Category Archives: life

backlash and progress

Combatting misogyny could be my full time job, but I am glad that it is not.

The United States are currently going through a bit of a re-shuffle with regards to national identity, which is pretty obvious to everyone on the world stage.  We’re kind of like your neighbors who are constantly fighting with each other and you’re never quite sure whether or not to call the cops and report potential domestic abuse.

Just to be clear – if you hear something that you think might be domestic abuse, you should call it in.

I kind of wish someone could call the cops to get us out of our current set of problems.

Anyway – the issue that I want to talk about is the spate of recent revelations in the media about men in positions of power acting badly towards women.

The list of influential men being accused of sexual misconduct seems to grow every day, and my suspicion is that it will continue to do so for some time – at least until the backlash comes.

It seems like every politicized event in US current events eventually results in a backlash.  We’re already seeing some of it with these sexual misconduct allegations – a lot of powerful men who fear reprisals of their own are being silent for the moment, but I predict that they’ll gather around whoever has the audacity to stand up and make the claim that this is reverse discrimination or something else just as silly.

Firstly – this is not an example of reverse discrimination.  Women are not forming mobs and lynching men.  In fact, they’re not even really calling for the lynching of the men who are actually responsible for acting like perverts, which would be mob justice, but still not discrimination.  In most cases, they’re merely coming forward to tell their stories and not calling for any action at all.

Now, I do think that actions should be taken in most of these cases.  However, we’re losing sight of the most important part of what is happening.

In case you missed it – my opinion is that the most important part of this is that women are beginning to come forward and tell their stories.

This is important, because until recently they haven’t felt safe enough to do so, and that represents a huge failure on our part as men who care for women and as a society in general.  We must capitalize on the opportunity that this is affording us.  We must do what we can to prevent the backlash and keep this forward progress.  We must empower every person to tell their story so that we can all learn and grow – together.

Some of these stories are horrible to listen to.  Some of them are just plain weird, and as a self-proclaimed pervert of the highest order, for me to say that is … something.  But no matter whether they are hard to hear or weird or even just ordinary (I’ll leave that word there for a moment…) the fact is that women are finally feeling like the social narrative will permit them to come forward and speak about the things that they have had to endure.  It is long past time that we take such things seriously.

Do I think that every man who has had allegations of sexual misconduct come out is guilty of those things?  No, I do not.  I think that a small percentage of the stories that are coming out are falsified, but I think that is a rare exception rather than the rule as many of these men would like you to believe and as men have insisted is the case since society began to view women as people.

Despite a more receptive climate than in the past, I think it would be a massive stretch of the truth to say that society is open to such things yet.  There is still a strong stigma associated with coming forward with allegations of this type, and the women who do so are courageous and in many cases, desperate.

Part of the blacklash story is that these things happened decades ago and it is not fair to the accused to have to defend their actions from such a long time ago.  There is some small amount of merit to that argument – but only because human memory is fallible.  It is very likely that the facts of an event that happened years or decades ago will become distorted in the memory of those who were involved over time.  This is a proven concept in modern psychology practice – human perception is fallible, and it changes over time.  This is one of the reasons why crimes often have statutes of limitations.

That being said, I think every single case should be investigated – even those that happened 40 years ago.  I think where there is sufficient proof of misconduct that there need to be serious consequences for those involved.  This is how progress is made.  These consequences may only be a loss of social capital in some cases, but in some cases, that may be sufficient.  If you take a man who abuses his power and remove that power from him, he may not be able to continue his abusive practices, or he may learn that his actions – while tolerated in the time when he committed them – were never really acceptable and will be tolerated no longer.

Ignorance of the law is not seen as an excuse for committing a crime, and while I look at the things that some of these men are accused of and wonder how it is possible that they ever felt justified in some of these things, I can kind of see the argument that opinions on what is acceptable have changed over time.  I can maybe see where posing for a photo with your hands someplace they ought not be without consent could be mistaken for humor – because much of the purpose of humor is to make the unbearable, bearable – but I don’t know how anyone ever felt like nonconsensually locking a woman in your office while you jack off is anything but creepy and sad.

Empathy is the thing that would have prevented all of these problems.

Put yourself in the shoes of the person you are interacting with.  Try to understand her motives and fears and then think about what you are about to do.  Just because you might think it would be awesome for a woman to lock you in her office and masturbate while you sit there trapped does not mean that she will feel the same way.   You have to not only put yourself in her place, but you have to put yourself in her mind.

The fact that she is on the other side of the desk means that the right thing for you to do is to go out of your way to be respectful, honest, and engaged.  You have all of the power – don’t abuse it.

Master Rant’s 10 Day Intensive

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been host to a friend who I met through this site.  She lives quite far away, but we’ve been in contact off and on through email and other online means for well over a year at this point.  I never thought we would actually meet in person, but she decided that she wanted to take a trip to San Francisco and experience what it is like to live the D/s lifestyle for a short period under my thumb.

This is the account of some of what transpired in those ten days.

I don’t think the experience was what either of us had anticipated, but it was certainly valuable for many reasons and I am thankful for the opportunities that it afforded me to grow as well.

Let us call my friend (and I do hope that she is still a friend after all of this) Nicole.  That is not her name, but my name isn’t really Rant either, so this should not be terribly surprising to any of you.

Nicole had no experience with D/s before meeting me – but she had had some experience with kink and there were several things that she wanted to try while with me.  We got to many, but not all of them.  There were also several aspects of what I consider to be important to D/s that she had no experience with and found surprising.   Those are the sorts of things that I am going to focus on for this entry.

Foremost, and although I have tried to cover this in the past, was the assumption on her part that D/s requires sex.  This is most assuredly not the case.  I know of several D/s relationships where sex does not play into things at all, and while I would not call that sort of complete lack of sexual focus normal, there is also nothing abnormal about a relationship with deep D/s elements that contains no sex at all.

We did have sex while she was here, but I’m certain that it was not entirely what she was expecting, because sex is not the focus of D/s for me.

D/s is about power exchange.  It is about the transfer of personal power from one individual to another.  It is about choices and decisions and actions and who controls them.  Sometimes these choices and actions and decisions have to do with things of a sexual nature, but quite often they are much more mundane.

Nicole is from Europe and many of our conflicts probably would have been a bit smoother or not have occurred at all were it not for cultural differences as well as the very new nature of things D/s for her when she found herself in my space and under my control.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that she felt that I was simultaneously not controlling enough in some areas and far too controlling in others.

Everyone does D/s a little differently and places emphasis on different parts of the equation.   I was brought up under a different paradigm than is the current norm, and the key facets of D/s for me are Respect, Devotion, and Service.

Respect is the cornerstone of D/s in my world.   It is something that I expect to be in place always and transgressions are dealt with swiftly and decisively.  I am not physically violent without a tremendous amount of forecasting, but I can and often do change my body language and verbal tone to be quite severe when I feel like I am personally being disrespected, or my submissive trainee is being disrespectful to my property or friends.  Showing me proper Respect is Rule Zero.  It is something that I expect to not have to talk about, and if I do, there is a high likelihood that I will be lecturing you, not just mentioning it out of hand.

Devotion is where I get my kicks.   It is my single biggest fetish.  It is the reason why I do D/s.   I may have a big ego, but I like being worshiped just a little bit – and for more than my body or skills.  I like being thought of as competent and trustworthy, and being Devoted to me is the best way to show me that.

And last, but not least, is Service.  I expect a certain amount of Service to be rendered unto me.  This does not always have to take the typical forms, and sexual service is only one manner of service, and not nearly the most important to me.   I can be rather particular in the ways that I expect Service to be rendered, and that can also be an area of conflict from time to time.

Pain management is a constant struggle for me, and even in a short term visit like the one that Nicole and I planned and executed I can be sidelined by my physical pain issues.  There was one evening in particular while she was here with me where the pain was extreme enough that even conversation was difficult for me.  That isn’t necessarily normal, but it’s not abnormal either.  I would say that I have at least one day a month where things are that bad.

Nicole is a lovely woman, but I think I disappointed her a bit when I showed her some of the non-sexual aspects of D/s and placed those of higher importance than the sexual ones.

She asked me to be true to my older self and not to soften the edges on my High Protocol nature, so I didn’t.

It caused conflict.

Conflict in any relationship is normal, but most people are so enamored of each other and deep into the throes of NRE that they don’t register conflict right away – and Nicole and I had our first conflict within 24 hours of her arrival.  It was jarring for us both, but more so for her, I think.

I also practice ethical non-monogamy, which made for more conflict, as I had to manage the feelings of my current submissive partner as well as Nicole’s own feelings while hosting Nicole for her visit.  The three-way conflict was very minimal, but present.

All told, Nicole was able to check off some of her bucket-list items while she was here and I learned a few important things about myself:

Most surprising to me: Sex is nowhere near as important to me as it once was – even just a year or two ago.

D/s is much more in line with my lifestyle and the way I want to live my life than I’ve admitted in the past.  It has always informed my choices, but now it is much more of a lifestyle choice that I cannot turn away from.

In particular, Discipline is very important to me where it has not always been.

I’m a very physical person – and while this manifests itself sexually, it also manifests itself in other areas, Discipline being chief among them.

I really enjoy public play.  This has not always been the case.  I’ve taken part in various forms of it over the past couple of decades, but I have historically had a strong preference for private play.   I no longer feel that way.  They are balanced for me now.

I still don’t enjoy meting out punishment.  I do it, because Discipline is important to me, but I can spank pretty hard – especially when using a paddle – and I surprised myself with the ferocity of my flogger strikes this time as well.

I know that Nicole learned a great deal about herself too while she was here – but those thoughts are for her and I would do her a disservice to relay them here without her implicit approval.

I doubt very much that she and I will meet again in person – the distance and cost are just too high to make that tenable – this was more of a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing, and while I know that things did not go exactly the way that she had planned, I do hope that she feels the experience was worth it.

I certainly do.

If ever I found myself with a similar situation in the offering, I would change a few things, but keep most things the same – so I suppose that is as good a measure of the success of things as any other.  I learned and grew and I’m certain that she did too.

I am changing and I continue to change those around me, but I remain Rant.

  • Rant

Anniversaries and lost opportunities

Today is the sixth anniversary of the car accident that changed my life and almost ended it.

I have been working on another blog entry – a story from an earlier period of my life – where I was much more sexually active, powerful, responsive, and engaged than I am today.  The length of the post has grown to be such that I cannot really post it without cutting it into pieces and I have been reluctant to do so, so it’s been sitting there, waiting for me to cut it down and I’ve posted nothing in far too long.

But I need to remind myself sometimes that any engagement is better than waiting for the right time and the right means with which to engage – today serves as a reminder of that as much as anything else.

Six years ago today I at this time I was lying in a hospital bed, alone, afraid, and in tremendous pain.  I had no one to come to my aid, no one to even pick me up at the hospital.  When I was finally released, I took a cab home.

I had succeeded in completely isolating myself and prided myself on my lack of reliance on anyone other than myself.  I had people who depended upon me, but no one I could depend on myself.

That is different now – and I am very grateful for that fact.

I have wonderful friends, powerful allies, and people who are willing to do almost anything I ask of them.  Part of the reason this is true is because I provide much for others and ask for nothing in return, but the largest part of this is that I’ve let love back in my life.

Love may be different for me than for most, but it is still a powerful thing.

Today I remember pain.  I remember mistrust.  I remember that when the chips are down, I can always rely on myself.

But those are the methods and means of my past – so I remember something else as well.

Today I remember that I have friends.  I have a rich chosen family and there are people literally all over the world who will stand up for me when called upon.

To my friends who have taken the time to understand me and be a part of my life – I thank you and give you love.

To my friends who remain in the wings and will come to answer my call if I make it – I thank you and give you love.

To the friends that I have yet to meet but will make my life richer by being a part of it – I thank you and give you love.

I have missed countless opportunities to expand my world by making friends in the past, but today I’m reminding myself to be open to allowing others to enrich my life.  The rewards are almost always worth the risk.

Thank you all.

 

  • Rant

Zen as Aikido of the soul

This entry may be a bit different from most.

I’m currently working on a triptych of posts – dealing with the various forms and methods of control that I employ as a Dominant, and I hope that it will be worth waiting for, as it is taking me some time to write to my standards, but in the meantime I have something else to say.

This is the core of my own personal belief system and a telling window into my own soul, if such things exist.

I don’t experience emotions in the same way that people who are born with them do.  I don’t mean to imply that I was born without the ability to emote at all – of course not – I would have been institutionalized long before now if that were the case, but I was born neurologically different.  I had Asperger’s syndrome, or something very much like it.  Throughout my childhood, I was always the odd one out.  While my ‘friends’ would play around me, I was often content to sit by myself, still playing, but the only interactions that interested me were the ones in my own head, or the things in front of me which I could control.  I put together a lot of models and puzzles as a child…

I say I had Aspergers, because I no longer believe that I meet the diagnostic criteria for that particular syndrome, and the only reason I can imagine for that is that I rebuilt myself and made it less of a part of me.

Much later in life, when I felt that the Roman Catholic Church that I was raised to revere had failed me, I sought answers in other places.  I found some, and I missed others, but I learned in the process.

When it became apparent to me that my life would remain one as a social outcast if I did not conform, I made a choice.  I would not only conform, but I would exceed the norm.  This has often been the choice I would make when I had the time, energy, and resources to do so.  As a young man, I had those things in spades.

I watched people interact.  I emulated their behaviors.  I taught myself to be human.  And somewhere along the way, I broke myself, several times.  I was not prepared to deal with the weight of the emotions that crushed me when I took them upon myself.  I was not prepared to deal with the staggering uncertainty that comes in the wake of allowing that information to percolate up from within me.  I was not even aware that I possessed such things – I could see them in other people, and I could behave as they do, but it wasn’t until I rebuilt myself around that model that I became a real boy and could hurt so deeply – and I do hurt deeply – all the fucking time.  Not in the sense that I am in constant pain – for while that may be true, it is of a physical nature and I hold my soul separate from that infection.. I am happy and hurting at the same time.

I came to learn that emotions are beautiful things.  Each one has its place and time.  Each is important information that one ignores at great personal risk.  Happiness and love are certainly my favorites and I am blessed to have much of both lately, but pain and sorrow are also useful things.

I found the practice of Zen along the way, and I have employed it to deflect, avoid, and trap emotions from time to time.  Zen became my method of self-defense against the mental assailants that I could not overpower and so it became my Aikido of the soul…  But the greatest gift that Zen gave me was the realization that I don’t matter.

My readers will dispute that fact, and while I concede the point that my continued existence provides financial, emotional, and spiritual support to a lot of people – more than I ever realized – it is also true that none of you matter.

Please do not be offended by this.  The universe is a very large place and we are but motes floating in the stream of time.  None of us matter.

This is an empowering concept.  It allows me to carry the understanding that the universe is so much greater than I am, and that there is so much in life that is unfathomable to a mere man like me.  I do not need to understand it all and I am unable to do so.

It is my atheist way of understanding the Will of God.

Future generations of humans will be impacted by the things I do, but the net affect will be small.  I can control things to an extent.. I can try to be good, and I can try to make sure that the microscopic things that are a part of my world take the best turns that they can, but my missteps will not derail the universe.  Nothing is so horrible that it can never be forgotten.

A billion years from now, our descendants will appear nothing like us – they may not even be organic creatures, but they will carry forward in their own microscopic and easily forgotten way… until the universe itself cools and falls apart.

This is not fatalism – it is hope.

My past mistakes have already been forgotten by most.  The horrible things that haunt my dreams will be completely forgotten when I am gone, to trouble my descendants no more.  The horrible things that were done to me are already being erased by the love and compassion that surrounds me.  I have forgiven, and I will forget – or I will die and whatever dreams may come from that will not be plagued by the evils of my past, but will be enlightened by the hope of my present and future selves.

I am still physically broken, and I cannot focus the power of my mind to solving hard problems yet, but I am mending and my soul is mending as well.

This was pretty self serving today, but I will follow up soon with things both erotic and instructional.  Thank you for your patience as I heal.

 

  • Rant

Circling the wagons

I am going to abuse my soapbox once more.  Though really, abuse is the wrong term here – I’m merely using this vehicle to raise awareness around something that deserves to be made more visible.

Kinky people need to stick together.  We are a community, and unfortunately there is a bit of us vs. them that happens whenever people of like mind gather.  We try to minimize this and be inclusive, but sometimes when one of our own is hurting, we have to circle the wagons and provide help to that person.  Most often this is emotional support, and my own people have circled around me and given me as much as they possibly can in that vein.  They have literally bled for me in recent days.

Right now one of our own is hurting and in need.  This man is an icon in the local community, and he doesn’t particularly like me, but he is a good man.  He gives more than he takes, he provides a solid backdrop to even more, and he is an ever present force for what is good and right to our people.  He is an amazing example to new folks and the old guard alike.  He is one for whom respect is a meaningful term.

And he is hurting, right now, in such a way that prevents him from realizing his own massive potential.

We may have the ability to fix that for him.

Here is a gofundme page with more information and details.  Please visit it, even if you have nothing to give, but even better – please give something.  Even $5 would be meaningful.  Let’s show him that he is important, that he is loved, and that we will support our own.

Just in case that link was too subtle, here is again: https://www.gofundme.com/mndmmdj7

If gofundme pages are not your thing, there is also going to be a fundraiser event this weekend at the Cat Club on Folsom St in San Francisco this Sunday from 7:00pm until close.   I will be there.  If you would like to meet me, this is a good opportunity to do so.   If you just want something fun to do, this is also a good opportunity for that.

Please make this man feel loved – he deserves it.

 

  • Rant

I’m not selling out. I’m buying in.

My life right now does not suck.

I’m still healing.  Physically, emotionally, psychologically… I’m not quite yet where I need to be.  Maybe I never shall be.

But right now, my life does not suck.

The energy in my life has taken a complete turn.  Where there was uncertainty, anxiety, mistrust, and pain now I have tolerance, Devotion, affection, and love.

My life is full of music and love.

Trust is at the core of my ability to be happy.

Fear has been driving my life for longer than I’d like to admit.

I made things worse by finding more and more sources of fear to add to the mix and when I didn’t have enough, I invented things to fear.

My proclivity is strongly to turtle when things hurt me.  I pull in, armor up, and tell the world to fuck off while I rally the troops for a sortie.

Love is so much more powerful than fear though.

I have amazing friends.  In some cases these are friends that have been hanging back in the shadows, waiting to serve me when I needed them – my own personal Batman corps.   In some cases these are new friends, people I’ve just met, but still want to help me heal.  In some cases, they’re friendships that have been with me all along, but now take on new significance and import.

The problem with love is that it requires trust.  When I open myself up to love, I’m opening the very heart of me, and the pain that I felt in the past weeks is more intense than anything I’ve gone through before, and I’ve gone through some seriously fucked up shit.

The very idea of making myself vulnerable like that, so soon, so wholly, is terrifying.  But it is also exactly what I need.

So I have begun again to love freely, trust freely, and have no expectations.

I am setting myself up to be crushed again, but now I know that I have my friends who will always be there to help me get back up again.

I am giving my trust and love to everyone right now, and it’s scary as hell, but so unbelievably rewarding that I literally do not have the words.

This past week I was at Bondage a Go Go and we all found out together that Chris Cornell had passed away.  It was a powerful moment for a lot of people.  I stood outside waiting for my car and saw a young woman crying but didn’t put two and two together just yet.  I asked her why she was upset and she evaded, saying that it was not a good reason to be standing on the street and crying, but I told her that I knew exactly what she was feeling and asked if I could give her a hug.   She agreed and so I did.  She wept and I held her for only a fleeting moment.  My car had arrived and I looked down on her and said, “my car is here, are you going to be okay?”  She looked me directly in the eyes and said, “I will be now, thank you.  Go.”  So I did.

It was an anonymous moment with a stranger in the streets of San Francisco, but it was powerful.  It was a moment where fear and pain turned into hope and love.

I don’t even know her name.

In the past, this soon after a tragedy like I’ve recently undergone, I would turtle.  I’d close up and close out the world and drink in the sweet poison of misery.  I’d sell out and join the world of the hopeless and haunted.  But I am fortunate and that is not my path this time.

This time, I’m doubling down on faith and love.

This time, I’m buying in and raising the stakes.

It will either liberate or destroy me.

  • Rant

Pain and when the fight is over

In October of 2011, I was in a terrible car accident that almost killed me.  I was at a dead stop on the highway and a driver in a work van was not paying attention and struck me at full speed – probably close to 75 miles per hour.

I was physically broken by that accident.  Emergency responders had to cut the door off of my car to get me out.  I was concussed, suffered a minor skull fracture, a fractured clavicle, three fractured ribs, an avulsion fracture of my cervical spine, and countless soft tissue injuries, the scar tissue from which still causes me pain today, almost every day.

I can still count the number of pain-free days that I have had since October 2011 on two hands.

But I don’t have to be pain free to function, and I’ve developed a staggering tolerance for pain.

Recently I was in a conflict where I broke my jaw (hence the photo in my entry from earlier this month) and I walked around with a broken jaw for more than a week before I realized that it was broken.  Sure, it hurt, but nothing more than I go through almost every day.

Physical pain and I have been traveling companions for a long time now.

I am only now beginning to realize that emotional pain and I have been traveling companions for most of my life.

Just in the past two years, I’ve been working hard to peel back the layers of my mind and access the deep hurt that has been buried there.  I have developed emotional scars as well, and where I have learned to tune out the physical pain and walk on in the past 5 years since my car accident, I had also developed ways to tune out the emotional pain, I just didn’t realize it.

This is where things start to cycle back on themselves, and I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s helping me to function again, so I’m just going to live with it for now and examine the consequences later.

I can’t take my anxiety medication right now because of my closed jaw.  The capsules cannot be broken and there is no liquid variant available, so my psychiatrist gave me a different liquid medication instead.  It doesn’t really work for me, so I’ve just stopped taking the meds altogether.

This is dangerous, I know.

This is probably not the right way to go about things, I know.

But those wonderful drugs that opened my viewpoint to allow me to experience more of the emotional spectrum and to be more emotionally available to my partner.. they appear to be a crutch, and it’s possible that my already developed and natural coping mechanisms – while not ideal, perhaps – may actually be more effective in letting me live a somewhat normal life than the drugs have been.

I took them, and I went to counseling, all in an effort to save my relationship and fight for the one that I love.  But my counselor betrayed me and my girlfriend left me and now I’m physically broken again, emotionally vulnerable, and heartbroken in a way that I have never been before.  I rarely leave the house, and there are days when I do not speak to anyone.  Not one word.

But you know what – despite that.. despite the depressing canvas that I’m creating upon, despite the lack of medications, the lack of contact, the isolation from my family, the lack of any available friends, the severing of the best and worst relationship that I have ever had… despite all of this – I’m getting better.

I’m hardening again, and that may ultimately not be a good thing, but the funny thing is that I’m finding that the further I hold the world at bay, the easier it is to deal with.

I’ve cocooned the pain away, and it becomes easier and easier to deal with every day.

I was fighting hard for something that was probably hurting me more than helping.

The fight is over for now, and I have to find a new way to move forward in the world.  Oddly enough, pushing away the pain has led me to be more present and patient.  Or maybe it’s the lack of drugs that has restored my patient nature… either way, the fight is over, and I’m finding new ways to deal with the pain.

I am strong like the Oak.  Pretending to be a willow does not suit me.

 

  • Rant

sometimes life just kicks you in the teeth

I try to represent myself here as the best possible version of me there is. If I ever fail to do so, it is because I either intentionally want to project vulnerability (which does not make it false) or because I made a genuine mistake.

This time, I think it’s just because I’m a little broken – emotionally, physically, mentally… broken.

I like to think of myself as somewhat enlightened – no Bodhisattva or anything, but I like to think that I generally have my shit together, or at least that there is a path that I can follow which will end in me getting my shit together sometime soon.

But sometimes life just has to kick you in the teeth and let you know who is Boss.

I’m a ghost, ungrounded and wandering, infecting the lives of the living while trying to find the things that I need.

I used to preach from my armchair philosopher pulpit, telling people that the soul is a quantum waveform and that the only separation between life and unlife is time. That when we die, our waveform gets to spread through the cosmos, unbounded by time, and your consciousness gets to experience the most impactful parts of your life over and over again. It’s a nice story if you don’t think about it too hard – you get to revisit the best parts of your life over and over again. I get to be there at the birth of my daughter, over and over again. But it’s also the perfect argument for leading a good life. If you lead a tumultuous and drama-filled life, and if your most impactful memories are of the terrors that were done to you when you were powerless, or the horrible things that you were coerced to do in another’s name, while you knew that they were wrong all along… when those are your most impactful memories, the story is a little more grim.

I’ve tried to live a good life – I really have.

It hasn’t actually turned out that way.

I have a powerful mind, and when I let it do it’s thing, it feeds me metaphors to describe every situation, analogies to draw everywhere, magickal ways to connect any two things across space and time. When I let some other folks use it to do some things I didn’t really want to do, I hurt people and I’m never, ever, going to live that down. I didn’t kill anyone, but I surely found other methods of hurting people.. the arbitrary line that I drew at the power over life and death was just an homage to something that doesn’t even really exist.

If there is a God, oxytocin might be the best name for it, but whereas I used to think it was sufficient to explain love in a chemical way, it’s only been since I’ve been seriously altering my own internal chemistry in a measured and controllable way (until recently, anyway… pills don’t always go through wires…) that I’ve begun to understand that there are elements of relationships with people that are not simple manipulations and that cannot be explained away by simple chemistry.

Being in love was the hardest thing I have ever done.

I thought it happened several times over the course of my past, but it only really happened once, and then I chipped away at it, pulled the pieces off, tried to take it apart and see how it worked, how the inside pieces fit together and moved it. But I broke it. A long time ago, I broke it, but it just kept limping along, trying to fix itself, and each time I saw that I got scared – nothing had ever tried to put itself back together before – so I just kept breaking it, over and over again. I wasn’t even trying to see how it worked anymore, it just scared the shit out of me, and despite the fact that I felt lonely and scared whenever I was away from it, I felt lonely and scared every time it would be close to getting fixed again too. So I enslaved it.

It’s the only thing I was ever taught to do.

Power is to be captured and manipulated.

People are to be enslaved and abused.

So I just kept trying to find people who wanted to be enslaved and abused.

“There is something wrong with me,” they would say, “and you are strong, I can see it. You have come back from this before.”

And yes, I had, but not in the way that they were thinking.

I’d lend my hand and say, “certainly – come with me, I can show you the way.”

I knew the way – some of the way on my own, and I have a powerful mind that I could use to find paths to set other people upon.

Sometimes I would carry them, sometimes I would lead them, sometimes I would push, but always, I would enslave and control.

And then I found my nachash and everything changed. I could find no way to move her, so I chipped away, pulled at the parts to try to see how she worked inside, and to my complete and utter astonishment, she opened up and freely gave me everything inside and I had no idea what to do – it was too precious, and too frightening, so I captured it as best I could and broke the other parts that would try to slip out.

I broke it. Over and over again, I broke it, just so that I could keep it under control, because I don’t know any other way.

Say what you will about the men and women of my past, and I certainly have a lot of both good and bad things to say about Simone, but she was actually a pretty good teacher.

It’s been too long to remember her words, so I’m paraphrasing, and I may even be remembering things incorrectly because memory is fallible, but I never understood the importance of this lesson until now.

She said to me –

submissives talk all the time about how they have the real power in the D/s dynamic – that’s bullshit – you are the Dom, you have the power, you have all of the power that exists, your power, her power, the power of the people who are watching your scene if there are any such – until the scene is over or until the safeword is called, all of the power is yours to do with whatever you will and that is why a lot of Doms fail – they can’t decide what to do with all of that power or they limit themselves and leave all of those people who lent them all of that power without satisfaction

But you won’t do that, because I’m training you right. I’m bringing you up from the bottom, and while you’ll learn that if you surrender your power, I will use it against you, you will also learn that there are things that I can do with your power that you cannot. You are going to want those things. The only way you can get those things is to give your power to me and trust me that I’ll use it to give you what you want. It’s exciting because there is no guarantee. It’s exciting because if I do something else with your power you might like that too and you’re too afraid to make the choice yourself. You will remember that when someone else gives you her power that you need to honor that trust. She can always take it away because it still really is her power, but if she does, you both lose.

I thought she was talking about D/s dynamics. I thought that woman was a stone and never loved a soul in all her days, but I see now that I was probably wrong there too.

She probably had her one, and she probably broke him too.

She was trying to teach me about love, but it took my nachash to do that, and then I broke it one final time.

Everything is new again

It’s a new year. I didn’t manage to post anything in January, and if I’m not quick, I’ll miss February too, so I guess I better post something.

It has been an interesting time, hasn’t it?

My personal politics are probably not a surprise to any of my readers, but this is not a political site, and I won’t harp on political issues here, but I am still a feminist and I still hold to my own core values, and when those are being threatened, I speak up.

I did not march in the women’s march in January, but I’d proudly wear a pussy hat any day.

The title of this post is “Everything is new again” and that is true.

We are in a new year, we have a new administration, I have a new job, and I’m about to begin re-engaging with the community in a way that I haven’t for years.

But in many ways, we’re taking a step back.

Scratch that, we’re taking several steps back.

People are people, and each and every one is different. You can’t put people into buckets – they don’t fit and they don’t like it.

I’ve seen the posts by people saying that they’re leaving the country, and while I can understand the sentiment, I think that is slightly cowardly… if you can afford to leave the country, you are not likely to be woefully impacted by the present administration – in fact, if you are someone who can afford to leave the country, you’ll probably benefit from staying right here.

I’ve seen the posts by people saying that they’re going to stand up and stay home and fight. That is what I plan to do.. but remember people, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

I’ve donated money to the Red Cross in the past, and while I still believe that they are a worthy charity to donate to, I think I am going to be a bit more focused with my money and time this year – and next year, and the next year, and the year after that.

And here’s to hoping that it won’t be (as) necessary after that.

  • Rant

Fighting for the things you love

I am in a relationship. It is a complicated relationship, it is definitely not easy, as no relationships are, but this one is worth fighting for, where I have failed to fight for others in the past.

In the past, I’ve always felt justified in blaming the failure of my relationships on external factors or upon the other person, and yet, I’m almost always the one to call an end to things. Not always, but generally, I’ve been the one to give up.

When my first wife, Sabrina, found religion and started to use it as a weapon against me, I could take it no longer and ended the first real relationship of my life – quickly, mercilessly, and without much regret, but regret and pain are not quite the same thing, and that experience surely did hurt.

I went through a series of short term and nontraditional relationships after that, and in most cases, I was the one to give up when things looked the least bit like they were going to crack, but eventually I was tossed out by Sonia and experienced my first case of being the dumped party. It hurt; it scarred me, and every relationship that I have had since then has had to bear the baggage that came with this event. Every time a relationship came close to ending, I feared the upending of my entire life – being thrown out onto the street has a way of refocusing you though…

Despite being somewhat jaded at this point, I decided to once again try to settle in and live life according to the societal norms. I found a new wife, Madison, and we had children together, and no matter how bad things got, I fought to stay in that relationship for the sake of my children. That relationship ended for reasons that were not my choosing.

Then I did the series of short term and nontraditional relationships again – with the same sorts of results for the most part.

The truth is that in all of those cases, there was always a fear that the other person would abandon me, and in most cases that is what actually happened.

In some cases, I pushed things to that conclusion. Consciously and unconsciously, I worked against my own relationships to break them, so that I didn’t have to be hurt when the inevitable abandonment would occur. I could spin it around and say that it was my choice to leave, and in most cases, that is how it would appear to anyone who was not deep within my mind.

In some cases, it really was the other person’s fault. Kendra, for example, was simply batshit crazy, and after spending tens of thousands of dollars to try to get her help and get her life back on track, I simply could no longer afford to keep it up and I told her so.

But my current relationship is different, and very much worth saving.

This is the first time that my partner refused to hear me when I said that it was over.

She has been the first person to see through my bullshit and my baggage and my fear and anxiety and dread and to hold on to the part of me that really does not want her to go.

She is my lighthouse.

She is the blue canary in the outlet by the light switch who watches over me.

She is the one who I want by my side for the rest of my life. Whatever form that takes, she is the one that I always want to come home to, the one that I want to always protect, the one that I want to always have my back.

But in order to do that, I have to clear out this garbage from my past.

I am confronting things about myself that I buried long ago and never wanted to revisit, but those are parts of me and if I do not acknowledge them, they crawl out on their own anyway.

This is a long, painful, and extremely difficult thing for me to do.

I have nightmares almost daily. Even when I am awake and focused on something entirely different, sometimes when I close my eyes, the images that I see on the inside of my eyelids are of inexplicable and horrifying things. I often lie awake at night in the dark and I can feel the demons trying to infect me again, but I have strength, because she is there, sleeping by my side.

I am fighting against myself. I am fighting against the walls that I placed in my own psyche for very good reason, but those walls have to come down and the elements behind them have to be dealt with. I need to re-incorporate those things into my being again. Until I do that, I won’t be whole, and she deserves so much more than a partial boyfriend.

I will kick my own ass so that she can have more of me than anyone ever has. She deserves it, and I want to give it to her.

But when I started this post, I was only meaning to speak in part about my girl and how much she means to me and how much I want to fight for her, because while she may be the most important thing in my life to fight for right now there are going to be many, many, many things that I will have to fight for in the years to come.

I had briefly considered pulling the white male card and just coasting through, hoping that nothing bad happens and nothing touches me, and I am just fucking spoiled to have that option in the first place and I’m a bit disappointed in myself for ever even half-seriously considering it.

I had considered leaving the country. The incoming administration has no love for people like me and the things I represent, but that would be cowardly as well.

I am extremely fortunate. I am not powerless in this world. I do not have much power, but whatever I have I am going to dedicate to fighting for the things in which I believe.

I am donating money now. I will donate time when I am able. I am going to speak of things in my bully pulpit here for as long as I can.

People are people, and until and unless we can recognize that, we may deserve the environmental catastrophe that is coming for us…

But we can, and should, fight against all of those things until they overwhelm us.

My ancestors long fought against impossible odds, and they usually lost, but they won enough that I stand here today, and they kept enough of their values and culture that it is immediately recognizable the world over.

I stand on the shoulders of giants and I stare down the petty and selfish.

I will continue to fight for as long as I can.