Ever get that questions from your partner? Never ends well, does it. You’re honest answer of “nothing” is never taken at face value. They question your answer and then the whole situation devolves into one of doubt, mistrust, frustration and distraction.
There’s a meme floating around that has a his and her diary entry. One side (in the case of the gender switched image floating most recently) has a “His” diary of doubt, miscommunication and woe where “Her” diary simply reads “my code is broken, can’t figure out why”.
What’s really going on here is summed up pretty succinctly by something SAM posted over on her Facebook:
“I love how instead of asking her “what’s wrong” he makes up this huge relationship disaster thing, and she’s just thinking about work. HE COULD JUST ASK HER. But no. That’s too risky.”
When I’m asked a general, information seeking question like “what’s wrong?” I always try to take a moment, look back on the last few minutes of conversation or interactions with an eye towards how my emotional or mental state may have shown on my expressions and body language. I make an effort to empathize with my partner and see myself through their eyes.
My internal reality isn’t pertinent at that moment, only my presentation of that reality. With that bit of self analysis, I’m able to effectively communicate “what’s wrong” because I the know “what’s wrong”. Usually “what’s wrong” is a miscommunication or crossed signal between us.
“What’s wrong?” can be answered by saying, honestly and with confidence “I’m worried about X” or “Just lost in thought; something is farked up with code at work and I’m distracted by it” or “Just thinking about X, Y, Z and Thee”.
When someone asks you “What’s Wrong”, the answer is never, ever, “nothing”. At the very least, “What’s wrong” is a misread signal between you. It’s rarely an accusation, though too many people take “What’s wrong?” as an accusation of “What’s wrong? You’re making me feel bad/nervous/left out” or “You’re not reading my mis-delivered signals and are making me feel ignored” or some such.
Correcting those missed signals requires an almost instinctual root cause analysis on you OWN behavior and it’s presentation to you partner.
Now the other side of that is that when you ask someone ‘What’s wrong”, trust them to tell you the truth and if they say “nothing” then believe them. You can usually trust them to mean “Nothing is wrong with you and me and us.”
I had a pretty good grasp of interpersonal communications for most of my teen and adult life. I am always examining and re-examining my interactions with people, especially those that did not turn out the way I wanted them too.
SAM has helped put a fantastic amount of polish on them in the almost 7 years she’s lived with me. We both had enough hidden emotional land mines to blanket a demilitarized zone. After the first couple, we both started forcing ourselves to take a step back and *asking* when the reaction we got wasn’t what was expected. The scariest part the first few times was being completely, brutally honest with ourselves AND each other. It really doesn’t take more than a few times for the world to NOT end when you’re open and vulnerable with your partner before that becomes *easier* than the whole “ugh grunt me man me no feel emotion!”.
So the next time you feel the need to ask your partner “What’s Wrong?”, accept the answer of “Nothing” and follow up with something more empathetic and understanding. Saying something like “Ok, but you seem distracted and distant. Anything I can do to distract you from your distractions?”
Make your partner feel safe to open up to you. If you accuse them of lying to you, you’ll never build any kind of trust. They’ll pull further away at best and, usually, start truly lying to you to prevent the entire spiral of accusations and acrimony that almost always results from that kind of interaction.
So how do you, dear readers, answer that question? What questions drive you batty? What answers make you grind your teeth? How do you work through them to a mutually beneficial, honest, and healthy interaction?
Question: So what the hell is a “Happy Sadist” anyhow?
Answer: Me! I am a Happy Sadist.
Let’s start with the simple bits: www.dictionary.com describes sadism in their cultural dictionary as, “Abnormal behavior characterized by deriving sexual gratification from inflicting pain on others . . . named after the Marquis de Sade, a French author of the eighteenth century, whose works describe many sexual perversities.” Actually, his name was Comte Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade, he lived from 1740-1814 and he was a Count, not a Marquis. Get your facts right people. End history lesson, full stop.
So sadists are sickos who torture and kill people, right? Like Ted Bundy, the famous serial killer and Young Republican? Um, no, sorry. I do have occasional homicidal urges toward my fellow man, but since I stopped working retail those urges have significantly decreased. I do, however, get off on hurting people. Let me clarify – I get off on hurting people who get off on being hurt. Two, or more, like-minded, consenting adults, etc, etc.
But where does the happy bit come in? I giggle while I hurt my masochist. No, really – I get this perverse joy every time he screams and I often find myself giggling like the March Hare at a tea party. I don’t just get off on causing him pain, I get goofy. There is no better sound than the desperate gasps of my masochist as he tries not to scream. It makes me smile just to think about it. In fact, I’m smiling right now. He truly is my favorite toy.
There are a lot of sadists out there who are very dark and brooding. Don’t get me wrong – causing someone pain responsibly is a serious endeavor that should include proper fore-knowledge, emergency paraphernalia, safewords and trust. But it should also be something joyful. If being dark and serious is where you find joy, go forth and brood! But don’t be that way because you think you have to in order to be a proper sadist.
Coming to terms with being a sadist and all it implies has not been an easy task. We live in a country that refuses to let Queen Victoria and her frighteningly puritanical morals die. But once I allowed myself to embrace the idea of sadism as fun for everyone involved – well, that made all the difference in the world! I relish the dramatic flair inherent in BDSM scenes and approach it with a sense of dark glee. Next time you’re flogging someone, or stabbing them with needles, let yourself go and really enjoy the moment. Sexual interaction of all kinds should be fun. Now go get lost in someone’s screams and let yourself smile!
I find it interesting that most of the “poly advice” I’ve seen floating around is generally about how to not be jealous of your husband’s girlfriend. Or not tear her face off. Or somethin’ like that, but most of it seems pretty hetero in nature.
Sometimes… sometimes there’s advice for guys about how not to be raving assholes about their wife’s girlfriend. This usually involves suggestions like “don’t start the porn music” and “don’t assume this means you’re having a threesome”.
So, what do you do when your husband’s long-distance boyfriend comes for a visit?
This is my advice, ladies: Stay the fuck out of the way. Sleep on the couch and let them have the bed (at least for one night, anyway). Be considerate. Give them space to reinforce their own chemistry. Do not offer helpful hints about what your husband likes in bed; let them discover each other by themselves. Being a pair of individuals, they will have their own chemistry and dynamic that may surprise you. Don’t be surprised if your Domly husband doesn’t act quite the way he does around you.
Yeah, sure, you may have to spend some quality time with your vibrator. Big deal, we do that anyway.
Make dinner for them, if you cook. Find out what interests you and the boyfriend share, and which ones you don’t, and treat him like a real person.
It’s not terribly complicated. It’s just a little confusing at first. Remember that when you’re dealing with an out of town boyfriend type guest, he’s staying for a brief time and then he’s going home. It may be a while before he comes back. If you find yourself feeling neglected, try to mention that after he goes home, and arrange some quality time for you and the husband.
Ladies, there’s no reason to be threatened by a husband’s boyfriend. He really can give the husband things that you can’t. And that’s okay.
When scening, SaM and I engage in what is commonly called Role Playing. That term, in the past, gave me quite a bit of a problem. You see, like many kinksters of my generation, I grew up with tabletop role playing. Whether it was AD&D (2nd ed, of course), Rifts, Cyberpunk or any number of serious or silly game systems.
As I got older, and encountered the term within the context of kink, it always left me wondering just how in the world you could keep a straight face in the bedroom with that. The cliche of “I’m the evil wizard and you are the helpless elven princess, muahahaha!” really doesn’t do anything for us. If we need that level of characterization, we pull out the books and the dice and the character sheets and go to town.
Role playing in scene is, for us at least, much more subtle than that. We get to put on a face, a facade, a personality, that is not necessarily our “normal” one. There are a number of expressions, words or actions within a scene that we each wear to elicit a desired reaction out of the other or to enhance the sense of unreality of the scene.
Calling her a slut, a bitch or other such terms of endearment (heh) in scene are normal, given a certain mood. Her calling me master or similar is also normal in a scene.
I wear expressions in scene that are not normal for me in my mundane life. I sneer, I smirk, I’m very stern and demanding. Derision is a common mode for me at times when she’s being particularly shy about some command I’ve given her. Likewise, she’s shy, or petulant, or obstinent or even derisive in scene. She’s also submissive, or if things are going well near the end of a scene, completely wanton and begging for more.
None of these are feelings, emotions or expressions that even occur to me to wear during our day to day life outside of that role. Each of us deliberately wears, or allows, those emotions and expressions for the purpose of eliciting a response from the other, knowing that it is all part of the Role we’ve each taken on that evening.
During our day to day life, we’re affectionate, playful, and flirtatious. During scene, we’re often aggressive, cruel, manipulative, calculating and sadistic or submissive as the mood calls for.
As with the talbetop role-playing we did as young people, and even today engage in at times, when the game is over, we put away the dice, or the floggers, and go back to the real world. The things said in the bedroom stay there.
We trust each other, implicitly, to leave it there. We each know who we are, at our core, and that being called a slut in scene does not mean that SaM is a slut out of scene, nor does calling her a slut in scene mean that I think she is one, out of scene.
There are many things we both do and say in scene that fall under that same understanding. Once you realize that it really is as simple as ‘I say that to you because I love that look in your eyes” or “I allow you to do that to me because I love the way it feels and how it makes you so hard when you do it”, the rest is nothing but joy and love and adventure and oh, so awesomely erotic and sexy.
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.
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.
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.