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Another year gone…

December 24, 2009 1 comment

Goodness.  A good half-day of traveling by air later, I feel like I’ve never left home.  I’m in my childhood bed and nothing’s changed.

Except, of course, that many things have changed, things less tangible than the layout of my bedroom.  It would take far too long to reflect on everything that’s happened in the past year, and besides, I seem to do plenty of reflecting on a regular basis as it is.  Suffice to say, the person I am becoming today is leaps and bounds beyond anything I could have ever expected as a college sophomore starting to make Internet queries for “submissive” and “bdsm” in the privacy of my dorm room.

It’s frustrating that I cannot find a way to describe the transition as anything other than “inexplicable.”  It really is, pardoning the tautology.  I can least of all explain the entrance of so many new men in my life.  Given how quickly everything has happened, my inner dorky bookwormy self has barely had time to play catch-up.

I mean, I even got asked out to dinner!

Perhaps one has to have also been largely a loner and social outcast for the bulk of one’s life to see the magnitude of such an event.  And, sure, I’ve been asked to play in dungeons and other kinky events, but I’ve always compartmentalized that in a separate category, always qualified the interaction as being different and unique.  Which, you have to admit, is kind of true.  Though my experience in dungeons and “in the scene” overall is still too limited for me to make any generalizations, and people may very well get asked out on something as socially normal as dinner or movie dates in such environments.

“Socially normal.” That is not a phrase I’ve ever associated with myself, but it doesn’t mean I’m not affected by social norms.  I am still a product of my culture and upbringing, and there are definitive lines of what is considered socially acceptable and what is abnormal that run like an undercurrent in my subconscious.  I’ve always had a (quiet) rebellious and stubborn streak, so I’ve never let it control my actions greatly, but there is nothing quite like coming home to give me a stark reminder of the indoctrination I never bought in to.

Things like the wrongness of homosexuality (never mind kink and polyamory!); the belief that marriage (to a man) and birthing children are a woman’s default fate in life; strictly defined and exclusive gender roles.  I always, always loathed that last one the most.

So I regard this past year as a personal success in managing to travel so extensively, both physically and out of my comfort zone, to find an amazing community, network, and culture of people that I can relate to.  I feel like things are clicking into place, as if a number of puzzle pieces have found their fit and eagerly snapped together in a satisfying move toward completion.

And you, fair reader, somehow are still here, reading my late-night ramblings, exploits, and misadventures.  I am invariably curious at what it must look like for an outsider with this electronic peephole into my life to see how I’m bumbling along – is there progress? Evolution?  I wonder what keeps people coming back to read what I write here.

This blog, too, has changed much, especially given its increasing transparency and overlap with my non-pseudonym self.  What began as an escape from reality and a chance to explore my fantasies through words has become … well, what has it become?  I certainly don’t write much fiction here anymore (funny enough, largely due to my being still too shy, and knowing now more and more friends and acquaintances might wander over here is a big deterrent).  I’m starting to find that a lot of my written fantasies are beginning to come true, in one form or another, and that could be another factor as well: if my main impetus for writing fictional pieces was to vicariously experience what was written there, but I’m now getting to live out a lot of those scenes, there’s not as much motivation to continue delving into those fantasies.

It would seem, however, that I still need to write – copiously – if I can babble on this long when all I meant to do in starting this post was to wish everyone a happy holiday.  But there it is: to all my incredible friends, my adopted kink and coffee families, and fellow readers and bloggers –

Happy holidays!  See you in the New Year!

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Categories: reflection, sundry, writing

a few good men

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now.  It’s been brewing in my head for over a month: this idea of extricating all the threads of contact and intimacy I have attached to the current men in my life and seeing what I can do to make some sense of them.  There seems to be a distinct lack of any one definitive term to encompass where I stand in each man’s life, or where they stand in mine.  Not to mention that the list of characters continues to grow as I meet and get to know more and more people.

Dov.  A chance meeting at a gay bar with Dov propelled me back into rope bondage, which has now become something of an obsession (is that an understatement?).  Between getting involved with the budding Boston rope scene and my first experience demo-bottoming in rope with Dov, I was quickly being plunged into the public kink community, something still quite strange and new and intimidating for me.  Along with many others who had been initiated into the public scene with the help of Dov, I came to see him as mentor and “scene uncle.”  We’ve played fairly intensely and intimately, and a lot of my own rope quirks and techniques are derived from what he’s taught me.

He is initiator, catalyst, friend, mentor, a sympathetic ear, confidant, and my first play partner.  We’ve had intimate conversations on sexuality and fears as well as geeky exchanges on website design and cameras.  However, now that I’m on the opposite coast, I’m not sure how things will progress.  Though we have dabbled in some power exchange play, I am hesitant to enter into anything like that over such a long distance.  I also still am uncertain about how I feel with polyamory as a personal lifestyle choice.  I’m not yet convinced that it’s for me.

Max.  What began as an electronic introduction via Dov to get me into a play party at the CSPC has evolved into something quite a bit more complex.  I suspect that will only continue, as I plan to stay with Max for the week of the New Year.  I imagine there will be a world of difference between this and Folsom week, which I spent under service to him.  This time around, I will be staying with him and interacting much more with his other partners.  He will be much more distracted, time will be more condensed and filled, and I will have more of an agenda of my own, in terms of visiting other friends while I’m there.

In reflecting upon how coincidental our crossed paths were, I am still bemused at how I ever became more than a friend of a friend who got tied up once by Max while on my summer roadtrip.  That is exactly where I thought it would end – at midnight when my friends came to pick me up from the play party and we went on our way to Olympic National Park.  Yet we somehow continued to keep in touch, and Max helped facilitate more introductions to kinksters down the Pacific Northwest coastline as well as kinky Burners to connect with during that excursion.

I was grateful for his support, yet still I would never have anticipated that it might lead to my agreeing to serve Max for a weekend – or that our original four-day plan would become eight days long.  I learned much about myself in those eight days.  Many aspects of submission and service were given more clarity once I was submerged in those roles – much more completely than anything else I’ve ever experienced.  At the same time, I have recognized similar issues as with Dov – uncertain that I can be fulfilled in this role over a long distance and with someone who is polyamorous.

T.  It’s still incredibly amusing and astonishing to me that I should be involved with people who’ve been friends of friends that I was put in contact with while on my roadtrip.  After my stay in Seattle, Max sent me T’s info as a point of contact for the kinky community in the South Bay.  I met up with T, he took me to a munch, and I stayed for a couple nights before heading down to L.A to drop my friend off at the airport.  Then, when I was ready to drive back up to San Francisco, I contacted T again to stay the night before going the rest of the way into the city.

And since then I’ve stayed with T numerous times, often attending an event at Edges and spending the night at his place.  And in the few months I’ve interacted with him, our play has grown exponentially more intense.  I thoroughly enjoy being pushed and challenged beyond my boundaries with him, and through that we seem to have built an unexpected level of intimacy together.  My scenes with him are the most frequent and the ones I am rather fond of reminiscing upon, given that every one challenges my perception of how much pain, or restraint, or humiliation, or service, I can submit to.

But again, the same issues apply.  T already has a long-term partner, and although he is in an open relationship, I feel like I need to hold back and not get too attached.

J.  Then there is J.  I don’t speak much of J, and we haven’t kept in touch as frequently lately, but he is an important force and influence on my life nonetheless.  Our relationship has been strictly electronic-based.  We have never met in person, though he has threatened to arrange our meeting several times, and each time seems increasingly more likely.  What started out as a friendship based around his interest in my bottoming for his partner has developed into an interesting something that’s more-than-friends, and we’ve exchanged secrets, stories, and as much of a power dynamic as is possible over e-mail and chat.

My first ex indirectly made our connection possible, and I am grateful and glad that we have stayed in touch beyond him.  J was my first confidant when I began doubting my ex’s honesty and integrity, and he kept me sane when those doubts proved far too true.  Throughout that period we grew closer, partly because I felt that no one else would understand the level of devastation I felt from my breakup given the D/s dynamic.  It seems silly now to think that, embedded as I now am in the kink community.

Of everyone I’ve listed so far, it is J who has seen me at my absolute most vulnerable.  He has witnessed those days where I felt drained beyond all capacity to get back up, where it took every ounce of available energy to maintain a facade of normalcy for family and friends while my insides slowly shredded away and I really felt like an empty shell.  Only in him have I confided how I truly felt.  Even now, I have not reached that level of trust with any other person.

All of these men fulfill a large segment of my needs that hadn’t been met before – newly explored and excavated needs that have awoken in me and that I have acknowledged are an important aspect of my life and the relationships I seek.  And yet I find other needs unable to be met – either physically, or emotionally, or availability-wise, or whatever else it is that isn’t satisfied at this level.

And it’s not about the sex, either.  Despite the heights that my libido will sometimes attain, that’s not what I mean when I say physical needs.  I’m looking for physical closeness, physical intimacy outside of intercourse, a warm body for times of comfort.

I’m not complaining, though.  Really.  In gaining more clarity in defining my needs, I’m also more willing to wait for the right combination of factors to fit into my life.  In the meantime, I try and remember that I am young, that there is a full lifetime of experiences still waiting for me to explore, and that I will continue to cultivate those experiences at my own pace, neither with an absurd level of caution nor the reckless abandon with which I first began.  I’m also enjoying dipping my toes into a potential new role as educator, as service or play top, and as a source of safe rope play for those new to bondage or bdsm.

And that is quite an exciting prospect for me.

Categories: hope, reflection

The word of the week is

December 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Tired.

A trip out to the East Bay to go shopping and hang out with a friend left me exhausted enough to crash on her couch for three hours afterwards.  And I still slept a full 9 hours that night.

And when I woke up the next morning?  Still tired.

When people ask how I am by way of greeting, my response?

Tired.

When I’ve worked a full café shift and closed up shop and driven home at midnight?

Really tired.

It’s not just the work.  In fact, I’ve been tired despite having fewer work shifts this week than usual.  Perhaps it’s the fact that I have a million different threads of thought zipping through my head at every waking hour, sapping away my energy.  Thoughts like, Shit, I have to buy my Secret Santa’s present!  Shit, I have to buy my brother’s Christmas present! Shit, I haven’t bought ANYONE gifts!

Or the fact that I have multiple deadlines for various commissions all converging on me like the lights from an oncoming eighteen wheeler.  And the hours I have to work on them are few and scrounged-for between work, play, and sleep (famous remembered words from my tour guide at MIT: “Here, you can do two of the following three: Work, Play, and Sleep.  Most people choose to forgo Sleep.” – That is not a concession I am willing to make, by the way…)

Or the fact that my body is preparing to unleash its monthly deluge of emotional, hormonal crap.

Or the fact that my mind has still not grasped how quickly the month has passed – and how the hell is it Christmas in a week and two days?  And holy fuck I am flying home in a week.

Or the fact that I am busily making mental notes and to-dos for the upcoming hours, days, weeks that leaves me with a heady sense of urgency, and not a little panic.  I’ve always been prone to thinking myself into a panic when delegated responsibilities and deadlines are involved.

Or the fact that I keep having disturbing nightmares, believe it or not, involving my car being towed or ticketed or stolen or otherwise vandalized.

Or the fact that I am simply, utterly, merely…

feeling miserable

at this moment.

But it’s okay.  I’m wearing an embroidered, lime-green sweater – a treasure pulled from said friend’s bags of Goodwill donations – and trying to calm my brain from its anxiety-riddled and -seeking frenzy.  And wearing this sweater reminds me of the inestimable kindness, support, and friendship I have found here, in my new home.  I feel as though I barely deserve any of it.  I barely understand how I have been so lucky, so fortunate.

So I am going to stop complaining and go to bed.

Because I’m tired.

Categories: emolicious

Photoshoot

December 11, 2009 7 comments

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I agreed to do a photoshoot this past weekend.  I’d looked at the photographer’s website and the photos he posted on Fetlife, and I really like his technical ability, though I found the photos a tad more explicit than I was comfortable with.  But through corresponding with him, I felt assured that my limits wouldn’t be crossed.

What began as a potential shoot with three other girls turned into just me and one other model.  So we played it by ear and tried a couple different things.  I felt a tad unprepared with my complete lack of makeup or fetishy clothes, but since I had mentioned wanting my face obscured anyway, the first wasn’t much of an issue.

As far as level of explicitness, I certainly felt that boundary stretch a little beyond my comfort zone.  It was interesting working with two complete strangers to make these images, and it’s always difficult to visualize how those images will look.  I was again very impressed with the photographer’s technical insights, and I learned a bit myself, just from listening to him think aloud while running around moving lights here and there.

Overall, it was a good learning experience, and I had a fun time.  The atmosphere was relaxed, with a healthy dose of snark, and it was nice being able to talk about the photo-making side of things as well as being in front of the lens.  I did feel that the concepts I had envisioned couldn’t really mesh well with the photographer’s, as he had told me several times that he’s really interested in facial expressions, and I wanted to preserve my anonymity.  Also, I have much more respect for models now, as it was much more physically demanding than I had expected it to be (the partial and full suspensions aside).

And, really, there was rope involved.  How can I complain?

Categories: photos, reflection

whirlwind

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve been so busy and so caught up posting at my new blog that I feel I’ve lagged here.  And that busy-ness has even prevented me from posting at the new place a couple times, which makes me wonder just how long it will be before the attempt to post daily is totally abandoned as a lost cause.  I also want to start posting my photos up there too, so perhaps that will help.  God knows I have plenty of photos on my hard drive – and between my photos and music, there is precious little space for anything else.

The past couple of days really have been a whirlwind of activity though.  I have been clocking my hours at the café, and often spend a good chunk of time there afterwards as well, as I’m more productive there where it’s warm; though it’s easy to get distracted, especially if there’s something involving rope going on.

I’ve also been spending mornings at the cafés on my days off as well, attempting to make use of the long corridor of the establishment in my new fanatical obsession with rope-making.  You need to have enough space for three times the length of the rope you want to make, you see; so for a 30 foot length of rope, I need 90 feet of clearance to work in.

I have officially (more or less) signed up to volunteer my Saturday mornings at Femina Potens, and did some organizing and cleaning up at the gallery this past Saturday.  Afterwards was another café shift, and then Sunday morning I went off bright and early to my first studio photoshoot, with a photographer in Redwood City.  It ended up being a six-hour long shoot as well.  Tiring!  But it was a cool and fun experience to have, working in an industrial-looking space with a bunch of official-looking lights and photography equipment and things.  I may, with the photographer’s permission, throw a photo or two from the shoot on here.

Straight from there I drove to Edges for their Knotty Sunday class, this month taught by Janice Stine, with the topic being self bondage.  Lots of fun, though near the end I was extremely tired and hungry and starting to drift.  But there was dinner provided after the class, which was exquisite and delicious, and, after a bit of drifting between conversation and food coma, I finally left the comfortable couch where I was half asleep and got to be tied by Lochai, Janice’s husband and something of a brand-name rigger in the scene.

Quite an interesting experience.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it ended up being surprisingly – and pleasantly – intense.  After putting me in a pretty typical chest harness, I was pulled down to the floor and tied in an ebi, though not a severe one.  I had rope around my chest, around my ankles, around my hair – I was pretty happy at that point.  And it was a different rope, a much thinner jute, which I really enjoyed the feel of as well (and which I now want to recreate myself!).

His hands were slightly clammy as he rubbed my arms, but I quickly forgot about that as soon as they gripped my hair and pulled my head up.  A bit of play ensued, involving rope around my neck at one point, his thumb in my mouth pressing up against my hard palate at another point, and other various moments of brief intensity.  We talked for quite a bit afterwards, and then he and Janice went home, and I went back to the couch to doze and relax and chat with the various people around me.

The entire time at Edges was delightful, between getting to connect more with the people there and getting some play time in.  Also, I got to meet Jewel’s new Dom, whose scene name is Animal.  That might just have been the highlight of the whole day.

And then I spent the night at T’s, and we discovered that his TiVo had started recording Kinky Boots, and watched that before going to bed.  Or going to cage, in my case.  I really enjoyed the movie, though I missed a few scenes due to T’s wandering fingers.  Though once the movie ended T surprised me with a small ceramic heater to lend me for the colder months.  I had complained to him over chat earlier in the week about the coldness of my apartment (who haven’t I complained about the cold to?).  It was really a sweet gesture, and will I’m sure be a lifesaver for me.

In the morning, as ever, T had concocted an elaborate bondage session with me, with nipple torture as a warm-up while I was still locked in the cage.  Then I was let out, only to immediately be pushed onto my stomach on the floor, my arms bound behind my back.  I would then discover that, with enough tightening, my elbows can almost touch.  Painfully, and my arms started losing feeling almost immediately, but it is possible.

While I was still trying to get my bearings and breathe into the bondage (done with black sashes this time instead of rope), T shoved a folded piece of fabric into my mouth and bound more of the sash around my head, a crude but effective gag.  The sash continued around and covered my eyes as well.  He flipped me onto my back, then proceeded to continue abusing my chest.  I think I may have screamed a couple of times.  Maybe it was when he bit down on my breast and lifted his head straight up.  And then repeated on the other side.

He really pushed my pain limits that morning.  Between the elbows almost touching and the heavy biting, I was in a lot of pain.  And still it continued, until he finally pulled me up by a nipple and led me to the bathroom.  He elicited some spectacularly painful/pleasurable reactions from me, mostly directed to my nether regions, and then hooked my arms up into a strappado so that, head hanging level with his waist, I could give him some attention as well.

At this point my arms were becoming an alarming shade of blue, though not helped by my straining my head down so I could get all of his cock in my mouth.  I hadn’t told him, but the whole week prior, I’d been craving having my mouth filled like this.  Thoughts of my mouth being stuffed would make me salivate as I lay in bed, or drove to work, or while on my laptop, or…

Sadly, T did not let me whet my appetite completely, and soon after he let me down and untied my arms.  Slowly.  I swear I could feel the blood rushing down to fill my arms, a the sensation that felt like the filling up of a glass of cool water.  Followed quickly by stinging pins and needles and an incredible stiffness.

But gradually my arms came back to life, and after a rejuvenating shower it was a quick breakfast and T was off to work.  I had work myself later in the afternoon.

So it was back up to the city, playing catch-up on some weekend correspondence and working for the evening at the café with a short break in the middle to go attend a volunteer meeting at the art gallery before trotting back to the café to help close up.

I find myself increasingly booked with events, work, get-togethers, and commissioned design and animation work.  Amazing how quickly it’s happened and how much I feel overwhelmed yet optimistically driven to make it all work.  I’ve just finished putting together my new bed frame from Psychokitty, as they got a new bed, and am lying in it, in my now much-cozier room, and feeling like some small pieces are finally falling into place in this new life I’ve made for myself.

Good night, San Francisco.  You act like an entitled bitch sometimes, but maybe, just maybe, this arrangement will work after all…

Categories: life, sundry

lucky number announcement

December 3, 2009 1 comment

And with the seventh post on my new blog, I’ve decided I might as well let it go public.  Here is my new baby project:

Sketchbook Junkie

Yeah, I’m still sitting on the title, hoping I’ll like it more with time.  But otherwise, I’m quite excited to have a place for all of my wayward scribbles to live, as opposed to scattered about my half-dozen sketchbooks (actually, I probably have more.  Not counting the random pieces of paper I doodle on).  I’m also hoping it’ll provide continual inspiration to draw more in order to provide content for the blog.

It helps that I now own a tablet and have found what may possibly be the best brush in Photoshop.  So, check out my new sketchbook blog if you’re so inclined.  I will be making the very ambitious attempt to post something there daily, but who knows how long that’ll last.

Categories: admin, art, firsts, graphic girl, links

as cold as the depths of my heart

December 1, 2009 4 comments

As those unfortunate enough to be within conversational or cyber-conversational distance with me already know, I have been dealing with extreme temperature issues, both in my apartment and just about everywhere else.  It’s always, always cold in my apartment, and always a good 5-10 degrees colder than the outside temperature in general.  And now it’s getting colder outside.

I am, in a word: fucked.

Cold does two things to me; it kills my productivity, and it severely worsens my mood.  And I get cold very easily.  So my current situation is making it pretty difficult for me to do anything useful.  I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning (though often my bed is cold too), I get sullen and depressed, and I am just not very good company to be around.  It’s agonizing enough to have to take my clothes off to take a shower.

Yes, I was a cold-blooded reptile in my past life.

On a more optimistic note, I just attended another amazing workshop by the ever-delightful Fivestar, where we learned how to make our own jute bondage rope using cheap twine.  I am in awe at the magical transformation that occurs from this really quite simple process that turns gardening twine into 6mm rope.  So I am now the proud owner of my first, roughly ten foot piece of jute rope.

And perhaps, if I can find a warm spacious area, I’ll be able to make my own jute rope kit for use with bondage someday soon.

Now that’s a warming thought.

Categories: firsts, winter