Saturday, October 1, 2011

When love is better than sex

I've been running low on sexy for a while, so I jump every time I have the faintest hint of maybe desire. I'm not worried about my low libido, since it's probably medical, and thus probably temporary, and I have lots of non-sexual intimacy with my partners. But I also don't want it to stay so low, and one of the ways to rehabilitate a low libido is to use it whenever it shows up.

Today I have been exhausted and moodswingy and really short on spoons, but there was just a flash of maybe desire...

So I got naked and invited Mr. Shiny to cuddle for a bit. He came into the room, stopped, and said "You're surprisingly naked."

Indeed!

He was also tired and not feeling the sexy at all. So we just cuddled. And he assured me that normally, surprising nudity would work very well.

I did not feel rejected. I may have felt a little relieved, because of the moodswinging. I felt loved. And I felt encouraged, in a loving way, to express my sexiness when I have it. No guilt, no pressure, just a nice reassuring cuddle. Then we ordered pizza.

Sex is great. I love sex, even when I have no libido so it's a kind of an abstract love. I love love more. Fortunately, I don't have to choose between sex and love.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Feminization

Normally, when someone who's kinky starts a post off with "feminization", the story is going to be about men being forced into makeup, panties, heels, and tutus. Or something.

That -- the activity -- is okay, although I am disturbed a bit about how it's usually considered humiliating. I mean, it's humiliating for men to do all that, but for women? That's what we're expected to do on a Saturday night.

Maybe not the tutu.

But I'm not here to talk about that now. I'm talking about me, and how I have played with feminization, or with gender roles. Before I really get started, I will point out that I am physically unambiguously female. I'm a fat chick, but I have enormous, ahem, tracts of land, and there's not a whole lot I can do to conceal them.

That's what nature (and wonderfully tasty food) has given me. The performative part of my gender, though, that's a different thing altogether. At various points in my life I've been obsessed with pink or purple, with skirts, with frilly things, elaborate hair, and makeup. At other points in my life, I've had short, simple hair, wore no makeup, and wore jeans, hiking boots, plain t-shirts, and men's flannels everywhere. Pretty much the opposite of performing my gender. For special occasions, I would dress (cross-dress almost) girly, and bring my tits out. Almost as accessories. I'd also put on my girl face, with makeup.

Lately, I've been striking a balance between the two. I sometimes wear jeans and flannels. I also sometimes wear brightly colored skirts. I tend to wear v-neck t-shirts now, which expose some upper torso skin. I am currently obsessed with pink and orange. [1] I almost never wear heels, and even when I'm wearing skirts I usually wear the same shoes I wear every day. I value comfort as much as color and style. I still never wear makeup, though. Sometimes I paint my nails.

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a Mary Kay rep. She'd gotten my name from one of the bridal salons, and offered me a free hand treatment and facial, and if I could do it at a particular time, I'd also get a bit of a makeover. I didn't think I wanted that, but it was free, and I was sure I could resist a hard sell. It sounded like it could be fun, and girly, so I invited my future sister-in-law along, so we could be girly together.

There was no hard sell, expect possibly of mary kay itself, and the makeover wasn't, really. Instead we spent most of the time doing the lotions and potions of the skin-care line.

And... I really liked it. So I spent a lot of money on pink skin care. I have three hand goops. Two eye goops. Two lip goops. Microdermabrasion goops. Four bottles of daily face goop. And a nifty roll-up bag to hold it all; it has a handle and a hook to hang it on the shower rod. My hands and face are expensive!

The thing is, this shit is working. My face feels wonderful to touch. The allergy shadows under my eyes are fading. My hands are satiny and soft. People in the past week or two have commented that I seem to be glowing more than usual. [2] I suppose it makes sense; I mean, there's a lot of scientists working wicked hard to make these goops effective. But I always kind of figured it wasn't much better than soap and water, you know?

I'm liking it. I'm also liking how I can do this, and feel good, and read more feminine (because good skin is girly, you know) and I don't have to put on a different face.

It's interesting, though. They were pushing pretty hard to get people to join mary kay and sell the stuff, and that's where a mary kay rep makes her real money. It's a pyramid scheme. A relatively benign one, but it still is. My area has relatively few reps here, so it's a prime area for recruitment.

They had a deal where if you bought in, you could get some stuff free, in addition to your buy-in kit. I was all set to do that, because I like saving my money, but my rep was like "the kit is really if you actually want to sell...." But the narrative in every case about how people joined up and became reps and now make buckets of money for not working hard starts with "and I never thought I'd do anything like this, I didn't even do anything for about six months after buying my first kit. Now I make six figures!"

So my own personal rep took my commission instead of sending me out into the world to make free money for her. That's okay, it means I won't share my expensive goops, and thus cannot convert other geekly non-gender-conforming friends to the pink mary kay way just by demonstrating that hey, your hands will feel nice.

It is odd to think of me doing these things. It feels transgressive, in a gender-conforming way. Like I'm... cross-dressing my face (cross-gooping?), or something, even though I'm stepping closer to the gender roles society applies to my physique.

When I start feeling too girly, and planning a wedding can do that, I think about getting bright orange combat boots to wear under my elegant trained wedding dress....



[1] Pink because the color literally makes my ex nauseous, and I bought a ton of it during the hostile part of the breakup phase... and then noticed it looks great on me. Orange because that also looks great on me and not many people wear it. I do pretty well in all kinds of vibrant colors! I had no idea, during my black t-shirt phase

[2] Nobody has asked me if I'm pregnant. I'm not.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Predator Fascination

At the zoo, some of the most popular animals are predators. Big cats, big birds. Sharks. Wolves. Bears.

This is true even though most of the times that I've been at the zoo, the predators aren't really doing anything. They're sitting there, because they're nocturnal, or because that's what predators do when they're not hunting. Often they sleep. Sometimes they watch all the people. But when the tiger stretches, you can hear the little kids squeal and hide behind their parents.

Last time I was at a zoo, there was a little house with three giant windows. Straight ahead was the leopard cage, which I liked but the leopards were sleeping far above us. On the right were tigers. Baby tigers, so they were actually doing stuff. Very excellent, and I spent a lot of time watching them. On the other side were, I think, river otters. These guys were all over the place! Swimming and running around on shore and playing. They were adorable, and active, and I thought they were totally nifty.

But I still ended up back over at the tiger window.

People like predators, I think, because it's very important to be interested in things that might hunt you. It's better when it can't actually kill us because then we have that fear-in-safety adrenalin feeling. When the lion yawns and we see all his teeth... wow!

You'd think we'd be similarly fascinated by things we want to hunt or eat. Some people are, maybe, because a good hunter understands her prey. Is it so visceral, though? I don't know.

I'm a cat person. I love predators. I can understand dog people, a bit, although I don't want a dog. There's a kind of coevolved relationship between people and dogs and it can be a beautiful thing. They're companions. But dogs are also predatory.

I have friends who have rabbits. Rabbits are prey. I get wanting something soft and fuzzy, but I don't understand the emotions and behaviors of rabbits; they don't make sense to me and they don't seem interesting.

And I wonder... what part of loving predators, or prey, is identifying with its nature? And what part is fascination with the Other Who Wants To Eat Us?

Cats are, essentially, furry balls of sleepiness and impulsivity. Dogs are eagerness to please on four legs. The prey critters I've owned, they seem to be about fear and lots of babies, since half of them are going to get picked off before they reach adulthood.

We're fascinated by predatory people, too. Serial killers, cult leaders, all that stuff. Especially on TV, or in prison, or at least in the next town over. We like predatory people so much, we decided that certain kinds of people are inherently violent and dangerous. Then we become fascinated with them, and with controlling them.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I've just been thinking about how odd it is that I have two cute little furry softy killers, and I cuddle up to them with their fangs and claws right next to my jugular... and I love them because of their predatory nature, and not in spite of it.

I seem to have gotten to some kind of sociological commentary, and I'm wondering if perhaps we should be glad that we're starting to see wild predators in our suburbs again. Because maybe if we're afraid of the jaguar in the schoolyard, we won't make monsters out of the immigrants down the block?

Hey, it's better than putting them foreigners into zoos...

I don't know. Meow.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Am My Own Personal Phoenix

Someone online asked this question on a forum:
  • Has reaching a downward spiral in the past inspired you to work on issues you have otherwise ignored or self medicated for?
  • Why do you think this moment was crucial to your personal evolution, into a healthier person?
  • What means did you use to move forward from that point in your life, into a more positive direction?
  • What has that aspect of your personal journey taught you?

I've had two points in my life where I was crashing hard and had major epiphanies.

The first, years ago, was when I became suicidal after years of depression. I wasn't suicidal for long; just long enough to seriously consider it and make the active choice to not do it. At the time, I'd felt like I was completely out of control of my life, and couldn't do anything to fix anything... but I, and only I, could decide if I should end my life. For me, that was enormously empowering. At the same time, my parents made one of the hardest decisions I believe they've ever made; they decided to stop supporting me (unless I moved home), and gave me a month to find a job. My new empowerment and the jolt they gave me got me moving on a very slow path to health. Also a career, almost by coincidence.

The technique I needed for years after that was incremental improvement in different parts of my life. I became change-averse, because change had so often felt devastating. If I wanted to change my housing situation, I needed my job and love life to be stable, for instance. It took enough effort to maintain my life, and to make change, that managing more than one significant change -- even for the better! -- was very difficult. In many ways and at many times, I settled for less-than-ideal because I was managing a crisis in another area of my life.

But a few years ago, in a single week I lost my relationship and my job. At the same time, my household was breaking up (amicably), so I had to move. My mental health crashed, although it had been somewhat tenuous even before that. Out of all of those things I'd carefully managed for all those years, I felt like I'd lost everything, except family and friends. I hadn't, of course; I had resources I'd built over the years of gradual improvement, but it sure felt like everything was gone.

My mom suggested a mindfulness class. I resisted, but finally she said she'd pay for it, and what else was I doing with my time, really? So I took it. The class was a revelation. I've been working on accepting myself as I am, noticing the moment, and letting what is true be. It's kind of hokey; I never would have done it if I hadn't been so devastated.

I had always tried to be stronger, to resist whatever horrible thing would happen next without collapsing. Now, I am learning to be flexible, while retaining my strength. I have enormous emotional range; I can feel a variety of intensive emotions in a single hour or day. Now, I'm gaining the skills that let me do that, instead of trying to resist the truth of what's happening in me. I have a core of wisdom and calm. On my best days, anyway.

It's a gradual change over time, but it's working. It helped me be open to the wonderful relationship I have now. It's helping me manage an astonishingly complete life change: I've started a new job, I'll be moving, I'll be moving in with my fiance, and then we'll be getting married! All at once, it feels like. All good things, but all major changes. It's a far cry from incremental improvement, and sometimes it's overwhelming.

But now, I let myself feel overwhelmed for a little while, and then, like the tide, it recedes. And there I am, with myself, as always. With Mr. Shiny! It is good.

I took him to therapy today and we all did a brief overview together of how I have changed, and how my life has changed, in the past few years. I am me, but I am very much not the person I was.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Eating Yellow

A little while go, I was in the store and discovered myself to have a major rice craving. I bought rice, I bought things that are like rice, I bought things to cook with rice... then I came home and thought:

"Well, damn. I don't know how to cook rice."

First, I read the box. Then I asked the internet. I tried a thing with cooking in butter and then adding the water, a portion of which had been steeping some saffron.

It was okay. It turned yellow. I'm hoping to achieve "Indian Take-Out" rice, and it did not resemble that. Still, tasty.

Next I did the thing where you soak it for a while and then cook it and then don't touch it for a while. This is a little better, still not what I'm trying to get, but it has a better texture, when I don't overcook it. Now I'm doing saffron, celery seed, and shallot salt. Sometimes with smoked paprika. Colorful and tasty. Yum.

Tonight, though, I wanted chicken in a sauce on rice. I don't have many ingredients around so I asked the internet, and the internet said "try yogurt and curry powder."

Well, okay! It worked surprisingly well, let me use up some old carrots and aromatics, and turned all yellow. It's a very mild curry powder, since I am a spice coward. Yellow chicken on my yellow rice, yellow yellow. Made me wish I had some lemon cake for dessert.

This is a good addition to my cooking toolbox. The key is to add some flour to the yogurt so it doesn't curdle, and now I have nice creamy sauces without them being lactose dooooooooom.

Yellow. Yum.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

FFF 2011! Yay!

For the past many years, I have gone to the Fetish Fair Flea market. I attended them back when there wasn't a winter flea. As it grew from a room full of vendors into a whole con with classes and parties and ownership of a whole hotel, I grew with it. It used to be the only con I'd go to. I'm allergic to cons, I say.

But the winter flea is one of the things I look forward to most these days. It's been a high point with partners; it's been a low point with loneliness. Last year, I got my room and went as an aggressive act of getting-out-there and trying-new-things. Besides finding a new kink (hello, hypno!) I found a new partner (hello, Mr. Shiny!) and a whole new scene (hello, NEHG!) which finally, after all these years, feels like home.

So this year, well, I knew it would be good. It was.

Mr. Shiny and I went down on Friday. We got there later than I'd hoped, because I am not good at packing in advance or deciding what to wear, and at the last minute said "argh I want to wear that thing! argh it's full of cat hair and cat puke! argh it goes into the washer!" I'd looked into some classes I'd want to go to, looked into some vendors I'd want to stop by and see, and looked into parties that would be happening in the evenings. I didn't expect to be bored.

As it was, I didn't go to many classes. I visited vendors and went to parties and chilled at the hypno table and went to more parties and had wonderful moments with Mr. Shiny.

There was so much! And so much of it violated the Geneva Conventions! I was tied up. I was electrocuted repeatedly with a violet wand. I was beaten with a cane so bad that the bruises flowed around my breasts and turned them dark purple.* I was tranced over and over, and I'm pretty sure that falls afoul of anti-brainwashing rules.

I determined that actually, well, I am not all that straight. I mean, I suspected as much, but now my behavior carries that out. I got attacked by a hot chick who thought she was a naga, and we made out a whole lot. Right in the middle of the party. I was sitting by Mr. Shiny's legs at the time and so he had hot chicks writhing around kissing in his lap. Poor Mr. Shiny. Life is so hard for him.

I also determined that actually, well, I am not all that sub. I'm definitely submissive, but apparently not exclusively. As I'm growing in confidence and security, I am sometimes finding myself wanting to pounce on that cute thing over there. GRRR. RAR. Fierce Miette!

One of the best things, though, was fulfilling a bit of a fantasy of mine. I identified a Hot Chick at the Friday hypno party. I approached her and told her I wanted to give her as a present to my boyfriend, since his birthday was the week before. The fantasy goes something like "I lead her over to Mr. Shiny and he uses her right there" but in reality, of course, you have to do negotiation and so on. After all, she didn't know either of us from Adam, and she has a partner, too. So her partner and Mr. Shiny went off to negotiate, and it was all settled for the next day.

I was elsewhere, getting beaten and zapped, when the whole thing went down. But when I came back, they were smiling and happy. I felt absolutely gleeful. I brought Mr. Shiny a toy! And the toy appreciated it, she said it was one of the best compliments anyone had ever given her. It was an even better present than I'd thought, too; as I got to know her, I discovered that in addition to being super-hot, she is wicked smart, funny, and has had a colorful and interesting life. Also, she's a good subject!

Sure, I was flying high from all the wonderful things people had been doing to me, and all the wonderful trances I got to experience, and the compliments on the previously cat-encrusted skirt I wore. That I'd made. I certainly pursued my own pleasures all weekend. But today, a couple of weeks later, those pleasures fade in my memory compared to "eeeeeee! I found a girl and gave her to Mr. Shiny and it was awesome!"

Coming Soon: The Other Present For Mr. Shiny, or When It Is Better to Give Than to Receive; also, The Aftermath of the Flea, or Sometimes It Is Better to Receive Than to Give.


* That was actually a bit much. I loved the caning and being pushed, but the underside of my breasts, inches from the impact sites, were dark purple. I like marks... less than that. Next time, I will take it on the butt! If the whole thing turns black, I won't have to look at it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Unintentional Hypno-topping!

Mr. Fuzzy was over last night. I was feeling cuddly but not sexy, which he is fine with. Sometimes I'm not as fine with it... Because he gets all excited and then I feel a little bit bad. I know I get sad when someone gets me all worked up and then there's no follow-through! But I checked in and he was okay, so I kept going.

I was scratching his skin lightly, which he just adores. And we kissed, which he also just adores. So then I started talking to him, because it seemed the thing to do. I told him how good it felt and got him nice and purring and then told him he'd feel my hands and nails whenever I kissed him.

Then I kissed him and reacted so beautifully! So I kissed him a bunch and talked him through some blowjob feelings and kissed him more, and he was really excited. And I was tired, and I'm sick, and so I pulled him back down and let the energy subside and told him to relax. He did, like he almost never does; that was just as gratifying to me as the awesome sexy times I'd given to him! His tight stressed muscles just let go. It was beautiful. I sent him gently to sleep.

Then I thought... "hm. I didn't mean to hypnotize my partner and give him a trigger...."

In the morning, I checked in. I also tested the trigger, and it still worked, which gave me mixed feelings. I hadn't done it mindfully, and I hadn't done any of the important safety things we keep learning about in hypno club. Fortunately it's completely specific to me, and he interpreted it conservatively. On the other hand, it's intense and exciting to do that to someone!

Checkin complete, I then kissed him a whole lot more. And it was damn hot. I mean, it was hot last night, but we were having nice cuddly sexytimes last night. Having him go all jumpy and happy when I kissed him in the morning, when we were both bleary and ugh-it's-early and where's the coffee? Because the trigger I gave him worked? Incredibly hot.

Of course, given this morning's reinforcement, it'll probably stick for a good long while. I can't say I'm sad about that but I do wish I'd thought more first. I'd have put in a switch so it only made him all shivery when it's a good time for it. At the next opportune moment I'll make sure to give him some of the safety framework. It's really super-important and I'm a bad top for leaving it out, even if no harm is done.

...and I should be a good top when I top. A good top takes care. I love my fuzzy and I want him to be safe and happy, so from now on I am going to be much more careful when I'm accidentally hypnotizing him!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Monkey!

Last week, Mr. Shiny and I went to our local hypnoclub's monthly meeting. The topic for this meeting was suggestions. What to consider, how to phrase them, that kind of thing.

I have never hypnotized anyone, and so I have have never given a hypnotic suggestion. I've made requests, but they're in the form of ideas rather than full text.

So when the group went from Lecture to Workshop, I decided to go along, even though I don't plan on using any suggestion-writing skills any time soon. At first I started writing an amnesia trigger, but I didn't  like it. As is my wont, when I punted on the trigger I was writing, I wrote MONKEY on the paper. I  turned to Mr. Shiny and said so: MONKEY. He asked if the monkey was Larry.

You see, there's this little song that the Sprout really loves. One Dozen Monkeys. It's a cute little song about monkeys climbing out of a barrel and going in the tree, and then one monkey rides a bike instead. The little girl in the song names him Larry. Mrs. Bean and I also like the song, and it has driven itself into my brain. Even before the song I was apt to say "Monkey!" at random times, but now, the monkey's name is Larry.

So I turned over my note card and wrote a different suggestion:

Imagine a monkey. See the long tail, the long shaggy arms, the clever toes. What does a monkey sound like? How does he smell?
 
That monkey's name is Larry. Whenever you see a monkey, you will think of Larry. When you think of a monkey, you will know his name is Larry. If someone mentions a monkey, you might say that his name is Larry. 

The monkey has a name, and his name is Larry.

Just a silly little thing, I thought. I read it so that people who had also written silly suggestions, or who might feel like theirs wasn't very good, would feel better about reading their texts.

Instead... everybody liked it, pretty much. Someone called it poetic. Several people particularly liked the monkey's clever toes. I blushed and beamed and thought maybe I might be pretty good at this.

When we finished, we went and practiced giving each other suggestions, but I didn't give anyone Larry. Instead I received a lovely immersive fantasy world sequence. I enjoyed it way more than I think that people would enjoy Larry.

On the other hand, I'm kind of happy to notice that Larry's clever toes became a fetish on fetlife, just from the simple reading and talking about it in the group. When something sticks almost infernally in my mind, I think, it might make a good earworm post-hypnotic suggestion!