Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oh, I Was Starstruck

She pulls me across the bed, toward her, and kisses me on the back of my neck. I'm curled into the fetal position. My whole body is reverberating. I can feel my muscles contracting and releasing as I take shuttering breaths, trying to let go of the intensity of my orgasm and fall into that afterglow warmth. Without warning, she pulls me on top of her. I'm lying vaguely on my side, with her underneath me. It's such a sudden movement, I don't have time to protest. I'm trying to balance my weight, shifting some of it off of her, but she pulls me in tighter. She arranges my arms and legs until no part of my body is touching the bed. I ask her again and again if I'm crushing her. It makes me so nervous; I might be short, but I'm not small. She wraps her arms around me, takes a deep breath, and talks me through it, reassuring me, kissing me, petting me. I feel small and intensely vulnerable. This isn't a threat or an order; there's no purposeful power dynamic. But there's still a part of me that is vaguely intimidated by anyone who is bigger than me -- which is most people, since I'm all of 5'2.

She falls asleep under me, and I'm amazed. How I have not managed to crush her blows my mind. But I like this comfort between us. After four years punctuated by fights and rollercoaster emotions, I'm rather enjoying the calmness that she brings to my life.

I keep it a secret, but I crave this sweetness sometimes. I want praise and adoration; I want her to tell me I'm a 'good girl' when I ejaculate on her fingers. I want to be held so very tightly after I've orgasmed and oxytocin is flooding my body in waves, leaving me feeling so very raw. I want to be kissed in the morning. I want someone who slow dances with me. I don't want it all the time, nor do I need it all the time. But in those few moments where my independence, my dominance, doesn't win out, I crave that intimacy.


It's a lovely Sunday spring afternoon in NOLA. I spent most of the day at the park with my roommate, lying in the sun and reading for class. But it's also been an emotionally intense day. I'm reading a book on Katrina for class that documents many of the horrifying discrimination and bullshit that happened post-storm; it's enough to shake up anyone with half a conscience. I'm saying goodbye to a close friend, and struggling with that process for many reasons. And I'm thinking a lot about the last queer women's bar in the area, which is probably going to shut down after a new city ordinance. What does it mean to not have a space? What does it mean to not have power and money in a capitalist city that functions primarily off both? What comes next?

And, somewhere amid all of this, I want to go back to 2pm yesterday afternoon, because there's nothing like a whole day spent in bed with someone, simply enjoying their company and shutting out the rest of the world. It feels like a pendulum sometimes -- the intensity of organizing and school, the constant heightened stimulation of being on politically and personally and culturally, to the quietness of a bedroom where it feels like nothing outside can touch us. I find I need both of these in my life. I need to be held, I need to fall asleep in someone's arms, as much as I need moments where I can dominate someone or be dominated. Maybe this balance is what keeps the world turning.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You Can Make It Feel So Real

"May I come?"

I pull back, disconnecting my lips from her labia, but leave both fingers inside her cunt.

"Excuse me?" My voice comes out low, hard.

"May I come?" She's moaning between questions. I'm enjoying making her wait.

"Aren't you missing something?"

"Please, ma'm? May I..."

I cut her off. "No. Wait."

She moans, almost whining. She swings her wrists down, but I catch the movement out of the corner of my eye, just as I'm about to dip my face back into her cunt.

"What are you doing? Put your hands back over your head."

She gulps.

"Yes, ma'm." She shifts her handcuffed wrists back above her head.

"If you behave, I'll let you come. Do you understand?"

She nods. "Yes, ma'm"

I slide back down, curling both fingers into her g-spot before I lick her slowly, from the base of my fingers, across her labia, and over her clit. She shudders and cries out, again; it's obvious how hard she is holding it in. I twirl my tongue around her clit once more, clockwise.

"Now. You can come."

She gasps for a huge breath, moans, and I lick her, tongue flat across her clit, until she's writhing and dripping down my tongue, my lips, my chin. She quiets for a minute, breathing deeply. We're far from done. I begin to twirl my fingers inside of her, very, very slowly. She's so tight; I know she can feel every touch, every movement, to the tips of her fingers and toes. I adore how the energy coils in her body after she comes; there's another orgasm hiding, but it must be coaxed out. Usually this is a slow process, a dance, as I loosen her up until she's crying out on the verge again.

I lick her, gently, pulling her g-spot with the tips of my fingers in rhythm with my tongue. She thrashes a bit, and comes across my lips again.

She didn't ask first. She knows better. But I don't stop. I want to see how far this will go. I keep licking, fucking, pushing against her cunt in a slow rhythm.

She moans. "May I come, please?"

But she doesn't wait for my answer. She's trying to pretend like she isn't coming, but the way she tightens around my fingers gives her away. I let her finish, then lift my head up.

"I... I... I came without your permission."

Dead silence.

"Did you?"

"Yes." It comes out as a whisper.

"Excuse me?" My voice becomes harsher, sharper.

"Yes, ma'm. Twice."

I pull my fingers out so quickly she jumps. I climb up the bed, over her, straddle her waist. She looks up at me, hands above her head, where they should be.

"Are you going to punish me?" Her voice is so soft, I can barely hear it.

"Do you deserve to be punished?"



"Yes, what?" Cut the bullshit.

"Yes, ma'm."

"Did I tell you I would punish you if you didn't ask before you came?"


"Yes, ma'm."

I reach above her, pull the cuffs off, one by one. I'm contemplating her punishment, and I need a second. I consider a spanking, but I haven't hit her or spanked her yet. I'm not sure she's ready. I'd prefer something she doesn't know yet to fear, something that will cut psychologically, not physically.

She lies waiting quietly in anticipation. I say nothing, let her fear build. I get out of bed and move around the room, replacing the handcuffs in the drawer, giving us both a few moments.

Hm. This is going to be good.

I pull my Hitachi wand out of the drawer. I can feel her eyes following me in the faint light. I plug it in next to my bed.

"Get on your side of the bed." She shifts over, away from me, still on her back. Her eyes are huge. I can tell that she's extremely nervous.

I look directly into her eyes. "You disobeyed me."


"Why did you disobey me?"

"I... I guess...I wanted to know what the consequences would be."

"You wanted to know if I would really punish you?" I'm astounded at this blatant disobedience.

"Yes.... ma'm." She knows she's in deep trouble now.

"So, you're telling me that not only did you disobey me, but you did it purposefully." I don't wait for her answer. "You're testing me. I don't appreciate it. You deserve to be punished. I don't threaten what I am not willing to carry out. Do you understand me?"

The fear is getting the better of her. "Yes, ma'm."

"Do you understand why you are being punished?"

She doesn't hesitate. "Yes, ma'm."

"Good." I lie down next to her, but several inches away. No part of my body is touching hers. I pull the Hitachi into my lap.

"I'm going to get off, and you're going to watch. Under no circumstances can you touch me. Do you understand?"

She whines, but it comes out almost as a moan. Holding me, touching me, as I masturbate is one of her favorite ways to have sex. It's probably her biggest fetish. And I'm about to turn it against her.


I turn the Hitachi on, rub it against my clit, and begin to moan. It's almost theatre, putting this show on for her. I'm not sure if I'm more audience or performer. I can't see her, next to me in the dark, but I can feel her writhing, struggling physically and mentally with her punishment.

"Please? Please, can I touch you?"

"No." Punishments are not to be taken lightly.

I turn my head and moan near her ear. She whimpers a bit, quiets down. I'm so very much enjoying this. I come, my moans reaching a crescendo, cut the power of the Hitachi, and lie in the bed, letting my body reverberate from the powerful vibrations. I can feel her still writhing, getting upset with me.

"May I... may I touch you now?"

"Did you forget something, again?"


"No. You may not touch me."

I drop the Hitachi on the floor, and turn toward her, propping up on my side to look down on her.

"How does it feel to be punished?"

She gasps, still wanting to touch me. My body is so very close to hers, and I can feel the magnetism between us. I want to touch her, too. I want to cradle her, hold her, nuzzle her, kiss her. But I hold back. I want her to know that I'm serious, that a threat results in action. I want her to understand she isn't going to get away with disobeying me.

"It... it was... torture." She shivers. "To hear you, to see you next to me, and not to touch you. That was really mean."

"How did it make you feel?"

She thinks for a second. "Angry. I'm kind of mad at you."

I digest this for a minute. "Did you disobey me?"


"Did you know that if you did not ask before you came, I would punish you? Was I clear in explaining the consequences?"


"Did you decide to test me by purposefully disobeying?"

She's becoming petulant with my pushing. "Yes."

"Then you do understand that you brought this on yourself?"


"You don't have any right to be angry with me. You made a choice. You chose to disobey, knowing full and well that there would be consequences. You had the agency here. I responded to your actions. I think you need to reconsider who your anger should be aimed at."

She seethes a bit in the dark, but I can tell the wheels are turning.

"But that punishment was really mean."

"Yes. But you wanted to test me, and you chose to disobey me." I take a breath. "I think we should end this scene. Is that ok?"

"Yes, please."

I kiss her, softly, on the lips. I put my arm around her, pull her head into my chest, and cradle her body into mine. She shutters, breathes deeply, and curls into me.

I Don't Give A Damn

I'm going to get STD and HIV tested tomorrow -- as I do annually -- so I felt like this was so very fitting. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Georgia On My Mind

Been a bit absent around here lately. Post-Mardi Gras I've been trying to catch up with school and work, which has kept me ridiculously busy. My mom, brother, and uncle came in this weekend to visit for a friend's wedding, but unfortunately, I had a bizarre unexpected medical nightmare and ended up in the ER/hospital for the weekend. Eh. There's been a whole lot of miserableness and negativity born from this weekend. I need a break from it. I left the hospital yesterday, after getting in a glorious fight with my mother (ugh), a very long night of my screaming in pain in the ER on Friday, and more tests than I can imagine. I took home very high blood pressure, a lot of fear, plans for follow up visits (mostly to rule out the possibilities of a long-term issue), antibiotics, and the reality that now I have to catch back up with my life and prep for what will probably be a nasty fight with my insurance company.

I'm having trouble staying completely lucid lately. The headaches from the blood pressure leave me in a fog, and as I told someone today, I'm only firing on half my cylinders. Unfortunately, until my blood pressure meters out some, I don't know how much writing I'll be doing. But they're saying it should be back to normal in 2-3 weeks.

Anyway. All that aside. I need to focus on some of the positives coming out of all of this, so that the stress doesn't consume me.

So here's a list of all the awesome things about being in the hospital and being really sick:

1) Permission and encouragement to consume as much ginger ale as I wish. (Though this will end, soon, because apparently ginger ale is both high in carbs and high in sodium. Yikes.)

2) An excuse to be more healthy. Any motivation to drink less, smoke less, exercise more, and eat healthier is a push in the right direction. Plus, sex is exercise. Ergo, this is an excuse to have more sex. (Anyone else follow my logic here?)

3) A reason for falling asleep in someone else's arms.

4) Super awesome friends who took me to the hospital, checked on me, hung out with me, listened to me bitch and whine, took my blood pressure, called for second opinions, and generally did super awesome things.

5) A perfectly acceptable time and place to cry. It's so very hard for me to cry, unless I'm extremely emotionally and physically weak. But sometimes, it's a great release.

6) Hours of listening to Josh Radin and Micheal Buble and Disney songs, all of which soothe my headaches.

7) A lot of rest time.

8) Gorgeous purple flowers.

9) A reason to read through everything my insurance covers and my school clinic provides... and the realization that the school clinic offers free STD testing, gyno services, and discounted birth control. So, while I would prefer Planned Parenthood, any free health services are a blessing right now.

10) Recognition of what high blood pressure feels like. I worried I wouldn't recognize it, because often there are no symptoms. Knowing about the problem means I can respond accordingly, and not worry that I'm putting stress on my heart and kidneys when I'm unaware.

11) Gratefulness to be off a liquid diet. Still not sure what that unlabeled red stuff in a styrofoam cup was?

12) The blessing of feeling so much better, and the reminder that I am not invincible. Both are incredibly important.

Ok. Enough of this personal stuffs. I'm ready to be well and get back to writing about what this blog was designed for. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Like This City Is On Fire Tonight

My thoughts are echoing through all 1700 square feet of my house, and the wind is beating on the windows, rustling the curtains through the cracks. It's hard to believe that over the last few days, there has been a rotation of thirteen people (at least) in and out of this house, with the majority crashing on couches and beds, smoking on porches and steps, cooking soul food for the masses, and drinking, drinking, drinking. Oh, Mardi Gras. This week has been a fantastic excess for me -- from sex and sleeping in to copious amounts of drinking and parades and revelry. So much chaos! By Monday night, I always start to run out of steam, and by Tuesday... I'm ready for a long nap, a hot shower, and a long reprieve.

It feels good to come back to the real world. Sometimes, I nary say I do prefer a pumpkin over a carriage.

Yesterday morning, I headed to my favorite church for my ashes. Unfortunately, due to mass traffic gridlock, I missed the service by a few minutes. Instead, I turned and headed back to a Catholic church I had passed on the way, where people were overflowing out the door. I missed most of the service, but as there were easily over 400 people waiting for their ashes, I made it just in time to head toward the end of the line. I even caught a song or two by the gospel choir; I've never heard the staid Catholic hymns sung by an all-black choir in a call-and-response fashion -- so incredible. It was a gorgeous, traditional church, striding the border between the Treme and French Quarter, but clearly touched by the unique history and love and power of the community. I felt guided there, almost by serendipity.

The older white priest touched my forehead, making the sign of the cross in black, and spoke over me -- "Remember, you are from dust and to dust you shall return."

And so began Lent.

As a child raised Episcopalian, I remember debating each year what to give up. Cokes? Chocolate? There didn't seem like many options. I usually chose something I liked, vaguely, always something superficial. I don't remember Lent much until my sophomore year in high school. By then I had more or less walked away from Christianity, but for some reason that year, I wanted to practice Lent. I tried to give up swear words, and in my childish way, I would mark on my arms with a pen each time I used one. That lasted roughly a day or two, as I came home marked up on both arms, which my mother was not so pleased with.

The next year, at the urging of my girlfriend (who was raised Catholic, but was even further removed from any belief or practice than myself), I gave up soft drinks. Cokes, for those of us raised in the Deep South. All of them. That act went over much better -- in all honestly, I still don't drink them, except as the occasional mixer.

But as an adult, I find the ritual of cleansing, sacrifice, and self-reflection to be very important. Call it Lent or call it Ramadan -- I don't think the time of year, the nature of the religious affiliation (or lack of one!), or the motivation is so pertinent. I think what's important is making sure to schedule time to reflect, to focus, to prioritize, to heal. For me, I choose Lent -- even though I don't identify as Christian or practice most Christian beliefs and rituals. But I do find power in rituals, and Lent is one I have chosen to take with me into my adult life.

Especially after the mad excess of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, there's something appealing about a bit of austerity. It's so easy to get caught up in the chaos, as I was this year -- constantly going, drinking, seeing all my old friends who had come to visit, meeting new people, making sure that everyone is having a great time. My self care needs, my thoughts, get lost. There is no time to reflect and process.

This description could so easily be a metaphor for life. We get caught up in day-to-day work schedules, in school, in paying bills, in dating and partners and children, in family obligations, in dreams, in text messages, in friends and crises. It is easy to get swept away, to move from one thing to the next constantly, never giving myself a moment to think, a moment to reflect, a place and time to do so. I don't believe Lent is simply about denying myself chocolate or caffeine, but instead, it's about cutting down on some of the distractions and refocusing myself. It's a chance to make improvements. Life moves so quickly; it's difficult to slow down long enough to make positive changes. I've heard that it takes a minimum of 21 days to change or form a habit, so I feel like I've got twice as good of a chance to make that happen during Lent.

Last year, for Lent, I took on two major changes. First, I was approaching the end of a relationship, and I needed time to think and decide what I wanted -- to continue dating or to end things. But in the midst of all the frustration, anger, and pain I was feeling, I had lost sight of everything else I wanted -- I was drowning in school and work, having left those responsibilities behind. So I planned to refocus my thoughts and prioritize my needs and obligations better.

Second, I gave up something. I come from a Southern culture where gossiping is considered impolite but expected; I grew up in Mississippi surrounded by family and friends who didn't make conversation any other way. But I find it hurtful and often, downright mean -- yet, I felt like I did it much more than I should, almost as a guilty pleasure. So I gave up talking badly about people. I made an effort to refocus that energy -- to try to find something good to say about everyone, to learn to think in the positive. I find this is a long-term change, one I still have to work on some days. But it has become tremendously easier as the days go by.

This year, my Lenten goals are equally complex. I've had an incredibly busy semester, in grad school full-time and in two jobs, and I'm finding that I've taken on so much that I'm giving half-effort to everything. It's disappointing and frustrating. I want to re-prioritize. I want to make sure I still have time for myself and for my friends, and I want to make sure I'm cutting out whatever obligations aren't necessary.

I'm giving up one of the biggest hindrances in my life: guilt. I have a horrible guilt complex, and I find that I can't work past it, even when I feel guilty about issues and problems I can't control. I find that many of my decisions and actions are powered by guilt in ways that aren't healthy. I want to make sure everyone around me is happy, and I feel guilty if I'm not working to do so. I feel guilty about saying "no" to anyone's requests for help, even when it's in my best interest to not take on more obligations. I feel guilty when I don't perform 110%, when I don't accomplish what is probably superhuman. I feel guilty when I fear someone else is disappointed in me, even when I feel completely justified and sure of my actions.

Guilt has a place, yes. It drives me to apologize when I need to. It reminds me that there are some actions I shouldn't take because there are long-term consequences, even if they seem pleasurable in the short-term. I'm not writing it off completely. But guilt can also be disabling, especially when that guilt surrounds things out of my control. It's a powerful motivator, yes, but also a negating one. I would prefer to find my drive through love and strength, through my interests and passions, not through the fear of not accomplishing something, not through the fear of not satisfying everyone, and definitely not through the guilt that stems from that fear.

So for Lent, I'm going to refocus. I'm going to prioritize. And I'm going to find strength, not guilt, in doing so. I'm going to empower myself to rise above my fear and guilt, to give up indulging in those very powerful emotions. And hopefully, at the end of 40 days, I won't be carrying so much baggage around -- but instead, I'll find that indeed, positive change and austerity can become a lifestyle -- not simply 40 days without potato chips and chocolate bars.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Made a Wrong Turn Once or Twice

"Someone once wrote, 'If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.' Yes – & I’d add that if something is worth doing, it is also worth doing halfway & then quitting. It’s also worth brooding over, and making lots of plans, & then going off & doing something else. Having many little interests, amateur enthusiasms, & failed ambitions creates a rich stew out of which you can boil fresh ideas." -- James Kennedy

I’m feeling mired right now, and I know it’s because I need to face this decision in the face.

For years, I’ve felt that if I went back and did things differently, I would have gone to nursing school. Last semester, facing mountains of uncertainty, I began to seriously consider the idea. My school was (is) losing funding at a mind-numbing rate. I’ve been there a year, and I think we’ve lost at least 6 million from the annual budget – and this is a school still in recovery, still facing serious repercussions from Katrina damage. Even when programs, professors, and staff aren’t being cut, the professors are often smart enough to leave before they’re left with no job and no notice. My undergrad faces the same issue – even though it’s a private college – and the thought of putting in so much time and effort into two degrees from institutions that probably won’t exist in five to ten years was a bit overwhelming. Hell, for awhile (and even now, though I try not to think about it), I wasn’t sure I would make it out of the University of New Orleans in time to graduate before my department ceased to exist. Unhappy with my job prospects in the last year and feeling already emotionally overwhelmed, school became a nightmare I couldn’t face. So I checked out for most of last semester, committing only minimal time and energy, and started considering  my options.

Transferring is a last resort, at this point. I’d be able to take 12 credits; I have 21 plus 6 more from this semester. I don’t have the energy or drive to start over again from that point, and I would be forced to move. The only other program in state is Baton Rouge, and hell no, I would rather cut off a limb than move there. Commuting is out; the program isn’t even nationally accredited and my tuition would double, plus I couldn’t work and commute. Fuck that.

So I chose to stay put. I also didn’t want to leave New Orleans. I’d been here a year, was on shaky emotional ground, and wasn’t ready to give up on this city or the possibilities here.

Instead, I considered investing in a different career. Nursing would be something I’m interested in. I’d never have to worry about not finding a job – there’s a worldwide shortage of nurses. I’d have an income I could depend on, instead of working in social services, which is infinitely unpredictable (see: federal/state budget shortfalls, dependency on donations, and political chaos), underpaid, and emotionally taxing. So I looked at my options, and talked to several people. I still had two biology and microbiology courses I would have to take as pre-reqs to apply, so I figured these would be a test – to see if I wanted this, if I had the drive to do this. If I was crazy enough to get another fucking degree.

Fast forward.

So. I’m doing ok in biology class – I have a 86 in lab and a 89 in class, which I could bring up to an A. But the experience is really showing me that maybe this isn’t the right path. A part of me feels guilty for jumping into this, for looking for other ways to bail ship because I’m scared of all the chaos. Both my bio classes are sucking the life out of me. I’m still taking a full masters’ course load, and working two part-time jobs – and yet, because my bio classes require so much work, they’re getting put first. But I enjoy them the least. I really don’t have the interest or passion in science that I do for sociology and public health. It’s brutally clear to me what a difference I experience when I go to a bio class and when I go to soc class. There’s a part of me that wants to prove to myself that I can do this, if I want it badly enough. But I fear that’s the part driven by guilt, driven by the fear that – what if I’m not good at this? – and I want to bite back and say – I don’t have to be good at everything.

And good God, the thought of three more years of school sounds so brutally intense that I can’t imagine. I got my undergrad in 3.5 years, and I had a 3.9 GPA. I’m going to graduate with a Master’s by the time I’m 24, and right now I have a 4.0. I’m not sure what I’m trying to prove, or who I want to prove it to. 

But there’s a limit to how hard I can push myself, and I’m staring into that mirror right now.

I realized last week that everything I was doing was really half-assed: work, homework, studying, friendships, sex, all of it. I hated it. I constantly feel like I’m doing damage control lately, paying attention only to what is immediate and necessary, what is going to explode first. 

I want to write grants to fund a more permanent place for me in the work I'm doing now. I want to fund my own research. I want to plan more events for the trans community. I want to have a few nights where I can just get a fucking beer without feeling like I need to be studying for eight hours a day. I want to be able to go on a date, without having to go home after dinner and study. I want what I love, what I’m good at, to be good enough – and if it isn’t, I don’t want to spend now worrying that the only way I’ll be able to support myself is to keep working service industry for the rest of my life. If I keep sinking so much time into pursuing so many different plans, everything I do will always be half-assed.

(I can hear my advisor giving me two pieces of advice, yet again: a) slow down and b) focus – don’t think so broad)

A lot of this is tied up with guilt about failing. A lot of it is tied up with guilt and anxiety and fear about money.

So I’m writing this to let that guilt go.

So far, every decision I have made this semester I’ve been immensely pleased with. Truly, there aren’t a lot of decisions in my life I regret – and being a sociology major, conducting research, and working in the non-profit sector, have been some of the most fulfilling and amazing opportunities that I have had. So I’m looking for peace in this decision – I’m looking for peace in letting go, recognizing that I gave myself the chance to pursue this dream, but it turns out that it’s just not right. 

My dream is to work in a sex-positive context for the rest of my life – to work with sex education and HIV/AIDS prevention, to empower people to connect with and embrace their sexuality, to address sexual health issues, to work against the social constraints which limit gender and sexuality expression in our society. If I went into nursing, I knew that I’d either work with mothers or with HIV/AIDS prevention. There are a lot of paths to get to where I want, but I’ve just got to accept that I can’t take them all.

Instead, I’ve got to start prioritizing and discriminating. I’ve got to let go of my guilt. And, as I keep hearing over and over and over in the last few months, I’ve got to be physically, emotionally, and psychologically present. I want to be here, now, not tied up in anxiety about where I want to go next, what I haven’t finished yet, or who and what I’m putting off.

So, starting Wednesday -- Lent, for those of you who aren't paying attention -- I'm giving up feeling guilty. And hopefully, before then, I'm going to drop both classes, and I'm going to start investing my time in what I already have on my plate -- and not try to find a quick-fix for all the questions I haven't even been asked yet.