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On ridicule and cruelty

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I was inspired to discuss the importance of respect for others today. I read a post about body shaming and how people, in an effort to be funny or mean, can really fuck with a stranger’s state of mind. So, I thought I’d share a story about how I started to love myself just the way I am.

When I first got involved in the kink community I could tolerate the idea that I was pretty. I agonized over everything I wore, how my hair looked, my make up, anything to make me not think about my body. I could acknowledge that people liked my big tits, and that my legs weren’t bad, and that if everything in between would just melt away I’d be happy. I equated my size with happiness. I won’t bore you with the details of being a chubby girl in a fit family, blah blah blah, you know how that goes. I jumped into the community with both feet and ended up at an event in Albuquerque for Newbies. It was amazing for me, because I didn’t have to feel like an idiot in front of people who knew way more than me, I was supposed to know nothing. I ended up playing at the end of the demos, and was horrified at the idea of stripping down to my panties. I did it anyway (that floaty feeling was bigger to me than my shame). I got nothing but positive receptions from people, one person even walked by and said I was beautiful! I thought maybe that person had a fetish for fat girls, so I didn’t take it to heart.

A month later I was convinced to be in a kinky fashion show. I sewed a school girl outfit, put a hand print on some white panties, got some knee socks and I was set. The problem wasn’t with my outfit, it was between my ears. I was horrified at the thought of looking like some sort of Violet Beauregarde in a plaid micro skirt. I had made very good friends with a photographer and his slave, and I contacted them. I tried to be casual, but really I was looking for any reassurance they could give me. I was ready to back out. So he told me to pack up my outfit, put on my make up and do my hair and come to his studio. I went, changed into my outfit and very timidly stood there while he pointed the camera at me, until he got me to loosen up enough to half way pose. He showed me some of the shots he took while he was adjusting the lighting and I gaped like a fish. I had no clue how he had made photos of me look so good, especially since they weren’t edited. He assured me that was nothing, and told me that the person I saw on the camera? That’s what everyone sees when they see me. They don’t see the lumpy tummy I know is under that shirt, they don’t see the cellulite on my inner thighs. They see a beautiful, sexy woman. So I posed my ass off. He took over a hundred photos of me easily. He edited them, not me, but the photos, softening the lighting a bit, editing the background, that sort of thing. I still wasn’t convinced, but I felt much more confident. I went to the fashion show, strutted my sassy ass on the run way and had a blast. Strangers were telling me I was sexy, gorgeous, hot, beautiful, and I thanked every single one of them. It was a first for me. I felt sexy. Then I got the photos back from the photographer and posted them, and the response floored me.

I realized at that moment that I am sexy, that sexy isn’t about size, it’s not about not having flaws, it’s about not letting your flaws own who you are, define how you feel or destroy your self worth. Then I realized that being me, in my skin, that isn’t a flaw. I am exactly who I am. I’ve learned to make no apologies for my body or my spirit. I’m not appealing to everyone and I don’t need to be, but I know I’m sexy, I feel sexy, and I let myself be sexy.

The reason I am sharing this is because while I’ve never had anyone comment negatively on my photos directly, I’ve known people to comment about my body in person. Not many people, one or two, and not people worth fretting over at that, but still, people have felt the need to impose on me what they view as acceptable in the world. That narrow-minded attitude would have damaged me a few years ago, and I can only be grateful that I’ve grown to love myself as I am. However, making rude remarks about a person’s body and photos is just inappropriate. Stop and think about the words you’re about to use, and how they may affect the person who found the courage to post a photograph of themself despite their insecurities. Consider that it’s not a photo that you’re commenting on, but a person’s body, a body that’s attached to their soul, their spirit. Is it really worth it to hurt someone just so you can feel pithy or witty? If the answer to that question is yes, then I pity you. I believe in building people up, offering construction and love. Am I an idealist? Most likely yes, I am. But that doesn’t change the fact that no person deserves ridicule from anyone for putting themselves out there; for being so courageous. No person deserves to be put down for being who they are and loving themselves.

I still have those photos up, I love them. From time to time I rotate them as my avatar. Those photos laid the groundwork for a beautiful relationship with myself, based on love and respect. No one has the right to try and take that from me.

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Today was incredibly difficult for me.  I helped a friend, as much as anyone can help another, grieve and lay a family member to rest.  I honestly think it was more about someone hanging out with her than anything else, but it made me feel good to be able to do that for her.  I had an incident at work that brought my world crashing down.  I won’t talk about what I do, but it was nearly earth shattering to me.  It was a double edged sword, really.  On one hand I’m proud I was strong enough to get through, even if just barely.  On the other hand I just wanted someone to make it better.  I’m learning that some things that people tell you are complete horse shit.  Things I’ve said before are total and utter crap.  It’ll get better? The fuck it will.  Life will kick you in the ass, and then you will cope with it.  The concept of things getting better is not realistic.  You know what I think? I think the phrase this will pass is much more accurate.  When something happens in your life the trauma of that situation will pass, and then you will cope.  Then, something else will happen, you’ll deal with that trauma and figure out a new way to cope.  Nothing goes away.  We don’t dump one problem for another.  They add up, like layers of clothes.  We don’t wear parkas in the summer, we’d get heat stroke and die.  But, we slowly get used to adding layers of clothes throughout the fall until the winter months come, then we can handle wearing a parka, it makes sense.  The thing is though, we don’t move backwards, we rarely start over.  So looking towards a metaphorical spring when we can shed all our layers is pointless.  I’m not a pessimist.  I don’t mean that life isn’t enjoyable.  It is, we live, we love, we have fun regardless of the traumatic situations and events that shape our lives.  But, nothing goes away, nothing just disappears.  We deal and cope, we shape ourselves as people.  So, I’m taking some sleeping pills and telling myself this shall pass, and hoping it passes more quickly than not.

Some days…

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Most days I’m happily self sufficient.  Most days I feel like I’ve got a handle on my life, I can do this, I can take care of myself.  After all, it’s what functioning adults do, they take care of themselves, they manage their own lives.  Most days when shit falls down I clean it up and carry on.  But some days, some days I want this mythical Daddy creature I see taking care of other babygirls, to find me and take care of me.  Some days I want to be held, to be told it’s going to be okay.  Some days I want my mythical Daddy creature to show up and fix it, make it better, make  it okay.  Those days, these days, they rock me.  They shake me to my core.  I’m a strong, intelligent, educated, caring individual, but some days I want to be the one taken care of.  I’m all these things, but I’m also a babygirl, and some days are harder than others.

On Christmas and what it means to me.

This Christmas is a new experience for me.  I’m single, living alone for the first time in nine years and I’m not with my family.  Well, I’m not with my immediate family.  It hit me hard yesterday, I’ve only spent one Christmas away from my parents and brother, I was feeling lonely.  So, I went to my grandmother’s house and we made five pounds of cookies the size of my fingernail. I shit you not, the size of my fingernail.  It helped immensely to spend that time with her, to reconnect.  She’s so different from me, so conservative, religious and old fashioned, and while there’s nothing wrong with her living her life the way she wants it limits the things I can share with her, tell her.  But yesterday we were closer than we’ve been since I was a teenager.  I needed that.  I might still be feeling a touch lonely, but this morning I’m much more peaceful about it.

When I was growing up, and I’m not going to get into specifics or how fucked up my childhood was or how I should be pitied because I shouldn’t, there was a lot of chaos.  Christmas, however, was the one day I could count on no one being drunk, no one getting hit, no one screaming or fighting or cussing or walking out the door.  Christmas was magic for me.  Not because of religious reasons, I won’t get into my religious beliefs, they’re personal.  Christmas was magic because I got to be a normal kid for a day.  As a young adult I struggled with my relationships with my parents.  Christmas was a day when everything petty and lingering from my childhood was put aside and we all reminded each other that underneath all the crazy and the mean we really love each other.  And we do.  We love each other fiercely.  So fiercely at times that we can’t stop ourselves from reacting to each other’s actions aggressively, because we worry about each other.  Is it right?  Probably not.  But that’s how we deal with things.

As I got older and experienced more of the world my family and I, we hashed things out.  We all realize that we are adults and no one can control anyone else’s actions.  We’ve resolved to be there for one another, love and support each other even if we don’t agree with what the other is doing.  We got closer, they got me through my ex-husband’s deployments, we supported my brother through his divorce.  When one of us lost a job or had a hardship we all banded together to help, not out of obligation, but out of love.  Two Christmases ago we decided we wouldn’t buy each other gifts, we would make them.  My brother and I sat on the floor in my parent’s living room sifting through childhood photos, making a collage.  We laughed, cried and realized that that was Christmas.  That is what Christmas is about, at least to us.  Christmas is family, gratitude, love, joy, togetherness and happiness, even when things are sad.  Christmas is a time to realize that we may not have everything, but what we do have is precious, fucking precious.  Christmas is about not taking your family, biological or otherwise, for granted.  Christmas isn’t just a religious event for me.  It’s a day of happy reflection.

I didn’t realize how emotional writing this would make me.  I need a tissue, some more coffee and to call my family, so I can connect with them even if I can’t be there.  I just wanted to explain that when I say Merry Christmas, it’s about more than a religious holiday.  It’s about the beauty in the world we live in.

What I’ve learned…

This post pertains to my interactions, learnings and experiences in the BDSM community.  For those of you not involved in the kink world, it may be a bit tedious.

 

Having been a part of this amazing community and lifestyle, real time, for just about two years I have learned a few things.  I’d like to take the time to share those things, because they are important things that you generally only learn from getting out in the community and experiencing them.  These things I feel compelled to share are my thoughts, based on my experiences.  They reflect, well, my opinion.  And just so we’re clear they don’t require validation from anyone else, but they are things I would like to share with those open-minded and receptive enough to potentially learn something.

First and foremost, there are so many different dynamics involved in this community.  I respect every single one of them.  If I were to walk into a leather event (which I’ve done) I would make damn sure I knew how to behave there.  And I would learn that from people, not websites.  It’s good to ask questions, in fact I guarantee that people will welcome you more if you ask questions than if you just show up and wing it, pretending like you know everything.  That’s arrogance, and it gets you nowhere.  Also, unless an event is stated to be of a specific, exclusive dynamic then it’s not appropriate to hold others to one set of standards or another, aside from those listed for the event.  At a kinksters event, it’s not appropriate to treat anyone, as a person, differently than others.  Because we are all different, unless we state that an event is for a specific dynamic (i.e. FemDommes, or submissives munches) then exclusivity is just that, it’s a means to ostracize others, whether it is intentional or not.

Having said that, I’ve also learned that I have no right to define anyone else’s dynamic.  I’m a submissive, a babygirl, a little and at times, and just for shits and giggles, or educational purposes, a Top.  That doesn’t give me the right to tell anyone else who doesn’t do things the same way I do that they are wrong.  Whatever you do with your partner is beautiful, as long as it’s consensual and you’re both happy.  That doesn’t mean, however, that you are inherently right and I’m ignorant of this lifestyle just because you are partnered and I am not.  No one needs a Dominant to be submissive by nature, and there is no action that defines a Dominant or a submissive.  The statement, “a true submissive would…” is not only haughty, but also as far from the truth as can be.  What you may perceive to be vital aspects of your submission or Dominance another might see as unnecessary.  They, however, will have their own views of what defines their dynamic.  No one is more right or by definition more deeply submissive or Dominant just because they don’t practice their kink a certain way.

Now here comes a touchy subject.  Online play can be fun.  It can be an outlet when there is none available in your real life.  It can be a great way to live your kink out without having to worry about outing yourself or being discovered.  It can also be a fabulous way to improve your writing skills.  It is not, however, real world applicable.  I don’t mean that long distance relationships never come to fruition, or that submitting to someone online is not valid.  I have no right to define anyone else’s dynamic.  What I am saying is the chatroom ideas or protocol that BDSM is about submissives needing to beg entry to events, that uncollared submissives are required to serve to be part of an event or group, and the idea that all Dominants inherently deserve respect and all submissives are inherently subservient to them is a fallacy.  First of all, any Tom, Dick or Nancy can call themselves a Dominant.  It doesn’t simply make it so.  I respect those around me, as human beings.  I respect the dynamics involved in this lifestyle, and more than likely, if I see you as a Dominant, I will call you Sir or Ma’am.  It’s part of who I am.  I will not, however, bow down to Sir Domly Domington or Lady Topsalot just because they check the Dom/me box on their application form and I happen to be a submissive.  I’m submissive to those I choose to submit to, because it’s a choice.  We have to remember that in the real world we’re all equals.  If we applied online chatroom rules to group events then what happens when someone is violated?  There’s a big difference between closing an internet browser and finding a way home while in sub-drop, crying.  Online play has a time and a place, but the practices involved with online play do not coincide with real life situations.

I’m going to take a moment and expand on the notion of respect.  Respect is something that, for me, is earned.  I am polite, most of the time well mannered, and at the very least civil.  I’m not perfect, I make mistakes just like everyone else, but that’s what makes us all human.  I’ve heard, countless times, that submissives, or bottoms, should respect Dominants/Tops.  While I agree that we should all have a level of respect for each other as humans, I’m just not willing to dole out respect in barrel loads to someone based on their kinky dynamic.  Dominant is a word, it’s a title that some take, it’s a state of being for some, as is the word submissive.  The key here is that so are the words president, astronaut, firefighter, etc., and just because someone claims to be the president doesn’t make them so.  A person claiming to be a firefighter behaves as a firefighter.  They don’t put on a tutu and dance for a living.  That’s a ballerina.  Likewise, a person calling themselves a Dominant should behave appropriately.  There is a difference between dominance and being domineering.  There is a difference between being in control and being controlling.  There is a difference between confidence and arrogance.  I respect those that show me they should be respected, regardless of title or dynamic.  I don’t have to place myself lower than anyone based on their claims to be one dynamic or another.  And if a person has no respect for me, then I can only give what I have received.

I’m wrapping this up now, because frankly, it’s much longer than I intended it to be.  You may not agree, but hopefully you’ll read this, actually read and process it before you respond.  Hopefully it makes you think, and it helps us all have a more cooperative community.  Because we all belong here, regardless of our personal dynamic.

Holy shit, where have I been?

So…lazy bloggers will say that life gets in the way of, well, blogging.  And we’ll make all these asinine promises to blog on through.  But reality happens, sometimes things are too raw, sometimes things are too close to home to be dealt with in a semi-public forum.  Or a private forum.  Or at all.  I apologize that shit happens, but honestly, I wasn’t really in a place to share much up until this moment.

 

So, quick run down?  I’m single again.  Some things just don’t work out.  Sometimes we get blindsided by hormones, attraction, sex, great sex, kinky sex, and nice eyes and we don’t allow ourselves to see the warning signs.  I need that robot from Lost In Space, “Danger, ShelbySue.”  Seriously though, this is not about my former partner being a bad person or me being superior in any way, it just happens that not every two people who want each other are good together.

 

Okay, that’s over and dealt with.  I’m not going to address that again if I can help it because it’s emotional, and, well, I’ve got enough emotional shit in my life.  Let’s move on to some fun stuff, shall we?  I played a couple of nights ago.  Not in a light, jovial, 10 minute spanking kind of way.  I played for an extended period of time with lots of implements until I couldn’t moan anymore, until I couldn’t sing and warble and I was left panting.  And it was amazing.  I tend to put my own needs last and I realized, sitting on the couch at a munch, little and wrapped in a blanket, that it’s okay to need play.  I say these things to other people, to other bottoms and submissives.  I tell them, it’s normal to, once you come to terms with your needs and desires, need to play to stay sane, to purge ugly shit and, if it’s your thing, atone.  I keep everything coiled up so tightly so I don’t drop my basket, but I realized it’s that tight coil that causes my apples to scatter across the ground.  I have a tendency to take on too much, to help when I can, and even when I can’t.  I sometimes think I’m Atlas, and the world can rest safely on my small shoulders.  Then I realize, as it tumbles off and rolls away that I have lost my delicate mind and I have no idea how in the fancy fuck to get it back.  This is where play comes in for me.  Don’t mistake me, I’m not at a point where I need to be put in a hug-me coat, but I get spun out.  And once I play, really play hard until I lose the words and can’t follow what’s going on around me, that’s where I find myself again.  And it never fails that afterwards I’ll tell myself I won’t wait that long to play, but I just had the epiphany that I don’t cut myself as much slack as I demand others cut themselves.  I sit and talk with others, listening to them describe the very same situation I am in, and I tell them to play more, to get their kink out more, to get outside of their heads for a while more often, but I never take my own advice.  I’m going to start taking my own advice more often, because hot damn, not only do I feel immeasurably better, but I had a fucking blast, and I need that kind of fun more often!

 

For those of you who are still with me, thanks for sticking around, and for those I lost in my quagmire of blech, well, that’s my loss.  I’m going to be better about taking care of me, and that just might involve blogging more often, in fact I’m fairly certain it will.

What do you do when?

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I don’t brat.  As a submissive I find myself repulsed by the quality in myself.  Other subs brat and it doesn’t bother me one iota.  But me?  I need to be the good girl, all the time.  I need to know that I please him, all the time.  And today I find myself being a shit head bratty little S.A.M. for no apparent reason.  Maybe it’s my hormones, maybe it’s the distance, maybe I’m just having an off day like my Daddy says, but it’s wrecking me right now.  I don’t behave this way.  I don’t question and talk back, I don’t refuse to do what he asks and tell him how his requests are a burden to me.  That’s abhorrent.  And the worst part is, I know I’ve hurt him.  He says he understands, that he forgives me, and I believe him wholeheartedly.  The problem is I can’t forgive me.  I can’t believe I behaved the way I did.  I don’t even know how to recover from this at the moment.  I feel wretched, and very undeserving of his love and affection right now.  It probably stems from my childhood and always wanting to be a good kid so I wouldn’t get hit or told I was a disappointment.  But either way, it’s something deeply engrained in me.  I get panicked when I’ve done something I feel is wrong, because it makes me horrified that he’s going to get sick of me if I’m not on par all the time.  It’s really not something I have any control over at this time, and it’s rocking my world right now.

Please feel free to comment, if you have any thoughts or suggestions.  I enjoy the comments very much!