Keep it Like a Secret

I’m feeling nostalgia for a self I grew out of. The shredded pieces, some of them, live in the melodies of old songs. Do you ever feel like your deepest fears are inescapable? I think we can become our own fears. I think our choices dictate that.

I feel like crying my eyes out. That’s normal though. Not frequent, but normal. And okay to want to do.

It’s been such a long time since I have feared my capabilities for loving another person. I’m absolutely terrified that I am wasting my time and energy sometimes.

It’s too cold to be alone right now. But I have no choice.

I wish you were here.

EDIT: It’s morning now. I was in total sad-girl mode last night. Hope you guys enjoy your tiny exposure to my SADNESS. BAHAHAHA.

Advertisements

Quick Tips To Overcome The “Bad Feels”

When you start to feel jealous, or envious, or when you start comparing yourself to another person, you’re not going to have a great time. Being in an open relationship has many wonderful benefits, but considering that we were all conditioned to perceive relationships in a monogamous way, we all still retain a bit of that, and there’s no getting rid of it totally.

Some of those emotions include jealousy, envy and a general shitty feeling of comparing yourself to another person.

It takes a lot of time to train and hone your rational mind to be able to accept, then overcome these feelings.

For example, tonight I was talking to Z about him matching with a really cool, sexy chick on OKC. Apparently she is also a porn star! Being that I really care about him & his quest for connection, I was supportive. But this very tiny inkling of emotion crept up on me; the comparison, the icky feeling that emerges when you start thinking “Wow she’s way prettier than me,” or “Holy shit, she’s super kinky– i’m no where close to that level” or “What if they develop a super close romantic bond and by the time I visit, he won’t be as excited to hang out with me?!?”

All of those thoughts, totally irrational and unnecessary. First off, beauty is subjective. AND each person is beautiful in their own, unique way. I can say that I am an attractive woman, and I love my body and appreciate myself. In the past I have received validation from others regarding this, and I also affirm this within myself.

Then there’s comparing our sexual natures. It’s straight up useless. I already know how awesome and fulfilling sex is with Z, and for my sake, that’s all that matters. His sexual relationships with other people are for them to worry about, not me! Of course I want him to have fulfilling sexual relationships with other people! I want that for Todd, for Jeremy, and for the other partners I will have in the future. Just because Z or Todd may have mind-blowing sex with someone else, doesn’t mean he won’t want to have that with other folks.

And the last thing I mentioned, about worrying over how his relationships may develop: That’s out of my control, and I know it. It’s about letting go of that thought. We can’t predict how a relationship will develop and grow. I for sure had no idea that I would become closer friends with Z, let alone even be visiting him! What I do know, and what is in my control, is how I spend my time and energy when I am visiting him, and to keep in mind that although positive fantasies are, well, positive– they are just fantasies. Keeping my expectations low and level has been an obstacle for sure, but overall is extremely important in maintaining open-relationships because you just never know how a relationship will change. And they will change. And you can’t predict how they will change!

I wanted to write this all out because this for sure hasn’t been the first time I’ve felt like this, and won’t be the last. But it’s important I think for others to be able to read out my thought processes when I feel these specific feelings, as they are very common in relationships.

Feeling secure in a relationship is a challenge for a lot of people, but I think one of the biggest challenges is the acceptance that we don’t have control over the people we love, and we don’t have control over anyone else’s emotions, time, or how they choose to spend their time/energy.

All we can do is accept their love, energy and time as a gift when given, appreciate it, revel in it, and when it’s not around, start giving to others that you love back.

D/s Protocol

Tonight I attended a class at the SF Citadel (Read their mission/about here) called “D/s Protocol.”

Yes, Dom/sub protocol. It was led by an English guy sitting on a large arm chair at one corner of a dark sex dungeon in Downtown San Francisco. Of course, his slave was sitting neatly on the floor beside him.

I’m about to have a Skype sesh with Z (which BTW HUGE UPDATE: I’m going to Seattle for NYE and some days after to spend some time with Z! SUPER STOKED YAY!) SO– I want to keep this post short.

Here are some of the notes and things I took down from the class:

  • Protocol vs ritual 
  • Needs x values x goals
  • Consistency & transparency – communication and checking in essential
  • Having a Dom enforce a protocol creates social accountability 
  • Source of protocol may come from both D/s and does not minimize the dynamic 
  • Permission based protocol
    -protocols are situational
    -Create 100% clarity from the get-go, continue to refine what you mean
    -Q: What are some protocols that you find hot/would turn you on? A: Asking permission to orgasm
  • Positive reinforcement vs negative reinforcement?My question to the teacher:Can a D/s dynamic operate or be successful without the use of negative reinforcement or punishment? Is punishment integral to a D/s relationship? Is whether or not punishments are integral to that relationship a topic that must be established at the very beginning?

    His answer: He is a traditional dom, also from England, so he finds that punishment is fun for him and yes, an essential part to his dynamic. But overall thinks that “punishment” is inherent in individuals (he acknowledged that my question was a heavily philosophical one, CLASSIC) and that if a sub knew they were fucking up, not following protocol etc, the sub would already be imposing a sense of disappointment upon him/herself–which is, in the teacher’s mind, already a strong punishment. On top of that, the sub would know that they’d be letting the Dom down, which adds to the already manifesting feeling of disappointment.

    More on punishment:

  • Doms don’t punish in state of anger 
  • It’s all about the attitude and frame of punishment
  • There are very specific contexts in the realm of giving punishments
  • It is not a reaction to anger or a desire to frighten or abuse the sub, it is an adherence to the protocol but also a way to have fun and craft it so it is arousing and pleasurable to both parties.When a Dom is wrong, they should be willing to talk about what went wrong, what the sub felt, apologise, talk about how they can make it better. Just because you’re a dom doesn’t mean you are heartless. The relationship is very important.Doms should be willing to commit to personal growth, have their shit together, always thinking of the bigger picture and how they progress as a couple.Tips for Subs:
    **ask your Dom what they need, what they like, what they want in their life, how to better or make their life easier, what you can do for them, what protocols they want to create

    **ask your Dom about self reflection
    **be open to criticism and praise
    **Essential question to ask: “is there any area in your life I can help you more?”

    Doms:
    **practical tools to help your sub remember their protocols
    **apply same protocols to all relationships if poly
    **each sub is different so don’t expect your new sub to be like the old one
    *watch out for frustration and disappointment– they are scarcity thinking
    **be creative, be firm and fair
    **give lots of rewards
    **Demand a high quality of service from the beginning
    **Your sub should know specifically what to do the whole time, from the beginning, in as much detail as possible


At the end of the class, I was able to ask the teacher’s slave a question about her filtering process in finding a dom. She said that she messaged him on fetlife, and that he is her first dom– and I realized she just totally lucked out. But! I suppose I have proof now that finding a dom on fetlife is actually possible. I do want to clarify that I am not specifically seeking a dom who I can be a ‘slave’ to or whatever, but after my experience with Z when he visited and how rewarding, fun, sexy and natural it felt to be obedient and submissive with him is basically fueling my curiosity about these kinds of relationships.

So yeah, anthropologist here doing some participant-observation, also wanting to dabble a little, but extremely, extremely cautious.

I think the filtering process for dating in general is extremely important, let alone finding folks who would be into creating specific dynamics such as D/s. Like I said before, i’m skeptical of doms typically because of the high chance of potential abuse, but I think i’m willing to put in the work to find someone who respects me, would want to be my friend and also be up for experimenting and navigating this kind of dynamic with me.

(Fun fact: after this class, I realized how stoked I would be if I could be Z’s sub. To most vanilla peeps, yeah that sounds strange, but to me– he’s an equal. We respect each other. We share very similar interests and thoughts about the world. We truly enjoy each other’s company, and want to please each other in many ways. And sexually, our dynamic fell into D/s, though we switched a few times, I found myself assuming the role of an obedient submissive and nothing made me happier than to please him, follow his directions and try my best to succeed in delivering what he wanted. It was super, super hot, and SUPER SUPER CONSENSUAL.

I could go on and on about this right now. Going to break it off now. Chat later, blog friend.

Mendoza

On Saturday morning, Z and I made breakfast and decided to go to Thrift Town. I don’t think I realized it then, but the world around me looked so novel; the street where we got coffee even, everything had a glow to it, the mysterious and comforting feeling of being exactly where you want to be. The leaves were falling, the sun cast a light yellow over everything. The chill in the air made me feel cozy. And best of all, I had a friend to keep me company, to do whatever the fuck we wanted to do.

So we spiked our lattes with kaluha, and went to the thrift store. Afterwards we embarked on a journey to a porn shop to acquire nude magazines for crafting up naughty post cards.

Our plan that evening was to go out dancing with his friend, but, already being cozy on the couch, we decided to stay in. We had dinner with Kim and Todd that night, and they left together, making me feel a little sad. I think I also started to feel a little weird when I realized I wanted to be closer to Z, to be able to hug him and kiss him in front of others, but felt restrained.

Sitting on my couch with Z, I looked at him and told him that I felt a little sad. He asked me why. I gave him a long-winded explanation and managed to rationalize through what I was feeling.

I couldn’t flat out say it, but I knew a big part of why I felt sad was because he was going to be leaving the next day– and I wasn’t sure if I was going to see him again.

We spent the rest of the night entwined in each other, me laying on his lap while he wrote postcards to his friends; him laying on my lap while I sorted through music.

I was curating a playlist of songs that I used to like in high school and college. We smoked a blunt he rolled and I was feeling a strange mix of hopeful yet wistful. Going through the songs, we’d talk about music and eventually got on the topic of theramins, which arose from me putting on Motion Picture Soundtrack by Radiohead.

He started talking about The Octopus Project, and I became immediately excited. He told me a humorous story about a time he saw them in Seattle and found himself to be the only person dancing in the crowd. He was noticed by the band and given a free drink, then managed to climb up on stage and got a group hug from them. We wondered when they were going to play next; and it was then that I noticed that they had come out with a new album.

“This is it,” I said. “We have arrived!”

An entire album to listen to together, a new experience. As I listened I wrote little notes on my phone, or had my eyes closed, or had my hand in his. Bliss.

Two Nights Later

We’re laying in the bed of a couple I am housesitting for. It’s dark.

I tell him, “There’s a song on that new album that reminds me of you.”
“Oh yeah? Which?”
“Mendoza”
“Which part of the lyrics?”
“I don’t know the lyrics,” I said, “It’s the melody.”
Pause.
“Well? You just gonna say that and not sing it for me?”
I pause. “Um, I know this is irrational but that’s something i’m terrified of doing.”
He started to kiss me, feeling my fear. My body felt stiff; all I could think about was how terrified I was to fuck up the melody if I tried. My throat felt scratchy.

It felt like forever, but it was probably only ten minutes. I agreed to hum the melody with our lips pressed together. When I did it, I slowly realized how easy it was, and that I was overreacting. When I finished, he kissed my face and said, “You have a beautiful voice. Thank you for doing that. I’m so proud of you. I would’ve waited all night if I had to.”

Then he started to make up lyrics to the melody I hummed, singing little bits about us liking each other and filling in the sounds with imaginary words. It was kind of amazing to surprise myself, to feel like I could actually overcome a fear that was so strong. And it really wasn’t that bad.

I emailed the octopus project for the lyrics to that song. I’m really curious about them.

Memory Mirror

Driveway Rendezvous

He was standing in our driveway when we got home. Todd and I got out of the car and the three of us hugged. Our friend Z was visiting from Seattle, and he had been waiting for us to return from my work’s annual client dinner.

I met Z on tour with Fond Han in Bellingham, Washington. He was the only New Jersey native who had come out to the show that night. I remember meeting him and instantly feeling a sense of excitement and desire to explore who he was. Z is a bit shorter than I am, with fierce, dark features and light brown skin. Honestly, it probably were his eyes that hooked me. Docile, bright and big, but harboring a quiet sense of debauchery & playfulness.

He is closer friends with Todd and Tom, though that only meant we’d get along instantly, which we did. I think I flirted with him a lot that night, which for me equates to focusing my attention on and maintaining steady eye contact. I briefly mentioned to him that Todd & I were non-monogamous, which he later on told me that he explored polyamorous relationships in college. I was definitely intrigued, and somewhat smitten. We traded numbers and parted ways.

Two weeks ago I received a text message from him saying that he was planning a trip to the Bay Area in the coming weeks. I offered our apartment as a place to crash. It’s an understatement to say that I was excited, and slightly hopeful that we could be intimate.

Flirting with Uncertainty

On the first morning of his trip, Todd was already out working so I sat on the couch with Z and started to talk about everything. He mentioned that he had gotten a message from a lady on Fetlife (which is a kink-centered social media website). Intrigued again, I logged onto my account and saw that there was a play party later in the night. I asked him if he wanted to come with me, and he was down. I rsvp’d on the event page, and so did he. Then we found each other’s profiles. Then we started talking about sex, everything about sex.

I feel so empowered when I get to talk about my own pleasure and what I enjoy when i’m intimate with a person.

We eventually started our day, exploring West Oakland, and I also managed to go to therapy. I told Z that I was extremely horny through the entire session and we laughed about that. Our interactions were sprinkled with slight touches on the arm or leg, which drove me crazy.

Unsurprisingly, we ended up going to Good Vibrations, a sex shop near Lake Merritt in Oakland. He recommended a small vibrator that slips onto the fingers, for use on men and women. I bought that, and the same lube that he has at home. I couldn’t help but hope that we could play with those toys together. We walked past The Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, and I made a remark about wanting to see Blade Runner. He had seen it, but wanted to watch it again with me.

Distractions at the Cinema

He and I make our way up the rows in an almost empty theater. Through the entire first half of the film, I would glance at his right hand out of the corner of my eye, resting on his leg. I was too afraid to make the first move. Eventually, he took my hand and I looked at him and smiled.

For a while we sat with our hands interlaced. Our thumbs caressing each other. I eventually moved both of our hands to his lap, where I let my hand rest on his upper thigh. He let his right hand rest just below where my skirt ended on my thigh. And for the last half of the film, we ever-so-slowly teased each other. Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack thundering through the theater, my eyes were shut, breathing intensified, reveling in the sparks of pleasure I was feeling from his hand slowly making its way up my skirt. I held my breath for what seemed like hours. My chest rose and fell; I could tell he was watching me.

When the film ended and the lights turned on, he kissed me. “Let’s go to my car,” I said.

And we made out in the backseat of my car.

And eventually made it back to my apartment.

We were on fire, and nothing could stop us from exploring each other’s bodies and enjoying the most carnal of human activities. We both came, which was kind of amazing considering that it was the first time we were having sex with each other.

Purple Disco Machine

I had found a nightlife event to attend that Friday night– a B2B Funk/Disco DJ night at Monarch. We went out with a blunt and had a drink at the bar. The downstairs area was nearly empty. Immediately we filled the dance floor with our bodies, swaying around and moving. For at least an hour we danced and didn’t give a fuck, observing others around us and taking a few breaks. We moved to the dance floor upstairs to check out the music. It was funky, it was fast. We both took a liking to this DJ, who was live-mixing and selecting songs. Being literally the only two people dancing on the floor, I was convinced that the music got better and better as we started dancing harder and harder.

At one point, I began to hear the start of a song that I had been recently obsessed with: Where We Belong by Purple Disco Machine. I’ll try to explain in words the feeling that overcame me when I realized that the song was coming on: it was like coming up on a drug, feeling immense joy and happiness, feeling as if gravity ceased to exist. I threw my fanny pack & jacket onto a chair, and swung my body across the dance floor, dancing and moving my body in pure bliss. I had a moment where I excitedly flailed at the DJ and thanked him for putting on the song. I told Z, “THIS IS THE SONG I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO FOR WEEKS!”

The rest of the playlist was stellar. The jams kept on rolling, and we didn’t stop dancing.

The only moment we rested was to take a breather. We found a two person couch in the far corner of the bar. We sat together, holding each other, squeezing each other. He and I expressed how much we liked each other, and I went on about how cool he was; the fact that he loved the same music as me, that he wasn’t afraid to dance, that he read a lot of books and comics and is hilarious.

In retrospect, I just feel so fucking lucky to be able to experience moments like these. True connection with another human, appreciating their company and simply being present with them. Listening to someone you love, holding them and kissing them, and nothing else seems to matter.

The End of the Night

We got home and got cozy in my bed, talking and keeping each other warm. I had the knowledge that he has a hard time sleeping with other people (sleeping next to a person) and so I expected him to move back to the couch. We fell asleep after having more sex, which was just as exciting and as pleasurable as the first time.

I have to note that Z is very much into kinky things, mainly dominance and submission. I had a fucking amazing experience with him and the *extremely consensual* plays were were enacting. If you want to know details, you should just reach out to me personally. ;)

We fell asleep in my bed together.

For some reason, as I write this, I wish I could remember what he smells like.

I’ll write about the next day soon. It’s got something more to do with Memory Mirror.

October

I started feeling really inspired while I was in my car commuting home from work today. I had the album Takk… on, by Sigur Ros. Listening to Hoppípolla then Með Blóðnasir really leaves you with this I can do anything feeling, something that I felt had been missing for a while.

The end of September has honestly been a big sigh of relief. There was a lot of tension between Kim and I, mainly because we both have been pretty demanding of Todd’s time. I think, too, there was a lot of comparison going on between the both of us, a lot of scarcity thoughts and negative fantasies that were entertained. Fortunately, it has really felt way, way lighter in terms of the emotional stress factor, and it truly seems like Kim is pulling her weight and working very hard to acclimate to what it takes to choose to be in an alternative relationship.

I went on a few “dates” the past month. Two of which were pretty mediocre, but nothing terrible or anything. One guy, named Joe, is a TV writer, and it’s been really rad to hang out with him. He lived out in NYC for a while and he definitely has that feel to him. I think it’s mostly that we can fuck around and make jokes and be sarcastic and real or whatever. I think he’d get along with Todd.

I also spent two different occasions getting to know another fellow named Evan, who I met via Tinder. Surprisingly, it worked out (in that he was accepting of my non-monogamous lifestyle). The reality is that most people would either unmatch me or totally not be into the whole idea. The first instance, we got coffee and talked for a while. The second time, he had led a hike up in the Berkeley hills, the “Fire Trails” they call them, because of how it’ll make your legs feel.

The views were absolutely breath-taking. I don’t know if there is a better hike in the immediate vicinity. We alternated between the quiet darkness of the redwood groves to the sun-soaked yellow of the paths that wove between the eucalyptus groves. We spent time sitting on each bench at each vista, quiet, or chatting about something out of the ordinary.

He’s in New York City for two weeks. I truly hope I get to hang out with him again.

Bobbi and Jeremy are in Prague and Croatia for two weeks. All these travelers! I dropped them off at the airport on Saturday evening. It was such a peculiar, lovely feeling to give Jeremy a farewell kiss at the terminal, as he was going off to go on vacation for his wife’s birthday. I love the both of them! I’m glad we are in each other’s lives.

Tonight I plan to roast some squash. I am pretty excited about that.

SmartBomb

A Long, Loooong Overdue Update

I’ve been consistently making room in my life for live music and dancing. I’ve also begun doing photography and photo editing again. Learning how to use a new camera, and a new computer. My musical brain is expanding with more and more new music found each day. Living in Oakland is so inspiring.

I’m on my couch in my underwear, wrapped up in my blanket, stoned, listening to 30/70‘s radio station. Life is pretty sweet.

On Scarcity Thinking and How It’s Been Affecting Me

I had a rough patch the past few days where I was totally steeping myself in the poison that is scarcity thinking. Feeling like things are being taken away from you. Feelings of loss. Abandonment. Neglect. It’s so difficult to consider someone else’s feelings and perspective when one is caught in the narcissistic cesspool of their own fears. I blamed Todd for not making enough room in his life for me, but the truth is, is that he doesn’t owe me any time, and I was treating him as if he did.

Todd is free to do whatever he wants with his time, and I have that privilege as well. The goal is to maximize our personal freedom, not inhibit each other just because I’m not getting what I want.

By focusing on being present, appreciating Todd’s time when he is around, and communicating that gratitude– are all ways that helped me out of that cycle of fear. Todd was patient, calm, supportive and loving through my angry and sad outbursts.

When Todd was at work yesterday, I cleaned the shit out of our apartment. I cleaned shit that had been laying around since the end of our west coast tour– at the end of August. I cleaned shit that was totally random and scattered and old and useless; I reorganized things. I moved things around, and threw things out. I swept and mopped and wiped the walls.

Our home looked fantastic afterwards. Cleaning up the space truly elevated my mood, and overall motivates us to want to be in the space.

Cleaning up really helped my anxieties.

I’ve been super stoked about my schedule balancing out between Todd, Jeremy, myself, friends, work, and personal projects. I need to get back into my workout routine, or at least try out a new class….

Checking In: With Claire’s Humans

I whipped up a homemade chicken & vegetable soup for Jeremy and Bobbi, as they both got super sick one after the other.

Jeremy has been doing well, he’s currently trying to attain a specific Salesforce certification. That’s not the exciting news. He told me the other day to keep September 22nd free– he planned something for my birthday, belated as it is. I told him to keep it a secret, because I suck at keeping secrets and that he should do it if he can do it better than me.

I still care a lot about Jeremy, though our friendship/relationship has definitely shape-shifted a lot since we first met. Over the past few months, I’ve gotten to know their close friends and more and more learn about them. Sexually, we still enjoy each other very much. It’s been super refreshing to be able to communicate so openly about my sexual self, and my own desires. He brings a whole new set of skills to the table, which has been quite exciting.

Todd is doing super well. He’s busy with a bunch of film projects and a music project with Kim, which I think is really neat! His time is limited but he still manages to be home to spend time with me, and we’ll work together on our documentary project. I’m trying to practice feeling more gratitude for the time he spends with me versus wanting more.

PS. It’s the morning after, and I can’t believe I wrote all of this while stoned. I hope it makes sense?!?!