February 29, 2012

BDSM Lifestyle Versus Play

What do you like about BDSM? Why are you involved? What is it that attracted you and what do you want to get out of it? Questions such as these will determine the direction one opts to take with this genre known as BDSM. As with most things in life, the answers will be individual in nature. Each person is different with goals and aspirations that are personal. That being said, the arena we are in is large enough to fit everyone.

BDSM Scenes

Most find this way of life through the imagery presented on the Internet. We all have noticed the "porn" based pictures and videos promoted by the X-rated industry. Intending to sell more of their product, the World Wide Web is flooded with images depicting the BDSM lifestyle as a sex and bondage show. While there is some realism to what is presented in that some of us implement parts of what is seen, few of us live that way on a daily basis. The truth is we have lives to live.

There are many whose sole interest in BDSM is to "wake things up in the bedroom". If one enters this arena for the main purpose of enhancing the sex in one's relationship, then that is the answer the person is seeking. Many utilize BDSM for role playing and some of the other fetishes offered. These people seek nothing more than play and should not be considered in the "lifestyle". However, they should not be degraded for their decisions either.

At the same time, there are those who engage in BDSM for the "scening" only. What this means is the person wants to be involved in non-committed power exchange scenes. Some will utilize the services of a professional while others will attend munches or clubs where this activity is commonplace. Again, the sole purpose is some short-term satisfaction usually, but not always, on a physical level. Even those who follow this course for some emotional or mental benefit do so on a limited basis.

Please hear me when I tell you there is nothing wrong with adapting aspects of BDSM for play only. This is a wonderful way to enhance one's sex life and if things got a bit stale, BDSM is a way to liven things up. Bondage, power exchange, and impact play are done by millions of couples even without the foreknowledge that they are involving themselves with BDSM. The goal is to follow whatever makes one happy.

BDSM Lifestyle

The word lifestyle is a term that I never truly liked. Nevertheless, it is fitting in the sense that it denotes those people who have a deeper commitment to this way of life than just scening. When I look at BDSM, it is not a lifestyle I chose as much as it is my life. This is what I live each day. I do not awaken and opt for a dominant role but, rather, simply fall into it. Interacting with one who is submissive is natural to me because of what is within me. This is not something that is created or developed as much as it is uncovered. It took a while and was a bit of a process. And it is something that most who pursue this path deeply undergo.

To me, those who choose this as a lifestyle have a power exchange relationship at the core of their lives (or desire one). This is a distinction from those who want to add a little spice to their lives. Many are perfectly content with a relationship based upon equality. However, those of us who found our way here realized at some point that was not for us. A dominant wishes to have the power tilted in his/her favor while a submissive is desiring that same dynamic. While the areas that power exchange pertains to varied from each person, the common ground with all is that it exists.

Another thing that I noticed is the level of commitment that people have to this way of life. Now, I will admit that not everyone is an advocate nor willing to engage in behavior that promotes the lifestyle as a whole. However, because of the Internet, we seem more and more people voicing their opinions about matters that are important to them. There are now patches of people all over the world who hold BDSM in high regard and are willing to defend it against the nitwits out there. More of the abusers are being challenged and brought to light by those who take things seriously. This is a positive sign.

BDSM is about respect. It matters little whether one is hard core into the lifestyle or just one who likes some light bondage. Every person has a place as long as they are respectful of others and what we are about. Sadly, this is not the case for many in the online world. Yet as time passes, people are learning the tricks of these nitwits. With information and knowledge comes protection. This is a positive sign for the genre overall. So, if you are interested, enter into our world and explore whatever strikes you. It is an open arena for anyone to try.

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February 26, 2012

Safety 101

I am going to revisit a topic I wrote on extensively throughout the years but is certainly worthy of reviewing. Sadly, it seems that most do not believe or understand the magnitude of what transpires. It is because of this that many have a tendency to put themselves in a position to be harmed in a tremendous way. As always, I will keep using this pulpit to try and spread the sane message even if few are listening.

It Starts With You

Safety is a personal job. Many feel content to turn that responsibility over to the Dom/Master. While I acknowledge that this is where it does fall, the truth is that many are not worthy of this responsibility. In other words, they do not have the skills nor makeup to operate safely. For this reason, a sub or slave needs to assume full responsibility for safety until the other person exhibits the ability to handle it. To skip this step is perilous.

I was roaming around a forum on one of the sites that is often frequented by the pretenders, wannabes, and dregs of this lifestyle. This exercise is always a reminder how difficult it is when dealing with the online world, especially for submissive women who are truly interested in learning more and going further. It is an environment that is wrought with dangers at every corner. Pain, and not the enjoyable kind, is certainly in the future for most. My hope is that it is only emotional and not something more serious. Of course, we all know the stories that end up in the papers.

One of the threads I came upon was written by a know-it-all. Naturally, the inclination is to believe this was a dominant person exhibiting his "superior knowledge" of the lifestyle. It was not. The topic was titled "I am not stupid" and was written by a female submissive who is just asking to be destroyed. Her attitude shows that she has all the answers.

The basic gist of what she wrote was how she tired she is of being told by others (older men mostly) to be careful when pursuing some of her fetishes. Without going into them specifically, she was into some things where she could be harmed greatly if not careful. Of course, the warnings of others was only met with resistance since she was convinced she researched her particular likes and knew what was going on. This "know-it-all" is a predator's dream.

It is important to remember that no matter how careful one is, the BDSM world, especially the online world, is wrought with great dangers. Even the most experienced of us are apt to get "taken" periodically because it is human nature to believe the best in people. We sincerely want to think that the person on the other end of the chat is exactly whom he or she claimed. Sadly, in more than half the instances, that isnt the case. More times than not, the person is either a fake, liar, or outright misguided. Countless stories exist representing this reality.

Therefore, when dealing with the online world, take every precaution that is mentioned. All of the suggestions that are posted are worthy. You can never be too careful.

Psychological Damage

Much is written about behaving in a safe manner when doing a scene. I will attest to the importance of physical safety in all we do. It is best to interact only with those who are knowledgeable about a particular fetish. If one is not experienced, hopefully he or she is willing to train under the guidance of someone who is. This is how one attains the proper ability to act safely.

As important as physical safety it, I believe that looking for the psychological ramifications is crucial. Too many overlook this aspect especially when they are involved with someone long term. The tendency is to get complacent and use the knowledge of the other as a means of predetermining limits for each situation based upon past results. The truth is that people vary day to day meaning that taking this path could cause a lot of pain.

I find that safety often means backing off. There is nothing wrong with taking a step back from time-to-time. What do I mean by this? As I mentioned, individuals have their good days and their bad ones. Subs/slaves have those times where they are really into a scene. It is under these circumstances where one is able to move towards or past certain limits. Of course, there are also those days where this person is not "on". Perhaps there is something emotional going on. Or it could be that mentally she has some barriers that cannot be overcome. Whatever the reason, in these instances, a dominant needs to be attentive to the fact that he or she might need to pull back. Sometimes less is more.

It is the same as exercising. We all had those times when we went into the gym and we were "on". In the end, we felt as if we had the best workout ever. At the same time, there were those days when we could not get anything accomplished at the gym. Those are the days we are "off" and basically trudge through a workout.

So what are the implications of moving forward when a sub/slave is not able to. One the surface it might not seem like a big deal. In fact, that person might be okay with what transpires. However, on a deeper level it is possible to cause damage. When one is pushed more than he or she is ready to accept on a given day, the possibility exists for things such as trust to be lost. A sub/slave needs to fell completely safe with the one serving. Betraying him/her by behaving in a manner that is contrary to one's best interest hits a person deeply. This is just one example of how being ignorant to this can affect one psychologically. Of course, there are many of things to be mindful of that I will write about in future posts.

The bottom line is that bruises heal. Cuts will close up. But when you harm someone psychologically, that has the ability to be imprinted deep in the psyche. For this reason, psychological safety needs to be at the top of every dominant's list. This is the most basic thing we need to do.

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February 23, 2012

Sub versus Slave

As I make my rounds reading different posts, I am always intrigued how so many have different ideas about the most basic of definitions that we utilize in this lifestyle. Sadly, it seems that people use terminology that fits their purpose. While this is okay on one hand, it does create a great deal of confusion when people are posting these things. It is always important to remember that newer people are reading the words without the ability to filter the information out.


I will start by saying that people are free to establish their relationships however they see fit. There is not a template that everyone needs to operate from. BDSM is about individuality and personal creation. Ultimately, everyone is seeking fulfillment. That is an end which can only be derived through internal investigation. We all tick in different ways. Determining one's likes and dislikes is a major part of the process. Many of us learned that reality is not always as good as the fantasy or vice versa. However, the only way to uncover this is to look at ourselves and see what fits us.

At the same time, there are many who limit their BDSM activities to the bedroom only. Again, this is something that is perfectly acceptable if it is agreed to by the participating parties. Not everyone is cut out for full fledged 24/7 TPE. Many only want to approach the BDSM world to enhance their sexual play. These people need not be degraded for their choice or because they prefer to operate in a way that might stray from how others are behaving. The adage "different strokes for different folks".


Now that we have the individuality aspect explained, it is time to look at the terminology we use and why it is important. Words represent images to us; they are pictures in our mind. We think in this manner and the terms we use convey the specific image. For example, when I mention "ice cream sundae" a specific picture arises in our mind. The same is true for the word "dog". Thinking is nothing more than this.

When terms are not understood or their meaning clouded, then the thought process is interrupted. Understanding comes from the ability to take a word and transfer it into a picture. To emphasize this point, notice your throught process when I mention the word "letto". What images came to mind? I am going to surmise that most of you drew a blank. This term means nothing to you since it is not in your vocabulary. Therefore, it is impossible to focus upon this with imagery. However, if I told you that letto was Italian for bed, now you are able to create a picture for the word.


A submissive is someone who turns over power. This is the plain and simple idea of what occurs when one submits. Certainly, as was expressed in the individuality section of this post, this can vary amongst people. Some people prefer only to cede power in the bedroom. Others are more apt to be attracted to a 24/7 TPE situation. Either way, the bottom line is that the submissive grants power to the other person.

Which brings up an important point that is worthy of mentioning. BDSM is based upon consensual agreements. The lifestyle has little tolerance for anything that is non-consensual. The only way a submissive can lose the power is to consciously choose to give it to another. He or she selects whom this will be and under what circumstances. Now I will grant that are instances where submissives are so in touch with their core that they cannot seem to do anything other than obey. Nevertheless, this person still has the ability to opt out of anything that is occurring.

Submissives fall into two categories: subs and slaves. These are the terms we use. Again, since we think in pictures, we need to distinguish what this means. And, I am going to make some statements that people will find offensive. Tough. There is enough bullcrap spread online that if you want someone to agree with you, there are plenty of places to find that. This blog is about clearing up misinformation.

Sub Versus Slave

All slaves are submissive but not all those who are submissive are slaves. I have seen those who claim to be slaves yet also say they are not submissive. This is completely false. If one is not submissive, then one cannot be a slave in the BDSM world. Here is why: if you are not submissive, but you are involved in slavery, then that is not consensual. If you are made to do something and operate in a relationship where everything is forced upon you, that is not BDSM. Non-consent and forcing is nowhere under the definition of safe, sane, and consensual. Quite frankly, this is a form of abuse.

At the same time, by its very definition, a slave is involved in a complete exchange of power. There is no other way. If a relationship involves anything other than this, than that person is not a slave but, rather, a sub. Of course, many take exception to this statement. Sorry Chicos and Chicas. The title of slave is something that is to be honored and, in my experience, very few have the ability to achieve. Sadly, the term has been watered down by all the 20 year old neophytes online who claim to be slaves when, in fact, they are nothing more than brats looking for a free ride.

Another important matter as it pertains to power, is that it can have limits as long as it is defined. What do I mean by this? There are many types of slaves who operate with complete power exchange within prescribed areas but retain their autonomy in other areas. A slave is involved in a 24/7 TPE relationship with all power in all areas belonging to his/her Master or Mistress. But what about the other types of slaves such as domestic, financial, or even sexual? My feeling is these people are worthy of the title "slave" in these specific areas as long as one gives total power. For example, a domestic slave is willing to obey completely all instructions regarding affairs of the household. However, in many instances, sex is not included in the arrangement. A domestic slave is not a sex slave because the interaction is limited to specific areas where control is complete. The same is true for a financial slave. In this scenario, the Mistress (usually since most financial slaves tend to be male) has full access to all things financial. The slave simply obeys and goes along with her decisions.

Now, we contrast this with a sub. This is a person who can negotiate or place limits upon what goes on. At the same time, submission is done on a daily basis, instance by instance. A slave makes the decision once to submit and that obedience is expected in each situation. Someone who is a sub is not bound by that initial decision.

Hopefully you can see why a slave is such a difficult thing to be. It requires a mindset that you exist solely for the person you are submitting to. While your preferences might be considered, there is a chance that they matter little and are not taken into account. Masters (Mistresses) all have different ways of operating. A slave has to have the willingness to be able to accept the decisions that are set forth upon him or her. This is not an easy thing to do.

Sex Slaves

I would be remiss if I did not touch upon sexual slavery. Go to any BDSM "dating" site and you will find many profiles of women (mostly) stating they are sex slaves. Now, before going any further I am going to state the majority of these people are not sex slave but, rather sluts looking to be used in many different ways. So be mindful of that the next time you see the cute 23 year old "sex slave".

As was mentioned, to attain slavery, there needs to be a total exchange of power. Are there people who attain this and operate under this premise? Most definitely. They are ones who are worthy of the title "sex slave". Simply put, as it pertains to their sexuality, everything is in the hands of their Master (Mistress). No sexual power or decision-making is retained. It is an absolute transference of power.

Now, let us look at our online sex slaves that are so common. Are they willing to go to this end and achieve sexual slavery? They claim that they will do anything thus entitling them to the term. Nevertheless, before granting that, let us consider a few more questions for our aspiring sex slave who will do anything.

-Are you willing to suck on me no matter where my dick has been and what is on it? Ass-to mouth and post menstrual oral sex are the decisions of the Master, not you.

-Are you willing to do anything or anyone? I might decide I want you gangbanged or to have sex with a homeless guy. Oh, and that 320 pound, sweaty hairy guy from next door, he is on the list to use you. Again, not your choice.

-Under the same heading as doing anyone, you ready to have sex with your sister (and before any of you try to hit me with the illegality aspect, in the U.S., in many states, incest is only present when vaginal or anal penetration occurs)?

I can go on but you get the point. Many claim to be a sex slave but when confronted with some situations that are not so attractive, the idea is to back off. A slave does not have the choice to back off. Her submission was complete when she made it. It does not vary from situation to situation. If this is present, then one is really a sub. Hence our sex slave is exposed.

One final note: for some reason many people think that not being a slave is somehow less than being one. I do not know where the idea that being a sub is a demeaning thing. There is nothing wrong with being submissive and living in a D/s relationship. Most people want specific boundaries and to retain a certain amount of control to ensure personal fulfillment. Plus the issue of trust is difficult for many people (in addition to so few people meriting total trust). Therefore, I will category state that there is nothing wrong with living as a sub. It does not make one less than anything and in no way should ever lead to the demeaning by others. We are all here trying to find a life where we can be fulfilled. Few are designed to live the 24/7 TPE existence. Taking a path that leads to your own happiness should never be attacked by others. It is your life to live how you see fit.

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February 20, 2012

Spirit Versus Reality

Today I am going to delve into an area that I have yet to mention to much on here but requires further exploration. So many tend to confuse the spirit of BDSM with the actual boundaries established. With this, the idea of freedom, or lack thereof, also gets mixed up in the process. I see this take on an added level when we focus upon the M/s genre. How is one to know what is play versus reality?


Before going any further, I am going to categorically state that all I am writing about here is void of the idea of play. This topic is for people who are serious about a BDSM relationship and all that goes along with it. For those who are interested in playing, this isnt as applicable since that viewpoint carries a beginning and an end with established boundaries. In other words, once the scene ends, things move back to their previous state.

I write how important it is for one to be completely in touch with reality. Those who lose site of this tend to open themselves up to being hurt. There are many who do not have noble intentions and are apt to take advantage of one who looks at the BDSM word as some type of fairy tale. The truth is that reality always hits us sooner or later. Therefore, it is best to keep our eyes open and remain mindful of all our options.

The simple fact is that slavery is illegal in most developed countries. M/s is built upon the premise of complete power exchange that is agreed to by both parties. The consensual part removes it from the field of abuse. However, it does not make it legal. Holding a person against his or her will is a criminal act. That is reality.

Therefore, you are free to leave at any time you wish. A "Master" can claim that you are to remain, yet the law says otherwise. At the same time, you, as an individual, are free to call the authorities if activities infringe upon your basic rights. For example, many seem to feel that because they submit, then anything goes. I encountered one who was told by her Master that he could abuse her because she was owned. Not true. A call to the cops would result in a nice domestic battery charge. Being a Master does not entitle one to beat the snot out of a slave. Again, the consent does not make it legal.

The "Spirit" of BDSM

When we look at the "spirit" of BDSM we find an entirely different situation. Everything we discuss about this particular lifestyle is based upon this concept. To me, those who are able to succeed in this way of life understand this premise and operate accordingly. Those who do not, tend to be "passing through".

Again, I will utilize M/s as the premise for my discussion. When you look at living in a Master/slave situation, the fact that it is illegal in reality is only part of the equation. The other aspect that is worthy of note is the fact that this is a consensual relationship that is agreed upon by both parties. It is something that each wants resulting in a complete exchange of power. This is the structure chosen for the relationship and from which all interaction occurs.

It is at this point that things can get dicey. Even though one does legally retain his or her rights, in a M/s relationship, the spirit behind it is that they are given up. A slave has no rights other than what is granted by the Master. So while the law says one thing, the spirit of our lifestyle says another. This is the dual dichotomy that is always in operation and needs to be navigated.

Operating Sanely

The words we use can alter the meaning of something greatly. In this post, I have applied the terms reality and spirit to make a distinction. However, the truth is that both are not the best idea to use as a barometer. In reality, whether something is illegal or not has no bearing unless the law is involved. Consider the fact that sodomy is still illegal in more than 30 states yet anal sex occurs almost everyday in each of these areas. Of course, there is a world of difference between consensual sodomy and non-consensual which should require no further explanation.

Therefore, I feel it most important to behave in matters that are sane. When one is engaging in an activity that is consensual and safe, then what private individuals choose to do is of no concern to anyone else. However, when the sanity is removed and one is dealing with a danger, that is when reality needs to take over. Safety starts with the individual. Taking care of oneself is something one always needs to be mindful of. Even the most experienced Master can slip up periodically. Unfortunately, my experience is that insanity is far more common than sanity.

So, this is where I find the line is drawn. When one strays into insane behavior that is in putting one at risk, it is completely within a slave's rights to protect him/herself by saying "I am outta here". One does not have to put up with a lunatic. Abuse is not a part of the BDSM lifestyle and one needs to do all he or she can to stop the situation. This is a reality.

On the other hand, there are many BDSM relationships in which the parties are sane. At these times, the "spirit" of our lifestyle is the prevailing tenet. Everything we discuss in terms of rules, protocols, and acceptable ways of conduct apply. For example, a slave cannot leave a M/s relationship, she needs to be released. This is in keeping with the spirit of power exchange. Therefore, to up and leave a relationship which is non-abusive shows one to not respect the lifestyle and prefer to operate in ways contrary to what we are involved in. Again, while he or she is exercising a right that always exists in reality, this person is violating the spirit of the lifestyle which holds things together.

Always remember that these two aspects of the lifestyle are always in play. When there is sanity, let the spirit of this way of life be your guide. However, when one crosses over into the asinine, exercise your rights and exit that scenario quickly. There is no room for abuse within the BDSM community and, regardless of what some idiot says, you do not have to take it.

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February 11, 2012

Abuse And BDSM

It is a fact that many use BDSM as a cover so that they can engage in their abusive behavior. Many seem to think that being involved in this lifestyle entitles them to behave in any manner seen fit. At the same time, there are those who equally believe that it is their place to take "whatever is dished out". As you will see, both counts are completely false.

Consent Is At The Core

At the core of all aspects of this lifestyle is consent. Nothing should ever be undertaken that was not previously consented to. This is the fundamental premise upon which all interactions needs to be established. Anything to the contrary is taken unfair advantage of a situation and another.

BDSM contains some pretty extreme behavior. One of the most wonderful aspects of this lifestyle is that pretty much everything is on the table as long as it is agreed to. This is the caveat that many people seem to miss.

We see the abusive outlook arise when we move further down the path into the M.s genre. Here is a relationship structure that is ripe for mistreatment. The basis of complete power exchange leads one to believe that once submissive is granted, everything is acceptable. Again, we see many operating under this misinformed outlook.

Nobody Wants To Be Abused

In short, people do not want to be abused. This appears to exist as a universal trait among the human species. Certainly there are a few out there who have psychological issues where they crave harmful abuse. However, most reasonably sane individuals do not want this. Even those who love pain want it done in a safe manner.

A dominant is always responsible for ensuring that all interactions occur in a safe and sane way. Of course, this entails only entering those areas that are previously agreed upon. This takes on a more important meaning when the interaction is more casual such as in a munch setting. Since the personal knowledge of the individual is lacking, extra steps are needed to ensure that limits are not inadvertently passed.

At the same time, one who decides to submit to a particular scene is not agreeing to any and all behavior. This reminds me of situations I saw in the swinger scene. Just because one agrees to screw half the guys in the room, that does not mean she is agreeing to screw you. No still means no. I see the same logic applying here. Simply because one opens him or herself up to being used by another(s), that does not mean the same permission is necessarily granted to you.

We can also see this same idea applied to a relationship. For example, a lover of pain will desire intense beatings. However, that does not mean that he or she wants to be struck with a closed fist. The difference between a slap and a punch is self-evident. Of course, that is not to say that a closed fist shot is abusive if both parties agreed to it as part of their interaction. For a dominant to cross this line without discussing it with his/her partner, that is entering into the abusive arena.

Another aspect I want to touch upon is sexual. There are some who prefer to "share" their submissives with others. This is a concept we often see in the M/s realm since, again, the power tends to be more absolute. Again, to determine if this is acceptable or not requires us to look at the structure of the relationship. If the parties agreed to complete power exchange where whatever decision is made is acceptable, then we see that this is something that is agreed to through the submission. While some will find this completely distasteful, I encountered many who love to be used in this particular manner. Simply because something is distasteful to one, that does not make the behavior inappropriate. As long as the parties feel it is within the context of the boundaries they established, then I do not feel abuse is occurring.

The one caveat to this is if a dominant forces a submissive into a behavior that is illegal and can have ramifications from the law. A submissive always reserves the right to say no to any behavior that can lead to legal trouble.


The essential component in all this is trust. For those who enjoy extreme BDSM behavior in their relationships, inevitably, time was taken to establish great trust between the two parties. A sub/slave needs to know that the other person is intent on acting in his/her (submissive's) best interest. If one consistently forgoes safety, then trust break down rather quickly. And, as we all know, trust is much harder to reestablish.

As I mentioned, M/s is an aspect of our lifestyle where things can get fairly extreme (at least to those looking in from the outside). Too many believe that the submission from another is all that is required for the relationship to excel. Sadly, submission is something that grows with time. And, in my experience, it travels parallel to the degree of trust that is developed. One will not continue forward when another is consistently doing things that he or she deems abusive. Not considering the state of one under your control is a great prescription for destroying any relationship that might ensure. Just because a slave agrees to submit to you, that is not a license to do whatever is desired. There are still basic parameters of acceptability. And, when anyone is nearing an area that might be considered abusive, communication needs to occur.

Remember, BDSM offers the freedom to do just about anything. What many consider abusive, we experience as everyday practice. The difference is that consent is required so as to not enter into the abusive realm. Once that consent is given, enjoy yourselves to the maximum.

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