Shackles

I bought iron shackles at the MD renaissance festival in September. It happened in a sort of weird way. I was walking around with a guy I’d been dating (if briefly – that has since ended), and someone he kind of knew walked up to him to show off the iron shackles he’d purchased. I was immediately fascinated, and I asked him to show us where he got them. All three of us wandered around, shopped, and talked for most of the rest of the day. He indeed led us to the blacksmith, where I bought my own set of shackles.

I didn’t get fetlife names for any of the kinky people I met, including the man who showed us to the shackles and we spent a good deal of time with, which I regretted a great deal afterwards. That guy contacted me this week (hurrah for reconnecting), and it got me thinking a bit about chains and shackles again, among other things. I’d been wondering more about steel bondage anyhow, and had been finding some interesting tumblr photos. I’ve used handcuffs a few times, and was wrapped up in chains once casually at a party, but haven’t ever spent a good amount of time in that kind of bondage. Most of my bondage experience is with rope, which I adore, but chains appeal for a distinctly different reason.

I like rope because of the smell and texture, the ability to tease and connect with your partner through the act of tying, and the variety of painful and unique positions. Rope gives me a chance of escape, which enhances my struggle.

Chains and metal bondage, however, fascinate me because they are so unyielding. There is absolutely no chance of escape. They are cold and hard.

I’ve wanted to use my shackles, but haven’t been with anyone I really trust to use them since buying them. I’ve been afraid to use them on my own (I can cut myself out of my rope should something go wrong, I can’t do that with metal). Last night, I finally said fuck it and locked myself in. In doing so, I learned a few things.

1) With some maneuvering and finagling, I can wriggle myself out of the cuffs.

2) The snick/clank of the lock immediately rachets my arousal up several notches. I can only imagine how much it would do so were I not the one holding the key.

3) Holy hell easily-achieved strong orgasm. Want more chains.

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Dating in the District, gone Kinky.

I’ve been told by my roommate and a few friends that I date a lot. I sort of laughed, because really, I don’t think I date much at all. I guess comparatively I do, because vanilla friends don’t really date. They’re either dating someone, or they aren’t dating at all. (Sidenote – how do they get to one without the other? Does not compute.)

In the kinky community, people are more vocal about what they are seeking, and seemingly everyone is seeking something, whether it be play partners, sex partners, or primary partners. Sex and love are primary focuses, and it’s not taboo to be interested in them like it often is in the vanilla world. I get used to that culture sometimes, and forget it’s apparently weird to date a “lot.”

Anyhow, that aside, I’ve gone out with 8 distinct men in the last 7 months, the most recent of which was a 3-month long thing. There were a few other “interests” in that time, in the flirting/group dating/kinky play way, but not in a romantic way.

I’ve got entertaining stories, but I learned some important lessons.

From the casual dates, I learned the following: I need to date someone who is self-sufficient, including able to handle logistics. You need to be able to get from point A to point B in an efficient way, and not depend on me to figure that out. Cars help. Taxis and metro exist for a reason, as does Zipcar. Figure it out. Second, I’m not quite to the point where I’m willing to handle young children. Third, I’m very hesitant to get involved with recent widowers or divorcees. Fourth, jobs help… Fifth, I need someone within 15 years of my age.

From the most recent 3-monther, I learned the following: On a personality level, a willingness to try new things, honesty/bluntness, passion, decisiveness, and humor matter a lot to me. Interest in stand up comedy, board games, travel, new restaurants, and books/movies/TV (some combination thereof) will keep us compatible. A focus on long-term commitment, and solid values appeal to me.

What has really stood out wasn’t just from this time period, but is reflective of the last several years. Namely, I’ve gone out/been involved (in real time) with six “Dominant” men. It totally fucks with my worldview, for some reason. When I’m with these men, I don’t act like myself at all. I get emotionally involved way too quickly. I’m turned on at the slightest of touches, my sex drive active in ways it never normally is. I don’t speak up for myself, joke the way I normally do, or take initiative in ways I normally do. Basically, I get so freaked by the D/s potential that I don’t know how to act, and I stifle myself. The issue: when I’m myself, people like me, but I’m not myself when I like people.

Of those six men, one never had a chance since I moved right after we met. Another was poly, so that didn’t go anywhere since I’m not. Another was arrogant, young, and way too slow on initiating physical affection. The other three were bigger fuck-ups.  One involved pressured sex and edge play I didn’t consent to. One involved someone not being honest about his emotions, trying for too much control too soon, and attacking my worth. The last was my fail, in that I got so awkward about life that I forgot to be myself.

I need to learn to ignore the whole D/s thing until I agree to be in an established D/s dynamic. I get that logically, but emotionally and sexually I need to acknowledge that. The problem is, my sex drive sort of staggers along with men, but when there’s power exchange, I respond quickly. Shitty self-worth guy was shitty, but helped me realize that my interest in orgasm denial is a very real thing – I have no issues staggering along when that component is there.

Sooo I may not know how I’ll fit into a D/s relationship with my in-control self, but I do know that interest is most certainly there. The last longer dating endeavor ended more than anything from a lack of sexual chemistry on my end, and it was beyond kink. He was willing to learn kinky things. I had issues with other personality and compatibility things, but he was a great guy, bright, involved, and willing to go along with a lot. He just wasn’t very  decisive and lacked initiative. Those outside-the-bedroom traits leaked into my interpretation of bedroom things, to the point that rope wouldn’t have fixed it. It isn’t the rope, or the spanking – it’s the attitude that goes with it. I want someone to fuck with me, to tease me, to relish taking control from me. Otherwise, getting off is more work than play. The first interactions are fine, because they have an element of discovery that makes the whole attitude thing less important…but later on, it’s unfortunately necessary.

I just wish that there was a way to vocalize and apologize for the uber-awkward moments that stem from me not knowing what the fuck to do with myself with openly Dominant men. Or, you know, find someone who realizes thats what’s happening and exploits the shit out of it in a way that’s mutually hot. That would work too.

Fetlife Labels

Currently, my label on Fetlife reads “submissive.” I chose this label because a Dominant as a partner would be most likely to meet the majority of my needs. The reality, however, is that a variety of labels suit me depending on the time, place, and people involved. I don’t want a potential play partner or romantic interest to rule themselves out because of my label, hence this post. At the end of the day, I am who I am, and I could not care less about labels. Thing is, marketing is important in terms of addressing the right audiences. So, here goes.

Kink Labels, Roles, and Identities:

My primary role is submissive. You wouldn’t know it at first – I’m in no way the type to kneel down to everyone. I don’t call all Dominants “Sir” or “Ma’am.” I don’t submit during casual play. I’m very opinionated, independent, ambitious, energetic, and snarky. All that enthusiasm and passion goes towards pleasing my partner when I’m submitting to someone (with a side of humor), but it can be a bit intense at first. It takes someone with their shit together who is confident and unafraid of their own power for me to submit. I react strongly to powerful people. When I acknowledge someone’s authority over me, I surrender to it wholeheartedly. It’s just that because that level of vulnerability, intimacy, and devotion is such an intense thing, I don’t do so casually. I need to have a solid relationship foundation first. I’m currently seeking a Dominant man, preferably mostly monogamous, for a long term relationship. I’m not interested in full 24/7 D/s, but more of a bedroom-certain activities type of thing. I’m new to this, and have much room for growth.

My primary need is my masochism. I both love and hate this part of myself – I have a mixture of pride, shame, fear, lust, and excitement that all kind of go with it. At the end of the day, though, it’s an elemental part of who I am. Pain is a fantastic emotional release for me. It’s cathartic. When I’m stressed, pain forces me to be in the moment and relax enough to embrace it. With the right partner, pain is also pure pleasure for me. I can get off purely on pain sometimes. My biggest kinks relate back to my masochism (teasing and denial, nipple torture, covert bondage/teasing). I have a high pain tolerance, and I enjoy – need – to push those limits. It’s extremely difficult for me to find sadists to play with, which is frustrating. I need more than service tops pleasing me with pain; I need to know that the person administering the pain is getting off on giving it. I don’t want them to just hurt me until I cum – I want them to stop only if and when they want to, unless I safeword. I want my desire to please to be manipulated so I can take more. I want them to want me to suffer for them, and I want to endure for them. I’m seeking a Sadist who can push my limits to whom I’m sexually attracted and emotionally connected.

My primary fetish is rope bondage. I enjoy all bondage as a bottom (and am alway up for some time in chains/straps/cuffs), but rope is the big fetish. With rope, I switch. I enjoy tying and tying others. I enjoy rope for fun, for sex, or for restraint. I enjoy rope by itself – I’ll sleep with it sometimes. I enjoy the feel of it on my skin and the sensuality of it, the smell. I enjoy the possibilities, the stretching of muscles and testing of my flexibility. I like using it for leverage to grapple. I enjoy the options – you can be tied to anything! I love it, I get off on it, and I find peace in it. I’m always seeking more people to tie me up or to practice on, whether just for fun, for practice, or for a more elaborate scene.

My recreational kinky hobby is letting my inner sadist play. I like to play, to tease, and to have fun. I enjoy flogging others and sensory play. I like messing with knives, tickling, my nails, and wartenburg wheels. I like wrestling and winning, then taking advantage. I’m learning – I’m VERY new to topping – but I get a lot of giggly glee from messing with my friends. I have to really trust someone’s communicative abilities to do any of this, though. Most frequently, topping for me is a service thing or just for fun, I’m not into creating a really intense, fearful, surprising, creative scene…at least not right now. I’m not really seeking anything with this, but rather catch me in the right mood and I’ll give it a go.

My primary sexual identity is heteroflexible (code: mostly straight). There’s some flexibility there, but it’s selective. For the most part, I’m interested in forming romantic relationships with men, and I’m interested in sex with men. For kink, though, it’s a bit different. I’m only comfortable with above-the-waist sexual play with females, and I’m very new to it. It’s rare, but when I’m feeling it with someone I’m willing to go with it. I do enjoy scening with woman however, assuming a certain dynamic with them and mental connection. I find the tender, giggly sadism that woman tend to have very appealing.

Important Notes for Play:

  • I don’t do pick-up play well…I find the idea of being one of a long list of appointments in an evening very distasteful. I prefer to play with friends, and make arrangements to play with them. I make exceptions if there’s a strong initial attraction, if I’m experimenting with something new with an expert, if I’m demo-ing, or if we have mutual friends who really recommend it. It comes down to attitude; when I “scene” with someone (not random experimentation, but an actual scene), I focus 100% on them, and I want the same in return. I don’t want to hear about other play dates scheduled and I don’t want to feel rushed. I want interruptions minimal and ignored as much as possible. I need to trust my partner, be comfortable with them, and not feel overly awkward (nerves are ok). I need to have a strong mental connection and some form of attraction, whether it be physical, intellectual, or something else. Point of this tangent – if you ask to play, I may put you off because of the above. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not interested, but it may be too soon, the mood might not be right, or I may just not be comfortable with the particular location.
  • Added to that, I don’t do sex in public, and I don’t do scenes where my sexual pleasure is the focus unless we are regular play partners. There are certain private play parties where this may vary, but that’s the exception not the rule. Don’t pull out vibrators for a scene in public – let me suggest them if I want them. Sexual touching without discussing it first makes me uncomfortable. Scening does not mean I’ve given you permission to mess with my nipples or genitals.
  • Lastly, public humiliation and degradation aren’t my kinks. I like teasing and being flustered, I don’t like being made to feel worthless. I don’t like being condescended to. Face slapping, feet stepping on my face, crawling, bizarre/attention-drawing toys, writing on me, name-calling (other than ‘slut for me’ or ‘my slut’) – all are no. In a relationship, in private, they aren’t necessarily limits…but otherwise, no. It’s safer to ask before doing anything along these lines.

A Missing Element

I always talk about how it’s so close to impossible for me to submit to someone, how rare it is, and how I bottom because of those things. I’ve been exploring this concept in my head a lot recently.

Over the last year or so, I’ve delved into kink quite a bit. I bottom for scenes, and have been enjoying experimenting with all sorts of new things. I like playing, and I like most of toys in some fashion. I realized a few weeks ago that despite that, I’ve still left most of my biggest kinks unexplored.

I love bondage and pain in all forms, but in my most recurring fantasies it’s teasing and denial, begging, nipple torture, and discreet bondage or play in public that take center stage. Bondage and pain play roles in all those fantasies, but it’s these other things – things that focus on power exchange, vulnerability, intimacy, control, etc. that appeal to me. All these things that I masturbate about, write erotica about, but at the end of the day, I don’t do.

When I realized that, I started wondering why not, and it’s because to me they are things to be done within a relationship because of the trust involved. They also involve my submitting to someone, not just bottoming for them. So, what does it take for me to submit to someone? That’s the question.

For me, submission isn’t something I take lightly. I don’t fake reactions or emotions, and I’m terrible at acting. Role-playing submission doesn’t work well for me. If I’m submitting to you, not just letting you play within a set of negotiated limits – if I’m letting you into my head – it’s a different can of worms.

First off, I’m very proud, stubborn, and independent. I am terrible at asking for help and admitting weakness. I have issues with inferiority, and I don’t like others to see me as anything other than strong, focused, and in control of my shit. Submitting is letting someone not only see me when I’m vulnerable, it’s letting them create the vulnerability. I like submitting because it allows me to trust someone, be at my most vulnerable, not worry and stress about being in charge all the time, and relax. That said, I’m used to people seeing me vulnerable and taking advantage in negative ways, and I’ve spent my life training my mind to avoid mental and emotional pain by avoiding vulnerability. As a result, submitting is the thing I crave most sometimes, but it’s incredibly difficult for me to let people in.

Second, I’m good at organizing things, planning, logistics, and leading. I do so in my vanilla life, and I do so quite well. I’m decently intelligent and successful. If I’m going to submit to you, I have to trust that you can do all these things, and do them as well or better than I can. I rarely encounter people that can do that who are also single and kinky, let alone who I also am attracted to/share ‘nilla interests with.

Third, I have a very, very active sense of humor. It’s not just one kind – I laugh at sarcastic comments, crude jokes, lame jokes…really it’s all good. I will kid around and make snarky comments as much as possible…so kill me, I like having fun. This tends to throw people off or annoy the Domly Dom types. Apparently, it makes me bratty. I’m fine being put in my place for it if it’s done with good spirit and humor in response, but I can’t really shut it off.

Lastly, I’m the type of person who will push until someone pushes back. I used to joke in school that I did the least amount possible to get the highest grade possible. If I could get away without doing my homework for a week, I would. If it means a low score or failing a test, I’ll change my behavior. This means yes, I could have done better, but it allowed me to also have a life and I still did well enough to achieve my goals. It’s sort of the same with submitting. If I can get away with being bossy or snarky, fighting back, etc., I will. If I am put in my place or hit a boundary that is a clear boundary (not a humor thing, but actual one), I will not do it again. Most people will kid back or take me at face value – rarely do people step up and establish boundaries.

All that aside, pleasing my partner is incredibly important to me. I like service when it’s self motivated – I enjoy cleaning and if I know it pleases my partner, I’m likely to volunteer to do it; command me to do it and I’ll be annoyed. I work better by being told how to please my partner and then being given the opportunity to do so, less so with direct orders unless in the bedroom. Protocols tend to make me feel stressed or bogged down unless they are simple or natural. Titles seem cheesy to me unless I genuinely feel your power in my blood. I respond best to quiet authority.  Gentle assumptions of control over time that are seamless within our interactions work best for things outside of a scene; during a scene, I’m all for force, struggling, etc.

So I don’t label myself as submissive, because it seems so difficult for me to find. I bottom. I switch, sometimes. I can find happiness without ongoing power exchange, as long as there’s some kink present. I can allow the surrender of pain and bondage suffice, and not really notice a difference. I also could very likely find happiness as someone’s submissive, with much greater levels of mindfucking, and all the predicaments and vulnerability that may go with that…I just haven’t found the right person to explore it with. My experiments with D/s thus far — online interaction for a year with one person, being formally “taught” by someone for a few months (real life thing but long distance excepting a weekend), dating for a few months but casually and poly, dating someone into high protocol that scared me out of D/s altogether for a while — none of those situations allowed me to deeply delve into this realm.

9/23

In an update…

Have been in training for work for the last two weeks, and got to do some fabulous networking. We did some fun exercises that reminded me why I love the field I’m in. Honestly, had I had this training earlier, I wouldn’t have been at such a loss the last few months. Now I feel like I’m very behind on everything I need to know for my current project. Such is life – you’re bored until you’re behind.

I’ve gone to a more events lately, and experimented a tiny bit more with rope topping. I’m much more curious about switching lately. I’ve also kind of worn myself out from kinky play-centric events. Pick up play just isn’t doing it for me anymore. If I know people at an event, that changes, but otherwise meh. With that, I went to a party last night that ended up being very chill and left me with the same feeling. I’m used to being busy, or being horny, but not so much the lonely. For some reason, I’ve been feeling the lonely more lately. I think it’s because I’d rather do more low-key, not-public event things, but since I’d still like to meet someone special I try to get out more than that. Ugh.

The overseas trip has been postponed a week, so now I will be missing Halloween. If anyone has book recommendations, please send them my way!

My “First” Suspension

I was suspended this weekend, and it was awesome.

I had been suspended once before, but in many ways I don’t think it counts. I was very skeptical of the whole thing, and last September a local well-seasoned rope man strung some rope into a swing and had me sit in it, lean back and added some more ropes so that I wasn’t touching the floor at all. It was fun, comfortable, and showed me that yes, rope does hold.

Since then, I’ve concentrated mainly on floor and partial suspension work. I love hogties and predicaments, ball ties and shrimp ties. Who am I kidding, I love all rope. I met rope people and played with rope people, but I was afraid to ask people to suspend me. Most of the people getting suspended are super tiny, petite folks, and I’m not that at all. I didn’t want to ask and be told I’m too heavy, so I just held off.

Recently, I self-suspended at a local event and that allayed some of my residual hesitancy. I realized that you can lean into and lift into suspensions in ways that don’t require the rigger to lift your body weight. That, combined with more knowledge of nerve placement and an increase in fuller-figured women in rope on fetlife (and threads about that), and I started to get more comfortable. The real clincher was trusting my rope partner. I brought up suspension several weeks ago to indicate my interest in a “if you’re into it, I’d be into it” type of way. I figured that gave him an out if he didn’t feel comfortable with it, and left it at that. Well, this weekend he suggested we try a suspension, and I was all for it.

I was nervous and afraid that it would hurt too much or something wouldn’t be able to hold me, essentially that I’d make an awful spectacle of myself. Instead, things went splendidly. We did a side suspension. I started off in a TK (chest harness), and then he added support to my right thigh and leg and tied me into a partial suspension. I then lifted up my other leg and he tied it up as well before adding some ropes around my waist and ankles.

Suspension is amazingly freeing. Escaping is even less feasible than floor ties, only squirming leaves you spinning. The loss of grounding left me feeling even more out of control, which was right up my alley. There was a little pain where my weight was mostly being held off of ropes around my thigh, but I enjoyed that too because it was just enough to keep me in the moment.

In other rope news…still waiting on my Maui Kink rope order of hemp and coconut. I did purchase about 200 feet of Jute from a local seller, and I’m in love with it. It’s rough, scratchy, and smells divine.

I will say that the one benefit to a monogamous rope relationship would be that I’d always have a guaranteed partner for classes. There’s a predicament bondage class coming up next week that I’d love to check out, but I don’t have a partner for the class. I don’t want to pay and drive all the way to Baltimore only to be the awkward girl in the corner with no one to play with. Or, almost worse, since it’s a predicament class, to be paired with a really creepy stranger. Stinks.

7/31 Rapture! (And growing up.)

Rapture was this past weekend, and I had a blast as usual. It took a bit of jager and some hip hop, but I let loose and danced for about an hour.  My general whiteness, prudishness, and pudginess keep people from thinking I can dance, but I can bust a move. I was blessed with good rhythm, took dance classes when I was young, and did choreographed competitive routines in high school. (Plus, all people from my area of the Midwest dance like they do in Detroit. Our high school dances were all bump-and-grind, at least until chaperones forcibly stopped us.)  So, I danced! I danced with women, I danced with men, I gave lap dances – all in a corset! Predictably, the next morning my thighs were incredibly sore from dropping it like it was hot.

I also played again with needles…and I climaxed just from that. Talk about endorphins! It still amazes me that I can react that way to pain, let alone to needles. I hate needles! They scare me, puncturing skin squicks me out, and I don’t like blood. Throughout play, I’m squeezing someone’s hand or a table with a death grip, and I squeak a bit, but it also sends all sorts of tingly messages elsewhere in my body. Plus, with the gauge of needle we used, there were no marks and no real lingering soreness, making it far too simple to use this is a way to fill my occasional pain cravings. 

Otherwise, as I alluded to a bit ago, I ended things with vanilla guy (finally). I may have gotten a tad over-anxious in the lead-up to that…I definitely used friends and google as resources. I eventually ended up with something about how it was missing the connection I was seeking in a longer-term partner. While true, it still kind of sucked. Thankfully, he was really civil and nice about the whole thing, and I’m proud of myself for growing up, owning my feelings, and not wasting his or my time.

Honestly though, it’s amazing to me how you can get along with someone so well yet still not necessarily feel any sexual attraction to them. It’s even harder to comprehend sometimes how one person can feel something strongly when another doesn’t. I feel like it’s so rare to find someone you mesh with on all levels, including sexually, and to have both people acknowledge it and be ready and able to develop a relationship. Those who have found that, treasure it.

As part of the ‘nilla “break-up,” I caught up with my vanilla BFF who always has this incredible knack of putting my life in perspective. She’s the strongest Christian I know, and yet she’s also the one who knows the most details about my kinky interactions. She’s amazing. Sometimes, I think she knows me better than I know myself. I tend to look after her like a big sister.  I’ve been kind of on-edge since a few weeks before graduation, stuck in this go-go-go cycle. Basically, my irrational, unfounded fear of not having plans or friends post-grad resulted in me fostering so many relationships that now I’m overwhelmed with plans.

Basically, my fear of being alone left me with no time to be alone, and now I’m craving that alone time. It’s twisted. I genuinely like my varied friend groups, I have fun with them, and I want to hang out with them. Thing is, I have my grad school folks and my kinky folks, kinky events and dating, and then the “catch-up” and “new” people. Fake sister pointed out that if I haven’t seen someone in months or years, they can wait a while longer if it means I have more time to myself. Valid point.

Essentially, I need to prioritize getting my shit together, and start establishing a routine. I need to formalize a laundry day and grocery day, make lunches in advance, and fit in time for the gym (maybe overlap it with catching up on favorite shows?) on top of my social life. I’ve been prioritizing the social life, which while fun, ends up draining energy and making me feel anxious for missing the rest of things…plus it’s costly and not always healthiest.