It’s My World. You’re Just Living In It

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


“perceptual information is shaped by natural selection to reflect utility, not to depict reality.” (source)

Donald H. Hoffman, professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine, suggests that not only do we all perceive reality differently, but that it’s natural and necessary that we do so.

A perspective of the world that keeps us alive is more important than one that is objectively accurate.

It’s been said that our minds build our worlds.

So, each of us has a world of our own making that we live in.

Our worlds are a story we tell ourselves every moment, based on our senses and our lived experiences.

How you see the world will likely be similar to how I see the world, and yet, different in some pretty critical ways.

I once turned a man down on OK Cupid, and he said, “But we have a 98% match. That means something.” I replied that humans share 98.8% of our DNA with chimpanzees, and that it’s the differences that matter.

Continue reading “It’s My World. You’re Just Living In It”

“I’m DONE Talking About This”

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


Last week, a friend and I were talking about the frustration of someone saying in an argument, “I’m done talking about this,” and how it feels to be cut off without recourse.

Like there needs to be some sort of agreement in place when this happens, so it’s not quite so one-sided a “solution.”

I have a Conflict Resolution Protocol that I use often to good effect, and I’ve written about it.

But when I was talking with my friend last week, I realized that there’s another that is so natural to me that I forget it’s even a thing, sometimes.

My ex-husband and I got a LOT wrong. We did get a few things right. One thing was when one person “called” the argument (ended it for ANY reason), the other person got two minutes to speak their mind without any interruption.

The other was that the issue was always revisited within a 48-72 hour time frame, so that it didn’t fester.

It’s simple. And effective.

Continue reading ““I’m DONE Talking About This””

The Value Of A Single Thought And A Small Possibility

This weekend, I was at a costume party, in conversation with some friends, when one said (I’m paraphrasing), “I don’t always agree with what you write, I often don’t. You do make me think, though.”

I replied that that’s all I want from any writing I post. Is that people stop and think. That whether they agree or disagree, that it’s done with thought, with intention, not simply progressing habitually.

I never discount the value of a single thought or a small possibility.

Not that I’m saying the majority of people (who are not already living or trying to live whatever topic I’m writing about) will immediately change their ways. I’m not.

After all, I haven’t convinced many of the people I’ve sparred with in comments over the years.

However, my writings become thoughts for everyone who reads them.

For some (very few, maybe one), a writing will be a BIG MOOD, and they will mull it over and think it through and begin to practice the skill or the action I offer, a single read moving them from unconscious incompetence to conscious competence.

(Four Stages of Competence)

Of course, that’s just an ideal.

For more, though, it’s simply a step from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence.

They now have an idea of something they have not been practicing. They know it is there.

An idea.

A way of thinking.

Many will not be able to help noticing others living in the same way, or possibly in exactly the opposite way, and that will, in turn, shed a small light on their own lives.

MOST readers will forget it. Maybe forever.

Some will forget, but it will work in the back of their minds and pop back up at a better time in the future.

But that’s all it takes to change a life, sometimes.

A single thought. A very real, however small, possibility.

Image by ElisaRiva from Pixabay

I Teach That Communication Is Not The Words You Say, But Every Action, Every Moment Until The End of Time

Back in April, I wrote That ONE Thing You Didn’t Do, which sparked some good debate from both sides, in agreement and against.

After all, who hasn’t known the pain of giving something that was not at all appreciated, and who hasn’t also had people give them things they didn’t want, and say they were ungrateful?

I think we’ve all been in both pairs of shoes.

@UnicornHusbandry said something perfectly in a comment, that I’d like to share and expound upon.

It should be a lot more simple than it is. The issue seems almost childish. But it’s such a common problem in relationships, isn’t it?

What we give to another person, in time, affection or gifts, all indicates who we believe them to be. Do we see them as our property? Do we see them as our student or child who must be instructed? Do we see them as our parent who must offer us unlimited support and affection?

For example, big-scary-thing-in-life happens. How do you treat your partner?

  • Command them in what to do? (property)
  • Give them ideas and suggestions and teach them? (student or child)
  • Cower behind them and expect them to save us? (parent)
  • Offer support and say, “I know you’ve got this, and I’m here, always, if you need or want anything.” (capable adult)

How we engage with others communicates clearly how we view them.

Over time.

I wrote this in 2014: How Do I Say…?

It still guides my relationship with my Pet every moment.

It still guides me in my relationships throughout my life.

It’s a reminder that showing appreciation for those around me is not a once in a while thing, but an ongoing series of actions from now until the end of time.

Which written out like that, seems pretty heavy.

Like those ads that we see around Christmas about not getting a puppy as a present. A relationship may be a lifetime commitment—every moment of every day.

Of course, there are many relationships: friends, lovers, children, bosses, coworkers.

And we communicate with all of them with our actions.

And when we act unthinkingly with those around us, we communicate that we are not thinking of them.

When we treat people as we see them…

We may be communicating that we see them more clearly than anyone—or that we don’t see them at all.

Sure, there are days when I am distracted, and I don’t pay the people around me as much attention as they may want.

I’m human.

However, over time, my people know I’m here for them, in nearly anything, from needing an ear for a rant, to being the place they flee to when their latest relationship ends and they have no place to live that isn’t full of broken hearts.

And that’s what I want to communicate to them. So, I make sure I AM there for them, because that’s the best way to make that clear.

Seems simple, right?

Then why do we so often get it wrong?

The Arc Of An Online Relationship In 9 Hours

22 hours ago:

Thank you for accepting my friend request.

Did you write these books?

21 hours ago:

Hi there. I took a look at “Dating Kinky.” It’s a good web site. I own a marketing company, so I know good work when I see it. Nice work!

18 hours ago:

Thank you for accepting my friend request. I am looking forward to reading your kinky books.

14 hours ago:

Hi There. Do you ever come to Washington? I see on your profile you belong to a DC BDSM group.

Hi again. Do you still want to chat?

are you there?

13 hours ago:

I said you have a sexy tummy and cute panties

Hi There Again. Thank you for accepting my friend requests. I have had a look at your books. It’s a cool web site.

when is your next book coming out?

did you read my profile? You can learn some things about me there.

12 hours ago:

Hi. I give up. Good bye.

You can’t respond to this conversation because UserName has deactivated their account, you’ve blocked them, or they’ve blocked you.

These messages came in multiple threads over 9 hours. In the middle of a weekday.

Continue reading “The Arc Of An Online Relationship In 9 Hours”

Oops! I Did It (Lied) Again!

You’re welcome for the earworm.

smiles

I don’t lie. Or, at least, I try not to. After all, I’ve been a liar in my life, and I’ve found that the truth, even when it sucks, leads me to living a better life.

So, when I lie, even unintentionally, I need to call myself on my bullshit.

That’s what I’m doing here.

My lie: I respond to every message I get.

It used to be true.

It still is my intention.

But it’s not the actual truth, and I know this because I have right now 280 social media messages I’ve not yet responded to.

One year ago, I cleared my inbox every day, and was horrified at the idea of having outstanding contacts.

I fell behind.

And this is WITH connecting with/answering dozens of people every day, I am still behind. And I’m struggling with the person I feel I am (answers my messages) and that reality (hasn’t answered 280 messages, probably 281 by now).

I’m not posting this with any sort of meta message. Or for pity or sympathy. Maybe for a bit of empathy…

Because we all know people who lie not because they mean to, but because they can’t keep up with their promises or because their hope is greater than their abilities.

Maybe you are one of us as well, sometimes, in some ways.

  • Maybe you promised to spend more time with your partner, but work is crushing you.
  • Maybe you told yourself that this time, this relationship would be different.
  • Maybe you assured someone that the work would get done on time.

So, I’mma be kind to myself and create a plan to tackle my lie.

Now that I’ve called me out on my bullshit.

If you have something you’re not doing or haven’t done that you said you would/could, feel free to join me.

Feel free to self-identify and share, if you’d like. Feel free to make a plan, and work it.

Or not.

This is really about me and what I have to do to live up to the me standards I set for myself.

Sneaky Needs

He’s fucking sexy, this new guy. Reminds me of Warrick Brown from the original CSI (RAWR!), except instead of greenish grey eyes, his are bluish grey, and delightfully wicked.

We were having tea on Saturday. A spontaneous thing. I had some time, and I asked him (on Tinder) would he like to meet.

A bit more than two hours of conversation ensued.

And during that conversation, I asked him what he was looking for on Tinder (always a moment of truth), and I looked him in the eyes.

He looked away, looked back, laughed a bit (not nervously, more self-deprecatingly, as I interpreted it), and said:

“Well, I like to fuck.”

If my panties didn’t fall to the ground in that instant, it’s only because my jeans were in the way.

Not because of the fucking. After at least 90 minutes of discussing sex and kink and whatever came to mind, I “knew” him as a sexual being.

It was that he told his truth. Simply. Clearly. Without shame.

He said what he wanted, and he owned it.

Which makes it so much easier to respond to, negotiate, and fulfill. Or not.

I’ve written about Nice Guys/Girls (NGs) before, and covert contracts.

NGs’ real crime is not that they have needs, but that they are so afraid of their needs that they are super sneaky about them—even to themselves.

NGs try to force everyone to guess what they want in return for “being nice,” for listening, for that steak dinner—as if these things are commodities for trade, which is another thing they make us guess at—and thereby make themselves impossible to please, because no one is a mind reader.

And sure, I’m guessing saying that you’re on Tinder to fuck will get more than a few “Nos,” but the “Yeses” you get will be 100% authentic, because there is no guessing what’s up.

It’s right there, clear as day, and up for negotiation.

Which is sexy AF.

Anyone disagree?

The Myth Of Results—At Least Visible/Obvious Ones

Thinking In Bets, by Annie Duke is an amazing read.

Annie is a professional poker player. She’s won millions. And she wrote a book about how to make decisions when you don’t have all the facts.

The biggest take away I had from the book is the idea that the right decision will always lead to the right results is a myth.

Which, of course, we all know.

But, we don’t KNOW it, until we think about it. Like, really know it.

For some reasons, we are stubbornly addicted to the idea that the “right” decisions should get us the “right” results.

Which, as Duke points out, works in chess—a highly logical game with no elements of luck.

Not so much in poker, or in life, where there is luck aplenty.

And as in life, so in kink.

Today’s writing prompt was “Why put in the effort if it’s pointless?” I had a link to a comment that no longer exists on this writing: Hello FetLife Newbies!

While I don’t have the comment, I have experiences of that comment over the years from many people, and I have a pretty clear idea of what I meant to write about.

And it perfectly ties in with the myth of results.

You see, in that writing, I mentioned how to send a “cold” message to someone on FetLife. It takes a bit more effort than “hey wyd?” or copy-pasta. It’s designed to be genuine and make a connection beyond gasp sex.

I usually get two objections:

I only want sex.

Ohhhh-kay then. Keep on wit ya bad self. I got nuttin for you.

But why put in all that effort when I STILL don’t get many replies?

This is the one I’m writing about.

Let me give you a few reasons:

  1. Because those people who might be inclined to interact with strangers are MORE inclined to do so when it seems like the experience will be pleasant.
  2. You don’t get a shitty reputation of messaging every woman in a 100-mile radius the same thing (yes, we do share).
  3. Because it’s the right thing to do. Being a good person is it’s own reward. Just like being a jerk becomes a habit, so does being a genuinely awesome person.

That last bit, that’s important.

Like lifting weights, you probably won’t see results the next day (except negative ones, like stiffness or aching muscles), or event he next week, but over time, you will build your strength and functional ability.

It’s a cumulative process.

It’s the same with putting in effort, being kind and authentic, and striving to do what’s right, even without immediate results. Or, even with immediate negative results.

Face it, some people are going to reply with assholery no matter what you write. Some people aren’t going to reply (they may not even be online). Some people are not going to like you, even if you like them.

But it’s not about a 1:1 ratio of do-right-get-right.

After all, sometimes, you’re going to be the asshole having a bad day, and someone will do right for you and get shit in return, or ask for nothing.

And of course, this isn’t just about connecting with people by Fet message. It’s also about meeting kinky people at munches and sloshes and on other sites. It’s about offering to help out at events.

It’s also about walking down the street, working with people, and, of course, playing poker.

Confidentiality In Kink? How Do You Do It?

Someone recently asked in a comment about confidentiality in kink as related to professional mental health care:

I have never heard of confidentiality being discussed in kink as part of informed consent. Do you think there is a place for it? Just curious…

Professional confidentiality? No.

Casual confidentiality? Yes.

To go into detail, what is required of a professional is above and beyond what is required of casual interactions, especially those where confidentiality is not discussed or negotiated.

And, just as the legal system cannot force spouses to testify against each other, I would never expect anyone to withhold personal kink experiences and details from their friends or family, unless specifically discussed.

That said, I do not share information casually.

Continue reading “Confidentiality In Kink? How Do You Do It?”

On “Fighting” For My Sub…

A few years back, I wrote a piece, Trying To Steal My Sub, Cunt?, in which I wish said thief good luck in their efforts.

Several people responded that I maybe didn’t show my sub that I wanted them enough, because I refuse to fight for them, because I said, “And, frankly, if you do manage to steal them, I’ll thank you.”

One comment said this:

If they let me go without a fight, then I, too, am glad to be walking away.

There is a difference between fighting to keep a submissive through my actions TO THAT SUBMISSIVE, and fighting another dominant in any way.

I am very happy to say what I want, and do my best by my submissive.

THAT is my fight.

EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Continue reading “On “Fighting” For My Sub…”