Master McKenna call

He calls me occasionally. At first it was every week but has been less frequent of late. He called Wednesday.

“I’m thinking you’ve replaced me by now,” I say.

“Not yet but taking applications. I’ve put the job request through HR.”

“Ha, ha. Glad to know I mean so much to you.”

“For some reason,” he says drolly, “my HR people balked at one of my job requirements. I listed ‘big tits.’ They said it wasn’t PC. Go figure.”

Nice…” I reply.

He asks if I’m having any “adventures” out here. I sigh and tell him that absolutely nothing is going on. “I’ve taken to walking half naked in the woods,” I say. “It’s come to that.”

He likes hearing my submissive desperation. And I like being desperate in his presence. In normal times, me there with him, it would lead to something.

He asks about Mother. He has been genuinely concerned, and I sense it’s not just for my sake, but an empathy for her. He is not far from her age. I update him, and I tell him the latest thinking about Lucille providing live-in service, although I imagine he’s already heard that from Amanda.

“I think I will at least be back for a short time in June,” I say. “Just ten days or so… Maybe, I’m just thinking, maybe you might take me, even if not our regular schedule, just a few days?”

“Amanda will have plans for you.”

“I know. She wants to mate me with the whole neighborhood. But if I could convince her… You know, it could be a great opportunity for you.”

“Oh, really? How’s that?” I hear the smile in his voice.

“I’m at a point where I would do anything for you.”

“You already do.”

“OK… I know. That’s the problem of my being your slave. I have nothing to bargain with.”

“Besides,” he adds, “it sounds like if I took you, it would be more for your need than for my pleasure.”

“I kinda thought they were the same… But you’re going to make me beg for this, aren’t you.”

“I am.”

“I’ll work on that.”

“It’ll have to be a creative, utterly humiliating beg.”

“I was afraid of that.”

I ask him about his work. He talks business for a while, and how it’s been a season of travel for him. I wonder how he has gotten all the reports done. He says he’s farmed it out to one of his offices, but it’s a pain in the ass for him. “They get things wrong,” he says.

“I do too sometimes,” I say. “But you have me naked while I do them, so you don’t notice so much.”

He laughs.

“So, I think you should get me a cage,” I say impulsively. “A big vertical cage to put me in.” I go on to say that Amanda won’t get me one. “It’s all I can think about these days.”

“Maybe in the garden outside the wall of windows in the Great Room,” he says.

“Oh, Jeffress would have a field day with that.” (Jeffress is the landscaping guy at the mansion.)

“It would make a lovely bird cage. For a big bird.”

“See, now, you’re making fun,” I say. “I’m serious. No one takes me seriously on this. I’m telling you I am meant to be kept in a cage. It’s something you should want too.”

“Seems you have a lot to beg for.”

I sigh. “Like I say, working on that, sir.”

Being in conversation with him, this kind of repartee, heats my longing to serve him, to submit to his dominance. Out here, I have never been able to turn off my submissive desire, but it certainly has been running in idle. Every conversation with Master M revs it up once again.

He says he has another meeting in a few minutes. I thank him for the call and for bearing with my sassy demeanor, although I know he likes it.

“Oh, yes,” he adds, “before I go, there’s something else. About Maria. I’ll put it this way: If I actually did post a vacancy for your position, she might like to apply. I’m guessing.”

Maria is Master McKenna’s housemaid. “I’ve wondered about her,” I say. “She’s asked me a lot of questions. A little too curious for it not to be… something.”

“Well, one, she misses you. She’s asked about you a dozen times. Two, she’s afraid of me, but has mustered courage to ask me about what I do… with you.”

“Maria is afraid of you because of what you do to girls like me.”

Master M laughs. “Probably… She’s naturally timid, but I think some of that is a natural submissiveness…”

“I sense that too. Which may be why she’s curious.”

“So, I’ve been noodling on something,” he says. “It would be for when you’re back. Like for a longer chunk of time.”

“Whenever that is.”

“It’ll happen. With great respect for your mother’s situation, you’ll find a solution, and you’ll make it back… You need this too much.”

I sigh. “You have no idea.”

“So, this might be complicated. If Maria is open to it, I wonder if you might tutor her. In the art of submission.”

This is new. I take a moment to absorb it. “What’s your end goal?” I ask, using his vocabulary.

“Big picture: a training program. If I am making the D/s retreats with dominant trainees a regular thing, it makes sense to me that I’d have a submissive training academy as well. Maybe they get paired. But that’s getting ahead of things. For now, I am just putting two pieces together, you and Maria. If she’s interested in learning.”

He’s talking about me in a way as if I’ve never left, including me in his Next Big Thing, and it warms my heart that I continue to partner with him in my own slavery.

“Would you be her dominant?” I ask.

“That’s the complicated part. I employ her, technically through one of my businesses. That poses legal problems. But I think there’s a way around that eventually.” He goes on to suggest that at first I approach Maria casually about her own submissive orientation. “See if something’s there.” Then he says maybe it could progress to my teaching her the basics about the submissive life. “I’ll provide you time for that,” he says. “After a while you’ll tell her that you’ll approach me about allowing her to observe you when you’re with me.” And he says that in time he could work it out, if she wishes, to submit to him. “It could be a modest D/s with her, simple and relatively mild. Whatever she wishes to try.”

Like a top exec, he’s worked it all out. While he seems genuinely interested in helping Maria find her own submissive self — it’s consistent with the Master Teacher he is — I also sense he has a desire for another submissive, to have two of us. That would be interesting. Much for me to chew on.

“Sounds like a workable plan,” I finally say. “Yes, of course. I will gladly do that.”

“Good… And, by the way, when you come out here for the ten days… work it out with Amanda. Yes, of course, I will have you.”

“In so many ways…” I sigh.

“Exactly.”

out… and about Lucille

I came out to Lucille yesterday.

I’m in a kind of reckless, what-the-hell moment these days, my submissiveness having been untouched for so long. My dialogues with Jeremy are wonderful, but they leave me with longing in the very personal parts of me he is probing, a wishfulness for what I had before. My slavery has become nostalgia.

This was somehow my impulse to tell her. I needed someone else to know.


Lucille spells me with Mom during my afternoons at the diner with Jeremy, so she knows about Jeremy and our college friendship.

It happened that Lucille was here yesterday afternoon for a time. Mother was napping, and Lucille and I were on the porch talking. She asked me about Jeremy, what we talk about at the diner. I could have steered away from that but didn’t. I just impulsively felt like telling her about what I am.

I just said I “need to tell you something.” And it went from there.

My coming-out experiences, limited as they’ve been, have had to navigate the double-punch of my personal reveal: that I am bisexual and that I am submissive. The problem is that people are likely to be judgmental of the first and clueless about the second.

I’ve come to a shorthand for this, focusing primarily on my bisexual orientation and my relationship with Amanda. “I’m in a relationship with another woman…” so it goes, and so it went with Lucille. The news of my submissive orientation can seep out later, even naturally, as it did here — but more on that in a moment.

I never know in these parts what any particular person believes, what they consider to be morality. While certainly not everyone in this region of Pennsylvania is morally judgmental, this particular burb is immersed in the conservative religion of my childhood world. Lucille comes from this too, so I expected some measure of judgment or even rejection from her.

She was reserved at first, not saying much, and I felt perhaps I had made a big error. I know people need time to process, but even so, Lucille’s countenance remained cloudy, hard to read, and I had the sense this was not going to end well.

She just said, “Thank you for telling me.”

“Well,” I said, “I just thought I should say something. In light of my dates with Jeremy. He has a girlfriend, and, well, I do too. He and I are just friends.”

Again, Lucille was slow in responding. She eventually spoke: “I have a sister. She lives in Florida. We have always been close. She is gay…” Lucille now looked over at me with a soft smile. “I just want her to be happy.”

We talked more then about her sister, details that should remain private. I mentioned that I had come out to Mother a couple of years ago. “Now we all know,” I said.


Later, Lucille noted that I often wear a collar. I have worn chokers out in public, but at the house I’ve worn metal. She asked if my collar was like a “ring of commitment” to Amanda. “Kind of,” I said. “You might say we have a different kind of relationship.” I chose not to try to explain further, not to itemize “different.” Lucille didn’t ask.

That was all that needed to be shared for now about my submissive lifestyle.


I still don’t know exactly how Lucille thinks about my orientation. I find that church people can have strong biblical beliefs against bi and gay, but for some, when it involves a member of the family or a close friend, it becomes a different reality. There’s a mental opposition but an emotional acceptance.

Perhaps that’s true for Lucille. But in these moments Lucille was clearly accepting of her sister, supportive, it seems, and loving.

And she remains warm and friendly with me. That’s all I can expect.


Recklessly impulsive as my coming out was, it occurred to me later it needed to be done.

Amanda will be visiting soon, her length of stay still to be determined, and our relationship will be obvious to anyone who hangs around us for more than a cup of coffee. Lucille will be here frequently, as she always is; she and Amanda will meet; Lucille will see us together.

Amanda is never discreet with me, doesn’t have to be, but I imagine she’ll try to be sensitive to Lucille’s presence. Still, there will be kissing and the kind of touching of me Amanda does that’s delightfully inappropriate. At some point, that and my freckled blush will be witnessed.

Even so, what will be most telltale, what will give us away, is the simple look we exchange, the one in which Amanda peers into my deepest parts, the core of me she owns, and sees my trembling and willing abandonment to her.

But for a while longer, that’s just nostalgia.

Jeremy 2: my bi

Jeremy and I have now had maybe four? meets at the diner. I continue to share my memories of our conversations, reconstructing them as I can. My memory of the conversations is not linear and swirl around in my head — I am likely to repeat myself, probably have. Our conversations themselves may have covered same ground from other diner times.

Moreover, I forget what I’ve posted before. Or written before — apart from any conversation with Jeremy. Long story short, I fear I am repeating things, so bear with me. I hope it’s still of interest — if only as a real-life example of how I talk about my life and sexuality in the presence of another person, a friend.

BTW, I’m renumbering some of these as just “Jeremy” with an added topic title. Eventually I’ll put all the Jeremy conversation in a separate folder at the top of my blog. (I kind of want to title these “Diner Dishes.”)


We talk about other things too, things not my current life, often reminiscing about our college years. I don’t recount those conversations here, as our references to people and events wouldn’t mean anything to my readers. But it’s a memory lane reverie for us, fun and richly poignant, as we each recall the future we imagined then and the future we’re in now.

Jeremy says, “We eventually become who we really are.”

We agree that in college — in our “arts & lit” cohort — we had visions of a life of the highest level artistic accomplishment — which we have not achieved. We also agree in retrospect, we really didn’t want that. Those aspirations were interests, perhaps, but not who we really are.

He confesses he had aims to become a “man of letters,” so to speak, a writer of the finest literature. But here he is as a stringer for an assortment of periodicals, writing human-interest articles. “But, you know, Shae,” he says, “this is what makes me happy. This is what I was supposed to become.”

I tell him I am blessed to be able to write. I share with him about some of my other writing outside my blog — and vow that I intend to get back to my erotica and mainstream fiction. “I don’t think much about getting published. That may or may not happen. But it is deeply satisfying just to write.”


He is curious as to how much I knew about myself in college in light of my lifestyle now.

I laugh. “Well I certainly didn’t think then that my high purpose in life was to become a sex slave!” I say it a little too loudly. Fortunately, at mid-afternoon the diner is not busy.

“You might,” Jeremy says with a smile, “want to use your inside voice.”

I laugh, blushing.


There’s a snippet of conversation that may have come in here or perhaps was in another diner visit. I share with him how I feel I’m about a “decade behind” in life. “I wish I had known at 19 what I knew of myself at 29.”

“I think most everyone can say that.”

“Yes, but my history is a slow self-reveal of my sexuality. I was delayed because of my upbringing. I wish I had come earlier to understand my bisexuality. And my submissiveness.”


He talks about his girlfriend (whom I will call Phoebe) in glowing terms. It leads him back to his self-confessed “sorry” dating life in college and romantic interests since.

He asks about my dating life back then: “Did you date a lot? I don’t recall.”

I dated some, I tell him, not a lot. I mention one guy I was kind of steady with one year and another I hung out with during a summer semester. “In college, at first, I was still kind of new to the dating scene. I didn’t date much in high school.”

“How much did you know of your bisexuality back in college?”

“I was aware, kinda sorta,” I tell him.

“Was it, I mean, because of your church stuff, was it a problem for you?”

It’s a great question, and while I have sifted through that part of my life before, I pause and take a sip of my coffee before answering. “The church calls it ‘same-sex attraction,’ and they see it as a sin, yes… They respect that some struggle with it, so to speak, and aren’t judgmental if you fight it, but they expect it to be overcome — somehow… Sure, I was aware of being attracted to girls in high school and college, but I never really saw it as a struggle. It wasn’t a fight for me.”

“Then did you see it as a sin inside you?”

I smile at his language. He’s outside the evangelical culture and doesn’t know the lingo. “Church stuff” and “sin inside you” are a little distant and “off.” No matter, I know what he means.

“Well, for me,” I finally say, “it was a background thing. I didn’t really think of myself as being bi in orientation… Also, I think some of this is different for girls than guys.”

“How do you mean?”

“Women have a more natural physical intimacy together. Even straight women commonly touch and hold hands and kiss, just as girlfriends. In college, I considered my attractions sort of in that category. It was more than that for me, but I rationalized it that way.”

“Did you have any girl-girl relationships at school?”

“Sort of. On occasion. Did you know Ashley Smith? Blonde, slender, some said she was bossy. But she was cute.

“She doesn’t ring a bell.”

“She was in other circles than ours. She was an athlete, volleyball and field hockey. I got tossed in with her on a project during some class I was in. I developed a crush on her.”

“Did that become something?”

“No and yes. We hung out together for a while. You know, social things but not as formal dates. She always initiated, asked me if I was going to something. I’d say I was thinking of it, and she say ‘Let’s go together.’ All of it was girlfriend-ish-ness.”

Jeremy laughs at my coined word.

“Well,” I say, “that’s what it is. For women it’s sometimes just a whisper of distance between friendship and intimacy. It’s girlfriend stuff… until it’s more.”

“May I ask if you ever got intimate with Ashley?”

“We did, mildly so. We kissed sometimes. Once we made out in the back seat of a car, but not all they way. We kept our clothes on but there was more intimate touching, yes. But it was nothing more, and nothing further after that one time. She had to leave school because of a family heath issue.”

“Did you later feel guilty about that make-out time with her in the car?”

“No. I never did. I think I liked it too much.”

sex-pourri

She has still not allowed me to touch myself, a deprivation she maintains with wicked glee. She knows I attribute my unrequited yearnings to her. Abstinence is my obedience, my submission to her hand of dominance reaching across the country.

I would never defy her, intentionally plunging my oiled fingers between my wet labia lips and into my vagina. (Sigh.) But it spurs thoughts of how it could happen “accidentally.” It wouldn’t take much to send me into shudders of orgasm.

(Suddenly, I long to ride a horse.)

The real temptation is in the shower with a soapy loofah sponge. I have to clean myself, right? Yet cleaning time seems to be slightly less than what it takes for orgasmic “accidents” to happen, however primed I already am. My “Amanda-conscience” will not let me linger long enough.


On the phone I tell Amanda I now will consent to sex with total strangers.

She laughs, saying, “This is a new thing?”

“I maybe never said it before.”

“You gave me full control long ago.”

“I know. Just sayin’.”

“You,” she says, “would fuck anything right now, wouldn’t you.”

“Pretty much…”

“I like keeping you this way,” she says.


When Amanda visits in a couple weeks, she says she will allow me to climax. She says it will be in the woods where I like to go these days. She will make me naked. And she will watch.

update on mom and me

I appreciate that readers and followers care about my life and my mom and the circumstances here, but I also realize most people don’t care to know all the details. So, this is a brief update for those who might be interested.

I’ll get back to our “regular programming” shortly… 😉


In fact, there’s nothing new about my mom’s condition, but there are some new considerations regarding her ongoing care.

Without getting into medical details, my mother is dealing with sporadic memory loss. There are long stretches when she knows who I am, and other times when she doesn’t. While she will never get better, she also is not declining very quickly — which is good news but makes the decisions regarding her care more difficult. Her “down” times require her to be supervised, making it necessary for someone to live with her. But she is memory-present enough of the time that putting her in a memory-care facility would squander the good moments, and life, she still has.

There is a woman here — I’ll call her Lucille — a friend of Mother’s from church. Lucille is in her fifties, recently widowed, and has a background in nursing. She has volunteered to sit in with Mother for periods of time to give me a break, so I have had afternoons and certain mornings out of the house (my times in the woods and at the diner with Jeremy, for instance).

Lucille has offered to do more. And we have started talking about an arrangement by which Lucille would move in to this place (mother’s house) and care for her full-time. For Lucille, the living arrangement would be rent-free, an attractive benefit for her, and we would pay her some monthly stipend for her work and time.

It’s a possibility, but there are some things to be worked out:

I would need to come back here on a regular basis, perhaps for several weeks or a month each time, to provide Lucille “vacations,” so to speak. I would want to do so anyway — these are important, rich times with Mom in her moments of clarity. I don’t want to miss out on that. Amanda will gladly approve my trips here but would like to know for a year ahead when those trips would be. So, I’m talking about that with Lucille.

Lucille will need the help of another to sit in for her, just as she is doing for me currently. She will need breaks too. At this point, we don’t have that other volunteer person.

And there are some financial matters, primarily a question of whether insurance can cover some cost of remuneration to Lucille as a healthcare provider. She may need to get licensed for that.

It seems possible and promising, but there is much yet to think through. Which is what I’m doing in writing this… 🙂

postcards from the edge: 9

Life has settled into a quieter rhythm. Mother is doing well, though that’s a relative scale — she will not get “better” but is holding her own. She needs me every day but not all the time every day. I’m able to go out, take walks, and have my topless respites in the woods nearby which somehow connect me to who I am.


I have received a number of ideas for Amanda’s distance-domination of me. Thank you. I’ll keep the suggestion box open for another week. At that time I’ll post the ideas here and note who contributed them.

And yes, I will send all of them to Amanda for her, ah, possible use.

Amanda, by the way, will be coming out to Pennsylvania in two weeks. She will stay for about five days. She and I will then talk about some of the big issues of our lives going forward: my status with Mother, her continuing visits out here, perhaps another place here that might be a second home to Amanda.

No doubt, it will also be a time for her to establish some remote-domination practices based on suggestions from you.


Some have asked: yes, I will post more of my diner discussions with Jeremy.

I might say a little more about him, though I need to be careful not to reveal too much. Jeremy has a day job in a web development firm for small businesses and startups. He is not on the tech side of that, although he knows his way around the programming of a website. His job is in talking with clients about the “story” they wish to project that appeals in the best way to the clients they are seeking. This is interesting to me — the junction of creative writing and marketing and visual design — so when we are not talking about me, our conversation often goes into that part of his work.

On the side, Jeremy does some writing for small independent papers. These are human-interest articles, apparently, pertaining to local neighborhoods in the city. He says he wrote one article about a magician and another about a guy who does an act involving the swallowing of sharp objects. (Ugh.)

Jeremy has a thought he might write an article about me. I don’t know if that’s a real thing or more of an excuse to sit with me and ask explicit questions. I’m not local, and I’m not a circus act. But, whatever.

In any case, we are continuing our “conversation about moi” once again at the same diner this Thursday. He is curious, whatever his reasons, and I confess at this point I am all too eager for anything that touches my submissiveness and slave life.


I am slowly getting back to writing and am trying to respond to all who have reached out to me so kindly during this time. If I haven’t responded to you lately, I regret that, but will aim to reconnect in the next week or so.

One of the “problems” of writing now is that I don’t have my active slave life to write about. My life is suddenly boring.

I will be going to the grocery today. Maybe there’s something of interest there to write about…

postcards from the edge: 7

In comments and emails, some of you have kindly suggested that while I’m out here perhaps Amanda could devise some ways of dominating me remotely. I will try to respond to those comments individually, but know that Amanda has seen them, is favorable toward the idea, and is pondering some things.

As some context, it wasn’t foreseen when I came out here that I would be here so long. The situation with Mother was an evolving revelation, still is. For Amanda, there was every expectation, that “in the next week or so” I’d be returning home. But now this seems longer-term.

Further, for the first weeks, I had my hands and mind full of practical matters — healthcare decisions, financial matters, interactions with Mother’s friends and people. Amanda didn’t think it wise to push on me another set of submissive duties and experiences, much as I have longed for them.

But now it seems the busy work of this has subsided for me, and yet I will be entrenched here for some time. This isn’t week to week anymore, but month to month.

Your comments have nudged us into this now. Amanda and I thank you.


We have this week been talking about this new reality and what to do about it. Amanda wishes to visit and for multiple times, but we are figuring what that looks like — a weekend here and there, or week-long stays when Amanda brings her office with her. (Amanda has even talked about moving out here, perhaps a second home near to this house. Possibly a cottage in the woods.)

Our other conversation has had to do with how she, as my dominant, would manage me while I am managing my mother in her condition. There would need to be division of statuses, observance of different roles at certain times. We haven’t had to do anything like that before.


But when Amanda isn’t here, she will be looking for ways she can dominant me remotely, as you have suggested, to give me the submissive experiences I so need.

To that end, she has asked me to invite you to make suggestions. (Sigh… she is always the one to make my submissive humiliations a social event.) Truth is, some of you have had a lot of experience in remote D/s. We haven’t. So she is asking for ideas. And I, with some trepidation, am passing along her request.

All ideas are welcome. Or at least welcomed by Amanda (I’ll see how much I like them when they’re put into practice…) Please leave comments below or else email me here: shaemadigan@comcast.net. I’ll reply and pass along your ideas to Amanda.

postcards from the edge: 5

This part of Pennsylvania is resplendent with verdant hills and woods. Just a few miles outside of town you are already rural, in white-fenced farmland and fields of grass in a dozen shades of green. Mornings you can smell the loam of the earth, rich and musty. God is here, somehow.

By chance, I found a spot off a rural route at the end of dirt road. It’s a copse of woods that shelters a running creek. I go there now once a week, sit against a tree and watch the water burble over rocks. It’s good for my soul.


The other day, I had coffee with my old college friend Jeremy. He’s in New York, about two hours away, and we met at a diner off the turnpike.

A year or so ago I blogged about Jeremy. He was in my college cohort so long ago, a group I was close to back then but have lost touch with since. Jeremy discovered my blog somehow and became a follower online. He’s left a comment or two. He has contacted me personally as well, and I’ve had some interactions with him by email.

We talked about three hours at the diner. I will write separately about some of our conversations. Jeremy inquired first about my mother, asked if there was anything he could do to help. I got caught up on our cohort of friends — Jeremy being the unofficial historian of our group. And then he asked if he could ask me questions about my life of submission. Jeremy is at heart a caring soul, but he can be dogged and forceful — he has the wiring of a journalist.

For all my openness on my blog about my life, submission, sexuality, and sex, it’s a bit heart-stopping actually coming face-to-face with someone who once knew me in my former life and has read the sexual intimacies of my blog. So in direct conversation about my lifestyle, let’s just say blushing happens.

“I have questions,” he said. “May I ask and probe a little?”

I said yes.

The thing was, I wanted it, this dialogue about my slave life, Jeremy’s curiosity about my sexuality, his prurient interests cloaked as intellectual interest. I wanted the gentle humiliation of his questions. I wanted to blush. I wanted to be the submissive made public.

Again, more later, but for a few hours I felt connected again to my life of slavery.


It seems I will be here some time more, and maybe a long time more. Much is still up in the air regarding my mother’s prognosis, but even in the best of futures, she will need some care. I will get into this more specifically, perhaps, at a time when something more is known. For now, I have had to be resigned to my ongoing time here.

Amanda had wanted to come this past weekend, but I suggested she wait a while longer. I’m longing desperately for her to be here, of course, but Mother is showing signs of greater cogency without other intrusions or distractions here at the house to confuse her. We’ll see where this goes.

Amanda calls me every day. I think it’s her way of staying present with me, and I am so grateful for it.


By the way, follower and friend Nora left a comment inquiring as to whether Master McKenna has been in touch.

Yes, and he’s taken to calling me about once a week. I’ve apologized for not being available to him, and he, of course, said it’s perfectly understandable and really okay.

Each call he reminds me I am his property, which is a lovely thing for a submissively starved slave to hear.


The other day I drove to that spot in the small woods by the creek. I unbuttoned my top, took it off. I sat, breasts out, against the tree.

I don’t know if I did this because this is how Amanda keeps me and it feels to me the way I should be. It was not from any sense I had that I would be seen, some wishful replication of my frequent public display.

No, this was about something else. Not sure what.

postcards from the edge: 4

I am grateful to have come out to mother a couple of years ago. I wrote about it here. In my time with her now, those moments become a poignant presence.

I know back then I presented her a double whammy: First, yes, Mom, I am bisexual and in love with a woman named Amanda. Second, oh by the way, Mom, I’m submissive and living as a sex slave. I found more and softer words for this, but that was my coming out.

She had known previously about my early submission to Michael, although it was in her own context of meaning: in the Bible belt women are supposed to be submissive to men, or at least wives to husbands — a domestic hierarchy — and this what she mind-shaped my relationship with him to be. Later, Mother came into a closeted fascination with Shades of Gray, so when I came out to her about my submissive life with Amanda, Mother finally understood more about the kind of submissive I really am.

Ironically, this culture makes it easier for Mother to accept that someone would spank her daughter than make love to her daughter. Here, homosexuality is a line in the sand, entrenched as abominable sin. However, lesbian sex is somewhat less demonized for some reason. (I imagine this may be due to males in this patriarchal world having a fonder time imagining two women together than two men together.)

And so, in my coming out, I expected judgment in the cards, but ultimately, she dealt me only joy. She did not respond with cautions and fears, but with questions and intrigue. And I have since written that I think she has at times lived vicariously through me. Which is a beautiful thing.

She is now in a time of cognitive dissonance. She is aware, and then again not, bearing the visage of clouds passing behind her eyes. But sometimes the sun comes out, she is there again, and I’m grateful that in these moments of shining brilliance the daughter she sees is the daughter she really knows.

postcards from the edge: 1

This is a strange world for me now, so distant from me in time and experience. It is vanilla and non-erotic, two things I have not been for six-plus years. It’s hard to imagine I once lived here.

It is peopled by friends from my past and those from mother’s church, all of them hopelessly nice, so wishing to help, generously bearing lasagna and cookies. In recent years, I have seen them in my mind’s eye as snapshots from another era, faded and filtered in sepia. Most do not know me as much as know of me — as my mother’s daughter who lives elsewhere, as the old friend of friends who moved away, as one of a college cohort that someone knew someone else was in. I am once removed, and perhaps they all see me as a faded photograph too, or more like a photo being developed, the emerging image of a girl they never actually saw.

They see me dressed in propriety like them, wearing this floral shirtdress and these virgin white sandals, assuming that I am as modest and sensible as they are. I am the good daughter tending to her beloved mother, doing the family thing, showing up at the right time in the cycle of life.

They have no idea of the scandal I really am.