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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Quick follow-up to last post

Been thinking about what I said about taking a stand at the next party toward boys behaving badly. Truth is, I fear I'll wimp out. Despite massive improvements since my younger years, I still have people-pleasing tendencies. I still want to be the "nice" girl. I might complain to friends, of course, but may not talk to the guy himself. Talking to him might work, but I sometimes fear it will bring on additional undesirable behavior.

I'm not talking about the black-and-white cases where there WAS an incident -- the drunk guy at Shadow Lane who grabbed my arm at the edge of the dance floor and announced that we were going to dance. The stranger who walked by and touched my butt at Paddles. Easy: They were over the line; I complained; action was taken. Eve and Tony tossed the obnoxious drunk out, and Michael at Paddles told the butt-grabber to leave.

More often there are the gray areas, which women who go to these public events may struggle with: What must we just accept? What is a violation? What is simply social awkwardness? What is stalking?

Perhaps one person's "stalking" is, to someone else, simply coming back and asking a second time to play. On the other hand, perhaps you've said no several times already and the guy approaches you again. I'd like to think that my body language and demeanor will let someone know I'm interested or not. Of course that's not always the case. So I have to just say, "No thank you."

Items for discussion, which I may propose as a Shadow Lane chat, if people are willing to participate: How do you deal with rejection -- on the receiving or giving end? What is crossing the line to you? If someone feels "creepy" or "off" but hasn't really done anything, can you complain? Is it shyness, or anti-social behavior? If someone is shy, do you feel a responsibility to help him/her feel welcome? If someone makes you uncomfortable, do you talk to him?


P.S. I hope to write tomorrow or the next day about why I miss Shadow Lane and can't wait for the party! Lest anyone think it is populated by a bunch of freaks, that's not the case. These guys I'm talking about are not the norm.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pre-SL uneasiness

I approach this year's Shadow Lane party (less than three weeks away now) with a little nervousness. It's my usual pre-party trepidation combined with additional feelings that have arisen over the past six months or so. Much of it is a feeling that the scene that I once felt very safe in is changing, that there are a lot more aggressive men wandering around, that women are seen more and more as objects to be snatched off a shelf, perhaps examined then put back on the shelf...

More people seem lonely, and, as a result, desperate. If you don't have a partner, being in the scene can be painful. If you don't even have people to play with, of course it's worse. I feel for the people in these situations. I really do; I've been there. But my empathy goes out the window when they use their loneliness as a rationale for assaulting women, for touching what they shouldn't touch, or, when given permission to do ______, push the envelope and see if they can get ______, too, never asking the woman if she wanted _____.

On top of that, there seem to be more angry men walking around. Not just at BDSM events, but in the world in general. When someone seems to think he is OWED something and he doesn't get it, anger tends to result. I don't need to find myself in a play situation with an angry man, especially one who's angry at women.

There was a reason I started going to parties and clubs eight years ago: I did not have a partner and I wanted to increase my chances of meeting people who were into what I was into. Being public definitely helped improve my social life. Along the way I discovered my exhibitionist streak and my voyeuristic streak.

Being allowed to get naked (you can do this at Paddles) helped my self-esteem tremendously. It feels divine, and I never thought I would feel this good about my body!

That said, there is a whopping difference between going natural and saying yes to sexual play with strangers. My husband and I are sexually exclusive. Intercourse, oral sex or penetration with others is off-limits. I may be a spanking "slut," but I'm not really a slut. I simply like pain, punishment and submission, and I sometimes seek it out from various sources.

But even if I were completely free sexually and chose to have multiple sexual partners -- it's up to me to say yes or no to someone. It's not up to HIM to take it.

I don't really have to explain this, right? Maybe I do. Maybe it needs to be said many, many times until the message sinks in. Public play is where people are getting to know each other, or they're getting other needs met (it's not about sex, for many, many people). It's in private, with someone you trust, that more intimate play occurs. But only if agreed upon!

I'm simply not going to put up with any bullshit this year. If someone violates me or any of my friends, if someone harasses me, stalks me, gives me angry glares from across the room, touches my butt unasked, enters my scene space, makes lewd comments about my body, and won't stop the offensive behavior when asked, I'm filing a complaint. I'm there to have fun, and I'm tired of the nonsense.

This cat is f**ked?

\
Spotted on the shelf at Keyfood on Saturday


(closeup)


We laughed when we saw this. I love unfortunate typos. And it's funny that we spotted this minutes after I complained to a Keyfood manager that hardly any of the shelves and/or products were labeled properly. I said, "You can never tell how much something is." (I did not mention that asking for help in that store is an exercise in futility. That's a separate issue...) He gave me a long-suffering look and said, "You're the third person who's complained this weekend alone about the labeling. We've tried, but the night crew leaves a little something to be desired." I said, "OK, well, thanks for listening..."

Obviously, getting a typo fixed is not going to happen. Hope my cats aren't REALLY healthfuked.



P.S. I'm planning to write after breakfast; I'll have a "real" blog soon.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Just another Saturday

I didn't really want to write about Valentine's Day yesterday. It's not just another day ... but it was really just another day. After spending so many years alone, jealous of those who were going out to romantic dinners and getting flowers at work (oh, the pain of watching all the flowers being delivered, none of them for me ... ), hearing from coupled friends about their special plans, etc., etc. -- it IS just another day. At the very least, it is what YOU make of it, not what commercials and TV and the internet say you have to make of it. (And why is there this message that it's the MEN who have to give to the women? I recall it being more mutual when I was younger.)

Rad and I had vague plans. We went to the city with the thought that we'd go to Monster Sushi (the site of our first date -- now, sadly, renovated, modernized and "hipper"). We'd also talked about going to a comedy club afterward. Between 7th and 8th on 23rd Street, we stopped to check for information on our cell phones. We happened to be standing outside a barbecue joint. I've been having a craving for barbecue lately and was about to check out the menu. Just then a crazy waiter from inside came out and started raving about how good the barbecue was. He said we better get inside NOW, before it got really, really crowded. He was interviewing everyone walking into the place, saying, "Is this the best barbecue in town or what?" and everyone was good-naturedly agreeing.

Turns out Rad was craving barbecue, too, so we decided to succumb to the sales pitch and went inside to have dinner there. It was yummy! The waitress asked if we wanted dessert ... the only dessert being deep-fried Oreos. Wow. Sounded interesting, but I said no. That's better left for those with stronger constitutions. I ate enough fatty food as it was and had an upset stomach afterward. Our after-dinner plans -- comedy club, live jazz, movies -- had to be postponed for a little while.

We walked over to a Dunkin Donuts, had coffee and talked. It was not crowded (this is always a big deal in New York) and it was nice to just sit. Then, we walked down 7th Avenue a ways, still thinking we might come across a little jazz joint or some small club with live music. My stomach was returning to normal and I had this notion in my head that we should go get dessert. (Why? Because it's Valentine's Day?) Rad said, "Do you REALLY think that's a good idea?" I pushed down my craving, and thank God I did, because I would have been ill this morning.

Instead of live music, we found a fantasy shop where we went shopping and Rad bought me some new "toys." Took the train back up to 24th where we'd parked, then drove home to Queens to try out said "toys."

No flowers, no candy. Other than that last-minute gift, we didn't buy each other presents. We just enjoyed each other's company and did whatever we felt like doing right then.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cravings, stress

treats 3
What IS this horror?

treats 1
NOOOOOOOOOO! Make it STOP!!!!!

Both bosses are out today. I plan to have a very productive day getting caught up on internet work, research, and lots and lots of reading. Yesterday I was antsy and anxious, craving junk food. I gave in to one indulgence -- raisins and almonds, which added calories but were reasonably healthy. I was craving food almost all day, even after I'd eaten a big-enough lunch that left me physically satisfied. I kept having to force myself to say no, while carrying on constant debates with my "lower" self.

"I'll get something from the machine downstairs." "No, later." "Now?" "No, you can wait." I made it to 5, 6, 6:20 p.m., when I finally left work. More debates. Still arguing about getting something from the junk machine downstairs before leaving work. Then the newstand on 116th, near where I get onto the 1 train. THEN the newstand on 42nd, which I pass when I walk the block from the train to my bus stop. I approach the booth ... no, yes, no, yes. The lady with the microphone who always sits there preaching about Jesus, abortion, and hell makes me want to walk even faster, and I pass the newstand, make it to the bus stop, where there are no more temptations. The bus pulls up just about a minute later, and I'm thinking I might have missed it had I stopped for a snack. A nice little reward...

But I'd been thinking this crazy thought that I was so hungry I HAD to eat something, that I could not wait the hour it would take me to get home. I had to shift those gears and tell myself, "I WILL be okay. It's only an hour. I can make it!" Of course I can make it, let's not be ridiculous.

We recently bought a new, larger slow cooker with a lift-out, washable interior. Rad had christened it the night before last with a large pork roast, with potatoes and onions and seasoned with rosemary and thyme. We woke up to that aroma yesterday morning, and maybe THAT was why I was craving food all day long! Of course it was waiting for me at home. Mm mm mm. We ate the roast with a side of fresh sliced tomatoes with just a little salt. It was so worth the wait.

I did not have time to walk or exercise yesterday, however, because I met a friend for lunch. I'm hoping to make up for it today with a little run on the treadmill. And I'm NOT going to eat the cookies (above) that some evil person left in the kitchen at work this morning. Happy Valentine's Day? Ha!

I started off the week feeling anxious and guilty about not meeting a deadline for a new project I'm working on. I am still feeling my way on it, with little guidance from above. But I feel amazingly good about it today. I did a shitload of research yesterday, tons of reading, and I have lots of ideas. It's going to be good. I'm going to have fun with it. My job allows me a good amount of creativity, which I love.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pulled in many directions

I got up pretty early and I feel tired. It's so hard to sleep when a fat orange kitty is pounding on the bedroom door demanding attention. I'll probably slip back into bed soon.

Last two nights were fun but exhausting. It seemed impossible to hold a conversation with a friend. Lots of people wanting to say hello, wanting my attention. I have to be nice to all, as best I can, but it's hard to establish a meaningful connection or rapport in that atmosphere. At some point during the party I should have found a dark corner to hide for a little while, to regroup.

Scott did, indeed, deliver the fifty strokes with the Family Strap, and it was very hard to accept. When he swung it for the first time, I was shocked by how solid it felt striking my bottom. I got very scared and honestly didn't think I could go through with it. I said, in a very quiet voice, "Do I really HAVE TO, Sir?"

With a no-nonsense tone in his voice, Scott said I had no choice (of course I have a choice, I always have a "choice"). But he was "nice" and did the fifty strokes in installments -- five or ten at a time, with little breathers in between.

I was pretty fried after he was done. I'm not kidding when I say it was one of the harder scenes I've done recently. I needed to be punished for some negative feelings I've been having and don't want to have anymore. Working very hard not to return to those.

As far as others at the party, I hate having to say no to people. I hope they understand. I topped my friend G., then G.'s female friend, whose initial is also G. She had expressed an interest in my spanking her. She was very cute and I had a fun time, but later found out she could have taken it a lot harder. Will have to have a do-over next time we meet.

Paul and I only got to play a little on Friday night. He was busy dealing with another bad girl (who shall remain nameless) who needed it more than I! Last night at Paddles he did give me a hard strapping to make up for Friday night. So, I am still sore and feeling good.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Getting it

I have a hard time writing about pain. There tends to be so much light and fluffy stuff tossed around on internet message boards and chat rooms -- bratting, taunting of tops, virtual sticking out of tongues -- and little talk of the payback. And I'm assuming there IS a payback. Many of those who comment here say they identify with the fear I sometimes talk about, the type of play I enjoy. I don't think I need to explain that the pain has to be real for the fear to carry any meaning. (But why must I feel fear? -- I think I'll have to explore that another time.)

I was bantering with Scott yesterday. I expressed a "minor complaint" that the punishment he says he's giving me tonight will be nearly equal to one he once gave his wife Miranda, for an "offense" (I won't disclose THAT here) that I believed was far worse than the one I committed. I don't really want to talk too much about what I did, either; let's just say it's a perennial behavioral pattern. Scott emailed me back that Miranda's offense might have been "worse" -- but that concerning ME, "as punishment, anything less than a long, hard whipping would be a waste of time."

I like when I meet a top who "gets" me. It's scary when he gets me THAT well.

At Paddles NYC I have a bit of a reputation for the noise I make when I play. I don't set out to make a lot of noise, but when it starts to hurt, I let it out. I'm not having an orgasm from the pain. I'm simply hurting from the pain. Does that mean it doesn't turn me on, that I'm not really a masochist? I don't think so. I don't think you have to be turned on at the moment of its occurrence for pain to be your turn on. I suppose others react differently. I can't write for them. This is how I react.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sick people

No worries yesterday. The R train was not that crowded. I didn't get a seat, but procured the next best thing, the spot by the door.

I've been feeling feisty and more confident at work. It's still too busy, I'm still too overworked, but I feel like I have more of a say in the creative process. I just have to keep on my toes. My resentment toward my boss has to go. It's not doing me any good. She's a sick individual, that's all there is to it. By "sick" I mean seriously mentally disturbed. I haven't quite figured out the best approach to her, but I have to avoid anger as best I can. As it says in Twelve-Step literature, "We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said said to ourselves, 'This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him?'" Yeah ... I'm not even close to that stage yet. But it's a noble goal.

My immediate supervisor pushes me, too, but I feel that it's in a good way, in a supportive way. She's seems to recognize that we're a team. The other one thinks that what we do is FOR HER.

The R was fine yesterday morning, but the 1 was unusually crowded. I couldn't deal with the crush, so I got off at 79th and waited for the next one. I was hoping I'd luck out. But it took another 10 minutes and was just as crowded as the previous one. I ended up by the door, next to a guy taking up space with a bike -- isn't that against the rules during rush hour?

I looked up and to my right and just then I saw my boss! She was reading a book and -- how about this? -- she was being a pole hog! Jeez. She didn't see me, at least I don't think so. My resentment was still active. I didn't want to be pleasant to her right then, not before I was officially on the clock.

So I slipped off the train at 103rd -- nearly 20 blocks from the office. Outside it was suddenly blustery; it had started to snow. I walked two blocks and caught the northbound Broadway bus. Hallelujah! -- there were seats. I was a few minutes late, but it was so worth it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Butterflies

over pillows bobs party 071308
I think about it and I push the thoughts back down. It scares me. And I don't have time to be scared -- I have too much else to deal with now to allow myself the "luxury" of a fantasy. But if all goes as planned, the fantasy will become reality on Friday evening, at the Strictly Spanking New York party.

My friend Scott says he will be punishing me with his wife Miranda's "Family Strap." This pernicious plaything is becoming legendary among our crowd. Check out Richard Windsor's recent interview with Miranda.

Scott already gave me a good dose of the Family Strap at the last Shadow Lane party. It is one of the nastier straps I've felt over the years. Last time I saw Scott, I was still recovering from surgery; I was able to play, but not that hard. So now I'm fully recovered, we're about to meet again, and he promises intensity.

He's made a special request that he and I play before I play with anyone else -- he says for the punishment to be "proper" it needs to be on a "cold, white, unmarked bottom." Yikes! Beyond that, he's not going to give me much warning. He's going to let me say hello to people for a certain time period, then will simply walk over, take me by the hand and tell me to come with him. Double yikes!

This is all well and good, writing about this from the safety of my desk. But I know the fear will intensify quickly once it all begins. I sometimes actually feel my skin go cold just before we start. There's the preliminary lecture (you dare not make a flippant comment then!) and then the skirt goes up or the pants go down.

I WISH I could lie across a bench or a bed because it's an easier position to maintain. But the party space may not offer that option. I'll likely be bent over with my hands or elbows on a chair. I'll be a brave little girl up to this point. When it begins, I hope I don't immediately start begging for forgiveness.

I'm really just a fragile flower, you know? A delicate lily who must be handled with care ... (I think I hear Rad snickering.)

I can't do this kind of play very often, and I have to be selective in my play partners. Scott not only knows what he's doing, but has that no-nonsense attitude I look for. And he's all business, nothing sexual or romantic.

Not that this doesn't turn me on IN THEORY. I knew I shouldn't have started to think about it. Okay, Sandy. Stop that! It's a work day! Get to work...

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm a "little"!

I'm tired and need more energy if I'm going to make it through the day. My meditation efforts this morning morphed into a plain-old nap. Fat cat woke me up at 4 a.m., and wouldn't leave us alone until after 5, when I finally got up for good. No wonder I'm dragging.

Yesterday I went running outside for the first time in ages. It was warmer, for a change. But I discovered that it was still cold enough that it was hard to breathe. I had to wrap my scarf so it covered my mouth, and I was only able to run in 6-8 minute segments at a time. Puddles of water on some sidewalks, combined with still uncleared ice, did not help. I had to walk around those sections for fear of slipping. My sneakers were muddy by the time I got back to the house. But it felt good, and hope to try it again on the next warm day.

Yesterday was my monthly weigh-in day and I have reached my desired weight-loss goal! I'm a "little"! I think I'm at my lightest ever as an adult. When I went shopping yesterday and tried on pants, I was able to get into a size I have NEVER fit into. I'm very excited and happy I stuck with my plan -- including the need to keep going after slips (there were a few). I'm continuing to monitor calories, carbs, fat and fiber. I guess I'll keep eating the way I have been eating, but allowing a little more leeway once in a while.

I had a seat and was able to write on the train this morning -- I'm behind on posting things here, but I have been writing a lot in my notebook. Tomorrow I'm going to write about the anticipation prior to a punishment.