Archive for August, 2010

Off to Paradise

August 30, 2010 Leave a comment

By this time tomorrow I will be in Seattle, ready for the week of kinky outdoor camping that is Paradise Unbound.  It promises to be a full, exciting eight days, and I honestly can’t believe it’s almost here.  I’ve never been to Paradise, but the combination of a wonderful kink/leather community and camping in the Pacific Northwest is vastly appealing, and that’s not even including the time I will get to spend with Max.

We talked a bit about scheduling over the phone yesterday, and then last night, I dreamt that I missed my flight to Seattle.  I went to another area to get on another flight, except I got distracted and missed that one too!  This meant I would not be able to get on a plane until the next morning.  This put me in a panic, and all I could think about was that I was messing up our schedule.

Traveling always makes me very anxious, and it affects my whole body.  As much as I try to plan ahead and make things run as smoothly as possible, my body just reacts immediately when I think about packing and getting to the airport and checking in bags and getting through security and finding my gate.  So it’s not surprising that I had that dream.

I’ve actually travelled quite a bit, which of course raises the probability of things that go wrong in airports and on airplanes to happen to me.  I have: flown to the wrong airport for a summer program; sat in an airplane at the gate for three hours before getting herded onto another plane when whatever technical issue couldn’t be resolved; missed a connecting flight and been unable to get to my destination until the morning after; had a nine hour layover at an airport due to weather; missed a flight completely due to poor time management; had two swiss army knives and a bottle of leather conditioner confiscated; and left a ticket for a connecting flight in the seat pocket of another plane.

That said (and hopefully I won’t jinx my upcoming flight), I’ve never lost any baggage or valuables like my passport, and I’ve never had much trouble with security.  Let’s hope that trend continues!

Categories: firsts, travelog

My whip’s first scene

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Continuing with the theme of whips, here is part of a journal I wrote about Max’s visit, where I describe our scene with my whip.  It was a … breathtakingly powerful scene.

Standing there, facing you, I felt awe at the way my whip came alive in your hands. It was a beautiful sight: your body and the whip moving together; the whip flying and curling in the air towards me; the liquid electricity flowing down your arm and through the length of leather, making the silk cracker hiss. At that moment, I stopped seeing the whip as an instrument. It became an extension of your will, your touch, and your energy. I could feel its yearning to make contact with my skin.

And with each throw, I could hear the whip sing – an expression of pure joy at fulfilling its maker’s purpose. Finally.

I watched my whip, listened to your words, felt the sensuality in the first few light touches – almost caresses. There were not many of those. Time sped up as I felt the whip hit me like a punch to the gut, or a blazing trail of fire. Time slowed down between strokes, as I emptied my lungs and fought the instinct to curl into a ball and hide from the searing pain. Holding my arms above my head only made my belly curve outward like an invitation. I could not see through the white-blinding sensations. All that existed was your voice counting out each stroke and telling me not to move, the force of the whip across my body, and the throat-shredding sounds being ripped from my lungs.

A lifetime later, you reached “20,” and it was over. There are no words I can really use to describe my relief at hearing the finality behind that “20” – seeing you coming towards me, wrapping your body around mine, bringing me down to the floor while I clung to you – combined with the ecstasy I felt at being able to withstand the pain, hold still and keep my arms raised while you whipped me. The two states, relief and ecstasy, merged and expanded to fill my body, and were exhaled out through the sobs that I could not hold back.

The pain faded remarkably quickly and just as quickly was replaced by giddy pride. Pride in taking that pain, but also pride in my whip flying straight and true in your hands, and the delight and joy you took in wielding it. Knowing that the catalyst of this electricity, and heat, and power, and magic, was something I created with my own hands made me want to laugh through the sobs, to exult in our connection.

You told me you’d never done a scene like that – never used a whip on the person who’d made the whip. I could not stop grinning.  Neither, of course, had I. I felt high as a kite; I suspect you felt similarly.

Carnalnation whipmaking article

August 24, 2010 2 comments

I recently put together an article on how I made my whip, drawing on the documentation I’d kept on this blog.  Carnalnation just published it today!  It’s old news if you’ve read my blog posts, but the article kind of brings it together, and it’s a little bit more cohesive, so feel free to give it a read.

Categories: links

stopping to think…

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Consciousness itself does not hinder living in the present…. Self-consciousness, however, does hinder the experience of the present.  It is the one instrument that unplugs all the rest.  So long as I lose myself in a tree, say, I can scent its leafy breath or estimate its board feet of lumber, I can draw its fruits or boil tea on its branches, and the tree stays tree.  But the second I become aware of myself at any of these activities – looking over my own shoulder, as it were – the tree vanishes, uprooted from the spot and flung out of sight as if it had never grown.  And time, which had flowed down into the tree bearing new revelations like floating leaves at every moment, ceases.  It dams, stills, stagnates.

Self-consciousness is the curse of the city and all that sophistication implies.  It is the glimpse of oneself in the storefront window, the unbidden awareness of reactions on the faces of other people – the novelist’s world, not the poet’s.  I’ve lived there.  I remember what the city has to offer: human companionship, major-league baseball, and a clatter of quickening stimulus like a rush from strong drugs that leaves you drained.  I remember how you bide your time in the city, and think, if you stop to think, “next year… I’ll start living; next year… I’ll start my life.”

– Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Excerpt from the book I am currently reading.  I’ve loved Dillard’s writing ever since reading “Living Like Weasels,” so it’s really a travesty that I didn’t pick up Pilgrim at Tinker Creek sooner.

And I have to admit to a bittersweet nostalgia for the granite mountains and soft autumn colors of New England that this book amplifies.  I miss the woodlot that I grew up with, filled with its vernal pools, leaf-clogged streams, and constant neighborhood chatter from crows, blue jays, robins, nuthatches, and chickadees.  The hidden messages tapped out by downy woodpeckers by day, and the soul-filling chorus of spring peepers by night.

The solitude that filled me while immersed in those woods is what I miss most, so different from the loneliness I feel trying to navigate the unpredictable, buzzing activity of the city.  The final sentence in this passage struck a deep, deep chord.

The restlessness persists.

Categories: life, links, reflection

nomadic undercurrents

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

The desire to be on the move again has me feeling incredibly restless lately.  Yesterday Jewel and I went on a long coastal drive along Route 1, talking about our various travels and what we want to do in upcoming years.

I find myself yearning more and more strongly for a different landscape, different lifestyle, different environment.  My relationship with San Francisco feels like it’s close to expiring, and I’m starting to feel claustrophobic.

Don’t get me wrong, this city is an amazing place for many reasons.  The SF bubble has been a wonderful place to nurture the kink part of my life.  For a year, I’ve been able to focus almost solely on exploring my kinky side in a completely safe, encouraging environment.  I have met some incredible people, and I’ve been fortunate to call many of them friends.

Yet, yet.  I find my mind wandering to the vast western country I passed through on my roadtrip.  I think back on Santa Fe, Denver, Aspen, and it makes my heart skip a beat.  I think about the possibility of visiting New Zealand and Australia, and wonder if I’d be able to return to the US after such a visit.  And then there are the multitudes of opportunities to volunteer, for weeks or for a year, on farms and intentional communities in another country.

How much longer will I be able to stay rooted in one place?  Why is it that I cannot be satisfied to settle in place for more than a year?  I feel the travel itch in my sitbone, crawling under my skin, making the soles of my feet tingle impatiently.

I’m not sure where my next step will take me.  But if I don’t make one, I will go stir-crazy.

Categories: fantasy, travelog


August 21, 2010 Leave a comment

It is not an insignificant thing for me to be proclaiming a relationship, or any intimate connection, after guarding my independence so closely for so long.  Yet here I am, announcing not just that I am intimately connected to another, but also owned by him.  It’s been a long while since I’ve been in such a relationship.

The beautiful realization now is that I am no less independent; rather, my life is made the more enriched by this addition.

A phrase that I learned quickly through the poly byways was “new relationship energy,” or NRE.  Because of our distance and thus infrequent visits, I found that the NRE has stretched out over a longer period of time.  It makes the time between visits more difficult, but certainly builds up the anticipation and desire for each next encounter as well.

This status change, while changing nothing of how we have interacted together from the very start – my wearing his collar, him filling me with his will and power – does signify the continuation of our encounters, each time bringing us deeper into the other’s bodies, and hearts.  I could not be more thrilled by the thought.

Thank you, Sir.

Categories: love, submission

family trip

August 13, 2010 2 comments

So I have been putting off packing for a flight out of town tomorrow to meet up with my family.  I’m not flying home, though – as scattered around the globe as we all are right now, we chose a destination that’s sort of not-quite midway between all of us, and which promises lots of sun and beach time, so it’ll be a good vacation spot as well.

I have not been shy in admitting to my friends how decidedly un-eager I am to travel this weekend, despite how nice the destination should be.  In any other situation, it would be idyllic and relaxing, but I am just not optimistic about my time with the family remaining drama-free.  Perhaps my attitude itself doesn’t help.  I am at least looking forward to seeing my brother again and am plotting to take him sightseeing or something on our own for a day.

Suffice to say, I won’t be in front of the computer much – that alone is a welcome vacation, now that most of my current projects involve staring at my laptop screen for hours.  And I hope to come back refreshed from hours in the sun and exploring the local scenery.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for some spectacular reading, I recently stumbled upon this blog by way of my Twitterfeed (again – thanks @mister_borogove!).  The specific post that was linked is called “Gay marriage: the database engineering perspective.”  The author takes you through the database logic of restructuring however marriage data is currently handled to accomodate not only gay marriage, but with room to allow for multiple-partner marriages as well.  As if you need any further proof of the geekery of this post, but here is a fantastic quote that just about overloaded my geekgasm quota: “…marriage is not just an irreflexive binary relation; it’s a transitive, irreflexive, binary relation.”

I was pretty surprised at how much I was able to follow after just a mere couple months of learning MySQL for work, but there is one thing that I made a complete guess on.  Here is the excerpt, speculating on the legal difficulties of introducing polygamy:

Here, “legally” is actually the biggest stumbling block. I think it would be accurate to say that much more of the existing global “legislatosaurus” is implicitly or explicitly geared towards binary marriages than is geared towards heterosexual marriages. This is not a case of changing a few words in the laws. It would be a case of radically modifying a very large chunk of law. The possibility for legal loopholes and general lack of airtightness would be major. And all of this would be in order to accommodate the legal needs of an admittedly tiny minority of people. I think it should happen (in the places where it hasn’t), and the arguments against it are no better than the arguments against gay marriage, but the obstacles are larger.

But anyway. IANAL. IAADBE.

Those abbreviations in the last sentence look pretty obscure.  My first guess? “I am not a lawyer. I am a database engineer.”  I did get momentarily distract by the first being immediately translated in my mind to “I anal,” but my mind doesn’t leave the gutter much these days anyway.

The other post of his that was memorable elaborates upon the impossibility of equal height columns in CSS (something that seriously aggravates me).  What’s notable is the fact that he later finds and adds a link to someone who shows it is possible, despite it still, technically, being a hack.  Glorious!

A final thought fragment before I’m gone.  I’ve felt stretched particularly thin and energy-deprived lately, and while some of the symptoms I recognize as the start of a depressive cycle, I find that I’m also feeling a little inundated by the immensity of the world issues that are happening right now.  There are many issues I’m passionate about, and too little energy to devote to them all, it seems.  There is the oil spill, the political environment of this country (heavily biased, I admit, from watching The Rachel Maddow Show almost exclusively), immigration, and the continual fight for sexual freedom and education, just to name the top few.  There are so many actions and words said that fill me with helpless anger these days.  And it seems fruitless to rail against people who are so completely set in their ways, so committed to passing blame to others, and with enough influence and power to get away with both.

Makes a girl want to tear her hair out.  Except I now have a cease and desist order on any further shortening of hair.

And with that, it is time for me to start packing.

Categories: life, links, travelog

New project

August 7, 2010 Leave a comment

I know why I feel so listless lately – I have no new project to obsess over!  Well, I think I have an idea for one now.  While brainstorming ideas for a drawing I’m doing for a friend, I pulled out Anatomy for the Artist from my bookshelf.  I got this as an arts intern after a colleague showed me her copy, but in all honesty I’ve never really used it.  I’ve come to rely on using Google image search to find references when I draw.  But it’s a bit of a shame; the book is filled with amazing visuals detailing every aspect of human anatomy, including translucent pages that overlay bones and musculature over photographs of people.

And this made me realize how out of practice I’ve become with figure studies.  I haven’t really done any since I left the East coast, and I feel a little rusty with the human figure.  That just won’t do!  So I am going to attempt a series of figure drawings of each of the reference photos in the book.  At over 200 pages of multiple photos per page, this should be a good exercise for me.  Ideally, I’d have a live model to draw from, but until I live that dream world of having someone at my beck and call for modeling purposes, this will have to do.

I anticipate heavy use of graphite and maybe some ink, but I may also go crazy and experiment with other media.

I should also note that my obsession with whips is not at all expired.  I am simply biding my time to build up enough momentum – and resources – to make a few more!  More documentation to come.

Categories: art, links, sundry

“there are always statues to talk to”

August 5, 2010 Leave a comment

As with every other time I’ve been with Max (short of Shibaricon), I’ve written and sent him a journal of reflections and chronology summarizing our time together.  This one was particularly difficult to write, and it took me a week of struggling with words and with memories to be able to form something coherent and, more importantly, honest.

I stumbled, that week.  Perhaps, with a little more distance and time, I will see the stumble for the small thing it was, and not amplify it into a monstrous calamity in my head, as is my wont.  Either way, it was a good lesson in knowing when to ask for help.  Because as much as I tried to fight off my chameleon myself, I couldn’t win the battle alone.  As it was, it took lots of talking, listening, and fighting with my uncertainties to bring my defenses down and let Max in again.

Every time I do this, he settles deeper into my life and becomes that much stronger of a presence in my world.

As always, writing these journals leaves me very reflective and withdrawn, too focused on memories and introspections to notice much else.  As I worked towards finishing the final leg of Max’s trip yesterday, I took a break to visit the Legion of Honor Museum.  It seemed an appropriate venue in which to handle the flood of thoughts swamping my head.  While walking through galleries of paintings and sculptures, I reflected on the past year.  I have not mentioned it here before, but last weekend marked a year since I stepped foot into the Center for Sex Positive Culture, met Max, and then proceeded to have a 15-minute suspension scene with him later that evening.

As Max noted while here, I looked a little alarmed every time he mentioned our anniversary to friends we were with.  To be fair, neither of us planned his trip to coincide with the date, nor had I even realized what the date meant – me, the one who’s fanatical about recording things in correct chronological order.  And, because my mind had centered on Folsom as the one-year mark, I completely overlooked the date that we’d met.

Max commented on the funny way these disparities happen, especially with non-monogamy.  Just how do you commemorate the forming of a relationship without the social normative markers of marriage or even, in our case, a first date?  After that 15-minute scene, the next time I saw Max was to be in service to him throughout Folsom weekend, two months later.  There was no gradual progression of coffee dates to dinner dates to play dates for us, so it is a bit harder to pinpoint one moment in time, or one event, as the start of a relationship counter.

And yet, we have somehow arrived at the one year mark after getting together for weekend to weeklong service dates almost every month since Folsom.  New Year’s Eve, a visit in March, SEAF, Shibaricon, and now, Max’s visit with me, in my own home in San Francisco.  It certainly gives me a lot to look back on, as well as a lot to look forward to.

Going through the museum also took me back to my trip to Seattle for the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival.  The festival’s occupied a lot of my head space lately too, as I try to form a coherent article around my experiences there.  I remembered the amazing pieces of artwork I saw and the mesmerizing performances that electrified the exhibit hall.  Wandering through the Legion of Honor, I realized just how starved for art I’d become.  My mind switched to the work around me.  I was enamoured with the classical sculptures and head busts on display, and I marveled at their Rodin collection.  The classic Renaissance paintings and Victorian furniture, I spent less time looking at.  But regardless, it was revitalizing to be surrounded by artwork, alone and insulated by my own thoughts.

At the museum store, I spotted numerous books I’d love to read: Undressed: Why we draw, Love, Sex, & Tragedy: How the ancient world shapes our lives, and The Buried Book.  I also spied a book with a painting of a nude woman entwined around a swan on its cover, which I didn’t pick up but reminded me of the Greek mythology that most captivated me when I was younger: the story of Leda and the swan.  I have always been enraptured by both the story and the paintings it inspired, especially Michelangelo’s rendition.

Sex. Art. Eroticism.  My own arts background helped build a foundation for my sexual identity and gave me a vast amount of appreciation for the human figure, as well as respect for the power of the erotic allure.  I looked at some paintings and wondered at their power to captivate, and the emotions in the eyes of some of the sculptures made me want to weep.  How can art be so powerful?  So evocative? So piercing?

It was an inspiring visit.  I should make the Legion of Honor a monthly visit, and I look forward to slowly making my way through all of the museums in this city.

(notes: all photos were taken by me, and I confess, I took closer note of the media than the artist’s name in some cases. Also, this post’s title is a line from Tanya Davis‘ poem, “How to Be Alone.”  I still can’t stop playing that video…)

Carnalnation: Rope Bite

August 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Hey, another Carnalnation article is up!  This one talks about Rope Bite, the rope-centric munch that Lochai started here in San Francisco.  Well, Lochai’s leaving for the opposite coast, and I’ll be hosting the munch after this month.  So this Wednesday is Lochai and Janice’s send-off and thank-you party.  Stop by, grab a cup of coffee, and get tied up!

In other news, a reader sent me a link to this amusing youtube video, titled “Fetish Memoirs by Baron Long Winkle”:

Categories: links, rope, sundry