I was thinking the other day, since I don’t have an active partner to play with, at least not here. Still. But as I said, I was thinking about all the time that I’ve spent in the scene, and how much of it I’ve actively participated. When I say ‘participated’, I mean actually being there, with someone else, playing interactively. Not online, not in a chat room, or on the phone, hot texting one another, or writing elaborate paper mails to one another, then waiting for them to read it several or many days later. Then waiting again for the return letter and so on.
Actual ‘in the trenches‘ play time. Where you get your hands dirty (as well as some other things). Doing a little figuring, I came up with a rather sobering total. And it wasn’t pretty. By my estimation I’ve been part of the BDSM scene since I was about 18. I’m not going to go into the nuts and bolts of that, because it’s not a good conversation to have here. So let’s say 18 for the sake of argument, or who else might be reading things. I’m now almost 54. So that’s 36 years between the two. In all of that time, what I would term my active experience comes out to a little less than 6 months. 6 MONTHS. Told you it was a sobering thought.
Even now it makes me wonder how all of that time managed to skate past. Though I know the old adages; Life gets in the way, finances don’t always come together, and the most often one, there’s no one to play with. So you just sit back on your heels, live your ‘other’ life, and try to keep your hand in the game, by watching others enjoy themselves, going to munches, networking, doing a little negotiating, perhaps attend a play party here and there, but me, not being the voyeuristic type, doing that is just maddening, because I’m not a good watcher. And yes, as I’ve mentioned time and again, building up a nice toy collection. That now as before gathers dust in a couple bedrooms in my house.
Just throwing this out here, since it’s been hanging around in my head for a few days now and I need it out in the open. Thanks for listening/reading.
On my slave’s Fetlife account, she has a profile. In that profile, it details a good deal about her as well as touches on different portions of her ‘Fet Life’ so far. One of the things I require her to have in it is what someone needs to do if they wish to ‘friend her’ on the site. Specifically, they need to read her profile in its entirety and follow the directions embedded within. If they can’t manage to do that, then they don’t deserve to be on her friends’ list. That seems very fair if you ask me. If you can’t do the work, you don’t get rewarded. Her ex couldn’t manage to do this, so he didn’t get friended.
As in most social networks, or even personals sites, women’s in boxes get flooded. Unless a male is offering something really special, their inbox hardly ever gets mail. It’s been that way ever since I started before there was an established Internet and more than likely it will remain that way for as long as I’ll be online. Just one of ‘those things’ you accept as being the norm and deal with it. The reason I’m mentioning that is, my slave gets probably a good amount of mail from prospective people who read her profile to a certain extent, see her pictures or in other ways have interacted with her and wish to be part of her ‘inner circle’. Others are hangers-on, or just want to add her to their friends’ list and never contact her again. Like me, she’s not a friend collector, so her list of people she interacts with is small. Myself, I’ve been on Fetlife for the better part of 10 years now and my own friends’ list numbers no more than 60 at any given time.
Every now and again she asks me if someone can be added to the list. I decide on a case-by-case basis. It’s an odds on bet that the person in question hasn’t necessarily followed the rules, and they’re asking for an exception to be made. Or it’s someone she met at a munch or some other sort of get-together that she’s been to. So I’ll scoot over to their profile, have a look-see, and if everything seems to check out, and I don’t feel there’s something untoward in their profile, I agree she can add them. Of course, if after being allowed into the ‘inner sanctum’ they start to misbehave, or begin to make overtures about her interactions with them, I’ll inevitably hear about it. My girl knows on which side her ‘bread is buttered’, she’s not going to just go off with someone because they have a good line or two to lay on her. She’s content in being owned by me, she’s not interested in being owned by anyone else. And that’s the way it’s going to always be.
Social networks are a great way for we as people to interact, to be in contact and to make new friends. Even so, as tools, they need to be used with great care and respect.
As I’ve mentioned more times than I care to count, I love shopping for BDSM toys. But I also like a good bargain when I can see one, or create a deal from someone offering something that they no longer have a use for. About 90% of the time, I pull the trigger and manage to come away with something useable, and acceptable in price to both sides. Today, that didn’t happen. I’m a bit sorry it didn’t, both for me and for the seller, but sometimes you just can’t come to an agreement on price.
This all took place on Fetlife, where I tend to haunt the Kinky Items for Sale and similar groups for bargains. This morning I happened to notice a new post from someone in NY saying that they’re in the midst of spring cleaning and want to part with some of their toy collection. “Great!” I think to myself. “Let’s see what they’re offering.”
It’s a small list, but at least there are references to pictures on their profile. Anymore, people who list items forget that a picture really is worth a thousand words. There’s so much more to see in a picture of what you’re offering than you can accurately describe in words. I click over to their profile and look over the proffered pictures. Already I can see there are interesting items that I might have an interest in. A pair of heavy leather padded restraints with locking buckles, a pair of interestingly designed wooden paddles, that are described as being made from tiger maple. Hmm, never heard of that type of wood before. But maple is a hardwood, and anything that’s crafted from it will be hardy and sturdy. The last item was a quirt, or what some might call a dragontail. The seller was calling it a mini-whip, in that it only has two ‘tails’ off of the main belly of the whip.
Of all the prices that the seller was listing, about the only one that seemed out of whack was the padded cuffs. 2 wrist cuffs for $100 seemed a bit much. The nice part about the listing was that the seller did seem interested in haggling since she put at the end of her listing in larger red type OR BEST OFFER. That to me suggested that she wasn’t quite as firm in her preferences of price than she was listed originally. It’s good when there’s wiggle room.
I thought to myself about how much I should offer for all the items I was interested in. When I mentally tallied up what she was asking, I found it to be $180. I thought $150 might be acceptable as a counter-offer, and since I was going to be paying for the shipping, that might add in another $10-15 to the price. I typed up a message through Fetlife’s communication system, sent it off and went about my day. About 2 in the afternoon I checked my messages and sure enough, there was a reply. Though not quite the reply I was expecting. She didn’t seem to think much of my counter-offer. She stated that all the items I was interested in were going to be $200, not $180 like she’d listed. Eh?
I thought about the reply before writing back. It could be that she’d added in the shipping and came to the total of $200 that way, or maybe there was some other hanky-panky going on. In my reply, I reiterated that she’d clearly stated prices and that there was wiggle room in them when she’d stated that best offers would be accepted. However, if she wasn’t interested in being flexible, then I wasn’t really interested in overpaying for her used items. Popped off the message and had a reply within about 20 minutes. She confirmed that the price she’d quoted had included the shipping. No wiggle room, she was being firm. Too, she informed me that she had originally paid $300 for the cuffs, so she believed she was making someone a good bargain. Personally, at that point, I honestly believe someone had sold her some magic beans if they charged her that much for 2 locking leather restraints. No matter what sort of leather they might be made of. None of which I’d mentioned to her, I didn’t wish to be rude. I made my final reply saying I was no longer interested.
All in all, I think I made the right decision. Don’t get me wrong, I really would have liked to have everything I originally mentioned, but the prices were just too out of range for what I would feel comfortable paying. Yes, there have been times when I’ve overpaid for items, but as I recall, it was because of who had made the items in question, they were established artisans so the prices might have been considered a little excessive by some, but as with things like a painting by Picasso, you don’t get it for a song, you get it for what the market will bear. Even if the finished product is basically canvas and ink.
Better luck next time!
Almost forgot. I did a little research on tiger maple and discovered it’s not anything really special, it’s a by-product of red maple, just sometimes how the striations are in the wood when it’s cut. It’s also called ‘flame maple’ because of the stripes. So in theory, I could make my own paddle with the woodworking tools that my father left me. Something to be aware of. Interesting factoid.
I tend to engage with the customers at my workplace. It’s something that I’ve always done, since if you carry on a conversation, it’s not so much like they’re just there to shop, they might find that they have a ‘friend’ in the business and if they feel more comfortable, then perhaps their shopping experience will be a little less impersonal. And they might end spending more, which sometimes can be considered a good thing. Even so, there are times when customers, having become familiar, tell me things that surprise me sometimes and on occasion make me do a double take, or just completely bowl me over.
Case in point, this past week one of my older customers was telling me about what she did (and didn’t do) for Thanksgiving. Apparently she and her son have become estranged over the several months leading up to the holiday, so much so that she wasn’t invited to their house for the meal. Having been spurned, she was informed by one of her girlfriends that a couple of the local churches were serving a holiday dinner. The first church that she went to, apparently had served the dinner either the day before, or the weekend before, so there wasn’t anyone there when she arrived.
Upon going to the other church, she apparently was quite surprised by the fact that the vast majority of people there were “colored” (her word, not mine). That fact seemed to unnerve her so she left and didn’t partake. I try not to judge, I don’t know everyone’s upbringing or their politics or personal preferences, but I have to admit that I was rather taken aback with the way she was describing her obvious confusion and distaste over what she had found. I did ask her what she did for Thanksgiving dinner, and she quite nonchalantly said that she ‘went without’. I really wanted to ask her why she had such a problem taking a meal with her neighbors, but I could see that asking something of that nature would more than likely have done more harm than good.
I’m not colorblind, I have friends that are African-American. I went to high school with black kids, college and have worked with many over the years. When I was in college in my senior year, I even had a black roommate. He was from Brooklyn and a little rough around the edges, but we managed to get along.
Suffice it to say, it was just a little unnerving to hear someone in their 80s have that sort of reaction to people not of her own race. As far as we’ve come as a people, as a species, we seem to be continually reminded that we still have a long way to go.
I had an eye appointment today, my first since 2016. I used to go every year, but then my insurance changed at my workplace and they only covered a new pair of glasses every 2 years. I’ve been going to the same place for my glasses for the last 10 years, so they have all my prior prescriptions on file. Even so, now that many things are being automated and upgraded for web-based filing and reminders, what was once a simple system of reminders has now become overly complex. Or so it seems.
It used to be when you made an appointment, you were given a card so that you could go home, copy the appointment on your own calendar at home. The day would come for the appointment, you’d go, that’d be the end of it. Maybe 10 years ago, people seemed to need further coddling and reminders, so doctors’ offices would call you a few days before your appointment to remind you of it, OR they would contract with an automated system that would do the same thing. You’d have the option of confirming the time of the appointment that you’d make (months ago) over the phone, then on the day you’d go, and that would be the end of it.
Nowadays, it seems that people require even more coddling. For my appointment with the eye doctor, I received no less than FIFTEEN reminders stretched over the last 3 days. Email reminders, text reminders, three phone calls from their automated system to both my home phone AND my cellphone. Each day since Wednesday I’ve received both text reminders and emails letting me know that I have an upcoming appointment. Really? Really? No one needs this much of a reminder of an appointment. And I can’t believe this is isolated. I’m sure thousands of people are getting bombarded the same way I am. We’re not imbeciles, please stop treating us as if we are.
Btw, my eyes haven’t changed all that much according to the ophthalmologist. I’m getting new glasses just the same, though I did ask if I could just get the lenses, since the frames tend to be the big outlay. They recommended against it (naturally) since the frames I have now are a discontinued model (again, naturally) and wouldn’t be fixable if they were to break. Unlike my wife, when it comes to new frames, it’s always a several weeks’ breaking in period, because I have to get used to how the frames feel behind my ears. And that unfortunately takes a while. So again, I’m up for several weeks of adjustments and refits, which (luckily) they don’t charge for.
Which is neither here nor there in the above rant. Just updating those that care. Those that don’t…the suggestion box is over yonder.