All posts by Rant

Rant is an experienced Dominant peripherally involved in the San Francisco Bay Area BDSM scene. He is not known as Rant outside of this blog.

Pain and when the fight is over

In October of 2011, I was in a terrible car accident that almost killed me.  I was at a dead stop on the highway and a driver in a work van was not paying attention and struck me at full speed – probably close to 75 miles per hour.

I was physically broken by that accident.  Emergency responders had to cut the door off of my car to get me out.  I was concussed, suffered a minor skull fracture, a fractured clavicle, three fractured ribs, an avulsion fracture of my cervical spine, and countless soft tissue injuries, the scar tissue from which still causes me pain today, almost every day.

I can still count the number of pain-free days that I have had since October 2011 on two hands.

But I don’t have to be pain free to function, and I’ve developed a staggering tolerance for pain.

Recently I was in a conflict where I broke my jaw (hence the photo in my entry from earlier this month) and I walked around with a broken jaw for more than a week before I realized that it was broken.  Sure, it hurt, but nothing more than I go through almost every day.

Physical pain and I have been traveling companions for a long time now.

I am only now beginning to realize that emotional pain and I have been traveling companions for most of my life.

Just in the past two years, I’ve been working hard to peel back the layers of my mind and access the deep hurt that has been buried there.  I have developed emotional scars as well, and where I have learned to tune out the physical pain and walk on in the past 5 years since my car accident, I had also developed ways to tune out the emotional pain, I just didn’t realize it.

This is where things start to cycle back on themselves, and I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s helping me to function again, so I’m just going to live with it for now and examine the consequences later.

I can’t take my anxiety medication right now because of my closed jaw.  The capsules cannot be broken and there is no liquid variant available, so my psychiatrist gave me a different liquid medication instead.  It doesn’t really work for me, so I’ve just stopped taking the meds altogether.

This is dangerous, I know.

This is probably not the right way to go about things, I know.

But those wonderful drugs that opened my viewpoint to allow me to experience more of the emotional spectrum and to be more emotionally available to my partner.. they appear to be a crutch, and it’s possible that my already developed and natural coping mechanisms – while not ideal, perhaps – may actually be more effective in letting me live a somewhat normal life than the drugs have been.

I took them, and I went to counseling, all in an effort to save my relationship and fight for the one that I love.  But my counselor betrayed me and my girlfriend left me and now I’m physically broken again, emotionally vulnerable, and heartbroken in a way that I have never been before.  I rarely leave the house, and there are days when I do not speak to anyone.  Not one word.

But you know what – despite that.. despite the depressing canvas that I’m creating upon, despite the lack of medications, the lack of contact, the isolation from my family, the lack of any available friends, the severing of the best and worst relationship that I have ever had… despite all of this – I’m getting better.

I’m hardening again, and that may ultimately not be a good thing, but the funny thing is that I’m finding that the further I hold the world at bay, the easier it is to deal with.

I’ve cocooned the pain away, and it becomes easier and easier to deal with every day.

I was fighting hard for something that was probably hurting me more than helping.

The fight is over for now, and I have to find a new way to move forward in the world.  Oddly enough, pushing away the pain has led me to be more present and patient.  Or maybe it’s the lack of drugs that has restored my patient nature… either way, the fight is over, and I’m finding new ways to deal with the pain.

I am strong like the Oak.  Pretending to be a willow does not suit me.

 

  • Rant

The Breaking of Samantha

In the vanilla world there is this developing mythology.. and the concerning thing is that I’m seeing it spilling over into the BDSM world too now, and that is that submissives and other s-types “need to be broken.”

People are not horses, and even those that feel that they are horses probably feel that horses – for whom the term was coined – don’t really need to be ‘broken’.

It’s a pervasive myth though, and I think I know why…

It encourages violence against women and other disenfranchised and dis-empowered peoples.

Oh, shit, I can feel the Domme-rage from here…

Maybe that’s also why it’s such a pervasive myth.

Let’s just be factual here – on a pure numbers basis, there are more female and LGBT people who identify as submissive than as Dominant.  That’s not saying that there aren’t women Dommes or LGBT Dominants, just that they tend to be under-represented when held against the background of cisgendered males in that role.

But just as bad, maybe worse even, is the whole mythology taking the place of that from the quasi-feminist perspective – that “my submission is a gift that should be cherished.”

Bullshit – and anyone who would submit or accept submission under such terms doesn’t really understand what the fuck is going on.

One of the oldest sex clubs in San Francisco is called The Power Exchange, and that terminology is used for a reason.

D/s is not about power transfer, it’s about power exchange.

But hell, even I forget that sometimes.

I don’t know anyone named Samantha – and I’m not trying to break anyone.   submission is something that is given, but it is also something that is taken… it is a shared power that when added together sums to more than the parts.

The spiritual side of D/s gets lost in the haze too often.  The sex appeal is turning it into a game and the ritual is getting lost.

But the spiritual side – that’s where the really terrifying stuff lives.

And the really, awe-inspiringly awesome things are there too.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve personally been able to confront it.

Don’t lose time to the bullshit posturing and misogynistic terminology.  You don’t have to break anyone – it’s a bad word, find something else.  Bond is a good one that comes to mind.

And from the other side – realize that sometimes a voice in support, even if it’s coming from someone who doesn’t look like you – might actually be a voice of support.

This was a rant.

Changing the lexicon – one jaw at a time…

  • Rant

sometimes life just kicks you in the teeth

I try to represent myself here as the best possible version of me there is. If I ever fail to do so, it is because I either intentionally want to project vulnerability (which does not make it false) or because I made a genuine mistake.

This time, I think it’s just because I’m a little broken – emotionally, physically, mentally… broken.

I like to think of myself as somewhat enlightened – no Bodhisattva or anything, but I like to think that I generally have my shit together, or at least that there is a path that I can follow which will end in me getting my shit together sometime soon.

But sometimes life just has to kick you in the teeth and let you know who is Boss.

I’m a ghost, ungrounded and wandering, infecting the lives of the living while trying to find the things that I need.

I used to preach from my armchair philosopher pulpit, telling people that the soul is a quantum waveform and that the only separation between life and unlife is time. That when we die, our waveform gets to spread through the cosmos, unbounded by time, and your consciousness gets to experience the most impactful parts of your life over and over again. It’s a nice story if you don’t think about it too hard – you get to revisit the best parts of your life over and over again. I get to be there at the birth of my daughter, over and over again. But it’s also the perfect argument for leading a good life. If you lead a tumultuous and drama-filled life, and if your most impactful memories are of the terrors that were done to you when you were powerless, or the horrible things that you were coerced to do in another’s name, while you knew that they were wrong all along… when those are your most impactful memories, the story is a little more grim.

I’ve tried to live a good life – I really have.

It hasn’t actually turned out that way.

I have a powerful mind, and when I let it do it’s thing, it feeds me metaphors to describe every situation, analogies to draw everywhere, magickal ways to connect any two things across space and time. When I let some other folks use it to do some things I didn’t really want to do, I hurt people and I’m never, ever, going to live that down. I didn’t kill anyone, but I surely found other methods of hurting people.. the arbitrary line that I drew at the power over life and death was just an homage to something that doesn’t even really exist.

If there is a God, oxytocin might be the best name for it, but whereas I used to think it was sufficient to explain love in a chemical way, it’s only been since I’ve been seriously altering my own internal chemistry in a measured and controllable way (until recently, anyway… pills don’t always go through wires…) that I’ve begun to understand that there are elements of relationships with people that are not simple manipulations and that cannot be explained away by simple chemistry.

Being in love was the hardest thing I have ever done.

I thought it happened several times over the course of my past, but it only really happened once, and then I chipped away at it, pulled the pieces off, tried to take it apart and see how it worked, how the inside pieces fit together and moved it. But I broke it. A long time ago, I broke it, but it just kept limping along, trying to fix itself, and each time I saw that I got scared – nothing had ever tried to put itself back together before – so I just kept breaking it, over and over again. I wasn’t even trying to see how it worked anymore, it just scared the shit out of me, and despite the fact that I felt lonely and scared whenever I was away from it, I felt lonely and scared every time it would be close to getting fixed again too. So I enslaved it.

It’s the only thing I was ever taught to do.

Power is to be captured and manipulated.

People are to be enslaved and abused.

So I just kept trying to find people who wanted to be enslaved and abused.

“There is something wrong with me,” they would say, “and you are strong, I can see it. You have come back from this before.”

And yes, I had, but not in the way that they were thinking.

I’d lend my hand and say, “certainly – come with me, I can show you the way.”

I knew the way – some of the way on my own, and I have a powerful mind that I could use to find paths to set other people upon.

Sometimes I would carry them, sometimes I would lead them, sometimes I would push, but always, I would enslave and control.

And then I found my nachash and everything changed. I could find no way to move her, so I chipped away, pulled at the parts to try to see how she worked inside, and to my complete and utter astonishment, she opened up and freely gave me everything inside and I had no idea what to do – it was too precious, and too frightening, so I captured it as best I could and broke the other parts that would try to slip out.

I broke it. Over and over again, I broke it, just so that I could keep it under control, because I don’t know any other way.

Say what you will about the men and women of my past, and I certainly have a lot of both good and bad things to say about Simone, but she was actually a pretty good teacher.

It’s been too long to remember her words, so I’m paraphrasing, and I may even be remembering things incorrectly because memory is fallible, but I never understood the importance of this lesson until now.

She said to me –

submissives talk all the time about how they have the real power in the D/s dynamic – that’s bullshit – you are the Dom, you have the power, you have all of the power that exists, your power, her power, the power of the people who are watching your scene if there are any such – until the scene is over or until the safeword is called, all of the power is yours to do with whatever you will and that is why a lot of Doms fail – they can’t decide what to do with all of that power or they limit themselves and leave all of those people who lent them all of that power without satisfaction

But you won’t do that, because I’m training you right. I’m bringing you up from the bottom, and while you’ll learn that if you surrender your power, I will use it against you, you will also learn that there are things that I can do with your power that you cannot. You are going to want those things. The only way you can get those things is to give your power to me and trust me that I’ll use it to give you what you want. It’s exciting because there is no guarantee. It’s exciting because if I do something else with your power you might like that too and you’re too afraid to make the choice yourself. You will remember that when someone else gives you her power that you need to honor that trust. She can always take it away because it still really is her power, but if she does, you both lose.

I thought she was talking about D/s dynamics. I thought that woman was a stone and never loved a soul in all her days, but I see now that I was probably wrong there too.

She probably had her one, and she probably broke him too.

She was trying to teach me about love, but it took my nachash to do that, and then I broke it one final time.

Everything is new again

It’s a new year. I didn’t manage to post anything in January, and if I’m not quick, I’ll miss February too, so I guess I better post something.

It has been an interesting time, hasn’t it?

My personal politics are probably not a surprise to any of my readers, but this is not a political site, and I won’t harp on political issues here, but I am still a feminist and I still hold to my own core values, and when those are being threatened, I speak up.

I did not march in the women’s march in January, but I’d proudly wear a pussy hat any day.

The title of this post is “Everything is new again” and that is true.

We are in a new year, we have a new administration, I have a new job, and I’m about to begin re-engaging with the community in a way that I haven’t for years.

But in many ways, we’re taking a step back.

Scratch that, we’re taking several steps back.

People are people, and each and every one is different. You can’t put people into buckets – they don’t fit and they don’t like it.

I’ve seen the posts by people saying that they’re leaving the country, and while I can understand the sentiment, I think that is slightly cowardly… if you can afford to leave the country, you are not likely to be woefully impacted by the present administration – in fact, if you are someone who can afford to leave the country, you’ll probably benefit from staying right here.

I’ve seen the posts by people saying that they’re going to stand up and stay home and fight. That is what I plan to do.. but remember people, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

I’ve donated money to the Red Cross in the past, and while I still believe that they are a worthy charity to donate to, I think I am going to be a bit more focused with my money and time this year – and next year, and the next year, and the year after that.

And here’s to hoping that it won’t be (as) necessary after that.

  • Rant

Fighting for the things you love

I am in a relationship. It is a complicated relationship, it is definitely not easy, as no relationships are, but this one is worth fighting for, where I have failed to fight for others in the past.

In the past, I’ve always felt justified in blaming the failure of my relationships on external factors or upon the other person, and yet, I’m almost always the one to call an end to things. Not always, but generally, I’ve been the one to give up.

When my first wife, Sabrina, found religion and started to use it as a weapon against me, I could take it no longer and ended the first real relationship of my life – quickly, mercilessly, and without much regret, but regret and pain are not quite the same thing, and that experience surely did hurt.

I went through a series of short term and nontraditional relationships after that, and in most cases, I was the one to give up when things looked the least bit like they were going to crack, but eventually I was tossed out by Sonia and experienced my first case of being the dumped party. It hurt; it scarred me, and every relationship that I have had since then has had to bear the baggage that came with this event. Every time a relationship came close to ending, I feared the upending of my entire life – being thrown out onto the street has a way of refocusing you though…

Despite being somewhat jaded at this point, I decided to once again try to settle in and live life according to the societal norms. I found a new wife, Madison, and we had children together, and no matter how bad things got, I fought to stay in that relationship for the sake of my children. That relationship ended for reasons that were not my choosing.

Then I did the series of short term and nontraditional relationships again – with the same sorts of results for the most part.

The truth is that in all of those cases, there was always a fear that the other person would abandon me, and in most cases that is what actually happened.

In some cases, I pushed things to that conclusion. Consciously and unconsciously, I worked against my own relationships to break them, so that I didn’t have to be hurt when the inevitable abandonment would occur. I could spin it around and say that it was my choice to leave, and in most cases, that is how it would appear to anyone who was not deep within my mind.

In some cases, it really was the other person’s fault. Kendra, for example, was simply batshit crazy, and after spending tens of thousands of dollars to try to get her help and get her life back on track, I simply could no longer afford to keep it up and I told her so.

But my current relationship is different, and very much worth saving.

This is the first time that my partner refused to hear me when I said that it was over.

She has been the first person to see through my bullshit and my baggage and my fear and anxiety and dread and to hold on to the part of me that really does not want her to go.

She is my lighthouse.

She is the blue canary in the outlet by the light switch who watches over me.

She is the one who I want by my side for the rest of my life. Whatever form that takes, she is the one that I always want to come home to, the one that I want to always protect, the one that I want to always have my back.

But in order to do that, I have to clear out this garbage from my past.

I am confronting things about myself that I buried long ago and never wanted to revisit, but those are parts of me and if I do not acknowledge them, they crawl out on their own anyway.

This is a long, painful, and extremely difficult thing for me to do.

I have nightmares almost daily. Even when I am awake and focused on something entirely different, sometimes when I close my eyes, the images that I see on the inside of my eyelids are of inexplicable and horrifying things. I often lie awake at night in the dark and I can feel the demons trying to infect me again, but I have strength, because she is there, sleeping by my side.

I am fighting against myself. I am fighting against the walls that I placed in my own psyche for very good reason, but those walls have to come down and the elements behind them have to be dealt with. I need to re-incorporate those things into my being again. Until I do that, I won’t be whole, and she deserves so much more than a partial boyfriend.

I will kick my own ass so that she can have more of me than anyone ever has. She deserves it, and I want to give it to her.

But when I started this post, I was only meaning to speak in part about my girl and how much she means to me and how much I want to fight for her, because while she may be the most important thing in my life to fight for right now there are going to be many, many, many things that I will have to fight for in the years to come.

I had briefly considered pulling the white male card and just coasting through, hoping that nothing bad happens and nothing touches me, and I am just fucking spoiled to have that option in the first place and I’m a bit disappointed in myself for ever even half-seriously considering it.

I had considered leaving the country. The incoming administration has no love for people like me and the things I represent, but that would be cowardly as well.

I am extremely fortunate. I am not powerless in this world. I do not have much power, but whatever I have I am going to dedicate to fighting for the things in which I believe.

I am donating money now. I will donate time when I am able. I am going to speak of things in my bully pulpit here for as long as I can.

People are people, and until and unless we can recognize that, we may deserve the environmental catastrophe that is coming for us…

But we can, and should, fight against all of those things until they overwhelm us.

My ancestors long fought against impossible odds, and they usually lost, but they won enough that I stand here today, and they kept enough of their values and culture that it is immediately recognizable the world over.

I stand on the shoulders of giants and I stare down the petty and selfish.

I will continue to fight for as long as I can.

Chemical Control

I am a Dom.  Sometimes I don’t act very Dom-like though, and for the past several months, I’ve been out of control and very rarely Dominant.

The essence of Dominance is Control – control of yourself, control of your environment, control of the scene, control of your submissive.  That is the order and hierarchy that the world should adhere to from the perspective of the Dom in me.  Rant’s rules, distilled to the control elements…

But lately, I have NOT been the one in control – the demons in my mind have been controlling me and therefore everything else in that chain – including my saint of a poor submissive girlfriend.  The fact that she stayed with me through all of this is something for which I shall always be grateful and never fully understand.

But let’s back up a bit…

I live in the United States.  California, to be exact, and the San Francisco Bay Area – which is more tolerant than other places in this country, but we still lag behind in a few areas and one of those is that there is still a stigma attached to mental disorder.  People still seem to think that if you are diagnosed as bipolar or depressed or with general anxiety disorder that there is something fundamentally wrong with you and, perhaps more insidiously, that there is something dangerous about you.

To a certain extent these fears have a basis in reality… as I have personally come to learn in the past several months. But more importantly, these sorts of preconceived notions can affect how one perceives such things, even when one has personal experience.

I have battled depression, and recently, anxiety as well.

I knew the demons of depression, and that was part of the problem with this most recent bout of anxiety.  Anxiety and depression look and feel very different, and yet they can cause a lot of the same sorts of symptoms and problems.

When I was controlled by depression, I wanted to kill myself.  I was overwhelmed with the world and I just couldn’t see any way past the horrible realization that everyone I loved would be better off without me dragging them down.  I was despondent and in pain and sometimes even just breathing seemed to be too much effort.  I wanted out and I could see no other way.

Fortunately for me, I was strong enough to recognize that suicide is ultimately an extremely selfish act, and I chose not to be so selfish and got help.  I pulled out of my depression and I thought that I was cured.

I’ve always been neurologically atypical, but it never even occurred to me that I was suffering from anxiety.  I was stressed out and I couldn’t sleep and I was irritable and short to anger and couldn’t concentrate and had all of the other hallmarks of severe general anxiety disorder, but I was sure that I was “just a little stressed” or that once the current crisis abated that things would get back to normal in short order.

But that was masking the problem.  The current crisis always gave way to the next.  And that’s just how life is.  Life is not easy, and if you let every issue balloon out to the point of crisis, you will be fire-fighting all of the time.  There is no shortage of crises to be found anywhere nowadays.

I started fighting with my girlfriend – daily.  We fought about everything and nothing at all.  We spiraled into the same patterns, over and over again.

But never did it even occur to me that I was the problem.

Even that statement isn’t really fair – the problem wasn’t me, the problem was that I was unable to cope with the level of anxiety that I had in my life.   Once again, I was overwhelmed, but this time instead of forcing that inward and causing myself to be depressed, I pushed it out into the world around me, and I lashed out at the people I loved.  I shut out all emotions and I pushed everything and everyone away.

My girlfriend tried to get me to get help.  And I even went along with it, but I didn’t try very hard.  I saw a doctor and I told him what was going on in the broadest of terms and when he told me that I just needed to deal with it, I took that in stride and just figured that I was facing daily stress like we all do and that better time management or organization would help me.

But no amount of organization or time management can fix a broken mind.

As the anxiety got worse, my symptoms did as well.

I got delusional.

I stopped sleeping almost entirely.

I lost the ability to concentrate, even for minutes at a time.  If not for the reputation that I have developed at work, I would have been fired several times over for being behind in my duties or just plain failing to get things done, and the more I failed to get done, or the more behind I would get, the more anxious I would become.

I felt like I was failing at everything.

I can recall many conversations with my therapist or my girlfriend where I said, “I’m failing at everything,” but it was never enough to clue me into the real problem.

My friends and even my family would tell me that I needed to get help, but I was sure that I knew better.

“I know what depression feels like, and this is not that.” – I would tell them.  And I was right, but I was completely missing the point, it wasn’t depression that was sidelining me, it was something else entirely.

Of course, it took things getting really horrible before I actually took the steps that ameliorated the problem.  My body started objecting in the most amazing ways…

My blood pressure went off the charts…  I’d started dropping a lot of weight.  I was sweating like crazy – so much that even the skin on my palms was beginning to peel…  but even that was not enough.  I didn’t go back to a psychiatrist until I had a panic attack.

I was driving on surface streets and had a panic attack and failed to move when the light changed.  People in cars around me honked and leaned out their windows to yell at me and flip me off and I still couldn’t move.

Eventually I was able to begin breathing again and moved my car.  I got home and resolved right away that I needed chemical help for my anxiety.

I found a new doctor (who is pretty amazing, actually) and started a new treatment program and now, three weeks in, I am in control of myself once again.

The difference is as stark as day and night.

Just a few weeks ago, I doubt very much that I could have managed even to sit still long enough to read a blog post of this length, much less actually write it.

The last time I was taking psychoactive pharmaceuticals, I was worried that I was going to be stuck on them for the rest of my life.

I wasn’t.

I may be on the new meds that I am taking now for years to come, but I don’t care one whit…. I am in control again, and it feels good.

Back at the helm.

I am Rant.

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!

Well, not really.  First of all, she’s not a witch and secondly, her health is fine, but I’m leaving my horrible job and my horrible boss and moving on to a different startup that is founded and run by people that I know and respect.  It’s a massively good thing and I feel like yelling something upbeat and, “Ding dong the witch is dead!” feels about right.

The past several months have been difficult for me.  The only time that I have made for my blog is to answer the direct questions of readers who email me directly.  I need to do better than that, and now that I feel like I have a little more mental and emotional capacity, I plan to do just that.

I’m skipping Nanowrimo this year, and because I’m starting a new job and there are other life changes in the works that require my attention, I’m probably not going to really make any major commitments to writing or anything else in the short term, but this is massively good news for me and everyone in my life.

I’m beginning yet another new chapter – and this one feels really good.   New places, new expectations, and a chance to start again where I’ve not been ‘outed’ and can be seen for the merit of what I know and do instead of what I do in my private life.

Catching up

It has, once again, been a horribly long time since my last post. Part of the reason for that is simply that I’ve been letting life get in the way again, but part of it is because I have been struggling with how to write this next post, what to include, how much to reveal about myself in it, and also just a certain amount of time waiting to see what would happen.

Shortly after my last post, I was outed at work as kinky by a coworker, which is something that I never expected to happen, or that if it did happen, that it would be something of a non-event.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I work in the tech sector. The former is a well known kink haven and the latter is known to be accepting of all sorts of personality quirks.

So, when there was any reaction at all to my lifestyle choices, I was a bit surprised.

I think that was part of the problem – everyone else was surprised as well – and if there is something that people can almost universally be expected to react poorly to, it is surprises that change fundamental assumptions that we make about some person, place, or thing. I should have expected this and prepared for it a bit better. Perhaps I should not have kept things so compartmentalized in my life, but with a few exceptions, I don’t socialize with my coworkers and even when I do, they tend to fall into the category of ‘vanilla friends’ which makes them a bit easier to hold at arm’s length.

So.. when they found out that I have a ‘secret life’… well… I suddenly became a great deal more interesting.

My role is kind of boring. I’m one of the most senior engineers on my team. I’m a mentor and a role model in some ways. I’m not a manager (though I was once.. it turns out that I am a wonderful leader but a terrible manager) but I am very visible and deal with a lot of different people in my role. It’s been interesting to see how people reacted to the news.

My shrew of a boss either still does not know or is refusing to acknowledge the news. If it is the latter, then she is actually probably a better boss than I give her credit for, but the problem is that I’m pretty sure that she is just so clueless and uninformed that she still doesn’t know and whatever consequences are coming from that vector are still waiting in the wings.

But the more interesting reactions are the ones that I am getting from my peers and from the other cross-functional people that I deal with regularly.

I’ve had some interesting questions posed by a few of the more adventurous of my coworkers, but really nothing too extreme. I wasn’t expecting anyone to say anything though, so that’s an interesting bit of information.

The really surprising thing though is the change in the way that people treat me. It’s a subtle thing, and I have to be very careful when I evaluate such things because my own perception can definitely distort things, but there have been some distinct changes in the way that certain individuals interact with me. Some avoid me more, some act like they know a secret about me and that we’re closer as a result (even though I didn’t divulge the secret myself,) and some act very nervous around me now, like they expect me to pull out a flogger and start wailing on them any minute.

I should have been more careful. I had a headshot as my profile photo on Fetlife. That was how they found me. Someone was trolling Fetlife and saw my picture and went apeshit.

Of course, this means that the person who found me out has to have a Fetlife account as well. I somewhat naively thought that would be some protection – after all, anyone who saw my photo on Fetlife would have to have an account themselves, and would presumably be somewhat discreet as a result, but alas, the world is a bit more complex than such naive assumptions. It turns out that no one cares how I was found out, only that I was… I should have predicted that.

Ultimately, I still don’t know the full impact of the news on my career and work relationships – some of this is still evolving. I’m rarely the object of discrimination, so this has been a new experience for me in some ways. I’ll be sure to post a follow up in a couple of months when the full impact of things is more clear to me, but one thing is absolutely certain. I’m never more sure of my privilege in being born a white male in America as I am now.

Yours in thought,

Rant.

As a postscript and a side-note… I’ve received a few emails lately asking why I don’t allow comments on my posts.   I actually do, and always have, but I set things such that posts older than two weeks old could not be commented on in an effort to avoid necroposting, but since some of my posts are being referenced on other sites now and at the request of those who emailed me, I’ve removed that restriction and you should be able to comment on any post I’ve written.

Posts are still moderated and go through a spam filter, but once you have a post approved, subsequent posts should automatically be approved for you.  Please do not abuse this .

An imaginary conversation with a new submissive

Kneel for me. Look into my eyes and try to maintain eye contact for as long as you can. Give me your full attention. Do not speak until I am finished talking. I will let you know when that is.

People are not rational beings. Trust is almost always brittle and ephemeral. This process will be disorienting and frightening for you, but even before we begin, you should know that I am terrified.

Most people cannot do the things that I am going to ask you to do. Most people will break under this sort of stress, and if you break I will be there to help pick up the pieces, but we will go slowly… more slowly than even I think we need to, because if _we_ break, that will be the end of us.

But I trust you, and I trust us. And we are going to forge something unbreakable with that trust.

As we start this, you are going to think that I’m joking. The further along we get, the more doubts you will have – about whether or not I’m joking, about whether or not you can do this, whether or not you really want to do this. You will start to believe that maybe I’m crazy, or that maybe you are. You will question the motivation that brought you to this conclusion from the very beginning. Everything will feel unnatural at first, but I promise you that eventually it will seem second nature.

You are not you anymore. Not when you wear my collar. You are an extension of Me. You exist purely to reinforce my Will and Serve my needs. You will begin to learn the things that I like, not that I merely require. You will begin to anticipate my desires as well as my needs and you will feel incomplete while you know that there is anything that I am missing. The only way to feel complete again is to satisfy those needs and desires, and you will do anything in your power to be complete again.

I’m going to tell you to look into my eyes and tell me that you exist only to please me. You are going to feel silly when you do. You won’t believe it at first. You will hold back a kernel of yourself, a part of your own being, of something that is not Me. You will say the words, and you will want to mean them, but you won’t. Not at first.

I’m going to tell you to look up into my eyes and tell me that you exist only to please me. You are going to bear false witness at first. You will do as I command, but you will withhold a part of yourself. You will think to yourself, “I am choosing to do this. I want to forget myself, to let myself become this vessel for him. I want to stop being myself for a time.” But you won’t quite succeed. Not at first. Because you will have to think about it. Because you will feel insecure. You will feel like you’re acting. You will feel juvenile, pretending, silly. But you will be stepping closer towards being Mine. And once you are Mine, you will be finally Free.

You are not you anymore. Not when you wear my collar. There is one inside of you who has always known that you wanted this. You have been searching for the one who sees this need within you and who can foster it and cherish it and shape it, because you don’t have the knowledge or strength to shape it on your own. There is one inside of you who feels like she is being forced to confront a life that she does not want. You move through life uncertain of your place within it. You know that you belong somewhere, but you haven’t ever really found it.

I can show it to you.

When you wear my collar you are giving yourself to me. Completely. You are not you anymore. You are an extension of my Will and your only purpose will be to Serve my needs and desires – even those that I am not consciously aware of myself. Eventually you will know what I want and need before I do, and you will be there already, ready to provide.

In exchange for this, I will take your burdens. You will be Free. Your only purpose will be to Serve me and you can leave all of the rest of the uncertainty and doubt behind.

While you wear my collar, the rest of the world exists at the periphery, but it is unimportant. You, for as much as you connect to the world, cease to exist and become subsumed within my Will. You can leave doubt and uncertainty behind because they no longer matter. You have only one purpose and you are the very embodiment of that goal. Your mind, your body, your actions – they all become an extension of something outside of yourself. They all become a part of Me.

I will hold you within my Will and keep the world at bay. I will protect your essence and hold it for you so that when you are ready to take up the mantle again, it will be waiting for you, but for this moment, for right now, those things cannot touch you.

I will take your body and I will use it to satisfy my needs and desires. I will protect it and cherish it as I force it to conform to my desire. I will use it to control your mind. I will use it to mold the being inside of you that you give to me. I will hurt it, because positive punishment is faster and more effective at calling attention to undesirable behavior than other methods, and you seek to become the least you can as quickly as possible. You want to vanish within my Will and the fastest, surest way to do that is to call direct, immediate, and shocking attention to anything that is contrary to that goal.

I will hurt you, but I will keep you safe.

I will hurt you, but I will never injure you.

I will flay apart the pieces around the kernel within you that you give to me. I will burn away the pieces that don’t belong. I will leave behind the strength of nature itself. I will find the seed and I will nurture it until the uneasiness is gone, until the part that you held back can’t be seen separately any longer, until you are Free from the disorientation and feelings of silliness or the idea that you’re playing a role. I will break apart the bindings of the world upon this part of you and take it for myself.

You will remain, and the world around you will call upon you as it always has, but for a time, for a moment here and there, I will pull a deeper part of you free from that existence and I will hold it apart from reality, within my own Will.

You can always go back, but while you are Mine, I can show you the freedom that you always knew was hiding from you somewhere.

Okay. I’m done speaking now. Are you ready to begin?

Doms are people too

I have been putting this post off for a very long time.  Over the course of the couple years that I’ve had this blog, I have received a number of emails from submissives who want to know if a particular pattern of behavior on the part of their chosen Dominants is abusive or if they have done something wrong or something similar to those lines.  I’ve seen it several times, in slightly different permutations, from several different sources, so I want to make it clear that I’m not singling out any particular email that I may have received recently as the source of this piece.

The question is usually of this form:

“I <used my safeword / cried / didn’t want to do something> and now my Dom is acting cold and distant with me.  Did I do something wrong, or is he being abusive?”

The last portion of the question there is sometimes missing, or slightly perturbed, as in “was he abusing me all along and I just now realize it?” etc…

I almost never have enough information from the email that poses this question to make any sort of determination along those lines, but I do always try to be helpful.

One thing that I think a lot of people miss is that D/s relationships are still relationships and relationships are hard.  Dominants are people too, with our own problems, emotional baggage, and deep histories which sometimes include shame and remorse or things that we just wish we’d had the presence of mind to handle differently at the time.

I don’t have a panacea here.  Some of these situations may be actual abuse.  There is certainly a period of NRE that can mask things that are truly bad, but aside from that, if you normally have a communicative relationship where you can talk about things and express your desire to each other, then incidents like this may just be part and parcel of relationships, though they manifest themselves in strange ways in this particular context.

To offer any advice in this context is a bit controversial, if not entirely ill advised… but this is a persistent question I get, so there is clearly a need for information that is not otherwise being met and I will do my best to address the issue.

The key thing to remember here is that a D/s relationship is still a relationship, and as with all relationships, be they romantic, professional, familial, or something that falls outside of all of those buckets, communication is the most important thing into which you can invest time and energy.

How can you tell if it’s really abuse?  That’s not really an easy thing, but generally if you’re talking about a single incident in what is otherwise a good relationship, I would give your partner the benefit of the doubt – he may just be having a bad day, or you may have hit one of his triggers.  However, if something that makes you uncomfortable repeats, there may be an issue, and this is where you may have to force the point and really talk about it.  Even if it is just a single incident, you need to talk about it, but a pattern of behavior is almost always a deeper issue than a single incident.

If you don’t have the sort of relationship where you can talk about these things, then you have deeper problems.  Aftercare is typically the place where you would talk about these things.  Don’t wait weeks or even days to talk about something that went wrong – talk about it right after it happens, find out where the problem came from, let him know that there is a problem (because he might not even realize it,) and do something to either correct or avoid it for the next time.

I fear that I’ve rambled a bit in this post… the point that I’m trying to get across is that Doms are people too – we have bad days, we have emotional triggers, and sometimes something will happen that causes us to have an abnormal reaction.  There have been times when I’ve hit a trigger of my own that causes me to emotionally retreat without even realizing it.  Usually I can come back around and see things for what they are if I’m given enough time, but in almost all of those cases, a few words or questions from my sub would have brought me there a lot more quickly.

A single bad experience may be bad enough to chuck out the whole affair, but probably isn’t unless things aren’t that good to begin with.  A pattern of bad behavior though – that’s something else, and that’s something that you should not continually put up with.