Does the flu shot cause insomina? and other middle-of-the-night musings

I googled the life span of a mosquito and the intarwebs said ten days, but I swear that little blood sucker has been plaguing me weeks. I finally lured it out of the bedroom, at least. Thursday night, I ate dinner in my bedroom ’cause it flew by my ear when I was sitting on the sofa.

I’ve already been its dinner for a while, as evidenced by the bites running up and down my legs.

How long do the side effects of a flu shot last, anyway? She told me my upper arm would be sore. “How sore?” I asked. “Like you got punched in the arm.”

“I can handle that,” I said.

She didn’t mention it would also be itchy and burning and that my armpit glands would swell up and be tender. She didn’t mention that at all. I was all but ready to go to urgent care this morning when I thought to look up common side effects of the flu shot and the swollen armpit gland was one of them.

Now I want to know how long that’s going to last, but the hypochondriac in me is afraid to look it up, because the google results for “swollen armpit glands” were not pretty.

I had an amazing scene last night and I keep wanting to express all the many ways that it felt amazing. There was some catharsis involved, since yesterday was officially my last day at an 11-year job that I’ve spent the past 5 weeks wrapping up. All day today I keep pressing that spot where he bit me on the shoulder so hard and remembering how amazing and strange it was that I wasn’t registering anything as pain last night.

But there was this moment at the beginning of our scene where the whole world got quiet. Now, mind you – this scene was happening in the privacy of my bedroom, and there was no “world” to speak of, but I can’t explain it any other way. At once I was standing in front of him in my bedroom and I was transported back in time to our second-ever scene, which happened 3 years ago at our local dungeon. That was the night I experienced my first clothespin zipper.

So simultaneously I was there and here and there was everybody watching and nobody at all and all of a sudden the two realities combined and the memory of that night three years ago lost all sound. It was just him and me and this connection and nothing else.

The feeling felt brand new and familiar all at once, and it was exquisitely overwhelming to the point where I think I may have been in a state of constant orgasm for about five minutes while I was just standing there getting clothespins put on.

I want to do it again. I want to understand why last night my tolerance for pain was so high I couldn’t feel any of it; where other nights the sting of a slap on the ass makes the walls turn white.

Was it because I was rolling on the high of breaking free of my job (plus that bit of cannabis we smoked?) or….I don’t know, is this another weird side effect of the flu shot?

Started watching Wanderlust on Netflix tonight. For those not in the know, it’s a British television series starring Toni Colette about a couple who open up their 20 year+ relationship for the first time. It has exceeded my expectations (which were that it was going to be a comedy that poked fun at the concept of ethical nonmonogamy). It’s not so much comedy, though it has its lighthearted moments – but some of the scenes (especially the most recent episode I saw with a long scene involving Collette’s character and her therapist) are really poignant.

The show isn’t in a hurry to tell its story. There are long moments of silence that I’d normally be annoyed by – but in this context, they feel very, very real. And they’re acknowledged.

I’m hopeful for this series to show the growth of this couple over time if they continue with their open marriage. It’s definitely addressing a lot of the rookie mistakes that newly opening up couples tend to make (though, thankfully, Unicorn Hunting does not appear to be one of them).

I’ve decided to sell the guest bed in my 2nd bedroom to turn it into a proper home office. I’ve spent the last four days looking for inspiration on wayfair and pinterest and other websites. I like the idea of a living wall in the room I would be working in. I want it to be cozy and inviting. I want white and warm wood colors and blue/turquoise accents. I want big, bold art that speaks to me hanging on the walls, inspiring me every day.

And then I remember that I’m unemployed and all of that costs money, so I am going to start with selling the existing bedroom set and some of the furniture I have in my garage and buying a desk, a chair, and a new desktop computer. The rest will have to grow as my business grows.

Speaking of my business growing, I am still kind of feeling like I need an actual break between the career I’ve had for 20 years and the start of this new adventure, but as hard as I tried to schedule said break, I feel like I have a ton to do! I need to figure out DBAs and invoicing and client agreements and two websites (I need something vanilla facing so I can also consult for nonprofit organizations). In the middle of it all I still have all the coursework toward my credential as a Professional Life Coach, and I really want to review everything I’ve learned so far in an organized way – which means I need to organize it first.

Also, I tried to set up a Patreon to launch when I start writing my book next month and it glitched, which just feels like another thing left unfinished that’s probably keeping me up at 2am instead of sleeping soundly.

I suppose I can’t blame it all on the flu shot.


The Exhibit

Is there a better museum for rare and priceless experiences than words on a page?

I could try to preserve all the details – how we began, how many strikes from which implements, how he moved me about the room, how taut the rope felt on my skin, and the way my thighs ached as I squirmed in the stress position in which he’d restrained me.

Those details may convey my surrender, but won’t capture my emotion.

I could record the hearing of footfalls and whispers, soft murmurs of interest or (possibly) admiration lingering in the hallway, and my vague awareness of some shadows in the door frame as the intensity of a final powerful orgasm ripped through my soul.

Those details may convey my vulnerability, but won’t capture our connection.

It’s just three words I’ll keep in this museum of intangible artifacts. The three words I whispered when, toward the end of our scene, he leaned down for a kiss, and warm tears escaped the outside corners of my eyes:

I missed this.

I got to play last night

Visits to the dungeon are rare these days.

I like them. The public aspect of playing in a dungeon pushes me to endure just a little bit more than I tend to at home. People are watching, after all…

And that’s how my exhibitionism works.

I got to play last night.

Thank goodness I didn’t find out until this morning that someone entered our room during our scene. My partner ushered him out without me being the wiser.

I got to play last night.

But at one point, while trying desperately to hold on to the edge of an orgasm, I growled “Please tell the people in the hallway to shut the fuck up.”

I got to play last night.

But I couldn’t wait to get home. Being in public certainly pushes me.

…But public play when the others in attendance aren’t well-versed in dungeon etiquette is pushing all the wrong buttons.

And *scene*.

She wasn’t prone to blushing; hardly anything really embarrassed her.

But this.

“So, is that a yes?” he asked without a trace of bias one way or another. It was all up to her.

“I think so,…” she said.

“Think so? I think it’s better if you know so.”

She looked over at the other side of the room where the person in question sat chatting with a friend. She’d enjoyed chatting with him. She wasn’t emotionally connected, but she liked him as a person.


“Okay. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

He’d already ordered her to strip down, which she did without delay. It wouldn’t be the first time she was naked in the dungeon, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. She felt a shiver rush through her body as he stood with his back to her, arranging items from his toy bag onto the table. Damned place got the air conditioning fixed a little too well, she thought to herself.

Meanwhile, she saw the occasional person walking by, sometimes pausing to take a look. It was a slow party, and early still. Not too many people milling around. She didn’t make eye contact, but she kept note of how many paused and how many didn’t through her peripheral vision.

He turned to face her and smirked. “Turn around,” he ordered, and she did, facing the far wall of the cell. He came up behind her and pressed his still-clothed body against hers. “Are you ready?” he murmured in her ear.

“For what?” she asked, her voice barely registering below a squeak.

At once, one arm reached around her throat and put her in a choke hold while the other hand clamped over her mouth.

“Today’s the day,” he whispered. He pivoted her around to face out toward the hallway. They were no longer alone in that cell.

It’d been months since anybody but her lover had so much as touched her. And here was this man, this other man, running his fingers slowly up her torso and over her breasts. Her lover kept her in the hold, as if presenting his possession to a new friend.

Her pulse racing, she closed her eyes to try to relax. She sank back into her lover for support and shifted her thoughts to focus on the sensations rather than the context.

When she felt a warm, wet mouth surround her nipple she moaned. At that point, her lover’s arms released her from his hold and began caressing her skin, down her arms, over her hips, and down her thighs. The mouth had moved up from her nipples and over her chest and was now kissing her neck. She could smell his shampoo, and it was pleasant.

Just then, her lover’s fingernails dug into her thighs and she gasped, wrapping her arms around the other man for support as she breathed through the pain.

Her lover chuckled softly in her ear.

“Last chance,” he murmured quietly. “Yes or no?” he asked.

Breathlessly sandwiched between the two men, she answered in the affirmative. “Yes, please.”

Together they led her to the low, padded table, positioned against the padded wall. “Get up, on your back,” her lover spoke as he patted the table with his hand.

She did as she was told and lay her head back. She lay there, looking up at the winch over her head and began to shiver again. Where had they gone?

Moments later, she heard their footsteps returning and each of them grab her by an ankle and bend her knee up. In unison, they each cast a coil of rope and began tying her legs into position – bent, with her ankle to her thigh – and the spread and secured to the legs of the table.

She felt the warmth of a tongue on her clit and moaned. Without knowing whether it was her lover, or the other, she was at their mercy. It didn’t take long, however, before she knew the answer to her silent question.

With a hop onto the table, the other positioned his now naked body in a straddle over her face. He leaned forward against the padded wall to guide his cock past her lips.

There it was. The point of no return. In her thoughts she took a mental picture of the scene. She checked in with her emotions. And she realized…

…she was enjoying it.

As the shock wore off her instincts kicked in and she began rolling her tongue and suckling at the cock in her mouth. She reached her hands up and placed them over his ass and gently urged him to push deeper. He moaned.

Her lover laughed. “There’s my whore,” he said, jamming his fingers into her cunt.

Her first orgasm happened just as the other’s cock pushed past the barriers and into her throat. She dug her fingernails into the flesh of his ass as she writhed, unable to shut her legs or shift the weight of him off her chest.

With a low groan, the other pulled out of her mouth and climbed down. She heard the sound of the condom wrapper being torn open just as her lover had leaned over the table to kiss her mouth. With one hand still rubbing her clit he filled her hungry mouth with his tongue, and she reached up to cradle his face lovingly.

He moved his head back to inches and looked into her eyes. They held their gaze locked, just like that, as the other penetrated her cunt slowly.

It was like that when the second orgasm came. Her lover’s fingers circling her clit, his eyes recording every movement and emotion in her face, as the other took his pleasure from her dripping wet and open cunt.

“God damn,” said the other as her cries and moans echoed off the walls.

“My good whore,” her lover responded, as he climbed up onto the table and took his position inside her mouth.

She’d lost track of time. She remembered some time passing with her lover in her mouth and the other in her cunt when she heard the question being asked, “Does she take it up the ass?”

She remembered the two of them working to unsecure the rope from the table , and unwrap her legs from their binds.

She remembered being moved off the table, fondled and kissed by the other while her lover put a condom on and lay himself down on the table.

She remembered climbing on top of him and lowering her cunt onto his cock.

And she remembered the look of pure, hedonistic joy as they both felt the other’s cock enter into her ass without too much difficulty.

She’d lost track of her orgasms.

She only knew when she’d shifted from “yes, …fuck yes….more, more…” to “Ohmygod please come…please, please come….”

Other came first. He pulled out and stumbled over to sit in a chair. Lover was next. She lay there, with his cock still throbbing inside her, her face buried into the nape of his neck.

When she lifted her head up and looked into his face, he was all smiles. She smiled, too, and kissed him passionately.

Slowly they disconnected their bodies, and she looked over at other, who was drinking from a cup of water and seemingly enjoying the view.

“So…hello. Nice to see you again,” she said with a glimmer in her eye.

“Nice to see you too!” he responded cheerfully.

They all laughed and began picking up their clothes and the rope and cleaning off the equipment.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a couple of the spectators quietly and respectfully shuffle off and leave them to decompress alone.


I’m falling.

I was laying on my back on some sort of exercise bench that was rickety and only long enough to support me from ass to shoulders. My head was hanging backward off one end, and I was struggling to find a position or some leverage that would stabilize my legs without aggravating the highly-invasive crotch rope that was digging into my ass and cunt.

I’m falling. I thought, but all I could muster out loud was a minor squeak.

My arms were bound in front. My everything was bound in front, with his rope crisscrossing to contain my shoulders, arms and chest in a firm and constant embrace.

He was standing behind me. When I opened my eyes I could see the black of his jeans as he leaned over my body to grope and touch and prod. The bench wiggled again and I squirmed to compensate. Without the use of my arms, i couldn’t brace myself for a fall. I could get my wrists out of the cuff, though, if I had to. Free up enough of my arms to grab hold of something.

I looked up again. I became aware of the closeness of his crotch to my face. In my struggle to find balance and composure I’d not noticed the physical position I’d placed myself in.

By the time his fingers had traveled down to unfasten his belt buckle, I’d forgotten about falling. My mind became of singular purpose. I watched with growing anticipation.

I’m choking.

Instinctively, I pulled my wrists from out of their binds and reached around to grab his thighs from behind. Not to brace myself.

But to pull him deeper inside.

Fantasy Spaces: Dungeon Aftercare Zone

Had a really interesting discussion last night about what an awesome benefit it would be to have designated “aftercare” spaces in public dungeons. Not only would this benefit people who are still coming off the rush of an intense scene, it would also benefit those who find themselves in the socially awkward position of interrupting aftercare in progress with unwelcome conversation.

For that matter, it could also be a refuge for introverts, though I’d be concerned that we’d end up with a corner full of individuals being not-social and not having enough space left over for the couples/partners who need a place to curl up and process their scene together.

In the dungeon I frequent most regularly, there are a few areas for socializing:  the patio, the lobby, the kitchen, and (albeit, quietly) the sofas in the main room, though those are often used to sit and observe as well as for aftercare.  But there’s no guideline for other people to not approach anybody sitting in the latter area, and it’s often crowded because they’re the only areas to sit and watch in the main room.

It makes no sense for the kitchen to be a location for this, because that is clearly a social area.

The lobby is often used for discussions and socializing as well, especially for pre-scene negotiations.  (This last weekend I found the very thorough negotiation happening beside me as I was trying to come off my scene high very distracting, though clearly I fully support the idea of negotiation and believe they were in the appropriate place to conduct it).

And the patio – well, it’s where everyone smokes.  It’s where the bootblacking gets done.  It’s where people walk in – and the most likely place to get a greeting from someone just arriving while you’re still orbiting Mars.  It’s a VERY social (and carcinogenic) area.

The rest of the space is used for play areas and bathroom facilities so there’s not really anywhere to put an “aftercare in progress: do not approach” zone without taking away from another equally beneficial space in the dungeon.

But it’s a nice fantasy, right?

Douchebag Revenge Fantasy

The following is a completely fictitious account of what it might be like if some clueless “dom” made one of their brazen attempts at “dominating” me in public, rather than hidden behind the safety and anonymity of their fetlife cockshot avatar.  None of this happened.  It was just a fantasy that tickled me on my way home from work one day.

“You will address me as Sir.”

I looked up in the direction of the voice that was addressing me.  I was sitting in the lobby area at the dungeon, catching up with a friend when this guy came over, hovering.  He’d interrupted my conversation.

“You’re not wearing a collar,” he’d pointed out.

“No, I’m not,” Captain Obvious, I thought silently.

“But aren’t you a sub?”

“I can be,” I responded. I could see where this was going and I vacillated between educating the bastard and destroying him.

“How are people supposed to know you are a sub if you don’t wear a collar?”

“I imagine they could talk to me…maybe ask?” I couldn’t hide the snark if I tried. At that point, I turned back toward my friend and picked up our conversation where we’d left off when the douchebag interrupted again.

That’s when he said it: “You will address me as, Sir.”

“I beg your pardon?” I felt the anger flare up.  I sensed my friend’s tension beside me, however, and pushed down the urge to throttle the bastard.

“You are a sub. You will show respect.”

“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” I raised both my eyebrows.  Did he really want to carry this further with me?  My friend sitting beside me stepped in, “You might want to back away slowly,” he said.  He put a protective hand over my thigh.

“Oh, is she yours?”

I interrupted before he could answer.  “I don’t belong to anybody, and certainly not to you. Please go away.” I’d lost my patience with this douche and wanted to carry on with my evening free of him.

My volume had raised a little and part of my brain noticed the other voices in the room had stopped competing with my own.

“Don’t tell me what to do, whore.  Little slut like you should be taught her place – on your knees.  No wonder nobody owns you. You’d be too much work to train.”

At this point, several things happened at once.  My friend beside me stood up, as did another that I hadn’t noticed sitting several feet away on the other sofa. Three additional friends put out their cigarettes on the patio and stepped into the room.  I remained seated, crossing my legs as I watched the chess pieces move into place.

The douche was completely oblivious.

I took a deep breath.  “I did not consent to being dragged into your attempt at a humiliation/degradation scene.  I suggest, that unless you’re interested in being on the receiving end of one, you walk away now and don’t ever so much as look in my general direction again.” My eyes conveyed pure venom; my voice laced with ice.

He opened his mouth to speak again, but had by now become increasingly aware of the growing number of people standing ominously around him.

“Walk away,” said my friend beside me.

“Now,” said another one standing behind the douche.

I wanted to smile.  I wanted to smile so badly!  But I kept my mouth in a stern line.  Couldn’t keep the smile out of my eyes, though.  One of other onlookers saw it and started giggling.

The giggle set the douche into a rage, his face turning read.  “You’ll be sorry, little bitch.  I have over 300 friends on fetlife, and I’m going to tell all of them what a disrespectful whore you really are!”

At this point, everyone in the room started laughing, including me.

One of the DMs, who’d witnessed a good portion of the interaction decided to step in and break it up.  “Alright, bozo.  Time to go,” she said, stepping between us and moving him toward the front entrance.

He blustered and spat, “She was disrespectful!”

“I doubt it, jackass.  Let’s go.”

It wasn’t until the laughter had died down and people had moved on with their night that I started to feel the shakes come on.  My friend had asked if I was okay right after the douche had been escorted out, and still high off the adrenaline, I had responded that I was.

But he’d gone off to have a scene with someone else and I was curled up in a dark corner in the main room, processing what had happened.

That’s when he came over.  My other friend – the quiet one. The one who’d stood up on the other side of the room, but never said a word.

“May I sit?”

I took a breath and tried to push the well of tears back down.  “Sure,” I said, smiling.  But my eyes are terrible liars.  He knew the answer to the next question before he asked it.
“You okay?”

“I will be,” I responded. I looked down toward my knees. My legs were tucked up under me, my shoes on the floor beside the sofa.

He reached over and gently touched my face.  He took hold of my chin with one finger and drew it up toward him.  My eyes met his.  The tears weren’t staying back.

His eyes searched my face.  Then I watched as his gaze traveled down – down the nape of my neck, over my shoulders and breasts,  down to the hands that lay folded over my knees. He picked up one of my hands and brought it up to his lips, planting a light kiss near my wrist.

“How hard to you want it?”

“Pretty hard,” I responded.

“Pretty hard, what?” he asked.

I smiled this time in earnest.

“Pretty hard, Sir.”