Going to the chapel and I’m…

Gonna get married!

I’ve been really, really, really remiss in blogging this past year. Life got in the way, and priorities shifted.

Honestly, blogging still is a great catharsis for me, but I get lazy. I used to blog on nights I wasn’t out with my man, but then we moved in together…and, well, love!

Anyhow, last Christmas, we decided we’d move in together when my lease was up in May. Telling my roommates went better than I expected (I don’t think they were all that surprised). I was sad to leave them, but it was fun to start looking at places and such. I learned a lot about apartments in the area. Eventually, we found a lovely townhouse that we ended up renting from foreign service peeps (they’re in Russia). It’s beautiful, has a lovely patio, and our neighbors are great! (Which we learned more than ever this weekend when they helped us dig out of our house…)

Moving in together was more seamless than I thought it’d be, too. May itself was a bit rough. We had a lot more “deep” conversations, or our version of arguing, as we figured out how we each communicate and our preferences. That all settled down pretty quickly, though. I started getting super suspicious and curious about whether he’d propose…but it didn’t happen. My best friend got engaged, and we went to 3 weddings last fall… and then, November 7th, he proposed :), the last weekend before wedding #4 of the season. I said yes! And now we’re wedding planning, and our wedding will be in November of 2016.

I was mostly surprised when he proposed. I definitely had considered if he’d do it over that weekend since we were traveling with friends, and it seemed to be the last good chance before the holidays. That said, a lot of things had thrown me off, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I definitely hadn’t figured out how he’d do it – he made me a lovely book, and there really aren’t words for how special it is. I cried, the ring is beautiful, and our friends joined us after the proposal for a day of fun. The only downer is my best friends got terrible news that weekend about their mom/MIL, and that sucked.

Also, FYI – weddings are expensive as fuck and people get crazy and opinionated about some weird-ass shit. Plus, there are WAY too many neat places in the world to pick just one for a honeymoon…

Relationships Aren’t Simple

I’ve been learning a lot about relationships. I’m anticonfrontational, and I don’t get passive aggressive, but I am not quick to bring up something that’s bothering me, either. I’ve gotten better, but I’m still a work in progress on that end. I’m not used to someone being open to changing behavior without wanting to end things or reacting dramatically. There are few people in my life with whom I’m open about all the things I feel, because most times people don’t want that much information. Hence this blog. People don’t delve deep with one another frequently, and I’ve been burned a lot by assuming the people wanted information when they didn’t. As a result, I’m not great at being forthcoming with that type of emotional information. And, when I am forthcoming, I end up needing a lot more validation for giving it than some others would. Overall, being insecure about things like that has gotten in my way. I’m working on being more confident in who I am so that I care less about the reaction I’ll get and more about getting what I need.

The dude has been good with things, though, and has given me no reason to feel any of those above things. He has a level of admiration for me that I haven’t even grasped for myself at times, and his desire to promote my happiness is evident, which is awesome. He’s also been really open to listening and never makes a big deal of things I think are going to be big deals, which is helpful in encouraging me to open up. He needs to communicate more, at least I feel that way, because he’s a “show I care through actions” person, and I’m a “hear he cares with words” person, so we’re working that part out.

And, sexually, things are great. He’s not kinky, per se, in that he hasn’t gone to events or participated in any lifestyle things. He’s super into being dominant, though, if only in the bedroom, and we’re working on exploring that a bit. He also likes choking, is into bondage, and is stronger than me…which is good. He’s into denial in ways that I am too. We haven’t gone all that far in exploration primarily because I have roommates and he’s been out of town on weekends (making going to his place, far out in burbs, difficult). I’m hoping that in time I can bring him to some events and get him experimenting more with things.

I’ve been struggling a lot with asking for permission to get off when I’ve been alone. I’m supposed to call. I find it impossible to do, no matter how much he says he likes it when I call. I feel like I’m interrupting him, and that it’s degrading, and I don’t know why because I also find it sexy. I think it’s because there’s been a lot of travel in the last month so I haven’t seen him enough, making me feel less secure. He also doesn’t seem to notice if I’m not calling, which makes me feel like I want it more than is normal, which makes me embarrassed of my desires. I don’t know. If anyone has tips on that, do share.

Asking Permission

I’m still with the new dude, and for the most part, things are going well. We had a drama-filled encounter with some friends of mine, and he handled it super awesomely. While I was upset for my friend who was suffering, the issue let me see a side of the new dude that I really appreciated.

I’m struggling for a few reasons, though. One, I think he’s generally a quieter guy, but I’m not used to that, so sometimes I expect more conversation to happen. Two, I swapped my OkC profile to “Seeing someone,” and he said he would too…but 48+ hours later, and he still hasn’t, and he shows as having logged on a few times. This, in turn, is making me insecure and making me wonder if I should be concerned. He was the one pushing for exclusivity at first, so it’d be frustrating if he were seeing multiple people after that agreement was made. If you want to date around, just say so, and we can be open about it. I feel sort of nuts/in my head about it, though, and it makes it harder for me to bring it up. I don’t want to ruffle feathers. It is such an inconsequential thing, but yet, it still really bothers me, which bothers me more because I know it doesn’t really matter. Ugh.

Lastly, and on a totally different note, I’m not sure entirely how to incorporate D/s into things. In the bedroom, there’s an element of it. I don’t want to freak him out, though. He said he’s into toys and things insomuch as it turns me on, but I feel weird and extra freaky for wanting pain and things he isn’t really naturally inclined towards. He said something offhand today and I mentioned that it’d be hot, and he was all “you think everything is hot.” I’m sure he didn’t mean that negatively, but to me, it feels that way because I feel like I’m more screwed up in the head than he is in terms of my fantasies. I’m trying to take it slow and let things build, and just see what happens, but it’s difficult.

In the meantime, we have a rule that I’m to ask for permission before climaxing. This shouldn’t be difficult, but it’s hard as hell for me. I keep thinking it’ll be easier to ask next time. When we’re together, I don’t have an issue with it. When his hands are fucking with me, begging seems more natural. By myself, when he’s living his life and doing whatever, the thought of calling and interrupting his day to ask is humiliating and scary. I convince myself he’ll say no anyways, so why bother asking? It’s so stupid, because having to ask is hot as hell to me, and the thought that I would call and he’d say no is arousing too. I’m not really sure how to make it easier.

Sooo I have no clue how to go about dealing with these things, but that’s what I’ve been up to lately.

*edited* to add that I did at least tell him I was struggling to ask…worried that he’d judge me for the timing or I’d impose/interrupt him. He pointed out that the point is to give up control, which requires actually doing so and surrendering to him. Moreover, he reinforced that my asking turns him on, and is what he desires. Imposing implies that he wouldn’t want the call…I need to get it in my head that he wants my surrender, and that he gets off on that. Perhaps if I can frame it in my head as calling him pleases him, demonstrates my submission/obedience to him, than I will want to do it more.

It’s interesting, because he mentioned that part of the current arrangement we have is freedom. I’m allowed to touch myself however and whenever I want, as long as I ask for permission. It isn’t like he’s telling me to touch myself every day. He mentioned that he has no desire for the latter, because it may mean I was touching myself when I didn’t want to, which isn’t as thrilling for him. I tried, and will have to think of a better way to explain later, that if I’m touching myself in order to follow a rule, that in turn arouses me. Even if I didn’t want to before doing it, I’d enjoy it more because of that, because it meant I was doing it for him and the act of submission turns me on more than the touching. And, if something was really bothering me or I wasn’t able to enjoy it, I would let him know I was struggling, and if that really bothered him, we could waive the rule that time. As long as there’s consistency (like if waiving it, maybe require something different or extra time next time or something so that it isn’t too easy to skip out) it’s all good.

New Romance

I’ve been super MIA, but this time it’s been all for good reasons.  I posted in mid-February about dating standards after I broke it off with someone I’d gone out with several times.  I started talking to someone new a few days after, and it’s like I summoned him with my list. He is all of the things I said mattered to me, and I’ve broken all of my dating “rules” since talking to him. Hell, even the way I reached out to him broke rules.

Anyhow, so far, it’s going very well. Things have moved very quickly…we’re exclusive, and it’s only been 2 weeks. That said, well, we spoke on the phone for more than 10 hours before we’d met for the first time, and so I feel like I know him better than men I’ve dated for months. It’s just really good. He’s into kinky things, he’s smart and snarky, he gets along with my friends, and he makes me feel desired and special. Plus the sex is fabulous…and I’m no longer worried about being unable to have sex, which is also fabulous. And he bought me roses…I’m infatuated as hell, basically.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t fall apart! (But it’s worth it, even if it does.)

Relationship Standards

I started my day today accidentally overdosing on strong cold medicine and super emotional as a result, but it was partly based in truth. I ended things with a guy yesterday, and he took it super well. We’re going to try to be friends. Of course, today, I started second guessing that decision something fierce. I don’t have a lot of long-term relationship history, so I started worrying that maybe I ruined it, that maybe I should have tried to talk to him about things, maybe I ended it because I just don’t know how to gauge what is worth ending things over.

Thank goodness, a friend talked me down, validated my decision, and emphatically told me that the types of things that I ended it over are “worthy” enough to end something over. She suggested I think about what hard relationship limits for me would be, and what softer ones are. This is my attempt to do that.

First, some things to keep in mind:

  1. If you expect these things of someone else, cultivate them in yourself. (I really need to work on the first and last things under “hard” standards, for example.)
  2. Remember: I’d rather be single than be in a relationship where I’ve made significant compromises. Don’t settle, not yet.
  3. It’s not unusual to date a lot or have it not work out. Wanting these things isn’t unreasonable. You’re worth it.
  4. For any of these things, the examples are examples and the principles are what are important. If he can demonstrate the principle in some way, I’m fine with it.
  5. If one or two of the “hard” standards are missing but everything else is there, give him a chance and talk about it with him before cutting it off.
  6. These can, and likely will, change, as will their importance. Be OK with that. Don’t spend too much time comparing guys against these standards – live in the moment. Wait for it to feel wrong before thinking about it in any analytical way – when it feels right, let it be right.

None of the following is in any particular order.

“Hard” Standards

  • Be able to express his physical attraction – i.e. be physically affectionate, hold hands, make move to kiss, etc. (a level of physical assertiveness)
  • Want to spend time with me – and is hesitant for that time to end, i.e. no dates ending super early on weekend evenings unless ill or early-morning commitment, makes an effort to plan seeing me
  • Understands my humor – be able to tease/sarcastically banter
  • Be independent – it’s ok to care about/be close with family, but be OK going it alone; have a place to live, way of getting around, ability to feed and care for yourself, job to pay the bills; OK with me being busy, wants to share that and doesn’t resent it
  • Willingness and ability to make me feel special – can be myriad of things, such as holding open doors, paying bill, planning date, bringing flowers, not complaining about transit to see me (or general willingness to travel to me/convenient to me for first date or two), a particular look in his eyes, calling me on the phone, texting me flirty notes sometimes, physical affection, etc.
  • Willingness and excited to try new things – restaurants, comedy shows, dancing, festivals, traveling, kink or sex things, etc.
  • Wants to settle down at some point – desire to get married, have kids, have a house.
  • Socially adept – can interact with my friends successfully (success meaning doesn’t insult them – directly or indirectly, makes conversation with them), is polite, has friends of his own
  • Willingness and ability to communicate openly – makes light of awkward moments, texts/calls/emails, easy conversation, mentions how he feels, voices what he wants 

Softer standards

  • Hasn’t been married before
  • Doesn’t have kids
  • Kink/alternative lifestyle things (soft standard is being legit into it, turned on by it…this is a hard standard insomuch as someone is open-minded enough to try, re ‘try new things’ above)
  • Civically engaged – volunteers, votes, has passion for at least one issue, involved in community, involved with family (any of these things suffices – apathy is the big off-putter)
  • OK with various gender roles depending on situation
  • OK with living in suburbs, or even potentially moving elsewhere
  • Doesn’t want to rush into kids/marriage
  • Isn’t planning on moving within the imminent (~3 months) future
  • No more than 10 years older than me

Other things that are important to me

Traits that matter to me: social etiquette, humor, adventurous, open-minded, intellect, ambition, passion.

Hobbies/interests I’d love to share: country or bluegrass music, grilling, road trips, dancing, board games, stand-up comedy, television, books, going to movies.

I don’t know.

I’ve been MIA on here, which I regret a bit. Things are going, to say the least. First off, my mom survived her surgery and is recovering well (Thank goodness!).

Work has been interesting, to say the least. My boss is terrible. There was a brief chance I’d be reassigned, but it looks like that won’t be the case. I should get to do some interesting travel – and not to a warzone! My boss’ boss, the one who rates me, is really blunt and has acknowledged how terrible my boss is. Her frankness salvages the situation, at least a little. She’s planning on being extra involved to help save my experience, which I really appreciate. I’ve been struggling to find people to be friendly with at the office, which is frustrating a bit. When people talk to me, we get along OK, but I’m not getting close to anyone. I realized I need to modify my expectations. Work is work – it’s to make money, hopefully provide some motivation in life. It’s isn’t supposed to be my social life – I have friends for that. With that in mind, hopefully I can just do my job and be OK with that.

Otherwise, I’ve been busy. Other than the book club comprised of kinksters that I lead, I haven’t done anything kinky in ages. I was at Rapture in November, and lightly played, but that’s been it. Before that, it had been since June. Needless to say, kink hasn’t been a fixture as of late. I debated going to college night late tonight, but I’ve been absent so long that attending events fills me with a deep dread.

I’ve been dating, and that’s complicated. As always, the vanilla guy is great in many ways, but he is really laid back, isn’t dominant in life, and that’s getting to me. It affects how much I can see him in a sexual way. On the other side, there’s a dominant dude I was talking to, but then I got scared of how intense our conversation got in terms of D/s and was uncertain about all that shit… that’s my life. It’s messy.

I just don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I want to forget men entirely…but I also want to get laid. I think the stress of work, family, wintertime, and dating confusion is getting to me. I don’t feel as confident, and my insecurity affects my interpretation of things.

I know I’m in a less than happy state, and I hate that. I hate that I’m indecisive. I don’t like not knowing what to do. I don’t feel like I have control over anything right now. More than anything, I hate that my ability to follow the logical part of my brain is seemingly broken right now. I should be happier. I know I have people who care about me and love me. I know I need to not worry about things at work outside my control and try my hardest. I know I need to not date someone that leaves me thinking about all the little ways it’s wrong, I should only stay with guys who make me feel giddy and excited to be with them. The more I try to balance all this shit, though, the more mentally exhausted I get. I feel like I don’t have time for anything.

Vanilla Dating

Benefit of dating – being introduced to new bands, books, TV shows, etc. For one – I’m LOVING Steep Canyon Rangers, courtesy of my most recent date. I’m especially loving a Pandora station created with Steep Canyon Rangers, Luke Bryan, Phillip Phillips, and Bruno Mars; I highly recommend it. (Ron Pope)

Awkward things about dating vanilla guys when you’re kinky (or maybe just when you’re me):

  • Explaining how you met your friends

In most vanilla circles, you meet friends from one of the following avenues:  college, grad school, work, through a family member/friend/coworker, through an alumni/young professional group, through a religious or ethnic association, or through intramurals/a class.  Saying you met through Fetlife or a dungeon event is totally out. Happy hours and classes work, but prompt the “what kind of happy hour/class” “can I go to those happy hours,” leading you to potentially incriminate yourself.

  • Explaining hobbies

I love to write, and it is one of the few hobbies that I engage in regularly. Unfortunately, letting slip or disclosing that I love to write prompts the “what about” question…but my writing primarily consists of a regularly written-in intimate blog and erotic fiction. My fiction isn’t romance and flower erotica either, but rather explicit and very obviously kinky (teasing and denial, M/s dynamics, bondage, and sadomasochism are frequent themes). Sharing erotic stories with a lover isn’t a stretch, but sharing these with a vanilla lover would be incriminating.

  • Explaining collections or items in your house

As a result of my interest in bondage and shibari, I know a lot about knots and own a helluva lot of rope. Unfortunately, while I’ve crocheted I don’t have many crocheted items as proof, and while I’m interested in sailing, I haven’t done it much, leaving me with a lack of ways to explain all the stuff. I can hide it, but that only goes so well.

Most guys love to find their girlfriend’s sex toy drawer, and some of the items are fun for two no matter the kink level – a feather, lube, vibrator. The nipple clamps, paddle, and wartenburg wheel might get some questions, though. Again, I can hide it, but that sucks.

  • Explaining the difference between furry handcuffs fantasies and participating in the kink community

That awkward moment when you have to explain that being kinky isn’t just handcuffs in bed, but involves parties where sex could be happening, whips and knives abound, and the outfit of choice is lingerie.

Explaining multi-day kink events, and trying to figure out whether or not it’s cheating/lying to not disclose the type of event before going on a prolonged “camping trip.”

Wanting to be spanked lightly during sex and wanting someone to beat you until you’re bruised is different. Wanting someone to enjoy beating you until you’re bruised – even more different. Sadomasochism opens up a whole new can of worms.

Being interested in D/s or M/s with a vanilla partner is tricky, even if they’re into it – explaining the responsibilities of being dominant, the nuances of power exchange, and trying it out as the more-experience submissive partner can be a communication nightmare.

  • Explaining your sexual history

Do you count play partners as sex partners when there was no direct sexual contact, but you were almost fully unclothed? Where’s the line? Discussing how some kinks feel sexual but don’t involve direct sexual interaction is complicated and can go quite poorly.

  • Hoping to find someone open-minded and into it, but not too into it

I want someone to whom I can confess – with little to no embarrassment – “I want you to have me helpless, torment, and hurt me” who may actually want to do that, but also who isn’t keen on punching me in the face or raping me in a back alley.

Drawing that line of “Just because I’m interested in X,Y, and Z and I may have done X, Y, and Z with other people doesn’t mean I’m interested in doing Y with you.”