOT.

He poked me back, which led to a poking joust, which led to me tickling him, which led to him grabbing my panties in the back and pulling them up into a wedgie.
Here is where things went wrong.
He didn't just pull up, along my back; he pulled up, into the sky. It felt like he was lifting me off the bed. It didn't help that he was pulling my panties into my crack so hard, I was launching myself forward just to ease the pressure from my poor womanly parts.
I ended up propelled over the mattress, over him, and straight over the bed, head first.

The first words out of his mouth--I KID YOU NOT--were, "Where did you go?"

For a moment, I lay there over the bed, bent and crumpled, shocked still. Then I exploded.
"What do you mean, 'where did you go?' You pulled me over the bed! I'M RIGHT HERE!"
He bent his face over the side and offered me a hand up. I slapped it away. "Why did you let that happen?" I yelled.
"I didn't let that happen, you pushed yourself off the side," he said very calmly, but I could tell he was trying hard not to burst into laughter.
"But you're supposed to make sure I don't do shit like that," I countered. "It's your job. You're supposed to be in control."
"Yeah, well, I'm human. And you can be unpredictable." I rubbed the back of my head, giving him an accusatory look, and he couldn't hold back anymore; he started laughing until he was red in the face.
"I really hit my head," I said in a small voice. His laughter died down, and he kissed my forehead.
"I'm sorry you hit your head," he said. "Are you okay?"
"No," I pouted. "I hit my head."
"Aw, poor baby. What can I do to make you feel better?"
"Kiss me again."
He kissed me again, and one thing led to another. The sex went on, the fun went on, the bantering-and-countering went on, and the pain in my head went away. Kinda. He distracted me with other pain, which was quite a bit more sharp and deliberate.

I guess, my point of all this is, I can't imagine vanilla sex is free of its accidents and pitfalls, and when that kind of thing happens, I bet vanilla couples handle it very similar to the way we do: by dusting off and keeping the fun going, for as long as possible.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Why I Write

I am a writer. I am one of many. It's easier than ever to write; it's easier than ever to call yourself a writer. But why do we write? Why do I write? I think the question is really two fold: one, why do I write at all, and two, why do I keep at it with such persistence.

I have always thought the most profound thoughts people have, and will ever have, are not the ones they write down, but the ones they keep locked inside their heads. The owners of such thoughts do not even try to write them out, because their thoughts are simply too big, too complex, too profound to contain and repress into words.
Words are limited, you see. No matter how much we glorify and even cherish them, they are nothing but little etches of lines and symbols we use to convey meaning. We need them, we rely on them, we survive on them, but they are not perfect.

Writers are constantly taking leaps of faith. We hope we can translate our deepest thoughts, our most shattering emotions, into words, and the words we pick will be virtuous. They will not taint the purity of our meaning with implications or suggestions we did not intend; they will not corrupt the message they are meant to convey. They will realize their goal, accomplish their task, the very reason why we put down ink to paper in the first place.
The slate was clean before, an empty void; we came, put words down, and created...meaning.
Or something.
What it is exactly we create is up to the reader.

And that is the problem every writer must face. We can never assume our meaning will be understood exactly the way we want it to be, because many times, it's just not possible. Our feelings are our own; like souls, no two are exactly alike. We can try to thrust them into words, press and mold them until we think the words we've chosen are perfect, but once they are consumed by the reader through the eyes, they shed their form once more, and become something new, something that belongs solely to the reader. It is magnificent, and it is horrifying.

Any writer will tell you, we write because it's a compulsion: writers have to write. But that doesn't exactly answer the question, does it?
When I write, I am taking something magical, something monstrous, a thought, a feeling, a sense of truth and beauty and wonder in the world, a sense of what it is to be alive, and I am forming this flash of immortal consciousness into words. Trapping it inside there, really. I give it flesh; I give it substance. I give it a body.
I am playing God.
It is the very magic of writing. The thoughts are in all of us, the very breath of life, and when we write, we are breathing this life into words.

I know the words, once formed, are out of my control; they are free to run off and cause all kinds of mayhem and look stupid. But I do my best to build them up right. I do my best, because I know when they look stupid, I look stupid, and I don't want them causing harm. But at some point, I have to trust in them, trust in myself, and be done with them.
I let them go.
They take a piece of me with them.
Is this how God felt?

When I write, I am humbled. I am scared. I am hopeful. Sometimes, I am proud, but that comes later, after I learn what pleasure my words have brought to someone else. Sometimes, I am ashamed.
But while I am writing, during the process itself, I feel closer to God than in any other way I can. More than prayer, more than worship, writing is what brings me closer to the divine.

It is horrifying, and it is magnificent.

Friday, January 11, 2013


I've spoken before about how, when Husband and I began this D/s, DD lifestyle, it was long before we learned about labels like Dominant, submissive, or Domestic Discipline. We had no vocabulary for what we were doing; we just knew it worked for us, and so we kept doing it. Our mentality was 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it,' and we were happy that way. We just kept the details of our relationship a secret.

We never dreamed there was a whole community of people like us out there, who wouldn't just not judge us, they would welcome us because we share in this lifestyle, and commend us for making it work so well, for so long.

One of things Husband and I have always done to help resolve arguments is sit down, talk out what we both wanted, come to a compromise, make an agreement, and then write it down. These contracts have always helped us to pinpoint exactly what is expected, and ensure there is no confusion later on over what was said, and what was agreed upon.
From the very beginning we did this, and it still works for us to this day.

Earlier in our marriage, the contracts handled big weighty issues, like childcare, housework, and budget. Often the contracts were only applied for a certain amount of time, like "until we can hire a babysitter twice a week" or "until Husband's big project at work is completed." Sometimes the terms stopped being relevant, and sometimes we found other ways to handle the underlying problem, so we put the contract aside.

But just going through the process of writing out our issues was always of benefit. It brought us both a sense of closure, and it reiterated our trust in one another. After all, a contract is basically a list of expectations, and you don't expect anything from a person you don't trust. The more you expect, the more you show your faith in the other person to follow through.

(Which answers the question, what happened if one of you broke the contract? These contracts were not about punishment or reward; they were about faith and trust. We both knew it, and we knew what that meant.)

Eventually, the need to write out our agreement into a formal contract wasn't always a necessary step in the negotiations. Obviously, we still negotiate with each other, and often, as couples need to; but we don't feel the need to put pen to paper and write out the details. Only sometimes, when negotiations get heated.

This is an example of a contract Husband and I wrote out a couple years ago. I found it hidden inside a notebook the other day.

It says:

"Husband agrees 100% with switching service from AT&T, or he will listen to Wife bitch about the poor service."

"Husband does not agree to pay more than he is paying now for cable, internet, and phone."
"and does not agree to wait 3 hours for the idiot man to come and not fix it."

The first part and last part is written in my handwriting; the middle is his.
As you can see, we were arguing about our poor cable service. I wanted to switch to Comcast, but Husband was afraid switching would mean higher prices, a contingency to which he did not agree. However, he also did not want to have to be the one waiting at home during the three-hour window when AT&T would send someone ("idiot man") to our house to try and fix our service (which they were never able to do, by the way, even after sending five people to try. Five people=fifteen "window" hours=fifteen hours I spent at home, seething).

When I look at this contract now, I crack up. I remember writing it out with him; I remember how angry I was that I was stuck waiting at home for these AT&T guys to show up, because Husband didn't want to "waste his time," (as if it was ok for ME to "waste my time,") but he also didn't want to spend a dollar more on our package service deal.

But now, when I look at this piece of paper, I laugh how self-righteous we were in our obstinacy. See how long that first black strip is? I had written out Husband's full name there at the top, to make the contract look more formal, and because, you know, he might later try to claim I had meant someone else. 

At least we trusted each other enough not to sign it at the bottom... we used to.

I have a stack of these kinds of contracts in my closet now, safe and hidden away. They are nothing but personal memorabilia, little keepsakes of our love. I look at them sometimes, and I remember.

Some people have love letters. I have old contracts.
I cherish them all the same. I wonder if only other kinky people can understand that.

(By the way, we did end up switching to Comcast. I got us a better package deal, and we ended up paying less, for better service. Husband was quite pleased with me for handling the issue in a way that satisfied both our demands.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Made the List! Still Not Getting Sex!

First off: If you're just arriving here from Molly's blog, welcome! You're doomed! There is no way I can live up to the expectations you now have of me! I'm really, really sorry about that! But we can try an experiment. You lower your expectations, and I'll try to satisfy you as best I can. Okay?
There is a joke about sex somewhere in there, but I'm not going to make it.
(All my longtime readers--SHUT UP.)

If you don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, I'm talking about this: Molly (of Molly's Daily Kiss fame) made a list of her top twenty bloggers, and I'm on it. Booyah, baby. I've arrived.
You know what it's time for, right?

(It's always time for this.)

NO. It's time for that funny story I promised you!
Saturday night, ten o'clock. Oldest is out for the evening, middle child is downstairs watching a movie, and youngest has been asleep for a while. I'm in my pajamas, camped out in front of the TV. Husband is ready for some fun.
"Let's go upstairs," he says.
"What's on the agenda?" Sometimes we play it by ear, but sometimes Husband has a formation of a plan in his head, and by the look on his face, I could tell he had something in mind.
"I want to fist you," he says, leading the way.
I smile. I always like getting fisted. There's nothing like an orgasm you get from a guy's fist in your cunt. (Men will just have to take my word for it on this one. But ladies...if you've never been fisted...try it.)

We get undressed, I lie down on the bed, we get things set up...lube, towel spread out under me, more lube...and he gets started. It doesn't take him that long to get his hand up there...or maybe it just didn't feel that long to me, cause I was enjoying the process so much. Either way, by the time he got his whole hand in there, I was flying.
And then his cell phone rings.
The ring tone tells us it's Oldest Son, who, as you remember, is out for the night. Husband's cell phone is sitting on the drawer chest, right next to the bed. But it may as well have been six yards away--he couldn't reach it, not with his hand stuck up my cunt. He reached for it, of course. He had to try, much to my chagrin--and pain.
"Why is he calling?" Husband asks me, worried.
"How would I know?" I reply, just as scared. "Maybe it's nothing."
The phone goes dead. For a moment, Husband doesn't move; he's tense, waiting. But after a while, he resumes his careful pulling and stroking.
Just as I'm sinking back into heavenly bliss, the land-line rings.
It abruptly stops, after only two rings.
"He got it," Husband says, referring to Child #2. This time, I'm tensing up, too, which is a very bad thing to do when you've got a fist lodged up your cunt.
And then, to our horror, we hear footsteps coming up the stairs.
"Oh shit oh shit oh shit," I hiss.

We know Child #2 will knock. We know he will not try to come in without permission. But we also know, if he is coming up to deliver a message from Oldest Child, our parental presence is required. Oldest Child would not call for nothing.

But to our surprise, Child #2 does not knock. We wait, listening, wondering what the hell is going on...and then we both realize: he is on the other side of the door, listening to us.

Husband begins to pull his hand out of my cunt.
Here's the thing about fisting: it's a slow process. You've got to devote time to getting the hand up in there; you've also got to take your time getting it out. You can't just go wrenching and yanking; you've got to be slow. Smooth. Gradual.
Husband was pulling his hand out like he was extracting a rotted tooth, and in my distress, my cunt muscles were contracting down on him with a vise-like grip.
"Ow ow ow ow ow." I try to whisper, but the words spill out in a gush. Husband doesn't stop, or even slow down; he continues to draw his hand out of my body like it's hurting him more than me.
As if.
Finally, his hand is out, and he rushes to the bathroom to wash. I am not so fast; I manage to get up from the bed, but I'm hobbling, bow-legged, and wincing with each step.
By the time I get to the bathroom, Husband is already out, and getting decent enough to open the door. I hear him turn the knob.
"Yes? What is it?"
There is a pause. I can tell Child #2 is assessing the situation. Then he says, very carefully: "He wants you to know he has a ride home."
There is another uncomfortable pause. "Tell him thank you very much for calling," Husband finally replies. "It was very considerate of him."
As I hear Child #2's footsteps retreating back down the stairs, Husband comes back into the bathroom.
"We can't just pick up where we left off, can we...?"
"No," I reply, grimacing. "We can't."

I have said it before, and I will say it again: Kids are awesome to have, but they kill your kink.

Friday, January 4, 2013

More Vacation Mumblings

It's Friday. 
Just a couple more days of vacation left, and then things can go back to normal around here. 
No more kids around the house all day. No more Husband around the house all day. No more weird hours,  unfulfilled plans, and entertainment angst. No more
What do you want to do today?
I don't know, what do you want to do today?
I don't know. Anyway, it's already two o'clock; what can we do today?
I don't know. It's kind of cold out. Do we have to go out?
I guess not; but don't you think we should still wake up the kids?
Oh, yeah, the kids....

I can't wait until things go back to some sort of schedule. This vacation has atrophied by brains. I've done absolutely no writing, which frankly scares me. 
Thinking about it...I guess I have been doing a little writing. I've been writing on this here blog, haven't I? And I've been doing little bits and pieces here and there. I just haven't been working on a book. I'm supposed to have two in the works, and I haven't worked on either of them. 
But! I've discovered over the past week I'm quite good at making up memes. I've become rather obsessed with them, as you can see here:

Yup, I can basically make a meme out of anything. Beware my supermarket list.
I've also discovered that the less I write, the more my writing gets filled up with italics. Cause italics makes everything look more awesome.

P.S. Fuck, I promised you a funny story, didn't I? Sorry; You'll have to wait for that. But here's a meme to help you work out your feelings.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year, New Post, Same Old Rambling

So. Happy New Year.

Are we all sober now?

Truthfully, I don't see January 1st as anything other than an excuse to party. Nobody really believes in this whole "flip the calendar and start a brand new life" hullabaloo. You've still got weeks left of winter to look forward to, no more holidays, and let's face it, you're still the same you, only tired and dazed from all the holiday craze (and also possibly a few pounds heavier, only adding to your "resolutions" conundrum). January 1st has got to be the biggest buzzkill of the year. You wake up, and you realize--
nothing has fucking changed.

So maybe that's not exactly true around these parts. Husband is starting a new job. I'm starting work on a new book. I'm also dipping more into Facebook
(if you want to friend me there, be my guest, I'm turning away no one)
and looking into taking control over my blog content.
I'm enjoying my kids over the vacation, and attending munches I don't normally get a chance to go to. It's nice.

Speaking of...
I went to a munch last night which was quite different from any munch or event I've heretofore been to: there was a huge number of younger people. By "younger," I mean people in their young twenties, mid-twenties tops; what those in the scene call TNG.
They were a nice crowd; polite, welcoming, forthcoming. It wasn't so much that they were cliquish, as that they knew they had more in common with each other than with us, the older ones. They had all the attraction and strength of youth, and years of possibilities ahead of them, unencumbered by the baggage of time.

In many ways, I envied them. Not so much their youth, although that was part of it. I envied them because they had a community to join, a network of people willing to welcome them with open arms, and methods to tap into knowledge so secretive and clandestine before.
They will never know what it was like before the internet, when information was shared in person, face to face, in dark corners and in hushed tones. They will never know what it's like to be afraid of kink, to feel isolated and alone for liking what you like and being who you are. They are entering a world where this space for them had already been established: buttressed, illuminated, and adorned with welcome signs. They make themselves at home in a small corner of The Scene world, and claim it as their own, but they will never know what it was like for those first pioneers, who faced cultural backlash and ostracism (and many times worse) to pave the way.
I envy them because they do not have to be afraid to admit who and what they are. They are free to label themselves, without judgement or slight. They are confident in their wants, needs, and ideals. Their kink does not empower them, but their knowledge does; knowledge they can ingrain by learning from our mistakes.

Of course, in the end, it will be the mistakes they make themselves which will teach them the most, and have the largest impact on their future decisions. But their potential shines bright, and in my opinion, uplifts us all.

Well this post turned preachy. I didn't mean it to. Next post will be something funnier, I promise.