All posts by Rant

Rant is an experienced Dominant involved in the San Francisco Bay Area BDSM scene. He may occasionally also answer to Tirade.

PSA: No – some hacker did not record you masturbating

I’ve received dozens of emails like the following, where some ‘anonymous hacker’ writes to me and tells me that I have been caught masturbating and that if I don’t send them bitcoin really soon, they’re going to send a video of me masturbating to everyone in my contact list and completely ruin my life.  Given how common this is, the chances are pretty good that you have received a similar message as well, or that you will someday soon.

This email is from this past January – and while I did remove some of the parts about how to pay this guy, with what remains, you can clearly see that I’m well beyond the 72 hours that I was promised, and this ‘Brant’ did not even do me the service of sending people my masturbation video like he said he would.  How rude.  I’m pretty sure that most of them would have liked to see it…

LAST WARNING lordrant@domrant.com!

You have the last chance to save your social life - I am not kidding!!

I give you the last 72 hours to make the payment before I send the video with your masturbation to all your friends and associates.

The last time you visited a erotic website with young Teens, you downloaded and installed the software I developed.

My program has turned on your camera and recorded your act of Masturbation and the video you were masturbating to. My software also downloaded all your email contact lists and a list of your Facebook friends.

I have both the 'Lordrant.mp4' with your masturbation and a file with all your contacts on my hard drive. You are very perverted!

If you want me to delete both files and keep your secret, you must send me Bitcoin payment. I give you the last 72 hours. If you don't know how to send Bitcoins, visit Google.

When you pay in full, I will remove both files and deactivate my software.

If you don't send the payment, I will send your masturbation video to ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES from your contact list I hacked.

You саn visit the police but nobody will help you.
I know what I am doing. I don't live in your country and I know how to stay anonymous.

Don't try to deceive me - I will know it immediately - my spy ware is recording all the websites you visit and all keys you press.
If you do - I will send this ugly recording to everyone you know, including your family.

Don't cheat me! Don't forget the shame and if you ignore this message your life will be ruined.

I am waiting for your Bitcoin payment.

Brant
Anonymous Hacker

P.S. If you need more time to buy and send 0.587043 BTC, open your notepad and write '48h plz'. I will consider giving you another 48 hours before I release the vid, but only when I really see you are struggling to buy bitcoin.

I would really love to just eviscerate this message, because there are so many things here that simply make no sense – like, anyone who knows me knows that I don’t have an active facebook presence, so threatening to use my facebook contacts is a pointless threat, and there are numerous other reasons why this is ridiculous, but I don’t really have time for that…

I will admit though, I do kind of like the whole “type ’48 hr plz’ into notepad” thing – that implies scrutiny is continuing, which ups the fear level a bit.

It is admittedly pretty scary, if this is something that you would pay attention to or be scared by.  And with shows on TV like Black Mirror and all of the other various techno-dystopian views being presented to us all of the time, along with real threats like identity theft, this can be a very disconcerting thing.  However – I can authoritatively say that I’ve received many, many messages like the above and never once has anyone ever been shown a video of me masturbating – even if they really wanted to see it.

This is not to say that things like this are impossible – it’s certainly within the realm of possibility, which is probably why it is an effective scam, but that’s really all that it is, a scam – it’s not true extortion and you’re better off keeping your money or your bitcoin to yourself and just deleting the message from your inbox.

The invasive and insidious nature of hate

I recently posted about myself again, and it continues a pattern that has been reinforced since I first started writing here.

My posts to this blog seem to generate interest in a few different forms.

Sometimes, people find what I write about interesting or informative and they either want to ask a question or have a comment and will comment on the post directly here on the blog.  Most of the time this happens when I am writing either informative or erotic pieces.

But sometimes, people find what I write about emotionally impactful, and I get email directly.

Often – more often than not, thankfully – these are positive things.  I get messages from people all of the time telling me that I have made a positive impact on their life because I shared something difficult or I exposed something that they could relate to in a way that made their own experiences easier to understand or more acceptable somehow.  I’ve been told that I have been directly or indirectly responsible for saving peoples’ lives. That alone is some heavy stuff, but it’s good – I can feel good about the fact that I am helping people, and I can feel good about the example that I try to set for how I live my life.

But sometimes… people find what I write about emotionally challenging in some less positive ways.

I also get a lot of hate mail.  Not as much as I used to, actually, but I recently gave these people more ammunition to use in an attempt to hurt me with my diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder and some of the other things that I have recently said and done as part of my life in the BDSM scene – and some of the things that I’m getting emails about are related to things that I have not even revealed on this blog – which ratchets up the fear a notch or three.

This means that I am getting hate mail to my blog from someone who knows me personally.

Even when it’s only an email, or its just someone filling in my Contact Me form, it is difficult to see messages where people tell me to kill myself.

It is difficult to read that someone thinks I have so little value as a person that I would be doing the world a favor by removing myself from it.

It is scary as fuck to read that someone knows the city I live in and would take any opportunity they had to beat the shit out of me or that they might show up at my house and set it on fire.

It hurts to read that someone that I have personally interacted with believes that my way of life is so repugnant that I should subject myself to terrible, painful, torturous ways of killing myself, and that the lives of everyone that I love would be improved by removing the stain of my existence from their lives.

Recently, I’ve made calling cards.  I’ve been trying to more closely engage with my community and to put myself out there a bit more for the good that I may be able to do as well as to increase my own exposure and possibly increase my reach.  It’s never been a strong goal of mine to create a personal brand or chase fame on the internet, but the good things that I hear urge me to try to at least reach a bit further – until I hit the barriers that I am coming up against again now.

This becomes important because those calling cards are the first time that I have linked this blog to my fetlife profile (where there are pictures of my face) and my phone number – and only recently have I started to receive text messages and phone calls from people who are spewing hate as well.

Honestly, it makes me want to run away.  It makes me want to pull up shop here, stop writing altogether and even to withdraw from my community.  It makes me afraid to go outside sometimes. It makes me afraid to have my kids stay with me at my own house.  And while I can rationalize away the fear and despair, I can never really get rid of them completely, and it weighs on me, heavily.

I have nightmares almost every night.  These are the result of trauma from my youth more often than not – memories that I have suppressed trying to percolate back up into consciousness – so I know that these are not necessarily only because of this newly increased volume of hate that I am receiving each day, but I would be incredibly foolish if I didn’t consider that it is having an effect.

I don’t know who is making these threats and sending me so much hate – and while I could probably find out, I am terrified to learn the answers to those questions, terrified to learn that someone I love harbors such deep seated loathing for me and feels like they can only express it pseudo-anonymously and with such bile.

I do not always succeed in putting forth the best version of me, but I do try very hard, and I try very hard to be open to criticism and discussion about how I act and the ways in which I may have made you feel.  And if you know me personally and I have somehow offended you, I would very much appreciate the chance to rationally discuss the things that have hurt you, but if you are just a hateful stalker who wants only to cause me harm, I can tell you that you have succeeded.

The hate that I feel seeps into my soul and makes everything seem bleak.  It gets into everything that I think and everything that I do and it makes it almost impossible to concentrate or accomplish anything of substance.  I try to counter it with love, and to an extent I succeed, but the fear never seems to completely disappear. I try to ignore it and focus on the other things that make my life the amazing thing that it is.  I have amazing people in my life who love me and support me, and even those who no longer wish to be a part of my life, or those who I care about but cannot make fit into this chaos claim to love and want to support me, if but from a further distance – and I feel the same way about them.  Much of the time I succeed, but sometimes the hate seeps back in like an oily stain that you can never quite remove from your favorite jeans.

I am Rant, and I am not going nowhere, but you have made me afraid.  Bully for you.

 

The many faces of Rant

I have made a number of difficult admissions through this site.  This is probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever contemplated posting to a public site and it has nothing to do with BDSM but everything to do with me.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have been through psychotherapy and have been on prescriptions for psychoactive drugs at various times in my past – over the course of writing this blog, even.  However, I have not been completely open about one of the more challenging aspects of my atypical neurology, and in order to be consistent with my mission, I have to be unflinchingly transparent and vulnerable, so here I am…

I have Dissociative Identity Disorder.

For those of you who don’t know what that is,  you can follow the link above or just accept that it is the current accepted terminology for what used to be called multiple personality disorder.  There is literally more than one person living in my body – though the degrees to which they make themselves known can vary tremendously.

The ways in which it can manifest are legion, and I have been in deep denial about my own condition for years, which created more than a few problems for me.  I was able to conceal it from almost everyone, even from myself – perhaps most especially from myself, by being paranoid and attempting to control every aspect of every moment of every day of my life.  I spent huge amounts of mental and even physical energy in just monitoring myself for consistency and trying to portray an unbroken narrative for myself and everyone who interacts with me.

It was exhausting.

I developed habits though… I repeat myself a lot, both in written and verbal communications.  Most people completely fail to notice, but those who do tend to think that I am merely emphasizing the things that I want to say for effect – and often that is the case, at least in part, but sometimes I’m also doing it so that I can make sure that I will remember…   I meditate – and when I forget to do that, or when life gets in the way too often and I don’t make the time – I suffer for it. I use drugs to force my mind into the state I want it to be in sometimes as well. Nootropics and psychoactive chemicals are my friends and allies.

The memory gaps are the worst thing.

I can be working, sitting at my desk, writing code and being in the zone, and then I will lose track of time and space and my consciousness will return and I will find myself in a completely different part of the office or in the kitchen or even in my car, completely unaware of hours of time that have passed where I have had conversations with coworkers, accomplished work goals, even eaten meals or used the bathroom.  That happens with some frequency, and I’ve just grown accustomed to it. I have learned to ask leading questions and prompt people to fill in missing information for me in conversations all of the time, because when I’m at work, about a third of the time it isn’t really me there.

Sometimes when I go out to my favorite weekly event – Bondage a Go Go – I will end up finding myself at home in bed and not remember how I got there.  Sometimes there are people with me throughout this entire process – my former partner would frequently accompany me to and from BaGG and spend the night with me, and often I would not remember things from some point after our arrival until the next day.  Often pieces will come back to me, but sometimes they won’t – until my personality shifts again, and then all of the corresponding memories come flooding back in again, only to be lost anew when I shift again.

My personality shards – my alters – to use the common parlance, each have different motives and desires and personalities and while I am fortunate enough that these are almost always in concert with each other, sometimes they are not.  Sometimes they even conflict with each other… and as you can probably imagine, this makes dealing with me difficult sometimes.  I can seem like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at times, I’m sure.

Recently, this has all been very different though – and not in a very flattering way.

When I was suppressing the expression of personality shifts, I would minimize the impact, even when they happened.  I would go on with life as if I was always the one at the controls and while I had gaps in my memory of things, I could usually fill them in pretty effectively and by denying the gaps existed, I was presenting myself and everyone around me with an unbroken narrative.

And that is how we experience the world, I’m realizing… I mean, I’ve always known this, but it is not something that I usually spend much time thinking about.  We experience everything as a continuous story, beginning when we are born and ending when we die.  This is the normal, expected, and understood way in which people live their lives – when you’re trying to explain anything to someone else, one of the most effective ways to do that is to relate it with a story.  

With the exception of our daily sleep periods, humans experience their entire world as an unbroken narrative.

Except — I don’t.  There are breaks in the narrative for me – every day.  When I was not monitoring myself as much, and when I denied my interior pieces, I failed to notice this, but the narrative of my life is not unbroken – and there are pieces missing for me all of the time.

I had no idea how much this was affecting me.

To be experiencing so much missing time and to be openly accepting the transitions was causing my mind to fragment even more.  Personality characteristics that are dominant with one alter were beginning to bifurcate more tenaciously and rapidly, leaving my dominant self, the one who I most often consider to be me, with the least agency that I can remember ever having.  

The parts were growing at the expense of what remained of me.

For some reason that I can’t explain – maybe it’s self-selection bias, maybe it’s something else – the BDSM community seems to be home to many more people with DID than would match population statistics.  I know several people in my local scene who also have DID and one of the more fascinating things to me is how the disorder manifests differently in different people.

Most of my friends and acquaintances who have the disorder have the ability to conduct conversations between their alters within their own mind.  The only way that I have ever been able to have an actual conversation with a different part of myself was very recently when I was staring at myself in the mirror and having a conversation with myself.  

My alter – who is known as Damien, though he doesn’t refer to himself that way except to note his presence to those in the know – would talk through my mouth at me as I stared at the mirror, and he would respond to things that I thought back at him – so anyone watching the conversation would only hear Damien’s voice, and I imagine it would have been really fucking freaky to watch.

Damien told me about the world as he sees it, a little bit about what he wants, and a lot more about how he wanted my former partner to succeed, and plans for how she can probably do that.  He told me about his disappointment in me. He told me that he does not understand why I let myself get hurt, and he offered to take over for me. Permanently.

I almost let him.

It is something that I still think about.  Since having that weird conversation with myself a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been unstable.  I have a very hard time concentrating on anything at all. I can tell that he feels much more stable, more in control, more complete than he used to be.  

A completely different alter – one who lives in a very different world than I do, and who believes in things like magic and supernatural connections between things – led Damien and I through a ritual that was intended to close some of the gaps in my memory and help him to cope with the fact that his carefully laid plans were falling apart and give him some broader context in which to operate.  

As far as I can tell – from his perspective – it was a complete success.  I feel slightly more grounded than I did, and it did return a small portion of the personal agency that I feel was eroding, but he is resplendent.  He has been staying out of the light because I did not accept his offer to take over control for me, but his fear and doubt are gone, and mine still remain – and may be even greater, and while I don’t actually know if his offer is still valid, it tempts me even now.

But it is a terrifying thing.  It feels like a lesser form of suicide.  If I do this – who will I really be? I know that I won’t disappear entirely, Damien doesn’t when he is no longer in control – and he continues to learn and grow.  

I am nearly certain that this is something that I have already done once before – not to let Damien take over for me, but for me to take over for the one who could no longer handle living.

I may very well be the result of a first suicide of this type, and the original progenitor me is still locked inside me somewhere, but he never comes out anymore – would that be my fate if I were to surrender to the more Dominant part of me?

Who knows?  Perhaps it is all delusion anyway.

I’m still too afraid to try – still too afraid to know.

And so – I remain Rant.   For now.

 

A quick and dirty primer on quick and dirty bruising

Before I begin, I need to make the disclaimer that I am not a healthcare professional and that any information that I provide here is taken from my personal experience and memory and is entirely fallible.  You should really completely ignore any advice that I give, for the most part.

At some point in nearly every submissive/bottom’s progression through their journey they reach a point where bruises are a badge of honor and they will invariably want to be able to show these off to others either in person or online.

Of course – bruises can also be problematic in other contexts, so please be mindful of this and make sure that everyone involved in the bruising activities is enthusiastically consenting, or just don’t do it.  It can be a big problem if you bruise someone in an area that they cannot easily cover if they have to interact with anyone who does not understand the BDSM lifestyle, so be careful with where you leave marks as well as how.

Bruising occurs because capillaries in the muscle tissue are damaged and bleed into the interstitial tissue and epidermis.  There are six accepted levels of harm for bruising commonly referred to in the medical field (at least in the US, where I reside) where 0 represents light bruising with no lasting damage or potential for lasting damage.  A level 0 bruise may by only barely visible and may not even hurt after the initial impact or it may not be visible at all, subject to being tender to the touch, either symptom is enough to diagnose bruising.

This ranges through level 1, where there is considered to be mild damage to the tissue around the bruise – which, barring complications, will heal on its own in a relatively short period of time.  Levels 2 and 3 involve higher levels of tissue damage, more visible and larger bruises that last for longer periods of time, but again, the expectation is that such things will heal on their own, given time.  Some level 3 bruises and nearly all level 4 bruises are significant enough to cause real harm and may lead to other complications including compartment syndrome (where swelling blood can cut off blood flow to areas of tissue entirely, which could result in tissue death or necrosis) or begin to impact nerve and tendon function in the areas near them.  Level 5 bruises are significant enough that they could overwhelm the body entirely and result in death.

Level 0 and 1 bruises tend to heal fully in about two weeks time in most healthy persons without diabetes or another complication that might result in more tissue damage. Level 2 bruises can last slightly longer and level 3 and up may take months to heal.  Repeated impacts to a bruised area can increase the harm level and keep it ‘active’ for much, much longer, but at the risk of increased tissue damage.

The really big, colorful bruises that most submissives crave to show off are usually level 1 bruises, sometimes level 2.  These are shallow bruises that damage a lot of capillaries and result in a lot of interstitial bleeding, but little actual harm, and most of the time when we’re trying to create bruising, this is the sort of bruising that we are trying to create.

There are several considerations to keep in mind when trying to create bruises:

  1. Deeper impacts create deeper bruises that last longer and produce more tissue damage, but may not be as visible
  2. Contracted muscles will bruise more deeply than relaxed ones and run the risk of doing more damage to tissue that gets compressed between the bone and impact
  3. Bruises at or near the joints are more dangerous and tend to involve ligament, nerve, or other tissue that does not heal as quickly as muscle
  4. Ribs are really easy to crack if you aren’t careful – and the pain of a cracked rib is intense and lasts for a very long time
  5. Just stay away from the head – concussions are serious and unpredictable and potentially life-threatening

So – bearing these things in mind, and with the goal of creating level 1 bruises – very visible, large, and colorful – there are a few things that we can do to improve the chances of them showing up and reduce the chances of there being long term damage to any part of the body.

The first thing to bear in mind is that bruises are caused by damage to capillaries near the surface of the skin.  So – we want to create conditions where it is easy to break these. In an otherwise perfectly healthy person, this means that we want to increase blood flow to the skin, reduce muscle tension, and then to reduce inflammation after the impact.  Inflammation can lead to a lot of the potential complications that can come from severe bruising and reduce the surface area over which the interstitial spreading of the bruise occurs. So.. we want to reduce inflammation while increasing blood flow and damage the tissues nearest to the skin to get the best results.

If you have not read my post on finding subspace, I talk a little bit there about the physiological shifts that can occur when in subspace, and those are – coincidentally? – almost exactly the same as the sort of conditions that are required to make for really nice bruises.

Some other things that can help are to make sure that you are fully hydrated, rested, and relaxed.  If you are the sort to do such things, taking an NSAID in advance – most especially aspirin – can also help, but do be careful about drug interactions and if you are taking any sort of blood thinners (warfarin, etc.) then you should not be trying to bruise yourself at all due to the dangers of increased harm.

Bruising can be more difficult to accomplish for people who have darker skin tones or more developed muscle tone.  It is not that the bruising does not occur, but the visibility of the bruising is reduced. Trying to keep the bruising as shallow as possible can help.  To this end, it can often be useful to slap the skin or repeatedly tap it before attempting to strike with the force required to create a bruise, but when you are actually trying to strike to create the bruise, you want to hit a much narrower/smaller area with a larger force.  The bruise will spread out from the point where the capillaries are damaged.

A technique that I like to employ and have found to be particularly effective with canes, rods, bats, or other blunt instruments of the same sort is to very quickly and repeatedly tap the skin directly where I intend to strike between 5 and 10 times and then to come down on the very same spot once, very hard.  From that point on, more hits to that same area should increase the harm level and amount of bruising fairly significantly. This works well even with my current submissive partner who has darker skin and well developed muscle tone – but was also shown to work well with other partners who had lighter skin and less muscle tone.

However – the most effective and least damaging way to cause bruising is actually suction… fire cupping or even just making hickies will create very visible bruises that are almost purely capillary bursts and involve very little tissue damage beyond that.  But – those are not the kind of bruises that most people want to show off, so we’ve chose to focus mostly on those created by impact play.

So, to recap, the best ways to increase bruise potential are:

  1. Be well hydrated and relaxed
  2. Possibly take aspirin (or another NSAID) in advance – but be careful.  Topically applied aspirin directly on the area to be bruised is also very effective – perhaps even more so than orally administered aspirin
  3. Whatever steps you can take to get to subspace will also likely be very beneficial
  4. Tapping or slapping the area to be bruised will help to increase the visibility and range of the bruise
  5. Consider suction
  6. Avoid the head entirely, the area over the ribs, and all joints – try to confine your strikes to the ‘meatiest’ parts of the body, preferably areas that can be covered by clothing.

As always – think about it before you do anything, don’t trust any single source of unsubstantiated information (including me or this blog), and make sure that you exhaustively cover issues of consent – both with the impact itself and with the likely bruises that will follow.

And then take pictures!  Everyone loves to see pictures of bruises, right?

Fly safe.

  • Rant

My sacred mission in life

It kind of started out as a joke.  The statement was completely true and made without any sort of deception or guile, but it seemed so outrageous that even though I was the one saying it, I had a hard time believing it.

I was on a date, and my date and I didn’t know each other very well as normally happens in the early stages of dating, so she asked me, “What is your passion?”

Such a broad question…

Normally this sort of question kind of puts my mind into overload as I try to think about all of the different possible answers and I get kind of paralyzed, but on this particular occasion the answer came quickly and almost without thought.

“I make it my sacred mission in life to make it acceptable for every person to be who they really are at their core.”

I usually actually try to go further than that and help everyone to be the best version of themselves that they can be, but that requires a great deal of work on their part, whereas the above statement only really requires that I be interested, nonjudgmental, supportive, patient, and caring – and I’m really quite good at those things, most of the time.

I’ve tried to refine this a bit, especially in the case of the people that I actually have close relationships with, because with those people I can take a more active hand in helping them to realize the things that are holding them back and realizing how they can be the best versions of themselves that they can be.

Of course, none of this is worth anything without me also doing work on myself and learning along the way as well, and I do my best to do that, every day.  

One of my former mentees likes to tell people that I am responsible for her being kinky – or, she did, until I started to correct her each time she said it, with something like this, “No, little one, I didn’t make you who you are, I just accepted you and made it okay for you to be who you were all along.”

My goal in life for myself is to be as authentically me as I can manage.  I try to let go of the guilt and shame that I’ve been gifted with by family and religion and society and I try to listen to the internal voices within me, understand their needs, and so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone to do so, satisfy them.

My sacred mission in life is to help you do exactly the same.

 

Just Another Wednesday

Every Wednesday I go to an event called Bondage a Go Go.  I think I may have mentioned it before.

In keeping with my continuing desire and goal to say what I mean rather than couch my insecurities about showing enthusiasm with understatement or otherwise deflect, I’m going to call myself out for saying such things as, “It’s just another Wednesday,” or something similar.  It’s an inside joke, and anyone that I say it to understands that around here, Wednesdays are something special.  But I should just come out and say that.

Wednesdays are special because that is when BaGG happens, and BaGG is the best and longest-running weekly kink-friendly social event ever, anywhere.

Full disclosure – I am a member of the BGG Association that promotes and puts on Bondage a Go Go, but I have no financial stake and all of my efforts to advertise it here or in person are volunteer – because I am an acolyte.

Today is Wednesday, and I am elated – because no matter how bad life gets me down, on Wednesdays I have BaGG, and BaGG is therapy, family, validation, energization, and grounding all rolled into one.  BaGG is where I can be mostly safe in being mostly me, and it is glorious.

“It feels like I’m in a movie.” – F

I still remember the first time that I went to BaGG.  I didn’t know anyone, and I was alone, and it was overwhelming.  It’s really just a bar, but it’s dark inside and people are wearing next to nothing and acting sexy as fuck.  There is a dance floor in the front and two bars along with seating areas, a house masseur, a swag counter, and a dungeon in the back.

The first time you’re seeing something like this, it can be a lot to take in.  Even as a seasoned kinkster, it was more than I expected in some ways and less than I expected in other ways, but one thing became abundantly clear to me within moments.  BaGG is not a place or an event, BaGG is a people.

That first time that I was there, I was not a part of BaGG – I was present, I was physically there and I was watching and I was drinking and I was dancing and I was socializing, but I was not really a part of it.

I was disheartened, and I would leave to go home, knowing that it was something special, but feeling on the outside, and it would be years before I would return.

BaGG is a “kink-friendly take over of a night club” – C

BaGG is really just a weekly party in a bar with kinky themes.  It’s not a BDSM event in the more general sense.  There is not a dungeon floor where people are heard making noises of pleasure and pain surrounded by a wall of silence from the onlookers.  There are not rooms where people can sequester themselves and do nasty, horrible things to each other.  There are no classes or lessons or things to learn.

There is a dungeon, and it is small, and exposed, and your audience will cheer for you as you get beaten.  There is a tradition of very public spanking with the entire bar cheering for you on your birthday or the birthday of your Dominant.  And I will have to tell you, the three young ladies who took my spankings for me and the three Dominants (they were not all male) who delivered them while I stood by and basked in the glow of adoration from the crowd certainly contributed to make my year last year.

The dungeon is great fun, largely underutilized despite the fact that you have to wait for your turn more often than not, and also completely not the point of BaGG.

“I just go for the dancing.” – S

The dance floor at BaGG is amazing.

No where else that I am aware of do you have as many ultra sexy people dancing alongside straight up freaks – and often they are the very same people.

It’s right there in the name – there are Go Go dancers.  You can tip them if you like.  They won’t take off their clothes for you, but they’re not wearing that much to begin with.

The greatest show doesn’t come from the dancers on the stage or in the cage though – it comes from the people on the floor.

I don’t spend nearly enough time on the dance floor at BaGG, but if I don’t get out and dance every once in awhile, I get restless – and I don’t really dance anywhere else.

I’m a terrible dancer – I have to be only part of me to have any rhythm at all, but I don’t really care.   My partners dance, my friends dance, I’ve met people on the dance floor, no one cares that I’m terrible at it – it’s just another part of the wonderful pervasive blanket of love that falls on me when I am there with my people.

“…people generally seem to know each other.” – A

I wasn’t a part of BaGG at first, but I went, and I put myself out there, and I kept going back and talking to the same people and learning that they felt the same way that I do – about politics and kink and love, but most importantly, about BaGG.

It was the piece that was missing for me until I just kept showing up.  I’ve always felt like I could be at home at BaGG, but even still it took time before I felt like I was a part of it.

“How do I become a member?” I asked.

The answer is simple.  Show up.  Talk to people.  Get to know the club and the personalities, let people know who you are, and then when two members in good standing will speak up for you and say, “This guy is not an asshole,” we’ll collect your dues and you will be one of us.

It’s nice to be one of us somewhere.

I’m at BaGG almost every week – it’s rare that I’m not there.

If ever you want to meet me, go to BaGG, look for the guy in a waistcoat and fancy knot in his tie, and you’ll likely find me.

  • Rant

Examining subspace and subdrop

Altered mental states fascinate me.  They have for most of my life. I have explored the same subject matter from as many possible perspectives as I could find.  My university work was dominated by this pursuit. The very nature of consciousness is something that I ponder daily, and I keep searching for models that more accurately describe things as we can understand them.  I have approached the problem with models taken from philosophy, psychology, neurology, medicine, religion, even mathematics and information science.

I have designed and conducted experiments of my own – though admittedly scientific rigor was not usually my foremost goal in these situations.  And though all of this, I have also solicited help from you – my readers – through the comments to my original blog posts on subspace and subdrop.

Over the past four years or so, those posts have garnered a significant number of comments and if you have a genuine interest in the subject, it would be worth going back and reading the original posts (here and here, respectively) and comments that follow.

For the purposes of this post, I will be using the terms: submissive, s-type, and bottom to refer to the person who is experiencing these effects (subdrop or subspace) and: Dominant, D-type, or Top to refer to the other partner in the dynamic being examined.  The terms we use for these things are D/s specific – subdrop and subspace – but the conditions are not.  They can be experienced by bottom partners in a wholly S/m setting with no power exchange taking place, though for some reason that still seems to elude my grasp, the addition of the power exchange elements does seem to increase the likelihood of them occurring.

For every person brave enough to post a publicly accessible comment on the subject, I’ve probably received around five or so direct emails.  This is something that I expected – not everyone feels comfortable putting their own private experiences out there for everyone to see – and for that reason I will not be making any specific references to any of those emails that were sent to me in confidence, but I can make some generalizations and note a few interesting, and in some cases, surprising, observations.

First of all – both conditions are extremely common.  Since I solicited feedback from people who were already interested in the topic, no data can be extracted from the responses in terms of how often they occur within a more general group, but I did receive some responses from people who were curious about one or the other of these two topics without having experienced either themselves.  A true study would select people at random and then ask them about their experiences, of course, rather than what I have done – which is the opposite. I gave people a subject material and then asked them to contact me with specifics. The data were nonetheless revealing in a number of ways.

Including both comments left on the original posts and messages sent to me directly, I’ve received data from 143 unique individuals on the topic of subspace, subdrop, or both.

In this case, I am defining a ‘unique individual’ as either a distinct email address or an anonymous comment from a different originating IP address.  Note that it is entirely possible that some of these data originate from the same source – and I would have no way of being certain – but that I think the probability of such a thing is unlikely.

Of those 143 respondents, 131 have either directly experienced one or both of these phenomena themselves or they relate stories of partners who have.  If I could discount the fact that my respondents self-selected for involvement, that would represent an extremely high percentage. However – my respondents chose to write to me about these subjects, and therefore such statistics are mostly meaningless.

It does go to show that there are great many people who have experienced these phenomenon directly or indirectly though as those 143 messages represent around 10% of the total number of initial contact messages that I have received over the past four years (give or take a few months.)   This leads me to believe that this is by far the most important individual subject matter that this blog has attempted to tackle. However, it should still be noted that this is not a scientifically scrutinizable conclusion – just a gut feeling based on volume and interest.

Bearing this in mind, I would like to share some of the qualitative results that I have seen and been told by others – even if I cannot really make accurate quantitative conclusions.

Among the more interesting points of fact that I was able to glean from the responses are the following points:
  1. It is not necessary to experience subspace in order to experience subdrop
  2. Not everyone who experiences subspace experiences subdrop
  3. There is no panacea for avoiding subdrop
  4. There is no recipe for creating subspace


To anyone who has personal experience with these things, the above statements are almost certainly not a surprise.  However, the answers to those questions represent a significant proportion of the questions that I was asked.

For those of you who have not read the original posts or who are completely new to the concepts, subdrop is a condition that can occur in the bottom partner of a BDSM interaction wherein the affected person experiences what can be sometimes very intense feelings of loss, frustration, anger, sadness, loneliness, or other forms of negative emotional content associated with the person with whom they had engaged in a scene previously.  Sometimes these feelings can surface days or even weeks after the event. They can leave the bottom partner feeling abandoned or upset, even when everything they could possibly expect in the form of aftercare or emotional attachment is present. Sometimes the intensity of these feelings can exceed any of the immediate ‘good’ feelings associated with the scene or interaction in the first place.

I have previously defined this as, “Subdrop is the state of physical, emotional, and psychological withdrawal from an intense interaction with another person.”

Sometimes the symptoms of subdrop can include intense physical characteristics, like: cold sweats, nightmares, heart palpitations, panic attacks, fever, aches and pains, or other flu-like symptoms.  But often it can also be felt as something as simple as longing for the other person who is no longer present.

Subdrop can be a pretty awful thing for anyone who has experienced it – and by far the most common question that I have received since starting this blog has been, “How do I avoid subdrop? / How do I prevent my s-type from experiencing subdrop?”

I can offer a few pointers from my own experience and from those people who were kind enough to respond to me, but unfortunately I think the only true answer to the above question is, “You really can’t always avoid subdrop – no matter what you do.”

This is an important note for a couple of reasons:
  1. People often judge themselves for being unable to prevent subdrop – both tops and bottoms feel this way.  This is harmful to both partners and a little bit of patience and understanding can go a long way to reducing the impact of subdrop.
  2. People sometimes feel like – because it is not always something that can be avoided – that one should not even try.  I disagree with this sentiment quite strongly.


The second point above is particularly worrisome to me.  I think it is very easy for a Top to go from “it can’t be prevented, so why try to prevent it?” to “I can’t help you with this, so I’m not even going to try to provide aftercare,” and while I could possibly forgive the lack of an attempt to forestall it when you have a partner that you know such attempts will not work for, I cannot condone any action that does not hold the Top responsible for follow-up aftercare when subdrop begins to take hold, even if it is days or weeks after the scene that brought it about.

Subdrop often happens as a result of deeply ingrained and somewhat opaque psychological factors that exist beyond the ability of the bottom to control or often to even understand. To be unprepared to deal with the consequences of invoking such a thing is dangerous and harmful.

However – there are some common precautions that you can take which can reduce the likelihood or severity of the subdrop which may occur.  These are some of the things that you can do:
  1. Be consistent and forecast your scene
  2. Be emotionally available during and after the scene
  3. Provide adequate warm-up
  4. Allow for come-down time after the scene and before attempting to re-integrate with normal reality
  5. Be available for aftercare – and make it known that you will be after you part ways

Subdrop occurs most commonly well after the scene is over and you have left the dungeon or parted ways with your partner.  This is not to say that it does not occur even when you stay together throughout the process (and I have first-hand experience and several other accounts besides to state that it does) but a common theme in the cases that I have seen or been informed of is that this is something that happens after the scene is over and an attempt to return to normalcy takes place, even if all parties involved remain in contact throughout via physical or some sort of digital or telephonic means.

I don’t want to belabor these points incessantly, but the first one – in bold – really is the most important from what I’ve been able to gather.  Subdrop can come about as a result of, or be exacerbated by, a feeling of a lack of support from the Top. This can happen as a result of the bottom not feeling like they will be supported through whatever emotional or psychological turmoil they encounter – which can happen if they feel like they will not get the support they need, but is most definitely increased when they feel like they do not know what to expect from the beginning.  And it is this necessary grounding that makes consistency so important.

Consensual non-consent scenes are – in my not-so-very-humble opinion – some of the hottest scenes that are possible, and during such scenes, it will not be possible to remain consistent as you may normally be, but this is a further argument (among the many that I have already made) that such scenes should only be attempted by persons who have had time to establish a durable trust between them.  For all non-CNC scenes, and most especially scenes with persons who are new to you, I would strongly recommend that you negotiate all points up front, that each transition be preceded by obvious cues about what is going to occur.

This level of attention – remaining consistent with established or negotiated behavior, being emotionally present (as long as your dynamic allows for such), providing adequate physical warm-up (which is also important in helping your s-type to achieve subspace), allowing for time after the most intense aspects of the scene before you try to re-engage with the ‘real world’, and remaining obviously available in the hours, days, and weeks that follow the scene can go a very long way to removing the anxiety that can precipitate subdrop, or in ameliorating the deleterious effects of the condition when it occurs.  Because it is important to remember – no matter what you do, there will be occasions where subdrop occurs, and to have such a thing happen does not mean that you are incompatible as a Top/bottom pair, or that there is anything wrong with the scene or with either participant’s actions.

Personally – I have experienced this (as the Top) through the feelings and actions of my submissive partner on more than one occasion.  Despite all attempts to reduce the likelihood of subdrop occurring and employing extreme patience as it relates to before and after-scene care, my submissive partner occasionally becomes extremely agitated and even downright hostile in the days following a scene – even when the scene might not be particularly intense.  However, armed with the understanding that this sometimes just happens, despite our best efforts to avoid it, and knowing that we have the patience and skills to deal with it when it does occur, we are steadfastly able to weather these things and to continue to maintain our close relationship even through the worst of events like this.   For some people, encountering subdrop can mean that they won’t want to do another scene with you, and should that occur, you must respect that, but if you follow the above guidelines you can help to avoid it, or if you cannot avoid it, you can turn the experience into something that creates or strengthens your bond – rather than detracting from it.

There are also physical things that can be done to reduce the long-term impact of an intense scene.  Especially in the case where there is bruising or deep-tissue impacts, it is important to remember to drink lots of fluids, get enough calories, and get lots of rest.  Treat the aftermath of an intense scene like getting the flu – you can’t necessarily make the impact go away any faster, but you can do some things to improve your body’s ability to heal.   So far – I’ve talked mostly about subdrop and the title of this piece is Examining subspace and subdrop – so where is all of the information about subspace?   Well – thank you for sticking with me this far…  the two things are more closely related than I would have initially thought – or at least, so they seem to be in the things that I have learned through personal experience and the experiences that have been shared with me.

Many of the emails that I receive talk about both of these conditions – and I suppose it makes sense that they would be linked in the minds of participants – but it wasn’t until I started to receive those emails that I really linked them in my own mind very strongly.  Of course, there is some intrinsic linkage in the words themselves, and I may have polluted my results by calling out the difference between the two things explicitly in my post on subspace – where I mention subdrop but don’t yet define it.  And yet, linked though they may be, they do not have to occur together, and I have received a proportionally higher number of comments and questions about subdrop than I have subspace – though both seem to be of very high interest for people who identify as s-types.

Subspace, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the BDSM sense of the term, refers to the altered mental state that an s-type can encounter when submitting or being driven to the point of forced submission through pain, either in scene or as part of a perpetual D/s dynamic.

When I have previously spoken about subspace, it was with a certain amount of naïveté and limited by my own personal experiences with the subject. For me, it has almost universally been connected with a very powerful D/s dynamic – but I have received many emails and comments that point out the fact that this can happen even in purely S/m dynamics, where there is perhaps a brief power exchange, but that the primary avenue for attaining subspace comes from a purely physical and Sadomasochistic approach, and that no psychological or emotional exchange needs to take part.

I find this fascinating – for reasons not the least of which is the fact that this has never worked for me in this way.  I have guided many submissive partners to subspace, employing a variety of different means – everything from just modulating the timber of my voice and changing the content of what I am saying to brutally beating my submissive bottom to the point of physical and emotional overload – but these have always included an element of psychological power exchange for me.  So strong was this connection in my own mind that I think I actually dismissed the first dozen or so messages that I received telling me that this power exchange element was not necessary to their own path to subspace.  I think I thought that the two mental states – what I thought of as subspace and what these people were telling me about – were two separate notions entirely.


One of my friends is a neurologist, and he wrote an excellent piece on the effect of physical contact – both ‘rough’ and ‘sensual’ – on neurotransmitters in the brain, and how those might help to explain how it is possible for some people to achieve the transition from what I often refer to as ‘crisis mind’ into a comfortable state of subspace.  I am leery of making connections from here to fetlife – but less leery of going the other direction – and if you are interested in reading that post, please reach out to me directly and I can send you a link.


I mention this because it is a good example of the physiological components that go into making subspace work – something for which I am not really qualified to speak.  However, my own focus has nearly always been on the psychological aspects of what causes subspace, and I feel slightly more comfortable with those terms.

I do believe that there is a common misconception that subspace requires physical contact – and especially intense physical contact at that.  It is commonly referred to as ‘flying’ or as a ‘bottom-high’ and it shares an awful lot in common with what you might experience when you talk about a “runner’s high”.


The descriptions that you hear from people are all very consistent with this: they describe feeling ‘spacey’ or ‘floaty’, they talk about feeling as though they are somehow detached from their own body, that the sensations of pain that normally accompany deep impact are temporarily replaced with nudges to the psyche that merely reinforce the already existing connection with your body – but that are not painful of themselves any longer.  One submissive from my past has described it as something akin to this – I am paraphrasing – “I feel like I am closer to one-ness with the universe, everything around me is awash with a pleasurable glow, and each hit lets me know that I am still attached to my body, but also sends me into a higher orbit – further from my own center, yet paradoxically closer to the center of everything.” But not everyone experiences something quite so profound. For some people it is merely a warming sensation that travels throughout the body and makes the pain easier to take, while for others, there are very few physical components at all, if any, and it is instead a significant alteration of their view of reality – it becomes more difficult to focus on any one thing in particular, but nuance of things that might normally go unnoticed becomes more profound.


If this sounds a bit like a chemically induced altered mental state – that is probably because there is good evidence to show that it actually is.  The neurotransmitters involved are all of the usual suspects: dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, oxytocin, and epinephrine. The physical and psychological things that we do cause these to be released in different than normal amounts, and the way that the brain interprets these things can lead to altered perception.


And so – while I have always felt that some form of psychological power exchange was necessary for me to help my s-type achieve this state – I did, until relatively recently, also believe that physical contact was necessary to induce it.  However – personal experience as well as anecdotal evidence in the form of messages sent to me shows that this is not the case at all.


I have known others for which this was also the case, but it is particularly potent with my current submissive partner.  I can induce a state of subspace for her with nothing more than a look or a word delivered at the right time, with the right pitch to my voice, and the right intention behind it.  I can induce her to orgasm from across the room with nothing more than a look and a command, and while orgasm and subspace are also not intrinsically linked – they do seem to occupy a lot of the same space in the brain… because, let us not forget, every experience that we have can be reduced to nothing more than the interaction of a few networks of neurons with the networks that control the things to which we are consciously aware.  The potential for mind-numbing (literally) pleasure exists within your brain at all times – it only requires some sort of catalyst to bring it to bear, and while chemicals that affect the synapses and can cross the blood-brain barrier are certainly the simplest way to achieve this – the brain is fully capable of reproducing every single one of those experiences with nothing external added at all.

For every aspect of subdrop that seems something to avoid, there is a complementary aspect for subspace that is clearly worthy as an ideal to pursue.  And so – this leads some people to chase it.   However, just as there are no surefire ways to avoid subdrop, there is no surefire recipe for creating an experience of subspace.  There are a few things that can help though:
  1. Be consistent and forecast your scene
  2. Be emotionally available during and after the scene
  3. Provide adequate warm-up
  4. Allow for come-down time after the scene and before attempting to re-integrate with normal reality
  5. Be available for aftercare – and make it known that you will be after you part ways
 
Hmm – that list looks familiar, doesn’t it?

I admit – that is partly just a somewhat clumsy attempt to create a neat tie-in on my part… it isn’t explicitly important to the fostering of a subspace reaction that you have adequate come-down or aftercare planned for, but I do believe that they contribute to the thing which is the most important for that to occur… …and this is the real epiphany for me here.  While I never really made the explicit link between subspace and subdrop in my mind, and while I have firsthand knowledge that not every person experiences both (some lucky souls get to fly and never drop, while some unluckier ones end up the opposite way), the data that I have gathered and that have been provided to me have shown me the common thread:

Treating your submissive partner well, establishing trust over a long-enough period of time, and consistently working to maintain that trust will work to both establish a strong foundation for subspace to occur within and limit or reduce the intensity of subdrop if and when it occurs.

I have stated it elsewhere before and in slightly different terms, but this remains one of my strongest truths: Trust is the foundation of all things BDSM and the cornerstone of any functional relationship.  The deeper your trust, and the more you work to achieve and maintain it, the stronger the bonds and sensations you open yourself up to and can achieve.

The deeper the trust that you have, the harder you can push things, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  The harder you can push things, the deeper into the realm of the mind you can go, and the more of those all-important neurotransmitters you can coax out of the body and into the brain.

It will never be the case that I can look across the room and say, “cum for me,” to just any person and have it work, and while it will never be the case that I can tie just any person to the cross and beat her for an hour to have her flying high, both of those things can occur for me very easily as a result of the time and effort that I have invested with the people in my life.

When I’m asked for a recipe on how to achieve subspace, I still maintain that there is no one path to get you there – that it isn’t even necessarily possible for every person to get there at all – but that the most certain way to accomplish this is through applying the things that I value most: patience, persistence, and trust – along with a heaping help of Dominance and physicality.   –  Rant

My Personal Journey : Part 8

Mistress Simone was confusing – at times she seemed entirely without compassion.  I do not know the full details of her operation, and in retrospect, that is a very good thing, but I did catch glimpses from time to time – especially when she left town on one occasion after I’d been in place for a few months and I took it upon myself to look after what I could – in an ill-fated attempt to impress her.  I do know that the weight of keeping things running smoothly got to her from time to time, and I do know that anxiety was one of her demons as well.

But sometimes, she was incredibly caring and empathetic.  She seemed to always know what was going to happen before it did.  She not only seemed to know the specific details of what would occur, but she seemed to always know how I would feel too.  There was brief period of time where I entertained the notion that she could actually see into the future, but that wasn’t it at all, she was just a master of understanding the human condition, of reading the desires of people and finding ways to fulfill them.  It was as skill that she attempted to impart on me – and one that I would like to think that I have become adept at myself.

On this particular occasion – I didn’t even know that I needed support, but Simone did, and she was there for me.  

I had just met with my first client, Mary, (the details of which you can read about here, if you wish) and it had gone amazingly well.  Subsequent meetings with other clients, and even with Mary herself, did not always go so well. I was very fortunate to have had the first time experience that I did – something which I suspect Simone had specifically engineered, but I do not know for certain, and as I said, Mistress Simone was often confusing.

I was confused to see Mistress Simone when she showed up at my door after I’d run around tidying and getting clean after Mary had left.  I was certain that I’d done something wrong to earn her visit, but she had something else in mind.

She walked into my apartment, looking stunning as always, and not knowing what else to do, I dropped to my knees in front of her.  She looked at me, but walked past me to go sit at on the edge of my bed and placed her hands to her sides at the edge and regarded me.

“Rant. You did nothing wrong. Stand up and come over here with me…”

I stood up and walked over to the base of the steps below where my bed was.  Even sitting as she was, her head was level with mine as I stood below. Not knowing what else to do, I stood there at parade rest and regarded her.  She was dressed more casually than I was used to seeing her, in a lengthy flowing skirt and a loose-fitting top. Normally, her clothing was tight, fitted perfectly, or she was wearing little more than underwear, but now she looked … ordinary.  It was unsettling.

“How did it go?”

I wasn’t sure how to answer.  I felt like it had gone very well, but was considerably less sure of that after being visited by Mistress Simone.  I began to go over events in my mind, disassembling them and looking for all of the points of failure along the way.  I was about to answer with a list of perceived faults, when Simone interrupted me.

“No, don’t answer now…  It’s okay.  Come, kneel at my feet, toy.”

I did as she asked, stepping up onto the platform where my bed rested, and knelt to the right side of her.  She scooted over a bit to the right and centered herself around me, and then spread her legs and motioned for me to come closer, so I knee-walked until I was kneeling between her legs, and then she patted the inside of her thigh and I somehow knew that she wanted me to rest my head there, so I knelt lower, and then rested my head on her thigh as she began to pet my hair.

Mistress Simone’s skirt was split up the sides, which is something that I didn’t really notice until she sat and spread her legs, allowing her bare thighs to protrude from the sides, one of which my face was now pressed against as I tried to look up into her face and she pet my hair, which invariably caused my face to turn towards her body – and her pussy – instead.  At first, I kept trying to crane my head up to look into her face as I lay there, my whole body tense with the weird angles required to accomplish such a thing. Once I started to say something, to ask my Mistress questions about what she wanted from me, what I should be doing, because to just be kneeling there, leaning against my bed and her thigh, having her pet my hair, was making me anxious.  I felt like I had done something to displease her, I thought that I should be doing something differently…

Opening my mouth to speak the questions that were flooding my mind, I changed my posture slightly, and it became clear that despite her silence, Mistress Simone was watching me intently, because the moment that my mouth began to open, she shifted her hand from petting me, to wrap around my jaw and gently push my mouth back closed.  When she moved her hand away for a moment, I began to open my mouth yet again, and she repeated the same action, with the same levels of both deliberation and tenderness. Once again, she moved her hand away, and when I did not try to open my mouth again, she resumed petting my hair. I still had no idea what to do, and my anxiety was making me restless.  I shifted in my position on my knees, and when I moved, Mistress Simone’s hand would stop.

After several minutes of this – what seemed like an inordinately long period of time – I eventually reasoned that she wanted me to just relax and be there, kneeling loosely, head on her thigh, with her petting my hair.  Eventually, I did just that, letting go of the tension, relaxing into my lean against the bed and her thigh, allowing myself to feel the comfort present in her strokes of my hair.

My breathing slowed, I could feel my body temperature dropping, and the anxiety that I had been holding on to – all afternoon at least, perhaps all day – finally began to flow out of me.  I felt grounded for the first time in a long time, peaceful in a way that I had only experienced a few times in my life before, and those were all what one could only properly describe as ‘religious’ experiences.  It may be the closest I ever really came to feeling in subspace myself, and perhaps it actually was, but it was fleeting, and replaced by the most unexpected of things for me at that time.

I began to cry.

I don’t mean that I sat silently as tears streamed down my face as I am oft wont to do today, nor that I was overcome by emotion to the degree that I commonly see in people when they try to hide their tears from me.  This was crying of a primordial sort. A part of me broke in that moment, and I sobbed.  Eventually, it became impossible to stay as I was, the sobs causing me to curl into a ball at Mistress Simone’s feet, uncomfortably straddling the top step up to my bed and the floor in front of it.  

I don’t know for how long I cried, and I don’t know for how long Mistress Simone petted my hair and wouldn’t let me speak before I began to cry, but I was on the floor crying for what felt like a very long time.  I could not control my body, and I must have looked a fright with tears and snot when I finally did look up again to note that Mistress Simone was no longer sitting on my bed. I pushed myself up to look around and noticed Mistress Simone in the kitchen area, working on something as I glanced over to the clock to see that about an hour and a half had passed since she arrived at my door – significantly longer than I was expecting to find, even though it had felt like a long time to me.  In retrospect, I wonder if I didn’t fall asleep for a short time somewhere in between beginning to cry and looking to see Simone no longer above me.

I completed pushing myself up into a sitting position on the stairs where I could see well into the kitchen and my senses began to return to me.  I cleaned the snot and tears from my face as best I could with my hands and the ends of my shirt and focused my attention the smell, sound, and sights from my kitchen.

Mistress Simone was in my kitchen, cooking.  It was something that I never expected to see, and something that I would never see again.  She looked over at me and smiled – which was also something that I did not often see from her.

“It’s funny how the smell of breakfast food always seems to bring the attention of the exhausted and the forlorn,” she said in my general direction as she was plating the eggs that she had just been cooking and putting the mixing bowl and pan in the sink for me to clean later.

She pushed the plate across the island towards me and indicated it with her hand as she said, “Rant.  Eat.  Please. You need the calories and comfort.”

I wordlessly rose to walk over to the place she indicated, pulling a bar stool over to sit on as I did so.  I settled onto the chair and looked over at her, unsure of what I should be feeling, of whether or not I was doing the right things, worried that my emotional outburst was going to put me on the outs with her, thinking about three hundred different things all at once.

“Stop,” she said, reading the anguish on my face. “Just stop, Rant.   You have done well today. You have done extremely well.  I am pleased with you today, and I am certain that this will become easier for you with time.”

I instantly felt relief.  I was still emotionally raw, and I still did not really understand what it was that I was feeling or why I was crying the way that I was, but I did at least know, in that moment, that I had not displeased her or somehow screwed up, and that was enough.  The relief must have been obvious in my posture, face, and voice as I looked up again at Mistress Simone and asked her, “How did you know?”

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, honestly.  Every person is a little bit different. What you just went through was an intense experience to cap more than a week of increasingly intense experiences, and it would be surprising if you didn’t show any weakness anywhere along the way.”

That word.  Weakness.  It took the wind right out of my sails again, and it was probably evident in my posture because it was immediately rebuked in compassionate, but certain terms, “Rant. Stop.  You must not let every minor nit turn into a major upheaval. I gave you your kudos, and I will continue to do so for now, but while this episode was understandable and will be excused, you must not let yourself get carried so far away again, do you understand?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Now eat your eggs.  I’m not much of a cook, and I can count the number of times I’ve cooked for a man – my husband included – on the fingers of one hand still, but you have performed very well and I am very proud of you and you deserve something special.”

“Thank you, Mistress,” I said with ecstasy as I began to dig in to my eggs.  It was only then that I recognized that there was no other plate; that Mistress Simone had cooked for me in my own kitchen, and only for me.  It was not that she intended to eat and was allowing me to have the surplus of her portion, she was doing this as a service to me, and it felt strange and wonderful all at once.  

The eggs were not particularly good – simply scrambled with some salt and pepper, but the method in which they were delivered ensured that they were among the very best that I had ever had.

“These are delicious, Mistress,” I said, with complete honesty.

“I do expect flattery and devotion, pet, but I will not tolerate dishonesty – you are not being dishonest with me, are you, toy?”  she asked me, with just a hint of a smirk.

“Oh, no!  I swear, Mistress!  I don’t even like eggs, and these are amazing!”

“You don’t like eggs, and yet, these are amazing?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“It’s a good thing that you’re adorable, Rant, because sometimes the shit that comes out of your mouth is just completely unbelievable.”

“Mistress?”

“Nevermind.  It is not important.  I am pleased that you are enjoying them, and more pleased that you are eating them.”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Please be sure to drink lots of water,” she said as she grabbed a glass and filled it from the tap to place in front of me, “and do not get used to this sort of treatment.  I expected you to have an emotional reaction, and you did. I expected you to do well with Mary, and by her accounts, you did – though we will talk later about what you should and should not reveal to my clients.  I expected you to be just as you are, and I was not disappointed.” She said the last with an air of finality to it that left me feeling a little off-balance.

“Thank you, Mistress,” was all I finally managed to get out, after what was probably too long a period of time to be comfortable for either of us.

At this, Mistress Simone gathered herself up, stood taller – though I had not noticed that she was not keeping her normal, extremely rigid posture until just this point – and looked me square in the eyes with the largely unemotional gaze to which I became accustomed.

“I will leave the dishes for you to do, Rant.  I am glad that I was able to give you this time after your client today, but this is not likely to be something that can happen again.  You will need to be able to be resilient and care for yourself moving forward. Do you understand, Rant?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Good,” she said as she walked to the door, grasping the handle and looking back at me before opening the door.  “You really did do well today, toy. Keep this up, and I foresee a long and fruitful partnership.”

“Thank you, Mistress,” I beamed at her as she opened the door and disappeared behind it.

I sat there, on the barstool, in front of an empty plate and an empty water glass for quite some time, examining the thoughts and feelings and visuals that played themselves over and over again in my mind, wondering at the sort of partnership that Mistress Simone was speaking of, and wondering at my own emotions and whether or not I could continue to do this.  But ultimately, I decided that I could – I could do anything – for her.

I still don’t really know what possessed me to do so, but I pulled all the bedding off of my bed and slept in it on the floor that night.  I remember waking early in the morning hours, having forgotten to close the blinds the night before and with the glare of morning coming in.  I remember feeling like I was completely alone in the world, with no one beside me apart from Simone – but in that moment, that felt right, comfortable, even good.

My schedule was clear for that day, but that would be the last day that I had to myself for a very long time afterwards.

 

Words have power

My life is awesome.

What appears below the fold, after this entry (and now encapsulated as a part of it), is a piece of writing that I first posted to my fetlife account about five months ago.

In it, I recount a rather simple change in the way that I interact with the world.  I literally changed one phrase that I commonly uttered to another phrase that had exactly the same meaning in my own mind, but where the words that I used to express it were different – in a rather fundamental way.

Think of this as the update that I hinted at with the original fetlife post – and a way for those of you who do not know me on fetlife to catch up to an important change in the ways that I perceive and interact with the world.

Six months ago, when my friends would ask me, “Rant – how are you doing?”  my response would likely have been, “I’m alive.”

Six months ago, when my friends would remark on how well things appeared to be going for me, I would agree with them, but I would say, “Yeah, my life doesn’t suck.”

Six months ago, my trademark method of self-expression was to use understatement as a means of conveying my real feelings.  If I were to ever say something like, “It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye,” what I would really mean is, “It’s fucking amazing.”

It was an inside joke.  It was a ‘clever’ way to express myself without overextending myself.  I felt like those that really knew me would know the difference, and it would mean that I was somehow at least understood a little bit by a small number of people in a way that is not obvious to the uninitiated, and for some reason, that was important to me.

But, fuck, was it a limitation on how awesome my life could really get… and that was something that I completely failed to anticipate.

In the past several months, I’ve taken that narrative and completely rewritten it.

When my friends ask, “Rant – how are you doing?” I emphatically reply, “My life is awesome!”  and I mean it.  

When my friends remark on how well things are going for me, I don’t respond with, “Yeah, my life doesn’t suck.”  Instead, I say, “Yeah, I know! My life is fucking amazing!” and I mean it.

Oh sure, I have off days.  Today is kind of an off day.  Life has been keeping me very busy, and while 90% of those things are wonderful (at least for me) and I would not trade places with anyone I know or even that I know of, not every day is perfect.  

I wish I had more time to write.

I wish I could finish Part 8 of My Personal Journey (and Part 9, and 10, and however many more parts it will take to finish).  I wish I had time to compose the follow-up to my piece on subspace that I’ve been tinkering with for years. I wish I had time to write general responses to some of the questions that I receive in email rather than just barely keeping up with responding within a week or so on an individual basis.  I wish I had time to finish the novel that I have decided to complete and try to get published before the end of next year. But the things that keep me away from doing the things that I want to are just some of the most amazing and wonderful things I could ask for…

I am living a life of embarrassing riches in terms of love and joy.  I have the respect and support of dozens of people in personal, romantic, and professional capacities.  People want to be around me.  

This is not exactly new – but my previous self-deprecating behavior was serving as a barrier to forming new connections and standing in the way of expanding or strengthening those that existed.  My confidence and competence were always there, but my demeanor was standoffish or aloof or even anti-social and it was limiting me in ways that I didn’t even understand.

Words have power.

I’ve known this for a long time.  I’m a writer, after all.  And even before I could recognize that, I always had the capacity to be persuasive and elicit responses in the people with whom I would interact should I choose to make the effort – I just rarely did… and I have no idea why.

Perhaps I was afraid of rejection – that was certainly at least part of the problem.  While I’ve always had reasonably high self esteem – years of social pressure to be like someone I am not turned me into a bitter and angry man at points of my life, and even when I thought I was out from under the weight of those things, when I thought that the stark depression that kept me holed up inside my house for days at a time was gone for good, I was still not realizing my potential because I was holding back.  I was holding back with my actions, and I was holding back with my words, and I was holding back with my emotions.

Deciding to never hold anything back any longer and believing that I have the power to overcome any awful thing that life might throw at me, and then proving it to myself, over and over again, with everyday annoyances and life-shattering realizations, was the thing that opened the world to me.

I am living my on my terms now – and part of the reason for that was really just as simple as choosing more carefully the words that I say.

It’s been awhile since I’ve said it, but I am Rant.

This was neither a rant nor a story nor a lesson, and it may be ultimately nothing more than a piece of mildly masturbatory self-praise, but it is my truth for now, and my life is awesome.

What follows is the text of the original fetlife post.  There are reasons why I won’t link from here to there, but I will likely repost this to fetlife as well and link there to here.  Feel free to drop me an email if you’d like to understand the reasons why or if you’d just like to let me know that personal stories like this are something you actually care to read – or use the comment form below.  

I will find a way to carve out more time for Part 8 soon – do not despair.

Until then – I remain…

 – Rant


My life does not suck.

It’s a mantra… almost a catch-phrase. It’s a common part of my personal vernacular, and it’s undoubtedly true. I use it to express pleasure.

But words have meaning, you know?

My life does not suck is the thing that I tell my friends when I am happy.

I say My life does not suck when I realize that the choices I have made have led me to a place, or a person, or an event where I feel at home.

But a friend recently pointed out to me that there is a kernel buried deep within that phrase – that it conveys doubt or uncertainty.

At first I blew him off – I don’t mean anything bad by the phrase, I see it as a refutation of a state that feels unpleasant. I see it as a positive affirmation of my choices and direction.

But words have meaning, you know?

Yesterday, before meditating, this was one of the last thoughts to pass through my mind. An offhand comment at a party where I had a hard time hearing over the din led to days of percolating thoughts and introspection.

I kind of love it when things like that happen.

They give me a chance to see the things that are hidden from my attention, but that have an effect on me, my presentation to the world, and even how I see myself at a subconscious level.

To say My life does not suck is the bare minimum above My life sucks.

Does this mean that I am afraid, most of the time, that my life does suck?

I do often feel misplaced, like I don’t fit anywhere, like no one will ever really understand me. This community accepts me, but still does not understand me. The moments when I feel like I belong are few and far between, but I fake it as best I can.

Am I contributing to that feeling with the words that I use, even if the meaning is completely distinct in my own mind?

I’m still not sure, but while my life does not suck, from now on I think I am going to say My life is awesome! instead – even when I am not feeling quite that strongly that it does.

We shall soon see what difference, if any, this makes…

 

I am easy to love, but I am challenging to be in love with.

These are the confessions of a powerful polyamorous slut.

I am happy. I am in complete control of my life and I cannot foresee anything that might change that. I feel competent to deal with anything that life can throw at me.

I have grown and changed every year of my life, and I have been proud of the man I am for some time now, but I still discover new things about myself and sometimes those things are significant.

Struck by this realization as I was, it slipped into place so easily that I recognize this as something that I have known for some time but masked from my own perception.

I am easy to love, but I am very challenging to be in love with.

I am open and caring and honest and innocent and eager and overwhelming and arrogant and selfish and demanding and safe and nurturing and horny and wicked and brutal and oh-so-fucking-smart, and I do not hold back on any of these things.

When I am in love with you, the world ceases to exist when you are in my presence. You become the focus of all of the attention I can bring to bear.

I will be open and caring and honest and innocent and eager and overwhelming and arrogant and selfish and demanding and safe and nurturing and horny and wicked and brutal to you.

I am happy, and if you were in love with me, you would be too.

But I am an unrepentant slut.

I am easy to love, because I love so very easily, and honestly, and completely.

And when you are in love with me, this will be challenging.

I will make you feel special, because you are special.

I will make you feel happy, because it is difficult to be unhappy around someone who is so very happy themselves. Misery loves company, but it hates competition.

I will make the things that you despise about yourself okay and I will make the things that you love about yourself super-powers.

I will focus all of my unbridled enthusiasm right at you and I’ll use it to mold you into what I desire.

I will convince you that you are the most important person in my universe, all the while telling you about how I feel the very same way about someone else in my past, present, or future.

Time itself will take on special properties when I am around.

And then I will leave.

Not forever. Not even for more than is necessary, but it will still be difficult.  I will return, because this wasn’t an ending – there are no endings in my life anymore – but the distances of space and time will be painful.

You will remember that all of those things that I made you feel – I am making someone else feel some of the times that you are not around.

And it will all feel like a lie.

But nothing was false. Nothing was untrue. Everything that you felt was real, and continues to be real in my mind – forever.

I am easy to love because I love you already.

I am challenging to be in love with because I love openly, fearlessly, and it will not always be directed at you.

But I will never stop loving you – I never have.