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”

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.Β 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.

So anyway…

I feel like I want to write something here, even though I’m not sure what that is. I used to think I had to have something special, something of interest or intrigue, to post, but perhaps this blog can also be a place for me to ramble.

I miss playing. I really do. No, it’s not physically essentially like air, food and water. But it is emotionally essential. It’s a part of my makeup. Even when times are funky and I’m down, the cravings come when I least expect them.

People ask, “Isn’t there anyone available to play with you?” That’s not the question. It’s more like “with whom I want to play.” Because despite my neediness, I still prefer quality. I would rather go without than settle for an experience that doesn’t fulfill me. That’s the weird dichotomy of spanking, for me. The good ones can be so rich, so intensely wonderful and memorable in every way. But the not-so-hot ones? They are almost repulsive. It’s like having sex with someone you’re not drawn to. Why would you? Just for the sensation of being screwed? I’ll never want sex — or spanking — that much.

And, unfortunately due to circumstances of recent times, I do not feel safe or comfortable seeking what I need. Because the last time I admitted to neediness, to vulnerability, it bit me in the ass. Not in a fun, sexy way, either. So even though there are those I would indeed enjoying seeing for some play, I will not be the one to ask.

Regarding the party at the end of February… because I know how the gossip train is in this scene, I figured my hesitation about it would get back to the host, and his feelings would be hurt, which I do not want. So I headed things off at the pass and wrote him a long message, explaining what was going on with me and that my desire to withdraw from everything had absolutely nothing to do with him and I loved him dearly. He wrote back to me with such sweet words, I wept. I am a treasured friend and the party wouldn’t be the same without me. That he really wants me to be there, so please, please come.

So. I booked our room. That has to be done in advance. As for the rest, I have a month and a half to think about it. Everyone says I should go. Part of me wants to, so much. But the ugly, bleak voice within that seems to have taken over in recent weeks keeps saying no.

What else am I thinking about… oh, just random stuff. Like, remember I mentioned watching the Twilight Zone marathon over New Year’s? We happened to catch “It’s a Good Life.” Y’all know that one, don’t you? It’s the classic about the town that is being held hostage by a monstrous child, six-year-old Anthony Fremont? A child with too much power, but a complete dearth of empathy or caring? Who hates everyone who doesn’t like him, eliminates necessary things simply because he doesn’t care for them? Just one tiny little man-child, running the town according to his whims, making everyone suffer.

I was especially remembering the part where the party guest gets drunk and loses it, pleading tearfully to the others in the room to please, PLEASE, somebody, grab something heavy when he’s not looking and lay it across his skull, and end this once and for all?? Of course, no one did, but they all wanted to. The poor guy died for his outburst. And then for good measure, the little bastard changed the weather so it would ruin all the crops.

Why am I thinking about this so much? Eh, no particular reason…

Have a great weekend, y’all.

Did ya miss me?

I haven’t blogged for a little over a month, so I have a lot of catching up to do. Honestly? What with the insanity around the midterms, mass shootings, displays of antisemitism, and lately, the horrendous fires in my state (still burning), I haven’t really felt the kink mojo. It’s hard to be lighthearted and funny and flippant when it feels like everything around you is devolving into a massive sinkhole of shit. This has been me:

stressedwoman

(OK, my boobs aren’t that big. But whatever.)

However, life goes on and I need to remind myself of that. So here I am.

And I got to play again last week, thank you very much! Much needed stress release! Mr. Woodland paid me another visit, last Thursday (you know, after the Thousand Oaks shooting, but before the Woolsey fire exploded). This time he showed up with his toy bag. Uh-oh.

But never fear, the good Mr. W. started me off with a proper warm-up. At some point, this exchange happened:

Him: Do you prefer your underwear up or down?
Me: That’s up to you.

Although it was more like “That’s up to y—,” because I didn’t even have the word “you” out of my mouth when my panties were unceremoniously yanked to my thighs.

“Well, that was an easy decision,” he said. Humph.

Warm-up passed in the blink of an eye, it seemed. “Time for some implements,” he announced. “Get up, please.”

Well, at least he said please.

We moved to my ottoman, and he said, “Set this up the way you want it.” I protested, “Why me? You set it up last time, so you’d have room to swing.” “Fine,” he said, and nudged it a few inches with his foot — which then sent the cushions askew. “Well, now it’s crooked!” I huffed, leaning down to straighten it.

“I have a belt in my hand,” he said. “Is this really a good time to be a smart-ass?” (What better time is there?)

And so the strapping ensued. At a good breaking point, he went to get his bag. “Let’s see what I’ve got for you in this bag of treats,” he grinned.

I sweetly requested a Snickers bar. He didn’t have any.

I then got to meet several of the items in his bag, including a tawse, some sort of leather thing, and a very thin, light wooden paddle. “This is a sting-y little bastard,” he commented about the latter. “Kind of like you?” I commented in return. He sighed. “That wasn’t smart.”

It was worth it, though. πŸ˜€

More chit-chat:

Him: Well, that’s about all I can use for now. The rest [of the bag’s contents] is wood.
Me: (sighing) What’s wrong with you?
Him: I like wood!
Me: That’s what she said.

Damn, did we play hard. I could feel the strength he was putting into it, and I was drinking it in like a freaking desert in a rainstorm. I just wanted more, more, and more. Even the tawse. Normally, I’m leery about those suckers. I have had experiences in the past where one of those skinny little tails snaps into nooks and crannies that I really, really don’t want getting snapped — and I damn near go through the ceiling. But then I took a deep breath and remembered.

He knows what he’s doing.

So much so that when he seemed to be wrapping things up, I blurted, “Are you done??”

“You want more?” he asked.

“Um… maybe?”

He laughed. “Be careful what you wish for…”

Holy crap. That last round pushed my endurance, for sure. I quickly realized my error of not tossing a pillow on the carpet before we started. First, because I was scraping my elbows along the carpet as I leaned over the ottoman. Not my choice of pain. And second, because I didn’t have anything to scream into. And sometimes, you know, I just have to scream. So I ended up clamping both hands over my mouth and screaming into my palms. And all the while, I could feel the stress flowing out my pores, out of my limbs, out of my head. Magic. So lovely when I can just put myself into a man’s hands and know I’m safe. As Mr. W. says on his Fet profile, he might hurt, but he doesn’t harm. Knowing that makes such a difference.

He was impressed. “You can take one hell of a spanking, Erica,” he said. Despite the fact that I was limp as a dishrag and so sub-spacey I could barely think, I managed to croak out, “You know, this is all your fault.”

“Really? How’s that?”

“Because,” I squeaked, “if you hadn’t made me wait three weeks for this, I wouldn’t have been so fucking needy!!

I wish I could have seen the look on his face at that. “Ah… well, I think we’ll have to address that next time.” Yeah, you think?

(I was kidding, of course. I am responsible for my own stress management; no one else. But a helping hand — or strap, paddle, etc. — is most welcome.)

And so we wound down. Then, I heard the two words that always melt me into the final oblivion:

“Good girl.”Β Of all the sweet phrases we love to hear, I think that’s one of the sweetest. Right up there with “That’s my girl.” πŸ™‚

He hung out with me for a while, but had to get going before the traffic got bad (or worse, really, since L.A. traffic is pretty much always bad now). Have no idea what our schedules will bring over the upcoming holiday weeks… but I hope I get to see him again before 2018 is over.

As soon as he was gone, I thought, “Oh, damn! Pictures!” So, since I was still in living color, I grabbed my phone and tried to take a mirror selfie in the bathroom. I’m embarrassed to admit how many attempts it took to get this:

20181108_165341

I still didn’t like it, but all the physical cogitations were making my back and neck ache worse than my butt. So I broke out the old-school digital camera and timer, and tried a different angle in the living room. Unfortunately, the lighting there didn’t show the red very well. But you get the idea.

DSC00005

I slept well that night. Sadly, the next day brought all new stress when the damned Woolsey fire blew up and I was worried about my stepmother in Thousand Oaks (all turned out well for her, thank goodness — she was without power for a couple of days, but didn’t have to evacuate). But such is life.

What else is going on… oh, yeah. Did I mention that my Twitter account was frozen for a week? “But, Erica,” I can hear you all crying, “what horrible, egregious, terrible thing did you tweet to earn this extreme penalty??” I called Tomi Lahren a bimbo.

(Never heard of Tomi Lahren? All you need to know about her is that she’s the millennial version of Ann Coulter. And if perchance you don’t know who Ann Coulter is — consider yourself fortunate.)

Let’s review. I’ve been insulted on Twitter over everything from my age (“granny porn”) to my body (“a poor man’s Olive Oyl”) to my face (I was likened to the character “Hatchet-face” from the movie Cry-Baby. Google her) to my background (“stupid @#$%ing Hollywood Jew). I’ve been threatened (“I’d love to watch you getting gang-raped”). But my saying “bimbo” is “hateful conduct”?? Yeah, Twitter. Bite me.

So, when my time in Twitter Jail was up, I put on my prison-stripe panties, brought out the trusty digital camera again, and took this, which I posted the day I came back:

DSC00038

I hash-tagged it #FuckCensorship. πŸ™‚ Interestingly, I did not get reported and penalized for it. Imagine that.

(whew) Anyway. Work continues to be busy, for which I am grateful, not only for the bill paying but for the distraction. Crazy times, y’all.

Final thought — I wish I could hug every single firefighter in California right now. β™₯ β™₯ β™₯

Play at last! Play at last!

Fireworks-pastel-colors-jpg

And it’s about damn time! How long has it been, a year? Okay, okay, just a month and a half. (I’m not counting the double session I had with Alex a couple of weeks ago, because that was so light and playful.) But it feels like forever. Steve used to say that I needed spanking like I need oxygen. A bit of an exaggeration, but you know, sometimes…

I have Mr. Woodland’s permission to link to his FetLife page, so if any of you are members, you can read about him here. Our first time together one on one was fabulous, I thought.

He came by around 2:30. I’d been working since 8:00 on my various projects, so it was a good time to take a break. We slipped easily into conversation and I think close to two hours went by before we even mentioned playing. I like him; we seem to be on the same page about a lot of things, both scene-wise and everything else-wise. Because we’d played before, there wasn’t that first-time awkwardness, that shy dance of wonder and anxiety (Is this going to be great? Or is this gonna suck??). Finally, we began.

I had told him I hadn’t had any sort of intense play since Shadow Lane, so he very kindly and considerately started with a light warm-up. Of course, I appreciated that… but I wasn’t about to let him know that. πŸ˜€ So when he paused and asked how I was doing, I said, “I’m sorry… did I give you the impression that I enjoy tickling?”

“What was that? Excuse me?” And there it was, he went right into sputtering incredulous top mode. “I’m trying to be a gentleman, giving you a warm-up because you haven’t played for a while, and you tell me I’m tickling you??”

Yup. Game on, honey. I couldn’t answer him, as I was giggling too hard.

So much for warm-up, and things escalated quickly. But you know what? I soaked it all up like a sponge. A happy, eager, thirsty sponge. My skin, my body, my psyche craved it, couldn’t get enough of it. Gimme gimme gimme. At one point, he paused again, blew out a breath and said, “Wow. I just gave you ten of my hardest and all I’m getting from you is a purr.”

That’s me — happy kitty.

happycat

He said he was going to have to bring some of his toys next time (Next time? YES!), and then I had to open my big stupid yap and say, “I have some toys!”

“Well, go get some!”

(Damn, I missed my opportunity to answer, “Make me.”)

I scrambled up, went into the bedroom, collected two OTK implements — my Lexan paddle and a small leather one — and brought them to him. Aaaaand that’s when I realized that I had been plenty tenderized by his hand and now these damn things hurt like a mother.

“Still tickling?” he taunted. Uh… no. But I was still enjoying it. He said he was going to dub the Lexan paddle the “tickle monster.” Har har har.

I had mentioned earlier that I loved strappings with a man’s belt over my ottoman, and while we were in the middle of hurts-so-good hell, I said “We can do that next time, maybe?”

“Hell, no!” was his answer. “Let’s do it now!”

Oy. Again, me and my big mouth.

I’m always a tad leery when I’m about to be strapped by a top for the first time. I love, love, love a leather belt. I love the feel, I love the sound, I love the imagery. However… a lot of people can’t do it right. They can’t control the strap — they’re too high, they’re too low, they wrap, they hit the right cheek over and over and not the left, etc. And it ends up being rather unpleasant. I get so tense, wondering when the misfires are going to hit, I can’t relax and sink into it.

Not so this time.

Holy crap. This man is magic with a belt. Spot on every single strike. Even knows the trick of switching sides so each cheek gets equal brunt. I forgot about bratting and blurted, “You’re so good at this!!” For a brief while, my whole world shut down and focused on his belt and nothing else. Gone was the stress, the work, the political quagmire, the losses I’ve endured lately, the money worries, all of it. Just the bliss of impact, of endorphins, of pleasureful pain. I seem to recall murmuring at some point, “You are making me so happy right now.” He has joined the ranks, in my mind, of the top strappers I know — Dr. Lectr, Paul Kennedy, InspectHerHide, and a few others.

But of course, my true colors never fully disappear. He had decided I was getting forty more, twenty on each side. When he was finished with the first twenty and switched sides, once again he teased, “How’s that tickling feel now?”

To which I replied, “Oh, fuck off.”

“Oooh, bad idea,” he said. “You just got ten more.” And he delivered; no breaks for an excited utterance. :-Þ  First the original twenty more planned, and then an additional five on each side. Can I take a moment and admit how utterly fucking hot that was?? (sigh)

This picture does not do the redness justice, at all. But y’all get the idea.

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He stayed for a while longer, we talked some more, but then reluctantly I had to get back to work (and he had to get on the freeway at rush hour, which sucked, but he seemed to take it in stride). The rest of my evening, it was hard to focus on work, but I had to force myself to, even though I was feeling blissed out and giddy. Slept like a baby. And sang in the car today on my way to get a hair cut. I haven’t done that for a long-ass time. Funny how kinky people are. Most people get like this after they get laid; I do after an ass-whooping.

Our consensus was, “Why did we wait so long to do this, and let’s not wait too long to do it again!” I hope he had as good a time as I did. πŸ™‚ Thank you, Mr. W.

Onward… where to, I’m not sure

So here I am, staring another birthday in the face. Didn’t I just have one of the damn things? Look, I enjoy birthday festivities as much as the next attention whore hog, but I can do without this ageing business.

And — confession time. I don’t have a birthday spanking to look forward to. Because as it happens, I do not have a play partner at this time.

I feel kind of ridiculous and thought perhaps if I just didn’t talk about it, people would forget that big announcement I made a few posts back. I thought about deleting it, but I really didn’t want to. That would be denying it ever happened, and it did. And it was lovely and lots of fun, however brief.

Please don’t ask me for details… it is what it is. I will tell you this much. I have not lost a friend. Ulf is a dear, kind-hearted and special man I am privileged to know and who I hope to keep in my life for a good long time, as my friend, part of my chosen family.

It just seems he’s not meant to be my play partner.

So. Once again, I am adrift in spanko land. And you know what? I’m tired of looking. I’m not going to make a thing out of finding another partner. If it happens, it happens. But the process can be so damned disheartening and frustrating, and many times, the best relationships have happened organically and not when I was specifically seeking them. So I won’t.

Of course I will miss regular play. I’m not going to kid myself and say no big deal, I won’t miss it, I’m busy, I’m working, I spend weekends with John, spanking isn’t everything, so on and so forth. It’s a huge part of me and I feel a sadness, an emptiness when I don’t have it in my life. However, I would rather go without it than to settle for anything less than what fulfills me. I’m not going to play with just anyone, simply for the sake of feeling a hand on my butt. I need the connection. I need the trust and chemistry and the humor and the attraction and all those wonderful things that come together to make the potent cocktail that sends me into bliss.

In recent times, I’ve befriended a couple of lovely young women on FetLife — very young (early twenties). Both have been lucky enough to have positive and caring early experiences with good men, which is so very important. Both are eager sponges, wanting to soak up everything about this kink and learn about where they fit in all of this, and with whom. One of them recently told me that she was concerned it wouldn’t always be this good, and she was setting the bar too high. “It can’t always be this perfect, can it?” she asked.

In a word, no. Nothing is always wonderful. Even chocolate cake isn’t always wonderful. (Come on, you know you’ve had a dry piece or two in your lifetime.) Yes, spanking is readily available pretty much anywhere if you look for it. So is chocolate. But sometimes you get See’s or Godiva… and sometimes you get Russell Stover’s. Don’t settle for the latter. It just makes you want the former even more.

This is what I said to both these women — I told them they were given a very special gift, getting to play with good partners early on. They would go on to have a lot of experiences with many different people, if they kept on this path, and not all of them would be so hot. BUT… they would always have a benchmark. They would always know how it was supposed to feel when it’s right. And when it wasn’t, they wouldn’t have to question themselves. No. I don’t like this. Doesn’t feel right. Next.

Well, guess what. I’m taking my own advice, because I too have benchmarks. I have had some incredible play partners. I have had dozens — hell, hundreds — of positive experiences. And yeah, I’ve had some really crappy, unsatisfying, and even a few traumatic ones as well. But they were anomalies. And I knew there was something better, something worth waiting for. Because when it happened, when all those elusive factors came together and made for that connection, it was blissful. Quality over quantity.

Recently, a good friend asked me how I deal with all the losses of play partners I’ve had over the years — how could I stand having my heart broken again and again? I told her that’s the risk you take. It’s an unusual relationship, often times a fleeting one. And yes, it hurts to open my heart, give my trust, and put my body and soul in a man’s hands, only to have him go away. But the alternative is not playing. The alternative is not experiencing the closeness, the intensity, the magic. And that’s worse. That’s so empty.

Yup, I know there are those who think I’m too picky. That I have too many hard limits, my play focus is too narrow, I should open myself up to more experiences and some different types of people, should experiment more, should be more scene-inclusive, blah blah blah. Yeah, maybe. But you know what?

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That’s right. Screw this whole PC thing that says we’re supposed to embrace all varieties of our kink. That we’re supposed to “evolve” — implication being that if your scene tastes don’t broaden, you’re a dinosaur. Well, call me Erica-sauras. Or sore-ass. Whatever. I’m too old for this shit, y’all. I’ve tried other stuff. I tried to push my square peg self into some other round kinks and just got scraped and chafed and miserable. I have been doing this long enough… I know who I am. I know what I like, I know what works for me and what does not. I know where my comfort zones are. I get to say I don’t like stuff and I don’t want it. That doesn’t mean I don’t accept when others do it. People are welcome to do their own consensual kinky-fuckery. But acknowledging/accepting it and embracing it are very different things. For example? The recent Shadow Lane party and the extreme scene I mentioned that was stopped. It’s. A. Spanking. Party. If a man wants to kick and stomp on a woman while wearing heavy boots, and she wants him to kick and stomp on her while he’s wearing heavy boots, fine. They can knock themselves out… at a dungeon. Not at a spanking party. I don’t want to see it, and I shouldn’t have to.

If I were younger, newer, then I’d say sure, experiment. But I’ve done that. Sometimes I wish I did like more varieties of play — I’d certainly have more opportunities for fulfillment. But we are who we are.

So, here’s what I do want.

I am a bottom, a strong woman who happens to enjoy the power exchange of being spanked by a man. I am not someone who needs to be held accountable, except in a playful realm — I hold myself accountable. I am a living, breathing human — I am not an object. I am not something to be owned and controlled. Yes, you can push me, test my limits. You can break down my walls, break through my defenses, touch my soft center. But you do not get to break me. Don’t break my heart or my trust. Be my friend and give me loving firmness. Make me sting, make me sore, but don’t harm me. I can take a lot of pain from you if it is done with caring and proper technique. But if you slap/strike anything other than my butt/thighs, you will not like my reaction. You want to punch/kick something? Go to the gym, and stay the hell away from me.

Make me laugh, and let me make you laugh. There is great joy in what we do; it is not a dark and serious thing. Embrace it with me.

Yes, I like playing with younger men. Enough with the cougar crap and other ageist insults. I’m not a predatory beast. I’m a woman who is young at heart and in mind, in good shape, and I just happen to relate well to people who are younger than I am — both male and female.

And for sweet Christ’s sake — don’t disappear, don’t ghost. I have seen more damn disappearing acts than the Magic Castle, and I’m tired of them. Yes, I get that lives are busy. Mine is too. I don’t ask for much of your time and attention. I just want to know you are in my life and you care, and know in my heart of hearts that I will see you, get to spend some time with you, sooner or later. Shoot me a text or a tweet when life is crazy. It takes seconds.

I guess time will tell if my dream play partner will materialize. Meanwhile, life goes on. John is making a big fuss over my birthday and I love him for it. He’s already sent me beautiful flowers, and this Saturday (the actual birthday), he’s taking me to the Walt Disney Concert Hall to hear a live performance of Mozart’s Requiem. I have never been to this particular venue, and I love classical music, so this is a huge treat.

So, like I said, onward. I am a bit melancholy, a bit adrift, but I am okay. It is what it is. And life has a way of surprising me when I least expect it. We shall see.

Shadow Lane 2018

This is late; I’ve always tried to do my post-party blogs as soon as possible after I get home, so everything will be fresh in my mind. Alas, that was not to be, as I had to jump right back into work that kept me chained to my desk for the rest of the week. Plus, I seem to have caught a cold. So reality hit hard and fast without any time to bask in the kinky afterglow, but, oh well. However, we had a great time! And I even managed to get a few pictures. So while I probably won’t remember everything in as great a detail, I can put out a basic timeline with the highlights of our weekend.

Incidentally, it seems I was worried for naught about my condition to play. Over three days, I played twelve times, four each day… and came home with not a mark on me. Not even a speckle.

Friday:

We got on the road on time in the morning, but the rental car (a Volvo! I got a free upgrade when they didn’t have the class of car I’d requested) decided to be problematic, giving us a warning that the tire pressure was low and we needed to “check and recalibrate.” We hadn’t even gone twenty miles. Crap. In a panic, I called the rental car place and the guy told me we needed to go to a Pep Boys or a Firestone, because they have a contract with them. I pleaded with him to please look one up for us, which he did, and gave me a Pep Boys that was out of our way, but not by a whole lot. So we drove to the address… guess what? No Pep Boys! By now, I’m in a state of apoplexy, so John got out of the car, looked at all the tires, then got back in and said, “They look fine to me. I say we just go.” And so we did. We lost about an hour, and I was a wreck imagining that we were going to have a blow-out or something, but that never happened, and we still made it to Vegas by 3:00. Fun start! But all was well once we got checked in and settled into our room.

After sleeping a bit, we changed and went to Joe’s (DrLectr’s) suite (960) for the end of the Vendor Fair. There began the mass of greetings and hugs and introductions. Our timing was a bit off, though, because shortly thereafter, people dispersed and went off to eat dinner, and the room parties weren’t starting until 9:00. So back to our room we went, noshed on some snacks and relaxed. I grabbed the newspaper and was checking out the front page when John said, “Oh, I need to get a picture of that, give me your phone.”

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What, he’s never seen a woman read the paper before? πŸ˜‰

Later, we went to the Shadow Lane suite for a while, and then back to Joe’s, where I soon did my first scene with Roy (CalNation on Fet), who is always a favorite. There was a gentleman at this party who was new, and I struck up a conversation with him. He confessed that he had been on the receiving end, but he didn’t really know how to give a spanking. I invited him to come watch Roy and me, so he could see how it’s done.

Of course, the room was packed and all the available play space was taken up, but undaunted, we simply headed into the bathroom. Our friend politely watched and asked permission to take pictures, and we said yes.

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^^ I love this guy! Wish I could see him more than twice a year.

And of course, I can’t have a party weekend without a scene with Joe, who never fails to deliver.

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His suite, besides having two bedrooms, has a very large living room area and he gets three or four massage tables to set up for scenes, for anyone who wants to use them — they’re great for strappings, as you can by what’s lying next to me on the table.

Steve Fuller was there! He and I go way back, so it’s always a treat to see him. We had a lively scene in the bedroom, with him fabricating some nonsense or another about how I’d been “mean” to him. Say what? He’s as sharp as always; when he started moving down onto my thighs, I blurted “Hey, what are you doing down there?” To which he answered, “Mind your own business.” (How my own ass and thighs are not my business, I’ll never understand.)

Lots more chats and greetings and hugs — I was worried that our dear friends InspectHerHide and Ellie3 weren’t there, but it turned out they just arrived Friday night. Always soooooo happy to see them! IHH was jet-lagged and tired, but he said if I didn’t mind a lighter Friday-night scene, he’d love to play. Well, of course. Usually I like him to be my first scene of the weekend, but their late arrival made that not work out this time. But better late than not at all.

More hugs, more talk, and finally it was time to head to bed. Of course, things continue in 960 until the wee hours of the morning, but you know, I need to sleep. So off we went for the night.

Saturday:

Club Finn at noon in 960! An event that Joe conceived of a few years back, Club Finn is named after Fineous, our resident flogger. It’s like a spa time for the ladies — massages, sensual flogging, foot rubs, hair-brushing (hair, not backsides), plus champagne and chocolates. Roy had said he wanted to pamper me, but he was a bit late, so I signed up for a turn with a professional masseur who was attending the party and had even brought his own table complete with the face piece at the end. Oh, that was so good — too short, but he had a long list of ladies waiting. When I climbed off the table, I saw Roy sitting and talking with John, so I came over and sat at his feet, and he commenced to massaging my upper back, shoulders and neck for a wonderfully long time. Even after he was done massaging, I didn’t want to get up, so I sat with my head on his leg while we talked with others around us. So I daresay I got a lot of pampering in that hour and three-quarters! Also had a fun chat with Kat (InfamousK on Fet), reminding her of the time she reduced John to a stunned silence when she referred to him as “Erica’s bitch.” πŸ˜€ Later, when I was pestering John to stop talking already so we could go eat, he said, “Don’t be a b-witch!” Kat overheard. “B-witch??” “Yeah,” John answered. “I figured it’s nicer than, you know, that other word.”

“So,” Kat replied, deadpan, “does that mean I can call you Erica’s b-witch?”

Aaaaand once again, John was speechless, while Kat and I fell over each other on the couch laughing.

Finally, we went with our friend Mir to grab a bagel, and were joined by Mr. Woodland, a really great guy I’ve played with a couple of times before. He’s local, and we keep saying we should get together and hang out, but we never seem to make it happen. We hung out chatting and munching, and then it was time to head back to our room for a nap.

Later that evening, we went to another Suncoast party tradition, dinner at the steakhouse. We started doing that at 50 Freaks in 2013 and it became an annual thing; we’ve even gotten the same server (Laurence) every time. This time, even though we had the banquet room that can accommodate eighteen, we had a smaller, more intimate group of nine. I wore a new dress (John took a picture before we left):

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It was such fun — we sat across from Mr W and the stunning and statuesque Switch_Delta, and like every year, John made a toast to Joe and picked up his dinner. We figure that’s the very least we can do, after all he does for the parties — the open 24/7 suite, the snacks, the drinks, the events. I didn’t get champagne this time, but I had several sips of John’s “dessert,” a glass of 30-year aged tawny port. Oh, so good.

Later, it was back to 960 for the black-light DJ’ed dance party. At midnight, we had a surprise birthday cake for Ellie3, whose birthday was Monday. After that… I dunno. I’d played a couple of times (including a fantastic first scene with a man who goes by the name TanerHyde, yes, one n), but I was feeling a bit out of sorts. It was just too noisy in the room with the music — no one could have a conversation. It’s a tough call, I know; a lot of folks like the music loud and you can’t please everyone. People were going off to the bedrooms to play, but if you just wanted to talk in the main room, it was pretty difficult. My throat was getting sore and I was starting to feel overwhelmed. When I realized John was feeling the same way, we decided to take a break and go back to our room for a bit.

When we went into the hall, we found IHH, Ellie, Mr. W, Djinn and a few others sitting out there, having their own mini-party. Turns out the music was too much for them as well. When John and I walked by, we got a chorus of “You’re not going to bed, are you??” No, no, we reassured, just taking a break. Mr. W announced that he’d SEE ME shortly, and then everyone started clapping, making spanky sounds, as we walked away. “Erica’s in trouuuuuubllllle!” Ellie sang. (This was the last night they could do that, since everyone on the 9th floor was in our party. The next day, a few vanillas moved into some of the 9th floor rooms after some of our party left, so we had to keep all noise out of the hallway. Booo!)

We took a break in our room, freshened up a bit, and headed back out. People were still sitting in the hall, so we sat with them for a bit, but then I really, really wanted to play. So we went back in.

It was worth it; I ended up having a fabulous scene with Mr. W. He has a very strong hand, and when he started using both hands, I protested. “Hey! That’s cheating! You can’t use both hands!” “No?” he said. “Well, how about if I use NO hands?” When he leaned back on the bed and reached for his waist, I thought, oh shit, me and my big mouth. Sure enough, next thing I knew he had his belt whipped off, doubled over, and whacking me.

“Soooo,” he teased. “Two hands okay, then?” Argh. Fine. So not fair.

At least I liked a lot of the songs Bob the DJ was playing. I even danced a little when he played Aretha. But I was relieved when the music ended at 2:00 a.m. and we could talk again. We hung out chatting for a while longer — at 3:00, the party was still in full swing, everyone playing and talking and laughing. But by then, I was wiped out. Much as I wanted to stay, I knew I was done for the night. Besides, we had to get up for Strict Dave’s Punishment Court the next day at noon. We got to bed between 3:30 and 4:00.

Oh, wait! Almost forgot — a lovely, lovely man from England, whom I met several years ago (he came with the Northern Spanking group back in 2009) approached me and said he had a gift for me. Imagine my delight when he gave me a Beatles coffee mug! Not just any Beatles mug, either; instead of just one image, the entire cup is plastered with Beatles album covers all the way around.

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How cool is this?? I was so touched. Thank you, my thoughtful friend. β™₯

Sunday:

John got me out of bed at 11:00 (yeah, we don’t do breakfast in Vegas); I showered, dressed, and went to get us coffee while John went to 960 to help set up for Dave’s Court. It was the usual great fun, with a lot of laughs. I haven’t been taken to court on a case for a few years — so far, I have a perfect record of winning all my cases (although I usually manage to get penalty swats from Dave anyway for dropping the f-bomb, which is considered contempt. Did I mention I do that on purpose?).

After court, John and I went downstairs to eat, peeking in to DuPar’s to see if anyone we knew was there. Turned out Bob the DJ and his wife S were just about to have lunch and asked us to join them, so we got a booth and had a nice late lunch and a great talk. I love how you never know who you’re going to meet up with at these things, the impromptu meals, etc.

At 5:00, there was Judicial Punishment in Joe’s room. That’s where they have “prison guards” and the women sign up to be “prisoners” and take a designated amount of strokes with either a cane, a paddle, or a strap. And all three are big and heavy versions of said implements. The standard amount is eight, although some do six and others do ten. The prisoners get to choose their guard (there are three), the implement, and the level of strokes — Light, Medium, Hard, or Severe. It’s all done sort of tongue-in-cheek melodramatic; the prisoners wear orange shirts and panties, and we’re each called out, one by one, to take our strokes, which Joe announces very emphatically. I’ve done this event a few times; I kind of consider it a personal challenge. The strokes are hard (I always choose the cane), but I figure I can take eight strokes of pretty much anything. Plus, I always pick SanDiegoCorey as the guard, and he knows I like it harder than medium, but not super hard either. Afterward, each woman heads for the “recovery area” (pillows and blankets piled up on the floor) and the next one comes out.

So I took my eight strokes, bent over a table with other guards holding me down. By stroke four, I was hollering. By the last one, I was kicking my feet. But I did it. πŸ˜€ What can I say, it’s a head space thing.

After that, people were hanging out talking, and I was approached by a rather handsome man I hadn’t seen before. He introduced himself (I’ll call him J) and said this was his first Shadow Lane party, but he’d been in the scene for over ten years. He was very polite and we talked a bit; he asked if I’d like to play later, and I said yes. More on him shortly.

John and I have a tradition on Sunday nights at these things: since things don’t really get started until 9:30-10:00, we take a long nap, get up and ready, do some preliminary packing, and then head to dinner around 9:00 at the Oyster House, a charming little restaurant in the hotel. It’s a perfect place to get a light bite, the food is good and we usually end up seeing people we know there. After that, we headed for 960 for the final blow-out.

The room was packed, they’d gotten pizza, and people were playing — the massage tables had various scenes going on, as per usual. I started chatting with Djinn and Mir, which went for a while, until one of them said, “Whoa,” with a mildly horrified face. I turned to see what they were looking at. Behind me, a couple was playing on one of the tables. She was kneeling on the floor, her upper body draped across the table… and he was behind her, kicking her in the back. Hard.

Oh, fuck.

Yeah. That again. The “Your Kink is Not My Kink and It’s OK, But You Still Can’t Do That At A Spanking Party” bit. This couple had clearly wandered in from the BDSM community, both dressed in black leather, and didn’t realize this isn’t a @#$%ing dungeon; this is for spanking/flogging/caning, but kicking and beating the shit out of someone is generally not appreciated in the main room. It got worse… she ended up sprawled face down on the carpet beside the table, and he was stomping on her. With his boots on. On her low back, on her butt, interspersed with more kicks. To be fair, she didn’t look like she was objecting to it. But fuck that. You do not play like this at a spanking party. You just don’t.

People started asking “Where’s Joe?”, but he had left the room temporarily. Meanwhile, I couldn’t stand another minute of this. I looked across the room and saw J, the man who had talked with me earlier. I walked straight up to him. “Still want to play?” I asked. “Absolutely,” he said. “Then, please, do me a favor,” I implored, taking his hand. “Take me away from this awful scene and make me forget I ever saw it.” “I can do that,” he grinned, and he took me into one of the bedrooms.

Oh. My. God. What happened after that was one of the most delicious scenes of my weekend.

We talked a bit beforehand; he had a small toy bag, and he checked in with me about what was OK to use (the only thing I said no to was a nasty looking wooden paddle). He said he liked to build things up slowly, keep people guessing, alternate spanking with massage, things like that. Sounded good to me! So we did an OTK warm-up with his hand, and then he had me lie on the bed, with a pillow under my hips. And then he proceeded to use all his different toys, at different levels of intensity, speed, etc, with long pauses, wonderful massage strokes… I never knew what he was going to do next. He’d lull me into a relaxed state with an extended massage, and then WHACK! he’d snap a strap on me. Sneaky devil! And I loved it.

The scene went on for quite a while — I lost track of time — and when we were done, I was just a pile of mush on that bed. “So, did I make you forget?” he asked. Oh, you betcha. I asked him if he was on FetLife or any other social media, but he said no, he’s very private. So, since he isn’t local, I guess I won’t see him again until next year. *sigh*

When I came back out into the main room, I asked what had happened with Mr. Kicky-Stompy. Several people were upset (so no, it’s not just me!), and someone texted Joe and told him to come back ASAP. When Joe came back, the woman was still sprawled on the carpet, and the man was standing over her, taking off his pants. I do not want to think about what he was about to do. Joe stopped him and said, “I’m sorry, but you really can’t do play like this here. If you like, you can come back after 4:00 a.m. — people tend to do the darker scenes then.” And that was that. Good call. By that hour, the mainstream party has gone to bed and just the die-hards are still up.

I know if I were to talk about this on FetLife, I’d get a ration of noise about it, people telling me I’m narrow-minded and judgmental and non-accepting of other people’s kinks and blah blah blah. But you know, IDGAF. I saw plenty of scenes like this when John and I used to go to dungeon parties… and that’s why I stopped going to dungeon parties and started attending spanking parties. Because I don’t want to see a man kicking the shit out of a woman. Sheesh, draw and quarter me.

Anyway… I had one more delicious scene with Roy, harder than the one on Friday, and we both worked up a sweat, as the bedroom for whatever reason had gotten very warm. I had been waiting for him; he’d come up to me earlier, asking if I wanted to play, and of course I said yes. But then he said, “Give me about a half-hour, okay?” Argh. Figures, while I was waiting for him, two people asked me to play, including John Osborne of Triple A Spanking. I felt so lame, saying I was waiting for someone to come back and play, but it was the truth. I told John, “If he doesn’t come back, I’m all yours!” But then he did come back. Sorry, John, if you’re reading this! Next time!

And finally… how do I end my party weekends, kids? With a flogging from Fineous. The perfect relaxing, intense ending. As luck would have it, one of the tables in the main room freed up, so we didn’t have to use the hot bedroom. I stripped everything off but my panties, stretched out on the table with a wedge pillow under my hips, and gave myself over to the magical Fineous and his fabulous floggers. It went on and on… I could hear the noise around me, the talk, the laughing, the smacking, but somehow it all blurred and receded, and all I could do was feel. I was so relaxed, my arms were dangling limply off the table sides. After the flogging, he continued with a full-body massage, neck to toes, and ladies and gentlemen, I was done. I was in LaLaLand, blissed out, happy, blood thrumming and fizzing, feeling great. Perfection.

I was looking for John, but couldn’t find him. Someone said, “I think he’s in the bedroom,” so I walked in, and what did I see? John on the bed, with Joe’s utterly adorable girlfriend AyleeInTheory (Fet name) across his lap. John never plays at these parties… but apparently she asked him. And this girl is tough — she self-identifies as a masochist and she plays hard, even though she’s a little bitty thing. So she could take John’s heavy hand. I was delighted to see this. πŸ™‚ I like to see John having fun, and I knew it tickled him that this cutie-pie approached him for a scene. He’s actually an excellent spanker, but he never shows off his prowess at these events, preferring to talk and let me do the playing.

And then it was time to go. We had to get up at 7:00 a.m., just a few short hours from now. So, reluctantly, we went around saying our goodbyes, collecting hugs, then went back to our room and tumbled into bed around 4:00.

We were checked out and on the road by 8:00. Made one stop in Baker, and then pushed through all the way home. There was traffic, so it took us about five hours, but we made it without any mishap (and no, we didn’t blow a tire). Good news — when I brought the car back the next day, I told the manager about the warning light and the hassle trying to find a Pep Boys to no avail because of incorrect directions, the stress, etc. She was apologetic and very nice, taking 20% off the bill. Good customer relations!

So goes another Shadow Lane. It came and went too quickly. But it was a fun, pretty much drama-free party. I got to play quite a bit. John had a great time too. Neither one of us got sick. There were several people I really missed seeing, but I did my best to focus on who was there, not who wasn’t. I wish I could see these people more than twice a year. Maybe when John or I win the lottery, we’ll travel to every party. πŸ™‚ In the meantime, I appreciate the good times we get to have, and our friends. To everyone who hugged me, talked to me, played with me, made me laugh… Alex Maddy Adriana T&S Jai Scott Jen Michael Kevin Mark Katy Kate Stephen Kelley Loren Pat Samantha Sarah John etc. etc. etc…. I love you guys. Sorry I can’t mention each and every one of you, but you know who you are. See you next time.

(whew) Have a great weekend, y’all.

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