Tag Archives: bdsm

Interlude: Kneel for me

If you know me personally, this is probably not a new piece of writing to you.  I posted this first to my fetlife profile rather than here, about a year ago, but I re-read it myself recently and thought that perhaps it should be cross-posted here as well.

It is short, and while I intended it to be akin to free-verse poetry, it’s really just a short monologue… but I kind of like it.

I hope you do too.


Kneel for me.

Meet my gaze and hold it. Do not look away.

I know it is not easy. Nothing worthwhile is.

Cry for me. Not because you are sad, not because you have lost, not because you are missing someone dear, but because I am asking you to.

Open your heart for me. Pour the blood of your emotion on the floor at my feet and let me sink into its depth.

Sing your song of sorrow until it fills my soul and covers the rough parts, smooths out the edges, fills the gaps of my emotional canvas.

Cry for me. Not because you need to, but because I need for you to.

Lift your heart and mind and soul to the sky and let my love surround you. This is a place of safety and security, you are in my Protection and nothing in the world can harm you right now.

Rage for me. Not because you need to purge the poisonous vapors of mistrust and envy from your mind, but because I feed on your ire.

Scream for me. Not because your voice needs to escape your throat. Not because you have broken through the wall of your pain and anger and the primal need for screaming catharsis is pulling apart the walls of your soul, but because I want you to.

And then do all of those things again for the reasons I told you not to before.

I will hold your heart close and keep it safe while you channel the dark things away and I will eat them for you.

And when you are ready, I will return your heart to you, clean, shiny, and new.

And any time you need me to, I will be here, and you can…

…kneel for me.

My personal journey : Part 1

My personal D/s journey: A story of spirituality, conflict, betrayal, and hope

Part I : Sexual awakenings

My first sexual experiences were not normal.  As a result of these early experiences (which I will detail shortly) I live with the constant fear that I will never find a mature sexual relationship that meets my needs as they now exist.  I often feel like my lifestyle goals are unattainable or even prurient to the degree that merely giving them voice is offensive.

As far as personal struggles go – this is one that I have never managed to really get the hang of or the upper hand over, and it leaves me often feeling as if I am damaged beyond the ability to properly assimilate into collective society.  And yet… I keep trying.  Whether or not this meets the definition of insanity is something that does occasionally cause me to lose sleep.

My sexuality began to emerge relatively early for a boy… I was having my first confusing and unfocused erections at eight years old.  I was masturbating to the lingerie ads in the JC Penny catalog by the time I was nine.  So far, this is not all that unusual except perhaps for the early age, which – while on the edge of normal – still fits the Bell curve rather neatly.  However, I began to diverge from the norms pretty early on thanks to being just a little too smart for my own good.

When I was 11, I made some friends who were both older than I was and just as into computers as I was.  I was given loan of a modem and started prying my way into what was the online world of the day.  The Internet that we know and depend on today was in its infancy, and most of the networked computer world existed as islands of activity around universities, the first generation of what would later become known as ISPs, and a scattered and completely unregulated wasteland of individually run BBSes that were connected by various bridge technologies (uucp, fidonet, etc.) if they were connected to anything larger at all.

Most of the BBSes that I would dial into were not connected to anything larger than themselves, and even in a largely rural area like where I grew up, this led to some diversification of content between them so as to avoid competing for the same users – for the most part.

Within a few months of embarking into this new world, I was hooked and it took very little time for me to secure a modem of my own and begin a pattern of calling in to the same seven or so BBSes every day.  In many ways, this was an extremely primitive form of reddit or Facebook.   I made friends online who I would never end up meeting in person, but of course, eventually I wanted to meet some of the faces behind the screens with which I was interacting, and even in that time and place, there were user group meetings.

We called ourselves M.O.R.E. and thought that we were especially clever (the name stood for Modem-users Of the Redwood Empire) and in general, it was just good, clean fun.  We had BBQs and softball games and a monthly meeting in the back of a Round Table Pizza in southwestern Santa Rosa.  After attending several of these events with my parents (remember that I was just 11, maybe 12 at this time) – I made friends who were close to my own age and was eventually able to secure rides to and from these events without my parents needing to be present, which turned out to be a wonderful and horrible thing.

One of the things that I noticed early on in these events was that they seemed to be pretty heavily skewed.  Allegiances developed based on particular BBS loyalty, and we seemed to be largely split into two camps.  There was the ‘Rapture’ camp – which was made up of people who contributed to the Rapture BBS, which was an adults-only sexually themed BBS, and then there was ‘everybody else’.

Because the Rapture team was made up of exclusively adults, this often meant that in contests, the ‘everyone else’ team was wildly outclassed, and as a competitive young man, this did not always sit well with me.  This, coupled with the normal curiosity that accompanies being a young man, caused me to embark on a course of action that would later prove to be seminal to my development as a sexual being, but perhaps not in the best way possible.

I decided to break into Rapture and see what all the fuss was about.

So – as a 12 year boy, already a few years into puberty and with zero sex education from traditional outlets (my parents never had ‘the talk’ with me, and sex-education in school was a farce) I ended up being thrown to the wolves in a very real sense.  Using the anonymity that hiding behind a screen gave me, I constructed a believable persona as an early-30’s high school history teacher and began to engage with this new community.

I was instantly accepted and where my lack of knowledge concerning sex activities came through, I was instructed by my new ‘friends’ – all though text, and sometimes pictures, but bandwidth back then was extremely limited, and image files that we would now send in a text message could take an hour or more to transfer.  Without the ability to easily fact check many of the things that I was being ‘taught’, I ended up learning a great deal of bad information in the beginning, but I was being exposed to all sorts of kink and pagan concepts concerning sexuality that I don’t know that I would have otherwise encountered, ever… and they certainly colored my expectations and the direction that I would end up taking.

I found ways to become involved with meatspace events with these people that I should not have been able to attend because of my age without blowing my cover.  There was significant crossover between the pagan group and the swinger group and I was interested in both topics, so I decided to take that route to getting closer to these people in the ‘real world.’  I figured that with enough time and patience, that I could probably force both to converge where I wanted.

I had no idea how ‘successful’ I would become.

I attended my first handfasting when I was 13.  The young couple in question were both just out of high school.  It was early summer, just after the end of the school year, and we were at a site on the Russian River, and it was well-done and beautiful and helped to form the spiritual path that I would end up taking for the next several years.   It was also a travesty, but I would not realize that for years to come.

The party that followed was barely constrained hedonism, and I’m certain that my presence kept things to a much lower intensity than they would have been had I not been there.

There was a great deal of substance use – alcohol, marijuana, LSD, and something speedy… I’m still not sure if it was coke, meth, or PCP – coke being most likely given the time period.  I did not partake of any of these, but I watched with rapt attention.

There were two distinct groups forming within the party – the younger group tended to be more spiritually minded but more socially conservative, talking in lower voices and generally stationary with their conversational topics.  The older group – made up mostly of a group of adults in their late 30’s and early 40’s – was openly hedonistic and gregarious.  A couple of the women took their tops off and there was a great deal of groping, a large cuddle pile in the grass, and even some lighthearted games of chasing, cat and mouse style.

I belonged to neither but was fascinated by both, and the open hedonism of the older group really captivated me.  I found it very difficult to look away from the exposed breasts of the women who had taken off their tops.

One of the younger women decided that it was worth taunting me over, and then one of the other women in that group (who was still wearing her top) came over and ‘rescued’ me from her, asking me who my parents where.

I told her that I was there alone, that I was friends with one of the members of the ceremony group, and that I was not really all that bothered by the attention that I was getting from Skye (the woman who had been recently taunting me.)

She laughed, introduced herself as Monique (with just a hint of a Montreal accent)  and then sat beside me and motioned to her partner to come over and talk with us.  And that is when I met Joe MacReedy and began the journey that would culminate in a high degree in Astron Argon, a complete rewriting of my psychological landscape, and a life-long pursuit of the things that exist just outside of the norms of society.

Part 2 to come, wherein I give more details about my life with a sex magick cult, the emotional (and spiritual, and psychological) break that enabled me to extricate myself from that situation, and the shortly following events that would proceed to land me in a possibly even more precarious situation in the mean streets of Beverly Hills.

Descending into the dungeon

In my own local scene the dungeons are either on the ground level or UP a set of stairs, so descending into them is purely metaphorical, and ‘Ascending into the Dungeon’ just sounds weird.

I get a lot of questions in email from my readers.  More than I get comments on my posts – I’m not sure why that is, but in the few years that I’ve been keeping this blog, it seems to be the trend.

One of the questions that I get with some frequency is, “What is it like to go into a dungeon?”

It’s a difficult question to answer because each individual venue is different.  I’ve been to several, but I can still count the number of public dungeons which I have attended on my fingers, so I’m hardly an expert in the field.  Some of these are labeled as dungeons but are really sex clubs, and at least one that I go to with some regularity is actually just an event at a bar with an area set aside at the back for suspensions and spankings – sex is not permitted there at all.

Generally though – that is one of the things that can be most jarring for people who are coming into this new – you will see and hear people having sex right in front of you.  There will be people walking around nude, and for people who aren’t used to seeing it, it might be shocking to see a bunch of erect penises just wandering about.

This is not to say that the majority, or even a significant fraction of people in the dungeon will be naked or having sex at any given time.  Most of the people will be largely clothed (though partial nudity is common) and not engaged in coitus at any given time.  Most of the scenes will not involve penetration, but most will involve at least some amount of nudity and sexual contact of some variety.

Most dungeon spaces have a regular dungeon floor and also some sort of social area apart from the dungeon floor itself.  There are often also crash couches – areas that are intended to be used for immediate after-scene care, but often these are co-opted by people for social reasons instead.  This is usually considered to be poor dungeon etiquette, but it is so common that people for the most part just accept it.

Surfaces of couches and beds (if there are any) are usually covered with sheets to minimize exposure to bodily fluids of others, and usually there are clean sheets available for you to change out if you so desire.  Often people don’t know that this is an option though, so the same sheets often adorn the furniture all night long.   Some dungeon spaces don’t offer either beds or crash couches though, so you can’t really depend on anything that you see at one dungeon space being present at another.

Usually there are stations on the dungeon floor or near to it where you can find safer sex options as well as cleaning supplies.  Dungeon etiquette requires that you clean any equipment that you use after you use it, but given that etiquette is not universal, it is usually advisable to clean anything you intend to use prior to using it as well as after you’re done.  The dungeon will usually provide spray bottles with cleaning solution and paper towels towards this purpose, as well as the safe sex options of condoms (usually both lubricated (for cocks) and non-lubricated (for toys)), nitrile or latex gloves, and often female condoms or dental dams.  Use these things – they are there to protect you and everyone else – but don’t grab a handful of condoms to take home with you.  I’ve seen that happen more than once, and I have mixed feelings about it… if you’re going to have sex, you should have safer sex, but stealing condoms from the dungeon for home use is kind of crass.  If you can’t afford condoms, most Planned Parenthood facilities will give them to you for free and the ones provided by the dungeon you are going to have costs that the dungeon must pay.  There are too few available dungeon venues to drive them out of business by increasing their operating costs.

As for what you can expect to see on the dungeon floor itself… the equipment can be quite varied.  Some dungeons have separate theme rooms and each room will have equipment that matches that theme, and some will have one large open space with all of the different types of equipment mixed together.

You can usually expect to see a cage of some kind.  Sometimes this will be large enough for a human to stand in, but often they will be too short to stand in and more like you might see for an animal.  People who are put into these cages will have to be lying down or on their hands and knees.

Often you can expect to see a medical scene display of some variety.  These are often kept separate from the rest of the dungeon equipment where possible because medical scenes often involve blood and other bodily fluids that may not be part of other types of scenes and sometimes people have a pretty strong reaction to the site of blood.  This will often be an examination table, usually with stirrups.  Sometimes there will be a dental chair or something similar as well.

Often you will also see pagoda-like structures that people can be tied to or suspended from.   Sometimes this may take the form of a simple arch instead.  But even where such things are not present, there is almost always a cross beam or hard point defined for doing rope suspensions from.  Occasionally you will also find pulley systems or rails that can be used for hook suspensions (where people actually hang from metal hooks that pierce their skin) but because hook suspensions almost always involve some amount of blood, these are also usually kept segregated from the rest of the dungeon equipment as well.

Often you will also see sex swings and beds.  The purpose of these things is pretty straightforward.  Don’t forget that there are probably clean sheets available for you to use on these things!  If you can’t see them, try asking a dungeon monitor.  I’m not a super clean freak, but I always get a little skeeved out when I see people fuck on a bed and then get up and leave it as it was and then see new people jump down on that same bed, with the same sheets and go to town.

Usually you will see a massage table or three as well.  These are pretty self-explanatory.  They’re about hip-height for me, usually padded, and often these are also amended from the ‘normal’ massage tables to include hooks or eyes for binding people to, though not always.  These are used for massage, but also often used for things like wax play (where it is allowed.. not every dungeon allows use of electrical elements or heat/fire) and other sorts of activities where you would have one person lying fully prone and the other doing things to or for them.

You will also almost always see spanking benches.  These look something like a padded saddle horse, often with rails near the bottom to rest your shins on and hooks or eyes to which to tie or attach restraints.  The idea here is that you put someone on the bench in a semi-prone position and then their ass is well positioned for you to smack with your hands, paddles, floggers, whips, whatever you desire.

The last remaining piece of furniture that you are likely to encounter (unless I’m forgetting something, which is certainly possible) is a cross or ten.  Usually these are St. Andrews crosses, which means that they look like a giant X standing on the floor rather than Roman crosses (which would be the T variety) and they’re almost always designed in such a way as to bind someone to them, either facing towards the cross (for flogging a person’s back, for example) or out away from the cross (for fingering or use of a magic wand, for example).  They often have binding hooks/eyes at a couple of different points on the top end of the cross (to accommodate people of different heights) as well as near the bottom of the cross (for binding ankles to).

It can get quite hot in the dungeon, and usually there is some sort of music played over the sounds of slapping, spanking, moaning, shrieking, and cursing.

Most stations are usually set apart from each other by a bit of floor space so that you don’t accidentally whip someone on your back stroke but this also serves to provide some small amount of space within which to work and that you can usually assume that people will stay clear of unless they are merely passing through to get to something else.  It’s worth discreetly  trying to get the attention of the people you might be trying to pass if you do this, both so that you don’t get hit, and also so that you don’t startle them and interrupt their scene.

Watching other people’s scenes is expected, but you should always remain quiet when doing so.  Offering advice or commentary is never a good thing to do while the scene is going on, but if you liked what you saw, letting them know after they are done with the scene is generally considered good form and might even begin a conversation.

I know that was a bit of a whirlwind tour of some of the things you might see and expect in a dungeon, but I also hope that it was helpful.

I am, as always, happy to answer any questions that you may have either in the comments or through email.

  • Rant

Master Rant’s 10 Day Intensive

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been host to a friend who I met through this site.  She lives quite far away, but we’ve been in contact off and on through email and other online means for well over a year at this point.  I never thought we would actually meet in person, but she decided that she wanted to take a trip to San Francisco and experience what it is like to live the D/s lifestyle for a short period under my thumb.

This is the account of some of what transpired in those ten days.

I don’t think the experience was what either of us had anticipated, but it was certainly valuable for many reasons and I am thankful for the opportunities that it afforded me to grow as well.

Let us call my friend (and I do hope that she is still a friend after all of this) Nicole.  That is not her name, but my name isn’t really Rant either, so this should not be terribly surprising to any of you.

Nicole had no experience with D/s before meeting me – but she had had some experience with kink and there were several things that she wanted to try while with me.  We got to many, but not all of them.  There were also several aspects of what I consider to be important to D/s that she had no experience with and found surprising.   Those are the sorts of things that I am going to focus on for this entry.

Foremost, and although I have tried to cover this in the past, was the assumption on her part that D/s requires sex.  This is most assuredly not the case.  I know of several D/s relationships where sex does not play into things at all, and while I would not call that sort of complete lack of sexual focus normal, there is also nothing abnormal about a relationship with deep D/s elements that contains no sex at all.

We did have sex while she was here, but I’m certain that it was not entirely what she was expecting, because sex is not the focus of D/s for me.

D/s is about power exchange.  It is about the transfer of personal power from one individual to another.  It is about choices and decisions and actions and who controls them.  Sometimes these choices and actions and decisions have to do with things of a sexual nature, but quite often they are much more mundane.

Nicole is from Europe and many of our conflicts probably would have been a bit smoother or not have occurred at all were it not for cultural differences as well as the very new nature of things D/s for her when she found herself in my space and under my control.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that she felt that I was simultaneously not controlling enough in some areas and far too controlling in others.

Everyone does D/s a little differently and places emphasis on different parts of the equation.   I was brought up under a different paradigm than is the current norm, and the key facets of D/s for me are Respect, Devotion, and Service.

Respect is the cornerstone of D/s in my world.   It is something that I expect to be in place always and transgressions are dealt with swiftly and decisively.  I am not physically violent without a tremendous amount of forecasting, but I can and often do change my body language and verbal tone to be quite severe when I feel like I am personally being disrespected, or my submissive trainee is being disrespectful to my property or friends.  Showing me proper Respect is Rule Zero.  It is something that I expect to not have to talk about, and if I do, there is a high likelihood that I will be lecturing you, not just mentioning it out of hand.

Devotion is where I get my kicks.   It is my single biggest fetish.  It is the reason why I do D/s.   I may have a big ego, but I like being worshiped just a little bit – and for more than my body or skills.  I like being thought of as competent and trustworthy, and being Devoted to me is the best way to show me that.

And last, but not least, is Service.  I expect a certain amount of Service to be rendered unto me.  This does not always have to take the typical forms, and sexual service is only one manner of service, and not nearly the most important to me.   I can be rather particular in the ways that I expect Service to be rendered, and that can also be an area of conflict from time to time.

Pain management is a constant struggle for me, and even in a short term visit like the one that Nicole and I planned and executed I can be sidelined by my physical pain issues.  There was one evening in particular while she was here with me where the pain was extreme enough that even conversation was difficult for me.  That isn’t necessarily normal, but it’s not abnormal either.  I would say that I have at least one day a month where things are that bad.

Nicole is a lovely woman, but I think I disappointed her a bit when I showed her some of the non-sexual aspects of D/s and placed those of higher importance than the sexual ones.

She asked me to be true to my older self and not to soften the edges on my High Protocol nature, so I didn’t.

It caused conflict.

Conflict in any relationship is normal, but most people are so enamored of each other and deep into the throes of NRE that they don’t register conflict right away – and Nicole and I had our first conflict within 24 hours of her arrival.  It was jarring for us both, but more so for her, I think.

I also practice ethical non-monogamy, which made for more conflict, as I had to manage the feelings of my current submissive partner as well as Nicole’s own feelings while hosting Nicole for her visit.  The three-way conflict was very minimal, but present.

All told, Nicole was able to check off some of her bucket-list items while she was here and I learned a few important things about myself:

Most surprising to me: Sex is nowhere near as important to me as it once was – even just a year or two ago.

D/s is much more in line with my lifestyle and the way I want to live my life than I’ve admitted in the past.  It has always informed my choices, but now it is much more of a lifestyle choice that I cannot turn away from.

In particular, Discipline is very important to me where it has not always been.

I’m a very physical person – and while this manifests itself sexually, it also manifests itself in other areas, Discipline being chief among them.

I really enjoy public play.  This has not always been the case.  I’ve taken part in various forms of it over the past couple of decades, but I have historically had a strong preference for private play.   I no longer feel that way.  They are balanced for me now.

I still don’t enjoy meting out punishment.  I do it, because Discipline is important to me, but I can spank pretty hard – especially when using a paddle – and I surprised myself with the ferocity of my flogger strikes this time as well.

I know that Nicole learned a great deal about herself too while she was here – but those thoughts are for her and I would do her a disservice to relay them here without her implicit approval.

I doubt very much that she and I will meet again in person – the distance and cost are just too high to make that tenable – this was more of a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing, and while I know that things did not go exactly the way that she had planned, I do hope that she feels the experience was worth it.

I certainly do.

If ever I found myself with a similar situation in the offering, I would change a few things, but keep most things the same – so I suppose that is as good a measure of the success of things as any other.  I learned and grew and I’m certain that she did too.

I am changing and I continue to change those around me, but I remain Rant.

  • Rant

Control Triptych: Voice

Three Layers of Control: Touch, Voice, Glance

This is the second part in a three part series.  When I am training a new submissive, I rely on three of the five senses to keep her where I want her.  My first piece on Touch was just previous to this and you may or may not wish to read that before continuing with this.

 

Voice: a (slightly) more subtle approach to the same.

Since I started off talking about senses, I suppose it makes more sense to say that I really mean ‘sound’ when I say ‘voice’ here – but since I don’t use a training whistle, clicker, or anything like that, sound almost always means my voice.  There are some Dominants who do use clickers or whistles or the like, so some of those same concepts probably apply here, but since that is outside of the scope of my experience, this is the only mention I will make of them.

I have three distinct voices that I use with submissives and trainees:

Normal voice:  This is just the voice that I use under normal circumstances – both vanilla and kinky.  I’m told that I have a very soothing voice and that it carries, so I rarely have reason to modify this in normal circumstances.  In normal voice, it is important to pay attention to what I am saying as well as how I am saying it.  This is the voice that I will use to tell you that you are a good girl, but also the voice that I will use when I lean in close beside you and tell you that I’m going to use you until I’m exhausted.  It carries the most variability of intonation and generally the most information, but there is subtlety here that can sometimes be missed, so it is not ideal for situations where more control is required.

Command voice:  This is the voice that I use when I want you to do what I am telling you.  It does not mean that I’m angry with you, but that is how it is most often interpreted at first… I drop my voice by about an octave and a half, so not only is the tone different, but the pitch is as well.  It’s an obvious difference and it follows a convention held by much of society – even in different cultures, I’ve found.  I’ve been told by vanilla friends that this is my ‘serious’ voice or even my “don’t fuck with me” voice.  The timbre won’t change, but I often vary the volume with which I speak in this voice.  It carries very far and I don’t always want to broadcast my intentions.  In this voice it is much more important to pay attention to the content of what I am telling you rather than look for subtlety of meaning.

Crisis voice:  This is the voice that I use when I need to be paid attention to right now – usually for reasons of safety.  The tone is similar to my command voice, but it’s about half an octave higher, so it’s similar in pitch to my normal voice, just a bit deeper and definitely much, much louder, just under a yell.  This is the voice that I will use when you are near to harming yourself, or someone or something else is about to impede upon your physical space, things like that.  This is my, “watch out!” voice.  If I want, I can put a lot of power behind this.  In this voice, there is never any implied subtlety at all – the only important thing is the information that I need you understand and likely act upon right now.

Of course, I can also whisper and use other vocal intonations, but generally those are embellishments on one of the above – things that I can use to subtly change the meaning of the words that I am using, or to impart a particular idea.  I can whisper in Command voice, for example, and sometimes I’m just an asshole and I’ll lower my vocal volume of my Normal voice in an effort to cause someone (not always my sub/trainee) to move closer to me or to pay closer attention to what I’m saying.

Even without me explaining these things, trainees under my care usually come to understand them pretty quickly.  I use facial expression, body language, and sometimes just plain brute force to reinforce the things that I say with my voice and establish a pattern pretty quickly.  It’s difficult to train anyone to do anything without explaining what it is that you want done, and voice is generally the way that I accomplish that – at least in person – and while long distance D/s is something that I have some experience with and am learning much more about as I do it every day, the spoken word has power even in situations like this.  Written text in an email or text message can be extremely descriptive and more detailed than most people can maintain patience for in person, in voice, but the voice, facial expressions, and body language that you can experience in person is a lot more powerful – even more powerful in person than over media like Skype.

More often than not, the things that I will do with my voice are explained by the content of what I am saying when I say it.  For instance, if I say, “bunny, go sit on that chair and hold it for me,” what I mean is literally that I want her to go sit in the chair I indicated and wait for me – it’s not rocket science.  However, sometimes I will use commands that are not obvious, but that actually require training.

I stole this wholesale from Stranger in a Strange Land – one of my favorite books of all time – but on occasion I’ll just blurt out,  “Front!” and I expect my submissive to immediately walk to me, stand in front of me, facing me, place her hands on her lower abdomen with the palms facing her, one over the other, look me in eye briefly and say, “yes, Sir?” and then lower her eyes.  This is not exactly what happens in the book.  In the book, the character who says this is not a Dom – at least not in the overt sense, and not in the typical sense either.  He has three women who serve as his assistants, keeping his books, taking dictation, cooking his meals, etc. – all of the things that one would normally expect of a service submissive, but not any of the physical or sexual aspects of that service.  It’s entirely possible that this novel helped to contribute to my ideals of what a submissive should be like – for me – but I first read it at such a young age and it provided the backdrop to a different phase of my life.  The character in the book, Jubal Harshaw, expects one of his three assistants – on a rotating schedule – to run to him with a notebook and a pen and ready to take notes or instructions when he calls Front.  My requirements are somewhat different and tuned to my own needs, but the call is still similar.

When I say, “present” I expect my submissive to stand in front of me, legs shoulder width apart, hands with fingers interlaced together behind her head, elbows up, head up straight, and chest out.  As with any other command, I expect some sort of verbal acknowledgement as well – a, “yes, Sir” is sufficient.

When I say, “kneel” I expect my submissive to present herself before me as above, and then to drop the her knees in front of me, put her legs and knees together, sit on her feet, put her hands behind her back, palms out, and then after meeting my eyes and acknowledging my command, look at her own navel.  For competition, I’ll have her make a diamond figure with her hands, thumbs out and touching, forefingers touching, and to do all of that silently, but in more common usage, I’m not normally going to walk around behind her to inspect that anyway.  

When I say, “expose” I expect my submissive to be in the kneeling position above or work her way into it through the “present” and “kneel” poses, but to spread her legs out so that her calves are at shoulder-width and straight back behind her, toes pointed back away from her, and then to lock her fingers together and put them behind her head as with the “present” position above.  I expect her to hold her head high and meet my gaze or that of anyone else who happens to be watching nearby.  For competition, this is modified again so that the knees are further apart and the calves need not be so far apart behind her – toes still pointed but without overlapping the feet.

When I say, “move to position,” I expect my submissive to be in kneeling position or to move to it by moving through ‘present’ and ‘kneel’ and then to change the placement of her hands so that her hands are open, palms covering the front of her knees.  Unless she has very long arms, this will result in her leaning slightly forward.  I want her to crane her neck a bit to look up at me, acknowledge my command with a “yes, Sir” or similar, and then to drop her eyes and stare at her own navel, awaiting further command.  I used to call this “position one” but found that numbering positions was a bit more difficult to remember than naming them, so this is merely ‘position’ now.

When I say, “hands and knees” I expect my submissive to drop to her knees, lean forward, keep her legs at hip-width directly beneath her, calves straight back, and toes pointed back behind her.  I expect her to place her hands flat on the surface in front of her, whether that is the floor, bed, couch, whatever.  I expect her to hold her fingers together with the exception of her thumbs, which I want out at a 90 degree angle.  Her fingers should point directly in front of her and her thumbs should point at each other.  I expect her to look up, craning her neck if needed, acknowledge my command, and then drop her head so that her chin rests on her chest and she’s looking back between her own legs.

In private, these are often all that I will say – there is no need to further qualify who I am talking to or about, but in public spaces or even in private places where there are other people about, I will usually modify the above to include a name, but sometimes I expect to be understood anyway.

As an example: in a public dungeon, I might say, “bunny, kneel” and I’ll expect bunny to come over and kneel in front of me, but “Front!” is a special command and I always expect my submissive or submissives – if I’m carrying more than one – to respond, lining up side-by-side in front of me if needed.

There are other commands that I sometimes use as well, as well as some other positions that are specifically for competition, and these are probably what earned me the reputation of being a ‘High Protocol’ Dom, but I’m not convinced that is factual.  I have also become even more lax with protocol as I’ve aged.  I’m a lot more tolerant of ambiguity than I once was, and I’ve worked with submissives in the recent past without using any of these commands – positions are not as important to me as they once were, and in most situations I will just explicitly say what I want, making a need to memorize commands like the above unnecessary.

There is definitely something to be said for having someone instantly react to simple or single word commands though.  It is certainly one of my favorite things, especially when chained together with other more explicit commands.

For instance, ‘kneel’ is often followed by something quite like, “Look at me.  Now reach up and undo my belt…” which, as you can probably imagine, is not where things are meant to end, but often an over-eager submissive in this position will take it as license to do more.  Without an additional command, I would expect her to acknowledge my command with a “yes, Sir,” do as I’ve said – undoing my belt – but to then return her hands behind her back and await further instruction.  

Sometimes I will chain these with other indicators as well.  For instance, “hands and knees – on the bed,” is often a command I might give, in Command voice, to let her know that things are serious and that she needs to respond with vigor.  It lets her know that I want her in the ‘hands and knees’ position, but that I want her on the bed, not necessarily where she is now, which is likely to be standing on the floor.  

It is really not possible to over-communicate, so I’ll often add modifiers like these even when they’re not necessary.  I am not the kind of Dominant to often try to trap my submissive with a command that she cannot easily fulfill – I like to enable success – but I have done so in the past and will likely do so again from time to time in the future.  It is a playful way to push her into a place where she knows that punishment is likely to come, but there is a big difference between playful punishment and correction.  Perhaps that should be the topic of a new post sometime soon, but I still have one more to go in this series before it’s complete.

Next week I will talk about the final means of control – glances.  This is the ultimate level of control in a D/s setting in my opinion.  I like my submissives to learn to anticipate and provide for my needs, but that is not the same thing as control.  I also like my submissives to be autonomous and have their own opinions and ideas, so I have no desire to completely stifle that, but the ability to produce an action or change a behavior with nothing more than a pointed look is the pinnacle of D/s communication and control – in my not-so-very-humble opinion.

I hope this was informative, helpful, and perhaps even a bit titillating.  Come back next week for the final piece in this trilogy and then I’ll give you a story of my own experiences in learning these things at the hand of my brutal and affectionate – if not compassionate – Domme Simone when I was but a young pup myself.

  • Rant

Control Triptych: Touch

Three Layers of Control: Touch, Voice, Glance

This is going to be the first part in a three part series.  When I am training a new submissive, I rely on three of the five senses to keep her where I want her.  The other two senses are certainly involved in everything that we do, but using taste or scent as a means of control is difficult. Scent is much easier to employ than taste, but most of the time the things that evoked by scent are visceral, immediate, and tend to trigger or reinforce memory.  I can use scent to help me get a submissive into subspace, but it’s rarely something that I can use to instruct.

 

Touch: the fast path to victory.

The easiest and most direct way to control my submissive is through touch.  It really requires no finesse at all, it only requires intent and confidence… well, and some physicality.

It also requires virtually no training.  While every person is different, and people act and react during sexual situations or even the non-sexual elements of a scene with different responses, there are some commonalities that I’ve been able to identify and exploit over the years.  While none of these techniques are universal, most of them can be employed to good measure on almost anyone – of either sex, from what I’m led to believe.

Just like with any method of employing force, there are varying ways to use touch to your advantage.  By far the easiest route is simply to employ brute force.

I’m not a small man.  I’m six feet tall and currently weigh in at a slightly overweight but extremely solid 16 stone.  This means that I get to throw my size around quite a bit.  There are very few women that I have met who are anywhere near my size and I have not yet taken a male submissive to this point in my life.  I doubt that I ever will, but if I do, it’s likely going to require me to learn many, many new things.

Beginning in junior high school I started wrestling competitively, both in school sports and freestyle events. In the late 1990’s I was training to be a Pankration fighter.  I was hopeful of snagging a slot on the Olympic team since they were bringing the sport back to the modern Olympics for the first time in Athens – minus the glass shards and all…  While I didn’t get selected, and I had a very abbreviated and not terribly successful run as an MMA fighter, I did learn an awful lot of useful things and I would still venture to say that it makes me a dangerous man.

Apart from bragging a little bit, the purpose of the above statement was to reinforce the fact that I have much experience as as grappler, I have learned basic pressure points, and I know the value of a rapid and not necessarily high-powered strike.  These are definitely things that I employ in scene, but also just when I am having sex.

So – while using physical force is certainly the easiest way to get someone to do what you want them to do, it is definitely not the safest.  Please use caution whenever you play.  Know your strength, know your partner’s signals, have a defined safe word and safe gesture and use them.

While there are gestures that I may perform as part of a command and sometimes those gestures involve touch, when I speak of three different levels of command, and how touch represents the first of these and has the lowest barrier to entry, it is not that sort of touch for which I am speaking.  

It is a much less subtle and more brutal touch that I am talking about here…

Grab her by the throat, step into and behind her to put your calf behind her knee, lift and push and then catch her with your other arm as she’s about to fall.  If you plan this right, she’ll be on her back, preferably on a bed or something else similarly well suited to fucking, with you hovering over her and your hand on her throat.  If you can’t seal the deal at this point, there is no hope for you anywhere.

Of course – you don’t do ANY of that shit if she isn’t expecting you to move on her.  She doesn’t have to know exactly what you have planned, but she does have to know that you’re going to basically attack her.  However, I guarantee you that the results will be better if she doesn’t know exactly what you have planned.  

But it’s not just sex that I’m talking about here… you can use touch – firm or light – as a method of control in almost any D/s situation.

If I want my submissive to kneel for me, and she fails to do so the first time I tell her to, maybe because she didn’t understand that yes, I did in fact expect you to kneel right in the middle of the aisle at Target, or maybe she’s just being bratty, but no matter what her reasons for failing to kneel, I can usually get her to do so without saying another word.  She has to have heard my first command or she’ll just be confused by my actions, but usually if she doesn’t respond to my command, “kneel for me, bunny,” I can put my hands on her shoulders and apply a little bit of pressure and she’ll do what I want.  If that fails and the setting allows for it, I can move behind her and gently apply pressure to the backs of her calves, right below the knee, with my boot.  

This will almost certainly get the point across.

If that still does not produce the desired result, I can grab her hair and increase the pressure that I apply with my boot.  It will cause her to be off balance and bend at the knees as she begins to drop.  I can then use my hand in her hair to guide her slowly to where I want her to be.

And if that still fails to produce the behavior I want, I can move to the front of her, put my right hand on the front of her throat, my left hand on the back of her neck, and stare her in the eyes as I close off her carotids with my thumb and forefinger, which will eventually cause her to become lightheaded or even pass out.  Then I can do whatever I like to her.

This maneuver requires a great deal of trust and training, however, and I would not recommend it to someone who has not seen it demonstrated in person and has had many chances to practice.

But using touch as control does not require overpowering either…  

Occasionally my submissive can be a bit bratty.  When that happens and I’m not feeling like dealing with it, a quick light slap across the face will almost always get my point across.  If I’m a bit more tolerant of the brattiness, I’ll slap her ass instead, but that has a tendency to encourage more brattiness – a reaction that appears to be almost universal among bratty subs, but one that I still don’t completely understand.

So – if you want the brattiness to continue or even intensify – smile and smack her ass.  You don’t have to say a thing.  If you want the brattiness to cease, slap her across the face – lightly.  Too much will encourage a fight or flight response and you’ll have a fight on your hands.

Part of this has to come from experience, unfortunately, and every person is different.  I’m sure that I’ll hear from someone who is going to tell me that slapping her face will increase her brattiness as well as from someone who will tell me that a smack to the ass will pull her out of her bratty tirade.

Touch is most effective in combination with voice and glance as well, but it is the crudest and most easily employed without predefined rules in place.  Like anything in this world though, it will require some practice to get right.

Next week I’ll talk about command voice and how to intone things for maximal effect – employed with some pushing and prodding taken from this post as well, but this post threatens to get too long if I keep talking.

 –  Rant

Early morning erotic musings

Sleep is something that seems to elude me lately.

Sleeping with a broken jaw is turning out to be difficult – or perhaps more accurately – turning while sleeping with a broken jaw is difficult…  I keep turning over onto the side with the break while I’m sleeping and waking myself up.  It is just ever-so-slightly maddening.

But it does give me lots of time to think.

I have a new submissive trainee.  She is wonderful.

I want her to burn for me, and I told her that I would leave her be until today while she saves herself for me, but after today, all bets were off.

I planned to share this story with her, but I know she’ll see if it is here, and I thought perhaps the rest of my readers might benefit as well.

Plus – who doesn’t like a little voyeurism into the life of their favorite online Dom?

While slightly embellished, this is a story based on reality and the names of the parties involved have been changed to mask the identity of the guilty, but if you happen to be reading this and know who you are – I’ll gladly remove the story at your request.

I have a fetish that I have never fully satisfied.   I’ve had a pretty varied sex life to date, and I’ve actively sought out every fetish that I have been able to identify so far, including this one, but I haven’t quite managed to hit the right combination of factors yet… the short version is that I have a desire to have sex with a fully unconscious woman.  Consensual, of course – pre-negotiated, adhering to limit terms even while unconscious, etc.  But, as you can imagine, this is a tricky thing to negotiate.  It requires a seriously intense amount of trust.

My new trainee is willing to satisfy this for me, at least in theory, and for that I owe her much, including this story.

As I said, this is a fetish that I have not yet been able to fulfill, but I do have something of a confession to make.  While it is true that I have not fulfilled the entire fantasy of mine, I have, sort-of, possibly, had sexual intercourse with an unconscious woman before, but she didn’t start out that way, and I didn’t drug her or anything nefarious like that.. in fact, I’m pretty sure that the experience was pretty profound for her, but I’ll relate it now in full.


I would like to preface this story with the fact that this happened several years ago, and at the time I was a very different creature, emotionally, than I am today.  I was a more callous, hurt, and dangerous person, but I don’t want to sugar-coat my past.


This all happened several years ago.  I was freshly broken up again, which seems to be a recurring theme in my life, but that’s not the point.

During the course of my relationship, which was mostly polyamorous, my girlfriend told me that I could have sex with anyone I wanted to with the exception of three people, two of which were her friends and the other .. is not important.

One of these friends and I had some serious sexual tension from the time we first met.  Within moments of meeting, we were locked in a kiss and my girlfriend had to separate us and ask us not to pursue each other because it was going to induce Ratatosk-sized brain squirrels for her if we were to continue, so – since we both loved her – we stopped and let it drop from that point forward.

Let’s fast forward a bit to where I was broken up with.  This friend was one of the few who remained friendly with me in the aftermath.  I know that her motives were not entirely selfless, but then again, neither were mine.  The sexual tension had never completely dissipated.

In my sorrow at being emotionally wrecked yet again, I was out drinking at a strip club and I received a text from this woman – let’s call her Ruby.

Ruby texted me, letting me know that her date turned out to be a dud and that she was home alone, waiting for her girlfriend to get back from the kink event that she was volunteering at..

Home alone safely now. Date was a total bust. The guy was at least four inches shorter than he claimed and he was about as Dominant as the gum under my shoe.  Now I’m just sitting around and waiting for Ariel to get done at the Citadel.  What are you up to?

Interesting, I thought to myself.   It was about 10:00pm and the event that was going on was going to go until 1:00am at the earliest.

She was sitting at home, looking at three hours of doldrums ahead after having had her fires stoked for a bit by a guy who turned out to be a total schlep.   I was already horny, a little bit drunk, and not looking forward to the prospect of bringing home another stripper for meaningless and somewhat risky sex.

Besides, Ruby was hot and I wanted her more than any of the girls who were hanging off of me because I’m respectful, good looking, and came with lots of cash…  How can I work this to my advantage?

I’m just sitting here watching London climb the pole topless and waiting for her to finish her stage show so that I can try to talk her into blowing me in the back room.

Leave out lots of information… make the pieces that you do reveal tantalizing… tilt the direction towards the thing you want… it’s okay, she wants it too…

Oh really?  Who is London?  Where are you?

Bingo. Gotcha.

Absolutely.  She’s a rather attractive young girl who would really like my money.  I’m at the Hanky Panky, drinking way too much and trying to forget why it’s a bad idea to offer London money to suck my cock.

Damn, I’m horrible… I might as well be hanging out a sign saying, “I want sex and my inhibitions are down.”  The real question is whether or not she’s really been hooked and will let me reel her in now, or if I’ll have spooked her.  Even with the pre-existing tension, trying to reel her in with only a couple of text messages is pretty bold.

You mean that horrible dive bar/strip bar in Redwood City?

That’s the one.

Yuck.  Isn’t that place gross?

Now I know that I have her.  She’s making disparaging remarks towards the competition and seeking to elevate her place in my eyes.

Meh.  It’s not so bad… once you’re six or seven drinks in, anyway.. and London is very cute.  Much too young for me, but that never seems to be much of a problem.

Now I’ve reinforced my claim that I’m dis-inhibited (nevermind the fact that this is true, at the time, I was rather full of myself) and I’ve let her know that her competition actually has my attention, I should become irresistible…

You really should stop robbing the cradle, Rant.  I would think that you’d have learned to appreciate the experience that comes with a few more years by now.

* evil grin *

You’re not suggesting that you would be a more suitable tribute than young London here now, are you?  Besides which, you’re still several years younger than me.

Three years is not several.

I have to admit, at this point, I’m pretty excited.  I’ve wanted to nail Ruby for well over a year at this point and I’ve been denying every impulse.

I can’t drive at this point, but if you’d like to come get me, I might be persuaded to leave now.

I’ll be there in ten.

Holy shit! Did that just happen?!

At this point, I have to actually get rid of London, because she really is sitting on the stool next to me with her hand in between my legs and asking me if I’d like to go back and have that ‘private dance’ with her now.

I politely tell her that I’m not feeling well and that I need to close out and leave, but I give her a $20 for sitting with me for the couple of minutes that I was arranging for what would turn out to be rather extraordinary.

I closed out my tab at the bar and walked outside, to wait for Ruby to show up to pick me up.  One of the other dancers was outside and took the opportunity to chat me up and handed me a slip of paper.  It happened to have a name, phone number, and email address on it.  I figured I’d keep it for later, so I put it into my pocket, but I ended up losing it – sorry, Cheyenne…

Moments later, Ruby pulled up to the street next to where I was standing and rolled down the window of the passenger side door, on the curb next to me.  She leaned over to look at me through the open window, “Hello, Sir.  I’m ready to take you home now.”

“Thank you, Ruby,” I said as I opened the door and sat beside her in the passenger side.

“I’m not sure this is a good idea,” she said as we pulled away.

“It almost certainly is not,” I replied. “But I’m not altogether certain that I care.”

“I agree,” she said, and then not another word all the way back to her place, which was not far.

“I suppose I should have asked if you wanted me to take you home, shouldn’t I?” she asked demurely once we’d pulled into her parking spot.

“Don’t be foolish,” I said, “this has been over a year in the making.  Show me upstairs.”  I already knew the way to her apartment, having been there several times in the past, but I wanted her to lead me.

She led the way to her apartment and I followed.

Once inside the door, I closed it behind me and then turned around to find her only inches away from me, looking up at me, directly into my eyes.

“You don’t smell good, Sir,” she said, without the slightest hint of guile.

“Does that matter?” I asked, knowing that I was in the throes of grief and had not been taking care of myself for several days, not to mention the fact that I had recently been drinking heavily and even smoking a bit – which I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I occasionally do when I’ve been drinking.

“No. I suppose not,” she said, in the most demure voice I’d ever heard. “I want you,” she said afterwards, while looking me directly in the eyes with the most innocent eyes she could manage.

“I am here, Ruby.” I said, with all the gravitas I could summon, and shockingly, it worked! She dropped to her knees in front of me, wrapped her arms around the back of my thighs and looked up into my eyes.

“May I suck your cock, Sir?  I’ve been waiting ever so long to do so.”

“You may, Ruby.”

She undid my belt, slowly, with purpose.  Then she undid the button at the top of my jeans, then the next one down in the fly, then the next, and finally the last one.

As she started to pull on my pants to bring them around my ankles, I held onto my belt, pulling it free as my pants fell.

Then she brought her hands to the front of my boxer briefs and stroked the bottom of my cock, from balls to head, through the fabric of my boxer briefs.

She looked up again into my eyes, pleading for me to give her permission to pull my boxer briefs down, even though the permission was already implicit in my affirmation that she could suck my cock.

I put my hand under her chin as she lifted her head, and tilted it back.

With the other hand, which was holding my belt now, I quickly looped it around her neck and pulled it taught, dragging her upright on her knees.

Then I pushed my boxer briefs down and pulled my rigid cock free, letting go with my hand to allow the belt to settle around her neck and come to rest between her breasts, still covered by her clothing.

I grabbed the back of her neck with my free hand and guided her mouth around my cock.

I thrust slowly in and and out a few times, deeper than was comfortable for her, but not enough to cause serious discomfort.

Then I grabbed the belt again, and pulled her off of my cock, and up to her feet.

I stepped out of my pants and my boxer briefs and I walked her back, forcing her to back up several steps until she was abutted against her ottoman.

Then I let go of the belt and I leveled my sharpest gaze directly at her soul and I said in my Command Voice, “Remove your clothing and lie on this ottoman on your back.  I want to eat your pussy until you scream.”

Before thoughts were registering in her mind, I think, she had removed her top and was halfway through removing her bra.

“Wait – can I put a towel down?  This is new furniture….”

“Yes, of course, but if you make me wait any longer I’m going to hurt you.”

“Yes Sir!” and with that she quickly removed her remaining clothes, ran to put a towel on the ottoman, and laid down upon it, on her back, spread legs in front of me.

Cunnilingus is my favorite sex act… it allows me an awful lot of control over my partner’s orgasm, and I really like that kind of control.

I dropped to my knees and closed in on her gorgeous pussy.

I thrust my tongue deep within her and then drew it up through her inner labia to her clitoris, and as I did so, she let out an audible moan.

I focused my attention on my tongue and her clitoris for some time after that, bringing her to a state of near frenzy and backing off to deny her orgasm several times.

Eventually her frustration was staring to climb and she called out in an exasperated tone, “Sir! Are you ever going to let me cum?!”

“Why should I?”  I asked in the calmest, clearest tone that I could.

“I thought you said that you weren’t a Sadist?!!?”

“I said I’m not a physical Sadist.”

“This feels pretty fucking physical to me!”

“You’re right, Ruby,” I said and then immediately put my right forefinger and middle finger into my mouth to wet them, and then thrust them with nothing held back deep into her pussy.

She exploded with her first orgasm, shaking and moaning.

I began to feather my fingers inside of her, hitting her g-spot as I put my face back between her legs and started circling her clitoris with my tongue again.

“Ugnghshg!”  – She can be pretty eloquent when she’s cumming.

“ARGH!” she screamed out as every muscle in her abdomen contracted at once and she came extremely strongly, pushing my fingers out of her with the force.

“That was almost a word,” I said, sarcastically.

“ARGH!” she replied, so I stuck a finger into her asshole.

“UGHAASHUEDUDSAVJ!” she squirted all over me and pushed my fingers out of her vagina again, but the one in her asshole remained, so I curled it on her.

“HOLY FUCKNUTS!” she screamed, which I took as an invitation, so I put my fingers back inside her and attacked her clitoris with my tongue again.

“AGISDGDH! What?! WHo?! How?!?”

I straightened up so that I could look her in the face, because reactions like these really need to be seen to be understood.

I pulled my thumb up to start pushing on her clitoris.. not moving around, just steady and increasing pressure.  I was kneeling above her now, so I could see the fact that she was holding her breath.  She was starting to turn purple, but I didn’t want to stop what I was doing, so I pulled my finger out of her ass and stuck the tip of my cock in instead.

“AHDFGSHDSAJD!”

I began to push with my hips while I was continuing to kneed at her g-spot with my fingers and push on her clit with my thumb.

By the time I had half of the shaft of my cock in her ass she had squirted again, her eyes rolled back into her head, and her body went completely limp.  Her arms flopped back behind her, and the action pulled her tits up and forward and that made me even harder, if you can believe it.

Now balls deep inside her ass with my cock, two fingers into her pussy, and putting increasing pressure on her clit with my thumb, it was clear that she had passed out.  She was still breathing though, and making noises that were somewhere between a moan and a ‘coo,’ so I just kept fucking her ass.

A few moments later, I came in her ass, pulled out, pulled her body against mine and held her while she tried to catch her breath.

Eventually she came back around and she looked up at me and smiled and said, “Thank you, Sir,” before dropping her head onto my shoulder and trying to steady her breathing.

I helped her to clean herself up, and clean up the mess we’d left behind.  I put on my clothes and then I walked home.

It was a pretty intense night.  Some of the details I’ve glossed over and left behind.  Some of the details I’ve embellished upon, but the core of the story remains true, and my desire for the real thing is unabated.

I hope you enjoyed my story.

I know that bunny is going to enjoy the reality much, much more.

  • Rant.

 

Tips for dealing with vanilla authorities.

Firstly, let me say that this article is for entertainment purposes.  I’m not a lawyer, I don’t claim to be one, and I am neither qualified to give nor interested in giving actual legal advice.  This article represents my own experiences, most of which fall completely outside of the written law (if not perhaps the spirit of the law.)

Secondly, it’s been almost a month since I added a new post and the last one that I did was pretty shitty, and yet, there are at least a few dedicated people who visit my page every day.  Thank you for your support or curiosity or whatever it is that keeps you coming back.  Believe it or not, it means something.  I appreciate it.

Obviously, with the lack of new content, readership and email volumes go down.  It doesn’t help anything that I was out of the country for a week and could not get or respond to emails, but I have received a relatively large number of emails lately about one topic in particular, and I have been working for some time on a post to address that issue, but this is not that post.  It is coming though.


So, I’ve been involved in kink for quite some time now, and that involves things like air travel with toys, dealing with the cops on unrelated matters while in possession of kink gear, and all sorts of other dealings with vanilla people when they stumble across something that to them is shocking.

The very first thing that I will say about this is quite simple, and I’m going to steal the line from one of my favorite authors (and former humans,) Douglas Adams – “Don’t Panic.”  If you can remember that statement and live by it, you can get through almost anything.  That and, “Always remember where your towel is,” but that’s a separate issue.

If you happen to find yourself in a security inspection line and they start making noise about something that the x-ray shows is in your bag, Don’t Panic.

If you happen to find yourself in a police pat-down and one of the officers starts asking pointed questions about why you have a handcuff key on your keychain, Don’t Panic.

If you happen to be packing up your apartment and your mom starts to lift your mattress off the bed and then notices the nylon webbing restraints under the mattress, Don’t Panic.

I’m a Dominant.  This does not mean that I spend all of my life ordering people around or even that I’m always going to approach every interaction with any person from a position of confidence and authority, but it does help.  I make mistakes, I falter, I even occasionally socially submit when it is appropropriate or when I’m not thinking about it.  Often, this is the right thing to do.  In the case of dealing with authority figures who have an ability to make your life miserable, this is usually the right thing to do, but it doesn’t always have to be a case of purely cow-towing to the cops, or something like that.

I’m also Caucasian.  I’m pretty sure that this is a huge benefit to me when dealing with authority figures.  It’s entirely possible that you may get roughed up for trying some of the things that I’ve done.  You have been warned.

Firstly, and most important, know the law.  Laws vary from country to country, state to state, and even municipality to municipality, and it is important to know what you might be dealing with before you begin.  For instance, in some jurisdictions, the possession of handcuffs, or even handcuff keys, can be legally limited to individuals who have gone through POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) procedures or something similar – this can mean that only cops or security guards are allowed to have them in that jurisdiction.  However, in most jurisdictions, this is not the case, and anyone can possess handcuffs.  Therefore, it’s important to know what applies to you if you’re going to be putting yourself in a position where it might become a question.

Secondly, and nearly as important, realize that authority does not come with knowledge.  Oh, it should, that’s for damned sure, but often the police officer that you are dealing with is going to be more ignorant of the actual laws and statutes covering kink activities or equipment than you are.  This does not give you license to teach them… that was a lesson that I had to learn the hard way…  cops don’t like civilians lecturing them about the law, it tends to piss them off, and then you escalate things, which is something you definitely don’t want.

And finally… be pleasant.  Smile.  Laugh.  Don’t be confrontational.  When you get confrontational, you put the authority figure on the defensive.  They then fall back to their training and try to make sure that everything that they do is, ‘by the book.’  They will literally force down their own humanity and attempt to become robotic, just to make sure that they cover their own ass in case you try to file a complaint or take things to court.  Once they let go of their humanity, the odds of you getting out of the situation without involving the courts drop to almost zero, and no one wants that.

Remember, cops and security guards, like all humans, are inherently lazy people.  They don’t want to do more work.  They want to do a good job, and most of them got into the work that they do because they want to make the world a safer place, so if they feel like you are dangerous, they will arrest you.  It is your job to show them that you are not harming anyone, that you understand the difference between malice and fun, and that you can be trusted to decide how to act for yourself.  If they can be convinced that you are not a threat to anyone (including yourself,) that you understand what you’re doing, and that you are a responsible, well-balanced individual, then the odds are very good that they’re going to simply leave you be.  Arresting you makes more work for them.  They may even have to give up their day off to go to court to testify against you, and they’d much rather just be able to say that they spoke with you and determined that there was nothing illegal happening.

All that being said, some people are just dicks.  Some people get into positions of power because they like abusing that power to make other people uncomfortable.  In those situations, don’t let yourself be victimized, but remember, it’s probably better/cheaper/faster to just let the bastards confiscate your flogger and bear the expense of buying a new one than it is to go through the hassle of dealing with the courts, possibly having to hire a lawyer, and potentially even having to spend time in jail.  If the authority figure is hell-bent on exerting his authority and refuses to act like a human, sometimes the best thing to do is to submit.

Yep – I said it… even as a Dominant, sometimes the best thing to do is to submit.

There is fodder in that statement for a whole philosophical discussion, but not today.

So, to recap, be cool, get out of the way of yourself, and remember, some people are just dicks.

Trust, But Verify

A friend of mine was recently interviewed by The Atlantic for an article about this thing that we do.

They used very little of what she actually said, which was somewhat disappointing to me,  but if you’d like to read the article, you can find it here and while most of my readers are already well aware of her blog, just in case you are not one of those, you can find it here.

The article was supposed to be about the impact of the 50 Shades movie on the BDSM community, or so I was led to believe, but it turned into a condemnation of Fetlife instead.

I don’t think that the author of The Atlantic piece did a poor job, but I think that perhaps his lack of personal experience in the arena may have made him somewhat blind to the nuance involved.

By way of disclaimer, I should point out that I’m a lifetime supporter and member of Fetlife – in fact, it is the only social networking site of which I am a member, and I have had many good experiences facilitated by that site, but I’m neither a predator nor a potential victim, so much of what they speak about in the article is outside of my experience.  However, there is still the core of the message, which I still support entirely.

BDSM is not a license to be stupid.

There are people who use BDSM as an excuse to commit abuse.  These are not all outliers of the community.  Some of the core people who make up my own local community have engaged in practices that I find somewhat questionable, and I’ve heard accusations about others that I have not personally witnessed.  A person’s standing in the community is not a blanket endorsement by the members of the community and cannot substitute for caution on the part of newbies.  Even if they are wonderful, it is still very possible that your experience with them might not be satisfactory, and if you are not careful, possibly even dangerous.

It’s possible that Autumn will condemn me for what I am about to write, but I doubt it – I know her to be a rational and intelligent woman, and while she may not agree with what I am about to say, I doubt that it will lessen her opinion of me.

I have no doubt whatsoever that abuse does occur within the auspices of BDSM.  However, I understand and actually commend the people at Fetlife for the way that they have handled things – primarily by staying out of the conflicts.

Fetlife is a corporate entity and therefore is legally obligated to be largely blind to anything that is not provable, so they maintain a practice that is not unlike my own faith – in the absence of the provable, I choose to believe nothing – but they differ on some very important points that I will get to after an illustrative example to follow.

Add to this the fact that personal preferences and even the individual desires of a single person can vary greatly for a given time span, and you run into the fact that some interactions between some people are simply always going to be bad and there is very little that can be done to avoid this other than to communicate and negotiate.

For instance, as a completely hypothetical exercise, let us evaluate the following scenario:

 

A Top in the local community is well known to a lot of people, has many friends, is known to be particularly skilled at flogging, is well known for being patient and kind, especially with newbies, and he has had strong D/s relationships with multiple partners over the years, including a few that are currently going on.

Less well known are the personal proclivities of this person – things not shared except in intimate settings: he has a deep desire for anal penetrative intercourse, he likes asphyxiation, he thinks of himself as being able to read emotional and physical cues well and so he doesn’t place a great deal of emphasis on safewords, and he always has sex as part of a scene.

Now we introduce two newbie female bottoms to the mix.

Newbie bottom A becomes involved with the community and learns that our Top might be a good play partner for her first scene.  She has never been flogged, but thinks she might like it, she loves sex, including anal sex.  She has a deep desire to submit and to be used as an instrument of pleasure for her partner, and this, coupled with a desire to experience the sensation-heightening aspects of light pain lead her to believe that she wants an encounter with our Top.

She seeks him out at an event, they talk briefly, and with very little negotiation, agree to a private scene.  She meets him at his home, he takes her to his playroom, they engage in some petting, he binds her and flogs her, getting her into subspace for the first time in her life.  She is euphoric and he decides to extend things by gagging and blindfolding her to which she does not object.  He continues to flog her and she fights against her bindings, moaning and crying as she does so.  He interprets this as a good sign and then proceeds to take things further, having anal and vaginal intercourse with her while she is bound and gagged, sending her into even higher and tighter spirals of ecstasy.  When her thrashing becomes particularly passionate, he chokes her with his hands until she starts to lose consciousness and she immediately calms down as she surrenders and floats in subspace and then he lets go and she lies limp, savoring the experience.

When he is done, he un-gags and unbinds her while she is still floating.  She is euphoric and so is he.  She can barely move with the intensity of the experience that she has just had.  They share some quiet time together after the scene without speaking and then she leaves, believing that she has just undergone a transformative experience and is ecstatic.

 

Newbie bottom B becomes involved with the community and learns that our Top might be a good play partner for her first scene.  She has never been flogged, but thinks she might like it, she loves sex, but has some very deep personal aversions to anal sex.  She has a deep desire to submit and to be used as an instrument of pleasure for her partner, and this, coupled with a desire to experience the sensation-heightening aspects of light pain lead her to believe that she wants an encounter with our Top.

She seeks him out at an event, they talk briefly, and with very little negotiation, agree to a private scene.  She meets him at his home, he takes her to his playroom, they engage in some petting, he binds her and flogs her, getting her into subspace for the first time in her life.  She is euphoric and he decides to extend things by gagging and blindfolding her.  He continues to flog her and she fights against her bindings, moaning and crying as she does so.  He interprets this as a good sign and then proceeds to take things further, having anal and vaginal intercourse with her while she is bound and gagged, causing her to panic and fight against him.  He mistakes this as more of the same sort of euphoric passion and continues to have sex with her.  When her thrashing becomes particularly violent, he chokes her with his hands and she, unable to take any more abuse, begins to withdraw as the violation completely overwhelms her.

When he is done, he un-gags and unbinds her while she is still floating.  She is in shock and nearly catatonic and he is deeply euphoric.  He lies back to savor the experience and she lies there, unable to respond for some time until finally she wordlessly leaves, believing that she has just been raped and abused, while he thinks that things went extremely well.

 

Now – in this scenario, who is right?

You probably have your own opinion, but in my opinion, they are all wrong.

I’m going to momentarily overlook the complete lack of aftercare in this scenario (which is all too common in my opinion) and just talk about the interpretations of the scene itself.

It is convenient to assign blame for the bad experiences to either our Top or even to bottom B here, but in my own personal opinion the issue is not that simple, and turning Fetlife into a yelp-like rating system for Tops (or bottoms) is not going to help because the problem comes down to one of communication and personal preferences.

If you take the prevailing wisdom of the common culture from a few decades ago and apply it to these scenarios, it would tell you that our Top had no ill intent in either case and that the ideal scenario as presented with bottom A is wonderful and that the worst case scenario as presented with bottom B is the bottom’s fault.  She should have understood what she was getting herself into better and the fact that she didn’t object at a time where she could have objected is her own fault.

If we instead take the prevailing wisdom of today’s post-Feminist-revolution society and apply it we see the polar opposite.  The Top is entirely at fault for not explicitly getting permission for his actions at every step with bottom B and is even guilty of abuse in the case of bottom A, because while she enjoyed the experience, he did not fulfill his duty and it was mere happenstance that she felt good about things instead of bad.

Personally, I believe something different.  They’re all at fault for failing to properly communicate and negotiate.

Our Top did not do his duty in communicating up front, and as the more experienced partner, he bears the majority of the burden here.  He should have known better, but he did not intend to hurt anyone and felt that he was in the right all along.  That does not make him right.  He screwed up, to the point of breaking the law and deserves whatever consequences befall him, but if our bottom had been better informed, this scenario would never have occurred.  Our Top is not a predator, he was just criminally negligent.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it until I can’t speak any longer.  The heart of what it is that we do is negotiation and unfortunately people just don’t do enough of it.

The reason that we have contracts and safewords (or other signals when gagged, etc.) is to help ameliorate situations like these.  If you are in scene with me and we didn’t negotiate something in advance, I’m unlikely to try it, but if I do and you don’t like it, I’m counting on you to use your safeword or other signal to cue me to stop.  If you fail to do that and I fail to stop, we are both at fault.  I misread your cues and you didn’t explicitly signal me.  Our lack of pre-negotiation creates a bad experience for us both.

I think I’m an anomaly though and that most people don’t see things the way I do.  People like black and white outcomes.  They like to feel that they are right, and sometimes that has to mean that the other person is wrong.

Fetlife does not have the resources to adjudicate these cases, and therefore they simply refuse to allow their platform to be the battleground, and I believe that is the only viable course of action they have.  That’s what we need to remember.  Yes, there are people at Fetlife.  Yes, there is the Fetlife community itself, and communities are often capable of policing themselves – as they should – but Fetlife is not a community itself, it is a platform that hosts many distinct communities, and unless we want that platform to fail (which I don’t think anyone is suggesting) we have to view it as a what it is.

Fetlife has not failed its users, because Fetlife has no stake in these arguments and they are right to try to remove them from the platform completely.

If you have been abused, you have every right to seek restitution, and you should do that through the channels available to you.  Your own local meatspace community is a good place to start.  Most real-world communities are generally self-policing, and word of mouth can get you ostracized.  You may be the Top in this scenario and may have an encounter turn bad on you despite your intentions, and if that’s the case, you screwed up by not negotiating properly and you deserve the consequences that you receive.  The police might be another good place to go.  Only you can determine whether or not what you experienced is actually abuse, and only you can determine what the proper course of action should be, but Fetlife is a platform for people to engage with each other and is not itself a policing force, nor should it be.

This is all, of course, very complicated, and I’m not a lawyer.

But if I can get one message through to my readers, it is this:  think before you act.

Have an exfiltration plan.

Have a check-in person.

Have a safeword

Negotiate in advance.  Contracts and limits lists are a great way to do this.  Check my earlier posts if you need some examples of these.

This thing that we do is extremely risky – for Tops as well.  Protect yourself.

Trust, but verify.

Distrust gets you nowhere, but misplaced trust can get you hurt, badly.

And the last thing I ever want is for anyone to get hurt.

Fetlife is a tool, and use it for what you will, but remember, no tool, no database of players, no word of mouth reputation, nothing whatsoever can take the place of mindfulness, caution, and good sense.  There is always a first person to be abused – make sure that it isn’t you.

 

Pain vs Hurt

Pain is part and parcel of the BDSM lifestyle, but there is a difference of nuance in the meanings of pain and hurt in this context.  As practitioners of this thing that we do, we are no strangers to pain.  As human beings, we are no strangers to hurt, but while those words are synonyms, the English language has different words for similar concepts because those concepts are separated by subtle differences.

For the purposes of this entry, I’m going to define these words according to my own terms.

Both pain and hurt are used as verbs, though the use of pain as a verb is somewhat archaic.  One might say, “my arm pains me” to mean the same thing as, “my arm hurts.”  At the end of that second phrase, there is an implied “me,” but it is not usually explicitly stated in modern language.  Usually pain is a noun – it is a state of being, a thing that is being experienced, while hurt is a verb.. it is an action word and like all action words it requires an actor and intent.

However, while these synonyms can pretty much be used interchangeably if you so choose, I like to think that they have evolved to have subtly different meanings.

When I say that I am in pain, I mean that I am experiencing the physical sensation of pain.  When I say that I don’t want to hurt you, I mean that I don’t want to cause you unintentional distress.  For submissives under my care, I will often say, “I have no desire to hurt you,” and then proceed to slap, smack, spank, flog, whip, bite, and toss them into furniture.  In the absence of a way to properly distinguish my meaning, this would seem to be a case where my actions are not in line with my words, and yet, no one in this position with me has ever given me any indication of being confused on this point.

How is that possible?

I will attempt to elaborate by way of example…

The other day, I was in bed with my girlfriend, post-coitus, and she was expressing some concern about an interaction that we had has previously that day.  I failed to pick up on some of her emotional cues and created a situation where my lack of action caused her emotional turmoil.  I didn’t intend to hurt her in this case.  We do not have a TPE relationship and even if we did, I am not the type of Dominant partner who would ever want to create an emotional rift like that.  So in our discussion of what happened and how to best avoid similar situations in the future, I said to her, “I never wish to hurt you,” and then had to pause and chuckle, following up with, “well, you know what I mean…” and of course she did, but it brought to mind for me the unvocalized nuance that followed with that statement.

The words do not support this notion natively.  We have to imbue them with subtlety of our own.  And yet, because she is a smart woman and because she knows me rather well by this point, she understood my meaning without the need to elaborate significantly.

Hurt is a part of every relationship.. mistakes happen, people will fail to live up to our expectations, especially when those expectations are not vocalized – perhaps because the effort of so doing is extreme.

Pain is not a part of every relationship, and for most people, it really ought not to be.  I’ve said it before and I’m certain that I will say it again, but without consent, what we do is abuse.  For most relationships, there is no desire for pain, there is no discussion of appropriate applications of pain, and without the acknowledgement and discussion, the infliction of Pain is no different at all from Hurt.

Pain is a part of most BDSM relationships, but while we can revel in the pain, use the catharsis that follows, have a release of endorphins and emotions, we usually try to avoid Hurt.  Pain is part and parcel of the lifestyle that we choose to lead, but Hurt is abuse.

For my girlfriend, for my friends, even for my family, I try very hard to avoid Hurt.  I have felt Hurt from my family.  From some members of my family, that hurt has never abated.  We so very often hurt those that we love when we are, ourselves, hurt.  But I try very, very hard not to do so intentionally, and for those I love, this is especially true.

If you put yourself under my power, I will cause you pain with intent.  I will willfully bind you so that the bindings are tight enough to cause you pain.  I will willfully flog you with enough force to mark your skin and leave behind reminders of the experience.  I will bite you hard enough to leave a bruise that lasts for weeks.  But I will not intentionally pull the rug out from under you or cause you to question your trust.  I will not intentionally belittle you or put you down unless that is a specifically negotiated arrangement and executed at specifically designated times so that you can understand the difference between my words and my beliefs.

I respect those that I encounter, and even for those that have hurt me in the past or continue to hurt me now – I try to be respectful and forthright, but make no mistake, I will not idly sit by and continue to take the abuse, nor will I suffer it as you apply it to others.  I will at the least ostracize you and may even confront you, depending on the situation.

I have often said that I think I’m more of a masochist than a Sadist, and perhaps that fact is informing my opinions here.  I make no broad statements to say that a majority of Dominants feel as I do, nor do I necessarily think that they should, but this is what works for me, and it is a continuing part of my education and growth in this wonderful and scary world we inhabit.

I’m not sure at what point in my life I started to make this distinction, and I know that I’ve never successfully conveyed the nuance before, but I suspect that this is the kernel that exists behind my personal difficulties in causing pain in those that I love.

When you look back at me and say, “please hurt me,” this is the difficulty through which I have to process before I can act.  Like my grasp of other languages, I have not yet (despite my advanced age and position) been able to completely internalize these things and so I must go through a process of translation and change this to, ‘please render pain unto me,’ in my own particular and rather archaic idiom.

But my life, my experience in BDSM, and my experience in relationships is an ever evolving process and this is yet one more thing that I am refining and will probably further refine again over time.