Posts tagged ‘communication’

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

Exxxotica 2015 Part deux, BonBlundt

So, plans are made to go to Chicago, and I know that BonB will be there.  We talk many times on the phone and reminisce about our time in Santa Barbara, two years ago.  So many elements of our play go through our minds, strong emotional humiliation, deep submission, violent sadomasochism, and dedicated service.  I ask her to write me letters on what she desires from me and send a list of button issues (areas which I can use in emotional humiliation play) and to be sure to get tested for STIs.  She will be my transportation for the week and we will be spending a lot of time together.

Through the period of these phone calls, she was called overseas again.  This presented some problems and her occupation with things there and quickly changing events in her life added to some communication issues between herself and overseas medical professionals preventing the correct tests being done and got in the way of letters being written.  To explain a bit from my point of view, being in a position of Dominance, it was perplexing why, what I viewed as simple requests for information would be impossible to do within a relatively long period of time, but I understood her life was quite busy at the time in ways I did not know.

When I arrived in Chicago and saw her, with great joy I grabbed her and squeezed her breast and immediately bit her. Her reaction, however, was surprising.  It was comprised primarily of anger and distance, and mine was a resounding, WTF.  Over the next few days, every attempt to approach her in ways that were familiar to us seemed to result in distancing and anger.  Please understand, I believe this was as much a surprise to BonB as it was to me.

By Friday, the first day of the convention I had seen many things drop away.  Most, if not all sexual attraction towards me, any form of sadomasochist play, and much of the sense of joy of service due to a growing feeling of distance.

At the convention, I asked her to walk around the convention floor as I cracked my whip and “shilled” for the Dungeon.  It is a wonderful area for flirting and I wanted to experience what it would be like if we were able to flirt together, as we had previously discussed.  Sigh, that too was to pass.  As we walked the floor, BonB expressed her feeling that she was just a passive follower with no purpose, was not engaged, and felt useless.  I had No idea what to do and where to go.  To end it all, at the after party, I made a futile attempt at humorous humiliation which resulted in her leaving the party and going to bed.  I spent the rest of the evening sitting with my friend Lili (to be discussed later) and wondering what to do.  Nothing that we had discussed was left.  I did not know where to go.  I was the Dominant.  This was my responsibility, and it was going horribly wrong.

I wish I could tell you the exact moment this happened, the exact progression of thoughts or decisions, but once realized, it was absolute simplicity.  BonB, the girl I had known in Santa Barbara, was a lovely girl in her mid 20s who was going through a tremendous number of changes.  She had just, that weekend, decided to explore her interest in BDSM again after a long hiatus.  She had tickets to leave her home, friends and family and move, perhaps permanently, overseas and explore a new life, new country, and new relationships.  She was ready for a change.

Well, she changed.  What were we to expect?  Though it surprised both of us, the girl I knew in Santa Barbara was not the girl I was with in Chicago, and the only way to find out who she was, was to allow it.  LOL, this can sometimes be a challenge for a Dominant.  But I swear to you, the most enjoyable moments I have had in any relationship were moments when I could remain, or at least struggle to be, detached from what I would want to be, and actually discover what was.  This is a very hard lesson, but one that is worth the effort.  It is ongoing.

So we were there to show anyone who expressed interest, what we do and the undercurrent of joy, communication and love that can (and should) drive us forward in our play and relationships, no matter how UNequal and violent it may seem to the outside.  I can not remember who suggested it, but the thought came up that my dear BonB should show her Dominant side, her Hunter.  After all, my interest was primarily to show pretty little girls what it was like to be on the cracker side of a whip, why shouldn’t she show her skills to the pretty little boys?

So she went to the bathroom and emerged as the strict and powerful, FRAU BLUNDT, hair in a severe bun, corset, and black, tight skirt.  From that moment on we consistently worked back story, character, relationships, and intention of “zee goot Frau” and through Saturday and Sunday I saw this delightful woman truly rejoice in her ability to hunt for, charm, capture, and “correct” a gaggle of young men into her service.  When I could, I mentored her in added ways, almost plots, I suppose, to create a reason for her to “correct” and “teach” these poor wayward boys into appropriate appreciation for her strong willed ways.  It was a true delight to see.

The most amusing moment for me was when  she was applying the dragon’s tongue to the back of a young man who had VERY responsive skin.  When she finished, we all talked for a bit, and as he was facing her, I was the only one noticing that there were many marks on his back that were getting redder and redder as we talked.  After a while I asked him to turn around to show the good Frau Blundt the results of her work, and as he did, her eyes widened and her jaw dropped in almost childlike joy and astonishment.  I absolutely cracked up.

The funny thing, at the end, was that once all our expectations were dropped, once how it was supposed to be was given up for a discovery of how it was, that opened up additional doors, or possibly reopened old doors, and Frau Blundt joyously took on the responsibility of service to “her Superintendent”.  While it was not in any way what we had both thought it would be, it was far better than we could have imagined.  That took a great deal of strength on her part, and I am proud to have seen it.

That pride also goes to my wondrous, most loved puppy bear, who also had changes to go through.  But that will be told, in part, at a later time.

The Eroticist

 

Going Home

It is that time of year again when Exxxotica goes to Chicago.  There be my old home town and I greatly enjoy the visit with old high school friends, relatives and significant others, OWS in particular.  I have been involved in the Exxxotica Dungeon for 3 maybe 4 years now and truly enjoy my time there.  Besides being able to wander around a huge convention full of porn actresses and kinky people pointedly cracking my whip, I greatly enjoy talking to the many people there who have interest in, but do not have much experience in or knowledge about the scene.

I am constantly surprised at the amount of preconceived misconception there is about the scene, how you should behave, or what the acceptable roles might be, and I greatly enjoy politely telling people, “ah, well, that is not really how it works.” or “You know, there is no rule book.” or informing them that there is nothing in the scene that says what they want to do is not acceptable.  The kink and BDSM lifestyle is about releasing you from the constraints that your environment and society put on you, not about forcing you into a new set.

I am proud to announce that I have also been asked to give some demos and/or lectures for Swingzotica, an event that is happening inside of Exxxotica for lifestyle members.  (jeesh, “Lectures” sounds awfully grown up.  I prefer to just dialog, you know, talk.)  But those will be happening after Exxxotica closes each day.  If this branch of the lifestyle is of interest to you, I encourage you to look into it.  I am told that they will have a specific area of the hotel all to themselves, but you should hurry, as at last communication, there had only 5 rooms left.

I will do my best to inform you all of the delightful events happening.  But that may not happen until I return home.  I will be lucky enough to have the assistance of BonB, an international actress and educator, who long time readers may remember from my blogs on Exxxotica 2013.  (If you want to know that story, you will have to ask.)  She will also be representing Kinky Kolledge.  She is an excellent communicator and will definitely be able to convey insights into the right side of the D/s, S/m slashes.

I look forward to seeing you all.  Please let me know if you are a reader.  I definitely want to meet you.

The Eroticist

Love, Obedience and being a Master

I have been talking quite a bit with close friends and important advisers over the past few weeks about what it is to be a Master.  Many areas of discussion came up, one of the most important was the emotional care and involvement that a Master feels towards those who give them authority over them.  His love for them, if you will.

Assuredly this comes directly from my own point of view.  I have heard strong arguments from many people that you can not maintain a D/s or M/s relationship if you love your s-type.  I disagree.  But this involves something quite different from what is usually experienced in the Vanilla world as “Love.”

I certainly can not say this is true in all cases, but I do believe in most.  In Vanilla relationships there is usually little discussion as to what the actual relationship entails.  What does it mean to be married?  There are assumptions, many of them, but few discussions.  What does, “Head of the Household” mean to you?  Which one of you will be the HotH?  What expectations does one partner have about the other, “now that we’re married.”  How does either’s behavior change?  Though I would guess that both people expect it to change.  I doubt that there is much discussion about what those changes might, or should be.

So what happens often is that the relationship changes through a sense of appeasement.  Internal negotiation, if you will.  “Ok, this doesn’t seem to be working, maybe I should change, maybe I should try things this way.” rather than sitting down for a time of clear, introspective communication.

It is my opinion that one of the greatest advantages of a D/s or M/s relationship is negotiation.  While just as I said about vanilla relationships, I can not say this is true in all cases, I certainly would hope it is true in most.  Before entering into a D/s or M/s relationship there are extensive discussions about what one person would be to the other.  What are each person’s responsibilities?  How is one person to behave towards the other, though these roles and responsibilities may be quite different for each partner.

But this negotiation, this questioning back and forth, each (hopefully) asking the other, “What did you mean by that?” this does not, in any way, preclude a deep and overwhelming love and affection from each for the other.  What it does do (again, in my choice of relationship) is add to that love an understanding of expectation.  We understand what is expected of the other, and what is expected by the other.

One of the most important elements of those negotiations and expectations is the element of obedience.  It is often said that in an M/s relationship there is only one rule, obedience.  But there are many forms of relationship outside of M/s and many levels of obedience that are required.  In any form of negotiation, honesty, commitment and clear communication is necessary.  What you have said you will do, you are expected to do.  We are, after all, dealing with relationships where the transfer of authority is central.

If a commitment is made, it must be held to.  If the person giving authority has the ability to choose, after negotiations have concluded, to take back that authority, to willfully disobey a “request” in an area where they have given authority, that is a challenge to the basic form of the relationship.  It is destructive to its core principles.  It is an end point.

It may be easy to view the Dominant, the Master, the Authority as that strong willed person who sets the rules, holds the authority, punishes the transgressor, and if the commitments are not held, if the relationship falls apart, walks away with confidence and little regret.  Of course, the ability to do that, to see that the relationship is not working, and to call it, is truly vital.  As a very wise mentor told me, “Make the vocation of mastery more important than the relationship(s) in which that vocation plays out.  In other words, stay true to your calling and do not betray yourself in order to save, salvage or appease a relationship…any relationship.”

But that, in no way, means it does not hurt.  It comes with a sense of deep loss, a feeling of personal failure, and a questioning of your own value and understanding.  It can be devastating, and require a time of recovery and healing.

Unfortunately, to be a Master, you must take  that responsibility.

The Eroticist

The submissive’s choice

First I should apologize for my extended absence.  I am an artist by trade, if you can actually use those terms together, and have just finished three shows, one quite major.  Immediately following that, I was lucky enough to have some surgery from which I am still recovering.  All is going well.  But these things did occupy my time.  Glad to be back.

In my reading of letters and questions from submissives I often hear questions such as “Is it OK for a Dom to share his sub with others even if she doesn’t want to?”  Or perhaps, “Does a submissive or slave have to give over her finances to her Dom or Master?”  I would hope your answer to either of these questions would be “It depends on the relationship you negotiated.”

I sincerely have a vast respect for anyone who chooses the submissive or slave lifestyle.  I believe it can be a fulfilling and empowering position which can promote great growth.  But I question any who enters into it from a submissive or slave headspace.  Yea, I know, that sounds somewhat contradictory.  If you feel yourself to be a submissive or have a slave heart, how can you drop all of that when looking into the actual relationship you desire.

My reply is, how can you enter into a submissive or slave relationship by giving up your choices and needs to someone you do not yet know or trust?  You are entering into a relationship which may require vastly differing forms of behavior for you.  You may be told you can not use the furniture or wear clothing in your house.  You may be told you must perform sexual acts that are extremely unusual to you.  You may be told you must give up your career or family or friends.  You may be required to undergo body modifications from the simple to the extreme.  You may be treated in the most extremely disrespectful of ways.  Or you may not.  Do you know?

The question is, before you to commit to these changes in your life, do you know what they will be and have you considered if they are changes that you want?  My feeling is that you can not make these decisions in a headspace where you have already given over your personal power to the other.  You have to make these decisions as a calm, self respecting, competent, strong willed and independent person who has done extensive introspection, education and self examination.  This is negotiation, after all and you should enter into negotiations knowing what you want out of them, knowing where you are willing to compromise, and, most importantly, knowing what the possibilities are.

I often say, the best question is, “What do you mean by that?”  Consider the statement, “I like a bit of humiliation play.”  What, then, is humiliation to you?  What is humiliation to the other?  And what is, “a bit”?  If a form of behavior or play is unfamiliar to you, do not use it in negotiations until you understand it, and understand how the other is using it?

Understand your own needs and limits.  If a limit is not mentioned, does that mean it is open and acceptable to cross, or does it mean that when it does come up, it should be negotiated before being crossed?  Future negotiations are part of negotiations.

Are you willing to give up all rights to renegotiation or will there be times when open and honest feedback is requested by your Dom or Master?  Will that feedback be respected?  The one command may be “to obey”.  Does that mean you have no right to question or perhaps inform?  Are you always to do exactly and only what you are told, or are you able to add to your service from your own creativity?  Questions, Questions, Questions.  Until you negotiate and understand and agree to the elements of your relationship, you have the right, responsibility, and indeed obligation to come to the negotiating table as a self confident equal, with equal rights and equal value.  If you can not do that, learn how before you negotiate.

Please understand, there is nothing wrong with the most extreme forms of imbalanced relationships.  If you have competently negotiated a relationship where your body is modified to be a caricature of a person, and you sleep in a box in your own feces, to be brought out only to be sexually abused by multiple people (that is sort of an extreme of what I DON’T want in a partner) and you have negotiated, understood and chosen that position from a confident communicated position, bless you, and dive right in.  It is your choice.  But if you don’t ask, if you don’t communicate, if you do not demand the kind of relationship you want, desire and need, do not be surprised by what you get.

Until you give up responsibility in an educated and committed way, the responsibility for what you get is yours.

The Eroticist

Appropriate Questions

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