Category Archives: life

Thank you

My last post was about my currently very uncertain health condition and it was written at a time when I was very scared for my own continued existence, not to mention my ability to keep walking and writing.  Immediately after I posted it, I started to receive emails from readers with concerns and well-wishes, and it helped immensely to improve my outlook in general.  

Firstly – a heartfelt Thank You to all of the people who have sent in their messages of support or offers of assistance.  I am extremely fortunate to have such a large network of people who care about me.

Secondly – while I still do not know the nature of the numbness and tingling and lack of sensation that I am still continuing to feel, the symptoms have lessened in some places and changed in others to be more consistent with an injury rather than any sort of dangerous degenerative disorder, so while I am not certain of anything yet, the probability that I am facing something that will kill me seems to be reduced along with my fear.

I am not out of the woods just yet, and I have many more appointments with specialists yet to come, but the prognosis is a lot more hopeful and the likelihood of a full (or nearly full) recovery is much higher, which has left me feeling a lot more positive about things in general.

I may yet be facing a potentially dangerous surgery, but for some reason that is a lot easier to face than some unknown demyelinating disorder, which was the original tentative diagnosis.

Thank you to everyone who has chosen to be a part of my life – you are the reason that my life continues to be as awesome as it is.

  • Rant

On mortality

“Well, we think that it’s equally likely that you have some sort of transient condition that we don’t fully understand that will resolve itself on its own, or that you have one of these six syndromes with similar symptoms, five of which are degenerative, untreatable, and fatal within a year.”

This is not the sort of thing that you want to hear from your doctor… but it is exactly what I heard when I took myself to the emergency room with some numbness in my extremities two weeks ago.  I have to admit, it’s kind of been fucking with me since then and I am good and fully scared.

I have fallen a bit behind on my posts and in answering emails lately – and this is the reason why – I do apologize.  I am trying to get caught up again beginning today.

I’ve never experienced having a doctor tell me something like “there’s a 50% chance that you’ll be dead within a year” before, and I have to say, it’s not one of my favorite things.

It does sort of put a lot of things into perspective though… 

I’ve known for some time that I would not likely have a terribly long life span.  I’ve got a family history of heart disease, mental disorders, and hypertension. I have been involved in several auto accidents (none of which I was found to be at fault for) – at least one of which resulted in serious long-term injuries that still bother me almost daily and are a cause for chronic pain, and all of these things are known to reduce lifespan.  I figured it would be unlikely that I would live to see 80, but I was okay with that.  I’ve seen what my grandmother (who is now 98) has gone through in recent years, and her quality of life is not very good.  In fact, for the past two years, every time I’ve seen her, she has said at least once that she is ready to and even wants to die.  “No one should have to live like this…” she has said more than once.

However – and this is a pretty big thing – I never even considered the possibility that I wouldn’t live into my 70’s or better, and that should still be decades away.  Being told that there is a 50% chance that I might not live to see another birthday after this year was a pretty big blow – one which I am still processing.

I had a will, of course – it would be pretty irresponsible for any parent not to – but it hadn’t been updated in a while, so I’ve done that.  I made sure that the beneficiaries for my insurance policies were properly set, and I had to change my emergency contact information as well. That was pretty rough too.  I had had my emergency contact set to be my former partner who broke up with me earlier this year. I even had her listed as a 10% beneficiary for my life insurance policy – I don’t remember doing that, but it’s perfectly in line with something that I might do.  At the time, I wanted to gift her with enough money to pay off her student loans if I should happen to expire accidentally while we were together. Now – I don’t even want her at my funeral.

My current partners are all trying to be supportive, but there is really nothing that they can do – nor is there anything I can do except to sit in my discomfort and wait for something to change.  This is a very difficult place to be. I am doing my very best to take everything in stride and to be hopeful – by telling me that there is an equal chance that it is something that they don’t understand or something on the list of scary-ass-shit, my doctors were basically telling me that they have no idea what is going on or how to treat me.  That is frightening, but if I can alter the narrative a bit and just cling to the notion that they don’t know what is wrong, it is slightly less terrifying. Slightly…

It’s really hard to say “my life is awesome” when you’re living with something like this hanging over your head, but it is still true.  I am loved by many and I know that my passing will be mourned, but I am still hopeful that they won’t have to mourn my passing for decades yet to come.  I will admit to stress eating and making bad decisions based on the idea that “either I’m fine and this won’t really hurt me, or I’m dying anyway and should enjoy the time I have left.”  I suppose I am still a hedonist at heart.

I have confronted my mortality once again, and I really don’t like it, but I am happy in general with the life that I’ve led, the people that I’ve chosen to keep in my life, and the contributions that I have made.  I would really like another century or two of healthy and happy life, but if my card gets pulled tonight, I’d feel as if my impact on the universe has been a net positive, and I can live with that for now – and hopefully for much, much longer as well.

 

How did you do it?

After people get beyond the novelty of talking with a former sex worker and I answer all of the questions that I did in my last post, the thing I most often get asked about is how it is possible for me to create connections with people right away.  

In the context of the work that I did for Mistress Simone, this was trivial.  I already had a certain amount of native talent in the area. I was fit, good looking, well spoken, and I have a fucking amazing voice.  The people that I saw were already primed and seeking a connection – all I had to do was not fuck it up. Of course, I still sometimes did – and not being an idiot, I try to learn from my mistakes and do better the next time, or at the very least, make new mistakes. 

All of those first-date like meetings served to teach me rather well in how to create a connection and how to maintain someone’s interest once I do.  As a result, I’ve created the neural pathways to instinctively know how to attract and maintain the attention of almost anyone.  

I don’t necessarily mean a romantic or sexual connection here – and it would be impossible for me to create such a connection with anyone, since there are at least a large number of people out there who would not find me attractive – at least, not right away.  But even when you are not taking sex into consideration, it is often very useful to be able to establish a connection right away, even if it is shallow.  This is a core skill for salesmen, or personnel managers, or product marketers, or just about anyone, actually. 

People are already hard-wired to look for connections.  Humans are social animals – without a clan, we die – and when an opportunity arises to meet a new person, you make a snap judgment – whether you want to admit it or not – about how you feel about that person.  Is this a person that I want to fuck? Is this a person that I want to talk to? Does this person make me feel threatened, or does this person make me feel safe? I can almost guarantee that all of those questions are going through your mind about every new person you meet, every time you meet someone new.  You may not be cognizant of them all at the moment you meet, and the answers to those questions can (and do) change – often quite quickly – but every person answers all of those questions, and dozens others besides, about every person they meet, within moments of meeting them.

The good news is that most people are actually pretty decent people, and that most people really do want a positive outcome to meeting anyone.  That does not mean that everyone wants to fuck you, but it probably means that more of them do than you realize. 

The worst part of this post is coming right now: there is a trick to it.

It’s not something that I started doing intentionally, but eventually I noticed the effect, and I can occasionally be something of a social scientist brat – so I performed experiments.  I talked to my friends in new ways, I talked to their friends and watched their reactions intently, and I interacted with total strangers.

It’s actually much harder to do this in the context of a normal social club/bar/party setting than it is as a contracted sex worker, but the stakes are also a lot less and I really didn’t care about being rejected – I was inoculated to rejection when I was a younger, more instantly visually appealing man.  Which is to say – I’ve been rejected a lot…

But I said there is a trick, and it would be really mean of me to mention it and not tell you, wouldn’t it?  So here it is: if you want to create immediate connection with someone, no matter their gender, age, or motivation, the answer is always the same…

Make eye contact and smile.

Seriously.  That’s all that’s needed.  Most of the time, you get a smile back and then you can move to the next step, but often you will get a shy look away or a terrified turn of the head or even see them get up and run away.  Don’t worry – you’ll get another chance, but there’s also the chance that they just don’t like what they see and you should give up.  

If they look away but eventually look back towards you, you can try it again one more time – but more than that and you are being creepy and need to stop.  Otherwise you’ll ruin my reputation. More often than not though, if you don’t stare at them and try to will them into talking to you, they will be intrigued by the non-threatening smile and return their attention to you and give you a better chance – but it’s a bold thing to hold someone’s gaze who isn’t expecting it, and it intimidates a lot of people at first.

The next step – and the crucial one, I’ve found – is to ask them for a favor.  It has to be something trivial that they can complete without needing any skill in a short period of time, and it cannot be in any way sexualized.  Anything creepy here is going to just push them away and tickle their ‘not okay’ vibes. Besides – you’re not in this for the sex anyway, because if you were, you’d be smart enough to realize that the best way to accomplish that is to just pay for it.

This will require you to actually think a bit, perhaps, but as a good example, imagine that you saw an attractive, clean-cut, non-threatening looking man smile at you and give you some time to react, then he gets close enough to ask a question and says, “Would you mind holding my drink for me for a moment?  I’ve just noticed that my boot is unlaced and I’d like to fix it.” Then he hands you his drink.

Most of you are thinking, “well, now I roofie him and when he’s good and lit, get him to take me back to his place where I fuck his brains out and then roll him for any cash he might be carrying on my way out – hoping never to see him again.”  

No.. wait.. That’s not what I want – and that’s only happened once…

But you do see the point, right?  You’ve created a connection, immediately.  You’ve engaged their compassion as well as curiosity and maybe lust. 

But isn’t this all terribly manipulative and premeditated and awful, Rant?  How is this different from any of that pick-up artist crap that you are always shitting all over?  Aren’t you just using psychological tricks to manipulate people?

Well – maybe.  But name any interaction that you have with anyone, ever, where there is not some form of manipulation taking place.   The whole point of communications is usually that there is something that I want (even if it’s pretty mundane) and I want you to help me with it in some way.  And more to the point – you do have to start somewhere, and while I could just stand next to someone until I hear something that I can talk about and then try to jump into the conversation… that is a really weak place to start, putting yourself in the submissive position before you even begin to communicate – verbally, at least.  

By asking for a trivial task to be accomplished, you’re giving your conversant the power to say ‘no’ and walk away, or to pick up the gauntlet and do something trivial in the interest of more conversation. And conversation is the goal here, so you have to follow up after this and actually have something interesting to talk about.  There must have been some reason you wanted to talk to this person. Maybe you overheard them talking about something you are interested in, or maybe you just really like the way they make that dress look and you want to fuck their brains out.  Talk about it – whatever it is – or let it go and forget about it entirely. 

Interesting – or perhaps the opposite, actually – is that this works equally well with people who are sexually attracted to me as those who are not.  In either case, I’ve engaged their curiosity and given them a focus, and then all I have to do is hold it. 

Of course – you must also be charming and debonair and have impeccable sartorial choices if you want to maintain this contact, and that becomes a much more involved process and there are no tricks for that – either you will establish a real connection, or you won’t – but that is entirely up to you.  The vast majority of the work involved in making a new connection is in those first moments of uncertainty, and by looking for a smile and asking for a favor, you can short circuit a lot of that. 

What was it like?

What was it like?

That’s the question I get more often than anything else.  It’s a part of my past, and there are posts about it here on this blog (starting here, and then going through parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – and more to come) but once people learn that I used to be a sex worker, that is the question that I get more than anything else… 

 

What was it like?

 

Well – it’s not really an easy question to answer…  I could come up with some suitable metaphor if I spent a moment trying to do so, but that would only give you a part of the answer, and the real answer is quite complicated.  

It was different things at different times.

In the beginning, it was fucking awesome…  literally and figuratively.

Oh sure, I was terrified at first, but once I got over that and sort of jumped into it with two feet, it was really pretty amazing for awhile.  Though eventually I started to become unhappy. I had no control over my own schedule, no choice in who I saw, no vacation days, no benefits, and while partying all of the time can be great for a while, eventually I started to burn out and then I just wanted to be a real boy again.

And this is where I start getting interrupted with questions about specific things…

 

Did you ever have to have sex with a client that you didn’t find attractive?  

 

No – not really.  I worked for what amounted to a high-end brothel that operated right under the noses of everyone around, and maintaining such an enterprise required a lot of money, so my Mistress (Simone was her name) charged a lot for my time and kept the client list pared to those that properly fit in with her aesthetic.  I am still not 100% sure that I know what that was, but nearly all of my clients were married women in their 30’s and 40’s, and they tended to spend a lot of time and money on their appearance. They chose me not because I was younger/hotter/better than the men they could get – almost any of them could have easily found sex for free in the wild, but they were paying for discretion and often for a very particular set of interests.

It did happen that I would have to see clients at times when I was not particularly “in the mood”, and unlike my female counterparts, I did not have the option to just lube up and lie there, so I learned all about pills and creams and pumps and rings, and I employed them all from time to time.

 

But did you ever have to have sex with someone who was just fat or ugly?

 

No – I had clients who were overweight by society’s standards, even obese in some cases, but I would never classify someone as fat unless it was a name they claimed for themselves, and the only ugly I ever see is the kind that stains a person’s soul – and has nothing to do with their body.

 

Did you ever have sex with men?

 

No – or at least, I don’t think so… I was offered money to on several occasions – sometimes it was quite substantial, but trauma in my past has always prevented me from being sexual with men – at least from the active position, and if I were ever used as an inactive participant, I was not present for the act.

I used to be adamant that this never happened, but I get glimpses of memories that make very little sense otherwise, so I have to wonder what I don’t have full memories of… 

There was certainly a time where I could not conceive of the possibility that this may have occurred, and I will fully admit that even writing these words causes a spike of anxiety for me, but in retrospect it really makes very little sense that I never saw male clients. 

I was certainly involved in several group-sex scenarios where men were present.  I can remember those pretty clearly.

 

Where is the most interesting place that you have had sex?

 

Interesting is such a strange word… but my answer to this question is actually pretty easy, and it has nothing at all to do with my life as a sex worker.  

I had sex in the confessional of Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco.  The only thing that would have made it better is if she had been wearing a nun’s habit when we did it.

I know.. I’m a blasphemous devil who will burn in hell for all eternity…  

I’ll keep the lights on for you.

 

How much money did you get?

 

Not as much as I should have…  this is not to say that I didn’t ‘sell’ for exorbitant prices – my time went anywhere from $200 to $700 an hour, depending on duration, activities, and when in my ‘career’ I was engaged.  However, Simone managed and held the money in almost every case. There were a few outcalls where I would be expected to collect the fee and return with it, but more often than not I saw people in the apartment that Simone provided for me and she handled the money before they ever arrived at my door.   She covered my expenses, kept me clothed and fed and housed, and gave me chunks of cash from time to time with the idea that I would use it to splash out and have fun of my own. It probably contributed to some of my idiosyncratic spending habits now… all of my day to day expenses were handled for me and I didn’t have to worry about them, and while I did have bank accounts and credit cards of my own – for the most part I always paid cash for everything and carried large amounts of it.

I honestly have no idea what my income was for the not-quite-two-years that I spend under Simone’s direction, but as I was her property, I didn’t decide many things and I didn’t really keep track of what I did.

I probably spent close to $50k in cash across the time I was with her, and my expenses probably ran close to $100k per year, but I was living at a much higher standard of living than I would have chosen for myself and didn’t have much choice in the matter. 

All told, if I had to do some diner napkin mathematics to guess at the totals… I probably cost Simone close to $200k per year, and I probably earned her about 3-4 times that, quite possibly more.. Most weeks I ended up with appointments for at least 15 hours – sometimes as much as 50 – but those were generally inclusive of longer sessions with discounted rates, so I’m not quite sure how it evened out.

The important thing to realize though is that I never really got to keep any of that.  Perhaps I could have been more responsible and pocketed or even deposited some of the cash that I was given, but I tended to spend it – just as Mistress Simone had instructed me to do, and often at the places where she instructed me to do it.  But it was not all bad – she took me shopping somewhat regularly and put me in expensive clothes (that I also didn’t get to keep) and generally kept me up well – I just had nothing to call my own, not even my body, and I viewed it all as normal and expected.

 

Did you ever have sex with any famous people?

 

Depending on how famous you are asking about.. yes, but no one on the A-list or anything like that.  More often they were important people than famous people.

 

Who were they?

 

I’m not telling you that.

 

How many clients did you have?

 

I had several regular clients who I would see on a regular schedule – or sometimes an irregular schedule, but I also saw a lot of clients only once.  I’d say it was close to a 50/50 split between clients that I saw only once and clients that I saw more often than that. Some of them would see me at the same time every week – almost like going to see a therapist or a chiropractor, and I suppose I served a very similar function to some of these women.

All told though, I don’t really remember how many it was over the span of my time working for Simone.  I tried to stop counting at 150, but ended up keeping track up to about 180 and then I really did lose track.

 

What was the weirdest session that you had?

 

There were a few that stand out, but I do think the mother/daughter doubles session that I had was probably the strangest.  The mother of the pair was a regular client of mine, and her daughter was a purported virgin at 26 and that was apparently a problem for both of them.  I would honestly have had no qualms at all about seeing the daughter in a separate session, but her mother brought her along to hers and was present the entire time. 

I did not end up interacting – physically – with both of them that day, I only interacted physically with the daughter while the mother watched and provided commentary and instruction – to her… it was all very odd.

 

Did you ever have a problem ‘getting it up’ with a client?

 

Yes, I did, but it was not frequent – and it was almost always because I was pushing my body too hard rather than anything else, though I can occasionally get in my own way, psychologically, as well.  I had a pump that I could use if I absolutely needed to have an erection, and strangely enough – even though I suspected that it would cause problems, it almost never did.

There are exceptions, of course… and I was punished for those.

 

Did you always have sex with your clients?

 

We always performed some sort of sex act, yes, but it was not always penis-in-vagina sex that was happening.  I had one regular client, in particular, who would visit me at the same time every week and have me spend her entire hour just going down on her as she climaxed over and over again.  We almost didn’t even speak about it. It was all very utilitarian, but she would usually orgasm around 20 times in the hour.

Some of my female colleagues would talk about their clients who would just want emotional intimacy and often only limited physical contact, but I never had a client like that.

My theory is that the women who would come to see someone like me had already made their choice and were not going to be dissuaded by last-minute cold feet that affected many of the men, or that the men sometimes rationalized things… right up until it came time to make the action that would be the point of no return in their mind.  The women had already passed the point of no return before they walked through my door. 

 

Did you ever get asked to do something you didn’t want to do?

 

Sure – that was pretty frequent.  Most of the time I had to do them anyway, but sometimes I was allowed to say ‘no’.

 

Okay – what kinds of things?

 

Well – I was not terribly keen on the mother/daughter virgin team that I talked about previously, and there were some of my clients who really enjoyed degrading me or physically causing me pain, and while I found that I could lean into the physical pain, my reactions to the degradation were all over the place and never positive. 

 

Did you ever fall for a client?

 

No – though I did have clients fall for me.

I was emotionally walled off from the ability to care for anyone other than Simone at that time of my life.  She was my world, and everything I did was to please her. 

 

Did you ever run into clients in ‘the real world’?  And if so, what did you do?

 

Yeah, I did – though rarely.. The places that I would go to socialize catered to a different caliber of folks than the pool of people from which Simone’s clients was taken. 

If I saw someone who I recognized from the job, I would pretend that I didn’t know them, even when one of them once made the mistake of recognizing me and then perking up to start to say something, realizing the company she was in, and then didn’t know how to handle things.  I told her politely that she must have made a mistake and that I have ‘one of those faces’ that everyone finds someone recognizable in. It helps that that is actually true. 


I have been asked other questions, of course, but these are among the most common.  If you have other questions that you would like to ask – I respond to emails as quickly as I am able, and you can always write in the comments section as well.  I will do my best to answer anything you ask.

The invasive and insidious nature of hate

I recently posted about myself again, and it continues a pattern that has been reinforced since I first started writing here.

My posts to this blog seem to generate interest in a few different forms.

Sometimes, people find what I write about interesting or informative and they either want to ask a question or have a comment and will comment on the post directly here on the blog.  Most of the time this happens when I am writing either informative or erotic pieces.

But sometimes, people find what I write about emotionally impactful, and I get email directly.

Often – more often than not, thankfully – these are positive things.  I get messages from people all of the time telling me that I have made a positive impact on their life because I shared something difficult or I exposed something that they could relate to in a way that made their own experiences easier to understand or more acceptable somehow.  I’ve been told that I have been directly or indirectly responsible for saving peoples’ lives. That alone is some heavy stuff, but it’s good – I can feel good about the fact that I am helping people, and I can feel good about the example that I try to set for how I live my life.

But sometimes… people find what I write about emotionally challenging in some less positive ways.

I also get a lot of hate mail.  Not as much as I used to, actually, but I recently gave these people more ammunition to use in an attempt to hurt me with my diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder and some of the other things that I have recently said and done as part of my life in the BDSM scene – and some of the things that I’m getting emails about are related to things that I have not even revealed on this blog – which ratchets up the fear a notch or three.

This means that I am getting hate mail to my blog from someone who knows me personally.

Even when it’s only an email, or its just someone filling in my Contact Me form, it is difficult to see messages where people tell me to kill myself.

It is difficult to read that someone thinks I have so little value as a person that I would be doing the world a favor by removing myself from it.

It is scary as fuck to read that someone knows the city I live in and would take any opportunity they had to beat the shit out of me or that they might show up at my house and set it on fire.

It hurts to read that someone that I have personally interacted with believes that my way of life is so repugnant that I should subject myself to terrible, painful, torturous ways of killing myself, and that the lives of everyone that I love would be improved by removing the stain of my existence from their lives.

Recently, I’ve made calling cards.  I’ve been trying to more closely engage with my community and to put myself out there a bit more for the good that I may be able to do as well as to increase my own exposure and possibly increase my reach.  It’s never been a strong goal of mine to create a personal brand or chase fame on the internet, but the good things that I hear urge me to try to at least reach a bit further – until I hit the barriers that I am coming up against again now.

This becomes important because those calling cards are the first time that I have linked this blog to my fetlife profile (where there are pictures of my face) and my phone number – and only recently have I started to receive text messages and phone calls from people who are spewing hate as well.

Honestly, it makes me want to run away.  It makes me want to pull up shop here, stop writing altogether and even to withdraw from my community.  It makes me afraid to go outside sometimes. It makes me afraid to have my kids stay with me at my own house.  And while I can rationalize away the fear and despair, I can never really get rid of them completely, and it weighs on me, heavily.

I have nightmares almost every night.  These are the result of trauma from my youth more often than not – memories that I have suppressed trying to percolate back up into consciousness – so I know that these are not necessarily only because of this newly increased volume of hate that I am receiving each day, but I would be incredibly foolish if I didn’t consider that it is having an effect.

I don’t know who is making these threats and sending me so much hate – and while I could probably find out, I am terrified to learn the answers to those questions, terrified to learn that someone I love harbors such deep seated loathing for me and feels like they can only express it pseudo-anonymously and with such bile.

I do not always succeed in putting forth the best version of me, but I do try very hard, and I try very hard to be open to criticism and discussion about how I act and the ways in which I may have made you feel.  And if you know me personally and I have somehow offended you, I would very much appreciate the chance to rationally discuss the things that have hurt you, but if you are just a hateful stalker who wants only to cause me harm, I can tell you that you have succeeded.

The hate that I feel seeps into my soul and makes everything seem bleak.  It gets into everything that I think and everything that I do and it makes it almost impossible to concentrate or accomplish anything of substance.  I try to counter it with love, and to an extent I succeed, but the fear never seems to completely disappear. I try to ignore it and focus on the other things that make my life the amazing thing that it is.  I have amazing people in my life who love me and support me, and even those who no longer wish to be a part of my life, or those who I care about but cannot make fit into this chaos claim to love and want to support me, if but from a further distance – and I feel the same way about them.  Much of the time I succeed, but sometimes the hate seeps back in like an oily stain that you can never quite remove from your favorite jeans.

I am Rant, and I am not going nowhere, but you have made me afraid.  Bully for you.

 

The many faces of Rant

I have made a number of difficult admissions through this site.  This is probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever contemplated posting to a public site and it has nothing to do with BDSM but everything to do with me.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have been through psychotherapy and have been on prescriptions for psychoactive drugs at various times in my past – over the course of writing this blog, even.  However, I have not been completely open about one of the more challenging aspects of my atypical neurology, and in order to be consistent with my mission, I have to be unflinchingly transparent and vulnerable, so here I am…

I have Dissociative Identity Disorder.

For those of you who don’t know what that is,  you can follow the link above or just accept that it is the current accepted terminology for what used to be called multiple personality disorder.  There is literally more than one person living in my body – though the degrees to which they make themselves known can vary tremendously.

The ways in which it can manifest are legion, and I have been in deep denial about my own condition for years, which created more than a few problems for me.  I was able to conceal it from almost everyone, even from myself – perhaps most especially from myself, by being paranoid and attempting to control every aspect of every moment of every day of my life.  I spent huge amounts of mental and even physical energy in just monitoring myself for consistency and trying to portray an unbroken narrative for myself and everyone who interacts with me.

It was exhausting.

I developed habits though… I repeat myself a lot, both in written and verbal communications.  Most people completely fail to notice, but those who do tend to think that I am merely emphasizing the things that I want to say for effect – and often that is the case, at least in part, but sometimes I’m also doing it so that I can make sure that I will remember…   I meditate – and when I forget to do that, or when life gets in the way too often and I don’t make the time – I suffer for it. I use drugs to force my mind into the state I want it to be in sometimes as well. Nootropics and psychoactive chemicals are my friends and allies.

The memory gaps are the worst thing.

I can be working, sitting at my desk, writing code and being in the zone, and then I will lose track of time and space and my consciousness will return and I will find myself in a completely different part of the office or in the kitchen or even in my car, completely unaware of hours of time that have passed where I have had conversations with coworkers, accomplished work goals, even eaten meals or used the bathroom.  That happens with some frequency, and I’ve just grown accustomed to it. I have learned to ask leading questions and prompt people to fill in missing information for me in conversations all of the time, because when I’m at work, about a third of the time it isn’t really me there.

Sometimes when I go out to my favorite weekly event – Bondage a Go Go – I will end up finding myself at home in bed and not remember how I got there.  Sometimes there are people with me throughout this entire process – my former partner would frequently accompany me to and from BaGG and spend the night with me, and often I would not remember things from some point after our arrival until the next day.  Often pieces will come back to me, but sometimes they won’t – until my personality shifts again, and then all of the corresponding memories come flooding back in again, only to be lost anew when I shift again.

My personality shards – my alters – to use the common parlance, each have different motives and desires and personalities and while I am fortunate enough that these are almost always in concert with each other, sometimes they are not.  Sometimes they even conflict with each other… and as you can probably imagine, this makes dealing with me difficult sometimes.  I can seem like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at times, I’m sure.

Recently, this has all been very different though – and not in a very flattering way.

When I was suppressing the expression of personality shifts, I would minimize the impact, even when they happened.  I would go on with life as if I was always the one at the controls and while I had gaps in my memory of things, I could usually fill them in pretty effectively and by denying the gaps existed, I was presenting myself and everyone around me with an unbroken narrative.

And that is how we experience the world, I’m realizing… I mean, I’ve always known this, but it is not something that I usually spend much time thinking about.  We experience everything as a continuous story, beginning when we are born and ending when we die.  This is the normal, expected, and understood way in which people live their lives – when you’re trying to explain anything to someone else, one of the most effective ways to do that is to relate it with a story.  

With the exception of our daily sleep periods, humans experience their entire world as an unbroken narrative.

Except — I don’t.  There are breaks in the narrative for me – every day.  When I was not monitoring myself as much, and when I denied my interior pieces, I failed to notice this, but the narrative of my life is not unbroken – and there are pieces missing for me all of the time.

I had no idea how much this was affecting me.

To be experiencing so much missing time and to be openly accepting the transitions was causing my mind to fragment even more.  Personality characteristics that are dominant with one alter were beginning to bifurcate more tenaciously and rapidly, leaving my dominant self, the one who I most often consider to be me, with the least agency that I can remember ever having.  

The parts were growing at the expense of what remained of me.

For some reason that I can’t explain – maybe it’s self-selection bias, maybe it’s something else – the BDSM community seems to be home to many more people with DID than would match population statistics.  I know several people in my local scene who also have DID and one of the more fascinating things to me is how the disorder manifests differently in different people.

Most of my friends and acquaintances who have the disorder have the ability to conduct conversations between their alters within their own mind.  The only way that I have ever been able to have an actual conversation with a different part of myself was very recently when I was staring at myself in the mirror and having a conversation with myself.  

My alter – who is known as Damien, though he doesn’t refer to himself that way except to note his presence to those in the know – would talk through my mouth at me as I stared at the mirror, and he would respond to things that I thought back at him – so anyone watching the conversation would only hear Damien’s voice, and I imagine it would have been really fucking freaky to watch.

Damien told me about the world as he sees it, a little bit about what he wants, and a lot more about how he wanted my former partner to succeed, and plans for how she can probably do that.  He told me about his disappointment in me. He told me that he does not understand why I let myself get hurt, and he offered to take over for me. Permanently.

I almost let him.

It is something that I still think about.  Since having that weird conversation with myself a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been unstable.  I have a very hard time concentrating on anything at all. I can tell that he feels much more stable, more in control, more complete than he used to be.  

A completely different alter – one who lives in a very different world than I do, and who believes in things like magic and supernatural connections between things – led Damien and I through a ritual that was intended to close some of the gaps in my memory and help him to cope with the fact that his carefully laid plans were falling apart and give him some broader context in which to operate.  

As far as I can tell – from his perspective – it was a complete success.  I feel slightly more grounded than I did, and it did return a small portion of the personal agency that I feel was eroding, but he is resplendent.  He has been staying out of the light because I did not accept his offer to take over control for me, but his fear and doubt are gone, and mine still remain – and may be even greater, and while I don’t actually know if his offer is still valid, it tempts me even now.

But it is a terrifying thing.  It feels like a lesser form of suicide.  If I do this – who will I really be? I know that I won’t disappear entirely, Damien doesn’t when he is no longer in control – and he continues to learn and grow.  

I am nearly certain that this is something that I have already done once before – not to let Damien take over for me, but for me to take over for the one who could no longer handle living.

I may very well be the result of a first suicide of this type, and the original progenitor me is still locked inside me somewhere, but he never comes out anymore – would that be my fate if I were to surrender to the more Dominant part of me?

Who knows?  Perhaps it is all delusion anyway.

I’m still too afraid to try – still too afraid to know.

And so – I remain Rant.   For now.

 

My sacred mission in life

It kind of started out as a joke.  The statement was completely true and made without any sort of deception or guile, but it seemed so outrageous that even though I was the one saying it, I had a hard time believing it.

I was on a date, and my date and I didn’t know each other very well as normally happens in the early stages of dating, so she asked me, “What is your passion?”

Such a broad question…

Normally this sort of question kind of puts my mind into overload as I try to think about all of the different possible answers and I get kind of paralyzed, but on this particular occasion the answer came quickly and almost without thought.

“I make it my sacred mission in life to make it acceptable for every person to be who they really are at their core.”

I usually actually try to go further than that and help everyone to be the best version of themselves that they can be, but that requires a great deal of work on their part, whereas the above statement only really requires that I be interested, nonjudgmental, supportive, patient, and caring – and I’m really quite good at those things, most of the time.

I’ve tried to refine this a bit, especially in the case of the people that I actually have close relationships with, because with those people I can take a more active hand in helping them to realize the things that are holding them back and realizing how they can be the best versions of themselves that they can be.

Of course, none of this is worth anything without me also doing work on myself and learning along the way as well, and I do my best to do that, every day.  

One of my former mentees likes to tell people that I am responsible for her being kinky – or, she did, until I started to correct her each time she said it, with something like this, “No, little one, I didn’t make you who you are, I just accepted you and made it okay for you to be who you were all along.”

My goal in life for myself is to be as authentically me as I can manage.  I try to let go of the guilt and shame that I’ve been gifted with by family and religion and society and I try to listen to the internal voices within me, understand their needs, and so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone to do so, satisfy them.

My sacred mission in life is to help you do exactly the same.

 

Just Another Wednesday

Every Wednesday I go to an event called Bondage a Go Go.  I think I may have mentioned it before.

In keeping with my continuing desire and goal to say what I mean rather than couch my insecurities about showing enthusiasm with understatement or otherwise deflect, I’m going to call myself out for saying such things as, “It’s just another Wednesday,” or something similar.  It’s an inside joke, and anyone that I say it to understands that around here, Wednesdays are something special.  But I should just come out and say that.

Wednesdays are special because that is when BaGG happens, and BaGG is the best and longest-running weekly kink-friendly social event ever, anywhere.

Full disclosure – I am a member of the BGG Association that promotes and puts on Bondage a Go Go, but I have no financial stake and all of my efforts to advertise it here or in person are volunteer – because I am an acolyte.

Today is Wednesday, and I am elated – because no matter how bad life gets me down, on Wednesdays I have BaGG, and BaGG is therapy, family, validation, energization, and grounding all rolled into one.  BaGG is where I can be mostly safe in being mostly me, and it is glorious.

“It feels like I’m in a movie.” – F

I still remember the first time that I went to BaGG.  I didn’t know anyone, and I was alone, and it was overwhelming.  It’s really just a bar, but it’s dark inside and people are wearing next to nothing and acting sexy as fuck.  There is a dance floor in the front and two bars along with seating areas, a house masseur, a swag counter, and a dungeon in the back.

The first time you’re seeing something like this, it can be a lot to take in.  Even as a seasoned kinkster, it was more than I expected in some ways and less than I expected in other ways, but one thing became abundantly clear to me within moments.  BaGG is not a place or an event, BaGG is a people.

That first time that I was there, I was not a part of BaGG – I was present, I was physically there and I was watching and I was drinking and I was dancing and I was socializing, but I was not really a part of it.

I was disheartened, and I would leave to go home, knowing that it was something special, but feeling on the outside, and it would be years before I would return.

BaGG is a “kink-friendly take over of a night club” – C

BaGG is really just a weekly party in a bar with kinky themes.  It’s not a BDSM event in the more general sense.  There is not a dungeon floor where people are heard making noises of pleasure and pain surrounded by a wall of silence from the onlookers.  There are not rooms where people can sequester themselves and do nasty, horrible things to each other.  There are no classes or lessons or things to learn.

There is a dungeon, and it is small, and exposed, and your audience will cheer for you as you get beaten.  There is a tradition of very public spanking with the entire bar cheering for you on your birthday or the birthday of your Dominant.  And I will have to tell you, the three young ladies who took my spankings for me and the three Dominants (they were not all male) who delivered them while I stood by and basked in the glow of adoration from the crowd certainly contributed to make my year last year.

The dungeon is great fun, largely underutilized despite the fact that you have to wait for your turn more often than not, and also completely not the point of BaGG.

“I just go for the dancing.” – S

The dance floor at BaGG is amazing.

No where else that I am aware of do you have as many ultra sexy people dancing alongside straight up freaks – and often they are the very same people.

It’s right there in the name – there are Go Go dancers.  You can tip them if you like.  They won’t take off their clothes for you, but they’re not wearing that much to begin with.

The greatest show doesn’t come from the dancers on the stage or in the cage though – it comes from the people on the floor.

I don’t spend nearly enough time on the dance floor at BaGG, but if I don’t get out and dance every once in awhile, I get restless – and I don’t really dance anywhere else.

I’m a terrible dancer – I have to be only part of me to have any rhythm at all, but I don’t really care.   My partners dance, my friends dance, I’ve met people on the dance floor, no one cares that I’m terrible at it – it’s just another part of the wonderful pervasive blanket of love that falls on me when I am there with my people.

“…people generally seem to know each other.” – A

I wasn’t a part of BaGG at first, but I went, and I put myself out there, and I kept going back and talking to the same people and learning that they felt the same way that I do – about politics and kink and love, but most importantly, about BaGG.

It was the piece that was missing for me until I just kept showing up.  I’ve always felt like I could be at home at BaGG, but even still it took time before I felt like I was a part of it.

“How do I become a member?” I asked.

The answer is simple.  Show up.  Talk to people.  Get to know the club and the personalities, let people know who you are, and then when two members in good standing will speak up for you and say, “This guy is not an asshole,” we’ll collect your dues and you will be one of us.

It’s nice to be one of us somewhere.

I’m at BaGG almost every week – it’s rare that I’m not there.

If ever you want to meet me, go to BaGG, look for the guy in a waistcoat and fancy knot in his tie, and you’ll likely find me.

  • Rant

My Personal Journey : Part 8

Mistress Simone was confusing – at times she seemed entirely without compassion.  I do not know the full details of her operation, and in retrospect, that is a very good thing, but I did catch glimpses from time to time – especially when she left town on one occasion after I’d been in place for a few months and I took it upon myself to look after what I could – in an ill-fated attempt to impress her.  I do know that the weight of keeping things running smoothly got to her from time to time, and I do know that anxiety was one of her demons as well.

But sometimes, she was incredibly caring and empathetic.  She seemed to always know what was going to happen before it did.  She not only seemed to know the specific details of what would occur, but she seemed to always know how I would feel too.  There was brief period of time where I entertained the notion that she could actually see into the future, but that wasn’t it at all, she was just a master of understanding the human condition, of reading the desires of people and finding ways to fulfill them.  It was as skill that she attempted to impart on me – and one that I would like to think that I have become adept at myself.

On this particular occasion – I didn’t even know that I needed support, but Simone did, and she was there for me.  

I had just met with my first client, Mary, (the details of which you can read about here, if you wish) and it had gone amazingly well.  Subsequent meetings with other clients, and even with Mary herself, did not always go so well. I was very fortunate to have had the first time experience that I did – something which I suspect Simone had specifically engineered, but I do not know for certain, and as I said, Mistress Simone was often confusing.

I was confused to see Mistress Simone when she showed up at my door after I’d run around tidying and getting clean after Mary had left.  I was certain that I’d done something wrong to earn her visit, but she had something else in mind.

She walked into my apartment, looking stunning as always, and not knowing what else to do, I dropped to my knees in front of her.  She looked at me, but walked past me to go sit at on the edge of my bed and placed her hands to her sides at the edge and regarded me.

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

I stood up and walked over to the base of the steps below where my bed was.  Even sitting as she was, her head was level with mine as I stood below. Not knowing what else to do, I stood there at parade rest and regarded her.  She was dressed more casually than I was used to seeing her, in a lengthy flowing skirt and a loose-fitting top. Normally, her clothing was tight, fitted perfectly, or she was wearing little more than underwear, but now she looked … ordinary.  It was unsettling.

“How did it go?”

I wasn’t sure how to answer.  I felt like it had gone very well, but was considerably less sure of that after being visited by Mistress Simone.  I began to go over events in my mind, disassembling them and looking for all of the points of failure along the way.  I was about to answer with a list of perceived faults, when Simone interrupted me.

“No, don’t answer now…  It’s okay.  Come, kneel at my feet, toy.”

I did as she asked, stepping up onto the platform where my bed rested, and knelt to the right side of her.  She scooted over a bit to the right and centered herself around me, and then spread her legs and motioned for me to come closer, so I knee-walked until I was kneeling between her legs, and then she patted the inside of her thigh and I somehow knew that she wanted me to rest my head there, so I knelt lower, and then rested my head on her thigh as she began to pet my hair.

Mistress Simone’s skirt was split up the sides, which is something that I didn’t really notice until she sat and spread her legs, allowing her bare thighs to protrude from the sides, one of which my face was now pressed against as I tried to look up into her face and she pet my hair, which invariably caused my face to turn towards her body – and her pussy – instead.  At first, I kept trying to crane my head up to look into her face as I lay there, my whole body tense with the weird angles required to accomplish such a thing. Once I started to say something, to ask my Mistress questions about what she wanted from me, what I should be doing, because to just be kneeling there, leaning against my bed and her thigh, having her pet my hair, was making me anxious.  I felt like I had done something to displease her, I thought that I should be doing something differently…

Opening my mouth to speak the questions that were flooding my mind, I changed my posture slightly, and it became clear that despite her silence, Mistress Simone was watching me intently, because the moment that my mouth began to open, she shifted her hand from petting me, to wrap around my jaw and gently push my mouth back closed.  When she moved her hand away for a moment, I began to open my mouth yet again, and she repeated the same action, with the same levels of both deliberation and tenderness. Once again, she moved her hand away, and when I did not try to open my mouth again, she resumed petting my hair. I still had no idea what to do, and my anxiety was making me restless.  I shifted in my position on my knees, and when I moved, Mistress Simone’s hand would stop.

After several minutes of this – what seemed like an inordinately long period of time – I eventually reasoned that she wanted me to just relax and be there, kneeling loosely, head on her thigh, with her petting my hair.  Eventually, I did just that, letting go of the tension, relaxing into my lean against the bed and her thigh, allowing myself to feel the comfort present in her strokes of my hair.

My breathing slowed, I could feel my body temperature dropping, and the anxiety that I had been holding on to – all afternoon at least, perhaps all day – finally began to flow out of me.  I felt grounded for the first time in a long time, peaceful in a way that I had only experienced a few times in my life before, and those were all what one could only properly describe as ‘religious’ experiences.  It may be the closest I ever really came to feeling in subspace myself, and perhaps it actually was, but it was fleeting, and replaced by the most unexpected of things for me at that time.

I began to cry.

I don’t mean that I sat silently as tears streamed down my face as I am oft wont to do today, nor that I was overcome by emotion to the degree that I commonly see in people when they try to hide their tears from me.  This was crying of a primordial sort. A part of me broke in that moment, and I sobbed.  Eventually, it became impossible to stay as I was, the sobs causing me to curl into a ball at Mistress Simone’s feet, uncomfortably straddling the top step up to my bed and the floor in front of it.  

I don’t know for how long I cried, and I don’t know for how long Mistress Simone petted my hair and wouldn’t let me speak before I began to cry, but I was on the floor crying for what felt like a very long time.  I could not control my body, and I must have looked a fright with tears and snot when I finally did look up again to note that Mistress Simone was no longer sitting on my bed. I pushed myself up to look around and noticed Mistress Simone in the kitchen area, working on something as I glanced over to the clock to see that about an hour and a half had passed since she arrived at my door – significantly longer than I was expecting to find, even though it had felt like a long time to me.  In retrospect, I wonder if I didn’t fall asleep for a short time somewhere in between beginning to cry and looking to see Simone no longer above me.

I completed pushing myself up into a sitting position on the stairs where I could see well into the kitchen and my senses began to return to me.  I cleaned the snot and tears from my face as best I could with my hands and the ends of my shirt and focused my attention the smell, sound, and sights from my kitchen.

Mistress Simone was in my kitchen, cooking.  It was something that I never expected to see, and something that I would never see again.  She looked over at me and smiled – which was also something that I did not often see from her.

“It’s funny how the smell of breakfast food always seems to bring the attention of the exhausted and the forlorn,” she said in my general direction as she was plating the eggs that she had just been cooking and putting the mixing bowl and pan in the sink for me to clean later.

She pushed the plate across the island towards me and indicated it with her hand as she said, “Rant.  Eat.  Please. You need the calories and comfort.”

I wordlessly rose to walk over to the place she indicated, pulling a bar stool over to sit on as I did so.  I settled onto the chair and looked over at her, unsure of what I should be feeling, of whether or not I was doing the right things, worried that my emotional outburst was going to put me on the outs with her, thinking about three hundred different things all at once.

“Stop,” she said, reading the anguish on my face. “Just stop, Rant.   You have done well today. You have done extremely well.  I am pleased with you today, and I am certain that this will become easier for you with time.”

I instantly felt relief.  I was still emotionally raw, and I still did not really understand what it was that I was feeling or why I was crying the way that I was, but I did at least know, in that moment, that I had not displeased her or somehow screwed up, and that was enough.  The relief must have been obvious in my posture, face, and voice as I looked up again at Mistress Simone and asked her, “How did you know?”

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, honestly.  Every person is a little bit different. What you just went through was an intense experience to cap more than a week of increasingly intense experiences, and it would be surprising if you didn’t show any weakness anywhere along the way.”

That word.  Weakness.  It took the wind right out of my sails again, and it was probably evident in my posture because it was immediately rebuked in compassionate, but certain terms, “Rant. Stop.  You must not let every minor nit turn into a major upheaval. I gave you your kudos, and I will continue to do so for now, but while this episode was understandable and will be excused, you must not let yourself get carried so far away again, do you understand?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Now eat your eggs.  I’m not much of a cook, and I can count the number of times I’ve cooked for a man – my husband included – on the fingers of one hand still, but you have performed very well and I am very proud of you and you deserve something special.”

“Thank you, Mistress,” I said with ecstasy as I began to dig in to my eggs.  It was only then that I recognized that there was no other plate; that Mistress Simone had cooked for me in my own kitchen, and only for me.  It was not that she intended to eat and was allowing me to have the surplus of her portion, she was doing this as a service to me, and it felt strange and wonderful all at once.  

The eggs were not particularly good – simply scrambled with some salt and pepper, but the method in which they were delivered ensured that they were among the very best that I had ever had.

“These are delicious, Mistress,” I said, with complete honesty.

“I do expect flattery and devotion, pet, but I will not tolerate dishonesty – you are not being dishonest with me, are you, toy?”  she asked me, with just a hint of a smirk.

“Oh, no!  I swear, Mistress!  I don’t even like eggs, and these are amazing!”

“You don’t like eggs, and yet, these are amazing?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“It’s a good thing that you’re adorable, Rant, because sometimes the shit that comes out of your mouth is just completely unbelievable.”

“Mistress?”

“Nevermind.  It is not important.  I am pleased that you are enjoying them, and more pleased that you are eating them.”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Please be sure to drink lots of water,” she said as she grabbed a glass and filled it from the tap to place in front of me, “and do not get used to this sort of treatment.  I expected you to have an emotional reaction, and you did. I expected you to do well with Mary, and by her accounts, you did – though we will talk later about what you should and should not reveal to my clients.  I expected you to be just as you are, and I was not disappointed.” She said the last with an air of finality to it that left me feeling a little off-balance.

“Thank you, Mistress,” was all I finally managed to get out, after what was probably too long a period of time to be comfortable for either of us.

At this, Mistress Simone gathered herself up, stood taller – though I had not noticed that she was not keeping her normal, extremely rigid posture until just this point – and looked me square in the eyes with the largely unemotional gaze to which I became accustomed.

“I will leave the dishes for you to do, Rant.  I am glad that I was able to give you this time after your client today, but this is not likely to be something that can happen again.  You will need to be able to be resilient and care for yourself moving forward. Do you understand, Rant?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Good,” she said as she walked to the door, grasping the handle and looking back at me before opening the door.  “You really did do well today, toy. Keep this up, and I foresee a long and fruitful partnership.”

“Thank you, Mistress,” I beamed at her as she opened the door and disappeared behind it.

I sat there, on the barstool, in front of an empty plate and an empty water glass for quite some time, examining the thoughts and feelings and visuals that played themselves over and over again in my mind, wondering at the sort of partnership that Mistress Simone was speaking of, and wondering at my own emotions and whether or not I could continue to do this.  But ultimately, I decided that I could – I could do anything – for her.

I still don’t really know what possessed me to do so, but I pulled all the bedding off of my bed and slept in it on the floor that night.  I remember waking early in the morning hours, having forgotten to close the blinds the night before and with the glare of morning coming in.  I remember feeling like I was completely alone in the world, with no one beside me apart from Simone – but in that moment, that felt right, comfortable, even good.

My schedule was clear for that day, but that would be the last day that I had to myself for a very long time afterwards.

 

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…