Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sex Toys and Your Septic System

Sex Toys and Your Septic System

I know this isn't a pleasant topic. However, as someone who uses a septic system I thought I'd bring it up.
Septic systems can be found in individual homes, trailer parks, and developments. If you're not sure if you're on public sewer or have a septic tank then its probably in your best interest to find out. If your water bill does not include charges for sewer then it is more likely that you're on septic.
Usually, septic systems are fairly low maintenance except for needing to be inspected every 3 years and possibly pumped out. What you put down your drains and toilet can drastically change how your septic system works.
Now, if you live in a park or development I realize you are not personally paying for septic tank maintenance and you're only contributing a fraction of what goes into the tanks but I'm willing to guess that poor septic tank habits will be reflected long term in your lot rent or homeowners association fees.
To oversimplify things, bacteria are fundamental to a septic system. Bacteria eat what they can that enters the tank so that liquid enters a drain field and sludge remains of the bottom. It's that sludge that needs to be pumped out by a honey truck once it is built up.
Now, a healthy septic system can handle a certain degree of normal household chemicals. Having a separate system for laundry waste, for example, usually is not necessary. However, a lot of kinky people I know tend to be, well, clean freaks. (No offense intended.)
Using bleach, antibacterial soap, antiseptics, disinfectant, chemical cleaners, and detergents can be bad for your septic system. If they are used in small quantities throughout the week then it is probably okay. But, a massive cleaning spree is probably not a good idea especially if you use inefficient appliances. (Lots of water is actually bad for a septic system.)
So, what are our options when it comes to cleaning sex toys? What I would do is buy toys that can be boiled or cleaned in the dishwasher without detergent. I'd water my plants with the water I'd boiled my toys in. Also, exposing your toys to sunlight can kill most things, it just isn't a speedy process. (citation)
The thing is, not all toys can be cleaned this way. The common recommendation is to use antibacterial soap or a 10% bleach solution and in moderation this should be fine for your septic system. Just be aware, that if you're cleaning up after a party or a big day of play that you are putting stress on your septic system. So, this might be a good day to skip doing laundry or other heavy cleaning.
The verdict on additives such as Rid–X seems to be mixed. I personally use it occasionally and/or dump any spoiled milk we have down the drain to help the tank.
Your septic system ideally is a balanced ecosystem. The good news is that normally that ecosystem is rather robust. The bad news, is that when that ecosystem isn't working well it can lead to very costly problems that in my book are best avoided with a little prevention.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Housework, self-care, pacing, obedience, and self-image

I tried to cook dinner a few months ago. Master does all of the cooking since I have trouble standing and am heat intolerant. Plus, even after 8 years of living together, he's not very good at finding partial tasks for me to do that would help him. I really wanted to take some of the burden of cooking off of him. Cooking used to be something that I enjoyed doing but due to health and bad experiences I haven't enjoyed it in several years. I tried to make Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter. (fresh tomato version, vegan version) (I highly recommend this sauce. It's satisfying and tastes delicious.)
Master suggested I use the double boiler so there'd be less risk of the sauce burning. Of course I did as he suggested. The idea of not having to babysit the sauce appealed because it would mean less standing and fewer trips to the kitchen. I used the triple bottom sauce pan with the double boiler that came with it. Even with our gas stove this pan can be slow to heat up but heats very consistently so I wanted to use it. Unfortunately, while I got the water to boil the sauce itself never came to a boil. I tried to make do with the low simmer I had but the tomatoes just weren't breaking down.
After about two hours I asked Master to come take a look at dinner. He dumped out the water from the bottom pot and poured the sauce into it. I wasn't happy to have made more dirty dishes but at least now there was hope that dinner would actually cook.
Master loved the final sauce and wanted to add it to our regular meals. I wanted to cry. This hadn't been this simple, positive experience I'd been hoping for and needed. In fact, I wasn't sure if I should ever try cooking again.
My confidence blown I decided to focus on helping with the dishes. Master is the only person I know who can seriously cut himself washing dishes. That makes me want to protect him from the dishes. However I'm prone to dropping things and I don't want him to have to clean up broken glass or pottery. No matter how hard I'd try to clean up something I broke Master would still clean again to make sure both of us were safe.
As a baby step I decided to work harder at putting dishes away. Of course then we had a heat wave and I could barely stand up. Master doesn't like it when I'm in the kitchen and about to fall down. I can understand that.
Gradually, I slipped farther into a funk. I'm pathetic and useless. All Master does is take care of me. The more depressed I got the less motivation I had to force myself to do housework whenever I was at all able. It became this horrible cycle.
Master insists that I'm not lazy, I'm just taking care of myself. My point of view is a bit different. Stopping when I need to is taking care of myself (and thereby Master's property) but there's no reason that I'm not setting a timer for an hour and then trying again other than fear and laziness. At least, that's how I see it. I can feel capable when seated but as soon as I stand and take a few steps to the kitchen the unsteadiness increases dramatically. I'm amazingly glad I feel 'okay' seated or reclined but it does annoy the heck out of me that standing is so difficult and some things require standing in this house.
I have developed a fear of falling. To some degree it is a rational fear. Falls, especially in a cluttered kitchen, can lead to serious injury. That said, I haven't actually fallen in over a year. Master attributes that to my being careful but I'm not sure if I'm become overly cautious. Master values me and wants me to prioritize being careful and safe over almost everything else. Whereas I want to be useful and take good care of him. This difference in priorities can cause some problems.
I do my best to go with Master's priorities but I have a ways to go in feelings good about myself when I do. Right now I feel like I'm taking the easy way out. Ideally, I feel like I'd manage both. Taking care of myself, limiting how much Master has to worry about, and still reducing the work around the house for Master to do.

Master has asked me to cook that same dish a few more times. So far, it is the only thing I ever cook. I've singed it once but otherwise it gets slightly easier every time. Honestly, I think Master is right to pick one dish to help me work on my cooking confidence. I feel a bit less useless too.
Putting dishes and groceries away isn't going well. I've been experiencing a lot of nausea and dizziness. Plus, Master is the one who uses the kitchen so things need to be put away where they are easy for him to access. Our little metal box of a home leaves much to be desired in the areas of storage and organization and so it is daunting task to put things away in such a way that he'll approve.

Also, I'm working on changing the order that I do things in. I used to get up and put the dishes away and then couldn't make myself breakfast. So, Master would end up making me food when he got up a few hours later. Master has convinced me that I need to take care of myself first. If I do that I'm more likely to be able to do more than the bare minimum to survival. While I'd rather do things to help Master first I know it doesn't help Master for him to have to take care of me as soon as he gets up even if that means he has to put an extra drainer full of dishes away.

Occasionally he'll ask me to do something and it will take me some time to finish the what I'm already doing for him so he'll just go ahead and do the task. He says it's the same as when I've asked for help with something and then, after waiting some variable length of time, just try to do it myself. Problem is, Master has a very bad sense of time and I've lived with him long enough that my sense of time is shot too-just not in the same way his is. So, he'll think he gave me 'plenty of time' and it felt like less than five minutes to me. Or I'll think I gave him an hour to get around to helping me and he'll think it's been 5 seconds. While Master doesn't make a value judgement about my performance when I've taken too long-I do. When I don't remind him that I asked for something and instead try to get it myself he feels bad while I'll just assume he has more important things to do.
None of this would be an issue if I wasn't so slow at everything and if I didn't ask for so much help. This is another reason to be more diligent in my pacing and self-care - hopefully I'll be bale to safely avoid asking for help and do things more swiftly.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Finding Accessible Kink Info

I was first introduced to kink by a blind boyfriend back in college during the mid '90s. Thank goodness for the Usenet newsgroups and soc.subculture.bdsm because I knew absolutely nothing and he desperately wanted a Domme. #Femdomme on IRC was, erm, interesting to say the least but I sure wasn't going to learn the basics there. While each FAQ I read had good information if I remember right they often pointed to books to learn more.
Now, books are great unless you can't read them. I have a few options for reading works in print. The first is the Library of Congress' National Library Service. While the NLS does have the Beauty fiction series in its' collection that's about as far as it goes. Another option is RFB&D but they are focused on reading course materials for students and similar academic/technical books. The newest option is Bookshare who I'm happy to say does have Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns but it is very unlikely that they will have books on every kinky topic a person might be interested in.
If a print book I want to read is not available via one of these services I have two options. The first is to have someone read the book aloud and preferable record them doing so. I don't like asking my Master to do that and I don't want to ask my regular readers to read kink materials.
The next option is to scan the book page by page and then run it though some form of optical character recognition software. With a book edge scanner the scanning is tedious but fairly easy. With a standard scanner it is best to take the book to a place like Kinkos and have the spine cut off. (Despite the name of the place I'm still not sure I want to take my pervy books into a shop in our small town.) OCR tech has vastly improved over the years and it will be fairly accurate but there are always problems especially if the layout is creative.
The world wide web has been a great resource for me. Usually I can find basic information by using Google with SafeSearch off. However, articles online still tend to refer to books.
Kinky conferences are also fairly popular these days. I haven't been to one since they can be more expensive than buying a book and one has to be healthy enough to attend. That said, they're great options depending on your accessibility needs.
Kink Academy is an interesting option. From my understanding most of the material is presented via video. I don't pretend to think that this is the best option for totally blind kinksters. However for partials who use screen enlargement software or people with learning disabilities that make it hard to read print this could be a great option. Also, home bound auditory or visual learners might really like this.
Currently Submissive Guide is having a contest to win a one year membership to Kink Academy. I'd love to win so I can edit this post with first-hand experience with Kink Academy. I've gotten to a point in my learning about myself and my submission that Google searches when something comes to mind for me or my Master no longer meets my needs.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sexuality, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and Me

Okay, normally I'd put this post on my regular blog but I don't want to make that one Adult. So, there won't be a lot of kink content here. If you've come here from a search, be warned there may be some content that's quite graphic and kinky.
What follows is an explanation/list of how my EDS changes my sex life. Each person with EDS is different so all these things might not happen to everyone and something might happen to you that doesn't happen to me.
I've learned that orgasm is the best possible muscle relaxer for me. While it isn't guaranteed to work for me, it won't make me worse the way things like Flexaril will. So, I like to try to have an orgasm when my muscles are really bothering me. I still like sex despite the problems listed here.
Sex with EDS can be tricky. I'm lucky in that most of my skin is more prone to stretch than to tear. However skin associated with mucus membranes, like that of my vulva, is much more likely to tear. It doesn't take rough monkey sex for tearing to happen either. Usually, after sex I'll have to be very careful to lean forward to pee for about a week until I'm all healed up.
Even prior to orgasm sex or masturbation tends to be a fun and relaxing activity. This means that subluxations and dislocations are more likely. Combine that with the athleticism that is involved in even the missionary position are you have a recipe for problems. There are some sexual positions that do not involve spread legs even for a death fat woman but I haven't mastered them.
Many companies make positioning aids including firm foam furniture and assist straps. I haven't tried any of the specialty products because most are out of my price range or I'm just not sure whatever will work for two death fat people with disabilities. (If you'd be interested in having people like us test/review your product then please leave a comment or email me.)
Just to be clear, unplanned subluxations and dislocations do not count as Good Pain in my book. Unplanned labia tears that make it hard to pee don't count either. Although, I gladly deal with them. However, I'd be much happier if I could find a way to avoid these things.
I sometimes find vaginal penetration painful. Now this could be caused by my endometriosis or ovarian cysts but both are being well managed at the moment. So, my guess is that it is being caused by my uterus or other pelvic organs prolapsing, yet another aspect of EDS. (I'm trying pelvic floor exercises with Smartballs to help with this and minor stress incontinence.)
For fellatio, I have problems with my jaw. If I open my jaw too far it can pop out. My neck is highly unstable and movement can trigger headaches, nausea, dizziness, and muscle spasms. So, I have to be very careful. I doubt that my horrid gag reflex is related to my EDS.
Anal play can also be difficult. EDS can cause constipation or other GI distress. GI problems so bad that a complete clean out isn't possible. The problems with collagen can lead to hemorrhoids or tears that can get in the way or cause pain. If I relax enough to make anal sex possible then my hips have lost any concept of 'located'.
Digital stimulation can also be complicated by EDS. I first dislocated my right thumb during a weekend in bed with my girlfriend at the time. Stopping to put small joints back in place will break a rhythm but doesn't take long. I don't have good hand strength, my gross motor is iffy, but my fine motor is comparatively good. This seems to vary from person to person. Also wearing splinting during sex can be awkward, messy, or lead to injuring your partner with hard plastic edges.
Another thing about EDS is the mark-ability factor. If I have a doctor's appointment coming up I basically have to skip activities for about a week so I won't show up with hickeys or other weird marks that might get someone called because the doctor suspects some form of abuse.
After orgasm I'm experiencing sharp low pelvic pain. It may be caused by movement of the pubic bone or pubic synthesis. This is a definite disincentive from orgasm.
Now, I don't only engage in partnered fun. Masturbation is fun and relaxing. However I don't lubricate well so I need lube even for external stimulation with a vibrator. Also, I can have trouble holding onto a vibrator. Self-digital stimulation is out due to my bendy fingers.
I feel like I'm painting a pretty bleak picture. In a way, I am. However, there is enjoyment. Sex still serves as a way to foster connection. Overall, it's still worth having. Gradually we may rely more and more on power exchange, sensation play, and other forms of ‘kinky’ fun. I'm glad to have the options.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Twilight & BDSM

A few vanilla friends of mine are Twi-hards. A few others enjoy posting links to stories to Twitter about how anti-feminist the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer is and how horribly written the books are. Eventually I decided to make up my own mind by reading the books. Due to my legal blindness I chose to read them on CD. AFAIK, all my copies were unabridged.
I devoured the books. Poor Master got to listen to me babble about the latest interesting tidbit from the books or my latest mini-rant about how clueless the articles I'd been reading seemed. A few times Master even had me restart a track so he could better hear something he'd only partially heard. *giggles* I admit asking him to sit few a few tracks to see if I was imagining my kinky interpretation of what I was reading.
I read the books a few months ago and I've concluded that in order to truly flesh out this piece I'm going to have to re-read the series. Honestly, they aren't high on my to-read list at the moment so I think I'm going to post this and will possibly post more later.

Apparently I'm not crazy. Twilight as Girl Crack by Sarah J seems to indicate that I'm not the only one noticing a kinky tone to the series. It isn't overt, this is a Young Adult series after all. Frankly, when I was a young adult trying to figure out my sexuality I probably would have related with Bella Swan but the Twilight series wouldn't have been the best into to kink in my opinion.
Who knows if the kink is intentional. I doubt it. If you listen to The DungeonPlace Podcast for long enough you'll probably overhear the theory that Mormon girls are pretty much brought up to be service submissives. Bella strikes me as a service sub. She seems happy taking care of those around her. She doesn't seem to be a neat freak because her own room is described as being in a normal amount of teenage disarray. That tells me that her housekeeping is about helping others and the act of service rather than the look of the results.
Bella and Edward Cullen never seemed to have formalized their Domination/submission relationship but neither did they ever seem to discuss the point when they officially began dating. It is a dynamic that they both seem to have unconsciously and naturally slipped into. This lack of communication is part of why I feel that Twilight isn't a good intro to BDSM for young people.
One example of the power exchange they engage in the way that they kiss. While Bella asks, sometimes insistently, for what she wants. Edward is always the one in control. Yes, he has to be in control of himself but he also takes control of Bella and her actions. He controls how far the kissing goes and how long it lasts.
Many people see Bella as a bad role model for girls because of her submissive relationship with Edward and to some extent Charlie Swan, her father. Bella is not submissive by default and isn't even submissive with Edward when they aren't dating. I'm specifically referring to the period of time after Edward left her and prior to their reconciliation after the trip to Italy.
Bella does stand up for what she doesn't want. However, she does think about the feelings of those she cares about. There are limits to that, however. Dating Jacob Black would clearly make Charlie the most happy but Bella stands her ground and refuses to do so because that won't make her happy in the long run. Whenever people want to coerce Bella into doing what they think is best, they seem to remind her about Charlie. Bella does consider Charlie but there are times she puts her own wants, needs, and feelings over those of Charlie. I think this shows that she is not completely submissive to Charile. She's even done this when Charlie and Edward would agree, iirc.

It isn't clear if Bella likes the bruises that come with sex with Edward prior to being changed or if she's simply willing to accept them as inevitable. So, I'm not clear on if there is more than power exchange here for Bella and Edward. Power Exchange is enough to build a kinky relationship on. While I think most relationships eventually incorporate sensation play, bondage, or impact play it is by no means required.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My collar from Kitten Cream - a review

A few months ago Master treated me to a new collar from Kitten Cream.

I have a large neck for a female and as far as I know they didn't bat an eye at my 17.5" collar which has about 1" of adjustment. The adjustment is done with velcro so there is some risk of getting your hair caught or damaged but I haven't had a problem as long as I'm careful.
My collar has a toggle clasp which I find easy to use. It is quite thick and sturdy and easy to manipulate while not clashing with the aesthetics of the collar. I haven't had a day where I couldn't put it on independently.
The inside is smooth and there's only one spot where I can feel a trace of what I'm guessing is a knot of clear thread against the backing fabric. I was worried that this would cause some discomfort but I'm incredibly comfortable even with my sensitive skin. The edges are rounded. I haven't worn this collar in the summer so I don't know how well it handles sweat.
The bondage ring in the center front looks nice and has handled some light tugging and being attached to my tether. This is where my only small complaint is. At one point the D ring O ring combination fell off. Luckily I found all the pieces. Apparently, the plate that holds the D ring to the collar is held onto the collar with screw on rivets. My guess is that as my collar has slid around my neck one of the rivets had come unscrewed. Master was unable to fix it but I was able to screw the pieces back together with the help of a towel for grip and friction. (I have good fine motor skills compared to my gross motor so randomly I can pull something like this off.) Also, the rivets may be slightly crooked but honestly it isn't noticeable from a distance.
I don't wear this out in public because it is a bondage collar but if it were a plain collar I'd be okay with wearing this around people unless I know they're nosy.

FTC: This was purchased by my partner with his own money. We are not affiliated with the company.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm amazed I'm not in trouble

So, my tendency to say 'I'm sorry' came to a head today. It was awful. We both yelled and I cried a great deal. Well, Master is the Master so I've finally agreed to give this up and stop saying 'I'm sorry.' However, I did stand up for myself and admit to him that I'm horrible at determining when it is an okay time to say 'I'm sorry' so that I need him to tell me if he wants an apology from me. Master has agreed to do his best to tell me when I really have done something he wants an 'I'm sorry' for and otherwise I'll do my best not to say it. I also told Master that it is very scary for me.
I honestly don't know what will come from this. Right now I just hope that I'll annoy Master less. I suspect that Master hopes it will help my self-concept.
At one point during our talk about whether I should be allowed to determine if I have done something to apologize for myself because I'm inside my head and I know my intentions and my feelings I actually said something like the following: "I agreed to you being my Dom but not my God." I proceeded to start to freak the heck out and luckily for me Master starts cracking jokes about "People who believe in Gosh get durned to heck." Whew, was I lucky there!

Later on I'm laying in bed after Master tucked me in with the laptop. He brought me some lemonade to try to get me un-dizzy and we both realized that I'm not usually dizzy at this angle. "Now I'm starting to fret" he said. 'You're not allowed to yell at me when you're worried about me" I teased. Surprisingly he said "I'll do my best." Again I was surprised to not be in trouble. "Okay, I'll do my best not to worry you just so you won't yell at me". We both got a good laugh and now Master is threatening me with a new t-shirt that says "I will not worry Master just so he won't yell at me." He thinks it is funny, I suspect most people would go 'baroo?'

The flea is this weekend. We really wish we could go. Have a great time. I'll go virtually via Twitter I guess. :)