Since our first ‘trial run’ weekend back at the beginning of July, T-Rex and I have slowly grown our relationship. We’re taking it pretty slow because both of us have had a lot of false starts in authority-based relationships and we want to make sure we are compatible.

While we aren’t a perfect match (not that I believe in perfect matches anyways), I feel confident that we match up in most of the right spots. Our outlook on D/s, Leather, even play, match up well, and most importantly I want to serve her – and not serve her out of obligation to dynamic I agreed to. I feel a natural affinity towards her and serving her, perhaps in a way I haven’t in previous D/s explorations.

That the relationship is neither romantic or sexual in nature is perhaps my biggest internal struggle as my ideal power exchange relationship would include both. That said, not worrying about those aspects allow me to focus on the service, which is the core of our relationship.

The distance is hard as well. She lives 90 minutes away on a good day, meaning I can’t just pop over on a whim and our time is limited. We are exploring ways I can serve at a distance – learning new skills, doing research, and similar. And when I do get to serve in person I value the time her that much more. If anyone has additional ideas for how I might serve form a distance, please comment below.

One way we concocted to help stay connected in a simple ritual where I affirm my trust and willingness to serve when we are able to be together in person. It’s not long, but I wrote it from the heart and really helps me recenter on a service headspace. I start by kneeling before her and reciting the following:

Good morning Domina

I kneel before to reaffirm my trust in you

To surrender my authority to you and

To serve you in what ways you deem fit

Four simple lines, but the intent and emotion behind them are very powerful for me.

As we continue to suss out our dynamic, I am hoping to find more time to see her in person, deepen my service and submission to her and help each other grow in our respective roles.

Changes coming to

When I created the J.T. Revner identity and started this blog, it was designed to server a singular purpose – to write about my journey into the world of BDSM. It has served that purpose well for me and given me a written outlet to express my excitement, my fears, my pain (both good and bad), and be a historical record of my growth.

But I have other interests, other aspects of my life both personally and professionally. I’ve tried blogging about them elsewhere, using both my legal name and other pseudonyms but the effort and energy required to keep that up is simply too much. Additionally, I’ve used this identity in spaces not directly related to BDSM. So, I’ve decided to bring these together under one banner. It will be easier to manage and there’s enough intersection in all my interests and doings that having them in one place will be better.

What does that mean for current readers of my blog? Not a lot. I will continue blogging as I have been, hopefully with more frequency. The current content of this blog will file under a ‘lifestyle’ category where I will continue to write about BDSM, leather, sex & relationships, non-monogamy, spirituality, minimalism, and more.

Politics. This will be the first of the two new categories. I am a radical leftist but have generally kept my politics to myself to avoid conflict and confrontation. It’s time for that to change. You can expect these posts to be ranty and angry.

Technology. I’m a software developer by trade and my particular interests in the tech realm are around privacy and security culture, distributed systems, and free software.

Certainly these three areas often intersect so some posts will be cross-posted to multiple categories, but those interested in only some aspects of my writing will be able to choose which feeds they want to follow. My current feed will serve up all content.

I’m still figuring out when this change will come to completion as I am considering a new host (or self-hosted), need choose a Creative Commons license to release my writing under, switching away from Google Analytics to a more ethical choice, and probably a new theme/redesign. Another post will announce the actual change with links to the new feeds and such.




Enclave, an event specifically for female dominants and their submissives (of any gender) seems like it would be right up my alley but I admit a fair amount of concern in attending when it was announced. I often do not feel comfortable at F/m specific events, especially one in which I planned to attend alone. CFnm parties are not my thing (I’ve tried) and in-person F/m discussion groups seem oft filled with married couples who later went on to explore D/s. I just don’t feel like I have a lot in common with these folks because of where I am in my life. Additionally, as I found my place in leather-based M/s, there’s an extra dynamic and way of thinking about power exchange that is even rarer.

Enter T-Rex, as she’ll be known on this blog. I’ve broadly known of her since I entered the scene, as she presents often at events and groups I attend. However, it was not until this past May that I officially met her. I was drawn to her, though only more recently have come to understand why (to explained in a future post). As one does, I spent some time reading her profile, where I saw we matched up very broadly on some of the things I am looking for, notably that she is a leather woman, a dominant, and is spiritual. Her writing led me to believe she is self-aware – a key trait I look for in any potential partner. Alas, her profile also indicated she wasn’t looking for anything other than friendship and events.

A couple of weeks later, I saw that she also RSVPd to Enclave and I had an idea: I would reach out to her and suggest a service D/s dynamic for the weekend. It would give me the chance to get to know her better and I’d have an anchor point at an event in a different state where I’d know very few people. I sat on the idea for a few days when something very unexpected happened.

T-Rex updated her profile and added an ISO note looking for a variety of things from casual event-specific service (nearly identical to what I planned on offering) to a long-term slave. Reading her note several times (yes, fellow subs, actually read their profile and stuff like everyone tells you to), excitement rising, I sent her a message. The next evening, I received a lengthy response.

Her response detailed her service needs and wants in great detail. Frankly the detail was refreshing and set the tone right from the beginning. Indeed, as she’s told me since then, she is offering X and I can take it or leave it. Which isn’t to say there’s no negotiation or communication. Pages and pages of messaging and a lengthy dinner later, we we’re off to Enclave.

Both being fans of ritual and woo (she is very woo and I am still exploring), I meditated with a piece of amber, pouring into it my intent to serve and obey for the weekend and offered it to her at the beginning of the event.

With her as my focus, I enjoyed the event much more than I think I would have otherwise. The service I provided was a lot of small things: getting her coffee, opening doors, lighting her cigar, but by being focused on the service, I was able to let go and really enjoy myself.

Saturday we played: me tied face down to a massage table, her lighting me on fire and hitting me till I was trying to crawl away, giggling the whole time. The way she plays is quite unique and extremely playful. Although my brain disconnected and I cannot recall all details, at one point she used a ruler to cut the ‘cake’ (my back) for her dinosaurs to eat. Oh those dinosaurs. Two silicon hitty things from hell. One particular story I’d heard several times by then, caused me to fear her tyrannosaurus rex and brontosaurus, but at least I was face-down, naughty bits safely hidden, unlike the story’s victim. Notably, I was able to process pain as well as I can with my regular play partners – often it can take several scenes to reach that place for me.

The weekend came to an end, she returned my amber, and I left excited about what would come next. We had already been discussing future possibilities, seeing Enclave as a trial run of sorts and coming out of the weekend, we dived right back into discussing that future.

So as of this week I am ‘in service’ to T-Rex, slowly adding protocols and a flurry of discussion on our needs and wants. I am excited, giddy even, of where we are headed and being able to add to our dynamic slowly is helping me keep whatever remnants of sub frenzy I have left at bay.

Stay tuned, dear readers.


The last couple weeks have been pretty great for me and my personal growth. I don’t even know if I have much to say here just that I’ve been trying to live authentically and emotionally fearless.

I’ve made a point to stop caring what others think of me in terms of my lifestyle choices. Posting publicly on Facebook that I was at Motor City Pride, making politically charged comments, and in general not fearing reactions from extended family and long-term vanilla friends was a big step for me, but one that has felt good to make. I figure the people who might have a negative reaction to anything I post aren’t really people I have much of relationship with anyway.

The woman I’ve been seeing for the last several months (let’s call her Butterfly) and I were able to get over a hump recently. We had a pretty fantastic switch fight of sorts at a party where we both were able to drop our shields and let go. Since then we’ve been able to communicate and articulate our wants and needs better and more openly for which I am grateful.

I am attending a weekend F/x specific event in a few weeks and while I wasn’t super excited about it before (attending alone in a different city with minimal contacts), I reached out to a d-type who I recently met and who is also attending and have negotiated service-based power exchange dynamic with her for the weekend. It will be a great opportunity to get to know her better, work on my service, and hopefully revel in a slave head space for a couple of days.

This past week I also took a couple of leaps of faith and expressed my feelings for two friends. Both are close confidants and for years I feared losing that – both if I expressed my feelings and more so if the nature of the relationships changed due to my expression. I was finally able to throw aside my fear when I realized three things. First, they are important people in my life who aren’t going to run off the moment I share openly with them as I have often. Two, my take on poly is anarchic. It allows a relationship to change over time based on the needs and wants of those in it. It doesn’t need labels and only minimal rules. Three, if they are happy with our relationships as they stand, I’ve lost nothing and gained more confidence in myself and my ability to wear my heart on my sleeve. And that is extremely empowering.

I’m fine

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.”

Rarely will you here a different answer for me. It’s not that I don’t care or don’t want to share – I just usually don’t know the answer. So ‘fine’ becomes an easy answer.

I have depression. This is really no secret to most people and I don’t want it to be. I don’t hide it. In fact, I feel that I am in a position that allows me to combat ignorance and misconceptions of mental illness.

I have many tools to combat depression. I take SSRIs on and off as needed (at this point my doc trusts me to tell him the dose depending on what’s going on in my life), I go to psychotherapy twice a month, and focus on a lot of internal self-reflection (this writing is part of that). But there is no cure for depression. I feel I manage it about as well as one can, but it’s always there like tendrils wrapped around my mind that I’m constantly fighting off.

So how am I? I’m depressed. Always. Without a doubt.

I have other feelings too. Years of defense mechanisms and socialization have taught me to keep my emotions wrapped up tight, whether they are positive or negative. Unless you manage to get me laughing or crying, only a select few can read me well enough to know my true feelings.

So when I say I’m fine, I am, indeed, fine. Because regardless of whether I’m ecstatic, or horny, or embarrassed, or excited, or sad, or dancing with the call of the void, I am fine. If it’s a negative emotion, I know myself well enough to know it will pass. It always does. It’s not fun, but it does pass.

I’m fine.

And if I’m any of those positive emotions, I’m fine as well. Sharing positive emotions is an exercise in vulnerability and vulnerability doesn’t come quick or easy. So when I do share myself and open my heart and mind, please understand how difficult it is for me to do that. Also understand how much I value you and trust you that I am able to be that vulnerable.

Regardless – I’m fine. I promise.

Path of Asceticism

For the past couple of years I’ve been following blogs and groups on minimalism and been applying its tools to my life with varying degrees of success. Minimalism means different things to different people and for me it generally means removing things (physical objects, distractions, even toxic people) that don’t add value to my life while simultaneously limited any new consumption to things that add value.

It’s helped a lot, both emotionally and physically. I have less decision anxiety on what to wear on a given day, moving to a new home went very quick and keeping a tidy living space does wonders for my mental health.

Somewhat separately, I’ve been rediscovering my spiritual life since last summer and trying to fill a hole that’s been missing since I left the Catholic Church nearly a decade ago. While the dogma of organized religion is unlikely to be a part of life ever again, I cannot discount what I left behind. I pick and choose elements of various faiths to find a path that works for me. I have found a mix of practices and philosophies from Buddhist, Christian, Pagan, and Stoic traditions that I am happy with. In my search, I came across the term asceticism – that is, self-denial, often extreme, to aid in spiritual growth. One friend calls it “monk mode.”

Some weeks after starting to explore asceticism a friend (SG) loaned me her copy of Lee Harrington’s Sacred Kink, which details eight Paths for spiritual growth using both traditional and BDSM tools. To my surprise and excitement, I opened the table of contents to see the Path of Asceticism listed. I jumped into the chapter immediately and by the second read through knew I had to apply it to my life.

The minimalist communities I follow often balk at asceticism, saying that the point of minimalism is to be able to enjoy more of what you want, not remove pleasure entirely. While the goals of minimalism are usually secular and practical in nature, I believe that there is an opportunity to take these tools to the extreme through ascetic practices and grow personally, emotionally, and spiritually. With the rules I’m implementing for myself (below), there is a lot to be gained in physical health as well. Ultimately, a radical increase in self-discipline should will have wide positive effect on my personal and professional lives and make me that much of a better slave for my eventual Master, whomever that might be.

Originally I was going to start down this Path at the beginning of May, but stumbled several times – I’m here again a month later to restart. Part of the reason I’m writing about it this time around is that while this Path is something I’m doing for myself, having cheerleaders among my friends and community can only help.

The Rules/Goals

First and foremost – nothing below is allowed to negatively effect my social relationships (if you think this is happening, please call me out on it). While some extreme religious ascetics go to live in a monastery or hermitage, giving up family and tribe connections in order to become closer to their god(s), I place too high a value on such connections to either physically move nor become a social recluse. In addition, I have responsibilities to my munch, BOE, MAsT, and my day job, which will not be harmed. I will start with a three month commitment (through the end of August), at which point I will reevaluate my goals and the usefulness of the practice. While the rules listed here might seem simple or even silly, much thought and intent has gone into each one with specific goals in mind.

  • No fast food, and when meat is an option, poultry and fish over red meat
  • Liquids may only be water, tea, and black coffee (no caffeine after noon, no alcohol at all)
  • No tobacco products whatsoever, with the exception of eating cigar ash (a newly explored kink…)
  • All spending will be limited to ‘experiences,’ not ‘things,’ with the exception of consumables (toiletries, food, gifts)
  • Meditate at least 30 minutes per day
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes per day
  • All physical sensual touch, sexual pleasure, and/or hedonistic behavior must be shared with another person – no masturbation, no self-harm
  • Media consumption must have direct educational or social value (going to the movies with friends is fine, binging on a season of American Dad on Netflix in my room is not)
  • Wardrobe will be limited to appropriate work attire and a small selection of casual wear. No leather or fetish wear.

I believe the above will be difficult but doable. I also have a few more rules I’ve chosen not to share publicly. I ask those of you that read this far to help and encourage me as you can or may.

I’m looking forward to taking this journey.

Trigger Warning: Rape

I was an akward and shy kid growing up. I still am in many ways, though I’ve done a fair bit of self work to be more outgoing, engaging, ect. I had and have trouble expressing feelings a lot of the time. My therapist and I think I might be on the autism spectrum, but see little use in evaluating for a dianosis at this stage in life.

At 20, I had never dated before and decided make an account on Plenty of Fish. Within a few weeks I was talking to a woman and we decided to meet. She pressured me for sex almost immidately and I declined much to her amazement and confusion. What 20-year-old guy doesn’t want to have sex? She seemed understanding after some explanation and the next couple months were amazing. I had emotional intimacy for the the first time in my life I trusted someone completely for the first in my life and although there was plenty of cuddles and kissing and heavy petting we remained sexually inactive. My first girlfriend. I was in love, for the first and only time.

And then she raped me.

My consent was violated in the worst way imaginable and the event caused a spiral down in every aspect of my life. My productivity at work plmmeted. My grades dropped to academic probation levels and I was all but forced out of my engineering program. My depression as at an all time high, and I had my first of many ER visits for suicidal ideations. I started self harming for the first time since middle school. My body went from football and rugby player to chips and energy drinks.

I didn’t trust my own thoughts. I hated myself for letting it happen. Any self-confidence I had was gone. Any trust I had was gone. I was utterly broken. My life became skipping classes, World of Warcraft, and a social life entirely around online communities. My rationale was that no one could hurt me again if I stayed behind a keyboard. And it was the last place I had any level of from myself or the outside world. I was really good at killing dragons. I may have failed a class or two every semester and barely pulled passing grades in others, but gods be damned, I could main tank for a progression raiding guild get that sweet, sweet, loot.

For two years I had no interest in dating, in forming relationships in the real world of any sort, and just continued to hate myself and the world.

I tried some therapy with a couple different therapists that I didn’t click with, but never uttering a word to anyone what I went though. Surely I’d be laughed at, ridiculed, or simply igorned.

Eventually, I knew I had to make a change. I had to do something, anything, to get out of the house. I recalled one of my former gamer friends telling me about FetLife. She was a ProDomme, though at the time had no reference for what that was. But from our late night talks on Ventrilo, she knew I had at least a cursory interest in BDSM and suggested I take a look. It was over a year later that I took her advice and made in account.

I sit here now over 3 years later a completely changed man. The BDSM and Leather communities have had such an incredibly positive impact in my life. This community and the friends I’ve made are largely responsible for my success in other areas of life: being able to finally graduate college, and starting an exciting and challenging career. Although indirect, the ability to be accepted for who I am, flaws and all, allowed me the growth and healing I needed to bring my life back into order.

When living with mental illness, there are always rollercoasters. It’s a fact of life, something I’ve learned to live with and have it about as managed as I feel I can. And, like the stock market, the general trend is up. In fact, things have been pretty great recently. I have a partner who cares for me and with whom I’m excited to grow with. I work at a great company and have been able to continously earn the respect of my peers and managers. I have a great relationship with my parents. I have an inner circle of friends and a wider net of people I enjoy spending time with on a nearly weekly basis.

I still struggle with trusting people completely. I remain a romantic at heart but find emotional intimacy both my great need and greatest fear. I continue to have a complicated relationship with sex, never pursing it when I want it and instinctively throwing up walls when others show interest. But I’ve been working on it. I’m getting better at communicating my feelings and emotions even when it is scary to do so.

Tonight, all of that work, all the therapy, all the positive self-talk, all the trust came crashing down.

And then I saw her.

A face I will never forget but had for years now kept locked away was in line ahead of me at the con I was at. I just had to go. Get out. Leave. Run. As I type this her face is back a the front of mind and my heart rate is increasing.

A cigarette and an elvator ride later I was in the hotel room. I didn’t want to leave. I could have just stayed and drank the weekend away given the amount of booze we brought. But I didn’t want let her affect me. I’m better than that, right? All that work, right?

A xanax and several drinks later I’m back on the elevator for another smoke. It stops and fucking of course, there she is again, getting on the elevator. My rapist a yard away from me.

More drinks and another xanax didn’t help. Twice more I saw her so I left. A friend drove me home and I lie here now at a loss for what to do. I’m ready to throw eveything out the window. Delete everything and hermit up again. Why can she still affect me like this again? Can’t I just have a weekend of fun and ignore her? Forget her? It’s not fair. Just fucking not fair. I want to throw it all away, everything. Delete my profiles and fuck off to hermitville again. I’m trying so hard here. Razors at hand but yet untouched. Chain smoking still I run out. Will I ever trust again? Love again? I don’t see it. It’s not fair.

Post-scene thoughts, a letter to my top

This is an email I sent to one of my friends who I’ve been playing with recently. I haven’t written about her on the blog before, so a new nickname is in order. I’m going with Sadistic Giggles, or SG for short.


As promised, here we go:

Alright, so what I’ve found, I think, is that I have been able to learn how to process thuddy pain quite well. It hurts, yes, but I can breathe and focus on letting the pain dissipate. It feels good, I get an endorphin rush going and all the loveliness that comes with masochism is there.

Towards the end of the scene as you were trying some new implements that got me dancing, that’s really where I start getting on the edge. That’s where the swearing and the ‘why-the-fuck-am-I-doing-this-this-is-really-dumb’ thoughts start coming. But, to answer your question, should you keep going at that point? Absolutely. That’s the boundary that I want to cross. I’ve been held out over that edge and dangled for moments once or twice by other tops, but I want to take a great bounding leap and/or be shoved off the cliff. That’s where my brain can truly disconnect and an altered state beyond the endorphin rush can occur. In the wise words of Liz Lemon:


Secondly, on drop and such, it’s kind of complicated, but I’ll do my best to explain. With 3+ years into the scene, I’m past the honeymoon-try-everything-in-BDSM phase. I don’t play particularly often, because I’d rather stick to and seek out play with people that I have some level of emotional connection to, such as yourself. This is a double-edge sword. The connection we have allows me to trust you, allowing me to let go easier, leading to better pain processing, and getting closer to the trance state I seek. On the other hand, I drop way harder than I do after pick up play. It’s a trade off but one that’s worth it to me.

Adding to this, the reason I am a relationship anarchist is because attraction along platonic, emotional, romantic and sexual lines is a swirling nebulous mess for me and often intersecting. So because I am sexually attracted to you, immediately after the scene the desire for additional intimacy is at its highest. Because our relationship is platonic, all my shields go up as a defense mechanism until I can better process and manage my emotions once the drop wears off. This can cause me to be colder and more standoffish than usual, but I am working to find that middle ground, because the physical touch you offered really did help, as Physical Touch is my primary language of love.

So I hope all that helps you understand me better and all that. I’d be interested in hearing from you as well on the scene or our play in general from your perspective.



Don’t see what you want? Make it.

It may not always be the obvious course of action, but if you wish there was something going on in your area and it isn’t, you can start it yourself. Wish there was a D&D game in your area? Make a group on Meetup and Facebook. Want to have a weekly meet up for other people that are horseradish connoisseurs and also fly fish? Rent a billboard. Post around the neighborhood. Use smoke signals. No one is writing what you want to read? Write it yourself!

If there are people out there who share your interests, they will find you.

This has become very clear to me in my local kink and leather communities. I was looking for power exchange. For D/s and M/s. I saw examples online of the kind of relationship I was looking for but rarely saw it represented locally and I found frustration. With so many events and groups around me, I could see all the play and sex I wanted. But as the BDSM honeymoon phase wore away, I found myself less and less interested in attending events. I wasn’t seeing my primary interest represented and after seeing the same rope class for the 6th time, it was difficult to make myself go.

So I started a munch.

With a friend, I began a discussion munch that focused specifically on power exchange and protocol. 16+ months later and we have a pretty regular crowd with occasional newbies, and we actually talk about the stuff I’m interested in. The best part? It’s minimal work and costs me nothing but my dinner bill. I post an event page, link to it a few times, and show up. That’s it.

Wanting to take it a step further, I decided to start a MAsT chapter in my area as well. A group solely focused on power exchange, MAsT has chapters all over the world. Given its proliferation, many I talked to in other areas were surprised to find there was no chapter in my area. So I started one and the interest has been enormous. People who were around but I had never crossed paths with for whatever reason showed up. People came out of the woodwork to participate.

Don’t see what you want? Make it.

They will come.

BDSM: not all about sex

It’s one of the common thing we tell newbies to the world of kink: it’s not all about sex. But it definitely can be sexual, and often is. For me, I’ve found, that sexual attraction to my play partner ultimately determines whether the scene is ‘sexual,’ or not, regardless of the relationship (which is usually platonic) outside of the scene itself. This has led to some personal hang ups, re: sexual energy and whether or not that should or needs to be negotiated or otherwise discussed.

In the past few years, my scenes generally are either in private with an intimate partner or public with a platonic partner. There has been very little crossover. With an intimate partner, sexual stimulation is often on the goals of play, but not so with platonic play partners. Because of this, I would usually keep my underwear or jockstrap on when playing in public. I’ve been fortunate that the right venues, partners, and party energy have mostly gotten over this hurdle in recent months, allowing me to bear it all at parties.

However, this has brought forth my newest concern – the mid-scene erection. My public scenes are generally bondage, impact, and/or needles and never directly sexual. Even though all sensation is far from any erogenous zones, I’m flying at half or full mast with pre-cum dripping down my leg by the end.

And this feels…wrong?

It feels good, great even. But wrong. Because the scenes were never intended to be sexual or include sex (which I’ll define as intentional sexual stimulation), I feel like I’m accidentally taking the scene to place it was never negotiated to go. Taking or giving sexual energy in a way that is not representative of the relationship we have. It even can break me out of headspace as I start worrying what my Top or others watching might think or assume from my uncontrollable bodily function.

Is this okay? Should it be something I tell my top before hand might happen? Am I just being over analytical and worrying about nothing?