Gone Vanilla

15 09 2010

I’ve been absent here for a long time. And, I’ve only popped into Twitter every few weeks to check in. A few people have commented and asked where I’ve been, which was very nice to know that they were thinking of me.

It would be easy for me to blame the sour taste left from a rare online dalliance that ended last year. The incident wounded me, for sure. And, it certainly left me wary of getting close to anyone in these circles again. After it ended, I slowly began to withdraw from this world, afraid to be hurt.

Then, life started to get busy and Vanillaville required my full attention. This made it easier not to come back when I was feeling vulnerable. And harder to come back when I truly missed this kinky, hypersexualized world.

I am still Raven.

Though my time is spent in Vanillaville, I have not given up my kinks. I may not have time to write about my explorations here, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I’m happy to say that things are better than ever in that department. My husband and I are continuously evolving, and things are very good between us both in, and out, of the bedroom.

That’s about as much of an update as I can manage today. I have not ruled out coming back occasionally to share something sexy. But for now, Vanillaville awaits.





AIDS and HIV: 7 Stories of Love

4 12 2009

I’ve written an epic series of 7 posts for Eden Cafe in honor of World AIDS Day. They are deeply personal stories about how AIDS and HIV have touched my life through the lives of the 5 friends I’ve lost and the 2 living with HIV. I will re-post the intro to the stories below and link to each of them as they are posted.

Thanks for taking the time to read them.

SexIs

AIDS and HIV: 7 Stories of Love

As an underage party girl hitting the nightclubs in the early eighties, my friends were a curious mix of gay men, punks and those on the fringe of society. Viewed as social outcasts and misfits by mainstream culture, we formed tight bonds to protect ourselves from the abuse regularly hurled our way. Between the ages of 23 and 26 I lost four friends to AIDS. Another passed a few years back. And there are two newer friends who are survivors, living with HIV in very different ways.

These are their stories. It’s a reminder about the lack of knowledge and prevailing attitudes at the end of the eighties. It also shows how far we’ve come, and it’s not all good. But mainly, this is a celebration of my love for them.

Part 1: WR – Young Love

My first boyfriend was affectionate and sweet. We made out, held hands, hugged and went everywhere together. We shared the same warped sense of humor and taste in music. After a few months, I wondered why things weren’t moving along for us physically. That is when he confessed that he was having sex with boys he’d pick up on the subway.  Read more…

Part 2: JP – A Smile and a Spark

I knew JP through work. He was cool, older than me, quite Out, sported amazing ink before it was mainstream and wore leather. I liked him instantly. He was kind to me, and a sweet and gentle soul who was unafraid of living his dreams. Read more…

Part 3: MD – Enigmatic

MD and I sometimes had a strained friendship. Perhaps a part of him may have felt jealous of my close friendship with DV. Then again, it’s also possible that he was just trying on an abrasive personality from time to time as part of teenage development. In other words, maybe he was just a prick on occasion. Read more…

Part 4: CD – True to Her Love

CD was very artistic and extremely knowledgeable of a wide range of music. She was a staple at all the parties and in the alternative scene at the time. She loved her tribe of foundlings. CD was quirky, intelligent, fun and was known to not hold her liquor too well. But she was always polite, apologetic and slightly embarrassed about it, even when inebriated. Read more…

Part 5: GB – Most Likely To Succeed

Dear GB was one chic man. He aimed high and was an overachiever. He started his own business when he was 16 and by the time he was 18 had several employees. Consequently, he was always the one with money and a car and a great designer apartment in a cool neighborhood. Read more…

Part 6: KL – Damages

KL has two sides to his very strong personality. On one hand, he’s the sweetest, most sensitive man who cares deeply about art, the creative process and also for my family. He’s the type of guy who would give you everything he owned if you needed it. On the other hand, he can be a total bitch. Read more…

Part 7: KT – Fighting the Best Fight

Now, 25 years after contracting HIV, KT is looking fit and healthy. He and SC are still in love and together. They married and have been together more than 20 years. Who knows how long KT will be with us, as he brings us more incredible art and a brilliantly positive light into the lives of all who know him? But, I can say, that KT shows us all how to fight the best fight. Read more…





Top 100 Sex Bloggers of 2009

8 11 2009

Wow! Color me shocked and humbled. I’ve landed on the Top 100 Sex Bloggers of 2009 list.

This is the second year that Rori has compiled the list, in her words, “to recognize the people who are courageous enough to put their lives or fantasies or opinions (or all three and more) out there to entertain and inspire the rest of us.”

The judges who helped Rori were:

Thank you all very much for including me on this list. I am thrilled to be included in such an amazing group of bloggers, many of whom I’ve gotten to know over the last year and am proud to call friends.

Now’s your chance to check out these fine blogs. Be sure to check the whole post and comments over at Rori’s.

  1. Coquitten (website)
  2. Alexa (website)
  3. AAG (website)
  4. Bad, Bad Girl (website)
  5. TBK (website)
  6. Mistress Matisse (website)
  7. Miss Mia (website)
  8. Thursday’s Child (website)
  9. Roger (website)
  10. Sinclair (website)
  11. Sylvanus…
  12. and Mina (website)
  13. Natt Nightly (website)
  14. Jake (website)
  15. Lyn (website)
  16. Adriana Ravenlust (website)
  17. Sexy Sadie (website)
  18. Shay (website)
  19. Lilly (website)
  20. Nadia (website)
  21. Joan Price (website)
  22. Madison (website)
  23. Anal Amy (website)
  24. Z (website)
  25. Essin Em (website)
  26. Easily Aroused (website)
  27. Blacksilk (website)
  28. Sleeping Dreamer (website)
  29. Melen…
  30. and rayne…
  31. and Master KKT…
  32. and cinnamon (website)
  33. That Toy Chick (website)
  34. Red (website)
  35. Tom Allen (website)
  36. Vix (website)
  37. Coy Pink (website)
  38. Lady Pandorah (website)
  39. BackseatBoohoo (website)
  40. Epiphora (website)
  41. Aurore (website)
  42. Miss KissThis (website)
  43. Storm (website)
  44. Ron Jazz (website)
  45. Josie Jacobs (website)
  46. Distracted (website)
  47. Deviant Dyke (website)
  48. Joanna Cake (website)
  49. Sapphire Jay (website)
  50. Sarah (website)
  51. Kimberly (website)
  52. Duchess (website)
  53. Figleaf (website)
  54. The Caged Songbird (website)
  55. Kaya (website)
  56. Ms. Justine (website)
  57. Luka (website)
  58. Ang (website)
  59. Perverted Negress (website)
  60. Harlot (website)
  61. Vixen (website)
  62. Anakan…
  63. and Padme (website)
  64. Wilhemina (website)
  65. Axe (website)
  66. Amber (website)
  67. Lucy Vonne (website)
  68. Rogue (website)
  69. SSS (website)
  70. Kyle (website)
  71. Amorous Rocker (website)
  72. Sera (website)
  73. Lolita Wolf (website)
  74. Elle (website)
  75. Scarlet St Syr (website)
  76. Charlotte Thorpe (website)
  77. An Unassuming Girl (website)
  78. Maymay (website)
  79. True Pleasure (website)
  80. Bad Influence Girl (website)
  81. Diva (website)
  82. Raven Quince (website)
  83. Autumn (website)
  84. Vanilla Impaired (website)
  85. Wil (website)
  86. Rayne (website)
  87. Panthera Pardus (website)
  88. Ell (website)
  89. Miss Communication…
  90. and Captain Pants…
  91. and A.E. (website)
  92. Roxy (website)
  93. Secretly Naughty (website)
  94. Abby Williams (website)
  95. Subheart (website)
  96. Sequoia Redd (website)
  97. Innocent Loveboy (website)
  98. Liljgrrl…
  99. and Nawa*G (website)
  100. YOU! As always that last person on the list is you. Please, please, please leave a comment below promoting your own blog (or the blog of someone you love). Links are welcome, as long as they lead us to a sex-related blog, not a retail website or porn aggregation site.

Sadly, one of my very favorite blogs didn’t make the list (it must have been an oversight). Please, I encourage you to check out 13 Messages featuring great erotic photography and honest words from a kind, creative and sexy man. You won’t regret it.





Behind the Raven

19 08 2009

Raven_tattoo

I’ve been considering adding a raven tattoo to my body. Tonight, on a random search for raven tattoo images on Google, I happened upon a tattoo site that summed up the raven’s mythology and meaning in many different cultures. I was thrilled to feel such an affinity towards this creature, having it’s meanings blend so well with my own persona. I’m convinced now. I am marked by the raven, whether inked or not.

Here is the passage:

Raven Tattoo Designs – For many of the indigenous people of the Americas, the raven is a powerful animal totem, a protector and spirit guide. He’s a shape-shifter and messenger and a symbol of transformation. Its coal black plumage invokes the void, secrecy, and mystery. But the raven is also a solar symbol. The mythical raven brought the Sun to mankind, and in so doing became a symbol of light. From the earliest times, raven myths tell of its intelligence and concern for humans.

Raven also provided the Moon and Stars for his people, and Fresh Water and Fire. He did this by stealing them from their guardian, Gray Eagle. Once white-feathered, the raven’s snowy plumage was blackened by the smoke from the Fire as he carried the precious load in his beak.

The raven’s intelligence has made it one of the most admired birds wherever it lives. The ancient Norse god, Odin, is described as having two ravens for eyes and ears — the one a symbol of thought, the other of memory. For the Irish, the raven was associated with warfare. In the mythology surrounding King Arthur, one of his knights had an army of ravens.

As a powerful spirit guide, the raven is the keeper of secrets. It is associated with the shadowy world of spells and magic. In Europe, the raven was a favourite symbol for doom and death. An old English tradition says that if the ravens fly away from the Tower of London, the nation will fall. However, the French anthropologist, Claude Lévi- Strauss, suggests that the raven was a mediator between life and death.

For fans of the horror writer, Edgar Allan Poe, raven tattoos are popular. Black feathers and the fathomless look of the raven symbolize mystery, the occult and dark secrets. But far from being miserly, the raven will share its knowledge with those who respect the wisdom of the ancient world. Healing, wisdom, gratitude and affection are all associated with the well-loved raven.

The Haida, an indigenous nation on Canada’s west coast, attribute the creation of humans to a raven intervention. According to legend, raven spotted some creatures trapped in a clam. Quickly bored with this all-male club, he coaxed the timid beings from their shells and introduced them to another set of creatures – females – similarly ensconced in another marine mollusk. By setting the stage for the male and female of the species to come together, the raven acquired his reputation as a trickster. His song is believed to vibrate with temptation, especially the sexual kind.

The raven has an uncanny ability to mimic the sounds of other animals and humans, and its unique pitch is believed to shift consciousness to another level. A symbol of change and of knowledge, this animal spirit guide is often associated with teachers and those with a love of knowledge.





Fear in the Attic

15 08 2009

I can’t seem to wrap my head around writing a coherent post. My mind is a jumble of images. Snap shots of comings and goings and split second bursts of emotions that upon examination, disappear in a puff of smoke. I’m feeling unsettled. Yet, in other respects, I feel the most grounded I have in ages. All of this makes it tough to write something meaningful, something profound. I’m stuck in the space between those moments. That chittering, chattering, cacophony that cries out for clarity and calm.

A friend once gave me some great blogging advice. He said just write. Be brave and be honest. Say what you really feel and then decide to make the post public or private.

I realize I’ve been self-editing in public quite a bit. I know the reason. I’m afraid. A fear of exposing truth has hobbled me, made me appear two-dimensional and littered up my mind. In the interest of clearing some space in the attic for substantial thoughts to take hold, it’s time for a mini brain dump of 3 things that are making me quake in my boots.

1) I’m struggling with balance between my two halves – the other me, and the me that is Raven. I’m not skilled at duplicity. The only person who knows both parts of me is my incredible husband, Gethin. I toy with the idea of letting some other people know about the other half of me. There are one or two in my other life and one or two in this one whom I would like to share my two parts with. But, it always comes back to the risk that it poses to my livelihood. If only the world weren’t so judgmental about a woman freely expressing her sexuality and being a force to reckon with in buisness. I’ve heard so many horror stories from sex bloggers who’ve extended trust only to have it threaten their real life positions with family and work. This scares the crap out of me. Once that door is opened, it can never be closed again.

2) I have a friend whom I like and respect very much. I used to feel like I was a valued part of his life. He’s stepped back for obvious and mundane reasons and his communication with me has severely dwindled. I continue to make the effort to stay in contact to little effect. There’s a part of my gut that believes his withdrawal really has more to do with his perception of what being my friend means.

I haven’t verified my thoughts because when we do have the rare occasion to talk, I want to spend it on pleasantries and re-establishing that special connection instead of dredging up the serious business of hurt feelings, real or imagined.  Unfortunately, his lack of communication has the unappealing effect of making me feel needy, insecure and burdensome; qualities I loathe in myself. In the end, I lower my expectations of him and berate myself for not taking the risk of hearing the truth, because I’m afraid to know that, to him, our friendship, and therefore, I, may be disposable.

3) Since I started this ride into D/s, I’ve been tearing away the programming that I’ve spent a lifetime mired inside and I’ve come to some realizations. With experimentation, I’ve discovered that I like a lot more sensation that borders on pain than I ever thought I would. Interestingly, my tolerances have increased so that what would have been painful and totally out of my consideration 6 months ago, are now low-level activities. I keep seeking the next boundary, and when I hit it I call “yellow”. But, with a little time, it becomes an enthusiastic “green”.

Why does this scare me? Because I feel that there’s no going back. Vanilla sex is pretty rare for me these days. And that means I have to adjust my self-perceptions and accept that it really is OK to enjoy sexual proclivities that fall outside of the mainstream. The strange thing is, that the majority of my life has been lived outside of the mainstream and I take great pride in it. But when it comes to sex, my brain says “nice girls aren’t supposed to like that” which has to have come from my Catholic upbringing. I know it’s irrational, but sometimes it fills me with fear that I like it a bit rough. Though, clearly not enough fear to keep me from doing it or enjoying it while I’m in the moment. So perhaps this is one demon I’m slaying.

If any of these scenarios look familiar, how have you overcome them? What do you do when fear, both real or imagined, takes a grip on your  psyche?





Cycles

11 07 2009

I’m still around. But not much these days. My other life has become very demanding and I’ve had to put this blog and Twittering on hold for some weeks. I’m well, just exhausted and consequently, I don’t mave much to say in the sexy department. I’m certain it’s just a cycle and I’ll be back when things ease up. I just can’t say when. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next month. For those of you who’ve stuck around, thank  you. I wish you well.