October 27, 2012
September 17, 2012
May 31, 2012
So, let’s say someone new came up to me and asked, “Hey Imp, what do you like to do? And could you tell me why? What about those things interests you?” How would I respond, at this point in my life?
Hey, random person. Welcome to the community. I like to do a lot of different things, for a lot of different reasons.
Well, Imp, that’s not very helpful, could you be more specific?
Sure, random. I like bondage, sensation, deprivation, fear, pain, suspension, sexuality, dressing up, fire, electricity, corporal punishment, erotica, mind fucks, new experiences, serving, bootblacking, learning, teaching, submission, power exchange, biting, sucking, cuddling, challenges, sub space, and a whole host of other things.
Wow, Imp, that’s a lot. Could you tell me about all those different things?
Sure, random, let’s start at the top.
Bondage. I love bondage. Always have, always will. Cuffs, shackles, stocks, straitjackets, rope, saran wrap, or just mental. I love it all. But some for different reasons than others.
Cuffs, shackles and stocks. These are the stuff of erotic fantasies for me. Prisoner fantasies, slave fantasies, and the like. These are things for “bad girls” and as such, turn me on to that mindset. They are solid and secure and sometimes painful. They are a solid reminder that I am in bondage to the one who holds the key. I am at his mercy until he sets me free.
Straitjackets and saran wrap or mummification. These are the all encompassing, all enclosing, complete restriction of movement. They can be comforting, a big huge hug from the one who put me in it. A place to sink into myself with the outside kept at bay. Or they can be complete vulnerability. I am trapped, only allowed that which he gives me. Whether that’s simply air or pleasure. Only free when he allows it. And oh so helpless and available to whatever he wants to do. An excellent power exchange.
Rope. Glorious rope. I didn’t know how much I would love rope until it was used on me. I didn’t know I would fall in love until I first smelled hemp, and then he suspended me. And I was done. Forever a rope slut. Rope is a multitool. It can be used for sensation, for decoration, for bondage, for suspension, for pain, for pleasure, for service, and if you have enough, even for mummification. Rope makes me incredibly happy. The bite of the rough natural fibers on my skin. The taking of my power bit by bit as each limb is confined. The sense of freedom when I am held in its complete thrall.
Sensation and pain. So many different types of sensation. Floggers, whips, paddles, canes, drumsticks, clamps, clips, clothespins, slapping, spanking, body punching, kicking, biting, pinching, pressure points, scratching, knives, violet wands, stun guns, TENs, massage, wax. I’m sure I’m forgetting some.
Corporal punishment. Spanking, floggers, whips, paddles, canes, punching, kicking and drumming, all excellent examples. Let’s start with rhythmic fun. Floggers, canes, and drumming can all be used to beat someone to music, to a rhythm. This can take us both into space. Feeling connected as one as we flow and move with the same beat. Relaxing and soothing, it can also send me into the most incredible high. Spanking and paddles, also belts, are in the fantasy category for me. They send me into that “bad girl” headspace that I find so arousing. Pain space. This is where whips, body punching and kicking come in. They don’t fit in the first two categories for me, but if I want intense sensation for the purpose of going into pain space, they are added to the list of all these other tools. Pain space, for me, is a place where I fall into the pain, and enjoy both the pain and connection to the one causing it. Catharsis is another part of corporal for me. All these tools can be used to cause me such intense sensation that I am pushed through pain space into an emotional release.
Body manipulation. While I’m talking about spaces, and body punching and kicking. Let me go quickly to pressure points, biting, pinching and massage. These, for me, are direct, personal intense sensations. Biting goes into arousing fantasy, vampires and the like. Pressure points and pinching and focused intensity. He is close up, exploring my body and reactions. Some of them are painful, some of them are pleasurable. But they all make me want to kiss his hands afterward. I like the closeness, I like the personal intensity. The direct energy exchange. Massage has this, too. The closeness, the energy. It also has the element of service that I enjoy when I’m giving it. Or when I’m receiving, it makes me feel cared for and appreciated.
Sexuality. We are sexual beings. And we all express our sexuality in different ways with different people. Depending on my mood and my partner, I enjoy kissing, hugging, cuddling, nibbling, licking, orgasm control, masturbation, oral and sex. Physical connection, intimate connection, can be soothing, energizing, or just plain crazy fun.
Deprivation. On the opposite end of the physical, is the lack of input. Sensory deprivation. Sensory deprivation makes me depend on whatever I’m left with. I sink into my body away from the senses that were taken away and if I have anything left, all focus goes to that. If it has all ben removed or reduced, I’m often able to just float away deep inside. It’s incredibly relaxing. And can also be used to intensify whatever sense is left. Touch becomes so much more intense when you cannot see, hear, or smell. You are focused on the only thing you have left to sense the world around you. Pain in such a state is so much more intense for me.
Clips, clamps and clothespins. I’m not even sure how to categorize those. Pinchy things, I guess. These can be great fun and are usually a test in endurance. Last night, he showed up with two bags. One of 50 teeny tiny clothespins, and one of 24 two inch long clothespins. He decided our faces were his canvas, and went back and forth between all three of us, putting clothespins all over. It was crazy and intense and fun. I had to walk in place and keep touching him to ground, so I would keep breathing properly. These are an interesting category. They are intense sensation, and it just ramps up as you go along, without even having to do anything. And when you’re done, the fun isn’t over. You still have to take all those little things off. Which hurts a heck of a lot more in an instant than they have the whole time they’ve been on. This is why zippers are such great fun. Taking a whole line of them all off at once, can send me into such a great pain space high. This is one time when orgasms are especially appreciated for me, as a way to channel the energy created.
Electricity. Ah, electrical energy. In this category we have TENs, violet wands, electric flyswatters, and stun guns. TENs is a lot of fun. It can be therapeutic to tense or sore muscles. It can be silly giving over of control. It can be used to make Jenga a hilarious game. And it can be used to cause intense sensations and pain. Violet wands are one of the few things I top, for the crew. Anywhere for gentle vibrations of a massage, to sharp jolts of pain. Happy tickling sensations, to skin burning zaps. So versatile and fun. Electric flyswatters and stun guns are the next step up. Sharp, painful sparks when there’s a gap. Muscle jolting when held tight to the skin. For me, just the noise of these sends fear shooting through my body. Sends adrenaline racing, and depending on what he’s threatening, can drive me straight to tears. Delicious.
Fire is another of those adrenaline rushes. Someone is lighting you on fire FFS. It’s a nice warming sensation, which can also be slightly painful, but the fire is generally gone before the pain really starts. I’m not into burning/branding of the skin. But the fear. The primal fear response to being light on fire, is intoxicating. It brings my focus in to just that. Nothing else matters when you’re on fire. Then there’s sparks. Not electrical sparks, those don’t bother me. Fire sparks. A lighter, a sparkler, a log popping in the fire. Terror. Pure terror for me. This will bring me to tears faster than a stun gun, if I’m forced to be close for more than a couple sparks.
Fear. Oh yeah, fear. Sparks, needles, snakes. Fire, stun guns, flyswatters, gags, being in pain and helpless and abandoned. Fear is delicious. Adrenaline rushes are great. Phobias will bring me to tears and panic and breaking points. So they are dangerous to play with, but so far, have all gone well. Being brought to the point of panic, and then pulled right back to keep going can be an amazing power exchange, as well.
Power exchange. Submission, serving, mind fucks. All the mental stuff. To take me out of my head, to give up control. To take care of him and his boots. To dress up for him. To just simply be for him. To challenge myself. To be forced to think and use my brain. To be turned around so hard and fast that I don’t know where I am. To be scared and aroused and dropped all through the power of his voice. So many different head spaces and power exchanges. It can be absolutely amazing.
New experiences. Learning something new. Teaching someone something new. Trying something new. Helping someone else try something for the first time. There’s nothing like it. The joy, the excitement, the energy of new is unique and incredible.
And then there’s this. There’s writing about it. I love writing about it. Writing erotica about it, blog posts about it, journal entries about it. Sharing, processing, explaining. Teaching, learning. Writing it down gets it out of my head and into a place where I can look at it. Where I can share it with others. Where I can learn about myself and really see my own thoughts and reactions. Down on paper or screen, it’s not all jumbled up anymore. It’s clear and it’s wonderful. I hope you all think so, too.
May 21, 2012
Today, I want you to do whatever is your passion. That was the start of the GRUE this weekend. People were invited to put their passion, in the form of a class title up on the wall, and to lead classes all day to teach/discuss their passions. I’d had a few ideas to put up on the wall until that was said, then I had nothing. Instead, I went and put up his passion instead, he wanted to fly people, and to teach his favorite tie. So, that’s what we did.
He taught the drum tie, with me assisting. It was a big class, so I went around and helped those who were having trouble. I pointed out where they had gone the wrong way, or I showed them what to do next when they got lost. I helped with the tricky knots. It was great, and he often praised or thanked me for it. Once folk were tied, I helped guide their heads off the ground and back down again. In between, I got to watch them Fly.
Oh, did they fly! So many new faces, so many first times. Such joy and amazement. And him, bouncing and running and grinning so wide. The onlookers staring and laughing, all of us enjoying the moment and the energy. And when they came down, and I cradled their heads in my lap. They were still glowing so brightly. It was incredible.
And he didn’t stop. He helped put up everyone from the class that wanted to go up. And then he kept going. People kept coming and asking to go up. He had quite the queue. We didn’t even get halfway through it. All day he kept going. And people came by to learn, as well. He taught the tie at least three more times throughout the day.
I was so full of energy, I couldn’t stay still. Often, when he was tying, I would wander off. I wandered off to a bootblack class for a bit. Talking with one of the bootblacks that I learned with, and discussing technique and products with the others that showed up. I cut out halfway through to see if he needed help when I saw him lowering someone, but her boy was catching her. He did have me run out for his gloves then. I went back to bootblacking after that for more discussion. I learned a lot about high polish boots, that being the side I don’t work with at all right now.
I wandered in and out of a lot of other demo classes. Fire, paddles, floggers, cigars, another couple suspension classes. But never for very long. I was curious, but not focused on them. I wanted to keep an eye on everything going on, but I kept coming back to him. Kept checking in. Bringing him water, making his sandwich after another friend insisted on getting us both food. Fetching things from the truck. Cleaning up the ropes between scenes. Keeping track of the queue. Basking in the energy each and every suspension created.
People kept asking if I was having fun. Some concerned that I wasn’t getting suspended. I told every single one of them yes. I was having a great time. Didn’t they See the huge grin on that girl’s face? Didn’t they see how awesome a time everyone was having? It was so great to see so many people have their first experience flying. I had an amazing day.
At the closing circle, my emotions were on a rollercoaster. I was so very near to tears then calm then up near tears again, all joy, full with the energy of that room full of people. Leaning against him, his arms around me. When he spoke up, he said how great a support I had been to him all day. Several people thanked him for his passion. I couldn’t speak, afraid I would cry and be unintelligible. We went to dinner, buzzing about the day, chattering, happy. It was a great day. I’m so glad I decided to go.
I began to wonder though, as he talked about having done his passion all day. What had I done? What was my passion? Had I fulfilled my purpose at the GRUE? Had I followed the rule? I fluttered around all day. Did that mean I didn’t have a passion?
No. No, I did indeed fulfill the purpose of the GRUE. I lived my passion. I spent the entire day serving him. Even my fluttering. To learn more about bootblacking. To keep an eye on who was using the other point. To check on everyone around and see what was happening and that everyone was happy and safe. To help him teach. To help him suspend new people. To share his joy and theirs. I spent the day fulfilling my passion of service to him. And it was wonderful.
March 2, 2012
I’ve struggled with blogs posts lately. Both here and my “family friendly” blog. My kink life has been centered around Modern Dungeon Quarterly lately, and I’m already posting about that over there. I’ve posted here a few times, but I don’t want to just keep repeating myself. That’s what twitter’s for, eh? And I certainly can’t tell my family about That project, even though I’m really excited about it, and enjoying the process. Other than that, normal club nights, with a new suspension point, and practice nights as usual. Having the suspension point back at the club has been nice. I have some lovely rope trails across my chest still from last weekend’s flight. Relationship wise, well last week’s babbling is still about where I’m at, so. A chance for progress on Monday, we’ll see how it goes.
So, what do I write about this week. I’m already a day behind. Watched Search for Spock yesterday instead of blogging. I poked around Fearless Press, looking for inspiration, but nothing spoke to me. I wanted to have something for eLust this month, but I don’t think I’ve got anything coherent enough to put in the digest. I’ve switched from Netflix to WoW, but that’s not for this audience either.
It was suggested that I write a story, toss out an erotica piece if I didn’t have anything else to say. It’s a good idea, I enjoy writing them, but my mind just won’t focus on that kind of writing today. I’m journaling in my head, which is not nearly as helpful as journaling on paper, but it’s also not the kind of thing I want to do here. Not today.
I’m writing around in circles. Sorry about that.
Maybe I’ll get in the mood for a good story this weekend and you’ll get a bonus post that’s a lot more fun than this one. Maybe once I finish the book I’m reading, I’ll start reading more bdsm and poly books and do book reviews. I really owe Complete Shibari a better review than the one I wrote all that time ago. And I really ought to read more books. Always ought to read more books. So, dear readers, help me out, comment with books you think I should read. Because I haven’t ready much at all in the lifestyle category.
November 24, 2011
Monday. Contract day. He says he wants to get off work early to help us clean. The dungeon needs put back together. It’s been storage space since July. He wants to put up the suspension point again. Sounds great to me.
Toy is eager to arrive, but I’m not ready. Come to mine first. I finish eating dinner and we go over at 5. He’s aiming for 530. Toy is stressed out and grumpy. Grouching about cleaning for the first time in a months. But she does her share, as I do mine. He is waiting for the boss to leave so he can. Apparently the boss stayed late as he is a bit later than usual getting home. I remind toy of her promise, and she is appropriately dressed by the time he gets home, but not yet changed into play clothes as the dungeon cleaning awaits.
We greet with hugs and kisses and head down to tackle the dungeon. Tubs and tools and crates and wood scraps. Stage stuff and sawdust, and lots of bits of cloth. We clean and sort and move everything back where it belongs. A vise clamp comes out to play for a bit, fitting around our legs, my belly, and then making a nice breast clamp and head clamp. We reclaim his space and reset the furniture. Taping the mats together, we create a nice pad below the suspension point. He rigs it up and we each take a spin. Just right.
Toy and I go fetch some water and change our clothes, when we return, he has two candles lit and fits a new bulb in the socket. A nice dark glow fills the room. He kneels on the mat and invites us to join him. I drop down into my kneeling posture, toy beside me, him in front of us. After a couple minutes, it feels like silent prayer at church, how long are we going to kneel? Are his eyes closed? Is he moving? I glance through my eyelashes far too often, trying to relax, but eager with anticipation. He shifts to sitting, which doesn’t help, then grabs toy and pulls her into his lap. I listen to her whimper, and then he pulls her up and I hear rope hit the floor. This finally calms me. I sink into my position, eyes fully closed, relaxed and just listening to the rope and to their interaction.
Eventually, he positions her on the bishops chair to the other side of me. And starts making passes back and forth in front of me. It takes a few for me to understand he’s taking the floggers out of the tub. I start to come back into my body at this point, wondering what’s going to happen next. I feel him kneel in front of me, I hear him rub his hands. I know he’s going to slap me, but when the strike comes down on my thigh, I’m surprised. He slaps my thighs, alternating. I crumple a couple times, and one of them, I move so that his strike bounces off my left wrist painfully. When I get back up from that one, my arms go behind my back, protecting the sensitive joint. He starts slapping my face. Harder and harder, until I’m gasping and moaning. I get my eyes back open at this point, and see his grin. He grabs me by the hair and pulls me off my knees and onto my back. I lay there gasping while he shows toy what face slapping feels like.
He pulls me up and stands me under the ring. I grab it for support, my right leg doing fairly well, but my left still half numb. Toy looks very good in her box tie chest harness, sitting happily on the chair. He starts tying a tabletop with jute on my waist. Tossing out the rope and yanking it against my legs when it gets tangled. Most things give into his will if he tries hard enough, eh toy? Yes, Sir. We fiddle with where my hips are and he threatens nice tight crotch ropes. When he finishes the lower half, he steps over to toy to give her the first taste of wax. Dripping it across her thighs. She gasps, and likes it. He lets her process and returns to me.
Chest wraps now, teasing about duct taping the remote control vibrator to me. He adds a little more wax to toy and she squeals as he gets closer to her inner thighs. Just before he attaches me to the ring, I ask if he really wants the vibrator, he does, but he doesn’t want the interruption of fetching it. Ties my chest and then tries something new with the lower lift lines. Up I go, but it’s not balancing on my hips right, so back down and rigs it the usual way. Up again and balance it out. He gets a cloth and ties a sling for my head. I’m already spacing and he pushes me into a gentle spin as he returns to toy and the wax.
I was fairly well gone. Occasionally my feet or legs would rub against him. I moved them up and down occasionally. He put wax on her and took it off with a knife. At some point he poured some over the bottoms of my feet. I squealed a lot and when it got really hot, I jerked away into a little ball. But it felt really good up to that point. He asked if I was still in there and counted me to orgasm once, biting me while I did. I remember him scraping the wax off my feet. Some felt good, some felt really good, and some just tickled the hell out of me. Whenever that happened, I clenched my hands against my face in an effort not to squirm against the sharp knife. He dragged the knife near more tender bits when he was done, causing soft moans and ragged breathing. I can’t remember when he tied my ankles up, if it was before or after the wax, it must have been before, it relieved the awkwardness and some of the pressure.
At another point he was flogging the wax off toy and took a few shots on me as well, legs and then crotch. I think that popped me out of space. I was getting dizzy but it wasn’t time to come down yet. So he stopped me spinning for awhile and then he started playing Open Sesame with toy. Eventually she did, and then he asked her how many more she could take. She said four. So he counted them out, sending me into orgasm at three, and then counting 1,2,3 again for her forth strike. He bit me again, I think. I dropped back into space and he let me spin a bit more.
Then it was time to come down. Dropped my ankles, then my legs and I was standing, leaning into the chest rope heavily. He pulled out the lift lines and then undid my chest. I stumbled a little, but held the ring until I got my balance. He started to undo my legs, but then told me to untie the toy so we could clean up the wax. Reminding me of how to wrap his rope now.
I started to untie her hands, she pulled out, and got scolded for her impatience and desire for modesty overwhelming safety. I finished untying her and set her to sweeping up the wax while I put up the ropes. He returned and we finished off the jute. Then he sent us off to change back into our regular clothes as he sets up the massage table. Down again and we set to work on his knotted muscles. Working hard on his back, my hands are fairly weak, but toy still has her strength and we work together to find what he needs. Energy all coming down as we work, pouring out gratitude for what he has given us into taking care of him. It ends abruptly when his wife gets home. But a wonderful night of reclaiming the space and connecting with each other.
October 9, 2011
“Do you enjoy this?” “You’re having fun, aren’t you?” “How’d you get this job?”
Questions I get asked every weekend. I do violet wand scenes for strangers, and friends, almost every weekend. It’s volunteer, it’s not a job, though occasionally it feels like it. I do it for fun, for my chosen family, and for those random strangers who walk in off the street and are curious, drunkenly brave, or scared but pressured by their friends. Even the most macho of drunken frat boys gets a little jumpy the first time a glowing violet bulb comes near his skin.
I got the ‘job’ by showing up. By helping out, by wanting to be around, to participate, to learn, teach and share. I found family and they accepted me. They taught me, they shared so many things with me. And what could I do, but join them, and pass on what I had been given? Life, for me, is about experiences. The best gifts I have received have not been things, but adventures. Roller coasters, festivals, conferences, conventions. Flying through the air, held only by a few hemp ropes. The thrill of the first glowing bulb on my skin. The crazy run of emotions in all sorts of scenes. The first time I asked for something I wasn’t sure I really wanted, to make him happy, or because I was curious. The joy of my first virgin scene, and the one after, and the one after…
There’s nothing like that. Introducing someone to something new. Showing them there’s nothing to be afraid of, or that the fear can be intoxicating. Helping them enjoy themselves, let go a little, relax. Getting them to want more. I can’t even count the number of people who’ve sat down in the chair terrified, and got up planning to browse eBay for their very own wand. That’s why I do it. That’s what I enjoy.
And more. When they come back week after week, month after month. The ones who really enjoy it, really get into it. The ones who have no where else to go to get this particular feeling. I do it for them, too. The ones that squirm in their seat, giggle or moan. The ones who clearly enjoy themselves and give back the energy to me.
It keeps me going on nights when the macho men feel like they have to sit perfectly still and show no reaction. Or the girls are too afraid to let their boys see how much they like it. Or the ones that just feel embarrassed by their pleasure and sit stiff and nervous. I don’t mind the ones that don’t like it. I share with them the experience, the range of sensations, and if we can’t find one they like, no problem. Not everyone enjoys electricity. But the ones that don’t react at all are draining. I’ve learned to read people and I do the best I can, but when all the energy is going out and being absorbed with no return, it can be a very long night.
But even on those nights, I keep on going. I still enjoy it. Because I know, some of them will still come back. Still try again, and maybe next time, they will be calmer, more relaxed, give something back. And even on those nights, most of them still thank me, and smile when I’m done. And almost every one of those nights, I get a scene that makes up for it. A new, excited, squirmy, giggling, moaning virgin, who exudes pleasure and recharges me as I charge them up. And if all else fails, I’ve still got my family around me, and with just a few pokes and tickles, I get the energy I need to keep going.
September 22, 2011
One of the first times I answered “the heath question” before playing with someone, that’s what I said. I’m not fragile, but I am broken. I have RA, so I have fussy joints. Hubby has a badly injured back. He has had surgery twice in the last two years. Toy has a myriad of problems, treatable and mysterious. And we all get injured, ill or just plain exhausted. So, what then? What do you do when your play partner, your loved one, is not feeling up to snuff?
He once asked me if I could be happy not being suspended by him for a whole year (at the time he was suspending me three nights a week), and suggested that such could be the case some day due to health. Now, I have not gone a full year between suspensions, but often it is months. And yes, I’m still quite happy with him. It isn’t about what we do together, but more about being together.
There is a lot of service in my submission to him, so taking care of him when he’s not feeling well comes naturally. I’m not really the maternal type, but fetching food, giving massages, just sitting and stroking his hair, all feel good to me. Hubby and I are making time to take care of each other more now, too. We plan out our date nights, but sometimes, one or both of us is feeling rough, and we just take care of one another in the same way.
Toy has a unique way of taking care of the sick. She likes to be the Get-Well Fairy and goes to the store and drops of little bags of whatever is needed or wanted. She likes to help people out, and even remembers to let us help her when she’s ill, too. She does ask for help when she really needs it, but sometimes we have to push past her reflexive “I got this, guys.”
So, this is all good and nice and happy. What about the parts I don’t do so well? This is two-fold for me. One, I don’t take care of myself. Two, I over-protect those I love. So, let’s take these in backwards order because the one leads into the other.
Over-protectiveness. If someone is not quite up to their full health, or feeling tired or sore, I assume the role of care taker. Which isn’t a bad thing, but it also means I don’t ask them for anything I might want. I feel that their health is more important and it would be selfish to ask for anything. This happens a lot on Wednesdays. If he comes in late from work and looking worn out or complaining of headache or pain, I won’t ask to play, even if it has been on my mind all day. I don’t want to push him if he’s not up to it, I don’t want him to feel bad for saying no, or make himself feel worse by saying yes. I’m taking away his ability to make that decision for himself by not asking. Bad me. There’s a bit more baggage around that one than just health issues, but that’s not today’s topic.
So, that also leads into not taking care of myself. Just because the desire mentioned above is a want instead of a need (I hesitate to call anything defined as play or sex a need), doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have it. Doesn’t mean I shouldn’t ask for it. I don’t often ask for things I want, because, I tell myself, I don’t really Need them. I put those I care about first, my assumed responsibilities second, and myself third. It’s why I stopped Tai Chi and Yoga, it’s one of the reasons why I can’t get back into kneeling regularly. Those things all came to be “about me.” I’m doing them for myself, so they aren’t as important as the things I’m doing for others.* The only thing that over-rules that is exhaustion. I do veg on the couch when I’m too tired to do anything else, until I fall asleep. With taking on a second job recently, exhaustion is winning out more, and the second job is taking all the time usually reserved for “my things.” Only illness and injury slowed me down this week and did not provide for productive “me time,” and I took extra shifts to make up the missed days. So much to do, it’s hard to find the proper balance.
*As I reread this, I decided some extra discussion was, perhaps needed, to define how this ritual came to be “about me.” Roughly a year and a half ago, he asked me to kneel for him, to get up to thirty minutes a day and to reflect on our relationship during this time. Tai Chi and Yoga became part of this ritual to take care of myself, to be healthy for him. I wrote a post about this just a few weeks ago, about what I could do to reclaim this habit. However, the changes in our relationship, and the problems I had with the kneeling, and my efforts to overcome them, have cast this ritual in a different light. Yes, once upon a time, he asked me to do it. But it no longer feels like a part of our exchange. It is something I do to center myself, or to take care of myself. Not something I do for him. And so, when I fail to do it, it’s just one more thing I don’t do for myself because I don’t have or make the time after everything else I put first.