Open-Minded, Non-Judgmental, Hilarious, Sex-Positive

Let’s have a chat about sex. It’s not a bad word. It’s not evil. It’s a part of life and I believe we should be open-minded about what is around us. It may not be your thing, but it’s someone else’s thing and who are we to judge. After all, there are more important things to look at in a person than their preferences in bed or their orientation or how they identify…like, how do they treat people.

I have been very open about the life I live. My family knows, my friends know, my kids don’t want to know, but, since they are adults, if they ever asked, I would be open with them. I used to be very afraid to share with others. What would people think? But I have reached a point in my life where I am all out of fucks to give.

I was outed at my weekend job by an ex. We had all made jokes about things, but that was all they were….jokes. But then he showed them pictures of a party we went to. It was pictures with the BDSM implements on the walls and he talked about what I was into. I was hurt and embarrassed and tried to use humor to let it go. The thing is, I wasn’t the only one with kinks in that relationship. I promised I wouldn’t share his secrets with our co-workers and I have not. While my co-workers joked with me about it, they never treated me any different, I was angry. That was never his to share. It was a huge breach of trust.

Then, I shared with my girlfriends. Let me tell you…they were amazing!!!! We had some fantastic laughs, but they never once made me feel judged. While I don’t shout from the rooftops that I am kinky (I only shout it from my blog, LOL), I am very open about it. I love that my friends and family that know can ask me anything, and they do. My family is very open about asking me questions also. You see, whether you are mortified by what my lifestyle is, or you think I am a slut, you are most likely a little bit curious about it. I will never say I am an expert on anything. But I am always happy to answer questions. There is so much misunderstanding with this lifestyle. There should be no place to judge unless you know.

I choose to remain sex-positive and to have a great sense of humor about it. I love when my girlfriends send me a dating profile and ask me to translate. The last profile was a Daddy Dom and Bull who was looking for a submissive or brat. My girlfriend sent, “Hey, not interested, but what does this all mean?” I have been asked what it is that draws me to pain. Is it safe? What is a sex dungeon like? Do I really call someone Sir? What the heck is a munch?

I would love to open up healthy conversation about anything you are curious about. I am not looking to convert anyone. I would just love people to have a better understanding. You see, this lifestyle is not evil, nor should it be looked down on. It is a lifestyle that preaches consent. That is filled with exit plans if something goes awry. It’s an inclusive lifestyle (gay, straight, bi, trans, furry, horsey, cuckhold)…all are welcome and accepted. I won’t lie and say there aren’t assholes in the lifestyle. I mean, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Nothing is perfect.

Ask questions. I will answer anything. I will probably throw in some jokes. I have a very crude sense of humor. But I find that laughter can make even the most uncomfortable of conversations more comfortable. Post a message here on the blog or feel free to send me an IM on Facebook if you are reading this from my Facebook post.

Consent… Because it’s not just about saying “No”

I found an amazing page with a great definition and guidelines for consent.

It doesn’t matter what your age, race, gender identity, political affiliation, religion, etc. Consent isn’t just about saying no. It’s about saying yes and enthusiasm. A good example: My daughter has Lyme. She is often in pain and hugs can be miserable for her. I never hug her without consent. And sometimes, I get the teenage response “sure.” You know the one…sure, I will do that but I’m not happy about it. So, while she doesn’t tell me no, and her words say okay, it’s not enthusiastic. It’s not genuine but she doesn’t want to say no because she doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. I opt to not get that hug from her. I can wait for when she is ready for it.

You see, I use that example because consent is not just about sexual touch. That’s a big piece, but any touch can be unwanted and we should respect everyone’s personal space. I am a huge hugger. I am a touchy feely person. But, if I feel the urge to give someone a hug, or just provide a calming touch to the arm, I ask, and read the response.

The other night, my nephew sent me a text all about consent. He found it in the following link: . It discusses the fact that consent just isn’t really enough. Consent should include negotiations. These negotiations should not just include whether or not to have sex, but also how to exit sex. Yes, exit. Because many things can happen between consent and the end of sex that could change one party’s mind. There must be an exit plan also. Dare I say it…Vanilla relationships should also have a safeword. And the inbetween should be negotiated too. What do you like? What woulld you like to explore? What are your hard limits, things you expect to never be asked to do because you have already set that limit?

I grew up in a pretty sex positive environment. But I still didn’t feel comfortable sharing my fantasies. I didn’t want anyone thinking I was a freak. I am so far beyond that. I really don’t care what people think. If you can accept me for exactly who I am, you probably don’t belong in my life. If not, be with people you can accept. I’m not everyone’s taste. But, when I figured that out, I was able to talk with potential partners and share what I like and what I don’t.

Going into a power dynamic, consent MUST be negotiated. When I look for a partner, I absolutely look for compatibility. But there is so much more that I look at, that I never thought about in a “vanilla” relationship. Safewords are always discussed. Not just how to exit the moment, but how to slow it down or redirect it. “Yellow” – Sir knows if I call yellow, I am starting to not enjoy something. It’s a way to redirect the scene to something that is pleasurable for both of us. “Purple” – well, that means I can’t take anymore and the scene is done immediately. I have talked with my Dominant about my limits and what I don’t want to and won’t do. Yes, we negotiated all of that. But, what’s more amazing, is when you have found a partner that will not just listen for the safewords, but continue to ask if you need to use them. For instance, when I have had a particularly emotional day, I like to be hit very hard. And, I cry. I can’t help it. This is such an emotional release for me. The pain of the belt brings all my emotional pain to the surface and let’s it all out at once. But imagine how that feels to my partner. I am not using my safewords, yet I am crying. He does not just listen for my safewords. He understands that is not good enough. This is about pleasure for both of us, not just him. When tears start, he stops, soothes me, asks if I want to stop…. Think about that for a moment. I have an exit plan in place already…no questions asked…just “purple.” My partner does not wait for “purple.” And he is constantly checking in. No matter how wild or crazy, the check in is a moment of gentleness and kindness. It’s a moment of such intense caring, when he stops and gently rubs my back and whispers “are you okay” or “Let’s stop for a bit and see how you are.” It is one of the sexiest things I can think of.

Vanilla relationships are the same. Shouldn’t we tell our partners in the very beginning what we are willing to offer and what we are not willing to offer? We should ask the same of our partner. Most people enjoy talking about what they like. It can be amazing foreplay. Negotiations will happen throughout the relationship. Limits change all the time. But when you start a relationship with consent in mind, it’s a great way to open up communication, and that’s the biggest part of a relationship.

As I said in the beginning, consent is not just about sex. It’s about personal space. It starts at a young age. If your child does not want to be hugged, respect the personal space. Ask permission before touching someone. Each time someone is asked permission, it empowers that person more to command respect of their body. But here is the thing. None of this will stop all the consent violations out there. Remember, consent is not just about saying No. If you felt unsafe to say no, if you felt you were in a position of not being able to consent, please remember there are resources out there. And never minimize how you feel when you don’t give consent. Rape is not the only consent violation. I have heard people minimize what they went through if it wasn’t rape. Any unwanted touch is a violation. If you’re married, your spouse still needs consent. If you need help, look to your local resources. Most local sexual assault agencies have hotlines. And many have advocates who will respect your decision to report or not. They can help you make the report. And they will believe you. If you find you need medical care, most agencies have advocates who can be there for you through that process too. If you are not sure of a local program, call RAINN at 800-656-HOPE (4673). This is a national hotline and they will connect you with a local provider.

Complete…but not finished

When people ask me about what my dating life has been like and about what I am looking for, the one thing I go back to is the movie, Jerry McGuire. “You complete me.” Ugh. If anyone ever tells me that, you will find me in the hills, because I ran there as fast as I could. That is too much pressure to put on someone…to complete you. I’m still growing, still evolving, but won’t I always be? We are all a work in progress, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t a whole person without the help of someone else. So, my answer is usually that I want to be with someone that complements me.

When I look up the definition of complement, the first definition is”a thing that completes or brings to perfection.” Well crap. I don’t need someone to complement me. I am whole. The best word I could find is enhance. Definition, “intensify, increase or further improve the quality, value or extent of.” The answer is, I want to be with someone with whom we enhance one another. So, I don’t love that value is in the definition. Other than monetary, no one is going to increase my value as a person.

Dating isn’t different than friendship though. After all, aren’t we seeking friends who enhance us as well? I want to surround myself with people with whom we mutually improve the quality of our lives. I look at my friends. We are all so different. I heard this description once and it`s perfect. We are similar yet so different, like the unmatched socks in our laundry baskets. We are all searching for something a little bit different, we may all have different values and beliefs, we all have different career paths. But, even though we are different, we have a respect for one another where we are comfortable sharing what our interests are. A vast majority of my friends would never call a man Sir, nor do they enjoy the delicious sting of a riding crop as it leaves welts on your back side. Yet not a single friend makes me feel ashamed or less than them because of it. In fact, my friends and family are the reason I felt comfortable sharing that journey with everyone. I have been so comfortable sharing my journey because I realized, what do I have to lose? I don’t expect everyone to follow my path and I don’t expect everyone to think it’s the right path. However, it’s the path I have chosen for myself and I have absolutely no regrets. If you can’t accept that about me, you probably don’t enhance my life.

No, I will never need someone to complete me. I’m not a project for some man to come in to fix. I don’t want to be fixed. Any brokenness I have is part of what makes me whole. That brokenness is what created this strong, independent woman. Right now, I have exactly what I need in my life. My friends and family are incredible. No one fixes. They support and encourage. My Sir, well, unless you are into a Power Exchange, there is no way to describe it. The bond is incredibly strong, and we make decisions together. He knows when I am down as I know when He is down. We don’t try to change each other. We accept each other and we have an unspoken knowledge of what we need.

I am absolutely complete but I continue to grow and learn more about myself every day. I am finding the things I learn about myself are pretty awesome. My alone time allows for a lot of self reflection. I was an acquired taste for myself. It took a lot of time for me to like myself. But now, I am the only one that can complete myself.

Gerlinda Kaltenbrunner meets Nelly Bly meets Olive Byrne meets Lee Holloway

**This post is a discussion of sex and intimacy. Dad, read at your own risk.

From the time I was young I thought about sex, a lot. I was introduced to the idea at a very early age. Something I have come to terms with and have learned it’s not something for which I need to forgive myself. I did not ask to be introduced to it. I was just told not to tell or I would be in a lot of trouble. It was a skeleton in my closet for a long time.

Jump ahead many years. I was in a monogomous relationship for over 24 years, starting in high school. I never had the experience of dating in college. I didn’t live the life of Carrie Bradshaw. And for 24 years, I had fantasies that I was afraid to share and someone who had no idea what I needed. I didn’t know what I needed.

When I entered the dating world again I knew I didn’t want one night stands. That’s just not me. But, was I ready for a full blown relationship or was I missing the physical touch? Getting onto the dating sites was quite interesting. Most men want to know what you are into from the very beginning. Ummmmm, I have no clue. For 24 years my ex asked me the same question. I thought there was something wrong with me that he didn’t know. Did I not communicate well enough. Did I just lie there so he couldn’t read my body language? I just didn’t know. And I was afraid to put myself out there because what if I was a horrible lover.

Sort of tangent. What’s with the names in today’s title. Google them. All but the last are explorers. The third woman was Professor William Marsten’s inspiration for Wonder Woman (and her experiences are very similar to mine). The last, when you google her, well, it will give away a bit about me. If you’re faint of heart, stop here. Or, follow me on the adventures and explorations of my most intimate life. Judge me if you will. I am okay with it because I am okay with who I am. I have gone through a lot of manure to turn into this amazing, beautiful sunflower.

I dated a couple of men about a year after my separation. We were intimate, but I just know something was missing. I have watched people divorce and meet someone and settle for a companion. That’s not me. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was not waiting for Prince Charming and the castle.

One afternoon I was swiping left, left, left, left. And suddenly, a profile peaked my curiosity. Popping out in big letters was “not vanilla.” I’ve read 50 Shades. I know what he means, but could I? Would I? Wouldn’t this be taboo? Oh my goodness, how unsafe is this? It sounds like an adventure I want to know more about. So I messaged him. We met up for drinks and had a blast. He was kind, attentive and very respectful. He answered so many questions. He gave me websites to look information up. And when he walked me to my car, he asked for my consent and gave me the strongest kiss I had ever been given. When I walked away from that date, I realized what I had been missing. Control.

I had spent the last 17 years being mom, working and taking care of others, and basically, being in control. Yet, I also felt like had no control in those last 17 years. It was like chaos. I couldn’t control my outside environment; I could only control my reactions and responses to it. I was exhausted. I was trying to keep everything in control. I just needed to let go sometimes. Let someone else take the lead. I wasn’t looking for Prince Charming to take me to his castle. I wanted Sir Charming to take me to a dungeon.

I want to take a moment talk about the collision of two worlds in my life. I worked in a domestic violence shelter and feel very strongly about the need to not have Power and Control in relationships. But I wasn’t looking at handing over power and control. I was looking into a relationship with a Power Exchange. These are the terms used in a Dom/sub (D/s) relationship. It is exactly how it sounds. No one partner has power and control. There are discussions…healthy discussions, about limits. What scares you? What excites you? What are you curious about? I had never really had these conversations before. It was liberating. I was laying down the groundwork and putting limits anywhere I saw fit. I was in complete control. Yet, at the same time, I was handing control over to him. An even Power Exchange. To someone that has never done this, it may look scary and demeaning. Until you have been there, don’t judge. It’s not at all what you would think.

My first Dom didn’t stick around too long. And I knew he wouldn’t I was a rebound and I knew it was just a passing fling to figure out what I was looking for.

My second Dom introduced me to the public aspect of this lifestyle. Kink clubs!!!! What am I thinking?!?! How dangerous. I told my cousin I was headed to a club and she insisted I text her every 15-30 minutes. I was a wreck. I walked in and the host was amazing. The very first thing he did was talk with me about safety and showed me the rules, posted in huge letters, on the wall. This was a very huge, long wall. It was covered with rules. Of course there are etiquette rules. Don’t get too close to a scene. No photos or videos allowed (by the way, you never see phones out at these clubs). But in red letters, covering more than half the wall CONSENT CONSENT CONSENT. Absolutely no touching anyone else in the club without consent. Violations will have you removed and police may be called. Also, there are no private areas. You go to a club and it’s a huge open space. Any rooms have windows with people all around. Some people choose to “play” with a Dom they have never met. There are negotiations before the scene. Other people are around to hear the negotiations…the limits. If the Dom violates in anyway, the scene is over. The people in this community take consent very serious. They are amazing people. I felt safer at a sex club than I do going to a bar. So, my worlds did not collide after all. They paralleled.

Let me tell you something about body image. I hated looking at myself in the mirror. Going out to these clubs/parties, I realized I loved my body, rolls and all. This was the start of me learning to love myself again. And I was comfortable with setting rules for myself at these parties. In this world there are so many types of people. I have found many are polyamorous (I’ll let you look it up if you don’t know – or feel free to hit me up with questions). I’m not polyamorous. I identify as monogomous. I have a partner and that’s my only partner. I was not going to sacrifice that. No one in the clubs ever made me feel bad for turning them down for play. But, I can’t lie, it was flattering. Especially when they would continue to be kind and have amazing conversations with me, even after knowing I would not be with them.

I thought I would see what the D/s relationship was like to live 24/7. Nope. Not for me. That entails a lot more service on the subs part, and at that point you are going into more of what is called a Master/slave (M/s) relationship. It’s still completely consensual, however, there are aspects to a relationship like this, one of service, that I hated. If I like someone, I’m going to love cooking for them, getting a drink for them. But if someone tells me (not asks) to get them a drink, my first inclincation is to say, “Get your own damn drink.”

So, with this Dom I learned a lot about public events and I loved it. I also learned about M/s and really was not a fan. I prefer to have the Power Exchange at specific times. Other than that my doting should be appreciated and returned, not expected.

So that brings me to now. I have a pretty good thing that’s going for me. I met someone. He’s a little bit further away, so we don’t get to see each other but once a week. Our time is amazing. It’s still a little new, so we are still learning about each other. He has pushed soft limits (those are meant to possibly explore) and he has stayed away from hard limits. He is respectful. We have cooked for each other. And he has even helped my clean up. It’s a Power Exchange with a lot of communication and a lot of give and take on both sides. I have seen Doms humiliate their subs and be cruel to them. I am not into that scene. If that is what they both like, then that is awesome. I don’t judge. It’s just not my thing. Finding a Dom is a diffiicult process because you have to find someone you completely trust and who is okay with your limits and who will treat you the way you want to be treated. If my Sir (yep, I totally call him Sir, and I love it) does something that upsets me, I can talk with him about it. We can have an open conversation and figure out the next steps. He doesn’t make me feel like I have no worth. We, by no means, have a traditional relationship. That’s not what I want right now. But what we have works and we are there for each other when we have bad days, or weeks. And when he calls me Sweetness, I melt.

My journey is very different from most. But when you are figuring out what you want, whether it’s in the bedroom or out of life, take your blinders off. Pull out the lasso of truth and figure out what your truth is. What is it that will make you happy and love who you are. Open your minds and be who you are.

I have put myself out there today, not to talk about my sex life, but to encourage people to really be open about what they want. To communicate with their partners about what they want or need. These alternative relationships have truly taught me how to communicate my needs, because in this world, if you don’t, you could compromise your safety. But isn’t that true in all relationships? If you forget to communicate, you may be physically safe, but have you protected yourself emotionally?