I think I feel like blogging again

If there’s something that I want to understand but don’t (or at least not as fully as I want to), I keep revisiting it until I have the answer. One issue that’s like this for me is why I slowed down so much with blogging. Yes, I’ve discussed this before, but I’ve discovered some new factors, and I’m feeling optimistic.

I posted a lot in 2015, my first year. I had a lot to say, and while I was suffering with undiagnosed depression, the fact that I wasn’t able to work much ended up giving me more time to write, and fortunately I had enough brainpower for it. Wolf came back that summer and in the fall I started teaching dance more than I had been. In 2016 I posted somewhat less.

I think the original causes for the slowdown were depression (starting in the fall of 2016) and the fact that my sex life was cooling off so I had less to write about. No doubt the depression affected my sex life, but it was also cooling off for its own reasons, not yet fully understood (this is something I’m working on now). Then I went on antidepressants, which basically doused what embers of libido that remained. I strongly suspect that the antidepressants also muted my creativity, so even if I had something to say, it was hard to give enough of a shit about saying it to actually write and publish. My many, many unpublished drafts speak to that issue. In 2017 I had half as many posts as 2016.

I was feeling better by December 2017 (yay, depression essentially gone!) but stayed on the antidepressants until spring on doctor’s orders. I felt my cognition rekindle; it took 3-4 weeks but when the change came it was pretty sudden (yay, I can think!). And that was over six months ago, so where has the blogging been? In 2018, I had half as many posts as 2017.

The way I had originally defined the scope of the blog has become limiting to me. I think this is key, and it’s taken me a few months to really absorb it. I kept having ideas of things to say but I felt like I wasn’t allowed to say them here. Weird, since this is my blog to say what I want, but it’s taken me a while to give myself permission to talk about other things beyond the original scope of the project. I’ve felt limited by the name of the blog (which I chose four years ago when things were different), but I don’t have a better name yet, so fuck it. For now, it stays. I intend to revise my About page to reflect the new scope, in bits, as the mood strikes. If I tell myself it all has to be done in one go, it becomes overwhelming and doesn’t get done at all.

I’ve just become aware of a few other factors – less significant, but they go some way to filling in the remaining gaps. I might have mentioned before that I have a new(ish) laptop and I’ve found it difficult to adjust to. The keyboard is different and I get typos more often than before. So that’s annoying. Also, the screen is smaller than I’m used to so editing photos is less fun and more hassle. I have a nice big monitor for my work computer, which spoils me for the small one.

In addition to this, I have few reasons to turn on the laptop, and it being off is a barrier somehow. I don’t really know why, but it’s definitely a thing. I’m much more likely to putter on the blog, and especially reply to comments and comment on other people’s writing, when the laptop is already on.

Wolf has been gone for a week now and I’m rediscovering the routine I had while he was away doing his doctorate. During the day I like it quiet. No music. No talk radio. No TV or Netflix or YouTube. Just silence, other than the sound of a bit of traffic outside and sometimes the wind. (Actually, a lot of wind lately.)

OK, this isn’t really any different from when Wolf is here. But in the evening, it changes. I now have to do the cooking and dishes, and I want music on while I work around the house. When I want music, I go on Soundcloud, which I do from my laptop because of technical reasons. And lo, now my laptop is on every day, and I can just decide to write a little something or do other blog maintenance and it feels so much easier.

Brains are weird.

at the turning of the year

looking back

I launched this blog at Christmastime 2014, so this isn’t just the turning of the year, it’s also my fourth blogging anniversary!

In January, Wolf successfully defended his doctoral thesis and shall henceforth be known as Dr. Wolf. It represented the end of a long slog, and while his getting accepted into the university in the first place was a very big deal, we had no idea how emotionally difficult it would be on both of us. We are each other’s primary support systems and without that support, we both ended up in depression (though that wasn’t the sole reason for either of us). Completion for him was thus bittersweet as it had come at a much higher cost than expected and it left him wondering whether it would ever feel like it had been worth it.

March saw me take two very different trips back to back without stopping off at home on the way, which made packing a challenge! I was at a business meeting on a Thursday morning, in a succession of airports and airplanes from afternoon to night (my sleep time completely disappearing while I was in the air), arrived at Heathrow on Friday morning, then put in an appearance at the Eroticon 2018 Friday Night Meet and Greet that evening. I was, of course, exhausted.

My time at Eroticon (my second) was excellent, as expected. Although I’m now aware of one sex blogger and one romance/erotica writer who reside in my neck of the woods, it’s such a treat to just be in a room with more sex writers than you can shake a stick (or cane, or flogger) at. And everyone I’ve met has been my kind of people – intelligent, sexy and kind. Just wonderful. But it’s still a big trip for me. Would I have gone just for Eroticon? It’s hard to say, but I didn’t have to make that decision because Jaime and I had planned to meet up there and then travel together for a few weeks.

I made arrangements with the same photographer as in 2017 to do another shoot while I was in London. I must admit, both the shoot and follow-up were a bit disappointing, and I’ve spent the subsequent months forgetting it rather than remembering it.

Just before I returned home in April, I did my first shoot with Molly, which was also my first outdoor shoot. At about 10°, it was chilly to be naked outside, though better than I’d expected – and vastly better than it would have been if I’d been doing the same project at home! (Molly has given me some edited photos but I haven’t posted any yet; I’m experiencing some kind of block that is making it difficult, for reasons I don’t understand. With any luck, I’ll publish them soon.)

Just before I returned home from Europe, I finished weaning myself off of the anti-depressant I’d been on. By early May, my brain suddenly began functioning better; my cognition, focus and motivation improved substantially, which was such a relief! Since then, I’ve been working harder at the day job than I have in a couple of years, leaving me brain-tired and eye-strained at the end of the workday.

In November, I had a solo adventure in Japan; once upon a time I taught English there fairly briefly and went back this year for a visit. It was fun and stressful and tiring and delightful. I had a strong sense of filling my eyes with wonderful things, which I need to remember so I make a point of doing more of that. I’ve already posted a couple of photos (just before my flight out, and just after I arrived on the other side) and you’ll be seeing more from that trip in future.

On Christmas Day I set a boundary with my dad, which provoked a bit of a confrontation, so that was fun. But it means that I’m prioritising my needs over his wants, and that’s good for me. Five bucks says the next time we talk, he’ll pretend it never happened.

Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2018

I’m delighted that Molly (and Michael) included me in her list of the Top 100 Sex Blogs of 2018, which was announced in early December. I’ve fallen in the ranking since last year, which comes as no surprise since blogging regularly continues to be difficult for me, but I’m very pleased to have made the list at all. (Trying to remind myself that it’s OK if I’m less productive, and that I don’t have to blog if I’m not enjoying it.) Warm congratulations to this year’s winner, Rebel’s Notes!

I did find inspiration now and then through the year and there are some posts that I’m proud of, such as:

I’m also very happy to be included in Exposing 40’s round up of 40 [sex bloggers] over 40.

After my first adventure with Jaime in November 2015, I developed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which may have been caused by the gastrointestinal issues I had while travelling in a country where you need to be careful about drinking the water. In three years, following basic IBS guidelines has failed to control it and the constant bloating – as well as the resultant dip in body image, slight weight gain, and poorly fitting clothes – have really been getting on my tits, so this month I’ve started on a program to test whether certain categories of fermentable carbohydrates (collectively, FODMAPs) might be to blame, and if so, which one(s).

After the elimination phase, my bloating mostly went away. Around the same time, I was suddenly sleeping less and feeling more alert after struggling with fatigue for a number of years. The increase in energy hasn’t been consistent but this unexpected result provides a new lead for an issue where I’d mostly given up hope of finding a specific cause. There are five categories of FODMAPs and I’m currently challenging the third, so I’m about halfway done this process and I think I’ve identified two triggers. I’ll complete this project sometime in January and then follow up with my doctor.

My libido, which was variable at best and was convincingly sent packing by the anti-depressants in early 2017, is still AWOL. I originally started this blog as a place to record my new sexy adventures, but… I’m not having any. Forgive me Daddy, for I have failed to sin: it’s been almost 9 months since my last partnered sex. I don’t see that changing any time soon. And after giving me 4 orgasms on Christmas morning, my beloved We-Vibe Touch has died *cries*

looking forward

After over a year of looking for work, Dr. Wolf has been hired (last minute) for a lecturer position that starts right away. The catch is that it’s in another city – not too far from here but far enough to be inconvenient, especially given the lack of public transit and the fact that we only have the one car. We drive there tomorrow, I’ll get him settled and stay the night, and then I go back to an empty house. It’s a term position running until the end of June so he’ll be there and I’ll be here for the duration, except for the odd time when he can escape. He’ll be staying in a spartan place so it’s not especially practical for me to go visit him there. After that, we have to wait and see.

I have business trips in January and March, and the latter one (as well as the work to be done before and after) makes it ridiculously impractical for me to go to Eroticon 2019, alas. So my plan is to be dutiful, and then fuck off to Jaime’s house for a couple of weeks in April.

That’s my year in a nutshell. I hope you’re having/have had a great New Year’s Eve, whatever that looks like for you, and best wishes for 2019!

a new approach to blogging

I haven’t been posting much lately. I had various things interfere, like fatigue, depression, and some of my old hobbies, including dance.

I’ve lost my momentum. I’ve started lots of pieces and my drafts document is overflowing, but I haven’t been able to sit down and work things up into actual posts.

Maybe my approach needs to change. Maybe I’m trying to write about things that I don’t yet know the answers to. I don’t like to post until I’ve reached a conclusion and maybe I don’t have any conclusions right now.

So I’m going to try something different and allow myself to be a little less polished, a little more stream of consciousness.

Another thing that’s been interfering with my writing is that this is a sex blog and my sex life is very quiet. My desire is low. I don’t imagine my depression was very helpful in this regard, and the medication I’m now on (citalopram) seems to have snuffed out what embers there were.

My depression seems to be under control: the seriously down moods are few and far between and I sometimes even get spontaneous good moods. I had been started at one dosage and then had it increased twice. Since the meds seemed to be increasing my fatigue and my mood was stable, my dosage has been reduced twice so I’m back at the low dose where I started. I’m happy to take the medication as long as I need it, but hopefully when I get off it, I’ll see some positive effects on my libido.

Another part of the problem is that I don’t really know what turns me on. I’ve always had a difficult time figuring out what I like and what I want, and only in the last few years did I even figure out that I should be asking myself those questions. I have questions but no good answers. Physically I can get turned on, but I don’t know what input I need to get there. So I don’t blame the medication for the whole problem, and I think it’s much more complicated and difficult to solve than just not taking that pill.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to my next trip to see Gawan, which is less than four weeks away. I’ll be staying at his house again, no real travelling, and probably a lot of time in bed and/or in a state of undress.

Boobday: Linear A

I’m looking forward to my photo shoot trip, which is next weekend, woo! Nothing much to report on that front, except that Lucas just found out that he’ll have to work on one of the days he’d hoped to have off. That was the day we were planning to do some shopping for fetish wear, but with any I’ll still be able to hit a couple of shops, either on my own or together on one of our shoot days.

I’ve arranged to see Mr. PS for dinner while I’m in town. I’ve got some extra time now, so maybe I’ll be able to spend that with him. I’m confident that he has no ulterior motives towards me, but I’d say there’s a fair chance we’ll cuddle on his couch.

I’m going to have to start packing soon. I’m only going for a few days, and under normal circumstances my clothes would fit in a carry-on bag. I tend to be practical, but not quite minimalist. Not yet. If left to my own devices I can easily wear the same pair of pants (that’s trousers for the Brits) for 5 days in a row, but I find it difficult to leave home and commit to wearing the same pants for that length of time. And I’m going to be bringing half of my wardrobe to play dress-up: dresses, heels, boots, lingerie. All the frippery that I would ordinarily leave behind. So my usual strategy of packing everything the day before won’t work so well because my usual packing skillz don’t apply. I have this mental image of little me rolling this big bag along in full princess mode, wearing a tight dress that shows a lot of thigh and my knee-high gladiator “sandals” with the 4″ heel. Yeah, not so much.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been writing less over the last few months. I’ve been busier with work and have had less time to write, and less writing seems to mean fewer ideas for writing, which initiates a vicious circle of less writing, etc. But I might be turning the corner, inspiration-wise at least: I have a play party to write up, as well as most of my visit with Gawan, which was months ago, and my thoughts about where I’m at currently are starting to ripen. I’ve also started posting a bit of serialized fiction, and I’m not ready to drop that story yet. Now the trick is not to get overwhelmed with it all and freeze up.

The other day I booked the flights for a trip to London in early spring. I’m going to Eroticon! I’m looking forward to meeting some of the bloggers who I’ve become acquainted with online and hopefully turn some of those acquaintances into friends. I’m also holidaying with Gawan on this trip, and I have to admit that he’s the bigger draw. Good thing I don’t have to choose 🙂

Aaaand, Molly announced the Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2016 today. I’m very chuffed to have made the list again this year! Why not check out the list and find some good new blogs?

boobday-linear-a
After the play party.

badge Boobday

I’m a little bit out

I got together with a friend today for coffee. We don’t see each other that often but when we do, we always chat for hours.

We’re both sensitive and introverted. Having come from families where communication doesn’t really happen, we’re also both naturally very reserved. I’ve shared with her some personal things that I don’t tell everyone, such as difficulties I’ve had with work and family, and the last time we visited (a couple of months ago) I told her about my epiphany.

Last week, I booked my plane ticket to visit Gawan (squee!). Since it’s a big trip to one of her favorite places, it would have felt unnatural not to at least mention it. I wasn’t so bold as to explain the details, but it’s entirely true that I’m going there to visit a friend. She was excited for me, positively jumping in her seat.

I had also been thinking about telling her about the blog for, oh, months now, but chickened out on one or two occasions. I finally decided that today was the day. For one thing, the blog is a major part of my life and censoring it out leaves a big gap in the record. Just about everything else that’s going on in my life is pretty boring, really, and I’ve found myself nattering on about other, less interesting topics just to have something to talk about, which makes those topics seem much more important than they actually are. I tend to bore myself as I’m talking about them. Not good.

I’ve also realized that part of my general sense of loneliness is probably due to the fact that, in effect, I tend to keep myself distant. This isn’t deliberate, I just never learned to connect deeply with friends, for instance by sharing confidences. In order to be seen, I need to show myself.

So I finally spat it out.

I told her I had a blog, that I write about sex and relationships, and some of the things I get up to in bed.

I told her the story about asking my mom’s advice when I was considering starting a website relating to my dance, and how she counselled me not to post nude photos of myself on the internet, and how I have in fact now posted many nude photos of myself on the internet.

“That’s fantastic!” she said, grinning. It seems I chose well: what a relief! (She didn’t ask for the name of the blog and I didn’t offer.)

She then shared some of her thoughts and concerns about her own relationship. As I said, she’s reserved — and we were in a popular coffee shop — so there was no “dishing”, but it felt like our connection was a step closer than it had been before.

One thing we discussed a bit was the five “love languages” (gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch (intimacy)*). Touch is very important to her; not so for me, and for a long time it made me actively uncomfortable. She likes to hug her friends but is sensitive enough to be aware that I didn’t care for it and so she held back. I explained that touch is actually becoming more important to me, and hugs are now absolutely fine. So when we parted ways, she felt more confident about offering me a hug. I happily reciprocated, declaring, “The treatment is working!”

So, things are good. I had a good visit with a friend, was able to share something with her that’s important to me, and I think we’ve become a little closer. I’m definitely going to visit Gawan and I have a departure date to look forward to. And I have plans to visit Mr. Pleasant Surprises both on the way out and on the way back.


*Given the fact that touch is the only way of effectively expressing caring to an infant, I think it’s more fundamentally important than the other love languages. I suspect that discomfort with touch is something that would benefit by being addressed.

Top 100 Sex Bloggers for 2015

I’m slow off the mark, but nonetheless I’m chuffed to announce that Molly of Molly’s Daily Kiss has named me as one of her Top 100 Sex Bloggers for 2015! Thanks, Molly, for all your hard work on this massive project (assisted by Michael, aka @DomSigns).

When I was first considering starting a blog, I spent a good while trying to justify it to myself. What would be the point, other than listening to myself talk? I had hoped that sharing my escape from sexual shame would be a worthwhile story to tell, and that my subsequent adventures (such as they are) might be of some interest.

It’s lovely to get feedback that people enjoy and find some value in my writing and photography, especially considering that 2015 was my very first year of blogging. I’m proud to call myself a member of the sex-blogging community.

To my current readers, thank you; and to my new readers, welcome!

Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2015

Click on the badge above to see the complete list of blogs.

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.

my first anniversary

I’m currently at my mother-in-law’s place, where I launched this blog one year ago today, Christmas Eve. (No, she doesn’t know!)

I’d had my epiphany in the summer of 2014. There was only so much I could accomplish while Wolf was away, so five or six months later I still felt very much like things were just beginning. When I first started blogging, it was with the intention of documenting my exploration of my own sexuality, not knowing what I would find.

I’m not really one for planning and expectations. I had and have no schedule for this, no checklist. At the outset, I asked myself a number of times what I was trying to accomplish — what was the point of putting this deeply personal (and potentially embarrassing) material out into the world? I’d had difficulty with sexuality forever and I was only able to solve that issue by remaining curious, reading things that caught my interest, asking questions and looking for answers. My solution was out there but it had required rather a lot of assembly. I figured that if I could supply a few more nodes of information and hopefully some insight, maybe it would be helpful to others.

I don’t know if I’ve had any success with that particular goal — perhaps it was merely a justification. Not many people find my blog through searches*, and I don’t actually have that much to say about sexual shame and how to overcome it, because once I assembled the requisite bits of knowledge, the shame melted away on its own. Although I still have some hangups, I don’t think those have anything to do with unresolved shame.

I haven’t written as much as I thought I might, although this isn’t a great surprise. Occasionally it was a lack of material, but, of late, finding enough time has become the bigger challenge.

I have ended up posting way more photos than I expected to, partly because of the simple fact that I find them quicker and easier than writing. At this point a little more than half my posts are photos! This has provided me with an unplanned opportunity to express myself visually; I’ve found that I’m most comfortable with sensuality, sometimes shading towards eroticism, and less so with overt sexuality. [For what it’s worth, my busiest day for blog traffic was the day I posted this photo of my ass.] I’ve also been discovering my visual style as an artist (if that’s not too grand a title), which has been fun on its own and has to an extent informed my sense of style in how I dress and how I decorate my house.

I suppose that it’s not a big surprise that the sex blog memes that I’ve participated in are photo memes: Hyacinth’s Boobday and Molly’s Sinful Sunday. The feedback from these communities has helped improve my self-image ‌— another unanticipated benefit! And I’ve become acquainted with a number of other bloggers, which has been quite nice.

I’ve also made a very special friend in Gawan, which was utterly unexpected! Whatever our relationship is, it’s unconventional and I don’t know where it will lead, but I’m very glad to have him in my life.

Wolf and I are still learning about ourselves and each other, even after so many years together. There’s lots more exploring for us to do and I’m looking forward to it.


* Some of my favorite search terms that have led people here:

  • hobby fuck sex
  • sex fucking is bad hobby
  • givemeafucknow
  • sex sexy fuck fucking stories tripod mom fiction
  • most pleasant intercourse.

Gawan: touch

It’s been a long time since I’ve negotiated physicality with someone in a context more intimate than simple friendship. What’s an appropriate amount of physical contact when shifting a fairly intimate online relationship into meatspace? I don’t imagine the etiquette books have devised an answer to this question yet.

I’m not generally demonstrative — I have no problem accepting a hug from a friend but I’m very rarely the one to initiate, and I tend to come across as reserved. Gawan, on the other hand, is physically affectionate and cuddly. Unsurprisingly, there was a bit of awkwardness between us as we began to negotiate these little differences.

On the first flight, we were seated in different rows, but once we were airborne he located a row of three empty seats where we could sit together. He took the window seat while I sat beside him; with my feet up on the aisle seat, I leaned back against him and he wrapped his arm around me and squeezed me happily for the remainder of the flight.

Then we had a stopover and a few hours to kill. In a quiet corner of the airport we claimed a 5-seat bench, which — surprisingly — had no armrests between the seats. He sat. Unsure of the dimensions of our personal space bubbles now that we had so much room, I left one empty seat between us and folded one leg up onto the bench so I could turn my body to face him. It turned out that that was entirely unsatisfactory. He ordered me to sit right beside him. Ah, fine. I suppose this is how it is when you travel with a dom, and it did save me from having to figure out what the right answer was.

(Of course, his being a dom doesn’t automatically give him any rights over me, but we had touched on the subject of D/s a bit previously, without having reached any conclusions or agreements. This was the first time he gently but ‘dommily’ tested the waters during this trip.)

The flight to our destination was, frankly, cramped. It was a sort of discount airline that shoehorned in the maximum number of seats by sacrificing what anyone would consider to be the minimum sane amount of legroom. I’m short and yet my knees were almost touching the seat in front of me — the effect was slightly claustrophobic. This time I was in the window seat and he was in the middle, with someone else occupying the aisle seat. He put his arm around me for a short while but mostly we just held hands. Likewise during the lengthy bus ride to the hotel.

We had bought a package deal, air and hotel, and there was no choice of rooms. Perhaps that’s why they didn’t bother clearly stating the number and size of the beds. I have a bad back and it’s a rarity to find a hotel bed that I can actually sleep on, so I informed Gawan I would be bringing an air mattress and he thought that was a good idea. I considered this to be my backup plan in case of (a) back pain, (b) a too-small shared bed, or (c) disinterest between us.

It turned out that the room had two single beds. I thought this was perfect: we would each have our own bed to sleep in and I wouldn’t have to explain my need for space or decide whether I felt comfortable enough with him to be in such close proximity through the night. Gawan, however, was thoroughly vexed. He wanted a double bed (or better) and for us to share it, and, failing that, he was rather insistent that we share one of the single beds.

So it turned out that I was going to have to give that explanation after all.

I told him that I can’t sleep while cuddling or even touching, and a single bed was definitely too small for us both to sleep in. If I don’t get enough sleep I get very grumpy indeed, and my mood becomes particularly foul if I’m tired for entirely preventable reasons. I don’t do well with sharing a bed, even if it’s designed for two. And even with Wolf, cuddle-time and sleep-time are mutually exclusive. (Wolf and I sleep in two single beds that are right next to each other. We each have our own blankets, and if he turns over in the night it won’t wake me, but we remain within arm’s reach.)

Gawan and I went around in circles a couple of times but eventually arrived at a solution. We would cuddle together on my bed. Because he was nearly impossible to wake up I didn’t want him falling asleep in my bed, so if he was getting dozy I’d exile him to his bed. (I dubbed his bed “Elba” but he thought “[Saint] Helena” was more appropriate — escape was possible from the former but not the latter.) Immediately after the exile, I’d come over and cuddle with him in his bed until I wanted to sleep and I returned to my own bed for that. When I woke up in the morning, I’d come and visit him again. This gave me the sleep I needed so I was satisfied, but I don’t think his attitude toward the arrangement was anything better than resigned.

As the trip progressed, we began holding hands across the table at restaurants and sometimes also while walking. Gawan usually snuck a kiss if we were alone in the elevator. There were other kisses too — at the terrace of the hotel bar when we tired of watching the world go by; in the back (but still well-lit) corner of a sold-out gig, the only likely witnesses being the nubile, bored waitresses dressed head-to-toe (or rather, head to mid-thigh) in white; and in a dark front corner of a cabaret, where the girls’ minimum costume comprised pasties, g-strings, and largely purposeless nude fishnet body-stockings.


I’ve gotten the OK from Gawan before publishing this post, and will do the same for future posts involving him. I’d feel weird reading about myself on a public forum without prior knowledge of what was going to be said, so I’m giving him the same notice that I’d want if roles were reversed. Is that going to affect what I write? Yeah, probably a little.

This blog is not a comprehensive diary of all my innermost thoughts and I’m not here to get advice, so withholding some material is no great hardship. My first goal and responsibility is to be absolutely honest with myself. It’s the rare tidbit of information that I wouldn’t share with Wolf — I tell him everything that matters even remotely, and an awful lot of stuff that doesn’t. Gawan is also entitled to my honesty, though the scope is narrower.

If there’s anything that’s bothering me about events with Gawan that I wouldn’t share here, there are other outlets. The obvious one is to talk to Gawan himself. Or I can talk to Wolf. If I don’t want to discuss it with either of them, then some thoughts may remain locked in my own head, and if they’re straining to get out I can always process them by writing without blogging. (I make rough notes and draft blog posts in a document on my computer, deleting material if I post it. The document already contains a metric ass-load of writing that will never see the light of day — if I have a diary, it’s that document, not the blog.)

inside out

Suppose we met at a party. Before we even spoke to each other, you could make some fair assumptions about me, for instance, that I lived in the city where we met and that we had at least one mutual acquaintance in common. You’d make a guess as to my age on the basis of my face, my hair, my build. Seeing my expression and my interactions, you might reach a conclusion about whether I was friendly or reserved. You’d see my clothes, and jewelry if any, and maybe make deductions about my interests, my attitudes, perhaps even my political leanings if you were very clever.

And with those basics already established, we might start a conversation and look for connections or at least some common ground. How do you know So-and-so? Oh, I’ve always been interested in that. So what do you do for a living? Do you know X? Whereabouts do you live? Ah, I like that part of town. Have you been there long? Where did you study? Oh, what was that like? — did you enjoy it there? Married? Kids? And in a straightforward way you’d build up an concept of what I’m like as a person, and if you were very observant, you might get a sense of possible shared acquaintances, what other events you might run into me at, what kind of food I might like, how I’d treat the wait staff, whether and how I might vote.

But you don’t know me like that. We haven’t met like that.

I’ve revealed what I usually hide, but in monologue form — you get only what I offer up. And the first thing I offered you was a reflection on my sexuality and how it came to be the way it is. Straight to the core. In real life, only my partner knows any of that. I’ve shared intimate details about my sex life — not that they’re so raunchy in the grand scheme of things, but it’s not something I’d tell you over canapés, coffee, or even over a red Solo cup full of tepid rum and coke.

I’ve hidden what I usually reveal, keeping certain information and images from you, partly for anonymity and partly because those ordinary things are, well, a bit boring. I suppose that because they’re easy to share in real life, I’m not driven to share them here. This is my space for thinking out loud and I’m enjoying thinking thoughts that are new to me, not just the same old same old.

So we’re meeting here at the frontier of my journey of self-discovery.

You’re meeting me inside out. I wonder — do you know me better than if we’d met in the ordinary way, or just differently?

Gawan met me inside out too. He knew I was clever before he knew I was slim. He saw my bare breasts before he saw my face. I told him how I felt towards giving and receiving oral sex before I told him my real name. And as for my clothes, grooming and how I treat the wait staff, those tidbits of first-date-type information were unavailable to him until very recently, after he had embarked upon his odyssey to meet me.

How much information I get from eye contact and body language. How much I can learn from what captures or fails to capture his attention, and his interest. How inverted this process has been.