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.

A Message

OK, I get up this morning and go to the computer to check my mail.

A game that my youngest son recommended is finished loading off of STEAM. (He has recommended the most excellent games to me.  The last one was “Life is Strange“, things new, that I would not have explored, but that are intensely interesting and unique.).  As I am just exploring the beginnings (Fucking weird and intense, it begins with a romance, marriage, then his wife begins getting early onset Alzheimer’s, hospitalized, he takes a job as a fire watcher to get away from it all.  It is called, appropriately, “Firewatch“.)
Anyway, I am playing it when I see what I thought was a fly hovering between me and the screen.  Try to kill it.  Sure I got it, but no.
It ISN’T a fly, it is a tiny spider, hovering, always between me and the monitor.  I reach above it to try to catch the thread of its web to set it down somewhere else, and realize it is not hanging from above, it is floating on air currents from a thread ATTACHED TO ME.  To my glasses.
I take the thread and set him down below the monitor, but he is up and floating again within 5 minutes.  He is telling me something, but I don’t know what it is.  So I stop and think, and let myself wonder.
I do not know what it is.  There is no rule book.  But there is something here that is very important.  When strange things like this happen in your life, LISTEN, even to the very small ones.  They are tiny windows into a world that is DIFFERENT than yours.  These windows are important.  They allow you to see something outside of your life.  I don’t know.  Maybe that is what my spider friend is trying to tell me.
Moments that you do not understand, moments that (yes) confuse you, are important.  They show you that you are NOT all knowing, all understanding, that everything is NOT within your control.  Of course, most people would except that.  They know they can not control everything.  But we think we understand that, and understand the “WHY”.  Even in moments when things are not going our way, we think that “WHY” they are not going our way is understood, something I did, something he did, bad timing, whatever.  But they are not.  In the vast number of cases we do not know, and we certainly  do not understand when they do go our way.
But that is good.  That is VERY good.  That is the lesson, I think.  We have to be comfortable with that.  Life IS a mystery, really, and that is, in a very powerful way, why it is worth living.  It creates Wonder.  A completely understood life is, maybe, a little bit, maybe a lot, boring.
The Eroticist

Thinking of a Beginning

As many of these things do, this began by being asked how things should begin.  (For some reason, I am having strong remembrances of 1950’s fairy tale movies.)  A gentleman wished to talk about being a Daddy Dom, and what was needed.  Many things came to mind, but this was my answer…and so it begins.

It is terribly difficult to start a process such as this. Far easier to respond to questions or situations. Primarily because the path each person takes is so completely personal and unique to them. Let me emphasize that the relationship is unique to the PEOPLE within it. What your Daddy/lg relationship dynamics ARE (and let me say that a Daddy does not REQUIRE a “little” girl. While my partner is considerably younger than I, she does not really identify as a “little” in any way), what these dynamics settle down to being are determined by your partner just as much as yourself.

But let me throw some things your way to chew on. These may be settled in your mind to a great extent, but I would suggest that they are a process, a living flux, so change is inevitable.

The hardest thing for me in my growth as a Daddy/Dom was/is to resolve the constant conflicts between what I see around me as to the scene, the books and lectures I have attended, the society in which I have grown, the mentors I have had and the way I have been raised as a child, perhaps my life environment, and what it is I actually want or what pleases me. There is so much around each of us telling us what it is we should want. We may have beliefs firmly established within us as to what is “right” or “appropriate” to want because we are “Male”, “American”, “Dominant”, “white” or any kind of identity label you can think of. But those labels are NOT who you are. They are labels which we conveniently use to communicate a small part of ourselves to others. Those labels can mean something entirely different to others because of their societal upbringing. It gets transmitted as a package that is defined by the person receiving it. So they treat you in a way that is appropriate to that package. Haven’t you felt, at times, that because someone sees you as a Dominant or a Daddy, that they suddenly treat you in a way defined by them rather than as who you actually are?

The importance of this lifestyle, at least to me, is that it allows you the freedom to examine what it is that you want out of your life and your relationships rather than what you have been and are being told every second of every day. Freedom.

Sigh, but freedom comes with proportionate responsibility. A large subject there. To my mind the first expression of that responsibility comes in the form of communication. If and when you are comfortable with what you want, you have to communicate it. But communication does not just mean that you are confident in what you have said, it means you are confident in what the listener has heard. So in order to communicate to your partner, the best quality you can develop is how to listen.

So here is the major tip. The most valuable thing to hear from your partner or partners is, “What do you mean by that?” You want to hear that a lot. We use a lot of words in the scene. Dominance, service, submission, responsibility. Well, just like the labels I mentioned before, these are packages that are defined by the listener and what is service to you may not be service to them. So make sure they understand you.

Whew, that is a lot and a good beginning point. It just pored.  I hope you understood.  If not, ask me what I meant.

The Eroticist

The Triumvirate, the Third Leg

What is it that brings this full circle?  What gives this glorious BDSM relationship the stability and support that allows it to exist?  It is Obedience.  In the beginning it is obedience to Transparency.  It is said that when a submissive holds something  back, she is taking control of the relationship.  She is deciding what her Dominant should know and what he should not.  She is filtering what she exposes of herself, she is deciding not to show her real self, the whole of herself, she is only giving him the “Mask” of which she approves.  Obedience to Transparency is necessary.

This relationship is based in one person giving to another authority over themselves.  “I give you authority to make decisions for me.”  They do this out of Trust that the person who has authority will make those decisions out of a sense of care, compassion, understanding and some level of wisdom in order to promote the growth of the relationship.  If that is the case, and a decision has been made with all available information, how can that relationship grow without the obedience to follow through?

Within Trust, and Obedience to Transparency decisions can be made for the growth of the relationship and the people within it.

When a Dominant has all the information to make a decision he must be able to Trust that his decision will be Obeyed.  Without that Obedience, the entire structure of the relationship falls apart.  Trust is shaken.  Transparency is shrouded.  The circle is broken.

For a submissive or slave, they must trust their partner to take all the information given, that their Dominant will take that information in confidence and use it with an understanding of who they are as a human being of value, and no matter the submissive’s level of understanding of those decisions, they will obey those decisions to the best of their ability.

For a Dominant, they must trust that their partner has been transparently open to them, trust themselves enough to understand and be transparent about the motives behind their decisions, and trust that their partner will obey their requests.  The Dominant must also seek and obey his own spiritual guidance as to the direction he takes those who have given him authority.

Transparency, Trust and Obedience, the triumvirate that, in my belief, can support any relationship, BDSM or otherwise.  The direction of authority and the structure of the relationship is open to negotiation, but in my opinion, the triumvirate still stands.

The Eroticist