Art Imitates Life…

In my “About Me” section, June Clemons asked a pretty great question:
“Forgive me but isnt comparing this type of lifestyle to a fictional movie or book a little bit insulting????? I mean the people who live this life are not rich, don’t own planes or have an extravagant play room in their house like the characters in movies and books. Help me underdstand!!!!!!”  June Clemmons

I think it’s a great question, because I’m certain many readers have the same problem when I say “Healthy BDSM is a fantasy. What you see in movies or read about in books is NOT the same thing as real life, healthy BDSM.” In fact, I still get many emails that complain about how wrong I am in that statement, but I stand by my words.

Art imitates life, not the other way around. What you read about in books and see in the movies is a glorified, exaggerated and romanticized vision of some author somewhere who wanted to capture aspects of real life and then play off of them in their imagination through books and movies.

Sometimes, movies are imitating books. I’m sure you’ve seen a movie or two where it says “Based on the book _____”. When that happens, the fictional story from the book becomes even more exaggerated and fantasized, sometimes toned down for certain audiences and then cut up to fit the time limit allotted for a full length film or shorter film.

Being inspired by books and movies to make changes in your life is an amazing thing. It is a form of entertainment for a reason. People who attempt to copy what they see in movies or read about in books (and even blogs) should be aware that what worked on screen or on the pages of a book may not work out as easily in real life. None of us can fly like Superman, but we can all relate to the desire of a freedom to go anywhere, anytime without the need for a plane, a car, or what have you. We can all understand the wishful thinking of super-human strength. And we can empathize with the symbolism of kryptonite and its ability to destroy even the most Superior man of all men (Superman). But we know we can’t and shouldn’t just run to the nearest cliff or rooftop and jump and hope that we’ll actually fly around. We understand that it is pretend; it is fantasy; it is a dream based on the desires of real people.

Healthy BDSM and even healthy polyamory is the same way. It isn’t as easy or care-free as books and movies like to make it. And there are many risks involved in practicing healthy BDSM and healthy polyamory.

This blog is based off of my life. I choose what I will or won’t write about. I do try very hard to keep it authentic. This means that 99.9% of my blog is truth, but I fib a little here and there. For example, I do not give my readers the real names of my children. You don’t need to know that information. I choose to keep that private, but for the sake of understanding which child I am referring to, I use fake names for them: Bella and Star.

Another example of where I stretch the truth a little here or there: Sometimes, I say horrible, horrible things to Master Jason and he says equally horrible things to me. So far, after every fight we’ve ever had, we’ve obviously worked things out. But I don’t feel the need to go into exact detail on this blog about who said what. I don’t feel compelled to talk about every single fight we have, or every single steamy love-making, BDSM scene we do. Sometimes, I don’t even blog about something until months and months and months after it has happened. But that’s okay because this is my blog and it is based off of my life. I do not have to give my readers all of the dirty details. I get to choose what I will or won’t write about and what I will or won’t publish here.

This blog is my art that imitates my life. 

I help instruct and profess what I have learned (throughout the years of playing around with, reading about and applying healthy BDSM tactics that have or haven’t worked for me) to each of my readers; but it should be noted that when trying to incorporate what I do and what I talk about on here, it may not work for you in your life.

To answer June’s question, no, it is not insulting to compare this lifestyle that I and many others are living to the BDSM/polyamory that is reflected in books and movies. It is important to understand the difference between real life and fantasy.

BDSM is a fantasy that we choose to incorporate into our lives.

No one who practices healthy BDSM should believe that they are REALLY a slave to someone else. They should understand that it is a CHOICE they are making, a ROLE they choose to wear. No one who practices healthy BDSM should feel that they MUST control the lives of others (by being a Master/Dom/Top/etc.). They should understand that WHEN they choose to wear that title, it is ONLY because the other person(s) involved have consented to following their orders and not because they are just that fucking awesome that everyone wants to be dictated by their every word.

If you find that you are insulted when I mention these things, then maybe it’s time to do a little more self reflection and try to figure out exactly what it is that offends you and why it offends you. If you are honest with yourself, then you have to admit that you choose this lifestyle. You choose how often you are in whatever role you identify with. You can, at any point, walk away from any of it, IF YOU WANTED TO. And if you can’t, then you aren’t practicing healthy BDSM/polyamory. You’re either being abused, or you’re being abusive and it is time to seek professional help.

For the love of Pete… (or “How to find a good Dom/sub”)

2016.01.03

Happy New Year (and Merry whatever you celebrated). I hope your holiday was better than ours. Master Jason and I are doing spectacularly but we all came down with strep throat, followed almost immediately by some weird stomach bug (more likely a bad reaction to the antibiotics they put you on when you get something like strep) that made us all feel rather icky for almost a full two weeks.

Anyway, I wanted to start off the new year with a new blog post but got side tracked by germs. This will be short and probably not super sweet, but I have gotten this question a grand total of 18 times in the last month (via email and direct messages and comments and Facebook messages…. the list goes on) and I’m quite tired of answering it so I am going to post it here.

Hey, Autumn, how do I find a good Dom/sub? Where do I look? Where do I start?

These are probably the most asked questions that I get from this blog. They all have the same root: “Where do I find someone good enough for me, that does everything I want/need so I can start my happily ever after moment?”

 

This is probably the most asked question on this blog and the general answer I give is this:
Seriously, it’s not like I have an island of great Doms that I have hidden just in case the world ends and I need a new one. I honestly don’t know. It’s just like regular dating, you find someone you like, that you click with and hope they sync up with your needs/desires and that you sync with theirs. Relationships (of any kind) take WORK and finding someone you just click with takes time, effort and patience.

I really hate this line of questioning. It’s a toxic question because it implies that there are people in the know who are hiding Kinksters worthy of dating. Happiness takes effort. It takes patience. It takes time. Finding someone you’re willing to invest in, continuously, even through the bullshit that comes with all relationships, is NOT easy. Being able to figure out how much BS is too much for you, personally, to deal with and being willing to honestly self-reflect and work on your issues is HARD WORK. But it pays off. Eventually you find someone (or a few someones) that you do click well with and that you want to invest your time and energy into! And you definitely should not give up and let yourself go after you’ve found it. In fact, you should work just as hard to keep the happy as you did to find it. Enjoying the benefits of your hard work can be done while continuing to work hard at keeping it.

Master Jason and I do not have some perfect love affair. Sometimes it feels like I struck gold and won the lottery and we just click so well and everything is fine and dandy. Other times I wonder what the hell I’m doing with him and if this is all worth it. The good news is, we ALL have those feelings from time to time. As long as the good seriously outweighs the bad (and no one is being abused or manipulated into doing things they don’t/can’t/shouldn’t do) then I am willing to keep working at the relationship. As long as everyone is benefiting and the relationship works most of the time (read, at least 90% of the time) then keep working at it!

If you haven’t found someone you’re willing to put the effort into yet, then keep looking! There is no easy  answer here. And frankly, I’m tired of having to spell that out. You’re adults (I hope). You understand that sometimes the clouds part and the sun shines and everything is right with the world and that at other times it doesn’t seem to stop raining/snowing/whatever. You understand that no matter what happens, you don’t just give up and wait for someone to do it for you. And if you can’t understand that, then maybe BDSM is not for you right now. Maybe you need to take a mental/emotional time out and focus on being healthier on your own before you try and add someone else to the mix.

I know this is a harsh blog post and I know it’s not my normal style, but I have put off answering this question in the form of a post for SIX YEARS. I can’t handle it anymore and I need a link I can just send to the other people who will invariably ask this question before bothering to read the damn blog, lol.

My next post will be far more pleasant, I promise <3 I do love all of my fans (even the crazy ones) even when I end up sounding like the crazy one ;)

Thanks for listening. /rant

–Autumn Lokerson

Side note: if ANYONE says something along the lines of “Hey People Asking This Question, hit me up, I’m a good dom/sub! What’s your email” or some stupid shit, I will block your comment so fast your head will spin. This is NOT a dating site. This is my blog, and I don’t have time for that crap. Thank you :)

 

When The Sh*t Hits The Fan…

Run

Change sucks. To be fair, MOST of the changes I’ve had to make in my life ended up being really good for me. But those first few weeks of getting used to something new are incredibly hard emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically.

Four weeks ago Master Jason told me he was not attracted to me physically anymore. I was crushed. I know I’ve put on weight, I know I need to lose weight, but to hear it put so… bluntly… hurt. He said that my lack of motivation, my current state of depression and the added weight were causing him to seriously consider leaving me. He said that being married to someone who didn’t seem to have any real goals in life, and wasn’t working on any was “embarrassing” and that he was tired of it.

Now some of you might be thinking Master Jason is a horrible person for saying those things to me. And at the time, I would have agreed. And I still think he could have said it more gently, but then again… maybe he’d been trying to be gentle about it in the past and I just didn’t listen to him. For the past 5 years he has tried to get me to workout more, bought me a treadmill so I didn’t have to run in the super cold or super heat of New York winters and Texas summers, bought me countless weight loss programs (DVD’s, fitness trackers, random fitness gear, etc) and spent money on workout clothes, tools, shoes, etc. And every time I would get started, I ended up giving up pretty quickly. Part of this may be because of my ADHD. Part of it is because of my depression (it comes and goes, thankfully it’s not as bad as it once was but there have definitely been some dark times where I just wanted cookies and sleep instead of exercise and salads).

After telling me all of this, he left for work. I wasn’t sure if he was going to come home or not. I was devastated, broken, and extremely angry. How dare he dump that kind of news on me and then just go off to work like nothing was wrong! How dare he tell me I was failing at life! That I was an embarrassment to him! Had he not seen how much I have accomplished in the past five years?!

I bounced between crying my eyes out and being angry enough to want to throw things (but I didn’t throw things. Mostly because I’d have to then clean up those things and any mess they made along their flight path).  The crazy part is that all of this came out about a week after I’d started going back to therapy. I can’t help but wonder if he understood that the meds I had just been put on (for ADHD and for depression) take about 2 weeks to work fully (at least, that’s how long it takes my body to get used to them and for real progress to be made). And in that first week I had a meltdown and confessed to him that I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere in life. In my darkest moment, he listened to what I’d said and then turned it on me and used it against me as a list of reasons he was no longer attracted to me. Fury boiled in my veins. I vowed to change, but not for him. I vowed to lose the weight, but not for him. I vowed to get back on track with school, but not for him. I was going to do all of this stuff for me. Fuck him. Fuck his words. Fuck his lack of attraction to me. I don’t need him. I need to be in a place where I can stand on my own two feet and thrive whether I’m alone or attached. I need to be my own person.

I went for a run. I had already been planning to start running again and I had already marked that day as my first day to go for a run. I took that fury running through my blood and I hit the pavement with it. I ran fast. I ran far. And then I walked. And then I ran. I did the couch to 5k day one (which is what I had been planning on doing anyway because I like how it eases me into running). I turned on a “break up songs” playlist full blast and I just ran. When my run was over, I came home and looked up various stretching routines. I refused to even log in to the messenger program Master Jason and I use to chat on while he’s at work. I didn’t want to speak to him. I wasn’t ready to speak to him.

I talked with my galpals. I called my mom. I called my therapist and made an appointment for the next day. I sat down and I drew up a list of things that needed to be done if Master Jason was actually leaving me, who I needed to call, what I needed to prepare for, etc. I emailed a lawyer friend in Los Angeles and asked for references to divorce attorneys up here in San Francisco and marriage counselors (since some attorneys have the numbers to both stored away just in case). I researched “Husband wants a divorce” and “Husband says I’m too fat” on Google and read through countless blogs from other women who were in my situation.

Because I was back on my ADHD medication, after I had finished all of this it was only 12pm and I still had several hours to kill before the kids came home and even longer before Master Jason was due back home. I called my primary care physician and set up an appointment with him so that I could make sure that whatever weight loss journey I set myself on next was doctor approved. Then I cleaned the fuck out of the house. I swept, mopped, dusted, polished, and organized until the garage door sounded and I knew someone was home from school. Then I started dinner prep. By the time Master Jason finally came home I was too tired to think straight and definitely too tired to argue. I tried very hard not to glare at him or say something hurtful and I put in my earplugs and just went to bed.

The next day I met with my therapist. We talked about my plan. We discussed my plans for if Master Jason was serious and decided to leave me and if he was just voicing his opinion but had not actually decided to leave me just yet. I made a plan to swing by the local community college near me and sign up for classes this spring (on the off chance that I’m still here in California) and I made a plan to call a couple of lawyers and get some sound advice. Then I went to my regular doctor and had a complete blood workup done. We tested for everything. He said I would get the results back in about 4 weeks (which is now, my appointment is this week actually) and he mentioned that my thyroid felt a little large and so he was ordering extra tests for that. He said that my goal to lose 2 pounds a week was certainly doable but that it would be HARD and suggested that I aim for 1 pound a week instead, but I was determined. I told him that if he was giving me his “okay” I was going to aim for those 2 pounds a week. I understood just how difficult it was going to be. I’ve been here before, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this determined to lose the weight before. He asked what had me so motivated. I narrowed my eyes and sat up straighter and said “I need to prove my husband wrong.” and he laughed and said he had no doubt I would do just that.

When Jason came home from work that day we sat down and talked. I told him that if he was serious about leaving me, I needed a date of when he planned to move out. If he wanted to work on this, then I had the numbers to several marriage counselors we could go to. I explained everything I had learned from my research on divorce in California. I explained my plans (both with and without him) and I told him I was enrolling in school full time this spring, but that obviously I can’t go back full time if we’re not together. I asked that he give me one more chance. I did not beg. I did not fall apart. I did not cry. I presented what I’d learned, what I’d already accomplished and then I shut up and listened to him talk. I did not allow my emotions to control my reactions to what he said. (Thankfully, my therapist had upped my Prozac dose just a tad so that I could be comfortably numb for this conversation. I knew that being overly emotional was NOT going to work for me).

He admitted to being blunt and harsh in his comments. He said he didn’t want to give up just yet but that if I didn’t make some serious changes he didn’t feel like he had another option available to him. He admitted that I am not 100% at fault for our lack of communication lately or our marital issues. He said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go to counseling together just yet, but that he would continue to pay for me to go to therapy on my own (and at this point, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to marriage counseling with him just yet either. I was still mad, I wasn’t sure I could sit in a room with him and a therapist and listen to anything other than my own anger rumbling in my ears). In the state of California you have to be separated for at least six months before you can get a divorce (in most situations). We agreed that we were not financially ready for that step and that we definitely did not want to upset the children with that kind of move until we were sure this was over and since neither of us was actually sure the relationship was truly over, we decided to stick it out and figure it out for the time being.

It has been four weeks since that day. I have stuck to my guns and run every other day. The only time I skipped a run was when I was extremely exhausted and knew that if I pushed myself, I was going to regret it. I slept for 14 hours that day and then 12 hours the next day and then got back on schedule and ran the day after that.

I have stuck to a very strenuous diet. I stopped eating simple carbs (no rice, no potatoes, no pasta, and very, very little bread/flour if any at all). I aimed for and stuck to a diet goal of 1,500 calories per day. I stopped eating any exercise calories I had “earned back”. I played around with different recipes that called for mostly vegetables like spinach, zucchini, squash and broccoli. I ignored the urge to point out every little success to Master Jason. I was not sharing them with him. I couldn’t. If he didn’t celebrate them with me, or notice them on his own, I refused to be crushed by that. I made a point to be more than just civil around him. I made a point to be friendly, but not desperate. I made daily schedules for myself and stuck to them. I kept going to therapy, I stuck to taking my meds every day and I kept the house practically spotless. I filled every non-run day with enough tasks or naps that I didn’t really have free time to fall apart and on run days I was too tired to fall apart.

I read books on ADHD and being organized. I read books on Asperger’s and marriage (Master Jason has Asperger’s, I have ADHD). I read Runner’s World Magazine and their book “The Beginner’s Guide to Running”. I read about diet, fitness, exercise, healthy eating. I joined several groups dedicated to weight loss, progress photos and healthy recipes on Reddit. I took photos of my body at the beginning before I’d even gone for my first run, and again two weeks later, and again two weeks after that (yesterday). I kept track of my calories, my weight, my measurements.

It has been four weeks and I have lost 22 pounds. Master Jason says he’s proud of me. He says he’s finding himself more attracted to me now. I am only half listening though. I know in my heart that what he said to me four weeks ago will take a long time to recover from. I know that he was being honest and for that I guess I’m grateful, but it still hurts to think about. So I don’t focus on that. I focus on where I am going from here. I have a plan: get fit, get my degree, figure it out from there. Prove that I can do this, with or without him. Get to a point where I am independent enough that if I choose to stay, it’s because I WANT to stay and not because I NEED to.

I am proud of my progress. I am proud of how far I have come. I am proud of the woman I am becoming. It isn’t easy to hear that you’re not the person your lover wants you to be, or hopes you would be. It wasn’t easy to hear that I had let myself get to a point where he didn’t find me attractive any more. It certainly wasn’t easy admitting that he was right and admitting that I had let myself go. And it sure as fuck wasn’t easy sticking to a strict diet or getting out there every other day and running, rain or shine, cold or hot. But I’m doing it!

I don’t know where we will be in the coming years. I can’t really focus on that right now. I am choosing to focus on what I can change right now. So far it’s working for me.

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