The rhythm of routine is a comforting one in a world that no longer makes sense to me.
I see hate in so many places and cruelty where there once was kindess. I admit that I hade in the welcoming arms of my community. I mark, I protest, I growl with the rest of them, and then I run back to my land of misfits to dance another day.
My routines are simple, and exhausting. And I suppose, simply exhausting. I go to BaGG every week, managing to show up hours early to sit across from the stubborn asshole I love while he works and I work.. and then we dance.
We have yet to physically play, James and I. Not since he took my collar, slave ring, and pendant. I often wonder about the box they’re placed in. Is it plain, decorated. Does he take it out, along with photos and momentos, love letters and notes, and godde knows how many gifts, or does it stay locked away in some corner of his closet, another mistake he doesn’t want to look at? I don’t know. It’s eight months today, and I still don’t know.
What we do end up doing is dueling. Trading cards. An old game called Yu-Gi-Oh that he’s been into for eons, and that I enjoyed as a kid. I never played before him. I ‘built’ decks in the loosest of terms, with the childlike mindset of “Oh, this is pretty! Let’s put this with this!” and never had anyone to actually play with. Eons ago, a world ago, he tasked me with learning the game again. I did…and then the world exploded. And exploded. And exploded, and playing cards was the furthest thing from my mind.
After I was released, there was a time when playing cards was…all we ended up having. He shoved the fact that I hadn’t build a deck in my face during our breakup, and my rebuttle was to show up at the Citadel two days later with my skeleton of a deck, ready to duel. Since then, it’s been the only thing guaranteed safe to talk about. When he’s in a foul mood during a ride I bring up Yu-Gi-Oh. When he’s overly stressed and obviously needs a break from work, like he did today. When the dungeon is slow on a work night and I can seek him getting stressed. We duel.
It’s become such a lovely ritual as time has gone on. The banter has increased, to the point where there is quite a bit of sexual tension with our duels. There’s more joking, more teasing, more… comfort, and slowly, bit by bit, we have begun to feel like our old selves. He’s more approachable and less intimidating, and things like sitting in silence together have stopped feeling so uncomfortable. They are, in many ways, oddly comfortable. I know why he’s quiet some nights; I can still read his body like a book and can tell when he’s stressed, or sore, or in a mood.
That being said… the duels are all I get. I can’t touch him. I can’t snuggle him, or kneel at his feet, or go in for the big, long hugs that other can. I still am only permitted a hug goodbye most days, and I am touch starved. We spend so much damn time together that in certain ways it can be cruel smelling him, hearing him, being surrounded by him and yet being unable to reach him. There are times when he looks so damn fucking good… and I curse that he still pushes all of my fucking buttons. All of them. He always has, and I have no clue anymore what I push of him, if anything good.
Today, we dueled as always. He brought out his Blue Eyes deck, I my Lightsworn, and he destroyed me like he always does. He topped me through cards, because he could. Any progress I make he lets me do. I’m well aware of this. It’s always been that way with James. Any progress I’ve made, it’s because he’s let me. The banter, the dance, lasted until a friend mentioned that she played.
This friend is not a threat in any way. She doesn’t make me jealous, at all. She is safe, a beautiful soul who still calls James my person and is well aware at just how complicated she is. And the truth is, I love watching James duel. It’s fun sometimes when it’s not me. It wasn’t that they dueled… it’s that they interrupted the ritual that triggered some brain squirrels in my mind.
He doesn’t top me right now, in any way but the cards. That’s all I get. I don’t get swatts at BaGG. He won’t pull my hair, or bring me to my knees. I’ve forgotten, for the most part, what his lips feel like. I don’t get casual kisses or bites. He still won’t even just… poke me in the arm in a friendly way. Touch was so much a part of our love language that it was one of the main things taken away when we ended, and so I cling to the cards. I cling to the ritual of every Wednesday I get my dance with him. He will give me time, top me, and then go off to the others.
Today, that wasn’t the case. He played a few rounds with me, and then moved on to someone else. It was bound to happen. The nature of games is that you play other people. It’s a silly game; it’s fun. But… it’s our fun. It’s our thing, and for an hour I sat and watched while they played. I watched the bit of time I normally get with him tick away, and as it did I felt more and more invisible to him.
Emotions rarely have logic, and unfortunately for me my emotions are almost always written on my face. If anything, I’m sitting and writing this all out to get the kicked puppy expression I know I’m wearing to disappear. I am posessive of the few points of connection that I consider mine with him, logical or not, and I don’t think I realized how posessive until tonight. I felt.. inferior. Our friend is a better duelist than I am, with more experience. She was more of a challenge for him, and he and others commented that despite having months of practice now, she played better than I have. She lasted better.
There was a moment, hearing all of this, that I realized how easily replacable I could be. I wonder what value I still hold to him, this man that never seems to want to know his own heart. Over a silly game of cards that have been our safe-zone.
Maybe it’s the time of year; that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and I remain without a primary. Maybe it’s looking around and seeing other people valued by partners, and finding myself at war with my self-imposed loneliness. Maybe it’s that fear that… I’m just another background piece for him now.
None of this is logical. Time is gold to James, and more than anyone else I get his time.
Except, for when I don’t.
When the dance gets interrupted, the partners changed out, and you find yourself doubting if it was a dance at all.
It’s time for BaGG. Perhaps I will be brave and approach him for a different type of dance.
Yours, in routine
New Relationship Energy.
Everything monumental in my life has always started with an “oh shit” moment. It’s just how it’s always been with me.
The big relationships in my life have been a dance of avoidance vs submitting to my own desires. It happened with James, who I felt immediate chemistry with and then hid from for a year afterwards because the amount of chemistry terrified me. It happened with Chris, who I watched scene from afar for over a year before I friend pulled me in to play with him. And now, it’s happened with Grey.
I’ve known Grey for over a year at this point. He was a BaGG regular who disappeared for a time..but when he was there, he and his lovely fiance were two of the people who helped make me comfortable with being at BaGG. They pulled me into a group, a clique before I had a clique, and made me feel safe and desired when there was a sea of people around me that I didn’t know yet. The play with Grey was always…toe curling, but it was never much. I was collared, and I honestly didn’t ever know he was interested in me. He played..plays..it’s confusing with a mutual friend of ours who is GORGEOUS, and his lovely fiance has curves in all the right places. And then there’s me. I never saw it. I played with his partner more than him, and then they disappeared for a bit.
And then they came back. They finally came back, and I was thrilled. And surprised.
That first night that they returned to BaGG I found out just how interested Grey was in me. He’s a vocal one, something I am not entirely used to, and is not afraid to express how he feels. Another thing I am very not used to. I was upset about something.. I can’t even remember what anymore. He was walking me back inside when I heard him whisper in my ear, “You know I’ve got you, right, little one? You’re mine.”
My knees buckled. In a good way. As I said..he’s safe. He’s not trying to claim the primary spot. But he will claim at least part of me..
The night was laced with play with him; intense play that resulted in some lovely bruises on my chest. There were whispers of all the things he would love to do to me if we weren’t in a club. How he would love to hear me scream around his cock while his beautiful fiance did wonderfully evil things to me from behind… Followed by how he loved me, how gorgeous and beautiful I was. How he adored me.
It was a balm over so many sore areas in my life. And I felt myself melting.
The truth was, I had had a crush on Grey for some time… But the logic of ‘he is my crush and is therefore untouchable’ remains in my warp, twisted mind. Suddenly, my crush was showing he wanted me..in a very big way. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such an overwhelming rush of feels before. It terrified and thrilled me.. Terrified, because love scares the ever-living shit out of me. Thrilled because at least part of me understood the feels were safe with him. That they had always been safe with him.
We started texting back and forth..and realized just what derps we had been, each having feelings for the other but imagining the other didn’t feel the same. We played at yet another BaGG. Finally, we went on a date.
Oh my goodness… It has been so, SO long since I’ve had a first date like the one Grey and I had. I felt that zing, that ‘oh fuck’ zing of this is going to be something. And I cursed internally as we drove to our lunch destination, trying to process all that I was feeling. The last time I had zinged so intensely on a first date had been James..I didn’t know if I was ready for another James, or Chris. Casual play, yes..but this would not be casual, this would be intense.
We’ve spent more time together since… I have neither asked, nor expected intense or emotional. Neither of us did. I don’t think he was looking for a new partner any more than I was..and yet here we are. There is a bitter-sweetness to it. Chris and I have continued to have bumps, where Grey and I have a natural ease when we’re around one another. “I like us”, he has told me, over and over. And I have to agree. I like us too.
The NRE is so strong with this one.. I forgot all that comes with a good relationship. The missing. The craving the presence of the person hours after they’ve left. The fantasies that spring to mind late a night, when I’m alone in bed and left to my own wandering hands and thoughts.. And the play! GODDE, fresh play again! Bliss is the simplest way I can describe the feeling of his hand wrapped around my throat. He has big hands; hands that know how to work and that are not without their scars.
I most certainly have a type.
I have missed new adventures. It feels as if Grey was this piece that I’ve been missing. He’s slid into my life so seamlessly that it feels as if he was always supposed to be here. Of course, this is my partner. And his partner? What a joy she is, and how amazing she has been in sharing the man she is going to marry.
After so much struggling, being in a relationship with good, safe poly where I don’t feel threatened and I know someone isn’t trying to fill James’s spot… It’s a good feeling. I let myself revel in it, and I look forward to more adventures with Grey.
Yours, enjoying the new and the shiny
Hello, lovely internet world. Yes, I still live. I’ve..been through quite a bit since my silence, and I will get to what I can, when I can as time goes on..but I am back. I hope some of you are still around, and willing to continue to read my thoughts as my journey continues.
I am very much active still in the local San Francisco scene. James is still in my life, though we are..complicated (as if we have ever been simple). I remain unowned and uncollared for now, but I am far from single.
For now, I’m not talking about James. This entry will be about another partner that I’ve mentioned before, Chris.
Chris and I have had our bumps, but even through me being released we’ve managed to stay together. For a time I was..terrified. There are still times I feel unbalanced, not having a primary and remaining in a relationship that would be considered a ‘secondary’ relationship. Right now, officially, I belong to no one. Emotionally is a different story..but I’m digressing.
It was about a month ago that Chris and I hit our biggest bump in the road. One of the reasons being with him was always so easy was that I felt like I was on an even playing field with all of my met amours. For the longest time, Chris preached that he did not believe in hierarchy, and that he did not have primaries and secondaries. There was no worry about who came first. We were all even, and would be what we would be.
For the most part, I get along with my met amours. Some I want to play with. Some I enjoy a sort of sibling relationship with… there’s a kindred spirit feel. I work to maintain these relationships because these people matter to me, and matter to a man that I call my Sir. I enjoy the family feel that I have with the majority of my partner’s partners. There is..one, however, that does not fit this mold.
Emily, my partner’s parter, is a force of nature. She is a polarizing, creative soul that has frustrated the majority of us from the very beginning. She wants nothing to do with any of us, and that (for the most part) is okay. It’s her personal choice and not something any of us can really impact. Not even Chris can. Their relationship has been..turbulent to say the least, and the only time the lack of contact with Emily has bothered me has been when I’ve had nights with Chris a day or two after a drama-filled visit and my partner was visibly distraught. She has effected him emotionally unlike any of the others; the highs with her are the highest for him and the lows are the lowest.
I suppose, knowing this, I should been able to predict what would happen next. I got a call from my partner informing me that he was going to choose a primary, and that it was Emily.
There were many emotions associated with this decision..still are.. I was so angry at first. I felt betrayed. Hurt. Confused why he never communicated any of this to me. We had just had a very intense, connection-filled camp at Dark Odyssey, and during all of it he could have easily opened up to me. Out of all of his partners, I was one that understood hierarchy and the complicated emotions often associated with it. I felt like I had been slapped, backhanded. Not only had he not trusted me enough to open up and tell me what was going on, he had chosen for his primary the most unstable relationship in his life. One that I had seen almost destroy him emotionally multiple times.
Slowly, the other partners have adjusted. I have as well. I am now the closest partner locally that he has. Emily is next, at a couple hours away from him to my half-hour. I see the little changes the most..and some have them have hurt me.
This world of hierarchy is wildly new to Chris, and I know that… and I’ve watched him struggle with navigating it. For the majority of the summer Emily got all of his weekends, which cut off most of the time he could have spent with two partners that were long distance and only are able to see him about once a month each. The bit of time I got with him was almost always good, especially when we were out and away from his place.
The last couple visits to his home, however, have felt like I was on a day with not just him, but with Emily too. The first real blow came when I walked in one day to see an art piece Emily had made up on his wall. Chris has artwork all over his apartment, including mine, and Emily’s was a rather big piece on a wall that had nothing yet besides it. It framed the wall funny, and I mentioned to Chris just shifting the piece over a tad.
He agreed, but only after going to his front door to look at it on the wall. “I want it to be the first thing I see when I walk through the door,” he said. I winced at the words and looked over at the piece I had given him; a painting I had done a lifetime ago that had meant the world to me. I never thought I could give it to anyone. I let it go to Chris because he had worked on me so much, gotten through my armor. Slowly, he had taught me how to love more than one person. That meant so much to met that I wanted him to have the 2D piece I was most proud of making. In one moment, with a single comment he probably hadn’t even thought twice about, he had thrown that out the window.
Another time I had opened the fridge to find it filled with food; a rare sight in the land of the Chris. None of the food was for him. It was all for Emily’s kids, who he loves. Over and over, throughout the evening, he mentioned how much he was enjoying the uncle role and how amazing the children were. I felt like a bitch, staring down at my dinner, upset about him loving something so much that I was unable to touch, or see, or fully understand.
There are many conversations about Emily being his number one, and wanting to be number one with her. Emily getting the most of his time, the most of his energy.
Emily, Emily, Emily.
I felt myself swallowing bitter pills more and more as time went on. Chris, this strong top who is quick to punish me for being five minutes late to lunch, let Emily get away with murder. Rescheduling and canceling things last minute, not showing up to something after a fight when she had made a commitment to, calling and having a fight with him in the middle of a date he and I were having.. More and more, I felt my territory stomped on. And there was always an excuse. If I pulled half the crap she did with him, he would have dropped my ass months ago. I couldn’t understand it. I was so hurt, so terribly sore, and yet even as he bent to her I saw him happy and fought being upset and jealous. I disregarded my feelings, chalking up what I could to a lack of primary and a need for more attention. I was okay, until I saw a photo of Chris wearing a leash and collar.
Chris is a switch, but his submissive side rarely comes out to play. It exclusively comes out with Emily, and I knew this. I was aware of this. But he is my Sir. Selfishly, I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t understand it. I was..disturbed by it. Upset he didn’t give me any warning about it. Angry at the amount of power and control she had over him. Very human emotions.
I asked him to give me a call when he could. He was away, on vacation, and we could not talk face to face. When we did talk I shared what I could about how I was feeling; that I didn’t want to be a bitch and be bitter when he was so happy but that I felt neglected. Shoved to the side. Second fiddle. I am aware that Emily comes first. I don’t need it shoved down my throat. James always came first for me and I tried my damnedest to make sure that Chris was always sure and steady in his importance and his place in my life.
Chris said one very key phrase, and suddenly everything fell into place in my mind about their relationship. Why he gave her so much lee way. Why she could do so much damage to him and why the effects lingered long after a fight with any of the rest of us would have been recovered for. Why he was so greedy for as much time with her as he could get.
“I feel as if I belong to her.”
The moment I heard the words, I felt equal parts pain and understanding. The subby ache inside of me reared its ugly head, and I let a couple silent tears fall. Yes, I knew that feeling well. From the beginning I had belonged to James. I didn’t need a collar to tell me that. He has always been able to touch parts of me that no one else has gotten near.
Chris, as much as he was my Sir, as much as he was a sadistic bastard at times, was not the emotional top in the relationship. He was hers. Emotionally, he was submissive to her.
I had been looking at the whole situation from a top’s prospective. Why was she given special treatment that the rest of us never would have gotten long before she became primary? Why WAS she the primary when she was by far his most difficult partner? Why did he cater to her so much, when so much of what she was would be a deal breaker with anyone else?
Because he was emotionally in service to her, and probably had been for some time. Now, as their relationship develops, he is comfortable enough to be physically in service to her from time to time as well. She is the only one he can do that with; the only one that he can even begin to imagine doing that with.
In a way, I understand. I can call any man who tops me that I respect sir. James remains the only man I have ever felt the desire to call my Master. He is the only one I can be a slave to, as of now.
I don’t know where this relationship with Emily will go. I hope that Chris doesn’t end up hurt, and I’m going to do my best to help him begin to navigate this sort of relationship in a slightly healthier way. There are ways to belong to one partner and still not make the others feel like crap. Partners are partners for a reason. Relationships are hard work. You don’t continue them, especially through conflict, if they aren’t things that matter to you. And I know that, realistically, I matter to Chris. I know he absolutely loves me. I know that I am not Emily, that I do not touch certain parts of him that she touches, but I also know that we have other things in common, and that’s okay too. Other things is different… not ‘not as good’. It’s teaching him how to communicate that (at his request) that will be..interesting.
Poly isn’t easy. But honestly, at this point in my life I can’t imagine being monogamous. Even with the drama, my life is much better with Chris in it. He is a good man, and for the most part a fantastic partner. We’ll navigate this. Nothing is unchanging. Nothing is perfect. Life is change, and development, and growth; and there is so much beauty in that.
Yours, still very much alive and kicking
The studio smelled of oil paints and acrylics, scents that have always made me feel at home.
I walked up the stairs in heavy black clogs, my bag for the Citadel held tight against me. Bent was in less than an hour. I wanted to get there around when it started, before it got too busy, so Master could properly collar me for the evening. I love having that moment with him, where I bend my head down and press my forehead to his leg as he slips the leather around my neck…
Kane had invited me to his open studios a couple of months ago, after the first time I saw his studio. Now, the studio was full of people. Wine. Snacks. When I had first been led up its stairs the entire building had been nearly deserted, outside of a few artists who were set on working well into the night.
As always, Kane was one of them. We had connected over artwork, discussing our pasts, our mediums, and our connection to the creative process long ago. He could get lost in his work, and a world ago when I was his I used to kneel at his feet and get lost in his world with him.
He led me through the winding studios to his little corner to show me the pieces he was working in. Big blocks of color, pops of playfulness and inspiration that he had reclaimed after a hard year for him. It was good work. Not my type of work, but good work.
It started with him scooting closer to me, slowly, our bodies swaying together like they were pulled by magnets. Somehow, our arms found their way around each others’ waists, and then around each other, so that we were holding one another. And then we were kissing in the middle of the studio, shy at first…
It was easy. Letting him touch me, letting him kiss me. It was so familiar, so nice. He whispered in my ear that he had missed me, pulling me against him so that I could feel him hard underneath his jeans. He told me every last little thing that I had wanted to hear a year ago. That he fantasized about me, that I was his one that got away. That it wasn’t just my body, it was the woman behind it. My body was nothing without my mind, my spirit, my fight. That he had hated me not being in his life. That letting me go was one of his biggest regrets.
I found myself transported back over a year. I was on my knees, my head on his leg, while he pet me and painted. He would touch me, kiss me, give me some attention, and then go back to his piece. It felt so easy… so easy I almost forgot that it was a year later. That we had ended horribly. That he had hurt me more than he would ever realize.
Eventually, the painted stopped. He ordered me to clean his brushes, a task I had once loved. Happily, I did so. He had me appraise his work; make constructive criticism as an artist that didn’t always see his creations with the kindest of eyes.
He mentioned that the bathrooms at the studio were very large and cleaned nightly.
“It would be very easy,” he said ” for a dirty little girl to get on her knees and take a cock into her mouth in there…”
I was drenched, and wanting, and hungry. I had lost track of time. James was working a party, and I was going there after Kane’s studio. My mind didn’t even register time as I watched the sun set from the studio window’s with Kane behind me, his hands inside my pants, feeling along my ass. He spanked me, hard and quick and unrelenting, and then toyed me ever so lightly. I moaned, missing him, wanting him, and then his voice brought me back to reality.
“I should tell you,” he said, “I sort of have a girlfriend. And I’m sort of supposed to be a good boy and be monogamous.”
I froze, my body growing cold at his words. Not again. I would not be the other woman again. I had been that for nearly a year, and had hated every last moment of it. I wouldn’t let him do that to me again.
“We can’t.” I said, quietly, sadly. The truth is, as wrong as it was I still wanted it. It was the farthest we had gone in over a year and it felt so good, so familiar. Pulling away from him and asking to leave, saying I had to get to the party… It fucked with my head. I hadn’t realized until that moment that there was a part of me that remained his. That longed to be his, to wear his collar and cuffs and greet him naked at the door on my knees as I used to. There was a part of me that so easily slipped into that role.
I walked away. We didn’t do more than kiss. I couldn’t do that to his girlfriend.. I knew too well what it felt like.
Unlike last time, the studio was filled with people, wine, and music. I navigated the hallways on my own, pausing to look at work mounted on the walls as I wrestled with the idea of being there. He probably didn’t even remember inviting me back for the open studio. Who knew who else was here..
Eventually, I found him holding court with prospective buyers in his little corner. He was heartbreaking familiar and incredibly strange to me, and for a couple minutes I stood there simply absorbing a world I had never really been a part of. I let myself look at new work that he had finished after my visit. He came over, hugged me, and briefly we discussed his work. I was about to mention some paintings of birds on pieces of wood that I had surprisingly loved when a group came over and started chatting with him.
They remarked on the beautiful desserts he had at his station. Kane smiled. “My girlfriend made them.”
“Such a talented couple, the two of you! Well suited for one another.”
All the while I watched, smiling to myself. Yes. Such a talented couple. Right place, at the right time.
She came over soon after, and I tried to sneak away, to escape back to my world. My collar jingled in my bag.
Awkwardly, I shook her hand. She was older than me, taller, larger, but her body shape was similar, as were her brown hair and eyes. She wore her hair similarly to how I always had, up in a bun unless Kane had ordered it down. He had loved my hair down. He told me once that he had grown up with straight blonde hair all around him and it bored him. He loved my curly, dark locks for being the exact opposite.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. Your medium is sculpture, right? Are you working on anything new? Have you been to the studio before?”
I was surprised he had told her about me.. although I wondered what he had told. I chanced a quick glance at Kane before returning my gaze to his lady. His eyes avoided mine.
Yes, I had been there before.
And I’m not sure I will ever be back.
No, I had no new work.
And I’m not sure what you would make of my old work.
Many things were left unsaid. As Kane came over and put his arm around his girlfriend I smiled, echoing what I had heard the group saying about them being a talented couple. His lady glowed and looked up at him.
“Oh, I’m definitely overshadowed by this one here.”
I recognized the look she gave him. I knew it all too well. That look of pure adoration. Love. Almost worship. I had given him the same time and time again when I was on my knees in front of him awaiting my next task.
Walking away that day at the studio had been the right thing. The ache, the last tinge of regret, faded as I smiled at the happy couple. I lifted my bag and mentioned to Kane that I had to get to the Citadel. There was a party tonight. James was waiting for me.
He smiled sadly. For a moment, we locked eyes, both our minds on a different time. I think we both saw the door close. Both knew that we had finally fully moved in different directions and that there was no going back, no freezing time. It was done.
“Have fun.” he whispered, so softly I almost didn’t hear him.
I smiled, gave him one last wave, and ran from the studio back to my world. As I relaxed on the car ride over to the Citadel my hand slipped inside my bag to wrap around my leather collar.
Yes, I had made the right choice in multiple ways. It was a good thing, this door closing. It felt oddly nice to fully complete that chapter of my life.
Time to turn the page and see what’s next in store for me.
Yours, as always
This entry is not kink related… This is life related… This is life and aging and loss…
A couple of years ago, my first grandfather died. He was my dad’s dad, a happy little elf of a man who was should have been canonized a saint for dealing with my she-bitch of a grandmother. He had dementia, among other health problems, and was the ripe ole age of 84. He had lived a full life, which is not something that could be said about a lot of my relatives.
Right after he passed my dad and I were in the back yard having a drink, something not uncommon for he and I when I’m home. On that balmy summer night he told me about the last real conversation he had with his father, and how they had said goodbye a couple of weeks before he died, when his father was still somewhat himself. They had had one of those very rare good talks that stick with you for the rest of your life. They talked about fatherhood, about what being a good dad really meant, and how much they loved each other and respected one another. Even though one is never quite ready for something like that, my dad said goodbye to his that night and mentally prepared himself for the actual physical goodbye to come.
I did that tonight, not with my father (thank the Gods) but my other grandfather, my DadDad.
I am the reason he’s called DadDad. He had wanted to be Grand Dad and I just couldn’t say it as a young child, and someone DadDad had stuck even though he was my mom’s dad. He always has been, and always will be, a superhero in my mind. He tried out for the New York Yankees back in the day, and would have played for the team if he hadn’t been drafted… He handled my Grammy, who is a force of nature. He tells the best stories about sneaking into his mother’s basement and drinking the house-made alcohol when he was much too young, and flipping a taxi over in Paris with his Navy buddies, and coming home with a baseball bruise so deep that you could see the individual stitches in his skin that led to my Gram SCREAMING at him.
His background is an interesting one.. Before he was even born his father was out of his life. The youngest of four kids, his father had managed to knock up his cousin’s wife and his wife at the same time and left my great-grandmother for the cousin’s wife the moment he figured it out. I’ve heard horror stories about this figment of a man, this great-grandfather that wasn’t so great that would chain his own daughter to a radiator in the basement for entire nights at a time because she gave her brother’s too much food, or would show up when it was convenient to him to see if the family was making money, and if he could get some when he didn’t know his own damn son.
My DadDad not only survived this, but thrived. He had four kids of his own, and then five grandchildren. He survived the loss of his wife and his eldest daughter, and until now has had minor health problems.
Now his confident, booming voice is soft. His blue eyes that normally sparkle with humor are dull. The man who used to lift grandchildren onto his shoulders with ease and run around the house can now barely walk. He used to love food, as any good Italian man does, and is now going days without eating and rapidly losing weight.
This is part of life. Humans age. They eventually die. My DadDad doesn’t have cancer. He has no deadly disease other than time, and he’s well aware of this on his good days.
Today was a good day. He was more coherent than he’s been in a couple years with me. Normally, he slips between past and present. He’ll call me by my aunt’s name, trailed off mid-story to stare into space, and repeat the same story time and time again. I never mind. I’ve always loved listening to his stories.
Today there were no stories. It was short. His girlfriend (yes, at 84 he has a girlfriend because my DadDad has always been a handsome devil) decided that he needed to spend the weekend with her, which resulted in a fight between her and my mother… While they fought I helped my grandfather into the car and took a knee next to the car door so that I could talk to him. I hadn’t seen him since June, a visit filled with stories about his mother and growing up.
He surprised me by locking his eyes with mine. They were clear, not foggy, and his voice was direct but soft. “Your grandfather’s getting old, kid. I’m not going to be around much longer. I’ve lived a good life though. 84 years… I never thought I would have lived this long.”
I put my head on his shoulder, trying not to cry. He kissed the top of my head and hugged me with shaky hands. “I know you’re being practical… Just try to take care of yourself while you are around, okay DadDad?”
He laughed. He hugged me. “I’ll try.”
We talked about me being in California. He remembered that I lived near San Francisco. That I had a boyfriend who was older but not too old. That I worked “too hard for someone my age”.
“Are you happy, kid?” I told him honestly, that I was. That I was tired, but I was happy.
He smiled, happy but tired in a different way. “Then that’s all that matters. You look good. I’m proud of you, of who you’ve become. I love you, you know that right?”
Of course I know that… I love my DadDad to the moon and back. I know he loves me too.. I’ve never had a fear about our relationship. Never. He’s been a superhero to me since I was a child. He protected me from the sea witch in the Little Mermaid when I was a child and from an abusive partner as an adult. He knew amazing things thanks to street smarts and protected his house and my parent’s house during Hurricane Sandy because of wiring work he had done thirty years before. He was, and in my mind always will be, invincible. Even with his body failing I see a quiet contentment in him that I hope to one day have. His spirit is invincible, untouched by age and decay, and the memory of his smile and that sparkle in his eye when he laughs will remain long after his body is gone.
I apologize for this entry being so long… This blog has become an outlet for honesty and emotion… and I can think of nothing else right now but this goodbye. Tonight I saw MY DadDad. I don’t think I’ll ever get to see that again.
Goodbyes are hard. They are part of growing up, of life and the passage of time…but that doesn’t mean letting go of a superhero is easy. They live on in legend though, always.
Yours with a heavy heart,
I have identified as a ‘submissive’ since I entered the public scene. It’s a catch-all term, a word that was the easiest way for me to explain the pleasure that I felt kneeling in front of Sir, of having someone I care for use me how he sees most fit and gaining pleasure from it. It was the easiest term to use as the flashing neon sign next to my Fetlife tag. “Use me. Please. For your pleasure and mine. Mark me. Claim me. Want me.”
For as much as I’ve played and explored, I clung to that title above all others. I’ve identified sides of myself that are little, masochistic, a wee bit switchy at times, hedonistic, damn slutty, and bratty to name a few… and it was easiest to just throw them all underneath the submissive umbrella. All were components of my service, and service meant submission, right? Different ways, different times, but everything I did was to serve my partners and bring them as much pleasure as possible, which in turn gave me pleasure. A great deal of it.
Very rarely are the right paths the easiest ones.
I am going to start with two short stories that seem unrelated, but then combine into one. One is that my primary has told me, from the beginning of our relationship, that regardless of whether or not we work out he’s determined to see me a better person as a result of it. He pushes me, not hard enough for me to ever come close to breaking, but hard enough that I question myself in a healthy way. If I say self-demeaning comments, usually out of complete reflex, he will catch me on it and ask me why I say that. He peels back layers I have safely hidden behind, my armor that keeps people from getting too close and knowing too much, and waits. Waits until I trust him enough to give him a straight answer which then unravels my behavior… And yes, I love him for it. I love him for his patience with me, for being understanding, and for being there to stop the negative spirals when it seems I’m falling too fast or too great.
And now, story number two. Not so long ago, Sir and I met a couple. We were at Master’s Den, one of my favorite events both for high protocol it is and because he doesn’t work..and so I get to play. Before Sir and I played, we watched this particular duo. The female, small yet incredibly mighty, took quite a lot from her Master in the exact opposite way that I do. I’m… vocal. Very. I will stay mostly still but I scream. She danced, and jumped, and wiggled, but remained silent. After their scene, Sir approached them both and asked permission to play with miss Small yet Mighty… Which led to a scene, and more scenes, and talk of photoshoots and friendships…
And thus, with a couple beatings, began a bit of a learning experience for me that I’m honestly still exploring. The couple have become fantastic friends, with an incredibly energy about them both individually and together. Watching them I was surprised at some of the similarities between their dynamic and my own… The fluidity they had between strict protocol one moment and laughter and giggles the next. The sassy playfulness. The respect all around when respect was due.
She was his slave. He was her Master. Two titles I had never considered in relationship to myself.. and yet…
I was always afraid of the label of ‘slave’. I was taught, early on, that slave’s were not allowed to say no. A slave gave up their safeword. A slave was used whenever, wherever, with nothing off limits.. As much as I’ve explored, and as much as I want to please, I do have limits.
…But I’ve also never let a man push my limits as much as James has. I’ve never trusted someone so completely to know my limits, and to listen to me when I express that we’ve reached one.
The lovely slave and I have met up a couple of times on our own and talked, about our relationships, our pasts, our current friendships..and the parallels continued to tweak in my mind an identity I had been so set on.. But I didn’t know. I didn’t know for sure.
And so, I did what I knew to do. I asked James.
We were driving back from an event earlier in the night..and I love those car rides, because we talk about everything from childhood road trips to future naughty plans to what he plans on doing once the car is in park… In the dark, uninterrupted, with no one else around and with a great night behind us, I asked the question that I had been asking myself for a couple of weeks.
“Do you think I’m a submissive or a slave?”
I got a raised eyebrow and a volley of questions back and forth as he searched for the origin of my question and why it was brought up. He answered some of my questions..and dispelled the last of my fears. Slaves, just like submissives, can say no. They can always stop it..and he will always respect my limits. And so, I asked again what my Sir thought I was.
“I don’t know.” Pause, a smirk, a raised eyebrow. “What are you?”
I didn’t think about my answer. I didn’t pause. I didn’t have to. It came out on its own.
“I am yours.”
He chuckled. “Well that answers that question, now doesn’t it?”
And it did.
Hello, my name is Rene. I’m a 24 year old kinkster living in the Bay Area. I enjoy submitting to people and playing in all manner of fun ways, from impact to sensation to fire and wax. I am polyamorous, though lean more to the realm of poly-play than poly relationships… I am a lover, a girlfriend, a little, a partner, a pixie, a squeaky toy.. And I am a slave. I am owned by an incredible man. I serve him happily.
As it was in the beginning, it is even more so now.
I am his.
And I am happy.
I don’t want to be writing this entry.
I had a whole post-Folsom entry planned out.. I was going to power through the last of the “30 Days” questions and then write about consent, and about why it’s such an important part of the D/s dynamic.. How it effects events like Folsom… It was all planned out.
Instead I am writing an incredibly painful entry.
The San Francisco community has lost one of our own own, unexpectedly, during a time in which the Leather and kink communities are usually celebrating the most. We mourn an incredible spirit, one that touched me directly and helped me a great deal when I was going through a very difficult time.
I met SwitchTendencies right after Kane and I truly ended, at the first play party that I was brave enough to go to alone and uncollared. He was the first person I did a scene with, the first person I trusted with causing real physical pain after going through such emotional pain.
I redded out. It was the first scene I’ve ever called “red” on… and even after that, he made me smile. During aftercare we talked and laughed, and I found his smiles and good humor to be truly infectious. His laugh is incredibly distinctive, a deep belly laugh that puts a smile on on my face even during my worst days.
As a Sadist, ST pushed me in the dungeon. Even as he made me cry, he would make me laugh with sarcastic comments as I screamed and squirmed on the cross. He was one of few people that I trusted to play with me but not cross any lines. He listened when I called yellow. He calmed me when I started crying and started each play session with a hug and positive energy. He ended each scene the same way. He loved to play. Loved to spank. Loved to make me and other little girls cry, in the best way possible. I am honored to have been allowed to play with him.
As a friend, he guided me back into a world that I had almost left behind. I will always be submissive. That is a part of my nature, as natural to me as breathing… But loving someone? Diving back into a poly relationship when the incident with Smith still had me burned? Trusting someone again? These were all things I didn’t know that I could do. ST was new to poly and trying to figure it out as well, with a very experienced poly partner that he loves to the moon and back. The mere mention of her and his whole face lights up. She taught him how to navigate poly, and he taught me. He was the first person to hug and congratulate me when he found out I was James’s. The first one to go “I told ya so!” when I said he had agreed to go on the date with me. He listened to me ramble about my crush on my now-Sir and slowly gave me the courage, through thoughtful conversations, hugs, and snuggles, to act when I was terrified of heartbreak again.
ST was part of so much in the Bay Area community. He volunteered whenever he could, went to more parties than I could keep track of, and always did it with a smile on his face. He was a constant figure in almost every area of kink in the Bay Area scene, from Wicked Grounds to the Citadel to groups like Society of Janus. He worked hard to improve himself, and pursued kink with a passion and openness that I envied.
On Saturday, there was a pre-Folsom party at the Citadel. As always, James was taking photos in the back and I was perched beside him to get whacked in between photos. ST came in and took photos, smiling with a partner and being goofy and giggly. Toward the end of the night he came and found me again, still on my perch, and we talked as we often did. He told me about the partner that he was with that evening. I told him about a new job I was starting and plans for Folsom weekend. We snuggled and hugged, both of us tactile and affectionate people. He was excited for Folsom, for being able to work at one of the spanking booths.
Before he left for the evening he hugged me tightly, longer than he usually does, and as he did I told him that I was always there for him, and that I loved him. He said the same back, with a smile on his face that showed his excitement for the coming day. It was to be a weekend of kink, and fun, and community. We were all together for Folsom, to celebrate what we were and what we loved.
My mind cannot process that this smiling soul is gone, so suddenly. When last I saw him he was doing what he loved, spanking pretty girls at one of the booths at Folsom. He was smiling, and laughing, and surrounded by a community he was such a part of.. My heart hurts. It is hard to remember how incredible the weekend was when such a tremendous loss was part of it…
My darling SwitchTendencies, you have left us far too soon. I don’t know what this community will be like without you, but I know that you will be remembered by many, for many reasons. When I think of you, it will always be with a smile… My writing cannot do justice to describing just how much of an impact you had on me, and on the community around you. There are no words to describe it, nor are there any to fully convey the hole that your absence from this earth leaves. Returning to the play spaces I love, knowing that I will no longer see you there… It’s a painful thought. I’m sure it’s a painful thought for many of us right now… You are dear, you are loved, and you are missed.
I don’t have the right words for this.. It is hard for me to write when I am upset, when I am mourning… But ST did so much. He cared so much. He is a good, giving soul… And this world is a little less bright without him in it.
Yours with a heavy heart and tear-filled eyes
Are there items, objects or rituals that represent or help you express submission? If not, have you ever thought of adding or being gifted one? Is there a special significance to these objects or rituals?
The collar has always been a very important object to me.
I have been owned and collared once, and the feeling when I had that day collar around my neck 24/7 was… exquisite… Yes, I want that again someday. I loved the security of being able to reach down when I was away or a few days went by where I couldn’t see my Dom and have that confirmation of “Okay.. it’s here. I’m still his. I am his… yes…” I loved being able to CALL someone my Dominant. I love my Sir, but there is so much power behind that word… I also got so used to it that in the beginning with James and I, I had to bite back using the familiar term. He is my Sir right now. He dominates me, but he is not my Dominant.
What’s the difference? For him, it’s that he hasn’t completely collared me yet.
I do wear a play collar when we go to kink events. Most of the events that we go to are ones that he is at least partially working. I love watching him work, and love being at these events with him, but there have been times where he’s been in another room or in the back and a creeper has come up to me that just… doesn’t want to go away. The explanation of “I have a partner and he’s in the back doing his thing and I usually stay out here and watch and play and then he comes and takes pictures and everyone is happy.” sometimes takes too long.. I’ve out right run to find him a handful of times when I was very uncomfortable at the club and just needed my Sir.. No one is stupid enough to try anything when he’s near me. Chair or no chair, the man can be intimidating.
The collar does help though… And putting it on has become one of my favorite rituals. We started putting it on me for my comfort level in the clubs and parties he has to work.. but the intensity of our relationship changed when the collar became involved. I am owned by James, even though I’m not owned and collared 24/7, and having a physical reminder of that, something that he puts on me and takes off… Yes, it made things more intense between us.. In a good way.
On a typical Wednesday he and I get a little time to ourselves before BaGG. Sometimes we get food, sometimes it’s just snuggles in his car then snuggles in Wicked Grounds. Sometimes it’s snuggles and spanks and squeaks in Wicked Grounds.. (I love Wednesdays). Then his alarm goes off for when he has to go to the club and set up. While he gets ready to go I get the collar out of my bag, and usually hold it up rather shy and mew…
He motions for me to come closer, and I do.. on my knees. I lift my hair (usually down and pulled back, because the club gets hot but it’s fun to get hair pulled…) and he slips it around my neck and buckles it. I very quietly thank my Sir, knowing that when that collar is around my neck I won’t be able to call him “James”. Not because there’s a rule..but because that’s where my mind goes when that collar is around my neck. And after I thank him he kisses me…
I mean really kisses me.
I mean the world spins on its axis kisses me.
Taking off the collar has a similar ritual to it. I end up on my knees and I bend my head to give him access to the buckle.. and once it is off I say how sad I am, and he kisses me. And the world spins. And I am once again reminded of what a lucky little submissive I am.
We have other rituals that are less D/s related and more relationship related… One that he started early on that continues to make me smile even when I am feeling my worst is that we always end each night by wishing each other “sweet dreams”. Another that I began in order to make him smile is that each morning he gets a selfie… usually naughty, as the goal is to make the man smile, and I do aim to please.
James and I are still really new… It’s only been a few months, and rituals develop over time. But the rituals I have now, especially the collar..they make me happy.
A long time ago, I called myself an artist. My life was in the studio, covered in clay and content. The demons in my mind were quiet because I could express them through my hands. I was content. I was at peace. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Life gets in the way of artist dreams a lot. Student loans soon took priority over studio nights, rent payments becoming more important than food, no matter art supplies..
There are few people that I know that are brave enough to put their artist dreams first and try to live off of what they do.. and few people more talented than the stubborn brute I’m writing about now.
I have seen Michael go days without food in order to put gas in his tank so that he could drive to San Francisco from Napa (where he lives) for a shoot. He shoots at Bondage-a-Go-Go, an event at a club in San Francisco, every week where he will take any pictures anyone asks for, put them up for public use..and doesn’t get paid. He runs on tips for both that and Sinner’s Sanctum, a once-a-month club event in the North Bay. You can also find him shooting at parties at San Francisco’s Citadel, where debauchery is much encouraged..and also tips. Because, again, he doesn’t get paid for what he does.
The man goes above and beyond because he loves what he does. He stays up..and up…and up… putting social life and sleep on hold to edit shoots that have priority (even if it’s for trade and not for pay). He will overdraft his bank account to acquire the proper props requested for shoots, will spend days scouting for the perfect locations, and will put his body at risk (and often push it too far..stubborn bull) to get the perfect shots required.
In summary, the man is damn dedicated to what he does, often to the detriment of his own health, because he loves what he does that much. He doesn’t have much in the way of formal training, but he has what can’t be taught. A good eye and heck of a lot of drive… He reminds me what it’s like to love what you do so much that you live for it, that of course it comes before everything else.
Life gets in the way for people, even people as driven as Michael.. Maybe especially people as driven as him. And so I’m writing here, telling you what this man will go through to do what he loves, and saying that he needs our help and support. This talented man is in a bind, and knowing him he’s doing everything he can to get himself out of it. This means minimal food, driving only when he has to…because gas is an expensive thing…and just planning, and thinking and plotting. Setting up the next shoot. Seeing how on earth he can make what he needs to make the next shoot possible…
Help comes in the form of us, internet peoples. I get that everyone is pinching their purse strings right now. I know this well, and have been doing it myself to a scary degree… But finding someone this damn dedicated to what he does in this day and age is rare.
Please, check out his work: http://www.michaelsundinphotography.com/
…and even more please, check out his gofundme: https://www.gofundme.com/5xkee8
He’s trying to get together $400 more dollars for a photoshoot that would do damn good for his business.. One he’s not getting paid for, but he’s doing for the clients to make them super comfortable before any sort of big paid shoot. I know we’re all pinching pennies.. I’m having to do it to a scary degree myself. This is one of those “anything helps” situations..where that spare $10 would make a huge difference.
If you can, please help support someone who’s a heck of a lot braver than me.
Thanks for your time. Normally scheduled kinky fuckery will resume shortly