7 months and counting…

HarmfulFlatEgg-smallIt’s been now seven months since I’ve seen my girl.  Honestly, it actually seems longer.  It wasn’t supposed to be like this, but well, life does have a tendency to get in the way.

The original plan last year was: Get together in either May or June, and then start getting together every couple of months, to keep things fresh.  But of course that didn’t happen.  One month turned into another, and another and another.  Disaster occurred in her life at the end of August, so that sucked in a major way, and I was unable to be there for her when she really needed me too.  Still bothers me that I wasn’t able to do it, but responsibilities here kept that from happening.  After that, it was Labor Day, then the temperatures started to drop and it was not feasible for her to attempt driving in winter weather, since I’m the one that has decades of experience in that, and she has basically one winter season under her belt.  Too, my vehicle is a lot more reliable.  So, more waiting.

I keep reminding myself that I’ve done this before, and I didn’t much like it.  No one likes waiting, and watching, and being on the sidelines, hoping for the time that they can be together.  I know there are others in the same boat, and I’ve often in my mind equated it to WWII soldiers being sent off to Europe and not seeing their loved ones for years.  At least that’s how I work it out in my mind, even though if I don’t really know if it happened that way.  Soldiers and sailors (and marines) got liberty, and leave, but were they allowed to take it in the US in the middle of all that combat?  Did the US military allow that?

I did a little digging on the subject and here’s the result, fwiw.  Your average GI Joe wasn’t allowed to go back home unless there was some sort of extraneous circumstance.  If multiple siblings were serving, and all but one were killed in action, the remaining one was sent home, to continue the family line.  This rule wasn’t in force at the time of The Sullivans tragedy, but several other families benefitted from it later on.  So that’s the answer to that question, in case you were wondering.

Of course I’m getting away from the subject at hand.  As is my custom.  The bottom line is, I’d like to get together more often.  I’m not certain in the current idiom it’s going to happen.  And yes, dear reader, it’s damn frustrating.

 

Tumbling Tumblr

Admittedly I don’t have a huge social media presence, but I am on quite a few platforms all the same.  One of the ones that I use (or have been using) almost daily is Tumblr.  Though I don’t admittedly use it for vanilla purposes, and in the next 10 days it’s going to get sidelined.  You may or may not have heard of this, but the company that owns the platform; Oath, has decided to eliminate ALL adult content on the service.  Which means, if anything that even slightly looks like porn, it gets pushed off the service.  Meaning probably deleted, along with the offending account that posted it in the first place.  As you can imagine, this is causing a great deal of bruhaha with the majority of people who have such material in their accounts.

Fortunately, I’ve dealt with this sort of thing before.  A few years ago, the website Bondage.com went under, simple because it was considered extraneous, to the company that owns AdultFriendFinder.com.  Of course, it wasn’t just the website that was going under, there was an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server attached to it as well.  And this server had been working for better than 10 years, so you can imagine there was a pretty big community on it.  IRC servers by and large predate the Internet as it’s known today.  It’s a chat service that’s considered very ‘old school’.  It’s all done by text, you must have a bit of computer know-how to get onto one, and since that’s the case, you tend to get a different grade of person that’s connected.  Very few bright eye’d sorts, think more earthy, down-to-earth, the ones’ that have been around a while and seen a lot of things.

When the news came along, there wasn’t too much time to make any sort of plans, the clock was most definitely ticking, much the way it is now with Tumblr.  More than a few enterprising folks took it upon themselves to code up new IRC servers, but without significant outlay of $$, it didn’t take long for most of them to go under.  An IRC server isn’t something you code on a whim, it takes time, hardware and moolah.  Not a lot, but server space isn’t necessarily cheap.  And dedicated bandwidth to run it also costs a good nickel, don’t let anyone fool you.  Tally in the fact that you need more than just yourself to police it, because there are going to be unsavory characters more than happy to glom onto your spanking new IRC server and drown it, just on a whim, or so they said that they did.

Getting back to the topic at hand, I’ve been sort of watching from the sidelines on this one, seeing the posts interspersed with ones giving Oath/Verizon the finger etc. telling people where to go for similar service, how to back up their Tumblr accounts (Tumblr itself is making it difficult for people to archive their stuff) while I did a little searching on the web for a suitable program or manip in order to move my account from web to hard drive.  A couple of days ago, my efforts bore fruit.  I discovered a freeware program that’s been out for a couple of years, it’s kind of a ‘quick and dirty’ program but it gets the job done.  No frills, but then again it’s free so who’s quibbling?  Once I understood how it worked, it took all of about an hour to pull my accounts off of Tumblr for good.  It doesn’t hurt that I have 16 TB (TeraBytes) of hard drive space at my disposal.

I’m really not going to comment on what caused the problem, how it could have been more easily dealt with, instead of Verizon choosing the nuclear option.  I’m just glad I was able to get my things off the web and into a safe spot.  Yes, and make a little rant at the same time.  *Shrug*  I think I’m due.

 

 

Chance encounter

There are times when I think that it would be nice if my eyes could double as a camera.  But, we’re not to the point where we can do that sort of ‘cyborg’ implants.  The reason I was musing about that today was, while I was at work, I chanced to encounter a customer wearing an ‘Eternity Collar‘.  She wasn’t being obvious about it, but as she was passing me, apparently something in my expression caused her to stop and speak to me in a low voice.  She said, “what are you thinking?”  After a moment of surprise that she was talking to me, I replied quite nonchalantly, “it looks better than Ring of Steel.”  And I walked away.  I think I surprised her with my reply, if nothing else.  She didn’t follow me, or say anything further.  I went back to work and when I looked around a few minutes later, she was nowhere to be seen.

Now, I can say that I’ve seen people in my place of employment that are fairly obvious in their supposed kinkiness.  Not everyone can be nonchalant and pull it off successfully.  Personally, I don’t think anyone has a clue about my kinks, since I don’t broadcast them far and wide.  The only thing that might suggest to someone about my proclivities is; I have a leather pride flag tag on my key chain.  But in all the time I’ve worked there, no one has asked me about it.  It’s quite clearly NOT an American flag pin, the colors of the pride flag are fairly distinct in their own right.  They’re most definitely not red, white and blue.

So, that was my little chance encounter at work today.  As a side note, the woman appeared to be at the store alone, there wasn’t anyone with her, at least not that I could see.  I wasn’t stalking her, just being observant.  So I do wonder what -she- thought of the encounter.  But of course I’m fairly certain I’ll never know, or find out.  And that’s ok.  Just another mystery.

Hurry up and wait

Hurry-Up-and-WaitOur original plan was to get together every couple of months to keep things fresh in the relationship.  Due to financial constraints, that plan has been shelved at least until spring of 2019.  It certainly brings neither of us any joy in stating this, let alone living it, but as we repeat to one another all too often “it is, what it is.”  As infuriating as that statement may be, it’s just the damnable truth.

For me, what makes it all the more untenable is the fact that my girl is able to play in my absence, due to her need for companionship beyond what’s possible with me.  She’s presently exploring a poly situation with a couple in her area, and (naturally) even that’s not a cakewalk.  It has had its own shoebox of drama, that she’s had to navigate as best that she can.

I just find more and more that I’m back to being on the sidelines.  Where I swore that I didn’t want to be again.  Yet here I sit, day in and out, week and out, month and out, not doing anything while my toys start to gather dust again.  Yes, this is a rant.  It’s not however, a rant against my girl or anyone else.  Merely expressing myself here in print, because I’m getting more and more frustrated and I just need some place to talk about it, and well, here’s a place.  I’ll caveat it to say I’m not IN ANY WAY blaming anyone about what makes the situation the way it is.

It is this way because of money for the most part.  (Doesn’t it always in some way end up being the culprit?) I can’t solely afford to foot the bill for another trip to meet my girl.  I’m certainly in the process right now of paying for my own bills, dealing with my household debt, and attempting to sock away as much money as I can into my 401k, since my Union decided to kowtow and knuckle under instead of fighting for a pension that has been paid into for 30+ years.  Just another in a long line of concessions they’ve given up.  Not for nothing, but in 18 months, when it’s time to negotiate the 2020 version of the contract, I’m almost completely resigned to the fact that the union will be presented with two untenable options.  Either agree to a reduced payment from the company for the new 401k plan they started this year, or incur more payments from the rank and file for overpriced health care insurance.

Anyway, I’ve said my piece.  I’m disabling comments on this, because it’s a rant.  I don’t expect or desire commentary on this.  Thanks for your attention, providing you made it this far through the post.

Collar 2.0

collar01So, we’re back to square one, so to speak.  We tried a collar that was removable, for purposes of convenience, beauty and affordability (though the last one was a bit of a stretch, considering what I got was a custom job) and due to an unfortunate occurrence, we’re back to where we were several months ago.  Now, my knee-jerk reaction would be get something a bit more secure, with a lock, or even something that has an ability similar to a lock requiring a screwdriver to remove.  Actually that was my initial desire, but my pet doesn’t like something that close to the throat, so I have to come up with a different solution.

I’ve been looking in all the familiar places (Etsy, eBay, Fetlife, Tumblr) but I haven’t been satisfied with what I’m looking at.  I need something that’s durable, yet lightweight, not necessarily something that’s going to be on first glance understood to be what it is (with the above collar, obviously people think it’s a necklace, and it is, but it also isn’t).  Circlet collars like ROS or Eternity are pretty bold statements, since they’re not easily removable, so your average vanilla is going to look at them and think to themselves that it’s hardcore, and in my girl’s line of work, that might be more detrimental than positive.  (She’s told me that there’s some very outlandish things worn by co-workers, but I’m still trying to err on the side of caution).

Today I went back to Etsy, looking for something similar and after about an hour, came away less assured that this is going to be an easy fix.  There are more places to look.  I remember the angst I was feeling the last time.  It’s back.

My two cents (fwiw)

I follow a good amount of blogs here online.  Nowadays the vast majority are WordPress, but there are some independents, a few on LiveJournal (still) and others on an assortment of hosted sites.  On occasion, I run into a post that I feel I’d like to comment on, and I do.  More rarely, a comment becomes a full-blown entry on my own blog, as is the case here.  This is in response to a post made from someone who I follow, and respect.  Someone that has their head screwed on straight, at least in my opinion.


I’ve been in the scene for the last 35 plus years. Active, inactive, watching from the sidelines, participating in my own way, the whole nine yards. For the most part, I don’t foist my own opinions on ‘WIITWD [What It Is That We Do]’ because I don’t subscribe to the ‘One Twue Way‘ so many others seem to think is the hallmark of the acronym BDSM. I’ve so often said (I didn’t coin the phrase, someone else did, bless them!) BDSM is a vanilla relationship with more ‘bells and whistles’, and it is.

All the underpinnings of a vanilla relationship are there, we just add things on (like a sundae!) to make it better for us, to make it more interesting, to make it inherently OURS. But that doesn’t mean it’s BETTER than a vanilla relationship, very much not!  Just different. Many, many, MANY vanilla people have just as meaningful relationships without a whiff of anything that might be inherent in a BDSM one. And they don’t need it. They don’t have to understand it, it’s not required that they do. “Different strokes, for different folks”. That’s a good cardinal rule that many kinky people (or wannabes) don’t ever seem to get. Certainly not on Fet, where the K&P people (or the ones that are determined to get there) seem to think being kinky is a step up. Um, sorry, it’s not. It’s just a different interpretation of the same thing that people have been doing together for millennia. Romans did BDSM, so did Egyptians. The Mayans practiced it as probably did Neanderthals. Naturally, it wasn’t called BDSM back then, but it amounted to the same thing.

One thing that I tell people who have looked in on my blogs, my profile on Fet, and other places where I encounter them is, you have to find how you fit into the whole scheme of things.  There aren’t any shortcuts.  You need to read, discuss, talk to people, find your own niche and how you interpret the whole scene.  You can look at ready-made sites like BondageLife, Insex, Kink.com, House Of Gord and think “wow, I want to do that!”  Well, I hate to break it to you, but that’s all fantasy.  Someone had their own version of how they believed BDSM to be and created a fantasy world out of it.  They’re using models (and paying them, which is a very important distinction) and not actually living what you’re seeing.  The videos you’re watching aren’t live action, they’re edited. (The only partial exception to this rule would be the old ‘Live Feeds’ that Insex did way back when they first started out..)  What you’re viewing has been made over the course of many hours, in some instances days, many takes and lots of editing on their computer to make a polished final product.  Life is a LOT more messy than all that.  Relationships aren’t made in a studio, they’re crafted in real life, with real people.  People that have emotions, outside problems brought into the relationship that have to be dealt with, hammered out, cried over and yes even argued and shouted over.  Submissives aren’t doormats.  Dominants aren’t infallible.  Mistakes happen all the time, and they have to be discussed, understood, and life will go on.  Sometimes there might be an instance where something unforgiveable happens.  It does.  It’s called LIFE for a reason.

Lifestyle people tend to be very judgmental.  Having been in the scene as long as I’ve been, I have to sometimes take a step back and evaluate what I’m seeing on various websites, or communities that I’m involved with, even to the point of holding my tongue before commenting on what I’ve observed, read and so on.  Others don’t bother with those niceities.  They shoot from the hip and damn the consequences.  Not always the best way to build a community, but then again many of them aren’t here to build, they’re here to criticize, and that’s about it.  YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) is often being replaced with NMK (Not My Kink) or even worse YKINOK (Your Kink Is Not Ok) as if they had the corner on what’s right, what’s wrong and even what’s acceptable.

I have my own way of interpreting the scene at large and my own kink in particular.  It’s MINE. Let me say that again.  It’s mine.  I’ve spent years, nigh decades thinking about it, working on it and practicing it with a variety of people, submissives, dominants and even aquaintances.  Does it always work?  No, that’s why it’s always changing.  Is it for you?  Possibly, but it also isn’t a shortcut to happiness for you.  There’s no one true (or right) way to do all of this.  You have to do your own research, testing, interacting and critiquing to see what works for you.  There are no shortcuts.  I’m sorry, I really am, there just aren’t.  You can’t pick up a whip and become ‘Master(Mistress) So-and-So’ in a day.  If anyone tells you that you can, they’re lying their ass off, or trying to sell you something.

One final note and then I’m off.  There was one part of the above referenced post that I disagreed with.  But hear me out please.  The blogger I referenced named an author who goes by the pen name of Michael Makai.  I’ve heard of him, he’s written more than a few books on BDSM, but they’re not ‘how-to’ books, they’re fantasies.  The main reason I’m very wary about this fellow is that a few years ago he was not only arrested but convicted of several unsavory charges that would normally make most people blanch.  My point here is that ‘Warrior Princesses’ (as well as other characters) aside, the ideas that this person fervently believes in, as well as preaches (non-consensual practices, underage involvement and a host of other questionable ideas) in many ways taints what he espouses.  I’m not saying dismiss it completely, but be aware of what someone thinks elsewhere before you go for some part of it that you agree with, or fantasize about.  That’s all.  I know this part is going to cause some people’s toes to curl, (and worse) but I felt it needed to be said.  Fair warning, fwiw.  I’m certainly open to discussion.  If you want to flame, well, that’s your issue.

 

Order, order!

facebookbackground_origI’m having a love-hate relationship with a BDSM vendor.  And I should have known better than to order from her, but after supporting her Kickstarter campaign (and getting stiffed) I really and truly STILL wanted the items that she had wanted funding for, and wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  So essentially, this angst was brought upon myself and admittedly, I have no one else to blame (except for her, who should know better) but yours truly.

After repeatedly contacting her over the many months and being either ignored or shined on (she would respond after a few days to my email with a cryptic “It’s in the mail, or it’s being shipped tomorrow.”) She’d again go silent and I’d wait for a package that would never arrive.  Some people got their product, others, like me got nothing.  It was only after some sleuthing that I was able to find her vendor website and what did I discover?  She was selling the remaining stock of product from her campaign on the website when she couldn’t even bother to supply her backers with what they had been promised.

Figuring at this point it was unlikely that I was going to be getting the product through Kickstarter, I did something that was probably pretty stupid.  I placed an order through her company for the product I was supposed to have gotten before and waited.  A week after placing the order I received an email saying that they’d been shipped.  No tracking number, no information as to how they might be coming, just that, a shipping notification.  And they never arrived.  Starting to sound familiar?  A few days later, I sent her an email, detailing that she’d giving me little information and I required more, like a tracking #, or some knowledge of HOW it was shipped, so I could at least track it.  I might as well have been shouting down a well.  No reply.  I tried again a couple of days ago.  Lo and behold, she responded a couple of hours later with a cryptic (and familiar) reply. “They’ll be shipped out tomorrow.” is all it said.  Seriously?  I thought it was shipped 2 weeks ago!  I really want to give her a piece of my mind, but I still want the product, before I have to contact my credit card company to sic them on her ass….at least this time I used credit instead of something else, so that I had a reputable company to do my dirty work for me, if she was going to be a pill again.

Honestly, I don’t understand how she manages to stay in business if this is the way she conducts hers.