Dark Odyssey Wrap-Up (Yeah I know, it was a long time coming…)

I really am crappy at follow-up. I start things and don’t finish, say I’m going to do something and then get my head turned my the next shiny project, have something I want to talk about here in my blog, and have maybe even made notes about or mentioned in another post, and either never finish it or simply don’t post it.  This is one of those posts.
And it isn’t.
Because I know specifically why I never finished and published this piece. It was just too close, too raw, to put out there at the time. In fact, even in the writing of it, I kept a safe distance. You won’t see the raw emotions in my words here, because at the time I was still too close to them, and in the end, found that I simply couldn’t share what I was really feeling.
But now…
This month is my month for digging back into my Drafts folder here on my blog.  As I’ve mentioned before, I am once again embarking on the insanity that is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with my daughter this month. Every year for the past three we have attempted it, and had some really good writing together, but neither of us has ever finished it. I was all for giving up on it this year, but the Missy demanded we wanted to do it again, so…here I am, planning to write 50,000 words in a month.  Uh-huh.  So during November, while I am directing all my creative energy to my NaNoWriMo project, and since I won’t have W around to beat me and sex me and thus create new scenarios for me to engage in (and thus post about) , I’ll be digging up Pieces of Jade that had perhaps got forgotten or neglected. Things I’ve promised to write about, or have been wanting to finish, or just things that I really wanted to put out there, but got too distracted to finish and post.
This post is one of those.
Don’t worry, you’ll still get current updates. W has a list of games, tasks & projects that he plans to use to keep us both amused and connected while he and I are apart, so I’ll have plenty of little “What Trouble Jade Got Into Today” updates for you all. But for the most part…this month will be a bit of a walk down the sometimes-neglected by-roads of Jade’s mind.
Be afraid.  Be very afraid. (~smirk~)
(Started August 2011)
As I mentioned in my last post (a long time ago, now, so not my last post whatsoever) W and I had a bit of a rough patch just before and during DO. Oh it wasn’t anything so that you’d notice, and nothing like arguing or fighting or even being angry (or having anything to be angry about.) It was more like we’d somehow gotten out of sync, off-kilter with each other, and our interactions reflected that.  Lots and lots of vanilla interspersed with…I don’t know what word to use…careful(?)…kink.  It was as though we were afraid to delve too deep into each other, to expose too much, because there was an uncertainty there that hadn’t been before.  He was kind, loving, careful and…”chivalrous” is the word that comes to mind. He introduced me to people he knew and created a safe space for me in a place/atmosphere that could have been overwhelming to me, and I love and appreciate him for that.  And we played, but without the edge, without the darkness that we both crave, and that we call out in each other.
We did some fun things at DO, don’t get me wrong.  As one of our new acquaintances said in an email after the weekend-long event, every time he saw us we were playing.  And we were!  I was going to write a short, bullet-pointed list (ala Ellie’s post “Fun Times at Dark Odyssey Fusion“) of what we did each day, but alas, it just isn’t in me to be parsimonious with my words.  Writing this out now brings up all these thoughts and feelings about being there, and I have to get them out and down on “paper.”  But the list does serve to show that we were, indeed, quite busy.

  • Checked in, found our cabin.  Appeared to be only two others there before us. A bit more rustic than I’d anticipated (bathroom is a community bathroom shared by all the cabins.)  But lots of storage space, and in a perfect location-just down from the dungeon, just up the hill from the pool and dining hall, with a lovely tree and spacious lawn out front. In the days following we would learn to love its location.
  • Went on a walking tour of the camp. Got a serious giggle when W saw that the “2nd pool” that he’s never seen is RIGHT NEXT to the regular pool, and he’d never noticed it. Later in the weekend we would take a walk in the woods–he never knew there is actually a couple hundred acres of woods there either.  I like that I am the one that he discovered this with.
  • Observed someone having about a BILLION orgasms on the Clit Washer. In one of my Stupider Moves, I opted out of trying it out right then–I was still in closed-in mode, a bit overwhelmed and anxious being in a new place with so many strangers around. But every time W wants to get me on the Clit Washer for the next three days it is either busy or its operator isn’t around, so I never did get to try it out (tho I orgasm fantasizing about it at least twice over the weekend. Yeah, water is a powerful aphrodisiac, apparently.)  I also meet someone and his partner at the Clit Washer that I had been chatting/emailing casually with prior to attending camp, and who had indicated some interest in playing while there. We all sit and watch the clit washing shenanigans–a good show!–but it is painfully awkward for me, for reasons I will go into later.
  • At dinner I make a point of introducing myself to Wintersong, for whom I would be demo-bottoming on Friday.  I made it my personal goal to introduce myself to everyone I had talked to online prior to DO–a terrifying prospect to me, but a personal challenge I had set for myself (and that I had started doing by introducing myself to the couple at the clit washer that afternoon.) Unfortunately, this was as  awkward and uncomfortable a meeting as the first, and makes me doubt both doing the demo and the wisdom of my challenge. (There’s a reason I hate doing that! I’m just no-fucking-good at it.  Sigh. That’s why it is a challenge.  I figure I have to get better at it eventually, right?) But I would persevere throughout the weekend, with (mostly) better results.)
  • After dinner we attend the Human Auction, which actually turns out to be fun. In my second Stupid Move of the weekend, I didn’t auction myself off. But I really wasn’t ready to make a spectacle of myself yet, so maybe it was all to the good.  The awkwardness of my first foray into Doing Something Outside My Comfort Zone at the dining hall still stung, so it was probably best that I lay low. Also…I was beginning to feel a…reticence…in W, though I wasn’t sure where it was coming from, and didn’t want to do anything to embarrass him if it had to do with me. I knew that his other partner, whom he had attended DO with before, was very different than me, and maybe he was wishing I was more like her…more outgoing, more engaging…more…well, just more.  Maybe I wasn’t living up to his expectations, maybe my own social awkwardness was annoying to him…I just wasn’t sure what he expected of me at that point.  Since he’d indicated some…dislike?…of the auction when they’d seen one before, I opted not to do it.  And I was a bit sorry that I hadn’t.  But it was fun to watch.
  • We leave early to do W’s chore, Gate Duty, and lay out on a blanket under the stars to watch heat lightening in the distance while we wait to check folks in at the gate. The person that was supposed to be there with him doesn’t show up for his/her chore, but that’s fine because it gives us some time to ourselves.  It’s quiet, and peaceful, and a balm to my somewhat-jangled nerves. I kind of expect–and hope–that he might do something evil to me, or fun, maybe just a put a bit of rope on me or something, but he doesn’t, so we just hang out like vanilla folk. At a kink event.  I don’t know if I am disappointed or relieved. I kept waiting for the tone to change from camaraderie to what I (realize now) I had been expecting: heavily D/s and kinky, but he’s almost hands-off.  That confuses me a little (okay a lot), and I’m definitely wondering what’s going on when we go to bed right after chores–no play, not even any sex.  But he cuddles me and holds me all night, which is comforting.

(I should interject here that a lot of this introspection is post-event, and viewed in light of W and I talking and me thinking about what was going on between us (and not going on.) I do recall feeling a sense of anticipation and then a bit of disappointment, albeit mixed with some relief, that nothing “happened” that night.  I was also confused, but assumed (rightly) that W wanted to help me settle in.  He knows that it takes me awhile to feel comfortable in a new place, and, as I came to learn later, he was having his own issues with feeling comfortable there.  But contrary to my own advice given in a post on Fetlife only days before, I had gone in with very different expectations, fueled by the fantasies we’d shared before going, and so quite a bit of my perceptions were colored by those expectations.)

  • We have a leisurely breakfast, grabbing a latte at the new InFusion Cafe and then heading over to a quiet spot in the dining hall where I have access to WiFi and can do some writing. On the way there we run into the guy from the hill at the Clit Washer again that I had been talking idly with prior to camp, and W sends me some pretty confusing signals. The guy specifically says he’d like to put a scene together and that maybe we should meet in the dungeon later, but W is very non-committal and seems totally uninterested.  I have absolutely no clue how to proceed.  Is he reacting that way because I’ve made some faux pas in talking to him (and others) before camp? I knew that his previous partner had made actual play dates almost entirely without his involvement before, and I had intuited that he hadn’t always enjoyed that, so I made it a point only to make initial contacts, not set anything up, especially as he has (specifically & several times) said that he wanted to wait til we got to camp and let things happen “spontaneously.”  But it has been my experience that nothing happens spontaneously with W. I’ve never been at a party or event where he’s just set something up on the spur of the moment, or agreed to a scene spontaneously (or initiated one.)  Still, I did as I thought he had wanted, and now I was waiting for him to pick up the ball and act on it…to take the lead.  But he was evasive and non-committal.  At this point I am really beginning to wonder if I’ve made some error in my behavior, or if he just doesn’t want to have anything to do with the people that I’d spoken to prior to coming to camp, or if my assessment of those people as interesting/possible play partners was grievously off.  This is a group of people I am not familiar with, and maybe he knows things I don’t about them.  In the end I don’t get much writing done, instead ending up getting introduced to one of W’s friends and arranging for a massage later in the day (my shoulder was still bothering me, tho not as badly as it had been.)
  • I demo-bottom for “Sex That Hurts,” Wintersong’s class.
  • It doesn’t hurt that much.
  • We end up kind of accidentally at a Water Torture class in the pool. It’s fun, and W terrifies me by tying my hands and carrying me into the pool to be squirted with the hose that the presenter is using.  I’m sure he’s going to dunk me or drown me, or at least let him spray me in the face, which scares me too.  I squirm and scream and it’s all fun. Even tho I am genuinely scared.  In another “Why didn’t I just do it?” moment, when the presenter offers to let people experience one of the water tortures, I don’t go up to do it, thinking, “I’ll find him later and ask…” which never happens.  It was partially because I was getting kind of cold, but mostly because I was afraid.  But W makes me a gorgeous rope bikini out of the blue rope and I get to show it off, prancing around with him.
  • Met fellow bloggers Ellie Lumpesse, Graydancer, Amethyst, and Passional at a dinnertime meet and greet hosted by Ellie. Have to leave early to head across camp for the massage that I had scheduled that morning. (Oh hey, I should also give myself pats on the back when I do do things right: I did go up to R (W’s friend that massaged me) and make a specific date for my massage.  So good on me.)
  • I have a lovely open-air massage and later W and I wander around, kinda just checking out the goings-on in camp, including the “Wheel of Destiny,” tho we don’t take part in much. There’s this awkwardness between us that I am having a hard time bridging. I really did start with too many expectations…  Wanting/needing/expecting play, rope, domination, sex…and…desperately wanting W to lead.  But he is oddly reserved, and being much more my boyfriend than my Top/Owner.
    Don’t get me wrong.  I love my equal time with W, our time as lovers and friends and partners, but…I just hadn’t expected that to be the way it would be here.  I swallow my disappointment and try to be a good partner and submissive–the submissive allowing him to lead, even when he appears not to be, because maybe he has a plan that I don’t know about. But…as things increasingly seem to be out-of-whack with W, I begin to feel certain that if anything is going to happen I am going to have to make it happen.  And more than that, I want him to have a good time.  All I wanted was for this trip to exceed any of the other times he’s been there.  Obviously I am doing something wrong.
    So this is where reality meets fantasy. The fantasy is that he would know exactly what to do and how to do it and construct our time there in this perfect 24-hour-a-day scenario, because, you know, he’s the Top, right?  I kind of expected that this trip would be the ultimate fantasy-brought-to-reality time.  That we’d have the opportunity there to act out all those dirty things he’s talked about doing to me.  I made a cardinal error, and something I had–just immediately prior to making the same mistake myself–advised someone against doing on Fetlife. How ironic is that? I counseled against taking expectations to camp, and then did just that.  And so, instead of enjoying the moments and what was, I was  disappointed that things weren’t the way that I had imagined they would be.  And what a shame that is, because there were so many lovely moments to enjoy, to revel in, to treasure.
    The reality is that we all have insecurities, we all falter at times, and sometimes, the best thing we can do as a submissive–and as a partner–is to give our lover/Owner/Top/what-have-you  what they need.  And what W needed was for meto step up and make things okay between us.So I took the lead and grabbed him by the hand and took him up to the Sexorama.
  • Sexorama was great. And that night, absolutely perfect. Three tents with pillows and sex furniture and people having sex everywhere…including us, with a couple right on the couch next to us. When he got the rope out and tied my arms behind me (s0mething no one else was doing), and made me kneel in front of him and suck him off while everyone watched–god I about swooned. A fantasy come true.  The best (and oddest) part (to me) was that there wasn’t any other rope there.  It even took W an hour to get his own rope out, lol. But when he did…I felt that special connection between us flare back into life, and all the awkwardness melt away. This was how I’d imagined it…
    It was a break-thru moment for us both, and the next day would be much better.


And this, my friends, is where my original post ended. It’s been so long now that I can’t recall much of what happened that next day to make the day so great, except that there were a couple outdoor rope scenes, lots of exhibitionism, with W putting me into his various devices, we played and I got needled up late that night. It wasn’t so much what we did that made the difference, it was that he and I seemed to have come to a better place together, although it wasn’t until weeks later that we would work through all of this stuff and find the root of the matter.

So what good is posting all this stuff now?

Well…I don’t know. Except that maybe it speaks to the reality of who we are, as a couple, as kink partners. I post all the time about the kinky shit we get up to. About the awesome fun we have, and how easy this relationship is in some ways.  But everyone has difficulties every so often.

Yep, even us.

It’s months later…and we’ve worked though it.  We’ve got to the other side. We’re better than we’ve ever been. But yes, we’ve had to work at it, we’ve had to make working our way through this a priority. We haven’t got it all figured yet…

And I’m glad we don’t. We’re not in lock-step. We’re individuals with our own thoughts, ideas and feelings, and learning about those with each other is part of what keeps us engaged, keeps us interested, keeps us on our toes.  Complacency is a relationship-killer.  Every time we work through something, we learn a bit more about each other. Each time we resolve something we learn better how to handle other things that come up.
Just this morning, when I was having an issue with something, W took me by the hand, laid down next to me on his bed, and made me talk to him about it. Two hours before he had to leave to go to the airport. Two years ago, he might have left without getting it resolved and figured it would work itself out or be forgotten by the time he returns in two weeks.  Now we both know better.
And besides, it precipitated some great “goodbye” sex.  There’s always an upside, right?

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