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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.


Doesn't Everyone Have One?

We have our own private, personal orthopedic surgeon.  We do.  Really.  Well.  OK.  Not exactly.  We do however have the very great good fortune to have found a wonderfully skilled and accomplished orthopedic surgeon.
In July of 2005, our Dr. F. performed a total knee replacement on Master using a relatively new "minimally invasive" technique.  At that time, he was the only doctor doing the procedure in our area, and it was precisely because he was able to promise far less muscle and nerve damage, and far easier and faster recovery and rehab that we chose him for that surgery.  Since that time, Dr. F. has also replaced a knee for T, and done a total reverse shoulder replacement for Master.
Today, once again, our family's future was in the capable hands of Dr. F.  This morning, it was T, reporting to the hospital for rotator cuff repair surgery, and once again, it was our own private, personal orthopedic surgeon on the job.  The surgery was "outpatient," and everything went perfectly.  By 4 PM, we were headed for home, and tonight we are all snuggled in with a lovely warm fire.  T has had her pain medication, and so is feeling sleepy and what she always calls "stupid" on the couch with our Pranzer cat.  Now, the shoulder that has been increasingly painful will hopefully heal and feel better and better over the next weeks and months.
There will be some post surgical follow up appointments, of course, and then it will be time to head back to see Dr. F. as we prepare for Master's next knee replacement -- tentatively planned for next summer.
Our orthopedic guy is not getting any younger, and replacing joints is demanding physical work.  We've told him over and over and over that he cannot retire until we get all these aging joints taken care of.  Wherever it is he plans to retire someday (on the yacht that we have surely bought a significant share of), it needs to wait until all of us have all the "bionic" joints that we might need.  That could end up meaning another 4 shoulders, 3 more knees, and all 6 heron hips.



Giving Thanks

For us, this Thanksgiving day feels very precious.  I hope that all who visit here are safe and warm and with those you love this night.


Two Billion

In January of this year, the UN's communication bureau noted that the number of internet users worldwide had reached the two billion mark.  That is 2,000,000,000 individuals who are online, surfing the interwebs.  I share that number with you, dear readers, because PK asked a question:

"I have often wondered with this openness if you ever worry about your students or their parents stumbling across it?" 

I "get" the question, and I understand the concern.  Obviously, this blog is not intended for those I teach or for their parents.  It isn't meant for my co-workers or my boss.  Should any of them find this blog, and identify me as the author, the consequences would be catastrophic.  I'm sure there are plenty of other people who could make the same statement...  Writing in this sort of public forum carries risks.

But here's the thing.  I teach math.  I deal in mathematical realities, and I work to help students understand the ways in which math can help us describe our world.  As bloggers of a certain stripe, it makes sense for us to be aware of the risks of what we do, but it also seems reasonable to understand how big or small those risks really might be...

There are about 400 students at my small school.  Most of them have at least one sibling, so figure a total of 800 students.  Add on a couple of parents for each family, and we are looking at about 1600 people.  Let's kick in a few extra just for the sake of an argument and make the math easier in the bargain -- so we'll assume the whole population of people from the school community who might "stumble on" this blog totals 2000 souls.  That would mean that the SET of "my students and their parents" amounts to 0.0001% of all Internet users (that is one ten thousandth of one percent).

Now, this little corner of the cyber universe is a small place.  I don't pull down big traffic numbers, and even if I did, I would still be one of an estimated 266,848,493 websites available to any given user (as of July of this year).  Let's face it -- any one of us is competing with Justin Bieber fan sites and Twilight fan sights and Farmville on Facebook and Angry Birds websites and whatever it is that has "gone viral" on Youtube today.  I've got dozens and dozens of sites linked to this blog, but the truth is that, on any given day, I'm doing well to squeeze in the time to actually visit a handful -- maybe 5 or 6.  So, if we were to assume that the students that I work with have more time to spend surfing the web than I do (after finishing their homework, of course), then maybe they manage to wander around to 25 different places.  That would mean that, in a year's time, each one of them could possibly "hit" 9125 different sites.  Once again, if you do the calculation, that means that each person manages to visit .0034% of all the possible websites.  Put that number together with the percentage of Internet users who actually know me as their teacher (or their kids' teacher), and the likelihood that we are ever going to run into each other at this blog goes to 3 chances in 10 million.

Could it happen?  Absolutely.  Am I going to lie awake at night worrying about it?  I don't think so.



Life on Display -- Blogging

There has been, in recent weeks, a surprising and remarkable level of concern for my children, who might possibly be reading here -- although I very much doubt that.  For, the record, and as I've stated repeatedly, the two human beings that I once bore into this world are well into their 30's.  They are adults, and no longer children.  They both live their own lives, and make their own choices (one of which might be the choice to read this or any other blog or website).  Some of the "concern" for them is clearly intended to slap me down; is purely nasty; and deserves to stand on its own for what it is.  On the other hand, there is one individual who has on a couple of occasions expressed "surprise" at the openness of what we write here, and those comments refer more broadly to the breadth of our lives and our struggles -- not confining the worry for the "children" to a mere exposure to sex, but to other things as well.  I don't know that this person is intending anything negative in their comments, I hope not.  That is the assumption I am willing to make at this point, and so I want to talk about this particular comment:

My surprise at your kids reading here was much more about the other, non-sexual aspects of your relationship. The fights, the drunkenness, the arrests, the pain.

We do discuss our lives here; openly and with very little veiling.  It has been our mode to attempt to honestly convey the reality within which we live.  Sometimes life is joyful, sometimes sad, sometimes painful, and sometimes funny.  We tell stories on ourselves here -- the good and the bad, and if you read from the beginning, you can see us grow and change and age.  We've made mistakes and we've been spectacular.  It probably really depends on the day.  More than anything, these blogs (our blogs) chronicle the humanness of our lives.

I sometimes go back through the archives, and find the person I was in 2005 or 2007 or 2010 -- and I can be surprised.  I sometimes wonder at the things I've written -- and long forgotten.  Did I really write those words; was I really that person?  And, the answer is, "yes."  The words are mine.  The words were mine.  That is the very nature of a journal (which this surely is) -- it records the passage of time and the journey one makes during the writing.  

The reader here will find the bones of our past -- the joy, the sex, the fights, the blunders, the anger, the pain, the embarrassment, the follies, the triumph, the love, the sorrow, the perseverance, the reconciliations, the diatribes, the poetry -- all of it, woven together.  Master will sometimes tell people that to read our blog is to come to know us better than our mothers do (or did).  Absolutely.  That is the truth.  We say things here we do not say out loud to anyone anywhere.  Here, we are often talking to ourselves, for ourselves -- as if we were all alone in an empty room.  Readers may find themselves privy to an internal monologue that some may find disturbing in its intimacy.  I can well imagine that.  To read here is to take us up on the tacit invitation to share what is happening with us.  We keep this blog marked as "adult" for a reason. 

As much as I can be surprised by things written here over the years, I am not ashamed of any of it.  I have had moments of naivety, and moments of hyperbole, and significant flights of self-indulgence -- but it is all an honest reflection of wherever I was in that moment.  If there is hyperbole, it is because I was caught up in my own melodrama.  If there are bits of fantasy, or scraps of dreams, I believe I've been scrupulous about identifying those things.  I've fallen into the occasional meme, but in general, I've avoided those kinds of canned tricks that can eat up space on a blog like this.  Whatever else one might think about The Heron Clan, and associated blogs, the place is largely composed of substantive writing -- not particularly good writing, but of substance.  And the pictures?  Those are, likewise, not anything that I feel the need to apologize for.  There are pictures of my butt scattered here and there.  My teary, pouty face appears from time to time -- and it is pretty obviously true that the immediate aftermath of a spanking is not a time when I am at my radiant best. Even that "fisting" picture that has evoked so much consternation seems iconic to me.  It captures and encapsulates the desperate and frantic scrambling of my post-hysterectomy fight to rediscover and reclaim my truncated sexuality.  In those dark days, I was furious and frightened, and I'd have done anything -- ANYTHING -- to have myself back again.  I'm betting that my struggle is echoed everyday by other women suffering the same loss.

But this blog is, as my presumably non-judgmental, but surprised commenter points out, is full of way more than just sex and poly and spanking.  We have documented the times when we fight.  We've shared the crazy, chaotic, destructive descent into addiction and co-dependence.  We've flailed and stumbled and dragged our feet through the early months of recovery.  We've been clear about the legal troubles, the relational troubles, the financial troubles.  If it happened to us, and we could get words around it, we've put it out here.  If we learned something new or useful or hopeful, we put it out here.  If we wondered about it, or thought about it, or disagreed with it, or hoped for it -- we put it out here.  It has been rough, painful, and uncomfortable, and we have chosen to keep writing here.  Some might think that was crazy -- others might call it brave.  There's not one bit of it that makes me think we should reconsider and begin to hide our lives from those who are important to us -- families and friends.

I see things differently.  This life I live is honest and real.  I am not ashamed of it.  I am not ashamed of my loves.  I've done things that I do feel ashamed of, but not recently:

  • I am ashamed that I stayed so long with my ex-husband.  That decision kept both of us in a marriage that wasn't good for either of us.
  • I'm ashamed that I allowed my children to grow up with that marriage as their model for a loving relationship.
  • I'm ashamed that I worked for years in a corporate environment that required me to do work that I was not proud of.  No amount of money could ever pay for what I lost of my soul in those years.
  • I'm ashamed that I spent so many years allowing my mother's poison to spill over my life and the lives of my kids.
  • I'm ashamed that I never found a way to create a safe and sane life for my daughter -- that her mental health and developmental struggles remain such difficult challenges in her life.
  • I'm ashamed for every time I've been a witness to injustice and done nothing... or nothing much.

There are probably other places where I've fallen short, but that's a pretty good list.  It isn't about sex or spanking or even battles with addiction and violence.  It is about growing and learning, over years of living, how to do things better than I might have once.  I can't change the things I did in my younger years.  I can only try to live more consciously and more openly and more honestly today.

If my kids ARE reading here, then I hope they will learn from their mother's mistakes.  If they read this story today or tomorrow, I hope they will learn to live life fully and completely and courageously.  I hope that they will watch me making a life for myself, with those I love, and come to understand that we each have to do that no matter what anyone else says.  If some of these words help that to happen for someone else, then I think it is worth all the false starts and prat falls.




the answer my friend
is not blowing in the wind -
it's riding a bike

We were the beneficiaries of a bit of good luck recently.  Part of a promotion at T's work place resulted in her winning a gift card to a local upscale bike shop.  The amount of the gift card was sufficient to make it possible for us to purchase a very nice bike with very little cash outlay.  And so, Master now has an alternative mode for His daily exercise routine -- He can choose  between walking and riding.  He loves His new bike, and as He rides more and more, He is regaining the confidence He remembers from His college days when a bike was His main mode of transportation...

It is something He really enjoys.  It is really good for Him, both physically and emotionally.  He is like a youngster with a new toy.  This new bike has made Him very, very happy, and it is a good thing...



Sex Positive

We have, and in particular, I have a (I believe) small following of commenters who are wildly, rabidly, intensely negative about the sexuality that I live and talk about in my writing here.  I don't exactly know how many of these folks there are visiting here on a regular basis.  I can identify some of them, recognizing where they come from in my stats, and feeling some familiarity with their writing styles.  My little anti-fan club does seem to focus very specifically on me; there is little or no significant judgment or vituperative language aimed at Master or T.  I find that interesting and intriguing...

It could just be that, where we have posted pictures of naked body parts here, those photos have almost entirely been of my parts and pieces.  If it is pure and simply nakedness that sets them off, then I can see how, sifting through the years of archives here, you could find enough nakedness to achieve that...  But it would be some work.  Page for page, there are not that many butt pictures, and they are repetitive enough that it would seem to me that the shock value would diminish pretty quickly.

It must be something else; something else that tips my little posse of critics over into anger and negativity.  Perhaps, it really is just a reflection of the larger society.  Maybe, those who go out of their way to come visit here, over and over, and dig through the archives, and compose comments filled with bitterness and hate, are simply unable to shake their own background and cultural imprinting and see my (and our) living out our sexuality in a loving relationship, as anything but just BAD.  

If you believe, incontrovertibly, that sex is bad, shameful, sick, and meant to be severely limited and constrained, then it is very likely that the "sex positive" nature of many BDSM blogs would make you just crazy.  After all, we talk publicly, and at length, and in detail about things that many people won't discuss with anyone except their partners -- and maybe not even WITH their partner in some cases.  There are plenty of otherwise healthy people, who will not make love with the lights on; have never looked at their own genitalia in a mirror; never touched themselves in an intimate way.  There are grown men and women who cannot comfortably say the words to name their own sex organs.

Ours is a culture that is steeped in sex-negativity -- the belief that sex is inherently bad.  That is, for our society, one of our most deeply rooted convictions. We are so caught in that belief system that we who violate the norms cause outrage.  It is outrage born of discomfort.  My bunch of unhappy commenters are clearly horrified that I have an active sex life; that I enjoy my sex life; that I talk openly and freely here about my sex life; that I do not hide my sexual choices behind locked doors; and that, as a result of all of that, there is some possibility that my adult children might learn about the "SHAMEFUL" behaviors in which I engage.

If I just ignore the irony that the sex-negative ones cannot seem to find the internal self-discipline to not come here, then I find it instructive.  They just assume that their sense of moral outrage is, OF COURSE, right.  They can't begin to fathom a point of view that differs from their own.  They don't even have language to express a more positive attitude toward sex -- if they could formulate some different notion in the first place.

It is as if, we as a society, had defined that the only acceptable meal for adult humans was oatmeal and black coffee.  Such a definition of the "right" way to eat would leave out a whole host of wondrous and delectable and delightful food choices.  There would be no pizza, no strawberries, no sashimi, no hot fudge sundaes, no Thanksgiving turkey -- and except for those filthy degenerates who gathered in sleazy hotels and private basements to indulge in "unacceptable" food choices, no one would even contemplate that there was anything that one might choose to eat but oatmeal and coffee.  It is just absurd to think of that kind of world.  Most of us can't even imagine it, and yet there are those (and they are likely the majority) who would insist that those who don't subscribe to the "white lace dress, married to one person, until death do us part, missionary position sex once a week" sexuality diet are somehow "icky" and to be censured.

I don't think there is a thing wrong with making choices about how and when to satisfy one's sexual appetites in consensual ways.  If consenting partners are enjoying varieties of sexual expression that are not to my taste, that is just fine -- I don't eat raw oysters either.  I think that those who choose chastity at certain points in their lives are making valid sexual choices.  I think that practicing safe sex with multiple partners is a valid sexual choice.  I think that those who live inside of long term committed marriages are making valid sexual choices.  I think that loving someone of the same sex is a valid sexual choice.  I think that choosing to bear children is a valid sexual choice.  I think that choosing to not conceive children is a valid sexual choice.  I think that loving more than one is a valid sexual choice.  I think that sexual modesty is a valid sexual choice.  I think that sexual flamboyance is a valid sexual choice.  I think that enjoying gentle caresses is a valid sexual choice.  I think that finding pleasure in sadomasochistic play is a valid sexual choice...

What I do not, truly, understand is why my choices should be targeted by someone who simply would choose differently than I do.  And, I will never, ever understand why those people believe that they should get to be the arbiters of my sexual choices, and my speaking as I choose about those choices.




Cast of Characters

Last week, for the 6th year, many of the bloggers around our circle participated in what a community event originated by Bonnie -- Love Our Lurkers day. We don't participate, having opted out several years ago, but it is hard to not see it happening all around us. This year, watching with some bemusement, I got to contemplating not just those who lurk on our various blogs, but the whole cast of characters that populate our online world. Lurkers do have their part to play, but they are not the only denizens of the cyber universe. And so, I suggest the following as a sort of playbill style cast of characters for the spanking/BDSM blogging universe:
  • Bloggers -- We are the writers. We put ourselves out here; telling our stories; spinning threads out of words. Some of us are eloquent, and some are funny, others are smart or witty, and some are vulgar or just plain crass. Whatever the style, and whatever the content, we are the ones who do the work and take the risks to share the ups and downs of our lives and our loves for whoever might care to read.
  • Partners -- These are our opposite numbers -- dominant or submissive or switchy, we cannot live our kinky dreams without partners who are willing to make the journey with us. Most often, they are our loves (and I understand that is not always the case). They guide us, guard us, hurt us, help us, tease us, aggravate us, challenge us, confuse us... And we, more often than not, return the favor.
  • Relatives -- We've all got them. These are the people that are related to us, by blood or by choice. Some of them may live with us or near us. Many others among this group populate the world outside our front doors. Maybe they know some of our proclivities, and maybe not. It may be that we show a vanilla face to those who share our lives. We make choices and decide carefully about what we tell them and what we don't. They are the "do they know" segment of our cast of characters.
  • Exes and Outlaws -- We don't always talk about these folks, or the roles that they play (or once played) in our lives, but many of us have former spouses, or past lovers, or a once upon a time play partner... We might remember them with fondness, or sadness, or bitterness, or indifference -- but at some level, the exes and outlaws have helped to shape our lives.
  • Imaginary Lovers -- They are the ones who do not really exist, except in our minds and fantasies. Like a fantasy football team, they are the ones that we imagine and dream about. For some of us, the imaginary lovers allow us to work out the darkest imaginings -- the ones that are too intense to ever live out in real life. For others, the imaginary lovers are more gentle, or more inventive, or more demanding... We may never name them, and they may never appear openly on our blogs, but there are lots of imaginary lovers wrapped around our back-stories.
  • Friends -- It could be that these are girlfriends, or best buddies, but however they show up, we tend to connect, through this medium with a few kindred souls. They "get" us, and they share our path in that easy to maintain way that friends have. We know that we can count on them to hold us up through every trial, and tell us, too, when we are full of it. Our friends come to know who we are -- and like us anyway.
  • Cheering Squad -- These dear souls are most often friends, but they take on the sometimes thankless job of affirming us, encouraging us, telling us that we are really OK ... no matter what happens and no matter who thinks otherwise. The cheering squad assures us that we are not alone; insists that we are valuable and appreciated; and gives us the ego-boost that makes it possible to keep on doing this ...
  • Mentors -- Teachers. Examples. Guides. These are the ones who, whether they know it or not, show us how to become whatever it is that we might aspire to. Not to be confused with a guru.
  • Lurkers -- Unseen visitors, identifiable only by the traces that are left behind on our stats. Lurkers have their own agendas and their own needs. Something that they find in our words draws them in and keeps them coming back. They are not seeking "relatedness" with us. Perhaps they are learning something, or perhaps they are merely peering in the windows for their own gratification. Whatever they are up to, they cannot be dragged into the light without fundamentally altering their natures. A lurker who becomes convinced to leave a comment (as is the goal of Bonnie's LOL Day) ceases to be a lurker. By definition.
  • Gurus -- They find their way to some pinnacle and sit themselves down there, waiting for the adoring crowds to flock to their undeniable wisdom and brilliance. They take part in structured Q&A's. They sometimes write books. They offer guidance to those who are new and still trying to find their ways. I am quite sure that, somewhere there exists the "BDSM/Spanko Board of Certifiers and Credentialers" from whence the gurus earn their authority.
  • Stalkers -- These sort of scary and usually intense ones are prone to hook onto various ones of us and grind away at whatever it is about us that bugs the living shit out of them. It never seems to occur to the stalker-ish ones that, whatever is ringing their bells, they do not have to look. Why do they insist on visiting our blogs, over and over and over, knowing even as they do it, that the likelihood is that everything they read on our sites will freak them out? Why, if you felt the way they so obviously do, wouldn't you just go off and read at
  • Poor Unsuspecting Vanillas -- These are the regular folks who stumble into our places entirely by accident. They clearly weren't out looking for spanking and other kinks when they found us. They most often type something innocuous into a search engine, and land on our pages without any idea what they are getting themselves into. For them, those warnings that most of us post about the "adult" nature of our sites is the last safeguard -- if they heed the warning. If not... Oh, dear. Poor dears.
  • Search Engine Trolls -- These are the ones who creep me out whenever I see their tracks on my keyword search list. What kind of critter goes looking for "gay man spanking grandma," or "teen girls in lacy panties?" I'm inclined to insist that it ought to be a "to each his or her own" sort of Internet, but really! Some things are just icky.

I bet there are lots of others that I haven't thought of. Probably, some bloggers get types that I don't ever see. I can imagine that those who are younger, more attractive, more adventurous, more sexy, more kinky -- get other kinds of visitors. Feel free to suggest additions to the cast.




We've had one of the best weekends that we've enjoyed in many, many months.

We had time yesterday morning for sex.  Whoo Hoo!  It may seem like a "well duh" kind of thing to most of you, but for us, the simple connectedness of making love has been a huge hurdle.  We've loved our way through this last year, but it hasn't been warm and cuddly, and there have been many many days when we have really not had the heart for the intense intimacy of sex.  Ahhh but then, we came awake together in the soft light of a November morning, and there was time and inclination -- both at the same point and place.  We'd have spanked too, but there wasn't enough time to pull that off and still get me on the road in time to make it to my therapy appointment.  Sigh.  "Later, maybe," we promised each other as we rolled out and got busy with breakfast.

We spent yesterday afternoon watching an array of college football games, and while it just did not go the way we would have wanted it to for any of our favored squads, still it was good to have the time and space to spend a few hours doing something so normal.  I had lots of grading to do, and so sat at the dining table plowing through that pile while He growled and grumbled about the various games.  I know there are people who view football as "just a game," but He does tend to get pretty serious about the teams He cheers on.  When it was all over with, He was feeling down -- and so He took some time and went out to ride His new bike (I think we haven't talked about the new bike yet -- maybe that is the topic for another post).  An hour or so later, having flown around our condo complex on His two wheels, He was in a much better mood.

We had barbecued ribs and potato salad for dinner.  With a little applesauce to round things out, it was a pretty good meal, and one that seems to do pretty well for the post-surgical tummies in our family.

Settling in for the evening, He cruised from channel to channel on the TV, and there was, of course, more football.  He flipped between a couple of different games, and was sort of engaged, but not really.  At some point, He began to consider the possibility of going to see a movie.  A little online research and He found that the theater near our house was showing J. Edgar at 9:58 PM.  It is one of the films that we've thought we wanted to see, and so we decided to go -- even though it would make a late night for us.  T decided that she wasn't that interested (I think she is thinking that her big movie event will come next weekend when the new Twilight movie opens), and so He and I went alone.  It was an enjoyable time; a very interesting and well made film; probably too cerebral to be an enormous hit, but still good entertainment.  It was about 1:30 AM before we finally tucked into our bed and fell asleep in each other's arms.

We slept late this morning.  It was 10:30 before we awakened to the gray light of day streaming in through the window in the bedroom.  That's when the miracle happened ... He suggested that we could "spank and fuck" -- if my shoulder would tolerate it (another long story).  I figured He wasn't going to spank my shoulder, and so we got all set up for a good old, fun and games spanking. It was good.  It wasn't brutal, although I think there were a few points where I was grunting and growling and moaning -- so not nothing either.  Afterwards, I had a nice, hot, red, stingy butt, and He seemed satisfied at His handiwork.  We made love (twice in two days -- hooray!), and then headed out to get some "breakfast."

The rest of our day has been spent doing what we most often do on Sunday afternoon -- Bengals football (they lost), and school work, and laundry -- the non-kinky stuff of life and living.  A nice, enjoyable time spent just being together.  Tomorrow is back to work and into another week, but we are fortified by a weekend that was "nice" and not "horrible."  For those who have been following the saga, you may have some sense of just how big a deal that really is.


Seven Year Itch

In a dream you are never eighty.  ~Anne Sexton

One of the conversational threads from my therapy session on Saturday afternoon revolved around the notion of the seven year itch.  "What you and Tom are experiencing, is a sort of seven year itch,"  she told me.  I just looked at her.  We are well past the seven year point, after all.  We are approaching the 10 year mark for the 24/7, living together, not long-distance relationship.  That milestone will happen next summer.

So, she explained that, for us, the point where we might have begun to experience the "decline" that is characteristic of the "seven year itch" was fraught with incipient crisis:  the bariatric surgeries, the attendant health struggles and lifestyle changes, and ... the severe ratcheting up of the impacts of drinking as a result of that passage.  There was the shock and adjustment in our lives with the loss of His career.  Too, we were dropped precipitously into the deaths of His parents, and then T's mother's stroke and long illness and death...  And so... our "itchy" phase seems to have been delayed.  

I'll admit I was a little mystified by the whole conversation, but then she went on to explain that the latest thinking is that with people our ages, the "seven year itch" is really about deciding whether you really want to grow old together.  It involves the question of spending the time that is left with this person...

When I got home and told Master about that part of the session, He looked at me and said, "Well the truth is that we don't want to grow old."  And that, is really so.  There is no choice.  The continued aging is inevitable and unavoidable, but it isn't something that we are anticipating with eagerness.  We are too entirely aware that the likely trajectory from here on out is through a series of never ending diminishments.  Bummer, that.

I would dearly wish to stop the progression of the years; to stay as we are; perhaps even turn the clock back and regain some bit of those more youthful, stronger years that are forever behind us.  It cannot be.  And given that we all understand that I'd choose not to have to go through the indignities and inevitable losses of growing older -- there is still no one that I'd rather walk that path with than Master and T.  If we have to go, then I fervently hope that we will get to go all together, hand in hand in hand.



You Mean They KNOW?

One of the challenges of having blogged for years and years is that it can feel like absolutely everything there is to say has been said.  Repeatedly.  There are times when I stare at my glowing computer screen, and draw a complete blank.  Under those circumstances, it can be a relief to get any kind of spark of an idea.  Sometimes, someone will ask a question, or a series of questions, in a comment -- and I'll realize that there are still some things that I haven't written about here; bits and pieces of life that I never imagined anyone would care about.  An anonymous comment left today worked exactly like that, pointing to a gap in this long-running conversation...

So let me get this straight, your ex-husband's wife reads this blog, which means your ex and almost certainly your adult kids must know about it as well. And we know Tom's daughter knows because she referenced this blog when she uninvited Tom to her wedding. So the rest of Tom's family probably knows about this blog too, human nature being what it is.

And yet you still blog! I'm honestly curious, I'm not trying to be mean or negative, why doesn't it bother you? Or does it and you feel it's too important to give up? Or maybe you want your family to know about your intimate thoughts and feelings? You believe in total transparency? Or do you feel that if they read it, that's their problem, that you didn't invite them here, etc.?

I'm honestly curious because I know I would be unable to do it myself. I'm trying to understand. :)

So, anonymous, this is for you.  But first, you seem to have been reading here long enough to know that we don't really appreciate anonymous commenters.  We like names; some sort of moniker by which we might recognize you should you choose to reappear here in the future.  Probably it is a function of our ages... we think that conversations begin with a polite "hello," and an introduction where appropriate.  Given that you and I missed that "hello, my name is ___________________" step, I'll just call you "Santa Rosa."  I hope you don't mind.

Santa Rosa -- 
I have to admit that your questions really caught me off guard.  And, actually, that isn't true.  It wasn't the questions themselves so much as the shocked tone that surprised me.  Even with your "I'm not trying to be mean or negative" disclaimer, you sound scandalized.  That's where I'd like to start.  What is it about our relationship; our family that would give cause for scandal?  We love one another.  We care for one another.  We do the things that families do -- gathering over dinner, sharing chores, making decisions about finances, supporting one another through the tough days, and rejoicing for one another when things go well.  We are a family.  Admittedly, there are more of us than you will find in a traditional marriage.  We are three and not two.  Tom and T were already a couple when I met them.  They were in love, and in time they married.  I was there to celebrate the occasion with many of their friends and family members.  When love grew up between He and I, we did not do what is so often done by those in "traditional" marriages.  We did not decide that someone had to "lose" so that someone else could "win."      Rather than kicking one love to the curb in order to actualize a loving connection to another love, we chose, deliberately, to stay together -- and love each other.  What is it about that choice that causes you to sound so shocked?  

Maybe it is our sexual and erotic lifestyle that give you pause.  Maybe it is the clear and unvarnished admission here that we are sexual with one another, and that our erotic preferences are out of the "mainstream."  There is, sadly, still societal bias against our BDSM and poly relational styles -- a deep seated prejudice insisting that there is something wrong, perverse, sick, and shameful about us.  I reject that set of assumptions and biases.  There is nothing wrong with loving as we love.  Our erotic orientation toward BDSM is not perverse or sick, although it is surely different than what we sometimes call vanilla sexuality.  You may assume, Santa Rosa, that there is something for me to be ashamed of in what is written here -- but that is your perception and does not match anything in my reality.

Begin with that perspective, and the rest of your confusion and bewilderment will probably lessen significantly.  

So, let's tick off the cast of "known" readers who are related to us, one way or another:

  • My ex-husband's wife.  Yes.  Clearly, she is a reader here.  She didn't learn about us through her marriage to the ex-husband.  She knew of us before my divorce.  In fact, she was in a spanking relationship with Master before I arrived on the scene.  So, I very much doubt that anything she is reading here is shocking to her.  
  • Ex-husband.  I don't know if he reads here or not.  He may.  I have nothing to hide from him.  We were married.  For 28 years.  We are no longer married.  He knows about my life and my relationship.  He lived the beginnings of this with me.  It wasn't for him.  I hope he is happy in his new life.  I wish him all the best.
  • My adult children.  My son is 35, and my daughter is 33.  They are really, really all grown up.  They both know about my lifestyle.  I don't bring it up, and they generally don't ask.  What is important to the two of them is that I am well and loved and cared for.  They understand and appreciate that this is my choice.    They know about this place.  They might read here -- or not.  I suspect that they do not.  Probably, they are like many adults who would prefer not to know the details of their parents' sex lives, and so simply do not look.  Like you, Santa Rosa, they would have to make deliberate choices to read here.  They are surely welcome if they are curious.
  • Master's ex-wife.  Yes.  She has made it clear that she knows about this blog.  Our stats show that she peeks in from time to time.  She doesn't bring it up and neither do we.  If she had questions, we'd be happy to answer them.  Our relationship with her remains cordial.
  • Master's adult daughter.  Yes, she did, indeed, make it clear that she knew about us; had read the blog; and was, like you Santa Rosa, shocked and appalled.  In her anger with her Father, at the time of her wedding, she made some pretty clumsy threats about perhaps exposing us...  But I imagine that her better instincts kicked in and she chose to take the high road.  After all, if she isn't going to relate to us, why would she care what we do or do not do.  It does not impact her life in any way.
  • Master's adult son.  Hmmm...  I always think that one knows everything and understands more than that.  He is the wisest young person I have ever had the privilege to know.  To date, he has not given us any indication that he knows about this blog, but I wouldn't be surprised if his sister, or his mother, put him on to us.  Again, there is nothing here of which we are ashamed; nothing in our lives which we hide from our families.  

We DO still blog, Santa Rosa.  We have blogged for a very long time now.  It will be seven years next month.  The words here tell our story.  The words here give us peace.  The words let us talk with each other and with our community.  The words help us work out confusions and conundrums.  It is an important outlet for us; an important connection.  

You suggest that perhaps it doesn't matter about our families reading here because we didn't invite them to read this blog, and so it is their problem.  Actually, for some of them, that isn't true.  My adult children were in fact told about this blog and invited to read (or not) if they wanted to do that.  We invite everyone in some sense.  We do not hide.  We never have.  Some people find this blog interesting.  Some, I think, find it helpful as they chart their own course.  Maybe some even find it titillating or exciting, although I have to admit that I find that one hard to comprehend.  

When it is all said and done, Santa Rosa, this blog is for us.  We do it because it works for us on a lot of different levels.  There are risks.  We know that.  We understand that what we write here is "out there" for anyone and everyone to see.  We live with that reality.  The fact is that the danger is there whether we write or not.  The society in which we live is continually in opposition to people like us.  The threat never ends; never goes away; is never completely out of our awareness.  We live our lives in hiding.  We keep ourselves to ourselves.  We are ever alert to the potential of exposure in the wrong place.  We write to connect.  We write to affirm our lives and our reality.  We write because that is what we can do.  Those who love us, love us.  For the rest?  They will never see what is wrong with their righteousness.  I have no time for them.



Life Story -- Six Words

Could you write your life story in six words? Listening to the chatter in my own head, set off by the pointed, and from my perspective, unjustified judgment contained in L's commentsI stumbled across an interesting book, published in 2009, titled I Can't Keep My Own Secrets, a book of 800 six-word memoirs by famous and everyday teens, collected by the editors ofSmith Magazine.

There are lots and lots of things that I could say, if I were inclined to engage with her about her assumptions, her misconceptions, her limited perspectives.  I am not inclined to engage that.  She may believe in some sort of old testament, eye for an eye-style retribution, but I don't; never have; will not start now.  I could go on and on for a very long time, telling the story of "my" life -- and that would intersect in significant ways with the story of L's now husband (who once married me).  That feels self-indulgent, potentially mean-spirited, and not even very interesting at this point in my life.  

Six words seem artistic.  Six words seem powerful.  Six words seem disciplined.  Six words seem to insist that only that which actually, really, vitally matters earns a place in the story.  Six words intrigue me...

I'm His.  He's mine.  We are... 

Do you want to play along?  Leave a comment with your story in six words.


Love and Power Exchange

Sin started a conversation about the conjunction between love and D/s, and Oatmeal Girl picked up the thread here.  It is one of those discussions that comes up periodically in our BDSM community, and I’m certain we’ll never agree on this one one – does participation in a power exchange relationship mean there is also a “love” relationship?  Will one lead to the other?  Can the two things exist independently or each other? Like so much of what we do, the commingling of love and power exchange is uniquely expressed in each relationship.  We all do it differently, and we’re ferocious in the tenacity with which we cling to “our” way of doing “our” relatedness.  Which is exactly as it should be.

Brain scientists are learning more and more about what makes us "tick." According to an ever expanding body of research, we feel the emotions associated with being "in love" because of a stew of hormones and neural chemicals acting on the pleasure centers and memory circuits in our brains.  Sex stimulates the release of vasopressin and oxytocin.  Dopamine, serontonin, and endogenous opioids play seemingly critical roles in romantic love and long-term pair-bonding.  The systems overlap and interact in order to enable mating, pair-bonding and parenting.  Of course, cultural and social factors, and learning, play big roles, too. If we are successful in love, it comes down to knowing the range of factors that lead from arousal to the rewards of sex, love and attachment. 

It really seems that, at some level, when it comes to love, we all dance to a tune of which we are hardly even aware.  It might not be so surprising then, that we have conflicting reactions to the intricate patterns of love and sex and power that rise up in our unique and intense kinds of relatedness. 
Within the BDSM realm, we already understand that there are parts of what we do that stir up the chemical cocktail that includes the whole list of pleasure related hormones and endogenous opioids that are also, intimately, connected to the experiences of lust, romance, and long-term attachment.  It is definitely possible to play with all of that, and not land in the lap of love and romance, but it is a risky business.  If we don't mingle SM play with sex, maybe it is easier to not find ourselves "caught" in the web.  If we don't mix D/s with sex or with SM, probably things are going to be less tangled.  If we don't pair up in long term partnerships, but stay with a more footloose play style, the odds of staying unattached are likely going to improve.  

I can't speak in generalities.  I won't even try to classify or explain the ways that other people do this thing we do.  I may be able to say one or two things about how love and power exchange have co-existed inside the relationship that Tom and I share.  It isn't intended to be prescriptive.  My path isn't one that anyone else ought to follow.  Consider this to be just me rambling -- maybe even just reminiscing.

First -- We met.  Online.  We shared a common interest in "spanking," and in the beginning, that was contained within the context of Domestic Discipline (DD).  We had some common interests, and we were "emotionally" compatible -- we liked each other.  I know that all seems pretty self-evident, but the truth is that, especially within the context of BDSM, the necessary first step of finding each other is critical.  It may be easier today than it was just a decade or so ago, but we are still in the minority, and still persecuted to a large degree.  Making connections is a challenge that has to be surmounted if anything else is going to happen.

Then -- We talked.  A lot.  Online, and on the phone, and in person.  We came to know one another as friends.  We discovered that we didn't have big deal-breaker differences.  We had congruence around our world views, our political views, our life paths to that point.  We saw things in similar ways.  We might have done better at that.  Might have talked about the things that have proved to be huge roadblocks for us, and maybe if we'd done that, we'd have saved ourselves some pain...  Or maybe we would have chosen not to walk this path together.  I don't know.  We did what we did.

And -- We began to play together, and talk about playing together... obsessively.  We were crazy for each other.  It might have been love.  It was surely lust.  Across 1200 miles we longed and yearned and pined for one another.  We couldn't wait to be together, and we couldn't bear to be apart.  We made decisions that changed all of our lives, and we did that in the heat of passion.  Would we have been more cautious without all that fire?  If we'd managed to evaluate all of it in the cold, calculating calm of a business transaction...?  

In Time -- We came together to live and love and learn and grow.  It was, in the beginning, glorious.  There was so much delayed gratification.  We felt as if we were a perfect match.  We loved and played and talked and laughed and explored.  We were completely wrapped up in each other, and there weren't enough hours in a day for us to BE together.  We looked out into a future and I thought we were looking at a long, lovely, happy path that would carry us through to the end of our days.  

But -- Of course, life happens.  Over time, we dealt with every kind of challenge -- surgeries, and illness, and death, and financial trouble, and divorce, and all the myriad everyday disappointments that fall on top of everyone's life.  I just kept saying to myself... someday it will all settle down and we'll go on to live happily ever after.  My parents didn't name me Pollyanna, but they probably should have.  I was in love.  I felt loved.  I believed we could overcome anything.  ANYTHING!  

And Then -- The earth opened up and swallowed us whole.  The things we never really talked about caught up with us.  My childhood abuse history.  His Childhood abuse history.  The things that grew out of that -- issues with abandonment and a demand for safety from my side; addiction and disengagement on His part.  We were a disaster careening toward an ugly crash.  And, people tried to warn us.  We ignored them all.  We were in love after all -- star-crossed and meant to be.  We broke the rules and made our own way.  We were big on "going confidently in the direction of our dreams -- living the life we imagined."  We had our battles, but we always recovered.  We didn't live easily with the places where we were at odds, but we never addressed them either.  We pretended we could just avoid  looking at the monsters lurking around the edge of our beautiful world.  We were wrong.  

Now -- We are living in the rubble of what was.  We are each miserable, angry, confused, bitter, frightened. We cling to loving each other.  And we still tend to fall into patterns that have been established between us over the last decade.  We don't trust each other.  We don't believe in each other.  We don't talk, and we don't listen.  We fight... continual battles of recrimination and blame and accusation.  We are a mess.  There's no power exchange anymore.  He insists He has no power.  I assert that He has all the power.  We go round and round and round.  Long days and hours pass where we don't speak.  At all.  We love anyway.  

I guess there's no answer to the question I started off.  Seems there is no way for me to not bring everything back to me.  I apologize.  It is all I can do.



My Latest To Sue in the Aftermath of Our "Impasse"

Two posts below, in "Impasse," I described our most recent developments as we continue to struggle through my/our recovery or sentence or whatever it is this now year long passage has been/is. The aftermath has led me to question what is the basis for our power exchange relationship, in that it has clearly profoundly changed from what it was through our past years together.

I am struggling to figure out what it is that can still work for us. I am seeking her involvement in that process with little success. Anything I do feels to me as though it is defined as being abusive, no matter how I try to approach it..............or that is my perception.

I wonder if since Sue has trouble discussing this with me in person or IM if perhaps corresponding here she will feel more comfortable responding to these issues.

Perhaps too someone else has some wisdom that can help resolve this.

Anyway this is an email I wrote to Sue this morning, after my trying to discuss the issue of what the status of our current M/s is in the aftermath of the events of the past week, and then having that discussion being ruled out as one that she could engage in because that was an excuse to beat her up. So here is my email:

OK so I get that somehow you think my feeling sad and hurt about the end of our M/s is some sort of abuse or one-up-manship or something................I don't understand what.

Maybe if I write to you it will make some sense. It is clear that you are in control of this relationship. You control my life. You want to be benevolent in that control and you want me to express a sense of power too (if I ever have that sense again). You would welcome that.

I am confused entirely about this business that you want to assert your power and then you want to go back to what we had before--our M/S or something like it. You want to dictate the terms of that relationship by making ultimata of what it must be or else you will pull away or end it. I may not share about my feelings if they are topics you have ruled out of bounds, or you will end conversations or go away. I don't understand how all this can be true..............I am Master who is dictated to.

The M/s we had you sought and you defined. I certainly concurred and then took the Master role from your definition and consent. I had ultimate power to decide. There was never anything like you telling me what you would or not discuss. There never was anything like you telling me if I stepped out of line by discussing things you didn't want me to you would just walk away or leave. That was totally out of bounds. Now we have this............and your need to label what we are now M/s, and my huge need for us to be OK together and to feel some sort of well-being between us again.

Please do not see this as some sort of "abuse." Talk to me...............or if that is not possible write to me.

What is it you want under the lable of M/s. You want me to give you your collar back. What does that now mean? I don't get this. I am not trying to abuse you. I am lost, confused, hurt. I don't know how to relate to you or what I can say or do. Could it be all we have to do is negotiate a new power exchange (DUH as I write that it is so obvious to me I can't even believe it took writing this for me to express it.)

I was dumbfounded this morning when you told me that you were ending the conversation because for me to bring this topic up was just a way for me to beat you up. I don't know where I can go with you in conversation.

Then when you bemoaned your not having a collar despite this, I feel like I have landed on some new planet where I am dealing with an alien with no cultural commonality as a basis for conversation.

So what is it you want for us to be? Let's go back to M/s if that is what you want. What would that mean to you? I will respond from my perspective as best I can, although I don't know that I have enough sense of my self to even know what it is I want....who I am to want anything.

This is just yet one more final loss that I don't understand, don't know what to do with..........

I love you,



A BIG Thank You!!!

I just want to take a moment to thank Serendipity with The pendants she made for me are beautiful. The stone to the left is Sue/Amethyst, the center stone is Tom/Diamond, and I am to the right/Garnet. She made this custom order for me for Christmas, but after the last few days, we all needed a gift to get us back on track to what is most

Thanks again, Serendipity!!