Kiss the lips to meet other kinky folks stretching their legs this week

The first thing I remember with any clarity about the lovely Mr Hunt is his legs stalking off into the distance as his mate chatted me up and generally tested the water, working out if I was up for fucking him.

He has lovely legs… long and strong. I had no idea about anything of substance at that point, but the friend, who was shorter overall and definitely shorter of leg was much less interesting than the jeans clad pair striding down the path.

The mate would do, but I knew who I would making a move on when we got to their house.

I am tall, with ridiculously long legs. The curvier I have become, the less striking they have been as they have been soaked into the general proportions, but buying trousers and tights has always been a nightmare. I like long legs on a partner, male or female, probably as a mirroring of my height.

There was a question in Twitter this week. “What do you think are your most attractive features?”. I believe attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder, but I think a younger me would have rated my legs as attractive probably partly because I find legs attractive in other people. I like people with long legs because I want to bump hips with them as we walk side by side. I want a stride that matches mine.

Legs are also a battleground. Last week I was teaching “changes that happen during puberty” with two primary aged female children. Immediately they identified that on female bodies, hair would start to grow and you “had to” remove it. You could pull it out, shave it or use smelly cream but it had to go. *

When I was a little older than them, I was dismayed when my mum refused to help me take the fluff off my lower legs. It was the wrong parenting decision then, because it left me socially ostracised, but I wish I could comfort the teenage me with how little it actually matters as an adult.

In 2005, I got a cut on my lower leg that became infected and I spent nearly six months with my leg raised and antibiotics pouring through my system. With few exceptions my legs have been left hairy ever since. The risk of a cut and infection and the huge amount of scarring on my shin just meant a little blonde fur that doesn’t bother Mr Hunt is not a priority for me.

When I was younger, my legs were a big part of my self image. Their length, strength and hairiness were all markers in my self image. As an adult, bodies, part or whole, are much less important to me than the people they house. Touching someone is more important than whether the the skin is hairy or smooth. I have learnt to apply those principles to myself, so here are my beautiful, hairy, scarred legs.

*I did correct this misconception. Leaving your legs hairy is a valid choice, as is removing the hair, but reassessing from time to time what you do and why you do it is important.

Who do I belong to?

Many routes to our destinations. See which way everyone else is going by clicking the badge.

My knee jerk reaction is to want to say I belong to Mr Hunt. I want to belong to someone and have someone belong to me. I want it to be all encompassing and all consuming. As his, I want to do nothing but follow him. I want to be the sole focus of his attention.

Is he my owner? Am I his pet? His toy? Sometimes. Certainly the parts of me I give to him, in the ways and the times I give them, make me his in that moment. But we are not trapped in a bubble where this is every facet of me or every facet of him.

There is more to our lives than me and him. Can I be his if I can’t be his entirely?

In the last few years a friendship changed to something else. The feelings changed from someone I loved, to being in love. Where I came from it was very common for teenagers to be engaged. It wasn’t engaged to be married as much as engaged like a toilet cubicle… a way of marking you were in use. It isn’t like that for me now. I am not a finite space to be occupied by Mr Hunt alone. Loving him didn’t stop my heart reaching out in a different way to a different person and loving them doesn’t change anything about how I love him. Love meant we talk about it and drew boundaries all of us could live with.

I wish life was simple enough for the love between Mr Hunt and myself to have been it. Possessive and full and complete. I would love to belong to Mr Hunt, but there isn’t a whole me to give him.

Slices of me belong to other people, other places. Our children take huge tranches of our time and love and energy. Sometimes I am too spent to give Mr Hunt the me I would like to. The me I would give him.

Sometimes he is the one whose energy is sapped. By the kids, by his position at work, his responsibilities towards others in his life.

More than that, we don’t expect posessision from each other. We don’t rank the things in our life that take love and time and energy and demand that at every moment we place each other at the top of the pile.

In that moment on my knees, with his fingers tightly knotted in my hair and his cock in my throat, I am his.

He doesn’t have to ask and doesn’t demand I say.

The Empress’ New Clothes

Kiss the lips to see who else had fun this weekend

I realised, to my shame, about 10 days ago that every piece of underwear I own bar one very functional black bra had appeared at some point on here or twitter…on me or on the lovely Mr Hunt, who can be persuaded to dress to the occasion if I want photos.

In late February (remember those days when we made plans) I had come to a similar realisation and bought for my weekend away a new bra and a basque. But I have been changing shape and they’re now too big… although the basque did get a run out in last weeks photos and I think if I change the lacing I can perhaps get it smaller.

There is still more than plenty of me to go round, but I have fixed my blood sugar (which was the reason for changing my diet) and worked my way back 9 years and two babies, give or take nothing quite going back to where it used to be.

Anyhow, I was feeling a bit ‘meh’ about my body. The implication that slimmer is aesthetically more pleasing is a bit lost on me. I hadn’t realised how much I didn’t associate with my own body until loosing weight this year, which I can tell by my clothes, but can’t see in the mirror. I had to buy new work uniform, and thought I would treat myself to new underwear.

Several twitterers and bloggers have beautiful undies they review, but I am still a bit generous for most mainstream websites. The fantastic Little Switch Bitch reminded me that Lovehoney caters for curvy, and off I went.

Tonight, Mr Hunt and I had a date, and I dressed accordingly as he bribed the children to bed with a new audible.

It wasn’t supposed to involve a camera, but because he takes note of the details, Mr Hunt knew the photo I’d intended for Sinful Sunday was also intended for a Kink of the Week I hadn’t finished writing, so he suggested taking some while we enjoyed gin and tonic and the peace and quiet of the garden bed.

This is the photo he chose to share.

I think he quite likes the new clothes.

Technically, I am wearing a dress…

Your words can change the world.

Girl on the Net Eroticon Freebie, 2017

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~ Sylvia Plath

In my opinion the flip side of self-doubt is knowledge. My journey to get to know myself has drastically reduced my self-doubt from utterly crippling anxiety to developing my own business based on my personal strengths. Writing here is part of that development. Like much of what I write there is a content warning here for anxiety, self-harm, sexual abuse and loss of a child, although they are not covered in any depth.

M y blog is a hobby, a place of self-expression and quite frankly, an indulgence I can’t always afford in terms of time and energy. Understanding when I was at the very beginning that this was how it was going to be for me, has been very important in helping me navigate doubt in the content I put here.

My first Eroticon lucky bag contained a GOTN mug with the caption “Your words can change the world.” That mug has influenced my confidence and outlook, not only in my blog, but in life more generally. It is a really nice succinct reminder to  speak kindly and powerfully where you have the privilege to do so, and doing it only in a considered way. The lovely Mr Hunt brings me tea in that mug if he senses I am having a bleak moment.

That mug and a few other encounters at Eroticon, and feedback through my blog, has driven something that is developing into a real-life career. In a lot of ways, it was the reframing of the cheerful quotes on teaching presents I used to receive “Teachers make little ones count!” being a particularly trite example that is still lovingly magnetised to my oven.

For a while, my life has been the type that would make an EastEnders screenwriter scratch their head and say, “We can’t do all that to one family.” The only way I have been able to make sense of it has been to say, if my knowledge or example can provide information or comfort to anyone else in the same boat, then it is worth sharing. I was first put onto anti-anxiety and depression medication at University, but by then I had been self harming for years. My twenties carried on in the same vein, settled only by meeting my partner. We have buried a child and our remaining three have inherited my autism. They have been the victim of sexual assault by a carer we invited into our home. We have been through social services procedures that would make your hair curl. And somewhere in the middle of this, supported by both a diagnosis of autism and a brilliant and kind psychologist I have begun to understand myself and treat me as I would like to think I would treat others.

A lot of my experience is based about being able to translate my neuro-diverse, autistic experience into language. It is about having to develop self knowledge, with the guidance of a psychologist to  help me make sense of the feelings I developed around my diagnosis, the guilt of passing the condition to my children, the guilt of being in the parent role while my children were exposed to an abusive adult and how autism affects my personal relationships, including sexual relationships. If I can’t be a good example, I am happy to make use of the fact sometimes I am a dire warning of what can happen

My ethos of teaching that drew me to the career in the first place is wrapped up in that one GOTN quote. I wanted to change the world. I still do. But I know you change the world one person at a time. You change it for them when they are ready and although you can challenge them and lead them, you can’t make them receptive.

For many years around my diagnosis and early parenting experiences I was completely wracked by self doubt. I have whole mind maps that showed I couldn’t navigate the complexities of messages I couldn’t filter due to my autism about what made a good parent. Others saw my self doubt not as a useful introspective critique but as weakness and that deskilled me even further.

Self doubt is normal. It is good to be reflective and critical of your own behaviours as a tool for growth. When self doubt affects your overall mood is when it is time to take action. To reach for help. I was so lucky that after years of not getting what I needed, appropriate support changed my whole life perspective and gave me tools to become a more effective person.

Confidence breeds confidence. If you are lucky it becomes a self-perpetuating pyramid scheme. I had no confidence in my parenting or at that time my teaching, but I could write. I published a few short stories and gained confidence from the numbers of people reading them.

I used the confidence that brought to become more secure in my academic  skills and turned this towards fighting for my children’s access to education. I’ve built on that to turn in into a job, fighting for others rights to access education. It’s made me more confident in talking about my autism as a difference not a weakness. I’ve been able to bring skills home from other people’s blogs and reading I would never have found alone to provide skills for my children, especially when it comes to talking about gender. Their innocent and confident exploration of being non-binary young people has encouraged me to be critical of my own gender labels and see them in a new light.

Pyramid schemes are notorious for their inevitable failures. But confidence can be sured up by fact. I have bolstered my trust in myself by winning for other people, by getting discriminatory policies changed. By sharing my story on the blog that few people read. And yes, by posting a few pictures that would make my mother worry for me, but have increased my confidence in my body.

I have less self doubt when I press publish on most blog pieces than I do when I press send on a professional email, and on that less doubt than when I respond to my families’ social worker. Even though I want to change the world for that one person with what I write, it carries less weight than my professional or personal life.

I publish in the knowledge I might be boring, but also that I have tried to consider my words carefully and with respect for the rest of humanity. I publish knowing I will inevitably fuck up from time to time and more importantly, when I do that will hurt someone and I will need to apologise. I aim to do this a little as possible.

I set my own content boundaries away from the keyboard and apply them before the final publish button in the same way I set my kink boundaries outside a playtime and expect them to stay in place. I don’t allow myself to get carried away in a moment and regret it later. By controlling the need to regret I trust myself more. By trusting myself I have less self doubt.

Sylvia Plath and many other creative geniuses like Van Gogh, created a body of work while wracked with self doubt and fighting many other demons aside, until it all became too much for them to bear. Writing my blog is not my life’s work. Whilst its important to hope that one day something I might write or a picture I might take might influence someone in a positive way, I know it is not a work of genius. Just being here and creating is enough.

I still have completely paralysing moments of self doubt as a blogger and as a person. I no longer rely on everyday medication, but I have medication for when “stage-fright” panic sets in around a particular event. I have a PA I can turn to when doubt paralyses me a work or with personal paperwork requirements. It is not weakness to turn to support in whatever format you have it. Knowing my limits and mitigating them without recrimination has made me a stronger person.

If being here cost more in emotional energy than it brought me, I would leave, because this is my place of exploration and creativity, it is my joy and my growth. And if anything can overturn self doubt, it should be joy in being yourself.

Wet Look

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

Things have been pretty full on here during lockdown. We are used to having school and extra carers to help carry the load of three autistic children, and then, just before the UK went into total lockdown, our au pair/additional hands decided to go home and ride it out in Spain rather than deal with empty supermarkets and opaque rules. I think if we could have gone to, we might, as, being rule driven, I prefered the clarity there to the mixture of duty and personal responsibility and waffle and the lack of science here.

I digress… but the important thing is that the resources to avoid three young people and their detritus to take photos or get my head into gear for a blog post are thin on the ground for me and for the lovely Mr Hunt. Our standing Thursday morning date in an empty house is one of the things I miss most.

The garden is a massive bonus. A relatively small space that, if we hadn’t strategically planted trees in the last ten years, would be overlooked by more than 16 windows in 4 other homes, manages to be a private oasis. We are out there most nights, in the spa or in a gazebo on the deck that contains an outdoor bed.

9.40pm on a Saturday evening and finally the children are in their bedrooms listening to audio books through noise cancelling headphones and finally we are alone.

And down comes the rain…

…so we make the most of it.

Photos are fun. I get pushy and demanding and Mr Hunt is long suffering until we are done and I’m happy and then (lucky me) I get to pay the piper for my behaviour. It’s the nearest I get to being bratty.

I must have been extra bossy getting these… it was a very late night, last night.

How well do you communicate under stress?

This week’s prompt is on the subject of safewords.

“I accept it, if the sub wants a safeword. But a good sub knows that she/he shall not use it.”

Do you use a safeword?
Does using it make the sub a bad sub?
Would you consider playing with someone who has the same opinion as that Dom?

 Although the lovely Mr Hunt and I make the only D/s relationship either of us has either had, the seeds of who we are were obviously sown before we met.

As a teen, I had begun reading about and exploring kinky ideas and had tiptoed into the shallow edges of kink with friends and there were scenarios where safewords were exchanged and times when, with hindsight, they would have been a useful tool.

As a rule, Mr Hunt and I don’t use a safeword because it doesn’t work for us. I am the nightmare sub who won’t safeword. I will not say when boundaries are being pushed because I like the feeling of being out of control too much, even if I hate him for it sometimes. We have to rely on other methods, but they are robust and discussed and, in some cases, bred of the familiarity of having been with the same partner for 18 years.

With a new partner, this obviously couldn’t continue. Whilst I might have a problem enforcing boundaries within a relationship with someone with whom I have built a life, I am an adult with responsibilities in this world that would make me much more risk averse and I carry the weight of more experience of what a relationship can and for me should be.

Previously, in the youth I thought was tame, I walked the edge of risk a few times too many to escape totally unscathed. Exhibitionism/ Voyeurism was almost a socially accepted norm. Good girls did not say no, but were demure about saying yes. This was a sexual youth I wouldn’t wish on my children. I had to choose between the abstinence I’d been taught at home and school and the natural desire to explore and be like my peers and friends. I had no tools with which to discern my own boundaries.

If, at that age and stage of development, I met anyone who claimed to be a Dom and said “I accept it, if the sub wants a safeword. But a good sub knows that she/he shall not use it,” would I have questioned it? No. I would just have gone along with it and used it as confirmation of my inner desires to be broken and to be praised for wanting it.

Me, not being able to call a halt with the partner I would trust with my life in all situations, not just those in the bedroom, is not a problem for my safety or that of a community generally. But for someone vulnerable and at the beginning of their understanding as I was when I was younger, a message like that could be problematic.

As a whole, the statement above worries me because it contains no communication. Why might the sub want a safeword? What is the Dom’s idea of a “good sub”? Does it align with the feelings of this submissive? If a sub has never used a safeword with you, having negotiated one, why not? Are you pushing them to stay quiet or are you not offering a challenge to their boundaries at all?

Despite not using one myself , I recognise a safeword or safewords are a vital and important part of the communication toolbox intrinsic in D/s. I’m going to mix my metaphors here, but I don’t get into my car and drive without a seatbelt, even though when I start the journey I have no intention to actually use it. If I were planning on offroading, I would know it would keep me in the safety of my seat without necessarily ending the trip. Safeword(s) are your seatbelts or (switching metaphors again) a gadget on your multitool set. Not every job requires every tool, but its handy to know how to use all of them for that one time it is exactly the correct tool.

Unpacking the quote, there are lots of issues beyond the whole larger implication.

Firstly, safewords are not just for a sub. If you are pushing boundaries or setting new ones, it is important for both sides of a power exchange to be able to communicate without ambiguity. A safeword is just that.

I might not be familiar with standing in Dom shoes, but being a parent and a Dom have many similarities when it comes to setting boundaries. How many times does a parent decry they’ve been backed into giving a threatened punishment which is a step they didn’t want to take and threatened in the heat of the moment and felt they had to carry through? I can imagine that might be the same for a Dom.

Mr Hunt is quite lucky in that I am not a person who expects to say “No” as a challenge to their authority. One of the reasons I don’t need a different word is that if I say no, it is safe to assume its what I mean. But I assume this is not a universal case. It seems to me the communication might be unclear on either side.  A Dom might say “Don’t push me,” with all the potential meanings that might have from “I’ve had a hard day and can’t deal with that behaviour right now,” to “Go on. Push me. I can’t wait to punish you.” There is no handbook of clear verbal communication we all learn from that can apply to this situation.

Secondly, whatever you agree are the rules or structural framework for your relationship, whether that be for an hour or a lifetime, it is not for either party place a “but” where someone draws a limit you’ve agree to. The person and the limit are inseparable at that point. Away from a scene, or in a time of negotiated discussion in a more full time relationship, you can discuss where those boundaries are and choose if you want to move them, but once decisions have been made like “I want a safeword”, the implication is I want to be able to use it and it be respected. Suggesting you accept it, within the context of the above quote, gives more weight to the word “but” that the word “accept”. Implicit are many possible meanings from the Dom, some or all of which could be in play.  

I don’t want you to use it.

You don’t need it.

It’s not important to me.

If you need it you’ve done something wrong.

If you need it you’ve displeased me.

Don’t use it.

All of this undermines the purpose of negotiation and communication and the respect between the the Dom and the sub.

Finally, sticking with the unpacking of that quote, the implication of a “good sub” having one design and one way to be is the underlying reason for this meme. There is no one true way to be good or be submissive. If, through discussion, a partnership decide behaviours that reflect being good or being naughty in a playful way, or not behaving in a way that makes their partner happy, then that is internal to their relationship, and would need renegotiating not transferring in the case of a new relationship.

Overall, Mr Hunt reads me pretty well. He monitors my mental health and autism and quite often his first question for me when we get a moment together is “Where do you feel you are today?” so he can check his references. I have learnt not to mask with him in daily life, and to be as open and honest as I can be with him in all aspects of our relationship. He can read my body language better than I can read it myself.

It doesn’t mean we don’t fuck up, together or separately sometimes. It doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally call a halt or that he doesn’t slow down on me too soon or go to hard for how I feel at a given moment. It means that we talk about it, aware that I might not have stopped him at the time, even if I perhaps should have.

On one memorable occasion when we both misread the room I ended up pregnant because I didn’t tell him to stop even though I was furious with him for failing to ask if this was a moment in my cycle we needed a condom. I assumed he’d stop. He assumed I’d stop him if there were an issue. Now we have child 2 out of 3 as a reminder to communicate. This wasn’t the issue it could have been for some relationships, but we learnt a crucial lesson of assumption being a barrier to explicit communication.

Having a safeword removes assumptions and interpretation at moments when we might not be equipped to deal with the nuances of social and verbal communication. If that is something you want and/or need, your safeword(s) should be respected and supported without condition.

Nobody does it better…

Kiss the lips to see the imaginative ideas for movie week

I love and hate prompt weeks in equal measure. I tend to be too literal and constrained by the prompt and then look at everyone else’s beautiful, sensual and/or funny images and feel disappointed with myself.

This week was tricky, but this was something I’d wanted to do for a couple of months. Mr Hunt in a suit is hot, and I miss the days early in our marriage where he wore a suit to the office everyday. Any excuse to get my headless man in a suit onto the page.

Admittedly he didn’t have a martini in hand at work, but I bought him the glasses as a Bond tribute the first Christmas we were together.

I don’t have a favourite Bond. But Mr Hunt was game for a few poses from promo pictures from Roger Moore through to Daniel Craig.

This much hairiness is much more reminiscent of Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan though…

All he’s missing is the gun…

…and the girl.

But he got me later.

An outward sign of an inward grace

Lillith’s words in the introduction to her new meme have given me confidence to share here.

BDSM in all its facets and ideas is a place for many people with very different concepts.

We all know those kink representative images – pictures with various BSDM concepts. And while a concept might be true for one, it might not work for another. Because there is No True way.”

I don’t know if how Mr Hunt and I structure and share our relationship is the same as anyone else, but it is our way. We stumbled and fell into who we are by happy accident and created our own grace.

Our grace is the strength and energy we draw from each other and from the structure of our relationship. The honour and credit we bring to each other through our behaviours.

Looking back on my life before the lovely Mr Hunt, I can trace and track all the loose threads that are now the life we’ve woven together. I can see where in his life his personality and desire to be in control first started to develop and the life choices he made that began to mould him into someone willing and able to be in control. All the messy relationships I developed with people where I relied on friendship to give me the structure I needed to deal with the world were me searching for someone who could give me what he does.

After a hook-up, the lovely Mr Hunt had to travel with work for an extended period and we spent time conversing by email. This was in the dark ages. I would write a letter on my computer and save it to floppy disk. The next day I would take it to work and add the letter as an attachment to an email to him and download any rely from him to the same disk. That evening I would devour every detail and write back in return.

In this communication we established lots of things. I won’t pretend it wasn’t cheesy. To begin with, we tiptoed around descriptions of our sexual experience and preferences in euphemistic terms, partly in case our messages were intercepted, and partly because neither of us were adept flirters. I still have the letters somewhere, but I distinctly remember very early on that he “enjoyed taking the wheel” when it came to sex. By the time he was due to return, we had advanced to distinctly kinky and detailed fantasies which established a sexual dynamic between us. More importantly, we set out lots of our social and emotional goals in those letters and that negotiation meant when we could be together, we had a strong foundation.

I was in my mid twenties and had already discovered and labelled my submissive desires, but I was ashamed of the breadth of my desire to relinquish control. It seemed to me you were allowed to be sexually submissive as a choice, but you shouldn’t be submissive as a life characteristic. There was lots of should and ought language in my thoughts. I should want to and be able to make decisions for myself. I ought to have a plan for the next stage of my life. With a degree under my belt, I should handle my finances and correspondence without approval from another person. Being a strong, independent woman was the life goal I should want and didn’t.

Everything about our relationship has grown organically from those early letters. We fit together, balanced but different in what we bring to the table. We started to use language to define our relationship as D/s as a choice and not because I was too flaky to adult, but because I was happy and trusting in him to help me with things I didn’t enjoy. He appreciates the domestic things I can do for him and our children which I find easy to do for them but would unmotivated to do for myself. He supports my career, which sees me fighting for the rights of my clients and supporting their development, again something easy to do for others, but not myself.

Growing like this, a collar as a symbol of significance has never really been important to us. We don’t transition from being us as a couple to us ready to engage in play or a scene. We just are.

Who we are in the privacy of our home doesn’t need an outward sign to be real and important. We don’t have many friends with whom we could share openly our dynamic: we did however express ourselves ceremonially, hidden in plain sight. I promised to love, honour and obey, and for Mr Hunt to cherish, it was no casual choice of words. To us, it was one moment where we could freely express our dynamic and relationship openly and honestly in front of our friends. We exchanged tokens, our rings, and for all intents and purposes, my wedding ring is my collar.

Ten years into our married life, domestically everything was a mess, with three young autistic children and several other strands of difficulty happening. But for us the dynamic, that I look to him to lead and he expects me to trust was more important than ever. And a collar even less so. I couldn’t wear anything round my neck without a child sucking it or pulling on it.

I read voraciously, and tried to be careful to choose fiction that had awards that suggested realism in the relationships portrayed. I found and read blogs as did he. It seems to me, for many people in a D/s relationship, a collar is the outward sign of the grace of their relationship, but aspects like collars and rituals didn’t apply to who we were. Mr Hunt says “That type of ceremonial or play symbol, it’s not that it has no meaning and I can see for others it can be imbued with deep significance, but perhaps our approach is bourne of pragmatism. We don’t break out of our vanilla lives to have sex or other interactions with a dynamic that is different to our daily pattern. A supportive, constructive type of D/s is our daily pattern.”

He is my protector. I am aware how my tendency to assume a submissive role in any relationship including friendship and professional relationships, can leave me in a position of tremendous vulnerability. It makes me extremely high maintenance, because I need protecting, mainly from myself and my desire to give of myself in many forms to make others happy. If a collar were a way of signifying to the rest of the world that to get to me, you would have to come via his gatekeeping, we would both jump at the opportunity.

He is the scaffolding through which I can grow my life. I can be safe inside it’s shape, but I can grow and reach out supported safely.

Sex is the glue that holds us together. Sleepy sex at bedtime with his hand on my throat. The random fuck in the middle of the day, because he felt like it. The detailed pre-planned exploration that included booking a babysitter so he could force me to be loud. Like the rest of life, he is the safe structure from which I can push through boundaries. Sensory boundaries. Mental boundaries.

Sex is just a metaphor for the whole of our relationship.

When he wants to show his possession, he leaves his mark, either as bruises, or given then can be difficult to explain away to little eyes, with temporary tattoos across my skin. I haven’t been away from him without his name signed on my body for a long time. I have a gold necklace which we thought of as a kind of touchstone collar I could wear if I was away from him, but it never quite had the feel of permanence of my wedding ring.

We both love playing with rope, and before the aborted Eroticon this spring, I asked if he would make me a collar that I could wear, knowing it would be recognised as an outward sign of who I am. It is beautiful, and some of the rope shots on my blog from earlier this year show me wearing it. I love how it feels because similar to being able to drape oneself in a pride flag for the first time and feeling the magic of acknowledging one belongs in that community, it gives me a sense of joy to take pride in being submissive.

While an outward sign of our relationship, beyond our rings, is not necessary, an outward sign to those who would recognise it that I am proud of being submissive would be lovely. A sign of how far I’ve come within the security of this relationship.

But the actual collar has no spiritual or magical feel for me, which is probably just as well since I’ve caught two of my children trying it on, having found it hidden in my underwear drawer or under my pillow. Nothing physical is sacred in this house as autistic children have little idea of boundaries.

And on that note, I am currently collarless. Under C-19 advice from my workplace, my hands are bare of my rings, including my wedding ring. He took his off in solidarity that same day in March. They are tucked away on a dusty shelf, because even given as part of a sacrament, they are just symbolic.

Whether our chosen symbols are worn or not, I am still his.

And he is mine.

No True Way