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This will be the first of my journal entries recounting my experiences at each of the kink events I attend since moving back to NYC. It will take a little catching up from May but it should be do-able even though some details may have faded. More is coming :-)

At the ending of May I jumped back into exploring the BDSM scene.

The Eulenspiegel Society was holding two events:

Popping Your Cherry with TES: New Members Orientation with Jinx and Button

followed by

Cherry Pop-A-Looza!: The TES Dungeon Play Party

I had heard of TES while I was exploring the scene in Syracuse and now I was close enough to see what all the talk was about.

This sounded too good to be true. Just as I had started looking to see how I could get involved locally, an event appears that seemed tailor-made for me.

Even though I had attended kink events Upstate, I was still nervous. And this time I was going without my significant other.

After work, I navigated my way to Paddles. I looked at the awning with the street number for the place big and bold. Climbed the steps. Peeked inside. Looked at the buzzer list. Went back down the steps.

I thought “am I in the right place?” I was totally confused.

I walked back up the street a little ways in the direction I’d come and that’s when I saw the sign. It said Paddles and was accompanied by an arrow pointing presumably to my destination. The sign was on the back of an open door I had totally bypassed. You could only see the sign coming from the opposite direction I had come.

I followed the arrow. Walked through these weird clear plastic curtain strips, the sort you see at large supermarkets where the frozen foods have their own refrigerated section of the store. I walked past a suit of armor next to a sign advertising a men’s only event. This is when things became dark and darker as I went down a set of stairs.

I heard laughter and genuinely felt like Alice going down the rabbit hole. But then I emerged into a lighted area.

Paddles really does make me think of a basement, a large industrial basement. Not quite a warehouse. Not quite. I gave the fee for the workshop to a cheerful volunteer and took a seat.

Several others arrived and the presentation began. And it was more of a presentation or lecture than a discussion. We didn’t introduce ourselves or briefly state our varying levels of knowledge which I think made for a quiet audience with no questions. The presentation touched on rudimentary BDSM topics and was less focused on the history and “about” of the organization. It wasn’t adjusted to fit the current attendees. We were given a handy dandy pamphlet with words and definitions.

One thing of value that I did take away was a reinforcement of my values on how I connect with people here on Fetlife. In other words, only connecting to individuals I deem credible and those I’ve met in person, being careful even there. A lesson that was to be driven home by interactions I had with two people I met at subsequent kink events (entries on this forthcoming).

After the lecture, we toured the club and then were given the option to stay for the party for an additional cost. I stayed.

The lights went down and the atmosphere of the place changed entirely.

I couldn’t help comparing Paddles to the dungeon we visited for parties with the Syracuse D/s Society. Descending into that place shifted my mindset immediately. It was a surreal experience. If I was a tuning fork, that dungeon thrummed in my key and without so much as touching me I vibrated to match. I could see myself over any bench, tied in the rope station, strapped to that lovely solid unmovable cross with all of our names on the wall behind it.

If there is such a thing as event drop, I felt it every time after a party there especially because I was able to go to parties continuously as I would have liked at the time.

This was not so with Paddles. It didn’t match my personal style. Wasn’t thrumming to my frequency. I didn’t feel I wanted to become vulnerable there. If anything I felt like putting on an extra layer of protection rather than taking off one.

The atmosphere is just different. And public. One big difference between Paddles and the dungeon Upstate is that that dungeon was someone’s private dungeon. Wear and tear is barely there. I miss it. I want to have such a dungeon in a home of my own some day.

I walked around. Snacked on Polly-O cheese and other finger foods TES laid out for the event.

My favorite parts of the club were the upstairs where I could sit and watch everyone down below and the more hidden nooks here and there. There’s a stage where upon the same cheerful volunteer was receiving a florentine flogging from a lovely woman who was singing opera while administering. I have to say I was mesmerized.

I know that part of what I desire in BDSM is spiritual. Something transcendent. Exaltation. Exultation. I felt I was observing part of that in this particular scene.

I watched a very stylish TES member, who had spoken during the workshop and represented the Board, showing a gothy couple pointers in tying rope.

I climbed the stairs to watch this and a guy was at the top of the stairs. I said hello because I’m a polite person. Shook hands and gave my name before intending to move past and sit. This was the moment the guy took my hand and kissed it which sent all kinds of creeped out disgust waves crawling across my skin. I sat and he decided to sit beside me and lean uncomfortably close asking questions.

First question: “What are you?”

I was tempted to say “a human being.”

Instead I leaned away and asked him what he meant while keeping my eyes on the rope instruction. He goes on to say Dominant or submissive while continuing to be creepy. I said “Switch.” To which he says, “Ahh, but which do you lean more towards?” It goes on to him asking if anything interesting was going on tonight. I know my expression must have included disbelief. In my mind, everything was interesting. But he hadn’t been to the workshop which only had a handful of people. He was a Paddles regular (or maybe not) and he was just trying to pick up someone.

I won’t describe age or race. Bad behavior spans these things and is always disgusting regardless.

I scraped him off my shoe and continued to wander and drift, sidestepping him, the second time we crossed paths.

I stayed much longer than I thought I was going to. Towards the end of the night, my attention was caught again by a scene in the back of the club near the medical table.

A girl, wearing a pretty green or was it blue corset, was tied up by a guy. He was tickling her amongst other sensation related things. For the rest of my time at the party I watched. (I met both of them at a later party and connected with them on Fetlife yay!)

Afterwards, I went home and slept for a long time.

Overall, my first experience in the NYC scene was very enjoyable.

~Raven

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This post is about the first meeting between me and someone I’ve spoken to off and on and known online only through OkC and Fet for the last 4 years. We met on Thursday, May 16th 2013.

“How can you meet someone you’ve never seen?”

My oldest friend asks me this after I met him. After introducing her in fact and saying good night to him. “The hand off.” It’s 17 years now with her. We may go years without seeing each other, sometimes without contact, sometimes with. But it’s never really different between us. We haven’t outgrown each other yet. Don’t know if it will happen. We’ll see.

She asks me this while we sit and talk, preceded by “I don’t like surprises. Good or bad.”

I hadn’t seen her in some time. She looked incredibly different. Unbelievably so. Took a moment, watching her come towards me, but all I needed were the eyes and then the smile. That hadn’t changed.

She remembered me talking about him years ago too.

I don’t know. It’s odd really. Was I ever really concerned with how he would look? I had an inkling at the least that he was fit. Other than that. No I wasn’t concerned.

Not as concerned as what his impression of me would be, ironically.

Odd. I wrote odd but that signifies something that is out of the ordinary. And this is not out of the ordinary for me. Not online. I connect with people here on a different level. I am attracted to people here on a different level. I can be open with people in a way here that I am not generally in person. And in more than one case, it was through talking to people here that I was then able to become closer to them offline.

Even her. Long ago as adolescents, we didn’t really get along. Enter AOL Instant Messenger and several conversations later, there was suddenly understanding. Why? I could describe it and I have but not everyone understands. Many still see the internet as a place where people don masks rather than where people drop them. A place where true closeness and depth in relationship is impossible. I disagree.

The walls drop. And I can pick the genuine from the disingenuous usually. I do that pretty well in person also but without the walls dropping. The distance takes longer to span.

~~~

Internal

On the train the next day, I remembered the previous evening. Snatches of conversations here. Snatches there. And as is my wont when I’m pleased about something, I’m grinning off into the distance. Lost in memory, daydreaming and smiling. Unable to stop though I try. No sooner do I snap out of it, do I slip right back in. People surely must have been looking at the woman over there smiling all weird on the train for no reason.

The evening of our meeting, I walked from work to the rendezvous point. Still early. Stopped and looked at the place from across the street. But I couldn’t stand there waiting. Waiting to be discovered. I knew the park was nearby. Maybe I could get there and breathe a little easier before the time came.

Setting a time had made it concrete. As I knew it would when I set it on the phone the night before. I couldn’t not meet after that.

I only made it partway to the park before reading his text describing what he’d be wearing and turning back.

At this point there was nothing to remedy the nerves except meeting.

His voice was the same.

We talked and it was nice. Comfortable conversation. So nice that I forgot I had my phone muted and couldn’t very well hear when my boyfriend made the check in call I asked him to make. I looked at it just in time to see my boyfriend calling for probably the third time.

At this point in my re-telling to my old friend:

“And here I thought ‘this lady has it together’ with all the info you texted me. Even the restaurant phone number. Had you given me the same direction you gave your boyfriend, I’d have been out of the office with the police at that restaurant, in moments.” It turns out she works right around the corner. The Universe is funny like that.

I was nervous. Not crazy nervous. I never am crazy nervous in the actual moment. That seems to be exclusively reserved for the build up. This was a more subdued nervous that made it so I couldn’t describe the similarities between existentialism and objectivism as I saw it or remember names to simple things. Or maybe I was just tired from work.

I was determined to focus on the fact that we were just two people eating and talking as people do. Not that I had shared all manner of things with him online. And to be honest he made it easy to do. For the most part.

“See, you haven’t hyperventilated or run away.”

“Do you feel better now?”

Something happened on Tuesday. That’s the best I can get to describing it. I had no intention of doing what I ended up doing. It wasn’t planned.

I knew he was coming for some time. But I couldn’t really focus on that while dealing with a personal crisis. Couldn’t focus on it or the possibilities until suddenly it was right there looming before me. I hadn’t had the time to get comfortable with the notion.

I was scared he wouldn’t like me.

It all boiled down to that one thing.

Not even the thought that he could be other than what he had portrayed himself to be here in the shroud of secrecy our connection was wrapped in, was more important.

I had gone back and forth over it in my mind. All the superficial things about appearance. First impressions. Perhaps I would make a better first impression in a year rather than that week.

Several things converged on each other. New place that I wasn’t accustomed to. I had been alone the previous weekend. Alone with my thoughts. Needing my boyfriend after having endured an extended number of nights alone already without being cuddled and without being able to evaluate recent decisions in the secure circle of warmth. A warmth I was essentially deprived of for the duration of our stay with family. Months. Almost a year.

To reassure and be reassured. To move forward with confidence, accepting what had come to be, concretely. That was what I needed.

I could have done without the incessant Mother’s Day talk that surrounded me as well.

So I decided I wasn’t going to meet him.

Except that I wanted to meet him.

Desire and insecurity clashed against each other.

Tuesday night, we talked a lot and I wrote a lot. The last person who should have known about that particular inner conflict was the person I rambled on to for an hour and for pages after that. Though not because he said I’d eventually have to tell him what was bothering me.

“Mind you, there are many people who would have thought you *were* crazy,” says my friend while laughing. Well har har.

References to this moment and my previous preoccupation were made a few times by him and even once by my boyfriend while we were all three of us together. Joy. It had the effect of nails on a chalkboard. Or rather electronics dropping on the floor. All the fine hairs standing on end and feeling that jarring sound vibrate down one’s spine.

Essentially Tuesday wasn’t supposed to have happened. Not the way it did anyway.

Pulling the hidden to the surface when I had worked to keep it submerged for this moment. To maintain courage. And just when I wasn’t thinking about it anymore, pop, there it is again.

Yes, I was embarrassed at having imploded a few days prior. No… it wasn’t as big a deal maybe as it seemed to be before we met.

~~~

External

I threatened that I wouldn’t write a word about our meeting because he teased me on just what I might write.

But once he mentioned it, I knew I would.

I waited. Trying not to shake outside of my own skin.

Any moment now. And then he was there. Familiar and unfamiliar. About my height. Maybe a little taller. (People my height always seem shorter than me. People a little taller than me, seem my height. You gotta be several inches taller to actually seem taller to me.)

His voice was still the same. His voice was the first thing I heard in fact because my back had been turned to him.

I had looked at that menu online. Looked at it outside the restaurant. Looked at it in the restaurant. Yet I still couldn’t figure out what I would order.

I wanted to take him in. To remember the details of his face. This was my first time seeing him, but it is hard to completely do that when someone is looking back at you. And as I didn’t want to be more awkward than I was sure I had been that week already.

We talked and it was easy in moments. About the same things we’d talked about online. Some things were repeated but it was still new, hearing it said, no electronics involved.

An aside.

Now if Time Lords can make a TARDIS control room at all with controls for several functions, why cannot those functions be simply routed to one console? Isn’t the hardest part of the work done already? Actually making a device that works the way they want it too. Why have 500 remote controls, one for each channel? That’s what I was trying to wrap my head around.

As advanced as they were, it sounds like they still had computers filling whole rooms as opposed to laptops and tablets.

And next, I thought the sky changed color as the sun set because of the changing angle and length of the light’s rays hitting the atmosphere. A thought that I could not articulate just then. But I think next time I’ll be more lucid. Hopefully.

At one point a cover of “Leaving On A Jet Plane” played on the radio in the restaurant. He commented “Wouldn’t have been my choice of music.” I didn’t pick up on that really until a few moments later.

We went walking in the park after eating, talking all the while. The sun was setting over the water. I don’t think that was by design but it certainly was amusing to me in its cliché timeliness. I took pictures. He showed me how to take panoramic pictures with my phone. We sat on stone benches that were marvelously warm from the sun’s earlier heat. We talked for a while longer.

I had a moment of feeling I had done all this before. Deja vu. But not a usual one. More along the lines of something I’d dreamed of and forgotten. This has happened several times since I was very little. One of the reasons clairvoyance and divination fascinate me. I sometimes think I will be able to unlock whatever latent ability I have there one day.

My impression of him was that he seemed pretty “regular.” Not necessarily someone you’d pick out of a crowd and not someone who I’d imagine was into what I know he’s into. Someone you could meet at the library or theater or a convention. I liked that. I won’t say mild-mannered. That always puts me in mind of Superman and transforming in telephone booths.

Soon the evening was done and we were walking back. I got to introduce him to my boyfriend and to my old friend. Not pre-planned but funny how that worked out.

He hugged me, the first contact we had that day, said it was good meeting me. Then good night.

Then I spent the rest of the night catching up with my friend until it got cold even for me and we took the train home.

~~~

I’m glad I finally met him.

I’m still not sure what he thinks of me now. I know what he thought of me here, online.

My friend says the easiest way to find out is to ask. Obvious I suppose. We’ll see if I ever get around to that. I know he’ll be reading this at some point in any case.

What more is there to be said?

It was a good evening and had me smiling all the next day.

So maybe I’ll be a little less neurotic in connections with others who I meet online. Less neurotic, more courageous, but still cautious.

I think I’m done with this post. If anything comes to mind, I’ll add an addendum lol.

~R

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What a difference a year can make! A fresh start, a new place and a feeling of moving in the right direction.

No more stagnation.

New experiences and new surroundings. New people.

And now when I find moments of calm, moments of being less driven as I make progress towards my goals, my mind lands on my kinkier desires and exploring them here in this mecca.

I came across a blog (not updated in over a year) called Topologies written in by three women, all Tops. In one entry called “All Those Sweet Reminders”, the author described the relationship and encounter between her and her favorite Top, a switch who seldom bottoms anymore, but at times does so for her.

Her description of him as her “dirty and bloodied knight,” tore at my heart, igniting and resonating feelings within me.

Dominance, regardless of whatever formal training ‘experts’ think is needed, seemed a natural part of sexual desire to me at a certain age. Desires to be submissive came way way later and I often think due to some sort of periodic emotional fatigue. Hence I embrace “Switch,” as my needs will change when they will.

I like to analyze and I always try to look back to find the trigger or the outside influence that made me desire the things that I desire. Something perhaps that I saw as an adolescent or a child. I never find it. What I always find is the desire first and then the journey to seek on the outside what I already feel within. The journey to immerse myself in the books that feed the inner flame, then the interaction with those online, the roleplay.

Now, books and the internet are only a small few drops of water that hardly quench the thirst. Sometimes they seem more like drops of gasoline over a fire.

I crave experience still. I crave the knowledge. My desire above all here is to learn and grow confident in my own nature. To become tempered steel.

Tempered steel. Wrapped in velvet.

I will make it happen. Slipping a kinky education as easily into my schedule as anything else.

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I’ve struggled with the feeling of “falling behind” in many ways.

Sometimes, I look on Facebook or LinkedIn to see where past high school classmates and college classmates are in their lives. Some of them are well on their way in their careers, having already completed their Master’s or the JDs (Juris Doctor). They seem to be content.

In reality, I know I have no idea if these people are happy or not. I am not aware of their trials and tribulations. I also realize that my view is skewed to notice those who seem to have fulfilled the promise of our “advanced” grade school and college educations, as opposed to others who may be in similar positions as me.

Current position:

  • Unhappy with job
  • Saddled with student loans from first degree
  • Stagnation educationally, professionally, spiritually

My feelings are not really rooted in needing to be equal or better than my peers or ex-peers. My feeling is more a dissatisfaction about where I am and a disappointment that I am not where I expected I would be. My standards for myself have not been met. Not to mention society lied about what life would be after getting the all-necessary college education.

I am not one to simply sit and accept unhappiness. In the near future, many of these things will be remedied, hopefully, by the actions I will take.

~~~

I’ve begun to feel this “falling behind” feeling in my personal life as well. This sickening feeling grips my chest that I need to catch up and make up somehow, for not going to that munch or that pagan event or doing that community service. I feel as though I am missing out. Missing valuable experience that I need.

I withdraw from or cease to actively seek “extra-curricular” activities as my discontent grows professionally.

Extra-curricular:

  • Paganism and Spirituality and Green/Organic Living
  • D/s, BDSM, kink
  • Exploration of my polyamorous nature

In withdrawing from these things, sometimes a conscious decision and sometimes not, I feel I’ve cut myself off… from myself and from the possibilities that would lead to my ideal and fulfilling life.

What is my ideal?

  • Multiple meaningful relationships, poly and/or D/s and/or otherwise.
  • Involvement with a spiritual community as well as a pagan group/coven.
  • Organic, crunchy, green living.
  • Possibly living in an intentional community and/or commune.

Add some butterflies and rainbows and gumdrops. Too much to ask for? :-)

~~~

In any case, the “falling behind” feeling is not emotionally helpful. I need to work towards being ‘ok’ (all Zen like) with where I am currently in addition to moving towards the things I want.

I need to de-program myself of the “life is a race” syndrome.

Life is not a race and there is no “proper position” that I need to be in at any given time. Sure, it may mean I may not have as much money as the next person by the time I’m 65, and yes, it may be better to have children earlier than later, but how important is money to me really (I can’t take it with me when I die), and in the end, it will be better to have children when I’m ready and not based on a biological clock.

I need to relax and be ok with what I am able to do and what I am not able to do at this given moment, knowing that in the future that will change.

~~~

A new reality TV show has arrived on Showtime entitled “Polyamory: Married and Dating.” I was ecstatic about the prospect of their being a TV show that actually reflects polyamory in a positive and complete light. Until now, the nearest substitute has been “Sister Wives” on TLC.

The polyamory show on Showtime has been disappointing in some ways but interesting to watch nonetheless.

I found myself itching to talk to…. ANYONE, about this show, only to realize that I had not logged on to Fetlife (which has lots of poly groups) in ages, my Polyamory Percolations forum nick had expired due to lack of use, and I hadn’t tweeted on Twitter in an age, I hadn’t used PolyMatchMaker or OkCupid in a while either. I hadn’t read any new blogs or commented on them.

I was very very much out of the loop and cut off from many poly/kinky/what have you outlets.

Conversation happening about Showtime’s “Polyamory: Married and Dating” in all of these places. I started writing comments and tweeting and posting as soon as I could.

I want to be a part of the conversation.

And I will be from now on. Through thick or thin, I will be posting something here and getting out there and talking to people.

~~~

A lot of changes are coming to my life soon. Here’s hoping things will only grow brighter from here. :-)

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

If Bella was polyamorous, things would have worked out a hell of a lot better for her relationship-wise. And Gods, with less angst.

I will not give spoilers for the most recent movie, however there was a scene when she says to Jacob that “things just feel complete when you’re here.” Well that signals to me that she found her two guys and darn it, she should have figured out a way for it to work almost a la Sookie Stackhouse if Sookie hadn’t gotten all weird at the end of season four, releasing both Bill and Eric.

I found myself struck with yearning as I watched several characters create different families and realize they were apart of a family.

I have a family. We all do. Whether dead or alive.

But that is not the thing that I yearn for. It is not the reason I feel something inside that I can only describe as somewhat of a loneliness.

I want a poly family. I want my loves, touching different parts of my soul, growing together…. cooking and gardening and howling at the moon….

Such yearning.

But it seems I will be returning to the big city next year. Perhaps as early as January.

And there will be so many poly choices and groups to choose from. Not to mention kink and spiritual outlets.

It will be a return from exile.

Will I fall in love?

And then the morbid side of me says “there are more cases of HIV/AIDS in the state of New York than in any other state.” She’s never far away that morbid voice.

Hehe, best to be careful.