Collected Words of a Taiwanese Mother

December 1, 2012 1 comment

[roughly translated from Chinese]

“Guys need to be more romantic, more proactive, in order to keep a girl interested in him. He needs to woo her.”

“I’ve noticed that very intelligent people tend to end up divorcing more frequently.”

“When a girl goes and beds with a man, all his male friends know she’s off limits because she belongs to him. But once they part – because easy girls never last long in a relationship – no guy will touch that girl.”

“I was going to introduce you to a nice Taiwanese boy, but then he got leukemia.”

“Never use your real birth date and social security number when registering an account online. I use your father’s birthday on LinkedIn.”

“Be careful what pictures you post on the internet. What if a sex offender sees it? It’s so easy these days to access your real name, location, and date of birth. He’d find you so easily!”

(After being told a funny story about my housemate’s mother asking when I decided I was gay) “Did you tell her you are REALLY straight?”

“Don’t think you’re too old for me to hit you.”

“Hey, I’ve never seen [your brother] cry. Let’s see what it takes to make him cry!”

“If [your brother] goes for his Masters or PhD after college, you’ll be the one person with the lowest degree of education in our family.”

“Oh, California’s sales tax increase will be good for the state. Even the Mexicans will have to pay their fair share.”

(After hearing me talk about how much I like my apartment in San Francisco) “Yeah. It’s just too bad you live in such a densely Hispanic neighborhood.”

“Are there a lot of Russians in San Francisco?”

(After I tell her about the friend who made my necklace) “Oh! Is she Taiwanese?”

“If someone said something bad about me, you wouldn’t stand for that, right? It’s a natural, familial instinct.”

“Guess what my pant size is now. Just guess!”

“Are you really that much skinnier? Everyone at Thanksgiving dinner kept commenting on how skinny you are!”

“How much do you weigh?”

“You could try my diet plan, too!”

“Have you noticed if eating so much Mexican food has made you stinkier?”

“Are either of your housemates fat? You should tell them about my weight loss method. It could really change their life!”

“If I lose another 10 pounds, your father will definitely want me to go back to Taiwan to live with him.”

“Your father made a lot of promises to me. He’s never kept a single one.”

“You’re a lot like your father.”

“There is something very, very wrong with you.”

“There was this show in Taiwan about male children being kidnapped and sold off as cucumbines[sic], being treated like girls and raped repeatedly until they turn into, like, a gay mentality, you know? And one of the actors apparently was gay, and ended up committing suicide.”

“Why are you still freelancing? Don’t you want to do something with your life?”

Categories: humor, life


November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

The word that came to mind when

you made that sound,

he said, was


I shuddered. Agony. The word pierced me to the core, and I looked down, unable to meet his eyes, betrayed by the sudden evocation.

Agony. Used to mean a suffering of immeasurable depth. It fit the circumstance, key smoothly sliding into lock – at least superficially.

Agony. Why did the word elicit such a strong reaction?

And then I realized. Because that, at its simplest, at its purest – that is what I crave.

He finished securing the rope. Knelt down, level with my head, beard brushing my cheek. I felt the heat of his breath against my skin and turned my face, eyes closed, towards him. The rope burned its tendrils into my calf, clenching down on jeans, skin, muscle. Friction against friction.

I breathed through gritted teeth:

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

Categories: love, memories, writing


October 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Sometimes I can’t breathe because there is too much air and my lungs can’t expand to make room for it all.

Sometimes I find the world so painstakingly beautiful…

Sometimes I am so excited my heart and stomach hurt

Sometimes all I want is the taste of chocolate on my tongue

Sometimes I am in love with each person I pass on the street

Sometimes thinking about the summer sun is more beautiful than the real thing

Sometimes I need to touch another person’s skin

Sometimes I can’t stop flexing my hands and looking at them, silently awed by their engineering

Found in a college sketchbook, and there is no date because I never date things properly. Written sometime between the fall of 2008 and spring 2009.

Categories: art, life, memories, sundry

Afternoon program

October 2, 2012 1 comment

“You are going to entertain me.

You are going to tell me a story.

It will involve power, and terror.”

I watched his instructions appear on my screen, feeling a familiar mixture of heat and fear rising with each command.

Heat at the power and easy confidence behind those words, in his knowing that I am compelled to obey.

Fear at the challenge of weaving a story out of thin air, in the moment, having had no forewarning at all.

And fear of the prompt:

“You are going to tell me about the next time I pierce you.”

My heart leapt at those words. It is no secret that I hate needles. The sickly drag of metal under skin; the twin pricks of pain as my skin is opened up and made vulnerable; the dull throb and enflamed swath of skin that persists long after the initial piercing; these are things that I cannot process.

It is also true that he pierces me on occasion. Because he can. Because it amuses him. Because it is an unmistakeable statement of his ownership. And, to further drive himself deeper into my psyche, he has trained me to come from being pierced.

I licked dry lips and cleared my throat nervously. How do I even start this? Where is the setting for the story? The context?

But even as the questions ran through my head, I was already beginning to visualize the scene. I could see the low, warm glow of his nightstand lamp. There is a body there, on the bed, lying face down on crumpled sheets.

Ah. Okay.

After a few false starts, I finally began.

We are in bed.

We have been playing – just as hard, and as primally – as we often do. I am lying facedown. My hands are tied in front of me – my wrists bound together with the remaining rope lashed around my waist, so that my hands lie between my legs.

I hear you move away, and the mattress shifts as you get off the bed to grab something from off the floor.

I hear and feel your body as you return. You set the object down on the bed. My heart begins to race when I hear the familiar “pop” as you open that black box. That terrible, black box.

I hear the soft crinkle of plastic as you withdraw 5 needles from the box. I turn my head away. I can’t look. I never can. You separate the needles, letting them fall onto the bed beside my body.

And, all the while, my lizard brain is screaming at me to move, to run away, to hide from the pain that I know is coming.

Instead, I hold very, very still. You’ve taken out the first needle, and I hear your voice above me, low and soothing. Speaking of your ownership. Reminding me that I belong to you.

I belong to you.

I belong to you.

I feel your fingers on my back, grasping for a chunk of skin.

I belong to you.

I try to mentally prepare myself for the sensation. It never works.

I belong to you.

It’s all I can do to not move, to not flinch at what’s coming. I breathe, breathe, breathe as you slide the first needle. In.

It’s all I could do, even in the telling, even in the imagining, not to cringe away and hide from that mental image.

I could feel the skin on my back responding, tingling and sensitive, as if in anticipation.

I don’t want to keep going. I don’t want to be pierced. But, at the same time, I do. It’s very confusing, Sir.

He knows.

I let out my breath in one sharp exhale. My skin burns. It always takes me by surprise, the sharpness of that pain. I never get used to it.

It never gets easier.

Even as I am collecting myself, the second needle is in your hand. You slide it. In. Through. And back out, underneath the first. I groan through it, still holding very still.

With each needle, it’s harder to not move, to not thrash around and relieve the burning pain in my back.

With each needle, I feel myself growing wetter. It is almost impossible to ignore, and my hands are right there, between my legs.

As you slide the fourth needle under my skin, you tell me that I will come when the fifth needle is embedded in me. That I will come. Because I belong to you.

You take the fifth needle, rest it against my skin.

Come, you command, as you shove it in.

So I do.

Categories: submission, writing

Quick update

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s been a whirlwind of a month. I keep expecting it to be mid-September already, but it is still only the end of August.

In roughly chronological order:

  1. Packed up and left Seattle on August 19th, two weeks short of my original plan, so that I could
  2. Pick up my brother from the airport in San Francisco, because he wanted to visit schools and crash at my place.
  3. Arrived back in my SF apartment a whole 45 hours before my brother’s arrival.
  4. Since the subletter in my room was still there through the end of the month, I stayed in the living room – along with my brother – with a car still full of my belongings that I had no room to unpack yet,
  5. Bringing the population of our 3BR, 1B apartment to 5 people. Cozy, but surprisingly not as chaotic as I feared it would be. My housemates were amazing about dealing with all of these moving pieces, and so warmly welcoming to my brother.
  6. Spent 3.5 days shuttling my brother back and forth between SF and Berkeley, as well as two trips to Noisebridge and a visit to the (misnamed) Buffalo Paddock to see the bison.
  7. Climbed. Barbequed with the Programmer. Climbed some more.
  8. Ate a lot of Mexican food. Drank a lot of Mexican Coke.

It’s finally calmed down around here for me to actually think about the fact that I’ve just returned from spending two-and-a-bit months living in Seattle. To reminisce and reflect on my summer.

There are currently a lot of questions rolling around in my head concerning my Seattle trip, but they are being put gently to the side for the moment while I realign, finish unpacking, and try to bring my life back into some semblance of order. There are also friends to catch up with, a new Citadel location to visit, climbs to climb, and work to finish.

Plus, one of my housemates just got Bananagrams, and the other is racking up all kinds of outdoor climbing gear, so, you know. I’ll be a little busy.

But, no fear! I do plan to write more, soon.

And I love you all.

Categories: ethereal, memories, travelog

The Belonging Mantra – a prayer to myself

July 12, 2012 3 comments

I belong to you.

I belong to you.

I belong to you.

Let this be my pulse, my guide, my inner fire. Let it both calm my heart and inflame my cunt, and let it give solace to my mind when it fills with doubts, fears, longing, and hurts.

I belong to you.

Let me keep this phrase at the seat of my gut at all times, that it may remind me of the depth of our relationship and the mountains we’ve crossed – together – to arrive here.

I am yours.

Let me soften my white-knuckled clutch around my vulnerabilities and desires; let me not question their validity and place in my life – in our lives.




Let this simple truth – that we belong to each other and are indelibly a part of each other’s bodies and souls – envelop me in its warmth.

Let me be open.

Let me see clarity.

Let me find balance to this intensity and fire.

Let the truth of our mutual and unequal possession not frighten me away, that I can fully embrace the wholeness that I feel. Right now, in this moment.

Categories: Uncategorized

My Poly Primer

June 28, 2012 Leave a comment

This is it. This is the summer of Fully Exploring Poly. I’ve been holding a lot of resistances and – not quite fears, but wary expectations – of how this summer will play out in my gut and in my heart, and I feel very strongly that, whatever happens, these next two months will be challenging and life-altering. I hope, and expect, that it will also be a time of positive change and joy.

Poly is on my mind more constantly than ever before, and I was pretty obsessed about it while I was in San Francisco. I found a fascinating blog that follows a woman’s personal journey through opening her marriage and trying to figure out if she can be in a relationship with a polyamorous partner; you can probably guess that I’ve already read the entire archive. There are just so precious few resources for having a polyamorous relationship when you yourself feel you have only enough energy to devote to one person at a time – maybe two, if one of them is long-distance.

And, as I process my own emotions and reactions, watch others’ relationship dynamics, and read, read, read (or listen, in the case of the Polyweekly Podcast), I continue to suspect that I lean more towards sexual monogamy than polyamory.

It’s been difficult for me to admit this, because I have read many of the warnings to poly partners against dating monogamous people. There’s this article, for instance. Granted, I have no desire or fantasy of turning Max monogamous with my seductive wiles (snort), but for a while it was easy to conflate the difficult emotions I felt over our relationship with the concept that my not desiring other partners was detrimental to him in some way.

It doesn’t help to be bombarded by a diverse mishmash of messages of what poly should look like, how your relationship to your partner’s other partners should look and feel, and what emotions are and aren’t healthy to feel and express.

To that end, I’ve been working to develop my own, personalized poly primer, which I hope to use as a guideline in defining and shaping my own flavor of relationship style. I’ve begun to realize, now that I’m facing the full brunt of poly, that I have relied very heavily on Max to define “poly” for me – too heavily. And while I certainly haven’t figured it all out yet, if I am to delve into this, I have to be able to identify and communicate the needs I’m looking for from my partner(s). Luckily, these needs are beginning to crystallize as I dig a little deeper inside myself.

My Poly Primer

  • Dedicated space – Taken from my friend Red’s post, a space where I fit and belong in my partner’s world. Also, a space where I feel safe to express my emotions, worries, and concerns, without fear of mockery or scorn.
  • Collaboration – I need to feel that there is a collaborative effort to sustain and build our relationship.
  • Trust – Trust that my partner acts with good intention, compassion, and kindness.
  • Support network – Something I’m actively developing and growing, a network of poly-knowledgeable friends that I can turn to for advice, comfort, or a listening ear.
  • Self-acceptance – Be able to feel that my being and presence are an asset to my partner’s life, and that my self-worth is not diminished by sharing my partner with others.
  • Couple versus partner – Perhaps my biggest epiphany: Desire for a “couple” relationship, versus a “partner” relationship. I say desire instead of need, because I’m not quite convinced it’s a need, but it’s at minimum a very, very strong desire.
  • No surprises – Taken from one of Allena Gabosch’s Poly workshops, keep surprises to a minimum. Significant relationship shifts, new additions, NRE – please keep me informed!
  • Balancing poly and D/s – I’m … still working on defining this one…

That’s a pretty long list already, and I could add more, but I don’t want it to get too unwieldy from the start.

Hello, Emerald City

June 18, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve been in Seattle for just over a week now, but it already feels like much longer. Choosing to arrive so close to SEAF weekend may not have been the wisest choice, but I did want to make it to the Festival.

Speaking of which, it’s been great to see all the artwork there, and I’ve already bought a few things from the Festival Store. Good thing I still have website clients to support my time in Seattle this summer! I foresee a much lighter wallet in the near future.

One wood sculpture I spotted and fell instantly in love with: $1400. *Sigh*

Otherwise, I’m settling into this new/familiar city rather quickly. I’m finally more or less unpacked and exploring more of Seattle on my own. It is SO nice to have my car with me!

Will try to update here more, and I also should post updates about my pending webcomic soon.

So much to do…

Categories: travelog


June 3, 2012 3 comments

While getting brunch with the Programmer this morning, I talked with him quite a bit about my spending the summer in Seattle. The conversation inevitably turned to the topic of poly management. The Programmer mentioned something that has made me realize what might be holding me back from fully accepting poly in my own life.

He told me that he views his poly group as a family, and that he sees his partners’ partners as akin to his own partners. In this framework, it’s pretty obvious to each member that it’s not a zero-sum game, and everyone wants everyone else to succeed.

Everyone wants everyone else to succeed in a family? The concept was difficult for me to grasp at first. How is that intrinsic to being a member of a family?

Enter in my own familial experience.

Not only did I spend most of my childhood either in school or under minimal supervision at home – and thus I believe never bonding very strongly with my immediate family members – I’ve never really been close to anyone in my family for most of my life. I had no interest in participating in the ‘family time’ my mother continually attempted to implement, and I was often happier going off on my own, whether it was hiking in the woods or working on school projects.

So, then. What does family actually mean to me? I hear the word, and its meaning (aided by indoctrination through popular media) and my personal association are at complete odds. I don’t think of community, closeness, or support network. I think of obligation, filial piety, and tradition.

Usually, it feels like a necessary evil.

I think of growing up being constantly compared, academically and physically, against my cousins and against my parents’ own accomplishments. How can I think of family as anything other than a zero-sum game against that kind of background? I think of my mother’s recent trip to Taiwan for a family reunion, and all of the married nieces and nephews with their children that will remind her so starkly of my lack of pursuit of a family of my own.

Perhaps, if I had a better idea of how to find or build the kind of community I want and create new, positive associations to this word, family, I’d be better equipped to fully accept polyamory.

Categories: life, polyamory, writing


May 12, 2012 1 comment

Whoops! How quickly the time passes. Already it’s May, and I am once again in the throes of travel preparation. In a little less than two weeks, I’ll be heading to Shibaricon, which I attended once before in 2010. This time, however, I’ll be staying with Max.

That marks somewhat of a ‘first’ in our relationship, as we’ve never attended a conference this way. When we attended Shibaricon in 2010, we had separate rooms and pre-arranged playdates, though we certainly saw a lot more of each other than I had expected or, indeed, had hoped. So it’s exciting to have progressed further – though this was made possible, of course, by the fact that none of Max’s other partners are planning to go themselves.

Given that the only other event I’ve attended in this capacity with Max was at Folsom Fringe during our very first extended encounter in 2009, it’ll be interesting to explore just how much has changed in three years.

The other big news in my life is that I’m planning a three-month-long summer sojourn in Seattle after Shibaricon (hello alliteration!). I’ve been thinking about doing this since the winter, and I finally committed to it last week by finding a room to rent and subletting out my SF room. So yeah, that’s a big deal.

Amidst the preparation for all of that excitement, I’ve also been drawing more and taking more photographs – even submitting some of my work to a few shows and galleries. I got a few images accepted for the SEAF store, and I’m excited to attend this year to see all of the artwork they’ve picked out for the festival.

My biggest personal project is a kinky webcomic that I’ve been planning for – well, it’s lived in my brain since the latter half of my college years. I even drew a few test strips to get a feel for working in that format, but it’s been a long time since I’ve attempted any more. This time, I’ve got more experience and content to draw from (literally!), and I’m pretty excited about making this a reality!

So, bear with me as I more or less abandon this space in favor of a more visual medium. And, if you’d like to be kept abreast of the webcomic’s progress, including where it will appear once I start publishing it, feel free to send me a note! My contact email can be found in the sidebar under the RSS feed icon.

I’ll keep the archives up for now. Who knows, I may become inspired to write more now that I’ve started drawing more as well!

Categories: life, sundry