Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

Archive for the category “emotions”

Sweet relief

It had been a while, but last Thursday, I got to have a delicious fix. You know, that special cocktail of pain and pleasure and endorphins and firing synapses and all that hot sweetness that we spankos understand. And damn, did I need it.

I hadn’t seen D since our first play time a month ago, and I wanted to very much, but I’m not the one with two jobs and crappy commutes. I knew I had to wait and be patient. In the meantime, things have been crazy stressful this month. John was dealing with a hearing at work concerning his ongoing issues with them (yes, the saga continues), and I think the stress of it weakened him and he got sick with some sort of intestinal bug. All he wanted to do was sleep, and he’d stopped eating. The last time that happened, he ended up in the hospital with a strep infection that nearly killed him, so of course I was in a state of near-panic for days, until he went to the doctor. Sure enough, he’d contracted a secondary bacterial infection and they put him on antibiotics, which helped right away. But between worrying about him, trying to focus on my work, dealing with my feelings about skipping Shadow Lane and why, and the ongoing bad news every freaking day, I was in a state. And working out only goes so far, you know?

Soooooo… on Thursday morning when I heard from D, asking if I was available later that afternoon, I considered it — for about three and a half seconds. You guys know me; I’m all about plans and schedules and spontaneity makes me break out in hives. But damned if I was going to say no to this! I wanted to see him. I wanted to play. I wanted to forget about everything for a couple of hours.

He said he’d know for sure if he could make it by 2:30. So I swung into action, doing two loads of laundry, working, getting a workout in, showering, done with everything by 2:30. I figured if he could make it, I’d cleared away the immediate responsibilities. And if he couldn’t, then I’d just be freed up to do some more work. Win-win. But of course, it was so much better that he confirmed yes. 🙂

He was at my door by 4:15, looking sharp as ever in his business suit. It was nearly 100 degrees outside, and I had the A/C and ceiling fan going full blast, but I knew he’d still be uncomfortably warm so encouraged him to take off his jacket and tie. He’d requested that I put out the “attitude adjustment tools” again; this time, I very sweetly laid them out on the bar instead of putting them in the trash can. I did say that there’s nothing wrong with my attitude, however. We sat on the couch, and he started unbuttoning his cuffs. This time, I had the presence of mind to stop him and take a picture. Because, really, isn’t this one of the hottest fucking sights there is for us bottoms?

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While he was rolling up his sleeves, he was calmly regaling me with some story about why men’s shirts have two buttons side by side on the cuffs. Mind you, normally I enjoy trivia like this, but considering I was glazing over watching those forearms make an appearance, I honestly couldn’t care less at the moment if his cuffs had one button or two, snaps, or freaking safety pins. So I murmured, “Wow, that’s… fascinating.”

“Oooh, condescending! Ohhhkay,” he grinned. I tried to backpedal a bit, saying, “Well, it is interesting… I didn’t know that.” (Pause.) And then I added, “Nor did I care.”

(Just had a memory of Danny from long ago — one of his favorite scold-y phrases. “Oh, Erica. When will you learn??” To which I always answered, “How about never? Does never work for you?” Clearly, I still haven’t learned.)

Our scene was a long one, with multiple parts. We started with me OTK on my couch, with his hand. Moved to me bending over my desk, with his hand and (I think) my leather paddle. Break for a hug with him sitting in my recliner and me on my knees before him, and then he lifted me up and over the arm of the recliner and continued spanking. And finally, just like our first time, he brought me over to the dining room chair and put me back OTK there, picking up my heart-shaped paddle.

He was toppier this time, I noticed. “Come on, stick that butt out. Arch your back, up on those toes.” I may or may not have called him a “fucking taskmaster” at some point. However, whenever I got into the right position, he’d croon, “Just like that. Good girl.” (What is it about the phrases “good girl” and “bad girl” that push so damn many buttons in equal measure?)

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of hot buttons — along with the aforementioned sleeve rolling, is there anything more delicious than a hand that wanders up the back of your neck, fingers slowly crawling, caressing, then swiftly tightening at the base of your skull? Never pulling, just a firm grip that lets you know you’re going nowhere. D has that down as well.

While I was over my desk, he stopped for a moment, saying he wanted to take a picture so that I could see how I was already marking. I appreciated how conscientious he was. He quickly snapped the shot, showed me, and I said, “It’s fine.” “You sure?” “Yes, D. Please don’t stop.” “Oh, don’t worry, I’m not done,” he assured me. Thank goodness.

(Sorry, kids, this picture’s a little rude, even though I’ve doctored it a bit):

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The final scene in the dining room chair was what broke through all the crap. I had felt myself softening and transitioning as we moved through each step, feeling like a knot inside was being gently and persistently worked open. As the pain and intensity escalated and I reached my threshold, I remember thinking, “I need this so much. Thank you. Thank you.” There are few things more sublime than when you reach that pinnacle of vulnerability and you feel like you can just fall and strong hands will catch you. Toward the end, my feet were twisting and flying, my groans were coming right up from my gut, and I was out of my head, off the hamster wheel. My voice broke and the tears began. There wasn’t one bit of tension left in my body.

He took me to the couch and held me, soothing me, and I buried my face and wept. As I started to calm, the usual bit of self-consciousness slipped back. Some women look very pretty when they cry. I’m not one of them. And I can’t help remember what Amber “Pixie” Wells used to say about the dilemma of crying after a scene: “Tears are hot, but snot is not.” Oh, and my mascara wasn’t waterproof. So sexy. But, oh well. He didn’t seem to mind.

After I’d recovered a bit, he gave me another wonderful massage with lotion. I could really get used to this, y’all. Then we chatted for a while, heart rates calming, skin cooling, returning to normal. And well, of course, I couldn’t stay well behaved for very long, could I? I swear, I really never do learn. Sooner or later, I’m always going to revert back to mischief and sass. It usually doesn’t take very long, even after the most intense of scenes. Still, I don’t think D is quite used to me, because he was incredulous.

“You’re being naughty!” he exclaimed. “Yup,” I agreed. And just like that, he went from zero to Top in a heartbeat. His body language, voice, everything changed instantly. “Get over my knee, now,” he commanded.

Uh… what? But… we already had aftercare and everything. But… I’m all lotioned and stuff! But… Yeah. Miss Usually Articulate, all I could do was sputter, “But… but…”

“Don’t ‘but’ me,” he said firmly, pulling me into position. The spanking wasn’t super hard or long, but after all that had gone down earlier, it stung fiercely. When he sat me back up, I sulked, “Well… that was mean!”

(No, it really wasn’t. It was fucking hot. But we don’t have to tell him that, right?) 😀

Shortly thereafter, he had to leave. I was kind of sub-spacey, goofy, and I went to get his suit jacket. Of course, when I handed it to him, I managed to hold it upside down, dumping his wallet and keys and everything else out of his pockets. Ugh. Poetry in motion, that’s me. Finally managed to get the coat back on him, and then I sat down and watched with no doubt what was a dorky, dreamy face while he put his tie and his shoes back on. And then he was off.

I forgot to ask him for more pictures after we were done. So a couple of hours later, I took a picture myself. As you can see, I had faded substantially by then.

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Interestingly, even though we played much harder this time, I wasn’t marked as when we played the first time. By Friday, there was little more than a mild blush on my skin. I was sore, though. Happily so.

The endorphin cocktail remained fizzing in my system the rest of the evening and all the next day. Funny how all the BS goes away for a while. Or maybe it’s still there and I just don’t care.

Thank you, D. Come around and see me again soon, won’t you?

 

 

The ephemeral nature of kink intimacy: Can it be real?

And if it can, how do you know when it is?

ephemeral

[ ih-fem-er-uhl ]SHOW IPA

adjective

lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory:

the ephemeral joys of childhood.

 

lasting but one day:
an ephemeral flower.

 

(Why do you show off so damn much with your million-dollar words, Erica?) I can’t help it. I like them. But you can’t complain if I provide the definition, right?

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Note: I’m aware that many of my readers are married to or monogamously involved with their spankers, and don’t play with others. This post is more for those who do play with others, whether or not they have a primary relationship… a situation that can be a lot more confusing. Leave it to me to choose the more complicated route.

According to general societal patterns (you know, those “normal” people), here’s the blueprint: Couples meet, however they meet. They exchange names. They talk, share basic information. In the course of a few hours, a few phone calls, a few dates, whatever, they learn more about one another. Preferences of all kinds. Music/book/movie tastes. Political leanings. Fears. Hopes. Dreams. Failures. The jigsaw puzzle of personality gets filled in, a piece at a time. In the course of this time, there are physical exchanges, often starting with kisses. Then a little more, and a little more, until we have full-on sexual intimacy.

Now we kinksters, we do everything ass backwards (word play intended). Oftentimes, basic vetting aside, we play first and ask questions later. We have physical intimacy first. Instead of that slow burn of growing attracted to one another as we learn more, we burn hot from the get-go, act on chemistry over personal knowledge, invite others into our homes, our beds, our bodies, our playrooms, etc. before we’ve even begun to invite them into our hearts or our day-to-day lives. Oftentimes, that last part doesn’t happen.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s kind of hot. If I wanted to go the traditional route, I would have. I tried it for many years. It’s overrated.

Funny and perfect case in point: When D came over a few weeks ago, we’d met only once, and briefly. Essentially, I brought a strange man into my home, my space. I felt completely okay with that. We played. We had intense and close-up contact. I laid myself out, physically and emotionally. He inflicted both pain and pleasure. He saw me raw and open, exposed.

Afterward, when I was lying on the couch bare-ass naked with him massaging lotion into me, I dreamily turned my head and asked, “What’s your last name?”

He told me. I told him mine. And the massage continued.

I’ve been doing this for so long, this feels perfectly normal. But I know there are tons of people out there who would be shocked at the idea of someone seeing their bare ass (not to mention exposed genitalia) before said someone learns their full, real name.

This is what I call “pseudo-intimacy.” It’s an intimacy quickly forged out of a strong cocktail of physical attraction and a shared desire, a common bond of kink. But is it real intimacy — whatever the hell that is? And if it isn’t, can it become so? When does a play partnership cross over into a real friendship, a relationship of sorts, where people care about one another?

Most of you know the story of how John and I met. I placed an ad; he answered it. We chatted once on the phone. And then we met for coffee. We talked at Starbucks until they closed, then went for a walk. He ended up pulling me over his leg in the alley behind Starbucks and spanking me, until we heard the telltale jingle of a leash and a man appeared, walking his dog (and getting quite the eyeful). We then proceeded to John’s vehicle where he spanked me some more, gave me an orgasm, and he took my panties, claiming I’d have to see him again if I wanted them back.

This is not your typical “first date.” We were both seeing other people at the time.

Cut to the present — on August 30, we’ll be together 23 years. Somehow, that initial pseudo-intimacy became real, blossomed into something much fuller. It can happen.

But it’s complicated. Because of the nature of what we do, it’s easy to confuse pseudo-intimacy for something real. It’s easy to fall for the actions, thinking you’re falling for the person. When in fact you really don’t know them at all.

I remember my very first spanker. Saw him a total of three times, played twice. Paul. I never did learn his last name. But he changed my life. In one afternoon, in the time span of no more than an hour, he put me on a path of no return, opened me to a vast new world to explore and experience. That first spanking meant more to me than losing my virginity did.

At the time, I remember feeling like I’d fallen in love with Paul. But even then, in my haze of hormones and endorphins and wonder, I knew that wasn’t it. Of course I wasn’t in love with him. I was in love with what he gave me. But of course, sometimes, when your emotions get involved, it’s hard to compartmentalize it like that. The boundaries blur. Your mind says one thing, your body says another, and your heart says yet another.

No wonder so many scene relationships go sideways.

I have been thinking back on some of my play partnerships over the years, many of which have been chronicled in my blogs. All the time I’ve been with John, I’ve played with other men, all with his blessing. I am lucky that way. A lot of these partnerships simply faded away, due to various life circumstances. A couple, I really regret losing. Two come to mind that did indeed blossom into real friendship, much more than just the physical act of getting together to play.

Danny Chrighton and I were play partners for over three years. But we were also the best of friends. We didn’t just play. We hung out. We did stuff together. He and John were buddies. Our play chemistry was awesome, but beyond that, our closeness was true. He knew me, and I knew him. There was mutual trust and respect. And the only thing that ended it was distance, when he moved out of state. I loved him. I still do. I miss what we had, to this day, even though I haven’t seen him in years.

Then there was ST. Same deal, we met through an online ad, got together to play. From the beginning, we were consistent; he came over every Monday evening. We hung out and talked after playing. Our play was sometimes edgy, dancing on the boundaries and limits, maybe at times a little scary… because I trusted him. I knew within that he would never really hurt me. And on the flip side, we had our silly times, like when he showed up at my place on Halloween, masked and dressed as “Super Spanko.” I knew all kinds of odds and ends about him; the farming community, population 350, he’d grown up in; the names of all his siblings; how much he adored his dog.

We were friends/play partners for over two years. And… then he met someone. There was a mutual attraction, a couple of dates. He told her about me. She said, “I don’t think I like that.”

And just like that, we were done. The last time we played, I wept. I told him I loved him. He said he loved me too, and he always would. But then I never saw him again.

Does that mean that what we had wasn’t real? Is something real when it can be tossed aside so easily? Or is that simply just another sad fact about the nature of relationships? I don’t know.

I bear him no resentment. I did hear from him briefly once, via email. He’d bought a house. I hope he found happiness. He was a good guy; he deserved it.

I suppose the point of all this rambling is — damn. I’ve been doing this for over twenty-three years, and I still get muddled and mixed up emotionally over what’s real and what’s simply born of the intense, instant intimacy and vulnerability. And if I still get taken in by it, how the hell do scene newbies handle it?? How do they navigate the sea of feelings that can be stirred up when you put yourself into someone else’s hands? When they cut through layers and layers of outer bullshit and go straight to your core? When you gift each other with trust and vulnerability, and then it’s gone as quickly as it came?

In a perfect world, pseudo-intimacy would indeed develop into something more real, and more lasting. We could keep those wonderful feelings and experience them again and again. Where real life wouldn’t take them away. Where no matter what relationships go in and out of each person’s life, the core friendships and caring remain.

Is that too much to ask for? I know some say that I don’t have a right to expect this: that I have a relationship, so I shouldn’t want for this too. Well, guess what. I do anyway. I guess I will never stop yearning for it. Because I know it’s possible. And don’t ask me what the man is getting out of it, if he’s not my primary relationship. I sure hope to hell that all the men who have been my play partners over the years got something out of it.

Because I sure did, and I don’t think we could have connected as deeply if they didn’t.

Anyway. I should be working. But sometimes, I just have to ramble. And hope that it resonates with someone out there. Thoughts, anyone? Your own experiences with this?

To Give Or Not to Give… a Fuck?

(Caution: Many f-bombs ahead)

Despite the fact that in many things I’m a moderate person (drink in moderation, eat sugar in moderation, indulge myself overall in moderation), my feelings of self-worth occupy opposite poles.

On good days, I feel strong, confident, reasonably comfortable in my skin. I am inner-directed, rather than focusing outward, and my self-acceptance is at an all-time high. During these times, I think, “I give zero fucks what people think of me.”

Then, for whatever reason (or sometimes no reason at all, simply because my brain wiring is screwy), I drift to the opposite extreme. Those are the times when my long-gone mother’s ghost natters in my ear like a relentless mosquito. “Don’t say that (do that, look like that, act like that, wear that, etc., etc., ad nauseam) — people will think you’re weird.” (God forbid, right?) And that’s when I think, “You’re a fraud, Erica. You give ALL the fucks about what people think of you.”

These down times are particularly insidious when they come at the end of something fun, something exciting, because life seems even drearier than usual in comparison after them. The drop is real.

I think what I need in this instance is balance. Giving zero fucks is unrealistic. Giving all the fucks is overwhelming. I need to learn how to give some fucks. In other words, be selective about my fucks-giving.

So who should get them? Who should be worthy of taking up space in my brain and my heart and my mercurial feelings? The people who care about me. Who love me. Who accept me, even when I’m being weird. (Which is pretty much all the time. Because come on — normal is overrated. So there, Mom.)

John, for example. For another example, the friend who drops me an email nearly every day; who, despite whatever is on her plate, always cares about what’s on mine. Or for yet another example, the friend who, after reading my tweet this morning about feeling blech again, texted me this:

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Which made me cry. But it was the touched kind of tears, not the hurt kind.

The gestures don’t have to be grandiose. I am appreciative of all of them.

People who remember my birthday.
People who notice when I haven’t been around and check in.
People who surprise me with special little treats (you know, like chocolate, champagne… 😉 )
People who make me laugh.
People who, even for just a few minutes, lighten my spirits and make me forget about The Putin Pleasin’ Treason Boy of Company Pee. (Thank you for that one, Bette Midler.)
Thoughtful, kind, caring people. People who bring out all the good in me, all I have to offer. Who make me want to be the best me.

These are the people I need to focus on, whose opinions I should value, whose thoughts and feelings I should care about. Balance.

So that’s my goal. Keep in mind those who are give-a-fuck worthy, and give them their due. The rest shouldn’t matter.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of fucking work to do…

 

Good things DO come to those who wait

And thank you to a dear friend who just told me that and gave me my blog title. ♥

The waiting ended up delivering; I heard from both B and D on Tuesday morning. First, I am in possession of a flight reservation up north next Wednesday to see B. Now that all the travel unknowns are knowns (yeah, I know that’s not a word, too bad), I know I will still have butterflies, but more of the good kind, as opposed to the “how many different ways can I eff this up” kind.

But that will be a story for next week. Yesterday, I played with D for the first time.

He emailed me on Tuesday morning and asked if I could play Thursday at around five. I had some things planned, but I was able to shift stuff around and I told him yes. We exchanged some more emails — he said maybe you can pick out some implements you like and put them out on the side for me to use after I warm you up. I replied that I could, but maybe I could just leave them where they are and if he wanted them, he could get them himself. 😛 Testing the waters, you know. I still wasn’t quite sure how he feels about playful bratting; I thought perhaps he liked it, but you never know until you actually do play. He also mentioned that he’d seen some of my video pictures where I was wearing garters and stocking, and if I was comfortable doing so, would I wear some for him. That was an easy enough request, one I was happy to do. My final note to him on Tuesday evening was “*sigh* Is it Thursday yet?”

The next day (Wednesday) I was climbing the freaking walls. I had set aside the whole day to just stay home and get stuff done; laundry, some cleaning, and lots of work. But the whole damn time I was squirming in my computer chair, with this endless litany in my head… Why isn’t it Thursday. Why isn’t it Thursday. And in the midst of this, an email popped in from him, one line:

Don’t worry, Thursday is approaching fast. I shall see you soon.

OMFG. What timing. How did he know??

Yesterday arrived. I got up early, had breakfast and did a couple of hours of work. Or I tried to, at least. He was torturing me, sending me a picture of a ruler from his desk. He said that rules — and wills — are meant to be broken. I sent back that so are ruleRs, and I was notorious for breaking things, sending a pic of me with a snapped cane.

Around noon, I gave up on work and took a break to do a workout, which I would have done anyway, but I really needed it now. By the time I was done with that and had showered, it was 2:00, so I still had time to do some work before I got ready.

My friend J was texting me to tease me a bit; at 4:00, I get “Only one hour to go!” I texted back: “Do you know how hard it is to put on makeup when your hands are shaking??” It’s true. I thought I was going to put my damn eye out.

By 4:30, I was nearly ready, and I was too wound up to work, so I went to catch up with Words With Friends. When I pulled up my move, I saw my letters were E B E T H R A. I don’t believe in messages, but if I did, this surely was one. My mind instantly rearranged the letters, and I got this:

breathe

A good reminder, no? (I was able to play the word, too, tacking the second E onto the T in TALE.)

And speaking of shaking hands, I had forgotten how incredibly difficult it is to hook garters onto stockings. It occurred to me I never do this by myself — I don’t wear garters unless I’m on a shoot or all dressed up at a party, and in those cases, there’s always John or someone else around to hook them for me. So I wrestled and fumbled and cussed mightily, but finally got the damn things situated in ten minutes. Just in time, too. Once again, he was on time, texting me. My apartment is security and rather than have him fussing with the intercom, I told him I’d come down and let him in.

He brought me chocolate. Two kinds. Both milk, my favorite. I don’t know how he knew; I hadn’t told him which kind, only that I loved chocolate. ♥ I know a lot of bottoms get gifts from tops, but I never expect them, and I’m always so tickled when I get a surprise like that, much like when B showed up with that espresso pot for me.

He was still in a coat and tie from work, so I took his jacket and went to hang it up, but he stopped me for a second, and then pulled that same ruler out of the pocket. Uh oh. By the way, I had kinda sorta done what he requested. I did select four implements — but I didn’t lay them out on a table. I put them where they belonged — in the trash can by my desk. 🙂

We didn’t spend too much time with preliminaries. He stood up, taking off his tie, and proceeded to unbutton his cuffs and roll up his sleeves. Slowly. Deliberately. I damn near died right there. “I hear you’re having a problem focusing,” he said. He sat down, and over his lap I went.

First times are always a little strange, in that we don’t know each other, he doesn’t know how much I can take, I don’t know what will spur him, he doesn’t know my body language and my various “tells,” etc. As one would expect, he started out very lightly. I have no issue with that; erring on the side of caution is better than jumping right in and tearing someone’s ass apart from the get-go. He picked up the ruler after a while with his hand — and after a few swats, the thing broke. No lie. The metal guide thingie running along the edge flew out, he said. “I told you I break stuff!” I cried, laughing hysterically. Time to get serious here.

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Next, he had me lean over my desk so he’d have more swinging range, and explored the trash can’s implement contents. At first he was light with them, but then I put my hand on my mouse like I was going to open something and said, “Do you mind if I do some work while you’re busy back there?” Yeahhh… I think that did it.

He moved me around a bit, had me on all fours on my couch, kneeling at his feet while he sat in my recliner — and then he settled into a dining room chair, picked up my heart-shaped wooden paddle, the one that had been made for me years ago, and said, “Come over my knee.” The remainder of the scene took place there, and things ramped up exponentially.

You guys know when I am really starting to feel it, I can’t keep my feet still. Both my shoes flew off. He was a little concerned with how red I was turning. We took a brief time-out and he asked if I was sure I shouldn’t go look at it. No, I said. I’m okay. I get really red, and then it fades. I appreciated that he cared, and I took a chance then. I know some would say this is topping from the bottom (I hate that expression), but I thought it was more like giving someone new to me a bit of guidance. So I quietly said, “You can go harder and faster if you want to.”

He did.

His hand wandered up my neck and his fingers went into my hair… and then his fist tightened. The paddle was coming down faster. And then it slipped out of his hand and landed on the floor out of his reach, but within mine. “Would you hand that to me, please?” he asked.

Taking the chance to catch my breath, I gasped out, “Give me one good reason why I should do that.” He laughed, and answered, “So I can continue your spanking.” In reply to that, I picked up the paddle… and tossed it a few feet away.

Again, I was taking a chance. Some tops don’t like that kind of playfulness. But he responded well, powering down again with his hand. Next break, he said, “I guess I’m going to have to go get that paddle.” I was already in transition, so I murmured, “I’ll get it for you.” And I did.

We were nearing the end. My legs were trembling, my feet were twisting together, I had my hand clamped over my mouth to muffle my reactions. I suddenly reached a point of breaking, and I blurted, “Oh my God, D, please, please, PLEASE!”

He stopped. Right in time. More would have been too much. He went exactly where I needed him to go.

I slumped to the floor, and he gathered me up into his arms, where I clung to him and trembled all over until he pulled me up and guided me to the couch. There, he soothed me, caressed me, whispered to me. “You let go of all the bad stuff, didn’t you,” he murmured. Oh, yes.

After I’d calmed down a bit, he asked for some lotion, and had me stretch out on the couch so he could massage my butt and lower back. I felt very comfortable stripping off my dress, and that massage was heaven, so comforting.

“Would you like some pictures, so people can see how red your butt is?” he asked. My first thought was, “It’ll be faded by now,” but I said sure. Yeahhhhh… turns out I was quite mistaken.

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I was really surprised. And very pleased. “Remember — you asked for it!” he reminded me. I assured him I most certainly did, and I don’t regret a single swat of it. I needed that. I needed that so, so badly.

I put my dress back on, and we relaxed for a bit, eating some of the chocolate he’d brought, talking, and then he had to go. It was 7:15. I sent him off with warm hugs and thank you’s, texted John to let him know I was okay, straightened up the living room and took a shower. The rest of the night was floaty, spacey, in that surreal place. I did a little more work, answered email, and crashed in front of the TV. I was ravenously hungry and food tasted so good. And more chocolate.

This morning, I woke up to find a very sweet follow-up email, checking in on me, sharing his thoughts about our scene. I especially liked the sentence, “I thought this was a nice start.” The word “start” implies that there is going to be more, yes?

I don’t know what will happen and how we’ll work it. He lives close, but works far. He works two jobs. And I’m unavailable on weekends. So it might be challenging. But I am hoping he wants to play more as much as I do.

In a strange place today, emotionally. Still kind of floaty, but more focused. Very, very sore, but happily so. And feeling a bit of disbelief and unfamiliarity with the sense of well-being. I feel like I’ve been waiting for it for so long. What with the issues from last year, plus my shoulder and my back giving me trouble, I didn’t think I could ever feel really happy, really blissful again. I thought the two times with B were a fluke. Even yesterday, there was a niggling little part of my brain telling me that D might cancel. There’s always going to be that glass-half-empty side to my psyche, I’m afraid. I get something good and then wonder when it will go away, and how.  Enough of that for now, dammit. At this moment in time, I feel good. Some doors have closed, but finally, it seems windows are opening. John always says, “Stay in the day.” Hard to do sometimes, but he’s right. This day is all we have.

Have a great weekend, y’all.

Notes on The Scene

You might want to settle in with your refreshing beverage of choice for this one, as it’s really freaking long.

Recently, someone I’m very fond of, and who is quite prominent in the spanking scene, wrote a piece about the scene and where he feels he stands in it, in particular the large national parties. Lest people accuse me of name-dropping (“oooh, she’s friends with him“), I won’t say who it is. But his post was honest and brave, and it gave me the courage and impetus to do some reflecting of my own.

I have stated, time and again, that throughout life, I have felt like this photo:

brickdoesnotfit

The piece that doesn’t fit. The square peg in a round world. Or, as I once heard in a 12-step meeting: “I feel like I’m trespassing on the planet.” Different. Weird. Etc. Throw kinkiness into the mix and you really get the stench of otherness.

I’ve also often said that navigating the scene is like dancing on a double-edged sword. On one side, you have infinite potential for belonging, for acceptance, for connecting with others. For personal fulfillment. For expressing your truest self. But misstep, and that sword can hurt you. Sometimes it’s little cuts that bleed, and leave tiny scars that no one sees but you. And other times, it can outright disembowel you.

The scene is loving. The scene is fickle. It is kind. It is brutal. The scene gives. The scene takes away.

I’ve seen so much in my scene years. Some of it has happened to me, and some things have happened to others. I’ve been loved, hated, accepted, misunderstood, put up on a pedestal, knocked back off it, immortalized on film and in cartoons, stalked, cat-fished, supported, betrayed, judged, defended. I’ve hit the highest highs and the lowest lows, and everything in between.

Just a few random things I’ve borne witness to over the years, that touched me deeply:

When a long-time party-goer had a massive heart attack and nearly died, he ended up in an extended hospital stay, unable to pay his mortgage and his bills. A GoFundMe was set up for him — contributions came pouring in. I believe they ended up with $15-20,000. He survived.

When a young woman mentioned on FetLife that she had a birthday party and no one showed up, a surprise party was arranged for her at one of the national gatherings. When she walked into the room and everyone cheered, she actually turned around, looking for who was being greeted. Then realization dawned, and she burst into tears.

When a woman had devastating losses from a fire, a GoFundMe was set up for her as well. Many came through for her.

A long-time host of room parties, who had been absent for years due to illness, came to his first party in years with his wife. They were given a tribute, complete with speakers (I was one of them) and an award. It was a beautiful recognition of a great scene contributor. Not too long after that, he passed away from cancer.

When a young woman came to her first party, not knowing anyone and having only connected online with a few people on FetLife, the enormity of it all, the noise, the crush of bodies overwhelmed her. The first night, she left the party room in tears. The party might have ended for her there, had it not been for a dear friend of mine intercepting her in the hallway. He pulled her into his room, let her cry, gave her a pep talk. She calmed down and regained her composure, took a break, then went back to the party. Later that weekend, I saw the same woman happily, joyously playing, right in the midst of the main party room.

When a beloved scene member nearly died giving birth to twins and then one of them tragically didn’t make it, a beautiful soul took up a collection to buy the shell-shocked couple a ton of essentials — everything from diapers to formula to clothes — plus a cleaning service and a subscription to Netflix for distraction.

Countless displays of welcome, of support, of love. The more I think about this, the more incidents I come up with. But of course, there is the other side.

I’ve seen relationships form, then crash and burn. I’ve seen countless emotional meltdowns at parties, including several of my own. I’ve seen friendships dissolve, jealousies flare, hurts inflicted. People who put out their time, money and efforts to open their hotel suites to everyone at parties get criticized and picked apart by those who consider themselves entitled to everything they want at someone else’s expense. I read an account of someone who welcomed everyone in their suite for several days/nights at a national party — and then was thoroughly reamed for having the audacity to restrict their suite to friends only on the final night. That’s just one story of many. I have witnessed people being systemically and cruelly shunned from groups. This one hates that one; so-and-so violated so-and-so; stay away from that guy; don’t talk to this woman. Battle lines are drawn; gossip runs rampant. Granted, if someone is a genuine hot mess, a violator, a predator, etc., with accounts from many to back up the concerns, that’s one thing; friends should be warned and safety should be paramount. But sometimes, good people who cross the wrong individuals can find they become pariahs in short order.

The scene can foster closeness and special relationships, but it also provides a sort of pseudo-intimacy. We are in close proximity, we bare our body parts before we even learn each other’s real names, we engage in intimate activity. We are emotionally invested and vulnerable. We open fully and trust quickly. But sometimes, it simply isn’t real. And when reality does hit, it hurts worse. Because we’ve invested so much of ourselves. Not just our bodies, but our hearts and souls.

I have watched people rally and rise above bad times to eventually prevail. And I have seen people disappear, burned out or driven away. The trouble with being too close to the scene is it’s like a personal house of cards. The loss of a key card can cause the whole thing to come down for you. And although you know logically that there are other components of life, at the moment of that crash, it can feel like your entire world is crashing. Your source of support. Your place of belonging.

There have been many ups and downs for me over the years, navigating this scene. Luckily, I was spared the tumult of multiple relationships, of breakups, of having to see exes at gatherings, because I have been with John the entire time. A couple of times, I came very close to dropping out. When I thought I was done shooting because one company didn’t want me, I felt like a has-been and like my time was done. It was the first time I became aware of the fickleness of the scene, how much is about the newest hot young thing. However, I was able to work through that, with the help of a much beloved friend (thank you again, Danny)… and went on to shoot with several other companies for another ten years. I beat the odds, over and over.

Well-placed gossip can destroy someone in this scene. Roughly fifteen years ago, a woman accused me of trying to sabotage her relationship and steal her boyfriend. Ridiculous, since I had John. The man in question had been my play partner, she had been my friend, but when she began dating him, suddenly I became the enemy. Not only was he not to play with me anymore, he wasn’t to communicate with me at all. I don’t know where this jealousy and paranoia came from. I consider myself the least threatening woman on earth, hardly a femme fatale. I was older than her, and not nearly as striking.

Seems like this sort of thing is no big deal, right? Unfortunately, she happened to be a well loved icon of videos — definitely a case of “boys want to meet her, girls want to be her.” And she was telling anyone who would listen to her that I was a relationship wrecker. I lost friends. I was put in the awful state of wondering who was saying what about me and to whom. Or, even worse, having damning words come directly back to me, like the time a friend told me she’d been admonished in no uncertain terms by another that she should “sever all ties with Erica.”

I was devastated and thought I was done. But somehow, with support, I made it through that too. She sabotaged her own relationship, it ended without any of my involvement, and she eventually disappeared. Friends who had believed her ended up apologizing to me (including the “sever all ties” person). It was an ugly and painful time, and I think that came the closest to driving me out. (Please, no guesses. And no, it was not Samantha Woodley.)

But I was younger then. I had time on my side. I could ride it out, even though it seemed impossible at the time. Because there was a greater good. There was something to fight for, to persevere for.

Humans are resilient beings. We have to be. There is so much in life that is devastating and inevitable. Death. Illness. Crushing losses. And then there is the suffering that shouldn’t be inevitable, but it is: the pain from the careless cruelty and indifference of fellow humans.

We are able to move past and survive a whole lot of grief and loss, recover from disappointments, rise above life’s meanness. But I think everyone has a breaking point. Everyone has that one last straw, the one where they realize something has to change. Something has to give… or something has to go.

I am reminded of a woman I knew in the scene many years ago. She, along with her play partner and friend, hosted many room parties at Shadow Lane and was one of the organizers of a spanking group in her hometown. She was someone who had been through her share of pain in life; prolonged illness and death of her first husband with no support from his family, raising two children alone, addiction. But now her kids were older, she’d fallen in love and married again, and it seemed that life was finally going to turn around.

Until she was hit with not one, but two unspeakable betrayals from people she trusted. I will not elaborate on what happened or who was involved, only that the incidents were scene-related. They were her final straw. She withdrew from the groups, disappeared from the online boards. I stopped hearing from her; she lived in another state, so it wasn’t like I could go for coffee or lunch and hang out with her.

She died from acute liver failure at age 50, drinking herself to death.

No, I’m not going to drink myself to death. Or anything myself to death. But I think I’ve experienced my last straw as well. And I don’t think I’m going to get past this one. Unlike with the others, time is not on my side. I know I harp about my age a lot, but this statement has never been more true: I really am too old for this shit. I’m already dealing with a lot of insecurity about the changes in my body, my face. And now that I feel like my confidence, sense of kinship, and trust have disappeared, that’s simply too much to cope with. I can’t put the face on anymore. I don’t want to be seen. When I look in the mirror, the face that gazes back at me looks pale and lifeless.

50 Freaks was this past weekend. This is the first time since this party was conceived that we’ve missed one. The decision was painful and I’ve shed copious tears over it. I hope Joe will understand and forgive me; it had absolutely nothing to do with him. But I simply couldn’t do it. And interwoven with all the sadness and regret was a feeling of relief. All the prep of getting there felt overwhelming and exhausting. I’ve never liked that part; I’ve always found it stressful. But I also always knew there was great joy and welcoming and fun and play and escape on the other side. Now… that has been tainted.

It snowed in Vegas, a rare occurrence. Several flights were canceled. I told myself, meh, it would have been a hassle driving in it (I read about road closures and other traffic nightmares), it would have been freezing, I’d have to bring a ton of heavy clothes, and who feels sexy and spanky when they’re bundled up like an Eskimo? But of course, I knew that was ridiculous. We’d be in a hotel, not in a freaking tent. In our room, we could turn on the heat. In the party room, all the bodies would keep things plenty warm. So that was just a rationale.

God damn, I miss play. So much. Part of me is yearning, fully, bodily, emotionally, to lose myself in the pain, to be spanked to tears, to feel those incomparable endorphins cleanse me. But I don’t know where that is to be found right now. I don’t know who I can trust with it. In case you’re wondering whatever happened to Mr. Woodland — he is not gone. He is great and I would unquestionably scene with him. However, he is very busy dealing with Life at this time and not available.

And more than play, I miss the connection. I miss the bubble of parties, the complete immersion into an altered state for a while. A few days of respite from reality. The hugs. The laughs. I miss the me I was at these events. I don’t know if she’ll ever come back.

I am and will always be a spanko. I just don’t know what my outlets will be now. And like I said, it doesn’t seem like time is on my side. I feel a profound emptiness, a sense of loss. I suppose, like everything else, I just have to let it be there and wait to see what’s ahead.

By the way, the absurdity of this post doesn’t escape me. I can hear people out there thinking, “Oh, boo-hoo, you little snowflake victim. First World Problems. Get over yourself.” One friend I know is dealing with her mother’s terminal cancer. Another lost both her parents within seven weeks at the end of last year. Others are dealing with physical ailments, money worries, dying pets, relationship issues, and life’s other assorted crises and grievous situations.

Right now, John’s health is stable. I am working. I love my quiet, safe apartment. I am lucky enough to live in a strong, progressive and enlightened state during these terrifying times. I don’t wish to minimize any of the good things I’m grateful for. However, this is one of the worst and most long-lasting depressions I’ve had in years. And it is about more than just parties and playing. It’s about feeling like I’m losing a piece of myself. John says I am going through an existential crisis. He’s not one given to exaggeration, although I think this phrase sounds melodramatic. But perhaps I am. I’m questioning everything and everyone, including myself.

They say depression is anger turned inward. I am angry. More than anything, I am angry at myself. I allowed my power to be taken from me, let harsh words break me. I should be stronger than that. But I guess it’s that last straw thing again. Sometimes our well of strength runs dry. I don’t have it in me to go through another episode of wondering who’s saying what to whom. It’s soul-sucking.

I was told, among other things, that I use my depression like a shield, so people will feel sorry for me and not hold me accountable for my actions. That is the lowest of the low blows, cruel, and untrue. I hold myself accountable for my actions. When I fuck up, I say so. No one is harder on me than I am. But if one person believes this of me, then surely others do too. There are flawed humans, as we all are, and then there are those who cross the line and are fatally flawed. I’m not sure which side of the line I’m on… or am considered to be.

I stayed off social media this past weekend. John did his best to keep me distracted, taking me to see a movie, joking and being silly. It was a strange, surreal feeling all weekend, knowing what was going on and not being there. Wondering how everyone was doing. Who made it, and who got held up by the inclement weather. Who played with whom. Two of my favorite people there recently married; I hope they got lots of attention. What dramas occurred, because they always do. Would they have been mine, or someone else’s?

Since our going missing from the party, John has received one text, and I’ve received two messages, asking if we’re okay… and that’s it. Ouch. Humbling indeed. 😦 “It’s not personal,” John said. “People just have short attention spans.” I like his kinder, gentler take on it, rather than mine — that my reputation has been damaged, and people are staying away. Or, even worse, that no one cared all that much to begin with. Out of sight, out of mind. We’re all just faces in the crowd. (Or asses, in this case.)

So no party report, I’m afraid. May not be much of anything from me, at least for a while. I will always love the spanking scene, sharp edges and all, and love some very special people in it. I’ll always be grateful for what it gave to me. I just don’t know if I can be part of it anymore. Or if it even wants me to be.

John has done all he can to assure me that I am indeed lovable, that I matter. He told me that I make his life worth living, every single day. The same goes for you, my beloved fellow misfit. I love you with all my heart.

Carry on, kids.

When life kicks your ass

I don’t know about you guys, but having my ass kicked is not my kink. I’d much rather have it spanked. But life usually doesn’t let us choose.

And sometimes, it really sucks.

Someone dear to me recently said (I’m paraphrasing, but this is the gist) that they’ve had it with people who say all you have to do is think positive and everything will be sunshine and unicorns and you’ll shoot rainbows out your ass. Life is hard. Yeah, it is. And I think it’s OK to acknowledge it. I’m not talking about wallowing in self-pity and “poor me,” and being a passive victim. But being real and saying “Right now, things suck” is allowed. In fact, I encourage it.

Last night, I was talking to another dear friend, one who suffers with a chronic, auto-immune skin disorder that flares and causes painful, scarring damage. She was dealing with a new flare-up and infection, had had a nasty procedure to excise it, and was in pain and feeling down. And yet, she was saying things like “It is what it is” and “I’m grateful I have such a good doctor” and “It could be much worse.” And I could hear her voice breaking.

“Fuck that,” I blurted. “You know what? Yeah, it will heal. Yeah, you’re going to feel better and it’s going to pass. But right now, you’re hurting and you’ve got a big infectious hole in you and it sucks. It’s OK to say that at this moment in time, you feel like crap and you feel like life dealt you a shitty hand. No one would blame you. Give yourself permission to just be pissed off about it. Everyone else out there is an expert on denying and invalidating your feelings — don’t do it to yourself.”

Every one of us deals with something or another. Some with many somethings. And yet we’re told to think positive, to count our blessings, to be grateful. That’s fine. That’s a good practice. But sometimes, you just can’t. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I don’t have a chronic physical condition. I have depression and anxiety, which fucks with my mind instead of my body. People who don’t get it trot out the platitude of gratitude du jour and say we can be happy if we simply decide to be. Screw them.

Any of you familiar with that eczema commercial? A woman stands in front of the mirror, surveying her raw, red, weeping skin. So she cancels social plans, she wears long sleeves, she wears a jacket outside in the summer. And anytime she’s asked about it, all she parrots over and over is, “It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s fine.”

Depression is internal eczema. I can pretend I’m fine, and I may even look fine on the outside, if you don’t look too closely at my face. But I’m raw, red and weeping on the inside.

“Normal” people don’t get it. They have their challenges, but their own mind isn’t one of them. If they want to participate in a marathon, they train for it and they do it. For us, a “marathon” can be getting out of bed and dressed.

“Normal” people have no idea what the difference is between active and passive suicide ideation. Or even what suicide ideation is. Depressives know.

Why am I blathering on and on about this? Because I think it’s crucial that we give ourselves a break. Break free of the judgment and the false positivity and just give ourselves permission to feel bad. To mourn our losses, our limitations. The sooner we get off our own backs, maybe, just maybe, life won’t feel like such a heavy burden.

Last night, I was on the phone with John, bawling my guts out. He didn’t deny my feelings, he didn’t beat me up over them, and he didn’t try to fix me. At one point, he said, “I’m so sorry, bunny. Sometimes it really sucks to be you, doesn’t it. It hurts.”

(Yes, he calls me “bunny.” Shut up.)

Just hearing that lightened me up, a wee bit. Because yeah, in that moment, it sucked to be me. It would pass. I knew it, and he knew it. But it was all right to be flawed and fallible and weakened. Tomorrow, or the next day, I’d be stronger. I’d rise back up.

So, kids, remember this. When life kicks your ass, don’t add insult to injury and try to deny your perfectly understandable feelings. Be kind to yourself. Be gentle. And of course, if the PC world tries to tell you to “SMILE!” and “Put on a happy face!” and so on and so forth, there’s always Erica Scott’s tried and true method for dealing with that.

NoSirYesSir5-002

(Now you really know I’m back, don’t you. Only took me two posts to flip the bird.)

Have a great weekend, y’all. ♥

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