Friday, October 8, 2010

The Matching Game

Some entries by Mistress at Forever Hers and Queen Goddess at I am Her Maine Sub got me thinking back to some of my experiences over the years. 

When I was with one of my previous Mistresses we used to shop a lot.  I enjoyed shopping with her and helping her pick out her clothes and/or finding gifts for her.  She would ask for my opinions and I would give her my honest reactions, so many of her clothes were things that she knew I thought looked sexy on her.

We were very much in love and when I'm in love I have a tendency to get a bit playful.  She would describe it as bratty and she would let me do it because it would fire her up and she enjoyed beating the brat out of me (which happened quite often).  Because this often happened in public and it would be a while until we could be alone she began carrying some punishment items along with her on our trips.  Sometimes these were new surprise items that she had purchased without me and other times it was something we already owned, but she always let me know about them and they served as a looming threat to keep me in line (or if she got turned on enough and her dominance kicked into gear).  It might have been a pair of panties she would order me to go put on in the public bathroom or something more flagrant like a pair of pink earmuffs or a pink beanie. 

Even if I wasn't acting up she would sometimes try on a new pair of leather gloves or a pair of boots that got her very turned on and the punishment item would get pulled out.  In these cases I either had to wear them or was allowed to keep them in my pocket but she would decide we should go shopping for some matching items... perfectly matching.  As you probably know, with the exception of true white and true black, just about every color has thousands of variations of shades and hues.  This made this "game" rather difficult.

She might put a pair of pink fuzzy angora gloves on my hands and we would then go shopping for a matching scarf and hat.  Well, it was more like I would go shopping while she watched me.  I would be browsing the women's winter items and have to hold the item and compare its color against the color of the gloves and find something that was a perfect match (and hope that no one else would see me doing it).  This might take nine or ten stores to find something close.  Close was dreadful because she wouldn't give an opinion on it and she would tell me "that's what sales girls are for," implying that if I needed reassurance that I had to approach one.  *Studies have shown that women are much more sensitive to small color discrepancies than men are. 

After a few trips where this happened she began planning it out more thoroughly and making things more difficult.  She might have me wear a pink or purple turtleneck sweater and while I was allowed to wear a coat over it, she would then have me shop for some other items to match it (e.g. tights) so I would have to open my coat to compare.  Needless to say that barely opening your coat to hold an item against your shirt to compare the color looks a lot like shoplifting.  She began to add other stipulations and criteria, like the items had to be of a similar style/attitude and shopping trips to gather entire outfits soon began happening.  Luckily not every item needed to be a perfect match, but they still had to be a common hue, differing only in shade.  e.g. a Dark Pink sweater could be accessorized with Light Pink mittens, scarf, and hat as long as the hues matched.  After a while, she wouldn't even make a list but she expected me to come up with everything we would need to complete the outfit.  If I left something out it was bad news (luckily I'm a fast learner).

In many cases, I wasn't able to find matching items and she would punish me afterward with a sound beating and some corner time. 

In hindsight, recalling this story arouses me but actually remembering how it felt to do this, these trips were really terrifying and unpleasant and didn't arouse me at all.  When she noticed that I didn't get aroused when the humiliation hit a certain point she would tease me even more. 

I think the repetition of these events spoke a lot about her type of dominance.  She loved to watch me suffer.  She loved to know how much mental anguish she was inflicting on me.  She loved it when I would cry afterward and curl up next to her and lay my head on her thigh.  She loved punishing me for failing to meet her demands.  She loved that I would over-anticipate some of her expectations and end up humiliating myself because of it.   I really did love her.

A few other examples of matching game items that we did, some of these were over the course of months/years.  Also keep in mind that none of these were ever anything close to what she would ever consider wearing:
-Starting item:  Pink Fur Earmuffs   Coordinating items:  Pink Fur Scarf, Pink Fur-Trimmed Gloves, Pink Fur Vest, a Lighter Shade of Pink Beanie, a Sweater to match the Beanie, Leggings that matched the sweater/beanie, Boots that matched the gloves, a Darker shade of Pink Skirt, a Purse that matched the skirt, and Light Pink Boots.
-Starting item: Fuschia Spandex Mini-Skirt.  Coordinating items:  Lighter Shade of Neon Pink Spandex Top, Fuschia Gloves, Fuschia Arm Warmers, Lighter Shade of Neon Pink Leggings, Fuschia Leg Warmers, Fuschia Beanie, Fuschia Canvas Shoes, and a tiny backpack. 

Repeat similar types of outfits in White, Off-White, Lavender, Baby Blue, and about 5 more shades of pink. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Courting: Needs, Prioritizing, and Sacrifice

I've tried writing this like 15 times but keep getting interrupted or distracted from finishing it.  This was written across several sessions which usually disrupts any kind of continuity, but we'll see how things turn out.  I also know this is sort of a BS exercise, but it gets my brain working and helps me try to look at things from the outside and it might help someone out even if my statistics and estimations aren't wholly accurate.

Successful courting is probably the most difficult thing about the BDSM lifestyle.  This applies to both subs and Dommes.  Sadly, when all is said and done, pure luck and random chance play as much of a part as effort and hard work, but without the effort and hard work, you are not in the best possible position to succeed (which is why those are worthwhile).

From the perspective of the submissive male seeking a Dominant life-partner, courting can often seem like an impossible mountain and it's your job to climb it.  For a Domme, it's like standing on the beach and trying to spot the perfect grain of sand. 

So why do people tend to fail?  Usually for the same reason that vanilla relationships and courting also fail.  People have a tendency to look for the wrong things, have mixed up priorities, and are unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices for a relationship to work.

To give yourself the best possible chance to succeed, it is important to go into the search process with a clear head and a good idea of what it is that you are actually seeking.

Males are very prone to falling into the myth of the idealized fantasy.  How much experience you have within the lifestyle can often dictate the realism of what it is you are seeking.  Lambs (newbies) are often the most off-base, especially those that have spent many years fantasizing before acting upon their instincts.  The problem with chasing fantasies is that they usually appeal to your sex drive more than your actual emotional needs and can skew priorities into a bad direction.

Women are less likely to over-fantasize about their men, but they do have a tendency to prioritize poorly until repeated failures teach them to look for the right characteristics.  When the the right characteristics don't get prioritized correctly relationships can burn out rather quickly.  

Getting Down to Needs

So what is it that we need?  I've always believed that what people seek out over the course of their lives is they want to feel loved, useful, and appreciated.  This is taking life as a whole and piecing together a composite of these needs from their relationships, friendships, career, and hobbies/recreation.

The BDSM-lifestyle adds another aspect that might seem shallow when viewed from a vanilla perspective, but when it comes to the D/s lifestyle, sexual needs get elevated to a higher level than they would be otherwise.  In this case I'm not referring to the act of sex or a specific act, but more-so simply the inclusion of things that turn us on.

Basically, our needs then boil down to this:
-To feel loved/cared for and appreciated.
-To have our sexual cravings met.

Prioritizing What We are Seeking
This can be trickier than you might think but in its simplest form it boils down to a few factors:
-Cohesive Personalities - do they have common life goals, similar sense of humor, interests, etc.?
-Physical Attraction - is there a sexual response when you look at them or think about them in a sexual way?
-Emotional Attraction - do they make you feel like you're on top of the world?  Do you idealize them when you think about them?
-Common Sexual Desires - does your kink and their kink overlap?

All of these are important to some extent, the problem is how heavily should each be weighted? 

Before tackling that question, I think it's important to at least acknowledge that each one affects the others.  A shared fetish can make someone appear much more attractive than they would otherwise.  A cold fish personality and emotional response can kill the sex drive no matter how attractive they may be.  A strong emotional connection can overcome many obstacles and raise the status of all of the others.

Of course this differs on a case by case scenario, but let's just assume that if several of these factors match up fairly well, it will increase the person's "stock" in the lacking factors.

The submissive man and dominant woman will probably have a slightly different order of priorities.  For our intents and purposes we'll say the individuals are seeking a long-term life partner and not just someone to play with.

For submissive men, common sexual desires should occupy roughly 40% of the pie.  While this might seem shallow, if you keep man's tendencies for fetish development in mind, he will continue to fantasize about his sexual needs that aren't met.  If he needs to look outside of the relationship for fantasy, he will never be fully committed to the relationship and that violates ones of the basic premises of the D/s relationship. 

Emotional attraction and cohesive personalities should be pretty evenly weighted, occupying approximately 25% each. This will ensure that you are both on the same page to build a life together and ensure that your emotional needs are met.  If you want to feel loved or if you want a cold-hearted bitch, if she makes you feel the way that you need/want to feel, etc.

Physical attraction comes in last, making up the final 10%.  This might seem low to some, but you have to remember that physical attraction is probably the easiest of all of these categories to boost by other means.  If she is into the same kind of sexual play that you are, that is a huge turn on.  If she makes you feel the way you need to feel, that is a huge turn on.  Basically, if the other factors are working well, she will be more attractive to you.

For Dommes, the structure is a bit different and will vary based upon what she is looking for: Dommes that want a loving, caring D/s relationship (Domme A) vs. Dommes that want a boy toy to use and abuse without strong emotional attachment (Domme B).

Domme A should value emotional attraction and cohesive personalities as the most important factors.  If he makes you happy and you want similar things in life, there's a good chance things will work out regardless of your differences.  I would estimate these at roughly 35% each. 

Since she is the sought after and he is the seeker, common sexual desires pull up the bottom run at roughly 10% of the overall importance.  Basically, she can expect her sexual needs to be met and he can hope that things overlap.  Like physical attraction, her willingness to cater to his desires or ignore them completely will depend heavily upon emotional attraction.  The more she loves him the more she will care about his needs.

Physical attraction fills the remaining 20%.  From my experiences, this often has a great boost when women have a great emotional attraction to a man.  It shouldn't be ignored, but in my opinion, it shouldn't dominate other factors when you are seeking someone to share your life and love with.

Domme B can basically ignore most of these factors but when looking at what drives her most heavily and the ability to maintain a long term D/s relationship with very little emotional connection, it might look something like this:
Physical Attraction: 30%.  It is important that she is drawn to him since she can pretty much choose who she wants.
Common Sexual Desires: 30%.  While she doesn't need to value this highly, if she wants him to stick around even through emotional neglect and physical abuse it better do something for him sexually.
Cohesive Personalities: 30%.  This doesn't mean she values him as a person, but it does cover that their expectations for the relationship are similar.  She commands, he obeys, and he should have no other expectations of her. 
Emotional Attraction: 10%.  This is not her concern but this may build over time if he serves her well.

In a perfect world there would be no need for sacrifice.  Everyone would meet the person that they are most compatible with and we'd all be happy.  Alas the harsh realities show this isn't even close to being true and only a lucky few meet that perfect mate. 

The bigger reality is that the man will have to sacrifice more than the woman.  Due to the nature of supply and demand he can't afford to be super picky unless he's obviously an incredibly marvelous individual.  Working under the assumption that those words don't describe you (as most of us are a bit more ordinary) it's an unfair truth. 

On the bright side it is inevitable that both Domme and sub will have to make a sacrifice of imperfection entering into the relationship.  The key to ending up happy is making the right sacrifices.  Since certain factors are pretty easy to boost as long as the other factors are firmly in place, those are the ones that can be "bent" when courting.  He shouldn't expect every Domme to be a super model, and she shouldn't only consider chiseled adonises.  The right person will end up being just as attractive if not more attractive in the long run. 

Keeping an open mind about what you like and what you'd be willing to try sexually is also very important.  Love has a funny way of making you more willing to do things simply because they enjoy it, and you will often develop your own reason for liking it when you share those activities with your partner. 

It's much more difficult to boost emotional attraction but caring about their needs will always strengthen their emotional attraction for you and vice versa.  Cohesive personalities seem to be the one that can't really be helped as people will enter the relationship with that already in mind.  If that isn't there, the relationship doesn't really stand much of a chance, vanilla or D/s.

Any comments?

Window Shopping: Potential Gifts for Mistress

Keeping the Wheels On: An Exercise in Complexity

I know that I've written in the past that D/s relationships can be difficult when there aren't open lines of communication and how the D/s aspects can be dysfunctional at times if the submissive party isn't able to give any input on the direction of the relationship.

Now I'm in the midst of one of those times where there was some betrayal of trust that has led to an emotional conflict within me.  Earlier in the week we went out for the evening with a group of vanilla friends.  There was a lot of drinking involved and I sober-cabbed us back to our home and several of our friends came along to hang out.  Upon returning back my Mistress disappeared along with one of the men who was out with us.  I went up stairs and walked into our bedroom and found him naked standing in front of her while she was sitting on the bed.  I said that it wasn't okay and she said they were going to come downstairs again.  Twenty minutes later I returned upstairs and he had his pants on, but she was getting undressed.  This led to a bit of a confrontation.  She admitted that she had planned on pegging him (even though he was so drunk he could barely stand).  

There is a little back story to this.  For the past couple of months our lives have been about 95% vanilla and 5% D/s, so it's not like we are in some 24/7 cuckold situation.  In the past we had talked about certain BDSM activities that go beyond the scope of what I am interested in or are/were hard limits.  In those cases, we met the other person, got to know one-another, and she did some play with other men under some pre-defined circumstances and expectations.  One time she whipped a guy harshly with a single tail in exchange for having him clean our house.  Another time she pegged a guy a few times and he gave her many gifts such as a fur coat, expensive purses, etc.  These were people I knew and we would all hang out together as friends. 

This situation is a bit different in a few ways:
-Things had not been pre-negotiated.
-He was one of our mutual vanilla friends that is also friends with our other vanilla friends.
-It was done without my consent.
-She was going to do it without his full consent (he was aware enough to know he was going to be doing something sexual, but never really knew she was going to peg him). 

It's not like my permission is paramount.  If she feels super strongly about something that I'm not comfortable with, I am okay with her playing elsewhere to have those needs satiated.  I just want to know when my abilities aren't doing enough to satisfy her needs.  I have torn down nearly every hard limit that we established entering the relationship in order to become more pleasing to her.  Because certain things take time, e.g. a few weeks with a training plug in order to stretch out the rectum for a strap-on, she hasn't taken an interest in taking that time with me and in this case she wanted to look elsewhere. 

This hurts me quite a bit in several ways.  After four years together I'd like to think she is willing to work towards things with me.  I've come to terms with a lot of this but I'm just not sure how I should feel about it.  I'm hurt and angry and feeling betrayed (both with her and with our friend).  The night that it happened she played the "but I'm the Domme and can do what I want," card and that had me a bit frustrated.    If things were 24/7 I could accept that, but if I'm only submissive 5% of the time in the relationship, should I be expected to be submissive the other 95% of the time when it's convenient for her? 

If she's going to be dominant most of the time and I'm forced to adhere to a strict set of conduct and rules, then yes, I am a bit more okay with her doing what she pleases.  If I'm expected to be responsible, confident, and independent most of the time and snap into subspace simply to appeal to her reasons, I don't feel as okay about things.

This is one of those times where it's really hard being a sub.  "But I'm the Domme and I can do what I want," and "Well it was okay last time," just aren't doing anything to make me feel okay about things, more submissive, or to make me love her more.  Ignoring the lack of forethought and potential to ruin our public and professional lives if she had gone through with pegging him, I'm just completely confused and saddened by this.

I guess I don't know if I'm in the right to be angry about this.  In my deeper states of subspace I would probably just cry and hope to be punished for trying to deny her pleasure.  In the realm of common sense and normal mindset I just feel icky inside.