Friday, June 3, 2011

Dichotomy, also known as Be Careful What You Wish For

I’m stuck. I’m stuck between giddy happiness and immense sorrow.

I’ve been given a gift, a gift I never thought to receive (see the 05/18/2011 post for discussion on this). I found someone who is a great love of my life; one whom I was sure didn’t exist and could never be. You see, after my marriage died, I made a wish for someone to come into my life who would get the oddness that makes me, a me. See, I’m kind of weird and quirky and the someone I want needs to be as weird as quirky.
I’m smart – really and scarily smart. I have this brain that just won’t stop. My brain runs at 100+ mph when most of the rest of the world runs at 55mph. So I need someone who is smart and can either keep up or pass me.

I’m kinky (as if you hadn’t already figured that one out). I’m a masochist and a submissive. I need someone who understands that I need a level of pain in my regular life. There’s probably a whole level of psychology I haven’t fully delved into regarding the brains and needs of sadists and masochists (there will be a later post about this subject), but suffice it to say that I need someone who can deliver pain in a proscribed and ritualized manner. It calms and centers me.

Oh, and I’m a feminist, independent, and self-sufficient. And, that being said, I also want someone who will take charge. I mention in many places that I am “she who must be obeyed” in my professional life. I like and crave the chance to come into a space where not only am I not in charge, I’m subject to someone else’s will. For me and my partner, this is something that is delimited to the area of sex and the bedroom. Otherwise I want an egalitarian relationship. I tried and just can’t quite get to the place of full consensual non-consent. There are parts of my life over which want to retain control and I want to share in decision making because a relationship is between two people and my paradigm requires share responsibility and control.

I am polyamorous and have other relationships that are important to me. I need someone who will understand the commitments I’ve made, will support them, and allow me to retain my freedom.

I am someone who is empathic, has some kind of healing talent, and is a member of a religion of clergy. Sometimes I need to be able to minister as needed. Sometimes that manifests as me performing a counselor function at work or when I’m out with friends, or even just talking to people socially. It’s a great talent and something I’m compelled to exercise, but these things come at a price of personal energy. I need someone who can support me in doing what I feel I’m called to do. Sometimes that’s listening to me, sometimes it’s just being supportive and helping me recover.

Last but not least I have some chronic health conditions, both physical and mental. I absolutely admit that I’m pretty bad at making sure my own needs get addressed, like food, sleep, or just down time. Sometimes it seems I’m either going full tilt or collapsed in an exhausted puddle on my sofa or bed recovering because I pushed too hard, tried to do too many things, or just didn’t pay attention to my own needs and have fallen into a kind of emotional overload and just can’t face any more people. Having someone there to remind me to not do too much, take it easy, or plan some down time to I’m not in overload is kind of essential.

Wait, there was one more thing. I date others and love them. However, I discovered that, as my heart healed from the breakup, I wanted someone who could make a full time commitment to me. I’d commit full time to them, but I wanted something that would fall into a “primary” type of relationship yet still allow me to maintain my secondary loves.

Kind of a long and rather specific list of what I want, isn’t it? Notice, I didn’t specify gender, financial status, or physical looks. Those things are not terribly important to me. Hey, I used to be the fat girl in the corner ignored by people. I’ve had enough of dealing with attractiveness factors – I just wanted someone I could connect with. I really didn’t think that I could ever find someone who would meet all of these criteria. Besides, I made this wish two years ago. And I kept looking but never finding someone who could meet all the criteria. Many people came close; very close. My faith faltered. I started trying to manage my own future. Yes, there’s trusting in faith, the universe, deity to provide and then there’s going out and making your own future. Because my faith faltered, I started planning a different set of options.

I’d been interested in trying to accommodate some of my needs by investing time and energy into alternate family and marriage structures. I’d discovered that there were friends, close and dear friends, who thought like I did and were interested in trying out this alternate family structure. Yes, they were married but also polyamorous and loved and cared for me enough to consider trying to make this new kind of family work. We moved forward to trying out living together to see if this would work out. I agreed and then it was just a case of me marking time until my lease was up and I could move in with them.

And then something happened. I reconnected with this man I met about 15 years ago. I delivered Girl Scout cookies to him when I was helping my niece with her orders. I just meant to drop cookies off and go onto the next appointment of the evening. We wandered through his house, talking books, housing repair, computers, and then stumbled on kink. It was as If a light went on and a voice echoed through me. “Pay attention. This is important.” Eventually I pulled myself away, but the seed was planted.

We started talking. Emails through Facebook. Then IMs. Finally I just asked if perhaps we should meet and see how things might work out in person. I scheduled a time. Rescheduled it to allow me an additional recovery day from a party.

The day came. I was kind of a basket case for the entire day but managed to hold it together long enough to make it over to his house. Somehow he understood I was nervous – really nervous. Finally he let me back into his library where I could focus some of my attention (and nerves) on the books. We started talking. Then he asked me over and kissed me (or did I kiss him?). Everything else after that was just building on the spark that flared between us at that kiss.

What? What happened? That wish, that wish I’d made TWO YEARS earlier manifested. Here was the person I’d wished for. Real, alive, tangible. Oh crap. No, SERIOUSLY, oh crap. WTF? I honestly had lost my hope that I could ever find this theoretical person and focused instead on resigning myself to the sad fact that there were too many dichotomous criteria to ever exist in one person. Yet, here he was.

I was giddy. I was shocked. I was disbelieving. I had a panic attack and told him there was no way he could exist. He rolled with the punches. He told me he was real. And, dammit, he didn’t go away, run away, or just evaporate into thin air. Shit, what the hell am I going to do? I had plans. Commitments. Duties. Aw, dammit! Shit, piss, fuck. This is NOT good. I screamed. I yelled. I railed. And eventually realized that my heart was with him and no longer with them. Here was my heart’s desire and I still had a connection and commitment to this beautiful and unsuspecting couple.

I had to tell the truth and be honest. I didn’t do that very well. I hurt them. I’d been in overload and just plain sick for about a month prior to meeting Him. I hadn’t been very good at maintaining contact. Then I was stuck in the moment of the new relationship energy and hyperfocused on what was happening between us. I kept M and B at arm’s length until I forced myself and was forced to contact them. I still made a hash of telling them. I can’t believe how nice they were. But I hurt them and they are indeed hurt. They were ready to proceed down a path and I’m bailing on them.

So here I am. Thrilled that there is this wonderful man in my life who has met every single criteria I listed. And both sad and ashamed at what will not happen because these two paths are mutually exclusive, at least in my mind.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WTF?

How does this happen? How does someone who is cynical and jaded about love and happily-forever-after fall head over heels in love with someone? And someone I’ve known for about fifteen years now. No, I really want to know – how does this happen?


What, you ask? What’s going on? I’m in love. Sugary sweet absolutely disgustingly gaga in love. Before you wonder if this is lust, let me assure you that lust is definitely in the picture. We can’t keep our hands off each other. And the sex? Even if it were bad, it would be fantastic. It’s not.

Gods above and below, help me. I feel like a teenager and trust me, I’m not sure I ever was a teenager even when the chronological age said I was. Oh, and this feeling like a teenager? That sucks. I can’t think, I can sometimes eat, sometimes sleep, and sometimes function in the rest of my life.

Did I mention that the rest of my life is pretty busy already? That I had other love relationships going on? A side job. Heck, my full-time job? Friends, family, as well as loves? Cats who’d like to see me more than once in a while? Do I have time for this nonsense? No, I most emphatically do not. And yet, here I am. I honestly felt that, despite the hope I might entertain in the middle of the night, there was never going to be someone who would fully and truly love me. No one who would get me and love all the weird things that go into making me, well, me. Hey, I made a wish for someone a long time ago and heard nothing. I took that to mean that my hearth-fire was burned out and the best I could hope for in life was to be able to find love on a part-time basis and to warm myself at others’ hearth-fires.

I’m not alone in how I feel. The emails we trade on the days we don’t see each other almost always seem to include a statement of frustration: that somehow, some way, we managed to wiggle into each other hearts, souls, psyches and find a home. We have fences, border guards, chasms surrounding our hearts. And all that makes no difference because he is in my heart and I am in his. On the days that we do see each other, we continually mention how shocking it is to feel as we do.

I love that he is a Renaissance man with an eclectic collection of skills. He seems to love that I have a mind and am not afraid to use it. We marvel at the love we feel. And, to be quite honest, the lust we feel as well. Hey, we’re not youngsters and we each have our own chronic conditions. Lust and passion are value-added features. When we write each other, we say something that resonates with the other; like we’ve tuned in to each other and are meeting the specifications we each put out as desirable qualities in the secret reaches of our minds. Of all the people in my life, he is the first one to truly understand what it means to have the illnesses I have and what that means in the end. I didn’t tell him, he told me. Followed by an “I love you.” I know fully the ramifications of his health conditions. I love him as well.

I will write more sometime on the history of us. In the meantime, we each wonder how in the hell this happened – that two people who seemed to have their lives arranged just so managed to connect and fall in love, seemingly overnight. We each wonder what happened and are asking our friends to tell us we’re nuts and have no business feeling as we do. We search for sanity, for someone to tell us we’re messing up terribly and we should just go our separate ways. We worry we’ll hurt the other; that the other can’t take the pain, if that which is “us” can take it. What the hell are we doing?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Effects of Effexor

I read the most interesting post on Eden CafĂ© by Jobthingy Eden. I say interesting because I’m your basic medical (and legal) geek in my mundane job and said job has permanently warped (it really didn’t take much) my definitions of “good,” “fun,” and “interesting.” Anyway, Jobthinginy talked quite frankly about his experience using the psychotropic medication, Effexor. He related a story detailing his problems taking this medication. Honestly his story and specific experiences are things that I have read about and heard from friends and loves quite a few times. However, I have a slightly different experience to relate with my experiences using psychotropic medications.


18 years ago I was diagnosed with depression. I was sent to a psychiatrist and prescribed Zoloft for this condition and I started taking medication. We had to make some dosage adjustments (upwards). Overall I responded well to this medication. I was young and didn’t have a lot of experience in researching medications and I wasn’t always consistent about taking my pills. I learned the hard way what happens when you go three days without taking your meds (ugly flu-like symptoms with nausea, vomiting, and just feeling plain achy and icky). For a variety of reasons including losing my job and health insurance, I stopped taking the Zoloft. My depressive symptoms and mood fluctuations crept back into my life. No one liked me, including ME. About 18 months after getting a permanent job (with health benefits), I went to my doctor and asked her to put me back on an SSRI.

**for those of you who don’t know what an SSRI is, it is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, which allows your brain to bask in the stew of serotonin, a neurotransmitter (chemical within the brain) which is responsible for a few things including mood regulation**

Anyway, my doctor prescribed Paxil for me, which is another SSRI. Again, we needed to adjust the dosage (upwards) to handle my mood issues. One of the things I didn’t know about Paxil was that a notable side effect is weight gain. And, over the years that I took this medication, I did indeed gain a fair amount of weight. Not all of this weight gain was due to the Paxil. But at the time I was just happy that I wasn’t feeling like I was possessed by this evil demon who moved between low energy, low motivation, depression, with brief forays into rages.

Then the unheard of happened. My medication slowly stopped working. And those mood issues slowly returned. Finally after completely losing it in the public library and feeling too uninterested in life to even bother to end it (passive suicide ideation, not active), I told my doctor what was happening. Her first question was that if she treated this problem, would I become actively suicidal? I really did give the question good thought and told her I’d rather be able to feel something (anything) than be at the mercy of my depression and no, I would not commit suicide if she changed medication. So we went back to the Zoloft, which had worked in the past.

And the Zoloft did work very well. Until it didn’t. A few years later, I noticed a growing problem with my mood management and almost immediately contacted by doctor to ask for an adjustment to a new medication. She suggested Effexor to me. By now I was savvy about doing my research into medications and their side effects, having already experienced a horrible (and permanent) effect from another medication. I told her I’d consider almost anything EXCEPT that medication. I had already watched two friends go through the same kinds of withdrawal that Jobthingy described. I saw many of the same stories in my job. Nope, there was NO way I was going to try this medication because getting off this one looked like something more than even I could handle. We had a fairly long discussion about this. What finally persuaded me was her asking me if I could ever envision me not taking some kind of depression medication. Given my experiences, I already knew that answer. No, there is no real way I can function effectively with my disorder (now officially changed to Major Depressive Disorder). So I agreed to try this medication.

Sure enough, this medication was effective again at managing my depression. In fact, because this is a different kind of medication (it’s a selective serotonin as well as norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) it was actually effective is helping manage some of my other issues, including some anxiety as well as my ADHD. And I did notice that if I was late in taking a dose, I would develop the dizziness that Jobthingy described. However, since I was pretty good at taking my medication on a regular basis, it was rarely a problem for me – just something that might crop up on the days I slept a lot and didn’t take always remember to take my meds on my brief forays to consciousness (that’s a different story and blog post).

But something really really really (how can I convey this?) REALLY interesting happened. Several things happened at pretty much the same time so I must be honest in saying that there is anything like causal proof, other than me conveying my experience, of this interesting change. Yeah, I’m a social sciences major so I actually can talk about causal versus correlated relationships.

My sex drive returned.

Sometimes you just don’t realize something has been missing until it returns. But I wanted sex and I wanted a lot of it. I went from having sex about once a year and masturbating about once a month, if that, to daily masturbation and sex (and the accompanying orgasms) as often as I could manage it.

So, how do I know there’s a causal relationship not just a correlation? Easy. Among the other sweeping changes in my life, I considered having a baby. I was already familiar with what happened to me if I just delayed taking my next dose of Effexor and didn’t want to wish that on an unsuspecting baby. So I discussed my options with medical and pharmacist friends and asked my doctor to change me from Effexor to Prozac. I did a fairly quick titration to the new medication and made an interesting discovery.

I didn’t want to have sex. Oh, I could get turned on and get to orgasm, but it wasn’t something I really thought much about unless I was out on a date with one of my loves. And the orgasms? Not quite so many and definitely not as easy to achieve. Was the depression managed? Yes, it was. But I discovered that the pesky side effect of lack of interest in sex was going to be a problem if I wanted to get pregnant. So I tried something. I adjusted my dose downward. It made a difference in my attitude about sex. But it also didn’t manage my depression symptoms. I stayed there for a while but eventually decided that I’d rather deal with the potential fall out from taking Effexor than continue taking a medication that had a side effect I considered unacceptable.

Back I went to my doctor. At first he suggested adding a medication but I am, in general, opposed to taking additional medications to counteract an undesirable side effect (I’ve seen too many over medicated people) and why should I add a medication when I knew there was something that worked just fine. So, back I went to taking Effexor. I also discovered that I didn’t need quite as high a dose as before to managed the depression and, sure enough, my libido returned. Is this proof of a causal relationship? No, not really. But it seems strongly co-related.

On the whole I am happy with this medication. What occasionally concerns me is what happens if this medication stops working? That isn’t something anyone can answer, but the other meds took years to stop working so I have some time. I think.

I hope.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Evolve Serenade

Cross-posted on the Eden Fantasys website.

I bought this on a whim. It was payday, I had some available cash and there was a sale. How could I go wrong? Turns out I didn't go wrong at all.

I love playing with vibrators when alone. Sharing them with partners is even better. But finding toys that have enough vibration for me but aren't too intense for some my partners AND do not cost a bomb is amazing.

I'm going to jump the gun and talk right away about what I think is the best feature of the Serenade. The vibrations. Wow. I admit that I like and require fairly strong vibrations for my own use. This delivers for me and the three speeds allow me to tone down the intensity if I'm playing with someone else. This is a simply designed vibrator. Essentially there a bullet located at the end of the vibrator and it's surrounded by the graduated and ribbed TPR body. Having the control button on the end of the cap is both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you hold it because you could inadvertently change speeds. I've found that changing the speed in the middle of play (unintentionally) can be a problem. But considering the value of this toy, I think this is a very small issue.

This vibrator is made of body-friendly TPR which feels great because it's flexible but is more porous than other materials so you need to make sure you use a condom if you share this with someone else. I also find that when I clean this, I need to use a lint-free cloth to dry it otherwise I find a lot of little fuzzies on the vibrator. On the plus side, since this vibrator isn't made of silicone, you can use either water or silicone based lubes with it.

The Serenade uses 2 AA batteries and they slide into the compartment with very little catch. The end cap connection has a substantial O ring so this toy really is waterproof. The sizing is substantial but not uncomfortable. This toy is not specifically designed, recommended, or considered safe for anal insertion. However, I found that maintaining a tight grip and not inserting more than 2.5 to 3" of the 6" insertable length could work because there is a flare at each width graduation. You should make sure that the hand holding it isn't covered in lube so you don't lose your grip. And, again remember this is made of porous TPR so it can't be sterilized. Please use a condom if using this anally or with multiple people.

And the icing on the cake for me is the box it came in. No, not a run-of-the-mill plastic box but a great metal box with hinged closures painted a lovely cheerful scarlet with a cut out window to showcase the vibrator. Inside the box is a foam insert cut to the shape which holds it in place. There's room enough for the battery compartment inside the box which is helpful for me since I make it a practice to keep the batteries outside of the toy whenever possible. From the side the box doesn't scream SEX TOY so I really don't have a problem storing it on the bottom shelf of one of my nightstands since there are other things that sit on top of the box. If you need to economize your space I suggest taking it out of the box and storing it in a lint-free pouch.
A final consideration for this toy is that while it has amazing intensity, there is noticeable noise when it is outside the body. Very little discernible noise when inside the body but considerable outside. Again, this is a reasonable side effect of having great and intense vibration, but it's not going to be stealthy; when weighing the cost and features of this toy against these issues, I can't say that it's an unacceptable trade off.

This 3-speed vibrator is priced as average but offers a lot more features than average: texture, graduated sizing, is waterproof, and has a great name to boot! Made of body-friendly TPR, this vibrator is a great value and worth considering.


Pros: 3 speeds, strong vibration, body friendly, value priced
Cons:Noisy outside of the body, doesn't smell good initially

Heavy Metal Fun! So much more than a tweezer clamp.

Spartacus Adjustable clamp – nipple clamps
These are a worthwhile investment given the overall material quality and flexibility. I love these more than any other type of clamp I've used. Although user friendly, these bar clamps take some time and practice. Kinkily attractive. Adjustable tension makes it accessible to many users.

I've tried the tweezer-like nipple clamps in the past and didn't like them. Yes, they had adjustable tension but they just didn't seem to stay on. And, being the pain bunny that I am, they just didn't bring me enough sensation to make using them worthwhile.

And then we found these. I say we because my boyfriend is the one who bought them for me and who uses them the most on me. And, oh what I happy woman I am.

These are substantial clamps. They are fully adjustable and should accommodate any nipple size since they adjust from fully shut to 0.75" using a screw and flat bar. In theory they should be able to clamp onto any size nipple, provided they are at least somewhat erect and you pull them out somewhat to ensure you have a goodly bit of nipple/aureola available to clamp. Furthermore the chain is quite heavy. Good for sensation, not so good if you are one of those who can't take a lot of pressure and therefore cannot get a good clamp.

The material is solid. The finish is smooth. I've had these for a about a year, with fairly consistent use, and there is no change in the finish. The chain is attached with a solid ring to a very solid and weighty chain. On the plus side, I think that once these are on, they stay on well, the downside is that there is no way to incorporate a quick release. Screw the bar down to attach, screw the bar up to detach. If the screws catch at all, a little bit of silicone lube actually works quite well to loosen things up. 

Finally there's one last observation about these clamps. They're really not just for nipples. They can clamp onto other body parts and perhaps with somewhat greater success, provided what you're trying to clamp isn't larger than about 0.5" or so. So these will work well for labia clamping as well as other areas (use your imagination).

I am impressed with the construction and quality of these clamps as well as the price. I think that these are some of the best clamps on the market. Please keep in mind I say this because I/we've never really encountered a problem with putting them on, getting them to stay on, or taking them off AND because I have at least average to slightly larger than average nipples.

There are two tricky things to consider: it takes some time to get these screwed down to clamp on. You are probably going to need some patience to get them on and see if they'll stay on. The second tricky aspect is the weight of the clamps the chain itself. These are not lightweight by any means. In order to get them to stay on, they need to be well tightened and that may mean close to fully shut if you have small nipples because the weight of the chain can pull the clamps off. If you have smaller nipples you might find the pressure necessary to keep them on too much.

We have used these clamps with the clamps parallel to the floor and also perpendicular. The clamps tend to be a bit more stable and likely to remain in place if you clamp perpendicular to the floor with the chain's loop at the top. However, clamping a bit tighter for a parallel position also holds them well.

I find the chain to be just slightly too short. I'm clamped and there's a bit of give in the chain, but I think it could be just a bit longer. The trade off is that the chain's gauge may need to be a bit lighter given its weight. Pluses and minuses for every change.

Because we like pain play, I can tell you that with sufficient force, these clamps can be3 pulled off. Yes there is going to be the exquisite spike of pain but I have yet to have any lasting marks or damage to my nipples. I think that the smoothness of the metal is a key component in that.

Pros: Adjustable, weighty, can be good for novices and hard core alike, good for more than clamping nipples
Cons: Need some patience to put them on, chain could be longer, may slip off small nipples

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

living life as opposed to waiting for a life to live

I'm not sure I've talked about this in a semi-public forum so here goes.

Life is for living. There's no tech rehearsal before a final performance and there's no draft before receiving an "A" on your paper.

Rewind to the day after Christmas 2006.

I had what I hoped was life-changing surgery. I had a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Why did I do this? I did it for a number of reasons: to be able to breathe again, to be able to walk without losing my breath, to see my friend's little girl grow up and know that I'd be able to perform CPR if necessary because I'd have the lung capacity and the physical strength. And I wanted to live my life, not just kind of exist.

I was not a healthy woman. No, I hadn't developed the co-morbidities that may obese people develop. That was sheer luck combined with a significant financial investment on my part to stave off the inevitable.

I found an amazing surgeon. No, not just good but freaking amazing. And his office and surgical staff were equally amazing. I did all of the pre-op stuff: I had my echocardiogram (I had an enlarged heart and pulmonary hypertension), I did my pulmonary evaluation (I was put on oxygen for any exertion and a CPAP set for 27 in/h20 at night), and my digestive evaluation (yes, put on a proton-pump inhibitor for my GERD). In short, I was a train wreck. Honestly, no matter what my psych evaluation revealed, I was going to be medically necessary patient. Turns out I was a "fair" risk for surgery which was, in all honesty, good enough for Mike to proceed and schedule surgery. I chose to have surgery and fully expected things would be, well, average.

Mike takes the week off before Christmas and heads to Mexico. If you remember, there was a HUGE snowstorm that closed DIA. Oh, yeah, I was SO on the phone with staff asking if Mike had made it back and was going to be able to do surgeries.

I did my pre-op nutrition classes. I did my antibacterial washes. I drank my protein drinks prior to surgery. My extended family called me on Christmas Day to ask if they'd interrupted my holiday feast (lots and lots of LOL). I reported to Rose Medical Center at the god-awful hour of 5:30am for my admission. I manage to drop 11 pounds from my pre-op examination. I put on my gown and stored my personal effects in the plastic bag they provided. Pam kissed me goodbye and sent me off to surgery. They wheeled me into the operating room (cheezits that room is COLD) and gave me my anesthesia and proceeded with the bypass surgery.

I woke up in the recovery room. And I started throwing up almost immediately. Not from anesthesia. Just clotted blood. Please note that most surgery involves giving you paralytics which don't wear off quickly. That means that what usually takes just a single heave (as in to throw up) meant 3-4 semi-coordinated heaves to pull a clot up and out the mouth. While heaving I sounded like a tuberculosis patient on their death bed - lots of heaving, labored breathing, and wheezing. Evidently I hit some sort of magic number of attempts to heave blot clots because the staff decided I may have an abdominal bleed and sent me back to operating room for a endoscopy (scope) to see if I had something that was still bleeding. Someone (a really bright person, to be sure and no this is NOT a snarky statement) had the idea that if there WAS a bleed I'd need to be re-intubated so why not do it prior to the scope? On paper this makes perfect sense. In reality I heaved another massive clot just as they were trying to intubate me. Imagine a giant blood clot blocking not just the trachea (the tube that carries air to the lungs) and the esophagus (the tube to your stomach) at the same time.

You know those magic five minutes? Those minutes to get full air exchange started and know that you've staved off brain damage? I had a fully blocked airway. Nothing in, nothing out. That's what doctors call a full cor. I managed to get BOTH surgical teams into the operating room with each anesthesiologist wondering what was the best for me. Do they stop and try to suction the clot out, or what? Finally Dr. Lee decided to just push the endotrachial tube down into the lung. Yes, this would drop the clot into a lung and no, that lung would not work, but the OTHER one would work and, well, half a set of lungs is better than NO set of lungs and buys time to the go suction the clot out. Great choice on his part. That's indeed what happened. However, those magic five minutes? It took four and a half minutes plus a fair amount of chest compressions to get me stable. Kim, both my friend and director of the bariatric surgery program, got the unenviable task of telling Pam that there was no guarantee that her partner would wake up with the same mental capacities that she left with. You know that scene on TV where the doctor comes out to say everything went fine? Not what happened to Pam. In an effort to give me every opportunity to heal, they drugged me to the gills on Fentanyl. If I WANTED to swat a fly on my nose, there was no way I'd have the ability to do so. It's a short-term equivalent of a medically-induced coma.

I woke up sometime around 3am. Intubated. No one tells you that when you're intubated, they tie your hands down so you can't pull the ET tube out. No problem except for one thing. I was a blind woman and I left my glasses with Pam. I can't see shit. And I'm throwing up again. Around the ET tube. No way to ask for help. Turns out though, if you bite down on your ET tube and cut off the air flow, an alarm goes off. It will get someone's attention albeit slowly. Hey, it's the intensive care ward - everyone's drugged to gills and the telemetry says my heart's still beating.

No surprise to anyone who knows me, I recovered all of my mental faculties. Once Pam gave me back my glasses, I was able to communicate via her PDA. Yes, I can swear quite eloquently via text. Confused the shit out of the intensive care staff when Pam would mention that "Teresa said" this or that. When she showed them what I'd typed on the PDA no one was really worried about permanent brain damage. Yes, I said damn and a bunch of other obscenities about respiratory consults and the definition of "soon" to a great many people while never speaking a word aloud...

So when you wonder why I tax my body, that's the reason. I got a second chance. To quote my anesthesiologist, I'm not wasting this chance. Yes, occasionally my body fights my social schedule. I try to accommodate my body but also be cognizant of the gift I've been given. I have a chance to really live life. And I'll be damned before I abandon or spit in the eye of the chance I've been given.

Hopefully this has given you some insight into why I do what I do and that sometimes I am required (OK, forced) to take mandatory down time to recover. It's me living my life. Living my life with a body that isn't perfect and has limitations. Thanks for listening to me...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Slippery when wet but may drip

Eros Original Bodyglide 


Silky and slick without being overly thick. It's long lasting and probably the best lube I've found for anal sex. And, although it seems expensive, just a little goes a long way and a small bottle is going to last quite a while which means you'll use less and probably save money in the long run.


This is my gold-standard lube. I am not sure that there is any other lube on the market that is so close to natural lubricant. My caveat for this is that I use it for two reasons and two reasons only: for masturbation and for oral sex. This lube is L-Arginine free, petro-chemicals free, paraben free, and glycerin free. It is condom safe even if not safe for use with my silicone toys (why I use a different lube for play with toys). It does have the same odd mouth-feel of other silicone lubes but has absolutely no taste.

I am not afraid to say that I love anal sex. And as someone who loves this, I want to make sure that injury doesn't happen because I'll get pretty grumpy about waiting for things to heal so that I can have more fun. I spent quite a while asking friends about what they use and reading online reviews to make sure I found something that wasn't going to harm me and also was going to be the best value for my time and money. I wanted something that would last for as long as possible, wasn't going become gummy or sticky or flaky. And this one does everything I want it to do and nothing I don't. So, for the same reasons I just listed, that's why I like using this for masturbation as well.
If I'm pretty sure that masturbation is going to turn into oral sex, I might choose a different lube because I don't really like the mouth-feel of any silicone lube, this one included, but because it's odorless and tasteless, this is the best back up lube out there. I've tried other lubes and find that they do have something of a taste and because many of them are thicker, the mouth-feel changes. This one doesn't change texture. 


I literally signed on specifically to read reviews of silicone lubes used for anal purposes. I wanted to find one of the best products because I didn't want spend time and money just to find out what didn't work.

Here's what I don't like about this lube: the lid. It's a screw top lid. This is a true pain in the butt because you have to stop what you're doing, open the bottle, squeeze out what you want, screw the lid back on and put the bottle aside, and return the bottle to someplace out of the way.

So, I'm giving this 4 of 5 stars simply because that lid can be problem. Otherwise, I honestly love this lube.




Pros
long lasting, silky smooth, doesn't irritate
Cons
Can be drippy/leave a spot, certainly not an inexpensive option

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Build Muscles the Smart (and Enjoyable) Way ... With a Bonus Feature!

I injured my low back 15 years ago and my neck about a year and a half ago. One of the continuing effects of these injuries are continuing problems with my lower pelvic muscles. One suggestion I received was to look for kegel exercisers to strengthen these muscles. I considered Ben-Wa balls but heard too many stories of them falling out at the most inopportune time. My next thought was to look for something that weighed a little less but would still help me achieve the goal of building muscles. I settled on the Smart Balls for a few reasons - first is that I liked the material they are made from, I liked the concept of two connected balls, and they were reasonably priced. I did read the reviews before buying them and decided that these were probably going to fit all my needs. And I will say that I got all that I asked for and more (see below for the unexpected bonus). I ended up choosing the Magenta-Pearly Rose ones. They really are attractive even if I don't see them too often.

These are packaged in a slightly more than functional manner: The front of the package shows the balls encased in molded clear plastic. The back of the package is like a book in that you can open this (secured by 2 magnets) and read about the material and how to use/insert them. The graphics are the usual Fun Factory with bright colors. Included inside is a rather long pamphlet printed in (at least) 6 languages.

I didn't notice any odor to the balls themselves. What I did notice was the sensation of shaking them. Evidently there is an inside ball in each one that moves and rattles. I started laughing because all I could think to compare them to is a baby's rattle although with less noise. They do sound interesting.

Putting them in takes some time and patience. You may need to use (a little, really just a bit) of lube. The balls are just less than 2" in diameter, which some women are going to find too broad for comfort. Also, the two balls measure about 4.5" in length, which again, some women are going to find too long for comfort. It takes some time to get them situated and they do provide a feeling of fullness, which can make them a fun accessory to a romantic evening if you wear them out with a date. They provide sensation and anticipation of what may happen at the end of the date ;)

Once in, they should keep themselves in place unless your muscles need some training. I don't recommend urinating when them in and MOST DEFINITELY not while defecating. Your muscles relax at these times and they can slip out. Trust me, digging in the toilet to retrieve them (and then to wash them off) isn't going to be fun.

Consistent usage will result in muscle development. It does take time and patience to see results though and you need to be dedicated to using them. When in place it does make walking a lot more fun and also much easier to remember to do the kegel tightening exercises. And yes I do enjoy wearing them when going out to parties or on a date because they do provide a lovely feeling of anticipation.

Care and cleaning are really simple: wash, rinse, repeat with soap and water. Yes you can sterilize them by running them through the dishwasher although I'd recommend turning heated dry off. Storing is a bit tricky as the elastomed can pick up lint. Try storing them in a small plastic bag or a bag that gives off little lint.

Although these are safe and nonporous, I am not sharing mine. I think it's just my own preference because they are certainly safe enough to use with more than one person provided you are doing a full antibacterial cleaning after use. Fun Factory says these can be used for anal play and I can see how that might work so here's my suggestion: first is to make sure you keep a grip on/at least a finger through the cord to make sure the anal muscles don't pull the balls all of the way into the anus. Alternately, just insert one of the two balls into the anus. They are certainly broad enough to provide some great sensation.



I will be honest and say that it took me a few times to get used to inserting this and holding them in place. Sometimes I found that one of the balls had slipped out and I needed to go push it back in. I'm glad I was patient because I did notice that there was some better muscle control the longer I used them and now they do not slip out at all.

There is an unexpected bonus to using the Smart balls. That elastomer-covered cord? It transmits vibration well. REALLY well. Try this: take a vibrator and put it through the cord, bringing it taut. That cord transmits vibrations up through the cord and into to the Smart balls themselves. And, since they're resting against your G-spot? Yeah, it's a pretty heavenly feeling.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ruff Doggie Styles Roses Flogger review: Art or Implement?

It was a typical day,lots of working interspersed with the occasional foray into Facebook land. I'd noticed the Eden Fantasys 14 days of Love contest and the question was actually something I knew the answer to. So I posted and a couple of days later got an email from Kristi Eden telling me I'd won. Won? Really? Squeak. And then my data connection (through my cell phone) died and I ended up sending my contact info via touch keyboard on my phone. Grr. But what a pay off.

So what did I win? Why something to make my happy little masochistic heart go pitter pat. The Ruff Doggie Styles Roses Flogger. Nope, it's not a dozen roses. It's nine. Even better, in my opinion. Not only won't these roses die, they'll provide many lovely memories. Made of leather with lovely delicate red leather roses, green leaves and black thorns, it's a work of art. No seriously. I'm stuck between wanting to hang it on the wall along with the rest of the art or keeping it handy for when the mood strikes.

This is well constructed flogger. The red braided leather handle isn't showing signs of loosening or unraveling. The black knobs at each end of the handle are covered with black leather in a tighter braid. did have some worry that the rose tips or leaves would not stand up to steady use. I'm pleased to find out that these roses are sewn on tightly with little chance of falling off. Same said for the leaves. A confusing aspect of the tails is that I keep thinking there are thorns on the tails but I think that the tails themselves represent the thorns.

The handle itself is about eight inches long with about a one inch knob at each end. One end then leads to the tails and the other end has a braided loop for extra security (so the flogger doesn't go flying if you suddenly lose your grip). Some might find the handle itself very light. I like it because swinging a flogger is an exercise in and of itself and keeping the handle lighter saves me some fatigue. Others might find it too light, but for me, it's a very good weight, especially considering the tails are heavier than expected given the extra leather constructing the roses, and leaves.

I mentioned that the tails are significantly heavier and somewhat longer than average. And when swung, the roses tend to land in a group. As such this makes for a very thuddy sensation. If you are someone who enjoys thud more than sting, you are really going to like this flogger. Please keep in mind that swinging this energetically will cause some initial welting which will color into some spectacular bruises. Again, keep in mind that I like seeing marks after the session is over, so this is not a problem for me. What makes this a good flogger for beginners as well as experienced players is the extra heft and length of the tails. It is an easy flogger to swing once you get an idea of swinging something this long and the thudding sensation is something that a novice or expert can enjoy. It is certainly a different sensation than, say, a rubber flogger. With work you can get sting out of this but most of the time it will be more in the thud category.

The tails themselves are quite long at about 24 inches. Added to the 8-10 inches of handle, this flogger is a full 36 inches (give or take a few inches). You're going to need some room to swing this. Sadly, my apartment doesn't quite have the room for a full swing. However we were able to find an accommodation.

I strongly suggest storing this somewhere where you can lay it flat or hang it up. I was only kind of joking about hanging this up on the wall as art. It's as good a way to store this as any other. I don't recommend this as a multiple-person use toy simply because I just adore the intense colors and don't want to jeopardize the color by using antibacterial cleaner. There is no reason not to use a regular leather cleaner and yes I can and have used sanitizing cleaner on other leather items. But they were usually black or dark brown and I honestly didn't worry about losing color. One of the things that I like so much about this flogger is the aesthetic appeal as well as its functionality and I am unwilling to take a chance. So yes I'm selfish and keeping this toy for me and my fluid-bonded partner.

Please note that I wrote this review simply because I wanted to and not because I was paid in any way for my opinion. Yes, I received this free of charge but as a prize in a random drawing contest from Eden Fantasys. Should you feel the urge, go and check them out (www.edenfantasys.com). They are an entire online community as well as a fully stocked internet store with brand new and BIGGER warehouse space in their new location in Atlanta. It's true that I love the site and have purchase a great many of my toys here, but I still will write an honest review.

Monday, February 28, 2011

missing a dominant

Recent readings and discussion with Erik reminds me of how much I miss having either a dominant or a master in my life. I say that knowing full well what a PITA I am about Masters. I love them. I hate them. They hit all of my land-mine buttons and require me to do things I just don't want to do. And yet I still crave it. Someone requiring my submission and letting them dominate me.

I love my lovers. All of them. And I'm firm in that I don't want to give them up. One reason is that they love me and have done nothing to merit me breaking up with them to be monogamous with some one or some leather family. Two is that I am developing my own tribe/poly family with M & B and love what they bring me and what I offer them. Three is that remaining monogamous is just frankly a deal breaker. Honestly, I did not spend all of this time being monogamous and closed to other loves just to end it at the requirement of someone else. Even to achieve a true D/s or M/s relationship. I left another M/s relationship because I just couldn't stomach breaking up with my loves to please someone else. And I love my Erik, my M and my B not to mention my T and possibly others. And making a tribe or extended poly family with M & B is frankly a dream come true. A dream from teenage years when I first learned of extended poly families.

And yet I still crave the dominance of another. I know that Erik and I have talked about it and I truly feel that he has it within himself to truly dominate me. However, life, commitments, and other things eat his time and keep him from truly realizing that potential. Do I love him? Absolutely. Do I hope to submit to him. Yes, wholeheartedly. And will that truly happen? No, not likely. Or at least not in the near future. Sadly.

Friday, January 28, 2011

no, the day wasn't horrible, except for...



I so want to be able to say that yesterday sucked. In fact it did not. I got a lot of work done, received a compliment from someone I love, and my house is clean (well, until Astarte horked up this morning's gooshy fud onto the living room carpet). I even fell asleep at a reasonable hour for me and slept well, waking up briefly at 3am and realizing I fell asleep on the sofa, didn't care enough to get up to move into my bed, and going back to sleep until the alarm went off. I even ate well.

So what's the problem? What made the day seem like complete suckage (yeah, that's a word)?

My cat died. I had to be a grown up and admit she was going to die and that I needed to make this as painless as possible for her.

And I had to do it alone.

Did I really have to? No, probably not. But her other mom and I don't really want to see much of each other and she didn't seem interested in coming with me when I discussed it with her a couple of weeks ago. So I didn't ask because I didn't want to face that rejection.

Yes I have loves and people who would have been there to hold me or talk to me. No I just couldn't get to that space. I could barely get to the place of admitting that yes, she was dying, and might possibly be in pain, and the only thing I could do for her was to end her life humanely. 

So I took her to the vet. I'd waited long enough that she was too dehydrated for us to find a vein. Alternate method number two worked and she died peacefully in my arms. The last thing she did was purr at me. But then all the cats I've sent to the rainbow bridge have purred at the very end. They must know we do it out of love for them. Or so I'm telling myself and don't anyone tell me different.

Kali was named so because she was a pretty grumpy and most definitely feral kitten. I wouldn't agree to name her Bat for her bad attitude, so I named her after the goddess of storms and rages. We coexisted for about a year. I broke up with Rita and moved into my own place. And one day I woke up to feel a presence on my hip. It was Kali. She'd finally decided that I was her human. Her only human. She tolerated other people but I was hers. If you have never been loved by a feral cat, you've missed out on something amazing. When they finally love, they do so with everything they have and more.

Kali took taking care of me seriously. She'd yowl whenever I got into the shower because I was in that WET place. She completely bitched Pam out for not getting me out of there and then stomped off with the attitude of, "what good are you?" If you've never seen a cat stomp, it's actually quite amusing to experience. But don't laugh. They get really mad if you laugh. She was assiduous in making sure that all my clothes and accessories were appropriately marked (no, not peeing) so that everyone knew that I belonged to her. When I was in pain from my lumbar injury, she'd cuddle me. When I felt overwhelmed by school, she sat on me or in front of me on a book or blocking the computer so I would take a break. 

She had to have had some Siamese in her very mixed genetic heritage because she could out-yowl purebred Siamese when she put her mind to it. Her mom was a black and white tuxedo cat. Kali looked like a Maine Coon. The smallest Maine Coon you've ever seen, but very much a Maine Coon. Her normal voice was in keeping with a Maine Coon. They are usually HUGE cats with tiny meepy little voices. She was, at her biggest, 8 pounds.

She was my companion. My relationship with her has been the longest of my life. She blessed me in more ways than I can count or recount. And of the two of us, I think I was the luckier by far. Thank you Kali for coming into my life. May you return to me as the Goddess wills. Until then know I miss you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

confusion

Oh dear Gods, how did I become Miss Popularity? I mean this quite seriously. If you'd told me two years ago I was going to have to plan out the next week by Tuesday the week before and share my calendar with at least six other people, I'd have said you were nuts. But here I am, two years later living a life I am not sure I ever imagined. Well, maybe imagined but most certainly never really thought this might happen.

So, let's backtrack a bit. It's December 2006. I weigh 376 pounds and stand 5' 3". I'm short, fat, and completely sexless. How so? Society strips fat girls of their sexuality and make them friends, sisters. Sure, sometimes similar things happen to men, but it seems to always happen to women. Anyway, I decided to have weight loss surgery - Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. I chose to permanently change my digestion to give me the tool for successful and long-term weight loss. And on 12/26/2006 I did just that.

And it worked. Well, mostly. I'm still considered obese but I lost about 200 pounds and have been pretty successful at keeping it off. Most of the time I really don't care that I'm not a size six. I'm a comfortable 14-16 and I love that I can wear dresses and heels and buy clothes off the rack that fit more times than they don't. I shop in thrift stores and count myself lucky to be able to walk and move, and stretch, and lift weights, and all those things that most people get to do and never think about it.

Here's the odd thing. And it's something I heard from almost all of the other women. We lost weight and regained our sexuality and gender. People saw us as women; as sexual beings. And we were confused. I can't tell you how many times we discussed in support group how weird this felt and how we were confused at how to respond. And as time passes, I remain confused.

How did this happen? How did I become Miss Popularity? Who needed either a paper calendar color coded to keep my social life straight or the integration of a Google calendar shared with at least six other people.
And synched to my (new) Android phone so I can keep track of stuff.

When my 40s started, I was married to a lovely woman, who was perfectly nice, if you define nice as conventional and straightforward. And not one for a lot of sex. Yeah, we had a great and emotionally intimate relationship, but not a sexual one. One day my sex drive woke up. One thing led to another and we ended up splitting up. I decided to embrace the lifestyle that I wanted - the polyamorous lifestyle. And I did.

It started out simple enough.I started having an emotional and physical relationship with a married man. Yes, his wife knew and gave her full support to us. We are still seeing each other. Then I started seeing Erika. And Will. And Lloyd. No, I don't see all of these people still. Erika is happy with her girlfriend and trying to be monogamous. Will, although a lovely man, is just someone with whom I'm pretty casual with and meeting Lloyd kind of pushed him out of the scene for me. Then I started seeing Mark and Brittany (yeah, lots of Marks in my life) with our plan to merge households and try building a tribe, a family unit, something. And that doesn't count Joseph, David, and Ellen, not to mention my sisters in my coven, and other friends like Holly. And I still have a bunch of folks emailing me on OK Cupid. Before I commit to any date, I need to check in with my Google Calendar to make sure I'm not already committed to seeing someone else.

Oh, dear Gods, how did this happen? On one hand I love the attention from Mark, Lloyd, and Mark and Brittany. Not to mention the attention from David and Joseph and anyone else who wants to meet me. But it's still just wildly confusing that I went from wallflower to Miss Popularity. Lloyd says that I deserve lots of love and sex and good times because I'm awesome. It's so hard to believe sometimes. And yet it's constant that people are attracted to me and want to be near me.

Wow.