Category Archives: love

Stasis

I know, dear reader…

I promised you that December would bring the end of NaNoWriMo and that I would assail you multitudes of new posts, topics ranging wide and that these would assume a more normal cadence once more.

However, life has a way of interrupting our plans, does it not?

I’m living in stasis at the moment, caught between possibilities and unable to move – analysis paralysis is the term most often applied to the same situation in a business setting, I believe.

The situation at hand requires emotional intelligence to resolve, and whenever I bring it to mind, my emotions retreat entirely, leaving me unable to process things.

And so I wait.

I am purposely omitting details, but rest assured that my health is superb, I continue my physical recovery, perhaps even at a quicker pace than before as this event, or impending event, I’m not quite sure which, has nearly sapped my appetite completely and I’m losing weight as I choose to not eat.

But I have the weight to lose – I’m still over my ideal weight as a result of my car accident which is now more than three years past.

My doctor has been after me to lose weight for some time, he thinks it might help with my pain, so he will probably be pleased when next I see him, though I will probably omit for him the reasons as well.

My emotional health is on hold.  I make no progress forward or back, as I am stuck.

But I am still here.

And I am still Rant.

Rant off.

Hurting My little

Before I begin, I’m going to be knocking an important post down by posting this, so if you have not yet, please go read : Practicing What You Preach

Thank you.

********* 

Relationships are hard.

Nonmonogamy is hard.

This seems to be a recurring theme in my life right now.  If you click the links over there to the left where I list ‘Blogs I Read’ you’ll find that the front page posts for two of them deal with variations on this theme.

I am in a nonmonogamous relationship because I do believe that no one person can fill all of the needs of another.  I believe that it is impossible to be everything to someone for the long haul.  In the beginning parts of a relationship, when NRE is strong, you can easily overlook the things that are missing in the light of all of the fantastic that is currently going.

That is a pretty easy concept to embrace when the point is academic, or possibly even when it is you selfishly seeking a need that you aren’t getting met currently, but it’s a bit more of a struggle when you have to realize that it is you who is unable to meet that need in your partner.

I’m in love with my partner.

Nine months ago, I could not say those words, much less write them in a publicly accessible place where anyone from teh interwebs(misspelling intentional) could read them.

It’s true though.  I love her.

And I can’t be everything that she needs.

And intellectually I’m okay with that.

I want her to have other friends, other confidants, other lovers, other play partners.  I want her to be healthy and happy and the best her that she can be. 

I try to help focus her where I can, and while I don’t always succeed, I think on balance I do a decent job.  But she has needs that I cannot satisfy.

I’ve talked a little bit about this before in my post Owning the Object of Your Affection, where I wrote this:

Semantics sorted, we’re left with a modicum of understanding about what this ‘love’ thing is, at least in Rant’s mind.

So – for possibly the first time in Rant’s life, he finds himself in love.

Please forgive that brief and annoying use of the third person to describe myself, but those concepts are so foreign to how I perceived the world a scant few months ago that I find it difficult to express in any other way, but here’s the defining statement for you: I believe that I have found the love of my life.

The emphasis is new, but appropriate.

But it’s been a few months since then and things are coming into short relief right now.

And I do mean right now.

As I write this, she’s out on a date with a guy that I haven’t met, but from everything that I can tell, he’s a great guy.  I’ll meet him someday soon, and I’m sure that when I do, we’ll be fast friends.  My partner has a type, and we’re both slightly different specimens of that type, so either we’ll be great friends or bitter enemies, and I have every incentive to make sure that it comes out the former rather than the latter.  She likes him; she may even love him someday, and I’m intellectually okay with that.

But then there’s the feels.

My partner is my babygirl.  Our dynamic is not one of diapers and age-play in that vein, but she has a naturally bubbly personality and she is happiest when she is channelling her inner child, her little, to use the appropriate nomenclature of the BDSM world.  And I am happiest when I am being Protector and nurturing, so we naturally fall into one of the classic Daddy/babygirl archetypes – of which there are several.

However, when I am in Daddy headspace, I cannot hurt my little.  I simply cannot bring myself to do it.  My body stops.  My mind spirals away into cuckoo land.  My dick goes limp, my limbs get heavy, and I simply can’t lift my twitchy palm.

I love my partner and I have a hard enough time hurting her when I am not in Daddy headspace, but when I’m there, I just can’t do it.  And when she is little, I go into Daddy headspace automatically.

I am not a Sadist, and I never get pleasure from inflicting pain, but sometimes I like to be a Fluffy Service Top(™) and provide pain for those that require it, and when I do, I can be brutal.  I can slap you so hard that you think you left a tooth or an eyeball behind.  I can leave bruises on you that will last for weeks.  I can grind your shoulder into the carpet until it bleeds and seeps for days.  These are not things that I need to do, but they are things that she needs to feel, and I cannot provide them.

And it’s not that I don’t care for the women for whom I am able to provide this service – sometimes I care for them quite deeply, else I’d not put myself into FST mode – but I’m not in Daddy headspace then and I’m not in love.

This other guy can do that for her.

And for that I am grateful.

And I’m also jealous.

And I’m afraid.

And I’m happy too…

Compersion is a weird thing.

So, she is, right now, with this guy, my friend-to-be, getting her needs met, and I’m feeling happy and afraid and jealous all at the same time.

Because I love my partner.

Because I love my little.

Because I cannot hurt my little, but someone else can, and that will help to make her the best her than she can be.

I love you, my sweet angel.

Rant off.

Pain – the nonconsensual kind

Three years ago I was in a car accident.

I was the last car in a line of cars trying to merge from one freeway to another when a guy in Ford Econoline E350 work van was driving along, texting on his cell phone and not paying attention to where he was going.

I was at a dead stop.

He was going 55 miles per hour (that was the CHP estimate, he was probably going faster…) and not looking in front of him.

I saw him coming at me in the rear view mirror.

I saw the back window buckle first.  It sort of got pushed up from the bottom and then it popped.

It’s kind of amazing how your perception of time changes in a moment like that…

I felt the shards of glass hit the back of my neck at about the same time I was aware of being pushed into the car in front of me and then the back of my seat collapsed, fell back, and was pushed up again by the hybrid system battery pack being forced through the seat behind me and pushing the car seat (empty – thank whatever gods there may be) into the back of my seat.

Then I became aware of the noise.

Somehow, the van careened off of the back corner of my vehicle and struck or was struck by a car in the lane to the left of me.  It was that car that t-boned me on the driver’s door.

I was flung forward against my seat belt at an angle and then bounced back to hit the post between the front and back seat with my head.

I don’t remember anything after that for what I’m told was about 35 minutes.

I regained consciousness with paramedics asking me if I could move my arms and legs and whether or not my neck and back hurt.

“Yes,” was my answer to all of the above.

I was proud of my succinctness, and amused but the whole situation.

The next thing I remember is one firefighter talking to another,

“Be careful there, this thing has side airbags.”

“It does?”

“Yeah, I don’t know why they didn’t go off, but you don’t want it breaking your arm if it decides to go off now.”

They decided the only course of action available to them was to cut the doors off and take out the post between the front and back seat.

I didn’t much care, I was just sort of floating there in space and time, aware of most of what was happening, but not really involved.

They tore the car apart, cut the seat belt off of me, cut my shirt off as well (it was wedged in something, I think..) and secured me to a board to carry to the ambulance.

The ride in the ambulance to the trauma center was interesting, but not really worth relating.   You imagine it being a smooth ride at high speed, but it was really mostly stop and very little go.

I had no idea how badly I was injured.  I am lucky to be alive.  I am grateful, every day, that my kids were not in the car with me at the time.  I had recurring nightmares about that for over a year.  I still occasionally do.

I have constant pain from my injuries.  I have not had a day completely free of pain since then, but most of the time it’s pretty manageable.

I broke my collarbone, cracked one of the vertebrae in my neck, broke three ribs, cracked my skull, got knocked unconscious for about half an hour, and suffered tremendous intra-muscular scarring as a result of tensing up right before the impact.

The bones have all healed by now, the soft-tissue and psychological damage remains though.

My car was totaled.  I was out of work for four months.  When I finally did go back, I had to take a different job that was closer to home because I couldn’t handle the commute.  I wasn’t able to pick my kids up for a year.

I’m a different person now.

I have some physical tics.  My back feels like it’s always tense, and that my spine needs to pop.  This causes me to lurch my shoulders and twist my back and neck several times an hour, and much of the time I’m not even aware that I’m doing it.

I get grumpy a lot.  I snap at people for things that don’t merit it sometimes.  Constant pain, even if it’s low-grade and manageable, wears on you like nothing I’ve experienced before.

I was addicted to opiates.

I kicked them, but I’ll always be dependent on over the counter drugs, TENS treatments, physical therapy, or something else in that vein.

I exist in a constant state of conscious suppression of my pain and the emotions that fall in its wake.

Usually, I can ignore it.  I can push past it.  I can act and appear as if it’s not bothering me, but it’s always there.

Patience is one of my super-powers, and without it, I’m certain that I’d be an angry and useless person.  I manage to live mostly in grace and love, and I am grateful for whatever it is within me that makes that possible.

I am stronger than I ever believed I could be, and I’m getting stronger every day.

Today isn’t a good day.  I have a lot of pain, and I’ve retreated into my own mind more than I normally have to, but I am still here, and I’m going to be here tomorrow.

There are people who love me.

There is one who is Devoted to me, and she made me dinner and sits here beside me, wanting to take my pain for me, and though I’m not a Sadist, sometimes I wish I could lend it to her for awhile.

I am fortunate.  I am strong.  I am alive.  I am Adored.

I am Rant.

Fear is the Mind Killer

I have trouble trusting people.

I’m going to write about trusting people, but what I’m really writing about is fear.

I don’t think he intended it to catch on as it did, but Frank Herbert nailed it when he put down the Bene Gesserit litany against fear:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. When it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

I have trouble trusting people because I am afraid.

I trust the wrong people, I trust people with the wrong things, and I don’t trust some of the people that I should with enough..

I deal with emotions differently from most people, but I still feel things.  I have love, I have happiness, I have hurt, I have anger, and I have fear.  I crave love and happiness, I deal with hurt, I address anger, but fear that is the thing that gets me.  Fear paralyses me.

If I can turn fear into anger, I can sit behind my fortress walls and calculate your devastation.  If I can turn fear into hurt, I can cry over it and be done with it in time.  If I can turn fear into happiness, well, I’ve just been on a roller coaster, and that’s pretty awesome.

If I could turn fear into love though… that would be the epiphany to rule my life.

I thought I did.. twice.

I gave my fears to a man who called himself Jubal and he showed me a family.  My own family was broken and my faith was shattered and I had no power to fix it, but I needed that feeling of belonging and he and his followers supplied it for me.  I thought I was a part of something, but in reality, I was objectified and used like any other object, to be tossed aside once I hit my expiration date.  Jubal took away my fears for a time, taking ownership of them as he took ownership of me, without my knowledge or consent about what was being done.  He gave me more things to fear in the end, not less.

I submitted to Simone and I thought that I was turning fear into love, but her betrayal was the hay hook that twisted into my gut and pulled my insides out, metaphorically speaking.  Her tutelage did not come without some benefits, and I cherish the experience she gave me as part of what has made me who I am today, but where she took some fears away, she replaced them with others, and it has taken me quite some time to get clear of those.

In each of these cases, I thought the path to turning fear into love lay at the hands of someone else.  I suspect that this forms the core of many D/s relationships.  I’m not convinced that I was wrong, but I’m not convinced that I was right either.  What I do know is that D/s will ultimately fail without absolute trust and transparency, and those things are difficult when fear is in play.

There are various people in my life that I have no choice in trusting, or that I trust with things to one degree or another, but I may still keep some secrets from.  I dislike secrets, but I’ve come to learn that sometimes keeping secrets protects the person that I’m keeping them from, and the burden of that secret becomes mine to bear.  For this reason I now avoid things that lead to a need to keep secrets at all.

Intimacy is built on trust, and can only be fully realized with someone that you trust completely, someone from whom you hide nothing – this is about transparency more than truth.

I have had my trust broken, as we all have, many times.  This is the thing that I find hardest to let go of, and it is the single largest source of anxiety and depression for me.  I worry about my trust being broken, I worry about my trust being used to take advantage of me, I worry about confiding something in someone and having it used against me by someone else, and when these things happen, because they have all happened to me, I am crushed.  Over and over again.

I think this might be the core reason why I prefer polyamory to monogamy, but that is a treatise for another day.

I spend an inordinate amount of my personal resources worried about a breach of my trust.  Because I tend to carefully choose who I trust and with what I trust them, this is something that happens rarely and something that I should not devote so much thought and energy towards, but I do, and it does happen.

It happened again yesterday.

Yesterday was a weird day.

I was coming down off of an amazing Sunday evening with my partner at a fancy hotel and fancy restaurant, where I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people who are deeply into the local scene and also – and much more importantly, in my opinion – incredibly intelligent and good conversationalists.  My partner and I had the fortune of being upgraded to a two bedroom suite, and since it was just the two of us, we invited a friend to come and use the second bedroom and make herself at home while we were away at dinner.  She’s been unhappy with her living arrangements, so the thought of a clean bed and bath all to herself was something that made her very happy, and I am always a fan of anything that can bring joy to others.

So – I’m coming down off of that great experience, and yesterday morning I also got to briefly see another good friend (who my partner and I will be having dinner with this evening) and everything seemed good with the world.

Then I learned that Robin Williams was dead from an apparent suicide.   He struggled with depression and the other myriad of problems that follow in its wake.  I liked the view of Robin Williams that I saw – I think almost everyone did – and I identified with his struggles to an extent.

I’ve long held that fame is the ultimate mind-fuck, and I don’t know that demon, and I’m glad that I don’t, but I had compassion for him, and his passing, especially in the manner in which it occurred, affected me more than I would have expected it to.

My partner was out of touch for most of the day, having her own things to deal with, and then was dealing with some extreme work-related stress of her own, so we haven’t had a chance yet to talk about my day yesterday and my struggles as I’m moving through today, but I know that we will, and that brings some comfort to me.  Missing her is getting harder as time moves on, and that scares me too.  Funny how that works, isn’t it?

But these things are all minor in contrast to the knife that hit my heart late last night.

I’m a parent.  If you read my About Me page, this is no surprise, but I have custody of my kids half of the time.  In the summer, this can be difficult because they don’t have school, but I still have to work.  This week they are staying with my mom, which is hard enough because I don’t get to see them during the week like I normally do, and I have some issues of trust with both of my parents, but especially with my father.

Before your imagination goes nuts, know that my kids are fine.  They are safe and happy and as far as I can tell, they are completely oblivious to my trust issues.

So – my parents are divorced.  They divorced when I was a freshman in undergrad and chose to hide this fact from me for months – basically until my fees came due (which they had told me that they would pay for me so that I could focus on school) and I called home to ask about them.  That’s when I learned that they would not be making good on their promise to me.  I actually knew about the separation and divorce filing long before they told me, because my sister was still at home at the time, distraught with the news, and reached out to me.  She swore me to secrecy on the point though, stating that they had told her they didn’t want me to know until after my finals.. we fail on communications as a family.

Anyway – the loss of their funding was a tough blow to bear, because while I’d held summer jobs since before I was old enough to drive, I had never been responsible for supporting myself entirely until that moment and it was scary.  But much worse than that, in the ensuing chaos of the separation and divorce and more, my father did something for which I still have not forgiven him, and I’m not sure that I ever will.  He took out student loans in my name – which I had no knowledge of – and kept the money for himself.  I found out about these when I matriculated and was asked to pay them off – a delayed financial blow that caused me extreme personal hardship when I could least afford it.  He refuses to acknowledge that he did this to this day, and has never made any effort at restitution, even attacking me for making the accusation despite confronting him with the paperwork.  So – for that and a plethora of other reasons, my father and I do not get along.

The largest part of this is mine, and I’ll own that.  I don’t trust him.  I don’t trust him to keep his word on anything – he has failed me too many times in the past.  I don’t trust him to even look after himself.  I have not seen him sober in ten years, maybe more.  But he is remarried and has a whole new family of codependent dysfunction, and it is everything he thrives on.  I would be happy for him if it wasn’t so toxic.

My mom is an alcoholic as well.  A high functioning one, perhaps, and generally she has a good heart and makes the right decisions as long as money is not involved, most of the time.  I had some difficulty in trusting her to be the responsible party for caring for my kids for an entire week because of her substance abuse problem, but she is splitting the time with my sister and she promised not to drink while she was the sole caretaker for them – a policy that I keep for myself as well.

My sister is crippled with anxiety and depression.  Where I stare into the abyss and wonder, she is still battling the call.  She is on a myriad of treatment plans, and I know she has a good heart, but she makes some of the worst decisions.. I wish I could empathize with her better to understand her motives sometimes, but I am none of the things that she is.  I am not female, I am not the second child, and I was not actually there when my parents dissolved their relationship.

I love my mom.  I love my sister.  I might love my father – I’m not so sure on that point, but I have always held to the belief that my children have a right to know him, so whenever he remembers that they exist, I try to make it possible for them to see him, but I always control the interaction because I do not trust the man.  I feel like he would look me in the eye, tell me that he loves me, and then literally stab me in the back if there was something in it for him.  I mean that I believe he would literally put a knife in me if there was something in it for him.  I truly think that he is a genuine sociopath, and not just for how he has treated me, but in witnessing his dealings with others for whom he is supposed to care.

So when I received a text message from my mother after 10:00pm last night asking me to call her, I responded quickly.

She had obviously been drinking.  She was not slurring her speech, and she was probably not even aware that she was under the influence, but she talked at me for nearly an hour, going over the same series of events again and again, informing me about how my sister had taken my kids to the park with my father and his new wife (of about 7 years now) without having consulted me on the issue first and lamenting the fact that she was in the middle of all of this.

My mother has never remarried.  She has not even really dated anyone since my father left.  She still – after more than 20 years – fosters a great deal of bitterness towards him and, by extension, his new wife, so I know that a great deal of the motivation behind her drinking and calling me was those feelings that she has not resolved.  She has always thrived on drama, and I think she actually needs it to feel anything at all.  I told her numerous times that I didn’t want her to do anything and that she was only in the middle of things between me and my father because she was putting herself there.  This is not the first time I’ve told her this, and I repeated myself four times again on the phone last night.

This morning, I received a number of irate text messages from my sister telling me all of the things that my mother accused her of after our conversation last night, despite the fact that I told my mother specifically that I would talk to my sister and that I did not want her to say anything to her.

Again… my family fails at communication.

I know that by 22:00 my kids were safely asleep and that even in her influenced state my mother could and would have called 911 if there was some catastrophe that were to emerge in the middle of the night, an event that is highly improbable anyway.  She was almost certainly coherent enough to parent, though probably not legal to drive.

But here I am, confronted by my familial failure at communications and betrayal on multiple fronts, and my first impulse was to hop in the car and retrieve my kids for the rest of the week – work be damned.

My mom should not have been drinking, and she should not have called me to try to pull me into all of this drama.

My sister should not have allowed my father to join them without asking me about it first (I would likely have said yes – provided she agreed to my ground rules – but can I trust her with those now?)

My father should not have solicited my sister to meet with my kids without consulting me about it first, directly.  He knows this, but he hasn’t contacted me in any form in over a year now, not even to talk to them, or to send them birthday cards, or anything like that.

Each of these things, individually, is a breach of my trust.

Each of these things, individually, is a cause for me to fear.

All together, I was nearly overwhelmed and I nearly did jump into the car to go retrieve them.  I’m not altogether certain that I won’t tonight.

And yet…

My kids were never really in any danger.  They are still young, just 6 and 8, but they are old enough to recognize bad situations and mostly to avoid them.  I’ve made certain that they both know my address and phone number, and that they know how to dial both a landline and a cell phone.  They know that they can call me at any time and I will drop everything to get them.

My sister did not leave them under the care of my father – I think that despite her desire to appease him and the secrecy through which she has lived her entire life that she knows if she were to do such a thing that I would find out and when I did find out that it would mean an end to her privilege of seeing my kids entirely.

My father is a coward – as all sociopaths are – and he does not have the courage to even just pick up the phone and ask me about spending time with them because I do not bend to his will like the rest of the sycophants that he surrounds himself with, so this may be the only chance he has to see them until I next decide to reach out, which will be lengthened due to this event, but I always do come around – because I am forever trusting the wrong people with the wrong things and I still occasionally trust him with my emotions.

My kids are fine.  They are having fun and they are not in danger.

My sister and I will have a chat and I’ll talk to her about transparency in the same way that I have done with submissives in the past – not because she is a submissive but because the only thing she understands and takes seriously from me is authority.  My father and I will have a chat and I will explain to him once more that I don’t trust him but that I believe my kids have a right to know their grandfather and I will never deny him the opportunity to see them when it can be arranged, but that he does not get to spend time with them when I am not around.  My mother and I will have a chat where I will explain to her that I want to handle my own relationships with my sister and father and that her counsel is appreciated but her meddling is not.

And nothing will change with any of them.

But maybe I will change.  A little bit.

Last year I would already be back home with my kids after having run off in the middle of the night to retrieve them and probably having some very stern words with my mother.  They would feel like they had done something wrong, and no amount of explanation on my part would completely remove the stain from this experience for them.  It would be a horrific thing for everyone involved.

Last year I would have written off my father completely one more time and written off my sister as well, putting months between any contact with them at all.

Today.. I’m sitting with my thoughts, and trying to let the fear pass over me and through me.

I know the facts and they speak to one course of action.  The mindful course of action is to address the problems I see with a level head and let my kids remain there for the rest of the week where they are having fun and have activities planned and would not be stuck inside while I work from home, feeling like they had done something to deserve being punished.

I know my feelings and they are overwhelmed by fear.  Fear would have me act in a manner which will hurt everyone – myself included.  And though I may be able to turn my fear to anger if I act on that path, and sit high and mighty in my fortress of righteousness, the severed relationships and the message that would give my children would be harmful.

I am going to try something new.

In each of those conversations that I outlined above, I am going to try to start my conversations with love.  It will be most difficult with my father, but I am going to try.

Because, more than anyone else I’ve mentioned here, I love my kids, and I want the best for them, and when I use my logical mind, I can see clearly what that should be.  I just need to get out of the way.

I am Rant, and this was a growth opportunity seized.

 

Owning the object of your affection

It’s been awhile since I’ve made an entry and to those of you who had become accustomed to frequent updates, I apologize and will see that things get back on track in short order.   My life became pretty interesting for a couple of weeks there and I had to focus my energy elsewhere, but things seem to be normalizing now.

This is going to be a bit more of a personal entry than I’ve been making, with the possible exception of the Distillation of Rant entry.

That entry was about life and limerence.  This blog’s mission has been stated as to provide the views of one Dom (namely, me) on life, love, and limerence.  So far, I’ve avoided love.

Oddly, when I started this blog, just about two months ago, I believed myself incapable of feeling love again in the traditional sense of eros.

Most people who are likely to read this blog are probably familiar with the ancient Greek concepts of eros and agape.  If not, I’ll provide a grossly oversimplified definition and then urge you to do some research of your own.

The Greeks believed in two forms of love – other cultures have had more or less, but generally these two types are pervasive.

Eros is romantic love.  This is what you feel in the pit of your stomach when you’re around the object of your affection.  This is the thing that makes it feel like your heart has skipped a beat, like your mind has fled your body, and you’re mired in the depths of some kind of sticky, warm, comfortable trap from which you don’t want to escape.   When we speak of matters of the heart, this is what we’re talking about more often than not.  Often this gets equated to ‘lust’ in English, but that’s not quite right… it’s deeper and more fulfilling than lust.  And quite a bit more dangerous.

Agape is ‘brotherly’ or ‘familial’ love.  This is what you feel when you think about your children, your parents, your close friends, but also your romantic partner — if you find yourself in a relationship rather than an arrangement.  This is characterized more by loss than presence.  Whereas with eros, you feel it deeply when you are in the presence of your love, with agape you are more likely to notice its absence when you are away from the object of your affection.

Of course, there is a lot of bleed-through with these concepts.  It’s nearly impossible to feel eros without some agape seeping through, and it’s often the case that those for whom we feel agape (when not so prevented by taboo, and even sometimes when it is) will be the object for which we feel eros from time to time, if not consistently.

Semantics sorted, we’re left with a modicum of understanding about what this ‘love’ thing is, at least in Rant’s mind.

So – for possibly the first time in Rant’s life, he finds himself in love.

Please forgive that brief and annoying use of the third person to describe myself, but those concepts are so foreign to how I perceived the world a scant few months ago that I find it difficult to express in any other way, but here’s the defining statement for you: I believe that I have found the love of my life.

This is problematic for me for a few reasons, but those problems mask their own solutions, and they are a path to a deeper understanding, one that allows neither of us the luxury of seeing ourselves as soft or breakable, but something that strengthens us both immeasurably, together and separately.

Firstly, our relationship is steeped in the BDSM world.  Our friends routinely beat, bleed, berate, and fuck each other, sometimes where we can bear witness, and neither of us is a stranger to that sort of activity.  Blood and I are not the best of friends, and I’ve already mentioned my difficulties with humiliation, but physicality rarely bothers me – I am a very physical/tactile person.  I get off on tying girls down and smacking them with my hands or tools or shocking the hell out of them with my violet wand.  I bite.  I choke.  I enjoy sex when it is both soft and slow as well as rough and tumble, but there is little that gets me harder more quickly than my hand on the throat of a woman who has given herself to me, and little that does it for me as much as my hand coiled and firmly grasping the hair at the back of her head as I hold her down and fuck her with every bit of force I can put into it…

But can I do that to the one I love?  Can I watch someone else do that to the one I love?  I’m a protective person by nature – I will go to extreme lengths to protect and ensure the welfare of those I care about.  The dichotomy that this sets up in my mind when I think about someone delivering pain to the one I love, knowing that she has asked for and desires this, balanced against my desire to prevent it… it is interesting.  I’ve allowed her to play with others, and my love for her and confidence in her devotion to me allows me to experience true compersion, but the desire to protect and keep safe is always there in the back of my mind.

Devotion is my kink, and because she loves me every bit as much as I love her, the devotion I feel from her is worship, truly.   The call of one who shows me the trappings of devotion is normally quite strong, but when I see love and devotion coming from the same set of eyes, something in my heart breaks.  When my love commits an act that is disrespectful, our agreement, our understanding, our roles require that I correct that action.  To do any less than that would be disrespectful in kind, not just to her, but to myself and to us together.. so even though those puppy-dog eyes make my heart melt, I must follow through.  I have raised my hand to her in punishment rarely, only once that I can think of, and the punishment of all punishments – being sent to the corner – has been employed once as well.  But she is a good girl and I am a patient Master.

This is a process.

This is a deepening of our devotion to each other.  And despite what the dynamic would lead one to believe, despite the fact that my love is owned and collared by me, despite the fact that she has submitted to me and become my property, the partnership that we have formed together is stronger and more powerful than any other I’ve ever experienced.

Relationships are hard.  They require patience and work and devotion.

Did I mention that devotion is my kink?

I am Rant, and I am the big serious.

And I has a happy.

I hope this wasn’t too much of a departure, but I had to broadcast it.

Rant off.

The Distillation of Rant.

Let us begin at the beginning, shall we?

I am firmly Dominant in my role today, and assertive in every aspect of my life, but I was not born that way.  Some people are, but I was made this way by circumstance.

Life pushed me into the crucible and burned away all of the pieces of me that were not who I am today.  I can remember them, and I cherish the memories, but I would not go back.

I’ve known Doms who never switch.  They are firmly rooted in their role and they’ve never walked outside of it; they’ve never desired to, never been so compelled, or never experimented.  Some of these men (and women) achieve the proper level of respect and care even without having ever experienced what it is like to live on the other side of the power dynamic, but I do sometimes wonder if the ‘bad’ Doms out there fail because they don’t know what it is like to surrender.

I did. Once.

I remember what it was like, and I can put myself into a sub’s shoes.

Simone was tall, strikingly beautiful, powerful, intimidating, and brutal.  She had an olive complexion, but her hair was platinum, not from age but choice.  Her eyes were ice.. a blue/gray that pulled your soul into them the moment they locked on to you.  In her platform stilettos she was easily half a foot taller than I am, and I’m six feet tall.

She was my first and only Domme, and I was devoted to her.  She was titanic; she was superciliousness personified; and she scared the shit out of me.

I was but a young buck, and she was twice my age and infinitely more experienced than I was in love, life, and limerence.  She introduced that term to me.  I had no idea how smitten I was, but she showed me what it means to belong to someone completely.

Limerence is an uncommon term, so rather than make you go look it up I’ll tell you what it means to me.  It is something like infatuation on steroids.  It is the feeling you get when you can’t imagine being apart from someone, when you believe that you love them and you want them to love you back so badly that you can’t imagine life without them.  It is devotion to a degree that is almost incomprehensible.  It does not imply any reflexivity in feeling; it only describes this – often unrequited – love and devotion from the perspective of the afflicted.  It’s probably close the feeling that a sub has for her first Dom, and ‘afflicted’ is a good word to describe it.

Limerence was definitely what I felt for Simone and she knew it.  I was a puppy and she was Empress.  She saw something in me though, and I don’t know how or why, but she knew that despite my groveling and my desire to please her, I was not a submissive at heart.  She saw the pieces of me that I was showing her as weakness and she saw my inner strength and she quite literally beat the weakness out of me, or perhaps she forced me to beat it out of myself…

I had belonged to Simone for a few months.  She had trained me to dominate other women, and I became quite good at it, from a very surface level, at least.  She used me to dominate others through her influence, but I could never imagine using those same skills and roles with her.

I was devoted to her.  I tried to anticipate her desires and I would try to fulfill them before she even knew she had them.  I considered myself a success when she didn’t notice the things that I was doing for her.  As time went on, I took it upon myself to do more and more for her, to make life easier for her in any way that I could.  Eventually, I overstepped and the dynamic changed.

Simone ran a modeling and talent agency.  She was a Harvard Business School graduate and has a large class ring that she usually kept on a chain around her neck.  She had been slightly larger when she was in school, and it was loose on her finger now.  She had a large office with glossy black floors and glass walls and floor to ceiling windows on the ninth floor.  She had a large glass and steel desk and there was only the one chair – her chair.  When she met clients, she would use a conference room, but when she met employees, we would have to stand while she sat.  There was a chaise lounge on an animal skin rug under some bookshelves in the corner and a small wet bar near there, but no other furnishings in the room, and it was not a small room.

She summoned me to her office just before sunset.  Her window faced the ocean, and at this time of day the sun was positioned almost directly behind her as I walked into the office and approached her desk.  She often chose that time of day to meet employees and people who she wanted to intimidate.  Even in the conference rooms she would sit with her back to the window and let people sit opposite her so that the sun shined in their eyes.

I walked into her office as I had many times before.  She was still sitting when I walked in, which was not common, but not unheard of either.  I could not see the expression on her face because of the sun behind her.  I walked up to a position a few feet from the center of her desk and stood at parade rest as I was expected to do.

“You have been busy, toy.”

“Mistress?”

“Pura tells me that you have been managing things behind the scenes for me.  She says that when Stark canceled her shoot while I was in St. Kitts that you handled the equipment rental, rescheduled the shoot, collected the cancellation fee, and even negotiated a higher rate for the re-shoot based on the short term for rescheduling.”

I couldn’t help myself, I swelled a bit with pride.  I think I even stood straighter and puffed my chest out a bit.

“Yes, Mistress.”

She got out of her chair and stood.  I still couldn’t make out any details of her expression or tell exactly what she was wearing because while she blocked the sun as she stood, she was still silhouetted against the bright background.  I could, however, tell that she was wearing a filmy robe or gown, as the sun was now shining through the sheer fabric and showing the amazing curves of her body.  I couldn’t help myself, I got hard.

She walked around the side of her desk to stand just in front of it, to the side – at my left, but I kept my face forward and did not track her as she walked, as I knew would be expected of me.

“Front.”

I pivoted on my heel and faced her, took two steps forward so that I was within two feet of her and stood there, still rigidly facing forward, but from this position I could see how she was attired.

She wore an ankle-length sheer black robe, open in the front, sheer thigh high stockings with a garter belt, black with seams up the back and folded at the top, the garter belt of black satin and lace with a bright purple bow right in front.  She also had on a matching bra, and the chain with her ring hung from her neck.  She wore no panties and had on no other jewelry.  Her makeup had run, as if she had been crying.

When I saw the evidence of tears I immediately felt sympathetic, and it was everything I could to to remain silent.

She raised her right arm, palm down and I knelt before her and looked at her shoes as that gesture indicated I should.  They were platform stilettos, at least seven inches high, glossy, black, with buckles on the straps around her ankles.

“Take off your shirt.”

I did not look up or say a word as I began unbuttoning my shirt.  I could tell that she was doing something with her hands, but I could not see what.  Once I’d finished unbuttoning my shirt, I removed it, folded it and set it on the ground beside me to my right, between my body and her desk.

I didn’t see it coming.

The back of her right hand, with her ring now on her middle finger, connected with my temple HARD.  I knew that she had broken skin with the blow, and I staggered a bit, my left hand coming down on the floor to keep myself from going fully prostrate.  I righted myself quickly and went back to kneeling with my head down, and a single drop of blood hit the floor under me.  I could feel the blood starting to clot already.  It was a shallow cut, but I was definitely cut. Mistress Simone had never drawn blood before that I had seen, with myself or anyone that I had witnessed. She lifted her right leg and put the point of her stiletto into my chest, just below my collarbone on the left side, opposite to the cut on my head, and pushed, lightly at first, and then with more force.

I had not been commanded to move, so I resisted the pressure, the tip of her heel digging into my skin, near the point of breaking skin.

“I want you to fall, toy.”

As soon as I heard that, I stopped resisting the pressure and fell back on top of my own legs.  A small spot of blood had developed on my chest.  Her heels were sharp!

“Prostrate yourself, slave.”

I did as commanded, turned over on to my belly and lay flat on the floor with my face down, head pointed towards her and my arms wide out at my sides.

She walked to my left side and then stepped onto the back of my left hand with her heel.  She did not allow her full body weight to crush the bones in my hand, but the pain was exquisite.  As she increased the pressure and I could start to feel the skin tear, I could not help but let out a forceful breath.  There was no vocalization, but she was aware that the pain was affecting me.

She took her foot off of my hand and disappeared behind me where I could not see her any longer.

“You have thoughts, slave?”

“Yes, Mistress.  Did this slave do something to offend You, Mistress?”

“Do not answer to that title, you are no slave!”  Her voice was hoarse, emotional, something I’d not heard from her before.

I was frankly shocked by this.  I had no idea how to react, so I did the best I could come up with at the time.

“This slave wants only to serve his Mistress…”

SILENCE!”

I almost heard, rather than felt, the whip across the top of my shoulder-blades.  This was the bullwhip, and it did not crack above my skin, but rather it slapped me in a very inexpert strike across the shoulders.  Mistress Simone never used the full-length bullwhip to strike people, but she was a master at its use. This fact, combined with the blood that was now leaking from my body in three places told me that something was very wrong.

“Pura! Come in here now!”

Pura, one of Mistress Simone’s models and a friend of mine had apparently been waiting just outside the door, because she hurried in on short, quick steps when Mistress Simone summoned her.  I was still facing the floor, so I could not see to tell for certain that it was her, but I had no reason to believe otherwise.

“Yes, Mistress.”  Pura was clearly scared out of her mind, and upon hearing her voice, I now was sure that it was her who was in the room with us.

“On your knees, Pura.”  There was kindness in Mistress’s voice now, and I heard Pura’s feet shuffle as she assumed the required position.

“Sit on your heels, Rant.”  All the kindness that had been there was gone now.

I pulled my arms in, did a push-up to raise my body from the sleek black floor and then sat back onto my heels, so that I was nearly kneeling as I had been before, but a few feet further back and down from where I had been.

“Are you an obedient slave, Rant?”

“Mistress, I do not know how to answer that.”

“It was not a trick question, Rant.”

“Mistress, with all due respect, you ordered me to not answer to the title ‘slave’ just now and told me that I was not one.  With this information, I do not know how to answer Mistress’s question.”

“Now is not the time to be a brat, Rant.”

“Mistress…”

The crack of the whip in the air right beside my ear was almost deafening, and silenced me immediately.

SILENCE!  You will disregard what I said previously and you will answer the question now.  Are you an obedient slave, Rant?”

“I live to serve, Mistress.”

I…” she said, mocking me.  “where is this ‘I’ that you are speaking of?”

“Forgive this slave, Mistress.  This slave momentarily forgot”  the crack of the whip beside my ear once more silenced me.

“That’s right!  You forgot!  Now be silent until I give you the right to speak again.”

I almost said, “Yes, Mistress” but caught myself.  I was feeling very off balance.

“Pura, are you an obedient slave?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“To whom are you obedient, slave Pura?”

“To you and no other, Mistress.”

“Then why did you follow slave Rant’s direction while I was away?!”

“I… this slave does not know, Mistress.”

Mistress Simone walked around to stand behind Pura.

“Rant.  Stand.”  I stood.

She pointed to the ground at her right foot.  “Heel.”

I walked to stand where she pointed.

“Pura, disrobe.”

Pura removed her top, exposing an opaque lilac bra with black polka dots and started to stand so that she could remove her skirt.

“No, I’ve changed my mind.  Kneel and remove your bra.”

Pura took off her bra as she was kneeling, and placed her bra on top of her top, which she had folded and placed to her side.

Mistress Simone put the whip into my hand and stepped away from me.

“Pura, you have obeyed the commands of another Master without my permission and for this you must be punished,” Mistress Simone stated, coldly and without any trace of emotion.

“Rant, strike her.”

I looked at her, questions in my eyes.  I didn’t know what to do.  This was all very uncomfortable and foreign.  Never had we done something so cold, so brutal.

“Do you know how to use the bullwhip, slave?” she asked me.

“This slave is well versed in the use of the bullwhip, Mistress, but never has this slave turned one on a human before.”

“Well, there is no time like the present.  Hit her with the fucking whip!”

Pura was crying now, sobbing openly and only through the strongest of will had she not collapsed.

I was raised on a horse ranch, and we also raised steers for beef from time to time, so I did actually know how to use the whip.  I thought that I might be able to feather the strike so that it wouldn’t hurt Pura too badly, so I gave it an attempt.

My strike was too soft.  There was virtually no sound from the impact, and it did not strike hard enough to welt, but Pura still screamed when it struck her and doubled over.  I felt horrible… beyond horrible.

Mistress Simone walked over next to me to examine the angle and my strike.  Pura had recovered and was kneeling again, tears streaming down her face, but she made no more audible sobs.

“Again.  Properly this time.”

“Mistress…”  I didn’t see it coming this time either.  Again, she backhanded me across the face with her ring.  This time I did fall to my knee.  Mistress Simone glared at me silently as I stood back up and squared my stance, letting the end of the whip drop to my side.

“Again.”

I looked into her eyes.  They were colder than I had ever seen them, but I could feel the fire building in my own as I met her stare and started my wind-up.

Hurricane,” I said, and I dropped the whip, crossing my arms in front of my chest and wincing just a bit as the skin around my cut pulled.

“Pura, you’re dismissed.” Simone said in a softer voice.

Pura jumped to her feet, bowed to Simone, and walked out as quickly as she could manage in her heels, leaving her bra and top behind on the floor.

“Took you long enough…” Simone said once Pura was out the door.

“What?” I managed to get out with all of the eloquence of a newborn yak before Simone grabbed the sides of my head and kissed me more passionately than I had ever been kissed to that point in my life.  I just let it happen, and then began to return it as my body started reacting to the urgency she put forth.  She grasped as my hard cock through my slacks, pulling on it, and eventually using one hand to pull on my waistband while shoving the other down my pants to grasp my cock directly, low on the shaft, just above my scrotum.  She squeezed hard, all the while I was kissing her, and I hadn’t even realized that I had moved my own hands up to cup her right breast in my left hand and firmly grasp her hair right at the base of her neck with my right.

She thrust a finger down under my scrotum and then pulled back, squeezing my balls painfully.  I disengaged from my kiss, dropped my hands and undid my belt and waistband, letting my pants drop and slipping off my shoes while trying, unsuccessfully thanks to the body of my Domme pressed up against me, to step out of my pants as well.

There I stood, socks on my feet, pants around my ankles, shoes to the side of me, my erection fully engorged and out in front of me.  Simone took a step back, away from me, and then swatted my erect cock with her hand as she turned around and walked towards her desk, dropping the robe she had been wearing as she did, exposing her naked ass in all of its glory.  When she arrived there, she spread her legs out just beyond shoulder width, placed her forearms on her desk and raised her ass at me, looking back over her shoulder at me with a smile that touched her eyes as well as her lips.

No command had been given, but I’d used the safeword and we were in uncharted territory here.  According to protocol, we should be physically apart or at best touching non-sexually and discussing what went wrong, but the urgency in her eyes and in my groin was more powerful than protocol and I was clearly not in distress aside from my throbbing erection that demanded satisfaction.

I stepped out of my pants, took a step forward, raised my left foot to remove my sock, repeated the same maneuver for the right and squared myself behind Simone, placing my left hand on her left hip and using my right to guide my cock into her very wet pussy from behind her.  She moaned with delight, letting her voice rise in a way that almost seemed submissive, and in a tone that I’d never heard from her before.

In her heels, she was slightly too tall for me to be able to easily pull off fucking her from that position, but once I’d slid my cock as deeply as I could and grasped her right hip with my right hand, I forgot about logistics entirely and let my mind go completely.

I plunged deeply into her then pulled back, trying to get a feel for the length of stroke that this position was going to allow for me and then began increasing the force with which I was hitting her as I thrust back in for each stroke.  Eventually, as I made the rhythm, I realized that we were both crying out each time I would thrust, and without thinking I let go with my right hand, brought it back and smacked her on the ass with the next thrust, leaving a harsh red handprint on her olive skin and I couldn’t contain myself any longer.

I started to reflexively query, “May I..” but I only got that far before I began to ejaculate, and I grabbed her hips hard, pulling her onto my throbbing cock as I ejaculated into her pussy.

Immediately following my orgasm, I stood down onto my soles from the balls of my feet as I had been, and I released her hips, letting her down as well.

“Mistress, I’m…” she turned and silenced me by placing her index finger on my lips.

“Stop, Rant.  I haven’t cum that many times and with such force in all my life.  But you are a miserable slave.”

“I’m…”

“No more… did you spill your seed inside of me, Rant?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Well, you’re going to lap it up now then,” she said as she walked over to the chaise and laid back.

“With pleasure, Mistress,” I said as I moved over and knelt between her legs to comply.

Once again, I let my mind go and before I realized what had happened, I had two of my fingers deep inside her while I was working over her clitoris with my tongue and she was shuddering and moaning as she squirted all over my chin and chest.

“Jesus, Rant,” she said as she caught her breath, “I think you may be better at that than anyone in the world.”

“Thank you, Mistress.”

“Now go wipe yourself off with your clothes and then come up here so that I can lay my head on your chest.”

I did as she commanded, and she positioned her body against mine, tracing shapes on my chest with her fingers as she lay there.

“You need to stop calling me Mistress when we’re in private, Rant.  You’re a terrible slave.”

“Yes, Mistr… Simone.”

“I appreciate what you did while I was away, but you understand that I can’t have the others believing that you can usurp my authority when I’m away.”

“I wasn’t trying…”

“Hush, I know.  You just don’t have a helpless compliant slave in you anywhere, Rant.  You’re obviously a Top.  Why did you do it?”

“I’m not…”

“Stop denying it.  You know it as well as I do, and I’ve known it for a long time.  Long before this.  But I still don’t know why you did it.”

“Because I love you.”

She got very serious, very suddenly.

“No you don’t, Rant.  And this is very important for you to understand.  I don’t love you either.”

“But… I…”

“No!”  She sat up so that she could look me directly in the eyes.  “You have never experienced anything this intense before, I get that.  You tried very hard to give me everything that you are, and you couldn’t and that’s not because you love me or because of any emotional connection at all.  This is a shared fantasy.  You used the safeword so we are not in scene right now, and it’s very important that you believe me on this.  You are not my slave anymore in the way that you were, but you are still my employee and my property and I’m going to task you.  Look up the word ‘limerence’ and write me a 500 word essay on what it means to you and have it on my desk by 9:00am tomorrow.”

“Okay, but I really do…”

“Shut up, Rant.  You don’t know what you’re talking about, and you nearly fucked up my whole enterprise as a result.  I like you, and if I didn’t, I’d have Brand beat you and put you out on your ass, but you’re going to do as I say and you’re going to have to make this up to Pura somehow.”

“Okay… Yes, I feel horrible.”

“Don’t, she loves that shit, but you’re going to be docked a week’s vacation and it’s going to go to her.  And you’ll still call me Mistress in front of the others, but when we’re alone, you may call me Simone.”

“Yes, Mistr.. Simone.”

She moved with blinding agility and threw her leg over me, coming to rest straddling my chest and rested her hands on my shoulders so that her breasts hung just over my head.

“Now… Do you think you could Top me, Rant?” she said with a mischievous smile that positively cause her eyes to glow.

“You know… I think perhaps I could… Simone.”