Yes, I switch.

In recent post Take Control or Submit, I began talking about concepts in BDSM that feel relevant to my learning. I feel like the practice resonates with me even if I am not always actively practicing it sexually.

I was first introduced to the language when I was picked up by a Dominant online. I was in a chat room, NOT for BDSM, and a man popped into my direct message in order to talk about art…something I posted was of interest to him. Looking back on it and watching him with others over time, he looked for these sorts of connections. He looked to find women that were specifically not trained in BDSM. He looked to pick through minds and light fires he was not equipped to tend. He fucked up my head, but I learned.

I was fascinated by the language of it and its impact on me. He asked more questions, and he seemed to listen to me. Being heard was something I specifically needed at the time but didn’t realize. His presence made me feel assured, confident, centered, and beautiful. Conversely, his absence made me feel lost. He was very present, and then he wasn’t.

He taught me about tasks and poses. I clothed in things he chose for me. I felt wrapped in his care when I walked around in my day. I sought in person learning experiences with other Doms, but I didn’t understand the convention of being “owned” by someone. There were not rules about that, but I didn’t understand rules at the time anyway. I hurt him by not understanding rules. It was not the first or last time in which expectations not clearly communicated would cause pain. I learned from a Dom who picked me up off of FetLife. His language was strong and exciting. I learned a lot from him. He was very clear that he had a love and our interactions were just play. He disappeared with no notice. I learned from a Dom who was less a Dom and more of a protector. He introduced me to parties and the potential for play with people only linked by the language of BDSM and kink. I learned to articulate my boundaries in those situations. Articulation of boundaries…this is the single most useful skill that I have learned from the kink community.

Somewhere along the way…I realized that shitty experiences with Doms made me grow to switch. I don’t like being told how and where and when. I don’t like being used. I don’t like the language of removing choice. I don’t like rules, but I love clear expectations. I think I realized it first as I was being told to orgasm on command, and expected to perform as such, and I leaned over to bite the pants of my Dom. I grabbed hold of his pants with my teeth and I got slapped, hard. And he yelled, “No biting.” I was confused. We had not talked about that as a rule or limit. I wouldn’t have bitten him hard or left a mark. I had expressed that degrading, abusive language, and yelling were all hard limits for me. He told me to stop being bratty as he doesn’t like brats. I don’t have an ounce of brat in me. I don’t push boundaries and rules expressed. I don’t seek to be put in my place or managed. I seek to be on equal footing. For me, that means having some equal time with my own dominance.

In no way do I mean to infer that subs are not equal to Doms…far from it, but power dynamics have a potential for abuse, manipulation, and dependence that make equality a rarity. Equality is essential to healthy sexual expression of BDSM. I think it is fair to claim your choice as a sub to submit to anything. I think it is an enormous responsibility for a Dom/Domme to care for the expressed needs of the sub.

I have spent a good amount of time using my Domme voice with others, both in a strictly play situation and with an ongoing partner. I feel an intense responsibility for anyone for whom I am a Domme, for any amount of time. I am not sure any of the Doms I have been with felt anywhere near the same sense of responsibility for me when I was serving. I was not equal in those cases.

When I look at myself, and my desire for balance, it is no wonder I switch. I like to plan, and I appreciate others planning for me. I like to be on top, and I like to be pounded from behind. I like to release myself not to think, and I like to care for another completely. I like to be close and equal. I like actual mutually balanced sharing…my voice and another combined. I like mutual desire and mutual responsibility…mutual accountability.

So, I switch, whether or not I practice my Domme or sub voices.

Take control or submit

Along my journey, I found some tools. They are sexuality tools, but they make profound sense outside of sex. I am talking about Dominance and submission, I am talking about BDSM, but beyond that…I am talking about the struggle balancing the desire for control with the release of control relinquished.

Over the next few posts, I want to talk about an accidental path I found. I am not sure if I will continue down the path. I may blaze my own trail back to the middle road. I may sit here a little while and think or sleep or dream. I may turn around and travel back to my diversion point. I may invoke magic and click my ruby red slippers to send me back to my home and my comforts.

Look at what I have learned though…

  • BDSM is not essential for me, but there are things to learn within its language.
  • I am a switch, and whether or not I practice it sexually, I feel it as an accurate descriptor of my spirit.
  • Power and dominance has a language that also encompasses responsibility.
  • Relinquishing power is amazing too, but it is NOT a substitute for making actual decisions about needs, wants, or desires.
  • Intensity of experience within the Dominant/submissive dynamic needs to be well respected for the equal intensity of potential drop in feelings associated when something goes wrong.
  • Aftercare…this is the most important part of any dynamic. I am learning to prefer to call it “allcare” – preparatory care, care throughout, and care after. Frankly, this is about every interaction with every partner EVER.
  • Every learning experience requires evaluation. Hindsight…in retrospect…now that I think about it…
  • My labels can be stretched, but the most relevant ones, those swell to encompass new ideas. Stretching…always tends to snap back…sometimes leaving a welt on the skin from the energy of the stretch released.
  • I want to write more, because that work matters to the development of my voice. I want to say out loud that Domme inside me. I want to surrender my will sometimes too. I want to be clear though…these voices are not about leather outfits and floggers. They are about decisions, responsibility, and the intimacy related to sharing that balancing act with a partner. I don’t need to practice BDSM to be a switch. I just need a partner who sees my spectrum and appreciates me whole.

I am taking control of my life and my decisions. I can say what I want and need, and I will make my life my own…for me…with my partner or partners over time. Call me Aria, I am solo voice…but I am not singing for myself alone. Can you hear me?

Closure: does it mean closed?

I can spend a lot of time thinking about closure, endings, and asking the never ending list of “what if”. It is the rabbit hole of no return. I want to know that I mattered, and that maybe, after the time to think has passed, he is sorry he was a fuckwad. There was something he didn’t tell me at the time. There was another factor in the decision making process that happened in his mind and not in our discussions. There was something other than…

There was something other than he didn’t want me…

I don’t care in most cases. I have had plenty of partners that just faded. Don’t need “closure” as I was never really invested. I was interested. I learned. I moved on. Door closed.

Needing closure is different. I want to understand the things that changed the investment level. I can see the stated reasons don’t match what my gut is understanding. The cognitive dissonance between my gut read and my mental understanding drives the need for closure. At the end of the day, I need to trust my gut more than any other tool I use. My intuition is spot on, and I need to believe in that instinct for everything I do. I need to trust it in order to make the upcoming changes for the future I deserve. Everything happens in an instant, in a succession of instances, and those judgements in snap time matter. I need my gut.

This means when we meet for lunch after not so much as 15 words in 8 months…that I need to see his face. I miss my friend – yes -, but what I really miss is knowing my gut instinct borders on flawless.

I want to see if he tells me what happened without my asking. I want to see how easy it is for him to look me in the eye. I want to know if he will try to hide from me…when he absolutely knows he cannot. When we met, he was attracted to the idea of radical, open communication. NO FILTERS. Will he tell me why? Will he say he is sorry for hurting me? Will he pretend no time has passed and that nothing has transpired in the way of pain?

Or, will it be evident that it was a gut read misinformed? Will it solidify that I made a mistake believing his words? Will it add to it a mistake of closure that will be extra painful? Will I then be sure it was me and not some unseen issue?

Does it matter?

Oooooof. That question.

What does closure really close? For this door, maybe I know after lunch on Wednesday. Maybe I will never know.

New normals

I am in the array of many brand new normals.

The world is starting to open up again, for better or worse, in this COVID-19 environment. I can leave the house now, but still, I feel like I am exposing myself to harm whenever I do. I am divorcing, and that journey is forcing brand new sets of normalcy. The lives of my children are changing too, and my role as a mother is changing too. I am no longer actively fucking multiple partners. I am focusing my energy in on place…on my love.

I need peace.

There is an excitement that is offered by multiple partners, playing without permission, and exploration of sexuality in general. My world is on fire in many different areas, and the excitement is tainted heavily by chaos and discomfort. I cannot manage the transition of divorce with the desired grace while I also feel responsible for the emotional well being of others.

This is the new normal I would like to voice. I need the simplification of partnerships so that I can learn NOT to feel responsible for the emotional well being of others. I am not saying I shouldn’t care for others…I just need to learn to care without carrying.

So I simplify and learn this new skill set. I learn peace. I learn stillness. I learn care through independence.

I will learn to be a better partner, and I let him learn to be mine. We will learn that new normal together…and expand from there outward to be what ever normal the future will bring us.

Maybe that will be some variation of nonmonogamy. Maybe that will be some variation of polyamory. Maybe that will be kinky as fuck. Maybe that will be simple, loving, vanilla and beautiful.

I suspect we will have many new normals in succession. That is life.

Still, I miss pieces of the old normal…and maybe some of those pieces will be future normal again.

The peace must be part of it for it to be sustainable.

Sssssssalaciousnesssssss

There is a lot of delicious salaciousness associated with sexuality expressed. Not all of it is associated with playing without permission, but some of it is the forbidden allure. I do not seek a future of lies, but I would like to keep the part that feels forbidden even with full consent.

With partners who give permission (and yes, I know you fucking hate that word), it can still feel like adventure and excitement. There are a lot of variables and details that aren’t always part of the script.

Yes, I will happily accept a spontaneous flogging.

Yes, I will tell my love how the back room five minute fuck felt.

Yes, I will meet you for a quick park make-out session.

Yes, I will admit that the bruise on my ass came from the gear shift in my car.

Yes, I will say I have had a man I just met look me straight in the eye at a bar as he very slowly slid his hand through my dress slit. He also pulled my hair at the bar by the way.

Yes, I have been very naughty in public parks.

Yes, I remember the raunchy words that I have used.

Yes, I take pictures in places not appropriate.

Yes, I dance with people suggestively.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

What I no longer wish to have in my vocabulary: fear, guilt, shame, inhibition. I don’t want to be afraid that being myself with hurt my spouse. I don’t want to be afraid of him finding out that the person he thinks he married doesn’t exist. It is sad, but she never was real. I am sorry for that. I feel guilty about EVERYTHING, and I am not even Catholic. I feel overly responsible, overly apologetic, and completely fucking guilty for having needs at all…much less expressing those needs and or GAWD FORBID – claiming them. I don’t want to feel any shame for who I am, what sexuality I enjoy, or for what society defines as convention. I don’t want to limit myself just based on what I have done in the past.

After my marriage is done, my most significant do-overs will be around communication, expression, and sexuality. I will not be without permission anymore.

Thank GAWD, I can cry.

There have been so many times in which I have had to hide how I feel. A lover does something that makes me uncomfortable, and I have to wait to resolve it. I have to wait to see them to talk to them face to face. I have to choke on tears while I am at home. I have to put on a mask of normalcy.

I asked a man, who said he once loved me, a question. After saying I didn’t want to be the woman who was begging to be a priority and after saying I didn’t think it was too much to ask for an hour a couple of times a month, I asked “Do you want me?”

He read it.

He said nothing.

So then, I said, “okay.” That was the last exchange I had with a man with whom I had my longest standing affair. We were together for nearly 10 months from our first date to our last words. There were tears, but I didn’t allow them much. I hid my hurt well. This was possible because he hurt me little by little over months of not making me any part of his prioritized list. There were a million excuses, and each one cause some level of tears. By the end, I was mostly cried out.

I had the suicide rattle incident with the man I call Kintsugi, and lord, that was ugly crying – days and days of ugly crying. I cried under my desk at work. I cried in my car. I cried in the grocery story. I did not cry at home. I am sure I looked stressed out and tired, but I didn’t cry.

How do you explain ugly sobbing from losing a lover traumatically to your family who knows nothing of this life? How do you process loss with friends who wouldn’t accept this kind of learning? How do you ask for grace from others who would judge the fucking and not see the partner gone?

I have had plenty of lovers go without so much as a skip in my routine, but this one, this week…I am thankful that I can cry.

Because COVID and anxiety have boiled emotion up under my chest…

Because work in this environment has brought me tears…

Because my kids are changing and that growth process brings feelings…

Because my marriage at home is evolving and grief of a long term partnership also makes me sob…

Because I am already crying much of most of my days, I am allowed to miss him. Thank GAWD, I can cry. We know the friendship is worth sticking around through this fog of feelings, but I can cry and he cannot. At this point I have given myself permission to cry over spilled milk actual…so I can cry for the friend zoning of a special man. I know he needs to cry too, so I hope I can cry enough for us both.

Don’t worry. I have you…and the kleenex.

Side note…we should all let ourselves cry more.

Why are you crying? Because I fucking feel like it.

Very well.

Are you out there?

I get the feeling that you are out there. I see readers and clicks. I see comments sometimes too. I know you are reading, each of you. It is okay to say “meowdy” and tell me what resonates with you. There must be something.

I know, too, that there is an unwillingness to leave your trail on a blog like mine. It is hard to admit you are here, just like it is hard for me to admit I am here.

Some of you know me, the rest of you will by reading. I don’t need to hide as it is counter to my journey, but I must be safe too. I don’t want to hurt people with my words. I must write like nobody reads, but I know you read.

Please, continue to read. Please, when you talk to others like us, let them know where to find the verbal vomit that says what they may also be thinking.

It fucking sucks to be alone, and I suspect we are far far FAR from alone in this journey. Make an anonymous email address, remember its password, and then leave a comment to say what you think. Be here with me.

Naked

While speaking with Insecurity and Inhibition, I found we held a common double standard that I want to challenge today. I may draw 100 people naked each with unique shape and contour. Their shadows differ as does the light of their energy. They way they hold themselves in space tells me their story. They carry different experience that comes with age. There are scars and wrinkles, folds and flaps, muscles and joints. There markings that came at birth as well as the ink chosen. They are so beautiful – every single one of them is stunning – and naked.

Insecurity and Inhibition have no voice when looking out the window, but they are loud as FUCK when looking in the mirror. Today I challenge them. We must look outward and inward with the same acceptance.

I get out my words, and I allow myself introspection without their influence. I get out my infinite box of tissue, and I cry for no reason and all reasons. I get out the camera, and I use the timer. I take pictures of myself from every angle. Then I get out my favorite paper and implements, and I draw my spirit through my skin.

Look at those scars are realize that I am lucky to be alive.

Look at those stretch marks and remember the kids that gave them to me.

Look at that hair and wonder how I will ever have the skill to draw it as it really is.

Look at that muscle and its stretch and marvel at what the body can be.

Look at the freckles because I got them from my family and in every pregnancy I painted my children with the same tiny kisses.

Look, just look. Then draw, just draw. I only have room for love today.

Shedding inhibitions

Playing without permission and seeking to learn myself through partners is at least in part about shedding my own ideas of who I am along with the societal shackles about femininity, sexuality, and monogamy. I am ready to redefine myself and shed inhibitions. I am ready to demand to be seen.

I am a strange paradox at times. I am an exhibitionist who will show complete strangers on the internet pics of my bits. I like public play: parties, cars, outside and against windows. I give zero fucks who looks at my ass as long as they aren’t aggressive with their actions or dismissive of my mind and person. My boobs are often unavoidably displayed, mostly but not entirely, based on size. I think nothing of sending a video of me dancing in my car or my hands on myself at work.

I have stripped while on a walk with my dog and ended up in just a zippered hoodie that extended beyond my ass while my headphones, bra, dress, leggings, and panties all hung from a hiking marker nearby. I managed to throw the clothes in a nearby bush when an elderly couple came down the path. I stood there talking with them about the fabulousness that is my dog for many minutes wearing only the long sweatshirt and not an ounce of shame.

I once danced with a pack of 20 something Jamaican men at a local place when the music turned from polka and beer boots to a jumping, pulsing, light showered grind fest on the dance floor. I have always gravitated toward the dancers with the highest energy…like I can feed off of them. I had no problem being groped while dancing with a man half my age because he could lead a sexy-as-fuck Bachata.

Then I am embarrassed by strange things.

I sent a video to my love, and I completely freaked sending it. He has seen my every bit, and I trust him completely. Yet, I felt foolish. I planned the video for more than a week, then settled on some rules to complete it. I refused to practice it live more than just marking it through in my mind. I refused to do multiple takes…one and done. I refused to watch it before sending just in case the self consciousness kept me from sending. Even so, I had to have a pep talk from a friend to send it at all.

Insecurity creeps in and says things inside my mind that I don’t appreciate. I lose confidence with my voice, and that I choke on words I have no hesitation typing. Sometimes Insecurity tells me that my ass looks funny in that sheer dress. Insecurity seems to think that forty-somethings should have more figured out than I do. Insecurity laughs at my shoes. Insecurity makes me wonder if there is someone on the other end of those texts and videos wondering what I am abusing when I know I am stone cold sober.

I feel lucky to have partners who tell Insecurity to shut the fuck up.

Insecurity and Inhibition hold hands tightly and they sit, stagnant. They hold me down. They keep me from realizing who I am supposed to be for myself and with my partners. One step at a time, I turn the music up, and I dance. I am led, and I lead. I won’t worry about what I look like. I attempt to turn my attention to the energy in my soul. Melody, harmony and that insistent beat from a singularly focused drummer makes me move safely without judgement. The energy resonates within myself, and I get to decide where that energy goes when I set it loose.

Fuck Insecurity. Fuck Inhibition. The two of you are no longer welcome here.

With a little help

I was listening to our local rad public radio station (called The Current….you can stream that shit from anywhere and it really is the best mix of great stuff). The whole day is live albums for a show called “Teenage Kicks.” The premise of the show is killer live versions of music that transcends the original or makes a land mark in an artist’s legacy. Prime example being Johnny Cash’s Folsom performance. Listening today was the sledgehammer named nostalgia, and now I must write.

Who here remembers the show The Wonder Years? Fred Savage as a young fry Kevin Arnold, coming of age with his neighborhood love Winnie with the big eyes and long straight hair. The opening song was always “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

On the radio, Joe Cocker’s live album version of that song yanked my heart out and made me feel like a forty-something pre-teen trying to find my way in the world. Shouldn’t I have myself figured out by now?

No. No judgement on the journey. We forbid it. Judgement is the enemy of growth. I find myself at a crossroads, narrating here, and throwing my heart open – hoping I get by with a little help from my friends.

The other thing that struck me today is how much I miss live music in these new days around COVID and isolation. Imagine if you will, our cities with our street lamps, that there could speakers tied into the power of our joint communities. Music live and amplified to our sidewalks and our cul–de-sac neighborhoods. I realize that we don’t all subscribe to the same music curation, and I know it would never work, but I miss standing with others while music thumps my body. This moment’s nostalgia is heavily tinged with a world I miss.

But like any story of coming of age, the past is the past. We learn and we move on. We use our history to inform our future.

My future is going to be so very well informed with experiences diverse, beyond the neighborhood love and the preconceptions of the so called “values” taught to me by my society. My circle of friends is more diverse than ever. They will most assuredly help me get by…and maybe even help me get high…