taiWelcome! I’m Tai Scarlet Kulystin, the creatrix of Purveyor of Pleasure. I am a somatic sexuality educator, occultist, professional harlot, and gender & relationships coach. This blog is my personal exploration of gender, sexuality, spirituality, kink, and the pitfalls of an overanalytical nature.

I 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, the body, queer theory, depth psychology, erotic 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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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 []

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 []

Aphrodite Temple

Life is moving along at such a pace lately that it’s difficult to keep up with writing about all the things I want to write about. Not that I’m complaining, really, but this hasn’t happened to me in a while. Nearly a month ago Onyx and I attended a Living Love Revolution Aphrodite Temple. It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind, but in a wonderful way. The temple was absolutely phenomenal and transformational in so many ways.

This was a two-day retreat, essentially, at a remote location outside of Seattle. There were somewhere between twenty and thirty of us there. We had been told about it before we went, of course, including having some of the activities described in a good amount of detail, but I don’t think either of us were really prepared for everything that occurred. In a good way.

I could feel a very noticeable energy shift in me from before the temple to after. I have felt far more open as well as more radiant, which often go hand in hand. I feel less timid about expressing myself however feels authentic for that moment, less anxious about what other people will perceive and more content with what I have to offer. I feel in touch with love, which was at least part of the point.

There was great emphasis on embodiment, autonomy, safe consensual touching, and getting what you need. It is all about getting your needs met and learning about how to ask for those things you need. It is about finding the beauty in yourself and everyone around you. It is also about Aphrodite, of course, and all these activities just aid in connecting with her more.

While we were there I felt somewhat disconnected with Onyx, or like I had to disconnect with him in order to be seen the way I wanted to. It’s something I didn’t experience at the play party we went to on March 4th 1, which says to me I may getting through that little blockage. It’s something I’ve held on to for quite some time, this notion and worry that I will be seen as less queer because I’m with him, when that’s really just silly. I have tried not to be ruled by it, but at the same time I have been.

I wasn’t opposed to the disconnection in the moment, exactly, but I saw it as a necessary part which irritated me. I think going through the experience of the temple, though, allowed me to let go of that and be able to connect with him more ever. I’ve been allowing my shy masculinity to shine through ever since I wrote about it and more and more since the temple itself. I think I experienced what it was to be seen for me in the moment which has just made me want to be seen like that more often.

I also didn’t experience any jealousy or anxiety about being disconnected and each of us being touched and caressed2 by other people, which was fantastic. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do with that going into it. It was remarkably easy, and though we were in the same room we rarely interacted with each other during the activities. I’m excited to see what happens in the future.

I loved it so much I’m now in the Priest/ess training program for it and Onyx and I will be going to the one being held in April. I want to go to the July and November ones as well, and would be surprised if that didn’t happen. I’m beginning to work quite closely with the high priestess, not just for the training but doing classes and workshops with her as well as working on websites for her. This is only the beginning.

  1. yet another thing I should write about… that one might fall through the cracks, though. We’ll see. []
  2. and in his case a little more than that []

Delving Into Power

Two weekends ago Onyx and I attended a Delving Into Power Intensive with Lee Harrington, an intimate1 three-day workshop focusing on power exchange within relationships to “create the non-egalitarian relationship of your dreams!” Going into it I felt rather content with our relationship as it was with the knowledge that there was, of course, room for improvement and was startled at what was brought up in me. I introduced our relationship to the group as an Owner/Brat dynamic, which is close to the truth. I’ve been thinking of replacing Cunt with Brat in the normal way I describe my role with Onyx, but that’s another post.

A lot of the information presented included things I had thought about before that Onyx had not or things that Onyx had thought about that I had not or things that we had talked about in our previous relationship with each other2 that we hadn’t explicitly talked about in this one3. It was especially refreshing to be around other kinky people, something that has been missing in our lives for the most part as we’ve been focusing more on the occult community here rather than the kinky one4. We were both able to get some perspective on our own desires and feelings by being in such a group.

There was so much wonderful information I won’t even go into it, mostly I want to talk about some of my reactions and the changes in our relationship since then. I love to be a brat and part of that love is to elicit a firm hand in dealing with me, basically forcing Onyx to reign me in (consensually!5), but something that came up over the weekend was my equally strong desire to submit and be of service. The latter is not something we have been exploring in our new relationship as much as the playful force that bratting brings in at least in part because of our failure to implement it in the old one. We had such difficulty with trying to view service in a particular way and trying to include that in our M/s relationship but now that we’ve in an O/b relationship6 for nearly a year and we’ve gotten comfortable with that the service and submission aspects need some focus.

We had a long talk on Saturday during a break between class and dinner/play party time that was most wonderful. We both expressed some things that had been building up within us and were able to come to some conclusions as to what we each wanted to include in our relationship. I was having trouble that day because I was feeling like I didn’t fit in for various reasons7 and because I felt like I was failing Onyx8 partially due to lack of explicit instructions. Onyx doesn’t like giving out explicit instructions but I need them, something we have had lots of trouble with before.

There was a lot more we talked about, including the spiritual path we are currently on and our own issues that we have each been dealing with. We expressly communicated about the things we each need and want and ways for us to begin getting that. It was refreshing and amazing, exactly what had needed to happen, and took us one step further in our relationship. Realizing my service desires that I had been squelching with him for so long was freeing. I had doubts then about our ability to actually implement some things that we were wanting due to our past experiences, but those doubts are nearly gone now.

We haven’t had the time to talk too in-depth about our power dynamic since the weekend long workshop because of work and then going to another workshop this past weekend that was not kink-focused9, but we have been able to begin some practices that have not only worked to shape the new dynamic that is forming between us.

The primary practice we’ve been putting into action is a daily checklist so I am accountable for the work I do. I’ve previously complained about feeling like I never get anything done or I don’t get enough done even when I do get things done. I’m still working on figuring out this self-employment stuff. I’ve also been a little lax at my cleaning duties. This daily checklist allows me to feel accomplished when I do get things done and for me to be sure I am doing something for Onyx every night as well, plus I have a fetish for lists10.

I’m excited to feel like we’re moving forward into uncharted (by us) territory. We have new ideas and a great many things we want to include in our relationship as it goes forward. There will be plenty of road blocks ahead but I feel like we will be able to encounter and move through them all. Along with the workshop this past weekend, which helped me release some things I have been needing to for quite some time11 and I believe the same thing happened for Onyx as well. It has been a transformational couple of weeks.

There has been a general shift in our dynamic because of the communication, interaction, and introspection we were able to do both individually and with each other. I feel so much more connected and in tune than we were before, and this last year we’ve been so much more connected and in tune than we were before that! It seems like we’re just getting better and better, which is truly amazing.

  1. there were 16 of us total I believe []
  2. the years before the triad []
  3. since I returned from Alaska last March-yes I consider the post-triad relationship to be a separate one []
  4. eventually my hope is to be part of a kinky queer occultist tribe, which is starting to happen []
  5. or, lately it has been consensual []
  6. I am not defining the differences here at the moment, but I am sure I will be talking about them soon in another post! []
  7. all in my head []
  8. or I was being set up to fail []
  9. which I will also be writing about []
  10. both making and crossing things off of []
  11. you will just have to wait for the other post for more on that []