It can’t be just me that thinks…

Reading Time: 4 minutes

…Tumblr really hasn’t changed all that much for those that mostly post porn. Sure there are far fewer naked’y’ [explicit] pictures but for the most part, the pictures that are posted on the strictly porn accounts still have nudity, leather, latex, rubber and other styles of dress, just for the most part the nudity is from the side, or from the back, not front-facing. So, the Tumblrgeddon that occurred this past December wasn’t as far-reaching or disastrous as we all expected. Add in the knowledge that Verizon seems to understand they sort of ‘cut off their nose to spite their face‘ in this, and they’re already looking for a buyer to take the platform off their hands. Whoever they find to buy it is going to be getting a bargain, since their foray into censorship has cost Tumblr a good third of their clientele. A lot of people moved off the site after the censorship of late last year. Sites like pillowfort, BDSMlr have taken a lion’s share of their former kink friendly accounts. Even on my feed (I backed up all of my accounts but being me, I didn’t delete any of them) I can see a pile of deactivated accounts being referenced by some of the ones still active, reblogging the same pictures over and over.

Whether or not that will change with the selling of the platform is anyone’s guess. The buyer might prefer to keep the service as clean as it can be, given that it’s a pretty open site, to begin with. How else would those that were interested in adult-friendly services (and service) have started to use it for their purposes? Tumblr didn’t start out being a G-rated site. If anything, it seemed to be a step up from Stumbleupon, another site that I used to use (and still have an account on, though I haven’t been there in ages). Similar premise, but they did it a little differently (much like the difference between VHS and Beta) and ended up becoming more popular. It’s always hard to tell what’s going to work and what’s not. I mean, people in France put mayo on their fries and wouldn’t dream of using ketchup. Here in the US, I had never heard of putting gravy on fries until I moved to where I’m living now. Pop is sometimes soda, and soda is sometimes soda water. Cats and dogs living together…Mass hysteria!! (ahem…sorry, got carried away there a bit)

Even so, a site like Instagram has looked at the Tumblr model, and instead of seeing a bad idea, they decided to jump on the bandwagon. Many kink-friendly accounts that have been there long-term are starting to get pushed out, and are taking their business elsewhere. I’ve posted about catering to the Lowest Common Denominator before and I believe this is systematic of that problem. Instead of treating everyone like adults, we’re attempting to treat them as children, ie not offending anyone if we can help it. Instead of allowing people to make their own informed decisions, we’re allowing companies and entities (and yes governments too!) to both legislate and dictate what’s acceptable and what’s not. That’s pretty high school thinking, to my mind. Making the majority of the popular ones (which end up being a minority) decide for the rest of us. That never works out for the best, since the majority rarely has the best interests in mind. Usually, it’s their best interests they’re considering and to hell with the rest of us.

All in all, I’m not certain where Tumblr is going to go. But it will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

Kink wherever I go

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’ve had guests of the vanilla persuasion here this week, so my kinkified living situation (ha, I made a funny) has been on vacation as well. Even so, my BDSM addled brain continues unabated and I can confirm that due to something that happened yesterday while we all were out running errands.

After visiting a strip mall to get cat litter (Petco has a deal where one can get 35 lbs./15.87 kgs. of litter for $10) and discovering a women’s clothing store was closed/vacant that one of our out-of-town guests had intended to shop, we jetted down to the local Kohl’s and shopped there instead. Having finished that errand, we still had some time to kill waiting for the appropriate hour for going to dinner.

We have a Hobby Lobby here, and admittedly I’ve never been in one. It’s an experience to be sure. Similar to Michael’s (coincidentally there’s one of them nearby) in that they sell all sorts of items from picture frames to knick-knacks, baking supplies, model kits, painting supplies and so on. The owners of the company are religious, so the store is closed on Sundays (like Chick-fil-a) and they have religious Muzak playing over the sound system. At least its not so annoying you’re going to wish you were deaf. The staff are friendly, even to the point of ebullience.

While we were all there, we pretty much went our separate ways. I just flitted from one area to the next, looking for things that appealed, always keeping an eye out for bargains. Even so, my kinky underpinnings were having a good time. There were plenty of crafty items that could be repurposed, though a Lowes or Home Depot would make many things easier. Wrought iron bars with accompanying elbows could easily be transformed into restraints or even tie down spots on a bed or chair or even a floor or wall. For many years Kink.com and Insex made a mint showing how simple items could be bastardized into something very kinky and extremely versatile. Just have to possess the right imagination and see beyond the original intended purpose.

In the end, I only bought a couple of things. A trivet for my personalized cutting board, and a dual 5×7 picture frame with matting board at 75% off. I can print my own pictures on my inkjet printer and they come out pretty flawless, especially on glossy photopaper. I know a photographer would be able to tell the difference, but I’m not opening a photo gallery anytime soon. I opted not to get the wooden or steel letters that could spell out BDSM somewhere in the house, that’ll be a project for another time.

Which is better?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

My slave and I were having a conversation on Friday evening, and she brought to my attention a fledgling plan that she’d been putting together involving a quick trip to come visit me on my upcoming vacation.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the effort on her part, but there are other things to consider.  While it would be nice to see her for a day or so, I and my wife are in the midst of cleaning the house and getting it ready for company that had already planned to be here, hence the need for my taking vacation in the first place.  Should my slave show up rather unexpectedly, with the whole purpose of being here wanting to spend time with me, I wouldn’t be able to, since I already have my time alloted, if you will.  Money is rather tight to begin with, so a trip here from where she is, is going to cost more than a few bucks for gas.  Too, she’s not going to be traveling alone, so there’s her companions to consider as well.

Believe me, I’m getting very antsy about seeing her as well.  It’s been 11 months now since the last time I saw her, and as I’ve mentioned countless times, our intent in this relationship was based on seeing each other several times a year, not just once.  One cannot adequately build on extremely sporadic meetings.  Believe me, I tried this already twice and it didn’t work out very well either time.  Doing this sort of thing at a distance quickly becomes tedious, as you’re basically left with domination/submission from afar, and there’s little or no way to really build anything that will last.  Sure, there’s daily communication, but it’s not a good substitute for some things others that have daily face to face contact may take for granted.

If I was living on my own, more than likely, she would already be here.  But with the wife in the mix, some things have to take precedence.  My slave already understands most of this, as we’ve talked about it more times than either of us would really care about, I expect.  Just another wrinkle in this relationship of ours.

Personally, I want time to work on things, build on what we were working on last year and have alone time, play time, and even down time together. Can’t really have that if you’re only in each others’ company for a few hours and then gone again.  That’s like teasing in a bad way.

That’s my thoughts on the issue, at any rate.  It may not be preferable to wait in the short-term, but you get more ‘bang for your buck’ if you make it worthwhile in the long run.

Changing things around

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you happen to be a follower of this blog, you’ll note already that I’ve changed a couple of things about how the blog works.  First and foremost, I relegated the ‘landing page’ to just another page in the header and made the blog posts the ‘star’ of the blog.  I tried it the other way for about 6 months, but it’s always sort of stuck in the back of my head as probably not the best way to present the blog.  So back to the default method of the posts up front.

I’m also mulling around changing the theme of the blog, in two distinct ways.  When I started the blog, it was mainly a ‘kink first’ blog, with a plan of having a ‘less kink’ blog elsewhere somewhere down the line.  At the time, I was expecting, nigh planning on being able to meet with my slave many times over the course of the year, and being able to chronicle about our adventures.  But, unfortunately, that didn’t happen.  So this blog became more of an amalgam of vanilla things that are happening in my life, with the occasional rant or mention of kink in passing.

Then, unexpectedly about a month ago my web host suddenly had a major issue with websites being available.  All too often over the last three weeks, it was unavailable because the web host wasn’t able to keep it online.  Getting server errors and a slow loading blog was very frustrating to my subscribers, and certainly it was no picnic for me either.  Watching my web traffic/bandwidth dwindle day after day was really beginning to piss me off, so much so that I took one of my domains and moved it to another server host.  Within the last couple of days the situation on the original web server has improved somewhat, and I’ve gotten assurances from them that they’ve not only identified the main problem, but they believe it’s been corrected.  So I’ve shelved the blog on the alternate server for the time being.  I’m still hedging my bets and leaving the other domain at it for now however.

I dusted off the blog I spoke about above and am posting to it as regularly as my brain can think of things to post to it.  Without much in the way of ‘kink’ to post here, I’m not completely certain I’m going to keep this blog active.  But I thought I’d make an update and let anyone that cared to know, what was going on.

We’ll see how it all goes.

Catering to the LCD

Reading Time: 6 minutes

A post from a scene friend on Tumblr yesterday gave me pause about something that has been niggling in the back of my head for some time now.
It has to do with the BDSM scene and kink in general and how society as a whole seems to be attempting to deal with it on the Internet as well as elsewhere. For a while now, those of us in the kink community have been pretty closed off and content with that considering how open society views the scene. Generally, if you’re labeled as ‘kinky’, you’re considered to be on the ‘outside fringes’ and well worth keeping a distance from. Certainly, people who are kink friendly have shown up in news reports doing ‘odd’ things like walking their girlfriend through a mall in NY as if she was a dog or pet. Personally, I think that’s an extreme case and not really the best way to put your best ‘kink foot forward’ since a mall is a place where children are likely to be present, and you’re causing others to be privy to what you normally do in the privacy of your own home. Doing it at an event that’s specifically geared towards kink practices is one thing, out in public where you’re making others uncomfortable is not. So I can easily understand how sites like Facebook and Tinder would be less inclined towards those that promote themselves as being kink friendly.

Less so for sites like Tumblr and Instagram. In December of last year, came an event that unofficially was dubbed ‘Tumblrgeddon’, where the owners of the site decided that they were going to almost unilaterally remove a good deal of porn from their servers, and effectively sequester the rest as much as the could. If you had an account that was strictly geared towards kink, or porn, whether it was yours or just being reposted, it was excised from public view. Worse yet, if you had anything that (in their rather poorly stated words) promoted “female-presenting-nipples“, it was summarily banned or hidden from others’ view. So essentially 90% of people who were working with accounts that were kink related had to find somewhere else to put their interest. Within a couple of days, enterprising people were setting up sites called pillowfort.io, bdsmlr.com, Humblr.com as well as others that wished to freely accept anyone that wanted to leave Tumblr.

Within the last month or so, Instagram has more or less decided to do the same. (I note that it’s not a coincidence that Instagram is owned by Facebook btw) About 3 weeks ago one of my Insta accounts was deactivated by TPTB (The Powers That Be) and I received notice that it was mine no longer and it wasn’t going to be reactivated due to a violation of the TOS. When I asked what the violation was, they wouldn’t tell me. I’ve heard about others that have had similar experiences, much like when you’re relegated to ‘Facebook Jail’ and they won’t divulge the reason you ended up there. Just that you’re going to be offline for a specific period of time and that’s that. The people who run these sites know they’re in the catbird seat, and you’re basically powerless to do anything about getting censored. You can lament all you want about how ‘unfair’ its become, but anymore they’re the only game in town. It’s certainly become far more difficult in the last 20 years in terms of connecting with like-minded individuals of the kink persuasion, as the sites to which we’re allowed to gather become more and more restricted. People talk about ‘Freedom of Speech’ but that doesn’t apply to multi-national conglomerates or these companies that, like Wal-Mart in a way, gather millions of people on their servers, and squash (or buy then liquidate) the smaller websites that might do the same thing, but when they’re the only game in town, things become far more restricted. Especially when those companies become publicly traded entities. When Facebook was a private company, it did things very differently than now when they’re beholden to shareholders.

Just a FYI, for those that say Twitter or Fetlife are suitable alternatives, honestly they’re really not. Twitter doesn’t have the same capabilities of a Tumblr or Instagram, and Fetlife by its very nature isn’t a personals site. Yes, people use it as if it was one, but that’s not the purpose of the site. About the only reason that Fetlife hasn’t been more restricted or censored is the fact that the home servers are located in Canada. If they were located in the US, they probably by all purposes would have been shut down by now. I equate the current situation to what happened to the website Insex around the time it ceased production around 2005. At that time, there was another Republican Administration in the US in power and by and large they were cracking down on a lot of US porn (and kink) producers, stating that the money that they were making was being sent to purveyors of terrorism (a huge lie) and many sites were being shut down or being threatened with lawsuits. The creator of Insex decided on his own that he was going to shut down the site, and move the content outside of the US (to the Netherlands to be specific) so as not to lose his work to a sudden possible seizure by said government. Which was actually possible. At the same time, he created several other sites that were a LOT tamer in comparison to the original, and they’ve been operating for the most part ever since. Though as of this writing, they’re slowly being updated infrequently, and probably in a few more years won’t be around at all. The original creator of Insex is now in his 70s, and as I understand it has mostly retired from active online participation. He has basically one ‘apprentice’ that carries on his work in Oregon, but he’s a mere shadow of the ‘The Source’, where all the diabolical ideas came to life way back in a little place in Brooklyn circa 1995.

Getting back to the title of this, it’s my opinion that we’re increasingly catering to the Lowest Common Denominator in many things and Kink seems to be no less of a victim. It’s sad to see how far we’re falling, and how it’s all going to play out over the next few years.

Springing into Spring

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’m fairly certain at this point we’re not going to be getting any more snow.  Our daffodils have (almost all) bloomed already and there are crocuses in the front yard near the patio.

Last weekend I was asked by The Wife to drag out the patio furniture and set it up for the season.  I’ve noted in the last 8 or so years that we’ve had the set it’s getting a little worn, starting to rust in some places and getting threadbare in others.  Certainly, a truth that things aren’t and haven’t been made to last in the past 20-30 years, certainly since the influx of cheaper materials from China in all ways and means.  Go to an antique store and find something similar and you can discover something that was built to last.  A brass fitted Y coupling for your hose is designed to probably last a year now if you’re lucky.  I certainly seem to buy a new one every year.  ‘Non-kink’ hoses spring leaks within a year of purchase so you throw the practically new one away and get another.  I bought a 100 ft length of hose back when we first bought this house in 2001.  I still have it, it works just fine.  I honestly think it’s an aberrance.  Or it doesn’t know it was supposed to fail in its first year.  Either way, I appreciate it’s durability.  Come to think of it, I still have the (mostly) metal power strip my parents bought for me when I first went to college in (gasp!) 1983.  It still works.

We still have leaves left over from the previous fall.  Autumn was a quirky season last year, in that the trees didn’t cooperate in dropping their bounty on time so that the village could come along and collect them before our first snowfall.  Consequently, neither I nor my neighbor to the east was able to rake and collect them, to deposit them on the curb.  During the ensuing 7-8 months they’ve managed to be blown around and mashed into either my driveway or piled up next to the house because my house makes a convenient windbreak and the leaves stop being blown around and pile up for me to dispose of.  Lucky me.

Dragged out the lawn mower and roto-tiller from their spaces in the garage.  The mower (as usual) acted like a champ and started up with a little priming.  The tiller is going to need a little more work.  I did get a new muffler over the winter since the original one was a rusted worn out mess.  I’m going to have to change the oil at the very least and probably take apart the carburetor to see if that’s the reason why it’s running so roughly.  If I can’t successfully fix it, I might just call the small engine place I use on occasion and have them work on it.  The drive wheels are frozen and have been for the last 20 years.  I watched a few YouTube videos over the winter suggesting this is something that can be fixed, but I don’t have the necessary tools to do it.  They might.  The last outfit I used said they couldn’t manage it without cutting the axle in half.  That’s a non-starter since the cost of replacing the axle and wheels would likely be half of the cost of a new tiller.  And I like the one we have.

Slowly getting the house ship-shape for company.  Friends from NC are due in a couple of weeks, my mother is expecting to visit in June and I have to try to drag my slave up here or somewhere close by before we both go stir-crazy.  Not going to go into that anymore as I already posted about it.

 

High time for a rant

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I watch the calendar day by day and note that it’s been almost a year since the last time my slave and I were able to be together and see one another in person.  We could have gotten together sooner, but there’s a wrinkle that I’ve had to impose due to financial realities.  The last two times we got together, I pretty much paid for everything.  I went down to where she lived in southern Virginia back in 2017, rented a car, drove down there (10 hours each way) and spent several days with her.  It was great, we bonded, had play time, did some sightseeing, but in the end, it cost me about $1500. (about half of that was the rental car…which even now seems a little obscene)

After that, we kept in touch via online abilities.  Text, video, email, phone.  With an LDR (Long Distance Relationship), you have to keep in touch the best way you can, or things tend to fall apart pretty quickly.  Our plan post meeting was to get together more often, keep things fresh, build on what we had set in place at the face to face meeting. As oftentimes happens, life gets in the way, and time marches on.  So, we didn’t get together again until June of 2018.  That time, instead of me driving all the way to her, we decided that we’d meet ‘somewhere in the middle’.  Since I’m a bit better with logistics, I found a place that was approximately equidistant from both of us and searched for a suitable town/city and then a hotel for our stay.   Since she’d recently moved a bit further north towards northern VA, Harrisburg, PA ended up being the best place to meet. I booked a hotel, got the time off and this time took the family car instead of renting a vehicle.  A bit cheaper, but again I paid for most of the cost of the trip.  All said and done, somewhere between $900 and $1000 for the entire adventure.  

After this second meeting, I had to inform her that I wasn’t going to be able to foot the cost of our meetings anymore.  She had to help out or else it was going to end up being unacceptable for me to continue.  I’m not wealthy, I’m very much blue collar in my finances.  Granted I don’t live paycheck to paycheck, but there has to be give and take in other things than just the BDSM.  She agreed and admitted that she was feeling somewhat guilty that I was paying for everything but her finances were in a poor spot at the time.  Consequently, our plans to get together more often after the June meeting had to be shelved.  Summer passed, then autumn, and now winter has gone by the wayside.  We’re back to Spring, and we’d had tentative plans to meet at the end of this month or the beginning of May.  Those plans included ‘closing the circle’ per se, having her come all the way up here to visit, stay at my house to cut costs, (as well as having her here in my comfort zone) and as before the visit would be 3-4 days.  Any more and we’d be encroaching on The Wife’s patience, and that’s not a good thing to do.

However, between money and other things happening, that’s had to be shelved for the time being too.  It’s getting very frustrating for me.  And for her as well I know.  Relationships are kindled and developed with face to face interaction.  Yes, I’m reminded that couples have managed to stay married and in relationships over long distances through war and strife, through long trips and distances over the centuries when communication was a LOT more spotty than it is possible today.  Still, it’s not the same.  I want to DO things with her, in person, not through text, not through emoticons and messaging one another.  Saying in words, like last night when I put her to bed ~”I come into the bedroom and see you cuddled under the covers, I lift the blanket edge, take the metal shackle and encircle your ankle with it, you can feel the cold of the steel as it steals the warmth of your skin, hearing the lock click as it’s secured, hearing the clink of the chain as it is secured to the bed leg, knowing that you’re secure and going to stay in place all night long”~ is all well and good and engenders nice feelings, but it’s most definitely NOT the same thing as doing it in person.  Which we’d both rather be doing.

I’m not certain what the solution is at this point.  I’m actually about to the point of saying ‘fuck-it’ and put something together willy nilly and go see her.  Just because I’m tired of the situation the way it is, and the way it’s been and continues.  Of course, when I stop being emotional and look at my debt spreadsheet, it brings me back to reality and down to earth.

My pseudonym/name is Leathers, this is my rant and I fully support it.