Tag Archives: empathy

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Interlude: Kneel for me

If you know me personally, this is probably not a new piece of writing to you.  I posted this first to my fetlife profile rather than here, about a year ago, but I re-read it myself recently and thought that perhaps it should be cross-posted here as well.

It is short, and while I intended it to be akin to free-verse poetry, it’s really just a short monologue… but I kind of like it.

I hope you do too.


Kneel for me.

Meet my gaze and hold it. Do not look away.

I know it is not easy. Nothing worthwhile is.

Cry for me. Not because you are sad, not because you have lost, not because you are missing someone dear, but because I am asking you to.

Open your heart for me. Pour the blood of your emotion on the floor at my feet and let me sink into its depth.

Sing your song of sorrow until it fills my soul and covers the rough parts, smooths out the edges, fills the gaps of my emotional canvas.

Cry for me. Not because you need to, but because I need for you to.

Lift your heart and mind and soul to the sky and let my love surround you. This is a place of safety and security, you are in my Protection and nothing in the world can harm you right now.

Rage for me. Not because you need to purge the poisonous vapors of mistrust and envy from your mind, but because I feed on your ire.

Scream for me. Not because your voice needs to escape your throat. Not because you have broken through the wall of your pain and anger and the primal need for screaming catharsis is pulling apart the walls of your soul, but because I want you to.

And then do all of those things again for the reasons I told you not to before.

I will hold your heart close and keep it safe while you channel the dark things away and I will eat them for you.

And when you are ready, I will return your heart to you, clean, shiny, and new.

And any time you need me to, I will be here, and you can…

…kneel for me.

The Value of Honesty

Anyone who knows me personally and has interacted with me in the past several months knows that I have a (relatively) new submissive whom I adore.  She is Devoted to me, and I am pledged to her, and I have no intention of changing any of that.

She and I have an open relationship and we are honest with each other about everything that goes on – and more importantly – about how those things make us feel.  We work together to ensure that we have a proper understanding of both the factual and emotional issues that surround anything that may come up – because emotions and facts don’t always correlate well until you take some time to understand how they interact with each other around the particular issue at hand.

And that was a lot of words to say:  she trusts me and I trust her – and the reasons for that are brutal and open honesty coupled with a lot of patience.

I hide nothing from her.  I don’t always tell her everything, because sometimes I don’t think to do so, and sometimes too much information can be hurtful, but I always answer all of her questions and I patiently allow her to feel what she feels and then reinforce the fact that I love her, I cherish her trust, and I am still committed to her.  It isn’t easy, but it is extremely valuable.

I have not always had relationships that ended well.  Heck, I’ve not always had relationships that proceeded well.  However, I am nearly always patient and polite.  No one manages to always be these things, but I do my best, and I usually succeed.  

Yesterday my submissive received some very strange text messages from a woman (or someone claiming to be a woman) who she has never met, but that was put into contact with her some time ago.  This woman resurfaced and started making claims about me – that she ‘catfished me on her behalf’ and claims that I derided her on fetlife and threatened her when she refused to have a skype sex session with me and tried to warn my submissive that I bad-talked my submissive behind her back and that I was a dangerous man.

Now – I am a dangerous man, but not for the reasons that she accuses me.

Anyone who knows me and has tried to get me to agree to a video chat session knows how laughable this is.  I am extremely reluctant to have a video call, and I almost never engage in any sort of sex over the wire.  I don’t enjoy it, and it triggers a few unpleasant memories for me.   If I’m doing it, it’s because I love you very much and I want you to be happy – it’s never something that I would pressure someone into, and I use words like ‘always’ and ‘never’ extremely sparingly.  I don’t even like talking on the phone.  So – on its face this was an amusingly ridiculous accusation, but even the most ridiculous accusations can destroy relationships when there is not trust there to begin with.

I’ve been in relationships where that trust was not solid.  I’ve been in relationships where accusations of infidelity – and actual infidelity – destroyed the relationship, and the reason that happened was because trust was either never fully established, or worn away.  I am certainly not trying to portray myself as always being in the right in these situations – I don’t know that there is always a right to be had – but I do know that I have never acted in the manner for which I was accused.

I honestly have no idea who this person is or what his motives might be.  It’s extremely unlikely that it is one of my exes trying to get at me through her.  It’s equally unlikely that it’s her ex trying to get at her, but the motive of anyone else in this matter just doesn’t seem to add up…

The fact that we can’t find a sensible motive is an any area of consternation to be sure, but sometimes people just like to cause drama, and maybe that’s all this is.

I’ve been in relationships that would be threatened by such a thing, but I am ecstatically happy to not be in one of those now.  

My relationship is as solid as ever, and may even be stronger now for having faced this sort of challenge and walked away unscathed, and we have accomplished this thanks to the intrinsic power and value of honesty, compassion, empathy, and trust.

I love.  I am loved.  We are strong.

I am Rant, and I’m not going anywhere.

 

I’m not selling out. I’m buying in.

My life right now does not suck.

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

But right now, my life does not suck.

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

My life is full of music and love.

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

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

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

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

Love is so much more powerful than fear though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t even know her name.

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

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

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

It will either liberate or destroy me.

  • Rant

Fighting for the things you love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She is my lighthouse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Call For Leadership

I’ve received a few emails from readers (but surprisingly few visible comments…) about my posts, but my last post on The Feminist Dom seems to have gathered more attention than average.

I suspect that this is due to the current and ongoing focus on the #yesallwomen hashtag and discussion, but since I have neither a facebook nor twitter account, I’m not privy to a great deal of that information.  What I do hear is either picked up by the mainstream media, relayed through friends, or things that I see on fetlife (which is the one ‘social network’ of which I am, nominally, a part.)

The comments to my post have been universally positive, but there was at least one call to action – a reader (I don’t know what gender this person chooses to identify with, so I’ll use the colloquial ‘their’ despite it being grammatically incorrect – forgive me) has stated that in their opinion, I do not go far enough.  I make a bold statement about my beliefs and why I hold them, but it falls short of the force of Will that normally accompanies one of my Rants, and it is not explicit enough to be a call to action.  I have a duty to do more than that, and in my life in meat-space I do, but I can still do more here (and on fetlife as well) so I shall.

 

I am a Dom.  In my case this works for me because I have certain personality traits that facilitate me taking on that role – it is those traits that make me successful and that allow my submissive partner to feel willing to submit to me.  I have never taken the title of Alpha, or even claimed to be a ‘Type-A’ personality, but the truth of the matter is that I have many of the qualities that people look for in a leader.  If you are being true to your own nature and that leads you to take on the role of Dominant, then you do too, and it is directly to you that I am speaking now.

We are almost all the leaders of our peer groups – perhaps in both vanilla and BDSM worlds.

Some of us are the leaders of our communities.

Some of us are leaders in professional organizations.

Some of us are leaders in the workplace.

Some of us are parents.

Some of us are leaders in other contexts as well, but one truth remains even if none of these apply.

All of us, regardless of roles, regardless of gender identification, regardless of personal power – all of us are a role model to someone and there are people who will observe our behavior and incorporate it into what is and is not acceptable in their own minds.

The perpetrators of the vast majority of violence against women or against transgendered people or against any non-dominant group are men.  They’re not all Dominant men, and they’re not all social outliers, most of them are normal in almost every way.  In fact, this is part of the problem.  It is because society as a whole has divorced gender – specifically the male gender – from the problems of repression and gender violence (not all of which is physically violent) that we are in such a state.  It is because we don’t hold men accountable for our own actions.  We laugh things like catcalling off as isolated incidents by ‘other men’ but I’ve met self-proclaimed feminist men who will still ogle women and may even go so far as to say something stupid like ‘Daaayumm’ when they see a woman they find particularly attractive.

There are men who are now trying to ‘opt out’ of the #yesallwomen discussion by saying that it’s is #notallmen who perpetrate these things.  To a certain extent that is true, but like my original Feminist Dom post, it does not go far enough, and to make matters worse, it shifts the blame to the women making the claims.

Victim blaming is evil.

There is more that I could say on that particular trend, but the above line is succinct and sufficient for anyone who is actually rationally part of this discussion.

Sure, I have personally never catcalled at a woman.  I have never groped someone who I wasn’t very sure wanted me to.  I routinely turn down sex when I feel like the person I’m with is not able to give consent.  And yet, I know that in my past I’ve let comments like the illustration above slide without comment, and I need to stop doing that.  Comments like that, those types of actions, they are all hurtful behavior and they need to stop.

That behavior is part of the problem.

Glossing over that behavior is a much larger part of the problem.

One of my favorite movies is The Boondock Saints.  There is a great line at the beginning of the film, when the monsignor is giving his invocation at the beginning of mass and he says, “…we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

This is where I get personal.

You.  Whoever it is that is reading this right now.  If you are a male Dom, I am specifically calling you out, but you if you identify as a sub or a switch or something else entirely, you are not immune to this either.  This is not because I do not think that women are capable of fighting their own fight, but because for too long we have made it their fight to carry, it never should have been their fight to begin with.  We men are responsible for our own behavior, but I am calling on you to act and to go even further than that.

Do not be a bystander.

Do not perpetuate the oppression that is holding down more than half of our society and making them feel unsafe, unloved, or unwelcome.

If you are playing poker and one of your buddies makes a comment like, “Dayum.. did you see Kim Kardashian’s ass in that dress? I’d tap that.” do not let it stand.  Do not laugh it off, do not agree, do not just let it slide.  That is an inappropriate thing to say and you know it.  What if he was making that comment about your sister, or your daughter?  I omit wife here because I know that would actually turn some of you kinky fuckers on, but that’s not the point and you know it – so don’t do that either.  Don’t dodge an important issue and attempt to deflect with humor.  Yes – that is why humor works – it allows us the ability to talk about things that are otherwise socially unacceptable and it has filled a very important role in its ability to do that since the dawn of civilization but we are on the cusp now.  We can now take this back and actually make a difference.

If we, the leaders in the male community, take this cause up and act with integrity and mindfulness we can change things.

#yesallwomen is not solely a women’s issue.  It’s not even really a people’s issue; it’s a men’s issue.  It is us, the men, who need to step up and make the asinine comments that our brothers have been making since the dawn of time unacceptable.  These are status-raising comments now and that is totally upside down and backwards.  A bigot should not be rewarded for his bigotry.  If we, men, leaders, Doms, stand up and make it known that this type of bullshit will not stand, if we remove and reverse the status-raising effects of these comments that put others down, if we instead make it so that everybody knows that those types of comments are unacceptable and that they lower your status, then we have the power to change this behavior.

We are the leaders of our community and now is the time to act.

The iron is hot and we have the opportunity.

This is a first for me in this blog or any forum at all.

This is a call to action.

This is a call for Leadership.

I am Rant.

Lead with me.