Restacking me

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My therapist uses a set of Russian stacking dolls frequently to visually demonstrate the concepts of inner child, layers and defence mechanisms. They sit on the table as we all talk, and cry, and laugh and learn. Sometimes tightly stacked, other times split apart, revealing their tiers.

In my piece titled Parts, I explored the relationship between a number of my parts. Like a stacking doll, each plays an important role fitting around my centre. Some deflect, some protect and some feed my core self and my submission. I’ve had the breathing space over the summer to shed the outer layers, the armoured achiever protective parts that I rely on at work. It’s always a relief to slow down and become softer, lighter and freer. To be able to focus on what and who is most important to me, including myself, without these other pressures and responsibilities screaming at me for attention.

Tomorrow, however, I have to return after nearly two months away. And I’ve cried about it in therapy this week, and this morning. Whilst I recognise that I don’t do change very well and that a healthy dose of anxiety always accompanies a return to work after a long break, I’m more aware of a deeper pull, and which part of me is actually sad and why.

My therapist helped with this as we each spoke of how we’d been of late, given there had also been a short break for the group to accommodate holidays. She said “you are all obviously high functioning and resilient to be where you are today, but what we can forget is…at what cost? What is the cost to yourselves, your inner selves where your core needs lie, in having to develop outer defence mechanisms in order to function so highly in a professionally setting?” And I realised who in me was grieving the perceived loss of freedom, softness and lightness. Because to pull myself back up to that level of responsibility, accountability and leadership I have to don the weight again of those outer layers. And they smother and darken the little me nestled inside and it is she who weeps. I know how easily it is to get sucked back into the treadmill of giving and doing more and more. And I’m not okay with that, more so than ever, as that is akin to neglecting myself for the benefit of others. As has been my way for so long.

So, I wonder how it would look to not full restack? To allow some light to shine through, to not conceal or have the need to protect my worries, stressors and pressure to maintain performance from others. I will always do my best, in anything I do, but I have to be more mindful now at mitigating the cost to me.

Cuiplash will support me in this, and we’ve spoken of reintroducing some things when I’m at work that will help me remain mindful of our D/s where my core softness, freedom and lightness resides, and in taking time to care of myself when I’m in the middle of it all. I know that check ins, affirmations and rules around taking breaks and eating and drinking properly have always served me well and I know I will feel secure in feeling his intentions in these small acts that honour our connection.

Today, I’m going to keep busy and enjoy relaxing with Cuiplash and the kids before all our routines flip back to the busyness of our non holiday daily lives and schedules. I’ll try not to dwell on the anxiety burbling away underneath, and will gladly anticipate the spanking and play that awaits me later, to clear it all away and ensure I sleep well. I’ve an early start in the morning…E479D4C8-F29F-468F-BE2E-14BC2D344DE4.jpeg

 

 

 

Connecting the Dots. Sinful Sunday #383

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“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” Steve Jobs

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Sinful Sunday

 

When the Dom Drops. Food for Thought Friday #60

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We’d been playing for a while that morning, indulging in the luxury of an empty house and a rare day alone together, the children at nursery and our holidays aligning. It was relatively early in our D/s, maybe a year or so in, and we both still felt the frenzy and hunger to do it all. Cuiplash had carefully planned an elaborate and full scene, and we were already an hour or so into mixed impact play. I only knew how long it had been afterwards. 

I lay naked and face down on our bed, my arms stretched above my head like a diver, shielding my face as the flogger falls whipped across my upper back. Up and down the length of my body from the soles of my feet to my shoulders they landed, hypnotic in their rhythm as he threw a repeated figure of eight across my form. I can no longer remember exactly what else he had used or in what order, or at what point he stopped talking to me. But I do still remember the sound of the flogger hitting the floor, then the bedroom door opening and then closing as he walked out.

I lay still for a few seconds, assuming he’d gone to fetch something he’d forgotten, my ears straining to hear him as I expected his footfall on the carpet any moment. Nothing. I became concerned so I rose to my knees and waited. Still nothing. I was worried now so I called on him. Silence. Now, he’s not in the habit of suddenly leaving me alone during a scene having never done it before, or since, or into head fucking me this way. I called on him again, my voice betraying my rising panic.

He immediately returned and sat down next to me. “I’m sorry” was all he said. It was like a different man had walked back into the room. He appeared to have the weight of the world on his shoulders when not less than an hour previously he’d been entirely in charge. He looked broken, sad and lost. I remember my mind, still somewhat compromised from the intensity of our play, increasingly whirring with confusion and concern. I didn’t understand what had happened and I remember wanting to cry. 

He’d dropped. Hard. Unexpectedly and right in the middle of whipping me. He felt devastated he’d left me, disappointed in himself for being overcome with doubt over what he had spent the best part of an hour doing to hurt my body. His wife, his lover, his best friend and the mother of his children. He explained he’d suddenly felt so overwhelmed he had to leave the room to try and get a breath, and he felt so sorry for letting me down because he’d needed to do that. He could barely get his words out.

Selfishly, I’m ashamed to admit, my immediate gut instinct was that it had been my fault, that I had caused him to drop by doing something wrong. Or not doing something I should’ve done. Placing expectations on him, expecting something unrealistic, wanting this too much? Guilt over being the potential cause of his distress flooded my consciousness and I was aware of balancing on the edge of a massive emotional trigger event when he pulled me back. He took my face in his hands, demanded I look at him and spelled out that I was not to blame. He did not let go until I accepted that. 

We curled up together in silence, then began to talk it out. He’d been tired and was not feeling entirely well, he’d placed too much weight on remembering his overly complex plan. He’d focused intensely and physically exerted himself for too long and had experienced a sudden overwhelming cognitive dissonance over what he was doing. He’d felt an emotional and physical overload and had tried to do the ‘good’ thing, the ‘strong’ thing to push past it. And he’d simply crashed. 

He badly needed aftercare and I wrapped myself around him, and massaged and stroked and kissed and snuggled him. I got him a drink and a biscuit and kept him cosy. I told him I’d enjoyed what he’d done greatly, that it was what I’d needed and wanted and I held him so tightly. Together we replaced doubt with belief, concern with assurance, insecurity with confidence. I soothed and calmed and surrounded him with my love. We laughed and it helped to lighten the load. We cared for each other that afternoon. Under the covers we slowed everything down, we just talked and touched. Gently, our needs were met by just looking after each other. And that is what is most important under all the kinky fuckery, what enables the kinky fuckery to happen in the first place. He knew he was still my Dom, and I his sub and it was all ok, despite how devastating it had felt to both of us at the time.

He’s never dropped to that extent again since, although has absolutely experienced many instances of post play drop, as have I. We put a number of things in place to prevent something similar happening to him again. Time and experience has since helped us both too in terms of confidence, understanding and having realistic expectations of ourselves and each other. We no longer feel we need to rush and do it all, all at once, that our basic day to day love and care is often more than enough.

Dom/top drop is just as physically and emotionally exhausting as sub/bottom drop, and it is really important to know about this and recognise it for what it is when it happens. Drop doesn’t just happen when there’s a problem either, we’ve both experienced it after our most exhilarating and fulfilling scenes. It’s easy to suddenly view the Dom as some strong infallible being that is in perfect control of themselves and everything else around them, as that conveniently feeds the fantasy, but at the end of the day they are just your partner, your husband, and your best friend and holding them to some standard you can’t even meet yourself is unfair at best and damaging at worst. It is not weak to experience a perfectly natural and understandable physical and emotional reaction to play.

What will affect and work best for each person will be very individual of course. It’s easy to feel like it’s the end of the world at the time, easily giving rise to major setbacks in your dynamic, but as with all of it, communication and a lot of caring goes a long way. Some people make good use of a drop kit, and include things like a soft blanket, sweet snacks and music. Sometimes you both just need to be patient and kind to each other and yourselves and wait it out. We now know what it feels like, how to recognise it and how important it is to alert each other, in doing so we’ve learned what works best for ourselves and each other when and if drop strikes. 

What was an ‘abrupt end’ to a kinky play session became the beginning of a deeper understanding and appreciation, strengthening our D/s foundation in the process.

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Public Play

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I still remember the first time Cuiplash and I attended our local Torture Garden fetish event and I witnessed people playing in public. I felt excited and aroused, fascinated by their dynamics and scenes as floggers were thrown, spankings administered and bodies bound. I discovered then that not only did I experience a physical and emotional thrill in watching others, I felt a much deeper craving…and next time I wanted that to be us.

Later that year Cuiplash and I were able to return and agreed we would play in public for the first time. We headed to one of the dungeon spaces, toy bag in tow. I knew what was packed, but not what he had planned as not anticipating what is coming next during play both excites and quietens my head. We were both nervous, having never scened with an audience before, and also because this pushed our boundaries around exhibitionism and openly showing our D/s dynamic and our S&M to others. We had concerns about not ‘doing it right’ and being scrutinised by others and we were aware we were putting ourselves out there somewhat. I’m glad to say our concerns were not realised.

Stepping barefoot onto the St. Andrew’s Cross as Cuiplash secured my wrists with the heavy leather cuffs chained to the wood, my bare arse exposed to the gathered crowd, was a delicious cocktail of humiliation laced with glee. I remember shivering with anticipation of showing to a gathered crowd, for the first time, that I am his. That my submission belongs to him, and that I honour him as my Dominant. A push and pull of adrenaline and joy and pride. I was practically bouncing on my toes as Cuiplash led me through an intense and freeing impact scene. Experiencing a new level of trust and connection in our D/s combined with an awareness of ‘putting on a show’ fed our newly found appetite for public play and the seed was firmly sown.

We played a number of times that night, gaining confidence and enthusiasm as we used the different spanking benches and returned to the cross, exploring the potential of the wonderful BDSM furniture that allowed us more freedom in positioning and space than we are afforded at home. To stand bound and hold posture at a solid wooden cross felt very different to relaxing over a padded leather bench and his play exploited these nuances. We learned a lot by observing others, the toys and techniques used and it was interesting to watch how scenes and aftercare were conducted by others.

I would say that despite knowing we are being watched I find the space narrows to a focal point of just us, how he is touching me, what he is saying to me, how he is hurting and arousing me. Everything and everyone else expands outwards to the periphery of our awareness as we focus on the responses of each other. He has been tender and cruel, playful and serious, tolerant and uncompromising. I have had to admit out loud which implements of pain I want, admit I want more, count for him. This pushes pleasurable humiliation buttons for me, and he knows this. I’ve shown what my body can take, what gets me off and how he does it. I’ve been restrained to benches, crosses, pentangles, A-frames and, recently, a wonderfully hand crafted creation called the Scorpion.

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We have found that I react quite differently to public play than private play. I am usually able to take more, I think this is because I push myself harder, as does he. I want to please him, and to show that I am a good submissive and masochist to him to make him proud of me in that situation. There’s also definetly something about being fully dressed up to play, and knowing others are looking at us as we do. I slip easily into a giggly high subspace as we are playing, which amuses Cuiplash no end and makes for some fun scenes. My masochism dances with and pokes his sadism in a wonderful bubble of us, surrounded by the hypnotic beat of the music, observers and the sights and sounds of fellow players. It is utterly immersive and incredibly freeing.

I am grateful we have had opportunities to play together in public a number of times, primarily but not only at Torture Garden events, and including their infamous Halloween Ball in London where Cuiplash was able to push our D/s boundaries even further as laws around sex at events are different there. We made additional use of the couple’s room and chill out area and Cuiplash made me come in public as we watched others play sexually rather than just with impact and bondage as in the dungeon spaces. It was certainly an exhilarating and affirming experience to be so intimate and vulnerable, yet incredibly hedonistic!

We are travelling to Kinkfest in a couple of weeks and are very much looking forward to meeting new people, seeing friends, learning new things during the workshops and talks and to indulge both our voyeuristic and exhibitionist sides by playing together in public once more. Bouncing on my toes at the thought…

 

Never mine to give away

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When I was considering how to tackle this week’s Wicked Wednesday writing on the theme of Passenger there was one question that kept replaying over in my mind.

To what extent am I a passenger in my own life?

In this piece I chose to write about our D/s and how we have navigated some issues around control and trust to develop a consensual healthy passenger/co-pilot/driver analogy with a beneficial and agreed joint agenda that meets the needs of each other.

In thinking about this further, I recognised that in friend and family relationships I often place myself in the position of passenger, however this is often rooted in poor self worth and therefore not always positive for me.

In group trauma therapy yesterday we were asked to discuss our feelings around how we view our assertiveness and how we feel around expressing our wants and needs. We had to reflect upon any memories from childhood where we could recall doing this, or expressing dislike or reluctance, or ever having our feelings, thoughts or opinions validated and given worth when we were young. And I couldn’t recall any instance at all.

In moving into this further we were given copies of a Bill of Rights and the Child’s Bill of Rights (1975) and asked which ones in particular resonated.

I have the right to be respected with regard to my own worth

I have the right to deal with others without being dependant on them for approval

These two were particularly triggering  to me emotionally. In discussing this further I said “I don’t know at what point I handed over the keys to my worth to other people” and what the psychologist said was one of those lightbulb moments.

She explained that ‘normally’ a child receives their sense of worth from their parents, that it initially is implicitly verbalised and reinforced by behaviours from the parent to the child and, developmentally, the child then gains a sense of their own self worth as a result and can verbalise this, which is then also validated by the parents.

She said ‘your worth was never yours to give away as you were never given it in the first place’. Well. Boom. There we have it. I was never given a sense of self worth for who I was, just as me, in the first place. My self worth was conditional on achievement, success and being a ‘good’ child.

I always thought I gave it away, that it was my doing I don’t feel it very easily. That this was because I place my sense of worth upon the actions of others. Yet, I see now more clearly that the keys were never mine to give away as I never had the keys to give away. I didn’t do this to myself. And so, like a child, I still search for those keys, that worth. And in placing myself as a passenger, my worth driven and determined by others, I will always lose. I have to provide it to myself, that which should have been provided for me, grown inside of me as a strong resilient seed of belief, unconditionally, when I was little. And wasn’t.

Cuiplash pointed this out to me recently, and not for the first time, when I was anxious about feeling insecure in a friendship and didn’t know exactly why. He made it clear to me that he often sees me placing myself as secondary, as a passive passenger in friendships and family relationships. How I seek to please and help and appease and be of use, because I don’t believe I can be worthy as I am, doing nothing expect just being me. That whilst I actively choose to hand him the metaphorical keys for our own mutual benefit in our relationship where I do feel secure, elsewhere I tend to accept a secondary position from a place of insecurity. That as an equal I deserve to also be a driver, or at the very least a co-pilot.

I realise I inadvertently and unfairly place too much responsibility on others, that my own sense of worth is just that, my own. It shouldn’t be so vulnerable and open to damage or scrutiny. It shouldn’t be negotiated with others. It should be secure and whole and seperate, able to hold fast no matter the action or inaction of others.

This emotional lightbulb moment today made me realise what I deserved and had a right to, what I never received, what I lost as a result and what that has done to me. I need to parent myself in cultivating, validating and protecting my worth. Because that is a precious thing that should never be determined by the hands of another. I deserved better then, and I deserve better from myself now.

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Handing over the keys. Wicked Wednesday #323

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They say in life and relationships you’re either a passenger, a co-pilot or a driver. In most cases we will naturally move between all three positions, depending on who we are relating to, how we feel or the situation we are in.

Healthy relationships will tend to have agreed mutual agendas and will openly and honestly meet the needs and honour the values of all involved. As individuals I also think we all overtly or covertly carry our own agendas, that serve to look after our confidence, self esteem, attachments, boundaries and values and we will place ourselves in the role of passenger, co-pilot or driver in order to observe these as much as possible.

I can recognise in my life where I sit regarding all of these roles. I am secure in the places where I am undoubtedly the driver, primarily within my professional career. I take responsibility, ownership and control of the wheel, leading and directing those in my charge and my peers who trust my experience and vision. I have come to realise how much this feeds my sense of self worth and it can compensate for other areas where I lack this. Being a driver, however, comes with its own price regarding the stress of accountability and the pressure to maintain performance amongst striving for the elusive work/life balance.

I can also reflect upon times when I fought to be the driver for many years in almost all things in my relationship with Cuiplash, in an exhausting attempt to hold onto control. I had my own protective agenda that I gripped tightly but wasn’t always mutual, or beneficial to us both. Having experienced lack of safety in many out of control situations when I was young galvanised the belief in me that in control lay safety, and in safety lay peace. Cuiplash recognised this need in me and would step back, and place himself as the passenger, to help me feel secure. Of course, it was futile really, and not what I actually needed, but I am grateful we learned new ways.

When I eventually handed over the metaphorical keys to him I found relief in listening to my actual needs. In trusting myself, and him, to lead us in a healthy shared agenda that did meet our needs individually, and as a couple, we grew in intimacy, vulnerability and strength. Our communication improved, and our physical, mental and emotional needs were recognised fully and held in high regard.

I would say that we still move between this and being co-pilots jointly steering our path, making the best use of our strengths and shared agenda for us and our family as that is what works best for us. I would not wish to be the passenger in my relationship with him at all times, nor he wish to be the driver at all times. We move to fill in and support the other in times where that is needed, and will co-pilot through parenthood, health and family life.

During sex and play, however, I am always the passenger and he the driver, as that is how we work. I do not wish to know where he leads me, how he will drive our physicality or the nature of that journey. I am his to take where and how he pleases, for as often and as long as he wishes. The route is his and I follow him gladly.

We have managed to work out a natural way to travel, for us, that honours our D/s, our agreed agenda and values, and the ups and downs of our day to day lives. I know that I eventually felt secure enough to hand over the keys to him, instead of grasping onto them tightly myself, because I listened to myself and thus learned about myself. I stopped pushing down my needs through misplaced fear or old destructive habits. I was able to express those needs to him and trust him to handle those needs with care. In turn, he accepted those precious keys from me and trusted me to trust him to drive us forward on our agreed path. In truth, I was only really keeping his seat warm for him. And so far, we are enjoying our journey together even more.

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Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Kis’s Kinks – Gentle Breath Control Play

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Before I start this post, I want to make it very clear that I am not referring to asphyxiation play to induce hypoxia or blackout through tracheal choking or arterial pressure when I use the term gentle breath control play here. I’m not going to go into the details of these particular methods of asphyxiation play, nor the very real risks involved, however, I do feel a responsibility to at least include The Medical Realities of Breath Control Play by Jay Wiseman as further reading regarding these methods of edge play.

When Cuiplash and I play with breath the psychological factor far outweighs the physical. The simple act of gently placing his hand around my throat or over my mouth is enough to induce, in me, a ‘relax and submit’ instinct that is very powerful mentally. It is strangely focusing and deeply calming, despite the implied potential for harm. I know and trust implicitly, however, that he would never squeeze to actually cut off air or blood supply but I think the ‘head fuck’ of the implied threat is what causes a rush of adrenaline and, in turn, arousal in my body, feeding my responses to him.

Added to that, the humiliation of actually enjoying that perceived and symbolic threat as well as being made to admit it out loud to him, and myself, has been significant in pushing my boundaries and struggles around verbalising physical preferences and needs.

Prior to introducing this element into play we spent time researching and discussing limits around it and agreed on a clear non verbal signal to indicate stop, in addition to our already established verbal signal. As per my previous posts in this series, Kis’s Kinks – knife play and Kis’s kinks – flogging, safety and PRICK risk awareness are paramount and we also agreed that I would never have my hands restrained if he were to place a hold of this kind, no matter how gently, to allow me to double tap him wherever if necessary to indicate cessation of the hold.

Cuiplash may use a gentle throat hold as a physical trigger when we depart or reunite, and has also done this if I’m particularly stressed and flapping a bit at home over…whatever, and just like a hair hold it’ll immediately calm me down. He calls it my ‘bunny flip’ as there is a particular hold that can be used to position rabbits that will cause a calm to come over them (great for administering medication or nail clipping, not so great for them for fun but I digress). During play this will become a method of restraint, to physically gently yet psychologically strongly hold me in place, as well to increase submissive head space and arousal.

A mouth or mouth and nose hold will have a similar effect, with the added factor of silencing. To me, this increases sensation processing too as a method of sensory deprivation. He may cover my mouth so I can still breathe through my nose, or cover my mouth and nose in such a way I can still breathe through my mouth. There was one instance however where, at the exact moment I orgasmed for him, he pinched my nose as well as covering my mouth. Well. It was for no more than a few seconds and no longer really than I would breath hold myself naturally, but the effect was so incredibly explosive that the force of the orgasm that ripped through me wiped me out. I double tapped his hand and came for what felt like forever.

No contact breath control play is another thing we explore, and as I’ve always had a tendency to subconsciously breath hold during impact play and in the build up to orgasm, some kind of self induced hypoxia, Cuiplash will control this by redirecting me to breathe. His sadistic side will incorporate a more forceful swat, strike or throw during impact with a redirection to breathe, and he will use orgasm control to edge and deny unless I breathe through the sensation overload and not breath hold. I have to say both are pretty effective methods of non contact breath modification, as much as being directed to breath hold.

Non contact breath control play will also heighten mindfulness for me during play, as well as encouraging subspace, as my concentration on my breath, almost meditative in nature, will then merge with the sensations I’m experiencing, and I find that more oxygen in my blood flow will carry me through increased pain tolerance and stronger orgasms, and as a result I’ve certainly learned to breathe!

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Spanking, squirting, sadness & school clothes

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I won’t tell you about our scene last night, how long it had been since the last one, and how much we had both needed the level of play that I’d struggled to find the words to ask for that morning.

I won’t tell you how nervous I was, whilst on my knees waiting for him to come into our room, and how I could see his intentions laid out on our bed in canes, floggers, restraints and toys.

I won’t tell you how I doubted my body as my spanking started and I winced at how much it hurt, when it wasn’t much at all, and how I struggled to settle into it as it felt like the first spanking I’d ever had, because time had sensitised my body anew.

I won’t tell you he knew this and so switched between pain and pleasure until I forgot which was which as they merged into one, then I craved the pain again as my body remembered they were one and the same once more and I relaxed.

I won’t tell you how much I wriggled and rose up on my toes as I had to count down the strikes from 10, each incremental in force, when I’d already been told to stay down, and that he started again from 10 each time I did and it took six restarts to discipline myself to count and stay put.

I won’t tell you that he caned out the hurt and confusion and insecurity and concern I’d wrangled with all day, not his doing, but he saw it and knew it had to escape, that he expected me to break for him to set it free and so I sobbed it out into my pillow until my arse hurt more than my heart.

I won’t tell you how I begged to cum again and again, plugged and filled and edged and denied, that my blood didn’t bother us as I flooded the black towels he’d put down to catch it, because periods won’t stop us.

I won’t tell you how he kissed away my remaining tears as he reminded me of my worth and that I’m his, as I knelt before him once more, one hand wrapped in my hair holding me upright, as his other gripping himself as he came all over my chest, his wetness and mine sliding down my body.

I won’t tell you how he cleaned me, held me, fetched me juice and soothed my bottom with cream and then we lay curled together, limbs entangled,  and thanked each other as we recovered.

But I will tell you how, when we did, we tiptoed downstairs in the dead of the night and stood naked in our kitchen folding the ridiculous amount of new school uniforms I’d washed, straight out the drier, so I wouldn’t have to wash them all over again today.

Because sometimes, amongst it all, life interrupts and derails and affects and needs attending to. Because, that’s just life.

Shhh…Food for Thought Friday #59

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How “real” is your online persona?

I don’t really feel I have an online ‘persona’ as such, as I try as openly as possible to express my thoughts and feelings authentically online, without pretending or putting on another ‘face’. I’d hope, and only those who’ve met me and know me could confirm, that how I am online is pretty much how I am in person.

Do you use a pseudonym, your real identity or both?

I use a pseudonym as I am in a position professionally where I have to conceal and protect my identity. It would be career limiting to me to be known as a submissive in a D/s relationship, as someone who enjoys all aspects of BDSM and who blogs about sex and relationships. It is very frustrating to me to have to do this but I also understand, to some extent, why.

I do envy those in the local and online community who do not have to carry an element of fear over exposure and can freely express themselves in all areas of their lives. I know I can often feel duplicitous regarding friends, family and colleagues when we have to conceal places or events we’ve attended, or that aspect of my marriage in general.

Where you use a pseudonym how open about your actual identity are you?

I think it can be somewhat inevitable to let some aspects of my actual identity leak out in posts, discussion and other correspondence with people as, to me, the real life details help shape a person and foster relationships. I think I would find it difficult to gain a picture (albeit not a fully fleshed out one) of a person online if there was nothing personal at all coming through about them, the devil is in the detail as they say, even if the details have to be limited for whatever reason.

I’m aware of revealing some things about my immediate and wider family, my marriage, my career and even my appearance. I think, and sometimes worry, that if you knew me in ‘real’ life and came across this blog it wouldn’t take too many leaps to realise it was me.

Is your anonymous/pseudonymous online self a secret or more a form of protective “camouflage”?

I would say it is a bit of both. No-one in my day to day life knows anything about our D/s or my blog, except my best friend, who knows some about our dynamic and we will freely discuss sex and toys and such like. I have a number of online friends from various platforms who I’ve been lucky to meet and got to know who are also in the ‘lifestyle’ and are invaluable as a source of friendship, support and understanding. The protective camouflage comes in regarding my career, as previously mentioned, and I need to remain very mindful regarding that.

I’d say that trust is a huge factor, however, and taking small steps to trust, support and encourage others in the blogging and wider BDSM community goes a long way to creating a safe place to be able to express ourselves as openly as we can, and to look out for each other. I hope, at some point, there is wider acceptance and less stigma and ignorance regarding D/s, and BDSM in general.