Saturday, December 30

I'm a Fetishist!

Okay, I admit to being a bit of a link whore - almost as much as I'm a comment whore. But for the most part, I'm less concerned with others linking to me as I am with discovering new and different blogs to read. A quick perusal of my blogroll shows that I'm adding blogs that fit into several categories. While most of them deal with "alternative sexuality, " and more specifically in the D/s genre, I also read a lot of others in what I call "Marrige & Relationships." While most of them seem to be blogs that detail problems in relationships, once in a while I come across blogs that showcase some of the more positive aspects. To that end, I've linked "Over 40 Married Sex" (how could you not love a title like that?) and "Crash's Sex Story Spot," both of which being examples of happy, married sexuality.

Since I tend to think of this blog as an exploration of sexual and emotional intimacy, it was surprisng to see someone showcase me as a "fetishist." Kimba has a funny blog... or rather, she tells funny stories about dating and her other relationships. Apparently she linked here to give her own readers something interesting to read (and for many of us, this is praise indeed!). But this quote from her cracks me up:

I have just seen my blog, blogrolled on a fetishist site.. I can't tell you how hysterical and intimidated I am at the same time..

So now I'm wondering - when the hell did I become a "fetishist"? Was it when I bought those knee-high black leather boots for my wife? Was it when I insisted on having sex wearing a corset? Was it when I discovered that yak butter makes a great personal lubricant? Or was it when I had my manacles monogrammed? Or maybe it was when I asked Santa to bring me a vibrating, inflatable butt plug for Christmas...

Friday, December 29

Friday Fantasy

"I love the way your cock feels," she said, her face laying against my chest which muffled her voice slightly.

"Really?"

"Mmm, especially how that nice big head slides between my lips. I love how my lips close around it." Her fingers wandered idly around my thighs, tickling and teasing.

"You came a lot this time, I noticed."

"Mmmm," she sighed in contentment, "that's because you did such a wonderful job." She stopped tickling my thighs to fondle my cock. "Damn, your cock was just so perfect. I love how it just reaches that spot inside. And that little curve at the end rubs me just the right way. Mmmm, the thought of doing this tomorrow is making me aroused again."

"What! You're still not satisfied?"

"Oh, I am, I am." She kissed my nipple, making me gasp a bit. "In fact, I think I'm going to be a little sore tomorrow. " She sighed again. "But I couldn't ask you to stop, not when that cock was feeling so good inside me."

"We aim to please," I said. I lightly scratched her back with my nails. No response "Hey."

"Mmmm? What?"

"I think you're falling asleep on me."

She yawned. "Your cock wore me out. Can we go to sleep now?"

"If you want."

She rolled onto her back. "Okay, you can take it off now."

So I undid the buckles and removed the harness, and moments later I was in the bathroom, washing my cock. The noise from me putting it back in the nightstand drawer made her stir, and she woke up slightly when I got back into bed.

"So, my new cock is a success, then? A keeper?"

Snuggling over to me, she whispered, "Your new cock was the best one yet. It's just like you. Remind me to write a nice letter to the Blowfish people."

I kissed the top of her head as she drifted off to sleep, her fingers still fondling my chastity device, in which my old cock still strained against the hard plastic.

Thursday, December 28

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good: Suzy has enabled the "Mail To" function, allowing you to mail her excellent articles to someone (or yourself) in anticipation of her taking to blog down. Again.

The Bad: Our over-the-top Suzy has once again disabled her comments.

The Ugly: It's already Thursday and I haven't done a Friday Fantasy yet.

Wednesday, December 27

Disclosure on Enclosure

"We are who we pretend to be, so we must be careful who we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut "Mother Night".


I've had some interesting comments on my article about "Enclosure" that deserve some discussion - mainly because I'm surprised that some people are in the same situation that I am.

Sagitaria writes:

I’m not especially kinky myself, but I can relate because even though I’m using a pseudonym and am completely anonymous, I still hold back from posting some of my most personal thoughts and feelings for public consumption. Whether because it wouldn’t fit the image I’ve created, I don’t know.

This was in response to my concern that one of the groups in which I post seems to be overwhelmingly "vanilla", and I'd found that this made me hesitant to initiate non-vanilla topics.

For some value of "vanilla," obviously.

And echoing my own thoughts was Val, who wrote:

I can relate to the "enclosure" concept...
Although I blog only [semi-]anonymously, I find myself trapped by self-censorship ALL THE DAMN TIME; yet that's one of the reasons I STARTED a blog in the 1st place!?!?

I've been perusing other blogs and I've noticed a few comments similar to those above, but I think that Val nailed it above: Her blog was supposed to be her freedom from self-censorship, but almost two years of journaling have made her more, not less protective of the impression that she gives to others.

Yes, that's funny, isn't it? Despite the anonymity of the internet, we develop personas and become so attached to them that they become virtually indistinguishable from our actual selves. I'm not talking about keeping our names hidden to avoid trouble with our families, friends, jobs, social networks; I'm talking about the way we - I - have invested so much ego into these electronic facias that those personas end up being just as closed off, hidden, private as we are at home or at work.

Friday, December 22

Friday Fantasy

The email was as explicit as it was brief. I was to leave work early, go home and bind myself to the bed in what we called "sensory deprivation mode". That meant I was to wear my hood, with earplugs to deaden any sound and the eye patches closed.

And then I was to wait.

I blew off some paperwork and 40 minutes later I was naked and getting into position. I fastened my legs to the end of the bed with the leather cuffs, carefully placed the spring-loaded hooks for the hand restraints into position, and placed the hood over my head.

Damn, it's dark in here. And quiet.

I lay back carefully and wriggled my wrists over the the hooks. They caught and fastened, and I tugged to be sure that they were secure. The very last click is a frighteningly erotic moment, because at that point, I'm completely immobilized. I can twist and turn a bit, but there's no way that I'm going to escape.

I lay back, trying to settle my mind in the quiet darkness. Breathe in. Hold. Did I leave the light on or off? Exhale. Breathe in. Hold. Did I lock the door? Exhale. Breathe in. Hold. Dammit, I forgot to get the mail. Exhale. Breathe...

And I waited.

So quiet.

So dark.

So calming.

How long had I waited? Twenty minutes? Two hours? I half sighed, half gasped at her touch. Her hand on my chest felt surprisingly cool and rough; it explored my body as if I were an unfamiliar object, poking, prodding. A sharp pain in one nipple, then the other. Oww, I thought, she's going from zero to sixty in nothing flat. Even so, I could feel the blood rushing to my cock, betraying my inner pain slut. In other circumstances I'd feel embarrassed, but here I was an object. And objects don't feel...

Ouch! I jumped, trying to move away from the painful grasp around my balls. That's too much, too soon. Oww, they're going to burst, ow, ow... ahh, that's better. Damn, is she trying to damage me? But I stopped mentally complaining when I felt that rough, cool grip on the shaft of my cock. Oh, that's nice. Oh yes, so nice. I moaned slightly in pleasure, and then again in dismay as my cock was freed. But then I felt the bed move with the weight, and moments later the rough, cool hands were replaced by a very hot, moist mouth. My hips rose to meet the new pleasure, my cock welcoming the tongue and lips and occasional feel of fingers.

But this was different somehow. I'm never permitted to come without her rare and grudgingly given permission, and she generally teases the hell out of me, slowly, sensuously. But the mouth on me now was hard, hungry. Soon my cock was even stiffer from the blood being sucked into the veins. I realized that I was moaning and writhing, and slowly moving to the verge of losing control.

Oh no! In my hood I'm essentially deaf. How would I know that she was giving permission? Maybe this is one more test? I suddenly went from giving myself over to the pleasure to growing frantic at the possibility that she would force me to come, only to chastise me later for doing so without permission. I tried to hold back. Tried. Tried and tried and tried, but that hungry mouth was relentless. She seemed to know I was holding back, and reached a hand down to massage and fondle my balls. I tried to think of baseball, England, my ex-wife. I felt, rather than heard the low moan build in the back of my throat, and moments later realized that every muscle in my body was tense, waiting for the inevitable explosion...

...which came.

And came.

And came some more. A veritable Vesuvius, a Krakatoa, a Mount St. Helen's. And scant seconds later I reveled in the pleasure of release, until it was tempered by the shame of failure. I never heard her permission, which was the same as not having received it. I slumped back into the bed to wait her punishment.

And waited.

And waited.

And my body, relaxed by the rare gift of orgasm, soon dozed off.

~~~~~


"Oh honey, I'm so sorry. I locked my friggin' keys in the car, and I tried calling you, but obviously you couldn't hear the phone."

"Wha...?" The light from the bedroom lamp was blinding, and I felt the cool air on my face as she peeled back the hood.

"So I managed to call Suzy to pick me up, and we looked at the car and didn't know what to do, and then she called Ty."

"Wha..? Ty? Suzy? Huh?"

"Yes, and fortunately Ty had some tools in his trunk from that new playroom he's building. He was able to open my door and guess what?"

"Uh..." The cobwebs in my head were starting to clear. "Keys?"

"Yeah, my stupid keys weren't in the car at all. They had fallen out of my jacket and were laying on the floor next to my desk at work. Can you believe that?"

"Um... You mean you just got home?"

"Yes, and I'm so sorry. You fell asleep, you were tied up so long. Four hours, maybe. I hope you're not mad at me."

She had been unfastening the restraints as she spoke, and I was now sitting on the edge of the bed, rubbing my wrists.

"Just now? You didn't come by earlier?"

"Are you still sleeping? Yes, that's what I'm saying, I just walked in the door two minutes ago. Look, obviously I'm not in the mood to play right now, and I'm sure you need a break. Let's get dressed and I'll buy you dinner, okay?"

"Umm... yeah. Dinner. Dinner sounds good. Just give me a few minutes to splash water on my face and get dressed." Dammit, she's screwing with my mind! This was my punishment for coming without her permission. Something bad was going to happen to me, I just knew it.

I brushed my teeth, ran a comb through my hair, and threw on some rumpled clothes, as she made more apologies for being late and careless and made sure that I wasn't mad.

As I stood at the toilet, she went to get her coat. "Honey, when did UPS get here?"

"What? UPS?"

"Yeah, there's a package here in the hall. It wasn't here this morning, so I figured they delivered it this afternoon."

"A package?"

"Yes, a package. Didn't you sign for it?"


Wednesday, December 20

Self Enclosure

One of the reasons that I started a blog was to give me a certain sense of enclosure. Not "closure" - the sense of ending things in a way to have some peaceful resolution, but "enclosure" - the act of bringing the various far-flung aspects of one's personality together for more integral functioning. In short, to not have a bazillion little secrets parts, all "compartmentalized" so that nobody gets to know the "real me." I have written on a number of different subjects on a number of different venues that never seem to cross. After several false starts, it was my intention that I'd have a blog that encompasses those various aspects.

Of such things is the road to Hell paved.

I mention this because I've been checking my blog stats. Yes, I have an ego, and when I realized that people were actually reading this blog I started checking the stats a couple of times a day. Want to know something interesting? A very large proportion of people coming to this site do so because they are searching for "orgasm denial" or "chastity" or something similar. Very large. And except for a few posts that I dragged over from my old blog, I haven't really discussed chastity in general or chastity devices at all. At least, not here.

And that's part of my point; I get emails from people all the time, looking for advice on picking out a device (technical stuff is easy) or how to get their partner (usually, but not always female) to go along with it (relationship stuff is not as easy). And in addition to the emails I still post regularly in several different online groups, some of which even seem to appreciate what I have to say. But I never mention chastity or orgasm denial in some of the groups, nor do I let loose with my trademark wit (okay, my bad puns and double entendres) in others. As Samuel Clemens would have said, "Never the Twain shall meet."

So here's an interesting tidbit of self-discovery: Even in the relative anonymity of my little corner of the blog world, I'm embarrassed to admit to having a kink. How stupid is that, anyway? What's even stupider is that I can't even describe why I'm embarrassed. No, wait - yes, I can. It's embarrassing to me because when I try to step back to look at it objectively, it seems like a weird kink to have. I mean, who the hell writes about sex but has a kink which revolves around not having it? On top of that, it involves equipment, which makes it somehow weirder on the kink scale (you know about the kink scale, right? The more equipment involved, then the weirder it must be, because it becomes less "natural").

So, there it is. In the near - the very near - future I'm going to out myself with regard to my kinks. It's not for your benefit, but for mine. In fact, let's consider this to be an early New Year's resolution - I want to bring all those far-flung aspects of me into one enclosure.

Friday, December 15

Another Friday Fantasy

Stolen from inspired by Destiny & chance

"How long has it been since you've come?"

We both knew very well how long it had been. "99 days," I responded, thickly, straining against the bonds holding my arms to the headboard.

She knelt between my legs, the lube glistening on her fingers in the candlelight. She worked it into my ass while she spoke. "Ninety-nine days and twenty two hours. Almost done, aren't we? Tomorrow will be one hundred days. You must be very, very excited by now." She teased my cock and balls until I groaned an agreement. "And I promised you that if you could hold out for a hundred days, then I'd let you have your way with me for a month straight - any way you wanted, didn't I?"

"Yes," I whispered, "just a couple more hours to go."

It was a good game, but with a terrible penalty: if I came without permission, then I would have to start over for another hundred days. Paradoxically, it got easier as time went on; I was able to allow my focus on my body go elsewhere. Most of the time, anyway; but in the last few days I've felt my composure slipping as the deadline neared.

"Do you know what this is?" She held up a black rubbery device and poured some more lube over it. "It's a butt plug," she went on, "I read your blog and you wrote that it was something you wanted to try." I sucked in my breath as she eased the plug into my ass. "I ordered it a couple of weeks ago. It's quite the toy." I felt the cool taper stretching me, and then the sudden clenching as my muscle clamped onto the smaller diameter. I closed my eyes, panting slightly.

"And do you know what this is?" she asked again. I opened my eyes to see her holding a rubber squeeze bulb. "See, it's an inflatable butt plug." As I opened my mouth to answer, she gave it a squeeze and said "One."

I gritted my jaw. She paused for ten seconds or so, watching me carefully.

"Two," she counted, giving the bulb another squeeze.

Another pause. Ten seconds.

"Three."

The sudden expansion made me twitch.

"Four."

I started clenching my muscles, knowing that the plug was expanding deeper inside of me.

"Five."

By now I could really feel it stretching my insides. I rocked my hips on the bed, but that only served to make it stimulate me.

"Six."

Involuntarily, I let out a whimper.

"Oh, do you like that? It must feel really nice, being all full. I'm sure it's pressing up against your prostate."

I nodded. Every movement seemed to excite me, and I could feel my composure slipping.

"Seven."

I let out a small moan.

"Yeah, nudging up against your prostate, all swollen from not coming for ninety-nine days. Look, your cock is all swollen. Must be getting hard to hold back, huh?"

I shook my head back and forth. "No, I'm fine," I lied. My voice sounded high and weak.

"Sure you are," she replied. She held up the bulb. "Eight."

I could feel my arms trembling. I tried to breathe through my mouth, slow, measured...

"Nine."

I bit down hard on my lip. It was filling me, both painful and pleasurable. Each motion nudged me just a teeny bit closer to losing control.

"Wouldn't it be a real bitch if you came now, with only an hour and a half to go? All that time, only to have to start over again?" She smirked at me.

I tried not to move. When I looked down, I saw the fluid seeping from my cock, dripping onto my stomach. She followed my gaze, and arched an eyebrow. She reached down and gave a slow stroke along the length. I tried to move my hips away, only to make the plug nudge my sensitive spot deep inside. Oh no, I thought. I could start to feel some involuntary contractions.

"Ten!"

I let out a long, low moan and writhed on the bed. "No, no, no, no, no!" I begged. "That's not fair!"

"Would you like me to stop pumping?"

I nodded. "Yes, please, please, please. No more, I can't take any more, it's gonna split me open" I babbled. Every time I clenched my muscles to hold back, the plug nudged me a little more. I was on the edge of coming, and maddeningly without touching my swollen cock.

"I think that I'm going to leave you like this for a little while."

I looked up at her, pleading.

"But don't worry, I'm not going to pump any more, okay?"

I nodded, relaxing my tense body just a bit.

"Because it would be a real shame if you came now, with only," she looked at the clock, "an hour or so to go, wouldn't it?"

"Yes," I whispered, "thank you."

I closed my eyes and tried to focus. Breathe in. Hold. Yes, that's it. Breathe out. The contractions stopped. Breathe in. Hold. I was winning! Breathe out. I was regaining my control. Breathe in...

"Do you know what this is?"

I opened my eyes. She was holding an electronic control in her hand.

"Did I mention that it's a vibrating, inflatable butt plug?" She looked at me with mock sweetness, "I just put in fresh batteries. Let's see if they'll last for an hour."

Monday, December 11

Lovely Parting Gift

Yeah, yeah.

Supposedly I won the damn car as a consolation prize.

Then supposedly "budget constraints" meant that I had to share the damn car with Bob.

Now the blog is down, the email has been cancelled, the electric bill has been ignored, and there's still no damn car.

All I've got is this stupid picture:

Lovely Parting Gift

Of course, I have to admit... I stared at this picture for five minutes before I noticed that there was a damn car in the background.

Sunday, December 10

infection nipple pie

infection nipple pie ?

That was the first thing that popped up in the "Search" box in the Yourdomain.com page that has now captured the link for anyone trying to find "Sue Wears the Pants" or "suewearsthepants.blogspot.com".

Further investigation shows that the Search Text box was too short to display the "rcing", making the ending to Sue's blog appropriately as surreal as the manner in which she herself has maintained it for the last couple of months.

Before anyone expounds upon such well-reasoned theories as, for example, that Sue was actually a graduate art student and her blog was really her MFA project, allow me to repeat part of an email she sent to me, apparently just before she cancelled her email account:

"[...] I did go ahead and delete it. It just kind of ran its course. There are not many D/s blogs that people really update and I think I would have been better off having it listed as erotica and not D/s. Some of the people like yourself are really welcoming, others are not so kind.
"[...] I think your relationship and outlook are much closer to what many in long term relationships are experiencing rather than the “I whipped my slave for 30 minutes” posts.

"I wish you the best in your relationship and life."

And part of my response to her:

"I'm really very sorry to see you close things down; I was very sincere when I wrote elsewhere that you are one of the very few bloggers in this little corner of the world with a sense of humor - and more importantly - a sense of fun. One of the reasons that I *do* hang out in this area is because there are literally hundreds to thousands of internet searches for Femdom and D/s from men (and some women) who want just a *little* bit more than what they have, but are scared off - if not downright freaked out - by the more extreme stuff. I've been active on various sexuality groups for years, and I've had enough feedback to have created an egotistical monster convinced me that I can be helpful in presenting a responsible opposing viewpoint. Or at least, another, more workable perspective.

"Honestly, I've enjoyed your articles immensely, and I don't think I'm going to be the only one sorry to see you go. If you decide to put up another blog, please let me know - I'd really like my wife to see some more of your writing."
Sue, please stop by once in a while, especially when the rest of us are taking ourselves too seriously. And please know that you will be missed.
Best wishes to you and Ty for the holidays, and for your future happiness and good fortune.

Friday, December 8

The Friday Fantasy

"Yes sir, these are our best cuffs. See how they have the extended material near the wrists? That's to keep your wrists from being damaged when being suspended. Would you like to try them on? Of course we have various accessories. For example, we often sell these with the heavy-duty snap hooks, capable of sustaining over 800 lbs of force."

"Oh, that screaming? Don't worry, this is the testing area, and in the room next door they're trying out one of those new electro-stim units. Here, let me take your jacket so you can move around more comfortably."

"As you can see, they are very comfortable, allowing your partner to stay suspended for a couple of hours. Yes, they are nice to look at, aren't they? Would these be for you or... ah, yes. I'm sure that your partner will be very pleased with them. Here, let's hook them up to the hoist so you can see how much weight they can take. Yes, they are quite comfortable, even on a big, strong man like you, sir. I imagine that your partner would have no trouble wearing these for a scene."

"No sir, I don't know why the screaming stopped next door. They must have finished testing already, and went to get another toy. But let's get you down and I'll show you some of those accessories for this set."

"I'm sorry, sir, I guess I must have jammed the hoist somehow. It should just take another minute to... damn! I can not beleive this; the little spring thingie seems to be stuck. No, I have no idea why, this has never happened before. I'll go get the manager, sir. I do apologize for the inconvenience. I'll be right back."

~~~~~~~~~

"I need some help, Julia. The friggin' hoist in room 3 is stuck again; do you have the little tool thingie to undo the ratchett? Mr. Allen has been hanging there for ten mintues. Oh, and Cat was playing with the new electro-stim in room 4, and I think it blew the circuit. That girl is out of control! I'll check the breaker while you find the tool."

"Oh Julia, I just saw that Dr. Digger guy on the floor in room 2, like he's passed out or something. And have you seen Cat? No? Well, I fixed the breaker, but I can't find Cat anywhere. Looks like she took the electro-stim with her. Did you find the tool for the hoist? No? Damn, Mr. Allen is going to be pi... Did you see that? The lights just dimmed! And... oh my god, who the hell is that screaming?"

Sunday, December 3

Like I'd have trouble finding more than six...

So, I'm minding my own business, just reading my favorite blogs and checking out unread links, when the email comes in:

Bonnie said...

sorry but you've been tagged
Blame Saratoga he started it LOL


Tom Allen said...

Bonnie, doesn't it count that Cat tagged me the other day with this very same meme?




Right. Like I can't find six more weird things about me.

Okay, here goes:

  1. I have a phobia about visiting the dentist - but it's motivated me to take fantastic care of my teeth so I don't have to worry about cavities, etc. I brush, floss, rinse, scrape, and clean way, way more than the average person. When I get my teeth cleaned they're always amazed at how little they need to do.

  2. I love animals... outside where Mother Nature put them. I'm not a pet person, although I understand that people enjoy them. But I dislike zoos and circuses, and I don't like to see animals taught to do tricks. I feel badly for the Shamu trainer that got hurt, but for cryin' out loud kids - it's a killer whale. And frankly, I don't want the responsibility of taking care of an animal.

  3. I get a touch of obsession when I'm first learning about something, especially if I find I'm enjoying it. I'll spend hours researching things so I can bring myself up to speed in a short amount of time. Likewise, if I have to visit a strange city on a trip, I'll dig up everything I can so I won't seem like a noob.

  4. I'm one of those rare people that can have a cigarette once in a while without getting addicted. I'll have a few if I'm drinking with the guys. I might have a couple at work on coffee breaks. Interestingly, several other of my family members are like that as well. I don't understand how people get addicted to them, actually.

  5. I rarely turn on the TV. The exceptions are usually when I'm home sick (rare) or to watch a Twilight Zone marathon, or a particular Sci-Fi or horror movie. For example, right now the family is out and I'm tuned into "Van Helsing."

  6. Dark chocolate, if you please. Put me in a warehouse of milk chocolate, and I won't touch it. But Hershey's Special Dark? Or some of those slightly bitter Italian chocolates? I often get some at Xmas and will nibble a little bit every day for a few weeks.

Thursday, November 30

Friday Fantasy

"Oh please," I moaned, "no, no more..."

"You want me to stop?"

"Yes. No. Oh, dammitdammitdammit!"

We had cooked dinner, cleaned up, and she suggested that I take a nice shower before bed. "And make sure you shave for me," she admonished. I knew she wasn't talking about just my chin.

A half hour later I was restrained to the bed - arms and legs, a rarity. The nipple clamps had gone from painful to stimulating, and the couple of pillows under my head allowed me to watch her every move. Especially her every maddeningly slow stroke along my shaft. Every time I strained my hips upward, she'd back off.

Five times now she'd brought me right up to the edge, each time letting me believe that she would follow through.

Five times I settled back into the bed, each time more frustrated than the last.

"It's almost midnight. We've been at this two hours. I'm very impressed."

I looked at her, pleading. "Impressed enough to let me come?"

"How ready are you?"

I was dying. This is the longest she'd ever teased me this way. My balls were beyond sore, my cock was purple, my muscles were cramping from the contractions. "I'm ready. Please? Please? It's been so long since you allowed me to release."

"How long?"

"I... I think it's been over three weeks now."

"Oh, you've gone much, much longer than that. Three weeks shouldn't be very hard for you, now should it?" She gave me a firm squeeze to emphasize her point.

"Only three more minutes until midnight. Wouldn't it be wonderful to shoot a nice, big load right when the clock turns twelve?"

"Yes, yes, oh yesyesyes!"

She resumed stroking, ignoring my ragged moans. "Tell you what," she said, "I'd be a real bitch to deny you after working you up like this."

I nodded.

"So I don't think that I should deny you."

I nodded faster.

"And that's why I'm not going to deny you."

I stopped nodding. "I'm?"

She stopped her maddeningly slow stroking, and stretched her body over me, her nipples just out of reach of my mouth. Fumbling for a moment, she sat back down on the bed and held out a shiny object to me.

A quarter.

"Heads or tails?" she asked, smiling wickedly.

Wednesday, November 29

My First Tagging

Oh, dammit.

This can't be happening to me, can it? I mean, this is "The Edge of Vanilla," for cryin' out loud! Sleek, slick, kinky and sexy. Good writing. Sex. Insightful articles. Kink. Poignant perspectives. Kinky sex. This isn't one of those MySpace ghetto blogs; this is an eclectic little corner bistro of a blog.

Damn, I can't believe I've been tagged!

Yeah, yeah, I know. I could ignore the call. I could turn it down. I could stick my nose in the air and walk away.

Oh, what the hell. After all, Cat tagged me, so how could I possibly refuse?

Besides, as bait, she's even promised to post a special HNT pic for me. Of course, I've been promised other things lately that I don't really expect to get.

Still waitin' for that car, Mistress Yunohoo.

Okay, here's the deal: Six random, wierd things about Tom Allen. Stuff you'd never guess. Stuff that I don't even tell my closest friends. But stuff that I'm going to tell you - my anonymous internet friends.

1) I'm really a 36 year old single mother from Charlotte, North Carolina...

Wait. What's that?

They had to be true things?

Uh...

1) About fifteen years ago I stopped listening to pop/rock stations and switched to talk radio. After a few more years, I pretty much stopped listening to the radio at all. I drive in silence, just gooving on my own thoughts. I sometimes need to take the long way home to finish them.

2) I'm a voracious reader. In fact, I have a 512m SD card in my Palm T3 that's always got a dozen E-books on it at any time. I read in the bathroom, waiting to pick up my pizza, wherever. And because of that, I can have a conversation on virtually any topic, which often surprises people who really should know me better by now.

3) Speaking of pizza, I'm one of the 87 people on the East Coast of the U.S. who likes anchovies on his pizza. Really. Anchovies, mushrooms, peppers on a thin crust. With a chilled Chianti or a light beer. On a lazy Sunday evening. In the summer.

4) I have a very dry sense of humor in real life. So dry that people often feel compelled to douse me with glasses of water.

5) I can build a computer from scratch, machine stainless steel valves, climb mountains, swim rivers, design and build furniture that looks like artwork. But please do not ask me to do anything with plumbing. I can't solder a joint. Go figure.

6) I studied a bit of Taoist and Tantric yoga when I was younger. I can have full-body orgasms, even without intercourse. Not as useful as, say, doing my own plumbing, but it makes me a fun date.

Tuesday, November 28

Thoughts on "Thoughts"

Despite the aftermath of the Great Comment Fiasco in the Autumn of 2006, Ms. Susan herself has opted to comment on comments - to the delight of all nineteen of her most devout readers. To me, it's one of those self-referential "breaking the wall" situations, almost on the level of when Dilbert has a visitor from Family Circus, or when Jimmy Neutron gets zapped into the Fairly Oddparents world.

Yes, thirteen years of college have been wiped from my brain and I have been reprogrammed by Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network. Anybody else out there have children, or is it just me?

Anyway, she left a comment on a comment on an article from last week that I wanted to comment on.

In her post, she writes:

"In reality because D/s or FemDom is just play to us right now. My “dungeon” consists of a paddle, some scarves, padded cuffs, feathers, lotions, vibrators and a blindfold. Pretty much standard bachelorette party stuff. We have added a collar which we both adore and some new elements to our play. Quick and quiet are usually two really important elements for us. The little erotic stories can be read to each other late at night. And yes they contain some real life elements:)

"For me as a woman the real benefit to sexual exploration is the intimacy I am able to share with Tyler. It started out as sharing fantasies but the intimacy has spread into other non sexual areas of our marriage. That was much needed."

In case anyone missed the subtext, Sue and Ty are using some D/s activities to enhance their enjoyment of each other. They are teasing each other with BDSM fantasies in order to enhance their level of intimacy.

In short, they are playing.

And you know what? I think that this is great! They are playing, having fun, enjoying each other, living in the stolen moments when they don't have to make breakfast, correct homework, do the grocery shopping or unclog the toilet. So it came as a bit of a disappointment to read her further thoughts on this:

"[...] I take every thing in proportion but the blogs and websites I was reading were Goddess This and Mistress That. After a while they become completely unrelatable to my life situation.

"I know there is an outlet for my thoughts; I’m just not sure it’s blogging or at least blogging about “playing” D/s."

That's sad.

What's even more sad, is that between the time I started writing this article this morning and now, Susan has deleted several of her well-written posts, and has again disabled the comments.

I suspect that, despite what she's written in the now hidden comments, it's because she really did not want me to win a car.

There are dozens of web logs in this community, and more dozens of web forums and internet groups in which many of the regular contributors are so damned serious. S/slash writing protocols. Capital Letters for Dom/mes and lower case for subs/slaves. Week long discussions defining the difference between subs and slaves. I/introspective R/retrospectives on the A/author's J/journey (and why is it always a journey? Why isn't it ever a trek or a voyage or an expedition?).

I've heard - all too often - the nervousness of the newbies who are concerned that they aren't doing something "right", as if there were some kind of performance review at the end of the quarter. Not long ago, a woman on a chastity group emailed me because she had questions on how to be a Domme the "right way." She was concerned that she was enjoying herself too much to be a "real Dominatrix." Another woman was concerned because she enjoyed the sensation of her husband orgasming inside her, and - based on what she'd read - believed that as a Domme she was not "allowed" to do that anymore.

Recently, Bonnie of Collars'n'Cuffs posted an interesting rant:

"So many on the blogger sphere try to tell newbie's and the committed to the lifestyle you must do this or that, this way in order to member of the Femdom Fan club. [...] I don't blame a lot of the blogger's for disappearing or hiding when the answer they give are not the answers the reader wants to hear. or they are burnt out from the derivative thoughts and opinions. [...] I get it now you have to fit the Femdom mould in order to belong. "

While I don't think that anyone has flat out told Susan that she's doing something wrong, I get the impression that like a T/traveler on a J/journey to a place that is enjoyable to visit she's absorbed some of the local color and wondering how she "fits" into an environment in which Ladies, Mistresses and Goddesses trade tips on edge play while naked subs and the great uncollared cavort at their feet - the better to give foot massages, of course. And I wonder if, like me, she hasn't thought that perhaps she's a bit out of place because she doesn't make a second career out of Femdomming.

I write "like me" because our own dungeon is a couple of drawers in a bedside nightstand. More than once I've looked in on the various BDSM web forums, having felt embarrassed to post amid the veteran scene players, and decided to merely lurk, instead of becoming an active or even semi-active participant. I'm not sure why I feel so nervous, especially as I've spent a lot of time on various web groups trying to assuage the concerns of the new & nervous. Indeed, when I'm not being snarky with the clueless, I am usually explaining that it's perfectly acceptable to just play and have a good time, that not only do they not need to follow any rules, but that they'll have even more fun by stretching their imagination and making up their own rules as they go along.

Or better perhaps, making up no rules at all.

Friday, November 24

Friday Fantasy

Blogging memes are often annoying, perhaps because most of them are merely rehashed email memes. Those personal quizzes asking about your favorite color (blue or black) or which albums you'd take with you on a desert isle (Stop Making Sense - Talking Heads) have been done to death.

But...

A recent series of posts by Richard generated a little spark of curiousity - suppose we created a meme more tailored for adults, specifically, a more sexually themed meme? Not something in the 20 QUestions format, but perhaps something more readable, something to look forward to. We've already got HNT - Half-Naked Thursdays (which origins I've still not been able to pin down), so to wind us up for the weekend, perhaps something along the same lines might work.

Accordingly, I propose the "Friday Fantasy".

While graphic erotica is certainly appreciated, I'm thinking that perhaps - as in HNT - just a snapshot, a quickie paragraph or two outlining a desire, wish, or a current favorite. Maybe it's even something that you've done, or almost done. Or maybe it's a situation that started one way, but you wish it had gone somewhere else. Anything, as long as it's a description of something that grabs your interest.

For example...

We're laying on the couch watching a movie, Linda's legs up on my lap so I can rub her feet. The commercial break comes, and she turns to me, her eyes glinting. "The polish on my toenails is really chipped and cracked. I'd really love it if you removed the old stuff." Hurriedly, I gather up a towel, a bag of cotton balls, polish remover, and an emery stick. By the time the movie is back on, we're settled back into our positions, only I'm gently rubbing the wet cotton balls over her toenails. It takes a few minutes, but I manage to get the red out of the cracks and crevices. I dry them off, and although she didn't ask, I buff down the rough edges with the emery. Another commercial break makes me realize that I hadn't been paying attention to the movie at all. Soon, I'm rubbing a soothing lotion around her toes and feet.

By the time the movie ends, her feet have been rubbed and smoothed, and she's feeling relaxed. "C'mon," she tells me as she gets to her feet, "I've got some other areas that need attention, too."

Friday, November 17

Mixed Feelings

I have mixed feelings upon discovering the events that unfolded over at Susan's blog during the last two days.

Anger.

Disgust.

Disappointment.

Discouragement.

Okay, sure... Susan is over her admittedly over-reaction; but that's not the point. She's a new blogger, perhaps a bit excited over the new Comments feature, happily posting away with the little birds of praise twittering in the background. Life, that is, the blogging life, to Susan is good: a loving husband, an enjoyable family, pleasant times, and she does what bloggers do - writes about the things on her mind, not all of which happen to deal with BDSM or even with sex.

Then the jackass brayed.

"i wuz lukin 4 bsdm sexx. u suk. were is it? u suk. i doont care abot buttrflyz. u suk. if my mom didnt need teh cumputer now id riite more abot how u suk."

And here's where I felt anger and disgust. I simply do not understand why some people believe that the anonymity of the Internet gives them rein to act in ways that would, in the "real world," cause them to be ostracized, and perhaps nursing a lump on their head in the process. How miserable does your own life have to be, how small minded are you, and how insecure in your personhood do you have to be in order to act in such a way?

More to the point, what is it about the sex blogs, forums, and other groups that seems to attract the most loutish of you? Have you no other outlet for sexual expression than a lopsided keyboard and a handful of petrolatum?

So Susan, having learned to appreciate the wine and not wanting to sully her vineyard with the dregs, turned off the Comment feature.

And that's a disappointment.

Blogging can be about self-expression, but how much better to express one's self in a community which encourages such expression? In which one can be introspective, but to also to explore ideas. To trade, as it were, thoughts and tips about the wine with our neighbors.

Susan has added something little seen in this area of the blog world.

A sparkling sense of humor.

In an area in which so many of us take our kink so damn seriously, Susan set up shop with the admission that this is not a full-time endeavor for her. Whereas so many of us have a dozen references to "O/our J/journey I/into D/s" (and for some of us it's a dozen a week), it's pleasantly refreshing to see that some people aren't making a lifestyle commitment to anything except having a little enjoyable sexual exploration.

You know. Fun.

And yes, I see that she's turned the Comments back on after a couple of days of mood swings, tears, introspection , and (an assumption based on my experience) probably some wine and a bit of chocolate.

But something that she wrote sticks in my mind, and herein lies the seeds of my discouragement:

"I simply wandered into a community/lifestyle where I did not belong."


How sad that Susan - witty, charming, funny, sensuous, and thoughtful - believes that it is she who doesn't belong in this community.

If not her, then who?


Sunday, November 12

Supporting One's Self-Perception

I subscribe to Psychology Today - you know, the magazine that does for Psychology and Sociology what Ladies Home Journal does for Feminism. While a lot of the articles are pap and only scratch the surface, sometimes I get a glimmer of an insight. This month, there is an article on "friendship", which carries the following blurb:

The conventional wisdom is that we choose friends because of who they are. But it turns out that we actually love them because of the way they support who we are.

This makes me wonder about other aspects of ourselves, more specifically our love or romantic relationships. Do we do the same thing when looking for a partner; that is, do we tend to pick our romantic partners based on how they support our self image?

I can easily see how this works with a lot of relationships. If we think of ourselves as teachers, we tend to surround ourselves with people who enjoy learning from us. If we tend to think of ourselves as not worthy of respect, we might find a partner who treats us accordingly. But... does a change in our perception of ourselves - who we believe ourselves to be - one of the causes for a loss of intimacy?

I'm thinking about the seemingly inevitable differences in libido after several years together. Do we evolve into different people such that our partners no longer support our self-perceptions (and we no longer support theirs)? I've been reading a lot of blogs by people who are in bad, deteriorating, or otherwise miserable relationships - and almost all of them show a pattern in which they feel a distinct lack of intimacy with their partners. I'm not talking specifically about sexual intimacy, although that is also a widespread complaint. And after reading the blogs and comments, I'm sure that I'm not the only one to ask why it seems that Low Libido people always seem to get matched up with the High Libidos? Underlying many of the words of support on the Comments sections of the desperate and hurting is the not-always unspoken wish: "Wanna trade?" My question is what happened along the way? What else changed besides ten years, three kids, and two cars to make people grow so far apart? And after reading this article, I started to wonder if there isn't some principle that can be applied to love relationships.


I realize that I've been thinking about this subject for most of the week, and for some reason I can't get my thoughts on this to be coherent enough to set down. I think I'm just going to let this one sit for a bit and then come back to it later.

Friday, November 10

A Scene in the Vineyards

I can't possibly comment on this, for I have not the words. Or rather, I have the words, but reading her latest post has shamed my tongue into uncharacteristic silence, if not paralysis.

Droll. Stirring. Amusing. Satirical. Insightful.

Damn good.

But don't take my tongue-tied word for it; go read for yourself.

Me? I'm going to sit in my shed and contemplate the grapes for a spell.

The Grapes of Domme


Wednesday, November 8

Incompatible Defense*

Inspired by one of my last ramblings about coming out to my wife about my BDSM kink, slave2Catwoman left a comment in which he wrote:

I applaud your courage to finally talk to your wife. You did it the right way, too. You showed her the aspects that would benefit her, not just the leather and dungeon stuff. In time, she may come to enjoy those things as well.
I am always amazed at the way men will date and actually marry women who are totally sexually incompatible with them. It seems to me to be a horrible folly. Yet countless men fall into this trap.

Yeah, well, the first part had to be done or I was going to have what they used to call "a nervous breakdown." I was not sleeping, was depressed, and felt physically ill most of the time. We'd had a long period in our marriage in which I could not even discuss vanilla sex, let along anything else. It took a separation and more before we could at least begin to discuss things.

But that's not the point I wanted to make today. Rather, I wanted to address the second part - the concept that so many of us end up with incompatible partners.

Personally, I think that hardly anyone considers their partner to be "incompatible" when they meet and date for a while. Some people manage to hit it off well right from the start, and can discuss their feelings and interests with regard to sex. Others need to feel more secure in their relationship as a whole; lest we forget, sex is not the entirety of our relationship, that's why we see so many couples with incompatible sex lives who are still together.

I think that many people believe that the initial excitement of dating will last forever, and so never give much thought to the eventual leveling off of libido. And some for some people, that libido will drop off fairly quickly into the relationship - but often after their partner is satisfied that their level is sufficient enough. If the five-times per week part of the relationship lasts for a few months, the partner with the higher libido will assume that things are going to be fine, and may in fact interpret a once-per-week spell as simply a setback, and not as the natural level. It's a constant subject of study for psychologists to understand why it seems that the security of marriage or long-term partnering seems to lead to a drop in frequency.

But people with kink leanings have one other obstacle to overcome: if they are embarrassed by or do not understand their own desires, then it will be difficult to bring them up for discussion with a partner. Worse, if they they have attempted discussion and were met with a real or imagined negative reaction from their partner, then it will be even more difficult for them to bring it up the next time.

Unfortunately, Western culture has a schizophrenic attitude about sexuality; we treasure it highly, but find it difficult to discuss because we're taught that it's impolite. Often, we lack even the syntax with which to discuss even the basics, let alone anything kinky. How often do you hear adults describe their genitals in terms of "down there" instead of using actual words? How many euphemisms do we have for various sex acts? And how many of those euphemisms are couched in language that is sarcastically humorous or downright degrading? Booty call? Doing the nasty? Parking the sausage bus in tuna town?

Ugh. Have any of us really progressed beyond Junior High School?

So here we have:
a) people who feel embarrassed to discuss their sexuality,
b) people who don't have the terminology to discuss their sexuality,
c) people who don't have enough sex drive to even want to discuss their sexuality.

Makes you wonder why we have so many couples who actually do so well at it.

Since I spend a lot of time reading relationship blogs, I run across interesting perspectives on couples who are mis-matched. I found this on Unsolicited Advice, one of the (seemingly) several dozen blogs by Digger Jones. While not specifically targeted for the kink-inclined, this brings up some good points that should not be overlooked.

Top 10 Ways of Identifying a LL Partner

Here's my TOP 10 ways to identify a Low Libido (LL) person...

First off, the odds of landing a LL guy or a guy who will have a substantial low libido problem at some point in your relationship is about 20%, which is way higher than most folks think. This is based on some of the research I've read. Sorry I don't have the citations, but check the Journal of Marital and Family Counseling for starters.

FYI, the odds of landing a similarly LL wife (or one that will turn out LL) for the guys is 60% based on the same research. Give or take 5%.

While predicting who is and who isn't going to be LL is difficult, I have seen some common themes from being on the low libido board for 5+ years. A Low Libido (LL) person typically:

1. Has no time or inclination towards sexual topics, items or subjects. This could be porn, lingerie, certain T.V. shows, books, pictures, etc. It does nothing for them, or precious little. If this is true for your guy, beware. Double beware if they are turned-off and disgusted by any or all of the above. Porn is controversial, but guys are generally more accepting and responsive.

2. Has no sexual fantasies. This is huge and consistent. Most of us, when we ask our LL spouses what their sexual fantasies are, they report that they don't really have any. Or have very few or something very tame, like sex in a water bed or something. Not all fantasies have to come true (like three-somes) but sexually healthy people do have fantasies and have them on a regular basis. They don't have to work on thinking about sex. To a high libido person, thinking and fantasizing are as natural as gravity.

3. Thinking, talking and having sex is a chore. Generally, LL folks lose energy when they have to relate on a sexual level, and they tire of it easily and quickly. HL generally gain energy as the level of sexual tension increases. Sex increases the well-being of people with high sexual thresholds, and not having sex bothers and hurts them on many, many levels.

4. Low libido people are generally easily and quickly satiated. Read an article below concerning LL from a sensory integration framework for more detail. In a nutshell, after having sex, the LL person will be satisfied for a longer period of time. They get irritated in a major way if they just finish having sex (meaning it was just an hour, a day, a week or even a month ago) and their partner tries to initiate again too soon. For HL folks, the more they have, the more they seem to want.

5. The LL person will generally have more boundaries and limitations on sexual practices. There are a slew of us on here who have partners who refuse to have oral sex with us. Some are okay with giving and more are okay with receiving, but it is almost universal that our LL partners will have some aversion to oral sex in some way. Or in any way, as in the case with my DW. The absence of variety and kinkiness may relate to the dearth of a fantasy life for LL people. 69ing is not a regular component of the menu for any of us HL CL folks.

6. Kissing. There are a bunch of us who have partners who refuse to give us open-mouthed or long, deep, passionate kisses. If your fiance isn't looking for your tonsils (in apparent sexual frustration) I'd be concerned. But that's just me.

7. Initiating. This is also a sore spot, as most HL people on this board complain that if they don't initiate, nothing is going to happen. Or they have given up, simply because they have been turned down so often. The LL partner generally initiates on an infrequent basis, if at all.

8. Talking about sex is different. The LL partner generally talks about "giving it up" or "giving the person sex" or "giving in", and refers to the other partner as the one "getting it" as in "I just gave you some (last month), and I can't believe you are interested in getting it again!" While the HL person may use similar language, such as "Pleeeze?! Can I pleeeeze have a little somethin'?" They are more likely to refer to it as a shared experience. The HL partner's fantasy includes being with someone who truly enjoys being with them, finds them sexually exciting, really, really wants to jump their bones and responds with lust, desire and passion. All of these components indicate a more shared experience from the HL standpoint. Our partners frequently view it from the standpoint of enduring it and wanting to get it over with.

9. Sex is not worth the effort. Often there are many obstacles to having sex, including work, schedules, physical stress, children, intramarital tensions and other factors that make sex a goal that seems far away. For the LL person, there is a very finite amount of energy that should be expended towards sex. If there are conflicts or obstacles, sex quickly gets put on the back burner. Circumstances sometimes warrant this, but the HL partner will almost always find ways of overcoming or working around these obstacles. The LL person will allow circumstances control and ultimately crowd out time, energy or thoughts of sex. They are often too tired for sex. The HL is more often too tired of NOT having sex!

10. Hostility towards discussing the topic. Generally, the LL folks regard having to discuss the clashing libido issue as pressure, which leads to #9. They will generally avoid the subject and definitely avoid discussing the problem or deny that there is one at all. Included in this is shifting responsibility back to the other partner. The problem should be a shared concern, not just a matter of fixing one person or the other. Chances are, both partners have contributed and both need to be involved in mending the relationship.

============

I don't have much to add to this, except to say that it's easy to see how some of these items apply in relationships in which there is a kink imbalance. Particularly appropriate is item No. 5 - if your partner tends to avoid conversations about introducing kink to your relationship, or in fact becomes openly hostile, then that should be a large red flag. I would even suggest that subtle attempts to make you feel ashamed or embarrassed, such as referring to BDSM as “sick” or “perverted”, or affecting scorn at the idea, or referring to the desires as “your problem” are also signs that your partner will likely maintain that attitude when you are long into the “comfort and security” part of your relationship.




* The title of the post refers to a joke in an old "Beverly Hillbillies" episode.
Uncle Jed Clampett was describing why the did not need a sophisticated alarm system back on the farm, and explained to Mr. Drysdale that it was the "Incompatible Defense." When questioned by the banker, Jed answered "If you come in to pat the bull, then you is going out over dee fence!"

Okay, it was funny when I was eight.

Friday, October 27

When Someone You Love is Kinky - 3

I've been writing on the period in our marriage when I finally explained to my wife that I could no longer keep some of my desires for kink and other sexual intimacy buried. At the time I was writing extensively in various web groups, and I was surprised at the amount of email that I received not merely from fellow group members, but from people I didn't even know. The messages were both supportive and questioning, with a number of men (and some women) asking me how I managed to work up the courage to tell her, and if I had any tips to pass along. When you think about it, this is both funny and sad - how many people consider a person with only a single experience to be an expert?

This is from a conversation a few weeks after I made the post that I quoted in my last article:

"I read your "Kinky - Part Two" message today. I'm happy for you. Can you provide specifics that finally led you to giving the book to your wife? Before and after scenarios I guess. I've been married for 12 years and I just can't get my wife to understand some of my needs sexually. I'd really like to know more detail about what you communicated and what she has delivered and how you made it all happen."

My response:

I'm not sure how much info I can give that will be useful. That is, I don't know what your marital situation is, but my wife and I were separated for almost a year, and she knew that I might not come back. It's not just a kink thing that caused the rift, either, but sexuality issues were certainly in there.

On my part, I explained that there were several "pillars" that supported my life, and that I was in a position in which none of them were working. In no particular order, I counted Sexuality, Intimacy, Finances, Career, and Lifestyle. You can see how they'd all be related somewhat, and I pointed out that if two or three of them were in working condition, then I might have been able to get by; but in the latter part of our marriage I felt as if none of them were okay. We hadn't had any intimacy in so long that she'd actually forgotten what I was talking about when I told her that it was missing. Sexuality was a big issue for me, and because we didn't have the intimacy with which to discuss it, that made it loom much larger than it needed to be. The lack of intimacy also led to poor communication about our lifestyle and the spending that seemed to go along with it, which impacted my career choice.

Are you with me so far?

All that being said, I think that you're really asking for some tips on how to get your wife to understand your needs. How intimate are you already? Can you talk frankly and openly about what turns you on? Do you go out of your way to do things that you know that she likes? Do you even know what she likes? Sometimes it's so sad to realize that after a dozen years, a couple of kids, and a whole bunch of things in between that we are still living with a stranger.

FWIW, I told my wife that I've had these desires since I was a preteen, and that I've always had some mental component that I've added to sex. Not necessarily a fantasy, more like mentally setting a tone or a mood or atmosphere. I asked her to read this particular book. There are others, of course, depending on what your ideas are. Since my kinks tend mostly toward female domination, I pointed her to websites that I thought were good and basic, not wanting to scare the hell out of her. www.akashaweb.com is very good; a little cluttered, but I cribbed her "Good Girl's Guide to Female Domination", and printed it out along with pages from several other sites. She read those after she read "Someone... Kinky", but in the middle of reading, she and I were already talking.

On her end, she decided that if it was that big a part of my life, she would at least invest some time in trying to understand it. To her credit, she didn't "turn off" or dismiss the web images and readings as sick, perverted, or try to impose some kind of moral judgment on the activities (which she had done in the past). That being said, I also didn't make any demands on her to do anything more than listen. I told her several times that I wasn't even sure what I expected from her at this point, I only wanted to tell her what I was feeling and then we'd take it from there.

Now, understand that if you believe, as I do, that our sexuality is "wired" into us, some women are just going to have a more difficulty than others in understanding, let alone accepting this. Wiring, cultural mores, public opinion, religious upbringing, attitudes of friends and family, etc., will all have an impact on how your wife (and you, yourself) are going to both perceive things, and to integrate them. My wife didn't rush out to get that leather catsuit, but she was able to integrate certain aspects into her general persona.

Here's something that came out in conversation with her: She often felt "pressured" to have sex, even though I don't ever remember having done so. She used to get upset if I'd snuggle her or kiss her neck while she was cooking or reading or something. For some reason, she interpreted any affection as a signal for sex, so the more (gently) affectionate I tried to be, the more she felt pressured. She's trying to get over that feeling now, and she's using some of what she now knows about me to help. Would she like a warm oil massage a half hour before bed, without feeling pressured to have sex? No problem. Foot rub? Shoulder rub? A glass of wine? Coming right up, dear. See, we're "playing" with the idea that I'll do things for her with a guarantee that she'll never have to feel pressured, that she is, in fact, now in complete control of that situation. So for her, this works because it takes the sense of pressure out of the equation, for me, it works because I can add components that mesh with my kinks. For example, I used to say that foreplay could be a 24/7 arrangement. Now it is, because I never know when she'll want to have sex, but that doesn't stop me from being affectionate and intimate, and for her, it's a thrill to keep me guessing as to when she'll want it, but she's certainly enjoying the attention.

I'm not sure if this is any help to you; there wasn't any one thing that I remember saying that made it come together for her, I suspect that she herself has a few kinks and what we're doing just seemed to mesh well. If you remember some of my previous writings, there were any number of times that I've tried to get her to understand where I was on sexuality, and she just didn't seem to "get it". So why now? I don't know. Neither does she. I'm not going to spend much time trying to analyze that though, instead, we're going to focus on how to keep our new model of communication open and functioning so that it doesn't happen again.

The only thing that I can add is that you'll need to talk more intimately with your wife, perhaps for a few months. Consider therapy, if need be. And keep in mind that you've got some kind of ideas that you've been carrying around in your head for years, but she doesn't, so you've got to find some way to present them as something that will push her buttons.

Monday, October 16

The Curious Incident of the Blog in the Night

The storm over the disappearance and apparent hijacking of Candace's blog "Woman Rules Roost" has abated and now that Candace seems to have resurfaced on the FLR forums, the blogworld will eventually forget the tempest in a teapot - partly because the virtual world has a short memory, if not attention span; and partly because some of us are not going to dwell on our theories explaining her abandonment of not only herblog , but of the FLR/Femdom community. I confess to having had my own ill-founded explanation that proved just as wrong as the idea that she was masquerading as either another blogger, a man, or an academic researcher. Frankly, I'm glad that she proved to be just a person who realized that she was losing the focus on the relationship while letting the blog itself direct her attentions.

But that said, I don't really want to write about Candace or her blog per se. Oh, I did want to a couple of weeks ago, but social obligations, marriage and family life, and the bete noir of actually needing to run a business have kept me from writing much of anything in the last month except a few sparse comments on other blogs. But since her reported appearance (and I want to note that I am not a member of that forum, but do not have any reason to doubt the several people who have purported to have read her posts), I've taken a step back to think about not Candace herself, but about the overall phenonemon. In the last three months I've seen posts and articles about Candace in which the tone has ranged from the high praise usually reserved for poet laureates, to outright scorn. She's moving too quickly along the Femdom road to be real. She's moving too slowly. She's a model for all other women. She's not a true domme. She should cuckold her husband. She's obviously monogamous. She should put him in chastity. She should deny him sexually. Etc., etc.

Even more interesting have been the comments I've read since her blog was hijacked after a couple of weeks of inactivity. "Textual integrity" and "emotional realism" are the ones that have stuck in my mind over the last couple of weeks, probably as a result of some misspent youthful years in graduate school where such terms were bandied about regularly over late-night coffees. Additionally, a number of people who had probably not given it much thought suddenly found themselves wondering if they'd been duped or somehow cheated; as if a well-written blog implied a certain trust that had been shattered. Furthermore, the growing attitude of doubtfulness about her "reality" spawned a question that I don't think anyone really asked:

What does it really matter?

While a few of us in the virtual world may interact with others in real life, the overwhelming majority of us will never see, hear, taste or touch one another. We are all real only in the virtual sense; and because the blogging and forum worlds are still essentially a print, i.e., textual medium, then we all have the "reality" of Madame Bovary, "O", or by way of further example, Sherlock Holmes. That is, without any physical attributes to consider, we - out of expediency or otherwise - invest a certain amount of emotional reality into all of our online acquaintances. I don't, however, see this as necessarily a bad thing overall. We, as a culture, have always imbued characters - real, historic, or literary - with qualities and characteristics that we ourselves idealize. We identify with them, or sometimes with the people who interact with them; but we process the stories about them with the assumption that they could be alive, perhaps sitting next to us.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories as serials in the Strand magazine for almost fifteen years. He grew tired of the detective stories, believing that they kept him from more serious endeavors, and so arranged to "kill" Holmes in an encounter with arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. Immediately, he and the magazine were flooded with angry letters from people who were appalled, hurt, saddened by the "death" of so great a man. One woman wrote, calling him, Doyle, a "murderer." Yes, on one hand it would be easy to dismiss this as the cognitive dissonance of the clueless, but who among us hasn't had similar - albeit lesser - emotional reactions to books or films? Anyone who has read "The Yearling" or "Old Yeller" as a child must remember the sad scenes even today. Likewise, we've all probably seen films with very positive or upbeat endings which found us leaving the theaters feeling energized and motivated. At no time do we stop ourselves in the action to remind ourselves, "Oh, it's only a movie, there's no point in feeling anything."

Over the last several months people - us - left comments on Candace's blog, read and responded to comments she left on other blogs, and even discussed her, her blog, and her relationship in our own blogs. We acted as if she were real, because to us - the FLR/Femdom blogging world - she was real. As far as I know, up until a few weeks ago nobody suggested that she - or anyone else, for that matter - was actually a grad student working on a project, or that WRR really was being written by other well- or lesser-known bloggers . Then suddenly a mysterious disappearance and we feel... what? After reading some of the discussions and comments, for some reason I'm reminded of a passage from an old Kurt Vonnegut novel in which the author writes something like, "The people, having been promised nothing, felt cheated, having received nothing."

I will admit to being sad, and maybe a little frustrated that Candace completely took the blog down. It is my contention that while there are plenty of resources for people already involved with the BDSM community, there are precious few that address the needs of those balancing on the edge of vanilla and peering over into the abyss. Woman Rules Roost is - was - one of the few examples of a woman writing about her own experience and exploration as she tries to make sense of an alternative sexuality, and indeed begins to come to grips with the concept of taking her own pleasure out of doing so, instead of merely catering to the whims of her partner.

Most of the blogs that I've read are written from perspective of the male submissive or bottom - perhaps because a desire to "submit" to pain, humiliation, orgasm denial, or other sexual domination seems to run counter to what we perceive as "normal" (or at least, "typical") in our culture. I have also noticed that virtually any woman who blogs or posts to other forums populated by submissive men almost immediately will gain following, including half a dozen men who will ask her how they might get their own wife to be more dominant . I've often wondered about the economics of this, as it seems that there are many more submissive men than there are dominant women.

Regardless, there are all too few resources for couples wishing to explore these avenues that are written in a fashion that allows the readers to feel safe and comfortable. Candace offered up an example of D/s that was very safe; a Femdom "lite"; and for those who read her somewhat introspective tales, one developed the "feeling" that she was a real person. It was easy to imbue her with an emotional reality because she had qualities that one could easily imagine in one's self. Real or not, with the demise of Woman Rules Roost, there is now one less resource, and those of us on that vanilla edge are that much more diminished.

Tuesday, September 26

LFA = Loving Fundie Authority

I've been reading over some of the messages from several of the mailing lists and web groups that focus on certain aspects of D/s, notably the groups dealing with chastity and orgasm control. I've mentioned that over the last several years this has become one of my interests, although I'm not quite sure how it happened. Anyway, I and several others are usually on hand to answer some of the more technical questions that, er, arise.

Over the last couple of years, I have noticed that there is a certain class of response (or perhaps better to say a class of respondent) that shows up, usually right after a newbie voices a concern about wearing a device. I used to ignore this particular class of response, but lately I seem to see them popping up all over - and not specifically in the chastity groups. I'm not sure if this is a new thing, or if they have always been there and I'm simply noticing it more because it's similar to that phenonemon in which, for example, after you buy a red car you suddenly notice just how many red cars are on the road.

Let me give a more specific example. I recently read a message from someone who had introduced his girlfriend to the CB3000, and they've been playing with it on and off for several months. He wears it on weekends, or sometimes at work for a day or so, maybe up to several days at a time. She removes it and they have sex, and maybe she'll put it back on, or wait a day or maybe until later in the week. In other words, it's a new thing for them and they have been having a good time playing.

Now, he writes, she's suddenly getting really into it and wants him to wear it 24/7; she has told him that he might have to go for a week or two without orgasm, and that she'd like to work him up to going a month or more. He's nervous; like a lot of men, he's pretty well accustomed to several orgasms a week, either with a partner or not. He is worried about wearing the device 24/7 for both technical and emotional reasons. The technical problems - keeping it clean, getting used to the 4 a.m. erections, using it at work - are fairly easy to deal with, more so because he'd already been using the device.

More of a problem, though, is the emotional roller coaster that ensues when one chooses to allow another to make all of the sexual decisions. While he's happy that his girlfriend is taking an active role in their sex life, he's concerned about how he'll cope with the frustration. What if she gets "too far" into this? He's never been more than a few days without an orgasm, how will he manage to cope with a week or more? What if she makes him go two months? What if she doesn't remove the cage at all? How will he be able to control his frustration?

Now, these concerns are typical for people into this particular lifestyle, understandably so. He was asking, quite simply, "How do I cope with the emotions of excitement and frustration as I turn over this portion of my sexuality to my girlfriend?" Yet some of the responses posted to his message were, in my opinion, particularly unhelpful. Typical replies were comments like:

"You don't get any say in this, it's all your girlfriend's decision."
"Just get used to it and be thankful you get to lick her pussy."
"You're just a lowly male and should not be questioning the wisdom of the SUPERIOR FEMALE."
"Why are you even asking? You should never have any say in being released."
"Your desires don't count anymore, it's all about what SHE wants."
"Think you're complaining now? What are you going to do when she throws away the key and cuckolds you with other studs?"

At first, I just blew those remarks off as probably coming from the Clueless Subbie Types that don't have their own partners. But then I began to look at this type of response from a different perspective; taken one at a time they were easy to dismiss, but when seen in a group they presented a different message:

"That's the way it is."
"Your desires are not important."
"Who are you to question authority?"

Where have I heard those messages before? The first thing that came to mind was hearing this message at church; God wants you to do (or not do) this. Don't ask questions, just give yourself over. Of course, I've also heard that message as a youngster in school, at various jobs, and from both major political parties. It's the war cry of the Fundamentalist.

While it would be easy to pick on religious fundies, the fact is that virtually every interest group seems to develop a cadre of those who prefer to see strict adherence to seemingly endless sets of rules - and the more rules, the better. And while it would also be easy to pick on the Gor groupies, at least they let you know right up front that they have all sorts of rules. No, the fundies that worry me are the ones who have a set of rules made up only in their own heads and can't understand why everyone else is not following the same script.

As I went back to read those unhelpful responses to various other messages, a pattern began to emerge. Apparently, in the Fundamentalist Femdomme world all men are inferior creatures, and all WOMEN (note the capital letters - that's always an important clue) are SUPERIOR to men in every way and men should learn their place. But some other rules emerge as well:
Men should never be allowed an orgasm, unless at the permission of the SUPERIOR FEMALE and usually by some painful and/or humiliating methods. Orgasm inside a SF is to be a rare and appreciated gift. Oral sex is the preferred manner for men to give pleasure to the SF, and should never be reciprocated. Oh, and men should be made to wear women's underwear to add to their daily humiliation - although I can't seem to understand why wearing the apparel of the SUPERIOR partner would be humiliating. But that's a topic for another day.

In other words, if you want to play in the "kinky" or the "femdom" sandbox, then it's all or nothing.

I don't understand what causes people to be attracted to fundamentalism, nor do I understand the motivation to impose these viewpoints on people who are obviously not playing in the same sandbox, let alone in the same game. In my earlier example, here we have a young couple that is obviously having a good time playing together; I can't even imagine what he must have thought in reading those kinds of responses to his concerns.

Even more interesting, and in retrospect perhaps a bit disturbing, is that nobody called these Femdom Fundies to task for their responses. Nobody said "Hey, lighten up, he's a newbie," or Dude, chill out - they're just getting started," or even "It's nice that you have your desires, but please don't impose your kinks on someone else."

I didn't call them on it, either, and I confess that until very recently the thought to do so hadn't even occurred to me. I now wonder how many people, new to either a BDSM lifestyle or simply new to some kind of kink play have read the various "Thou shalt not" pronouncements and thought to themselves how strange that a group that is outside of the "vanilla mainstream" mirrors some of the worst qualities of that world.

Friday, September 15

When Someone You Love is Kinky - 2

This is the second part in a series, describing how I finally brought out my desires and thoughts on kink to my wife, and some of the ways in which it affected our relationship.

What follows is an reworked version of something written for another group, but which seems particularly appropriate to post here. This took place about three years ago, several months after my previous article. We had been in couples therapy for about eight months at the time this was written.

Four or five months ago, I had brought up that I wanted to give Janet Hardy's book to my wife, but I had some concerns that she would use this kind of information as leverage in visitation with my daughter (we'd been separated for the better part of a year). Over the last couple of months, we've been able to get a lot of the issues on the table, including certain issues about trust. I brought up my concerns about her using my desires for some kink and other "sexual creativity" against me in that respect, and it's led to some good conversations.

A few weeks ago, we realized that we were at a point in counseling where we were kind of stuck. I admitted in therapy that I have some issues that I've been hesitant to bring up, and since I really hate it when somebody drops a bomb and just sits there, I figured that I should do something about it. So that weekend, I arranged a sitter and we went out for dinner. We had a nice time, went back to my apartment for a bit, and finally I bit down on the bullet and came out with it.

I explained that I couldn't do the plain vanilla routine any longer, that there were things that I had fantasized about for a long time but have had to keep buried, and how much living a secret life inside my head has affected our relationship. I gave her the book, having highlighted some sections that I thought were relevant.

To her credit, she didn't freak; instead she took a moment to digest things, and I allowed her to ask me questions on that subject. First, she said that she knew that it was something huge that I was about to drop on her, and she had been wondering if
I was going to tell her that I was gay. Then we got into the serious questions. She asked if it meant that I expected to dress in leather all the time, if I liked pain, did I want to involve other people, animals, or what. In other words, she pretty much brought up all of the stereotypes that are constantly displayed in the movies and on TV. I was sweating like crazy by this time, and I did my best to answer things as openly and as honestly as possible.

For the next few days, we talked. And talked. And then talked some more. For me, it was a huge relief to finally get that off my chest, and I answered all questions and pointed her toward as much web information as I could find (I had already marked some of the "softer" femdommish sites, along with other kink information). On her part, she took some initiative and checked out some of the web resources listed in the back of the book, something that I didn't think that she would actually do on her own. Finally, she asked me if she should take a knot-tying course, and after a good laugh we started to get into some serious discussions as to what it meant for the relationship as a whole. As a good part of my kink runs to D/s and female dominant fantasies, I copied several excellent web sites and printed them out for her to read. She took some time to try to understand why I like certain things, quite different from a year or two ago when she was dismissive, if not downright critical. She told me how she felt about things, and I gave her every opportunity to discuss her concerns.

Understand that this talking did not all take place in one night, nor even in one week. This was several weeks of talking between work and children and other social responsibilities. We made as much time as possible to talk, though, which was important to me because for years I had been the one to complain that we never had any intimate time. And I want to stress that probably for the first time since we were married I felt as if she was actually interested in what I had to say, and she really seemed to work hard at trying to understand what I was trying to say. I covered more than just sex, of course, but I tried to express everything in the context of needing a different way to relate, both sexually and intimately.

One night, we were in the middle of making love, and we talked about sexual things - turn-ons, scenes, likes, dislikes, etc., when my wife began to open up and describe something that we had done a few years back that used to push her "hot" button; and for reasons she couldn't explain, even though she enjoyed it in the past, she had always felt hesitant to bring it up again. On my part, since she never brought it up, I figured that she was politely avoiding the issue so as not to embarrass me. As we talked about it, it seemed that it could be a nice introduction into D/s play for both of us. It involved a little bit of equipment (always a turn-on for me), and it involved her taking some control over me (something that turned her on), and something that could be done discreetly enough so that she could ease into it to see if she felt comfortable with the idea. Sounded like a win-win scenario to both of us at the time.

And that's how the next day found me wearing a chastity device.

It was something that I had built several years earlier, having seen pictures of some bulky contraptions on several other websites. Since I own a small machine shop, it was fairly easy for me to build something more customized. We used it several times for anywhere from a long weekend to a couple of weeks, but we never talked about what we were doing or how we were feeling about it, and never went back to discuss what we thought after a period was finished. On my part, since most other discussion about sex seemed to be met with disinterest, I figured that it was just some quirk of hers, and was always too embarrassed to bring it up again. She still can't describe why she wouldn't bring it up herself.

We played with it for a day or two, and in the course of talking, I mentioned that there was a new model on the market (the CB3000 had just come out a few months earlier). She looked at the website and decided that we needed to order one. I got a little embarrassed and explained that I'd already bought one a couple of months earlier, just because it seemed like such a cool thing. It was back at my apartment, where I'd wear it at night or on weekends. "You've got to go get it," she said, and the next day I picked it up after work and showed her how it worked. She seemed thrilled, and kept touching the device, even after it was on.

Suffice it to say that the entire concept of taking control of my/our sex life became a huge turn-on for her, and since then she's been almost insatiable about it. In fact, it's been working so well for her, and she seems to be enjoying herself so much that I have stopped asking if she's going along for my benefit, and started wondering if she's going to outpace me. I'm sure that this won't last, but I'm enjoying the little honeymoon period for now.

That being said, we both understand that there are other issues in our relationship that may not work out quite so easily, however we also understand that we can approach those kinds of issues in the same manner: by being honest and not assuming that the other is thinking or wanting something without checking it out first.

I'm sure that there's a lesson here someplace...

Now, I know that there are quite a few readers who have been in circumstances similar to mine, and who have questions about my wife and I handled this. Understand that I do not believe that everyone would respond in the same way. However, I do want everyone to understand that, especially in a relationship of five, ten, twenty years, that your partner has as much at stake in the relationship as you do!

Go back and read that again. I think that most of us - myself included - have (or have had) a very difficult time understanding this point. We've invested a lot of time and energy into our relationship, which is often whey we're afraid to bring up kink in the first place: we're afraid that in doing so we risk losing the love of our partner. Worse, I think that some people begin to believe that their partner will be all too ready to toss five or even twenty-five years of a relationship out the window; and what holds them back from explaining their desires to their partner is the fear that their partner really doesn't care enough to accept them.

That's a horrible thought to live with, isn't it?

No matter what you think her (or his) reaction will be, once you've finally gotten over the fear of talking about your desires and concerns, it's possible that you will discover that your partner loves you enough to accept those things in you. And if they can't accept them, then it's better for your own mental health to get on with dealing with the solid facts, rather than the ambiguous and indeterminate fears.