Quite a while back (on another website), a question was asked about people's favorite "toy." Me being the smart ass I am, I started to respond, "her body." Only, her body wasn't my toy, it was my playground.
Any road, someone brought up their collar. Well, I hadn't really thought of a collar as a "toy." However, being mostly fifty shades of white belt to all this BDSMery at the time, I didn't exactly approach it with the respect and even reverence that I later learned to appreciate.
Any road, here's the tale I told in reply to someone mentioning a collar...
There was a time when I was younger (hard to believe, I know) and I, perhaps wasn't quite careful enough in considering and modulating my reactions.
Now, Love was... I almost hate to say it since it would really hurt her feelings, but she was actually pretty prim in her public persona. Like literally the leader of a church youth group and such.
That was, needless to say, before she fell into the gravitational pull of my dark sphere of influence.
One of her favorite positions was doggy style. Which was a tad problematic as she'd had her left knee blown out by a shotgun blast and "rebuilt" (for some definitions of the term) with steel plates in place of the joint that did not bend. So, the only way we could manage was on the couch with her right knee up, her left on the floor, and her elbows on the arm. Which pretty much left me playing tightrope walker on the edge of the couch as I tried to find the leverage to give her what she needed.
Now, as I say, she was actually pretty prim and proper and the natural use of coarse language was more than a bit of a problem for her, even more so than communicating what she wanted which was problematic enough in the beginning.
So, there we were, and no horse-shit. She was in position, and I was doing my balancing act and trying like hell not to fall off while giving her the hard stroke she craved. And, 'lo and behold, out of nowhere, she busts out with, "That's right! Mount me like the bitch I am!"
After a frozen moment of "what the fuck did she just-" I lost it, both my composure and my balance, and fell off the couch cackling. Felt like absolute shit about it since I knew she was just trying to talk dirty for my enjoyment. And when I finally did regain control, I had to take her in my lap and cuddle her for a long time while I explained just how many ways what she had done had struck me as funny. Not least that if ever there was a woman who was less of "a bitch," I have yet to meet her. (*cough* Um, that's not a slight to any of you here, it just... Well, putting up with me alone should have garnered the woman sainthood.)
Any road, we worked it out and it even became something of a joke between us. Even years later, she could make me smile by referring to herself as my bitch. And I so am not even going to explain the blanket with the pair of wolves on it to anybody.
(*She did get much better at cursing under my expert tutelage and years later could walk into a bar and have sailors bailing out the windows, blushing and covering their ears. But, that's beside the point.)
Sadly, I have a vile sense of humor and always have to carry the joke just that one step too far. So, one... mmm... can't remember if it was Valentine's or Anniversary or what. (This was a couple of decades ago.) Any road, one of those, I went down to Pets Mart and made a couple of acquisitions. And got a really strange look from the fetus running the checkout.
Fuck her. The engraving machine said I could engrave what I wanted with a price listed per character.
Fortunately, I found the woman whose sense of humor (also vile) most closely matched my own and when she opened the necklace box gleaned from a well-known jeweler to find that collar sitting in there, she cracked up as well.
I didn't actually expect her to wear it.
You see, her brother when they were children had a habit of choking her until she either passed out or almost. This when he wasn't setting her Barbie car on fire as he pushed it down the driveway. So, she had definite issues with having anything around her neck. Even her blouses had to be roomy through the collar.
(We won't discuss the moment when she took my hand and placed it there and informed me in no uncertain terms that her life was mine to do with as I wished. She'd been reading bodice rippers again, so I don't really count that time.)
I would imagine you can imagine my surprise when she actually put it on. Of course, the effect was a tad ruined when she barked and then started whimpering and brushing her face on my shoulder. And then licked the corner of my mouth. With the entire length of her tongue.
The thing is... Well, in my younger years, I'd actually had a problem learning to moderate my strength. Yes, actually, I'd ripped the doorknob off a door when I got distracted and didn't get it twisted enough before yanking on it. Twice. And I'd actually caused some pain, not the good kind, for a couple of lovers when I was still first coming into my practical experience.
(Not what you're thinking! I'm not that well endowed.)
Well, Love had managed to convince me that I could be a little rougher with her, that she wasn't made of crystal. However, I'd also been known to break cinder blocks and bricks... So, I was still careful. More careful than she liked, although I didn't completely understand that since, as I say, articulating her wants and needs didn't come easily to her.
Over time, that collar became something of a symbol. When she put it on her neck, and she only ever put it around her own neck, it was a message to me that she wanted to be taken and used, her boundaries pushed with the one hard limit that if I came anywhere near her with a shotgun, she was the fuck outta there.
The night I pushed her over the edge and brought her through twenty-three climaxes in fifteen minutes and caused her to squirt hard enough she soaked the bed from her waist to her knees the first time, she was wearing it for me.
We hadn't tended it or taken care of it for a couple of years before she passed. There just didn't seem much point since she couldn't wear it anymore, along with everything implied. The leather is cracked and aged. Then again, so am I. I don't know why we kept it, really. Or why I still have it and have even now dug it out and am fiddling with as I scan over this to see if I really want to post this or not.
I don't know. I mean, I know that wasn't what you were looking for with this thread. But, I guess maybe it's telling that the 8' braided leather bullwhip is gone, the leather flogger with fifteen strips of leather, the Velcro restraint system, all of her toy chest with the various sized vibrators, dildoes, butt plugs, nipple clamps, anal beads, and whatever the fuck else it was that we accumulated over the years for me to use on her whenever she put on this fucking thing. (Me scampering ahead of her son to get rid of it before he could see it. [Which was probably a good thing considering the amazing shade of purple he turned at the one piece of lingerie I missed.])
And yet, I still have her collar wrapped around my fingers. Haven't been able to part with it...
Oh, and by the way. Anal beads should not be used like a lawnmower pull start cord. You will definitely not get her motor running that way. I'm just sayin'. That was a hard lesson to learn way back then. (Harder on some than others!)
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
— George Bernard Shaw
Life is weird. Or maybe it's just my life that is weird.
Once again, I have been hit from several different directions by different questions, different facets that all boil down to the same thing.
Never assume that anyone can look at your ass and read your mind.
If you aren't communicating, then all the information another person has to go on is their own fears and assumptions. Sometimes aided and abetted by other sources than you.
Be truthful and forthright when you do communicate or else once the other people figure out you aren't, then they will disregard (or at least doubt) everything you say thereafter.
Listening is just as important as talking (or reading is just as important as typing) when it comes to communication.
If they repeat the same thing two more times in the same conversation, they are looking for some confirmation that you understand and aren't finding it. If you've given them the confirmation that you understand and they are still repeating it, then consider that you may actually not be understanding what they are trying (perhaps ineffectually) to impart.
By the same token, understand that questions asked for clarification are a sign that they are trying to understand you and work with you! A sign that they respect and value you!
Not communicating, holding something in that you want/need to say, is not only a sign of lack of trust, it is disrespectful to the other person. An indication that you don't think they can handle it. But, odds are that they can handle what you are not telling them better than finding out that you didn't respect them enough to tell them.
Awhile back (on a different site), I was something of an unintentional behind the scenes instigator about a forum thread discussing the differences between honesty and transparency. And a lot of really good discussion came out of it. (I categorically refused to participate for reasons that I prefer not to be transparent about, but enjoyed following it.) In a nutshell, though, what it boiled down to is that honesty and truthfulness when something is shared should always be observed, but not every person you meet is entitled to know how many squares of toilet paper you use to wipe with.
What was missed, in my opinion, is that there is a problem in the obverse. To wit, if you are giving someone that transparency and then become opaque and vague in the same or similar matters, then what is communicated is that you are not what you once were. I considered that just a given until someone once dear to me wondered what had happened to us. The answer was simple, of course. The communication we had once shared had dwindled to nothing until I got the idea that I was no longer relevant and wandered off. What was communicated to me was that they no longer cared about me any more than a mushroom. (Kept in the dark and fed on bullshit.)
What was actually happening, from their viewpoint, was that, at first, they didn't want to worry me. Then, there was so much water under the bridge that they didn't want to discuss all of it. A point of critical mass was reached where they didn't know how to discuss it all. And the eventual result was that this person that I knew everything about became someone I used to know that I no longer had any idea what was going on with them, even who they were, in just a few short (but eventful) months.
All of which could have been avoided if they'd just said what was happening, given me the respect of believing that I could handle it, while it was still a small thing, before it grew to the insurmountable obstacle.
Don't hesitate! Communicate!
It's always gonna be easier to keep communication going, no matter how hard it seems in the moment, than it will be to restart the flow once it's been dammed (or damned).
I've said elsewhere, when a little was lamenting that she felt that she was being too clingy, that there is no such thing as too clingy.
I take it back, there IS such a thing as a little kitten being TOO clingy!
I can cope with working with only one limb for being held onto.
Even when it's not exactly the most comfortable position, I can manage.
But, fucking ow! Getting a claw stuck in my face while I'm trying to sleep qualifies as TOO clingy!
I'd like to blame Love. I take the blame for the tiny little attention hound (aka Dogzilla). But, she was the crazy cat lady who just had to rescue the three orphaned kittens (at two different times) that were too young to be off the tit. Then she went and died despite my orders to the contrary and left me with these assholes.
Somewhere, Love is laughing her ass off. But, she always did say "I swear I can't even get out of bed...
... without that other bitch taking my place and you being surrounded by pussy!"
Well played, Love. Well played. (She, I will note, was the funny one with a sense of humor. But, then she had to be to put up with me.)
Ok, I'll be the first to admit that I can be pretty dark. It's difficult sometimes to look past everything happening, past what I don't have any more to see what I do.
I was diagnosed with Parkinson's with Central Pain Syndrome and Essential Tremors complications a decade ago. For those that may not know what this means, my brain is turning to tapioca in my skull, I vibrate like a nympho's favorite dildo on my bad days, and I live in pain. Each stroke of the keys on the keyboard feels like some bastard replaced the keys with needles heated in a furnace and hooked to electrical current.
On top of that joy, I watched, helpless, as my wife, my step-mother, and my father all died within nine months. I live alone with a dog and three cats and don't see anyone face-to-face for days and even weeks at a time.
It's not a pissing contest. My pain is no better or worse to me than what someone else is feeling is to them. My point is that, yes, I understand how hard it is to see the light for the darkness some days.
But, here's the thing. We are not just the crude meat bag that we wear around every day. We are the heart, the mind, and the soul stuffed inside it.
And I can not be sorry for anything that I have been through. Not the mistakes. Not the pain. None of it. Because if I hadn't been through it, then I wouldn't be the me that is sitting here now. I would be something else.
Neither can I be sorry for what you have gone through. I can feel for your pains and sorrows. I can thrill at your pleasures and joys. But, to wish that you had experienced anything different than what you have would be to belittle the you that you survived as. The you that you are on your way to becoming tomorrow.
Diamonds are made from heat and pressure.
As I've looked around, I've seen people on either side of the slash lamenting. And that is to the good. We need to be able to vent sometimes. To purge those dark, negative energies before they poison our souls.
But, there is good, too. There is always good. And you have it within you to be that good for someone. Or to have someone be that good for you if you allow them.
Let me show you.
If it is your birthday and the missionary barrel comes, you can either be sad that the doll you wanted wasn't in it instead of the crutches that were. Or you can be glad that you don't need the crutches.
To the right ones;
You are beautiful enough.
You are smart enough.
You are funny enough.
You are kind enough.
You are unique enough.
Your smile is a drug to the right addict.
Your laugh is music to the right ears.
You are worth love and affection from the people worthy of yours.
You are more precious than a diamond to those worth valuing.
You are the most stunning of all God's creations to those that can see it.
You are worth more than any material wealth you could ever imagine to those worth valuing.
You are incredible.
You are awesome.
You are inspiring.
You are admirable.
You will never be too much to the ones meant to handle you.
You will always be enough to those meant to value you.
You are making a difference each and every day.
To the right people.
Any flaw that "they" find is not in you, except in that you allow their perception to color your own rather than people that have the eyes to really see you, the ears to really hear you, the open mind and heart to really understand you...
Life is only twenty percent what we make it. The other eighty percent is how we take it. So make yours a good day, and anyone else's you conveniently can. It may just be that today someone needs your shining light on their own dark path, Diamond Heart.
Challenge (should you choose to accept it); find one positive from the last twenty-four hours, no matter how big or small, and share.
Mine is easy. You. Yes, you that took the time to read all this down to this point. The fact that you gave enough of a damn to find out what mad meanderings were mulling about in my myopic mind has brightened my day already. The fact that someone as special as you found something worth reading about from No One of Consquence...
More than a few times, I've been asked if I can be trusted. I don't even know what to say to that. I mean, wouldn't an untrustworthy person say that they are? The only way I know to prove trustworthiness is to give or be given enough rope to hang ourselves.
What a word. Trust. We talk about it all the time. But, what the hell is it? And how do we know when we are breaking it? Or when they have broken ours?
(And since I can think of at least three people that will come after me loaded for bear if I so much as mention Maslow or the security level of the pyramid, I'm not gonna.)
Everybody has their own "thing" there, I think. What causes their fragile trust to feel abused. I don't know. I don't pretend to know everything about anybody other than myself much less much of relevance to every single person I meet. And I think I'm pretty simple and straightforward. Maybe even too simple and straightforward. I've got three big ones that I won't put up with from even just a friend without knocking them back down to "an acquaintance I used to know." Three things that I give automatically and expect in return.
Lies are a thing for me. I don't lie. Some of that is probably my upbringing. "Thou shalt not lie." And then, of course, a father with a heavy hand that would make sure to punish lies more than the actual transgression I was trying to cover. But, it's a little more than that, I think. If I tell a lie to someone, then I have to try to remember what the hell the lie was I told to this person from that point on. And then I have to figure out if this person is talking to that person. And so I have to make sure I tell that person the same lie, in case they compare stories. I don't have the time or inclination to worry with all that happy horseshit. The truth is easier to remember. And then I don't have to worry who tells who what. Not to mention that I know if word gets back to me of something that I didn't say that the person who said it is a liar.
On the flip-side of the coin, I view lies told to me as an insult. Not just to me as a person, but to my intelligence. That I could figure out it was a lie. Eventually. I don't go looking. I tend to take people at face value. But, I remember pretty good. And if something comes back around that gives the lie to something told to me, then I start evaluating. Or if I see them lying to someone else, I start evaluating. And I also start watching. This becomes tiring. If every time someone's mouth moves, I have to weigh each and every word for truth, then it's not going to be very long before I decide they just aren't worth the hassle.
Abandonment is a thing for me. Maybe it started from being tossed aside like a used condom or tampon at birth. Maybe it was my parents (I categorically refuse the term "adoptive parents" since they are my only parents) deciding I wasn't enough and bringing in another that everybody liked better. Maybe it was all the various girlfriends/lovers/fiances/submissives over the years that left (I only broke with one out of all of them). Maybe it was getting sick (Parkinson's) and watching everyone, friends and family, people I had been there for time and again pull away once I wasn't useful to them anymore. But, even as something firmly on the capitalized side of the slash, if someone is not there when I need them because they are too busy with someone else, then why should I break my back to be there for them? Why should I believe they will be if they never are? Why should I continue to make them my priority when I am not ever theirs? How can I count on them?
Don't get me wrong. Shit happens. Life happens. Work comes before play. Kids come before cum. Duty before pleasure. But, if I am an afterthought to everything every time, then that's just not going to cut it. And walking away, saying "I'm done" means we're done. And so is the damage. Even if you come back the next day and try to say, "I didn't mean it" you've shown me that you are not steadfast.
Violence... There is a difference, huge difference, between a playful tussle with bratty prey to get the blood pumping and lashing out with the full intent to harm me, whether it is physically or even just emotionally... No. I am not your masochist whipping toy. At one point, I would have stuck with just physically. But, I have learned, the hard way, that when someone knows your buttons and purposefully strikes them to cause harm... No. Just, no.
However, everybody has a bad day. Everybody deserves a second chance. "Turn the other cheek" and all that. But, how many do you give? I've only got so many cheeks. And if they hit me on both the top ones, they can kiss right between the bottom ones. Each lie is a strike. Each abandonment is a strike. Lashing out with the intent to cause me harm (physically or emotionally) is an automatic two strikes. Once they accumulate three strikes, they are out. They are someone I used to know. They can come back, but my trust has been shattered and they don't get what they had. How can I trust you aren't lying if you have shown you will? How can I trust you to stay if you have shown you won't? How can I trust you not to try to hurt me if you already have?
This holds true for friends. This holds true for lovers. This holds true for submissives. If I can't trust your honesty, that you will stand by me when I need to count on you, or that you will not attempt to do me harm, then what else matters? Is there anything else to integrity that can support the loss of one or more of these three?
The rest... I don't know. Telling tales outside of our confidence, for example, is kind of a grey area. I don't really have any secrets or anything. (Although I've learned the hard way [last August] to keep other people's secrets, even that I talk to them in private at all, much less what about.) I've got stuff I don't talk about to just anybody, sure. (Hard as it may be to believe.) And I might be disappointed if someone told something to someone that I didn't think was any of their business. But, I think that is a lot dependent on just how it is done. If they do it to hurt me, then we fall back on rule three. If they do it and don't tell the truth, then we fall back on rule one. Intent can matter, perhaps. But, the consequence of the action, the harm wrought is still the more important. Not, however, the big three. Intent matters not a whit there. Lying to protect me is still lying. Abandoning me to protect me is still abandoning me.
But, I don't know. I admit I'm really a pretty simple fellow. Perhaps even simplistic. Maybe there are other things that break trust for other people. And I've tried to be open and to honor those limits when I'm made aware of them, even if subconsciously I still slot them into one of my three for simplicity's sake. Even when they tromp all over mine, I just walk away without tromping on theirs on my way out. But, I don't see that as me abandoning them so much as salvaging myself from them abusing my trust.
Thoughts and comments are, as always, welcome. Whether you think I am too harsh or that I missed something that you think is a major breach of trust that couldn't be covered by these three. Even if you think I sound like a little candy-ass somewhere on the lower-cased side of the slash. (You would be wrong, but I would love to hear reasoned, rational arguments.)
But, whatever row you feel you need to hoe, go out of your way to make yours (and your person's/people's) a good day.