It has been a long time since I wrote.  My mind has been on establishing relationships, becoming comfortable in new communities, establishing a new presence and occupation in my new home, and discovering new places for me in the world.

Today I think about questions and the responses they engender in my own mind.  What questions are important in a relationship, particularly at the beginning, particularly in this strange lifestyle we call BDSM.  So before I move on, I want to ask you, my readers, what questions you would ask or want answered within yourself and by your prospective partner when beginning a relationship.  Seriously, I want to know what is necessary for you, what is important.  Send them as comments or write me directly.  I want to know.

I recently saw a post from a young submissive who said she needed help.  The question she gave me was, “How can i better serve?”

My answer follows:

OK, that is a very open ended question and has a large number of possible answers.

Look at what you are good at. What was the original attraction between you?  Was it your beauty, your sensuality, your willingness to throw yourself into his direction, your enjoyment of extreme sensation, your knowledge and expertise?  What was it that attracted you to him?  What do you want to encourage in him?

Is your relationship based in a sexual relationship, service relationship, play or SM? Is it a 24/7 live in relationship, a long distance, primarily text or phone relationship?

Have you asked your Dominant/Master what it is that he wants most?

I suppose what I am saying is that the first step to any form of service is communication. You should work towards clear, transparent channels between you.

This may mean the first efforts should be within yourself. What is it that you want? I do not mean that in a demanding, get what you want kind of mode, but that you have to know what you want so you can tell your Dom/Master clearly. Inform him. Only that will allow him to make the right decisions. Obviously, he has to do the same. He has to know what he wants, so as to clearly inform you in how to please him. So communication comes first.

The next thing, in my mind, is to spend a lot of time examining your assumptions. The most valuable question to ask is, “What do you mean by that?” I have said many times that there is no rule book here. You both have to discover what the other means. An amazing amount of stress cam come from assuming you know what a word means to the other. What does “Service” mean to you? What does it mean to him? ASK! Be clear!

Do you want to serve him in any way possible, even if it is incredibly uncomfortable to you, painful, just because you are tremendously affirmed just by serving him? That works for some people, but do not assume it is what he wants, nor what service means. If it is not something that truly affirms you , but it is something that he wants, that dynamic will work against your long term relationship.

Conversely, if you assume that is what he wants, and so do things that are truly difficult for you when what he wants is to excite and astound you, then when he finds out you are suffering, he will be hurt and disappointed. He may not wish to be hurting his toy.  Do not assume. Find out.

Puppy bear, my partner, would not argue one bit with the thought that I am a strong sadist. But many sadists would argue with that term because I love a classical masochist, a pain puppy who wants me to hurt them until the only thing they want to do is fuck me. I have been told, “You’re not a sadist, you’re a very nice guy.” But that is because sadism to him was making his partner suffer, for him.

Every term we use in the lifestyle is open to personal interpretation. So ask, “What do you mean by that.” It is a very valuable discussion.

There is nothing wrong with questioning the orders or directions of your Dominant.  It shows you wish to understand.  Questioning yourself is also a worthy exercise.  Even in the deepest Master/slave relationship, where obedience is the only requirement, to obey, you need to understand.

I would say it is even appropriate to question the relationship.  If you hear, inside yourself, questions about the care and intentions of your Dominant.  You should listen hard.  For if doubt comes in, it should be questioned and respected, answered and discussed.  But THAT discussion is for another time.

The Eroticist