Something I see on a lot of beginner’s forums in the BDSM community is the question of how to get a sub to tell you what she wants. I also see subs asking how to tell her top what she wants. These aren’t really the same question, but I’m going to deal with them both here; as well as the corollary question of how to tell your top/sub what you want.
Both SAM and I talk a lot on here about communication. Without it, what we do borders way too closely on abuse. Being able to openly discuss uncomfortable, embarrassing or scary topics is a part of what makes our relationship as solid as it is.
There are two different places where communication is important. In scene and out of scene. In scene both of us need to be able to tell the other what is needed, to communicate mood, arousal, ideas, etc. Out of scene we must be able to talk to each other about what went right, what we enjoyed and most importantly what we didn’t enjoy or what went wrong; even if it wasn’t a safe-word situation.
I know that as someone in a polyamorous marriage, I don’t get jealous of other people in my husband’s life. I get jealous of the demands on his time. Love is infinite; there is room for many loves in any person’s life. What is not infinite, however, is time.
I get very jealous of time he spends elsewhere – and it’s not always another person. I get jealous of time he spends blogging, or doing photo shoots, or computer animation, or even the time he spends at work.
Someone on a forum asked a very, very excellent question. I know little about this person except that she’s new to the idea of BDSM, and she has a child.
“Does being in a master slave relationship have to continue outside the bedroom? Or do you take it outside of the bedroom?
From my point of view (and, fair warning, others will disagree with me very strongly), it is just not possible to have a “true 24/7” master-slave relationship in a modern Western world where the people in the relationship have any duties or responsibilities to other people. There is always going to be something in life that is going to require the master/slave dynamic to be set aside for periods of time. It is completely unrealistic to expect that one person is going to be able to devote every moment to obeying/pleasing their partner.
Heh. He said “flogger elbow”.
Yes, it’s true, he doesn’t beat me enough. That damned flogger elbow is a bitch. Of course, we could just as easily state the myriad of true reasons he doesn’t beat me enough, but that would just wind up being as depressing as involuntary celibacy. I mean, where’s the humor in “well, this week it was food poisoning, and last week it was migraines, and the week before that we were both exhausted and I fell asleep on him, and the week before that… “? Not even remotely funny. Flogger elbow, now THAT’S funny!
But more to the point, I remember very clearly the Idiots, Inc. period in our lives. What a horrible, horrible company. He would come home angry, borderline homicidal, depressed, and feeling trapped. The ex-wife was being less than reasonable about pretty much everything. MY ex was being equally as retarded, and showing his mastery of Passive-Aggressive Bullying technique. This could easily have been a recipe for Relationship Disaster, by which I mean domestic abuse. Especially since I was new to BDSM at the time.
Too often, sadists in the BDSM lifestyle are portrayed as stern, overbearing, mean, even abusive men or women who enjoy causing pain and suffering just because they can. The image of a domineering woman and a simpering man or big burly man in leathers and weak abused woman cowering at his feet is all too common when thinking of what a sadist is.
First, I am a sadist. I enjoy the little cries of pain as the flogger comes down on a sub’s back, blushes of embarrassment when I unveil her to all and sundry at a play party, the sharp intake of breath as the needles slide into her breasts, the way she dances on the balls of her feet when I grab her nipples and pull her towards me and especially the momentary look of fire in her eyes just before the handprint on her cheek flares just as bright.
All of those things can, and often, are done by people in a mean, overbearing way. In scene, when appropriate for the mood, I too can take on that role. But without the whimsy and fun and laughter to balance it out, that role can get damned depressing.
I’ll give a couple of examples to highlight that balance.
Of course it is. Wikipedia says so and Wikipedia’s never wrong. This day means a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s foundation is in the LGBT movement as a day to celebrate honesty and openness about our sexual preference, relationship choices, gender identity and general sexual lifestyle.
To me, it’s both more and less than that. I have never been what you would call ‘in the closet’ about my sexuality or about my lifestyle. There are people who do not know me as bisexual, polyamorous, nusdist, or kinky. It is not because I hide it from them as that side of my life has no bearing on my relationship with them.
By and large, those who do not know that side of me are my co-workers or whom only know me in a very casual, acquaintance level of relationship. It is not appropriate, and generally not welcome, to discuss my sexual life with them.
Do I deliberately hide it from anyone? No. My life, all aspects of my life, are lived in an open, honest and forthright manner. That is what ‘coming out’ means to me. It means not needing to hide my knowledge of what the general populace calls “alternative” lifestyles. It means not hiding the fact that I am flirting with a very cute waiter (yes, male) at the restaurant where I have lunch most days of the week. It means jumping in and giving good, solid information to help dispel misconceptions or out right errors in others’ beliefs about some ‘out there’ topic that comes up at work and believe me, in an office of over 150 uber-geeks, wierd, out there topics come up all the time.
A conversation a few days ago sparked a train of thought that led me to realize just how entwined the concept of safewords is with all of my interpersonal interactions; not just those that involve some BDSM element.
Due to the nature of play that I engage in with my wife, I have what you might call a background process that is always watching for an unexpected reaction to whatever I am doing at that moment. I’m not saying my sub is perfectly predictable, but if my swat of her ass with the flogger normally gets a moan, then a sharp intake of breath or scream is something that triggers that process. At that point, I will do a safety or mood check to make sure everything is still in the green.
This is a little earlier than I’d planned on publishing a second post, but a friend e-mailed me a pretty excellent question.
“Where the line is drawn between submission and abuse, from the perspective of the dom? For example, how does the dom know, when he says “you filthy whore”, that he is meeting the requirements of his sub and not emotionally abusing her, unless they have carefully laid out a blow-by-blow playbook in advance? It reminds me of what the old oval track racers used to say, “There’s no such thing as going too fast, until you crash. Then its too late.”
First, that’s what initial negotiations and discussions about limits are for. For some people, name-calling is a major turn-on. For some other people, it’s never, never okay under any circumstances. There’s no way to know in advance, unless you ask. Any responsible dom will ask a potential sub “What are your hard limits?” Any responsible sub will be very direct and honest about stating what those limits are.