Posts from the ‘Dominance and submission’ Category

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.

 

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

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

The Triumvirate, the Second Leg

Last time I spoke on Transparency (as I have often and before), and the necessity for those on the right side of the D/s or M/s slash (the s) to be clear and complete in their communication to their partner on the left (the D and M) no matter how contradictory or embarrassing that communication might be.  I also mentioned that the requirements are not quite the same for those on the left side.

I do not mean to say that the Dominant partner in a relationship is not required to be Transparent.  I might even say that the requirements are more severe, for a Dominant must be Transparent to himself.  (Do I need to repeat that I tend to speak of a Dominant Male Sadist and a female masochistic submissive because that describes my relationship?  What I speak about, hopefully, is equally applicable to male, female, Dominant, Master, slave, submissive, masochist and sadist, no matter what combination or pattern your relationship might take.)  This transparency requires a strong emphasis on self-reflection, insight and acceptance.  While it may be quite difficult for a submissive to admit to their Dominant their most embarrassing thoughts and desires, it may be quite a different degree to admit and accept them as part of yourself.  For a moment, try to think of your most embarrassing, possibly disgusting desire as an integral element of who you are as a human being, a necessary part of the wise, compassionate, intelligent creature you believe yourself to be.  For that is what it is.

I want to emphasize that this difference in requirements is not a power play.  It is not the Dominant saying, “You have to do it, but I don’t.”  As my good friend Skip Chasey said, a Master has to keep one step ahead of his property.  A Dominant has to be in a position to see just a step further, and to help his slave or submissive see that further distance can require the Dominant do things without telling his property why, for to tell them why may work against them.

To be transparent to yourself or to your partner requires a deep level of Trust.  Trust that your relationship is bigger and broader and far more firmly based than whatever it is that is going on inside right now, trust that whatever filth you dredge up will be accepted by your partner with love and compassion, trust that whatever pain you expose will be accepted, trust that whatever is asked of you is asked with wisdom, compassion, and respect.

If you find someone you can trust, trust deeply, whose wisdom you respect, respect to the point where you choose to give them authority over you, the only way they can truly take that authority and make the right decisions is by having all the information you can give them.  That is all your wishes, all your desires, all your fears, your pain, your uncertainty, your misgivings.  How else can they know what to do, what is best for you?  How else can they take the responsibility you wish to give them?

When you get to the point where you trust yourself, trust the benefit of your dark parts, when you find someone whose heart is strong and open to you, someone who you trust to share the whole of you, someone who accepts that whole, when you trust yourself to take responsibility for that person, for that relationship, that is the point when you can begin to ask for the third leg of the Triumvirate, obedience.

The Eroticist

The Triumvirate, the First Leg

I was once told that a three legged stool was the most sable, because it could never wobble.  I am not sure if the analogy will hold through this.  But it is a good place to start.

I often have deeply insightful discussions with my partner pb.  Our relationship is slowly but, and most importantly, consistently growing.  A subject that has been discussed repeatedly in the recent past has been Transparency.

A simple definition of transparency within the BDSM context is the ability to communicate everything, rational and emotional, without editing.  We are not trained to do that.  We are trained to hide, even from ourselves.  (Psychologists make quite a good living from that tendency.)  Transparency is the ability to tell your partner what is happening inside.  How do you feel, even if it may hurt to say it?  What do you want, even if you know you can’t or shouldn’t get it?  It is the ability to communicate what is inside even if it is silly, embarrassing, stupid, contradictory, self centered, jealous, and insulting.  Most importantly, even if you don’t like it.

Gandhi once said he had an allegiance to truth, not to consistency.  Humans are inherently self contradictory.  Our feelings are true, but they may be totally contradictory to what we state.  Our beliefs are true even if our feelings brings us to contradictory actions.  No matter, to be transparent we must be able to express them.

Now here is the overwhelmingly sticky element in all of this from within an authority exchange relationship.  Transparency is required from the slave or submissive to the Dominant, but not from the Dominant to the slave or submissive.  That’s a real kicker, one of those, “How come it’s OK for YOU” elements.  But there are some caveats there.  The Dominant MUST be internally transparent to the best of his or her ability.  That is he must understand himself and his reasons for his behavior.  But he or she is not required to be verbally transparent about his or her actions to those who have given them authority.

This is not a power play.  If a Dominant is attempting to bring forth an insight within his submissive, telling her how and why would, at that point, only give her tools with which to armor herself.

Those on the right side of slash in the D/s or M/s relationship MUST be transparent to the best of their ability in all communication to their partner on the left side of the slash.  Those in authority must do whatever they can to encourage and train their partners to be so.  How else can the Dominant or Master make the best decisions?

But those on the left, to do their best work, to bring out the best in their partners, are not required to expose the reasons behind their behavior to those on the right.  To do their job, to intelligently take on the responsibility of the relationship, to assist in the growth of that relationship and those within it, a Dominant or Master must often do sly and sneaky things.  If he is able, he must, at times, trick his partner into insights.  He must eloquently finagle.

However, to ACCEPT that finagling, to be able to willingly give that authority, to say, “I may not understand, but I accept” requires Trust, and that is the second leg.

The Eroticist

A Tumblr post

Yes, I know, I have promised to post more on Exxxotica, but I got hit with some additional surgery, and I am recovering, so just wait, ok?

However, in my bed of pain I ran across a tumblr that truly impressed me.  It is the first I have ever actually chosen to follow rather than just stalk.  It is obviously from a person of intelligence and and literary acumen.  Good photos and excellent texts.

On it, today, I found the following interchange, though the actual post is from a while back.  That interchange was originally on this blog.  It just pointed so squarely to so many of my issues within the BDSM community that I am FORCED (ahem, yea) to quote it.  Because I have not yet received instructions as to how to handle his links, I will some within []s.


Anonymous asked:

Been reading ur blog. U need to stop calling urself a dom. All this lovey crap makes real doms sick. A sub is not for respecting and loving. A sub is for using and thats what they like. Its fine that u love ur girl, just dont call urself a dom. Real doms show dominance, use there sub and leave her laying like the cunt slut she is. Bein all sweet, and all that does is give her power over u, which makes u not a dom.

Original post answered:

Hi there, Anon. I almost didn’t even dignify this with a response, but I think you’ve actually given me a good opportunity to say something that new Doms need to know, so kudos to you.

First and foremost, let’s establish something right here and now: You don’t get to tell me what I am, and you are damn sure not the leading authority on what does and does not constitute a Dominant. For the record, I didn’t wake up one day and decide to be a Dom. I never even thought of myself that way until I met [My pet] 10 years ago. I always had the characteristics of a Dom, sure, but I didn’t ever put that title on myself. That title was given to me by my submissive. SHE is the one who wanted to call me Master, and Sir, and sometimes Daddy. I never told her to do these things. But of course, you probably think I am making my point for you and that if I were a REAL Domly Dom, I would’ve demanded those things.

And that’s where you have a fundamental issue understanding the meaning of the title. So let me help you with that.

A Dom does not demand respect. He conducts himself in such a way as to be worthy of respect.

A Dom does not bark commands. His presence is such that he can seduce and command with nothing more than a glance.

A Dom does not raise his voice. He is the kind of man who gets what he wants without needing to.

A Dom is not a braggart. He is possessed of a calm, quiet confidence that is evident in his demeanor, the way he walks, the tone of his voice, and all other aspects of him.

A Dom understands balance. He knows that while a firm hand and discipline are critical in this type of relationship, knowing when to be gentle and understanding is every bit as important.

A Dom is a gentleman first and foremost. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a fancy man who values the finer things in life, but he does understand manners and protocol. He opens the car door for her. He orders for her if she is having trouble deciding. He treats strangers with courtesy and respect.

A Dom is a protector. He makes sure that his submissive feels safe and protected at all times. This means so much more than just telling her you will protect her. A Dom shows her. He keeps a hand on her shoulder or on her waist in crowds so she doesn’t get nervous. He sleeps on the side of the bed closest to the door so that he is always between his submissive and an intruder. He walks on the side of the sidewalk closest to the street so that an errant vehicle will hit him before his submissive. If anything or anyone should threaten his submissive, he must be prepared to fight for her with the ferocity of an alpha wolf.

A Dom earns her submission. It is not a thing to be demanded, expected, or assumed. And he continues to earn it, each and every day.

A Dom values her submission. Fully submitting your will and trusting your body and well-being to someone takes a kind of strength most can’t imagine, and a dom never loses sight of that.

A Dom understands that being a dominant is 10% privilege and 90% responsibility. He is literally taking her life into his hands. He is accepting the most sacred and important thing she has to give. He is taking her burdens and bearing them as his own, always, every day.

A Dom is consistent. He understands that he can’t just be her protector, lover, confidant, master, etc. when he feels like it. There will be days when a dom is tired. There will be days when he is stressed. There will be days when he is broken. On those days, it is more important than ever for a Dom to show his submissive that he is still everything she needs him to be.

So what does it mean, then, to be a Dom? I get the feeling that you, anon, would say that it’s all about making her kneel, having your way with her, shouting orders and using her. Helpful hint: Any jackass can buy himself a whip and bark commands. That’s not a Dom. Don’t get me wrong, I do absolutely have my way with [my pet]. I love it when she kneels. I love the kinky, rough, mind-blowing sex we have. I love to dominate her in the bedroom. But for every moment of that, there are a hundred moments of holding her, of talking to her, laughing with her, gaming with her. There are a hundred moments of making her feel safe when she is afraid, giving her confidence when she is unsure, comforting her when she feels troubled. Those are all things that a Dominant does too.

I love my submissive more than I love oxygen. I love my submissive with a fire that can never be extinguished. I value her and respect her in every way. I treat her like a queen and fuck her like a slave. These things don’t make me weak. They don’t make me less of a Dominant. These things make me stronger than you can possibly imagine. There is nothing quite so formidable as a Dominant who has found the perfect submissive to fuel his fire. Never will you see anyone love so strongly or fight so fiercely.

Bottom line, Anon, is this: you sound like a boy playing at being a man. You decided one day that you were sick of women having willpower and a voice of their own, so you decided to call yourself a dominant and seek out some weak-willed submissive who wouldn’t talk back to you or stick up for herself. You are not a dom. You are a jackass with a whip. Classic case of toodomforyou.


I could not have said it better myself, though I am sure I will continue to try.

The Eroticist