Broken Links

While I was researching one of my recent posts, I discovered that a fair few places that I had used over the years to purchase items are no longer viable.  The websites are gone, the people that ran them seem to be no longer in the scene, or just gave up on the whole business side of it, because of, oh, I dunno, reasons?

Add in the fact that it’s getting harder and harder to find new businesses that have the quality of product to replace the ones that have gone by the wayside.  Sure, I could shop at established places like The Stockroom, or Damax, but the former does tend to import a good amount of their product from China, or it’s mass produced, so therefore a lesser quality (think Chinese steel) and the latter is overseas, just in the other direction.  And a bit pricier because of location, they’re usually one offs, and I’m probably only going to order one of his wares in the near future.  And don’t get me started on Swedish Collar.

Etsy is definitely a possibility, considering that a lot of people go there to sell their wares, but you have to take a chance with quality as you really don’t know the people, feedback on the reviews can be spotty, so it’s a lot like Internet dating anymore.  Separating the wheat from the chaff can be an expensive prospect.  Honestly, right now about the only things I’d be in the market for would be furniture for the future (BDSM variety) and some metal toys. 

Fortunately, none of the big box home improvement stores will be going out of business anytime soon, and repurposing stuff found there is relatively easy.  It doesn’t always even require the ability to weld.  Kink(dot)com managed to prove with plumbing supplies, one could easily construct a bondage frame that would be inexpensive, very adaptable, and fit almost anyone.  Put it in a room where it wasn’t a problem screwing the contraption into the floor and you’re all set.

I’m certainly not saying there aren’t quality vendors anymore.  It’s just I’m finding the ones I’ve been familiar with, are now gone.  But many more have taken their place, and in spite of the market being swamped with a lot of less than stellar quality wares, the fact that BDSM is becoming more mainstream does mean that there will be more stuff to choose from in the future.  One just has to shop wisely.



lament  [ləˈment] - noun
1. an expression of regret or disappointment

Of all of the kink-related toys that I’ve either purchased or acquired over the years, I would have to say far and away my collection of floggers are my most prized.  That being said, I somewhat regret choosing the Heartwood elk flogger instead of the Heartwood Leather Pride deer flogger when my second submissive and I parted ways.

Now this is going back more than twenty years, mind you.  The only flogger that I own/co-own that’s older than that is the flogger my wife and I received as a wedding present in 1993.  Yes, from a kinky friend.  That one is purple and was made by a rather famous (for the scene) crafter by the name of Metz.  She is long since retired now.

I was thinking about them the other day when I messaged one of my scene friends that had promised me many years ago to make another Leather Pride flogger just like the one that I passed up on.  I had done some work for her, and we were going to trade expertise.  She’d make me a flogger in partial payment for what I had done for her electronically.  Only, she was in the process of caring for her aged mother, so she wasn’t able to hold up her end of the bargain.  And now I discovered that the website that she had been holding on to for possibly restarting the business lapsed in payment and was gobbled up by a Chinese holding company.  And even worse.  I just happened to look at her profile on FB, did a little digging into it, and discovered that she passed away in 2021.  Well, that does explain why she went silent.  RIP my friend.

Another lament.

A little help goes a long way

The other day I was browsing through Fetlife when I came across a post on a selling group from someone semi-local to me.  She was trying to sell a set of kinky furniture she had purchased as a present for her (then) submissive who, when seeing the equipment apparently had a change of heart and it doomed the relationship (I can’t even fathom something like that, quite devastating!).  In the post, she had all the information that one would need for someone else to possibly purchase, except….no pictures.

In this particular group, if you don’t follow all the requirements to the letter, the admins delete your post without warning.  Twice this woman had posted (the first time without any pictures at all, and the second time with an addendum that said pictures were available on her profile, but no direct links), and twice the posts were removed.   After the first go round, I wrote to her, informed her that I had an inkling as to why her post was removed, and offered my assistance.  She said that she could handle it on her own and politely rebuffed me.  Which is fine, I thought no more about it.

Until a week later, she wrote and said that she could actually use some assistance after all and did my offer still stand?

Of course, it did.  I’m not an ogre, and I can well understand someone wishing to try their own hand at solving a problem and then having the wherewithal to say “No, I don’t got this, I need some help.”  That takes gumption and I’m definitely a fan of someone that can admit they need help.

We agreed upon a time and she called me on Friday morning.  I showed her how to embed links into her posts, walked her through how to navigate the site, which she had been having a bit of a time with.  She said that she has been working in IT for some time, but the site seemed to be a bit backward in some respects and yes, it does.  It’s not a point-and-click sort of site, it’s been built for the most part from scratch, and it doesn’t seem like a modern website in many respects.  It’s designed around forums and groups, and most of it is textually based.  While we were talking, I noted that she posted a new version of her ad on the group and it was designed the way the admins wanted it.  As of this writing, it’s still up.

We actually talked for about 45 minutes.  She’s an interesting person that has been going through a rough patch.  I’m glad I was able to help and hopefully, she can find the right home (and recoup her investment) for her things.  They’re very nice items, but I neither have the funds to alleviate her problem nor the room in the house (or storage) to house them.  More’s the pity, but that’s the way it is here.


Local Kinkster?

Last week I was at work and I happened to spot someone wearing what appeared to be either a Ring of Steel or Eternity Collar.   As it seemed to be slightly tarnished, it could have been either, but the way the person was wearing it suggested (to me at least) that she was very comfortable with it and had probably been wearing it for some time.

Always nice to see someone in the scene out and about and proud of what and who they are.

Collar Conundrum

I thought I was done with this issue a couple of years ago when my pet accidentally lost her first collar, and we replaced it with one that seemed a bit more practical, wasn’t necessarily going to get misplaced inadvertently, and wasn’t going to have issues with allergies to its material.

It worked for a few years.  But we’ve run into a bugaboo with the last issue.  As with many metals, aluminum isn’t necessarily designed to be worn for years.  Even with washing, skin oils, and the like, there will be a compatibility problem.

Recently my pet asked for permission to remove her collar as it was beginning to discolor her skin, and cause issues.  Because it was a health and comfort issue, I agreed.  While I’m not thrilled with the idea of her going without it, it’s not as if we’ve abandoned our connection or our dynamic.  It’s just missing the physical representation of the same.  And I’m presently at a loss as to what to replace it with.  My kneejerk reaction is something more permanent, something that can’t be taken off without effort, but again with metal, there is always an issue of safety, and the permanence can be itself an issue.  I don’t want some ER intern running to Home Depot for a hacksaw to remove a Ring of Steel or Eternity collar, as once it’s cut, that’s it, it can’t be repaired.  That’s not to say I would have an issue with it if it was an emergency.  The health of my property is paramount.  Let’s not get into that sort of discussion, it’s counterproductive.

That all being said, it still leaves me with the conundrum.  What’s going to be collar #3?  Or even will there be one?  I have many collars in my toy collection, but they’re essentially play collars, they don’t have significant significance.  They get put on for the duration of the scene, then they’re removed and put away once it’s complete.  I’ve mulled around other options, like perhaps a ring, or anklet, but again I’m not certain either is the right fit for us.  The bottom line it’s partly about symbolism, and a warning to those that would know by seeing it, that she’s not available.  Anyone else (vanillas) is going to see it as a decoration, or affectation, and little else, if they even notice it at all.  “What a pretty necklace!”.  Sure, that’s what it is.

I’ve made no decisions, I’ve just been mulling it over.  And thought I’d write about it.  More than likely I will write about it again.  Soon?  We’ll see,

Our ‘Chair’

A kinky friend of mine posted today about a session she and her Master had with a particular piece of furniture they own.  It easily reminded me of many conversations my Pet and I have had over the years about the inclusion of a similar piece of furniture that could be incorporated into our play.  She’s sent me pictures of different types, each more ornate than the next.  Certainly, any one of them could be fantasy fodder for any type of scene, from basic worship up to and including detailed BDSM play.

While I was composing an answer for my friend’s blog, I began relating a story about how a rather unique chair came to become a treasured memory for my Pet and I.   While I was writing, I thought instead of posting it there, I would write about it here.  So here’s the story.

It was in 2018, we were meeting in Harrisburg, PA for a visit equidistant to one another.  We were going to play, but we also decided to do a bit of sightseeing, and one of the places we went to was the Fire Museum there.  Amongst the other items in the building was a set of rather ornate chairs that apparently were used by some quorum at one time or another and were preserved for posterity by the Harrisburg Fire Department.

Suffice it to say, my Pet thought it would be a neat idea to have me pose in the chair, and take a picture, then pose with her kneeling (or sitting) at my feet and take another.  Over the years it’s been one of our favorite pictures, and considering how we like the idea of incorporating a ‘Chair of Honor’ into our plans for the future, it seemed like a good way of commemorating the occasion.


We planted a money tree!

Ok, don’t get your knickers in a twist.  They don’t exist literally.  Lemme ‘splain.

After our most recent visit/trip, we determined that in order for future visits to occur and not incur heavy use of my credit cards (lodging, food, emergencies) it would be best to start socking away money somewhere to pay for them.  We’d discussed this before, but never really did anything with it.  Sure, $10-20 here and there was set aside, but bills, unforeseen expenses, and good old-fashioned emergencies occurred in between and ate up the nest egg.

So this time we made a pact and I opened a new savings account at my credit union.  A separate account that’s not tied to my personal ones that I pay my bills out of.  It needed to be accessible to me if I had to draw funds out in a hurry (through PayPal more than likely), so I also had a debit card attached to it.  Yeah, one more card to carry/keep track of.

We’re both contributing to it.  Since she makes less than I do, she kicks in what she can and I double the amount on my end.  That way it will build up more quickly and will be available come the time when she is going to travel here.  Savings accounts draw interest on balances, so as it grows, it will add to that too.

I figure by the time of her first visit in 2024 we should have a tidy sum accumulated.  And we can continue to add to it as time progresses.  In the meantime, I’m paring down my credit card debt.  Hopefully, by 2026, I can be debt free.  At least that’s the plan.

Old Dogs and New Tricks

The other day, I was combing through my email and a Fetlife post caught my eye.  It was from someone that wasn’t on my radar, and they were posting about a steel collar that they had recently crafted in their home workshop and were posting not only pictures but a veritable how-to of how they did the work.

Which is rather unusual, to say the least for the platform, and many places in general.  Most post pictures of their work, or what they have in their toy collections, without really giving any background, just sort of a ‘here’s my thing’ and that’s about it.  I went to this person’s profile and perused more of their pictures and posts.  Commented on some and ‘gave love’ to others, which interested me.

On the collar post, there was a good deal of back and forth commenting between myself and her, and I took the time to follow them on the platform, for future reference.  In another post, I commented that it was nice that she was offering insight on how a certain item was crafted, both in giving insight as well as particular methods.  I’ve often considered making my own toys, and using my imagination to craft things.  Granted I don’t have a good deal of equipment to do anything really detailed (though I bought a 1941 Singer Model 66 last year with the intent of sewing leather cuffs and restraints which I haven’t yet brought to fruition) as of yet, but perhaps in time when I’m not swamped by work and other issues, I can set aside some time to get my act together in that regard.

I may be getting old (58 is rapidly approaching in the next 2 weeks) but I’m not putting myself out to pasture just yet.  There’s more stuff to do yet.

Rising from the Ashes

One might refer to this as a 2.0 version of this blog. I had a backup before I had to abandon my previous hosting service (they wanted to charge me 450% more for 2023 than they had each of the previous 16 years I was with them), but as of this writing, I’ve been unable to use it to repopulate this space.  

With another blog that I manage, I was able to use the Internet Wayback Machine to resurrect many of the entries.  The private ones I didn’t have access to (obviously), but I was able to reconstitute about 90% of the original content.  Enough that the blog owner was happy with what I could do with it.  

As this is just a snippet, I’m planning on continuing the journey, and post more content as the time and desire arises.  So, keep an eye out, there will be more here as the days go by.


Little Monster

It’s been a while. But not as long as I thought it would be after losing my previous cat (Rochester) to a cancerous tumor.

There’s a new kitten in the house. And there have been adventures already. She’s a little thing, but as the saying goes, ‘Though she be but little she is fierce‘.