Abortion: A woman’s right

I’m lucky, I’ve never been in a position to have to consider whether I want to be pregnant or not. I haven’t had to go through the turmoil of wondering who to tell or what people will think about me. Not about that anyway. As a nurse, I looked after a many people following the loss of a pregnancy, whether planned or not. But thankfully I never had to worry about legality either. While others went through that decision I always believed abortion would never be my choice. However that is also because I also believe that it is a woman’s right to choose.

Early knowledge

A girl in my class at school was pregnant when we took our ‘o’ levels. She had an abortion and went on to marry and have 3 children before she was 21. I don’t know what happened to her after that. I now know that a teenage pregnancy drastically reduces a person’s life chances. Making them less likely to have achieved a degree and more likely to live in poverty (more of that later).

But as a 16 year old who had never had sex with her boyfriend, I wasn’t concerned with my class mate. I was too busy continuing my school career and getting the qualifications to become a nurse.

Nursing

In 1981 I was a second year student nurse on her gynaecology placement. This took place at a small hospital for women in soho. This was a place where I learned some interesting things that it took a while for my 19 year old brain to digest. The first is that at the time a woman seeking a sterilisation needed the consent of her husband. Secondly, a woman in a relationship may still seek to have a termination of pregnancy even if the foetus is health. Thirdly that you could object to being in theatre when a pregnancy is terminated but as a nurse you have a duty to care for the woman before and after the event. This proved to be a useful guide to my future career. You may not always agree with people’s life choices, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t receive care, support and a human touch. We are not there to judge people, but to support them through the choices they have made.

My own pregnancy

This was planned and wanted. It only happened once and I remain a bit sad about that. But as I said at the top of this piece, I do consider myself lucky never to have needed to worry about being pregnant.

In hindsight I wish I’d been a little less controlled and a bit more free spirited. But my husband was less risk averse than me and so an unplanned pregnancy was unlikely.

Until I was menopausal that is. In my 50th year I embarked on a relationship with S and we rarely had protected sex. I have often wondered what I would have done had I become pregnant. By then of course, we had the morning after pill and medical terminations taking place at clinics rather than acute hospitals. Still it didn’t happen, so I will never know.

Later career experiences

Around 10 years ago my job included leading on teenage pregnancy. As the agency responsible for improving the health of the local population and buying the services to do it we were tasked with reducing rates. This meant I spent time with midwives, social workers, policy makers and young people themselves. I learned about the complex reasons for people accessing abortion services or not. Those conversations took me right back to the beginning and my class mate getting pregnant at 16.

Much money has been poured into addressing the teenage pregnancy rates in England. Numbers have reduced drastically, though this hasn’t necessarily dealt with the social disadvantage those young people experience. We have had programmes such as Family Nurse Partnership that have helped. But low pregnancy numbers and austerity cuts have decimated these services in some areas.

Conception rates here are now masked because it is much easier to prevent pregnancy, deal with the potential of one easily or to get an abortion. This isn’t without it’s problems, but at least it doesn’t deny access.

A woman’s right

In far too many places in the world women are unable to access the means to end pregnancy. If they do not wish to carry on, even if they have been raped or there is something wrong with the baby.

Others apparently can decide that an unviable foetus should be preserved and that even if a woman miscarries she is some way to blame.

This is why I am supporting the Smutathon today and have donated to the charity: National Network of Abortion Funds I believe it is the right of anyone who becomes pregnant and wishes to end that pregnancy for whatever reason to be able to do so.

I urge you to click on the link below, to see who writing today and if you can to donate. What’s more you can also access some actual smut there. Wonderfully crafted smutty writings by highly talented sex writers and bloggers. And what better reward for your efforts could there be?

The Smutathon badge showing a woman in fishnets bending over a chair with tagline Erotic writing for a cause

Friends

The current “Tell Me About” topic is Friends. To be precise the topic is FrienD/s, or the people we have met and got to know because of our D/s (or M/s) relationship.

The difficulties

We have been together for just over 5 years and in the context of both of our lives, that is a short period of time. Neither of us has any close friends when we met. I have various people from school, nursing school and work that I occasionally socialise with. But the ending of my marriage also ended some friendships, or it stopped me being asked places. Not that I was or am especially worried. I’m not sure that Master is one for close friends either.

In addition there is the issue of the context of our relationship, the power exchange thing. That doesn’t preclude us from having friends, but it could make it awkward. We have a friend who lives in Holland, she has been a friend of Master’s for a long time. I expect she knows something of our dynamic though we haven’t discussed it with her. But the three of us can discuss most things and have done.

Otherwise, we are reasonably close to my brother and his partner and are considering a holiday with them next year. I wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing the nature of our M/s relationship with them. As far as they know we are regular people, which of course we are.

Everyone else we socialise with are people we’ve met through this blog or through Fetlife.

Online acquaintances can become good friends

I have Molly and Michael to thank for the fact that I have got to know quite so many people from the kink and blogging community. We had attended a couple of Munches before we went to theirs. But it is through that Munch we met Sub B and her partner, @Bear’s Cub and @Hairy Dom and others who don’t blog. We don’t get along every month but it is our favourite type of regular social event. It is through Molly that we have attended CMnf and other play events at the same club. There we met an Irish couple who we hit it off with and I am now in touch with the s of that relationship regularly. In fact I think we will be seining them next week.

I love that we can all talk, not just about ordinary stuff like holidays, work, the weather or whatever, but also sex, kink and blogging. That my first public play took place in front of a group of people that I know from the Munch. I also know that isn’t what everyone would feel comfortable with, but it works just fine for me.

Eroticon

For many of us, it is Eroticon that brought us physically together. We may have begun by commenting on each other’s blogs and felt an affinity there. Then chatted on twitter or via DM and finally got the courage to book tickets to the writing and blogging event of the year.

As I’ve written before, I hardly spoke to a soul I hadn’t already met on my first Eroticon in 2017. This year was completely different. My confidence has grown immensely and already counted some people as friends before we had met in person this year. This meant that we ended up going to both social events and spent prolonged periods of time engaged in conversation with a number of fabulous people. I’d really love to get to know many of these friends better, but time and geography tend to get in the way.

Having met in person at Eroticon we made a point of meeting up and having dinner with Rebel and Master T when we were staying near their home town. I’m sure there will be meetings with others in the future if the chance arises. I guess Missy and His Lordship might think Scotland would be a good call and I’d be inclined to agree!

tellmeabout

Why I blog – to write and to read

There is something about writing here on my blog and posting my words online that I love. I have kept various diaries and journals over the years, but tended not to continue them for long. Blogging involves not only writing but reading the words of others and interacting with those writers. That is something that appeals to me.

Writing

My first blog was about my work environment. The health service is always subject to change and blogging was a way of expressing my views about it. I saw that other nurses and medics were doing the same and thought why not. I loved the anonymity and ability to express myself. Writing was something I had always enjoyed but I was surprised to find others read and commented on my ramblings.

This was somehow different from writing papers and reports for work, at last my own voice was emerging. This was a space for me to give my opinion as well as to compare my experiences with those of others.

I’ve explained before that when I started this blog I deleted my work related one. I have to admit I still regret doing so, but was worried about being double discovered.

This blog started during another period of change, this time more personal. I wrote about my own voyage of discovery – infidelity, a new relationship, my sexuality and exposing kink. So much was wizzing around in my head that I needed to write it down. And since I had the experience of my original blog, what better way to journal than through a blog.

Reading

I started off writing for myself, to express my own thoughts and feelings. But I barely wrote anything without also reading the words of others. My real life kink exporation took place while reading the books and blogs of others. My thirst for knowledge and information was immense. I was reassured to find that I wasn’t the only one to discover a side to themselves they didn’t previously know about. To experience a sexual awakening. Reading other people’s work made me want to write more. Whether in response to something I’d read or because I’d had my own new idea.

I’m still in contact with a few of the people I ‘met’ through my first blog and while none of them still blog, we are facebook friends. I’d love to have met some of them, but know it probably won’t happen. I never imagined when I started this blog that I would become part of a community. That I would meet my fellow bloggers and make new friends along the way.

Writing for self or for others

For the first couple of years I was really writing for myself and about myself. I interacted with other bloggers, but only knew them through the blog. S got to know about the blog after a year or so, but wasn’t massively interested in it. He read it and liked what he read. But when things between us changed I didn’t really need to worry that he would be upset by what I wrote. In hindsight I could have been much more open and honest about our relationship. Instead I mainly wrote about the sex which happened infrequently. I didn’t write about the long periods of silence from him or the fact that I was struggling to work out what to do with my life.

When I met Master I told him about my blog and he began to read. He has never stopped reading. He often reads back to the beginning of our relationship and he always reads new posts and comments. Over time this has inevitably made me write for him as well as myself. Also it has meant I have censored myself from writing things that might cause him upset. I am also careful to protect elements of our relationship that he, I or we would rather others didn’t know.

The run up to my moving here to live with him was difficult as both our emotions ran high. But I didn’t write much about that. Looking back, it was probably tiredness as much as anything.

Writing a personal diary

I would say that my breast cancer diagnosis changed my writing and it’s purpose. It was easier to tell people I had come to know and respect online and in person through my blog. I wanted to express my feelings to myself and to Master in a way that I couldn’t verbalise. But also I knew that I might want to look back on those times afterwards.

At times I struggled with the thought that the purpose of this blog was to write about our relationship journey. About kink and sex. But with encouragement from fellow bloggers and of course Master I realised that I can write about anything that is important to me at a given time.

After all, this blog started as a personal account. It was a diary of sorts when my husband discovered my infidelity and later when I navigated the challenges of a poly relationship.

Writing for others

Many people have commented that my cancer journey blogs may help others. That is hopefully the case, but they were written more for myself. When I write for a meme prompt I usually do so because I have something to say on the topic. But sometimes I admit to writing because I want to participate. That is definitely true of new memes and also month long challenges such as the Blogging A-Z.

Recently when on holiday I realised that I had writing fatigue. So, I made a conscious decision not to blog. I worried that I was missing memes and that people would stop visiting. But I believe that you should not only write but read too. So finding myself without the time to read, I decided not to blog either. And I feel better and more energised for it.

Eroticon and Smut Marathon

Both Eroticon, the annual writers and bloggers conference and Smut Marathon the now annual writing competition have influenced my writing. Apart from individual blogs and websites, these are key external influences.

Eroticon provided me the opportunity to learn more about sex and erotic writing as well as meet like minded people. It has also made me see that my work is recognised and valued by others. Meeting fellow writers in person and having face to face conversations with them has spurred me to keep writing and posting.

Smut Marathon gave me the chance to push myself to write fiction, something I don’t find easy to do. The competition challenged me to emerge from the comfort zone of factual and opinion pieces. It also opened me up to criticism that I hadn’t experienced though blogging. I enjoyed participating but am not sure whether I would do so again. However, it did show that I can write fiction to a reasonable level. This is something I will challenge myself to do more of this autumn.

So in conclusion…

I write for me and for Master. I write for those who engage with me. But without the work of others to read and comment on there would be little for me to write about. I doubt I would have continued this blog if no one every visited or engaged with me. It would have lasted as long as my paper journals, usually half way through January.

#F4TFriday

Back to reality

We arrived home yesterday. We managed to get ourselves caught up in bank holiday traffic, so the final leg of our journey took 7 hours. It is crazy to think that it took us most of the day to travel just over 200 miles. It certainly made me appreciate the open spaces of France and Spain. Roads where you often saw few drivers for miles.

But back to the blog. I know I have neglected things while I’ve been away. There’s only a week or so of August left, but I intend to make my blogging plan for this week and the next month and stick to it. I feel refreshed and while ideas are not yet oozing from my fingers, hopefully they soon will.

One of the big issues for me is that I have written so much about me, my life and us that it is difficult not to repeat yourself. The M/s element of our life is fully visible to us, but it is quite routine in many ways. We do have a play event coming up in a couple of weeks that will be worthy of writing about (more to come). But otherwise it is really our sex life that is kinky.

There are definitely things that Master would like to control more. My hair for one thing. It bleached almost white in the sun. I’ve never before been remotely blonde and it felt a little too white for me. So I’ve dyed it this morning. I know he liked the bleached effect and that he likes it short. He’d even like to shave the sides, but I am not sure I am ready. He would also like me to have more piercings, but there seems no point right now. In the new year, I hope to have my breast reconstruction so best to wait till after that.

But being away has given us time and space to be together with no (or few) outside interference. Even my mum left us alone for days on end. With that has given us the chance to explore our sex life much more. This has led to an increase in libido for us both.

This has been a fabulous summer. I know we are lucky to have had the time and money to enjoy it. We have made some amazing memories, have great photos of all kinds. That includes a little stock ready for Sinful Sunday and other memes.

Now I just need to focus my mind and actually write some good posts. I fully expect that to happen soon. After all my body and mind are fully rested. Let the inspiration emerge……

June 2019

Every damn Day in June is the brainchild of Hy. Most of us have resolutions to blog more in January and the momentum lasts through February Photofest and on into the April Blogging A-Z. But keeping things going till June is hard. There are plenty of memes to help. But sometimes that help is overwhelming and you end up not quite knowing where to start. That’s where Every Damn Day in June comes in.

This is my 23rd post for June. Does that mean I’ve failed? Hell no. While it would be fabulous to post every day, this meme recognises that many bloggers are struggling at this point in the year. I am no exception.

As I mentioned the other day, I have picked up some work (actual paid work). It is taking my time, not to mention my energy. Plus I am busy with other pursuits – getting slim and fit and also re-learning French. I am proper busy for a retired person. So, a summery.

Health, diet and fitness

Work last week involved staying away. I was woefully unprepared in terms of sticking to my eating plan. Plus, having no work base when out of the house I used coffee shops. Then because it was the right thing to do, I drank large quantities of cappuccino. This is not conducive to weight loss. But at least I didn’t put any weight on.

Great new though is that I am sticking to my exercise plan. Average step count is now around 9000 per day and I’m expecting to hit 10000 this week. Plus the swimming and app based aerobics continues. Even if I am not getting slim, I am getting fitter. We have also been painting fences in the garden and that is reminding us of muscles we had forgotten we had!

Holiday preparations

Just a week to go, so this week will be full on preparation mode. The key issue is what to take. How many clothes? What stuff from my house that I have stored for almost a year. We have those decisions to make this week. But whatever, I an feeling massively excited about this trip. 6 whole weeks away from home.

Blogging

While our kink is never far away, there is every chance it will take more of a back seat while we are in France. Therefore there may be a more vanilla theme creeping in. But then again there is every chance that we will have some naked and kinky opportunities and if they pop up then I will write about them.

But, there is every chance that I will blog fewer times in July than June. Even sex blogs and their authors deserve a holiday!

Surviving

For the first time in months I have paid work. This involves time spent in my office at home running a project. But also time spent some miles away, meeting with new people, asking questions and seeking answers. I only have a few weeks to get this element of the project done because we leave for France in just under 2 weeks. The work is not onerous and I am enjoying it. But I am tired and to be honest I am just surviving.

I guess months spent at home sitting about and then more recently getting myself more active haven’t quite prepared me. Writing frequent blog posts hasn’t helped my brain keep quite active enough, it seems. A few hours on Tuesday spent speaking on the phone and then a meeting in person left me with a headache. I am approaching the end of my working week, I am pretty shattered.

Am I really the same person who held down a pretty busy and responsible job a year ago? Did I really dash from meeting to meeting and then go out afterwards for the evening?

I know this is what I want to do, to work. I am doing something that I know and in a field where I am still respected. But it just shows how out of practice mind and body gets when you take a break.

Strangely I haven’t had the head space for blogging this week and was going to miss this Wicked Wednesday. But on checking the prompt I knew I would write. I’m surviving this first busy week and will also manage next week which will be a little more hectic. After that though there will be down time. There will also be the need to write up the project and of course there is money. I get paid for my first couple of days tomorrow.

Hopefully normal service will return to the blog in the next day of so and by next Wicked Wednesday I won’t just be hanging on in there.

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

Landmarks in my blogging history

This week’s Food For Thought Friday is about Landmarks. It is also a landmark occasion because this is the last theme that the wonderful Kilted Wookie will host, because he is handing the baton to May and Floss. I have participated in F4TF 22 times, plus another twice during it’s previous incarnation. Then, it was one of the first memes I ever took part in. I have enjoyed participating and will continue to do so.

So, onto my landmarks.

My first blog

I started my first blog on wordpress.com about 15 years ago (at a guess). Later I switched it to blogger (I’m not entirely sure why). It was about my work and home life and through it I met other nurses and people involved in healthcare across the world. It led to me moderating a forum and then when the platform was sold to me receiving a rather nice gift. An early iPod. I could have had an iPhone, but they weren’t yet available in the UK.

When I decided to start a sex / relationship blog, I deleted it. I was fearful of the two being linked. It really is one of my biggest regrets as I was proud of much of the content. If I ever started this blogging lark again, I would make sure I kept the content.

My first post on World of Joolz

In April 2012 I had just embarked on my BDSM journey. I decided to start a blog about it. Because I was beginning a long distance relationship, I soon discovered that content came in fits and starts. So I began to look for memes. This started with things like 30 days of me, 30 days of submission etc. These have proved to be an interesting way of expressing my thoughts and understanding of topics. They are also good to go back to and revisit. Now that my journey is 7 years long, there is plenty of material to do that with. This is a link to my Questions and answers posts, and includes the current one – 30 days of D/s.

Joining the sex blogging community

My experience of my nursing blog told me that visiting other people’s blogs was a great way of getting them to come and visit you. But if you don’t tell them you have been and enjoyed their content, then they only see a number of their stats. when I started World of Joolz I had little knowledge of BDSM and D/s lifestyles, but by visiting blogs I discovered a whole world of experience. My visitor numbers were always modest, but at least people came and left their own mark. In the main supportive and encouraging rather than mean and judgmental, something I had encountered previously.

But it was probably by joining Twitter in January 2016 that I found a community of people I could really get to know. Partly because more of that group are based here in the UK and some of them live pretty close by. But also that encouraged me to participate in other memes and ultimately to attend Eroticon.

Statistics

Over the past 18 months or so I have noticed a large increase in my blog statistics. Something I put down to participation in the Smut Marathon and attendance at Eroticon. I moved to self hosting in 2017 though had actually bought the site two years before hand. All of the original posts from 2012 onwards are also on the site and some of them still attract a reasonable number of page views. The average views per day have increased in that time from 60-70 to around 200. This might be small numbers to many blogging colleagues but it feels significant to me. It makes it difficult to stick to my original purpose of writing for myself.

In 2015 I wrote more words than in any other year, 105,000 in 286 posts. However I may well beat that number this year, as I am currently up to 51,000 in 130 posts. That shows I still have something to say, since I rarely if ever write for the sake of it.

Landmarks for the future

This is the longest I have written consistently in any format. I love writing my blog and for Master and I it is an important part of our communication processes. This is a place where I can write anything, though I know I do censor the things I write. I guess that everyone does. Perhaps this is an area I need to consider.

I will continue to write for as long as I have something to say and right now I have no plans to stop. I would like to write more fiction, but my head hasn’t been in the right space for that recently. I would also like to explore writing opinion pieces that require research.

There have been a number of landmarks for my blog, and hopefully there will be lots more to come.

Food for Thought Friday Badge - Landmarks

Zeal

Zeal is defined as: great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or objective.

If you read my first few posts my excitement and enthusiasm for the future was palpable. I didn’t know what would happen, whether my foray into the unknown would be a short lived thing. But I embraced the experiences and wrote about them in this blog. It would be impossible to write for 7 years without some zeal and I tend to approach most projects with the same enthusiasm. But this can be tiring and can’t be sustained over a long period. So many times over the years my words have dried up and I have questioned the blog’s purpose. I’m sure that will continue to occur from time to time.

Purpose

In the past I was always heading in some kind of direction, there were goals to achieve, decisions to be made. Things are different now. This blog has become a record of the here and now, it’s a place to write my thoughts and feelings and post photos of those experiences.

My breast cancer experience gave me a new reason for writing. I was angry and scared. Writing about what was happening helped me process and articulate my thoughts. As always it has also produced a lasting memory. The next part of that journey will be my breast reconstruction, which I intend to write about in depth. And Zeal will be required to see it through to a conclusion, since it requires major surgery.

Readership

I still try to write for myself, but know that others read what I have to say. I participate in memes, mainly to help with inspiration. But also because I want to take part, to join in. Of course this could lead to a loss of focus on the main purpose of the blog (if there was one), or the quality of what is published. I hope that isn’t the case.

My main reader is Master. He still looks back at old posts as well as reading the new. He and I have many discussions about my blog content, which I think is healthy. Otherwise my readership is growing and I love that is happening. I guess it gives me permission to branch out into topics that people would like me to write about.

Zealous to the end

This has been my 4th year of participating in the A to Z of blogging. As always I started with zeal and even planned ahead. I think my choice of using the 7 years of material on the blog was a good one. But I underestimated the work involved in finding the right links for each post. It involved reading an awful lot of old posts, some of which I would rather have left alone. However, it is done and there is really only one post (UVW), a 3 in one post, that I’m not happy with. Time, the fact I have written about topics before and a small amount of apathy, played a part. But I have made it to Z with zeal.

I am not sure there will be a 5th year though. I think I have run out of energy for this one.

Elust 117

Photo courtesy of Master’s Eye

Welcome to Elust 117

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 #118? Start with the rules, come back May 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!  

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

A dominant presence He Gripped Her Hand and Centered Her Being alone together.  

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

What the fig? Mind and body

~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

O! or, errr… NO!: Orgasm Control in an F/m Dynamic   *You really should consider adding your popular posts here too* 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!  

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Fantasies Never Let You Down My First Love New Fun with Old Friends Sometimes coming joint second emotional disconnection, sex and loneliness People Don’t Talk about This Sh!t

Erotic Fiction

Waking the Fallen Daisy opera seria Catch the Catcher Club Dress Extended Dreams … (the Second : Arabian Nights) The orgasmic arch

Erotic Non-Fiction

The Five Senses of Sex A public beating Rope Dreams

Poetry

-01.04.19_00:22-

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

Primal Regression and Submission 14 Qualities of a “Good” Dominant Balance in F/m voices

Events

Do I want you to hold my hand?

Body Talk and Sexual Health

Sex in Class That’s My Kink – All Hail The Nipple Clit

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

Why I’m not smiling for IWD     Elust