Category Archives: life

Words have power

My life is awesome.

What appears below the fold, after this entry (and now encapsulated as a part of it), is a piece of writing that I first posted to my fetlife account about five months ago.

In it, I recount a rather simple change in the way that I interact with the world.  I literally changed one phrase that I commonly uttered to another phrase that had exactly the same meaning in my own mind, but where the words that I used to express it were different – in a rather fundamental way.

Think of this as the update that I hinted at with the original fetlife post – and a way for those of you who do not know me on fetlife to catch up to an important change in the ways that I perceive and interact with the world.

Six months ago, when my friends would ask me, “Rant – how are you doing?”  my response would likely have been, “I’m alive.”

Six months ago, when my friends would remark on how well things appeared to be going for me, I would agree with them, but I would say, “Yeah, my life doesn’t suck.”

Six months ago, my trademark method of self-expression was to use understatement as a means of conveying my real feelings.  If I were to ever say something like, “It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye,” what I would really mean is, “It’s fucking amazing.”

It was an inside joke.  It was a ‘clever’ way to express myself without overextending myself.  I felt like those that really knew me would know the difference, and it would mean that I was somehow at least understood a little bit by a small number of people in a way that is not obvious to the uninitiated, and for some reason, that was important to me.

But, fuck, was it a limitation on how awesome my life could really get… and that was something that I completely failed to anticipate.

In the past several months, I’ve taken that narrative and completely rewritten it.

When my friends ask, “Rant – how are you doing?” I emphatically reply, “My life is awesome!”  and I mean it.  

When my friends remark on how well things are going for me, I don’t respond with, “Yeah, my life doesn’t suck.”  Instead, I say, “Yeah, I know! My life is fucking amazing!” and I mean it.

Oh sure, I have off days.  Today is kind of an off day.  Life has been keeping me very busy, and while 90% of those things are wonderful (at least for me) and I would not trade places with anyone I know or even that I know of, not every day is perfect.  

I wish I had more time to write.

I wish I could finish Part 8 of My Personal Journey (and Part 9, and 10, and however many more parts it will take to finish).  I wish I had time to compose the follow-up to my piece on subspace that I’ve been tinkering with for years. I wish I had time to write general responses to some of the questions that I receive in email rather than just barely keeping up with responding within a week or so on an individual basis.  I wish I had time to finish the novel that I have decided to complete and try to get published before the end of next year. But the things that keep me away from doing the things that I want to are just some of the most amazing and wonderful things I could ask for…

I am living a life of embarrassing riches in terms of love and joy.  I have the respect and support of dozens of people in personal, romantic, and professional capacities.  People want to be around me.  

This is not exactly new – but my previous self-deprecating behavior was serving as a barrier to forming new connections and standing in the way of expanding or strengthening those that existed.  My confidence and competence were always there, but my demeanor was standoffish or aloof or even anti-social and it was limiting me in ways that I didn’t even understand.

Words have power.

I’ve known this for a long time.  I’m a writer, after all.  And even before I could recognize that, I always had the capacity to be persuasive and elicit responses in the people with whom I would interact should I choose to make the effort – I just rarely did… and I have no idea why.

Perhaps I was afraid of rejection – that was certainly at least part of the problem.  While I’ve always had reasonably high self esteem – years of social pressure to be like someone I am not turned me into a bitter and angry man at points of my life, and even when I thought I was out from under the weight of those things, when I thought that the stark depression that kept me holed up inside my house for days at a time was gone for good, I was still not realizing my potential because I was holding back.  I was holding back with my actions, and I was holding back with my words, and I was holding back with my emotions.

Deciding to never hold anything back any longer and believing that I have the power to overcome any awful thing that life might throw at me, and then proving it to myself, over and over again, with everyday annoyances and life-shattering realizations, was the thing that opened the world to me.

I am living my on my terms now – and part of the reason for that was really just as simple as choosing more carefully the words that I say.

It’s been awhile since I’ve said it, but I am Rant.

This was neither a rant nor a story nor a lesson, and it may be ultimately nothing more than a piece of mildly masturbatory self-praise, but it is my truth for now, and my life is awesome.

What follows is the text of the original fetlife post.  There are reasons why I won’t link from here to there, but I will likely repost this to fetlife as well and link there to here.  Feel free to drop me an email if you’d like to understand the reasons why or if you’d just like to let me know that personal stories like this are something you actually care to read – or use the comment form below.  

I will find a way to carve out more time for Part 8 soon – do not despair.

Until then – I remain…

 – Rant


My life does not suck.

It’s a mantra… almost a catch-phrase. It’s a common part of my personal vernacular, and it’s undoubtedly true. I use it to express pleasure.

But words have meaning, you know?

My life does not suck is the thing that I tell my friends when I am happy.

I say My life does not suck when I realize that the choices I have made have led me to a place, or a person, or an event where I feel at home.

But a friend recently pointed out to me that there is a kernel buried deep within that phrase – that it conveys doubt or uncertainty.

At first I blew him off – I don’t mean anything bad by the phrase, I see it as a refutation of a state that feels unpleasant. I see it as a positive affirmation of my choices and direction.

But words have meaning, you know?

Yesterday, before meditating, this was one of the last thoughts to pass through my mind. An offhand comment at a party where I had a hard time hearing over the din led to days of percolating thoughts and introspection.

I kind of love it when things like that happen.

They give me a chance to see the things that are hidden from my attention, but that have an effect on me, my presentation to the world, and even how I see myself at a subconscious level.

To say My life does not suck is the bare minimum above My life sucks.

Does this mean that I am afraid, most of the time, that my life does suck?

I do often feel misplaced, like I don’t fit anywhere, like no one will ever really understand me. This community accepts me, but still does not understand me. The moments when I feel like I belong are few and far between, but I fake it as best I can.

Am I contributing to that feeling with the words that I use, even if the meaning is completely distinct in my own mind?

I’m still not sure, but while my life does not suck, from now on I think I am going to say My life is awesome! instead – even when I am not feeling quite that strongly that it does.

We shall soon see what difference, if any, this makes…

 

I am easy to love, but I am challenging to be in love with.

These are the confessions of a powerful polyamorous slut.

I am happy. I am in complete control of my life and I cannot foresee anything that might change that. I feel competent to deal with anything that life can throw at me.

I have grown and changed every year of my life, and I have been proud of the man I am for some time now, but I still discover new things about myself and sometimes those things are significant.

Struck by this realization as I was, it slipped into place so easily that I recognize this as something that I have known for some time but masked from my own perception.

I am easy to love, but I am very challenging to be in love with.

I am open and caring and honest and innocent and eager and overwhelming and arrogant and selfish and demanding and safe and nurturing and horny and wicked and brutal and oh-so-fucking-smart, and I do not hold back on any of these things.

When I am in love with you, the world ceases to exist when you are in my presence. You become the focus of all of the attention I can bring to bear.

I will be open and caring and honest and innocent and eager and overwhelming and arrogant and selfish and demanding and safe and nurturing and horny and wicked and brutal to you.

I am happy, and if you were in love with me, you would be too.

But I am an unrepentant slut.

I am easy to love, because I love so very easily, and honestly, and completely.

And when you are in love with me, this will be challenging.

I will make you feel special, because you are special.

I will make you feel happy, because it is difficult to be unhappy around someone who is so very happy themselves. Misery loves company, but it hates competition.

I will make the things that you despise about yourself okay and I will make the things that you love about yourself super-powers.

I will focus all of my unbridled enthusiasm right at you and I’ll use it to mold you into what I desire.

I will convince you that you are the most important person in my universe, all the while telling you about how I feel the very same way about someone else in my past, present, or future.

Time itself will take on special properties when I am around.

And then I will leave.

Not forever. Not even for more than is necessary, but it will still be difficult.  I will return, because this wasn’t an ending – there are no endings in my life anymore – but the distances of space and time will be painful.

You will remember that all of those things that I made you feel – I am making someone else feel some of the times that you are not around.

And it will all feel like a lie.

But nothing was false. Nothing was untrue. Everything that you felt was real, and continues to be real in my mind – forever.

I am easy to love because I love you already.

I am challenging to be in love with because I love openly, fearlessly, and it will not always be directed at you.

But I will never stop loving you – I never have.

 

 

My Personal Journey : Part 7

To my readers: I apologize for the length of this piece.  I normally try to keep my entries to near 1000 words, and I began with the intent to do so this time as well, but as the story developed on the page I found that I could not tell it with so few words and so I chose to cull far less than I normally do.  

***

I have never lived in as nice of a place as I did when I was with Simone.  I have no idea how much such a place cost, but it was well beyond my means at the time and is almost certainly beyond my means now – though it would also be impractical today for a number of other reasons.  

It was a very modern loft style studio apartment.  There actually was a small loft area reachable via a staircase that was above the entryway of the apartment, but walking in the first thing you would see is the kitchen island, then the windows, then the St. Andrews cross in one corner, a telescope in the other corner, a dining table and chairs,  a small sitting area with a love seat, overstuffed chair and a low coffee table, and a raised dais upon which was a massive (though not as large as my current) bed.

It was a really nice kitchen – I wish that I had had the confidence and knowledge of how to cook back then because I’m certain that I could have made some very nice meals in that kitchen, and probably could have provided even yet another service to my clients, although in all honesty most of my appointments were too short for that to be viable.

However, my very first appointment was to be for a duration of four hours.  I was more than a little nervous about this. What am I supposed to do for four hours?  I mean, I was young and in great shape and athletic enough to know how to be at peak performance, but four hours is a long time and I was envisioning trying to actually be physically active for that entire time and not only finding the duration daunting, but I was not at all sure that I would be creative enough to fill that much time, and I like to think that I’m pretty creative.

Every client that I saw was scheduled through Simone’s office.  This was both a good thing and a bad thing at various times. It was a good thing because everyone that I saw was a known quantity – vetted and approved by Simone or someone on staff, they tracked my schedule and made sure that I was never overbooked, but they often left me literally no time for myself.  I never had clients scheduled closer than an hour apart, but because of the nature of the business, not everyone leaves precisely on time, and late arrivals have an expectation of being allowed to make up that time on the back end. However, there was a protocol in place to deal with these sorts of things, with the aim of accommodating a certain level of uncertainty baked into the process.  For clients that I would see away from my apartment (outcalls) there was a different procedure, but for clients that I would see in my own apartment (incalls) – which was the vast majority –  there was a security door with a buzz-through system for the building. Clients would know to buzz me and give a certain name and then I would buzz them in and meet them at my door as would be appropriate for the appointment.

Before each client – time permitting – I was given a dossier of sorts on the client, any special requests, known preferences, and a little bit of personal information about them as a way to relate and have something to talk about.  Despite the obvious and intensely personal nature of the visits, most people are not completely comfortable just jumping into sex right away with someone that they known nothing about apart from some pictures and a little bit of back story.  Of course – some are… 

In the information that Simone gave me about my first client, Mary (which wasn’t her real name), she said that this was one of her best clients and a personal friend besides, and I was to give her anything that she wanted.   She had interest in horses, travel, fine wines, and finding new young artists. Well, at least I knew something about horses, and I thought I knew something about wine too – but it turns out that some wines are made outside of California, and I was not very familiar with anything else at the time.

Mary was not a Domme, and had some interest in kinky play, but was mostly interested in very physical sex acts – the more physical the better.   I was to act in a confident and physical manner with her, but not to command her to do anything or to engage in any sort of non-sexual play. She liked to be taken, but only on her terms.  Even more than that though, she liked to be aggressive herself and have that met with equal aggression. I was to be deferential while simultaneously making her feel like I was not.

How the fuck was I supposed to do that?

In the hour or so that I had before she was set to arrive I think I must have walked every inch of floor in that apartment, adjusted the music that I was playing about 20 different times, trying to figure out what sort of music would best accompany physical sexual acts with someone who I knew next to nothing about – not even how she looked.

With the exception of regular clients who would return multiple times, this was often something that I would have to contend with as I waited for a new client to arrive.  They all knew exactly what I looked like, of course, having picked out my profile in a catalog of such things that Simone kept, but I rarely had any idea what they would look like and the amount of information that I was given about Mary was generally greater than I would see in most cases.  

Attraction, being what it is, would mean that in some cases, I would be worried that I would not be able to perform to the client’s satisfaction – and prior to sitting there in my anxiety around meeting my first client, this was not something that had ever occurred to me.

Would I be able to get it up?  Or perhaps even worse – what if I couldn’t keep it up when I needed to?  Having already been on the receiving end of punishment from Simone, I could only begin to imagine how things might go if I were to fail to perform as required.  There were some things that were available to me to help with this, but I would not find that out until later and for this occasion, I was left very much in the dark.

As I was pondering my potential failure to perform, my phone rang – which I was certain was from the buzzing at the door and I looked at the clock to try to understand how the time had passed so quickly and I realized that I should still have 20 minutes, so I picked up the phone and spoke with more question in my voice than anything else.

“Hello?”

“Rant.  Mary will be there soon.  Are you ready?” Simone’s clear, concise, and somewhat cold voice came through strongly and I must have verbally exhaled my apprehension because she followed up immediately with, “Kneel for me.  Now.” To which I responded by getting on my knees.

“Rant – are you there?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Are you kneeling?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Are you breathing?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Tell me ‘no’ so that I know your brain is still working.”

“No, Mistress.”

“What did you just say to me?  Are you allowed to use that word with me, Rant?”

“No, Mistress.  I mean, yes, wait… are you trying to make me more nervous?”

“<soft chuckle> No… Mary does enjoy intimidating her partners sometimes, but I want her to like you and she’s not going to respect you unless you give back everything that she dishes out.  Can you do that, Rant? She will not make it easy for you.”

“Yes, Mistress.” I said, but I was much more nervous than the words that I spoke.

“Good boy.  Now do me proud.”

“Yes, Mistress.”

<click>

I held the phone receiver in my hand and knelt on the floor for about a minute more, until the loud cycling tone to alert me to it being left off the hook began, which shifted me out of my reverie and made me realize that if I didn’t put the receiver back down, the door buzz would not come through and I could be in big trouble.

I had to stand again to replace the phone receiver, but once I’d done so, I decided to kneel again, thinking about everything that had come to pass to that point.

It was one of the more nerve wracking things to have happened in my life.

What seemed to be at the same time an eternity and merely a moment later, my phone rang again and I looked at the clock again and confirmed what I already knew to be the case – it was time for Mary to arrive.

“Hello?”

“Hello – I’m looking for Rant.” spoke a very pleasant sounding female voice.

I’d been told what to respond.  “You have found him. Please come up.”  I pressed the ‘*’ key on the phone, heard the tone, and then hung up the receiver as I walked over to unlock and stand near the door.

A few moments later, I could hear the steps on the walkway outside my door and I tried to look through the frosted glass near the entrance, but only saw colors moving and then remembered the peephole in the door and looked through to see a distorted image of a gorgeous woman walking towards my door.

I stepped back just before she began to raise her hand to knock on the door.  I recall internal conflict as I tried to decide whether or not it would be a good thing to open the door in advance of her knock, but ultimately the decision to let her knock and the inaction of trying to make a decision coalesced and I heard:

<knock knock>  confident, not tentative in the least…

…it was enough to cause me to hesitate further, but eventually I pulled myself out of my head and opened the door.

On the other side of the door I saw one of the more beautiful women I have encountered in my life.  She was tall, but still shorter than I am, athletic, busty, blonde, and she had the biggest brown eyes I’ve ever seen.  Her makeup was understated but worked to alter her apparent facial structure, which was rounder than she probably would have liked.  She reminded me a great deal of Drew Barrymore in her appearance, and she was wearing a short sundress and sandals: periwinkle with white polka dots.

I suspect that she was looking me over in much the same way that I was her, because she stood for a moment in the doorway just looking at me, and I quickly realized that I was both blocking her way and had failed to invite her in as yet, so I quickly moved to the side and gestured into my apartment with my arm as I said, “Please, do come in.”  She moved past me, and I closed the door, turning to walk past her and into the open space of the apartment.

It requires a little bit of mental gymnastics to recall details of that day, but when I do, I am continually surprised at how immature I was in my sexual expression.  The mainstays of my sexual expression today – raw physicality, breath play, growling, biting – were mere shadows of what they are today.  Mary actually helped me to develop these skills. She was hardly the only one – and I have gone through periods of contraction again since then – but I will always have something of a special place for her in my pantheon of elder sex gods.

I could see and feel the hunger in her eyes.  I felt invigorated by it.  All anxiety that I had about being unable to perform was instantly gone as my own sex drive engaged again and I began to mentally undress the woman in front of me.

She stepped further inside and maneuvered herself to position me between her and the kitchen island and then she started to advance on me.  It did not happen quickly, but she did it with such fluid predatory movement that I was still caught off guard and allowed her to get much closer than I realized, backing me into the kitchen island as she approached.

Her look was playful and predatory at the same time.  She casually reached up and touched me on the chest, following her arm with her body, pressing herself into me, pushing me into the island behind me, and then she reached down and grabbed my cock through my slacks. 

I’m pretty sure that I twitched.  I liked it, but I twitched nonetheless.

I hadn’t yet started wearing waistcoats as much as I do now, and I was not wearing a jacket, but I was wearing a collared shirt and tie – Windsor knot.  I don’t know if the Eldredge knot had been invented yet, but I was unaware of its existence, in any rate.

Mary reached up and grabbed my tie in her left hand while keeping her right on my cock, which was quite obviously stiff under the thin fabric of my slacks and the boxers that I was wearing underneath.  She pulled on my tie, attempting to bring my face to hers for a kiss, which I was instantly ready to meet when it occurred to me that she had still not uttered a single word since she appeared at my door.

So struck was I by this realization that I straightened up, looking beyond her into the distance to parse the thoughts that were coming into my mind.  This had the effect of pulling me up and away from her mouth, which was still closing in on me. She mistook my gesture as playing coy – thought that I was dodging her advance – and she responded by chuckling slightly and dipping to close her teeth on the skin at the base of my neck and then she purred into me, biting lightly and quickly disengaging.

“I’ve had my eye on you for awhile, Rant…” she spoke in low tones, huskiness behind her words.

“I haven’t been here long…”

“It’s been more than a week since I last saw you.”

I was confused, and the look was probably pretty obvious on my face.  I hadn’t ever met Mary before… and then it occurred to me – she was one of the women in the restaurant with Simone when I first encountered her.  Mary was the one who had her hand on the inside of my thigh when I was telling them about the ranch that I grew up on in an effort to get a better tip.

“I suggested to Simone that she recruit you, you know?”

“You did?”

“Yes – and she was so grateful that she let me break you in.. at a discount.”

“Wait.. what?”

“Why did you think she hasn’t fucked you yet?”

“But she has… ”

“HA!  I knew it!”  she interrupted me with glee in her voice and she literally jumped back to do a little dance.

“I don’t understand…”

“Oh hush, honey… I promise that I will be gentle with you, since this will be your first time…”

“My first time for what?” I am sure that I looked about as confused as I’ve ever been.

“Kneel.”  It was a command, not a request, and I responded almost automatically, facing Mary and then dropping to my knees without a word and staring at the floor in front of her feet with my hands behind my back.

“Good boy – well… that was almost good.”

I continued to stare at the floor in front of her feet and she began to walk towards me.  In my peripheral vision, I could see her pulling her dress up over her head and I desperately wanted to look up at her and see what she was wearing under that dress – along with what I imagined to be vast stretches of gorgeous, naked skin, but I knew what was expected of me and kept my eyes on the floor.

“Do you not want to see my body, Rant?”  her voice was slightly mocking and I forgot my place and looked up to see a very beautiful, and with the exception of her sandals, a very naked Mary, standing with all of her weight on one foot so that she could bend the other one in front of her as she pulled her arms up into her hair, bringing her breasts up as she did so – looking every bit the pinup as she did so.

I think I opened my mouth to start to say something, but the words would not come…

“Oh, but that’s not being a good boy, is it, Rant?”

I didn’t move or make a sound – my brain had hit a sort of vapor-lock. 

She walked up towards me, and I kept my eyes locked on her body, but it looked like she was smiling in my peripheral vision as she closed in on me and then grabbed my head behind my head, threading her fingers into my hair and thrusting her pelvis forward, grinding my face into her abdomen, and then she let go with one hand and lifted one of her legs, thrusting her pussy right into my face, putting her knee up on the edge of the island that was still behind me.

A low growl began to form in my throat, unbidden and unfamiliar to me at that time, but I opened my mouth and hungrily accepted her thrusts, meeting with my tongue.

She shifted back a bit to give her more angle and began fucking my face, pressing the back of my head back against the island behind me, so that I could not get away from her.

I was in heaven for those first few moments.  She was running her pussy over my whole face, grinding on the bridge of my nose, coming back to my tongue, and I was enjoying every moment of it, but then she started to get rougher, bumping her pelvis into my skull, trying to bounce it off of the island behind me.  I was still on my knees with my hands behind me and was pushed back into the island, leaning back from my ankles, which were in front of my center of gravity. I was being held up by the pressure on the back of my head, and she was exploiting that to keep me off balance and toy with me.  Then she started to giggle and she brought her leg and arm back down, stood on her toes, and with me still off balance, straddled me with her legs, grabbed the hair at the top of my head in both of her hands and pulled hard, while grinding her pussy into my nose – laughing all the while.

The growl that had been in throat stopped and I started having a hard time catching a breath and was beginning to reach panic when I realized that I was not bound, was nearly twice Mary’s size, and fully clothed still, so I brought my arms up from behind me, dislodging myself from within Mary’s legs, grabbed her by the waist and lifted her off of me as I started to stand.  

She tried to move back away from me and fell back onto her ass as I stood, and I thought I saw fear in her eyes for a moment, but then she was in control of herself again, drawing her legs up and pivoting on to her feet.

“Now that’s what I came for, Rant!”  She gave me a smoldering look as I was undoing my tie.

She threw out her hand in a ‘stop’ gesture and exclaimed, “No! Leave the tie.  Take off the shirt, but leave the tie.”

I looked at her evenly, hearing what she said but having no desire to comply.  It was only then that I realized that I was growling again. I slid the tie over my head and while looking Mary directly in the eye, I threw it to the ground behind me and started walking towards her.

I was trying to be menacing, and I think I might have succeeded a little bit, but I ruined it by trying to be like the macho guys you see on TV and rip open my shirt by the buttons, but it proved much more difficult than I expected and I managed to get it free only after a few inglorious tugs and some grunting.

Mary was either being charitable, or my grunting and struggling was intimidating enough that she had the grace to not laugh at me as I was still walking towards her, but she had removed her sandals and was back on her feet.   She took a step backwards, and then turned and fled, giggling as she did so.

She ran across the room and up the steps, jumping on my bed and turning to face me on all fours with a wide grin her face, laughing the whole time.

I was not laughing.

I kept walking towards her at the same pace, growling all the while and she once again held up her hand and said more firmly this time, “No.  Go get the tie and put it back on. I want something to hold on to.”

I heard the words.   I knew I should obey them.  I was not in the right mind to do so, so I growled at her instead and threw my arms out to the sides of my body while pushing my chest out.

Much more firmly this time, she spoke again, “No, Rant.  Go get the tie and put it on and then take off your pants.”

I came back to myself, remembered my place, stood tall and hung my head towards her, while saying as meekly as I could manage in that moment, “Yes, Mistress.” and then I went over and got the tie, picked it up, looped it back around my neck and cinched it tight, stepped out of my shoes, and then I took off my pants and stood there, bowing towards Mary.

“I meant those pants too, Rant.” Mary said, indicating my boxers.

Understanding what she meant for me to do, I reached down and took off my socks, then took off my boxers and stood again, bowing towards Mary.

“What happened to that hard cock you were sporting through those slacks just moments ago, Rant?” Mary’s voice was dripping with contempt as she indicated my semi-flaccid penis.

My initial reaction was to feel shame, but I’d been taught already to turn that around, embracing the situation as it is and knowing that it will bring pleasure to my Top, so I smiled and meant to say something like, “If it would please Mistress, I will do my best to summon what meager cock I have for her pleasure.”  but what actually came out was, “It was momentarily fooled into thinking that some thing worth fucking was nearby…” and my voice was dripping with contempt of my own.

Mary’s smile could have split her face as she rotated her hips to bring her feet around to the side of the bed and stood up, walking over to me to – completely without preamble – slap me across the face harder than I’d been slapped by anyone prior to that point, Simone included.  Then she grabbed me by the front of throat and pulled herself into me to kiss me passionately. I was confused and aroused and leaned into it, getting hard as a rock as I did so.

She let go, dropped back onto her feet and favored me with a look that said “I like this” and then she turned to walk back towards the bed and climb back up again, turning over onto her back and then to face me, knees bent, spread-eagle.

“Now, if you don’t get over here and fuck me with that nice, hard cock that I see right there, I’m going to have Simone cut it off and bronze it so that I can use it as a dildo.”

I growled at her, snapped my jaw in the air, and stalked over to the bed, putting my knee directly between her legs and then covering her with my body, putting my hand on her throat and growling in her ear as I did so.

She smiled, grabbed the arm that was attached to the hand that was on her neck, pulled it off of her – and I let her – and then she rotated her head like she was biting into an ear of corn and bit my forearm, hard.

I made an inelegant noise and snatched my arm back from her, pivoting back onto my knees to get away from her teeth, but she followed me, grabbing at me and trying to pull me down, but just lifting herself up instead.  I rotated my shoulder around and brought my arm over her, swatting her down to the bed, and then covered her throat again this time, and pushed, pushing her down into the mattress by her throat.  Her face went red instantly and I could see that I was hurting her.  I didn’t care.

Her eyes got wide and she started to beat at my arm with her own arms – a futile attempt, and I looked at her with derision and laughed.  Her eyes somehow got even wider and I let up, letting her gulp a huge breath of air, which she did, and then she launched herself at me, grasping at my head and pulling her face into me to give me frantic, desperate kisses, trying desperately to pull me down into the bed with her, into her.

Knowing what was required of me and coming to my senses again, I relented.

What followed was spectacularly rough sex, frantic moves to change position, followed by grasping and pinning and fucking – glorious fucking!  She pushed me, hit me, bit me, grinded on me, thrust onto me, and I pushed back, pinned her, bit her, thrust into her, grinded into her, pulled her hair, and she pulled mine.  We went at it like a couple of alley-cats, pulling the fitted sheets off of the mattress along with all of the other bedding, eventually to collapse in a heaving, sweaty pile upon piles of bedding and bare mattress.

Under an hour had passed by this time.  I was suddenly not very sure that I could keep this up for four hours.  

Fortunately for me, Mary was content to spend large swaths of time in between physical bouts with conversation.  She revealed to me much about her relationship with Simone, and the ways that I was being manipulated behind the scenes…

“So, when did Simone fuck you?”

“What?”

“When did Simone give in and fuck you?”

“Give in?”

“Ah, of course… she was supposed to save you for me.”

“What do you mean?”

“We made a bargain – she was not supposed to let you cum until you fucked me.  And I didn’t think she would be able to hold out, so we made a wager. If she fucked you first, then I would get this visit for free” and she twirled her hands in the air and lilted her voice as she said ‘free’, “but if I got to have you first, I owe her a bottle of Dom.  Far better deal for me, either way…”

“Wait, what?”  I can be a really smart guy sometimes.

“So when did it happen?  I bet it was last week, wasn’t it?”

“Uhm, no, it was about three hours ago.”

“What?! That bitch!

“Uh..”

“Well, she’s definitely paying for this now… and you want Simone to get her money’s worth, don’t you, Rant?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

We reenacted variations on the theme above three more times over the course of the next four hours, and in between we talked about horses, and wine, and astronomy – she wanted me to show her things through my telescope, but there was too much light for that…  I learned more about my Mistress and the people she associated with – trying to remember as much as I could – to be a better slave for my Mistress.

After Mary had left, my phone rang once again.

“Hello?”

“Rant.  How did it go?”

“I believe that it went well, Mistress.”

“I suspect you would know if it hadn’t… but I will confer with Mary – I’m sure that she will want to discuss things.  Is there anything that you need to confess before I hear the story from her?”

“Confess?”

“What was that, Rant?”

“Confess, Mistress?  I am a bit confused, Mistress.”

“Did you meet with her expectations?”

“I do believe so, Mistress.”

“How many times?”

“Four.” 

“Mistress,” I quickly added and hoped that omission would not draw attention.

“Well done.  Good boy. Your next client will be there in an hour.  Be ready.”

I was dumbfounded.  There was no way I would be ready for another client in an hour – I’d need longer than that just to clean the apartment, much less to get to the point of being able to have sex again, but I didn’t have much choice, and I loved that I didn’t have that choice then.  Suddenly, it didn’t seem so daunting after all…

“Yes, Mistress.  I will be ready.”

“Good boy.”

<click>

I sprang into action and did the best I could to quickly shower, put on nice clothes again (I needed a new shirt, obviously…) and make up the bed as quickly as possible.  It was hardly a perfect job, but it was not awful. I began to pace a bit as the implications of my new lifestyle were starting to coalesce in my mind, when the doorbell rang.

That was not the protocol.  I don’t think I even realized that I had a doorbell to that point.

I walked to the door and looked through the peephole, to see Mistress Simone on the other side.

I immediately flung the door open and dropped to my knees.

“Rant, move aside so that I can come in.”

I quickly shuffled to the side and she walked past me as I tried to turn on my knees to face her.

“Mistress, I am sorry…”

“Why are you sorry, Rant?”

“I do not know, Mistress.  I only was expecting to see .. not you .. and I fear that I have done something to displease you.”

“Mistress…”

“Mistress!  I fear that I have done something to displease you, Mistress.  I’m sorry, Mistress.”

“Rant. You did nothing wrong. Stand up and come over here with me…”  

She walked into the apartment, over to my bed, and sat on the edge, looking at me as I followed behind her like a scolded puppy.

“Well, how was it?”

….

Next time I’ll relate a story of Simone’s kindness and compassion.  So far you’ve only seen how hard she could be.

Until then – I remain Rant.

My Personal Journey : Part 6

Part 6:  What does it mean to be a slave?

Those of you who know me personally or who have been following along since before I began to recall my origins story may remember a bit of the relationship that Simone and I ultimately ended up having.  She did not exploit me in the same way that the members of the Lodge did, but she did exploit me nonetheless, and in a much more direct way.  The difference, of course, is that I consented to this treatment.

To this day, I do not know if Simone ever really cared for me or not.  She made gestures to indicate that she did at times, and she was incredibly cold and distant at other times, but it didn’t really matter in the beginning, because I was completely smitten.

The first week or so that I was Mistress Simone’s property was a panoply of new experiences for me, the details of which are burned into my mind, but that I really can not recall here without shifting my perception to the point of discomfort.  However, I can paint the broad strokes…

Over the course of several days, Mistress Simone set me up in an apartment, destroyed most of my old clothing and took me shopping to replace them with more suitable things, introduced me to several of her business associates, most of my companion chattel, and even a couple of prospective clients, though I did not know that was who they were at the time.

She introduced me to protocol, proper ways to show submission, posture, bearing, and many of the tools of the trade.  I did not know it at the time, but she was being careful not to mark me.  She taught me both the Top and bottom sides of each interaction, which I thought was completely normal at the time, but have come to understand is completely unique.  It was a whirlwind introduction to the things that would later be expected of me.

She spoke to me a great deal about sex.  She was very interested to hear about my sexual experiences with the Lodge, and I could tell that she was turned on by the ritualistic nature of things and the incorporation of sex as part of that.  I often had a difficult time accurately reading Simone, but I was absolutely certain of her interest in this.   She asked a great deal about my perceptions of various sexual activities, and whether or not I enjoyed doing those things with women or men.  I answered her honestly, though in many cases, I did not really understand the questions that I was answering.

She hit me and made me beg and stepped on me and let me perform cunnilingus on her, but she always stopped me before her orgasm.  I didn’t understand why then, and I’m not entirely sure that I do now. Whereas I was completely baffled then, I am pretty sure that I understand now.  It was a power play.  It was to show me how in control she was, and how – even as I learned what she liked and what she didn’t, becoming much more adept at the act – she maintained that control.

She would often command me to jack off for her, but she warned me that I was to ask her for permission to cum, and that if I were to ejaculate without permission that there would be severe consequences.   I always asked her for permission to cum, but she never gave it (until much later).   I made the mistake once of stopping after asking if I could cum and being told no – but I only made that mistake once.  I never did ejaculate without permission, but I did occasionally become sore.

She spent several hours with me each day.  I felt extremely special.  I could tell that the others were jealous of the attention that I would get, but I would occasionally overhear things like, “he’s just new, the shininess will wear off soon,” or “wait until he pulls his first job and falls flat on his face,” but those things just raised my competitive spirit and furthered my isolationist tendencies – Simone became my entire world.

The psychology of her pitch was impeccable.  She knew that she had me wrapped around her little finger.  I felt like a million bucks, even when I was prostrate on the floor naked for her, licking the bottom (yes, the part that contacts the ground…) of her shoes.  She put me in fancy clothes and a fancy apartment and was introducing me to important people.  It really didn’t matter to me that much that I was getting no actual sex from this – I felt important again, special, unique.  And once I felt all of those things, and I’d been divorced from contact with everyone else in my life, and I was completely and utterly dependent upon her, she told me what she really wanted me to do.

She wanted me to be a prostitute.

I’m not an idiot, and I had picked up along the way that this was what was actually going on behind the scenes, though there were also legitimate photography gigs and convention postings that were happening as well, but I already knew that the core of her business was in the sex trade, and the women that I had seen her dining with when I first encountered her were clients of hers more than friends – and she knew many such women.  She even conducted events specifically targeted at this demographic – sex toy events, wine and cheese events,  anything that would get the abandoned wives of Beverly Hills together…  Her male clients required significantly less maintenance or cost of customer acquisition, but they were also significantly less reliable.  Female clients were almost always return clients…  these were the people to whom I was intended to appeal.

Forewarned of this eventuality, and fully enamored of my new life, I did not hesitate to agree, though in retrospect, I realize that I really did not have much of a choice.   Simone rewarded me with what was at that time the most intense sexual experience of my life.  She was Dominant with me in a way that appealed to me then, but that would result in very different reactions from me now, but she fucked the shit out of me, and while she ordered me to do things to her, she also just used me in ways that still make me pause… and then when she was done, she told me to disappear and clean myself up because I would be seeing my first client in just a few hours.

I was simultaneously excited and about as anxious as I have ever been.

To be continued in Part 7…

My Personal Journey : Part 5

Part 5: A radioactive spider-bite of BDSM goodness

My previous entry ended with the dissolution of my first marriage, my attempt at nomadic existence, and a mad scramble for how to survive in a world where I did not have a mission any longer.

I was, by this time, a graduate of several bachelors programs and fully qualified to seek employment in several potentially lucrative career paths, but I was aimless and adrift and in need of a way to support myself right now – having never lived with uncertainty before, so I took literally the first job I could find with the notion of finding something better while I was working.  That job happened to be as a server at The Cheesecake Factory in Brentwood, California.  Not the city of Brentwood, which is far to the east of where I live now, but the unincorporated area of Los Angeles referred to as Brentwood that sits between the cities of Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.   To call it an affluent neighborhood would be an understatement.

Surrounded by wealth, living without direction, unsure of where I’d be sleeping for the night and hating the fact that a free meal was one of the major selling points for taking the job, I was desperate to find something that would give meaning to my existence again.  I was enrolled in medical school, but I had stopped attending classes, and having lived with a long runway for my entire life – every step was planned, by my own ambition or by those who would see me fulfill visions of their own – I did not know what to do with myself and I didn’t know how to find my own way.

I worked in the day, drank heavily at night, and I became something of a bar rat.  I hate to admit this about myself, but I started to fall back into old patterns of thought and I started viewing people as a means to an end rather than individuals again.  I used the desperate and lonely as a way to have a place to sleep for the night and not have to sleep in my car yet again.   I began to see society as something that I could exploit and all plans for the future fell away as I started living moment-to-moment, selfish and alone.

And yet – despite the rapidly descendant conditions of living that I was abruptly dropped into, I remained competent, preternaturally charming, and sharp as a bone saw.  This resulted in my rapid advancement to the night shift, which while it did bring in larger tips, somewhat diminished my ability to use my charm and wit to secure lodging, so I was leaning more heavily on friends and that did not sit particularly well with me, though I’m not sure why it should feel worse to stay with people who cared for me than those who did not even know me, but that was where I was at that time.

One evening, I had a table with three older women – I say older women because at the time I was in my early 20’s and they were probably all in their mid to late thirties… I suppose I should properly say that I thought of them as cougars, though the term didn’t have that meaning at the time.  They were into their wine to the tune of a bottle apiece and the actual food that they had consumed was pretty light.  They were quite loose with their volume and the content of their conversation… they were all sharing stories of things that they had recently done with their boy-toys, and regaling in the schadenfreude of doing so right under the noses of their husbands.

My moral compass at the time was a little wonky, and to my mind, the stories that I was hearing sounded drastically more appealing than the life that I was living, so I turned my charm and wit into a weapon once again and I began to shamelessly flirt with the women at that table.  I came back to check on them often, moving closer than was strictly necessary, and inviting the touch that I was sure would come – and I was not disappointed.

It was not long before I was telling them my life story, standing at the side of one who had her arm wrapped around my leg while another patted my abdomen or forearm with every other sentence she spoke and the third just sat across the table from me, easy in her seat, eyes burning a hole in my soul.  They were all attractive, but this woman across the table, Simone, was a goddess.  She had a light olive complexion and stunning ice-blue eyes with pure white, long, straight hair.   Her body was lithe and firm, her tits were clearly fake, but not out of proportion with her frame.  She looked like a Patrick Nagel print in negative, brought to life.  But it was the look she gave me that haunted me.

They all seemed to love to hear the story of the country boy who grew up on horseback who was coming to the big city to go to medical school.  They all seemed to want me, not just for my body -which I was quite proud of at the time – but for my story.  They thought me a wholesome and eager, naive young man.  I did not tell them of the Lodge or the fact that the reason I knew this was a compelling story was because I had been honing it night after night for the past month, going after smaller scores.  But something about Simone struck me, and it’s clear to me now that she saw right through me from the very beginning.

Soon it came time for them to leave, and I was by now dodging the harsh stares of my manager anyway, so I was glad to see that they were wrapping things up, but hopeful that this would not be the last I saw of them.  I prepared the check for them and wrote my first name and phone number on the customer copy, placed it in the folio and then walked to their table.  I did not know who among them was to pay the tab, but I presented it to Simone without hesitation – it was really her that I wanted to see the note I’d left.

She gave me her credit card without looking at the bill, and I suppressed the dejected feeling that I have to admit that I felt and took her card back to run it, putting the original note on top of the receipt for her to sign and her credit card, then returned and handed the closed folio to her.  She accepted it, looked inside, pulled out her card and signed the receipt and then handed it all back to me before I could get away.

Certain that my ploy had failed, I took out the customer copy of the receipt that she’d left behind and I crumpled it into the trash.  I finished up the night without much else to speak of, and then spent the night on my friend’s couch once again, certain that I would never see any of them again but still dreaming of the might-have-beens that came with the idea.

You can imagine my surprise when I received a call the next morning.  This was in an era before smartphones, but caller-id was still ubiquitous on the small displays of cell phones of the time and this showed up as “Silver Screen Partners”.  I had no idea what to expect, but I was not expecting what followed.

“Hello Rant, this is Simone.  Do you know who I am?”

I really was not expecting to hear from her, but I did know – immediately –  so I didn’t hesitate, “Yes, I believe I do.”

“Excellent.  I would like you to come to my office for a job interview this afternoon – can you manage that?”

“Wait – now I’m not so sure I do know…”

“Your hearing is not poor, I assume?”

“No.”

“Then you should not doubt it.  Can you make the meeting?  2pm – ” and she gave me an address.

“Yes. I can do that,” I replied, even though I knew it would mean skipping class yet again.

“Good.  Do not be late, and bring your headshots if you have them.”

Now, I had never had any plans of attempting to be an actor or a model, but I did live in LA and work in a restaurant, so I knew what she was asking for, but I did not have any photos of myself, let alone professional headshots.

“Uh, I don’t have any…”

“That’s fine.  Come anyway.  Dress well.”

“Okay, I will be there.”

“Excellent.”  <click>

There was no click, really… phones don’t do that anymore and didn’t even then, but somehow we still get the foley for it in TV shows…

I did my best to make myself presentable, not knowing what to expect.

I arrived at Simone’s building about 15 minutes early, afraid to be late, and I walked into her office lobby to be greeted by a beautiful young lady with visible tattoos on nearly every inch of skin that I could see, and I could see quite a bit of it.  She instructed me to sit and wait and that she’d take me to see Simone – “when Mistress is ready.”

I was a bit less worried about my appearance after seeing Pepper (whose name I would learn later, but it makes it easier to refer to her as such now) – but I was still a bit concerned about it, it was a cheap two-piece suit that fit me poorly, and I was not very comfortable in nice clothes at that time of my life.

Eventually Pepper asked me to get follow her, so I did.  I walked into Simone’s office for the first time and was greeted by Simone at the front of her desk, wearing a floor-length diaphanous gown with slits in the sleeves and up the legs and nothing else underneath.

I could feel my lower jaw dropping and I’m pretty sure that my eyes sparked into flame.

Simone controlled the room, to be certain. “Thank you, Pepper.  Please make sure that we’re not bothered until I tell you otherwise.” (See – I told you I would learn that later…)

“Yes, Mistress,” Pepper bowed and backed out of the room to turn and walk back to the front of the office.

“Rant.  Thank you for coming.  Please take a seat,” she gestured to one of the chairs in front of her desk and walked around to sit in her chair behind it as I started to sit in the chair that she indicated.  She was completely comfortable, as if she were actually wearing clothes that I could not see right through.

“Have you ever worked in the film industry? Or as a model?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Would you like to?”

“I suppose so – I hadn’t really thought about it.”

“Well, that is part of what I do here, but only part of it.  What do you know about BDSM?”

I knew a bit, actually, from my earlier experiences with the Lodge and the Rapture group, but I was not confident enough to speak about it, so I responded, “A little bit.  I know what the letters mean, at least.”

“Oh?  Please tell me.”

I responded without really considering it, “Bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism.”

“Ah, yes.   You are correct, but you are omitting the most important part.”

“I am?”

“Dominance and submission.”

“Oh yes, I knew that.”

“I’m sure you did.”

“Tell me, Rant.  Are you single now?”

“Yes.”

“How many girlfriends have you had?”

“One.”

“Really?  Perhaps I should rephrase – you’re clearly not as innocent as you claim – how many women have you had sex with?”

“More than one.”

She smiled at me and I knew it was not a smile of mirth, but it made me swoon regardless.

“Do you like to eat pussy?”

I was a little shocked by this question, I must admit.  It was so abrupt – and women did not act like that, in my experience.

“Yes…” I responded, tentatively.

She got up from her desk and went to go sit on the couch that was along the wall of her office, to the side, and then she laid back a bit, spread her legs, and pulled the parts of her gown aside so that I could plainly see her beautiful pussy near the edge of the couch.  Her eyes were locked on me the entire time, and I’m certain that my own gaze was hungry.

“Would you like to eat my pussy?”

“Yes.”

“Then you may do so,” she said, completely matter-of-fact, fully expecting me to comply, and she was not disappointed.

I got up from my chair, walked over to the edge of the couch between her legs, then sank to my knees before her, knelt even lower, and nuzzled my face into her cunt, and began to lick at her with a tender touch.  She threaded her fingers into the hair at the back of my head and pulled me into her after a moment of this, saying, “More pressure.”

I was only happy to comply.

Eventually I brought my hand up, and began to insert a finger into her pussy when she slapped me hard right across the top of my head, “You will ask before you do something like that!”

“Yes, Mistress,” I said, thinking I was being cheeky, and then went back to what I was doing, without the finger.

“I do believe that you are getting the picture now,” she said and sat up straight, pulling herself away from me, but leaving me kneeling between her legs, cunt juice all over my face.

“Where do you live now?”

“Uhm..” I hesitate, not wanting to reveal the fact that I was essentially homeless at the time, “do you mean – where do I get mail?” I ask, timidly.

“Oh.  I see.  I would not have expected that, but it works to both of our advantage, as it happens.”

“It does?”

“I will give you an apartment to live in, and I will make sure that you have adequate care for your needs, and in return for this you will be mine – my slave – and you will do anything I ask of you without hesitation or question.  Do you agree?”

I was not really taking her seriously – I didn’t really understand what she was asking of me yet – but it sounded hot as hell and the idea of having an apartment provided for me, even if it meant that I’d be eating Simone’s pussy every day – or maybe especially if it meant that I’d be eating Mistress Simone’s pussy every day – that sounded very appealing to the me that I was then…

“I do.”

“Excellent.  Now how shall we begin?”

<to be continued in part 6>

Second Interlude: The Ravings of an Insomniac

It’s just after 3 am where I am, and I am – obviously – not sleeping.

Insomnia is one of the side effects of the work that I’m doing to purge my demons.  Of course, insomnia has been something that has plagued me for most of my life – reaching back to these very same events that I am trying to relate here.

It’s almost certainly appropriate that the song I’m listening to as I write this is My Demons, by Starset.

I had planned to write something different here, but something within needs to get out now, so here I am.

I’ve been to see many counselors and healers of various different specialties.  I’ve been on drugs, both the prescribed-for-you kind, and the self-medicating variety.  I’ve meditated and even cast spells in an effort to push the memories away, but they will     not     die.

I know that every event in my life has contributed to make me who I am today, and for the most part, I am proud of that man, so I do not express the opinion lightly that despite that pride, and even against the chance that I am now a better person than I would otherwise have been, I wish I could undo certain things from my past.

I have striven to make amends for all of my past mistakes, and I am content with what I have been able to accomplish in that regard. Those are not the things of which I speak.  I would have that younger me not endure the things the he did…  and I feel terribly selfish for thinking that.

It’s not just possible, but likely, that without the experiences that I have had, that I would not be nearly so compassionate, kind, or thoughtful.  Without the suffering, I would likely not have learned empathy to the extent which I have.  Without the years of bitterness and resentment, I would not have built a stronger character that can weather hardship without becoming spiteful.  Without my relationship failures, I would not have been introduced to BDSM, I would not have had children, and I would not have started this blog.

I know that my reach is not vast and that this is an insignificant piece of a vastly larger construct, which is, itself, infinitesimally smaller against the vastness of the universe itself.  What I do or don’t do does not change the course of things much.  However, as a result of this blog, I’ve met some of the very best people from all over the world.  I’ve made durable, lasting, loving friendships that I treasure.  I’ve been told more than once that my message and compassion have saved a life.

And I would wish all of that away if I could.

Sometimes I wonder if the demons are me.

I feel weak.  Most of the images that I would wish away are not even real.  At least, that is what I tell myself, as I hide behind my bastion of science that does not allow for such things to exist.  But either way, most of the images that I would wish away, changing the course of time, are not even real.  So I am weak, and to be rid of these unreal, troubling images, I would undo all of it.

One of my psychologists was very interested to know about my views on religion, and asked me to question my own adherence to atheism, pointing out that because one cannot prove that God does not exist, atheism is as much a matter of faith as Christianity.

I made a pithy remark about the tenuous existence of a God whose existence depended on the logical fallacy of proving a negative, but there was no real passion behind it, and I realized that whether she was right about atheism being a matter of faith or not in general, it didn’t matter at all, because for me, it was.

I had to believe that there was no such thing as God, because if there was, then the things that I took part in were real. I had to believe that the supernatural was impossible, because if it was possible, then the things that I saw were true.

I have always been a firm believer that observable events always have rational explanations, even if sometimes those explanations are not something that we understand just yet.  But for a time, even that definition was too permissive.  That might mean that the things I witnessed were real, just not something I could understand, and that is an even more terrifying idea.

I’m in nowhere near so fragile a place now, and writing things here does help.

I know that my experiences were drug induced – poisons, really.   That is all the rational explanation I need.  It fits.  And with the exception of the occasional late-night bout of insomnia, I really am dealing with it much better now, on my own path.  I know that I will soon be to a point where I can get past the hold these things have on me, where I can use the experiences that I had to help others heal, and I know that the journey is worth the sacrifice, but sometimes I wish that younger me, the one who was curious and bold, would not have had to be broken first, and that I didn’t sometimes become him again in my dreams.

 

 

My Personal Journey : Part 4

I have neglected, so far, to mention that at the same time that much of this was going on, I was in the process of developing an actual, mostly healthy relationship with a young lady with whom I was attending high school.  Let’s call her Susan, just to keep things simple, but that was not her actual name, of course.

She was wonderful.  In all likelihood, she still is wonderful.  In other circumstances, it might have been a relationship that could have lasted.  Our original plans were that it should, of course.   We met when she moved across the country with her family at age 15 and started to attend my high school.  She was one of two girls in the school who could keep up with me intellectually, and while she came from a Southern Baptist background, she was in a similar anti-Christian mood at the time and while I kept most of my involvement with the Lodge away from her, I felt like we were aligned in all of the ways that mattered to me at the time.  Of course, my conception of what was important then was very different than it is today.

Living in a largely apathetic household and having a great deal of autonomy, I was free to pursue my relationship with Susan in any time that I was not already involved in some other activity (and there were a lot of those in those days.)  We grew close quickly, and it soon became a focus for more and more of my attention.  

She felt like she did not fit well in high school, so she graduated a year early and started college while I was still a high school senior.  I almost followed her.  Im retrospect, I am glad that I didn’t, but it might have removed me from the influence of the Lodge sooner, so it’s hard to know how things might have changed.  But I stayed in high school and had an awesome senior year – with a few dark places, some of which I ended up seeking out, and some of which found me.  

This next part gives me squicky feels too… Susan’s parents had money.   They probably had more assets than I will ever acquire, and growing up on a horse ranch, I never wanted for space and things to keep my mind occupied, but I really had no idea how big the difference between ‘comfortable’ and ‘wealthy’ was until then.  I hate to admit this now, and at the time I was wholly incapable of even seeing it, but I used them for their ability to influence people and make things easier through the application of money pressure.  I did love Susan.  I still love Susan, if I’m being honest, but I also used her and her family, and I do wonder if I would have been as interested in Susan if not for the fringe benefits of a relationship with her… not because any part of my feelings were disingenuous, but because I was not a very well-formed human just yet. 

I console myself with the knowledge that every human manipulates others, consciously or unconsciously, to get the things that we need or desire.  I was not consciously manipulating Susan, but I can see in retrospect that I did end up manipulating her quite a bit.

I was not quite so self-aware then, and I was a much more selfish person in general.

Susan and I had a plan.  She started school at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and I planned to attend UC Santa Barbara (which is only about an hour away by car).  We were both engineering undergrads, but our plans for grad school were divergent.  She planned to pursue a JD (and ended up getting an MBA at the same time for good measure) and go into patent law or become inside corporate counsel for a technology company.  I planned to go to medical school and pursue a career in biomechanics or biomedical engineering.  While we were not actually modeling our lives after the Huxtables, it was a comparison that was often made.

But that is where things fell apart…

I used Susan and college as ways to help me get away from the Lodge and my family.  Susan and I married at a ridiculously young age and at that point I just completely stopped attending any of my own family’s holidays or events and just started exclusively going to hers.  I did not realize that I was actively rejecting my own family or that I was isolating myself so effectively.  

Gradually, over time, my relationship with Susan started to fail.  The most pronounced area in which this was problematic was over religion.  Most couples fight over money, but we didn’t have that problem, so we found other things to be in conflict over.  Susan went back to her Southern Baptist roots and even went so far as to be born again and baptized yet another time – in the swimming pool in our backyard, no less.  She became more and more involved with her church, and that made me more and more uncomfortable.  I started to spend more and more time away from home.  School kept me busy, and even though I didn’t need the money, I started taking on side jobs to have an income stream of my own, even though her parents gave us everything that we could possibly need.

Our relationship finally broke.  I can remember the incident that predicated it with crystal clarity.  It was a summer evening, and the summer sun hung low in the sky, the LA area smog making for a gorgeous panoply of red, orange, purple, and pink hues in the sky.  I arrived home in the early evening – and found Susan already at home, sitting on the sofa in the formal living room and crying.  It looked as if she had been crying for some time, so I did what I do in situations where I find someone that I care about crying – I tried to console her.

My actions made her cry even harder and I was genuinely confused, but I just stayed where I was, arms around her, silently being in the moment with her and eventually her sobbing abated and she looked at me with big, blue eyes, bloodshot and teary, snot uncontrollably rolling out of her face, and she said to me, “I will miss you.”

I didn’t really understand what she was talking about, so in my customarily eloquent fashion, I said, “Huh?”

“I will miss you when you’re gone.”

“Am I going somewhere?”

“I mean when you die.”

“Well, yes, I would imagine so… but I don’t plan to do that any time soon.”

“No, I don’t mean that.  I mean I am sad because when I die, I will go to Heaven, but you won’t be there.”

“Well, shit…”

I was flabbergasted.  Dumbfounded.   And I sat there, dumbfounded, for some time.

Eventually this turned into a conversation about what it means to be ‘equally yoked under God’ and what happens to the souls of the unbelievers when we die.   

I had already come to a very painful decision though – as soon as she said “…I am sad because when I die, I will go to Heaven, but you won’t be there” I could feel the decision being made.  It was less of a conscious thing and more of a necessity.

It took getting through the rest of that conversation while I muddled around in the innards of my own mind for a bit – with much less facility than I have now – and was finally able to give voice to the decision that I had already made.

“I want a divorce.”

It felt like gutting myself to say those words.  It was an agony unlike any that I had previously experienced, and it made me question the whole notion.  If separating was going to be so painful, then maybe it shouldn’t happen?  Maybe I was missing something?  But no.  I was just being affected by emotions in a context that I had no previous experience in… and it was truly awful.

I feel pain when every relationship ends, whether I am the one to initiate the break-up or not.  I don’t think that is unusual at all, but having been the one to first say the words, I felt like I was in some way beholden to them.  It makes so little sense that it is difficult to express in words, but I felt that I somehow owed the concept of divorce my attention.

We both did a great deal more crying that night, but she never fought me on it.  She never tried to talk me out of it, never asked me to stay, never tried to win me back, all of which I expected, but was relieved to not have to deal with.  We were separated the next day and our divorce was final as quickly as the courts could process it.

We maintained the same residence in name until our house sold, and then we split the proceeds evenly, however, I stopped living there almost immediately.  I had no real money of my own and, being a full time student, I had very few ways to earn enough to actually live on.  It was already well past the FAFSA deadline, so there was no way I could apply for additional loan money without paying usurious levels of interest, so I ended up couch surfing for a few weeks while I tried to figure out what was going on in my life.

For the first time I took a look at the trajectory of my life and I said, “how did I get here?”

I was on the path that everyone wishes they could be on – I had good grades, a handful of bachelor’s degrees and I was accepted to the Geffen School of Medicine – and had I stayed on that path, I would probably be a very different person today, but it was not a path that I set out on because I wanted to be a doctor or even because I wanted to work on human-computer interfaces (which was the only thing that really kept me interested anyway – I have no real interest in medicine.)  I was on that path because it was the path that Susan’s parents wanted me to be on.  I was on that path because it was the ‘logical’ thing to do given my intelligence and ability to assimilate information.  I was there because it was expected of me.  So I resolved to quit that too.

I still bounce back and forth between relief and regret with respect to that decision.  Most of the time I’m content with things and I can be comfortable with my choice, but there are definitely times that I look at my bank balance and how expensive things around me are and I regret not making the choice to pursue a more traditionally lucrative career path, and there are definitely times when I look back with great relief on a decision that kept me from becoming a prisoner to a rather narrowly defined career path that I am nearly certain that I would find unfulfilling or challenging in all of the wrong ways.  The challenges that I face now are more constructive, and I never have to tell anyone that their loved one is going to die.

Regardless of the motivations or causes behind the next chapter of my life, this was a seminal event.  It put me in the vicinity of UCLA on the couches of friends for as long as they could stand me while I tried to salvage the pieces of my life and find a new path forward. 

I didn’t drop out of school right away, but I did find a shitty job working as a server at The Cheesecake Factory in Brentwood, and that would prove to be a very important decision for reasons that will become apparent next time.

Until then – and always – I am Rant.

My Personal Journey : Part 3

Part 3:  Power corrupts

I am going to stop making promises about how far I will get with this story in each installment – since I quite obviously have more to say on some of these topics as I commit them to the page than I initially thought.  So – from now on, I’ll just keep adding parts of my story to the journey as it unfolds.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that this post took me awhile to get up because of the effects that writing it had on me.  I began by writing about the change of power dynamics in the Lodge, and how that affected me both then and now, but as part of writing that, I began to relate in some detail one of the rituals that I was always the center of attention for, and as I was writing it, I started to re-experience the feelings that I had, and I had to stop.  I have cut most of that, but I’ve left what I can, for now.

One could be excused for thinking that the feelings that bothered me so much were feelings of victimization or exploitation, but that’s not what really bothered me.  I felt megalomaniacal, with delusions of grandeur.  I’ve been having some small amount of difficulty in keeping these feelings from bleeding over into my day-to-day life. , but I think I’ve managed to normalize things at this point.  I am somewhere in the middle of where I want to be: warm and open, honest and bold – and where I was: cold and closed, aloof and narcissistic.  I’m not as open and warm as I was just a few weeks ago, but neither am I as aloof and unconcerned as I was twenty years ago.

But to get back to the story…

My interactions with Joe’s extended family and a few others from the neighboring communities started to have a profound effect on my view of myself as a man over the next couple of years.  I will refer to this extended group of followers from now on as the Lodge (since that was how we referred to ourselves).

My interactions with the Lodge began to take on more and more ritually significant roles, and either by fate or happenstance, this coincided with my own realizations concerning my atypical neurology and how I interacted with the world.  This would prove to have a profound effect on who I became and the decisions that I would make for the next decade.

However, in order to understand how this happened, it is first necessary to explain something about the central concept at the core of our beliefs – the Thelemic concept of True Will.

I could probably write a book on that subject alone, but to provide just a small bit of context so that this makes sense, I will relate the two meanings that the concept of True Will carries.

Firstly, the meaning given to the outer order and the world at large – and the only official definition – is basically this: every person has a ‘best path’ – or True Will – for them to live in this life, and as long as you stay on that path, you will be happy and things will be easy for you.  All of the things that are stressing you out now are things that are happening because you are not aligned with your True Will.  This concept goes a bit further and early induction rituals involve contacting your own personal Holy Guardian Angel to help reveal your True Will, but basically you are told that there are different voices within that speak to you about what you should do, representing different facets of a cognitive being that connects us all, and you need to be able to filter out the voices that do not belong to you and that once you do that, everything will be perfect for you.

Secondarily, there was the meaning given to the inner circle.  This may have been unique to our Lodge and my future interactions with members of the more official Ordo Templi Orientis would indicate that they do not generally acknowledge any other interpretation of True Will.  Whether this facet was a perversion unique to Frater Jubal (for he did claim to have secrets) or a more widespread ‘inner doctrine’ I do not know, but the gist of this facet of True Will is this:  as long as you are aligned with your True Will, you can do no wrong.

That is a very simple statement to encompass a much broader range of things, but that was the justification for every evil thing done by Joe or myself or any other member of the inner circle of the Lodge.  If I am acting on my Will, what I am doing is absolutely – even Divinely – right.

Tying destiny and will together like this is insidious.

And then Joe did something that I’m certain every other Thelemite would balk at – he told me that I had the power to read others’ True Will.

According to everything that I had read, this should not be possible.  One’s own True Will should only be revealed through a few specific rituals or ordeals.  But Joe called me an Ascendant Being and told everyone that I had the ability to read their True Will, putting me in the position of being the Lodge fortune teller, for the most part.

In retrospect, I see it as a cunning move on his part.  He thought he could control me, and he saw the opportunity to use a smart, observant kid to gain even more control over his flock.

I actually have no idea if this was his true motive or not, but it certainly makes a great deal of sense.  By not claiming the power for himself, Joe was being falsely humble, and by telling the members of the Lodge that I had the ability to read their True Will, and then ‘guiding’ me to do so in such a way as to get everyone to do what he wanted them to, Joe was able to elevate himself – and me – from teacher/priest to demigod.  Suddenly, if you had too much difficulty with the initiation rites (which was a very common problem for new acolytes), you had another option – you could just ask me.

This made me indispensable,  and Joe continued to groom me to ascend to leadership positions within the Lodge.

This break from previous teachings actually caused a few people to leave, but those who remained were even more loyal and bound to us.

Ultimately though, this would prove to be the linchpin that gave way and allowed me to escape the Lodge.

As I grew older and more confident in my abilities (and while there was always a part of me that knew that something wasn’t quite right, I was, for the most part, a believer at this point) I began to disagree with Joe.

I can still vividly remember the argument that he and I had after I had read someone’s Will and gave a different pronouncement than Joe had pre-suggested to me that I should tell her.

It was a direct challenge to his authority, and he began as you might expect, by distancing himself from me and pronouncing that I had strayed from the path, appealing to the Lodge to oust me, for the most part.

It worked too – but only because I let it, and realizing that has been one of the biggest events of my life.

He made certain that our argument was very public, and while Joe was a very smart man, he was outclassed in this fight.  He said that I had lost my way and that I would need to do penance to find my way again.  This was not the first time that he suggested that I would need to do penance, but it is the first time that I disagreed.  I took Joe’s own words that he had previously lavished upon me when I was a more timid, more compliant acolyte.  I stopped speaking to Joe, even though he was the one in front of me – I started speaking to be heard – and I said that as an Ascendant Being, my mastery of Will was complete, and that as an avatar of the Lightbringer, I was the only being capable of discerning the Truth, and that, indeed, Joe had lost his way.

The last part is almost certainly actually true, but I no longer cared.  I was about to leave for college and I was beginning to see things for what they truly were – a dangerous cult built around some stolen ideas and a charismatic personality.  I was happy to let that argument be the last interaction that we had before I moved hundreds of miles away.

It wasn’t until much later that I would begin to understand the actual value of the things that I was taught and to use the gifts that Joe had helped me to hone in reading people as a way to gain personal power, and even later than that before I realized that to be such a creature would be to lose myself completely.

When I was 18, I graduated from high school as Salutatorian and left behind my small rural home town.  I would spend a few days back in my parent’s home during that first year away, but after that, I would limit the amount of time that I spent in the area, even to the point of seeking poorly thought-out plans to ensure that I wouldn’t have to return.

One of those would result in an early and inappropriate marriage – and the other would result in sex work and my first introduction to BDSM.

I’m nowhere near done yet…

  • Rant

My Personal Journey : Part 2

Part 2: Lightbringer

I have an extremely complicated relationship with this next part of my story.  It examines a time in my life where I was rudderless and manipulated and took part in things that cause me nightmares today.  I feel shame for what I did in some cases, but more than that, I feel shame for allowing myself to be so manipulated and exploited.

However – despite the shame and tragedy that dogs every thought I have about that period of my life, it is also an integral part of who I am.  It continues to have a profound effect on the very way that I think and process information.  It is responsible for many of the various coping mechanisms that I have developed for navigating the normal world – some of these are good, some, not so much… but they are all very important to who I am today.

For the sake of brevity, I am going to have to leave out most of the details about the things that I learned and did, and focus instead on how these things shaped who I am today.

But I will have to give you a little bit of background so that things make sense…

Joe and Monique took me under their wing and into their family.  While I still lived at home with my parents and looked to most of the outside world like I was living a very normal teenage life, I was really leading a double life.

I was a genius, straight-A student, involved in all sorts of extracurricular activities, and because I was a little socially awkward and unfailingly polite and all of the other things listed before this, my parents basically paid no attention to me at all.  My sister was a bit more demanding of their attention, which I definitely felt the lack of, but did not have a good way to express.

This turned out to be yet another thing that Joe and Monique could exploit to control me and gain my trust… they gave me a place to belong.  They didn’t care that I was a little odd.  They celebrated my differences.  They told me that I had great gifts of insight and that my intelligence was a thing of literal divinity.

Whereas I felt misunderstood and unappreciated in my real home, I felt important and special in Joe’s home.

My parents were raising me to be Catholic, and lacking any information to the contrary, I was at first a true believer.  But at this juncture in my life, when I was encountering the things that I was with Joe and Monique and their extended family, I was also undergoing a crisis of faith.  I could not rationalize away some of the things that I was being taught each Sunday with the reality in front of my eyes any longer, and Joe seized on that and used it to mold me into his very own disciple.  I wasn’t the only one, but I was certainly the youngest, and definitely his favorite as well.

Joe was the center of a cult that wasn’t Astron Argon, though it used their initiation rites, and it wasn’t Ordo Templi Orientis, though it used their degrees and advancement rituals for the ‘outer order’ –such as it was.  There were no more than 60 of us at any given time, and most of the rituals involved far fewer.  It was a mishmash of Crowley-ist secret society nonsense along with a fair share of ‘secrets’ the were ‘only known to Frater Jubal’ – who was Joe, of course.

However, it also happens to be where I had my very first non-masturbatory sexual experiences, which is something that I feel very strangely about now – and pretty much always have.  I have very complicated feelings about what happened.  I enjoyed a lot of it.  I never really felt like I was not giving consent, though at times I did feel like I had no choice… somehow it was both of those things at the same time.

I can vividly remember the very first time that I climaxed by means other than my own hand or rubbing up against some surface, and it was as I stood on a small footstool so that I was not touching the ground and Monique knelt between my legs, rendering what may yet be the most gentle blowjob that I have ever had, and I came into her mouth furiously, almost instantly – which under other conditions would likely have caused me shame, but this was immediately greeting with exclamations of joy from the people around me, because I had an audience, and was, in fact, the central part of a ritual that I would perform many, many more times before I finally broke free.  I had almost no agency in my actions.. I doubt I could have controlled myself even if I were not being heavily manipulated emotionally and psychologically as well, but under those circumstances, I felt like a god, and they told me that I literally was one.  I was the Child of Light, but more than that, I was a special invocation of such – I was an avatar of the Lord of Light himself – I was Lucifer, reborn.

I have a really difficult time rationalizing these things.  I am generally completely comfortable with dichotomy, but this is one that my mind still struggles against all the time.  This causes me nightmares sometimes.  I have a hard time believing that I believed them.  I can objectively see how ridiculous it all is when I look at it now, but I remember that I did believe. I was naive and brilliant and awkward and exploited and I am none of those things anymore, and it feels weird.

I don’t trust my younger self to know how he was really feeling and I try to re-write how I felt at the time.  I try to make it as if I didn’t really believe them, but I was playing along because I was getting something out of it, but then that actually seems far worse than if I was just duped.  I try to make it as if I knew that it was all a farce and that I was helpless to do anything to break free because I was emotionally dependent upon these people, but that just is objectively not true, and even if it could be, it’s really no better than just being duped all along.

But I stray from my story…

I was a member of Joe and Monique’s family for years.

Joe is an incredibly charismatic man.  I suppose that’s probably true of all cult leaders, but he could make you feel things.  However – and probably like all cult leaders – eventually the mantle of leadership began to grow heavy, and he started to farm out things to different people.   He spent more and more time with me, and he seemed to be grooming me to take over some of the ritualistic aspects of the cult while others took over more of the household aspects, which made sense from several perspectives, not least of which was that I did not live in the house with them, whereas most of the other inner circle members did.  So I became a figurehead who was being given actual power, little by little.  I was the example for others to follow.  I was the Golden Boy.

Eventually, this went to my head…

…I didn’t quite make it to Beverly Hills in this post, but I promise it isn’t far away.

Next is part three, where I actually do talk about breaking free of Joe’s family and end up getting married, divorced, dropping out of school, and working the mean streets of Beverly Hills.  Or at least, I’ll get as far as a thousand or so words will take me…

My personal journey : Part 1

My personal D/s journey: A story of spirituality, conflict, betrayal, and hope

Part I : Sexual awakenings

My first sexual experiences were not normal.  As a result of these early experiences (which I will detail shortly) I live with the constant fear that I will never find a mature sexual relationship that meets my needs as they now exist.  I often feel like my lifestyle goals are unattainable or even prurient to the degree that merely giving them voice is offensive.

As far as personal struggles go – this is one that I have never managed to really get the hang of or the upper hand over, and it leaves me often feeling as if I am damaged beyond the ability to properly assimilate into collective society.  And yet… I keep trying.  Whether or not this meets the definition of insanity is something that does occasionally cause me to lose sleep.

My sexuality began to emerge relatively early for a boy… I was having my first confusing and unfocused erections at eight years old.  I was masturbating to the lingerie ads in the JC Penny catalog by the time I was nine.  So far, this is not all that unusual except perhaps for the early age, which – while on the edge of normal – still fits the Bell curve rather neatly.  However, I began to diverge from the norms pretty early on thanks to being just a little too smart for my own good.

When I was 11, I made some friends who were both older than I was and just as into computers as I was.  I was given loan of a modem and started prying my way into what was the online world of the day.  The Internet that we know and depend on today was in its infancy, and most of the networked computer world existed as islands of activity around universities, the first generation of what would later become known as ISPs, and a scattered and completely unregulated wasteland of individually run BBSes that were connected by various bridge technologies (uucp, fidonet, etc.) if they were connected to anything larger at all.

Most of the BBSes that I would dial into were not connected to anything larger than themselves, and even in a largely rural area like where I grew up, this led to some diversification of content between them so as to avoid competing for the same users – for the most part.

Within a few months of embarking into this new world, I was hooked and it took very little time for me to secure a modem of my own and begin a pattern of calling in to the same seven or so BBSes every day.  In many ways, this was an extremely primitive form of reddit or Facebook.   I made friends online who I would never end up meeting in person, but of course, eventually I wanted to meet some of the faces behind the screens with which I was interacting, and even in that time and place, there were user group meetings.

We called ourselves M.O.R.E. and thought that we were especially clever (the name stood for Modem-users Of the Redwood Empire) and in general, it was just good, clean fun.  We had BBQs and softball games and a monthly meeting in the back of a Round Table Pizza in southwestern Santa Rosa.  After attending several of these events with my parents (remember that I was just 11, maybe 12 at this time) – I made friends who were close to my own age and was eventually able to secure rides to and from these events without my parents needing to be present, which turned out to be a wonderful and horrible thing.

One of the things that I noticed early on in these events was that they seemed to be pretty heavily skewed.  Allegiances developed based on particular BBS loyalty, and we seemed to be largely split into two camps.  There was the ‘Rapture’ camp – which was made up of people who contributed to the Rapture BBS, which was an adults-only sexually themed BBS, and then there was ‘everybody else’.

Because the Rapture team was made up of exclusively adults, this often meant that in contests, the ‘everyone else’ team was wildly outclassed, and as a competitive young man, this did not always sit well with me.  This, coupled with the normal curiosity that accompanies being a young man, caused me to embark on a course of action that would later prove to be seminal to my development as a sexual being, but perhaps not in the best way possible.

I decided to break into Rapture and see what all the fuss was about.

So – as a 12 year boy, already a few years into puberty and with zero sex education from traditional outlets (my parents never had ‘the talk’ with me, and sex-education in school was a farce) I ended up being thrown to the wolves in a very real sense.  Using the anonymity that hiding behind a screen gave me, I constructed a believable persona as an early-30’s high school history teacher and began to engage with this new community.

I was instantly accepted and where my lack of knowledge concerning sex activities came through, I was instructed by my new ‘friends’ – all though text, and sometimes pictures, but bandwidth back then was extremely limited, and image files that we would now send in a text message could take an hour or more to transfer.  Without the ability to easily fact check many of the things that I was being ‘taught’, I ended up learning a great deal of bad information in the beginning, but I was being exposed to all sorts of kink and pagan concepts concerning sexuality that I don’t know that I would have otherwise encountered, ever… and they certainly colored my expectations and the direction that I would end up taking.

I found ways to become involved with meatspace events with these people that I should not have been able to attend because of my age without blowing my cover.  There was significant crossover between the pagan group and the swinger group and I was interested in both topics, so I decided to take that route to getting closer to these people in the ‘real world.’  I figured that with enough time and patience, that I could probably force both to converge where I wanted.

I had no idea how ‘successful’ I would become.

I attended my first handfasting when I was 13.  The young couple in question were both just out of high school.  It was early summer, just after the end of the school year, and we were at a site on the Russian River, and it was well-done and beautiful and helped to form the spiritual path that I would end up taking for the next several years.   It was also a travesty, but I would not realize that for years to come.

The party that followed was barely constrained hedonism, and I’m certain that my presence kept things to a much lower intensity than they would have been had I not been there.

There was a great deal of substance use – alcohol, marijuana, LSD, and something speedy… I’m still not sure if it was coke, meth, or PCP – coke being most likely given the time period.  I did not partake of any of these, but I watched with rapt attention.

There were two distinct groups forming within the party – the younger group tended to be more spiritually minded but more socially conservative, talking in lower voices and generally stationary with their conversational topics.  The older group – made up mostly of a group of adults in their late 30’s and early 40’s – was openly hedonistic and gregarious.  A couple of the women took their tops off and there was a great deal of groping, a large cuddle pile in the grass, and even some lighthearted games of chasing, cat and mouse style.

I belonged to neither but was fascinated by both, and the open hedonism of the older group really captivated me.  I found it very difficult to look away from the exposed breasts of the women who had taken off their tops.

One of the younger women decided that it was worth taunting me over, and then one of the other women in that group (who was still wearing her top) came over and ‘rescued’ me from her, asking me who my parents where.

I told her that I was there alone, that I was friends with one of the members of the ceremony group, and that I was not really all that bothered by the attention that I was getting from Skye (the woman who had been recently taunting me.)

She laughed, introduced herself as Monique (with just a hint of a Montreal accent)  and then sat beside me and motioned to her partner to come over and talk with us.  And that is when I met Joe MacReedy and began the journey that would culminate in a high degree in Astron Argon, a complete rewriting of my psychological landscape, and a life-long pursuit of the things that exist just outside of the norms of society.

Part 2 to come, wherein I give more details about my life with a sex magick cult, the emotional (and spiritual, and psychological) break that enabled me to extricate myself from that situation, and the shortly following events that would proceed to land me in a possibly even more precarious situation in the mean streets of Beverly Hills.