The naked truth.

Last night, the AC in our bedroom stopped working. After living in denial for about two hours (“it’s not that bad! I can sleep!”) we both decided to move out to the living room and sleep on the couch, where the AC is strong and healthy and, best of all, COOL.

Coupla things suck about this, though.

  1. It’s not our comfy, amazing bed. Seriously, I’m in-fucking-love with our bed. It’s the best bed ever.
  2. The “couch” we have is a futon. A well-loved (read: worn in) futon. Which is hell on both of our backs.
  3. Sleeping on “my side” meant I woke up in front of a flat screen TV. Which is basically a giant muted mirror. This may not seem like such a big deal until you take into account that I usually, especially in the summer, sleep nude. So I woke up, sat up, stretched the terrible pains out of my back and realized I was staring at my sitting, naked self.

What happened next was odd.

(Fuck, now I sound like clickbait. Anyway. It’s staying. Because it was fucking odd.)

I…didn’t hate the way I looked.

No. That’s not even fully accurate. I actually kind of liked the way I look.

This proceeded to blow my fucking mind.

See, my three biggest sources of bodily fear and shame are my chin, my breasts, and my stomach. My chin and stomach issues are wrapped up in something an ex-partner said to me years ago during a fight about how they couldn’t see beyond my “double chin and rolls of fat”. That was a deep enough cut, but the look in their eyes…the utter derision from someone who vowed to love me forever broke my heart that day. It meant that all my other qualities that they had professed to love (in front of friends and family, no less) were now completely meaningless compared to what they couldn’t see past. I was ugly to them and no amount of the intelligence or humor or kindness or anything else they had previously said they loved could stop that sheer disgust in their eyes.

I hate to admit that that crawled under my skin so far and for so many years, but there’s still a small part of me that gets terrified the first time someone I care about and want to be intimate with gets near my stomach or my breasts. My jackass brain starts hauling out the past and screams something like this:

REALLY?! You’re gonna let them touch you there? You’re going to keep the lights on and let them see all of you? I thought you wanted to continue to have them look at you with dancing, sultry eyes?

You know what’s going to happen, right? That look will change and suddenly they’ll be looking at you just like _____ did.

Sometimes the whole script doesn’t play out, and all I’m left with is a simple terror that the sexy eyes and the amazing energy that’s mixing with mine is just going to change immediately to that derision and then my heart sinks and my brain goes into protect mode. Which I fight, so I freeze.

Except I don’t want to do that because I want to fucking enjoy the time I’m having. I want to be able to surrender if it’s a kink scene. If it’s straight up sex, I want to fucking enjoy the hell out of it.

Because here’s a secret…once I get past that initial step, I adore sex and kink and y’know what, fuck EVERYTHING, I will be joyously, proudly naked.

But it takes some time to get there with a new partner. And since I don’t meet new partners all that often, I don’t get much practice getting out of that jackass part of my brain.

So back to me sitting there, not hating the way I looked, actually kind of liking the way I looked…and then…and THEN I TOOK A FUCKING PICTURE OF MYSELF. Full frontal, naked, sitting. I even liked the picture. Holy fuck.

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“Let’s see how far we’ve come…”

-Title of post from the song “How Far We’ve Come” by Matchbox Twenty

In the beginning of this year, I made a post about all the things I wanted to change this year.

Here’s the list for easy reference, though, if you don’t want to read the whole post:

It’s time to get my health under control. My blood pressure has soared with the stress of this past year and my doctor is concerned. I’m concerned. I’m working on it, but I need to do more than take my medicine as directed. Things like:

  • meditation
  • push myself and my students more in classes
  • eating better – which will likely be it’s own post
  • dancing, moving more, and stretching every damn day
  • Finding healthier ways to deal with my anxiety and depression, even if it means meds again
  • reach out to friends and loved ones for emotional support instead of bottling

I want to be more creative this year. As such, I’m going to:

  • Play my ukulele more – I’ve already begun to learn a new song!
  • Sing more
  • Write more fiction
  • Finish at least the first draft edit of my book
  • burlesque and dancing
  • force myself to learn to use the awesome gift my husband gave me last year, with the awesome gift he gave me this year.
  • Read 27 books in a year and write at least a small review about each. I did Cannonball Read in 2013 and actually made it to 52 books and reviews in a year (!) That was incredibly stressful (but still awesome) so I’m going for a half Cannonball which is technically 26 but I’m going +1 because I don’t like even numbers.
  • Post a blog once a week. Which, technically,the Cannonball Read takes care of half of that, if I want it to.

My body craves D/s and sex and attention and receiving ASMR. Therefore, I plan to:

  • Reach out to more people locally and regionally
  • Ask for what I’m interested in
  • Rejoin the local kink scene
  • Be clearer about what I want out of date nights
  • Seek out casual play at events
  • Try to afford regular massages. “Regular” might mean every few months, but still
  • If not always massages, pedicures. Never knew how much I loved pedicures until my sister introduced me to the wonders. So good. And toes so pretty!
  • Find friends who want to read to me for ASMRing. One dear friend did this at GKE last year while another gave me a massage. That was close to bliss, aside from the pain that was being worked out of my lower back.

So that’s a lot. On the plus side, I’ve been making progress. My blood pressure was actually normal when the EMTs took it at SPWF in May. And I’ll be getting blood work done in about a month so I can see if it’s stayed that way.

I haven’t meditated like I planned to, but I’m starting to now. A friend even sent me a book I’m halfway through that talks about how you can rewire your brain through meditation.

I have pushed myself and my students more in my classes, I am eating better, finding healthier ways to deal with depression and anxiety, and starting to reach out to friends and loved ones for support instead of bottling. Those things are good!

But. I have not been exercising outside of class nor stretching and I really, really need to get my ass up more regularly instead of sitting in front of my damn computer all day. Granted, I work in front of a computer, but I also can set my own schedule, so there’s no excuse not to get up and schedule in some exercise and stretching. I’m also not dancing much at all. Which plays in the the next section.

Cause I am not keeping up with burlesque and dancing the way I wanted to. Haven’t played my uke since January but I definitely HAVE been singing and writing more fiction. So that’s good. Have not touched my book so there’s been no editing. Nor have I attempted to try to learn the gift my husband got me. Well on my way for half a Cannonball for Cannonball Read 8. Though I am a few books behind where I should be right now, I’m still doing it. But I have actually been blogging just about every week, so that’s good.

Then we come to the D/s, sex, attention, ASMR section.

Man, I never saw half of what’s going on in my life happening way back in January.

First thing I wrote was that I wanted to reach out to more people regionally and locally. That’s a big ol’ check, as is rejoin the local kink scene. As is, for the most part, asking for what I’m interested in. It’s not going all that well with sex for various reasons, but I’m patient. And masturbation is fun.

Being clearer about what I want out of date nights has been a mixed experiment. As has seeking out casual play at events. I’ve gone to kinky college and to the two night Sample Your Fantasy nights, and got some play there. I also had an impromptu hair scene with a friend. That was cool. So I’ve gotten some casual play and a singularly brilliant instance of not entirely casual play. Overall, though…not a lot. I will try to rectify this in the coming months.

The massages haven’t happened at all, but I did get 3 pedicures this year and they were phenomenal.

Finally, no love with the ASMR. But thankfully I do have YouTube.

So!

Moving forward into the rest of the year, my goals are to keep doing what I’m doing well and to work more on these things:

  • Meditation
  • Cutting carbs from my diet
  • Exercising and stretching every day
  • UKE, dammit
  • Finish first draft edit of my book
  • Burlesque
  • Be clearer about date nights
  • Focus more on s-type journey
  • Radical honesty and communication, even when I’m scared
  • And also…there are a few things I need to Adult about. So those things.

Calling all angels

Calling all angels, calling all angels
Walk me through this one, don’t leave me alone
Calling all angels, calling all angels
We’re tryin’, we’re hopin’ but we’re not sure how

“Calling All Angels” by Jane Siberry

Oh. So it’s gonna be THAT kind of summer, is it?

The kind of roiling heat and turmoil, not just on the thermostat but in my heart and life and the lives of those around me.

The kind that leaves you wondering what the fuck just happened, what you did wrong, and that creeping feeling that shit is just about to explode under your skin and all around you. The kind where you don’t know whether to scream or cry and you can’t possibly get it down or out in words because you start ugly crying when someone asks you what’s wrong and you kept your shit together so well up until that point.

The kind that makes its presence known weeks ahead of its technical arrival, because jesus fucking christ, summer doesn’t even officially begin until Monday.

THAT kind of summer.

I’m seeing it in my own life and rapidly losing the ability to make sense of the hurt and confusion. But I know I’m not alone. I see it in the friend who is self-described as burning the candle at a million ends and wearing themselves out and just broke up with their partner on top of it. It’s there in the friend who is navigating a new D/s relationship with someone who has a highly demanding seasonal job. And guess which season…that’s right, summer. Ever apparent in someone I love being thrown around by fate and also having a bunch of really fucking hard choices to make. It’s in a widespread community mourning and learning how to come together in the face of devastation and tragedy.

There’s more. Massive shifting winds have begun to blow through many people’s lives and I don’t know how it will all settle in the end. And the ways things intertwine make it all the more difficult.

I hate summer. Give me weather that doesn’t go above 80 and I’m happy. Give me mountains, and rivers, and water parks, and cool breezes at night and that would be awesome.

But most of all, please, give me the strength to get through this and be the best person I can be. Help me to remember the awesome people I have in my life and that even on the night I couldn’t hold back the violent tears, someone literally showed up at my doorstep out of thin air to demonstrate the grace I strive for, complete with a cool, wet towel and open arms.

Things I learned today

concatenation

/kənˌkatnˈāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. a series of interconnected things or events.

Today, I also saw this on the bottom of my of my favorite bands’ website:

ABOUT

Scarlet Sails is a statement. Scarlet Sails is based on believing. Scarlet Sails is about love. It’s about what you want and about ways to find it. It’s about following through and sticking to your true self. It’s about engaging with the ones you love…
So much is connected. So much is changing and moving forward at breakneck speed. It’s not all easy. It’s not all fun. Some hurts a whole fucking lot.

But dear god, the bright spots are astounding.