Being proud of who we are

I spent much of my adult life fretting that things hadn’t turned out how I wanted them to be. Trouble was, I didn’t actually know what that was. My whole blog is about my voyage of discovery to establish who I truly am and what that means. Sometimes I’ve been anxious that I’m in some way different or abnormal. But if I’ve learned anything over the years with Master it is to, embrace our instincts and be proud of who we are.

Over the past 6 years I have had some amazing opportunities to explore my kinks with Master. From our first play date he has pushed and tested me. Asked me to talk about my deepest desires and read my blog for clues. Then he has set about making those come true. It was something of a fluke we turned out to be as compatible as we are. It was lucky that I was prepared to try out new things and go with his plans and even liked many of them. What’s more since he is the original Gadget Man he has acquired the equipment to go with it.

This means I’ve had more opportunities than most to try things out. But also we’ve been able to do so in private, which I actually like. It isn’t that I don’t like playing in public, I am definitely an exhibitionist. However, I prefer that we play out some kinks in private. Relaxing and getting into my submissive head space is more difficult than it once was. Strangely there’s less going on in my head that needs shoving out. A busy work schedule was some how easier to dismiss through pain and general slutiness than what lives there now.

Over the years Master has bought me some great kink gear; harnesses, waistcoats, spanking skirt, collars. I have worn them with pride and then when I put weight on left them in the cupboard. But recently I’ve begun to get them out again and wear them for him at home and when out at kink events. Master likes to see me dressed up and also naked and I know he is proud of the way I have embraced CMnf. Damn, I’m proud too.

When others watch the way Master plays with me at an event I feel proud and fills him with joy. He is generous and is always happy to show people his equipment and even lend it out to the right people. Generally we keep to our selves, but increasingly we are making friends and getting to know others. This increasing confidence is, I think good for us both.

I chose the image above because Master looks proud and happy with himself. No doubt he has plans for me and for us in that moment.

I am, because we are

It is a coincidence that as I walked home yesterday I was thinking about this topic. Wondering about who I am now as we enter the 7th year of our life together. Wondering whether I am worthy as his submissive and partner. I came to the conclusion that we are where we are because of who we are, together. So, some background.

Last weekend was the 6th anniversary of the day we met in person. This year we celebrated by going out for dinner. We often eat out, but usually it’s because we are doing something away from home and dinner out is easier. This was a meal out for itself.

Today I received notice that the first part of my divorce, the decree nisi will be heard in court in March. 6 weeks and one day later I will be divorced. My entire blog catalogues my own journey to this point. In many ways I am the person I was at the beginning, but of course events have changed me. Plus taking on the role of slave and starting a new long term relationship has added to that.

The person I was

Confused, probably sums it up. As I approached my 50th birthday I knew change was needed. My life wasn’t going as it should and I wanted something different. Trouble was I didn’t know what that different was or how to go about getting it. I consider my self lucky that the two men I met along the way helped guide me towards discovering what that might be. The fall out from my ex was hard to bear. Last week while reading some old posts from 2013 to link to my privacy post I came across some very disturbing writing.

My husband was playing me. I know that now since at the time he was already in another relationship (still unknown to me). But meanwhile he manipulated me and made me feel I was beyond dreadful for cheating on him. He made me sleep deprived by turning up early in the morning and then he snooped through my emails and was generally horrible. All the time I cooked meals for him if he decided to be home. Made sandwiches and did his washing. YES, I actually did those things. I was a complete doormat. I now know I should have kicked him out and changed the locks. But that’s with the benefit of hindsight.

The person I am

From the beginning of my relationship with Master things changed. He listened to me and helped me work out how to navigate the way ahead. I didn’t always to what he suggested to begin with. But usually there was some method in his ideas. His own other relationship was messy and so we worked through those times together. Sometimes that meant just being there for each other. I know there were times when he felt less dominant for it, but this was a human need not about power exchange dynamics. Not many months after we met my father became terminally ill and died. The support Master provided during that time set the scene for the kind of partner he would be.

Running parallel to all of those more intimate and personal elements of our relationship is the kink. Power, Dominance, submission, kinky sex and play. Over the years we have learned what is our norm. The things that feel safe and right. But we have also pushed each other to try new things.

For a very long time we played in the privacy of our own home and occasionally in a privately hired dungeon. It was also a while before we ventured to Munches and in the end it was through talking to people at those events that drew us to play events. Then recently we started meeting up with some people we met at one of those. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that often I’d prefer to stay at home. Well until I’m there that is. But that is also true of attending vanilla events even with friends.

Am I submissive enough? Is he dominant enough?

These were my thoughts as I listened to some podcasts while travelling yesterday (details below). My idea of submission at the beginning of this journey was based on erotica and other blogs. Training plans for submissives, men with dungeons in their basements, kneeling naked etc. It isn’t like that. For obvious reasons. But when Master tells me I’ve been bratty, I do stop and think. When he tells me to kneel and suck his cock I do it. When he asks me if I’ve achieved the things in my planner, I do reflect. And when he tells me his is proud of the person I glow with pride.

He has helped me become the slave he wants, but also I have helped him to become the dominant I need. Our life together is the one we have made together and it isn’t like anyone else’s I’m sure. But it occurs to me that we are who we are and I am the person I am because of us.

At some point soon, I am going to draw a line on some of the past. We share enough history on this blog not to need to go back further. The posts will remain but they will be archived from view. They are not ones that are retweeted anyway. Time to move on.

Thoughts generated from the following podcasts

Master's plaything

This would have been a great image for this objectification post from last week. But I wanted to save it for February Photofest. I’m not really sure why this hasn’t been featured before, but really happy to include it now. This was also taken at the secret Dungeon

As you can see my nipples are clamped, plus there is the hood and lead. I was definitely Master’s plaything that night!

Anticipation

He has prepared her carefully. Securing her across the chest and legs. She is blindfolded, but for now her hands and arms are left free. Her legs are secured in an open position and from the back he can see her pink cunt through the gap in her legs. She waits in anticipation not knowing what he will do next.

The plastic of the bench is cold on her body and the position he had put her in not all together comfortable. Music blares out from the sound system, a slow sexy Barry White number. She tries not to think back to the last time she heard the track, tries instead to clear her mind. He is moving around in the background choosing his instruments of torture. She hears him approach. He is still dressed and wearing shoes. She of course is completely naked.

His choice is a soft rubber flogger and first he rests it on her back and moves it gently across her shoulders, then down over her buttocks. Then the first impact. It is a deceivingly stingy piece of equipment, she winces and he smiles. Though of course she can’t see that. After 20 strokes he replaces this flogger for another, made of rubber and then later with one formed of plastic though it looks like barbed wire. This latter flogger makes her cry out, a mixture of pain and pleasure. Next she feels his fingers touching her cunt and is not surprised when he exclaims that she is very wet. Her clit responds to his touch and then she hears the buzz of the wand. Yes please she thinks.

Sure enough the sound becomes a real vibration on her cunt, she pushes her bottom towards him. The head of the vibrator touches her clitoris full on and it is as much as she can do to hold back.

“Not yet” he tells her turning the thing off.

The anticipation continues but so does the pleasure. They’ve only just begun.

Submitting

This week’s February Photofest theme is all about our kinks. My photos will highlight some of the fun times we’ve had both at home and some of the privately rented dungeons we’ve stayed in.

This image of me kneeling in submission was, I think taken at the secret dungeon. It was taken a few years ago, but hasn’t been seen on my blog before. I’ve entitled this submitting. Photo taken by Master.

Anniversary

6 years ago today I met a man in a pub. It wasn’t meant to turn into anything special. But it did and today today he is my Master and I am his slave.

He is also my Partner, lover and friend.

Today is our Anniversary and this photo epitomises our relationship.

Taken by Gary at Liberty Elite.

This photo was taken at a kink Christmas Party by the official photographer. Because of an email mix up I didn’t get the photo (and a few others) till mid January. It shows the romance and the fun that we have together. So, it is perfect for my first day of this year’s February photofest. Our Anniversary.

To see who else is participating in February Photofest click on the lips below.

To see who else is participating in Sinful Sunday click on the lips below.

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.

Opposites Attract (or should you fuck a tory?)

MoteOo (pixabay.com)

In some ways that is true about us. Not in terms of kink, we seem to be aligned there. But upbringing, education and politics. There are some huge differences. This conversation with GOTN yesterday has led me here to this post. But actually I’ve thought about writing it for some time. That’s because a lot of fellow sex bloggers approach their lives from a similar liberal world view. One that I also possess. But I often keep quiet because Master usually has some kind of opposite view. People say, for example they would never fuck a Tory or someone who voted for Brexit. But actually it is possible to have sex and cohabit with someone who is and did those things. I wonder if I should have included a content warning on this post?

Roots

I come from a socialist supporting family, though both my brothers have moved away from that philosophy. My maternal ancestors were mining families from the North East of England. My dad was an electrician and I became a nurse through an apprenticeship type training. Since then I’ve gained 2 degrees and been a health service manager but I believe in socialist values and I’d also prefer we remained part of the EU. The original reason for this was a selfish one. I have a home in France and don’t want complications. But as time has gone on I haven’t been able to work out what will be better when the UK leave.

He went to a private school, on a scholarship and his father was a banker. Master is Oxford educated and was an accountant. He votes Conservative and believes in Brexit. Or did when he voted for it. He doesn’t take anything at face value and reads vociferously. When he voted for Brexit it was because he believes that the EU is corrupt and badly run. That view hasn’t changed, but the complete political mess that ensued after the vote created more common ground than we expected.

Arguments

I was never someone who would finish with someone because of their political beliefs. Unless they wanted to make me change mine, and that clearly hasn’t happened. We certainly don’t discuss politics in bed or in the practice of our BDSM art form. But that isn’t to say we haven’t discussed the two thorny issues of crap tory policies making the country less pleasant to live in and Brexit. We have also had our fair share of arguments, as you might expect.

My husband found it difficult to establish an opinion much less express one. He tended to regurgitate mine. So, actually having someone to argue the state of the country with is a good thing. I’ve also become less volatile in my reactions over the years, it must be age.

But we do argue. Not often and to be honest I struggle to maintain my side to the bitter end (to my own frustration). The trouble is Master often has much more knowledge on a topic than I do. Unless it is about health and health politics and then I can hold my ground. What’s more I tend to lose interest or wrap myself up in knots. His debating skills are just better than mine. Then there is the issue that I’ll never change his mind just like he won’t mine. So, what’s the point.

As I mentioned above though it has been the politicians of the UK and indeed world that have helped us along. There has been no doubt this country has been badly run for the last few years. There is also little doubt that Jeremy Corbyn was never going to be accepted as a prospective prime minister. Even though he has been a better leader than I’d imagined he would be. Brexit has been a shambles and in all likely hood will remain so. We therefore have agreement even if we come at it from opposite views.

Drink

My only caveat is that we must never have political discussions in a pub or even at home while drinking. Over the years that has caused some momentous rows, usually involving me getting so angry that I storm off somewhere. Plus, I’m less articulate when drunk and he tends to forget what he said by morning. So it’s a case of don’t go there. The only upside is that it usually involves some very hot make up sex. But to be honest it would be better to just have the sex and leave out the argument and hangover.

My advice

If you find yourself romantically linked with someone of an apposing political view don’t run away, it might be fine. If you fancy them like crazy and you find that they don’t want to talk about how wonderful Boris is while in bed. Also check they are capable of behaving themselves in public. That they won’t lecture your friends and family and keep their apposing views to more private encounters.

So, if you fancy a tory, don’t be frightened to snog them, or even have sex with them. They might just turn out to be the love of your life.

Home

14th July Fireworks from my balcony in France

Concepts of home have become more difficult for me to articulate over recent years. What does home really mean to me? Is home a place, a person, a state of mind? Unusually, I read the Food for Thought posts already posted before writing this. Now I’m not sure if I’m clearer or if the waters are more muddy. Let’s see.

Childhood

We moved to the house I would consider my childhood home when I was around 5. I have a few memories of the first place, but they may just be from photos I’ve seen. Home was my parents and brothers. My grandparents and cousins visiting. It was family Christmas’ and my room.

As a teenager I got my dad to paint it purple. I had my own little portable cassette deck, my books and other special possessions. It’s the place I did my homework and wrote. Once I got a boyfriend it’s a place I took him, though my mum was forever calling me downstairs!

I got married from that home (though I had moved out 6 months before) and then my parents moved to a new house. I felt at home in their new place, but it wasn’t my home.

Our homes

Hubby and I also owned two houses during the course of our marriage. Our first was special because I’d never lived anywhere that afforded real privacy. By that, I mean that parents and brothers could walk in at home and the home warden at my nurses accommodation. Here only we had a key, everyone else had to knock. That made it home. Then the fact we decorated and chose furniture and furnishings. Finally because it was just us. It was a place that we conceived our son and brought him home to. Later I discovered things hadn’t been as I imagined, because his infidelity started at around that time.

When my son was just 3 months old we moved. I wanted somewhere we could bring up a family, a bigger home and better neighbourhood. The new place was fine to begin with. We decorated, but often struggled to make it feel right (for me that is). However it was my son’s home and over time it became mine too. A place of sanctity, somewhere to hide when things were difficult.

At the end, when my ex had all but gone, it felt like the home it had never been. I spent days and nights there alone and became familiar with every nook and cranny. But when it came time to leave, I knew it was right.

My ex still lives there. I’ve been back and it feels no more like home than any other house in that street. That’s not because they have decorated and have new furniture. I’ve felt that way since I loaded my car with my remaining things and closed the door on that part of my life.

Looking back, I am still not sure that home was ever with my ex. But having my son there made it feel that it was at the time.

Now

We live in Master’s house. To begin with it was very weird, but gradually it has become home. Partly because my possessions have found their place and I have made changes to how things are. Also because we have started to decorate and make plans about how things will be. But this is a home because we are here together. I have a feeling about the concept of home that I didn’t have before.

There is one other place I call home. It’s a small apartment in France that I own (well jointly own with the ex). But it is my bolt hole. It’s the place I went to escape the pain and sadness when my life seemed to be falling apart. I’ve laughed, cried, got drunk and had amazing sex there. It is the place I’d run to if things went tits up here with Master. But it is also the place we go to and gradually it has become something of home to him too. Our place, our home.

Balancing our needs

In her introduction for this week’s Sex Bloggers for Mental Health, Catherine links to my post from last week about priorities. As she highlights, I wrote about the need to balance my and our needs with those of others. For this week’s prompt Catherine asks: but how?

For me, the realisation that a rebalance is required, comes after some kind of crisis. It may just be a moment of stress or some kind of over dramatic meltdown (oh yes, I can be a drama queen).

We are lucky. Our lives don’t any longer revolve around the needs of others. Just of ourselves. We don’t have dependents living with us, nor do we have parents or children living close. But there in lies the slight problem. On one hand we don’t have anyone turning up unexpectedly, but on the other hand, we do need to plan. We can live our own lives spontaneously but interaction with others needs planning. And sometimes we either get the planning wrong, get let down or else have to drop everything for the needs of others. This is kind of what happened at Christmas. My careful planning went wrong, because stuff outside of our control happened and then stress occurred.

Many of us try to control everything around us much too much. I and we are no exception to that. It is in my nature to try to please everyone and by doing so, I end up making myself unhappy. Master needs time of solitude and actually I need that alone time too. But both of us also need to engage with others. He claims he doesn’t; but then suggests going to a munch because he wants to be sociable. When I say we are going to spend an evening with my son or brother he pulls a face, but then enjoys it. Certainly before he met me Master spent far too much time alone and admits now that was not good for him. He claims he dislikes people, but I don’t think he really does, but he definitely needs not to be with others all the time.

That may reflect our different personalities. Me, the extrovert who likes to be with people and he the introvert who lives in his own mind much of the time. But, that’s too simplistic. I find meeting new people difficult. I don’t like noisy places as I can’t shut off from people’s conversations. It’s often he who suggests we go out to meet people and I who would rather stay home.

We both have elderly parents, and the possibility of a call is always there. I know that I will be required at some point to go and help out. My mother is frail and prone to falls. But while she is well and mobile I will keep to my fortnightly visits and support my brother who lives nearby as best I can.

My own brush with ill health and the desire to live my best life right now dictates how I makes sure there is balance. That I do the things I want and need. For example that I take exercise, even if Master isn’t joining me. That we go to new places and see what the world has to offer us. I am lucky to have retired from full time work at such a young age, but I know how easily the freedoms I am afforded could be snatched away. So, with that in mind we put ourselves first. But try to remain mindful of those that surround us.