Category Archives: Twitter

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? 

Brown or Black? Advent Blog Day 5

brown-belt

I’ve spent the recent part of the evening considering the rather daunting task migrating this blog and the Punishment Book from our current location on TypePad to WordPress hosting on the LaughingSquid servers before fees are due this summer. Both blogs have been on TypePad since they started in 2004 and 2005 and both have hundreds of posts and images so this wouldn’t be a small thing to do, but might make sense for a number of reasons.  It might be a good reason for me to learn some CSS, among other things.

But that’s not what I’m blogging about tonight.  This blog topic was inspired by fellow Advent Blogger padme’s hot post on belt spankings which, if you haven’t read, you should go and read right now.

Belts have power for me too, also for reasons that are partly connected to childhood, partly due to it being an item worn on the body for a useful purpose. The sound of a belt clicking and being taken off is enough to set my heart pounding, whatever the reason.

But when I look at belts, the ones I fetishize are brown leather, the sort one would use to hold up jeans much moreso than the slim leather ones used on a suit. I know from Twitter that Em feels exactly the opposite, she’s all about the suits.  What about you? Brown or black?  Or does it matter?

Advent Blog 2011: Day 1

advent-blog
December 2011 promises to be a crazy kind of Holiday season, but I want to try doing el tercer ojo as an Advent Blog again this year, with a post of some sort (even if it’s just to tell you I like egg nog) every day.

This year, using Twitter – using #adventblog – I’m opening it up as an idea others can participate in, maybe to encourage and inspire.  With that in mind, I’ve banged together a little logo using someone else’s calendar template (hope they don’t mind). Feel free to use it or make your own. 🙂

If you do decide to play along there are no rules, no topics and no guilt for missing a day (I may struggle sometimes myself).  But do let me know either here or on Twitter.  I want to put a list of everyone Advent Blogging on my posts.  You’re welcome to do the same or not, whatever seems the most fun.

Don’t feel you have to blog about any specific topic.  My own will be about whatever is on my mind for the day, be it holiday related, kink related or some political topic I can’t leave alone.  My only suggestion is that you use this style “My Blog Title: Day X” so there’s a countdown to the 25th.

And there you have it — Advent Blog.  Will you join me?

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Advent bloggers so far:

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

Good Advice That She Just Didn’t Take

I asked for blogging ideas on Twitter and then basically dismissed them all. Erica had a good one — she wanted to me write about hand tawsing and what I get out of it. I would — it's an interesting topic after all — but I already blogged about it in the entry hand punishments back in 2007. I'm not sure I have much to add, except that Paul tawsed my hands for a scene we did at Shadow Lane this year and I'm regretting that he's ever taken it up.

Serenity suggested (because she's sure going to be writing about them soon) that I write about my thoughts on buttplugs (could we think of a less descriptive term??) and ginger. But I don't have much experience with being plugged — my anal adventures have involved thermometers and That Thing.  My only experiences with ginger has been the pain the roots are to grate when cooking. 

Maybe I'll bake some cookies and leave the ginger plug stories to Serenity and Zille

Coffee, Spanking and Shadow Lane

chase-and-sanborn
[Wasn’t this blog topic a wonderful chance to use this classic coffee advertisement?]

Those of you who know me in real life or on Twitter know that I have a pretty intense relationship with coffee.  I don’t like getting up  in the morning, but the knowledge that when I do I get to have a cup of coffee with a bit of half-and-half and three Splenda packets lures me out of bed. I usually start tweeting with my first cup and feel a lovely glow about half way through it.

Twitter has added to my coffee ritual. Here, every morning over coffee, are many of my lovely spanking peeps, also having coffee and getting ready for the day (or dinner and getting ready for the night in the case of the UK folks).  It helps me live a bit of my fantasy that we all live in a lovely (semi-)functional spanking community.  Later in the day I sometimes meet up on Twitter for an afternoon coffee and bit more tweeting.

But once a year I get to do more than that. At Shadow Lane, there’s a coffee bar in the ground floor of the casino. Every morning, when I wake up, I can text friends and have them show up to drink coffee with me.  For a weekend every year I get to live in a spanking community.

This past year, Shadow Lane 2011 was great. As Kaelah wote, I met her and Ludwig (and was caned by her very own hand — well her very own hand holding one of Paul’s canes). I also spanked Indy in a lovely scene witnessed and encouraged by Paul and Judy. Yet, as ever, some of my very favorite moments of the party were the informal ones, chatting about scene, life and everything else, while sipping coffee with friends old and new.

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Many thanks to padme and @bronte_a0a for inspiring this post.

 

Firsts Friday: Adult Spanking

1st-friday
I got this idea from a conversation with padme on Twitter today.  We were talking about our first adult spankings and telling our stories (as much as one can in 140 characters). It made me decide to tell the story of mine as my blog post tonight and hope that some of you might join in either here or on your own blogs.

My first adult spanking happened in 1997.  Although Paul and I had met online and were talking every day on the phone, we hadn’t met in person yet as he still lived in Scotland while I was living on my university campus in Los Angeles. We’d said we loved each other and wanted to spend time together with Paul talking about coming over to visit me. Neither of us had any experience of spanking as adults (and what I had from childhood wasn’t something I wanted to repeat).  It seems impossible now, but at the time I was afraid I would freak out or flash back to darkness of childhood abuse or in other ways not have a good experience. When I talked about this with a friend, she and I came up with a plan where I would play with an experienced friend when the stakes didn’t feel as fraught as they were with Paul.

I was very fortunate to have just that opportunity. You see, at one point I’d accidently sent email to a friend  (Fireman Chris), from my university rather than my kink email address only to discover that he was a student at the same university.  He’s younger than me but had experience playing with different people and had very kindly (and without any pressure) offered to meet and play with me if I wanted.  With what seems now a ridiculous amount of trepidation we set a date for him to visit me in my dorm room. The plan was that he’d spank me and then we’d go out to dinner.

This is exactly what happened.  The first time wasn’t long and it wasn’t hard.  It was a gentle but firm handspanking and a perfect introduction to adult consensual spanking.  It left me dizzy with desire to do it again, something I told him with some embarrassment afterwards over dinner. Chris spanked me many times after that over the next couple of years (and a few times more recently too!) sometimes in my dorm room, sometimes in the backseat of his truck. I even got to spank him too. But I’ve always been incredibly grateful I got such a perfect patient introduction to adult spanking.  Thank you Chris!

Chris told his story here.  Zille told hers here.

Reflections on Twitter

follow-me
This post was inspired and begun by a reply I wrote to Abel’s blog entry discussing his recent issues with Twitter.  Abel uses Twitter in some ways that are the same as me (I too like the ability to DM friends I can’t afford / am not able to text) but also, partly because he uses a locked feed, partly because, as he said to me recently, he thinks we should always follow our friends, Abel experiences Twitter in different ways than I do. As ever, I find the differences far more fascinating than the things we have in common.

Here’s part of my reply

I like reading your reflections on Twitter, especially given our discussions [on Twitter itself] about it last week. One of the things it made most clear to me reading this and the comments that follow is that we all see Twitter in different ways, perhaps reflecting the power of the medium.

In contrast to you, for example, I don’t see Twitter as a way of keeping up with friends. I don’t keep track of who’s following me (I shut off those notifications) and likewise, don’t follow everyone I know / like. Partly, this is because I can’t — I can’t deal with a Twitter feed that’s larger than 70-100 people. But also, I only follow people I enjoy reading — life’s too short to read tweets that either annoy or bore me. By the same token, I also follow a number of people who don’t follow me. Some are famous, some are not. What they have in common is that I like reading them. One of the reasons I can’t quite imagine locking my Twitter feed is I don’t want to be aware of who’s following me and who’s not. Likewise I tend to follow people with unlocked feeds more than locked ones because of liking the ability to unfollow and re-follow without needing to ask permission.

Twitter for me is less about circles of friends or a version of IM / IRC and more about a series of windows — some of which look both ways, others that look only one. My own tweets reflect that. Sure there are days when what I’m doing is microblogging my misery, but, as is the case when I blog, I don’t expect replies. I’m just speaking to the universe. It’s nice when someone else is moved by it, but not necessary. To do otherwise would feel like I was performing and seeking approval, roles that don’t make me feel good about myself.

Just as a bit of background, Abel and I have had a discussion about locking versus not locking Twitter feeds.  There’s good privacy and even, as Lucy McLean points out, good legal reasons for locking one’s feed.  But locked feeds do change Twitter. Paul and I have been discussing this a lot lately.

Some of my problems with a locked Twitter feed are a technical ones.  If someone with an unlocked twitter feed makes a comment or reply mentioning me, I see that comment whether I follow them or not. But if their feed is locked, unless I’m following them I don’t see their comment, even if it’s directed at me.  This (obviously) makes it hard to get into discussions with people I’m not following.  Likewise, a locked feed means I have to ask to follow them before I can see what their Twitter feed looks like.  This is a problem for me in two respects.  First, I like to have an idea what someone’s Twitter style is like before I start following them.  Recently I had to unfollow someone, not because I don’t like them or because their tweets aren’t interesting but because they tweet at a rate of 100+ a day.  I can’t have that busy a feed.  At the same time, I also don’t follow (or unfollow and re-follow) based on what their icon looks like at any given time. If an icon is very explicit, I don’t follow. This isn’t because I’m a prude but because I read Twitter at work and have people coming up behind me all the time unawares.  I like being able to re-follow when I get home without having to ask permission over and over again.

Yet I also totally understand why someone would want to protect their feed. I’m not sure there’s a solution to this paradox but that’s not stopping me from blogging about it.

Final thoughts. I like Twitter a lot.  It’s by far my favorite social media — definitely like it better than Second Life, Google+ or Facebook.  I have a kink, vanilla and work Twitter accounts (the kink one is by far the most active).  I like Twitter because it can go one way — I can follow people who don’t follow me and people I don’t follow can follow me if they want to.  I love the hashtags, especially Shadowlane time when they give me a window to see someone else spanking weekend without having to know them and without their having to know me.  I love the 140 character limit that allows me to express something without worrying that it needs to be significant.

But I hate the idea that someone would follow me on Twitter out of obligation.  That I’m doing something that annoys them but they grit their teeth over and over out of friendship. If you’re out there and I’m doing that to you, unfollow me. I swear I won’t mind. And if your feed is unlocked, I probably won’t even ever know.

 

What I Wished For

[Note: this is how I remember the conversations with Paul.  He may have different memories.]

Heading home yesterday on the bus, I posted a Tweet along the lines of

The hottest idea I can think of right now is someone giving me a bath, washing my hair & putting me in pjs. & beating me. A bit.

My thought was we might get to play a bit this weekend when my dad goes away. When I got home, I played some Oblivion (more on that another day), Paul solved the dinner problem with a run to Carl's, and I snuck off to take a nice bath.

I was just undressing when there was a knock at the door. Struggling into my robe, I felt annoyed. Is there no alone time to be had in the apartment? But when I opened the door it wasn't my dad suggesting ice-cream. It was Paul.

"if you leave the door unlocked I'll come in in a bit & wash your hair."

Mmm. Nice.

"but only if I also cane you before bed."

I protested quietly. My dad was home.

Paul countered. My dad after all sleeps soundly. And the small cane is silent.

I left the door unlocked.

Paul came in and carefully and throughly washed and conditioned my hair, rinsing it with many pitchers of water.  I sat in the bath, feeling the warm water run over me, feeling all cared for and clean.

"Clean pjs tonight" he said as he left. I almost retorted that I *always* wear clean pjs as he must know from the laundry pile, but instead was quiet, pouting only to myself.  I thought about being caned with my dad in the other room.  It felt risky and naughty and I knew, knew that Paul was serious.  

Dressed for bed, I sat through some National Geographic program on the Pope (!!!) until my dad announced he was tired and going to bed.  Paul was awfully quick to agree with him he would be tired after so much driving.  We watched a bit more of the program which seemed designed to annoy Paul.  

Finally he reminded me to take my meds (I'd already done so), do any final bedtime things and then go and stand facing the closet. This because I've managed to fill the corner with stuff to take to the dry cleaners.  

When he came in he went to the closet.  I heard the rattle of the rattan canes, the quiet swish as he found the right one and the he took down my pjs and put me across his knee (this is a "nursery cane" made for otk use).  I was warned that my hands would be pinned behind my back if I couldn't keep them in front of me.

The thing about being caned otk is that while it isn't as hard as a longer heavier cane, there can be a lot more strokes a lot more quickly.  I gasped (quietly) and drummed my feet at the sting. Paul put up with my wiggling for a bit and then pinned my legs with his.  The sting went from painful to close to unbearable.  Tears clouded my eyes and I longed to wiggle away or make noise or something.  

But between the strokes, I could hear my dad snoring.

It wasn't a long caning but seemed to go on and on.

I slept insanely well last night. This morning, no marks at all.  

 

Online Life

At what point did my online life become my real one?  Was it the first time I stayed up all night worrying about the pain of someone I knew only through a message board and email? Was it the day Paul (whom at that point I had never met and to whom I'd perhaps hadn't yet spoken to) wrote an email whispering he loved me and I realized I was in love with him too?  Was it when I traveled across the country to be sparkle and Chris's wedding? Was it the day my online friends outnumbered friends from all the other areas of my life put together? 

I have no idea when it happened, really.  But it happened such a long time ago now. And so today, reading that Casey had a happy moment, hearing that Natty had a good day, picking up a usenet friend at the train station and having her here with me, I know any attempt to separate "online" from "real" life is meaningless and incorrect.  The people I've gotten to know first through the internet know more of me better than any other people ever have.  It's wonderful to meet in person, but knowing someone online is enough for them to become important, to become that small part of me I think of as a friend.

This is all my real life. 

And mostly tonight I'm just glad to read about Casey and Natty.  

SSC2010: Tag

This story was written for the 2010 SSC (Short Story Contest). Go on, play along.

twitter-bird
Copyright 2010 to <mijita (at) the treehouse (dot) net>. Please respect this copyright. Don’t distribute or archive this story in any way except for personal use without explicit permission. No, it’s not in the public domain. Ask first, okay? Thanks.

o0o

Yes, yes, you don’t have to tell me.  I already know there are pages where I can go and look for “trending” topics, find out what words and letter codes are being used to discuss this or that.  I =know= all that.

… but it just doesn’t feel quite fair.

Better to try and peer through the words and guess the “right” word, all the while knowing what term I’m =really= going to search.

Twitter is like the IRC of a decade ago in that almost anything is being discussed at any time but, unless you’re already following someone who’s writing on that specific topic at an exact given moment, you have to look.

But rather than looking for a specific room dedicated to, well, to an individual subject, we now search for tags.

I search for my thrill, my heart-throbbing rush.

You see, I’d been tweeting for almost a year, even tweeted a Shadow Lane party (badly for what its worth) when it occurred to me to search for =the= hash tag.  I still don’t look for it very often.

>

I’ve learned in the past 13 years that I can become jaded.  Even the most powerful eight letters in the world can have their edges knocked off.  And I deeply love feeling that secret and ever so naughty, blushing-hot shock.

Of course now, having written that, I can’t resist, won’t resist, didn’t resist.  I had to look, had to search.  To see what’s there, right now, right at this moment.  That’s always the lure.

There are those odd people who’ve got (or lost) something new.  (Has anyone who’s kinked this way ever said the word so casually?  Used it to talk about a car or an iPhone?  I couldn’t – it would feel creepy and almost like a sacrilege.  =The= word has to have more power than that.)

Then there are the personals – in 140 or fewer characters – offers to give or receive.  Or offers of video clips. (I never click the links.  Don’t know why — for the same reason I didn’t answer the ads in the LA Weekly.  But reading them?  Always, so glad they’re there, those ads that taught me that in this world there are Others to be found.)

Then there’s the flirting.  The taunts that someone “deserves it,” someone’s “going to get it,” “wants it,” “is asking for it.”  Their (shameless) desire right in front of me, so sweet.  Right or wrong, I imagine there’s part of a generation now that can flirt with our “topic of greatest interest” as easily as sex.  Maybe even more easily.

I hope so.

But what about the shame-*full*?  Those who can’t chirp or even type in tweet tag?  They’re so much harder to find, yet that hint of shame, the hand-trembling embarrassment, makes my pulse race with recognition.  Longing and remembrance.

That’s why I search the Twitterverse for Other Words.  It’s why hash-spanking [#spanking] will never be enough.

Category: The Age of Twitter

Words: 500