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 “play partners”

All Over the Map

It’s been quite a week. I have been at the heights of joy, in the pits of sadness, and boiling over with frustration and anger. Because everything has felt so random and crazy, I think I’ll just list things in no particular order. That way, people can read, pick and choose what they relate to, and ignore the rest.

I watched a special on ABC last night: “Eyewitness to the Death of John Lennon.” It was first aired in December 2020, marking the 40-year anniversary of John Lennon’s murder. Jeezus, forty years. And just like that, all the feels and the tears came rushing back. Guns and crazy people then; guns and crazy people now. What’s changed? What’s gotten better? Broke my heart all over again.

Here in Southern CA, Orange County specifically, there is an Italian restaurant who — yes, you are reading correctly — will not allow people to wear masks inside and who demands proof of NON-vaccination before you’re allowed to dine there. (How the hell do you show proof of that, anyway?) The owner is self-righteous and smug and militant about his stance; I watched part of an interview with him and he was so belligerent that the newscaster cut it short and said, on the air, “You sound like an idiot.” Last Tuesday night, I saw a tweet about an article that stated the owner was getting a huge kick out of the anger over this and he’d said he was “enjoying watching people’s head explode.”

So, Miss Mouth here tweeted: “What an asshole. I hope HIS head explodes when his restaurant is shut down due to massive Covid infection.”

Y’all know I didn’t mean that literally, right? You know it’s a figure of speech? Of course you do. Well, apparently Twitter didn’t. They locked down my account for a week. Said I violated their policy about “abuse and harassment.” Seriously?? Unbelievable. I saw many tweets that were a great deal worse than what I’d said; Twitter is so damn arbitrary. Oh well. I do have an alternate account for these instances, so I’ve kept up. Oh, and just for grins, I went and checked out the restaurant’s Yelp page. The place was bombarded with so many one-star angry reviews that Yelp temporarily disabled all the reviews and comments. Good. Fuck that guy. It’s too bad, though. It would have been fun to post a review along the lines of “Be sure to try the special: Roast Leg of Lambda with a side of Covidini. Better yet, stay the hell away from this Petri dish.”

On the good news front: Guess who is coming back to CA to visit me? C from Oregon! I can’t believe he is making that long trip again, and just for one day this time, but I’m thrilled that he wants to. I am seeing him two weeks from Monday and I can’t wait. Also, I heard from Mr. Woodland and he wants to play again soon too. Ah, this makes me happy.

And it helps make up for the fact that the man I played with a week ago Tuesday has seemingly dropped off the planet. Never heard another word from him — no email, no text, nothing. No feedback on our play. No check-in. Radio silence. I thought he enjoyed himself — I guess I was mistaken. Fortunately, I had no emotional investment this time.

Covid is on the rise again, escalating rapidly, with the Delta variant taking over. Breakthrough cases in people who are fully vaxxed are increasing. First they said the cases were 99% unvaxxed people; the latest I read is that the new cases are 86% unvaxxed. The numbers are going in the wrong direction. And guess where the latest really bad red zone is? Yup. Las Vegas.

Where we’re supposed to be headed in a month.

Our tickets are purchased, our hotel room is booked. I am craving this party with all my heart and soul. Not just because of the play — that’s actually secondary. I want to see our friends. I want hugs, lots and lots and lots of hugs. Jay, my sweet, wonderful Sister In Spirit is coming — this is her first SL. And it would be our first time meeting in person. We have been online friends for seven years, shared a million emails and texts, exchanged many presents… but I’ve never gotten to look her in the face, throw my arms around her.

But I have to face reality. It might not be safe to go. Yes, everyone at the party will be vaxxed. But we’ll be all over the hotel. Hallways, restaurants, elevators. Constant exposure. Tons of people — it’s a holiday weekend. And even vaxxed people can carry and transmit the Delta variant. Yes, the vaccine helps. Yes, even if we got Covid, it would most likely be a mild case. I’m not concerned about myself.

But John is another story. He is high-risk. He is compromised.

I’m seeing the writing on the wall. He’s already saying things like “Well, we’ll have to spend more time in our room, take more breaks,” “We can bring more snacks and eat in our room more,” “We’ll have to keep our masks on even in the party rooms,” “Maybe we can just stay for a couple of days instead of all four,” and so on. It sounds like if we go, we’re going to be uptight and preoccupied about the specter of Covid every damn minute. And what fun is that? People are coming from all over, bringing who knows what. And, as mentioned, Vegas is a hot spot now.

I suppose I could go by myself, take John out of possible harm’s way. But the thought of that is nearly as unbearable as not going at all. I’ve never gone to a party without John, not once in 25 years. I can’t imagine being there without him. Yeah, I’d have lots of people to hang with. But I’d feel like I was missing a limb.

So. There isn’t a blessed thing I can do at this point. All I can do is watch and wait, and hope. Maybe things will improve in Vegas over the next month.

Or maybe things will get so bad that we’ll all get locked down again. Who knows. It’s unthinkable. But then again, having this pandemic go on and on like it has is unthinkable as well.

Here is where I could go on a long, expletive-filled rant about what I think of anti-vaxxers and Covid deniers. But I won’t. Y’all know me. You can well imagine what I’m thinking and feeling right now about these people with their willful ignorance and utter selfishness.

Perhaps this says it all.

So yeah. I’m all over the place. Oh, and did I mention that John’s and my 25th anniversary is at the end of August? SL was going to be our celebration getaway. Hopefully it still will be. Only time will tell.

How are you doing? Come talk to me. Stay safe, everyone. ♥

Okay, so flexibility isn’t all bad…

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this post about trying to get together with a new potential play partner, and how he’d issued a last-minute invitation that I had to turn down. We left it that he would contact me after he was back from a two-week vacation and we’d try again. I assumed this try would be a bit more planned.

Then this past Monday afternoon I got a text from him, essentially saying that a Tuesday late morning meeting had been canceled and he could come to my place for a couple of hours; sorry for the last-minute notice but could I swing it?

Oy.

Have I mentioned I really suck at spontaneity? My first reaction to it is always to be rattled. Fortunately, because it was a text, I had some time to think about it. Last time, I said no, because I had legitimate reasons to do so — a lot of work, stressed out over car problems, etc. However, this time, work was under control, car was fine, my place was reasonably tidy, and I really had no reason to say no. And if I kept saying no, eventually he was going to stop asking.

I texted back and said that I had really hoped our first time wouldn’t be last-minute and rushed. And he replied, “My whole life is last-minute and rushed, but I understand and I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable. We can try for something next week. Or we can get together tomorrow and just talk about limits and so on, if you prefer.” And with that, I I knew I was going to say yes, come on over. I mean, he was being so nice and trying to work with me; the least I could do was attempt to meet him halfway.

Yesterday I got up early (well, early for me, 8:00 a.m.), got dressed and ready, and settled in to work until I got a text from him saying he was on his way. He was already forewarned about the horrible parking on my street. When he arrived, we sat and talked for about an hour. As he’d mentioned before, he had played many times in the past, but hadn’t for quite a while, so he was open to any guidance. I didn’t want to bombard him with too many limits and preferences at the outset, so I gave him the two immediate hard limits: 1. scolding is okay, but no name-calling/berating. I don’t do the degradation thing; and 2. stay the hell away from the back door. As for tips, just a couple: cup your hand to the bottom cheek, so you get a crisp smack instead of a dull thud, and make sure to give each cheek equal time. “You’d be surprised to know how many right-handed tops are constitutionally incapable of spanking a left cheek,” I added.

And so we played! Turns out he’s ambidextrous, so he can use both hands equally well. (groan) He’s a big guy (6′ 4″) and has the big strong hands one would expect to go with his height. We didn’t use any implements this first time, but he sure as hell didn’t need any. He built up slowly, getting a feel for things, and I was delighted and giggly at how good it felt. I mean, you never know with someone until you’re actually in the position and it’s happening. It’s like a first anything — first kiss, first sex, etc. But I was quite pleased.

Oh, and he really took to heart the bit about giving the left cheek equal attention. At one point, he was whaling on that one cheek over and over and over until I finally blurted, “For fuck’s sake, I’ve got two of them!” He laughed and said, “Well, you said…” Yeah, I said. Me and my big mouth.

Here’s the best news — the scene was good enough for me to slip into my zone, that realm of spaciness where I just feel, bury my face and make noises, stop thinking. I knew I was toast when he asked if I needed a break, and I mumbled, “I don’t know… you decide.” So he went a while longer and then he chose when to end things, which is exactly the way I like it. Even better… I think (I hope!) he enjoyed himself as much as I did. He was very complimentary.

We talked a bit about our opposite personalities — me being a planner and a scheduler and him being one whose schedule was always in flux — and he said he appreciated that I’d stepped out of my comfort zone and accepted this play date with little notice. Hopefully we could plan things out a bit better in the future. At least he knows where I’m coming from, so we’ll see how this goes.

After he left, a little after noon, I had work and workout facing me and I didn’t feel like doing any of it, I was so spacey. However, after some coffee and food, I perked up, got a second wind, and I ended up doing a killer workout and getting all my work done. Slept like the dead last night! Today I have some deep muscle soreness, but I’m not marked, except for one small blotch in the center of my left cheek and a few speckles underneath the right one. Perhaps last week we got into implements too soon? Who knows. Sorry, didn’t get any pictures. Maybe next time.

In summation — yesterday, a FetLife friend asked, “Isn’t it so great to fucking play again??!”

Yes. Oh, yes indeed, it fucking well is. ♥

What would you have done?

Those of you who have been with me for a while are aware that I’m a bit OCD, and it especially manifests itself in my need for routines, schedules and sameness. I don’t deal with the unexpected very well — which, as you can guess, has me stressed a great deal of the time, because life is full of the unexpected. Spontaneity? Sure, I’m okay with spontaneity, as long as I have advance notice of it.

Backtrack to a couple of weeks ago. I had a very nice first-time public visit and chat with a potential play partner. He works very long hours, being an office manager, but he said he could meet with me around lunchtime. I told him to choose something near his work; he asked if I was okay with sitting outdoors, as long as we were in shade. And then he asked, “Is it all right if I bring a friend?” My first thought was “HUH??” Then I saw the attached picture: a big fluffy white dog. What do I love, kids? People’s dogs. What didn’t I get to pet and fuss over for 15 months? People’s dogs. I was thrilled.

So it was a fun afternoon (and the dog was adorable). We agreed we would try to get together sometime before he left in mid-July for a two-week family vacation.

Last week, he said he might be able to come over on Tuesday (this past Tuesday, the 6th), but wasn’t sure. Could he let me know as late as Monday? I said okay. However, Monday came and went… and I heard nothing. (sigh) I figured he got busy with pre-vacation stuff and it wasn’t a go.

Tuesday morning, I was in a foul mood. I had gone from famine to feast with work, and while I always want work, my first reaction to getting a lot of it is OVERWHELMED. Plus my car had been making a very alarming loud noise and I had to bring it in to my mechanic. It was going to be a busy day. I hunkered down in full “I’m working I’m busy Leave me alone” mode… and then at 10 that morning, I got a text:

“I know this is last minute, but would you like to get together later this afternoon?”

Arrrggghhh. I wanted to slam my head into the desk. Yes, I would have liked to get together. Of course I wanted to play; it’s been two months already since I saw my Oregon friend.

But now, with my day planned and my head firmly geared toward getting things done?

Yeah, I know. A whole lot of people would have said, “Screw it, let’s move this, adjust that, blah blah blah, and just say YES.” But we’re not talking about the average normal person. We’re talking about neurotic me.

When would I do my work? When would I take my car in and Uber home? When would I do my workout? When would I shower and shave and put makeup on and tidy up the place? How long would he stay? We hadn’t discussed limits and boundaries — how long would that take? On and on and on it went until I was feeling like I’d just drunk 15 cups of coffee. Meanwhile, he was sitting at the other end, waiting for an answer to his text.

Politely and regretfully, I told him no, that I’d figured he couldn’t make it when I hadn’t heard from him and now I was slammed with work and other stuff. He understood. Said we’d have to plan something when he came back. He mentioned something about having bought a leather paddle, so he’s invested already.

But of course, I was left feeling really annoyed with myself. (“Why can’t you be more flexible?” “Why can’t you be more spontaneous?” “You could have said yes and made it work; why didn’t you?” “You just let life’s opportunities pass you by! What’s wrong with you?” In case you’re wondering, that critical voice sounds a lot like my mother.

However — I did make good use of the day. I got a ton of work done. I got my car into the shop. I did a killer workout and blew off all the aggravation. And then things turned around.

In my restless mood, I had gone on FetLife and written a status grumbling about how I’d said no to last-minute play and that adulting sucks, just to bitch a little and blow off steam. Got some fun commiserating comments. And then… I got a message from Mr. Woodland — remember him? We played several times in the past but hadn’t seen each other for a couple of years due to the pandemic and some other circumstances. He said he was sorry my plans fell through… and if I was interested in playing with him again sometime, please let him know.

Um. Well. Was I interested?
You bet your ass I was interested.

Long story short? I couldn’t do the spontaneous play thing, but now I have a play date for next Tuesday. grinning

Occasionally, life works. So, readers, would you have said yes to the last-minute play, or done the boring and uptight responsible adult thing? (And I say it that way because that’s what I did, so I’m allowed!)

Have a great weekend, y’all. Be safe. ♥

Confession

CONFESSION - declarative concept

For what it’s worth, for the dozen or so of you who still read my blather, I’m admitting to a moment of weakness and foolishness. Nothing came of it, but I figured it was worth looking at anyway.

Like it or not, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. Even with things reopening, I don’t think it’s safe to be in crowds of people. John and I are continuing to do takeout. I’m going to put a hold on my gym membership. The curve of the first wave never flattened and now they are talking about the second wave. I don’t think this is going away anytime soon. Ergo… even if Shadow Lodge goes ahead with the party in Vegas over Labor Day, John and I will not go.

I would consider carefully playing one on one with a trusted partner, though. If I could meet one who was willing to be patient, take things slowly, observe all the safety rules, etc.

A week or so ago, I heard from a man on FetLife who, at first, sounded exactly like who I was seeking. He wrote well. He loved spanking. Our world views were on the same page. He’d been isolating and took the pandemic very seriously. He was attractive, fit, educated, healthy, didn’t smoke or do drugs. And he was local, had his own place where he could host. In his profile and in his introduction to me, he stressed about how he believed in taking the time to establish trust and a connection, and that there was no rush. It seemed he was experienced in the scene and had been around long enough to know what was what.

He said nice things. Didn’t just say that I’m attractive, although he stressed that many times. Said I sounded like I had a good head on my shoulders, that I was smart, seemed like a lot of fun and he thought we’d get along well. He said, more than once, that I was “perfect.” So, I wrote back. We exchanged two or three brief messages. So far, so good.

Then last Friday, he sent me a message that threw me for a loop. Said he wouldn’t meet anyone for coffee right now, not with the virus and particles everywhere and so forth. However… I could come to his place and we could sit outside on his balcony, see where chemistry takes us.

I’m sorry, what??

Okay, this is BDSM 101, kids. You meet publicly first. Coffee, a drink, a meal, whatever you are comfortable with. You do not just up and go to a man’s house right off the bat when you don’t know him, or know of him through trusted others. Period. I couldn’t believe he was suggesting I do this.

So I wrote back, telling him I was sorry, but I couldn’t possibly do that. That I’d been meeting play partners for over 24 years and vetting them in public first. (There have been a couple of exceptions over all those years, but that’s exactly what they were, exceptions. And I’d had good communications with the men beforehand.) I said it seemed we both had much to offer, and hopefully we could figure out a way to move forward, carefully. That I understood “cabin fever” (his words) very well, but that I had to be safe.

Didn’t hear back. Five days went by. Then I got a message that was in a very different tone from all the others. It was part resentful, and part coaxing.

He said we were at an impasse, because I wouldn’t “step out of my comfort zone,” because I wouldn’t “bend a little.” That trying to meet with me was like trying to push a boulder up a very steep hill, and that he found “endless emails” frustrating. And then, he painted a sexy, tempting picture of what could happen if I would just come over, take his hand, and… so on.

I didn’t reply. But I was really, really angry and upset, and wasn’t quite sure why, besides the obvious that the guy’s a manipulative jerk.

Here’s where the confession part comes in.

I think I was rattled because, deep down inside, a part of me wanted to cast caution to the wind, ignore everything I knew, and just go “have an adventure.”

I mean, fuck it. I’ve been holed up for months. I haven’t played since February. Every damn day is some sort of bad news. And there is nothing to look forward to in the near future. Here was my chance to break out a little, go do something wild and forbidden and sexy and have some damn fun for a change. To feel sexy and free and attractive and naughty and just forget all this shit for a couple of hours.

And the fact that even a tiny part of me felt this way was horrifying to me. I know better than this! No, I wasn’t going to do it. But damned if I didn’t want to, just a little. Because I’m only human.

Anyway… turned out it didn’t matter. The morning after he’d written that latest message to me, I woke up to another one.

I’ve decided that it’s just too complicated to continue — good luck with all and be safe.

In other words: “You didn’t do things the way I wanted, so you’re not worth any more of my time.” Also: “I know you’re going to say no, so I’ll reject you first.”

Bastard.

Before I put this behind me, I had to have a final word. I wrote back:

Your profile reads: “I like to go slow at first to develop a genuine connection, kindred spirits, feelings and trust.”
And yet, after a few brief exchanges in which I know next to nothing about you, you expect me to ignore one of the cardinal rules of BDSM, show up at your home without meeting you first. When I politely decline that, you throw up your hands, say “fuck this,” call our messages “endless emails” and I go from perfect to a boulder on a steep hill.
Everything about this has a clear message: “If you don’t give me immediate gratification, I can’t be bothered with you.”
Thanks for the early warning, I guess. I am a person of value and worth bothering with. Sorry you didn’t think so.

Didn’t hear anything back, of course. He’s moved on to find someone more gullible, more lonely and in need. I may be all three of those, but I’m not stupid. I. Know. Better. All emotions and desires aside, I know what’s right and what’s safe. He wasn’t.

And, as many people (including John) reminded me yesterday, it’s fortunate that he revealed who he really was this early on, before I got further invested. Or worse.

So why am I writing this? I guess because I’m reminded that, no matter how much experience we have, no matter how much we know better, we can still be swayed. We can still fall prey to a vulnerable moment and ignore our instincts, or want to. That these are scary times and a lot of us are not thinking clearly. These are the times when narcissists and predators can thrive. Don’t let them. And if someone tries to make you feel like you’re not worth bothering with, fuck them. (Figuratively speaking.) Because you are. And the people who don’t care to take the time, who just want what they want and want it now — their loss.

How ironic that his final words to me were “Be safe,” when he wanted me to be anything but. However, I will say the same to all of you. Please. Be safe. In these tough times, where so many of us are feeling vulnerable, uncertain, alone, scared, angry — keep your head. Keep your ears and heart open to your inner voice that knows best.

Hope everyone has a peaceful weekend. And Happy Father’s Day to the dads. ♥

 

 

 

Bittersweet

It’s Memorial Day. Technically for me, being a freelancer, it’s Monday. I’m working today. But really, what else is there to do anyway? I’m not in any hurry to go to the beach. I never wanted to go to the beach before the damn pandemic.

Today we honor the fallen. And in that vein, an extra moment of silence for the nearly 100,000 people in the U.S., and many more globally, who have died from Covid-19. These are scary, uncertain times. Today, I’m grateful to be well and working, even though I feel like there’s a specter over my head, over John’s, over the heads of everyone I love.

Today is also a day of entirely different memories for me. On Memorial Day 1996, I got my very first adult consensual spanking. That one action changed my life. Lifelong fantasies became a reality that was so much better than I could have imagined. I started a new journey that took me to the most amazing places, to meet so many incredible people and have experiences I didn’t even dream of. All from a tall, handsome gentleman, whose last name I never knew, who came briefly into my life and turned my world upside down and inside out. Wherever you are, Paul, thank you. Again. I hope you found what you needed and wanted.

Today I remind everyone out there who is still ashamed, closeted, embarrassed, feeling like there’s something wrong with them — there isn’t. Societal dictates about relationships, sexual activities and fetishes are highly overrated. As long as you are hurting no one, as long as you are safe, sane, consensual and respectful, your desires are part of who you are. Embrace them, and dare I say, enjoy them. Because life is too fucking short not to.

Today, I can’t help comparing Memorial Day twenty-four years ago, when I brought an almost perfect stranger into my home and engaged in highly physical activity, with today, when I can’t even meet someone for a cup of coffee. Recently, a correspondent wrote, “It seems the days of meeting for coffee are behind us.” Oh my god, I hope he’s wrong. Because that is a truly depressing prospect.

Today, I’m dealing with a whole lot of powerlessness. A lot of feelings. Fear, anger, nervousness, sadness, uncertainty. Yesterday, John wasn’t feeling well, and of course, my mind has gone to all the worst possible places, even though it’s probably just a damn headache and perfectly innocuous. This year’s taxes have been postponed, but they are due soon and I owe a ton of money, because my quarterly taxes were underestimated last year and I ended up making more than my accountant and I thought I would. Trying to stay in the moment — it’s hot outside, but my place is nice and cool, I have plenty to eat, I am feeling okay. I can’t think past this moment in time or I’ll drive myself crazy. I’m not alone in this, I know. So in the midst of the craziness, there is gratitude.

Today, I’m grateful for friends, for people who have stayed the course, who are still with me and haven’t disappeared. I hope I get to see some of you in the future when all this is behind us, whenever that may be. ♥

Please take care of yourselves, and be kind. We are all on edge right now. The slightest gesture from another can pull someone back from the ledge… or push them over it. Which one do you want to do?

If you can, go play. And revel in it 100%. Celebrate your kinky wonderful self. Remember those who have gone, and honor them by living your truest life.

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?

37k83l

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?

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