Answers.com has an article on D/s. (Click here) Not only do they have an article, but the article is actually good. It seems to be pretty bias-free and includes online/phone BDSM. Not only that, but they mention switches! Things have certainly changed in the past 10-15 years. Switches used to be low people on the BDSM totem pole and were looked down upon, somewhat. I think that it's because people who are switches (noun) are far less common than people who do switch (verb).
"A switch is an individual who plays in either role. Two switches together may negotiate and exchange roles several times in a session."
I don't know why I'm so excited that some random article gave a nod to switches/switching. The only reason I can think of is what I stated above - we weren't very accepted for a long time. Male dominants, in particular, looked down on female switches and were quite verbal in their belief that a female switch is simply a submissive who hasn't met her match, yet. Assholes.
"D/s may be ritualised or freeform. It is usually a negotiated lifestyle, with people discussing their wishes, limits and needs in order to find commonality. A D/s relationship may be sexual or non-sexual, long or short term, and intimate or anonymous. Most adherents search for the essential intensity, trust and intimacy that are required to make any deep relationship possible."
I don't know who the article contributors are but I like this persons' take on it - most especially that last sentence. Intensity, trust, and intimacy. I mentioned in my last post that the actual acts were tools... the lifestyle provides a framework... to finding these things that all people need and enjoy.
"Consensual non-consensuality is a mutual agreement to be able to act as if consent has been waived within safe, sane limits. In essence it is an agreement that subject to a safe word or other restrictions, and reasonable care and commonsense, consent (within defined limits) will be given in advance and with the intent of being irrevocable under normal circumstances, at times without foreknowledge of the exact actions planned. As such, it is a show of extreme trust and understanding and usually undertaken only by partners who know each other well, or otherwise agree to set clear safe limits on their activities."
The writer did an excellent job here of defining what goes on within the PE (power exchange) with the term "consensual non-consensuality." He or she also gives the obligatory nod to what we call "Safe, Sane and Consensual" - the way lifestylers are supposed to always "play". I think he went a bit overboard trying to make sure that a vanilla person would understand that this is not abuse, though. It looks as if he was taking a stab at making this very alternative lifestyle somehow politically correct. "Mutual agreement", "act AS IF consent has been waived", "within safe, sane limits", "safe word/restrictions/reasonable care/common sense/consent/defined limits". Good GOD. Why don't you just say you're vanilla but want to get fucked in new and exciting ways?
I'm willing to go out on a limb here, as I have for years on this subject. I’ve been kicked from channels, called abusive, called any number of unpleasant things and had people completely up in arms by the way that *I choose* to conduct my private D/s life but… whatever. I'm going to use my real experiences as examples here, so if someone wants to take issue with the way I’ve handled my submissives (or how I’ve been with my dominants), I’d be happy to provide references… they’re all alive and I left them as healthy as I found them… sometimes healthier. If the way I play is not acceptable to someone I have a piece of advice… Don’t play with me.
So, as I was saying…
I believe that safe words are a reasonable thing to have during the first part of a D/s relationship. I don’t think the couple should be doing anything too dangerous at this stage of their relationship anyway, but a safe word wouldn’t hurt. This is the time where the dominant in particular is really getting to know the submissive; he’s studying her very carefully in preparation for where he’s planning to take her in the future. Safe words, contracts, questionnaires, and any number of other safety measures are reasonable when the dominant doesn’t know his submissive *thoroughly*.
As the relationship moves on, however, he should have established a few things that are vital to their time and play together.
Baseline things a dominant should know about his submissive:
General speech patterns (So he will recognize when they deviate)
Approximate resting heart rate
Normal breathing patterns
Small, tell-tale gestures and habits of stress (body stiffening, face turning away, avoidance of eye contact, clenching of fists, etc.)
Does she become more or less verbal as she becomes more submissive
Her physical fears
Her physical hang-ups
Her emotional scars
Her emotional fears
I’ll go back and amend that list later, I’m sure, but that will do for now. I have a list of 9 things and I’m somewhat amused that most couples who have been married 10+ years couldn’t tell you some of that about their spouses and I’m saying these are the very basics for pursuing a D/s relationship.
Maybe I should rephrase what I just said in order to be fair. Couples often “sense something is wrong” with the other… whether it’s anger, fear, or stress. The difference here – and it’s an important one – is that it’s *vital* for the dominant to not only “sense” these things or “sort of” be aware… he needs to *know*. I’ll give another example:
When I am afraid or hurt, I clench my fists. This is an involuntary gesture that I’ve always done but very few men have been aware of it… Or, at least, they didn’t realize that it was an important sign from me. They may have thought, “Oh, she’s clenching her fists... something must be wrong” but that is an altogether too cavalier a reaction for a dominant to have. He’s got to take immediate inventory: What’s wrong? Is she stressed or is she scared? Is she hurt emotionally? Physically? How badly?
Like most people, I will avoid eye contact when I’m upset or angry… but I’ll also do it when I’m embarrassed or feeling emotions very strongly, so averting my eyes is my way of not letting the dominant know about it. I have to do something because I know how easy I can be to read if a person bothers to pay attention. Because of this, I employ a variety of avoidance tactics, of which eye-avoidance is only one of the most obvious.
One of the trickier parts of being a dominant is being able to discern which meaning each signal has *today*, in *this* circumstance. Is she clenching her fists because what you’re doing feels really good or is she clenching them because you’re hurting her and she’s too fucking stubborn to tell you? (This would be me)
I can name at least two men will vouch for the fact that I am an exceedingly stubborn submissive when it comes to certain things. I don’t always mean to be but I can’t help it sometimes.
For example, I was being flogged by Christopher one night – nothing really rough; the flogger was deerskin and heavy, not sharp and biting. (I prefer thudding pain to biting pain as a rule, and it rarely ever even leaves a mark) I was stretched out on my back holding onto the headboard (Yeah, like I was going to be tied up... NOT) and everything started out fine. Then, because I’m prone to this, I started struggling with my feelings about being in a submissive position. At first I was enjoying it because it wasn’t too intense, then, the intensity began to build and I decided I didn’t think he was paying attention to my signals so I got angry. (He was… I’m an asshole) So, instead of being a normal human being and simply saying something to him, I went 100% inside myself… I had gone very submissive despite my ridiculous reaction though, so I wouldn’t have said anything anyway…and it was beginning to hurt. So was I. I was having an extremely difficult time emotionally and I wouldn’t tell him THAT, either. So here I am… spread eagle on the bed… nude, vulnerable, exposed… my hands clenched so tightly that my nails were digging into my palms… my body so tense that my muscles were going to hurt for fucking days afterwards (I didn’t know that then, obviously)… and tears were streaming down my cheeks… I said not *one* *single* *word*.
If Chris had known me the TINIEST bit less… if Chris had been a TINY bit less experienced… this could have been a disastrous incident for us both. He began asking me how much it hurt on a scale of 1 to 10. I think I said 4 or 5. So, naturally, he brought the pain up a little for me. That was considerate. He asks again as we go along… I lie. I lie repeatedly. I refuse, no matter what happens, to say any number over 6, I think. Towards the end, I’m openly crying – but soundlessly – and barely managing to sob “6” every time he asks. This could have ended badly, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Chris stops. I don’t move. I don’t speak. I don’t look at him. I just lie there feeling desperately alone and hurt and… God knows what else. He lays down the flogger, sits down beside me and reaches out a hand to touch me softly. This is all it takes… I fling myself into his arms, curl up into a tiny ball, and cry like a baby… deep, sobbing tears. Bless his heart; he actually knew what to do with me.
A purely physical S&M couple would probably not have had this scenario occur or, if they had, they would have made sure it didn’t occur again. In our case the place he took me to, the comforting he gave me afterwards, the fact that I was allowed to struggle through those emotions without him ending it *too* soon, and his ability to take me through the cool down phase afterwards, ended up creating an extremely intimate scene that brought us closer together and had me high on endorphins for the rest of the fucking night. If I recall correctly, he rather enjoyed himself, too. His “thing” was being able to walk a woman through a range of emotions by using her body to take her there… I don’t know how the fuck someone that young ended up so gifted at that but I think it’s because he was basically a very sensitive man who actually LOVED women and giving them pleasure. Seems a bit paradoxical for a dominant, but I’m not altogether sure he was a dominant. If someone who really owned me, who really topped me, had done all that… Damn. I dunno. Hard to think about it.
Wow, I just got so caught up in remembering that scene that I forgot I had a point.
Safewords. I don’t use them. I have rarely, if ever, allowed a physical scene to go anywhere that I felt safewords would have been necessary without knowing my partner well and/or being able to rely on our respective experience and skill to handle something should it go awry. The only exceptions to this are unexpected physical problems cropping up, but can’t you just say “That fucking rope is about to cut off my hand” ? Other than being able to communicate duress, I do not like anything about what having a safeword implies.
I say this because once the submissive drops the safeword, the dominant is “obligated” to stop what he’s doing immediately. I don’t know how I feel about this.
Yes, I do. I don’t like it. If I ever again give myself that completely to someone then, just as in the past, I have no intention whatsoever of holding the power. I have no interest in the illusion of being taken. Well, unless that’s just the best I can get… you do what you gotta do sometimes.
I’m just not interested in pretending to be submissive. I’m not interested in having a man pretend he wants to own me. If you own me, then where the hell do I get the right to tell you no? I’ve had men MAKE me assign a safe word but I don’t think I’ve ever used one and if I did, it was only once and I probably cried like a baby and felt like I’d failed. I’m also usually very insulted and more than a little bit hurt when forced to pick a safeword. I should just choose “Fuck you” from now on… I bet they stop making me have one. It’s a point of pride, god damn it.
Telling your partner that something is going very wrong is different. A submissive is obligated to keep her dominant informed of where she is emotionally, what she’s thinking (if he asks or wants her to keep him informed) and if something is physically wrong. “Broken toys are no fun.” The difference is that a safe word keeps the submissive in control… that is not where a submissive belongs. If the dominant is taking her ass and it’s extremely painful, there’s not going to be a lot of doubt about it… I can handle quite a bit of pain, even to my own detriment, and although I wouldn’t safeword over it I don’t think that I could hide my physical reactions to pain. It’s up to *him* to decide if it’s more pain that he’s choosing to give me at any given moment.
I would think that it would take a very particular type of man to want this much responsibility. That’s a word you don’t hear in public when S&M or BDSM is discussed or referenced on TV, radio, or other media. Responsibility. What are the responsibilities of each partner?
I’ll start with the dominant, because some of his are so important that they can become life or death. An S/M scene can cause injury, if not death. Edge play, such as breath restriction/control can also end with the submissive in the emergency room. These are the obvious physical dangers of which most people are at least somewhat aware. The dominant is responsible for the physical safety of his property. Cute question often asked of a submissive by a dominant, “Yes, I know it hurts… but are you HURT or are you HARMED?” lol I love that. No dominant would ever, ever harm his submissive… but God knows he’d enjoy hurting her. (Yay)
The other responsibilities depend upon what the two people involved want and need. I’ll have to use myself as an example here again because… well, because I’m more familiar with my own experience and what other people do is fine for them but may not be my cup of tea.
I owned Ron for 3 ½ years. During that time, I was responsible for him completely… we didn’t just “do D/s” sometimes – I owned him. Believe it or not, the majority of our interactions were not sexual in nature although… um… well, we had a lot of that, too. I felt my job as his dominant was to be aware of every part of his life… To try to protect him (even from himself), guide him, encourage him, nurture him, and know him more thoroughly than he knew himself. He had been abused as a child and this added a bit of extra responsibility because I had to make some weighty decisions about when and how we were going to handle that.
I can be an exceedingly exacting person with someone I own. I’m demanding. I expect obedience to a degree that most people would find unacceptable, which I happen to not care one fucking bit about. When I collared Ron, I was very forthright with him about what he was getting into when he asked to belong to me… The last decision he had the *right* to make was the decision about whether or not to wear the collar at all.
Obviously, only a fairly unbalanced or exceedingly bored person would try to micromanage another person completely. I don’t care what you eat for breakfast… unless I happen to care that day, in which case you will eat whatever the hell I tell you to. I don’t care what time you get up in the morning, unless I decide to care today or unless I think you need to get more sleep… or get up earlier because it’s better for you. Having the right to exercise complete control over someone does not necessitate exercising that right every day on every subject.
After three years, I can safely say that there was no part of Ron’s life that I had not tampered with a bit. Sometimes it’s because it pleased me to do it… sometimes it was punishment… sometimes it was for his own good. All three of those reasons are 100% valid when you own someone. “Just because” is also valid but I would hope that a dominant would at least understand his/her own motivation even if they choose not to share it.
Areas up for control in a submissive’s life:
Dietary habits - Endless… Lose weight/gain weight… health reasons…punishment… etc.
Sleep habits -Setting bedtimes, wake-up times
Clothing -You will always wear a thong, because it pleases me…or you will never wear underwear… etc
Hobbies -Disallowing as punishment, for instance. I’ve been sent to bed and off the computer more than once, God damn it
Orgasms - When you can have them, if you can have them, how you can have them… yummmmy
Speech -Allowing or disallowing speech… or requiring certain things to be said, asked for, etc.
Sexual teasing - Today you have to insert a butt plug before you leave the house and you may not take it out until lunch. Today you must go into the bathroom at work and masturbate right to the point of orgasm… but you may not cum. Fuck me running… this can be torture
Positions - When I tell you to suck my cock, you will drop to your knees immediately, clasp your hands behind your back, and please me without being able to use your hands. Or, when I tell you that you can join me in the bed, you will approach from the bottom… sliding your body up mine until you’re resting against my chest. Or, when we’re watching TV, talking, resting, whatever, you will sit/kneel curled up at my feet. You may put your head on my lap if you ask first. This is actually easy to pull off around other people, believe it or not. I have had a habit of curling up on the floor near men in my life anyway… the dominant ones anyway… I just did it naturally
Journaling – Common way for a dominant to force the submissive to be open with him. He may read it every day, he may read it once a week, he may not read it at all… But he requires her to do it and it’s at his discretion. I have known many experienced male dominants who did this in order to give their female submissives a necessary outlet. Typically, she’s never punished for anything she writes in a journal but he may pick something she’d said to discuss with her or get a more detailed explanation. There are times that he requires her to journal about something in specific. “I want you to write about your reaction to X,Y,Z that I did to you last night” or “I want you to journal about your fears today”
Holy hell. I just checked the word count and it’s… uh… very high. It’s also almost 4am. I think that I should probably close here and pick this up another time.
Have I mentioned to anyone in the past few hours that I’m madly in love with a remarkable, sexy, dominant, strong, masculine, sensual, loving, sensitive man? Have I mentioned that he’s got a stunning body… a beautiful cock that I adore… the cutest ass on the fucking planet… and that I belong to him?
Sunday, April 06, 2008
I'm trying to catch up on The View - I'm rewatching the episode with Barack Obama - while I'm piddling around with my computer. Mark replaced the poor dead one and I had a new hard drive so I'm still finding things that I no longer have installed but that I need. Anyway, I had just downloaded Picasa and was uploading cute pictures to the blog when I got the following text message:
"I want you . . . to beg me to allow you to suck my cock; to beg me to fuck your ass; to beg me to allow you to cum on my cock..."
Are you fucking kidding me? He says this when it's going to be almost 24 hours before I can throw myself at him???
Of course, he doesn't know that I've just spent the past hour and a half getting ready for tomorrow. The black nightgown is clean and hanging up with the black lace thong, ready to go. (It's between that and another little something I'm considering) I took a long bath and I'm almost freakishly smooth and soft - everywhere. I'm scrubbed and buffed and waxed and lotioned and...
Just you wait, Mark... I am going to fuck you until you are so lost in me you are afraid you won't ever find your way back to yourself. I'm going to maintain control long enough to make sure you lose yours. If I have to ply you with alcohol, so be it. If I have to dress like a slut and kneel at your feet while you rub your cock all over my face, I'm there. If I need to slide my soft, smooth body up the length of yours, my tongue lapping at every inch of you along the way... my breasts pressing against your thighs as I slowly circle the head of your cock with the tip of my tongue, looking up into your eyes as you slide, inch by inch, into my mouth and down my throat...
On the other hand, he's going to have me in the palm of his hand if I take that route first... Maybe I should be careful with the order of events and...
I think I need to do a little negotiating before hand. *I* think that I should be able to have him spread eagle on the bed... lying on his back... Lucky for him that there's nothing to tie his cute ass up with or I would be all about that. Well, I'm already all about that but I suppose I'll just have to suffer. **Shaking off THAT image - ye gods**
I was about to describe what I plan to do to HIM tomorrow, but I'm afraid his sneaky ass will peek at my blog beforehand and then it'll all be ruined. I sure do wish I knew where the hell all my toys were, though. Damnit to hell.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Hey, baby. I hope you have time to read this email before you go to work...
It's becoming way more trouble than it's worth to dance around certain subjects and ignore what is, on my side, a rather large elephant in the room so if me expressing myself on this subject ends our relationship, so be it... but, as I said, the game-playing on my part is getting tiresome.
I've said in my blog, but not to you, that I'm falling in love with you. In retrospect, the way I've been handling it is a little juvenile and I knew it, but I seem to spend a lot of time trying not to freak you out or make you think you need to back off so I won't get hurt.
You don't need to worry about my feelings for you - just like you didn't need to worry when you first realized I was "falling for you" or "had strong feelings for you". Whatever the level of intensity, the same thing applies - I'm a big girl, I knew what I was getting into, I knew you were dangerous, I knew you were unavailable, and I'm fine.
I've hinted, obviously - even to you. I don't think I've been all that coy about it but when I'm actually talking *to* you, I try to be a bit more circumspect. I'll continue to watch what I say when we're together but - and I'm serious about this "but"...
You've got to stop encouraging me to have deeper emotions for you and you've got to be more aware of the things that make it difficult for me to keep them to myself because, well, it makes it very difficult for me *to* keep them to myself. The last time we were together was almost more than I could handle - I can't imagine the next time you make love to me.
On the other hand, I *love* the song. I love that you shared your music with me. I love that you share things that mean something to you. I don't want you to stop sharing with me just to keep me from saying something inappropriate - I just want you to be a teeny tiny bit more aware.
Almost every word of that song was sheer perfection. I didn't actually get a chance to listen to it until you'd logged off and... damn. It caught me off-guard temporarily because it *is* so perfect and I knew that if I'd heard it for the first time with you there, it would have been torturous for me.
Now, though, I can listen to it by myself and just enjoy it. However you may be feeling about it, *I* don't have a problem with falling in love with you - I am enjoying it completely. I love everything I know about you so far, Mark, and the more I learn about you... the more time I spend with you... the more I'll probably love you. This is okay with me. I don't know why it is... I don't know or care how it happened... I don't even care anymore about the speed with which it happened, although I did at first. I am, simply, reveling in it.
I hope you take me at my word that this should not be a complication for you. I suppose that, normally, this would be a "bad thing" considering our circumstances but that's only if the one who fell in love is also very, very stupid and/or naive - I am neither of those things and I think you know that. I hope you do.
As for me, as I said before, I'm completely content with our relationship and how I feel about you so I hope this doesn't create a problem for you - or for us.
Have a great day, baby. Thank you for today... the time together, the dinner, the music, everything. I can't wait to see you on Saturday.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
I don't typically employ profanity in a title, but hey, it's my fucking blog and it's supposed to be reflective of how I feel, right? So fuck it.
I wonder if I should just say "Fuck it" a lot and let that be the post; it's pretty much how I feel right now and it's so... Ah, fuck it. I'm just going to talk to myself until I feel better.
Today has been a confusing day. The past few weeks have been confusing weeks. I feel like my life was turned upside down when I wasn't looking. Hmm, that may be a bit unfair so I'll rephrase. I feel like I've grabbed hold of my own life and shaken it up because nobody did this to me; this is a strictly self-imposed hell.
In my last post, I said that I was a fucking idiot and I will reiterate here - I'm a fucking idiot. I don't care that I'm not being overly introspective or eloquent or even coherent. How did I get myself in a situation where I can't even think straight? I have no FUCKING idea what I'm doing and I can't even see clearly enough to discern where I made the mistakes I've obviously made.
Okay, I've just taken a deep breath and I'm going to see if I can proceed with the vocabulary of something slightly above a sailor with a 6th-grade education.
Yeah, well. I sat here and thought about proceeding with a sense of calm and couldn't get anything out. I'm glad that each line here isn't time-stamped like it is in IRC chat because that would get a little embarrassing... I can type "Fuck, fuck, fuck" at 100wpm and then slow to a crawl when I try to express myself in a "nicer" way. I'm just rambling now... maybe that's what I needed to do.
I can't fucking talk to him because it's too fucking late and we're in the middle of some fucking drama, and he's probably in fucking bed, fucking sleeping like a baby. I was going to add "fuck" in there a few more times but that would have been overkill, right?
Okay, now I can talk.
If I hadn't been acting like a complete slut and flirted with someone with whom I had no business flirting, I wouldn't be in this situation. I don’t flirt with men anymore… I ignore men. Even if I think one is cute, I say to myself “That guy is cute” and then go on my merry way, so how did I fuck up so badly? If I'd not acted like a complete idiot and then taken things to the next level by flirting blatantly and responding when flirted with, I wouldn't be in this situation. If I'd just acted like a normal complete fucking slut and gotten laid and walked away, I wouldn't be in this situation. If I had shown any kind of sense at ALL after not walking away, I would have bailed the minute I realized this wasn't about the sex for me. Who the FUCK does this to themselves?
I'm starting to embarrass myself with the F word now; it's terribly unladylike so maybe I should go back and edit at some point. It's not that I'm trying to hide that I say it, but ... seriously... I cringe at the thought of reading this back later or having anyone else ever see it. **Sigh** I am not overly proud of myself right now for any number of reasons and it's particularly distressing that I have not one single excuse for one single stupid-ass thing I've done.
So what do I do now that I've plunged myself into a no-win situation? I lose, of course. Duh. That's what you do in no-win situations. Let me give you a beautiful illustration of a no-win FUCKING situation. Follow this recipe:
Get married and flirt with a married man. This is particularly poignant if you both love your spouses and the scenario isn't as delicious without this aspect, so no one should leave it out.
Then, pursue said flirtation and completely disregard any and all consequences to yourself, the other person, and the multitude of innocent parties involved. This part is necessary to keep your self-loathing at the highest possible level. I'm doing self-loathing professionally this week, get over it.
So, now that you’ve gotten yourself involved in an affair with a married man, make sure that the sex becomes merely secondary to you. Make sure that you pay attention in the early stages so you can enjoy the deep emotional impact he has on you. Make absolutely certain that you start wondering how the hell you could have considered yourself even content when no one ever looks at you anymore in the way he does. This helps with the emotional hell you’re preparing to be in… it’s 100% necessary for the angst that you’re about to be experiencing.
Then, as soon as you’re sure you’re seeing all the signs of an unhealthy emotional attachment, tell yourself that you’re going to get out before getting out becomes almost impossibly painful. This is your nod to common sense. Once you do this, you will be able to proceed to the next stage with gusto…
After you’ve made your nod to common sense (a cursory nod, to be sure), you can now move straight into irrational rationalization. You can tell yourself that both of you are unhappy in your marriages and that everyone deserves to have a little happiness in their lives. This, by the way, is pure bullshit and you know it but you’re rationalizing so it’s okay – your brain will ignore the fact that it’s bullshit. You should, at this point, pay particular attention to his repeated warnings that this can’t go anywhere because that’s one of the things you use to rationalize continuing… After all, it’s not that difficult to keep a brief affair secret, no matter how passionate, so no one will get hurt and no one’s lives will be disrupted. You respect him all the more for reminding you that this is a dead end street and that you shouldn’t have expectations of him and since you don’t expect anything anyway, you now tell yourself, “See? This is perfectly safe no matter how I let myself feel about him. Other than a few morality twinges, this is a harmless attempt to get some of my needs met.”
Now comes the part where you dance around words and act juvenile. An example of this (I’m avoiding getting to the point) is that I’ve always told my girls that if you’re too young and immature to talk about the specifics of sex, or sex itself, you are too young and immature to be having it. If you giggle and blush at saying, “I love the way your cock hardens at my merest touch. I love the way you pause just at the entrance of my pussy, look deep into my eyes, and then bury yourself completely” then you should still be in the front seat making out. There’s a point to this and I’m working my way into it because, god damn it, I have been dancing around the actual fucking point even in my own head so putting it into words fucking sucks. However, here we go, because I am a person who believes in justice (fairness is bullshit) and I’m going to hold myself to my own fucking standard:
I am falling in love with him.
There you go. The key ingredient to your own private hell.
I have to admit that the order and amount of ingredients get a little hazy for me around this point. You’re pretty well fucked now, though, so it doesn’t matter how you proceed - you are, simply, fucked.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Adulation, affection, allegiance, amity, amorousness, amour, appreciation, ardency, ardor, attachment, case*, cherishing, crash, crush, delight, devotedness, devotion, emotion, enchantment, enjoyment, fervor, fidelity, flame, fondness, friendship, hankering, idolatry, inclination, infatuation, involvement, like, liking, lust, mad for, mash, partiality, pash, passion, piety, rapture, regard, relish, respect, sentiment, soft spot*, taste, tenderness, the hots, weakness, wild for*, worship, yearning, zeal.
The above list is the result of doing a thesaurus search on "Love". I've known all day that I wanted to write something on this subject - to compare and contrasts the "types" of love - and I thought this list would be a good jumping off point.
One thing I wanted to explore in writing, since it helps me sort things out, was whether or not one could love two people at one time. Can you be in love with two people? Love two people? Be infatuated with two people?
I could explore the spiritual side of love, in a general sense, or I could stick with a strictly Biblical definition. I could propose the theory that the sensation of "being in love" is a chemical reaction that your body uses to distract you from reality long enough to have you mate for the continuation of the species. Then, the next logical stage of progression is actual "love", which would bond a couple together in a more long-term way, but also for the continuation of the species, by way of providing two parents to raise the offspring. But that's so - clinical.
The spiritual aspect of love is a little too esoteric for my mood right now and the scriptural side is not something I want to delve into at the moment. If pressed, I'd say that of all the definitions of love, the Corinthians version would have to be the real one, but then I suppose it would have to be since it's the definition given by God.
So let's stick to a few general descriptions and definitions because otherwise I will confuse the hell out of myself and write an even longer post than usual. Besides, I don't believe in biological imperatives where humans are concerned (not strictly speaking, anyway) so I'm going to try to leave that aspect alone, too.
Being infatuated. Your stomach has butterflies, your heart feels a physical ache, your thoughts become distracted, and you are sure that you have finally met the one for you. You disregard the fact that you don't even believe there is only one person for you or anyone else because you were obviously mistaken in that notion - here is the one for you. How could you go more than a day or so without seeing them? It would be disastrous not to talk to them multiple times a day. The need to touch is almost painful when denied and overwhelming when finally realized.
Being infatuated is a lovely state of being for about five minutes. Okay, a little longer if you're lucky but it's not an overly comfortable way to live your life. The above description can be quite painful and it becomes difficult to live a normal life when you're tripping over the flowers because you can't see clearly through the rose colored glasses --- and, really, your boss is getting a little pissed that you are blowing out of work at the slightest opportunity. But it's fun... it's exhilarating... everyone should feel this way for a little while.
There are only two ways to go when you are infatuated. You can move swiftly into being in love or it dies completely. This is one of the colder feelings a human can have, I think... you're almost completely devoid of feelings for the person once the infatuation is over and usually can not remember what the hell has been wrong with you the past few weeks. Someone drugged you or you were suffering from a state of temporary insanity. (It was temporary insanity, trust me.)
If you don't go cold, the infatuation moves inexorably into being in love and this is a particularly dangerous state, in my opinion. You've settled down a bit from infatuation but you're still not thinking clearly in the slightest... you just think you are. In this stage, you've realized that the object of your affection is not perfect but you still think it's charming. They're so like you in some ways but there are those few areas where you are polar opposites and you think this is fantastic. Think of the things you could teach and learn. Opposites attract, don't they? You compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses. (You are a fucking idiot.)
Being in love has the upside of a continuation of physical passion held over from the infatuation stage. You're still hot for each other and are sure that this is the best sex you've ever had... or damn near it, at any rate. Even if someone in your past has done X better or Y in a way that you prefer, the totality of the experience was in no way comparable to what you feel now. Of course it wasn't. (You are still a fucking idiot)
Something I find interesting is that I've heard people talk about loving two people at once but rarely, if ever, have I heard them say they were infatuated with more than one. This should be a clue about how all-consuming infatuation can be, even though it's a deceptive feeling. Because you are completely obsessed with the object of your desire in infatuation and the "I'm in love" stage, there's not a lot of room for romance elsewhere. So what the hell happens when you actually love someone?
I have neither the time nor the talent to try to do the definition of "love" any justice, so I'll just touch on a few things that I think are different than the previous stages.
When you love someone, you're at least as focused on them and their needs as you are on your own. You think you are in the previous two stages but if you pay attention to yourself, you say "I" way more than you say anything else. It's about how they make ME feel. It's about how *I* feel when I'm around them. It's all about the id - the other person is feeding it.
Conversely, in my opinion, love for someone is all about that person. You would admire, respect, and appreciate them even if they weren't directly involved in your life - even if they didn't love you in a romantic way. If a situation comes up where your needs are in direct competition with theirs, there is no competition --- you willingly (I said willingly) meet their needs, even to your own detriment. Ideally, you love someone who loves you back and so it becomes a mutually beneficial relationship, but your love for them is not dependent upon reciprocity.
Most parents I know immediately recognize this definition of love because it is how they feel about their children. Not only would we die for them, but we happily choose to live for them, as well. I wonder how the results would look if we took an anonymous survey of people who say they love their partner and posed parent/child type questions to them. I wonder if the results would say, "Yes, you really do love your partner" or "Good God, do you even like them?"
After rereading this post, I may have answered a few of my own questions and I don't think I like my conclusions very much. Oh well, what's the point of introspection if you don't end up loathing yourself even more afterwards, right?
If I believe my own (and others') definition of love, then you can not love your spouse and have an affair. You can not love two different partners at the same time. Using the example of loving both your children doesn't play here because it takes nothing from the one child when you give additional love to the second. It doesn't take anything from them, it doesn't damage their self-esteem, it doesn't disrespect them, and it doesn't meet a selfish need of your own to the harm of another.
I suppose, if you are single, you can love someone and have a temporary infatuation with someone else but you couldn't explore it for the same reasons presented in the paragraph above --- it would harm the primary partner.
Eros, philia, and agape.
Eros is the least of these. Eros is the most id-centered of them. Eros is the most shallow and least rewarding.
Philia and agape can stand on their own. You can love completely in those ways and both complete something within yourself and in another.
To have all three is perfection but the only one that is left wanting when had alone is eros.
Good thing I didn't start this with some lame-ass hypothesis about how you can love two people at one time. Okay, I started it with that lame-ass hypothesis but I didn't put it in writing so you can't hold me to it.
I'm a fucking idiot.
Posted by Christina at Monday, March 31, 2008 0 comments
Yeah, okay... Not a happy camper today. I'm actually only blogging about this because I didn't feel it would be *wise* to send a letter to my boss but I *had* to say this somewhere.
Are you fucking kidding me??? I send an email to him asking for an advance -- would be the third I've asked for in almost 10 years and the second he (would have?) said yes to. Previously, I borrowed $500 and he did, of course, get every cent of it back.
That having been said - I am back at work with *no* salary and *no* hourly pay. He did pay me the first two paychecks out of reloads that came in (from other sources) and the checks were okay. Not what we'd agreed to, but not far off. After that, my checks have been (and I assume will continue to be) only what commission I'm owed from what I sell. Again, I say... Are you fucking kidding me???
I have worked, on average, 55 - 65 hours a week for more than 6 weeks. I have done bringbacks, cold calls, put out fires, handled the sales staff, and anything else I've been asked to do. Plus, when I come home, I work on getting information, leads, the database, forms, and any number of other administrative tasks -- NONE of which I get paid for unless I make an actual sale - just like any salesperson on that floor.
The theory is that I'm putting in sweat equity and I did agree to that, but not under just ANY terms. I have not gotten one thing that I originally asked for when he called and asked me to come back --- and we had almost three weeks of meetings. Nor has anything he promised me been made public at work - NOR has anything he promised me been put in writing.
So, the long and short of it... the REALITY of the situation... is that I'm working one job (sales) to pay myself for doing my real job (managing)... Seriously? Does this sound like a fucked up deal to anyone else?
I signed up for this when I agreed to come back prematurely - Before anything had been set in stone - Before anything had been *written* or *signed* and now I'm stuck.
Maybe the real reason I feel taken advantage of or upset about this current situation is that he would even have to CONSIDER giving me an advance, given the circumstances. I certainly didn't expect him to do what he did do - which is pull my sales to see if I have enough outstanding in receivables to justify the amount of the advance I asked for.
Are.... you... fucking.... kidding me???
Wednesday, December 19, 2007