I’ve been planning some toy reviews to post here for the last few weeks, I have some cool gear that I want to tell you about and some fun adventures to share, but I have come across an issue that I am struggling to mitigate for in my review process…
I talk about polyamory a lot: for work, on dates, online, with medical professionals, with partners, with family, with my communities… and I am happy to. I am passionate about my lifestyle and I love sharing it with people. I talk about challenges - jealousy, scheduling, communication barriers, boundaries, social stigma, coming out - and I talk about how wonderful compersion can feel; how liberating radical communication is and about how much I continue grow as a result of being poly. It’s wonderful.
I am so proud and excited to announce that I will be joining some amazing presenters to bring two of my most popular workshops to Celebrating Sexuality from November 17th to 19th, 2017!
I have a favourite childhood anecdote that I use a lot in conversations either about how little I enjoy the work of J. R. R. Tolkien (ducks) or about how long I have identified as a feminist. It goes a little as follows:
When I was a kid, my parents would read to me every night before bed. Our reading material was wide and varied - classic (age-appropriate) literature like The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables, Andy Griffiths gross-out "Just!" series, Possum Magic by Mem Fox, old and new poetry (T.S. Elliot was always my favourite), Harry Potter, Plato and Homer... the list goes on.
Workshop Review and Reflection - 'Rope by Aleni' Women's Rope Intensive @ Studio Kink, Sydney -Jan 14th, 2017
Vital Details: ‘Rope By Aleni’ Women’s Rope Intensive, 14/1/17, Studio Kink Sydney, $125/pp (optional party add-on not included)
Bondage by Ater Crudus (saligiaproject.blogspot.com)
It is no secret that the past two years have been incredibly tough for me.
Health complications at the end of 2014 became a catalyst for a lot of physical, emotional, psychological, social and financial struggles. I lost the ability to support myself, I became socially isolated in many ways, my self esteem was affected and I became more susceptible to abusive behaviour, my personal relationships while supportive were strained and I was often told that I had lost my ‘light’. 2016 started out stronger but continuing health issues, struggles with university admin, catastrophic Centrelink battles and a devastating break up only made things worse. There were some incredible highs - teaching in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne SEXPO, stabilization of my poly family, establishing Queerbite, making incredible friends, the beauty and love of my support network in action - and I have learned so much about myself. But it has been very, very hard.
So now we stand at the dawn of a new year: 2017
People have a lot of feelings and opinions about making resolutions/goals/aspirations for the new year, but I feel it is as good a time as any to reassess and refocus for the months ahead. Last year I aimed to get my health back on track, make progress at university, teach out of ACT/NSW and buy more paddles and gags. As awful as the past 12 months have been I have made some progress on all of these goal:
- I had surgery in June that is starting to help me regain control of my weight and I found medication that allows me to function most days.
- While I didn't complete the units I wanted to do, I discovered my affinity for Science Communication and have academic direction once I am well enough to return to study.
- I taught in Melbourne at SEXPO and traveled all the way to Perth for Queer Collaborations.
- I also acquired a lot of lovely paddles and gags for my toy bag.
Moving forward in 2017, I want to set some new goals:
- Heal: I have so much pain and anger and resentment in my body and soul right now. It is toxic, suffocating and I hate it - it has made me harder, crueler and more bitter than I ever want to be. My spirit has been broken by so many things that sometimes it is hard to imagine ever feeling better, but I know in my heart that time and hard work will help built it back up. I have trauma and toxic learned behaviours from my last relationship that I need to work through and process. I have hurt and grief that has kept me from playing - especially as a bottom and particularly when masochism is involved. And I have self-compassion to work on, I am always hardest on myself and I need to practice being kind to me. Measurable Goal: Return home to Canberra, reengage with my community there, reconnect with play in a healthy, emotionally safe way and unlearn toxic thinking patterns.
- Remember Love: Through all the negativity of the past year has been an enormous outpouring of love. Family (Poly, Kink and Biological), friends, mentors, followers, acquaintances... I am so blessed to live the life that I do and to be surrounded by the beautiful souls that I am. I often dwell on the negatives - especially when things are tough - but it is always love that makes them better. I had a very intense New Years Eve last week and I left with one core resolution - take the love I was shown that night, in all its forms, and spread it to every sector of my life. Be softer, be kinder, be more patient and embrace compassion. Don't let the fear of getting hurt again stop me from loving intensely, passionately and completely. Measurable Goals: Challenge negative thoughts, date and explore with new people, make time to connect in a meaningful and genuine manner and not let fear stop me from living my life to the fullest. I also want to be more considerate of how my actions affect others and be more conscientious in general.
- Grow As A Rigger: When it comes to rope topping, I have been lazy. I study and practice intensely for a few weeks and then don't reach for my rope bag for months at a time. Life gets in the way, bunnies get busy, rope jams are too far away or clash with other commitments, I get distracted by other kinds of play or I travel too much... lots of excuses when what I really need is to devote time, energy and passion to it. I get frustrated with the mechanical and technical nature of rope because it doesn't come as naturally to me as things like power exchange, impact or sensation play; but I really love it and know I have potential as a rigger. I will work hard, study and practice as much as I can this year to develop a more confident flow and understanding of Shibari as an art form. Measurable Goals: Be able to do entire scenes with just rope by December, with bonus points for partial or full suspension skills. I also want to learn the foundations of self-suspension.
- Buy More Floggers: Every year I take a look at our toy bag and try and work out how to make it more well-rounded. One year it was sensation play, then medical gear and canes the next, last year it was paddles and gags and this year it is floggers. Right now there are three in our bag - a pretty standard Lucrezia & De Sade one, an old Love in Leather one (that has served us well considering we bought it five years ago) and a beautiful Badass Flogger from Mistress Jakki that belongs to my partner @MTAS and is far too heavy for me to use for more than a minute or so. In the past we have been spoiled by our regular kink venues in Canberra but with their futures unsure, my inclination to travel, more of our play happening in private and my pickiness with sensation/quality/weight/aesthetic - it's time to invest in our own! Measurable Goals: End the year with a beautiful selection of both Thuddy and Stingy floggers that I can use comfortably with players of all levels. A few rubber ones are an absolutely necessity too!
- BLOG! I have been talking about actually using this blog for years and this time I really need to make it happen. I want the content to be a mix of opinion pieces, educational guides, toy and gear reviews, relevant personal journaling, commentary on media and current events, as well as wisdom and anecdotes from my adventures and exploits. I would also love for people to submit questions for me to answer here on the blog about anything sex, gender, sexuality, relationships, polyamory, kink, queer, etc related - so feel free to ask away! My goal is to publish at least one long form (750 words at a bare minimum) post each week in 2017 plus question posts, shorter pieces, quotes and musing, etc when there is time or need. Measurable Goals: Have at least 52 long form posts on this blog by the end of 2017 and be proud of the majority of them. Write regularly, plan and prepare posts in advance. Grow as a writer and as a educator.
So there are my goals for 2017, some more inspiring that others, some easier to achieve but overall a lot of different kinds of work to be done. Most importantly they are all things I am passionate about and driven to do and I am looking forward to seeing what adventures this year has in store for me!