Mommy Monday: Perspective

I saw this meme some weeks ago on one of my favorite FaceBook groups, The Mind Unleashed. But I was appalled when I read through the responses to it. How could these supposedly introspective, forward-thinking adults be so callous and thoughtless when it came to the most precious resource of our culture…our children…our very future?

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But the cold hard truth is that as adults and as a society, we have two standards of behavior…one for us and much stricter one for our children.

We will not share our cell phones, tablets or laptops with a friend or sometimes even a partner, but we demand that our children share their toys, even favorites, with the kid they just met on the playground.

Because the cold hard fact is…we are more worried about what other people think of our parenting style than we are the mental health and happiness of our child. Don’t like it? Tough, you know I always speak the truth.

We will rant, rave and throw a right proper fit about our partner…our job…the line in the store. But the moment our four year old starts to fuss because we won’t buy them the toy they want, we spout ancient ‘wisdom’ like…

  • I’ll give you something to cry about.
  • You ain’t too old for your wants to hurt you.
  • Life ain’t fair so  get used to it.

Do you know WHY life is not fair? Do you realize why you don’t have the drive, ambition and courage to go after your dreams?

Because your parents did that to you. That does NOT make it right. We have benefit of a century of psychology and child development that shows us better, more enlightened ways of raising our children to be happier, better adjusted and ultimately more successful adults. Yet with all that knowledge we continue to focus on the negatives, the old ways, seeing the problems, the behaviors…and not the root causes of them.

Before I received the diagnosis of high-functioning autism for my beloved PanKwake, I read everything I could get my hands on, looking for my own answers (working your way through the NHS system for these things takes a long time…time that our children do not have…two precious years almost for us). One of the books was on a form of autism called Pathological Demand Avoidance. It changed everything about how I saw and dealt with my child.

One misconception about autism is that meltdowns are willful manipulations and temper tantrums to get their way. Yes, control is a major root issue with those on the spectrum. Heck, control is an issue for most of us. But this book made the point that meltdowns are not temper tantrums, because even if you give them what they want…it often does not stop the meltdown once it has begun. The book said that in fact meltdowns are more like panic attacks. That proverbial light bulb went off in my head.

I remembered a time three or four years before, after my miscarriage and during the worst of my depression. I had been summoned to mandatory back-to-work appointment, though at the time I could not really go more than a couple of blocks from our apartment without bursting into tears. After all my effort, the woman I was supposed to meet was a no show…without any explanation. It took all the courage I had to even approach the security guard and ask him to call her one more time before I left.

When I did finally leave, I burst into tears. I remember thinking, “No matter how hard I try to get better, no one wants to help me.” The tears turned to hiccuping sobs. My heart raced. I could not breath. I walked a mile and a half home because I could not stand to be in an enclosed bus with other people. People on the street stared at…or away from me.

I was forty-five years old. I held two college degrees…and more certificates than you could shake a stick at. I had been through Dialectal Behavior Therapy and had a whole tool box full of coping strategies. And I walked home crying with hundreds or thousands of strangers looking at me like I was crazy. That was the worst panic attack of my life.

And as I read those words I finally understood my child…if I could not control myself, why the fuck did I expect a six-year old little girl without any of those skills, education or self-awareness to do so? It instantly changed how I see her behaviors…and that is the key…her behaviors are not her. They are reactions to distress…lack of control…and fear. That is why shame, threats and even punishment will never work. They will only destroy her…her unique, beautiful and magnificent spirit and potential.

If you are a parent, I hope you will at least give what I said serious thought. Reconsider if your methods are building your child up…or tearing him down.

And if you are not a parent, if like most of those ignorant people, who responded to that meme, you are a spectator, a by-stander, remember the next time you see a child ‘misbehave’…it is non-ya…none of your fucking business.

You don’t know that child’s issues…you don’t know the stress of that parent either. Either turn away like those people on that street did to me, or if you truly are blessed of the goddess a calming and understanding smile and nod…could change that parent and child’s whole day.

That is the power of perspective…paradigm…and your gift alone to give a child in distress.

 

Sensual Saturday: The Basting Stitch

From December 2014:

Because I am a bigger girl (and on a budget), it has not been easy to find fetish wear, especially for my little side. This summer I took to sewing again after many, many, many years away. I have made me a couple of costumes that people loved. To the point that with one of my sisters, we are thinking of starting a new business making and selling plus size fetish wear and lingerie.

But the past couple of weeks, I feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew with my 50s style red satin Christmas dress. The cream jacket that goes with it…well, (blushes) I pulled a Scarlett O’Hara on that one. My ex-husband asked me to shorten some curtains he had bought. I cut off about half a meter of each of the four panels…almost two meters of beautiful cream material. I offered to make him cushions but he said no. But it was too pretty to just throw away (something I rarely do anyway). So it became a fitted 50s style jacket. And while it is lined with cream colored satin material, it is not big deal because no one sees the lining. I made that jacket in a single morning.

I have not been so lucky with the dress. Granted I am trying to sewing it on an older machine that is very very basic. I really need something that has adjustable pressure feet and the satin stitch, but that is on the Santa list. Until then, I need this done. I wanted it finished for Thanksgiving on Thursday. And it is still sitting unfinished in my sewing box…and I am left hoping for the Christmas party at the special needs center that my daughter goes to the following Saturday, except I have her dress to make before then too.

One of the biggest issues has been getting the hem right on the full circle skirt…hemming those things are a &itch. I tried using the trimming like the pattern called for…and ended up having to cut off two inches of the skirt. Then I tried bias tape…and pinning it. I burnt the tape and scorched the material a bit. In the end, I did something I had not done since I took sewing classes in 7th grade (do NOT even ask how long ago that was)…I basted the damn thing. You know what…when I sat down at the machine and sewed, it came out perfectly…first time.

Why did I not baste it the first time? Why do I skip that step and try pinning shit even when the instructions call for it? Because it is tedious and takes time. Why spend half an hour hand sewing something that you are going to rip out? Because it will keep you from making bigger mistakes when you sew it. It will save you the pain of ripping out stitches that were wrong or worse yet throwing away whole pieces of material and starting again.

But me…I have NO patience. My blessed sister keeps telling me to slow down…to have patience. And I keep reminding her that I am water. I must always be moving and growing or I will stagnate and die. So basting for me is truly hard work. Slowing down enough to hand sew those huge stitches that I know will be pulled out once the ‘real’ ones go in. It makes no sense sometimes…but it is what you absolutely positively must do when working with material like silk and satin.

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Not my Christmas dress but satin all the same.

And that taught me something about what has been ristmas wrong with mine (and lots of other) relationships. We do not spend enough time basting it with friendship, taking the time to get to know one another deeply and intimately before we begin sewing. We just quickly iron it and stick a few pins in there to hold it in place…if we even bother with that. You know what that shit can work with dating…cheap cotton. But with precious materials like marriage and long term relationships…you MUST baste it. Otherwise, you will end up going back and ripping out stitches, cutting off two inches of the skirt. Or worse yet, throwing away precious material.

I will finish this Christmas dress…because I have learned the value of basting. And next time I am working with satin or silk I know to leave the pins in their box and pull out the needle and thread instead. Taking the time to baste is the only way to go. And if my beloved goddess should ever find me worthy again of another chance at that special garment of REAL love that I crave…I know now to baste it too, to take the time to get to really know this person, to demand they be as transparent with me as I have always been with my partners, to only offer my love to my best friend.

Freaky Friday: 7 Types of Female Orgasms

From soooooooooooooo long ago I don’t remember, BUT if you like this blog then search my archives because back in May (I think) 2015 I did a week long series with an expanded version of this…one orgasm per day.


I cannot take credit for the ideas within this article. I first learned of these theories about seven years ago in one of those Cosmo articles about super sex. I have since done several on-line searches to locate it, but with no luck yet. I have taken that article as I remember it and combined it with personal experience to bring you what I hope will be an informative and helpful article. I do though have a background in the subject as I hold a bachelor’s degree in Health Education and worked for some time in Sexual Health and HIV education. I hope you enjoy.

It is a subject that science has long debated. It is also a subject that has proven worrisome for many women and men. It is the female orgasm. Since 1957 when Masters and Johnson began their controversial work with human sexual response, we have learned many things about the female sexual response. But science is still divided on many of the things mentioned in this article. Some scientists continue to insist that the only manner in which a female can reach orgasm is through the clitoris. Others give credence to the elusive G-spot named or Gräfenberg spot, named after the man who ‘discovered’ it. This articles intent is to offer a variety of theories and perhaps hope to women, who may have thought themselves incapable of orgasming (and the men who love them).

1) Clitoris – Let’s begin with the obvious, the one that all scientist agree upon, the clitoral orgasm. This most common type of female orgasm is achieved by stimulating the clitoris. The clitoris is the female equivalent of a male’s penis head, and is highly sensitive to stimulation. As women become aroused their clitoris swells up with blood, becomes more sensitive and at the same time it retracts under its clitoral hood. With enough stimulation through pressure, rubbing, or a vibrator, the ultra-sensitive clitoris will cause the release of an orgasm. Or that’s what science tells us.

From a practical standpoint, this is the easiest for most women to achieve perhaps because the clitoris itself is easily found. Some women prefer indirect contact by massaging the clitoral hood, while others can enjoy direct clitoral stimulation. The best advice is always to experiment, alone or with your partner.
I recommend that women take the time to get to know their bodies intimately.

One simple way of doing this is to lie back naked on your bed with one of those magnifying makeup mirrors between your legs. Open the labial lips and actually look at your clitoris and vagina. Then spending some time touching and exploring what feels good and what does not. If you are brave enough then the challenge is to watch yourself in the mirror as you orgasm. It can be shocking how strongly those inner lips and muscles contract during an orgasm; imagine what that must feel like wrapped around your partner’s cock. Feel the power of womanhood?

12508816_1007332592671600_1418671880245757638_n2) Gräfenberg or g-spot — Although scientists are far from unanimous about this one, over the past twenty years it has become more widely accepted by many. It describes the bean-shape area of the vagina that many women report to contain an erogenous zone which when stimulated can lead to high levels of sexual arousal and powerful orgasms. It is typically located one to three inches up the front vaginal wall between the vagina opening and the urethra. This type of orgasm is sometimes referred to as a pressure orgasm, because it arises from the direct application of pressure to the nerve endings.

Practically speaking, it is more difficult to experiment alone with this one. Many women (myself included) find that their g-spots are just out of reach of their own fingers. I can reach my g-spot and even stimulate it, but my fingers cannot apply sufficient pressure to trigger an actual orgasm. But this can be overcome through the use of certain sex toys designed specifically to stimulate the area.

It also presents an enjoyable way for your partner to lend a hand, if you will. I have been known to go up to my husband and put his fingers directly inside my vagina, telling him that I need a quick relief. And sister can it be quick! I can orgasm almost immediately. This pressure orgasm also provides most of my multi-orgasmic capacity as one can easily roll into two, three, or more. I like to call this one a Big Mac, because like a fast food burger it is a quick, convenient way to take the edge of your need. It is also the only type of orgasm that will elicit female ejaculation, at least in me.

3) Vaginal or deep cervical — This is the latest and most highly controversial of all the types of orgasm. Scientists assert that deep vaginal wall and cervix have virtually no nerve endings, thus making this type of orgasm impossible. They assert that instead what the woman attributes to vaginal stimulation is most likely the rubbing of the clitoral hood during the act of penetration.

Now, I am only a woman, a multi-orgasmic woman. But my simple response to this is bull shit. This is a distinctly different sensation than a clitoral orgasm. For me, the internal vaginal contractions are less pronounced, but the overall pleasure is not diminished. If the g-spot can offers a taste of multi-orgasmic pleasure this is the buffet table, ladies. Through deep penetration, I can come almost constantly throughout sexual intercourse.

I do hate to admit this though. In this type of stimulation, the size of the waves does matter. It is called deep cervical for a reason. If your partner lacks the equipment to reach and stimulate this area, other than sex toys, there is no easy answer. Of course, experimenting with different positions can help if your partner is almost there. Personally, I enjoy doggy and what I like to call heels to ears when hubby pushes my legs so far back that I can almost touch my ears with my toes. Both of these positions can prove highly productive for most ‘average’ men. Then you have the occasional stud from which we get all those incredibly true stories.

Alright from here on out, ladies and gentlemen, we get very controversial. Few within the recognized field of human sexual research would validate these claims. But still women, myself included, make anecdotal claims of sexual delights beyond the realm of science. I will rely heavily on personal experience and opinion with this section. But then again I have a lot of experience to rely upon.

4) Anal — This one basically is seen as stimulating the g-spot from another angle through the penetration and stimulation of the anus. I will say that anal sex may not be for everyone and that it may take time and patience for a woman enjoy this type of stimulation. My best advice for experimenting with this one is to begin slowly. I recommend that the couple try foreplay, oral and vaginal intercourse. Then when the man is sufficiently stimulating and within a few minutes of reaching orgasm attempt anal penetration. Of course, the bit about using lots of lube goes without saying. For me, this one ranks as a take or leave experience that is reserved for special occasions. If the g-spot was a Big Mac then this is filet mignon. (Changed my mind on that one.)

5) Nipple — Most people recognize that stimulating the erogenous zones on and around the breast can heighten sexual pleasure. But few scientists would give serious credence to nipple stimulation alone being sufficient to achieve orgasm. I admit that as addicted as I am to nipple stimulation to achieve a clitoral orgasm I have rarely experienced this type apart from any other. But given the wide range of human sexual responses, it is possible that some women with particularly sensitive nipples and breasts may do so. The few experiences that I have had with this type of orgasm occurred most frequently when I was pregnant or lactating. So ladies, take this as a license to explore your sexuality more during these blessed fruitful times.

6) No hands, Ma — Also called a dream-gasm, this type is the equivalent of a teenage boy’s wet dreams. During sleep, dreaming or intense altered mental consciousness such as meditation, some women report the ability to achieve orgasmic release without physical touch of any type. Have I you ask? A couple of times, but generally I lack the patience when I can come so much quicker by touching myself or having a partner do so. I suppose the best way to experiment with this one is definitely alone, ladies. Pull that super-hot romance off the shelf and curl up with it before bed time. Allow your mind to take over and see what can happen. (So totally and completely changed my mind on this one…especially in terms of Dom-led orgasm conditioning.)

7) Combination — Basically this is achieved by combining two or more of the mentioned types of orgasms with the ultimate goal of achieving a super-gasm. This one can be fun to experiment with your partner. How many can you personally combine? How intense is the sensation? My record, you ask? Let’s see, when I first read that Cosmo article my lover at the time set out to find out. If my count is correct, we managed to combine nipple, clitoral, deep cervical and anal for a grand slam home run. Of course, we had help from a few sex toys. Or alternatively for the adventurous among us, multiple partners. I have certainly enjoyed more than one orgasm while swinging or in gang bangs.

So the simple moral of this story is that with a variety of options available to us, there is no reason that any woman should not enjoy as much orgasmic delight as she wants. Sometimes that can within the confines of a loving and committed relationship. Other times it may be through wild, once-in-a-lifetime experiments such as gang bangs. But it can also be achieved in our quiet, solitary moments with our own touch or toys.

But whatever type or however you achieve, do come…again…and again…and again.

Thoughtful Thursday: HAPPY Thanksgiving

From November 2014:

 

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and as usual I had my big do. It was not as big as it had been in the past; less than a dozen people, but that was enough to fill up my small home. And while I cannot say for absolutely certain, I think it might have been the happiest Thanksgiving ever. Not that it was perfect mind you, but happy. What do I mean by that?

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My tiny kitchen…full of people?

When many people think of Thanksgiving, they picture the man at the head of long table, knife in hand craving the turkey as people sit quietly at the table watching. The table is set perfectly with china, fine silver and crystal glasses. And the 1950s wife smiles lovingly from the other end of the table and says, ‘Yes, dear.’

If you are looking for that kind of happy, then don’t come to my house for Thanksgiving. I serve buffet style in the kitchen. On the sturdy plastic plates with plastic knives, forks and spoons too and you guessed it…Styrofoam cups. At the end of the line, you microwave your food and take it into the living room where we sit around on the sofa, chairs and when the crowd is larger sometimes even cushions on the floor. We talk and laugh loudly…all at once, a half dozen sometime ribald conversations all going on at the same time. The only thing that remotely smacks of that ‘perfect’ Thanksgiving is the mountains of homemade food and me in my 1950s style apron.

But what made yesterday different? The best? A few things actually…

First of all, I have learned to prioritize, to accept that we can not have perfect. So I did make those compromises…like the plastics wear while sticking to the things that were truly important…the food and especially the people. The benefit…I was able to clean my whole house afterwards in less than an hour with almost no dishes (I may be the traditional 50s wife but two things I hate are washing up and ironing).

Secondly, I scheduled the cooking and the cleaning. I began on Sunday cleaning AND organizing my kitchen. Actually, I did that one under duress when my son threatened to throw away all the jars I have been saving if I did not get them off the counter tops. Damn, baby Doms; think they can tell their Mommy’s what to do too. When he came in from work that day, I got a…good Mommy though. He said the kitchen had not been that clean since I moved in, actually it is cleaner as I washed the walls and cabinets too. Then I did certain chores and cooking a bit each day. I combined this one with the prioritizing in that I made changes to the schedule as necessary, rearranging things to fit my family’s needs. In the end, I was finished by 3:00 PM on Thursday…four hours before anyone was scheduled to arrive. That has NEVER happened before.

Remember what it is really all about…FAMILY and friends. That one got put to the test this year. My youngest child is autistic and has severe behavior issues. The plan had originally been that she would go to her dad’s for the night. But she asked, well begged and pleaded was more like it, to stay. It was not really a hard decision…I love my kids and wanted them all around me. And you know what, she did better than I would have ever thought possible. I am so proud of her…and that is a major part of my happy.

But it also highlighted something else about happy to me…it is a state of mind and not the perfect circumstances. You see me agreeing to allow my younger daughter to stay upset both of my older children, who were worried that she would ruin everything for them and their friends. My baby Dom managed it well, expressing his concerns but not pushing it. My older daughter pitched a fit of her own. She sent me nasty texts that had me messaging my best friend that she was going to ruin my night. What my friend said changed everything…not if you don’t let her. My happiness was not dependent upon her or anyone else. Oh, she came slamming in the front door, she hid in a bedroom, refusing to talk to me and being down right cruel to her sister until her guests began to arrive. But that was her problem…not mine.

My happiness is not dependent on her or anyone else…it is MINE. I was reminded of that earlier in the day when I was chatting with another friend. He made the comment that perhaps he and I should get used to being alone as our standards were so high. And as I told him…I am there 90% of the time. Do I sometimes wish I had a swordbearer, someone strong enough to fight alongside of me, someone strong enough to earn my respect and submission? Of course, I fucking do. Humans are not wolves; most of us are not hardwired to be alone. But after a lifetime of weak and/or domineering/controlling partners, I have discovered that being alone is better than being with the wrong person. I don’t need any fucking man to carve my turkey…it is so moist that it falls right off the bone. And if the day does ever come when I have the privilege of looking up at someone and saying ‘Yes, dear’ he will have worked damned fucking hard to earn my respect and submission. He will be just one more thing to be thankful for in my life.

And my HAPPIEST Thanksgiving ever was a result of my attitude and the wonderful and flawed people that are my family and friends, whom I love and am very thankful for this year.

MY happiness is inside of me. As the friends in one of my groups say…I am enough.

Goddess bless and keep us all through this holiday season!

Teaser Tuesday: Nothing Done in Love

TMTM2From October 2015: This is an excerpt from my novella Nothing Done in Love as part of the Erotic Collective’s The More The Merrier 2 anthology. If you wish to have a copy of it, hurry as this story will soon be removed from that boxed set in preparation for re-writes and release as a full length novel later this year.


 

“Katy-did, how about we go for a walk after dinner?” Chance asked from the doorway.

How could the man, men, both of them, looking so fucking hot in nothing more than jeans and black t-shirts. It seemed to be all they ever wore though. But it perfectly accentuated the almost shoulder length hair that curled about their chiselled faces and the deep blue of those eyes.

Damn it, she might need an extra shower today. Either a cold one or a bit longer to…take care of business as her sexually enlightened mother had always called it. The sexual frustration of just being around these two was enough to drive any woman to a Hitachi.

She smiled and shook her head as she whispered, “Maybe another time. Thanks.”

“Go dear, I promise I won’t die while you are gone,” her mother laughed weakly.

Katie frowned at her attempt at macabre humor, “That was not funny, Mom.”

Her mother shook her head that still had more blonde hair like her own than grey. How could this be happening? Her mother was only fifty-three. She should have had another twenty years with her at least. Weddings and grandchildren, Christmases and anniversaries, too many milestones that she would miss. She fought back the tears once more. How would she survive without her?

She could see that her mother tapped into her waning energy reserves to lift her hand and brush away her tears. “I taught you better than that, Kaitlin. When life gives us lemons, we make lemonade, lemon meringue pie and tarts. We are the only ones that determine our Fates. And yours has always been to be a light in this dark world. So no more hiding under bushels, beautiful.”

Her mother’s lips were turning whiter with each word. She knew the pain that each breath took now that the cancer had reached her mother’s lungs. Ironic that she, who had never smoked, never polluted her body with such things would die of lung cancer. Although the tumor growing larger by the day in her head might beat it to the final knock-out punch.

“Chance, put my daughter to bed. She is so tired that she has lost not only all perspective but her sense of humor as well,” her mother tried her best to smile, but her own light was dwindling too fast.

Katie swallowed the lump in her throat as she shook her head, “No, Mom, I’m fine. I get enough sleep here next to you.”

Joy chuckled, “Did you hear me say anything about sleep? I told him to put you to bed. The damned things have more than one purpose you know.”

“Mother,” she scolded with a blush. Then again what else did she expect from the woman upon whom a writer friend had modelled the outrageous sex-therapist, yoga diva mother-in-law for one of Hollywood’s most popular comedy movies. Katie had even gotten to meet the famous singer and actress cast for the role. The woman was a method actor and spent hours sipping herb tea and laughing in this very house. The place held so many memories, she thought.

As if her mother had read her earlier thoughts, “Don’t mother me. When was the last time you took care of business, young lady?”

Katie blushed so deeply that she feared she might burst into flames, especially since she knew damned good and well that Chance knew exactly what her mother was talking about. This woman had taken it upon herself to fill-in all the gaps that busy or uptight parents and public school health classes missed with her daughter’s friends. It did not help though that she could actually hear the low and partially stifled laughter behind her.

“Have you forgotten how, sweetie? Or why? You know how important it is to keep the sacral chakra open. Without your second chakra, your life force and energy cannot flow upwards. You become blocked, your whole life constipated, dear. You know that is not the legacy I want for you.”

Katie had never fully embraced her mother’s New Age philosophies, especially when it came to this one. “Can we please talk about this another time, Mom? I am sure that Chance does not want a full run down on my masturbatory history.”

“I don’t know. Sounds like an interesting enough topic for dinner conversation to me. What do you think, little bro?”

She turned to stare at them both now as she saw Chase bringing in a tray heavily laden with delicious smelling bowls. She stood up and rushed towards him, “Here, let me,” she offered as she reached out to take it.

He pinned her with a dark scowl, “I don’t need your help, princess. I can more than manage a few bowls and if you must know it is not bad therapy, works on my balance.”

Her mother shook her head and chuckled, “And when was the last time that you opened your second chakra, Chase?”

Katie’s eyes widened as she turned to chastise her mother’s boldness once more. Until she heard the deep rumble of laughter and saw the genuine mirth in Chase’s eyes, something that had been distinctly missing these past few days. “Probably way too long, Joy. You have any prescriptions for that?” He sat the tray down next to the bed and took a seat next to her mother.

“Well, actually I do. But you two have to help me get my uptight progeny out of the way so we can talk about the deeper meaning of life,” she smiled as she took a small swallow of the soup that the man spooned into her mouth.

“I can take a hint, Mom. You want to talk to them alone. You should have just said so. No need to discuss such intimacies with everyone,” she pouted as she took the bowl of soup and fresh bread that Chance held out for her.

“We aren’t ‘everyone,’ Katy-did,” he smiled a bit too broadly.

“I give up on all of you,” she said with a shrug. “I’ll take my dinner to the porch to eat in peace.”

“Your room for dinner, then a long bath and massage would be better, dear,” her mother suggested.

“What, Mother, did you call one of your tantric or Reiki friends to heal me?” As much as she loved her mother, it had never been easy discussing such normally private things so openly, but that was this woman’s life’s work. Her only child was no exception. Especially her child.

“No, Katie, you know that tantra is best practiced within the confines of a loving and committed relationship. Our sexual energy especially is a precious commodity, not to be abused or wasted.”

She had always considered it ironic that her hippie mother’s philosophies on sexual promiscuity were so closely matched to those of the Christian far-right. For very different reasons, of course.

Joy Danvers was always an odd mixture of sexual liberation with her message, ‘Nothing done in love can ever be a sin.’ But that was the key…done in love. Though her definition of love was far broader, encompassing all different life-styles.

She smiled, then again her mother had never fit anyone’s comfortable mold. She had never been the type to follow rules. Hell, her mother had been born to break them. A hippie psychic, personal trainer, life coach and a dozen other things, who had taught her beloved only child to question everything and everyone. Herself first and foremost. A thoughtful life, her mother called it.

“Yes, Mom, I know that, which is why I am afraid I shall have to pass on the massage. Will it make you happy if I promise to meditate a bit after you go to sleep?”

“As backed up as your energies are, my dear? Katie, you are a classic case study in an underactive second chakra. You fear pleasure and deny yourself the things that can make you feel good. You’ll make up any excuse not to have something you really want. Your creativity is blocked, you always feel sluggish, and have a weak sex drive. And let’s don’t even talk about your need to “fit in” with people. I always taught you to be your true and authentic self. You can’t manifest any of what you desire because your thoughts and emotions tend to lean towards negativity, dear,” her mother shook her head against her pillow.

Katie fought back tears. Her mother’s words were as strong a rebuke as the woman had ever given her. “And all of that would just magically change if what, Mother? If I got laid? Right now, sex is just about the last thing from my mind, Mom.” Well, most of the time, she amended in her mind, surrounded as she was with testosterone.

“You know that is not what I am saying either, so don’t give me that, young lady. But tonight, you are following my orders, for once,” her mother’s smile softened her words as she turned to Chance, who still leaned near the doorway. “Be a dear and run my stubborn daughter a warm bath. Burn the rose candles and look in the cupboards for the jasmine and ylang ylang oils. Add a few drops of each to the water. And if she won’t be a good girl, I trust you know how to strip a woman and make her do what you want?”

She was relieved to see that even Chance was a bit embarrassed by her mother’s question as his ears turned a bright shade of pink. “Once or twice maybe, Ma’am,” he stammered.

Her mother winked at his brother as she sipped a bit more of the soup he offered, “Yes, I imagine you two do not usually find the women all that recalcitrant.” Chase shook his head and chuckled until Joy speared him with her stare.

“Don’t think you get off so easily, young man. Your energies are almost as bad as my daughter’s. You think I cannot see how brown, almost black your aura has become?” Katie could see the effort it took for her mother to reach up and with a trembling hand caress his bearded cheek, “You used to have the brightest silver aura I have ever seen, you remember what that means, Chase?”

He nodded, “I haven’t felt very lucky or gifted in a while, Joy.”

“I know, sweetie, but you are. You just need to reconnect with who you really are. Just like my little girl. So I have an assignment for you too. I want you to make a special fruit salad for dessert, Katie will show you the recipe. Then take my little girl for a walk on the beach. Feed it to each other…and then yes, see if you can massage at least some of that damned tension from her body, beginning at her lower back. Will you do that for me, sweetie?”

He nodded slowly, “We will do anything we can for both of you. Sometimes I think without the two of you we would have been lost, you know? Did we ever tell you that Mama moved us down here to get us away from the wrong crowds we had been hanging out with in East LA? We were one step away from being gang members and she knew that. It would have been too easy for us to continue on that same path here too.”

He stopped and kissed her mother’s hand that was almost emaciated and covered in bruises from the IVs that administered the drugs that were beginning to fail at keeping the pain at bay. “Except for Katie. Best thing that happened to us, our true luck, was when they assigned her as our ‘buddy’ that first week. The two of you, this place, having somewhere to go afterschool when Mama was working, you saved us, Joy. And we owe you everything.”