The Other Side of Expectation

I found myself in the middle of a wonderful moment the other night. It was simple enough, I was eating dinner with a couple friends in my bedroom. I was dressed comfortably for the cool weather, and relaxed on my bed as we ate. We were in my bedroom because I have just moved to a new apartment and don’t have any furniture for the living room yet, and our kitchen is too small for a table… One of my friends was collared with a dog collar around their neck and topless, wearing only a rope harness I had tied onto their body earlier. They were eating out of a dog dish with no hands at the foot of my bed and grinning ear to ear while chatting about this and that between mouthfuls… This charming pup/boy had cooked dinner and served my guest and I: a wonderful and tasty vegan dinner paired with wine. They were collared and harnessed because they are my pup/boy, and it was the least I could do in appreciation of their service and care for the evening. (Well, I suppose I also beat them up a bit as well — just enough to get them giggling and smiling and merrily on their way to the kitchen…)

My other guest was stripped completely naked and kneeling properly on a blanket on the floor by my side. Beautiful posture, quiet demeanor, and holding a small tea saucer and chopsticks in his hands. His eyes were big practically unblinking saucers throughout our meal, experiencing the moment he was in wholly, and taking small bites of the food I placed on his dish from my own plate. His attention was studied and careful, eating when I ate, drinking when I drank, and gracefully taking the whole experience in. This guest of mine had just cleaned my bathroom while dinner was being made. Earlier in the evening I had brought him to his first proper sex positive/kinky/queer/feminist sex store… If his eyes were dark saucers of pupil now during this meal, you can imagine how the soft brown of his irises had disappeared in that environment earlier. Under my instruction he had bought a new toy he was curious about trying out. I am holding the gift in my home until he has learned enough about pleasing me to earn his reward…

In the middle of our simple dinner I thought to myself, “Oh this, this is my life — this is my life and I am so very happy and grateful for it”.

Is this blog meant to brag about my situation? No, but I do want to talk about that feeling. I experience this particular shade of gratefulness not infrequently in the midst of nontraditional happenings. It creeps up on me during sex and fetish parties while trussed up in bizarre predicaments, or watching a room full of people vulnerable, raw, and connecting deeply. I get it performing onstage with talented politically adept fellow actors who are telling their stories and raising fists against the ghosts and injuries of their pasts. This feeling washes over me on perfectly temperate days sitting in the sun deep in nature away from other humans, and it comes to me when I’m lost in writing or my art making process. This feeling tastes like contentment infused with excitement, there are hints of sensuous power at the edges of it’s balanced and grounded finish. The feeling is a restful animal, turned on, full, knowing all is right with the world.

How did I find myself here in this beautiful moment surrounded by good food, a happy pup, and turned on houseboy? In short, I got here because I made it happen. The more detailed answer is through years of hard work examining my own issues and trying out different paths towards pleasure. I got here by fighting for my own identity to be acknowledged — first by myself, and then by others around me. I got here by studying sexuality and human behavior, by making mistakes along the way, and acknowledging the depths to which I self-repress. Like most people I sometimes release my needs sideways, which is a problem I’ve consciously kept examining and challenging, and committed to work towards a more and more direct path to pleasure — my own and others’. I’ve zig-zagged through relationships which did not suit me finding a million reasons to better learn “no”, I’ve learned to stand my ground about gender, sexual identity, non-monogamous heart longings, kink-over-sex limitations (my healthy preferences)… I’ve had to accept myself first against deep fears that I will be abandoned or slandered by those who don’t understand my wants and needs in effort to be happy. I’ve battled guilt about advocating for my desires, and I’ve come to the other side stronger and more fully realized after each ending.

Along the way I’ve met more and more friends who understand me layers down deeply. Friends who see me and who value my voice as I celebrate and thrill at the creatures they are too. I’ve met people who have given me permission to be wholly myself, who’ve demanded I say what I mean rather than what I think anyone listening expects to hear. I have learned to better love from these imps and faeries as they’ve allowed me. I’ve started to dare showing up in spaces I was afraid were not mine to inhabit (though I’ve fantasized for decades about being welcomed in them), and I’ve felt my jaw drop in awe at the beauty there which I’ve spent years missing out on, by way of fear, self worth traps, and denial.

This is what it’s like to live outside the comfort of dominant society. There are gifts glittering in the trees and campfires of our queer Elders who reside on the outer edges of normativity. I’ve found new breath in dirty drafty bars smelling of stale tobacco, leather, cheap beer, and human musk. There are concrete rooms draped in cloth and furnished with benches, wooden rigs, and outfitted with toys of every imagined use, which hold onto the sweaty stench of lust while nightly showcasing mad desires and the everyday stunt people who conquer knives, needles, whip lashings, feather ticklers, gruff melting words to the ear, bootprint bruises, chains for hitting or bondage, seduction via a potent mix of jealousy/shame/compersion/voyeurism released during a bull’s intentional thrusts, and in dark corners you can find instances of heartbreaking love coursing through the body of a kneeling silent creature holding onto the well known leg of their Master…

From the years of puberty on we are taught to see some “thing” that we want, and conquer it with a quick fuck, a ring, relational rules tempered by selfishness and leading frequently to lies. I am grateful to be sitting in a room with people who make my heart sing. I am thankful to have scattered across the country playmates of varied genders and relationship styles who are as happy to have me in their bed as they are to simply take tea and catch up, or choreograph an evening of humiliation and pain, or submit to my will, or mold me, putty that I am, between their own fingers for a night… I like this adult life of eyes which sparkle, pupils that dilate wide in awe and anticipation of what comes next in our scene, of building trust through clear and open communication of our fantasies, our desire, boundaries, always ruled within the constitution of presentness, consent, respect, and earned trust.

We are a tradition of animals who have told ourselves “no” enough times to understand what we are capable of, and not starting in until we are ready to jump. We are improv performers gifted at exiting gracefully from our scenes when we are ready for an end. We are bodies full of scars and pleasure points hidden sometimes from even ourselves, scouring each other’s maps for adventurous answers to common problems. We are simple. We are ridiculous. We are educated in the dangers we employ, and oathed to take responsibility for inevitable downfalls, for our mistakes and unforeseen consequences. We find happiness in silly places — and goddamn if that in itself isn’t some kind of satisfyingly sexy win.

If  you didn’t know it, this is a love letter. Thank you to the scores of friends who have guided and helped shape my journey, to the hands pleasuring my way on each new adventurous day, and to the future teachers and students of my body, my heart, and my mind. That I can experience and articulate my joy is in service to every single one of you. May my findings be permission for others to wonder what might be if they seeked out a new kind of happiness, one that looks like a private fantasy but exists somewhere safely and consensually close by, a fantasy shared by other architects and creators of desire.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

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~Thank you.

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