Fame, Art, Beauty and Fear

I lead a charmed life, for all that I’ve had my share of cowpats and nettles.

The last week (Thursday) another person came up to me at my monthly munch and said they were a fan of my writing. This is the third time it’s happened, the first time this year. They’re always so shy about it, and I’m always so touched. Because the thing I take for granted is something people sincerely love. Because ME. Me. Me! ME! Also me.

I’m kinda, sorta famous in that vague sort of way that means people on the internet into my niche might think to mention me. It’s a fundamental thing like liking salt and fat or craving a warm spot when it’s cold (or a cold spot when it’s warm) that positive attention is amazing.

But I’m also scared of being popular.

You’re not supposed to admit you like fame and adoration and you are certainly not supposed to think you deserve it. Not unless you are playing a character ala Dame Edna, or some other fabulous over the top glitter clown like Lady Gaga. Just about every web celebrity I know talks with the same cliches about how much (s)he is humbled by the love, a hundred, a thousand, even a million people caring what they think. Even smugmasters like my gaming idol Jim Sterling occasionally break character to give the dance of adulation. (If you like vidya games and want to see a funny openly poly pansexual feminist guy riff on all the foibles of the industry, check him out). I kind of don’t feel humbled when you praise me. I feel important. Then I feel fucking terrified.

It’s scary because I worry that everyone will notice I lap up the adulation and because I feel incredibly vulnerable. Internet cool is about a balance between insincere meaness (for the LOLz!!!) and sincere rage (SHITLORD! GAMERGATE!) and gratitude (I LOVE OUR FANDOM! YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!). Everything is pointed out, nothing is ever pointed in even when your art is selfies.

Nobody likes a person who says they are smart, pretty and important. “Do you know who I am?!” is the phrase of social self immolation. On top of that, I’m a woman in an environment known for hostile targeted campaigns of doxing and abuse, writing about intimate sex stuff that could be used to humiliate and deny me employment.  I mean I’m pretty sure my bosses, presented with “Pearl is a sexy sex minx!” would be more uncomfortable with the person bugging them than me. My family knows I write smut, even the conservative ones because my father has no filtre. But you never know what sort of damage a determined doxer could do. But it’s still unsettling…

What if I like this too much? What if… putting myself out there means people hurt me?

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Real Life Again & Emotional Health

As mentioned, I’ve just come back from an Alaskan cruise, a family thing that was well appreciated but kept me away all last week. Despite the ability to create your own event (LGBT, friends of Bill W.) I resisted the urge to organize a floating munch. Wildcard insisted on using banked time to drive me to the airport and picking me up after. He brought my much beloved but bedraggled teddy bear to meet me by way of greeting. I spent the time working on me, with exercise and yoga and trying to meditate beside the pool and getting to know my largely absent father.

Wildcard had a crap time in my absence. Probably because I left him my summer cold for his already weakened immune system to wrangle, but also because he’s rather attached to his regular supply of snuggles. While I was away, he played with “Princess”. She ended the session in a crying mini panic attack not because he was hurting her, but because of his desire to know about what she wanted. Faced with the possibility of her own happiness, a yawning, overwhelming sense of inadequacy and failure took her out at the back of the knees. He comforted her, but she remained embarrassed Telling him “You and Pearl are so effortlessly cool and together, she feels so stupid losing it!”

He laughed, this is hardly unfamiliar territory for him… Or me. We often accidentally give the impression that we have a sort of infinite reserve of poise- its not unusual for people to confess how dominant and unassailable I seem, but the reality is a lot more mundane, from giggles and skip-hopping about to wallowing in insecurity. This is not unusual; my kinky friends are no more or less nuts than my vanilla ones, which is to say a good measure of both camps have doctors fine tuning our brain chemicals via a daily dose, while a bunch more really should be being looked after properly. We make do.

Last summer shit got nasty for me: food became inedible- I was unemployed, in the best shape of my life from trying to run my feelings off, and absolutely miserable. I took it as responsibly as I could, to a doctor to deal with to triage the immense and inexplicable pain I was feeling. Citalopram and therapy helped, definitely more so than the exercise had.

I’m upright again, a little plumper and better centred, and also employed, the latter most important in the unrelenting world of adult bills. Feeding you guy’s desire to read my stuff ain’t cheap.Trying to sum that up got me thinking- I feel like one of the big challenges is that the mundane of (kinky) life tends to get lost in making a narrative. You hear about me playing with Wildcard- not so much the sex dead week where one of us feels like the idea of anything other than vegging with a screen is a step too far to consider. You see little glimpses of ecstasy, you miss the weekend when I come back when he’s in a little self castigating spiral of doom because he’s too busy feeling like a bad boyfriend because he’s not in the mood for sex to notice I’m feeling sore, bloated and fragile, hardly horny at all.

I trailed comicon with the company of someone I see as effortless cool. Let’s call her “Tattoos”. Gosh, I thought. I hope she wants to be friends with me. She’s so funny and pretty! Tats, meanwhile was struck by my dominance and having a hard time internally not calling me “Miss” and kneeling.

I, of course, don’t see it. I see my often cheerful, consistently awkward self. Which of course gets complimented as confidence, as what is my own obliviousness or mechanical social performance doesn’t have a disclaimer to outside observers. Such is life.


Love Me Properly

So Strong and I had a candid post mortum tonight about the failure of our relationship and I made sure to be honest about where life has taken me. I am in an odd dilemma, to be loved, by many, but not quite in the way that I wish.

I find myself playing with hearts, accidentally. Perhaps spurred by Strong’s instance that I look elsewhere to get my needs met, my deck is overloaded with people who I’m afraid of hurting, with one wildcard that has to play himself. Tease and denial comes easily with dominance, and yet when it comes with suitors, excessive insistence of my glory sends me scattering. I hate the idea of having victims who aren’t willingly tying themselves to the post, but are doing it for desire for something more. Maybe that’s part of what makes me deeply suspicious of acts of service, more so than I should be?

And I had my heart taken, accidentally, as if it were book picked up by error, but then the borrower had become engrossed in reading what he found. Unfortunately that’s a situation that’s providing my least favourite thing in interpersonal relationships: waiting on someone else’s will and willpower. I am not, but nature, good at that kind of patience. Trust is not a natural part of my makeup, least of all trust and faith and others (not with my independence levels), nor do I like passivity. But, regardless, the situation the gentleman has is something where if I try to intervene I’m in the wrong. I can’t lift a single finger, not to push or to beckon.

It makes me think about love as it should be, for me. I’ve never been about being impressed with expensive gifts. The Ex, the one I spent six years with, compared my needs to being that of a pet rock- I never made demands, not for jewellery, flowers or fancy dinners (I like eating, but I’m not good at taking)- and honestly, I was an expert at self sacrificing care taking for him. And yet, my way of love has been about doing on the small scale. That doesn’t really fit stereotypical D/s femdom well- my ‘tribute’ wishlist is a joke loaded with beef jerky.

And yet, I bought myself tea roses this week, my favourite. Strong charmed me with unexpected chocolates, once upon a time, and once, a boy charmed me, by passing me a cheap chocolate egg. Compliments get me blushing. Somewhere is a chink in that armour. I want the romance, I just don’t want to feel it’s a big deal.

To love my properly, it seems, takes courage, self confidence, occasional capacity to cruelty, and yet acts of kindness. I need someone who can yield to me where I want it, but stand for me and with me when I need it. If that ends in me being a spinster maiden aunt in the end, so be it.


Shut up Tashi. 😛