Ramblings on Boot Blacking

So I don’t know much about it, but I want to learn more about boot blacking. I only have my pair of Docs to care for and they are in dire need of a good polish. I taught myself a bit about it and have been polishing various pairs of boots I’ve owned for a long time, but after more research have realized just how much I don’t know (which is a lot!) I can’t wait to have more things to care for, like a quality leather flogger or paddle although I expect caring for them will be somewhat different than polishing my boots will be. Unfortunately, my partner isn’t into the shiny boots or shoes look so I can’t really do it as an act of service for them. But I can do it as an act of self care for myself and get lost in the feel and smell of leather, both of which I find to be incredibly erotic (so much so that I wrote a story about boot blacking from a submissive’s point of view.)

As I am reading and learning many things I’m finding that the very idea of polishing boots other than my own or my partner’s very intriguing, but I think it would also be very nerve wracking as I would be terrified of messing up. As someone with a very submissive mindset I think it would bother me greatly to make a mistake. Which means that even if I had the chance or skill level I doubt I would ever boot black at a leather or kink related event. I might, however, be willing to sit and have my boots polished. I think there would be something potentially charged in that exchange that I would enjoy. And by watching the process I might learn a thing or two about taking better care of my own leather goods.

I read a blog post ( https://leatherati.com/leatherati-bootblack-week-the-spirituality-of-bootblacking-36ed855a434b) that really spoke to me about how leather care can be a spiritual sort of experience and in some ways I think that it is something that I could use in my life to help me deal with some of my own personal demons. I want to see if it will help me manage some symptoms of bipolar or anxiety, although I worry that trying to do that could lead to my becoming slightly obsessive over keeping my boots clean and polished, which would be a difficult task given the winter weather where I live. But doing all the reading I’ve done and glancing over at my boots from time to time has left me almost aching to get down to business, but I don’t have polish or other supplies at hand just now so I’ll have to content myself with soaking up as much knowledge as I can find while I imagine the smell and feel of leather surrounding me. I’m genuinely looking forward to getting the supplies and applying myself at a task that I imagine many people would find to be arduous and time consuming.

Anyone reading this may wonder just how it relates to the more sexual topics that I typically write about, but I feel like learning to clean and polish my boots with care and skill is something that will let me improve my submission overall because I can give in to the feelings that I have and just surrender myself to them. This is something that I fight with as I’m (still) not always comfortable letting myself be vulnerable when I submit to Sir especially if I want to ask for something or share something and I want to be the best version of myself than I can be, not only for them, but for myself. I want to learn and grow and be more than I am. So for me, even if I’m not caring for anyone’s leather but my own, I want to be the best I can be at it, to let it teach me lessons that I might not have known I needed to learn, and to be able to have pride in a job well done just like I would from any other act of service, even if, in this case, the service is for myself. I’m also curious to see if I can reach a sort of head space or subspace in the repetitive nature of the task, the smell of leather and polish, and the general flow of the act itself and see how that affects me as well.

For anyone out there who has more experience with boot blacking than I do, I’m certainly open to comments or suggestions about how to learn more and become good at a skill that I know so little about. I know that reading can only get me so far and much of it I will have to learn by doing my own thing and figuring out what works for me. As I become better versed in the skill perhaps, sometime in the future, I will write a basic boot blacking 101 type post where I share what I’ve learned to help other people looking to learn, but for now I’m just going to polish my boots and let the journey lead me where it will.

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Thoughts on Aftercare

Aftercare is an essential part of any type of BDSM whether it is a long drawn out scene or a simple spanking when the kids aren’t home. It makes the end of playtime a much more comforting experience and can be a great time for bonding with your partner(s.) As a submissive I know that being held and loved and being able to slowly drift out of subspace and knowing I’m safe is just an amazing feeling. But to me, even in my own relationship, it feels like aftercare is mostly directed towards the submissive. However if you stop for a moment and think about it, dominants or tops need their own version of aftercare as things can be quite demanding on them as well. The questions to ask though are A) do they get that aftercare and B) how can we improve upon the idea of aftercare for them so they get something out of it?

My partner and I have discussed this particular topic more than once and sometimes the aftercare for them is simply being able to take care of me. That helps them come back to center and feel more settled. But I often wonder if I, as a submissive, am doing enough to help them get there because many times I’m a shaking puddle of happiness, drifting through subspace and that makes it hard for me to do much beyond hold onto them and tell them that I love them. Repeatedly. Maybe that is what they need most in that moment. Sometimes, however, they need some space to put themselves back together and that’s OK too. Usually I get a drink and cuddles and they make sure I’m alright before giving me a blanket and ensuring that I know they won’t be far and I can always call out to them if I need them. That is another thing that works for us. What works for us might not work for you.

On the flip side, perhaps you are the submissive who considers things like getting your dominant a drink and making sure their needs are met could be part of your aftercare too. Perhaps you arrange things before hand to make it easy, which is great for planned things, but harder for more spontaneous play (unless you’re super organized and always keep things ready for when anytime becomes playtime.) However you do it I think that finding a way to take care of a top, just as they take care of a submissive is an important thing in any relationship, no matter how serious or casual things are between the people involved.

Aftercare means different things to different people and it can vary so widely that I don’t want to attempt to guess at what it means for you personally. I do want to suggest that readers take a long look at how they practice aftercare and see if there’s a way things can be different that might allow the dominant person to receive more or better aftercare as it seems to be good for them as well. If they are struggling to be grounded after a scene, what can you do to help them come back to center? Do they need touch and closeness? Do they need space? And lastly, how can you combine the aftercare for a submissive with the aftercare of a dominant in a way that allows the people involved to all get what they need?

Wicked Wednesday – 319 – Let Your Partner Say No

I’m guessing that some of you read the title of this post and immediately though, “Well duh, Livvy”, but I’m not just talking about giving or removing the idea of enthusiastic consent here, although that’s obviously important as well, even in relationships where there is also implied consent. There is something more to be said for letting your partner say no within a sexual situation (or any situation really.)

Having agency within one’s life, sexual or otherwise is incredibly important and, I feel, incredibly freeing. You’re not obligated to go along with the crowd and it lets you do what you need or want to do both in and out of bed. This is something that I think many people think about too much because going with the flow has always been encouraged, especially, it seems for girls and women. We’re expected to say yes to all kinds of things, even when we want to say no. But back to saying no in a sexual context without specifically removing consent.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Let’s say that my partner wants to try bringing food into the bedroom to play with, but on their own they decide that I wouldn’t like it and therefore they don’t bring the idea up at all because they have essentially already made the choice for me (i.e. assumed I’d say no.) BUT, if my partner comes to me outside of a sexual context and says hey, maybe we should get some edible chocolate and some whipped cream to play with in bed. Suddenly I have agency again and I can decide if it is something I want to do or not. For the record, it would be a no; I’ve heard that the edible chocolate stuff is really gross and I don’t want to be sticky from whipped cream. By not making a choice for me, my partner has given me a choice to say yes or no to that particular act. Notice that I’m not saying no to sex as a whole or to other things, but just to the idea of food in bed. It can be your yum, but it certainly isn’t mine.

The example above is pretty clear and concrete and defines what I mean relatively precisely. And it can be about anything between you and your partner, whether its related to your sex life or not. It’s simply another good way to share your lives together and to communicate in ways that give you both the power to say yes or no to any given thing at any given time. There’s no pressure or expectation that something has to be done, especially when we focus back on sex, and instead it creates an open dialog that might given you more or different or better ideas of things to suggest to your partner.

So, yes it is a form of consent to let your partner say no to something just like any other type of consent that is out there, but in this case it can give them the freedom or permission that they need to say no in other parts of their lives as well because they may feel empowered knowing that they can say no to you, so they can say no to others. Never assume that you’re idea is too kinky or weird or vanilla or whatever and that your partner won’t like it. Just ask them!

 

Wicked Wednesday – 318 – Recreate

 

So lately I’ve been struggling really badly with my bipolar disorder. I’m incredibly depressed and haven’t been able to handle much in the way of running my life. And I’ve spent all weekend wondering what to write about for Wicked Wednesday or even if I was going to be able to write a post. Much angst ensued. Even now these words are hard to write.

What could I recreate? A retelling of some famous tale? A memory brought back to life? And then I knew. I realized exactly the thing that I need to recreate. And it has nothing to do with sex or erotica and everything to do with me. I feel like (and have felt like) that I lose parts of myself to my bipolar disorder. It just takes things away from me like a parent disciplining a child, but I don’t always get them back as a reward for good behavior. If I did, my life would likely be much simpler.

But the thing that I need to recreate, somehow, is that spark that I used to have for writing and blogging and doing things with my life, no matter what they are. I’ve become so desensitized, so numb to everything but the depression that I’ve let that gift slip away from me. And right now, I have no idea how to get it back. I take my medications and I go to therapy, but when you’ve been subconsciously downplaying things to your therapist that doesn’t help much. I had an “Aha!” moment regarding that subconscious behavior just the other day. I’m sure my next therapy appointment should be fun. But back to finding a spark of…creativity, life, energy, I don’t know what to call it. Maybe all of those things.

How do I do this? I don’t think I can force it and I don’t want to force it. OK, I do, but that’s because I hate who I’ve become and want instant change, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how this all works. It is going to be a long road I think and a journey that only I can make. Where do I start? How do I begin? I don’t even have those answers. So until I can find them or figure them out am I doomed to wander lost, trapped inside my head? I don’t think so. I think I can try to actively move forward even with the depression and anxiety weighing me down. It just won’t be fast or easy to do.

So, I guess, this week folks, instead of some steamy erotica or sexy fun, I’m baring a part of myself open to be recreated somehow. If anyone has any sage advice or suggestions I’ll certainly take them into consideration and see how they might help me out, help me be me again, and find my way back into something resembling light even if it is dim.

 

 

Sex Beyond Penile Vaginal Intercourse

Sex is typically supposed to be an inherently pleasurable act for two or more parties. Everyone involved should feel comfortable and able to express their feelings and desires. For many straight couples though sex seems to begin and end at the traditional definition of penis in vagina (PIV) sex. Sure maybe some couples are adventuresome and enjoy anal sex, but in many ways it isn’t too different from PIV and that makes it somewhat familiar, while being just a little different and naughty at the same time. And there may be just as many non-straight couples or groups who are stuck in a sex rut of their own. The question here, is how to escape that rut?

One way to do is to look at sex as something more than just intercourse (whatever your definition of that is) and to engage your brain on a more sexual level. Now I know some of you may already do this and get where I’m coming from, but for those of you wondering what does my brain have to do with sex, let me tell you something you might not know. The brain is the largest erogenous zone that we have. It can process sex in visual, auditory, tactile, or even olfactory or tasty ways. Maybe your lover always wears a certain perfume and it trips your buttons (for me its the smell or taste of my favorite lube, coconut oil), the sound of sheets rustling, a naughty picture sent to your cellphone (The Ultimate Sex Toy?) or any number of other things that might grab your attention. Use that as fuel for the fire so to speak. Utilize your imagination to come up with new, creative things to try and run with it.

At that point you’re starting to move away from the idea that sex is strictly “this thing, this way” and exploring territory that may be unfamiliar to you. Maybe technology becomes a larger feature in your sex life (beyond watching porn that is hopefully ethically sourced and paid for rather than by using tube sites, but that’s a different matter) and you discover wearable, remote controllable or Bluetooth capable sex toys. Maybe you sext more. Whatever you’re doing you’re engaging at a different level than “just the basics.”

Your avenues to sexual pleasure and satisfaction are increasing with each new thing that you learn beyond PIV intercourse. Have you ever tried using a dildo on your partner or watching them while they masturbate for you? Have you ever tried fisting? Or flogging? Or even some new weird position that your partner saw in Cosmopolitan or online or whatever? What can you do to make your sex life exciting and fresh? What can you do that isn’t PIV sex that everyone enjoys?

Or maybe you enjoy your sex life just the way it is. That’s fine too. But if you don’t, if you are unhappy with the status quo don’t ever be afraid to approach your sexual partners and say something. Communication is vital to good sex and again there we go with engaging the brain. Maybe part of your communication involves sharing fantasies together and picturing where they could lead if you let them. Maybe you struggle to physically talk about sex. Write it down! Draw a picture! Do what you need to do to move into a new aspect of your sex life that engages your brain more consistently and increases your pleasure. Just whatever you do and however you do it, be safe, sane, consensual, and communicative.

Fat and Sexy: Learning to be Both

So my last fat and sexy post was in September of last year and it was a shit show. I was having car trouble, knee trouble, and various other issues that I felt related to my problems with being fat and sexy. Fast forward to now and I’ve found out that I have arthritis in both knees that is probably only going to get worse so some of the physical activities I wanted to get involved in are probably either a straight up no go or not a good idea, no matter how much I might want to. Of course, I can also ask what physical activities because I’ve basically been a slug since February. But I’m trying to address that by getting back into yoga. Dear Gods, it is harder than I remember it being and I already knew it would be hard.

But what prompted me to write this post was something I read by the Formidable Femme herself, Sarah Brynn Holliday. Her post “When Do I Get to Celebrate My Fat Body?” took me back to all the times my ex disparaged my weight or otherwise made me feel self conscious about my body. It was so bad that I couldn’t stand to be naked around him or let him see my body. By the end of our relationship though I had lost weight and was finally “skinny enough” (as far I was and still am concerned I was still fat.) But it was too late at that point because I had decided it was over. Not him.

But no matter what size I was then or what size I am now, I still feel damaged and broken. My current partner assures me otherwise frequently, but when I can’t stand to see my own body reflected back at me in the mirror, when I try to eat less, when I try to be smaller because smaller is better, what does that say? It still tells me that I’m not worth the time or the effort, that I’m not good enough and that I’ll never be good enough. I fight this fight just as much as I fight to keep my bipolar disorder under control.

However, as much as I can relate to the post referenced above and how heartbreaking it is for me to see myself fight to be smaller and take up less space in a world where fat people aren’t given license to exist, I am also starting to relate to the idea that fat and sexy are not mutually exclusive of one another. My partner greets me with a kiss and “Hi Gorgeous.” on a regular basis. I’ve finally stopped cringing when they call me that. I don’t roll my eyes anymore, although I will still duck my head a bit, not because I’m ashamed, but because the (still unexpected) compliment embarrasses me a little because I don’t know how to gracefully accept a compliment of that caliber. I’ve never seen myself as striking or pretty or even cute so gorgeous is right out. But I hear it all the time. What do I do; how do I reconcile what I see in the mirror with what I’m told?

And the only answer I have is that I don’t know. So I try to just let it wash over me and be as accepting of it as I can instead of being ashamed of who I am and what I look like. I’m fat, even when I’m “skinny” I’m still fat, and I doubt I’ll ever be at my smallest size again. I mean come on, 2 pounds and 12.5 ounces is just unrealistic for someone my height! Yes, I just made that awful joke. In all seriousness though, I ask the question why can’t I be both fat and sexy? What is stopping me from being both? Is it just all in my head and a matter of confidence? Is the answer really that simple? It doesn’t seem like it is. But what do I know? I’ve never had the confidence to know what being both fat and sexy is. Maybe though, just maybe, I’m learning.

Are Cellphones the Ultimate Sex Toy?

Almost everyone owns one. We’ve gone from the big, blocky monstrosities to sleek computers that we carry in our pocket or purse. We use them for all kinds of mundane things from actual phone calls to getting directions, and, of course, watching porn. But watching porn isn’t quite what I’m getting at here, although porn in and of itself can be sexy.

But how can we use phones as sex toys? I mean sure most of them vibrate, but I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly what that function was designed for. However, with cellphones comes instant communication and constant access. And that’s a great thing in many ways if you want to keep in touch with people all the time or if you have a busy schedule, but again that’s not sexy.

You know what is sexy though? Getting to work and shooting your partner a suggestive text message. Getting one back in reply. Spending the day trading sexts and maybe even photos if your job allows you that kind of privacy. It lets you build up the anticipation, the desire for one another over a period of hours, which can be incredibly important to someone with a responsive desire mindset and also, incredibly sexy. So in some ways, a cellphone makes an excellent sex toy, if you’re focused on the mental aspect of things and want to create desire in yourself and your partner But there can be some concerns with turning this little device full of data into a virtual sex toy, by putting it to work as a way to communicate your sexuality and sexual needs.

Speaking of communication, how is this digital form of it important in the great scheme of things? And how does it change our interactions with people? Again we are back to that instant accessibility. If you have consent you can sext anyone, anytime. You can have good “old-fashioned” phone sex. You can make a booty call. And this all happens because someone invented a portable telephone and then refined the idea until we have modern cellphones. But the downside the always being accessible is that you’re always accessible. People expect to be able to reach you regardless of the time of day or what you’re doing. It can be exhausting to be that “on” all the time. But it definitely changes how we act with and react to different people. Sometimes a dick pic is a welcome thing and it is fun to trade photos, but if the wrong person sends you that same picture you’d be offended or grossed out or both. And speaking of naughty pictures that maybe you don’t want Grandma to see at a family dinner (don’t leave your phone unattended folks) privacy can become a big concern.

So how private is that communication that you’re sharing? Sure, it is meant to be a for your eyes only kind of thing for you and your partner, but what many people don’t realize is that phones can be hacked and data mined just like your email or Facebook account can be. Unless you have zero apps on your phone, it probably knows far more about you than you realize. There are ways to mitigate this particular issue if you are truly worried about privacy. One of them is, of course, to not engage in the behaviors, but what fun is that? To my knowledge, one of the best private messaging applications out there for sensitive communications is called Signal. Signal is designed specifically to encrypt data end to end, does not store data on its servers, and can delete messages and leave no trace that they were ever there. Much more secure than say, Snapchat for example. Of course, if you’re the type that likes to save and re-read messages or look at photos then Signal won’t do, but if you want your privates to stay private, that’s an option.

So what do you think? Is a cellphone the ultimate modern sex toy where you can arouse a partner with just a few words sent from one screen to another? Or a suggestively naughty picture to their Snapchat? Have you used your cellphone to sext, share photos, or otherwise engage in sexual activity? If you haven’t done it, would you want to? There is a myriad of questions to be asked all ranging from the sexual nature of the communication, how the communication itself affects us, and how we can keep these communications private. The final take away that I hope my readers get from this piece is that using technology to spice up your sex life can be fun and exciting, but should be done in a way that protects both parties while still allowing them the freedom to explore themselves and their sexuality with their partners.