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Bittersweet

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My life is radically changing in the next few days… Hence why I’m awake at 2:33 in the morning on a night when I did NOT have a kink event for once.

I was up packing..because this is when I have time to pack.

On Saturday I am moving to the most wonderful new home. My roommates are kinky; a stable, owned and collared couple that have been together for years and are the most welcoming people I’ve ever met in my life. They’ve worked with my budget in every possible way (even letting me pay some of my first months rent on the 12th when I move in and the rest on the 16th), cut the price of rent almost in half to give me a home, and even have a little black cat of their own to keep Poe company when I’m at work. There is a kitchen to cook in, a garage to work in, a back patio for awesome BBQs, and a sense of peace that I am feeling for the first time since August 1st when I was given notice. The place is even wheelchair accessible with enough room for two, in time.

The one con of my new home when I have all these pros? It’s a con and it’s not.. The house isn’t in San Francisco. It’s down the Peninsula a ways, in a small town called Menlo Park.

I know Menlo Park pretty well. That’s where Rocky Horror nights happen. There is a cute bookstore, and Italian restaurants, and summer festivals that happen.. The town is just quiet enough that I can park on the street but not so quiet that I have little to explore. I’m suddenly close to Palo Alto, a city I’ve only driven through once, and am closer to friends in San Jose. I’m still only a half hour away from San Francisco by car (an hour by Bart), and as someone who grew up with that same amount of a commute into New York City from her home town this is nothing for me. This is normal for me.. The city is close, but not overwhelming, and I like that.

But it means giving up my San Francisco address, and being further away from James.. It’s a doable far away. San Francisco is our meeting point, just as it’s always been. I will continue to be at all the events I go to normally. I still have my jobs in and near the city. It’s just a matter of making sleepovers work and..seeing where this goes.

Packing up my life makes me nostalgic. I was wrapping up my fifty gazillion mugs (I’m a bit of a tea whore…), thinking about how much I’ve changed since I first moved into this place. This was my first real grown-up apartment. I was never in school while living inside these walls. I worked. I worked my ass off, and I grew. I learned. Almost my entire relationship with Kane happened while I lived here. I remember texting him after my road trip with my sister, telling him that I was all-in, that I wanted to be his.

I went from almost completely isolated in my kink relationships to being in an amazing community of people. Having friends that I see outside of just kink events. Having the first healthy poly relationship..and probably the first healthy relationship in general that I’ve had in a while with a man I am crazy about. I’ve gone from kink being at the fringe of my life to kink being in almost every aspect of my life.

I’ve lost some things along the way… I didn’t work while I was here.. not the way I wanted. My hands rarely touched clay. It’s something that I’ve sworn to change once Saturday comes to pass. I found a studio in San Francisco with drop in hours that I can afford..and dammit I need to work again. James has honestly taught me that without really trying to. The more I see him work, the more I hear him talking about what he loves about what he does and I see the dedication and time he puts into it.. the more I remember what it feels like to be lost in the studio. To be running around at 3 a.m. with headphones on, covered in clay and lost in my own world. There is a physical ache to find that part of myself again.. I need it like I need air.. Honestly, like I need to submit..

I met some friends that showed me an even broader part of my world. The Dark Odyssey events and the people involved in them are amazing, and I am honestly grateful to Smith for getting me more involved. For being my initial reason for going to Fusion, which led to connecting with Chris and several other awesome people.

I discovered today that that particular relationship has come full circle. I was poking around on Fetlife, as per usual, and ended up liking a blog that Smith’s primary had also liked. It was seeing that that made me realize I hadn’t seen updates from her in about a month. Smith was never much of a presence on Fetlife as it was, so I wasn’t exactly missing his updates. I clicked, and saw that she had blocked me, and so had he.. and honestly, I laughed. It was a sad laugh. It’s always sad when a friendship dies..but I had been so busy enjoying my life that I hadn’t noticed they had finally fully exited it. Part of me is still curious to see how they will navigate this when I plan on frequenting events they are involved with, and share play with someone that they play with as well.. We shall see. Still… It’s nice to have that negativity out of my feed, and out of my life. Cowardice is not a way to keep my friendship.

With all these changes I want to make one small change to this blog. I’m sure many of you have figured out from a couple posts ago that my name isn’t Rena. It’s Rene. One letter off, but still different. I don’t know why I changed that letter. Why I was so afraid to openly be Rene on here. I have this blog linked to my Fetlife profile, so many people know that it’s me.. Whatever the motivation, I would like to drop that small twerk and just..be myself. So, the writer is still the same It’s just the name signing the posts that’s changing slightly

So many beginnings, and so many endings. It seems appropriate that all these things seem to be happening at once, less than a month after my birthday. Will I miss some of the things that are gone from my life? Of course… but I have a feeling the best is yet to come. Good things are coming. I am excited to see what this next chapter in my life with bring me.

Yours overwhelmed with the amount of packing still needing to be done… GAH

-Rene

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When One Dore Closes…

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Purposeful misspelling, I promise.

Yesterday was Dore Alley, or Up Your Alley, or Leather Alley..whatever you want to label it as. I tend to go with “baby Folsom” because it’s the easiest way to explain it. It’s Folsom before Folsom. A taste of what is to come at the end of September. And going to it the last two years has made me very, very happy.

It was a harder day for me than it was a year ago. My sister, my best friend, is now 5800 miles away in Denmark. She left that morning, around the time that the event started…

I don’t really want to go into the details of my emotional state.. Rather the events resulting from it.

I found myself at Dore Alley, drying some tears after an intense last-stateside conversation with my sister. It seemed like just the therapy I needed.. I knew James would be there. My friends would be there. I wanted to be around my friends, out dressed in clothing that had me feeling more comfortable than any street clothing could.

It was right about then that I got nostalgic. I walked through the sea of half-naked bodies, assless chaps, and human puppies thinking about the previous Dore Alley, where Kane had met me after his wife left for the airport..

Kane and I have talked from time to time since we’ve split and had a habit of passively liking posts on Instagram, but other than that I had long ago stopped going out of my way to reach out to him. The year before Kane had been all that was on my mind. I took teasing photos for him at the event, begging him to come out and play, missing my boyfriend while I tried not to think about his wife.

Being the little show off that I am sometimes, I signed up for the naked dance contest. This, at the time, was extremely out of the ordinary for me. I still changed in the bathroom at the Citadel. I was never naked in public, never. I didn’t think anyone wanted to see chubby little me naked. I wanted to do something bawlsy and get lost in kink while I could. I had a vanilla job, Kane had no interest in the public scene, and the voyeuristic part of me that I refused to acknowledge most of the time wanted the attention of gyrating on stage in front of hundreds of people.

And so I stripped with Kane watching me, looking at me with the ‘I will fuck you later’ look. He held my bag and my clothes while I ran on stage, terrified and thrilled all at once. I stood in back, found him in the crowd, and danced like an idiot.. But it was fun. I kept locking eyes with him. I shimmied my hips and my ass and stuck my tongue out and just…enjoyed myself.

Somehow I ended up shoved in the front. I don’t know how. I still don’t like being in the front.. I like being the support, the background, but the spotlight and I still aren’t on speaking terms. I couldn’t find Kane in the crowd and wasn’t sure I wanted to still be on stage at all.

I looked down and locked eyes with my worse nightmare, a camera.

I vaguely recognized the person behind it. He took photos at some of the play parties I had gone to, and usually had a naked Asian woman in his lap. He was loud, with a big booming voice and over-the-top personality that scared the shit out of me. He had an easy power to take center stage, to make others notice him.

And he was watching me.

I kept dancing. I still couldn’t find Kane..and so I kept my eyes on the red headed camera guy. Saw the smirk on his face, the look of amusement as he took photos of everyone. I was attracted to him.. to strong hands, to the look of intensity he got when he worked, to the blue eyes I somehow hadn’t noticed before and the scruff… I have such a weakness for scruff.

Eventually we all stopped dancing and my viking collected me. We waited around to see who won the big prize, and I remember the red headed photo guy won even though he hadn’t danced. He knew everyone, was talking to everyone when I went home with Kane.

It’s amazing the difference a year can make. I ended up running into Kane amongst the latex and leather of Dore Alley. We talked..caught up, touched on why we ended and what we had become. He told me he was still pretty single. I finally told him I wasn’t. I confronted him about me being a secret..about him never fully letting me in his life. I wanted to meet his friends and his family, and he always kept me at arms length. I was never fully one of his people.

He looked started when I told him that, and then he smiled really sadly.

“Rena… I didn’t keep you from meeting my people. I don’t…have people.” He shrugged. In the middle of this clusters came over and chatted. They hugged, we talked. There were people from the Citadel, from BaGG, people I see week after week that I would call friends. When there was finally a break in the people and conversation he smiled. “Clearly, Rena, you have people now. You needed it.. It’s nice to see you finally happy.”

He’s right. I am happy.

We parted on good terms with plans to do a studio night together and hang out, just as friends. He went off to explore the rest of the festival, and I ended up kneeling next to my favorite red head with a camera. Yes, the same one that I finally noticed a year ago.

The same one that, during my conversation with Kane, was never too far away.

James still scares me.. but for entirely different reasons than that day I first noticed him. The chuckle doesn’t scare me..or the smirk.. The nails digging into my chest don’t scare me, and while I flinch when his hand comes down to hit me that doesn’t scare me either.

It’s when his voice gets soft and tender and his touch becomes feather-light that I become afraid. When he pulls me into his chest and kisses the top of my head so softly, so sweetly that I feel so entirely cherished and safe.. That is when he scares me.. Because this man has slowly captured more and more of my heart.

My life is changing.. for the better I think. I’m slowly getting myself un-stuck. Creatively I’m working again, financially I’ve collected another job that is slowly taking the place of unstable funds. Social wise I have friends… I go out, I see people. I smile a lot.

Romantically..

Romantically, he’s got me. I trust him, completely. I am his.

…It really is that simple

I am his. And I am happy.

Sometimes, doors closing can be an incredibly healthy thing. It can make you even more confident about your choices to open others.

Yours, smiling

-Rena

Exploring New Ground

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Tomorrow I leave for Fusion, a Dark Odyssey event in Northern Maryland. The event consists of 5 days of kink, INTENSE kink, classes, bonding, camping, etc.

When I originally bought my ticket, I was in a very different place with a very different relationship dynamic. I bought it missing the connection I had felt at Surrender between D.O members, and with the hopes of further exploring a connection with somehow I had met at the event outside of the “crash, bang, boom” as he put it.

Now, going, it’s almost like starting from scratch. I am in something new and shiny with someone who just doesn’t do relationships (something I’ve heard over, and over, and over), who for some reason picked me. The question is, will he keep me or will I bore him?

I have been back in New Jersey almost a week visiting my family before Fusion (the excuse that allows me to go to the event)..and I am at the point of crawling out of my skin. I’m blessed to live in a kink bubble, where all of my friends are in the scene in some way. I didn’t even think about vanilla repercussions for kinky actions before I left. I asked James to mark. I don’t have a collar yet (and I don’t want one yet. I take the commitment of a collar seriously. It’s something that’s earned with time and not something that appears just because you say you’re in a relationship with someone) and I needed something for my frazzled subby mind to feel claimed when I’m going to an event where many MANY others will be touching, and taking, and fucking, and spanking me. And, short term, it worked. I love when he bruises me. I wear the marks with pride.

…My parents…not so much. Hearing what I do is one thing. Seeing visible proof of the type of relationship I am in? … Probably a bit too much for them, along with me trying to justify why I have the marks. “I’m going to be gone for so long, and I’m going to a big kink event without my significant other. Seeing the marks makes me feel possessed even when he isn’t here.”

…Bad choice of words resulting in multiple lectures about how “loose” I’ve become. I’ve written multiple times about how open minded my parents are, and they really are. They will just always see me as their little girl, and processing the fact that their little girl craves being bruised and marked up is too much for most parents that I know, even mine.

Fusion… I’m still torn about it. Yes, I’m excited. I got my tent. I’ve got the extra phone chargers, a rough schedule of what I’m up to, a notebook for classes, more outfits than GODDE because dammit I’m gonna look cute if I’m gonna be photographed. But I’m still nervous. I know Smith and I will cross paths, along with his partner, and I’m not sure what will bother me more. If he acknowledges me or if he doesn’t. I don’t care about any kinky fuckery we engaged in. I care about the loss of a friend… so much so apparently that I’ve had rather vivid nightmares depicting multiple reactions from him if we cross paths. Why am I going on my own? Why did I think this was a good idea???

Before I left for my trip back east I stopped by to visit my friend Lexi. She humors me and listens to me ramble…probably much too much… and I did indeed ramble about James. It’s been a while since someone has gotten to me as much as he has, gotten under my skin, and she let me gush about how sweet he is, let me ramble about how nervous I was and how new and shiny things were and what on fucking earth was I doing. She smiled when I squeed about being in a relationship again..actually being someone’s girlfriend where that someone is willing to show me off to people. I exist, everyone knows it..and it’s a nice novelty after being a secret and a second choice.

We talked about my worries about Smith and any conflict between him, his partners, and I. She just laughed. “You’re not a drama starter, pixie”, she told me. “You’re not going to go looking for a fight you don’t want. Besides, before if they messed with you they were messing with me, along with others. Now?” She laughed. “They’re messing with James. Not something someone does unless they have a death wish. He chose you, sweetie. That means a LOT, especially from him. He doesn’t take someone on lightly.”

Logically, I know all this. But logic and I don’t always get along, especially when emotions get involved.

The logic of “I am his” slowly gets worn away by days trapped in a time warp 3000 miles away. I love my family, I do, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been gone from my kinky little world, especially for this long. There’s only so many times I can say “I miss you” and not feel pathetic.. which I kinda do. It hasn’t been that long. It’s been a week. I’ve done long distance relationships where I went months without seeing my boyfriend and I was okay.. But I also skyped with that person, and had nightly phone calls, and sent photos back and forth and… yeah.

I’ve mentioned before how tactile I am. How I need touch from a partner. Being away from someone who I’m used to all but mauling me twice a week while immersed in this time warp environment has not been good for my girl brain, at all. He’s given me time.. he texts me when he can, and I appreciate that. I smile every damn time I see a text message from him. But I keep waiting for something to go wrong.

Because when I was with Kane and I came home, something always did.

Not a single holiday passed when we were dating where I wasn’t crying, missing the connection between he and I. I would go weeks without hearing his voice and seeing his face and it would KILL the part of me that craves connection. Trying not to go into panic mode with James when I’m this far away for this long has been an interesting challenge. He doesn’t do selfies, can’t Skype, and has shitty phone reception.. so my options are limited to words showing up on a screen. And I can feel the disconnect, the removal from the world I’m normally happily a part of.

When I’m fully immersed in the SF Kink scene I have no jealousy issues, and no self-doubt issues. I can tell from the way James looks at me that I am his, even when he goes off and spanks others, kisses others, etc. Most of the time I’m such a voyeur that I love to watch him do bad things to others, and the idea of watching him bottom for someone actually turns me on quite a lot.

Tonight, my jealousy spiked, along with my insecurities, while I was packing for camp. I was texting with James and he told me that he had recently reconnected with an old friend, and that they had bitten him last night.

Girl brain did very bad things. My lovely girl brain immediately tail spinned, going “That’s it! That’s the bad thing! You’re about to be downgraded, girl. Forget keeping that girlfriend title, forget having that talk about being his primary partner. FORGET IT. There’s no way you can compete with someone he has history with, especially when you’re this far away for this long. Of course he’s playing with someone else! You’re practically unreachable for almost a month. What did you expect?”

Now, logically I realize that my girl brain is on crack. A man like James does not randomly go “Ummm… YOU! I pick you!” after years of not having a relationship and just drop them like nothing. I know he cares about me. But I feel so damn isolated out here, and he’s out there having fun, and seeing friends, and playing.. and all my insecure bits say, “This is a very new relationship.. perhaps too new to survive you being gone this long…”

I am scared of Fusion, but I also think I need it to get my head back on straight. I am a kinky little creature. I’ve gotten into a pattern of play, between BaGG and dungeon parties, and too long without it does not make for a happy pixie. Specifically, and I hate admitting this, too long without seeing James. Without kneeling at his feet, or curling up next to him, attempting and failing to brace myself for the slaps and nails and kisses that make my knees week. I want to see what this other kink community is like… and I admit, I’ve enjoyed planning things with James in mind. I’m putting myself out there with getting photos taken. I normally hide from the camera at all costs… but I’m with a voyeur, and I aim to please.

This is new ground for me all around.. new kink event, new relationships, new boundary lines with the parental units…

Time to finish packing.

Yours a little out of sorts..but I’m getting there

-Rena

Uncharted Territory

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I have never fallen asleep in someone’s arms before and actually SLEPT there. I’m so used to the tuck and roll, or snuggle until right before sleep and then get into comfy sleeping positions. Arms fall asleep, legs get tangled. Sleeping in someone’s arms just doesn’t work.

Until it does.

I feel like I need to backtrack. I have been in the scene here in San Francisco for over a year now, and in that year there have been constant figures that are always some part of it. I have not been one of those constants. There have been several month gaps where I pulled away from the scene, from the munches and the people I called friends. Things weren’t right with Kane, or I was focusing on building the relationship with Smith. Or I was off in New Jersey.

Things end. Sometimes you have control over those endings, and sometimes you don’t. Kane is still in my life. I hope he will be for the rest of my life. There are points where we just.. get each other as friends and artists. There is a soul connection there. Smith is no longer in my life. I had no control over this, and I lost someone who could have been a phenomenal friend over miscommunications that were never clarified or explained. I trusted Smith..and it hurt, a lot, it especially hurt my Little side. At the same time Kane was gently nudging me out of my collar, not because I failed him or because I was a bad submissive, but because his life is complicated to say the least. There was room for me to be in his life as his friend, but not as his submissive, and accepting that took some time.

I hid. I licked my wounds. I wallowed. And then I got it into my head that I should go to the Littles munch at the local kink cafe. I hadn’t gone in ages. I wasn’t feeling interested in play just for play’s sake, and my Little side was the most damaged. I thought.. why not? And so I went.

I got bored by the munch in about 10 minutes. I ran out to get food, and that’s when I ran into James.

James is one of the constants I mentioned. Always there, always playing some sort of part, he’s been involved in the Bay Area scene longer than I’ve been here. I’ve been attracted to him since the beginning, but I got involved with Kane so quickly after my mentorship ended and I just wanted to focus on him and my collar and all the bells and whistles attached to it.. James got thrown into the category of “crush”, which, for some reason in my mind makes someone untouchable. He’s safe. I admire from a far, can keep up the friendship, and all is well.

We had played once, at Surrender, but there was something about him that made my heart race..made me afraid. I knew enough about him to know he had his demons. I felt safe when I was around him.. I saw how he looked at a lot of the subby girls around him. Protective. He was always my friend, but he kept me at a a distance just as much as I kept him there. Distance was safe. Distance meant there was some level of detachment.

Somehow, that night at the kink cafe, I ended up on my knees in front of him for a mini scene right there in the cafe. For the first time I enjoyed pain for his pleasure. I reconnected with him, and with other friends that were in his circle that I had lost touch with. I had a community again. He invited me along to an event in the city called Bondage a Go Go that’s half club, half dungeon. I don’t do well in clubs, and I was still jumpy despite the endorphins rushing through me and the beautiful teeth marks I was suddenly sporting on my neck. That first week, I declined.

The second week was much the same as the first, with a mini scene again, just a bit bolder.. and this time I went to BaGG. The week after that I went with the anticipation of his hands on me, of the marks he would leave. I brought clothes for BaGG.

As the weeks progressed, it became more than play. In my shy, awkward way (which can be VERY socially awkward) I got to know him more. There was talking in between slaps, and kissing. And lots of squeaking. I found my crush getting stronger. I listened to whispers that he had a thing for me too. I had taken my collar off, and was adjusting to the nakedness of my neck. I was feeling bold… and did something I had never done before, ever.

I asked him out one night at BaGG. And he actually said yes.

And then I failed at follow up. I didn’t know how to have conversations with him via text. Did he want to hear from me, did he not? I didn’t know. Again, socially awkward as all hell, especially if I’m crushing on someone. He’s been very patience with me, slowly pulling me out of my shell week after week as we spend more time together.

It started with just BaGG every week. And then, week after week, he was at the play parties once a week as well, and I ended up as his plus 1..

I don’t remember how to date, and I’ve never done an out-in-the-open relationship with BDSM undertones. I have no clue what the hell I’m doing..and while I am scared shitless I am also loving every last minute of this strange adventure with James. A lot of his friend are mine.. and we both have kink as one of the main parts of our lives. It is a large part of both of our artistic practices. He pushes me, in so many ways; pushes me to ask for what I want, pushes me to take control and stand on my own two feet, to give but to not be taken advantage of. He pushes me physically, leaving wonderful marks all over my chest, back, thighs, and ass. I have bruises, bites, nail marks, scratches…

I have talked about zinging with someone before, that moment of “Oh shit.” When you make a real connection with someone, that moment always appears when you know you are in trouble. When you realize that something is going to make an impact on you, mean something.

For me that moment was last night. He spent the night, which is a novelty in and of itself to me. I hadn’t spent the night with someone in a good six months, and even that it hadn’t been in my tiny apartment with my cat and my chaos and my ‘single girl in her 20’s’ stuff. As much as we engage in kinky fuckery, we are taking things very slow in a lot of ways. For one, we haven’t had sex yet. We haven’t put labels on anything, haven’t rushed into anything. Building a strong foundation and really exploring is important to both of us. One on one, yes we kiss and play and touch, but we also talk, a lot. Conversations start casual and become deep and meaningful between us very quickly.

We were having one of those conversations last night, the deep and meaningful ones. The evening itself was FANTASTIC. He’s involved in theatre, and he let me tag along to a show he helped out with. By the time we got back to my place it was close to 4 a.m. We were both exhausted thanks to a party the night before at the Citadel that hadn’t seen us home until 5 a.m.. There was no logical reason for us to do anything but stumble into my place and pass out.

Only I didn’t want to. Not in that moment. I didn’t want the conversation to end, didn’t want the magic to go away. I was enjoying myself so much that I didn’t want the night to end. I just wanted to talk more. Learn more. I wanted to peel back more layers of this man. I was so comfortable, and able to be so totally myself with him. I could really care for this man. This could be something special.

Cue “oh fuck” moment. There, unexpected and delayed after a year of knowing this man but not really knowing him, was the Zing. That zaa zaa zoo moment that added a new level of intensity to our interaction, a new level of intimacy that wasn’t quite there before.

Eventually we did go inside. We got ready for bed and kept talking, kept touching, kept kissing. I didn’t expect to sleep in his arms. I never do. Men always do the tuck and roll, or they’ll wait until just before they pass out to move because they have to sleep in a certain position. And yet I was pulled into his arms and held. I can’t quite put into words how.. safe I felt, how secure. How fucking good it felt to be surrounded by an embrace. My last thought of the night was that there was no way this was going to last, that you don’t actually get to sleep in someone’s arms.

I woke up surrounded by warmth and security, as safely anchored in his arms as I had been when I passed out, mind boggled. I have no idea what I’m doing; no idea at all. I could stress. I could over analyze, freak myself out, tell myself all the reasons I shouldn’t pursue this, or want this, or want him or want to explore this uncharted territory of dating. I’m sure I could come up with a good list of reasons as to why this isn’t a good idea.

Instead, I’m going to feel the feels. I’m going to just… smile and enjoy the moment.

I am in uncharted territory, and I am happy.

Yours, as always

-Rena

P.S. on a more comical note, James and Poe had a wonderful conversation where they plotted my demise. I believe James meets with kitty approval. I haven’t decided yet whether this thrills me or terrifies me. Ho boy…