Columbus Day Recap

So this weekend was AMAZING. Seriously. This post is super-long and not really overly informative, but I like having recaps for later reflection and review. On I go.

First, a moment of reflection. A year ago, I was crazed with school and work, and had only been in the kinky community a tiny bit (think two TNG happy hours, one BR class, one Rapture party, and one DC Rope meeting). I was dating this guy who was dominant and poly, but who didn’t really have his shit together. I was pseudo-dating a second guy who did have his shit together, but who was really into high-protocol types of stuff. Things were weird. I went to the Fetish Ball, and had a horrible time. I only knew a few folks, I hate crowds, and I was all emo about my date’s poly partner and lack of attention. One great benefit – I got close to one of the girls who I now consider a great friend.

Back to the weekend… This weekend was chock-full of fun and activities. I was a bit bummed going into it because a ‘nilla friend was having a house party Friday night and some ‘nillas were hitting up Oktoberfest Saturday, which would have been fun. That said, it was totally worth it doing what I did.

Friday and Saturday were dedicated the BR event. I only knew a few folks going in, and no-one that I normally play with, so I was hesitant. Friday night, I ended up participating in the auction with my submissive friend. We were auctioned off as co-bottoms, and went for $11,000 (in fake money). It was something I never would have had the courage to do alone, but am really glad I did it! It got people knowing I was interested in playing, and guaranteed I’d have some action. I ended up tying up my friend later in the night, then hogtying myself. I played voyeur for a bit too, which was interesting.

Saturday, I started the day by going to a class on face slapping. I’ll post a separate thing as a result of that – I ended up really thinking about degradation and what triggers me and why, which was good growth. I went to vending and bought an underbust corset that I’ve wanted for a while (yay curves and cleavage!). I then went to the singles lunch, which was kind of a bust on meeting a potential partner, but the people were still nice. I then tried to go to a class on fire play but instead took a short nap (I stayed up all night Friday finishing the Hunger Games series). I went to a class on hogties, which was cool because they were all done with a single column and double column tie, which I know how to do – aka I can now do many more ties than I realized. Afterwords, I hung out in the lobby, met some people, then went to a really delicious dinner with some friends.

Later in the evening, I did some suspension stuff with a friend for a while, then went into negotiations with our auction-winner. We ended up dividing and conquering since apparently my friend and I have vastly varied interests, and they went to play. I ended up doing an impromptu scene with someone from NY; we did some flogging and paddling, and it was great because I really needed to let off some emotional steam. I ended up staying up pretty late talking to some folks in the lobby before heading to bed. Sunday, I scened with the auction-winner, and then I went to a class on self-bondage before rushing off to the Fetish Ball.

The auction scene went really well and was really fun, but I kind of flipped a bit at one point. I came very close to climaxing, but I’m terrible at vocalizing, especially with multiple people involved, in public, and gags…so when I couldn’t articulate what I needed to orgasm, I ended up feeling like I’m too complicated to deal with and wasn’t meeting expectations, which upset me. Really, I need to know better than to try to get sexual with someone I’ve only met recently. It never ends well. Anyhow, I ended up going back to the hotel room and using five minutes to get myself off quick and hard.

The Fetish Ball was Sunday night, and as part of DXS Rapture’s volunteer staff I was set to get there early. We helped load-in the dungeon equipment, and then were DMs for the evening. I really love all of those people more than I can say. I ended up flogging two of my friends (and a stranger…), which was a total first for me. Surprisingly, I found it very, very fun. I kind of wanted to just flog the night away so I could improve my aim and such. One of the Rapture lovelies mentioned I could earn a flogger from them, and she would be willing to teach me how to use it properly. I guess I’m officially switchy now?

I also met some cool new people, and ended up getting a flogging myself. (The funny thing was, I think I borrowed my friend’s flogger 4 times in total over the evening? I really need my own.) I mysteriously ended up in a very submissive headspace with that scene, which is rare for me but was a nice change. It’s funny, because right when I start to wonder if I’m submissive at all because I so rarely feel that way, boom! I meet people who put me in that space, and I’m back to the multiple-label mess I was before. I also casually scened with an old friend with wartenburg wheels and tickling, and that was really fun.

Monday, I slept super late catching up on things (and woke with the start of a head cold, boo). I then vacuumed and cleaned up from the weekend before scrambling off to meet my old roommates for dinner. As per usual, spending time with them always puts me in a great mood and refreshes my perspective on life, plus it was a great meal :). I went over to a friend’s house for his birthday and tried to watch Lord of the Rings 2, but we really ended up just talking through it. I met another of his friends who is super cool, and it’s funny because I think we know a bunch of the same people but somehow have never met.

This week at work we have five interviews and some internal meetings, so things have finally gotten busy, thank God! I am so much better when I can be productive. I think I have something planned every night through the end of the weekend, minus tonight, but all fun things. Life is good. If only I could skip my work travel and just keep having fun here!

3/27

I finally did my taxes today, and I feel inordinately proud of myself for it. This was the first time I’ve done them myself, and I was able to get a lot more back than I thought I would. I’m glad I insisted on filing myself, even though it was a conflict with my dad.

On a different note, the pollen count for DC was a 10/12 today. My allergies are horrid anyhow, but usually claritin keeps it under control most of the time. The last few days I’ve been sneezing/headachy/itchy-eyed nonstop. The first thing on my to-do once I’m on my own insurance this summer is to see an allergist. I need to get this crap under control.

I saw the hunger games today, which was great even though I hadn’t read the book. I will say that the initial suspension of disbelief was quite difficult for me (I mean really, they’re making kids fight to the death? C’mon.), but once I got past that I really enjoyed it. I wish they’d delved more into the use of fear and hope as political strategy. It sort of borders the type of utopian/dystopian debates that really interest me, but doesn’t quite go far enough with it to satisfy.

I also went to a BR class on flirting, which was very helpful and interesting. The presenter broke flirting down into a 5-step process: look, talk, touch, kiss, close. Thing is, closing in the vanilla world versus in the kinky world is vastly different. For example, in the vanilla world (and this is all my interpretation, not stuff taught in class) closing will either mean rejection, deferment, or going home with someone. The first is obvious. The second will either result in delayed rejection or will usually indicate a more romantic interest (getting someone’s # to plan a date, etc). The third option is pretty clearly physical only, though at times could evolve into something more. In the kinky community, all of those options exist, but then there are multitudes more options for play dates, interest in play dates later, etc.

What confuses me the most is that the signals someone is romantically interested in you from the vanilla world don’t translate as easily in the kinky community. Those signals could still mean romantic interest, but they could also be the exact same signals purely for a play-only interest, or a friend-only interest given the more sexually-open nature of the community. In this class, I kind of threw this out there as an issue, and was basically told you have to lay it all on the line and be direct/forthright, or you could go months without knowing. I feel like the awkwardness of that sort of makes any smooth flirting moot.

2/29

I officially passed my medical clearance, woohoo! I’m pretty much the healthiest I’ve ever been. Blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, white and red blood cell counts, etc, are all good. No skin cancer, no STDs, no anything! I definitely still need to shed another 20lbs or so, but my efforts to be healthy are winning. So, one hurdle down. The security forms were all filed too, only apparently my handwriting was illegible so I need to resubmit them. But, I’m several steps closer to the end of this process.

Of course, now that I’ve moved this far along in the process, the agency I interned with last summer is looking to hire and now that might be a possibility. The job is a little more boring and less intense, but it would likely pay the same, would result in competitive hiring status, and wouldn’t have risk of death. So, you know, there are benefits. I’m kind of just letting things be what they’ll be at this point. Similarly, it still isn’t over in waiting on an internship to work out, and if that does fail, I’ve got a backup plan now. My school needs help with admissions and grants, so at least I can have something to fill my time in a “worst-case” situation.

I went to a violet wands class yesterday, which was pretty cool. I still have marks on my arm from it, and it really didn’t hurt that much. Apparently my tendency to get sunburn will be an issue in playing with this toy. It’s especially nifty how you can use the body contact probe so that one person’s touch is electrified. As sensitive as I am without electricity, I can only imagine the possibilities with it. If only it didn’t cost $500-$900 for a set…

In other randoms:

  • I really dislike most of what is considered trendy fashion. Prints and bright colors are in, and other than plaid and some geometric stuff, I hate prints. Some occasional florals work, but in general, it is just too much in my mind. I like it classic, simple.
  • I’m officially a card-carrying member of kink, in that I actually joined BR. I just think it’s amusing that it’s so official now.
  • With some re-evaluation, I think more of what I like about both rope and pain is it’s ability to center and focus me. I tend to get scattered and distracted easily, call it high-strung or ADHD, but concentrating on the moment isn’t the easiest thing for me. When tied up, you really have no other option. It’s everything that appeals to me about road trips, only much more sensually loaded. (With road trips, I love that you can’t feel guilty about reading, talking, listening to music, etc. because you couldn’t be doing anything else – you can’t feel guilty about relaxing when tied up, because you have no other option.) Pain has a similar end result, only gets there because it just forces you to think about it and only it.
  • My roommates have been absent or asleep to the extent that I almost feel like I’m living alone. It’s kind of awesome, if only the demon cat was less of a demon.
  • I forgot how nice it was to be able to read, stay current on what’s going on in the world, meet up with friends, etc. without feeling underlying anxiety from too much to do. I mean, right now I still have the anxiety from our capstone project, a midterm, and a paper, but without work I can actually get a grasp on when I’ll get things done. I can’t wait until graduation, when I can have a life, have hobbies, and actually be a good long-distance friend.

2/26

My parents are increasingly unhappy about my job decision. Whenever I talk to my mom, she brings up Afghanistan with this very worried tone. My father just keeps asking if I’ve had other offers or if I’m still applying to places. It’s comforting to know they care that much, but I really think I’m making the best choice given my options and situation. Of course, this is all assuming I pass the medical exams this week and the security clearance. If I hate the job, I can always keep applying elsewhere after I’ve started work. It’s weird to have my folks vocally worried about me, though, especially my dad. He tends to be quieter and not as emotional, so it was a tad disconcerting to hear his concern.

I had a pretty awesome weekend, which was definitely necessary after this past week. I even got to check another thing off my list – snow tubing! It was really fun, and kind of hysterical given it was about 50 degrees and there was no snow anywhere but on the course. I also made a sort of interesting connection. I learned these friends are both familiar with kink, one is even on fetlife. I also realized these are my most adventurous friends in this area in that they are usually down for going out and exploring town or trying some new activity with me. It makes total sense that the adventurous friends are also the open to kink/kinky ones.

I also went to the Crucible for the first time on Saturday, which was a really amazing time. I learned that forced orgasms are something that may be fun to think about but are better left out of my reality. It was also interesting to compare that space to the Playhouse. I’d say that the Crucible is better if you’re looking for a space to have a scene with dungeon equipment and maybe some public exposure but still want a great deal of intimacy with your partner. The one time I went to the Playhouse was for BBN, and it was much more of a “party” vibe in comparison. Strange to think of a dungeon as refined, but that’s the word I’d use for the Crucible, at least compared to what I thought it’d be.

In other things, I’ve been bit by the writing bug again lately. It started Wednesday in class, when to get through the boredom (nothing like a 3 hour lecture on something you’ve written 40 pages on for another class) and the burst of emotion, I started drafting poetry again. I think the real catalysts to this creative burst were the open mic and the burlesque on Sunday. Whenever I see a really good show, attend a great open mic, etc. I end up writing, singing, sketching, and everything again. These are my lost hobbies, in the sense that I get so busy with school and work that I kind of forget about the right side of my brain. I ended up writing one decent poem and a short story. I might post them at some point, we’ll see. It’s kind of good timing – who knows, maybe if I end up without work for a few weeks I’ll just write a novel (more likely a novella) or something. Why not, right? I wrote 2,000 words in one night, so it shouldn’t be too tough to get 15,000 in a few weeks. I doubt it’d be something people would want to read, but I do like writing. That should be obvious, given this blog.

In the course of a conversation with a friend, I realized I’d been keeping this journal for 15 months. I’ve journaled off and on all my life, but never made it more than 2 consecutive months. I’m sort of amazed that I’ve managed to sustain it for this long. I think, if anything, it’s just a factor of how confusing and crazy things have been over the last year or so. Getting involved with the kinky community has necessitated a non-judgmental place to process. I do better talking through my feelings with friends, but kinky stuff is more private than that would allow most times.

And for a total random note: Getting lost in DC is better than in Pittsburgh since you don’t end up going through a bridge and tunnel and having to go 20 miles before turning around, but worse because you always (if you’re me) end up in shady parts of town between 12-2am. Lesson here is to stop being overconfident about my navigational abilities and surrender to the GPS.

No risk, no reward

I’m going for it. I turned down an internship offer today – one that pays, mind you – in the hopes of getting another one that I haven’t heard back from yet. I had to give an answer, and I want the other position badly enough to risk having nothing at all. Plus, I think I realized that even though the people working at the other place are nice, I don’t like the type of work I’d be doing. So, now to cross my fingers and hope for positive news about the other opportunity.

Tomorrow is my last day at my current job, which is bittersweet. It’s been an amazing experience, but I’m sad for it to end. Hopefully the FY13 budget will go as planned and I can come back in a year.

Went to a BR rope class tonight. It was just enough rope to make me want more, of course. I did see some interesting variations on the box tie (Takote Kote -sp?). I like the class aspect of BR, even though it’s harder to meet people there. I think I’m going to try going to a few more classes, and hopefully get the balls to go to their pre-class happy hour/dinner. It helps that violet wands, breath play, flirting in the scene (yay awkward avoidance), and bratty subs – all things I have an interest in – are all upcoming topics.

My only lasting marks from this weekend are from the 5-10 minute impromptu single-tail experience I had on Sunday. This is probably a good thing, all things considered, but it’s interesting that the 35 minute impact session left no marks while the quick whip did.

Now to sleep!

2/20 – Post DOWF

It has been a crazy weekend. I’m going to try to process some of it, but I know it’ll only be the tip of the iceberg as I’m  incredibly tired.

One of the things that’s staying with me the most right now is the whole masochist thing. Basically, I’m *still* not comfortable with my own masochism. I’d have thought that by this time, I’d finally be over it. I war with accepting and reveling in my enjoyment of pain, and being ashamed and disturbed by it. It’s funny, because at an event like DOWF, with people getting beat up on and everyone so open-minded, I’d have thought I’d feel less bothered by my own kinky desires. One of these days I’m going to work it out in my mind so that I’m not embarrassed or upset by liking pain.

In other news, I felt more switchy this weekend than I ever have before. I don’t know if it’s a side-effect of my evolving confidence and growth, or something else. I just have started to realize how hot it could be to turn the tables and potentially bind my partner and tease him, bring him off, etc. It’s a different type of sexy, but hot all the same. I don’t think I could ever really do much in the way of pain though. At some point, maybe I’ll try tying someone up.  It’s interesting to think about how over the past year and half I’ve gone from relatively intensely submissive to bottom to bottom/kinkster/possibly switchy. I guess I’ll blame it on increased knowledge, confidence, and open-mindedness. Things to ponder.

Another byproduct of the weekend is an increased awareness of my own awkwardness in regards to flirting and asking for play. It’s amusing, because my vanilla friends insist I’m not anywhere near as awkward as I think I am. I think my sense of awkwardness in the vanilla world stems from actual awkwardness in the kinky world, which stems from the prudish midwestern girl being thrust into the world of orgies and BDSM. Not surprising, but definitely frustrating. I went to a class on flirting, and the main idea is not to be too focused on rejection, because harping on that is actually kind of selfish in nature. I know logically I should just suck it up and ask, because if you don’t go after what you want you won’t get it, but it is still stupidly difficult. Friday night, I didn’t play at all because I was too intimidated by everyone and everything to go for it. The rest of the weekend went well, but I need to work on it. Shyness won more than I would have liked.

Now, I have to face reality. I’ve an interview tomorrow, my goodbye lunch for my internship (sad), and a whole bunch of work to do. I meant to summarize hearings and whatnot today, but that didn’t happen. I’m too tired. I will have to try to do it as fast as possible tomorrow in between things, and where that fails, stay late. I might go to a BR class on rope to help ease back into vanilla life, but that means Thursday is all homework. That, and errands aren’t happening today…a lot to deal with. Bonus – meeting cool people that live local that I can now hang out with more in the future :).

In a collection of randoms…

  • I really love watching the explosion on fetlife post-event, when everyone updates fetishes and adds friends, posts on groups and uploads photos. It’s fun and a nice come-down from the excitement (and a horrible procrastination facilitator).
  • I had some of the best people watching I’ve ever seen this weekend :).
  • The gender blender show made me a) want to dance and do a burlesque (next year!), and b) was worth the price of the tickets for the whole weekend because of how awesome it was.
  • Best sex toy ever (that I now own) – http://www.minnalife.com/?gclid=COfmm5zpra4CFacQNAodxkzmQw. It’s pressure controlled! Check it out.
  • My pain tolerance is directly dependent on my awareness of my surroundings. At big events, I can’t handle nearly as much since I get so distracted by all the people and noise around me. Lesson learned.

Great News

I got the job I wanted for this fall!!! It’s definitely a blessing. I’m very, very, very excited :).

In other news, I’m debating events this week: BR munch and demo on Tuesday, Rockville munch on Wednesday, Baltimore TNG happy hour on Wednesday, and DO happy hour on Thursday. Which event(s) should I go to?

The BR demo could be good – it’s on self esteem, and lord knows I always need more tips in that department. I’m not certain if it will be age-play themed, though, which isn’t really my kink. The TNGB event would be great, but I’m not sure how traffic and parking would be. It may be worth trying, though.

Hmm. I will continue to ponder.

Update: TNG -Baltimore is the winner this week. It looks like the most people go, people stay within TNG age range, and it’s a bit out of the city which intimidates me less. I don’t know why that is, it should be more intimidating, but I find it comforting. Parking hopefully won’t be terrible.

Also, one of my nipples is literally black due to intense bruising. This is the most bruised it’s ever been. I’m not sure what to make of it. I probably should buy some form of lotion or balm for it.