Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: ego

KASB: Intention is the Watchword

It wasn’t long ago that Onyx put a collar around my neck for the second time, but at the time there was little that came along with it that wasn’t already in our relationship. The last year has been the best we’ve ever had together, and after nearly six years together that’s saying something. Hopefully, though our effort at sustaining and nourishing our relationship, that trend will continue. After the first time he collared me and I moved in with him there was a time when we attempted to implement some service and protocol in our lives. It didn’t work.

There was lots of baggage we both were battling back then, issues and assumptions we both were making due to past experiences either with other people or with each other. I desperately wanted some structure. I wanted clearly defined rules and protocols. I wanted all the things I’d heard what M/S is, the things I had read about in books and erotica. I wanted to be controlled by him in every way. When we tried to put those into practice, however, I rebelled. I didn’t trust him. I couldn’t submit in those conditions. He couldn’t control me and I wouldn’t let him.

Fast forward four years or so. The last year we’ve been at our peak as far as our intentional non-egalitarian relationship, which I often refer to as Owner/Brat for lack of a better term. I am owned by him, I am his, but I am not always submissive or obedient. I have the leeway to be a brat, to struggle, things we both really enjoy (though usually I’m only a brat in certain contexts). I had been consciously neglecting the other aspects, however, at least partially because they didn’t work before.

Enter Delving Into Power, a weekend intensive by Lee Harrington (who has some wonderful clips here on the Kink Academy) that Onyx and I attended the first weekend of February. Going through that weekend my Service Submissive self was tapped into and I realized there were aspects I was missing and that Onyx and I were finally in the right place to address service and protocol in our relationship so naturally I began scouring the service and protocol category of Kink Academy to see what other tools I could find.

Read the rest on the Kink Academy Student Blog!

Read all of my Student Blog Posts here

Delving Into Power

Two weekends ago Onyx and I attended a Delving Into Power Intensive with Lee Harrington, an intimate1 three-day workshop focusing on power exchange within relationships to “create the non-egalitarian relationship of your dreams!” Going into it I felt rather content with our relationship as it was with the knowledge that there was, of course, room for improvement and was startled at what was brought up in me. I introduced our relationship to the group as an Owner/Brat dynamic, which is close to the truth. I’ve been thinking of replacing Cunt with Brat in the normal way I describe my role with Onyx, but that’s another post.

A lot of the information presented included things I had thought about before that Onyx had not or things that Onyx had thought about that I had not or things that we had talked about in our previous relationship with each other2 that we hadn’t explicitly talked about in this one3. It was especially refreshing to be around other kinky people, something that has been missing in our lives for the most part as we’ve been focusing more on the occult community here rather than the kinky one4. We were both able to get some perspective on our own desires and feelings by being in such a group.

There was so much wonderful information I won’t even go into it, mostly I want to talk about some of my reactions and the changes in our relationship since then. I love to be a brat and part of that love is to elicit a firm hand in dealing with me, basically forcing Onyx to reign me in (consensually!5), but something that came up over the weekend was my equally strong desire to submit and be of service. The latter is not something we have been exploring in our new relationship as much as the playful force that bratting brings in at least in part because of our failure to implement it in the old one. We had such difficulty with trying to view service in a particular way and trying to include that in our M/s relationship but now that we’ve in an O/b relationship6 for nearly a year and we’ve gotten comfortable with that the service and submission aspects need some focus.

We had a long talk on Saturday during a break between class and dinner/play party time that was most wonderful. We both expressed some things that had been building up within us and were able to come to some conclusions as to what we each wanted to include in our relationship. I was having trouble that day because I was feeling like I didn’t fit in for various reasons7 and because I felt like I was failing Onyx8 partially due to lack of explicit instructions. Onyx doesn’t like giving out explicit instructions but I need them, something we have had lots of trouble with before.

There was a lot more we talked about, including the spiritual path we are currently on and our own issues that we have each been dealing with. We expressly communicated about the things we each need and want and ways for us to begin getting that. It was refreshing and amazing, exactly what had needed to happen, and took us one step further in our relationship. Realizing my service desires that I had been squelching with him for so long was freeing. I had doubts then about our ability to actually implement some things that we were wanting due to our past experiences, but those doubts are nearly gone now.

We haven’t had the time to talk too in-depth about our power dynamic since the weekend long workshop because of work and then going to another workshop this past weekend that was not kink-focused9, but we have been able to begin some practices that have not only worked to shape the new dynamic that is forming between us.

The primary practice we’ve been putting into action is a daily checklist so I am accountable for the work I do. I’ve previously complained about feeling like I never get anything done or I don’t get enough done even when I do get things done. I’m still working on figuring out this self-employment stuff. I’ve also been a little lax at my cleaning duties. This daily checklist allows me to feel accomplished when I do get things done and for me to be sure I am doing something for Onyx every night as well, plus I have a fetish for lists10.

I’m excited to feel like we’re moving forward into uncharted (by us) territory. We have new ideas and a great many things we want to include in our relationship as it goes forward. There will be plenty of road blocks ahead but I feel like we will be able to encounter and move through them all. Along with the workshop this past weekend, which helped me release some things I have been needing to for quite some time11 and I believe the same thing happened for Onyx as well. It has been a transformational couple of weeks.

There has been a general shift in our dynamic because of the communication, interaction, and introspection we were able to do both individually and with each other. I feel so much more connected and in tune than we were before, and this last year we’ve been so much more connected and in tune than we were before that! It seems like we’re just getting better and better, which is truly amazing.

  1. there were 16 of us total I believe []
  2. the years before the triad []
  3. since I returned from Alaska last March-yes I consider the post-triad relationship to be a separate one []
  4. eventually my hope is to be part of a kinky queer occultist tribe, which is starting to happen []
  5. or, lately it has been consensual []
  6. I am not defining the differences here at the moment, but I am sure I will be talking about them soon in another post! []
  7. all in my head []
  8. or I was being set up to fail []
  9. which I will also be writing about []
  10. both making and crossing things off of []
  11. you will just have to wait for the other post for more on that []

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

More thinking about my post Tired from the beginning of the month has lead me to this: if you don’t know, ask. Don’t ever be afraid to ask. While it’s not always enjoyable to me to explain how I identify to someone that doesn’t mean it’s not highly appreciated. I would much rather have an hour long conversation (or even five-minute) about my identities than have my gender, sexuality, spirituality, or anything else assumed. You know what they say about to assume…

For the most part I’m pretty open when asked a question directly. I don’t skirt around things and I will take a question at face-value and answer exactly what was posed. I might not offer up additional information, but I am not shy about answering questions when asked directly. While I don’t always enjoy talking about myself (I know, that may be hard to believe considering that’s most of what I do on this blog) that doesn’t mean that I would rather not be asked about something. If I can clarify something or explain something I am always happy to, as long as I have the time. I also try not to assume that the other person will know what I’m talking about.

This doesn’t mean I think they are stupid, but because I use terms in mostly academic ways and since I don’t know if they have read something I’m referencing in my identity or explanation I try not to make assumptions either way and opt to ask questions myself. “Have you heard of…”” “Have you read…?” etc. If not I try to explain as fully as possible, and even if so I often will still mention some of the basic ideas of what I am referencing to make sure we are on the same page. I do not assume anyone is on the same page as I am, but that doesn’t mean they are not as smart as me or any other nonsense like that. Knowledge on one specific subject has nothing to do with intelligence.

Specifically what I was referencing in Tired had to do with two types of people. People with whom I have had conversations regarding identity who then turn around and seem to ignore everything I have expressed about my identity regardless. Or people assuming they know my identity without asking or having a conversation about it. It is difficult for me in either of these situations to come out and say “I don’t identify that way.” I’m just not a confrontational person and it is often difficult for me to assert my identities. I realize not being able to do that is my problem, but I do think that making assumptions about someone else’s identity is never a good idea. Similarly, disregarding a conversation about an identity is also not a good idea.

It’s hard work to have identity conversations in general. I realize this. It’s difficult to ask someone a question about their identity, you can’t always know how that question will be reacted to. Just keep in mind that when you ask make sure to ask something regarding identity rather than pinning an identity to it already such as “how do you identify?” versus “are you a [insert identity here]?” You can use specific terms such as “What is your gender identity?” “What pronoun do you prefer?” “What is your sexual identity?” as well, though the slightly more open-ended “how do you identify?” may get you the widest variety of options.

Please, ask questions, ask clearly, ask for definitions of things if I or someone else uses a term in a way that is unfamiliar to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It is far better to ask than to assume. While there may be the occasional person who is offended that you would ask or who doesn’t think it is any of your business that doesn’t mean everyone would be. That said, also think about what you are asking and of whom. Should you be asking complete strangers about what genitals they have (though this isn’t the same as gender identity discussed previously) or who they like to fuck? Maybe it is, depending on the context of wherever you are at the moment, but maybe it’s not. Be smart about it, segue into it, make sure it is appropriate, but don’t be afraid to ask if you sincerely want to know and don’t.

Similarly, if you identify with something out of the norm please don’t scare people away from asking questions, if they’re asking that’s at least a step above assuming your identity and questions are an excellent time to educate them and open their minds. Who knows what kind of chain reaction you might set off. If they ask in an inappropriate way then tell them so politely and educate them as to how to ask in a better manner next time. I can’t say I’m perfect at this, but I’m trying.

It is not easy on either side of the conversation. Sometimes I just wish I could fit into societal standards in one way or another and not have to worry about things like this, not have to figure my identities out in order for me to enjoy them and understand them. I get tired of explaining the same thing over and over to the same people, sometimes I’m tired of explaining in general even to new people who are genuinely interested, but that doesn’t mean I would rather not be asked. I’m glad to challenge normalized ideas and maybe, just maybe, open a mind or two.

Tired

I’m just plain tired. I’m tired of having to explain how I identify, especially to the same people over and over again. I’m tired of people making assumptions about me rather than letting me make my own definitions and letting them know what my labels are. I’m tired of people thinking I’m straight because my partner is cis male or that I’m a lesbian because I enjoy women. I’m tired of people thinking I’m a woman because I dress femme. I try not to let it bother me when someone mislables me, but it hurts every time.

It’s difficult to inhabit middle identities while living in a binary world. There are many days when I wish I could just feel “one or the other” instead of seeing all the wonderful options out in front of me and wanting to have one of every flavor. Call me indecisive if you want, but when I can see the beauty and joy I could get from every option I can’t just pick one, it’s not in my nature.

I’m not straight or a lesbian, I’m queer. Bisexual, maybe, though I don’t like the binary aspect it implies and prefer other terms. Queer is the best description I have. Really I tend to be attracted to other queer people regardless of their gender and specifically because of their intelligence and/or personality. I’ve used intellisexual for quite some time, sapiosexual also fits which is a slightly more common term. I am attracted to people’s brains more than anything else, and usually those brains have to be queer in some way shape or form.

Similarly I do not identify with the term woman. It’s simply not a word that I identify with nor is it a way I see myself or desire for others to see me. While I may often wear feminine drag that does not make me a woman (or any spelling variation thereof). The same goes for girl. My gender identity is genderqueer regardless of the gender expressed within my gender presentation1. My gender presentation is always drag.

While I do associate with the term femme I embrace it as part of my gender presentation. I embrace the gothy glittery drag femmeininity that is all mine most days, though not all days. Femme is my presentation more than anything, but there are also days when I wear my too-small-sports-bra-slash-makeshift-binder and present as fagette. I do think that my “fagette” presentation confuses some people, however, because it still some femininity in it, dressing in boy drag is not a spectrum-banging event for me. I am realizing more and more, though, just how much femme and fagette go hand in hand for me. There are no days when I am femme that I am not a fagette, and no days when I am not genderqueer.

Recently I’ve begun using gender neutral pronouns when I am able and it makes my entire being sing. A friend of mine referred to me using ze and hir without my first requesting it and it nearly brought me to completely unexpected tears to be seen in a way that aligned with my own gender. I catch myself internally wincing when words and identities other than my own are thrown at me in conversation, but often I don’t have the energy or desire to confront the misconception of me in the eyes of others, which just ends up perpetuating it.

I’m trying to get to the point where I am not looking for the validation of others for any of my identities, but it’s difficult not to want that. I want to be seen rather than assumed away as something else. I realize that I am responsible for making myself a whole person in the eyes of others and do not put the responsibility of figuring me out completely on other people but I’m so damn tired of having to correct people. It seems like a petty difference to ask someone to not refer to me using certain language, and yet it cuts me deep whenever it happens. I just haven’t gotten to the point where I am comfortable asserting my gender identity, perhaps because it is such a fluid work-in-progress.

  1. I’m using gender identity and gender presentation to mean two different things. Someone’s gender identity has to do with the internal gender feelings the person has, whereas their gender presentation is the outward gender they show to the world. These do not always go hand-in-hand. []

Self-Consciousness

I used to think I was an exhibitionist. I still do think that to a point, but lately I’ve been so reserved and worried about the way others perceive me I can hardly call myself an exhibitionist. I’m more self-conscious now than I have ever been before in my life. I’m less outrageous, trying to blend more, and just generally unsure of myself. Recently I had two separate conversations on different topics that lead to this point, I’m letting my ego get in the way, my anxiety take over.

Even though it seems like this is the opposite of the ego’s job, it’s still part of the same mold. The same part of you builds yourself up that will knock yourself down. The ego is responsible for the worry and anxiety and stopping you from being you just as it can be responsible for the arrogance and puffed-out chest of confidence. Either extreme isn’t desired, but, as with all things in life, I seek to find a balance, a happy equilibrium within myself.

This might sound crazy coming from someone who blogs about her life, who routinely informs others about her sex, thoughts, and feelings, but especially lately I seem to have a difficult time believing that other people are actually interested in hearing what I have to say. I’m not talking about on here, but in person, when I meet new people or interact with known ones. This was especially true the first few weeks after I got back to Seattle.

When I was in Juneau I was much more comfortable. My motto for Juneau is basically “it’s Juneau, nobody cares,” and I would say it whenever there was a question of etiquette, appropriate dress for an event, or pretty much anything. This isn’t really true, though. Juneau is a small town and there is tons of gossip. Despite thinking it was super liberal when I grew up (and it is compared to the rest of Alaska) there are still lots of non-liberal ideas and people who live there, and it isn’t comfortable to express everything there.

I do think that, for the most part, people in Juneau don’t give a shit about you unless they know you, however, and that’s where my motto came from. I never really got invested in Juneau people. Growing up there I did tons of activism in the high school, I was in many theatre productions, people knew who I was but very few people actually knew me, and I liked it that way. Going back was very similar, only I knew even less people. I knew people could recognize me, and people did quite often, but if they had any preconceived notions of me it didn’t matter, or maybe it mattered less.

Some of this goes back to what I was talking about in Relational Assumptions. I’m worried about what people here will assume about me, I haven’t been able to adopt the same nonchalant attitude because I actually want to be invested here, I want to gain friends and not be a loner like I have been previously. I want to be more outgoing and social, but I need to stop caring so much about what other people think, because I want people to like me for me and not for anything else.

I like being a multifaceted individual, but sometimes it’s exhausting because I’m too worried about other people to express myself fully. A friend, in one of the conversations I mentioned above, mentioned she had learned to instate a complete honesty policy in order to encourage compatible friendships and discourage ones that could turn sour down the road. I think I do this too… to an extent, anyway. I will answer questions honestly but don’t always offer up information unasked, but I want to change this.

I’m trying to shed the trappings of my ego, acknowledge them and move past them, to stop being so self-conscious. Care less what people I don’t know think about me and more about feeling comfortable within myself and expressing myself however that happens. I want to start volunteering information about myself, start realizing that people care what I have to say and actually have an interest in hearing it. Part of the beginning of this change in me came in dying my hair from the reddish brown it has been the last few months back to a bright purple, the rest of it will come soon.

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