“Said woman take it slow, and it’ll work itself out fine.”

Title from the song “Patience” by Guns N Roses

What do you do with neediness?

An ache in your body that can only be soothed by contact with certain people? And sometimes, only by certain types of contact?

I don’t want to be too clingy with anyone in my life. But it’s a hard balance between not being too clingy and feeling so hungry…for interaction, connection, touch, sensation, service, submission.

There are things I don’t know yet with the burgeoning new relationship that hasn’t quite gotten off the ground yet. I mean…there’s chemistry. Dear god, there’s chemistry. And mutual interest. But who knows what it’s going to look like and feel like once we actually have time alone together? So we wait and see. I’ve got a laundry list of questions and such that are…too early to ask. Or I’m too scared. I’m afraid to want it too much. Eventually, there will come a time. Some have come up naturally so far.

This whole thing is unfolding in many unexpected but awesome ways, so I’m just going to trust in it to keep doing that with some gentle direction. Not a death grip. Not with panic. So I pull back. Gently…trying to avoid the desire to run fast and furious in the opposite direction the way I’m used to. Giving it room to breathe and grow.

And with my husband, there’s a balance of when he’s got his own stuff going on and how to help support him while also trying to get what I need. And when his stuff is off, and he pulls away, as it currently is, balancing that with my stuff being off is…difficult. I wind up feeling exhausted and sad and really needy and I don’t want to be that.

I’ve been wanting to go back to the fetish club in town, but I’ve either been too tired or we had date night planned or I’ve been too raw to be around people I don’t know that well yet. Hopefully this weekend, as it would be good to find local connections.

So. I listen to music. I write. I try to reach out to the few other people who understand. I try to take it slow and not get too ahead of myself.  I’ve been kneeling every day just for practice and reconnecting to the feeling. I’m glad I started now because if anyone were to tell me to at any point in soon, I might’ve just started crying like I did by myself that first time. Or not. Who knows? I’m just glad I’m dealing with some of this now so it doesn’t spill over and color everything. Just gonna keep trying to find other ways to feed the need that’s been sleeping for so long.And the ones that haven’t been but have nowhere currently to…find rest and release.

“You don’t need me here to cut you free.”

Title quote from “Machete” by Amanda Fucking Palmer

Battling brain monsters lately has been fun. It doesn’t help that this is the most stressful time of the year for me at work, what with the largest, most labor intensive event of the year coming up next month. I know I’ll get through it, it’s just the process sometimes eats me alive from the inside.

I did something recently that I don’t want to talk about publicly yet (or possibly ever. I have told a few close, trusted people), but it was immensely freeing and allowed me to help two people I care about. However, while it felt good and right to do and I have literally no regrets, it’s also stirred up a whole bunch of related thoughts and desires and questions about submission. Looking back over the years, I’ve learned and done a lot and all those memories are flooding back now. Along with the hunger.

This morning, I decided to take a page from my mentor/ex. Especially when we were in a LDR, he always had exercises and rituals that made it clear to me that he was engaged and cared, even across the distance. One of them was when he would tell me to set aside time for him to kneel for him. He didn’t have to be there. But he gave me a set amount of time and it put me in that headspace and made me feel connected to him, especially when he would either remind me or ask me if I’d done it.

So this morning, I knelt.

Not for anyone, per se. I’m not collared to anyone nor am I anyone’s official submissive. Just…to remind myself who I am. What’s at my core. To think about possibilities and the future. To reconnect to that part of myself in a visceral way.

It was hard. I hadn’t done it in so long, and it shook me how familiar but thoroughly foreign it felt. How my legs felt weird. My back hurt. My arms felt awkward. I cried. I thought about the past. I felt the ache to simultaneously to push through and also to leap to my feet and forget it all again. There was no one here to stop me if I wanted to get up. There would be no punishment. There was also no one to reassure me. To help me push myself. But even so, I did it myself and I stayed another minute or so more. Through the pain. Till the tears subsided.

While it was only a few minutes, I’m glad I did it. It hurts in many ways and I feel the fire kindling inside and it suffocates me some days because I have no consistent place to direct it, but I’m still glad my inner submissive is awake again. She’s out of practice, though. In a fit of really low self esteem and doubt, I recently asked my mentor if, in his estimation and experience, I still had worth as a submissive. I was feeling old and out of practice and not sure what to do with myself and all this awakening. His reaction was priceless:

There are only two kinds of people who think you are “too old”, or “worn-out” to be desirable as a submissive:

  • Shortsighted, foolish people.
  • You.

I have to get myself out there more. I have to meet more people, find more opportunities to exercise her. Get out of that mindset of not being good enough any more. Submissive shouldn’t equal passive. Nor should it be weak. While this reawakening process is painful, it’s necessary. I’m reminded of the story I’ve carried with me since my time as a landscaper/gardener when the woman I was head over heels in love with taught me how to transplant geraniums.

She set the larger pots out in front of us and gave me a tray of plants in smaller pots. With one hand laced into the plant’s base above the dirt, she tipped the geranium over and pulled it free from its pot. The roots were a bound into the perfect shape of the pot they’d just came from. She discarded the pot and thrust her newly freed hand into the root ball, wiggling her fingers, then pulling the bound roots free. There was a sickening ripping sound and I recoiled in horror.

“What?” she asked, continuing her work.

“What are you doing?! Isn’t that going to kill it? You’re destroying it’s roots…” I don’t know how she had made me start caring about plants, when I’d previously had a black thumb, but here I was with constantly dirty hands and kind of enjoying myself. Until this here killing spree we were apparently setting out to have.

“I thought you said that transplanting them would help them grow bigger and stronger. How are they going to do that without roots?”

She grinned at me and her eyes twinkled. “I’m not destroying all the roots. You’re right; if you do it too much, it will kill them. But the right amount…it stimulates new growth.”

It stimulates new growth.

That’s stayed with me, for close to 20 years.

This pain, this hunger, this awakening, all the things that have been happening over the past few months, and even last year when I spent a large chunk of it hibernating from the world, save for the few times I did events, it’s part of the process. And even then, it was like a long winter…the ground might have been hard, and I might not have opened up to much, but seeds were there that I had no idea about. It’s taken a while for Spring to get here, for things to sprout. And while things are springing slowly up and I keep telling myself to have patience, there are some parts of me that need to be dusted off. I’ve got some roots to grab.

It’s time to stimulate new growth.

Yet Another Chokehold. Or, can’t yet.

Choke on the words

I can’t say.

Yet.

Hold back the feelings

I can’t share.

Yet.

Silence the dreams

I can’t fulfill.

Yet.

Hide the flame in my eyes

I can’t control.

Yet.

Possess that piece

I can’t access

alone.

***

“I see submission as a drive, like the drive to eat or sleep. Yes, I believe that submissives tend to gain fulfillment through pleasing. But I think it goes deeper; I also believe they have a restless energy inside them, which seeks use, needs an outlet. And like the sex drive, with which it’s often confused, the submissive drive is that most frustrating of needs: a passion which can only be really satisfied through the contact with others.”

***

“And I feel there is a piece of you which doesn’t belong to you and never did. It may be integral to you. But it’s also alien to you. You may poke at it with thoughts and feelings and experiences, you may even take hold of that same piece when you find it in others. But your own piece of it, you cannot touch. It is crosslinked, perhaps, with the instincts of submission – fear and hunger and fight-or-flight. It manifests, when not controlled, in dissatisfaction, incompleteness, emptiness. Need.

And I have to reverse the world to get it from you.

I have to frighten you, intimidate and scare and shake and paralyze you into giving it to me.

I have to beat and push and force you to give me what you want to give me.

I have to stun and shock and system-overload you.

And most of all, I have to earn your trust.

It’s easy for a psychopath to do those things, and make you hate it.

My art is that, in my hands, you accept these things. And whether outwardly or not, you smile.

If I go past your consent, I become psychotic.

If I do only what you want, I have no control.

So I push you.”

-Jeff Mach, from Give: Some explorations of Submission

***

For the longest time, I had a sign on my wall that simply said “PUSH.” Submission is at the core of who I am. I’ve been trained, by two different people, for years. It’s difficult to not have that now. I miss being pushed. Not just physically, though that, too. Into walls, down on the ground or the bed is always fun. But mentally, emotionally, spiritually. It’s not a religious thing, but my spirit, my energy yearns towards that. Aching to be pushed.

Poly & Kink: The Music Issue

Ever since I was little, I’ve used music to help me make sense of my life.

I’ve written a bunch of songs over the years in an attempt to extract and analyze the worlds swirling inside me, and have many half-written songs that just don’t quite get there. It doesn’t help that I never fully developed the musical end of the song-writing process. Hopefully, that’s something that I can work on in the future. But in the meantime, it means I seek out music to sort out emotions, aid in rituals when I used to be more of a practicing pagan, find courage or solace, celebrate, swoon with when I’m falling in love, cry to when I’m breaking up, yank out anger that gets lodged deep inside, and any other emotion that I want assistance with going through or understanding.

This gets challenging when it comes to polyamory and kink. So much of popular music that’s easy to access and has to do with having feelings for someone is so laser focused on monogamy and anything darker tends to verge into abuse. I’m sick and tired of hearing about “one and only”, “only you”, “no one else”, etc. in pop music. The messages of forever and exclusivity are things I simply don’t feel.

I want music that mirrors the joy of discovery when there’s a new interest on the horizon, the floaty sensation of feelings being reciprocated, the non-exclusive way I feel about my husband, the way I feel when a relationship deepens, the emotions surrounding a poly family and living outside the lines when it comes to love and relationships, the joy of right now, hell, even that anxious feeling of “is this really happening?” (And I recently found one that hits THAT nail on the head that I can’t get out of my head lately. But more on that later.)

When it comes to kink, I want to find songs that speak to those darker, primal desires. I want driving beats or spooky and ambiant sounds that can mimic a musical soundscape that feels almost like subspace.

Since I’ve been doing both for a little over 15 years, I’ve been compiling songs over the years that work for me. Back then, it was harder to stumble upon songs because we didn’t have Spotify and all the everything that’s been uploaded to YouTube.

Back in the day, I made a mix CD series called “The Mormon Mix” (parts 1, 2, AND 3). Some of those songs have made it into current rotation again. Here are some that have worked and are currently go-to’s for me for poly:

  • The Polyamory Song – David Rovics (Classic and straight to the point)
  • Elaborate Lives (Reprise) – Aida OBCR (This is one is EXCEPTIONAL for difficult times, though it does have a note of hierarchical thinking to it.)
  • We Got Us – The Muppets
  • Independent Love Song – Scarlet
  • Into Me – Chantal Kreviazuk (this is the one that’s currently on loop in my head right now that matches the anxiety I’m trying to fight and the joy I feel. About how I’m afraid stuff that’s happening isn’t real, or that someone I care about will…leave. There’s a line that’s perfect for where I am right at this moment which is “I’m finally starting to believe that you and me and this thing, it’s really happening.” I love how it states flat out that it’s been a process of getting there, that it’s undefined, but it’s finally happening, whatever it is. Fills me with such happiness.)
  • Manta Rays – Ludo (I love the newness of this. Non-exclusive, new love feels all over this)
  • A Whole New World – Aladdin (Ah, Disney.)
  • How Your Love Makes Me Feel – Diamond Rio (this is pure joy of love in country song)
  • Epoch – HUMANWINE (It’s not really a song about poly, per se, but there’s this line “Sometimes, families change. You have to make your own. Sometimes families change; create your own” that’s always resonated with me with having a polycule of people who may or may not be dating, but is a family of people with the same values. Who encourages open love and exploration. It’s definitely a change from the family I grew up with.)
  • Just Enough – Charlotte Sometimes (a light, yearning song that strikes me as waiting for something to start, but it’s full of hope, but still…right before anything happens. And sometimes, the wait is just enough. I mean, sometimes you want things to happen NOW goddammit, but you have to wait until they can. I don’t know nothing about that. Nope.)
  • Sleeps with Butterflies – Tori Amos (OMG, this is perfect for me and my husband. It’s been with me a long time and it was hard to transition it from others to him, but it has always reminded me that we sometimes both need space to figure things out, but that we’re always here for each other. And that he can “fly” with others, but I believe I’m worth coming home to. I don’t want to hold onto the tail of his kite.) The chorus especially has gotten me through many troubled times:

You say the word
You know I will find you
Or if you need some time
I don’t mind
I don’t hold on
To the tail of your kite
I’m not like the girls that you’ve known
But I believe I’m worth coming home to
Kiss away night
This girl only sleeps with butterflies
With butterflies
So go on and fly then boy

  • Triad – Jefferson Airplane
  • Tonight and the Rest of My Life – Nina Gordon (just…that floaty feeling that you want to last forever)
  • Against the Night – Jason Webley (not totally a poly song, but it’s good in that it’s not exclusive and it’s a song about being there for someone when they’re having a difficult time. It’s one of those things that I think speaks to people especially who have anxiety or depression or other mental issues and are afraid there won’t be anyone there to help. This song is the response to that for the people who care.)
  • Some People Say – Allo Darling
  • Not Broken Yet – Juliet Simms (This song is the musical version of the pain and strife my husband and I have gone through, and the complications, but knowing that we have each other.)
  • Under Pressure – David Bowie & Queen (Seriously, the lines “‘Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word / And love dares you to care for / The people on the edge of the night / And love dares you to change our way of / Caring about ourselves” are like a poly/radical love rallying cry to me.)
  • Someone New – Hozier
  • Community Property – Steel Panther (When you need a laugh)
  • Bonnie & Clyde – Vermillion Lies

A little bit of poly and kink (to me):

  • Mouth – Merril Bainbridge
  • I Get Off – Halestorm (It could be read as creepy, but not when it’s consensual. And it’s so accurate it’d be scary if it didn’t turn me on so much.)
  • Hey Pretty – Poe (Poe is just so good. And the lines “I’ve got a mind full of wicked designs; I’ve got a non-stop hole in my head imagination” I’m like….YESSSSS.

And for kink:

  • Amazed – Poe
  • Bad Things – Jace Everett
  • Dangerous Game – Jekyll & Hyde (I was floored when I finally saw the musical…this is not a…good song in the musical. But for me, it always spoke to the intense interplay between a Dom and sub.)
  • Arsonist’s Lullaby – Hozier
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Bentar (playful sub is playful)
  • Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac (Always gets me into Domme headspeace – funny how channeling a Welsh witch will do that…)
  • Be Prepared – The Lion King (Disney prolly would never understand how I interpret THAT song…)
  • Seven Devils – Florence + the Machine
  • Stripped – Shiny Toy Guns
  • Cruel to be Kind – Letters to Cleo
  • Girl Crush – Little Big Town (TOTAL cuckquean song – emotional masochism, anyone? So good when done right.)

So…what songs have resonated with you for poly and/or kink?