There, I said it. I am a millennial that hates social media. Especially twitter. I just don’t understand the appeal.

I have Facebook, and have since shortly after it debuted. I can’t recall the last time I posted anything.
Instagram. Well, I just don’t take pictures of anything. There are barely any pictures that exist of my husband and I together. We don’t take pictures of the kiddo very often… so what is the point of Instagram for me?

I tried. I tried to market this blog via social media. I would love to be able to monetize this – not as a career, just as a side hustle – but I just don’t care enough.
The posts I make automatically get linked to my twitter account, but other than that I don’t have any activity, I follow a few random blogs and that’s it.

Violence against women has been a hot topic lately. I think a lot of important points are coming to light. I also think some people are blowing things out of proportion.

In response to the outcry of violence against women #NotAllMen has emerged. I really want to say that it is stupid and unnecessary, but alas, I cannot do that.
I would think that most rational people know that not all men are abusers. Not all men are creepy. Not all men.

Unfortunately, there is a small subset of radical feminists who insist that it is all men. That even if a man doesn’t engage in predatory behaviour himself, he is guilty by virtue of being a man.
I don’t understand this mentality. Do these women not have fathers, brothers, sons, friends? Surely they have not been victimized by everyone in their lives.
How can these people justify labelling someone as guilty based on gender? Imagine the outcry if it was reversed. Or if it was based on skin colour or ethnicity, or the colour of someone’s eyes.

Maybe….maybe, it would be possible to argue that all men have, at some point, inadvertently made a woman uncomfortable. However, I imagine that the reverse is true as well – that all women have made a man uncomfortable at some point. I know I have.
And really, some of that can be remedied by building up the confidence of women. In almost all cases if you tell a man that his comment, actions, etc made you uncomfortable, he will apologize and stop.

Men are not monsters. We need to stop treating them as such.

I’m at the age where some of my friends are going through separations and divorces. Of those with kids, I have noticed that their relationship timelines have all been very similar.

They met in their late-20s to mid-30s.

  • Engaged after a year or two.
Wedding
  • Buy a house
Try for kids – either get pregnant within a year, or struggle with fertility issues which culminate with IVF a few years later.
  • Have a second kid.

Then, when the youngest is 3-5 cracks start to emerge in the relationship.
That is not an exact timeline for each relationship.  Some had kids before getting married, some bought a house before they were married. But all those main events happened, with the first kid coming within 3-5 years of meeting. Or 5-7 years if IVF was involved.

I have a theory. Couples like this always have ‘a thing’ holding them together, something to stop incompatibility from coming to the surface.
The initial new relationship energy, being excited to be engaged, planing a wedding, buying a house, having a baby.
Then, when the youngest kid starts to become a tiny human and there is time for the relationship again the fundamental incompatibilities start to come to light.

In couples that were together for a decade or more before having kids, have experienced different dynamics within their relationship. They know how to change and adapt as a couple.
On the other hand, couples who had a child, or children, very early in their relationship (like me!), didn’t have an established dynamic pre-child so neither party is striving for ‘what used to be.

Don’t get me wrong, couples that have accident babies often don’t work out, but from my anecdotal experiences it seems that those splits happen while the child is still an infant.
And couples who have been together decades also split. They grow apart or whatever.
It just seems that the couples in my life that are currently going through a separation, most of them fit a similar trajectory.

Last week I wrote about the use of safewords versus the use of plain language. Today, I want to get a little more personal with it.

COVID means it has been a long time since I have seen my Dom in person. We always knew that we would see each other infrequently as we live on different continents, but it has been over a year and it looks like it will be another year before we see each other again. Neither of us is into online play so as it stands we don’t have much of a dynamic right now, but that let’s us explore our nuances on a much deeper level.

Admittedly, I have an almost impossible time safewording if I need to. Like many, I feel immense guilt and shame if I have to safeword. Which is ridiculous, because the advice I give to anyone else is that there is no shame in safewording, in fact, it makes you a more trustworthy submissive. So, I am a hypocrite, I get it. Part of the reason that I struggle is that it just feels unnatural to yell out RED, I want to be able to say something that sounds natural in the moment. Yes, I realize that the problem with this is that it makes it so much more difficult for the Dom to pick up on.

I have a safeword. We use the standard traffic light system. But, we have had many a conversation about this and the next time we are together we will also use some plain language. “Stop” will also become a safeword.
The reason that I am not comfortable with relying only on plain language is that I know I often say, “please no more,” and, “I can’t…” which does not mean stop. So there does need to be a backup in case he doesn’t pick up on the natural phrase, and that is on me. We will work together to come up with a system that works for us.

On top of all of that, because the relationship dynamic that we both desire is one of domestic discipline, I get real punishments. In theory, I don’t want to be able to safeword to get out of a punishment, but in reality, I know that a safeword is still necessary in case of true injury, a medical emergency, etc.
While some people will be vehemently against this, we have decided that there can be consequences for disingenuously safewording. I will never be in trouble for safewording if something is actually wrong, however, if I use my safeword (including “Stop”), just to get out of a punishment, then yes, there will be consequences. It is a huge gray area and we will continue to re-evaluate this after each occurrence, but for now it is what works for us.

Oh, safewords! One of the first things that many people believe is a “must” in any type of BDSM play. I am not disparaging of safewords, they cam be integral, but I truly believe that too many people in the BDSM community disregard the idea of plain language.

Plain language is just that – words mean words. If either partner says “stop” or “no more”, it means stop. Clearly, this wouldn’t work if you are engaging in any type of consensual non-consent (CNC), but it is particularly good for people who are new to these types of activities.

Many subs feel that they are somehow disappointing their Dom if they safeword (I am not an exception to this, even though logically I know it is not true. I still struggle to safeword). Some also feel that it is awkward to say a predefined safeword as it doesn’t feel natural in the moment – which some may argue is the point, that the safeword stands out. And that point is not wrong. I just want to suggest an alternative to the standard “you must ALWAYS have a safeword!” advice that is so often seen online.

I do believe there are some benefits to using plain language (perhaps in with a safeword as an added backup!) when starting out on the journey into BDSM. I have often found myself in relationships with vanilla men where I tried to introduce BDSM into our relationship, my partner was always afraid of hurting me. Which is an understandable concern, most people have been raised not to hurt others, and when they are not getting any inherent sexual enjoyment out of causing me pain it is difficult. Despite repeating over and over that I would use my safeword if things got to be too much, they all continued to struggle.

With my current husband, I moved to the idea of plain language and he felt much more comfortable. “Stop” and “Please no more” became my safewords. It was clear to him, there was no confusion.

Usually I lean towards the side of Men’s Rights over Feminism, as I don’t particularly like the way current feminism expresses itself. However, this thing in Atlanta is ridiculous. I will admit that I don’t really know the details, as I haven’t truly looked into it, but here are some thoughts based on my very limited knowledge.

It was a hate crime. He was targeting women because they were women. I don’t really think that is negotiable, so let’s call it what it is.
Unfortunately, I have seen some forum posts and articles from men complaining about this. Stating data that suggests that men are murdered at a higher rate than women. Yes, also a fact. But this isn’t a zero-sum game. We can look at this tragedy in isolation from others, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a social problem that needs to be addressed (regarding men being killed). Why try to detract from this?
While I sometimes come off hard on modern feminism, misogyny still exits and we can’t ignore it.

“He was having a bad day.” What the fuck kind of bullshit excuse is this? I’ve had really bad days too and I have never gone on a killing spree.
That being said, I do think a lot of men/boys are sexually frustrated, which creates anger, which is then taken out on women. It is not up to women to give these type of men an outlet, but I do think our culture needs to change. Teenage sexuality exists, we can’t pretend that it doesn’t.

I am sorry for this fairly incoherent, uneducated rant. But I needed to get it off my chest.
This was a tragedy, can we please stop trying to piss on each other to see what gender has it worse?

While I am not active in the online BDSM community, I do lurk in a few forums and, too often, I have seen personals stating ‘No limits’. Sometimes from subs to say they have no limits, and sometimes from Doms looking for a sub with no limits. It is concerning, but I believe that much of it comes from poor communication and a misunderstanding of the term.

I will say that a Dom looking for a sub with no limits is someone to run from. It is a huge red flag that this is a person who will be abusive and not respect the limits/boundaries of the submissive partner. This isn’t to say that all Doms that mention no limits are like that, it just seems like a unnecessary risk to take.

As for submissives who say they have no limits. I get it. I really do… the fantasy of being 100% under someone else’s control is hot as fuck! But it just isn’t realistic.

This may seem crazy to some but, no limits means that the submissive would accept being permanently hurt, disfigured, etc. Or that they would engage in unethical/illegal behaviours just to satisfy the D/s aspect of the relationship.

I am someone that wants a 24/7 D/s relationship and I strive to have as few limits as possible with my Dom. That being said, I am comfortable saying that because his hard limits and mine are very aligned. Not withstanding the obvious…. animals, kids, non-consenting parties, etc. Neither of us are into coprophilia, blood play, water sports, and the list goes on. So for the sake of simplicity when we talk I refer to working towards ‘no limits’ with him, but that is because I know that the limits we have are aligned and I don’t need to worry about him breaking them.

I do have a few limits that differ from him. The most glaring example is that he has a fantasy which involves another woman, and this woman and I would switch with each other. While I do have some switch tendencies, especially with women, I cannot wrap my head around Domming a woman, then later submitting to the same woman. But, this is something that I am potentially willing to explore at some point – but that point is still far off in the future.

Jumping into a BDSM relationship with ‘no limits’ is a terrifying concept! The fantasy is hot. Hell, even working towards pushing some limits into non-existence is hot, but that is a process that will span years of a relationship. Take your time, enjoy the process, build the required trust!

Doms: saying that you are looking for a sub with no limits is terrifying. It screams abuse. Not to mention, I am sure you, as a Dom, also have limits. That is okay…. encouraged even.
Subs: pretending that you have ‘no limits’ is not sexy and attractive. It will not make you more attractive to potential Doms. Respect yourself and your existence.

So, it was International Women’s Day recently and, as a result, the interwebs has been inundated with responses to women’s stories. #notallmen and #toomanymen and #notallmenbuttoomanymen. I’ll admit, I am really struggling finding a voice for my thoughts on this matter…. because I agree with aspects of both sides (surprise!).

I appreciate that many women are needlessly victimized, assaulted, and sexually harassed and that there needs to be changes to our culture. On the other hand, feeling uncomfortable just because a man is talking to you (politely and respectfully) is also a problem, and it’s not fair to expect men to change their behaviours to cater to this.

I see all this helpful “advice” to women, such as:

  • Don’t walk alone at night
  • Don’t dress in revealing clothes
  • Don’t wear heels when you are walking alone
  • Stay home if you feel unsafe
  • Don’t listen to music when you are walking alone, especially at night.

Let’s break that down. Don’t walk alone at night? Fuck off. I am a grown adult I am going to do what I want. Also, sometimes that is just impractical.

The next two… you know my thoughts on revealing clothing ut does not mean you are ‘asking for it,’ but it does increase the risk. As for heels, practicality says u agree because it is awfully hard to run away in heels. Realism says, I am not bringing an extra pair of shoes. Now, my controversial thought… I would say no one should walk alone on heels (for the practical reason) male or female, but, it just happens that men wearing high heels isn’t socially acceptable.

Don’t listen to music while walking alone at night. Personally, I don’t think this is advice for women, it is advice for people. I don’t think anyone walking alone at night should close off one of their senses, I think it is extra important to be aware of your surroundings when alone at night – male or female.

Then, I have seen the advice to men. Ways for men to change their everyday behavior towards women, in order to make them feel more comfortable. The only one I will speak to here is the advice for men to cross the road when walking behind a woman who is alone so she doesn’t feel like she is being followed.

What the actual fuck? This is the most goddamn unreasonable thing I have read in a long time.

Men are not responsible for the way a woman feels. If she feels like she is being followed, she can cross the road to determine if that is true.

I feel like this is an area where we need to empower women. Empower women to feel confident in their ability to protect themselves if need be. Empower women in standing up to men. Empower women, not expect men to cater to the victim complex of the female gender.

Too often, I get accused of victim blaming, so let me start by saying that no women, no person, deserves to be raped or victimized. Specifically, a women wearing revealing clothing is not “asking for it”.
I do, however, have a problem with the way society and social culture seems to believe that a way a woman dresses doesn’t play a role in potential victimization.
Yes, I am well aware that means that there needs to be more education surrounding consent, but that doesn’t mean we get to discount a value just because we don’t agree with it.

Let’s look at an example; a party, maybe a college party, maybe a sizeable group of young professionals, it doesn’t really matter just a group of people getting together eating, drinking and having a good time.
One woman is sociable and friendly, but wearing leggings and a sweatshirt. She makes it clear that she is just there because her friends dragged her out and she just wants to eat snacks and drink wine.
Another woman, equally as sociable and friendly, is wearing a short dress and flirting with any attractive man that is near her. This woman is sexually assaulted later than evening by one of these men.

Does she deserve it? Absolutely not! Is that guy a huge loser? Hell yes!
But…. did her provocative dress and flirting play a role in the horrible thing that happened. Yes. Undeniably yes.

Perhaps the man that victimized her misinterpreted her intentions. Perhaps her intentions were misinterpreted due to his misogyny. Maybe he is just an asshole. Maybe, just maybe, it was an honest fucking mistake (with horrible, traumatic consequences).

In an ideal world, it wouldn’t matter what a victim was wearing, or how s/he was acting, and even now it is not a mitigating factor – a perpetrator should be be held less accountable because of the way the victim was dressed. But we have to stop pretending that it doesn’t play a role, it does, and it matters.

Somehow, these two things seem to be mutually exclusive. It seems crazy to imagine a successful, confident person suffering from anxiety. I am not talking about a bit of nervousness before a presentation; or some test anxiety. I am referring to the crippling anxiety that causes an inability to eat, weight loss, loss of focus, depression – you know that kind of anxiety.

I think about this now because I am experiencing it. I have some things going on in my professional life that are causing extreme anxiety. I can’t eat, I have lost six pounds in a week, I can’t sleep, I am always tired, and there is a constant ball of dread in my stomach.
I also feel so alone. My husband has been a great support, I have no complaints about him, but he also doesn’t understand the politics at my workplace so he can only empathize so much. I tried to open up to a co-worker, but because I usually exude confidence I just got told “everything will be fine, don’t worry about it. You are always so sure of yourself, why are your worrying about this?” Which, let’s be honest, is less than helpful.

This experience got me thinking about mental health today. Everyone accepts that mental health issues are a growing concern, and the number of people suffering is high, but we always seem to think that people who are suffering will show outward signs. How many people are going through an acute mental health concern without any support.
I talk about anxiety specifically because that is my lived experience. I know that this is a short term problem for me and that my anxiety will either recede or shift once this issue is resolved in a few weeks, but until then I suffer in silence.