When I was in San Francisco last fall, I had the opportunity to take some fun photos at a friend’s house; sadly, these are not my clothes, but I had a great time putting them on for a bit. I felt like a dirty ring master.
Driving down the 10, Alison held her breath. She hadn’t seen Jax – now Jack – for at least five years. They didn’t speak for the first two after their breakup, allowing themselves time to grieve. Then came a Christmas card, then a catch-up email, and finally a phone call in which they were awash in relief at being able to laugh with relaxed and whole-hearted endearment.
When she diverted to highway 35 after Houston, Alison loosened considerably; the drive along the gulf was gorgeous, and she’d forgotten the raw beauty of rural Texas. She allowed her mind to wander as she sat in her car on the ferry toward Mustang Island, fondly remembering holidays and morning routines with Jax. The smell of sandalwood in her hair; the Friendsgiving when they’d accidentally set the kitchen on fire; the way Jax knew the precise moment to slide her fingers in while licking Alison’s clit. Her ability to make a spanking feel like a reward instead of a punishment.
Still thinking about being bent over Jax’s knee, she started at a knock on the passenger window. Snapped out of her reverie, she glanced over and inhaled sharply; she might not have recognized him had she seen him in a crowd. She rolled the window down; Jack leaned gracefully against the sill and said, “Hey – aren’t you my wedding date?” His radiant smile, now hidden by a shadow of facial hair, was the same. “Come on in, sailor,” Alison replied; he opened the door and slid inside. “You look beautiful,” he said. Alison laughed; she was still in her morning sweats. Jack, on the other hand, was looking handsome in his fitted suit and tie. She thought of the last time she saw him wearing a suit – it had been on their last date. They saw Giselle; afterward, he requested a lap dance in their living room. She remembered straddling him, pulling his tie between her fingers as she leaned back, letting it fall as she ran her own hands up her breasts. She rode him on the couch that night, their Feeldoe snug inside him, her cunt smearing the silicone with thick juices and involuntarily pulsing around it.
He snapped his fingers in front of her face. “You okay?” he asked playfully. “Great,” she responded, smiling. “I was walking down memory lane.” “Oh – I think I’ve been there,” he said. “Right between Regret Road and Amnesia Avenue, right?” “Right,” she laughed. This felt easy. “I’ve missed you,” he said, looking at her with warmth. “Same,” she said. As the ferry started nearing the dock, he opened the door and looked back over his shoulder; “See you at the wedding,” he said, and just like that, he was gone.
The day was a blur of sand, ceremony, loving words, champagne. There were fleeting pangs of sadness as Alison thought about how she’d wanted this with Jax, moments of sentimental longing when their friends exchanged vows, and ebullient exhaustion on the dance floor as Jack spun her around and around. She’d forgotten how good a lead he was. As they spent most of the reception catching up with other people, Jack suggested that they take a walk together along the beach to have some time alone.
They talked about work and hobbies; Jack had taken up the guitar and was playing open mics, and Alison had been promoted at the job she’d left San Antonio to take. “I’m proud of you,” he said, stopping to look at her. “I know it was a hard decision for you to leave.” “Jack,” she said, the floodgates being held back by much too thin a membrane, “I’m so sorry. There have been a million times when I think I should have stayed.” “We both did what we needed to do in a situation where there was no easy answer,” he said, and grabbed her hand. It felt reassuring and strong. His touch gave her an unexpected jolt of desire; her somatic memory took over and her body felt the pads of his fingertips pinching her nipples, his palms separating her thighs. “My hotel is right here,” he said, motioning up the beach, still holding her hand; “Come in for a drink?” “I’d love that,” she said, sorrow morphing into stirrings of arousal.
Jack poured shots of tequila – her favorite – and toasted her. “To your promotion,” he said. “No,” she replied. “To your transition – I hope it was everything you hoped for. You are a very dashing man.” “Everything and more,” he said. “I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.” “Tomorrow?” she asked, flushed. “If I have things my way, you’ll be waking up here,” he said, and looked at her with questioning eyes. She tilted her head back, letting the smooth tequila roll down her throat, burning in the best way possible. She returned his gaze. “Pour me another shot, and I’ll think about it,” she said, smiling. “Whatever you say, my little cauliflower,” he answered. She reacted viscerally to hearing her old nickname spoken by this slightly-deeper but forever familiar voice. “You – ” she started, unable to complete her thought, her heart racing. He traced her collarbone with one hand, and her cunt flamed; leaning into her ear, he whispered, “Don’t think too hard. We’re only here for one night.”
She moved her face to the side, feeling his lips graze her cheek before meeting hers; the feeling of his tongue against hers flooded her with dopamine. The body continues to react long after the brain struggles to forget, and her wanting overtook everything. With their breath intertwining and the lingering scent of sandalwood in the air, she settled into her body and let the tension and pleasure build, and build, and build.
**Sometimes when you start writing and think your piece is going to be one thing, it morphs into a completely different thing; this was meant to be much more smutty than it is. Highly smutty non-fiction about an ex forthcoming!
I first got on the pill when I was fifteen (shout out to Planned Parenthood!); I finally stopped twenty years later after ingesting approximately 5,500 bits of estrogen and progestin. Not wanting to go back on hormones once I stopped using them, I had a tiny copper IUD placed in my (apparently) tiny uterus, which promptly rejected it. I thought the expulsion was due to my menstrual cup, so I got a new IUD placed, bought a lighter and more flexible menstrual cup, and started to be super careful about breaking the seal and watching for my IUD strings. Despite my caution, as I squatted to pee in the middle of the night in a completely dark outhouse in the middle of rural Uganda this past April, I could feel my IUD strings poking out – seven months after I’d had it placed… almost as if my uterus didn’t want a foreign body lodged inside of it. As I pulled an IUD the rest of the way out of my cervix for the second time in one year, I sighed, thinking: “Now what?”
Months away from coming back to the US, I knew I’d have to rely on condoms (which I usually use, anyway) and withdrawal for the rest of my trip and potentially for the rest of my life. It was then that I started thinking about a more permanent option. I’m not afraid of having babies (though a LOT of what Livvy wrote resonated with me) – I just don’t want them. I love the idea of fostering or adopting an older child at some point, but I decidedly do not want to grow or raise infants.
Shortly after I came home this year, I went to my local STI clinic to get some routine testing done; while talking to a medical assistant about contraception, I casually mentioned that someday when I do have insurance, I sure would like to get a tubal ligation. “Oh,” she said casually while typing my information into a spreadsheet – “In that case, let me sign you up for family planning health care. It’s covered.” I was incredulous and overjoyed; she made it so easy. I signed some documents, called around to clinics to make an appointment, and finally got in to see a doctor in mid-November.
He asked, in short: Why do you want a tubal? I told him my contraceptive history and my very strong desire not to breed. Okay, he said. No argument. No “Are you sure? You’ll change your mind. Women are made to reproduce and your life will be incomplete without a baby.” None of that. He just listened to me, trusted me, and said, “Okay.” There was a month waiting period before I could have the procedure done; I had to sign a waiver saying the state of Wisconsin wasn’t asking me to get sterilized (there is a long and terrible history in this country of people living in poverty, people of color, prisoners, and folks with mental health issues being sterilized against their will), and I had to get the surgery done in a suburb because the Catholic hospital he works for doesn’t allow tubal ligations to take place there. Because of course they don’t. I’m lucky I had transportation to get out there in the dead of winter; a lot of women don’t.
It ended up being a short outpatient procedure; I came in at 6:30 in the morning, was on the table by 8:00 am, came out of anesthesia by 9:30, and was home by 10:30. I met with the anesthesiologist, the nurses, and the doctor to ask questions before the procedure, which was very simple: he made a small incision in my belly button and inflated my abdomen with gas, then inserted a small camera called a laparoscope; he made another small incision in my lower abdomen and inserted the surgical instruments through that incision, placing plastic clips on my fallopian tubes. Everything out, all stitched and bandaged up, and presto! No more need to weigh the pros and cons of various methods of contraception.
Before I left, I had to ask in my very groggy state: How long before I can have sex? For how long do I need to use a backup method of birth control? I had to ask these questions because no one bothered to tell me. When I asked the last question, the nurse responded, “Oh, you have a boyfriend?” Last time I checked, I didn’t need a long-term partner in order to have sex, but hey – it’s Wisconsin? They gave me a prescription for a few Percocet and sent me home, where my mother literally tucked me in and made me soup.
My mom is amazing. She desperately wants grandchildren; all of her siblings and friends have them, and she has no children to spoil. My sister doesn’t want kids either, so my mom is left wanting to smell baby scalp and looking at Facebook photos of other people’s babies. I was so scared to tell her that I was getting sterilized – but she had the best reaction I could ever hope for. “There are too many unwanted children in the world,” she said – “So if you don’t want one, you shouldn’t have one.” She was so supportive and respectful of my choices. I found it strange and ironic that she was the one to care for me after my surgery, but I’m glad, too – I feel lucky to have a mom I can trust and enjoy spending time with. Also, I can’t imagine a better place to be while letting my body heal.
I spent the day of the surgery sleeping; the cramps were terrible, and I bled for three days. Now, four days after the procedure, I’m still a bit crampy and sore, but I can be out in the world. I can’t exercise or lift heavy things for a couple of weeks, but I finally got to shower and get all that iodine off my torso, which felt like a small victory. The incisions are small and healing nicely, and I can’t wait for The Engineer to pump me full of jizz.
I’ve spent the past ten years having some variation of this conversation:
Me: “I don’t want kids.”
Other person: “Don’t worry; you still have time.” / “You’ll change your mind!” / “But you’d be such a great mom.” / “What if your future partner wants kids?”
Me: *silently rolls eyes, frustrated not to actually be heard*
I am pro-choice; for me, that means that women should not only have the right to terminate a pregnancy safely, but that they should have the right to prevent pregnancy in a way that feels right to them and ALSO that women should be able to have as many children as they want in a safe and healthy environment. I’m a nomad who doesn’t find babies cute or understand the way that people fawn over them; they’re just not for me. And I’m so grateful to have a doctor and a family who understand that enough to say, “Okay.”
In the absence of stability of space, resources, and purpose this year, yoga has been the one form of movement I’ve always been able to count on. I try to practice daily – even if for just ten minutes when I wake up or before bed – because it slows me down, calms my mind, and brings joy to my body.
Best of all, it makes me flexible and strong – both traits that lend themselves to other types of movement.
When the sun extends its long arms toward verdant plants and trees, and the earth breathes with birth and growth, I’m eager to jump out of bed in the morning, naked as the day I was born, and play for hours out in the open.
But days like today – when it’s far below freezing – I want to burrow. Weather has a definite impact on the type of sex I’m in the mood for, and winter is meant for wrapping my legs tight around and pressing my body flat against a partner. For cuddling for lengthy periods, desperate to warm ourselves by clinging to each other; for making love by candlelight; for diving under the duvet in the mornings and breathing in the stale heat of each other’s carbon dioxide until we literally need to come up for air. For drinking steaming cups of tea and coffee in bed and running baths so hot that we sink in centimeter by centimeter to get used to it and come out flushed and wrinkled.
I’m at my least kinky in winter, unless there’s central heating – but winter is when I feel most connected, communal, and rooted. I get this overwhelming feeling when sitting on a hearth and staring into a fire – my past and future meet and I can see all of the possibilities of the new year lying ahead, and I feel the interconnectedness of all things for a fleeting moment.
For me, spring and fall are for starting over and letting go; summer is for spontaneity and relishing new experiences. Winter is for reflection, for deep love and compassion, and for holding tight to the people we hold most dear.
I run cold, so winter is also for asking nicely to be warmed up by any means necessary. When we come home to each other, it gives me the opportunity to say, “I’m freezing; can you make me sweat?”
The days are getting longer – but for now, we sit tight, huddled together in the darkness, awaiting days when we no longer need scarves to warm us.
Taken during a photo shoot last winter.
The Engineer picked me up from Gatwick holding a handmade sign on which he’d written a pet name for me; he stood in the arrivals hall for thirty minutes holding up this 8×11 piece of paper while I went through immigration*, chauffeurs and business associates staring at it with confusion and amusement. I’d told him not to bring flowers because I wanted to jump into his arms. “No problem,” he said. When we arrived at his car, there they were, in the boot instead. “You told me not to bring them in,” he said when I protested. On the way to his, he went old school as we listened to a mixed CD he’d made of all the songs that were important to us. “I got you a sim card,” he told me on the way home, “So you can reach me when I’m on the road.”
At the entrance to his flat were a pair of purple fur-lined slippers for me; they fit perfectly. I dropped my bags in his room; he showed me the shelves he’d cleared for me, and we flopped onto his new bed to make out. We shared the contents of our shag bags and laughed over the fact that I’d brought a lot of things with me that he had bought, so he could return them… and we could find other things we liked.
In his lounge, a pot of my favorite flowers sat on the dining table and a huge bottle of Bailey’s – which he loathes, but I can’t get enough of – was perched on the bookshelf among other bottles of booze. DVDs of a couple of my favorite horror movies were placed into his collection; he’s not a horror fan, but thought it would be fun to watch one with me. In the kitchen: a French press and a bag of dark roast (despite the fact that he’s not a coffee drinker) and two different jars of cranberry sauce in the cupboard. “I know you wanted these for Thanksgiving, and I wasn’t sure which one to get,” he told me. In the bathroom, a bag full of bath bombs so we could take hot baths together on cold days and a bottle of massage oil for our weary fuck-exhausted muscles. He thought of every detail to make me happy and comfortable.
When we fall asleep at night, I’m the big spoon; I wrap my tiny body around his giant frame, and for some reason it feels right. Sometimes he falls asleep on the couch, his head in my lap. I stroke his hair and whisper, “Let’s go to bed, honey.” When we wake up in the morning, he pulls me toward him and holds me tight for a few minutes before diving deep under the covers to spread my legs and lick me, waking up my center and my hunger. He gets ready for work while I drift back off; before he leaves, he comes in, leans down, gives me a kiss with his full lips, and whispers, “I love you, Hummingbird.”
Last night, when he came home, I was sitting on the kitchen counter wearing a zip-down vinyl dress, fishnets, and his red silk tie, mug of mulled wine in hand. “Cup of wine?” I asked quietly as he walked toward me, bathed in candlelight. “No,” he said, never taking his eyes off me. In between kisses, I let soft words dance into his ears: “We still have some toys to play with.” He retrieved a couple of floggers and a bottle of lube from the bedroom; when he returned; he turned me around and gave me the beating I’d been longing for before putting me back on the counter, sliding my copper-colored lace panties down over my legs, and hitching the dress up so he could plunge his lubed-up cock into me. I wrapped my legs around his waist and breathed deeply as he moved in long, slow strokes, building up anticipation for when he pulled me off the counter and bent me over it, pressing my hands to the tiled wall and sinking his fingers deep into my hips. I came twice standing there, my hair spilling out of its band, and once more in his bed – our bed – after he carried me there. Lying underneath him, I unzipped the dress, exposing my pale breasts and belly, the red tie pointing down toward my swollen cunt. I held him to me, whimpering in his ear, calling him “mi amor” in hushed, desperate tones. He was sweating by the time he came; I inhaled the scent of him, and my body unwound.
The duvet glittered with my juices after they dried – a visual presence of our lust. When I’m gone, he’ll still hear my whispers in his ears, and they’ll hold him in their arms until he can make it across the ocean into mine.
*Imagine the immigration officer’s delight when I declared that not only was I here to visit a romantic partner, but also that I’m currently unemployed.
Some of these blogs are new to me; after checking out the ones I was unfamiliar with, I’m especially excited to start following The Beautiful Kind and Poly Land. With so many brilliant blogs to read, how does anyone ever get anything done?
That said, here’s the 2018 list; happy exploring!
I think once Kayla turns her mind to something she dedicates herself to it 110% and this year the result of that is that she has managed to secure herself the No. 1 spot on this list. Her writing is always excellent and her content is hugely varied, she writes fiction, personal essays and thought pieces, as well as advice and reviews. She is an amazing resource for anyone looking for content about D/s relationships and I think she is absolutely deserved winner of this year’s No.1 spot.
Mrs Fever appeared at No.10 on last year’s list. She is an absolute wordsmith in my opinion. Her writing is intelligent, thought-provoking, sexy and passionate and I am constantly drawn back into her blog to get lost in her world of words.
Kate has absolutely earned her place in the top ten this year in my opinion. She is a talented and exciting writer and her blog is well designed and structured and in my opinion she is absolutely brilliant at what she does.
This is a first since I have been doing the list; a blog going from the ‘new voices’ section straight into the top ten but Bibulousone has done exactly that. I find his writing utterly enthralling. He tackles the complexities of his life and relationship situation with a raw honesty that is both fascinating and addictive reading.
Rebel’s blog continues to be of a consistently high standard both in the content she produces and in the layout and design of her site. This year has been a tough year for her dealing with her Mother’s illness and passing but she is not one to shy away from writing about tricky difficult issues and the honesty she brings to her writing is something to be admired.
Follow her on Twitter: @Rebelsnotes
This was a new discovery for me on last year’s list and one I have continued to enjoy throughout the year. She is writer with a compelling style. She can make you laugh, cry and get turned on and sometimes that is all in one post.
Over the years Pandora Blake’s blog has changed and evolved alongside their own personal and professional evolution. As a result the content currently reflects their extensive work on fighting porn censorship in the UK and their blog is a hugely valuable resource for both those producing adult content and those consuming it not just in the UK but worldwide.
Damn can this woman write a short story! Her blog is a mixture of reviews, personal essays and fiction and it is all extremely well written but her story telling is some of the best around and why she has not published an anthology of sexy wicked stories is a mystery to me.
Kendra is one of the blogs which I was reading even before I started blogging. In fact she is a very small group of bloggers who definitely had a role to play in inspiring me to start my own blog. Over the years her story has been complex, difficult and inspirational and she has shared it all on her blog in her perfectly candid style.
And in at number 10 we have the awesome Suz. Her blog is a fabulous mix of well crafted sex toy reviews, thought pieces and personal essays that explore a large variety of sex related topics.
I’ve never been into lingerie. This may disappoint you to know, but I’m solidly a cotton briefs, jeans, T-shirt, hoodie, ponytail, and sneakers kind of woman. The Engineer, on the other hand, is a young man who’s watched a lot of porn and LOVES him some lingerie. I consistently tell him whenever he tentatively asks if I’ll wear something special for him that I will gladly wear whatever he puts in front of me, as long as it turns him on.
We popped into a lingerie shop in Dublin this summer; while we were waiting at the register, he grabbed this off a rack on impulse. I smirked at the cliche nature of it – a French maid outfit – but then loved the way it looked once it was on. Can’t say the top is very proprietary for a maid, but maybe she’s supposed to be a secretly slatternly maid.
More lingerie awaits me in a bag underneath his bed; looking forward to seeing what he has in store! Speaking of – posts will probably be sparse for the next month as I engage in a massive, month-long bone-a-thon. After three and a half months apart, the reunion is good to be goooooood, y’all.