Purveyor of Pleasure

Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: life (Page 2 of 8)

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.

Grad School

I’ve mentioned this a few times in previous posts, but I am currently going to Graduate School. I am in the Integrative Studies in Psychology program at Antioch University Seattle studying the Psychology of Sacred Sexuality, or some combination of Pychology, Spirituality, and Sexuality (and probably gender too since I can’t do anything without gender). I don’t know exactly what my thesis will be on at the moment, I have about a year before I *really* have to know what that will be, but it will deal with those three or four topics in some way.

I am really loving this school. I’m near the end of my second quarter and aside from a lot of the shifts it has made to my own lifestyle and the workload being intense1 I am still happy with it and excited about it. I have recently finished a prospective timeline which will have me out of school in March of 2014, so I’ll take two and a half years to go through the program, which is about what is expected2. I’m planning on going for a Ph.D. afterwards, which will probably be in the Fall of 2014 to give myself a little break, but not much of one.

This program is very self-designed. I can do independent study classes and just about anything I would like to around Psychology, Sexuality, and Spirituality. I’m building off the existing Psychology & Spirituality degree (which is awesome), but adding my own twist to it bringing sexuality and gender into the mix. I’m probably going to be focusing on Depth and Transpersonal/Integral Psychology and looking at Sacred Sexuality from a variety of viewpoints.

I’ve already learned so much. That is cliche to say, perhaps, but very true so I don’t care. I love the amount of self-analysis I’m required to do in my classes (I know, shocking, I’m usually not one for self-analysis, right?) and although I’m not always doing as well as I would like to as far as keeping up with everything I’m still getting a lot out of it.

So, obviously my posting has been erratic in the last year or so. I have shifted a lot of my goals and aspirations for life in some ways and not in others and I have been processing events and feelings much more verbally these days than through writing as I used to. I think it’s a testament to how awesome my relationship with Onyx is at this point, we talk about anything and everything and rarely are able to hold on to something for very long if it is bugging us. I don’t feel the need to explain things on here before bringing issues to him, and there are far less issues than we used to have back in the day (though now the biggest issue for us is time, of course).

The drifting away I’ve done from this blog isn’t only because of what I wrote above. I start so many drafts it’s not even funny, but I have a difficult time finishing them and getting them actually posted. This is mostly because I keep telling myself that I can’t blog until I do this, that, or the other thing for school, and yet I then turn around and don’t get all my school work done. Sigh. I have plans, though, and I hope to achieve them some day.

  1. though no more than any other grad school, no doubt []
  2. you could technically do it in two if you really wanted to rush it–I don’t []

Six Years

I missed my annual x-years-since-we-met post which would have been six and on July 28th like I did for five, four, and three (sorta, a little late on that one). I have talked about our anniversaries quite a few times over the years and wanted to make it a bit of an annual post, but this year I’m a little late for our meeting anniversary or our moving-in-together anniversary (August 26th).

The 19th of November, however, happened to be our (re-)collaring anniversary, the date he first collared me six years ago and the date he re-collared me last year. Saturday night we both took the night off and spent it together, although it didn’t quite turn out the way we were planning. There was going to be dinner at home, movie watching, snugging on the couch, beating, begging, and ass fucking, but many of those didn’t happen. Instead, Onyx came down with a horrible migraine complete with nausea, and at one point I also had an upset stomach and was otherwise generally low in energy. It wasn’t exactly the best night ever.

Still, we made the most of it, mostly just lots of snuggling on the couch while watching various things and some making out when we were both feeling better. At one point I put a blindfold on him… but that was to help with the migraine.

Despite the lackluster night we’ve been pretty great lately, really we’ve been great since March 2010 when I came back from Juneau. Sometimes I wonder how it can be this good, to be honest, so one unexciting night is to be expected every once in a while. One of these days I’ll get around to writing about the after work tradition we’ve started1, but until then I wanted to make up for my lack of yearly post.

We’re in our seventh year, which seems pretty remarkable, especially for someone who had never had a relationship last longer than about six months prior to this relationship2. We’ve both made mistakes, continue to make mistakes, will make mistakes, but it is our ability to get through those together that has kept us together. That and the massive amounts of work we’ve put into communication.

I love you, Onyx, and I look forward to every day I get to spend with you, my Owner, my Love, my Daddy, my friend.

  1. for those of you who don’t know, Onyx gets home from work around 7:30am, and I am usually fast asleep… feel free to imagine what we may have started doing. []
  2. that would be me []

Travel Thoughts

Onyx and I spent a last week or so in Juneau, Alaska with my family. We came back from that July 7th and today we are heading to Salt Lake City to attend Element 11, Utah’s regional burn festival (aka a small-scale Burning Man). Currently our flight is a little over two hours delayed, so otherwise you may or may not have actually gotten an update from me today.

Quite a few things have happened that I may or may not get around to writing about (in no particular order):

  • Cane-a-slut Day 2011, during which I got caned and Onyx and I co-caned a lovely friend of ours.
  • Numerous salons and workshops that I probably should post about, mostly ones that I have facilitated/lead/taught, but also a few I didn’t.
  • Thoughts from a week with family, which may end up being a password protected or private post.
  • I applied to Graduate School, which I’m exceptionally excited about. I’m also excited that this means I can included on Nadia’s Educated Sluts List once I am accepted.
  • Numerous encounters of a sexual nature with Onyx, little with anyone else.
  • A major initiation in the esoteric organization Onyx and I are part of, and nine months of being dead. I also really want to write more about spirituality in general, which I imagine will happen as a byproduct of going to school as well.
  • Poly and kink developments, my evolving thoughts on and experiences with each, and the evolution of my submission and service to Onyx.
  • Reading Sacred Kink by Lee Harrington in the Sacred Sexuality Book Club that Onyx and I are hosting.
  • The daily submission rituals Onyx and I have developed which serves as a reminder of our intentional power dynamic, which we were able to engage in while in Juneau with family.
  • Gender exploration and development, the large swing from occasional-femme boy to occasional-boy femme that I experienced recently, and my fluctuations from uncomfortable to comfortable and back again with my genders.

I also have a couple of smut stories in the works, though I haven’t worked on them in a while. I’m sure there’s more that I haven’t thought of as well. Feel free to request a post on something if it intrigues you beyond the rest.

Due to this travel and focusing on my grad school application, I’m way behind on just about everything. I was already behind on writing my sex toy reviews, writing posts on here, and responding to email but now I’m even more behind. I’ve also written on Femme Galaxy a few times, and I’m way behind on doing work on it, especailly responding to emails.

One of the things I have enjoyed quite a lot that happens when we travel is in order for me to go through security we have to take off and put back on my collar. The trip to AK was the first time the collar hasn’t been around my neck since it was given to me in December. It felt strange to have it off, but each time I’ve enjoyed Onyx placing it back around me. The small gestures and phrases that remind me that I am his make me extremely elated.

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All Over the Place

When Onyx and I began getting deeper in our D/s dynamic I had no idea the emotional impact it would have on me. I thought about it in some ways, I figured there would be impact on all areas of my life, but I had no idea the scope it would take. In some ways I feel like I’m experiencing NRE (New Relationship Energy) all over again. Surely there was a boost of NRE in March of last year when I returned back from Juneau, and now, after all of the changes our relationship has gone through since February when we took the Delving Into Power workshop, there’s a surge of something if not that.

It’s the little things that are so impactful to me, the rituals that we have intentionally set into our lives to keep our dynamic going. I really love them, but they also frighten me. The more I am of service to him and the more I am submissive to him the more I want to do those things. My collar has been brought up a few times lately by people that I just met, perhaps simply indicating that I’m around more D/s-oriented people, but it is often startling to me to be seen in that light. I still have some internalized domism in me, I think, that needs sorting out.

I don’t equate submission with weakness, at least not on a conscious level, but there is a fuckofalot of vulnerability when it comes to getting in this deep, and I only see myself getting deeper. I don’t believe vulnerability is weakness either, but it is unfamiliar territory. I’m so used to being closed off and walled up that this newfound vulnerability and presence is quite startling, even if it is what I’ve also been craving for so long. I want to be vulnerable, to be present and transparent, to not feel I need to hide or be shamed for my desires or any part of me. For the most part I’ve got that down, but every once in a while something gets triggered and I shut myself off.

I’ve been working pretty ceaselessly to clear myself of triggering patterns, of stories that aren’t mine and don’t serve me, of the reasons behind the urge to shut off or lash out, but it’s not something that I can achieve once and never have to worry about again. It is something I have to do constantly. Sometimes it is simply easier to let the old destructive habit take over for a while. It requires less work and I can let myself go into the spiral of guilt or sadness, then getting more frustrated at myself for allowing myself to get into the spiral but not allowing myself to see the way out of it.

Still, though, I work, I soldier on to clear myself of what I can, hoping to live as fully in every moment as I possibly can. That’s enough for now.

The more I put my trust in Onyx the more I find myself emotionally attached to him. I am also painfully aware that my survival depends on him, since he is very much my Sugar Daddy at the moment1. He doesn’t seem to mind, but it is worrisome to me, especially as I become more attached to him in other ways as well. I am scared to become more reliant on him, yet that is part of weaving a life together with someone else.

We refer to each other as life-partners, and maybe six years isn’t enough time to make that declaration, but I can definitely see us together for a long time. It is quite wonderful, but also quite frightening.

I love the closeness we are cultivating, the vulnerability I feel is just as amazing as it is frightening. I love the spirituality that we are bringing in to our dynamic as well, and perhaps that is at least one way I can help offset the fright, but that might be a whole other post. I think I still have a bit of processing and exploring to do to find just how I fit with submission and service, although I also recognize that sometimes finding something like that out isn’t necessary. Perhaps what I really need is to just let all the analyzing and processing go and just be in the moment.

  1. I am making some money, but definitely not paying my fair share []

Living in the Void

I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about gender lately. My last class went swimmingly and left me with a lot of things I want to write about on here when I have the time, which seems like rarely. Gender seems to be coming up more and more in everyday conversation, or perhaps I’m now just around more people I can talk about it with. Gender and kink seem to be pretty damn central to my life, including my sex life, right now, which makes sense since that seems to be the only things I can actually post about.

I’ve been dissecting these desires that keep popping up in me to transition, and I think the cause behind them is primarily wanting my gender attribution1 to be something other than woman or female. This has been making me ask myself why I care to be seen that way, and that I’m not sure of yet other than the fact that I don’t identify with those terms and haven’t for quite some time. Some days I am comfortable being seen as I am not, others I curse the limitations the societal concept of gender forces upon us, all days I want to help others understand this world of gender that I live in and help them chuck those societal concepts to the curb.

My bodily sex and gender desires keep fluctuating, as always, but the lack of identification with most things female, womanly, or feminine save for femme is pretty constant. I’ve said for years that the femme gender I am drawn to for myself is that which is difficult to attain on this body, it is a femme that is generally seen as reserved to those assigned male at birth. It is a drag queen femmeininity, a glitterfag femmeininity, a femmeininity I’ve been told throughout my entire life doesn’t “belong” to me. But what if it does? I’ve been exploring this a lot lately.

At the moment I’m happy being somewhere other than “male” or “female,” “woman” or “(wer)man,” “masculine” or “feminine,” even though it means often not being seen and having to explain myself over and over. I enjoy playing with those concepts but do not fit into any of them any way except for queerly. I’m actually okay with that, or at least most of me is, but part of me is desperately trying to figure it all out. I’m letting that part of me relax and become comfortable with not knowing but it’s taking its sweet time getting there.

And so, I wait. I meditate on otherness, on rarely if ever fitting in to any box, and I become at peace with it. For a little while, anyway, until the next misgendering, the next microaggression. I meditate on what it means to be other gendered, to be genderqueer, to inhabit a genderqueer body rather than a male body or a female body. I meditate on gender and I come up with and/or expand on models that help me explain the exciting and swirling complexness that is gender, and I realize I am okay being in a void, even if that often means I am just fumbling around in the dark.

  1. The gender that other people assign onto us, the gender we are perceived as “being” due to the other person’s understanding of gender. []

By Any Other Name

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I call myself, the names I go by. Scarlet Lotus (St. Syr1) for some things, Scarlet Sophia for others, and Scarlet Tai elsewhere. When giving my name I usually say “I’m Scarlet” as opposed to “My name is Scarlet,” a subtle but notable difference. Scarlet is less of a name to me than a title these days, which may sound a little absurd, but that’s how I feel about it. That is a whole other post, however.

The more I think about it the more I wonder about having these different names. I’m beginning to think I just need one that I use for everything, but at the same time that thought makes me nervous. I’ve also begun thinking I need a name for my growing male side. At one point I started using Quyn, but I don’t feel it fits anymore.

In all this thinking I was reminded of a post by Aiden Fyre aka Mina Meow titled What’s in a Name? where they talk about having been born with a bi-gendered (or, other-gendered) name and wonder about that chicken and egg aspect of their gender journey. I was also born with an other-gendered name of which Tai is a nickname, a nickname I’ve been called most if not all of my life. Most people hear the name as Ty, but either way it is usually masculine-gendered. My full name is exceptionally unique easily searchable so I’m not yet comfortable disclosing it on here, perhaps one day that will not be the case.

Point being, however, that Tai feels like home, but now so does Scarlet. I don’t just use Scarlet online, either, most of the people I know here in Seattle know me by that name. At this point I kind of see myself as having a feminine-gendered name of Scarlet, an other-gendered name of Tai, and in need of a masculine-gendered name. Part of this desire for multiple names may be to act as a cue to aid others in understanding my gender at that moment, but at the same time I’m not confident that this is a good idea. It seems like too much work in some ways. At the same time, though, I like the idea of having different names.

I’ve also been feeling a lot more of my male side lately. With the rise in my sex dissonance I’ve come to realize my lack of masculinity. I’m not that interested in being butch or masculine, but I’m interested as presenting as a male, specifically a femme male. I’m feeling more like a femme trans man than I ever have before, and I want a name for that other than Scarlet or Tai. Though maybe I don’t need one.

This all is basically me thinking and analyzing through this post, it’s not any sort of conclusion, just musings. I don’t know how I feel about all of this yet. I don’t know how everything is going to play out yet. I don’t know where this gender journey will lead me. I do know that I have been binding more lately, I haven’t been feeling female but I’ve been exploring the femmeininity that comes up in me when I feel male, which is extremely different. I’m not interested in passing as a woman, in fact I’m sick of it. The problem is that I’m separating maleness from masculinity and that is difficult to present.

I don’t know what to call myself anymore, the name dilemma is only part of the problem. I have been fantasizing about so many new things lately, almost to the point of uncomfortability. I’m still trying to figure it all out.

  1. though I am moving away from using this as my last name []

Gender Journey

I’m having trouble with gender dissonance1 again and am working on getting to a place of doublethink2 around my gender. I just wrote about this, in case you missed it. Because of this I’ve been thinking a lot about my gender journey, my process to get where I am today, and I’ve been wondering about what will come in the future.

Most of these images are up somewhere on this site already, though a couple of them are new. Click for a larger version.

  
  
 

After compiling these, though sure there are plenty others, I am struck with just how long my genderqueerness has been with me. The first image is from somewhere around 2002, the next three from 2005 & 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and, finally, 2011. The very last one is from today. Even when I was presenting mostly femme I was gender bending a bit, usually at least a few times a year doing drag if nothing else, but often as a side part of me that I just pushed aside for a while, thinking I could just be femme.

I’ve come to a lot of realizations recently over why I did that, ones I’ve shared with Onyx and which I think make sense in a way. I’m becoming so much happier now that I’m integrating all of me, though I’m discovering even more identities, even more parts of me that are all me yet slightly different combining sex, gender, sexuality, and power in different ways to create a sub-category of me. I’m a service submissive boy, a demanding genderqueer Top, a bratty masochistic femme kid, a loving Daddy, a glitterfag, an innocent and excitable little kid, and more.

While a lot of the images above may seem similar, and they are, undoubtedly, are me, they each show a different gender expression in my eyes. A lot of them look similar, but I can see the first time I felt sexy and confident as a femme, the first time I really embraced my genderqueerness, the fun of dressing in drag in so many different ways. They are all similar, but all different.

Now, with my short peacock hair, flat chest, round hips, and eye makeup I’m becoming more comfortable with the self that changes into the red lipstick, twirly skirt, and low-cut top wearing femme that changes into the steampunky gent that changes into the bratty femme girl and so on and so forth. How I present varies, but my identities are all inside me all the time, choosing who gets to come out to play.

  1. traditionally the word for an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously, though now often used in place of dysphoria in reference to gender issues []
  2. simultaneously accepting as correct two mutually contradictory beliefs []

International Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31st was the first International Transgender Day of Visibility and I hope it won’t be the last. While I don’t exactly identify as transgender1 I think this was a wonderful idea and want to help it spread for next year!

It also happened to be the same day that I got my first official binder. After some work to get it on, for which I enlisted Onyx’s assistance, I wore it all day long, including to class that evening. I’ve been wearing my makeshift binder around lately but I needed an upgrade, and this definitely is one. It doesn’t exactly make my large chest go completely flat, but it does what it can.

Here is what I wrote on my non-blog-related Facebook wall for the day: “March 31st was the first International Transgender Day of Visibility and I want to make myself visible. I currently identify as genderqueer, an identity I have claimed for quite a few years. I love that a day like this now exists and want to take a moment to extend heartfelt gratitude to everyone in my life who have supported me on my gender journey, and those who will (continue to) support me in the future as I continue on my path. I also want to take the time to thank the trans* and otherwise gender-variant people that have influenced me, both those I have met face-to-face and who I’ve only me through their writing or video, especially those that came before me and made it that much easier for me to discover my own gender. Without all of you I would not be who I am today.

I didn’t get any responses, but I got a whole lot of people who liked the post, so that was good enough for me. It’s not something I usually talk about so openly, especially on the FB profile that has my family and friends from High School on it and such, but I was happy to do it, and for a reason to do it beyond just my own desire to come out.

I look forward to having the opportunity to be visible again.

By now, most people are aware of the Transgender Day of Remembrance that happens every November 20 to memorialize the people we’ve lost.

Over the years, there have been calls by some trans people to make the TDOR a more happy-happy joy-joy event, to which the founders and others have resisted. TDOR does serve an important function in terms of focusing attention on anti-transgender violence.

Rachel Crandall, the head of Transgender Michigan is one of the people who asked why couldn’t the trans community or someone start an event that celebrates who we are?

Then she asked the question that led to the formation of this event, ‘Why isn’t that someone me?’

Hence the first annual International Trans Day of Visibility was born.

  1. though I am starting to think I should more and more []

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