Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Discretion Dilemma

                Choosing to live a life outside the boundaries of societal “normal” is often a challenging, but fulfilling endeavor.  BDSM, swinging, polyamory, LGBQT are all examples of that.  But those choices we make are often from the vantage point that something is missing from so called Vanilla life.  We find that these alternative lifestyle choices help us to find those missing elements of life, and be a more complete person because of them.  We also know that our choices could have consequences should people become aware of it.  Therefore, we are discreet about them, keeping that part of ourselves private except for those that are also in them.
                Discretion: the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information.  This is a twofold problem. 
Part One: Avoiding causing offense. There are going to be people in our lives, that if we speak openly about our lifestyle choices, could be offended.  Part of the problem is we may not even know who is going to be offended beforehand, so we tend to just keep it to ourselves.  Friends, family, employers are all equally susceptible to becoming offended by our actions and beliefs.  So, it’s just easier to keep it to ourselves than take that risk.  And it’s a serious risk in some instances.  You could lose a lifelong friendship.  Be ostracized by family.  Be fired from your job.  There are people that could be so offended that they might wish you bodily harm. 
Which brings us to Part Two.  Not revealing private information.  Many people try to protect themselves by hiding their true identities.  Creating discreet profiles to keep their information and identity a secret.  Only participating in areas they are not known.  All of this helps to keep our identities private and confidential.  And I fully support those that do these things.  They have the right to keep their information private in such ways.
I come from a unique situation in that I do not have to keep my lifestyle choices a secret.  My family knows, most of my friends are in the lifestyle, and my employer just wouldn’t care if it doesn’t interfere with my job performance.  I know that I am the exception to a lot of the bad scenarios out there.  So maybe I’m a little freer to live the way I choose, but that does not mean that I don’t know the value of being discreet.  I have the utmost appreciation for the concerns those not in my situation have with being discreet and do whatever I can to make sure that they are kept safe.
But.  You knew there had to be a but coming.  The problem I see developing is that everyone is being so discreet, and fearful about their secrets coming out, that the lifestyle they lead could become endangered.  Because the lifestyle is still “kept in the closet” I think it’s important for all of us to try and find new people and bring them into the lifestyle.  How else are they supposed to find us if we aren’t out there looking for them?  Yes, every new person that comes in could blab and say something about us to the wrong person.  It’s always been a risk.  It will always be a risk.  But those new people that come in are the next generation of lifestylers. The fresh meat that keeps the lifestyle interesting and fun.  You knew it was a risk when you started, but you started anyway.  I just don’t want it to ever become such an issue that new people are turned away out of fear.  If you are going to live in the fear of being called out for what you believe in, then maybe you shouldn’t be in the lifestyle at all.  In all of these alternative lifestyle communication is the key to success. 
Leadership in the groups is important for this reason.  There needs to be a plan in place to introduce those new people.  But the plan needs to not be so overly complicated that it can take weeks, or even months, for the new people to be introduced.  I, for one, appreciate the efforts of leadership and will support them in any way possible.
In closing I just want to say, we all need to pull together to support the lifestyle, its leadership, and its growth.  We all do this because we choose to.  Because we enjoy it.  Because it’s fun.  We all need to be able to trust each other to make good choices.  To be discreet when necessary.  To not bring anyone that doesn’t understand the needs of the many to functions.  We all need to work together to make it work for everyone, new and veterans alike.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Discipline

Last time we talked about the B of BDSM.  Today we are going to discuss the first of the D: Discipline.

What is discipline? For our purposes we will use the following definition “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.”
In the lifestyle, as Ive said before, there is a Dominant person and a submissive.  The Dominant usually establishes a code of conduct, rules for behavior, and a system of service.  They then must train the submissive to follow those rules.  When training needs a little extra help, various forms of punishment, of discipline, are used to correct errant behavior. 

Discipline can come in many forms.  But the most important part of any regime of discipline is that it must not cause damage.  This is especially true if one uses emotional discipline.

Physical discipline is the most common so let us start there.  Corporal punishment is often used to correct behavior.  Spanking, flogging, prolonged uncomfortable bondage can all be used.  Often the punishment is engineered to fit the discrepancy.  It could be that the submissive is not allowed to be clothed when greeting their Dominant.  So for punishment the Dominant takes all of their clothing away for a period of time.  The submissive may have forgotten to kneel, or assume any specific position at the correct time, therefore the Dominant will require them to assume that position, or bind them in that position, for a period of time.  And often just a really good spanking is all that is necessary to restore order and correct the discrepancy.

Mental discipline can also be used.  This requires placing the submissive in a mentally uncomfortable situation.  Prolonged nakedness could be an option for a submissive that has issues being comfortable with their own nudity.  Making dinner or doing chores without clothing could also be effective in this scenario.  Placing them in a situation that accentuates their fears could also be productive.  Maybe tying them up and then placing a covering over their eyes would be good if they are uncomfortable in the dark.  Humiliation and degradation tactics can also be used as mental discipline. 


Both physical and mental discipline are going to have an emotion impact on the submissive.  Care needs to be taken that not only are you not violating established limits, but that you don’t cause emotional scarring to your partner.  The idea of discipline is not to do harm, but to affect a correction in behavior. Any and all discipline needs to come with the care and attention that any form of scene requires.  Be prepared.  Use your safewords.  Follow established limits.  And don’t forget the after care.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Bondage


BDSM.  The B stands for Bondage.  But what is erotic bondage?  Here’s what Wikipedia says.  “Bondage is consensual tying, binding, or restraining a partner for erotic, aesthetic, and/or somatosensory stimulation.”  That is a great starter definition.  Now let’s dig a little deeper.
Bondage can take many forms.  It can involve rope, cuffs, scarves, shackles, literally anything that will immobile someone.  The form of bondage being done is dependent on not only the one doing the bondage, but on the person receiving it.  Negotiating this is important so that everyone involved enjoys what is being done.  The person being placed in bondage has a responsibility to inform the one doing the bondage of any issues that would be important.  Have you had any injuries that will prevent you from being in certain positions for a length of time?  Do you have any psychological issues that need to be accounted for before, during, and after?  These things can stop a scene in its tracks and ruin the entire experience for everyone involved.

There is also mental bondage.  Having the agreement with your partner that once placed in a specific position you will not move unless guided to a new position, or told to assume a new position.  This is a great way to start for newcomers, someone with a physical limitation, or suffers from panic attacks due to bondage scenarios. 

There are advantages and drawbacks to both forms of bondage.  Mental bondage takes into consideration those mental or physical limitations.  But it does not have the same feel that physical bondage does.  The actual sensation of the restraints.  The knowledge that you are completely at the mercy of the one binding you.  The literal, and very real, loss of movement.  Many submissives take a great deal of pleasure, and even comfort, from the actual restraining of their bodies.  The emotional release of letting go and giving themselves fully into the hands of another.  Mental bondage just doesn’t fulfill that feeling for them the same way.

Bondage has its dangers as well.  That is why the Dominate needs to know what he is doing.  Knowledge of how the restraints are going to affect their submissive both mentally, and physically.  Some basic understanding of anatomy comes in pretty handy.  Don’t tie her like that, it will restrict blood flow to her hands.  Or maybe just not quite as tight.  Keep feeling for danger signs.  Cold or clammy extremities, numbness, abrasions, cuts, or welts.  If you see these things then make sure to take the appropriate action.  Remember that the submissive has put her body, her safety, and potentially even her life, into your hands.  Don’t betray that trust.

Submissives also have an important role to play.  They need to be able to take inventory of their own bodies.  How to I feel physically?  How do I feel emotionally?  Is this scene going the way that I want it to go?  Do I need to use my safe word?  Being a submissive doesn’t mean you get to be complacent.


Along with these basic safety practices, make sure you keep learning as the Dominate.  Know your craft.  Take pride in what you are able to accomplish with what you have on hand.  Keep your kit tidy, your tools of the trade in good repair.  And above all else, keep your brain sharp.  It’s easy to get lost in the moment and lose sight of what you are doing.  Be ever vigilant to not only yourself, but the person you have under your control.  Keep yourself in control at all times, able to act appropriately if the need arises.  You are the Dominate.  You need to be the one in control.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

BDSM : the hard truths



This is mostly just an introductory piece to be followed by more in depth notes later. Six to be precise.  I just wanted to give everyone that doesn’t want to read them a fair warning.  They will likely be more descriptive, and frankly graphic.  I know that there are many people that have no interest in the subject matter being expounded upon, just as there are many that will find what I have to say informative and rewarding.

First let’s break down what BDSM is, and isn’t.
B&D stands for Bondage and Discipline.
D&S stands for Dominance and Submission.
S&M stands for Sadism and Masochism.
BDSM is NOT abuse.

These six things, concepts, ideas, make up the core of the BDSM lifestyle.  Now BDSM has been around for a long time, but it has been kept a dark secret.  Many of the practices involved are considered by mainstream society to be deviant or wrong.  Sadly, they usually just misunderstand the ideas behind the behaviors and practices.  Maybe you are one of them and will gain a better understanding by reading what I have to say about them.  It’s important to say that these are my thought, my ideas, about the lifestyle, and there are those that would disagree with them.  And that’s perfectly ok.  One of the benefits of this lifestyle is that it is excepting of all different levels and ideas of how it should be done properly.

In an earlier writing I discussed consent.  Consent is one of the few things that is not open for discussion in the BDSM lifestyle.  Both of the current mottos of the lifestyle contain it.  SSC stands for Safe, Sane, and Consensual.  This motto has had a bit of falling out lately because no one can agree on what Sane is.  What is sane for one person seems completely outlandish to another.  So a newer motto has come into popularity lately.  RACK stands for Risk Aware Consensual Kink.  Being aware of exactly what will happen and agreeing to it.  Consent was written rather well in the book Ethical Slut and I will copy that here for you to examine and review for yourself.  They define consent as follows: An active collaboration for the pleasure, benefit, and well-being of all persons concerned.  Consent means that everybody involved must agree to whatever activity is proposed and must also feel safe enough that they could decline if they wished.

Many people believe that BDSM is abuse, because it involves pain.  While it is true that there is often pain involved, it is not abusive.  That is where consent because so important.  If everyone involved has established their boundaries and consented to the activity, then it is NOT abusive unless those boundaries have not been respected.  Stepping outside the agreed upon, consented to boundaries, is abusive and not tolerated at all inside the BDSM communities. 

One of the hard things about discussing BDSM is terminology.  I’m going to attempt to keep it as simple as possible here, and go into more detail in the subsequent writings.  But here’s a short dictionary of terms to keep in mind.

Scene:  A time period that the BDSM activity takes place.  This commonly starts with negotiation and ends with after care.
Dominant:  The Doer.  The one that directs the scene.  What happens and where, by the terms of the negotiation.  The pain giver in most instances.  Can be referred to as the Dominant, Master, Sir, among many others depending on the nature and preferences of the relationship.
Submissive:  The one that receives the “attentions” of the Dominant.  Can be referred to as the sub, slave, baby girl, or pet, among many others depending on the nature and preferences of the relationship.

It is also important to note that those that cause the pain, for the pleasure of the receiver, are also the ones that provide what is known as aftercare.  Aftercare can take many forms.  Anything from treating any injuries, providing comfort and warmth to the receiver of the pain, keeping them hydrated and protected while in a vulnerable mental state.  So while pain may be the end result, or even the goal, of a particular session, it is the provider of the pain that the receiver turns to after the session is over.

Another topic that is important to discuss is Safe Words.  “What is a safe word,” you ask?  It is an agreed upon way to help control what is happening.  There are typically three variants involved.  For examples I will use the most common ones, the stop light.  Green means everything is great, keep doing that.  Yellow means that I like what you are doing, but you are getting close to the limit of what I can handle.  Don’t take it any further. Red means stop.  Everything must stop right now.  Safe words allow the receiver some control on how far the provider can go, even in the middle of a scene, and to even bring the whole thing to an end just by saying a single word.  This consented to, agreed upon word keeps abuse from happening, from things going to a place that wasn’t planned for.

That is all for now.  Stay tuned for the first of the six topics to go into further detail coming soon.  Bondage

I choose to live

I choose to live.

Many of us in life get stuck in a rut.  Doing the same thing, day in and day out.  This to me isn’t living.  It is merely existing.  Existing in a static state lacks the important characteristics of growth, and change.  If you aren’t growing and changing, evolving, becoming more than you were before, are you really alive?  It doesn’t feel that way to me.

So how do we get out of the rut?  Don’t like your job?  Get a new one.  Don’t have the necessary skills for a new one?  Learn them.  Can’t afford college?  Go to the library or buy a book and teach yourself.  Do what it takes to make a difference in your own life.  The same concepts apply to every facet of your life.  Your friendships, career, relationships, children.  Become more than what you are today.  Become a new person tomorrow.

It’s not going to be easy.  Change is scary, and hard.  But nothing worth having is easy.  If it were then it would have no value.  Every minute of every day you are making a decision.  Turn left, turn right, stay put.  Get out of bed or not.  What to wear.  What to do with the day.  Most of these things we don’t even think about, we just do it.  The same thing every day.  Stuck in the rut. 

Start small.  Make a daring wardrobe choice and see how people react to you.  Go someplace you’ve never been before and explore.  Go for a walk around the neighborhood and say hi to a stranger.  You never know where the conversation might go.  I’m a firm believer that everyone we meet has something they could teach us, and us them.  Change doesn’t have to be drastic.  Start small.


Me, I choose to live, rather than exist.  Who’s with me?
Consensual Non-Monogamy Primer (Part 1?)

Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM) has gotten a lot of news lately all across the internet.  And from conversations I’ve been having there are some misconceptions and terminology issues due to the reporting being done, predominately by people that are not really all that familiar with, or living, the lifestyle.  So in the interest of sharing my experience and knowledge, as a longtime member of this lifestyle, here is a little terminology primer for those that are interested.

Consensual Non-Monogamy:  CNM has multiple different facets and definitions.  I’m just going to focus on the main three branches here.  But first we need to understand the basic idea of CNM before we get into the specifics.
                Monogamy: the dictionary defines monogamy as follows: “the practice or state of being in a relationship with one person at a time. The practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only one partner.”  Therefore, it stands to reason that Non-Monogamy would be the opposite for that: “the practice of being in a relationship, romantic and/or sexual, with more than one partner.
                Consensual: Consent it defined thusly: “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.”  That’s a pretty generic definition and really doesn’t cover all the bases when CNM is concerned.  In this lifestyle communication is absolutely essential.  Consent is a huge part of that.  Here’s an example. Couple A&B decide that they want to open their relationship.  Not only do both A and B need to give consent for that to happen, the extra persons C, D, and E all need to know all the details relevant to be able to give their consent to become involved with either A or B, separately or together.  It is this concept of consent given by all parties involved that separates CNM from just cheating.  So with all that in mind lets continue with Polyamory.

Polyamory:  Broken down polyamory means “many loves.”  The act of having more than one romantic relationship.  This relationship will predominately have a sexual aspect to it as well, but it is not the central tenet of the relationship.  Polyamory, i.e. “Poly”, has become the blanket term for all forms of CNM, but that’s just not right.  It is one facet of it, and not all inclusive the way mainstream media portrays it.  Poly can have both couples, and single people, in a multitude of various configurations that I’m not going to get into because it can get really complicated.  In a nut shell poly is mainly focused on the romantic aspects of CNM rather than the sexual side of it.  I personally have never had a poly relationship, but because it is of interest to me I have done extensive research into it on the chance that I may someday have that possibility and not horrendously botch it up.

Swinging:  Swinging has been around for a long time.  It was especially prevalent during the 60’s and 70’s, and garnered a lot of publicity at that time.  But it’s actually been around a lot longer than that.  The basics of swinging are that couples that are in a committed romantic/sexual relationship have sex with other people. This can take place in a variety of venues: house parties, hotel takeovers, resort destinations dedicated to that purpose, or just in your own home.  Swinging is different from Poly in that the romantic element is absent.  The focus of swinging is the sex, rather than the love.  That is not to say that many people that are involved in swinging don’t develop deep lifelong friendships with others in the lifestyle.  But that’s where it usually ends.  Friends that may have sex with each other, but are not allowed, or even inclined, to progress to a romantic attachment.  While there are a number of single people that can be found in the swinging culture, it is predominantly for couples that are in a committed relationship with each other and no one else.  While swinging is a couples’ activity for the most part, it does not mean that it is only couples playing with other couples.  It’s very common for either partner of the couple to go off with someone, by themselves, to have a little fun.  But at the end of the night, that couple came together, and they went home together, more than ever committed to each other.  I have been an active swinger for about 6 years.

Open Relationship (OR):  OR is that last of the “Big 3” of CNM.  OR is where one, or both, of the persons in a committed relationship to each other are allowed to have another person, or persons, to have sex with outside the relationship. One of the benefits of an OR is that you can get certain needs fulfilled that your partner may not be interested in fulfilling for whatever reason with someone else.  These needs can be taken care of without an emotional investment being made.  They don’t replace your partner; they just supplement them. This is not poly as the “extra person” is not a romantic relationship.  May, or may not, even being a real friendship.  It’s not swinging because it’s not usually something that a couple does together.  Rather each person is on their own to find the extra activity that they are looking for.  I personally have had several OR’s in the past and learned a lot from them.

Now why would anyone even consider having a CNM relationship?  The reasons are just as varied as the types of relationships you can find in CNM.  You have to decide for yourself if all of your needs are being met by your partner, or not.  And would getting those need met by someone else, in a safe and consensual manner, be something that you are going to be able to do.  CNM is a not a lifestyle that everyone can do, either mentally or emotionally.  Our society has decided that Marriage/Monogamy is the “Right” and only way that couples can interact with each other.  I personally disagree but then no one listens to me anyway.  Time will tell if the old traditional values that we were all raised with will survive, or if new ideas with become the new normal.


                

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Princess

At the center of the courtyard
Lies the Crystal tower.
Home to the Princess,
And the greatest treasure ever known.

Originally built as a safe house,
Now it is her prison.
Surrounded by mighty walls,
Guarded by a jealous dragon.

All alone she waits,
Wondering if ever her Prince will come.
But who can possible slay the dragon,
And climb the barren walls?

The walls are thick and strong,
Fortified with fear,
Worn smooth by worry,
Reinforced with rage.

The dragon is mighty as well.
It feeds off her soul,
It drinks her tears,
And eats at her heart.

Who is worthy?
Who is possibly strong enough?
None so far,
But He comes, now.

The Prince rides forth,
Armor shining as the dawn,
Fueled by love,
His heart is pure and strong.

He looks at the walls,
Not a crack to be found.
Too smooth and high to climb,
So breaking them down is his only chance.

The dragon roars,
It's prize threatened.
The very earth trembles.
As it takes to the air.

The Prince is ready though.
He draws his lance and rides forth.
Fiery breath splashes against his shield.
Foul lies burn from the dragons mouth.

But lies are no match for the Lance of Truth.
The Prince strikes again and again,
Piercing through the heart of the dragon,
Extinguishing it's lies forever.

Back at the wall
The Prince has no choice.
He's going to have to break them down,
Risking his very life in the act.

His only weapon is his heart.
Strong and steady it beats,
Proclaiming his love for the Princess.
But vulnerable as well.

Gathering his love tight
He throws it again and again at the walls.
At first nothing happens,
But then tiny cracks start to appear.

He grows tired and weary,
Not sure his love can breach these walls.
He looks to the tower for a glimpse of the Princess,
And he sees that smile she shares with him alone.

His heart swells anew.
He realizes his love is everlasting and eternal.
No walls can stand against him,
As long as they block him from her.

The walls shake and tremble
Under the onslaught of his passion.
Cracks lead to more cracks,
Great chunks fall free.

Breaking through the walls he goes to her,
Takes her in his arms,
Kisses her softly on the forehead,
Takes her by the hand.

She's been a prisoner so long.
The greatness of the world is scary,
But she knows that her Prince will always protect her,
And keep her safe.

Come with me O' Princess,
Let us find our way home.
For my love has conquered your fear
And broken you free of your prison.

Our love is the stuff of legends.
It's glory will be sung of,
Its fortitude will be the foundation of the future,
For you are mine, and I am yours,
                Forever.