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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On Longing to Meditate on the Will of Someone Else

I miss the feeling of steel encircling my neck. The weight of it made it difficult for me to sleep on my back, and I still have difficulty sleeping that way, even though it has now been over nine months since I last wore it. It lost its meaning long before that, though.

The garnets inlaid in the steel ring began falling out of it months before it stopped living on my neck. We replaced them, one by one, but they never stayed in place for very long. I knew that their falling out marked that the power dynamic we had crafted and worked to forge over so many years was beginning to end. We were both so tired of pushing and pulling and talking and talking and talking but never seeming to ever get what either of us wanted or needed from the other. There were problems and circumstances, as there always are. I’m sure I could have done many things better, but it was what it was.

I have only ever been good at service and surrender in my imagination, which was a large part of the problem. The reality of it has never quite worked out the way I see in my head. There is part of me that still yearns for it, though, that has always yearned for it. I’m yearning for it especially now that it has been absent for so long.

I’ve changed so much in the last few years, and so much more in the nine years since we first talked and in the nine months since I’ve not been wearing his collar. I wonder if I could do it right the next time, if I could dedicate myself to serving in whatever way I could make work. I wonder if I could surrender myself in the way that I crave and fantasize about. Or am I too stubborn, too bratty, too unreliable and unwieldy to ever experience what I really want. I wonder if I could actually do it, and I think I have changed enough that I could. I am better at relationships now, better at knowing and communicating my own desires. I have had glimpses of it in myself and see the potential of it there, but it’s never panned out in the past.

I’ve been working consciously on vulnerability, on opening up, on surrendering, but all of it outside of the confines of a power dynamic. I think that has been good in some ways, but the submission dimension of my life has been shut off for too long. I couldn’t make it work in the years that we tried, and so I abandoned the wanting of it long before nine months ago. In the last nine months, though, I let myself forget what it felt like to kneel at the feet of someone and pour myself into their hands. I let myself forget what it felt like to have consistent subtle reminders of being owned and loved in that way all in order to not allow myself to feel the pain of the loss of it.

I miss feeling owned. Claimed. Held. Treasured.

I want to sink into the comfort of the will of someone else and put myself aside with the trust that I will also be taken care of. In my work I get to do some of that now. I get to focus on what is best for them and put myself aside, but the reciprocity is purposefully not there. In the rest of my life, though, that aspect of it has fallen away.

I wonder if I have the time to add it back in, though. That’s the rub right there, I think: time. It seems that this would need to be with someone new. I’m fairly certain none of the people I’m currently seeing have the craving in them to be served in this way, or the time to make it happen themselves. Between school, work, and the partners I already have I don’t know how I could add someone else in to the mix like this, but I want to. I want to know, to figure it out. I have a wonderful girlfriend that I get to Top, and Onyx and I engage in kink and rough sex, but it’s really not the same. Due to how our lives are now I don’t think this is somewhere I can go with either of them, even though I would like that if it could happen. I could experience the occasional surrender with each of them, the bodily sexual experience of submission, but probably not the experience of a sustained power dynamic over time.

I do need to find another person to be with, in all this spare time. This deep need in me to submit isn’t getting met and doesn’t seem like it will any time soon. I would enjoy for that person to be one that I can lay myself bare to, and one that I could grow for as well as with, but this seems like it might be more work than I have the ability for. If nothing else I need someone to submit physically to regularly in a way that I am not experiencing, and maybe service in other arenas could be part of that as well.

Now that I am allowing myself to remember the longing for surrender, submission, and service that is within me it is beginning to feel overwhelming. I miss the warm feeling I would feel in my belly when kneeling next to him with my head against his thigh and his hand in my hair. The comfort of the heavy steel pressing on the nape of my neck. The feeling of being owned. Someday I’ll have that again.

The phrase “meditating on the will of someone else” in relation to service submission came, I believe, from a video of Mollena’s on Kink Academy that I watched many years ago.

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 []

KASB: My Favorite Toy

Once upon a time Onyx and I were running late for a queer play party. We were making our way out of the elevator of our building on the ground floor when I saw something slip from under his jacket and slide neatly through the thin crack between the elevator and the main floor. It was one of our toys: the wicked, short, thin, red acrylic cane. While it was not my favorite cane its sister cane—a thicker and longer red acrylic cane—had also recently been taken from us as well, it was stepped on and snapped during a passionate moment. I was quite sad since this brought our total cane count down to simply two.

It wouldn’t be as much of a problem if we only had two paddles or crops or straps, in fact we only have two or less of each of those, but canes are a different story. I love canes. As you probably figured already from the title of this post, canes are my favorite toy to play with, both as a Top and a Bottom.

I have written about canes before for Kink Academy, so if you’ve been following my posts you have already read about my love of canes once, but it bears repeating again. Why? There are more wonderful caning videos to talk about now, of course! [...]

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KASB: Slap Me

While I have gained skills or many new activities through numerous Kink Academy videos, such as bootblacking, rope bondage, and fire play, I have found that watching videos on activities that I already engage in is also extremely valuable. Instead of exposing me to a new way of looking at the entirety of something, like other videos have, usually watching videos of an activity or skill I already participate in or possess exposes me to a different perspective or slightly different techniques than I have used before.

I can’t remember exactly when Onyx and I started playing with face slapping, but we’ve been engaging in it a lot more in the last year or so than in the previous five years of our relationship. I think part of that has to do with the higher level of trust and intimacy we’ve experienced in this last year compared to all the others. I know we’d played with it casually before that, but it has become a pretty significant part of our play. Face slapping is one of the few activities that both turns me on and gets me into a submissive frame of mind practically instantaneously. It is quite powerful. [...]

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KASB: Back to Service

I’ve always had kind of mixed feelings when it comes to service. I wrote about service once before for Kink Academy where I talked a lot about intention and some background in my relationship with my partner of six years, Onyx. If you haven’t read that one I encourage you to do so.

This week, however, I’m writing about new service-oriented videos that just came out, specifically those by Mollena Williams. I’m not the only one who has written about her, no doubt because the videos are awesome and Mollena is an amazing teacher. I have only seen her speak once in person, at a conference a few years ago, but I have been following her on Twitter for far longer than that, so I was really excited when I saw her first Kink Academy video pop up in my feed reader. [...]

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Disappointed

This is a word that carries a lot of weight with me. Just how much weight I wasn’t completely aware of (consciously) until last night. As I have mentioned before Onyx and I have begun to create lists of tasks for me each night that I am to get done while he is at work. These are all sorts of things such as housework, spiritual work, making a living work, relationship work, or whatever else. They are to keep me on track and so I have a tangible thing to look at when I’m feeling like I haven’t gotten anything done that night and say “no, see, you have finished things!”

I’m not entirely sure why but the last few days I’ve been slacking a bit. I have not completed things by the time I have to go to bed and last night I forgot to send him my nightly text at 3am until nearly 3:45. This was not good, of course, and I knew that but sleep was necessary. The night before we had been talking on gtalk and he mentioned he was disappointed about me having to go to bed before everything was done but that it was acceptable because of circumstances that had happened. Following closely, last night he said he was disappointed in me for missing my nightly text.

I started bawling. Him saying that felt like punishment enough for what I had done because I felt so poorly about it. I knew it was a disproportionate reaction and I could actually examine my emotional reaction as it was happening, which was nice and is something I’ve been working on. Neither of us would have guessed I would have reacted so strongly to such a small thing, but I did. I was somewhat shocked, actually, and thus commenced my analyzation of why that term has such power over me.

When I was growing up I was rarely punished for bad behavior. My mother is big on developmental and child psychology and my father would just get withdrawn and upset but rarely directly punish me. I can only think of one instance where I was even sent to my room, so mostly my “punishment” was guilt or being told they were disappointed in my behavior. Naturally this created a trigger in me. I strove to never disappoint them (or never let them know about what they would be disappointed about). Disappointment was the worst thing I could do to someone.

That’s not to say I don’t and haven’t disappointed people. There are plenty of things I have done that I feel bad about, but for the most part those are small things, there is nothing in my life that I regret.

I attribute the weight of his words last night to be partially because of the new power dynamic that we have been building between us and partially because of hearing it two days in a row. I was already feeling down from the day before and I was already beating myself up about not doing what I was supposed to and he said that. For the record, I keep saying “he said that” but I’m not placing blame on him for my reaction or anything, neither of us could have predicted that is what would happen. Vaguely I remember recognizing disappointment from others as a source of pain for me, but it hadn’t come up in so long I just had no idea I would react so strongly.

I also have a tendency to subconsciously punish myself. I was feeling extremely down after that happened and although I got myself to feeling a little better through the hours before Onyx came home when he came home I closed myself off and didn’t allow myself to find the comfort in him that I might have been able to if I wasn’t, essentially, punishing myself. There was no time when I thought “I’m going to do this” but that is what happened. I was sad and closed off and I had done the same thing the night before as well, though to a smaller extent.

Onyx and I had a talk about this earlier today so he knows about what the word triggers in me and we discussed possible options for punishment that he could inflict that would not be as damaging or affect me for so long. Of course, if I do something or don’t do something that carries a lot of weight with it he also knows that he can use that word to hit home the true weight of the situation to me. Ultimately, this is another tool for him to use in our dynamic.

KASB: Intention is the Watchword

It wasn’t long ago that Onyx put a collar around my neck for the second time, but at the time there was little that came along with it that wasn’t already in our relationship. The last year has been the best we’ve ever had together, and after nearly six years together that’s saying something. Hopefully, though our effort at sustaining and nourishing our relationship, that trend will continue. After the first time he collared me and I moved in with him there was a time when we attempted to implement some service and protocol in our lives. It didn’t work.

There was lots of baggage we both were battling back then, issues and assumptions we both were making due to past experiences either with other people or with each other. I desperately wanted some structure. I wanted clearly defined rules and protocols. I wanted all the things I’d heard what M/S is, the things I had read about in books and erotica. I wanted to be controlled by him in every way. When we tried to put those into practice, however, I rebelled. I didn’t trust him. I couldn’t submit in those conditions. He couldn’t control me and I wouldn’t let him.

Fast forward four years or so. The last year we’ve been at our peak as far as our intentional non-egalitarian relationship, which I often refer to as Owner/Brat for lack of a better term. I am owned by him, I am his, but I am not always submissive or obedient. I have the leeway to be a brat, to struggle, things we both really enjoy (though usually I’m only a brat in certain contexts). I had been consciously neglecting the other aspects, however, at least partially because they didn’t work before.

Enter Delving Into Power, a weekend intensive by Lee Harrington (who has some wonderful clips here on the Kink Academy) that Onyx and I attended the first weekend of February. Going through that weekend my Service Submissive self was tapped into and I realized there were aspects I was missing and that Onyx and I were finally in the right place to address service and protocol in our relationship so naturally I began scouring the service and protocol category of Kink Academy to see what other tools I could find.

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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 []

30 Days of Kink: Ethics

This is the eleventh of my 30 Days of Kink, coming after quite a long hiatus. I will be answering each of the thirty questions in different posts. I thought these would be interesting to answer and (hopefully) interesting for you to read. These will be posted in order, but not always back-to-back (as I have shown).

Day 11: What are your views on the ethics of kink?

I’ve been stuck on this question for a while now, partially because I don’t know where to begin there is so much that could be covered with this question so I’m just going to start anywhere and see where this goes.

First, I have to define ethics. Ethics are a type of moral philosophy. In the realm of kink/BDSM/WIITWD1 it can apply to a variety of things but mostly I’m going to talk about the moral philosophy of kinky activity in general. That is how we make sure that the play we engage in is itself ethical.

I’m a firm believer in RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) and SSC (Safe Sane and Consensual) which are both familiar terminology in the BDSM/kink world. They are slightly different but essentially mean the same thing. Some people say RACK is better because some activities–breath play, for example–are rarely if ever “safe” but they can be done in a “risk aware” manner or you can do things to make them “safer”2. Basically this means not engaging in anything without consent or thought. The more you know about what you are doing the less likely you are to make a mistake and actually cause damage.

Consent and intent are what separates bdsm & kink from abuse. Which is also why I have a difficult time playing with anyone who is angry or who has been drinking, as it is far more difficult for the intent to be acceptable to me when either of those have occurred. Mollena wrote an amazing post about intent: “The intention of the person in a Leather or BDSM interaction is mutual satisfaction, whatever form or means that takes. Sometimes it looks so much like an abusive interaction that our only signal is context.”

I agree with her assessment, also, that intent matters far more than consent since so many of us, myself included, love to play with consent and push that line between consent and non-consent. However, if mutual satisfaction is not the intent of the interaction then where is the line between play and abuse? When does it become taking advantage of the other person? It’s called power exchange for a reason. Just like everything there is an exchange: an exchange of enjoyment, energy, pleasure, pain, satisfaction, power, etc.

There are outsiders who think of kink as horrible, wrong, terrifying, and so on simply because they don’t understand this simple difference. They assume that all participants must either have been (sexually) abused when they were a child or victims of patriarchal socialization (especially for female submissives & male dominants), that in order to engage in such practices there must be something wrong with us. Little do they know, playing with power and pain can be a way to empower ourselves, to break away from the socialization, to make up our own minds about what we want, to use a “base” tool (sexuality/sexual interaction) for a “higher” type of liberation3. Of course, not everyone is engaged in kinky activity in search of personal enlightenment but I do think it’s a by-product of it, or at least it can be. This topic is getting away from me a little bit, though, so I will bring it back to ethics.

Part of the appeal of kinky activities is often walking that line between consent and non-consent, between acceptable and too much, testing our limits and finding out if we can handle as much or more than we thought we could. The thrill of it is just as fun as the taboo. In order to play with the edge without going over it requires skill, knowledge, and communication. If the intent is negative or one-sided that makes it far too easy to cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed or do negative damage.

  1. What It Is That We Do []
  2. just as it is now referred to as safer sex rather than safe sex []
  3. I put those both in quotes because I do not necessarily agree with all that connotes, but I do not have better language right now to express those ideas without writing many more paragraphs []

Re-Collaring

It was nothing strict or formal or fancy, we’ve never really been any of those things. We just talked.

We talked about how we got to collaring in the first place five years ago: when it happened, where it happened. We talked about the past five years and highlights of our relationship. We talked about how we got back to collaring and the changes that have taken place over the past year especially but over all our time together.

He told me he is proud to own me. I told him I am proud to be owned by him. And I am.

The hard cool steel slid around my neck and he screwed it in place. I have not taken it off since, nor do I plan to for as long as possible (probably not until the next time we fly, to be practical). It’s heavy and the weight of it constantly reminds me of his ownership. I love being reminded.

He used me then, emphasizing his ownership, dragging me into the bedroom by my hair and fucking me until we were both exhausted and spent. We cuddled and murmured our “I love you”s and talked more about the symbolism of the collar. He said he loves the way it looks. I couldn’t agree more.

We’ve come so far in the last five years. Both of us have changed so incredibly much, I would go so far as to say we just got more alike over the years, even more perfect of a fit. We’ve both settled so happily into these roles, as well, in a way I always dreamed that we would but always wondered if it was possible. Now I know it is. He’s amazing.

My new collar is a custom made 3/8 inch thick stealth collar from Ring of Steel. It has an onyx inlaid in the center and two garnets on either side for five gems in total. It’s so us, so perfect, and exactly what I wanted. He’s exactly what I wanted.