Wine and Poi

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It’s been a busy week–a lot of stuff going on! i’ve been having fun with some new (vanilla) classes which will enhance my service in our D/s.

i started my wine class last night. As i mentioned in Wine Service, Maximus would love for me to become a sommelier, but i’m not so sure about this. As a compromise, i enrolled in an adult education course at a local college that has the sommelier and winemaking academy for western Washington. Last night was the first of three nights and it was superb! i went with RunnerGirl, as i had enrolled her in the course as a Christmas gift to her.

So here are some things i learned:

Vintage is the year the grapes were harvested, not the year the wine was produced.

Where the grapes were grown is the most important aspect of wine. It is called terroir and is the environment of the site (soil, topography, climate, etc.) that affects the quality of the grape.

The 3 most important things about wine:

  • Terroir
  • Quality of the grape
  • Knowledge of the winemaker

Crystals in wine are tasteless tartrates (potassium) that come partly from yeast. Old World (European) winemakers leave it in because they believe it is part of the winemaking process, New World (US) winemakers generally remove it by a process called stabilizing. To stabilize, the wine is held in stainless steel vats and held at 32 degrees for one month. The tartrates settle to the bottom and the wine is pulled off. The potassium is generally sold to produce cream of tartar.

Don’t buy wine by price! Sometimes its due to how much the winemaker had to pay for the grapes–two bottles of different prices can be just due to a winemaker having to pay more for the same exact grapes!

Tasting Wine

First, swirl the wine in your glass to get oxygen into the wine. Swirling increases the surface area.

  1. Swirl the wine in your mouth
  2. Bring in air (oxygen) into your mouth
  3. Spit or swallow
  4. Inhale through your mouth and exhale through your nose in order to oxygenate the wine that is coating your mouth, enhancing the taste

Everyone tastes wine differently due to differences in their saliva! There is no right or wrong taste–the differences are DNA!

Information on Wine Labels

Varietal–if it lists a single varietal, the wine must be at least 75% of that varietal. The other 25% can be any other of the 10,000 varietals in the world. Why add other varietals? To make a better quality wine.

AVA (American Viticultural Area)–to list a wine as from a specific AVA, 85% of the grapes must be from that listed AVA. Note, oftentimes labels will list locations similar to, but not quite exactly, the AVA name to make it appear that it was produced from grapes from an AVA (Walla Walla Walla Walla County). Washington has 14 AVAs. This is called AOC in France and DOCG in Italy.

Vineyard–listed if 95% of grapes come from that vineyard.

Vintage–95% of the grapes must be of that year.

The wine label must include:

  • Whether the wine is white or red
  • Origin
  • Alcohol content
  • Sulfited or not
  • Government warning
  • Winery contact info
  • Importer, if imported

The rest of the stuff on the label is just marketing!

Terms on Labels

Reserve–not a legal term in the US. Used to be that wineries had a gentleman’s agreement that they only labeled the top 10% of their wines as reserve. However, some realized they could charge more for reserve-labeled wine and started labeling everything that. It doesn’t mean anything anymore. Note, reserva on Spanish wines is different and does mean something–more on this next week.

Estate–is a grey area. They can either own the vineyard or have a long-term contract with a specific grower and call it estate wine. Many wineries stay away from this term.

Meritage–Really means that the winery belongs to the Meritage Society and that the wine is produced with Bordeaux varietals (semillon, cabernet  sauvignon, cabernet franc, mourvèdre, etc). $1 of each case sold goes to the Meritage Society.

Sulfites–are a natural byproduct of winemaking and every bottle of wine in the world contains sulfites! It is necessary to preserve the wine. Sometimes sulfites are added because there’s not enough naturally in it to preserve it and thus the label will say, “sulfites added” vs. “no sulfites added.”

Even if a bottle doesn’t say whether there are sulfites or not, it still has sulfites. If a bottle is not sold out of state, it does not have to list whether there are sulfites or not as the sulfite labeling is a requirement of interstate commerce.

California is the only state that can label “sulfite not detected” and only from certified, organic, special wineries.

Varietals

We tasted four wines: a Washington viognier, French riesling, Italian Chianti Classico, Merlot from the wine academy.

Viognier

  • A varietal that was almost forgotten 20 years ago. Was often used as a blend in red wines.
  • Grows very well in Washington and southern France! Didn’t do well in New Zealand or Australia, who started trying to grow it 20 years ago. Not good from California.
  • Grape needs constant attention, starting in January when still covered with snow and ice, until after harvest, thus making it expensive to grow
  • Have a pronounced stone fruit, tropical fruit flavor, very herbal nose (chamomile, lavender, pine)
  • Because expensive to grow, tends to be more expensive to buy, approx. $25/bottle. Generally, $10-20 bottles are not good, so don’t buy them.

Riesling

  • Instructor does not like German rieslings, he grew up in middle of German riesling area and these are his impressions
  • Cheap wine, shouldn’t cost more than 50-cents a bottle! Factory-made, mass-produced
  • Grows fast and huge, 1 acre riesling yields 8 tons while 1 acre other varietals yields 1 ton.
  • Terrior makes all the difference in French Riesling over German Riesling
  • Have wet-stone, flower petal flavor, gasoline nose.

Chianti Classico

  • Chianti Classico is the AVA, what you want to buy
  • Made from sangiovese, can be any amount
  • Do not age chianti
  • Typically ruby red, taste of violets, cherries, hint of earthy spice.

Merlot

We didn’t have info on this other than tasting this specific wine.

We do have homework (yay!) where we have to taste three wines and be able to share our tasting with the class in regards to:

  • Grape Variety/Blend/Name
  • Winery
  • Vintage
  • Vineyard
  • Region (AVA, DOC, etc)
  • Country
  • Sight
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Comment

The instructor suggested checking out the Washington State Wine Commission‘s website for more great info.

Next week we will spend more time on French, Italian, and Spanish wines. The last week will be all about serving, storing, etc.

 

Poi Spinning

The other thing i tried out this week was poi spinning as my itty, bitty town opened up a dance studio with a poi spinning instructor! What is poi spinning? It is a dance/performance originating from the Maori women in New Zealand where they spin/twirl balls on tethers. You may have seen fire poi spinning, where the balls are on fire, which came into popularity from Burning Man.

We learned with poi that were basically tennis balls in long socks! It was harder than it looks but so much fun! i’ve actually signed up for a six week course to learn more and plan to buy LED lighted poi. It will be so much fun to have these to do in yard during the summer or even on the beach at Desire! I’m pretty sure i’m not ever going to get into fire poi–i see disaster and injury written all over that!!

Here’s an example of LED poi spinning:

 

Categories: BDSM, D/s, dancing, Poi spinning, wine | Tags: | Leave a comment

Shibari for Lovers and A Black Tie Affair

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Yesterday was just a magnificent day! We went to two events that were spectacular in their own ways.

The first event was Shibari for Lovers, presented by Seattle Shibari and the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture. It was a small group, limited to eight couples, making it very intimate and gave us a lot of access for personal instruction. The goal of the class was to learn how to make rope play more intimate and connective between the top and bottom, increasing the intensity of the scene. And, wow, did it meet that intention!

While we only learned a few ties:

  • Single colum tie
  • Maete Shibari
  • One-Rope Gote Shibari
  • Hands-free Chest Harness
  • Ebi Shibari (Prawn Tie)

we came away with a new way to connect with each other through rope, and an understanding that a rope scene can be so much more than just tying someone up (or being tied up). Varying the speed, positioning of the top and bottom, timing movement with breath, eye contact, and more, were ways we learned to increase intensity in our play. It was very similar to what we learned in Midori‘s Exquisite Whip class.

Something that came up in Midori’s class and this one was setting an intention for the scene during negotiation. Since we are 24/7 D/s and have a negotiated BDSM checklist, we really have never negotiated our scenes with each other, only play with others. We both felt that everything had been pre-negotiated and we didn’t have to do that step. But we’ve learned that negotiating the intention of a scene can make a HUGE difference in connection and fulfillment for both the top and the bottom. Asking, “What do you want to get out of a scene today” or explaining what you would want to feel with a scene and discussing whether that fits with the other person, negotiating, and getting enthusiastic consent is crucial for moving a scene from good to phenomenal. Perhaps the top wants to have a scene of control and aggression but the bottom is looking for something playful and fun–this mismatch, if not communicated and used to adjust the scene can take away from the outcome. We’ve never done this! But we can see how it can take our scenes to a new level and we will be implementing this from now on.

Note, it doesn’t take away from the mystery of the scene. Maximus does not have to describe step-by-step what He is going to do, just the intention of the scene. And it does not mean i cannot request certain activities or ask that some things not be included–if my nipples are sore and i don’t want to have nipple torture done in the scene, i can communicate that to Maximus. For us, we have negotiated our kink activities and unless i communicate my non-consent for any of them, they would be on board (that’s our agreement)–it would be different if we were playing with others, the negotiation would include what activities we’d be interested in or not wanting to do/have done. But what it does is get us in the same mindset and connect us more emotionally. We love that!

There was so much energy exchanged between us during the application parts of the class in micro-scenes that by the end of the class, Maximus was dopey and i was spent! It was just a delicious class.

Maximus and i had signed up for this class as part of a package from the FSPC called “Bondage Lovers’ Delight: Day and Evening of Delights.” It included the Shibari for Lovers class, a limited edition custom Monk Sak with rope from the Twisted Monk, and admission for two to the Black Tie Affair that night.monk-sak_2

We received our Monk Sak at the class and it is beautiful (it’s the image at the top of this post)! Twisted Monk screenprinted them with the CSPC/FSPC logo and filled them with hemp rope, safety shears, and DVD of his rope videos. We learned last night that our saks were one of a half-dozen of these custom designed and we are honored to have one. It will be so nice to have a space to set out our rope and supplies during events.

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We headed home for a couple of hours for a nap and decompression after the class before getting ready to head to the Black Tie Affair. This event, held by the Art Activist Society, was a benefit party for the 15th annual Seattle Erotic Art Festival. We had never been before and had no idea what to expect. The tickets said to dress to impress in your version of formal, fetish-wear and included a bondage theme. Maximus wore his tux with vest and jacket, colorful socks, and His Michael Toschi black leather shoes with red stitching to match my outfit. i wore a floor-length, off-shoulder, long-sleeved sheer black lace dress with red panties, black and red below-breast corset, my black vinyl boots with red ribbon side lacing, and my collar. Having not been before, i was concerned that being able to see my bare breasts through the sheer lace above my corset would be a problem, so i wore the black lace and leopard print silk and cashmere shawl Maximus bought for me in Las Vegas a few years ago so i could cover myself up, if necessary (turns out it was not necessary at all!). We both felt elegant and sexy! We tried to get a selfie before we left the house, but the selfie-stick wasn’t cooperating and we bagged it to prevent being late!

The party was held at artist Steve Jensen‘s studio in Capital Hill. His art is amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed talking with him and learning all about the inspiration to his art. Twisted Monk had an interactive art piece he’d custom made for the event, which he explained beautifully to us one-on-one. It consisted of a person tied in an apparatus with ropes over pulleys from which hung buckets with labels such as Passion, Inspiration, things that cause us to support things such as art; and we were all asked to select gold rocks, which represented what we have to give things that are important to us, and put the rock in the bucket that matched our personal cause. When you put a rock in a bucket, it pulled on the rope of the person tied in the apparatus and moved their position! Photos of the art selected for April’s Erotic Art Festival were shown on the wall of the gallery for pre-purchase.

Then, as if it wasn’t fantastic enough, Steve and his partner, black-tie-affair_1Vincent, invited all the guests upstairs to their personal home for the rest of the party! Their space is gorgeous and full of art from Steve, himself, and other notable artists from all over the world. And we got a personal tour of their naughty room, a space full of erotic art ranging from ancient dildos to modern erotica! We were delighted with performances by performance poet Imani Sims, musician Michaud Savage, and burlesque (boylesque) performer Waxie Moon (pictured to the right). Honestly, they were just amazing and wonderful people to meet and get to know. We also were honored to see Miss Indigo Blue of the Academy of Burlesque honored as the 2016 Master of Erotic Art inductee.

We met amazing people and had a wonderful time! We can’t wait for the Seattle Erotic Art Festival and look forward to attending this benefit for years to come! It was truly an honor to attend.

Categories: BDSM, BDSM classes, BDSM list, Center for Sex Positive Culture, Foundation for Sex Positive Culture, rope bondage, Seattle Erotic Art Festival, Seattle Shibari | Tags: | Leave a comment

Sexual Savings Account

sex-savings-acct

Maximus sent this to me the other day and asked me to determine what we had in our sex bank…

So we’ve done all of that, for total deposits of $13,400.

Now if we could only really have gotten paid for doing that…imagine what i could do with $13,400!

Categories: 24/7, BDSM, Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

Ginger Lube

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i can’t remember where Maximus came across it years ago, but He forwarded me an article about figging, using fresh ginger in your sex play. You take a finger of ginger, peel off the outer skin, shape it into a dildo or butt plug shape, dip it into cold water and insert it into the orifice of choice (making sure it is sturdy as not to break off and with a wide enough base as not to slip inside and disappear!).

We lived separately at the time, 180 miles apart, so Maximus instructed me to follow the directions and fig myself. So i did. And i LOVED it! Ginger on my clit, pussy, and ass gives a warm-to-hot sensation much like the warm-to-hot feeling i get when those areas have been directly spanked or flogged. It’s like the rush of blood and tingling after-effect of being spanked and it stays for quite awhile, as it does after the spankings end. And as i love that sensation of having my clit, pussy, and ass spanked, i love the sensation ginger gives me.

i’d not given figging much thought for a while until we were at the Desire trip with Life on the Swingset last year. There was a lot of giggling, squealing, and teasing about figging that came up during a conversation with a couple who was interested in BDSM. i remember responding, “Oooooh, i LOVE figging!” and seeing shocked looks and discussions that it was so painful. It’s not painful for me, its wonderful.

So i decided to do some more research and experimenting when we got home. i have not been able to find the article Maximus sent me, but i did find other articles about it, which i’ll include at the end. i considered that maybe the ginger i’d used in the past was old and not as potent. i tried fresh ginger from the market and it had the same warming effect. i did some more research to see if there was something missing, and no, seems we were preparing it right.

In my research, i found someone, elims at Kink Lab, who was experimenting with making their own ginger lube. They are waaaayyy more science-y than i am and are making their lube from scratch and including ginger juice. i thought, “i have a juicer…i have lube…hmmmm…”

And today i experimented in making my own ginger lube.

And it was awesome!

i bought new ginger at the store, washed it, left the peel on and ran it through my juicer.

A 3-inch chunk yielded about 1/8 cup of juice, which was more than i expected! If you don’t have a juicer,img_1912i think you could finely grate the ginger and squeeze the pulp in a fine mesh bag, like they use for making nut-based vegetarian milks, or cheese cloth, and collect the juice from it.

Then i combined 1 Tablespoon water-based lube with 1 Tablespoon ginger juice and mixed with a little whisk until well-combined. It looks like snot!img_1913

And then i played with it!

It is great!

i tried it first on my clit. At first, it didn’t seem like anything, but after a few seconds, the warming sensation started and began to build into a nice heat. i used my Hitachi wand on it and that was wonderful!

i put some in my pussy and used my glass dildo, which was delightful! It made my pussy hot and drippy. i put a fingerful in my ass, but i didn’t feel anything, probably because my clit and pussy were so tingly and hot.

Then i slathered a bunch on a butt plug and inserted it in my ass. It was wonderful! i think the compression of the ginger lube between the plug and my ass made all the difference. It was hot and tingly and wonderful.

Each application lasted about 20 minutes.

All in all, a great experience. i’m thinking about trying straight ginger juice next. i don’t think it’ll be much different for sensation, but i think it will be harder to apply to toys as the lube sticks to the surfaces while the juice runs off. But i’m willing to try…for science!

i’m not sure how long it will stay fresh and potent. elims suggests 4 weeks in the refrigerator. I’ll see how that goes.

Here are some more resources on figging:

Figging: The Art of Ginger Root Play

BDSM: Theory and Practice of Figging

Like Ginger? Try Figging

Categories: anal sex, BDSM, butt plug, figging, Life on the Swingset | Tags: | Leave a comment

The Flea

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We both really enjoyed NELA‘s Fetish Fair FleaMarket! We’d been to Kinkfest in Portland several years ago, so had a pretty good idea of what to expect–and it met our expectations (in a good way!).

The event is huge, really. They take over the entire Crowne Plaza complex in Warwick, Rhode Island. Only one couple in our group had a room at the Crowne Plaza, the rest of us stayed a few miles away in another hotel. We would prefer to be in the host hotel next time, as it just would make it easier for access to the vendor areas, storing stuff, a little less running around. There were 14 presentation areas with something going on at all times during the entire weekend. We had made a list of classes we wanted to take, but we ended up only going to four! We had to skip some classes in order to go through the vendor areas and lunch took much, much longer than we had anticipated. But the classes we did go to were terrific:

  • Basic Violet Wands by Lady Shimla
  • Mapping your D/s Archetype by Midori (more on this in another entry)
  • Let’s Talk Hogties by Murphy Blue
  • The Exquisite Whip: Amazing Hand-on Flogging Training by Midori

We didn’t go to the Dungeon parties at the Flea, our friends had private parties lined up for our group, so i cannot comment on what was held at the Crowne Plaza.

While the event was great, it appears that the Flea has really outgrown the space at the Crowne Plaza. Half of the vendor fair is in individual rooms, which are difficult to access due to a crowded hallway and being in hotel rooms–sometimes it was just impossible to get into a vendor room. i like to know at a glance what a vendor has and you can’t do this from the hallway, you have to walk in and see what they have. The entry into the rooms was a real bottleneck due to this. Some classes were held in rooms, too. This really limited the number of people who could attend due to the size of the room, and on Sunday, the elevators were busy with people checking out and we couldn’t get to the class on time (no one could find the stairs!) and we were denied access to a class we really wanted to go to.

We will go back if our friends are planning to go again next year. We will try our darnedest to get a room at the event, plan on eating at the concession area rather than the restaurant in order to save time, and plan time for vendor shopping. It is nice to get a perspective of things on the east coast, see different instructors and vendors we might not see in the Pacific Northwest.

But, the best part was seeing our friends again and spending time with them!

Categories: BDSM, BDSM classes, BDSM Con, Fetish Fair Fleamarket, Midori, Murphy Blue | Tags: | Leave a comment

What a Week!!

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Wow! Maximus and i had an amazing week–it was really hedonistic! Maximus took the whole week off (except one morning of work), which is sooooo rare and a treat for me, we explored together, saw great shows, went to vegan restaurants where we had the complete and rare joy of being able to order ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING off a menu, and spent wonderful times with special friends, being completely ourselves!

As i’d mentioned, several of our D/s friends had encouraged us to join them at the Fetish Fair Fleamarket in Rhode Island, February 17-19, so we bought tickets and made plans for that, which was exciting enough! But, we managed to get tickets to Hamilton in New York City for Valentine’s Day, so our Fetish Fair Fleamarket trip got extended into a full-blown week-long vacation. We got home yesterday and i’m still not quite back into normal life mode!

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View from The View

We have a time share and stayed in a beautiful suite right off Times Square between the Hudson Theatre and the Belasco Theatre. We couldn’t have asked for a better location–right in the heart of the theatre district! We wandered around the first afternoon, took in the sights. We had drinks and watched the sunset from The View at the top of the Marriott Marquis before heading to one of the top vegan restaurants in the country–Candle 79.

Tuesday, we jumped onto the Hop on Hop off bus and took a tour uptown. We love to start trips in big cities all over the world with the Hop on Hop off bus tours because we get a great overview of the city, learn some history, and figure out areas we want to come back to for more exploring. We hopped off at Central Park for some lunch, shopping at Bloomingdale’s, and walked back to our hotel. Then…the highlight of our NYC trip–Hamilton!

img_1831Hamilton was amazing! We have read Ron Chernow’s book, Alexander Hamilton, that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write the screenplay, have listened to the soundtrack thousands of times and know the music by heart, have watched the documentary Hamilton’s America on PBS’ Great Performances and were shocked at how overwhelmed and blown away we were watching the show live in New York. Both Maximus and i were moved to tears and that img_1832totally surprised both of us. We loved our seats, which were dead center in the front mezzanine, fourth row, as we could see everything. (Many have asked us how we got tickets–i got them through Vivid Seats, which i wholeheartedly recommend! i also checked A View From My Seat to check which seats were good and which had obstructed views or other issues before i purchased them.) It was an experience of a lifetime, and if we could have gone the next night–we would have in a heartbeat! We capped off the night with sushi and cocktails.

Maximus had to work Wednesday morning, so i went to the gym and just chilled until He was free. We took the subway to the Flatiron District for lunch before going to the Museum of Sex. The museum wasn’t what i expected–i expected more.  There were some displays abouimg_1842t the sex club history of New York, artifacts through the ages, and exhibitions on animal sexuality, erotica through history, and erotic art, but it didn’t seem particularly in-depth to us. i did complete an online sex survey while at the museum and will share about that and the results in another post. Afterward we took another Hop on Hop off tour, this time of downtown, before heading to an early dinner at another vegan restaurant, Blossom on Columbus. Why the early dinner? Because we got tickets to see the sold out Dita Von Teese show that night (thanks again to Vivid Seats)!!

Dita’s show, The Art of the Teese, was so much fun! The show was great, but the venue and happenings there were the best! We were in the middle of NYC 20-30 year-olds, sexually vibrant, electronically-connected, dressed in their finest objectified 1950s wear, party! It was a Grinder/Tinder hookup mecca and so much fun to voyeur! The MC was Mr. Murray Hill, who was hysterical, terrifically inappropriate, and made the show! Dita was gorgeous and sexy, doing four sets in between sets of several other burlesque performers she’d selected.

Thursday was quite a day. We had tickets first thing in the morning for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We’d wanted to go Wednesday, when the weather was nicer, but we didn’t think we’d have enough time having to start late after Maximus’ work requirements were done, so we braved 34 degrees and 30 mph winds! It takes a long time to pick up your tickets, wait to go through security, wait for the ferry, etc. and it’s all outside. So while we had 9 AM tickets, we stood out in the cold from 8 AM to 9:45 just to get onto Liberty Island–but it was worth it. The museum inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty is great–we learned so much! We went to Ellis Island next, which is AMAZING! There is so much to see and learn there and we will go again just to spend an entire day at Ellis Island. We wanted to go on a hard-hat tour and see the other buildings under restoration after Hurricane Sandy, but we didn’t have enough time. We left Ellis Island for lunch and then went to the 911 Memorial and Museum. The 911 Memorial and Museum is very well done and it is emotional. The whole day was moving and emotionally draining. We ended the day at Hangawi, an amazing vegan Korean restaurant in the Korean District that we were lucky enough to get reservations for this week.

Friday we made our way to Warwick, Rhode Island for the Fetish Fair Fleamarket. There were three other couples in our group at the “Flea” and we were so, so, so looking forward to seeing them again and spending more time together. i’m going to post more about this part of the trip in separate entries, as there is a lot to talk about. But it was so great!

We got home yesterday and i am still wiped out! It’s a good wiped out, though, having had such an amazing week. i was so tired last night that while i’d set things out to make dinner, i couldn’t function enough to actually do it. Maximus excused me from my normal duties, sent me to bed, and made Himself something to eat! i still need to unpack!

Categories: 24/7, BDSM, D/s, Fetish Fair Fleamarket, Hamilton: The Revolution | Leave a comment

Artful Service Homework

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i was able to finally complete my homework from Miss Amy Red’s Artful Service class while flying to NYC for our Valentine’s week trip!

What makes service feel artful to you?

Art is defined as skill acquired by experience, study, or an occupation requiring knowledge or skill (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/art). So if we were to simply use these definitions, any service that was studied or someone was knowledgeable in would be considered artful. However, i feel that there is something more to service being artful, in that is it done with added grace, intention, attention to detail, and love. i can easily prepare Maximus’ bed at night—i do it every night He’s home—but i can be much more loving and attentive about it: gently removing the pillows and arranging them extra neatly beside the bed and on the dresser, lovingly smoothing out the quilt after i spread it over His side of the bed, fluff and caress His pillow. This is much different than tossing the pillows off, roughly pulling the quilt up and flipping the covers back. And it doesn’t matter whether He’s watching or not, being artful about it in this manner makes a difference.

i’ve heard it said many times that you can taste when someone cooks while they are angry, that it actually changes how the food is prepared and tastes. Love is an important ingredient in food and in all service. Doing service with love and intention changes the experience for both the giver and the receiver.

  • What do you enjoy about service?

i enjoy the act of doing something for someone—it gives me joy and an expanded sense of purpose. i have been in a service profession all of my adult life and was drawn to it to help those who needed it. my leadership style is servant leadership, in that i work to provide resources to others so that they can succeed. Being helpful, improving people’s lives makes me feel good! i enjoy serving Maximus because it helps make His life even better, takes a lot of stuff off His plate so He can better focus and achieve more for Himself and us, and He truly appreciates it—that’s huge! But i also enjoy service because it allows me to use my skills, whether in cooking, home maintenance and repair, gardening, decorating, playing the piano, proofreading, making PowerPoint documents, active listening, leadership advisement, etc.

  • What qualities set some service apart as being artful?

As i mentioned above, having intention, going above and beyond just completing the task, value-added, something that surprises and delights, done in a graceful, beautiful manner.

What increases the connection in acts of service?

Having focus and mindfulness increases the connection. Including touch, eye contact, slowing down all increase the connection. Doing something extra, anticipating needs or desires also increase this,

  • 2 ways to focus your attention that could increase connection in service interactions

As noted above, eye contact and touch/physical interaction can increase connection in service interactions.

  • What tools do you use to communicate your intentions wordlessly?

Body language and eye contact, positioning.

  • What do you appreciate about your partner in artful service interactions?

During artful service interaction i appreciate Maximus’ response and reactions. It is more than just a “thank you,” it is a look in His eyes, tone of voice, a deeper connection. Oftentimes i am rewarded with play, attention, whether it’s immediate or delayed.

What makes service more unique and intimate?

Knowing your partner’s preferences, touch, eye contact, positioning.

  • What style or service archetype are you curious about exploring?

As noted in Our M/s, we have incorporated attributes of 1950s Housewife, Victorian, CEO/COO into our D/s. We are extremely interested in exploring high protocol and have discovered the Libertine Social Club in our region, which will give us a chance to learn more and try it out.

  • What “ordinary” act of service would you like to try charging up?

i would be interested in charging up our bedtime ritual. i have several tasks for this, but i would like to find ways to increase our connection and intention as we go to bed. This is something i need to bring up to Maximus to see how He feels about this and what we can do to achieve this.

  • Can you make it more (choose one or more) valuable, enjoyable, beautiful, irreplaceable?

Valuable, enjoyable, and beautiful

What can improve or correct existing service?

Awareness is a large part of improving or correcting existing service. If you are not cognizant of areas where service can be improved or corrected, you will continue to operate at that level. It will require some self-discipline to evaluate performance, and evaluation, feedback, discipline, correction from Maximus as well.

  • What obstacle have you experienced recently?

During the last review of our rules and protocols, we noticed that we have not been sticking to the rules and protocols regarding door opening. i have been opening my own doors, especially car doors, which is a violation of Maximus’ expectations. While this does not seem like a service, it serves Maximus’ desire to be a gentleman—disregarding this robs Him of something important deep within Him. It also serves as a reminder to me that i am His, that there are expectations i must operate within, and causes me pause to remember our relationship.

While i have been better about this since we discussed this issue, there are many things i can do to make this more artful. First, i can use the pause to actually reflect on our relationship rather than look at my phone (as is often the case when waiting for Maximus to come around and open the car door to let me out), second, i can look into Maximus’ eyes and then nod during these times to convey my appreciation and connection rather than simply thanking Him, which i do every time, third, i can incorporate touch when i pass Him during these interactions.

  • What category(s) does that experience seem to fit with?

Incorporating these things can make the experience more valuable, enjoyable, beautiful, and irreplaceable. Why irreplaceable? Because i know Maximus holds doors for others, but He does not receive any of the response i described above from anyone, which will set that interaction to a higher level than others, increasing our connection, and strengthening our relationship.

Categories: 24/7, BDSM classes, D/s, M/s, Miss Amy Red, protocols, relationship, rituals, submissive housewife | Tags: | Leave a comment

Spank!

spanking-tools

Maximus was anxious to try out the techniques He learned from Lee Harrington’s Making an Impact presentation (more info here), but He’d been traveling since that class. So the evening after i returned from Miss Amy Red’s service classes, Maximus took advantage of our time together for some spanking. We don’t have a lot of impact toys, mostly because Maximus hasn’t been particularly interested in it, so most of what we have are floggers. In the picture above, we have a fine leather flogger, a wide and soft leather flogger, a rose flogger i won at the Desire 2015 flogging demonstration, a wooden paint stick from Lee Harrington, and a mini Louisville Slugger. Oddly enough, we don’t have any wooden spoons in our house for cooking as i’ve never felt i could get them clean enough, but i think i see a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond to procure some for our toy chest in my future!

Maximus had me strip naked except for my high heeled shoes and kneel on the leather bench at the end of our bed. i leaned forward with my arms folded beneath my face on the bed, jutting my ass out toward Him. He started spanking lightly with just His hand, holding one hand just below the small of my back, switching hands to distribute spankings over each cheek. It was very light and He took a lot of time warming up my skin. Because we were learning something new together there was more talking than we’d usually have in a normal scene. He wanted to know how it was feeling, if the strikes were distributed enough, if it was too hard, etc. i was curious whether it was hurting His hands, if my skin was red, etc. He did say my cheeks were starting to redden and that because He was cupping His hands somewhat, the spankings weren’t hurting Him. He switched to the wooden paint stick and worked to warm me up more. It was definitely more stingy than a hand and made a great sound. None of it was intolerable and i could tell He was ramping up the intensity of the strikes as well as the tempo. He switched between using His hand and the paint stick.

i was surprised that it wasn’t hurting as much as i expected. i think it was because He spent time warming my ass up with lighter spanks. The strikes sent waves through my ass and into my perineum and i could instantly feel the walls of my pussy contract hard and start to ache, like it does when i get quickly turned on at the beginning of any play. It was more sensual than i expected. i really wanted some impact to my perineum, labia, and ass, which is something we do with the crop. Maximus spread my legs and started striking me with the paint stick and started to chuckle as strings of pussy juice started dripping and hanging from the stick. He switched back to spanking my ass cheeks with His hand harder than before.

Because the paint stick really wouldn’t nicely strike my pussy, Maximus switched to the mini Louisville Slugger. It fit perfectly! He struck my ass, upper thighs and it was really thuddy–i really liked it. i wanted Him to fuck me with it, but i hadn’t gotten any condoms out for that prior to our session and Maximus didn’t want to stop the spanking. (the end of a baseball bat is end-grain and not really conducive for fucking without the protective covering of a condom). i loved the random strikes to my pussy, clit, labia, and ass between strikes to my cheeks.

red-bottom

Red bottom

From here, Maximus switched to floggers. He used the small stingy one first and was really able to strike with a lot of force without it being too painful. We both could see that i was able to take much more with the warm up rather than striking hard from the get-go. He switched to the large flogger and while it sounds horribly menacing, it doesn’t hurt at all! He was throwing it as hard as He could and it just didn’t really do anything for me. But in the presence of others, they would probably think He was killing me! Then He switched to the rose flogger, which we’ve never really been able to use because it is very aggressive. It strikes very hard and is extremely thuddy. The strikes from this flogger transmit completely through my body and the rose petals sting. I was able to take quite a bit of force with it, but after a while i felt i needed a break from the strong vibrations from my ass into my internal organs, so we stopped that.

i was enjoying our session, but really didn’t think i could subspace from it. It was more intense than any other impact play we had ever done and i thought it would do more in my head. Maximus rubbed my ass between toys and during little breaks, commenting how red my skin was. i asked if i could have the Hitachi magic wand and i held it against my clit as He spanked me more. After a while, i just really wanted Him to fuck me.

So Maximus started finger fucking me and then flipped me over on my back, fucking me with His hands while i used the wand. He started fucking me really hard with His hand (i later learned He was fisting me) and it was deliciously intense. Suddenly, i realized i was going to have an extremely intense, emotional orgasm. i’ve learned that i have five discernibly different orgasms–breast orgasms, clit orgasms, anal orgasms, pussy orgasms, and these deep emotional orgasms that seem to come from my soul (i don’t know how else to describe them). All of these orgasms feel and develop differently. i could feel this one developing and begged Maximus not to stop, because these ones are so primal and cathartic that i really wanted to build and take me. These orgasms make me sob, deep, guttural sobs that can be alarming to people if they don’t understand them. Maximus is aware of them and doesn’t stop when i start in on one (unlike my clitoral orgasms which require stimulation to stop as soon as my orgasm starts, these deep orgasms build and grow deeper and better and can continue for a long time with continued stimulation). He continued to fist me while coming to my side and telling me i was ok. i found it distracting and asked Him to stop telling me it was ok. Turns out He thought i was going into subspace due to the impact play and needed reassurance. i never subspaced, i was just having an amazing orgasm that i wanted to ride.

We laid on the bed together and reveled in the scene. We talked about the orgasm and how cathartic those ones are and how He thought i had subspaced. He realized, though, immediately when i responded to Him that i wasn’t spaced. However, He did note that my skin temperature dropped immediately after we stopped, which is typically what happens when i space, so if i had continued to orgasm, i probably would’ve slipped into subspace.

In all, Maximus spanked me for 25 minutes (He kept track), which is the longest spanking session we’ve ever had. We would say it is something that we’ll keep in our repertoire, as it was pretty enjoyable! i’m not sure that i find the impact play cathartic in of itself, but it does stimulate me and enhanced other play. It will be interesting to see how that progresses as we implement more impact play.

Oh, i had some really nice subtle bruising the next day. Maximus did apply arnica cream to my ass when we went to bed that night, so i think that helped. And i had a nice reminder of our session the next couple of days with a tender bottom. It made sitting to watch the Super Bowl with family really fun (in a hot way)!

And i ended up with a bruise in the shape of a heart! i think it was from a rose…

heart-bruise

Categories: BDSM, fisting, flogging, Lee Harrington, spanking | Tags: | Leave a comment

Classes

chalkboard

Maximus and i have been taking classes like crazy from the Center for Sex Positive Culture (CSPC) in Seattle. It’s like we’re making up for all the time we lost being afraid of munches and exploring our local kink community! FetLife has been great for finding these events (and we sure hope FetLife can keep going with all the financial limitations they’ve endured recently due to world politics).

We have been continuing the Tying With Purpose rope series with Suspended Animation. We started with Bondage for Sex, which i described in Rope, Shoes, and Sloppy Blow Jobs, and had Bondage for Power: Tying for Dominance and Pain Play two weeks ago. We really like this group, they are so down to earth and appreciate their approach to teaching this Topic, which can be so intimidating. It has been fun for me to watch Maximus’ skills and comfort with ropes and knots grow—He’s really, really enjoying it! This class taught us:

  • The Bar Tie
  • Ladder Rung
  • Wrists to Crotch
  • The Hobbler
  • The Guatemalan
  • The Toe Crusher

Maximus ADORED the Bar Tie! i have to admit it looks pretty cool and is very practical. It basically creates a handle, which is very convenient for the Top and really objectifying for the bottom (which i adore!!). He picked up this tie so quickly and then added in things He’d learned from the previous class (chest harness and breast bondage, which are His favorites). i was very concerned about the Hobbler, Guatemalan, and Toe Crusher ties as they deal with tying the feet and toes. i am horribly ticklish in a bad, bad way, thanks to my dad tickle torturing us as children, in fact, tickling is a hard limit for me, and Maximus wasn’t going to attempt them on me except i suggested that He proceed cautiously. i really didn’t want Him to not participate in something they were teaching us and Maximus has been the only person who has ever been able to touch my feet, so i said i’d try. He was so careful that He tied these ties very loose, which caused them to completely lose their intended effect. In fact, with the Toe Crusher, in which rope goes in between each toe and then the Top squeezes the toes together laterally to cause pain, did not elicit any pain whatsoever, causing the instructor to come over to squeeze—and then think i was some kind of masochistic badass with an incredibly high pain tolerance since i had little response! i started to worry that maybe i had some kind peripheral neuropathy, and then Maximus tied it tighter and i learned why it was called the Toe Crusher and that i didn’t have nerve disease in my feet—ouch!! But, i didn’t hate having Maximus bind my feet and i enjoyed the pain, so another hard limit softened. i just don’t know if i can be comfortable with others tying or touching my feet like He does.

The next class we will with this group will be the first class in the series, So You Want to Tie People Up, since we started with the second class. That will be this upcoming weekend. It will cover basic techniques, which will be good for Maximus as He had to learn their way of doing the single column knot on the fly at the first class we attended.

We also took a class from Lee Harrington, Making an Impact, which was a primer on impact play. We have listened to Lee Harrington on the Erotic Awakening podcasts and were anxious to meet him. The class was great and so was Lee! He started with anatomy, using Miss Amy Red as his bottom for the class (more great stuff on her later), techniques and body positions for impact play, and then went over different implements of impact play. Lee had brought a large array of impact tools, from gloves to paddles to canes and more! It was great to feel the different tools. i’ve always been curious about canes, but Maximus has been pretty unsure about them, but after learning about them and checking them out, He seems interested in them now. This class helped Maximus wrap His head around the difference between spanking for discipline and spanking for pleasure. As i think i’ve written about before, He really isn’t comfortable with domestic discipline, so spanking has been a conundrum for Him (however using a crop or a flogger has not). The class proved fruitful—which i’ll write about in another post.

And we picked up two of Lee’s books on Shibari, which look awesome! We can’t wait to try the techniques and ties from the books.

And finally, i went to two classes on my own! Miss Amy Red, who was the bottom for Lee’s impact class, presented two classes on service—Service: Devotion in Deed and Artful Service. i enjoyed these very much. While they were described in a way that looked like they were geared just for submissives, they would really be helpful for Dominants as well and i wished Maximus had come along with me.

In Service: Devotion in Deed, Miss Amy Red discussed service relationships and how service doesn’t necessary flow only from the s-type to the D-type. i completely agree with this and haven’t heard others say it before. i feel that while I serve Maximus in our D/s relationship, He serves me as well, primarily by providing the environment that enables me to enjoy my submissive self, being the breadwinner, supporting me in all aspects of my life, and in our interactions. It was refreshing to her Miss Amy Red discuss this. She also addressed ensuring that the relationship is a fair exchange, not causing a depletion in one person, which i totally relate to, feeling that drain in previous relationships and in my career that stopped feeding my soul.

Artful Service dealt with how to increase connection through service, specifically through attention, intention, and gratitude. She and her bottom demonstrated these and how they enhanced the connected between the Top and bottom during acts of service, making it more valuable and beautiful. And it didn’t apply only to the bottom, it applies to the Top as well, changing how the service was received to increase the connection with the bottom. Maximus was very intrigued when i discussed this with Him and we are working to implement these techniques. One thing i did not agree with Miss Amy about was her feeling that anticipatory service was creepy, like Santa Claus spying on children to see if they were being naughty or nice. It’s ok, we’re all entitled to provide service in a manner that makes us feel fulfilled and it’s not something she finds good for herself personally. Maximus and i, on the other hand, appreciate anticipatory service, to the point that it is included in my contract. my goal is to surprise and delight Maximus, which He loves. i generally do not have to spy on Him to figure out how to anticipate His needs, i just have gotten to know Him so well that it comes naturally. For example, we recently spent a staycation in downtown Seattle on a cold and blustery weekend. As we were leaving our house to go downtown, i packed a warm scarf for Maximus—i knew that if i asked Him whether He wanted one He’d say no, but i also knew He would be wanting one once we were out walking around Christmas shopping. Sure enough, when we started out and i pulled out a scarf for Him, He was overjoyed and told me over and over, “Have I told you how much I love my scarf?!?”

But she had HOMEWORK for the class!! i’m so excited about the homework! i will be working on these over the next several weeks and post them. And her handout had a ton of links that i will explore and journal about.

One of the most exciting things is that i learned that Miss Amy Red is one of the hosts of the Libertine Social Club, a high-protocol D/s dinner club held quarterly at the CSPC. Maximus and i have been interested in finding an event like this for training and to experience, especially after we heard about the Eagle Scout and Mmm’s experience with one where they are on the east coast. We’ve been interested and heard a little about the Libertine Social Club at a munch, but since we don’t have any experience in high protocol, were uneasy about looking into attending. However, after talking with Miss Amy Red about it, it is definitely something we can do and sounds like we’d really enjoy. They aren’t running the event until the CSPC has its new space all set up, which is fine, given our crazy busy schedule right now.

The classes have been so wonderful! We have thoroughly enjoyed them and are getting to know people. In fact, we have started to get to know another D/s couple that we’ve met at the D/s discussion group and have attended some of these classes with. They live near us and we’re hoping to carpool to some of these events and have gone to happy hour after one and had a marvelous time! We love hearing about their journey and learning more about them, their kink, and things to explore. It’s nice to have local kinky friends.

Categories: BDSM, BDSM classes, Center for Sex Positive Culture, D/s, Erotic Awakening, FetLife, High Protocol, Lee Harrington, Libertine Social Club, Miss Amy Red, rope bondage, Suspended Animation | Tags: | 2 Comments

Snowmageddon 2017

snowflake

my goodness! Time has certainly gotten away from me the past couple of weeks. Well, that’s not entirely true, i’ve been extremely busy in a house painting frenzy, so it’s not like i’ve been sitting around the house eating bonbons (inside joke between Maximus and me). my initial plan was to merely paint the guest rooms, but i ended up painting the guest bathroom, Master’s bedroom and bathroom (the bathroom is soooo spa-like now, i can hardly contain my squeee every time i’m in there), powder room, kitchen, family room, and downstairs hallway. i’d hoped to paint Maximus’ office, but i ran out of time (and needed a couple days rest) before prepping for a Super Bowl party at our house…and then we had a winter storm.

i’m actually writing this post in Word on my laptop and will be transferring it into my blog because we don’t have power! It started snowing during the Super Bowl and just dumped! After our guests left and we cleaned up, Maximus and i went for a lovely walk in the snow and noticed that this snow was really wet and heavy, coming down hard, and was causing tree limbs to droop down onto power lines. By the time we got back home, we’d accumulated another inch. We got our emergency supplies ready as we live out in the boonies and supposedly often lose power for extended periods of time during storms (we’ve only lived out here since October, so we’ve not experienced what our neighbors report).

Our power flipped off and back on about 1 AM, but the neighbors across the street were on generators when we woke up. We had 7 inches of snow and wouldn’t you know it, three more cypress trees fell over (i just finished cutting up the last one that fell two months ago and putting it into the yard debris container) and one of our maple trees split (it appears it had some concealed crotch rot at a branch and it broke under the weight of the snow). We went out midmorning to shovel off the driveway and clear some of the road so drivers could see where the road was rather than driving into the drainage ditch in front of our house and when it was time to go back inside, we’d lost power.

We got the generator going and it started snowing again. Since Maximus had work to do and the cable was out along with the power, He decided He needed to head out to somewhere with internet access. He also has a flight at o’dark-thirty in the morning, so we agreed that He should just go get a hotel room near the airport now, taking my SUV, so that we didn’t have to worry about Him trying to drive in the dark, possible ice and snow, fallen trees, with time constraints in the morning. i know He didn’t really like that idea, but after venturing out, dealing with the snowy streets, abandoned vehicles stuck in ditches, and fallen trees, He was glad He left this afternoon.

i assured Him that He didn’t need to worry about me, that i’d be just fine, and He replied, “gabriella, i never need to worry about you,” as i am very self-sufficient and prepared. i am very pleased with our emergency preparedness, and so is Maximus. As we were getting the generator set up, He complimented me that all my hard work was paying off, which made me smile. i’ve set up a whole shelving system in our garage to store our generator and supplies, including nitrile gloves and fuel funnel Maximus requested the last time we lost power and He spilled gasoline onto His bare hands while fueling the generator, and a headlamp i hang off the unit so we have access to it immediately when getting it set up in the dark. There are bins with flashlights, batteries, an emergency radio with a crank charger and USB ports for charging cell phones, a solar charger, fuel siphon, etc. Bins with food that i go through on our birthdays in order to swap out things with upcoming expiration dates. Gallons and gallons of water in special carboys, in addition to all the water in our hot water tank, and a water filtration system. There is first aid equipment and we also have all of our camping supplies in another shelf nearby with fuel pods and cooking equipment, more flashlights, etc. Everything’s organized, labeled, easy to access. The generator powers six circuits in our home: the septic system, furnace, Maximus’ office outlets, family room outlets, refrigerators and freezer, and garage doors. We have two gas fireplaces for heat, so i generally turn the furnace thermostat down to the 60s to avoid having to run that power hog, and we have a gas stove that we can light with a stick lighter or matches for cooking. So we’re pretty set.

i’d started working on this project while we were in the condo, but moving out to the lake necessitated completing our emergency preparedness. While i worked in public safety all of my adult life, i never had emergency supplies at home. Why? Because i was never home during emergencies—i was always working and had supplies provided at work. That all changed when i retired! And boy am i glad i got it all done this fall and early winter! So i guess you could say i’ve pretty much geeked out on emergency preparedness!

Woo Hoo! Power came back at 8 PM…but still no cable, so no internet…boo!

And finally! Internet at 10 AM!! Back in service!

Categories: apocalypse, submissive housewife | Tags: | Leave a comment

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