Leveling up my sex life

This is theoretically a sex and relationship blog, but I seem to not be writing about much of either lately (or at all, for that matter).

So, I’m a kinky pervert who has been active in the local BDSM, queer, and poly scenes for almost three years. I would venture to guess that most people are already relatively versed in sex before they get involved sexually liberated communities, let alone three years in. I, however, am not well versed. Barring one failed experiment a couple of months ago, I haven’t had sex in over a year and count the total number of times I’ve had sex on my two hands. I won’t lie, it’s frustrating.

I’ve “blamed” some of my lack of sexual experience on demisexuality in some cases. I do think I’ve passed up probable opportunities for sex and could have more opportunities if I tried but I have not been comfortable enough to pursue these prospects. So, wanting or needing more emotional intimacy may play a part, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

In my head, I feel like I’d prefer some level of sexual promiscuity and spontaneity in my life. Exploratory bits of fleeting romance and intimacy as I have a taste of all that life offers. Maybe a one night stand with a guy in France with a language barrier adding to the absurdity. Perhaps a passionate but short-lived romance with a woman in south-east Asia as we backpack together for a few weeks. These are some examples of my head fantasies. In reality, I never do this, even on a more local and reasonable scale. Could I? I’d like to think so.

Now confidence, or lack thereof, plays into this a lot. The past three years have been nothing but life-changing for me. The biggest jump I’ve made is being able to actually ask people out with relative ease. I’m much better at picking up signs of reciprocated interest and have confidence that people actually like me and that I’m actually likable. But that seems to have only pushed the anxiety further down the line to initiating intimacy. That’s my new barrier.

I flirt and kiss with reckless abandon, but much past that is a roadblock still. Certainly a big part of it is not wanting to be pushy. There’s a line between sexually aggressive initiator and pushy and I’m deathly afraid of crossing it. Staying too far on the other side is not helpful either and can look like disinterest. I need to be able to move closer to that line without ever crossing it and be confident doing so.

The other issue is simple lack of experience. Currently, my sexual experience pretty much solely is on my back being ridden. Actually being on top or behind or otherwise thrusting is simply something I don’t actually know how to do. My sexual interests range the full-scale from bottom to top to switchy to violent and primal. Having really only experienced the former, I lack basic sex skills. Adding to that, I pretty much only date kinky people now, so basic thrusting while also pulling hair or something seems ridiculously complicated.

This might come as a big surprise, but it turns out that many dominants like to get fucked and have their partners initiate. *Gasp.* So even in a D/s context or with sexually aggressive partners, I need to be able to do more than lie there.

In the meantime, this means I’ll need to find partners who are both patient enough as I get the hang of things or even provide a guiding hand as I earn Sex XP.



I want to be happy

I don’t understand it. For all my self-examination, therapy, and treatment, happiness eludes me. I’m a good person, a kind person, and as empathetic as they come. But I am not happy.

On paper, I should be happy, no? I have a loving family who I’m out to and who supports me in every way, a job with great work environment that pushes and challenges me, and an ever widening circle of friends who care deeply for me. I do all the things a formerly-depressed me didn’t do: I take care with how I present myself, I keep up on hygiene, I make an effort to be social several times per week. I go to the gym regularly. I haven’t self-harmed in years.

To most observers, I have it pretty good. Why then am I in tears as I fall asleep most nights? Time in the car is spent wracking my brain for what I could be doing differently, doing better. Suicidal ideations a daily occurrence for as long as I can remember.

Dozens of people would take my call, text, or PM at this moment, but what’s the point of reaching out and talking? I talk and talk and it makes no difference. By reaching out I’m asking those I care about to take some of the load, which is no fair to them. Besides, I have a therapist for talking.

What about all the drugs the doctors love to prescribe? Sure, it slows the depression and anxiety, but in exchange, zombification. Not happiness.

The meditation staves off anger. I goddamn Jedi Master when it comes to that. But it doesn’t bring happiness.

I just want to be happy, is that so much to ask?


I write to you today as I come down from my last weekend kinky con of the year – Great Lakes Leather Alliance. A weekend unlike the others, I believe this to have been the best event of the four I’ve attended in recent weeks. Although my previously written about moment at SINergy still holds a top spot, GLLA as a whole was such an amazing experience that the event stands above the rest.

Notably, I saw many power exchange relationships at the event. As a Leather event and one that hosts a Master/slave title competition (1 of 7), the number of power exchange relationships that look like what I seek was beyond expectations and many of my…internet-M/s-couple-crushes (totally a thing) were there. These are couples whose books I’ve read, posts I’ve bookmarked and the like. Seeing their dynamics operate in real-time was fascinating and encouraging that I may have that one day as well.

The level of community and camaraderie at GLLA was great to be apart of and I felt welcomed everywhere I went. Like with other events, I found that volunteering my time for a couple of shifts allowed me to connect with those I wouldn’t have otherwise (plus, as security, I satisfied my sadism by making people wait while friends ran in to get their forgotten event badges).

Also, as someone who had previously avoided Leather due to my perceiving it as a one-true-way mentality, it was great to see that perception torn apart once again. As with other events this year, numerous Leatherpeople of many different styles and traditions came together as one family for the weekend. In fact, after the past 9 months of exploring what Leather means to me and if it fits journey, I now feel comfortable embracing the label of Leatherman.

Letting go

It’s been a pretty great few weeks. There have certainly been some lows, but an overall net positive.

It’s con season, so for me that means lots of naked people and floggers. I’m two in at this point – Twisted Tryst and SINergy. The events had very different energy, even if they seem similar on paper. Both are weekend events with a bunch of classes and plenty of play. However, the former is a camping event and had a lot of pagan and woo energy mixed in. The latter, a hotel event, was more similar to the events I am used to, but with a larger presence of Leather people.

Tryst proved to be an emotional roller coaster. Being out in nature and sleeping in a hammock for 3 nights gave me a lot of time to process. I’m not sure that I came to any big revelations other than broad things like “I’m on the right path” and “these are my people,” but these are always good things to visit and revisit anyway. And although the two tentative scenes I had planned going into the weekend fell through, I got a beating and a flaying by a good friend and left with a pretty crazy high. (It turns out that emotional connection = better scene *is* actually true.)

SINergy was a different beast. Of note was demo bottoming for a power exchange class. This proved to be a more significant experience than I anticipated. Maybe it was the presenter’s experience, maybe his energy, or maybe I finally decided to let go in this safe (because temporary) environment, but I have never been so keyed in on someone in my life. Even with the D/s that I have previously explored, the experience came as a shock. A good shock. A holy-shit-please-yes-that shock. Thinking back to every time in the last few years that I’ve questioned my interest in power exchange or thought that maybe I’d do better as a dominant, it seems quite silly now. No, it felt right taking that role and being in that headspace.

And that submissive headspace. A few minutes in, there might as well have been no one in the audience, because I didn’t notice them. Or care what they thought or how they might view me. He was the center of my world for that hour, with a little leftover attention going to his slave and the other demo bottom.

Now, despite all this, there was plenty of struggle. I’m not interested in dominant men and I struggled submitting to masculine energied dominance. There was a strong internal fight or flight in the beginning but I was able to calm myself through meditation techniques and a hefty amount of jaw clenching. Hopefully I can sit through the class again, in the audience, and actually learn what was being taught, because I cannot recall a word of it. But what I did learn was invaluable and probably more important to my journey than any other kinky class I’ve sat in.

The rest of the event was quite good as well, and while I had no S&M scenes I got both my pairs of boots blacked, by an old friend and a new one. Bootblacks are the best! My involvement with the power exchange class opened up conversation with another new friend which I hope will continue to grow into the future.

Oh, yeah. While this won’t come as a surprise to those local to me, I’ve got two significant people in my life these days: Megan, who I’ve been dating for a few months and have recently solidified a relationship with and another person who I am dating and hopefully will solidify a relationship with in the near future.

Things seem to be coming together for good ole JT.

Upcoming: COPE will be another (larger) hotel event in a few weeks and then Great Lakes Leather Alliance a few weeks after that. While Megan and I have stepped our toes into the power exchange pool (yes, I take things reallllly slow these days, I get it), I suggested we test out a more significant dynamic during COPE, to which she agreed. Stay tuned on how that goes.


This is more of a personal exercise in what I value in life and in power exchange relationships – something written down that I can refer to myself in times of need or direct others to in some cases.

Peace and conservation of personal energy

What I mean by this is that I despise conflict, as a general rule. I am not naive enough to think I can avoid conflict altogether, but I make conscious decisions to avoid it when I can. However, his does not mean I don’t hold opinions or ideologies. Far from it. But conflict takes energy and since my energy is limited, I prefer to save it things that that are positive. Also, I have found one of a few cases to almost be true:

  1. My want (need) to avoid conflict far outweighs my want of having my opinion heard, recognized, or discussed. I always have an opinion but the little things, what to do, where to go for dinner, what movie to see, etc., but by deferring to others on the things that don’t really matter, I can proactively avoid potential conflict.
  2. My opinion is such a closely held belief, morally and ethically that I know any differing opinions will cause anger and strongly expressed emotions. In these cases, I try to actively avoid bringing them up except for people ‘on-the-fence’ or with people I know already hold my opinions. Pretty much anything that falls into social justice lies in this category. I.e. if someone disagrees with same-sex marriage than I want nothing to do with them whatsoever, regardless of any other redeeming qualities. Because these tend to be polarized issue, I find no benefit in “discussing” these issues with people I know will never change. If forced into discussion, I have and will end relationships (platonic, familial, romantic, and even professional) with those that oppose my views.
  3. I am more interested in hearing an opposing opinion for academic or personal reasons that reserve expressing my opinion in order to invite additional sharing. In my experience people are far more interested in sharing their opinions if you have not directly expressed differing views. The majority of political and economic issues lie here for me. There are a few people I am comfortable actively debating with (because I trust our disagreements won’t negatively effect our relationship) but for the rest, I’m usually keen absorb all their views, regardless of my personal thoughts on them.

Learning for learning’s sake

One of the biggest shocks of growing up was the realization that it is physically impossible for me to learn everything I want to learn and consume every bit of media that I want to experience. I will never visit everyplace or experience the full breadth that humanity and Earth has to offer. I find this fact to be chilling.

But that doesn’t mean I do my best. The ability to continuously learn is one I hold most dear. Ignorance is mostly definitely not strength, BB. That at some point my mind will begin to deteriorate and I will lose knowledge at a faster rate than I gain it is unbearable.

But I still have plenty of time to read innumerable books, experience the best visual and audio entertainment, jump out of a plane, swim with sharks, and backpack across New Zealand. And let’s not forget all the physical and mental I’ve yet to experience with a willing partner and a suitcase of toys.

Integrity and punctuality

These may not seem like they should tie together so much at first, but they do for me. It’s really easy. I believe that people should, as best they can, live authentically, and without lies. I feel like this should be a given, but I’ve seen that often, it is not. By extension, being on time is hugely important to me. If I need to be somewhere, I generally plan to arrive 15-20 minutes early. I’d rather spend a few minutes reading a book or trawling through Twitter than to be later. For others, I generally expect the same. I understand that life happens, people make mistakes, traffic is suddenly bad, etc., but when people are consistently late, it tells me that their word cannot be trusted, even in things unrelated to punctuality.

Relationship anarchy, solo poly, and power exchange

I’m not really sure how to reconcile the radical autonomy inherent in my version of poly with my want to be an a full-blown power exchange relationship.

Drawing from relationship anarchy and solo poly relationship paradigms, I’m really digging the no rules*, no restrictions, no expectations version of poly. For the first time I don’t feel weird (i.e. being socialized that such behavior is unethical) about exploring possibilities with several people at once. In earlier non-monogamous arrangements, I struggled to the point of failure with this. I now can focus on myself first (“I’m my own primary”), and open up enough to allow safe people in a bit at a time – keeping an ever watchful eye on yours truly, keeping him upright (he talks about himself in the third person, deal with it).

Of course, this type of structure (or lack thereof) is at odds with wanting a D/s relationship, which are by nature full of rules, restrictions, and expectations. Is it possible to have both? Is it actually what I want? Some part of me fears I just want to avoid any real commitments, but that just may be a lingering side effect of being raised in a monogamous world.

I know at least a handful of people who do non-hierarchical poly with power exchange. Some have even explained it to me, but to no avail – it’s still difficult to wrap my head around it. I mean, I get the physical rules/negotiations business and how it can work, but not the emotional side of it. The D/s (M/s) I seek is (eventually) all-in. Perhaps it’s finding a dominant who I trust I can go all-in with who will still allow me the ability to have other partners. But what then, if they revoke that decision? If I had others partners at that time, that certainly wouldn’t fair (and, in my opinion, unethical) to them. I don’t see a way to merge the two relationship styles and be ethical about it.

The other thought is that if I really am avoiding the commitments, than current paradigm’s goal is to find the perfect partner (pro tip: they don’t exist). I can leave myself open to finding this mythical creature while still having meaningful connections with others. Though, if I concede the ‘perfect’ D/s partner doesn’t exist, then should I even bother having this concern in the first place? Maybe solo poly isn’t my ideal, but it’s certainly more realistic and has bore more fruit than chasing the alternative.

Head meet desk.


* Besides the basics of communication, no lying, informed consent, etc.

Pups, bears, and boots, oh my!

May was hella busy. In addition to the normal hustle and bustle, I attended two weekend events. The first was International Mr. Leather in Chicago and the following weekend was the Power Exchange Summit in Columbus. Both events differed from the kink events I am used to but for different reasons.

Perhaps the biggest thing I noticed at IML was that the energy was completely different than pansexual kink parties. Gay male energy is a very different beast than I was used too and definitely in a good way. Though there were plenty of other genders and sexualities in attendance, I felt more comfortable in those spaces than I usually do at kink events. I felt more myself, was more relaxed, felt more attractive, and I’m pretty sure of why: lack of cishet male dominants (for the most part). Heteronormative masculinity just really isn’t my thing as is usually out in force at pansexual kink parties. Despite having several cishet maledom friends, I still have the socialized male competitiveness at a core level, making it difficult for me to be emotionally vulnerable in their presence for fear of being negatively judged (gotta love that patriarchy!).

I did not participate in a lot of the crazy partying that is rampant at IML but the contest itself was quite a fantastic production. The speeches were eye-opening, vulnerable, important, funny, and almost made the ticket price worth it by themselves. In particular, one contestant, Jefferson Tugger, was in heels for the whole contest and took pride in his femininity. While his speech was one of the most well received, there were some naysayers in the crowd and on Facebook, who did not believe such a thing was appropriate for the IML stage. I was glad to see overwhelming support for Tugger’s style at the event and on social media. 

And let’s not forget the boot blacks, lest our leather go uncared for. I cannot fathom the amount of energy it took for the six competitors to black for countless hours over two days. Unfortunately I missed a lot of their competition but did get my combat boots done by the man who would become the runner up and he did a superb job.

Also, pups are adorable. 

This past weekend, I went the Power Exchange Summit which was mostly an educational event with over a dozen classes packed in a weekend. Differing from any other kink event I’ve been to, PXS did not have any playspace. While all other Midwest events that I attend have both classes and playspace, by not having the latter there didn’t need to be on focus on filling one’s dance card. This allowed me to focus a lot of energy internally and over the weekend I accomplished a lot of self reflection. Notably, it reinvigorated my submissive side and I really came to terms with where my interests lie and why I’m drawn to power exchange in general and submission specifically. More on that in another post.

Not being satisfied enough with all of that business, I am signed up for a nine month Dominant Mentorship Program that is being run by my local club. It is the second year it’s being run and last year’s graduates (all switches, interestingly), had nothing but good things to say about it. The first few months are focused on “dominant dominate thyself”, which I suspect will be useful regardless of what role(s) I end up in in the future. And as a Top, the skill portion in the latter part of the class will surely come in handy and allow for more intimate instruction than the large classes I am used to.

If 2013 was the year of discovery, 2014 the year of exploration, than 2015 is turning out to be the year of refinement. 

In the basement of a gay bar

I was really drunk. College freshman levels of wasted. I don’t remember cashing out. I do remember asking Jay (my best friend and the bartender) how much I tipped him. $2.18 on a $40+ tab. I gave him the last $20 bill in my wallet.

Guys on the prowl at a gay bar are as creepy as I imagine guys on the prowl are at a straight bar. They trap you in conversation, separate you from your friends, and attempt to physically block you from shifting to an exit route. One transitioned from complaining about younger guys taking financial advantage of him to buying me a drink. Hmm…

Being my first and only ‘free’ day in May, I was taking full advantage of the night off, though my friends slowly filtered out, with stories of work and commitments and other silliness abound. At least I knew I had a ride home with Jay.

I don’t remember where this guy came from. I didn’t recognize him nor was he part of the extended kink and Leather crowd – just one of the bar’s vanilla patrons out on a Friday night.

I remember making out at the bar for some time before being led to the basement. Earlier in the night the room had been filled with shirtless men watching a flogging demo, but by this late hour the lights were all but off and only a handful of eyes peered out from the dark. Heavy petting ensued.

Soon a third joined, but only briefly before the original stopped everything and led me back upstairs.

I don’t remember much else besides passing out on a couch for an hour or more waiting for Jay to finish closing down the bar and driving me home.

It’s hard to say whether the experience was a good one or not, overall. For the sake of exploration and trying new things, it was good.

Getting drunk and allowing myself to be taken advantage of well past my ability to consent, however, is not something I care to do again and was reminiscent of past abuse.

I actually felt sexually attractive for once and maybe the only time in my life and I enjoyed the attention, but at what cost?

(Re)starting my engines

Good evening dearest readers. It’s been some time since I last posted and I figured it was time for a quick update.

I’ve had a pretty loaded few months and already have April and May pretty much booked up, but the time and energy and focus is going to go through a huge shift. Because I’m finally graduating at the end of April. This week is the last week of classes in my undergrad career. It’s been a long seven years of much frustrating but I managed to see it through to the end.

With school wrapped up, I can start to refocus my energy on enjoying life, having fun, and figuring out the next phase of my life. I’ve signed a lease and will be moving into an apartment May 1, which will be closer to work and much of my social life. The following weekend I am adopting pair of one-year-old cats, calico sisters. I’ve been able to visit them several times at their foster home and just need to get settled in my new place before bringing them home. Weekend number 3, I will be taking a basic rider safety course to get my motorcycle endorsement and, hopefully, my first bike. And, for Memorial Day weekend, I will be joining some friends new and old to Chicago for International Mr. Leather 2015. I suspect large numbers of jockstraps in my near future.

In the kink world, I continue to co-host a power exchange focused discussion munch monthly, which has proven successful and led to some great discussion and, for me, personal growth. I also continue to volunteer for a kinky non-profit and, with my best friend, a regular fetish party at a local bar.

Relationship-wise, it’s been relatively quiet. I haven’t been actively searching for the last few months, but have had a couple of maybe, sorta, nah probably not, back-and-forths, but not so much as a date. What has been particularly helpful is simply putting zero expectations on anything or anyone. This has also helped in other aspects of life too. By actively choosing to not be disappointed, I remove an incredible amount of anxiety.

 I did reopen my OkCupid profile this past week, mostly to see what comes my way while I wrap up school and such, but I haven’t nor plan to put much effort in till I’m settled in my new place.

I’ve also found that the label “submissive” is too constraining for me at this time. Whether or not I end up in a D/s dynamic has taken a backseat to simply finding people I enjoy spending time with. I’ll let each of those wax and wane and develop as they may without worrying about the relationship structure.

I’ve also been off my psychiatric meds for a couple of weeks now. The short story is my former psychiatrist is basically a fuckwit. But, despite that, I feel much more like myself, less apathetic, and more tuned in to life. While the bouts of depression are obviously worse, I’ve been looking towards meditation to help control it so that my “highs” are higher.

Y’all better watch out, ’cause here I come.


Sharing an emotional trigger with a friend or partner can be one of the most difficult things to. The amount of power it gives them is incredible. I liken it to handing someone a loaded gun and trusting that, no matter what happens now and in the future, they will never pull the trigger.

Often it practical or even necessary to share these things with those we play with. They need to know lest they hit one on accident. These may be framed as hard limits or a general “don’t do this thing,” without description.

However, I often feel uncomfortable sharing triggers not because of trust but because I don’t want the knowledge to affect others in unforeseen ways. This is especially true if trigger is not something others can reasonably avoid. An example of this case: a friend of mine shares a name with an abuser in my past. This has nothing to do with this friend, but every time we talk, every time I see them post online, and anytime they are referenced by others, I think first of the abuser. While this is not really fair to my friend, it’s not something I have control over and has, unfortunately, prevented a closer bond in many cases.

While that is a specific issue, others exist as well. And, because my kink and my take on D/s are heavily rooted in trust, I struggle with when it’s appropriate to share someone for the sake of trust (and the closeness that trust can bring) versus holding back part of myself, my history, and experiences in order to stem what may be an otherwise unsolvable conflict. (If, for instance said friend decides to cut contact for fear of triggering me).