This is Forty

I turned forty about an hour ago.

Minutes before that, I completed the last act of my 30th year – I turned in all the assignments for the advanced standing section of my coaching certification.

The process was more self-reflective than I imagined it would be. Much of the work I’ve already done. In fact, I went through my blog archives as part of the process of examining many of the “life review” questions I was asked about my childhood and relationships.

I can’t think of a better way to set the tone for the next ten years of my life. I spent the entirety of my 30s working at my current job. It was simultaneously a time of significant change and personal growth in some areas, and a time of stagnation and demoralization in others.

As part of the process, I was asked to idealize what my life as a coach would look like in one year, at three years, at five years, and at ten years.

It amazed me how achievable each one of those dreams is. How within my grasp it all is.

I can do this. I really can do this.

I keep thinking of where I was ten years ago. I wanted a big party for my 30th, and I always loved themed parties. My partner at the time (not yet husband) organized a 60s cocktail themed party at my brother and sister-in-law’s house. It was during the time that Mad Men was all the rage. I bought a pink cocktail dress, got my hair swept up into a beehive up-do, and perfected my cat-eyeliner by tediously studying youtube videos for techniques.

It was the night that the old-school bartender gave me a sampling of all the classic cocktails and I discovered that I love bourbon the most. To this day, a Blanton’s Old Fashioned is my jam.

I was anxious and hopeful that Tony would propose to me that night. Everybody was. He made a speech. We all waited for it. I think he knew that and intentionally decided to wait, just to fuck with us.

It happened a few months later, while he and I were alone on vacation in London.

That night of my 30th birthday party, my brother had just arrived home from his first trip to China. He and his wife had been trying to conceive. My niece will turn ten in nine months.

My brother reminded me that I was ten years off from his prediction – “One day, you’ll turn 40 and decide to write a book. It’ll be a bestseller and you’ll be set for life.”

My future husband laughed. He’d written a best seller. Before he died, he would have written two best sellers.

We were not set for life.

A year later I was married.

Three years later I was widowed.

A year after that, I was here…writing. I found you all, or you found me. I’m not sure which of us is the chicken or the egg.

I spent the second half my thirties undergoing the most challenging and rewarding personal growth spurt I may ever experience. I was confronted with the consequences of 35 years of unhealthy relationship habits and addictions to external validation, codependency, and labels.

Three years ago, the work paid off. I successfully established a relationship with myself that I had previously taken for granted. I have spent the past three years loving myself unconditionally – and in the process, I’ve learned to love and be loved without fear.

These past three years have been, without a doubt, the best of my life. And I know there’s even better to come.

At this point, an hour and 22 minutes into my 4th decade of existence. I’ve successfully completed the first big milestone of the next big step in my ongoing journey. I’m engaged and enthusiastic to continue with the in-person training for the coaching certification next week.

On Monday, I’ll be featured on one of my favorite podcasts – multiamory – as a guest interview on the topic of poly + mono relationships. I’ve had my first paying client (though as I am not yet certified, I asked instead that he donate to a fundraiser I was running for my metamour).

I’m creating a business plan. I’m setting goals. I’m meeting deadlines. I’m networking. I’m investing my time into this dream, and I haven’t felt that excited about anything (other than sex and star trek) in a really long time.

Every time I have a fear, or a doubt, or that little voice of risk aversion in my head that asks me if this is the right thing…. if I should be moving away from a steady career I’ve put 20 years into to start something risky and new…

I think about the woman who had a Mad Men themed birthday party, hoping her boyfriend would propose, who had no idea that less than four years later – every expectation, every plan, and every dream she’d ever had would get thrown out the window.

It’s time for my new dreams to come true.

This is forty. This is when it happens.

I can’t fucking wait to see where this decade takes me.

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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.

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.”

A New Chapter Begins

Hey y’all 🙂
 
An update on me. I *have* been very quiet, not just here, but on most social media lately. My relationship is stellar. Everything there continues to be fantasmical and the most rewarding and fulfilling relationship I have ever experienced in my (near) 40 years.
 
On the work side, though – things have gotten pretty gnarly. I have worked for this organization for 11 years, and in many ways, I think they still view me as the 20-something year old that first started there. The place is terribly mismanaged, as well – but they make up for this with excellent pay and great benefits.
 
Make up for it. Heh. That’s like saying that an abusive partner makes up for it by paying all the bills and providing shelter.
 
About a year ago, I was ready to walk away. I did research on what it would take to become a life coach and start my own business doing something that brings me a lot of joy and fulfillment.
 
But they sensed I was ready to leave and gave me a raise and my fear of being out on my own without the steady income and health insurance made me back away from the idea.
 
I recently attended a workshop where it became very, very apparent to me that I am holding myself back from making a change out of fear of the unknown. Out of thinking that I might have to significantly change my very comfortable lifestyle because I’m not sure if I’m cut out for self-employment.
 
And, in part because there’s a little voice in my head that asks “Why do you feel like you have anything more/different to offer than anybody else who is already doing it?”
 
The idea of becoming a life coach surfaced again, and I did some research into what it takes to become certified. It’s an investment – both in time and finances. And if I take this on, I have to see it through – I have to at least *try* to make the investment pay off.
 
The course begins in late July. By January, I will be fully certified.
 
If I can hang in there with this job until then, I can handle the financial investment *and* start working on building up my own business while maintaining a steady income and health insurance.
 
Everything that happens after that is unknown.
 
And it’s scary.
 
And it’s time.

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.

Yet another essay about want and need and overcoming codependency

From the archives:  This post was originally published on Fetlife a few years ago.  I’m starting to transfer some of those posts over here.


This one’s hard for me to write. I’ve started it several times and abandoned it along the way.

It’s about need.

In a previous writing that a lot of you did read, I explained that I’m acutely aware of the “distance” between want and need.

There is a difference to me, and I take that difference very seriously. What I want and what I need two different animals and relationship-wise, I can survive (and thrive) on the basics: honesty, trust, desire, passion, respect.

Those are needs. Gotta have ’em all.

But here’s where I never want to go (again). While I accept that I need those qualities in a partner, I don’t want to mistake that for needing a partner.

Likewise, I don’t want to be needed.

Wanted…..fuck yeah. I want like nobody’s business and being wanted is fantastic. Shit, that’s right up there in the “need” category with “desire,” right?

But needing a person – having him be my life support, or vice versa – being someone someone cannot live without….

I can’t. i can’t go there. That’s dangerous territory for me. That’s the space where I lose myself and all my wants (and needs) become swallowed up by someone else’s.

That’s how I end up living with a hoarder in a two-story, four bedroom storage unit with no space for myself and getting sick frequently from the filth.

That’s how I end up playing “cab driver” for someone and all their friends, driving all over town days on end to make it convenient for someone else to see me.

That’s how I eat my cold dinner alone while my boyfriend spends an hour on skype with his other girlfriend after he ate his dinner hot with his cock in my throat.

See, that’s the shit that belonged to the old me. That’s the shit that happened when I let somebody become a need rather than a want.

I can live without a want. I don’t make those kinds of sacrifices for “wants.”

“Oh, but phi – those were just really bad partners.”

Uh-huh. And in this life there is no guarantee that every partner will be perfect. Nobody is. Even me. (I know, so close….)

Which is why I also don’t want to be a need. I’m not saying I don’t want a partner to desire me or be sad if things don’t work out. There are certainly connection, attachments, and feelings involved. I just …I don’t want to be the cause of someone else’s utter devastation. I don’t want their next breath to hinge on my sticking around, even if I’m not happy.

It’s about personal responsibility for me now. I’m in charge of being the decision maker in my life. I’m in charge of keeping myself from exhibiting the natural instinct to give until there’s nothing left. I’m in charge of me.

In the bedroom, that’s another story….

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.