the garage door closes and romo and hannah are on their way. the growl of the espresso machine always wakes me up in the morning, no matter how quiet romo tries to be. I’m awake. should i try to sleep? sleep has been elusive, lately. i can get up and do some work, why not? except… I think briefly of messaging mercury, asleep in the next room. but i’m uncertain, this is new and fragile. i have always been bad at casual sex.

instead, i retrieve my vibrator and open up tumblr on my phone. the images aren’t really what i want, so i put the phone aside. i think about how mercury feels inside me, hard and unyielding, I hear helo’s voice asking me what does it feel like? after whipping me, bright slices of pain across my legs. i feel the warm flutter of ananke’s pulse under my palm as i push her against the stoplight and kiss her. i hear mercury’s voice telling me that my desire to be fucked, always, whenever, is the hottest request he’s ever heard. i come, shattering the still morning with a small, quiet moan.

lady, i swear by all flowers

I wrote this after a trip to Hawaii with Samuel and K in May 2013 and decided to post it now:
for four nights i hold you and my fingers tell you countless times, brushing over your chest, arms, and back. my eyes tell you. my hands, rubbing sunscreen whisper to you. my fingers pulling your hair, my mouth laughing at your dumb jokes, my heart when we lay in the sand and look for the milky way. my mouth when i kiss yours, when I press kisses into your warm skin. with my eyes crying for you when you drowned in the hot june sunshine. once, i speak it,

and once more,
because life is short and this changes nothing:
I love you.

i want to give you as much love as I can, as much as you can carry with you. I want the memory of someone holding you, touching you with love, wanting you to be happy, and to remember it when things hurt.

idly i wonder about the day i will have you inside me and feel a deep sense of peace at the potential of joy the life i have built holds for me.

world’s on fire

I left Camille sobbing in her apartment in the Mission. As I walk down 18th to my car, I pass people who are talking, laughing, oblivious. I try to quell the panic in my stomach. It’s too early to know.

I unlock the door and smell whiskey. Romo looks up with quiet, defeated eyes, and Mercury just looks pissed. Hannah texts Romo from her residency in Fresno, asking Romo, “how difficult would it be to learn Hebrew?”

I am still in shock. Romo gives up and goes to bed. Helo is in the U.K. and he feels so far away. I feel like if I sleep it will somehow make it real. Mercury goes for a bike ride. I was eating ice cream with pecans; I brush my teeth. Mercury is allergic to nuts and I somehow just know. When he comes back he sits in the dark in the dining room. I hear a “god fucking damn it” and a crash. He throws his phone at the words “President Elect Trump” (as I write these words I find myself tearing up) and breaks it. He comes to my bed and we make out.

I wake up alone (this is fine) and Donald Trump is our President (this is not fine). I see 4 clients and after the last one I can finally cry because I don’t have to be strong for them anymore.

I want to have a plan and I want to fight but I’m still grieving.

Mercury and I are skipping the big kink convention in SF this weekend and instead going to lake tahoe, to soak in the hot springs, go hiking on mushrooms.

Over drinks last night Camille mentions moving to Australia next year. She is happily surprised when both Mercury and I agree it’s worth thinking about. I put it in our google calendar for July 2017, to revisit the topic. I joke that Camille could move into our house and get a dog. She pauses, then says, “ask me again when Romo and Hannah move out.”

persephone descends, spirals, emerges

It started at the end of April, at Maya’s birthday weekend at Harbin Hot Springs. Harbin is now gone. I cried that weekend, I was so full of pain and rage and I had no idea why. Helo seemed bewildered, maybe frightened and frustrated. Maya and my other friends were supportive but also confused.

I continued to rage, spiral, weep, for months. I took time off from work. I saw my psychiatrist frequently, went to support groups, started meds, got an emergency therapist, tried meditation and yoga, and still, I couldn’t breathe. I was having panic attacks almost every day. I felt overwhelmed by anxiety, this buzzing, humming, too-much-feeling crawling under my skin. I went up on medications while titrating down on others. I exercised. I tried to work. I saw my friends a lot. My family was incredibly supportive, my mother and sister taking turns visiting me. Helo was loving, and so, so patient, and (I think) had no idea what to do.

I woke up depressed, or I woke up anxious, I took benzodiazapines, I experienced suicidal ideation, I couldn’t sleep, I quit my job. My relationship with Helo was a wreck, our connection lost. I upped one of my medications myself, going on a hunch, and things started to get a little smoother. I no longer felt like I was drowning. I am letting go of the enormous feeling of guilt I have over breaking up with Gaius and Chief. I am settling into my new home in SF. I have such amazing friends. My pack. I’d go to TNG and just let people hug and cuddle me.

I realized a lot of things, sequentially building up til I reached something resembling insight. I’ve been running away from my feelings for so long. Projecting onto others (mainly Helo) the pain and guilt inside myself. I’ve used others to fill up the cracks in me, but people aren’t glue. I haven’t really been taking care of myself. I haven’t been paying attention to what I need or how I feel. It was too painful for a while.

Helo and I got into a real fight, unusual for us, about two weeks ago. Things somehow fell into place when I realized that even when I felt unspeakable anguish, I am still able to take care of myself. Something clicked. I stopped taking my birth control a week ago. My depression disappeared almost instantly. I still feel anxious, but it’s usually manageable. I have two internships and should have enough hours to take the MFT exam by next fall. I know that the most important thing I need to do is stop running from how I feel, stop lying to myself, hiding behind denial, and just let myself feel any pain instead of trying to pretend its not there. Mindfulness in the form of being emotionally self-aware.

I feel better than I have in over 6 months. i don’t know for sure if it will last, but I’m grateful and hopeful enough that I feel like I can write again, instead of avoiding this blog, avoiding any kind of writing for fear it will reveal things I am not ready to face. I want to write something specifically thanking everyone…. everyone has been so kind, so loving. I had no idea what amazing, supportive friends I have, until this. I have no words.

for now,

Athena out.

“the best beating of 2013”

Pallas and I finally have our play date in December. I feel “toppy” towards him, but am terribly shy about it. Not exactly the headspace a hot domme is supposed to be in.

The Citadel is actually located in a terrible part of SF – the Tenderloin. Pallas and I sneak out onto the fire escape and find ourselves overlooking a… well, a big pit of trash and junk. Seriously. I could see rats scurrying around below us. it’s the refuse of a metropolis and vaguely, gothically romantic.

Pallas lights my cigarette for me and sits below me on the fire escape. I take my time, savoring. Every few minutes I gently tap the ashes into Pallas’ open, willing mouth. He swallows obediently. It’s incredibly sexy. I am touching his face, my fingers wandering the edges of his cheekbones, the curve of his jaw, the back of his skull. Blue smoke curls around us.

i slowly, carefully, roll the red cherry ember of my cigarette out against Pallas’ tongue. A puff of air escapes me – I did not realize I’d been holding my breath.

Later, inside the dungeon, Pallas teaches me how to hurt him. He is helpful, instructive, gentle, and doesn’t trample on my budding top side. Rather, he coaxes it out, using himself as the bait.

Master’s Den

Last December, Helo and I went to Master’s Den, a play party at the Citadel. It’s a specific party designed to celebrate the male Dom/female sub dynamic. Neither Helo nor or I are entirely comfortable with those terms, (Helo will jokingly refer to me as his “property,” and lovingly call me his kitty. I never refer to myself as “submissive” and Helo doesn’t think identity is useful, he often says, “I’m a Helo!” whenever people ask him “what” he is), however we generally fit the bill, even though our D/s dynamic is less-than-traditional (though deliciously traditional in other ways).

Anyway, despite our vague discomfort, there we were. A man I’d been on a date with that summer was also there. We’d talked about doing a schoolgirl scene a number of times but I was never quite able to commit (I hadn’t quite developed the skill to say no, directly). He waits until Helo steps away to get us some water, then swoops in and starts making out with me and touching me. It’s a little awkward, especially as this event is all about the D/s relationship between a couple. A definite case of Athena needing to develop better boundaries, and get better at expressing them, too. This has actually been a running theme since I debuted in the kink scene, will write more on that topic later.

I am wearing a white collared shirt and little red plaid skirt, Helo is wearing all black (sexy! but I think he’s sexy in everything). I feel like our “colors” are muted, somehow, maybe the energy of the venue, or the subdued nature of many of the attendees or the confinement of the role/gender structures. I straddle Helo’s lap and we cuddle and make out, which I like. Eventually, we end up doing a ridiculous(ly hot) yoga scene, much like the one we did here. It was fun, and I remember feeling very exposed, and feeling bad that I couldn’t take more. Helo tells me I did a fine job. I can never take as much in public as I can at home. Oh well. That’s what the Stick is for.

I guess the reason I was thinking about this is because it strikes me as a time that Helo and I (usually comfortable in almost any environment) felt out of place, most likely because we were forced into more rigid roles than we typically like. This has been a running theme and an idea that has continued to be present in my life… one that I think I’d like to deliberately play with.


Athena, Helo, and the Stick.

Helo has the uncanny ability to make just about anything sexy. He tolerates my jealousy of his spanking/discipline sessions with other women with the air of a confused parent.

I hate my jealousy. i struggle to get past it. I know it’s irrational but I so strongly equate my whippings with our ritual that it feels like a breach for him to share that with others. Of course, Helo’s intrigued by my intense dislike of his (admittedly rare) play dates with other women. Like any sadist worth his salt, Helo wants to play with my discomfort. For every beating he gives to someone else, I get one after her. And sometimes one before, too. “Harder, more,” I request. He tells me he expects “his wife” to take more. See? Hot.

The landlady has requested that our amorous adventures be quieter, which means, sadly, no more leather strop – but fortunately the vicious wooden paddle must go, too. It leaves us with very few options and Helo, as he is wont to do… gets creative. What this does leave us with are the quiet, stingy canes.

Very early on in our relationship, my ass (or Helo’s swing) broke the normal rattan cane we’d been using. Helo produces a much thicker and stricter looking implement – a “dragon cane.” I could take a lot of the previous cane – this one has me crying after the third stroke. Three of twenty, mind you. It’s very heavy. Helo corrects me… it is “persuasive.” This cane quickly becomes the household stick.