Month: March 2018

Shopping for toys

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Floggers-2017

When you look at that, it’s rather impressive, isn’t it?  Impressive and a rather sizeable investment as well.  I have to admit though, it’s only a fraction of a really good deal I scored on Fetlife about 6 months ago.  Someone was selling their flogger collection due to a need for quick cash, and I just happened to see the ad that they posted on a message board, or I would have missed out on it.  It just so happened it was someone that I had purchased used items from before (and from a flogger crafter that I tend to covet) and I’d gotten good deals on her toys.  So she had told me she’d rather sell to me knowing I’d be giving her toys a good home, instead of someone that wouldn’t necessarily treat them with the respect they deserve.  (Yes, toys deserve respect too.)200.gif

I’m only mentioning this because of another ad that crossed my attention on Fetlife this afternoon.  Someone was advertising their Etsy shop’s wares and in particular, had created a new type of toy bag.  Though the price caused me a double-take, so much so I thought the price tag was a typo.

Now I’ve gone through several iterations of toy bags over the years, from duffle bags to rolling luggage, all in an attempt to keep my toys in good condition as well as protect them from problems during travel.  I’ve not as yet flown with my toys, though I’m a bit wary of doing so, as I’ve heard horror stories from others about TSA agents rifling through their things, pricey items turning up missing and spending time having to explain WIITWD (What It Is That We Do) to someone that is skeptical to begin with, and probably rather unsympathetic anyway.

Getting back to the topic at hand, this vendor was attempting to have me believe that they’ve come up with the ‘next big thing’ in toy storage and the least amount of money I’d have to shell out was $250.00 USD.  (The flogger bag was a mere $400.00 USD!)  If I was going to spend that much, it’d have to have gold inlays (at the very least).  There’s no way you’re going to convince me that a pile of cotton, polyester, steel bars and nylon straps was worth that much.

Now I admit over the years I’ve purchased more than my fair share of toys I might not have a use for, or got the wrong size, or got more than one of something I might or might not need (the 5 sets of hospital style restraints come immediately to mind). But I’ve at least thought about the worth of such items before outlaying the cash (FWIW, the hospital restraints were from one seller on eBay, he had FOUR pristine never used sets and the price was just too good to pass up).

Anyway.  I do hope this vendor comes to their senses and rethinks their price point.

Finding the right collar

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As you’re no doubt aware, my pet and I have undergone a change in our dynamic.  Having done that, there’s a need for new material to cement things in a more corporeal way.  A collar.  When I’ve had other pets, slaves, submissives, at some point each one had a collar to wear either day-to-day, when they visited, or even in on a semi-permanent basis.  My pet and I have discussed this at length, but at the end of all, it’s my decision on what she’s going to wear day to day, or when we meet to play.

That being said, it’s not always so easy to find just the right one.  There are so many different choices out there, not to mention you have to take into consideration what might be considered unobtrusive, or gaudy, or inappropriate for one’s work responsibilities.  I know many people that didn’t give that the proper amount of thought, and it had disastrous consequences.  I’d like to make the right choice the first time so that there’s no need to make a second choice because the first one caused problems.

Too, my pet has never been collared before.  When the pendulum was swinging the other way, she wanted me to have a collar that I could wear every day.  I found that to have a myriad of problems, one that I don’t normally wear jewelry (even a wedding ring and I’ve been married almost 25 years!) and when I’m working, something that would be too obvious would be (at least initially I think) would be too much of a topic of conversation.  Perhaps it was me being self-conscious, I’ve spoken to others that have worn or been adorned with eternity collars and ROS’s and most of them say that if there’s attention drawn to you, it’s mostly because you’re the one doing something that brings people’s attention there, not the other way around.

Ecuff02We’ve talked about it at some length, and it would be better to have something that for now would be easily removable if necessary, and wouldn’t get in the way of her work.  With the last submissive I had, we’d agreed instead of a collar she would wear a bracelet that was mostly unremovable.  It had an Allen screw embedded in the steel and she could wear it to work, have it on at home, out and everywhere else that she went with me, or went to by herself or with others.   It worked for the most part, the only thing she and I discovered was that it endured a lot of abuse, as it was continually hitting the counter at the pharmacy where she worked.  Even so, the quality of the steel held up (after all it’s metal) although some of the satin patina was starting to wear a little bit from all the abuse it was taking.  But our relationship ended before it either became more of a problem or some other arrangement could have been made or contemplated.

It’s been a couple of months and believe me, I’ve looked at hundreds of collars.  All different styles, different materials, but I want something that’s going to be sturdy and won’t be required to be replaced over time.  A leather collar won’t do it for day to day, since it will wear over time, seeing as it’s going to be in contact with skin and oils and weather and so on.  Probably some form of a metal collar, but it has to be unobtrusive to a certain degree, as well as durable.  CLT-pendantEarly on in our relationship, I purchased for her a necklace she had been coveting, with a Celtic lion trinity pendant.  The chain that it had come with was a bit flimsy, so I purchased a better one from another vendor and married the two.  She still loves it, but it’s not a day to day thing, and it’s not something I wish to repurpose.  I’m not Irish, even though there’s Irish in her heritage, it’s not ‘out there for all to see‘, so to me, there would be some confusion as to what it all meant, and it’s not really the message I want to be putting out there with it.  Too, the chain might break, it’d get lost and then there’d be more angst to deal with.  So that’s not the option I wish to utilize.

Fortunately, there’s still time.  Our next meeting isn’t scheduled for a few months from now and I expect to have figured it out by then.  So she’ll have a collar.

 

Connecting in the ‘Olden Days’

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This started out as a reply to someone’s post I found on Fetlife.com’s ‘Fresh & Pervy’ board. As I was writing, it started to take on a life of it’s own. As my writing and thinking processes often do.  So instead of an obscure answer, it’s something else entirely.


What did we Doms do before technology took over everything? We got frustrated…repeatedly. “Sherman? Set the WABAC machine to the mid-1980s please…thank you”

For all the time that you and many others have spent texting one another, back in the day, it was done by snail mail. And telephone. And btw, you had to pay for long distance service…in some cases, you could rack up a $1000+ phone bill if you weren’t careful. Did you want to send a picture to someone? Break out the 35 mm camera, or the polaroid, because that’s all you had to take pictures with. Since Polaroids weren’t all that prevalent (not to mention the pictures sucked) more than likely you either had a Kodak, Minolta or some other type of camera that used film that had to be developed. Yup…and unless you had a darkroom in your basement, and had the know-how to develop the film, more than likely someone else was going to be looking at what you trained your camera on. So the likelihood that you’re going to be doing any questionable shots was really REALLY low.

How did you meet people? Well, you didn’t have a lot of options, there’s no internet, there are very few munches, and what few there are, are in large cities like LA, SF & NYC. That’s about it. There are racy magazines that have classified ads in them, but for the most part, they’re people that are asking readers to send money for racy pictures. And they’re tantamount to what net trolls are today. They’re making money and giving virtually nothing in return.

But I digress.

I met my first play partners over Compuserve. It was a cutting edge (for the time) computer service that had articles and news to read and a chat service that was called CB. It had channels (Channel 10 was the BDSM themed venue btw) and people were able to connect their computers to the mainframe via smaller computers that were referred to as ‘nodes’. It was slow, but it worked for the most part. But still, it took a long time to get to know someone, because all you had to do was type. And people used handles. So they didn’t always express themselves accurately..and that caused problems when they decided to meet.

Meeting people could be a bit dicey too. This was all very new. And it went through growing pains. A lot of them. Meeting my first online friend was very very nerve-wracking.  I knew them, but again I didn’t know them, since we’d only been typing back and forth for a few months, and had talked on the phone a few times. Going to meet someone in a foreign place (New Jersey), driving about 2 hours and then actually meeting them face to face…was a really big step for someone in their late teens. I’m sure I skipped a lot of the rules we all take for granted today. There was no ‘safe call’, the concept didn’t really exist back then. Our meeting wasn’t in a coffee shop, it was at the friend’s apartment. I ended up spending the night. All of these things again are pretty much listed as major no-nos today, but back then, who was to tell you that it was inherently dangerous? Pretty much no one.

My wife and I met over Compuserve as well. She lived in a different part of New York State, and I actually made a mistake, thinking that she lived near NYC when in fact she lived about 2 hours away from Buffalo. By the time I figured it out, I was already enamored…and we ended up getting married in 1993. Again, a very new concept…we both knew people that had gotten together over the service, I was even invited to an online marriage service between two kinksters…it was hosted on Channel 10 in part. They were able to have someone on a laptop tapping away on the keyboard, translating the service for everyone that was observing.

She and I didn’t bother with that, FWIW. But friends that I made on Compuserve I still have today.

But bottom line, it was a different time, and it wasn’t easy. Though nowadays it seems just as difficult, even though technology has managed to bring us closer. (And in many ways, pushed us further apart)

New Tech

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I got a new phone.  No, I mean a NEW phone.  Spent an obscene amount of money on a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, one day before the 9’s came out.  I know what you’re thinking.  What the hell did you do something stupid like that for?  Well, it’s a really cool phone.  And my Note 5 was getting a little old in the tooth.  And did I mention how incredibly awesome this phone is?  And how new? Did I?  Ok, I did…I’ll stop doing the fangirl thing, it was getting a bit bothersome anyway.  And my throat was starting to hurt from all the squealing.

Generally about every 18 months I get a ‘new’ phone.  But my new is what someone else would call ‘used’.  Because hey, used is cheaper.  I mean a LOT cheaper.  And even though it’s cheaper, it still does what it’s supposed to do, like make phone calls, take pictures and video, be a portable GPS and access the internet and…oh wait a minute, I said I’d stop the fangirl thing…why didn’t you remind me?  Oh wait, you’re not really there.  Well you will be when you’re reading this..but that’s a little too 4th dimension right now isn’t it?  Yes…with Mr. Hawking taking up residence next to Sir Issac Newton and Charles Darwin as his new neighbors…  Yep, I’m editorializing, I have to stop that.  Thanks for the reminder.  No, not you…you.  Well, thank you too.  (Yes, the first one, that I dissed before…well not really dissed…)

At this point, I know my girl is rolling her eyes enough that they’re likely to be nearly popping out of her head, so I’m going to get back on topic.

I got a new phone.  And it was a really good deal.  What am I doing with my old Note 5?  I’m not going to resell it like I normally do.  It’s going to be taking up residence at my girl’s place.  She needs a new phone too.  So she’s going to get one.  Well, not new…

Hello Spring!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll have noticed that as the seasons change, so does the main header image I use.  Yesterday, rather unbeknownst to me, Spring crept in and replaced Winter.  I was reminded of this by one of my co-workers, who noted that the vernal equinox had occurred overnight, and then went on to some other bit of information..I think it was about one of his cats.  At that point it occurred to me I missed one of my little rituals.

Ever since I was little, I looked at things that changed (like seasons, the New Year) and as I was going to bed, I’d look at the calendar and mutter under my breath “so long X, hello Y where X and Y were replaced with something like Winter and Spring, and then I’d go to bed.  I honestly don’t know anyone else that does this, but I can’t believe there aren’t people that don’t.  Some might take it to the nth degree, but this was my own little thing to do to memorialize an event like that.

I suppose as I get older I’m going to start forgetting to do things of that nature, I’ve already noticed on more than one occasion I’m missing other people’s birthdays, even when reminded of them by FacePlace.  It’s just not so important anymore, y’know?  People that I haven’t seen face to face in better than 35 years, people that I went to HS with but afterward we lost touch due to a variety of adventures in life etc.  We still greet one another on occasion, revel in each others’ accomplishments (when noted) but unless I actually attend a reunion (reminder, your 35th is coming up sometime later this year, buddy) I may never see many of these people ever again.

Oops, got off on a tangent.  Better to end that rant.

Anyway, back to the meat of this entry.  We made it into Spring.  Winter 2017-2018 is done.  Soon the snow will be gone and the flowers will bloom.  Spring is a time of renewal, a time of new life and a time where the temperatures become warmer and we want to spend more time outside.  (Yes I know there’s a nor`easter barreling up the East Coast of the US and pasting places like Virginia and will be burying NYC and Boston and points north.  Do kindly stifle yourself about that, thank you.)

So, to right the ship (so to speak), here goes.  Adios Winter, Hello Spring!

hello spring

The vacation two step

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Generally, my vacations are pretty sedate. Too, when I request the time off, it’s not a big affair. I put in my request, it’s almost always approved as requested, and I take my vacation. The only time it seems to go off the rails is when I get close to my anniversary date, the day I was hired, which for me, indicates the end of my calendar year. Since I’m a full-time employee, I have to use my 4 weeks of vacation by this date or lose it. And I have to admit, I’m not really interested in giving up earned money. I can’t really imagine there’s anyone that would with a smile on their face.

A little over 3 weeks ago I went to my immediate supervisor to talk about when I was going to take this last bit of vacation. Going over the calendar and necessities, we determined the best time to go was the last week of this month. It incurred the fewest problems with personnel, hours and responsibilities. The only wrinkle was, it’s one of the busier weeks of the year in the retail business. The week before Easter is sort of a big deal selling week, like the weeks before Thanksgiving, Labor Day and Christmas. Lots of buying, selling, an “All Hands On Deck” sort of situation.

All well and good, or so I thought. Last week incurred a new wrinkle. This coming Monday was supposed to be our quarterly inventory. Since I’m one of the few in the department that can competently help with it, my presence is usually required. It’s an unwritten rule that vacations don’t coincide with inventory. So, being the nice guy I am, I agreed to re-schedule a day of my vacation and come to work that day. Essentially be on vacation, come in, work, then go back on vacation. Great….right? Plans can be made, we can go away, stop the mail, hit the road and then come back. My wife and I haven’t had a decent vacation in nearly 9 years. We’re due!

So come this morning a co-worker comes into the department and says hey, I have good news and bad news. So I say…let’s have the bad news first. He replies. No inventory on Monday! (Apparently, the good news was the same thing)  Em…well that’s not necessarily bad news, except I’m now scheduled to work on a day I don’t have to be there. No problem says the guy in charge for the week. He goes and changes the schedule, giving me a full week’s vacation. Yipee! Yeah…not so fast hoss. The phone in the department rings about 5 minutes later. It’s the store manager. He’s not pleased that I have not only requested next week off but that I have every intention of taking it. “Is there any way you can take the time off the week after Easter?” [I was pretty sure I’d been on that merry-go-round already.]  I replied if that would satisfy him and the necessities of the store, I was fine with it, except that my co-worker needed 3 days off of that week as vacation as well. Evidently, that didn’t bother him. He was only interested in having as many warm bodies for next week as he could. So in the space of about an hour, I went from having a bifurcated vacation to a full vacation, to a relocated vacation. At least I didn’t have to give up the vacation day at the end of this week.

Yet.

When Real Life and Kink Collide

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In the last few days, we had a reminder that Kink and Real Life don’t always mesh that well.  Or, at least they don’t dovetail in ways that we anticipate.

I mentioned in a previous post that my pet has started a new job recently.  Apparently, in this new job, there’s a need to keep in touch electronically, as well as a lot of the record keeping is done through email and through a smartphone app or two.  To wit, they needed an email address for the correspondence.  My pet (like all of us I expect) has more than one email, but she has one that she uses more often than any other.  This is the one she gave them.  There’s a small wrinkle though.  About 10 days ago, we changed the contact name on it to something that was more ‘kinkified’.  So when she sent an email to them the first time, that name popped up and they were confused.  Naturally, they questioned her about it.  “Is your name X, or is it Y, the one that you put on your original application?” they asked.

Oops.

We keep in touch via social media, for the most part, so on my Messenger, there was a cry for help.  “I may have screwed up, help!” it said in so many words.  Coincidentally, I’ve actually done this before (had the wrong name on an email) so I had a fairly ready solution.  Explain to the powers that be the name on the email is a ‘nickname’, one that you’ve been using for many years and you completely forgot it was on the header of the email and that you’ll provide them with a different email, a more professional one for correspondence and so on.  It’s truer than they know (or care surely) and it’s easily fixable.  My pet seemed satisfied with that solution and just in case, she changed the header on the questionable email back to the legal name that she’s known by, just in case.

Certainly one of the hard and fast rules I’ve lived by when trying to meld kink and real life is “Don’t scare the straights”. In other words, don’t do anything that will necessarily have a negative impact on what you’re doing for employment, or at the very least with the people that you interact with that might not be kinky. It can have unexpected consequences.

Every now and again we need a reminder.