Just Be Yourself! A Simple Guide To Winning

Just Be Yourself

What if you suck?

I mean, some people suck—and not in a good way. So, better advice is:

Step 1: Be awesome.

Step 2: Be your awesome self.

What if you’re not awesome?

Well, why aren’t you?

I’ve found most people are pretty damn awesome when they put sincere effort into it.

What if you don’t want to put sincere effort into being awesome?

Well, then you’re probably an asshole.

The rules still apply, you’re just choosing to ignore them. And so, there’s no complaining allowed.

After all, you could just put in the effort to be awesome.

What if you’re putting in the effort to be awesome, but you’re not awesome yet?

If you’re really putting in the effort to be awesome, then you are awesome. Maybe people just haven’t recognized it, yet. Keep it up.

Just in case, though, feel free to ask people and listen to their feedback.

And if you’re not willing to listen, you’re probably not putting in a sincere effort to be awesome.

See “What if you don’t want to put sincere effort into being awesome?” above.

Oh, I See. It’s For MY Protection.

Oh, I See. It's For MY Protection.

After some random dude sent me a clear list in his second message to me of the types of lovers I’d be expected to take as his cuckoldress:

  • Young
  • Fit
  • Large/Well-endowed
  • Dedicated
  • Black
  • And etc.

I replied:

I do not subscribe to any relationship where someone gets to tell me what kind of lovers to take.

Nor, would I tell them what kind of lovers to take or not, unless we negotiated those restrictions together, for mutual pleasure.

Best of luck in everything.

Now, I know not everyone believe in 100% personal autonomy in relationships, ESPECIALLY in D/s relationships.

I get that.

I do me just fine, and if you doing you gets in the way of me doing me, we just won’t do together.

No hard feelings.

No denigration (from me).

Just no “doing.”

So, I do my best to be clear and honest, without sounding ‘poly-er-than-thou’ or TEH UBER CUCKOLDRESS (if that’s their line), and simply decline.

Well, this one thought I was calling him “oppressive and a controlling partner,” and felt a need to explain himself.

Along with stating he wanted control over who I might sleep with in this fictional relationship he contacted me about starting up, which I had already declined (quite politely, I think) he went on to say that he screens and carefully selects, has preferences as to physical type, age and race, and dropped this bomb:

“It’s protecting my woman is what I call it. I value safety, privacy and good heath.”

Oh, well that makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

It’s not about what he wants, really. Or about his insecurities. Or about cuckolding being woman-driven.

It’s about protecting HIS WOMAN.

Which I am not, and yet, he felt a need to tell me all of his requirements in detail. Much like you might search for a set of speakers on Amazon to fit a specific niche in your home.

Sure, I get that if it’s not a fit, it’s faster to do that and just move on. I PREACH this shit. Daily.

But don’t pretend it’s about protecting me.

It’s your kink. Cool.

It’s not protection.

I’m 45 years old. I’ve made more in all of my long-term relationships (except one) than my partners (by far—I was the breadwinner for 20 years).

I’ve traveled the country and internationally alone by trains, planes, automobiles, bus, hitchhiking, ships, and 18-wheelers.

[I’ve only once had bad sex.][https://fetlife.com/users/50648/posts/3606036]

I’ve never been outed or stalked by someone I chose to be intimate with.

I’ve never been attacked by violently a man in a relationship. I have in actual fight training and in two attempted rapes (one had a knife), and I beat them off.

I’ve never gotten an STI/STD aside from HSV-1, which I was born with.

I’ve met complete strangers for dates and sex in strange cities, and have come out alive (I did take precautions).

And yet, this man thinks that entering into a relationship with a dominant woman into cuckolding means that I will somehow suddenly need his protection.

So, I said to him, “As the dominant in my relationships, I protect myself and my partner. I also appreciate protection. I do not, however, feel that having my sexual choices made for me is any sort of protection, because I do not feel that anyone cares more about my wellness and health than I do.”

Which is when he let me down gently, and told me that we could be friends, but that a “meaningful relationship” was out of the picture.

cries

Ok, I feel better now.

What are your thoughts on protection?

I don’t deny that there are amazing benefits to protection, both mutual and one-way.

To me, this goes back to the idea of negotiating those protections/restrictions together as a relationship grows, and as they are needed/wanted.

Where is YOUR line? What takes from protection (for example) to oppressive and controlling self-interest?

Image from KELLEPICS on pixabay.

The Healthy Boundaries Series, I: Emotional Intimacy

Healthy Boundaries

I’ve been asked quite a lot about personal boundaries and how to set them, how to recognize what is a healthy boundary and how to enforce the boundaries we have.

I’ve been kind of noodling on this for a while, and I feel like I’ve got a good idea of how to tackle it, now, so I’m going to start with a biggie: Intimacy—in this case, emotional intimacy.

In each part of this series, I’m going to give examples of a boundary being too soft, too hard, and what a healthy boundary level looks like.

I’m also VERY open to your thoughts and opinions and questions as we go, including suggestions on other boundaries that you’d like to see covered.

Let’s start!

Too Soft Boundaries in Intimacy

People with soft intimacy boundaries tell way too much too soon about their personal lives, often either scaring people off or signaling they are vulnerable to less-than-pure intentions.

They are commonly referred to as “oversharers.”

It’s more than that, though, because there are many ways to be open and transparent without necessarily having weak intimacy boundaries.

It’s often a combination of oversharing AND making themselves overly vulnerable to people who have not yet matched their level of investment and disclosure in a relationship.

Too Hard Boundaries in Intimacy

These people avoid any vulnerability or closeness in relationships, period. Many avoid emotional relationships altogether, usually to their detriment, as it leads to loneliness and a sense of alienation/isolation.

This is often the result of being hurt in the past, and it’s totally understandable. It’s still not healthy.

Sure, this could be good for a time of healing, and reflection. However, never stepping back out of that hard shell will ultimately stifle your experience in life.

Healthy Boundaries in Intimacy

These people value their own thoughts and opinions, while also being open to others.

They share pieces of their life, and look for others to share in return, creating an evened-out give-and-take of vulnerability and deepening of the connection.

They’ve probably thought about about what and how much they’re willing to share with “just anyone,” and what they prefer to keep to themselves until they know people better, and they stick to those personal boundaries, even under pressure, or when they REALLY want someone to like them.

They realize that sharing too much, too fast can overburden and stress others, leaving them in an awkward and uncomfortable position.

They also protect their own well-being by being clear when they don’t want to be involved. This may be because they don’t currently have the bandwidth, or because they feel like it’s none of their business.

People with healthy intimacy boundaries share without expectations, and don’t feel that they MUST return any specific reaction when others share their own stories. It’s all about consent and personal investment, and they invest based on what they’re willing to offer of themselves at any given time.

What are your thoughts?

What can you add to this conversation?

Do you find yourself often in one of the not-as-healthy patterns? If so, what can you do, to make it feel more healthy to you? How could you practice healthy boundary setting and maintenance?

Did I miss anything that you feel should be added?

NC Submissive Locals: I’m Teaching At The Submissive Safe Haven Symposium AGAIN!

Submissive Safe Haven

Damn! Soooooo exciting! My fifth year at SSH, and I’m thrilled.

https://fetlife.com/events/722303

They have grown so much in five years, and the value they offer to the submissive community is incalculable.

This year, I’m doing two classes built specifically for SSH (that will be added to my round-up after they are debuted there):

Dating Kinky: Hands-On Profile

I’ve already given my kinky dating class at SSH, and apparently, they want more. This class is about Dating Kinky, zeroing in on one of the biggest challenges we all face: How to present ourselves to the people we hope to meet for play, for dating, for love, and more. We’ll work together as a group on the dreaded self-focused essay and also give tips and collective suggestions on sharing photos and more.

Communication Across The Slash: For S-Types

Communication is communication, right? Well, yes. And no. For some, especially for submissives, it can be beyond difficult to speak up and say what needs to be said. In this class, we’ll discuss ways to share your thoughts with your D-Types and ideas for helping to build a framework of communication within your relationship to last you for decades.

Like I said, this is my fifth year being invited to teach, and not only am I honored at being asked back, but looking at the line up of teachers and topics, I’m thrilled to be part of such a group.

I hope to see you there!

Hi, I’m Nookie, And I’m A Hug-aholic (And I LOVE Science-y Shit).

I love hugs.

I’m a hugger from way back. To me, hugs are like mini-cuddle sessions, acceptable for the public. And I love cuddling, too.

The BEST hugs are long, include a lot of body contact, and done with little to no clothing with someone I’m deeply intimate with, but even the runners-up can make my day better damn near instantly.

A few weeks ago, I found this image on Facebook:

Hugs Information from FB

I reposted it, mentioning I was not sure about the numbers, but that it sounded good to me.

And really, I posted it because I wanted to remind myself to go out and look for the numbers. Because the science of hugs as a topic for a writing had a nice ring in my head.

After all, as I said, I am more than a tiny bit of hug junkie.

Hell, as I retold this weekend (for the umpteenth time), I really NOTICED Pet on the night we met when he hugged me goodbye. He just felt so damn…right.

Up until that point, he was a cute boy-next-door type (not my usual type at all) sweet man at a FemDom party paying me some attention.

With the hug, though, it was as if suddenly my hormones were jarred awake, “Was that an explosion? Sex? Magic?”

He likes to joke he put a spell on me, and I like to joke it worked. I’m never sure we’re really joking, but I digress.

Hugs.

So today, after a weekend sharing hugs with my Pet, other loved ones, friends, and even near-strangers (maybe friends, soon?), I am still feeling a bit high (and horny, but that’s another topic) from all the feel-goody stuff.

And so, science it is! After all, I love my imagination, and I do believe in the placebo effect (It’s awesome powerful, y’all!), I also wanted to see what science has been done around hugs, and what it can tell us.

And I’m gobsmacked.

I’m already a hug addict. I admit this. Now, I just may become a zealot. Get this:

Hugs make you feel gooooooood, man.

Hugging boosts oxytocin, which bonds you to others, connects you, and makes you feel loved (more on oxytocin). Oxytocin also has anti-inflammatory benefits (source). Inflammation in the body has been linked to certain types of depression (MDD especially, although science can’t fully explain it all, yet: source).

Hugging also gets dopamine and serotonin production going in the body.

Dopamine is a hormone which is part of the brain’s reward mechanism, and makes you feel pleasure, like you did a good thing. The more dopamine you have, the less potential for addiction. (About dopamine.)

Serotonin is responsible for helping balance mood. It helps to make us feel happy, relaxed and confident. It also acts as an appetite controller. Too little serotonin is linked to depression. Hugging is known to boost serotonin levels. (About serotonin.)

Hugs help boost your immune system.

Conflict weakens your immune system through stress, and hugs connect us to others and reduce the effects of conflict. Not only do people who receive more hugs get sick less often, but they don’t get as sick and recover more quickly.

“…those who receive more hugs are somewhat more protected from infection.” —Sheldon Cohen, Carnegie Mellon

Hugs lower blood pressure.

(Primarily in women studies show, this is being researched further.)

Hugging releases oxytocin in both men and women. In women, specifically, this seems to lower blood pressure during times of stress. (source 1, source 2)

Hugs reduce fears of death.

Being touched, even briefly, can reduce fears of death and other existential issues. Hugs are a penultimate of touch. (source)

Hugs help you heal.

Oxytocin actually aids healing, builds muscle mass and helps you maintain. (source)

But what about those numbers?

Indeed. After all, that’s what I wanted to be sure to research.

9.3 seconds for the “average” hug? That seems long. Ever counted off 9.3 seconds while hugging? It’s an abnormally long period of time, or so it seems right then.

And when researching “how long should a hug last?” I was bombarded with both the 20-second rule (which I’ll get to in a moment) and a 3-second rule for “public” hugs.

You read that right. People have decided that there is an actual number of seconds it’s appropriate to hug another person, and it’s three seconds.

Which is a far cry from 9.3. And “how long does the average hug last?” search got me similar results.

So, searching “average hug 9.3 seconds,” I get nada on that number. I think someone pulled it out of their butt.

The same thing happened when I tried to find information on how often people crave hugs per day. I’m not sure how scientific a number that might be, either.

As for the 20-second rule, it’s so everywhere online, it’s difficult to find the originating information. A study done in 2003 suggested that couples who held hands for 10 minutes while watching a romantic video, then hugged their partners for 20 seconds had better blood pressure readings than the control group.

Which is definitely something. However, it’s doesn’t determine how long a hug must be to activate benefits. And at least two articles suggest that 6 seconds and 10 seconds will do nicely, as well. (source, source)

Unfortunately, neither of those link to scientific studies, either.

So, in light of all this, I’m going to make a few suggestions regarding hugging, and perhaps you can find out what works best for you, with your own self-study.

Hug Often. Hug Long. Hug The RIGHT People.

I’ll start with that last bit.

Regardless of any other information, all of the articles I read, if they mentioned WHO you should hug at all, mentioned that the benefits of hugs come from people you want to hug and who want to hug you.

So, consent is a key.

It seems kind of obvious that being hugged against your will or by someone you don’t like will do more harm than good, but I think it’s worth saying, in case someone misses that idea.

Also, it was mentioned that because hugs can release these bonding hormones, choose who you hug carefully, in case you want to maybe not feel so close to someone who is not right or good for you, which is an interesting take.

Of course, because you are an amazing person who surrounds yourself with amazing people you enjoy, hugging the right people more often is going to benefit you through multiple chances for really good natural drugs/hormones, produced by your body and brain.

And as far as hug long goes… well, hug those you love as long as feels comfortable—and cuddling counts! Cuddles are just really long hugs, so take advantage of some health benefits while Netflix and chilling, or whatevs.

And those 3-second hugs? No need to turn up your nose or poo-poo them.

After all, even a 1-second hug done with warmth and sincerity can boost mood and happiness, and increase feelings of inclusion.

And for those whose love language is touch, even the quickest touch can make a BIG difference.

What are your experiences?

What are your experiences with hugs? Have you found that you crave them when you don’t get enough? Do you feel noticeably good or better when you get more hugs than usual or from specific people?

Have you done any of your own research into hugs? Anything I missed?

Jacksonville, FL Locals: I’m Teaching for A.L.E In April!

Alternative Lifestyle Enthusiasts (A.L.E.) Logo

Super-thrilled to be teaching a double header for A.L.E. in Jacksonville on April 13th!

https://fetlife.com/events/731158

http://www.alekink.com/

Over three hours, we’ll be covering both finding your feminine leadership style for FemDoms and how to yield your strength for alpha submissives (of any/every gender).

I’m geeked. I’ve never put these two classes together, but they are perfectly complementary, and touch on how we give and receive power from both sides of the slash.

For FemDom, we’ll talk about achetypes and common tropes, and how to grow beyond the limitations we often see presented to us.

For submissives, we’ll discuss the common issues of holding your strength and boundaries (because life is a thing), while also wanting nothing more than to give everything you have to the RIGHT dominant.

These two classes will combine in amazing ways, because the submissives attending will see the pressures and concerns dominants have, while the dominants attending will get insight into how submissives are often cast in one-dimensional roles as well, and can be so much more in service when accepted for the multi-faceted amazing humans they are.

I’m looking forward to meeting new kinksters in Jacksonville, since I’ve not really been before, and having this amazing opportunity to share some of my own thoughts on this wonderful lifestyle we live.

*smiles*

Kink In 15: Catch

Kink In 15: Catch

The word of the week is “catch”. To participate, create a 15-word story with catch, catches, caught, catching. I can’t wait to see your creativity! smiles

Kink Fantasy Vs. Kink Reality

Kink Fantasy Vs. Kink Reality

A common conversation:

They say:

Something, something, kink, something, blah blah blah, [insert porn ideology here].

I reply:

“That’s all fantasy. Reality is a different world.”

They return:

Well, reality is overrated.

This is where they always lose me.

Reality is my homey. You dis reality, you dis me.

I’m all about the real.

In fact, I don’t even “fantasize” in the normal ways, because when I have fantasies, I generally pursue them and realize them, and know that fantasy cannot (for me) ever beat the feel of flesh on flesh, the scent of another body, then sounds of grunts and words, the tastes of sweat and saliva, the sights, even of blackness when blindfolded.

To me, fantasy is the bit that’s overrated.

I mean, it’s fun. I don’t knock it. I read fantasy and fiction. It’s entertaining. It’s inspiring. I credit books with shaping my life in many ways.

As Jimmy so wisely said:

“Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks,
And I learned much from both of their styles.”

Sharing fantasies with Pet has allowed me to get to know his deeper self much more effectively (I believe) than trying to dig out and discover things as I went, or as they came up in conversation.

Even online porn and memes, which often represent the most extreme edges of la-la land and unrealistic ideations of what a specific kink might represent has it’s uses when made into a tool for talking about concepts that we may not yet have had our own words for.

But for us, while the fantasy is useful and hot, nothing beats actually doing things together. Even when they are not as extreme, perhaps, they still have US. Our connection. Our real senses of touch and taste and hearing. And they fit into our real lives as well.

And I’ve seen fantasy become a jail for many. An addiction.

Those who fall willingly down the rabbit hole of extreme ideas and fetishes, who never even experienced the first level in real life, so they are constantly chasing the utmost in kinky/fetish play, when they have yet to find a partner who will even start at the basics with them.

And so, they thirst.

And thirst.

And become (and behave) THIRSTY.

And people turn away, because those who look for these things in reality know the unrealistic fantasy when they see it. And know the addiction.

In my view, fantasy can be an amazing tool for communication and inspiration in a relationship.

If it’s never backed up by or partnered with reality, though, for me, it loses it’s appeal and fast.

What do you think?

What is amazing about fantasy? What is good? How has it helped you in your exploration of kink or your relationships?

What is not so healthy about fantasy? Have you seen it in a negative light before?

And reality. What do you LOVE about reality? What frustrates you about it, or when does reality feel like a let-down?