Question 16: Do you have any concerns or worries about your community or your community involvement?

The title of this post is the next question in the 50+ page “life review” that I am completing as part of my coaching certification program.

What a loaded question. Since it’s not one of the ones with the radio dial buttons for “yes” or “no,” I think it’s time to put into words the whirlwind of thoughts that I have been having on the subject.

Yes I have concerns and worries about my community, both the local and the online one. I’ve been asking myself a lot these past months why, when I’ve identified some distasteful (to me) elements possessed by the culture of these two separate but connected communities, I opt to step back in retreat over stepping up to make a difference.

I think I’ve figured it out. It’s like that old lightbulb joke – about how many therapists it takes to change a lightbulb?

Just one, but the lightbulb has to want to change.

I think the community wants to change in the way that I want to lose weight. Like magic, and overnight, without actually having to sacrifice anything it enjoys or put in any long term effort into the hard work and sweat it’s going to take to build a new set of habits.

The community likes to say that it is inclusive the way I like to order a salad when I eat with people, but take a spoon to a jar of nutella when nobody’s watching.

I think the community leaders are those who once felt like they could make a difference – like they could either reinforce what they loved about it, and/or make changes to help create a better environment for themselves and the ones they care about.

Problem is that once they succeed, they think their work is finished. Just like I thought I was all set when I lost 80lbs and thought that I’d never have to wear anything larger than a size 12 again.

I was wrong.

In order for the community to be better, it has to never feel like it already is.

Yeah, I have concerns about the community.

But I don’t think I’m necessarily any better than anybody else who ever thought they could make a difference, succeeded in making a difference, and then stopped asking “what more needs to be done?”

I’d love to think that I am immune to the corruption and complacency that power and popularity seem to have on so many of our recognized leaders. In politics, in religion, in workplaces, and even in sex positive, polyamorous, and queer communities – we see people who had the best intentions get sidetracked by greed or become intentionally blind to the experiences of others.

How do I know I’d be any different?

I was reminded of something I learned in school – about George Washington and how he had said something upon the completion of his second term that led to a 150 years of Presidents that move aside after 2 terms before an actual constitutional amendment was made to enforce it.

I went to look it up and ended up on a page full of quotes about term limits…some of which seemed similar in theme to the aforementioned whirlwind of thoughts in my head:

The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it. — T.B. Macaulay

You will always find those who think they know your duty better than you know it. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

If the way to do good to my country were to render myself popular, I could easily do it. But extravagant popularity is not the road to public advantage. –John Adams

I don’t think my concerns over community are new or unique, and I don’t think that they’ll never be addressed, nor do I think I am powerless to address them.

I think when the community is ready, it will seek out the types of leaders and organizers it needs to make those changes. And I hope it never stops trying to be better.

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Experiencing “top space” through hedonism

Prologue

I decided to give topping a try a few years ago. I had connected with a submissive male, and we’d talked a lot about what he liked and wanted, and I gave it a go.

We did it once in my home and once in public at the dungeon, and it was entertaining, but the role didn’t sing to me. There was spanking and paddling, lots of teasing, and even a bit of boot worship.

But the reality was, he was getting all of his wants met. My teasing and denial of him (which was totally what he wanted) was also denying myself…and that wasn’t much fun for me.

I’d essentially “bottomed from the top”, because I didn’t do a single thing that gratified me, personally – but he had a lovely time, and the satisfaction I derived from the experience was purely about having done a “good job.”

After this, I positively declared that there wasn’t a single toppy bone in my body, and that was the end of the experiment.


Present Day

We got a little stoned. In this deliciously altered state of mind, while waiting for the timer on our dinner to ring – I was given the direction to “do whatever I wanted with [him].”

I had just over 30 minutes.


I think I found my top space. It was really difficult to hold at times, because part of what I want IS to make him feel good based on his own desires and preferences – but there were moments when my every move stopped being about what I thought would get him excited, and became purely about what was driving my own pleasure. The pace, the angle, and the strength of each thrust were bringing me closer to orgasm, and I was greedily doing what what made me feel good without consideration of how it felt for him.

Not that it felt bad for him in the slightest, but that wasn’t top of mind, you know? It had nothing to do with spanking or paddling or teasing and denying.

It really was about my pleasure. His was a side effect. But then, whenever he’d moan with pleasure, I’d remember how much I enjoyed being the source of it and suddenly I’d revert to bottom space long enough to think about asking permission to orgasm (something I enjoy doing in my bottomy space), and then remembering that the directions were to do whatever I wanted, and back into toppy space I’d go!

It was pretty fucking amazing.

I finally understand what some people get from topping. It’s neat!


As the timer wound down, I started to notice and feel the ways he was reclaiming the top side through his sadism. I don’t know if that was intentional on his part, but that’s how it felt for me and I really enjoyed it. Going from ‘it’s all about my own pleasure’ to relinquishing control through intensifying levels pain was the most incredible fucking rush.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything quite like it.


Seriously considering changing my fet role from “bottom” to “hedonist.”

On Fat Bottomed Bottoms

Context:  On Fetlife this week, there have been numerous posts on the subject of rope bottom diversity.  People are having a very healthy and (in my perspective) positive discussion on how to make rope bottoming more accessible to those who are not thin, bendy, young, white women.   This is was my post.


Whenever I post a photo or a writing about my rope journey, I receive messages from (mostly) women who tell me they never thought they could be in rope because of their size.

And whenever I see a photo or read a writing from another larger-bodied femme, it makes me feel so happy, and proud, and represented.

When I first started rope bottoming, I had one tying partner that I tied with pretty regularly. I had a couple of other occasional rope partners – most of them said I was fun to tie, and I choose to believe them.

But eventually they all stopped asking. Or maybe I stopped asking them. Not really sure which one of us was the chicken and which was the egg.

I had an internal narrative that they stopped asking because I wasn’t as bendy as their smaller framed partners, or because they thought I didn’t make their rope look good enough, or maybe because I was significantly more hesitant to be suspended and they wanted to “level up”.

But I never asked them, so I don’t really know if that was all in my head or what.

Thing is – even though I’ve had plenty of rope bottoming experience over the past four years, and even though I’ve had numerous rope tops tell me that I’m fun to tie, I still have that internal dialogue.

Imagine someone who’s never been tied at all.

That’s all I can say on the subject, I guess.

I’m not allowed to hurt myself

Last week was rough, professionally and emotionally. For a moment, I was so ready to walk out the door and never go back to work, and I was shaking with the power and powerlessness of my position.

The choice was all mine: stay and be gainfully employed with an unbeatable benefits package that comes with an untenable work environment; or free myself from the abusive behavior of my bosses and lose all of the stability that comes with it.

There is this dichotomy of control and lack of control in these decisions that absolutely drives me bananas.

In a way, everything is under my control. If I walk away from a bad situation, I will free fall into the next phase of my life without a net. If I choose stability, I expose myself to continued abuse.

There is no win-win. There is just uncertainty and risk.

I am familiar with that bananas feeling of having all the power to make a decision in my hands and not knowing which is the right way to go. It’s that feeling that draws me to submission, and by extension: masochism.

That’s the head space where I am relieved from making any decisions at all. That’s the heed space where they are all made for me. Enduring pain is the highest level of submission I can give.

That’s the space where the risks make sense.

So, it’s no wonder that my fantasies and my dreams have taken a more deviant turn lately. I’m craving the escalation of everything. I want kisses with teeth. I want hugs with claws and texture. I don’t want to be led, I want to be thrown, forced, and taken.

I want the pain.

I told him as much, expecting to be given some sort of task to tie me over until I see him next. Something like an increasing number of clothespins or maybe even clamps to inflict pain on myself in the days until he’s there to administer it himself.

But he is a clever sadist, my love is.

“You will self inflict all the pampering and soft pleasures until I see you.”

Clever man. Took the decision right out of my hands.

Why I think you want to hurt me

This post was originally written and posted on Fetlife in 2015.  I link to it in an essay I have written and will be posting today as well, so I am republishing this one here for reference. 


I want you to understand how submission feels to me. To explain it, I have to tell you why I imagine you want to hurt me.

You want power.

It’s not enough for me to open my mouth or spread my legs for you. You know as well as I do that these things feel good to me. I want you inside me. My body betrays the lie that society or religion or our mothers want us to believe with its warmth and wetness at the thought of you.

In this, my body and mind work in tandem. Wanting. Willing.

Your power – your control over me, wouldn’t come from the penetration of my body but from the denial of it.

Do you sacrifice the pleasure of your flesh for the frisson of your power?

Sometimes you do and that’s enough.

But my body cannot lie when you strike me. It recoils. It shivers and squirms and my flesh reddens in protest.

With each strike, I’m proving my submission to you. First with mind tricks – transforming that pain into feelings of pleasure and enjoyment.

You don’t want my pleasure. That’s not power.

You want my suffering. You want undeniable proof that you are in control.

The strikes bear down harder.

My moans become grunts. Growls. My arching back becomes hunched shoulders.

My mind overrides my body’s demands. For you.

Push me to my limits if that is what it takes to fill your thirst for power. I want this for you. I want you to feel, to understand, to take this control over me.

My body isn’t the gift I give you, this power is. Your acceptance of it excites me.

So push me to my limits, but please don’t exceed them.

Please don’t make me take the gift back.

I was once asked if I ever run out of things to write about. This was a few years ago when I was dropping two or three posts a day on Fetlife, and half of them would always start trending.

“No,” i remember answering. “I never run out of things to write about, because I never run out of things to think about.”

It’s still true. I have plenty to say; but I seem to have lost the drive to say it there. The less “safe” that space felt, the less I felt like allowing myself to be publicly vulnerable in it.

There’s stuff I’d love to still be writing about. I have a ton of thoughts on relationships and human connection. A story a week on love and lust and kinky sex. I’d chronicle my exploration with rope suspension and share photos and stories that represent my experiences as a larger-bodied bottom. I’d share my musings on the parallels between life and art (namely in the form of the many, many TV shows that I watch). And so many things to share about the way I’ve been asserting myself at work, because #TimesUp and all that jazz.

I could share about some of the feelings I’ve been having as I form new friendships with new people that are helping me explore different facets of my relationship paradigm. I’d love to openly process where I am emotionally about the potential for one of those friendships to become physical – something I both want and fear simultaneously.

I could keep you updated on my cats and share the whimsy of that time (early this morning) when in a fog of sleep deprivation, I asked Alexa to turn off the cat’s incessant meowing coming from behind my bedroom door.

She did not understand.

I would definitely share with you all the different ways I have been inspired by others. I want to share their blogs and their art and their messages with you, and convey how how much opening up my mind and heart to the things that used to make me feel a measure of discomfort has expanded my understanding of beauty and strength and integrity in so many forms. The way that embracing and elevating and listening to diverse voices has given me so much to be inspired by and has so profoundly enriched my perception of the world around us.

There is so fucking much I want to say.

I don’t even doubt that there are people who want to hear it, and people who have to hear it and people whose lives I can improve by sharing it – and yet….

…and yet, I remain in my silent corner.

I want to blame it on trolls and stalkers, but the truth is – the trolls don’t really come for me, and when they do, I have no qualms in ignoring and/or blocking them. The stalkers, though. That one’s a pickle.

I can pinpoint the moment I started being afraid to share all my thoughts with you to the moment some angry guy on the internet retaliated against my anger toward him for invading my privacy by escalating his implied threats of exposure.

I wish I could have just limited that fear to my exposure on Fetlife – but, no. He made it clear that what happens there does not necessarily stay there.

I changed my behavior after that. I purged my friends list (again). I set all my face pictures (and then subsequently all my pictures) to friends only. I limited the degree of vulnerability I was willing to share openly.

And without that…without that feeling like I could be my most authentic self in that space, I lost the will to post altogether.

I kind of miss it.

Putting relationships on “hold”

I have such a visceral reaction to the phrase “put my other relationship on hold” in the poly discussion groups. It’s usually a phrase uttered when the following scenario applies:

The hinge in a “vee” has developed a solid and happy relationship with one partner that going swell, but everything in their additional relationship is falling apart. Some versions of that sentence would include “….everything in the additional relationship is falling apart because of the other one’s existence.

I’m trying desperately to stay away from calling either relationship “other” or “first” or “second” because I’m trying like hell not to imbue any of this with implied hierarchy.

My reaction is to the idea that you can put someone you say you love on “hold” because someone else you love is struggling. I don’t care where on your relationship flow chart they live.

The phone company puts me on hold. My partner does not. If you can put your relationship with me ‘on hold’ then we have no relationship. That’s how I roll.

But, I realize that this visceral reaction to this phrase stems from a past experience I had, in one of my early attempts at poly with someone who made a LOT of newbie mistakes that I see playing out again and again in the advice forums.

His relationship with me was solid. The more solid we were, the less stable she was. So when she struggled, he would “dial it back” with me in order for her to get stable again.

Guess what?

She used that. She used it regularly. Every time her jealousy would flare up, she’d have a panic attack or get herself into trouble or blatantly break one of his rules (these were both D/s relationships) and he’d dial it back with me to help her recover.

I’d complain to him and try to reason with him. “It’s like if there’s one kid who always follows the rules and another kid who’s constantly breaking them, so what you do is take away the toy from the good kid and give it to the one throwing the tantrum in order to shut them up.”

“It’s that saying that the squeaky wheel always gets the grease, but if you don’t pay attention to your other wheel you’re going to end up with a flat tire.”

He’d say he understood and things would change, but then he’d keep doing it. He’d keep rewarding her tantrums by denying me. When she felt like she’d “won” then she was fine again.

Guess what I did?

I started having panic attacks. I mean, it worked for her. Why wouldn’t it work for me? But, it backfired. I hadn’t set a precedent for having panic attacks, so when I had them I was told I was “faking” it, and to pull it together.

I wasn’t faking it. I was trying to control something I couldn’t control that I SHOULD have had some control over. The protocols and boundaries of my relationship should have been something he and I discussed and agreed upon together. Our boundaries and protocols should have been the foundation of stability upon which our unique relationship could be built independently of any other relationships he was building with anybody else.

But he kept allowing someone else to pound cracks into our foundation.

And, here’s the fun part… Usually, it’s the “primary” or the “first, and more established” partner that thinks they have a say in how their partner conducts their other affairs. In my case? I was the first one there. She came in three months after me, and it only took three months for her to completely destroy us by shedding the light how little control and integrity he really had.

So now, when I hear people wanting to put one relationship “on hold” I want to tell their seemingly dispensable partner, “RUN. RUN FAR AWAY.”

As the late Patrick Swayze declared, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”