Posts tagged ‘Relationship Maintenance’

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 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

 

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

 

Why do we do what we do?

I got a post from one of my favorite bloggers today, Charlie Glickman.  It explores the reasons people have some of the more extreme physical interactions within their relationships that they do, certainly that we do in BDSM relationships.  He mentions many of the most common reasons, but there are some important ones that I wished to emphasize.

Certainly there are differences in personal taste and physiology.  Different people react to stimulation in different ways.  Things feel different to different people.  Particularly significant is that physical stimulation will feel different to the same people at different times and when they are in different states.  As Charlie says, sensation can feel vastly different when you are highly arroused than when you are just returning from the office.  Also many women go through vast changes in their reactions at different periods of their cycle.

Fear is another major factor.  People can get far more enjoyment from a fearful situation within a context of a negotiated and trusting relationship than an unwanted sexual encounter with a stranger.  As Charlie says, there can be a large “difference between riding on a roller coaster and being in car going downhill without brakes.”

Within a trusted BDSM relationship it also can be emotionally releasing to work through previously traumatic events in a context of loving care, support and competent guidance.  (Though I must add the caveat that while therapeutic moments can happen within a BDSM relationship, it is a risky endeavor and should be done only with kink friendly professional assistance.)

I definitely agree with Charlie that it can add to ones enjoyment when one feels they are “breaking the rules.”  I might say that “breaking rules” is a large attractor in the BDSM lifestyle.  We often pride ourselves in the thought that we structure our relationship outside of the norm.  It is also true, that attempting extreme behaviors just because it breaks the rules may be a way of discovering new enjoyments, but also may trigger a partner in ways you do not expect.

Charlie posted, “some people seek extreme experiences because they need a lot of sensation to overcome a tendency to check out or dissociate.”  While editorially that paragraph may have parts missing, I did want to comment.  In my time in the BDSM lifestyle, I have met people who receive pain in unique but personally helpful ways.  Two examples are using pain to stop the internal dialog.  We all tend to talk to ourselves in a dialog that confirms our view of the world and ourselves, sometimes quite negatively.  SadoMasochistic interactions can assist in slowing or quieting that dialog down, giving rest to the mind and allowing it to accept different viewpoints.

The other example is the use of pain to quiet pain.  I have met and interacted with two people who suffer strongly from fibromyalgia.  In our interactions we spoke at length about how the careful and negotiated pain from a Sadist would move their sensations away from and relieve their fibromyalgic pain for sometimes days at a time.  That was the reason they came to the BDSM world.

Lastly, I want to confirm Charlie’s final comments.  On the need for aftercare, it is often thought, particularly by people unfamiliar with SadoMasochistic play, that aftercare is primarily for the benefit of the person receiving the extreme sensation and that they are the ones most likely to fall into an emotional downturn or depression after extreme sensation.  That is often not the case.  Personally it is important to me, as the sadist, to received confirmation from my play partner that what I have done to them was understood as also for them, that they enjoyed it, that they wanted it.  Otherwise I am just a violent old man, hurting those I care about.  That is my aftercare.

Lastly, on “people who think that not wanting to do all that ‘wild, crazy stuff’ makes them or their partners boring in bed”.  Particularly in a BDSM relationship, it is vastly important to understand that the only people who should be concerned with the kind of behavior in which you engage in your relationship, are the people in that relationship.  Certainly it is important to check in with your partner as to whether or not they are satisfied or want to experiment, but if you are happy, and they are happy, why change what isn’t broken?  The only judgement you should accept are you and your partners’s.

Sex and sensation is an overwhelmingly powerful element in our lives.  An element that should be far more openly discussed within our relationships and within our society than it commonly is.  I am continually  pleased by blogs such as Charlie’s, and recommend his to all.

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