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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My thoughts on "Shades of Kink"

Tucked away in the mass quantities of digital cable stations is OWN, which is none other than the Oprah Winfrey Network, of course. I'd never tuned to it before (I don't happen to worship on the altar of Oprah), but last week, I heard about a program airing on there, so I recorded it, and John and I watched it last weekend.

Journalist Lisa Ling has a show called "This is America," where she explores different facets of society. And, due to the popularity of The Book That Shall Not Be Named, she chose to explore the world of BDSM, then present it in a one-hour segment called "Shades of Kink."

Probably needless for me to say, but I had a lot of issues with this program. But lest you think me a Negative Nellie, I'll start with what I considered the positives.

1. At the start of the show, Ling stressed that while that book is just a fantasy, that the real BDSM lifestyle is much more complex. Yeah, duhhh... but a lot of people got misconceptions from that pile of clichés. The adult toy store talked about how, ever since that book, their floggers and ropes and so forth are flying off the shelves. But it's not enough to buy this stuff; you have to know how to use it. Bingo.

2. The aspects of consensuality and scene pre-discussion were mentioned repeatedly. Talking with a kink-aware therapist, Ling asked, "What's the difference between BDSM and abuse?" The therapist replied, "Consent." Again, for us, duhhh... but it's important for general society to know this and know it well.

3. The show dispelled the myth that sex is always included, that play partners are just fuck buddies in leather and latex. It emphasized the intensity, intimacy and psychology of kink, and that it's a lot more than just foreplay.

4. They used a lot of common terms and defined them. I was tickled when I heard the term "pervertables."

5. The top giving a brief spanking demo made a point of differentiating between hitting with a cupped hand vs. flat-handed. The former: crisp, satisfying sound and feel. The latter: a dull thud and the sensation of being clubbed. Amen. I'm not a seal.

6. They showed M/F, F/M, and a bit of F/F orientations, so there was variety. They also covered switching.


First of all, Lisa Ling seemed altogether a misfit to host this type of program. She was so clearly uncomfortable throughout -- intrigued as a journalist, but somewhat creeped out personally (and doing her best to hide it). In an interview I saw elsewhere, she admitted she had a lot of negative notions about BDSM, especially after reading that book, which she did not like. (Yay, Lisa.) She asked all the proper questions and made the proper comments, but she was emotionally distant. During a scene where she was sitting in on a "Kink 101" class at the Pleasure Chest, she was very obviously uptight when they were demonstrating bondage to the audience and her wrists were tied together. Lighten up, Lisa. It's an innocuous little demo. You're not blindfolded and hog-tied naked in a dark room. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

I realize this is network television, not HBO, and they couldn't show all that much. But I found the demos to be lame and staged (well, they were staged, but they didn't have to be so obvious about it). It was more about posing and appearance than substance of scene: elaborate costumes and settings, implements and bondage furniture, bottoms in various positions of submission. The few strikes they showed were light, the reactions wooden. I know it's nit-picking and this was meant for general audiences, but I would have liked to see just a tad more realism, rather than pomp and circumstance.

I couldn't stand the segment with the domme and sub. I didn't like her at all; maybe it's because she bore an unfortunate resemblance to Ann Coulter, or she spoke with a mild Valley Girl affectation. Scott, her sub, had requested they not show his face. Uh... his whole damn face was showing underneath that eye mask he wore. And when they showed his torso, it was covered with tattoos. Like anyone who knew him wouldn't recognize him? Who did he think he was kidding?? And with every demo strike the domme gave him, he parroted very quickly, "Thank you Miss Nina, thank you Miss Nina, thank you Miss Nina." Come on... who does that? With every strike? Just once, I would have liked to see a real reaction, an "ouch," a flinch, anything rather than a rote phrase.

The segment with the married couple who switch with one another was interesting, but also simplistic. She had a problem with submitting to him, so they go to a BDSM Bed & Breakfast, talk with the couple who runs it, she cries, and then poof. Cut to the two of them scening, and she's submitting to him. Plus, when they showed their playroom and their massive display of implements, she mentioned how expensive implements are, and how you can make use of simple household items and not spend all that money. She bragged about how cheap their selection of wooden spoons was, for example. Uhhh, yeah. But did she mention how those cheapie kitchen utensils you buy for $3.99 a set will splinter and break if you breathe on them too hard?

While they stressed consensuality, they did not explain the concept of safe words, which I thought was a glaring omission. Love them or hate them, safe words are a part of the BDSM culture and should be part of general coverage. They did say the sub "can always say no" or can "always end the scene." True. But it's a lot more complicated than that, and the way they said it made it sound like the dreaded "topping from the bottom" (which they didn't go into either).

With such a short time available to them, you'd think they might have delved into the basics more. But instead, they spent a good amount of time with a segment of play partners doing what they called "cigar play." Huh?? OK, I don't know everything there is to know, and I don't pretend to. But I've been in the scene for nearly 17 years and I've never heard of this. He tied her up, placed her at his feet, then lit a big fat cigar. He then passed the tip of it along her body, her neck, her face, her ears, so she could feel the heat of it. He never touched her with it, but he came close, so she had to remain absolutely still. Then he puffed and blew the smoke all over her.

Granted, I had visceral reactions to this, mostly revulsion. I think cigars are gross and they stink. And I would probably flinch or twitch involuntarily and get burned. But really? Why choose this, of all possible scenarios, for a general sampling?

OK, so it's better that programs like this are happening than not, I suppose. But this subject is so rich and complex, and involves so many people in some capacity, that I think it deserves more . I'd like to see another show like this, but with a). a host that isn't so obviously detached from her topic, b). some interviews with well-known scene experts, c). more in-depth coverage of the individual kinks, and more realistic demonstrations, and d). wayyyy more time devoted to it. Perhaps a series of specials, rather than cramming the entire lifestyle into a hour (not even that, what with commercials and all).

Did any of you see this show? What did you think?

Monday, January 28, 2013

The "Catfish" phenomenon

No, I'm not talking about the actual fish. I'm talking about the term that has become fairly well-known in recent years among those of us online. A "catfish" is a person who creates a false identity online (using fake pictures, and even pretending to be the opposite sex) with the purpose of attracting or seducing others. To perpetrate this sort of hoax is known as catfishing.

This term first entered the lexicon a few years ago when photographer Nev Schulman produced a documentary about his experiences; he'd fallen in love with a young woman he "met" on Facebook, only to find out much later that this woman was actually much older (old enough to be his mother) and married. But it's the recent scandal with football player Manti Te'o that's really thrust the term into the forefront. Allegedly, Te'o was tricked into an online relationship with a young woman named Lennay, and was even led to believe she died of cancer. It turned out she didn't exist -- her pictures had been copied off of a random young woman's profile, and it was actually a man behind the hoax.

A lot of people don't believe Te'o was fooled; they think he was in on it and enjoyed the drama and the attention. "How could anyone be fooled like that? No one's that stupid!" Wellllll... he may be naive. But I believe him. There are some very clever people on the Internet; people who are capable of reinventing themselves, creating new and convincing identities, and keeping the ruse going. And all sorts of people fall for it. Including yours truly.

Several readers who go back a long way with me will recognize this story, but I think it's worth repeating for the newer ones who don't know it. 

I forget exactly when (around 2004-2005); I was contacted on a fetish site by a man I will refer to as C (for Catfish; I don't want to even reveal his proper initial). I was actively seeking a play partner at the time and he sounded interesting, so I exchanged a couple of messages with him on the site, and then we moved to email.

The first red flag popped up in the emails; he started writing elaborate spanking scenarios and stories about us, and I wasn't quite ready for that. And I definitely wasn't ready for the types of photos he was sending. Not full-on dick pics, but stuff like him standing in his kitchen in a bathrobe, and the bathrobe was open. I told him I wasn't comfortable with that, and he stopped.

C was local, so we agreed to meet for lunch. Practically from the minute we met, I knew I'd made a mistake. I simply didn't get the right vibe; I was uneasy. I didn't feel an attraction or any chemistry. During lunch, I did most of the talking, because I was nervous. He was quiet, played more with his food than ate it, and watched me so intensely, I felt naked at the table. 

Later, via email, I tried to tell him nicely that I didn't think we were a good fit, but he got belligerent and pushed the issue. I commented that I didn't like the way he stared at me all through lunch. He came back with, "You're such an egomaniac; you think everyone is staring at you." That was that; I didn't reply. A couple of days later, he wrote me a cajoling, let's-be-friends message. I ignored it. I figured that was the end of it.

Cut to a few months later. On another site, I was contacted by a man named Brian. Very pleasant intro, and he'd attached a picture. Cute guy, at a party of some sort (there were balloons in the background), nice smile. Once again, the messages back and forth on the site, then emails, plus Yahoo Messenger.

We chatted for weeks. He was divorced, late 40s, a couple of grown kids. He sent me another couple of pictures, very vanilla, same attractive smile. He gave me a phone number, but we never talked on the phone. I tried to call him once or twice, but got voicemail. No biggie; I prefer email anyway.

I liked Brian. He was very polite and respectful, smart, knew his way around spanking talk. I told him a lot of personal details over our chats. He said he was super busy with work and didn't push for a meeting in person, which was actually kind of a nice change of pace. I was used to ad guys wanting to meet right away with barely any discussion, and I preferred to take things more slowly. However... as time went by, it was getting a little ridiculous. 

So, about six weeks into this, after a lot of correspondence, I started pushing the idea for us to meet for coffee. That's when he balked, and began saying strange things. "I don't think you'd like me in person." "I'm not the way you think I am." Stuff like that. And of course, I'd insist that I would like him -- what's not to like? He'd then say "OK, soon," but wouldn't commit to it.

(You guys see where this is heading? I didn't.)

One Friday afternoon, before I was due to head for John's, Brian and I were IMing. Once again, he was saying that I wouldn't like him in person, and I was growing more baffled and irritated with that. Finally, he said, "I'm not who you think I am."

The hairs on my arms prickled. "What do you mean?"

He hedged a bit, we went back and forth in the IMs, and then he finally came out with it.

There was no Brian. This was C, my catfish. It had been him all along.

It's hard to describe how I felt, sitting at my computer that afternoon. Sick to my stomach. Disbelieving. Violated. My mind spun, remembering all the personal things I'd revealed to him. "What about the pictures??" I asked.

"My brother-in-law," he replied. Then, as a dig at me, I guess, he added, "Those photos were old. You wouldn't like him now; he's lost most of his hair and really porked out." Nice.

What about the phone number? Oh, wait. Yeah, I always got voicemail. And come to think of it, the voicemail message never gave a name. Just, "Hi, you've reached [phone number]; please leave a message."

"How could you DO this?" I wrote, glad he couldn't see how badly my hands were shaking and all the typos I was making and erasing.

His answer? "It's the only way I could get you to talk to me." And then went on to write, "Don't you see? The man you've been chatting with all this time, the Brian you wanted to meet? That's ME. Brian is me. I'm that same person you liked so much."

"NO," I wrote back. "Brian doesn't exist. Brian was a complete fake, someone you invented. And I don't like you. I don't want to ever hear from you again."

He didn't accept that. Somehow, he truly believed that the end justified the means; it didn't matter that he'd intrigued me with an invented personality. All that mattered was that I had been intrigued, so that made it OK. But it most certainly was not.

What followed after that was some drawn-out online ugliness, which I'd rather not go into here, because it really doesn't matter. The story does have a good ending. Things got so out of hand, C ended up contacting me via email with the header "Please don't delete this." In the message, he requested that we meet for another lunch to talk things out; he wanted to set things right. I didn't want to at first, but he sounded so sincere, I followed my instinct and decided this was on the level. Of course, I discussed it with John and told him where and when I was meeting C. John was expecting to hear from me at a certain time, letting him know I was OK.

At lunch, C apologized to me. Said he was sorry for lying to me, sorry that things went as far as they did, etc. I figured if he was big enough to tell me that, I could be big enough to accept his apology, and I did. In a show of good faith, he gave me his business card, which had his full, real name on it, his picture, his company's web address, etc. 

He tried to be friends, but I couldn't do it; too much had happened. Forgiving was one thing, but I still wasn't completely comfortable with him. Eventually, he faded out of the scene; I haven't seen him online in years. I'm glad we wrapped things up the way we did; it could have been much worse.

What's my point? I'm a reasonably savvy and intelligent woman, and yet I was thoroughly fooled by someone online. So it doesn't just happen to "dummies" or "careless" people. It can happen to anyone. Also, I'm not trying to frighten people, or tell them not to trust any online contacts. I've met most of my tops online over the years, including the best ones like Danny, ST and Mr. D. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. But do exercise due caution. And if something doesn't quite feel right to you, then chances are, it isn't. As with pretty much everything in this scene of ours, it comes down to following your gut instincts, rather than listening to your head as it contradicts your gut. Or listening to the seductively convincing words from someone else over your own inner voice.

Speaking of Mr. D, he still has pink-eye, even though it's healing. At least we had good timing, sort of -- I was sick at the same time, so we cancelled each other out. But now I'm feeling better, and hoping he recovers QUICKLY!

Friday, January 25, 2013

On my mind: Facebook, hypocrisy, and stomach flu

How's that for an intriguing title?

I'll start with the latter and get that out of the way. Wednesday, my stomach felt a bit upset most of the day, but I was able to ignore it for the most part. By that night, it was clear something was wrong. I had a stomachache that just wouldn't quit. It was so bad, I couldn't sleep at all, because I couldn't find a comfortable position while lying down. Finally, at 6:00 a.m., I got out of bed, threw on clothes and went to the drug store to get Pepto-Bismol.

That, basically, was my only activity yesterday. I crawled back into bed after dosing with Pepto and ginger tea, and watched crap TV all day long, dozing on and off when my stomach wasn't killing me. Had a little fever, too. Weird thing, though -- nothing came up or came down, just that godawful pain in my stomach. And last night, it finally eased off. I was able to eat a little and get a full night's rest.

Today, I still feel blech, but functional. I guess I should consider myself lucky that it didn't turn into that Norovirus that's going around, the ones that's making people violently sick to their stomachs. Guess mine was just a little 24-hour viral thing.

Anyway. I should catch up on the work I didn't do yesterday, but I'm going to blog first and ramble a bit, once again.

My pal Richard Windsor actually inspired this ramble with something he posted on Facebook this morning:

90% of my social media life is spent related to my lifestyle, where nobody is shocked. It is hard to turn that switch off for Facebook. A comment in one area can get 50 replies, the same comment here will get 50 rolls of the eyes and 50 deletes.

It is tough to be proud of who you are, while at the same time trying not to cram it down people's throats........ There is a fetish for that as well by the way :)

So if I offend, feel free to delete me, I won't be offended :)

This got me thinking: How many of you are on Facebook? In what capacity? Are you under your kink name or your real one? If you are in your vanilla identity, do you friend your kink pals? If you're under your kink name, what do you do about vanilla friends? How do you handle your kink in what is essentially a rather conservative environment?

I really don't know why I joined Facebook in the first place, but I did. I decided to use my scene name. Why? A lot of scene people are on FB under their real names, but I didn't feel comfortable revealing mine in a realm where perhaps some kinky stalkers could see it. I am very, VERY careful to keep my proper name in a compartmentalized work area and that's it. So I'm Erica Scott on Facebook.

However, do I advertise my kink? Not really. I don't hide it, but I don't broadcast it, either. Hint at it, sure. It's irresistible not to. But I don't post OTK or bare-bottom pictures, I don't post about my sessions or videos or anything like that. I don't need to; I have FetLife and this blog for all that. So I guess I sort of straddle the kink/vanilla fence. I'm under my kink identity, but I'm relatively subtle about it.

Yes, I belong to the Spanking Fiction and Blushing Books groups, and people can see that. Yes, I post my blog address in the About Me section. So, as I said, I don't deny it. I just don't make it the main reason for my being there.

So what do I do there? I play Scrabble. I post about other stuff on my mind that day. I "Like" my friends' photos and comment on their posts. I keep up with current events. And during the election, I admit it, I posted a lot. 

Who has friended me? A lot of spankos, to be sure. They recognized me. Some of them use scene names; others use their real ones. And many of them have families, co-workers and so forth on FB as well, so out of respect for that, I endeavor to be subtle about my proclivities.

Over my years on there, I've had a couple of scene friends, on FB under vanilla identities, sheepishly write to me, full of apologies, saying, "I'm so sorry, Erica, and I hope you won't be offended, but I have to unfriend you here. I have my boss, my mom, my so-and-so and such-and-such, and they're asking how I know you, blah blah blah." When presented like that, I'm not in the least bit offended. I understand, and I let them off the hook, saying it's OK. I know how nosy people are, and we have to practice due caution, after all.

Back in October, when things were heated and ugly pre-election, I got in a feisty mood one day. (I know, imagine that!) I decided to have a bit of mischief on FB, tweak a few people. So, in my photo album, I posted this picture:

And I captioned it: "After all, a woman's place is in her binder(s)."

Mind you, I chose this picture very carefully. I have clothes on, my panties are up. My bottom is not red. It's simply a bondage photo, playing on the "binder" comment that caused such a firestorm.

At first, I got floods of comments and "likes," from kinked and vanilla friends alike. No one seemed to be bothered or offended by it, which made me smile. I checked my friend count; no one deleted me. Overall, everyone loved it, thought it was hilarious.

But then that night, I received a terse message from a friend, essentially, "Sorry, had to unfriend you on Facebook." Nothing more. No follow-up explanation, no checking in to see how I felt about that. Just poof. That was three months ago, and I haven't heard a word from that person since.

Now that hurt my feelings. That made me feel like I was good enough to associate with in the kink world (this person is a fellow kinkster), but elsewhere, this person who supposedly was such a good friend and loved me so much found me to be an embarrassment. And this was the only individual who unfriended me over that photo, too. However, I took it down. It left an extremely bad taste in my mouth.

After I deleted the photo, I posted on FB about how I had taken it down, that I'd been unfriended over it and I was sorry if I offended anyone or caused anyone discomfort or embarrassment. I received many comments, all along the same lines, from both the vanilla and the kinked: "I thought it was funny." "You should have left it up." "Really???" And, overwhelmingly, "Sounds like that person wasn't much of a friend to begin with. Friends accept you."

But is it really that simple? Honestly, I don't mind the unfriending part. As I'd mentioned, others had done so as well, because they were concerned about families and so forth. But they were nice about it. They didn't make me feel like an embarrassing reject. It's all about the presentation, I guess.

I'm not changing what I do on FB. I won't post a photo like that again, but I'm not going to deny who I am if people ask, or figure it out. And so, it's up to whomever to friend me or not. Just do me one favor, OK? Don't friend me, and then unfriend me because you find me embarrassing. I'd rather you simply not connect with me there in the first place. There are lots of other places to connect with me that are much more satisfying. :-)

Curious about people's thoughts on this and on Facebook in general. Have a great weekend, y'all.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ruminations on kinky relativity

I did end up getting some work for this week, so yay, me. Last week, I proofread a manuscript of fetish erotica, and this week, the same author sent me an accompanying novella. Reading the scenarios of said files, plus perusal of FetLife stories and photos, and blogs of friends, has gotten me thinking about my own kinkiness.

I realize I've done pretty much everything with the spanking fetish that one can possibly do. Reading, writing, performing, participating, fulfilling fantasies and dreams, and continuing to do so. However, it seems to me that, aside from this one ginormous kink, I am primarily...

...wait for it...



I'm not saying that as a put-down to myself (even though that word carries a negative weight in the kink scenes); it's merely an acknowledgment. I guess it's never been brought to my attention quite as directly as it was when I proofread that manuscript. It had M/F spanking and sex, but it was also chock-full of F/F sex and spanking, F/M spanking, nipple torture, genital whipping, bondage, anal penetration, you name it. Something for everyone. And it fascinated me as I observed my own reactions to what I was reading. The M/F spanking and sex made me smile and squirm with familiarity and pleasure. The rest? Nothing. In fact, some sections made me groan and think, "Oh, no." But then my professional side would take over and I'd read it, correct the errors, and suggest edits.

Sometimes, I feel like I am the only spanko female in existence who isn't in the least bit bisexual, bi-curious, or into any sort of spanking play, even non-sexual, with other women. It simply doesn't compute. A good friend teasingly refers to me as the most "relentlessly heterosexual woman" she knows. The thought of a woman spanking me makes me cringe. And, although I adore my gal pals and feel great affection for them, I don't want to get kissy and touchy-feely with them. I am not Katy Perry; I have never kissed a girl, nor have I had any sort of sexual exchange with a girl, not even touching. And the lack of curiosity or desire on my part sometimes seems like a square peg in the roundness and softness of F/F exploration and play.

In other words, vanilla.

Sometimes, I also feel like the only spanko in existence who isn't at least somewhat anal erotic. Granted, I know others before me have declared that orifice to be "exit only," so I guess I'm not the only one who doesn't want plugs and strap-ons and other hard objects going in there. However, I don't even find the surrounding area in the least bit sexy or arousing. I want it left alone and ignored. I don't want my cheeks pulled apart, I don't want even the gentlest of fingers slipping into the cleft.

As with everything, I was a late bloomer with rimming; I didn't experience it until I was in my late 30s. And the first time it happened, it was completely unexpected; the man just went there, and my first reaction was complete shock. What the hell is he DOING? And the reaction after that was not of pleasure, but of mortification. I observe good hygiene, but all I could think was oh my god, am I clean? I experienced it a few more times after that, but never enjoyed it. I couldn't understand the desire; it didn't resonate in my sexual brain. Just a couple of inches away was a warm, wet, welcoming opening; what did he want to go there for? I know the anal aficionados will nay-say this, but I don't think that area is very attractive. So once again, I feel a bit out of step with many other spankos.

In other words, vanilla.

Spankos I know often tend to enjoy other kinks, other types of pain. Various methods of impact and torture have been inflicted upon breasts, genitals, backs and fronts of thighs, and feet, as well as bottoms. I see some of the bruises and welts and cuts on FetLife pictures and I shudder, all the while feeling bad because I know I'm not supposed to judge. People like what they like and they are entitled to engage in it if it's consensual. But I can't help my own reactions. The one and only time someone struck my feet, I was so angry, I wanted to kick backward and drive his nose out the back of his skull. If strikes from an implement during spanking wander too high, too low or in between, I am jerked out of scene space in less than a heartbeat's time. I'm terrified of blood and broken skin. Recently, the lovely Beth posted about an interrogation scene in which she was slapped in the face. Yes, I knew that was consensual. Yes, I know she likes all kinds of pain. But still, I felt a flash of anger. I commented to her that, although I respected her desire for that type of scene, I still couldn't help the visceral urge to confront the man who had slapped her sweet face and castrate him with a butter knife. Fortunately, she took it in the spirit it was meant and didn't chide me for it. :-)

OK, so I like some bondage and restraint. I like the exhibitionism, the roleplay of the bad girl, the grabbing of hair. I prefer poly play over monogamy. But overall, I dislike way more variations of kink than I like.

In other words, when it comes to kink flavors, I am more vanilla with a bit of chocolate swirl, or perhaps a few sprinkles, than I am 31 Flavors.

People talk about sex a whole lot on FetLife. And of course, as with the spanking topics, the same sexual topics come up over and over, including favorite sex positions. To read some of these threads, it sounds like kinky folks are the freaking Cirque Du Soleil of sexual acrobatics. Up against walls, suspended, reverse cowgirl, wheelbarrows, you name it. If the body is capable of contorting in any fashion, it's been done.

So what's my favorite sexual position?

Yup. Missionary.

Yes, I've tried a lot of other positions. Some were interesting, some were fun. Most were uncomfortable. Why do I love missionary? Because I love intimacy. I love being able to look into the man's eyes, wrap my arms and legs around him, feel our bodies merge. I love feeling his weight on me. I don't like being on top; I don't want the control. I know some other positions may be considered a lot hotter and more exciting, but I'm old school. I love closeness and intimacy with my sex. If I just wanted to get off, I have a BOB for that.

So yeah, not a whole lot of sexual position variety there. In other words, vanilla.

But, despite my feeling comparatively conservative in the face of so many kinks, I have to look at the flip side, at the relativity. To those who have never wandered into any sort of kink, my proclivities and adventures are downright twisted and risqué. Go figure.

I don't really know where I'm going with this ramble. If I were younger and newer to the scene, my thoughts would probably be along the lines of "I need to experiment and find other things I like." But I've been there and done that. Once again, it's time for self-acceptance. I am not a multi-tasker. I've never been one with myriad interests. But the interests I do have, I give 110%.

OK, so I'll never be able to write a really compelling book about fetish erotica, because it would be far too focused on one thing. But perhaps that one thing, and that one thing alone, appeals to a lot of people more than I think. 

Anyone out there want to chime in on this? How kinky do you think you are; do your interests satisfy you, or do you want to experiment with more? Do you ever wonder why what appeals to you doesn't to others, and vice versa? Do you ever wonder what's the difference between narrow-minded and simply particular?

Monday, January 21, 2013

A bad case of real life interference

Poor Mr. D. He went skiing for the long holiday weekend, only to come home to bad news: His mom is in the hospital. He won't be able to find out any updates on her until tomorrow morning, and in the meantime, he's exhausted AND he has pink-eye to boot. Even if things stabilize with his mother, there's no way he could make it tomorrow, not with pink-eye, as it's incredibly contagious. (As he put it, that's not the pink he wants to give me.) 

Real life has a way of blowing in various degrees on occasion. This week, it's high on the blowage meter.

I got myself to the dentist today, after barely sleeping last night. Turns out I was afraid for nothing, because nothing happened. Yet. Basically, I have a tooth with a nerve that's either going bad or it isn't. It could just be inflamed (for months, though??), but it could also be dying. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, it's not to the stage yet where it needs a root canal, so I just have to live with it until it goes either way. There's no infection. He told me to take Advil twice a day for several days, to see if it does anything for the inflammation/dull pain. This guy is an expert on root canals -- that's ALL he does -- so if he says no, not yet, I believe him.

So I have a tooth that, at any time, could become an emergency. Isn't that swell! I'm glad I don't have to do that procedure just now, but it seems like I'll have to eventually, and you know it won't be at a convenient time.

At least the traffic wasn't bad, thanks to the MLK holiday. I used my phone's GPS to navigate the unfamiliar streets and it helped (although I was giggling at how it pronounced Normandie as "nor-MON-die"). I wonder if the uber-techy, sophisticated car GPS systems pronounce things better?

We saw my stepdad over the weekend. It was a nice visit; we took him out and had a pleasant dinner. But he's so very feeble now. He uses a cane or a walker, his legs are like sticks and he's all rounded over. His mind still works, but he does forget things and repeat stories. I suppose at nearly 95, he gets a pass on that. Poor guy. He misses my mother. He misses a lot of things.

I'm out of work again. Had a busy few weeks, but I'm quite the efficient little bee and I finished everything. Sooooo. No work, and no play. Erica is a dull and cranky girl.

So, since I have nothing further of interest to post at the moment, I'll end with a photo question. Does anyone recognize this picture, where it's from? I'm 99 9/10% positive that the woman is Samantha Woodley. But who is the man? I love after-care shots like this. :-)

Any guesses? Chross? Anyone?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Oh, screw it

Even though the holidays are over, it seems that damned Grumpy Cat is here to stay. Fine. I guess I have a love-hate relationship with that sulky-faced critter -- he reminds me way too much of myself and I don't like that. But this is where I'm at today, so screw it.

Yes, I'm going to bitch. I fully acknowledge it and own it ahead of time, so the anonymous snarkers out there have been disarmed. So now, in no particular order:

I'm sick of hearing about Lance Armstrong. He's a cheat and a fraud. The End. Let's move on.

I'm sick of the NRA. 'Nuff said there.

I'm sick of spanko women who consider me a threat, even though I am completely and utterly harmless. No, I'm not going to elaborate on that, so please don't ask. But for Christ's sake, I'm not some drop-dead-gorgeous young femme fatale. I'm 55 years old with saggy arm skin and age spots. Get over it.

I really, really miss video shooting. Nothing I can do about that; it is what it is. I thought I was past that and had accepted it. But then I read some accounts from my friends about some fun shoots and I felt such an ache.

Sometimes, I feel like this blog is redundant and irrelevant. Sometimes, I feel like I'M irrelevant.

We're visiting my stepfather tomorrow. That stirs up a hornet's nest of feelings I'd just as soon keep at bay. But I know it's the proper thing to do. 

Mr. D is away for the holiday weekend skiing, so I will not see him Monday. So, in an effort to make my Monday even more crappy, I'm going to an endodontist in downtown L.A. that afternoon to get a second opinion on the tooth that has been driving me crazy for months. I am dreading this like you wouldn't believe. Eventually, I just know I'm going to need a root canal. Major $$$, and major discomfort.

I'm so tired of worrying about money, and feeling guilty because John pays for nearly everything. I know he can afford it, but I still feel rotten about it. Yesterday, I ordered our Boardwalk Badness tickets and booked our hotel room. We're already $900 into that party and I haven't even booked the flight or the shuttle yet. How the hell do people afford to go to everything?? Next month, Joe and Ten are having a party in Vegas at the Suncoast and we have been invited. But that's another trip and another hotel room fee, and I just can't ask John for that. He'd do it if I asked him. But I can't.

I'm sick of hearing myself complain, and no doubt you are too. So I'll stop now.

On the good news front, John seems to have gotten over his money loss from earlier this week; he was very chipper on the phone last night. I look forward to being with him. And I will get to see Mr. D on Tuesday. My dental appointment was originally on Tuesday, but then I switched it to Monday when I found out he wasn't coming. It will be nice to have a reward to look forward to as I navigate the nightmare known as Downtown Los Angeles and deal with my intense fear of dental work.

Grumpy Cat signing off. Have a great weekend, y'all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My strange addiction

I'm going to ramble today. I hope no one minds.

It's Wednesday afternoon. I have many odds and ends of things to do, including work. Just finished one project, though, so I'm rewarding myself with a little break. My concentration is off, anyway.

There is an interesting pattern to my weeks, when they run according to schedule. Mondays are a whirlwind of anticipation, then sensory overload (the good kind), then oblivion. Tuesdays have a strange, other-worldly feel to them. I'm still tender, usually quite sleepy, and although I'm functional, I have a sense of still being in that other realm, the realm of peace and unreality, where my whole world is one room, one other person, and sensation. Little fazes me. Given my preference, I will stay in all day and evening and not venture out.

By Wednesday, I'm definitely back in reality, and that restlessness is rearing its annoying head once again. I'm distracted, once again aware of bills, noisy neighbors, chores, things that need my attention. So I go through the day, tick things off the "to-do" list, do a killer workout and bid any lingering spanking soreness good-bye for another week.

Thursday is tough. Thursday, I'm in full withdrawal mode. I'm craving attention and stimulation, and the smallest irritants make me want to shoot quills like a porcupine. On Tuesday, if I'm out and about and someone cuts me off on the road, I calmly brake and wave them on. Of course you can go ahead of me! Nice car, BTW. Have a super-nice day. But cut me off on Thursday, and I'll want to impale you on your car's tailpipe.

Friday is a turnaround day. I'm looking forward to being with John, to getting away for a couple of days, to his comfortable companionship and love, so my mood lifts for the weekend. And then Monday, the cycle starts over.

Last month, Alex Reynolds wrote a blog she called Be Here, Now, which discussed her tendency to be all over the place mentally, rather than staying in the moment, in the here and now, and how she's learning how to do the latter. This post resonated with me, because this is exactly how I am. My mind is constantly leaping ahead, flitting around from one thing to the next. Because I live alone and have done so for so long, I am deeply internally focused and it's hard for me sometimes to not go inward when I'm with others, and space out about God knows what. John has often gotten annoyed with me because he can tell I'm only half-listening to him, while my mind is on any of 15 different other things. I don't mean to do this and I don't like that I do it, but I can't seem to help it. It's not like ADD, I don't think -- I can sit still, I can focus on work or a book or whatever, but my mind wants to go places.

I've come to realize that one of the few times I'm in the moment is when I'm in a spanking session. When I'm with my top, as I've mentioned before, the world goes away. I'm in a protective bubble -- there are no phones, no bills, no appointments, no responsibilities. Ever since I read Alex's blog, I've had a heightened awareness of this. And whenever I find that I'm with Mr. D and my mind is starting to go elsewhere, I catch it and simply say to myself, "Be here, now," and I come back into the bubble.

In this bubble, I'm not nervous and neurotic and insecure. In this bubble, I am beautiful and sexy and confident. I am a deeply passionate woman, unencumbered by day-to-day trivia that tires me, ages me, wears me down. A former top used to tell me that, right after an intense spanking with the tension drained from my face, I looked like I was about 20.

It's like my father used to say about his drinking. When he drank, he felt like he was taller, funnier, handsomer, a better dancer.

I'm someone else, and yet I'm not. I'm a better and happier me, a more aware me. But it's not reality. I mean, it's really a part of me, but it's too separate and pure to maintain.

It's times like these that I more fully understand what drives addiction. Granted, with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc., there is physical and chemical addiction. But mine is emotional, and in its way, just as powerful. I crave it as fiercely. That bubble, that serenity. That complete hedonistic basking in attention, in pain, in pleasure. That escape.

There, I said it. It's a form of escapism, no different from chemical substances that others seek in order to get away from reality for a little while. Granted, it won't kill me, give me cirrhosis of the liver or lung cancer. My indulgence in it harms no one else. But I still feel the effects of its withdrawal and I have to come to terms with that, each week.

Mr. D told me that, if I ever get into a bad place again like I was over Christmas, I am to call him. But this neediness isn't like that bad, sad wreck of a place. It's a cranky internal demand for attention, a rebellion against real life. I wouldn't call him over this. I may feel like a whiny brat, but I'm not going to act like one. I will acknowledge the existence of that side of me and deal with it.

I really don't know who will relate to this. Those who live in DD relationships, who get spanked all the time in a consenting partnership of one sort or another, may not comprehend the sense of withdrawal and the clamorous need. Those who are spanked infrequently and never know when the next time will be, might be thinking, "What is she bitching about? She only has to wait a week in between!" This isn't bitching, even though it may seem as such. It's pondering. It's coming to terms with my patterns, my needs, and yes, my emotional addiction of sorts.

Anyway. I told you I was going to ramble. Reality came back last night with a rude thump, when I spoke with John on the phone. From his first hello, I could hear in his voice that something was off. John carries a lot of cash with him, which has always made me a little nervous. He keeps it in his pants pocket in a small binder clip. He's never lost that clip before... until yesterday. One little slip, one moment of unawareness or distraction, and poof! $500 gone.

He didn't even sound angry or frustrated, just sad and tired, and my heart ached for him. I hate when bad things happen to him. I want to fix them and I can't. And then, selfishly, I wanted to go back into my bubble, where I'm unaware of bad things. Where I no longer feel the toothache that's been nagging at me for months. Where I don't miss people. Where I don't worry.

Meh. Enough already. I'm going to get ready for the gym now. I'll even end on a funny note. He may kill me for this, but I'll chance it!

Mr. D is a very busy man with his business, and constantly on the road, on the phone, etc., multi-tasking and working long hours. So if we have any communications during the week, it's usually just a quick line or two via email or text, or a brief call. And sometimes with his messages, I can tell he's distracted.

Yesterday after I blogged, he sent me this: "Absolutely loved your blob."

I laughed myself silly over that one. Even called him and said, "Reread what you just wrote to me." He did, while I howled hysterically. God, I'm obnoxious. :-D

How does one withdraw from spanking/endorphin addiction, anyway? (And don't say cold turkey sandwiches, Danny, or I'll fly to CO and kick you.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Come and get me

Apologies for the delay. I was so sleepy and out of it last night, I couldn't have formed a coherent post. Still feeling kind of out of it today, actually. The sign of a good session. :-)

We chatted it up for a long time before any play started. When I sensed that things were about to transition, I excused myself to use the restroom, and as I walked back into the living room, Mr. D grinned at me and patted his lap. However, I didn't take my place there. I crossed the room and sat at the dining room table. "You want me?" I taunted. "Come and get me."

He looked amused. Didn't move at first. "I think I'll have some chocolate first," he said, helping himself to the bag of Hershey's Nuggets I'd put on the coffee table. In response, I put my booted legs up onto the table and picked up a magazine.

Yes, he came and got me. Scooped me up bodily and carried me to the couch. And then made me wait. "You're so ready, aren't you?" he teased. I believe I said something along the lines of "Are you ever going to fucking get on with it already?" That did it.

Mr. D likes to say he's spanking me with love. He's also fond of laying on the hardest strikes and saying, "Feel that? That's love," or "Are you feeling the love?" Which, of course, is a setup. Because at the moment, it feels like anything but love, and I'll be damned if I'm going to answer "yes." But if I don't say anything, he'll say, "I don't hear your answer." If I say "no, dammit, I'm not feeling any @#$%ing love!", then he'll say, "Oh well, I guess I just have to keep going until you do." Arrrrrggghhh. 

But you know how tops are. They drive you to the brink, and then they turn around and do something gentle and sweet, and you're reeled back just a bit. Just enough to keep going.

Payback for defiance resulted in a night of wood. (Implements, people. Don't be filthy.) Except for a little taste of riding crop in the beginning, the entire second half of the session was wooden paddles. I don't remember when I broke down and wept, but all I do remember is that familiar inner struggle. "I can't take this yes you can no I can't yes you can no I can't yes you know you can and you will. Because you want to."

Somewhere in the turmoil, his calm voice floated in. "Just a little more. You know you need this. You know this is good for you." Yes, I do. I stop struggling and my body melts into the bed, acquiescing. That's when he knows I'm truly done.

No, he didn't stick the camera in my face. He's very respectful and kind afterward, deferring to my privacy. I'm the one who suggested it. I'm learning, slowly, to embrace my vulnerability and show it. Because even a hard-ass like me breaks down.

Later, both ravenous, we went to dinner. We both had a cup of soup (mind you, at Jerry's Deli, a cup is the size of a bowl, and the bowl is a size in which you could almost bathe a small child) and shared a wonderful salad with grilled chicken. Not at all eager to go back out in the cold, we lingered and talked some more.

On January 25, it will be six months since we met. Six months already?? He asked me how I felt now about ST, if I missed him, etc. I thought carefully about my answer. ST will always have his place, after all we shared; nearly two years produced a cache of treasured memories. I admit, my pride still hurts at how easily dispensable I was. But miss him? Not now. I'm blissfully happy with the top I have now, who has become very dear indeed.

Anyway. I must collect myself and do some work. I love squirming at my computer chair, feeling tingly and dreamy, but it's reality time. When my spanker is here, the world goes away for a few hours; there is no work to do, no bills to pay, no phones to answer. Onward with the week, and I will look forward to that sweet, painful, pleasurable oblivion once again.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

OT: Yet more odds and ends -- The Cottage Cheese Trauma

I think I may have aroused some curiosity over the years with some of you, regarding my obsessive aversion to the evil substance known as cottage cheese. It's one thing to dislike a food; there are several foods I don't like. Beets, bell peppers, radishes, oatmeal, cheese (unless it's melted), avocados, pretty much all Indian food. But a special revulsion is reserved for cottage cheese, and it dates back to one of my earliest memories.

I was in nursery school (what they now call pre-school), so, what was I, about four years old? It was a sunny day and we were served our lunch outside. I don't remember what else was on my plate, but I remember that big blob of cottage cheese, paste-white and lumpy.

My parents didn't believe in making kids eat things they don't like, but they did have one rule. I couldn't just look at something and say, "I don't like that"; I had to taste it first. So I took a small bit on my fork, put it to my tongue, and immediately after I sensed the sour flavor and the coagulated texture, my throat closed. I put my fork down and looked at the teacher. "Do I have to eat this?" I asked. She nodded, her mouth full of her own nasty blob. She wouldn't let me leave the table until I'd eaten mine.

The other kids finished and went to play, and I sat there alone. I'd eaten everything else and now it was simply a showdown between me and this disgusting curdled stuff. I took a forkful and crammed it into my mouth... and then gagged so powerfully, I had to spit it back out or I would have lost the rest of my lunch. Then I started crying. There was no way I was going to be able to eat this.

Soooo... I used my four-year-old logic. If I couldn't make it disappear one way, I'd make it disappear another. Checking first to make sure no one was watching, I scraped the cottage cheese into my lap, hiding it in the folds of my skirt. Of course, that only worked until I stood up. Then the teacher saw the godawful mess I'd made, yelled at me and called my mother to come get me.

I didn't get in trouble for that with my mom. As I recall, I never went back to that nursery school and was shortly thereafter in a much nicer one.

To this day, I cannot stand the sight or even the sound of cottage cheese. I used to work for a boss who ate that crap every day for lunch, and my cubicle was near the kitchenette area. Just hearing his spoon go shhhlorrp into the cottage-cheese tub made my gorge rise. When cottage cheese commercials come on, I look away.

I don't care what you put in it. You can add bananas, pineapple chunks or peaches. You can add Reese's Peanut-Butter Cups for all I care. It's still revolting. Yes, I know it's good low-fat protein and it's a dieter's perfect food. I don't give a damn. If it were the last diet food on the planet, I'd simply say screw it, I'd been thin long enough, I'm tired of being freezing cold every winter anyway.

There you have it. Why I remember stuff like this in such excruciating detail, I don't know. I don't know anyone else who has a food trauma, either. Lucky me, huh?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Goofy threats

Mr. D is fond of them. Whenever I express dislike or distaste for something or another, he likes to say, "I ought to tie you up and make you"...whatever. Couple of examples?

"I ought to tie you up and make you watch "The Hangover." (Because he knows, with rare exceptions, that I detest lowbrow humor and I wish I'd never heard of Judd Apatow or the Farrelly brothers.)

"I ought to tie you up and make you watch Fox News." (Because, well, I don't need to explain that one.)

Really, if one wants to punish me, there are so many ways. Another couple could be:

"I ought to tie you up and make you eat cottage cheese." (Unless you have a vomit fetish, I would strongly advise against that.)

"I ought to tie you up and make you watch a Three Stooges marathon." (Oh, please, please, anything but that. Seriously. They make me sick. I can't stand the sight or the sound of them.)

What would be a goofy but utterly effective threat for you? (In Pixie's case, I know that would be "I ought to tie you up and make you eat green beans.")

Speaking of silly threats (and yes, I'm about to shamelessly name-drop) -- years ago at a Shadow Lane party, completely flabbergasted at my insatiability even on the Sunday night of a three-day spankfest, Keith Jones blustered, "I'm going to spank you until you can't sit down for a minute!"

Yeah, that's about right. :-)

C'mon, reader participation time!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Spank Me Quick!

To honor Elvis's birthday this week (he would have been 78 on January 8), I decided to write a spanking parody of one of his songs. You'd think I would have chosen one of his more well-known songs, right? ("Spank Me Tender," anyone?) But nooooo. I had to pick an obscure little tune that no one will know, except maybe his die-hard fans or oldies aficionados.

Still, you have to give me this: What do you spankos think of first, when you hear the title "Kiss Me Quick"? Yup, I did too. :-D

Here is the song (and the real lyrics are pasted below the parody, so you can compare):

So without any further ado, I present Spank Me Quick.

Spank me quick, while I’m still being naughty,
Hold me down and tell me that I’m bad
‘Cause tomorrow I’ll act up for certain,
So spank me till I’m red and hurtin’
Spank me quick, because I’m such a brat

Spank me quick, I know I drive you crazy
Grab my hair and whisper what’s in store
Tell me that tonight I’ll learn a lesson,
And all your buttons I’ll stop pressin’,
Spank me quick, because I’ll be so sore.

Let the brush keep landing
Blows that I’m withstanding
While you’re commanding,
“Don’t you sass your top!”

Spank me quick, I just can’t stand this corner,
‘Cause your hand can set me all aglow
Oh, your scolding has me wanting more
So be my top forevermore, and
Spank me quick because I need it so.

Let the belt keep flaying
While you are saying,
“Better start your praying,
That this pain will stop!”

Spank me quick, I just can’t stand this corner,
‘Cause your hand can set me all aglow
Oh, your scolding has me wanting more
So be my top forevermore, and
Spank me quick because I need it so.

Spank me quick because I need it so.
Spank me quick because I need you so.

(real lyrics for comparison)

Kiss me quick while we still have this feeling,
Hold me close and never let me go,
'Cause tomorrows can be so uncertain,
Love can fly and leave just hurting,
Kiss me quick because I love you so.

Kiss me quick and make my heart go crazy,
Sigh that sigh and whisper oh so low,
Tell me that tonight will last forever,
Say that you will leave me never,
Kiss me quick because I love you so.

Let the band keep playing while we are swaying,
Let's keep on praying that we'll never stop.

Kiss me quick, I just can't stand this waiting
'Cause your lips are lips I long to know.
For that kiss will open heaven's door
And we'll stay there forevermore,
So kiss me quick because I love you so.

Let the band keep playing while we are swaying,
Let's keep on praying that we'll never stop.

Kiss me quick, I just can't stand this waiting
'Cause your lips are lips I long to know.
For that kiss will open heaven's door
And we'll stay there forevermore,
So kiss me quick because I love you so.

Kiss me quick because I love you so.
Kiss me quick because I love you so.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ah, Monday...

How I have missed thee. Of course, Wednesdays were good too, the past couple of weeks. But you guys know how I love my routines and comfort zones. Monday spankings are an old, dear, ouchy friend. Mr. D is a newer friend, but he's become very dear in a relatively short time.

I was in feisty mode today. FetLife continued to push my buttons right and left. First there was the idiot with the stolen picture (and BTW, I can't see it anymore -- because he's blocked me!!). Then there was a flame war over the use of Icy Hot with spankings. And then someone posted in the "FetLife Rants!" group about how much she hates fetish models. (Yeah, that again.) I tried and tried to resist the Icy Hot thread, honest I did. But after it reached three pages, I couldn't stand it anymore. So I wrote:

I'm not going to go so far as to say Icy Hot, capsaicin, etc. are harmful. However, if my top were to say to me, "How about if I rub some burning cream on your already burning bottom?", I'd reply, "Sure, right after you shove a habanero pepper up your ass."

And after that, I wrote for my status:

To the person who posted about how much she dislikes fetish models: It's OK, honey. We don't like you, either.

It's a good thing Mr. D came over right about then. I would have probably had several more people blocking me before the day was out. :-)

Oh, and I should mention he was late again. It seems he took exception to my bitching about it last week on the blog. So when he called me at 3:10, he said, "You want to know my ETA?" "Sure," I snarked, "what is it this time?" And he said:

"I'll get there when I get there! And then we're going to discuss your blog!"

Tsk. Guess a certain top got his shorts in a knot, hmmm?

Lovely, lovely long warm-up. And, while last week the implements were all wood, this week he mixed it up a bit and used leather as well. 

Still hurt like @#$%, though.

Yup, there was some cane in there too. By the end, I was clutching the sheets, scrunching my face in the comforter to avoid hollering, and saying "please" over and over. I don't even know what I'm saying it for. Please what? Please stop? Please don't stop? Please go slower? Please use something else? Please be my top forever and ever?

Then it was over and he pulled my panties back up. I wasn't crying this time, but I was shaky and I immediately curled into a ball onto my side. "Don't move," he said. "That's beautiful."

No more snark. No more tension. He then pulled the comforter around me and held me close. Said I could stay there as long as I needed to. I don't think there's ever a moment when I'm more vulnerable... or feeling so connected. For a while, the world makes sense again.

We're still trying to figure out why my computer doesn't like the little clips he shoots. For whatever reason, when he transfers them to my computer, they get corrupted somehow, and they constantly freeze and skip. And they absolutely will not load on my blog. However, I've been able to create a couple of nice screen captures from them. This one is for Ron, who was wondering if we play OTK, and yes, we certainly do. The photo is a favorite of mine, for so many reasons. :-)

Ready for the rest of my week now. Would you believe I'm still working on that beast of a 400-page statistics manual? But now that my head is clean and clear, I'm thinking the home stretch of it will be smooth and efficient.

More work tomorrow. Tonight, I sleep. Peacefully.