And then she read to me…

I haven’t published in a while. I have shed my weight in ink later dried to pages that I may never show anyone. I considered harvesting these words here, and throwing the site into the abyss. What purpose does it serve now when I feel dry and brittle?

And then she read to me…

Let me be clear. This is not about sex, but I was given what I needed in a moment without having to ask. There is very little on this Earth more intimate than that gift.

“How much do you trust me…” she beckoned knowing the answer. How does she fucking know those answers?

“Completely…oddly.” And I gave her my phone number.

______

My heart is ruptured and beating with the blood pooling under a thin, transparent skin that has just recently grown closed. When my heart races, I leak. When I look at it with the vaguest of judgment for its lack of hasty regenerative spirit, it oozes more than just a little. The slightest bump, and I may as well have slit it with rusty straight razor not fit for my lover’s beautiful collections.

We shared labels, and the disdain for their inaccuracy. We shared histories of transitions, and the litany of current circumstances that would break any mortal. She is funny, and dry while being caring and subtle. She gives me hope that my current jaded exterior can be something smoothed over by that current of energy she and I both master.

I told her about the stacks of men that have broken something while tromping around inside of me. They don’t mean to be bulls, so I do forgive them their damage. I know I have broken my share of shit in any proverbial china shoppe. I was tired and had cried so much that day. My spouse and my son had a conversation in which they brainstormed how to help me manage my current state of emotional dissonance despite my sitting there cutting my steak all by my own self. My love – who is far and no longer mine as such – is kicking my ass in online scrabble instead of telling me that he can’t wait for the day that I am in his arms forever. My love – who is my rock – is drinking to avoid the really real realities. I am stuffing my writing because I am scared to air it for the first time since identifying as a writer. I cry a lot.

I told her all of this, even though I don’t know her – and yet I do.

And then she read to me…

Now I can allow people to read my writing again.

Ritual Comfort

There is something that I dearly treasure about ritual. I don’t consider repetition boring unless it is also laziness in service of obligation. My most treasured personal rituals: coffee, writing, art, and music. I love my coffee and drinking it every morning from handmade mugs. I love writing, and I need it for the casual list making and for the intense dumping of feelings to be processed. I need to make things with my hands, tangible products of my existence. I find resonance in music when I need my feelings validated, but I also use music as manipulation when my mood needs altering before I go under the surface permanently.

Love, relationships, affairs, power dynamics and kink…all of these constructs revolve around ritual for me also. I derive comfort from inside jokes, messages first thing when waking and when ready to sleep, painting dream intention, checking in throughout the day, sending pictures, and staying connected throughout the day with energy.

What happens when the ritual stumbles? What happens when the schedule alters once? How does it feel when the schedule morphs over time? How hard is the pinch? How long before it releases its grip?

When the time we spent every day shifted from open ended to structured, I adjusted. It took me a while, but I did. At least I knew what to expect. When our physical shifted, I understood why. We are layered in our relationships, and physicality isn’t a switch that you can just turn on and off. When coming back for night time ritual started being later and later, I expressed discomfort, and then adjusted to a different set of expectations. I hear the pinch of time as our lives and responsibilities change, and we must meet each other and care for the changing dynamics. I think to myself, it is all ok as I still have the ritual comforts I need most. He still works hard to understand me. He still shows up and gives me his most vulnerable self.

Then I stop being as flexible because I am scared…because I am hurt…because I am also tired.

The bend hurts more than it used to.

The stretch makes me feel like I might snap.

The strain is taking longer and longer to heal.

And…sometimes I am doing that work in isolation now too.

When you hand a child a beautiful, full, floating balloon of magical favorite color that lives in defiance of gravity…there is no joy like the balloon…

Until…

It pops.

Ritual comfort, without the ritual doesn’t retain its comfort. I am fucking cut loose and dropped into the abyss. I wait for the pieces to return and offer comfort again.

____

Rituals and repetition, driving energy in ostinato

Propel and carry the lyrics from bar line to bar line

Sway to the beat and know the comfort of expectations met

That chord’s tension will resolve…

The trying tone, though, held persistently suspended in agitation

The tempo paused and momentum lost

The listener has a choice to make…

Wait for resolution? Or change the station to help the dissonance settle…

Story time…

Once in Kik, for the hell of it

I wanted to find a group for fun

Music or bisexuals, philopsphy, NOT politic

Find a cool place local to hang in the sun

Join a group – I found, Minnesota Glory

thinking that, yes, my state is cool

want to see more..but…….eeeeeeeeee

Was more of a lesson than life’s school

“Weird” he says “We don’t get many women here”

As I state my age, sex and location for the room

She wonders, “why uncommon,” but sips silently her beer

I like Minnesota, and there is more to see and do than I do

The room stirs, with new person added

More comment on a lady in the house

Makes me feel out of place, and needing safe room padded

Makes me retreat small like mouse

Welcome, new friend, this is Minnesota Glory HOLE

HOLY FUCK! Do what? With who? You don’t know WHAT is on the other side?

I have slipped through to the other dimension like blind mole

Beer sprayed through my nose, color me brightly RED, surprised

NOPE out right away, although no kink shaming for that

I just wanted to see my state more

I wanted to know cool places for coffee with chat

I sing, “No thanks” to dick through virtual or literal hole in door.

Moral of any story I suppose is this…

The possibilities online are infinite

There are so many options, find what fits

Make sure you see the you in it.

Nope out of the things not right

Lean into the resonance true

Find your tribe and your band and your light

Use it, as YOU want and need, but be sure you learn to be YOU.

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.

Words Matter: Sexting

How do you connect when much of your world of playing without permission is online? This requires brand new vocabulary for me. Prior to this last year of exploration, I could barely use words around sex in either spoken or written form. Now I can write things that might make Howard Stern blush a little, but I don’t really.

I don’t express my verbal sexuality crassly. I would rather paint the scene as if dream or story. I would rather dance around the edges for a while, then slam right down the middle with direct words that matter. Seems like better foreplay to me.

This absolutely points to my being partnered with people who need words like mine and for whom words matter. This doesn’t just pertain to sexting of course, but absolutely permeates sexual content online for me.

My most intense connections online and in person are all exclusively related to high verbal game. I value creativity, nuance, and fucking salacious detail. My partners and I will detail all sorts of places in our fantasy worlds, we will write me things that we are still learning to say out loud, and we seek out lyrics so related and personal that it is hard to remember the songs were written and performed by another entity entirely. Words matter, and the word play is at the heart of eroticism.

Dear lovers,

Tell me intimately what is on your mind. Don’t be shy about your fantasies, kinks, and general sexuality. Help me feel comfortable with mine by hearing me too. Help me grow from the person who was ashamed to think about sex into the person that can openly advocate for my own sexual expression with you. Let me write you my details, and help me to whisper them directly to you. Hell, help me shout them with excitement! Let my everything be safe in your arms and in your ears. Your words matter, as do mine. And, most importantly, our joint dialogue is at the heart of all that we are.

With love and wet hot anticipation,

Aria

Kik

I learned about Kik from the very first chat contact I made on discreet dating platform for married people. He suggested we conduct all of our get-to-know-you business on Kik. I made profile, and he proceeded to send a dick pic without any get-to-know-you-things. I then used my kik handle in messages suggesting that if interested, dudes may use that as a way to see if we gel without spending dude dollars. Most platforms of that nature are not free for men, but women are encouraged to participate boundary free.

I was on Kik for months before I learned that there were GROUPS. You can find an interest group or just about anything, but make no mistake, there is a sexual undercurrent to everything on Kik. One Kik friend taught me about Kik groups – enlightening me that there were married flirting groups, and Kik coupling, and people get super pissed about flirting conduct online. Sounded much like middle school, but when bored and mildly curious, I joined a bunch of groups.

The first group I joined was a Polyamorous Lesbian group. I quickly learned that the general population on Kik is not focused much on intelligent conversation…or complete sentences…or punctuation…or…

I searched groups on art, music, BDSM, local chat rooms based on enjoying dancing or outdoor fun. Almost all were highly sexualized, and the vast majority were administrated like the wild west – no sheriff in sight. I got yelled at, harassed, and dick pics galore. I watched rooms give out scores based on the hotness of pictures shared. I saw rooms pair off and then split up with one or both of the pair leaving room in a drama filled puff of smoke.

I have locked myself out of my profile more than once, and then recently, my profile got banned for no reason and I lost all of my contacts.

This is how I imagine some ghosting happens. Everything is fine, but then the Kik profile gets fucked, and contacts go poof too. I have a few contacts that I only have through Kik, and those are gone now. Most of my valued contacts have multiple contact points: email, phone number, another messaging platform, or telepathy connection. Losing a profile and the history within makes it evident what fragility there is in having one mode of communication.

Those people with whom I had a connection once, and who I like to know that they are doing well and are happy…they might now think that I have ghosted them. I don’t really wish to lose them, but likely have lost all the same:

  • Goodbye, Cupcake. He had the BEST stories. He is one that I met only once, kissed only once, and then spent endless hours laughing over bullshit insanity. Cupcake taught me about Kik groups, and so I give him credit for my finding my love.
  • Goodbye, Lawyer. He was a former lover, and while he knows where to find me, he would likely reach out on Kik and look no further. He worked too hard to remain connected anyway, and frankly, he didn’t really want me in the end.
  • Goodbye, Witty Entrepreneur. He is smart fucker who challenges me and my thoughts. He thinks I am maybe not as emotionally aware as I had hoped. He knows where to find me but likely will assume I don’t wish to be found when my profile goes missing.

Some of the randos though, that I didn’t really want in my constant communication…those are gone too, and it is wonderful. Goodbye, Dickpedo. You are possibly responsible for my banned Kik profile in the first place. Goodbye, dude that sends me rose emojis and poorly translated poems without any consideration for grammar in conversation. You are gross. Goodbye, asshat that thinks I need to know every time his dick is erect. I do not care which toy you use on it, and I have told you so.

Sometimes you have to say “Goodbye” to things, even when they are of value. Room must be made to say “Hello” to new things and their true potential.

Words matter: holding and being held

There is a ritual I have that I truly appreciate: holding and being held. It is tricky in a largely online environment. Playing without permission often contributes to feeling separate from the ones that might be able to offer us the most calming cuddles. My spouse is in no position to offer me comfort at the moment. Fuck buddies give the hugs of a person on the same recreational soccer team. They make you aware that you vaguely smell, but they know they have to see you next week – so they slap you on the shoulder while simultaneously packing their bag and drinking the end of the water bottle without touching the mouth to the spout thingy. My friends hug with colsolation, but they cannot hold the way a lover can. Lovers want to hold my everything: outside shell, inside soul, past baggage, current mess, and future potential.

I like being truly held. It feels like unconditional acceptance. I like when my lovers let me hold them. It feels like a meaningful gift that is renewable resource. Holding only costs time, and it almost always fills me with warm affection. I feel useful, connected, and fulfilled.

Is there a difference between holding and being held when the relationship dynamic is primarily online?

My love who lives a world away knows how to hold me. He can sense the need in my word cadence. He knows something is scattered when I pause more than usual when typing. He notices changes in habits and word choice. He holds me with words often. It is very intimate, and I cannot fucking wait to attach actual feeling to that sentiment. Most local holding still happens online as meeting frequency and schedule is limited. This is an interesting phenomenon when touching isn’t available. The mental holding is care that I need.

“I will be available to catch you if you need to be held”

“I will hold you while you wait.”

“No need to do anything, just be here while I hold you.”

“Please, let me hold you.”

“I am glad you don’t need to be held, but I need to hold you.”

It rings so true even when all we want on this planet is to actually hold and actually be held in any moment of need. Wishing we could be available at the right moment, and in just wishing, we miss the moment itself and the care that is needed. Wishing we had something other than what is available…it makes us less effectively apply what is available.

Words matter, and they hold so very well when used with love.

Reality Re-entry

I question often – what is real? I am living in a weird space filled with online chat rooms of experimental thought, deep long distance relationship with a love a world away, a local partner with whom I can share intense alternate realities within my weekly life, and my home situation in contrast. My daily reality is work oppressed by the new COVID-19 reality combined with home littered with both beautiful and painful truths. I am raising great kids with a partner who is simultaneously a good friend and a densely obtuse opponent. We are also navigating the weird transition between marriage and divorce.

What happens when I have to negotiate constant reality re-entries?

When I have a few hours to be in the comfort of my local partner, I can relax into him. We take walks and hang out and chat online daily…and yes, we fuck too. There are intimacies that are very real and lasting.

When I cannot handle the day to day stress, I check in on friends in my online chat rooms. I can get opinions on just about any subject, and I can find company that feels really accepting and unconditional. I don’t actually think the relationships are that unconditional…as they are predicated on both sides of the conversation not being laced with ego or assholery.

Every single day, I rely on my love a world away – every day. The strength of that bond is so very real despite how fucking insane it must seem to anyone not us. I don’t care. It is more real than much of the tangible shit within my immediate grasp.

Raising my kids is a joyful reality even in its challenges. I like knowing how their days progress, and I like knowing the detailed landscape of their friendships and ambitions.

My marriage reality is the reality that is currently breaking me. I am bending and carrying all I can for my own sanity, but not having my needs seen or met is a pressured reality that I don’t have the strength to enter sometimes. Re-entry to this portion of my reality is so fucking painful and impossible to leave compartmentalized.

For the first time in my history of playing without permission, I spent a 24 hour period with my local partner. We were in a protected reality for hours. This was a first for me. Reality re-entry upon return was disgusting. I had to manage work that I missed, but WORK MUST BE MISSED SOMETIMES. I had to manage my absence from family dynamics stressed, but I AM MORE THAN A WIFE AND A MOTHER. I had to manage a little bit of online room drama for chat rooms I manage, but lets be real – drama should see its own way out and THAT IS NOT MY FUCKING JOB. I had to mange communication with my love, but truthfully, this is a skill that we need to master for our future – to have the strength we both need for lasting peace with passion. I wish to understand how I can feel so good in one chunk of time and be quickly dropped into a pain of re-entry. Something needs to be learned here.

Traveling from one reality to another helps us keep things in balance and in perspective. We don’t lose ourselves to become workaholics who die in service to a job, parents who are in crisis when their children grow into adults, partners whose independent voice is lost, or online recluses who lose their ability to be in the “real world.”

I need to practice entry across realities with more intention. I need to look at the world I leave – taking value of what I carry with me as baggage and what needs my attention when I return. I also need to look at the worlds I walk towards at any given moment – to see what needs my immediate attention and care and what can wait for the next visit.

Following my respite in the arms of my local partner for a glorious 24 hours, I paid dearly for the time away. It was absolutely worth it, but I need to learn to travel realities with better grace.

For now I settle for the following truths:

  • I both need and deserve time away.
  • I am all of these labels: mother, wife, friend, lover, partner, friend, rockstar, leader, writer, artist…I am also just me – devoid of a label that is in relation to any other person, skill, or obligation.
  • I am in charger of where my energy gets spent and who has earned my love and time.
  • I define my reality…and I will come and go as I need.
  • I am me. I do not need to be anything else…ever. That reality needs no exit or re-entry. It is constant. I need to remember this truth.

Ghosting, why is this a thing?

This is where my thoughts led me yesterday, from Care without knowing: “Have the heart to be truthful about your interest or disinterest. Don’t just disappear.”

Ghosting is a thing that I don’t think should exist. When I am not interested in chatting further on a general level, it sounds something like this, “I have some people of interest, and I am going to spend some energy there. I don’t think we are a match, but I wish you joy in your journey.”

There is a cycle that has happened in the past. Profile is active, a few chats flare up, some good potential matches warrant further exploration, and some chats need to be put to rest. I have never ghosted a person. Even the fuckwads get a message, “RIP Fuckwad, I am now blocking you.”

The ghosting just says that I am not worth the ounce of honesty required to say, “No thanks, sweets.”

Or it says you have died.

Neither is great.

My most vivid ghosting came from a Dom with whom I was active for nearly three months. We chatted every day, met once or twice a week, and had a great time. He reminded me constantly that we were play only as he had a soul mate, but he did so in a way that felt honest and kind. The last thing he wrote in chat was something like “I can’t wait to see you Tuesday…I know you need me to spank your clit.” That was New Year’s Eve, and I never heard from him again. I guess there was a resolution implemented, and he stuck with it. “I will join a gym, and I will not spank that nice girl’s clit ever again.” – This is written on a piece of paper and posted in conspicuous places to remind him of his strong will power toward realizing his 2020 goals.

Here are the excuses/legitimate reasons related: The app Kik marks messages as delivered for a while if the app is active, and then sent when it goes into the abyss -like the recipient has logged out or deleted the app. Presumably, messages marked as sent will be there waiting when the recipient logs in again. Kik is also glitchy as all fuck. I have lost many a message having my Kik reset on its own…almost as if the app has a drama overload threshold and just dumps it down the sewer for me from time to time. It saves me from having to watch a message sit undelivered…or worse yet, read and unanswered.

So, a man disappears without a word (or actually after repeated words promising that ghosting is NOT a thing he would EVER do), and I do the internet shameful things:

  • Question – Are you ok? Where have you gone? Have I done something wrong?
  • Rage but still questioning – What the actual FUCK?
  • Rage with assertion – I DO NOT DESERVE THIS SHIT!
  • Guilt – Something must have happened, sorry for capital letter feelings.
  • Resignation – You are gone and I will never know why. That sucks. I wish you joy on your journey.
  • Further reflective notes – Checking in on you…wondering if you are alive. I still think about you now and again….and again…and again. (Truly, this is the stage I would like to eradicate from my habit train.)

He is not the only to ghost me. There have been many MANY others. Usually people just wander off. It doesn’t feel like ghosting so much as just not seeking. Ghosting is the refined art of communicating regularly, usually claiming a disdain for ghosting, then something happens POOF – assume a gas-like state of supernatural apparition.

Let it be known though, if you ghost, and you return…I will never ever trust you again to be honest.

It is so very easy to say, “shit got real, I am out.” Cut and paste that to your hoards of Kik chats, and then move on with your dignity in tact. This is a place in which it is super simple to be honest. The internet allows you to write it and walk. So be brave, be kind, and for the love of all things fried – be direct.