Category Archives: love

Sunset Blvd


sunset from Rocky Butte in Portland

Last night, I found myself in possession of a few unscheduled hours between my work shift and a play date at the club. I went to Starbucks, first, for an iced coffee and a protein box, and I’d intended on staying there the full three hours, but there was this guy. Super creepy, mumbling in Russian, standing at the condiment counter. He stared at me, started to approach, hung back, and eventually flicked sugar packets at me, all while murmuring in Russian. Lets just say, my hackles were definitely up. When I’d made up my mind to do something, he left. I took a deep breath and could relax enough to eat my snack and start actually reading my book, instead of just hiding behind it.

Then a large group of political signature-capturers came in. I remembered these folks from a date at the same Starbucks many months ago. I knew they’d get loud.

So I decided to make to drive up to Rocky Butte and watch the sunset.

Rocky Butte is a lookout point high above Portland, mostly known for being a makeout spot. But the views of Portland, Vancouver, and the Cascade mountains are breathtaking, and I’d never seen the sun set from there.

It was worth the time.

Choosing to skip the regular lookout spot, I parked my SUV near a boulder and sat on the tailgate. I watched the city lights come on and the river take on a luminescent glow. It was hazy and simple and so lovely. I tried to clear my mind, to let go of the creep Starbucks dude and the anticipation of my date. To stop the ache for N and the worry over my kids and my mom. To ignore the muscle soreness from my workout, and just focus on being.

And memories flitted past.

My relationship with N isn’t the first long-distance relationship I’ve been in. Jason and I were long distance at the very start and I remember crying on his shoulder the first time he left for his military training in Arizona. It was sunset, then, and we promised each other we would be that old couple who still help hands and watched the sun rise and set together whenever we could. In the months that followed, I would get letters from him about the desert sunsets, once, even a gorgeous postcard of cactus and mountains silhouetted purple against a fire-red sky. Later, when we had cell phones, I would get pictures from his day and his travels “Still watching sunsets. I love you.” and I would send him the same.

We’ve watched the sun set from just south of the Canadian border to just North of Mexico. We’ve watched the Pacific Ocean turn dusky blue as the sun rose behind us, and rosy pink as the sun set in front of us. In Carlsbad, California the cliffs turn a blinding gold color in the dying light. At the top of Larch Mountain, in the Columba River Gorge, you are surrounded by the Cascade Range and the mountains turn pink as a periwinkle mist rises from the valleys. In Tucson, Arizona we watched the desert sky turn a bleached blue color as the sun just faded out. We were teenagers, then, and just engaged to one another. With our children, we’ve watched sunsets turn the Pacific silver and gold after days spent playing in the sand at Lincoln City or Seaside or Fort Stevens. We watched one magical sunset from a rooftop pool in Anaheim, and as soon as dark had settled, we watched the fireworks over Disneyland.

I’ve watched countless sunrises over Mount Hood, including the one on the morning my father breathed his last breath. I remember the golden light of a warm September morning filtering through the maple tree as I said goodbye. I’ve watched the oil fields of Oklahoma turn russet, the oil drills looking like strange sci-fi bugs in stark contrast to the bright sky. I roller-bladed through a cotton-candy sunset on the boardwalk in Long Beach, California, thinking of Jason and knowing he was watching the same sun set just a few miles south of me, at the Marine Corps base where he was stationed at the time. In Japan, I faced the ocean and experienced the novelty of the sun setting opposite the beach, something I’ve never experience before. I watched the sun set from the Tokyo airport, knowing it was headed around the world to my home in Portland, and that I would meet it again, shortly after sunrise there.

So many memories, so many pins on the map. Ever increasing reminders of the smallness of our world… That we all have the sun and moon and stars in common. hat no matter how far apart we are, we can watch the same sun set and rise, day after day, and still feel connected.




In my most recent post, I talked about coming to terms with my inner slut and learning to love her and take care of her. Part of this growth process brought me to this life event, something I certainly never saw coming…

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Us, always

Apparently, it’s National Poetry Month.

I scribbled this poem out while testing a new fountain pen this afternoon. Enjoy 🙂

us, always
before we were, there was still an us
after what is you and I has gone to dust
the force that creates us will remain
forever chasing the starlight from which we came

Embracing my inner slut

Last year, something happened to me that shook me to my core.

I was slut-shamed.

Someone I loved and trusted took my sexuality and my enjoyment of lots of sex, lots of kinky sex, to be perfectly clear, and used that to hurt me.

And it was such a mind-blowing thing that I didn’t even realize what had happened until later, after the conversation was over, after I’d had a chance to cool down and think about it.

That person and I don’t talk anymore, if you’re curious.

But, as these things do, the event brought out a whole host of other feelings, stuff I’ve been spending the last year processing, especially as I’ve moved further into a Ds relationship and started to explore a few of my other kinks, namely, group and public play.

Almost two years ago, I met my partner N. I didn’t realize it was to be a life-changing meeting. In fact, he and I both meant to keep the relationship casual. He was leaving for Japan within a year. I was not looking for another partner. But, he was (and still is) into rope in a big way. So, after a highly successful first date that included a hot make-out session behind the Bipartisan Cafe, we agreed to a vanilla play date to see how our chemistry was.

It was hot. We fit like hand in glove. I knew I wanted more. So did he. So we set another date, this time for a scene.

Before this, I cheerfully labeled myself as “vanilla with sprinkles”, a term I’ve happily stolen from a former partner of mine. Mostly vanilla, vaguely interested in “the weird stuff” but not enough to build a lifestyle out of it. Jas has always had kink relationships, but it wasn’t something I ever understood, or wanted for myself.

I think I was ashamed.

I didn’t want to feel submissive. I didn’t want to feel dominant. I knew I liked hurting certain partners and seeing their skin bloom purple after a particularly hard bite. But it wasn’t who I was. I thought.

I knew I liked it when Jas spanked me and when we had very rough sex. I knew I liked some role-playing. I knew I liked to be in charge sometimes. I knew sometimes, I wanted someone to be completely in charge of me. But I was unwilling to admit how much it had grabbed my interest.

And I don’t need to go into the gory details here, but that first scene with N was incredible. I still don’t have the words for the feelings we tapped into. I knew, then, that I had a fully submissive side, and I needed to learn about that part of me and how it fit into my life. We likened it, later, to lightning. It was electric and life-changing.

Excited and happy, I told some people about this experience, and how I wanted more. Some people were really happy for me. Some were not.

And, long story short, I got shamed more than once for opening the closet door on this hidden side of myself.

Sex and shame are something I’ve seen go hand-in-hand since I was little. My mom was raised very conservative evangelical Christian. My dad was raised during the Great Depression and carried the Puritan mores of the time. When I first realized that touching myself down there felt really good, I was about eight. Not knowing any shame, yet, I was in the living room, and my dad saw me. He told me I was filthy and dirty and that what I was doing was disgusting and made me wash my hands with strong soap. I never masturbated again until I was 16 or so, and it took years to not feel guilty every time I made myself cum. The first time I had sex, I was 14, and of course my parents found out. Again, I was dirty and shameful and disgusting and they would never stop being disappointed in me. t’s not even go into me liking girls just as much as I like boys…

So, I learned to feel guilty and ashamed when I wanted something sexual. And that was before Jas and I started attending church regularly… Church would serve to compound those feelings. Kink was wrong. Being queer was wrong. And having enough love for many partners was very, very wrong.

I’ve been incredibly lucky this past year to have so much support as I’ve explored my slutty side, my kinky side, this person who was hiding inside me. Later, when we realized we couldn’t actually keep things casual, N collared me. And I knew deep in my core that it wasn’t him choosing me that made me strong; he had chosen me because I was already strong. When I traveled to see him in Tokyo at the beginning of this year, he put a ring on my finger. Collared submissive; cherished wife. Jason’s other partner was there with us, filming, and Jason, left in Portland with the kids, lost a whole night’s sleep because of nerves and because of happiness.

And I know neither of my men chose me in spite of my slutty ways, but because of them. Because I’m learning to love the woman who loves to be beaten. Who loves group sex at the swinger club downtown. Who loves to fuck both men and women, sometimes at the same time. Even knowing this, deep in my core, I will often ask both of them, “are you sure you are ok with this person I am? are you really sure??” because I am holding my breath, waiting for the judgement. Waiting for them to decide, like other partners have, that the idea of me being a slut is only hot in theory and is actually not ok in practice.

Speaking of that swinger’s club, I’ve met some wonderfully open people there. Beautiful souls who love sex as much as I do, who have overcome their own hurdles about their sexuality, and who are proud of the lifestyle they live. Seeing their open, hedonistic joy in the pleasure their body can feel has helped me tremendously as I’ve figured out the simple fact that I’m a slut, one that’s kinky as fuck, actually.

And I’m ok with that. Finally.

PS: I want to write more about all of this, but I think I will do that in later posts. There’s a lot there to unpack.


From couple to Pod, or, what happens when your husband moves his girlfriend in

Apparently, I missed a few, some I’ve edited it to add them  🙂

  • People will ask how he convinced you it was a good idea. In all honesty, it was my idea. She was already over here so much, and often slept on our couch, or in my bed with him while I slept on the couch, that around this time last year I approached Jason with the idea. “I can move my stuff out of my craft room, and then she can have that as her bedroom,” I said. He cried with happiness.
  • You realize how much crap you have in your craft room.
  • In a mad dash to get her moved in by the first of June, you stuff all that crap into an unused not-quite-hallway. You fail, and, a year later, you still have several totes of random yarn in the garage.
  • People will start asking who sleeps where.
  • You’ll find out quickly that they never tire of that question.
  • Seriously, who sleeps where? becomes a huge theme and you start wanting to throw things at the next person who asks.
  • “What about the kids?” I addressed that in a previous post, but honestly, it’s no big deal. They do learn, though, that there is always someone home and they can’t get away with as much stuff.
  • You realize, on your 2nd (or was it 3rd?) trip to the ER with your mother that having a second wife at home is super useful when you text “OMG I’m taking Mom to the hospital and I don’t have anything planned for dinner and I don’t know when I’ll be home” and she texts back “I’ll pick up pizza and make sure everyone has a normal night. You do what you need to do.” You’ll cry in the lobby with the relief of it all.
  • One of your other partners has no other response besides “But what about us?” as if your relationship with him, which, let’s be honest, had been dying for months, made a huge impact on where your husband’s partner lives. You feel hurt about how selfish that response was, but you shrug it off, since your son is failing a few classes and your mom almost died.
  • You get scared at how easy it all is. She doesn’t so much as move in as she begins occupying a space that you didn’t realize was empty.
  • You learn the joys of day-drinking in your pajamas.
  • You learn that one bathroom is not enough for five people to share, especially if the household is 3/5ths women.
  • Contractors think you and she are a lesbian couple, especially since she’s fairly femme and you’re fairly butch.
  • You start finding her socks and underwear in your laundry basket, and vice-versa.
  • You learn how nice it is to have someone to watch trashy TV with when your husband is out on a date with a different woman and the velociraptors are attacking your sense of well-being. Velociraptors do well on whisky and chocolate and Charlize Theron movies, BTW.
  • You’ll get the giggles when she is preparing food in the kitchen with your Dom and the two of them are sharing anal sex advice.
  • On that note, your children learn a whole new vocabulary. Dinnertime conversation has never been so fascinating for them.
  • A thought that starts with “what if?” ends up with the two of you on a plane to Tokyo and neither of you are sure what happened. Your husband, incidentally, stays home with the kids.
  • People are still asking who sleeps where, especially when your other partner comes home for a few weeks.
  • Everybody hears everything. Everything…
  • She’ll hear you having morning sex with your husband and get up to make coffee for everyone. When you stumble into the kitchen, she’ll hand you a cup and grin at you knowingly.
  • You’ll dub yourselves The Matriarchy and tease your husband about how he asked for this life.
  • All three of you will be continuously amazed at how well it all works. And you’ll wonder how you ever managed in the time before she came into your lives.
  • And people will still wonder where everyone sleeps.


  • Even he wonders where he’s sleeping.
  • When your husband goofs up, there’s twice the side-eye and grief.
  • Three adults who cook well, living in one home, means you eat really well all the time. You might also need a gym membership.
  • Cuddle piles are the best thing when no one has to go out into the cold at the end of the night.