February Photofest 2020

A tease photo

The annual sex positive photographic meme February Photofest, hosted by Molly’s Daily Kiss starts tomorrow. This will be the 5th time I’ve entered. My first was 2015 and other than 2018 when I had far too. much going on I’ve participated every year since.

Though I have plans for some photo opportunities this month, mainly with Master behind the camera. We haven’t yet taken the photos. But I’ve trawled through my library and found almost a weeks worth of images never seen before. So will start with those. Well almost.

Tomorrow my Sinful Sunday image will be something special. To celebrate the fact that Master and I have been together for 6 years. Tomorrow 1st February is our special day.

There will be a weekly theme – the first, from Sunday 2nd February is: Playtime. Tune in tomorrow for day 1.

Privacy

Scrabble letters spelling out privacy

Where to start with the Food for Thought topic of privacy this week? The fact that our every move around towns and cities, in pubs, shops and restaurant are monitored. That our digital habits are monitored to the extent that we receive adverts on our phones for things mentioned in passing. Or being part of a sex positive, open community that guards its privacy. And that’s without mentioning the debate in my own head about privacy vs being out there.

We’re constantly being watched

I noticed last weekend that our regular pub has (at least) two cctv cameras. One points towards the bar area and the other in the newly refurbished lounge. The latter is used for events. Hmm I thought, even here I’m being watched and not just by the staff.

We’re used to the cameras on the roads and in public spaces. Yes, they can be used to catch people up to no good, but they are there and they are watching.

One of our neighbours is obsessed that people turn in the area in front of their house. It’s not even a private driveway but they’ve put up signs staying Private Keep Out. We overheard the guy telling a driver who had missed the sign that they would be on cctv and if they did it again they would be prosecuted. For a while we thought they really had cameras, but they haven’t. However I was worried for a while that the camera was trained straight towards our house. It turned out to be a central heating flue. Still their behaviour gives us hours of amusement.

The evils of google (other search engines exist and there are other evils)

This morning I ordered some new clothes online. Socks and a top from my favourite place for socks. Minutes later I had adverts for that company on my facebook timeline. Tell you what Facebook, I just bought from this company, I need no adverts. I looked at a planner online the other day and on my Instagram I had a picture of the planner with a message. ‘We saw you looked at our planner, why not complete your purchase’. No thanks.

Before now we’ve been discussing a place, activity or potential purchase and next one of us gets an unsolicited email or advert somewhere. What the fuck? So it’s clear that we’re being watched (through digital algorithms or something) at home as well as out of it.

But to be honest I’m not ready to make all my movements secret just yet. Though of course I’m in disguise right now. True, I’m not wearing a moustache and dark glasses but I am hiding my true identity while in plain site on my blog.

The issue of privacy in the sex blogging / kink community

Many people in this community use an alias, some of the names are very clever. So much so that you don’t always know that isn’t their real name. Many people post photos of themselves but never show their face. Or at least show it in such a way that you would pass them in the street. I know people in person from munches, kink events and of course Eroticon and don’t know their real names. Some I’ve been told their real first names, but can’t remember and still call them by their aliases. I’m not sure it matters. So long as the person you portray in that world is you, it doesn’t matter what you call yourself.

Not too long ago the blogging community was stung by someone who used an alias but also invented a whole life. As their lies unravelled it wasn’t the fact that we didn’t know their real name that hurt. But that the person had destroyed the trust of the community. Equally there are plenty of fake Dom / Dommes online. People who lure the vulnerable into their lair and then inflict abuse. Privacy is important but can come with at a price.

Being out but private about it

At the beginning of this journey I guarded my privacy. My blog was known about by no one I knew. This was partly because of the nature of what I was doing (kinky stuff with a new man) but mainly because I was married. I was also working in a profession where you could get sacked (at that time) for things posted on the internet. Gradually though things changed. My husband found out about my infidelity (through snooping in my emails) and once I met Master I explored kink in new ways. In 2013 I was made redundant and my relationship with my longterm public sector employer changed for ever. When I worked for them again a year later I cared much less about being sacked. But anyway attitudes have changed (not to kink so much as blogging etc. in general.

So, you can see my face on my blog. My name is Julie and I’m relatively open about myself and my life. But I wouldn’t write or tell people my full name, my surname is not common. I tell people face to face the general area in which I live, but not the address. I discuss my son and family but am pretty vague about them and would never post photos of them on my blog. For one thing it would be difficult to get consent since I don’t want them to know about it. In an ideal world I’d be open to family and friends about our lifestyle. But the world isn’t ideal and I just know they wouldn’t understand. But also, it’s our business and I don’t want to mix up those aspects of my life.

Recent challenges

Recently I started my new blog Food and Fitness for Health. It’s vanilla and about the challenge of getting myself healthier and fitter. I had the hunch that others might use if as a resource and wanted to keep it separate from this blog. I have friends who would be great contributors but I have stopped at the point of telling anyone. But I just know (or have a hunch) that it would lead to being outed. So I’m in a quandary.

I’ve already linked this blog with them by the Food Matters and Wicked Wednesday memes. But actually in order to get it up and running I do need to do so. I need this community to help give some traction. So, I’ll continue to sit on the fence about telling people and instead let them come to me.

So you see, I’m out but in a private way. Also though I’m not convinced that in the end it’s individuals we should be scared of. Because the large social media and other tech companies that are tracking us and already know all of our names. Fake and fiction. So I get on with life and try not to worry about what might happen if my son found out I am MPB Julie and not just plain mum.

Time to celebrate

Photo by Clarinta Subrata on Unsplash

This is a special week, the 400th edition of Wicked Wednesday, so time to celebrate such an amazing feat. This weekly meme was invented by and is hosted by Marie Rebelle and has been running since 4th June 2012. At that time I was in the first throws of my extra first and only marital affair. Everything was new, including my blog which I’d started in April that year. Back then, my blog was pretty much a diary of events, probably written and read by myself alone. But since I’d started it to do just that, it didn’t matter.

My first Wicked Wednesday

This post written on March 26 2016 was my first linked to the Wicked Wednesday meme. Since then I’ve joined in 97 time prior today (so this is number 98). The only meme I’ve joined more times is Sinful Sunday with 118 posts. Of course, in a way posting a photo is easier than thinking up words, so maybe this isn’t surprising.

What I like about Wicked Wednesday

Marie’s hard work and engaging nature has paid off over the years. I always know that she will read and visit my and all the posts each week. Her thoughtful comments make all the difference, especially when you are covering a difficult topic. speaking of which the subjects are equally well thought out and planned ahead. What’s more others that have linked provide ample reading material for the days ahead.

Reviewing Wicked Wednesday

Over the past 2 or 3 years Marie has handed the Wicked Wednesday review over to her contributors. This involves doing a round up and picking three posts which stood out. This post, written in June 2017 is about my first review. The first time I’d done anything like that. I was overwhelmed with the amount of reading (of course this was before the Smut Marathon) and in awe of the work Marie does every week. I’ve done the round up once more since and I’m due to do it again later this year.

You can post anything really

The great thing is that you don’t have to follow the prompt and can actually link pretty much any post from your blog. You can also combine memes, which I and others often do. But I quite like to follow the prompt if I can as I am not always filled with new ideas. When your blog is 8 years old, as mine will be soon, you have often written about most things.

Other things to celebrate this week

Marie’s blog was 10 years old this week, what an amazing feat. I have to say I am proud to call her a friend and really value the support she has given me over the years. I raise my virtual glass of champagne in celebration. Congratulations Marie, here’s to the next 400 weeks of Wicked Wednesday!

Pegs – not just for clothes

The current Kink of the Week is pegs or clothes pins as they are called in some places. Now, the application of pegs to my body was the first form of pain I inflicted on myself at the hands of another. As I describe in this post, S instructed me to apply pegs to my nipples while we spoke on the phone. It was mainly a long distance relationship and he wanted to exert his control over me. So, many times he instructed me to do things to my body while he listened (and later watched). This was my first introduction to Dominance and submission, and I was surprised at how readily I wanted to comply.

Nipple play

Using pegs on my nipples was the forerunner to the introduction of nipple clamps. Nipple pain for me was a sure fire way of getting me to orgasm, and then some. There was a clear channel between those nipples and my clit. It still exists but having only one nipple things are a bit different, but I digress.

The other thing about using pegs or nipple clamps is that while having them in place is painful, it is their removal that causes pain. But that pain is somehow quite delicious and can last for quite some time.

Master hasn’t used pegs for nipple play, he uses them for something altogether more evil. The Zipper.

The Zipper

Around 8 pegs have been joined together by string, and these applied to the lips of my pussy. Then an evil sadist comes along and pulls the string and off come the pegs. This is absolutely fucking painful. And amazingly fabulous at the same time. This photo was taken early in our relationship, the first few weeks. You’ll see I was shaved, and soon after was instructed to grow my hair. Also there are marks! As I wrote in my previous KOTW I really hardly ever mark! Also look at that post for a glimpse of nipple clamps being used elsewhere!

We haven’t used the zipper for sometime and I don’t wasn’t to make suggestions that I might live to regret but actually it would be good to get to that place again. Yep, pegs in kink play are a damn good thing, plus they are cheap. Plus if really necessary you can even use them later to hang your clothes out too dry. Though maybe not if they are tied together with string!

Objectification in our relationship

Me wearing a dog mask.

I’ll start by saying that I’d decided not to write for this prompt on Tell Me About, because I have nothing to say. But a conversation with Master reminded me that actually it is part of my life. Somewhere over the past few weeks I’ve forgotten, partly because objectification is just an every day part of our lives.

When I wrote this post it was all new. I’d recently learned that being called a slut or bitch turned me on. Being ‘this girl’ made me smile because it confirmed my role as his slave. Somewhere in the mists of time I’d forgotten that he objectifies me by calling me those things. Of course I haven’t forgotten that I love it, but it’s just we’ve settled into our lives and roles over time.

When I refer to myself as his bitch, it turns him on. That is just a small part of our power exchange. But also it’s key to our Sex Life. Power equals sexual arousal for him and the knowledge of my submission to him still makes me wet.

We use objectification during play, especially when we have space. A few times we’ve stayed overnight in a dungeon and used the facilities to bring that side of us out. Master bought me a dog mask and tail and I have enjoyed wearing them for his pleasure. Dungeons often contain cages and he loves to watch me as I lie there feeling degraded and horny.

That’s the whole thing about degradation and objectification. It feels wrong and right at the same time. We shouldn’t get off on wearing a dog mask or wearing a leather collar and lead. But we do. To begin with that was puzzling to my previously vanilla brain. But over time I’ve embraced my kinks and delighted in the reaction they have on him. The fact that he fancies the pants (if I’m wearing any) off me is a thrill in itself. That his kinks involve objectifying me is especially exciting.

Recently we attended a new club. There was a woman wearing an entire dog costume and being led on a lead. I don’t think I’d want to do that, but I found it fascinating. Then there was the guy wearing a pony saddle and giving people rides on his back. Those places can be a thrilling insight into other people’s kinks. And even if it isn’t your thing it is mighty interesting to watch and see. But also it shows you what you could try out if you so desired. This world of kink is rarely dull!

A bright new day

This is one of the photos taken last March when we celebrated Master’s birthday. A beautiful spring day as I think you can see from the image. I’m not sure where we’ll be on his birthday this year, it’s a special year for him and he is choosing where we’ll go. Hopefully though there will be lots of opportunities for photos and plenty of bright new days to come.

Click on the lips below to see who else is participating in Sinful Sunday this week.

Friendship

I wasn’t going to write anything for this week’s Food For Thought topic on friends and friendship because I have written about before. But, it gives me a chance to link up my previous posts and perhaps to expand a little.

My best friend and partner

Is of course Master. Next weekend is the 6th anniversary of our first meeting. He and I are lovers, we are Master and slave and we are friends. We are friends in a way that was never the case with my ex. Neither of us have many friends and I am glad and grateful that we have each other. There have been times over the last couple of years when I wonder what I’d do without him. He has been the most amazing, caring individual who has put me. before everything else.

Many of my friendships have been transient

As I wrote here last May, people have come and gone from my life. when I wrote this I said that there is no one special I could confide in. But I don’t think that’s quite right. We have a friend in Holland who confided in us when we saw her before Christmas. The time I spent with her, listening and helping her make some difficult decisions made me realise she is someone I could confide in. I also believe she is someone who will remain a friend and not walk away,. Around May time we also saw her and it was then I told her about my breast cancer. She was upset that I hadn’t confided before and I was sorry I hadn’t. I just didn’t want to do it by text message or phone call. But another time I definitely would go to her if I needed help or support.

Online friends who become real friends

I wrote in August about those people who I’ve got to know online and consider to be friends. Those I know from Munches and other events and those I’ve met at Eroticon. The beauty of attending something like Eroticon several years in a row (this will be our 4th) is picking up with friends again. Also developing those relationships over time. Last year was the first time I really struck up detailed conversations with people and I hope to do much more of that this year.

SoSS 2020 – 2

I’ve written less this week. I’ve had the time but not the inclination. I guess that’s part of the problem with the long month of January, it’s easy to run out of steam. But I have instead had time for reading and thinking about what I’ve read.

Floss Liddell has been going through some changes in her life recently and her post Making my mind a priority struck a cord. It is important to explore and embrace life, to do new things. Even if that means leaving others behind or putting them on the back burner. You only get one life and it is definitely for living and loving.

Brigit Delaney’s post on Time Management is a lesson in working out how to get the most out of life without burning out. Making goals and adjusting them when you realise they aren’t really achievable. I’m really interested that Brigit has started yoga, something I think I’d love to try. Like her, I am not a fan of workouts. I tend to be a clock watcher and long for the end of the session. Another thought provoking post and definitely worth a read.

I absolutely love Swirly’s writing. It is direct, poignant and often very moving. This poem, The Silent Timekeeper is just wonderful. the words are powerful and really make you think about time and what it means to me.

I’m new to Lizzie’s blog Master and Lizzie and will certainly be reading much more of her work. This post: Finding Lizzie resonated with me. Because I too always thought there was something missing from my life, but was scared of the unknown. I too, realised it was me who needed to change so I could take control. Then promptly gave that part of my self to another in a D/s relationship.

The sexual desires of women around the menopause is a subject poorly understood and rarely written about. We are lucky in our group of sex bloggers to have people who are willing and able to write about their experiences. I include myself in that group. Perimenopause – My time to shine written by Posy Churchgate, published on Sisters in Smut. In the post Posy explores how a question about porn on the agony aunt page of a magazine led to her own thoughts on women, sex and the menopause. As someone approaching that phase in her life, she highlights her own experiences in expanding her knowledge and developing her erotic fiction skills.

Her post led to a twitter conversation between myself, posy and Marie Rebelle who has a Menopause diaries section on her blog. I’m wondering about developing a monthly (or bi-monthly) newsletter rounding up posts (fiction and non-fiction) that relate to sex, relationships and anything else for us older women. Something else to add to my planning goals for this year. I’ll be exploring this topic in another post soon.

Posts from this week across my blogging years:

2013 Random Thoughts for a Saturday Afternoon

2014 Time to Reflect

2015 Happiness

2016 365 Questions Day 28

2017 365 Questions 26 January

2018 Used

2019 Fit for Friday #3

My problem with food

Plate of food - chicken salad

The thing is that my problem with food is that I like food too much and I pretty much like all food. Obviously I like some things better than others, but the only thing I can think of that I won’t eat is peanut butter. I like peanuts and butter, but together? Yuk!!

This post, for May’s new Life Matters Meme is cross posted on my own health blog. I hope that going forward we will be able to complement each other and build up resources for others to use. I’m planning my own meme next month, which I hope people will also join in with. But for now, the topic is food and problems with it.

As a child

My mum had a strong dislike of waste and my younger brother was picky and pretty lazy. He ate slowly and mucked about and we (my two brothers and I) weren’t allowed to get down until we had all eaten everything. So, I tended to help him out, especially with meat. There is a memorable occasion after I’d been elsewhere at dinner time and the next time she unloaded the washing machine she discovered an uneaten lamb chop in the pocket of his trousers. After that she offered more sausages, something he liked. But I trace my willingness to eat everything in sight to those days. Plus the fact I wasn’t faddy and just liked food. My appetite was healthy.

I never dieted until after I’d had my son

I was an active teenager and young adult. Not sporty but just busy. I could eat lots because I rarely stood or sat still. As a nurse, I spent a great deal of the day running around, up and down stairs and breaks were far and few between. I was a size 12 when I married, but put on weight on honeymoon. I wasn’t worried that I needed a size 14. Looking back I can see I was slim and healthy looking. But each new job was a little more sedentary, I drove instead of taking public transport and started to like wine.

We were married for 7 years before we had my son and had a reasonable amount of disposable income. There were lots of opportunities to socialise with friends and family, we ate out a fair bit. We also developed a taste for pizzas or other fast food that we could get in and cook at home. This was washed down with a bottle or so of wine.

I didn’t enjoy pregnancy and did a fair amount of comfort eating. I craved things like grapes which seemed healthy. Couldn’t drink coffee and often felt unwell. I had a few odd turns while eating out so did so rarely. I had pre-eclampsia and retained fluid. At the end of my pregnancy I’d put on 2 stone in weight. I became more active almost immediately. Breast fed and just by cutting a few things out got to my pre-pregnancy weight and in no time. If that was dieting, it was simple. Little did I know.

Yoyo dieting made me fat

Over the next 10 years I would settle into life, eat what I fancied and then decide I needed to lose some weight and do so. My son was a faddy eater like my brother but I didn’t make him eat everything up. I ate it for him in the kitchen. I also ate food as I cooked and more as I served up. By the time I approached my 40th birthday I was back at my 8 month pregnancy weight and this time it wasn’t falling off by just cutting back. I joined a Rosemary Conley club because it involved a half hour fitness class. I lost the weight in time for my birthday and decided I was done.

More time passed and I joined Slimming World. Here you could eat pasta or rice till it came out of your ears but you had to restrict fat and sugar. This brought me into the world of large portions of starchy carbohydrates and aspartame.

I’ve been a slimming world member on and off for over 10 years now. I’ve lost weight and put it back on. This time I’ve lost weight and put it back while still attending the group. I enjoy the friendship of my fellow group members, but the diet doesn’t work for me anymore. The company will tell you this is not a diet, but a way of life. But the problem is many of my fellow members eat a lot of highly processed food and tons of artificial sweeteners.

Getting cancer was a wake up call

There are people who will tell you that your diet causes cancer. That if you are over weight and also drink alcohol that causes cancer. It contributes but there are a lot of factors involved. However since my own diagnosis almost 18 months ago I have read a lot of books, articles and blogs about diet and health. I have begun to realise that the processes applied to food production to make them ‘healthier’ may well be harmful. I’ve begun to appreciate the taste of real food rather than artificial. I don’t plan to become obsessed with what I eat but the steps I’m taking right now are working.

Since November last year I’ve made some big changes. I’ve introduced intermittent fasting and stopped snacking. My fruit consumption has reduced, but I do still eat it, mainly berries. I’ve reduced my starchy carbohydrate input and eaten a lot more vegetables. I’ve eaten little sugar laden foods, indeed am finding them too sweet to eat. Though I had a small mince pie on Boxing Day and really enjoyed it. I had some chocolate at Christmas too and, it was a treat. I ate whole meal pasta last night and again felt it a treat.

I’m trying to change my relationship with food

Firstly to eat when hungry. I reckon I lost that ability when I was a child eating my brothers left overs. Whereas my son retains it. Now I eat lunch and dinner when I am hungry and not really before.

I’m trying to savour food, to enjoy the tastes. But also to eat real food. I want and need to lose weight for a specific purpose but this time I want it to be the last time. I’m committed to ending my dieting journey and instead finding something that I can sustain. Just because I like food I don’t have to eat it all!

Time Management

It’s now 18 months or so since I left my permanent job and kind of retired. In that time I’ve worked on a couple of projects that paid money and am about to again soon. Mostly my time is my own in a way it never was before. Blogging is one of my main hobbies and I try to write most days. But without structure, it can become difficult to maintain productivity and then when some paid employment comes along it’s a challenge to do both.

I was listening to the latest Smutlancer podcast as I journeyed to my meeting yesterday. In it Kayla talks about having a morning (or whenever you need to get writing) routine. I was struck by how much I have tried to put structure into my day, where none previously existed. I’ve done this consciously over recent weeks because to be honest, my time management had slipped over the previous months. It became too easy to blog from the sofa or not. Plus, I had a whole list of things to do that I just kept moving forward in my 2019 planner. One of those was my divorce. It’s 6 months since I told my ex I would start proceedings and had done nothing. I had planned to update my blog, redesign it and make it more whizzy in time for the top 100. But I haven’t done that either. Last summer when I had paid work my blog was neglected. I don’t want that to happen again.

A new year is a good time for a new start

But only if you keep at it. So, new planner in hand I have begun to manage my time more effectively and get through my lists. I particularly love the structure and have created plans for the year and beyond as well as some week by week lists. This relates to personal stuff (the divorce), paid work (vanilla and sex blogging) and content creation for this and Food, Fitness and Health.

I know it is only 2/3 of the way through January but I am confident that I’m heading in the right direction.

Each week I look back at what I’ve achieved and think about how productive I’ve been and what habits I need to change. This also includes some health related stuff, which in turn is material for my health related blog. I’m finding that I want to write about much more than sex and kink (including posts like this). Whereas in the past I’d write nothing rather than something seemingly unrelated, I’ve changed my opinion. This in turn has released some of my creativity and I was delighted that this post was chosen as one of Cara’s picks in Elust. Plus I’ve written some fiction this month too.

Managing time going forward

I’m not convinced I’ve completely cracked the planning yet. My project plans, supplied in the planner need further fine tuning and also I need to think about how I’m going to review my goals at the end of each month. This will, I think help me stay on track. There’s also a finance element as well as productivity outcomes I’ve not completed yet. I was interested reading this post by Marie this morning, that she takes her planner to work with her and plans her work day in the same way as the rest of her life. This feels important to me, who will be returning (at least in part) to working. This time I want to be much more structured about how everything fits together.

The other thing I want to factor into my time is more exercise, adding more walks into my week. Currently I swim every week and walk to and from the pool. But I want to build an increasing amount of exercise in as I get fitter.

I’m sure I’ll return to this topic with an update later in the year.