Tag: growth

Darling Discovered: An interview with the author and book review.

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DDCoverOn Friday I got a chance to talk with Mrs. Darling, winner of the BDSM Writers Con 2015 Book Contest, about her recently released book Darling Discovered.  It’s the kind of book readers really want out of a kinky story: realistic and sexy as hell! Unlike other books that have come out in recent years, Darling Discovered is based on the author’s own history and relationship leading readers along possibly one of the most life changing years of her life. Technically the book starts off with a super hot and intense takedown scene between Chloe and her Mister which gets readers hooked for what’s to come.  The story itself however starts off with Chloe discovering her husband Leo’s affair. Not wanting to throw it all away the pair agree to try for one year to make things right again. About mid way through Chloe reveals her long repressed fantasies about submission and it sparks a whole new dynamic for the pair. Along the way we join the pair for their first adventures into the world of D/s relationships including their first trip to a public dungeon in Vegas! Filled with real life ups and downs Darling Discovered gives readers an actual look at what life in a 24/7 M/s relationship can be without sugar coating it. It’s a story of self discovery and acceptance, trust, love, and lust.

  • Rating: 5/5
  • Pro: real life kink, sexy as hell, well written
  • Con: I can’t think of any!

Get your copy today on Amazon or visit the author’s website at https://darlingdiscovered.com/

The Interview

Aemok: Hi!

Mrs. Darling: Hello! How are you today?

Aemok: I’m doing excellent. Thank you again for joining me this afternoon.

Mrs. Darling: It’s a pleasure. Thank you for having me!

Aemok: I’d like to start off with what inspired you to enter the 2015 BDSM Writer’s Con And how did you feel about the contest?

Mrs. Darling: I’d be happy to, although it is more like what *made* me enter. Well, who made me enter. I wrote a story, a story about us, my Dominant/husband and I. It was very raw and cathartic and real and it felt so good to get it out of my system. I tucked the tale away… until my husband (MR) found out about the contest and required I sent it in. He thought it would be good to share it with the community at large, that maybe others could learn from our path. I sent the manuscript in and waited.

I was terrified! Terrified of winning, terrified of losing, terrified of being judged. Because I was in fact being judged. When you tell your own path (as a versus to writing fiction) every review is a review of your own life. Your own success and mistakes and choices.

Aemok: Speaking of that. It would have been easy to call your book “fiction” to prevent people from passing judgement on your relationship. Where did you get the term Creative Non Fiction and why did you choose to open your life up in this way?

Mrs. Darling: Falling into a genre of writing has been a difficult decision. I typically write non-fiction about my life as a submissive but it can be dry at times; technical. With this story I wanted to be creative and free, to paint the story in the way my minds eye remembered it. I wrote from the heart. Always. Somebody introduced the phrase creative non-fiction to me and it was like a piece of the puzzle falling into place. The whole time I wanted to emphasize authenticity. Being authentic to our story. I felt like this was the best way to do it. To “hold hands” with other people exploring submission and tell them that I understand, that I have been there too, that no it is not easy. The best way for me to do so was to own up to it being my life.

Aemok: Were you concerned that people would focus just on the rough spots and not see the growth that both of you individually and together gained through the story?

Mrs. Darling: For sure. I added a bit of our backstory to try and have it make sense why this woman would even want to try and make things work. Infidelity is such a taboo topic. Nobody is talking about it but it is so statistically high for it to happen. Why can’t we talk about it? The decisions, the emotions, the struggle? I remember this actually taking place and feeling so, so isolated. I am glad to give a voice to trying to make things work. To come out of the gates with an affair and ask a reader to try and root for us to succeed was a risk. But it simply is our path. The “old us” had to die before who we are now could be reborn.

Aemok: As someone who has been on both sides of the situation I very much identified with both of you throughout the story. Were there parts that were harder than others or anything you just couldn’t put to pen?

Mrs. Darling: It was all hard, honestly. I probably shed as many tears re-telling the story as I did living it. The hardest, at this point, was the telling of my mistakes, my bad judgement, my choices that could have been better. I just wanted to shake this girl and wake her up but alas, hindsight and all. The only things really left out were some of our struggles in parenting. That story correlates in time but isn’t relevant to this story told. Everything else is there.

Aemok: I think too often people outside the relationship automatically jump to the “throw the cheating bastard/bitch out” without thinking about the rest of the relationship.
Friends mean well in their support but sometimes it just fuels the initial shock, anger, and pain but doesn’t let us really sit back and hold our selves accountable.

Mrs. Darling: Agreed. So true.

Aemok: At one point in the book you and MR take a break. Do you think that sometimes taking a little bit of time without contact can be a positive when you’re dealing with something that is so emotionally charged?

Mrs. Darling: Absolutely. I do think it allowed us both some time to process as individuals. Process in a much level headed way than always having that person around. We were able to get a glimpse into what life would look like without the other person there and that is a really powerful tool as you are trying to review the success (or not) of a relationship. For us it was both empowering, cementing in our minds our identities in Power Exchange, but also really bleak. Life was brighter together. That was immediately clear.

Aemok: Exactly. When my marriage ended many years ago one thing I had always wished was that taking a bit of time apart was something that was socially acceptable.

Over the last few years a number of books, shows, and movies have come out that highlight our lifestyle for better or worse. Do you think that it’s important that those of us who really live this life share our stories when we can? Do you think that it helps those who may be interested but not know where to start? Like the younger version of yourself?

Mrs. Darling: I think it certainly helps. When people start to find out more about BDSM, education is one of the first things they hear. “Read, read, and read some more.” It’s a kinksters war cry. This is of course a good thing; it is important to educate yourself when you are looking into anything new, particularly when it can have dangerous implications. But what is the quality of information available? I feel like those living this day in and day out can contribute so much. I think many hesitate to do so because they recognize their way is only one way, or because they don’t think themselves capable. But I want to encourage everybody willing to share their path because in the end everybody has a different experience anyway. It doesn’t have to be fancy or frilly, just *available.*

Aemok: Do you have recommendation to help those who maybe want to but find themselves struggling to do so. Personally I’ve tried journalling/writing for years and I’ll do a spurt of good writing and then let life get in the way (ok, I totally make up excuses regardless of reality). I know a lot of people who recommend it, particularly for submissives, as a way of processing or communicating.

Mrs. Darling: Journaling helped (helps) me along. For those who want to journal but struggle, my best advice is to let the journal be there for you instead of being obligated to that inanimate object. I had tried it all my life: “I am going to write a paragraph every night” or “I will journal a line about my emotions every day.” Always a big failure. That is until I learned to lean on my journal when I needed it and never to feel guilty about not writing. I go weeks and even months now without creating a personal journal entry (typically when the times are easy and good). But when I struggle, it is always there for me, ready to listen without judgement and capture that harsh moment in time. My best advice for those still finding their way is to listen to your gut. We have incredible instincts and so often we shove them away because we were taught something else or feel obligated to be another way. Our head is always so damn logical; the heart will lead you astray. Follow your gut instinct and stay true to that course.

Aemok: Is there anything else about yourself, the book, or the writing journey you’d like to share?

Mrs. Darling: I just want to take a moment to thank everybody in my local BDSM community that has continued to support and encourage me in this venture along the way. I don’t know if I could have gotten to this point without them (and, of course, MR). If anybody reading has hesitation about getting involved in the community, I encourage you to do so. Thank you so much for having me today. It has been lovely talking about this journey with you.

Aemok: Thank you for being so open and congratulations again on the release of your new book. It was absolutely a fantastic read!

Mrs. Darling: You’re very welcome. Thank you so much and I am glad you enjoyed the story!

Aemok: ok 3 silly questions just cause: What is your favorite snack/beverage while writing? What is your favorite and least favorite toy? What is a book you absolutely recommend people read (kink or otherwise)?

Mrs. Darling: Black coffee and loads of it. When writing at home, or at Starbucks, or at the local library study room. Big ol cup of strong coffee, straight up. Always. Favorite: Whip. Least: Cane. Both make me shiver in very different ways. I’d recommend reading Emily Post’s Etiquette. There is some stellar information in there that I think could help make the world a more lovely place.

Aemok: You’re amazing. Thank you again and have a fantastic afternoon!

Mrs. Darling: You too, thank you for all that you do as well. Have a great rest of your day.

 

Again it was an absolute pleasure to read the book and chat with the author. I highly recommend you check it out.

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My Big FAT Rebuttal

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Recently I read a post about wanting to “swap people’s attitude about herpes with their attitude about obesity” on Fetlife. While I understand her wanting to advocate to breaking down the stigma that surrounds herpes using body shaming isn’t a way to do it. All it does is turn an entire population off to anything else you are saying. Particularly if your facts are more assumptions and not actually based in fact.

Not everyone who appears to be overweight is unhealthy. Not everyone carries their weight in the same fashion meaning physical appearance could mean very little to how healthy our bodies are. I am technically *morbidly obese* based solely on the number on the scale. I am 5’2″ and weigh between 200-210. What that doesn’t take into account is my actual body measurements. Those put me at about 30% body fat which ISN’T actually overweight at all! It doesn’t take into account that I’m *NOT* being destroyed from the inside out. My blood pressure, heart, lungs, and other major organs are ALL well healthy. I eat pretty well, not always but much of the time, and try to limit the amounts of sweets. I exercise regularly and vigorously. About 20 mins a day with 1-3 times a week having intense training in various circus arts for 2-4 hours (aerial, conditioning, contortion, acro, balancing). It’s intense and guess what my body rocks that shit hard core. I can do things that I have no problem saying MOST people couldn’t do “even at my weight.”

I am not an anomaly. If you look at A LOT of professional athletes and took their numerical weight guess what? They’d be listed as “overweight/obese” solely because their height to weight ratio isn’t within a strict standard created in a doctors office.

* YES we need to focus on healthier overall lifestyles
** Yes we need to promote less sedentary lifestyles
** Yes we need to promote healthier eating habits
** Yes we need to break the stigma of mental health
* YES we need to focus on breaking the stigma surrounding STI and sexual health
* Yes we need to stop body shaming each other regardless of the shape and size they are

* NO we don’t all need to be within the standards that are created without accepting variables such as structure and muscle density

*Being fat is absolutely NOT ACCEPTABLE in american culture

and lastly

*h4 NO WE DON’T NEED TO SWAP THE ATTITUDES

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“Open” doesn’t mean “Pass to Cheat”

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This morning I came across this article about Mo’Nique, a well known and award winning actress, speaking publicly about her open marriage to Sidney Hicks. It was based off part of an interview the actress had recently done for True Exclusives. Overall it’s a good article and Mo’Nique explains her feelings on why monogamy just doesn’t make sense to her in a way that I think can be very accessible to a wide audience.

What irked me about the article was the title! Corinne Heller titled the piece for NBC6 South Florida as “Mo’Nique Talks Open Relationships, With a Free Pass to Cheat: ‘I Don’t Want to Be Owned Anymore.” ‘Cheating’ is LITERALLY being dishonest!  “Free pass to cheat” doesn’t just imply but actually states that there is active deception and misleading going on between partners.  That’s not at all what Mo’Nique said! Specifically she says “We don’t cheat.”  She accurately points out that most cheating happens because people feel they aren’t getting something and how completely unreasonable it is to think that you or your partner will never find someone else attractive. She then talks about being open and honest with your partner about how you’re feeling.

“Often times people cheat because of something they’re not getting. But when you have open and honest dialogue and you say we’re just human beings and all these people on the face of the earth, do you think my eyes won’t ever say ‘he’s fine’ or ‘she’s attractive’. Now if you wanna go further with it, let’s be honest enough to have those conversations. What is it about that person that you find that you wanna sleep with? Because they may give you something that I’m simply not willing to do. And if that’s the case, how can I be mad? Because I’m not gon’ do it. Should I deprive you of not having it? That’s when the relationship is real real.”

People who openly communicate with each other about what they want and are honest about the types of relationships they are having DO NOT have a “pass to cheat”. They have a relationship that allows them to express themselves without the judgment and ridicule we find in many monogamous relationships and society in general.

The original interviewer is to blame for the specific line “free pass to cheat” when he asks Mo’Nique about her feelings of privacy in relationships. Unfortunately, Heller added it to the title of her piece which I fell misrepresents Mo’Niques actual feelings on non monogamy. I get the feeling they are there to grab readers attention because of their shock value.

So YAY Mo’Nique on being confident and comfortable enough to speak publicly about your open relationship. BOO to the author for keeping with the “free pass to cheat” way of thinking about non monogamy.

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Sex and Bodies

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Go read I’m Fat and I Have Sex With Hot Strangers By Melissa Mankins like right now!

Absolutely dig this article. I regularly use the label “fat” and have had people say “oh no you’re not!” or “don’t talk about your self like that.” I’m 5’2″ and 210lbs. Whether you like it or not I AM FAT. I am ALSO physically healthy, strong, flexible, and active. If you have any doubt check out my aerial and rope work. I also consider myself a slut! Again, it’s not a demeaning term for me. I love owning my sexuality and have no problem talking openly about it. I love having casual awesome sex with people.

I am very aware that I don’t fit the “normal” rope bottom or aerialist body type and much like Melissa I have had a tendency to “warn” people about my size. One of the hardest incidents around me choosing not to “warn” someone was when I had the opportunity to bottom for Graydancer, someone I have followed for a while and really respect, for a performance at FIRE. I was telling a friend how stoked I was to be bottoming and their response was “does he know about your size?” Here I was all rope bouncy about performing and this person was more concerned about reminding me I’m “too big for that kind of rope” than supporting me in this opportunity. In the moment I blew it off saying that Gray had access to photos that clearly showed my body type and my references as a rope bottom prior to working with me. If Gray didn’t feel comfortable with my size, which I know isn’t every riggers cup of tea, he could have easily declined. Reality was that it hurt and left a glimmer of uncertainty about whether I should have even offered to bottom. Luckily I put the concerns aside, hopped on my bike, and  headed to Orlando. My body shape didn’t make anyone uncomfortable and honestly I had a great time.

A few months later at NARIX I was sharing a new project (Rope/Lyra) during the Saturday night Rope Jam. While getting ready to perform I started getting nervous about what to/not to wear. I hadn’t really brought anything costume wise to the event because I’m normally naked at The Woodshed at night and during the day I’m in comfy rope cloths. There was a moment when I stood there thinking “is everyone going to be so distracted by my fat that they wont see what I was doing with the Lyra and Rope?” Eventually I stopped stressing and said fuck it. Walked out and stripped down and set up. People admitted they weren’t sure in the beginning because of my body shape but were quickly blown away. It felt good. Yes, I am fat but that doesn’t’ mean my body isn’t capable of amazing things.

The reality is we as a society push a culture that makes people of any size feel unacceptable. Read the comments on Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram and you’ll find floods of comments on big girls telling them how disgusting they are if an inch of skin is showing. You’ll just as easily find floods of “go eat a cheeseburger” style comments on the images of those on the underweight side. If you go through K&P on Fet you’ll see a ton of thin women getting tons of love but what about the rest of the female form? We need to step back and stop trashing those around us. Instead we need to find and cultivate the awesome regardless of the size or shape of our bodies. I will continue to share openly about my size, my sex life, and my experience to help others see that their bodies and sexuality are valid even if they don’t match what they see around them.

 

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TEDtalk: Guy Winch: Why we all need to practice emotional first aid

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As a followup to my pieces on Choosing Peace and Self Care I would like to share this amazing video from the great people over at TED. It’s from psychologist and author Guy Winch discussing the importance of “emotional hygiene.”

As practitioners of sex positive lifestyles remembering to take time for emotional self care is very important. Appropriate self care can help us recover more quickly from drop, whether it be from a scene, event, or con. In some cases, it can help us avoid the drop all together. Winch explains that traumas that are sustained psychologically far more commonly then we think. Though we have been taught to take care of our personal hygiene since a young age we rarely are given the skill sets to engage in emotional hygiene.

As relationships grow & change emotional self care can help us process through jealousy, envy, and anxiety. It can also help us heal from the feelings of rejection, loneliness, and failure that can occur with the loss. While the “suck it up” or “fake it till you make it” method may work in the short term it’s not a healthy way to cope with things long term. Neither is dwelling on these kinds of things. Finding healthy ways to heal through trauma and stress can dramatically improve your life as well as the way you connect with those around you.

 

By taking action when you’re lonely, by changing your responses to failure, by protecting your self-esteem, by battling negative thinking, you won’t just heal your psychological wounds, you will build emotional resilience, you will thrive.” – Guy Winch

 

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