The Little Girl in Me

I’ve touched on my kink before, in the post titled “Come Out and Tell it (Twisted) Slant”, when I revealed that I am a sex-positive, kink-positive, open-minded girl.  Within the realm of kinky, twisted sexual and relational preferences, I enjoy a wide variety of sensations, with a decidedly submissive-to-a-male-dominant-strength flavor. For instance, I like to be tied up, or down… I like to be dominated psychologically, but not shamed, or humiliated. I like serving in small ways, that earn me praise. I like mild stinging sensations, and heavy impact play. But I’m not much on costumes and role-play. I enjoy bites, growls, and very primal sexual encounters. I enjoy a spectrum of physical interaction, from very mild forms of sensation play, to extremely intense pain.

The pain aspect of this type of interaction is probably the thing people have the most negative reaction to. I understand that there are all sorts of triggers that go along with bruises and marks, and words like submission and dominance, power exchange, surrender and control. I know that when you factor in any discussion of a man hitting a woman, or a woman allowing herself to be hit. Things get very uncomfortable for some.

I am tempted to discuss a bit about the history of pain as pleasure, and the transition in the medical and psychology fields into understanding that one need not be “fifty shades of fucked up” broken, to have these kinds of tastes… but that is not the direction I want this post to take. Instead, I will simply mention this starting point, if the concept interests you:  http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/pain/microsite/culture1.html.

In addition I will tell you that before you decide that a dominant man who would hit a woman, and gain pleasure thereby is worthy of contempt or disapproval, you should understand that there are many different kinds of dominants. I’ve been lucky enough to be intimately acquainted with a handful of them, and I can tell you that they have been the right kind… loving, caring, protective, honorable.

The dominant men in my life have always built relationships with me based on equality, intelligence and strength. As we negotiate the exchange of power, they are attentive to my desires, my needs, my limits and my comfort level with the entire process. They as a whole have expressed the understanding that my submission is a gift, one that I can take back at any time, with just a word. They have each been fully invested in seeing me fulfilled, happy, strengthened, loved and satisfied.

Do they get pleasure from causing me pain? Yes. But that pleasure is rooted in the mutual pleasure we share, the excitement, the arousal, and the sensations we create in the complex ballet of power exchange. We have negotiated down to the smallest detail, and I have never felt unsafe or disrespected in any way… my feminism wouldn’t stand for it!

So, what I’d like to do is share with you a peek into one of the very intense, deeply private kinds of scenes I crave in dominant/submissive relationships. It’s something that’s lately been uppermost in my mind, and though there are many other types of kink that appeal to me, this one is probably the most vulnerable in my book.

When I first began exploring the psychological / spiritual side of kink, I read a blog back in the early 2000s called Poppy’s Submissions (poppystvincent.com). The blog is now defunct, but you can read about it here: http://voiceinthecorner.com/2011/02/10/blog-of-the-week/. Poppy was specifically a spanko. You can read more about this fetish on the same blog: voiceinthecorner.com.

spanko (pluralspankos)

  1. (slang) A person with a fetish for spanking, usually but not exclusively sexual

I miss Poppy St. Vincent terribly, because she gave hope to the little girl in me, the one that was very much both girl and full grown, red-blooded woman. She helped me sort out why I had spanking fantasies — among others — and what kind of emotional, psychological links there were for me between pain and catharsis, peace, centering, balance. She was one of the first voices that helped me see my kinky side as a part of the whole me, to be celebrated, nourished and loved.

If I were to give you the keys to my mind, so that you could understand my thoughts and ideas on spanking, the ones tucked away in the farthest corner where I keep my masochistic kinky truths, you would have to make your way past the photos on the walls… beautiful-souled men and women, in various poses of submission, collared, tied, wrapped in leather, kneeling, bending, arching , stretched out on a st. Andrews cross…  in counterpoint, photos of strong confident men and women in various poses of unmovable and yet gentle, loving dominance.

You’d have to bypass the chests and cabinets filled with implements… Floggers, paddles, nerf bats, canes, knives, rope, riding crops, whips, chains, tens-units, violet wands, Hitachi wands, clamps, duct tape, needles, Whartenburg wheels, spreader bars, bungees, thread…and more. You’d have to find the corner, in the dark closet, where the little girl in me hides.

She would tell you that she has learned to be very strong, very smart, but that she longs for a strength that makes her feel small. She longs to push against a man who is a wall that does not move. She longs to be laid across a bed, with her bare backside trembling in anticipation as that man takes his time, lays out his implements, hairbrush, thick wooden spoon, paddle, cane… then rolls up his sleeve, and goes to work sorting her out.

She aches for the spanking that will warm her flesh until it sings with pain, and quiet her soul… silence the voices in her head… she needs the pain that will push her to the breaking point, leave her sobbing, trembling with tears coursing down her cheeks, curled into a ball against his shoulder… until she cries out all of the injustices that have piled up inside her while  she was being strong.

She needs to come back to earth breathing quietly next to him, hear his beating heart set the rhythm for her own, feel his strength seep into her bones and muscles, until she is at peace and her spirit is centered. This is what being spanked by a loving dominant with whom I have a negotiated D/s relationship gives to me.

wpid-images-52.jpg.jpeg

 

Being Rooted (an out-and-about poem)

tree

I think you get
prepared
for landings.

I was disappearing —
surrounded by love,
held by love,
but having so small
an imagination
about that word.

Allow people
to enter you
and they change
you — I longed
to know what was
going on
inside of people.

Through words
and language,
I knew
my survival
was there–

in the body
of the world
i fell in love
with a tree
a contemplative
(in the temple)
practice

using words
as something
generative
to reassemble
the tissues
of my soul

transcendence
comes from
being rooted,
when someplace
enters you–

I think you get
prepared,
for the moment.

—–

POETIC FORM: An out-and-about Poem

—–

PROMPT:

Interloper

To earn the “Interloper” badge, look in your local print or online newspaper for open meetings, lectures or other talks happening in your town — the more specialized and unfamiliar to you, the better. Need help finding an event? Try Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/) or your local Craigslist’s “Events” section for additional leads (e.g. Washington, DC, example: http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/search/eve) Sit in the audience and scribble down words and phrases you hear during the event. Turn your notes into a found poem and post it on the site. Cite your speaker(s)’ name(s), talk title [if applicable], location and date at the bottom of your poem.
—–

PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

—–

SOURCE: Krista Tippett – On Being Podcast – A second Wind in Life: Inhabiting the Body After Cancer – a conversation with Eve Ensler

Cherry Bomb (an out-and-about poem)

cherry street hideaway

a favorite
dotted blue
scoop dress

filled to
half- hide
heaping hills

tossed over a bed
made this farmer’s
head shake

melted this
frozen heart

made red
cherry bomb
magic

—–

POETIC FORM: An out-and-about Poem

—–

OrdersUp

To earn the “Order’s Up” badge, visit your local restaurant, bar or coffee shop and snag a copy of the menu. Write a poem using only words and phrases found on the menu. Get a picture of yourself taken sitting in the location to post alongside your poem (selfies allowed for the less intrepid). Cite your restaurant, bar or coffee shop name and location at the bottom of your post.
—–

PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

—–

SOURCE: The Hideaway (Hideaway Pizza), Cherry Street, Tulsa, OK

From the Ashes

image

I followed you, then
into the woods
trusting our love to shelter

running headlong
down tangled paths
chasing the sparks with you

we knew the dangers
truths we did not tell hearts
trusting our love to bend

lightning eventually struck
change we did not seek
ravaged our forest in flames

we stumbled from the inferno
singed, smelling of smoke
burned and barely able to breathe

blindly we reached, clasping hands
prayed for healing rain
trusting our love to survive

and so the rains did come
tears and ink have flowed
washed away the worst of hurts

now we stand dripping
gaze into each other’s eyes
trusting our love to stretch

testing our wings and voices
we declare our committment
we are transformed, stronger

on new winds of passion
we spread our healing wings
trusting our love to fly

we will rise from these ashes
as the forest begins to green
like a phoenix, together we’ll soar

Collateral Damage

Relationships have peaks and valleys. To make a relationship last…people must be committed to the climbs, just as much as they are to admiring the grand views.

~Kaliana Dietrich

 

Sometimes an argument saves a relationship, whereas silence breaks it. Speak up for your heart so that you won’t have regrets. Life is not about making others happy. Life is about being honest and sharing your happiness with others.

~unknown

Sometimes, just writing the hard stuff, without drawing conclusions, without sharing lessons learned, is what is most needed. Today, I need to write this experience, just as I do others, so I can continue my journey. I hope it offers some backstory and perspective on what break-ups — monogamous or polyamorous — can be like.

sad-alone-girl-black-and-white-water

I knew, when we met, in June 2010, that he was different. When he spoke about polyamory, and how people should be treated, he gave words to the conclusions I’d been drawing, as I sorted out my own philosophy, building poly relationships that were honorable, ethical, and designed to last a lifetime. The more he talked, the more I knew he was someone I could fall in love with, my heart would be safe. He had a primary relationship; he lived in Dallas and she in Houston. I knew and accepted that — even when his primary didn’t treat me with respect. I worked hard to find and live within the boundaries that made up his life, hoping he’d defend my heart, if his primary decided to use it for target practice. He, in turn, respected my marriage from the start.

I fell in love, trusting him completely.

In April, 2011, he began dating someone new. She too lived in Dallas, while I lived 251 miles away. Things between us began to shift. Time once spent on the phone with me was now filled with date nights, and weekend trips with her. It was NRE (new relationship energy). I was glad for him, but scared. We scheduled our weekends, talked through the changes, and he affirmed his commitment to me. I affirmed mine to him. I met new girl in May 2011, and she was beautiful, inside and out, genuine, caring, and head over heels with him. Together they glowed. I was very glad to see him smile, after so much hurt and upheaval in his primary relationship. She was a bright light in a room of shadows.

I liked her, and she scared me.

I was insecure, fearing he’d only been poly because he hadn’t found the right one yet. Maybe she was the right one, and I’d get squeezed out, as their relationship grew. I let those fears beat me up, especially when a few months later, his primary partner decided the new girl and I were both, indeed, disposable — and I should be the first to go.

New girl did something amazing. She stood up for me, fought for his love for me, and encouraged him to do the same. She spoke up and didn’t back down when it got ugly and difficult, supporting him while he broken-heartedly went into battle for me, and the polyamorous life he’d planned. I supported him too — from afar — but she was there in the trenches. I was thankful she’d come into our lives and loved her for being brave.

His primary relationship did not survive.

It died in December 2011 and like a wall of love we came together, surrounding him and sharing his grief. We loved him, and respected each other, and it was good.  I learned over the next several weeks how tenuous my place in his life had really been as his primary partner had attacked. I heard of new girl’s support, and how she’d been heart-broken by his pain. I was grateful, and yet, insecure. It might not make sense now, but then I was rattled by the depth of their connection, and the fact that I was so in the dark about the battle they’d been fighting for me. He’d not told me any of it. Communication was not his strength.

Turns out, communication wasn’t a strength for any of us.

In February 2012, he and I had plans to celebrate a late Valentine’s weekend, here at a local B&B — at the last minute told me new girl was coming along, and staying in our suite. I didn’t flex well. I panicked, and the resulting conversations only made things worse. He finally insisted she come, when she felt unwanted.  He insisted I trust him, as he wanted to talk to both of us. We were both physically ill, scared, and flying blind, But we trusted him, and when we came together for a heart to heart, we trusted each other.

That night in our suite, he declared his decision to make us both the core of his world… dual primary partners, each with different relationships, but neither with more importance or value than the other. He announced his intention to hold public commitment ceremonies with each of us, and to build a better life. Throughout that beautiful weekend, we talked and talked, vulnerability and fear giving way to trust. The walls between us crumbled, and we cried with relief in a three-part embrace.

Then it happened. It had been happening, but I’d been scared to trust… and on that day, seeing her vulnerability and beauty, and knowing my own, I took a risk… and I kissed her. We dropped our defenses, and began to fall in love. I was terrified, and I’m not sure that she wasn’t, too.  But buoyed by his love, and the trust we were experiencing, I let myself leap into an unknown place, opening my heart for the first time ever, to be loved by and to love a woman… her.

It was probably the best weekend we ever had.

The next year and eight months were filled with ups and downs. We argued a lot, and didn’t communicate enough. There were discrepancies, misunderstandings, and occasionally wonderful times in a huge king-sized bed. We shared trips, came out to some family, attended poly events and funerals… there was some good. But, communication about basics, like the structure of our triad, the individual relationships, the future, commitment ceremonies, designations like “fiancee'” and “girlfriend”, living arrangements, and expectations was not clear.

Eventually he moved in with new girl, and prepared to sell his condo. She proposed; he accepted. She expressed a need to be primary, insisting he declare her publicly as such.  I asked him for clarity, guidelines regarding what he needed from our relationship. He insisted I was still primary, too. No one came before me, no one came before her. I asked her for clarity, and it became clear that her views were not the same as his. I asked for triad conversations, which erupted into arguments without actually addressing the questions. When put on the spot in those triad discussions, he clammed up, afraid of hurting her, or hurting me.

The chasm widened; the pain continued.

I failed at communicating. Instead of pressing for clarity, I tried not to rock the boat. I believed him, when he said his feelings and plans with me hadn’t changed. I went on planning, hoping that things would get better. He failed at communicating, hoping the storms would blow over. For over a year, my fears and hers made it impossible for the two of us to explore the love we’d hoped to grow. She failed at communicating her needs and fears to him, and she stopped communicating with me. We were all hurting, wounded, and avoiding pain.

In October of 2013, she declared to him that she was done. She insisted he dump me, declared me toxic to their marriage plans and future happiness. She insisted I never wanted her, and wanted him all to myself. He gave me the news over the phone, that she was unwilling to continue, asked me for time to sort out his life, as his plans and dreams for our triad had just blown up.

So, I waited, mourning the loss of her love, alone.

In theweeks to follow, he gave me hope that he could make the transition from a triad to a V relationship. I waited in near silence for six months, until in April, 2014, he told me, he couldn’t continue. She was forcing him to choose. Though he still loved me, he had to end our relationship to save theirs. He swore he would fight to build a future with room for me. She — after six months of silence toward me — emailed him, my husband, and me, to make it clear she’d never permit him to have a relationship with me.

Two days later, they married and flew off to a European honeymoon.

I mourned the loss of my relationship with him, alone.

Today, he’s still trying to change the future. Today, she still wants me to disappear. Today, I am his friend. For ten months, I’ve been collateral damage, fallout from a polyamorous triad explosion. But, the road ahead keeps going. I know I am a good friend, a good poly partner, a good lover…

…and I will find my own way. 

 

girl walking__ (2)

Doorway

Photo illustration by Mindy Ricketts

I told you, this door’s always open,
though today, you and I know it’s true,
you can neither walk through or away.
Still it will not be closed while we wait.
My heart just won’t work that way.

I see lingering taxes your spirit.
This work takes a toll on your strength.
I watch all the shadows that come.
I measure your voice as it’s breaking.
Your tattered heart’s coming undone.

I ask you, my love, please don’t linger,
Are you frightened the space will close in?
You hover, hurt steals your peace, too.
I wish you would rest, heal your heart.
I’ll prop this door open, hold it for you.

The Morning After

Sunrise-1105725567

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” ~Leo Tolstoy

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”  ~Anne Lamott

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”  ~John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
I didn’t write in May. Not a poem, not a blog post, not a journal entry.  I was too exhausted, too empty. Some days I didn’t even make it out of bed. I’m not too sure I wrote anyone a decent email, save the ones I wrote to “him”. We spent much of the month of May, and part of June conversing in emails and text messages, and sorting through the rubble of our life together. This might seem an alien sort of undertaking. You may think me a glutton for pain, or too kindhearted in my efforts to honor my heart, and my love for a man who after five years made the choice to end our relationship because his other lover insisted he choose or lose her. The truth is, I’ve wondered whether it might be easier to just hold my anger tightly, and walk away. In fact, I tried to do just that. In April, while they were on their honeymoon in Ireland, I spent two weeks fortifying my decision to stop allowing myself to be hurt by these two people I’d once promised to love forever. I was spent, and could not bear any more. I was relieved at the silence after six months of turmoil and grief. But I did not stay there.

 

For me, there is a rightness in finding understanding and healing after such a traumatic, painful breakup. The truth is, the work is hard. I finally had the chance in recent weeks to share some of my deepest hurts from this experience. I also heard some of his deepest hurts, and accepted my responsibility for some of his pain. I can tell you, it sucks. I’ve spent days, crying, sobbing out that pain and frustration. I’ve talked about what we’ve learned, what we would change, and what we will do differently going forward. I’ve heard things that made it very difficult to hold onto my own self-righteous anger, and things that pushed me to acknowledge humanity and a need for forgiveness and understanding in those who hurt me.

 

I have learned how to ask for help, and I’ve enlisted some help in healing my own life. I am living again, being productive, creative and active. My heart is stronger, and “he” is my friend. I’m learning to be  good friend to him. Maybe, somewhere in the future, there will be a friendship with “her”. I don’t know. I just know that I feel good about the work I’ve been doing, and I can see light at the end of this dark night. The sun is coming and I can’t wait to feel her warmth on my shoulders. Life is good, even when it hurts. I’m glad to be here, in the light.