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Spanking Discoveries -- After Nine Years

Intimate relationships grow and change -- or else they cease to exist.
Our relationship is different today than it was nine years ago; different than it was a year ago; and we are struggling to learn new patterns and new ways of being together with one another.  Sometimes that is light and funny, and sometimes it is tense and scary.  If we were once certain and sure of our footing with each other, now we are far more tentative.

In these last weeks, as His interest in switching has blossomed, we've spent more time with Him in the role of bottom, and me playing the top.  I can be a very competent top.  I am skilled with a variety of implements, and I do a pretty good job of reading His reactions and responses.  Sometimes, I find that entertaining and interesting.  He is cute; so innocently amazed and intrigued with these new drives and desires -- and simultaneously nervous, anxious, and afraid.  Still, He taunts and teases me; wiggling His cute little Impy butt, and playing the part of the smart alec bottom... until I give Him what He wants -- the threat of a spanking.

For my part, it is no secret that I have struggled in the role of masochistic bottom for the last number of years.  "Wanting it" has been , for me, an "iffy" proposition.  I've wanted to please Him, and wanted to serve, and wanted to submit.  I've even wanted to scratch the itch that only a masochist really understands.  But then, in the face of actual intensity and real pain, I cave more often than not, and break down sobbing, or I bolt and run, or I simply react with anger and frustration and bitterness.  Whatever, it is hard (in those circumstances) to claim that I "want" to be spanked.

So.  He maybe wants to be spanked -- or maybe not.  I maybe want to be spanked -- or maybe not.  Neither of us are sure about our own wants and needs, and we surely aren't sure about the other one.  Once, He would have simply said what He wanted; made the decision, and that would have been that.  Now though, as our lives are shaped by the AA religion, He is careful to be mindful of being powerless, and cautious about trying to control anything -- and that includes me.  Left in a power void, we bob and weave and test the waters.  We negotiate.  It is an agonizing process.

That set of realities made it sweeter this morning when I finally managed to convince Him that I wanted a spanking -- when He finally managed to convince me that He wanted to spank me.  Finding ourselves in accord made the two of us almost giddy as I got myself into place over our favorite spanking pillow.  Those brand new Leather Thorn paddles were, at last, pulled out to be used on me, and I quivered with the anticipation of brand new sensations.

He started right off with the ImpLament paddle, telling me that He thought it was a great warmup toy.  I wasn't entirely sure I agreed with that assessment.  It seemed a bit intense as a beginning, but He used it gently with quick rapid strokes, and I accommodated pretty quickly.

It didn't last long and He switched over to knives, stroking with tips and edges and the flat of the blades.  Different knives are different on my skin.  When I can't see them, my mind tends to focus in on the sensations.  Some are rougher while others are silken smooth as they trace across my back and butt and legs.  One might feel heavy, while a different blade seems springy and flexible.  This morning, for the first time ever, I noticed the temperature of the different knives.  The first one He used on my seemed warm on my skin; as if He'd held it in His hand long enough to raise it to body temperature.  I was entranced.  I don't think I've ever noticed a blade feeling warm before.  The next one was colder, and I really noticed the difference.  Then another -- not quite as chill, but not exactly warm either.  How intriguing!

He traced the cutting with one particularly sharp tip, applying enough pressure to be uncomfortably sharp.  Over the years, that act of tracing those marks on my flesh has had the effect of dropping me into a deeply submissive mindset.  In these last months, I've been very aware of the cutting.  It has been a touchstone through these stormy months -- a permanent, definitive reminder of the commitments made so many years ago.  With very little in the way of external controls, my mind has wrapped itself around the scar lines on my left shoulder blade, and clung to that symbol for dear life.  This morning, He traced it over and over, as if reminding Himself what it was, and I heard myself moan and whimper.  That soft sound wove out of me and around the two of us, and it was as if I could feel us draw closer.

Then He want back to spanking me.  There are two paddles from Leather Thorn -- The Imp Lament, and another that is smaller and a bit stingier.  They aren't very different -- just a little.  He used them both, at the same time, as if He was drumming on my ass.  We've often done two-handed flogging, but I don't think I've ever experienced two-handed paddling, and this was wonderful, fascinating -- breath-taking.  Wow!

He went to using heavier Leather Thorn toys -- that new tawse/paddle thingy, and our old Son of Buster paddle.  And I fussed and gasped and writhed and howled -- and He just went on, pleasing Himself and me too.  Back and forth, and round and round, through the various paddle options -- until my butt was burning hot and stingy.

At some point, I dropped into subspace, and even that experience was different than I remember.  I've always seen the "doorway" to subspace as a bright purple whirlpool of light.  The drop into subspace is like falling into that whirlpool and just spinning away into some other, quieter, softer, more lively place.  Today, as the threshold of subspace swept toward me, it was a deep turquoise blue misty fog, and I felt as if I were standing there allowing it to wash over me.  There was no sensation of being carried away and out of the moment.  Instead, I felt enveloped in something powerful and comforting and warm and safe.  The turquoise cloud made it good to be right where I was.

When it was over, I was happy and loopy.  I was also sexually aroused.  SEXUALLY AROUSED -- me!  He drew me in, and held me close and rocked me softly against His chest.  I smiled and cooed soft noises into His fur, and let Him guide us through the rest of our morning.  It was pure sweet joy.

I've gone through the day with a stingy, tender backside -- and it makes me smile.  I enjoyed a spanking -- as a spanking -- for myself.  And He seemed to enjoy it too.  Whatever we are becoming together, I believe this morning was part of walking that path.  We are learning our way back together.  There are no words for how I feel -- glad, thrilled, ecstatic?  I don't know.  I hope all of you know what I mean.



And Now, a Word from the "REAL" Doctor

He saw His cardiologist yesterday -- a wise and wonderful guy who has worked with Him for years now, and dealt with His heart issues back before He lost so much weight.  The official opinion from the "REAL" doctor:  "Young, hot-shot, primary care doctor was looking at his computer screen and not using his head."   Best guess is that the office bimbo didn't get the leads placed properly (because Himself is VERY, VERY furry), and so the reading showing a heart attack was false.** 


Time to get through this surgery and find a new doctor.  Obviously.

**There is some question about the efficiency of the pumping action of His heart.  That will be checked out more closely this week, and managed as needed -- if needed...  But nothing that should interfere with the shoulder replacement.  So.  We are good to go.



Serious as a ...

Master went this week for His pre-surgical physical in preparation for the shoulder replacement surgery that is scheduled for June 17.  All of us assumed that this would be a relatively pro-forma appointment -- just part of the "getting ready for the main event" folderol.  Imagine our surprise and shock when a routine EKG revealed that He has had a heart attack!  Sometime.  Without any symptoms that any of us can remember.  Apparently, this kind of "silent heart attack" is not that uncommon -- especially with diabetics.

So, now He has an appointment scheduled with His cardiologist on Friday, so that we can see what this is all about and what comes next.  We are in shock, and unsure what all of this will mean for His shoulder replacement.  Clearly, without getting this situation evaluated and managed, the surgery is too risky.  On the one hand, this feels like a huge disappointment, a roadblock, and an aggravation.  On the other hand, I really do believe that it is way better to know about this now rather than having it discovered while He was on the operating table.  Very scary thought...

So Friday will be the beginning of dealing with this latest hurdle.  Sheesh!




The tradition of giving specific anniversary gifts based on the number of years a couple has been married dates back to the Middle Ages.   The practice probably has underlying it a belief in the correspondence of certain luck-bringing substances with a distinct number of years.  "The passing of another year together marks a deepening of the couple's commitment, an accumulation of time irreplaceable. To help in celebrating these occasions are special gifts, one assigned to each anniversary and each with its own material and symbolic value.

Modern day US wedding anniversary celebrations follow their own list of anniversary gifts and symbols, and so it happens that, as Master and I approach the 9th anniversary of the day I arrived here in Cincinnati (June 6), one of the gift options was "leather."

Well.  Friends.  That is a gimme in this household.  Say leather, and there will be BDSM implements.  Of course. 

We buy "toys" from a very limited set of vendors.  Our floggers are all the handiwork of DeTails, and the whips have been purchased from Snakepit and Arturo.  We've got more than just a few of Hanson's paddles, and our restraints are all purchased from Leather by Danny.  It took us a long time to figure out that the only sensible place to buy a cane was from Adam and Gillian's.  We have lots of pieces purchased over the years from Toybag (back before they vanished from the landscape), and in recent years, we've come to appreciate the fine leather work of Leatherthorn.

So, it was just a few days ago that I was gifted with some new Leatherthorn toys... one of which is called (ironically) the Imp Lament.  Since I've taken to calling Himself an "imp," that seems fitting.  There is also an interesting strap-type thing that seems to be some sort of cross between a paddle and a tawse.  Along with the two that He ordered, we received a third, smaller paddle -- sort of as a "try it out and see what you think" kind of nod.

Some pictures:

 We haven't really played with these toys yet.  It is the end of the school year, and I'm exhausted.  He has good days and bad days, and when the recovery related "blues" come over Him, it is less likely that He will be in the mood to play.  So the new toys are here.  I've used that Imp Lament paddle, very lightly, on Him a couple of times, but other than that -- they are pristine, awaiting the day when we will have the time and energy to try them out.



Recovery, BDSM, Codependency, and Polyamory

I am fully aware that, while becoming sober and recovering from alcoholism is the consuming focus in our family at present, it isn't what interests everyone.  So, be forewarned, this post will be related to issues of recovery, sobriety, and codependency as they impact our BDSM and poly lifestyle -- and are impacted by it.  If you don't want to hear about all of that, I'd suggest clicking off to someone else's place.


This week, He passed the four month mark in His journey into sobriety.  For all of us, it has been an intense learning time; a time of healing; a time to understand and recognize the various ways in which each of us has played our part in creating our unique alcoholic family system.  For me, that has meant coming to understand the ways that I am codependent with Him and with T, and learning the skills needed to create a healthier way of relating.

Codependency comes in many forms (and it seems I am really good at most of them):
    • wanting or needing a knight in shining armor to save you from loneliness and the vagaries of life is codependent.
    • Believing that you cannot express your feelings because you will not be accepted by other people is codependent.
    • Assuming that you need to be forever strong and vigilant or your family will fall into crisis and disaster is codependent.
    • Constantly taking care of other people without their consent is codependent.
    • Trying to control others, even if it’s in the name of their best interests, is codependent.
    • Being unwilling or unable to set healthy boundaries or limits for yourself is codependent.
    • Talking yourself into remaining in circumstance that are physically or emotionally abusive is codependent.
I've learned that I really do need to learn so many things.  Here's the not so short list:
  • I am coming to recognize the places where I've wished that my relationships might "save" me and give me security.  There are all sorts of reasons that we create intimate relationships, but I seem to include a "calculation" about the safe harbor factor when I am picking mates.  I did that in entering into my marriage -- and it was an utter disaster.  Then I repeated the same mistake in a different form when I connected with Master.  In a mostly unconscious move, I convinced myself that He would save me from that bad marriage, make life exciting and fulfilling, and finally validate the dark and secret part of me that knew I was sick and wrong and perverse.  I was sure He would always want me, and so I was sure that I'd finally belong somewhere and be safe.  Of course, I never really said any of that to Him or anyone else -- not even to myself.  All of that foolishness is a child's longing, and not the way of loving one expects from an adult woman.  I am learning that I make my own safety.  Through all this turmoil, I've finally come to grips with the fact that I ultimately belong to myself -- after all, none of us can give to another that which we do not possess to begin with. 
  • I've learned that I have to get very much more focused on my communications.  I really need to work at making my views and feelings clear and unambiguous.  I'm fine when I want to express something light or happy or fun, and I can jabber your ears off about things that interest me from an intellectual or academic perspective.  But when I'm conflicted, or experiencing emotions and reactions that seem "negative" or difficult to me, I am inclined to clam up and go into emotional hiding.  I've been practicing saying the plain truth about those moments lately, and I've been surprised to find that I really don't burst into flames when I express anger or unhappiness.  I can just say, "I'm mad," or "I don't like that," and life goes on.  Who knew?  Not surprisingly, He is far more responsive to me now that He is given straightforward information about what's happening with me. 
  • I understand that I need to learn to slow down my reactions and responses so that I give myself the time to think before I jump in and try and fix things or control things or manipulate things with other people.  I don't need to have an answer for every problem, and I don't need to take every difficult feeling that another person experiences and "make it better."  I can sit with someone else's pain or sadness and just be there.  Trying to talk them out of whatever is going on for them doesn't help them, and it really is an ego exercise for me.  I'm not being "compassionate" or "friendly" or even "kind" in that kind of anxious meddling.  I am being arrogant; convinced that I know what is best for that person, and sending the message that they don't know their own hearts or minds. 
  • I have begun to acknowledge that I have limits and boundaries.  My lifestyle choices and orientations notwithstanding, I am a fully human creature.  There are things that I need and want -- and there are other things that I cannot and will not tolerate.  I want to be engaged in a power-based relationship with Him.  I think that works for the two of us.  He is happier when He is "in control" of our dynamic, and I am happier when I can cede that control to Him.  I want His happiness, and I want to be part of that, but I know that I can't "make" Him happy.  I can do things that give Him joy, and I can be His companion and lover and friend and champion.  I will do those things and I will play those parts in His life if He allows it, but I can't make Him or any other person happy.  Too, I am responsible for my own happiness.  He loves me, and that is a wonderful gift, but the decision to be happy remains with me.  I have to be willing to work to create the life that makes me happy; to care for myself; to tend to my own health and my own sanity.  I have to be willing to risk being honestly who and what I am, and I have to trust that the love we share will make it possible for each of us to accommodate the limitations we have and build a rich and fulfilling life together.

BDSM is a lifestyle choice and an expression of my sexual and erotic presentation in the world.  I masturbate to BDSM fantasies, and I do not achieve orgasm without control and pain images playing in my mind.  I've long believed that I would do anything that He asked of me, and I believe that is true to the extent that I am capable.  What I cannot do; what I cannot endure; what I cannot tolerate are absolute barriers and limits.  Whatever I might imagine or wish for (in the name of being a "real" or "good" or "true" slave or submisive), I have learned that I do have real limits and they aren't about what I like or want.  They simply are, and I cannot knock them down through the force of my wanting or will. 

He can't control everything.  Both of us are learning that trying to do that was not healthy for Him -- can never be healthy for Him.  He isn't perfect.  We've always known that, but there was the community ethos that led us into the fantasy game of setting Him up to play that part.  Asking a fallible human person to be perfect; to always do the right thing; to know exactly what to do in every situation; and to ultimately shoulder all the responsibility for every decision and choice is too much to ask.  That is a burden that is too heavy.  Even if there is a thrill in playing that game, the costs are too high.  He has relinquished much of His control, and together we are carefully exploring what there is of that dynamic that might be good and healthy for the two of us.  This time, we hope to build together something with conscious intent -- and have it be strong and fulfilling. 

Codependent behaviors impact relationships, and that is no less true in a polyamorous relationship like ours than it would be in a more traditional pairing.  What is becoming clear is that in a relationship like ours, things are more complex.  There are three of us, not two.  We have more connections, and more ways to behave codependently with each other.  We have to pay attention to each of the combinations, and make sure that, in fixing the problems on one side, we aren't recreating them somewhere else -- with the other person, or inside the other coupling.  I know that I have to be careful to resist the impulse to meddle in the relationship between T and Master.  They have their own unique dynamic, and it is theirs.  As things spiraled down over these last few years, I got into the habit of pointing out to one or the other of them what they "should" be doing with regard to that relationship, and I would regularly interpret between them -- carrying messages and telling tales.  By the time we hit the crisis, I'd find myself trying to protect, or trying to defend, or trying to explain -- when I should have been insisting that they deal directly with one another and resolve their own issues, even as I should have been focusing on doing that with my issues. 

So, yes, we have addiction and recovery and codependency stuff multiplied -- the sheer numerosity of polyamory transposed onto the complexity of  all that other business.  It is dizzying sometimes, and we are continually amazed by the ubiquitous nature of the challenges and impacts, while simultaneously we are thrilled by what we can see of the positive benefits and shifts we are experiencing.  There are days when we look around and imagine a life ahead that might turn out to be way better than any of us might have thought possible.




Copyrighted image used with permission.  Find original work at: ({{Information |Description=Dolmen of Menga, Antequera, Spain. |Source=my own work |Date=July 21, 2008 |Author=Juan de Vojníkov |Permission=Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 |other_versions= }} {{cc-by-sa-3.0}} Category:Dolmen de Menga )

My therapist tells me that I serve as a "pillar" in our family.  Ever since she told me that, a couple of months ago, I've poked at the idea, the image, in my mind.  I've not been entirely easy with it.  It feels like it fits in some ways, but I am not convinced that I am "up to the job" of being a PILLAR.

I've wondered what, exactly, it might mean to be the pillar of the  family.  I think I know some of what my therapist meant to imply or suggest by the image, and still I keep coming back to the questions -- "If this is my role in this family, how am I supposed to do it?  What is it that I am supposed to do?  Can I really do it at all?  Do I even WANT to do it?   

As I've looked around at the idea (what did we do before there was Google?), most of what I've found is grounded in religious thought -- as in pillar of the community, or pillar of the church.  I've read a couple of sermons on the subject of "pillar people," but they just didn't offer me much that helped me make sense of this for myself.  I read, and still found myself wandering around, muttering about it in my head.

Then I stumbled across some business leadership sites that talked about Pillar Wisdom as a tool for those engaged in leading organizations.  Pillar Leadership methodology hinges on a set of characteristics and traits that managers and leaders can bring to bear on the work of supporting, developing, and carrying their companies forward.

  • Self-control (self-awareness, managing emotions, stress management, ethics, resilience, rationality)
  • Excellence (conscientiousness, attention to detail, competitiveness, empathy)
  • Strategy (innovation, motivation, originality, openness to change, rule consciousness, critical thinking)
  • Decision-making (analytical thinking, problem solving, knowledge, intuition, decisiveness, assertiveness, innovation)
  • Communication (listening skills, social skills, discernment, self-assurance, instincts)
  • Collaboration (relationships, empathy, independence, self-reliance, agreeableness)
  • Execution (achievement, management, motivation, competitiveness)

So, I can look at that list, and I can see some of the attributes that might be part of what the therapist perceived when she gifted me with that "PILLAR" label.  I think I do live according to a personal ethical code.  I think I am pretty resilient.  I can be competitive.  I am sometimes empathetic.  In my lifetime, I've had to be self-reliant, self-aware, and self-assured.  I am a critical and analytical thinker, and I value my ability to use my knowledge and instincts to solve problems, make decisions, and discern the truth of a situation.  Living as I have for the last number of years, I've learned to be open to change, learned to be conscious of rules and expectations, learned to be attentive to details, and learned to be conscientious.  Those things are part and parcel of who I am; they make up my character and they shape my presentation in the world.  I can see it...  The idea of being "the pillar" isn't exactly easy or comfortable, but it isn't as far away from my understanding of who I am as I thought it might be.

I think my uneasiness about this "architecturally" based description of my role in our family stems from my attachment to my former perceptions of how He and I relate.  I was very enamored of the deliberate and defined power dynamic we had, and somehow the image of the strong, sturdy, essential, assertive pillar feels very contrary to that.  In fact, it is contrary to that.  If the only viable way for us to manipulate the power balance between us is for me to be passive, dependent, and weak, then it could be argued that we've made a transition away from THAT power exchange to something that is "other than."  I am stretching to be able to accommodate the notion that my role is to be strong and assertive, and that it is precisely because I am capable of filling that role, that my service in that capacity is valuable.  And so I go round and round and round -- talking to myself, feeling confused, wondering what it all means.

I think it is just a matter of allowing my self-perception to catch up to the changed reality.  I need to learn to wear the mantle of powerful structural member.  I am sure it would be easier if the parallel that my therapist drew evoked for me some sort of soft, compliant, sheltering, comfortable, open and yielding architectural element:  corbel, cornice, cupola, dormer, eave, fanlight, parapet, pediment, lintel, doorway, arch, foyer, closet, cellar, attic, roof, chimney, porch...  I am sure it is just me, in my highly visual mode, seeing that solid, monolithic cloumn, and wanting to not have to shoulder the responsibility of holding up the whole world.



Once Again -- The End

It happens to me every year.  It is the worst part of the school year.  The end is approaching, and after 20 years, you would think I would learn to do this last few days with some sort of grace and equanimity... but no. 

Let's see.  What will I remember about this crowd? 

They have been sweet.  Yes -- 6th graders, now mostly with 12 years of living to their credit, who are sweet, gentle, innocent, funny little humans just coming into the first weeks and months of their transition to adulthood.  It is a rare thing, in our culture, to find a group of kids who are just that -- kids.  There has been very little that was difficult or challenging or hard to manage about my class this year:  no big behavioral issues or social conflicts or lying or cheating or stealing or...  They have been good to each other and they have been good for me and to me and with me. 

I believe that it is my job, my obligation, my responsibility, my calling to give every class the very best of who I am every single minute of every single day, and I do have moments when I feel like I've called it in this year.  There has been a lot of intensity in our "out of school" world this year.   I have, many days, driven to school knowing that my little classroom was saner, safer, calmer, and more "normal seeming" than anyplace else in my world.  I've worked hard to keep that place a sanctuary -- for them, but for me too.

And so, we've grown through the year together -- my kids and I.  They've learned to add and subtract and multiply and divide their fractions.  They've looked into the mysteries of genetics and evolution.  They've reached out to the local Muslim community and found how wondrous it is to create friendship in a world torn by hatred and suspicion.  They've laughed together at the antics of Justin Bieber, and cried with a classmate who lost a parent just days after Christmas.  And they have taught their teacher to enjoy simple things -- like silly stickers and the occasional piece of candy and singing at every opportunity...   Because, like them, life is sweet. 

Once again, the year draws to an end, and once again, I am not really ready.  They are, but I'm not.  I never am.  They've stolen my heart -- again.  And now they are ready to move on, and I am not ready for them to go.  A few more days, and they will gallop off to their summer vacations, and leave me standing at the door of the empty and oddly silent classroom -- waving, knowing that they won't stop to look back...  They never do. 

Time for summer.  Time to rest up to get ready to do it again in the fall.  Time to say goodbye to a new set of 7th graders.  Once again -- the end.



Safety First People!

Yes, it has been about a year since my last "Safety Post". And many of you have heard my tale, but there are newbies lurking out there that need to be careful, too.

About 14-ish years ago I thought I was invincible. I could play with strangers and nobody would cause me harm unless I asked for it. Boy, was I wrong!

I "met" the "Dom of my Dreams" online. We chatted alot and of course we were practically "soul-mates"...because I was being stupid and believed all the lies. Finally we planned to meet. He came to town and got a motel room and I got all gussied up and blindly went off to meet my future MONSTER.

He met me at the door with a gun. He tied me down and did whatever in the hell he wanted for hours and then untied me and left to get something somewhere. I got dressed and drove like a maniac away and to the safety of my home. I never called the police because I was too ashamed and didn't want to explain my stupidity to cops. But later, online, I found 3 other women who had encounters with the FREAK. And, amazingly enough, their stories were identical to mine.

I made it my mission to warn people about people. Not only are women susceptible to "The Stupids", men can fall prey as well. So here is the list:

1) If you are going to meet a stranger to play, make sure you have a copy of their driver's license and have given that to your SAFE CALL.

2) Make sure your SAFE CALL has your car description, license plate number, and the location of where you will be playing.

3) Have a friend in the lifestyle as a SAFE CALL. Setup a signal so, when you call to check in at pre-determined times, they will know if you are alright. Don't make it "I am alright". Make it a word or phrase that your SAFE CALL will know as the emergency call so they can call the police and get you help.

4) Setup a specific time to contact your SAFE CALL. Do not get so involved in your play that you forget to call at the appointed time. Your SAFE CALL should call the police and give all appropriate information so you are found. It is better to be found in a compromising situation than to be found dead.

5) DO NOT pick a SAFE CALL who would be concerned about embarrassing you if you fail to call at the appointed time. You want someone who cares about your welfare.

I was a safe call for a good friend, after Tom and I started dating. She was having a stranger over for dinner and play. We setup a time. The time came and went and within 5 minutes I had called the police, given them my friend's location, information, and the description and license number of her dinner guest. Thirty minutes after the safe call time had passed, we got an embarrassed call from our friend....THANKING US for caring about her, but she was fine. She gave the safe word and explained that they were having so much fun cooking dinner together, that the time got away from her.

So play safe. Take care of each other.



A Good, Happy, Joyful, Wonderful Spanking

Spanking still occupies a central part of my, and our, erotic and sexual identity.  That part of our relationship has been under stress in these last months.  Even as life (in the general sense) has steadily improved, we've both felt a real tentativeness about the power exchange we've shared, and that has included our SM play.

I wasn't good or easy with our SM life for a long time even before the most recent crisis.  Going back five years to my hysterectomy, my ability to endure, process, and transmute painful stimuli shifted.  While my masochism remains as an essential part of who I am, nothing I could find to say to myself in my head made my body work the way it once did.  I was caught between my own wanting and my inability to actualize that physically.  That reality grew between us over the years as I struggled to accommodate the level of sadomasochistic intensity that we both remembered. 

Then there was that awful trio of  fear and trauma and mutual mistrust -- the artifacts of our explosive, meltdown.  Each time we've come together to try and re-establish that old, familiar connection, we've run smack into the jumbled pile of emotional responses that neither one of us completely understand.  Spanking play is freighted with emotional responses anyway, and the two of us were carrying a whole host of spoken and unspoken feelings that tangled themselves up in our "play."  To say that things have been complicated would be an understatement.

And we have a shoulder.  Well, technically, He has the shoulder, but it is one of those things -- His shoulder has become a shared concern and impediment.  His right shoulder has essentially disintegrated after years of osteoarthritis and a lifetime of hard work.  There really isn't much left of the joint, and the only treatment is a complete shoulder replacement -- actually, what is needed is an even more complicated reverse shoulder replacement.  The surgery is scheduled for June 17, and until that can be done, He has very little range of motion or physical strength in His right shoulder.  More and more and more, He depends on His left arm to perform the most mundane of physical tasks.  Spanking, which is for Him a right handed activity, has become more and more complicated.  He's shifted to the left hand as much as He can, but it isn't easy, comfortable, or particularly satisfying -- the right arm is definitely His preferred and DOMINANT side.

There have been lots of hurdles and barriers for the resumption of our spanking life.  We've been more comfortable switching, with Him in the role of bottom, than we have with our more accustomed D/s roles.  It has been a confusing and disquieting time.

But this morning, things aligned and we spanked.  He spanked me.  I wanted it.  He wanted it.  It was good.  He seems, through all of this, to have evolved to an increased interest in leather implements; more straps and quirts and such -- moving away (to a degree) from His former fascination with paddles.  I've always been better with leather than with plastic and wood; better with straps and floggers and quirts than with paddles.

This morning's spanking was good.  We did it together.  We connected.  We were with each other and enjoying each other.  It was good, happy, joyful, and wonderful.  I was thrilled.  I am not sure that He reached the level of thrilled, but I think He was pleased.  We are, I think, on the road to recovering ourselves.



I Wanted to be a Diva, Too!

The word “diva” refers to a celebrated female singer, but Wikipedia tells us that the term is used to describe a woman of outstanding talent, and is closely related in meaning to  "prima donna".  The word is derived from an Italian word that names a female deity. The basic sense of the term is "goddess".

Again, according to Wikipedia, an extravagant admiration for divas is a common element of camp culture.  In camp, something is appealing because of its bad taste and ironic value. Its key elements are artifice, frivolity, naïve middle-class pretentiousness, and shocking excess. 

I will submit to you that we, in this cybersubculture of BDSM bloggers and Fetlife denizens, are engaged in a sort of “camp” culture subculture, and do have the tendency to produce our own particular variety of divas.  For us, the divas are the ones that make us go, “Wow!”  They are the ones that we admire and emulate – or perhaps we merely acknowledge that we’ll never be able to equal their skill, talent, and level of achievement.  Our divas are, by our mutual agreement, the ones who are the best of the best at this thing we do.  They risk more, endure more, serve better, and live closer to the edge.  They write blog posts that get the most hits day after day, and they routinely pull comments from 10 or 20 or 30 or more admirers.

When I first started writing this blog, back in 2004, I had no idea about the "neighborhood" I was moving into.  He told me to write, and so I did.  Reluctantly.  In time, though, I learned about others writing out here about this very intense and personal lifestyle choice, and I began to get caught up in the "celebrity" frenzy of it all.  In those early days, the divas were Patty and Anissa.  They were the stars of the BDSM blog universe, and the things they wrote were in the "must read" category for just about everyone I could see.   I knew, even then, that I was out of their league, but I was new to it all, and I sometimes dared to imagine myself as one of their number -- writing the sort of blog that would be on the "must read" list for the whole circle.  In that fantasy realm, it was possible to convince myself that every positive comment pointed to how wonderful I was, how brilliantly I wrote to make clear the convolutions of this lifestyle, how indispensable my wisdom was for those who would seek to live their lives in ways that were similar to my own.

I wanted to be a diva, too!  I did.

Well, time has passed, and I look around the "neighborhood" and know for an absolute certainty that I am not now and never will be -- a diva. 

There are lots of reasons for that:
  • I've aged.  Fifty-six is way different than forty-five (the age I was when I finally started off on the path I'd been eyeing my whole adult life).
  • With surgeries and the various diminishments of the years, I've lost the stuff that is part and parcel of being young and hot and hungry.
  • After seven years of blogging, I've seen too much -- seen too many come and go, and I know that no one is "it" in our world for very long.  This thing that we do takes its toll on bodies and hearts and minds.  People mellow or they break under the strain of trying to keep on being "the same as they were back when..."
  • I've gotten wiser.  Or maybe, I've just quit pretending that none of the things I've been into had any long term effects or consequences.  I know better.  Everything has a long term consequence.  I now understand (and agree with) the person who once told me that I was probably writing checks my butt could not cash.  Human bodies are not meant to endure much of the physical trauma that we inflict because it gives us a thrill.  Now and then?  Perhaps.  Day after day after day?  No way.
  • Ultimately, I've been humbled by life.  I've been greying and wrinkling right here in public for a very long time.  Sags and bulges and flabby places are evident for all to see nowadays, and anyone who wants to prove that I've gotten older can find the "slide show" of butt pictures to prove the point.  The younger, hotter, more adventurous ones have come along to fill the space that once I coveted, and they are the reining divas of this lifestyle.  My time, if there was ever going to be a time for me, has passed me by.  No one is ever going to read about my life and my thoughts about all of this and exclaim, "Wow!"
I wanted to be a diva, too.  Wanted it with a sort of unjustified pride and arrogance that I've never admitted to.  Now that part of life is behind me, and I am amazed and a bit ashamed of my own ego.  Seeing it now, I know why I can feel so judgmental of those who do occupy the center of the stage.  Even more, I know what it is that drives the voice in my head that continually reminds me to just wait because, "they won't be young forever either."  What a crabby old woman I have gotten to be!



Our New (Different) Relationship

Next month, in June, He and I will mark the passage of nine years that we have been together.  Prior to that, ours was a relationship that evolved at a distance, online, on the phone, and within the context of occasional brief visits as we traveled across the continent to be together.  Ours was a relationship that developed precisely as we have frequently and seriously advised others to approach the business of forming an intense intimate bond:  go slowly; learn about one another; become friends first...

I am a staunch advocate for getting to know someone before leaping into relationship with them.  I don't leap into interpersonal connections quickly -- not friendships and not romances.  I tend to be reticent and slow to warm up to people I don't know well. I thought we'd done that; thought I'd done that; congratulated myself on doing a much better job of forming this mid-life relationship than I did with the marriage that I entered into in my youth.

A year ago, I would have insisted to anyone who might have asked, that He and I knew each other well, and that we had formed a relationship based on a deep and solid understanding of who we were as individuals and as a couple.  I thought I knew Him, and I believe He felt the same way about me.  We were so sure.  Probably, we were naive.  Almost certainly, we were each caught up in our own personal brand of arrogance.  We were all wrapped around each other in our own private co-dependent dance.

Then, we lost control -- well, the illusion of control that we had so carefully constructed dissolved, and the whole elaborate construct collapsed in a heap.  We were plunged into chaos, confusion, and crisis.  Some small bit of that, carefully edited, and sanitized to make it just a bit more presentable, appeared here -- enough for readers to comprehend the broad outlines of what befell us; enough that we were made able to talk fairly directly about what was happening -- what has happened -- what is our continuing reality.  It has been a wild and confusing time.  We've struggled, and raged, and cried, and resisted, and made the most tentative of steps toward health and healing.  It has been hard -- terribly hard, but we have had the great good fortune to have come through the worst of it (I hope), and still have one another.  Each day, I marvel that we did not lose each other in the tempest that swept us away from our moorings. 

As we are beginning to come out on the other side of all of that, it is as if we are awakening from a long trance -- and, amazingly, finding one another; falling in love all over.  It isn't the same thing.  We are different; changed by all that has passed between us; forever marked by the events we've lived through.  Our new love for one another is just that -- new; completely new; and different than what we had before.  We are in the early phases of forming a new bond with one another, and we are, somehow, plunged right into the phenomenon of New Relationship Energy (NRE).  We are awash in a heady rush of escalating emotional connection and the hot juiciness of a growing sexual attraction; just beginning to know one another, and wanting to know each other better and better.  We are reluctant to part from one another in the morning to begin the work day, and eager to connect by IM and phone whenever the opportunity presents itself.  We cannot wait to come back together at the end of the day.  Every now and then, one of us notices what is going on with us and mentions it -- and like  couple of young lovers, it makes us giggle and break out in silly, goofy grins. 

 We are actively engaged in learning about each other -- and we are both cautiously risking self-disclosure.  I know that I am listening more carefully than I did before; working hard to hear beyond the words; aware of my own emotional responses and the ease with which I get swept away from the conversation by those waves of feeling.  I have discovered how often I don't get the nuances of what He means because I'm listening to my ow inner chatter -- and I am working to find a different set of skills.  I am also getting better at being authentically who I am with Him -- telling Him the truth about what my own feelings and needs are; even when that feels like a scary or risky thing to do.  What a whirl!

We are each wary of trying to mold or shape or control the other; and we are aware of how futile it is to try and control life.  Boy, did we learn that lesson!  So, our control-based dynamic seems a little like an artifact from our former life -- remembered with some fondness, but neither of us are clear, at this moment, how that might play out in the life we now share; how it can become a healthy source of joy and energy in the love that we are finding with each other.  I sometimes notice that I am uncertain, unsure, and uneasy.  That isn't necessarily a BAD thing, but it is the closest I've been able to get to a description of my inner reality.  I am trying hard not to get stuck looking backwards, and I am determined not to get caught up in some sort of "what if" game regarding the future.  I am watching my reactions and responses, reminding myself to be patient with this new thing that is growing between us, and mostly finding that I am enjoying the moments we are given together each day.  It feels fragile and tentative, but it also feels good and sweet and wonderful.  I am grateful for the chance to live this with Him.

Communicating with each other has come to be our daily exercise with one another.  I don't think that we had become complacent before our world fell apart, but I think that the patterns and addictions that we'd allowed to take over our lives made us forget the communication skills learned over a lifetime.  In the end, we barely talked; we never really listened; and we sure as hell couldn't find a way to communicate with each other.  Now we are all about sharpening the skills that allow us to accurately read each other, defuse arguments and, when necessary, repair wounded feelings.  It is exciting and intimate work.

That's what we are up to here.  Most nights, I come and sit and stare at this blog, and wonder what to say.  Night after night, I eventually give it up and go to bed, unable to find the words to describe what is; what is becoming.  It is clear to me that we will probably never again be the pair we were before all of this recent struggle.  Something new is aborning here.  I don't know what that will be.  I think we will still spank.  I know we will still love.  I am sure that we will hold each other close through His impending shoulder replacement surgery.  What develops beyond that, through the months of recovery in the warm, slow days of the summer -- that remains to be seen.  It should be an interesting time.



A Big Anniversary

Our honey was a child of the 60's....Sue and I were too young to have been hippies. We were not part of the counter-culture revolution. But Tom was ripe for all the free love and drugs. He was as militant as possible. He loved that life and it was the foundation of the man he is today.

On May 4th of 1970, unarmed students and the Ohio National Guard clashed on the Commons of Kent State. The 28 guardsmen, fired 67 bullets in 13 seconds, killing 4, wounding 9, and changing the landscape of the anti-war movement forever.

Tom was not at Kent that day. He was a student protester at Bowling Green. He participated in the Student Strike that was held across the nation at more than 450 campuse that including over 4 million students. Over 900 campuses had to be closed due to the protests. Kent State remained closed for 6 weeks.

Five days after the shootings, over 100,000 students marched on Washington D.C. to protest the war and the senseless slaughter of the unarmed students of Kent State.

Shortly after the shootings, a national survey was performed and it was found that the Kent State Shootings was the single defining moment that caused the national Student Strike.

Nixon didn't help matters when he callously called the slaughtered students "Bums".

In honor of the murdered and wounded students. In honor of the man who grew up during those turbulent times. And in honor of all who protest for the rights of others. I finish with the words of Neil Young...


Tim soldiers and Nixon's coming
We're finally on our own
This summer I heard the drumming
Four dead in Ohio

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know

Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming
We're finally on our own
This summer I heard the drumming
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio