On this day last year, Charles and I decided that we were going to give dating a try. Our relationship had, in the past couple of weeks between then and when we first met at a munch exploded hilariously and somewhat consumingly from people who took a shine to each other at a munch, to BDSM play partners and movie-watching buddies, to people who had fantastic chemistry and actually wanted something more from their relationship with each other.
We had a whirlwind summer romance.
We spent almost all of our time together. I practically moved out of the air-conditioned house I was living in to stay in his incredibly, stickily, horribly hot studio apartment. Our first date was a 24+ hour marathon session involving pho, a misunderstanding that ended in me playing earlier than I expected to at the home of a near-stranger (turns out, sometimes that gets you safe, happy long-term relationships and not sexual assault), a Tollywood movie, Japanese cyber-feminist Blade Runner pornography, comparing notes on Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void, Thai sandwiches, rope, tears, a craft knife, my flesh, and a single needle. Neither of us had meant for it to last so long, but once we started we just couldn’t stop. There’s a way in which that first date has really set the pace for the rest of the relationship.
There were a lot of firsts for me on that titanic, hilarious behemoth of a first date. It was my first time playing with someone in Portland. It was my first time playing with a play partner that I’d deliberately sought out for that purpose. It was my first time taking a punch, my first time receiving an orgasm from someone who wasn’t my romantic partner, the first time I really had to start coming to grips with the way I cry in scene. It was also my first experience with needle play. I’ll always remember that needle because I was scared of it, but wanted to try. I told him and he said something like,
“How about this? Let’s do one needle. Just one. If you hate it, you’ll have tried it and you’ll know what it’s like and we’ll only do one. If you love it, we’ll only do one and you’ll have tried it and you’ll know what it’s like.”
And that won me over. You might even say that it won me over permanently. That moment was extremely important for me. He urged me into doing something I’d never tried before, something that frightened me, but in a way that felt very safe and pressure free. That attitude is one he’s maintained for the duration of our relationship. We’ve continued to try new things together and, since that first date, I’ve had many more firsts with him and have regretted none of them.
Perhaps the one that’s the most important, though, is that my relationship with Charles is my first proper, negotiated power exchange relationship. In two months, I’ll have been doing power exchange every hour of every day for three hundred and sixty-five days.
Aaand there I go, stepping out of closets again. This fact about your editors is not one that we’ve precisely been avoiding, but it is one that we’ve chosen to defer talking about because it is, almost undoubtedly, the weirdest thing about us. That’s right, your Humble Editors, sincere feminists, gender warriors, are engaged in a relationship where they deliberately and playfully reproduce inequalities between a man and a woman. We do this because it makes for us the best relationship we can have.
In later posts, when we get around to them, we’ll discuss why this is what we do and why it works for us. On this, however, the occasion of our first anniversary, I’m just going to baldly make the admission. We will talk about this more later. We’ve discussed it and have unanimously decided that this blog about gender, sex and kink simply isn’t enough about sex and kink. For now, though, let me just set the precedent and say that 24/7 power exchange is a thing that we do, and it makes us very, very happy.
This year has helped me to become a better person, someone closer to the human I want to be. We’ve helped each other to become smarter, sharper feminists. When I went back to school last fall, both of us worried about what would happen to our relationship. Fifty miles of physical distance and my senior year work load wasn’t enough to stop us, though. We’ve persevered. We’ve moved in together. We’ve started a blog. Today, we’re going to make a pie.
What we have is what we want.
So, happy anniversary, Charles, my boss, my partner in crime. Let’s fuck some shit up.
 For those of you unfamiliar, a munch is an almost entirely social, low-key, gathering of kinksters, usually held in a public place. Most people seeking to join a community go to munches to establish themselves and meet new people.
 Again, for the unfamiliar, needle play is generally where someone sticks a generally fairly high-gauge (ours are 22g) sterile medical needles into someone else along the surface of the skin. This is not usually vertical like an injection, but horizontal, like a piercing. You can do all sorts of things to them while they’re in and then you take them out.