Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Paradox of Domination and Submission Resolved: Power Exchange and Spheres

The dom may also
sadistically "mistreat"
the sub. And yet
the masochistic sub
consents and "likes" it.
Our kink is riddled with paradoxes!

Doms aren't evil. Subs aren't losers. And yet out erotic focus is on the experience of victimising and victimisation, exploiting and exploitation.

Doms often want to make their subs happy (e.g. because relationship). Subs stick around because they are happy. And yet the tone of our kink is often coercive and extends into the callous.

Doms aren't all powerful. Subs have rights and stand up for them. And yet the dynamics we crave  revolve around an empowered dom and a disempowered sub.

The dom may also sadistically "mistreat" the sub. And yet the masochistic sub consents and "likes" it.

We're left with the conundrum:

How can any of this be real? 
And if it is real, how can it be OK?

This is so confusing to the tidy mind that it generates trite non-useful statements like "the sub has all the power" and simulationist approaches that blunt the underlying dark urges.

The confusion around motivations dissolves when we consider that there's no authentic "I".
people on a roller-coaster scream
in genuine fear... then buy
another ticket.

Rather - as modern science tells us - we are a mess of subsystems working in parallel. That's why people on a roller-coaster scream in genuine fear... then buy another ticket.

The confusion around ethics and authenticity similarly dissolves when we compare our activities to sporting ones. For example, two boxers consent to be in the ring, are governed by rules, and yet authentically fight.

These apparent paradoxes are actually built by comparing things from different spheres!

Fearing and enjoying can coexist as brain chemicals without contradiction. Rules constrain freedom of action but do not prevent it.

Thus, as soon as you are strict about what applies to which sphere - my catchall for headspace, framework, and system - BDSM relationships start making sense.

The outer framework spheres are what give people permission to indulge in D/s:

  • Consent Sphere: Both parties consent to a scope, otherwise the relationship would not be possible.
  • Moral Sphere: BDSM is OK because (if!) both parties consent within sensible limits. The dom is therefore not evil. Nor is the sub a victim.
  • Relationship Sphere: The dom understands that the sub craves BDSM and is therefore making them happy on some existential level. The sub wants to be there, despite the considerable bravery sometimes required, and is therefore not an exploited loser.
The inner experience spheres are what satisfy our orientation and they are dark places.
  • Physical Sphere: The physical activities and sensations are real. Therefore any sadism, victimisation, and exploitation is experienced as physically real, as is any coercion.
  • Power Sphere: The dom commands and the sub obeys (within the scope covered by the consent). It follows that the power exchange is at least as real and authentic as the action in a boxing match.

D/s couples actually experiencing D/s
quickly forget that it's not real. 
Just as boxers lose track of the framework beyond the ring and forget that it's "just a game", D/s couples actually experiencing D/s quickly forget that it's not real.

We become accustomed to the power dynamic to the extent that disobedience starts to become unthinkable, even though the dynamic only exists because of the consensual, moral and relationship framework.

This is no different from the way that people in conventional marriages forget that they don't have to be faithful or work together.

Therefore D/s relationships are at least as functionally real as traditional marriages.

Conversely, I think people in a room considering BDSM shy from the darkness and treat the framework as an end in itself, rather than as a means to support the experience of domination and submission.

Perhaps this explains both "do me" subs who spend more time on the internet than on their knees, and also what I think of as "consent and aftercare fetishists" who seem to take two important concepts too far and put them in centre stage.

Learn how to how to walk the same Femdom path with your partner! 

CLICK HERE to download my Femdom Erotica (all written while chaste!)
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Monday, 28 November 2016

Towards a Submissive Thrall Manifesto

The action will be for the
dominant's benefit.
My name is Giles English and I'm a "submissive thrall".

OK. I made up that last term... or almost. Merriam Webster defines a thrall as:

a : a servant slave : bondman; also : serfb : a person in moral or mental servitude
a : a state of servitude or submission <in thrall to his emotions>b : a state of complete absorption <mountains could hold me in thrall with a subtle attraction of their own — Elyne Mitchell>
So, essentially thrall is another - more poetic - word for "slave" but with romantic overtones - e.g. "I am enthralled by my mistress" - and no specific BDSM expectations.

I propose...
a submissive thrall 
is a sexual submissive who, 
when they (consensually) submit, 
actually submits to their 
dominant for real.

A thrall, when submitting, can be anything from an affectionate subordinate lover through to a mute protocol-bound slave. The scope of a thrall's submission can range from occasional bedroom only, all the way to 24/7/365.

None of that matters.

What defines a thrall is that, when we submit, the power exchange is effectively real within permissive limits. Specifically:
  • A thrall's hard limits (a) are permissive enough to grant satisfactory freedom of action to the dominant, and (b) identify only those lines which would be dangerous to cross.
  • A thrall offers their kinks and fantasies to the dominant as optional tools to be exploited for the dominant's pleasure by way of reward and incentive. (Or as an a la carte menu for inexperienced dominants.)
  • A thrall's safeword is for mental and physical safety, only. There will be no attempt to direct the action.
It follows that a thrall accepts:
  • They may sometimes be bored, frustrated or uncomfortable.
  • The action will be primarily for the dominant's benefit, even when they give pleasure.
  • Any issues will be handled within the context of the power exchange.
  • Punishment will be real punishment.
  • Nobody will step out of role, because nobody is in role.
Nobody will step out of role,
because nobody is in role.
We need a specific term for this because "submissive" is now used very loosely to cover anybody who submits erotically in anyway to anybody doing anything.

Somebody who submits within a very tight scope - highly scripted scenes or ones with lots of affirmative consent - can identify as a submissive, as can somebody who hires pro-dominants in order to  explore their fantasies.

All these people are "real" submissives. (And their dominants are "real" dominants.)

However, this means we don't have a word for a submissive who craves a D/s relationship in which the power exchange feels real, even if it is limited in scope and time. ("Slave" won't do because it can mean a specific level of lifestyle submission and/or particular protocol and has some unfortunate associations for some cultures.)

All this makes it hard for "thralls" to identify themselves to themselves and to potential partners, and doubly hard for dominants to make clear what they are looking for.

Hence my term, submissive thrall.

And no, I have no idea what the dominant counterpart would be called.

Learn how to how to walk the same Femdom path with your partner! 

CLICK HERE to download my Femdom Erotica (all written while chaste!)
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Friday, 18 November 2016

Kinky Dating in the Vanilla World: How to find a Femdom relationship on OK Cupid

I'm not dating - thank God! However, there are an awful lot of male subs looking for partners, so when Fetlife user alwaysthere posted about dating in the vanilla world (source), I interviewed him and got his permission to share on my blog:
HIM: I suggest a two pronged approach:

1. Join your local BDSM community. Go to munches and make friends. Go to workshops and learn everything you can about how to do BDSM safely. Volunteer to help at parties, and be a good member of the community. There is a good chance you will find someone to play with which will give you valuable experience for when you do meet the right person. And you just might find someone who is also looking for more than just play.

2. Use online dating sites to meet new people in the vanilla world. I've had the best success with OKCupid. Let your profile hint that you are possibly kinky, but don't come right out and say it on the site, or you may scare off potential mates before you even meet.
You want to have as many first dates as possible. I actually made two different profiles on OKC that highlighted different aspects of who I am but were both 100% factual. If I found a person that I thought was a good match I'd email from one account and if I didn't get a reply in a week I'd email from the other one. It doubled my chances of meeting people.
On each first date, if conversation is going well and you think there might be potential, just come right out and say that you are into BDSM as a bottom or submissive. Be prepared to explain more about what this means.
If she's interested in you and receptive to the idea than you just got yourself a second date and sex is nearly a sure thing. If she reacts poorly to the idea of BDSM than you haven't lost anything more than an evening and the cost of a dinner.
She barely knows you at this point so there's no chance of her outing you to your friends that she hasn't even met yet. If someone you meet isn't interested in BDSM than you don't want to waste any time dating her any way. Move on to the next as quickly as possible.
I did exactly this strategy a number of years ago, and now I'm married to an awesome FemDom. We met on OKC and my coming out to her as kinky intrigued her. After a few dates, some great sex and a little bit of really basic BDSM I took her to her first ever Munch. Soon we were both regulars at workshops and parties and she became an accomplished rope rigger.
ME: Actually, would you mind sharing some specifics about how you hinted at kink in your profiles? I'd love to quote you on my blog, and perhaps in a book I'm planning.
HIM: OKCupid was the easiest to set up, because it has badges you can earn for answering questions, and one of them is "More Kinky". Lots of people have this badge who aren't outright into BDSM but it certainly indicates a predisposition to being open to BDSM. In general, take the time to answer enough questions to rack up at least a half dozen badges. It helps with matching.
There are also many creative ways you can phrase things in your profile that hint to your kinkiness but don't outright give it way. Let them read between the lines when you mention that you believe in non-traditional gender roles, or maybe you talk about how you are always looking to try new things.
Honestly, since dating profiles are more or less anonymous, you can put more obvious stuff on there. You just might have success with a profile that comes right out and says you like kinky sex. You don't have to get into all the details about what turns you on, but bring honest on your profile is more likely to get positive attention than one with the same old generic answers. Re-write your profile once every month or two and keep track of how many responses you get with each revision.
When you find a match you want to meet, write them a note that specifically mentions several things you like about their profile. When sending a message to a new match I usually would write one paragraph about how we are similar, paste a second paragraph that was the same for every match, and then close the message with one last reference to their profile and asks for a date. At one point I was doing one or two first dates almost every week.
ME: Did kink come up in your first dates?
HIM: I would bring up the subject any time it felt that we were doing well on the first date, which was probably 60 to 70 percent. After a short time I got practiced at it which made it easier. At least 75 percent of the time when I bright up the subject I got a positive response. This who responded positively were 90% likely to have a second date and I had sex with about half, maybe more.
ME: Did you ever get false matches? E.g. kinky but wrong preference?
HIM: I did once and we ended up playing just for fun. She was a submissive and we alternated tying each other up. We never had sex during the play, nor did we start a relationship. We are still friends and run into each other at munches once or twice a year.
ME: Did you get targeted by pros fishing for clients?
HIM: Only through fetlife, not through vanilla dating sites. The messages seemed off for some reason, so my guard was up but I kept replying until she asked for a gift as a tribute. So I challenged her to meet me in person and I would bring a gift. Never heard back again.

Learn how to how to walk the same Femdom path with your partner! 

CLICK HERE to download my Femdom Erotica (all written while chaste!)
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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Why male subs are crap 2: Warped or missing role models and prototypes

Listen to the chatter around Femdom: "Goddess... Mistress... Queen... punishment... service... worship..."

Look at the posturing and the posture taking!

Roman widows kept male slaves as
lovers....never depicted in
mainstream culture. 
It all points to a prototype:  a mutually fulfilling sexual relationship in which the woman holds all the formal power, not just over the sex but over the man himself.

Unfortunately, it's a protoype that never existed.

Oh sure, some Roman widows kept male slaves as lovers. Some of those relationships had to be about more than just captive masseur who does happy endings. However, these are never depicted in mainstream culture.

Instead, our cultural heritage views female dominance through the lens of the Battle of the Sexes: there to be defeated - Cruella De Ville; tamed - Kate from Taming of the Shrew; - or laughed at - every comedy housewife who wears the trousers.
The powerful woman spends the movie trying to
submit her way into his world.

Think about the film Notting Hill.

Hugh Grant's character is a penniless bookseller. He's in love with Julia Roberts' screen goddess. The whole film hinges on overcoming the power imbalance between them, and ultimately on her escalating attempts to surrender to him.

The powerful woman spends the movie trying to submit her way into his world.
Imagine if the genders had been reversed?

So, yes you can have a living goddess like She or Cleopatra or Julia Roberts, but - since sex is surrender - when the right man comes along, she's revealed as "just a girl wanting to be loved" (presumably this is the origin of the idea that dommes are just waiting for a real alpha male to come along and tame them).

 She's grotesque, and he's a figure of fun. 
Think about... how about... yes! Do you remember Suburbagatory?

Sheila Shay is clearly - explicitly! - the dominant partner in her relationship, but she's grotesque, and he's a figure of fun. Moreover, he's weak in his relationships outside the marriage, and therefore less of a man.

That's fine because this is comedy, but can you think of a non-comedy show where she rules the roost and that doesn't constantly generate challenges for them as a couple?

So, yes, the wife can be in charge, but that makes the man defeated and emasculated.

It seems our mainstream culture doesn't know what a happy vanilla Femdom - "Female Led"- relationship looks like, let alone what kinky Femdom sexuality might look like when she's actually in charge.

This is perhaps why some male subs have odd or unhelpful ideas.

They envisage Femdom as a simple reversal of traditional roles.

In the crudest form, they present themselves as feminised in the expectation that a dong-wielding domme can't wait to peg them "for her pleasure". In a more subtle variation, they assume that if a woman is in charge then her approach to sex will become "masculine": just as a manly man wants to "force" one extra orgasm out of his woman, so should a True Femdom want to milk her sub dry. (Of course, some women do want to do this, but not all.)

Castle: very much a happy vanilla Femdom relationship
Or they narrate their submission as an inevitable act of surrender in the battle of the sexes, and portray themselves as weak while loudly proclaiming the truth of gynosupremacy - because that's attractive, right?

Finally, they read female sexuality as being inevitably submissive, so focus on anything other than satisfying it.

This is one reason why they imagine being done to rather than doing for.

In this view, receiving a hand job is a form of surrender. Where the sub is the active one, it must be about his submission. She must either be the scornful goddess - e.g. having her boots licked - or else take pleasure in an aggressive posture, classically through pegging and face sitting, but also - if she really must lie back and enjoy cunnilingus - through gloating over his inevitable denial.

God forbid they should actually have sex!

These warped substitutes for role models and prototypes must affect not only male subs, but also dominant women as they grow up, thus making what should be a very simple idea - she's in charge, we do kink - into a minefield of conflicting expectations.

Hopefully things are changing. Market forces are slowly generating shows about powerful women, some of whom have supportive partners who are neither weaklings not brats.

...hints that there is actual Femdom in the bedroom
from time to time.
The best example of all is Castle

Beckett clearly calls the shots, owns the sex, and the entire series is about his struggle to fit into her life, and ultimate acceptance that she will mostly go her own way and that he can only support her in that.

This is very much a happy vanilla Femdom relationship, though we have hints that there is actual Femdom in the bedroom from time to time.

It's a start.

Learn how to how to walk the Femdom path with your partner! 

CLICK HERE to download my Femdom Erotica (all written while chaste!)
(For ebook format, 
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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Why Male Subs Are Crap 1: Transactional Analysis and Femdom Styles

"...all I want is a full body massage
and dinner I don't have to cook..."
Submissive men are mostly crap and getting worse.

A domme friend of mine posted:
Guy asks to worship my boots, but all I want is a full body massage and dinner I don't have to cook/pay for.
And increasingly (it seems) dommes are complaining of being treated as "kink ATMs" or cheaper alternatives to a pro domme. This can manifest in one-handed email and IM exchanges and then no further contact, through to actual in-person encounters where the "sub" is mostly manipulating to get his particular kinks (perhaps using safe words as a sort of skip track button).

Finally, male subs seem to feel the need to position themselves as losers, as if diminishing themselves will make them more rather than less attractive.

As a first step to understanding what's going wrong. it's worth revisiting the transactional analysis ego state model.

Short explanation:
We all have three mental places we stand - Ego States. How we behave is determined mostly by behaviour we've learned from other people. So when I'm in my "Parent" ego state, I'm usually nurturing, but at other times disapproving or judgemental. When I'm in my "Child" I can be playful but also needy and brattish. When I'm in "Adult" I'm - supposedly - above all this, though I may carry around funny ideas of what an adult does (look for "contaminated adult").

Interactions between people are actually transactions between their ego states. For example, an Adult-Adult transaction can be super sensible and productive, a Child-Child interaction can be playful, and an Parent-Child interaction can be patronising or nurturing depending on the people and situation. And of course, people can shift between states, sometimes in weird ways, which gives us Games People Play.
It strikes me that most BDSM activities belong to a single transaction. This doesn't tell the whole story. For example, Adult-Adult covers both two kinksters trading kinky pleasures and the core of a coldly instrumental owner-slave relationship. Even so, it gives a sense of where people are at when they do stuff and why, for example, Xena likes me to be stoical when she beats me.

When I look at this, I can see three ways that wannabe male subs screw up both when approaching self-identified dommes (and when trying to bring onboard a vanilla partner, but that's a different topic).

It's not entirely their fault, though a little critical thinking might help.

The trouble stems from the way two kinds of kinky transactions that get more prominence than they should:

#1 BDSM Culture encourages Adult-Adult conversations about kinky activities

Adult-Adult conversations about kinky activities
This is a good thing and fits in with the wider emerging consent culture.

The snag is that online BDSM culture puts so much emphasis on these conversations and how to have them (because they can be difficult and require both assertiveness and shared terminology) that to an outsider, it appears that all BDSM is about the activities, and that all  kinksters like to be approached this way.

This is where, "Hello I like face sitting and golden showers and want to be your submissive plz" comes from.

Some kinksters do like to be approached this way, especially if you're part of the same community of trust (anonymous subs often seem to miss that part!).

However, most dominants are interested in a particular dynamic (because power exchange) and have their own kinks that reflect that. Also - tragically - most male subs are in reality also more interested in dynamic than particular fantasies, if only they'd stop and reflect. The Adult-Adult conversations are just there to permit the power exchange to go ahead.

Thus, opening with particular requests without context is like trying to pick up vanilla women by boasting about your oral skills: it's at once not enough information and too much information. It's also cold and unengaging.

There's also the problem that unreflective men presuming a reciprocity of fantasies: that what gets them hard and sweaty will get a domme hot and wet. (The reality, of course, is that much D/s is asymmetric at any given moment, which can be hot.)  That's one of the reasons why some men think stating a list of their own kinks is enough, that announcing you like being feminised is the equivalent of sending up a flare.

This partially explains the "domme as kink ATM" attitude. However, there's another factor...

#2 The high visibility of Pro Dommes emphasises Parent-Child transactions (meet the Kink Fairy)

 (Let's be very clear, I'm talking the ego states of consenting adults here. Also, what follows is not a criticism of pro dommes! They are often community leaders, they push the boundaries in terms of skills and toys, and - most importantly - stop some men going crazy. They also have a right to sell erotic services to consenting adults without having to justify it by being useful.)

Combined facilitator and personal trainer,
therapist and local guide. 
The top prodomme is a Kink Fairy: combined facilitator and personal trainer, therapist and local guide.

The Kink Fairy helps the sub embrace and fulfil his kinks, expand his limits, and possibly expand his horizons. For example, she may make his complex feminisation fantasy come true, "torture" him in highly technical ways using expensive equipment, and then parade him around at a BDSM club.

The sub in question may be middle aged, feel unattractive, and insecure about his sexuality... the pro domme is a kind of rescuer. A good thing.

The Kink Fairy dynamic is, of course, focused on Parent-Child (and not unique to pro dommes).

The snag is that the high visibility of articulate and mesmerising pro dommes makes the mainstream media treat the Kink Fairy as the default for Femdom, and confirms this view when male subs look online.

To add to the confusion, to an outsider, the lines between pro dommes and non-pro dommes can seem blurred. Pro dommes often teach activity focused classes attended by other dommes. They also often have non-paying relationships. Nobody makes a big thing about who is or isn't a sex worker (nor should they!) . And many of the most visible non-pro dommes are also Kink Fairies.

So it's easy for wannabe male sub, who possibly already feels insecure about his kinks, to assume that all dommes are happy Kink Fairies, with non-pros being cheaper but less well-equipped alternatives to pros who can, however, be approached in the same manner.

This is where the weird supplicatory self-infantalising fantasising approach comes from: "I'm weak and dirty and need somebody to control my masturbation and sit on my face..."

The sub assumes that the Child Ego state is the right one for the initial approach. They are playful - don't differentiate between their fantasies and their real self - and at the same time needy, demanding a bit entitled, and above all else, too immediately intimate.

Presumably a pro-domme plays along with this she is there to provide a service and knows how to move the client to where he needs to be. Just about everybody else, however, goes "Ewwww.... BLOCK."

#3 Focusing on a Single Transaction whether Adult-Adult or Parent-Child

Even a kinky relationship is more than
just its kink...
Finally, even a kinky relationship is more than just its kink, and the kinky dynamic needs to cover more than one type of transaction. This is especially true when kink and vanilla are interwoven.

Xena and I - who do this 24/7  - go through the whole range of kinky transactions kink:

Sometimes I'm the long-suffering slave to her brattish mistress (Parent-Child), sometimes she's guiding and disciplining me (Child-Parent), sometimes we have serious conversations with serious consequences (Adult-Adult), and sometimes she toys with me in delicious ways (Child-Child).

So any approach that obsessively fixates on a single transaction - "let's trade kinks" or "rescue me, Kink Fairy!" - feels neither like it comes from a real person nor that he is treating the domme as one. It certainly doesn't suggest that any kind of relationship is possible.

Learn how to how to walk the Femdom path with your partner! 

CLICK HERE to download my Femdom Erotica (all written while chaste!)
(For ebook format, 
Lulu or iTunes.)