Thursday, 25 October 2012

How to prevent Domination Drift

"The pain and pleasure are real,
the obedience is real."
Erotic domination and submission is  real.

Yes, even if it's bedroom-only, even if you call it "role play" or "spicing things up", it's still real.

The pain and pleasure are real, the obedience is real.

If she says, "Kneel!" and I kneel, then that's real in the same way that it's real if when the referee blows his whistle and all the footballers stop playing.

This is great. I don't want to pretend to be a slave, I want to be a slave.

The snag is, we want to be slave and mistress on Friday night and Saturday morning, but not the rest of the week, and the beautiful reality of our domination and submission can chip away at this....

 It's possible to suffer from Domination Drift:

The threat of Domination Drift

In an otherwise vanilla long term monogamous relationship, it's easy for power relations to leak out of the BDSM zone, for the domination to drift into real life.

Deliberately or not, subs have a way of stealth submitting, which is made easy because erotic doms usually have a dominant streak in "real" life. If you have submissive tendencies, then you're going to be attracted to people who push those buttons. In my case, I've always liked forthright women who say what they want and don't look for approval.

With a partner like that, all the sub has to do is stop pushing back! This is not necessarily a good thing for either person.

Why part-time D&S?

"We're vanilla most of the time, 
and that's how we like it."
I think most Femdom couples are like us. We're vanilla most of the time, and that's how we like it.

Others do it 24/7, or have a gentle patriarchal or  FLR with more intense episodes. I'm sure that can work for some couples. However, for most of us that would have a too-many downsides:
  • The sub usually won't want to submit all the time (no matter how much they fantasise about this).
  • The dom usually wants a conventional relationship most of the time; the benefits of being in charge 24/7 being outweighed by the responsibility and potential loneliness.
  • A lifestyle relationship may be inappropriate, e.g. because the couple are raising children.
Part-time domination and submission also has an erotic advantage along the lines of "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". New, nasty, developments apply only to the kinky corner of the relationship. The dominant partner need never define themselves as "somebody who does X or Y to their partner - it's their inner master/mistress that does that to their slave.

Why self control isn't enough to prevent a drift into a 24/7 relationship

"All the sub has to do is
stop pushing back"
It would be nice to be able to say, "Exercise self control"! However, remember that in most cases, for drift to happen all the sub has to do is to stop pushing back. This means there are two problems:
  • If the dom tries to exercise self control, that means they will always be second guessing their normal behaviour. I can't think of anything more irritating!
  • If sub tries to exercise self control, that means remembering to actively assert themselves. Can they be trusted to do this? Will they have the energy?
No, if there's a strong BDSM undercurrent to the relationship, relying on self control will just put strain on the vanilla relationship.

Fortunately there's another approach. It's much easier to manage the subtle dynamic rather than to try to resist it.

"No collar no command" - the power of the firewall

"No collar no command"
Peel back the layers of the brain and we're all Pavlov's dogs. If you establish a context for the domination and only do it there, then that's the only place it will happen. By context, I mean "the stuff that accompanies the D&S" - time, place, props, toys, protocol.

In our case, I only ever submit when locked into my male chastity belt on. Conversely, I am always submissive when chaste.  Over time, thanks to conditioning, this feels like the natural order of things: without the chastity belt, D&S is simply not on the menu; with it, it is unthinkable for me to be anything but a slave.

In effect we've created a firewall around the Femdom. It keeps our day-to-day relationship vanilla, and at the same time strengthens the D&S one.
 * * *
For how to make this work in practise, see my Femdom self-help guides for couples where the female partner is mostly vanilla....

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Got a US Tax ID (EIN)

One of the downsides of being UK-based and publishing on Amazon Kindle is that they withold US tax unless you leap through hoops to get a US tax identity.

However, it turns out that the hoops aren't so difficult. It was really easy to get the right ID - an Employee Identification Number. It really does take only one phone call to Philadelphia (click for good blog entry on this).

Things that didn't matter when applying for the EIN by phone

  • Didn't matter I was sole trader and not a Ltd company
  • Didn't need any tax ID number or any other kind of ID

Things I did need

  • Full address, which I needed to spell
  • Date I started publishing
  • Full international phone numner
  • Glass of water

Useful to know

  • It takes 2 weeks for the EIN to stick!


The operator I dealt with was  friendly. Thankfully they didn't ask what I publish :)

Conservatives can teach us a secret about Femdom!

In the UK we have lots of queens but also an actual Queen - old lady, wears a crown on occassions, odd taste in dresses.
And that's the thing, take away the deference, the "OMG it's Her Majesty" and you're left with something pretty silly - the Empress has no clothes on!" (Ewww!)
Less silly?

For example, (left) here's a top-flight lawyer receiving his knighthood. A moment of great solemnity and a life achievement but...

Most social institutions are potentially silly

The ultimate recognition for a hard-working lawyer who presumably earned every single ounce of his achievement is to kneel down before  an elderly woman who - though charming and hard working - is a monarch via random inheritance? What she gives him is a title that qualifies him to clatter around the medieval countryside rescuing damsels?

Isn't that a little bit silly?

The same goes for all the objects of relationships that underpin traditional society.

You can choose to see: a President as just a politician with an interesting record; a flag as just a scrap of cloth; a teacher as just a science graduate who couldn't get a research post; a priest as somebody with a friend you can't see; a boss as just somebody who holds the purse strings; a (traditional) husband as just the partner with the penis who leaves the house to work, rather than stays home and works equally hard....

Looked at from the wrong angle, it's all silly.

The right angle

One morning in AD1789, the French commoners woke up and - as one - exclaimed, "Zis monarchy she is merde!"

Monarchy stopped being real and we ended up with the Great Terror - not ultimately a happy thing. (Happier examples include the collapse of East Germany, and of the toxic regime in the Philippines.)

This is what conservatives of all flavours fear. They know that the entire social and political structure can potentially be laughed out of existence if enough people insist on looking at it from the wrong angle. Hence the loud "defence" of the head of state, the Flag, deference and protocol in all walks of life, and of the institution of marriage itself.

So, rightly or wrongly, conservatives are always rushing to defend this institution or that.

A Femdom blog is not the place to discus their choice of what to defend, and to defend rather than to adapt. However, they are absolutely correct in the way they choose to defend their preferred institutions; by insisting we only address them from the right angle; which is the one in which you treat the underlying relationship as real.

Treating relationships as real makes them real

Humans only think we are fully self-aware and consciously in control.

The sad truth is that situation and context mostly determine our behaviour. There are plenty of experiments to back this up, most notoriously the Stanford Prison experiment: pretend jailers and pretend prisoners quickly began to act their roles, and - however tongue in cheek or ironic their initial behaviour - ultimately believe in them.

Treating relationships as real makes them real.
The the real world, people - abused spouses, bullied workers, alienated teenagers - stay in bad situations they could just walk away from; the relationships have become more real than the practical means of escape!

This loss of perspective can be also happy thing.  In what Stephen Pinker calls the Civilising Process, the state, social pressure and choices made by potential mates forces the cowboys to become gentlemen, and then they start believing in it. I think the same goes for many very happy marriages.

So, the evidence is that most relationships gain strength from the outside to the inside.

Call it pragmatic or cynical, but conservatives have long known this, hence their love of deference, formality and protocol... sounds a bit BDSM, doesn't it?

Conservatives teach us to treat the Femdom relationship as real

In a  wonderful recent blog entry, Robert Anthony wrote:
The weird thing is, it seems totally normal now... which is how it should be I guess. Although I am somewhat surprised that we've never looked back, never had a break from it, never had second thoughts - either of us.....[my edit]  I no longer crave denial. Oh I still want Mistress R to control my orgasms and I still want her to tease and deny me for however long pleases her, but I no longer 'crave' denial, because denial is my everyday reality.
We've had a  similar experience:
Loss of perspective...
I want to tell her I love her. Tell her how much I desire her. Instead, I can only rub, pummel, and thumb her naked flesh until she's limp and relaxed. I know what's going to happen and I segue from frustration, through irritation, to a kind of erotic horror; I know we have a relationship beyond this slavery, but I can't reach out and touch it. I'm powerless to do anything other than massage her until...She announces that she's ready to sleep and does just that.
So, no, I'm not going to argue that conservatives are all perverts, or that any flavour of conservatism is inherently inspired by the Marquis de Sade. That's not the point!

The point is that our Femdom relationships are as inherently fragile, as potentially silly as any of the institutions beloved by our conservative friends. No slave contract is legally enforceable anywhere you would want to live. No punishment is really inescapable. No discomfort is truly forced.

And yet, our Femdom relationships - be they 24/7 or part-time, or some nuance in between - can easily become real to us. We can - gloriously - lose perspective.

However, this loss of perspective only happens if we take a leaf out of the conservative playbook and unremittingly treat the power relationsip as real.

Don't step outside the Femdom

He dropped her best coffee mug!
We submissives need to never step outside the Femdom. If we question an order or express pain or discomfort, if possible we must do it as a slave ("[this] will result in [that], mistress."). Mostly we shouldn't question an order, nor do anything to elicit a dommish response. Mostly we should accept the rough with the smooth, the boredom with the ecstasy, the frustration with the fear. Safewords, yes we need them, but only as a last resort.

Dominants also need - or I would humbly advise them - to never step outside the Femdom, not for practicalities, not for safety, not even for irritation. If the slave does something annoying the slave gets punished; don't flip into your vanilla role to yell at your husband or partner. If the slave is suffering but the husband seems to be enjoying himself, ignore it. If the slave is really suffering and you feel sorry for your boyfriend, shrug it off. You can cuddle him later.

Anything that looks beyond the power relationship to the consensual one wrapped around it risks committing the worst sin of all...

Why "not treating it as real" is the worst Femdom sin

Really, beyond safety, sanity and consent, "not treating it as real" is the worst Femdom sin because as soon as you go "You know what, I/you don't have to do this!" then the lights go up and neither of you look very dignified. One or other of you may look just plain silly.

The dominatrix is caught being evil, which can be very uncomfortable if she is ostensibly vanilla. She may also feel a fool for playing such a childish game of tying up and make believe, and suddenly embarrassed by her sticky-crotched husband cringing at her feet.
"...suddenly embarrassed by her sticky-crotched
husband cringing at her feet."

The sudden splashdown to reality is just as bad for the submissive. It's the nightmare of being found out made real, coupled with the embarrassment at his partner's embarrassment, and a fear that the Femdom will go away.

And if it does keep happening, then the Femdom will probably go away. That glorious loss of perspective? You can only achieve it if the vanilla relationship isn't lurking at the boudoir window.

She needs to know her orders will always be obeyed, otherwise she will start second guessing your wants, and you'll start editing your reactions to prevent this from happening. Soon you'll both be on edge, irritated and going through the motions. It won't be real anymore. It'll probably just be embarrassing.

So, like the conservatives do for relationships they care about, we must treat our Femdom  as 100% real.

For how to make this work in practise, see my Femdom self-help guides for couples where the female partner is mostly vanilla....

Monday, 8 October 2012

Is erotic submission a gift?

Margo Adler, ethusiastic kinkster, says in her blog:
...sadomasochism is embarassing enough without adding an additional layer of cheese and canned corn over it.  Jesus Christ. Are we going to a Renaissance Faire next?  I don't know about you, but I am absolutely terrified that a filmmaker out there is planning to make a Trekkies-style documentary about us.  When that happens--and it will--we will never, ever live it down.  
Who is giving who the gift?
She's talking about subs who loudly tout their submission as a "gift".

I tend to agree.

In Femdom, the only gifts that count are the ones that aren't your (the sub's!) idea.

Suppose your dominatrix wants more than you would normally give for fun: she wants more service, or more suffering, or more of both. If it's her idea, and you give it because you want to please her, then that is a gift. However, it's the kind of gift you can't offer up front, especially to strangers. (Perhaps it's also the kind of gift you shouldn't give. Would it not be better for the rest of the relationship to ask for a trade?)

There is one other kind of genuine gift you can give a dominatrix. If you truly serve - e.g. polishing the boots, not licking them - then you are making a gift of yourself as a slave. However, in return she gives you the precious gift of experiencing being a slave.  This is the kind of gift that cancels itself out in the giving! 

So, either you can't offer it up front, or else your gift is really one side of an exchange of gifts. In either case, it's not really something you should rush to mention, let alone get any kind of advantage from. To do so reeks of emotional blackmail, of trying to be special like the Mary Sue of a million episodes of one-handed slash fiction, or grasping at a figleaf of dignity, when shedding dignity is the whole point.

Most of all, it's making a fuss! If you have followed this blog or read any of my Femdom how-to guides for semi-vanilla couples, you'll know I'm big on Not Making a Fuss Over Your kink: stick to specifics, don't unburden or expect to draw your partner into fantasy land.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Ferns: Trust works both ways

The wise, dominant and articulate Ferns says (among other things):
Without that trust, I can’t exercise my dominance. I can’t. Because I will be second guessing myself over and over. Without trust in him, I will feel like I am not at all able to understand where he is in it, it will be as if I am blind in trying to read him, like I am groping around in the dark while worrying that I am going to knock him over some cliff and I won’t even see it coming. And that doesn’t work for me.
She's talking about the need for the dominant to trust the sub.

Treat the power relationship as real,
and it will become real!
Yes, BDSM culture talks about trust, but usually dwells on how the dominant must earn the trust of the sub. However, for a relationship to be sustainable, then the trust has to go both ways; the submissive must also earn the trust of the dominant.

In other words, the dominant has to trust the submissive to actually - guess what? - submit, and also trust them to provide safety feedback (emotional and physical) when required.

It is incredibly jarring to be in dominant mode and to be suddenly jolted back to vanilla world and perhaps - worse - be made to feel foolish. It's also impossible to relax and enjoy dominating if you can't rely on the submissive to tell you when something is really wrong.

Ferns identifies as a dominatrix from one relationship to the next. When she can't trust a sub, she reconsiders the relationship.

However,  if your dominatrix is also your wife or girlfriend, and she can't trust you as her sub, then she'll reconsider being a dominatrix! Ever.

Treat the power relationship as real, and it will become real. Treat it as packaging for some kinks, and both the power relationship and the kinks will go away.

For how to make Femdom work in your relationship, see my kinky self help guides.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Subs! Don't forget the vanilla (even if you are FLR)

Since we men like our absolutes, and since there's a culture of grasping for the "authentic self" (which actually doesn't exist), it's logical for a submissive male to want to surrender everything and hand power and authority to his - usually - wife.

Don't forget the vanilla
Female Led Relationships/Wife Led Marriage - great erotic fantasy, a reality for some, and a longed-for relief for many men (since adulthood is hard).

There's this snag.

(Actually there are lots of snags, some ethical, some psychological, but let's stick to the erotic in this post.)

In a Female Led Relationship, unless she's naturally kinky - and let's admit it, in most cases, the male sub was the one who introduced his vanilla wife to Femdom - you're not likely to get the deep and nasty Femdom action you crave.

There are two obvious reasons for this.

Domestic Authority isn't automatically kinky

"Where's my kink?"
Think back a century or so to when men were in charge. The women didn't spend a lot of time tied up,  there wasn't much protocol, and - though it happened - men didn't routinely chastise or chastity-tize their wives. 

It's nice to be in charge

If morality is not an issue, then there are lots of reasons why its nice to be in charge, and most of them are vanilla. It's great to be waited on, served hand and foot, to choose the colour of the duvet or get an orgasm on demand with no need to reciprocate, or to play away from home (if that's what you're into).

Reversed patriarchy isn't kinky

When female subs have time-travel fantasies, they make one-handed visits to eras where women were real slaves and save Victoriana as an excuse to wear corsets at Steampunk conventions. The year AD 1850 was not a Maledom heaven.
* * *
So, when if you set up a reversed recreation of a classic patriarchal marriage of yesteryear, why should you expect anything different from what your great great grandmother experienced?

Your wife may be trying to control the descent into kink

"What happened to the
whip and the nipple clamps?"
She may feel that anything she does may quickly become mandatory or routine.

Kink's fun, but not all the time

Yes, she might enjoy having you serve dressed in only a French Maid's outfit and pink CB6000. Once. Or occasionally. Or even every Friday.

However, she probably doesn't want to come home to that every night.

Yes, she might enjoy - or at least be happy with  - applying ferocious discipline, strict protocol, total orgasm denial some of the time. But this stuff takes energy. If she lets intense BDSM become your expectation, the routine price of her authority, then he's storing up trouble for herself.

"Not the man she married."

Perhaps she likes having a husband?

Plus, she might also want to enjoy having that thing she walked up the aisle to get in the first place - an actual husband.
* * *
So, if you've given over your entire marriage to Femdom - if you are "FLR" - then it's in her interest to set expectations and to avoid going too far, too deep, in case it's hard for the relationship to go back.

The problem is that without boundaries - without a firewall - kink still has consequences for her.

Why the vanilla space helps the kink, even in FLR

"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas"

People act their worst when there are no consequences. So, the best way to foster deep and dark, female-driven BDSM in your marriage is to remove those consequences.

Permission to be bad isn't enough

In the morning, they're going shopping.
It's not enough just to give her permission. You're still asking her to be a person who beats her husband when the dishes aren't done. There has to be a place where the consequences simply don't exist.

Vanilla protects the kink

In the case of Femdom, that means a vanilla space. That way, she's a person who sometimes takes on the role of a person who beats her husband when the dishes aren't done. That way, utterly subjugating you tonight doesn't mean she won't have a cuddle in the morning,  companionship round a gallery, or hot vanilla sex in the tomorrow night.
* * *
So if you want kinky Femdom, you need a firewalled vanilla space, even if she controls when you are in it.

For help creating a firewalled Femdom space, try my kinky sex guides!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Review of How to be a Roman Dominatrix

I've just realised that Amazon doesn't let you post anonymous reviews! So, unless you use a dedicated account for buying erotica and sex guides, you are unlikely to review my work on Amazon.

The good news is that you can post in other places. Goodreads, for example, is a safe place to post reviews of adult material without outing yourself to Entire World.

You can also post on forums. "Sal1972" was sufficiently enthused by my Femdom manual for vanilla women with submissive partners that he posted a review on Fetlife:
Just finished an interesting story that i found on Amazon and was able to down load to my Kindle. "How to be Roman Dominatrix" by Giles English.
And before so one says "were does a guy get off telling a Women how to be a Dom"
It is not the ultimate, be all answer, you name to it bible, etc. But perhaps for a couple new to the "sport" might be a fun starting place, just a thought.
Reviews mean an awful lot to me. I wrote my manuals to help other people, and it's always a relief and a thrill when people find them useful.