Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Incredible, Bedable Egg -- A Sex Toy Review

Ivey's first SEX TOY review!! Wheeeee!!!!!!

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from The Adult Toy Shoppe asking if I'd be interested in joining their adult novelty review program. (Would I?!) After giving it thorough and careful consideration (Ummmmm.... yeah!), checking in with my team (Hey Vince! Ya wanna review a sex toy?), and checking out (slobber, slobber) their website I replied in my usual drawl, "Why thank you so much for askin'; I'd be delighted."

Since I was over-whelmed with the choices, I asked for a few recommendations. My lovely contact asked what type of things I was interested in and sent me a short list of items to peruse. With a huge and sincere "thank you," I selected this:


Now before I get into the review of this delightful little gem, let me tell you that Vince and I are pretty much toy newbies. I know, I know. Is there any-fuckin'-thing you two aren't new at? Shut up. We've got missionary and doggie down pat! And we've got about a year in with a nice 7" vibrating dildo, about 8 months with a little silicone butt plug (wheeee!), a very economical and efficient cock ring, and a couple of months with a nice little g-spot vibe. Were working on it!! Sheesh.

But the truth is, no we don't have a lot of experience with toys so we plan to use that to our reviewing advantage. Without a lot to compare to, we get to talk about it like virgins -- all excitement, wonder, and every once in a while, bafflement.

The Egg arrived in a nice discreet mailer and the first thing I noticed as I was tearing into the package was that I didn't need to get a set of tin-snips to open it. Packaging in general has gone nuts, but this was actually easy to get in to.

Now here I'm going to get a little stupid -- I looked for the directions. Ya know, suggestions for use. Ideas. Diagrams. There aren't any. Apparently the rest of the world knows that you hold the little vibrate-y thingy against whatever you want to, ya know, vibrate and that's all you need to know. Fortunately, I have a high IQ and Vince is quite mechanical so it we figured it out pretty damn quick.

And then it sat on the counter, then on the bedside table, for a few days. In our defense we were busy. I my defense (sorry, honey) I have limited patience so after a few days of resistance, it seduced me from the side-table and I succumbed to its siren call. (Grin!) Solo.

Very, verrrrrryyyyyy, verrrrrrrbzzzzzzz......... ahhhhh..... yes!.... nice.

First, the Cyberskin feels fantastic. Unlike the hard rubber of the dildo or the plastic casing of the g-spot vibrator, this little ovum has a soft, pliable feel. It felt good in my hand but even better on my clit. I was super wet, naturally, in a matter of moments.

The Flicker part -- the small tip protruding from the end -- was even better. It is so soft that you really only register the feeling NOT the material. I let it very lightly lick my click, but some very nice sensations registered as I moved it slowly down and back across my lips, labia, and to the very sensitive area around my pussy. One minor caveat (which we'll cover more in a minute) is that it can be too intense if used directly on my clit. That could be because I'm hyper-sensitive, or because wasn't wielding it properly, but having control became key to my enjoyment.

The vibrations, wrapped in the soft Cyberskin, are divine. I moved it between my clit and my ass and that .... well..... that hit the spots. I moved it this way and that, to my inner thigh and where the joints meet, back to the goodies then up to the nipples then back south again. When I couldn't stand it anymore and was starting to squirm reflexively, I held it firmly to my clit until I reached a wonderfully intense orgasm, much more intense that just manual stimulation alone ever provides.

So solo sex with the Egg was terrific. With one teensy little problem.

There's a short of some sort in the wire between the egg and the controller. All of my other toys (both of them) have internal batteries. This was my first experience with a corded toy so at first I thought I was doing something wrong but soon realized that if either the egg or the controller moved a certain way then the vibration would stop. A frustrating experience when everything else is going along so well!

(That said, we think Vince can fix it. He's going to take it to his shop and see if he can re-wire the little devil.)

But before we got to the Mr.-fix-it part of the experience we wanted to give it a shot in a two-some scenario. After all, I now knew which way to hold the thing so as long as we maintained our powers of concentration, the short shouldn't be a problem.

Maintain powers of concentration. Right.

We know that I had a good time with the egg so now it's Vincent's turn and I must say, we both enjoyed it. I moved that little sucker -- vibe then flick then vibe then flick -- all over my honey's package: taint, behind the balls, at the base from below, from above, up and down the shaft, and gently (GENTLY! DAMMIT, IVEY!!) on his soft, sensitive mushroom-capped head.

The vibration on the prostate was an absolute winner. Again, the Cyberskin was very nice and really enhanced the sensation by not detracting from it. My personal favorite was pressing it to the base of his cock as I gave him head. The vibrations were so intense I could feel it not only in my mouth and tongue but all the way into my nose. And it tickled. Teehee. It was too intense for his head but that's probably just operator error and we can't blame the tool for that, can we?

We did decide to keep it away from ass play since we were sharing it and moving it back and forth from my pussy to my clit. And we decided, what with the delicate wiring, that we wouldn't try inserting it into my pussy since getting out might further fuck up the wire. We also still aren't sure if that's how this toy should be used. Ig-nernt.

We decided to use lube for it this time and I'll just say a little goes a long way. Controlling the distance of the flicker is important to ensure that you don't cross from ohhhhh-fuck to Ow!-fuck! and the lube made it a bit too slippery to do that. But in hindsight, I don't really think we needed it.

The big finish on the couple play was once my little clitoris was vibrated into a state of near hysteria, he took over with his real tongue and I pressed the pulsing egg to my vaginal opening and this is where the "maintain control" thing came back to the scene. When I'm approaching orgasm I lose control of my hands and legs and kept turning the thing just the wrong way and the vibration would stop and my mind would go "whah? whah? oh... turn ... it... whah?" I'd be pulled out of my zone for a moment while I desperately got the thing turned back into the right fucking position so that it wouldn't peter out in the middle of my Big O.

And Big O I did. Hard. Loud. Intense. And oh, so fucking hawt.

So the Incredible Bedable Egg (The Cyberskin Flicker Vibrating Egg) gets an A-. When it works -- holy mother of god. When it stops working -- awww hell!

Now where's that extra wire and soldering iron?

New me -- award post

The beautiful and thoughtful Minority Report tagged me for an award and respond by getting all Sally Field up in here ("You like me?! You really like me?!") Here it is:

Y'all know how these things work. In this case, I get to write ten things you may not know about me, then of course pass the honor on to someone else. Since I tend to be a chronic over-sharer there may not be much that you don't know about me at this point (at least that I can realistically share here) so I decided to steal an idea from the dishy Babe Lincoln (check out her version here) and build on why she chose me.

Minority Report said that she chose me for sharing my issues with low libido and that got me thinking about how many things about me are very, VERY different now than they were just three short years ago. So without further ado:

  1. Low libido to hyper-drive -- Low is an understatement. It was no libido. If we had sex it was with feelings of guilt as the motivator, lacking enthusiasm (though I did try to fake it), lights out, don't-look-at-me, don't-touch-me-there, don't-DO-that attitude. Everything else in the relationship was strong (though we didn't realize how much could improve) but as far as sex, it was a non-starter. Nor did I have any real fantasies about other people. There was no "alternative" person that I found attractive; I just had no interest in sex. Now I have the sex drive of a 17-year old boy. I can and will fuck three or four times a day. If Vince is tired or busy, hooray for masturbation! I have a fantasy life so rich the bag-boy at Target isn't safe from my prurient thoughts. I can make a sexual innuendo, inference, and invitation from the slightest of arched eyebrows. Male or female brows. Don't much matter to me.
  2. Body self-loathing to body acceptance and enjoyment -- I used to hate, hate, hate my body. Not a day went by, not one, where I didn't look in the mirror and think "you're fat", "you're ugly", "you're a loser." To be accurate, when I was younger I wasn't always fat, but I always THOUGHT I was. Anyway, one day (okay, over a series of months) I realized I had to get over this psychosis or let it continue to eat away at my soul. So I went to a nudist resort, got over myself in about an hour, and haven't looked back. I still hate bathing suits and prefer the nude environment to the beach where I still look pretty much like I did before, but I no longer hate myself for it. I can buy clothes and while I wish and work hard to be a few sizes smaller I don't look at the fact that I'm not a size 8 as a moral failing or commentary on my self-worth as a human being. (For the record -- I'm pretty much a size 14/16)
  3. Porn -- I used to hate porn, found it morally offensive and thought it was degrading and damaging. But as my interest in sex reignited my curiosity started to grow along with it. I was completely ignorant really about how people fuck. Now, I enjoy porn, mostly amateur porn involving multiple participants. (I like the amateurs because people actually laugh and smile during it and not the silly porn-star-mewling that just drives me batty.) Having sampled a wider variety I've learned that there is such a thing as "bad porn" just as there is such as a thing as a "bad action movie." It doesn't mean the entire genre is without merit, only this particular production. I discovered I have preferences ("Hot Office Encounters -- part 8") and things that turn me off completely ("Hairy Snatch! -- part 22" yes, they actually have this series and someone really digs it.) I've also learned that about 5 to 10 minutes does the trick.
  4. Fitness -- Three years ago I'd become a couch potato and started to look like it. I had a sedentary job, worked from home, and never, ever exercised. My legs, which have always been my best feature lacked muscle definition or tone. My arms had started to take on a ham-like look, my ass was starting to droop; I had a slack look to my face and chin. In short, I was starting to look old. But worse than that I was starting to feel old. I'd get winded going up stairs; I had chronic back pain. I tried walking but that didn't do much for me (too boring and too isolated) so Vince and I returned to riding our bikes. The first three mile ride was almost the last, it was so hard. But I kept at it. Then I added karate. Next came weight training. And though my weight and general size is about the same (a little smaller) I don't look the same at all. I'm an athlete and I look, move, and carry myself like one.
  5. Clothes and style -- Good Lord, this is a big one! Due to numbers 1 - 4, I'd lost my sense of style and had started dressing in what I thought "fit" which was apparently more like what my grandmother would've wore. I'd started to dress like a matron (when I was working) or a slob when I was at home. Ill-fitting shorts or sweats and baggy tee-shirts were becoming my lounge wear. Hideous. Granny-panties and plain-Jane bras lived underneath. Sad. But as my sexiness returned, my fitness improved, my self-loathing abated, my belief in myself as a pretty person revived and I started to buy clothes that hug my curves, scandalous bra and panty sets that I wear everyday. I show skin. With my small, perky boobs I'll sometimes go braless under a clingy little top, nipples showing. Speaking of showing, I show plenty of skin -- arms, shoulders, boobs, legs. My style is back.
  6. Mortality -- Both of my mother's parents died in the last two years and I was intimately involved in their care. There isn't enough room here to describe the affect this had on my life other than to say that death changes everything. Dying is hard and humiliating. Seeing it all end, vibrancy and ability taken from someone a day at a time, inch by inch, millimeter by millimeter. The terrifying realization that this fate awaits you as well. Porn isn't degrading; having someone wipe your ass is. Not having sex when you're old and your body has failed is sad; not having it when you're young and vital is pathetic. Getting slapped across the face by the bony hand of death is pretty serious fucking wake-up call.
  7. Tattoo -- So my shock and horror at the process of death soon became a terror at the very real possibility of not living fully. I'd always like tattoos, but for a variety of good and not so good reasons had never gotten one. So one day, being concerned that I may forget the lessons I was learning about not living fully I realized I wanted a daily, permanent, prominent reminder of my concious decision to change the way I lived my life and I came up with a concept for a tattoo. My first and so far my only. I found an artist I liked, I discussed my ideas with him and a few weeks later I now sport an enormous gray-wash tat that starts just above my right knee and ends above my hip. It is a self-portrait of me, as the Grim Reaper holding a scythe above my head, ready to sweep down and take life. The text floating over the Reaper's shoulders says "Enter Mortuous Ero" which roughly translates to "(because) One day I'll be among the dead."
  8. Atheism/Agnosticism -- I was raised a devout, fundamentalist Southern Baptist and though I had, for the most part, abandoned the church I realized three years ago I was still subconsciously living in fear of a literal hell and eternal damnation. The scars of these teachings are deep and my trouble with the morality of the teachings were almost as old as I was. But about a few years ago I stopped trying to twist some form of religious faith or spirituality out of something I no longer believed. More importantly, I quit denying it and the remnants of fear, guilt, shame, disappointment, condemnation, and confusion that went with the dogma just.... vanished.
  9. Self - acceptance -- A few years ago, when Vince looked at me and said "I love you, baby" there was a deep hidden companion thought that whispered in the back of my mind "... yeah, but you wouldn't if you only knew....." I couldn't tell him that I fantasized about having sex with women; what if he was disgusted? I couldn't tell him that I wanted to know what it felt like to have sex with two men; what if he stopped loving me. I surely couldn't tell him that I had fantasies about fucking groups of other men and/or women, surely he couldn't love me if he knew that. But he knows all that now, and he still loves me; more so now, I think, than even before and not in a "Yee-haw, mah wife is a big ol' lesbo!" but he sees it's just another part of who I am. But more importantly, I voice it now, I accept it as part of who I am and not some dirty, disgusting, evil, wicked me that lurks behind my eyes and smile. It isn't just my body that I'm learning to accept for all it's "flaws" and variations; it's my mind, spirit, desires, and soul as well.
  10. Connection -- I used to feel as constant sense of detachment from pretty much everyone primarily, I now believe, because I WAS detached from everyone -- always hiding from myself, Vincent, and the world at large my true nature. I lived in a constant state of "if they only knew what I was really thinking, they wouldn't love/like me." I blame the church for most of this. But it was also my family who can withhold love and acceptance with Olympic mastery. I believed that "everyone" agreed with my self-loathing assessment of my body and my mind and was constantly baffled by people who said nice things. But over the past few years I jettisoned some friendships that weren't healthy, I've distanced myself mentally and physically from my very challenging family and established a few new boundaries, I've opened up to people via my blog and also in real life, revealing more of my genuine nature. I'm finding some existing friendships deepening, my marriage strengthening, and new relationships based on a more authentic me growing. I am, for lack of a better word, happier now than I was three years ago. And going strong.

So there it is. Ten things about Ivey that you may not have known. For my tag I'm going to pass it on to some bloggers that I really enjoy:

For being an artistic, creative, and interesting person -- 13 Messages,

For being a tattoo'd tattoo artist and sexual Superman -- Red Region Inferno,

And for being able to spin a good, sexy yarn, newcomer Hands in my Pants and Other Lustful Desires.

You guys know the way these things usually work but please, no pressure. If you want to write something up, dandy; if you don't, it's just a silly ol' blogosphere meme. ;) We'll all live.

And tomorrow Ivey is doing..... drum roll please..... MY FIRST PRODUCT REVIEW! Wheeeee!!!!! I was contacted a few weeks ago about doing some sex toy reviews and we received our hopefully first of many toys to try and comment on for your and our pleasure. See ya, sugars!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Do the shuffle

So 13Messages, MinorityReport, and Hubman have both done this one, so here ya go -- Ivey's iPod Shuffle:

  1. Vengeance (The Pact) -- Blue Oyster Cult
  2. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia
  3. Big River -- Johnny Cash
  4. Angels would Fall -- Melissa Ethridge
  5. Blue Telescope -- John Hiatt
  6. Save Me -- Marc Broussard
  7. You Got Gold -- John Prine
  8. Silent Lucidity -- Queensryche
  9. Paradise by the Dashboard Light -- Meatloaf
  10. Pushing the Needle Too Far -- Indigo Girls
  11. Fast as You -- Dwight Yoakam
  12. Bad Romance -- Lady Gaga
  13. Land of Canaan -- Indigo Girls
  14. Last Mango in Paris -- Jimmy Buffet
  15. Viva la Vida -- Coldplay
  16. 52 Girls -- B-52's
  17. When Joanna Loved Me -- Tony Bennett
  18. Under Pressure -- David Bowie
  19. Thousand Cranes -- Hiroshima
  20. Tangled and Dark -- Bonnie Raitt
  21. Symphony #9 (Scherzo) -- Ludwig van Beethoven
  22. Moondance -- Van Morrison
  23. Red Rain -- Peter Gabriel
  24. Shameless -- Garth Brooks (and Billy Joel but Garth's version came up)
  25. Home by the Sea -- Genesis

I'm surprised there wasn't more John Hiatt, Johnny Cash, and Jimmy Buffet. I'm a big Blue Oyster Cult Fan and tickled pink that was at the top. However, I'm also disappointed (as I always am) that more Janis Joplin didn't show up. I also have plenty of Duran Duran, George Michael, and Abba that didn't make this shuffle. Go figure.

The fantastic MinorityReport also tagged me (and Babe Lincoln. What cool company!) in one of those cool "award" thingys, so I'm going to work on that for tomorrow! Her's was pretty cool though, so I have to up with something nifty. Catch y'all later!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

What a difference a year makes

Friday evening Vince and I had the opportunity to see Rick and Leah, the couple I met at the spa a little over a year ago and who, in a very important way, launched us down this path. (You can read that little part of the story here and here.) We'd emailed and loosely kept in touch via Facebook but haven't seen them in person since last June. This time, it was a fun night and in way, the "date" I wished we'd had a year ago -- fun, sexy, no pressure, Vince and I both relaxed and enjoying ourselves.

We finally discovered a first date scenario that works for us. We still don't/haven't gone to swinger parties and real meet and greets are few and far between in this town so we rely on our swinger-site. After we've contacted a couple, everyone's opened face pics, and they respond positively to our hello, we'll chat on-line or on the phone. After we decide if they're people who actually understand the term "discrete", we'll invite them to meet us at one of Vince's gigs.

The reason this little set up works so well for us is because of the reasons I listed above:

Fun: a dance club is just a fun environment. Drinks, dancing, great music but also Vince is doing what he enjoys, playing guitar, and I'm doing what I enjoy, hanging out with people, laughing, and having a good time.

Sexy: I dress up in my short skirt or low cut top, high heels, and put on my "wow" make-up. I definitely turn a few heads as I move through the room. And Vince, he's in his sexy rock-god clothes, interacting with the sexy lead singer and other players as well as the crowd, being admired for his skill, look, and his vibe by the people in the club, primarily the ladies. (FYI -- he's not a "pretty-boy" rocker. Vince is, and always has been, the coolest guy in any room. He just.... is.) The entire atmosphere is about sexiness and a good time. Everyone is there for the same purpose -- to get their sexy on.

No pressure: Strictly speaking, Vince is working so there is no possibility of anyone expecting any play and whoever we're meeting already knows that. But perhaps more importantly, Vince knows that I know. One of the most aggravating and tiring things for us is what we've come to call "holding Ivey's leash." I'm like a puppy, always eager, always ready to go, explore, experience, DO! I'll stick my nose in all sorts of places with (to him) very little discrimination. I like everybody!! Wheeeee!!!!! But he doesn't want to be the perennial "bad guy" and I get a pretty fuckin' sore neck constantly having that leash jerked on. But in the club it doesn't matter if I like the people or not, I'm not going to know what his opinion is until the next day at the earliest so my expectations for that night are to have a good time and to go home.

Relax and enjoy: So without him having to worry about what I'm thinking, and only being able to interact with friends between sets, he gets to observe them (and me) from the stage, he gets to chat in half hour increments (with a considerable amount of that being taken up with music conversation), there's usually plenty of "wow, you're good" from the lady of the couple, and he gets to enjoy the conversation with them on his own terms. I get relax knowing that he's relaxed. I can only enjoy myself, if he's enjoying himself.

So back to Rick and Leah. I enjoyed their company and Vince did to. He and Rick laughed and I think Rick seemed more like a "regular guy" now than he did a year ago. Of course, he hasn't changed, our perspective did. Leah, who I think was much more in tune with our newness and un-readiness last year, was laughing, smiling, gently flirting, and generally being the sweet, sexy, and lovely lady I'd met at the pool; and this time I think Vince saw it too. Last time he was dealing with such an emotional onslaught and I was so oblivious that the entire evening is still like a Dali painting.

I'm pretty sure we'll see them again though I still don't know if any play is in our future. While I certainly feel plenty of attraction for these two, if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen; the sense of urgency and intense OMG-I-just-gotta-fuck-these-people desire is gone and I think that is part of the maturing process. I'll experience mild disappointment at a missed opportunity but I think now it would be more like missing out on a cool restaurant ("Oh, they're closed tonight? Damn. So where shall we go instead?") as opposed to a great cosmic injustice if I just don't get to have my way.

Growth feels good.

But it would also be disingenuous to say I want to get used to a lifetime of mild disappointment. I AM a puppy. I AM eager. I am expansive, inclusive, experiential, and generous. I am not reckless and I am certainly not without discipline or self-control. I weary of someone else's leash regardless of how much I love the hand that holds it. At the risk of taking the metaphor too far, I am very good at coming to heel. I've mastered sit and stay. I want to run a while.

Last year at this time I was a ball of unfocused want, struggling to escape the limitations I'd grown to accept as "just the way life is." I didn't know how but I was determined to rid myself of fear, shame, isolation, judgementalness, condemnation, and constant, constant yearning. This year, I have a clearer idea of what I'm looking for from this "lifestyle." I can articulate it, describe it, visualize it. Each conversation Vince and I have, each new experience, each new friend is like a hand turning a lens, and our date on Friday night was, to me, getting closer to the ideal life I seek -- fun, sexy, relaxed, enjoyable, expansive, inclusive, experiential, and generous. Open. Open to what good comes my (our) way. Open to others on a similar path. Open to joy. Open to..... more.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Not your average girl

Recently I've been thinking about the weird or, shall we say, socially inappropriate things I do like enjoy explicitly sexy emails with men I've never met or trade racy pics with men who aren't my husband. Or have sex (at least want/try to) with other "like minded" swinger-type folks -- sex with women, men, three-somes, four-somes, more-somes, whatever. I've been giving this a lot of thought which interferes with my ability to enjoy such activities so I decided I need to sum it up so I can get back to the fun stuff.

Here it is:

I haven't a fucking clue regarding why I'm like this, but I know I like myself better when I am. Not "enjoy myself more", not "have more fun" (which I do) not "contribute to people feeling better about themselves" but I LIKE MYSELF BETTER when I'm engaging ALL OF ME, ALL THE TIME.

For a moment, let's consider the fact that most people in the vanilla world would be shocked -- simply shocked!! -- if they knew about this. It goes against what we are taught is morally right. Simply put, when you are in a relationship, be it a young boyfriend/girlfriend, a mature engagement, husband/wife not only should you only feel attraction for that one person, you should feel next to nothing, certainly nothing sexual, about anyone else. But more disturbing to me, you must also eliminate pretty much the deeper aspects of any other friendship. When you get married or even just decided to "date" you essentially agree to forsake all others -- not just in body, but in mind and soul as well. It's okay to be "acquaintances," co-workers," "friendly," etc. but to actually feel attraction or god forbid, attachment to someone who isn't your spouse, well folks, it just ain't done.

It's either okay to be sexually expressive with someone, and only one, or it isn't okay at all. And what I've discovered is that's just not me.

To be clear, I am monogamous in that Vince is my chosen one, the man who makes me a better me, with whom I share not only my hopes and dreams but my future, past, mortgages, work, leisure, checking account, family, troubles and triumphs.

I don't consider myself a polyamorist in that I'm don't have a desire to have a third entity enter into our dynamic. But as I see it that specialness he and I share doesn't HAVE TO preclude me from enjoying other people as deep and abiding friends who may share sexual attraction if not consummation; as sexual partners under the right circumstances; or simply as playmates. In some cases these others may provide something that he simply doesn't have (like breasts, a vagina, an additional penis) in others they may share an interest he doesn't (like erotic writing or imagery).

In my dream world I see Vince and I sailing through life. On that trip we have a rich collection of friends that have come, gone and left memories; some new and short lived, who were perhaps connected to a certain time and place, or purpose, and some who matured with us over time, whose connection is stronger, most lasting. And some, maybe just a small few, who share part of our journey with us.

I think it is unnecessarily limiting to assign categories like "ours", "mine", or "his" to these friendships even though it may be true. But that's where I think "society's expectations" have done me wrong. My connections, my friendships in the past, have always been dictated by what "they" said was okay. I've lived by their permission but mostly without it. So I've been limited by their fear, held back by their judgement, and made lonely by accepting the way they choose live their life as how I must live mine.

It doesn't work for me. I don't care if every other person on the planet is perfectly happy and satisfied with the one man / one woman / only-one-at-a-time paradigm. I'm not and trying to act like I am causes more turmoil for me than if I control, suppress, deny, and generally act like someone I'm not.

It does cause complications, the first and biggest being the adjustments that Vince and I go through to make sure that me being me doesn't threaten "us." I don't go running around connectin' with folk all willy-nilly. And I certainly don't do it behind his back. And even though it rubs independent-Ivey the wrong way, I also don't do it without his approval, or yes, even permission.

I also take extra pains to ensure that the people I engage with are on the same page I am with the relationship -- quite explicitly in some cases. I also measure the interaction based, in some level, on the person's other relationships. I may engage in sexy banter with one of my more open vanilla artist friends but not at the expense of his girlfriend. I may lose myself in fantasies with one friend while knowing that his wife and my husband will decide if these thoughts ever become actions.

Limits and negotiation as well as consequences of my own choosing are far different than those others try to box me in with. My current box is like a jungle gym, a firm structure to play on and in; theirs is like a coffin or an empty room that isolates and holds me separate from the wonder and joy of my fellow human beings.

The momentary disappointment of running up against a real and mutually agreed upon limit is far superior to the desperate yearning of a bound-up soul. And maybe that is what makes me a little..... odd. I'm finally realizing that my capacity for connection (emotionally, intellectually, and yes, even physically) is limitless. And it always has been.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The truth of the matter is that I spend most of my life totally fucking baffled. Seriously. I don't understand how some people can think the way they do, act the way they act, or believe the way they believe in spite of evidence that tells them what they think is at best untrue and at worst un-productive.

But mostly, I think this way about myself. Case in point:

Vince and I had a fantastic date with A&J on Friday night. It really couldn't have gone better. We'd had dinner with them about a month or so ago, emailed and chatted over the weeks, I talked with Mrs. A&J on the phone. During this time, the Mr. was pretty much a constant on the chat front. Almost every time we logged on to the swinger site he was on and we'd often chat. He was nice, funny, and respectful. If Vince was chatting it was guy stuff. When it was me, it was more lighthearted. On numerous occasions he invited us to their home for some "hot tub" fun.

When finally were able to see them again. The conversation flowed easily. The laughs were abundant. There was some sexy dancing, flirting, etc. The date was really an opportunity for Vince and Mrs. A&J to get to know each other a little better and see if they had any chemistry. They did! During breaks between sets there was flirting, sexy banter, pic sharing, touching, smiling and laughing. At one point, Vince leaned over to me, laughing, and pointed out that she'd gotten him hard. And she had. He said told me to set up the hot tub date.

The Mr. and I were having fun as well and after Vince gave me the go ahead, I turned to them both and said "yes, we'd love to take you up on the hot tub invite!" The conversation continued with everyone saying Ivey and Mr. A&J would coordinate the schedules and find a good night. Vince was playing late so he went back to play his last set, I walked out with Mr. and Mrs. we kissed and hugged in the parking lot, parting with "we'll set up a play date."

The Mrs. had given Vince her real first and last name and he friended her on FB and she accepted. Vince sent a "had a great time, looking forward to seeing you again note" on our swinger site. Later that day I sent a "here are some good dates for us" email. And since then.....



No chats, no emails.

Nada, niente, nothing. It's been four days.

So I say again, I'm baffled.

WTF?! Now maybe in a day or two we'll hear back but if a few more days come and go with no word then we're going to write them off. But I have to tell you, I have no idea what happened but in the absence of information, my mind tends to drift to the less pleasant: I'm too fat, I'm too old, I offended them somehow, I'm unattractive. They don't like me for some reason. Do you see a trend here?

And here's the worst part -- with the exception of "too old", this is the same shit that has gone through my mind my ENTIRE life. Please don't take the following as a whine as it is simply a factual accounting of history, but I was NEVER asked out in high school, only twice in college. After college and before Vince, I was almost never asked out on dates, I went out with "groups" from the theater, I often dated (read: slept with) someone from a show I was in but when the show was over so was the "relationship."

Anyway, like I said, I'm baffled; less about the sudden silence from A&J and more regarding why the fuck do I do this to myself? Maybe I'm not cut out to be a swinger because I just can't fucking relate to people? Maybe I can't read social signals and never knew it? Maybe I have Aspberger's Syndrome? Maybe I'm just a fucking idiot? I read other people's blogs and I just stand amazed at what they are able to do and experience. But for some strange reason, it feels like it is now -- like it has always been --outside of my grasp or understanding.

For the record, I'm PMSing so am a bit harder on myself than the other 20 or so days of the month but this is just irritating. Anyway, I'll snap out of it in a day or two. I always do.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A little random Sunday stuff

It has been, without a doubt, a great week! We got A LOT accomplished at work, closed another client (More work! Yippeee!!!!!), had a great 2nd date with a couple, talked to one friend, missed another, returned to the gym (aka feeling MUCH better), Vince took another flying lesson, we took the motorcycle out for a spin, and fixed a few projects around the house. Oh, yes!! That is a good week. And as always, caused me to reflect a little.

Our work: We've worked hard to build our little lifestyle and I'm not talking about swinging. It's creatively and technically challenging, we get to travel all over the country to some of the most popular as well as out-of-the-way places our gorgeous country has to offer. We learn the most amazing things; we meet even more amazing people. But mostly, we do all of this together.

What we do with our time, how we spend it, is pretty much all up to us. Yes, we have project deadlines (that we set) but there is no one who can second guess, grant or withhold permission, or generally tell us what, when, or how to do something. We used to say that we were practicing for retirement; now we've decided hell, we practically ARE retired. LOL

Swinging: We had a second date with a A&J. They came out to hear Vince play and we had a great time. Our first date was at a restaurant and we've learned -- always learning -- that may not be the best place. First, it's too quiet and you can't have the kind of open discussion that really helps you get to know someone. Second, if you guys haven't figured it out, I'm a talker. Vince is a listener. In this case, the Mr. A&J is also a talker so he and I got to know each other at the first date while Vince and Mrs. A&J, well, didn't. But this time they got to talk and flirt to the point that Vince leaned over and told me to set up the playdate. The Mr. and I working out the details!

Also, Vince is an awesome guitar player and quite frankly, the ladies find it hot. Seriously. Just hot. It's also a place where his comfort and confidence rule. He is "himself" there, the guy I know, the king; whereas when we're just hangin' at a restaurant he is much more reserved.

It also takes the pressure off, there is no pressure to play on a first date because we can't. He's working. Also, the clubs are a sexier atmosphere. We still keep the behavior "vanilla" but we can dance, and laugh, and lean in and talk in someone's ear, and place a hand on their arm or back or shoulder or whatever and no one raising an eyebrow. We've met a few other couples this way and are having a lot more success than we did before! Again, I say "Yipppeee!!!"

The gym (my health): I haven't had a major pain episode in almost three weeks (knock on wood) and have started picking up my workout routine again. I love lifting weights, love increasing the weight, the sweat, the good pain, the focus. Just love it. I wish my body responded better, as in losing fat, but it doesn't and well, there ya go. Either way, there is something about knowing that my legs press 300 pounds and watching my biceps flex when I curl 17.5 pounds for 2 sets of 20 reps that makes my mind and spirit soar. It charges me up and increases my confidence so much that it (almost) doesn't matter if I never lose a pound. That sweat makes me feel freakin' sexy!

As for the missing pain, I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. If it stays away for a few more weeks, I'll probably return to karate too. Or maybe I'll pick up a new sport? Don't know for sure but it does seem that I need at least three high intensity workouts in order to maintain my weight. Whatever.

Talked to a friend: I have a few blogger friends that are truly turning into real friends. This week I actually talked to one of them on the phone. This one happens to be a swinger but that's not the point -- we actually had a very vanilla conversation but with no pauses, gaps or awkwardness and lots and lots of laughter. The complexities and hell, the logistics! of swinging may mean that we never actually play together (and when you read this, you know I hope we do) but so what? Seriously, I'd like this person if I'd never seen the first HNT photo. ;)

But the major revelation is that this what I mean when I talk about my world, our world, expanding. My goal, in swinging or anything else, is not to create new compartments into which to shove people but rather to expand the possibilities with the people we truly relate to. The fact that a sexual experience is possible is simply one more layer of connection, but the connection is what is important.

There's also the possibility that Vince and I may get the chance to meet this person in real life before the year is out, making that on-line to real world expansion even more fluid. Way cool.

Missed a friend: The other side of this is that I'm truly creating real connections. Another on-line friend was on vacation with their family so our correspondence was a little more sparse than usual. This on-line friend I've never heard, never seen a picture of, and only know through our back and forth exchanges via email and yet..... I feel like a real friendship has developed and because of that, I've missed him but I've loved knowing that he was having a good time with HIS family. Enjoying HIS life. I love that I make his life a little fuller, a little more entertaining, maybe a little more fun and sex-ay. But the feeling of compersion (great term, thanks Sadie and Goose!) of feeling pleasure at the pleasure of someone else is awesome! And it's becoming a regular part of my life, replacing doubt, jealousy, fear, insecurity, and loneliness. Just awesome.

And this feeling is growing not only in my but in Vince as well. Vince of course, knows about my on-line relationships. He knows that they aren't all that vanilla. LOL And one must admit that for a husband to know that his wife exchanges sexually charged emails with another man, takes a lot of personal relationship confidence. But he also knows it contributes to my overall happiness, my enjoyment of life, my connection with others. These people are truly becoming friends, but he and he alone is my husband.

Flying lessons: I mentioned last week that Vince has wanted to learn to fly since he was a boy. He's 46 year old now. We observed last week that this change I've been going through for the past couple of years, becoming a better me, the desire to "experience" all life has to offer, hasn't just affected me positively, but him as well. In addition to the sexual possibilities his experiences are going through the roof -- photography, sailing, flying and many others.

And the pursuit of swinging, in a way, is what has opened all of these possibilities mainly because of the constant, clear communication that has grown between us, but also because the communication does force one to self-examine, to ask hard questions and to listen for answers. The biggest being -- If this life I have today were to end tomorrow, did I do everything I wanted to do? Did I embrace the opportunities presented? Did I pursue my passions? Did I live fully? If I look back, was my life as rich with connections and experiences as I could make it?

Seriously, to me that's what swinging, flying, sailing, motorcycling, acting, living, and loving are all about.

We took the motorcycle out: Our bike had a bit of a mechanical problem last week and Vince fixed it this week so Saturday we were back on the open road! First of all, I just love that thing. I sit on the back, Vince snuggly between my thighs and just enjoy the scenery and thoughts that fill my head as he tours his precious Ivey around the back roads and beaches of Florida. When I'm back there I am totally not in control and I love it. I am in his hands.

Fixed a few things around the house: Vince and I are both pretty handy and there is something about being master of your stuff that is just as confidence building as lifting weights, working out, and wearing sexy undies. You're not a slave to things. Knowing things can be repaired and that you have the skills and the can-do to repair them is, to my mind, one of the things that separates the kids from the adults. It's not just responsibility but it's curiosity, competence, ability and all of these traits I find very, very sexy.

Have a great week everyone! I'm off to the same resort/spa I was at the first time swinging ever came up. In fact, it was almost exactly one year ago to the day. And it's been a hell of a wonderful year!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Rockets Red Glare

Happy Independence Day, one and all! It's been a wonderfully busy week here at the Lane's. (drip) As the holiday has approached, thoughts have been bubbling around my brain, floating in and out, but essentially all rounding out to the same thing -- how has our life improved since Ivey launched her overhaul idea two years ago? (drip)

To radically simplify and sum up, two years ago I was fat, out of shape, lonely, helping to care for my dying grandparents, just starting to rejuvenate an absent sex drive, realizing I'd spent the better part of my life ashamed of my body, constantly trying to please people (drip) who could never be pleased, and feeling like I was missing out on what life had to offer due to fear and shame. I was "not me."
Well let's just take a gander at the last week and see how life has changed!

Monday night Vince and I took the photos we used for HNT as well as for Osbasso's Mystery Guest photos. Two years ago, that would not have been possible on MANY levels. Body image, for starters. Yes, I've worked hard dieting and exercising but the truth is I've only lost about 15 pounds overall, but I've certainly changed. I've gone from being ashamed and disgusted to proud and eager!

But there's also the process of taking the pictures. No one, and I mean NO ONE, (drip) would want to be around while Vince and I work through our "creative process." First, he's technical, I'm artistic. That's not to say that Vince isn't artistic, the concept for "Night Owl" was his, but when we work together, even in our company, he and I each sweat very different things. He's looking at the lighting effects, I'm checking out the angles on the skin; he's adjusting for light bounce, I'm trying to figure just the right distance between my mouth and the microphone. I'm a perfectionist in that if it isn't good enough it just fucking isn't good enough; take another shot. Vince is a perfectionist in that if something isn't working, quit what you're doing and try something else.

Needless to say, we have to bicker for a while to get the right picture that makes both of us happy. Of course there's laughter but there's also a bit of you're-driving-me-fucking-nuts-honey-would-you-stop-it sighs of exasperation But we talk. We laugh. We argue. Occasionally we accuse the other of obstructionism or obtuseness. We (drip) work. And in the end, we have something that we're both pleased with. If you haven't seen 'em. Check out the shots here.

Tuesday night was hang out and read night. I'm deep into a book titled "Shop Class as Soulcraft" by Mathew B Crawford. "A beautiful little book about human excellence And the way it is undervalued in contemporary America" -- The New York Times.

This book is an excellent philosophical treatise on the value of actually doing something. One of the reasons we are self-employed is my absolutely inability and unwillingness (drip) to endure the oddness and imposed impotence of the corporate environment. I don't just like to get things done, I HAVE to and things that thwart progress, problem solving, and productivity drive me batshit insane. And that is true of damn near everything I do -- swinging, home improvement, cooking, family, clients, HNT photos, local/state/national politics. I am never more miserable than when I am holding myself back, accomplishing nothing, in order to avoid upsetting someone else's apple cart.

I want to live and work in an environment where the people I associate with want to "get it done" rather than just have meetings, compile data, discuss options (but rarely act on anything), endlessly evaluate pros and cons, and spend years, YEARS, wondering why the hell they're stuck in a dead-end job or a personal rut. (drip)

Wednesday night Vince and I had a date with a new couple, B&V. We met at a sort of upscale pool hall one town over and had a fun night. They were a VERY attractive couple; both good looking, fitness instructors with bodies to prove it, funny, smart, etc. We parted ways at the end of the night without the feeling that we'd ever play with this couple (not enough physical chemistry?)but that we'd definitely see them again. They enthusiastically said the same to us and even mentioned a few upcoming parties. The next day I sent an "enjoyed the evening" note.

Four days later I've yet to get a response. WTF is up with that? They didn't seem like rude people, they didn't seem like they couldn't (drip) wait to get away from us, in fact, the opposite. What the hell happened to common courtesy?

But again, referring to the change from a couple of years ago, A -- we went on a "date" with another couple and had a great time, B -- we went on a date with very physically attractive couple and didn't feel 'out of our league', C -- neither Vince nor I felt any sense of apprehension or tension before hand, D -- Vince set everything up with this couple (drip) without any pushing or prompting from me, E -- not getting a response to common courtesy is a WTF but not an 'oh my god they hate us/me' feeling.

Big, big personal progress on sooooo many levels.

Thursday night we went out with a group of vanilla friends, two couples and us. Dinner at a Mexican restaurant then off to see "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Our little town has an old 1920s theater that was recently restored to it's former glory as a playhouse and movie house. During the summer, it shows Classic movies on Thursdays, Family films on Fridays, and Cult Classics on Saturday nights. We had a fuckin' ball!

Two years ago, Vince and I rarely saw friends and I'd have to say we were becoming quite reclusive, a middle-aged couple that sat home most nights of the week. When Vince had gigs, I'd stay home. I didn't go to the theater; we almost never went to the movies and if we did, it was just us. We made the conscious decision to start building friendships -- new ones as well as re-evaluating old ones -- and it's finally paying off. We have a group we play cards with, we socialize with our neighbors, we host regular dinner parties, we invite people to come out and hear Vince play (both vanilla and lifestyle-folk). We actually find ourselves having to turn down an invitation or two because of other commitments now.

We didn't stay out late with our friends though because Vince had to get up for flying lessons on Friday morning. Last month he took sailing classes (which I was going to take to but then had to miss because of doing the play) and we'll probably take a boat out next Saturday to start getting me back up to speed. But Vince has wanted to fly since he was a boy. He's taken lessons (drip) on and off since he was in his twenties but there's a new found resolution in him this time. I think our foray into swinging, combined with the renewed energy and just plain lust for life has brought this about. Or maybe it's my influence? Who knows? Who cares?

(Oh, and the photo is from Vincent's birthday. I gave him a surprise flight with someone we know who happens to own a lot of vintage aircraft. That's Vince getting into an AT6 Texan for those of you who are interested in such things.)
Either way, (drip) it's yet another change from two years ago when his flying lessons remained a back burner, some-day, one-day topic. Sometime in the fall, Vince is going to take me up in an airplane and show me our little slice of heaven from the sky. I can't fucking wait. Not only because it is one more adventure for us, but rather because it is one more realized dream for my beloved Vincent.

Friday evening was a quite dinner at home, a little snuggling, a little laying on the couch watching America's Funniest Videos, and ya know...

Saturday night was our little town's Independence Day Celebration. We live one block from where the city holds many of the community events including the 4th of July fireworks display. It is truly a joy! We chatted with neighbors, friend's asked if they could park in our driveway since street parking isn't allowed during the event. Even in a down economy our city administration works hard at keeping the civic events full and funded. I sipped my chardonnay while Vince enjoyed his beer then we walked down to the lake to oooh and ahhhh over the rockets' red glare.
I love Independence Day. It's always a favorite of mine. But this year it felt even richer since it felt more like a celebration of personal independence. I was chatting with a friend who mentioned Roosevelt's Four Freedoms -- of speech, of religion, from fear, and from want -- and I felt like over the past 24 months I've made more progress than in the previous 42 years.

I am speaking my truth, through this blog and more importantly, sharing it with Vincent, with the love of my life;

I am slowly shedding the shackles that "religion" imposed on my life and discovering the true nature of moral and spiritual oneness with myself;

I am less afraid now than I have ever been in my life -- less afraid of disapproval, of loss, of risk, of growth, of love, of joy, of success;

and I am discovering, along with Vince, that I truly want for nothing -- I have not only his love and faith but they will not be taken from me, I have the life and the lifestyle that I always dreamed of and was willing to work hard to get.

Am I satisfied with what I have now? Yes and no. I'm satisfied for today, but if it doesn't continue to grow, to expand, to evolve then it will become stagnant, the status quo. Do I want more love, more friendships, more excellent memories of adventure and experience? Of course. I also want more independence, but only from constraint, mediocrity, and limitation, never from commitment. (drip)

That constant dripping, by the way, is a leak Vince discovered in our dinette ceiling this morning which ended up thwarting our standard Sunday morning rogering. Our beautiful, one of a kind, pecky-Cyprus, bead-board, hand selected by yours truly, cost a mother fuckin' shit load of time, effort, and money to design and install ceiling is suffering from a leak in either the roof or the wall. It's a problem and has to be fixed. But it's the price you pay for living in a historic, 85 year old house -- constant care and maintenance.

Happy Independence Day, y'all!!