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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.



I've been reading The Mind Body Problem, by Rebecca Goldstein.  The novel centers around the relationship between two characters, Renee and her husband, mathematical genius, Noam Himmel.  Theirs is, from the outset, a terrible mismatch -- simultaneously painful and  intriguing.

At one point, the book delves into the question (from a philosophical and mathematical standpoint) of whether sex is interesting.  So, I've found myself pondering...  Is it?

There's the, more or less, ubiquitous set of sensations.  For all the variation among us; size, shape, color, temperament, appetite, belief...  the range of human sexual experience is pretty similar.  Those of us in the BDSM community tend, I suspect, to think we've concocted a wider and wilder range of sexual experience, but even with our kinky repertoire added to the mix, the sexual sensation catalog only has so many pages.

Once we have, ourselves, crossed the line that delineates sexual imagining and sexual fantasy from sexual experience, the extent of the territory to be explored is bounded.  From missionary position, one on one, penis in vagina copulation, through the realms of tantric pleasures, and on into the varieties of power exchange and sadomasochistic play, there are only so many sensations that can be wrung from the human frame.  We may pick from the menu of options.  We may combine the elements in a dizzying array of possibilities.  We may achieve orgasms, in singles and multiples, and in whatever order, individually or as couples.  We can wash, rinse, and repeat until we wear ourselves completely out.  And then what?  Once we've poked and prodded and stroked and wrestled one another into sexual delirium a few hundred or a few thousand times.  Once we know all the angles, and every nuance, and every single moan and sigh ...  is sex interesting?

What say you?


First Day

We are off!
Today was the first full day of school.
119 students between the ages of 11 and 14.
Temperatures were in the low 90's today, and the humidity was in the 85% range.
Wicked hot.
Inside our nearly 100 year old building, with NO air conditioning, it was sweltering.
Death by sweat.
The forecast is for the heat to continue this week.
And next.
And then we should see a bit of a cool down.
I hope.
Until then, we just try and stay hydrated.
Suck it up, and forge forward.
Hot, hot, hot, hot!


School Starts

Tomorrow marks the beginning of this 2014-2015 school year.  I think that I am ready to go...

I have new school clothes and new school shoes.  The room is all clean and neat and organized (the ONLY time this year that it will be any of those things).  I have lesson plans and science labs all set and ready to go.

All that remains is to add kids.  They bring the whole business to life, create the questions, find the solutions, seek out the new ideas and share what they find.  In some ways, the work I do is about setting all of that in motion, and then trying to stay out of their way.  What I give them is the space and time to work and figure out what is out there waiting for them to find it.  I provide the assurance that they CAN do that, I encourage their efforts and cheer their attempts.  I help them mop up after failures, and I sit with them as they plan new ways of tackling problems that challenge them.  It is a mad, messy, chaotic, up and down endeavor, and I love it all.

I am in the remaining hours before we all come together to start a new year.  It is, for me, always a time of nervous, anxious, worried "what if-ing."  As long as I have done this work, I never seem to approach a new year without worrying about the beginning.  So, now I just need the kids to arrive.  I need us to start.  I need us to meet and smile and shake hands and turn together to walk into the new year together.

I just hate the waiting!


A Slow, Sleepy Summer

We've slept through a good bit of this summer.  We have.
Chalk it up to the reality that we are each growing older.  I saw my 59th birthday last February, and he turned 65 in April.  Neither of us are ancient, but we're not youngsters either.  Clearly.
I came into this summer break with more than the usual level of exhaustion.  A difficult ending to the last school year left me sad, worn, feeling drained.  I finished without my usual sense of elation at the ending.  And, it has taken me all of the long days and nights to get myself back into some kind of feeling of vitality and personal well-being.  We have simply slept and slept and slept, rising around 11:00 most mornings.
I've struggled mightily with migraine headaches this summer, seldom going more than a day or two without a monster headache.  Severity has been more of an issue as well.  Frequency and intensity and duration all part of a personal battle that has left me too often gasping on the shores of a sea of headache pain.
Tom has had a really tough month following the cardiac ablation in July.  The procedure itself was more difficult than we expected, and then there were complications to COMPLICATE things.  He has spent a month feeling pretty miserable -- worn out and in pain.  And so, when we have been able to get him to rest comfortably, we have... slept.
Maybe, at some level, we have needed all these long, slow, sleepy days to finally complete that transit through all the various challenges of the last number of years.  There has been no real drama.  No days of anger and bitterness.  We've simply curled up together and drifted along on a time of peace and calm.
Now, the days of summer are ending, officially.  According to the calendar.  Time for me to head back to the classroom.  In some ways, I feel like we squandered the opportunity to play and spank and wind ourselves
back into some sort of hot and passionate and kinky spin.  But then, I suspect that we will be better having taken these quiet, soft, warm days together.  Perhaps, this summer will become for us, the invincible summer that will carry us forward into and through the coming winter.  And so, in this last weekend before the whirl begins, I am glad for this long, lazy, sleepy summer shared with my dear love.



I am one week away from the beginning of the week of meetings ahead of the start of the school year.  What a summer it has been.

Today, I did manage to finally go "over the top" with my summer "bag challenge."  I cleaned out the drawer in my kitchen where those plastic containers tend to accumulate.  Lots of them were without lids, and a lot of them were just tired and worn out.  I am down to just those that are decent and actually usable now.  The others were relegated to the neighborhood recycling bin.

The other bag today, was filled with old pants and jeans that I just don't like or wear anymore.  So those will be hauled off to the second-hand store later this week.

I am not done.  There are more nooks and crannies for me to weed through, but I am pleased to have done what I set out to do at the beginning of the summer.

We are still living with way more stuff than we really need around here, but it is less cluttered than it was when I started.  I'll take it.


Being Happy

Many, many, many years ago, I had a friend who was fanatically seeking after spiritual growth.  I met her while I was studying with a Lakota Sioux teacher.  She was "ahead" of me on the path, and I came to believe that it was very important to her to STAY ahead of me.  We shared many of the same dreams and the same general orientation to the spiritual world.  As she worked and toiled to discern her spiritual paht, she never did understand my tendency to meander along that same path, picking up pretty stones and lingering on fallen logs next to singing brooks.

We maintained a push-pull friendship for many years, and then there came a day when I decided that I was no longer interested in "seeking" the way.  I had come to understand that I was "on the path;" that everything I did and every choice I made was part of it all.  I didn't have to go find the "spirit," I realized.  I was "spirit," and everything about my life was a manifestation of that reality.  So, I quit chasing the esoteric wisps of expanded consciousness.  The day to day, mundane world in which I lived was, I believed, enough.  There was no need to search further.

My friend was angry.  Furious, in fact.  "What are you doing?" she demanded.  :What do you think you are going to do, now?"

"I am going to be happy," I told her.  She sputtered in exasperation, turned her back, and walked away.  We never spoke again.  She would not answer the phone, or return my calls.  Letters went unanswered.  Our once parallel paths never ran in tandem again.

I embarked on a solitary path that day, and that is the first thing that I have learned about being happy.  No one in responsible for making me happy.  The random events of my days are not the causes of my happiness.  I choose to be happy, or not.  It is something that each of us does all by ourselves.  No one can do it for us.

I think, from the perspective of almost six decades, that most people would say that they want to be happy, but that few ever figure out that they can BE happy.  With fifteen some years in the BDSM lifestyle, I have chased after happiness myself, and I've had plenty of company while I did it.  I can look back over the years, many of them documented in this blog, and see all that frantic, obsessive, compulsive flailing after the "elusive" happiness I sought.  It has been, in some significant degree, the emotional equivalent of a snipe hunt (as described by Wikipedia):

“A snipe hunt, a made up hunt that is also known as a fool’s errand, is a type of practical joke that involves experienced people making fun of credulous newcomers by giving them an impossible or imaginary task. The origin of the term is a practical joke where inexperienced campers are told about a bird or animal called the snipe as well as a usually preposterous method of catching it, such as running around the woods carrying a bag or making strange noises such as banging rocks together.” 

I think that one of the important lessons I've learned in these last few years is that I can choose to be happy.  I am not at the mercy of people or events.  My happiness is not a function of anything that those around me do or do not do, nor is it irretrievably linked to what is going on in the external environment.  Things do not have to be perfect for me to be happy.  It really is a simple choice -- If you want to be happy, then be that.

The thing that really does seem to impact our sense of happiness, according to a new study just published by neuroscientists at the College of London is our level of expectation.  Disappointment is the poison pill for happiness, as it turns out.  If my expectations are higher than the likely "payoff" in any given situation, then I will become disappointed (I got less than I hoped for), and my happiness evaporates.  The real trick to being happy most of the time is to manage expectations, while allowing myself to notice what is good about the present moment.

So, for example, if I work myself into some big, romantic, the orchestra swells and the fireworks light up the sky, imagined encounter sort of relational expectation ... and what I get is the much more typical, weekend morning hard-on that needs to be attended to, so would you please... deal, I am likely to feel a huge letdown, and then it is pretty easy to get tipped over into feeling unhappy.  Rawr, rawr, rawr, rawr...

If on the other hand, I go through my days, happy for the companionship, glad for the supports I do get, aware of the life that I get to live right here and right now, my expectations stay in line with the likely outcomes, and it is a lot easier to be happy.

That is, I suspect, the function that the once popular "gratitude journal" used to serve.  Although I never got into that practice that swept the cyber universe a few years back, I can see the value of that discipline.  If we look at our lives with the intent to see those things that are good and for which we ought to be grateful, then we do not look outward and compare what we have to others, and begin wishing and longing for some "better" reality.  Looking at my good, comfortable home, the meals that get put on my table, the closet full of comfortable clothes, the satisfying work, the loving family that surrounds me, I am better at living for me in this moment.

So... Yeah.  It is probably just that easy.  Stay in the moment.  Enjoy and appreciate what is.  Don't compare my life to anyone else's life.  Don't try to make someone else responsible for my happiness.  Tah Dah!


Why Marriage Matters Ohio

Tomorrow, August 6, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeal will hear five marriage cases from four states, including two from Ohio.

Tonight, hundreds of supporters of marriage equality gathered for a public rally ahead of tomorrows court arguments.  

The public support effort is being largely spearheaded by Why Marriage Matters Ohio ( ).  If you care.  If it matters to you...  Go now, and sign the pledge.  Support the effort.  If we all stand together, someday soon, marriage will be a right for all families in this country.

What Is a Community?

When I first started writing blog posts, some ten years ago, I was mostly hoping to find others to talk to; people who were "like me," that might understand what I was trying to learn and do and be.  In time, I came to feel like the people that I "met" through the comments written here, and the comments I was able to leave other places, were a community of like-minded others, and sometimes, even friends. 
Communities are, by nature, distinctive.  One community is not like another.  Communities know what they are about.  The members recognize each other, and community members know who is not part. A social community, like this one in which we all participate, is one in which people are invited to come together online to learn, educate, mentor and discover more about themselves, and one another.  As most of us have learned over the years, our community works best when our interactions are easy, when we communicate in ways that make sense, when each of us feel secure and welcomed.
I've learned to value that community, and I have come to the point where I am unwilling to continue to struggle with the question of what to do about those who sometimes come here, uninvited, and impinge on what we have here.  From my perspective, members of MY community, have shared my journey; they know my story; they've walked this road with me, and they have been steadfast companions.  Companions, community members, don't snipe.  They don't make off the cuff judgments.  They don't take sides.  They don't insist on some sort of retribution for perceived wrongs that have nothing to do with them.  Companions, friends, listen carefully.  They sit with one another.  They stay for the good times and the bad times, and there is never any doubt that a friend will be there no matter what.
That's the criteria for me.  From now on.  This blog is a place that belongs to me; a place that I share with those of you who choose to be part of my little community.  You know who you are.
Anyone else, those who are uninvited, are not welcome.  I will know you by your actions, by your words.  If there is any hint in what you come here to say, that you are "not a friend," I will remove all traces of your presence.  I will guard and protect this place.  I will preserve this small corner of the cyber world for myself, and those who choose to be here with me.


Being Honest

It is a widely held tenet of the BDSM lifestyle that honesty and transparency are important.  Even foundational.  Necessary for this thing we do to work.

I've often heard it said that this person or that will absolutely not tolerate dishonesty.  Mistakes in judgement -- yes.  Carelessness -- OK.  Plain, downright stupidity -- sure... even that. But not ever, never, no way will we tolerate dishonesty.

It makes sense.  I guess.  But I wonder what we really mean when we say we demand honesty and transparency.  No.  I wonder what I mean by that.  Me.

Because here's the thing.  I have been kinky since I was old enough to masturbate, and that was just not that old.  Actually, I've been kinky since way before I was old enough to realize that being the way I am was not OK with the rest of the world.  I learned to pretend that I wasn't like this at a very young age.  By the time I reached the age of majority, I was a practiced liar.  Mostly, at that point, I lied to myself.  I was pretty naive, but I knew that if I were to live the "happily ever after" dream that was the background to every girlish imagining, I was going to have to play the part of a good girl / nice woman.  No dark fetish tinged longings were allowed in the planned for future of marriage and family and successful career.  So lying became the garment that I wore closest to my skin.

And the guy I married; he lied too.  First he lied when he promised to take care of me and my children.  That wasn't something he was prepared to do; able to do.  He tried to maintain the illusion, but it just wasn't in his makeup.  He was who he was -- good hearted, sweet, loving.  He was no bread winner.  Nor was he strong and protective by his nature.  He might have convinced the 19 year old I was then that he was my knight in shining armor, but he knew it wasn't true.  It was just that the lie was required if he was to have the life he wanted.

Somewhere along the line, I began to itch under the weight of the lie I was living.  I began to "come out" as the freakish, fetish driven, weirdo I really was.  Telling even some of that truth turned out to be no panacea.  Honesty is not always the best policy.  Standing in front of the man I'd married and telling him the truth about what I was and what I wanted created a whole new level of intimate dishonesty.  What, after all, was he to do with that information?  He wasn't any part of that dark world.  He neither understood it nor wanted it.  He only wanted his "comfortable, normal, socially acceptable" life to go on as it had been.  So, he lied again.  To meet my need, my demand, he tried to take on the guise of the dominant partner in my little personal movie.  His dishonesty was understandable, I guess.  My insistence on that dishonesty was unforgivable.

But the sad tale doesn't end there.  Needs denied are wicked things.  They whisper in the darkness.  The hunger is never sated, and the longings never stop.  It is a kind of madness swirling out of control.  Anyone who has ever passed through the attempt to shove a fetish into some kind of back corner, or box, or closet, knows the futility; knows how the squashed down, buried, hidden desires come roaring out, demanding their day in the sun.

I found my way to get that dark drive fulfilled.  I don't think it was conscious or planned.  I only knew that when the opportunity came to get spanked, flogged, and caned by Tom, I was not about to walk the other way.  Married?  Yeah.  I was.  He was. I was willing to toss those vows in the can; willing to move away from my children; willing to quit a good job; willing to sell the family home.  There was nothing I wasn't willing to do or give up in order to get what I wanted.  That simple.  I wanted, and that was all I knew.  Turned out that my commitment to being wife or mother was only sort of that.  Commitment? 'Til death do us part?  In sickness or in health?  For as long as you both shall live?  Once upon a time, long long ago, I said yes to all of that.  I lied.  So.

Probably, in the rush and excitement, I lied to myself.  I told myself that I could give up everything, give up my self, be nothing at all.  I think I tried to believe the fiction that I could lose myself and be fulfilled in that loss.  I'm sure that I wasn't honest with Tom.  I let him believe that I was that "perfectly" submissive who needed only him, and really, only as much of him as he was willing to give.  I let him believe that I could just join the stable of butts and it would all be fine with me.  "Whatever you want, whenever you want."  That is what I told him; what I told myself.

As it turned out, there was no way to talk myself into that story either.  I did try.  But we are who we are.  No matter the stories we tell ourselves.

I don't know the lies others tell.  Maybe, some never do.  Tell lies.  Maybe some are as open and honest and transparent as I've read for all these years.  Maybe there are those who do not carry around dark secrets and shameful hidden failings.  That must be so, because, to demand that level of truthfulness from another person, you would have to live up to that standard yourself.  Wouldn't you?  Wouldn't I?


Two More Bags

I am not a shopper.  I've never been a clothes horse.  I like my comfortable things, and I tend to be pretty clueless about current fashion trends.  When I find something that I like, that fits, that feels comfortable and easy to wear, I tend to keep it darn near forever.


I had a pair of brown, flat, ankle-high boots when he and I first met.  I loved them.  They were soft and comfortable...  and well worn.  I think I'd had them for probably 10 years at that point.  That was 12 years ago.  Every time I put them on, he fussed because, they were pretty pathetic I guess. But they were my brown boots, and I held on to them fiercely.  Finally, about 3 years ago, he bought me a pair of brown Frye boots.  They are very nice boots, and while they are not flat, the heels are reasonable.  I like them, and I did, eventually, let my old brown boots go.  But I am just like that.

My closet is just full of old, faded, well-worn, and much loved stuff. But tonight, I resumed my bag challenge from earlier in the summer.  I waded into the closet, and peeled out all the old, too tight, too short-wasted, too faded, too frayed tops and sweaters.  Not pants or dresses or jackets.  Those will have to wait for another time.  Just tops tonight.  When I was done, I had two more bags of tops to be thrown out or sent on to the second-hand store.

I'm not done with closet thinning, but this was a good start.  That brings the bag challenge total to 39.  I'm thinking I will make that 40 bag mark and then some by the time I head back to school on the 19th.


Miles and Miles of Hospital Hallways

On July 24, Tom had a cardiac ablation to correct a heart arrhythmia and a steadily falling ejection fraction.  The ablation was intended to burn out nodes in his heart that were generating errant electrical impulses, and so, causing the heart to dance to all sorts of odd rhythms.  The procedure took 4-1/2 hours.  When the catheters (3 of them) were removed from his artery and veins, the expectation was that it would take 25 minutes of a nurse applying pressure on the wounds to stop the bleeding.  Instead, it took more than an hour.  However, things did finally calm down, and after a 13-hour day, T and I were able to bring him home.  He had orders to take it easy for a few days, and limitations on any heavy lifting, but otherwise the only thing we really needed to do was let him rest and regain his strength.

By Wednesday, he was feeling pretty good.  He had a talk that he was scheduled to give that evening, and so, at about 1:00 PM, he was sitting at the dining table and going over his material for the presentation.  He coughed.  Once.  No big deal.  Just a cough.  He felt something go "pop" in his groin, in the vicinity of the incisions from the ablation.  Immediately, he complained of a sharp pain at that site.  He sat there for a few minutes, believing it would probably just go away.  But, of course, because we never do these medical things without complications, it didn't.  Go away.  After a few minutes, I helped him into the bedroom, got his jeans pulled off, and took a look.  There was a scary looking bulge there in his groin. It was about an inch and a half long, and about a half of an inch wide.  No blood, but scary just the same.  We called the cardiologist's office, and were told to go straight to the emergency room.

I grabbed a bag, tossed in a few things, poured him a fresh coffee, and we took off.  Because everything always happens in a fashion to create maximum challenge, T was tied up on a jury all week.

We made the drive to the hospital in about 15 minutes, and walked into the emergency room, where people were lined up, practically out the door.  It was chaos.  We got him into a wheelchair, got him checked in, and began the long, long, long wait.  Emergency rooms are never comfortable places to wait.  Never.  We arrived at about 1 PM.  It was about 4:00 when they diagnosed a pseudoaneurysm with an AV fistula.  We called and cancelled his talk, and prepared to get him admitted.  It was 9:30 when they finally came to get him to move him to a room, which was, mercifully private.

Actually, as hospital rooms go, this one was pretty nice with even a small sofa that converted into a sort of a bed.  And so we settled in to wait for the next day and the tests that would determine if he needed an angiogram, or perhaps a thrombin injection to coagulate the aneurysm, or (worst case) surgery to repair it.  It was a long, worried, sleepless night.  We were up early the next morning.  Might as well, neither of us were sleeping much.  Waiting was the watchword for the day.  Wait to see the doctor.  Wait to get the diagnostic ultrasound that was needed.  Wait for them to read the ultrasound.  Wait to find out what they would do.  No comfortable place to sit.  Hospital food.  And the room was chilly.  Really chilly.  And, for reasons that I will never, ever understand, the hospital pharmacy could not get his medications right.  Even though we travel with a detailed list of everything he takes and WHY he takes it.  Trying to give him stuff he doesn't take, while refusing to give him the things he does take and needs to have. Eventually, I came home, and packed up his medications here, and took them back with me.  The nurses fuss about that.  They really don't like patients taking their own medications, but tough.  No choice as far as I could tell.

Finally, we heard at noon, that they would do the thrombin injection.  In half an hour.  Yay!  Yikes!  Deep tissue injection guided by ultrasound imaging. A very precise, very technical, amazing procedure.  Even with some lidocaine to help numb the area, he said it was an intense experience.

Then.  More waiting.  More uncomfortable furniture.  More marginal food.  More chilly temperatures.  Long, long, long day.  T got done with the day's work on the jury and drove down to sit with us for an hour or so.  Then, to bed.  We both slept some better.  Although, of course, one has to deal with all the hospital personnel that NEED whatever they think they need at midnight, and 2AM, and 3 AM, and 5 AM...

Another ultrasound this morning showed that the thrombin worked.  The aneurysm was whatever it was they wanted it to be.  Not sure what the actual description might be.  But good.  Perfect in fact.  The vascular surgeons were quite happy, and at 9:00 this morning, they told us we were good to go. Yay!  If only it were that easy.  Hospital hierarchy and general nonsense kept us sitting there until 3PM.  Only then did we finally get them to remove the IV, hand over the discharge papers, and summon a wheelchair to transport him out of there.  I took off to go get the car, brought it around to the front, loaded him in, and we headed home.

Tonight, we are all home.  The jury finished the case this morning.  The hospital stay is ended.  Our little places seem comfortable and cozy and welcoming.  We've all had a real shower and a decent meal.  The cats are starting to calm down.  Maybe now, we can just settle down, let him heal up, and enjoy the rest of this rapidly vanishing summer.