Of a Different Kind, a Contemplation

It has been many months since I last wrote here.  In that time much has changed.  I am older, painfully wiser, and far more contemplative, at least for now.  It has been several months since PB and I were together.  She has a new owner.  I have not found much energy to search.  I recently read a superb article by DAEMONUMX titled “The Unique Grief of Ending a BDSM Relationship“.  She speaks eloquently of those moments when deeds, tasks that must be done, are now acutely different, making the bed, cleaning up after a meal.  Moments that used to be filled with actions and conversation of confirmation and bond, now, just tasks.  You search for something within yourself that is no longer there, something solid, a base, a defining characteristic that makes a part of who you are.  No longer there it is like that feeling that you forgot something.  You check to see you have your wallet, your keys, did you pack everything, where is that list.  Something missing, but of a different kind.

Emotional pain is a peculiar thing.  It is the human condition to search for reasons so you can work to stop it.  What do I do?  Where do I go?  I do not know.  I think, at this time, I just have to wait.  People write scripts.  I hurt, and this is the reason.  Build the characters, recall the set, remember the props, and decide on the actions.  Unfortunately the actions tend to just create more of the same.  More pain.

There is much within a BDSM relationship that can be found to profit what we call a “Vanilla” relationship, examination, purposeful and cooperative creation, personal decisions on how the occupants create what the relationship will be.  It necessitates a commitment to truth, honesty, and transparency, something lacking in many relationships I see around me.  In the dissolving of that relationship there is a strong tendency to self accuse, particularly on the part of the one assuming responsibility.  So the scripts will often cast you as the Antagonist.  Strange to be both the pro and Antagonist.  A script of a Different Kind.

In meditative advice, it is taught to just sit with it.  Look at it.  Not the reasons, the script, just the pain.  Where do you feel it?  Where do you put it?  There is nothing wrong with the pain, just what you do because of it.  It is OK to feel it.  It is real.  Don’t run from it, hide it, squash it down.  Sit with it.  It is OK to hurt.  At least, so they say.  Contemplation.

Old Wounds

Haven’t posted in a while.  These are strange times in which we live.

I have been talking with a friend who is struggling through a difficult time in her M/s D/lg relationship.  We talked about forgiveness and moving past some things.  It made me think about what is considered appropriate for those to the right of the /.  They are responsible to the one on the Left.  They have to think about the other’s needs and less about their own.  Their needs are the obligations of the one on the Left.  But that doesn’t always happen. as much as we wish it would.  Particularly in this time of overwhelming stress.  Lives are shaken.  Ways of being are torn.  Things happen and the immediate desire is to get back to the way things were.  Actions were taken, responsibilities ignored.  But if we can just get back, all will be forgiven and forgotten.

But that is not possible.  Perhaps that is a lesson from the Now where we are.  As they say, There is No Going Back.  Nor should there be.  When stresses ease and times become more comfortable we may wish we can settle into the way things were, to put away grievances as if they were from a different time only allows them to ferment.

Old wounds can’t be left to fester.  It is nice to think they can just be put behind you.  They have to be addressed.  Yes, with care and consideration towards the other, but still must be.  We like to think of ourselves as “Adult” “Mature” “Reasonable” and all those words that in this context are rather judgmental, particularly when directed towards ourselves.  But when it comes right down to it, each of us are delicate 6 year olds with only an adult veneer.  We must have the understanding that our hearts need just as much respect as our minds.

Sunglasses and Cilantro

First, let me apologize to you all for the length of time since I last posted.  Much has changed in my life and the transition has not been easy.  Relationships have changed and I am sure will change again.

But, as usual, I observe what goes on around me and those observations do seem to bring me to some unusual conclusions.

I am an artist, as many of you know, and today I was buying thread for my next construct.  One aspect of this one is a progression of threads going from light to dark.  In the store, to the consternation of a few women with children, I sat on the floor with a large number of spools, trying to get the right progression.  An issue seemed to be that some colors darkened with a more yellowish cast, and some with a more blueish.  No problem, just pick the right ones and go home.

Out in the car I put on my sunglasses for the drive and noticed the colors again.  Changes, many changes.  But not enough to go through the shopping experience again.  Once home, I looked at the colors once more.  This time without glasses under daylight coming in through the window rather than direct through polarized glasses or the bright store lights.  Here, as I am sure you would all expect, the colors were again not exactly the same.  This, as you would also expect, put me in mind of Cilantro and green peppers.

Uhuh.

My former wife hates green peppers.  I do not.  I hate Cilantro.  She does not.  But it does not have anything to do with our taste in food, more in the cause of that taste or how we taste our food.  (Here is a short rather simplistic article on it.  Here is a short one specific to my differences with Cilantro.)  How I taste things may not be how you taste them.  Think of that next time you ask, “What do you mean you don’t like….?”

(There is an interesting article in the Business Insider on biological and behavioral differences between Liberals and Conservatives that goes far beyond political differences.)

The point of all of this is that what you received from the world, what you perceive, those elements which move in and around you to make up your day, differ and change depending on where you are, where you receive it, and the nerves, genes, sensing organs and the brain that interprets it. This is why you should look around you.  There is beauty there that is given just for you.  Truly, No one else can see it.

But this is a blog about my views on relationships within a Daddy/lg, SM, D/s, and M/s relationship.  It involves how one takes responsibility for the Trust and Care of another human being who has given you a certain authority over them.  Please understand, They are not you!  What is easy for you may not be easy for them.  They may perceive the world in vastly different ways that are profoundly different than how you do.  Give them room to be who they are.  First, it is the differences that give the joy in this lifestyle, but also it is exactly those differences that open a window for you to see how the world can be perceived in ways that are new and exciting for you.

So, I suppose what I am saying is that when conflicts arise, perhaps the very first thing that should be done is…breath, ask, “What do you mean by that?”, understand that they are differences between you and them that may go far beyond your current understanding, and let them love Cilantro.

On Being Right

I am in a dialog with a gentleman who mentioned some issues beginning with a quoted statement on how a slave “will always act and respond in such a way as to make the Master’s orders look ‘right.’”

This brings up conflicting views in my mind.  I will start with an example.

As I enjoy using a single tail, I often attend single tail demos.  At one convention demo I was quite impressed with the lecturer until he told me that Master should never admit to a mistake.  This was very conflicting for me and he lost my respect.

In my opinion/view/experience humans tend to like to be right, but often aren’t.  So, do we admit to the mistake, learn, improve and show respect to those who showed us a differing way, or do we refuse to admit mistake, and work to convince ourselves the rightness of our response?  I think if you observe the people of authority around us, both religious, legal and political, you will quickly come to the conclusion that the latter is the more common.  But I do not feel it is the more advantageous.

Now, I will be the first to admit that the example I gave does not exactly match the question asked.  But it applies.  Do I want a close and valued partner to encourage a possibly human tendency to feel I am right no matter what, or would I wish them to respectfully express a contrary viewpoint.  What I would wish is that they respectfully ask if this moment would be the appropriate moment to ask a question and if it was, to be sure they were clear as to the result I wanted, and then, and only then, to express their viewpoint as to a possibly better way to accomplish that goal.

Obviously, all of this is context sensitive.  If necessary, I would rather they fuck all of that BS and pull me out of the way of the damn bus.

I make mistakes.  I believe being a MASTER means I know who and what I am, and know my limitations.  I cannot tell you the number of fuck ups I have accomplished by being RIGHT.  I would rather be better.

I believe firmly that I gain more respect and admiration by working to be better and  respecting the viewpoint of my partner than I would by continuing the sham of playing “right” no matter what.

As for being right in my response, I continually encourage the most outstanding question, “My Master, what did you mean by that?”

The gentleman with whom I was conversing replied at length and then said, “I am focusing on situations where she is needlessly snide, sarcastic and caustic.”  This was important to me and I wrote back.

Keep in mind, I do not know the particulars of your relationship, neither the constructed protocols you both have created together nor the more “humanesque” immediate responses to stimulus that we all have.  (Though I might say that what you describe seem to fall more into the latter.)  So all I can speak on are my own particularly heart felt desires.

Respect is to be greatly valued.  I try to continually express my respect of my puppy bear by valuing her opinion and seeking her views on all subjects.  As I continually tell her, I want her opinion on all things so I can make the most informed choice.  But the choice is mine.  She is the supporter, I am the leader.

But in her expression, I remind her that respect is due from her as well.  A way of doing that is to continually talk about what it is she whats and needs from our relationship.  Does she want to be in a relationship with someone she admires and respects?  Then treat me that way.  If she feels I am acting disrespectfully, then respectfully express that opinion.  Returning disrespect only creates a disrespectful relationship.  She absolutely has the right to call me out when I treat her disrespectfully (unless it is in a negotiated aspect of our relationship or scene, but that’s a whole different fish).

I am reminded of a lecture from Master Obsidian and Namaste.  They describe a serf approaching their Royalty and saying, “Hey, Fucker, you really messed up here.”  To which the appropriate response is that of the Queen of Hearts.  However, if the serf has a legitimate complaint, and informs their Master with increased respect and deference, they are, in fact, reminding their Master of his responsibility for the maintenance and well being of the relationship.  A point I have remembered for many years.

Another one of the things I mention to her is Mindfullness.  That is a common term in Buddhist practice and other forms involving meditation.  Immediate responses are usually not our most affirming and respectful ones.  Just look at the most public tweets we see today.  This goes to both of you.  Think about what you do and the intent of it.  Is it to promote a more joyous and mutually affirming and respectful relationship, or is it to spew out your immediate grumbleness?

I catch myself here with a smile because there is little I enjoy more than “disrespectful banter” between my puppy bear and I.  But there is always a clear consciousness of the love and respect behind it.  (If not, I do have a large paddle.  She, unfortunately has no such resource.)

Now, I tend to be an immediately confrontational person.  If my puppy bear expresses herself disrespectfully, as she can do after a stressful day at work or if I hit a historical stress button inadvertently, my first question might be, firmly “Why are you here?”  “Why are you in this relationship?”  You see, the thing I most enjoy about the D/s or M/s relationship is that We think about it.  All parties are required to work to bring that relationship to what we define as best for us.  Why else are we here?  If that is so, then respect is necessary.

OK, enough pontification for this morning.  But I can not leave without a comment on his last substantive paragraph.  He had told me, “We’ve only been together for about 7 months now. While she considers herself to be well versed in being a slave after having been in such relationships for the past decade or so (albeit they have all been unhealthy and abusive), I am relatively new to the role of being a master.”

Time does not equate to valuable experience, unless it is learning from unproductive choices.  But it can confuse one into thinking they have authority.  Informing, talking about previous situations can be good, and I would definitely ask what aspects of her previous relationship were valuable and affirming to her and what were not, but remember, she informs and you decide.  Do not give her authority just because she has a longer time for experience.  The relationship you create and maintain is the one between you and her, no one else.

 

On “Me Too”

I put “Me Too” in quotes only to convey that I have not been a victim of sexual abuse, not to belittle it’s intent in any way.  My thoughts are still jumbled, but strong. This is a subject of overwhelming importance to me, to my family, to families with young children, and absolutely to this country at large.
I have seen comments that bring up many issues for me and I feel it necessary to give voice to them.
 
ONE) Me Too. I am surprised that there are so many women who ARE NOT saying, “Me Too.” I think, shamefully, that this situation is endemic to this country, and to a greater or lesser extent the world. Horribly, in some places, to a FAR GREATER extent. As I will comment later, we are in a situation where very few people can give advice from a place where this is NOT an issue.
 
TWO) Me to YOU. I am a 70 year old, Very Tall, sometimes eloquent White Male. To an extent that is continually and increasingly becoming evident to me, that means I have been greatly entitled through my entire life. The trouble with being entitled is that you don’t get a certificate for it, it just IS. I don’t have to work for this, I just GET IT. IT IS THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS. So why should I act against how the world works?
Without question, I have taken advantage of this throughout my life. For that, I now, and will continue to apologize. I am sorry.
 
THREE) What do I do NOW? I saw a comment from someone very near and dear to me asking what to do if they see a situation that COULD fall into this category. He is also tall, white and sometimes eloquent. I am not sure if I can give any cogent advice that is not self contradictory. 1) If you have the ability, wait, watch and see if you can confirm. 2) Politely interrupt and say to BOTH, “I am sorry to interrupt, but I see a lot of stress here. Is there any way I can help?” Then go back to number 1. 3) Be aware of local options for abused people, police, shelters, and possibly have those numbers on your person. 4) Be highly aware that a stranger’s (your) interruption can be an ADDED stress and that stress happens to couples for many reasons other than spousal or couple abuse. LIFE can be abusive.
 
FOUR) Does Anyone Know? I commented before on the difficulty of finding someone who knows how to operate from a place of true respect, honesty and equality of value. I believe we are truly in uncharted ground here.
We live in a society where we can not talk about that for which we all have a great need, Sex and Power. Indications of that need are ALL around us. A cursory look at the adds we see hundreds of times a day will tell you that. Why do we have Hooters, Playboy, bikini’s at car shows? Even in “informative” adds, the lady talking to you is not going to be looking like Madeleine Albright (again, I am sorry) unless it is a discussion of world affairs. Look at the adds for reverse mortgages. Do you really think that a man who looks like Tom Selleck who lives in a HUGE High rise apartment in a big city needs a reverse mortgage? But he is wealthy, handsome, powerful, successful, so you take his advice. Look at our president (without the handsome part). All of that is constantly operating in our world, effecting us, yet we do not, cannot TALK about it. When was the last time you brought up your sexual tastes on a first date? (Might look into Reid Mihalko’s Elevator Speach.)
I LOVE to flirt. There are discussions now about how to maintain a sexy atmosphere in a time of absolute consent. “Can I touch you? How? Can I hold your hand? Can I kiss you? Where? Etc.” How about if you like kinky sex? How do you discuss THAT? What if you WANT to overpower, to be overpowered? “I want to feel totally overpowered, to be taken. I want to give up my power to you. Here is a 5 page list of limits and requirements as to how to do that.” Feels really sexy, don’t it.
What I am asking is, How do we do that? My thought is, at this time, almost no one knows. We do not have a societal language for continued erotic tension and engagement that allows for sexual consent.
 
Perhaps that is the discussion we ought to have.

Wants, Needs and Abilities.

The issue of wants and needs is often discussed in terms of those on the right side of the slash, /s.  It is often said that it is the submissive’s or slave’s responsibility to expose to their Dominant/Master/Owner all their perceived wants and needs (not necessarily an easy introspection) and it is the Dominant’s or Master’s responsibility to decide which are in actuality a want even if perceived by the sub/slave as a need and vise versa.

It is also important for an equal or greater introspection on the part of the Dominant/Master/Owner to understand Their wants and needs, also a difficult task. From people I respect it is generally thought to have an order of priority:

  1. submissive’s needs
  2. Dominant’s needs
  3. Dominant’s wants
  4. submissive’s wants

It is important to note, thought not the point of this post, that the submissive’s needs come first.  Get used to it.

Another firmly held belief of mine is that while the submissive is responsible to the Dominant, the Dominant is responsible to the relationship, and this takes me to the point of my post.  While it is lovely to have the authority to structure a relationship where you are totally in charge, your sub always does what you want, and if there is any variance you have the right to be that gloriously firm and commanding presence who can punish to your hearts content.  There are times when as much as you and your loving submissive wants them to do as you wish, there are things about their physical or emotional history, condition, or experience that make that impossible.  Their Abilities.

So what is one to do?  As is usually the case, you are not told about these things in advance.  You discover them through a series of failures.  After a long, possibly painful series of minor or major disasters, constantly questioning whether or not your submissive truly wants this relationship, you are continually presented with a choice. Possibly a long series of repeatedly seeing this choice, perhaps only once.  Is this inability something I can live with?  Is it outside of My needs?  Is it permanent, will it ever change, or with care and help, will the ability grow as maturity evolves?

Because this is not something that responds well to “Dominance” however much you want to respond with, “I say to do it, so do it”.  It responds to care, patience, and a responsibility to the relationship.  This is why the submissive’s needs come first and your needs might have to wait.

But, and to make this so incredibly more difficult, you have to continually respond to that choice.  Is this something I can live with, is it truly an inability or is it an easy out and a form of topping from the bottom.  There I can give you no help.  It is a question you much continually face and answer, moment to moment.  Such is the life.

The Eroticist

Wants and Needs

It has been a while since writing.  For that I apologize.  Holidays, health and births have taken my attention.  But here are some thoughts.

It was often told to me that it is the Dominant’s responsibility to satisfy the Needs of their submissives, but it is their choice as to whether or not they satisfy their submissive’s wants.

To me that seemed a relatively simple, understandable and reasonable statement.  If I am taking some level of responsibility for the well being of this person, much like a parent has responsibility for their child, it is understandable that I would be responsible for their needs, but just because my little girl wants a pony, that does not necessarily mean she will be getting a pony.

But even in Daddy/little girl relationships, understanding the statement is not easily translated into a practical application thereof.  H0pefully we are dealing with adults here, adults who may have had many years experience in deciding exactly what their needs and wants might be.  But deciding the difference between our needs and wants is profoundly different from responsibly deciding what is a need and what is a want in someone else.

The situation complicates because in most cases we are not dealing with simple subjects.  We are not dealing with things but with aspects of our relationship.  Does she want the excitement of being bound to your bed each night or does she need it as a representation of being held within your sphere.  In one case, it is a hot kick which is fun and you can do it or not, and in the other it is a symbol of your surrounding her with your protection and you had best NOT forget about it.

Let us look at the following example:  The two of you have talked extensively about the mutual desire to broaden your sexual relationship, go for a triad for example.  She may a great desire and vast experience with bi-sexuality, for instance, and truly enjoy girl/boy/girl porn.  She thinks that doing that would be so HOT!  You may feel that adding a third to your family would be a delight.

But then comes the day when the two of you invite some hot and horny woman into your bedroom.  Your partner, with whom you have worked for years so she can feel as open and vulnerable to you as possible, look at you as her guide and director, her adviser and teacher, the one who who she allows within this vulnerability to take her to really incredible heights of sexual passion by all those lovely things that You do to HER.  Now she is watching you do all these lovely things to this other woman who shows incredible appreciation for the passion you are lifting in her and you are sincerely loving that appreciation that previously you got only from your partner, and your partner sees that and suddenly things are not going as wonderfully as you both had anticipated.  This is immediately complicated by her knowing she agreed to this, and it is, after all, obviously pleasurable to you.

Or possibly she has wanted to experience two men all her life, and you find another Dominant and you both Top her and you find her responding to His Dominance as she does to yours, and eagerly following His directions or responding to His sadistic thrills as she does to yours.  Suddenly you do not seem as special in your partner’s eyes.  Your appreciation is just not quite as great.  That disillusionment, in either case, can drag on and effect your relationship for quite a long time.

What is a Dominant, a Master to do?  That is a very difficult question and one I have been struggling with for quite a while.  Let me say now that I do not have an answer.  But I have some thoughts.

Something I dearly wish to avoid are disastrous mistakes.  We are dealing, after all, with deeply personal levels of behavior that are often glossed over in relationships.  Most people don’t do what we do and a disastrous mistake can result in the end of a relationship, particularly in times when people jump into fantasy behavior without thinking about the practical and realistic results.

So my first thought is, Take Your Time.  There is no rush here.  Talking about it is fine, describe it, suggest different scenarios.  Suggest different outcomes, even unpleasant ones.  Talk about how the two of you would handle them.

Then Listen.  You will hear the sincere joy or the concern.  There will always be hints.  Be aware of long pauses with questions such as, “Is that what you want?”  Is she just asking, or is she expressing a deep concern.  Then be honest with yourself?  Is it what you want?  Is it important enough to examine the basis of your relationship, because that is what is required?  May be, may not be.  That is up to you.  But make an honest decision.  If you discover that there is an area of fragility, then it is up to you to decide if your relationship is strong enough to test it or whether or not this activity should be postponed.

Observe.  Does she come back to a subject the next day?  Does she seem unsettled?  As a scheduled event approach is she quieter or are there disagreements over unrelated subjects that usually do not happen?  Does she do her service with less joy?

The question is, is it more important to go forward with an event with the possibility of unsettled issues which can cause difficulty in the future, or is it better to wait, postpone the event, and for both of you to work towards transparency and trust?  Which is more important?  What exactly are Your wants and your needs?  I usually move towards waiting.

The Eroticist

Some interesting blogs on the subject by some knowledgeable people, my good friend and a very KinkyLittleGirl.  A multiblog post from the Submissive Guide, but it aims particularly at how a submissive can discern between Wants and Needs, and not from a Dominant’s point of view.  A longer post from A Submissives journey.  He does tend to tell you exactly what those needs are for all submissive women, and you should know that this site has the following policy, “This website is dedicated to the belief and practice of “Absolute Submission” and “Unconditional Surrender” within the “Ancient” and “Biblical” documented and practiced “Natural Order” of women consensually submitting to men.”  Not a philosophy with which I totally agree, but it is an interesting read.