Posts in Category: communication

On Bottoming from the Top.
On Bottoming from the Top. avatar

Let’s get this out of the way first.  I am pretty much 50/50 bisexual.  I am attracted to women and men pretty much equally.   Each person brings something unique that I am attracted to and their body shape, configuration or expression, whether the one they’re born with or the one they choose, is relevant only in so far as it is part of what makes them who they are.

On the physical side, I enjoy the pleasures of the body and stimulation of the mind.  If I were to choose a second description beyond sadist, it would be sensualist.  I am drawn to giving and receiving intense, overwhelming sensation.  In most cases that goes beyond mere sensation and into the realm most would consider pain.   A moderate grip on someone’s nipples is sensation.  A stronger grip or a grip with a twist is pain.  Whether either is stimulating or arousing to either my subject or myself is up to the specific person I’m  with and the situation itself.

That being said, I am as drawn to receiving those same levels of sensation and pain as I am in inducing them.   I enjoy the feeling of being flogged or whipped, clamps, slaps, wax, needles, all of it.  If there’s something I am wiling to do to someone else, you can count on me having experienced it before, usually multiple times.

Some would say that I’m a switch, but that’s not entirely accurate.  The word switch usually denotes a ‘switch’ from top to bottom in a psychological or power exchange context.   That doesn’t fit me or my dynamic with my partners.   Psychologically I am dominant through and through.  I may be soft spoken or even gentle in that dominance, but it’s still dominance.  I let the person and the scene drive how I interact.

That brings us to my life partner, SAM.  She is, constitutionally, a submissive.  She simply is not wired to be the dominant one in a sexual context.   In our mundane life, we’re damned close to equals.  In some things I am decidedly dominant and in some she is, and in everything else, it’s a fairly even give or take depending, again, on situation.   Our own life experiences, knowledge, talents and proclivities drive where that dynamic leans at any given time.

I’ve been working with her over the years to not so much bring out a dominant in her, but to lead her to a place where she can be the physical top while still maintaining the very solid power dynamic that works so well for us.  In short, I’ve been teaching her to tie ME to the wall, take out the flogger or the strap-on harness and work me over in ways that I enjoy so much.

In doing so, I’ve had to learn how to do something kind of new for me. That is, remain in a dominant head space and direct her, while being, physically, the bottom.  Doing so while still being able to lose myself in the sensations has been the hardest thing for me to do. Also, remaining the mentor, giving her good feedback on what I’m feeling, how she’s doing, when she should change the angle on a dildo or adjust her swing, has been a vital part of that.   It’s educational for both of us.

One of my weaknesses is letting my brain shift over into analysis mode for something.  That mode breaks me out of the scene, detaches me from the emotional side of what we’re doing.   Being able to get to the point where I can let a tiny bit of analysis happen so I can communicate to her what I need has taught me how to do so when I’m the one holding the flogger.

The other benefit is that her confidence in herself has improved dramatically.  She’s rightfully concerned with actually harming me while doing some of the things I ask her to do to me.  Never mind that all of them are things I do to her at one time or another.  The fact that she’s never done them to anyone else, or in fact done them with anyone else before me, leaves her nervous about doing something wrong and us ending up in the ER.

Our first few times with her as the active partner in doing things to me were more instruction and experimentation than sex.  Yes, orgasms happened, but that was after the toys were put aside and we had spent a couple of hours talking over what we’d done.  Then I spent time giving her the after care she needed.  The evening, even as mild as I considered it, was emotionally intense for her.  Anxiety, fear, nervousness and the sheer novelty of what we were doing left her as emotionally in need of after care as any intense scene we engage in. That after care led to an evening of intense lovemaking filled with not only the moans and screams of pleasure, but laughter and giggling, caresses and soft words, and everything else that brings us closer to each other in ways that only those things can.

The first thing that I had to learn to successfully bottom from the top was realize that even though I’m technically and physically bottoming to SAM, I’m still the top, still the dominant, still her teacher and mentor.  The first time I was able to maintain that mentoring and still achieve the cathartic emotional release I needed from the intense sensations and even pain was a magical thing for both of us.  We both came away understanding in a deep way something we could only intellectually acknowledge before.  What it’s like to be in the other person’s head.  What they get from the scene.  The WHY, not just the what.

It’s always been difficult for me to ask for things from SAM that are purely for my pleasure.  It’s also been a given that i will routinely do things to her that are purely for her pleasure.  What I gain from doing so is the wonderful compersiveness of seeing my loved one being pleasured and knowing I gave that to her.  I’ve finally come to realize that by not asking her to do things to me strictly for my pleasure I’ve been depriving her of that same feeling of compersion.  If I enjoy doing things to her, why would she not enjoy doing them to me.

That realization has opened up a whole new realm of experience for both of us.  I’m rapidly losing my sense of guilt for thinking of only my pleasure now and then.  Whether it’s something as simple as rubbing one out before falling asleep or as complex as my semi-regular use of my sounds to stretch myself so I can wear the jewelry I bought a couple of years ago, she still gains that compersive pleasure from my pleasure.

Asking her to peg me, or whip or any number of other things that are at their core defined as submissive, has opened up a new level of understanding of compresiveness and is helping me rid myself of a potentially toxic idea that I am a failure if I receive pleasure from someone without equally “repaying” it.  I had not been able to see that my partners gain as much pleasure from the giving as I do when I’m on the giving end.

Calling it bottoming from the top reminds me that I’m still in control, that the power dynamic hasn’t changed. What I am doing that’s different is giving my submissive partner the gift of experiencing the same compersive pleasure I’ve always felt.  And that, is an awesome thing to learn.   And even more awesome to experience.

 

Criminality…
Criminality… avatar

I rarely, if ever, crosspost from my photo blog verbatim, but this is too powerful to not post here.  It’s also as relevant here as there.

While reading an opinion piece at Creative Loafing called the “Right to Bare Breasts” by Jessica Blankenship I came across one of the most powerful statements of why indecency and nudity laws, as well as the general idea of obscenity is an illness in our society.

“The criminalization of the female body fucks with a woman’s ability to hold herself with any sense of balanced identity and worth.”

How in the name of all that’s holy can we teach our daughters and our sisters and our friends and loved ones that the human body, in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders and configurations is a sacred thing to be cherished and enjoyed if we deem something as insignificant as the display of a female breast to be criminal?

The very concept of criminality is one that most people never think about. To deem something as criminal is to deem it worthy of bringing the awesome power of the State to bear upon that act, in all it’s impersonal violence. To deprive a human being of the most sacred of things; their freedom for the societal sin of that act deemed criminal.

Think about that for a moment. To say that baring a breast is criminal is saying that baring a breast is worthy of taking someone’s freedom, of locking them away from society for society’s good.

Teaching our children that from birth is to teach them that they are not worthy of society; that they are not decent; that they are, by fact of their gender and shape of their body indecent by nature and unworthy in any sense of the word. They they are, in fact, criminal by design.

I’ve been following the gotopless.org protests around the world. I find it highly ironic that a political protest movement about gender equality in the display of 1/2 of the human body has to resort to black bars over nipples to post the photos from their protests to Facebook. If the numbers are to be believed, fairly 1/7’s of the world’s population; 1 Billion people; are on facebook . If that doesn’t represent the entire human race, I don’t know what would. And to say that baring a nipple is to be shunned and banned from communicating with that billion people is, itself, a travesty.

What’s to be done? The legal challenges in the courts now, and the successful challenges in some states in the past are ultimately the best avenue to success; at least here in America. Other countries have their own legal avenues of change. Some will require generations of change, but it’s coming.

It’s not about showing a boob in public. It’s about respect and love of the human body. It’s about giving people total sovereignty over their bodies and what they do with it. It’s about equal protection under the law, irrespective of gender or orientation or configuration. It’s about freedom to be, and to love and to be loved. But most of all, it’s about beauty; the beauty given by our creators, be they random events born of quantum equations or some bored long-bearded sky god with a celestial biology kit.

I realize that this post probably doubles the number of words posted in the last year here. And there hasn’t been a photo yet. There won’t be a photo, this time. There is an assignment.

That assignment is to go take off your clothes. All of them. Stand naked before your mirror and your self. Look at yourself with the thought that what you are seeing is, under some very broad and common circumstances, is criminal. Think about what it is about what you are seeing that is so unworthy of society that your very freedom is the price you’d pay for it. Remember that feeling. Let it burn hot and deep, down where you’ll never forget it.

Now, the next time you see a story or an article about someone getting arrested for “indecent exposure” or flashing their breasts or some innocent or even not so innocent photography, think about that feeling. Think about what it felt like for your body, the most wonderful of creations, to be deemed indecent, to be deemed criminal.

The next step, I leave up to you. Thank you.

 

“What’s wrong?”
“What’s wrong?” avatar

Ever get that questions from your partner?   Never ends well, does it.   You’re honest answer of “nothing” is never taken at face value.  They question your answer and then the whole situation devolves into one of doubt, mistrust, frustration and distraction.

There’s a meme floating around that has a his and her diary entry.  One side (in the case of the gender switched image floating most recently) has a “His” diary of doubt, miscommunication and woe where “Her” diary simply reads “my code is broken, can’t figure out why”.

code-broken-fixed

What’s really going on here is summed up pretty succinctly by something SAM posted over on her Facebook:

“I love how instead of asking her “what’s wrong” he makes up this huge relationship disaster thing, and she’s just thinking about work. HE COULD JUST ASK HER. But no. That’s too risky.”

When I’m asked a general, information seeking question like “what’s wrong?” I always try to take a moment, look back on the last few minutes of conversation or interactions with an eye towards how my emotional or mental state may have shown on my expressions and body language. I make an effort to empathize with my partner and see myself through their eyes.

My internal reality isn’t pertinent at that moment, only my presentation of that reality. With that bit of self analysis, I’m able to effectively communicate “what’s wrong” because I the know “what’s wrong”. Usually “what’s wrong” is a miscommunication or crossed signal between us.

“What’s wrong?” can be answered by saying, honestly and with confidence “I’m worried about X” or “Just lost in thought; something is farked up with code at work and I’m distracted by it” or “Just thinking about X, Y, Z and Thee”.

When someone asks you “What’s Wrong”, the answer is never, ever, “nothing”. At the very least, “What’s wrong” is a misread signal between you. It’s rarely an accusation, though too many people take “What’s wrong?” as an accusation of “What’s wrong? You’re making me feel bad/nervous/left out” or “You’re not reading my mis-delivered signals and are making me feel ignored” or some such.

Correcting those missed signals requires an almost instinctual root cause analysis on you OWN behavior and it’s presentation to you partner.

Now the other side of that is that when you ask someone ‘What’s wrong”, trust them to tell you the truth and if they say “nothing” then believe them. You can usually trust them to mean “Nothing is wrong with you and me and us.”

I had a pretty good grasp of interpersonal communications for most of my teen and adult life. I am always examining and re-examining my interactions with people, especially those that did not turn out the way I wanted them too.

SAM has helped put a fantastic amount of polish on them in the almost 7 years she’s lived with me. We both had enough hidden emotional land mines to blanket a demilitarized zone. After the first couple, we both started forcing ourselves to take a step back and *asking* when the reaction we got wasn’t what was expected. The scariest part the first few times was being completely, brutally honest with ourselves AND each other. It really doesn’t take more than a few times for the world to NOT end when you’re open and vulnerable with your partner before that becomes *easier* than the whole “ugh grunt me man me no feel emotion!”.

So the next time you feel the need to ask your partner “What’s Wrong?”, accept the answer of “Nothing” and follow up with something more empathetic and understanding.  Saying something like “Ok, but you seem distracted and distant.  Anything I can do to distract you from your distractions?”

Make your partner feel safe to open up to you. If you accuse them of lying to you, you’ll never build any kind of trust.  They’ll pull further away at best and, usually, start truly lying to you to prevent the entire spiral of accusations and acrimony that almost always results from that kind of interaction.

So how do you, dear readers, answer that question? What questions drive you batty? What answers make you grind your teeth?   How do you work through them to a mutually beneficial, honest, and healthy interaction?

On consent, a political rant.
On consent, a political rant. avatar

I rarely post political rants, but this one needs to be said.  I won’t bore you with yet another blog post about the idiocy going on in congress over birth control coverage, abortion rights, etc.  You’ve seen it, read it, heard it, said it.

What I will do is speak briefly about consent and rape.  What I want is comment and discussion so I’ll keep this brief and to the point.

If someone uses coercion, force  or threat of force to violate the body of a woman, through unwanted physical manipulation up to the point of penetration of her body with a foreign object, then that is, in a word, rape.

Forcing  a woman, for whatever reason, to submit to an unwanted physical penetration, an unwanted intrusion into her private affairs, an unwanted and undesired exposure of her most intimate encounters and her body itself, is rape.

Placing yourself between a woman and the requirements of her health and well being, placing yourself as arbiter of her health and her personal interactions with other people is abuse.

Using force or the threat of force to forbid a woman the access to the things she needs to maintain her health, wellness and happiness is abuse.

Forbidding a woman, through coercion, force or threat of force, the right to choose how she cares for her own body is abuse.

I think we can all agree on those definitions when talking about personal interactions.  If it were a lover, a spouse, a parent, a neighbor, a friend acting in those heinous ways towards a woman, every one of us would be first in line to protect her, help her, see that justice is done.

But we have a situation where it’s not a friend or a relative or a spouse acting in those heinous ways.  It’s Congressmen, CEOs, Priests, and Presidents.    What I ask now, is what do we do about it?

 

Trivia Tuesdays. — Ask me ANYTHING.
Trivia Tuesdays. — Ask me ANYTHING. avatar

Ok, here’s your chance to ask me anything. When I say anything, I mean just that. You can ask. Anything. You may not get the answer you expect, but I promise that the answer you get will be honest.

On your mark! Get Set! Ask!

Sadist.

“Thank’s for taking one hand off the blackberry to fingerbang me!”
“Thank’s for taking one hand off the blackberry to fingerbang me!” avatar

Or to put it more accurately, I’m thanking myself for putting down the kindle or stepping away from the computer for a while to pounce on SaM.

Both of us, over the last few months, have settled into a comfortable routine in the evenings.    After guests have gone, housemates are in bed, the cats are doing whatever it is cats do when you turn the lights out, and things have quieted down, we can relax.  Our evenings typically involve sitting and reading blogs, playing one of the games we own, reading books or just sitting quietly until we fall asleep.   It’s good, healthy, quiet and relaxing.

“What’s wrong this that?”, I hear you ask.  Nothing at all, unless that’s all you do, every evening, night after night.   Neither of us have had the energy for the kind of knock down, furniture breaking, neighbor frightening, cat terrifying sex we love.   Out of our concern for each other, for our lives we’ve let ourselves fall into the habit of banking the fires of our sex lives until we do have that energy.

This denies us a very vital part of our love life;  intimacy.   Seeing her laying on the bed on her side, knee pulled up, light spilling across her naked thigh and the swell of her breast as she reads is an incredibly erotic sight for me.    There is nothing about her actions, words or behavior that stops me from initiating a night of wild sex.  It is my own self imposed limitations.

What I realized last night, is that those self imposed limitations, based on the reality of both of our physical and mental health right now (I was in the hospital last weekend, after all) has not only stopped us from the nights of wild, raucous monkey sex, but has gotten in the way of plain, simple, intimacy.

With that realization, I did something I haven’t done in months.  I turned to SaM, asked her to put away the laptop and kiss me.  Just that.   Nothing more asked, nothing more expected.   Just kiss me.

When we first got together we would spend time just exploring each other.  Sitting, holding each other, kissing, rubbing, petting.  Physically and emotionally intimate time together, with no expectations of anything more.   That’s not to say things didn’t often move on from there to some of the best sex I’ve had in my life, but that wasn’t the goal.  There was no goal.

Last night started with a kiss, a caress and cuddling.   It ended up with a soft, sensual and pleasant evening for both of us.  There wasn’t a lot of heavy breathing, sweating, bruises or even any rope.   We didn’t have sex.  We made love.  It was exactly what we’d been missing.

This intimacy led to several hours of conversation about a lot of things both of us have been worried about.  I found myself able to ask her some pretty scary questions and answer hers as well.   Without that inimacy we’d shared earlier, neither of us would have been able to do that.

We’re going to Duckstock in June and are conserving our wild monkey-sex energy for that.  It’ll be a celebration of her birthday, of my new job, of quite a few things going on in our lives.    Until then, though, we will be rebuilding that intimacy, that sense of openness and sharing, that lack of expectation in the ourselves that is so important in living in that golden moment.

Wish us luck.

Safewords again? That trick never works.
Safewords again? That trick never works. avatar

A more specific breakdown of why I use which safewords:

Green we rarely actually use. It’s only used when he’s doing a safety check, if he asks me twice. Asking me a second time means he’s not sure I’m “all there” when he gets a nod or “uh-huh” type response.

Yellow means “you’re doin’ it too hard, too quickly – needs more warmup”. This is usually used with impact play. I don’t necessarily want him to stop flogging me, and I don’t necessarily want him to go softer for the rest of the damn night, but damn. Slow down for a few minutes, THEN try ramping it up again.

English, motherfucker! Do you speak it?
English, motherfucker! Do you speak it? avatar

Also called “defining your terms”.
A great many assumptions get made about what we mean when we say something. “Sadist” and “masochist” are a couple of great examples.
Sadist gets defined like this:

BiPolyKinky wait, what?
BiPolyKinky wait, what? avatar

I find it interesting that most of the “poly advice” I’ve seen floating around is generally about how to not be jealous of your husband’s girlfriend. Or not tear her face off. Or somethin’ like that, but most of it seems pretty hetero in nature.

Sometimes… sometimes there’s advice for guys about how not to be raving assholes about their wife’s girlfriend. This usually involves suggestions like “don’t start the porn music” and “don’t assume this means you’re having a threesome”.

So, what do you do when your husband’s long-distance boyfriend comes for a visit?

This is my advice, ladies: Stay the fuck out of the way. Sleep on the couch and let them have the bed (at least for one night, anyway). Be considerate. Give them space to reinforce their own chemistry. Do not offer helpful hints about what your husband likes in bed; let them discover each other by themselves. Being a pair of individuals, they will have their own chemistry and dynamic that may surprise you. Don’t be surprised if your Domly husband doesn’t act quite the way he does around you.

Yeah, sure, you may have to spend some quality time with your vibrator. Big deal, we do that anyway.

Make dinner for them, if you cook. Find out what interests you and the boyfriend share, and which ones you don’t, and treat him like a real person.

It’s not terribly complicated. It’s just a little confusing at first. Remember that when you’re dealing with an out of town boyfriend type guest, he’s staying for a brief time and then he’s going home. It may be a while before he comes back. If you find yourself feeling neglected, try to mention that after he goes home, and arrange some quality time for you and the husband.

Ladies, there’s no reason to be threatened by a husband’s boyfriend. He really can give the husband things that you can’t. And that’s okay.

Role Playing or “you want to do what with those dice?”
Role Playing or “you want to do what with those dice?” avatar

When scening, SaM and I engage in what is commonly called Role Playing.  That term, in the past, gave me quite a bit of a problem.  You see, like many kinksters of my generation, I grew up with tabletop role playing.  Whether it was AD&D (2nd ed, of course), Rifts, Cyberpunk or any number of serious or silly game systems.

As I got older, and encountered the term within the context of kink, it always left me wondering just how in the world you could keep a straight face in the bedroom with that.  The cliche of “I’m the evil wizard and you are the helpless elven princess, muahahaha!” really doesn’t do anything for us.  If we need that level of characterization, we pull out the books and the dice and the character sheets and go to town.

Role playing in scene is, for us at least, much more subtle than that.   We get to put on a face, a facade, a personality, that is not necessarily our “normal” one.   There are a number of expressions, words or actions within a scene that we each wear to elicit a desired reaction out of the other or to enhance the sense of unreality of the scene.

Calling her a slut, a bitch or other such terms of endearment (heh) in scene are normal, given a certain mood.  Her calling me master or similar is also normal in a scene.

I wear expressions in scene that are not normal for me in my mundane life.  I sneer, I smirk, I’m very stern and demanding.  Derision is a common mode for me at times when she’s being particularly shy about some command I’ve given her.  Likewise, she’s shy, or petulant, or obstinent or even derisive in scene.   She’s also submissive, or if things are going well near the end of a scene, completely wanton and begging for more.

None of these are feelings, emotions or expressions that even occur to me to wear during our day to day life outside of that role.   Each of us deliberately wears, or allows, those emotions and expressions for the purpose of eliciting a response from the other, knowing that it is all part of the Role we’ve each taken on that evening.

During our day to day life, we’re affectionate, playful, and flirtatious.  During scene, we’re often aggressive, cruel, manipulative, calculating and sadistic or submissive as the mood calls for.

As with the talbetop role-playing we did as young people, and even today engage in at times, when the game is over, we put away the dice, or the floggers, and go back to the real world.  The things said in the bedroom stay there.

We trust each other, implicitly, to leave it there.  We each know who we are, at our core, and that being called a slut in scene does not mean that SaM is a slut out of scene, nor does calling her a slut in scene mean that I think she is one, out of scene.

There are many things we both do and say in scene that fall under that same understanding.  Once you realize that it really is as simple as ‘I say that to you because I love that look in your eyes” or “I allow you to do that to me because I love the way it feels and how it makes you so hard when you do it”, the rest is nothing but joy and love and adventure and oh, so awesomely erotic and sexy.