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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Me and my shadow

"You've got a touch of sadness about you at the moment." He's right, of course, but I had hoped it wasn't quite so obvious. I'm at the London Munch, attempting to socialise in a fake it til you make it strategy that is clearly currently more fake than make. Or perhaps The Professor is just being extremely perceptive. Either way, I get a hug and we chat a bit, possibilities of pallet wrap and hairdryers (the heat hardens and shrinks the plastic) are raised alongside house refurbishments with extra sturdy hooks in the ceiling. It's good to see him again, to see a lot of people - the fact that they are there, getting on with things and so on is reassuring. I'm still here too, trying to get on with things.

But wherever I go, in whatever conversations I have and whatever I do, there's something around the edges. A creeping shadow which follows me around. I am nowhere near over him. I know that I should try to, but I don't really know where to start. I'm not sure how you go about cutting off your shadow - or if you just wait for it to go away. Like so many things with the collapse of the relationship the lack of coherence, of control is making me frustrated.

I'm pondering at the moment whether this is because for the first time I was not the one to end the relationship, so consequently am left with strong feelings that have nowhere to go. What our cousins across the pond term "closure" I suppose. After all, when I tried to end the relationship we still kept on seeing each other. When he ended it, it stayed ended, he managed to have the upper hand in the end. Which leads me on to my second thought - whether the D/s may be playing a part - I've never had a D/s relationship as strong as the one I had with The Photographer, for a long time I was his and extremely happy to be so. And now I'm not, or rather, he has decided that I am not, but I still feel as if I am. So, I
'm doing what any good submissive would do when left alone. I'm waiting for him to come back. I know that this isn't right, that this isn't actually a game that we are playing. That he has left me and that we are done. But there is a gulf between knowing something for a fact and actually believing it. To get to the place where I truly feel like I am mine, rather than his. No shadow.

Thursday, 26 November 2009


After coming home from meeting Painted Lady I couldn't wait to try out the CB2000 so I empty all of the pieces out onto my bed and it's a bit like a cross between a towers of hanoi game and a small piece of IKEA furniture. The bright pink plastic has a very christmassy feel to it and is pleasingly smooth and warm in my hands, putting me in mind of stocking filler gadgets and gizmos. Which makes me worry I will get excited by it for three days then break it, or it will run out of batteries.

I study it for a moment. It's a reasonably complex bit of kit. I've got a cage structure, with a ring at one end which has three holes drilled through it. I've got a number of plastic rings of different sizes which also have three holed in them. They feel like bangles from a toy shop, but with a bit more strength to them. I've got four pins. Two have a little base and a hole in them for a padlock (one longer than the other) these fit in the central hole of the rings. The other two are narrower, they fit in the holes on either side of the central one. I also have some small clear plastic tubes which slip over the pins. And a padlock. That I can work out at least. Hmmm.

I had two problems. First, no instructions. Second, and slightly more important, I had no-one to put it on. Now, I couldn't just leave it lingering in my toy box until Mr Right came along, because I needed to see how it worked, right now. Also, a little part of me suggested that it might be a good idea to play with the thing in private first before unleashing it on some (poor, unsuspecting, innocent, big-eyed) chap without really knowing what I was doing. Safety first and all that. So I did what any sensible single girl would do. I tested it out on a stuffed toy. Oh yes. Fortunately I had a diplodocus handy, whose long neck and stubby front feet had enough of a similarity in shape (if you looked at it from far away and squinted) and, helpfully, plenty of give due to the plushiness. And I could lift and manoeuvre him a lot more easily and with a lot less fuss than a real person.

This knowledge will probably result in absolutely anyone with a grain of sense avoiding any form of kinky contact with me forever, especially if, as it turns out, I've put the damn thing on wrong, but I'm putting the photos up anyway because they made me smile.

For anyone who has a passing interest in how to place a chastity device on a soft toy, there was a certain amount of finicky-ness involved, especially with getting the pins in place. The CB 2000 website has some fairly dull and unhelpful instructions (written in teeny-tiny print and with no pictures) which I think I've managed to follow. I wasn't quite sure how many rings to put on so opted for the little plastic spacer instead, for the look of the thing. I expect that in the real world there might have been some sort of feedback in terms of whether this was comfortable or not which might have helped work out which bits to put where. Additionally, I have assumed that the different sized rings are for different sized boys - certainly not all of the rings could be worn at once, given the length of the pins, though the website does seem to imply that more than one base ring is worn at once.

As it turns out, there is nothing especially satisfying about a stuffed toy in a chastity device, once you've got it in, it doesn't do much and you can pull the whole lot off fairly easily. Not a lot of amusement, beyond the initial fit of giggles. So I guess I'll need to wait for a willing partner. One who doesn't mind that he's second lab rat to a diplodocus. And one who is up for making a "how to put on a CB2000" YouTube video, as that was something I could have done with and feel honour bound to improve the universe by creating one.

That's a brave man indeed.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

All kinds of nothing

A very curious start to the week. I'd say dispiriting, but I'm relatively light-hearted about it, given my zero quantities of either expectation or emotional investment. Thus far I've had a date that wasn't a date and porn that wasn't porn.

The date first. Maybe it was my fault for not super-confirming, in writing, in triplicate. But when I do fire off a note to someone suggesting a time and a place after we have already agreed that yes, meeting would be nice, then I kind of take that as a "yes". Apparently not. It's just as well that these days I pick locations where I can happily spend a bit of time by myself, without looking or feeling like a fool. In the absence of CCK I've been collected other little coffee places around town, ones that aren't too busy or too commercial. Preferably ones with a good line in something toothsome in case I need a consolation prize. I resisted a cinnamon bun from the Nordic Bakery (a test of willpower when they come warm from the oven). Anyhow, that's the end of that. I'm a little sad, because it would have been a good get-back-on-the-horse date. He was interested in play, specifically CBT and male chastity, both of which are things I can really, really get behind these days. Not because I'm going overboard on an anti-male, serious cruelty kick, it's just I like the precision and the fact that it will not involve sex. I'm off sex at the moment. Plus he wasn't interested in a relationship. I'm off those too. Anyhow, it's not to be. Fish in the sea and all that - I'm sure there are more young men who want to be tortured in intimate places and then not have sex. How could such a wonderful offer be turned down?

Then the porn. This was sent to me. As you can see, it contains no porn. I was initially wary about clicking on it as I thought it might be a ghastly advert for some equally ghastly porn site. There's a lot of crap porn around - I'm fairly fussy in what I like (limited and specific) and what I don't like (mostly everything) in the porn video department. However it was certainly different. Strange, but as with many strange things, I do kind of like it. At first I was a bit put off, considering it all a little pseudo-arty, but then it made me smile. Any piece of work that makes me smile is worth something. Plus it was a nice idea, a bit clever-clever, but it's done fairly well. And the jiggly bed still makes me crack a grin.

So, two heaps of nothing. One better than the other. I'm off to a munch tomorrow and then meeting up with Painted Lady on Thursday where I shall hand over some cash in exchange for a CB2000 and a straitjacket. With any luck, the end part of the week shall contain a lot more somethings.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Return of the native

First night out to a BDSM club in I-don't-know-how-long. I am grateful for any number of things. That I had Knight of Wands with me, who was the most perfect gentleman and the best wingman anyone could ever ask for. That the event in question was Crimson, which meant that is was a superb night and a very safe space full of people I know. Who were full of compliments. It was like a run down of almost everyone I have met over the past year or so, which was marvellous strange - part of me felt as if it were a trip down memory lane: Ethical Hedonist, The Collective, Hedwig and Kiss Curls to name but a few and all of them reminded me of things I'd done, places I'd been. Which all in all, was good. There were some sad moments, some points of reflection, but at no point did I feel as if I didn't belong. Quite the reverse. I felt a bit like I'd come home after being away for a while. Which was an affirmation in and of itself. My kink does not belong to The Photographer, it has not ended with the end of our relationship. It is mine and lives in me.

I settled on a pretty flamboyant outfit - plastic pvc mini-kimono with geisha make-up and wig. Part of me wanted to secure those "oh wow!" comments (a big part of me, I'm working on an ego-rebuilding process) and another part of me wanted to be out but still able to hide a little. The make-up is a mask. It looks beautiful and disguises my feelings, it allows me to play a persona rather than simply being me. But I was also out, which meant I wanted to feel like I was out - I wanted to dress up and be a princess.

The club itself was fantastic, everything a play club should be. Plenty of room and lots of pieces of kit, the majority of which is custom made. I was also surprised by what a difference having great music (no Gregorian chanting here) and no dance floor made. This was a play club, you were here to watch or to participate, to socialise. It wasn't a club with a gesture made to those who want to play by shoving a St Andrews cross into a cupboard. There was also a lot of space, at no point did I feel cramped or crowded - I could walk around when I wanted, sit down when and where I wanted. There were no queues for equipment as there was plenty to go around (certainly the best kitted out space I've seen). Most importantly though, was how it felt. Fun, friendly and filthy.
The atmosphere was unlike any other club I'd visited and someone had really thought out how best to use the space - spotlit areas for the exhibitionists, more secluded areas for others. Whilst play was the focus there was no pressure to play, the lack of dance floor meant that there was no division between players and party-people, we were all here for the same reason, it's just some of us weren't currently participating.

As I walked around saying "hi" to people I kept getting little flashes of excitement, little visions of what I could do, what I'd want to do. A girl was having feathers pinned into her back, reminding me of the thrill and natural high that each sharp gives. The buzz when they are all in, holding you up. Feathers were very appropriate, in that case and looked beautiful. The centre stage had a large rigging structure where someone was being secured with lengths of japanese hemp ties. I remembered the feel of that sort of rope in suspension, how it pulls and locks in place - leaving you floating and held at the same time. An empty cage brought up my dominant side, wishing for a moment that there was a naked man to lock inside and torment. A naked girl strapped to a rack being tickled mercilessly (cruel punishment!) brought out my curious side as I wondered idly what her smooth, shaven cunt would taste like as her labia flexed in time to her contortions.

I'm not ready to play yet. That the desire was there, was enough. I'm still me and I still work. I took along some kit which remained in the bag - I had the crop out at one point, but mostly for show and nothing came even close to getting used. I had a couple of offers which were (hopefully) politely declined. I knew I wasn't ready for it, knew that my reactions would be very unpredictable. And I'm not ready to be unpredictable in a public space. That aside, oh it was good to be out and about...

Friday, 20 November 2009

Sex in the city

I've been perusing last week's Time Out sex survey results, which whilst being a narrow spectrum of folk who live in the Big Smoke I thought might have enough interplay with the kinkier side of life to be interesting. Maybe it was the questions more so than the answers which didn't surprise me - age of losing virginity, number of sexual partners, amount of times you have sex.

There were a few that I did note however - most people put their "kinkiness" on three out of five (with five being 'practically perverted') - now with this kind of self-assessed survey it's hard to tell whether people think that fluffy handcuffs merit a kink-factor but the appearance of the question itself in the survey is notable - not all sex is straight sex - even if it is just the one point before moving on to sexual injuries. Unsure whether these two questions were related. There was a flicker of kink in the sexual fantasies arena - kidnapping, fear and bondage all featuring, making BDSM a high scoring "fantasy" with the group surveyed. I wonder whether this is a desire that is made sweeter by being forbidden or by being unobtainable - the fantasy is only exciting because it is a fantasy, when faced with it in reality would people genuinely desire it?

There was a lot of gender division, almost every question had a section for male responses and female responses, backed up by two "sex experts" giving their opinion on both the male and female results (no room for trans responses here, just team pink and team blue) - so the battle of the sexes still wages in the bedroom then. That made me think - harking back to a number of conversations I've had with various kinky folk on the importance and indeed relevance of gender to play - for me it doesn't matter that much in terms of pure play, bodies are bodies are bodies, just some have different bits and make noises in baritone or soprano (and depending on where you are hitting that isn't always as easy a guide as one might think). A number of people I know feel the same, men and women, even when it comes to more sexualised play. However here the difference was made abundantly clear - boys and girls like things differently. I'm not sure whether that makes vanilla sexuality more prone to remarking upon a gender divide or just that we kinksters like our bread buttered on both sides. With jam.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Tender hooks - a narrative

All of this comes from a bad place. Maybe one day I'll look back at what I've written and feel ashamed or embarrassed at the bile and vitriol. But for now, this is what it is.

Yesterday afternoon I received an email from The Photographer saying he'd decided to stay with his current partner. A couple of lines, no more, including a refusal to offer explanaitions and a total absence of feeling. An automated response. A coward's response as well, to put into brusque prose and fire across the expanse of the internet, knowing I was at work and would not find it until later - dividing the act and the response by both time and space - keeping me and my "difficult" feelings, my "demanding" attitude at arm's length. Sparing his feelings by scarificing mine. In that sense, the medium was perfect for the message.

Needless to say, I called him. Hissing and spitting with rage, then morose and despondant as he refused to engage. It did no good in the sense that it changed nothing, much less his mind. I upset him. I upset myself. As final words go, they were pretty poor and badly chosen. But that's what happens when you get fucked up, and for all my displayed lack of optimism in him reaching a good decision, I still had hope that he might. But not any more. I'm here, at arm's length. It's over. The waiting is over and the relationship is over. Whatever it was, whatever we were, is done.

I'm an appallingly confused mix of emotions. Memories of feelings I had, current sensations, the sly suggestion of responses I think I should be having but am not. I am, by turns, angry, thwarted, lonely, relieved, miserable, furious and calm. Round and round they go. I can't really describe it, so I'm going to take an unusual step and go into metaphor. It's an image I have very strongly in my head - I'm not sure whether it's because it's easier for me to describe how I'm feeling this way or because the effect of what has happened is so strong that I've become somewhat lightheaded and am currently living few degrees askew of the world therefore tending towards the poetic. Either way, it's where I am. What's in my mind. So here goes.

I'm sat at a dining room table, which is long and black. No-one else is there. The room goes on forever with just a plain floor and walls. No doors. My feet don't quite reach the ground, like a child. I'm wearing nothing but a white dress of some description which might be a man's shirt, might be a hospital gown, might even be a table cloth. There's a hole in the centre of it, through my chest. It's a big hole, you could put a fist through it easily and out through my back. Ribs are visible, blood, flesh and viscera. Some blood drips through the gaps, but not much. I'm still breathing, which surprises me. I'm looking down at my hands. In my right is my heart. It is in a very sorry state - bits of it are torn, there are cuts all over it. It's still attached to me, the arteries and veins run from my heart back into the hole in my chest. I can feel it, warm and soft, pulsing slightly. It is jammed with thorns, nails and hooks, metal and rusting. With my left hand I am pulling out the pieces of metal and placing them on a white china saucer in front of me. I can hear the "clink" sound as they hit the porcelain. None of them come out easily. Each one means something important to me, and the fact that they hurt me does not stop me wanting them. But I take them out anyway, twisting at the flesh as I do so in order to free them, like extracting the stone from a peach, fibres still clinging.

They go on the plate. One by one. They are not quite memories. Not quite feelings. Not quite connections. Not quite hopes. They are all of those things. They are also nails in my heart. And I know that it will hurt to pull them out but I know that if they don't come out they will fester and my heart will be poisoned and never heal. So here I am. Pulling pieces out of my heart.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Does not play well with others

I don't often mix my vanilla and kink social groups - I try not to on general principle. Friday night reminded why this is a very good idea. I went along to a flatwarming, which was ostensibly vanilla, but I knew there would be a sufficiency of the pagan-kink-alt-misc crowd around to make life interesting. I wasn't in the greatest of moods, but had gotten two messages from people there who were hoping I'd turn up and so felt inspired enough to actually get out of the house. Progress, of sorts.

All was going very well until a collar, lead and flogger came out. We passed them around, made some jokes, commented on the weight of the flogger. Someone got the collar and lead put on them and they were passed around between myself and Different Drummer (the party host) who were clearly the nominated keepers for the night. It was nice to be in a position of power, to have kit in my hands and feel if not good, at least comfortable being in a kink-ish environment without The Photographer. It was the first time I'd done anything even remotely kinky without him for a number of months. We were messing around, very playful, very light, very clothed. The heaviest anything got was forcing the collared person to eat cake from a bowl without hands and testing a flogger on a bare-chested Different Drummer - mostly everyone had a go, good party game for who could make him shout the loudest. So far so good.

Then one of my friends came in to say goodbye. He was clearly uncomfortable: I know that he has issues being around anything vaguely fetish or BDSM and he was certainly unhappy with what was going on in the room. A difficult situation in and of itself, not my party to manage and also he was very much outnumbered by the active perverts and casually interested. His girlfriend paused to give some goodbyes to the collared person, they are extremely close friends and made lots of effusive comments about being totally enamoured of each other. At which point, I jerked a little on the collar and made a joke about how I should be the important one, given the chain of command. My friend went ballistic, shouting "No!" at me across the room, eyes wide and glaring, full of hate and vehemence. He stormed out, leaving everyone shocked and silent.

I followed him down the stairs, he was still shouting at me, refusing to pause or to even explain what had happened. It turned out that he had been triggered, I suppose is the best word for it, by the act of tugging on someone's lead and had thought I had been attempting to put a real world break in the relationship between his girlfriend and the collared person (they are best friends). So, like a knight in vanilla armour he had felt the need to shout at me to prevent his girlfriend getting hurt by my predatory actions. Or something to that effect. I should add that he had drunk a reasonable amount and I was not sober. Different Drummer, who has known him longer than I have, sat on the steps with us both and we tried to work it all out. The conversation ended with awkward smiles and everything seemed ok.

But it wasn't. I still haven't really managed to process what happened. Rationally, it is obvious that he wildly misinterpreted what was happening and that we did not consider his antipathy to BDSM enough. Sadly, what happened from my point of view was that my first interaction with kink sans The Photographer was met with revulsion and anger on the part of one of my closest friends. That he thought my playful SM (it was hardly a D/s interaction) was something cruel directed at his girlfriend, who is also my friend. So by inference he thought I was doing something wrong, something hurtful. In that moment, through that action he believed me to be a bad person, who did bad things. Add on to this a note that large men shouting angrily at me is something I don't deal with very well at all in normal circumstances - shouting in general is liable to panic me, shouting men particularly - when I was younger my father very rarely shouted, but if he did you knew that something was very badly wrong. In light of everything that is going on, I can't cope very well with my friends thinking that of me. Drunk or sober.

Now, I know I am very sensitive at the moment and also vulnerable, especially in these areas. So I expect that this is hitting me a lot harder than it should do. I'm about to go around and try and have a conversation with him to clear the air. I am steeling myself to have a discussion that will centre on "you have hurt me by doing this". I'm getting a little fed up of having these conversations with people close to me and beginning to wonder if it's my own thin skin rather than anything else. In this case, I don't think so. And either way, something needs to be said to clear the air.

I'm just not looking forward to it much.

Thursday, 12 November 2009


No personal post today. A link instead, something a friend of mine sent my way:

Brat Attack was a highly unprofessional and irreverent dyke SM zine published in San Francisco from 1991 through 1994. All issues are sold out. This site is all that remains.

I've been reading some of the articles and particularly enjoy the "no experts" logo on the front. I like zines, I used to illustrate for one in my teens and have fond memories of scissors, glue and photocopying. I like the rough edged hand made feel of them, that someone actually sat down and made this. I suppose that the scene has moved on, perhaps, though of course I can't speak for leather dykes or San Francisco (and would be overjoyed to find that someone was being made to do artwork whilst tied up or edit copy when gagged).

I think it would be great to have one of these now, to be involved in making one - with or without a gag - or just to be able to get a copy in my hands. I wonder if the time for such things has past though, if the internet has superceded the zine to become the new space for such writing. Anyone with access to a dial tone can get their work uploaded and, in turn. read the work of many others just with a judicious google search. Fringe groups are no longer isolated, on the world wide web we can share thoughts with others like us - it's made it easier to locate and connect with like-minded folk and the only barrier to connecting with other people on the far side of the world is time zones.

All the same, I miss those black and white scratchy pages.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

After the fact, the facts.

This is another post that I've been mulling over far longer than I should - I often feel I write better straight after the event, pouring words from my brain whilst things are still fresh, feelings still sharp. Sometimes it's not possible, although I admit to an urge to be forced to type whilst in bondage or being beaten (that might result in some terrible spelling errors). The more I turn something over in my mind the harder it can become to write, I get stuck with the "best way" to put across my meaning or end up trying to be too clever-clever rather than what I'm actually aiming for - authentic, accurate, real.

So here's my quandry - how to write about two sexual encounters, which happened within hours of each other, without being crassly comparative. I don't want to assign scores or in any way put these two acts side-by-side and yet, by virtue of timing, my own headspace and who they involved, they are. I feel guilty even thinking about it. Because these are two people I care about. In different ways, certainly but they are both important to me and both events were important to me. Helped me. And I want to talk about both of them, yet putting them in separate entries seemed a little disingenuous, deliberately partitioning what happened and muddying the order of time. Making everything neater after the fact, although it wasn't neat in the moment, and some of me still feels concerned over such flagrant bed-hopping (does it count if it was the bed that stayed the same and the partners that hopped?) I'm trying to make light, a clear indication of my discomfort level. Which means it's time to rip the plaster off clean - doing that which scares you, that you don't want to do but find the strength to do anyway always works for me.

I fucked The Knight of Wands and The Photographer over the weekend. I did it because I wanted to, in each individual circumstance. The latter was planned, mostly - we were due to meet for dinner, it was likely we'd end up in bed. The former, less planned, but more obvious as the evening went on. Familiar bodies, familiar lovers. There's a safety in those kinds of arms: people who know you and who you can trust, laugh and joke with but also feel confident that they understand your kinks and twists and can deliver.

I craved sex, put simply, it was a need I had and it was sated - touching and being touched. Lying together with someone else in warm, animal comfort, hearing another heartbeat. Not being alone. To the mutual shock of The Knight of Wands and myself I had a short moment of crying whilst we were fucking - an outpouring of emotions like steam from a boiling kettle. Over as soon as it started, but strangely required. The physicality of the whole evening was like popping a pressured balloon - everything wrapped up inside had to come out.

Come the morning and I wanted to talk. Because I can't just fuck and keep my thoughts to myself (the wise person would keep me gagged, I expect, this may also be wishful thinking on my part). I wanted to be sure that he was alright, that we were alright. I still have trouble with "sex as sex", I see strings attached everywhere. To be reassured that the craving I had and the satisfaction of it was a mutually enjoyed activity - and then some, that we were friendly and neither harboured expectations of the other allowed me to breathe a little easier.

I also craved D/s and that was more difficult. A lot of me still thinks of myself as belonging to The Photographer, when I think about my submissive self (a self that has become quieter and more muted these days, thinking things over, I expect). But it's hard to really be his, to feel able to fully submit without worrying about the attending relationship problems. In that, we don't have one so there are no longer any rules - no protocol to follow, no process or way of being and I am reminded of how adrift I feel.

Having sex was problematic because - despite the massive desire - when we actually got to it I found myself to be very scared. We mirrored familiar actions - removal of jewellery, holding my cunt open for me and there was a memory of feeling, of connection, but I was also guarded (I think he was as well) which meant I was half into the situation and half outside of it. Wanting to go deeper but scared to do so in case putting myself into such a vulnerable situation might cause me more hurt and more heartache. I don't think I could stand to have him leave me again so I didn't want to build myself up to the place where I felt his completely. Which meant that I didn't really get what I wanted. I got some of what I needed. The happiness I felt when lying next to him, even though it was dogged by clouds of concern, was still happiness. His skin, his smell, the presence and simple joy of being around him.

Then again, came the morning. And we had to talk. Harder conversations. Because there are expectations in this case. Massive ones. I still want us to be together, but in order for that to happen he has to change his relationship with his other partner. To say "leave her" doesn't really cover the complexity of the situation - whether he sees her or not, fucks her or not, spends time with her or not isn't really the issue. It's about lives and living patterns. It's everything that's already been mentioned and I'm not going to go over it again. We talked about his leaving her, for want of a better phrase and he's thinking about it.

I get anxious just thinking about it. I know that what I want from him scares him, that it seems so big, so life-altering, that I'm the outside bet. Full of serious change and difficulties. I keep wanting to shout "it's ok! We'll sort it together" But I've said that already. Probably three times, if I've said it once: I'm getting talked out. Despite appearances, I'm trying not to think about it, trying to keep my brain distracted by the day-to-day or locked in that warm, safe animal place. But I'm by myself a lot these days and there's just my body which I'm keeping ticking over with masturbation that follows the laws of diminishing returns. Something to do, passes the time. Stops me playing the waiting game I'm already subconsciously playing. I'm also trying not to live in hope, because I don't want them dashed. Trying to exist in the place where we are still broken up and I have to try and carry on regardless. Yet, we tried to do that and we both wanted to see each other so much that when we first met we could barely walk ten yards without stopping to kiss, deep. Again and again.

Which has to count for something, surely?

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

In praise of tests

A coffee with Milady turned into two as we picked over bones and compared battle scars. There's satisfaction in discussing life, the universe, everything with a like-minded soul. Our outlooks marry up pleasingly so conversations include a lot of nodding, agreeing and general wonderment over the rest of the world which does not appear to see things the way that we do, declaring them as mad and both of us sane. It's not about being able to get on with someone or about having the same opinions or tastes - we have disagreed in the past on a number of concrete issues - but more about having similar ways of relating to what is at hand, of navigating the emotional and intellectual landscape of a discussion. It's nice to be able to say "this is like such-and-such" and feel as if the other person understands what you mean rather then just the words that you said.

The topics rather naturally turned towards the kinky once the private business of life and work had been thoroughly raked over the coals. She knows The Photographer and we discussed responses to breaking up, able to laugh at the realisation that until recently we had both thought the term "heartache" was a hackneyed metaphor rather than an actual physical condition. We shared our frustration at feeling unable to get the meat of what we wanted across to other people and she revealed to me her ongoing problem with submissives and text messages.

Like me, Milady prefers to develop D/s relationships not just one-off play sessions. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed many individual sessions, however there is a depth of feeling that only comes with an intimate connection created over time, with effort. For me, it's the difference between bottoming and subbing - I can turn up, strip off and enjoy being tied up for the physicality of it. However, if someone I care about does that to me it creates a totally different (and more powerful) response. The D/s doesn't switch off. The SM does. So to, with her. We both like the idea that when you are in a D/s relationship, no matter where you are, what you are doing, somewhere in the back of your mind is the knowledge that you own, or that you are owned. The method of expressing this is through ritual - I talked to her about my Monday morning emails to The Photographer in which I shared by upcoming week with him. She mentioned she likes to get text messages and frequently instructs her submissives to send her one in the morning then one in the evening. The part that interested me was that despite protestations of wanting to be trained by her, of needing her terribly badly, so many of them had fallen down on following up on this simple little request.

We mulled over whether it was really "simple" or really "little", eventually deciding that, yes, it was not a huge thing to ask. I pointed out that if someone had asked me to do so I'd have enjoyed the fact that they wanted to hear from me at regular intervals - it would have felt caring and supportive to have them require something from me. And if it made them happy, I'd have done my work as a submissive with the mere press of a button. Plus it was a test that I could win at, then be considered a good girl. Perfect. But the boys she contacted could not seem to do it. Or they would do so for a couple of days then forget, or cite drunkeness (a cipher for forgetting, no doubt). So we wondered - could they all be so forgetful or could it be something else, a difference in attitude? Perhaps, unlike the pair of us who view D/s as part of ourselves, they saw it instead as something to pick up and drop, whenever you were in the mood or in the moment.

It was, we realised, a litmus test for a perfect pairing. The task reflected exactly the sort of relationship that both Milady and I enjoy - it was ongoing, but not overly invasive or impractical and showed a consistent duty of care for both parties. The inability of the boys to complete the task foreshadowed other incompatibilities that arose later on. We became fascinated by it, from a social anthropology point of view, wondering if perhaps it was something gender specific that made the boys unable to follow through despite their stated desires or something else and how you could use this behaviour to understand the type of relationship they wanted. Only an experiment will do, we decided. Take an hundred submissives and set them the same task: "text me twice a day for five days without fail and then we can meet and play". Difficult to do without leading anyone on and there would have to be an amount of untruth to not skew the end result. However, we both agreed that those who did send the messages would be those who were interested in the act itself and consequently interested in that style of D/s - in short, the ones worth meeting up with.

Maybe my attraction to this idea says more about myself than about those I might survey. The need for games, for tests, for people to prove themselves. That I have been let down and want reassurance before trusting, that I have problems with abandonment and require ongoing, frequent contact to assuage the constant worry of being left or being forgotten about. But since I know these anxieties are part of me it's not especially revelatory to find that I seek someone who can provide those things. Unlike physical attraction, compatible psychological characteristics are harder to see at first glance, or even at the first meeting. You get them through question and answer. Input and response. In other words - tests.

There are those who look down on tests, who argue that it is a ridiculous female obsession - to be constantly checking and re-checking in such an obvious fashion. Like a version of those "is he the right one for me" quizes in terrible magazines that decant a relationship into five to ten a, b, c or d responses. However I do think that being able to question a relationship, to analyse it and understand it is important in order to know whether it is right for you - or, to put a more positive spin on things, to work out the bits that aren't working so well and make the better. If you can firmly say that "when you do X I feel bad" because you have been able to filter out that particular cause of stress then provided your partner is supportive and willing, you can eliminate it. If you do not know what is wrong then how can you ever make something right?

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Places to see, people to do

It's all about the timing. I've completely failed to meet up with anyone or to do anything even vaguely kinky over the past few weeks. Misunderstandings over evenings versus daytime scuppered a date (play or otherwise) with Shuttered Lens - I was keen to put myself into a pair of safe hands, especially someone who I knew, whose style of play I understood and who would be ok if I turned up on the evening and went "actually, can I just have a cup of tea?" Sadly, diaries being what they are it didn't turn out, but I'm hopeful for a reschedule. Ditto Kiss Curls who I cruelly abandoned in favour of running away home. I'm feeling a lot calmer now and almost of a mind to venture out in the next month or so, but first I've a lot of people to catch up with.

Painted Lady
is selling off some kit and I'm looking forward to taking it off her hands - it's two pieces I've wanted for a long time, a male chastity device (CB2000 in clear pink plastic, to be precise) and a small sized medical straitjacket. One for a boy and one for me. I am very much looking forward to using both of them and also to have a decent chat with her, as we haven't met up in a while. I heard on the grapevine that she has a new boy and I'm intrigued (nosy) to find out how that's been going. Similarly Milady and I are trying to meet for a coffee/dinner/whatever. My social diary, once I get it going again, is looking to be very girl heavy. Which is perhaps not a bad thing.

I've been bouncing the odd memo back and forward on various dating sites but I'm not particularly raring to go and meet new people just yet, although I may well feel brave enough to attempt a coffee, but nothing more, with a young man who has been sending me charmingly personal insights into chastity play. Chastity pushes all my possessive buttons, as well as being wonderfully aesthetically pleasing - something precious kept locked away, just for me. At the moment, it's still very much an activity that exists in my head - the sort of ongoing support that kind of relationship requires is a little beyond me at the moment. However, I am starting to see a point where it might be feasible. Certainly I know that once I have the kit in my hands I'll be itching to try it out as soon as possible, the question is, on who?

You see, I have a problem. I still don't particularly want to fuck anyone except The Photographer, and although the urge will eventually rise above the anxiety (because otherwise my head will explode, I'm certainly not used to going this long without any form of BDSM) I am still very twitchy about the idea, which means I'm cautious in my online activities - I don't even want to raise the suggestion of potential mutual nakedness with someone else. So far, so normal. I'm seeing him for dinner on Saturday, I don't know what my response will be or where we will end up. I'm nervous. I don't want to get hurt, don't want to feel like a fool and certainly don't want to feel like we're going to start bashing our heads against the same brick wall again. I know that, as things stand, we do not have a future.. But equally, I don't want to not see him, certainly active avoidance is more stressful for me and of course, I miss him and want to see him.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Single minded

I met up with Knight of Wands for drinks over the weekend, he's long suffering over my repetitive conversations regarding the break up, so I attempted to buy him ice-cream to make up for the hand-wringing, I probably owe him a rather large amount of scoops by this stage. I like that he upbraids me on attitudes I'm holding that he thinks are unhelpful, without actually making me want to stab him in the eyes. I guess the fact that he is poly helps somewhat in that he's a good sounding board for that subject matter - I still haven't, and probably won't for a long time, stop trying to find out how it works - but there's other things to. He notices stuff about me and says it outright, whereas others might not see or might not comment. For example, I'm crossing my arms a lot these days, holding myself in a tight defensive gesture. I attempted to argue, but looked down and discovered he was right. I just hadn't realised.

We talked a bit about relationship styles, specifically my pathetic inability to be single. I had assumed that just preferring to be with someone else was "natural" and "normal" but those words have shown themselves to be misappropriated frequently in the past, so deserved a little exploring. It's not just that I prefer being with a partner. I really do need to be. Or at least, currently think I need to be, which is functionally the same thing until I can bottom out the source of the need. And it's not just "a partner", that's misleading. It's a special someone as those cards nauseatingly put it. Specific to me, for me and with me. Just mine. I'm possessive as well as obsessive over the subject.

Perhaps it's the needs versus wants argument. Being practical and pragmatic (for once) I clearly do not need to be in a relationship like I need oxygen. I merely prefer it to being single. It's not about feeling incomplete within myself which I realise that sounds contradictory to "needing to be in a relationship" but I do think the two are different things. I can be whole in myself and still want more.

I feel somewhat unbalanced at the moment, part of which is clearly driven by the loss - I'm noticing what I don't have, what I can't do. But there's another bit. I like my own company well enough however it worked better in contrast - to be able to get away and spend time by myself rather than merely being by myself. Like skiving off work is impossible and no fun on a bank holiday. Additionally, I never felt myself limited by being in a relationship - why would I want to be with someone who stopped me from doing the things I wanted? I view relationships as facilitating entities, rather than constricting ones - the people who moan and whinge about how they "aren't allowed" are the ones who should find someone else, someone better.

Consequently, the traditional end-of-relationship act, that of celebrating freedom - which is often basically getting drunk and picking up someone appallingly unsuitable for a night of casual sex - doesn't really work for me. I'm a connoisseur. A gourmet. A snob. I'd rather have no sex than bad, drunken sex. As a net result I'm grumpy, frustrated and probably a massive pain in the arse to be around but I'm not about to drop standards for the sake of someone else's version of "freedom".

Life has actually become more restrictive now that I'm single - I'm doing less and generally less interested in doing things, as a knock-on effect I'm feeling less interesting. There's a lot of stuff I just don't want to do without a partner I trust and have a decent connection with: I feel less safe, less confident, less willing to go out clubbing, to meet new kinky people and explore opportunities without someone to come back home to or to go out with. This is "partner as enabler" - someone with whom to go hunting and share the spoils. So there's the instant need - someone to share life with. The other is harder to pin down. I'm trying to strip it to the bone, to get to the nub of what it is about a committed, serious relationship that I feel I need. Taking out the touchpoints, the emotional contact, the day-to-day niceties of holding hands and belonging to someone - that's all window dressing, expressions of the ideal rather than the thing itself. It's about both getting to be greater than the sum of the parts.