Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Friend Indeed

One of my best friends in the spanking scene, Nasserine, is coming down to Peoria to see me before the Crimson Moon party. Since she lives in Wisconsin and the party is in Chicago, she's coming down the day before to rest up for the drive back up North.
I've met some wonderful people since I've been in the spanking scene but a few are special. Nass is one of them. If we lived closer together, I have a feeling we would always be at each other's homes. As it is, I have some special things planned for her. I'm taking her out to dinner tomorrow night at my favorite Chinese buffet. She's a vegetarian but I'm sure she won't have any problem choosing from among the delicious meatless dishes they serve. Thursday morning, I'll make us muffins for breakfast and we can take the ones we don't polish off with us on the road and munch on them when we feel a little hungry. She's taken care of my hotel room, too, once we get there. So I feel obligated to do as many nice things for her as I can.
I'm also going to meet my Fetlife buddy, Zelle, for the first time. She has such a bubbly personality and she's so beautiful I'm sure she will be a big hit at the party. She lives in the South so she's coming a long way to attend this party. I hope it lives up to her expectations. She attended her first party in Florida last month and had such a good time that she decided to attend Crimson Moon, too. The Florida parties are fancier than ours. They have a beautiful beach side hotel; or at least, they did. I guess they aren't going to do those big summer parties anymore. Anyway, I would hate to see her disappointed because the hotel isn't 5-star. She doesn't strike me as the snobby type though. Just the opposite, in fact. I'm looking forward to meeting her and giving her the paddles I have for her from MrZia. She's really excited about that. She might be more excited about the paddles than she is the party.
Professional baseball player, Jeff Kent, once said (whether he was serious or not I don't know) that he wants to retire from the game not having made a single friend. I can't imagine being in the scene without friends. First of all, having friends to share your experiences with just enriches them. And having friends to lean on when things don't go the way you planned also helps. Friends will also give it to you straight. When you're being a jerk or a ninny, your friends will tell you. I admire people who shoot straight. Sure, they'll occasionally sugar coat things or tell you what they think you want to hear, but for the most part, REAL friends will give it to you straight. Especially if it's something you may not really want to hear. Being friendless would be the loneliest existence I could think of. If you're going to lead that kind of life; where you just shrug and say 'I don't need anyone else. I have myself.', you had better be able to stand your own company. I don't particularly like my own company that much so friends are paramount to my existence.
Because my roommate (and best friend of more than 40 years) is in the hospital, I have been alone in my apartment for almost two weeks. Because of that, I'm looking forward to Nass' visit even more than I normally I would otherwise. I like peace and quiet, don't get me wrong. But it's one of those good things you can get too much of. Talking on the phone helps and chatting is nice. But they are no replacement for face to face visits from friends and family.
This will likely be my last blog until I get back from Chicago. My faithful readers will have one of my famous post party reports to read when I do get back.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bearing Gifts...And Baring Bottoms

These are s0me of the beautiful wood paddles that are coming with me to the Crimson Moon party in Chicago this weekend. I'll identify them from left to right:
African Pearwood Narrow Bat Paddle
Curly Maple Narrow Bat Paddle
Curly Purple Heartwood Narrow Bat Paddle
New Mexico Mesquite Wide Flared Paddle
Mimbres (Native New Mexico) Walnut Hairbrush Paddle
A price list and business cards are also coming with me. And, of course, I would be more than happy to let anyone who's interested in buying test drive it on my bottom. I worked in sales long enough to know the value of doing what you have to do to make a sale. I'm getting a commission, but I would happily do without it because I believe in these paddles. I believe once you feel one in your hand (or on your bottom) you will want one. Wood fans will especially love them. The workmanship is first class, the sizes are realistic and the prices are what you would expect for this kind of quality. The prices seem really reasonable to me. I've seen paddles similarly priced that didn't have this kind of attention to detail and they certainly didn't use these native/exotic woods.
The paddles make my toy bags very heavy so I'm hoping to have all of them sold before the party is over. In fact, I'm hoping to have them all sold before Saturday's vendor's fair. Because MrZia didn't put this proposal forward to me until just last week, there wasn't time to purchase a table for the vendor's fair. It wouldn't be fair for me to sit around showing these lovely paddles off when I haven't gone through the proper channels to get a table. So I will only be showing them in my room. This is also for security reasons. I'm not saying anyone would steal them but it has happened to others so I'm being cautious here.
MrZia also tucked a special gift into the parcel that arrived this morning. It's wrapped (like the rest of the paddles were) and the instructions state that it isn't to be opened until I arrive at the party. I'm fighting the impulse to just tear off the paper and see what he sent. It just says there's one for me and one for Zelle. There are also two other paddles which she expressed an interest in buying so those are still wrapped as well.
I'm probably going to take more wood at this party than I ever have before. And that's OK because this is all for a friend; a friend who was nice enough to send me six paddles and asked nothing in return except for me to see if there was a market for his work. If craftsmanship and quality counts for anything, I expect my toy bags to be much lighter by the time the party weekend wraps up.
For those of you who are going, I will see you all Thursday, paddles in tow.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Be Prepared

This is the suitcase I'm taking with me to the Crimson Moon party. You can see that there are actually clothes in it since it's not closed yet. This is because I keep finding things to toss into it "just in case". This is my first time ever packing for a party where it's just me. But, of course, like your typical woman, it takes a lot to make me beautiful and all of the beauty aids are also making the trip. I'm also taking two bags of toys but they are always packed so nothing to do there. It's the clothes that I have a hard time with. It's not like it's March or October and I don't know how the weather will be and need to pack for that situation. It's July in Illinois, for Pete's sake. I know what the weather will be like. So I've packed plenty of cropped pants and Bermuda shorts. And sandals. And so many pairs of panties that I'm hoping to have a chance to wear even half the ones I'm packing. But you just never know what kind of day it will be---a skinny one or a fat one. And whether it's a skinny day or a fat day will determine what kind of panties I wear so I have to have a contingency plan in place. I've also got my first aid kit with me. I never go to a party without it. Not that I expect an accident to happen, but it's just one of those things that I learned to prepare for years ago. My first aid kit pretty much has the spanking party basics--arnica cream, Neosporin, Q-Tips, Band aids and surgical gauze in case something REALLY bad happens. I usually also bring tweezers, safety pins, nail files and a host of other "emergency" items that someone might need and not have. And just in case you don't think a nail file is an emergency item, I once saw a lady at a party cry for 20 minutes over breaking a nail and not having a file. I felt terrible for her because I didn't bring one that I could've lent to her. So I learned my lesson on that one. My mother always carried Scotch tape and paper clips in her purse because, in the days when ladies wore dresses and skirts, she was constantly catching the hem of hers on her office chair (this was in the days when she was a bookkeeper, before she went into nursing) and needing to fix it in a hurry. She always told me that nothing existed that couldn't be temporarily fixed with tape and paper clips. Because I don't like to improvise, my small sewing kit is also coming along. You never know when you or someone else might lose a button or tear a seam. And because you never know what the weather will do (aside from being hot as a sauna) my umbrella is coming, too. I know it seems like I over prepare for these parties. But I'm the kind of person who likes to be ready for anything. I don't do well in situations that call for something and I don't have it. I'm not good at ad-libbing.
I'm so excited about this party. I will be meeting a number of people for the first time and I love meeting new people. But I'm also a bit apprehensive because I wonder what they will think of me. I want to make a good first impression. I'm not one of these people that says "who cares?" when it comes to that first meeting. We have all been in situations where we've met someone for the first time and weren't at our best. I remember once when a boy I had an insane crush on but had never actually met surprised me at my locker one day. Feel free to laugh about this. It was 1975, after all, so I've gotten over my mortification (mostly). This kid I liked was named Chris and he was on the wrestling team. I was a wrestling timer and went to all the meets to help time the matches. I was a pool timer as well so I travelled with the swim team, too. Yes, I did it to meet boys. Anyway, this day had started out bad and was about to get a lot worse. Picture Day was three days away and I was having the break out to end all break outs. Between bells I decided to stop at my locker and get my art supplies so I wouldn't have to make the trip back up to the third floor (where my locker was) all the way back to the annex (where my Art class was). I had a little mirror, the kind with adhesive on the back so you can stick them up, on my locker door and decided I had to do something about the zits that were covering my face. I took my tube of Clearasil (medium tone) out of my purse and began to dab it on the nasty looking pimples that were sprouting on my face by the second. Just as I'm doing that, Chris walks by. "Hey, Cheryl". Because I was so intent on what I was doing, hearing my name startled me. When I'm nervous my hands tend to shake so I gripped the Clearasil tube tighter so I wouldn't drop it. Of course, I squeezed too tightly and a bunch of Clearasil Medium Tone gushed out of the tube straight at him. It was like something out of a bad dream. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me whole at that moment. But he was so cute and so sweet. "I'm sorry" I said trying to wipe the spots off his face where it had landed. He assured me it was OK. "I use the same kind". Later in the week I learned he was transferring to a class of mine. Thankfully, he never mentioned it again. However, someone must have seen it happen because that night on the bus Cigi asked me "Did you squirt Clearasil on Chris Y.?" I told her "Not on purpose" and then told her I didn't want to talk about it anymore.
So now I go a bit overboard when it comes to making a good first impression. You never get another chance, after all. Maybe if I hadn't been such an idiot in high school Chris might have asked me out. Of course, there could have been a lot of reasons why he never asked me out. I heard later there was a rule about wrestlers dating timers (who were all girls). But I knew it got broken all the time. The moral of the story is to have control over as many aspects of that first meet as you can. If you have to carry Tic Tacs in your purse, do it. I get out the "big guns". I carry a small bottle of Scope in my bag (in a Ziploc bag in case the lid comes off). At a spanking party, where that first impression might mean the difference between that gorgeous new top asking you to play and sitting in the corner with the wallflowers, you can never be too careful.
I was never a Girl Scout but I firmly believe in being prepared for anything. I don't want my good time spoiled because I failed to plan ahead.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Woman My Age

According to many of my vanilla friends, I'm an old woman. Now I'm not saying that they call me this. But they almost universally agree that it's time for me to act "my age". 'What does this mean?' I ask. Well, they respond, it's time for me to stop running off to Chicago all the time, for one thing. I go to Chicago (for spanking parties) only two or three times a year. And what's wrong with that? Because I'm going to turn the Big 5-0 this December, I should sit at home and knit? I should see my friends? Which usually causes them to ask why they never get invited on these jaunts. I tell them, as diplomatically as I can, that they wouldn't enjoy themselves if they went with me. They also think I don't dress appropriately for "a woman my age". You know, I think I'm one of the more conservative dressers that I see, especially in the scene. I buy the bulk of my clothes come from Wal-Mart for crying out loud. What's wrong with the way I dress? Or do they think I should stop wearing jeans and start wearing those polyester stretch pants that my mother liked when she hit middle age? In fact, looking at pictures of her, she started wearing them when she was younger than I am. In fact, my mom looked older than me when she was ten years younger.

The fact of the matter is that, because I didn't marry or have kids, I don't look my age. Most of the women my age are grandmothers. But I chose not to go the wife and mother route. So if I look and feel younger, why shouldn't I accentuate that? My twin sister has already died. I've learned firsthand that life is too short not to live it.

Now I'll be the first to admit that it was a lot easier for a mature woman like me to be in the scene when I first started. Most of the men I played with were still older than I was. Some of the men were so much older than I was that, even at 42, I was a sweet young thing.

Now days, I find more and more that the men are at least my age or a little bit younger. Now there may be a couple of reasons for this. Seven years after I first started, some of those older guys have probably retired from the scene. Also the advent of places like Fetlife, who attract younger members. When I first started, we had Yahoo groups and that was about all. Believe me, when I first started in the scene, I never envisioned getting spanked by someone more than 15 years younger than I was. One of my favorite tops was born the year I graduated from high school. And you know what? My age never comes up. In fact, the young men I've played with never make my age an issue. Some of the older guys are, in fact, looking for younger girls because they want the Daddy/little girl dynamic and that would definitely not work with me. I mean, I'm not going to wear a plaid skirt or suck on a pacifier. I actually had one young top tell me he prefers to play with older women because the young women he's met are mostly "head cases". Maybe as older women, we've had time to exorcise our baggage. Whereas the younger women are still lugging theirs around or trying to get rid of it. Many of the younger women are looking for a father figure and it's pretty easy for them to find it in the scene. Any man who was going to be a father figure for me would have to be in his late 60's or 70's.

The big Crimson Moon party is coming up this weekend and I'm psyched up like I haven't been in a long time. Yes, I know there are men who don't ask me to play because I'm to old or too heavy for their fantasy. And that's OK. Everyone is entitled to their preferences. But I plan to go to Chicago and have a mind blowing good time...for a woman my age.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A New Interest

It was bound to happen. I've been over seven years in the spanking scene and it has finally happened: I've found a new interest to add to my interest in spanking.

I'm not quite sure how it happened. I've watched a lot of videos and read quite a few spanking stories and this act seems to happen in them a lot. I'm talking about getting your temperature taken (and not orally). When we were very small children, there were two reasons you would get your pants pulled down: either you were going to get a spanking or you were going to get your temperature taken.
It's hard to decide which a kid would dread more. Spankings, while not necessarily embarrassing, were certainly painful. Having your temperature taken, while not painful, was certainly embarrassing. So I can understand how the two could become melded in a spanko's mind. I'm trying to figure out where the interest lies for me. I'm not into power exchanges so it's not being dominated that seems to pique my interest. My theory is that, somehow, this act has become eroticized for me. Probably from watching it happen in all those videos. From all the videos I've seen and the limited number of websites I've visited, it seems that the old-fashioned glass and mercury thermometers that us baby boomers remember with such trepidation from our childhoods are favored when it comes to using rectal thermometers in scenes. Those new, fast-reading digital thermometers just don't seem to do it for most of us. I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to soon. I was a pretty sickly child and remember many of my rectal temps being taken by a nurse in a doctor's office. So I will probably do a quasi-medical scene for my first time. All of this is still sort of percolating in my brain. Maybe players who have experience with this can give me some pointers. Whatever the case, it's something I'm very much looking forward to.
It's funny though that I still consider myself a pure spanko. It goes back to what I said before about spanking and rectal temperature taking being closely linked for many of us. However, the interest is a new one for me. I don't remember any time during all my years in the spanking scene that this was something I just "had" to try. In fact, I found it quite gross for a long time. But there are a lot of tops who do this so I have a feeling I won't have a problem finding someone to do this with me.
Wish me luck, folks. And don't think I'm gross, OK? :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

They're Heeeeerrrrre!

This morning, my new wood paddles from my friend in Arizona arrived. I knew there was no way that the package he sent them in would fit in my mailbox and would have to be hand delivered to me. To this end, because I don't hear real well, I sat on the couch by the door and waited for the mailman to knock. Sure enough, he knocked. Well, he didn't so much knock as pounded. He pounded so loud on my door that two of my neighbors came out to see what was going on. I assured them I was just receiving a package. Their curiosity satisfied, they returned to their apartments and I took my new treasures inside.
There were five paddles all totalled. He had wrapped them lovingly in paper and labeled them with what kind of wood they were. Oh, they were beautiful. Just like the pictures on his profile. I couldn't wait to unwrap them and look at them properly. They felt rather hefty, especially the white oak paddles. I was especially drawn to the mesquite paddle (the one that's pictured at the top of this entry). I gave myself about a dozen whacks with it. Man, the sting was just perfect. Not too much and not boring at all. I'm expecting to have a great time at the Crimson Moon party and I think these paddles will figure into that.
The man who made the paddles goes by the name MrZia on Fetlife. If you're a member, have a look at his profile. His talent is amazing and his dedication to putting quality paddles into the spanking marketplace is to be commended. The man does some of the best work I've ever seen. Everyone who knows me knows I love and appreciate quality toys. I have a major disdain for cheap toys, especially so-called "pervertables". Everyone knows what these are: household items that are used to things like cooking and games, but are converted (or "perverted") into spanking toys. This includes things like ping pong paddles, bread boards, rice paddles, even hairbrushes. The problem with these toys is that they weren't designed and made for the purpose of spanking. As a consequence, they tend to be easily breakable. However, a ping pong paddle is easily replaced. As a beginner, before I knew where to look for quality toys, I was guilty of this myself. But thankfully, someone turned me on to the exquisite experience of REAL spanking implements; that is, implements designed and made for the express purpose of being used on someone's willing bottom. At first, there was an aire of secrecy and illicitness to ordering something from one of these people. The packaging was always discreet, like I had ordered porn or something. But pretty soon I just adopted the attitude that I was helping to keep reputable spanking implement manufacturers in business.
So if you're attending the Crimson Moon party next weekend, I'll be there with my new toys. Stop by and say "hi" if you see me and I will be more than happy to show these toys to you. And maybe also let you demo them on my bottom.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Toys Arriving Soon

Sometimes, a chat is just a chat. And sometimes, a chat turns into something. I was chatting the other day with a gentleman I met on Fetlife. He had a wonderful profile and this profile contained four or five pictures of wonderful wood toys. Turns out, he makes them himself. Now he's not some guy who buys some cheap culled lumber, uses an old paddle as a template and then cuts a new one out of this cheap lumber. No. He uses beautiful wood, some of it is pretty exotic. His toys come in purple heartwood, padauk wood from Africa (which has a beautiful orange color), bubinga, mesquite and other beautiful woods. He uses many of the same woods that my favorite woodworker from Texas uses. However. this guy lives in the Southwest; in Arizona to be exact. I left a comment on one of his pictures complimenting his work. He sent a friend request (which I accepted) and I asked him to look me up on Yahoo for a chat.

We had a lovely chat and he offered to send me a box of toys with no obligation to pay for them. This was a very generous offer and I told him so. I let him know how grateful I was for his generosity. So many times people do things (like make toys) simply to get something in return. But he simply wanted the satisfaction that comes with knowing that someone is enjoying the fruits of his labors. So now I eagerly await the arrival of the lovely new toys he's sending me. Of course, I'm planning on taking them to the Crimson Moon party with me and hopefully, a few people will notice the new toys and ask me where I got them. So I guess part of him giving me those toys is to drum up some business for him. But I don't fault him for that. I can't expect him to give me a bunch of expensive toys and then not get anything for his work. Now I know that he offered me the toys. But I still think he should receive something in exchange for sending me all those toys. Plus he's sending three other paddles to see if I can get anyone to buy them. This puts me in somewhat of a bind because Crimson Moon is having a vendor's fair. Everyone who's showing their wares at the party paid for a table. I'm going to go to the party and show his paddles to friends without participating in the vendor's fair. Is this fair to those people? Of course not. Now I realize I'm not selling a whole bag of toys. It's three paddles. But it's the idea. It makes me feel a little dishonest. I will only be able to show these paddles in private. Even though I highly doubt the board members would say anything about me selling three paddles; especially since it's in exchange for getting a whole bunch of paddles for free. I doubt they would blame me.

There are few things I love more than getting new toys. Buying them directly from the vendor is nice, of course. But buying them online and then having to wait for them to arrive just adds to the excitement. Cigi loved getting new toys, too and would act like a kid with Christmas approaching whenever she ordered something.

This was a photo I took of her just after her new purple heartwood paddle arrived. Look at the excitement on that face. She could hardly hold it in. This is how I feel about new toys, too. This is mostly due to remembering her excitement whenever anything new would come in the mail. I can only smile as I reflect on how she would feel if she were still here and knew that new toys were on their way. She would be checking the mail everyday. She would be pestering me at work with "Did they come?" every few minutes. But that was part of her charm.

Anyway, the Crimson Moon party is going to be more than the usual party for me. I'm going to be hawking paddles. When I post my party report, I will let everyone know how I did with this. I consider my selling skills to be above average. And, of course, making my bottom available for demos can't hurt. So keep your fingers crossed for me. I've suddenly found myself in the position of paddle vendor.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I've Decided...

I have made the decision to attend the Chicago Crimson Moon party at the end of this month. I just feel that Cigi would want me to go and be among my friends. I gave it a lot of thought. In fact, earlier this week I was considering leaving the scene. I was sure that there was no way I would have fun at a party without her so what was the point? However, some very good friends convinced me to think twice about leaving the scene. Grief serves its purpose, they reminded me, but it can't go on indefinitely. So I made the decision to go ahead with my plans to attend. A good friend of mine is going to drive down the day before and spend the night with me. This serves a twofold purpose: first, since she lives in Wisconsin, she'll be nice and rested for the drive to Chicago and second, she will get to see my lovely home (LOL...it's far from lovely but I do what I can). I was overwhelmed when this friend made the offer. I had been trying to get a ride for some time, with no luck and had actually made up my mind that it wouldn't be a big deal if I missed the party. I was under the illusion that I probably wouldn't have a good time if I went. Now this wonderful friend made a very generous offer and so I felt there was no way I could refuse her. Of course, I'm going to make sure that her gas is paid for. I'm going to do whatever I can to make it up to her. This lady has been one of my roommates at parties for about three years now and I've gotten pretty close to her, despite the distance between us. I've made great friends in the scene, I know this now. But grief had sort of blinded me to it. Grief tends to make a person focus on the negatives and not the positives in their life. I have so many positives. Yes, Cigi was taken from me. Yes, I miss her (and probably always will). But it has been my wonderful friends who have convinced me that there is still fun to be had and I need not feel guilty about enjoying myself. Maybe guilt, more so than grief, has been what has been keeping me from enjoying life since Cigi passed away. I feel like I'm being disloyal or that she will think I've forgotten her if I go and enjoy myself occasionally. But it doesn't have to be that way.

So I've made the decision to stay in the scene, to attend parties when I can and see if there isn't something good out there. I'm not too sure what my head space will be like at this party. I'm pretty sure I'll probably cry a few times. But as long as I have my friends with me, I'll be OK. Besides, I know that Cigi will be with me in spirit. I'll probably hear a few "I remember the time Cigi..." stories, too. And that's OK. The memories we have of her part of what she left behind for us. She was such a big part of Crimson Moon and the parties. I will feel a bit sad for those who will be attending their first CM party who never got to meet her. The only thing I can do is make sure they know her through me.

So wish me luck :) This first party without Cigi scares me, but I know I have to go and I know she would want me to.