July 31, 2010


The foundation of any BDSM relationship is the exchange of power. Unlike traditional interactions, a D/s or M/s relationship is built upon the premise that power is unequally divided. This is done willingly with one person ceding power and the other accepting it. Of course, with each comes responsibility.

The Traditional Model

To state that inequality in relationships is exclusive to BDSM is misleading. Most relationships have some type of inequality built into them. This is true even for those which are supposedly 50/50 breakdown. Depending upon the situation, certain factors come into play which make equality impossible.

The first situation is one where one person is in the position of authority. A common relationship that most of us are familiar with is the employer-employee. Anyone who worked for another knows the power this person wields over you. He or she has your financial future in your hands. Obviously, anyone who has this much control is in the driver's seat. Inequality is experienced each time you are called into his or her office. While in that position, your work future is dependent upon the choices of another. Their authority over you is obvious.

Another situation is where authority isnt present but power is. This could occur because of the forcefulness or timidness of the person's involved. Have you ever seen a friendship where one person is always making the decisions. The second person is the one who always follows along while agreeing to whatever the "powerful" one dictates. Here there is an inequality based upon the personalities involved.

We can see this same thing occur within intimate relationships. Some will exercise power over the other based upon his/her personality. Many get into situations where they cannot make a decision without the permission of the other. In a subtle way (although not always subtle), the inequality of the relationship is exemplified with each request for permission.

BDSM Relationships

BDSM relationships differ in the fact that there is no pretending of equality. As you can see, equality as a methodology is not very common. Most relationships have a power breakdown that leans one way or another. Instead of 50/50, there is a 60/40 or 70/30 type of interaction. One person naturally exerts more influence over the other person.

While not pretending to strive for equality, we also recognize that the power structure in a BDSM relationship is absolute. This is especially true in the M/s world. All power lies in the hands of the Master or Mistress. Here is a situation where each party agrees a unequal balance of power. The breakdown in these circumstances is 100/0. The inequality is complete.

Why The Shock

Some are shocked to learn that people willingly submit to relationships where they have no power. I see this all the time, especially from those who were cultured to think that equality is a worthy goal to strive for. We live in a world which promotes racial and gender equality on many levels. However, these same people fail to realize that most relationships are absolute and we willing cede power over. If you doubt this, tell me the power breakdown when you are sitting in your car after being pulled over by a police officer. Most find they have little power in those circumstances. Pass over the license and registration and shut your mouth is the obvious course of action.

Thus, do not be shocked that people choose this type of relationship. As I mentioned, the major difference is in degree and the fact that we do not pretend to live for equality. It is my belief that people who seek this are not in tune with reality. There is nothing in nature that offers up the idea of equality. Why do humans seek this when we see the inequality in every relationship we have? BDSM just eliminates this foolish notion and allows us to work on our relationships within the parameters established based upon unequal control. To me, this is a bit more honest.

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July 23, 2010

Determine Where You Fit In

The title of this is "decide what you want". This is an important process that few consider when entering this way of life. Too many simply read a few articles online and say that they are a dominant or submissive. However, they fail to realize there is a whole lot more to the process than this.

There Is A Wide Spectrum

If we compare the BDSM life to a football field, we see the line between dominant and submissive as the 50 yard line. Figuring out whether one is on the right or left hand side of this line is the easy part. Nevertheless, just like a football field, there is a lot of real estate between there and the end zone.

People who are into light BDSM dwell near mid-field. Those who like the more extreme aspects of the life tend to reside near the goal line. Every step of the way there are people who are located at different intervals. Each person within this life needs to realize there there is a wide spectrum to choose from. It is up to the individual to decide what he or she wants.

Decide Before Getting Involved

I often write that dedication to lifestyle precedes getting involved with another person. Many approach this life in exactly the opposite way. They believe they will learn about the life by getting a Dom or sub who will help them to decide if they like this life or not. To me, this is like getting married before determining whether one is heterosexual or not. Not exactly a sensible approach to a lifelong decision.

We all like different things. The BDSM world offers so much variety that one should look at what he or she wants. If one is dominant, that is only the start. What type of relationship are you seeking? Do you want to be involved in a 24/7 relationship and assume full responsibility for the relationship? Or are you one who only wants your BDSM domination to pertain to sexual matters? The reverse is true for submissive types. Deciding these factors are crucial to having a successful BDSM relationship.

I find that the thing most overlook is the thought-process of deciding what he or she offers another person. I see so many post online something to the effect "Master looking for slave in city XYZ". Big deal. What is it that you are offering this person in return for his/her submission? Are you one who is capable of managing another person's life? Do you have the emotional stability to be in a relationship of this magnitude? Many think they can operate near the goal line only to realize they belong closer to mid-field.

Another aspect of the mental process one needs to undergo is to compare you personality with choices. For example, there are many who are seeking an extreme, hardass Master or Mistress. If you are a dominant, is this conducive to your personality. Some are naturally harder than others. At the same time, there are many who want someone who is more understanding. This person will not gel with the aforementioned sub. Knowing the type of person you are will narrow down those you will want to interact with in an effort to isolate the grouping that you are desiring. Again, knowing this beforehand will assist you in this process.

Revelations After The Fact

Naturally, this is not to say that people will uncover all there is before opting to move forward with a BDSM relationship. My belief is that a major part of any relationship is growth. People who are involved with each other in this lifestyle should be consistently improving. I do not believe that a relationship that is not growing is destined to last long. People need to spread their wings while taking on new challenges. Within the life, that means experimenting and trying different things.

On aspect that immediately comes to mind is expanding the limits of a slave. A true Master (or any dominant) will seek to expand the limits of the person who is under his or her control. As one goes along this path, he or she will discover things that are liked, and disliked. Perhaps one was closed minded initially to certain fetishes which are desired after experiencing them in real time. The revelation comes from the trying.

Over time, one will see where he or she fits into this life. Some are destined to be Masters while others Doms. There are those who are created to live as slaves while others remain subs. A few tend to go to the extreme while engaging in wild fetishes that few ever embark upon. Most dabble in many different aspects periodically for the pure enjoyment it brings. Finally, many will do things that fulfills their sadistic or masochistic streaks.


If one is committed to this way of life, he or she will undergo the necessary self appraisal needed to grow and expand. That is the difference between those who want to "stick their toes in the water" and those who truly want to live this life. Commitment makes all the difference in the world.

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July 21, 2010

Poly And BDSM

As I travel around the web, I am struck by all the people who are poly. Every where I turn, there is another individual or couple who is part of a poly relationship (household) and seeking to add another. Without any scientific data, I can only estimate the percentage of people in this lifestyle who are poly.

The Stats Do Not Match

Poly relationships are not exclusive to the BDSM community.  In fact, as you will see, most of the exist outside this world.  The vast percentage of true poly relationships reside in the traditional realm of society.  For these people, the lifestyle choice is not based upon sex or control.  Rather, it is a matter of the heart.

Estimates are weak in terms of the numbers or percentage of the population that truly is poly.  I heard claims that there are somewhere around 500,000 people in polyamorous relationships in the United States.  This number, according to some, is low when you consider the conditioning and promotion of monogamy by society at large.  How many more would embrace the poly life if our culture promoted it as an acceptable alternative?  Some claim that this number might reach 10% of the populous.

How does this compare to the BDSM community?  Based upon my informal survey on the internet, I think there are somewhere around 50% of the people who are seeking to live in some type of poly situation.  Compare this with a 10% number if society promoted poly as a reasonable alternative and one is left to conclude that something does not add up.

My belief is that either people who are involved in BDSM are a great deal more open minded about matters concerning the heart or there is something misleading about the statements people are making.  I make this claim because the numbers do not add up when compared to reasonable statistics in general.

Polysexual vs. Polyamorous

Poly is something that is easy to understand.  It simply means "more than one".  The question is more than one what?  Here we need to have a further understanding about the terms we are using.  Part of the statistical problem mentioned is because people are dealing with two definitions.

Polysexual means having sex with more than one person.  At the same time, polyamorous means being in love with more than one person.  Basically, when someone says they are poly, are they referring to sex or love?  That is where the big difference arises.

The polysexual community includes everyone who lives the open sexual lifestyle.  Swingers and porn stars fit into this category.  Their sexual escapades include numerous people (at least 2 others).  Sharing, swapping, and orgies are commonplace.  Bisexual encounters are also frequent.

Polyamorous people are those who focus more on the relationship aspect of things.  These are the ones who believe in love and commitment to more than one person.  While they may embark on the open sexual lifestyle, that is actually a rarity.  These people tend to have sex as a secondary issue.  Traditional arenas for polyamory is the Muslim and Mormon faiths.   Here a man (since the are male dominated disciplines) can have more than one wife.  The male is poly with monogamous wives.  Love is at the core of each of the relationships.

Poly and BDSM

This brings us to the BDSM community.  So, are upwards towards 50% of these people poly?  The answer lies in the definition.  They might be polysexual but they arent polyamorous.  In fact, these individuals are actually clueless about the poly lifestyle.  Their interest is in polysexual at best.

The classic example is a post where a M/s (or D/s, D/D) couple is looking to add another sub to their "poly" relationship.  What actually is occurring is that a Master is actually seeking to be a multi-slave owner.  He is not interested in creating a poly atmosphere.  The male wants two slaves while the female wants a sister and a bisexual lover.  That is what they are truly after.

In a true polyamorous situation, both relationships are given equal opportunity to grow.  One is not more important or given priority than the other.  Naturally, the second relationship trails the first in terms of familiarity and trust.  However, it also have the advantage of providing new energy (called NRE-New Relationship Energy) and excitement as compared to the first.  While the first person (slave in this example) has the knowledge of the Master, the second is given equal opportunity over time to become just as trusted.  Naturally, we do not see this in most of those offering poly BDSM relationships.

Alpha Slave

The alpha slave is a term used to describe the slave who is the head of a household in a multi-slave situation.  Traditionally, it was when there were a plethora of servants that one was placed in charge to make sure all tasks were completed to satisfaction.  This person was the de facto "Mother Hen".  It was her job to tend to all the other slaves while keeping them in line.  This freed the Master from the responsibility of discipline and micro mangement.

Many in the BDSM world claim they are being set up as alpha slaves.  They believe that their place is the incumbent slave entitles them to prestige over the newer person arriving.  This is bunk.  To start, in the M/s world, few have so many that they need an alpha slave.  Besides, who says the present slave has the ability to become a leader among slaves.  In fact, there is a chance the newer person is 10 times the slave the first one is.  She might be more obedient, knowledgeable, and talented.  Perhaps the second one is more qualified as the alpha slave.

Instead, the alpha slave is a method used for the first slave to keep her place between the newer one and the Master.   Typically, there is a long term relationship (possibly a marriage) in place when they go seeking another.  The first doesnt want to lose her status.  Anyone new is a threat.  In fact, there are many who state that if one is to go it is the new one.  Again, if it is true polyamory, one cannot make that assertion.  Each relationship exists on its own merit.  The success or failure of a slave depends upon her interaction with the Master, not on the other slave.  If one is to go, it is the one who doesnt meet the expectations established by the Master regardless of the number of years with him.

A Third Wheel

In the end, most of the people seeking poly are only interested in a third wheel.  As mentioned, the Master is interested in owning multiple slaves while the existing slave wants a sister.  The new person is nothing more than a third wheel to their arrangement.  She is there to perform tasks and enter into their sexual games.  That is all.  While this is a perfectly acceptable arrangement for anyone who is willing to enter it, one needs to be aware of what she is agreeing to.  To think that she is going to have an equal opportunity with the Master is foolhardy if this is the situation.  Most Masters are not polyamorous.  The existing relationship is the one that they will side with and not let go of.  The other slave, since she has no idea how to exist in a true poly situation, will eventually do things that will sabotage the newer relationship.  In the end, the new one is out since her relationship with the Master was never given a fair chance to develop.  She came in as and was always treated as a third wheel.  

The situation failed because it wasnt poly to begin with.  

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July 14, 2010


When I surf around the different BDSM websites that I like to visit, I see wide opinions concerning limits. I am amazed how a group of people with similar experiences have such a differing view on this topic. Today, I will attempt to clarify what I perceive as some misconceptions concerning limits.

No Limit Slave

This is an idea that I see referred to all the time. People typically will advertise themselves as a "no limit slave". Or, they will state that they are seeking a slave with no limits. While we are engaging in fantasy, let us dwell upon our Christmas lists in hopes that Santa and the Easter Bunny will show up with a bag full of kinky treats. It ain't going to happen.

The idea of a "No limit slave" is total fantasy. This person does not exist. We should all cease to mention and promote the concept. It only leads to misinformation and confusion. Newer people believe this is something that is attainable. Sadly, they mentally abuse themselves since they fall short of this ideal. In the end, the myth causes great destruction.

If anyone is taking exception to this at this point, I would have you consider what you would allow me to do to you (if you are a slave). You proclaim to be no limit. If that is the case, let me cut off your arms and beat you over the head with them. Someone who truly is no limit would not have a problem with the loss of limbs. As long as it fulfills the Master's desire, so the thinking goes, then it is appropriate.

Of course, many counter that this is not part of the philosophy of SAFE, sane, and consensual. Well, my argument is that, according to this mindset, I am free to do with as I wish to my property. Therefore, if I want to destroy it, thus reducing its value by cutting off limbs, that is within my right. A no limit slave would go along with this.

Therefore, everyone has limits.

Hard Limits

There are two types of limits that we encounter. The first are hard limits. This is an area that people often confuse with the second type of limit. A hard limit is basically something that one cannot do under any circumstance. Many of these limits are universal and fall under the category of commonly held practices. For example, with the exception of a few, most people have the involvement of children as a hard limit. This is a line they will not cross no matter who or what is directing them. I would say that 98%+ agree with this limit.

Another way hard limits arise is in terms of the psychological state of the individual. Many suffered horrific abuse that was not dealt with. In my book, An Owned Life, I relate the story of one who was sexually abused by her dad and his friends over the years. This was a situation that she never handled with the help of a professional therapist. For this reason, a blindfold was a hard limit for her since she flashbacked to the prior abuse. As long as she could see during the scene, she was fine. However, cover her eyes and her mind drifted. For this individual, a blindfold is a hard limit.

The bottom line with hard limits is that there needs to be a valid reason for the limit.

Soft Limits

This is the second kind of limit we encounter and is by far the most common. People's hard limits are often nothing more than soft limits. This is a limit that a Dom/Master should work on helping one overcome. The individual might think this is something that he/she would never do. However, it is a limit that is to be explored.

To quickly shed light on what falls in this category, I will mention the "Eeew that is gross" concept. I often hear people respond when something is mentioned. Guess what, just because you think it gross, does not make it a hard limit. Those who are in a total power exchange relationship know that their consent in this regard is not required. A gross activity is still something that can be engaged in. Dislike is not a valid reason to make something a hard limit.

Another way that a limit exists is because someone has not worked up to overcoming it. For example, many think that paddling is a hard limit for them. Yet, when trained by an experienced person who knows how to push a limit without causing harm, one realizes that their level of acceptance of pain will grow over time.

Soft limits exist but should diminish over time as trust and experience with a particular Master grows.

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