Negotiating Rules

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So you have realized you are kinky. Great! Now what?

In a typical vanilla relationship, you have a set of rules. You don’t have to follow those rules, and in fact, you can act in the opposite way all the time if you want. However, the rules are there.

This is sort of a holdover from a time when there were clearly defined gender roles. Women stayed home. They cooked and cleaned and had babies. Men went to work. And if they were gentlemen, perhaps they opened some doors or helped with things around the house.

Many people no longer follow those rules, but they still persist in TV, Music, Movies, and popular culture in general. As this is a US election year, I’ll just go ahead and point out that they still exist in politics too, which is really tragic.

(Maybe that’s just my opinion, but I think traditional gender roles are damaging to everyone.)

 

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However, us kinky folks don’t have rules that have been established over time. A Master/Mistress/Slave/Submissive does not always act in any particular way.

This can be very freeing, because obviously the oppressive gender roles of the mainstream are a bummer. And yet, it can also be scary. If there are no established rules, how do you know what to do?

I would only point out that it’s entirely up to you to decide how comfortable you are with things, and what you want.

Take the example of my husband and myself. We are both switches, but not in our primary relationship with each other. In our personal relationship, he is my Pet, and I am his Mistress. We do not do this 24/7, but we do observe this at home. This can get really confusing sometimes. Last year for my birthday he got me a cake that said “Happy Birthday Mistress.” I didn’t even think about it because I am so used to be called Mistress, and I posted a picture of the cake on my Facebook feed.

Big mistake.

I forget that his friends and co-workers can see things that he is tagged in, and that he’s not “out” in his public life. Not to mention he was talking to a few girls at the time who thought of him as a Master and I think he might have been friends with them on Facebook.

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We didn’t make a big deal about it or anything. It’s not like it caused a fight. But it was one of those awkward moments where we had to think about boundaries. It’s always hard to know where boundaries are, and they may not be in the same place for both parties in a relationship.

That’s just one example, but there are so many more.

As another example, think of how relationship dynamics change over time with a vanilla couple. That can be a huge cause of stress on a relationship, and they don’t even have kink roles added in. They can just have a situation where one party used to make more money, and now the other does, and that can ruin a marriage.

But we have the added complication of evolving kink roles over time. Sometimes the person who is dominant wants to do a submissive thing. This can cause the person who is usually submissive to suddenly see their Master in a whole other light and can ruin their psychological ability to feel properly submissive later (since kink is mostly about the space in your head and not the toys or bonds, this is a very real concern.)

So what do we do?

Well, that’s the part I hate to tell people: I don’t know. No one does. We just negotiate and re-negotiate and try to figure it out.

Yes, that sucks. I wish there were easy answers. But the truth is, in kink, you just have to feel things out and hope that you can find places where you agree on things. I actually think so many of us are poly because it’s very hard to find someone who you can have as a partner and also have compatible kinks with. Hence, play relationships outside the primary tend to crop up a lot of the time.

As I always say, there is no solution outside of good communication. If you can do that, you should be okay.

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The Taming of Trudi

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I read this book at the request of a friend. The Taming of Trudi is all-out smut, with very little in the way of a plot. It is not as well-written as something like Anne Rice’s Beauty Series, but it is ostensibly based in “real life.” (As in, not an invented story world.) The story does present some real facts, such as highlighting that women don’t orgasm from penetration. This is something many men seem to be clueless about, so it’s a good buy for a boyfriend who needs some direction.

As someone who is not a submissive, I feel like I can’t give it a fair review. The main character is not only very submissive, but also very into spanking. Since those are things I only have a mild interest in, I maybe didn’t enjoy it as much as someone whose kinks lined up better with the main character.

However, if you are looking for smut with some realistic information about female anatomy, this would be a good book to check out. It’s certainly good as a coming out story, for anyone new to kink and trying to discover themselves.

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Sub Drop

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I recently made a comment about Sub Drop, and was met with a blank look. I thought this was a term that everyone in the kink community knew, so I was surprised to find that it is not. Since it seems to be needed, here is a brief explanation.

Submitting to another person is usually a very emotional experience for anyone. This is sometimes part of an overall relationship, or sometimes part of a stand-alone scene. However, going into sub space and allowing oneself to be vulnerable is very intense even if there is not a deep emotional connection (or any connection at all) between partners.

Obviously this is different for every person, and so it is very hard to describe the feeling. However, a friend of mine once said; “It takes a great deal of courage to submit to and trust another person.” I believe that is true.

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Because submission is such an emotional experience, it’s important not to finish a scene and then part ways immediately. Of course, every scene should end with after-care, where you hold the submissive and let them gradually come out of sub space.

Even when the after care is over, the submissive is usually still emotionally vulnerable, and so it is best not to leave them alone if possible. If the submissive must be left alone, they should be encouraged to have a friend come over and be with them, just in case.

In situations where the submissive is left alone, they often experience something called “Sub Drop,” where their already vulnerable emotional state overwhelms them and they become extremely depressed. This is something that a Dom or Domme must do their best to avoid, as this can make the submissive adverse to future scenes, and can be very hard on them.

Remember, if a person is brave enough to submit to you, it is your responsibility to respect that courage and to do your best to be good to your submissive. Without submissives (and switches who chose to submit), none of us would able to enjoy our kink, which is to have someone to dominate.

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Sub Frenzy

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There is a term in the community that describes the feeling when a person desperately wants to sub. This person does not have to be strictly a submissive by nature. As some wise old Domme ladies here in Portland told me, “Everyone needs to sub now and then, just for balance.”

Maybe that’s not true for everyone. But it is true for me.

Most of the time I like being in control. Most of the time I want to call the shots, and be in charge. I like to plan the scenes, run the scenes, and make magic happen. It’s one of the moments where I get to shine.

But I am a switch.

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Of course I’m picky as hell. I have only ever been subbmissive with three guys in my whole life. I don’t trust easily l and I need a potential Dom or Domme to have that quality where they can read my mind. Sometimes, there just is chemistry. I don’t know why. But mostly there isn’t chemistry and that’s okay too. I can have all kinds of fun with people I’m equal with, or people who let me be in charge.

And yet…

I was talking to a friend the other day and she was telling me about this Dom. She was lamenting that they can’t have a relationship for various reasons, and it’s a shame because they have wonderful chemistry. She said it’s so frustrating to have this person that you love to sub for, and know it’s not going to work out.

I told her I could relate.

I had been feeling a bit of a sub frenzy anyway. But actually admitting it to another person made it so much worse. Now it seems more real. The last time I subbed for anyone was August of 2012, and I miss it!

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The worst part is that Mr. Bond just moved back here (as in- to the same house as me). I have mentioned him before. He and I dated my first year in Korea. I adored him, and we had a lot of fun together. And I trusted him to tie me up and put me in subspace. And we had amazing chemistry. It was… well… some of the most fun I’ve ever had.

For whatever reason, he’s not interested in picking back up where we left off a few years ago. And that’s fine, because I’m still glad he’s around in my universe. But seriously, it’s terrible to live just upstairs from someone who can put me in subspace, while I am feeling like this.

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So this one’s for the submissives, be they full time or only on rare occasion. That feeling when you desperately want to be at the mercy of a good Top is something we all go through, and it’s dangerous. I’ve seen subs do scenes with completely incompatible people because they were just desperate to be with someone in that way.

So, I will try to keep all this stuff in the back of my mind. But isn’t it amazing how hard it can be to get kink out of your brain sometimes?!?

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Secretly, I’m A Switch

The beautiful Betty Paige as both a sub and Domme.

The beautiful Betty Paige

I am a switch. That means that I can be both a Dominant and a Submissive. Now, every switch is different in how it works for them, but I am just going to describe how it is for me.

Mostly, I am the Dominant one. I worked as a Dominatrix for several years and in general, I am just given to being the more aggressive person in a relationship. I have dated a lot of people, and had sex with a lot more. In almost all of those relationships I have been the Dominant party. It is what comes most naturally to me.

However, sometimes I meet someone that I can switch with. It has only happened 3 times in my life, but it does happen. I’ll find someone I trust, and who I am comfortable with. And I can be submissive with them.

There are lots of different types on Subs and Doms out there. My good friend Hexavier is a Sadist. That means that he likes to hurt people. It also means he matches up best with girls who really like pain. Not all submissives do, but the ones that do fit well with him because he likes to hurt them and hear them scream.

This doesn’t match at all with me. As a sub, I am more into the psychological aspect. Restraints and fear and all that can be fun, but I don’t actually like pain. Sure, a flogging is nice. But really painful stuff just isn’t fun for me. I like the kind of Top who has fun making a girl squirm in pleasure; not in pain.

Some look at pain as a necessary aspect of BDSM. And perhaps a little pain here and there is necessary. But it’s not like all Doms take pleasure in causing others pain. For me; I enjoy setting up a scene and playing it out when I know it’s something my submissive will like, and I know they will have a good time. For example, on my favorite Pet’s birthday last year I set up a threesome with myself and an Asian girl. That was something he always wanted, and it was fun to make it happen. However, when a sub of mine genuinely does enjoy pain, then I enjoy inflicting it. A former pet loved to be beaten, and so I would hit her as hard as I could for an hour at a time. You see; when I set up a scene, it’s not about me.

I could throw a lot of terms and labels at you for all of this. But I guess since this blog is more meant to be for amateurs than scene kids, I won’t. The point is that a switch can play either part in a scene, and though I can rarely find a worthy Dom, I am secretly a switch.

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Picking Out A Title

I'm going ti say she looks like a pet

She Looks Like A Pet

 

I got asked recently how I choose to call my pet by the title of “pet.” This got me thinking about how hard it can be to define a relationship in the BDSM community. So, I guess I’m going to talk a little about that.

First, it’s really something you should talk about with the person you have the relationship with. Ergo, my blog can only do so much. I guess just bare that in mind, okay?

Now then, there are lots of different titles and they can mean different things to different people. I know that in some scenes, “pet” would mean something different than it does to me and my pet. Keep in mind that BDSM terms are something that change over time, and vary from scene to scene. What someone in Korea calls a pet might not be what someone in Thailand thinks a pet is.

That said, it seems to me that most relationships I come across have one person who is clearly more Dominant, and one person who is clearly more Submissive. So, in a wider sense, those terms are how one starts to define a BDSM relationship.

Beyond that, there are sub-categories that a relationship could fit into. Perhaps a Dominant controls every aspect of the Submissives’ life. In that case, the submissive might be better defined as a slave. Or perhaps they simply look out for them, but never tell them what to do. Then they might be less of a Dom and more of a Protector. In my case, I chose “pet,” even though we do not engage in pet play. (I don’t have a tail butt plug for him and he doesn’t crawl around on the floor much.) I feel it defines the relationship well because he is so much younger that I feel like he’s someone I have to take care of, as you would a pet. And besides, he loves to lay with his head in my lap and have his hair played with.

In any case, I feel like the terms you use to define a relationship are largely subjective. That can make it particularly complicated when you want to define your relationship for others. If  you need help, it always helps to bring it up at a munch (fetlife event for kinksters) and see what people in your local scene tend to use.

Also, leather families can play a role in finding a name. 

The concept behind a leather family is that you’ll have a group of kinksters that are all sort of bonded together in some way. Often, it will spring from one relationship with a poly couple, who then have pets who have other significant others. As the web grows, some people are more senior and some are less, and so they end up forming a hierarchy that is usually referred to as a leather family.

So in such a situation, the family often helps to define terms. 

I really terms for submissives like Pet, Slave, and Whore. And for me, I like Mistress, Master, or Godess for me. 

But be inventive! You can use pre-defined roles that exist when you start out, but over time, you will probably find a definition for each relationship you have that suits it. 

Setting Up a Scene

Some paperwork and my Domme hat

Some paperwork and my Domme hat

I was asked to walk through setting up a stand-alone scene involving sex. I am going to give that a shot now. (Remember I don’t  have that much experience outside a dungeon, and my ideas are not meant to be taken as anything other than suggestions.) To define what I mean; stand alone scenes would be those that are not part of a relationship. Both parties have agreed they want to play, but they are not dating.

To start, I like to do paperwork. (Pictured above).

Yes, this can feel really silly sometimes. Paperwork is not the first thing most people think of when they think of sex. So let me explain why I do it.

1. Submissives often feel nervous about telling me what they want and what their boundaries are. In addition, many service-oriented subs are most interested in pleasing the person they are allowing to Dominate them, and so that further complicates things because they’re both shy about talking, and not keeping their own desires and limits in mind. It can make it hard to get solid answers to things. Having a checklist with “yes” and “no” is nice and solid.

2. There is a certain amount of nervousness that is always involved in playing with someone. If you don’t know the person well, that can be compounded quite a bit. Paperwork is a nice way to easy into things. You’re talking about sex and that makes things start to get exciting. But, it’s structured and feels safe.

3. If you plan to hit a person hard enough to leave marks, it never hurts to have a checklist where they said they wanted that (just in case). Most people are sane and nice enough. However, the odd crazy person can slip by and having consent forms and a checklist of things your submissive agreed to may not get you out of trouble, but it sure as hell won’t hurt.

I like to make tea during the whole paperwork experience. This is because it helps calm a person if they are sipping tea, since it’s such a normal activity. Also though, it sets a time limit. You have a cup of tea, but then it’s time to begin the scene. To clarify; I don’t mean a set-in-stone kind of thing. I just mean that in your head you can keep in mind that a cup of tea is about the right amount of time for a scene negotiation, and that when you clean up the teas cups you can sort of lead into play from there. It’s a nice way to naturally transition.

Dressing up helps too, in my opinion

Dressing up helps too, in my opinion

Second; clothes!

Sure, in a relationship you might not care about what you wear. I know a couple who like to play in pajamas because they want to be comfy while they play. That’s totally cool and like I always say; do your own thing! However in a stand-alone scene, I find that clothes can add an air of credibility to something that might otherwise feel uncomfortable. It’s hard to explain why, but it’s one of those things that I have noticed from trying it both ways. My guesses as to why it works are:

1. Big Domme boots and a scary hat and tend to help people find subspace. Playing with someone you don’t really know, it can be hard to feel trusting enough to go into subspace with them. However, there is just something about the boots that gets people’s attention and makes them feel more compliant.

2. I usually slip into the Domme role fine and feel 100% at home there. However some people can trigger a moment or two of nervousness or doubt. The right clothes can really give a person confidence though- as any social scientist will tell you. A big part of having the right head-space is often dressing the part.

Of course there is probably more to it, and it may be different for everyone. I can only speak to my own experience. It just seems to me that clothes make a big difference.

Make sure your toys are laid out and in easy reach

Make sure your toys are laid out and in easy reach

This is pretty obvious I guess, but make sure the toys you plan to use are all laid out. This allows your submissive to inspect them first and make sure they feel okay with everything. They may want to test the size of a ball gag or make sure a dildo doesn’t look too big. And of course, it also makes it easier for you later when you’re actually playing the scene.

I don’t have a picture for the last one. It’s common sense of course, but make sure to avoid leaving anything sharp or dangerous out. You may throw your submissive around. They may stumble. It’s best to make extra sure that all sharp edges and dangerous things are out of your play space. Also make sure there is nothing that will be in your way when you swing a whip or flogger or whatever.

In general, I focus on creating the best experiences I can. That means attention to detail, and it also means being mindful of all the little things you can do to set up a scene beforehand. That way, when you start to play, you’ll have nothing to worry about but the way you and your partner or partners feel.