Tag Archive: relationships


T found for himself a new girlfriend. She seemed exciting, full of promise and limerence, all of the things that he wanted it to be. He’s easing out of his shell of pain at having lost his most beloved, and I was happy for him that he seemed to be finding love.

These girls all had something in common, however. They all wanted monogamy. T didn’t take this request lightly; several trips out by himself, sleeping by himself, smoking, freezing in the spring cold, and thinking. Like Archimedes emerging from the bath, as I drove in to his city after a long separation, he delivered his decision. I fairly tore it out of him, I’ll admit. I had pleaded with the universe to provide, fantasized that everything would turn out as I’d wanted it to. I’d built up a dream inside my head of how it was going to be. T wasted no time in smashing it, as I asked him to.

So it was over the phone that he delivered to me the truth, that he couldn’t see himself turning down what appeared on its surface to be a perfectly functional relationship with what seemed to be a perfectly lovely woman, simply because she wasn’t willing to compromise for his polyamory. He told this to me in all gentleness. He said it with great concern and care. And though our relationship had been based on the known fact that I’d very soon be moving a six-hour drive away, though we had stipulated at the very beginning that anybody had to be able to end it at any time for any reason with no hard feelings, or it wouldn’t work, I was absolutely crushed.

In looking back, I understand fully why this happened. He made gentle comments at the time that we appeared to have become a little bit too attached. I took this as a heavy blow. I reacted irrationally. I took it personally. I was wounded in every possible place that my heart could think to be wounded. It means he doesn’t love me! It means he doesn’t want me anymore! It means he’s breaking up with me! It’s not him, it’s me!

This was all magnification, of course, and he was very careful to disperse any misconceptions that he could detect in his apartment with me wavering between anger and grief and sadness, the whole thing steeped in tears. He hugged and stroked and soothed as best he could. He still loves me, it’s just not the same when we’re not living together, when he’s looking at other women in the absence of living with a warm girl in his bed, when I live a figurative world away, when I’m suddenly suffused again with love, real love, true love, this love that I put on like warm socks, that I wrap around me like a fuzzy blanket, this love that is the way I imagine a strong narcotic must feel, even after this many years.

This is the kind of love that has ever made me want to put down the exogenous things that make me able to ignore all of my pain, that has made me want to pick up my problems and solve their puzzles with all their difficulty, to do the real psychological heavy lifting that even my adult parents are too weak to do. I know this like I know that breathing keeps me alive, like I know my heart pumps blood, like I know what pain feels like.

The truth is that T and I were something to each other during a very conveniently timed point in our lives. I was alone, absent my love, gone for six months being psychologically and physically beaten, and he, fresh from having his best beloved torn off of him, wound all raw and bleeding.

He took care of me at my most vulnerable, and I nursed his wounds at his most wounded. We did share a bond, indeed, there was something between us. But he’s right when he says that we became too attached; we both assumed that it would be like that forever.

It wasn’t going to be.

Once I could swallow the truth that we were never going to be what we were, that our attachment was situational, that the grief was going to come one way or another, and that the longer I delayed it the more painful it was going to be, I was able to let go. He was never mine in the first place, and I was grieving his absence as if he was, as if I didn’t have a beautiful blue-eyed man at home who loves me and knows it like he knows he is alive.

This attachment, that the Buddha points out is the source of pain, was what I had done. I had not intended to do it, and did it mindlessly. Now, mindfully, I had to let go of my attachment to this idea that T and I would be this perfect couple that lasted forever, the idea that coalesced out of soothed tears, when I was living frustrations in my relationship with Master, when I was terrified of the idea of him leaving for six months, when we were chafing at relationship imperfections, when I was afraid he would return as this changed creature full of vexation and cynicism and bitterness.

I had a comfortable landing pad in a period of emotional strain. And yes, I did wonder at times if T was really a better alternative to my Master, with T’s ability to comfort me, and Master’s stress and my stress snowballing into conflict, and me seeking refuge in T, and Master’s leaving-soon causing him to interpret my seeking refuge as avoiding him, it was bad scenes all around.

I think I became a little fixated on that attachment with T, to the point where, even when we moved away, even when living with Master (and Master living at work, training,) I was still fixated on T, still seeking my refuge. I was stressing myself out trying to be the ideal fiancée, the ideal proto-wife, the ideal sub, the ideal girlfriend, instead of being myself.

I grew to let go of T. We drifted apart for a little while, and it wasn’t really a sad thing. I think we needed our space to grow into our own, and I needed to really build my relationship with Master, to grow together as a couple. I fought against that a lot.

I have a lot of psychological demons, and I’ve spent a lot of time running from them. A lesser man would have left me by now, and it’s true when Master says if he didn’t love me, he wouldn’t be here. Not that putting up with my bullshit is all that epic a battle, but that this many years, this many hours, this kind of tears and listening and trying to grok when he so clearly isn’t on the same page I’m on, let alone the same book, he tries, oh, my, how he tries. That’s what makes all of the difference.

In T’s absence, I found myself at first not coping well, until Master very appropriately tuned me in. I sobbed. I was falling apart. I had nothing left. I didn’t know what to do or how to be. I have written about that breakdown elsewhere. About the very soul-deep discovery that what Master wanted was me, and how that was exactly what I didn’t want to give him, feeling it was the most heinous thing to give him in the world.

With this realization and working at telling him and showing him and sharing with him who I am, who I really am, not the façade that I put on for him, we’ve grown together in our intimacy. Things are better, more whole. I feel his love, this love that I didn’t think existed at all.

So T’s girlfriend turns out to be a crazy bitch, and we drift back together. We talk, over several drinks, late into the night. We lay out the groundwork. About how his withdrawal of consent had a little bit to do with the fact that he didn’t feel comfortable having be as a fuckbuddy, thinking that he was emotionally taking advantage of me. Now he’s realized how I’m a big girl, really, and I can make my own decisions; I don’t need him to decide it’s too painful for me to be his fuckbuddy. I’ll decide that on my own, thanks.

We’re amused, both of us, at how in laying the groundwork, we are dancing around one another’s boundaries, we are trying not to step on toes, we are so careful not to push. It’s indeed part of why we are so good together: how careful we are to not force things, to not push buttons, to ask permission instead of telling and to negotiate before jumping in feetfirst. So we dance, again, and negotiate new boundaries, and I find myself out in a camping trip, just me, and T.

At first I’m excited somewhat, but I remember our first encounter after renegotiating the boundaries and I find myself also somewhat anxious. I found things far less satsifying than I remember, and I chalk it up to no privacy, to not having explained things to his roommate-brother, to awkward, hasty ninja-sex in a too-cold room under unromantic pretenses.

I discover during this trip that what we had was somehow less than I remember. Magnified by emotion at the time, my feelings excoriated by the experience of being left alone and vulnerable, his spirit rubbed raw by the loss of his most beloved, his need to nurture and support soothed my fear of Master’s changed-nature and my own apprehension at moving far-far away. I remember this incredible closeness and this loving environment that had me seriously wondering whether Master was really the Right One, especially during a time when his stress and my stress had us fairly at each others’ throats.

I sought refuge in T and that didn’t help things with Master, but this is only something I can see when stress-free and not immersed in anxiety about the future. What seemed to be so perfect at the time actually had its own undercurrents of dissatisfaction, subtleties that I ignored because I had bigger things to worry about. The bigger things are gone, on this camping trip. All I have to focus on is ‘us’, myself and T, and how, while we are still ‘us’, there’s this sense that this is never, ever going to be … enough.

It’s fun! Don’t get me wrong. We enjoy ourselves and enjoy each other and do have a lot of fun playing around and take good care of one another. However, I find myself instead of stressed and being soothed with the balm of this comfortable presence, I’m now unable to ignore the fact that the sex is, at best, somewhat mediocre, the funnest part being able to watch him have fun, not necessarily the act of intercourse in and of itself. And he’s trying, in the process of foreplay, to tweak buttons that he knows are tweakable, but he’s doing the sexual equivalent of rolling his face on the keyboard to try and write poetry. He pinches because he knows I like pain, but he isn’t Master, and it doesn’t come in the context of pleasurable pain, it’s just pinching. He doesn’t know me like Master knows me. He can tease me to new heights using the tools available to him, but he can’t be Master and try and use Master’s tools. It just doesn’t work.

So here I am, standing back and staring at this exchange, going, this is it? This is what I was so crushed about losing? Which is only part of the equation, because I was crushed about losing so much more than that. I am just only now recognizing that the only thing I really did lose was that mediocre sex, because we’re still us, good friends, whether we are having sex or not. That said, we will never have the emotional bond that my husband and I have, we will not grow together emotionally in the same way that I will with Master, and he will not grow to know me in a way that a man who’s shared my bed and my body for eight years can.

And that’s what makes all the difference.

A gasp, and then I come up for air

We come together, our first night, no less than four times. It is desperate at times, frenzied. No slow, calculatedness to it. Pure lust, simple desire, enough power and passion in it to blow a house down.

My voice pleases him, its higher and higher pitches as he continues his assault. My dream comes true, that evening, as he has me dressed in cuffs. They are clipped, wrists to ankles, and he wraps tape around my head, creating a hasty bit-gag in my mouth. It is my bridle as he fucks me with wild abandon. The look on his face has changed, is no longer the whimsical happiness I am used to. His teeth are set in determination, bared with passion, his new muscles jumping as he yanks repeatedly on my body, riding me to his completion.

I am home.

It pleases him, this usage of my body. He giggles at following me into the shower, pointing out his red handprints on my ass. It’s a pleasant feeling, to be helpless, and it’s equally pleasant to be mounted and ridden without bridles and cuffs.

He delights in my new talents, in how well-trained I’ve become in his absence, that I can take all of him most effortlessly. I am shaking with my need, and he is pleased, fairly humming with his pleasure. We are learning too, our little cycles and silliness that we want to eradicate. He has come back trained in his own way, more ready to deal with these things, more willing to negotiate, to apologize, quicker to acknowledge his flaws, less easily frustrated with me, and all my frustrating little quirks.

Most of all, he’s come back. It’s the littlest things that I’ve missed, his silly faces and our in-jokes. I’ve missed antics and wrestling and play most of all.

There’s still adjustments, of course. His job takes up a majority of his time, and is extremely draining. I’m finding myself having to jostle for time. What time I get is precious, though, and he is better in his own ways. More vocal about his love. More appreciative. More thankful, in many ways.

Any love that I forgot about with him gone so long is being experienced anew. New love? Is woven in with the more familiar. And the mellowness is helping us develop ourselves more easily than we did before. Topics that were touchy, that result in tears, that could have been the topics of a fight, are instead the topics of serious discussions, weighty thoughts and weighty words but handled gently, instead of with frustration and anger.

This feels good. It feels like a future, like a life, like we are building on what we have, like there’s a strong foundation under my feet. I’m strong. And I’m finally alive.

As cliche as it sounds, it feels truest to me, right now.

I accidentally erased my text message cache with Master today, and my disappointment was immense. Gone are long conversations about the feel of my mouth on his cock, about what exactly he will do with me the moment he has me alone.

A visit around Canada day was not nearly enough, with my parents around and cramping my style (including arguing with him, loudly, when he introduced me to his friends as his wife. “You’re not married yet!” mother cries. And six-and-a-half years of dating and nearly three years of cohabiting are worth what, exactly?) and keeping us from what we do best. An hour to ourselves was not nearly enough time, though it was enough time for us to get up to a quickie and a short massage.

Mostly, it felt good to lay there, with him, and be held. I don’t have the same protected feeling when T holds me, as when my Master does. He is slender, but he moves with grace and power, and when he holds me, that power is focused on cradling me with gentleness. It makes me sigh inside, and writing about it brings tears to my eyes. I often cry when writing about him, and re-reading what I’ve written. The last letter he sent me made me cry, tears of longing, missing him, but I re-read it every now and then, when I want to feel that familiar bubble inside my chest, that tells me that I am loved more than I will ever truly understand.

I worry, as I am wont to do, that my love is not enough, or that I somehow do not love him as much as I should. (That word again.) The reality of the situation is that our love for each other is reflected back and forth so many times it is impossible to truly measure even the magnitude of it, least of which whether it is adequate.

He reassures me, soothing me in that way that I suspect he would soothe no-one else besides his own children, that my love for him is enough. I meditate on these thoughts, in keeping with my promise to try and take his love for me and hold it close, closer than I tend to hold my worry. I am learning to self-soothe, a task many people learned as young children. I am learning to repeat his words inside my head, in his beautiful voice, framed by his lips; that knowing that I am here, and that I love him, is enough. He is satisfied, he insists, as I fret about my perceived inadequacy. I am here, and I love him. That is enough.

I am missing him acutely now, officially in the part of our separation where we are apart the longest. It hardly feels as if the last time I saw him was almost exactly 31 days ago. It feels like far longer, and I have three weeks left to go.

Our separation has had the side effects of making us cherish each other more. Living together, a couple hardly discusses things like how they would love to snuggle in bed and breathe each others’ scent. After months and months apart, it’s practically all we do. I am going to have to be careful about who gets to touch my cell phone, however, as my cousin grabbed my phone from my hands to play with it just at the instant Master sends me a text message inviting me over to give him a shower and a blowjob.

Awkward.

A year ago I would have freaked, but now I just laugh and move on. Master has imparted many things upon me, including the wisdom to roll with the punches. His flexibility in sticky situations has always been a trait of his that I’d admired, and I recently had somebody compliment me on my own ability to keep on keeping on. It doesn’t seem like heroism (to me) to continue your life after it’s been shattered by tragedy, but apparently it appears heroic to others.

I am revelling in these new found skills, skills I did not realize I had developed until I had to live without my Master. His traits keep popping up in me, in dealing with everything: other people, my own feelings of inadequacy, my abject fear of the future and the unknown. This move, where we pack our lives and move far away from everyone we’ve ever known, it is simply a grand adventure to him, a spot of fun, and he’d like to do it more than just once. Growing together, I’m realizing that it doesn’t matter where we move to — if he is there, it is my home.

I am shocked at my composure, honestly, and my ability to handle this. Relatively few teary moments, continuing to function in my life. We won’t get into how I didn’t sleep hardly for the first few months, to the point where my boss dragged me into his office to ask me what the hell was wrong with me that I looked so wrung out. We also won’t get into how I lost 30 pounds because without him there, my appetite fled entirely, causing me to go several days at times without eating, without noticing that I wasn’t eating. An acquaintance recently commented that she doesn’t know how I handle him being gone. I deliberately neglected to mention the spare boyfriend in my bed, but I did mention how I was handling him being gone: insomniac anorexic that I became.

I have since figured things out a little — sleep is better, and I gained back about 10 of the pounds I lost through the magical technology of actually ingesting food. I am no longer worrying about my inadequacy as a girlfriend and simply dreaming of the days we can spend together finally, imagining his hands on my body as they were the last time we were together, the look on his face, mouth slightly open, pupils dilated as wide as dinner plates, as we made love.

It’s the love that’s pulling me through, to be honest.

Every text message (as douchebaggy as it seems to communicate entirely via SMS, in a paramilitary slash high-stress medical shiftwork situation, it’s the only tool we have to communicate at times) where he stresses how he misses our bed, with me in it, how he misses my breath on the back of his neck, how he misses his Shower Assistant, and how I, unlike the other men he is presently living with, do not annoy the everliving fuck out of him, is another thread, cast in my general direction, and my job is to catch as many of them as possible and make them into a rope to hang on to for dear life.

Oh, it is hard. It is the hardest thing I have ever done.

But if only to realize exactly how much we love each other?

Worth it.

New sex partners have a way of showing me a new perspective, putting a spin on something familiar so it seems unfamiliar and exciting. Occasionally, completely foreign concepts come up. Mostly, it’s different. That’s something I seem to gravitate towards — different-ness. It’s therefore impossible to talk about sex with T without at once comparing it to what I experience with my Master.

T had a handicap the Master never had. With my Master, I was crawling up his leg. T, however, was forced to take it slow. Master insisted on it, and I agreed — things should progress at a pace that Master was okay with. T seemed to deal with this quite well — he was obviously quite experienced in holding back.

Our late-night conversations involve quite frequently our past relationships. T talks about his girlie before me, and I find myself talking about Master, and the asshole I dated prior to Master. T has the deepest of respect for the Master, and is in no way like him. I like this different-ness, since what attracted me to the Master is not present in T, and yet I find myself enjoying him as well. I’m feeling reacquainted with my body in a way I haven’t in a long time, with T eliciting responses I’d long given up on, after a number of dissatsifying encounters with those prior to Master.

One night, late, T and I lay awake, limbs tangled, discussing how things tend to play out for us in bed. T spends a lot of time attending to my wants and needs, servicing me in his own ways, more often giving love to me than asking for any kind of tit-for-tat exchange. “Why do I deserve this?” I asked, panting, after T had spent the better part of two hours slowly teasing me to climax with hands and lips and tongue. My old programming was rattling around inside my head — a man who gave hours of petting and oral without a natural expectation to jump to the next step?

His happiness, as he tried to explain to me, is not dependent on him being able to stick his dick in me. It turns out that watching my enjoyment is satisfying enough.

It is no insult to my Master that this concept did not come clearer earlier. It’s not been until now that I’ve had a sexual relationship with limits, limits aside from those I made myself for my own personal comfort. I’d never had that period with Master where I disallowed certain contact; with T, there were days where all he could do was look and wish. I had difficulty grasping that the looking would be at all satisfying.

The conversation spun off into a discussion of worthiness — to have a worshiper, someone who existed (even for a moment) for nothing more than to bring my body pleasure, someone who would follow my curves and kiss their sensitive parts, whose idea of a treat was to be able to taste my orgasm, especially if he’d caused it. I was unfamiliar with this concept, of worthiness. Why am I worthy of this sort of treatment, this worship?

He looked at me, confused, flabbergasted. I am worthy because I am worthy. My worthiness is inherent. Crazy woman, what a question. You are worthy because I’ve decided you are. And he worshiped my body.

I’m still used to thinking of sex as some kind of exchange. A transactional thing. If I want oral, I’d better be prepared to suck some dick. That kind of thing. However, more and more, the lovely people who’ve been doing the majority of my sexual educating have been teaching me that it’s about asking for what I want, telling them what works well, to be daring and adventurous, playful, but certainly not convinced that there’s expectations or that my desires for certain activities will only be met if I’m “deserving” enough. I don’t need to earn love. I am already worthy.

I’m hoping that this realization will mean I’m more comfortable with saying when I want something and what I want. Prior to this I’d sort of been letting the situation declare itself and going along with whatever appeared to be appropriate at the time. There was no real thought put into what I wanted, or how to go about obtaining that. This is not to say that I am or ever was dissatisfied with the intimacy I shared in these situations, just that my future encounters are very much limited by this glitch in my thinking.

I am worthy, I am telling myself. I do deserve what I want, and I should not feel ashamed asking for it. I’ve been enjoying this new freedom I’ve allowed myself in sexual expression. I’ve enjoyed feeling comfortable in my own skin and powerful enough to be able to initiate what I want, when I want it. I am loving how the ability to initiate things myself doesn’t mean T stops chasing, either; I still find myself receiving a string of kisses planted down my neck and shoulders, receiving invitations to more should I so desire. I’m enjoying the open-endedness of it.

I’m enjoying being in control.

Precocious

That’s the word for me. To develop exceptionally early or exhibit mature qualities at an exceptionally early age.

I taught myself to read before kindergarten. I grasped cosmic concepts (the immutability of time, the certainty of death) before age 5. I was a generally strange kid who didn’t socialize well, from what I remember. And sex. Well, sex came entirely too early for me.

It wasn’t even my cousin telling me the plumbing of how it worked. (We were like eight and six, respectively.) It wasn’t even when my mom caught me playing with the Barbie dolls. I think it was when she found out I’d been playing “house” with the neighbor kid, and the not-minor freakout she had over this knowledge. Before third grade, I not only understood how sex worked, I understood that it was important to hide this kind of activity from my parents, lest they have a gigantic meltdown. No talk. Ever.

I’m never going to forget the way she asked me, stooping down to get in my face, in a confrontational manner. “Did you suck his dick?” she asked, browbeating me. “Did he jack off in your mouth?” I felt like a horrible, filthy, sick, perverted, twisted, disgusting person. I was eleven years old, eyeing older men, wondering at what an act of rape would be like, wondering at the experience of sex.

Because I couldn’t trust my parents, everything I ever learned about sex was something I learned from somewhere else. Pornographic magazines, the internet, the radio. I’ve talked before about how Sue Johanson is one of my personal heroes; I’m lucky to have had her while growing up. I’m lucky to have grown up riding public transit, where the government publicized links to places like sexualityandu.ca. I feasted on reliable and correct information, and used all the birth control correctly.

I was armed with a false sense of security, knowing what facts I needed to know to keep my body from being physically damaged. I was completely unaware of what place sex served in a healthy relationship, however, and so when my boyfriend-at-the-time started correcting me every time I said “If we have sex” to say “when we have sex,” I didn’t take it as the pressuring I should have. I didn’t see how he was trying to control my boundaries, by setting them for me verbally. I didn’t feel the profound sense of violation I’d feel now, knowing my boundaries. Boundaries had never been explained to me. I was a slut. Sluts don’t get told about putting up boundaries. I was wrecked anyway. I was sixteen. I was fucking a man nearly four years older than I was. My mother was convinced his relationship was based entirely around his ability to use me for sex. I believed otherwise.

The day she figured it out, or rather, the day she screamed about me fucking him, throwing it in my face, and I gave her an answer that wasn’t “fuck off,” … that’s a day I will never forget. There was tons of histrionic crying and hysterical screaming, shouting, threats, shows of violence, and emotional abuse. For the next six months, my mother froze me out of her life. I fantasized about suicide.

“I just don’t know how I’m going to tell my family that my daughter is a slut,” I remember her whispering, between sniffles and tears. I fantasized how my skull would fly apart from a self-inflicted shot to the head. I imagined dying slowly of a wasting disease, leaving home, becoming pale and cachectic and thin. I wondered what it would be like to die of a drug overdose. I was too scared to jump off a building. Guilt, guilt, guilt. My boyfriend was no help. He lived alone, and complained about my mother constantly. I ground my teeth down to painful stumps. He threatened suicide. At first I was scared, concerned for him, missed him, loved him. Later, the attention-seeking behaviour became exasperating. Then, came the Master.

My Master met my boyfriend and lived with him for a short time. I was pressured often to spend time with him, in compromising situations, often asking me to use my Master or my best friend as a pretext to borrow a vehicle and be afforded additional freedoms. At first I exploited this, and Master was given many opportunities to observe me with this strange man. I was depressed and sullen. Then came a night when I deliberately didn’t invite him along somewhere, because I knew he would try and make me have sex with him, and I had no interest in being effectively date-raped. It was at this time that I realized he didn’t respect my body, or what I wanted, or my boundaries. I began avoiding him in earnest, and the histrionic behaviour erupted in full. I didn’t break up with him, because I was terrified if I did, that he’d kill himself.

My Master, who by then had moved out of my boyfriend’s apartment, felt that this was an opportunity to act. I remember listening, horrified, as he detailed to me the list of things he observed while living with the man who would come to be known by many names besides his own. The behaviour obsessing around sex (and calendar marking to match.) The misogynistic comments. The sense of entitlement. The arrogance. The ignorance. I sobbed on the phone, after my boyfriend had yelled at me for lying to him to keep him from being able to have sex with me. He knew I was avoiding him, but I had no idea how to tell him I was terrified of him, that he made me feel unsafe. The Master stood up for me, tearing a strip off of this man on my behalf. The act was sealed when Master returned with the report of how guiltless, entitled, and arrogant the boyfriend had been when Master insisted he treat me as I deserved to be treated. “Are you going to talk to her, too?” he asked, as if my Master was my parent to mete out punishment on the boyfriend’s behalf. Instead, he told me the truth. Master saved me from a pitiful little man, rescuing me from a situation where I, and my precociousness, were being taken advantage of. I smiled for the first time in years.

The ideas about sex stuck, though. I was shocked when I was discovered to be having sex with Master, and my mother was amused rather than infuriated. I was convinced, down to my bones, she was going to kill me and gouge Master’s eyes out with her fingernails. With no explanation, she laughed instead. I learned nothing.

I still believed, as I had when growing up, that I was broken or tainted or unworthy in some way, because I was a slut. From being made fun of by my little brother for being a closet lesbian, getting caught using porn, slurs based on my more boyish appearance, my strangeness was polarized for some people. I hated myself. I wasn’t a virgin, I wasn’t thin, I wasn’t pretty, I wasn’t stereotypically ‘hot’ (big-titted-narrow-waisted), I wasn’t popular… I didn’t even think I was particularly smart. I’m almost ashamed to say that my relationship with Master was not one of romance — I leapt out of a sick and sorrowed relationship, out of a fountain of emotional abuse, into him. I crawled up his leg, into his bed, and unloaded, piece by piece, my months and months of pent-up need for, and lack of, love.

Fortunately for me, Master was smarter than that. He insisted that that not be the direction things take, and caught me, carefully, and put me down. I tried to take advantage of him, sexually. He held me at arm’s length, until I stopped with the force, and he held me close, until he wanted to do more. He picked me up, bandaged my wounds, and didn’t let anything complicated develop until he felt comfortable with everything. He was gentle and careful, calculated and slow. For months and months, our sexual activity consisted of me crawling into his bed, naked, so we could nap together. I had no idea how to expand things, how to get what I want. I had no idea what I really wanted. We built a sexual relationship out of teenaged fumblings, and it’s taken a great deal of time to get comfortable talking about sex and about what feels good. I still feel guilty for asking for things (such as oral) despite many reassurances to the contrary. I still feel like an asshole when I tell him to stop because it hurts.

My precociousness and my armament of knowledge didn’t lead me into good choices, and I was unable to distinguish between sexual attraction and an actual relationship. I wasn’t protected by being shut out. I was unable to seek advice. What should have been a strength became a weakness. I grew into this idea that I should be this totally willing and submissive little thing, a real slut, with no desires of my own, since I was value-less after having lost my de facto virginity to the man before Master. My precociousness, my early development, should have been an opportunity to teach me how to wield the weapons at my disposal, how to protect myself. I was taught to ignore that part of me, and later, taught that it diminished my worth. “Who wants to marry a person who’s not a virgin?” asked my schoolmates, at Catholic school, and later at college. “Not me!” they’d chime. I’d remain silent, trying to shrink myself smaller.

The first person I had a healthy sexual relationship with was my Master… and it seemed the strangest thing, at the time. He insisted on the above — that I tell him to stop when it hurts, that I not have sex I don’t want to have, that I not do anything I don’t want to do. This seemed foreign to me at the time. I remember being stricken with a dermatitis or vestibulitis of some sort from having reacted to a particular brand of lube, and every act of sex was excruciating. Halfway through, Master noticed my pain, and I was sorely chastised for letting him hurt me like that for his own benefit. I have value? I was bewildered. This man I had known before Master, this man who was three-plus years older than Master, who was so much more experienced … he’d never made me feel as if I could ask for what I wanted, or refuse. He’d never made me feel valuable, sexy, beautiful. I had missed out on the best part of sex entirely.

I thought back to my sexual experiences prior … on the ex’s inflatable couch, being groped, knowing that within a time frame of hours he was going to take me to his room and try to have sex with me. Instead of acknowledging the feelings I had on the subject, how distasteful I found the idea, instead of refusing, I simply talked myself into it, trying to relax, detached, for when the inevitable moment came. I ignored my revulsion at the completion of the act, and tried to ignore him as much as possible while he was performing it. I was emotionally detached.

I think my mother’s idea was that she was protecting me, by making sure I knew nothing. Her idea backfired in the sense that I learned everything there was to know — factually — but nothing about what there was to know — functionally. I could tell you brand names of birth control pills, but nothing about intimacy. The solution my mother came up with was to pretend that intimacy wasn’t possible because of my age, my sluttiness. Or maybe she just forgot to mention it, what with all the talk of what a whore I was and asking me if I did it ‘so I could feel loved.’ I was never asked a single question about sex that didn’t sound like a personal attack before I’d even answered. I was terrified of her, but knew sex was as normal as breathing. I had to figure it out on my own, somehow.

I hear this type of thing is genetic — my grandmother developed early and so did many of my aunts. My child might end up being much like me, in this way, and I think about it all the time. How will I handle it? Will I have to explain to an eight year old or a six year old, one day, what sex is, without lying to her or making her feel as I did, as if she were a filthy valueless little thing? And if I don’t, if I indeed tell her (or him) the truth, how many people are going to come crashing down on me, thinking I’m setting my child up to be assaulted sexually? Truth be told, I had no concept of what sexual assault was until I was over the age of 18. Several of my friends had experienced it without realizing, this non-consensual-but-not-totally-forceful sex, myself included, without seeing that we were being taken advantage of, with no advice on how to protect ourselves from things besides pregnancy and disease.

I had no power to say ‘no’ and no idea of when I should say ‘no’ or why. It’s this that I feel it most necessary to correct. I had a significant decrease in my self-worth with the knowledge that I was a slut, and so have vowed to never make my child feel ashamed about their sexuality. It’s a huge part of me, and of my life, and trying to shut off that part of my personality, or not being allowed to experience it because I’ve been taught it’s ‘wrong,’ is one of the bigger travesties of my teenagedhood. It’s part of why I have felt it so important to write about sex, and my sex life, and my sexuality. I need to come to grips with this somehow, to jackhammer the idea out of my head that this is somehow wrong, or bad. Fortunately, I have Master, T, and my good friends around me. My children will grow up happier than I did. That’s a promise.

Upfront

I was burned out yesterday. Too many nights, no sleep, all work — whether work-work or school-work. I arrive home at a strange hour, crawl into (a cold) bed, and attempt to sleep. I sleep until evening time, where I have an hour or two (perhaps) to recuperate and eat and pack for my work shift before it’s off to work for another graveyard.

It’s snowed 40-some centimeters total in the last 5 days, and over a weekend, too, so no plowing the roads and sanding was heavily delayed (especially on Sunday morning and the middle of Saturday night, when I still had to safely make the 35km trek to work.)

My first evening to myself after this had finished, I was wiped, with all of my favourite resources (sense of humor, patience, understanding) worn down to a thin membrane. I cried. I needed to connect, to be human. I texted the Man, the husband, the one who’s far away. “I can’t fix your problem from here,” he soothes on the phone, and I know it’s true. He comforts me anyway,  and I grow the confidence and shed my embarassment at my emotional state. I have a unique reason for feeling so disconnected and discomfited.

I crawled out of my hiding place, asking the Second to follow me back. I begged him to connect with me, talking about how I’d been hesitant to ask for this earlier in the evening, feeling as if I always am the one demanding me-time and trumping him-time, feeling as if I’m surely an inconvenience. I articulate this, telling him how I feel. “I think I shouldn’t ask for things, even when I need them,” I confess, remembering my formative years, “I feel as if I should just float along, and not disturb anyone.” Ironically, it is doing exactly that — moving in and out of my place as a ghost, connecting with no-one — that has led me to start feeling so worn down, causing the erosion in self-confidence. The paradox is not lost on me.

My husband comforts me on the phone, and the Second comforts me with touch, connecting and reassuring me that it is never wrong to ask for what I need. He admits that sometimes he is unable, but it is never, ever wrong to ask, he insists. He calms me, insisting that though I feel as if I’m an inconvenience, this is not a feeling based in rationality, that I’m trying to be considerate, but that it’s ultimately his decision to make — gently, gently chastising me for making the decision for him, for not-asking because I had already decided he wasn’t wanting to give it to me.

“Sometimes, I say not now, but it’s more a matter of ‘it’s not what I had in mind’ — maybe I was thinking tomorrow, instead of today? So ask, I didn’t realize you wanted. I am willing to give these things to you.”

My boys take such good care of me. It is my responsibility to make sure that I let them know what I need… instead of immediately assuming that they aren’t interested in giving it to me.

Learning

My Master and I are learning to do a thing we never did learn… a thing the construction of our sex life seemed to skip.

This is through no fault of anyone’s, and is actually a product of the times, and of my society’s brainwashing young adults about sex. I had finally broken out of a long-dead relationship, and my awakening had mostly been to do with the experience of my Master’s love. He moved close, lived with the long-dead boyfriend, learned more about me, about the relationship I existed in. He watched as we spent time together, my long-dead coupledom, himself, and my best friend.

He watched my eyes as they traced the ground and my flat voice as no touch of the long-dead could awaken me. He knew (from conversations) that it’d been more than a yearish since I had had sex. He knew (from living with the long-dead, hearing him talk) the number of days it had been, as an exact number.

He knew (as I had told him, between sobs) how I craved to feel closeness and loved, and how I felt nothing from this man. I was living in difficult and strange times, short on close friends, limping through my last year of high school, trying to fade away from my tortuous family. I had no sympathy or empathy from the long-dead, and there was no end in sight.

Master threw himself down as a hero. He controlled the situation. This is Master’s calling … to control the situation, to make a difference, to improve lives. He did it without expectation. He did it simply because he loved me.

He swooped in on the long-dead, itemizing selfishness. She lives with a mother who views her daily with scorn, he scolded, and here you live, alone, bankrolled by your parents — sobbing to yourself about how your life is so difficult because you can’t fuck her?

My Master’s love for me shone through.

I gravitated towards this love, searching for warmth. I wrapped myself around him. Once severed from the dead, I slept with Master, enjoying his warmth. It was our first real shared experience. The snuggling. And napping. I had never done anything so intimate and so lovely.

I threw myself at him.

There is no other way to describe it. We have described it between ourselves as exactly this, multiple times.

He protested. He thought too highly of me. He wanted to make sure it was right. I think he was afraid of taking advantage of both of us. Of me.

The first time we were together was memorable for all sorts of bad reasons. What I remember most clearly, however, is the feeling that things were different now, that I could exhale, as if all of my sins were suddenly washed away.

We did not learn to tease this out of one another. There was no dancing around the subject. There was abject need, deep-seated want, and submission.

Now that Master is gone, I am learning to tease and be teased. He is so far away, he is learning a patience that was never required of him when he lived here… he is learning to tease and be teased.

At this moment, we have words. Occasionally voices, but sometimes, only words. So we tease each other with words — no senses, except those generated by the mind.

It helps we’re both heavy-duty readers and good writers. It helps that we’re both communicative, have been from the start. It helps that we both love technology and will communicate with whatever technology is at hand. IM, SMS, lots of abbreviations in technology. It means we’re good at it. So we revel in it. Teasing each other, with only words.

It’s been an education in what we want. Newly uninhibited, secrets formally abolished, we’re talking about things we’ve never talked about — with no judgmental attitude and no hurt feelings. Just openness — hands, palms up, on the table, a meditation on openness and sharing.

I have booked a trip down in May (shh don’t tell) and anticipate some particularly needy sex. I plan to draw out the need … on both our parts. I want to experience that deep-seated want, that quivering, near-painful need, and I want to watch him unleash in want.

I’m learning to tease, to draw it out, to make him be patient, whether it be by resisting (ah!) or controlling the situation. He’s had his admonishments but I have my own ways of being drawn out — and they involve the silent fingers of a flogger on the curve of my back.