In which in don’t see what I’m looking for

It’s been almost two years since I started exploring kink, exploring my sexuality, and exploring what I wanted to get out of relationships.

For the most part, I don’t see what I’m looking for.

I see pieces here and parts there, but as I look out on the relationships around me, the longer term, romance-based F/m D/s relationships are largely not there. I can think of literally one in my local area (and a handful of M/f in the style I most seek).

I’m somewhat at a lost of what to do. I feel like ‘looking’ for someone isn’t the answer, or at the very least looking for such a specific dynamic isn’t. (For the record, throughout the process, I haven’t excluded potentials who weren’t looking for D/s, although I my personal ads do center on it.)

I’ve had friends suggest that I ‘build-a-dom’ (that is find an open-minded vanilla woman and try to get her interested) or simply relocate to an area with a larger kinky dating pool.

Going to events has largely lost its appeal as well. Events are supposedly the place where you’re supposed to meet potentials (says every newbie kink guide) but dropping $20 for every party gets expensive quick. Given my lost of interest in casual play with people I have no emotional connection to, the problem is only compounded – I sit and socialize a bit with people who call themselves my friend (but God forbid we actually do something besides a kink event) and get bored quickly. At least as a bright-eyed newbie, the idea of getting on a cross for some impact or thrown into handcuffs was exciting. Watching isn’t event that great any more – the sound of whips and floggers make it hard to converse.

So my first step was to close my CollarSpace and OkCupid accounts and removing role and ‘looking for’ fields on FetLife.

My hope is that I can focus on what I did before I got into kink – having meaningful, emotionally close relationships with handful of people. If one or more turn into something, great. If not, I won’t worry. Worrying is taking up too much of time, too much of energy, and too much of my focus.

Devotion and romance

Devotion is an interesting concept. I was talking with a friend recently who suggested that devotion is something that subs should have for their dominant, but that it isn’t necessarily the same thing as love – at least of the romantic variety. Romantic love and devotion don’t have to exist in tandem.

I guess I like this idea. As some of my readers know, I have never been ‘in love.’ I do generally have romantic feelings of some kind for those I count as friends and am close to, but not the kind of love of being in love that I would hope to feel someday. I do and have, however, felt devotion for various people throughout my life. Sometimes this falls among the same as the romantically attractive, and sometimes not, reinforcing that they are separate emotions.

Another difference I notice is that, barring conflict, romantic feelings only grow, while devotion will always wax and wane. Romantic feelings towards many comes easily to me but devotion tends to take a lot of energy, which is a finite resource (whereas love is not).

Devotion is also harder for me to control in terms of expression. I can keep romantic feelings buckled down tight. Especially with the understanding that undue expressions of romance can complicate friendships and make people uncomfortable. Devotion is much harder for me to control. I want to please those I am devoted to. Thus, I have to be careful of treading into sycophant land or comprising myself in ways that are not appropriate.

The magic, then, is to find potential partners with whom I have both mutual romantic interest (which I’ve encountered several times) but also devotion. I’ve yet to find both in one person. Some day.

I want

I want you to tease me till tears.

I want you to poke and pinch and scratch and bite.

I want to hear your sadistic laugh and your moans of pleasure.

I want you to take me, control me, and own me.

I want you to pet and cuddle me.

I want you to take care of me.

I want to wake up, still bound, your skin against again mine.

I want to do it all again.

I want you.

But this is about what you want.

What do you want, Ma’am?

Antsy

It’s been over 2 two months since I’ve played or fucked and I’m getting antsy. Since GeekDomme moved, I’ve been on a handful of dates and a handful of I-totally-thought-this-was-a-date-but-apparently-nots but nothing of substance has formed. To be honest, this is probably for the best right now as I’m working ~40 hours a week, taking two classes (one being Latin) and TAing a third class. Add in CrossFit and a dwindling social life and I don’t have a lot of time for potential dating anyway. So I’m at the post breakup stage where everything has stabilized and I’m back to worrying about bettering myself than I am about specifically finding someone. Although this time around I’ve also cut casual play from my normal repertoire, leaving me itching for play so at least some kind of physical intimacy sexual or not.

Since I’m back in the middle of a school semester, my stress and anxiety are at an all time high, which has the added effect of larger and more frequent mood swings. I’ve had a few bad drops lately with each time coming to the conclusion that two main things will lift a lot of stress: finishing school (2 classes left), and losing weight (or, more accurately, feeling attractive). The second one is important because I have never truly felt attractive. At this point the reasons are not important, or at least not worth diving into. What is important is that if I feel attractive, my confidence would rise and to feel attractive I need to be conventionally physically attractive.

In April, I started doing CrossFit. It was a radical change. For years I’ve had a gym membership and gone handful of times a year. Since starting CrossFit, I’ve been working out on average 3 times a week. Food consumption, however, is still a huge issue for me. It probably would be appropriate to say I’m addicted to food. It’s literally killing me. And, since it runs in my family, Type-2 diabetes is a real concern if I continue my current path. I needed to find a radical change to my nutrition like CrossFit was for my exercising. So I did. A local health system offers a comprehensive weight control program that includes internists, psychologists, nutritionists and physiologists coupled with group support sessions and cooking classes. So I’m taking the plunge. In two weeks, I’ll have my first appointment to get a body scan, blood work, and get going.

This decision was a difficult one. Unlike CrossFit, which has a lot draw besides the accountability, I feel that this weight control program is something that I don’t really need to do, but know that my current and past attempts at weight loss have not worked. Signing up was a huge blow to my ego. But if it works, it will be life changing. I want to be hot. I want a six-pack and an Apollo’s belt. I want to get tied up, photographed, and hit the top of K&P. If this makes me vain, so be it . I’m sick of how I look. I’m sick of being fat. I’m sick of  sucking wind after a climbing a single flight of stairs.

Conflict in D/s relationships

In the perfect D/s world, you find the dominant or submissive of your dreams and anything she ever says he’s willing to do without arguments. More realistically, this will never be the case. It’s all sunshine and roses as long as you agree on everything (or as long as he is willing to concede).

What I’m curious about exploring, then, is conflicts in these relationships. It hits especially close to home for me because while I have an opinion on everything, the things that I really, truly, care about are things that are incredibly difficult (if not impossible) for me to concede on. This has led to people telling me that I’m not submissive. And although I hold that there have been general D/s compatibility issues in these cases, I do think it’s something I need to dissect internally.

For starters, I think that the ability to resolve conflict is just about the most important thing in any type of relationship. I hate passive-aggressiveness and letting things fester. In D/s relationships, the ante can be even higher, since, at least for me, a huge draw of D/s is lowered conflict due to power exchange.

Even a simple example of choosing where to go for dinner can be conflict in many vanilla relationships, and I’ve seen it. In D/s either she is going to choose or she is going to delegate and tell me to choose and it’s done. In the case of a delegation, I have no qualms about making the decision as I’m trusting that she really doesn’t want to be bothered, whereas in vanilla relationships, there can be the underlying threat of making the wrong decision. (i.e. passive aggressiveness). For me, D/s seems to reasonably solve a lot of the day-to-day decision making like this.

As the dynamic and relationship grows, so do the severity and importance of decisions involved. The D/s may eventually start to cover health, finance, and career decisions. I’ve called in sick to work at someone’s direction before and I still do not think that it was the correct decision and I really struggled with it. As an independent contractor, that’s a direct loss of income. Now the decision isn’t just health-based but starts to bleed over into other aspects of life (finances).

Figuring out how to best navigate these kind of conflicts is something I see as absolutely critical and, if done correctly, I believe it can bring people even closer and reaffirm the dynamic even more. From the sub side, being able to trust enough to give up more and more control so that potential conflicts are less and less a possibility is important to me as well.

How do you handle conflict in your relationship?

Rollercoasters: not as fun as they look

In looking back at my emotional states post break up, a pattern emerges. See below.

Rollercoasters: not great

Rollercoasters: not great

As we can see, I have a bit of a delayed response to breakups. I hold steady on my current heading for a couple of weeks. I justify it in my head. All logic. It wasn’t going to work, hence the breakup. Why waste energy being upset about it? I’m usually back to OkCupid and scouring FL ads within the first week. If I’m lucky I may even go out on a date or three in the next couple weeks.

As I enter week 3, however, it all starts going downhill. At this point I’m done actually meeting people, but even more fervent about checking dating sites for the ‘perfect’ match. At this point I may even create a CollarSpace profile. shudder

Then we get to where I am about now. Week 6, roughly. The low point. Despite logic, despite having done this a few times, I get the self-loathing. I’ll never find anyone again. Life sucks. I’m unattractive (knowing, of course, that being mopey about it is likely the most unattractive thing at this point). Who would want me? Blah. blah. blah.

Of course I know, logically that none of this is true, but the emotions come out in force anyway. Even when a friend tried to cheer me up, I burst out in tears for no reason. Not my best work.

But! The good news is that since I’m here, it’s all uphill looking forward. Plus I got to make a sweet bit of graph porn. So there’s that. Additionally, I seem to be handling this low point better and better each time. So even if ‘perfectionist’ JT isn’t happy with it, ‘always-striving-to-be-better’ JT is. And I like the latter guy more, anyway.

Aftercare

Aftercare is that lovely time when the scene is over and both top and bottom can come down from their respective highs. While the type of aftercare may differ from person to person, I reckon some form of aftercare is needed after every scene. Maybe it’s a simple check-in text the next day, maybe it’s a brand new pony, or maybe it’s some cuddles, but some kind of aftercare should be done.

Unfortunately, I get stuck in the position where I play casually a lot and do so with tops that aren’t big on the cuddly closeness type of aftercare that I need. Aftercare is negotiated, so this isn’t some sort of surprise or anything – I know what I’m getting into. However, when the options are between limited aftercare and no play, I’ve always chosen limited aftercare.

As many of my readers know, I’ve long distinguished between casual play and romantic/relationship play. I have largely ignored my aftercare needs when it comes to casual play in an effort to explore and play as much as possible. As of late, however, I’m starting to pull back from such a gung-ho approach to kink as I approach the end of my second year of kinky adventures. Tonight is a perfect example. I had a choice of three parties tonight. A week ago I was fretting about which one I would go to. The day of, however, the interest just wasn’t there, even knowing I could assuredly find someone to play with at any of the three.

I could go and play. Play with friends, people I enjoy playing with. Alas, people I also am never going to be in a relationship with. So I ask myself: do I want to go and play, have a bit of fun, then crash for a day or three afterwards as I sort through complicated feeling towards people I wouldn’t have those feelings for otherwise? The answer is a resounding “no”. At least today. A glass of water and a cookie is nice, but it really isn’t enough. Not today.

So as my aftercare hope-sos become aftercare needs, I find myself less interested in casual play as well. There are only a handful of “types” of scenes I’ve actually experienced and they have long since passed the “let’s try it, for science!” phase. So, perhaps if I get the chance to do something new, I’ll jump on it, but for my standard play, it’s started to lose its luster and the lack of cuddly aftercare no longer makes it worth it. I’d really like to ramp up the kinds of play I do, but I simply cannot without a solid relationship base first.

Power exchange in the 21st century

There is a lot of wisdom in loving yourself first and foremost – especially when it comes to how others perceive you. Self confidence (real or constructed) goes a long way to being a person others wish to spend time with and effort on. Added to this is the age old adage that you should be happy single before you can be happy in a relationship. There is truth to that as well, though I think there is an interesting discussion to be had in how that plays into contemporary D/s relationships.

This thought comes about after watching the second episode of Downton Abbey, in which a character not use to privileged life scoffs at his newly appointed valet. What kind of career is it for a grown man to serve another? Later in the episode he is reminded that the valet gains a sense of self worth from his duties and that is not something one should scoff at.

How then, do we reconcile these two concepts in modern D/s relationships? Even with my D/s “goal” being as it is (24/7 TPE), I still have a career and education that I will continue to pursue throughout my life. Other submissives may prefer homemaking (which I’m likening to Downton Abbey’s Edwardian era servants, in this case) as their career choice instead. In both cases, however, a great sense of self worth is garnered from submission, both in specific acts service or mental side of submitting. With a greater sense of self worth comes a greater confidence, which, in turn, makes a more attractive person. How then does today’s submissive feign that extra bit of confidence while single? Where can they get that self worth?

Well we could follow the internet’s three steps following a divorce (something about hiring Facebook, hitting a lawyer and deleting the gym), though my little trick is try to think of (or know from previous relationships) a lot of the little things a future dominant is likely going to want anyway, and work on those. Now, D/s is a very powerful force for me, more so than pure willpower a lot of the time, but for whatever reason, I find it much easier to disappoint myself than I do others. It’s hard for me to be accountable to myself. This is why Crossfit has worked so well for me (and hopefully our upcoming team nutrition challenge as well).

Although not as powerful as an actual D/s dynamic, this sort of Mind Mistress does help. I do not think that this can be the final stop, though. Being able to achieve goals purely for self is important, and I don’t believe doing things for imaginary partner counts in that regard. It’s a start though.

I am interested in the tips and trick of others though so please post below. Also, a question for dominants – when and/or if you are single, have you run into any of the same issues, on the other side of the slash? Does having a submissive of your very own help iwht your self worth and self confidence, or is it immaterial?

In which I get a greater sense of what I like

I’ve been back in the dating world for a few weeks so it’s interesting to once again to reflect on how attraction works for me as a shift through another period of searching. First off, I suppose, is that I shouldn’t ‘search’. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that posting seeking ads do not work (for me). Regardless of the reasons behind this, I have never received a response from a discrete ad. In fact, it is generally when my expectations and effort are lowest that interested parties pop up, so hopefully writing this post doesn’t piss on fate too much.

I find that attraction breaks down into four parts for me: physical, D/s, emotional/romantic, and pragmatic. My follow up to this, then, is that I’ve yet to met someone (or perhaps have and don’t yet know it) whom I’m attracted to in all four ways. Given this, polyamory certainly has its merits, though I’m not sure this is the post to talk about that.

Anyway, let’s start with a low hanging fruit, physical attraction. There are likely billions of people I am physically attracted to – women, men, and those in between. And, out of all possible physical traits, I think it’s smooth skin does it most for me – likely since I am very tactile and touch is my my primary love language. Pure physical lust after a random hottie, however, is rare for me. It is only when emotional/romantic get layered in do I get the oh-my-god -I-must-have-you-now kind of thoughts.

This gets complicated though, because unlike some (most?), I find it nigh impossible to separate emotional attraction from romantic attraction. And, since I generally have emotionally close relationships with a lot friends, it also means that I am romantically attracted to many people at any given time. Yes, probably you.

As you may know, D/s is kind of my thing. As I go through profile after profile of dominants on FetLife and CollarSpace, there numerous that play right into my D/s fantasy and several that hit the D/s reality points too. It all sounds great. Realistic TPE, matching kinks and all. For all the dominants I know in-person, as well, that aura of dominance is there and it is great. However, more often than not it seems, there is something. Something that reads just slightly off. A certain word used. Perhaps a description of a scene. Even with other traits all lined up, it doesn’t take much for me to realize the D/s just isn’t going to work. Or will only work part time or for a short period. Could I eventually trust this person with my social security number? It doesn’t take me long to make that judgement call.

Then there’s the pragmatic side. These are the almost boring, but important, life questions. Do they have a career? Savings? A good credit score? Can I see myself moving across the country or asking the same of them for work reasons? Would I be uncomfortable introducing them to my family? Bringing them to my employer’s Christmas party? Would they go to a gaming convention with me? Travel Europe with me? Basically, is there really, truly, the possibly of a long-term relationship with this person, fully integrated into each others’ lives?

So, it’s not uncommon for people I meet to two or three levels of attraction (and different combinations, at that). It’s that four I want. The four I need. I know they are out there, somewhere. As rare as a four leaf clover, perhaps, but it will be all more exciting when I find them (or they find me).

Styrofoam rocks

No, not like: “Yay, styrofoam, you’re so awesome!”

More like, “Look at that rock, all sturdy and shit. Oh, never mind, it’s made out of styrofoam.”

I feel like a styrofoam rock.

People tell me regularly how easy I am to talk to, how calm and collected I always am and other such things. Part of it is the whole not expressing emotions and my general stoicism. Either way to leads to a rock-like demeanor (that’s totally a thing).

Inside though I feel like the slightest jarring is going to flaking bits and pieces away while I struggle to hold it together. I know the feeling will pass and that I’m just in a low spot momentarily. But if anyone has some of whatever holds styrofoam together, please send some. Cheers.