Saturday, April 17, 2010

Processing Trauma

I could have lost my fiance this week.

He came down with "gas pain" on Sunday night, which came and went with varying severity over the next two days. Tuesday evening, while I was headed downtown, it suddenly blossomed into excruciating, guts-being-torn-out-with-a-hot-poker pain. He called me, I raced back home, located the nearest ER, fed the dog, loaded Q into the car, and off we went.

Pulse racing, chills, fever and cold sweats, barely able to move, panting and screaming from the pain, we got him into a bed, onto fluids and pain meds, and through a CAT scan that revealed the need for an emergency appendectomy. They admitted him around midnight, predicting surgery the next morning, and eventually sent me home for a meal and several fitful hours of sleep. Thank goodness for L-tryptophan and melatonin.

He had surgery the next day, which went well, though his appendix was gangrenous, and we spent the day managing his pain as he mostly slept. I went home again late that night, promising to return at 9 AM, fed the dog, fed myself, chilled for an hour and hit the sack. Again, thank goodness for enzymes.

Thursday was a bit better for him, though he'd had a rough night of pain and restlessness, but I was basically worthless. I was so tired I could barely function.

Lesson #1)
I should never have promised to return by 9 AM. He was relatively out of the woods, though still at risk for an abscess, and he honestly didn't need me there - he just wanted me there - and, having never been through this type of emergency before, I had not taken into account the toll it was taking on me. I was completely exhausted. He sent me home to take a nap, after which I returned, and kicked me out at a decent hour of the night.

Friday morning he'd fully turned the corner, and I returned to find him in good spirits. I, on the other hand, was an over-emotional, cranky, semi-petulant mess. "What's wrong with me?" I wondered. "It's too early to be PMS, so what's going on?" Finally, after speaking some of it out with Q, it hit me...

Lesson #2) I had never processed my fear and terror from the incident.
Oh my goodness, I was so scared! But I'm REALLY good in emergencies - I shove my emotional impact down so far and so fast that I barely even notice it's there. And that's what needs to happen -- it allows me to get things done in a fast and efficient manner, to be effective in the face of distress. It works... but only for so long. Once the situation has stabilized, I need to allow those feelings to arise and be experienced.

So I sat down on the bed next to Q and sobbed it all out. I could have lost him, and if I had, I would have sold my furniture, broken my lease, taken the animals and moved into my mom's house in Peoria, because I would NOT have been able to function. And that's scary for me, that I love someone so much that grief at the loss of them would functionally disable me.

Lesson #3) You NEVER know what that kind of loss is like until you face the possibility of it head on.
And the fact of the matter is that it could happen at any moment. ANY, for no reason and with no warning, and there may be nothing that you could do about it. I am so completely grateful for hospitals, and for their staff of experts who take such good care of strangers like us in our moments of greatest need. I thank the gods that Q knows how much I love him, and the other way around - had anything gone horribly wrong, there's nothing left unsaid between us. At the same time, we do not have wills, or estate trusts, or power of attorney to allow me to speak for his wishes in a crisis, and I don't even know what his wishes are, so that's a conversation for us to have.

I told Q that I didn't want him to be bothered with taking care of me when he should focus on taking care of himself. His response was that my breakdown could be an opportunity for him to provide for me, and give him a reason to get better faster. Hmmm... so...

Lesson #4) Allowing myself to be authentic and vulnerable could actually be of service to someone else? Imagine that!!

So we're home now, heading to bed again, in OUR bed with lots of snuggling on the menu. I feel that I've been seasoned somehow, that I've passed a trial, that I am wiser about the realm of loss and of strength... that there is a cost to the latter. I am keenly aware of what I have at stake, that I have something to lose in this world, and also something to deeply enjoy. So I'm gonna go do exactly that.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Friday, April 16, 2010

Plz forgive temporary absence

My fiance came down with appendicitis and had an emergency appendectomy. All such writing work has gone to the wayside while he's in the hospital. I'll be back shortly, perhaps to share the lessons I'm learning about the importance of caring for oneself WHILE caring for another. Thanks for your patience!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Dishing the Dirt - Confessions of a Sell-Out

I sold out.

It's true. I didn't realize it until recently, but I had sold out on myself, and as a result, I had sold out on you.

I thought that I knew what great sex looked and felt like. I thought that I knew what it meant to experience intimacy, to be close to another person in a deeply moving and meaningful way. I thought that I knew - and thus, I stopped looking, and I stopped learning.

There was what I knew, and then there was that woo-woo Tantra stuff... and who can blame me, right? Some of the ways in which Tantra practitioners present their materials and concepts will push the believability boundaries of any logical, rational being with a healthy dose of cynicism. I just couldn't seem to bring myself to step into that realm, and I told myself that what I had was good enough, almost as good as it could get, and that I was working on it.

And then I attended a discussion with Baba Dez Nichols, co-author of Sacred Sexual Healing: The Shaman Method of Sex Magic. (I thought it was more of that woo-woo stuff, but Q wanted to go, and "Sex Magic" peaked my interest.) What I heard resonated with me in unexpected ways and opened my eyes to a glimmer of a possibility that there could be a whole world of sexuality in which I was VERY interested - a world where sexual energy could be used intentionally, not only for pleasure, and for connection with a partner, but for manifestation - for the intentional creation of the life I deeply desire.

You know which that life is, right? The one that seems just beyond what's realistic, the one that society says isn't really possible, the one that, when shared, gets me called a dreamer. THAT life, the one I sold out on.

To anyone else, it would appear coincidental that subsequent to my purchase of the book, Q and I experienced together the most intensely pleasurable sexual encounter I've ever known - one that blew the roof off what I thought my body could experience, what "orgasm" could mean, what was possible between loving partners. I hadn't even started reading it yet!

I know, however, that it was the result of an act taken in faith, the fruits of intended labor, the giving up of resignation and the willingness to explore and admit that perhaps there's something out there that I didn't know I didn't know.

It's a new world in which I live now, one full of adventure and possibility... and I promise to share it with you. I will not sell out on you again.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Kinky Toybag Tour - Floggers

Let's discuss floggers!

Flogging, or flagellating, the act of using a flogger on another person, began as a punishment in the way-back centuries. For a full history, use something like
Wikipedia. This post is not for that purpose.

These days, flogging is used within the BDSM community for any number of reasons, one of which is to being about an altered state of consciousness, sometimes known as sub-space. Wikipedia has this to say, which which I agree:

"In the sexual sub-culture of
BDSM, "flagellation" involves beating the submissive partner and is a form of impact play. Such a flogging begins with soft blows, desensitizing the skin somewhat and triggering the body's endorphin response to pain, similar to "runner's high". The gradual increase in force heightens this response, often to a near-catatonic state in the bottom.

The flogger used in this context consists of a handle with an number of attached thongs known as "falls". Falls are typically made of materials such as suede, leather, rubber, rope, or other or flexible materials. The length, number, and composition of the falls determines the sensation caused by the flogger. Floggers are usually characterized by the sensation they cause. "Thuddy" floggers typically impart a broadly felt deep muscle impact, while "stingy" floggers are felt as a sharp stinging sensation over the skin. The sensation of floggers can also vary with the techniques used by the dominant (or top).

Floggers are typically applied to areas of the body which are well muscled, or protected by body fat, such as the upper back or buttocks. Vulnerable areas such as the abdomen, kidneys, and face are to be avoided. Some areas, such as female breasts, can be lightly flogged safely if appropriate care and skill is used. Intense flogging can leave
bruising but typically does not cut or permanently mark the skin."

This is actually well said! Thus my liberal quoting. Here are some additions...

Wider, thicker falls of heavier grades of leather lend themselves to a thuddy feeling, like being punched. The heaviest floggers are known as mops or bashers, and not only use heavier leathers, but also dramatically increase the number of falls.

Thinner falls of a lighter material lend themselves to sting, like being slapped. Cat-o-nine tails seems to be one of the original variants. Very thin falls, perhaps with angled tips, can get quite sharp, and there are lots of wild arrangements for people who really like sting... like knotted nylon rope instead of leather, or small plastic or metal barbs on the ends that actually Could cut skin. Leather is not the only material used, and one of the most beautiful floggers I've seen was made from linked chain.
This site will give you lots of visual examples. Peruse all of the categories at will!

This is another site with beautiful craftsmanship and great explanations, and which particularly mentions balancing their floggers. This is very important, as the way a flogger sits into your hand impacts your ability to control it comfortably. There is a style of flogging called Florentine that involved wielding two floggers at once, one in each hand, often in a figure-8 type of motion. I find it Hot to watch and fun to do. With imbalanced floggers, however, it can be torturous!

You can buy floggers at most sex shops that have any kind of kink section, but the best ones (IMHO) are hand made and woven and purchased from the artist.

Most importantly, remember that flogging happens by permission only! Now, go enjoy!

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Fear of Cheating in an LDR

Perhaps I'm in a mood today, but I'm sharing an email response to an on-line forum post regarding dealing with insecurity in a long distance relationship where both partners think/fear that the other is cheating on them.


"Okay, I apologize in advance for being very straight with you, and here goes:

"He told me about his past relationships, and basically there were no good relationships and a lot of drama."

And now you've got a lot of drama. Are you really surprised?

"Ever since we been together in this long-distance relationship (LDR) he has been thinking that I'm messing around and I think the same of him."

No, you don't just "think" the same of him, you FEAR the same. Both of you are dealing with an unjustifiable fear (it's a fear of loss, often fed by a personal insecurity) and an inability to trust, and until you address the source of those issues, they will keep showing up.

You think being together full-time will solve it? I doubt it - Many couples live together and still suspect each other of cheating. It has nothing to do with an LDR and everything to do with your inability to trust. Your concerns are Not about Him, and his are Not about You.

When in your past did someone break their word to you? Perhaps not a romantic partner, perhaps it was a parent, relative, teacher or friend. When did you decide that you couldn't trust, that people leave you, that that you don't deserve it, or whatever it was? Whether it shows up everywhere in your life, or only with this partner - something in the present is flashing you back to that moment that your trust was betrayed, and now you cannot BUT fear it happening again.

I'm theorizing here - I don't know you and we'll probably never meet. But I see this happening so often that I'm willing to throw it out there as a declaration. Until you EACH are willing to be entirely responsible for your OWN emotions and fears, and to dig into the underlying insecurities that take you over, this will likely not resolve.

So go ahead, dig in. Take the time you need to find the source of your insecurity and heal it, even if it means getting help from a professional. It's worth it.

Now, I have every bit of compassion for how much courage it takes to dig into oneself that way. Our own minds are scary places to hang out, and admitting to (and getting responsible for) our fears and insecurities feels like it'll kill us! And I'm telling you as someone who has done it, again and again, it is The Only Way to resolve this type of issue for the long-run, and the VERY BEST GIFT that you can give to yourself and the people in your life. Unless you believe in prayer and miracles, in which case, go on girl, get started.

Good luck, M"

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -