TMI Tuesday: Maintenence

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No, not these pegs.

1. When was the last time you changed your windshield wipers? Should they be changed now?
Over the Summer. They don’t need changing. They’re still functioning like new.

2. When was the last time you got a haircut or your hair ends trimmed?
It’s been years. For a very long time I was not allowed to get my hair cut. Now that I can if I so choose, my thought process is “Meh, it’s been fine all this time. Why bother?”

3. When was the last time you changed the HVAC filter in your home? Check it now.
I don’t have a forced air system. This does not apply to my house.

4. Is your car due for an oil change? When was the last time you had this done?
Nope. I had it done over the Summer and have another 1k-ish miles to go.

5. Check your fun gauge–When is the last time you did something truly fun with a loved one?
Uhm, yeah …. it’s been way too long. I had the thought last night that I would go buy one of those adult coloring books that are so trendy right now because I needed to do something fun. I stopped myself and thought “Are you really that desperate?” The answer is yes. Yes, I am. Desperation level: Coloring book.

6. When is the last time you tried something new sexually? What was it? Did you like it enough to repeat it?
Hmm … this is an excellent question. It’s been a solid 4 months (and possibly a bit longer). I tried, and loved, pegging. Yes, that will absolutely be happening again and again and again.

Bonus: How do you nourish the connection between you and your loved ones? (parents, kids, significant other, best friend)
I am horrid at relationship maintenance of any kind. I get a passing grade with significant others. Family and friends? Not so much. As a result I have far fewer connections to maintain than I used to.

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How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on the TMI blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

On Brats and Bratiness

Recently there was a post on fet, written by a 40 year old male Dom, the topic of which was bratty submissives. For those who do not have fet accounts I’ll nutshell it for you: The OP does not want “blind obedience” and therefore he finds brats exciting. He goes on to say that they should brat with commitment, like it matters.

I’m going on record here: Brats piss me off. When I was a dedicated submissive I did not practice blind obedience AND I was not a brat. Shockingly, (#sarcasm) those are not the only two options. I was required to question my Master. I was required to respectfully speak my mind. See that word “respectfully”? That’s my issue with bratiness. It smacks of lack of respect.

I worked incredibly hard to always be respectful, to always obey, to always honor my commands, to complete tasks correctly and in a timely fashion. For outsiders, I appeared to be a model submissive who carried herself with grace and confidence. In my mind and, within the intimacy of my dynamic, I did not always succeed. In fact, if I’m being honest, despite my best efforts, for a whole bunch of reasons, I wasn’t a very good submissive. Though it was certainly not for lack of trying.

In my current dynamics, I expect my submissive/bottom to be respectful in all things. They consent to be submissive. I am not forcing them to do as I say. They have consented to relinquish their power to me. This is true for both a one hour scene or a long-term power exchange. I am not going to battle for obedience. By agreeing to be my submissive, regardless of duration, the individual has agreed to obey me.

Let’s face it, realistically, most of my bottoms outweigh me by at least 100 pounds. If they do not wish to obey me there is very little I can do to make them. I can punish them for disobedience, sure. Again, they have to allow it. I cannot physically force them to be still and take it. It’s just not possible.

My only true recourse is to revoke my domination. I am in charge. I will listen to your input with the same intent you afford me. I may not always change my directive. Obey me or I will not play with you. Period.

“May I” Those two words prefacing any statement, concept, idea, question, immediately make clear that the one saying them understands they have something to say and they must ask permission to say it, in a respectful manner.

I don’t want anyone doing something I ask blindly. It is entirely possible there is a valid reason why they should not be doing it. Any submissive/bottom in my care is welcome to speak up. My only requirement is that they do it with respect.

The Universe Speaks

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I don’t do change. Well, ok, I do but I would much rather not. I have always been an individual who desires order, schedules, plans, and routine to the point of ritual. For breakfast every weekday, I arrange 21 mini-wheat biscuits in four rows of five, frosting side up if you please, with the final square in the center of the bowl, milk poured down the side of the bowl so the arrangement is not disturbed. Rigid order. This is how I begin most of my days.

When I first joined fetlife and was prompted to select a status, I scoffed at “evolving”. Really? I thought, Isn’t that just another word for ‘I have absolutely no idea’? As it so often does, my scoffing has come home to roost. (Pardon my mixed metaphor.) Here I am, some 4ish years later, evolving. It is gut wrenching. Emotionally, it is perhaps the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, and that is including divorce.

The role with which I have always identified has turned out to be a fragment of who I am, not the whole of myself as I had I thought. Additionally I, who until very recently had never struck another person in any context, have discovered that I enjoy hurting people. I want to leave my horribly beautiful marks on their bodies. I want to beat them with a variety of implements and cover them with inky bruises.

I recently made someone cry during an impact play scene. A first for me. I find crying to be disturbing. I want to make whoever is crying feel better. I want to comfort them. Or so I thought. When this bottom of mine began to cry, I checked in on their well being, asking if they wanted to stop while saying to myself pleasesaynopleasesaynopleasesayno over and over. The bottom did say no. They said it in a way that made me think they really wanted to say yes but did not want to disappoint me. I ceased play based on my gut, rather than their words, and began my cool down routine quietly bringing them back to center.

I have been having a tough time with these discoveries of self. I fought this part of me for an extremely long time. It got to the point that I could no longer lock it away. Now that it’s out, I decided to give it free reign. I have recently embraced this me. I have stopped constantly asking why and what’s wrong with me, and have started working on accepting. I don’t fully know how to reconcile the joy I get from causing pain with being a good person. It has been particularly difficult this week, as plans long talked about are coming to fruition with the speed of a runaway train.

With all of this on my mind, I logged into my reader tonight, looking for distraction, and found Thumper also speaking of change. Within his post were words I desperately needed to hear:

I think we need to allow ourselves as people to change more than we do. To see that in some ways our sexualities are fixed but the way we express them is more fluid. We need to not feel guilt for feeling the way we do if it’s different than “normal” or how we’ve been identifying for years. We will always be left- or right-handed, but we will not always draw with a crayon or write with a fountain pen or paint with a brush.

We are so much more complicated than we allow ourselves to believe and capable of so much more variety and experience than we’re aware. We should embrace that, not bury it. We should revel in it, not feel shame. …

Today, I am a different person than I was yesterday. Tomorrow, I will be a different person than I am today. I am going to work on dancing to the rhythm of who I am today, instead of trying to recall the music of yesterday.

Play is not (always) a euphemism for sex

There is a bit of a hubub brewing on fet about a post that suggested playing with someone is not the same as having sex with them and, therefore, was/is just fine in the context of the OP’s monogamous relationship. I came across a splinter discussion, as so often happens in fet land, which continued to explore this idea. The folks in the splinter discussion spoke in absolutes so emphatically that it got me thinking.

Since I began Topping, I have maintained that when I Top, it is not at all sexual for me. I also recognize that my bottoms may feel twitchy in their special place. I’m ok with that. Some of the discussion I read, made the argument that having a scene with someone is “intimate”. (I put that in quotes because it’s what was said, not because I’m being snide, as quotations can sometimes indicate.) I get that a scene can be incredibly intimate. I have a bottom who frequently states that when he scenes with me it is as if we are alone in the dungeon. His focus is entirely on me. It’s just the two of us. He forgets there are people watching. I’ve had that experience as a submissive. I understand entirely what he is saying.

When I Top a casual play partner it is not at all intimate or sexual for me. It is no different than a surgeon and a patient. I am gathering skills. I am deciding how best to apply my scalpel to serve this patient most effectively. (That’s a metaphorical scalpel, by the way. Intentional blood play is a hard limit.) I am instigating reactions. I am assessing pain tolerance. I am monitoring breathing and muscle tension. It is clinical.

I am as straight as they come yet I will Top a female just as readily as I will Top a male. In my community the females tend to be more fleshy. That’s a whole different way of Topping and a lot more real estate with which to cause pain. Fun, fun fun. Yes, please and, no, I will not be penetrating nor interacting with their genitalia. They will have to get their orgasm play elsewhere. It is no more sexual than a surgeon and the gall bladder she is removing.

That being said, I’m having all kinds of fun in the same way a surgeon loves what she does. I thoroughly enjoy finding new ways to cause pain. I love pushing my bottoms to take more than they have previously. I am comforted by knowing that every scene I have makes me a better Top as I gain more experience.

Ethically, I have zero challenges with casually Topping as many people as I possibly can.  If two people are in the same scene, can one have a sexual experience and the other be entirely focused on the mechanics of it? You betcha. Does that mean that the person not having a sexual response is, by association, having sex with the other? Nope. Not any more than the actress on the big screen is having sex with the guy in the tenth row covering his now bulging crotch with the popcorn bucket because my-god-she-has-fabulous-tits. Do I believe those who are monogamous can have multiple platonic play partners and still define themselves as monogamous? Absolutely.

Evolution

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. ~John Wooden

I heard this and thought. Hm. Maybe that’s the issue I’m having with discovering that I have an inner Sadist* It is an assault to my character.

I see myself as a kind, caring, empathetic individual. I’m genuinely concerned when I see others in pain, be it emotional or physical. I have given handouts to pan handlers because I don’t believe I’m here to judge whether they are addicts, mentally ill, or someone who’s had a streak of bad luck. I care. I want to help. When my people are hurting, I hurt. It is important to me that those around me, especially those I love, are happy and comfortable.

Given all of that, imagine my surprise when I realized how much I enjoy inflicting consensual pain. I’m not exaggerating when I say I struggle with it. Last night, during a discussion about that very thing, I made a declarative statement about how much I want to hurt people. Not a remarkable thing to hear in a dungeon space. Quite remarkable for me to say it without first beating back the thought that I’m a horrible person for feeling that way. The fact that I said it, I believe for the first time, without thinking there must be something wrong with me, is significant progress. I almost want that feeling back, that wrongness. Reflecting on this today, I had the feeling that there must be something wrong with me for not thinking something is wrong with me.

Perhaps what is most interesting to me about this evolution of my character, is that I do not now, nor have I ever, believed there is anything wrong with the individual who causes me pain. If I have no concerns about His psyche, or the psyche of anyone who inflicts consensual pain for that matter, then why all the internal hubbub about mine? Why this penchant for casting myself as some evil “other”, as if no one else on the planet shares this hideous, warped trait?

I’m pretty sure it is because sadism* is the polar opposite of who I thought myself to be. It might also be that if I embrace this truth about myself, then there is a fear about what else might be lurking inside, waiting to rear is socially unacceptable head. Am I not already enough of a freak?

Additionally, because I am evolving in a very public manner, my reputation and character are changing in tandem. Because, ya’ know, there isn’t enough pressure when altering the fiber of your being. Let’s add an audience.


*The generally accepted lifestyle definition, not the DSM diagnosis.