The boy s

We’ve had a lovely quiet Christmas break mostly piled round the flat with boy s and the cub – a gentle gathering of most of the polycule. I’ve been quietly carrying on with doing largely D&D-related posts in the meantime and pushing out concepts that may end up being in one or more games in the months to come.

The boy started catching up on posts yesterday and wanted to have one all about him – a “gushing” post as he put it. I, of course, then put up a new Map post yesterday because I wouldn’t want him to think that these things are just produced on demand whenever the brat asks for one.

However, he has been fighting colds, bugs, and plagues brought home from school by the cub more or less non-stop since September. He is also starting to show signs of brightness and recovery from a serious depression dip that has nigh-on crippled his capacity to engage with the outside world.

Even if that were all that he had achieved, he’d be worthy of praise and support – and yet on top of that he has continued to raise an amazing son who has a fierce intellect and curiosity and who very much sets the terms of his engagement with the world around him.

The cub has had his whole world turned upside down over the last couple of years and yet has formed both a strong network of new friends, and leapt forward in academic achievements despite not believing he had the capacity to do so.

And he fiercely and unconditionally loves his father

How can I not love and appreciate someone who has managed all that? The boy s doesn’t see how amazing he is, despite having a wide band of people around him who care and enjoy his presence. He is passionate about his interests, and cares deeply about causes and people alike. Even in the depths of depression, his humour is pointed and evokes belly laughs – the the things he gets upset about come from his own sense of wanting to do better for others.

As he reads this, I know there will be a little giggle as I tell him he’s a dreadful brat. He will protest that he is, in fact, a wonderful brat and if I’m there he’ll try and flutter his eyelids at me and paste a gormless grimacing smile on his face – and if that isn’t just the most lovable thing I challenge you to pick out something printable instead.

I’ll just leave here, that he is a good boy.

Another Anniversary?

Wednesday was the fourth anniversary of collaring boy s – in kink terms a form of commitment not unlike marriage – it was just a shame that both of us were too unwell to celebrate much of anything. I was staying over anyway so it was largely a day of napping in between doing the school run and doing some more work on the Amazon store.

We’ve decided instead to try and have a date night in the next week or so once payday has arrived and we’re in better health.

What we do all have to anticipate however is that we’ve got tickets for the Thorpe Park preview day on Saturday thanks to his working there. We’ve not been on any rollercoaster since before the first lockdown. Lady M has had her eye surgery since then too, so this will be the first time on them without glasses or contact lenses.

So, highs and lows and literal rollercoasters to come. Can’t wait.

First Munch of the Year

Munches are informal social gatherings held by the kink/alternative/poly/ethical non monogamy communities to just… chill and hangout and are a good way to put faces to names and see what people are like in general.

During covid we’ve kept to ourselves, and with boy s moving up to us we’ve had less contact with people in those scenes over the last couple of years. With things becoming more stable though, people are starting to cautiously make noises about starting them up again in our local area, so I decided to go introduce myself and catch up with some of the people I’ve been talking to online for a while.

And so to a pub garden, where we sat and ate and chatted until it was time to close up. And that’s what a munch is. The only real difference is that there’s less small talk and more deep discussion and geekery – favoured topics were comicbooks, authors, TV shows, boardgames, warhammer, oh and how useful a softly commanding voice can be while managing staff sometimes 😉

The boy s wasn’t feeling up to it, so I dropped Lady M over for a sleepover and went on my own, so that I can at least make introductions at the next one, in much the same way that boy s did for me when we first got together. Seems only fair to be able to return the favour.

One of the people I was talking to actually lives quite close, so I gave them a lift as they were on the way and that was another nice round of chat to make the journey go smoother. So all in all, a good start back, and I’ll see about the next one.

A little Change

In my post a few days ago about my Equalities Journey, I talked about the amazing trans man in my life and I realised that for some if you it may not be immediately obvious who I’m talking for about. Given that I’m polyamorous it may even have seemed a possibility that it was announcing someone new.

I was in fact talking about myr s, who has been socially transitioning over the last year. During this time, by his request, I’ve been using gender-neutral terms on the blog to talk about him and this was in part because there were people to whom he had not felt able to talk to about things.

This changed last week, and so while asking if he minded my referring to him in the Equalities blog posts at work and here, we also talked about evolving his title here as well. With his being my sub, we felt that the usual Sir or Lord that I tend to use would not feel right and he wanted to keep the lack of capitalisation as well.

So as of today, may I introduce you to boy s, and what a relief it is to be catching up here with how we talk to him in the real world.

As a cosplayer, there may be a temptation at some point to do a dad-bod Kratos just so I can shout “boy!” across a crowded hall…

Oh, The DDC…

For those who haven’t caught up with Sunday’s streamed game, well where have you been? I knew it was probably going to be a bit random but I wasn’t expecting them to end up in a BDSM club.

On the one hand it was perfectly plot driven and was kept on the tasteful side, but it’s a stark reminder to DMs that any throwaway line can and will be used as a plot hook against you.

In this case it came from some abandoned and near ruined diaries found while investigating a deserted and haunted house. I was establishing the back story linking the owner of the house with another character that had previously been mentioned. A previous throwaway line of that character being a fugitive chemist and drugs being involved segued into the two mentioned characters being lovers.

This then led to a throwaway line of the DDC finding some erotic poetry between the two while searching through rubbish, and mention of some clubs that they’d frequented together. Having had a glass of whisky at the time I then made up some risqué sounding names.

This week, having rescued Coal, the DDC decided to go searching after the missing alchemist, and went looking for his previous haunts. This was where everyone produced their notes and said the name of the club they wanted to visit.

So instead of hunting after Warforged terrorists as I’d expected, they went clubbing, leaving Coal and Kerne behind to protect innocent eyes. Caeluma compared knitting and knotting techniques with a semi pro rope rigger, Thorin found his burgeoning pit fighter career made him a bit of a celebrity, and Valenia shmoozed for clues.

I have a vague plot now writing itself, but who knows where it’ll all end up…

Three Years

It’s been a strange journey of ups and downs in health and oddities, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Its been three years since myr s accepted a collar from me, and cemented a place in our collective lives.

Despite the best efforts of covid-19, lockdown, and the general vagaries of life we’ve kept a strong if sometimes frustrated bond – the joys of living in separate cities and all that.

The collar is a mark of trust and partnership, not unlike a wedding band, but a little less subtle in its symbolism. Since the first chain mail one, I’ve since bought a more masculine one for them as their gender identity has evolved. There have so been some more casual ones for comfort or blending in.

I was vaccinated yesterday, another sign that we seem collectively to be moving towards all being able to see each other again. I love myr s deeply, and cannot wait.

A lovely exchange

I got a bit carried away with some online retail therapy earlier following a conversation with myr s about needing to clean their chain maille collar, so could they swap to their lighter leather one for a while.

This was of course not a problem, and is a normal item of conversation in our dynamic, but it did put me in mind of getting something else as a lighter alternate collar. In part this would be a morale-booster for holding up so well under lockdown; and a lighter and looser token for hot summer days to come. A more gender-neutral appearing collar would also be a kindness with a regard to dysphoria.

And so I placed an order for a little something via Etsy, and was in short order contacted by the seller. A very sweet brief conversation then took place around some of the detailing of the piece. As a result, a slightly customised item will now be made in the next couple of days to ship by the end of the week. The maker was delighted to hear some of the whys and wherefores of the piece, and that extra element of love will no doubt be manifested in the final item.

Roll on the Weekend

I’m working in a quieter library this week, so while there are fewer people around it does still make for a reasonably steady rate of use, even with people starting to twitch about potential illness. I’ve had two people this week mention they’re stocking up on books to read if they have to isolate themselves, and our numbers for events are down. So far though the very British shrug is being deployed.

That said, I am looking forward to having the weekend off, especially as I’m going to go see myr s for a couple of days. Getting away and letting the sea air clear the lungs a bit is definitely in order – and it’s also the second anniversary of my collaring them so there are some small presents to exchange which is always fun.

At least I’m generally aware of what my body’s usual range of complaints is so I’m not panicking when my fluctuating sugar levels give me sweats, or my sinuses complain when I shift stock and boxes around, disturbing dust in the process. Here’s to as calm a weekend as possible.

Wednesday

What do you mean it’s only Wednesday? An awful lot seems to have somehow got crammed in already and yet we’re still not yet quite done with Hump Day?

Today we had flakily working systems and people on both sides of the desk being grumpy – which I suppose is still better than yesterday’s experience of nothing working at all.

Closer to home we had the car in the garage for a service that lasted three days and I’m pretty sure must have involved the sacrifice of a junior engineer from all the mess left over.

It’s going to be one of those weeks, isn’t it? And yet there’s been some good stuff. It hasn’t been universally horrible. I got featured again today by Over40Cosplay on Instagram and Facebook, and I took a photo on the way home that I quite like:

Evening All

I’ve also had a quiet evening of watching Mock The Week from four years ago and enjoying the relative innocence of those times, so I suppose that’s been a good remedy for a week where everything has just felt far more complicated than it has otherwise needed to be.

In other news I’ve pretty much got everything sorted for Valentine’s Day. It’s generally an expensive, or at least complex, set of weeks these days as we navigate VDay, then my birthday, then my anniversary with Lady M, and then my collaring anniversary with myr s. Schedules being what they are I won’t get to catch up with myr s this month, but I do get to cherish Lady M. Next month will just be a complex dance of us all taking weekends in turn and arranging general catch-ups where we can.

At least we’ve finally got round to setting up a shared Google Calendar and now we just have to get into the habit of using and consulting it. These are skills and practices that I had not considered before polyamory. It’s just as well I manage timetables and rotas on a daily basis..!

There’s An App For That

Every now and then I like to have a wander through the app store on my Android and see some of the oddly specific programs that people have produced. Sometimes I even try them out. There’s a rare few that find an instant niche and stay, I on my phone for any length of time – and these tend to be either writing tools or means of organising my time. Like many of us I lend weight to recommendations from people I know as well – after all, if someone has enjoyed or found useful an app enough to tell me that they think I’ll have a specific use for it then it would be rude and unappreciative of their time and thought not to at least spend a few moments to consider it.

Also like most of us, I tend to see my phone as quite a personal object – it after all not only spends a lot of time on my person and in use, but stores personal information and access to things that I enjoy or find of use. I see this every day in people who come into the library wanting to print off an email but being stymied when pressed to log into their mail service through a browser rather than through the app on their phone where they entered a password once a year or two ago and have never thought about it since. (We won’t even get into the people who don’t know how to use a mouse and keyboard because they’re so used to touchscreen technology.)

And so finding a useful app that crosses both into the personal and the useful is a great delight – expecially where it is useful to the dynamic between myself and lady s. We live a small distance apart, so anything that helps maintain contact without straying into slightly stalkery territory is a bonus – especially where it comes to the negotiated power transfers that come as part and parcel of a BDSM relationship. An online usergroup of which we are both part was discussing various online apps that could help with monitoring tasks, rewards, and punishments agreed between the participants of a dynamic and there was one that sprang to the fore for the flexibility that it offered – so we’ve been giving it a try.

We both downloaded the app and connected our profiles, and have agreed a number of tasks for lady s to undertake at various intervals during a week – whether several times a day, every day, or several times a day – and a points value towards rewards list for the successful completion of those tasks. There are also punishments defined and agreed for the failure to complete the tasks – and these range from points deductions, through restrictions on certain activities, through to other forfeits.

Activities on the task list include things such as eating a certain number of sit down meals a day, achieving a certain level of step counts, and certain household or personal tasks. Rewards include massages, the purchase of certain gifts, or activities to enjoy together.

As each day goes by, lady s ticks off certain tasks as she completes them, or leaves them if she chooses not to undertake them, and the app notifies me and counts/deducts points or assign pre-agreed forfeits that we can catch up on when we next meet – and for our dynamic it works. It appeals to the need for imposed structure and routine that lady s has without my needing to chase her for updates. The tasks have come from both of us, drawing on rewards and forfeits that we have both agreed – and at the same time, if life gets in the way, it is a matter of a few clicks to reset counters or remove forfeits if felt appropriate.

There are parallels with the reward schemes some parents set up with their children to encourage them to undertake chores in the household, or complete their homework from school – which I think makes the app more intuitive to set up and use as it is full of concepts that many of us have encountered elsewhere – so in many ways it does stand as a somewhat unexpected and yet inevitable illustration of the marketing phrase “there’s an app for that”.

Oh, it’s called Obedience – appropriately enough