lotusWelcome! I’m Tai Quyn Kulystin, the creatrix of Purveyor of Pleasure. I am a educator, artist, occultist, harlot, and gentlefemme about town. This blog is my personal exploration of gender, sexuality, spirituality, kink, and the pitfalls of an overanalytical nature.

I currently identify as a queer fat genderqueer polyamorous switch and prefer the pronouns ne/nem/nir or they/them. I spend a lot of my time thinking about sacred sexuality, sacred kink, relationships, queer theory, depth psychology, sexological bodywork, and so much more. I'm in a long-term live-in relationship with my partner Onyx, and I also have a few other relationships and lovers.
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The Things I’ve Learned

I’ve taken a break from the internet in the last few months, specifically this break has been from the online persona I have been developing on this blog since 2007. I experienced a mental breakdown of sorts, a deep depression that was catalyzed by the death of my father but had begun long before he passed. I had to step back from life and to go inside of myself. I no longer had the strength to keep moving forward so I stagnated for a while. It was necessary.

Life has been on an upswing for the last few months. All the things happened at once: I was beginning to feel like myself again, Stian and I were getting closer, and I began a few new relationships. Since then school has been figured out, I have a lot of ideas for the future and plans in that regard, and all my relationships are developing positively. More and more lately, however, I’ve been realizing just how much writing on here has meant to me, and I want to get back into it.

I have other ways of expressing and processing my thoughts and emotions now than I did when I began this blog. It is easier for me to talk openly and honestly about those things that are close to my heart. While that was a big part of my development of this blog it was not the only purpose of it. In my time away I’ve realized just how important writing is to me. I’ve had to do a lot of it in school, but that is less flow-of-consciousness writing and more actually-having-to-plan-things-out-and-be-organized writing. While I enjoy both types, there has been a distinct lack of the former in my life as of late. For a while I was so internal, so closed off, that I was unable to write, I was barely able to breathe. Now, though, I feel the desire to share pouring out of me.

Dance has become an integral part of my life experience in the last few months as well. For a long time I forgot how necessary it was to move my body in that way. I did a lot of dance when I was younger and I have wanted to take a class for years, but just never got around to it. I began taking a couple swing dance classes in November and began another three weeks ago. I hope to continue as best I can in the upcoming months, but travel plans will get in the way somewhat. I have aspirations of taking bellydance and burlesque classes as well, and who knows what else. It has become as important as sex to me, as important as breathing. I need to remember to dance, preferably every day.

What else has changed and shifted in the last few months since I have been away? I’ve been on a femme swing as well. My gender presentation has embraced femmeininity to the nth degree. I’ll certainly be discussing this in an upcoming post. Onyx and I have moved from being non-monogamous and theoretically poly to having other partners, and there have been shifts between us and our relationship as well both because of this change and because of the natural progression of our relationship to each other. Again, there will be a separate post. Or probably many separate posts.

There’s so much more needing to pour out of me, but this is where I begin again. This isn’t complete (is it ever?), but it is a (re)start.

Self-Consciousness

I used to think I was an exhibitionist. I still do think that to a point, but lately I’ve been so reserved and worried about the way others perceive me I can hardly call myself an exhibitionist. I’m more self-conscious now than I have ever been before in my life. I’m less outrageous, trying to blend more, and just generally unsure of myself. Recently I had two separate conversations on different topics that lead to this point, I’m letting my ego get in the way, my anxiety take over.

Even though it seems like this is the opposite of the ego’s job, it’s still part of the same mold. The same part of you builds yourself up that will knock yourself down. The ego is responsible for the worry and anxiety and stopping you from being you just as it can be responsible for the arrogance and puffed-out chest of confidence. Either extreme isn’t desired, but, as with all things in life, I seek to find a balance, a happy equilibrium within myself.

This might sound crazy coming from someone who blogs about her life, who routinely informs others about her sex, thoughts, and feelings, but especially lately I seem to have a difficult time believing that other people are actually interested in hearing what I have to say. I’m not talking about on here, but in person, when I meet new people or interact with known ones. This was especially true the first few weeks after I got back to Seattle.

When I was in Juneau I was much more comfortable. My motto for Juneau is basically “it’s Juneau, nobody cares,” and I would say it whenever there was a question of etiquette, appropriate dress for an event, or pretty much anything. This isn’t really true, though. Juneau is a small town and there is tons of gossip. Despite thinking it was super liberal when I grew up (and it is compared to the rest of Alaska) there are still lots of non-liberal ideas and people who live there, and it isn’t comfortable to express everything there.

I do think that, for the most part, people in Juneau don’t give a shit about you unless they know you, however, and that’s where my motto came from. I never really got invested in Juneau people. Growing up there I did tons of activism in the high school, I was in many theatre productions, people knew who I was but very few people actually knew me, and I liked it that way. Going back was very similar, only I knew even less people. I knew people could recognize me, and people did quite often, but if they had any preconceived notions of me it didn’t matter, or maybe it mattered less.

Some of this goes back to what I was talking about in Relational Assumptions. I’m worried about what people here will assume about me, I haven’t been able to adopt the same nonchalant attitude because I actually want to be invested here, I want to gain friends and not be a loner like I have been previously. I want to be more outgoing and social, but I need to stop caring so much about what other people think, because I want people to like me for me and not for anything else.

I like being a multifaceted individual, but sometimes it’s exhausting because I’m too worried about other people to express myself fully. A friend, in one of the conversations I mentioned above, mentioned she had learned to instate a complete honesty policy in order to encourage compatible friendships and discourage ones that could turn sour down the road. I think I do this too… to an extent, anyway. I will answer questions honestly but don’t always offer up information unasked, but I want to change this.

I’m trying to shed the trappings of my ego, acknowledge them and move past them, to stop being so self-conscious. Care less what people I don’t know think about me and more about feeling comfortable within myself and expressing myself however that happens. I want to start volunteering information about myself, start realizing that people care what I have to say and actually have an interest in hearing it. Part of the beginning of this change in me came in dying my hair from the reddish brown it has been the last few months back to a bright purple, the rest of it will come soon.

Home Sweet Heartache

juneau
Taken by me winter of 2007

Everything is worse in the single digit hours when she should be sleeping but her brain won’t turn off. She instead reminds herself of how frost crystals can look like diamonds shining in streetlights and marvels at how many stars she can see when there are no lights. She watches as the sun rises in the crisp Alaskan mornings and the light floods the room that was never hers but she calls home for now.

Sometimes she wakes up sobbing, her pillow already damp from her tears, her body curling into itself. Sometimes she can only remember the good times and curses herself even though she knows she did everything she could. When you don’t have much to work with it’s difficult to hold on for long.

She wonders what the point of it all is if good love can turn so sour.

Her heart buckled from the force of being torn in two directions for too long and eventually shattered when she realized she wasn’t getting what she needed and probably never would. She hadn’t been getting what she needed for a long time. The weight of her decision makes the single digit hours drag on when all she really wants is to be held and told everything will be okay.

She wonders how she can live without being touched.

The chemical dependency she cultivated over the many months and years (respectively) has left her hollow and yearning. Unfortunately the only sources are hundreds and thousands of miles away. Her need translates itself easily into skin hunger, but she doesn’t have a way to sate it.

She doubts she will sate her skin hunger soon, but will go on as she did before in the town she couldn’t wait to escape from. She would be happy to turn everything into a distant memory, but her thoughts won’t allow her to do that. She doesn’t know when she will be able to let herself love or trust again as she works on picking up the bloody pieces of her heart, finding the self she locked away.

She wonders what the future will bring.

Life is less complicated here. It would be peaceful if she could sleep, but instead she fills her time with meaningless things to distract her from the emptyness she feels without them. The more she stares at the sky and mountains she is amazed at the beauty found where she grew up but never felt at home.

She looks forward to summer, rediscovering the trails of her youth and trying to learn to love the city she once knew. She hopes her despair will melt with winter and her new scenery and potential for a life here will grow and blossom in spring.

Unfortunately spring is still far away, and for now she has to wait for the single digit hours to tick on until she is tired enough to fall asleep. In the meantime she takes all she can from the beauty of winter, from the frost crystals and clean Alaskan air, from the darkness that envelops her and caresses her while she waits.

Overflow

Do I really come off so pretentious? I realize that for myself and many others it’s easy to hide behind barriers of knowledge and pride when in reality all we are inside is glass that has been broken one too many times.

I look down too often to find a piece of myself I forgot I was missing casually lying at my feet. I pick it up and try to piece myself back together, sometimes the hole that I had grown accustomed to feels strange once filled again. I had been used to missing that piece of myself. I’m never as smooth or shiny as I used to be. The cracks never go away.

Too much of a cliche? Well, that’s kind of me in a nutshell. Did it again? Oh yes, over and over.

I have perfected the art of silent crying. We are both on our sides, his arm around me, his body against mine, and tears stream down my face. I’m not sure if he can tell or not, and different parts of me wish for either recognition or ignorance. I’m usually not sure which is better.

My breath is ragged but I work hard to control it, try not to shake even though I can tell I am. He has gotten to understand what the long quick intakes of breath mean between the sobs that I don’t allow to wrack my body but I so desperately want to. The solace I am often offered makes me cry harder, so I usually reject it even though I need it.

On nights like these, I write posts like this in my head, but they never come out the same as I imagine them.

Feelings of inadequacy and doubt are always made more by the frustration, irritation, and anger I turn inward. How dare I feel this way! Why do I think such horrible things? Why do I feel like this when everything in my head is telling me not to? How can I stop?

On nights like these, I teeter precariously close to hating myself over hating the situation or my own reactions. It’s sometimes difficult to separate the one from the other.

I tell myself it’s stupid, not something I should care about, even when I know that the best thing to do in this situation is talk about it, acknowledge it, let the others in the situation help me work through the issue and get to a better understanding it. I do have a Psychology degree, for all that it doesn’t do for me, and I can tap into that information and understand what I should do. The best advice I can give is advice I am rarely able to follow.

To further compound the issue I not only get upset at myself for this situation, but everything that has made me sad, upset, or depressed in the last few weeks or even months or years comes bubbling to the surface. I can’t not think about that one little thing that got under my skin, the time I stuck my foot in my mouth and my staircase wit would have been so brilliant if I had thought to say it, the time I said those horrible things that I didn’t mean, and so on.

My brain swirls with all these horrible memories and just makes me feel worse. Eventually it’s not about the situation at all, it’s just about feeling sorrow.

On nights like these contact and someone who will listen is really what I need, even if I don’t say anything knowing that I could helps more than they might know.

But I do try to say things, it’s easier to say things now than it was four years ago when we were first starting out. It’s easier to say things now than it was one year ago or six months ago. It’s continually easier. I need to gain composure first, though, figure out how to say things, word things correctly so I’m not misunderstood. Once I do I’m often embarrassed at what I say, but I’ve learned that he won’t judge me for it, or if he does he doesn’t say it out loud.

I’m grateful that he has adapted himself to fit what I need at moments like these. He has learned over the years to be patient, though he still doesn’t press me for more at the perfect times but that would be impossible without telepathy.

On nights like these I take the pressure off of my internal bottle, just for a little while, just long enough to feel better, and then I stuff everything back inside again until the next time the pressure becomes too much to withstand on my own.