Tag Archive for Authenticity

Why Queer?

Recently I changed my profile on FetLife to state that my orientation is “Queer.” This does not actually reflect a change in who I like to have sex with or what turns me on.  It does reflect a growth in my understanding of myself and how I interact with the world around me. How I got to this place in my sexual identity is a bit of a journey and I would like to take a minute to share that.

My first romantic experiences were with my BFF in grade school. She and I were attached at the hip sort of friends. We fought like cats and dogs, we adventured out and around the little harbor town we lived in, and we stirred up way too much trouble.  I still remember the day, Valentine’s Day actually, that our parents were not paying enough attention to us in our opinions and we embarked on intentionally getting as drunk as we possibly could on the liquor in my Mom’s stash. This all ended with her attempting to walk/jog through the glass sliding door at my house, braking her nose, nearly bleeding out from the huge cuts she got, and having the doctor at the ER tell her mom that she almost died from alcohol poisoning. It was a crazy thing for kids to be doing but life was rough for each of us, our families were broken dysfunctional messes, and we were young and stupid. Aside from our wild times finding trouble, we also touched each other and kissed and cuddled.  All of that seemed natural. We loved each other in our own way and neither of us thought we were doing anything romantic, we were just playing.

Through my younger years, I often had a close friend who was a girl who I would kiss and fool around with but that was different than when I started having sex with guys. That is how I saw it, I was just doing what seemed reasonable with my friends who were girls and having actual ‘real’ sex with guys. I had no frame of reference. I had no internet to tell me what sex was.  I had no class in school that explained what sex between women looked like. I had no friends who identified as lesbian.  I had a few friends who quietly admitted they were gay but again, that sex seemed like ‘real’ sex to me because sex was defined by penises in my mind. I honestly never thought about what sex between two women would look like. It wasn’t a concept I had any framework for.

In my house growing up, being gay was described as a terrible horrible thing.  I had a Great Uncle who had lived in a closeted relationship with his ‘friend’ for 20+ years.  My family was embarrassed and spoke very rude things about him when he wasn’t around. They were not terribly kind even when he was in the room.  His partner was never at any family functions.  My grandmother spoke of him, her only brother, as though he was her dependent child whom she needed to protect from himself. When his partner died, my grandmother refused to allow my aging Great Uncle to attend his funeral because, “it wouldn’t look right.” My father constantly degraded what he called ‘the gays’ and would make terrible jokes about them.  When my older brother was arrested, multiple times, became addicted to drugs, failed and dropped out of high school, and ran away from home over and over again my father would always chase him down and try to get him out of trouble. Hiring lawyers and whatever it took to try to help him. 

Dad always said, “No matter what you do you are always my son.”  That all changed when my brother came home from running away and introduced my father to his lover, Cornelius. Once my brother said, “I’m gay,” Dad never treated him the same.  I remember my Dad saying, “He is so far gone that now he thinks he is gay, he is not my son that I raised anymore.” My understanding of what being gay meant was warped and negative.  I had no actual understanding, only fear and hate taught to me.

As an adult, I had lots of kids very young and became a very isolated radical believer in a conservative religion. For ten years I had no further opportunities to learn about sexuality.  I worked very hard to suppress any sexuality I had that might exist outside of the ‘marriage bed.’ In that bed, our particular version of faith taught anything was fair game.  It never occurred to me to have sexual anything with anyone, male or female or trans person or other, except for my God given loser of a husband. Even in that restricted sexual world I was kinky as hell and had no idea that is what I was.  I really thought all people had rough sex all the time. Choking, getting tied up, watersports, etc…all of that I assumed was normal and just not spoken about on Sunday morning.

When I finally got out of that marriage and came to the community, I really had no tools to define or understand myself with.  I explored swinging and anonymous internet hook ups, BDSM, and power exchange.  It was all a wild rush of freeing sexual experiences. Multiple men in my bed was wonderful and exciting and felt very liberating from the years of blindness induced by my own efforts to follow a faith. Eventually I also shared my body, my bed, my sexuality with a few women as well. Here and there, nothing romantic. Just part of the hedonistic joy I was finding in sex.

Then Master came into my life and we began our relationship together.  Very early in our friendship he had questioned me as to why I identified as heterosexual. We had long talks about it. I was convinced I was straight, mostly because I didn’t have any idea what else I would be. He asked me if I had ever had sex with a woman.  My honest answer was, “No, never.”  He looked at me sideways and asked about several experiences with women that he knew I had had. I said, again honestly, “Oh, that isn’t sex…there was no penetration.”  I thought he was going to fall out of his chair.  I really could not understand what was so funny. He talked with me for a long time about sex between women and asked basic questions I had never considered. Things like, “Well then, how do two women have sex?” and “What is sex?”

It wasn’t that I thought sex between women was bad or that sex between any types of people was bad.  I love sex!  All sex. I just had never stopped to think about the basics and I guess the community around me never thought to say, “Hey are you naïve beyond reason and we just don’t know it.”  Because really who would think a woman in her 30s in the kink community with all sorts of partners wouldn’t know what sex was. Looking back I find myself amazed at how naïve I really was. 

After those talks, I recognized that I had been having sex with men, women, and genderfluid folks for as long as I had been having sex. I realized that throughout my life I had often been assumed to be a lesbian. I could remember half a dozen women who had really gotten confused and pissed when I said I was straight after they had been involved in what they surely thought was courtship and some of them a sexual relationship with me.  I had been chided for being “a breeder” which I didn’t understand. I had held a couple of women in my arms as they cried about me not entering into a ‘relationship’ with them while I didn’t understand what was going on at all.

I wasn’t trying to be mean.  I wasn’t trying to be stupid. I just had no idea what they saw in me or what they wanted from me. I was dense. Well, better put, I was ignorant.

After Master helped me understand what I had been doing my whole life, I started to identify my orientation as ‘bisexual.’ During the past year though I began to feel that wasn’t really right either.  Last year at WIL-Fest I had some amazing energy exchanges with women.  I once again found myself learning what ought to have been obvious to me but simply wasn’t…I was attracted to people.  Not genders.  I was attracted to their energy, how they felt to me, how my body and mind and spirit responded to them.  Gender was completely not a factor for me in who and what turned me on…it is the way they ‘feel.’

Energy and energy-sex are things I have little ability to describe.  After a year of exploring energy-sex and entering into a relationship with someone who really engages in energy as sexuality I finally realized that is what does it for me. I am neither bi nor het, I am something else. Queer fits how my sex orients.

Master was reluctant to allow me to identify as queer for several reasons.  First and foremost, he is a words man.  Words have power and he was not comfortable with the word ‘queer’ because it is a relatively new term and not clearly defined.  Some people see ‘queer’ as a community affiliation, some see it as meaning ‘confused’, some see it as being attracted to all types of people. He wasn’t sure it would be clear.  He felt ‘bisexual’ indicated logically that I am sexually attracted to both women and men.  Clear and clean.

He also was not comfortable with the notion that I might be viewed as taking on some sort of trendy identity that the Queer community would not welcome me to share. He has great respect for the GLBTQ community and would not want to seem to be usurping a word or term that many before us had worked so hard to empower.

That was until we sat on the patio this past weekend at Southeast LeatherFest and engaged in hours of conversations about gender, orientation, and identity. We talked with our friends about my desire to identify myself as queer.  Some said no, that I wasn’t queer because ‘queer’ means “Queer as folk” and “you with him looking like a het couple just isn’t queer to me.” 

Back and forth the conversation went until our friend Master Ian finally said, “Would you have sex with a woman?” “Yes” “A man?” “Yes” “A trans man?” “Yes” “A gender fluid person?” “Yes.”  Master Ian turned to Master and said, “That isn’t a binary…it isn’t one of two choices…she isn’t Bisexual.” Master nodded and smiled.  He recognized that he learned an important lesson about gender and orientation identities and about shaking away all those old enculturated biases we don’t even know we have. 

The lens we each see the world through is never as clear and crisp as we imagine.  Master is always willing and open to learning when he has a perspective that he hasn’t recognized as bias. His leadership over my life is fueled by his own growth and self-exploration.  He is an amazing man. After that conversation he agreed that yes I am queer and I feel happy and centered in my sexuality in a way I never have before. Making that change on my FetLife profile is trivial compared to the journey I took to get there.

I am a slave and I am queer. I am so thankful that I have a life that encourages me to learn and grow.

Plotting

Assignment Essay:

Master assigned me a task recently. He said that I was to write him an essay expressing the nature of what it feels like to be owned in the everyday. He commented that he wanted it to be erotic. Formatting was impacted by the fact that this was written to be read aloud as an ‘entertainment’ piece during our recent Immersion gathering of MAsT Austin.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He has been at it for days…maybe weeks. Must be weeks now that I think of it.

Memories surface.

Him sitting outside smoking with a far off expression. He seems to be miles away. “What are you thinking about, Sir?” I ask. With that knowing grin and lusty spark in his eye he says, “Nothing for you to know about until Friday.” I feel a shiver dart up my spine.

We are gathering our family for dinner. The kids chatter and bounce around washing hands, setting the table, arguing about who is getting a drink for who. “Almost Friday you know,” he quietly whispers as he passes me to take his seat at dinner. I blush but he is cool and collected. No one else hears or knows he is inside my soul tinkering for his amusement.

“Have I told you how much I want to consume you?” he asks softly as he takes my hand into his at the end of a long day. “Not today Sir,” I reply. “Well, I want to consume you entirely.” A raspy growl accompanies his smile now, “It is almost time you know.” I squirm in my suddenly warm seat and he chuckles.

He plots.

The plotting, he has said, is one of his favorite parts. He has been at it it seems since the day he first met me. Plotting is one of the pleasures he indulges himself in and tortures me with. The not knowing is painful. He relishes the curiosity that tweaks at my thoughts constantly.

He sprinkles our conversations with reminders that give away nothing…. yet serve to keep raw my desire to know and my fear. He flicks innocent words that light my mind as expertly as he can flick a whip to light my skin. He pinches my subconscious for his amusement.

Only a few moments now…or will it be minutes…longer? I lay panting in anticipation. Just a minute ago I was downstairs, sitting with him, watching the game.

Some timer must have gone off inside him…I silent alarm triggered. DING! He simply stood, wordless, grabbed my hair and yanked me to my feet. Stumbling behind him as he drug me up the stairs. I cried a little as some of my hair gave way to him and yanked free of my head. The sobs left my mouth and could have disappeared like the sound of a tree falling alone in the woods for all I know…he did not even glance.

My tears are just decorations on his property.

I am kneeling face against the mattress…naked? How quickly he made that happen. He pulled off my clothes with wicked efficiency. So suddenly I hardly realized what was happening until it was done, nothing but reddened cloth-burns to show he has done anything at all. Now the chill in the room feels arctic as I shutter in fear. I am panting and wet.

So quickly he has dispatched me, I am stunned and awestruck.

I am a rabbit dangling by one painful leg from the perfectly hidden snare.

I can hear him walk to the bedside. I do not turn to look. I want to look, need to look… but I know better. He was very clear after he shoved my face down into the mattress and swatted my ass until it rose to the height he deemed fit. He said only, “Do not move,” and walked away. I long to turn my head and look to see what is making that rustling sound. Why do I smell leather and alcohol? Was that a click of metal or a chink of glass?

I do not move.

My will is not my own.

My body is not my own.

I am shuttering and frozen. I listen for every hint of a sound but am only truly aware of my own breathing. Each muscle hums with fierce tension.

I am high voltage wire that he has electrified. I am his conduit, I am his.

The shock of his fingers brushing my side gently flies through me as lightening. I nearly fall from my kneel as my body leaps away from his spark but he grabs a handful of my ass and steadies his property back into the place he has plotted to have it be.

I feel leather swat against my hip. Then again. The rhythm builds and I sway slightly under it. I feel pain warming then boiling then icy. Time? Does it go by? Is it seconds or hours?

I am only now.

I hear him grunting now as he blazes his will across my flesh. The rhythm is primal, my heart beats to it, my heart bends to his rhythm. I have no idea what he might be using to inflict this on me. Is it leather? Metal? Rope? Glass? No thoughts to that anymore. No thoughts at all any more.

My mind and body are in shock and chaos. His mind and body are focused and intense. Yin and yang. Master and slave.

Suddenly He is inside me. Impaling me with his lustful appetite.

I am base instinct, life transmuting into blazing conscience.

I am undone. I weep, scream, claw at the mattress trying to escape. No chance. He pegs me to him and uses me deeply.

I feel my soul spinning out of control toward the edge of oblivion, then suddenly the snap as I hit the end of the leash, I feel him centering. I become locked in orbit around him. He spins me around him like a slingshot.

Wild chaos and madness pull me outward as his authority draws me back.

I am centrifugal energy without bounds.

I am only fire.

I am consumed by the blaze of his power.

I am nothing.

I am his gasp of ecstasy.

And this is only Tuesday.

On Werewolves, Slaves, and Other Fantasy Creatures

The classic question too often posed to slaves: What if your Master told you to [insert random crazy ass no one in their right mind would do action] would you do it?

You can fill in that blank with any of a myriad of things each more nutty that the last.

Jump off a bridge: The classic homage to your mother’s line of, “If your friends jumped off a bridge would you?”

Commit suicide: This one has many variations, my favorite was “disembowel yourself,” but any self termination fits here.

Kill someone: Again variations on this with descriptions of the victim the slave is called to kill including the slave’s children, the Master, strangers, or political figures.

Commit some other crime: Rob a bank, steal a car, mug someone, jaywalking, etc.  You are really only limited by your imagination here.

Ok so why are folks so fascinated by these imagined quandaries?  More often than not, these types of questions are posed by someone who is not in a 24/7 M/s relationship.  They are trying to understand what the heck being a slave really means. They feel that slavery is somehow totally unrealistic and the notion of being owned by someone in our modern society seems pretty crazy.

They do not see how or even why a person in a Western culture would sign over the deed to their entire life to another person. For many folks, M/s looks a whole lot like a false pretense of insisting your fantasy is somehow real. Imagine some who insists that they really do have invisible wings that no one else can see, or that they are not just into puppy play but are a fully fledged werewolf who literally can mutate into a wolf anytime they want. Most folks, upon hearing these sorts of claims, would cry “Shenanigans!” and who can blame them?

That last one about the werewolf I have actually encountered.  With great seriousness a young man explained to me that this was his reality. That he could at will transform into a wolf. I decided to avoid any sort of detailed discussion of said “werewolf” ability but my first thought was, “Ok, show me.” Being somewhat familiar with how upsetting reality testing can be for someone with a delusion, I decided to just nod and say, “Ah ok cool,” and wander off to visit with different less lupine people.

Is my statement that I am a slave really all that different?  Granted it is different in that I am not claiming to shape-shift which would seem to violate all sorts of physical and biological laws, but in some ways it seems equally fanciful.  In a country where legalized slavery does not exist, in a society where individual responsibility is an expectation, in a culture where women and minorities have sacrificed their lives to attain freedom, I, a middle class white American woman, claim to be ‘a slave’ to my Master.

What does that mean?  I can’t blame a reasonable person for asking the reality testing rational questions I mentioned above. Moreover, I can’t blame anyone for questioning lots of other less extreme things, for example:

What if your Master decided to cheat on you?

What if your Master became an alcoholic?

What if your Master abused you? Is that even possible?

What if your Master violates your consent?

What if you are going through a difficult time and just don’t feel like doing what your Master demands of you?

What if you have a bad moment, hour, or day and talk back to your Master?

What if your Master really pisses you off?

These are not the first questions folks pose, but they are questions that are reasonable to wonder about. What does 24/7 slavery look like in the everyday world of going through life? Here is really where the heart of the “Shenanigans” cry comes from.  How can you claim to be something that is so contrary to being a free willed individual?

Being a slave in an M/s dynamic is a voluntary choice.  It is my free will decision. There is not a bill of sale or legally binding contract that requires me to be a slave.  There is no societal requirement that I be a slave. There is no familial obligation that I am a slave.  I simply choose to be enslaved. I can try to express in words why I personally feel that my slavery is now permanent, why I know in my core that I am not ever going to reject my position as slave or change my mind about belonging to my Master, but the words will fall short of ‘proof.’ For me, it is similar to my self-identity as a mother, an American, or a woman.  I could no more change those things than I could change that I am my Master’s slave but I came to this identity of my own free will.

Have I convinced anyone that I am a slave any better than my good friend the werewolf convinced me he could shape-shift? Probably not.  Did I answer all those nagging questions about what if? Not at all. Am I a slave? Yes.

Still you may find yourself calling “Shenanigans” and to that all I can say is let me show you. If my werewolf friend had been able to transform into a wolf man before my very eyes, I would believe he was indeed a werewolf.  The evidence in front of my eyes would be indisputable. I am living as my Master’s slave. Watch me, see me, get to know me, and I think you will see that I am not imagining a fantasy but I am living my identity.

The Gift of Death

One of the earliest memories I have is from when I was 4 years old.  I remember my mother being very upset and then leaving for several days.  I remember her explaining to me that my great grandmother had died and that she was going to go back home to go to her funeral.  I can still remember my mother’s face; her puffy tear filled eyes looking searchingly at me.  I remember feeling like it was all okay and that I understood that she needed to go. I felt that death was important. After all, I knew what death was since I had had several pet frogs and a cat die. As much as a 4 year old can, I understood that death must be attended to and honored.

By the time I was 10, I was living with my father and his second wife hundreds of miles away from my mother.  My mother called my father in a panic and explained that her father had just died and he needed to send me back to Indiana to attend the funeral. He refused and they had a huge fight about it. I remember he told me my grandfather died as part of explaining to me why it was so unreasonable that my crazy mother would expect him to foot the bill for an airline ticket. That is how at 10 years old I learned that death causes anger and frustration.

When I was 15 my father took our family on a sailing trip for several weeks.  When we returned to our home dock, the harbor attendant was waiting for us anxiously with a note.  My father called his sister from the club house at the marina and found out my 17 year old cousin had died in a shooting accident.  Dad left for the airport without changing clothes and went to be with our extended family. It turned out that my cousin had been playing Rambo style roughhousing with several of my other cousins and thought it would be funny to get out my uncle’s service revolver as a prop.  Somehow he managed to trip down a flight of stairs and shot himself in the head.  He died in my cousin’s arms within moments. The family was devastated.  I was confused by the whole tale.  How was this a ‘shooting accident?’ Who thinks an actual gun is roughhousing fun?  I was dismayed that my father seemed to carry on with this ‘shooting accident’ explanation of the events leading to my cousin’s death and so at 15 I learned that death is often shrouded with false history for the conveniences of those still living.

At 18 I gave birth to my first child.  He was born after a long drawn out dramatic process that ended in an emergency C-section late in the evening.  In the morning, as I fumbled to figure out what exactly a new mom was supposed to be doing to care for a newborn my stepmother arrived at my hospital room. I asked where my father was and she did not offer an explanation. This was striking because through the entire trials and tribulations of the prior day, my father had been present and more than accounted for.  He was constantly asking doctors and nurses ten questions and stressfully hovering over me and eventually my newborn. So where the Hell had he gone?  I couldn’t imagine why he would be absent.  He called me a few hours later and broke the news that my 16 year old cousin, the youngest brother of the aforementioned now deceased cousin, had committed suicide in the night as I delivered my son. Several weeks later my aunt, mother of three sons, two of them now dead, came to see me and my new baby.  I thought it odd that she would be up to traveling so soon after burying her youngest child until it became painfully obvious why coming to see my baby was so pressing.  She had decided that her son had committed suicide so that he could be re-born as my son.  Wow, talk about creeping out a too young mother who was already pretty freaked out by the totality of the situation. This time at the ripe old age of 18 I learned that death can make you crazy with grief.

When I was 24 I got a call one morning from my mother’s brother.  In a ragged voice he told me, “She’s gone, she died, your mother, she died in her sleep, she’s gone.”  I remember falling to the floor and wailing, collapsed from the weight of the shock and loss. I was undone in that moment like never before. I had just had my second child, a daughter, and my mother was scheduled to come and visit her for the first time just two days from then.  I was grief stricken and suddenly understood that phrase was more than a poetic term. That was when I learn that death strips you naked and has its way with you. Death is overwhelming.

At age 32 I had just entered into my final semester of undergraduate school.  I had four children by this point and was working my ass off to finally get my act together and be a responsible member of society as my father would have put it. Dad called me one evening and explained that he had stage four lung cancer.  The doctors had decided they could not operate and Dad was going to try an experimental chemo. I once again felt Death the Great Overwhelmer clawing at my sanity. I pulled myself together and offered to come to help.  He declined and said he would be fine. He was unable to attend my graduation. I sent him photographs. By that summer he was admitted to hospice care and finally asked me to come and help him.  I spent the last weeks of his life with him as he died.  I watched the care and service that the hospice team provided to our family.  When he died, I was devastated but not broken.  Dying can be done well. Love can transcend death. That is when I learned death can be comforted.

After my father died, I changed my graduate school plans from research to clinical and went into hospice work.  Death and I had spent a good bit of time in each other’s company and I felt it was the right place for me. As I have worked with the deaths of others and their families these lessons have come in handy.  I have been able to comfort and empathize with others.  More importantly I have served as witness to their grief because I have learned that death can be so very lonely for those enmeshed in it.

So what does all of that mean?  Well for me it has meant that I have learned to accept the gift of death.  The gift is the knowledge of how precious life is.  I have learned that no matter how old you are when you die, you are still too young. I have learned that you can do nothing to extend your days beyond what you are given. Fate stands ready with her scissors at some unknowable point in your personal timeline and nothing you can do or say will stay her hand from cutting you off. This is the gift that lights up each day for me.  This is why I live an authentic passionate life.  This knowledge resides in my thoughts constantly.

People often question my decision to live as a slave in a full-time lifestyle. For me, this life, the life of empowered service and loving devotion, is the life that I will never regret. We only get so much time on this planet and I know in my core that I will never wish I had one more day of being a vanilla wife.  I will never long for an extra hour of a standard American pastime. I will never long for one more moment of selfish motivation.  When I am attending my own death, I will only long for more time to serve him, to sit at his feet, to be fucked by him, to be undone by his pain and lust.  The gift of death is that I know I too will die and so I choose to live each day fully surrendered to my beloved Master with no regrets.

On Joy, Lies, and Inkless Tattoos

I am a terrible liar. When I try, I always get this red cheeked goofy expression on my face and stammer and pretty much give up.  I can play poker ok. I can tell a white lie to spare someone’s feelings by giving a compliment that is based in truth.  I can cover my internal emotional responses when in a professional situation. Generally, I am a functional liar in all the ways that are socially expected of humans but when it comes to just flat out lying, I suck.

For example, there was this wonderful scene Master and I had where he did a cutting on my back of geometric shapes on my shoulder blades. A day or so after the scene, I forgot all about the cutting and wore a tank top.  My teenage son walked into the kitchen and said, “What’s that on your back?”  He was about 18 but Master had determined that we did not speak openly about our sexual habits so I knew I was caught in a moment requiring a lie. I stammered, “It is an inkless tattoo.”

I thought that I had done very well indeed coming up with a sort of true vanilla-ish reply until my son responded with, “Who did it?” He, being the curious type, wanted to know where such a thing as an inkless tattoo parlor was so it seemed to him a fair question.  At that point I panicked, unable to come up with a follow up to the half truth, pointed and Master and said, “He did.” Master then had to come up with suitable deflections as I had just completely thrown him under the bus.

Today at work this problem arose once again but for a little different reason.  First it should be noted that Master and I are traveling a good bit during the next several months.  Taking a little extra time off of work is part and parcel of attending and presenting at various conferences across the country. In my office, there is a calendar on my wall that shows what I am up to at work and when I am out on leave.  There are three days this week marked with ‘on leave’ because Master is taking us to attend Northwest Leather Celebration in San Jose, CA. I have been giddy with excitement as I cross off days till we head out on our adventure.

My coworkers, being curious sorts, often ask me where I am going or why I am taking leave. I have no good vanilla explanations for traveling all over and when I return to work, I rarely have clear tales of my vacation time to share.  This frustrates them but I am able to come up with inkless tattoo level responses and manage to be friendly without being direct.

Today one of my coworkers asked me, “When are you leaving on your big trip?”  I was caught off guard and said, “Which one?”  She looked at me as though I was crazy and said, “Alaska, of course.”  Well at that point I was in a socially awkward bind because I clearly was planning another trip aside from the fabulous adventure that is going to Alaska.  The idea that I hadn’t mentioned a whole other trip just weeks before leaving for Alaska clearly upset her. I managed to say, “Oh…uhm… we are going to San Jose this weekend, I wasn’t sure which one you meant.”

This is when the conversation got really hard. She looked at me and in an instant I knew that she was not questioning why I would go to San Jose or why I was going to Alaska.  She was simply jealous that I was going anywhere at all.  It was no longer the kinky part of my travel that was a social problem to be covered up, it was the embarrassment of riches in getting to travel so much that was lighting up the angry fold between her eyebrows.

How could I lie away my joy?  How could I make up a tale to allay the fact that I was living a life filled with happy adventures with a husband that, strange to the vanilla world, I always spoke highly of?  How could I apologize that my life is one I adore while 99% of the people I work with wander through a life they feel saddled by, doing work they don’t find fulfillment in, and living with long since estranged partners that they feel obligated to stay with? As I mentioned, I am a terrible liar and faced with this level of social awkward I did the best I could do and simply said, “I am really looking forward to it,” and walked away.

There is no way to justify when you are unacceptably happy to those around you.  BDSM and M/s are not proselytizing religions. I am not called by a higher power to lead them to the ‘truth’ of better living through authenticity or submission. There is nothing I can do to make that real and possible for them because I have no way of knowing if it would even give them joy.  All I could do is walk away and continue to be happy. Though I felt bad that she was jealous, what I felt afterward was not guilt but appreciation for all that my Master has provided for me.  He works diligently to find ways to give me pleasure, joy, and fulfillment of all that my heart desires before I even am aware I desire it. No amount of service or surrender seems worthy of all he does for me.  I wish with all my heart that the grumpy coworkers around me could feel joyful too.

Self-Inflicted Melt Down

“That’s it!  I’ve had it.  I am sick and tired of being a fetcher, cleaner, packer, carrier, washer, folder, organizer, etc!  Done…over it…arrrrg”. Rant, rant, rant inside my head, bursting forth in a random diatribe.  “I am sick and tired of you being lazy!  You expect me to do everything. There you sit on your ass while I am rushing around doing shit for you.”  Stomp, stomp, stomp. Rant some more.  More of the same though the words and are switched around and ever more colorful metaphors spring to life.  “You are a lump of lifeless stone while I am a grunting mindless drone working my ass off…for what?? Nothing!” Rawr! Rant, rant, rant.

Likely five minutes long felt like an hour.  I was pissed off and making no polite deferring kind respectful bones about it. There sat Master looking a bit dazed.  He had that sort of “WTF” expression.

Without giving him time to take a breath I blazed on, “You aren’t even going to respond?  You don’t give a shit about what I as saying…why would you?  This is all great for you.  You get all your stuff done. You don’t have to lift a finger.”

More blank stare.

STOMP. “I am not a sla…”  The rest of the word ‘slave’ left unspoken, I corrected to, “…servant!” Then I stopped short and said nothing.

There was the rub.  Servant versus slave. During the week, he had been stressed out. He had checked out for a few hours that afternoon. Off I went going about doing all the things I normally do for him while he was just floating by.  I had no clue what was wrong but was getting more and more pissed off with each passing moment.  Finally I broke into a million ranting shards of myself.  I was lost and clueless as to how to recover from the emotional swan dive.

Master sat and looked more confused now that I had stopped ranting.

I suddenly stumbled over my words. Still anger in my voice but also terrified and confused. “I hate being a maid. I wouldn’t take the job for a million dollars. I don’t like it one bit. I am just a worthless servant without meaning. I am supposed to be your slave!  This is all wrong.  You left me on my own, and now I am angry and want to tell you to shove it.”

He chuckled slightly. “Ok, I get that now. Calm down…it will be alright.”  That last said as he grabbed a hold of me by my hair and pulled me down close to his chest. “I am sorry I left you alone. I’m here now and you are fine. Now, go and finish packing.”

At once I was feeling shaky and crying a little and very much relieved.

He had not actually left me physically alone.  Instead he was emotionally disconnected. Long work weeks for both of us and too many responsibilities to vanilla life had distracted us without us even knowing it. He had left the building as surely as Elvis; I kept right on doing things he normally would have told me to do.

I did not wait. I did not get still before my Master and wait for his will.  I assumed. I made myself into a worker bee instead of an owned beloved slave. Rush, rush all about I went.  Doing, doing, doing…never realizing I was paddling my little canoe farther and farther away from the safety of my shore.  By the time I noticed I was drowning, I was a mess.

Master towed me back into shore.  He never pointed out that I was the one who had gotten me into trouble.  Like a father lovingly drying off his half-drowned little girl he simply made sure I was alright and knew already the lesson was taught plainly enough by the experience.

I do so love him. He is the steady ground. Thank you Master.

Why I Love Teaching About M/s

I was asked today, “Are you not allowed to…?”  The question was about something small, I don’t really remember what it was that the person was asking if I was ‘allowed’ to do but when the question was asked I felt several emotions at once.  I was surprised by my emotional response.  At the time, the question was answered in a fashion as the conversation went on its merry way without any notice of my emotional response. No big deal but I find myself thinking about it again.

What emotions did I have? Well, first I guess it was defensive.  Not personally, but defensive of my Master.  I felt as though I did not want him or his way of managing my life to be seen as wrong or bad.  There was nothing in the way or words of the question that should have caused this emotion, but there it was anyway.  Why?

I also felt a bit embarrassed.  Not shameful, but more like when someone asks you a specific question about how you like to have sex. The blushing sort of “that is personal” kind of embarrassed feeling. Again, why?

The last emotion was confusion.  I didn’t know for sure how to even answer the question.  Was I ‘allowed’ or ‘not allowed’?  The short answer I gave was, “Well it isn’t that I am not allowed but sort of.”  That was pretty well a non-answer but that’s what I had at the time. Yet again, why?

Why did the question elicit defensiveness, embarrassment, and confusion? As I think about it, the answer seems simple but meaningful to me.  I couldn’t answer because there is not a paradigm in my world of ‘allowed’ or ‘not allowed.’ The meaning to me was in why the emotions I felt were there at all.  I realized there is a history in my baggage compartment associated with what M/s ‘ought’ ‘should’ or ‘is’ supposed to be.

The baggage that actually generated the fuel for those emotions include the following ideas: Masters are assholes that demand their rules be followed. Slaves are under a burden of rules and protocols. Master’s rules must be followed or to the curb with the slave. Slaves are without rational logical personal decision making skills. Masters are jerks and slaves are weak.

“Really, personal baggage, does that make any sense?” I ask myself.  Is that all still stored up in my attic somewhere?  Wow, I thought I had long ago tossed those notions out.  But there they were, lurking.

There was a time years ago before I was owned by Master when I was in the BDSM community but not in an M/s dynamic.  I knew people who used the terms ‘Master’ and ‘slave’ but did not understand what that meant.  After a little while I thought I came to an understanding of M/s because I had talked with some people about it, read a few things, and been to a few events.  I thought that pretty much Masters were assholes and slaves were doormats.  I didn’t know a damn thing but that is ok.  It takes time to learn about new things in life.  Growing up in kink is natural and we all had to do it sometime. I learned more, I listened more, and I opened my heart and mind to the people I met.

Time and experience led me to come to a place where I know that Masters and slaves all are different. Maybe some M/s couples are like that stereotype but all the folks I know in M/s now are certainly deeper, more vibrant, and wonderful than those first silly assumptions falsely led me to believe. Now I know that I am a slave and not at all a doormat.  I know Master is a loving, generous, intelligent, and encouraging man who has dedicated his life to protecting and fostering me into my best potential. Now I see the beauty and wonders of living my life as an authentic and fulfilled woman who has chosen to enter into a 24/7 commitment to serving his will above all else.

So back to the question that raised internal hackles. Why? Why is because I forget that to other people my choice of lifestyle does seem like an ‘allowed to’ vs ‘not allowed to’ continuum.  Internally, there is no ‘allowed’ or not, there is only this is the way it is because he says it is the best way.  I forget that the external expression of rules and protocols does look a little like I saw it when I was a new person in the lifestyle.

I have benefited from the time others further along the path took to teach me.  I will always be grateful to those folks and the hours they spent talking with me. Without them, I might never have arrived at this place in life. This is the reason I enjoy teaching and presenting about M/s so much.  I want to give my time, my energy, my love to those who have questions.

Death Do Us Part and Green Checks

A few years before he and I met, Master’s mother had a terrible car accident and was paralyzed from the chest down.  Because of this, she used an electric wheelchair to stubbornly barrel through her life doing just exactly what she wanted to do. Master got his dominance and intensity from her. They were peas in a pod though neither of them saw it that way. Mom had chickens, love birds, and yippy dogs because she wanted to. She had a huge garden with prize winning flowers and exotic plants surrounding her home. It did not matter to her that she could not do much of the tending to any these; she just found ways to organize her health care workers into an army of animal wranglers and unintentional gardeners. She lived on her own terms.

The physical condition of someone with her injuries tends to cause a mudslide of other health issues.  She was no exception to this. Over the last year, her various infections, pressure wounds, and cardiac problems began to drag her into a slow downward spiral. Master and I visited her often, he called nearly every day to check on her, and several times we went to stand vigil at the ICU when she seemed to be about to pass way.

Watching her decline and knowing she would not live long weighed on Master all the time. He had a hard time focusing on things and became a bit forgetful. He lost his centered calm way of approaching situations at work.  He found himself unsure of how to handle his mother’s medical situation and somehow that left him unsure about life in general. Mastery was not at the top of the list of things that had his attention. Things slipped away. Rituals stopped. Play became less frequent. His thoughts turned increasingly inward as her condition worsened.

A few weeks ago, mom died. She went out kicking and screaming because despite the long decline she had been in and various advices that she consider hospice, she still insisted that she would get better.  The night before she passed her and Master had an argument because he wanted to talk to her about dying, she was having none of it. “You just want to get rid of me,” she said. “No, no of course not Mom, I’m just trying to talk to you about what is really going on,” he tried to assure her.  A plan was made for Master and I to go the next morning very early and meet with her, her primary care doctor, and her care team to get a group understanding of what was happening.

That morning we arrived before her doctor and while we waited with her for him to arrive, she suffered a ruptured aneurism. She thrashed about in pain for a few minutes, she and Master both equally confused and overwhelmed; the nurses and I understanding what was happening but with no way of comforting either of them. When the doctor walked in a few minutes later, he said she would pass within 24 hours. She never spoke again and died in less than 3 hours.

The last thing she said to Master was, “I just want you to know, this (the pain she was feeling) has never happened before, this is new.”  The reason she said this was because of their disagreements about her not telling Master the whole truth about her medical situation.  He had always been so frustrated when he would eventually find out she had been keeping something from him. Imagine the two most domly Doms you know each trying to run the other’s life, that was how they locked heads over her illnesses; each wanting to maintain control, each wanting to help the other with their burden, each fiery in their determination to be right.

In the end, neither of them felt in control. It was a very dark day. In the hours, days, and weeks since Master has struggled with feeling out of control of things.  Her animals all needed homes, her funeral had to be arranged, her accounts and assets needed to be accounted for.  What to do with her things? How to deal with her collection of dozens of ceramic statues of chickens? Each thing piling onto his shoulders and pressing him down. Sadness at her loss. Fear of doing something wrong. Wanting to honor her. All of it in a tumble has fallen hard on him.

And there I am. How does the slave find center in the Master’s storm?  How does a servant support the Master when things are so grim? Months of distraction take a toll on a relationship and in a Master/slave relationship this effect is intensified. Last weekend Master and I attended South Plains Leather Fest.  We had planned the trip prior to Mom passing and Master decided he wanted to go to take a break from all the hassles of managing her estate. We both hoped the weekend away would allow us time to focus on our dynamic. That did not really happen. Instead, Master did have the chance to spend time being more social.  Spending time with our leather family and visiting with old and new friends in the community was great. We both had a good time but still, there I was a slave at a loss for direction.

All weekend Master would turn to me and ask questions like, “where are we going next?” and, “where do you want to eat?” He planned a scene but got tired and instead we fucked and fell asleep. There was neither Mastery nor joy in him. Both left me exhausted. I had spent the prior months quietly humming in the back ground supporting him. I took leave to visit his mom, washed her face with warm water when she was feeling down, cleaned her bottom and dressed her wounds. I cleaned his home, folded his underwear, cooked his food, sucked his cock, tried to smile and bring him laughter when he was down, lifted him in every way I knew.

During the weekend, things were amplified because of the lack of other distractions and on the ride home I was exhausted. I don’t mean exhausted physically, I mean exhausted in my emotional life. I felt sucked dry like there was nothing left in me to give. As we drove home, Master seemed to notice me for the first time that day.  He said, “What are you thinking about?”  Part of our dynamic is that I am to always be transparent and always answer honestly and completely any question he asks. I knew my thoughts were on this sucked dry feeling and that Master had enough stress on him, so instead of answering fully I said, “Nothing good.  You aren’t in the mood for a deep conversation.”  He answered, “Oh yes well I have been kind of talking about fluff,” and was distracted and began chit chatting about not much again. I was glad to have averted him and we drove another several minutes.  Then he looked over at me again seeming to ‘see’ me and said, “But no really, what are you thinking?”  A second time I answered without really answering and he nodded and began talking about wanting coffee or some such.  After a few more minutes he turned again to me and said, “Wait, I really want to know.  What are you thinking?”  At this third inquiry, I answered that I was thinking that I was drained emotionally and feeling down but that I didn’t think he was up for talking about that.  He assured me that he was ready to listen and so I explained how things had been for me.

I told him about the drift that had happened over the preceding months during his mother’s decline.  I was not angry, wasn’t upset, or really any emotion; I was simply exhausted. I understood that all of his behavior was reasonable given the circumstance but that I had arrived at that emotional point where there felt like there was no more within to put out. Power exchange 101 it would seem but without anything flowing in eventually I had nothing left to give out. I felt empty. Master listened, really listened, and in some odd way seemed I like a man awaking from a long dream. He was surprised because he truly had not been aware of how drained he felt also.  He thanked me for talking to him about it and said he would ponder how to ‘fix’ things.

The next afternoon, we went to a bank to handle some account stuff for Mom’s accounts. As we sat there, the bank associate asked what type of checks we would want.  I asked what types they had and she showed me a book filled with colorful check styles. Wheee!  I love pretty things and so it was fun to flip through.  Master had been sort of distracted, leaving me to do most of the talking as had become his normal custom of late. I started to pick something I found pretty and he turned and said, “We will get the green checks.”    Boring checks that had nothing pretty about them were not making me happy so I pouted and turned to him with a look of confusion. He said to the bank lady and to me, looking me in the eye in a direct sure way that I had not seen in months, “We will get the green checks.”

I knew the sound of my Master’s voice.  It had been quieted by the storm but now I heard it.  There was no grand repair plan.  No apologies needed.  No dramatic flourish.  Simply by turning his focus back to his authority, he had infused my soul with a rush of fresh energy. As we drove away from the bank we both felt the energy flowing. Unstopping the dam was so quick and the center of my world was righted.  Since that moment, there have been no more wishy-washy decisions, no more distracted, confused times.  There has still been stress and sadness, but Master has his feet again and I am filled to overflowing with a sense of purpose.

People often fear failure so much that they bring failure to life. Instead of fear or failure, Master embraced his own humanity.  He accepted that yes he had lost his focus and nothing about that meant he was a ‘bad Master’ or ‘a failure’.  What death had parted, Master’s hand rejoined.

On Scissors and Hypocrisy

After a long work day, I picked up one of my teenagers from school and took her with me to the grocery store to grab odds and ends for dinner. We got home and began unpacking everything and came across a messy kitchen counter.  This is nothing new or exciting.  In fact, when you live in a house full of children you find that counter tops and bathroom floors simply spontaneously produce messes. Don’t believe me?  Just ask them who made the mess and they will all assure you no one did.

As I began to clean up the counter, I came across a pair of scissors. In my frustration with the miraculous messiness of the house and the general mayhem that surrounds coming home, I cursed the scissors and muttered, “If I could just put you in the dishwasher you wouldn’t be such a pain in my ass.” My Master has a rule that scissors are not to be washed in the dishwasher.  Not sure why, but somehow he has determined they are only to be hand-washed.  Thus the offending scissors would require a special trip to the sink and several seconds of my attention, which at that moment was a bit taxed. My daughter heard my grumblings and piped in with, “Well, you know if you broke his rules on things sometimes, we would have a shot at breaking rules about scissors!”  She smirked at me and went on about putting away groceries.

Her comment surprised me so much that it pulled me out of my dinner making grind. I simply paused and thought about all that statement meant. We do not express our relationship choice to the kids.  We don’t call ourselves “Master and slave” to them.  They are kids after all and Master feels that this is a private matter.

It should not have surprised me now that I am reflecting on it. Just because we don’t label it for them does not mean that they are not aware of the nature of our relationship.  It is tough to imagine living 24/7 and having the people who live in your home not notice there are differences in how you act.  I live always in submission to him and so they see me following rules and deferring to his wisdom.  They may not know what we call it, but there is no doubt in their minds what the power structure of our home is.

As I had this moment of insight and awareness of their awareness it occurred to me that I was nearly giddy inside. I realized that without intending to ‘be’ a slave in front of them, with no airs or performance, I still was known by them for what I am. It makes me joyful to know that I am true to his ownership of me always.  Hypocrisy is always the enemy and this reassurance of my sense of self made me feel whole.

All Hallows’ Eve

As we come to the annual celebration of all that is creepy, our family begins to gather random costumes, a pumpkin seems a reasonable expense, and candy for little strangers is par for the course.  The kids are all excited to spend some time pretending to be something they are not.  The idea of wanting to play at being someone we aren’t got me thinking about living as Master and slave at all times. I have heard and read so many discussions about how impossible 24/7 M/s is.  After all, this is America and we are supposed to be a nation of independent souls. How could 24/7 M/s be anything but a dress up game?

I recently attended a conference where Dossie Easton spoke about some concepts from her book “The Ethical Slut.” Easton commented several times about her belief that the Master and slave relationship lasts only as long as a negotiated scene. I went to see her speak because I had recently finished reading her “The New Bottoming Book,” in which she writes about not allowing oneself to believe that M/s or D/s can be a constant way of living.  I thought perhaps I had misunderstood what she wrote, but her talk seemed to support that her feeling is power exchange is only for specific limited period of time. I enjoyed her talk and found what she shared to be though provoking and interesting. She is a vibrant and wonderful woman and I respect her a great deal even as I disagree with her on this point.

She is not alone in her belief that 24/7 is an unworkable and impossible way to try to live. When my Master and I first began our relationship, he explained to me that what he really wanted was an egalitarian style in our ‘vanilla’ lives and an M/s dynamic in the bedroom. I remember thinking that he would quickly change his mind, and as it turned out I was right. Within the first few weeks, he was explaining all sorts of non-bedroom related expectations he had for me and I pointed out the conflict with his original ‘egalitarian’ theory. He recanted and admitted, “I really want you to do what I say all the time, it just seemed weird to say it so directly.”

Over the years we have talked a great length about his initial statements. He has explained that he just couldn’t wrap his head around what 24/7 would really look like, how it would work in the day to day, and how it would remain consensual. All his life he had been raised to believe that people should all be treated equally and that seemed contrary to the permanent power exchange that 24/7 M/s would entail.

For our family, 24/7 isn’t about playing or pretending. It really is how we define our roles all the time. In the bedroom, sure that is pretty straight forward. Out of the bedroom, things are a bit more challenging. I don’t mean to suggest we have it all figured out or do it ‘the right way’ but we do it the best we know how at all times.

For example, I had a terrible job at one point in our relationship. I hated it, there was injustice and incompetence.  It was a bad deal all around.  I asked Daddy if I could speak out, rail against it all, and make a stand. He said no. Not an unclear iffy no, but all the way no.  He explained that he understood what I was up against but that in the end it would serve me and our family best to simply resign and move on. It was most frustrating. There was a part of me that wanted to rail against him. Stomp my feet and say I was a grown woman with a career and I would do what I thought best, but it isn’t like that for us. I whined a bit, tried to persuade, and when the no was unchanged, I followed his will. As always, it turned out he was right.  With some time, I was able to see that my Daddy’s way of handling it was really best for all involved.  I found a great job I love and continued to have my professional dependability intact. Daddy knows best. In those times where I most want to rebel, I find that when I look back his clarity and wisdom truly are why I entrusted my whole life to him.

I could list several other times when I really, really for real real thought Daddy was wrong and I wanted to go against his will. Each tale would come to the same end, I followed what he said to do and he turned out to have wisdom I could not see at the time. In dealing with our children, with my career, with my schooling, with the household…on and on he is the leader because he actually is the best person in the family to follow. Living that anything less than 24/7 would be a waste of time.  Daddy would have to pick up broken pieces over and over again and waste energy tending to my self-inflicted wounds.

I understand why people don’t see 24/7 as viable.  My father taught me the old “if your friend jumped off a bridge, would you jump too” lesson. I know that it would be impossible to follow most people.  It would be reckless and unhealthy to follow without thought the will of another person unless you knew beyond a doubt that that person would always have your best interests at heart and had the wisdom to make the best choices for you.

So, back to Halloween. My costume this year was easy.  Master bought me a gaudy set of costume pearl necklace and earrings and I wore a dress I already had in the closet. Turns out a fifties style wife was not much of a stretch for me. Being a slave to my husband and Master 24/7 is perhaps not really all that different from the way people lived their relationships just a few decades ago. In the end, there is no one I want to pretend to be not even for one day.