ZG and I have had an open relationship for about 8 months now, and while that is not a long time (especially compared to the 10 years we spent in monogamy) it has been an amazing time of growth for each of us as individuals and for us as a couple. We have had ups and downs, talked of compersion and played with jealousy. We have argued and made up and in the end are closer today than we could have ever been before. Our learning is far from over, but I don’t think anyone would argue that we have experienced a great metamorphosis in this time. As we near our tenth anniversary of marriage this coming October, we felt that there must be something we could do to symbolize this change and this growth. So, without ceremony (as we’ve done most things in the time we’ve known each other), we casually decided the other day that we would move our wedding bands from our left hands to our right.

I had been thinking about wedding rings for a few weeks now. One of the joys of having an open relationship is that I am now “available” again. I find myself looking at women’s hands all the time, looking for rings at the grocery store and at work, when picking up the kids from summer camp and talking to other parents. I am, after all, an objectifier, looking at people as a collection of pieces, and the left hand specifically had become a new focal point for me. It was a place to start. If a cute teacher at the gremlins’ school had a ring then there was really no point in flirting, now was there? As I became aware of myself doing this I also became more aware of my own ring. I began to wonder how it was that I could explain my forward behavior if I was wearing a ring on my finger. The whole “we have an open marriage” schtick has been ruined by infidelitous jackasses and just seems hollow. On the flip side, removing the ring is not an option because it is symbolically shortchanging the very thing that is most important to me in my life. I am very much a happily married man, and not only am I unafraid to show people this, but think that it is important that anyone I meet knows this. I am looking to get to know people, to date and have fun, and yes possibly to even fuck people, but that is not to say that I am looking to forsake what I have with ZG. So I found myself stuck in a place of looking for unattached fingers, while very conspicuously wearing my own ring. I was a living paradox.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the living room…
…ZG was having the same thoughts. Our opening up has had a very clear evolution to it. It started with play partners and then moved to having more emotional connections to play partners, to toying with the ideas of “dating” for more than just the sex of it. It was only a matter of time before we moved into the realm of looking at the people that we met in our everyday lives as potential partners. So while I was checking out the ass on the newest member of our accounting team, ZG was trying to casually note whether the good-looking new guy in her office was wearing a ring.

As with most things in our shared lives, we started to talk about this conundrum while on a recent road trip (sans children). When talking about all the nuances of this particular philosophical question, ZG made the recommendation of simply moving the rings from the left hand to the right. It was such an elegant, simple thing. It was something we could do right then, while driving. There was nothing special needed, no ceremony, no special contract or ring or other piece of jewelry. It was a small gesture that could mean something special, something that we wanted it to mean. This was not the end of our old relationship nor was it the beginning of a new relationship, but it was a moment, a threshold, a mile marker in the life of our relationship. It was a moment that needed to be marked in some way, but in a way that neither attempted to replace the past or create a new future.

At first it was an odd feeling. The indentation on my ring finger is very pronounced and the weight of the ring on my right hand seems odd. I am not a jewelry wearer so I am acutely aware of the movement of my one piece. I had developed some habits and quirks around my ring. I would tap it on hard surfaces, I spin it, generally play with it absent-mindedly when nervous. These are the little things that constantly remind me of the move. This may seem like a sad thing, that I am noticing the fact that it is missing but that is not it at all. Every time I feel for my ring on my left hand I am reminded of the fact that we have moved it, I a reminded that our relationship has evolved and grown. I am reminded in a very real and tangible way that we are more complex and complete in our relationship today than ever before.The movement has me thinking about my ring and subsequently my marriage more than I used to. This symbolism is perfect because it is the opening up of our relationship that has made ZG and I think about our lives together more than we ever did when we were monogamous.

For us, this simple symbolic gesture has been a perfect marker of the evolution of our relationship. We are as strong as ever, but are constantly evolving and growing to learn more about ourselves and each other, something that has made us happier and more complete. To me, I can’t think of a better reason for a right-hand ring.


The Kinkster and Daniel Webster


So much of my life has revolved around words. I am a writer, I work with books, I found my wife on the clearance table in the basement of our local Borders, so many ways the written word has shaped my life. When ZG and I found kink, it only seemed natural that I would find that my favorite kinks revolve around words and their use. I like psychological warfare, mental sadism and general mindfuckery are the fields on which I play my best games and where I am most at home. Recently a small back and forth on the definition of psychological play got me thinking about the words we use and how minor changes in meaning can have drastic affects.

One of the first to come to mind is the trifecta of embarrassment, humiliation and degradation. Some people will see these as various different acts, some physical, some mental, some intense others to a lesser degree, where I see them as grades on a fairly wide ranging field of psychological play. Looking at humiliation as the verbal part and degradation as a purely physical piece give to much room for error. If you define the words this way, making someone worship your feet or crawl across the floor is the same as cleaning the toilet with her hair or enema play. Humiliation can be as simple as calling someone a whore or as complicated as deriding someone in her lack of social skills. It leaves too much room for error. It make more sense to me to define the level and then let the variety of play fluctuate between verbal and physical.

There are so many of these little differences that come up, small inflections that change the meaning of everything. So like in most everything I do, the words take center stage and turn a simple scene negotiation into a legal document. I am just glad to know that there are others out there that enjoy Pedantics

I will not put the vanilla girls in the hole. I will not put the vanilla girls in the hole. I will not put the vanilla girls in the hole. I will not put the vanilla girls in the hole. I will not put the vanilla girls…

I found the hole at work and so the chance of just grabbing someone by the hair and throwing her in there was zero. That does not mean that I am not scheming and anybody who thinks that just because the hole is in my work thinks that it will not come into play does not understand that I have keys and access to the security tapes. Believe you me that the hole will be used. It is just too good not to. The issue is that right then, at the moment that I unearthed this Al Capone’s vault of kink, I had no one that I could share it with.

 Pictures or it didn’t happen

 It is like so many things in life, the true value of the hole is context so as I start to take pictures of it, I realize that I need to find some way of portraying the potential of the space, not just the physical existence of it. The girl is a cutie that works for us and she is – as far as I can tell – very normal, very vanilla, but since she is very easily the cutest girl in the room and I love toying with people, I asked her to pose next to the heavy cast iron door. To give it proportions. I snap a shot of it closed, then open. Then she asked me, “Do you want me to get inside?”

No one is vanilla. You either know your kink or you don’t. I say this with both certainty and from experience. For years I lived quietly a “vanilla” life thinking that what I wanted, what I wanted to do was just the dark ruminations of a twisted mind. People did not do what I wanted to do and that was that. As ZG and I started to talk more and more and I began to see that there are people, sick perverted people, who not only think like I do but are acting these thoughts out. That is the way it goes, you are one day thinking that what turns you on, I mean really turns you on is so vile that you are the only one thinking it. If you are lucky your fear is proven false and the world opens up.

An addendum to my more perverted readers: I know that many who have made their way to kink made it on their own. The desire overcame their fear of social norms and to them I say kudos. This does not mean that you are more kinky or a better pervert than someone else. It just means that you have an element of rebel in your make up. Great, but not the only thing that makes you kinky. We are doing what we do because we like it and that varies for each of us. Hell, that varies within each of us on a daily bases so cut the newbies and tourist a little break. They don’t all need to be thrown in the deep end head first, only most of them.

Why I Play (Part I)

There really is nothing like seeing your wife getting turned on by another man’s force-of-will to kick you hard in the stomach. There is the dry sick feeling in the back of your throat and the aches of sadness in your joints that ensure that every inch of you inside and out is affected.

It is an acquired taste, I will give you that, but one that you can learn to appreciate over time. Like blue cheese or liver, like a good vodka martini or scotch, some emotions have to be appreciated for what they are… and they are not happy.

So often the outside world confuses fetishism with transference. They think that because someone likes to be beat with a cane that they are turned on by the pain, that the only thing that anyone wants is pleasure and that what they associate with pain must be interpreted as pleasure by the kinkster. Pleasure and pain are put on polar ends of a spectrum line; they are seen as diametrically opposed when in truth they are not even on the same scale. Pain has its own levels and textures and feelings just as does pleasure. They can, and often do, overlap to varying degrees and the game for any kinkster is finding that perfect mixture of pleasure and pain for any specific situation.

I do not like pain. I don’t think there are many people that would say they do like pain. They like overcoming the pain, they like the marks the pain leaves. They like to feel something… anything that intensely. I like to dig out from underneath the pain. It is as if a house has been pulled down on top of me. I like to feel that I have survived the collapse and have been able to find a safe little hole in which I was able to ride out the sadness and heartache. Every time it happens, the pain is a little less, and there is less rubble to crawl out from underneath. Sometimes the collapse hits at just the right angle to leave a mark, a splintering beam sends shrapnel between your ribs. This will happen to even the most jaded heart causing renewed appreciation for pain.

So here we are setting up dates and meeting new friends and all the time growing a deeper appreciation for the more subtle nuances of emotions that are not pleasure. There is more to life than just pleasure. There is understanding and with every passing game, every new adventure we find ourselves growing into more complete people.  That is what is needed for a good relationship, complete people. The more I understand myself and all the different pieces that make up my vision of the world, the better suited I am to being with ZG. Likewise, the more she plays, the more she learns about herself, the more complete a person she becomes.

Rules of Lurking

You cannot avoid lurkers in the world of kink. Hell, more than half of us are lurking while the other half are getting off on being watched, but there are a few basic rules of civility. These standards can be followed with relative ease and will make the whole perverted affair enjoyable for all.

  1. Don’t try to find out my name. If I want to tell you my name, I will. Names are a sign of friendship, and while many a lurking ends in very happy friendships, they are not mutually inclusive. If I don’t know you, I don’t want you trying to figure out who I am.
  2. Don’t breathe down my neck. If you haven’t noticed there are a lot of twisted fucks on the Internet, and if you close in on one person, you have a tendency to make them feel that you are standing naked in the room (and not in the good way). This is also for your own good too. If you spend too much time perving on a single person you A) are missing out on other twisted people, and B) can end up scaring the person to the point of blocking you, leaving you with your dick in your hand and unfinished business.
  3. Talking is not always necessary. We all know that you are out there on your girlfriend’s laptop while she is sleeping with a sock on your cock, but you don’t need to make yourself known to everybody. I am not saying that everyone should be silent, but you don’t have to comment on every picture. Some things just don’t need to be commented on.
  4. Do not waste the first comment with “First!” I know this is a personal pet peeve of mine, but dear god people it is not 1998!
  5. The Internet is the Internet. Do not stalk people into the real world! Seriously? Do I have to actually say that? I have become friends with many people from online chatting and play, but every time it was a give and take online first. Just because you know someone’s name does not mean that you have the right to turn into a “Creepy Steve” and follow them into the real world. That is where the cops get involved and weird court orders are written up.

If you can follow these few simple rules, I think that we will all enjoy the perverted world just a little more.