Find out what other fantastic bloggers are writing about this week

When I was first exploring non- vanilla sex, it was mainly through fiction and I had no way of establishing whether what I read reflected any real life experiences. Even when moving on to blogs, the real versus the imagined left me wondering if people really lived the life I was being allowed to conjure from their words.

An aspect that always really appealed to me was ritual in a D/s relationship, words or actions either at the start of a scene as a centring practice or at certain times of the day in a 24/7 dynamic. I found the idea comforting, but at the time, as a much greener girl, I had no understanding of why.

I am a control freak, which when combined with a distinctly submissive tendency can be really tricky to handle in my own head. I also have a demand avoidant presentation of autism, which includes demands I make of myself. Working out whether adding rules and structure within a sexual relationship is different when they are optional than when they are necessary for function.  I need rules but at the same time the line between structure that supports and that which demands and constrains is paper thin and fragile. And perceived demand causes shut down and panic, even if it is self-generated.

The functionality of my life and that of my family relies on structure. Plans. I need them and I have to provide these things for my children, who are all also autistic. These things bring peace. Certainty. So many rules and plans that over the years have had all ambiguity and overlap carved from them to make them work seamlessly, until sometimes it looks like things are easy. Like that romantic moment in a musical where characters become dancers who flow effortlessly. The hours of rehearsal, of blistered and bloody feet and aching joints forgotten in the sweep of perfection.

Rules and structure give way to ritual when you need them less for function and more for the peace and connection it brings. To me, ritual is safety and security. A self-driven action that follows certain stimulus without endless thought of worry about what it means. In my home, when the music starts in the morning it is time to get up. Different music means different things, and heaven help me if I’ve not made it through breakfast by the end of Paradise City. The same thing at the same time to make sure I don’t have to think.

This summer holidays we’ve turned off the music. For the first few days, the first week maybe it was bliss. Now I’m back having panic attacks at the thought of getting out of bed, unable to work out my next action to even begin the day. A lie in, a late start, isn’t relaxing if it paralyses you with indecision and understanding this is part of my autism condition has taken a long time.

Without rituals to get through parts of the day, everything becomes shapeless and every movement requires decision and every decision causes panic. What others see and society teaches as relaxing are destructive to my feeling of wellbeing.

Without ritual we forget to connect.

I would worry that my head sees my Christian faith and D/s as being close enough to be twins, but to worry would accomplish nothing. Ritual and the rewards of submission run heavy through each and I don’t need a psychology degree to understand the peace I get from both.  There is a poem about prayer that keeps popping into my head as I try to bring this back from ASC and my scrambled brain to the sex positive parts of my life.

I got up early one morning
and rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
that I didn’t have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me,
and heavier came each task.
“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered.
He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

I wanted to see joy and beauty, 
but the day toiled on, gray and bleak;
I wondered why God didn’t show me.
He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

I tried to come into God’s presence;
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“My child, you didn’t knock.”

I woke up early this morning,
and paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish
that I had to take time to pray.

Replace God with your choice of dominant, and prayer with whatever connecting ritual you want and that is how I feel. Without my rituals to keep me connected, to remind me of the presence of the significant other in my life, I rush around achieving less and less satisfaction from each action. Without our connecting points, it is just as easy for Mr Hunt to forget the power his touch and words have on me.

The more our life is driven by rules and rituals needed to keep our family operational the more we need to carve time for ourselves. And no, the rituals we have for ourselves are much less outwardly sex and power exchange driven than I imagined they might be in my 20s in the window before we had children.

When Mr Hunt brings me my tea and medication in the morning and we take a few minutes to go through the plan for the day it may not look like anyone else’s ritual, but it is ours. It’s a few moments where we focus entirely on what we need from each other that day. Where he checks that I’m ok in a very explicit manner. Where I can say with no judgement if I can already see difficult points in the day ahead he needs to help me structure a plan for so I can work effectively. Where I give him that honest reply and in it I offer him all my vulnerabilities, all the parts I keep hidden from everyone else. Where he takes on his role as my enabler and protector.

I don’t fall apart when he is away and we don’t have this, which is why it has become a ritual rather than a functional part of most days. But it leaves me feeling safe and cared for. Leaves him feeling like he has the information he needs to be in control however that looks in that moment. Remove this deliberate moment of connection and there would be less nourishment to sustain our relationship.

If I had time and energy, this is what I would change. I wish we had a ritual where all this subtext was on the service. Spelt out clearly with big letters. I wish we had time for him to physically centre me with a daily row of stripes across my backside that I could see and touch whenever I felt alone and lost in the day. I wish I could offer him something he valued in our daily morning exchange that was far more pleasurable than a list of my worries. A gourmet meal that nourished us both rather than the quick snack we manage.

It might not look like anyone else’s version of D/s. It might be weakest set of actions anyone would describe as ritual. It might not look like anyone else’s family life either. Right now, this is what we’ve got. What we’ve carved out. It doesn’t look like the stories I enjoyed or the blogs I’ve explored, but I hope that’s why it’s worth sharing it here. There is no wrong way to do life, and perhaps someone else out there has a life that looks like mine and needs to know that.

Are rituals positive? See what other bloggers think here

Too Hot!

Kiss the lips to see who else is being Sinful this Sunday

I’m no good in humid weather. It makes me fidgety and unsettled and I can’t bear to be touched. By hands, by clothes, by anything. This then unsettles the children and leads to a very grouchy household.

To combat this, an emergency night away (for the children) was hastily arranged with the grandparents and I could take my clothes off and relax.

Time for some sensory integration.

Ice cubes seemed obvious in the heat, but alternating these with heat and other sensory play was Mr Hunt’s wicked plan for the evening.

Wax has always a temptation and new candles had arrived a couple of weeks ago, but finding time to play… finding time to breathe has been hard for a few weeks.

Trussed up, and propped in front of the tv, I was told to concentrate on the Killer’s Glastonbury set whilst all available skin was set alight with sensation. Hot. Cold. Sharp. Soft…

Applying patterns bi-laterally combines both play and calming techniques learnt from occupational therapy and psychology to help me calm and settle.

In the heat, it was just what I needed to chill out.

Living with PTSD in our home

To understand how I have experience of PTSD there is a preceding blog for #SB4MH, Child Abuse-a parent’s perspective – but perhaps the title gives it away.

My home, containing two adults and three children, is full of acronyms: ASC (Autism) 4/5, ADHD 3/5, DCD 1/5, PTSD/cPTSD ?4/5. There are also more creative diagnoses including Adjustment disorder, social anxiety, dyslexia, hyper mobility… we read like a diagnostic manual. None of them are easy to explain in a casual conversation when you leap out of the car in a disabled space with two working legs, but they are all disabling in their own way.

These diagnoses can be useful, as they give professionals a road map for communication and helps us reach greater self understanding. They can also be problematic, limiting others’ view of our potential outcomes. It can be exhausting on a personal level to be constantly monitoring which behaviours of ourselves or our children might be affected by which diagnosis. What you challenge, where to support, what to discount…. everything need analysis.

The reason PTSD has a question mark is because it has been difficult persuading the appropriate professionals that Mr Hunt and myself need a diagnosis. It is established we are traumatised and in my case that it is complex, but ongoing properly funded support and treatment relies on a diagnosis. This in turn relies on getting to an appropriate professional who can make the diagnosis, and the gatekeepers to these seem to think we are managing and therefore there is no point. We would question what managing looks like.

I see a psychologist, who has supported our family since 2017. Most of what we do is talking therapy. With my eldest, who has a formal diagnosis, she has tried EMDR, but they were not ready to access it. I’ve tried it also with her, but I struggle to visualize what might happen, probably because of my social imagination issues to do with my autism. She is very supportive of just how battered myself and Mr Hunt are, and also how many complex things from my growing years affect how we have developed different handling of the situation.

There is a quote from Black Beauty which I can’t lay may hands on right now. A passage about selling horses. The price relied on the height of the horse, so to make sure a horse couldn’t be measured properly, unscrupulous dealers would prick their whithers repeatedly, so when the innocuous measuring stick was offered up, they would dance away in fear.

That is pretty much how I feel. Innocuous things can trigger me. And different innocuous things trigger all of the other members of my house, bar the six year old, who has grown up with us all jumping at irrational shadows.

Complex PTSD comes from repeated trauma, often from someone in a position of power or responsibility, commonly a parent but also teachers and peers with whom you desire to build relationships. There has been some discussion between my psychologist and myself as to the links between autism and PTSD of this type. Constantly failing in social or educational situations leaves you battered. Then failures to successfully enter the job market as your condition is not accommodated. When new things hit you, you already are receptive to the trauma rather than resilient to it. The poor emotional and physical learnt responses kick in, even for individual events that for a resilient individual would hardly register.

Feeling isolated and cut off from relationships, as though no one understands you, are symptoms of PTSD, but also potentially symptoms or descriptive of autism. Disassociation is for some people on the spectrum part of their normal. When this is the case, diagnosing PTSD as a separate condition can be difficult.

The main symptom we all share in our household is hyper-vigilance. Being alert all the time and the utter exhaustion that comes with it that makes sleep feel like defeat. Sleep is guilt-inducing. It is rare for any of us to get more than 6 hours sleep… and because the children are exhausted sooner, those six hours for them might be 8pm till 2 and for us might not start till later. That means our sleep is broken by own our insomnia, our childrens’ insomnia and nightmares, intrusive thoughts and each other. We take it in turns to try to catch up when we feel able to sleep, but fit this round work and parenting.

Hyper-vigilance isn’t just being on edge all the time looking for potential abusers grooming their way into our lives.

It is starting fights with shadows about things with only tenuous links to the subject. The PHSE curriculum in school. People who rely on a DBS (criminal record) check to show someone is suitable to work with children. Fights I don’t have the energy for. Some of them justified. Maybe. I can’t tell anymore.

It is not being able to let go of the levels of supervision we were required to have for years, because if it were needed then (it wasn’t) then when would you remove a safeguard now? The idea that because a social worker who has spent 30 minutes with us thinks we are safe with one care worker working alone because that’s all they will pay for, doesn’t mean we can ever settle for that again.

For my eldest child, there are nightmares that have us sitting up sipping tea at 3am and defending their in school exhaustion over aggressively. The words “you just don’t understand” could be true, or they could be the isolation of PTSD. His concentration and attention are shot to pieces. Is it the exhaustion, the PTSD, autism or inattentive ADHD? Does it matter?Flashbacks that leave him reeling and take him by surprise when his mind wanders in class.

For my middle child it is an inability to trust anyone other than me. A need to press against me, sleep with me. I can’t count the nights I lie awake holding him sleeping in my arms.

It has been decided therapy rather than medication is best, but at the moment no-one is paying for them to access anything and nothing is available through the local NHS commissioned services. At the moment that means they are on their own going through it, and we are on our own supporting them. Maybe that is ok? Maybe there is nothing practical we can do beyond loving them?

Mr Hunt is locked down. Getting on with everything and unable to relax unless he is on a boat away from us all. I want to help, but I don’t know how. He has moments when he grinds to a halt and other symptoms I’m going to let him keep private. But there is no doubt he is in trouble.

I have panic attacks when I have to deal with the professionals involved in organizing the children’s care and moments of dissociation so strong the world turns 2-d, like I’ve stepped into a cartoon. Sometimes I can’t leave my bedroom, let alone the house. I do take medication, and it improves things enough to let me keep going.

The children are improving. The nightmares are coming less frequently. The sleep was poor before the PTSD and now they generally stay awake later and sleep more in line with Mr Hunt and myself. Pity we still have an 8pm till 4am six year old.

We complained that we were unable to get support. The government ombudsman awarded us £250 for grief counselling. That paid for one hour and 40 mins of time with a general counselor. Thank heavens for private insurance through Mr Hunt’s employer, as the money stretched much further as co-pay and this has let us keep the psychologist who already knew us and is specifically trained and experienced in autism and PTSD.

Getting better is the dream. Getting there is an uncertain road.

A Staple of Life

Kiss the lips to see who else is being Kinky this time!

The thing I think I love best about the online community I have stumbled into is the acceptance that everyone’s experience is different. There isn’t one path or one goal.

It’s easy to get swept away by mainstream portrayals of sex and especially sex with more kink than a satin blindfold. It can be so many things: beautiful people madly in love; an exotic adventurous activity with no emotional ties; weaponised into a control mechanism for individuals or groups.

What sex rarely seems to be, in media of any type, is slightly old, exhausted, baggy people, muddling through while trying their best to support the people the value most. But that is who we are, me and Mr Hunt.

We hadn’t planned our lives to be this, and our path to a moderately adventurous sex life based on a broadly D/s dynamic seems even more pedestrian. Sometimes we lie in bed and plan a trip out to something openly sex positive that we rarely get to. Sometimes I twist my embarrassed tongue around the description of something kinky I fancy trying. More often I blurt something out when we’re driving somewhere and eye contact or detailed discussion is impossible.

I understand some people know their sexual orientation from very young and others don’t, so I guess similar things apply to how you like sex. I knew I was interested in the power balance and sensory aspects from before my first real sexual experiences. I remember feeling weirdly excited reading stories about dystopian oppression. I developed crushes in school on people who were “of a type”. Gender didn’t matter. It was about an attractive, magnetic, confident persona. Something about the way they looked at and spoke to people. My best friends from primary school on have always had what might be called dominant characteristics.

A particularly memorable early experience involved a good friend and a heavy, spiky hairbrush. I learnt in various ways to appreciate the endorphin release of good pain.

But how I got from there to this point in my relationship with Mr Hunt, I’m not really very sure. Tiny steps. With the occasional leap.

Mr Hunt sort of came with me for the ride. But as I said, I crushed on a type, even if he didn’t realise it when we first met and I’m a very lucky lady that he has embraced and researched and thrown himself into every experience I’ve expressed an interest in. It takes a special sort of man to take on a lady who knows kink is a staple of her life, with only slighty spanky porn as his reference point. And he is very special.

I wrote and self published a couple of ebook shorts while the kids were tiny and sleeping in the day, so to be encouraging, and because he knew I’d never go without a shove, he bought me tickets for Eroticon in 2017.

A year on and I went again, with much less shoving. And because they are astoundingly generous with their time, energy and knowledge, there were things to try from Molly and Michael’s toy bag. There was a medical stapler ordered on a very quick shopping app and delivered to a rather bemused Mr Hunt before I even get home.

This is new, because unlike most toys we’ve played with where you can vary intensity, there is either a staple sticking into your skin or there isn’t.

And in a nutshell for me, that is the appeal. It is leaping off a cliff. So much of this adventure can be done hesitantly. But sharp things that pierce the skin are in that split second a done deal.

If anticipation is part of your enjoyment then staples are good, because there is a bit of prep and (if you go for a design) that can be drawn out in touches to sensitise the skin while mapping and planning, as well as making sure the area is clean.

There is also a wide range of placement. Within a range of variance, I guess a large percentage of marks end up on the bottom or backs of legs where you craning in a mirror to see them. Staples can be placed where you can see the immediate aftermath or watch, or be made to watch them happen.

I love the aesthetic of piercing. Of everything from a staple to full on body mods. But when you’re one half of a slightly old, exhausted, baggy couple, with kids and middle class job expectations there is only so much you can change without issue. Staples are great for that. There and then gone so much more quickly than bruises, but with a massive ‘in the moment’ visual rush. I love the look of my skin with metal sticking through it.

I love it even more that I submitted to the person I trust and let them do it. That rush that comes from letting something happen. Of letting go of the decision. Each staple placement is different, and just because one went in easily with little discomfort, the next one might be more painful and I don’t have to worry about it at all. Just be. This hits a particular button for Mr Hunt also.

The trust is deeper than that squeeze of a trigger. Because of the structure and needs of our family life (social workers have inspected my house including the bedrooms again today), we have to be seen to be sticking to a societally approved life plan. In my mind, there is a sort of heirarchy of acts that have a greater societal taboo that we can easily get up to and that appeal. A smack or a slap on the backside is at the bottom of list. Staples come nearer the top. Breaking the skin. Letting or encouraging this to happen shows I willing to break boundaries as an offering of trust. Mr Hunt completing the act shows the same trust in me.

Although I sensory seek for things others would call pain, staples are not as gratifying in that way as some other things. I think the lovely padding just beneath my skin helps with that. In some ways I would like there to be more pressure. A sharper sting. But there are other things out there for that. Or places on my body. Kneecaps, elbows, feet…and I’ll have to stop there or I’ll distract the masochist who lurks deep within. And Mr Hunt will eventually read this…so….oops.

You can play with the sensation when staples are in place. Wobbling them while playing with threads (on a large embroidery needle with a blunt end) or ribbon (so much easier to lay out and staple over) will make you more aware of them…so if you’re after more of the good hurt, this can be fun.

Oh…and they have to come out. Personally, even with the proper remover, this is the bit that makes me flinch.

Mr Hunt wishes there was more mechanical noise with our staplers. A more mechanical feel, like the old desk staplers, even if that was purely manufactured in for the kinky user and not part of the receivers experience. I have, just once, shot myself in the hand with an upholstery style staple gun, the type used for display boards in schools. I think he want a user experience like that, but I, even enjoying a good sensory rush, don’t fancy repeating that experience. It was, I hasten to say, an accident not an experiment.

If you’ve never tried staples and think they are scary because a board stapler is what comes to mind, the experiences are off the scale different. Staples (and this is just the experience of this one particular woman, not general wisdom) are much less scary in practice than in the distant idea or even the immediate anticipation. Quick, potentially beautiful and easy to tidy away without much in the way of marks.

One last word of confidence. Even with my tendency for breaks in the skin to heal slowly (insect bites can take months to heal), staples have not caused an issue.

I like them so much I have written a trio of pieces this week on this theme, so there is also a Sinful Sunday picture and writing and a fictionalized account to peruse if you’d like.

Child Abuse- a parent’s perspective

Sex Bloggers for Mental Health badge, linking to the website.

Let me start again…

I know you can’t see all the previous versions of this post I’ve written, but starting again and again and again is all I have done for four years and this post was no different.

I’m not going to beat about the bush with trigger warnings because… take a look at the title and the link and think it through. What follows is a snapshot of what follows after child sex abuse from a parent’s perspective…But I will put a lovely picture here so you can escape without reading on if that it what you want to do.

Probably all you need to know is my children are loved and are loving.

I can’t say with honesty that I wanted to write this, because this isn’t a fictional account. There have been more than enough opportunities for openness to be cathartic for me not to be hoping for that.  But I do want you to read this, because before it happened to my family, I had no idea what happened when a child reported abuse.  I would have probably questioned how it could happen, that children could be assaulted in their own home and the parents not know. I think I assumed there were systems in place to support children and families in this situation.

Four years ago, in the spring of 2015, at least two of my three neuro-diverse children were sexually assaulted by a man with impeccable qualifications and references we had employed to allow them a more normal life. The third child was too young for us to ever know definitively.

My eldest child told me they’d done something good and positive with their carer. I knew it was sexual assault. I went straight to the police.

In the spring of 2016, the man was sentenced to 10 years for assaults to five children. I still don’t know exactly what charges pertained to my two children, but I do know the two rape charges initially framed by the CPS were dropped to one during the trial as part of the plea bargain. This lowered the sentence tariff. He will serve 6 years and 8 months before he is eligible for parole. Photographs of my children are in the darker parts of the internet and my children’s pictures are with CEOPs so they can be identified and removed if found. Somebody somewhere will have them on their hard drive.

I know my children were raped, whatever the precise legal definition is, because they have told me so.

My children were not hurt or frightened by the assaults but were told they were acts of friendship. Would make them bigger and stronger to defeat their school bullies. That they should show other children how to do this because this is knowledge that should be shared. I don’t know if their abuser thought this a kindness, perhaps it was something he himself had been told, but it was his biggest act of cruelty. We recognised immediately that the children might go on to repeat these acts, because as concrete learners these instructions from their abuser we now embedded. Interventions couldn’t begin fully until the trial was over in case it tainted their potential evidence.

As a family we took the decision they must be supervised to make sure they didn’t display their sexual knowledge to others. School couldn’t do this, so we started to home educate and had to buy in more support to make sure the children were properly supervised. We did this from our own pocket and it was crippling… but what do you do when it rains (and it was pouring) but spend your rainy day fund and hope that the rain stops.

During the heavy handed and non-autism friendly “recovery” support my eldest child developed PTSD from being told the things that happened to them were assaults. At our last scheduled session (because the children were “fixed”) my middle child, broadly non-verbal at the time of the assaults, suggested they had touched their younger sibling.

In the spring of 2017, we were put into Child Protection procedures because our children were a risk to each other. There was no further money, but our three children must have “constant supervision”. Because they had irregular sleep patterns because of ADHD and Autism, this meant one parent with their ear on them all night.

We had tried to keep everything light and normal at home. As light or as normal as it can be when your child has been assaulted by someone you told them to trust. Where you paid for the time they were being assaulted. Where you allowed into your own home and didn’t know they were assaulting your child 20 feet from where you were cooking the evening meal. When as part of the recovery we had to employ more carers, allow more professionals in and out of our lives, while remaining vigilant at all times. While friends and family pulled away because they could trust our children or our staff with their children. Or us. I mean, who employs a paedophile to work with their children?

Then social services came into our home and told us we couldn’t cuddle up on the sofa under a blanket to watch TV in case someone was touching someone else inappropriately. We had to cover our bodies from neck to knee during the night so the children were not exposed to naked bodies. The misplacing of an SD card with some risqué home photos of us as parents resulted in a multi agency enquiry. Threats were made at meetings that our children wouldn’t be found suitable local foster families but would be split up and put in group homes.

Suddenly we lived in the world where schools wouldn’t take the children because they posed a safeguarding risk, but elective home education (because we’d initially withdrawn the children from school) is not paid for. No-one funded the supervision at home so the financial stress went up and up.

The soap opera that was now our life went on to the scene where the police referred themselves to the IPCC because they had caught our employee with child porn on his computer three years before we employed him and failed to take action because he was a child himself. I’m not wanting them to have jailed him at this point, but where was their responsibility to him as a child being groomed into thinking looking at images like this were all right, by his new “friends” on the dark web. Where another parent who’d employed him before us failed to report him to the police, just sacked him and hoped it would go away. Where, went they did go to the police, the police did nothing. That the police didn’t act didn’t surprise me anymore. When he was on bail, we reported to the police we’d seen the abuser on social media out with children. They did nothing then either, and he continued to abuse two family members for the 7 months between us going to the police and charges being brought, because the police hadn’t checked if children frequented his family home.

At the enquiry, an officer was blamed for everything and everyone else had retired. We were advised to get a lawyer. We did. We now have a barrister who at our first meeting victim shamed the women in a previous case he’d worked on. We’d be ok, he said, because there was no question our children were innocent, whereas she’d had a drink, worn a short skirt and got in a taxi. We can’t sack him, because he represents the three families involved and he was the barrister in the case where the legal precedent was set in this field of law. He is our best chance of recouping some of the costs we’ve incurred, and getting damages and further support for the children. And I would love to ignore the costs, but we’ve spent well over £60,000 in carer support in four years and paid for private education on top of that.

Eventually after 11 months of Child Protection procedures, the children were identified by a psychologist to be less of risk to each other than had been assumed, but to still need psychological help and support and then we had to fight for this to be funded, because it is not NHS in our area of the country. Less of a risk, not no risk. Every decision we make at home with regards to supervision is still risk aware.

The children have gone back to school in the last few months. Schools who put their fingers in their ears and sing “La, la, la” when we want to talk PTSD triggers for both children. Because no-one likes to acknowledge these children know about sex and giving them a PHSE lesson on sexting is not something they need.

With the help of the psychologist we have started rebuilding our children’s understanding of sex, which means being a very sex positive household. Sex was never the problem here, breach of trust was. Abuse of power was. I want my children to know that sex is not shameful. Not a source of physical or emotional pain. Seeing naked bodies doesn’t make you a pervert.

God, that is fucking hard some days.

We have to focus on that. The intimacy of sexual contact is an important part of the glue that holds my husband and I together. It is an important part of who we are… this blog is a bit of a clue to that. But you can’t ignore the dual edge of sex in our home.

Four years ago, a man came into our home and raped our children when he was supposed to be helping them change their jumpers and attend drama club.

We caught him. Stopped him. My eldest child was particularly brave and gave super evidence to the police despite having communication issues. Other children are safe because my child spoke up. We remind them of that often. Several professionals have told us that the abuser was moving so quickly increasing the severity of his crimes that he would have continued to escalate.  He drove an anonymous van with a panelled rear. It is not a stretch to think where his behaviours may have gone.

I don’t know what our children’s prognosis is.

My eldest has learnt not to tell the truth to adults anymore. That to tell them what happened opened pandora’s box. They have told our psychologist that if it happened again, they wouldn’t tell, because the consequences were too difficult.

My middle child has learnt that when people look at them, those people find their body and face sexually appealing. They cannot take a compliment because it may have repercussions.

My youngest child has grown up in a house where every penny is spent on providing supervision, where there are more strangers in our lives than family members. Where you can’t cuddle your siblings.

I can tell you that they are doing as well as could be possibly hoped for after all this. They have positive and trusting relationships with us and with their carers. That it’s become clear they have non-typical ideas of gender and sexuality and that they are more prepared and have more tools to deal with these things as they are going through puberty now and in the next few years than most LBGTQ+ children. That they are emotionally literate. And yes, we still cuddle.

I can tell you that the process, some of it still ongoing, that follows reporting your children have been sexually assaulted is damaging to the children and the family who are victims and that as soon as a child acts on sexual knowledge obtained in the course of assault they become a “risk” not a “victim” and we became “negligent” and “neglectful” for not being able to supervise three disabled children around the clock and work to bring in enough money to keep the household running, without having other adult help. That social workers and schools are terrified of a sex positive approach, even when it is psychologist led.

I have learnt that some people will always look at me as the person who let their children be raped.

Meet and greet me

In less than one week’s time I will be on the threshold of Eroticon 2018. My hairdresser is booked, I’ve finally found some boots that fit and a friend of mine who finds it very funny that she’s worked out the buttons to my submissive side told me I should wear more red… spot me and see if I’ve resisted the programming. 

Last year was my first time out in public as being me. All of me, not just the “nice and acceptable for the school run” parts. I thought I would dissolve like a vampire in the daylight, or that, worse still, I might be called out for not being a blogger or writer as I only had a handful of scribblings under my belt. Instead, I ended up chatting to Rose and Fred among others, and feeling like a might just be in the right place. I still ended up talking about my kids over lunch with other people who equally alternated their conversation between their kids and the sex toy raffle prizes… as though this was the most natural thing in the world. It just felt great to be in like-minded company. 
Name (and Twitter if you have one)
Alethea Hunt…. Allie in person,  @aletheaalone on twitter.
What are you most looking forward to about Eroticon 2018?
Being with the tribe. It will be a bit daunting walking in on the Friday night, because I’m naturally anxious, but after last year I know you are a safe space and plausibly the most accepting group of people I’ve met. There is not a lot of time for the me that plays out at Eroticon in the rest of my life, this last six months virtually none at all, so I am looking forward to a reawakening. Not to mention meeting up with people I met last year…and having the nerve to start conversations with new people.
The talks look great. Free playtime at the end of Saturday a little terrifying. Hopefully by then I will have relaxed a little… if not, someone grab me and make me join in. 
We are creating a play list of songs for the Friday Night Meet and Greet. Nominate one song that you would like us to add to the play list and tell us why you picked that song
Some really good songs are already there… Bad things that @sexwithrose has picked is a favourite, Nick Cave’s voice strokes my skin into goose bumps and @_Masterseyehas picked The Ship Song, which has me happily burning bridges…both lovely growling voices… Shit. This is a hard one. Music was how I realised perhaps the whole boys and girls story I’d grown up with was missing some of the potential. From Nights in White Satin (Moody Blues) (Ina Morata got that one) via Lay Lady Lay (Dylan) through to seeing Brian Molko (Placebo) in a dress and eyeliner and thinking “wow”… mainly because “fuck me” wasn’t in my vocabulary yet. Still thinking…
…the entire soundtrack of my 1980s would have pounded through the speakers at Heaven… not that I had any idea of the themes behind the songs…just the energy and excitement.
…Ballad of Barry and Freda by Victoria Wood? First time I remember it being acknowledged that women had an interest in sex beyond finding a man and having children with him. And that sex could be fun. 
What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
Don’t think I ever really dreamed like that. Maybe my ambition was never to go to work? I think I realised I liked making people happy, so generally I went along with what people suggested for me. However, my mum quotes my first infant school teacher as saying word to the effect of “If you want something doing, ask someone else. If you want a book writing about it, ask Allie,” I guess writing about stuff might always have been on the cards. I think I wanted to make the world a better place but was never sure how to do it.
Weirdest place you’ve ever gotten up to mischief (define ‘mischief’ however you like…)
My first kiss was topless in the woods at a local music festival…various escapades in muddy fields followed as I was a scout and so a muddy field was the usual parent free venue. A camper van… loved that as then we could have a cup of tea afterwards…loads of occasions in the open air, but nothing really weird in terms of places… my sister’s bedroom on a visit to her at Uni… but that was only weird the next morning when mum brought up cups of tea and there were three of us in the bed. It was ok though… she went back down and got one for Ed…
When I was young I didn’t consider myself adventurous… but when I look back, I didn’t do too badly. Then the kids came along and the biggest game for myself and the lovely Mr is trying to have sex in silence. Or without falling asleep.
Tell us two truths and a lie about yourself
Bloody Hell, this is hard…
I have three cats, Dow, Fritz and Mouse.
I am autistic and lying freaks me out.
I’ve eaten chips and cheese with Jay Kay from Jamiroquai
Complete the sentence: I want…
…my kids to grow up in a society where we don’t define people by things we shouldn’t be and can’t be but by an acceptance that, whilst respecting others’ bodies and freedoms, we should be free to shape our own story without guilt or shame about our roots, our sexualities, our gender(s) or our desires.