Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Not All Fun and Games

Don't get me wrong. I love having my balloon fetish. It's given me untold pleasure throughout my life. Even the emotional attachment to balloons that I feel is mostly positive; they can give me joy just by being in my line of sight, as they are now while I am writing this, hanging from the ceiling above me.

But there are downsides. I won't talk about the sexual downsides; I have before, to some degree, and they really aren't a problem for me now. Sometimes, though, the emotional baggage gets in the way.

I was in a hotel lobby recently, and in one of the function rooms off the lobby there was a baby shower going on. I wouldn't have even been aware that there were any balloons at the shower, were it not for a little girl running around near the doorway with a pink helium balloon tied to her hand. At that point, my only thought was that I'd be just as happy if the little girl stayed in the function room and out of the lobby.

Fortunately for me, she did. But I was still in the lobby when the guests from the shower were coming out. None of them was holding any balloons. I knew what was coming, and I was dreading it. And it's hard to explain why.

What was coming, of course, was the popping of all the balloons. Not for fun, not as a game, but just to get rid of them. This is something that bothers me emotionally. I want to rush in wherever it's happening and call out, "If you're going to pop those anyway, can I have them?" Of course, it's not usually appropriate to do that (though I did manage to a few times when I was young and single).

And so I had to bear the sound of balloons being popped. It didn't scare me because I wasn't close enough to it, but each pop pained me more than a little. Each explosion gave me the urge to go make it stop, to rescue the balloons from such casual destruction.

Why it affects me this way is hard to say, though it's something that's happened to me since I was a young boy. But then, when I was a young boy, any popping of balloons was painful, horrifying in fact. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, good about popping balloons.

But I've changed. I pop balloons myself for sexual pleasure. Why does the sound and sight of someone jabbing balloons with pins or scissors merely to get them out of the way bother me so much? I don't know for certain; it's just a gut feeling, something I don't think about when it happens.

But I do know that, for me, popping balloons is a meaningful experience. I don't pop balloon casually. I don't like to pop balloons without sexually playing with them, or at least fantasizing about such play when I pop them. And I think that what bothers me is that when balloons are being "cleaned up," there's no emotion at all attached. No one is having fun, nor is the person wielding the sharp instrument, as far as I can tell, sad about what they are doing.

And certainly no one is getting sexually excited by it. At least, not in most cases; I know that some of my fellow fetishists actually do get off on just this kind of popping, and that's great for them. For me, though, it's very upsetting.

I am fortunate, as I have mentioned, to have a very understanding wife. After the incident at the hotel, I asked her if I could blow up a balloon in bed that night. Not for any sexual purposes (though I would have been fine with that), but just to cuddle. I needed to have a balloon on my own terms, under my own control, to fight back the demons of uncaring balloon-poppers that have haunted me since my youth. I needed it just to sleep that night. And it worked.

The irony is, of course, that to some non-poppers, I have become the demon. Not an uncaring popper, but a balloon destroyer nevertheless. I'm unlikely to change in that regard; popping balloon holds too much sexual power for me now, and has since I was a teen.

But I get it. I get it much more than I think the non-poppers realize. I may destroy the objects that they love, but I do feel their pain. And truth be told, when I pop balloons for sexual pleasure, it is not without some trepidation. I just comfort myself knowing that the balloon, which wouldn't have lasted forever anyway, was much appreciated before and in the act of its destruction.

Nothing is simple. Certainly not a balloon fetish.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Shaping Up

It's been a long time coming, I know. I released my last book in October of 2015. I started writing a new collection of stories almost immediately. But 2016 brought a lot of family health issues, and (on the happier side) a lot of other, non-balloon-related writing assignments, and so the stories came in bits and pieces.

But recently I've been able to pick up the pace. I could say that I have enough material for another collection. But I'm not ready to publish yet. Why?

Because, as I said when I started the new stories, I'm actually assembling two different books. And now that I've been doing it, off and on, for more than a year, I can tell you that they are, indeed, two very different books.

One collection, I had originally said, was much like the first. But I no longer think that's true. Yes, I have realistic people whose characters I'm exploring. Yes, the situations are plausible. But I haven't limited myself to chasing after erotic satisfaction in these stories. I find myself exploring more about the emotions and tribulations involved with having an unusual fetish, and some of the emotional issues that aren't even really fetish-related; some of the stories don't even have happy endings.

Some readers might not feel comfortable with these stories. Some may be looking for a quick thrill, stroke material, to be quite honest.

And that's where the other book comes in. It's pure "I wish this had happened to me in real life" fiction, without much character development, without necessarily spending a lot of effort at being realistic, without a lot of set-up or denouement. This is a book for someone who just wants to get his rocks off.

Yes, his, because these fantasies are most likely to appeal to a male balloon fetishist, since that's what I am, and that's what I most like to write. And I have to warn you that there are no non-popping stories in the book. My apologies to the non-poppers. I know how you feel, honestly, but my mind just didn't go there this time.

When I had collected enough stories for each of the two collections, I will publish them, but after that I think I may be taking a break from the anthologies for awhile. For other non-balloon-related projects, of course. But, just maybe, to also concentrate some attention on the sequel to Blowing It!

No promises on that one, but some ideas have finally been coming to me, after a recent re-reading of the original, and so I'm certainly considering it. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy my new stories when they come up, sometime this year, likely before summer is done.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Happily Mistaken

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a post about the balloons I enjoyed when I was young. In it, I made two statements that I now know to be incorrect. And I'm delighted.

The first was that Qualatex no longer makes 9-inch balloons. I thought so because I couldn't find them in Pioneer's current catalog. But I did find them from my supplier, BalloonsFAST, and they are fresh stock. So, if you like smaller balloons, that's one place to find them.

The other statement I made is, "If I had a bag of Qualatex 9s, I'm not sure I would really enjoy them that much." Well, I couldn't resist. Along with my annual purchase of balloons for decorating and fun, I ordered my fondly-remembered 9s, a bag of standard colors, just like I remember.

It took a while before I had the house to myself, but when I did, I put on a pair of sleep pants and a T-shirt, blew up more than a dozen of the small balloons, which goes a lot faster than it does with 11s, and stuffed my pants and my shirt full.

And it felt wonderful. It was the same friendly feeling that I had all along, my lovely balloons pressed against my skin. I lay down on them and savored the feeling and being pressed so tightly against them, an act that I would not have dared as a child, and only figured out was safe as a young adult.

Of course, if one of them popped now, I would be startled, but I would also probably have enjoyed it.
As it happened, none popped by accident. It was just an hour or so of sensual pleasure. But, much to my surprise, it did not excite me sexually, at all.

And when I noticed that, I remembered that, as a young adult, when I would wear balloons around my apartment just to enjoy the feeling, it was the same way. The sexual pleasures were usually separate, and the only sexual feeling I had in regards to stuffing balloons in clothing were when I would imagine women doing it, or (very rarely) actually get to watch a woman do it.

I hadn't worn balloon in my clothing this way since early in my marriage, not since I had children. But it won't be the last time. And popping the balloons after was definitely a sexual delight. So I got the best of both worlds.

So I guess, in some ways, you can go back again.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Spring Cleaning

Winter is over, and eventually that will mean opening up the windows. I look forward to the warm weather, but it means that I will not be decorating my bedroom and office with balloons for the season.

The problem, for me, is oxidation. I tend to keep my balloons up for a long time, and I don't care at all for oxidized balloons. My wife doesn't much care for them either, because of the strong odor. So, in trade for the warm weather and the fresh air, the balloons have to come down.

I miss them during the spring and summer months, pretty much until November, actually. But it's something to look forward to.

And, taking them down is usually a lot of fun.

Meanwhile, I have my stories to keep me thinking about balloons while the sun shines.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Balloons Of My Youth

I'm not that adventurous when it comes to the variety of balloons I play with. Buying Tilly 76s was a big step for me. Almost as big as finding the courage to blow them up. Mostly I have Qualatex 11s and 16s, and I don't even get the chance to use the 16s that often.

Those balloon sizes are actually a change from what I grew up with. It mostly had to do with availability, but I do sometime have a little bit of longing for the balloons I used to play with as a child, a teen, and a young adult, and frankly I think they affected the course of my fetish. It may have manifested itself very differently had I had access to the balloons I use now.

For one thing, the balloons of my youth were smaller. I often was limited to what we used to call "penny balloons," which I now know were 5s and 318s. Most of these were cheap brands, some were from Bluebird (Ashland), but occasionally I would get lucky and find Qualatex.

I remember the original Qualatex clown logo from when I was very little. It was the brand my doctor gave me after a visit. Can you even imagine doctors handing out uninflated balloons now, with latex allergies and choking hazard concerns? Wow.

The balloons my doctor gave out, though, were not 5s or 318s, they were 9s, which seemed like big balloons to me at the time. They are also the balloons I began to stuff into my pajamas. Would I have started that if the balloons had been bigger? I mean, two inches doesn't seem like much, but it makes a real difference.

Anyway, that's just speculation. I have a lot of fond memories of developing my fetish for balloon with nine-inch balloons. Sadly, as far as I can tell, Qualatex no longer makes them.

Also missing from the Qualatex line-up are 318s and 524s, the long balloons I also used to enjoy slipping down the legs of my PJs on the rare occasions when I had them. I had the same fear of blowing them up that I recently experienced with the Tillys. I had a lot more accidental pops with airships then with round balloons. Keep in mind that I was a complete non-popper until my teens.

I also remember the colors being different, especially for a time when I was a young adult. The greens and pinks, especially, had a different quality to them that I can't describe. If I saw them today, I probably wouldn't find them as attractive as the standard colors now, and of course, they didn't have the beautiful jewel tones that I mostly buy now. But those color do bring back memories.

I also remember that black balloons never got firm. I never blew them up even close to popping, of course, but they stayed so soft and squishy. I enjoyed that, but I also always expected them to pop too easily. Even now, I prefer a balloon that takes some punishment before it gives up.

There's no sense trying to recapture the past. Not only are those balloons no longer available, but I've changed, too. My balloon play is different, and with a wife and children, my circumstances are very different, too. If I had a bag of Qualatex 9s, I'm not sure I would really enjoy them that much.

But I'm glad I had them when I did. They serve me just fine as satisfying memories.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Old Balloons

Yesterday I took down the balloons I'd had hanging from the ceiling for more than a month. My wife and I played with them for awhile, and then I popped them. And it reminded me of something: I don't really like old balloons.

Well, okay, it depends on the context. I don't like oxidized balloons at all, though I know some globophiles do (in fact, some like them best that way). But that wasn't the problem with these; this time of year, I can leave them up for months, until spring in fact, and they will stay relatively shiny and pretty, without that oxidized latex odor (which I don't care for, and my wife really hates).

There were two problems with these. They weren't very elastic. Lots of give, but not very good at returning to their shape after some squeezing (and I do a lot of squeezing). And they feel more, I don't know, plastic than newly-inflated balloons. The other problem is that, even though they don't feel sticky, and don't stick to my skin or the covers, they tend to stick to each other. A lot. To the point where sometimes (not this time, happy to say) they pop when pulled apart.

It's a bit of a conundrum. I like to have balloons around for a good long time. I don't get enough chances for play to replace them, say, every week (boy, talk about a pipe dream). But, on the other hand, I cannot bring myself to just pop my old balloons without playing with them first. It's just too wasteful, even if I have enjoyed them visually for a good long time.

So what's the solution? There probably isn't one. If I had to choose between the pleasure of being able to see pretty balloons hanging on the ceiling whenever I walk into my room and the pleasure of having every balloon be perfect for play, I'll hang up the balloons and deal with the minor dissatisfaction when I take them down.

It seems that even something that should be as simple as enjoying balloons comes with its trade-offs.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Welcome the New Year

Another year underway. Of course, I'm hoping that it will include more balloons than last year, and more chances for some erotic play with balloons.

I know that I have a good head start on my other balloon-related goal for the year: to publish two new books of short stories. I've already mentioned what they are, so I'm not giving away any surprises. I just wanted to let you know that I am making progress.

On the stories. On the erotic play? We'll see how that works out.