Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hey-la, day-la, my boyfriend's back

Now I'm going to get a beatin'. ;)

Actually, last night I got a little spanking, more to test out his new toys: a scrap strap from Adam and Gillian's (I like it) and a paddle from Woodrage (ouch!!). We tested them out with me bent over in front of the dresser, then a bit more bent over the bed, then finally over his lap. It felt so nice to be over his lap again that I almost cried. Though, cuddling was even nicer.

We're supposed to have a "talk" soon about the novel I've been taking a break from writing. Or rather, we were going to have it this evening but my dad stopped by unexpectedly (one of the few times his timing was impeccable!) and we didn't get around to it (oh, what a shame...). The break was a legitimate break that we both agreed upon. However, it's getting to be time to start writing again and spanking does help to focus my mind a bit.

Sigh...but it's going to hurt. :(

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Story: Dealing with My Disability [M/F]

This is an old story to tide y'all over while I'm sick. And as illness has been the topic of many of my posts lately, I thought I'd post this particular story which originally appeared at the soc.sexuality.spanking Usenet newgroup in March of 2002. At that time I had recently been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (also called Myalgic Encephalomylitis outside the U.S) and was suffering a relapse severe enough to convince me that I had to take a leave of absence from school. As I'm in the midst of a similiar relapse, this seemed like a particularly apt story to post. It's not one of my better stories -- there are parts of it that make me wince a bit. And I kind of giggle to myself as the character of Walter is sort of an amalgamation of three people, all of whom I can recognize in certain lines. But, at any rate, here it is. Enjoy.

*********************************************

Story: Dealing with My Disability [M/F]

"I think we need to meet..." Walter's voice lingered in my mind as the
clock ticked closer to 5:30. When he said those words, I knew I was in
trouble. And with only fifteen minutes left until he arrived, I couldn't
decide if I wanted the minutes to hurry up and pass already, or to stay
off, away in a future that wouldn't come. At any rate, I still had
fifteen minutes -- no fourteen minutes - to rehearse my arguments. To
practice my spin...

"Well, I see you haven't touched your meds for today..." He glanced down at the plastic rectangle with boxes for each day containing pills and
capsules of various size and color on the countertop of my kitchenette
as he came into my studio apartment. D'oh!

"Oh, yeah...I forgot," I said without thinking.

"Well, I'll have to make sure I help you remember."

"Well, I mean, I didn't really forget...I just haven't gotten to them yet.
And, well, my throat has been kinda sore so they're not as easy to
swallow..." Yeah, there was always a health ailment to get me out of
trouble...Or so I thought...

"Yes, but that's all the more reason to make sure you take them if
you're not feeling well."

"True...I'm just taking them after I eat dinner...and some of them are for
bedtime anyway." Lame attempt, I know.

"Of course." He looked at me with a wry smile and a raised eyebrow.
"Now, how about if I take a look at your journal." My
symptom/food/activity journal. It was something to help the doctors keep
track of my illness, as well as help me think about what I was doing. To
learn to listen to my body when I'd as soon ignore the headaches and
fatigue telling me I needed to rest before I get REALLY sick.

"S.s..sure..." Right to business, as usual. I handed him my spiral bound
notebook. This was the part I worried about. There in my pencil
scratchings, or lack of them, was the grim truth that I had not been as
diligent in keeping tack of my symptoms. And when I had written down my
food, it was stuff I shouldn't be eating. And when I tallied my
activities and the points of energy they cost me, I had clearly racked
up far too many.

"Hmmm..." Walter flipped through the pages as his eyebrow reached further
towards his hairline and his lips pursed together.

"See, I've been feeling better and I've been wanting to kinda see how
much more I can do...I mean, I think the herbal decoction from the
acupuncturist is really working - tastes like shi - I mean crap - but,
um, you know, I think I should push a little bit, try 'n get my body to
come back to the real world. And besides, I haven't had a relapse for
well over a month...I think I'm really starting to get better..."

"A month is hardly enough time to consider yourself 'cured,' my dear..."
His eyebrows crinkled towards the center as he looked away from the
notebook and down at me. He was only 5'10 or so, but as I'm exactly 5'
and ½ inch, he still towered over me. "And pushing yourself is why
you've gotten so sick in the first place." I rolled my eyes, sighed and
looked away. I hate when he insists on "logic" and "reality."

As my primary argument was no longer valid, I spent the next few minutes
as he flipped through the rule-lined pages trying to think of ways to
soften the edges of my transgressions. I used to try and think of
counter-arguments. Well, I still did. But I was no match for Walter. He
was a lawyer and had years more practice at it.

"You spent four hours at the mall on Saturday?? What were you thinking?
You're one major daily activity is only suppose one or two hours and not
that physically exerting...certainly not a four hour hike through the mall!"

"Well, I was hanging out with my sister...she was home and ---"

"And then you went out to a movie...and then out to a coffeehouse afterwards?"

"We would have gone to a bar but she's still underage." I grinned with
that mischievous twinkle. He glared.

"Are you trying to kill yourself?"

"I won't die..." I mumbled.

"You never know..."

"Yeah, I do. CFIDS isn't fatal...it's just.... debilitating..." The last word
scraped through my mouth. I really despised it. Or any of the words used
in brochures, medical journal articles, books, websites, or newsgroups
to describe my illness. A dark scowl washed over me. I guess I still
hadn't finished going through the Five Stages of Grief...

"That's right. It is debilitating and will get even more so if you don't
take care of yourself. And clearly you have not been doing that." His
voice had that mixture of sternness and impatience.

"It's just..." I didn't mean to start crying. Really. I had never cried in
front of Walter. But my scowl turned into tears and then into sobs.
"It's just that I never get to have any kind of normal life. I'm just so
tired of watching life go by and never having the chance to grab hold of
it, you know? I'm tired of feeling like some old woman..." I folded my
arms as my eyes became red and puffy and my nose started to run. Walter
stood frozen at first, then grabbed a Kleenex and handed it to me. "I'm
sorry..." I said. "I'm not crying on purpose to manipulate you or
anything. I mean, I know your right...it's just..."

"No, I understand...it's okay." He put his arms around me as I cried into
his chest. After a few minutes I calmed down, took a deep breath, and
blew my nose one more time. Walter gazed at me while I tossed the tissue
into the trash. "You know, sometimes I really have a hard time spanking
you because I know you're in so much pain as it is and I hate adding to
it." I gave him a faint attempt at a smile. "But, if the few minutes of
pain I give you keep you from weeks of pain later, I will do it." He
walked over to my desk and wheeled the chair out away from the
furniture. Sat down and sighed. Patted his khaki-clad thighs. "Well, I
think it's time for you to come lay over my lap." I nodded and laid my
plump little body down so that my bottom was the first thing underneath
his right arm.

The full skirt of my pink summer jumper came up towards my neck and my
white cotton panties scooted down to my knees. My bare feet dangled off
the floor. That feeling of utter exposure. And I certainly didn't feel
like an old woman anymore...Walter tapped his thin, slender wooden paddle
against my skin a few times as I braced for the coming stingy blows.

And they came. One on top of the other. Over and over. I curled my toes
in pain. Squeezed my eyes shut. Pressed my lips together. Every now a
then tried to swallow a whimper.

"So once again we find ourselves in this very embarrassing position..." he
began lecturing. Why did he say "we?" I was the one with the naked butt
up for God and everybody to see. But I was focusing too much on how much
my naked butt hurt to mouth off. "And why are we here?"

"Cause...I...ow...wasn't...taking care of...oweee...myself."

"That's right. And how were you not taking care of yourself?" His voice
was calm and focused. Why did he ask me questions while he spanked me?
Did he not realize that it takes a great deal of concentration to get
through a spanking? These queries were extremely distracting. Eventually
he stopped the questions and just whacked away at my cheeks and thighs.

I was whimpering steadily when he stopped. He rubbed the middle of my
back as I gazed at the carpet pile. The sides of his thighs pressed into
my stomach. I relaxed. Wrangled with my fingers and picked at lint on
the floor.

"I know I don't need to tell you why you need to limit your activities
or not eat certain foods, or take your medication. You're a smart girl.
So, just do what you're supposed to do to get better. You've got to
focus everything on getting well. Okay?" That last word he said without
the sternness. More friendly. I nodded. He tugged the part of my hair in
a barrette. "Hey, you. Okay?"

"Okay."

"Alright then." I could see underneath the chair, down by my feet that
he was picking up the paddle again. Crap! I was getting more? A hot
splat on my backside answered. Apparently so. Another ten whacks seared
my already raw skin. The he stopped. Rubbed my back some more. Dropped
the paddle at his side to the floor. "Okay, we're done now." He held my
left arm as I pushed my right hand on his thigh to get up. As soon as I
was upright, I pulled up my panties and smoothed my skirt back down.

I stood in front of him as he still sat in the chair. Held my hands
behind my back. Bit my lower lip. Shifted my feet. Gulped and breathed
in staggered breaths. Walter smiled.

"Gosh, sometimes you really are such a little girl..." He shook his head.
I did a half roll of my eyes, smiled and bit my bottom lip again. "You
want me to help you put some ice on your bottom?" I nodded.

"Just lemme put some aloe vera on first." I went into the bathroom and
slipped off my panties. Cut off a half-inch portion of a leaf from my
aloe vera plant. Slit the side, peeled back the skin and rubbed the
cooling, gooey gel all over my backside. I came out and lay down on my
stomach on my bed. Walter placed the ice pack on top of my skirt
covering my bottom. As I bruise at the slightest touch, though not as
badly since I added Grapefruit extract and a synergistic Vitamin C to my
daily meds, the ice pack would keep the bruising to a minimum. Walter
patted me on the head.

"Now, I want you to rest and take care of yourself, okay?" I nodded.
"Then once you're better I can start beatin' on you to write those great
research papers for me to read." He grinned as I rolled my eyes and
scowled. "And you'll go back to being a great scholar and graduate
student -- why we started meeting in the first place..."

But at that moment I wasn't a graduate student or aspiring scholar, a
Person With CFIDS (PWC), or the old person I often felt with it. I was a
little girl who just needed someone to take care of me. Small.
Mischievous. Spirited. Rebellious. And little enough that my feet still
dangle when I'm over a knee getting spanked...

The week before

I'm sorry my postings have been so sparse lately. I've been battling some virus for the last week or so and every time I'm on the computer for very long I end up feverish, which exacerbates my neuropathic pain.

So, just 6 more days before my boyfriend gets here. It's funny. The week before we get together, he always gets deliciously stern. Notes any and every transgression, no matter how trivial. In the intervening months I could burn down a police station without a worry in the world about the consequences (well, at least from him, though he might remember that one long enough to spank me for it once we were together) but that week before, woe to me if I'm not on my best behavior! ;)

Okay, honestly though, I'm still ambivilent in my anticipation about getting spanked. My mind wants one but my body is still reticent. If this damn fever would go away, I might be less ambivilent. But, at least I'll have him here to cuddle with while I feel shitty. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Thoughts while watching Law and Order

Yesterday was a "don't even think of getting out of bed" day so I watched a lot of television between naps, including back to back episodes of "Law and Order."

One, Sam Waterston is like my quintessential paternal spanko figure. He always manages to come up with facial expressions that encompass everything I'd want in a daddy: moral principal, scolding, consternation, with a tad bit of gentleness thrown in. He's been in my spanking fantasies since I first saw him in "I'll Fly Away,"(an absolutely brilliant television show from 1991 that made me go "wow, I never thought television could get this good!"). Those fantasies became even more acute after he played a father who whips his daughter with a belt in the movie, "Man in the Moon." He looks similar to a high school history teacher I had, about whom I had only the vaguest of spanking fantasies, but who was someone I respected a great deal and remained in touch with after high school.

So, every time I watch him on "Law and Order" I end up thinking about him as the father/DA on "I Fly Away" and wishing he could be my dad, except maybe a bit stricter. ;)

Two, detective Fontana gave the rich girl caught in the crossfire at a drug party a firm but fair tongue lashing in the second episode last night. It was quite yummy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A couple of funnies

One, you'll notice I figured out how to create expandable post summaries so you can browse down through the front page without quite so much writing to plough through. What's funny for me is that the code you type into your html page is "span class="fullpost." If any of you ever read my into at the Punishment Book, you'll know I have a hard time typing the letters "s-p-a" without following it with "n-k." It's kinetically ingrained in my fingers and brain.

Two, I just ordered a cane from Adam and Gillian's last week and when I went to pick it up at the campus housing office today (which is almost a miracle in and of itself as I have been mostly housebound for the last month), a former student of mine was working there and she asked what the package was. "A new cane," I said sorta tipping my head towards the cane I walk with. "I'm accessorizing." He he...how's that for a good cover? ;)

Except, sad to say, when I got the box home and opened it up, the cane was broken! {pout} They were really nice on the phone when I called to order it, so I'll call them in the morning (or afternoon when I usually wake up) and see what we can work out.

Update: Adam and Gillian's is sending me a new cane and sending a claim into UPS. Frankly, I think whoever it was I talked to on the phone was ready to cane UPS! ;)

On his way

Yup. The bureaucratic hassles are over and he's booked the flight. :D

Two weeks from tomorrow tonight I will have a happy but sore ass.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Confessions of a structure junkie

Well, my academic career is over. At least for the foreseeable future. Two years ago when I started taking classes after a leave of absence for illness, I managed a good productive six months or so catching up on incompletes. Then last year it was one health crisis after another and aside from a bit of reading and publishing a couple of book reviews and a review essay, there wasn'’t much progress.

[...]

Though by this winter I was feeling better and thought maybe it was time to dive back into the thick of things. So, I registered for some classes thinking that the interaction and structure of the classroom would help me back onto the path of academic accomplishment from which illness had led me astray.

Yet, as I recounted in the "“school girl pt.2" post, I was pretty damn tired by the end of the first week. After dropping a class and just focusing on the one, I struggled along for a month. However, by May I was bedridden and began to finally face the painful truth: it's over. Over after six and a half years of stubbornly insisting that I was going to get better and get back onto the academic fast track I spent my undergraduate years and first year and a half of my MA program doggedly pursuing before surgery and blood clots in my lungs and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome reared their hideous heads. I cannot push my body anymore. And frankly, I can'’t push my brain anymore either. At the end of the day, my illness takes all the intellectual energy I have that would otherwise be spent on examining how a series of Christian historical fiction novels about the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 reflect and shape a collective memory among American Evangelicals.

Aside from the gaping hole in my personal identity with academia taken out of the equation, the big issue for me in finally giving up school was that I would have no structure. I found myself becoming depressed each morning when I woke up. What would I do today? Not that I've had much structure for the last year and a half. But that was supposed to be temporary. I always had something hanging over my head waiting to be done. Now it was gone. What on earth was I going to do from now on? What was there to wake up to?

School has always defined my goals. It was what provided structure growing up when there was none at home. I hated summers. Summers were this excruciating ordeal of housekeeping and television. There was some reading and writing. But, without a teacher and an assignment and a deadline, there wasn'’t anything to make sure I really accomplished anything. By the beginning of August I was always jittery with school withdrawls. Need...structure...{leg bouncing while reading old textbook} must...have...assignments... (Funny episode of the Simpsons where the teachers strike, and Lisa gets out her emergency school kit--that was so me.).

Sure, I did read my share of books. But, I wanted so much more. I wanted to learn more. To be pushed more. Obviously my spanking fantasies converged with this and still do. When I read Mija'’s and Haron's punishments a few months back for not working on their respective dissertations, I was rather envious. And when I read Claire'’s description of enacting a "sixteenth-century boarding school"” regime to get some of her work done, all I could think was, omg, I soooo want that.

Have always wanted that.

Of course, all the punishment in the world wasn'’t going to change the fact that I wasn'’t getting much done. But I wanted it to be something a good spanking could cure.

School in real life was not nearly that draconian, even if I wished it was. And the threat of getting anything less than a perfect grade was far more motivation than spanking would have been. Though there were moments. There were teachers who would give me "A" minuses for work they would give other students "A"”s. My undergraduate French professor (who I think was a spanko and at the very least was a nun sans habit) was the most egregious in this respect. She often pushed me much harder than the other students in class. At first I thought she just didn'’t like me, and I certainly wasn'’t too keen on her. Indeed, she almost made me cry in class once. It wasn't until that summer I learned the truth when a friend of mine pointed out that this prof only pushed me because she liked me. And you can even say there was even a bit of corporal punishment when, at a wine and cheese event we both attended, I made a comment to her that my Arabic was taking over my French and she smacked me on the arm--only half playfully. By that point I took it as the highest form of affection she could have shown. :)

But, even if school life was hardly that of Tom Brown, there was structure. Goals to accomplish. Degrees to pursue. Schools to get into. Courses to take throughout the summer. I liked doing homework outside in the sun.

And now that I can't handle assignments and deadlines, life feels like one very long August.

Okay then, if I am to be the patient, I will find structure in that. Create structure for that. And I have a boyfriend who likes enforcing structure, so surely something will be accomplished.

So, I tried to set up a daily regime. Ride my exercise bike. Do some yoga or qi gong, as well as forty-five minutes of meditation. Eat a low sodium diet. Write in my journal every day. Take all medicine and supplements every day. Do the moxa and massage every day. And physical therapy exercises every day. And...and...

But there were also medical appointments to attend. Transportation to coordinate. Case workers to meet with. Housing options to figure out and applications to fill out. Insurance denials to appeal.

And, of course, get some rest. Something my body was as determined for me to get as I was about creating structure in my academy-less life.

When I announced to my boyfriend that I was going to start sending him a schedule again with my new illness-related to-do list, his response felt tepid. When I then promptly forgot to send it to him and he didn't say anything, I figured he wasn't too keen on the idea. Granted, I think he just hasn't been in the mood to be much of an "enforcer"” but as I was exhausted with anemia by that point, I decided to forget about it. Not because I wanted to but because I was just too damn listless to discipline myself to do much of anything.

But I could be doing so much more as a patient. I should be...

A few nights back my godfather and I were talking. He is only a year older than me but was my sponsor when I became Catholic five years ago and in the Byzantine rite that makes him my godfather. He feels closer to me than just a friend and has a paternalistic streak about him that makes him feel very godfatherly sometimes. At one point as I told him about all the bureaucratic shit I'’ve been having to deal with in addition to being sick and all that I was doing to deal with being a good patient, he stopped me. "Do you remember right after I came out and I kept calling myself a ‘faggot’ because I was angry at myself for being gay?"” Of course I did. He was a good Arab Catholic boy who was supposed to marry a good (hopefully) Arab Catholic girl and have lots of good Arab Catholic babies, except that he finally realized he was attracted to boys. I knew the rejection of his Church and culture were agonizing for him and it was agonizing for me to watch him reject himself. "“And remember how you said to me, '‘have mercy on yourself?'’ Well, now it's my turn. Michelle, have mercy on yourself. You'’re dealing with so much right now. Please be kind to yourself. All the other stuff will come in its own time."

Yes...yes, it will.

So, in addition to letting go of my academic career, I'’m also trying to let go of my incessant need for structure. It'’s funny because the stereotype of the top/bottom relationship is of a control freak and passive submissive. In reality, I'm the one who is the control freak and has tried to use spanking as a way to control my world (again, see "school girl pt 2"). But I think for right now, I'’m going to just rest. Quit trying to impose structure on myself and just be. And let the structure rise up on its own, however long it takes and in whatever form it takes.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Quote of the night

My boyfriend's response to Anne Robinson's face lift:

"I better not hear of you getting a face lift, young lady, or it will be a butt lift for you!"

{giggle}

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Brain chemistry

I'm not used to posting about news items on this blog, but the New York Times (reg. required) had a fascinating article about how neuroscientists have pinpointed the part of the brain associated with passionate love.

In an analysis of the images appearing today in The Journal of Neurophysiology, researchers in New York and New Jersey argue that romantic love is a biological urge distinct from sexual arousal. It is closer in its neural profile to drives like hunger, thirst or drug craving, the researchers assert, than to emotional states like excitement or affection.

It made me wonder if that's what is also happening when it comes to spanking. Spanking can be arousing for me, but normally it's not. But it is something I will crave like Ben and Jerry's or water, even though while I'm getting spanked it hurts like hell and I'll think why the hell did I want this? I always just thought it was the endorphine rush. But another little snippet from this article made me think there might be more to it.

In the study, a computer-generated map of particularly active areas showed hot spots deep in the brain, below conscious awareness, in areas called the caudate nucleus and the ventral tegmental area, which communicate with each other as part of a circuit.

These areas are dense with cells that produce or receive a brain chemical called dopamine, which circulates actively when people desire or anticipate a reward. In studies of gamblers, cocaine users and even people playing computer games for small amounts of money, these dopamine sites become extremely active as people score or win, neuroscientists say.

And maybe it's that dopamine circulates actively when I desire or anticipate a punishment. That some wire is crossed, or is too sensitive so that dopamine circulates for both states -- reward and punishment.

I dunno. Just something that got me thinking.