hi again…

so after 5 days of almost nothing but reading, watching tv and sleeping, I’m finally mostly better. Elliott, sadly, is only into day 3 of it so he’s still out of it. I’m sad because we were trying to schedule a bondage lesson with Max this Sunday and now it looks as if it won’t be until April that we have the chance. Even that is a slim chance at best, because we have way too much travel coming up. In April of course we have Jamaica (and I promise a travelogue and an extensive review of what Hedonism III is actually like when we return) and then in May we have a cruise up in the inside passage in Alaska – something I’ve always wanted to do, and a trip that fell in our laps when a friend who is a tugboat captain invited us along, gratis. We just had to pick a week and make the time to get away. Oh, and grab airplane tickets home from Juneau. Again, more travelogue on that when we return, I can’t wait to try to grab some pictures.

I’m feeling sorta nostalgic today about all the changes life brings. A few years ago, I never would have guessed what life would be like today. While I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life (which makes me write less – I never realized in the past how much of my writing was fueled by mild depression and angst) I can still be the tiniest bit melancholy. Most of the friends and lovers who were the bulk of my life aside from children have moved on, moved away, started new lives. Just as I did, I suppose. There are very few of my previous intimate circle who are still kinda doing the same thing in the same place.

But anyhow…back to bondage. I was going to write about how wonderful our lesson with Max was. Remember when I met Elliott, it was through the experiment of dating outside of the BDSM community to see if I could find what I wanted. I suppose it was a needle in a haystack (and I believe not without divine intervention) but it happened when I was least expecting it. The main reason I didn’t want to date within the community was the overwhelming poly influence on the current more organized scene. Nothing wrong with that, but I knew without a doubt that for the foreseeable future I wanted monogamy. That is a whole other essay that has little to do with the standard reasons trotted out by polyamorists as to why some people don’t want that lifestyle. Namely, jealousy and insecurity.

Anyhow. So there I am, the kinky bondage girl, dating someone that I *think* is “vanilla”. The great part about dating again when you’ve had a hell of a lot of heartbreak in your past and been single for over a year (and thus entirely willing to be single forever), is that you find yourself 100% unable to compromise about the things that matter. For me that was: must be accepting of who I am, including job, past experiences, current kink; must live in my town; must be entirely self-sufficient; must mesh in terms of spiritual and sexual outlook; must NOT be a control freak of any kind; must not accept yelling as an appropriate form of communication under any circumstances.

So there were my main criteria. I dated a few men once or twice before Elliott, some on the fringes of the community, some from the rest of society. Mostly benign dates, one that totally raised all of my control freak red flags. Then I met him and I had to tell him pretty early on about my prediliction for kink/bondage. It’s funny, I think we put it on ourselves almost that it’s something akin to outting that you have an STD. Maybe it’s just being at risk for someone else rejecting you for your sexual preferences, but whatever – it’s the “the big confession” when you’re dating someone and you don’t know how they’ll react. I think that’s why it can feel safer to date within already “out” people. But one of my other criteria when I started to date again was “must not be solely self-defined by sexuality”.

I see that a lot in what I no longer feel like I can comfortably call “my community”. Everyone has a list of the things they are, almost all of which have to do with sex. “I’m a queer bi-sexual poly switch” or “I’m a straight masochistic bottom, NOT a submissive” are phrases as common in the community as “double-tall skinny mocha hold the whip” are at your local Starbucks.

It sounds like I’m knocking that, but I don’t intend to. It’s sort of a necessity in a community that is always cruising for the next one-nighter or longterm poly partner.

What I wanted to hear was not about that, but about the rest. The stuff of the rest of life, activities, job, goals and dreams, ending with “and I’m sexually open-minded and a caring human being.” It was my theory that, once a true relationship was found the rest would follow. Of course in most cases if I mentioned to a man I was dating that I liked bondage, it immediately followed for him that I was promiscuous, and I could almost see the mental shift from “potential girlfriend” to “ooh! Wild fling and great party story” happening before my eyes. And yet so many mainstream men go on about the lack of a good sex life. You bring it on yourselves, guys.

So. When I broached the subject with Elliott, several dates (and still pre-sexual involvement) in, he was cool with it. No visible shift in his demeanor, everything still feeling warm and cozy and wonderful.

Which brings me to bondage lessons. Elliott was quite willing to learn, and his enthusiasm for it was apparent from the start. (hee!) He had some issues to go through, like pretty much any guy in the bdsm scene had at the beginning… worries about hurting me in a bad way, feeling weird about being aggressive that way. (in my opinion, any guy worth anything has these issues in the beginning. You don’t have a single qualm when you start, you just might be a sociopath, IMO)

We had our first private lesson last month, which was the fulfillment of a wedding present “gift certificate” from Max. For any couple considering a lesson like this, think of this as my review. Yes, I’ve been friends with Max for a number of years, but Elliott had only met him on a couple of previous occasions. Max immediately put both of us at ease (yes, I was nervous too. Max and I have a certain good bondage chemistry that occurs naturally, and I wondered how Elliott would react to that. Even when I was poly, it was an issue for a former partner) and we spent the first few minutes just talking about what we wanted to get out of the session, then Elliott showing Max a bit of what he’d been doing. Max made suggestions without sounding condescending in any way. He just sorta showed Elliott how to do things in ways that made sense, through his years of experience. How to put on ties in layers, so if something happened you didn’t have to take every bit of rope off, you could easily adjust and continue on. How to do knots that were easy to release, or very difficult, depending on the goal. Elliott could probaby tell you better than I about the pleasant learning experience, because at some point I asked them both if I could happily drift off and they both agreed.

Anyhow. We wanted part two. Elliott wants to learn suspension, and some of the more intricate head/face bondage that can be so intense. And if you’re thinking of learning, I can’t recommend anyone more highly than Max.

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