Wednesday, November 8, 2017


The idea of accountability is one of the most polarizing topics in lifestyle D/s.  In many ways, I see it as one of the great dividing lines that says a lot about a style of dominance.  While accountability may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to D/s, a dominant’s views on accountability often reflect a lot in the way that lifestyle dynamics are arranged.  I will try to illustrate approximations of each view in order to contrast them.
  1. This type of dominant wants to hold the sub accountable for anything and everything.  They want to load them up with protocols, rules, and rituals, and will carefully monitor them on every front.  Holding the sub accountable means they intend to punish them for failing to meet standards.  It is common for subs to fantasize about this type of dominant.
  2. This type of dominant thinks the sub should hold themselves accountable.  If an instruction or rule is given that is easy to follow, they will expect the sub to hold themselves accountable and see it through without the threat of punishment.  Constant monitoring of simple things is tedious and annoying, adults should be able to adult.  I know that there are a lot of dominants that feel this way about a lot of things.
In a perfect world, this wouldn’t be a problem because everyone would be able to find a dom/sub that matches their preferences and everyone lives happily ever after.  Sadly, our world is far from perfect and you will find numerous cases where D/s relationships crashed and burned because they could not find a happy medium that worked for both dominant and submissive on this front.

It pretty much falls to the sub to adapt when the types don’t match up.  In most cases, this doesn’t go very well.

Why do we D/s?

We all enter the lifestyle for our own reasons.  In the blogosphere, internet, and local communities you will tend to find that the reasons that people choose the lifestyle often end up being the “bonding” factor for people.  That is, people look more closely at those who got their along a similar path.  While that creates a shared sense of empathy and often similar experiences in traversing the successes and mistakes we inevitably make along the way, it can also paint a false sense of understanding.  “Since we are all this way, this is the right way.”  It’s easy to now picture a thousand voices in unison yelling, “there is no one right way.”  I hate BDSM cliches so much because I feel like they are easy to say, easy to be offended if someone challenges them in any way, but very difficult for people to see when they aren’t actually acting upon the spirit behind the idea.

At its core, D/s is kink.  We can justify it in a thousand ways and had a thousand ways of getting here, but really, it is kink.  Its basis is an idea of consensual inequality that yields mutual pleasure for the involved parties.  We need it, love it, and want it because… it gets us off.  I know there are people that may want to light me on fire and pitchfork my still beating heart out from my chest for trying to put it so simply, but I make no apologies for this belief, nor do I care to try to hide behind them.   It may do a hundred other things for us as well, like give us confidence, make us behave less selfishly, think more about others, grow as humans, uphold our sense of responsibility, cater to a loved one, and so on, but the truth is we do not need D/s to do any of those things.

I do not need to be submissive to make the one that I love feel loved, valued, and cherished.  If I could only do that “as a submissive,” I would be a pretty poor lover.  The same goes for a dominant.  While D/s provides us a vehicle to connect on deeper levels than we may have in our vanilla lives, it isn’t the only vehicle to do so.  We COULD have connected without it, we just didn’t.
This is where the “how we got here” part of things begins to diverge quite a bit.  I read plenty of happy D/s blogs.  The majority of them fall into one of two categories:
  1. The relationship began as consensual D/s or it was added very early on.
  2. An originally vanilla relationship where we get a view into their lives like 10+ years into their D/s progression long after both parties have fully embraced their roles.
What is absent in most of these blogs is the need to justify D/s beyond what it is.  It is the life they choose to lead and find happy and mutually fulfilling.  If anyone needs reasons beyond happiness and being fulfilled, I strongly suggest they remove the long stick from their ass, as it makes life a lot more enjoyable.  We like it and it makes us happy.  Boom. Best reasons ever.

By contrast, I have found that the blogs that seem filled with the greatest struggles, the most anguish, the consistent communication failures, self-doubts, and unclear expectations are those that try to justify D/s in a large number of ways.  They often go above and beyond citing dozens of reasons about how it is definitely NOT about the kink.  Don’t talk about it, don’t say it, don’t even think it.  It is for every reason you can think of except for the kink.  We are not doing it for mutual pleasure and happiness.  We are doing it for principles that one of us read somewhere and decided to adopt them.

I’m sure that painting it in this way might seem biased, but that is how things appear to me when I see people making such a passionate case for D/s with such a massive need to justify it without talking about kink, or worse, writing kink off like it shouldn’t even be there in the first place.  In most cases, I find this happens when one party has interest in D/s and their partner does not.  This is most often an existing relationship where the submissive tries to sell their vanilla partner on being dominant.  They play up the merits and sell D/s as a lifestyle that is all about the principles and benefits with no ulterior motives or additional needs.  Much of the time this doesn’t work very well.  Someone’s needs very likely will go unmet (or severely underfed).

This is often where a lot of sexist logic or dogma comes in and I’m not a huge fan of involving sexism in D/s.  Nothing automatically makes someone a good dominant.  Nothing automatically makes someone a good submissive.  The problem with this approach is that it removes consent in some cases, and in other, it allows people to accept a role without enough knowledge of the responsibilities it entails.   I find the large majority of unhappy D/s blogs seem to resemble these case.

Returning to happy land, there is another interesting aspect of successful D/s.  While I feel that at the core of D/s lies kink, nurturing a successful and sustainable D/s relationship does turn its eyes away from a kink-focus.  Part of becoming comfortable with your role is seeing how your inner drive, desires, and responsibility to your partner begin to interact.  You want to feel more submissive so you begin to feed yourself by becoming someone that is more selfless.  The dominant wants to provide the right dynamics and environment for the relationship so they begin to act more inwardly focused yet still keep their sub’s needs in their mind at all times.  Basically, they act selfish in order to actually be generous. This relationship is symbiotic and very beautiful when it works.

I don’t really have a point in all of this but I wanted to put a reminder out there that D/s is supposed to feel good.  It’s supposed to be fun, exhilarating, and bring loads of mutual pleasure and fulfillment.  D//s doesn’t create the love that is there: you have to want that on its own.


For those who have followed me for a while, you will probably remember at least one time where I have described myself as feeling “blocked.”  The coincides with a decreased number of posts and fewer of those posts reflecting my own personal feelings.  I refer to this state as blocked because what is going on is that something is preventing me from readily accessing my deeper feelings, and most notably, my ability to enter the vulnerable emotional state where the feelings behind my submission reside.

In most cases there is a definite cause.  e.g. a bad fight with T, my depression setting in, etc.  Other times it is a prolonged period of minor disruptions to my world that gradually wear me down.  When it happens in the slow way it will often take me a while to pinpoint what has changed and led to this.  I had been feeling this way for about a week and trying different methods of reconnecting with myself, often with the help of those who are close to me.  I finally got to the bottom of it last night.
What I am about to write will probably make very little sense to some people but I will try to describe it as best I can.  Lately I have felt too comfortable with myself.  People have been too supportive, too accepting, and too kind.  My submissive side was born of pain and rejection.  It was nurtured by being made to feel “safe,” but not “good.”

Praise or encouragement for the things that I do, the things that I write, the help and support that I may provide, etc. are okay.  Unconditional acceptance for who I am rather than for what I do… is foreign to me.  I’m not used to it.  It actually makes me feel a little uneasy inside.  It conflicts with my perceived reality.  I’m screwed up.  Slowly I start to acclimate.  I start to believe with my rational mind.  You would think that this would help me.

The words actually remove me from my vulnerable self.  They feed my alpha.  They create a fragile and precarious balance.  They feel like niceties fed to me and create an artificial sense of comfort.  I feel like a kid with one leg being told he can be a professional soccer player.  Do I dare believe?
My damaged heart does not.  It walls off in lieu of wishful thinking.  I appreciate the people that try to build me up.  I wish I could respond to it like a “normal” person would.

Last night a good friend of mine did me a very large favor.  She was honest with me.  It took work.  It took prodding.  The words were blunt.  “What a sad broken little man who has to wear that to get aroused.”  These ripped down my walls and pierced deeply into my truest self.  The result was a sense of peace while I plummeted into my subspace, surrounded by my vulnerabilities and swimming within the feelings that resonate so deeply within me.  This is my truth.  This is the truth behind the faces.  This is what is spoken behind closed doors.  This is what is spoken in my absence.  What a rare treat it is to experience this level of honesty.  I was thankful for her words.

Accepting myself was accepting my truth.  It was not convincing myself of something false, it was accepting what is the truth.  I am not afraid to face it.  In fact, by facing it I feel real.  Those who accept me as a sad broken little man are those who I hold dearest.  You make me feel safe without trying to convince me of something that I am not.  Through this I felt unblocked.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Controlling the Narrative

The feedback on a recent post on Labels as well as a discussion with some blogging friends got me thinking about the role that labels have played in my life in the world of BDSM.  It seems that most people do not like feeling constrained by the limits that labels impose or imply.  I can understand that point of view.

I have a slightly different view upon labels, not because I necessarily enjoy them, but because I look at them pragmatically.  Just because we wish to avoid labels doesn’t mean that we will avoid being labeled.  The people we encounter will generate their own labels for us, whether they be good or bad.  However, I find that by labeling ourselves it gives us some power to “control the narrative.”  That is, when we provide ourselves with a label, however general or specific it may be, it sets the initial tone for how they will perceive us that may be better than what they may have drawn on their own.

An easy example is if someone labels themselves a “brat,” this provides a basic lens to view us through.  Without such a label in mind, an outside audience may draw other interpretations and labels from recounted events, such as a SAM (smart-ass masochist), someone that tops from the bottom/tries to manipulate, etc.  “Brat” gives a more clear idea that someone’s defiance may be part of a push/pull dynamic that both dominant and submissive find enjoyable, and ideally tempers the reader against forming negative judgments.

What I have found over the years is that people who are the most comfortable with labels are the ones who have had to explain themselves… repeatedly… over and over… to nearly everyone.  “Just give me one word that sums most of it up so that I don’t have to try to make someone understand every time I meet someone.”  Rarely does anyone rigidly conform to a label, so of course there is some explanation of some of the finer details that inevitably must be done, but that’s a lot easier to do when you can say one word and that gives at least a general impression of what you are about.  You will find that littles and gentle doms often have very little trouble giving themselves a label.  This is also frequently true for slaves, pain sluts, and exhibitionists.

It is common to find greater reluctance when people do not embrace their label.  A “do me” sub doesn’t want to be labeled as a “do me” sub.  A sadist often does not want to think of themselves as a sadist.

Part of my uneasiness comes from having experience with strictly controlling my narrative for the past decade.  The “sissy” label I carried with me was a source of constant anguish.  Hell, it is the reason I started blogging in the first place, as an attempt to come to terms with something I didn’t want to accept.  Accepting the label helped me get used to the prejudices and unavoidable judgments.  There was some solace in knowing what to expect.  Realizing that label was incorrect feels very different.

Right now I feel uncertain on how to control my narrative.  It’s a loss of control that I am not accustomed to.  Thankfully the supportive environment that is in place around me makes it less bothersome.  That being said, it will probably continue to haunt me until I understand my new narrative.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Thoughts on Labels and Identity

I know that a lot of people want to shy away from labels.  They don’t want to be contained by a set of characteristics that constrain them. I tend to agree.  When you are in the midst of a relationship with active D/s, it is important to find your own way.  You find what works in a practical way and this frequently requires breaking away from set conventions and definitions.

Things are a bit different when you are not actively practicing D/s.  When faced with starting over, your labels become you.  They become your identity unless people decide to delve deeper.  Without labels, you are nothing that people are looking for.  The labels are necessary to serve as the starting point… the filter.

I find myself confused without a firm grasp of my labels.  10+ years of understanding just vanished for me.  This was 10+ years of being able to explain myself, describe myself, and have a fairly accurate idea of how people perceive me.  I feel kind of naked.  Understanding myself has always given me confidence.  Being able to share how the parts of myself work has given me peace of mind.  Currently I just feel a bit… lost.

I want to write more but I’m feeling a bit… out of touch with myself.  Until I find the new edges and boundaries of myself, I fear this will continue.  What I want has not changed… but the reasons why have become drastically different.

I know the understanding will come with time… and getting over this cold will help clear my head to figure things out.  I just wish it was happening sooner and in a way that was more familiar to me.