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.
  • 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.

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.

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.

I have been thinking a lot lately about high school. Who I was. How I have changed. And some influential moments in my life.

In my last post I commented on having sex for the first time and it got me thinking about a very memorable conversation I had with a friend of mine.
I was in grade 10, in woodshop, sitting and chatting with a (guy) friend, he asked me if I planned on having sex before graduating high school. I thought about it for a moment and said that while I didn’t plan on it, if it happened, it happened.

Overall, that conversation shouldn’t seem so memorable. But, ironically, this conversation happened about two months before I had sex. And for the life of me, I can’t remember what changed in that short time frame.

So, as a teenager I always assumed that I had sex for the first time at a relatively “normal” age, maybe the lower end of the spectrum, but nothing crazy. However, now when the conversation turns to sex with new friends, it seems that I was very young,

I was 15 when I had sex for the first time. My boyfriend at the time had just turned 16 and we had been together for almost a year. Prior to this, we had engaged in other sexual activities, including oral sex, but this was the first time we had PIV sex.
It was awful, we were both clumsy virgins.

Even though I knew that most of my friends weren’t sexually active, I did have a few close friends who were having sex with their partners. This is what led me to believe that I was fairly average when it came to losing my virginity.
I like to talk about sex, so I do often ask friends how old they were when they had sex for the first time, and it seems that most people I ask were in the 18-21 range. Which seems crazy to me!

My husband and I are that couple, you know the one that everyone is jealous of? That’s us. Beautiful house, stable jobs, the cutest son, a cabin on the lake. We have everything that we could possibly want – the perfect life.

But there is always a dark secret hiding below the surface, mine is nothing sinister, I just want more. I have a kinky side. My husband tries to indulge me, but it just isn’t the same. I want to be able to submit, I want to know that the man I am with is enjoying himself; I want to lose myself in my submission and I can’t do that with my husband.

So yes, I have the perfect life – 95% of the time. I get it, marriage is hard and we all make sacrifices in our relationships, but the 5% I am sacrificing seems so fucking important. Then I met him. All I know is that 5%, fuck the rest – I already have all that. He makes me feel alive; he makes me see how just how important that 5% is. He needs this too, he is in the same situation as I am.

Five percent.

18 days.

How can I have it all? How can I keep my perfect life? The same way that he can.

Twice a year, we find a way to meet. 9 days together each time; 18 days per year – 5%

Eighteen days per year where we can both live out all of our fantasies. The rest of the world doesn’t matter. Most of the time we don’t even leave the hotel, there isn’t enough time to explore the world.

Monogamy as “the norm”. Will we ever get away from this idea?
Personally, I am not sure if we will. At this point, it is so culturally ingrained, despite the fact that non-monogamy is gaining popularity.

What is monogamy?
Most people accept that monogamy is a given when starting a romantic relationship, but there is no conversation surrounding it. Is watching porn considered cheating? Is having sexual thoughts about other people considered cheating? Boundaries are different in every relationship.
I have friends that consider themselves monogamous, but flirting with, and kissing, other people are acceptable behaviours in their relationship. Another couple I know would completely consider that an open relationship.
So what is monogamy?

Ebb and Flow in Non-monogamous relationships
Personally, I find that if I have a secondary partner that I experience less sexual ebb and flow in my primary relationship. Being out with my secondary always makes me want to come home to my primary, I want to share with him! But also, I am always reminded of all of the qualities I love – why he is my primary.

Monogamy in a non-monogamous relationship
I have to say that I am fairly monogamous in my non-monogamous relationships. I originally wanted an open relationship because I like to kiss people when I am intoxicated. From there I started reading about different relationship styles and forms of non-monogamy and have now settled on a type of hierarchical polyamory.
In the ten plus years that I have been with my husband I have had sex with exactly two other people. One a very casual encounter, and the other is very much a romantic (albeit, long-distance) relationship.

Intentional vs unintentional
The irony was not lost on me that there are so many people who are unintentionally in non-monogamous relationships.
That is all.