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Nervous? – Wicked Wednesday #87

This entry is part 1 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

nervous yet?

window nervous bound

Bound to the baggage cart in a beautiful historic hotel you’ve never before visited . . .
Rolled over in front of the windows . . .
Slowly stripped of your clothes . . .

exposed nervous bound slave

Would that be enough to make you a little nervous?

Perhaps when I’m joined by my partner in crime?
Still not nervous?
Maybe that would change when he pulls out a really big knife?

nervous-knife

What happens with the knife once you are naked?
Does thinking about that make you nervous?
It probably should!

naked nervous

Serafina got all that, and more, last Friday night, when we visited Dubuque for an event.  In this case, the pictures truly say more than my words ever could.

My one and only regret?  That I didn’t capture it with the camera when AlphaBull (the partner in crime I referred to) made my Serafina squirt like a fountain.  Sadly, I was too busy just enjoying the show.

black-divider-no-background-hi

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Decisions? They Are Mine!

Wicked Wednesday #89

This entry is part 2 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

Decisions . . . Decisions!

decisionsToday’s Wicked Wednesday topic is all about the word decision.  I should start by saying that a discussion based around the word decision is actually a easy topic here at House of Samadhi.  Most every decision is mine to make.  It’s always been that way, and as long as I am capable and competent, I expect that it will remain that way.  Not only is my sole decision making ability one of the “conditions” that are the basis of our Master / slave relationship, it’s actually Serafina’s choice for our dynamic.  And, it has been from the beginning.

Serafina’s first husband was a sorry man.  I don’t say that out of jealousy or pique, it’s more a matter of fact statement than anything else.  He was a poor provider, he was a poor father, he was a poor husband.  The only thing he wasn’t poor at was in the sexual realm, there he was even more deficient.  It’s actually very easy for me not to feel any sort of animosity towards the man, because, were it not for his deficiencies, were it not for his complete negligence of his marital responsibilities, Serafina never would have become mine.

The one thing that a submissive like Serafina craves in a partner, is confidence and the ability to take charge of a situation as needed.  Only, in her previous marriage, the roles were close to being polar opposites of what Serafina desired.  When she and her former spouse owned an upholstery shop, he could do very little on his own.  It seems he didn’t have the confidence to set an upholstery tack without the need to consult his wife.  I know Dommes who would thrive in such a situation, but it was the last thing Serafina needed.

My slave would be quick to tell you that there’s a huge difference between being Masterful and being inept, they are exact opposites in Serafina’s opinion.  In her prior relationship she got the latter.  Ineptitude is never really a desirable trait in a spouse, but it’s doubly destructive when it puts a natural submissive into a situation where she has to take charge.  Serafina’s well beyond being just competent, so it should be said that not only did she rise to the occasion, she rose to it well, conquering every challenge that headed her way.  She’s a resourceful, intelligent and vital woman.  Of course she did well.  But, deep inside she always wanted to follow, not to lead.

I’m a leader, it’s what I do.  Leaders lead, it’s just that simple.  Now, please don’t misunderstand.  I’m no neanderthal, I don’t demand that anyone follow me, in fact I often shy away from leadership opportunities, as I generally prefer to be outside the spotlight.  But, I was blessed with what’s called a “command personality”, for whatever reason the Creator decided that I’d be so endowed.  Personally, I’d have taken a couple of extra inches length in a different endowment.  Give me that bump from 7 1/2″ to 9 1/2″ and I’d have gone into porn.  With that said, I don’t think there’s any potential surgical enhancement for one’s leadership skills, so I am rather satisfied with my endowment of all types, thank you very much.

From the beginning of our relationship, which started as a BDSM triad by the way, I’ve been described as the “lead wheel”.  Back in those days we used a tricycle as the metaphor, today it’s a bicycle, but the analogy is still the same.  The lead wheel provides the direction, the back wheels the propulsion.  So, I make the decisions, it’s our dynamic.  It’s the way my slave prefers to be, and it suits me perfectly.  Serafina gives the support and drive needed to make the destinations I’ve picked.  That’s how true partnerships work.

Do you find it difficult to make a decision?
Not in the least.  Being the “decider” comes as naturally to me as swimming does to a fish.

All decisions or only some of them?
They are all mine.  When I occasionally ask Serafina where she’d like to eat, the response I often get is a look similar to a deer in the headlights of a car.  Stunned indecision.  Why am I asking her?  Don’t I know where I want to eat?  She wants me to decide.  I do normally let her choose what she’d like to eat, but I like to order for her, so even there the final say is mine, I’m the one talking to the wait staff.

Are you even allowed to decide everything or are some decisions made for you by others?  Why?
As much as we are generally loathe to admit it, there are things beyond the control of even the most powerful and authoritative dominant.  My government is making health insurance decisions for me right now, and they decide a number of other things I’ll never effect.  No matter what, some decisions in life are made by others.  Serafina decides plenty for herself, as far as she’s concerned.  I always listen to her, she’s never stifled or left out of the decision making process.  She will always be my closest confident and advisory, her opinion is invaluable to me.  But, in the end, I’m the one who says yes or no.  It’s the lead wheel that chooses which way to go.

How do you cope when a decision is made for you and you are not happy with it?
I’m pretty much like everyone else here. I complain about the Democrats, or the Republicans, as needed.  I vote.  I protest.  I also take my frustrations out on needy masochists.

Have you looked back on some decisions that you have made and regretted that what you have done? Or maybe even realized it was the best decision you could have made?
Of course!  I’m human, so some of my decisions will turn out to be regrettable.  I have to allow myself the ability to make mistakes, otherwise I’d be eternally paralyzed by fear that a decision would go wrong even before it was made.  The important thing there, in my opinion is to avoid repeating the same mistake again.  There are plenty of mistakes for me to make, even as Master, so it’s important to me that I avoid making the same mistake over again.

The First Time Serafina Was Shared

Wicked Wednesday #90: First

This entry is part 3 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

1st-small

 

 

 

 

Everyone’s version of a master / slave relationship is different.  That’s actually one of the things I like about kink, it’s like a giant smorgasbord, and folks are free to sample what they like, and leave the rest behind.  So, to me the diversity of kink is one of the beauties of the lifestyle.

I just wanted to say that up front, because some people might be appalled by the prerogatives I take as Serafina’s Master.  For instance, I believe a master has the right to use his slave as sexual property, and to assign her service as he see’s fit.  I guess that’s my way of saying that it is my prerogative to choose any other dominant she might serve.

Of course, it’s not as one sided as all that might initially sound.  In reality it means I’ve coordinated a few mfm three ways for my slave.  It means I found a quality dominant (Alpha) whom Serafina enjoys and respects for play and training.  And, in all honesty, she’s loved every minute of the adventure.

There was a lot of communication and discussion in advance.   Our conversations on the topic started about a year before we actually even began to meet other individual’s in person.  We went into the experience with our eyes relatively wide open, and feel enriched for the experience.

And, just so our friends and readers are aware, the image that accompanies this post was actually picked by Serafina.  She originally picked it to be included in the February Photo Fest series of posts.  With Wicked Wednesday’s theme today being firsts, it was proudly re-purposed.

Serafina is proud of the inhibitions she’s overcome, and she’s proud of the pleasures she’s both given and received.  And, I think her choice for today’s post illustrates that point very well.  it’s the first time serafina was shared, her first mfm 3-way, and the first time she ever experienced a “double header” with 2 cocks in her mouth.

the first time Serafina was shared (her 1st mfm 3-way)

first-time-Serafina-was-shared

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Balancing Pain And Pleasure

Wicked Wednesday #91

This entry is part 4 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

I’m a dominant.  I’m also a sadist.  Give me the power to control, that’s all the dominant wants.  The sadist brings an entirely different pallet of desires to the table.

I love to create sensations.  Sometimes the sensations are totally pleasurable.  I love giving orgasms.

Of course, I love delivering sensations that aren’t quite so obviously pleasurable too.

It’s about finding the thin line, the razor’s edge, between pleasure and pain.  That’s the territory where I like to live and play.  I enjoy creating sensations strong enough to make my partner struggle.  In their minds, I want them to wonder if they can take any more, yet not dare to ask for it to stop either.

That is the “balance” my sadist seeks, balancing pain and pleasure.  It’s a place where time seems suspended, where reality and fantasy meet.  It’s a place where orgasms are extended and amplified, where limits (internal and external) are tested.

Struggle, gasp, and moan all you want.  Scream profanities, or scream out my name, it’s all the same for me.  It’s the sensations that matter, and watching your internal struggle.  If we stop now the game is over, you don’t want that, do you?  You’d never discover the pleasures on the other side . . .

Oh you do want those pleasures?  Well then, just give me a little patience, bear with those sensations a little longer.  I know you can do it for me.  Take it for me girl, that’s the gift I want today.  To watch you suffer for me, as you get wet to your knees.

That’s right, now beg me for more!

balancing pain and pleasure

balancing-pain-and-pleasure

Wicked Wednesday… a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked.  Click the icon (below) to see who else was wicked this Wednesday.

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Here’s the inspiration for this post – the Wicked Wednesday prompt for this week (in case you missed it) . . .

balance
Balance… what does balance mean to you? Do you think of physical balance, or balance exercises in a yoga class? Or do you think of a weighing device and at the same time your thoughts travel to a diet you might be following or want to follow? Maybe you think of a stable mental/psychological state or emotional stability. Or maybe you think of something that is left over, the balance of the big sum? What does balance mean to you?

Whatever thoughts are triggered in your mind, we look forward to reading your (sexy) post.

I got a prayer with a girl . . .

Wicked Wednesday Prompt #92: Three wishes?

This entry is part 5 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

Well the preacher kept right on saying that all I had to do was send
Ten dollars to the church of the sacred bleeding heart of Jesus
Located somewhere in Los Angeles, California
And next week they’d say my prayer on the radio
And all my dreams would come true
So I did, the next week, I got a prayer with a girl
Well, you know what kind of eyes she got
So if you’re down on your luck
I know you all sympathize
Find a girl with far away eyes

~  Jagger/Richards | Far Away Eyes

I’m not sure how many of my readers will be familiar with Far Away Eyes, the Rolling Stones song who’s lyric started this post.  But, for the record, it’s been a sort of tongue in cheek anthem of mine for some time.  I’ve been known to sing it from time to time, usually for a girl.  Yes, I’m that corny.  The prompt for this week’s Wicked Wednesday somehow connected with that song in my mind, the line about the prayer seemed rather poignant.  I mean what is a prayer, if it’s not a wish?  It’s a specific kind of a wish, but it’s a wish nevertheless.

I once had a wish for a girl, you could call it a prayer if you like, although I’m not exactly a prayerful man.  I wished for someone who could be as loyal to me as I could be to them.  It always seemed to me that I’d give my loyalty, my trust . . . I’d give all of myself to another, only to be disappointed.

Then Serafina came along.  She will always be that girl, the one with far away eyes, the answer to my dreams, my hopes, my wishes.  Yes indeed, I got a prayer with a girl!

So tonight, I don’t need three wishes, where just one will do.

Please, Dear Lord, don’t let me fuck this one up, let me be worthy of my slave!

I got a prayer with a girl . . .

I-got-a-prayer-with-a-girl

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Hidden Problems

the story I'd not usually tell . . .

This entry is part 6 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

accentuate the positive

I generally focus on the positive.  Oh I have my doubts, my moments of anger, but choosing the positive is my way of coping with all the things that are wrong with the world today.  And, most of the time it’s good to be me, so being positive is easy . . .

I have a wonderful slave.  I’m blessed with a wonderful circle of friends.  Serafina and I get to attend lots of great events.  It’s almost like a fantasy existence . . .

But, every now and then, reality comes up and gives me a real slap.  Serafina calls it a “Hitch in our giddy-up.”

That means I have to admit that I have very real limitations, and I’ve arranged my life around them.  Serafina has more than her share of limitations to.  We can pretend they don’t exist, and we can arrange our lives so they don’t bite us in the ass, but they do exist.  Every now and than that’s forgotten, and like I said, it comes home like a sharp slap across the face.

This is the story I’d not usually tell, the hidden problems that often go unsaid.  This is the story I’d prefer not to tell, it’s the tale of an event where most everything that could go wrong, did go wrong . . .

hidden-problems

Storm Clouds on the Horizon – (photo by Serafina Samadhi)

hidden problems

Serafina and I attended Kinky Kollege this last weekend with great expectations.  We love events like KK, they are full of great energy, and even in the most mundane class, there’s usually a tip or two to be picked up.  And, to their credit, the workshops at Kinky Kollege are rarely mundane.  Unfortunately, events conspired to make this particular Kinky Kollege an exercise in things that could go wrong.

The weekend started off in great fashion.  We arrived Friday in time to get our room, get registered, and attend that day’s classes.  I went to a class put on by Robert Dante, who holds 4 world  records in bullwhip cracking.  Serafina saw Dan and Dawn put on a presentation on Loving M/s.  Both classes were outstanding.  I even found myself practicing whip cracking afterwards in our room with my new mini-bullwhip.  Everything was marvelous.

Then our first problem cropped up.  At about 6PM Friday evening, we discovered that our medicine had slipped out of our luggage before we left home.  It had been packed in an outside pocket for ease of access, but the pocket apparently remained unzipped, and our bag of meds fell out in the last stages of packing.  For most folks that wouldn’t be the greatest tragedy, as over the counter medicines are easy to find these days in the age of the 24 hour drug store.

The “hidden problem” for us, however, is that most of our medications are prescriptions, and they are very necessary for our existence.  I probably could survive on on over the counter pain meds for my back, but the lack of a muscle relaxer after 4 hours of driving wasn’t going to be comfortable.  Extended driving does tend to set off the degenerative disc disease symptoms in my lower back.  Going without Allegra-D for my allergies wasn’t a wonderful prospect for me either, but laws surrounding the manufacture of methamphetamine wouldn’t allow me to just go pick up a new pack at the drugstore.  Over the counter meds don’t always mean they are freely available.

Serafina literally cannot sleep without some help from medications.  It’s partly her nature, and partly a result of chronic pain from a lower back injury.  A few years before we met, Serafina took a fall from the top of a high ladder while volunteering to renovate a church.  Her back injury is permanent, but she has adapted so well most folks would never know she’s suffered such an injury.  She certainly doesn’t let it get in the way of providing service.  But, she needs medicine to sleep, or the chronic pain prevents decent rest.

So, my executive decision was to drive home for our medicine.  It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was really the only option I had.  A slave without sleep is not only a miserable existence for her, it’s not really conducive to getting anything from the classes either.  We headed home, a solid three hour drive, half of it toll roads.

our room sits empty while we sleep at home

By the time we got back home, it was after 9pm.  Sure enough, our medicine was sitting exactly where it fallen out of our luggage.  As I’d been dressing, I exchanged shirts, throwing the t-shirt I’d worn that day on the bed next to our travel bags.  Apparently, my shirt had obscured the bag of meds, contributing to the fiasco.

At that point, I had to decide whether to drive another 3 hours back to Chicago, likely to arrive before the dungeon closed, but with more than nine hours of driving behind me for the day.  In all honesty, our own dungeon bed was beckoning me.  It had already been a long day, the driving had been more than a little tiring.  And, my right leg was getting sore, right where the seats tend to cut across my thigh.  Being aware that long rides can cause deep vein thrombosis (blood clots from constricted circulation) that can become the cause of life threatening stroke or embolism, I took a couple of aspirin, put my feet up, and called it a night.

The first class the next morning was at 9 am.  So our alarm was set for 5 am, allowing us time to shower and grab a bite at a McGreasies1 on the way back.  Three more hours of driving, and we managed to pull into our destination right at 9am.  We ran to our room, grabbed our notebooks and bullwhips, and headed back to the Kinky Kollege Klassrooms.

One good thing came out of our return home, the 6′ bullwhip I’d ordered in hopes of arrival before Kinky Kollege was at the post office.  I had it in hand as I headed down for my second bullwhip class with Robert Dante.  Serafina attended a class on mindfulness led by Dawn (of Dan and Dawn.)  Both classes were excellent, and I manged to show my new bullwhip to Dante before it was all over.

The “Kanga-Beauty” (as it’s called by Adam and Gillian who market it here in the states) is a 6′ 12 plait kangaroo hide bullwhip that’s truly affordable, coming in at just under $200.  Robert Dante was suitably impressed with my purchase, telling me it was a very nice whip before he heard the price I’d paid. I do believe he was sincere, as he’d just finished picking apart the braiding on another guy’s whip, as it was too loose to crack properly.  I can also say, with a certain amount of pride, that the very first time my 6′ bullwhip was cracked, was in the hands of a world record holder.  How many Masters can say that about their toys?

the downward spiral begins

For the next round of classes I attended “How to Beat the Crap out of Someone and have them Come Back for More” while Serafina took in a Fire Play class.  Both classes were good, but my legs and back were really complaining about the 9 hours of driving.  I had to stand for a good part of the body play class I was attending, and left to walk around and peak in on Serafina for the last few minutes of the fire play demo.

When her class finished, I suggested we run up to our room to grab a quick snack and some pain meds.  It was a fateful decision, as our Kinky Kollege experience essentially ended there.

We went back to our room, snacked, swallowed some naproxen and a muscle relaxer, and stretched our legs.  We planned to attend “Chi of Rope – Enhancing your energy play” in the third session of the day, but I found myself absolutely devoid of any energy to play with.  All the driving, not to mention getting up at 5 am, had left me exhausted.  I didn’t feel I’d get anything at all from the class, so we laid down to nap, it was about 1pm.

I woke up at 3pm feeling more rested, but I was also feeling like I was coming down with a bug.  Serafina wasn’t feeling a whole lot better, so we decided to just rest rather than going downstairs for the Tapas event.  I’d wanted to have Serafina try a play piercing, but in the end, the way we were feeling, it seemed like it was just not going to go well.  Our immune systems just felt off, and that’s no time to be piercing skin . . .

So we laid around, munched a bit on some food, read and relaxed. I studied my new autographed book on the art of the bullwhip, while Serafina perused our Kindle.  I hoped to rest enough that we could rejoin the party at 9pm when the dungeon space opened back up.   My interest was in taking Serafina to the “mattress room” for some public sex.  We’ve done a few public scenes, but never had actual sex in public.  The mattress room is specifically for public sex scenes, so I planned to take my slave, and a few bundles of rope to do some ropework, and then screw my bound slave for everything she was worth.

The closer we got to 9pm though, the worse I was feeling.  We were exhausted, the day seemed to be a lost cause, and the best course seemed to be to simply call it a night and try and rest for Sunday’s classes.

night from hell

Serafina fell asleep not long after our decision to call it a night, but by this point I was too miserable to sleep.  My sinuses were raw, and I felt like the chronic sinus infection I’d fought all winter was coming back with a passion.  Leaving my slave to sleep, I spent a half hour in the shower, which did seem to help relieve the sinus pressure a little.  So, I tried to lay down and rest, once more.  As soon as I got into bed the congestion returned, then got progressively worse.

I took an extra dose of benadryl, and returned to the shower.  I got some relief standing in the shower, with warm water beating down on my face, and after another 30 minute shower tried to once again return to bed.  It was like deja vu all over again2, there was no hope for rest.  My head stuffed up, and the pressure was bad enough that the headache I felt prevented any sleep.

I used everything I know to relieve the pressure.  I used Afrin.  No help.  I did some facial pressure point massage I was taught by an acupuncturist.  Still no help.  I took a 2nd Allegra-D, hoping the decongestant might help.  I sure didn’t notice any relief.  I took Mucinex to help thin the mucus that was pouring out of my nose, hoping it might relieve the pressure.

I even took a walk outside, hoping the cold air might help, as sometimes cold will help with sinus swelling.  And it was cold Saturday night, it wasn’t long before I was shivering.  So, I went back to the room, and back to the shower.  When I looked in the mirror, it looked like my eyes were bleeding they were so red.  At that point I actually began to consider that I’d contracted conjunctivitis (aka pink eye).  Not what I needed to be thinking about!

I know I’ve skipped over at least one episode in the shower, this is now my 5th visit, each running about a half hour, or longer.  It was taking longer and longer each time for sinuses to get any relief at all, until by shower #5 even having warm water beat down on my face wasn’t any help.  And, at that point my eyes were really starting to burn too.  I love swimming and have spent hours in pools without my skin reacting, but now I’m starting to notice that I’m breaking out in hives, in addition to all my other afflictions!   It’s not the shower, my body is just unhappy, and my histamine response is out of control.  I took even more benadryl (it had been at least two hours since the previous dose.)

Serafina’s been aware of my discomfort, but trying to rest through my ordeal.  At this point I woke her up, asking if she had any Visine A/C eye drops in her purse.  It felt as though my eyes were swelling shut, and the burn was awful.  The time was 2am.

Needless to say, the next hour brought another trip to the shower, and the final desperate decision.  If I was getting sick, I needed to get home to a doc.  If the problem was allergies, I needed to leave the environment causing the problem.  There simply were no other alternatives to consider.  We packed, called for a baggage cart, and checked out.  I didn’t complain at the front desk at that point, I couldn’t bear the thought of spending even an extra minute or two there for the interaction.  I just wanted out!

I left Serafina with our luggage, fetched my truck, and began the three hour drive home.

By the time we made it to DeKalb, my sinuses were starting to clear.  The night driving was really killing my eyes, they were so sore and dry I was having difficulty focusing.  By the time we made it to Rock Falls, I had to step aside and let Serafina drive the rest of the way home.  That’s a pretty rare occurrence, exceedingly rare.  The last time it happened was Twisted Tryst, when my broken glasses3 didn’t allow me to drive home.  That’s the only other time I remember allowing myself to be a passenger in my own vehicle.

By the time we made it home, I’d watched the sunrise in a rear view mirror.  My skin was still blotchy, but the worst of the hives were gone.  My eyes only looked like I was stoned on cannabis, a huge improvement over the whole bleeding eye look.  And, I could breathe through my nose!

postscript

I know this is a long post, I’m at 2400 words and counting, so I’ll try not to make it too much longer . . . I posted at Fetlife today, a condensed version of the story, with a question for my fellow KK attendees.

Did anyone else attending KK have allergy problems due to their room environment?

My slave and I attended a past KK with no issues, but some kind of allergen in our room forced us to depart in the middle of the night before Sunday’s classes.

We didn’t spend Friday night in our room, so only discovered the problem as Saturday night progressed. My allergies were set off so badly Saturday night that no amount of anti-histamines would help me, my eyes were so red that we actually thought I’d contracted pink eye. My slave’s throat got so sore that she thought she was coming down with strep throat. I used every bit of allergy medication in my arsenal, but to no avail, as time progressed the symptoms just got worse and worse.

I started having difficulty breathing before 11pm, and managed to ride it out until 3am, when it was clear that none of my medicine was going to help. So, in desperation, we packed up and left.

A half hour after leaving the hotel (checking out at like 3:30 am) we noticed that the symptoms were lessening By the time we got to DeKalb on the road home, I could breathe again. When we arrived home, most of the redness and swelling was gone from my eyes too . . .

So, we know the problem was with allergens and not a bug . . .

In working to determine the root cause of our severe allergy attacks, we were wondering if any other KK attendees had similar experiences.

BTW – I do want to add that the Kinky Kollege portion of the experience was excellent. We very much enjoyed the classes we were able to attend Friday and Saturday. We want to come back again in the future, but need to work to find the allergen issues so we can avoid having the same problem again in the future.

I discovered that I’m not alone in my extreme discomfort, and that there is a solution.  I’d actually feared that I’d never again be able to attend a Kinky Kollege event.  But thanks to the wonderful Kinky Kollege Kommunity4 I discovered that the hotel does have some special hypo allergenic rooms.

So, I’m soaring from deep depression up to gloom5 today.  I missed out on 4 different classes I’d planned to attend.  I didn’t get to screw Serafina in public.  I didn’t get to midfuck her by laying a dozen condoms by her head and asking her if she was ready to take all cummers . . .

But I have a consolation.  At least I won’t be robbed of any future Kinky Kollege experiences because my body betrayed me and decided to go apeshit over an allergen.

Let the fall Kinky Kollege Kountdown begin!

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Communicate and Educate

Wicked Wednesday Prompt #94: Getting the message across…

This entry is part 7 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

I’ve been doing this kind of thing (kink) for a long time.  The first time I tied a woman up for sex was back in 1980.  Last December was actually the 33rd anniversary of the occasion; but, in some ways it still feels just like yesterday.  That 33rd anniversary bit probably makes me sound older than I really am, as I’m “only” 50.  Needless to say, I started young, and just kept going.

I’d like to think that I’ve learned a lot over those years.  Certainly, I’ve learned a lot of my lessons the hard way.  And, to be honest, I’m still learning.  I sincerely hope I’m learning until the day I expire, because if I’m not learning and growing, I’m already dying inside.

I know that not everyone feels that way.  Some folks go to work every day, come home to their family, and that’s about it.  Maybe their work forces them into educational opportunities from time to time, but otherwise they don’t have time for “continuing education”, at least not the way I desire.  To me that’s kind of sad, if they don’t have room in their life for a true passion, then to my eyes they are also already living their life as though they were dead.  Thoreau had it quite right when he said “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

In arranging my life as I have, in endeavoring to live life to it’s fullest, to embrace even my darker sides, I’ve learned to communicate pretty well.  In some cases I’ve learned to communicate too well I think.  I believe that, at times, I intimidate people because I do communicate so openly.  They aren’t used to the kind of dialogue I can maintain.

On occasion, the questions I ask aren’t always simple either.  BDSM is 90% mental.  The mindset going into a scene, and the mindset in a scene, are all critical to it’s success.  So, I want to crawl around inside my play partner’s brain before we play, I want to find out what makes them squirm.  That can lead to uncomfortable questions, and sometimes to even more uncomfortable answers.  Sometimes it even leads to problems.  It is possible to communicate too much, it seems, at least with some individuals.

And, more and more these days, when I am communicating, I’m also educating.  Serafina says I’m a natural teacher, and there’s at least a little truth to that observation.  My FetLife profile currently lists me as the mentor of four different people, that’s probably a conservative number.  It seems that no matter the audience, I’ll try to impart at least a little of what I’ve learned.

If a visitor in my home asks about my whips, they are likely to hear about the differences between a bullwhip, snake whip, stock whip, and signal whip.  I’ll likely get one and explain it’s anatomy.  From there I’ll go on to explain the whip’s uses in the dungeon, and perhaps display a few of throws I’ve learned.

“Oh, you mean the bullwhip?  That’s the whip with the braided handle, like Indiana Jones used.  The signal whip doesn’t have that handle, nor does it have the leather thong between the braided portion of the whip and it’s cracker.  The cracker (or popper) is the nylon twine at the end of it all.  Believe it or not, that’s the portion that makes the noise when the whip cracks.  I always use a removable popper, so nobody ever has to worry about being hit with a cracker that’s cut somone else.  As soon as I’ve finished using it on you I can remove it, and give it to you as a souvenir of the experience.”

Ask about my Neon Wand (a less powerful version of the Violet Wand that may be more appropriate for some folks who don’t desire the stronger sensations) and the treatment is similar.  I’ll talk about static electricity, it’s relative safety, and it’s erotic uses.  I’m likely to pull out the wand to demonstrate the various glass attachments in my kit.  If they aren’t camera shy, I’m likely to offer to get out my trusty Nikon, so I can create a souvenir of the demo.  Perhaps we can capture the spark as it flies . . .

The way I communicate with Serafina is different than that, yet similar.  We are more intimate.  I know her mind, have crawled around and explored it’s recesses like a spelunker.  We’ve been together for more than a decade now, yet, I still fall into the role of educator when we travel.

“Do you see the lay of the land over there, that bluff?  That’s a moraine, a relic of the ice age, it’s where the terminal edge of a glacier sat, dumping it’s load of rocky debris to form that ridge.”

And perhaps most tellingly, I rarely even call my floggers, canes, paddles, straps, and riding crops by the name “toys”, as many others in the lifestyle do.  To me they are ‘implements of instruction’.  That pretty well sums it up for me.  I’m a Master.  I’m a trainer.  I’m a mentor.  I’m an educator.  I’m many other things as well, but those are the roles I find myself in when exploring the joy of kink with my slave, friends, and leather family.

Who I am, the role I’m playing, will effect how I communicate.  There are many ways to get a point across, and it’s going to vary depending on who I’m communicating with, and what we are discussing.  Inside the context of a scene, that communication going to become even more diverse in it’s application.  The way I get a point across to a masochist is not the same as how I’d instruct someone who is submissive (but doesn’t crave more intense sensation).

Thank you all, for this opportunity to express myself.  This blog has become a way for me to communicate.  Which brings me back full circle to my introduction.  I know how to communicate because of my experience, because of all the things I’ve tried (and sometimes failed) or experimented with.  I’m always learning and growing, and with that, my ability to communicate with my partners, with an audience, and even with you my dear reader, continues to grow too.

I’ve learned to embrace who I am, to “own my kink” so to speak.  With that came the ability to talk about my passion without shame, or other unnecessary inhibition.  By embracing who I am, all sides of myself, even the ones most people prefer to remain hidden, I truly learned to communicate.  When you are ready (if you aren’t there already) I wish the same for you.

communicate and educate

communicate-and-educate

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Alone Together Again

Wicked Wednesday Prompt #95: Together

This entry is part 8 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

wicked wednesday

It’s Wednesday . . .  Again . . .

Time to get wicked!  Again!

Here is the week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt:

Together… what does this word mean to you?

Do you think of two people when you see the word? You and your lover, maybe? Or do you think of a group of people engaging in the same activity at the same time? Do you like to do things together with someone else, or do you prefer to do things alone? Or does it depend on what activity you are engaging in?

Share what the word ‘together’ means to you…

Some prompts I struggle with.  But not this one.  I’ve got this topic down without any real thought . . .

together with tribe & triad

I love my friends.  I really do.  I care about them passionately.  I want to help them all fulfill their fantasies. I’d like to enable them so that all their sexual dreams will come true.  They are my tribe, they are my family.  The lengths I’d go to for family are extraordinary.

But, to be very honest, when I think of the word – together – I think of time spent with my Serafina.  The times we spend with friends are truly extraordinary, because our friends enhance our lives together.  And, while I never want our time spent with friends to be at an end, when Serafina and I are alone together again, at the end of it all, is when the experience becomes golden.

Everything is better with her.  I just don’t know any other way to put it.  And, I really do mean that! Life is just that much better when Serafina is near.

We’ve been unusually close from the beginning.  I think I’ve mentioned before that Serafina originally joined me to be part of a triad?  Our former partner, BlissfulTorment, once commented that talking to Serafina and I was like speaking to two halves of the same whole.  It wasn’t meant as a compliment.  But I took it as one.  Serafina and I tend to think pretty much alike, and that makes everything so easy.  Well, most of the time.  I mean we are human, everyone has their moments.

It’s like Serafina was made for me.  Oh, I understood the concept of soul-mates before her, in fact I thought I’d found one in Ms Torment.  But Bliss was always restless, not to mention being very much bisexual.  We always had a girlfriend (or two) and we were always looking.  Well, until we met Serafina.  I’ll never forget Bliss coming home from her first visit to Serafina.  “Michael, she’s the one!” Bliss said as she stepped off the plane.

Ironically, Bliss turned out to be right, just not in the way she thought.  Serafina was “the one” for me, not for Bliss, and that became quickly apparent.  I’d pictured us happy together as a trio, it was Blissy’s dream perhaps more than my own.   It never quite came to pass.  Serafina and I ended up with each other, alone together.

alone together again

Serafina and I ended up with each other, alone together.  It’s been 12 years since we first met, and closing in on a decade since she freed herself of other commitments to come to me.  It’s been a glorious journey, and I look forward to more.  No matter how long it lasts, it will be too short.

Serafina is my slave, have no doubt about that.  But, she’s also my best friend.  She’s my lover.  She’s my wife too.  I have no doubt, she is my soul-mate.

That doesn’t mean I love my friends and playmates any less, it just means that I’m just not “home” without Serafina there.

Our time with our friends is marvelous, exciting, terrific fun.  I think that’s obvious from some of the pictures I post here.  But, you should know that it’s rare for those moments to actually be recorded.  The camera isn’t always at hand.

And that’s the same reason why our best moments as a couple are usually memories not captured on film (so to speak).  The very best moments come when Serafina and I are once more, alone together again.  Those times when I get to say, “I can’t wait to get alone together with you, girl.  Oh the things I’m going to do with you!”

alone-together-again---you-me-and-my-knife

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Priceless!

This entry is part 9 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

There’s breakfast all laid out!

Want some coffee?

Or just watch?

Enjoy another Wicked Wednesday!

BREAKFAST2

dots on my plate!

Thank you for participating and please, don’t forget to visit and read the other entries too! We all love to receive comments on our entries. Spread the love!

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Energy Antennae

Wicked Wednesday Prompt #98: Hunger

This entry is part 10 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

She is like an energy antennae.

I’ve never quite felt such a thing before.  The closest I’d ever recognized to it was around a famous author/publisher, who glows with a white light.

When I wrapped my arms around the girl that day, I felt her hunger.   It was inescapable.  A gnawing hunger that could not be satiated, or so it seemed.  Her energy glowed, but it was not white, it was muddied by the hunger.

I felt her need.  It was overpowering.  Wrapped in a glow of bright white energy, the need was like a vortex.  The empty hole of need created a whirlpool of darkness, threatening to swallow everything else.

Emanating from her head, a beautiful rainbow of energy essence.  The white light split into all it’s elements.

Yet at the vortex, at her feet, it was blacker than the darkest night.  The darkness threatened to swallow it all.

We all have shadows, a dark side that holds the hidden self, the parts of ourselves we put away because of pain, injury, despair, anger, and unfulfilled need.  The shadow needs expression, but it needs a tight leash.  I’ve learned to control the need, harness it, make it mine.  But could I teach her?  Could I help her?

But to teach and to help are not what I want.  I wish to possess her.  I wish to take her as my own.  It’s something we both need.  She is the energy antennae, and I am the ground.

If the energy swills endlessly, it will overpower, like lightning striking a real antennae.  Without a ground, the lightning will destroy.

Sitting in the corner, out of the way as much as I could be, I watched Alpha flog Serafina.  The girl in my arms closed her eyes and shuddered.

The swirling energy altered for a moment.  It was like a blip on a radar screen, the antennae in my arms absorbed the energy from thin air.

I held the girl in my arms, a little tighter still.  The energy was amplified, and fed back into the room.  The blackness at our feet pulsated smaller in size, for only moment, as the energy was fed back.  Then it returned, as strong as ever, black as ever.

hunger

Dark and vicious, the hunger wanted to lash back at me.  The hunger knew I was there to control it, even if the girl yet did not.  I knew the darkness could take the girl.  It had before, and it would again, if allowed.

That I cannot abide. I will not allow.  I want the light for my own.

“I am a man who gets what he wants.”  I said those words like an incantation, as if saying them would make them real.

The energy swirled round the room, transforming and amplifying, until it was like a thunderstorm indoors.

Serafina cried out in joy, in lust, in desire.  Alpha growled.  Lightning struck.  The girl in my arms shuddered, the energy flowed to ground through me.

For a moment, if only for a fleeting moment, the darkness disappeared.  The vortex was gone.  If only for a moment.

It returned.  Darkness is not defeated in a day, perhaps it’s never defeated.  But I now know I can tame it.  The secret exposed before me.

She will me mine.  I will put a leash on the darkness.  I will put a collar on her neck.

“I am a man who gets what he wants,” I said again, knowing I would make the words real.

energy antennae

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“S” is for Safe Sex

Wicked Wednesday Prompt #99: Safe sex

This entry is part 11 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

This week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt seems directed towards writers of erotica.  That’s a talent I do not claim to have.

I’m a non-fiction guy.  I blog about my life, my loves, my passions.

It’s hard for me to imagine a life more fulfilled than the one I’m living.  And there’s the rub.

I’m not interested in writing about a life less fulfilled then mine, and I’m not quite capable of imagining a life more fulfilled.  So, I don’t write fiction.

That makes the prompt for this week a little difficult for me . . .

What are some safe sex practices that you include in your writing? Do you think this bit of realistic sex should be captured in erotica? While many stories are fantastical, normalizing condoms, dental dams, for oral and penetrative sex can be educational to some readers. Try your hand at writing a piece about safe sex, perhaps one that meets the characters where they are at, for the forms of safe(r) sex run the gamut.

Because I write non-fiction, and not erotica, I write about safe sex as a simple matter of fact thing.  Because this isn’t fiction, it’s not a topic I need a prompt to post about.  In fact quite the opposite.

One of the earliest posts on this blog was Adventures in STD Screening, the story of visiting our local public health clinic for testing last year.  Soon after, when I had three other pieces on STD’s waiting to be published, Serafina asked me quietly, “Master, do you want people to think our blog is about STD’s?  There’s so much more you write about.”  She’s a wise woman, and her point was well taken.

I decided to post once a month on the topic of STD’s and safe sex.  In Feburary, I wrote about Super Gonorrhea, and the specter of antibiotic resistant STI’s someday being untreatable with the antibiotics we’ve all come to depend on for fighting an entire myriad of infections.  In March, I wrote about a slightly more whimsical subject, Ciguatera – When Food Poisoning Becomes a STD.

Now it’s April, meaning the prompt from Wicked Wednesday is timely, even if it isn’t directed so much at non-fiction bloggers.  I’ve got another essay, or two, on the topic in the wings waiting to be published, but today I just want to say a few things.  I’m just going to be blunt.

Safe sex matters.

Safe sex matters because of viruses like HIV and Hepatitis.  Safe sex matters because of bacterial STI’s like gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia.  Safe sex matters because health and lives are at risk.

People talk about “old guard leather” with reverence, wanting to take all sorts of lessons from their protocols and behaviors.  I don’t want to get into my feelings about that right now, because most of what people think “old guard” represents is a myth.  And, it seems to me that are forgetting the most important lesson of them all to be learned from that era and culture.

The reason the “old guard” myths even came into existence is that many of the “old guard” passed prematurely.  Their ranks were devastated by the spread of HIV.  Huge numbers of the “old guard” died horrible deaths caused by the ravages of AIDS.  They died for the same reasons people still have unsafe sex today.

Safe sex isn’t always convenient.  And, I’m going to be honest here, safe sex is not always hot either.  Oh we can pretend, we can even create prompts for writing fiction that celebrates the eroticism of safe sex.  But for some of us that’s going to fall flat.  Horribly flat.

We want to taste out lovers.  We want to feel their presence, in us, around us, or on us.  And not through a piece of fucking latex!  We want our lover’s essence inside us, or we want to plant our essence inside them.  It’s a basic human desire, and pretending otherwise, attempting to eroticize dental dams and condoms, is always going to fall flat with a certain audience.

I’m part of that audience.

I want to cum in my lover’s mouth, not into a latex scumbag.  I want to kiss her, my face coated and sticky with her juices.  I’m not going to settle for anything less.  I want to fuck her and cum in her, not into a piece of plastic.

But, the only way I can do that, and be safe, is to be very careful.  I can’t be indiscriminate, and I can’t be reckless.  It’s not just my health at risk, but my decisions effect Serafina.  My decisions will effect Sinnja too, now that she’s agreed to wear my collar.

That’s why I practice “polyamory” only inside the context of a loving committed relationship.  That’s why I work so hard to build real trust, and why I move carefully and cautiously in my play and sexual adventures.

Even as a committed polyamorist, there are ways for me to be free to practice so called “unsafe sex” and still be quite safe.  It’s called being “fluid bonded”.  People who are fluid bonded are essentially a closed circle of lovers who have agreed to limit any activities involving exposure to body fluids to within that circle.

There are nuances, as with anything in life.  Some fluid bonded circles are absolutely closed.  No sex allowed outside that circle.  Others allow safe sex outside the fluid bonded circle as long as condoms, dental dams, etc are used.

The biggest factor making a fluid bonded circle difficult to maintain is trust.  If anyone breaks the circle, suddenly everyone in the circle is at risk.  It takes extreme responsibility to be part of such a circle, no doubt about that.

But the rewards?  Well those are priceless . . .

“s” is for safe sex

safesex

My Leather Family Comes Full Circle

Wicked Wednesday Prompt #100: Full circle

This entry is part 12 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

I met Serafina back in 2002.  We hit it off immediately.  Sparks flew.  From the very first, the chemistry between us was perfect.

At the time, I was married to a gorgeous lady named BlissfulTorment.  I’d been together with Bliss for about a dozen years at that point.  As well as being my wife, Blissy was also my submissive.  Bliss and I had been poly for almost our entire relationship, but personality and circumstance had always conspired to keep me from my dream of having a poly leather family.

Not long after we met Serafina, she was invited to join our leather family, to form a BDSM triad with the name Samadhi.  It seemed there was no denying that the hand of fate had brought us together.

– – – – –

Circumstance denied me that apparent opportunity.  Fate wasn’t as kind as we’d all assumed she would be.

As an increasing amount of care-giving responsibilities crept into our lives due to a sick relative.  Bliss became less and less enamored of our potential future together.  The passing of Blissy’s 30th birthday seemed to set off a sense of her own mortality. As the milestone came and went, it made her realize that the fulfillment of her own dreams was slowly fading away under a barrage of my Mother’s doctor appointments and hospital visits.

Eventually Bliss left.  Serafina and I were left alone.  Suffice it to say that the ensuing breakup wasn’t pretty either.

I’d endeavored to always make parting ways with past lovers a conciliatory thing.  I don’t like burning bridges behind me to begin with, and if I’ve loved someone it’s pretty difficult to get me to the point where I’d wish them ill.  Blissy decided to go with a scorched earth policy, it wasn’t just bridges that were burnt, it seemed that everything came out of the breakup in cinders.

Most of all, Serafina felt burnt.

Oh, please do not misunderstand, Serafina was overjoyed to be able to partner with me and become my wife.  But, she felt very burned by the triad concept.  For the first time in her life she’d opened herself up to the possibilities of love and pleasure with another woman.  She had opened her heart only to have the women she was learning to love call her whore and homewrecker.

Serafina was devastated.  The pain was so great, she doubted that her heart could ever be open again to such an arrangement.  The breakup was so traumatic, Serafina was terribly afraid that to try again could cause our own relationship harm.  She vowed to never take those kinds of risks with her heart again.

It seemed my dream had burnt to the ground.

– – – – –

I met Sinnja in 2013.  We hit it off immediately.  Sparks flew.  From the very first, the chemistry between us was perfect.

At the time, I was married to a gorgeous lady named Serafina.  I’d been together with Serafina for about a dozen years at that point.  As well as being my wife, Serafina was also my submissive.

Not long after we met Sinnja, she was invited to join our leather family, with the intent that we would form a BDSM triad with the name Samadhi.  It seemed there was no denying that the hand of fate had brought us together.

Perhaps the story sounds familiar?

On the surface, everything looks pretty similar.  Well it is, and it isn’t.

– – – – –

I’ve learned a lot in the last dozen years, I’ve grown and matured dramatically.  I’m still the same Michael Samadhi that Serafina met for the first time in O’Hare Airport as I picked her up from her flight here from Canada, but a lot of the rough edges are gone.  I’ve been refined by the crucible of life.

Serafina, like a fine wine, has also improved with age.  The innocent girl who didn’t really know what BDSM meant is now an “elder” in the community.  Almost every day she gets an email, or a note at FetLife, from newbies wanting to know more about BDSM or poly.

My life has changed too.  I no longer work in politics so I don’t feel much need to hide who I am or what I do.  Serafina was introduced to everyone as our friend who was going through a tough divorce, we were portrayed as giving her support and comfort during that difficult time.

If necessary, would could present our relationship with Sinnja in the same light.  But, with one or two minor exceptions, I simply don’t feel the need.  What I do in my bedroom is my own business, I don’t feel the need to flaunt my sexual preferences before strangers, but I’m not going to hide who I am anymore either.

The other day when Sinnja came to visit, I was in the front yard practicing with my bullwhip when she arrived.  We all hugged and kissed without regard for the potential prying eyes of my neighbors.  If kissing a woman who’s not my wife on my own front lawn perhaps might shock the neighbors, I’m not going to give it much worry.  If an obviously passionate extended hug between Sinnja and Serafina offends anyone’s sensibilities, they do have the option not to look, ya know . . .

Fate’s always an unknown, and it’s usually easier to see a clear path for others than it is our own.  But, I’d like to think I’ll get it right this time.  I’d like to think I’ve more come more than full circle.

my leather family comes more than full circle

fullcircle

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

There Once Was a Chance I Didn’t Take

Wicked Wednesday Prompt #101: A chance

This entry is part 13 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

There once was a chance I didn’t take, now that is history.

I learned my lesson the hard way, the loss is now on me.

There once was a chance I didn’t take, and now I’ll never know.

Perhaps I lacked the courage, my self esteem was low.

There once was a chance I didn’t take, and now I’ll never see.

What fate and chance had destined, what was in store for me.

There once was a chance I didn’t take, I couldn’t find my way.

And now it’s too late for regrets, there’s nothing I could say.

There once was a chance I didn’t take, my daring failed me.

When you chance comes make no mistake, you should not follow me.

there once was a chance I didn’t take

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Beyond Considering Sinnja

Wicked Wednesday Prompt #103: Consider(ing)

This entry is part 14 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

I’ve written before about our new love Sinnja.  In fact, it seems that she’s been all over the blog for the last few weeks.  It’s fairly rare to find a post that she’s not mentioned in during that time span.

Well, I’m here to talk about the relationship again.  Imagine that, right?

The Wicked Wednesday prompt this week couldn’t come at a more timely point for me, as the word “considering” is on my mind right now, at least it was on my mind until this past weekend.

There was a change in my status at Fetlife over the weekend.  I went from “considering” Sinnja to being listed as her dominant instead.  It’s actually a more meaningful step than might be realized from the vanilla connotation of the words involved.  And, in the end, that’s what this post is about, what it means to move beyond “considering” a submissive.

Collar of Consideration

The “collar of consideration” is often the first collar given as a part of a BDSM relationship.  It indicates a basic commitment by the individuals involved, a commitment to explore the relationship.  Although it’s not perfect, the best description I’ve seen written so far came from F.R.R. Mallory’s old Steel Door website, that’s now disappeared.  Here’s an excerpt from that piece:

The first collar offered is called the ‘Collar of Consideration’. This identification comes from the Old Guard Leather community, the same source of the Safe, Sane and Consensual code. This Collar is traditionally given at the very beginning of a potential relationship. There are many variations on how a collar may be represented in actuality. It can be by a bracelet, waist chain, anklet or other choice. This is sometimes determined by the situation of the submissive such as job requirements etc. Sometimes it is dictated by the Dominant’s personal taste. The traditional or customary representation of the ‘Collar of Consideration’ is a leather collar in some shade of blue. The actual shade of color is not as important as the color itself.

The Dominant by offering this collar to the submissive is expressing an interest in pursuing a potential furthering of a relationship with that submissive beyond the range of a casual acquaintance or even the relationship between a Top and bottom. This collar is offered seriously and with intent. The submissive in accepting this collar from the Dominant is equally serious in their understanding that their relationship has moved into a different stage. The existence of the Collar of Consideration indicates to other Dominant’s and submissives that the Dominant and submissive are forming a potentially serious relationship. It’s existence acts to openly present to other Dominant’s that this submissive is ‘off-limits’ for the duration of the ‘consideration’ period and that honorable Dominant’s should not pursue this submissive in any manner.

It is understood that new relationships are fragile and vulnerable to both parties involved. Respect for new relationships is shown by adhering to the presence of collars and their underlying meanings. The ‘Collar of Consideration’ does not indicate a lifelong commitment between the Dominant and submissive but might be better considered to be similar to a pre-engagement ring.

I’m Facebook friends with Ms. Mallory, so I don’t want to get too far into the territory of criticizing, or deconstructing, another author’s work.  That especially true for someone who I consider to be a sort of casual friend.  Just let me say that the “Safe, Sane and Consensual” credo is not an old guard invention at all, it’s newer than that IMHO.  The first paragraph is full of issues like that.  That part of the essay I generally disagree with, but, plenty of that excerpt is spot on.  Otherwise I’d not have bothered to share it with you, my dear reader.

Essentially, the collar of consideration is the high school equivalent of “going together”.  Instead of wearing a class ring around the neck, it’s a collar.  I don’t want to diminish the collar of consideration by comparing it to a high school tradition, certainly the collar of consideration is more adult and serious than teenage “love”.  With that said, it is what it is.  The collar of consideration is a step up from being play partners.   The collar of consideration indicages a sort of conditional commitment.  It says, at least from my viewpoint, that the individuals involved are exploring the relationship, but it’s too new to be truly serious.

Beyond Considering Sinnja

The relationship between Serafina, Sinnja and myself is still relatively new.  We’ve only known Sinnja since December, that’s just six months.  And, a lot of that time wasn’t devoted to building a friendship, or relationship, it was instead occupied dealing with the most severe Midwestern winter in my lifetime.  We’ve only been “playing” with Sinnja for a couple of months now.

But the “play” has been pretty serious, and relatively extensive.  We’ve found a wonderful chemistry, not just between Sinnja and I, but also between she and Serafina.  We’ve spent every weekend together in that time, and the “weekends” just keep getting longer and longer.  Our recent Mischief in May weekend lasted from Thursday until Tuesday, and what a marvelous time together it was!

We’ve shared.  We’ve discovered things about each other.  We’ve discovered things about ourselves too.  We’ve grown, and we’ve grown together.  We find ourselves making very serious plans together.  Plans that involve far more than weekends and festivals together.

We’ve already grown far beyond simple consideration.  It was time to acknowledge how far we’ve progressed.

The first step was a small private ceremony.

I spoke simply of how we’ve obviously moved beyond considering each other, and that it was time to officially acknowledge for the rest of the world what we already knew ourselves.  The exact words I spoke were private.  I won’t share them here.

No matter the words I used, the point was simple.   Now it’s just a question of working out the details.  We are far beyond considering!

considering

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Slippery Slopes and Trigger Warnings

Wicked Wednesday Prompt #104: Trigger warnings

This entry is part 16 of 22 in the series Wicked Wednesday

not all triggers are on guns

This week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt is about triggers . . .

trigger-warnings1

The above screenshot comes from an article of The Guardian, which was linked on Twitter. If you have anything to say about trigger warnings, now is your chance. But you might want to read the article first.

The Guardian’ s article is (obviously) about the growing movement to attach “trigger warnings” to works of literature.  It’s a very good read, and as Marie said, you really should take a couple minutes to take it in, if you haven’t already.

In case you aren’t terribly familiar with the concept of “triggers”, here’s a quote from Wikipedia’s introduction to the concept of trauma triggers.

A trauma trigger is an experience that triggers a traumatic memory in someone who has experienced trauma. A trigger is thus a troubling reminder of a traumatic event, although the trigger itself need not be frightening or traumatic.

Triggers can be quite diverse, appearing in the form of individual people, places, noises, images, smells, tastes, emotions, animals, films, scenes within films, dates of the year, tones of voice, body positions, bodily sensations, weather conditions, time factors, or combinations thereof. Triggers can be subtle and difficult to anticipate, and can sometimes exacerbate post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition in which sufferers cannot control the recurrence of emotional or physical symptoms, or of repressed memory.  A trauma trigger may also be referred to as a trauma stimulus or a trauma stressor.

A trauma trigger can can manifest in a variety of forms from exhibiting a changed mental state or physical reactions. A person that is experiencing a trauma trigger may not even know this is happening.

I think that should serve as an adequate introduction to triggers for the uninitiated.   And for those inevitably unwilling to follow the link to the Guardian article, let me quote the article’s summation:

There is something more important than a society that’s free from pain. It’s a society in which we feel. That, of course, is the intention of art itself: it’s not meant to shield us from pain so much as offer a vessel through which we can cope, grow and even move past tragedy. If we warn people with a flashing red light that inside great works of literature they are likely to find pain, we do a disservice to the conversations, and the healing, meant to come through the act of reading itself.
~ Jen Doll | theguardian.com | Tuesday 20 May 2014

And, before completing this introduction let me also add one more resource.  It should be noted (and was by incredible Molly Moore of Molly’s Daily Kiss) that a New York Times article on the same topic actually preceded the May 20, 2014 piece by the Guardian.  By Jennifer Medina, it was titled Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm.

In terms of journalism, The NY Times article is far more the more balanced of the two.  The Guardian’s piece is more editorial in it is reporting, yet I find myself liking it more, as censorship isn’t a topic where my view is balanced.

trigger warnings are just a step down the slippery slope of censorship

If you are interested in what’s undoubtedly better quality writing on this topic, please go read the Wicked Wednesday posts that have already been made by Cara Sutra, Trigger warnings on books will censor emotional responses in the great reading experience, and Molly Moore, “Danger, Will Robinson!”.  They are rational and wise, where all I am feeling on this topic today is bad emotion.

My take on the trend towards trigger warnings will be neither balanced nor fair.  I can’t discuss this topic rationally.  It’s a pet peeve.

I despise censorship.  I hate it in all it’s forms, as it’s just a way for one person to impose their views upon another.  I don’t want to be inflammatory, but at it’s heart, censorship is intellectual fascism.

Censorship is also a slippery slope, once started down the path it’s not always possible to stop the descent from partial to total censorship.

no we aren’t talking roy rogers’ horse . . . but we could be!

I want to argue against trigger warnings first in the simple name of efficacy.  Almost anything can be a trigger, as Wikipedia points out.  The key quotation is, “Triggers can be quite diverse, appearing in the form of individual people, places, noises, images, smells, tastes, emotions, animals, films, scenes within films, dates of the year, tones of voice, body positions, bodily sensations, weather conditions, time factors, or combinations thereof. Triggers can be subtle and difficult to anticipate . . . ”

Diverse, subtle, and difficult to anticipate?  Sounds pretty hard to avoid, doesn’t it?

Censoring great literature harms only the literature, and may actually protect no one.  Memories never truly go away, they just disappear from the conscious mind to reside in our subconscious.  Therefore triggers, by their very nature aren’t going to be easy to avoid.  The subconscious mind has a way of breaking out and delivering it’s message no matter how much we might wish to repress it.

Sure, a trigger warning might prevent a passage in Shakespeare from causing someone to remember a trauma.  But in the end, the trauma doesn’t go away, it’s going to resurface, just with a different trigger.  Under that scenario, literature is harmed, and no one is really protected as a result.

What’s the point?

FetLife, censorship, trigger warnings, and me

My biggest problem with censorship is that one person’s vile, repugnant, and/or intolerable rant, is going to be another  individual’s vital information.

For instance, I find FetLife’s rule about never mentioning underage sexual activity to be difficult.  It’s not that I’m in favor of sexualizing childhood, I’m not!  But, let’s be serious – a great many of us were sexual at an age we could never mention at FetLife.  I know FetLife has reason’s for it rules, but that doesn’t mean that I agree, and can completely abide by even that form of censorship.

I am a sex abuse survivor.  All of my abuse happened before the legal age of consent in my state.  So I can’t discuss the details openly at FetLife.  I can give generalized warnings, but to go into specifics of the “seduction” and of  the abuse would violate the sites TOS.

I lost my virginity at age 13.  I will write openly about that here at my own blog, but to do so at FetLife would violate their terms of service.  My first experience combining bondage, sex, and submission was at age 17.  That’s beyond the age of consent in my state, but it’s still within the realm of US and Canadian laws regarding child pornography.  As such, real discussion of the topic is forbidden at the world’s largest social network for kinky deviants like myself.

I think there is important information to be shared from my youthful experiences.  Just because they happened when I was young doesn’t make the experience any less valid.  Writing about those experiences could be helpful to a youth who finds themselves in a similar position.  There are things I might have done to avoid the abuse I suffered, if only I’d known.  And there’s the biggest rub for me, in censoring information we find distasteful, we begin to imagine that the world is not a distasteful place to live.

I’m sorry but abuse happens.  Child abuse happens.  Sexual abuse happens.  Terrible violent things are done in the name of religion, faith, misguided belief, superstition, fear, greed, and lust.  I’m very sorry, but closing our eyes to them isn’t going to make them less likely to happen.

in protecting myself, I’m a censor, and hypocrite too

I just realized something.  And it’s a little disturbing.

My blog carries a warning.  To protect myself there’s a disclaimer at the point where a person enters my site asking that those under the age of 18 turn away.  Everything I just said about providing information for youth in trouble is rendered moot if they observe the terms of my warning.

That bothers me.  It bothers me a lot.

While it may not be a trigger warning, it’s yet another kind of censorship.  It’s an example of what I just found myself ranting against, as I said that I dislike censorship in all it’s forms.

My final point is that it’s easy to point fingers, but perhaps a bit harder to put ourselves under the microscope.

I understand why I can’t discuss my teenage exploits at FetLife, they don’t want the legal liability they would incur in hosting such a discussion.  I’m comfortable discussing generalities about my background here at my own blog, although I am careful to never give specifics about the sex acts from that time.  There are lines I won’t cross either.  But that doesn’t mean others should not be free to cross them, should they wish.

I believe in real freedom of expression, I hate censorship with a passion.  Yet, I stand before you revealing myself to be a censor and a hypocrite too.  The world itself sometimes forces us into compromises we don’t like, so it’s not always clear where to draw lines.  We all do the best we can, and hope . . .

the truth is complex, and it’s not pretty

Trigger warnings themselves are nothing but a step down the slippery slope of censorship, the path to book banning and burning.

In part, that’s true because the modern world is a wildly confusing place.  The terrible things humanity is capable of are astounding. The wonderful things humanity is capable of are equally astounding.  We must acknowledge both sides of that coin.

If we don’t recognize the former, if we turn a blind eye to all that disturbs, we might actually detract from the later.  In other words, we can’t celebrate the great achievements and accomplishments of humanity without putting them also into the context of some of our least attractive adventures.

The pinnacles we achieve only show their real height when we also acknowledge the depths from which we’ve come.

trigger-warnings1

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked