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Mnemosyne

February 2nd, 2015 by

On my way to the Thursday night dance, I pass by an area of town I don’t visit much anymore–not for any particular reason, just because I don’t find myself with any cause to go there. Walking past your old apartment, I am suddenly gripped by a memory, whisked away by nostalgia. I remember that first night, the first time I slept in your arms. You snored, so loudly it woke me up, but I didn’t care. I lay awake for a long time, not able to believe I was there, not able to believe how lucky I was (and still am). I was so unsure of your boundaries, unsure of what was and wasn’t allowed. I remember I asked you, awkwardly, if I could see you naked, if I could touch you, and you said “Yes,” surprised, as if the the thought had never occurred to you. How unused to being an object of desire you were back then! But you caught on quickly. You teased me a little, do you remember? Turning your back to me, not letting me see what I wanted until the last possible second, your lips curving into that mischievous little grin that demands to be kissed. But at last, you let your briefs fall to the ground (they were purple, do you remember? You wanted to impress me with my favorite color, and I was, although truthfully, I would have been impressed no matter what). You let them fall to the ground, and turned to face me.

And when I put my hand on your cock, you gasped.

Marks

December 30th, 2014 by

A few nights ago, I, in my infinite grace and majesty, took a tumble down the stairs, the result of which is a significant bruise above my rump. The bruise is enormous–bigger than any I’ve ever had before, and is dark purple which Wikipedia tells me is called Byzantium.

This, among other things, has got me to thinking about marks.

I love leaving marks on H2O2, of all kinds. I carefully apply lipstick only for the purpose of leaving prints of my lips all over his face. I beat his ass to a lovely Byzantine shade, not unlike the one mine currently sports. Afterwards, every time he sits down, each resulting wince will remind him of me. I leave bite marks all over him. I write on his body–his chest, his ass, his cock. Loud and lovely proclamations that he is mine.

But marks fade. They are transient by nature. This seems like it should bother me, but it doesn’t. Their impermanence compels me to reapply them, frequently, in new and creative configurations; each kiss, each scribble, each bite a sign of my desire made manifest upon his body. My love emblazoned upon him, evidence that, despite whatever may come, I was here, this happened.

Chaos Was Here

Chaos Was Here

The Sex Factor

March 5th, 2014 by

I do not exactly feel comfortable talking about my sex life on the internet. Yet here I am.

As I’m sure many of you who already read Peroxide’s blog know, he is a virgin and, up until quite recently, has intended to remain that way until marriage.

I, on the other hand…

I, on the other hand, have had more sexual partners than years I’ve been alive. Frankly, I’m not quite sure I believe in the concept of virginity. I find the idea to be outmoded and patriarchal.

This is the first romantic relationship I have been in since I was high school that has not included intercourse. This is the longest I have been without intercourse since I lost my virginity.

I absolutely refuse to make any demands on him in this respect. This is a hard limit for him and I badly want to respect that. But I have been struggling. This is something that has been a routine, regular part of my relationships for the past ten years.

It’s not just that I really really like sex. (I do.  I really really really like sex. It is probably one of my favorite things.)

It’s also about intimacy. I am not sure I can reach the same level of intimacy with someone without having intercourse with them.

And I am an intimacy junkie. Of course, we have other ways of expressing intimacy. If we didn’t, I don’t think I would be able to handle it. But there is still something missing.

Peroxide has decided that this is something that he is ready for.  And, while I am feeling elated, while I am feeling excited and impatient, I am also feeling oddly hesitant. I want him so. fucking. badly, possibly more than I have ever wanted anyone

And yet.

More than that, I feel responsible for him. And I feel scared. I want to be a Good Dominant. I don’t want him to look back on this and regret it. I feel it is my responsibility to take care of him, to love him and protect him. What if he decides this was a mistake? Isn’t it my job to guide him, to help him do what’s right for him? And how do I know if this is right for him when my own desires are getting in the way?

The Broken Temple

January 29th, 2014 by
The Broken Column, Frieda Kahlo

The Broken Column, Frieda Kahlo

 

This is about my body. My body is many things. It houses my soul. It has caused me more suffering than possibly anything else in my life. And, also, it’s beautiful. Sometimes, I forget that. Too often, I forget that.

There is a conflict between how I view my body and how it is viewed by others. This follows from the fact that they don’t have to live there. My body is fairly normative in appearance, but that’s as far as it goes. I have a chronic illness, which is mostly invisible. I’ve heard so many well-meaning friends and acquaintances have uttered the phrase that every invisibly-disabled person knows well and hates deeply: “but you don’t seem sick. You look so healthy.” When your body doesn’t function the way it’s supposed to, and society confirms this by constantly reminding you how pitiable and worthless you are, your healthy-looking body becomes a hateful shell, shielding the dysfunction that lies beneath. You walk a line between wanting your illness to be acknowledged, and not wanting it to eclipse the rest of your identity. It can be hard to see value in your body, or yourself.

Body worship is one of my favorite types of play. It’s very meaningful to me for many reasons, with many layers. On the surface, there’s my dominance; I am a fairly stereotypical dominant in many ways, one of them being that I love having attention lavished upon me. But it goes deeper than that.

There’s really no way to look at my body’s defects in a positive way. There are positive things that have emerged from it, such as greater self-awareness, the connections I have made with others in the disabled community, and activism I have participated in that I likely wouldn’t have otherwise. I am grateful for these things. But, in addition to limiting me, my malfunctions cause debilitating physical pain in many parts of my body, as well as fatigue, seizures, and more. The secondary effects are also numerous: frustration at my doctors, who are not equipped to deal with an obscure and untreatable illness such as mine, frustration at society, which is not equipped to deal with a broken person such as myself. It is, at times, difficult not to turn these feelings inwards, and feel hatred towards my own body.

On a physical level, body worship reminds me that my body is capable of feeling pleasure. That’s one way in which it does function, and when you spend so much time in pain, pleasure becomes something of solace. When I go for long periods of time without sensual touch, it’s almost like a surprise, a feeling that I nearly forgot existed. I’m not a spiritual person, but the closest I have come to feeling spiritual is the intimate connection I experience with another person during sex.

In a deeper sense, an emotional sense, it’s empowering to have someone take pleasure in touching one’s body, and being shown that pleasure. Even though I know, on some level, that my body is beautiful, it can be very difficult for me to truly internalize that as love. Instead I externalize my feelings of hatred, convinced that no one would want something so useless, so broken. But touch that is both gentle and eager, murmuring of appreciative sounds, and tender and hungry kisses are all evidence to the contrary. It is proof. Undeniable proof that despite all that feels wrong, there is something right about my body. If I can step out of feeling resentful and broken, if I can see my body through the eyes of someone who loves it and get a small glimpse of their love, this is an affirmation that living in my body isn’t tantamount to being trapped in a cage. At times, it can be powerful perfection.

My body lies in ruins. Reverence can take many forms: sweeping my hair across my neck to kiss my shoulders, tracing my sides with fingertips, touching me, touching my body with an admiration approaching awe. These actions are transformative and I am reminded that, despite its broken columns and crumbling foundations, my body is still worthy of reverence and of love.

H2O2,Part 2

November 19th, 2013 by

We met for coffee and immediately clicked. It may be because we have similar conversational styles, or that we are both squarely between being introverts/extroverts, or perhaps that he is just that wonderful. I was very excited to have a new friend in my new city.

The second time we hung out, he kindly accompanied me to a munch so I would have someone I knew (albeit barely) to make me more comfortable. We talked for hours, about many things. It continued to be easy to talk to him, and I continued to be amazed at how comfortable I felt with this boy that I had essentially just met. And I felt terrible about how much I wanted him.

I tried very hard not to flirt. I felt guilty. I felt elated. I kept having to remind myself that this was not a date, that he was in a relationship with someone, that I had to behave myself. And I did, for the most part. Still, when he dropped me off at my apartment, I made him get out of his car and give me a proper hug, and I reveled in the feeling of his arms around me.

When his relationship with Tavi ended, I felt sympathy for him. Break-ups suck, no matter what. I tried to quash any sort of hope that was kindling in my heart. When we made plans to hang out again, I told myself that it was as friends and that if something happened eventually, that it would happen, but that I shouldn’t actively pursue him, that I should give him time to heal.

We flirted a lot. I couldn’t tell if he simply liked the attention or if he was interested in me. (I am also remarkably dense. I am terrible at telling when someone is interested in me.)

I went to his house. I tried to teach him to dance. We talked. We walked to the dance venue and he teased me about my height. I jokingly threatened him. I took his arm as we walked in the venue. I wore my “dancing outfit”–pants which accentuate my butt, and are easy to dance in, and a top that leaves my shoulders bare. He complimented me and I wondered if he liked me.

Dancing with him was amazing. I spent the night with him in my arms, making him blush and stutter and stammer, unable to meet my eye, and it was delicious. When I feel comfortable with someone, when I have an indication that they’ll be receptive to it, I have a flirting style that is aggressive, almost predatory in nature. I let them know I want them, and give them a hint of just how much I want them.

At the end of the date, I wasn’t sure what to do. I wasn’t even sure it was a date. I am normally more than comfortable making the first move, but I didn’t think it was right, so I gave him a hug and awkwardly ran away (much like Clarice here).

Our next date, he cooked for me. I love to bake, but I can’t cook very well. I love it when a man cooks. Not only is it nice to eat home-cooked food, but it makes me feel special, somehow, worth care and effort.

I have a thing about foot rubs (I LOVE THEM). Knowing this, and knowing my feet had been aching from being on them all day, he offered to give me a foot rub. I sat on his bed and felt his fingers on my arches and looked at him kneeling on the floor in front of me. And I could no longer resist.

I asked him if I could be radically honest with him and he said yes. “Look,” I told him, “I know you just got out of a relationship, and I really want to be respectful of that, but I also want to throw you down on the bed and have my way with you.” He immediately became delightfully blushy again, and averted his eyes and muttered something along the lines of “Oh thank god” and “I think I like radical honesty.”

I told myself I wouldn’t kiss him till our third date. (For those who are wondering, it was REAAAAAAAAAAAALLY HARD to do that.) I kissed him, the way I always kiss boys, forcefully, aggressively, and hard. And then we spent most of our third date kissing. His lips are soft and wonderfully responsive, and he reacts to my touch in all of the ways I hunger for, the ways that spur me on to touch him more, kiss him more, hurt him more. Simply put, he is what I have always wanted, what I have always imagined and hoped and longed for in a partner.

Our dynamic feels very, very natural to me. I can be myself, every aspect of myself, around him. I haven’t felt like this about someone in a very long time, and I am so very happy.

Personal Ponderings and Peroxide

November 18th, 2013 by

I recently moved to a new city in a new state, to embark upon a new phase in my life.

I had decided not to date for my first six months here, to let myself get settled and concentrate on my career development and making new friends.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

As some of you reading this surely will already know, I’m dating someone. I call him H2O2.

I have dated a lot. It has been over a year since Shadow and I went our separate ways, and in that time I have dated a lot. And before Shadow, there was also quite a bit of dating. In all that time, I have rarely met someone with whom I felt such ease in talking to, and such chemistry with, than Peroxide.

As similar as we are in some respects, Peroxide and I are very different, in many ways. Aside from the obvious dichotomies (female/male, dominant/submissive, atheist/Christian), he is a much more personal blogger than I am. I tend to blog more as a political tool than anything else, and, to be perfectly honest, I tend to write when I am pain. Writing is my way of opening up my chest and freeing whatever happens to be weighing heavily in my heart. I only write when I want to make a point about something. I sometimes read other people’s writing and say “So what?” I don’t want my writing to be that way.

I don’t write so much when I’m happy.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. I don’t know if I want to write just to tell people I am happy. I don’t know if I want to have a personal relationship with you, my readers. I would rather be an amorphous essence behind a screen than a real person. It helps me distance myself from the pain that I put out there, for anyone to read.

But I find that writing also helps me focus my thoughts and examine my feelings, to hold up a mirror to my inner self, as uncomfortable as it sometimes may be. But also, writing, journaling helps me chronicle things so I can go back to them one day.

My time thus far with Peroxide has been short, but it has been magical, and it’s something I want to keep, whatever may happen in the course of our relationship. My memory is not good, due to a combination of brain drugs and the stuff-that-I-need-the-brain-drugs-for-in-the-first-place.

There is nothing about this time that I don’t want to remember. I want to sear these things into my memory, to lock them forever in my heart. So my next few posts will be of a more personal nature, a journal so I can look back on this someday and remember all of the joys of the early days of our relationship.

Dating and Dominants and Dominance and Dating

August 24th, 2013 by

I’ve been single for well over a year now, and dating has been proving to be an exceedingly difficult and troublesome task. Part of this is because I’m not quite sure what I want; an unusual experience for me. My relationship with Shadow was my first real long-term D/s relationship, and while, in many ways, it was wonderful and everything I had ever dreamed about, its amicable but ultimately heart-breaking cessure left me a little skittish about D/s.

Part of me longs for a D/s relationship again, but I also want a relationship that is based on romance, not rules. I want someone who does the things I like, the things I want them to do–but not because they have to. Because they love me.

One thing remains certain: I am an unabashed sexual top. My realization of this has make vanilla dating difficult and awkward. I don’t know how to tell the boy who flirts with me at the coffee shop “Look, you’re really cute, but I’m just not interested unless I can drag you home, tie you to my bed, and make you my fucktoy.”

I feel aimless. Purposeless. I dither about. I start up an OkCupid profile, and then shut it down the next day. I go on a date and then don’t follow-through. I go to a munch and flirt and don’t make any plans to play. I feel simultaneously kink-starved and burned out. I’m not sure what I want, but I am sure that I want something. I don’t know if I want a full blown D/s relationship, but there’s something holding me back from getting into a vanilla one.

I guess the real question I’ve been asking myself is: can I still be dominant if I am not with a submissive? If I am in a vanilla relationship, am I still dominant?

The reason why I want to be in a D/s relationship, to do D/s, is not only so I can actualize my own desires, but because I want someone who can accept me, all of me, including my deviant desires, my kinkiness, my dominance. I want someone who I can really be myself around, someone who will accept and love me, all of me. I worry that if I date a vanilla person, I will end up having to hide or minimize my dominance, that it will fade into the background of my life. After all the self-exploration I’ve done, having to do that feels like having to deny who I really am. But at the same time, I have to ask myself if I am willing to live a life devoid of love in order to stay true to myself? I’m uncertain how to proceed with this question, and, unanswered, it continues to gnaw at my heart and fester in my mind.

How to Seduce Me

September 18th, 2012 by

Don’t come to me on your knees
(If I want you there, rest assured, that’s where you’ll end up)
Come to me with your back straight, your head held high
As I find the thrill of victory so sweet

Don’t be afraid–
I won’t bite you (unless you like it)
I won’t hurt you (unless you like it)
I won’t mock you (unless you like it)
And unless we’ve talked about it first.

Don’t tell me how worthless you are
How pitiable you are
And then ask me to own you.
I only own things of value.

Don’t expect anything
Don’t presume anything
Don’t demand anything–
Remember that if this is going to work, then I am going to be the demanding one

Don’t treat me like a fantasy,
Don’t try to make me into your fantasy.
Maybe, if you are lucky, I will make you into mine.

Don’t tell me that you think I’d be good for you,
Show me why you would be good for me.

I may be a pervert, but I am also a romantic:
Court me.
Take the time to learn who I am,
Then show me you are actually interested in me
Not just some image you have of me in your head

Be respectful.
Be courteous.
Be friendly.
Come to me with a smile on your lips and your hand outstretched in friendship.
Remember that I’m a lady, but I’m also just a person,
I’m not inherently better than you, and that I want this as much as you do–
Perhaps even more.

Allow me the space to be who I am,
give me what I need, and I will take what I want–
every last
delicious
flesh-igniting,
dropping-to-your-knees,
I-can’t-take-it-anymore-I’m-going-to-explode-ma’am,
hot,
passionate
drop.

Heartbreak Dog

February 9th, 2012 by
“Is there anything I can do for you?”  These are the words my boy, Shadow, says to me, his eyes filled with concern and love.  I don’t know how to answer him.  I am filled with so many conflicting emotions that I am paralyzed.  I don’t know how to tell him that no, there is nothing he can do.  There is nothing anyone can do.

A few months ago, it was on its way out, but I didn’t realize that at the time.  I should’ve seen the warning signs–long nights at work, not wanting to communicate with me, lack of affection.  And now, it’s just gone.  About three weeks ago, my confidence just took off, leaving me feeling bereft and lost, with a sad heart full of insecurities and taking much of my dominance with it.

I’ve been through a lot over the past month, but I feel like I should be able to handle it.  I know I’m too hard on myself, but that knowledge just makes me feel more critical of myself.

My dominance is such a big part of who I am.  I feel as if I’ve lost myself.  This sort of thing has happened before, and I know I will get through it, and I know I’ll find myself again.  But right now I feel lost.  I lack the confidence to assert myself over my submissive, who wants so badly to serve me.  This, in turn just makes me feel worse about myself.  I’m not sure how to break this cycle.

I hate pity.  This is both because of my proud nature and as a sometimes-wheelchair-user who has had too many people talk down to me.  Some people conflate pity and sympathy, but they’re not the same.  They are similar, but there is a distinct line between them.  That line is respect.  Pity is felt for an inferior, sympathy is felt for an equal.

Respect is also important in the context of D/s.  When I don’t feel like people respect me, I have no interest in dominating them, and any interactions we have in that context make me feel, at best, under-appreciated or misunderstood, and at worst, used.  When I lose my confidence, it is so hard for me to accept service, because it seems as if it is given from pity.

One of the things I have been trying to do over the past few years is to be more open with my emotions, which is difficult for me.  It’s easier to just keep people at arm’s length or shut them out.  But I recognize that even if it’s difficult, it’s a worthwhile venture to do so, so I’m trying to open up.

Letting people love me is difficult for me.  I’ll tell you why.  My friend E loves big dogs. But there are some breeds of large dogs that don’t live very long, due to health problems associated with their size, and E calls them “heartbreak dogs.”

It’s hard for me to let people love me because my life is variable and unpredictable.  I spent much of yesterday curled in a ball in bed, my abdomen hurting, having taken as many painkillers as I am allowed, wondering if I would have to go to the emergency room.  I couldn’t do the things I said I would do. I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do.  I’ve broken so many plans, called off so many things, that I feel like I’ll never stop playing catch up.  This leaves me with a huge amount of guilt. I know it’s not my fault, but, things pile up.  Never underestimate my ability to feel guilty over what I can’t control.

All of this has been building inside of me and I’m getting so overwhelmed by the things I can’t control that I don’t even want to control the things I can.  I don’t want to let Shadow serve me because he had to spend so much time taking care of me while I was sick and I don’t feel like service is something I deserve. It just feels like pity. I’m sure everyone is all just sick of it by now.  I know I am.

People tell me I’m strong, but I just don’t see that in myself anymore.  When I look in the mirror, the only thing I see is a heartbreak dog.

Galen

February 5th, 2012 by

Chaos and I were arguing with a friend a few months ago about whether it’s possible to submit to someone without their consent. The (vanilla) friend didn’t see it; it seemed to him that if you act submissive to someone who’s not dominating, you are at worst a bad lay. I disagree with him on both counts. Submitting without consent to dominate doesn’t necessarily make you a bad lay, but being a bad lay isn’t necessarily the worst thing that happens, either. Here’s a story, for the second round of Kitty Stryker’s second Safe/Ward Blog Carnival. Decide for yourself.

(TW: There is no nonconsensual touch nor specific trauma in this story, but there are references to self-harm.)

 

I say that Galen was my first kiss. It’s not precisely true, but his was the first one that meant something, the one that came at the end of the sort of intimate cuddly evening where you’d expect to find a good first kiss. Immediately exposing the depth of my self-doubt, I asked him bluntly why he was doing this. I don’t blame him, in retrospect, for not having a good answer; who asks that?

He was certainly a lot of other firsts, over the next year and change. First time I slipped my hands down someone else’s pants; first person I went down on. First time I penetrated someone else or made them come. Several firsts I wouldn’t recognize as BDSM until much later: tying him up with a belt or a ribbon, using knives as sensation toys, and leaving bite marks on him that could last for weeks (savoring the pride and the intimacy).

I still had about eight years to go before someone would teach me the term “D/s,” but in hindsight the signs of it were delicious. He was beautifully responsive, arching his back and parting his lips when I traced my fingertips over just the right spots. When I sat behind him he sank back into my arms, and would sigh if I leaned down to kiss his neck before unbuttoning his shirt. He was beautiful and sweet–still is–and probably one of the defining influences on my taste in submissives.

When we finished, more often than not, I would pull away from him, curl up in a ball, and cry.

Nobody since has made me feel quite as undesirable as Galen did. With him I was awkward and shy and hesitant, nothing resembling the powerful dominant I found in myself years later. When he didn’t reach out to touch me, never looked for the places he could slide his fingertips and make me moan like I had looked for his, I didn’t know any conclusion to draw except that he didn’t want me. That he tolerated my attention because he was getting off on it, but felt no desire to reciprocate. And why would he? I already had a lifetime of social conditioning telling me my body could not be sexy; this was just more evidence. But he was so sweet, so caring and giving in other ways, that every new time he left me untouched, fully dressed and aching with desire, I didn’t know what to do or to think and instead I just cried.

We never talked about why I was hurting. We almost did, once, but then he had to be out of town again for a while and one thing led to another and he ended up breaking it off (for unrelated reasons) before the conversation ever happened. We never talked about sex. I never said “Will you finger me while I do this?” or even “Touch me. Here,” which I suspect would have gone over famously. But I couldn’t presume then that anyone would want to touch me, and couldn’t bear to hear that rejection or see it in his face.

We didn’t talk about boundaries. He never said “I enjoy being penetrated, but don’t really want to penetrate you.” I never said “It scares me to use a knife on you, when not that long ago I was using one on myself.” Yeah, that was happening around that time too. (The picture you’re getting of how happy and stable I was those days is pretty accurate.) He’d seen the marks on my wrists, though, and when we tried playing with the knife I trembled, then crumpled, and he held me reassuringly. I think he understood, but the most I remember exchanging by way of words about it was “You trust me with this; I don’t.” I had no confidence in myself, and without confidence had no foundation for dominance.

And that’s the point: we never talked about D/s. He never said “I want to submit to you” and if he had I wouldn’t have known what that meant. I never chose to step into the complementary role; I just fell into the vacuum left behind by his passiveness. Accepting exchanged power, without ever feeling in control, is not dominating. I couldn’t give informed consent to D/s because I wasn’t informed, either about what he intended and wanted or about its alternatives. Remember that this wasn’t just my introduction to kinky sex; this was my introduction to sex. For all I knew, touching someone who never touched back was all I could get.

This is why I have a special hatred for the “ice queen” stereotype–the dominant who gets all the satisfaction she needs from touching others. I’m not that dom, never was and never will be, but I have played the part unwillingly for someone I wanted to please because neither of us knew how to articulate what we’d rather have. To this day I don’t know if that’s what he genuinely wanted from me, or if he wasn’t comfortable asking for something else, or if he’d been looking at femdom porn and thought that what it showed was just how this was supposed to go.

Some of the effects of that relationship are still with me. It got easier, later, when I started having egalitarian sex with someone else, and then again much later than that when I started learning and talking about BDSM. But I’m still afraid, always, that no matter how much a lover likes me as a person they’re only putting up with my body. That no assertive touch means no desire. That asking for what I want is imposing. It makes it hard to find confidence when I want to dominate, and after a scene in which I don’t get physical attention it makes me feel used and angry.

My experience with Galen is why it means so much to me to hear and see clearly that my partner finds me sexy. It’s also probably one of the reasons I’ve really enjoyed playing with someone who is, on the whole, more dominant than I am. When I’m bottoming to Leon, his desire is unambiguous. It might not be for sex–he might want to tie me up, flog me, or frankly just get me to comply for its own sake–but whatever he wants, he wants me, this whole physical human in front of him, and when his attention is focused on getting what he wants from me, I can’t forget that.

 

It was a long time before I started to see what Galen’s perspective on our history might be. He was more experienced than I was but not by much; I honestly don’t know how much he knew about what we were doing either. He wasn’t an adult preying on an innocent teenager, he was a slightly older teenager who had a hard time talking about sex, and who, like me, had never been taught that those conversations are necessary or how to have them. I don’t regret my relationship with him, even if parts of it were flawed and hurtful, and I no longer blame him for the fact that they were.

We’re still in touch, and have been close on and off. A few years ago, after a lot of maturing but still before I knew much about BDSM, we wound up fooling around a bit at his place. The day after, he told me he was still feeling sore from something new I’d tried, and described how it had felt as “about a four.” When pressed, he clarified that it hurt enough that he didn’t enjoy it, but he would do it for his dom. (A five would have been what I’d now call a hard limit.) I was incensed. I couldn’t believe he wouldn’t tell me at the time if it was that bad, and then expect me to intuit the scale he was using as if there were a standard I should already know. It hit all the same buttons that our silence had in the past, and I threw up my hands and gave up on the idea of trying to connect with him honestly.

About a year later, I told that story to a mutual friend, venting some frustration that the memory brought back. “I just wish he would tell me these things, instead of expecting me to read his mind!”

“It sounds like he was trying to,” she said.

That stopped me cold. She was right, of course. When we’d talked the next day, he was giving me exactly the kind of feedback I wanted–just later and in a different format than I expected. And I’d yelled at him for it. No wonder it was so hard for him to talk to me about sex!

The next time I saw Galen, I brought it up. “I don’t know if you even remember that,” I said, “but I’m sorry for getting mad about it. I know you were trying.”

“I don’t,” he admitted, “but thank you.” I knew from his smile that he meant it. Words may be hard, but at least there are some ways I know that I can read him.

 

We’re getting better at the talking part, too. I woke up recently from a hot dream, enjoying the memory of it as it faded. I grabbed my phone and sent Galen a text:

“So I definitely just had a dream in which I asked if you wanted to make out some time. And the dream was pretty sexy, so what the hell. *Do* you want to?”

The reply came the next day: “Sure :)”

Such a simple thing, but that’s all that needs to happen: ask and answer. Maybe we’re finally figuring out how to do this thing right.

It’s important to tell the stories of when communication and consent are difficult and complicated–we need something to replace the pattern in people’s minds which says that the only two sides of the consent line are “both partners magically get what they want” and “a stranger leaps out of the bushes.” By the same token, it’s important to tell the stories of when clear communication results in great consensual sex, to replace the patterns which say that talking about it is a turnoff, or that everyone’s supposed to have sex the same way.

On that note, consider this the prologue to a upcoming series of short posts about communication gone right. They will be true, explicit stories of sex and BDSM scenes, including the parts where we talk about what we want and don’t want and the parts where everything isn’t magically easy but we make it work. I’m calling them Consent Culture Sex Stories (or “consent porn” for short), and the first one should be up within a couple of weeks.