Friday, February 29, 2008

On the nature of punishment - Part 3

Greetings all,

NB: This is the final section of this essay

Forms of punishment

The variety of punishments is almost limitless, and is only bound by the creativity of the dominant. I will not go into a lengthy detailing of all possible options, but restrict my comments to a few guiding principles.

If we remember the definition, a punishment is only valid if it invokes a penalty or suffering on the part of the submissive. Otherwise it is meaningless.

The most common form of punishment is the infliction of physical trauma. These may manifest from the simple to the complex, from spankings to mutilations. Yet, there is nothing that requires the application of physical pain in order to satisfy the requirements of a punishment.

As stated earlier, the masochistic submissive often desires physical pain. Even submissives who profess no masochistic nature will sometimes speak of how much they enjoyed a flogging or spanking, of how it transports them to their ‘submissive space’. As well, some dominants, who are also sadists, may be overly anxious to find “mistakes” in their submissives behaviour so they may have an excuse to “punish”.

But when you give someone a thing that causes pleasure, then by definition, it cannot be a punishment. It is a reward. Hence the stereotypical “Oh Big Daddy! I’ve been such a bad girl. I deserve to be spanked. Punish me.” This type of behaviour typically ends in sex and hence is even more of a reward.

Clearly, this has little to do with punishment. This is play. To use this as a form of punishment only reinforces the negative behaviour. In addition, it will undermine the power relationship between the dominant and the submissive. When the submissive wants attention she will simply break a rule and wait for the desired response. This puts power in the hands of the submissive where it does not belong and will ultimately lead to dissatisfaction in the submissive and failure of the relationship.

By which we may conclude that using physical trauma as a punishment for a masochistic submissive is not recommended. For the neutral (non masochistic) submissive a beating of one form or another is acceptable under certain circumstances. But care must be taken to remember that punishment has nothing to do with sex, and to conclude a physical punishment session with sex is counter-productive to the purpose of punishments.

Dominants who reach for the whip for every infraction are not acting in a responsible manner. Not only does it indicate a lack of imagination on the part of the dominant, but if there is only one form of punishment for all infractions, then the submissive has no way of evaluating the criticality of the task. The intensity of the punishment must bear some relationship to the importance of the discipline or rule that was broken.

In my training, I have attempted to always fit the punishment to the failure. A classical technique is reversal. For example, if a submissive failed to follow a discipline of third-person speech then the punishment might be to have them speak in first person for some period of time. Every time they opened their mouth, they would be reminded of their failure. Another example, perhaps a submissive did not serve a meal correctly. The punishment might be forbidding them to serve any meal for a period of time. Watching their dominant serving himself would be punishment enough.

Some infractions are more serious and will require significant punishment. For example, failure to provide proper service to a guest. This reflects badly on the dominant. Punishment for such failure will involve more than a whipping. It may entail confinement, denial of service, and even re-training. In this manner she is made aware of what is critical to her dominant.

Begging for Punishment

Begging is its own topic. It may be performed at many times, and is not strictly reserved for punishment. Still, no discussion on this topic would be complete without at least a cursory examination of begging.

It is a confusing topic. As mentioned, frequently a masochistic submissive will beg to be punished. But this is really an invitation. Sometimes, begging is nothing more than ego gratification on the part of the dominant. For example, girls are often told to say things like “I beg to swallow your come Master” or the always popular “Please Master, I’m begging you to fuck me in the ass”. Sometimes it is used to communicate desire. Girls are frequently told that they have to beg before they are allowed to orgasm. However, in this paper I will focus on the act of begging as part of the process of punishment and forgiveness.

Further confusing the subject is the enormous variety of activities associated with the act of begging. The number of known rituals and postures for begging is beyond count. Very quickly one learns that there is no single “true” way for a girl to beg. Still, while the techniques of begging are as varied as the number of dominants and submissives, the value of this process to the D/s relationship is universal.

But why would anyone, even a submissive, beg to be punished; to have a suffering inflicted upon them? On the surface, such an action seems ludicrous. They might accept their punishment and be grateful for the forgiveness, but why would anyone actually beg to be punished? Is it nothing more than ego-gratification on the part of the dominant?

I believe the value of begging is significant and should not be overlooked. The process reflects many values in the dominant/submissive relationship.

It clearly establishes the primary/secondary nature of the relationship:

- Begging would not be required in a peer-peer relationship. Further, when a dominant makes a mistake (and they do) they will never beg for the submissive’s forgiveness. As such, the act of begging affirms the basic D/s nature of the relationship.

It provides a method for the submissive to express their distress over failing to serve in a manner that will be acceptable to all parties:

- My own experience has taught me that deeply submissive individuals feel an intense amount of stress and pain when they have failed their dominant partner. Unless they have some way to express this stress, it will impact other areas of their life. Begging provides a natural outlet.

The act of begging is a physiological barrier for many submissives. Being able to beg represents a major achievement.

- This is an important point. As a submissive develops she will encounter a variety of physiological barriers that need to be overcome. One if these is begging. To beg for punishment can be humiliating. However, only her dominant can forgive her when she has failed. Therefore she needs to ask forgiveness. The way she asks is a measure of the intensity of her internal feelings. Begging is therefore a useful marker.

It is gratification for many dominants.

- It is true that many dominants, including myself, find personal satisfaction is seeing a submissive beg. When they beg, they belong to you completely. Dominants seek this level of control.

Of course, no submissive should beg if they do not feel motivated. Hence, it can easily be seen that when a natural submissive begs, it is a clear indicator of their need for punishment.

Sometimes, the begging is sufficient punishment. At other times, more will be required. Much depends on the dominant and their expectations of the submissive. For example, a well trained submissive may be expected to perform certain duties without flaw that a novice may not yet know. I expect more from the experienced submissive and therefore their punishment will be harsher should they fail.

In my training, I have found it appropriate to develop a number of begging styles and positions. These may be used by the submissive to indicate the severity of the infraction and the intensity of guilt they are feeling. They may vary from belly crawling with a whip held between the teeth, to formal kneeling with only a subtle adjustment to the neck position to indicate that something is amiss. Often, when dominant/submissive couples are out in public it is not always possible for the submissive to position as they might in private. At such times it is useful to have alternative begging forms available.

Dominants may try to force a girl to beg, or even require it. However, until such time as they do it on their own, driven by their need to be forgiven, the value of begging in punishment is dubious.


In summary, it must be recognized that the act of punishment provides an important conflict resolution mechanism between the dominant and the submissive. It should not be confused with sadomasochistic play. Rather, it is an intense and legitimate approach for a dominant and submissive to maintain the structure and integrity of their relationship. This formal approach may have begging as a component of the protocol. When properly used, punishment not only resolves conflict, but it also gratifies the power and service attractors of the parties.

Be seeing you

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Submissive rights

Submissive rights

In a D/s lifestyle relationship, what are the rights of the submissive partner?

Some might say that the Submissive has no rights. I have seen relationships where the Dominant will require that the Submissive gives him all her money, property, etc. All decisions are made by the Dominant. The Submissive might be granted privileges but she is not entitled to anything.

Perhaps this works for some couples. But I would not define this as D/s. Rather I would call it Master/slave (M/s). And while M/s may work over brief periods of time, as a long term strategy I feel it has significant problems.

First off, let me be clear in saying that there is no consensual way for a Submissive to give up her rights as a citizen. At least in most Western countries. IOW - no court of the land will recognize any citizen’s consensual decision to abrogate their rights. There is no way that they can be taken away. Therefore, any contract that might be signed between the partners that would attempt to do such a thing would be considered to be null and void.

Further, and at a minimum, any Submissive has the right to leave the relationship whenever she might wish to. The responsible Dominant may not refuse such a request. To hold someone against their will contravenes the entire philosophy of D/s lifestyle relationships. True, there have been times when I considered that a girl I was training was reacting with emotion rather than reason in making her choice. At such times I have advised them to wait a day or two before making the request. But if they insist, then they are released. The Dominant has no choice in such matters.

But beyond the right to terminate the relationship whenever they choose to, is the Submissive entitled to any other rights? I would say they do.

At a minimum, they are entitled to the honesty, trust, and responsibility of their partner. Honesty - that the dominant partner will not lie. Trust, that the dominant part will do what they feel is best. Responsibility - that the dominant part will be responsible for the protection and enhancement of the Submissive.

As part of satisfying these requirements, the submissive has the right to expect that the Dominant will provide her with certain things. For example, a set of rules and disciplines that will provide a framework of expected behaviours, so she can know what is required. She has the right to expect that these rules will not be changed arbitrarily, and too, that punishment for infractions will be consistent and appropriate.

Perhaps most important the submissive has the right to protection while she serves the dominant. Protection from abuse, both by him and others. This protection would be both physical and emotional since abuse can take on many forms. Protection would also include respecting any limits that have been negotiated at the beginning of the relationship.

Finally, I would say that the Submissive also has the right not to be summarily dismissed from the relationship. IOW - that the Dominant will not end the relationship without giving her fair warning, so that she can either modify her behaviour, or prepare for the transition that is inevitable.

D/s is not about taking away rights, it is about living in balance and harmony. Both parties have rights in this partnership, though they are not always the same.

Be seeing you,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The need for disciplines

Greetings all,

Last night I had the pleasure to have dinner with a girl I trained a number of years back and her current partner. He is new to the ways of D/s relationships, and she has been helping to show him the ropes over the last six months or so.

We spoke of many things over dinner, such as ways to reinforce the D/s dynamic while out in public, behaving responsibily, how to develop a submissive, etc. At one point some desert menus were brought to the table and placed in front of him. I saw him reach for them, probably with the intent of passing me one, and one to her. Then he stopped his movement and said, "I really have to stop doing that, and let her perform the service."

A valuable lesson.

Perhaps one of the most challenging lessons a responsible dominant must learn is that a submissive has a need to serve. It is at the heart of who she is. Even the smallest domestic tasks, can be a significant discipline for a well trained submissive. For example, when the coffee was brought to the table the girl ask permission to prepare it for him, and upon receiving it poured the cream and stirred in the sugar. A simple act, but I could see her radiating positive energy as she performed it.

Often, a responsible, but still new, dominant will do the task himself. He has probably been raised as a gentleman and it is almost second nature for him to hold open the door for her (as opposed to the other way around), or hold her chair, etc. But by doing so he misses out on an important opportunity for her to be allowed to express her submission in a socially acceptable manner. Since such opportunities are rare he must learn to take advantage of them.

The best way that this can be accomplished is through the assignment of disciplines. These act not only as a framework of behaviour, but also as a ongoing reminder of the nature of the relationship, and as a lovely bit of eroticisim. Every dominant should make it his business to assign some disciplines to his girl, even simple things like waiting for permission to eat, or sit at the table, etc. But, and this is the important part, once assigned it is the responsibility of the dominant to monitor their performance, and most importantly to give the girl the chance to perform them. IOW - if you tell a girl that she will prepare your coffee, don't go doing it for yourself! This confuses her and can lead to problems.

Another mistake new dominants make is assigning way too many disciplines. So many that they become impossible to monitor. Trust me, in this case less is often more. Pick a few to start with. Then after awhile if you want more layer them on, but always do so carefully and with an understanding that you, the dominant, have a role to play in this as well. Properly done, they are a wonderful way to maintain the integrity of a D/s relationship.

Plus, they are sexy as all get out.

Be seeing you,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

On the nature of punishment - Part 2

Greetings all,

I shall continue from where I left off.

Spare the rod, spoil the sub.

When submissives fail in their service they need some way to atone. Punishment allows the submissive to move past their failure to forgiveness. For a submissive, requesting punishment is not just following a protocol. They require it. Often, they are desperate for it. Care must be taken when refusing these requests. To do so will often place a submissive into a limbo-like state between punishment and forgiveness. This will be emotionally draining and often prevent them from properly executing their duties. Unless you know the submissive well, a better alternative is to execute the punishment.

Punishment also provides easily understood boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Submissives quickly learn what they will, and will not, be permitted. The relationship will therefore always contain an element of formality. Formality can be both erotic, and therapeutic.

In addition, the dominant may be angry with her. The punishment provides an opportunity for that anger to be expressed and dissipated. There is an implicit “safety-valve” factor in the process of punishment that should not be overlooked. Anger will not accumulate over time, building to dangerous levels.

Of course, the responsible dominant is aware that after the punishment is completed, they too must be willing to forgive and let go of the infraction. To continually remind the submissive of their failure after the fact is cruel. It also lessens the value of the punishment. If the submissive suspects that the punishment will not lead to forgiveness, then its effectiveness is greatly reduced.

Therefore the act of punishment provides important emotional outlets for both the dominant and the submissive. Though I find it interesting to note how, like with the attractors, they are asymmetrical.

When should the dominant punish the submissive? The short answer is, of course, when she fails in her service or breaks a rule.

There are two basic forms of failure. The first is a deliberate act. This is when the submissive makes a conscious decision not to satisfy a discipline or task. There are a variety of reasons for this abnormal behaviour, each requiring a different solution.

In the case of the masochistic submissive, they may wish a physical beating. Giving them what they desire therefore reinforces the unacceptable behaviour. Clearly a punishment for this behaviour is essential, but in order to satisfy the requirement of suffering, it is necessary to develop a penalty that is not desired. In my experience both isolation and withdrawal of service work effectively. One might also consider a hiatus from the pain infliction routines that are being sought. I will have more to say on the forms of punishment below.

Another reason for deliberate failure is testing the limits of acceptable behaviour. In other words, how much leeway does their dominant permit? Here the dominant has a choice. If the behaviour is acceptable, then no punishment is required. Otherwise the submissive should be punished. Once again, the punishment must be seen as a penalty.

A third reason for deliberate failure may be an unresolved conflict between the dominant and submissive. The failure of service is a signal of this issue. Here a punishment is unlikely to resolve the conflict. A dominant may recognize this issue when the submissive keeps repeatedly making the same mistake, or when their attitude changes. At this point, discussion is required between the parties involved. Or, either party may terminate the relationship.

The final type of deliberate failure is when a task is beyond the capability of the submissive. Frequently dominants may assign disciplines that simply cannot be performed, or require experience that the submissive has not yet acquired. Some dominants will punish for these failures. My own preference is to forgive such errors without punishment. Of course, this leads to a discussion on goal settings for the submissive, but I suspect that will require another paper.

The second form of failure is a non-deliberate act. Here the submissive has simply forgotten to perform an assigned discipline or task. Punishment is always required in such cases. The submissive will feel despondent and unhappy with their failure. They require a mechanism that will allow them to be forgiven, to release their negative feelings, and return to service. Simply being forgiven by the dominant is rarely sufficient. They must forgive themselves as well and to do this they require some form of atonement.

NB: The concluding section of this article will be posted this week.

Be seeing you.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Provoking the submissive response

Greetings all,

Someone wrote to me asking about how I provoke the submissive response. Good question, but not an easy answer. Before I tell you how I responded, it is probably a good idea to discuss and define the "submissive response."

Ask any experienced submissive and she will understand the idea of having her submissive response provoked. It is a feeling in the pit of the stomach, in the mind, and also in the cunt. It can manifest as a desire to kneel at a man's feet, or a desire to serve, or the heat of arousal. But it would be incorrect to say that the submissive response is nothing more than finding someone who turns you on. The submissive response speaks to the nature of the person. It is about energy flow, and a sense of exhilaration in being in the presence of someone who matches your own power.

Strangely, the dominant may not even be aware that this is going on. Many of the girls I have mentored/trained speak about meeting men who are not in the scene, who have no idea about the concepts of D/s, and who frankly have little interest in learning. Yet they are dominant in nature and just being close to them is often enough to provoke the response.

You will note that I have been speaking of experienced submissives. The unexperienced submissive is a very different sort of thing. Without an understanding of the process, she may create defensive walls around her so she does not have to display her desire. Or, she may wonder why some men seem to attract her powerfully, without being able to see the commonality between them. This may lead her to making ill-considered choices in terms of her partners. Yet, once she has really had her submission provoked for the first time, sensed its intensity, and understands what is happening, she is in a much better position to understand the dynamics of interactions with the various men she may meet.

Is it possible for a dominant to deliberately provoked this response in a female? Yes it is. Here is what I wrote in response to the question:

In general, there are no easy answers because there is
nothing I can point to and say - "do this"

What I can say is that it is a mixture of confidence,
arrogance, intelligence, command and sexuality.
Perhaps, most importantly, is making the woman aware
of who is in charge sexually, and by this I mean
waiting until she pleads for it. If you let a woman
know that you are hungry for her, then it will be
difficult to control her.

It is in eye contact, the way she is touched, the way
she is spoken to. It is many things, yet nothing that
I can say definitively since my techniques vary from
female to female. Yet, I also seem to have an almost
instinctual feeling for what will work. I am sorry
that I can not be more precise.
Peter Masters in his "Control Book" talks at length about this process. I would make it required reading for any new dominant. Of course I am speaking of doing this sort of thing deliberately, which as I mentioned is not always the case. Sometimes, it is as simple as the right two people, matched in energy and power, to be physically close to each other.

Be seeing you,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Being a responsible sadist

Greetings all,

I've used the phrase "responsible sadist" a few times since I have started this blog. I thought it might be time to define what I mean.

The term "sadist" normally conjures up an image of a raving madman, or calculating pychopath, bent on inflicting the most outlandish and brutal of pain on his (rarely hers) unwilling victim. This image is perpetuated in our news media, fiction, movies, tv, etc. After enough exposure the population comes to believe that:

- Sadists are mentally imbalanced individuals, with deep physiological problems, probably stemming from the fact that there mothers did not love thm
- Any victim is suitable fodder for a sadist's terrible desires
- There is no way for a "normal" person to be a sadist
- Sadists are evil
- etc.

Strangely, most of these impressions and conclusions are in-keeping with the last sexual bogeyman we had, the homosexual. Go back and look at the media concerning gays prior to say 1970 or so and you will see them cast in much the same light. They were considered mentally ill individuals who needed, more than anything else, to be cured, to be made normal. Nowadays this sort of argument seems ludicrous, yet back then it was taken as gospel. Gays were therefore forced to stay in the closet, meet in secret places, and yes many of them were taken advantage of in one way or the other.

I would suggest that the same thing applies to those whose sexual preference is sadistic in orientation (or masochistic for that matter). IOW - I see nothing wrong with being sadistic, so long as one behaves in a responsible manner.

Once you have determined that you become sexually aroused at the thought of using extreme sensations to stimulate your partner, how then can you become responsible? I would suggest the following rules:

- It must be consensual. This is an absolute. It is wrongful to engage in S&M activities with any partner who has not previously agreed. Anything else is abuse and immoral, imo.

- Be honest. The responsible dominant accepts who he (she) is. While one need not wear a label to that effect, there is also no need to pretend to be anything else than what you are. If one is starting with a new partner, let them know as soon as possible.

- Educate yourself. When dealing with the extreme, one must understand how things operate. The consequences of engaging in activities that you do not fully understand are simply too serious to be entered into lightly. Not only does this include understanding your equipment, but also how the human body reacts to sensations, how to be safe, first aid techniques, etc. The more you understand, the better prepared you will be to handle the unexpected. If possible, find someone to train you in different techniques, don't try and do it all yourself. Through education you will learn how to be safe with your partner. Remember, they are trusting you to look after them.

- Know your partner. As I have mentioned, different masochists can handle different levels of pain. Do not expect one size to fit all. Learn their limits and respect them. If you want something more extreme, find another partner.

- Start slow. When beginning with a new partner don't start with the most extreme. Start slow, learn their threshold and boundaries, and layer on new sensations incrementally.

- Be tolerant of critique. After a scene, make sure you speak to your partner about their reaction. Learn from what they tell you, and adapt accordingly.

The sadist is an individual whose sexual preference is to stimulate their parter by the application of what many would label as pain. The responsible sadist is one who can do this in a method that is safe, sane, and consensual.

Be seeing you,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dimensions of Submission - Redux

Greetings all,

One of the comments made by a reader (and thanks to all for your comments, they are much appreciated), was to the effect that a submissive might willingly tolerate sadistic behaviours on the part of her dominant as a way of providing service. Since the performance of service is at the heart of the submissive, it seems logical that she would accept things, even if she did not enjoy them, because they would please her dominant.

Of course, this would not make her a masochist, but rather a submissive willing to go to any lengths to service the desires and will of her dominant. Some might refer to this as a "sacrifice."

I think this is a rather important issue. The concept of self-sacrfice in the service of another is not new, nor is it unique to the D/s experience. It is all around us every day. In fact I would venture to guess that all of us have at one time or another sacrificed our desires for another, be it a child, a parent, a friend, a god, etc. I believe it is part of what makes us human that will allow us to perform these altruistic acts.

Yet, in the case of the deep submissive this ability to sublimate their own position in service to another is rather special. So yes, I can certainly see how a submissive might offer her body for the pains and pleasures which her dominant would visit for her, needing no more motivation than the knowledge that it would be pleasing. In fact, I have been with girls who have expressed exactly that sentiment to me - "Use me for your pleasure. Do not consider my own. My satisfaction is in service, and knowing I have been pleasing."

And of course, it is not just in the area of sexuality that this can occur. There are many disciplines and rituals which a dominant may require of a submissive which may not be the most enjoyable or pleasing to her. Yet she performs them.

But offering ones body in service is not the same as craving extreme sensation for sexual satisfaction. A fine line perhaps, but one which I see as being critical in the understanding of the difference between the submissive and the masochist.

As I have mentioned, I am both dominant and consider myself a responsible sadist. Therefore, I tend to seek out submissive females who are oriented to sexually to masochisim. Happily, there appear to be quite a few of them out there.

Segue: I have added a photo at the bottom of the blog for those who might care to scroll down.

Be seeing you,

Monday, February 18, 2008

Dimensions of submission

Greetings all,

In response to my last post one reader asked me to define the differences between submission and masochism.

While they are sometimes linked, they are very different things.

For me, healthy masochism is all about sexual arousal. The masochist seeks extreme sensations as pathway to pleasures that can not be achieved through any other means. I have had an opportunity though the years to speak to more than a few women who call themselves masochist and all speak of a state of arousal and satisfaction that is unique in their experience. And while there is no way to really measure the intensity of these things, what I can say is that having watched these women and compared their responses to those who are less inclined to seek the extreme, I believe that they do archive a very special and unique state.

Of course, all masochists are not equal. Some can handle a great deal more sensation than others. At one end you may have someone who can only deal with a light spanking, or a flogger on their rear end. At the other end are those who seek the extreme; piercings, sutures, brands, etc. IOW - they come in all sizes and flavours.

Since masochists are not all equal in what they seek, it therefore stands to reason that the sort of partner they seek out will be different as well. After all, if the girl is looking for pins to be stuck through her nipples, and the fellow is incapable of doing more than spanking her fanny, there will not be a good fit, eh?

Hold onto that thought for a moment, okay?

Unlike masochsim I consider submission to be more of an emotional/intellectual state of being. For a female to submit is for her to get on her knees and say to her partner - "Your will is now my will. Your desire is my will. I wish to serve you in all ways and I therefore offer myself to your command." This sort of thing is not really sexual in nature, though of course it does have significant sexual overtones. D/s is about power, energy flow, and the natural domination and submission that may exist between two people.

Why does a female submit to the male in such a manner? Good question. Good enough for another post at another time. For the moment just accept that this does in fact happen, and happen quite often, between individuals. Sometimes it is overt, as in a formal D/s relationship. Sometimes it is subtle, as in many traditional western marriages. Of course, not all women will submit to all men. Far from it. Earlier I have written about the idea of matching energies between the dominant and submissive, which I think explains why a woman will submit to one man, but not another.

Now, let us return to the masochist. As I said, at the extreme end there will be individuals who seek intense sensations. There are not too many men who are capable of creating such sensations, in a safe manner. In many instances a man may start, filled with bluster and ego, only to discover that the female is not begging him to stop. In fact, she is egging him on, demanding more. IOW - the relationship between the sadist and the masochist can easily become a contest of will, in which she dares him to push her, and will look down upon him if he can not. Sometimes, the masochist will say she is seeking the point where she submits to the sadist, but I do not consider it submission, rather I consider the point where she simply says, "Enough. I have had enough and can go no further. Please stop now."

What she is really saying is, "You win, and thank you, thank you, thank you."

To conclude, submission is the way in which a female (or male I suppose) will offer themselves in service to another. Masochism is a form of sexuality where sufficient sensation is required in order for the masochist to achieve the state of bliss they seek.

Different things, but related of course.

Be seeing you,


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Paths of Pain and Pleasure

Greetings all,

(NB: I shall continue the punishment piece later on this week).

One of the questions I am most often asked by people who have no experience in the world of BDSM is about pain and pleasure. How can it feel good to be spanked or whipped? Why would anyone want to be bound in such difficult and challenging positions? Why would anyone crave having hot wax poured on their body, pins pierce their flesh, or have electric shocks on sensitive portions of the anatomy?

Objectively, I suppose I can understand these questions. After all, for the vast majority of people such things would be unpleasant, uncomfortable, and probably hurtful. But not for everyone. For those individuals that the BDSM community labels as "vanilla" or "mundane" (being anyone who is not in the community) it must seem twisted indeed that someone might actually want, perhaps even crave, such sensations. No wonder people in the community are therefore so often labelled as "perverts" and "deviants."

Yet, what is pain, and what is pleasure? I would suggest that they are the exact same thing, only experienced somewhat differently.

In general, I consider anything pleasurable when taken too far, becomes painful. So too, anything painful when properly moderated, becomes pleasurable. It is all about sensation, and how it is processed.

Let me take pleasure first. It is common for lovers to perhaps bite each other's ear lobes or nipples. When we are with a new partner, we may try some of the techniques that worked effectively with another. And so we bite our lover's breast, and she might jerk back and say "Ow, don't bite so hard!" Or perhaps our previous lover wanted to be handled gently, like a dove. And so we take this experience to our next lover, who finds the technique boring, un-thrilling, and who demands "Fuck me hard, fuck me real hard!"

IOW - different people process sensations differently. Some are stimulated with very gentle sensations, but other want more vigorous techniques.

Yet, if these things go on for too long, even they can become painful. For example, many men, once they discover the woman's clit will spend great amounts of time rubbing it, and rubbing it, and rubbing it. At the beginning that is okay, but after some amount of time (it varies with each woman) the flesh starts become raw and sensitive. After that, even the gentlest of touches become hurtful.

IOW - too much pleasure becomes pain.

Let us consider the converse. As a sadist, I have certainly spanked more than one female. What I have discovered is that some women can take a great deal more of it than others. Now, if I went full out with every woman, using the exact same technique, it is likely that not very many of them would ever come back for another session. So, what I must do is discover the limits of my partner, and moderate what I am doing, so that rather than become a distraction, it acts as an accelerant to put them in the right frame of mind for what I plan to do next.

IOW - if one moderates pain it becomes a pleasure.

The boundary condition varies with each person. Some can handle more, others less. Some women, who are deeply masochistic, seek out the most extreme sensations. They want these levels for the intense mental/emotional/physical state that such pain takes them. For them, it is a transendental experience. It allows them to slip free of the "real world" and enter a special realm of peace, balance, and liberation. For most women, such sensations would just have them screaming in agony. They would not be able to process the experience. They are simply not wired for it.

IOW - there is no difference between pain and pleasure in terms of the physicality of it. Rather, the true difference is in how we process it. For people in the community, there is a desire for more extreme sensation to satisfy their desires. For people in the vanilla community, it appears the interest is in more moderated techniques.

And, as a sidebar, none of this has anything to do with domination and submission. Never confuse S&M with D/s. While there is often a relationship, they are very different things.

Be seeing you.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

On the nature of punishment - Part 1

Greetings all,

The other day a fellow wrote to me concerning his girl. He suggested to me that he found her to be headstrong and felt that she required a beating as a way of dealing with her wilfulness. I disagreed. One can not beat a girl into submission.

This brought to mind an essay I wrote a number of years ago which was posted on my web site. Those who had a chance to visit the site will no doubt recognize the article. I have made a few edits to bring it up to date. Since it is a bit long I will post it in two parts.

On the Nature of Punishment

What is punishment?

Webster, in a prime display of circular reasoning, defines punishment as the act of punishing. Further research yields the following definition “to impose a penalty on for a fault, offence, or violation.” The key word here is “penalty”. The common characteristic to all penalties is that they must impose a suffering upon the party being punished.

What is the nature of the wrong? Why is the person being punished? If the common characteristic is the penalty then what of its cause? Webster’s “fault, offence or violation” is sadly as clear as mud (though at least it covers the ground). In fact, a broad continuum of motivating factors can be used to justify the penalty. They span virtually every field of human interaction and include religion, politics and commerce.

One might therefore conclude that punishment is a universal component of the human condition and consider the discussion closed (which will perhaps be your wish by the time you reach the end of this paper). But I find this answer provides little insight, particularly when considering the dominant/submissive relationship (D/s). What role does punishment play in the interaction between dominant and submissive?

As the relationship develops, it is natural that the dominant will develop a deep sense of responsibility for the submissive. Control without responsibility is at best nothing more than play and at worst potentially criminal cruelty. To truly satisfy his desire to dominate, the dominant must accept responsibility for the submissive’s well-being. At minimum when they are together, and in many cases full time.

If power is the primary domain of the dominant, then the realm of service belongs to the submissive. Beyond the sexual abandon and freedom of bondage; the essence of a submissive is a desire to serve, to perform acts that help. Submissives feel great joy and satisfaction in the proper execution of their duties, sure in the knowledge that they are contributing to the benefit of their dominant.

Why are submissives motivated to serve? There is no easy answer. Some may claim genetics, others socialization. Some may say an abusive upbringing, while others may speak of religion and faith. In my opinion the seminal cause of this need is not material. There is a long and venerated tradition of service in all societies. For example, many men and women who feel the need to serve have traditionally entered religious life. Their motivation is rarely questioned. However, not all submissives are well suited to a life of chastity or poverty, even though obedience would not pose a problem. There are certain pleasures in serving a flesh and blood dominant which may not be generally available from a distant and unknowable deity. Happily, it is the nature of dominants to accept these forms of services.

That being the case, why then should a dominant punish a submissive at all?

Punishment, even the threat of punishment, should never be used to coerce a submissive to serve. A submissive serves out of an inner need. It is a crime to force service in such a manner, and those who perform such acts are criminals. Non-consensual service, while perhaps the stuff or erotic fantasy, is a vile thing in reality.

The need to punish may seem counter-intuitive at first, especially if love is also a component in the relationship. How can a man hit the woman he loves? How can he cause her to suffer? The answer lies within the responsibility that a dominant must always have for his submissive. Ironically, his responsibility for her well-being requires that she be punished.

To understand why this is so, one must first understand the process of forgiveness.

When anyone commits a mistake, an error, a sin, even an unintentional cruelty, there are three stages to resolution. The first is recognition. It is required that the person recognizes the nature of their infraction and the damage it has caused. The second part is restitution. It is required that some atonement is made, some way to right the wrong. The final stage is redemption or forgiveness, from the wronged party and from the person themselves. This is common for all people, not just those in a dominant/submissive relationship. However when a submissive in a D/s relationship makes a mistake, it is the dominant who must forgive.

Submissives require a structure in which to serve. This is reflected in the set of protocols or disciplines that are given to the submissive by the dominant. If her need to serve is to be satisfied then she must clearly understand what is required to please her dominant. While others might feel these rules to be an unwarranted and unwelcome restriction on their freedom, the submissive will thrive in such an environment. If structure is lacking, the submissive will seek another who can provide it.

One of the most basic rules that a submissive learns, is that failure has its consequence. If the dominant does not exact punishment for a failure, then in effect he is indicating that the discipline was not really important in the first place. Further, it indicates the dominant did not feel strongly enough about the failure to do anything about it. This undermines the very nature of the relationship and leaves the submissive in state of doubt. For if one discipline is not important, perhaps others are not as well, or worse yet, she suspects that her dominant no longer cares enough to be bothered enforcing his rules. In many cases, such failure often marks the beginning of the failure of the relationship as a whole.

To fail to punish, is to fail the submissive. Spare the rod, spoil the sub.

More tomorrow.

Be seeing you,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The value of bondage

Greetings all,

Rope work, and in particular shibari-style rope work, has been much on my mind this last week or so.

My interest in rope goes back almost as far as I can remember. In my early twenties, when I first began my exploration of BDSM, bondage was one of the first things I tried. The girl was named Ellen, and she was young, eager, and willing. When I first suggested I would like to try tying her up, she did not hesitate for a moment. She said she had been thinking of it as well for quite some time.

Segue: This is in keeping with what I have heard from other females. While it may not be until middle age that a female is ready, or able, to submit to the ropes, the desire seems to stretch far back, often to before puberty. Why this may be I do not know. However, I have learned to accept that many women long for the security and sexuality of tight bondage.

I remember my first visit to the local hardware store, trying to determine what would be the best sort of rope. What sort of diameter? What sort of braid or twist? What sort of material? I must have spent close to thirty minutes trying to make up my mind. In the end, I have no recollection of what sort of rope I purchased.

What I do remember, is how excited I was as I knotted the rope into a simple loop, placed it around her wrist, cinched it closed, and tied to to the leg of the bed. I was instantly erect and ready to have sex with her. The sexual energy was palatable. I managed to bind the other wrist (quite poorly), before I gave into my desire to spread her legs and have her. It did not take long before I released. Later I noticed that she had been able to actually get out of one of the ropes binding her wrist, yet she had grabbed hold of the loose rope and hung on, in a semblance of bondage.

This was my first indicator of the power of the ropes. But far from my last.

Over the years I continued to experiment as I could, though partners were not always easy to find. In the pre-Internet world access to those interested in BDSM was limited. I was never part of any "scene," I did not subscribe to any magazines (although I did occasionally purchase a bondage magazine, and of course devoured any photos of Betty Paige I could find). My technique continued to suck, though I suppose I improved a bit, and more often than not I rarely managed to actually complete a binding, my sexual arousal overpowering my ability to stay focused on what I was suppose to be doing.

Yet, despite my poor technique, my inability to follow through on a complete binding, and my lack of information, I still managed to find quite a number of women who craved bondage. These women spoke not only of their arousal, but also the liberation they felt when bound. Some described it as "floating," others as "stillness," and still others as a "special peaceful space." I was curious, so on one or two occasions I asked a girl to tie me up, just to see if I would feel anything. I didn't. Mostly I was bored.

This taught me about the asymmetrical nature of bondage. True, I know of riggers who also enjoy being bound. I am not one of them. Is this because I am too strongly dominant in nature? I could not say. What I can say, is that my preference, my desire, and my pleasure comes from binding another.

This does make sense. Not only am I dominant in nature, but I am sadist (though I like to think a responsible one) by sexual preference. These two things combine to make me wish to bind another, not be bound.

By the early nineties, as the internet started becoming more available, I discovered many others in the world of BDSM, and more importantly, I discovered advanced, sophisticated bondage techniques, most notably shibari. I've been hooked ever since.

Sometimes, a girl will ask me - "What do you get out of it?" From their perspective they seem themselves receiving all the benefit and doing nothing in return. After all, they are bound, then aroused with techniques of pleasure and pain, which often culminate in orgasms of mind-blowing proportions. OTOH - frequently (though not always) I may not come at all. So, their question is legitimate.

It is a difficult one to answer. In part, there is the sense of control. This comes from knowing that a powerful creature (the submissive) has chosen to place her life into my hands. She has given me full privilege and responsibility over her body. I find this a heady sensation. Then there is the beauty of the bondage. I am not an artistic fellow. True, I have written some erotica that has been well received, but I have always thought of myself more as a craftsman or technician than an artist. Yet, when I bind a girl, I am creating art. The strange thing is that it is not just the weaves of the rope, and the positioning of the body that makes the thing art, but also the revealed beauty of the woman. To my way of thinking a woman's true beauty can only be revealed in the ropes. I occasionally will take a photo or two when I bind a girl, so she can see it herself. Often, they are surprised at their appearance, struck by their own inner beauty on display.

And of course, I still become quite aroused, though I am happy to say I am much better at control my urges.

I certainly encourage new D/s couples to learn about ropes, experiment with them, and discover their power. Play safe, of course, but do play. If you want some advice on ropes, positions, or how to be safe, please write to me or post a comment. The Internet is now filled with many sources of excellent information.

Once you have tried it, you will never go back. Your rope may cost you a few dollars, but its value is priceless.

Be seeing you,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tasting submissive power

Greetings all,

I was watching some videos today of a man binding women into unusual and difficult positions. I greatly admire his work. It is extreme and, to my eyes, honest. To the best of my knowledge he is only known as "pd".

Beyond appreciating the creativity and artistry, what I truly respect about pd's work is the interaction between himself and the girl. He never rushes his movements. He does things in a calm and deliberate manner. He rarely raises his voice. He never takes his clothes off. And yet, he has this amazing intensity about him that is both erotic and terrifying. When a girl is under his hand, there is no question of the power he has over her. She is fearful of this power, but there is also an undeniable erotic attraction.

This interaction is clearly displayed in the videos.

This led me to wonder about what sort of woman would willingly consent to be treated in such a manner, bound in positions that others might label as demeaning or humiliating, but which to her are sensual and satisfying.

I suppose the easy answer would be say that she obviously has low self-esteem and little sense of self-worth. Perhaps even a history of being abused as a child. IOW - a woman who felt powerless.

I think that sort of answer is something one commonly hears from people who do not understand the D/s dynamic. On the surface, it appears that the submissive is a passive doormat, and by inference must have some sort of psychological problem which has caused this condition.

I couldn't disagree more.

It has been my experience that it requires a tremendous amount of personal power for a female to submit to the power of a dominant. She must be confident in her own sense of personal value, as well as mature enough to process the D/s interaction dynamic without causing her undue tension. Such capabilities would not be generally found in a doormat.

Further, while the dominant is in control, his satisfaction is derived from the energy which the submissive provides. Simply put, there is very little satisfaction in doing a scene with a lump of passive flesh. Such a thing might be of interest to a man who has little sense of personal power, but every dominant I have ever respected all speak of the same thing, that there pleasure is derived from the feedback of the female.

IOW - unless the submissive is well balanced, powerful, and confident, she simply can not develop as a girl of quality. When I mentor or train girls this is often the aspect I have to work on the most. Many women are conflicted when it comes to D/s. In their hearts they yearn for it, but society says that to submit means they are weak and powerless. This conflict must be reconciled before they can really learn about the "freedom of the ropes."

Too, very powerfully dominant males will tend to seek out powerful submissives (or perhaps the reverse is true). On more than one occasion I have encountered women who have told me that they had never bowed to any man, but would submit to me. Why is that? Nature calls to nature. Power calls to power. People seek balance.

The whole notion of a powerless submissive makes no sense to me, any more than the notion of a powerless dominant. The well-developed submissive is confident, assured, and powerful. In her domestic life she will be dynamic, decisive, and often a leader of others. There is no contradictions in this, rather it makes perfect sense.

What dominant would want a lump of meat when he could taste the energy provided by a powerful woman who has submitted to his will, begged his collar, and pleads for his bondage? And, once tasted, he will never be able to go back to a more mundane interaction.

Be seeing you,

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Where have all the dominants gone?

Greetings all,

Over the last 3 decades I have had the good fortune to interact with many wonderful submissive females. Unlike in the vanilla world where the stereotypical example is that of the male chasing the female, I have found that I have never had to actively seek out submissives, they have found me.

Beyond the relatively few women I have trained or mentored, I have had a chance to speak with quite a large number of submissives, mostly female, a few male. The most common complaint I have found among them is an inability to find a man who can provoke their submissive response. Some women have said that they find me unique in my ability to make them feel the full extent of their submission. I am not unique. I consider myself a fairly plain and simple sort of fellow.

Still, it does raise the issue of where are all the dominant males?

In the years that I ran my web site, which was intended to help D/s couples, I noticed that most of the people on the discussion forums were female submissive. I was disappointed that so few males chose to participate. Leaving me with the same question.

Could it be that dominant males don't have time for the Internet? Could it be that they have their hands full with their own submissives? Could it be that they feel they have nothing to learn and nothing to discuss? Or could it be that it is true that the ratio between dominant males and submissive females in the population as a whole is rather skewed?

I don't have the answers, but I really hope the answer to the last question is a resounding No.

My own feeling is that it may be a question of status. Male-male interaction has a great deal to do with status. Men prefer to be status-up with respect to those around them (My team is better than yours, My car is bigger than yours, etc). Obviously, when a man asks another man for help or advice that places him in a status-down position. Therefore, he will tend to avoid being placed in such situations.

Which may explain why the dominants did not participate at my web site, but does not explain why so many submissives have a problem finding a dominant to serve.

My current thinking is that it is a question of political correctness. Briefly, it is not PC to be a male dominant. Strangely, our society has also come to accept the femdom/malesub pairing. Their are professional dominatrix in almost every large city, and by all accounts they are kept pretty busy. OTOH - try to find a professional male dominant. Oh, there are some, but not many. Yet, a large majority of women claim that they enjoy being submissive, and in particular during sex, so one would think there would be a market for pro maledoms. What is preventing this from happening? I would suggest it is PC. IOW - it would be very hard for a male to explain that dominating a female, placing her on her knees, keeping her in her place, punishing her when it is required, etc, is something they feel inclined to do. Go ahead, trying saying it at a party or social gathering and see what happens. I have on many occasions. Most of the time people laugh at me (as in "You're kidding right?"). Then, when they get the sense I am serious they tend to drift away, though I should note that it is mostly the men who drift away, and some of the women. OTOH - quite a few women hang around to hear more of what I am talking about.

So, has our modern day society created an environment where men are reluctant to display their natural tendency to dominate? I would say yes.

Gentlemen, if you are out there, and you consider yourself dominant, let me know if you agree. I am looking for you. Trust me when I tell you, despite the mixed messages sent out by the media, there are many women out there who long to submit to your power. Leave a comment and let me know you exist.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Seek clarification before reaching conclusion

Greetings all,

If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times, "Seek clarification before reaching conclusion." No where is this more true than in the interaction between dominant and submissive.

The other day a women sent me an email asking for my opinion about something. I replied the same day. The next day she sent me another email saying she was unhappy and felt slighted since I had not responded. I replied again. The third day she wrote me a note calling me unfair, and inconsiderate and she was never going to speak to me again.

Turns out her spam filters were blocking all of my replies.

The point is, to not jump to conclusions based on assumptions. This happens much to often. We tend to filter information through our own biases, reading between the lines, and then conclude that even though someone said X what they really meant was Y.

This is even more true when communicating via email. While email has numerous benefits it sadly lacks in its ability to convey the full amount of information being communicated. We are told that 80% of most communication is non-verbal. So much is transmitted via body language, facial expressions, tone inflection, etc. None of this can be sent via email. Couple this with the fact that not everyone does a good job of proof reading their material (myself included) and you certainly have the possibility for a failure in communications.

That is why I always advise any girl of mine (and everyone in general) to seek clarification if something does not make sense.

Do not assume, verify first and then conclude.

Trust me, its a better way.

Friday, February 8, 2008

When submissives push back

Greetings all,

Sooner or later any dominant who choses to live the lifestyle will have to deal with something I call submissive "push back." Push back occurs with a submissive believes she has been dealt with unfairly, or is being taken advantage of, or simply is angry over some matter having to do with her relationship to the dominant. How a dominant deals with push back speaks volume about his character.

Of course the easiest way to deal with the matter is to quickly, and forcibly put the girl in her place and not deal with the situation. A well-trained submissive has been taught how to obey, and so when she is told to no longer speak of a thing, or to leave it alone, she will. While this does make things more quiet, it certainly does not resolve anything.

IMO - it is probably better to find out what is going on. This is not always evident. Sometimes a fair amount of questioning may be required before one gets to the heart of the matter. However this is time well spent. As the submissive has a chance to express herself, both in terms of emotions and issues. This tends to defuse the emotions and also allows the dominant to get to the heart of the matter.

Once the matter is understood, the dominant faces a number of possible responses. The first will be to acknowledge the situation, but to make no changes. It is the nature of a D/s relationship that the submissive will not always be happy. Such is life. Hopefully, the matter will pass.

The second response will be to correct the situation. However a word of caution is in order. It is one thing to resolve a situation. It is quite another to cave in to demands. As a dominant, do not allow the negative emotions of your partner to sway your decision. Doing so will teach her than anger is a way to get what she wants.

The third option is to apologize. Many dominants feel uncomfortable doing this since they believe that the dominant is always right, infallible. They are concerned that saying they are sorry will erode their power. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dominants are human and so they will make mistakes. The mark of a responsible dominant is knowing when they should admit to their error.

Hopefully, you won't make too many errors, though.

Be seeing you,


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dealing with failure and a couple of more terms

Greetings all,

A girl I have been working with recently wrote to me, filled with misery, thinking she had failed me in the performance of a task I had set her. So great was her misery and her sense of failure (and not being pleasing) that her first reaction was to try and hide it from me, for fear that I would reject her when I found out about her error.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The only error that would result in immediate termination of the relationship is when a girl has failed to be honest with me, and by this I mean she has lied to me. And even in this instance I have been known, on one or two rare occasions, to bend this rule.

The responsible dominant is aware that his girl will fail from time to time, that she will make errors. No girl is perfect (even though she would like to be). Therefore, what is very important is how the failure is handled.

There are no clear cut rules for this, but in general the process should consist of the following steps or phases; Apology, Punishment, Forgiveness, Closure. Each step is very important.

Apology - the girl admits to her error, asks forgiveness, and requests punishment.

Punishment - the dominant assigns an appropriate punishment if he feels it is required. BTW - beating a masochist is not a punishment. Save the whip for girls who do not care for pain. For a punishment to work it must be appropriate with respect to its intnesity, duration, and how it helps to adjust the girl so that she will not keep making the same errors.

Forgiveness - One the punishment is complete, the submissive once again requests forgiveness. All other things being equal it should be granted

Closure - the matter is done. Both parties move forward.

Of course, in the case that I had to deal with today the problem was not one of a girl failing to perform a service, but rather because she had felt she had been dishonest. She had been dishonest, but not with me. Rather, she had been dishonest with herself. This often happens with newly emerging submissives, since there are often decades of cultural conditioning that must be stripped away so that the girl can feel comfortable with her nature. I do not punish a girl because she still can not see her reality clearly. Such development takes time.

Which is what, in part, training is all about.

Be seeing you,


Some more terms

Greetings all,

Yesterday I offered my defintions for power, domianace and submission. Today I would like to add a few more.

B&D/S&M: Bondage and Discipline, Sado-Masochism: These are activities that couples engage in whose principle aim is either sexual arousal, or sexual satisfaction. As such, they qualify for what I call a "kink." A kink is any sort of activity that a person engages in that arouses them in a sexual manner. Kinks come in all shapes and sizes, from those who simply get excited by the sight of large breasts, to somewhat more unusual ones such as being aroused by clowns or furry stuffed animals. In general, I think all kinks are good (with some notable expectations). S&M is about kinks involving the giving or receiving of pain. B&D is about the sexual arousal some people feel either doing bondage or discipline scenes.

Kinks are good, but they are not the same thing as living a lifestyle. A D/s lifestyle is not really about sex, it is about how you live your life. There are many sites on the Internet that speak about BDSM from a kink perspective, but rather fewer who speak about living a D/s lifestyle.

Which, in part, is what this blog is all about.

D/s lifestyle: This is about a couple living together having accepted and embraced the natural domination and submission of the two partners. There are many aspects to living such a lifestyle, which I hope to talk about in upcoming posts, but for the moment I think that all that need be said is it requires a structured framework, consisting of Codes, Service, Conflict Resolution, and a few other things. What it does not require is a loving relationship between the individuals (although this frequently is the case). In fact, love often gets in the way (more on this at another time).

Codes: These are the set of rules, or expectations that the dominant normally will set for the submissive. In some cases the submissive will also have boundaries or limits that must be respected. Frequently such codes are created before the partners enter into the relationship. Often they are created over the course, or term, of the relationship. They may be written down, but often they are not. For myself, the three most critical codes for the dominant are honesty, trust, and responsibility, and for the submissive, honesty, trust, and obedience. From these things all other codes flow.

Service: Service can be any act performed by a submissive to satisfy a need of a dominant. The service can take on many forms, it may be a task, a discipline, or a ritual. The service can be sexual in nature, though frequently it is not.

Service is a critical mechanism in maintaining the stability of a D/s relationship. It allows the dominant to express his control, and allows the submissive to satisfy her needs. One of the primary responsibilities of the dominant is the maintenance of the various services he may require from his girl.

Note to dominants: If you assign a service, remember that it is your responsibility to follow up, make sure it was done to your satisfaction, and praise or punish as required. Failure to do so will leave the submissive feeling neglected. And a neglected submissive is not a very nice thing.

Another note to new dominants: from the outside, looking in, it may seem a no brainer to say that you want to be a dominant. One kicks back on the couch, and simply orders the submissive to do everything you want. Talk about a boyhood fantasy, eh? Sadly, it doesn't quite work out like that. Such dominants are called "DoMe Doms" and they generally don't get very far with submissive females. Also, remember you can't decide to be dominant. It is either something you are, or something you are not. All you can decide is how you want to develop your nature.

Discipline: An ongoing assigned task. A discipline is a form of ongoing training whose purpose it is to teach a task, or to assist the submissive in learning self-control. Discipline are often combined with rituals.

Ritual: A structured sequece of movements, words, or other actions which allow the submissive to convey a particular mind set (gratitude, arousal, need to speak, etc). The ritual is always designed by the dominant and assigned to the submissive.

Okay, enough for now. I think I will post this now and then write another about today's events.

Be seeing you,


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Principles and foundations

Greetings all,

One of my girls recently sent me an academic article which investigated the role of power in sexual motivation. IOW - to what extent did power figure into a desire, or lack of desire, to have sex.

What made this study of interest to me was the fact that it attempted to classify sex into two broad categories. The first was called "usual sex" and the second was called "unusual sex". Unusual sex being those activities that most people do not usual do when they are having sex.

For example, playing Scrabble or cleaning the silverware?

Not content with this rather artificial division, the study's authors went further by describing certain of these unusual activities as being either dominant or submissive. Dominant behaviours were either spanking someone or tying them up, and submissive behaviours were either being spanked or being tied up.

I have some problems with these definitions and labels.

Part of the problem that D/s people have is a lack of understanding by others when they try to describe what it means to be in a D/s relationship. This led me to think that before I write very much more here, it makes sense for me to develop some definitions for the terms I will be using in the future.

So here we go:

Power - power is complex because it refers to the ability to get things done the way one wants, but it also refers to the energy that is felt by both the Submissive and the Dominant when they interact. So on one hand, power is something that the dominant has, but it is also something both the Dominant and Submissive feel. How can this difference be reconciled? Simply by understanding that one is derived from the other. If there is no energy felt in the couple, then the Dominant has no power to control. One might ask what the value of the power is to the Submissive, since unlike with the Dominant, the power gives her no real control, if anything it takes control away. Again the answer is simple, for her, power is the energy she requires to perform the tasks, rituals, and disciplines she is assigned. The power energizes her behaviour.

Dominance - Dominance is a state of mind and behaviour. It is about control, manipulation, and possession. To dominate another is about having the power to control and modify their actions and behaviours. Strictly speaking, it has very little to do with sex, though perhaps not surprisingly people outsiders see it from this viewpoint.

Submission - Like dominance this is a state of mind. It is about service, structure, and dedication. To be submissive to gain satisfaction in the performance of tasks, rituals and disciplines for another. Again many confuse this with sex, but it really should be kept seperate. Many feel that to be submissive implies being passive, a doormat. Nothing could be further from the truth. The well-trained and developed submissive is vital, energized, capable of working on her own, and has strong opinions (and even stronger needs).

The D/s continuum - It is my belief that every person is disposed to being either submissive or dominant. It is also my belief that, in general, males tend to be more pre-disposed to dominance while females tend to seem to be genetically encoded to be submissive. Not all men and women fall into this category, but many do.

However, as with many other things, not everyone feels their dominant or submissive nature to the same extent. Simply put, some feel it much more deeply and intensely than others. This implies that there is a continuum of feeling here, from extremely submissive to extremely dominant. If we could assign a numerical value to this degree, I suspect the results would follow a normal curve, which is to say that the majority of the population would fall somewhere in the middle of the line (being mildly dominant or submissive) and that we would find fewer people near the extreme ends.

In my coming posts I will often refer back to this model.

BDSM - Many people are not aware that BDSM does not simply stand for Bondage, Discipline, Sado-Masochism. In fact, it refers to three different forms of interact 1) B&D, 2)D/s, 3)S&M. It is important to remember that these are very different things, even though many people will engage in all three at the same time. In particular it is important to remember that B&D, and S&M, are primarily sexual in nature. IOW - people do these things to arouse themselves and their partners. D/s, otoh, is much more about a lifestyle in which poeple live on a day to day basis.

IOW - do not confuse sexual fetish with ones lifestyle. I know many D/s couples who have rather vanilla sex lives, and I know many people who engage in S&M play who rarely display any sort of D/s behaviour outside of the playroom.

This is also something I will explore in the future.

BTW - the study I referred to concluded that power seemed to play a role for only a single partner in vanilla relationships (male - give me sex, female - you can't have sex), but in a D/s environment both partners felt they had power. Interesting, neh?

Be seeing you,

Monday, February 4, 2008

Starting off

Greetings all,

It is interesting how things work out. Sometimes, when you are not quite sure what you should do, something will happen to give you direction.

I had been struggling on how best to start this blog then about two days ago I received a short email from a young man in his early twenties who was seeking some advice. He had read some of my fiction, and one of my non-fiction pieces, and wanted to read more. My first reaction was to simply package up all of my essays and send them to him. But, as I gave this some thought I realized that this was not the best of ideas.

The ideas and concepts of D/s relationships are powerful and transformative. I have never met anyone who has not gone through a signficant number of personal life transforming events after being introduced to the topic of domination and submission (D/s).

Here is what I wrote him back in response to his request for my writings:

I shall, but only on one condition. The knowledge I
shall be giving you, is a form of power. With power
comes responsibility. A man with power, who is not
responsible, is a danger to himself and others. To my
way of thinking, at the very core of dominance, is
self control. You are young, and self control is not
considered a normal attribute of the young. Before I
send you my writings, I require that you agree that
you will not act upon it without speaking to me first.

Do you agree? Think carefully. The keeping
of an agreement between men is a very serious thing to
me. I hope it is to you as well.
Today, I realized that not only would this advice be useful to the young man, but to any man who is just beginning to explore his own personal power and dominance. Self-control is at the very root of the responsible dominant. If you are not willing to be responsible, to be held accountable for your actions, to maintain control when provoked, and to not give in to impulsive behavior, then you should not be reading this blog. It is not for you.

OTOH - if you, like me, are able to keep control of yourself and more, you suspect you may be dominant in nature then I welcome you. While we may never be friends, I hope we will come to respect each other, and learn from each other.

And for you submissives out there, and in particular female submissives, do not worry too much. I am sure you will find something here to interest you as well.

First Post

Greetings all,

And welcome to my blog. I suppose some introductions are in order.

My name is Mackenzie Cross, that's not my real name, but it will do for now. I am a Canadian, born in 1952, and live in the province of Quebec. I have a wide variety of interests which include downhill skiing, fine scotch, wood working, emerging technologies, the philosophy of John Ralston Saul, good science fiction, and country life (among other things).

More to the point, I write erotica with a dominant/submissive slant (sometimes known as BDSM), and I am an occasional trainer of female submissives. For awhile, I ran a web site where many of my writings were available, but after trying to reach out for three years I found myself unhappy with the level of exposure I was receiving.

So I am turning my thoughts into a blog to see what happens.

The primary purpose of this blog will be somewhat different than what I tried to do with my web site. My focus here will be on a better understanding of the D/s dynamic, but with special emphasis on the dominant role. In my experience the development of the dominant is much more of a challenge than when training the submissive. It is my hope to be able to offer some guidance to the emerging dominant, and perhaps a couple of tips to those with more experience.

I shall update this blog on a daily basis, so please come back often.

If you have any questions please post them here, or email me at

Be seeing you,


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