Vulnerability Is…

Yesterday, I put up a writing prompt about vulnerability, and said that today I’d post my own view.

Vulnerability is opportunity.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I recently watched The Power of Vulnerability, a TED talk with Brené Brown, which helped me gather my thoughts even more.

You see, in my current relationship, we’ve got this crazy connection. It’s amazing. Deeper than I’ve ever had before, and I was married for 11 years. We’ve talked this over, and wondered what made US so special. Was it The Most Amazing Non-Sex I’ve Ever Had experience? I never thought so. I thought that was another effect of whatever it was, versus the reason for it.

And, of course, when several people told me that they didn’t even want to think about experiencing something like that with another person, I thought maybe I was on to something.

At first, I thought it was the work and responsibility that people didn’t want. Deep relationships are work and a lot of responsibility, after all. And yet, thinking about my own past experiences, I realized that I am deeper in my current relationship and it’s a LOT less work and much less responsibility, so that couldn’t be it.

Then, I started thinking about vulnerability. How when Pet and I came together, we decided to lay EVERYTHING on the table, and make this work on who we actually all, flaws and all, instead of on who we wish we were.

That was a turning point for me.

And, then, I lost a friend. The only close friend I’ve ever lost. And her reason? I wasn’t vulnerable enough with her. She was with me. I didn’t reciprocate. She was incredibly hurt. I still don’t talk with her.

Another step on my path.

So, I opened myself up even more. I started writing more. I started exposing myself. Even with Pet, I tried new things that stretched me, made me uncomfortable. I didn’t just try new things, I also spoke about my discomfort.

And, because I was watching, I realized that when Pet and I had really exposing, vulnerable moments, we drew closer together.

So, I started watching other areas of my life. And I realized when I opened up more in my writings, I got more interaction. Not always on the writings themselves, but in my inbox. People who need someone vulnerable to relate to what they are going through, to offer comfort and advice.

Yes, vulnerability is scary. Of course it is. However, I’ve found the more that I open myself to people, the less it frightens me and the more it excites me. Because the amazing potential for love and acceptance grows.

And connection is tied to vulnerability.

I’m a fan of visual metaphors. I’ve used the audio sliders metaphor before with dominance and submission, and I’m going to use it again here for connection and vulnerability.

I believe that If you imagine connection and vulnerability as sliders on an audio board, they move independently, but that vulnerability puts a stop on connection, limiting the amount of deep connection you can have to no more than 10% (a number I’m pulling out of my ass, here) of the vulnerability you show.

Sure, you can offer vulnerability and not connect. You can also get a bit more connection than vulnerability.

Vulnerability is opportunity.

Opportunity for me to connect with others. I put myself out there, other people see that and respond.

I may not even KNOW they respond. Not actually. But I see it in various ways. I’ll get a like. I’ll get a message. Someone will say something nice about me to another. Good energy and karma (whatever you want to call it) comes my way, I make more money, and just find it easier to connect with people.

Also, though, I am a better person. I have let go of nearly all shame. Fear is easier to overcome, after all, what is most fear compared to exposing your most private self to people who can rip you to shreds? I’m willing to take more risks. I make more money.

All because I’ve allowed myself to be more vulnerable.

Oh, and I don’t pick and choose.

Sure, I don’t generally sit down next to a complete stranger and explain how nervous and freaked out I was the first time I cuckolded my Pet… it was a surprise and he didn’t know, and I KNEW it had a small chance of going horribly wrong and ending the best thing I’d ever had…

But I could.

It doesn’t frighten me anymore.

Even being hurt doesn’t frighten me. I can only be hurt because I’ve made myself vulnerable. And by doing that, I’ve got so much love and acceptance and amazing people in my life whoa re happy to help me with my hurt—to listen, to commiserate, and to threaten to cut the balls (or tits) off any offender in very thin slices to avenge my every tear…

So, yeah. That’s what vulnerability is to me.

Read More

I’m Teaching A Communication Workshop For Couples!

https://fetlife.com/events/394949

Join me and your sweetheart (or your BFF) the day before Valentine’s Day learning the core tenets of communication and practicing communication techniques.

This is the original one-hour class that so many of you love (and need) on steroids, and will dive down into issues like:

  • Communicating about sex.
  • Communicating about Jealousy.
  • Communicating your needs.
  • Knowing that your communication has been received.
  • How to stop the blame game.
  • Catch-22s and how to avoid them in your relationship.
  • Communication focusing on the 6 basic human needs and in the 5 Love Languages.
  • And more…

Lunch salad bar and a mid afternoon snack is provided, along with all that you’ll need to get through the course.

A follow-up 30-minute Skype call is available (within the next 60 days) for every couple taking the course, to discuss any communication issues that pop up after the class, to help point out where the principles you have learned apply to your real-world problems.

Bring your biggest communication challenge for the one-hour snack time/break discussion!

Doors open at 11am for the Salad Bar and Meet & Greet. Instructions and workshop start at 12pm sharp!

Read More

I’m Teaching At The Submissive Safe Haven Symposium April 29-May 1st, 2016!

https://fetlife.com/events/412487

I’m super-geeked that I’ve been asked back to teach at the the Submissive Safe Haven.

Not only do I love teaching, but working with the small side of the slash is a particular joy for me. I love submissives, and having some small part to play in their blooming and growing is a beautiful thing for me.

And this time, it’s a retreat far from the outside world. In a secluded cabin!

AND, it’s open to 18 and over! THAT’S SOOOOO FREAKING AWESOME! Because the younger crowd needs to learn and be served as much as the 21+ crowd.

So, I’m totally going to be talking about this.

We’re pretty sure I’ll be doing the Alpha Submissive class again, since it’s been requested (demanded? Can subs demand things? LOL!), and we’re working another topic for a potential 3-hour workshop/intensive.

So, keep your eyes on the event and my writings to find out what we’re cooking up for you.

*smiles*

Read More

I’m Teaching November 13th At TheVenue!

Here’s what I’m up to:

TheVenue: NookieNotes class on Behavior Modification

Event Link on FetLife • Friday, November 13, 2015 · 7:00 PM – 3:00 AM

What is behavior modification? It’s how behavior is changed through interaction. In D/s circles, we may call it training, but even in vanilla situations, behavior modification happens whether you want it to or not. So, since it’s going to happen anyway, why not do it right? This class is all about the basics of behavior modification and how to make it work for you in your relationships, and how to use it as the basis for more in-depth D/s training. Come join us for the class and stay to play after.

I hope all of you can join in for this class, not just the D-types, but everyone!

Behavior modification happens in every relationship, D/s and vanilla, whether you intend it to or not. Better to have the basic understanding of how it works, to make it work for you and your partner, your kids, your dogs…

*grins*

And for submissives, it will also help to have a clearer view of what you respond best to, especially when you are communicating with your D-type or looking for a new partner.

Read More

Safety In The Lifestyle

I’ve written some about references, and I believe in them for certain types of play, heck, even for some sorts of relationships.

I and others write a lot about consent as well. I believe in it, and moreover, find it sexy as fuck.

We often talk about learning how to do the many things that make up this lifestyle: rope, needles, sexual safety, electric play… I believe that the more you know, the better and safer.

But NONE of these things are guaranteed to keep you safe.

None of them. Unfortunately.

I mean, we’ve been taught that if we follow the rules and learn as much as we can, we’ll be rewarded, right?

But it’s not that easy.

You need more.

The ONE thing that you can do to keep safe in this lifestyle…

Is to be emotionally healthy, so that you make good choices.

Read More

Poly is NOT Settling (Poly Is Not, Part II)

I received a message from a young man:

Do you think settling for a partner in a BDSM relationship is just as devastating as an vanilla relationship? Not saying one is better than another. I’ve been thinking about this for the past week. Not sure if settling for in anything in life is worth it. Maybe it drowns out the pain for the moment. I just see that moment becoming so small, so quickly. I guess that’s why there are so many people trapped in relationships. I guess nobody wants to be lonely.

He found my reply helpful, and it sparked something in him, so I thought that sharing it might help others find that same spark (or another unique to themselves):

I do think it that settling in BDSM is just as devastating as settling in a vanilla relationship.

Because settling means that you are not getting your needs met, right?

That said, there are many types of relationships. You need not settle to avoid loneliness.

For example, I have a Pet. He is wonderful. We see each other a few times a week. I also have good friends-with-benefits and playmates that I see at parties in certain areas (I travel, some).

Those relationships are meant to be just what they are, not substitutes for each other, but relationships within their own right.

To those of you who are poly: Does this make sense to you? Do you feel the same?

And the monogamists: Does this change or effect the way you view poly (not trying to change your mind, just curious about how you view it)?

Read More

I’m Teaching At LaFortress Aug 29th!

Yeah, I’m totally calling in my writing for today, but it needs to be said.

Anyway, I’m teaching at LaFortress’s Academie du Kinque Arts on August 29th.

Sexy, Safe & Pain-Free Anal, Including Pegging

Based on my book In Through The Out Door, this class is for those of you curious about anal, but (get it, butt? LOL!) worried about the pain, the mess, the ghey, and more. Come and spend some time with me learning about spear-fishing for poop sharks! smiles

FemDom: Finding Your Feminine Leadership Style

There is a lot online and in print about domination, mostly male-oriented, because, let’s face it, there are more of them than us. There is still a lot about femdom out there, too, though. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of that is actually written by men, too, being over-sexualized and fantastical. This class is about the real deal. How to find YOUR perfect balance of hot, sexy, tough, firm, loving, sweet, and whatever else you want to throw in the pot. Based on my series of Women in Charge books (available directly, posting on Amazon Soon).

I’m also planning on attending b-wylde’s class, Pen and Paper: Writing and Publishing your own Erotica

So, come join me for an amazing day… and possibly some play at night!

Register: https://fetlife.com/events/367160

Play Party: https://fetlife.com/events/367704

Read More

References Don’t Work AFTER The Damage Is Done!

Saturday, I taught at LaFortress. A BJ class and an orgasm class. Had a great time, met new people, and heard something that made my stomach sink.

Someone has used my name, my online presence, and their connection to me as a friend as a reference. And then gone on to be a bit of a dickhead.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time, nor the first person to do this. And also, unfortunately, I hear about it after the fact far more often than I am contacted before things can go wrong.

So, here’s a quick refresher on how to use a reference within the lifestyle:

1. Get a reference.

This could happen one of several ways: Someone gives you a name or several of people that they are confident will say good things about them. Perhaps they mention the name of someone who has a good reputation in the community in passing, as if they know them well. Better yet, you watch them online, and choose random interactions to learn about them.

2. Check the reference.

Yes. You read that right. You actually need to check the reference. That means reaching out, possibly to someone you don’t know, and asking, “Is this person OK? Could you or would you recommend getting into a relationship or playing with him/her?”

3. Repeat 1 & 2.

If possible, check several references.

4. Make your own decision based on what you’ve learned.

Of course, no amount of reference checking is going to tell you everything you need to know about a person. You have to make your educated choices based on your own gut and what people have to say.

That’s how it’s done. Easy.

How NOT to use a reference within the lifestyle:

1. Get a reference.

Someone gives you a name or several of people that they are confident will say good things about them. Perhaps they mention the name of someone who has a good reputation in the community in passing, as if they know them well.

2. Use the fact that they offered the reference (however obliquely) AS A REFERENCE.

This person knows all of these people. They must be awesomesauce. Get nekkid, play, and bare your soul without common sense, because, hey! They know people.

No.

Just No.

Let me state for the record: I have friends on FetLife I would not and could not recommend for play.

I bet other people do, too.

Maybe it’s because I don’t know them well enough (many people friend me to follow my writings), or it could be because I disagree with how they play, their philosophies, etc. I may have them on my friends list because I want to keep an eye on them…

The point of references is not to find out how many people friend someone on FetLife. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s about checking the overall character of a person that you may choose to share your mind and body with.

To me, that is worth a bit of effort.

More than a bit.

So, I beg you, if you are given my name as a reference, USE IT.

Contact me. Ask me questions. At the very least, you may find that the person who is casually throwing my name around didn’t bother to ask me if I would give a reference (they rarely do, BTW), or you may discover that I have quite a bit to say about a certain person, that can help you make a decision to play or not.

It hurts my heart to hear the stories of people blindly trusting others because of my perceived status…

Especially when my status is really only perceived. I’m not all that and a bag of chips. I fully expect and encourage ANYONE interested in playing with me to vet me carefully as well.

If you are interested in playing with me, or pursuing some sort of relationship with me:

  • Look over my profile.
  • Read what I have to say.
  • Reach out to my relationships (for example, to make sure I’m as open/poly as I say, and not just a liar).
  • Go to events and watch how I interact with others.
  • Follow my activities on FetLife, and see who I interact with and how: Does the way I communicate and treat people makes you feel safe and secure, warm and fuzzy, or a bit uncomfortable?
  • Reach out to people within my local community and ask them about me.

I can pretty much guarantee reviews of Nookie won’t be 100% positive, and that’s OK. No one is loved by everyone. However, if you’re serious about getting involved with me (which means letting me into your head), then you should be serious about finding out as much about me as possible.

Because, when it comes right down to it, whether sub or dom or top or bottom or switch or kinkster or whatever, the only person who is always there to look out for you is you.

Read More

Story of R: Day 4

Mentoring_r

I haven’t been able to get my partner to do the 5languages test, but I think that we will be able to do that over the weekend, Madam. I hope that’s not an issue.

Mentoring_msnn
Not at all.

Like I said, it was not a priority for last night.

Mentoring_r
As for examples of being arrogant, I can quote the today’s example when I took my partner’s car from a shop and she said that I paid too much for such a trivial job. She wasn’t aware of the entire scope of repairs but instead of explaining it patiently I kind of jumped and said something to the extent “if you hadn’t broken it I wouldn’t have had to pay this much…”….. Of course I felt bad after this..

Mentoring_msnn

*nods*

How did she react?

Mentoring_r

She got angry with me at first.

Mentoring_msnn

And how did you resolve it?

Mentoring_r

I explained the scope of repairs in detail and she then agreed with me about the final price. But the thing is that I very often react like this and regret it later on

Mentoring_msnn

May I ask what it is you think you are reacting to?

Mentoring_r

I think it’s unfair accusations. When I really put my effort to please … but to no avail

Mentoring_msnn

So, you are reacting to a perceived inadequacy.

Mentoring_r

yes, that’s it

Mentoring_msnn

Ok. You were to come up with three examples. Do you have two more?

Mentoring_r

E.g. when going to a cinema, she wants to see a movie I usually don’t like, so I don’t want to go. She then gets angry at me… I know she will be angry but instead of going I prefer to stay home. I know it sounds trivial 🙂

Mentoring_msnn

Why would you rather stay home than do something that makes her happy?

Mentoring_r

I just can’t force myself to go

Mentoring_msnn

So, you look at it as a chore.

Mentoring_r

in a way, yes

Mentoring_msnn

And yet, you do other chores for her.

Mentoring_r

well, yes again

Mentoring_msnn

So, is your submission only when it is convenient for you? Or “sexy,” like you see in online photos and videos?

Mentoring_r

no, I don’t think that’s really it. I do lots of things which are not sexy or convenient but have to be done. There are just some things I don’t want to do. She knows it but pushes it nevertheless.

Mentoring_msnn

Why do you think she pushes it?

Mentoring_r

She wants me by her side.

Mentoring_msnn

And why is your dislike of a movie more important than being by her side when she wants you?

Mentoring_r

The problem here is that mentally I’m fully familiar with the mechanics of the situation and motifs behind it. I just can’t force myself – it’s this stubborness in me and lack of humility.

Mentoring_msnn

So, you are saying you are not in control of yourself?

Mentoring_r

the fun way to put it would be to say that I have this little stubborn troll inside me that I need to fight 🙂

Mentoring_msnn

It’s not fun for her.

Mentoring_r

Robo Slavedog: oh, it’s not fun for me, either

Mentoring_msnn

So, let’s not try to make it fun.

Mentoring_r

ok, sorry

Mentoring_msnn

So, give me a third example.

Mentoring_r

Sometimes she makes fun of me in a lighthearted, malcious way. Instead of laughing at it or accepting it I strike back with biting remarks. Which makes her angry.

Mentoring_msnn

Ok.

Why do you think she makes fun of you?

Mentoring_r

she has those moods

I called it her sadistic streak

Mentoring_msnn

What do you think starts those moods off?

Mentoring_r

I can’t fathom

Mentoring_msnn

Have you ever made fun of someone?

Mentoring_r

sure, who hasn’t

Mentoring_msnn

Why did you make fun of people?

Mentoring_r

I think we need to differentiate between an excersise in witty “word fighting” and intending to hurt someone by being malicious

Mentoring_msnn

Which do you think she is doing?

Mentoring_r

sometimes, the latter

Mentoring_msnn

And so, when you have been mean, and you have tried to hurt someone, why did you do it?

Mentoring_r

when retaliating

Mentoring_msnn

And why are you retaliating?

Mentoring_r

A natural response to an attack

Mentoring_msnn

If you are attacked, how do you feel?

Mentoring_r

I’m angry

Mentoring_msnn

Why?

Mentoring_r

Usually I’m angry when I feel that the attack was unsubstantiated and unjust.

Mentoring_msnn

So? Lots of things in the world are not fair. Why does an attack make you angry?

Mentoring_r

Because it comes from a person whom I value and who should know better

Mentoring_msnn

Should know better than to what?

Mentoring_r

that punishing someone should be based on merit and justice

Mentoring_msnn

An attack is not a punishment. You’re using two words for the same thing, but they mean different things.

Give me an example of something she says during an attack.

Mentoring_r

it’s usually not the words but the attitude and this anger as if something was my fault… when it clearly isn’t

Mentoring_msnn

So, you don’t believe she is giving you the benefit of the doubt?

Mentoring_r

She’s blaming me for something that I’m not responsible for. E.g. she was buying tickets to a theatre play online and she forgot her PIN to the account, she didn’t write it down anywhere, and got immediately angry WITH ME, as if it was my fault.

Mentoring_msnn

So, you are taking her anger personally.

And she is misdirecting it.

Does that sound right?

Mentoring_r

I think you’re right

Mentoring_msnn

Ok.

So, she is lashing out at you when she is angry, frustrated, feels out of control, maybe?

Mentoring_r

It would seem so

Mentoring_msnn

And when you lash out back at her, do you think it makes her feel better? Or solves anything?

Mentoring_r

I know it makes her feel even worse…. after I do it. But my first reaction is to fight back

Mentoring_msnn

So, how do you think you can change your first reaction?

Mentoring_r

I need to apprach with humility and patience. Calm down my emotions

Mentoring_msnn

Ah, but that brings us around to what you have not yet achieved. It’s a catch-22.

We need something more concrete.

Why do you want to be submissive to her?

Mentoring_r

Because I am

usually

Mentoring_msnn

That’s not what I asked.

I asked why you want to be submissive TO HER.

Mentoring_r

She does have these dominant aspects of her personality to which I react instinctively with submission. Also, she is the person I love and want to take care of. I want to make her life easier and more comfortable

Mentoring_msnn

Hmmm.

Your task for today is to come up with at least 10 reasons (20, if you can) that you believe she should lead your relationship.

These should not include the word “I” or refer to you and your wants at all.

Instead, they should focus on her qualities as a leader and lover.

Am I clear?

Mentoring_r

yes, Madam

Thank you for this discussion.

Mentoring_msnn

You are welcome. 

Read More