Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Who would be intrested in [blank]?

One of the most difficult things for veteran submissives is having to re-enter the "dating scene."  We are no longer a fresh ball of clay waiting to be shaped. We have been shaped and reshaped, and a few parts of us have become so defined that they're almost stuck like that for good.

There are advantages and disadvantages of being this way and honestly, being a veteran rather than a newbie really only affects things in the short run.  However, the short run has to happen before there can be a long run so it's also a large stumbling block.  I have met Dommes that have a preference for both types.  Some don't want to waste lots of time training a lamb and in many cases it's the lambs that are the first to bolt when they get scared.  Others love the thought of breaking-in a virgin ass and making the first big splash in their kink life. 

I think it is safe to assume that no one wants to be constantly shuffling through submissives while searching for a "good one."  Even the Dommes that prefer lambs generally just want a clean slate where they aren't being compared to other women and the training process is an emotionally bonding experience that builds love and trust.

Some of the primary advantages to having experience:
-Veteran subs may have more realistic expectations.  You aren't (completely) off in fantasy-land.  Your expectations of a Domme and responsibilities as a sub will be within reasonable bounds.
-Veteran subs may have fewer limits.  Novices that aren't aware of the depths of subspace they may reach (or what it takes to reach them).  Experienced subs probably have a greater breadth of experience to draw from and in turn, are often willing to endure more things.
-Veteran subs are experienced at fulfilling our roles.

-Veteran subs will have more strongly ingrained fetish needs and probably be more strict about any hard limits they may have.  Think: "He's perfect, except he's really into [blank]." or "He's perfect, except he refuses to do [blank]."
-Veteran subs have a greater risk of having their previous submission experiences rubbing off on how they try to submit in the future.  If they were trained in a strict environment they will likely be hesitant to act without direction.  If they were allowed to roam "free," they may bring many bad habits to the table.
-Veteran subs are at a higher risk of bringing emotional baggage.  Everyone has their demons... but D/s break-ups are rarely mutual.  This is a safe assumption to make.

Do these even matter?  Should they even matter?  I never really know.  I'd like to think that every sub is given a clean slate chance to prove themselves worthy through individual merits.  I'd also love to believe that dating never happens based upon looks alone, that Santa Claus is real, and that people are always given opportunities based upon their abilities. 

Sadly, veteran subs do eventually develop a submissive identity that is given a shallow label (or two) that most closely defines them.  e.g. service slave, domestic servant, sissy maid, cuckold, pain slut, cum slut, and the like.  Even more sad is that there is enough of a negative demographic to often provide stigmas attached to each label (read as: subs that send a picture of their cock in their first contact email to a Domme along with a message along the lines of "u r hot. dominat me.").

I guess I'm trying to figure out if being a veteran is more of an advantage than a hindrance.  I guess it varies case by case... just as everything else does.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Downs and Ups, Ups and Downs (Part 3)

Saturday finally arrived.  We had made plans to meet up with another Femdom D/s couple that I met through our blogs.  We went early and went shopping at an upscale department store.  Shopping was a bit disappointing, we both love fur and there were hardly any "good" items available for either of us.  We left the store and met up with the couple for Dinner at a local BBQ restaurant.

We chatted and ate before heading to a bar to get a drink and talk some more.  Luckily it was fairly early and we were able to find a private spot with no one nearby.  They are a charming couple and we had a great time.  I'm glad that we had that experience and I hope we can meet up again soon.

The evening ended smoothly and we watched a DVD before going to sleep on the earlier side of things.  Today we didn't have anything planned but we got up and going fairly late today.  We went shopping at a local bargain clothing store before dinner and bought our first "fun" things of the year together.  She found a fur-trimmed hat, fur trimmed scarf, and fur scarf that went with some of her coats.  We found the same hat but in off-white for me.   This was literally the first time we bought "play" clothes this winter.  She is now at work but the evening ended smoothly again.

I feel really fucked up over the turn of events that went on, but the both of us seem a lot better after going out with the other couple on Saturday. 

I have realized that I am pretty much suffering from battered woman syndrome.  I do think if it gets that bad again I will be able to break things off.  The idea of that is still scary though... I'm not sure if it's better to be safe and alone or abused and together. 

On another random note, my CB-6000S cage arrived late last week and I was able to give it a trial run.  Getting a good fit on the CB-6000 has been a bit of a challenge.  The 6000s alleviated some of these issues since my penis doesn't get "stuck" against cage wall when it attempts an erection like it did with the standard 6000 cage.  I also found going with a smaller cock ring helps it fit better.  Although it's much harder to get on, it gives the testicles more clearance so there's less chafing done by the back of the cage.  It's still not long-term comfortable yet, but I'm going to keep working with it to see if I can get a decent fit.  On a side note, the shorter length of this cage is a bit more humiliating.

Downs and Ups, Ups and Downs (Part 2)

The next day things were better, or so they seemed.  We went out for dinner, ran some errands, and it was all quiet until she left for work.

On Friday her son had a friend over for the night.  She was off work.  We had plans to go out to dinner, try to reconnect, and then go visit a friend of ours.  She received an invite to meet with a co-worker for a drink around dinner time for the co-worker's birthday.  I told her that was fine and we could just eat dinner at the bar and then have the drink.  I told her we should probably leave at 6 at the latest or it would be busy there.  She got going a bit late.  We left at 6:30 and arrived at the bar at around 6:45.  The parking lot was 100% full.  The street in front of and to the side of the bar were 100% full for 3-4 blocks..  We managed to park a block away barely squeezing in on the end.

Something I haven't mentioned before but I have mild agoraphobia that becomes a little bit more pronounced in crowded bars.  I used to be okay with them but now they bring up some very negative emotions and I avoid them like the plague.  I was willing to tough it out since it was a birthday.  The place was packed.  40+ minute wait for a table.  We were supposed to be at the friend's house by 8pm and we were both very hungry.  She used me as the excuse and we left to go eat someplace less crowded for the time being.  At dinner we talked a bit but it seemed very uneasy.  Finally she said "how come you'll go out with friends that you like but won't go out for any of my friends?"  I explained to her that I am willing to go out, but she knows how terrible I feel when I'm in crowded bars and that it had nothing to do with whose friends were there... and I explained it again and again in roughly five different ways, each time receiving the response that basically, I'm a piece of shit.

When we finished eating I got her a take out box for her leftovers and immediately went out to the car.  She sat in the restaurant for another 15 minutes while I was in the car.  Finally she came out and the abuse continued.  We continued talking/arguing until we arrived back home and we sat in the car for another 20 minutes.  I stayed much calmer this time, not letting my emotions flare up and simply stating "it hurts my feelings when you say that" when my feelings were hurt.  Her attacks on me continued when I listed off a few reasons that I love her.  I asked her, "what do you love about me?"

She couldn't answer, so with my feelings hurt I opened the car door and started to get out.  She replied to that with an attack, calling me a pussy and telling me that I was running away and giving up on the relationship.  I got back in the car and asked again, "what do you love about me?"  Repeat silence and abuse cycle.  Finally I told her I was getting out of the car and I went back to our home, went upstairs, and laid down on the bed. 

When she got inside she hopped on facebook and stayed on there for 30-45 minutes.  When she came upstairs she laid down next to me and started naming some (impersonal but) positive characteristics about me.  She said that she took me for granted.  I started to cry gently and explained how I've been feeling, why this was so hurtful, and the like.  She held my hand.  We were exhausted and we fell asleep early.

(continued in part 3)

Downs and Ups, Ups and Downs (Part 1)

I know I'm supposed to be on break, but I'm doing a better job of finding balance.  I don't crave the internet when I'm not on it, I'm not seeking approval or human contact through cyberspace, and the like.

Last week had a few terrible things happen.  Mistress sent me an email during the day while I was at work asking me how I was doing.  I think she finally noticed that we had drifted quite a ways apart since Christmas and it looked like we were going to reconnect.  I had a very stressful day at work that day and when I got home I wanted to unwind a bit first and we planned to watch a movie at 8:15pm in our bedroom (I got home around 7:10pm).  We had some tentative plans in the works for the weekend and I had to make a call about that to nail things down.

She came upstairs at 7:55pm while I was finishing up a video game.  I finished at 8:01pm and had fully decompressed and told her I was going to make the call about our weekend plans and take care of something quickly and it would be about 5 more minutes and we could start the movie.  Roughly 3.5 minutes later, she came downstairs, I told her quietly that I would be done in a minute and we could start the movie.  She then went and sat down in the living room, said to me "do whatever" and waved her palm at me.  At this point I realized she had shut down on me emotionally, had no plans to watch the movie with me anymore, and the rest of the night was going to be bad at best.  I stayed on the phone for another 30 minutes before going down and trying to talk to her only to have her continuously tell me that nothing was wrong.  A fight ensued... a bad one.

If you aren't familiar with BPD, I will describe how the thought process went on this one.  By still being on the phone when she came downstairs I had already made the decision that talking on the phone was more important than she was and she was already defensive in a state as if I had said to her "I would rather talk on the phone than be with you."  Also, once she decided to react in that way, there was nothing that could be said or done to clarify that this wasn't the case and it was now unforgivable in her eyes. 

When she started ripping me my first instinct was to get defensive.  I got angry and was hurt.  I was frustrated that it was beyond the point of no return and couldn't be talked about or clarified.  I took a breather and returned to the room with full honesty and full vulnerability.  I told her that I was sorry that she felt I was hurting her intentionally by being on the phone, that I missed her and loved her, that I was feeling so weak and down emotionally that I needed her to be close to me.

She scoffed at me and started tearing into me, bringing up every part of my personality that she dislikes.  When I told her that what she was saying was making me feel worthless she went off on me harder, saying that it's my own fault for feeling that way and pathetic and then added "Don't cry you fucking baby or it'll piss me off." 

I don't know why but I still tried to fix the situation.  As things went on her son came downstairs and I told him to go back upstairs when she chewed me out that he just wanted to say goodnight to her before she left for work.  He went up but stayed near the top of the stairs.  She continued the barrage of verbal abuse until I finally shouted "why are you doing this?  Do you even love me?"  More abuse.  I finally just lost it... grabbed my hair and started bawling.  This set her off something fierce.  She shouted at me saying I was trying to be emotionally manipulative.  She shouted that I was a fucker for not getting help with my depression and that this was my fault.  She then came at me and started punching me.  I didn't defend myself, I just managed to sob out, "why are you doing this? Why are you hitting me?"

She stopped punching me, took a step back and started taunting me.  "What are you gonna do?  You gonna call the cops?  Gonna press charges?  I dare you.  You gonna call your mommy?  Fucking baby."  At this point I was a total wreck.  My thoughts were a mess. 

I stood up but had calmed down.  I was still crying but I started asking "where is the person I love?  Where is the you that has feelings?  Where is the woman that gets choked up to hallmark card commercials and teary eyed when she sees a dog toy when you remember your dog?"  This managed to disarm the situation.  She stared to cry and hugged me.  We said we loved each other and she left for work.  Later on she texted me an apology.

(continued in part 2)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Speed of Progressive Escalation in Dommes vs. subs

I've written about the tendency for progressive escalation of intensity in the D/s lifestyle before but if you haven't read those posts, I use the term "progressive escalation" to describe:
The tendency for submissives to grow more submissive over time and Dommes to grow more dominant over time.

I believe the primary reason for this trend is that the activities we regularly partake in become routine and we wish to "push the envelope" in order to obtain the same intensity of feelings as before.  Dommes want stronger Domspace.  Subs want deeper subspace. 

In many D/s relationships the man has harbored submissive feelings for a much longer time than the Domme has held dominant feelings.  At the start, this often causes some stumbling blocks to form as a man may have 10 years worth of fantasy and submission under his belt while the woman is forced to start from square one.  The result is the appearance that men grow in submissiveness faster than women grow in dominance.

I think much of this is rooted in a Domme coming to an understanding about dominance within herself and submission within her sub.  She must wade through, process, and then shed preconceived notions of dominance.  She doesn't need to be a leather-clad whip-wielding dominatrix overnight and if that's not her thing, she doesn't need to be one at all.  She has to see/read about intense D/s interactions that probably took years to build to as if they are normal and open to beginners (chastity, cuckolding, etc.).  She has to face up to the challenges of finding things that appeal to her and then nurture them.  This is a gradual process and not an on/off switch.

With her sub she has to get over the initial shock of his fantasy intensity... the "OMFG he wants me to do that to him?"  There's a learning curve for understanding his psyche and subspace.  There's fear that she will hurt him and do things that he won't like and will make him reject her.  There's the responsibility of being handed the keys without a road map, yet she is expected to take them to the land of bliss and glee.  These all lend themselves to making her feeling insecure.

During this early period, you can expect lots of topping from the bottom.  Lots of guidance on the sub's part.  She is finding her legs.  She is learning to walk before she can fly.  There's a good chance that much of this has her feeling tentative and unsure of herself, so much that even if she would enjoy this she probably isn't enjoying it now, nor being turned on by it.

Through this period the sub's desires seem to progress faster than the Domme's.  I will refer to this as the "learning period." 

Fast-forward a bit and make a few assumptions...
Assumption 1: The sub has not thwarted the Domme's progression by resisting the activities and actions that he doesn't like. 
Assumption 2: She hasn't succumbed to the protocol generally taught in the "consensual BDSM" realm.
Assumption 3: The relationship has gravitated towards more of a "meta-consensual" D/s lifestyle.  She has taken the reigns, embraced this role, and the D/s dynamic has gone beyond the bedroom doors.

These are some rather large assumptions.  The first one carries quite a bit of weight.  If he stands firm early on and refuses or resists taking part in activities that she wants to try under the guise of limits or that pleasure should be "mutual," not only will he halt his own progression to deeper levels of subspace, but he may derail her progression into a completely empowered Domme.

The second assumption may or may not happen, it depends upon how the Domme has chosen to educate herself on the lifestyle.  If the first and second assumptions hold true, the third often follows.

Under these three assumptions (especially the third one), the relationship has now entered the "growth period."  This is really where a Domme comes into her own and finds her unique identity in domination.  She no longer hesitates to try new things, worries less about whether or not the sub is enjoying it, and knows what drives both her Domspace and arousal.  This is often where concepts begin to drive her experimentation as she evaluates her own ideal of the D/s dynamic.  e.g. She should have FULL control over his orgasms and denial and it doesn't get any fuller than a chastity device.  If she wants to tie or chain him up as part of a punishment, it should be in an uncomfortable and unpleasant manner, etc.

In the growth period, the sub starts to fall behind.  The Domme will start introducing things that "shake him up," and take him beyond his comfort zone.  The sub may resist at first but eventually will comply quickly through strict discipline.  She will likely take any resistance as disobedience and possibly even as an insult.  He will be put through the wringer.

What really signifies the growth period is that the Domme will become more confident, more demanding, and more intense while the sub is forcibly ripped from his comfort zone, pushed into deeper states of subspace, and may become agitated at the unexpected nature of what will come next.  Basically, her dominance grows faster than his submission.

Eventually... his submission will catch up to her dominance.  The male creature is pretty good at adapting to almost anything once his ego has been broken.  He comes to trust her judgement and knows she loves him and won't subject him to any permanent damage.  When this happens they enter the "plateau period" of the relationship.

During the plateau period things go very smoothly unless the sub slips up.  Another assumption:  the sub has fully acclimated to the new lifestyle dynamic and things go smoothly.  While it might seem harmonious, there is a fatal flaw for the plateau period: boredom.  Things get routine, stale, and predictable.  This may be the shared feelings of both parties or it may be one-sided.  If it is one-sided, chances are the sub is fine with the arrangement but the Domme has started itching for more.

Both cases tend to lead to a similar outcome: things get shaken up and the relationship is brought back to the growth period.  The only difference between how this is instigated is whether it's simply the Domme's wish or if it's the decision of both parties.  In cases where an extreme decision is made, such as converting the relationship to a poly arrangement with additional subs, cuckolding, etc. it is often (but not always) consented to by both parties.  I would be willing to wager that the more cycles between growth and plateau periods the couple has experienced, the more likely the Domme is to make a unilateral decision and simply tell the sub how things are going to be from now on.

The speed at which any changes occur varies greatly from couple to couple but barring situations with a commitment to the "consensual mutual pleasure" line of thought, it seems D/s relationships almost always progress each party involved undergoes their process of progressive escalation.

Female vs. male "Natural" Dominance

Last night Mistress and I went out with another Femdom couple.  The conversation briefly touched on vanilla men with dominant/alpha personalities and it got me thinking about a post I made recently about men and women in the lifestyle: Kink, Society, and Emotional Damage.

Men are highly driven by the expectations of other men.  I believe that throughout most of their developmental years (read as: school), men are taught to run with a pack.  There's an alpha (leader), the beta (the leader's right hand man), the pack (followers), and the omega (the butt of the joke).  The alpha sets the tone and the rest of the pack follows suit.  Men are taught to mimic the behaviors of the alpha.  The alpha learns "popular" behaviors from outside influence (TV, magazines, etc.). 

"Good" male behavior involves having sex with (many) beautiful women, doing whatever you want to do, and always appear powerful and in control.  Not all men really want to do to this and not all men are completely capable of doing this, but it is important to continue this image in order to maintain his place in the pack. 

In his private life (family, one on one with his lover, etc.) the same man may be tender, sensitive, caring, loving, and good-natured.  In his public life (with the pack) he must project all of his expected behaviors and is constantly pressured to be insecure about being happy with his private life.   

For anyone that isn't the alpha, the appearance of dominance is an appearance projected to impress other men.  For anyone that isn't the alpha, they are already accustomed to submitting to a more powerful being.  I believe this is why you find men that appear super in control and dominant in with their public face, but immediately become docile and submissive around a prominent figure in their life that doesn't make them feel insecure about their role with other men (e.g. wife/girlfriend, mother, etc.).

Removed from the pressures of the pack, I think there are a lot less dominant/controlling men out there than people may believe. 

That doesn't mean that dominant men don't exist, it just reduces their headcount.  The alpha male does exist, but I think there are two types of alphas. 
1. The natural alpha.  He is ambitious and takes control from the get go in pursuing what he wants. 
2. The nurtured alpha.  His male father-figures/role-models have deeply ingrained insecurity within his psyche.  He is driven to behave dominantly in order to avoid shame and ridicule and to always appear like a manly man. 

This is not to say that natural alphas don't have a nurtured side, but in most cases, the bulk of the nurturing that has helped him develop his alpha characteristics has been through positive reinforcement.

Nurtured alphas are more common.  They are usually somewhat insecure and are often out to prove themselves.  Men/boys who are big on hazing rituals, bullying, and the like are usually of this type.  They want to appear in control so that no one knows they are scared and often dislike themselves deep down.  They have become a product of the pressures of outside influence.  If their well-laid plans derail, you can expect a meltdown or tantrum, often followed by giving up on the original plan.  While they may appear dominant, I don't consider this a natural dominance.

Natural alphas are rare but they do exist.  They are usually charismatic and have many enviable characteristics about them that set the bar for what other men want to be.  They are cool and in control.  These are the types that bounce back strongly from failure.  I consider these types to be the one kind of man that is naturally dominant. 

A quick summary:
-There are less truly dominant men than people often believe.  Men removed from the pack usually drop the appearance of dominance.
-For many men that exert dominant characteristics, many of these men are driven by insecurity.
-A handful of men are naturally dominant.

I have purposefully ignored special cases such as mental illness and sociopaths.  I am happy that the Male Dom role exists so that a safe outlet can exist for their desires and they don't end up as serial killers.

Women are a bit different.

Mothers tend to take a much more active role in shaping a girl's expectations of the world and who she is supposed to be.  Both mother and daughter are at the mercy of society's pressures, norms, and expectations that they often conform to.  The effects overall are that a woman is often subjected to greater pressure of "who she is supposed to be" at an earlier age and this affects them for much of their lives. However, as society changes and relaxes its expectations of women, each successive generation of women seem to be more open to their potential as individuals while the male stranglehold over society and career fields gradually dwindles away.

As women begin to view their lives as being (at least partially) under their own control, ambition becomes a largely motivating factor.  While they still face constant outside influence attempting to keep them insecure, women are growing increasingly more secure with themselves over time.  Want to play sports?  Go for it.  Want a rewarding career?  Go for it.  Want to call the shots for your family and your future?  Go for it.

This is where I see the greatest divergence between the dominance arising naturally in men vs. women.  Male society has trapped itself in a motivation by shame, trial by fire attitude.  Female society has begun to self-motivate with views of freedom, ambition, and fulfilling one's potential. 

The end result is that women often reach a point where they know exactly what they want and exactly the path they want to walk to get it done, without the need for an alpha-based hierarchy to give them a benchmark for comparison. 

I think this is why we are seeing more naturally occurring dominance in women while this is reserved for only the most capable and secure men.