An Ode to Chemistry

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A friend of mine just got hit by that animal instinct that is crazy chemistry. Some people refer to it as “love at first sight.” But of course, the urge to have sex with someone is not the same as love, so I don’t think it’s accurate to call it that.

I want to disclose up front that I’m not sure you can base a relationship on chemistry, since it seems to be purely physical. But I don’t know. Because the three times I’ve been hit by this phenomenon, it didn’t work out.

So what is it? Well, it’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t had it. But sometimes, when you meet someone, you are very drawn to them in a very primal way.

The first time it happened to me was with a Court Jester from The Renaissance Festival. (He wasn’t in costume at the time.) I was selling tickets to an element a440 show. I don’t remember what club I was at, but he was on the dance floor in black velvet. When he saw me he walked over and asked me to dance. And though I had never danced before (and dancing together at a Goth club is sort of weird as Goths generally dance alone) we somehow wiggled against each other in a way that just fit.

I ended up giving him two tickets to the element a440 show before I left the club.

I thought about him all week. It was agony waiting. I didn’t have his phone number. I had no information at all. I didn’t even know his name.

But when the day of the concert came, there he was. He pulled me aside and handed me an old-fashioned key on a chain.

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“I got this for you,” he explained. “I was in a shop and I couldn’t stop thinking about you. And there was two… so I just bought them.”

He pulled on a chain around his neck and revealed an identical key hidden under his shirt.

“I know I just met you and it’s soon and all, but I dunno, there was just something about you.”

And THAT is chemistry. The illogical and unexplainable attraction that is stronger than anything you’re ever felt.

I ran away with Kronk and the Renaissance Festival a week later, leaving a magazine I owned and a job I liked behind. But it wasn’t just big irrational decisions that I made. It was all of them. Sex in public bathrooms. Karaoke. I’m telling you- I did not act like myself at all.

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It’s the most irresponsible I have ever acted, and it was some of the most fun I ever had. It ended horribly, of course. Yelling, stuff thrown off a second floor balcony. Me hitchhiking home from Texas. Etc…

But I wouldn’t go back and change a thing. And I think anyone who’s been hit with crazy chemistry knows what I mean.

My friend, who is just having his first experience with this, is 40. I guess some people go a long time without being hit by this sort of thing. Maybe some go there whole lives. But trust me, when it happens to you, you’ll know.

On Distance

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I have done a lot of long-distance relationships in my life, because I have traveled a lot. I have the bad habit of picking up and leaving places. In my 20’s I randomly moved to Hollywood, took off to Colorado, and ran off with the Renaissance Festival doing leather work. Then, at the end of my 20’s, I moved to South Korea. It’s been a planet-wide wander lust since then.

Because of this, I have a lot of experience dating at a distance. If you’re poly I think it’s easier because you end up spending time with other people. Cuddling, even if it’s not with the person you’re thinking of, will still produce cxytocin (a bonding hormone) and have positive effects on your overall well-being.

 

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Usually I am fine with distance. I’m an independent person and I do well even if I am on my own. This is why picking up and moving various places seemed less insane to me than it did to my friends who had more roots. (Not having parents really probably helped with the lack of roots for me.)

But some moments distance is hard.

I had an acute moment of soul-wrenching pain the other day. My pet sent me a picture of himself, all dressed up in the leather harness and collar I bought him. And I immediately felt his loneliness, and knew that he put all that on wishing I was there to play with him. And I knew he missed me. And I felt just sick about it.

 

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I think it’s a scaled-up version of how sad your dog looks standing at the door holding its leash in its mouth and looking all tragic. You KNOW they wanna go for a walk. You KNOW they wanna play outside. And worst of all, you know they depend on you for this thing.

And here I am, thousands of miles away, unable to take my pet for a walk.

I think this is the plight of any long-distance Domme. You feel responsible for the happiness of your pets and care deeply for them, so knowing they are lonely is such a tragic and painful feeling.

I hadn’t felt anything quite like that in a really long time. It may be the most I have ever missed anyone in my entire life. And I just wanted to share it, in case anyone else is dealing with distance right now and knows how I feel.

Last, because my pet is human and this is a metaphor:

For A Vanilla Friend

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A friend of mine whom I have always considered vanilla got sushi with me a few weeks ago. She expressed interested in whips and chains and things. And I was surprised. I know some kink folks go around assuming that vanilla people WOULD be kinky if they were a little more gutsy or a little less sheltered. But I have never thought that. I know quite a few people who tried kinky stuff just to see how they felt about it, and decided it wasn’t for them. Ergo, I never presume to know what someone is like inside their own head.

But this friend of mine asked about a few things, and I thought I would do a basic overview of each of them.

First, responsible sex.

I have written about this topic before when discussing poly relationships, but I think a quick summary here would be beneficial. My friend expressed horror about getting STD tests from people. But as I have said before, one little cell can ruin your life and skin to skin contact can transfer cells; condoms or no. If you’re interested in being poly, understand that getting an STD can ruin the lives of a lot of people, and learn to take this seriously and not to be afraid of it.

Yes, vanilla people often avoid openly talking about this kind of thing. Yes, some of them see it as a lack of trust when you simply want to use a condom, never mind trading paperwork. But if you get into the kink community then people expect this, so don’t be shy about asking!

Second, where to go. 

I have found that the best way to find kinky folks where you live these days is to go to a fetlife.com munch. I know us kinky folks have our issues with fetlife from time to time. But let’s be honest, before that web site came along, finding freaks in your town involved walking up to scary people and asking them in person. I did that back in the early 90’s when I moved to L.A. and I am sure it wasn’t safe.

So make a profile (dear god don’t use your real name!) and find a munch near you. Choose one in a public place where the dress code is listed as “vanilla.” Then just go and talk to people. Most munches will include folks who can tell you where the dungeons are and the good clubs to hang out at.

Third, what to do.

It’s not like you have to jump in with both feet. If you’re nervous about getting started, just keep dating vanilla people, but ask them if they ever thought about trying kinky things. Practicing with another person who is mostly vanilla can be fun and harmless. Get one of those silly kinky “starter kits” they sell these days as sex shops (due to the popularity of a certain series of shit books) and try things out. You don’t need to be part of the community to be kinky. It can be nice to have the support, but if it’s too overwhelming at first, then don’t do it. You should never do anything that makes you unhappy or uncomfortable.

And remember the BDSM mantra: Safe, sane, and consensual! 

Drama

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This is the most stupid and childish rant I will ever subject you to. I’m sorry, but I needed to say it somewhere. Please bear with me.

So, I have always tried to stay far enough outside of people’s circles to avoid the drama. I absolutely don’t see the point of getting worked up over other people’s lives.

Recently at Fetish Prom an ex of mine called me over and tried to make me jealous because he was there with another girl. Now of course, being poly, this does not bother me at all. And he should have known that, since he and I had never dated monogamously and in fact, I have always been more in love with the people I was dating other than him. He’s really more of a back-up guy. Not responsible enough to be allowed to be an emotional primary, and too bipolar and given to lying to really be trusted with much.

I suppose often HE was only dating ME, but that’s just because he’s really annoying. (He earned the name “Pretty” because he was good looking, but my friends claimed his looks were his only positive feature. As my friend Elyse used to say; he’d be the perfect guy if we could just sew his lips shut.)

It was actually really sad to see him at prom because he is loosing his hair, and it was one of his better features. He really did used to be pretty. But now… well… a balding head and a gut ruined it. Not to mention the obvious laziness of not brushing the hair he has left or dressing up at all.

 

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Some people age gracefully, but when Pretty came up and tried to start shit with me, I was actually sad for him at how poorly he has aged. It took me off guard. How had this happened so suddenly? When did he get so fat? What made his hair fall out?

I hoped that my casual avoidance would cause him to give up, but he promptly set about trying to bother my husband. I am grateful that the husband is patient, though he is only 23. I am extremely grateful that he simple listened quietly and walked away. Had he risen to the provocation (at one point Pretty even said “I bet you want to hit me, don’t you?”) it would have been giving Pretty what he wanted. Because for whatever reason (maybe because he got ugly and the girl he was with wasn’t very attractive?) he clearly wanted drama to happen.

So this is sort of my PSA to all the people who post their drama on Facebook or who try to start physical fights like little kids; just stop it.

 

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You know, we are adults and we are kinky. That should make us very responsible people. I am currently responsible for the lives of my two boyfriends in Oregon and my husband, and so I am very careful about STD tests and condoms and all of that. That’s how a mature adult acts. We fill out paperwork, get signed consent forms, trade STD tests, and talk things out when we’re upset.

I can not tell you how much I have grown and changed in my lifetime, and it amazes me that some people can stay mentally in the same place they were 25 years ago, and not grow an inch.

If you’re upset about a breakup and you want to do something about that, the correct thing to do is not to attempt to fight with the person who was the other half of said breakup. It is not to try to fight her husband either. And yes, I overheard all the shit-talking that was carefully done in my earshot, but that was also childish.

I was upset about the breakup a year ago when it happened. So I made a photo album of all the good times over the more than a decade that we saw each other, and then I got rid of it. I also wrote about it a little. I think, in a weak moment I might have brought it up to my husband long enough to say I was a little bummed.

But after about a month of being sort of sad, I moved on. Because the thing is, shit happens. I am grateful for the people I still have in my life, and they don’t need to see me all sad. And because I have them it’s hard to be sad. I get a lot of emotionally support from my little harem.

Now yes, Pretty was always immature. He was always kind of a pathological liar who was bipolar. And you may wonder why I kept him around at all. But to be fair, I have been very busy over many parts of my life. Too busy to be a single human. I needed to have someone to deliver my magazine to venues while I was at work, and to run errands for me while I was running shows. I needed a gofer, and for more than a decade Pretty did that with minimal attention required in return.

Of course, I’m doing less in my 30’s than I did in my 20’s, so I really don’t need a gofer anymore. And I realized that among other things during the breakup a year ago.

But to try to cause drama so long long after… well… don’t be like that, folks.

My point is, no amount of provocation will drive me to have a verbal argument or a physical fight. I’m a grown up, and if you want to act nasty, I will ignore you. I will not hit you, nor will I yell at you, nor will I act like an immature asshole. I do not come down to that level.

I hope all of you are like this as well. I’d like to think most of the community is. I hope you can all act like adults in public, and avoid using verbal or physical violence unless it is part of a pre-negotiated scene. Drama is stupid, and if you didn’t leave it back in High School… well… you’re kind of stupid too.

And what did I do at prom? The same thing I always do. I smiled and said “I’m just here for the party.”

 

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