Posts from the ‘Trust’ Category

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.

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