Saturday, March 28, 2009

Scrambled Eggs

That's what Crimson and I had for breakfast yesterday and today during her visit to New York. She also patiently tolerated me as I ate some awfully tasty dead, smoked pig and drank coffee. I was going to serve as chauffeur for her run this morning to the airport but had to bag out because I'm super busy with work. Not to be a deadbeat, I arranged alternate transportation for her.

I can't linger over this post as I often do, but I wanted to write that talking to her is always so much fun. And so important for me. Despite a hefty age difference and experience gulf, we have this really great connection. I'm always so happy when I get to see her.

And dudes, she promises a final rebuttal to our point counter point on my last post about my feelings on "clientness". I begged her to just have at me over our eggs, but she smiled wickedly and said she'd "save it for the internet". And...she said she was going to deal with all my little cronies too. The ones who support me and urge me on. I don't know about you, but I can't wait!

Anyway, she and I talked about all kinds of stuff. Lines always blur with her as she just has this wonderfully progressive way of looking at gender roles and relationships. Like yeah for Jane, who's sportin' a chain or hey for Dick in his skirt. Safe home Crimson, safe home.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Is Client A Dirty Word?

A few weeks ago I had coffee with marcj. So far I find it's always fun doing the meet and greet thing with other kinky people. It's still a very novel experience for me and I find that whatever our differences, the common ground of perviness makes the experience worthwhile. One cannot build a relationship or friendship on kink alone, but to hang out with other kinky people just feels good. I was hidden away for such a long time. It turned out that he and I had been clients of a number of the same prodommes. In addition, he also told me about a series of articles Yin had written to chronicle her experiences for "The Smith Diaries Project" and he emailed me the link.

I love reading Yin and this series was no exception. It got me thinking about being a client and my relationship to it these days. She wrote, "Client is the word that makes them squirm." I have to admit she's right. It kinda makes me squirm despite twenty five years of being one. It makes me squirm even though the best sex I've ever had has been as the client of prodommes and one of the best friends I have in the world used to be my prodomme. It made me less squirmy to read Yin's description of her clients in her diverse practice. She said her entourage was populated by the likes of a;

"classical musician, political journalist, world-renowned chef, social studies teacher, opera singer, fireman, ballet dancer, computer geek, government consultant, NASA engineer, university publisher, pro-skateboarder, hip-hop star, bartender, movie celebrity, and yes, the stock broker, lawyer, doctor, and financial dictator. Did I mention the French circus clown?"
She went on to say that she liked her clients, loved some like family and had even dated a few. She had both compartmentalized clients and lifestyle clients in her retinue and she had even been a client herself. She said she urged her young supplicants to find partners in their intimate relationships who wanted to explore bdsm. She just really made being her client sound like a perfect thing - - and I'm certain it is

The whole read left me wondering just what it is about client status that I have such a problem with these days. I don't mean that I ever think that being a client is a bad thing. It's great. It just doesn't feel right for me. I'm left feeling like someone who just quit drinking. When I first quit drinking it was just supremely hard to be around anyone who drank. I bent over backwards to avoid being at the most benign cocktail party. Now, I really have no problem and it rarely registers that people around me are drinking.

With kink, I feel a little like I'm bending over backwards to prove to myself people will like me for me. Whether it's a friendly coffee, lunch, dinner, or wild bdsm sex - - I want to make sure that my connection with the kinky people I meet is a personal one and not one influenced by commerce. In addition, the act of play has become so intimate, emotional, and romantic for me that I have a very hard time imagining sessioning or negotiating a business deal with a domme - something I used to do alot. I fear my emotional needs would infect the business deal in a very negative fashion.

I don't feel I've been exploited, led-on, used, or abused by commercial bdsm in any way. While my "born-again-kink-virginity" does leave me wondering how the hell I'll ever really get my freak on again, it does seem real and right for now. I don't feel conflicted or ambivalent at all. Sometimes, when I'm dealing with a new situation or oppurtunity, I need some time to process. But ultimately my draw to the "lifestyle" seems strong and true

Yin closes her piece entitled "The 'Dirty' Client" by saying, "When someone comes to me and wants to submit their vulnerability to me, I do not take that submission lightly. To me, “client” isn’t such a dirty word."

It's just not the right word for me these days.

Maybe I'm just a slave to love? Soooo 80's.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Am Waiting By Your Door

On the eastern balcony of GCT, as she sporadically feeds me her tuna tartar, she tells me about her medical problem. The one she's struggled with ever since I've known her. The cruel, painful, cosmic joke that has haunted her mercilessly. She's come to the end of her fight, she says. Though not life threatening, she talks of the more radical, surgical solution.

I take her hand and ask her to please tell me these things because I'm her friend. Tears roll down my cheeks. Her eyes tear too. She thanks me.

Now I know. She gave me her essence.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stranger Come Home

I may not see her this visit. After three magical stopovers we just may not connect. Then again, we may. There's still Friday.

I don't know why I feel compelled to write publicly about something so personal. Perhaps the writing process helps me understand and deal with powerful and confusing feelings. For me, wordsmithing is cathartic. Plus from comments and some emails I've gotten, at least a few people relate to what I'm going through so I end up not feeling so all alone.

I was meditating on the essential nature of my relationship with "She-Who-Visits". The common lore seems to say that since I started as her client our bond is flawed. "Once a client, always a client." Not that the relationship of prodomme/client is bad or blemished or emotionally corrupt in anyway. But collective wisdom, especially sub-guy folklore, warns that it is a rare union indeed that can successfully transition from the dungeon to a lasting and permanent tie.

I don't allow much room for illusion. I was estimating the other day I've had somewhere between 350 - 400 pro sessions in my life. Almost every single beautiful one of les liaisons dangereuses have remained behind the kinky curtain - except with her. She has become a part of the fabric of my life. She has become an incredibly important person to me. I suffer no pretense at a future in the traditional sense of the word. No white picket fence around a cozy cocoon of kink for us.

I've wondered this week whether in even the rarest of client/prodomme couplings which transcend the clock and tribute in a real sense if there isn't an unavoidable dynamic. Stress can make people revert. My shrink likens it to crevasses of character. You do all this work to root out the weeds and rot. You landscape it all nice and pretty. Invariably, life's storm clouds bring a downpour which fills those emotional arroyos right back up. For a time you lose the order and beauty of those carefully planted zinnia, begonia, and sweet alyssum.

It strikes me that just as I may have vexed anxiously about whether she really only loves me for nice hotels and fancy dinners, she may defensively place me in "business mode" to compartmentalize me away - returning me to "client status" - so as to gain distance and remove. Last night she cancelled our dinner we had arranged yesterday morning. I have no doubt she was suffering the affect of a stomach virus. But given the emotional roller coaster of the week - I was actually relieved not to be seeing her under these circumstances.

But this too shall pass. Our tie to one another is that rare kink hybrid - deep and resilient. The strong spring sun will shine, the flood water will recede and those deluged canyons will bear flowers again. The other day I saw my first green shoots of spring in Foley Square on my way to court. I texted her about it - my message like a robin, landing in a tree.

Hey girl, there's only me waiting here for you. Am I wrong to love you like I do?

Friday, March 6, 2009

These Open Doors

I'm really feeling pretty confused tonight. Bewildered, sad, disappointed. "She-Who-Visits" is visiting and we really seem to be on the outs. Since Valentine's Day and my premature report that I was out of the Doghouse, she's been sort of mean and distant. So I wrote her and said she seemed to still be upset with me and I just didn't get why. I figured rather than either get angry or really grovel and beg for attention, I'd say that it felt bad to be ignored and that I thought she was treating me unkindly. So a week ago I wrote a heartfelt letter.

During the past week she'd made it clear that it was unlikely we'd be seeing each other much because she was here to see her parents. I totally understand this, but it's always easier to hear bad news if it's delivered with a pinch of sugar. Something like, "I really miss you and I really want to see you but ..." would do the trick. I know that's very "undommy". But it would do wonders. I'd be sad but I'd understand. She said she'd be unlikely to come to the city to play. But she'd keep me posted. Her family may drive her crazy and she might have to get out of the house. So she'd settle for me is what I hear. This is not so reassuring.

I've become adept at reading her. But there just comes a point when it's her issue - not mine. Apparently she was working incredibly long hours, a fact she never shared. A week after I sent her my heartfelt "friends don't treat friends this way" email, she wrote back this morning seven hours before she was to fly up here. She really reamed me out for "creating drama". She said she had not been upset with me before but now she is really mad at me. She left me a voice mail calling me an ass.

My friend Crimson, with whom I've shared my travails, wisely told me everyone in any sort of bdsm relationship should have a card they always keep with them. On one side reads - "submissives aren't emotional punching bags". On the other side is written "dominants aren't psychic and aren't made of steel". My therapist was likening my relationship with "She Who Visits" to a situation where a patient falls for their shrink. She said most of those relationships never work out. Assuming nothing unethical, at some point the former patient realizes that the former shrink is messed up like everyone else. The former shrink realizes that his former patient isn't in awe of him anymore. At that point the real relationship starts.

I think I have all these emotional skills and insights but nothing seems to be working. Not my marriage, not my "grey-area-semi-lifestyle-bdsm" thing - nothing. I suppose I just don't get women. Although I suppose that's nothing new. Tonight just totally sucks. I'm in a sexless marriage with my wife and the woman I love to have bdsm sex with thinks I'm an ass. This is not fun.