Category Archives: musings

My Awesome Life

The last couple of months I’ve been crazy busy. My life has been a huge whirlwind of activity. Between work, family and personal time, I feel like I’ve been running non stop since pretty much April. There have been slow moments, maybe a week or two at a time where I haven’t done anything significant, but generally speaking life has been pretty crazy.

The best part about it though? I really am enjoying my life. The more I think about it and the more I experience it I realize there are a lot of things about my life I really love. Sure there are things I wish I could improve, my job and my living situation for one thing, but in the grand scheme of things I’m doing pretty well. I have a steady job that pays for my bills and allows me the flexibility to do stuff at night and on the weekends when I want to. While my apartment may be small (and getting smaller every day it feels like!) it suits my needs and is cheap.

I think the best thing about my life right now is I know that I have friends that love me for me, not because of us being in a situation together. I went through a phase after law school where I was really depressed, mainly due to seeing all the supposed friends I thought I had made in law school disappear into the wind and avoid me. People I’d known for three years suddenly treated me like I didn’t exist. A girl that lived downstairs from me that I spent a significant amount of time with and I felt like was really good friends with me hasn’t texted, called, emailed or otherwise contacted me since August of 2011. I suppose some of the blame lays with me, not reaching out to her as well, but the fact that she simply vanished from my life tells me she never really wanted to be friends with me. A true friend will make time for someone even if they’re busy.

My friends now aren’t that way. I have friends all over the county, ones I’ve mainly connected with through kink events, Fetlife and my Twitter account that I consider better friends than any of the ones I ever made in law school. I have people I know I could count on in the event something terrible happened to me. When I tell them I’m depressed or need help, they jump up and come to my rescue, offering cuddle time, a shoulder, an ear and most importantly support. While we may not always be able to hang out, whether because of geography or simply busy schedules, but I know they’re there for me and I hope they know I’m there for them too.

It seems like every weekend I have something to do, whether it’s seeing friends, hanging out, going to events, or generally fucking around with booty calls. “Hey do you want to hang out?” is code for “I’m really horny and want to mess around” and I’m totally okay with that. When I think about it, it makes me feel like a total whore, but I actually went back and counted. I’ve slept with six different guys this year alone. The best part is that the year’s not even over yet!

In 2010 when I went on my chastity bender, I promised myself I’d only break it for having a connection with someone. 2011 was a completely dry year for me, apart from SINSations in Leather and the bondage play I did there. I learned a lot about myself in that year and learned that I shouldn’t ever have to settle for less than what I’m worth. 2012 has been a year of putting that belief into practice. So far I think I’ve done a pretty good job. There are few things I did in 2010 I wish I hadn’t done, things I might even go so far as saying I regret doing. While 2012 so far as been on par with the craziness of 2010, there’s been nothing so far that I regret. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done and have managed to grow in the process. Sure, there’s been some negative moments and been involved with some people who have brought me down, but thankfully I’ve learned that those are people I can and should remove from my life as soon as I realize they are huge balls of negativity. There’s been a lot of growth for me in the last couple of years, growth that was long overdue and much needed.

I don’t always stop and write down every awesome thing that goes on in my life, something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. I want to document these things so that I can remember them and come back in 10, 20 or 30 years and see my crazy life I had when I was in my 20s.

Right now though? It’s a good life. It’s my life. I’m going to enjoy it – every last little bit of it. 

An Open Letter to Wannabees

Dear Wannabees of the World,

We as a BDSM community are generally pretty accepting (though albeit a suspicious bunch). I can totally see why you’d want to land in our open arms and surround yourself by all that we as a people have to offer. Shit, there’s naked people, sexy clothes (on people of all genders!), fun play, public sex, and generosity and kindness that know no bounds. I can see how this could be misconstrued to people on the outside as there being lots of opportunity for exploitation – no, not that exploitation. (Side note – the only time I have ever felt exploited was when I allowed myself to feel as such.)

In my porn browsing I have come across all types of porn, good and bad. Type in “bondage” to any porn tube video site and you’ll come across a lot of decent stuff but also a lot of really, really bad stuff. Throwing a cheap collar on the girl doesn’t make it a “bondage” porn. Anal doesn’t make it a “bondage” porn. Spanking someone four times super lightly doesn’t make it a “bondage” porn. I have a lot of bones to pick with porn in general, but lately my main one has been porn producers using what you can tell are “vanilla actors” in a “bondage” movie. Now I’m sure the actors knew what they were getting into ahead of time and I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but something tells me that someone (namely the producers) probably threw in an extra bit of money to convince an otherwise recalcitrant actor to agree to be in such a film. But when it comes time to actually perform? Oh man. It’s painful to watch. Not in that good way either. You can tell they’re not enjoying it even in the slightest and listening to the (generally) girl bitch and moan the whole time does not make for an enjoyable viewing experience. Quite frankly, I’d rather read the Sunday New York Times’ editorial section than watch a bad “bondage” porn performance.

I have seen a growing number of otherwise vanilla people try to claim an interest in “fetish” or “bondage” simply because they think it will get them somewhere. Perhaps it’s the old thought process of “Oh, she shows her tits in pictures so clearly she’s an easy slut” which motivates some. Perhaps it’s the lure of easy money in a large, but niche market. Those of us who genuinely have an interest in the things we claim to be interested in can sniff them out from miles away. I’m not saying I’m the most “hardcore” of players. There’s stuff I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. On the other hand, a lot of what interests me could be seen as too twisted. That’s okay. I repeat – that’s okay. We all have our own interests and while I may not agree or like yours, I’ll defend your right to be interested in it as long as it’s safe, sane, consensual and legal.

If BDSM isn’t your thing, that’s okay. If you only like missionary sex in the dark with your socks on, that’s okay … though I’d like to introduce you to a Kama Sutra book. There is a world of options out there. BDSM isn’t for everybody and please don’t belittle our interests and pretend you’re “hardcore into” it if you’re not. The first time we bring up anything a little to twisted for you, you’ll be running for cover. We’ll laugh and move on with our day. Because that’s the best thing about the BDSM community – there’s always someone out there who will share your twisted interest, even if they’re few and far between.

I’m Tired

I’m tired of shitty things happening in my life.

I’m tired of being treated like crap.

I’m tired of allowing myself to be treated like crap.

I’m tired of passing off bad behavior of people as “oh that’s just them.”

I’m tired of making excuses for why people act like assholes.

I’m tired of being labled as “clingy” or “needy” because I have this novel notion that someone actually pay attention to me.

I’m tired of always being the one that tries.

I’m tired of being the only one that tries.

I’m tired of my shitty ass, tiny, ridiculous apartment.

I’m tired of walking through my building and getting a contact high from everybody smoking pot.

I’m tired of living in the middle of goddamn nowhere.

I’m tired of Walmart at 8am being my only excitement in my life.

I’m tired of photographers using the “Hey I have a camera and you’re really beautiful” pick up line only to never again suggest a photoshoot.

I’m tired of applying for literally hundreds of jobs and not getting a single one.

I’m tired of making $27,000 a year and yet having a law degree and law license.

I’m tired of answering phone calls about people’s hairy shower drains, clogged toilets, and dead lightbulbs.

I’m tired of being under appreciated, under paid and under utilized at my job.

I’m tired of people not taking me seriously as a person because I’m 4’9″.

I’m tired of people calling me “thick” and “fat” because my thighs are not rail skinny.

I’m tired of not being able to walk into a goddamn shoe store and finding a shoe to fit me.

I’m tired of feeling guilty because I’m splurging on a $9 lunch or a $20 rope order.

I’m tired of having to sleep with earplugs and a sound machine on high because I have loud neighbors who don’t care that it’s 4am and I have to work.

I’m tired of feeling like I have no idea what is going on in my life.

I’m tired of saying “it is what it is” and “things will happen eventually.”

I’m tired of hiding my tattoos from my parents.

I’m tired of feeling like I constantly have to please someone else only to please myself.

I’m tired of living so far away from my boyfriend.

I’m tired of living so far away from my Daddy.

I’m tired of having to tapdance around specific topics with specific people because they’re not strong enough to actully face things head on.

I’m tired of having to censor myself.

I’m tired of feeling like I’m the karmic joke of the universe.

I’m tired of not being able to afford the things I want.

I’m tired of being the afterthought.

I’m tired of my shitty ass shower that never drains properly.

I’m tired of losing my hair at 26.

I’m tired of being gluten intolerant and not being able to eat 95% of the things I love and crave.

I’m tired of spending $4.95 on Nerf football-sized loafs of bread.

I’m tired of having to hide my kink activities from my parents.

I’m tired of people saying goodbye to me by just ceasing to talk to me.

I’m tired of being the butt of people’s jokes.

I’m tired of having little children scream “Mommy, she’s little!” when I’m out at stores.

I’m tired of being dragged to church on holidays and told how I’m going to burn in hell if I don’t believe in the Catholic church.

I’m tired of listening to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh constantly when I’m at home with my mother.

I’m tired of not having room in my tiny apartment to put all my shoes.

I’m tired of people not appreciating me for the damn good person I am.

I’m tired of constantly striving to do the right thing and have it flung back in my face.

I’m tired of having anxiety attacks over every little thing.

I’m tired of being the only one at work for 3 hours because my stupid coworker can’t haul her lazy ass out of bed to be there when our office opens.

I’m tired of being “good old dependable Isabel.”

I’m tired of being told I’m too this and too that.

I’m tired of expressing interest in someone and having them run away in abject fear.

I’m tired of always being told that I have to be good.

I’m tired of letting fear hold me back.

I’m tired of being frustrated and stymied about the lack of progress in my life.

I’m tired of being left out.

I’m tired of assholes being assholes.

I’m tired of emotions fucking over my life.

I’m tired of my head fucking over my life.

I’m tired of not getting what I want.

I’m tired of being tired of all of these things

An Undercover Kinkster Primer

This is a post that is a long time in the making. It’s something that has been rattling on the fringes of my thoughts for awhile now, mostly because I’ve seen people I interact with get very confused about some of my actions, inactions, mannerisms and motivations. It’s about time that I actually set down on virtual paper a little bit about me and exactly what to expect if you’re interested in playing with me. Warning – this will be epically long.

If I’ve directed you here in during the scope of negotiation or discussion about getting involved in some way, please read this piece in its entirety. I know it’s long but there are some really good things in here that will be very helpful and will avoid lengthy discussions or misunderstandings. 

My Mentality 

Playing with me is a privilege, plain and simple. In my time in BDSM and since I’ve been sexually active, there haven’t been many people I’ve played with. I don’t want to embarrass myself or seem like some horribly green newbie, but suffice it to say the average kinkster has probably played with more people in one year than I have in my kinkster career. I’m okay with that. I’m selective about my play and sex partners because I have to be. 
Why is that? Because I am hurt so easily. Not physically (though I am beginning to have doubts about the hardiness of my bum), but more emotionally. I get attached to people very easily. I’m quick to fall for someone and quicker to be infatuated by them. Someone that shows me any interest or attention is someone who I am susceptible to falling for. If they’re smart, well-spoken, have similar ideals, and play in a remotely similar style as I do, watch out heart because you’re going down. It’s something I’ve had to deal with frequently and something that nine times out of ten comes back to bite me in the ass … and not in the good way. Because of this tendency to fall hard and quick, I am very hesitant to express those feelings. It sounds like almost a paradox there. It’s true though. I’ve been accused of coming off as cold and distant when I do like someone but that’s because I’m trying so hard not to go from zero to sixty with them and look like a giggling schoolgirl. Most people don’t fall as fast as I do and I want to give that person an appropriate amount of time to express some feelings about me back. 
Similarly, I’m very shy when it comes to expressing those feelings. Ask me flat out if I’m into you and I’ll probably beat around the bush, hem and haw, and maybe if you’re lucky ultimately admit to those feelings. Where does that come from? Years and years of rejection. I have literally lost count the number of times that I’ve expressed interest in someone to the tune of “I just want you to know that I like you more than a friend” and that’s literally the last I’ve seen or heard from them. While that has taught me that a lot of people weren’t worthy of those feelings in the first place, it also has taught me to not tell someone for fear of being rejected. Anybody who has known me for any extended period of time knows that rejection is my huge trigger point. It’s what will bring me to my knees faster than a swift kick. It emotionally cripples me when I even get the whiff of something that could remotely be construed under the worst possible conditions as rejection. Even things most people would never dream of as being rejection can be twisted and perverted in my head into someone rejecting me. The lesson here to people is if you’re interested in me – please express it. Tell me. Tell me I’m wanted and that while you may be taking longer than I am to get or be interested in me, if there’s even a remote chance you will be interested in me, it will get there. 
If you do express that interest in me, I will treat you like royalty. No kidding here. I will do your dishes, clean your house, rub your back, get you presents, send you notes, and generally make you feel like the most important person in the entire world. Why is that? Well, simply put – I want you to be happy. I want you to like me. Easier said than done sometimes but that’s ultimately what it comes down to. I’m not trying to make you feel weird, put out or force you to return the favor (though that would definitely be appreciated). It’s just who I am. Long ago I decided my purpose in life was to make people happy. This is how I show it to people that I’m interested in. 
I will get emotionally attached to you if we talk, play, or become friends. It may be on a deeper level than you’re comfortable with, and simply put if that’s something you would rather avoid, you need to tell me upfront so I can save the emotional wreckage for someone who will actually appreciate that attachment.

My Communication

I need it. I crave it. There is no substitute for it. Everybody stresses communication as the most important thing in any relationship. Often times the people who are its biggest proponents end up being the ones worst at it. I will admit that I talk a lot. Often times about totally meaningless stuff and stuff unrelated to any immediate need, want, or desire. There’s a fine line between ignoring that talking and humoring me. My love of talking and communicating is something that is inbred in me. Shit, I’m Italian. It’s what we do. We can turn a 30 minute meal into a three hour event just by opening our mouth and talking about our day. 
Communication for me goes beyond simply talking about random stuff though obviously. It’s telling me your thoughts about me, you, your life, my life, our life, etc. It’s telling me when you’re thinking about me and what you’re thinking about. Okay, sure you don’t have to tell me everything because then there’d be no mystery. But if you’re out somewhere and see something that reminds you of me, it’s taking a picture and showing me. It’s the occasional “just thinking of you” text message. It’s taking more than five seconds to read anything I send you and either dismiss it, not respond, or respond with something unrelated or something short. A 160-character text should probably not get a “ok” response unless that’s all that’s warranted. A three page email shouldn’t get nothing in return. I guess this is the part where I will fully admit to being attached at the hip to my cellphone. You can always reach me and should do so generously. We are all busy people with busy lives and I accept that, but a quick hello says so much more than what you’re actually saying. It makes my heart and soul fly. 

My Play and Hard Limits

This part is hard for me to write because my play style is very fluid and depends a lot on the person I’m playing with. I feed off their energy and interests. Sure, I have some basic things I’m interested in and like to incorporate into my repertoire, but I’m still open to trying new things and seeing what does interest me. Case and point – up until recently I had a hard limit of any kind of breath play. It just made me too nervous. Then I played with someone who allowed me to let my guard down and we incorporated a little choking into our playing such that I was comfortable with it. While the more extreme side is definitely still in my red zone, I can comfortably say that it’s something I’m exploring and enjoying that exploration.

In general, I fall on the submissive side. I have my moments where I want to feel dominant and enjoy trying on that role, but more often than not it feels very forced for me. It’s more like being an actor than really being myself. My job is such that I have to make decisions and being the enforcer of rules all day. I don’t want to come home or have playtime and have to do those same things. When presented with a set of options such as “Do you want to eat at [insert restaurant name] or [insert restaurant name]?” generally my response will be “Which one do you prefer?” This is not to say that I’m indecisive or apathetic. Often times I really do prefer one or another but ultimately having to make that decision is something I would rather not do. This phenomena is not new to me or only in my BDSM life. I’ve been doing this all my life and annoying people when they ask me that aforementioned restaurant question. Something as simple as “Where do you want to eat?” literally creates such indecision in me that it paralyzes me sometimes. This is the place where a dominant personality steps in.

I’ve always been naturally submissive though you wouldn’t know it by interacting with me on a daily basis. I’ve had friends literally stare at me in disbelief when I tell them I’m submissive, simply saying “no way in hell.” Yep, it’s very true. Take me on a journey, a ride, hold my hand and take me where you want to take me. Make me serve you. Push my limits (while still respecting them of course). I will fetch you drinks, be your assistant, iron your clothes, hold your toys while you hurt another person. On the flip side of this, I am not a push over by any means. I’m probably one of the most obstinate submissives you’ll ever meet. I definitely like things my way and having a say in things that don’t paralyze me with indecision. I’ve lived alone most of my adult life and as such definitely have my own way of doing a lot of little household things that most people would probably find weird or unusual. That’s just me. One aspect of this is that I’m really anal retentive when it comes to cleaning and organizing certain things. It makes me physically uncomfortable when things in my immediate surroundings are untidy or unkempt. Stacks of stuff strewn every which way cause me to twitch and want to pick up. Drinks in the fridge need to have logos or labels facing outward. Bathroom toiletries need to be lined up in an orderly fashion on the sink. Little things like that.

Tying this back into BDSM play here, I feel it’s the dominant’s/top’s responsibility to respect those little idiosyncrasies about me. Sure, there’s something to be said about making me uncomfortable on some level. There’s a club in Chicago that has framed photos on the wall just a little off kilter purposefully to make those OCD-type people uncomfortable. Something like that I can respect and see the logic in. Something like knowing about my quirks and exploiting them to the point that it causes me to lose respect for you is something entirely different.

If I tell you I’m uncomfortable with something to the point of it being a hard limit, you must respect that. We can talk about it in a safe setting where there’s no judgment and no worry about pushing those hard limits and I will be okay with this. Often times things that are hard limits are things that are just misunderstood. Rational thinking and discussion could very well lead those me changing my opinion of these things. Until I’ve actually said though that something is no longer a hard limit of mine, you need to respect that though.

I’ve watched a lot of scenes in my time and have listened to a lot of people wax poetic about the idea of subspace, ropespace or something similar to those things. I’ll tell you right now that very, very rarely do I get anywhere close to those things. My brain simply cannot shut off. Maybe that’s why I’m in BDSM – the search for that one thing that will shut my brain off and allow me to simply exist for nothing more than the moment. It’s happened a few times. As a presenter once said (and I paraphrase), “When you get a sub into subspace, they’ll pretty much agree to anything you ask. More whipping? Yes. Harder paddling? Of course. Cut off a limb? Why not.” Getting to that point is part of my quest. I yearn for it. Crave it. Hunt for it. Reach for it. I have literally gotten to the point that I am sobbing during playing because I feel it so close but can’t quite reach it. It’s not an easy thing for me to handle that I haven’t ever been to that place. I liken it to listening to my friends talk about the most amazing baked goods and sitting there being gluten intolerant. Some things are just not possible for me. I hope at one point to get into that place, though I worry that I may not want to leave it.

My Aftercare

With someone such as me who is so into communicating, you’d think I’d be very good about communicating my needs after playing, right? Totally wrong. It’s one of the things I’m terrible at and one of the things I’m demanding from here on out I be better at. Aftercare isn’t something that is negotiable here. It isn’t something that can be glossed over or tossed out like a used cum rag. It is 100% necessary for my mental well being. When I don’t get the aftercare I require, my emotions spiral downward. I can go from okay to not wanting to move for hours on end very quickly if aftercare is neglected. 
Some point can get along fine with minimal aftercare or a short period of drop. I can’t. Plain and simple. After a scene or playing, I go through a few phases. There’s the immediate adrenaline rush of the scene and immediate adrenaline drop right after. Physically I get a lot of the typical symptoms I’ve seen other bottoms get. I get really cold, shiver, mentally out of it, need water, etc. My mind is still cloudy and while the cloudy is something I prefer to sort through on my own, the physical needs must be addressed. Hold me close, pet my hair, look me in the eye (even if I’m shy and look away) and tell me I did a good job. Keep me warm and let me feel your body. This is the crucial few moments where physical bonding means more than what’s going on around you. People might want to come up and talk to us, but push them away. In that moment I’m depending on my dominant/top to be my protector and white knight. I can’t do it myself. This period of time could range from 10 minutes to an hour after a scene. 
The second period I need care is much longer. This is where the previous mention of feelings of rejection come in if I’m not taken care of properly. My emotional drop has previously lasted for upwards of four days after a really intense scene. On average I usually range between two to three days I need emotional and intellectual support. During this time it’s imperative we stay in touch. While we physically may not be close due to any number of reasons, this doesn’t mean you can assume I’m okay and doing fine. Not only this, but I typically reach out during this time in weird way. I won’t come right out and say “I’m not okay and need help.” My brain has been trained to not want to feel like a burden to anyone. I will say stuff like “I’m okay but I’m down” or “I’ve had a rough day mentally.” Please see this as what it is – a cry for help. When I get to the point that I’m actually saying “I need help” you will know it’s gotten really bad. During this time, it is imperative you make me feel wanted and important to your life. Make me feel like my needs are important and you’re paying attention to me.
I was talking to a dominant friend of mine a few days ago and he made some very good suggestions that I hadn’t really considered before about my aftercare. He suggested that my aftercare needs were a lot in line with my little girl side that I have. That the holding, caring, wanting to feel needed, were very similar to what my little girl side needs even when not playing. That after scenes and in that recovery period I have I go into my little girl shell very intensely. I think that’s a very good way to look at it and I’m really happy he suggested that. 
Of all the things that I could stress as important, I think aftercare is perhaps the most important. Even great play and sex will lose all meaning if I don’t get the aftercare I need after. It will lead to feelings of rejection, resentment and ultimately may cause the relationship (whatever it may be) to fall apart in its entirety.

My Little Side

I have two very distinct sides to me – an adult, very capable side and a little girl, very dependent side. They are sides that are co-dependent and intertwined. During the day I’m the capable adult who can make decisions and be in charge with no problems or questions asked. That’s simply what I have to do. I can put on the big person suit and heels and feel in control. When I get off work though I don’t want to be in that position any more. The little girl part of me wants to be taken care of, wants to be swaddled and loved. I want to sit on Daddy’s lap and have my hair played with. Play video games and eat chicken nuggets. 
I’ve talked before here and elsewhere about my little girl side and how important it is to me. It’s a vital piece of my psyche and helps me maintain my sanity. I think if I didn’t have that “out” so to speak I would probably be a lot crazier than I already am. Anybody who plays with me or gets involved with me needs to be okay with that side. Actually they need to be more than okay with it. They need to actually foster and encourage it. I have a lifetime of stuffed animals in my apartment that would freak out a less than committed partner. One of the threshold questions I ask potential playmates is if they’re okay with the fact that I have twelve stuffed animals on my bed every night when I sleep and if they’re okay with the fact that I have to be holding at least two of them. One little mini penguin goes down my shirt and the ever important koala gets held in my arms. If at least those two stuffed animals are not “allowed,” then I have to seriously ask myself if this is someone that I’m really interested in continuing on with.
Being a little girl allows me to not worry about stupid adult stuff that will drag me down and get in my way. It allows me to be me without worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow at work, my budget, gas prices, global warming or any other shit. I can focus and have that escape from things that otherwise weigh me down. 

My Reservations

This is by far not a comprehensive outline of things people need to know if they want to play or be involved with me. I’m sure later today I’ll have an a-ha moment and think to myself “why didn’t I talk about [fill in the blank]?!” So I guess what that means is you will just need to get to know me. I’m not everybody’s cup of tea and certainly not everybody is capable or willing to handle me. That’s okay. I don’t need to be perfect for everybody; I do need to be perfect for whoever wants to play with me. There are some things I can work with and work around, but there are also some other things that absolutely cannot be compromised on. Most of the things I’ve laid out here are things I would be very hesitant to compromise on except in very rare circumstances. 
Will this primer evolve and change as I do? Of course. But for right now, it’s a pretty darn good outline of who I am as a person, a submissive, a bottom, and a little girl. If you have any questions, please ask. I’m an open book and more than willing to share my experiences and stories with you.

This Kinkster’s Views on Polyamory

A partner of mine who is new to the idea of polyamory asked me “What does being poly mean to you and how does it affect your life?” This is my answer.

To me, the idea of polyamory is synonymous with the idea of more. Perhaps I’m a bit of a hoarder, a bit of a collector or maybe I’m just plain old greedy. I’ve always had a problem with the idea of monogamy only because I found it extremely hard to believe that one person could be committed 100% to another for any term of time. Humans, by their inherent nature, are hunters and gathers. We constantly hunt for the best thing out there. It’s the whole idea of the conquest. We do it with food, things, jobs, etc. Why not do it with people? We have these thoughts anyways, but most of the time society tells us to lust after someone who is not our partner is a shameful thing. With shame attaches guilt. Why not remove the guilt in the first place?

I have always adhered to the idea that if people were to just love more it would solve a lot of the world’s problems. I never really put a title on my beliefs or really knew about poly until I was probably in my early twenties. White bread suburbia doesn’t typically have households with two mommies, a daddy and a couple boyfriends or girlfriends (for example.) When I was growing up, I didn’t know what my sexuality was for the longest time. I was a huge tomboy and liked how girls looked so I figured I was a lesbian (when I knew what such a thing was.) But I found myself attracted to men too and being around men. I didn’t know that you could like both men and women. I found myself looking at happy couples and wanting that too … but not either or – both. I wanted both of them. Poly kind of incorporates that ability for me. My parents were always very cold people to each other and I think that formed my need for love from multiple sources. The more love, the better in my mind.

This is really hard for me to exactly put down what poly means to me mostly because it’s just a feeling for me. It’s a feeling that that’s what’s right for me. I want a primary partner (or partners) but I also enjoy the idea that if I meet someone I have a connection with who isn’t one of my partners I could enjoy their company in whatever fashion we decide to if everybody is okay with it. I think that’s what separates poly from cheating. Everybody knows what’s going on and there’s an openness to everything we do. I’ve had to learn that the hard way. Having had relationships (even minor ones) crash because I couldn’t be honest with them. Seeing it in people around me also struggling with poly relationships.

Poly is not an easy thing, not by far. It’s very time consuming and delicate to balance time, personalities, egos and desires. When it works though, it works so well. It makes me happy to see my partners happy. It makes them happy to see me happy. I think this also stems from my “pleaser” personality. I want to make people happy in any way I can and if it takes letting a partner go off and romp with someone else knowing that what they do doesn’t detract from our relationship, I’m fine with that.

Admittedly I do have problems sharing. I’m not good with it. Growing up essentially an only child for all intents and purposes, I never had to share my toys. I struggle with knowing someone I’m involved with is off having fun with someone else, but I then have to remember it’s not fair for me to demand that I can do those fun things with other people but my partner can’t. That’s just not fair. It’s not just about balancing other egos, but also about balancing yours as well.

Love is not finite. There is no boundary on how much a person can love. Meeting someone and loving them doesn’t take away from me loving someone else. It just means I love more. It means I love fuller. That’s the affect it has on my life. I love more.

I do want to clarify something though – when I say “we constantly hunt” it doesn’t mean I’m always out there looking for more partners. I can be happy with what I have. I don’t always search for new people to fall in love with or be with. Sometimes those people just find me. They fall in my lap, so to speak. Sometimes there’s something that a partner of mine doesn’t want to do or isn’t interested in that causes me to go on the hunt for someone who will. Having the freedom to do that, all while still staying committed, is what prevents resentment from setting in. I’ve seen that with my parents. I think to a large extent my father resents my mother for just shutting down the whole sexual side of her after I was born. He’s not the kind of guy to go out and have an affair, so he shut that part of himself down too. I don’t want that kind of resentment in my relationships. This is where having that freedom to play becomes useful.

Poly affects me because I don’t feel weighed down by the boundaries of what might be a typical monogamous relationship. Monogamy works for some people, don’t get me wrong. There are perfectly happy couples out there who have a very fulfilled life. I wish them well and with them happiness. For me though, monogamy makes me feel boxed, closed in, isolated. I’m flirty by nature and as hard as I try, I can’t turn that off. It’s just another part of me, like having green eyes or being small. It’s just who I am.

It’s just who I am. Poly isn’t a choice for me. It’s simply who I am.

Frustration (AKA the post in which I rant about personal responsibility)

I posted previously at my blog about how amused I was at the endless tirade of self affecting posts I’ve seen on Fetlife but I think I’ve passed the amusement phase and now have moved into my frustrated phase. While I haven’t read every comment and every piece people have had to say (mostly because I, you know, have a life, a job and a desire not to gouge my eyes out), I have stumbled through the highlights and lowlights.

Let me be the first to say congratulations. My fellow Chicago kinksters have started a serious and necessary open dialogue about an important topic. You’ve caused us all to stop and question ourselves, our actions and our interactions.

That’s about where my congratulations end. Here’s where my rant begins. When I first “joined” the kink community, I felt like I was wearing a scarlet “N” for newbie. Perhaps it was just the company I kept, but I felt preyed upon now looking back at it. I felt uncomfortable. I felt like I was being taken advantage of. I didn’t know any better and I was horribly naive. I trusted people I shouldn’t have, opened up to people who later turned on me, and found myself hurt beyond words when spilling my heart and soul out backfired.

I did a lot of things I wished I hadn’t. There’s still things I wish I could go back and redo mostly because I’m not proud of the decisions I made and the things I agreed to. I let the excitement of “HOLY SHIT! You can do that?!” overwhelm my sense of self and sense of what was right for me. That’s one of the things I forgot – I had nobody to look out for me except me. I figured older, wiser (ha!), and more experienced people had my back and wouldn’t do anything for, with and to me that I wasn’t ready for. I will never point fingers, name names or call those people titles that they don’t deserve. Why? Because I take personal responsibility for my own actions. Don’t get me wrong – I do believe said persons deserve “blame” for their part in my undoing but I played my part as well.

Not many of you know that in October of 2010 I went a little crazy. I had a bit of a breakdown. Why? Because I put my heart out there and had it flung back at me. I was under attack for expressing myself. I was idealistic and thought that if I expressed what I held in my heart, nothing bad would happen. Oh how little I knew of the world. Turns out it was the ammunition some people needed to fling mud in my face and make me the social pariah at the time. In the span of a few hours I went from having friends to feeling like I was under attack from all sides. I withdrew almost completely from all forms of kink. I didn’t play. I didn’t talk. I didn’t fuck. I didn’t even damn well touch anybody for almost 16 months.

It was in those 16 months that I truly learned that there is absolutely one person in the world I could trust – me. There is ONE person who will and must look out for me at all times – me. If I couldn’t trust myself to do that, there would be no hope of ever trusting anybody else.

There is an inherent power dynamic in what we do as kinksters. That can’t be denied. There will always be someone who holds more power and someone who holds less. Should that more powerful person bear more burden of protecting the less powerful person? Of course. To say any different would be to undermine the entire power exchange relationship. But to say that more powerful person bears the entire burden is to throw the idea of personal responsibility completely out the window. Perhaps I am advocating for an antiquated notion; perhaps I am “past my prime.” I don’t really care.

This is my form of therapy. This is my solace. I did things I’m not proud of. I did things I wouldn’t advocate anybody do. I said yes to things I probably should have said no to. Maybe I’m the one seeking forgiveness for my sins. All I know is I’ve come to peace with my past and I’ve become a better person for it. I’ve become a more responsible person for it.

Bravery comes in many forms. I’ve seen lots of it in my life. I could list examples of it until I’m blue and still wouldn’t even touch the surface of it. I will say this though – bravery is admitting when you’re wrong and trying to make amends for it. Bravery is using those past wrongs to be a better, stronger, more responsible person and moving on with new purpose and conviction. That’s what I aim to do every day.

Say what you want about me. I’ve turned my corner and I refuse to look back.

BDSM is serrrrrrrious bizzzness!

For the last week or so, I’ve watched with amused fascination at the non-stop barrage of incredibly philosophical and self-effecting posts fly by on my Fetlife feed. I don’t know if something happened to warrant such deep soul-searching posts and discussions of blame, victim shaming, and issues of consent, but something tells me I am way out of the loop in general. Actually, that’s just fine with me.

I don’t really want to be apart of those discussions even if I have something to say. I’d rather sit back with a bucket of popcorn and a finely mixed adult beverage and watch the fur fly, so to speak. You know why? Because one thing I’ve noticed among all these posts is the fact that everybody acts like BDSM and the life those in it lead are beyond the most serious thing ever. Don’t get me wrong – for a lot of the people involved in these discussions, these issues are very serious. I’m not discounting their experiences, whether good or bad, at all so don’t think I am. If something non-consensual happens to a person, whether to them or by them, I agree 100% that those events should be discussed and evaluated to determine if and where the blame may lie.

That being said, the whole thing has me totally amused. For a lot of people I know, BDSM and all things related to it is what we do for fun. We have high stress, demanding jobs and lives and often times want to get away from those issues we face 9-5. When I put on my “leather” or my slinky clothes, I don’t do it so I can sit there and have deep philosophical discussions about issues much larger and grander than myself. I consider them before hand, when I’m wearing my TOMS and leggings. I put my two cents in and then step away. I certainly don’t want to get embroiled in a debate where I could make an ass of myself, whether purposefully or inadvertently.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about 90% of the BDSM community is that quite a few of them take the whole thing way too seriously. As the old saying goes, “they can’t see the forest from the trees.” There is a larger picture to consider and one that I propose should include some laughs and giggles. Some of the best times I’ve ever had were laughing with people about random, crazy shit that has happened to us in the course of our play over the years. Dominants or tops do not need to be scary, mean and intense 24/7. Submissives or bottoms should not be cowering in the corner with welts on their backside and eye makeup running down their face (women or men!)

BDSM can and should include a great majority of lightness and spirit. I’m a person full of laughter and I want that to be reflected in my personal life. I don’t want to have headaches about issues much greater and larger than myself unless absolutely necessary. I come to BDSM to get away from those things. The release from my thoughts is what I seek, not delving into them deeper.

Like I said before, there’s a time and place for everything. Should serious issues be discussed, both privately and publicly? Of course. For me though, I’ll prop my feet up and dive into that popcorn until I feel the need to chip in. I have enough seriousness in my life, thank you. BDSM is my diversion from that seriousness and I suspect I’m not alone in that feeling.

An Eternity of Struggles

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt (1937)

I’ve long struggled with the concept of self esteem. It’s such a cliched thing to admit to nowadays. It seems like everybody and their cousin has “self esteem issues.” Pick a new issue, I want to say. But then I realize I would be telling myself that as well.

When I was growing up, I didn’t have siblings to play with. I grew up essentially an only child from the age of about six onward thanks to an older brother who decided he no longer wanted to be apart of our family around then. He is ten years older than me and at that time, everybody was focused on him and his problems. Nobody seemed to notice the scared, quiet, emotional little girl. I know my parents tried their best to shield me and give me the attention I needed to grow up into an emotionally healthy adult, but I’m not sure it was always what I needed.

Teenage years were just that – teenage years. Any young girl will tell you that she’s not confident with herself, but my issues went beyond what most girls probably had. I was painfully shy, almost to the point of not being able to converse with people. I spent three years of high school not even going into the lunch room, choosing instead to hide in the newspaper office which I considered my refuge from people. I worked for the basketball team my junior and senior years of high school and was terrified to even walk out on the court during games because people might see me. I didn’t go to any dances, didn’t ask anybody on dates, didn’t get asked out on any myself and sure as hell didn’t consider myself on par with “the popular girls.”

College turned out to be no different. I was a tomboy in every sense of the word, preferring my basketball clothes to most any girly thing. I had makeup and pretty clothes, but I didn’t know how to use them and most of the time they sat in my closet, ready for the day when I would become more comfortable with myself.

It’s only been recently that I’ve felt more comfortable in my own skin, perhaps in the last two to three years. I guess I’m what you call a “late bloomer.” I’ve realized how to use the hoards of makeup I had amassed, but never bothered to use. I figured out high heels make my butt look good and that clothing should be tighter, rather than looser if I wanted to show off any type of feminine shape. As the saying goes, “Tight enough to show you’re a woman; loose enough to show you’re a lady.”

The self esteem issues are still there, no doubt. I struggle with the concept of self worth most, I think. That I’m worth someone’s time, someone’s energy, someone’s love and someone’s attention. I shouldn’t have to beg for any of those things and I sure as shit shouldn’t be wasting my own time with someone who won’t return those things. For about three to four years now, I’ve had a whiteboard that I’ve scrawled “You are worth someone’s time” posted on somewhere prominent in my apartment, only because sometimes I forget that concept if I’m not reminded of it. I’m still learning that – that I’m worth it. That I deserve better. That I deserve the best.

When I was much younger and still to some extent, I was a self-harmer. It was always little things. Showers that ran just a little too hot just to feel something. Tweezers that dug just a little too deep. Not eating for days at a time in the hopes of feeling that hungry feeling. There’s probably more little things that I don’t even realize are and were forms of self harm, quite frankly. Chasing after the wrong people knowing it was going to end in heartache. That’s probably a big one right there. That may just be a case of not learning from my mistakes.

In a lot of ways I worry that my interest in BDSM is just another version of self harm. If the whips, chains, floggers, paddles, clamps, and toys are just new ways to inflict harm upon myself. I’ve never managed to find myself in the elusive “subspace” everybody talks about, but a really good beating is very cathartic for me. It’s a watershed moment, often inducing major bouts of tears and leaving me feeling cleansed and fresh. The need for that release builds in my system, poisoning me and making me feel ill to the point of physical aches.

I’ve often been told that if you seek external sources of happiness you’ll never be happy inside. That the external validation can in no way compare to the internal validation I should be receiving from myself. I don’t disagree with this statement at all, but the problem is that I have yet to work out a sufficient way to provide that internal validation for myself. In my mind, I’m never quite good enough. Never quite pretty enough. Never quite smart enough. Never quite … anything enough. It’s a constant battle I have with myself trying to balance the “I’m better than you” feelings that come from an inflated ego and the “I’ll never be good enough” feelings from having low self esteem and low feelings of self worth.

It’s something I’m working on constantly. Seeking new paths. Seeking that inner peace and inner strength that I’ve so long been looking for. I hate making resolutions; they usually just end up failing. I think this year though I’ve made a new resolution that I will try my best to keep. My 2012 resolution? I will stop letting people make me feel like I’m worth anything except the best.

Original Fiction: Longing

I don’t like to admit I still think about him. That I still think about him touching me. That I still think about his smile, his laugh, his back, his hands, his funny sense of humor. It’s one of my dirty little secrets. I thought if I push the memories as deep down inside of me as I could, I could deny they had ever happened. I could ignore the moments we spent together and the touches we shared.

My mind plays tricks on me sometimes. I’ll be out somewhere and think I see him. It stops me dead in my tracks when I do. Part of me wants to run away in fear and part of me wants to run towards him. It always tears me in two when I catch glimpses of his doppelgangers.

There are moments it feels like yesterday and there are moments it feels like a lifetime ago. I have grown and changed so much since then and people who knew me then tell me I’m a different person now. I have mixed emotions about that possibility. A part of me wishes I could still be that person, wild and fancy free. Taking risks much bigger than myself and playing with fire. The problem with that is I have more to lose now. I worry about losing all that I’ve built for myself since him, the least of which is the walls I’ve built around myself and my heart.

I still feel his hands on me sometimes. Large, warm, male hands. He had lovely hands. I still feel the thud, thud, thud of his hands and his tools. I still feel his breath on my skin, hot and heavy.

I still feel the tears I shed for him, fresh as if they were just spilling forth. I told myself long ago I wouldn’t shed any more tears for him. Only time will tell if I stick to that promise.

I long for him … even now.

Porn, Politics and the Smart Slut

For many years now I’ve encountered a curious phenomena that seems to follow me wherever I go. It is this strange idea of the “smart slut.” Over on my Twitter account (@TheUcKinkster) my 140 character blurbs encompass pretty much every topic one could think of. I talk about my work, my pets, my kinks, my shopping, my shoes, my life and my comments on pop culture. I’ve been very candid about my journey through higher education and my struggles with getting through the bar exam.

It’s something I’m very proud of – that I’ve worked my way through 19 straight years of school and come out on the other side with a bachelor of science in business management and a juris doctorate. I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into educating myself and as such consider myself “smarter” than the average person. I put that in quotes because much like everything, smarts are all relative. There are many people much less educated than me that I feel dumber than and there are people much more educated that I feel smarter than. On the whole though, I’ve used my education to define myself and it shapes a lot of my views on the world.

I have found though that when I go to express opinions about relevant political debates or make intellectual comments, I encounter a wave of responses varying from “no one cares what you think” to “shut up and show us your tits.” Certainly there are people that find my opinions, whether based on my education or not, interesting and engage me in a lively intellectual conversation about them, but there are always those people who basically respond that I shouldn’t be expressing my opinions about educated matters because I am in the same breath talking about my love of kink and sex.

I find it interesting that there is this stigma about being a “smart slut.” That somehow because I’m a sexual woman, not just a sexual person, other people cannot view me as smart at the same time as they view me as sexual. That’s like saying I have to shut down that part of my self because I’ve chosen to be very “out” with my sexuality. Thanks, but no thanks. Those parts of my personality and my intellect are not something I want to cut out of my life. I’ve chosen to work on them through many years of strict intellectual work and study. 

There have been rumblings of this and similar dichotomies for years now. Doing a web search for “porn stars with degrees” yields such lovely results as Yahoo question postings of Why would anyone with a college degree become a porn star?” It’s almost a laughable question to me. Just because one is educated doesn’t mean they’re also not into sex. A prerequisite for getting a higher degree is most definitely not having to turn off your sex drive. There are some seriously smart porn stars out there, Nina Hartley being one of my idols in terms of activism and efforts to educate the public on sex. If you’ve followed anything about the recent push by the state of California to mandate condom use in all porn production, you’ve probably heard of Bobbi Starr‘s several posts about the topic in response to CalOSHA’s proposed plans. She is one seriously smart porn star if I’ve ever seen one. Try telling them to turn off their brains and just fuck. Let me tell you, that isn’t going to fly.

A corollary debate that has gone on for years is the idea that mothers cannot be sexual creatures. Sure, we have such awesome labels and categories as “MILFs” but it seems like any woman past the age of 25 is grouped in the MILF category regardless of what should be the most important requirement to be apart of such a group – actually having children. Once a female porn performer stops being able to realistically pull off the “barely legal” look she almost instantly is grouped in with the “mature” performers. There have been recent debates about what constitutes a healthy mixture of mother and sex goddess, from such industry leaders as Madison Young and her controversial project “Becoming MILF.” Regardless of what side of the debate you fall on, there didn’t seem to be much disagreement that a woman can be both a mother and a sexual creature. The debate came in as to what mixture and what venues mixing the two would be appropriate. While I agree with statements on both sides, I think that both sides make a similar valid point – nobody is limited to being just one thing.

When I express my political opinions and feelings, I find I encounter even more resistance and only end up getting frustrated. Instead of having an open debate and acknowledging that my views may differ from someone else’s, I receive shock that I could possibly be …. conservative! It’s almost a dirty word in modern American politics now to associate yourself with the party of George W. Bush. Do I agree with all its views and dogma? Goodness no. There is nothing written in stone that someone has to fall in line perfectly with the party line. To me, the idea of conservatism is the idea of limited governmental interference in a person’s life. Social morality has sadly polluted the idea of political conservatism. Legislating morality is about as successful as the most famous example in history – the 18th Amendment, also known as Prohibition.

Politics is not a topic inherently off limits to those inclined to the sexual side of things. When Mary Carey ran for governor of California, people balked at the idea of a porn star (gasp!) intruding into a serious political race. That’s just stupid to me. That’s like saying mechanical engineers are not allowed at all to talk about interior decorating or lawyers not being allowed to be involved in fashion. Putting topical limits on someone without a logical basis just doesn’t make sense to me. Provide me with a soundly reasoned basis for such prohibitions and while I may debate you on it, I will respect your opinion and perhaps even agree with you if the reasoning is sound enough.

There will always be people who think that a sexual woman should shut her mouth and not express an opinion about anything. There will always be people who think women once becoming a mother should essentially shut down their sexuality except for future procreation. There will always be people who want to keep any mention of sex or porn out of politics despite the topic of sex somehow always showing up in every political race. Mentalities like that, once set in stone, are hard to change. My challenge to the world is this – maybe we should rethink those mentalities.