Intimate Imaginings Part One – By the Fire

Note: I’ve been pondering what I want and need in romantic relationships lately. Due to the ongoing pandemic, it’s not currently safe to meet new partners. Thus, I’ve been returning to my researcher roots, reading literature about different relationship structures, and feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. I’m realizing that there is much I don’t know about my romantic self (Ex: I feel fairly romantically “monogamish,” but I’m not entirely how that may apply to future romantic relationships. In fact, my longest relationships so far have been non-monogamous and intimate but not specifically romantic). Thus, I’ve decided to write some brief fantasies that show situations (kinky, romantic, and loving) that I could picture myself possibly enjoying and finding fulfilling in the future. This is one such intimate imagining. [Content notes: erotic but not explicit; power exchange themes, queerness, domesticity, cuddling, communication, boot worship, and implied open relationship]

My partner and I lean into each other as we sit by the fire, watching a nature documentary and enjoying the light smell of spruce in the air. My left arm is around her shoulder. She’s caught my left hand in hers. It is happily captive. My right hand idly strokes the hair of the submissive sitting at our feet. He leans back heavily against our legs like a dog seeking pats. He only visits a couple of times a month, but when he’s here, he belongs to us. As he becomes one with the floor, his hands wander to brush against my combat boots. He pulls them away quickly but then looks up at me with a question.

Feeling my partner squeeze my hand affirmatively, I nod. Silent, my submissive shifts to his knees on the carpet and lowers his face to our feet. My partner pets him as I press between his shoulder blades with my other boot. I get a little lightheaded at the simultaneous sensation of my sub’s lips soft against my leather and my partner nestling against my side, brimming with affection as she drinks in my relaxation and unfurling wisps of arousal. The documentary plays on, the fire crackles, and my eyelids flutter closed. I feel warm, balanced, and at peace.

A Note From the Front – Non-Affirming Church Family

I had a couple of epistles in progress that I hoped to have posted by now, but it’s not happening. Tonight, I’m just sad. My home church met this evening to discuss a congregational survey that we took a few weeks ago to assess our strengths and growth areas for the future. Overall, that process was uplifting and helpful. Unfortunately, the last page of our results (the extra feedback about how we can make our church distinctive) contained a nasty surprise. 

Someone in our very small church wrote something like, “We shouldn’t be so political. We need to stop talking so much about LGBTQ issues as if they’re the only thing that matters. We need to love everyone, but the Bible is clear.” It hurt to read. I know not everyone in my church is affirming, but the fact that someone whom I surely love decided to sound off like that was…painful. 

The answer didn’t even make sense. The question was about our distinctiveness as a church; not talking about LGBTQ issues isn’t an unusual trait in my corner of the rural South. I spent the remainder of the discussion time wondering who wrote it–was it someone who raised me, or was it someone I grew up with? And what a pity that is, because so much good came from the discussion overall. 

I had already been feeling vulnerable because I do talk about LGBTQ issues a lot in church; I believe it’s important to help my church family understand why I advocate. And then this person said I shouldn’t, I guess because it makes them uncomfortable to have their bigotry challenged. They prefer to think of my rights as ‘political’ and thus not worth discussing. I know I wasn’t the only one in the room who was hurt by the statement–while I was the only out queer person present, several of the older adults have grown LGBTQ children whom they affirm. But I felt that if I said anything negative during the discussion process, I would be seen as derailing it with my hysterical hurt feelings. I held them in for quite a while, even when one of my grandfriends pointed at the page and frowned in commiseration. 

My mom came in to check on me tonight. I promptly burst into tears. She held me and let me talk. I also talked to some friends who reminded me that I’m loved and that my work matters. Additionally, one of my cats came in and purred on my chest for a while. He seems to have a knack for knowing when someone needs comfort. 

Will I stop loving the person who wrote this ignorant statement? No. It is their loss if they can’t open their mind, and I can’t save them. I need to take care of myself. I’m fortunate to have a strong sense of self and confidence in my identity as a queer Christian. But it still hurts when people don’t want to understand, so tonight, I’m just letting myself hurt and be comforted by people I trust. 

More on my church family and my spiritual journey here
Therapeutic music: “Change Your Mind” from Steven Universe