Happy New Year lovely bloggers and interested readers!
This is Part 1. of my New Year Review covering some bloggers and blogs, ArtTwist and considerations of my ongoing kink, creative and sexual explorations. It includes lots of photos as well as additions relating to last years New Years Day post ‘the men in my life’ including my emerging relationship with CM. Part 2. which will be published and linked to this post shortly will cover my trip overseas, blogging achievements and my hopes for 2019. A live annotated Index of my 2018 posts cross referenced by meme’s and dates will be live on Saturday.
I can’t remember exactly how I spent my last New Years Eve, but it probably wasn’t hugely different to this one – masturbation, hanging out with the critters, drinking (non-alcoholic) beverages, eating leftovers, taking photos and blogging.
Although I’d only been blogging for around six months at that point (see last years reviews –Indies Journey 2017, Midnightattheoasis2017 (1) and Midnightattheoasis2017 (2) Index), I’m fairly confident that this is also how I saw the rest of the year unfolding too.
The multiverse, it seems had other plans…
It started out normally enough – for a then 64 year old single trying to find a path through sex blogging and kink in the aftermath of huge personal changes. I’d been regularly contributing images and writing to the weekly “big 3”: Sinful Sunday, Masturbation Monday and Wicked Wednesday, as well as a range of other memes: February PhotoFest2018, #SoSSaturday, KOTW, #30DayOrgasmFun, TMI Tuesday, FridayBoobday, and F4TF. I’d decided not to worry too much about reviewing and concentrate on creative writing, photography and some occasional critical commentary especially as it related to sex and aging.
My stats were heading up, even while the enforced solitude of the blogging life meant my social life was pretty average. I’d established ways to gain pleasure and reached the conclusion that masturbation was probably preferably to the whole messy relationship thing. The thought of a fuck buddy held some appeal, because I missed being touched by someone else. I’d decided to take my kink exploration fairly slowly, but rope definitely held a mental and sexual appeal even though I was unsure about how my body would cope. So more workshops were on the cards.
My creativity was alive again – I was having fun playing with a camera and had begun looking at my studio with some interest. I’d determined that as an artist I wanted to find a way to link my blog, my love of art and my kinky imagination. And so in late 2017 the idea of ArtTwist – a meme depending on responses to existing artworks, was born and went live on January 9.
The ArtTwist meme was exhilarating and scary, and I was very unsure as to whether I was up to the technical challenges or indeed if I was in this on my own or not. However, once the link tool went live a small bunch of brilliant bloggers: May More, Malflic and M from cammiesonthefloor, contributed to my first prompt – Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe.
My writing chum, Cousin Pons agreed to offer the first roundup.
ArtTwist ran somewhat erratically for 6 issues (see 2018 Index MidnightOasis64 for lists and links). It was always a scramble and I continue to marvel at the dedication of the big three bloggers. (And definitely envied them their live-in technical assistants at the time). Although I was conceptually prepared I hadn’t thought through some practical details properly, nor had I been blogging long enough to know that there were many other lures in the form of established annual online events such as FebruaryPhotoFest and The Smutmarathon to interest my peers. Despite this, over the life of the meme a number of bloggers contributed images or writing to various artwork prompts chosen by their fellows or myself, wrote reviews and comments and supported the fledgling meme.
M – cammiesonthefloor
As I mentioned above, M, from @cammiesonfloor was a consistent contributor to the ArtTwist meme. Therefore I was saddened, as were many others, by her untimely death this year. As editor of the meme I felt the need to acknowledge this in some way. Therefore I wrote an #SOSS tribute In Honour of M – Sashaying Away which was subsequently published in the FFTF meme. I also published a photograph entitled Anticipated Capture which in some ways reflected my understanding of M’s aesthetic sensibilities and how they made me feel, in the following Sinful Sunday. I know that forward planning has enabled M’s blog to continue after that date, but until I started writing this post I’ve found it difficult to return there.
However, I plan to make a point of revisiting her site in 2019, it feels like its time.
The Men in My Life
I kicked off the 2018 New Year with an #SOSS post about The Men in My Life: paying tribute to family, friends, former lovers and the male bloggers who then (1) (and now) brighten my existence, stating:
“We may never meet in the flesh but I’m so happy to meet you here in cyberspace… you are bold and engaging and forthright and sexy, and sometimes, quite lovely.”
When I wrote about these male bloggers I had not yet encountered the fabulous writing and artwork of ETCostello. He sent me a query and then an entry The Mermaid of King’s Cross for the 4th ArtTwist Prompt (see 2018 Index) and from then on I was hooked on his amazing way with words, and the tales – both visual and written he has to tell…
In the previously mentioned New Years blog post, I also noted that:
“all the deeply significant men in my life have departed from my life in one way or another.”
Given my largely solitary life style, and psychological/trust issues that were the legacy from my previous long term relationship, I saw no easy way to change that. However, the erotica I was immersed in and exposed to via blogging, along with my own memories and writings about Ryan – a younger lover from the early ’90’s created a sexual restlessness I struggled to assuage despite my extensive collection of toys.
In addition, the vista’s that the blogging world revealed were tempting. I found myself accepting and intrigued by many things I had rarely considered in my previous, largely vanilla existence. Fetlife and immersion in the kink scene was a scary yet alluring proposition, but I deliberately kept my initial forays at some distance from the local area, given my (flimsy) ongoing status as an employee in the local education sector. Once I’d decided to travel overseas in the second half of the year, I also considered the possibility of some sexual/kink encounters, but on January 1 that was a long way off.
I’m sure you are familiar with the idea of being careful what you ask for?
At the end of January I agreed to have dinner and also take part in a photoshoot at my friend Sara’s house (photos above). Unexpectedly I found myself the willing subject for two photographers that day, Sara and her friend Craig M. It was a brilliant (devious) surprise and an excellent session, which led to a new if complicated friendship.
Photos from that day, along with others that Craig later agreed to shoot helped me to successfully take part in the February Photofest 2018 run by Molly Moore. Craig’s creativity further sparked my own to the extent that I began to regularly make art again for the first time in about 7 years, going to life drawing classes, and posting a limited range of work from an earlier time on the blog.
Along with our emerging creative partnership, over the next few months Craig and I negotiated regular hugging, walks, and a kink mentorship – though he is no longer active in the scene. His involvement in my life provided me with half forgotten pleasures of male company and new cats to adore, and rapidly led to him becoming a deeply significant man in my life. At the same time he has challenged my previous understanding of relationship and commitment in numerous ways.
While we are not and probably won’t ever be lovers (except in my fantasies), in late June he asked me to enter into a companionate relationship with him. It’s taken me a while to begin to get my head around what this might mean for two “odd beasts”; one of whom needs frequent time out to cope with long standing depression, and the other who is still grappling with the previously mentioned fallout from the last relationship. My erratic blogging in the second half of the year was partly due to these issues. But two months later, despite weeks of emotional turmoil resulting from our respective pasts I finally gained my first symbolic tattoo (photo below) as an act of faith in our ‘precious friendship’.
Although our friendship is still not without it’s difficulties, Craig became a constant source of long-distance support as I travelled solo overseas for two months, and was there to meet me when I returned home. We don’t live in each others pockets, but our time together is valued by both of us, and I hope 2019 will see the continuation of the hard won stability in our journey together – wherever that takes us.
My instant sexual attraction remains strong but I have found ways to channel it to avoid crossing boundaries. With his consent I have written and will continue to write freely about our relationship and my fantasies in relation to him on this blog. These entries, including the popular f(r)iction* post, His Woollen Jumper are tagged on the blog and marked in 2018 Index as (CM for f(r)iction, or Craig M for non-fiction and photo credits) should you wish to read them. They clearly chart the erratic path we have taken to date. I have also included a portrait I drew and many of his photographs (as they were taken and with filters I have applied).
*F(r)iction – where sexual imagination rubs up against memory
Recently we have begun to discuss ideas for some more creative work together – this time as a joint collaboration. The emphasis will be on work with a mythic/Surrealist air, inspired in part by Mothmeister, and the Hare mask I bought in Barcelona. As with everything in our relationship this will require time and patience, but I’m loving being inspired to work again, and I’m hoping that as the 12 month anniversary of our meeting looms on the horizon that we will produce some more joint work again – just in time for February Photoshoot 2019!
Look out for Part 2 of this review of 2018 to be published shortly.