Tuesday, May 30, 2017

#sorrynotsorry

Author's Note: This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for probably close to a year. I have no idea why I never published this. The views expressed may be controversial, but they're mine. If any of these views offend you, then feel free to stop reading.



I'm not a huge fan of hashtags. But I began to see #sorrynotsorry on the two social media sites I belong to, namely Fetlife and Twitter. I guess the best definition I can give for #sorrynotsorry would be this: there are things I believe in and views I hold that I won't apologize for. I absolutely, categorically refuse to apologize for my views on certain subjects. They have been formed over years of living (usually on both sides of whatever the issue is), not just bowing to political correctness. I fully realize that there are people out there, perhaps the vast majority, who allow their thoughts and feelings on certain subjects to be dictated to by whatever "the crowd" is doing. That's all well and good...for them. I guess it keeps them from having to think about things too deeply. 

For the benefit of those who don't know me very well, or who have just found this blog, let me list some of the things I strongly believe in and for which I do not apologize:

1) First and most importantly, I believe in the power, omnipotence, and sovereignty of the Lord, whether in the Person of God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. I have taken many, many hard hits for this. But nothing will shake my faith. Not being called ugly names, not being told I believe in an "imaginary friend", not being called brainwashed and not being called a "hateful, intolerant bigot". Nothing. In Matthew 5:11, Jesus is giving what's called The Sermon On The Mount and he says "Blessed are you, when people hate you, and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you for my sake." Now I know how that sounds. Be glad when people make fun of you for being a Christian? Yes, because Jesus goes on to say that we who persevere will have a great reward. This man Jesus, who loved me before I was ever born, who died a criminal's death so I could have my sins forgiven, deserves my praise and obedience. I don't go around forcing the Gospel message on people. I don't tell them about how they're going to hell because they don't believe the way I do. I simply let my personal faith show in my life. Am I perfect? Far from it. I simply acknowledge that I cannot save myself. A lot of my friends don't believe in God and I don't let that keep me from being friends with them. This is what's commonly called tolerance. 

2) I'm a conservative. I believe in my Constitutionally protected rights--the right to free speech, the right to NOT have the government tell me how to worship (the TRUE meaning of the separation of Church and State that gets misunderstood by so many), the right to keep and bear arms to protect myself and my loved ones and the right to peacefully assemble. I believe in a small government that stays out of the way of people living their lives, running their businesses in accordance with their beliefs and stops giving cradle to grave hand outs to those who aren't even American citizens or those who don't really need the help, but just are lazy and are gaming the system. Yes, there are people who need help and we have the means to help them. But three generations in one family who have never worked? There's something wrong with that. Hard work used to be one of the hallmarks of American life--work hard and you can get ahead. No guarantee, of course, but the opportunity is there. I also believe that America is exceptional. If we weren't exceptional, why would millions of people risk their lives to come here and be part of that? Every year, thousands and thousands of people from all over the world become American citizens. Are we perfect? Far from it. Societies will never be perfect until people are perfect and unfortunately, this side of Heaven, none of us will ever be perfect. 

3) I do my kink my way and I'm not sorry for that. I don't force others to do it the way I do it. Quite frankly, I would hate to have that done to me. I once had a guy message me, after I had mentioned something in one of the Fetlife discussion groups about not being interested in bondage, saying that I was "judging" people who do partake in it. People who want to engage in bondage or play with needles or knives or urine should do so freely. Why are they so worried about someone like me, who isn't interested? Really? You don't feel free to practice your kink unless everyone totally agrees with and embraces it? I'm pretty sure there are a lot of kinky people out there who aren't into spanking or pain at all. Do I let that hinder my enjoyment of spanking and pain? No way. I can totally tolerate people who are disinterested or who even hate my kink the way I practice it. That's the beauty of living in a free country (well, still free for now at least). Everyone is free to do what makes them happy as long as it doesn't hurt another person (at least against their will). I've been taken to task for practicing my kink my way almost as often as the preceding two things on my list. It amazes me the kinds of emotional reactions I've gotten to something that is virtually no one's business but mine.

4) I'm not sorry that I'm a woman. There are so many women out there (and not just kinky ones on Fetlife) who think that woman=victim. According to many modern feminists, we're supposed to hate men; to hate their historic authority over us, to hate that they "oppressed" us, which is why men get the lion's share of credit for inventions which have benefited us as much as it has men. If only we'd been allowed to succeed the way men have without compromising our femininity. There are factions out there who hate women like me---women who are happy to be women, who have no desire to be a man. That's because this attitude somehow isn't validating to transgendered people. If a woman wants to have surgery or get hormones because she would rather be a man, she should be free to do that. But she should do that with the knowledge that none of that will make her a man. She may look like one on the outside, but minus that Y chromosome, she's still a woman. Conversely, a man can have all the surgeries and hormones he can afford in order to make him more like a woman, but he will never be genetically female because of that Y chromosome. Unfortunately, I don't have the answer for what to do about people who feel trapped in a body that they don't feel is the right one. 

5) I'm not sorry that I'm straight. I'm extraordinarily happy that I'm sexually attracted to men. Of course, I can look at a beautiful woman and admire her beauty, but that doesn't mean that I want to have sex with her. Now, if people want to be a practicing gay or lesbian, that's a personal choice. If they want to be celibate, then that also is a personal choice. My opinion shouldn't have anything to do with someone else's personal decisions regarding their own sexuality. 

6) I'm not sorry I'm an American. Oh, I know that according the Social Justice Warriors out there, I'm supposed to hang my head in shame because I'm a citizen of the greatest country on earth. I'm supposed to constantly apologize for my "white Christian American" privilege. But I don't. Not even for a second. Every morning when I wake up, I thank the God I believe in that he placed me in this country, with all of its freedoms and all of its wonderful promise. Contrary to what people may think, I didn't have a "little princess" upbringing. I wasn't given everything my little heart desired. Both of my parents were hard working and level headed and I also thank God that they instilled that in me. We didn't have a lot growing up, but I don't remember a time when I didn't have a roof over my head, clothes on my back or food to eat. Nowadays, I see kids with every gadget imaginable. And I get told how these poor waifs, with their iPhones and X Boxes and whatever the next big thing is need food stamps and free housing because they're so poor. Poor? They have more than I had growing up. But we never got food stamps or any other kind of public assistance. My parents simply broke their backs to provide for us, which was something that used to be admired in this great country. Hard work was always part of the package deal that came with being an American, whether you were native born or an immigrant. Now we teach people that hard work is a bad thing and that everyone should just have things handed to them. And even though I see bad things in America, I'm still thankful that I'm American. #sorrynotsorry

On Why I Left

"Well it's alright
even when you're old and gray.
Well, it's alright
you still got something to say."

From "The End Of The Line" by The Traveling Wilburys



A few months ago, I made an announcement on Fetlife that I was leaving the organized spanking scene. This was something I never saw happening, but there it is. My decision wasn't made rashly, in a moment of anger because I can't seem to find play partners. The decision actually took months to make. I started thinking about it in summer time. I was thinking to myself "Why continue wasting your time? It's pretty obvious that no one is interested in playing with you and it looks like parties aren't going to be happening anymore either. So just stop it." And so I finalized my decision and put a short note on Fetlife letting the people who weren't interested in playing with me that I had decided to leave the scene. A few people wrote that they respected my decision, while disappointed that I was leaving. 

I will state right here that I really am not leaving with any bitterness. Disappointment? You bet. But I'm not bitter. I met and played with some wonderful people. I had a door to a whole new world opened to me; a door that never would have opened otherwise. I experienced more than I ever thought I would in my thirteen years in the scene. More importantly, I had my sister with me for seven of those years. It was her decision to attend a Chicago Crimson Moon party alone that gave me the courage to follow her. Oh, the fun we had together! I cherish all those memories even more now that she's gone. Going on without her was rough, but I soldiered on with the help of friends and family. Of course, it wasn't really the same. And I'm pretty sure if she were still here, she would lament the change in the spanking scene the same way I have (but probably with a bit more wit and humor). 

To me, the spanking scene has become a popularity contest. The popular folks have now set the course of the scene to the point that, if you're not a "Fetlebrity" (someone famous on Fetlife), you're nothing. I hate to say it, but it's true. At one time, I would have probably considered myself a minor Fetlebrity. I had been on the site long enough to have a detailed profile and over 1700 photos posted. I went to parties in Chicago and as far afield as Atlantic City and Detroit. I was shocked when, about five years ago, I went to a hardcore BDSM event in St. Louis and several people told me they had "heard of" me. I was flattered because, believe me, I valued few things in the scene more than I did my reputation. I've stated before how hard I worked to get a good reputation; as someone who was both fun to play with, but also fun. Was I everyone's cup of tea? Certainly not. But then, I don't know of anyone who is. There are certainly people who think they are. We used to say these people "think they're all that and the box it came in." To me, nothing is a bigger turn off than arrogance and, sad to say, there's just too much of it in the scene these days. There are too many people out there whose attitude is that the scene would somehow collapse if they weren't there to prop it up. Here's a shot of truth: the spanking scene will be just fine without you. It will be just  fine without me. It existed before I ever knew about it, much less participated and it will continue to exist now that I've left. I have no illusions that I'm somehow bigger than the scene. I was but a minor player on that stage. 

To be fair, it wasn't just the changes in the scene that factored in my decision to leave. I have also had to adjust to changes in my body that had begun to make playing more and more difficult. I suffered two major flairs of my RA; one last spring and one in the fall (from which I still haven't fully recovered). What man wants to play with a woman who has to kill the moment (and takes her top out of top space) by constantly having to reposition? My hips and back hurt almost constantly from damage done by this progressive disease. I can understand the tops wanting to play with younger, more lithe and flexible women, who can hold those demanding positions. I would think that any top who expects a 56-year-old bottom who weighs over 200 pounds and has RA to bend over and touch her toes is begging to be disappointed. I can't do it; not just physically, but mentally. I have an intense fear of falling down. In 2012 I had a vitreous detachment in my right eye which affected my depth perception. So now, when I go down a flight of stairs, I take great care. Also, because I'm so top heavy, if I'm asked to bend over, once I get my weight going in one direction, it's hard to stop the momentum created by having large breasts and a thick stomach. Yeah, not a sexy thought at all. Fat girl falling down. Last summer, while walking to work, I misjudged how high to lift my foot to step over a bundle of firewood that had fallen off the pallet, my foot caught the edge of it and I took a spectacular tumble over it. Ten people must have seen me fall and only one person stopped to make sure I was OK. I wasn't wearing work clothes so he had no idea I going to work. I'm pretty sure that fall triggered that autumn's RA flair. So can you imagine any top wanting to play with a fat older lady with poor balance and a fear of falling? 

You know, I always said that I would remain active in the scene until my bones were too brittle to risk love taps. It never occurred to me that a time would come when demand would fall for anyone wanting to play with me. I always thought I would be the one who decided when I left. Perhaps that was arrogant of me and I guess I have to own that. I was so busy being excited about parties and pantie shopping that I never realized that tastes would change down the road. I think, like a few other things concerning the scene, I was led down a path or sold a bill of goods or however you want to phrase it. I was assured, each time my insecurities would rear their ugly heads, that fun, approachable bottoms would always be in demand. Well, someone define "fun" and "approachable" because I thought I knew what those words meant. More and more at parties, I would find myself prowling the empty hallways looking for someone who might want to play. Usually, I had no luck. In the beginning, Carol and I were two of the busier bottoms in the group. That's not bragging; it's the truth. In the end, I was reduced to playing with men I would have never given a second glance to in the days when I could afford to be choosy. When that realization hit me, I knew it was time to leave. 

And so now I bid adieu to that world--that world of hotel parties and road trips. Of yellow couches and midnight burger runs. To bruises and cane marks and giggling. I'll miss that world, but I'll never regret for one minute having lived in it.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

An Honest Look At Some Recent Play Dates

I guess the first thing I need to do with this post is apologize to my readers. I know it's been a really long time since I've posted anything. There are several reasons for this. First off, my life got a bit crazy. I have been working all the time and that doesn't leave much time (or energy, to be honest) for the mental gymnastics this blog sometimes requires. Another reason is that I, plain and simply, haven't had much to write about. I've had the odd play date here and there, but nothing steady. I'll get to those in a moment. I'm truly sorry that I have been neglecting this blog. When I first started it back in February, 2008 I was still really enthusiastic about the spanking scene, despite 2008 being my fifth year in the scene. I wanted to share my experiences with others in a way that was different than just posting it on Fetlife. I wanted the freedom to say what I wanted to say or what I felt needed saying without fear of being excoriated for it (which I have been on numerous occasions). It's not that I can't stand to be criticized. I can handle constructive criticism as well as the next person. I'm keenly aware that my views are unpopular, another reason I wanted a place to write my thoughts freely. For a long time, this blog served a therapeutic purpose. I didn't necessarily care if people agreed with me or not. I just wanted a place to get my feelings out. When my twin died, that became even more important because I had always had her to share all of my thoughts and feelings with. So now, for better or worse, I share them with the blogosphere.



Look that that lady. That's one happy spanko. Unfortunately, this photo is three years old. My life was quite a bit different back then. I had a different job, but I had many more opportunities to play it seemed. When it came to play, I was a lot busier than I am now. For some reason, I don't seem to be as desirable a play partner as I used to be. This realization caused a certain level of dissatisfaction to creep in. I still don't understand how my stock could plummet this far this fast, but I'm coming to grips with the fact that regular play for me (with a regular partner) is out of the realm of possibility for me right now. Things could change in the future so I'm not ruling it out, but several recent play dates have been disappointments for me. I don't mean the actual play. That was totally great in every case. But it looks like those are doomed to be one-offs and I won't be seeing those gentlemen anymore. 

The first play date of 2016 was with a local guy (within 15 miles of me). He had sent me a friend request and I sent him a message back saying that I don't accept friend requests without a message of introduction first. I thought for sure I had met him at a local event a couple of years previously, but he assured me we hadn't met. So we made plans to meet on a Friday. He was on time, which was nice, but I got the impression he was more interested in sex than spanking me. 




When he showed me to his bedroom (where we were going to play), imagine my shock at seeing just a bare mattress. There weren't even pillowcases on the pillows. Now don't get me wrong here. I don't need a formal set-up to play with someone. But it was January and I thought some blankets were warranted. Apparently, he didn't agree. I just think that when someone comes over to your house, have the bed made. And when we stopped for a break, there wasn't even anything in the house to drink. He offered me bottled water, which I took because I was dying of thirst. When we went into the kitchen, there was an open box of cereal on the counter (from breakfast?) and dirty dishes in the sink. As I said, I don't demand pristine conditions, but a little cleaning up if you're a bachelor isn't asking too much, is it? I had to keep encouraging him to spank me because he kept wanting to do other things. I don't think he's as much of a spanko as I thought.

The next play date was a month later, right before Valentine's Day. This was an older gentleman than I was used to playing with but I didn't let that put me off. We had quite a spirited exchange of messages and I was encouraged. He was polite and we talked about a lot of different subjects, including baseball (which gained him Brownie points with me). He admitted he was pretty new to this, but very eager to give it a try. He did talk about being a nudist and that made me a bit uncomfortable. But when the Big Day came, he messaged me about how excited he was and admitted he'd made a dry run to my house earlier in the week so he wouldn't get lost trying to find my house. He was a few minutes early but that was OK. Since it was so cold, I wore a sweater and jeans and felt that would have to do. When we got to his house, it was beautiful. He was retired, so he had time to spend keeping the place neat. He had lots of wooden figurines, which he had carved himself. The coolest thing of all (at least to me) was the little red Corvette he kept in his garage (it wasn't the car he picked me up in, though I would have been thrilled to have him pull up in that red beauty). We spent a lot of time talking, despite all the messages we'd sent each other on Fetlife. He was a widower, he told me. His wife had died of cancer five years previously. I told him I had lost my twin to cancer the same year and so we had that in common. I showed him my rather extensive toy bag, which he had asked to see. But I sensed a distinct lack of interest on his part. But when it came time to play, he was right there. His leather couch served as the perfect place for me to get over his knee. He spent a lot of time hand spanking me, which was OK. As a relative beginner, I thought concentrating on the warm up was a good thing. 


I figured his experience with implements was limited so I had him use simple things on me, mostly leather. To my surprise, he could bring it pretty well for someone who was inexperienced. After about an hour and a half of playing, he realized it was getting late and he asked me if I'd like to go get something to eat. Sure, that would be nice. Compared to the previous play date, who couldn't even be bothered to clean up the kitchen or put sheets on the bed, this was an amazing invitation. He took me to his favorite Chinese place and we had a lovely meal. I felt like somewhat of a pig because I ate the whole plate of food, which was substantial. I told him "You have to excuse me. I haven't eaten today." I didn't have the guts to tell him that it had taken me almost all day to get ready for this little date. I'd gotten up that morning and walked (in very cold weather) to the nail salon where I get my nails done. Then I came home and dyed my hair. After that, I got in the tub and did my shaving and everything. By the time all this was done, I had about half an hour to put my make up on. Since he had been married for so long, I figured he knew that women take a long time to get ready. Actually, I had been scheduled to work that day, but I'd been suspended for one day for making an error on a Western Union transaction. There had been a malfunction of the website and the money ($35) went to the wrong place. My direct supervisor had not wanted me to get in any trouble because she said it wasn't my fault, but the store manager is a bit of a meanie so I got the one-day suspension. 

When we returned to his house, we resumed our play, this time in the basement, where he had a table set up. It was warm down there and I asked him if he minded if I removed my sweater and of course, he didn't mind. We continued on, using the long straps and the cane. I was started to feel pretty toasted and I suggested we wrap it up. I noticed it was almost eleven o'clock and I had to be at work in the morning. The whole time he was driving me home, he gushed about what a great time he'd had. He asked if we could become regular play partners and I said of course. When he dropped me off in front of my house, I asked him to text me to let me know he got home alright. His text again said how much fun he'd had and he hoped I'd had as much fun as he had. Imagine my surprise when I got home from work the next day and read his message to me on Fetlife. In it, he said he had been disappointed in our session, that he had wanted someone who would get naked with him and I hadn't done that. I did go down to bra and thong though. And on a first date, which is unusual for me. I wrote him back, telling him that he had gushed about what a great time he'd had and that if me not getting naked was a dealbreaker he should have said. Then he back pedalled and told me that it was "too soon" after his wife's death for him to be seeing another woman. She had been dead for five years and it was too soon to have a play date with a woman? A play date he had suggested? His first message put the blame for his so-called disappointment squarely on me. Then when I called him on it, he changed his story. He did respond to my second message, but then he blocked me so I couldn't write him back. It was a shame because I really thought he had potential as a top.

I had all of March to lick my wounds because there was nothing else to do. Then, later that month, someone I used to play with regularly (but who I hadn't even seen or even heard from for almost a year) contacted me. He called me pretty much out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to get together. His plan was for me to come and spend the night, where I would sleep in the guest room. He promised ,me a hard spanking and dinner in a nice restaurant. I knew he was someone whose interest in the scene came and went depending on things that were happening in his life, so I wasted no time in checking my work schedule to let him know what night would work. We settled for April 1st, which was a Friday. I had to work until eight and had the next day off, so the plan was that he would come pick me up at work. I took a change of clothes and my make up bag with me. I spent the whole shift thinking about how much fun it was going to be. We'd gotten together the previous summer (after I hadn't seen or heard from him in four years) and it was obvious that his stamina wasn't what it once had been (when he could spank both me and my sister multiple times) and also that our chemistry wasn't as good as it had been. Anyway, I hoped things would go better this time. At eight o'clock, I clocked out and went into the bathroom to change and put my make up on. I hurried because he was the kind of person who was usually early and I didn't want him to have to wait for me. When I went outside, I expected to see his car out front waiting for me. But he wasn't there. Immediately, I was concerned because in all the time I'd known him (about thirteen years by this time), he'd never once been late. It was something he prided himself on and admired in others. I texted him, asking if he was on his way and I got no response. Knowing that he was as prompt about returning texts as he was about being on time, I called him. It went straight to his voicemail. I left a message asking him if everything was OK, expecting an apologetic phone call to follow. But he never called me. It was now almost 8:30 and it slowly dawned on me that I had been stood up. Maybe his phone call hadn't been as out of the blue as I'd thought. Maybe this was an April Fool's joke. I called a cab and, while I waited for it, walked several stores down to a Chinese place I liked and ordered some food. I waited for him to call me, but he never did and I haven't heard from him since. I have a long standing rule that any man who stands me up goes in to the Permanent Asshole File and there they stay, never to have another chance to do the same thing again.

I bring up these three play dates (well, two actually) to make a point. This is what I'm reduced to. It used to be that playing with me (or my sister, or both of us if you were lucky) was somewhat a matter of pride. It raised that person's stock, so to speak. I had a very good reputation in the scene and thought it would always be that way. But how times change. Playing in a room with no sheets on the bed with a guy who clearly just wants sex and having another one lie about how much he enjoyed our time together and blaming it initially on me...this is what I've been reduced to. There was one other play date, with a man who is obviously very busy. We had dinner one night and then about a week later we met and played. It was a great time, but he has put me off for five weeks now. I'm off Monday this week (he likes to meet early in the week) and I messaged him but I haven't heard back. I really don't know what to make of this situation. I kind of feel like I'm getting the brush off. If he didn't enjoy his time with me, then why didn't he just say so? You know, honesty is something I value highly, both in myself and in others. It broke my heart to consign a long time friend to the Permanent Asshole File. I never thought I'd ever have to do that to such a long standing partner. And the guy that just wanted to have sex, well I don't want to sound arrogant, but I think that's somewhat beneath me. It was just very tawdry. It felt like a night in a cheap motel. Not up to my usual standards at all. And I don't want to lower those standards just to get spanked. I won't compromise myself just to get spanked either. So I guess the time has come for me to do some soul searching. How much longer do I want to go on subjecting myself to these kinds of scenes? I may have fallen a few rungs down the ladder, but I still have my dignity. Do I want to continue scraping the bottom of the barrel? Or should I go on, metaphorically kissing those frogs until a prince shows up? 

Since I've decided to make this an honest and objective look at my kink life lately, I'm going to come clean and say that I really haven't been trying that hard to meet new people. If I think back on all the play dates I've had over the years, I have to say that I almost never made the first move. Those guys all reached out to me first. So maybe, just like at spanking parties, I will have to make the first move from now on.I'm not quite ready to give up entirely. So please stay tuned. Something interesting might happen.




Friday, June 24, 2016

Is Fat The New Skinny?

The answer is, of course, no. The title of my post today is a rhetorical question. Now, I have several points I want to make, but it's going to take me some time to get there, so I hope you'll bear with me.

I was on Youtube today looking at fashion haul videos (which I won't define because I can't believe there's a person on the planet who doesn't know what a haul video is) because I want to see what the trends are and also because I like seeing what other people buy. Anyway, one of my favorite clothing stores is Torrid, a fashion-forward plus size store that caters to bigger women who want to wear pretty clothes. I'm definitely one of those, although Torrid does feature some clothing that's simply too youthful for me to be wearing. So it stands to reason that the ladies doing Torrid hauls on Youtube are also bigger girls. Some of them are very, very big girls that make me look average sized. One of them is a young lady who works for an adult website. She made a video addressing the "concern trolls" who seem to be all over the comments sections of her videos. Concern trolling, for those who don't know, is a kind of subtle fat shaming where the person feigns concern for a fat person's health. I've seen and experienced concern trolls on Fetlife, too and it almost always angers me. "I'm just telling you that you're fat and fat is unhealthy." Well, OK I already knew that so what was the point of telling me? The answer you usually get to this question is along the lines of "I'm just very concerned and worried about your health." Why? I'm a total stranger to you. If this person was a friend or family member, I wouldn't consider them a troll. But a total stranger lecturing me on my BMI or a random person dropping a similar comment on a Fetlife photo of me? Yes, that's considered trolling, especially since we all know how much trolls like a reaction. 

She also addressed the folks who believe she won't be able to "get a man" or be happy until she loses some weight. She used an example of someone who said "Well, I may not have my dream job or have a perfect life, but at least I'm not as fat as she is." This seems to be saying that, as long as you're skinny, you won't be considered a loser at life, even if your life is a complete mess. But if you're fat, you can have a fun job doing what you love, surround yourself with loving and supportive people and be fulfilled in every way, but if you're fat, you MUST be unhappy because you can't wear a macro bikini like a Victoria's Secret model. If your happiness depends solely on what the scale says, then yes, I would say you will be unhappy unless you lose weight. These are the people the so-called diet industry targets. If you're one of those people that labors under the delusion that only skinny people are happy and all of us "fatties" are miserable, then I would like to ask you to perform this quick experiment. The next time you go to the grocery store to buy your organic tofu and zero carb water, pay attention to the magazines as you're waiting in the check out line. Look at all those beautiful people and then read about all the misery in their lives. Case in point: Jennifer Aniston. She's considered one of the most beautiful women on the planet and yet her romantic woes are well documented. She can't seem to keep her men from cheating on her. If looks were all it took to "get a man", then women like Jennifer Aniston should have it made, right? But no. It seems like every time one of the tabloids announces that Jennifer has found happiness at last, within a few months, there's a tearful photo of Jennifer minus her ring with the caption "It's over!" But there are many women that society would deem fat who have long, happy marriages and fulfilling lives without being able to pass for a model. Statistics tell us that the average American woman still (years after the aerobics craze and liposuction craze and now the cleansing craze) wears a size 14. So could it be that there's more going on here than mere aesthetics? Without throwing out blanket statements, I feel pretty safe in saying that most of the skinny women in Hollywood are neurotics who probably view every other actress as a potential rival for a part in a movie or for a man. I'm not saying there aren't happy, well-adjusted women living in Hollywood, but well, they seem to be few and far between. Living in the Tinseltown goldfish bowl just doesn't seem conducive to it. The tabloid articles always make it seem like we're supposed to feel sorry every time some model or actress gets dumped by her bad boy boyfriend. Poor Jennifer. Dumped again. And yet, the fat girls that society detests are told to "cover up" or keep out of sight so that they won't be subjected to our fat. Or could it be that they don't want to be subjected to our happiness? Think about it. Because we don't fit society's definition of beauty and because no good-looking man worth his salt would be seen with us, there's really no pressure on us to conform. We're freer to be who we really are. And yes, I know that fat women are often reduced to dating fat men, but let me tell you some of those fat men are an awful lot of fun to be around. 

I know there are probably going to be PC folks reading this who will think to themselves that I shouldn't be using descriptors like "fat" or "skinny". That's just completely wrong. Well, I AM fat and I don't have a problem saying it. I do dislike the word "skinny" but I think if someones bones are sticking out, then they're skinny. I was a very skinny kid. I was skin and bones and not much else. So I've been on both sides of the weight fence. When I was a young woman wearing a size 12 I thought I was fat. I look at photos of myself back then and I wish I looked like that again. Then I remember that I was an unhappy alcoholic who abused pain meds and I rethink that. I guess what I'm really trying to say is that thin doesn't equal happy. I know many thin women who struggle with depression, body image, self-hate and other serious issues. The fact that there are people out there who wish we would just remain invisible and stay home so they don't have to be disturbed by our fat just makes me feel sad for them. I blogged some years ago about my thin and beautiful friend, Amy whom I went to high school with. I mentioned that she often spent Saturday nights at home alone because she had ridiculously high standards when it came to the boys she would date, while I and the rest of our circle of friends went out and had fun. Now, you have to understand that Amy would rather have sat alone at home than date the boys that I and my other friends dated. She considered them rejects. A couple of years after we graduated, I ran into her by chance getting on a bus (I blogged about this too). She had a child with the man she was living with. I could tell she was ashamed for me to see her with her used stroller and the shiner she sported. She was living with an abusive man in a trailer without a phone. I discovered this when I asked if I could  call her sometime. Now, at this time, I was going to junior college and dating a young man who was studying to be an architect. I couldn't help thinking how the tables had turned. I always felt like a shaggy dog next to her. I hated being photographed with her because her radiant smile and lovely face ensured that no one else in the photo would be noticed. I considered myself plain and still do. I'm just not a beauty. And I'm finally OK with that.

Despite not being a beauty, I have always been girly. I love clothes, make up, shoes and all the things that come with being female. I have blogged about that, too. But it's that love of all things girly that makes me watch other peoples' haul videos. It's not just a good place to look at pretty clothes though. I think it's a pretty good place to get some perspective.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Much Ado About Fetlife

I joined Fetlife (the online social networking site that's been called "Facebook for kinksters") in September, 2008. I've been a fairly high profile presence there for about the last three or four years. I've been relatively disenchanted with Fetlife for more than a year now. It's not just that, despite having hundreds of thousands of members who claim spanking as a fetish, the percentage of pure spankos who engage without a D/s dynamic remains relatively small. It's not just that Fetlife has become less and less welcoming of the heteronormative mindset. It's not just that many of the discussion groups have become overtaken by people posting personal ads. It's not just because Fetlife has become a cesspool of people just looking for a quick hook up. It's not just the male entitlement attitude that permeates every aspect of the site. It's not just that people now seem unable to disagree without name calling and personal attacks. It's not just that you are labeled "judgmental" if you don't embrace kink the way others do it. It's not just that factions and splinter groups seem to have infiltrated the power structure of the national spanking party scene, thanks to having a site like Fetlife to use as the springboard for their supposed popularity. It's not just that Fetlife members routinely engage in silencing and shaming those who either disagree with those they perceive to be in power or who hold views that somehow dangerous to those chosen few who are actually in power (whether anyone chooses to acknowledge this or not). It's ALL of these things combined and more. So let's take these reasons for my disenchantment one at a time.

1) Pure spankos (those for whom spanking is their main or only fetish) remain a small part of Fetlife's overall membership. 

When I first joined Fetlife, it was still new so I rather optimistically thought that as soon as more spankos discovered the site they would join. But that has proven unfounded. Fetlife, the way I see it, is still mostly populated by those whose main thing is a D/s dynamic, whether spanking is part of it or not. In fact, it seems to me that Fetlife is now pretty much taken over by the bondage and flogger crowd. I've heard from a number of other spankos that they are derisively laughed at for being "just a spanko" and told, like me, that they are practically vanilla. I'm not saying that there are no other spankos on Fetlife, but there aren't enough to make me not feel like a minority. 

2) Fetlife has become less welcoming to those who hold heteronormative ideals.

This has become especially true since the Supreme Court decision that made so-called same sex marriage legal came down in June. I received several hostile (and one threatening) messages in my inbox because I identify as "straight". For the sake of argument, let me define what I believe heteronormative is: to me, heteronormative means accepting and embracing traditional gender roles for both sexes. I'm not a feminist by any stretch of the imagination. I don't happen to believe that women are superior to men. I also don't happen to believe men are superior to women. One sex is not better than the other...they're just different. If you hold this view, you are likely to get it with both barrels from feminists of every stripe. The same with homosexuals, which is why I received hate mail from them when the Supreme Court decision was made public. They seem to think that simply identifying as "straight" means you are diametrically opposed to them and are therefor judging them. So more and more, as a straight female who's only attracted sexually to men, I feel less than welcomed.

3) Many (if not most) of the discussion groups on Fetlife have become nothing more than places to post personal ads or, more commonly, "what would you like to do to me?" posts.

When I first joined Fetlife, discussion groups were mostly for...discussion. I totally understand that there are only so many topics that spankos are interested in discussing. The topics aren't unlimited. But at some point, it became acceptable for groups to be co-opted by these "single and looking" personal ads. To their credit, some groups have made rules that ads either can't be posted at all or only in a thread designated for them. I guess at some point, group moderators just got tired of beating their heads against that brick wall and just threw up their hands. The sad result is that you're less likely to see actual discussion in these groups.

4) Fetlife is slowly being turned into a hook up site by those who use it that way. 

I've opined on this topic in other entries, but I will just say that, because Fetlife is free to use, many people (men mostly) use it as a way to get porn without having to pay for it. Because of this, they tend to view the women on Fetlife as their personal sex vending machines. Women who don't want to be treated this way are usually told "lighten up" or "get with the program, sweetheart. You're on a sex site." I freely admit that I've met some pretty cool people here on Fetlife, some of whom turned out to be play partners. But using Fetlife to get my sex on? Just no.

5)  Male entitlement attitude is rife on Fetlife.

As I said, I'm no feminist when it comes to relationships between men and women, but for crying out loud the men on Fetlife need to get a clue. The number of men openly looking for play or sex partners is staggering. That's not the problem. The problem is the men who want these fantasy women to simply fall in their laps without putting any effort at all into the endeavor. It's as if they're saying to us "You have something I want. Give it to me!" I've given up counting the number of ads I've seen in groups where men (mostly "strict" doms) post about how they can fulfill my every desire and they can host, too. Uh...these guys are totally clueless. Do they really think that any woman in her right mind will just run off to visit a stranger in his home? That breaks two rules of SSC, the safe and sane part. When you point this little fact out to them, they get all butthurt and say things like "I wasn't asking for advice", etc. They just don't seem to understand how this thing called kink works. They just want random women to punish, they don't want to waste time getting to know these ladies as whole people or building trust. They just want to be serviced. 

6) If you disagree with someone on Fetlife, expect name calling and personal attacks.

It used to be that people on Fetlife were a lot more civil towards each other. When I first joined, people often disagreed about things, but made their arguments in a much friendlier way. Now, with so many snark groups on there (of which I belong to a couple) it appears that snark is now the norm in most groups. I've seen hundreds of people whose go-to answer to someone they disagree with is "what an idiot" or "don't feed the trolls". So now, if you hold an ideal that's different from someone else, you're now automatically a troll? I'm a Christian conservative and I make no secret of it. It would make your head spin to see the hate-filled venomous attacks people like me endure on a daily basis. I wonder what happened to tolerance and acceptance in our scene? Oh, that's right. Being a Christian automatically makes me a "hater" so it's OK to flame me publicly. Carry on.

7) Expect to have the "judgmental" label pinned on you if you don't do kink the way others do it.

Somehow, we've come to the point where even being uninterested in other forms of kink will get a person labeled as "judgmental". I'm not now and never will be into certain things; things like bondage and spanking as punishment are things that will never float my boat. However, I don't have anything against people who do those things. We used to have a code for this attitude: YKINMK (Your kink is not my kink). It was a way to let people know that whatever it was they were into was totally OK but just not our cup of tea. I remember sometime last year someone who was a friend of mine posted an adorable photo of herself in a costume. It was so precious, I just had to love the photo and put a comment on it. I said something like "Costumes aren't my thing, but this is really adorable" and another person (not the person whose photo it was) sent me a private message reading me the riot act because supposedly I'm always being negative and making fun of other peoples' kinks. Not only did she remove herself from my sisters list, eventually she unfriended me and then she blocked me. So be aware that asserting your individuality, even in the smallest way, will get you labeled as judgmental.

8) Factions and splinter groups have infiltrated the national spanking party scene, due at least in part to having Fetlife as a platform for their popularity.

I'm not quite sure how this happened. When I first started in the party scene, people went to their "local" party. People from Chicago (or those withing driving distance) went to Crimson Moon. Those in Michigan went to MDSS. Those in Florida went to Florida Moonshine. The only exception was Shadowlane and that was mostly because of their videos. They had a much higher profile so quite a few people went to their parties too. Nowadays, people seem to hit every major party during the party season (which, like baseball, runs from about April to October). Maybe the fact that CM went from having five parties a year to only two had something to do with it? Whatever the case, there now seems to be factions comprised of a small number of people, who attend every big party and have a hand in organizing them, even though they're not local to the area. Some of these people have only been in the scene a few years. Now I'm not criticizing someone who wants to step forward and do something for the community as a whole. Those folks are always well appreciated. I'm talking about people establishing a personal power base for themselves where they begin to dictate policy and their tastes begin to be made the norm, not just at one party, but all of them. I believe this was achieved simply because Fetlife gave these people a platform to speak from and in a way was a springboard for their popularity. I'm not a conspiracy theorist so you have to know that I feel really strongly about this. 

9) Fetlife members now use shaming and silencing to keep unpopular views from being heard. 

For some time now, I've limited my opining to this blog because I learned just how unpopular my views are on Fetlife. I believe bullying is an overused word these days, but I think this might be a case where it's actually happening. If you oppose same-sex marriage as I do or if you believe in your Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, then you are going to be called a zealot or a Neanderthal (if you happen to be male). You'll be told that your views are bigotry and/or hate speech and that you should join the 21st century. If you're a Christian, you'll be called a hypocrite for even being on Fetlife. The "tolerance and acceptance" that the Keepers Of All Things Fair and Equal preach does not extend to those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, well because of that unfortunate passage in Leviticus. I've seen people post in groups that "those crazy Bible thumpers" ought to have their free speech rights taken away and at least, on Fetlife, that has pretty much happened.

I admit that I'm not on Fetlife nearly as much as I used to be. I think the fact that I once lived on that site made it a lot easier to notice when things began to go downhill. I've actually let my support for Fetlife expire because I just don't see how I can justify spending $60 a year for something I enjoy a lot less than I used to. It seems more and more evident to me that if you really ARE an individual and you resist joining the conga line that Fetlife has become you won't get as much out of the Fetlife experience as those who are willing to give up their individuality and join the crowd. Oh I guess if you just want to have a profile and maintain a weak presence then you'll probably be OK. But try to join in on things and be a real presence there then you will, at some point, get dealt with by the so-called powers that be. And I don't mean John Baku (the man whose brainchild Fetlife is) or the caretakers. I mean the people to whom they have ceded their power. 

Maybe the problem is that Fetlife has gotten a little too big for its britches. Whatever the case, it's pretty obvious that the present day website isn't the same site I joined seven years ago. Change should be expected but it isn't always for the better. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

When Life Hands You Lemons

There's no way around it; sometimes you just have to make the best of a bad situation. Nowhere is that point driven home better than that old axiom "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade". 

"But Cheryl," I  can hear you all grumbling, "what does that have to do with spanking?"

Well, allow me to explain. Long time readers of these pages have heard me lamenting at other times that I never got to be a young woman in the spanking scene. Yeah, life's not fair. I get that. I learned that lesson a very long time ago. 

I was simply born at the wrong time. There's no getting around that. When I was a cute 20-year-old, there was no spanking scene (at least, not here in the States). Even if there had been, I lacked the confidence and the resources to participate. There was also no internet. In those days (the early 80's) there were three ways to meet men if you were kinky:

1) Go to an adult book store and put an ad on the bulletin board with your name, phone number and what you're into.
2) Put an ad in an adult magazine or newspaper.
3) Pick up a guy in a bar and hope he wasn't an axe murderer.

You can see how limited our resources were. We didn't even have cellphones in those days so there was no texting going on. If you did actually meet a guy and wanted to talk to him, you had to exchange phone numbers. People had to actually "date" in those days. However, none of the young men I met were interested in spanking me. 



The above photo was taken at a friend's completely seedy house during a party. The smoke should be a cue that I'm smoking and I was. But not a cigarette. I was stoned out of my gourd here. I did many things in my youth that I regret now because of drugs and alcohol. There's no way that I would have made the right decisions to be safe in the scene; especially since drugs and alcohol were a part of my everyday life back then. Maybe if I had been sober I would see things differently. Anyway, that's another thing that's unfair about life: you never really know the things you're missing until somehow the years of your life show them to you. 

In every other way, I've always said that I was born at the perfect time. I was fully able to enjoy the 70's and most of the 60's (though as a child). The music was awesome, the cars were cool, the television was groovy and the toys were the best. But...there's that small regret. Time marches on and it has taken its toll on me in many ways. The years have been kind in regards to my looks, I'll be the first to admit. Many women my age look every bit of it. I'm don't think it's bragging to say that. Lots of people that I meet are surprised when they learn how old I am. So I don't want anyone to get the idea that I'm just feeling sorry for myself here. I do have some blessings to count. But when I see the excitement of the young people just coming into the scene, I do feel just a pang of remorse over when I was born. I would give almost anything to be a young person in the scene today--with all the advantages of social media, Smartphones and texting. There are times I feel like a dinosaur. I don't understand the appeal of most of the new shows that young people watch. I don't understand their taste in music at all. I don't get the new films that they Tweet about. But I still know how to enjoy myself, although I'm sober these days.

Now, saying all this, I have to say that we older folks do serve a purpose in the scene. We should be there to give advice when it's asked for. After all, if they have the advantage of youth, we have the advantage of experience. And young people should remember that they're walking a road that was paved for them, the same as it was for us by the ones who came before us. 



As a teen (I was 18 when the above photo was taken), I think part of my problem was that I hung around people a lot older than me. In the photo here, I'm dressed to go fishing with my grandfather. I spent a lot of time with my Paw Paw while he lived. He and I had some awesome talks while our fishing lines bobbed in the water. Because I spent so much time with older folks, I think I had a maturity that most of the people I knew who were my age lacked. My mother always used to say I was an "old soul", meaning I never really acted my age. I always acted older and more mature than my age. Maybe that's another reason that some of the young people in the scene get on my nerves a little. Behavior that I would never dream of engaging in happens all the time at parties. People just shrug and say "They're young". Well, so was I once. I think the difference is that I had people around me who put the brakes on my behavior before it became destructive. Even in my worst days of alcoholism and pill popping I never really hurt anyone but myself. I never drove drunk or reported for work under the influence. Even when I was drunk my common sense never got overridden by my stupidity. 

So getting down to brass tacks here, I have to say that today I feel a bit sad that never got to be a 21 year old at her first party. Nothing will ever change that. Well, not unless someone really does learn how to make a time machine out of a Delorean. In the meantime, I'll just have to make lots of this:

And it's a good thing I like the taste of lemonade. So if you see me with a sour look on my face, just put down to lemonade. I'll just go on, trying my best to make the best of a less than ideal situation. The spanking scene will go on after I hang up my canes. I'll go on enjoying parties when I feel like attending. But oh, to be a young lady getting all of that attention!
























Wednesday, March 4, 2015

When In Rome

There used to be a very famous saying: "When in Rome, do as the Romans". What this means is when you're visiting somewhere, whether it's another country or even just someone's home, it's customary to partake of the local customs. Unfortunately for me, the closest I ever got to Rome was a Toga Party thrown by some friends when I was in Atlantic City last year.

I had a great time with these folks, mostly because they were good friends of mine and there was spanking involved. Which leads me to the subject of today's entry. Do hosts have the right to expect their guests to participate in activities that make them uncomfortable? Is it bad manners to decline a particular activity because it's "not my thing"? How do we decline without hurting the host's feelings? I'll use the above photo as an example. The Toga Party that I attended was thrown in a private suite by friends of mine. There was alcohol (several different wines) available, even though everyone in the room knew I don't touch alcohol. In no way did I feel that my hosts had disrespected me or my feelings by offering wine. None was offered to me personally. Now, if everyone had spent the evening trying to get me to drink, I might have felt differently. However, there have been times when I've felt pressured to do something I ordinarily wouldn't do because all the other participants were doing it. Once or twice, the pressure was overt. But more often, it's more subtle. I won't put the details of specific incidents here because I have no idea who reads this and the thought of someone being offended by me stating my discomfort is too horrible for words. Suffice to say that I declined to do what everyone else was doing for my own personal reasons. There was a card game being played and it was a game I wasn't interested in playing. So when I was invited to play, I politely declined. The majority of the players accepted my decision with grace, but a few gave me a moderate harangue on the issue. After all, everyone else was doing it. I think one or two people may have taken my polite refusal as me saying I'm better or morally superior to them in some way. True, the game had some distasteful aspects to it (not the least of which for me is bad language) but that's really why I declined. I think I declined because everyone else was playing. The card game is one of those trendy games that no one will remember in three or four years (kind of the way no one remembers the game Sex Drive today). It just smacked of what I call Everyone's Doing It Syndrome. In much the same way people were reading the "50 Shades" books because  everyone else was, this card game became de rigeur at many of the spanking parties I attended. 

So that begs a question. People in the kink scene say that we embrace and encourage individuality, but do we really? Almost everyone wants to be accepted or seen as popular. I know very few people who are true rebels in the kink scene; those who march to their own drummer and don't allow others to pressure them into conforming to their standards. When I see friends who never showed the slightest interest in a certain activity all of a sudden embrace it, I have to wonder why. Usually, it means that that person has made a new friend and that new friend has either subtly or overtly pressured them to do it, too as a way of "fitting in". Sometimes, it could just mean that the person in question has just experienced an area of growth, something that's perfectly normal in the kink scene. But sadly, more often than not, it usually means that they've befriended someone who expects all of his or her friends to be into the same things he or she is into and they won't tolerate someone who doesn't play along. Of course, it's really hard to know which event occurred. But given what I know about peer pressure in the scene I can tell you that it does happen and that normally bright and imaginative people give in to peer pressure in order to be popular. As an example, the fact that I don't drink or smoke makes me unpopular with the scotch and cigars crowd. It's just something that I won't ever be able to partake of because I've quit both of those things. I enjoyed them while I did them, for sure but I don't do them anymore. I guess that makes me seem like I'm on a moral high horse with some people, but that's not it at all. I don't judge smokers or drinkers because I used to be one. To me, there's nothing more angering than a former smoker who acts like they never smoked. This is especially true if they're smoking on the side and living in fear of being caught. 

As another example, I was once invited to an ageplay party and I politely explained that since that wasn't my thing, I felt it best to attend another of the suite parties available that night. The person who invited me accepted my explanation graciously and wished me a pleasant evening and there I thought the matter rested. Not true. Later, when I returned home, I had a private message in my inbox asking me why I had dissed the ageplayers. The person who wrote me told me that the person who had invited me told them I had "recoiled in horror" at being invited. This wasn't true, I explained in my message back to this person. I told them that I had declined in a perfectly polite way, explaining that I had never had any interest in ageplay and that, quite frankly, it made me a bit uncomfortable. So I guess that constitutes recoiling in horror. Whatever happened to "your kink is not my kink"? I'm sure I'm into things that other people find weird and that's OK with me. I've never expected other people to be into all of the same things as me. I can't speak for the BDSM scene as I'm not into it, but I can say that, in my opinion, the spanking scene has become a cult of personality, where a select few control who gets accepted and who gets left out. But they're more likely to accept you if you at least pretend to like what they like. And that leaves me out because more than ever before, the spanking scene has become all about punishment and discipline, two things I have no interest in at all. I see people who never had the slightest interest in doing punishments now embracing it and I have to wonder if it's because they feel they'll be left out if they don't? It's a rather uncomfortable feeling knowing that you're not popular and if you don't attend a certain party, you won't be missed. 

Look, I'm not saying that everyone who develops a new fetish does it only because someone coerced them into it. I know that people often change and grow as they go on in the scene. I know I've changed quite a bit from when I first started. However, my core beliefs haven't changed. I still detest real punishment scenarios as much as I did when I was a newbie (and I participated in a misguided attempt to fit in). But I've seen so many people doing 180s in their philosophies that it makes me wonder. I've also come to grips with the fact that my political and religious views don't win me any fans in the spanking world either. It's one thing to not enjoy participating in punishment role plays, but quite another to criticize the current administration, especially how they react to watching Islamic terrorists cut of the heads off Christians. Many of the people in the kink community are hostile to Christians, so why would they mind if a couple hundred of them get beheaded on Youtube? I mean, it's not like we're humans or anything, right? I'm a follower of Jesus Christ and I don't apologize for it. Last time I checked with the Constitution, Freedom Of Religion was still there. Being a conservative Christian in the spanking scene is one sure way to get yourself uninvited to the popular kids' parties. I'm sure there are others like me who love the Lord but they keep that to themselves for fear of being ridiculed or ostracized. 

So I guess that wraps up this entry. I will state right here that I have no desire to do something distasteful to me for fear of being teased or unfriended. I've had both happen to me in my life and I've survived them. I also have no desire to do "what everyone else is doing". My mother taught me years ago that just because everyone else is doing something doesn't mean I should be doing it.