My Experience with Pelvic Pain

[Image description: Photo is of dark purple flowers spilling from a white hanging basket.]

Content notice: In this post, I’ll talk about virginity, my journey with pelvic pain, and medical treatments that I’ve pursued. I hope that this epistle will help people to understand one kind of pelvic pain and get a better understanding of what to expect from treatment if they have that kind of pain. 

By some people’s standards, I’m a virgin. Why? Because I’ve never received vaginal penetration from a penis. Most of the time, I think that’s hilarious because I’ve had several sexual experiences and consider virginity a very silly social construct. I like to joke about how I could be sacrificed to the Kraken to save a kingdom. A knight would be pleased to rescue me from a dragon. Funny how those scenarios would involve me being imprisoned and subject to pain or death. 

In reality, I haven’t had “penis-in-vagina” sex because I have a chronic pelvic pain condition called vulvodynia. More specifically, my issue is called vulvar vestibulitis. That means that the vestibule, an area surrounding the vaginal opening, is inflamed and sensitive to pressure. This makes vaginal intercourse difficult and painful. I seem to have had it at least since puberty; I remember not being able to insert a tampon when I first started my period as a teenager. A little embarrassed but not aware that it might indicate an issue, I just thought “Well, I guess I can’t use tampons. *Shrug.*” 

As I developed sexually, I discovered my clitoris and learned how to have lovely external clitoral orgasms, but I never much bothered with trying to penetrate myself. In hindsight, that seems odd to me. I wonder whether I tried it once, felt like I was hitting a wall, and decided not to try again. At the time, any desire for penetrative sex wasn’t on my radar. Even when I became sexually active, I didn’t go to the gynecologist; I had heard horror stories of gynecologists in my hometown who didn’t care if their exams hurt their patients–when I mention that to people, they have their own stories to share. I hope to learn more about why that is soon.  

Fortunately, when I did finally see a gynecologist, referred through a routine STI testing appointment, I found one who was compassionate and understood pain. She also happened to have a divinity degree, a big plus for me as a divinity student. A female nurse and a male medical student also attended the exam. The student was nice but clearly didn’t expect to interview a queer, sexually active patient who couldn’t receive penetration. I had a bit of fun watching his reactions as I explained that I have a very fulfilling sex life sans PIV, swinging my bare legs as I sat there in my oversized cloth examination gown. I can be a little emotionally sadistic when it comes to teaching people new stuff. 

The gynecologist was very kind. She listened as I explained my inability to be penetrated and then attempted a vaginal exam, flanked by the other two. Oddly, I didn’t feel embarrassed by the three lab-coated figures looming like angels at the foot of a bed; I just thought it was nice to have a team of people who wanted to take care of me. When I said “Okay that hurts” and started to shrink back, she stopped. It had felt like sharp pressure. She said that my hymen was intact and referred me to a pelvic pain specialist. I left the appointment emotionally wrung out but relieved that I was finally taking a step to help myself feel better. 

When I visited the pelvic pain specialist a few weeks later, she also attempted an exam, briefly penetrating me with one finger. It burned. She explained that my vestibular inflammation and pelvic muscle tension had created a feedback loop: chronically tense muscles aggravated inflammation, which increased tension and pain, leading to a dread of penetration and more inflammation. Vestibulitis can have many possible causes, she explained. For some people, yeast infections (which I did have as a child) lead to greater pain sensitivity. Some people experience an unusual proliferation of nerve endings. Some have a history of sexual abuse; tensing and guarding is a protective response to the trauma. For others, contact dermatitis from irritating soaps, pads, or underwear materials is the main culprit. I would add that anxiety and socialization in a culture that teaches vulva-owners to expect pain with intercourse compounds those issues. 

I’ve become a lot more mindful of my feelings in the past few years, but I wonder how long I experienced chronic tension in my body before I had the language to explain it. I was a sensitive and anxious child who never got in trouble at school. Adults in that arena either didn’t notice my anxiety or didn’t see it as a major problem, as long as I was ‘mature’ and ‘well-behaved’. I wonder how much of the tension I experience was carried from childhood into adulthood without my awareness.

In any case, the specialist and I attacked the problem on multiple fronts; while I might choose never to have PIV sex, decreasing muscle tension and inflammation was a worthy goal in itself. 

She prescribed a hormone cream, recommended dilators and physical therapy, and suggested some lifestyle changes. I marched out of CVS that afternoon armed with Shea Moisture Soap, cotton period pads, and unbleached Seventh Generation toilet paper. Of course, before I did that, I had a very quiet crying fit in the Panera Bread–it had been hard to endure the searing pain of the exam, to feel betrayed by my body’s self-protective processes. 

As a cis woman, I didn’t feel inferior about not being able to have intercourse, but I did feel dysfunctional as a human being. In reality, people of every gender can’t have or don’t want to receive penetration for many reasons, and that’s okay. It’s not shameful. But I had to remind myself of that. 

The treatments are helping; I have been using a high-quality set of silicone dilators, and that process is gradually getting easier. Read this post to learn what I use and how. (Please note, dilation isn’t always a linear progression; some days are easier than others, and I do get frustrated with it sometimes or even skip it for weeks at a time.) 

At my follow-up appointment, the pain specialist* managed to do a full exam. As she pressed on different areas, I was able to focus and distinguish different sensations. For example, I could breathe and notice that one area didn’t hurt at all, while another, tenser area felt irritated or sharply painful. The pain hasn’t gone away, but I understand it. I know that I can make decisions about how to respond to pain without judging myself for feeling it. 

I might like receiving vaginal penetration some day. I might not. But fortunately, no matter what society thinks about the status of my body, I’m not actually a sacrificial maiden. I get to have as much or as little of whatever kind of sex I want, and I get to nurture my body. In a way, I’m grateful for the pain, as much angst and inconvenience as it has caused; it’s taught me how to find many avenues for pleasure and reminded me to treat my body with kindness when it’s hurting. That’s all for now, but I will continue to write about pelvic pain and share resources. 

*I swear, I’m going to have to write an erotica called “The Pain Specialist” now. 

More on Pelvic Pain and Treatment:

Unbuttoned Epistles Top 10 Roundup

[Image description: Photo is of a blooming sunflower.]

Greetings, Beloved! Since I’m still visiting people, I’ve decided that today’s epistle will just be a hodgepodge of things I’ve written so far. They cross the spectrum. Enjoy!

Explicit Epistles: 

Non-Explicit Epistles: 

Also, I want to give a shoutout to my Resources page. It’s a work in progress, but it’s a trove of helpful info, if I do say so myself. 😉 

Be of good courage!

“Stay Like This”

[Image description: Photo is an abstract close-up of a black leather boot on pink satin.]

This post was written for the Wicked Wednesday erotica blogging meme, heavily based on a real play experience I had with my sub. This one’s explicit, folks! Content: D/s, hand spanking, sexual play, ‘public’ nudity, and consensual boundary-pushing

We’re slightly mellow already when we arrive at the dungeon–at home, I worked him up to two prostate orgasms as he lay on his back, panting. 

The red light casts a velvety glow over everyone in the play space. Tonight’s guests seek a more sensual energy than usual–our low-key sensual spanking scene will fit right in. We forego the shiny padded spanking benches for a utilitarian play mat against the wall. 

I order him to strip. He’s still a bit sheepish about public nudity, so I remove my shirt and bra in solidarity. I think it will feel awkward, but it doesn’t; it just feels like a fact of life. My sub sets himself up on all fours, presenting himself for my touch, my ‘handling’. 

It always takes me a couple of minutes to settle into a scene, especially in a communal space; I smile and shrug at my friend across the room as I sit down on the mat, as if to say “Yep, here it is…spanking. *Jazz hands.*” 

My sub waits. I let my hands wander over his back, tracing delicately over his ass, which he has shaved for me (when in doubt, I get handsy). And then, I swing back and hit. And hit again, cupping my palm. I wait. He hums. This is one of his favorite activities. I feel him warming as I rub his cheeks rosy. Another smack, harder. I need more sound, leaning over his body to get closer to his face. I want to hear his moans mingle with the hypnotic dungeon music. 

I wrap an arm around him as I reel back for another slap, leveraging his body to crash back into my spanking hand. We find a rhythm. He looks up sometimes, making eye contact with the person getting fucked on the swinging bed several feet away. 

Sometimes, I catch his balls, sending him lurching forward. He always puts himself back in my palm, whimpering when I pause my onslaught to play with his hard cock. When I think he’s had enough, I stop. He eases himself up in a daze of pleasure, sitting for a moment with his legs splayed out. He reaches for his clothes. “No,” I say, pinning him to my side as I put one hand on his thigh. “Stay like this a little longer.” Suddenly embarrassed again, he obeys, hands at his sides on the mat and legs open to reveal his still half-hard cock to any onlookers. 

There’s a reason this feels so vulnerable for my sub; it’s rare for a cis man to get fully nude in this space. I could reach over, stroke him hard, wipe out his excruciating awareness with the sweet oblivion of touch. But I don’t. Instead, we sit like that for a few minutes while I tell him how proud I am of his bravery, my protective arm around his shoulder. We make a pocket of stillness amid a riot of play. 

Back at my place later that night, he will practically leap onto my bed, moaning when I start hitting him with my belt, rutting back against my hips as I press him forward. He’ll look back in wordless arousal and spread himself for me. I’ll slam him into the mattress with enough force to make the bed squeak, the simulation of fucking just as arousing as the real thing. I will claim him with murmurs and growls of ownership. But nothing proves my ownership more, and nothing makes my pride in him burn as brightly as those naked minutes we spend just sitting there on the dungeon floor. 


Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Dirty Hymns

[Image description: Photo is of the cover of the 1862 sheet music for “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”]

I’ve been traveling and visiting relatives, so this’ll be a super-mini-epistle. 🙂 

Few people have more reverence for Christian hymns than I do. I grew up singing from the old brown hymnbook in a little church where anything written after 1970 was considered “new.” Even the ones whose theology I don’t agree with (Ex: heavy atonement theology) are like old friends. 

But also? I like to have silly fun. And these hymns are such fun to pervert. My mischievous aunt taught me a trick a few years ago, to tack the phrase “in the bed between the sheets” onto the end of each hymn line or stanza. 

If you get bored during church, you just open your hymnal to a random page and let your imagination run wild. You might find some funny (or even poignant!) entertainment.  Be warned, fellow Christians; you may never see those oldie goldies the same way again. 😉 

One of my personal favorites is “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” as illustrated below:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…in the bed between the sheets!

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored…in the bed between the sheets!

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword…in the bed between the sheets!

His truth is marching on…in the bed between the sheets!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

His truth is marching on.

Continued “Battle Hymn” lyrics (an experiential activity):

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;

They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;

I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,

His day is marching on.

I have read His fiery gospel writ in rows of burnished steel!

“As ye deal with my condemners, so with you My grace shall deal!

Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, “

Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;

He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;

Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet!

Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;

As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free!

While God is marching on.

“Just as I Am” – Confessions of a Kinky Churchgoer

[Image description: Photo is of a cautious but curious calico cat that has just stepped through a doorway.]

Church felt weirdly relevant today. Not that church is ever irrelevant, but I kept making connections between this morning’s worship service and my personal life in ways I don’t always. You see, I’m currently negotiating a new power exchange (which I will hereafter refer to as #Subpocalypse2019), and it’s brought up a lot of difficult feelings. I’ve felt more overwhelmed, afraid, even desolate in the past couple of days than I have in months. Maybe that’s tuned me in more than usual. 

My sense that the service was speaking directly to my inner turmoil started with the Prayer of Confession: “We fear failures, and we cling to unquestioned habits […] Show us your way. Open our eyes to new ventures,” we prayed. I do fear failure in this new venture, one that’s appeared seemingly out of the blue. It will involve questioning my habits in unusual (and embarrassing) ways, as I make my life available for another to view. I felt like that prayer was for me. 

Other messages jumped out at me as the service continued, especially in the hymns. When I saw “Just as I am” in the service order, I looked up from my bulletin suspiciously. “Just as I am though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt…” the song goes. I could give or take some of the theology in that hymn, but the thought of just…being…and showing up as myself with all my fears feels especially poignant right now.

Fortunately, I have a supportive pod of people who are proud of me for showing up and have given me space to feel scared without judgment. My sub is excited to see me experience life on the other side of the D/s slash; he’s been giving me pep talks over the past few days and encouraging me when I’ve been tearful. I don’t know how much involvement God has in shaping personal relationships, but I think God understands my feelings and is proud of me too. 

The final hymn was “Here I Am, Lord.” That one’s just always a tear-jerker. It was a very special song to one of our members who died a couple of years ago. It illustrates his way of being so clearly. It’s a song about committing to mission even when you feel unprepared and vulnerable–it also imagines God as immensely loving and thus, vulnerable to hurt. 

Today’s service was about being courageous, vulnerable, and flexible in ministry to the world, but I hear it another way too: I hear a call to minister to myself. I hear a call to grow more loving to myself through the discomfort that submission brings. With the guidance and care of others, I am called to minister to myself “just as I am,” fearful and brave and loving. 

*Prayer is from Feasting on the Word Worship Companion, John Knox Press, 2013.

“How Are the Mighty Fallen?” – A David Study, Part I

[Image description: Photo is a close-up of the face and neck of Michelangelo’s David at an angle.]

Content notice: non-graphic discussion of rape and other forms of abuse

A few days ago, I wrote an epistle called “The Story Still Matters,” a rant about how hard it is for me as a Christian divinity student to use critical theory to interpret the Bible in fruitful ways without missing the stories themselves. To keep the stories alive, I’m going back to the Text. This is the first entry of a series about David as seen in 1 and 2 Samuel–the story of the rise and fall of a wildly charismatic, passionate, and often brutal king. Seriously, Samuel could be an HBO series. 

In these posts, I will dig into who David is and the choices he makes, writing from my perspective as a queer Christian. I will use some theory to help me make sense of it over 2,000 years removed. And I will ask how a man with such faith and love can become so cruel and conventional as a ruler. How does this queer romantic hero, whose love for Jonathan is almost startling, become a tyrant, a rapist, and an enabler of rapists? What does his story say about the God that anoints him? 

Can Christians learn something from David, especially about sex and sexuality? I believe we can, but it isn’t easy. Tools and background information can help. We need to start before David and even outside the Bible itself. Let’s think about the Christian communities that tell David’s story. 

Most churches don’t talk much about sex in the Bible, especially mainline Protestant churches like mine. In fact, a friend once pointed out that fundamentalist churches often talk about sex more than mainline churches do. We’re getting more affirming of same-gender relationships and of gender diversity. We may have even done a study or two on the “Clobber Passages.” But we avoid talking about sex when we can (and we certainly don’t talk about the possibility of queerness in the Bible). We gloss over the passages where our ‘heroes’ (like Abraham and Sarah, and later David) are sexually abusive with barely a thought. We laugh nervously when anyone brings up Song of Songs, a book devoted to sexual pleasure. Academic classes have helped me to see that the Bible has a “multiplicity” of ideas about sex because it was written by many different people and that we get to choose whether we agree with any of them. 

Take these two passages for example: 

“…your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). 

“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me” (Song of Songs 7:10). 

In Song of Songs (a.k.a. Song of Solomon or Canticle), we see luxurious sexual desire and love thwarted but never killed (Song of Songs 5:7). In Genesis, we see a cruel, enslaving desire, in a passage used over and over to hurt women (it can be interpreted in many ways). What variety! 

David’s story is a microcosm of that variety, with issues like rape, adultery, polygamy, and homoerotic desire all rolled into one epic saga. The funny thing is, we often don’t even notice. Normally, we see the boy with the slingshot, the great warrior king, and the adulterer. We’re not socially equipped to see much else; we live in a society that likes to edit its heroes for our comfort. In doing so, we fail to explore huge chunks of these rich, strange stories even as we use them to inspire our own choices. That’s just tragic. 

What about biblical background? To understand David, we need to understand Ruth, his grandmother. Let’s look back at the book of Ruth. If you’re feeling especially nerdy, I encourage you to attempt to draw a family tree for David (if not, I made one already :)). 

When we read the book of Ruth, we learn that some of David ancestors were poor foreigners who did things to make ends meet that would be condemned in many churches. Naomi sends her daughter-in-law Ruth out to seduce Boaz and “uncover his feet” (Ruth 2:3-3:18). Most Christians never learn that in biblical Hebrew, feet are a euphemism for genitals. Professor Brittney Cooper reveals (heh) this topic delightfully in Unscrewed podcast episode #BlackChurchSex

Long story short, Ruth doesn’t go to Boaz so that they can have a chaste courtship; she goes to have sex with him in hopes that it will save her and Naomi’s lives; women in that time and place depended on the provision of male relatives. It was not a fair system, but they did the best they could. Ruth loves Naomi, so she engages in scandalous sexual activity.

Before we look at David, who started with few options but eventually had many, let’s remember Ruth, Rahab (a sex worker), and other female ancestors whose choices were seriously limited by circumstance. Their bodies were treated like mere containers for the descendants of Abraham. 

David enters the scene in this context. As I follow his journey and the choices he makes (as a sexual being and as a person in general), I will keep in mind the ancestors who made it possible for me to live. I’ll think about my ability to make choices that they never had in conversation with David’s choices, when he rises and when he falls. 

Recommended Readings and Sources:

The Bible. I generally use the New Revised Standard Version because that’s what’s used in the academic world, but other versions are valuable too. I would urge readers to keep in mind that every English translation of the Bible reflects the biases of the translators (Ex: for clarity, why not translate ‘feet’ as genitals?). 

Bird, Jennifer Grace. Permission Granted. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015.

Hornsby, Teresa J. Sex Texts from the Bible. Woodstock: SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2007. 

Weems, Renita. “The Song of Songs: Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections.” The New Interpreter’s Bible. Pages 363-373. Print.

I’ll work on finding more accessible sources as I go along!

Submission is Scary

[Image description: Photo is of a freshly rained-on brick patio with plants growing around the edges and through the cracks. A pair of pale human feet is at the edge of the frame.]

This’ll be short because I’m emotionally exhausted.

I’ve heard it said that in BDSM, dominants learn power, submissives learn courage, and switches learn wisdom (I wish I could find the original source). That statement oversimplifies things for sure, but it illustrates where I am right now. Looks like I’m about to be very courageous. I’m talking with a friend about experimenting with a low-key D/s dynamic where she is dominant and I am submissive; it’s more of a mindset than a specific kind of play. Not having had any experience with actually submitting before, I’m terrified. 

She brought up the idea of D/s a couple of days ago, and my subconscious wouldn’t leave it alone (I actually dreamed about it; I pay attention to dreams). When we finally started discussing it in messages, I had a physical fight-or-flight response–pounding heart, churning stomach, etc. Having only experienced kink so far as a dominant and top, giving up control and letting myself be led is scary. But scary doesn’t mean bad, and I’ve learned over the years that if I don’t let myself be scared sometimes, I won’t grow. 

Even though I’m intimidated by the vulnerability of it, I’m proud of myself just for being courageous enough to explore this path–I feel braver already. I’m also terribly curious about what I will learn and the wisdom that this experiment will bring. 

That’s all I got for now, but I’ll have more reflections soon! 

Aftercare – It’s Not Just for Kink

[Image description: Photo is of Christ Church College in Oxford, England, originally constructed 500 years ago.]

Occasionally, something I’ve learned from kink will help me to reflect on something from vanilla life, which then influences my overall mindset for the better. This post illustrates one of those times. 

A few years ago, a dear friend and I went into the woods to play pretend, as one does. This wasn’t a kink scene, mind, just us imagining that we lived in Medieval Europe. We made up silly details as we walked along (“Ah yes, they have put out flowers because there has been a death in the family…”). We ran into a couple of  ‘journeymen’ on the path who played along for a while. I became a troubadour, and she became a duchess. I had to make up a song on the spot to sing in her honor (it was actually a pretty epic song). We must have pretended for at least a couple of hours. I still remember it fondly. 

But a strange thing happened when we stopped playing and my friend went home for some introvert time: I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had just spent the last couple of hours experiencing life as a troubadour of the Middle Ages, and now I had no one for whom to sing, no station in life. I practically could have recited elegiac poetry about the lost mead halls. 

After wandering around in that state for a while, I went home and watched several episodes of Wolf Hall (a PBS Masterpiece program set in the court of Henry VIII). Presently, I felt a little more normal, like my imaginings had finally run their course and my brain had found equilibrium. 

It didn’t hit me until more recently, when I started exploring kink, that I had that strange response because I didn’t know how to find my way back to the present day. Essentially, though I didn’t realize it at the time, my brain was scrambled by the rapid gear shift from courtier to college student. I needed aftercare

In the kink world, ‘aftercare’ is what players do after the end of a scene to find their way back to their non-play selves. They might drink some water, cuddle and chat, bandage any wounds, watch mindless television for a while, or even take some time away from each other to reflect. ‘Cruel’ master becomes doting partner, playful puppy becomes exhausted friend, etc. Aftercare continues with check-ins and debrief conversations in the following days. Aftercare is different for everyone, but many players need it to minimize and mitigate the effects of ‘drop’. (Side note–anyone can experience drop, including tops and dominants. I’ll talk about my experiences with dom drop in another post.) Whatever form it takes, the ritual of caring closure that aftercare provides helps players to transition out of whatever intense thing has just occurred. 

The concept of aftercare is something that I now keep in mind after any intense experience, no matter how trivial it seems. Watching historical dramas did the trick for me a few years ago. When pretending nowadays, I try to let people know beforehand that my imagination is wild and to have a closing check-in with them afterward (something like “Thanks for going there with me; I’m ready to go back to reality now and will need to clear my head. Are you okay? Need anything?”). 

This practice may seem excessive, but consider all the ways that humans seek closure and aftercare on a daily basis. There’s a reason that activists debrief over pizza after a protest–sometimes, you just need to feel like a person again. After a show ends, actors hold cast parties. Athletes have cool-downs. Students end their years of toil with ceremonies of praise, hugs, tears, and mementos. At the end of a long day, parents read their children to sleep.

When we don’t get caring closure, even when we don’t realize that’s what we need, we may feel strange and disoriented, unable to move forward. I don’t always know exactly what I need at the end of an experience, but I’m learning to ask. Whether in kinky play or vanilla life, aftercare has been a helpful concept for me to keep in mind as I explore.

There is Such a Thing as Too Much Lube

[Image description: Photo is of LubeTube lube launchers in packaging. Captions say “Easy to use!” and “Put your favorite lube exactly where you want it!”]

Friends, the Holy Spirit has placed a testimony on my heart. I share it here that it may be edifying to those who are curious about anal play. Have you ever read that there’s no such thing as too much lube for anal sex? That’s generally true; the anus is not self-lubricating, so lube helps make anal play safer and more comfortable. (Note: It’s gonna get a little graphic from here on out). 

My sub and I enjoy pegging, a kind of sex where a woman penetrates a man anally with a strapon dildo (I’m not sure whether non-op trans women who use their own penises to penetrate use that term). It’s great for prostate stimulation. 

We purchased a lube shooter (also known as a lube launcher or injector) to make the process of anal sex smoother and more pleasant. After an incident where our play was cut short by unexpected anal bleeding, we thought a launcher would help us to cover our bases. 

I would’ve thought it was intuitive enough. Just put the lube in the tube, stick the tube in the hole, and squirt, right? Not exactly. 

Pegging went smoothly, but my sub’s belly started gurgling part of the way through. After we finished, he dashed to the bathroom and essentially pooped out excess lube. Apparently, the next morning, more lube came out. 

Here’s what we think happened: I put too much lube in the shooter, for one thing. For our purposes, it needed to be less than half full. Then, wanting to be thorough, I stuck the tube a little farther up his butt than necessary and didn’t pull out/inject at the right pace to distribute the lube evenly. When I started pegging him, my cock probably pushed it even deeper. 

Essentially, I gave him an accidental lube enema. It was kind of embarrassing, but we can laugh about it now (especially since I will sometimes say to him “I shot lube up your butt” to remind us both that these things happen). And thus I say unto you, friends, it turns out there is such a thing as too much lube. Lube launchers are useful, but they don’t cover inexperience!

Endnotes: A guide to lube shooter application is here. A beginner’s guide to anal sex is here. A lube guide is here.

My First Munch

[Image description: Photo is of a gray tee-shirt with a red raised fist design and white block lettering that says “Introverts Unite…Occasionally in small groups for very limited periods of time”]

I attended my first munch in August of 2018, right after divinity school orientation ended. #Priorities. A munch is a public get-together of kinky people, usually at a restaurant. No whips or chains there, just people chatting over food. Especially for new people, munches are a great way to connect with the local kink community, make friends, and find safe play partners. 

I was quite nervous before I went, changing clothes three times–it was a true Lizzie McGuire montage–before settling on a skinny jean-combat boot-jacket ensemble. I had read that I should “dress for success.” 

Fortunately, my Uber driver didn’t ask why I was taking a twenty-minute drive to this particular IHOP when another IHOP was much closer. Feeling like a detective, I told the restaurant manager that I was looking for “the group in the back.” I found them, a merry bunch with black clothes and colorful hair. 

They made room for me but didn’t engage much at first. Starting to feel like a statue, I mustered the courage to say “I’m an introvert; please talk to me!” Miraculously, they did. We chatted about kink and ate pancakes. I felt a thrill as I told them I was in divinity school and wanted to work on the issue of sexual shame in Christianity. Everyone was friendly. 

After the munch, we carpooled to the local sex-positive dungeon. On the way, I learned that for some people, the appeal of kink isn’t sexual at all–some just like the rush of impact or the opportunity to relax into a different role for a while. 

In the play space, I met three or four white guys with scruff and glasses over the course of the night. It’s a little embarrassing to say, but in the dark, they looked so similar that I didn’t realize they were all different people at first. To this day, I’m still not sure exactly how many dudes I talked with as I sat on that leather sofa, though one of them eventually became a friend and play partner. 

Of course, even in the low light, the house bootblack noticed how scuffed my boots were. A little sheepishly, I climbed into the bootblack chair. I chatted with her shyly while she cleaned and conditioned my boots–they were too dry at that point to be polished! I have since learned how to take better care of my boots. It is now one of my sub’s tasks. 

I watched the play with scientific interest, somewhat overwhelmed by the effort to watch multiple scenes unfold simultaneously. It was easier to focus on one at a time. In one memorable scene with two women, the top (the sensation-giver) kicked and hit the bottom (the player receiving the sensation) with wooden spoons and spatulas. They both smiled and giggled the whole time. At the end of the scene, the bottom slid down the wall, laughing uncontrollably as the experience washed over her.

Watching their joyful play reminded me that I didn’t have to play a certain way to be kinky (nor did I need to act like a movie dominatrix). I’ve been back to the play space and to munches several times since then. When I’m feeling awkward, I remember that I can always wave the introvert flag, and someone will welcome me.