I'm missing Tom a lot tonight. It's my own fault, of course: I was wondering why his phone kept going straight to voicemail when I remembered that I hadn't posted his phone charger back to him after he left it here last Thursday. Oops.
So while I've got some time to kill and I'm thinking of him, I'll tell you about our date last Wednesday. Tom and I are still doing the long-distance thing. It sucks, but at least I can pretty much guarantee that we'll play on the occasions when we do get together. And my lovely new flat (all to myself, alleluia!) is well-suited to nice long scenes without having to worry about housemates. The gaps between times tend to result in a nice variety of play too, as time passes and we find ourselves into the mood for different things.
He came down for the evening. I'd cooked a nice meal (grilled tuna steak and lots of fresh veg) and we snuggled in front of a film. Then I practically dragged him to the bedroom. Well. Maybe he dragged me there. One or the other.
The newest update on Sarah Gregory Spanking is a school scene we filmed together last summer. Paul Rogers played her screen father who had just got a job as headmaster of Upton School in England, and he had brought Sarah with him as a student. Not impressed with this state of affairs, she quickly got into trouble picking fights with the other girls, saying England was crappy and America was much better.
Well, that's this girl's story, anyway. She definitely started it :P
The other weekend I headed up north to join a small gathering of people celebrating the launch of Nimue's World - the homegrown, boundary-pushing, performer-centric brainchild of Nimue, which launched before mine last year and which I am rapidly starting to think of as Dreams of Spanking's sister site. It was great to catch up with Nims for the first time since our sites launched, and meet her lovely poly family. They'd just come back from shooting with Will and Janna, and I heard all about the scenes they'd filmed as they bounced and decompressed.
I absolutely love the photos from the latest update from that shoot, Bring My Tea. As I know that Nimue and Janna are, like myself, inveterate tea drinkers, there's something inherently amusing about making it the theme of a spanking scene. But the photos are as stylish and elegant as any I've ever seen, to the extent that I had real difficulty choosing which ones to share with you.
I told you about my first spanking of 2012. The day before, I was lamenting my unspanked state and wondering how long I had to wait. By the end of that weekend, I'd been spanked so many times I lost count.
The occasion was Paul and Lucy's housewarming party, a grand occasion full of kinky friends, familiar faces and new people. Not everyone worth knowing was there, but everyone there was worth knowing. It's a rare scene event where I feel truly comfortable with all the people in the room.
Tom had originally hoped to accompany me, but when he was laid low with a cold I decided I couldn't miss this one - I'd go on my own. I knew that people would be playing, and I was fairly sure I wanted to join in given the opportunity. But I'm not used to going out without a spanker if I want to play, not least because I'm quite picky about who I play with. I was interested in a couple of prospects, but I wasn't sure if it was mutual, if they'd be available, and it's always an effort negotiating this sort of thing without offending anyone you don't want to play with.
Before Christmas, when D and I were still burning the candle at both ends getting Dreams of Spanking ready for launch, we managed to find the time for occasional play. These photos are a reminder of a particularly piquant spanking in which he demonstrated quite how much stronger he is than me, these days:
Yesterday was the first time in a while that I found myself sitting on a train home, bottom sore, welts tingling and itching under my clothes, my senses still full of what had just taken place. Dreamy, overstimulated, sated and reeling. Well, all of that energy had to come out somehow.
There was the belting on the evening I arrived, inspired in part (at least for me) by this hot write-up of a seven minute whipping. He started from cold, but warmed me up with the belt, layering stroke upon stroke until the throb intensified and I was squirming and sobbing over the pillows.
Then there was the twenty-four strokes with the birch which were captured on film on Thursday - this time without any warm-up at all, in the interests of producing more dramatic stripes. They were hard. But the difficulty of taking those strokes didn't undo me, didn't make me anxious or upset. It was a big, strong, challenging sort of pain, the sort of pain that inspires you to be brave, and leaves you feeling capable and proud. (If you're interested, you'll be able to watch the resulting video and photos on Dreams of Spanking from December 23rd.)
Editing scenes for Dreams of Spanking has had one major drawback this week. Watching films of Tom spanking me has made me instantly, painfully, physically miss him.
I miss him anyway, of course. I miss him every day since we started living apart for this temporary, between-jobs period of time. I miss making food and music and love with him. I miss talking to him over breakfast and watching him fuss my cat. But watching him spank me on video makes me yearn, with a deep belly and throat ache, to be close to him.
His forearms are something I miss more than you might expect. Strong, patterned with hair, defined with the musculature that gives him such a firm grip. I miss them while he's playing the guitar, and I miss them while he's spanking me.
Like many submissives (and, I think, many women) I'm susceptible to anxiety and perfectionism. I tend to set myself unrealistically high standards, and then succumb to stress at the fear I'll fail to meet them. It's arrogant in a way - trying to be the best rather than aiming for a more moderate achievement. But there's the desire to please in there, as well as to excel. And if left unchecked it can amount to self-sabotage, as the pressure mounts up and negatively affects performance.
When I experience this in my working or creative life, D/S can be a remarkably efficient tool to help me break the cycle. But when D/S is the subject of my anxiety, the usual solution isn't so straightforward.
Tom was coming to visit early last week, and I knew that he and D had been plotting. Both of them had let slip, independently, that the plan was to give me the opportunity to earn my Domestic Servicekinky merit badge. A roast dinner was mentioned, to be served in sexy lingerie and heels, and while the debauchery to follow wasn't explicitly mentioned, it was certainly implicit.
Life is good at the moment. Despite money worries, uncertainty about what the next year will hold, and working far too damn hard, I have what I need out of life. That is: a roof over my head for me and my cat, work that inspires me, and happiness in love. Put into perspective, the shoulder aches, minor wibbles and missed sleep doesn't really matter.
For so much of the last few years, poly hasn't been easy, and nor has kink. When there are so many other life upheavals going on it's weird - if good - to look at my situation and realise that actually, the one thing that seems relatively stable is my relationships. One of the reasons blogging is good for me is that it prevents me from taking weeks like this for granted, enjoying precious moments with each of my partners one after the other.