Me: “Vista, maybe you should go put your pyjamas on.”
Me: “Let me rephrase that. Vista, go put your pyjamas on.”
Vista: “NO! I’m going to stay nudie FOREVER!”
Me: “You can do that when you turn 18 and move to a nudist colony. While you live under this roof, you will have to wear clothes.”
Vista: “I don’t care. I want to be nudie!”
Me: “It’s not summer anymore. It’s cold at night. Go put your pyjamas on…. NOW.”
Vista: “Well this sucks!”
a) I can’t believe I have to have these conversations with my five year old.
b) I’m starting to sound more and more like my parents. Kill me now.
c) Clothes are highly over-rated, but I’ll never tell her that.
Conversations in our house are never normal. Sometimes they’re weird. Sometimes they’re scary. Sometimes they’re borderline psychotic. Kinda like me.
*standing in the kitchen talking to Bil while I fill a glass with ice*
Me: “Do I ever scare you? I mean, do you ever worry that one day you’re going to come home to find I’ve finally totally and completely lost it?”
Bil: “There’s an ice pick in the drawer over there….”
Me: “Right. Okay then.”
Bil: “God… another damn email with Microsoft trying to convince the world how awesome SharePoint is.”
Me: “Isn’t it awesome?”
Bil: “Have you read my blog and twitter stream??”
Me: “Well…why do you specialize in it, then?”
Bil: “You can still specialize in something if it sucks.”
Me: “Good point. I want to specialize in something that sucks too…. What sucks?”
Bil: “Pauly Shore?”
Me: “Perfect. Going to watch Encino Man now.”
*Vista’s playing with her toys and she has Little People horse. She’s making neighing sounds that are progressively getting louder and angrier sounding*
Me: “Vista, it sounds like you have a very disagreable horse there. Maybe he needs to be put down.”
Bil: “I wonder if they make the Fisher Price Glue Factory? *in his best announcer voice* Now with real glue sounds!”
Me: “I meant she had to put the toy down, not kill the horse…”
So, yeah… if anyone can recommend a good therapist…
There are conversations you should never have to have with a friend.
“If something happens to me… if he does something to me… will you post it on my blog so people know?”
It’s a post I never want to write. But it’s drafted in my head, just in case. And that ‘just in case’ makes me ill.
Your life is like a time bomb.
“He’s never hit me…” … yet.
“He’s never hurt the kids…” … yet.
His rage is slowly simmering, though. And one day just controlling your every move won’t be enough.
One day beating you down, emotionally, verbally, won’t be enough.
I hate this for you.
I hate that you’re trapped in this once happy life.
Right now, I want it to all go away for you.
Right now, I want you safe.
Right now, I want him out of your life.
But right now I sit waiting for the call that will make me open your blog and write the post that I never want to write.
The call that will shatter my heart into a million pieces.
The call that will make me hunt him down and hurt him as he’s hurt you.
And I wait.
And I hope.
But mostly I hurt for where you are in your life… right now.
Domestic Abuse takes many shapes and forms. It doesn’t have to be physical violence. Isolation, manipulation, control, and psychological intimidation are all forms of abuse.
If you’re a victim of domestic abuse, you’re not alone. There is help.
Bil walked in the door Thursday after work, and hadn’t even put his laptop bag down before he was standing in front of me asking,
“How do you feel about values?”
I ran through the possible meanings in my head.
Values in an Excel cell? No… I use Excel way more than he does. And he doesn’t even know how to do pivot tables. Amateur.
HTML values? No… probably not.
“Is this something to do with SharePoint and a database?”
I get an eyeroll as a response.
“No! I mean relationship values”
Me: *blank look*
Him: “So, what do you think about values?”
Me: *still blank look*
Conversations like these are the joys of having a husband who is not only a geek but is on the Asperger’s spectrum.
It’s wildly enlightening and mildly infuriating at the same time.
Bil: “So I was listening to one of Hanselman’s podcasts… ”
Translation: Scott Hanselman: highly respected ubergeek. Podcast: Like a recorded radio show for the computer
“…and he was talking about relationships and creating a mission statement…”
Me: “Wait… what? Why was Hanselman talking about relationships????”
Translation: Geeks giving other geeks relationship advice? Oh this ought to be good.
Bil: “Well, he had his wife on the show and they were talking about what made their relationship work and they created this mission statement for their marriage…”
Me: “Is she a project manager?”
Me: “Is she a project manager? Or is he? One of them has to be a project manager.”
Bil: “Why would one of them have to be a project manager??” *getting exasperated*
Me: “Dude. Seriously? ‘Mission Statement’? That is classic project management speak. You don’t create a mission statement for a relationship, you create it for a project.”
Bil: “Well they created one for their relationship, OK…”
Me: “Do they use a gantt chart to assign tasks and stuff?”
Bil: *blank look*
Well, after a conversation like that I couldn’t help but listen to the podcast myself.
It’s an interesting premise, treating a relationship more like a project and less like something that just… well… is.
Scott and his wife Mo did indeed create a mission statement for their marriage.
“Have a drama-free marriage”
I really can’t argue with that.
Seems like a fair goal to work towards in any relationship.
But they’ve incorporated other aspects of project management into their relationship.
- Budgeting - Each person has a cash allowance for the month. There is no answering to the other person for how you spend this money. It’s at your discretion. But you have to budget your money wisely. If you blow it all at the beginning of the month, too bad – so sad. This money is only to be used for ‘fun’ stuff. Monthly expenses come out of a shared account.
- Scheduling time off – each week one of them gets an evening to themselves. This is not a date night. This is time to get out of the house, by yourself, and recharge, while your spouse watches the kids. It’s scheduled, it’s guilt free, and did I mention you get out of the house without the kids?
- Teamwork – this means presenting a united front to the kids and not letting them play the “well mommy said I could” game.
- Transparency - this aspect is especially important for trust in a relationship. They share passwords. The theory being, if you have nothing to hide, then, really, what’s the issue?
I will admit to rolling my eyes at first at the idea of creating a structured framework for your relationship to run on.
But really? Everything they talk about is (or should be) common sense.
And I wonder if adding more structure would make us more aware of the work that needs to go into a relationship to keep it running smoothly and less likely to take it all for granted.
Would you want to add more defined expectations to your marriage? What would make your relationship run smoother?
Part 2 of this series was originally going to delve into some of the conversations and discussion Bil and I had after Mr. O revealed his alternate marriage and lifestyle choices that I detailed in Part 1.
That was until I started getting question after question via DM, email, and a few in the comments about “BDSM?? Isn’t it just a way for a man to abuse his partner?” and “What about a woman’s point of view?”.
After squirming for a bit on how I was going to answer those, the gorgeous Cat, Mommy Geekology, swooped in and saved me. I owe her some really kinky sex, or maybe just a drink, when we meet up.
Cat and her husband, A, are in a closed marriage (they only play with each other… right now).
Because you all know how nosy I am, I forced asked Cat really nicely to answer some questions about her lifestyle.
As you did with Mr. O, all I ask is that you keep an open mind regardless of your own preferences. And then talk about it. If you have questions, ask them. If you need more information, let us know.
Without further ado, the stunningly sexy Cat, aka Mommy Geekology:
How long have you and your husband been married?
We’ve been married almost 5 years (our anniversary is January 26th), and that’s about as long as we’ve known each other. We got married about 6 months after we met. When it’s right, it’s right.
Did you explore BDSM before you were married (ie, is this something you just started exploring with your husband, or is it something you were into before)?
I was interested in BDSM before we married, before we met – but I hadn’t really explored it much with other partners. A was the first man I felt comfortable discussing it with.. and even so, I still sometimes shy away from telling him what I really want.
Who initiated the play in your marriage (ie. how did you have the conversation around wanting BDSM in your marriage)?
I initiated, and I was incredibly nervous about it. I think I’ve completely blocked the conversation from my mind from the trauma of it all, but A tells me that I was sitting at the computer in his tiny Air Force dorm room and said out of the blue – “I think you should tie me up and have sex with me.” I’m incredibly subtle. Luckily he was also excited by that idea, and we started to experiment.
You’re obviously not afraid to talk about your play, but is it something that’s widely know in your circle of friends / family.
My mom *thinks* she knows because she saw a ball gag in our closet one day. She has no idea the extent, though. My friends do know, to some extent. There are a few that I’ve discussed my likes and dislikes in details, but mostly I’ve just touched lightly on my kink preferences. I’ve even made reference to it in my blog. (I was really surprised how many kinky commenters I had!)
What is your role in your BDSM play? Do you (or would you ever want to) switch?
I’m a sub. I wouldn’t want to switch, male subs are not at all attractive to me. I’m bi-sexual, so I could possibly see acting the role of Dom to a female sub, but I think it’s unlikely. I enjoy subbing too much. A lot of people mistake the power in a sub. It’s a very powerful thing to give someone else complete control over your body. There’s a lot of trust there. It’s a choice I make, and there’s a power in that choice.
Further to that, is that a role that continues outside of the bedroom?
Absolutely not. I’m a real Type-A personality, and A is a little more laid back. I think part of the reason that we enjoy BDSM play so much is that it allows us to be the opposite of who we are in “real life” – I get a chance to let someone else make the decisions, and he gets a chance to have absolute power (within reason).
Do you refer to your husband as Sir or Master inside or outside the bedroom and why / why not?
Inside the bedroom, yes. I switch between both, though often I don’t use any sort of honorific. Typically because I’m gagged – that’s a major turn on for me. Probably because I’m such a talker outside of the bedroom. (Oh, Hai! I’m a blogger! Narcissism, anyone?) Outside of the bedroom, absolutely not. Never. No fucking way. Ok let me modify that. If we were playing a scene that included some public aspects – then yes. We’ve discussed going to dinner in our “roles” and then retreating to a hotel for a night of mind-blowing sex. I plan to wear a remote control vibrating thong. RAWR. As for why or why not… we don’t follow a 24/7 lifestyle – there are those who do it, and honestly more power to them… but I couldn’t. I have a completely separate part of myself – my “real life’ self – that needs to get out and live. I couldn’t stifle that in favor of a 24/7 submissive lifestyle.
Are there any rules that your husband has for you that you are required to follow?
Not yet – but I’ve been wanting to ask him about this, because I definitely would like some bedroom-only “rules” to follow.
Do you have an ‘ownership’ charm / bracelet / collar / cuffs that you wear? If so, how do you feel about this?
I don’t, but I would like something discrete. Not a collar, but maybe a bracelet or anklet. I think it’s sort of similar to a tattoo – though less permanent – just a symbolization of one part of me. A part of me that I refuse to be ashamed about.
Can you speak to concerns of abuse or control in BDSM relationships?
One of the most important concepts in BDSM play is “consensual” play – the concept that we are all consenting adults who are fully aware of and responsible for our actions. I personally would never play or scene with someone that I didn’t trust with my life. Giving that sort of power – the power to immobilize me – is not something to be given lightly or without great consideration. If someone was considering playing with BDSM I’d tell them to start light. Find someone you trust. Don’t just meet someone online or head to your local leather club, because you never know when something can go wrong. Make sure your safe word/gesture is communicated clearly and multiple times, and make sure that the person(s) you are scening with will respect those words. If you have a doubt, don’t start. Make sure someone knows where you are and who you’re with.
I’m sure there are couples or individuals out there participating in a BDSM relationship that went sour – has transitioned from play into abuse or was abuse from the start. It makes me sick to think about, honestly. At that point, it’s not BDSM anymore. It’s just abuse. The best advice is to ensure that you trust who you’re with from the start. If things go sour, or you misjudged, get out. There are plenty of domestic violence advocates out there, and yes – that’s what it is if your partner is abusing you during sex. Reach out and get help.
What’s your favorite thing about having a marriage where BDSM play is involved?
I love the opportunity to completely immerse myself in the scene. The chance to be someone that I can’t be during the day. Within the context of the scene there are a lot of things I feel more comfortable saying or doing… things I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing or saying during “vanilla” sex. It’s a chance for release, and a chance to relax, really.
How do you find / make time to do scenes with your husband?
We love to get a hotel room but that’s usually not an option. When we get a home, we plan to have a separate room – locked, possibly hidden – just for scenes, but for now we manage wherever we can, once the kids are safely asleep. That usually means staying up late, but it’s worth it.
You mentioned in your comment on my first post that you would consider bringing people into play. What sort of rules do you think would be important to make something like that a success?
Complete honesty and agreement between the two of us. It would have to be a female, and probably a sub, though we’d consider a Dom. It would have to be someone we know well and trust… I could never grab a stranger from a club or off Craigslist. Most importantly though, I think it would be a long discussion. We’d consider over a few days, if not weeks – not a few hours. We’d likely have a discussion with that third individual to ensure that expectations are managed well and everyone is on the same page. It would be worth the time to prevent any possible negative fallout from assumptions, misplaced emotion or anything else.
If your husband came to you and wanted to open the marriage and play with someone else, would you consider it?
A would likely never come to me with it – it’s not something he’s interested in, and honestly not something I think I’m interested in. We enjoy BDSM together – I don’t trust anyone else enough to play or scene with them, and he doesn’t either. I’m not sure if it’s the stage of our relationship or simply the way our love works, but I don’t think we could do it without jealousy coming into play and souring the experience and likely our marriage.
Do you think there will ever be a time where you’ll grow tired of the BDSM play?
I doubt it. I’ve enjoyed the sensations of BDSM play, the thought of it, since I was about 8. No, I didn’t have a partner or even know what it was – I was a virgin until 19 – but I used to get incredibly squirmy reading Nancy Drew books when she was captured by the bad guys, or those cartoons with the damsel in distress on the train tracks. I knew something was up long before I admitted it to myself.
Do you think that continued BDSM play forces people to further extremes (ie. the more you push boundaries, the more you have to push them for the experience)?
This is a tough question. Personally, I don’t think so. I think your limits – your ultimate limits – are your limits. I don’t consider BDSM a sort of gateway sexual experience that leads to more “depraved” acts or extreme sexual preferences. If you enjoy asphyxiation, I think you’re going to get to it eventually under the right circumstances, no matter what you try first. It’s not a drug, and I don’t think you build up a “tolerance”. We all like to spice things up once in a while – just like any couple. Vanilla sex doesn’t push people to further extremes – so I don’t see why BDSM would either.
I want to give huge props to Cat for willing to talk to us so openly about something so personal. Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into your life.
This post has been written and rewritten about a dozen times in the past week as I tried to figure out what I wanted it to say and how the hell I was going to manage that.
Most of my posts tend to write themselves. I sit down, I write, and when I feel I’m done, I stop. They may not always flow or be eloquent, but they get the point across.
This one? Not so much.
I think the reason I’ve struggled with this so much, is two fold.
First, we live in an age where different still so often equals bad. People love to be judgmental about anything or anyone who doesn’t conform to their idea of norm. And, as many of my posts do, this one talks about things outside the norm.
Secondly, I have a lot to say on this subject. I suspect this will probably end up getting broken out into a series of posts exploring the different sides of this topic.
What topic, you ask?
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen this one evening:
I got a barrage of “Does his wife know that?” comments that made me laugh.
But it also made me stop and think. And I realized… damn…. that was pretty judgmental of me. It forced me to really step back and examine why that was my initial reaction. It also prompted several very deep conversations with Bil about relationships and elemental human nature.
This friend of mine and his wife have chosen (and yes, it is a mutual decision) a lifestyle that is not the norm. And perhaps that’s why I was taken aback at first.
But I soon realized that, under the surface, the relationship Bil and I have isn’t the norm either.
So what is the norm? And even though it may be the norm, is it really the best choice for everyone involved?
I had the opportunity to go for coffee with this friend and he was gracious enough to let me quiz him about his lifestyle. Not just the open marriage part, but the other part of playing they explore (that means BDSM for the uninitiated). And by quiz, I mean sit and grill him for three hours about every aspect of his life to try and understand the motivation behind it. He also agreed to let me share some of what we discussed.
So, I would ask that you keep an open mind when reading the next few posts I write before rushing to condemn. I know some of the things I will write about cover a lifestyle most people don’t understand or choose. But that is exactly why I’m choosing to write about it. To see if my readers can suspend judgment in favor of greater understanding and just perhaps opening themselves to options they’ve never considered before.
Vista: “Ummmm… black?”
Me: “Actually this is green. It’s called olive. Can you say olive?”
Me: “No… allllll-live. Olive. The O is a ‘awe’ sound. You try. Olive.”
Me: “Are you trying to tell me something? You’re a little young to tell mommy how to dress considering you still can’t dress yourself.”