Hello party people. It’s been awhile since I actually ranted about something, so here’s a tirade for you to ponder on your Earth Day.
There is a phrase that has become so ubiquitous in the BDSM culture that it is literally written on t-shirts and mugs that you can buy from dropshippers worldwide – but it is just plain wrong and it sticks in my craw every time I read it or hear someone say it.
“My submission is a gift…”
This is usually followed by other such sundry tripe as, “… and any man who can’t understand that doesn’t deserve it,” or “… and if it is not respected, I will take it back.”
This is wrong.
It’s a terrible metaphor and we really need to stop using it. Submission is merely half of a power exchange negotiation. It represents something different for every power dynamic, and every couple or group. Submission, like almost everything else that we deal with in this thing that we do represents a spectrum of possibilities.
Submission is not a gift. A gift is something that you give to someone with no expectations. If you are submitting to someone with no expectations, you are doing it very, very wrong.
A gift is something that you give to someone knowing that you will never get it back. A gift is something that you give to someone because you are following a social convention, or because they are someone you care about and gifts are one of their love languages, or because you, yourself, enjoy giving things to people.
Only the worst gifts come with strings attached, and while every gift given creates some sort of socially bonded obligation on the part of the recipient – it is always acceptable at some level for the recipient of a gift to do absolutely nothing with it, or even to re-gift it to someone else. If someone were to offer me their submission and I did nothing with it – I would be doing us both a massive disservice, and if someone were to submit to me, only to have me pass that bond onto someone else, that would be a serious violation of trust (unless this is something that you negotiated prior.)
To make matters even worse, the vast majority of the people that I see using this phrase seem to think that they are somehow maintaining some level of control by trying to use this metaphor, which is completely untrue. Everything gets wrapped up in these bullshit harlequin romance novel terms and ceases to have any real meaning anymore. These sorts of modes of thinking force us to treat submission like it is a binary condition – either you are submissive or Dominant and that’s that.
It is certainly possible for a particular power dynamic to be so black and white, but that has to be negotiated to be that way. It is also just as possible for a power dynamic to be more fluid, for areas of submission to be valid under only certain conditions, or only up to certain levels of comfort, respectful of hard and soft limits.
In fact, in my not-so-very-humble opinion, binary D/s is boring and uninspired. Even if someone wants to consider themselves my property, I am not going to treat them like a slave under most conditions of normal everyday life. Not only is it exhausting, but it’s not fun.
So, if my submission is not a gift, then what is it?
It’s a negotiation. How many times do I have to say that here? In the BDSM world, everything is a negotiation.
Let me say that just one more time.
In the BDSM world, everything is a negotiation.
There is power to be shared on both sides of a power exchange negotiation, and if you have not negotiated away a particular power of yours, it remains yours.
I seriously urge anyone who is entering into a D/s relationship to think long and hard about what they want to give up and what they expect to receive as part of that power dynamic and to not only have an earnest discussion about what those things all mean for you personally, but to even write them down and codify them in a contract. This will help to prevent misunderstandings and many of the not-so-fun aspects of D/s relationship dynamics can be avoided.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the nature of love over the course of my life. Everyone seems to experience the expression of love in a slightly different way, and apart from being a place to rant about my discomfort with the state of the world, exploring the topics of love and limerence was part of my motivation for starting this site.
English is a very descriptive language.. it actually has more words than any other language, by a large margin, but I think that we sometimes miss with the focus for where we put those words, and that has some pretty dramatic implications for the way that the minds of native English speakers work as compared to everyone else in the world…
I tend to steal the Greek words when I talk about love – they had at least seven different forms. Of course, because Latin is very dependent on Greek and English is very dependent on Latin, these words are often the roots of the words that we use in English anyway:
eros: this is the Greek word for ‘romantic love’ – but also lust – and as such is the most overused of these words. Eros was specifically a word about sex though – it was, after all, the name of the Greek god of fertility. It was actually a frightening concept for them because it involves a sense of a ‘loss of control’ – which is commonly seen in art from and inspired by the period, including the very famous story of Cupid and Psyche wherein Cupid himself becomes overwhelmed by eros and tragedy ensues. Using modern English words, the Greek concept of eros was probably far closer to limerence than love or even lust.
philia: this is what we might call ‘brotherly love’ – but it meant a great deal more to the Greeks – this is the word I use to refer to my chosen family. To the Greeks, this was far preferable to eros. This is the love that leads one to make sacrifices for others. This is the love felt between soldiers on the same line – the kind of bond that remains in place no matter what barriers of space and time lie between the people for whom this bond exists, but the Greeks understood that even philia did not necessarily mean that both people in such a bond would be equally bonded. I may be willing to sacrifice almost anything for you, but that does not necessarily mean that you would for me — that does not negate my own feelings of philia towards you.
storge: this is a special form of love that parents have for their children. It’s akin to the above, but recognized to be a special case because there are ways in which you modify your own expectations and behavior for your children that you are unlikely to do for anyone else, even your romantic love(s). This is really the only form of love that the Greeks thought had to be shared between both parties – because it was of an instinctual nature, beyond the view of the self.
ludus: this is what we might call ‘affection’ – it’s the love that children have for each other, or the physical aspects of love that are not carnal in nature – hugs, dancing, playing. In our Western society, we tend to reserve expressions of this only for people with whom there are taboos involved that prevent sexual expression, which kind of perverts and cheapens it, if you ask me.
pragma: this is what I might call ‘patient love’ – it’s the love that you build over a long time with someone, that allows you to overlook small character flaws or acute events of an unpleasant nature and still keep a pristine mental image of the person that you care for. This is ‘mature love’ – or what we expect most romantic relationships to settle into once eros has taken leave and you have a chance to return to your senses.
agape: this is also a pretty commonly stolen word, often misused because we don’t think like the Greeks did… this is ‘hippie love’ – or ‘love for everyone’ and sometimes referred to as ‘brotherly love’ as well, but in the “society is full of my brothers” sort of way, rather than, “I would die for that man,” sort of way. This is really meant to be more like the Theravada concept of metta. I fear greatly the expunging of agape from the minds of people, but that does seem to be the way the world is moving – division is the rule of the day, not love.
philautia: self-love… to be held in direct opposition to narcissism – this is the concept that all expressions of love for anyone are really just manifestations of your mind recognizing in other people things which you value in yourself – if there is nothing that you value in yourself, you cannot love anyone at all.
And all of this information is useful, but kind of secondary to the point that I’m trying to make, which is that when I say, “I love you” to someone – I may mean that I feel any or all of the above things in differing measures, and the phrase may not mean the same thing to everyone to whom I speak it – just as it doesn’t always mean the same thing when I hear it from different people.
For some people, love is a jealous thing – it is possessive… if I say “I love you” to someone, and I mean in a romantic sort of way, society tells me that I’m not supposed to say that to anyone else – but that doesn’t stop me from feeling it, and because I’m polyamorous, it doesn’t stop me from acting on it either, but that may not address the feelings of the person involved with me, and sometimes that can cause friction.
I don’t have a silver bullet here – jealousy is a very normal thing to feel, and there is no way to magically stop it if that is what you feel, but surprisingly I’ve also found that the converse of jealousy is often almost as important to some people’s feelings of love. I have had partners who, while telling me of their interactions with other people, have wanted me to feel jealous and when I do not exhibit that kind of reaction, they begin to doubt the truth behind my statements of love. If I am not jealous of them being with someone else, how can I really love them? And yet, I do.
Love is one of those dangerous and chaotic things that makes our lives in this universe worth living, and yet it is also the one thing that has consistently laid me low when a relationship ends. I don’t think I will ever completely understand its power or be able to control it, and perhaps that is why it is so compelling for everyone and the subject of so many works of art and media.
Hopefully by communicating about it, by understanding that there are different facets to it and how those things are each individual spectra of emotion, we can find a way to live beside it.
There is a reason why every pantheon of gods contains at least one, if not several, deities who are personifications of this powerful force in our lives. Love is every bit as powerful as the sea or the wind or fire, perhaps even the Sun itself, and I consider myself fortunate to be its acolyte.
This is not a post about kink – sorry… my soapbox, I get to talk about the things I want to.
Today I’m going to talk about what it’s like to be Damien.
Damien is one of my alters. If you don’t know what that means, educate yourself here or some of what I say next may not seem to make much sense. But that’s okay, it probably won’t make much sense after you learn anyway.
Damien is one of the main three personalities that I express most often, along with Rant (that’s me), and Apollo.
Damien is a bit of a handful… He is very much in tune with my Dominant side, but he takes the things that I do and kicks everything up to 11. He has no shame. He has no fear. He rarely forms attachments. He believes himself to be good at everything. Somehow he does this without attaching his ego though. If you insult him, he’ll just laugh it off and then try to buy you a beer. He is arrogant and charming at the same time. It’s really kind of strange.
Whereas I am very patient, compassionate, forgiving, and I do not judge people; Damien judges everyone and everything, he is not very patient, and he has been known to hold a grudge. He is, however, generally kind and he will moderate his behavior when he knows that it would not meet with my approval… sometimes, anyway.
We are both Hedonists, but while I enjoy wine, women, and song, he enjoys everything and everyone if the context is right. He is very, very everything that he chooses to be, and he gives absolutely zero time and attention to the things that he does not care about.
This incompatibility in our values can sometimes be difficult to deal with, especially when he acts out in a manner that would be inconsistent with what people have come to expect from me (Rant).
I often find that I have to apologize for things that I don’t remember because Damien took something too far or stuck his face in someplace where he wasn’t necessarily welcome.
However, being able to be Damien under the right circumstances is kind of a super power, and I wish I had more control over it. He tends to come out on Wednesday nights, or if I’m super stressed out or otherwise emotionally overwhelmed, especially if I’ve been drinking – and it seems to matter very little how much I drink, even just a nip from my flask can bring him out if he’s lurking.
He thinks that I am entirely too emotional and he has no problem telling everyone that. In the beforetimes, he would try to pack as much activity as he possibly could into every time that he was at the fore. He is well known for dragging people from one party destination to another, to another, and then finishing up with breakfast at 4am in a diner someplace, preferably one that sells pie.
Damien claims to have access to my memories, and sometimes I can remember his, but I do not understand how this works and while he claims he does, I don’t really believe him. However, I can remember being Damien sometimes, and it’s a very different way to experience life.
I’ll almost certainly follow this up with another entry on what it’s like to be Apollo, but that is a more extreme shift. Apollo actually experiences the world differently than I do, which is kind of hard to explain, but … that is also not this post.
Damien does not see the world particularly differently from the way I do, but he tends to ignore things a lot more than I do. He is interested in the things he is interested in and nothing else matters. This means that our behaviors are different in subtle and not-so-subtle ways…
Back in the beforetimes, if I had to navigate through a crowd, I would take a path that winds around people and other obstacles in my way, trying not to bump into people and letting the speed of the crowd slow my progress in order to avoid those sorts of unintended contact with people. Damien – he walks a straight line and if you don’t get out of the way in time, he might run into you, but he’ll then stop and apologize and be very charming about it and probably get your phone number…
In the beforetimes, when I would go to a grocery store, I might take a cart and go up and down each and every aisle, looking to see if I find anything new and interesting that I might like and then take my stuff up to the front and largely wordlessly put my goods on the conveyor belt, help bagging them, thank the checker, pay and then leave. Damien – he walks straight to the thing(s) he wants, grabs it, and then goes and flirts with people in line or with the checker while waiting for someone else to bag his stuff on the way out.
He just sort of expects that everyone wants to please him all of the time, and he is correct more often than he has any right to be.
One time Damien was at a nightclub and as they were closing and kicking everyone out, my girl went to the bathroom, leaving me standing there alone in the club, waiting for her and the bouncer told me to get out of the building. Damien told him that we were waiting for my girl and that we would leave when she got out. The bouncer decided that this was not sufficient and that we needed to leave immediately, so he got into my face a little bit. Damien just laughed at him and said, “What do you think you are going to do?” and the bouncer just walked away without saying anything else.
Being Damien feels powerful, most of the time.
I don’t really suffer from social anxiety all that much, but I think every person is affected by it from time to time – except Damien. He walks into a room and expects to be the most intelligent, best looking, most captivating person there, and kind of just refuses to acknowledge any reality that may be different from that.
As you can imagine, this does not always rub everyone the right way, however, he is so charming that most of the time he gets away with all of it. He leans heavily on Apollo’s assessments of people and when he is interested in something, he pays very close attention to everything about it or them. At the end of a single conversation with Damien, he can make people feel like he knows them better than anyone ever has before. He can create instant connections with almost anyone if he wants to, and often he wants to, though his EQ is not quite as high as mine and sometimes I have to clean up his messes.
I really wish I had the ability to turn those sorts of abilities on and off at will. It really does feel like a super power sometimes, and if I could control it, I wonder what doors it might open for me. I doubt that it would change my life entirely, and Damien is far too polarizing as a personality to be able to be Damien all the time, but I do wonder what it might be like if I could be Damien whenever I wanted to be, especially if I could always remember the things he does along the way.
Being me is not easy, but Damien makes lots of parts of it fun in ways that I might never even think about. He is in many ways like the brother I never had. The pandemic has had him visit less regularly and for shorter periods of time, and I actually sometimes miss him, as odd as that may sound.
Continuing in my series of audible blog posts, here is me reading one of my oldest, and probably most fundamental (about me) posts of the blog.
I hope that you enjoy.
The original post can be found here, and the text that I read is reproduced below.
You may have some questions about how it’s possible that I, admittedly a Dom, possibly a control freak, could possibly live without attachment. It seems antithetical to the very mantle which I’ve just taken up, does it not? I mean, the essence of Domination is control, and my own personal road to happiness was rocky and uncertain until I embraced that mindset for myself again and accepted my Dominant nature. How could those two things possibly coexist in the same person?
Perhaps they are not as incompatible as they might at first seem…
Ever since I first read Leaves of Grass in high school, this has been a favorite passage of mine, from Song of Myself, by Walt Whitman.
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then, I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
Even as a teenager, I understood and related to those words as part of the complex structure that makes up me and I have used them as a balm over the years to quiet my worried mind.
My personal journey to get to where I am in life now has been interesting, but I am finally and quite possibly for the first time in my life, happy.
I’ve studied many religions, practiced several, sought wisdom in self-help books and the writings of others. I have been through individual therapy, group therapy, couples’ therapy, and psychiatric assistance. I have used drugs, both natural and synthetic, prescribed for me or found through illicit channels. I have done yoga, exercise, meditation, hypnosis, and attempted to express myself in art. I have retreated into virtual worlds and even made my own. I have worked as a video game programmer, for a private investigator, and even as a sex worker. I have cleaved to my family and ostracized myself from them. I have told the fortunes of others and cast rods to divine my own future. I have been married, twice. I have had several intimate relationships and lots and lots of sex. I have driven fast cars and ridden running horses. I have tried almost everything that anyone has ever suggested to me as a way to become enlightened, to lift my dark spirit and to try to find happiness. It does not surprise me at all, today, that none of those things worked for me.
I am a Dominant. I am an atheist. I am a pacifist. I am a father and a guide and a feminist. I am worthy of being loved and I love myself. I am calm.
Throughout all of those experiences that I detail above I fought my inner self. I denied my feelings and persecuted myself, borrowing the Catholic guilt that I was raised with to hold my own desires at bay… I told myself that the me who desired to Dominate was wrong. That each person is his own individual and it was wrong for me to want to have that authority over another. I found myself submitting to others, not in the BDSM sense, but in a very real-world sense, all of the time. I did not have the confidence to stand up for my feelings because they were wrong. I hated myself for those horrible thoughts that I had about what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be.
How did I resolve that with letting go?
I stepped away from myself and looked at the dynamic.
I let go of my self hatred. I let go of the assumed societal restrictions on permitted thoughts and desires and I accepted myself and my ‘dark’ side. I have no desire to hurt anyone, quite the opposite, actually. I have no desire to injure anyone, I have no desire to inflict unwanted pain, but there is also the pain that reminds you that you are alive and the pain the brings with it the intense emotional release that I got when I submitted to Simone. There is such a thing as an embrace of pain that frees you from other pains.
I was molested as a young man. It was no one in my family, and indeed, they still don’t know that it occurred and if this ever gets linked back to me and placed in front of them a great many uncomfortable discussions will likely result, but it happened and it turned me into a brooding, angry, anti-social young man for a long time. Simone’s compassionate brutality helped me to face my demons and reclaim for me the things that were taken from me. Some of them, anyway.
I Dominate those that give themselves to me willingly. I will not accept submission from someone who is incapable of understanding what they are doing and I will not attempt to hold anyone who does not wish to be with me any longer or even those who can no longer benefit from doing so, whether they choose to see it or not.
This is a very scary thing.
Strong is the impulse to hold on, to claim a lover as mine and mine alone, but I know that I cannot be all things to all people, and no one person can be all things to me. To truly open my heart, I must accept that now, in this time, at this place, this person is trusting me with herself and the joy that brings me is incomprehensible. The joy that I feel when given that trust and that submission cannot be measured, and there is nothing wrong with me for feeling that way, just as there is nothing wrong with her for wanting to give herself to me in such a way. These are maladaptive behaviors, perhaps. They may be remnants of a primitive psychology, or they may simply be facets of a larger gem, I don’t know, but I want to know, and I will never give up exploring, and yet for now, right now, accepting is good enough.
Yes, I get off on having a pretty girl sit at my feet and lean on my leg and look up at me through long eyelashes with doe eyes and say, “yes, Sir.” If I believed in any gods, I would invoke them now to prove the conviction behind my thought. Once I thought that this made me a monster. Once I thought that this meant that there is something wrong with me, but there is not.
I am a kind Master, and a brutal lover, and a king of my own domain, and the confidence that I have to be these things, and to love myself for them comes from letting go of everything, even those lovers and that domain itself, because wherever I am, it is with me, and whoever they be, I am loved. And I am happy.
My last post was about my currently very uncertain health condition and it was written at a time when I was very scared for my own continued existence, not to mention my ability to keep walking and writing. Immediately after I posted it, I started to receive emails from readers with concerns and well-wishes, and it helped immensely to improve my outlook in general.
Firstly – a heartfelt Thank You to all of the people who have sent in their messages of support or offers of assistance. I am extremely fortunate to have such a large network of people who care about me.
Secondly – while I still do not know the nature of the numbness and tingling and lack of sensation that I am still continuing to feel, the symptoms have lessened in some places and changed in others to be more consistent with an injury rather than any sort of dangerous degenerative disorder, so while I am not certain of anything yet, the probability that I am facing something that will kill me seems to be reduced along with my fear.
I am not out of the woods just yet, and I have many more appointments with specialists yet to come, but the prognosis is a lot more hopeful and the likelihood of a full (or nearly full) recovery is much higher, which has left me feeling a lot more positive about things in general.
I may yet be facing a potentially dangerous surgery, but for some reason that is a lot easier to face than some unknown demyelinating disorder, which was the original tentative diagnosis.
Thank you to everyone who has chosen to be a part of my life – you are the reason that my life continues to be as awesome as it is.
“Well, we think that it’s equally likely that you have some sort of transient condition that we don’t fully understand that will resolve itself on its own, or that you have one of these six syndromes with similar symptoms, five of which are degenerative, untreatable, and fatal within a year.”
This is not the sort of thing that you want to hear from your doctor… but it is exactly what I heard when I took myself to the emergency room with some numbness in my extremities two weeks ago. I have to admit, it’s kind of been fucking with me since then and I am good and fully scared.
I have fallen a bit behind on my posts and in answering emails lately – and this is the reason why – I do apologize. I am trying to get caught up again beginning today.
I’ve never experienced having a doctor tell me something like “there’s a 50% chance that you’ll be dead within a year” before, and I have to say, it’s not one of my favorite things.
It does sort of put a lot of things into perspective though…
I’ve known for some time that I would not likely have a terribly long life span. I’ve got a family history of heart disease, mental disorders, and hypertension. I have been involved in several auto accidents (none of which I was found to be at fault for) – at least one of which resulted in serious long-term injuries that still bother me almost daily and are a cause for chronic pain, and all of these things are known to reduce lifespan. I figured it would be unlikely that I would live to see 80, but I was okay with that. I’ve seen what my grandmother (who is now 98) has gone through in recent years, and her quality of life is not very good. In fact, for the past two years, every time I’ve seen her, she has said at least once that she is ready to and even wants to die. “No one should have to live like this…” she has said more than once.
However – and this is a pretty big thing – I never even considered the possibility that I wouldn’t live into my 70’s or better, and that should still be decades away. Being told that there is a 50% chance that I might not live to see another birthday after this year was a pretty big blow – one which I am still processing.
I had a will, of course – it would be pretty irresponsible for any parent not to – but it hadn’t been updated in a while, so I’ve done that. I made sure that the beneficiaries for my insurance policies were properly set, and I had to change my emergency contact information as well. That was pretty rough too. I had had my emergency contact set to be my former partner who broke up with me earlier this year. I even had her listed as a 10% beneficiary for my life insurance policy – I don’t remember doing that, but it’s perfectly in line with something that I might do. At the time, I wanted to gift her with enough money to pay off her student loans if I should happen to expire accidentally while we were together. Now – I don’t even want her at my funeral.
My current partners are all trying to be supportive, but there is really nothing that they can do – nor is there anything I can do except to sit in my discomfort and wait for something to change. This is a very difficult place to be. I am doing my very best to take everything in stride and to be hopeful – by telling me that there is an equal chance that it is something that they don’t understand or something on the list of scary-ass-shit, my doctors were basically telling me that they have no idea what is going on or how to treat me. That is frightening, but if I can alter the narrative a bit and just cling to the notion that they don’t know what is wrong, it is slightly less terrifying. Slightly…
It’s really hard to say “my life is awesome” when you’re living with something like this hanging over your head, but it is still true. I am loved by many and I know that my passing will be mourned, but I am still hopeful that they won’t have to mourn my passing for decades yet to come. I will admit to stress eating and making bad decisions based on the idea that “either I’m fine and this won’t really hurt me, or I’m dying anyway and should enjoy the time I have left.” I suppose I am still a hedonist at heart.
I have confronted my mortality once again, and I really don’t like it, but I am happy in general with the life that I’ve led, the people that I’ve chosen to keep in my life, and the contributions that I have made. I would really like another century or two of healthy and happy life, but if my card gets pulled tonight, I’d feel as if my impact on the universe has been a net positive, and I can live with that for now – and hopefully for much, much longer as well.
After people get beyond the novelty of talking with a former sex worker and I answer all of the questions that I did in my last post, the thing I most often get asked about is how it is possible for me to create connections with people right away.
In the context of the work that I did for Mistress Simone, this was trivial. I already had a certain amount of native talent in the area. I was fit, good looking, well spoken, and I have a fucking amazing voice. The people that I saw were already primed and seeking a connection – all I had to do was not fuck it up. Of course, I still sometimes did – and not being an idiot, I try to learn from my mistakes and do better the next time, or at the very least, make new mistakes.
All of those first-date like meetings served to teach me rather well in how to create a connection and how to maintain someone’s interest once I do. As a result, I’ve created the neural pathways to instinctively know how to attract and maintain the attention of almost anyone.
I don’t necessarily mean a romantic or sexual connection here – and it would be impossible for me to create such a connection with anyone, since there are at least a large number of people out there who would not find me attractive – at least, not right away. But even when you are not taking sex into consideration, it is often very useful to be able to establish a connection right away, even if it is shallow. This is a core skill for salesmen, or personnel managers, or product marketers, or just about anyone, actually.
People are already hard-wired to look for connections. Humans are social animals – without a clan, we die – and when an opportunity arises to meet a new person, you make a snap judgment – whether you want to admit it or not – about how you feel about that person. Is this a person that I want to fuck? Is this a person that I want to talk to? Does this person make me feel threatened, or does this person make me feel safe? I can almost guarantee that all of those questions are going through your mind about every new person you meet, every time you meet someone new. You may not be cognizant of them all at the moment you meet, and the answers to those questions can (and do) change – often quite quickly – but every person answers all of those questions, and dozens others besides, about every person they meet, within moments of meeting them.
The good news is that most people are actually pretty decent people, and that most people really do want a positive outcome to meeting anyone. That does not mean that everyone wants to fuck you, but it probably means that more of them do than you realize.
The worst part of this post is coming right now: there is a trick to it.
It’s not something that I started doing intentionally, but eventually I noticed the effect, and I can occasionally be something of a social scientist brat – so I performed experiments. I talked to my friends in new ways, I talked to their friends and watched their reactions intently, and I interacted with total strangers.
It’s actually much harder to do this in the context of a normal social club/bar/party setting than it is as a contracted sex worker, but the stakes are also a lot less and I really didn’t care about being rejected – I was inoculated to rejection when I was a younger, more instantly visually appealing man. Which is to say – I’ve been rejected a lot…
But I said there is a trick, and it would be really mean of me to mention it and not tell you, wouldn’t it? So here it is: if you want to create immediate connection with someone, no matter their gender, age, or motivation, the answer is always the same…
Make eye contact and smile.
Seriously. That’s all that’s needed. Most of the time, you get a smile back and then you can move to the next step, but often you will get a shy look away or a terrified turn of the head or even see them get up and run away. Don’t worry – you’ll get another chance, but there’s also the chance that they just don’t like what they see and you should give up.
If they look away but eventually look back towards you, you can try it again one more time – but more than that and you are being creepy and need to stop. Otherwise you’ll ruin my reputation. More often than not though, if you don’t stare at them and try to will them into talking to you, they will be intrigued by the non-threatening smile and return their attention to you and give you a better chance – but it’s a bold thing to hold someone’s gaze who isn’t expecting it, and it intimidates a lot of people at first.
The next step – and the crucial one, I’ve found – is to ask them for a favor. It has to be something trivial that they can complete without needing any skill in a short period of time, and it cannot be in any way sexualized. Anything creepy here is going to just push them away and tickle their ‘not okay’ vibes. Besides – you’re not in this for the sex anyway, because if you were, you’d be smart enough to realize that the best way to accomplish that is to just pay for it.
This will require you to actually think a bit, perhaps, but as a good example, imagine that you saw an attractive, clean-cut, non-threatening looking man smile at you and give you some time to react, then he gets close enough to ask a question and says, “Would you mind holding my drink for me for a moment? I’ve just noticed that my boot is unlaced and I’d like to fix it.” Then he hands you his drink.
Most of you are thinking, “well, now I roofie him and when he’s good and lit, get him to take me back to his place where I fuck his brains out and then roll him for any cash he might be carrying on my way out – hoping never to see him again.”
No.. wait.. That’s not what I want – and that’s only happened once…
But you do see the point, right? You’ve created a connection, immediately. You’ve engaged their compassion as well as curiosity and maybe lust.
But isn’t this all terribly manipulative and premeditated and awful, Rant? How is this different from any of that pick-up artist crap that you are always shitting all over? Aren’t you just using psychological tricks to manipulate people?
Well – maybe. But name any interaction that you have with anyone, ever, where there is not some form of manipulation taking place. The whole point of communications is usually that there is something that I want (even if it’s pretty mundane) and I want you to help me with it in some way. And more to the point – you do have to start somewhere, and while I could just stand next to someone until I hear something that I can talk about and then try to jump into the conversation… that is a really weak place to start, putting yourself in the submissive position before you even begin to communicate – verbally, at least.
By asking for a trivial task to be accomplished, you’re giving your conversant the power to say ‘no’ and walk away, or to pick up the gauntlet and do something trivial in the interest of more conversation. And conversation is the goal here, so you have to follow up after this and actually have something interesting to talk about. There must have been some reason you wanted to talk to this person. Maybe you overheard them talking about something you are interested in, or maybe you just really like the way they make that dress look and you want to fuck their brains out. Talk about it – whatever it is – or let it go and forget about it entirely.
Interesting – or perhaps the opposite, actually – is that this works equally well with people who are sexually attracted to me as those who are not. In either case, I’ve engaged their curiosity and given them a focus, and then all I have to do is hold it.
Of course – you must also be charming and debonair and have impeccable sartorial choices if you want to maintain this contact, and that becomes a much more involved process and there are no tricks for that – either you will establish a real connection, or you won’t – but that is entirely up to you. The vast majority of the work involved in making a new connection is in those first moments of uncertainty, and by looking for a smile and asking for a favor, you can short circuit a lot of that.
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.
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.
Part 5: A radioactive spider-bite of BDSM goodness
My previous entry ended with the dissolution of my first marriage, my attempt at nomadic existence, and a mad scramble for how to survive in a world where I did not have a mission any longer.
I was, by this time, a graduate of several bachelors programs and fully qualified to seek employment in several potentially lucrative career paths, but I was aimless and adrift and in need of a way to support myself right now – having never lived with uncertainty before, so I took literally the first job I could find with the notion of finding something better while I was working. That job happened to be as a server at The Cheesecake Factory in Brentwood, California. Not the city of Brentwood, which is far to the east of where I live now, but the unincorporated area of Los Angeles referred to as Brentwood that sits between the cities of Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. To call it an affluent neighborhood would be an understatement.
Surrounded by wealth, living without direction, unsure of where I’d be sleeping for the night and hating the fact that a free meal was one of the major selling points for taking the job, I was desperate to find something that would give meaning to my existence again. I was enrolled in medical school, but I had stopped attending classes, and having lived with a long runway for my entire life – every step was planned, by my own ambition or by those who would see me fulfill visions of their own – I did not know what to do with myself and I didn’t know how to find my own way.
I worked in the day, drank heavily at night, and I became something of a bar rat. I hate to admit this about myself, but I started to fall back into old patterns of thought and I started viewing people as a means to an end rather than individuals again. I used the desperate and lonely as a way to have a place to sleep for the night and not have to sleep in my car yet again. I began to see society as something that I could exploit and all plans for the future fell away as I started living moment-to-moment, selfish and alone.
And yet – despite the rapidly descendant conditions of living that I was abruptly dropped into, I remained competent, preternaturally charming, and sharp as a bone saw. This resulted in my rapid advancement to the night shift, which while it did bring in larger tips, somewhat diminished my ability to use my charm and wit to secure lodging, so I was leaning more heavily on friends and that did not sit particularly well with me, though I’m not sure why it should feel worse to stay with people who cared for me than those who did not even know me, but that was where I was at that time.
One evening, I had a table with three older women – I say older women because at the time I was in my early 20’s and they were probably all in their mid to late thirties… I suppose I should properly say that I thought of them as cougars, though the term didn’t have that meaning at the time. They were into their wine to the tune of a bottle apiece and the actual food that they had consumed was pretty light. They were quite loose with their volume and the content of their conversation… they were all sharing stories of things that they had recently done with their boy-toys, and regaling in the schadenfreude of doing so right under the noses of their husbands.
My moral compass at the time was a little wonky, and to my mind, the stories that I was hearing sounded drastically more appealing than the life that I was living, so I turned my charm and wit into a weapon once again and I began to shamelessly flirt with the women at that table. I came back to check on them often, moving closer than was strictly necessary, and inviting the touch that I was sure would come – and I was not disappointed.
It was not long before I was telling them my life story, standing at the side of one who had her arm wrapped around my leg while another patted my abdomen or forearm with every other sentence she spoke and the third just sat across the table from me, easy in her seat, eyes burning a hole in my soul. They were all attractive, but this woman across the table, Simone, was a goddess. She had a light olive complexion and stunning ice-blue eyes with pure white, long, straight hair. Her body was lithe and firm, her tits were clearly fake, but not out of proportion with her frame. She looked like a Patrick Nagel print in negative, brought to life. But it was the look she gave me that haunted me.
They all seemed to love to hear the story of the country boy who grew up on horseback who was coming to the big city to go to medical school. They all seemed to want me, not just for my body -which I was quite proud of at the time – but for my story. They thought me a wholesome and eager, naive young man. I did not tell them of the Lodge or the fact that the reason I knew this was a compelling story was because I had been honing it night after night for the past month, going after smaller scores. But something about Simone struck me, and it’s clear to me now that she saw right through me from the very beginning.
Soon it came time for them to leave, and I was by now dodging the harsh stares of my manager anyway, so I was glad to see that they were wrapping things up, but hopeful that this would not be the last I saw of them. I prepared the check for them and wrote my first name and phone number on the customer copy, placed it in the folio and then walked to their table. I did not know who among them was to pay the tab, but I presented it to Simone without hesitation – it was really her that I wanted to see the note I’d left.
She gave me her credit card without looking at the bill, and I suppressed the dejected feeling that I have to admit that I felt and took her card back to run it, putting the original note on top of the receipt for her to sign and her credit card, then returned and handed the closed folio to her. She accepted it, looked inside, pulled out her card and signed the receipt and then handed it all back to me before I could get away.
Certain that my ploy had failed, I took out the customer copy of the receipt that she’d left behind and I crumpled it into the trash. I finished up the night without much else to speak of, and then spent the night on my friend’s couch once again, certain that I would never see any of them again but still dreaming of the might-have-beens that came with the idea.
You can imagine my surprise when I received a call the next morning. This was in an era before smartphones, but caller-id was still ubiquitous on the small displays of cell phones of the time and this showed up as “Silver Screen Partners”. I had no idea what to expect, but I was not expecting what followed.
“Hello Rant, this is Simone. Do you know who I am?”
I really was not expecting to hear from her, but I did know – immediately – so I didn’t hesitate, “Yes, I believe I do.”
“Excellent. I would like you to come to my office for a job interview this afternoon – can you manage that?”
“Wait – now I’m not so sure I do know…”
“Your hearing is not poor, I assume?”
“Then you should not doubt it. Can you make the meeting? 2pm – ” and she gave me an address.
“Yes. I can do that,” I replied, even though I knew it would mean skipping class yet again.
“Good. Do not be late, and bring your headshots if you have them.”
Now, I had never had any plans of attempting to be an actor or a model, but I did live in LA and work in a restaurant, so I knew what she was asking for, but I did not have any photos of myself, let alone professional headshots.
“Uh, I don’t have any…”
“That’s fine. Come anyway. Dress well.”
“Okay, I will be there.”
There was no click, really… phones don’t do that anymore and didn’t even then, but somehow we still get the foley for it in TV shows…
I did my best to make myself presentable, not knowing what to expect.
I arrived at Simone’s building about 15 minutes early, afraid to be late, and I walked into her office lobby to be greeted by a beautiful young lady with visible tattoos on nearly every inch of skin that I could see, and I could see quite a bit of it. She instructed me to sit and wait and that she’d take me to see Simone – “when Mistress is ready.”
I was a bit less worried about my appearance after seeing Pepper (whose name I would learn later, but it makes it easier to refer to her as such now) – but I was still a bit concerned about it, it was a cheap two-piece suit that fit me poorly, and I was not very comfortable in nice clothes at that time of my life.
Eventually Pepper asked me to follow her, so I did. I walked into Simone’s office for the first time and was greeted by Simone at the front of her desk, wearing a floor-length diaphanous gown with slits in the sleeves and up the legs and nothing else underneath.
I could feel my lower jaw dropping and I’m pretty sure that my eyes sparked into flame.
Simone controlled the room, to be certain. “Thank you, Pepper. Please make sure that we’re not bothered until I tell you otherwise.” (See – I told you I would learn that later…)
“Yes, Mistress,” Pepper bowed and backed out of the room to turn and walk back to the front of the office.
“Rant. Thank you for coming. Please take a seat,” she gestured to one of the chairs in front of her desk and walked around to sit in her chair behind it as I started to sit in the chair that she indicated. She was completely comfortable, as if she were actually wearing clothes that I could not see right through.
“Have you ever worked in the film industry? Or as a model?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Would you like to?”
“I suppose so – I hadn’t really thought about it.”
“Well, that is part of what I do here, but only part of it. What do you know about BDSM?”
I knew a bit, actually, from my earlier experiences with the Lodge and the Rapture group, but I was not confident enough to speak about it, so I responded, “A little bit. I know what the letters mean, at least.”
“Oh? Please tell me.”
I responded without really considering it, “Bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism.”
“Ah, yes. You are correct, but you are omitting the most important part.”
“Dominance and submission.”
“Oh yes, I knew that.”
“I’m sure you did.”
“Tell me, Rant. Are you single now?”
“How many girlfriends have you had?”
“Really? Perhaps I should rephrase – you’re clearly not as innocent as you claim – how many women have you had sex with?”
“More than one.”
She smiled at me and I knew it was not a smile of mirth, but it made me swoon regardless.
“Do you like to eat pussy?”
I was a little shocked by this question, I must admit. It was so abrupt – and women did not act like that, in my experience.
“Yes…” I responded, tentatively.
She got up from her desk and went to go sit on the couch that was along the wall of her office, to the side, and then she laid back a bit, spread her legs, and pulled the parts of her gown aside so that I could plainly see her beautiful pussy near the edge of the couch. Her eyes were locked on me the entire time, and I’m certain that my own gaze was hungry.
“Would you like to eat my pussy?”
“Then you may do so,” she said, completely matter-of-fact, fully expecting me to comply, and she was not disappointed.
I got up from my chair, walked over to the edge of the couch between her legs, then sank to my knees before her, knelt even lower, and nuzzled my face into her cunt, and began to lick at her with a tender touch. She threaded her fingers into the hair at the back of my head and pulled me into her after a moment of this, saying, “More pressure.”
I was only happy to comply.
Eventually I brought my hand up, and began to insert a finger into her pussy when she slapped me hard right across the top of my head, “You will ask before you do something like that!”
“Yes, Mistress,” I said, thinking I was being cheeky, and then went back to what I was doing, without the finger.
“I do believe that you are getting the picture now,” she said and sat up straight, pulling herself away from me, but leaving me kneeling between her legs, cunt juice all over my face.
“Where do you live now?”
“Uhm..” I hesitate, not wanting to reveal the fact that I was essentially homeless at the time, “do you mean – where do I get mail?” I ask, timidly.
“Oh. I see. I would not have expected that, but it works to both of our advantage, as it happens.”
“I will give you an apartment to live in, and I will make sure that you have adequate care for your needs, and in return for this you will be mine – my slave – and you will do anything I ask of you without hesitation or question. Do you agree?”
I was not really taking her seriously – I didn’t really understand what she was asking of me yet – but it sounded hot as hell and the idea of having an apartment provided for me, even if it meant that I’d be eating Simone’s pussy every day – or maybe especially if it meant that I’d be eating Mistress Simone’s pussy every day – that sounded very appealing to the me that I was then…