I suppose I could also call this area "Personal Exploration", but that sounds terrifically boring. This is where I discuss my thoughts about personal stuff. Sometimes it's about me, and you could care less. Sometimes it's about something else, and you'll probably still care less. And that's why I have separate feeds for each section.

There are a number of reasons why I don't have my name searchable on this site; this area is one of them. I have no problem letting you know who I am if we've been conversing and you want to know—I'd just rather it wasn't a random Google search on my name that brought you here. There are over 18,000 web pages you can find if you search on my name. For now, this isn't one of them. If you know me here and want to know me elsewhere, that's fine, just ask.

She Does the Dishes

My submissive does the dishes.

I know, if you're reading this wondering what d/s is all about, you're probably thinking, "What the hell? My girlfriend does that!"

But the fact is, that one act captures all the intensity and ardor of our d/s relationship.

There are only so many ways you can manage a household chore. It can be split (ad hoc, scheduled, done together), or it can be the duty of one person, hopefully balanced by things the other does elsewhere. What we do looks like the latter, but is different in an important way that isn't obvious from the outside, and that's the distinction between duty and service.

But first, let's talk about what can go wrong with each of those ways of dividing chores. I'm looking at the more extreme aspects; obviously these methods can and do work for many people.


As Icarus flew on wax-bound wings
So mine are joined with bonds of love

But your passion so outshines me

That I may plummet, wings undone
And tears will flutter to the sea

3 Haikus

These are just some haikus I wrote recently on twitter, inspired by remittancegirl.

The "Other" House
Fifteen years of life
Bound up in the many rooms
Remnants of my soul.

Lashings dealt with love
Delightful endorphins surge
See pretty bruises?

Winter hid and watched
Baleful eye but loving heart
May he dream in peace.

Winter was a savannah cat (see photos of others, they are amazing) who belonged to @vicka. Abused as a kitten, he was very shy of people, but would approach you if you stayed quiet. He liked to perch high on a desk in the room I'd pass through when making a late night trip to the bathroom—this great big cat, looking like a wild egyptian god, staring down at me—scared me more than once! He was diagnosed with cancer a few days ago and she had him put to sleep.

Dominance: What Draws, What Intimidates

Several weeks ago Mollena (@Mollena) asked me several questions on FormSpring. I finally got around to answering them (in other words, I was desperately avoiding doing taxes) and I thought two of them might be worth posting here. I've done a little minor editing, but if you read what I wrote on FormSpring, you've seen these already.

What intimidates you about dominance? by Mollena

Responsibility. I've yet to play on a casual basis, although I would like to (oddly, that requires more confidence, more on that in a second). My play has been in the context of relationships with at least some level of commitment, and that commitment as a Dom has meant that I have a great deal of responsibility for the emotional well-being of my partner. In many ways, that's an incredibly egotistic thing to take on, and it is something that scares me every day. It's bad enough to start a vanilla relationship and worry about whether you really love them, whether it will fall apart, how it will impact them. But when you do that in a D/s relationship, there is a lot more at stake.

Secondly, I'm intimidated to some degree by experienced Doms, but that has fairly quickly dissipated, because unless you're there to put on some gorgeous rope show for the crowd, or show off your skills with a singletail, the true measure of the Dom is the reaction of the sub. My focus right now isn't on technique, it's on sensation, and I pretty much stop being aware of anyone else when I am in a scene.

Thirdly, experienced subs intimidate the hell out of me. (Yes, that definitely includes you Mollena :). I'm not worried about doing things “wrong”, but being clumsy, stepping over boundaries, being compared to others, and simply not satisfying my partner, are all issues. It's all the things guys worry about in terms of normal sexual relations, but magnified 100 times. In my limited time in this space, I haven't played with too many people with much more experience than myself, so this hasn't been a major issue. What I've generally found is that I go too easy on my partner. That I can solve if given a second chance. ;)

Related to that, I worry that my partner will want me to push limits that I'm not ready to push. However the things I want to push seem to be growing far faster than my opportunities to top, so that hasn't been much of a problem yet! LOL.

Oh, and penis size of course. :)

The kids are home, where am I?

It's been almost a year since I moved out. The kids have been home from boarding school for March vacation, the summer, Thanksgiving, and now it's their three week Christmas vacation. W and I are separated, and I just have a place in a group house in the next town over. She's in our old house still, and that's where they stay, that's where their friends are, and that's the only home they remember. Since Thanksgiving I've finally started making my apartment my own space, even though that has meant taking some of my things out of W's house. The holes left by what I take hurt me, but most was from my home office, and now a little bit from my library there. I worry about what the kids will think when they see the holes I've left behind. I even worry about my in-laws, who have been living there since last May (stuck here waiting for a citizenship application to go through (it did!) and afraid to return to Iran with the current unrest and suspicion there against Iranian's traveling to the U.S. (Ironically, the U.S. is home to the second-largest Iranian population in the world—L.A.. 40% of Beverly Hills is made up of Iranians, mostly Jewish, who fled the revolution.) But I digress.)

How do you punish a Master?

Closer to Fine

I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
To seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
Twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before
I went in seeking clarity.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

D/s culture replete with ways to punish a submissive, but what happens when the Master goes astray and hurts the submissive? Who punishes him?

The answer is quite simple. The Master punishes himself.

Whether the relationship is for a single scene or a life time. Whether it takes place in a club, a bedroom, or across the internet. Whether it's for show, for play, or fundamental Need. No matter what the time, the setting, or the reason; the Master took on a responsibility to care for the submissive. Her well-being becomes not just his responsibility, it becomes his well-being. Just as her pleasure becomes his pleasure, so her pain becomes his pain. You cannot have one without the other. So long as the relationship exists, the two are bound, not just together, but within each other. Pleasure and pain. Trust and responsibility. Master and submissive. One being.

Why Coyote?

The Coyote Road

Edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

I've been asked a number of times why I chose Coyote as my online identity/avatar/totem. The answer is very clear in my mind, but not so easy to express to those who aren't familiar with Coyote. I read (and occasionally heard) Coyote tales at a young age. In college I studied the broader Trickster motifs as well. Then for many years they lay dormant in my mind, until I reached a time when I needed to change who I was.

Coyote resonates within me; with where I am in my life. I first realized it a little over a year ago, when I was reading a number of stories and books by Charles de Lint. Coyote wanders in and out of de Lint stories, just as he meanders through "traditional" folk stories. I went back and re-read the earlier Coyote tales I knew, and I realized that I identified with Coyote's constant desire to get involved and fix things, and his equally common failure to get it right. That's not surprising, because Coyote is really a representation of what it means to be human; sometimes selfish, sometimes selfless, but never static. Humans are the Creator, the Fixer, the Breaker, and the Learner. Coyote's not so great at the Learning part, but then, neither are humans.

Pandora: For a Friend

I wrote this for a friend who keeps stopping short of exploring her creativity, because she fears the joy will be short-lived; cut down by the mundane process of selling, lack of appreciation, inability to find those who will share her interests, or a simple lack of time. At the core, she feels it is safer to stay unfulfilled, than to experience joy that might be lost and never regained—and that is a fear that we have all experienced at one time or another. She likened it to the fear of opening Pandora's Box.

You hesitate to open the jar, because you fear that the pleasure will be fleeting, that it will not lead to new discoveries and new pleasures. But Pandora's jar did not hold all evil, and not all that was good, escaped.

"Only Hope remained there in an unbreakable home within under the rim of the great jar, and did not fly out at the door; for ere that, the lid of the jar stopped her, by the will of Aegis-holding Zeus who gathers the clouds." (Hesiod, Works and Days)

Hope is what keeps me going through everything else in my life, it always has. And I know that if I don't open the jar, there will be no Hope.


For most of my life I have believed that Love was the most powerful emotion, and Orgasm the most intense pleasure. I no longer believe either of those things.

Over the past nine months (the rebirth metaphor does not escape me), I have discovered feelings and sensations that I had no idea even existed. My entire concept of what my mind and body are capable of has been turned upside down. Somewhere inside of me, something must have known, because I have always longed for certain situations. I wondered what it would be like to be the Dominant one, to have a strong submissive, someone whose life during the day was stressful and demanding. She was smart, she was successful, but when she came  home she wanted to let it all go and let someone else take control. I knew a little about that release, I had played a bit many years ago. I knew the relaxation that could come with submission, and as I fantasized, I felt a tingle of the thrill that might come with being the Dominant. Somewhere, my subconscious  knew what it was capable of.

Lucky Man

Greg Lake - Lucky Man

Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime

If there's one thing my roadtrip has done, it's remind me of how lucky I am. It's not a time of my life when I feel particularly lucky, but I when I stop and think about it rationally, I've had a very fortunate life. I was at the right place at the right time at several key moments in my life, which led to a career which I have loved. I found a partner who, while we ran into a lot of (eventually terminal) issues between us, was in many ways the perfect yin to my yang. The result was a great home, and joint parenting which produced two bright, creative (and even fairly organized :-) kids whom I'm immensely proud of. We created something better than ourselves.

When I get depressed about where things are now, I try to remember that many of my friends never had those chances, or only got there after a great deal of pain and hard work. When I look at the house, and all the things we did together, I remind myself that while the future we tried to build is lost, I learned a great deal and became a much better person as a result of the experience, and most of all; the kids got to enjoy the results of our endeavors. It doesn't take away the pain, but it makes it more worthwhile.

Being Coyote

My aunt has been helping my father finish an auto-biography he is self-publishing. Part of the work has involved going through the bulletins he sent to his extended family (green carbons )  every few weeks or months. She recently stumbled across the following paragraph, written about myself when I was seven years old. Knowing as she does, my Coyote persona, she forwarded it to me.

Monday evening the 16th, we celebrated my birthday.  The greatest present was a “plaque” from [my-name], done a while back but really great!  The execution was by hammering a screwdriver with the hammer to make a design, on a piece of clapboard.  The design –– his own, and colored appropriately with watercolors, shows a wolf (or coyote) trotting along a hilly skyline of brown desert, trying to reach a lower right-hand-corner water-hole, escorted by circling buzzards who don’t think he’ll make it to the water-hole, while the sun is going down behind the hills!

Of Dreams and Snowflakes

xkcd: Every Damn Morning

Dreams are certainly odd things. My mother believes they can foretell the future, and indeed when I was young, I was certain she was magic, because things would happen, and she would say she had seen them in a dream. Later I wondered more about cause and effect, and I learned from my own experience that dreams aren't the only odd thing, memories can be strange as well. They warp, they change over time. Things remembered often become more real, more rational. Other memories drift away in the dust on the edge of our road.

It could well be that dreams are nothing more than nighttime sensations which our mind interprets as memories. They have no form until the brain shapes them into something which we can recognize. We've all felt some pieces of a dream fade as we seek to remember, while others, even if they seem less important, become more concrete just because they are more like real life.

It's Been a Year

A year ago I told my wife that trying to get our relationship back to normal by taking small steps just wasn't working. We had to dive in fully committed and act like we were a happily married couple, instead of trying the "if you do this, then that will make me happier and maybe I'll do that" approach that had failed so often in the past. She agreed to try it, and we had a pleasant evening together. The next few days were nice, but soon we were back to business as usual. Several weeks later, with no progress made, she said she just couldn't do it, and I said I'd run out of ideas. After almost twenty years of trying to make things work, I simply couldn't think of anything else we could do to get back what we had before we got married. I'd spent the first years of our marriage being oblivious to what was wrong, and the rest surviving on the hope that we could fix things. Without the hope, I couldn't go on.