A Late #AtoZChallenge Post – S, T, U…

Well, here it is … um … Thursday? and I have apparently fucked-off on a lotta letters. Reasons, reasons, I had reasons. Though I’m having a hard time thinking of them right now. So I am just going to throw myself back in the game and give ya’ll (and me) a round-up of the letters I’ve missed.

S and T is for Sex and Toys

As in – “sex toys.” Cuz I’m sure you didn’t catch that, right?  Anywhooo…

A long (long) time ago (and no I am not gonna ‘fess up to how long) I thought and felt many wrong things about sex toys. I was not as “woke” to them, or to my – or others’ – sexuality then, and didn’t understand them as anything other than a “crutch” for someone that couldn’t have sex the “normal” way; or whose lover couldn’t or wouldn’t give them pleasure. A lover would only use a sex toy on his (I hadn’t even broadened my mind to include anything other than m/f) lover unless he wasn’t any good at it, right? In those days, it never occurred to me that I might want to pleasure myself. That I might want to experiment with various kinds of toys, various ways to bring myself pleasure. And the idea of either men using toys for themselves or – unimaginable – me using toys on them? Again, unimaginable to me. I didn’t even know toys existed for men, or for women to use with/for/on men. (Yeah, that’s how long ago. Before the internets brought us all the wonder that is all-the-knowledge, all-the-time.)

In point of fact, I didn’t use my first sex toy until the advent of kink in my marriage – I was about … 32? … years old. I hadn’t even considered them before then. And that’s probably inaccurate phrasing. I still didn’t use a sex toy on myself for a couple years after that. It wasn’t until I had sex with a woman that I actually thought about using sex toys myself. And it was even longer before I considered using sex toys on/with a man. That, in fact, was a very recent discovery.

I am super grateful that the Dark Ages are over. I’m super grateful that kink came into my sex life and introduced my ex to the notion of using sex toys as tools in power play, so that eventually, finally, I would discover using them for my own pleasure. And I am grateful that my own sex education has expanded to include sex toys for men, and that my mind has broadened enough to include using them without feeling something was “wrong” with me (or my lover(s)) for using/wanting to use them. Sex toys have opened up an entirely new world of pleasure to me, and empowered me with my own pleasure – as well as other ways to pleasure my lover(s).

U is for Uncertain

I struggled with a U word all day today. I just couldn’t find one that gave me anything to feel grateful about. And, technically speaking, “uncertainty” isn’t something I have gratitude about. But —

Feeling uncertain – and still going through with whatever it is that I am feeling uncertain about? Huh. Yeah. That I can feel gratitude – to myself – for.

I’ve mentioned before that I have lots of social anxiety. Many times I have made plans and cancelled them, because just before I am supposed to do those things, insecurity and anxiety strikes, and I just can’t make myself do it, whatever “it” is. I have been teaching myself to recognize when it is social anxiety, and when it is my introversion kicking in. Social anxiety is something to overcome; introversion is not. Self-care means recognizing the difference and treating each state appropriately: push myself thru the anxiety, recognizing that the anxiety is lying to me about the scariness of the situation; accepting the needs of my introvert and caring for myself in whatever way is best for her (sometimes pushing, sometimes giving her the seclusion she needs.) It’s a tricky dance, and every time I “do the right thing” (meaning, after, I feel good about whichever way it fell) I count it a victory. So. “Uncertainty.” Feeling uncertain and still…still doing it.

The thing that got me thinking about that, and deciding to use it as my word, was my drive over here, to the kink event I am at this weekend. There were a whole lot of factors that led to me feeling a lot of uncertainty as I drove over.

  • I made the hotel room for three nights, giving myself an extra night alone here at the hotel, before the event starts. It was a very deliberate decision: I have found that I really enjoy a little “staycation” alone at a hotel here and there. I’m not sure what happy buttons it hits (and, as evidenced by my last trip, doesn’t *always* work out that way) but I decided I wanted to explore that space again, so went for it. However, I had originally planned it without knowing that I would be handicapped – literally – by the restrictions placed on my movement after the surgery, and had planned activities for myself based on not having them. But now, here I am, stuck, with a decided lack of mobility, all alone.
  • Due to timing and when everyone else was going to arrive, I ended up driving over by myself. If you know anything about the interchange of highways in and around St. Louis and East St. Louis (the event is in Illinois) then you know the spaghetti tangle that is the freeway system here. It is confusing (even with the lady talking to me from the phone) and I have never made the drive alone, much less at rush hour. In fact, I have never gone to this event, driven myself, and arrived, alone.
    God I feel like a fucking baby, whining about this. I have driven alone, back and forth across the states from East Coast to West, numerous times. And back and forth from the Gulf to the Smokies and beyond, not to mention everywhere in between here in the Midwest. So what the fuck is wrong with me today? This 40 mile drive from home. Suddenly it is a big deal, and my heart is hammering in my chest and I am asking myself, why why why do I do this to myself??? Today, crossing that bridge, looking out over the Mississippi and seeing all the barges, all the machinery jutting out of the muddy waters, all that long, curving stretch of river and mud and shoreline and industry… I felt really alone. I felt afraid. And…abandoned. That’s what it really was, wasn’t it? But why?I wasn’t. No one had abandoned me. I was doing what I wanted to do. But neither Adam or Viper were there, or had offered to be there. Neither was beside me or even on the phone with me while I drove (I had expected V to be because he usually calls me during that time.) But he hadn’t been, and I took that drive alone and all of my insecurities and fears and anxieties rose up to bite me in the ass.

    It is an endlessly complex mish-mash of feelings that I struggle with, as I navigate my life, knowing I am, first and foremost, alone. That I am not first in anyone’s world, except mine – and even that is questionable.

So. In spite of all that silly angsting (which I am going to give myself a pass on and not beat myself up for, because…hell, we’re all human and I get to be a baby sometimes) I am here, in my room, by myself, and…I’m okay. In spite of myself. In spite of all the uncertainty. I’m okay. And I am grateful for that – and to myself for persevering. For doing what needs doing to end up on this side of that fear.

 

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