Tag Archives: control

Control Triptych: Glance

Three Layers of Control: Touch, Voice, Glance

This is the third 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 pieces on Touch and Voice were just previous to this and you may or may not wish to read those before continuing with this.

Glance: a much more subtle approach to the same.

Let me explain a bit about what I mean when I refer to ‘glance’ in this piece.  I really mean any indicator that I give to a submissive that I want her to do something (or not do something) that depends entirely on her seeing me make some sort of visible gesture which is not accompanied by a vocal command or a tactile manipulation.  More often than not, this takes the form of me glancing at her, catching her eye, and then moving my glance towards the position that I wish her to take or the action that I wish her to perform.

This is both the most difficult form of control to get to from a consistency standpoint, and also one of the more dramatic ways to show off the time spent in training and working together.  

Apart from control, which is difficult, the stare can be used to great effect in lots of different ways.  It can be both calming when offered with compassion, or it can ignite the fires of desire if it is made with confidence and intention.

The actual actions involved here are not terribly complex.  In fact, with the right personalities involved, causing action with mere glances is not terribly difficult – it just requires a little bit of mind-reading.

“Saywhatnow?” you ask – I can tell.  

Yes – I am atheist and a technologist and a while there are many other ‘-isms to which I subscribe, I do not believe that actual mind reading is possible.  However, with the right person or the right training or both, you can achieve something that is very close.  The key is to know the person that you are trying to control with your glance.  You can attempt to employ the same techniques against the unknown and they may or may not work – a certain amount of the emotional context with which you will attempt these things is universal – however they will be completely ineffective on the unwilling.  In fact, if you attempt to stare down an unwilling person, you’re more likely to annoy them than anything else.

The idea here is that you need to meet the gaze of your target and do your best to project the thought that you want to convey, and then follow it with some sort of physical cue to reinforce the thought and spur the other party to act.  A stare with no follow up action (which might simply be to briefly look away or smile) will just be interpreted as a stare and is likely to just make people think that you are creepy.

The simplest command that can be issued with the eyes only is the, “come here” or “come hither” stare.  This is more often attributed to women rather than men, and that has a lot to do with the way our society is structured, but I don’t want to be pulled into another feminist rant, so I’ll leave that lay for now.  

The “come hither” stare is exactly what it has been made out to be in popular culture – movies, television shows, and most especially, books.  

Because of this pervasive commonality, a woman can get the attention of nearly any man by simply staring at him, demurely looking away, and then bringing her stare back to the same place.  Most men are going to be almost helpless in their reaction – society has baked this one in for us – at least in the Western world.  They will find themselves compelled to move towards the woman and interact with her.  Depending on the social graces that particular man is endowed with, this may or may not be a good thing.

Again, thanks to the commonality of the above, the reverse is also generally well understood – the ‘go away’ look that can stop a man in his tracks and get him to rethink his move.  

Confident women will often employ both of these together to pick a man out from across the room, hold his attention, and then get him to buy her a drink and try to chat her up.  She’ll pick out the one guy she wants to talk to, give him the ‘come here’ stare, but end up attracting him and both of the guys next to him, necessitating the ‘go away’ stare to the two undesirable candidates.

Most of the glance-based commands that I will give are trained, but they build on the above interactions as a foundation.  The above are things that nearly everyone can understand, and because of that fact, they allow for extension in some ways that are not obvious and many of those things really do feel a bit like mind reading.

The ‘come here’ look has to be modified a bit for my purposes because I’m a man.  I do not think that I am a good enough actor to pull of the demure look-away, but I can do the next best thing… I will lock stares from across the room, hold it for just a bit longer than seems reasonable, and then smile.  Usually that is enough to prompt her to do the demure look-away all on her own.   In the span of mere seconds, without a word, we’ve already begun negotiations.

When I’m working with a submissive who is actually submitting to my Will, I will often employ this to begin – the stare and smile, though sometimes the smile can be a bit more mischievous when given in this context.  I will then follow with a gesture that implies what I desire.

If I look at you, keep my eyes on you, but begin to lower my head – while keeping my my eyes on you – and then nod at the floor in front of me, I expect you to come and stand in front of me.  

If, once you do that, I further nod my head towards the floor at my feet, I expect you kneel for me.

If I glance to my side, I expect you to move to that side of me and lean on me if I’m standing, sit next to me if I’m sitting, or follow me on that side if I’m walking.  If once you reach my side I then nod towards the floor, I will expect you to kneel for me there.  If I nod towards a chair or couch, I expect you to sit there.  If I am sitting and I pat my knee, I expect you to sit on it.

See?  Simple – easy – mostly intuitive.

With some training, it’s easy to turn cue almost any action with nothing more than a glance.

Even taking things further.. If you are my submissive, I may draw you to me with my eyes, put you on your knees in front of me, and then with a more insistent nod, indicate that I want you to remove my belt, unzip my pants, and start sucking on my cock.

It is quite satisfying to be able to get into someone’s head so much that I can get her to give me a blowjob without ever saying a word, I must admit.

 

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 the 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 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 with the lowest barrier of entry, it is not that sort of touch for which I am speaking.  

It is the 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

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

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.

Just what the heck is protocol anyway?

I have been accused of being an ‘old-school high protocol Dom’ a few times in my life.

I’m not sure that the statement is entirely accurate, but I suspect that there may be two reasons why this is being applied to me.

1) No one really knows what ‘protocol’ means anymore
2) Anyone who expresses any sort of structure as a part of the BDSM relationship seems to be getting classified this way lately.

So, let’s begin by addressing the first part of this.

What the heck is ‘protocol’ anyway?

It’s a three syllable word that basically means ‘rules.’

People think that because I use contracts and limits lists that I’m a ‘high protocol’ Dom.  And while there is no definitively correct answer for what ‘high protocol’ means, I tend to think of the emphasis on the ‘high’ in that phrase as indicating an emphasis on enforcement.

I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen the label of ‘low protocol’ or even ‘ordinary protocol’ applied to anyone.  It seems that within the context of the BDSM world, the two words are inextricably linked.  If you practice ‘protocol’ at all, you are automatically a practitioner of ‘high protocol.’

I’m fairly certain that I actually do NOT fit that definition.

Yes, I set rules.  In some of the contracts that I’ve held in the past, these rules can be rather strict, and failure to follow them can be met with some pretty significant consequences, but whereas I exerted a singular level of control in my earlier days, I haven’t the time or inclination to attempt such things anymore.  I don’t think I’ve necessarily grown softer – because when I decide to correct something, I can still be pretty rough, but my need to be in absolute control has waned as I’ve picked partners that are more capable and have a greater internal strength themselves.

This is not to say that I don’t invoke protocol in-scene, or even just in that nebulous ‘in the bedroom’ space.  Often I will bark commands in the midst of sex or play, and I fully expect them to be adhered to.

Bondage with ropes or straps is incredibly effective, sexy as hell, and sometimes exactly what I want or need, but sometimes I don’t have ropes with me, or I just don’t want to go through the time and effort to tie them properly – and I’m enough of a safety nut that I’d never half-ass that job.  So, I might give instruction like, “do not move except when I move you,” or “leave your arms in this position,” or even, “you can fight me on this, but if you do, I’ll hurt you.”

And you know what? The words in those cases can be even more effective than physical restraints and even sexier in the proper context.

Does this make me a ‘high protocol’ Dom?  I don’t think so.

When I used to require my submissive to walk three paces behind me, not to make eye contact, and to speak only to or through me.. that was ‘high protocol.’

And to be honest, while there is some pleasure to be derived in the novelty of it, and while it certainly does appeal to the control freak in me to have complete control over another person’s words and actions if not her thoughts, it’s exhausting to be so much in control for more than a short span of time.

Hell, I find it difficult to remain in control of just my own self from time to time.  To have to be in control of someone else, to monitor her every action and to punish or reward them as appropriate.  It’s just not something that I have time for anymore.

Protocol has its place.  It’s a wonderful thing when used properly, but it’s often misunderstood to mean something far greater than it needs to be.  You can claim to be introducing ‘protocol’ into your relationship by doing something as what I’ve described above.  Give your sub a rule to follow, and then follow up and make sure that she understands and obeys.

Isn’t that what D/s is all about anyway?

The Monster Inside

Firstly, before I begin this post, I need to apologize – dear readers.

I promised that I’d be more frequent with the updates, and then life got in the way again.  Even while I was not able to keep up on the blog posts, I have always been responsive to email requests from my readers, until this past week.  I’ve received a few emails that I was not able to respond to for almost a week, and for that I apologize.  I think I’ve responded to all of those that require a response, but if you sent me something that I failed to give an adequate response to, please re-send, I think I might have lost one or two in the process.

I should also apologize for the content of this post – it’s in keeping with blogs in general, but not precisely with the tenor of this blog in particular.  This is a personal piece that has almost nothing to do with my role as Dom…

As I write this, I’m sitting in an outdoor covered patio on a beach on the Mediterranean.  It’s overcast, but warm, and while it rained a bit earlier this morning, it doesn’t seem to be threatening rain now.

You’d think that this would make me happy, but really, I’m rather discontent.  I’m far away from the one that I love, in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language, and in the company of people that seem to not like me.  It’s the sort of thing that makes one angry and pensive – at least when that someone is me.

I miss my girl.

Lately, we’ve both been stressed to the max and it’s boiled over a few times into conflict, but even when things were their worst, this remains the most solid relationship that I’ve ever had – while I still have doubts about myself, and I still wonder how I had the good fortune to find her, I no longer have any doubts about us, and that is really about the only thing that is keeping me sane today.

Anger is just below the surface, and it’s undirected and undirectable (yes, I know that isn’t a word, but you know exactly what I mean by it, so leave off) and it’s become a terrible distraction.  If my girl were here, I could do something about it, but then again, if my girl were here, I would likely not have to…

I’ve spoken about my ‘Aggressive Days‘ before, and this would seem to be quite similar, but whereas I didn’t quite grasp all of the nuance involved in bringing me to this point when I first wrote that entry, I’ve had a bit of a personal revelation since then.  I thought at that time that part of the reason that I was unable to really let myself loose and open up my Primal side was because that wasn’t really part of who I am anymore, or maybe that I was growing too old and the chemistry of my body was different enough that I didn’t feel the same things as intensely as I did, but that’s not actually true.  I think I was just with the wrong girl.  Things have taken a much better turn now… but I want to talk about the past a bit, to where these things began – I think.

When I was a teen boy, not quite a man, but thanks to an early puberty, looking every bit the part, I sort of … broke.

When I picked up the pieces that were left, I was not the same person – or rather, I was not just the same person, there was something else, something new, something that broke off from the main part of what I consider to be me.

The Monster.

One of my favorite novel series is called the Sandman Slim series, written by Richard Kadrey.  Incidentally, Mr. Kadrey is a San Francisco resident, respected fetish photographer, and at least peripherally connected to the same scene to which I am a part, but we’ve never crossed paths that I am aware.  If by some chance Mr. Kadrey or one of his acquaintances happens to be a reader of this blog, I’d very much like to buy him a beer and have a conversation.  I don’t completely relate to every aspect of his antihero protagonist Stark, but I do identify with him to an extent, and one thing that I certainly do understand is the problematic way that broken people (to apply the term loosely) like Stark, and to a lesser extent, myself, deal with other people and the world at large.  There are certainly times when I think that I belong in Hell myself, and there was a time when I was convinced that I should be, or that at the very least I should be isolated from society, so as to not cause any harm to those that I actually care for.

This is not because I like to be alone.  Sure – I need alone time, and I think everyone does, but nothing has gone so far to reinforce the point that I need people too as sitting here, surrounded by people that are in most ways alien to me.  They speak a language that sounds like nothing I can understand.  They live and move and wander around me as if I am not even here.  I sit here, surrounded by people, more alone than I have been in a long time.  I was at a grocery store yesterday to buy some basics, and I completed the entire trip, including purchasing a few sundries, without speaking a single word to anyone.

And so… here I sit.  Pensive.  Angry.  Lonely.  Longing.

And there is a part of me that is raging.  I don’t understand the things around me, and while I can still read the body language and emotional cues of the people I see, I cannot understand them, and that is making me tense.

I don’t do so well when I feel this way.

I grew up in fear.  I let myself be led astray by a man that I respected and he abused me in the worst way that he possibly could have.  I didn’t have any control over my own destiny, and when I managed to pull myself out of that particular situation, I got myself trapped in another.  I think that these things worked together to make me who I am today, and contributed to my need to control everything – including myself.  Which is why the need to channel the scared young man inside of me into physical and emotional actions.  It’s why I want to control every aspect of my life, and it’s why I want to exert control over others.

But my heart is still strong and I’m still a chivalrous man.

I’m beginning to accept and even embrace this side of me.   It’s always been something that scared me in the past.  It was a thing that scared others too.  Simone once told me that she was only in her life ever afraid of two men, her father and me, but she never told me why.  I think I know though.  I’ve always kept the monster caged, and I do again today, but he’s come out a couple of times recently, and I’ve not lost control.

There are two ways you can control a situation, and each has its place.  You can seize control.  You can force your will upon someone, and if you have enough power, you can get them to do what you want.  Or you can accept the burden of the situation.  You can allow yourself to be pulled in, and then with a strong will, you can guide the way to the resolution you desire.  This is not a manipulation, this is a sublimation.  You can give up control in order to get what you want… what you need.  These are the two sides of the D/s coin.  And they both need to be employed to make for a complete life.

In my present situation, I could attempt to seize control.  I could expend my personal power in a number of different ways and force those around me to act how I want them to.  It might even work, contextually.  I could hire an interpreter or guide.  I could only go places where I know that there are people that speak English.  I could only acknowledge the things here that are familiar.  But I choose not to.  I am immersing myself in the world here and now, and it’s quieting the monster.  I am experiencing new things and expanding my horizons, become bigger, better, stronger, more… but I do not think that I could do that by forcing the world to meet me where I am.

It has taken me a terribly long time, and perhaps in some ways my growth in this area was stunted, but I’m learning that extremes have their place, and it’s not sufficient to ride the middle line all the time.

I can let the monster loose when I need him, or when I want him, and I can still be the man I want to be.  I can let him take control when I want to, but I am always still there, watching, making sure that nothing untoward happens.

This is how I can love my girl, even as I choke her until she passes out, or slap her across the face as I fuck her.

Fuck, I miss her.

I’ll be back with her in a week.

I can hardly wait, but I know I am strong enough to manage it.

FinDommes

The nature of Dominance is not always an obvious thing – even to me.

Preface: This is a post that I started and didn’t finish from about two months ago.  The information is still valid, but the email that I reference is pretty old at this point.  Caveat lector.

I recently received an email from a very intelligent reader who did not specify his gender, so I apologize if my use of male pronouns is inappropriate, but I’m going to continue to refer to this reader as ‘him’ for expediency’s sake.

He asks me, “Is this FinDomme for real? I’m really thinking about this and I don’t know how to stop myself.  Is this for real?  What should I do?”

I’m not really sure how to respond to such a request.  I can’t claim that I didn’t know that financial Domination was a kink for some people, but I’m not sure that I can bring myself to endorse it.

I know that “your kink is not my kink but your kink is okay” is a huge part of the open philosophy that I love about the kink community so much, but this may be one case where I have to reserve my views.

I’m not sure that I think that financial Dominance – especially in the form being peddled by the young lady in the link that I won’t echo here – is okay.  I don’t judge her.  She is extremely honest about what she intends to do.  She explicitly states that she wants someone – very clearly intended to be a wealthy older male figure – to give her total financial control of his life, and that once she has this, she intends to completely ruin him.  There is a great deal of camouflaged language that follows which seems to indicate that this financial control would also entitle one to sexual favors, but even that is very clearly secondary to the stated and intended purpose of financial ruin and humiliation.

I have been involved at some level in the kink world for almost two decades and learned that there is quite literally a kink for everything and that there is always, always, someone who will subscribe enthusiastically to that kink, and yet, even after all of the things I have experienced or seen, I have a really hard time believing that there is someone out there who wants to be financially ruined like this person is advertising, and like one of my readers is considering.

My problem – and it may just be a personal problem for me – is that I can’t see how this is a good thing for the person being Dominated.

D/s relationships are, by their very nature, stilted.  They’re not equitable.  They’re not equal partnerships, and they’re not intended to be, but there is still some level of balance.

One can, and probably should, argue that every true TPE relationship is a financial Domination, and that might be true. but there is a huge difference between controlling something and destroying something.

My own personal philosophy, and I know I’m not alone in this, is that I always try to leave every interaction I have with people such that they are in some way better than they were when I first found them.  I’m human, and I don’t always succeed in this.  I’m sure some of my former friends and exes would probably start fuming if they were to read this, but I actually do try to do the best I can in this regard.  I value friendship highly, and I try to always help and support my friends, but D/s takes this even further.

I regret to say that I cannot, with absolute certainty, claim that every submissive that has been under my thumb left our interactions in a better state than she began them, but I do know that I’ve done more good than harm, and I’ve tried to ameliorate any issues of which I am aware and able.

I do have remain friends with some of my exes and some of my former subs, so I know that I’ve managed to keep things positive at least most of the time.

So – with that in mind – I cannot see how this could possibly be a good thing for at least one of the participants in this arrangement.

If you go over things with a fine enough resolution, you can probably find something that is being satisfied by such a relationship, and if you have an itch that needs scratching, you could say that finding someone to scratch it for you is a good thing, but again, I have to think about the relative magnitudes of these things.  While my reader may be getting some deep seated psychological need fulfilled – temporarily – by this sort of arrangement, the implied consequences are far from temporary.

Bankruptcy is a horrible thing.

Fortunately for me, I haven’t had to go through it, but I have been destitute at one time, and while I do not necessarily believe that it is required for us to have material possessions to be happy, I do believe that having our primary survival needs met is absolutely critical to our wellbeing, physically, emotionally, and psychologically.   In the society that I live in, not having access to any money at all would be a severe impediment to at least two of these needs – food and shelter.

I can see how a relationship where the Dominant partner controls all aspects of the submissive partner’s finances would be appealing.  In fact, I’ve been in such relationships myself, on both sides of that particular coin, and I don’t believe that the experience was damaging to any party involved, but this particular situation differs a bit.  The FinDomme in question is not offering to take ownership of this person and care for him – as I have done and had done for me in the past – but instead is explicitly stating that she will financially ruin and embarrass this person, leaving them completely on their own with no resources and no recourse.

I cannot recommend such a thing.

D/s is a journey.  I believe that more strongly now than ever.  It is, however, a journey that one must undertake with much forethought and preparedness.  It is not a thing to engage in lightly and there are no shortcuts.

Sure, you can do a short scene or incorporate elements of D/s into your kinky fuckery and leave off with a lot of the more profound considerations, but in so doing you are only scratching the surface of the possible.  To get the profound D/s experience that it seems most of my readers are seeking, you have to commit yourself, body and mind, time and energy, and give it real attention.

I suspect that the reader who wrote me is trying to shortcut some of these things – by signing over his assets, he is creating an instant and binding relationship that goes far beyond the ordinary.  Most vanilla marriages include at least some aspect of separate finances, or at least some kind of equitable scheme through which both partners are able to make purchases of necessary and everyday items.  Under the sort of scheme this young lady is trying to proffer, her finsub would not even have the ability to purchase food or pay rent.

And then again, maybe there is just a kink element to it that I can’t understand…

A long time coming

It has been a very long time since I’ve posted here. I’m sure many of you thought I had abandoned the blog, and effectively I had, but that was never my intent.

I’ve been very busy lately with work and life issues, working on a side project of my own, and playing video games to distract myself, and while I’ve written the starts of several posts at this point, I never managed to press ‘Publish’ because I was discontent with the results.

I’m not gone, and I am beginning a process of refocusing my life and how I live it.

I’ve been complacent in too many areas of my life lately. I’ve been making progress on some things, but for most, I’ve let them slide and just allowed myself to live with things as they are. I resolve to stop that (again) and to take a more active role in my own destiny.

Funny, isn’t it? The big, bad Dom-type was drifting. Isn’t that supposed to be the last thing that a D-type would do?

Each person’s Dominance is unique, and each is a journey. My own journey has taken many turns over the course of the past couple of years – most of which I did not anticipate.

This is a source of tremendous anxiety for me.

I do not fetishize control, but Control is the thing that lets me be a Dom in this world. Control is the thing that reinforces my power, that gives life to my Will. Control is the thing that allows me to tame the chaos of my mind and live a successful life.

But it’s fucking boring.

I’m a dichotomy and I contradict myself all the damned time. I have a consistent set of values and desires, but there are things in my mind that get in the way when I try to enact them sometimes.

Lately, my life has been largely out of my control, and that has been a source of tremendous anxiety for me – but also joy. While control allows me to accurately (for the most part) predict how the events of my life will unfold, it also completely removes the ability for anything to surprise me, and it can be exhausting to try to force things to fit when that is a state to which they do not naturally gravitate.

I’ve had literally weeks where I was almost paralyzed with fear concerning a couple of lawsuits in which I have been involved over the past several years. But I’ve also recently had moments where I was comfortable enough to completely let go and allow the Primal in me to come out – something that has not happened in a decade or more.

Just last night, I attended a kink event with my girlfriend and I made a horrible misjudgment. I think it’s fair to say that I know her better than anyone else, but I erred, and not in a small way.

There are those of you out there who read this and already think that I’m too soft to be a ‘True Dom’ – and this is going to reinforce those beliefs.

I fucked up.

I take responsibility for my lack of preparation, my lack of empathy, and my disturbingly effective emotional distancing coping techniques.

I entered into a highly emotional situation without the ability to access my own emotions or to empathize with my girlfriend, and I made a huge miscalculation.

And that is precisely the correct word to use here, for my actions were calculated and predicated on years of experience that I have and she does not. I embarrassed her in a public setting in front of people that she very much cares for how they view her by treating her as if she should have known things that I never showed her.

And so, the evening fell apart, and when things were at their bleakest, I did too. Spectacularly, and in a way that has not happened for more than decade.

I relived moments that I wish I could forget. I went to the place in my mind where control is fiction and I didn’t possess control even over my own body. I went so deep that I actually caused myself to vomit – no mean feat when I’d not eaten anything all day.

But there is catharsis in surrender – as any s-type can tell you – and as I once lived myself.

When I broke, she came to help me.

I cannot possibly overstate the significance of that to me.

The big, bad, Dom-type was quite literally a blubbering idiot in the corner, and his protective and nurturing and beautiful girlfriend and submissive-in-training took control for a moment and gave me the strength to allow my mind to find the coping mechanisms that evolved in me over the years and Control came back. Briefly, and without form, but it came back.

I wrote once before on this blog that I thought I had finally found the love of my life, but it turned out to be untrue.

I have been reluctant to make the same sorts of claims with this relationship, largely because I did not see it coming the last time, and I didn’t want to jinx this time, but after weathering the battle and experiences of last night, I think it’s safe to say that this is the most stable and mature and balanced relationship that I’ve ever had.

We struggle with D/s.

This is my fault, not hers. She wants it, and I have a very hard time presenting things to her because I do not want to insult her by treating her like she knows nothing, but in so doing, I do her a massive disservice. How can one learn if no one is willing to teach? Sure, books exist, resources are available on the ever-mighty Internet, and there are even classes that you can take, but ultimately, at the end of the day, our D/s is between us, and it’s not every Dom in the world that she needs to cater to, just me. And there is no manual for me on the Internet – the closest you’ll find is this blog, or the defunct one I wrote years and years ago – so how I can I expect her to know what to do if I don’t show her?

This is a journey. I don’t want the same type of D/s that I’ve had in the past, but I haven’t yet formulated what it is that I do want, and until I do that, we’re going to flounder.

So, this is where I cast off the worries of the lawsuits that have since been settled (and very recently – I literally just signed papers to settle one case on Thursday) and I recommit myself to my life, my love, my joy, my friends, my family, and my community.

More posts will be forthcoming.

I threw out the 500 words a day goal when my life became overwhelming a couple of months ago, but I’m reinstating it now.

If I have time to play video games, I have time to write.

NaNoWriMo will be taking a back seat to the other parts of my life this year, but my circle of friends is widening, and my relationship with the woman who I intend to keep for the rest of my life is only beginning to really solidify – despite months of growing and a nearly complete merging of our lives.

I love my girl. I hurt her, and I cast myself into Hell for doing so.

Punishment is always a part of D/s relationships, but last night we both punished ourselves to an extent that I could never replicate. The worst punishments always come from within, don’t they?

Rant is a name that I took when I started this, and it’s not a bad one. It’s short, easy to say and remember, and accurately reflects the mindset that I was in when I began this particular journey, but it doesn’t quite fit any more.

This is not a rant. This is not a lesson. This is a confession and commitment.

I shall return. One small step at a time, I shall return.