SCREW HUMILITY! I Want To Read Your Brags!

Screw Humility

One of the things I love about kink is all the amazing things we kinksters get up to. All the freaky shit we do. The ideas that flow out of our heads.

Today, I’d love to read some of that shit.

Big, small, crazy, weird, fun or learning experience, share it!

  • Finally checked off a fantasy bucket list item?
  • Created an amazing scene for someone?
  • Learned a new skill?
  • Started learning a new skill, and still suck at it, but happy anyway?
  • Do happy things for/with someone (including yourself)?

Let’s share our wonderful brags with each other.

Rules:

1. Share ANYTHING you’re proud of. Kink is wonderful. Non-Kink is also welcome. Links to projects, writing, photos, whatever are also welcome here. Self-promote, if you wanna.

2. Give someone else props for their amazing thing, if you can. Love comments, tell them how fuckballs fantastic they are, or, if they are doing something you are interested in, connect to share.

3. Negativity will be deleted. I don’t EVER do this, except here. I’m telling you now. Don’t be an asshole. If you aren’t wild about something, scroll by. If you think something is negative, let me know.

4. Take inspiration and RUN with it!

How Empathy Traps Us

Let’s talk about empathy. What is empathy, really?

There are three types of empathy:

  • Emotional
  • Cognitive
  • Compassionate

Empathy is powered mostly by mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are a class of neuron that modulate their activity both when an individual executes a specific motor act and when they observe the same or similar act performed by another individual.

In other words, these little thingys in our brains MIRROR what we see others doing. See people feeling sad? Mirror neurons put on their “feeling sad” pants, and boom! We feel sad, too.

That’s emotional empathy, feeling what others feel, “putting yourself in their shoes.”

Emotional empathy is a super power. It syncs you with others. You can comprehend and feel their pain as your own. Also their joy. WOW!

Emotional empathy is necessary to human evolution and it’s fucking amazing. It can also burn you out: A study by three Australian researchers found that, under stress, emotionally perceptive individuals reported higher levels of depression and hopelessness.

They can feel what others are feeling, and it adds to their own. Absorbing other people’s pain is exhausting, especially in therapeutic or care-taking fields, or in dysfunctional relationships. Over time, it can burn you up.

(I’m missing some function in this area. It’s called ASPD. That’s where I’m “broken.”)

Then, there is cognitive empathy. This is a result of active listening and attention combined with results-oriented observation, leading to more and more accurate insights into what people think and feel.

It’s essentially turning your brain into a database of findings that lead you to more accurate understanding and predictions over time.

I can do this, after years of practice and care.

There is a big difference between the two, though.

Because those who have emotional empathy, especially those who have it strongly, FEEL what others feel, and often don’t know the feelings aren’t theirs.

This is the trap.

Because when those rushes of feelings flood over you, it’s not easy to separate them from your own.

Now, this may not happen to you. Let’s go over a couple of examples:

You’re in a great mood, waiting impatiently for your mate to get home, so you can tell them all about your amazing news.

They get home, and they’re a bit cranky. They listen to your news, and they just don’t get super-excited. In fact, they seem kind of annoyed.

You immediately get annoyed, like really annoyed. How dare they?

You’re walking along on a beautiful sunny day feeling down.

Then, you see a baby laughing and smiling. Suddenly, your whole outlook brightens. You can do this. It doesn’t seem nearly as bad as it did just moments before.

Your partner begins to cry, and your eyes well up.

You suddenly feel sad as well.

Of course, these are simplistic examples.

And even without innate empathy, you might feel shadows of these things: annoyance that your partner did not share your joy; brightening a bit, because babies are cute; feeling sad that your partner is sad.

With innate empathy, though, you will feel what you feel, and feel what they feel. Their feelings may affect your feelings, change your feelings, heighten your feelings, or even drown out your own feelings altogether.

Like when one partner is cranky, and the other picks up on those feelings, and feeds them back, so partner one is now cranky AND annoyed that their partner is being cranky, too, which now affects the second partner, adding to their distress…

And so on.

And that’s the trap.

Trapping us in our feelings with another.

YES, it’s good to know how the people around you feel and care. That’s not a trap. In fact, I view that as a sort of magic that I wish I had WAY more of than I do.

It’s NOT good, however, to feel their feelings as if they were yours, and not know where your feelings begin and theirs end.

Because, not only is it more difficult then to find any sort of solution, with both of you flailing about in emo-land, but your sadness might be mixed with your own experiences and feelings, while theirs is with their own, which could create two terribly different experiences.

I had someone once accuse me of causing shame to someone in public.

I know I can miss such things, and I was horrified. I went to the person, and apologized. They were surprised. They were, indeed feeling shame when I did what I did, but it was at something else, and what I did actually alleviated the issue.

The person making the accusation felt the shame and attributed it to what I was doing, because that would have bothered them, which was totally different from what was happening in the other person’s head.

Which is why I posted this last Friday: When They Lose Their Shit…, about allowing the person’s whose emotions boil over to have their time, and to not react with our own responses, emotions, and such.

Because it’s too easy for someone’s upset to upset us, and a simple issue to become a knock-down-drag-out fight (literally or figuratively), when setting the emotions we feel aside to pay attention can give us the space we need to see and solve.

So, we turn to compassionate empathy.

Compassionate empathy may stem from emotional empathy or cognitive empathy. It’s how we engage with it that matters.

It’s a sort of mild detachment, separating of ourselves from another, and allowing them to fill the “them” part of us with their feelings, while keeping our personal emotional boundaries in place so all those feelings don’t spill over into the “us” parts of us.

Unless of course, we WANT them to fill us with their joy, their love, their desire, their tenderness…

And that’s cool.

However, to take on their despair, their hopelessness, their sorrow? It’s hard to find the way, even together, when both sets of eyes are filled with tears.

So, how do we do this?

When we feel another’s suffering infusing us, we put that in the “them” part of us, and focus on what we can do to help.

Instead of focusing on the suffering, focus on the relief. Instead of feeling hopeless, feel hopeful. Look for the ways to create change, to help, to share your own joy or strength or resoluteness.

Look for a way to pull them out, to offer a hand.

And avoid the trap yourself.

A few more writings on empathy and the desire to help:

Why I’m Named After A Vagina

Nookie

So, way, WAYYYYYY back when, in my barely-into-teen-nerdy days, I had a bit of cash to spend.

And my birthday was coming up, so I started a new tradition.

Buying myself a birthday present each year.

That year, it was the Oxford English Dictionary.

And, at 14, with friends mostly in the 15-17 year range, what do you think we would want to do with the world’s most complete English language dictionary (as I understood it at that time)?

Look up the dirty words, of course!

Continue reading “Why I’m Named After A Vagina”

When They Lose Their Sh*t…

When They Lose Their Shit...

My ex-husband and I made a lot of mistakes. His BPD and alcoholism in the last 7 years created even more mistakes in an already young and dumb “starter” marriage.

However, in the beginning, we did something brilliantly.

When one person lost their shit, the other immediately set aside their own issues and focused in.

Because when someone goes into crisis mode, they need to be heard and seen. They need to feel like their partner is there for them, NOT simply waiting to retort with their own frustrations and anger.

“Oh yeah? Well, what about that time you ______? Huh?”

If you weren’t pissed enough about ‘that time they ______,’ to lose your shit before now, the moment after they lose theirs is NOT THE TIME.

Your time may come in the future.

It’s NOT NOW.

When your partner loses their shit, give them your attention and care.

It’s the best and easiest thing to do.

Deal with it.

Now.

Calmly.

With love.

Feeling pissy? Shut it.

Feeling hurt? Shut it.

Feeling spiteful? Fucking shut it.

Let them have their moment. Let them get it all out. Let them drain the festering boil, and be a REAL partner there with them while they do it.

Help them:

Partner 1 (in crisis): LOSES THEIR SHIT.
Partner 2 (immediate full attention): “Tell me more. I want to know.”

P1: “Tells more.”
P2: “This is what I’m hearing, [repeats it in their own words], is that right?”

P1: “Yes,” or “No.”
(make sure you’re getting it right)
P2: “Ok. Thank you. Is there more?”

P1: “Offers more.”
P2: “This is what I’m hearing, [repeats in their own words], is that right?”

P1: “Yes,” or “No.”
(make sure you’re getting it right)
P2: “Ok. Thank you. Is there more?”

(repeat as necessary)

P1: “No, that’s it.”
P2: “What can I do to help?”

Listen and do it. Or negotiate doing it. Or find others to help you do it. Or cuddle them, because some things can’t be fixed. Or accept that they KNOW it can’t be fixed, and they just needed to lose their shit and have you listen and be pissy for a while.

Or whatever.

If you’re upset or hurt (and let’s face it, if they are REALLY losing their shit and doing it at you, you probably will be, at least a little), it’s ok.

Still, shut it.

YOUR time comes later. I like to keep at least 24-48 hours between, if it’s urgent. A week or more if it’s not.

This still works for me. With or without others’ buy-in.

Generally, if someone in my life is upset, I give them this attention, utterly and totally. I set my hurts aside.

I want them to have their time and feel heard and seen and validated. I want to help if I can, and listen if that’s all I can offer.

This, to me, is being a dominant (whether I am THEIR dominant or not), is providing the safe space they need, and is honoring their place in my life.

It’s also being a friend, a lover, and a considerate and caring human.

AND… I’ve found that most people, when offered this kind of care, lose their shit far less frequently and far less spectacularly.

After all, it can be hard to really get a good scream going for terribly long at someone who is genuinely there for you, ready to listen, to see, and to help in any way they can.

Even when you’re spoiling for a fight.

It just is.

(Well, for most folks.)

And they often find it in themselves to begin offering this to others. Often without even realizing what they are doing. It just feels right to do so.

Because modeling loving behavior works in more ways than one.

Even when they lose their shit.

Image by SAFA TUNCEL from Pixabay

How Do I Dom Thee? Let Me Count The Ways…

How Do I Dom Thee?

I ruin your orgasms. Except when I take them for myself with joy.

I’m sweet and loving. Except when I’m cranky and snarky.

I am stern and demanding. Except for the times I give in to the puppy dog face because it makes me so happy to do so.

I will humiliate you and poke at your deepest insecurities. Except when I’m building you up and encouraging you.

I will hurt you and set your nerves on fire. Except for when I pleasure you or cuddle you.

I will wear six-inch stilettos and latex. Except when I prefer yoga pants and a tank top—or nothing at all.

I wrote a piece in 2014 that I use to close my communications class: How Do I Say…?. I revisited the idea in 2017 with One Cannot Not Communicate.

In kink, we talk a lot about communication and consent and protocol and sex and lots of other good things. I love it, and engage in these talks with abandon.

What we don’t talk about—in fact, what anyone ever anywhere rarely talks about—is non-active communication.

For some, this may call to mind numbers. 93%, 70%, 55% — All tied to how much of a role body language plays in our communication, versus the words we speak or our tone of voice.

That’s not entirely what I mean.

Although that’s part of it.

What I mean is that we communicate most often (93% of the time, maybe) without thinking about communicating.

I do most of my domination without thinking of being dominant. Submissives do most of their submission without thinking about submitting. Sportsballers do most of their sportsball without thinking about sportsballing.

AT THAT TIME.

Our conscious acts of communication, domination, submission, or sportballing the perfect play are the highlight reels, the ones we watch over and over in our minds when we get them right or wrong, either patting ourselves on the back or flogging ourselves for blowing it.

Those are what we mostly focus on.

But those don’t make up vast majority of our lives and communication, or even much of our lives and communication. Life is too full for most of us to be conscious and intentional all of the time.

And the rest of the time, we autopilot.

And THAT tells people who we really are, when they get to see that part of us over the long haul.

They get to see how we dominate.

They get to see how we submit.

They get to see how we sportsball.

They get to see how we love, how we care for our pets, how we treat waiters, how we listen to children (or don’t), how we appreciate the beauty of nature, care for our environment, care for ourselves…

Because who we are in our non-intentional time is the largest part of who we are. And it’s the largest part of who people experience of us.

How I dom thee is not the scene.

  • It’s the planning the scene, with attention to detail and questions asked, getting to know you.
  • It’s the greeting before the scene, and the many (or few) ways of putting you at ease.
  • It’s the headspace you are inspired to as the scene begins.
  • It is also the scene (1 hour? 3 hours?).
  • It’s the scene winding down, the small touches, the assurances, the sweet talk.
  • It’s the after care, and cuddling and closeness.
  • It’s the checking in the next day and the day after that. It’s the building of a friendship or relationship.
  • It’s the inclusion in my life, in my friends’ lives.

It’s so much more than the scene.

How I dom thee is simple.

It’s everything I do for you, to you, with you. It’s every word I say, every quirk of my lips into smile. It’s every time I touch your knee or cook for you. It’s small gifts and watching your favorite movie again for the umpteenth time.

It’s asking you if you need anything when I walk to the fridge. It’s giving you my attention when you speak. It’s listening to your advice and taking it into account. It’s sitting next to you quietly as you stress, and simply sharing my presence if you need me.

It’s everything I do right AND everything I do wrong and everything in between.

So, sure, I could tell you the many ways I dom thee… but what matters is the ways YOU experience my domming you.

How do I dom thee?

I’ll let you count the ways.

PSYCHOLAGNY: Orgasm Without Physical Stimulation

Psycholagny

I’ve been talking about this for 10+ years.

And for all that time, I’ve been challenged by those who believe it’s not possible.

And yet…

There’s a word for this. Because it exists. And it’s more common than you might think.

Musing On Mindgasms (Touch-Free Orgasms)

If you’ve not experienced this (whatever your gender), you may want to try it out. It’s a pretty amazing experience, and can improve your physical sex life as well in so many amazing ways.

Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

An Analogy Of The Submissive As A Car…

An Analogy Of The Submissive As A Car...

I got this piece of drivel as part of a longer conversation with a submissive telling me that as a dominant, I’m DOIN’ IT RONG.

Here are my thoughts.

“With regard to restrictions, it is pretty well accepted that when someone owns something, say a car, that the owner may do what she wishes with her property.”

You’re right. In fact, I have often compared owning a submissive to having a car or a dog that I love and that I’m proud of, and that I enjoy sharing with the world.

Want to pet my dog? Please! He loves being petted and licking your face (I don’t let him lick mine), and feels so filled up and proud when you’re done.

Like my new convertible? Want to drive it? Do it! I love it, too, and the joy I get is reflected back on me in the joy you get.

But that’s not QUITE the same as “doing whatever I wish with my property.”

A Submissive As A Car

I may CHOOSE not to change my oil. However, that will not keep my vehicle in the optimal shape for me to continue to use for as long as I wish.

I could CHOOSE to let it fall into various stages of disrepair and use it up and throw it out (or park it in my front yard to rust for a few years), as well.

However, that doesn’t really benefit me.

If I neglect my car, it will break down on me when I need it.

Worse, it may fail, and hurt someone.

And a car cannot speak to me with reason, or emotional nuance.

So, No, A Submissive Is Not A Car

People are not cars, they are people.

And even poor treatment of a car results in consequences that any outsider could see and understand that the owner is not a good one.

  • Rust spots
  • Dark smoke
  • Rattling noises
  • Noxious Fumes

By suggesting that the dominant never take into account what the submissive partner wants and responds to for optimal living, you are suggesting abuse, pure and simple.

Which may be your thing.

It’s not mine.

For my submissives, or my cars.

Image by Lynn Greyling from Pixabay

Access To The Playground

Access To The Playground

Unlike the days of being “in the know,” and searching the classified section of The Village Voice to find like-minded kinky folk, kink is no longer invite-only.

Some bemoan this fact.

They enjoyed the exclusivity, the smugness associated with taking very specific steps to gain a title or recognition or entrée into “the lifestyle.”

And that’s OK.

I enjoy it far more now.

Continue reading “Access To The Playground”

Healthy Boundaries: You Can Never Have Too Many Friends

Too Many Friends?

Ummm. Yes, yes you can.

Just like in poly, there is a thing as friendship saturation, when you find yourself without time for everyone in your life. And you’re just not able to maintain self-care and your boundaries along with everyone else’s needs.

Also, there are people that we sometimes call friends who aren’t. Or aren’t anymore, even if they were at one point. And they step on our boundaries.

To suggest that “you can never have too many friends,” is suggesting that even low-value friends are worth the time and effort. I don’t agree.

I’ve said many times that a successful relationship is two people feeling like they get WAY more (like lots and lots more) out of the relationship than they put in.

Friendship is a relationship.

Friendship is giving within healthy boundaries and getting filled back up in return.

THAT is my standard.

So, yeah, you can have too many friends.

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

High Context Consent VS Low Context Consent

High Context Consent VS Low Context Consent

Yesterday, I met this really cool guy. He’s a scientific comedian (THAT’S A THING!!) and communications educator to scientists. He teaches super-smart, super-technical people how to communicate outside their specialties in low-context language.


A couple weeks back, I was teaching a class on communication, and the subject of low context communication and high context communication came up.

In my own life, for example, low-context communication might be speaking to someone directly about their cock or dick. With Pet, I speak of ‘my toy,’ ‘my bon bon,’ and etc. We have shared context, so he always knows what I mean, while others in our surroundings do not.


A year or so ago, I read about a study of mastery, and the steps between beginner and master, and how to be successful in each level. The study had masters in their field create how-to rules and checklists for beginners.

With these checklists, the beginners grew, became more productive, and learned more about their field more quickly.

However, they then had the masters follow their own rules and checklist, and it was a disaster. They were slowed WAY down. Their productivity was diminished by a factor of 35% or more (depending on the fields and adherence).

Continue reading “High Context Consent VS Low Context Consent”