The lovely switch and I had a day and a half together in Sydney. I flew in on Friday, and he arrived on Saturday morning, after the ungodly long flight from the US.
Our first conversation went something like this:
Me: Hello! Welcome to Australia!!
Him: *laughing* Thank you!! Happy to be here!!
Him: So I’m at the hotel, I’m showered, all clean and lovely, shall I come to you? I had a look at the map and it’s just down the road and…
Him: … it’s not far so I can be there in ten, or shall we meet up somewhere else and…
Him: … then we can…
Me: How about you be quiet and listen?
Him: Um… Okay.
Me: Walk out of your hotel, turn right, there is a Starbucks on the corner. I am there.
Him: Oh!!!! Okay.
I watched him jog across the road through the window of the coffee shop, hoping he didn’t get hit by a car (given we drive on the opposite side of the road and all and he was showing reckless disregard…). He recognised me immediately on coming through the door.
Big smile, hugs, and so the weekend started.
This is the walk we did on day 1, and then we took a ferry to Manly Beach from Circular Quay:
After the long walk and ferry trip, we went back to our respective hotels to shower and dress, and then went to an early dinner at Peter Doyle @ The Quays where we ate seafood, drank wine and chatted while a happy couple took terrible cheesy engagement photos outside on the dock for our amusement.
On day 2, we went to brunch where we drank a bottle of my favourite champagne overlooking the harbour. The food was very ordinary, the champagne was beautiful, the company was stellar.
Then we headed to the airport to catch afternoon flights.
The entire weekend was very low key and relaxed, we essentially hung out and talked and laughed and generally enjoyed each other’s company.
That’s the ‘what we did’ summary, and now for the fun part, the Q and A from you good folks:
Slapshot: What was the highlight of the weekend for you?
The Lovely Switch (TLS): The highlight for me was a long walk along the harbor (oops, harbour) capped off by sitting together on a grassy knoll to enjoy a view of the Opera House. Ferns was in quite good spirits (despite her initial impatience at having to wait 2.4 minutes for me as I washed up after my 24 hour trip – “Did I ever mention how much I hate waiting? HATE! *waits*”). She surprised me though when I finally showed up with an incredibly sweet surprise. She planned a lovely picnic to enjoy along the way – with strawberries and champagne. The champagne hadn’t chilled in time so we saved that for later, but we did enjoy the strawberries.
Along the way, Ferns introduced me to the jacaranda tree, aboriginal art, and some sort of dog festival (whereupon Ferns announced that the dogs of Melbourne – and their owners – were singularly unimpressive). There were lots of lovers out walking and picnicking and it was a bit romantic. I could tell Ferns wanted to hold my hand as we walked but she appropriately held back (hmmm I’ve been accused of projecting on occasion.)
Ferns alarmed me when she wandered into a Members only pool club along the harbour because she wanted to check out the pool. However, the security guard backed away when she showed him her guns.
Ferns: The leisurely walk through the Botanical Gardens on a beautiful day was lovely. It was *all* along the water, and the iconic views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House were excellent. Fun!
And of course, TLS totally wanted to hold hands with me, I could tell.
The way we perceive people on-line can often be different than the person we meet in real life. Was there anything that surprised you?
TLS: Amazingly no! Ferns and I have actually ‘known’ each other for 482 days! So we’ve had some time for back and forth. I recognized her immediately when we met in Starbucks. She was as attractive, fun, funny, kind, and whip smart as I expected. Though she didn’t greet me in thigh high boots and a whip as I’d hope, she did surprise me with gifts of Tim Tams, vegemite and a few other lovely things. She even explained the fine points of a “Tim Tam slam.”
Ferns: Well I WAS in the thigh highs and brandishing a whip… if you hadn’t kept me waiting those 2.4 minutes, you’d have seen me in my full glory!!
But oh, *smile* thank you for the sweetness!
And there were really no surprises from my side either. I expected a smart, sweet, and lovely looking man and that’s pretty much what I got. I did not check to see if the photos of his adonis belt were true to form or not. I have teased TLS previously about being the sort of guy who cocks his finger and winks at women in bars, but I didn’t actually see him do that even once. He must have waited until I wasn’t looking.
As a note, TLS wisely did not attempt a Tim Tam slam in Starbucks.
Will you be friends for life?… (or at least for a long time)
TLS: Ummm Ferns, will we?? I’m guessing yes. She’s put up with me for a long time and hopefully that won’t change.
Ferns: Well, ‘life’ is a long time *laugh*, but we haven’t gotten bored with each other yet.
I have to say that for someone who I was willing to meet, our contact has been really sporadic over the 482+ days. If asked, I’d probably have said that I wouldn’t meet with someone unless our contact was pretty constant because I actually don’t like meeting people much (unless there is a chance I am going to get to shag them, of course… heh). But TLS and I would go weeks or even months without being in touch, then one of us would send an email and it was immediately back to ‘normal’, which is always a good sign for a friendship I think.
If given the choice between having many good, lovely friends or having that one special wonderful lover, which would you choose?
TLS: Not to be overly romantic but I think I’d choose a special wonderful lover (who would hopefully also be a good lovely friend!) How to relate this to Ferns?
Ferns: I have no idea how this relates to me, but apparently slapshot had been drinking when he asked these questions, so he isn’t responsible for ensuring relevance!
I’d choose the partner any day, every day, and all day, preferably naked.
Did you ever feel any desire to go further than “just” a non romantic rendezvous?
TLS: She has to answer that first! I’d say (and she said) I was well behaved and a perfect gentleman. Oh, wait that wasn’t the question. You mean, what was in my head?? Well, yes, it would be pretty hard not to desire to more. For example, she looked stunning in a black dress and heels when she came down for dinner Saturday night. And she gave me a kiss goodnight afterward. Then there was the time she lifted her foot in heels to me to show me her sore spot from the long walk – and she had on a lovely toenail polish. I was more than a little tempted. But, for all the right reasons, we said it would be platonic, and I had no signal from her in the slightest that she considered anything more, so I was very careful.
Ferns: *smile* Thank you for the lovely compliment, both explicit and implicit in this, and for sharing these little snippets (see *this* is how I find out stuff…). For the record, he looked very dashing on the Saturday night for dinner.
I didn’t have that desire, no, but it’s kind of a complex question. I *do* find TLS attractive on many levels, but after ascertaining his attached status *very* early on, I just shut that stuff down. I don’t find the unattainable appealing because it’s a waste of my time and energy, so apart from some light and friendly flirting, any sexual attraction was off the table, so I never really explored it.
Having said that, IF he had not already been attached AND I had not shut all that down very early in our correspondence, could there have been a possibility? Well, as I said, he’s an attractive man, and he has a pretty mouth…
Anonymous: On a scale of 1-10, just how bubbly IS Ferns?
TLS: She was a strong 8 of 10 bubbly by email when I booked her flights and when I landed. But, probably more like a 6 of 10 while together in person. Maybe I de-bubbled her? We did laugh and joke a lot but I wouldn’t have called her bubbly per se (which can have a bit of an ‘airy’ connotation.)
Ferns: Heh… I don’t think I’m bubbly either, which brings to mind a much more effervescent and excitable personality than I think I have, though I do have some peaks of bubbliness because some things are EXCITING and deserve squeeing and bouncing!
Neophyte: Did you spend more of your time together just enjoying each other’s company or going places and doing things? Which was more fun?
TLS: I’d say the former. A long walk, a ferry ride, eating, sitting, talking, drinking. We went to one art gallery but I think we set the speed record for moving through it and getting to the restaurant there (where we chatted over lunch and a glass of wine if I remember correctly.) She’s officially an excellent conversationalist. I don’t think we had a single ‘I don’t know what to say to fill this awkward silence’ moment.
Ferns: The two were intertwined because we really didn’t *do* anything that precluded us chatting and feeling like we were enjoying each other’s company.
The only thing that got us to kind of shut up was a strange D/s-ey film and photos in the art gallery. A man putting bull clips on his torso and then popping them off, then a long slow shot of a woman biting him, and photos of a man burning his own leg, and various body suspension photographs. Very unexpected.
What kinds of things did you spend a lot of time talking about?
TLS: We covered a fair amount of ground and not too much time on any one particular topic. Alright, to be honest, 98.5% of the time it was about D/s. And 1.5% on US elections, relationships, family, travel, work, her writing, etc…
Ferns: He told me all his sekretsssss!!! Bwuhahahahaa!!!
If you had the trip to do over again, is there anything you would change about it?
TLS: I can’t think of much I’d change… except not having to race off to work… and not booking a room in another hotel! (What was I thinking??)
Ferns: Well, presumably you feared I might be insufferable, so the further away the better…
I was disappointed with the food we had both for dinner and for brunch, though Doyles has a stellar reputation! So if I could change it, I would have found better places to show off Sydney’s culinary skills.
Tom: Okay, I’ve seen pictures of someone who claims to be Ms Ferns, but I swear that the pictures are of a 28 year old sports or active-wear model. Does she really look like the pictures? And if so, can you ask her if there is a portrait in her attic that ages for her?
TLS: She looked better! Ferns, is there a portrait in the attic that ages for you??
Ferns: *big smile* Oh, thank you, TLS. You can have *all the hugs*.
And yes, there is not just one, but a whole gallery of old crone portraits in my attic.
Peroxide: What is Ferns like in person?
TLS: See question 2 above!
Ferns: In case you missed it: “She was… attractive, fun, funny, kind, and whip smart…” Heh.
How does she stand?
Ferns: TLS declined to answer this question! He is much too important and busy for this silliness!!
I stand perpendicular to the ground. I have very good posture. Sometimes I wobble, like when I am wearing serious heels and am drunk.
What did she wear?
TLS: A lovely red dress on Day 1 and a very flattering black dress out to dinner (with a cool leathery Domme-esque black belt). More casual on Day 2. (I will leave her to describe her shoes.)
Ferns: I’m actually surprised that TLS did not mention the ‘no bra on a cold day’ thing. He is a gentleman like that…
Day 1: A hippy-ish, clingy, ankle length maroon strappy summer dress with large blue Chinese coin designs on it. No bra because I don’t need one, but fuck, it was cold! Shoes: Strappy leather wedges.
Dinner: A flowing black sleeveless dress that showed bare shoulders, ankle length, with a wide black, brass-studded belt. Shoes: Fabulous patent leather and snakeskin heels.
Day 2: Boot leg jeans with a tight black long sleeved, scoop-necked top that has a grey tree-like design on the front, and over that, a thigh length black trenchcoat. Shoes: Brown leather boots with straps.
Does she seem posed or relaxed?
TLS: Very relaxed!
Ferns: I make posing look relaxed!
What does she smell like?
Had you asked this question BEFORE the trip, I am sure TLS would have been happy to be all up in my gear sniffing away…
What is her neutral facial expression?
TLS: Mostly smiling!
Ferns: I object!! This makes me seem like a grinning moron! I actually think my neutral expression is kind of cranky-faced, as befitting a domly Domme type!
And how often does she actually smile?
TLS: See above! Frequently, except when waiting for me to meet her or when the champagne hasn’t chilled as quickly as expected.
Ferns: Hey, how do you know what my expression is when I am waiting for you? Or were you hiding in the bushes and spying on me?
I do smile a lot, I’m a pretty happy person. I know Peroxide asked this question because I send workout crew updates and I am not smiling in ANY of those photos. I am not good at fake smiles for photos *rictus grin* so I don’t do it. Also, flexing is srs bzns!!
D: How is Ferns with waiters and service staff?
TLS: Ferns was generally directive but quite polite to all waiters and service staff. For example she asked the hotel Concierge to find us a breakfast place that would let us bring our champagne. The poor man must have called at least 5 places with no success. I would have backed off and let him go back to his other work. She ‘leaned into it’ expectantly and subtly kept him going until, voila, the 6th call was the charm. She also had a little battle with our French waitress at brunch. Ferns wanted eggs benedict with the egg white firm and the yolk a bit runny. The waitress was alarmed and told Ferns that this was not possible because they are cooked together! Ferns politely insisted the waitress ask the chef anyway. Much to our surprise, we were told the chef also felt it was impossible. Ferns ceded the ground on this one and did not head to the kitchen to speak with the chef.
Ferns: True enough. I expect people to *do their jobs* and don’t mind pushing a little to get what I want. The concierge was all pleased with himself for getting the job done, by the way, and I was effusively thankful. And the cook at that brunch place… seriously… can’t do ‘solid white/runny yolk’ poached eggs?!! W.T.F!!?! That ‘cook’ shouldn’t be able to get a job flipping burgers at frigging McDonalds!
Anonymous: Did you get a dominant vibe from Ferns from your submissive side even though it was a platonic thing? Was there any sort of desire to submit, and if so in what way/s?
TLS: Yes, there were lovely hints of her Domme-ness. Before we even left our initial meeting spot, she ‘tasked’ me with navigation and carrying the bag with the picnic food in it. She had clear wine opinions, and I happily left the ordering to her. Though a friendly date, I did enjoy trying to make it a lovely visit for her – treating her to a nice hotel, letting her lead on what she wanted to do for the day, etc.
Ferns: *smile* You did indeed make it a very lovely visit, thank you.
From my side, TLS asked me if I got a dom/sub/switch vibe from him, and it was a submissive vibe. It was very clear to me that he was putting my desires first both in bigger things and in smaller ones. He booked two different hotels (reasons immaterial) and offered me the fabulous five star one while staying in the one that was not-quite-so-fabulous. I organised the day’s activities and he happily went along. I found the place for dinner and booked it and decided on having brunch on day 2 and he was happy with that*. I did choose the wine, and he suggested we share a chocolate mud cake for dessert, but I preferred sticky date pudding, so we went with my preference. So a lot of them were subtle things, but he sweetly and clearly wanted to make sure I was being looked after and having a good time.
* Normally, I would prefer that someone ELSE organise things, I don’t like organising so much, but since I had the local knowledge it only made sense. But once I HAVE organised something I hate it when someone else is all ‘what about this/what about that/what about this other thing’ and thankfully, he did *none* of that, but cheerfully went along with it all.
Anonymous: Ferns, did you pack a tawse, just in case things went well? and did things do well?
Ferns: *laugh* No, I did not. I don’t even own a tawse, but either way, play was not on the table. And yes, things went very well!
Anonymous: Ms. Ferns, what shoes did you wear over the weekend?
Ferns: See above for detailed shoe descriptions and pictures.
M.Date: Did she mention me?
TLS: No, I don’t think so.
Ferns: I did, but I didn’t use this name… I talked about you incessantly!!
Did she mention Peroxide?
TLS: Yes, I think so.
Ferns: I did, and he only has one name. Much easier.
Which one of us wins? Who’d she smile more talking about? *laughsnort*
Ferns: *laugh* Apparently, I am a grinning moron, so I was smiling 100% throughout both conversations…
Thank you for not killing one of my best friends. I really have no serious questions that haven’t already been asked.
TLS: You are most welcome! Of course, maybe I have indeed kidnapped her and I just took over her blog!
Ferns: Haaalllppp… meee…
sprinkles: A question for him: Is Ferns as eloquent in real life as she is here? :)
TLS: Ferns is very articulate and of course her accent helps elevate her diction as well. There are few ummmms or ahhhs in her normal conversation.
Ferns: Heh, thank you, though you can’t fool these folks: everyone knows I don’t have an accent!!!
If I was to take a stab at this, I’d say that my writing *must* be more eloquent because it’s a monologue for a start, and I generally start with an idea of what I want to say and run with it without interruption. Then I can go back and review it and change some words, move things around, add things I forgot and all that. It’s a huge advantage of the medium. But you will hear me in a masocast interview soon, you can make up your own mind! Hint: I’m kind of a rambler… so not really so different from here then… heh…
Thank you so much for your questions everyone. That was fun!!
And a public thank you to the lovely switch for such a great weekend with such charming company.
What a great way to start my day! Reading yet another fun post! This is why I always check your blog before running off to fight the good fight. I even, on occasion, look at older posts just to gather a bit of happy before heading out.
Not only did we get a lot of the details on your weekend, but you used my drunkenly posted questions, (I’m such a self centered lout) and MAP PORN!!! (almost as good as graph porn!)
I’m always glad when I can start your day off on a fun note!!
Ha ha… I loved your drunkenly posted questions!!
And I have to agree with you about the map pron… not usually my thing, but making that one was fun!
“can’t do ‘solid white/runny yolk’ poached eggs?!! W.T.F!!?! That ‘cook’ shouldn’t be able to get a job flipping burgers at frigging McDonalds!”
SERIOUSLY! What kind of place was this? That is the only way I have my eggs! Runny white is like snot and cooked yellow leaves a dried egg. What’s wrong with these people? I’m betting the waitress didn’t ask, she just wanted to be right. Bish!
Otherwise sounds like a lovely trip!!! The questions were a fun idea. Thank you both for sharing.
I know, right?!!!
What kind of place? The only one that would let us bring our own bottle of champagne to drink on a Sunday morning!! *laugh*
People desperate to imbibe apparently have very few choices for Sunday brunch. Who’da thunk it?!!
And yes, it was fun (both the trip and the questions!).
I’m glad you guys enjoyed yourselves!
And thank you for answering my question :)
Please let us know when your masocast episode is out. I stopped listening (since I’m just not the type for podcasts, I prefer the written word) but I’d be interested in that one.
You’re most welcome for the QnA.
And I’ll be pimping myself out like a shameless hoooaar when the Masocast interview is up, don’t worry!!
I am sure TLS would have been happy to be all up in my gear sniffing away…
Is gear some sort of Austrailian slang I’m not familiar with?
Did she mention Peroxide?
TLS: Yes, I think so.
Ferns: I did, and he only has one name. Much easier.
What?!? You talked about me? What did you say?
“Is gear some sort of Austrailian slang I’m not familiar with?”
No, I was using ‘gear’ in the generic sense of ‘body and self and everything that was attached…’
“What?!? You talked about me? What did you say?”
Of course. You’re *all* I talk about to anyone EVER.
You’re *all* I talk about to anyone EVER.
I suppose that’s to be expected, but I’m still curious to know whether you were all like
“Crikey, that Peroxide fellow is a real nong, ay mate?”
“Cor, I’d love to have a naughty in the nuddy with that young buck Peroxide, He’s a rippin handsome ‘un!”
The first, but of course, I’m just hiding the fact that I want to say the second. Over and over again.
Only without the ridiculous slang that you obviously found in an online dictionary somewhere. You obviously have too much time on your hands…
It did take me longer than I intended to figure out how to write in your native tongue.
Hello from the lower 48:
love the blog. Had not read you — nor do I think you read us — but I learned of you from TLS (who as it happens– husband and I know in regular life and virtual life…long– and maybe not such an interesting story)
We have had a blog (Under Contract to My Wife) for about three years and are actually scaling back on it at the moment.
Glad you and our friendly American had a great time — he is a lovely man.
I am a switch BTW — Dom to my husband — sub to all others.
Hello there, Molly!!
“I learned of you from TLS (who as it happens– husband and I know in regular life and virtual life…long– and maybe not such an interesting story)”
He’s such a tattle tale! Heh.
“Glad you and our friendly American had a great time — he is a lovely man.”
We did, and yes he is!
I shall have to go and have a look at your blog. Thank you so much for popping by to say hello!!
Great read, Ferns! I can almost see the little clouds of “what ifs” hanging over your heads.
Unless I missed it, the following hasn’t been asked: did the visit change the way you and TLS interact online in any way? Have you been contact more frequently since then, less, or not at all? Would you make plans to get together again if you happened to be in his neck of the woods?
Thanks, Peter *smile*.
did the visit change the way you and TLS interact online in any way?
No, not that I’ve noticed.
Have you been contact more frequently since then, less, or not at all?
About the same I’d say. Still the same pattern of ‘no contact for a while, a few emails, then no contact again for a while’.
Would you make plans to get together again if you happened to be in his neck of the woods?
Absolutely. I’d be delighted to see him again. It’s also really unlikely *smile*.