Hope everyone has a fun time tonight and a great new year. I’m heading back early tomorrow to L.A. It’s been a good visit, and it’ll be good to be back home. I love my family but they can drive me crazy in wondrous and amazing ways like no one else!
So yesterday I made a really bad call going to the airport. I was thinking that, oh sure, the day before and after Christmas are really bad travel days, but surely there would be room in the long term parking lots on Christmas day itself – Ah yes, silly me. All the lots were completely full. So I drove back home with a sick feeling in my stomach, certain that I was screwed and would be missing my flight and coming in on a late one. I called a cab, paid the expensive fare, and when I got to the terminal, the line was out on the sidewalk. There was no way in hell I’d make it! But by some miracle, I actually got checked in and made it to the gate with five minutes to spare for boarding. I guess leaving absurdly early really pays off.
So today we’re doing our big meal with the family the day after Christmas. I’ll be enjoying a nice haze of over-eating tonight…
I’m heading out early tomorrow to Atlanta to see my parents so there may not be too much blogging this next week. Updates will of course continue as normal though, and here’s a little peek at next Friday’s – a few non-bondage shots of Vivian Chen doing what she does so well in front of the camera. That girl loves to strike a pose! Later in the set she’ll get tied and nicely tape gagged and end up stuffed in a closet – just another night out clubbing that ends up not as she planned.
Hope everyone has a great time over the holidays and all the best to everyone in 2008! I’m expecting great things!
We had a really fun Rope Bondage Workshop this afternoon at Threshold. It started out with a very small group but we had a few late-comers arrive and it ended up being a lot of fun and I think there was a really nice vibe in the room. I was covering chest harnesses and felt fully in the zone (love when that happens).
I was reading an article earlier about a public speaker who said that after thirty years she still feels nervous before doing any sort of presentation, and that she’s found that trying to make the nerves go away only makes it worse. She accepts it and realizes that she’s nervous simply because she wants to do a good job. It’s just par for the course to be nervous. That was really helpful because, as usual, I was a little nervous anticipating the workshop. Just saying to myself, “Okay, I’m nervous and I’m going to continuing on with what needs to be done,” really helped a lot. We face our fears and they become smaller.
Next month (January 27th, 4 to 6 PM) I’ll be presenting on Shibari Inspired Bondage, which basically means I can present just about anything, since just making a larks head knot could be called “Shibari Inspired.” Hmm, what to do?
My friend Kim and I went to LACMA today to see the Salvador Dali exhibit, which is just about to close, and it was awesome. I’ve always liked his stuff and it was great to see many familiar paintings in real life. I was amazed at how small so many of them were. I expected them to be these huge murals but not so. Even his most famous painting, The Persistence of Memory is pretty tiny, about 12 inches across.
I also had one of those, “Oh, I get it!” moments reading the description of one of my favorites, “The Metamorphosis of Narcissus.” I remember seeing this painting in art books when I was a kid and I never realized that it’s a human figure on the left – Narcissus – gazing at himself in the reflecting pool. I always thought it was two human hands and that the one on the left was just a little blurry or something – Duh! Oh well, it only took me 35 years to get it. And hey, gazing at one’s reflection is something that we crossdressers do a lot of too – maybe that’s why I like it so much.
I’ve been hearing from quite a few guys lately who are either married and closeted crossdressers whose wives don’t know, or who are in marriages where the wife doesn’t approve of the crossdressing and doesn’t want to hear about it, or who have wives who only partly tolerate it. And I find it kind of sad because oftentimes I’ll read someone describing their situation and it’s apparent that it’s going to be a continuing problem. I always come back to wondering how it’s possible to make a marriage work if the wife finds her husband’s sexuality or gender expression unacceptable. It just seems like a recipe for failure. And that doesn’t mean that either the wife or the husband is wrong, maybe just incompatible.
Of course, if the husband keeps it secret from his wife for the rest of their life together, I suppose that could work, and it has worked, I’m sure, for thousands and thousands of couples over the years. But what a heavy price to pay for the poor guy, basically shutting himself down and keeping this part of himself hidden from his wife and from everyone else for his entire life. Fucking depressing!
I’m sounding like Ann Landers again here, but it just seems like the only way to make it work in a situation where the wife knows but disapproves is to allow the husband to enjoy dressing on his own from time to time, or maybe with other crossdressing friends, and to otherwise turn a blind eye to it. And that might be an acceptable solution to save the relationship. In any case, the husband is probably going to dress from time to time anyway whether the wife approves of it or not. So it’s probably better if there’s some degree of aggreement about how to handle it, even if it’s just limited agreement like, “she knows but doesn’t know.” We all know how strong these urges are and how they never frickin’ go away.
In my own case, being out and fairly visible on the internet there’s no way that a woman would ever agree to marry me if she had a problem with crossdressing, so in some ways it’s probably not a problem I’ll have to deal with, just by default. What maybe makes it a little more complicated is that unlike a lot of crossdressers who only like other women or other cds, I like to play around with guys too, especially when it comes to bondage games. So that’s inevitably going to shrink the potential pool of women who aren’t going to run shrieking from the room when they hear my full story. Sometimes I would like to have a partner (and I’ve only ever really fallen in love with “real” women), but I’m also such a loner and control freak that I’m ambivalent about ever making that kind of commitment with another person. It’s not out of the question but would have to be a very special situation.
It’s funny, there’s a “real” woman I’ve known for some time whom I’ve got a bit of a crush on, and although she likes me and knows all about my lifestyle, and even has some similar kinks of her own in the bdsm realm, it’s pretty apparent that nothing is ever really going to happen between us. I have no big insight here, it’s just a funny situation, how when you desire someone and they don’t reciprocate, it just makes them that much more desirable, till finally the “no go” status really sinks in and it’s time to move on to the next possibility. I don’t even take it personally. It’s just one of those things that’s not going to happen.
In my ongoing goal of having every bondage loving tranny and tranny admirer in the world know about my website, I set up an affiliate program where you can actually make some money if you send someone to my site and they join. It’s actually very simple. If you have a website or a blog or even a profile page with links, you just sign up and post my banner or a text link with some simple html code to track things and you get 50% of every sale that’s made through that link, including recurring sales. It sounds more complicated than it is, but it’s run through CCBill, my main billing processor, so you’ll be guaranteed to be paid by them if you generate any sales. They’re very reliable.
I actually belong to a couple of other affiliate programs myself and although you’re not going to pay the rent with them, it is possible to get a little surprise check in the mail every now and then. Of the ones I belong to I usually get a check a few times a year. Some programs do pretty well and some never generate a dime. A lot depends on the amount of traffic you might have coming through your site or blog or profile. In any case, if you’d like to try it out just sign up here and you’ll be directed to the necessary banners and html code and all. Let me know if you have any trouble signing up (my email link is on the main page of my website.)
For anyone who might have missed the sad news of Reb Stout’s (aka Rebecca H. Heels) recent death, I just wanted to post a late notice here. There were a few posts earlier in my Yahoo Group but I’ve since heard from a few people during the last month who hadn’t heard the news. He had been fighting lung cancer and diabetes for some time and finally passed away last month, on November 7th.
He was an inspiration to thousands of us, living his life openly and honestly and just out there going for it. When I first met him, he had retired from his Rebecca H. Heels persona, but he was a very talented photographer and a total wild man. I remember when I first met him I thought, “This guy is crazy!” but he quickly grew on me and I was very fond of him. And shooting pictures with him was always a blast! We’ll miss you, Reb!
My friend lee put up a page on her tribe.net site, quoting a few of my earlier posts.
And here’s Reb’s main website, devoted to Rebecca H. Heels and all her kinky friends. A true free spirit and a one of a kind.
Another cool thing at the seminar this weekend was that on Friday there were about 500 people just down the hall who were becoming U.S. citizens that day. It was great to see all the different people from all over the world with their friends and families. It was very inspiring. And then on Sunday there was also a convention with members of the Sikh religion. So when we broke for lunch there were like 300 guys with turbans out in the hall, also with their wives and children. The Sikhs are really cool and it was an awesome sight!
So this weekend I was at another personal growth / prosperity seminar. Yeah, I’m a total junkie when it comes to these things, and this one was really awesome – and practically free. I went to the three day long Millionaire Mind Intensive, based on the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. You can get two free tickets to the weekend seminar just by buying the book.
I was a little skeptical, as usual, going in but really warmed up to it as it went along. It was at the L.A. Convention Center downtown, and it’s a very high energy environment and a lot of fun, and there were a lot of people there – about 700. Sunday was so emotionally intense that I had a few moments where it felt like I was in a really rockin’ church or something. I love that kind of intense inspirational stuff and, to be honest, if I was a Jesus person I probably would be in church every Sunday. In any case, at the seminar it’s true that there are quite a few sales pushes for their more advanced courses, but this one is very solid and complete just on its own. One of the main things they present is a simple money management technique for dividing your money up into six different accounts, with the goal of holding onto more of it and using the saved funds for eventual passive business income investments. It makes a lot of sense and if this was all they presented I still would have felt more than happy with it.
But they also do some powerful and emotionally moving exercises to look at negative beliefs that you may have about money, beliefs that may hold you back from success. I ended up doing one of the exercises with an older woman there who turned out to be the perfect person to be paired up with. We both had very similar money issues and I had one of those “a-ha” moments that brought me close to tears.
Breaking Arrows – On Sunday there was also this absolutely amazing exercise designed to face down your fears. I’d heard of this technique before of breaking an arrow with your neck. I was really scared when we did it but when it happened it was frickin’ awesome. The arrow snapped right in two and I had this rush of relief and excitement and love wash over me. Of course, don’t try to do anything like this without taking the course and being instructed by people who know what their doing. People do get hurt doing this exercise, especially if they’re not instructed in the proper technique.
Of course, the arrow is a metaphor for whatever’s holding you back in your life, and in fact you’re directed to write down on the arrow something where you’re stuck. The idea is that when you walk towards your fears they disappear. I wrote down “social anxiety,” because even though I’m very effective in my life and do well with other people, still that damn anxiety rears its ugly head more often than I’d like to admit. It’s part of the reason I was taking prozac all those years. So now that I broke the arrow, I’ll never be anxious another day in my life Okay, kidding aside, the experience truly was one of the most moving things I’ve done in years. In my small group there was one girl who was really scared and crying and when she finally got up the courage and did it, it was just a stunning and beautiful moment.
Mein Hair – Of course, I attended the seminar just in plain ol’ “Robert” mode, but my hair did look pretty awesome and got some comments. I had just seen my hairdresser recently before I went and she usually blows out my shoulder length blond hair with bangs so that it’s really femmed out and androgynous. With my pierced ears I definitely got some glances. You know me – I love the attention and looked pretty darn good even as a guy, if I do say so.
I believe they do this seminar two times a year in L.A., and they do it in many other cities too. It’s another one that I’d highly recommend. The book is excellent too, so if you’re at all curious just pick up a copy at Amazon and register for the next seminar closest to you. I’ll post the date for L.A. the next time they’re doing it here. I might even do it again myself. I’m still on a high from the thing. Absolutely Loved It.