Boobday: noir

badge Boobday

It’s a winter wonderland outside – new-fallen snow everywhere, its cheerful and fluffy whiteness the consolation for the cold temperature. Indoors, the bright sunlight streaming through the window is pleasantly warm.

But the direct light and intense contrast confuse the camera, so I ended up with an image that’s quite moody.

Boobday noir

This week’s Boobday post is here.

erotic styles

Or, “How to Turn Me On: A Duffer’s Guide”.

I recently read Jaiya’s Cuffed, Tied, and Satisfied, which I found interesting overall, despite the fact that there were a few areas that seemed to me to be a little weak.

One interesting (but underdeveloped) topic was patterns of erotic needs and wants that vary from person to person. She calls this “erotic wiring” but I don’t care for that term; the suggestion of soulless mechanism or programming is at odds with the deliciously organic nature of sex. So I’m going to refer to her concept as “erotic styles” instead.

She identifies four styles, which she calls sexual, sensual, energetic (another term I dislike), and kinky. Although I found her descriptions a little sparse, I think I learned something about myself, and that’s all to the good.

[The blocks of text below are my own synopses, while the bullet points are direct quotes from the book.]

Sexual

For a sexual person, the focus is on intercourse. You have a medium to high libido and get off on erotic visuals and films (i.e. porn, presumably). Sex is both a need and a source of relaxation; orgasm is the focus, fucking is the way to get there. You may not feel much need for creativity in bed because you’re easily warmed up and easy to please.

According to Jaiya, a sexual person needs:

  • visual or other sexual stimulation
  • a willing body — either their own or their lover’s
  • standard, direct techniques

Easy peasy!

Sensual

A sensual person focuses on environment. Both physical space and head space need to be orderly. The things that work are typically romantic: food and drink, relaxation and massage, music and dancing, candles and perfume. Mood-killers include stress, clutter, and incomplete to-do lists. You prefer cuddling, kissing and foreplay over intercourse.

A sensual person needs:

  • clarity of mind — no chaos
  • cleanliness
  • toggle activities (like massage) that help you switch from daily life to sexual life
  • stimulation of the senses (candles, oils, music, etc.)
  • clear beginnings and endings — ritual
  • lack of stress

Energetic (aka Sensitive)

This refers to being sensitive to energy — I prefer the term “sensitive”. For a sensitive person, the key is (not surprisingly) their sensitivity. Anticipation is half the fun. Picking up on your partner’s mood allows you to take great pleasure in their pleasure, but also sets you off if they’re in a bad mood. Great heights of pleasure are possible, including an aptitude for multiple orgasms or full-body orgasms — if properly warmed up. Direct touch is too much, and traditional turn-on techniques probably don’t work. You feel intensely and are often misunderstood.

For sex to be satisfying, a sensitive person needs:

  • attention and absolute presence
  • indirect, full-body stimulation
  • anticipation
  • light energetic touch
  • eye contact/emotional connection

Kinky

A kinky person focuses on sexual play that is “outside the box”, whatever that means for you. You tend to be creative and have a rich fantasy life. A partner’s acceptance is a need, and good communication is very helpful. Fear, shame and judgment cause problems. Interests may include power exchange, bondage, role play, sensation play, training.

A kinky person needs:

  • psychological turn-ons
  • playing with taboo sexual practices (BDSM)
  • creativity/fantasy in sexual play
  • acceptance

The sexual, sensual and sensitive types seem to fall on a spectrum with directness of approach or technique at one end and indirectness at the other. Kinky seems to be a separate category typified by difference or novelty — in other words, off the beaten path.

So where do I fit in all this?

I’m clearly not a sexual type. I’m not easily warmed up. Don’t go for my groin, or even my breast, thinking that will turn me on: if I’m touched sexually too soon, I get right pissed off. The standard direct techniques do not work for me. I’m quite selective about what images or stories I find hot, and my response to the good stuff tends to be mild.

I prefer cuddling, kissing and foreplay over intercourse. Stress and clutter throw me off. I can find music particularly moving. As for food, drink, and the rest of it, they’re pleasant but they’re not going to light my fire. You can skip the rose petals. So I’m somewhat sensual.

I’m very sensitive. I’d say “yes” or “hell yes” to all of this. For me, sex is deeply emotional so I’m unable and unwilling to be sexual with someone who I don’t have a good emotional connection with. If I sensed that my partner was phoning it in, I’d be inclined to pull the plug — there’s just no point.

Another big issue for me is getting — and staying — warmed up. I have to be in a decent mood, he has to be in a decent mood, the pacing has to be good. I find it very satisfying just being aroused, perhaps because it’s still something of a novelty. If I’m not warmed up, there’s absolutely no point for me to try to get off either by myself or with a partner; it’s like having a stuffed up nose and eating a fancy meal despite the fact that everything tastes like cardboard. Deeply unsatisfying, emotionally and physically.

Great heights of pleasure? Yeah, I’d say so. Before my epiphany, the orgasms I had felt nice, or maybe quite nice. Now the low end is around “mmm, that’s gooood”. I fairly often get to “oh, oh, oh” and “oh fuck”. Tears afterward are not uncommon. I sometimes shout during, and I’ve had a couple of literal screaming orgasms. But for all that, I don’t actually orgasm easily. It’s definitely a skill that I/we have been working on. There’s a spot on the nape of my neck where, when touched delicately, makes me shudder orgasmically but it will never make me actually orgasm.

(I’m curious about how well the sensitive type maps onto the definition of the highly sensitive person. Both Wolf and I are HSPs, but he identifies most closely with the sexual type and I don’t at all.)

I’m also kinky. I’m a creative person, and I appreciate creativity, including in sex. I don’t have a rich fantasy life, perhaps because I had suppressed almost all sexual thoughts for so long due to sexual shame. I know I’m interested in some of the more common BDSM activities, especially spanking, power exchange, and bondage. (Hmm, just typing those words is arousing.)

Jaiya defines kinky as being outside of the box, but doesn’t distinguish between novelty and taboo. Transgression is a specific kink; for many people (myself included) whether an activity is taboo does not figure into their enjoyment of it. But I do enjoy combining certain psychological and physical sensations with sex in a way that happens not to be mainstream.

So, sensitive and kinky. That makes things… interesting.

TMI Tuesday: love, lust and sex

TMI Tuesday blog

1. Why do you fall in love? This seems like an odd question to me. The sample size is small, but from what I can tell, if someone is a good match (intellect, wit, compassion, compatibility on the big issues, similar interests) then I’ll like them a lot and want to have them in my life. I’d think that would ripen into love on its own.

2. What makes you fall in lust? Physical attraction, backed up with an emotional and intellectual connection.

3. If you are in a monogamous sexual relationship and your significant other has sex outside of your relationship, will you forgive them? If this is a hypothetical question about how I feel about being cheated on in general, then I would find it difficult to forgive. Honesty and trust are tremendously important, and cheating shakes the relationship to its foundation.

If it’s a question about my current relationship, my answer is slightly different. I’m in a sexual relationship that is mostly monogamous and we’ve had conversations about ethical non-monogamy. He’s simply not interested in having sex outside our relationship. If that ever changed, we’d discuss it first and reach some kind of agreement. Under those circumstances, there would be nothing to forgive.

4. What do you idolize? I don’t think I idolize anything. I’m much to temperate for that.

5. Where are your erogenous zones? My brain. Otherwise, the nape of my neck. I’ve also discovered recently that my nipples are more responsive than I’d thought, as long as I’m warmed up first. I like to be touched all over, and with the right intention behind the touch, anywhere can be erogenous.

Bonus: What is the strangest or most unique thing you’ve tied someone up with or been tied up with? Why were you tied up? We’ve used a scarf, a strip of suede, and we now have some actual rope (yawn), so nothing particularly unusual.


How to play TMI Tuesday: Go to the TMI Tuesday blog and copy the questions. Paste them to your blog and answer them there (with a link to TMI Tuesday Blog). Then go back to the TMI Tuesday blog post and provide a link to your post in the comments.

Gawan: Intro to Spanking

It was virtually certain that, during this trip, Gawan would give me a spanking.

The merest suggestion, barely more than an allusion, had been made very early on in our correspondence. We had arrived at the topic with both of us knowing that the other had an interest in it (I as a novice, he an expert), and when he made his vague invitation it was infused with a certain polite flirtatiousness — that is, he was polite while flirting, and flirting was the polite thing to do in the context.

Later he praised my cleverness and banter (and my breasts — he’s no churl), but I think it may have been my ass that finally got him checking his calendar and booking flights.

To be spanked by a master! I had no doubt that this would be an educational experience at least. I’d intended to be studious and to try to learn some transferable skills.

It didn’t particularly work out that way.

There were at least two spankings, maybe three, but they sort of blur together in my mind. I recall a few isolated details here and there but I can’t reconstruct the experiences in an objective, chronological way. I think that’s probably because my mind disengaged and I was mostly just experiencing.

I noted two distinct tempos (or tempi, for the musicians in the crowd) that seemed to have metronomic regularity. At one point, he observed that I seemed to respond better to a regular rhythm rather than an irregular one. I didn’t have any recollection of his having tried an irregular rhythm. Perhaps he tried it very briefly and was able to reach a conclusion before I noticed. Or perhaps that scrap of information just floated away on the stream of my consciousness.

I noticed that he started with a cupped hand, which is milder and makes a distinct ‘clop’ sound. Cupped or, later, flat, the sound rang out through the small room, bouncing off the terrazzo floor and out into the empty hallway. I felt a bit self-conscious about it but not to the point of distraction.

These were sensual spankings and I didn’t find them challenging. That will have been a deliberate concession: I’m certain that he could have had me crying if that had been our goal.

The regular rhythm, the even progression from my ass down-down-down the backs of my thighs, and the gentle crescendo of intensity was pleasant, even a little soothing. I relaxed into it, but that relaxation was limited and conditional, not transferable. My ass was warm and pink, and I was wet, content to go this far and no further. And so it was.

I had expected that I would color rather easily. Rather disconcertingly vampiric, he found it, when I seemed to pale and heal in the few moments it took for him to locate and ready his phone for photos. He was good-naturedly frustrated with my rapid recovery. It seems that he wanted the evidence of his handiwork to last a little while. To put his mark on me.

spanked
Photo courtesy of Gawan, who apologizes for the quality. He was “too distracted by other matters to get particularly arty.”

This is about as good (i.e. red) as it got.

There was one incident of hand-to-ass contact that was not a spanking. We were waiting on our floor for the aged elevator to arrive. In front of the elevator there was a good sized space (on every floor but the main), into which had been shoehorned some configuration of rather tacky overstuffed chairs and loveseats. It was like a miniature lobby, smaller and more private than the one at ground level, and the rooms themselves were small such that handy sitting area wasn’t a bad idea. I supposed that one could enjoy the breeze through the open windows, and perhaps a smoke. (What a cross-cultural experience it was merely to see ashtrays in a public building!)

So, we were just going down to breakfast. It was early-ish, sunny and cheery, and we were unencumbered. With mischief in his eye, Gawan led me the few steps to one of the chairs and, after a quick peek back down the hall to ensure that the coast was clear, jovially manhandled me over the oversized and overstuffed arm and proceeded to deliver a couple of quick swats to my bottom. When the elevator chimed, he grinningly rushed to right me. I was grinning as well, and on my feet again before the door clattered open. And I’ll bet my cheeks were a bit flushed too.

F4TF: fantasy

This week, the topic is fantasy.

Do you have a sexual fantasy that you would be embarrassed or ashamed to tell anyone about?

Is it a complete fantasy or would you like it to actually happen in real life, if you had the chance?

Are you brave enough to share it here with us?

My fantasies, such as they are, have always been very tame indeed.

Before my epiphany, I rarely thought about sex, mostly because it wasn’t something that I enjoyed doing. In a fantasy you run the show, so even if you imagine being utterly helpless, your imagined partner magically does precisely the right thing. It’s entirely safe. And yet that safety wasn’t enough to overcome my underlying sexual shame, which was whispering in my ear that sex was bad and that for me to want it (or even think about it) was wrong.

When I was in university, I often found myself studying during the late evening and I tended not to allow myself enough time to shift gears before bed, so I’d end up with coursework running through my mind and keeping me awake. I tried to distract myself by thinking about my hobby, which at the time was sewing. I would muse about color, fabric, design, and construction challenges… and end up with sewing projects running through my mind and keeping me awake.

Eventually I started distracting myself at bedtime by fantasizing – it provided a topic that I could focus on but, because I had to actively think about the details and the plot in order to keep it moving, there was no risk that it would take on a life of its own and keep me awake.

The fantasies were romantic in nature, focusing on what I found most exciting at the time: meeting someone new, first kiss, that sort of thing. I gravitate toward realism and detail, so I’d think about guys that I knew from my classes. But when I noticed that this was starting to affect how I felt about these guys, I dismissed them. Regardless of whether fantasizing about other guys while I was with Wolf was OK or not, I didn’t want to imagine myself into any kind of attachment with them, however slight. So I replaced them with someone completely unattainable – an actor – though this sacrificed some of the realism that I was after.

These days when I fantasize, I’m in bed either trying to fall asleep at night or trying to wake up in the morning, and the fantasies are still quite tame and realistic though they no longer resemble Disney romance. I explore and test-drive ideas about what I might actually want to do in real life, not generally venturing more than a step or two beyond my current comfort level.

TMI Tuesday: sexy

 

TMI Tuesday blog

This is my first TMI Tuesday. Today’s questions, yoinked from the TMI Tuesday blog, are as follows:

What is sexier…

1. Arms or shoulders? It’s close but I’ll go with arms, especially forearms.

2. Ass or legs? Legs. I don’t object to ass, but very few of them catch my eye.

3. Pussy or dick? Why? I don’t find the mere sight of genitals particularly sexy – it’s too obvious. But I’ll go with cock, because I’m straight.

4. Feet or hands? Why? Hands. They are expressive, and there are many, many good things that hands can do. I don’t have anything against feet, though.

5. Muscles or brains? Brains, no question. I need someone who is interesting, who I can have deep conversations with, and who has a good sense of humor.

Bonus: Do you think you’re sexy? I think being sexy is partly appearance and partly an attitude of sexual or sensual confidence. I think I’m attractive, but I don’t often feel sexy.

 

Sinful Sunday: window framed

Sinful Sunday

Light streaming through windows, cheery and warm, grounded in black velvet shadow. But this is definitely a winter scene – the sun is low, the branches outside are bare, and the overly optimistic leaves (launched in midsummer) of the calla lily on the sill are drooping their last.

Is the figure the subject, or part of the canvas?

window framed

This month’s theme is “windows“.

This detail on its own doesn’t really have anything to do with windows. I just like it.

window framed 2

beginnings

There have been some interesting shifts in my life recently, and over the last two years in particular. The genesis of this blog was my epiphany in the summer of 2014, but that was rooted in earlier events.

A little background

Five years ago I had a change in my work arrangements. I work with family, and this change introduced some conflict with a difficult personality.

A little over three years ago, Wolf started living abroad for about 8 months out of the year. We discussed the possibility of my going with him but decided I would stay behind for two main reasons. One was my job. The other (and probably more important) one was our elderly cat: she was 19 years old at the time, high strung and easily stressed out. Travelling with her or leaving her with anyone else would have been insensitive, if not cruel.

So. I was here and Wolf was there and that was that. It was hard being apart, but on top of that, the conflict at work worsened. At first, that seemed like a cruel irony, but then I came to believe that there was no irony at all, and his absence was actually part of the cause. The conflict had always been there, but because Wolf’s presence acted as a balm for my frayed nerves and made it all manageable, I had failed to perceive that it was as bad as it was. In a way, his presence was a crutch. (There is a study showing that a good spousal relationship measurably and significantly reduces stress.) It was his absence that shone the harsh light of day onto the situation.

2014

Things worsened and came to a crisis in the latter part of January 2014. Thus the theme of my 2014 was problems with work and family.

In an attempt to resolve or at least improve matters, I did a tremendous amount of (often painful) soul-searching. Because the problem, narrowly defined, was an interpersonal issue, I did lots of reading about psychology to understand myself, the other person, and our challenging relationship. I learned a lot about myself, both as an individual and as a member of my family of origin.

At the same time, I was having a hard time enjoying or even giving a shit about anything, work or otherwise. I think I may have been depressed. As a result, on those rare occasions that I found myself curious about something, I would follow that curiosity wherever it led.

I like to think I’ve always been reasonably self-aware, but now my introspection became turbo-charged. All the reading I did — on personality types, vulnerability, sensitivity, boundaries, relationships ­— came together in a powerful alchemical reaction that resulted in my epiphany about my sexuality. I could not have planned that if I tried.

The latter half of 2014 thus also included the beginnings of my sexual explorations, including the launch of this blog right at the end of the year.

2015

Although the work/family problems remain unresolved, I have at least achieved a workable status quo. I found 2015 to be interesting, challenging, exciting, and unpredictable, with a theme of love and sex. Compared to where I was before, that’s kind of amazing!

Many of the things that were important to me in 2015 were also novel:

  • living with Wolf in Oxford for two months in the spring and early summer
  • having likely had more sex — and definitely vastly better sex — in 2015 than I’d had in my entire life prior to my epiphany
  • discussing intimate details of my sex life, right here on this blog
  • plastering my tiny corner of the internet with nude and semi-nude self-portraits, and getting feedback that has helped my body image
  • Wolf’s open heart surgery (I still have moments when I find it hard to believe that this actually happened)
  • meeting Gawan online, starting a relationship, vacationing together, loving each other

The most important thing ­— Wolf’s unwavering love and devotion — is not new. It’s rooted in deep and fertile soil. The profoundness of our relationship exceeds my ability to express it.

2016

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but here are some things I’m looking forward to or planning to work on in 2016:

  • travelling with Wolf to the UK and perhaps Europe in the spring
  • seeing Gawan again (why do we have to live so far apart?)
  • more sexual exploration, especially BDSM
  • finding work I enjoy more
  • making some progress with this family problem
  • improving my ability to listen to my gut
  • decluttering my house and life, getting rid of the things, thoughts and relationships that don’t benefit me
  • continuing to figure out what I like and what I want

Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts with me in 2015. May your 2016 be filled with love, compassion and happiness.