Thursday, June 27, 2013

Relationships, Emotions, and the Power of Kink

Okay, peeps.  What is up?  How is everyone's Thursday so far?  I hope that you are all well, grounded, present, and full of joy at the awesomeness of life.  As for me, I am doing some work!  For those of you who are just here for the sexy writing, I promise this post will be about connection and kink, but it won't be in the way you expect, and probably not until the end.  This post is about confronting painful aspects of ourselves in order to heal and move past them.

Here's a picture of the Goddess, cause trust me, we're going to need her.

A little more background on what brought me to this place.  Five years ago, I was trapped in a verbally abusive and sexually coercive relationship.  I became pregnant by being heavily pressured into unprotected sex, and was similarly pressured into keeping the child. I was young and far away from home, and caved to the voices of my abusive partner and father (if you get pregnant you MUST marry and DO THE RIGHT THING), which culminated in a  shot-gun wedding in the living room of our shitty little apartment when I was about 10 weeks pregnant.  I could barely get through the ceremony for morning sickness, and I was deeply aware that what I was doing was wrong, but I was too tired to fight. 

I became increasingly isolated, trapped, and dependent, and spun into a deep depression, which lingered for years even after I escaped the situation.  My then-husband was "poly" (he hit me with it on our first date, and I was all, "hey, cool, I'm open minded and that sounds neat.  Just not right now, kay?"), and I decided to take the poly plunge in the middle of my second trimester.  I felt trapped and wanted to feel as though I could still make connections with people/couples I liked, and whether I was honest with myself or not at the time, it was a way to escape the prison that had become my life.  And besides, I was pregnant, throwing up every 5 minutes, and miserable--I figured, hey, what could go wrong? HAHAHAHA.

But actually, being poly was awesome.  I loved it.  It was imperfect and messy at times, but I loved all the weirdoes we met a poly potlucks, the naked hot tub time, the long conversations late into the night about sex and relationships, the big, patchwork homes with lots of bedrooms and couches for kissing and cuddling.  I loved the openness, and the way that attraction, connection, and sex weren't taboo.  It was refreshing and exciting to be allowed to have a husband and be pregnant and still be allowed to be attracted to others and play with/or build relationships with others.  I fucking LOVED it.  I loved the opportunity to go on lunch and coffee dates and meet new people who were also practicing their own special version of this thing I was into.  It was really, really great.  So even though I entered into polyamory for what were completely and utterly the WRONG REASONS, I ended up being given a great gift. 



The other thing I both love/d and hate/d about poly was the way in which it forces you to deal with your shit.  Relationships in general do this, but when you are negotiating and discussing connections with others there is no escaping our wounds.  For example, there could be plenty of issues in a relationship (it's not a big deal, we all have them after all our years walking around on this earth, loving, taking risks, getting hurt--just like I have scars and scrapes on my knees from childhood), but it is often easy enough to ignore them by setting them aside and ignoring them.  It's easy to get complacent in relationships and ignore all the baggage that surrounds us.  We all do it--cause it is HARD to deal with our shit.  Who wants to do that?

But when you're poly, you're dealing with your own relationship and each of your lives, and then you're like, hey, I'm interested in this other person, how do you feel?  And at some point along the journey, one or both of you WILL get triggered.  It could be because of insecurities in your main relationship that need addressing--if one of you is feeling vulnerable/wounded/rejected/hurt, it's really going to be scary and pouring salt-on-the-wound stingy when the other partner seeks someone else out.  Even if it isn't at all about them trying to ditch you or replace you in any way, you're most likely going to FEEL all "they hate me, I'm a loser, they're going to abandon me," and all sorts of doom and gloom end of the world scenarios.  So what might be a simple conversation/request, might trigger a whole host of big scary emotions that have nothing to do with the new love/partner interest, but has everything to do with some unresolved fears and pain in the relationship or in the partner themselves.  Whew.  I know, exhausted already, right? BUT...Hard as it is, this shit needs to get addressed so that we can begin to heal our personal and relational wounds and journey on together. 



So, here we are--me, recovering from the wounds of an abusive relationship--where I learned to associate marriage with abuse, coercion, and entrapment--and a childhood where I was raised by a Borderline mother, and him, a man who lost his partner of 15 years to illness and who had to make the fucking excruciating decision pull the plug.  And only he knows what other deeper insecurities he might be carrying around from his past. 

I know this sounds scary and overwhelming and probably too much to deal with--BUT, we ALL are like this.  Whether or not we acknowledge our pain and our wounds doesn't change the fact that they are there.  They enter into everything we do, and into all of our relationships--even those we box up into the little box of "casual" or "just friends" or "sex only."  And I'm not saying that we have to spend the rest of our lives weeping and ululating over our personal mountains of shit.  But we DO have to recognize our issues, name them, feel them, and find healthy ways to release them so that we can move more deeply into relationships with ourselves and others.

In my case, these last six months, it's been about recognizing that, despite all the love and heart and courage and connectedness it took me to propose to my love and best friend, and to commit to him at the altar, that we're still just imperfect individuals with issues that need to be addressed.  I've also realized that due to my own broken experience of my parent's unhealthy marriage and divorce, and my own past experience with a past abusive marriage--no matter how fucking hard I tried to prevent it, marriage was a triggering event for me.  Even though I was all, "I love you and commit to you and to an open marriage where we respect each other's desires and independence"--some deep, dark part of me was screaming, "oh god no!  Don't lock me up!  Don't hurt and abuse me!"--not because I was doing the wrong thing by marrying a man I deeply love, but because I learned to associate marriage and commitment with abuse and confinement.  So, yeah, there's so work for me to do.  Super!

Additionally, talk of getting pregnant and having another child was also a triggering event for me.  Since my last pregnancy was the result of a rape, and the experience of being pregnant against my will was so traumatic, it was hard to get myself into a place where doing these things again felt okay.  Even though I love my partner and VERY FUCKING MUCH want to have another child with him, no matter how hard I tried, my shit just kept coming to the surface.  When I finally went off birth control, I flipped my shit and had a panic attack: "Oh God, oh God, I can't go back there!  Please don't make me go back to that dark place where I can't breathe and I think I'm going to die!  I've worked so hard to get here, with him, and happy and healthy and I can't---I won't go back!"  So even though I logically realize that there is way to conceive and experience pregnancy and motherhood in a much healthier, balanced, and supportive way, my emotional and wounded self is still screaming a different story.  So again, more work for me! 

And of course, the fun thing about being in relationship, is that as you're going through your shit--and in this case, saying, "yes, let's do it, let's have a baby" and then a month later having a crisis and saying, "No, I can't, I took Plan B, I'm sorry, we have to use condoms for a while until I sort this shit out, God I'm sorry"--your poor, sweet husband is basically being thrown back and forth against the wall, and, of course, he's going to take it all very personally.  So now, you have two painful things going on. 1) Your old shit coming back to say, hello, time to deal with me and 2) oh, and by the way, your shit is also going to activate your husband's shit, and by the way you just hurt him really badly.   Awesome, right?  But that's how it goes for all of us.  Most folks just usually don't try, or want to enumerate it the way I just did.  But that's how old wounds come back to tell us we're not done with them (or perhaps, they're not done with us?) and how, often, in the process, we can hurt others who can see our actions as rejecting them (when really, they're about the emergence of our own pain).



So, the point is that every relationship is requires deep, conscious awareness of past issues and how they come into play in present interaction, and in a certain sense, practicing polyamory is a funny way of guaranteeing that this happens on a very regular basis.  In a way, what I am saying is that if you don't want to dig deep and deal with your shit, you probably shouldn't be poly.  Yeah, there's lots of wonderful and fun things that come with being poly like multiple connections, sex, romance, flirting, etc., etc., but if you aren't willing to put in the extra work that is required to do all of those things in a healthy way, then stop.  Stop right now.  Furthermore, if you are thinking of dating or being with a poly partner, be aware that you too are going to have to be willing to engage (at times--not all the time.  There's plenty of time for play and sex and laughing too!) on this level to some extent.

Just as I wouldn't engage in sex with someone who felt coerced, or dominate my partner in the midst of a fight, or bring up deep and raw issues in the middle of  a play scene, so, too, I will not engage in play or relationships with others when there is obvious shit on the table in my relationship that needs to be dealt with.  That's not cool.  Cause all of a sudden, issues from my primary relationship are leaking out everywhere into my other connections, and things are tense and explosive at home.  That's no way to conduct healthy polyamory.  I'm not saying that we're going to withdraw from the world altogether while we do this work, not at all.  That's not healthy, either, and it's just another way of avoiding the issues that we recently triggered by the present possibility of other romantic connections.  We are poly.  We want to practice poly together, so simply abandoning it to run away and deal with stuff is foolhardy.  So, we keep moving forward.  We'll keep talking, exploring, and being present in the world together as we work to strengthen our relationship and ourselves.  And when the foundation feels a little firmer, and the ship stops rocking back and forth, perhaps we'll do some exploring with others.  I certainly hope so.



And finally, I did promise you a little bit of kink in relationship to these soul issues I've been discussing.  Last night, my partner said something that surprised me at first, but which, upon reflection made perfect sense.  As we were discussing all of the above he said,

"It's hard when you top me one night, and then in the morning, or the next day, bring up your interest in someone else." 

My response was,

"Hmmm, you know, I guess you're right.  I do have a tendency to bring those things up within 24-48 hours of me domming you.  I wonder why?  I think it's because when I top you I feel so intimate and close with you--so deeply connected and empowered and full of love--that I feel strong and safe enough to bring up my feelings toward others.  It's only when I feel that we are deeply connected and have a strong bond that I feel able to bring up the possibility of other relationships.  Does that make sense?  So, for me, the fact that I'm talking to you about a crush I have, is a sign that I'm feeling good in the relationship and safe and confident enough in us  to talk about someone else.  But...for you, it sounds like you're feeling, maybe, almost coerced...like I'm asking, or maybe even just telling you that I'm going to be with someone else, and we're still in that dominant space where you feel helpless." 

He said,

"Yes, it's some of that, but also, think about how you feel when you are in sub space.  How do you feel during the scene and maybe even for a day or so after [we do that kind of emotional/soul work]?"

"Hmm.  I feel vulnerable, raw, and ripped open.  Not in a bad way, just vulnerable, and for a time after, unable to cover myself back up with the things that I use to protect myself; exposed."

Him: "Exactly."

Me: "I see.  That makes sense.  I suppose I hadn't really thought about the after-effects of topping you beyond immediate aftercare.  I can see that there's more going on, and I have certainly experienced that myself.  This is really interesting.  Clearly we need to have a conversation around just this issue so we can see what's really going on here and how to navigate it."



So, what this reveals to me is something that I already, instinctually knew.  Kink is not just about swatting people with whips and chaining them up and cocks getting hard and cunts getting wet.  That's a part of it--a very fun and enjoyable part--but it isn't really why I do it.  I participate in kink because I believe it to be, and have experienced it to be a very powerful and soul-working experience.  It isn't always this way, and thank goodness, because as Lee Harrington says, we all need some deep-fried-oreo "junk food sex."  We can't always engage on the astral plane, and sometimes need to get off from rolling around in the muck.  But for me, topping another person is all about soul-connecting with them and pushing them past their own perceived limits. 

So often people underestimate themselves, devalue themselves, and feel inadequate, vulnerable, and insecure.  But when a sub, with my support, guidance, and love, pushes past boundaries of fear, pain, and emotion, that's fucking huge.  In that moment, they learn that they are more powerful than they ever realized and that carries over into everyday life.  Additionally, as a submissive, it is very possible, and I think, done right, can be very cathartic to experience humiliation, or to revert to being a child being disciplined by Daddy/Mommy/Teacher/Coach as a way to re-experience painful childhood moments and release them.  Being able to enter into a controlled and created space where you can fucking cry like a baby as Daddy spanks you for being a bad girl is not just about the way it gets your pussy wet.  Haven't you noticed that after a scene like that, despite feeling a bit raw and vulnerable, you feel free?  Less burdened by feelings of having to do what others tell you?  Less worried about pleasing others (or in other words, pleasing Daddy?) You endured Daddy's wrath and his attempts to shame and abuse you and came out on the other side.  And maybe you even got pleasure or an orgasm out of it, or felt love, and all those things are powerful talismans that transform old feelings of shame, hurt, and fear.

This is why I am attracted to kink.  I've often toyed around with being a therapist, and even thought about being a sex therapist.  But I don't want to be limited by the boundaries of traditional therapy.  I want to put on my stockings and corset and red lipstick and grab my crop and flogger and enter into the role of the Goddess to help others heal and transform and to bring them pleasure, at the most basic level.  I also want to be bent over and spanked until I cry, cause yes, I have pain and issues, and sometimes I just want to fucking cry like a baby.  So, go forth all of you, and try to pay attention to your emotions and reactions.  What's going on with you?  Is it really about the spilled cup of coffee, or the new person your partner likes or how attracted you are to the person you met at the bar (maybe, a little) or is it about something deeper and more powerful that is trying to get your attention?  Don't worry about having it all figured out.  Just take the first step. 



I even challenge you to bring awareness to your kink.  WHY do you like what you like?  What does it evoke for you?  What do you want and need, and why?  Just beginning to think about these things will make your play (work!) in the bedroom and playroom more powerful as you begin to see it for the soul tool that it can be. 

Have a great day everyone, and stay present, even when it hurts!

Many Blessings in Love,



Inanna

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Session One: Inanna's Dominatrix Training

Hi kinky friends and perverts!

I'm so horny today!  Between a nice hard workout at the gym this morning, a hot shower and the short little black skirt I'm wearing, it's all I can do to keep my hands off myself.  But I promised you the conclusion to the last blog post.  I'm sure you're all wondering "What happened in the playroom?" so I've vowed to keep my eager hands off my hot, greedy cunt until I write this post.  Best part is that as soon as my husband reads this he'll know what a horny little slut I am.  And hopefully he'll cum play with me! :)  (He already knows what kind of girl I am by now anyway).

* * * * * * * * *

As I step across the threshold into the darkened, candlelit room, I am aware that I am crossing from a the world of unfulfilled desire and dreams into a world of reality.  Here, I will be tested, pushed, and will emerge as the dominant goddess I've only dreamed of becoming.  I will discover who I am, what I can take, and what I can do to others.  The thought is intoxicating and sends shivers through my body.  Mistress (the wife) and I stand over our shared possession, taking in the unparalleled sight of the man naked and prostrate at our feet.  Mistress leans over and affectionately rubs her slave's bare skin, chiding him, "Aren't you going to greet your Mistress?"  He grunts.  "Hello Mistress," he murmurs obediently.  She has him well trained.  The thought of training him to be MY slave makes my cunt, already wet, I notice, contract in pleasure and anticipation.  Suddenly shy, I laughingly murmur a quiet, "Hello" to the kneeling man.  I stand there, feet locked, waiting for a cue from Mistress.  Though I have been given permission to use and abuse her husband and to make him my complete and utter slave, there is still some in-scene negotiation and trust to be built between the wife and I.  I have to earn her trust, and show her that I can listen and that I will hurt her husband in the proper ways (no flogging or beating without control of the whip/flogger, and no hitting sensitive and dangerous areas such as the lower back/kidney area).  I have to prove myself before I am granted any rights or privileges in this playroom.  I am starting from the beginning. 

Mistress slips a hood over the slave's head and pulls him to his feet.  Together, we guide him to the St. Andrew's cross--a thing of beauty that dominates the room though it is placed in the corner.  We each fasten an arm and a leg to the cross  so that his back and ass are facing us and begin stroking his tender flesh.  I smile and laugh throatily at the thought of the pain he is about to endure.  For tonight, his pain is twofold.  Not only does he have to endure one set of strokes--those of his wife, but he will also have to bear mine--and I am going to need some practice.

First Mistress grabs a flogger for herself and then hands me a soft, black leather flogger--one not meant for pain, but for sensation.  This is where I will start as I learn to perfect the technique of swiveling my wrist just so, in order to minimize the amount of effort and tension placed on my arm.  The idea is for me to be able to swing this flogger for as long as it takes--hours, possibly.  She demonstrates her expert skill by reddening first one, and then the other of her husband's tender ass cheeks.  Then, she steps aside and motions for me to take a turn.  I take a shallow nervous breath, and swing--missing my target area and wrapping the flogger around his thigh! "No! Don't wrap! Slow it down and hit the target--you can build up to speed.  But for now, focus on accuracy."  I hit him on one side and then the other, over and over again, until I began to show some improvement, and he began moaning and arching his back upon the cross.  We continued this pattern of demonstration and practice with paddles, crops, and hands--all of which I immensely enjoyed--and was much more skilled at using.

One of the most erotic moments of the night was a small one.  During the time when we were alternating spanking his dark red ass cheeks, Mistress announced that she need to step out for a moment to use the restroom.  She gave me a small order (amazing how she could make me feel like such a lowly sub!  And I almost hated how it turned me on to follow her commands and how I desperately desire to please her): "You may use your hands and paddle on him, but nothing else until I get back."  Simultaneously, she was revealing her trust by leaving me, but not allowing me to do anything to her man that she had not endorsed.

As she stepped out of the room, I returned to spanking and paddling the well-used buttocks of my new, and soon to be well-used slave.  As I gave him one resounding hit after another, he whispered with a yearning in his voice, "Harder, Mistress!  You can hit me harder!  Please, don't spare me!"  And with that, it was as if everything that I had been holding inside was released.  I hit him harder and harder still, feeling my body heat rise and my breath come more quickly as his writhed and moaned under my abuse.  I began to alternate strikes with gentle, teasing caresses, and again, at his urging, "Mistress, use me as you please!" I reached between his legs and grabbed his rope-bound cock and balls pulling his ass towards me.  I pressed my body into his cross-bound and exposed body, ass in the air, pressing my breasts into his back.  I slid my hands down his back, running my nails into his flesh, listening to him moan and sigh, only to reach down and smack his ass in response.  Oh god, those moments, alternating between heavy spanking and teasing him with my curves pressed into him.  How I love a man bent over and at my mercy!!  Even now, writing this, I cannot wait until Thursday's session....

When Mistress returned, she sensed something had changed.  She stood back and watched us interact with a smile on her face, pleased at the way I was spanking and paddling her boy, and pleased to see that my technique was correct, not to mention the obvious sexual energy between the two of us.  I looked up at her and laughed, brushing a damp curl from my face--"It's hot in here!"  She laughed and went over to the toy chest to grab the cup of clothespins!  "Oooh," I laughed with excitement, "I love CBT!"  I could hear slave groan in anticipation, knowing that having two evil, dominant women torturing his delicate bits was going to be excruciating. 

I turned him around on the cross and refastened him,  while Mistress unfastened her lovely rope cock bondage.  I was sad to see it go, but eager to apply the clothespins.  Mistress placed a clothespin on each of slave's erect nipples before we both knelt at his feet--a rare moment of submission, but hardly one in his favor--as we took turns grabbing folds of tender flesh and clasping it in the grip of one clothespin after another.  With great big smiles on our faces we decorated his mons pubis and scrotum with clothespins until he looked like a proud turkey! :)  And then came the best part--removing them.  With each pin removed, he cried out loudly in pain ( I fucking love that!) and we gently rubbed the dark red bite marks left by each pin.  Once his cock and balls were again bare-but this time, marked and swollen, we unhooked him from the cross and led him to the kneeler swing in the center of the room. 

Smiling at each other we fastened his wrists and ankles to the device so that he was bent over, with legs spread.  Mistress gathered up the lube and a pair of gloves for each of us, before kneeling between slave's legs and gently massaging his tight asshole with lube.  Slowly she slid a finger inside his hole, and he moaned in pleasure.  As she started sliding in and out of him, I put on my gloves and prepared for my turn.  Soon enough she slide out of him and positioned herself at his side, stroking his back and ever so gently teasing his hard and dripping cock. 

Excitedly, I knelt between his spread thighs and began to caress his asshole before sliding a finger in.  I moved my finger in and out of his hole, pressing more deeply still until I found the hard, ridged, pea-shaped prostate gland.  Once I found it I began to stroke gently in the direction of the cock (often called a cum-hither motion), and as I did so, the slave began to moan and groan, beginning to thrust his ass back into my strokes.  "More, please, Mistress!  More fingers!"  Smiling and laughing at his eagerness, I slid a second finger inside his ass and resumed my stroking of his special spot.  Mistress reached underneath him and began stroking his swollen dick, milking him like a cow.  By now he was eagerly bouncing up and down on my fingers while Mistress pumped his cock.  "Uuungh!" he moaned.  "Mistress, please!  Please, please may I cum?"  She smiled and looked at me.  I nodded.  "Yes, you may."  And with that, his body seized up and he was lost in orgasmic spasms.  Mistress and I sat there looking at one another as his ass tightened rhythmically on my fingers and his cock pumped in her hand.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

And Now for some Happy, Fun, Kinky Stuff!

It's time for a break from some of my personal darkness and introspection!  Whew, thank goodness, right?

As you, my astute readers, may have noticed, I've been hinting at some new kinky playtime in my life.  Well, to be exact, it isn't exactly playtime, but more like training.  I've been corresponding with an experienced couple in the local kink scene for some time, but hadn't been able to actually connect with them in person due to life's ever changing circumstances. However, last week I finally met up with them, chatted, and discussed my education, my year-long Kink Leaders program with Princess Kali, and my emergence in the local community.  We talked about my desire for further training and experience as a Dominatrix, and well, I was offered an job of sorts.  An opportunity. 




I was invited to lunch in a few days time and asked to complete a detailed (6 page!) questionnaire about my kink preferences and experience.  Prior to the meeting I completed the questionnaire and compiled a top ten list of things that I would like to learn/gain further experience. 

Here's my big Top Ten List:

1. Wax/Oil Play
2.Humiliation/verbal
3.Anal Sex/Anal Play (fingers, plugs, etc)
4.Beating
5.Chastity Training
6. Orgasm Control
7. Abrasion/Texture & Sensation Play
8. Bondage/Restraints (How to use various instruments, set-ups)
9. Erotic Photography
10. Fisting (giving and receiving)
 
Ooooh!  Fun, right!  I think so.
 
At lunch, we made small talk and felt out the dynamic between the three of us, as well as discussed our experiences in the scene.  Both of them identify as Dominants, but the husband is willing to sub for me so that I can train under the direction of his wife.  After lunch was concluded, we made an appointment for the following evening at 6 pm sharp at their home for my first evening of training.
 
Eager to please, I showered, shaved, and dressed in a short blue dress with a pair of heels that laced around the ankles.  For some reason, I find this pair of shoes incredibly erotic, and feel sexy as soon as I tie the leather laces.  They're just the sort of shoes that look equally sexy with a bare leg as a pair or sheer thigh highs, and are perfect for scraping across a man's flesh as he lies prone before you or knees prostrate at your feet.
 
As I drove to their home, I smiled nervously to myself, thinking how my awe at their experience and desire to please them made me feel much more like a submissive than a domme.  I pushed through my nerves, resisted the urge to drive right back home and hide underneath the covers, and appeared at their doorstep at 6 pm sharp.  The beautiful wife, a sexy older woman (a definite fantasy of mine--I LOVE older women who know what they want and who have a dominant side.  I definitely need a strong female mentor in my life!), answered the door in a pair of tight black leggings and a silver-grey corset that laced up the back.  She smiled, and asked me to come inside.
 
We made small talk in the foyer while I awkwardly stood there in the foyer with my bags in hand ( I hadn't been sure what to wear, so I stuffed a bag full of corsets and stocking and thongs and heels, just in case), when, my to my surprise, her husband came around the corner wearing NOTHING but a red leather collar, ankle and wrist cuffs, and, drool, a locked chastity device.  He had remembered my expressed enjoyment of having a man's cock caged while he served my every need.  I literally stood there for a few minutes with my jaw hanging open, trying desperately not to giggle like a thirteen year old girl. 
 
And after my moment of alternately gaping and grinning, they politely showed me around the house, chatting about their collector china, and the flooring and the bedroom d├ęcor, while the nude and collared husband led the way.  I found myself distracted by his tanned, soft ass cheeks, which I noted, had a sort of dragon-shaped tattoo on his right cheek.  I would later discover, under closer scrutiny in the playroom, as I was pounding his ass for several hours with flogger, paddle, crop, and hand, that his little tattoo said "Master" and what I thought was a dragon was actually a single tail whip entwining the letters of "Master."  It gave me perverse delight to see the man with the Master tattoo bent over and humbled, splayed out across the St. Andrew's cross as his wife and I marked him with stroke after stroke of his erotic punishment.
 
After we concluded the tour, we all sat down on the leather couches to discuss the terms of play between the three of us.  He would sub to his wife and I, and I might...in time...choose to sub to them occasionaly, but the point of this arrangement was for me to begin my dominatrix training.  As we discussed, the husband, my new sub--ooo!, served us drinks, and knelt on the floor giving each of us foot massages in turn.  I had a small glass of wine to calm my nerves, as I knew that we would not be doing anything too heavy or dangerous this evening.
 
They had an extensive private playroom in their home complete with a massage table equipped with full restraints, a St. Andrew's cross, a moveable sex swing, a GIANT toy box (the kind one's husband has for his drills and screwdrivers and such) FULL TO THE BRINK will toys and implements of all kinds.  There was a drawer devoted to each type of play/torture.  Let's see if I can remember them all:  Nipple play, cock bondage/CBT, needle play, anal play, vibrators/speculums, penis pumps, rope, collars/cuffs, cock sleeves, lubes of all kinds and brands, candles and oil for hot wax/oil play, gloves (of course), and in the closet there were various bondage devices such as spreader bars, bondage sleeves, blindfolds, hoods, there were items for sensation play such as little torture wheels with spikes, vampire gloves, and soft fur pelts.  There was a drawer full of cock rings, and one with all sorts of medieval looking torture devices for breast and cock imprisonment and torture!  I nearly passed out from excitement and sheer overload from the sight of all these toys.  ALSO, there was an entire wall of whips, floggers, crops, paddles, glass dildos, single tails, dragon tails, cat-o-nine tails, and so forth, all arranged in order of severity.
 
Once we concluded our discussion, the rub was ordered to select a hood, lay it out on the massage table, set the music, and assume the position.
 
The wife and I looked into each other's eyes.  "Are you ready?" she said?  I took a deep breath and responded, "Yes."  We walked into the darkened room together, my breath hitching at the sight of the man kneeling before me.
 
More to come this week about Session One!

 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Aftermath

As many of you have noticed, these last few weeks have been full of revelations--deep and earth shattering on many levels.  I've shared about my body, my desires, my spirituality, and talked about things that were buried and not fully known, even to myself.  The recent discovery of my PCOS has done a lot in terms of explaining my hormone levels, long term symptoms, and even a good deal of my gendered feelings that have begun to emerge full force as I have begun to dig internally.  However, the discovery of these truths alone has not been enough to satisfy me, nor to resolve many of my internal tensions.  In many ways I have always been a conflicted woman--one who dwells within tensions and at times (okay, often) desires things sexually that conflict with my belief system intellectually.  I posted recently about my personal experience with being on the transgender spectrum (at this time I identify as genderqueer) in response to a friend's query about switching genders as a form of "opting out" and "not fighting the good fight."  I felt called to share my story as a way of putting a human face on the transgender experience, and illustrating the deep internal struggle to reconcile a body that does not match one's inner identity.  In general, I feel called to explore my deepest truths and do deep work in the areas of gender, identity, sexuality, pornography, kink, etc. and share my research, study, thoughts, and experiences in order to educate people about things of which they are unaware, or to let another struggling person know they are not alone, even though they feel lost and isolated.  I struggle with wondering whether I am being selfish and self-absorbed to spend the majority of my time looking inward, but I think to a large extent, this is the work of being a writer.  I also spend time taking classes, attending events, and teaching, in order to gain the experience and human interaction required to actually have something to say.  If I stopped everything in order to write, the well would quickly become dry.

I have been surprised at the degree of acceptance by those that read my post (posted here and on my personal Facebook page--which is a bizarre mix of liberal college and post-college friends, and highly conservative, right wing Christians that represent the folks I knew growing up.  I still love them and share many memories of my childhood with them, but that is about all.  I find it inspiring that we still are friends on Facebook, a tenuous relationship at best, but it is an exercise in acceptance of each other's vast differences).  I post about sex, STD's, female pleasure, and transgender, and whether or not they read my posts (they certainly don't "like" my posts) they are seeing them, and they choose to keep my on their friend list.  And hey, that's something.  Some of them have even messaged me in private that they learned something and their perspective was changed.  I've also been asked by a writer friend of mine to do an interview with her for her blog on what it means to be transgender/genderqueer.  I will post that on here as well in a few days, as well as a link to her blog which address some awesome feminist, legal, and otherwise quirktastic topics.

So all that is great.  But the truth is that I am still personally struggling with these issues.  Most of my life I suppressed my masculinity, my dominance, and my bitchiness.  And it came out in all sorts of unpleasant ways.  I'm really hoping that the exploration of this side of myself in the kink world--in pre-negotiated scenes with check-ins before and after play, and work with my therapist and in my writing, that I will find a way to integrate all of these different parts of myself.  These last few days have been full of ups and downs--from euphoria at having the courage to share my story and the terror that comes from realizing you just exposed your deepest self in public, and in front of a large audience.  I've felt blissful excitement over my relationships and deep terror at the unpredictable ways they are changing.  I am excited about exploring my dominant sexual side, and have enjoyed some hot sex where I was the aggressor and imagined penetrating my partner with my cock--but at the same time I was sooooo uncomfortable with it.  It's going to take some time to get used to.  And I don't have to decide today or next week, or next year, or even in the next ten years what gender I really want to be or what that looks like.  It's okay to be me and be a lot of different things at once (even though it makes me feel like I have multiple personality disorder at times.  Not really--but the transitions between my different ways of being are still pretty choppy and awkward).

I am so honored to be with partners who accept me as I am.  Both of my lovers have expressed their love and desire for me despite my admitted inner male self, facial hair, and ovarian cysts.  In fact, neither of them have seemed overly phased by it--though perhaps curious as to what it means and how to explore it with me and support me through the process.  Both of them, I believe, have know these things about me for a long time--long before I even explicitly knew them about myself.  So when I talked to T (my husband) last night about how weird it felt for me to openly acknowledge my inner man, and how lately, I can't get off unless I visualize fucking my lovers with my penis, and how I might just be a gay man in disguise (two cocks, mmmm!), he wasn't really shocked at all.  In fact, he was like, okay, let's go with that.  Why don't you be the gay man for a while?  It was me who was shocked and uncomfortable. 

So, it's going to take some time for me to get comfortable in my female skin and flesh (something that has always been a struggle--who ever completely and perfectly loves their body), and be okay with the man, or assertive woman inside me.  Here's to the journey.

Tonight I have my first dominatrix session with my mentors in their private dungeon.  I'm excited and scared.  What should I wear? ;)  I will write more soon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gender Identity, PCOS, and Trans Talk

Ugh.  I've been sitting on this post for days--wanting to gather the courage, knowledge, and strength to write it.  Five days have passed and I feel no different, only grumpier and more writing-angsty than ever.  So, whether this post sucks or not, I have to write it.

The topic of transgender has only very recently crossed my radar.  I was raised in a world where there were only two acknowledged genders--I can't remember when I first heard the word transgender, but it was in the last few years only.  Homosexuality and alternate lifestyles weren't on my radar either growing up, and if they did become visible, they were used by those around me as an excuse to belittle, abuse, and bash other lifestyles.  I went to a white, privileged middle-upper class private school, so once again, my horizons were narrow and I saw little diversity of any kind.

I can tell you that I have felt different my entire life.  I didn't really know how I was different, just that I was, and not even knowing there were options when it came to gender identity and expression, or lifestyle choice just made me try all the harder to squeeze my very non-squeezable self into the boxes provided for me by family and culture: female, white, Christian, good, and so on. 

Parallel to these cultural constructs hemming me in on all sides, was my own personal journey.  At age 11 (just barely), I started bleeding, the second girl in my grade to get her period.  And you know what's sad, I was pissed that I wasn't the first.  I wanted to win at everything, even bleeding, even woman--whatever that was.  Well, sure enough, I started to "win" in that department a lot faster than I, or my parents (who were horrified at my sudden extreme womanhood) would have ever wished.  That same year, in fifth grade, I went practically overnight to a curvaceous, sexy woman with wide hips, C cup breasts, a period, and acne.  Oh god, the acne.  If someone wasn't staring at my chest, they were staring at my hips.  So I was painfully, and obviously thrust into womanhood with a big bang and an ever bigger chest.  A part of me liked all the attention, though.  It made me feel powerful to know that I could command the room with just my body.  I was proud of having curves and bigger breasts than my flat-chested friends.  I was a woman, never mind that I was 11 years old.

I remained at about a size 6 to 8 with C cup breasts until high school, when several extremely unpleasant things happened.  I broke up with my boyfriend (or did he break up with me, I can't remember), my parents separated and soon divorced, and my twin sister and I were left largely responsible for my younger, 4 year old sister, while my parents tended to their wounds.

I soon dropped out of all social life except for homework and school activities, choosing instead to spend time with my sister rather than hang out or party.  I also began experiencing "situational depression," began attending entirely pointless therapy, and started to eat.  I ate to comfort myself, to stop the pain, and to stuff the waves of emotion and sadness that I felt back inside where I could control them.  I started to gain weight.  A little at first, but by the time I graduated high school, I had intimate relationships with Walt Whitman and Catullus and Emily Dickinson, and chocolate, not with friends or partners.  I was a size 18/20 at the time my senior photo was taken.

I also noticed a small amount of facial hair appearing as I gained weight--thicker sideburns, mustache, and hairs on my chin, which was concerning, but I was already too ashamed of everything about myself to bring this up with my doctor.  What if something was wrong with me?  What if I was really a man? (Help!  Pass the chocolate!)

In college, I gradually lost weight again--finding an environment where my kind of weird was normal and not having access to much food dropped me down to a size 12-14, and in general, I was happy, in relationships and so on.  And as I said before, being weird wasn't anything out of the ordinary at St. John's College, so if I was strange, I didn't notice.  What did start occurring, however, was that I began to realize that my behaviors, socially and romantically, were largely quite different than those of the other women around me (though less so than out in the world--Johnnie women are a different breed altogether).  I was bolder in pursuing ideas, passions and dreams than the average woman.  I was more aggressive in the bedroom and in pursuit of sexual and romantic partners.  I tended to initiate the beginnings and ends of relationships.  And if someone tried to bring me down by challenging me (in the bedroom or out), I took it as a call to get better, and to kick more ass.  I also asked out and pursued just as many guys as pursued me.  I found out that men found me sexy and terribly intimidating, which was all quite baffling to me.

Since graduation college six years ago, I have experienced pregnancy and childbirth, as well as a significant amount of weight gain and loss.  The facial hair increased, as did my, at this point, nearly insatiable libido.  The father of my child was an extremely aggressive, dominant and abusive human being, who refused to allow me sexual or personal dominance in  my life, and in the nearly 4 years since leaving that situation, I have uncovered a massive amount of knowledge about my identity that had been buried for 14 years under cultural indoctrination, abuse, and simply a lack of knowledge about different ways of being.

Since being in a healthy, nurturing relationship with my current partner, I have discovered the following about myself: I am a bisexual, polyamorous, gender-queer person and I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).  For years, I have fantasized about having a penis, but have never wanted to give up my female body.  This has never been out of sense of woman-hatred, or love of patriarchy, or any such nonsense, but rather a desire to experience life from a male perspective, both physically and emotionally.  What is it like?  What are the fears, pressures, and joys?  And what does it feel like to make love from the other side?  To be the penetrator rather than the penetrated? 

I love being extremely feminine and curvy (see?) but inside, I feel like a man.  I am strong-willed, risk taking, impulsive, eager, driven, and approach sex and relationships like a dude.  I have an insanely high sex drive, and prefer multiple partners and a variety of sexual and intimate love-styles. Still, I didn't know what transgender always was.  I just joked about how I was more like a man than a woman, but it didn't matter since my body was more woman than most.  I've struggled when it comes to dating and pursuing a woman because I don't operate in that push-pull, hot and cold sort of way.  I'm like, "do you want me, or not?" 

But once I read Jennifer Finney Boylan's account of raising her children through and post the transition process, I knew I had hit on something.  Of course, it scared the shit out of me.  But I deeply related with JFB's accounts of her identity, and of simply feeling different inside than the ay you are outside.  It isn't about judging which gender or body parts are better--it's about a deep knowledge of which ones you feel you should have, and that sometimes what you feel is quite different than what you were assigned at birth.  JFB didn't want to be a woman because she felt that women were superior, she just WAS a woman.  As simple as that.  Are you going to judge a man and blame him for not being a woman, or accuse him of being anti-feminist or anti-women just because he has a penis?  Not all men are bad, and not all women are good.  One thing we all are is human.

At the recent AASECT conference, I attended all the sessions I could on the transgender experience, including one particularly powerful one on adapting sex education to be inclusive of trans experience.  I plan to write up an account of this session in a future post, but just to quickly sum it up--changing our language around sexuality is extremely important. We can no longer refer to sex as between a man and a woman, nor can we assume that all women have vaginas and all men have penises.  MOST women have vaginas, but not all.  MOST men have penises, but not all.

Around the time of this conference, I received results from my endocrinologist.  I had made an appointment with my local endo to discuss my irregular period, facial hair, and struggles with weight gain, despite the recommendation from my PC that "everything was fine."  And guess, what?  I have PCOS.  Folks with PCOS have cysts on their ovaries that cause increased production of androgens (testosterone) and inhibit ovulation, cause weight gain, and facial hair growth.  And, not surprisingly, most trans FTM folk wither have PCOS before transition (increased androgen leading to male ideation), and then, those that do not have PCOS often develop it from testosterone treatments.

So all this is to say, that there is a huge variety of gender identity and sexual expression in this world.  You may look at someone and assume a certain gender.  Take me, for example.  Breasts, hips, curves--feminine in body and dress.  However, my hormones tell a different story, as does my self-defined gender identity (my "affirmed" identity).  We need to start thinking beyond our genitals when it comes to gender and sexual identity.  It's also beyond time to start making assumptions about behavior or belief structure based on this supposed M or F identity determined at birth by what's between our legs.  There are more "masculine" women, such as myself (and perhaps Cleopatra or Elizabeth I, I like to think), and more "feminine" men and a whole range of everything else in between.  We need to give our children and each other choices when it comes to who they are, how they feel, and how they choose to express themselves.  Why does gender even matter so much?  How about just human?


And to answer the recent question of a friend:

"What's your take on trans men, though? I am very conflicted about how to think about women who transition to the male gender, because to me that seems like it's saying "I cannot be a woman because
women are X and I am not that" - which is a very limited way to view women. It's also effectively "passing" - buying into the male power structure, rather than resisting it. Men who transition to the female gender are fundamentally disenfranchising themselves: not so, the other way round. It seems anti-feminist and even anti-woman to reject female-ness and all it connotes in favour of joining the boys' club."

I think it's important to identity some the assumptions, and perhaps, prejudices that are at play here.  For one, you seem to hold the belief that it is better to be a man than a woman, or certainly that there is some value in the struggle of being a woman in a society that does not always value female-ness.  There is also the assumption that a person chooses to transition from female to male because she is dissatisfied with her role in society.  While I can see how it might look that way on the outside, most trans folk aren't attempting to make a larger societal statement with their transition.  They're just being who they are and who they've always been.  Transition is just about making the outside consonant with the inside.  A trans man IS a man, and has always been a man--or perhaps, developed into a man at puberty.  It isn't so much about choosing to be someone else, as choosing to be oneself fully, inside and out. 

Furthermore, I have great respect for transfolk and genderqueer people because, often, they have had to do a lot of inner work to discover who they are and figure out how to manifest that in the world.  Can you take a just a moment and imagine what it would feel like to be born into the wrong body?  To be you on the inside, but a chimpanzee or a giraffe on the outside?  How would you express yourself?  How would you let others know that you were really human, even though you appeared giraffe-like?

In my experience, most transfolk are incredibly gender respectful and tend NOT to stereotype others based on appearance, gender, or societal roles as a result of what they had been through.  So to your concern about a trans man opting out, or joining the "old boys" club--that seems highly unlikely to me.  Again, I would challenge your assumption that a trans man going through transition is attempting to make a statement against women, feminism, or anything of the sort, but is on a very personal journey to make one's insides match the outsides (damn pronouns!)

I think that transfolk offer us an incredibly opportunity to see humanity beyond the gender binary, and to appreciate a wide variety of gender and cultural expression.  If anyone is going to get us beyond the limited idea that feminism is just for women, and all men are evil, its a person who has been both genders, or who chooses to live a life somewhere in a gendered no-man's land, as both man and woman.  Please, do everything in your power to allow others to define their own gender identities and advocate for transgender rights, sexual education, and more.  Trans people are still the at the highest risk for suicides and bullying in the United States, and they are one of the greatest gifts we have been given.



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Marked by the Goddess. Enter, Erishkigal.



This morning, while reading Queen of the Great Below: An Anthology in Honor of Erishkigal published by Bibliotheca Alexandrina, I was moved deeply--as I often am when encountering the Goddess.  I began reading two anthologies in the last few weeks--this one on Erishkigal, and another centered around Inanna's journey to confront her death and the dark face of her sister, Erishkigal, in the underworld.  I've been obsessed with this myth since I first encountered it in Sylvia Brinton Perera's Jungian account (Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women) of the female journey to the underworld to encounter the divine feminine that has been buried alive in our culture.

This was in the summer of 2007.  I had just graduated from college and felt a deep ache--a craving--to encounter the feminine.  I'd had four years of wrestling with the tenets of Western philosophy (at St. John's College in Santa Fe, NM) and the male psyche--but where was the feminine?  Guided by my feminist boyfriend at the time, I started with Cunt: A Declaration of Independence  by Inga Muscio, and a foreward by Betty Dodson, who is, of course, one of my heroines and an empowered sexual warrior goddess.  I felt a deep pull to embark on the descent to Erishkigal myself, but was, of course, scared of out my mind.  I toyed with the idea of creating a ritual on the many acres of Napa vineyard where I was staying--setting up symbolic "gates" where I would remove an article of clothing and a treasured part of myself, to enter the depths naked and vulnerable.  It was, and remains, a great idea, but I still have not gathered the courage to enact this powerful, and not-to-be-taken lightly ritual.  I am praying to the Goddess even now to guide me to the time, place, and guides for this soul ceremony.

Erishkigal


That summer I filled several journals with the outpourings of my heart.  All the hate and rage and victimization that I had experienced as a woman on this earth poured out like hot blood.  It was a blessed relief.  After that miraculous summer--my first concrete encounter with the Divine Feminine--I went to work in the fall, and began my work in that place we call life.  Over the last six years, I have experienced many things--and been marked by some deep wounds.  Or perhaps, deep wounds that I have carried for a long time were finally uncovered.  Either way, I lost track of the calling of the Goddess, though I was always trying to find her, and I believe she was ever-present in the workings of my life and soul.  For as I have realized today, with great joy, that the empty space--the hole in my heart--is not a curse, but a gift!  It is the throne room of the Goddess!  Without my yearning, my emptiness, and the deep holes of pain and suffering--there would be no room for the Goddess in my life.  SHE carves me out so that she might enter my body and work her will on this earth through me.


I know this sounds strange and woo-woo, and I understand.  It is quite a surprise to me as well.  I've always known I was spiritual, and even when I walked (okay, ran!) away from the Christian church I felt a spiritual calling.  I've felt called to serve the Divine Feminine for some time.  I just didn't know what form of the Goddess I would serve.

I was meditating on this very thing last night.  I even (absurdly) went to some stupid website that purported to (by means of a simply quiz), tell you what your personal pantheon looked like.  I completed about two questions before I realized that I did not need a website quiz to tell me the truth that I already possessed inside myself.  So instead, I've been praying and meditating on the subject.  I felt that the truth was already present in my life and in the stories and myths that have spoken deeply to my soul over the years.  Even as a child, I have identified with the darkness, with sorrow and fear, and the places that most people run away from.  As a student--an anthropologist, a feminist, a lover, and a friend--I am drawn to those strange places where things surprise us--where things aren't what we expect them to be.  Those are the  places where we surprise ourselves.  I dwell in the liminal spaces.  This is where--outside the limits boundaries and definitions--we define ourselves and discover who we really are.  Even in fear and suffering and brokenness--if we can stay in our suffering--we find that we are much greater and much stronger than we ever knew.  And that is where we encounter the divine within ourselves.  So...while in many ways (as this blog indicates), I am working to manifest the being of the Goddess Inanna--bright, powerful, sexual, and life-giving--she is not the Goddess I serve. It is Erishkigal that has marked my soul.

Inanna and Erishkigal. "Sister Light, Sister Dark" Two halves of the same soul.


Just as Inanna was called to be transformed by the face of her dark twin, Erishkigal, so am I.  I think it is no coincidence that I too, am a twin, and growing up, my sister and I were jokingly (though I did not find it funny), called "Sister Light (her), and Sister Dark (me)."  She has fair skin, light hair, and blue eyes, and was often jovial and playful, and I...well...I was dark.  Different. Weird. Contemplative. Melancholy.  Much of my adult journey has been about learning to play, and laugh, and love in these spaces traditionally considered dark.  I tend to focus on the difficult and see the negative--so it has been a spiritual practice for me to embrace joy, beauty, and happiness.  Which is why I manifest in the world as Inanna--as joy incarnate, sexual pleasure, and feminine beauty.  But my inner calling is to the dark Goddess of the underworld--the Divine Bitch, and Mistress of All Unwanted and Unloved Things.  Her work is my work in the World.  I feel called to advocacy--to write, speak, and act to give voice to the voiceless--for sex workers, to trans folk, to anyone and everyone who is buried under the burden of shame, hate, and victimization.  And it is Erishkigal who lives in these spaces.  Blessed be the Goddess. 

Inanna

In the last few weeks, as I have meditated on my call, and prayed and written about moving forward in my work as a sexual warrior, writer, and student--a goddess and priestess in my own right (informally at this point), I have been overwhelmed by fear and anxiety.  Good fear, though--not the kind you get when your intuition picks up on an energy vampire, or a person who would mean you harm--but the divine and holy fear of walking on a path more powerful than you can imagine.  The fear that comes from doing things that terrify you that must be done anyway--like daring to speak your truth, or correct someone when they use racist or sexist language, or the fear that comes from saying no--please don't touch me--over and over again.  This is good fear.

Today, when the Goddess entered me, sitting in my car shaking and sweating from the power of Her presence--I felt fear again.  I was dizzy with fear of the darkness, fear of losing control, fear of being hurt and hurting others unintentionally on my path.  Fear of knowing that I am called to the Divine Feminine but not knowing what that looks like yet.  But as I went into the gym for my workout she stayed with me, speaking to me, urging me onward past the points of pain and struggle.  She pushes me--but not for her own pleasure--but for my betterment.  As I drove home, I began to laugh and cry tears of joy.  I realized that all these years, through all the pain of feeling lost and hurt and raped--she was there.  It was her hand all the time, molding me and carving me into her own vessel.  And today she entered me.  Blessed be the Goddess.

As I felt her upon me this morning, here is what I wrote:

As I unfold myself--
Bringing what is inward
Outward--
I shudder,
Groan and heave.
I have no protection.
I am but flesh
Encased in timid flesh,
Easily carved
and bled for the Goddess
Like some slut of a sacrifice
Upon her gory altar.
I step out
on the path of my Destiny
Aware
That it is not of my making,
But Hers.
Fear and Desire claim me.
My inmost being quivers.
I am nothing but
Broken flesh
to be molded in Her image.
The call is deep and unshakeable.
I know I will be crushed in Her wake
Scattered, and Made anew.
What was once a steady,
tormenting trickle of the Divine
Is now a torrential River
Flowing from Above.
I drown.
She cannot be stopped or silenced.
Oh how desperately I crave control.
I craft excuses.
I delay her working.
Goddess Help Me.
Use me as an instrument in this realm.
Embolden me to dance
in Darkness as well as Light.
Help me to distinguish your voice
and your will from those selfish voices of
Pride
Lust
Shame
Hate
Bitterness
Fear
Anger
and
Insecurity
That populate my inner chambers.
Instead, take them from me
Gate by gate
And fill me with your breath instead.
Blessed be your name.
Inanna

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Ordeal Path

Preparation for the upcoming AASECT conference (in two days!!) and as part of my work for Princess Kali's Kink Leaders program, I've been reading Lee Harrington's Sacred Kink.  As a goddess-type, I've always been interested in spirituality, ritual, and meaning, and while I LOVE to get off, I'm more deeply drawn to the profound aspects of sexuality than just the juicy ones.  In fact, I've always been one to challenge myself and push myself HARD.  In the negative sense, I can be an obsessive perfectionist--nothing is ever good enough, especially my own work.  In the best sense--when I am operating out of a place of bravery, strength, and wholeness--I am intuitive, strong, wise, and fucking intense.  I LOVE competition, and I love pushing myself, and others, past perceived limits.  On a daily basis, I push myself at just about everything I do, from running faster and lifting heavier at the gym, to challenging myself to write daily--even when I don't want to, and even when it hurts (Noticed more posts lately?  I committed to a 365 write every day project!). 

Furthermore, I push myself to do the best I can academically, and I expect the same of those around me--both fellow students, professors, and classmates.  I just love the feeling of being challenged--of being asked to do more than I thought I could do, and then proving to myself that I am stronger than I realized.  As a result of this attraction to challenge, I have a tendency to challenge those around me--whether it is the person on the treadmill next to me at the gym (I have been known for screaming "You can do it!!" at the top of my lungs when it looks like someone is about to give up), or pushing sexual and romantic partners past their boundaries.  I am learning when it is good to push, and when it is good to step back.  My husband is an introvert, and requires time and space to think through issues when I've brought them up.  I've had to learn to wait for an answer, and allow him time to percolate, even though this can be excruciatingly hard for me.  I am attracted to Kink/BDSM as a negotiated space to both give and receive these sorts of challenges.

And that's where the Ordeal Path comes in.  Lee Harrington describes the ordeal path as "that which shakes you out of your comfort zone.  By using purposeful and intentional pain, challenges, or endurance, an individual is pushed past or through their perceived limits.  Whether the ordeal is mental, physical, spiritual, or psychological, you come out of the working changed or transformed, opened up to a world beyond those limits." (Sacred Kink, pp. 74).  On my own journey, I didn't become brave by being fearless.  In fact, I have many opportunities for courage because I am a fearful person.  I have struggled with insecurity, jealousy, nerves, anxiety, and such things for most of my life.  I have a terrible fear of heights, and in fact, one summer at camp I attempted the Ropes Course, and ended up clinging to a tree, wet with tears, for most of the day.  When I finally forced myself to go on, despite the fear, and perhaps because of it, and finished the course, I was insanely proud of myself.  I ended up winning the "Lion Heart" award at the end of the summer for that snot covered, tear drenched moment, and it wasn't cause I was the bravest kid on the ropes--it was because I was the scardy-est.

Another such moment was when I decided to embrace the polyamorous lifestyle--not because it was my true nature--but rather because it scared the fuck out of me.  I'd struggled with deep, intense jealousy in all my previous relationships, and had become quite the serial monogamist as a result, and I hated the way my fear and hatred of other women consumed me.  I didn't want to feel worthless, and not-good-enough, and so I figured what the hell, I love the concept of learning to love multiple people, and allowing my partner the freedom to love whoever he loves, even if it's not me, or even if it's other men or women who are different than me.  I think that's the point--that no one person, or thing can EVER meet all your needs (in fact, I think that's where our longing for the Divine comes in), and that it is natural, okay, and good to allow different people to fill different roles in one's life.  At the moment, my husband is being challenged to expand his heart and his mind as I engage in relationships with other partners who in some ways, threaten and scare him.  I've watched him sit with his jealousy and confront his fear, and it has been a difficult, but fulfilling journey for the two of us to take together.  I know that I too, in turn, will have to wait and watch when he takes on other partners, some of whom (I guarantee) will trigger jealousy and anxiety in me.  And at that time, I will have the choice to embrace and get to know my fears and jealousies and see what is really behind them.  It will be an opportunity to grow and get to know who I really am, behind the veneer.

As far as the actual BDSM tools of ordeal are concerned, from the hooks, whips, knives, needles, fire, and so on, I'm not sure how much of that is really for me.  I have grown to love my monthly bikini waxes (mmm hot wax and intense pain, and then a deliciously smooth mons pubis), and I do enjoy such things as being disciplined and spanked until I cry. I would be interested in suspension, and different acts of endurance.  I would also be interested in learning about different acts that appeal to my partners or clients.  For me, though, it is much more about the mental and spiritual challenges, like having the courage to write in this blog daily, or being humiliated and spanked and mentally aroused in the bedroom.  I want someone who can engage my mind, and not just my body.

But then again, the experience of giving birth is an incredible example of a transformative ordeal experience.  I gave birth naturally, without drugs, and it was by far, the most incredible spiritual, sexual, and physical experience of my life to date.  The waves of contractions, the deep, buzzing pain, the way the world beyond my body faded away and I was surrounded by love and safety.  The moans and groans that escaped out of my mouth without permission because there was no other way that merged into a wild song, all shaped the power of that moment.  I did not even experience the birth as pain, but rather as something that I was meant to do.  I wasn't being cut or ripped or beaten, but instead, opening up to the release the life within me--the life that I'd grown!  And in the middle of it all, I was given a vision.  As a hummed and moaned and swayed in rhythm, I was transported to a hilltop with long, swaying grass.  I stood beside the goddess Artemis, and I was a goddess beside her, part of the earth and all of life itself.  I let out a shrieking war cry as we both stretched back the taut strings of our arrows. 

I would not be surprised if my tastes change in terms of these BDSM practices, and if, as I experience one sensation and type of play after another, I become clearer on my strengths, my limits, and my gifts, and how to move through and beyond them into the next challenge of the Goddess.  Oh Inanna, oh Erishkigal, bless me and mark me, and show me your ways.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Inanna Speaks

This poem absolutely rent my heart out of my chest.  It bears sharing and reading, over and over again.

Inanna Speaks

by Kira R. (from the devotional "Into the Great Below")

This poem was written by the author after meditating on the situation in the Middle East.  Upon asking the Goddess Inanna what could be done, this is what she recieved:

Shrieking.
Hear the Goddess, Goddess shrieking.
The vault of heaven shattering, crashing down
Blood spurting from the wound, where vacant pieces fall.
Smell the Goddess, Goddess dying
A thousand, thousand lifetimes, crushed and lost.
Inanna breathing in every one,
Breath clotted torturing her throat.
Empty Goddess, ripe decay, rotting fruit,
Bodies like cattle, matchsticks piled high
The roar of the furnace...
Naked throat of the priestess defiled
Cut by a Hebrew blade,
Golden calf bleeding
Temple fallen
Rebuilt by unclean hands.
Hear the Goddess, Goddess wailing
Rage and fury, serpent uncoiling
Daughter after daughter bound
Filthy shards of glass raised high
Plunging down, devouring innocent flesh
Mutilating the bodies of the young,
Females sacrificed, scarified
In the name of a weeping God who turns away his face in shame
Inanna hangs above the abyss,
Swallowing poison, vomiting blood, Her genitals shred
To the sound of chanting imams.  Holy writ, their words bound in her flesh.
Holy carcass, piss and shit, a skin stretched too tightly
To hold the violations of the knowing.

Inanna embraces the abyss,
Opening Her cunt to its cruel thrust,
Rapd by demons' dying lust.
Birthing in blood and shit and pain, in ruthless sanctity,
The knowledge that streams like fire
Through the bowels of the world,
Crafted in blissful white bone, scorched in the sun;
In the gore of a thousand childrens' violated flesh.
No room for virgins.
No room for pain.
No room for regret.
Only a knowing that devours that which would devour.

She takes all into Herself.
She is both defiler and defiled.
She is plauge and sickness, AIDS and Ebola,
Festering, running wounds on the body of a child.
She is the spurting cock of a rapist,
The bleeding tears of teh victim,
The fury of the land at its abuse.
She is the child whose body is plundered,
The madness of the plunderer,
And with cold certainty She bears witness.
She is the mad cry of vengance,
The finality that knows no succor.
These gifts she brings to you.
Bring no gold or sweetest wine to Her altars.
Salute Her instead with blood and ash
Bring her barbed wire, canisters of gas,
Wood for kindling witches.
Bring Her that which fuels your devotions.
That on which your sacred halls are built.
Bring her your heart pierced with anguish,
The bodies of children slaughtered by the young.
Do not lie in the face of Inanna.
Your temples and schools and holy places stand empty.
So bring Her what you truly revere.
Pile high your altars with the shit of your choices.
And when She opens her mouth to speak,
The silence will destoy you.

From the abyss, Inanna beckons.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

How Big is Beauty?

Ever since I began my weight loss journey (I've lost 60 lbs to date, and have 40 more to go), I've been confronted with cultural and personal ideas regarding feminine beauty.  When I was a bigger girl, I knew that I was overweight and was extremely self-conscious.  I disliked my body, and as a result, I consciously chose to invest my worth and my time on other aspects of myself.  I knew that potential partners wouldn't be choosing me for my body (at the time I wasn't aware of the somewhat substantial portion of the population that is attracted to people of size, and even if I had been, I wouldn't have been okay with it, since I wasn't okay with the size of my body.  I wouldn't have wanted to be celebrated for something I so desperately despised).  I'd often surmised by frequent observation of couplings occuring in my immediate social vicinity and, of course, pop culture and celebrity culture, that if a woman was beautiful, she could get away with murder.  In other words, if she was beautiful, it seemed that her other attributes didn't matter as much--she would still recieve privilege and opportunities because of her face and body, and she didn't have to work as hard to be smart and charming.  But I knew I wasn't drop dead gorgeous, and add to that the extra weight I was carrying around and I knew that I'd have to have a killer wit, intelligence and charm, as well as a healthy dose of fucking submission to be a desirable partner.  As I write this, two rather disturbing things occur to me:

1)  I valued being a desirable partner above all else--above being a kind, ethical, and worthy person. I also did not value myself as a whole and entire being--in other words, I was (and to some extent still have a tendency to) value myself in terms of other people's (particularly sexual and romatic partners) approval.

2)  My insecurity about my apparent "valuelessness" due to my weight, combined with some heavy-handed cultural and religious indoctrination in my youth, led me to be extremely apologetic for my thoughts, feelings, and actions, especially those that were assertive, brave, or in any way went against prevalent cultural and social perspectives.  This lead me to all too frequently submit to my partner's desires and opinions and suppress my own, with a resulting great deal of resentment and a fucking huge inability to say "no."  Saying no deserves its own post, as I know I am not the first, nor will I be the last woman to struggle with this small and incredibly powerful word.

Furthermore, since I disliked my body and my appearance in general, I didn't spend too much time adorning it.  I hated clothes shopping--who likes reminders of being a size 18 or 20?  Similarly, I avoided scales at all costs, and preferred to simply clothe my body as quickly and as simply as possible.  I did spend some time on my hair, and wore lip gloss, as my lips and hair were, at that time, my favorite features.

This lack of time and money spent on beauty rituals allowed me to instead spend time reading, writing, thinking, and engaging in coversation.  I valued my personal and intellectual development above all else, and the efforts paid off.  I was proud of who I was as a person, and prided myself on being a deeper, wiser, and more compassionate woman than women who were merely externally beautiful (I realize that now, this assumption is itself, flawed, as possessing external beauty does not preclude a person from having internal beauty and depth).  This is something I did not want to recognize at the time, as I so desperately needed to believe I had value despite my more than generous curves.

Finally, one night, while talking to my partner, I broke down in sobs, confessing as I'd done many times before, that I hated my body.  I said it out loud:  "I'm fat.  I know I am.  I'm heavy, overweight, no matter how you want to put it.  It's not just that I'm insecure, though there's lots of that too.  I was heavy when I got pregnant, and then I kept on the 30 lbs I'd gained after the pregnancy.  I'm just so sick and tired of putting on all this weight.  I'm tired of carrying it all aroud--both the physical and the emotional weight of it.  I want to find out who I am underneath."

And so there it was.  For the first time, I said aloud that I was fat and wanted to lose weight.  Acknowledging it was painful, and the process of learning to control my emotional eating and get my body moving has been long and extremely challenging.  But that isn't the focus of this post.  I had the suspicion that my weight was about more than just overeating and lack of excercise.  In fact, I had the sense that some part of me had intentionally put on the pounds in order to hide who I really was.  I was so deeply afraid of being rejected by a lover, and by the world at large that I did everything I could to make myself undesirable.  I felt that I could just hide away from the world in my books and journals and learn to love myself--alone, safe, and sequestered away from all those who might hurt me, push me away, or tell me that I was fat.  Fuck them, I knew I was fat and flawed, and at least I kept to myself so no one would have to see it.  Or fuck it.

Furthermore, growing up, as I've written in other posts here, I was very volputous from the tender age of 11.  At 11 I started bleeding, and overnight I had breathtaking curves and C cup breasts.  I, of course, thought I looked absurd, but there was an instant change in the way boys and men began to look at me--and treat me.  My mother started to shame me and acted as if I was overly sexual--even though nothing about my demeanor or behavior had changed.  My father acted strange around me and stopped talking to me altogether.  Boys teased me and teachers stared.  This sort of behavior continued through middle school, and when I hit high school I started to gain weight.  I wanted to hide my breasts and hips and curves and become invisible.  There was something about me that was different, bigger, louder, and more powerful about me--and I was terrifed about it.  I just wanted to fade into the background.  And so I put on weight.  Ironically, no matter how heavy I got, my curves never went away.  My breasts just got bigger, and my hips got wider, but the hourglass figure remained.  Of course, less and less people noticed me, and when they did look,  their gaze did not linger.

And so, some part of me was afraid to allow me to be ME.  I gained weight in order to hide who I was (and am) and ate emotionally in order to avoid my passions, desires, and deepest dreams.  And over this last year and a half, the process of shedding the weight, pound by pound, has not merely been a process of diet and exercise, but rather a painstaking and excruciating process of removing all the pain and shit and dirt that I'd caked onto myself to hide my body and soul.  Peeling off all my armor, and all the flesh and skin that encased my true being has been so fucking messy and hard.  And in the last year and a half, not only have I lost 60 pounds, but I've had to take a good hard look at myself and make some tough decisions.  I, the girl who is terrified of stability and commitment, proposed to my boyfriend and married him.  I accepted a job that I knew was wrong for me, and finally gathered the courage to leave it.  I enrolled and began classses in the Women and Gender Studies Department at the local university.  I wrote about motherhood and sexuality, and wrote my first "book" project (still unpublished and unedited as yet) on sexual health and first time experiences ( a manual for the soon to be sexual) in honor of my youngest sister's graduation from high school.  I've begun stepping out into the Kink community and will be attending my first AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists) conference next week--the first step in the long process of becoming a certified sexuality educator, and oh so much more.  I just don't know what yet. 

And though there is far too much to say than I can manage in this one post ( you can be assured many more on the subjects of weight, body image, health, and beauty), I have been overwhelmed by the way the world has treated me since losing so much weight.  I am no longer invisible, and that scares the shit out of me.  People STARE all the time.  I get hit on just about everywhere I go.  And to be honest, I don't really like it.  In my day-to-day life, I'm still that girl that prefers to go about her buisiness and not be noticed.  I don't need people trying to get in my pants while I'm picking up a gallon of milk in the gorcery store in my sweat drenched workout clothes.  I really fucking don't.  All this male looking at my body, and forgetting that I have a soul and a life, and an inner person really sucks.  Why is it that only fat girls are allowed to have a soul???

And finally, weight loss takes LOTS of hard work.  And so, a good deal of the time I used to spend on soul-betterment is now being spent on body-betterment.  I work out at the gym 6 days a week, for anywhere from 6-7 hours a week, not counting driving time.  I cook 90% of my meals at home, and have overall become more vain--weighing myself regularly, examing my body for changes, and taking pleasure in my appearance.  There is a certain obsessive quality that comes with the determination to lose so much weight.  Counting calories, pushing harder and harder at the gym, resisiting dessert, and so on.  I struggle with the intention behind my habits--am I losing weight becuase I HATE my body, or because I love it and want to take care of it?  I began this journey becuase I hated who I had become, but try to continue it because I love who I am--whoever that turns out to be.

Stay tuned for more. 

Lots of love,

Inanna