The joy of fiction

A woman sitting on a sofa with feet up reading.
Photo by Lenin Estrada on Unsplash

I’ve always loved books and reading and in particular fiction. For many years non fiction has tended to relate to work and study or travel. So it has been fictional story telling that has grabbed my imagination and taken me to different times and places. I wrote recently about my childhood favourites, so this post is about my favourite adulthood reads.

Just like my childhood books, I’ve kept many of the favourites of my adulthood. When I moved just under two years ago I made some difficult choices. I decided to only keep books that meant something special or might want to read again (or finish). I admit I’ve bought fewer actual books recently and have used the kindle app either on my kindle itself or on my tablet and very occasionally phone. But I really do love books, the smell of a new book is special and I always sniff a book when it arrives. The feel of the pristine pages and the excitement of opening it and getting down to a good read. Those feelings are almost erotic in themselves, but I digress.

Some of the best books I have read have been ones I have come upon by chance. For some reasons those that are top of the best sellers or recommended often don’t do it for me. One example would be The Girl on the Train. I found all of the characters irritating. Surprisingly I recently watched the film and unusually preferred the film to the book.

Books I’ve enjoyed recently

One of the most unusual but amusing and interesting books I’ve read in recent years was Hadrian the Seventh by Frederick Rolfe also know as Baron Corvo. The book is about a priest who accidentally becomes pope and was written at the beginning of the 20th Century.. It probably helps if you read a bit about the man himself, so some non fiction. He was quite the character, as is his pope.

I wrote last halloween time about the All Souls Trilogy which I particularly enjoyed last year. Books about witchcraft and vampires etc. hadn’t really been a genre of choice for me. But I stumbled upon the first book after seeing it recommended on Twitter and once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. The first book, A Discovery of Witches and is set initially in Oxford, a place I have been to quite a bit. Plus it is where Master studied. I’ve now read (or sometimes listened to) the whole of the trilogy, plus a subsequent book Time’s Convert. It was easy to get pulled into the idea that amongst us are witches, vampires and demons. With the vampires living for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Sometimes one author can take you on all kinds of journeys

I often like to read books that are part of a series, and have found some very good crime mysteries that follow on from each other. Crime mysteries is a genre I really enjoy. I particularly like books written by Elly Griffiths and she is a prolific writer. Her series about Ruth Galloway, a forensic anthropologist is a particular favourite. I’ve just bought the 12th book in this series and am looking forward to reading it soon. The series is set in Norfolk, around the area my mum lives and I’ve often imagined driving along some of the same roads!

Elly Grifiths also writes under the name Domenica de Rosa, and I have enjoyed some of these books, set in Italy. They were a particularly good read last summer as you can feel the ambiance of the Italian summer as you read. Finally she also writes the Stephens and Mephisto books which are set in Brighton from the 1950s onwards. Stephens is a policeman and Mephisto a magician who helps him solve murders.

The joy of Audible Fiction

Just as I enjoy listening to podcasts either in the car or when I am out walking. I also love to listen to audible books. I prefer the spoken word when on a long journey and have listened to many books that way. Sometimes I both read and listen to the same book. Picking up where I have left off with the other method. It’s particularly great with long books and very useful when you feel too tired to actually read. Or of course are driving.

My current audible book (which I’m not reading too) is Wrong Way Home by Isabelle Grey. I’ve some how come into a series about a police detective (Grace Fisher) on book 4. But plan to go back to number 1 after this.

Spirituality

A pink feather

To me spirituality is an idea that there is something more than me and us. That we are here for a purpose and after we die something of us remains somewhere. I’ve always wanted to believe that the soul and spirit live on. But I have no real evidence and being a science based individual I do like evidence. I am respectful of the beliefs of others, but don’t really believe in god and don’t like organised religion. This post might turn out a bit muddled, since this isn’t a straightforward topic and I haven’t planned it out.

My nan believed in God and the afterlife

She wasn’t a massive church goer, but attended on dates important to her (including remembrance services). However I do think she was a very spiritual person. When my grandad died she believed he was always with her. That he helped her find things. She spoke to him often and could feel his presence. I was young then, in my 20’s. I humoured but didn’t really believe it all. She used to read books by and about psychics which she passed on to me. I wasn’t sure whether to believe this stuff or not. But on balance I decided it was a load of rubbish.

After she died, some strange things happened. One most notable was that one of the toys in my son’s toy box kept starting up on its own. It happened quite a bit, even after I moved it somewhere it couldn’t be knocked. I also used to think I had seen her out of the corner of my eye. When I turned she would be gone. A friend who claimed to be psychic told me once that nan was standing behind me.

Interestingly nothing like that happened after my dad died, but then he was not a believer in any of this kind of stuff.

But I did walk downstairs just before he died

I don’t know what made me go down as I was preparing to go into work for a meeting. I realised the end was very close and called mum to sit with him. Sadly I was too late to get either of my brothers there. I have known when others are soon to die too. But that might be experience rather than a sixth sense. Certainly my father in law was very grateful when I wouldn’t let him leave his mother. I knew there wouldn’t be another day to visit.

Since his death I’ve considered my own mortality more. Even more so since developing cancer myself. The last time dad spoke to me he asked me ‘what is going to become of me?’ I told him he would be staying with us. But the question scared me. What does become of us? As our bodies shrink and close down, do we still dream? Do we know what awaits us, are we fearful or just ready?

I’m fascinated by tarot cards and fortune telling

But I am sceptical about how much truth there is in it. Someone read my cards and sent me the reading at the beginning of my relationship with Master. At the time, things were very difficult at home and his then primary slave was being a complete bitch. To me and him. My friend’s cards suggested that all would sort itself out and that I shouldn’t expect my relationship with him would end. At the time it seemed likely it would. But I’ll never know if she just made an educated guess or whether the cards told her so.

I’d like to learn much more about tarot and maybe while I have more time, I’ll start to read about it.

I have to admit I have more faith in this kind of alternative view than I do about organised religion. I’ve just met too many people who are complete hypocrites. Those who tell you to do as I say rather than as I do. They are also quick to judge others rather than to understand how diversity and understanding should be. while giving money to charity and thinking they have ‘done their bit’.

I guess I feel that I am spiritual rather than religious. I believe in respect, kindness and understanding before specific belief. There’s stuff I don’t understand and would like to know more about. And, as I grow older my thoughts on death and what happens to us afterwards are definitely on my mind. I need to read stuff.

Respect

Person with a notebook and grey book entitled love and respect on her lap.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Showing respect to others is important, but it has to be earned rather than assumed. During my childhood I remember the saying: respect your elders. But what if those elders don’t conduct themselves in a way that is kind or respectful to you as a child or other adults. As a nurse, my early adult years was spent in another environment of respect your elders and also people considered to be betters. That’s where I decided that respect must be earned rather than freely given.

Kindness and consideration to others

Showing kindness and thoughtfulness towards others is key to being respectful in my book. If someone is aggressive for no reason then it is going to be more difficult to show them kindness in return. However almost 40 years of nursing and working in the public sector has trained me to be courteous and calm even when I am screaming inside. There are of course times I let rip, but they tend to be in a private place. My mum tends to wind me up and there are certainly times I’ve treated her back with the disrespect she has shown me. But I do try to refrain from that, it get’s you no where.

Email and online respect

Way before we engaged with each other on social media platforms the age of email emerged into our lives. It soon became apparent that some people were quite prepared to write things in an email that they would never say on the phone, let alone to someone’s face. I decided early on not to join in with this pursuit but instead to try to be calm and measured. I soon gained a reputation at work as someone to help people structure their emails without causing offence. I’ve tried to carry this into my blogging and social media existence. I’d rather walk away, or at least allow myself to calm down before saying things. I try also to see the best in people.

Trouble is, that doesn’t stop me being hurt. I always imagine any supposed slight is aimed at me. Yesterday I was unfollowed for disagreeing with someone on Twitter. I find this sad, but we’re living in stressful times. So, I just quietly unfollowed them.

Online chat rooms are another place where disrespect is rife. Particularly when it comes to bending the truth and telling outright lies. When I was using those places I somehow managed to navigate my way around those individuals and found myself a great man. But maybe I was lucky, who knows?

Respect within my relationship

No relationship can survive without mutual respect and that includes a power exchange dynamic. We each bring different things to our relationship which make up the key elements of what make it work. Communication is probably the key. We entered the relationship knowing what we expected from each other and over time this has broadened out. In the bedroom and playroom he is clearly the boss and I tend to follow instructions, though can be bratty. He chooses to listen or ignore and that is how it is. In our wider life I still look to him for advice and decisions. But we are more partners in decision making.

Loss of respect

My ex did things throughout our marriage that caused me to lose respect for him. He lied and was often un trustworthy. Boy, he even lied about where he was at the end when he didn’t need to.

But while I’d never trust him in terms of a relationship again. Some respect has been restored because of the way he has coped with the loss of his mum and brother. Followed immediately by his dad’s stroke. I also have great respect for his new partner. I can see that she is better placed to support him. But then they don’t have the baggage in their relationship that we had.

This is also true for Master and I. At 6 years our relationship is relatively new (well in terms of a 30 year marriage). Our past mistakes are, well in the past. We speak openly of those and are able to do our best not to allow them to happen to us. Which takes us back to communication, truthfulness and respect.

Elust #128

Elust 128

Photo courtesy of Rebel’s Notes

Welcome to Elust 128

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #129? Start with the rules, come back April 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

I’m pansexual but I don’t feel LGBTQ+

Blindfold Surprise

Mine

~ Featured Posts by our Guest Editor (Sweetgirl’s Picks) ~

Lola in fishnets

I have selected this piece for two reasons; first of all I enjoyed it!  I was captivated by the story and relationship between the characters from the start.  She set the scene beautifully and I could feel the excitement as “something tangible passes between them, this husband and wife who are becoming something else.’  Missy captured this moment brilliantly.   My final reason for selecting this is because I know Missy doubts her ability to write fiction, and this piece proves that is not the case.

Fact vs. Fiction in D/s

This post from Brigit does an excellent job of telling people not to try and get your D/s to look exactly like someone else’s, “Fiction can be a springboard, but ultimately, it is our job to create our own recipe for D/s.” This is something I don’t think can be said enough.   As Brigit reminds us, there is no right way, and no two dynamics are the same.  Fiction can open the door to kink but it isn’t a blueprint and shouldn’t be used as one.

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

Erotic Fiction

The Breadcrumb Trail [Part 1]
Are You A Good Girl?
The Loop
The Erlking’s Bitch
Garters
Watching Her
Fucked on a picnic table
The first taste

Erotic Non-Fiction

Getting cocky: sucking his dick, soft to hard
Jet Set Pain
The Edge of Oblivion
Stapling my Vagina Shut

Poetry

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Books and Movies

Bound (2015): The Celluloid Dungeon
A Dangerous Method on Kinkstarter

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Love, Letters and Legalities

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

‘Why BDSM?’ – Elevator pitch
Bathroom Break

Blogging

A Window Inside
Why Elust 128

Hugging

Two people hugging
Photo by Christiana Rivers on Unsplash

Apparently I wasn’t the kind of child who liked to be cuddled or hugged. Having two younger brother helped because there are usually only so many hugs to go around. Unless of course you are at a party with lots of aunts. Both my parents were only children, but my nan had 9 brothers and sisters each with their own offspring so there were a lot of aunts.

I’ve noticed that a lot of teenagers especially girls hug each other a lot. That would not have suited me. I’m not sure my best friend at school and I ever went in for hugging. Chatting on the phone half the evening yes, (much to the annoyance of my dad who couldn’t understand the need after a day at school). But hugging not really. A whole group of admin staff at my former office used to hug a lot too. Especially if one of them was off on leave or had just returned.

That’s not to say I haven’t done and received my fair share of hugs. I just need to know the person well and be in some kind of close relationship with them. Or else for one of us to be in a lot of distress. My son loved to sit on my lap and be cuddled, and we still hug on greeting or saying goodbye now. For a while when he was a teenager, I couldn’t get within a mile of him, but thankfully that was a phase. I love hugs with Master and find lying in his arms safe and fulfilling. We did a lot of hugging and holding during the whole breast cancer time. But I am not usually the initiator, I forget because of my overall reticience.

Therefore, I am a respecter of personal space. I like it and so give it. There is nothing worse than someone you don’t know well or don’t particularly like standing too close. Even if they have perfectly fresh breath. I find it threatening when someone in authority does it and prefer everyone respects space.

So, not surprisingly I am a massive fan of social distancing. It’s something I’ve been trying to do all my life. I’m a fan of holding hands with a child, or partner but other than that no thanks. My mum tends to hold my arm and that’s fine. But she then tends to lean in and I find it irritating. I know she needs some support, but strangely she is one person I don’t like too close and haven’t for as long as I can remember. I don’t know why, because she hasn’t really done me any harm. If someone I know and like asks for a hug, I’m likely to say yes, but people often instinctively know.

You should never think though, that just because I’m not a hugger, that I don’t care. I do. But prefer to show it in other ways.

Following my instincts

A female nurse model wielding a large syringe

For as long as I can remember I wanted to take care of people. My family and then a much wider group. I went into nursing to care. But found it harder than I expected. Over time I became fatigued by caring. Perhaps because of my nature I took on too much, inviting everyone’s problems as if they were mine. Giving care, but rarely receiving any in return I became burnt out. So, I moved into management, and started to make different choices in my personal life too.. Management is no easy option, I’d never worked harder mentally though not physically. But at least no one dies if you leave the office at 5pm. Recent events though have made me follow my instincts back to nursing.

It is fortunate that being a health manager in the UK allows you to remain on the nursing register. It isn’t in fact difficult to apply theoretical work in management back to nursing practice. My skills aren’t lost or dead, they have just been a little dormant. Also I have made it my business to keep up to date, even since I retired. Last November I was shocked to find I needed to revalidate. Three years had passed quickly. I wasn’t prepared, didn’t have the evidence to hand. I contacted the colleague who took my job after retirement to ask her opinion and she was adamant that I should revalidate one last time. So, she and I spent a morning together putting the evidence from files and memories together. That means I am currently still registered as a nurse.

The Coronavirus Pandemic

During the last pandemic (Swine flu) I managed Community locations where people could collect antivirals. I also awaited being called back into clinical practice. It thankfully didn’t happen. So, when Coronavirus reared it’s head, I assumed this would be similar. But clearly it is much much more serious. Day by day we have all watched the number of affected people rise. First in China and Asia then Italy and the rest of Europe. Over the weekend that should have been Eroticon, things in the UK changed. So much so that a week on all cafés. pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues are closed. Our planned trips to Budapest for Master’s birthday and France for Easter are cancelled. It looks too that getting outside will be difficult very soon. People are struggling to come to terms with the concept of social isolating and are congregating together outside rather than indoors.

My instinct is to offer to help

I’ve always said I’d never return to nursing practice. My back especially and body in general is tired. But having lost some weight I have more energy than for a while. Plus, I can see that health services, underfunded and resourced are struggling. Retired doctors and nurses are being asked to register an interest. They are people who have fallen off the registers over the past 3 years, but I am still on it. So on a whim on Friday I contacted my former boss and volunteered to help.

The speed with which things snowballed surprised me. Tomorrow morning I’m meeting with a community manager to discuss where my skills might be best utilised. That haste suggests things are more challenging than we can even imagine. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing but I’m sure that with a little online refresh training and some support in the workplace I’ll turn my hand at whatever they ask. You see, I’ve lived my entire managerial life on the skills learned in nursing school plus several years as a district nurse and nurse practitioner. I always said never again, but also know that you should never say never. Sometimes you have to follow your instincts to do what is right.

Food for thought badge

Hoxton Dungeon, a review

I hadn’t intended to combine the review of our visit to the Hoxton Dungeon with my Sinful Sunday post for the week. But given the events of this week and my lack of posts, plus the photographic evidence in hand, I thought: why not? Other dungeon related posts can be found here.

Some background to the decision to stay at the Hoxton Dungeon

For the past couple of years we have been sensible enough to stay in London on the Sunday night after Eroticon. We usually stay a little away from Camden because it suits us for a couple of reasons. First we like to have our own space and secondly we like the hotel we tend to stay in. On Monday, we were due to attend (and did) a concert. Master suggested we stay the night closer to that venue. I imagined a hotel close by. Instead Master decided we should stay in a dungeon further away. But who am I to argue. Plus, it turned out to be a fabulous idea.

The place

Hoxton is an up and coming area of North London, though this part of the area is not without its edginess. The dungeon is contained within a ground floor flat on an ex council estate. There is parking, along with the relevant permits if needed. We were using public transport, and the nearest station (Old Street) is about 15 minutes walk away. There are plenty of bars / café’s and places to get food around the area.

The flat is spacious, with two dungeon rooms, a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Plus that particular room contains a bath (more of that later).

The play rooms are well laid out with more equipment than it is possible to use during an overnight stay. All the more so because, although Eroticon hadn’t actually happened, we were still tired. It had as usual been a pretty full on weekend with insufficient sleep.

Equipment

The Hoxton Dungeon is owned by Madame Caramel who is a mentor and lifestyle educator, so there is a definite leaning towards Female dominance, so the equipment available reflects that. That’s not to say there isn’t more than enough to satisfy Male Dom and whatever submissive play.

My photos above, are a little moody, so check out the more professional ones on the dungeon website.

Playtime

As is often the case after a busy day / weekend I struggled to get into the right mind space. But once tied in place and blindfolded I relaxed into the situation.

I am secured to a bench. There are some lovely red marks on my right buttock and a bruise on my left.

Afterwards

The venue is kitted out with a full kitchen, and large fridge freezer. Drinks are supplied, though the fizz is low alcohol, which might be just as well. We had eaten a good lunch and took snacks with us so we didn’t need to go out. Water is supplied, though we thought ahead and took our own as we like sparkling. The bathroom is spacious and has a large bath with shower. We took advantage and relaxed post spanking in the bath. The bed was extremely comfortable.

The flat is part of a block and you can hear the neighbours moving about so care is needed to restrict noise. However that didn’t cause us a problem. Neighbours didn’t keep us awake either, since we were quite exhausted.

In conclusion

We needed more time. The Hoxton Dungeon isn’t a place to go when you are already weary from a busy weekend. But we still managed to fit in a fun play session. I’d love to go back for longer and be able to make better use of the amazing facilities.

Shaping up

I have to admit to being quite pleased with the way that my body shape is beginning to change. Also that I can now wear some of my smaller panties. Like this leopard print style ones. This serves as a useful reminder before I completely throw my lifestyle changes out of the window.

This last week has been a weird one. We were lucky to have spent the weekend in London, despite the cancellation of Eroticon. Now that everything is closing down, I am so glad we did. Trouble is, I’ve kind of continued the weekend all week and so have been worried I’m going to get a weight gain. But when I hopped on the scales I found it is minimal and can be reversed by a couple of stricter days. This image also shows me how I am shaping up and why I don’t want to let it go.

Perseverance

A person swimming at night time.
Photo by Alex Guillaume on Unsplash

When does perseverance become stubbornness? That’s the question I ask myself as I write this post. My last post was about sport and the fact that while I’m in no way sporty I do at least persevere with it. Even when I don’t really enjoy it. Because sometimes we do things because they do us good. It’s the same with relationships.

That’s why I stuck with my marriage for so long. I believed in the vows I took, even though I’m not particularly religious. Those vows were spoken in a church in front of family and friends and I wanted to see them through. But of course he broke them swiftly afterwards and I definitely didn’t want to be the one giving up on us. In the end their meaning faded from mind and I took the inevitable step.

I often think about what is different now, with this relationship. For one thing I am in my 50s and not 20s. I am more tolerant of the differences between us and our thoughts and ideas. But also I recognise that we have something special to give to each other. Often we have spoken about what would happen if we had met sooner. But the truth is that things might not have gone so well. I have definitely mellowed with age and am less short tempered than I know I was. However the chemistry between us would have been there and he wouldn’t have gone behind my back to find another woman. There’s every change Master would have wanted us to experiment more, introduce others into the relationship, but he wouldn’t have done so without my consent.

I often wonder if we had met each other sooner, then would I have found my submissive self sooner. Because once that person revealed herself to me, I realised I needed to do something about it. To find myself a dominant person and also to explore more of my submissive and sexual self. There was a definite sense of persistence as I navigated myself through the relationship with S. That I couldn’t give up what I had discovered even when my husband found out. The idea of going back to my former life frightened me more than riding out the journey to my new one. Which eventually led to meeting Master and to where we are now. That journey hasn’t always been easy either, but it did feel like the right thing to do and so it has proved.

So whether it is perseverance, stubbornness or bloody mindedness, I’m here, in a good place. One I intend to maintain.