Forgive and Forget? How about No?

Forgiveness is a loaded word.  People give it connotations of weakness, or act as if forgiving means absolving that person of responsibility for their choices. I don’t buy it.  My experience with forgiveness is quite different.

Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting.  It doesn’t mean that you no longer hold the other person responsible for their actions.  It means you’re not going to obsess over it anymore.  It means you have more important things to spend your heart on.  It means making a choice to live in the present rather than always looking back.  It can be hard to see just how much luggage we’re dragging around.  After a prior relationship, I went through the healing process and thought I was mostly out of the woods.  But then I started talking about it instead of working through it all myself.  It hit me then just how much crap  I was still carrying around.  I realized then that I had a lot more work to do.  And I made up my mind to pursue serenity.  Not for anyone else’s benefit, but for mine.

It’s easy to stay angry, but there comes a point when it becomes unhealthy.  I personally don’t want to lug around all that crud.  The anger goes nowhere; It stays within, festering, burning, but not harming the person it’s directed at.  If you’re angry with someone right now, I’m willing to bet you’re thinking about them far more than they’re thinking about you. The anger eats a hole in your belly.  That anger takes up valuable real estate in which you could be putting other more enjoyable emotions.  Which sounds more appealing- Holding on to negative feelings indefinitely or getting rid of all that garbage and living your life with a grin?  If you immediately get flooded with negative emotion upon hearing a certain name or seeing their face, they still have power over you.

It’s alright to be angry for a time.  Embrace the anger, feel it fully.  But don’t live there forever.  Don’t let that anger define you.  If you let anger take over your life, you have lost far more than you could ever imagine.  When you’re 80, will you look back fondly on those years you spent seething about this other person who has long since forgotten about you?  Alternately, you could get off your ass and create lasting memories with people who actually care about you.  Then you’ll have something to relish.

Prospering in Pervy Pick-up Play

Setting up scenes at BDSM events can sometimes be tricky.  Whether it’s with someone you already know or a total stranger, people often have trouble with some step of the process.

When it comes to pick-up play with someone you don’t know well (or at all) I’ve found it best to watch them play with someone else first to gauge their play style.  If you have time, checking out their profile on Fet isn’t a bad idea either; that will give you insight into their philosophy on various aspects of BDSM, their interests, and different aspects of their personality.

Getting a little background on someone you don’t know is important.  At one weekend event, I saw someone I found attractive, and she had an armband on that indicated she was a top open to casual play.  It was late in the night, so I decided to approach her the next night.  The next night, her pupils were huge, she was wobbling when she stood, and she was slurring her words.  That was a close call.  Had I played with her, that could’ve ended badly.

Asking is where many people stumble.  One thing I’ve found to work well is to offer rather than ask.  When you ask, it puts the other person on the spot because you’re essentially demanding an answer pretty much immediately.  If they’re interested, that’s not an issue, but if they’re not, then they have to shoot you down.  And that can be awkward.  Plenty of people feel like asses when they shoot someone down too.  By offering, you’re being more courteous to the other person, giving them the opportunity to sidestep that awkwardness.  Here’s how that typically runs in my experience:

“If you’re interested in playing tonight, just come find me.  I’ll be around.”

“I’d like that.”

or:

“If you’re interested in playing tonight, just come find me.  I’ll be around.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

The latter is an easy rejection.  Far less awkward to give than a direct “no”.  Obviously to use this approach you need to be able to read those cues and not pester the other person.

Once you’ve established that you both want to play, negotiating comes next.  If you just say, “Oh, I don’t know, I’m up for whatever you want to do” then you deserve to be smacked in the face with a large mackerel.  You don’t need to put out a detailed list of your interests, but just name a few forms of play you really like.  If the other person is well-known for a certain type of play that you want to experience, say so.  Having no interests or saying you’re into everything is boring.

Be sure you mention your limits, any health issues,  and your aftercare needs.  While unintentionally hitting an unknown landmine can always happen, it’s far less likely if you do these things.