Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's Not Fair

Most of you already know how apple pie is my go-to get-out-of-jail-free card with Husband.

I do penitance pie with flair.
Well, maybe not free; my ass still gets the comeuppance it deserves. But it's the comeuppance I think it deserves, which is nowhere near the abuse HUSBAND usually thinks it deserves, and while some of you may think that's an underhanded tactic on my part, I say, TOO BAD: when it involves my ability to sit, I'm gonna do whatever I can to facilitate.
Yesterday morning Husband left the house without saying one word to me. From the time he got up, until the moment I dropped him off at the train station—not one word.
I assumed it was because he was furious with me, and I knew why.
It was because he'd had a lot of sodium and MSG in his dinner the night before, and sodium and MSG makes him snore when he sleeps. He ended up snoring so loudly that night, I had to poke him to roll over...over and over again.
It's not my fault if I woke him up.
And it's certainly not my fault that last poke went in his eye.
But, you know, I could understand why he would think differently.
So I decided it was probably in my best interest to bake him an apple pie. I let him know by text.
He was pleased.
When he got home, he found me in the kitchen, preparing dinner. He leaned against the counter and stared at me.
"What?" I asked.
"Nothing," he said. "I just didn't sleep good last night."
"IT'S NOT MY FAULT," I immediately shouted. "YOU are the one who ate that damn MSG soup. You KNOW that stuff makes you snore."
He looked at me like I'd just gone mad. "What?"
"I was trying to sleep too!" I kept yelling. "I have bad aim when I'm half asleep! And YOU kept ME up, too!"
"Wait," he said. "Wait a minute. Did you...did you poke me last night when I was trying to sleep? Was I snoring, and you poked me?"
"...Yeah?" I said. "You mean you don't remember?"
"I had no idea. What do you mean, you have bad aim? Where did you poke me? In my balls?"
"No, in, uh, your shoulder."
"Really. Where did you poke me?"
"I may have kinda slightly got your eye. BUT IT'S NOT MY FAULT."
"It doesn't hurt," he said, touching his eye. "I guess it wasn't as bad as you thought."
"You really don't remember this at all?...But then why didn't you say anything to me this morning?"
"Cause I was tired and had a sore throat?" He said. "You thought—you thought I was angry at you? Is that why you decided to make me pie?"
I was frowning too deeply to answer at this point. Husband, on the other hand, started laughing uproariously.
"It's different when I make you pie and you're NOT mad at me, you know," I said through gnashed teeth, watching him laugh. "I get brownie points for this."
He stopped laughing long enough to think about that for a moment. "Wait a little longer," he said then. "I'm sure you'll do something I'll be mad at you for." And he started laughing once more.
"Wife," he said, offering me a kiss on the head, "it's not meant to be."
I live under a bus—a bus that right now, tastes like apple pie, and does not give brownie points.
It's not fair.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Rule of thumb: 
If you're about to do something you know would shame you if it ever got out? DON'T FUCKING DO IT. 
If you're about to say something you know would make you look like a piece of turd if people knew? DON'T FUCKING SAY IT. 

It's that simple, people. Don't do stuff you know makes you look like shit. Don't say stuff you know makes you sound like shit. 
Don't think the stuff you do and say is going to be swept under a rock, hidden away forever more. Because you don't know when the truth is going to come out—
or if—
But if it does, you will have no one to blame other than yourself for looking like an asshole. 

Not the person who called you out on your bad behavior. Not the people who turn away in disgust. 

None of us are perfect. All of us say and do things we end up regretting, sometimes badly. When that happens, all we can do is apologize, try to make amends, and move on. 

What we shouldn't do is attack the people who are pointing out to us our bad behavior. If you know you've fucked up, if you know you've behaved badly? OWN IT. 

Owning does not mean deflecting, or rationalizing, or victim-blaming, or gaslighting. OWNING means being able to admit, "I fucked up, I should not have done that, that was a mistake on my part, I am sorry." 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Time After Time

This past weekend I had one of the most awesome sexy scenes I have ever had with Husband in an open play space. No, scratch that—the most awesome sexy scene. 

And it happened because I was afraid.  

Husband, as many of you know, does not like to socialize. He is decidedly anti-social, in fact. He also does not like to engage in any heavily sexual BDSM in public. Put these two facts together, and you get why he almost never accompanies me to kinky events. 

Which I've learned to accept. It was hard, especially in the beginning; I wanted Husband at my side, all the time, acting as my Dom and Master. But Husband didn't want any part of that, and he didn't see the need, especially after I put down roots in our local community and felt (relatively) safe on my own. 
To be clear, he didn't begrudge me my desire to go to kinky events, and play with others; he didn't try to curb my fun. 
He just didn't want to join me in my revelry. 

I think the last time before this weekend he joined me at a kinky event was back in...November? Since then, I'd been going to kinky events on my own. Sometimes it was just to socialize and see friends....
But other times....
I was having some damn meaningful scenes. 
The kind that stick to your memory long after the marks fade. 
The kind that make you re-think things like likes and fetishes and boundaries. 
The kind that act like stepping stones on your own personal path of life. 

I didn't like it.
I liked the scenes I was having just fine; the scenes themselves were awesome. What I didn't like was that I was beginning to put down stones in the earth that would take me down a path where Husband was not leading me.

Every relationship—vanilla, kinky, monogamous, poly—follows its own path. The trick is to lay down stones wide enough so you can both walk along together. 
Now, in a D/s relationship, the Dom is not so much walking along side the submissive as much as leading the way, setting down the stones, lining the path to make it easier for her to follow. Sometimes the submissive may get scared, or feel like she's been walking for too long, and she'll balk. The Dom will have to give her leash a small yank, just enough to remind her who is controlling her lead. 
But I think any submissive, for the most part, will stay along the path her Dom sets for her, as long as he's not dragging her in the dirt and setting her up for failure. 

But no matter what, every person in the relationship has the responsibility to look where they are going, step where it's safe—and stick together. It is way too easy to get distracted and diverge. 

Now, I had not diverged from Husband. It went nowhere near that far. 
But I had felt my toe slip off the path, and that in and of itself was enough to worry me. 

So we talked. 
"I'm having moments without you," I said. "Ones I really wish you would share with me."
He got it. "Next party, I'm coming with you," he said. "I'm bringing the hitachi, you're getting naked, and I'm going to make you squirt in public."

The scene was with Him, my Top, and my Mistress. It was a fantasy come true for me, to have all three of them torturing me at the same time. 
I had worked out a signal with Husband, to convey to him when things got too much, when my protests were real and not fake; a "yellow" signal, if you will. And he assured me that if someone did something that went "too far," and I gave him the signal, he would call a break to the action. 
What I didn't count on was that the signal didn't apply to him, because I have no safewords with him—not the kind that act as a requirement for him to stop.

So in the course of the scene, as Husband began to torture my right nipple—it is always my right nipple, I have no idea what he has against that poor right nipple—I would give him the signal, he would keep going for another few seconds, and only then, after he'd pushed me off the edge, would he call a break. 

Every time I gave him the signal, he would look into my eyes. He would tell me with his stare that he knew he was the one causing me so much distress, but that, as always, it was up to him to decide when to stop, not me. He has that power as my Master. 
And after a while, I stopped giving him the signal. All communication was being done through our eyes...and in any case, he had made it clear he was going to do whatever the hell he wanted no matter what. 

He made me scream, and come, and squirt, and come again, and scream again. 

Like I said, the most awesome sexy scene ever. 
But it happened because I spoke up when I needed that reconnection. I had begun to feel a space between us—a tiny space, really, just a drop of the entwined hands—but a disconnect none the less. And I didn't want to feel that space get wider. 

The Ferret talked about this eloquently in his own post a while back, titled "It Would Be a Lot Easier For Me If You Didn't Come To This Convention." He writes:
As convenient as it might be to leave her behind...that would create a slow schism between us.
That schism wouldn't be her resentment.
It would be me, evolving in the absence of my wife.
Marriages break apart often not because people were bad for each other, but because people were great for each other when they started and then drifted apart. If you could somehow reset them to the people they were when they made their vows, then they'd still be together.

People change and unfold over time; there's no stopping that. The trick is to change together, to make sure you're working as a team. Relationships are more than just the sum of their parts: there's the energy in the heartbeats between, the force of love you feel for one another. 

I am blessed to have many relationships in my life, and many people I can say I love. But none of them will ever be as important as the one I share with Husband; he is my path and my journey, and the one who guides my way.
And when I start to feel lost, he is the one who calls my name, looks into my eyes, and lets me know: he is there. Not only is he there, he is the one doing my favor by allowing me to walk. 
Should I forget, he will make me crawl. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Newbies, Don't Update That Relationship Status Too Quickly

Cats and Roosters, let's talk about consent violations in relationships. Why? Because when we're talking about consent violations, inevitably, we start talking about the relationship the accuser and the accused shared before the (alleged) violation took place.

On the one hand, we have what I call the "single-scene" relationship violation scenario.
Typically, a couple starts negotiating for a scene; they may be strangers, but they also may be casual acquaintances. Boundaries are laid out, tools and toys are agreed upon, aftercare is discussed, etc.
Once the scene begins, and the bottom enters subspace, play can be negotiated down, but never up: the bottom may decide s/he can't take as much as they thought, and that's okay, but the Top cannot take liberty to do anything not previously agreed upon, because the bottom is not in a headspace to consent.
Anything not included in the original, agreed-upon negotiations is a consent violation.
I think
(I would like to hope)
most people agree with me on this.

But once a couple enters a relationship...ah, now everything is much murkier.
The kink community is very sensitive about people crying "abuse" on relationships, because let's face it, most of our relationships look abusive from the outside. Nobody wants their own relationship protocols and dynamics lampooned by those who don't understand; nobody wants their own relationships openly ridiculed or disparaged.
Nobody wants to feel like their private business is now suddenly everybody's business.
So the community as a whole shies away from judging other people's relationships, at least publicly. The belief is that what happens in a kinky relationship, stays in a kinky relationship.

The thing is this: predators know how much the community reviles the concept of labeling any BDSM relationship "abusive". It is a scary, scary thing for outsiders to do; it pulls into question everything the rest of us do.
Which is precisely why they want to get into a relationship with you as fast as possible.
Once they can claim everything you did, and they did, was in the boundary of the "relationship dynamics," they have now added a layer of protection to themselves and what they've done.

A scene went farther than negotiated? That was okay under the relationship dynamics. Someone failed to give informed consent? That was included in the relationship dynamics. Someone ended up not just hurt, but harmed? Hey, these things happen with these kinds of relationship dynamics.

Prior consent is no longer necessary, because in a relationship, ongoing consent is assumed.

And if things go wrong...if someone feels abused...that should be dealt with between the individuals themselves, those who were involved in the relationship. And we should never jump to assume abuse, because BDSM is often labeled abuse by outsiders, but we know better.

I often see and hear about those who've been in the scene for years and years, those who know the ins and outs of their local community, try to compel newbies into listing themselves as being in a "relationship" with them after a very short amount of time—sometimes after only days. And the thing is, many times the newbies are very happy to do this: it makes them feel like they are being included, like they belong. It's part of "community frenzy" process: they want to get inside, get to be belonging, as fast as possible. Being able to list someone on your profile, and tell other people you're "with" that person, goes a long way towards feeling like you're forming your own little circle among many other small circles that widen out into our big huge kinky circle jerk.

What I also see happening are consent violators later using that relationship status against the person accusing them.
"It's just a vengeful ex," they'll say.
"They wanted more from me than I was willing to give, so they decided to retaliate."
"They gave ongoing consent."
"It was all negotiated beforehand."

And what they will all fail to point out is that being in a relationship with someone does not mean you get to automatically treat them like dirt. Even in a relationship, negotiations have to take place, agreements have to be made—and I'm sorry to say it, but even in BDSM relationships, abuse can happen.
It's a concept we all must stop denying.

My advice to newbies out there:
Don't enter into a relationship with anyone too quickly.
Stop. Think about what the other person wants from you, what a "relationship" means to them, what they are willing to give in return. Think about what the bare minimum should include in any relationship you want to have.
Do you know this person's last name? Where they live? What they do for a living? Any allergies? Medical conditions? Do they have an emergency number to call if a scene with you goes wrong?

If you're too afraid to give this person your address? It might be a good idea to hold off on the "relationship" status.

And to those who are saying, "Some people who've been around for a while really do fall in love with newbies, not every fast relationship is a case study of abuse, love knows no bounds, hashtag-not-all-quick-relationships, hashtag-love-at-first-sight," blah blah blah....I KNOW.
I know, okay?

But too often now I've seen consent violators use RELATIONSHIP!!1! as armor and weapon against those accusing them of consent violation. And I'm sick of it.
So to those who prey on newbies in this way, who taint our community by hiding behind a sinister relationship status, I say to you: knock it off.
Your armor is cracking.

Monday, March 9, 2015

He'd Fuck me, He'd Really Fuck Me

"Husband," I said, putting down the book I'd been reading in bed and looking over at him, "if I were in a terrible car accident, burned,
disfigured, lost an eyeball—would you still fuck me?"

"Of course I'd still fuck you," he said, and came over and kissed my nose.

"Thank you," I said, giving him a relieved smile.

"I'd totally fuck you," he said. "I'd fuck your eye socket."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Morning Conversations Around Here

Husband, walking out the door this morning: I forgot to put on my belt.

Me: Which belt?

Husband: The wide black one?

Me, blinking: Should I hide it?

Husband, growling: Only if you want a piece of it.



Husband: You are so opinionated.

Me: I'm not more opinionated than anyone else, I just can't hide anything on my face. I'm too expressive.

Husband: This is true.

Me: That's why I suck at Poker. If they invented a game where the object was to be honest about the cards in your hand, I'd totally win.

Husband, smiling: There is a game. It's called, "Talk to My Husband."

Monday, March 2, 2015

What Happens After Someone Cries RED

Definitions are tricky things in the BDSM community.
There's an old saying: you can go to a munch and ask ten people, "What does kink mean to you?" And you'll get ten different answers.
Everyone comes to their own definitions from their own histories and perspectives. And while yes, our vocabulary has to have some kind of commonality—you can't say "chair" and mean table—where that commonality ends varies a lot.
But there is one word that does not vary. It is a word that is common to just about every dungeon, party, munch, and every other kink event in the country:
And that word is RED.

Because "no" may or may not actually mean "no," and "stop" may or may not actually mean "stop"; it depends on what's been negotiated between the players involved. But RED is universally understood and accepted as the failsafe switch; there's no playing around with that.
Yelling RED in a room full of kinky people is like yelling FIRE in a theater: people are going to look, and more than one will probably come a-runnin' with the hose.
There is no joking around with that word.

Newbies are taught the sanctity of the word as soon as they enter the scene. "If you want your scene to stop at any point, say RED," they are told. Other words can be negotiated between themselves and their play partners at later times; safewords can be arranged.
But RED is always the starting point.

Which is great, in my opinion. Having the same word understood by everyone in the BDSM community is a powerful tool. But here's where we drop the ball, and fail with newbies, as far as I'm concerned: we don't talk about what comes after.
What is supposed to happen after someone cries RED?

My Husband and I do not have safewords, not in the conventional kinky sense—at least, not the way I view them. I do have a safeword I can use so I can tell him, quickly and pointedly, that whatever he is doing is doing me harm.
#1 rule: "Protect the property." Sometimes, that means telling Owner that what he is doing is going to do more damage to the property than he realizes. Because let's face it, Doms, Masters, Owners—they're not mind readers. They do make mistakes, and sometimes, they get just as caught up in the heat of the moment as us subs.
But that safeword I have with Husband is not a demand to stop the scene. It is a passing of information of sorts: I am making sure he knows what he is doing is damaging the property, and will therefore have consequences. Whether he stops or not is still up to him. That is the part of our dynamic.
Nobody else has that privilege with me. With all my other play partners, RED means stop, period. It is not a notification, or a request: it is a demand. Whatever play we are engaged in must immediately end.
But then what?

The first time I used RED with a play partner in the middle of a scene was fairly recently. I was in his dungeon, and he was tying me up in a way that was very quickly becoming triggering for me. He didn't know it. I didn't even know how bad it was getting...I didn't know my thoughts were spiraling out of control.
I'm used to playing on a thin line, that high-wire of emotion where the cord is stretched and the fall is deep...but while I may often teeter, I usually manage to regain control before I go over.
Every step brings me closer to new heights. It's a thrill of a walk.
But this time, I went over.

I didn't even know it at first. It was my Top's slave who finally sensed it, understood things had gone too far inside my own head, and let her Owner know. And it was he who really put a stop to our scene—he just asked me for confirmation once he had already stopped.

"Do you need to call red?" He asked me gently.
"Yes," I said. And I burst into tears.

Every second after that felt like an eternity, even though it only lasted a few minutes. He untied me with calm demeanor and soothing words. I continued to cry. His slave brought me tissues, I think.
Then he sat down nearby and told me we needed to relax for a few minutes.

In those few minutes, all I could think of was that he was now too afraid to play with me.
We had planned this whole scene—this whole night—and I had just ruined it. Because I had called red, and red meant the scene was over. No more S/m. No more play.
We had never discussed before what would happen if I called red, and now, we were flying blind.

In truth, he was not thinking along the same lines as I was, not at all. He was taking a moment to stop, refocus, and think about how he wanted our scene to continue. He would have been perfectly willing to stop our scene, had it been necessary. But in that moment, he just wanted to move me as far away from my trigger as possible.

But the longer he sat there, the more despondent I became. I was damaged goods, I was weak, I was broken, I was too fragile to play with—those were the thoughts going through my head.
To be clear: I did not regret confirming his red. It needed to be done. But now came the fallout, and I didn't know how I was going to deal with that, because I didn't know what to expect.

The "fallout" only lasted a few minutes, like I said.
I believe I flat-out yelled at him, "I am not broken, don't look at me like that."
In that moment, he realized how disappointed I was in myself. He retook control of the situation, and of me. He decided on a successful continuation of the evening.
So it continued. And it was not just a success, it was fucking amazing.
It had almost been a complete catastrophe. But sometimes, recovering from a near-catastrophe brings its own newfound joy.

RED is important. RED is an awesome thing to have in our arsenal. But part of negotiations, along with things like boundaries, limits, and aftercare, should be what happens if someone cries RED. 

•Does it mean the play must pause for a discussion, but will then continue along another vein?
•Does it mean all play must end, and negotiated aftercare must begin?
•Does it mean all contact whatsoever must stop?
•Does it mean a violation of consent has already occurred, and an apology must be given if the relationship is to continue at all?

(I hope that last one gave you a moment of whoa. It was meant to. I have met too many bottoms who think like this, and in my opinion, they are doing a disservice to their Tops.)

In a way, RED should be a plan of action, much like aftercare or check-in (for those who negotiate that). All parties involved should be on the same page what RED means, and what it requires of all players. It should be part of preliminary negotiations.
And then, hopefully, used only rarely.