Updated Life Preserver


The ILIASM group has a new home. Try http://iliasm.org/


Yes, we have lost EP.

No, it isn’t the last place on earth where people can meet online and talk.

If you have been a member of the ILIASM group on EP, please give this a try:

ILIASM: I Live In A Sexless Marriage

This is a classic forum site, and so far, I love it. (Of course, I was in on the early planning with my dear friend from EP, dan13732.)

For other sites that have an EP-like atmosphere (somewhat):



I’m a member of RTT, but I’m just not that into it. You really can’t talk about anything the least bit edgy there. I understand that the site’s founder does not want trouble. And it’s her site – so she does have the right to run it the way she wants. But I’m just not that into RTT.

I finally caved in and joined Answermug, and I try to get there every day, but so far, I’m about as good about that as I am about maintaining this blog, ha ha. How many social media sites do I have to be on? I’m already on Fakebook, Twitter (2 accounts), the new ILIASM site, and RTT. Oh, and I have a very dormant Pinterest account.



Excerpt from the David Bowie song:

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through
(Turn and face the strange)
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
(Turn and face the strange)
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time
I ended a relationship (the same weekend that David Bowie died.) I lost a job. EP went away.

I found a job. And, the ILIASM group from EP has found a new home base.

Check it out here:

It’s the End of the World As We Know It

….to quote R.E.M.

2016 has been a real fucker of a year so far.

David Bowie died.
That same weekend, my refuser and I broke up.
I’m laid off from my job as of tomorrow, March 25, 2016.
My hairdresser no longer works at the same salon, and I don’t know where she went. (Not as big a loss as the other stuff…but it goes with the general pattern.)

And now, EP is going away, as of April 21, 2016.

All the self-proclaimed experts and gurus say that old stuff has to go away, so that you have room for new stuff to come in.

I’m working with dan13732 on his new ILIASM message board.

My fiction writers’ group seems to find the first three chapters of my book promising.  I  found a way to make it into a psychological murder mystery, instead of a chick-lit book, after all. The group had some good suggestions, but overall they seemed to like what I’ve got so far.

I created a new book club IRL, which met for the first time last night. And that went really well. Me, in charge of something?! But maybe…

In my job hunt, I have two phone interviews on Monday.

Sometimes, when I look at the losses I’ve been going through just in the past three months, I’m tempted to get back in bed, pull the covers over my head, and stay there until 2017.

But these new little things are happening. And I like some of them. So, I will reserve judgment and get out of bed and deal.

The Ashley Madison hack was vigilante justice by self-appointed guardians of morality 

The collective righteous indignation of Puritanical America is being unleashed on those who have dared to reclaim their sexuality from spouses who think they own it. 

Honesty time: If anything but Ashley Madison had been hacked, would you think, “Oh, well, they got what was coming to them?” What if it was your child’s school that got hacked? 

Disclaimer: I know that in most people’s opinion – stepping out on your mate is a bad thing to do. And in general, I agree.

If you have a spouse who genuinely cares about your feelings and is willing to meet you halfway, my advice lines up with the majority. Don’t sneak around on a person who listens to your concerns and does his or her part to make the relationship a happy place for both of you. That really IS a mean, rotten thing to do. 

If your problem is simply boredom with the same-old-same-old – I also agree with the conventional wisdom that you should try to improve things at home, not step out. And if this is a recurring problem for you – maybe you just aren’t meant to be monogamous (and in a conventional marriage.) Not everybody is, despite society’s attempts to force everybody into a Noah’s ark lockstep.

However – sometimes marriage can be horrible, difficult, and seem like a life sentence. Nobody knows what any individual marriage is like, except the participants. Sometimes, you Talk To Your Mate About The Relationship™ until you are blue in the face – and nothing ever changes. Sometimes you do your best to Work On The Relationship™ – and get no results at all; or worse, outright resistance.

“Just leave. Don’t cheat!” say the advice-givers (who love to talk but not listen.)

Yes, in a perfect world, mates would always be completely honest with each other. Couples would always be cleanly broken up before either of them ever even contemplated another partner.

If you live in a world where it’s that easy, good for you. Could you please post some pics of your pet unicorns on Facebook? I’d love to see them.

Sure – it’s better, when a relationship is clearly not working, to be free of it. But in the real world, there are spiteful bitchy wives who would poison children against their fathers if those men ever tried to leave. 

In the real world, there are husbands who have decided to eagerly embrace the tired-old-man lifestyle. So what if their wife isn’t ready for that yet? A good woman would follow the lead of her man and just settle down and be a nice old lady. You can’t leave a good man “just” because of sex!

In the real world, there are women who never will be self-supporting above subsistence level, because they spent years raising children full-time, and in a capitalistic society, if nobody thinks your work is worth paying for – sucks to be you. And in the real world, there are husbands who allowed their wives to stay home, and (despite marital problems) don’t want the woman to be destitute – so it’s “cheaper to keep her.”

People have problems. Life is messy. Don’t judge until you are certain that YOU could be a perfect saint, if you were living that person’s life.

Who are those hackers to sit in judgment? Who made them the police force and the judge and jury? 

If people think it’s OK for these American prudes to do a thing like this, how would they feel if ISIS did it?

My opinion: if people think the Ashley Madison hack is okay, then I don’t want to hear them complaining if somebody hacks the data of some organization they belong to, like the NRA, the ACLU, the NAACP, the Catholic Church, the local Republican or Democratic Party, or any other group that has opponents – and their data gets stolen from there.

If it’s okay to hack Ashley Madison, then is it okay to hack any other group you don’t like? And let’s not muddy the waters by bringing up NAMBLA, or groups of that ilk. Going behind your spouse’s back can be unjustified and mean, and is dishonest. Messing around with children (because they can’t give true consent) is evil; and it is illegal. Law enforcement is already hacking their data, so there is no need for vigilante justice.

And vigilante justice is what the Ashley Madison hack is really all about.

I haven’t outsourced – it’s a big step to take, and I wouldn’t do it lightly. But I refuse to rule it out. 

That said – anybody using Ashley Madison who has any intelligence at all would create a throwaway web-based email account for this purpose, and make up a fake name. A man who was too dumb to take these precautions would be much too dumb to attract me.

Avis, self-image, and the search for steampunk

steampunk 9My very first EP avi was my real self – at least, part of myself [g].  Some people would question the wisdom of putting photos of that portion of my anatomy online – but I had my reasons, mostly connected to feeling neglected and low self-esteem.

After I got tired of dealing with all the pervs, I took that avi down and tried another one.  My rules were:

1 – It couldn’t show my face (because you never know who might turn up on EP);
2 – It could be sexy, but classy-sexy, not sleazy-sexy;
3 – If it wasn’t actually a picture of me, it had to look at least a little like the real me.

I kept the same avi for months – an Alphonse Mucha illustration (Ete, from his Seasons series), which I think looks a bit like me. The woman has a very similar body type and similar coloring.

Then I began to fear that my EPeeps were getting bored with me, so I decided to change it up.

Now I’m running into the same question that’s plagued me all along:  How sexy can I be without being tacky and getting a really bad reputation?  OTOH, how clean and decent is TOO clean and decent?

I don’t want to be popular only for showing skin.  At the same time….I want people to know I’ve got skin worth looking at.

One thing that I just love is the steampunk look.  So I’ve scoured the net for pictures of women in steampunk costumes…women who are sexy but not sleazy, who do look somewhat like the real me.

And I have to say – what’s with all the goddamned tall skinny blondes?!

No, I don’t hate blondes. My very own mother was blonde, before she went gray. There are some blondes that I really like.  But for the love of all that’s holy – I need some photos of women with MY hair color. That would be kind of a light reddish-brown.

And no supermodels, please.  I’m short and curvy – think Marilyn Monroe’s body, not Kate Moss.  My problem is that I was born too late.  In the 1940s and 50s,  bodies like mine were considered sexy – as shown by the pinup girls of that era.

All is not lost, however.  There’s always illustrations, as opposed to photographs.

Posted by SmartKat at 16:50 on December 19th, 2013 at 4:50PM
1-2 of 2 Comments


Posted on 10:07AM on Jan 17th, 2014
I am very visual person and as I wonder around cyberspace I will see an image (we are not talking naked/porn) and it will suddenly spark my mind or remind me something. so I will right click it and store it in a little folder on my  computer 🙂


Posted on 12:33PM on Jan 18th, 2014

I love the SteamPunk reference in your AVI. I’m too old for CosPlay or even really SteamPunk as an “experience”, but as an eclectic Scientist/Inventer/Adventurer of sorts, *I* live in a Steampunk world of sorts.

My young protege’ this summer, for instance, built with me an “Electro-Pneumo-
Mechanical” Circuit for making “Digital Multiplex Holograms”. How SteamPunk is that? Vacuum pumps, solenoids, relays, levers, dials… oh… and Lasers what more can you ask for?

She is the daughter of SciFi writer friends of mine, and totally into CosPlay… I learned a lot more from her than she did from me…

Now I want to write a Steamy Steampunk Romance… Have Pith Helmet and Brass Goggles, will travel?

– Jake

Fictional letter to a sex-refusing wife

This is my response to an EP post dated 6/3/15. Please note: this is FICTIONAL. I am NOT involved with a man who is married to a sex-refusing wife named Rita.
A member of EP in the I am Living In A Sexless Marriage (ILIASM) group posted the following challenge:

“Please write a ‘Dear Rita’ Letter.

I just had this idea: ‘Women of ILIASM: I invite you to write a letter to my refuser wife (or the wife of any of the men on ILIASM) .'”


This is my letter to this imaginary woman named Rita.
Dear Rita,

You don’t know me, and truthfully, I never wanted us to know each other. I’m your husband’s girlfriend.

The only reason I’m writing to you now is that he’s here at my place – telling me that he’s left you.

You won’t believe me, but my goal was never to end your marriage. I love him with every cell in my body and every thought in my mind. But I’ve been married before, and am not in a hurry to do it again.

He adores your kids, and wants to be a good dad. And I support him in this; if he didn’t love his own kids, I couldn’t love him.

So, no, I didn’t “steal” him from you. How do you steal another thinking human being, anyway? Is it like hotwiring a car? I just drive him out of the parking lot, and he has no say in it?

Because honestly, I was okay with you keeping him, staying married to him. You were the wife and I was the mistress, and I was okay with that; I respected that. So his decision is a surprise to me, too.

By the time you get this email, you will have had time to absorb the new developments, and think about what you’ve lost.

You lost your yard work boy. You lost a house cleaner and cook. (I can vouch for the fact that he’s a good cook, too.) You lost his paycheck and health insurance. (Although he will do the right thing and provide for your children, so your snaggle-toothed middle child will be able to get braces.)

Speaking of the kids – THEY aren’t losing anything. He loves them more than anything and would probably die for them, if it came to that. And that’s good, because he could have resented them, seen them as anchors keeping him trapped with you.

What else did you lose? After the divorce, your economic situation may be a little worse. You’ll have to get off Pinterest and Facebook, put the scrapbooks away, and find a better job than the one you have now where you can work mommy hours.

You’ll lose the feeling of being a pillar of the community that goes with being a married woman. You’ll feel a loss of status with the other moms in the PTA.

And this may surprise you – but you aren’t losing any of those things TO ME. Not really.

I don’t want a big house that needs lots of cleaning and a big yard that needs lots of yard work. That’s why I bought a low-maintenance condo in the city. So I don’t need a husband to mow the lawn and do some of the housework.

If I don’t feel like cooking, I make enough money to eat out sometimes. So I don’t need a husband to do chef duty.

Speaking of making money, I didn’t get pregnant so I could trap a man and keep him around. Not having kids is my private sorrow. But I will say this: not having them has made it easier for me to take and keep jobs where I earn a decent amount of money, and get good benefits like health insurance. So, I don’t need that from a husband.

I’m already not married (I’m divorced), so I won’t have to lose the title of Mrs. and the status that goes with that in some circles. Been there, done that – so I don’t have that to lose.

So exactly what ARE you losing to me? What am I gaining?

Your STBX-husband is a wonderful, passionate, generous lover. He’s a champion kisser and makeout artist. When he texts me during the day with naughty ideas to be tried later that night, all my senses tingle.

When we’re someplace semi-public and he whispers naughty suggestions in my ear, I have to sit down before I melt. And when I do sit down, he gropes me under the table.

When he looks at me in that way that’s desirous and tender at the same time…my instant response is to touch him. I can hardly ever stop myself from touching him. I love his wonderful male body, his scent, his voice, his mouth, his hands, his…other parts. And I can’t get enough of him. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve planned to go to dinner and ended up in bed, instead.

But the funny thing is – although I’m gaining a lover, you aren’t losing one. Your husband has everything a man needs to be a passionate lover, but you didn’t want that – so that’s not really what you’re losing.

The things you’re losing are not things I want or need. The things I’m gaining are things you didn’t want anyway.


I pruned my friends list.

If you got pruned, try not to feel bad. It doesn’t mean I don’t like you. I like most people (at least, at first.) Some of the reasons for the pruning:

1 – I answered a question today (“What’s your agenda here?”) and it made me realize that I no longer have the same agenda as when I first came to EP.

At that time, I was hurt, angry, and felt like I was going crazy. I wanted to know if I was still attractive. I wanted to know if I could say some of the things I really think – would people run screaming, or laugh at me, or shame me?

And I found out that some people still think I’m attractive, and that some people aren’t put off by my dark, crazy side.

And as a result, I feel a lot better, and my behavior has changed. The dark, crazy side, having been comforted, is now more willing to let my civilized side take charge more often.

(Don’t worry – Dark & Crazy is still there! I’m like an Edwardian aristocrat’s mistress – discreet in public, and, um, interesting in private. I would have been good at being an Edwardian aristocrat’s mistress. Or for that matter, a female Edwardian aristocrat. They got up to a lot of mischief themselves. It was more like discreet serial monogamy than outright sluttery. I think I could do that.)

Oh, and my agenda? I didn’t know I had to have one. I’m just going to see how it goes.

2 – The question of who really is a friend. You might not be a close friend if…

….I haven’t heard from you in a long time.

….We just don’t really click.

….You only wanted pervy stuff from me. Yes, I do pervy, but (usually) with only one person at a time. And I have so much more to offer, in addition to pervy. If we can’t connect and have a good conversation about something other than sex – I probably like you, but we’re not really friends.

3 – If you can’t spell, punctuate, capitalize, use grammar correctly, and at least write somewhat well – call me picky, call me a snob, but I hate that.

Especially from people in my own age group, who would have learned that stuff before the internet came along. If you’re 20 years old, you have an excuse for writing “OMG!!! u r SO hott!!” (Although it still makes me cringe.) If you’re in your 40s or older…no. Just no.

In my own defense, I work in an occupation where writing well and using conventional correct English matters. It’s about the only thing I’m really good at (that I’m willing to take payment for), so cut my some slack for being picky about people’s writing.

OK? Is everything copacetic?

Posted by SmartKat at 10:22 on April 25th, 2013 at 10:22AM


Posted on 06:42AM on Apr 29th, 2013
Yes This indeed is in order,…… and I enjoy reading your posts especially the 10
word stories cheers a


Posted on 10:48AM on Apr 30th, 2013
Very well said. I like the explanation of your evolution here. Makes perfect sense. I’m glad I’m still around, but would perfectly understand if I didn’t make the cut some day.


Posted on 12:25PM on Apr 30th, 2013
Harvey, you’re one of the smartest people here. You’re too cool to get cut! 🙂