Reflections on Four Years

Yesterday (11/11/20) was the fourth anniversary of my relationship with my secondary partner, The Artist. This year has not been easy – we only live an hour from each other, and at the time of writing we haven’t seen each other in a little over 9 months. (For context, in non-pandemic times our average was once to twice a month.)

In honour of them and all they’ve given me in our time together, I thought I’d share a few reflections on our relationship.

It’s possible to have a secondary relationship that is truly, deeply joyful

Years ago, I wrote a defence of hierarchical polyamory and how people need to lay off judging it as Always And Absolutely Unethical. I said at the time that I was happy being The Artist’s secondary partner, and I stand by that now.

We have no desire to be each others’ primary partner. We each have our person that we live with and have entangled our lives with, and we love them very much. What we have with each other is different.

When people decry secondary relationships, it’s usually because they’ve been in one where they got burned. And I’m sorry for that, because I’ve been there. But this relationship has affirmed what I’ve always believed: that it’s possible to have a secondary relationship that is loving, nourishing, and joyful.

Because secondary doesn’t mean “just sex” or “less important” or “I don’t really care about you.” In the last four years, The Artist and I have had some amazing experiences together and shared mutual care and support in crises. We’ve held each other up and we’ve had each other’s backs. It might be secondary, but it still matters. A lot.

Taking it slow works out well sometimes

There’s been a post sitting in my drafts for over 2 years that I might publish eventually that explores this point in more detail. The working title is Fucking is Easy, Loving is Harder.

Because it took me a long-ass time to fully open up in this relationship. I got very adept at slamming a lid on my real feelings, keeping my emotions in check, because I was still convinced there was a catch. That I liked them more than they liked me, that they’d get bored with me, that I’d fuck it up. Saying I love you took me just shy of two years.

Because love is high stakes. The highest. Letting someone in is fucking hard when you’ve been hurt multiple times, especially when you’re an abuse survivor. By taking it slowly, my brain had time to catch up to my heart. And the trust we built was real, not based on impulsivity or rushing headfirst into something without thinking it through.

We can get through a lot

As I mentioned at the start of this post, we haven’t seen each other since February (it’s now November.) We currently have no idea when we’ll be able to see each other again. The UK is back in lockdown, and COVID-19 cases are still soaring. At this point, I’m expecting the total length of our separation time to stretch to a full year or more. If it doesn’t, I’ll consider that a pleasant surprise.

Is it easy? Fuck no. Does it suck? Yes. A lot. But have we got through it so far and do I believe we’ll keep getting through it? Yes and yes.

It’s not all been hot sexting and mushy online dates, either (though there has been some of that.) Some days, it’s been nothing more than an “everything sucks, but I love you” message. Of course there have been moments I’ve wondered if our relationship could survive this, if the long separation will result in them deciding they don’t need me any more, if one of us will just get too fucking depressed to keep this thing going.

But overall? I feel like if we can survive nine months to a year of lockdown, we can survive a lot of things.

I love them super-much

Basically, I think that’s what I’m trying to say, here. This is a fucking weird love-letter, but it’s a fucking weird year, so this is what I have right now.

I love you, sweetheart. Here’s to the next four.

Want to help me keep (over)sharing my love/sex life with you all? The tip jar is open!

[Toy Review] Lovense Domi 2

You might remember that I recently reviewed the Lovense Lush and was generally underwhelmed. Well, I was surprised (and impressed) when the good folks at Lovense reached out and suggested a different product I might get on better with, and offered to send me one to try. And that’s how I’m bringing you today’s review of the Lovense Domi 2.

Lovense Domi: Closer Look

The Lovense Domi 2 is an app-controlled mini wand vibrator. It is 9.5″ in total length, with a plastic body and a head coated in body-safe silicone. The Domi 2 is black with a silver band towards the top of the handle:

Lovense Domi wand vibrator

The Domi 2 is splashproof but not fully waterproof. It is USB rechargeable. A full charge takes around 2 hours and I got a respectable 2 hours of battery life out of it.

App functionality

The app functionality offered by Lovense’s toys is truly next level. I have never tested a sex toy smartphone app that was even half this good.

The Lovense Remote app is free to download and compatible with iOS (9.0 and later,) and Android (4.3 and later). There’s also a Mac version, and a Windows PC version. You’ll need a special Lovense USB Bluetooth Adaptor if you want to use the latter.

Screenshot of the Lovense Domi app

When I reviewed the Lush, I noted that it was clearly a toy designed with app-first usage in mind. Without the app, its user interface is rather limited. However, the same cannot be said for the Domi 2. While the Lush is a toy that really requires the app, the Domi 2 is a great toy in and of itself and the app just adds some extra bonus features. That’s how it should be, in my mind. Not everyone wants to hold their phone while they’re wanking!

When you download the app, you’ll need to set up a free account, switch on your Bluetooth, and click the link symbol in the top right corner to connect your toy. The Domi 2 connected in less than two seconds and maintained a steady and reliable connection throughout use.

Once you’ve connected your toy, you’ll find several fun options:

  • The “Remote” control panel allows you to change the vibration speed with a simple finger swipe. You can also use the “loop” feature to create your own patterns.
  • In “My Patterns,” you can find pre-installed vibration patterns. This is also where you can create and save your own custom settings.
  • “Alarm” lets you schedule the toy to start vibrating at a specific time. This has significantly fewer applications with a toy like a wand as opposed to an insertable, but I’m sure some creative kinksters could come up with a fun way to use it.
  • “Sound” makes the toy respond to nearby sounds such as talking, music, and so on. Fair warning: it’s very very responsive. On the higher sensitivity setting, it was picking up the faint sound of my partner talking on the phone at the other end of the house. So you might want to turn the sensitivity level down a bit. I’m really into the D/s potential of this function. A Dom making my vibe react with just their voice? Yes please! Another fun idea: watch porn and sync the toy with the sounds!
  • “Music” syncs the vibrations along with music files uploaded to your device, or linked through a streaming service like Spotify.
Lovense Domi app screenshot

Without the app, the Domi 2 features a simple 3-button interface to change the speeds and flick through the pre-installed patterns.

Sex and social distancing

Not able to get it on in person right now? Never fear, Lovense has got you covered…

Play from anywhere in the world

In a Long Distance relationship or currently apart? Use the “Long Distance” tab in your Lovense app to hand over control of your toy to your partner. They’ll also need a free account and you’ll need to add each other with your usernames.

Connectivity is fast, reliable, and holds steady as long as you are both in an area with a good internet connection.

Lovense Domi wand vibrator

If your partner doesn’t want to set up an account or you’re playing with a new person and just trying things out, you can create a limited-time “control link” and send it to them. You can specify the length of time it lasts – a few seconds up to an hour. Every link is one use only and will expire if not used within 30 minutes. You can end the session any time – just press “back” on the app.

Camsite capability

All Lovense toys feature a unique connectivity with cam sites. As far as I know, this is a first. If you perform on sites such as Chaturbate, MyFreeCams, Manyvids, or many others, you can hook up your Domi 2 and create tip-based responses. This lets your fans “control” your vibe based on the tips they send you.

Got a particularly generous tipper? If you wish, you can hand over control to them using the control link function we discussed a moment ago.

As I’m not a cam performer, I have not tested this functionality myself. However, I have watched clips of performers using it (the things I do for research!) Reviews are generally very positive.

Knock-your-socks-off power

Where the Lush fell down is where the Lovense Domi 2 really comes into its own. I cannot believe the power this thing is packing! It’s not only extraordinarily powerful, it’s also rumbly as fuck. I might go as far as to say this is the rumbliest toy I’ve ever used.

It doesn’t have quite the pure power of a mains powered wand (though honestly it’s not far off.) But as far as rumbles go? This is incredible.

My Domi 2 has been within easy reach of my bed ever since I got it. When I want a toy that gives me deep, satisfying clitoral orgasms in record time, this is the one. When I’m already very turned on, I don’t even need to hold it directly against my clit. Pressing it into the side of my vulva or top of my pubic mound is enough.

Final thoughts

I have seriously no idea how the Domi 2 only has 3.5 stars out of 5 on Lovehoney. This thing is FUCKING INCREDIBLE. (I also don’t know why everyone raves about the Lush so much when the Domi is very clearly the superior toy.)

The Lovense Domi 2 is on the pricey side, retailing for £139.99 at Lovehoney. Is it worth it? My verdict: fuck yes.

Thanks to Lovense for sending me this product to review! All views, as always, are my own. Affiliate links appear within this post.

The Kinky Love Languages: Words of Affirmation

This is the first in a mini-series of posts where I explore the five love languages as they can relate to kink and BDSM. If you don’t know your main love language, take the quiz to find out! Most of us are a mix of several or all of them, but have one that comes out most strongly. The model is somewhat flawed (I think there are more than five languages – two additional ones of mine are co-creation and food, for example) but it’s a useful starting point for exploring how you like to give and receive love. I believe that a lot of problems with one person feeling unloved and unappreciated, in relationships where everyone is acting in good faith and doing their best, come down to a mismatch of love languages and not understanding each other’s.

Words of Affirmation

People whose primary love language is words of affirmation like to be told they’re loved. They like to be told explicitly, out loud and in detail that they are valued by their partner(s.) People who understand love via words of affirmation do not ascribe to the adage that words are meaningless and only actions count. Don’t get me wrong though – your actions still need to back up your words!

How to show love to a submissive whose primary language is words of affirmation

Many submissives will tell you that the words “good girl,” “good boy” or similar will just make them melt in their Dominant’s arms. If you have a submissive who will do anything for these nuggets of praise, you might just have a sub whose love language is words of affirmation. Offer them genuinely as often as you can.

You can take it a step further, too. Mix in other compliments and words of praise. This can range from “I’m so proud of you” when they accomplish something, to “you look so hot kneeling for me like that” during a scene. Compliments – on their achievements, talents, character and looks – should be given freely. Remember to make sure everything you tell them is genuine and heartfelt. A person who speaks this language can tell when you’re just parroting the lines with no feeling behind them.

A submissive who needs words of affirmation is likely to need regular reassurance, too. They might need to hear that you love them, that you value them, and that they’re not too much or too needy. If you’re in a non-monogamous dynamic, they’re likely to need verbal reassurance sometimes when you’re spending time with others. Tell them explicitly how much they mean to you.

Don’t underestimate the power of written words, too! If you live apart, a “good morning beautiful/handsome” text could brighten their whole day. If you live together, a naughty or affectionate IM while they’re at work will make them smile and keep them thinking of you.

Writing tasks were also made for these submissives! Have them write down fantasies, write in a daily journal, or write down mantras to increase their confidence in themselves or the relationship. You could even set “lines” as a punishment if they misbehave! As with any punishment or protocol, make sure you negotiate fully.

How to love a Dominant whose primary love language is words of affirmation

People tend to forget that Dominants have emotional needs too! Like anyone else, D-types also have ways that they prefer to give and receive love. So if your Dom is into words of affirmation, how can you make sure they feel loved and appreciated consistently?

A Dominant who is into words of affirmation might love to hear lots of verbal feedback during and after play. You don’t have to go overboard or fake it, but a well-timed “mmm, that feels so good” or “this is making me so hard/wet” is likely to go over well. After play, general words of appreciation (“I needed that so much, thank you”) or specific compliments (“the way you handle the whip is so sexy”) are likely to make them glow. Again: whatever words you give, it’s important that they are genuine! Only say things you mean!

It’s amazing how often submissives don’t realise this or forget it, but: COMPLIMENT YOUR DOM! I often say “hey, nice ass” when I see Mr CK walking around naked. (Words isn’t really his language, but it is mine.) Tell him that shirt really suits him. Tell her the way she looks in those boots makes you go weak at the knees. Make sure they know you really appreciate their skills as a… whatever it is they’re good at. Tell them you love their laugh, their random acts of kindness, their devotion to their family. Just pick something and tell them how great they are!

However confident and stoic they seem, Doms can also feel insecure, jealous or wobbly. Regardless of your relationship structure – but especially if you’re non-monogamous – check in with your Dom regularly to see how they’re doing. Be prepared to offer any verbal reassurances they need. Ask them what they need you to remind them of, or pick it up from contextual clues, and tell them that thing. Let them be vulnerable with you and meet that vulnerability with words of love and support.

If your D-type sets you a writing task, take it on promptly and joyfully. Do the best you can with it. In fact, you might even suggest this to them if they haven’t thought of it!

Additional tips that are good for anyone

Don’t be afraid to remind your partner of your confidence, faith and pride in them. As someone who speaks the words of affirmation language, if I have a big interview, presentation or important meeting coming up at work I love nothing more than hearing “good luck, I know you’ll rock it!” from my partners. And if something they aim for doesn’t pan out, be there to pick their spirits up with loving reassurance that it doesn’t mean anything about their ability and that things will go better next time.

Sexting was made for relationships between people who communicate their love in words. Share a filthy fantasy, a sexy dream you had, or spinning an elaborate scene together over text or IM are all great ways to feel more connected… and to gain delicious new ideas of things to try together.

If you live apart (or even if you don’t!) then consider love-letters. These could be emails or actual, old-fashioned pen-and-paper letters. However you do it, they’ll give you something to look back on and cherish for years to come.

Say “I love you.” Seriously. Say it often. No-one who speaks the “words of affirmation” language will get tired of hearing it.

Do you speak “Words of Affirmation” as your love language? How do you like to give and receive love in your kinky relationship?

Do you want to support my work and help me to keep producing content like this? Join me on Patreon (I’m trying to get better about posting on there, I promise!) or just buy me a coffee.

Kink from a Distance: How We Did It Before We Lived Together

Mr CK and I were lucky: we were only in a long-distance relationship for just under a year. We were also close enough to make seeing each other at weekends possible. As long-distance love goes, we definitely had it on the easier end of the spectrum. That said, there were times when it was really difficult, and the constant traveling was exhausting and expensive. Moving in together was a challenge in its own right, but neither of us missed the sight of Megabuses or train station terminals or the M1.

One of the challenges of living apart, especially in the early days, was maintaining a sexual connection when we couldn’t just fuck each other’s brains out whenenver we wanted. We’re not a 24/7 D/s couple, but in reality he’s usually the Dominant and I’m usually the submissive.

This post is part of my #KinkMonth series, inspired by Kayla Lords’ 30 Days of D/s, where today’s prompt is all about maintaining D/s when you’re apart. Today I want to share with you a few of the tricks we used to keep our sexual connection sizzling and have kinky fun when we weren’t in the same place.

Sexting

I love sexting. I love the anticipation when the other person is typing. Tap-tap-tapping out my fantasies, planting filth into their mind with my words. The delicious collaboration of building a sexy story together. The vulnerability, tempered with the distance created by this medium of communication. I especially love the way I can save the words, read them back as many times as I want and, let’s be real, wank to them furiously later.

We sexted at least once a week, and sometimes a lot more, in our first few months together.

Skype/phone sex

Skype and phone sex is a bit like sexting, only more immediate, more visceral. You can hear the other person’s words, hear their voice catch when you say something that really gets them, hear them gasp as they touch themselves.

We fell in love through late-night calls and Skype calls and illicit phone sex. Later, when we were officially together, we used it to maintain our connection across the miles. Hearing his voice in my ear wasn’t as good as being able to reach out and touch him, of course. But it was a damn good substitute.

Orders and accountability

In the long-distance days, I’d often get orders from Mr as I was going about my day. He’d text me, next time you go to the bathroom, take a sexy picture or go and edge three times. I would report back, tell him I’d done my task, and hear what a good girl I was. Sometimes, I’d need to send him a picture as proof. Obeying his orders and having a sense of accountability, even from a distance, kept me both red-hot for him and feeling the submissive feels I craved.

Planning and negotiation

One of the things that was surprisingly effective in keeping our kinky connection going was using the time we were apart to plan and negotiate for future scenes. Talking limits, boundaries, ideas, possibilities and future plans for all the pervy sex we were going to have helped to build anticipation and excitement. So by the time we actually came to do the things, we were both amped up and raring to go. Efficient and sexy!

What do you do to keep the sexy, kinky fun going in your long-distance relationship?

Kinky item of the day: a long-range, app-controlled vibrator like the Lovense Lush. Just hand the controls over to your lover via the app. Then they can have their way with you whether they’re right beside you or on the other side of the world.