Archive for domination

BDSM: Some Assembly Required

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 6, 2012 by wmcutterblack

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No matter whether you are top or bottom, Dominant, submissive, switch, or all of the above, don’t you sometimes feel as if your relationship is being put together using a confusing set of instructions like something from IKEA?  Like that bookcase or table that seems to be missing a piece or two?  It looks all right mostly, but you’re still not confident to put anything heavy on it yet?

No relationship comes ready-made.  They are all and every one a custom job, and it’s easy to think of them as being constructed from a kit with “some assembly required”.

Even if you’re not currently in a relationship, you may find yourself imagining one in which the potential “parts” need some extra finishing touches to comfortably fit together into something whole and practical.  You may also find the instructions are confusing, as if written in a language you aren’t fluent in.  And that’s okay, because the important thing is that you are building it yourself.

If you are in a relationship or not, it’s important to think of the “project” like a craftsman approaches an object to be used and admired.  To look at what you expect the completed project to be like, and then think of the individual pieces you will need, the tools, and the way you want it all to come together.

Sometimes we get both impatient and unrealistic in what we are making with a relationship.  The more the relationship will be “used”, as in a 24/7 kind, obviously the more sturdy and reliable it must be made to be.  The casual hookup or scene can be a little like those styrafoam cups for coffee, used and discarded before it crumples, but the longer term relationship is more like your favorite fired-clay, hand-crafted mug that you return to every morning or evening for a satisfying drink of tea or coffee.  The very feel of it should be comfortable and comforting, the roundness, the strength of the handle, no tell-tale cracks on the surface.

Like anything, once the basic construction is in place, you may begin to think of some fancy additions.  Bits of ornament here, a little embellishment there, just to add the marks of your personal style, and to make it more uniquely yours to enjoy.

What this means in terms of relationship dynamics will often be quite personal.  This is where the original list of “parts” will come in handy and you should – from time to time – look it over to make sure they are all included and still available for “assembly”.  For example, couples with children will have to factor in “personal time” as different from “family time.”  Your relationship “parts” may include special needs, allowances for maintenance and repair, and even replacement of parts that are no longer workable and supportive.

That support will be important, the more “load-bearing” the relationship will become.  One of the challenges facing new relationships, for example, is that each partner will have brought some unrealistic expectations to the project.  The submissive, say, who expects it to be all prancing unicorns and Prince Charming as Dominant, and the newbie Dominant who expects it to be 24/7 blowjobs and no responsibility will have to adjust to the realities of a working relationship where the dynamics can be radically different from the fantasy.

Again, this is where that list of parts plays a significant role in whether the project stands up to hard use or collapses.  There can be few things as shocking and devastating for a submissive than to prepare to kneel and find the floor falling out from under her knees.  Or the Dominant who expects absolute obedience and finds instead a bratty sub who is acting out her frustrations.  We cannot simply presume “it will all come together somehow in the end”.

The basic tools of your relationship, most agree, are trust and strong communication.  I would add passion and compassion,  mature responsibility, and a willingness to commit to the highest ideals and satisfaction to the list.  The individualistc choices for the relationship, such as spanking or no-spanking, bondage or no-bondage, and so forth can be worked out either beforehand or as the relationship deepens and grows  once the basics are in place.  Many relationships can be seen like a DIY home the two are constructing together.  Need an extra “shelf” here or there?  Make sure the walls will support it steadily.  Want to re-do the kitchen?  Make sure you both agree on a color you can live with.

Most of us – no matter what the particulars of a relationship are – will discover that equitable compromises may have to be made, but if the basic construction is solid that can be done with as little emotional upset as possible.  The tools of commitment and communication can make these compromises as easy as changing a lightbulb.

Assembling a relationship can seem daunting, confusing, and scary, but with your list of “parts”, a basic toolkit, and a desired goal in mind, you can do this.  I believe in you.  So should you.

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Domination is Leading the Dance

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 24, 2012 by wmcutterblack

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It’s really no wonder that newbie Dominants seem confused as to what they ought to be doing.  In a way, they are hoisted on their petard, as the saying used to be.  The three main (and extreme) influences on them are:

 Misleading porn vids and photos grabbed in a rush on their iPhones

Post-feminist, post-New Age sensitivity quotes

“How to Score with Women While Remaining a Douchebag” advice column soundbites

 Just a hint: none of the above will prepare you for actually living and acting like a respected, desired Dominant. 

In older times, there were social traditions and activities which naturally bred the quality of dominance, but that was then and this is now.  That said, Dominants can learn through analogies of some of these more traditional methods and styles.

 The image accompanying this post typifies the relationship dynamic of the tango.  The man strongly leads in the dance and the sultry woman follows his cues.   Yes, people used to dance that way, actually holding each other and not moving separately to the beat of their own private drummer.  I could hardly recommend a better example of how the dynamic of a D/s relationship works best than to point to ballroom dancing.  Whether it’s the fiery and passionate tango or the more sophisticated, but equally seductive quick-step waltz, ballroom dancing epitomizes the in-tandem behavior so desired in a good working D/s relationship.  The Dominant partner leads, the submissive one follows.  Easy, right?

 Beginners at ballroom dancing often feel clumsy and awkward, unsure where to step next, where to put their hands and arms, and resisting the urge to just flail about as they might at some rave or dance club.

Flail-dancing lacks the grace and style of a smooth coupled movement.   It’s a grind, not a grounded glide.  It’s a lap dance while the one who should be leading the dance just sits on his chair and takes it.  It’s a pole dance where the eager “other participant” just waves money.  It’s fake porn actress sex and sweaty cheezy guy versus Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly whirling and twirling whomever their particular dancing partner across the floor.  Get the picture?

 Now you don’t have to always wear a tuxedo and have the suave manner of a gentleman to be a good Dominant.  But that portion of the Dominant’s mental self-image mirror should reflect some aspect of that kind of control over the relationship dance.  Clasp your submissive’s fingers, entwine them with your own, place your other hand at the small of their back, just above the buttocks – now urge them to follow you, to trust your sense of direction, rhythm, and pace.

Of course, the submissive can – in this way – sense your strength, confidence, and that you have not just purpose but a vision of where you’re going next.  One of the most common “I need advice” questions voiced by new Dominants is “What do I do next?”.  Because they are basing their concept of dominance on quick porn flashes of scenes, they seem to have difficulty even stringing together these “bits” into a coherent wholeness.  They are trying to apply fast-food ideas to a philosophy and lifestyle.  It defeats the whole dynamic of a D/s relationship to say “I’m going to take you” and follow it up with “Do you want fries with that?”

 Poise with passion.  Smooth transitions with decisive grace.  Firm actions that leave no room for doubt or confusion.  These are qualities a Dominant can attain and perform.  But they must come from inside the mind in cooperation with their feelings.  The more you practice, the more natural they become until they are just instinct.  Lead the dance.

BDSM: The Other Bondage

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by wmcutterblack

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Bondage has two similar meanings and yet we rarely talk about the other bondage that takes place in a relationship.  Mostly, especially in BDSM dynamics, we think of bondage as tying someone up or down or the use of some other form of restraint.  This exterior bondage forms a strong part of the expressed imagery of D/s.  Restraint can be erotic.  Symbolically it means a submissive is physically under the control of the Dominant and has the trust that she will not be abused in that condition.

 The other meaning of bondage is less visible.  Like its counterpart, it means binding or bonding, but by it, we mean instead the emotional bondage that is also a strong part, if not the strongest part, of the relationship dynamic.  This type of bondage may express itself right from the beginning of the relationship or develop through the actions of the partners.  Unlike physical bondage, this emotional form usually increases in strength the more time the partners spend together.  Symbolically, the more time invested, the stronger and more lasting this bondage grows.

 Routine protocols can reinforce this kind of bondage through sheer repetition.  The Dominant and submissive bond through the dynamic processes of the relationship.  While displays of affection will vary from relationship to relationship, nevertheless, they are the outward expressions of strong passions and emotional attachment between the partners.  Even simple gestures like the kneeling of the submissive and the Dominant’s caress of the submissive’s cheek or hair result in a stronger emotional  bondage between the two, but the impact can be lost by thinking of these gestures just in terms of established protocol.

Emotional bondage or bonding is a continual process throughout the relationship, no matter how it is expressed.  By arranging situations where the bonding strengthens, both partners demonstrate their commitment.   When a submissive, for example, writes a daily journal, diary entry, or report for her Dominant, she connects through that other form of bondage in ways the rope tying or restraint cannot.  While Dominants often seem not to express the inner emotional bondage, they, too, demonstrate it by their concern, attention, care, and the particular dynamic they choose in the relationship, whether it be protective, sexual passion, emphasizing ownership, or some other form of expression.

 Creating personalized rituals such as oaths of surrender and ownership again show this other kind of bondage at work.  When the Dominant asks “To whom do you belong?” a powerful bonding message is sent to the submissive, just as when she answers “I belong to you.”  It can be seen that such rituals and protocols can be simple or more complex, such as when other symbolic elements are added.  Candlelight, incense, ambient lighting, particular clothing (or lack of), fetish items, “mood” music, and so forth can add to the performance of the ritual and enhance the feelings of the bonding itself.

 Examine the rituals and protocols, the gestures, and other outward expressions of your own relationship dynamics to see where this inner and shared bondage is taking place.  It may surprise you how tightly you are bound to each other.

BDSM: The Three Ns

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2012 by wmcutterblack

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Nature, need, and nurture are three invisible Ns hidden within the BDSM lifestyle and relationships.

 It is in the very nature, engrained in the personality and psyche of individuals, whether they are, generally speaking,  dominant or submissive.  They can resist it, for whatever reason, but only seem to find happiness and fulfillment through expressing and living the quality of either dominance or submission.   This nature of the individual drives and supports the second N: need.

 The need to express one quality or the other is inescapable for people in the lifestyle.  And it is best expressed through actions, behaviors,  thoughts, feelings, and communication with and to other people.

When this need is recognized and fulfilled, satisfied, we say the person receives the third N: nurturing.

 So these three often unspoken of Ns form a dynamic, a pulse and drive which moves through the relationship, inside and outside.  There are no conflicts between the three Ns, although sometimes when there is a lack of one or the other equally, the imbalance causes turmoil and emotional trauma.

If it is in your nature to be dominant or submissive and you feel the need to express it, but there is no object of affection available, you do not find nurture.  Nurturing is a communicative and shared dynamic or else it is an action that finds no equal reaction, a hunger without food, a thirst without drink.

 The newly-arrived into BDSM or D/s are often confused about these three Ns.  They may feel uneasy or confused about their nature.  Because of societical labeling, some may feel it is even wrong to have such feelings that are their truest nature.  Resolving the dichotomies of the human spirit is rarely easy until we learn to accept the differences as natural, as our individual nature.  How can she, for example, resolve the dichotomy of being outwardly a feminist with having submissive feelings, too?   How can he, instructed by social mores to be “sensitive” and “caring”, to also feel authoritative and confident enough to dominate?  Human beings are not simply on one-track.  They can feel opposing  extreme emotions, house seemingly opposite points of view.  By accepting that these are natural eases the apparent conflict within.   There may be black and white, but we inhabit a balance of grayness for peace of mind and spirit.

 Understanding that, despite how some may judge you, your feeling of need to dominate or submit is not weird or abnormal, or even freaky, provides the first step along the path to accepting that your nature expresses itself as needs.  Do you feel the need to be protected, urged to be a better self, to be a more sensually pleased person?  Do you feel the need to look after someone besides yourself, to lead them to a mutually pleasing and shared relationship, to offer advice and insight where confusion or indecision lurk? 

 The dynamics of a BDSM or D/s relationship should provide the nurturing required for the shared pleasures and growth of that relationship.  Natures of dominance and submission complement each other and form a balance or shared exchange between the two.  Needs are expressed and, when the needs are met and satisfied, nurturing happens.   So examine your relationship and yourselves to see where these three Ns are hidden and how they can best be brought into a more communicative openness and symbiosis.

BDSM: Top Gear

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2012 by wmcutterblack

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Yes, the photograph above is misleading because today we’re not talking about the accessories of BDSM, but the interior gear you need for good domination-submissive relationships.  We often see challenges in the relationship dynamic and don’t quite know how to repair or fix the rifts that open up before us.  Communication can break down and things seem to fall apart.  There are a number of good analogies we can apply to the relationship dynamic to make the gear we need seem more apt.

For example, we often see a D/s relationship as a journey.  So how do we travel on this long journey?  On foot, in a car, by rail, ship or airplane.  Speaking of the practical, we wouldn’t just start on the journey without some preparation, knowing the device or machine we use is kitted up and that we also carry along supplies needed.  Yet some people seem to just jump in a car and start driving without checking the fuel gauge, the tire pressure, directions to their destination.  Impulse can be an adjunct to passion, of course, however, for a long journey or a long term relationship, it may be prudent to make sure you know how to drive first.

What kind of interior gear does a Dominant need?  What kind (is it the same?) gear for a submissive?  As with a journey, it helps to know a little at least about where you want to go and what ways there are to get there.

There might not be a user’s manual available, but if you think about the parts of a good working relationship, you can see that some parts are built to last and others will require frequent maintenance.  Stability and consistency are important.  If there is too much stress or friction going on, the smooth running of the dynamic can be problematic.  Emotional control, mature handing of responsibility, erotic creativity, and the management of the power exchanged should be in your inner gear bag.  But you can’t just pop down to the parts shop and pick up a six-pack of these, can you?  They must be hand-crafted by you and fitted properly together to form a whole “vehicle”. 

Neither is there a good map to help guide your path because no one has been down this specific road or relationship before.  One size does not fit all; one size only fits one.  So you will need gear to help you build this new pathway, and it must be built in tandem, the two of you, Dominant and submissive working together. 

The inner gear a top needs begins with confidence and control.  He or she must be able to direct the travelers with as much comfort and security possible.  Dependable leadership skills, knowledge of protocols and acceptable behavior, discipline (both self-regulated and “other” related), a sense of how to develop meaningfulness and reenforce the positive while eliminating the negative are all elements to keep in the gear bag.  And keep them handy, so you don’t have to hunt down those necessary tools when a crisis arises, but know exactly what tool to apply for whatever situation.

It’s not just the action, sexual or otherwise, that requires attention to detail.  It is also the pre-care and after-care.  Tops have learned by experience, for example, that intense scenes or activities deplete the physical body while racheting up the emotional and mental parts.  When an extreme or intense “scene” is over, make sure to have a little snack of food, juice or water available for both the Dominant AND the submissive to replenish the dehydration process.  The more you have sweated out, the more you have to put back in to maintain a healthy balance.  That’s outer gear.  The inner gear is for replenishing the emotional and mental drain of intenseness.  Feeding your emotions and “head” are just as important as the body. 

A lot of misinformation is strewn about regarding Dom-space and sub-space.  Some describe it as a kind of trance or Nirvana.  It can be caused by a kind of drug overdose reaction from the naturally occurring chemicals the body produces after intense activity.  A marathon runner, for example, needs time and effort to “come back down”.  So, too, do Doms and subs.  Again, this is where having a well-stocked inner gear bag works to advantage.Explore, develop, and utilize what works best for you (meditation, music, mental concentration, disassociation, etc.) and keep these techniques and tools available, so you can just dip into your inner gear bag and pull them out to “fix” the situation.

The most efficient mechanics know their tools intimately, almost by instinct.  But in reality, they have trained themselves to recognize a problem and – by experience – know how to make the repair and with what tools.  Tops should take this lesson and make it their own.  In the beginning, you may have to concentrate especially hard to recognize the signs and symptoms of a problem in the relationship dynamic.  Does your sub or bottom seem distracted or emotionally upset?  Determine what has caused this with your inner gear bag diagnostics.  Communicate your knowledge that the problem exists and that you confidently know how to “fix” it.

There will be more to follow on this topic in future postings.  Stay tuned…

 

 

Domina: Because Women Dom, too

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by wmcutterblack

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You know, it’s an amusing thing, the stereotype:  the thigh-high boots, the fishnet stockings, the corset, the riding crop, the smirking smile.  But that’s how some people still think of the dominant woman.  That she’s just stepped from the pages of Leopold Sacher von Masoch’s Venus in Furs and is morphed into the professional Dominatrix to command her slaves to lick her boots.  And possibly, if that’s what floats your boat, you may get it done, but…

The strong dominant woman in reality is something else altogether.  She may be straight, kinky, slightly bent, lesbian or bi-sexual, but the significant thing to know is that she is — for the most part — in control of herself and you.

Likely as not, unless you’re one of her chosen, you’ll never know who is one and who is not.  She rarely fits the stereotypes you imagine: the dominatrix in leather, the strong political or business mogul, the brilliant egoistic professor.  Instead, she might as easily be a housewife, a soldier, a clerical worker, an EM, or any of the thousand and one jobs women fulfill today.  Inside, however, she’d be one of the strongest — emotionally, maturity-wise, mentally, and maybe physically, certainly spiritually — women you’d be privileged to meet.  She has to be.  Her pleasure and yours depend on it.

Dominas or Dommes usually don’t go around advertising their status except in settings where it is appropriate.  For those who are lesbians or bi-sexual, it’s apparent by their demeanor, posture, and attitude who and what they are.  Other women read these signals pretty easily.  For heterosexual Dommes, it may not be quite so apparent because men — even submissive ones — are not always up to speed on recognizing their potential Mistress nor what to do for her when they find her.

The naturally dominant women in my experience do share certain common traits.  Most of them are the same as for naturally dominant men: strong self-confidence, assertive body and verbal language, well-honed leadership skills and so forth.  Unlike many Doms, however, Dominas have a built-in understanding of sensuality and emotional power.  Their variety, of course, depends greatly on the influences and specific personality expression unique to themselves.  Some are motherly, others less so.  Some are playful with the stereotype, acting as imperious and chilled as they can muster but often with that secret amused smile hovering on their lips.  There is also — even among some professionals — an underlying sincere caring for the submissives that can be lacking in male Dominants.

While they may practice some of the usual Domme-sub relationship dynamics (humiliation, groveling, boot licking, body worship, tasking, etc.), many Dommes will consider part of their submissive training to be self-actuated.  They are often less the control-freak or micro-manager than their male counterparts unless they feel it is necessary.  The emotional bonding can be strong in either form of relationship, but it always appears — in my experience — to be more vital in a Domme-sub one.  That is not to infer any weakness, but simply that Dominas don’t feel burdened with constantly re-reproving their macho or manly man status or their gender superiority.  And why would they?

What male submissives expect from a dominant woman will be dealt with in another posting soon  What female submissives gain and appreciate with Dominas is — I believe — a deeper emotional commitment, a more sensual relationship, a more monogamous stability, a bonding on multiple levels, and perhaps a more traditionally domestic dynamic.  That said, as always, your mileage may vary.

 

Putting the D in D/s

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2012 by wmcutterblack

     By whatever means it is applied, discipline can be a very personal choice in the D/s relationship.  A Dominant — even a gentlemanly one   comes to expect certain behavior from the submissive.  However the Dominant has set the protocols, he will expect not mere obedience, but forethought by the submissive and certainly an overall respect that is not just passive, but active.

To speak of discipline for many is to consider punishment for misbehavior.  But punishment is an “after the fact” element.  It is used, in my opinion, too often as a standard “tool” in the Dominant’s kitbox.   Usually this can become such a strong element that it is part and parcel of the relationship dynamic.  The submissive does or does not do something and so the Dominant punishes without really considering the whys and wherefores.  The submissive expects the punishment and may even – in some cases – enjoy the application of the punishment.  In that case, it hardly retains the proper definition of “punishment” and slides into the realm of ritual behavior of the dynamic.  Spanking, flogging, whipping, orgasm denial, and so forth drops from punishment to mere foreplay.  The aspect of discipline is lost.

Imposing discipline and maintaining it ensures the relationship dynamic continues as an exercise in power and submission.  Perhaps some need to re-visit the meaning and structure and even the needs for discipline.

The meaning is simple enough.  Discipline is adhering to a code of ethics and behavior.  It is, in the best case scenarios, made to be inherent and instinctual.  If the submissive has second-thoughts about what is expected of them, if they feel they have too many options, the discipline needs to be reiterated to them.  This does not mean that submissives should not think for themselves.  On the contrary, they must.  But disciplined behavior and response within the given set of codes and behavior should prompt them, when faced with that decision of what to do to think/feel, that “I wouldn’t dream of doing/not doing that.”

The more rigid the code and behavior, the easier it may seem for the submissive to stay within the boundaries.  But — again my opinion only – this feeling of proper behavior should not be based on fear of punishment, but on desire to please and honor.  That is part of the covenant between Dominant and submissive.  The Dominant sets the rules, the submissive adheres to them.  This is why it is so important that the rules be good ones and not based in mere cruelty or egoism.

How is discipline achieved and effected?  Firstly, by direct communication.  Discussion between the Dominant and submissive should include the why for the rule.  It cannot simply be “Because I say so”.  The rules and code of behavior should have specific motivations and therefore a mutually understood connotation.  “I want you to do this” is reenforced by “I want you to do this because…”

One further comment I feel compelled to make.  The submissive’s discipline and behavior will also include the “unspoken” commands of pleasing the Dominant.  His pleasure, desires, and well-being must be paramount — apart from safety factors — and the top priority for the submissive.  That requires forethought not mere obedience.  It is also where the submissive may exercise – given permission and not contrary to established protocols – free thinking and behavior.  Therefore it always behooves the submissive to pay close attention to the Dominant’s actions and reactions.  For example, has he commented that he does not like garter belts?  Then the submissive should never wear them without having to be told not to.  Does he prefer a particular position of submission?  Then, gracefully and naturally, that should be the instinctual position adopted by the submissive.  That is part of the discipline which pleases the Dominant without him having to order “Make it so”.

Too many, it would seem, ascribe an utter passivity to submission.  That is a false conception.  Submissives must also be actively submissive in order to please and demonstrate their own discipline.