This is a whine of self-pity.

In the past year I’ve lost both my therapist and psychiatrist.  Nothing bad happened to them. My psychiatrist decided to take a year off after the birth of her child. And my therapist moved on to a different practice in Pasadena. It made her both out of network and would have made going to see her, given LA traffic, an hour trip each way.  The year before I had another therapist leave.

This is the trouble with going to a faculty practice. There are good things, the care I’ve gotten has always been very good, frequently even great. They don’t take any money or perks (not even pens) from pharmaceutical companies, so usually the drugs they prescribe are available as generics. But faculty members tend to move on. Especially younger ones.

So last month I saw a new psychiatrist. The good thing is he’s chair of the department so likely to stay. He also seemed nice, but I didn’t feel the vibe of connection I’d always felt with my previous one.

The one who saved me.

On my new psychiatrist’s advice, because I want to work on my anxiety, the residual habits from having been depressed for so long, and the stress of the job market, I’m seeing a therapist today with the goal of setting up regular meetings if we both feel okay about it.  As those of you who’ve read me for a while know, there’s nothing I hate more than first meetings with therapists. I’m hoping the new doctor will have at least scanned my 4+ years of records and case notes. I don’t want to have my history taken.  But needs must.

So I’m whining. Sometimes it’s the only thing left to do.

Not So Numb

Yesterday evening something special happened. I was on Twitter with Serenity, Marie, Emma, Indy and others.

As you may have gathered from my earlier postings, I haven’t felt kinky or playful in a long time. But on Twitter last night I did. Without even realizing it, I tried out a persona of Indy’s governess, one with a hairbrush. This isn’t something I feel often, but Indy is both a joy to play with and also definitely needs someone to look after her a bit. So these exchanges, building on some scenes we’d had at Shadow Lane, were just the right kinky fun.

In the past, I’ve only identified as a bottom, even though I do sometimes spank friends. But last night I only wanted to top, felt comfortable in that identity.

Indy was feeling playful too and fed into it, ultimately sharing a story she had written a while before and never posted. I went to read it with a bit of dread. One of the things that hasn’t worked for me in a while is spanking fiction. But I read this and felt a long absent rush. It’s a great governess / hairbrush story with a moment that feels heart shakingly real. Go read it: http://innocentindy.wordpress.com/

Feel like, bit by bit, I’m coming back.

What if You Spanked Me?

What Would Happen if You Spanked Me?

I’d weep.

I’d fly apart into a million pieces and could never ever be put together again.

Really.

That’s how I feel. Like I could be caned out existence. Or thrashed into madness.

Playing sounds dangerous. Edgy.

Worse though, what if I didn’t fly apart?

What if I didn’t weep?

What if I am just numb?

Who Is Mija? Playing on ello.

Ello

This was originally blogged as my first new content post for ello

Where is Mija? Who is mijita?

Can I even introduce her anymore?

It’s funny how I can be seduced by something new and shiny. I’m exploring ello and suddenly want to write about spanking and kink again. This is new. Or maybe renewed.

Life has been good lately, filled with work that I love, and I do mean love. The research, the writing, even the grading. Everything about teaching what I teach to whom I teach is a joy. But it’s also very grown up, very responsible. For years my spanking kink has been an escape back into childhood (for good and ill and all the baggage that carries). For years I was a school girl getting thrashed for not being responsible. For not writing her dissertation. But now it’s written.

Now I am responsible. Really. The people who know my college professor self wouldn’t recognize the girl thrashed for ignoring her research. I’m not sure I even recognize her anymore. I love my research, horde the hours I get to lavish on it. Love preparing my courses, am working devilishly hard to land an elusive tenure track job so I can keep doing this thing I love so much.

It all feels terrifyingly fragile. Like if I let go at all I’ll wake up and this thing I want to badly will have slipped through my fingers. Time feels so precious. Yet kink, my kink anyway, needs time, needs space. Physical and brain.

Add to that the medications that keep me sane also dampen (ha! like salt peter) my desires, making my fantasies quieter and tamer than they’ve ever been and, well, basically I’ve been de-kinked. A prospect that in my early 20s would have made me happy. Now it feels like part of me, an important part of me that I love, is numb.

And yet today, September 28, 2014, doing the things I do on new social media like defining spanking, and posting an old story, I find I’m thinking more and more about my kink. Wanting to say something, wanting to find room for Mija. I even got my old usenet name, “mijita” which thrills me a surprising amount.

Not really sure what I want to say.

But ello.

(Re)reading The Ethical Slut: Day 0

ethical-slut
On Twitter the other day a friend of mine asked for recommendations on books on polyamory.  I saw tweets giving several recommendations, including, several times, the book The Ethical Slut.  This intrigued me (as mention of the book always does) and I started following the exchanges, stating that I’d like to read along as a blog project.  In the course of the discussion, we found out there was a new (2009) edition.  I decided to order the new edition.

My reasons were complicated.

I first read The Ethical Slut in 1997 (I’ve used the original cover image), the year it came out, which was something of a watershed year for me.  It was the year I turned 30.  The year I left my then husband.  The year I found the newsgroup ASS. The year I began talking with my first play partner (though not actually playing).  The year Paul and I started first emailing then talking on the phone.

I was eager for information, eager for a different way to see the world.  One of the women I got to know on the newsgroup was Janet Hardy.  She’s one one of the authors of The Ethical Slut and always seemed to give good advice.  So I ordered the book and read it. Carefully. Making notes in the margin.

I’m about to crack the cover of the new edition.  But before I do, I want to remember what I took from my first reading of the book (or what I think I took from my reading of the book) some sixteen years ago.

What I remember it being about was negotiation.  About trying to know how I feel and communicating that to those I’m intimate with.  I remember reading about the idea of jealousy not being something that would kill me.  About it being something I could feel, understand where it was coming from and let pass. About the importance of honesty, even when what we have to tell our partners will hurt them.

I remembering the dizzying complexity of the calendaring discussed, my wondering how those involved ever got anything done or ever had any time to themselves.

I remember wondering if I could be polyamorous, if I wanted to be, if Paul did.  I remember the thrilling possibilities of if.

What I discovered is that I can play with other people and it doesn’t change how I feel about Paul or my relationship with him one way or the other.  This has always been true.  But I experienced fierce and painful jealousy when Paul first played with others, especially when we were still long distance, still only seeing each other one month in six.  This seemed unfair, because intellectually I wanted him to explore, to enjoy play partner friendships the way I did.  Still, I hurt when he had feelings for someone else, was not able to believe it didn’t diminish what we had together.

Now, I’m not very interested in finding other people for myself. I have good friends, people I play with when we’re able (which isn’t very often).  But on the other hand, it’s not painful when Paul plays with other people.  What I feel, when I don’t just feel happy about it, are stabs of insecurity, not a sense of being diminished, but a wondering if I can possibly be as wonderful as this other person.  I don’t like myself for feeling this way and try not to indulge it or give it too much space in my brain.  I don’t want these feelings to control my behavior or Paul’s.

So these are my thoughts as I’m about to crack the new edition.  I hear there’s homework in this one.

Want to read along?

People who are reading along:

Marie – Life, Lemons and Spanking

Boneheaded OR Where is The Punishment Book?

Some of you may be wondering what's happened to The Punishment Book and why all the old links are directing to a porn site.  There's an answer.  I made a dumb mistake and lost the domain. 

How did I do this, you ask?

Last year I decided to move my domains from GoDaddy to another host registration because, well, there are a lot of reasons to leave GoDaddy.  Among the domains I moved was The Punishment Book (which I've had since 2005 — a long time in the world of blogs).  However, it seems somehow I only moved one of the PB domains (we had the .org and .net both) and the one I moved isn't the .org one, which was the one that was mapped.  

Following so far?

Since I generally register the blogs for two years when I do them, I wasn't even thinking about it expiring this year.  But expire it did, in January, as I found out today.  In addition, the PB has been sadly neglected of late.  But Dykegirl emailed the PB authors yesterday to ask what had happened to the site.  I went and discovered the crappy porn redirect I mentioned above.  When I went to check on the domain, I discovered it had a new owner. 

A number of emails and phone calls later and what's become clear is that in January, the day the domain expired, someone else bought it.  They then kept the old domain mapping active until far after the 45 day grace period during which time I could have reclaimed the domain.  Sure they'll sell it back to me for a price — too high a price for a site that doesn't exist to make any sort of money — or s/he gets our old traffic.  I hope they choke on it.

Right now I'm working to move the content, which fortunately hasn't been lost, to the domain punishmentbook.net.  The site will be there by the end of the week  is up now.  Some great people out there have already volunteered to help by changing the links on their sites and I'll be busy doing my part to make the change known.

To everyone whose ever written a single comment on or about the PB and most of all to the other PB authors, both current and former, I'm sorry this happened. I'll make up for it the only way I know how, by writing more and encouraging others to write.     

Online Sympathy & Rituals of Mourning

Over the past weekend, some people I know online and  care a lot about have suffered the loss of loved ones. I've found myself thinking about them and, in one case, saying the rosary (ritual Catholic prayers) for them. 

But what I've realized is how inadequate online expressions of sympathy in the face of grief. It's true that expressions of sympathy always feel inadequate, but especially so when there is so little we can do online. 

Everything I've learned about how to express sympathy by sending a card, making food, sending flowers, attending rosary, funeral and wake, isn't possible.  We know so much about each other and yet how can we express our sympathy without being able to observe rituals of mourning?  

Does it seem trivial and insincere to go on tweeting and posting kinky thoughts as usual? For me, it feels wrong. Yet I also  want to make sure the person knows I'm around if they want to chat.  And besides that, what use is my silence, however heartfelt? 

I know better than most that love can be found, received and sent through these pixels. But can sympathy? And if so, how? 

Christmas Eve Travels: Advent Blog Day 24

blue-canary
Today started before the crack of dawn as we headed up to my parent’s house in Portland. The taxi arrived on time, but we were a bit wary because the night before we had been unable to print out boarding passes. When we got there (after going to the wrong terminal — damn code-share flights!) the machine printed my boarding pass for both legs of the flight but only one of Paul’s.  When we went to talk to the agent about it, she said it wouldn’t be a problem, that he’d be able to get his boarding pass at the gate when we changed planes in San Francisco, a plane change we only had one hour to make.

The flight was on time, but when we got to San Francisco, we had to not only change planes, but change airlines. This meant going through security again. But Paul didn’t have a boarding pass. The machine gave him one, but while we were in line we realized it wasn’t a boarding pass but a luggage receipt. Paul stepped out of the security line and went to talk to the agents about it, telling me he’d meet me at the gate. I didn’t want to let him go without me, but I knew he could move faster through the airport without me. So with rising dread I went through the security check point and waited nervously at the gate.

Our flight was boarding and our row had been called when, hurrying in his sock feet, I saw Paul rushing through the terminal. We made it on the flight and arrived in Portland early.

Last night with Paul and my parents was wonderful. My dad made prime rib, my mom scalloped potatoes.  After dinner we exchanged gifts and everyone was happy.  The best gift I got was from Paul, a ThinkGeek canary night light, though the CD of Bernard Cribbins songs was a close second.

It’s late and I must head to bed.  But Merry Christmas and many thanks to those of you who made this advent journey with me.

-o-0=0=0-o-

Advent bloggers so far (go see them!):

padme & Anakin – Journey to the Darkside

Marie – Life, Lemons & Spanking

EmmaEnchanted – This Kinky Life

Quai  –  Spanking Discussion

Poppy St. Vincent – Poppy’s Submissions

Sharon – The Evolution of a Pin-Up Model

Tiger – Innermost Me

Indy – Not So Submissive

Dreams of Spanking: Advent Blog Day 23

dreams-of-spanking
Today is an exciting day in the spanking scene and I just have to post something here to celebrate. The witty and wonderful Pandora Blake has officially launched her new website, Dreams of Spanking, complete with stills and video from some of my very favorite performers.

There’s a lot about the site that I like, especially Pandora’s vision and the trouble she’s taken over settings and costumes.  The quality reflects the love and care she’s given them.

But even more than that, I like the whole concept of the site. Beginning with the site name, Dreams of Spanking affirms that whether topping or bottoming, this isn’t something that’s being done to her, but rather that she’s an active participant in an activity that’s a huge part of her sexuality and fantasy life. There’s a specificity it all that defies this pornography being able men looking at women (so it doesn’t matter what the men look like) and instead is about a female gaze as well.

This pleases me a lot, as does the attention that’s given in the stills I’ve seen to the performers’ faces.  Yes, this is about kink and their bodies, but it’s also about kink and their minds and their relationships with and desires for each other.

Wonderful.  Congratulations on realizing your dreams Pandora.  And thank you for an amazing Christmas gift.

 

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: Advent Blog Day 22

I’ve rarely been called simple anything but I have a yearning for more simplicity in my life, the ability to be mindful and focus on what I’m doing at any given moment. Today when I was reading at H.D. Silversmith’s blog and saw an entry to The Simple Woman’s Daybook and decided to use the writing prompts too. I’m not sure how the original author will feel about a kink blog linking to her, but we’ll see.

 ______________________________

FOR TODAY
Outside my window all is dark and chilly.

I am thinking about my small neice and how fun it is to see her laugh.

I am thankful for my family, that I’ll be teaching next semester, and for the medications that keep me sane-ish.

In the kitchen all is quiet. I wish there were cookies, but we’re leaving town soon.

I am wearing jeans, a tee-shirt and turquiose Vans.

I am creating this blog post and basking in the glow of the Christmas tree.

I am going to Portland on Saturday.

I am wondering how much work it will be to move this blog and The Punishment Book to WordPress from TypePad.

I am reading Here Come Everybody.

I am hoping against hope that I end up with an interview for MLA. But I’m also at peace with the idea of going to the conference without one.

I am looking forward to giving myself over to Christmas.

I am hearing the heater and my fingers on the keys. It’s all pretty quiet.

Around the house there’s dust and clutter and Christmas lights.

I am pondering how many books to bring with me to Portland.

One of my favorite things is watching Doctor Who.

A few plans for the rest of the week: packing and flying to Portland. Enjoying time with my family.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

christmas-tree