Friday, August 21, 2009

I will take a sabbatical

Greetings all,


For a variety of personal reasons I have decided to take a sabbatical, for an indefinite period of time, from my public online activities. This includes my posting to various forums and sites, as well as my own blog. I require some time away from the online world to consider the various options that are in front of me.

I will still reply to all private messages and emails. I will also continue to maintain this blog, for those who may wish to read some of its contents.

I would like to extend my thanks to all of you who have read, and commented, on my posts here. I hope your own journeys find their way to your balance.

Peace.

Be seeing you,

Mackenzie Cross

Monday, August 10, 2009

Greetings,

Here is an excerpt from another email I received.

"..do you wish to address the transitions that take place in D/s relationships as we age?.."

I must admit that this a topic that has been on my mind in the last little while. Although I still can't say I have any definite opinions, certain things seem obvious to me.

Physicality - despite our best attempts, it is the nature of our bodies to age. As they age, they change, and not always for the better. This may be a challenge for a female submissive in the sense that they may define part of the desirability because of the way they look. This lower self-image might manifest itself in the D/s dynamic. For the male Dominant the issue is less about the way they look, and more about the way they feel. Lower levels of testosterone may mean lower sex drive, and less of a desire to control and dominate.

Capabilities: Things that were once easy when we are young, become a challenge as we age. Kneeling is a good example! But so is driving, making decisions, playing safely, etc. So, rituals and disciplines that were once easy to perform, may become impossible.

Development: As we age, we mature. As we mature, we may look at things differently. Not to mention that, as the saying goes, shit happens. Events change us, we do not remain static. IMO - while one's nature is one's nature, the way we project it, protect it, promote it, may vary over time. This can be a challenge if one partner is going through a transformation, and the other is not. A long term D/s relationship must be able to adapt to these changes.

Spirituality: I would like to believe that long-term D/s relationships continue to grow in the quality of spirit. A special balance is achieved which is seen in the happiness and contentment of the parties involved. It is the nature of D/s to be intimate, More so I think than vanilla marriages. I feel that a D/s couple who have been together for many years share a perfect understanding with each other, and celebrate this in everything they do.

Illness: A terrible word yet a reality that many couples may face. A significant challenge if it is the Submissive who is not well, and cannot serve her Dominant according to her need. I have no simple answer.

Trauma: And by this I do not mean physical, but rather emotional. People make mistakes. Sometimes they are rather large mistakes, and the consequence is that one party hurts the other causing an emotional crisis. This could manifest as a depression, or with drawl, or anger, or whatever. The trauma I speak of is the breaking of trust. I do not know if a D/s relationship can survive this sort of thing. IMO - it would take a great deal of love.

Anyway, that's what came off the top of my head.

Be seeing you,

Dealing with the Busy Dominant

Greetings all,

It has been some time since my last entry. In part I have been occupied by summer in the country and its various projects and pleasures. In part, other things have been on my mind.

Everything has a season, I suppose.

IAE - I have received some questions via email over the last month and I have some free time so here I am.

Here is one of the questions:

A thought that has occurred to me lately is, what does the submissive do when her dominant is too busy and distracted with other (business) matters? I know the short answer is that she waits patiently for the situation to resolve itself. But, what does that waiting look like? How can she best manage that time without becoming sad, needy or difficult for him? Checking in with a submissive regularly, even briefly, if important, I think, as is having some sort of ritual whereby she can still feel some connection. Follow through is also important, I think, but perhaps he is even too busy for that. So, how does she manage this situation, a situation which could last weeks or even months at a time, best?

Someone once said to me - All things good come to those who wait. I sometimes feel that I have spent a good part of my life trying to learn what that expression means.

I would not counsel a submissive to "wait patiently". Rather, I would tell her to spend the time in practical pursuits with the intention of making herself even more pleasing to her Dominant partner.

By not micro-managing her daily routines the Dominant is in effect saying that he trusts her to manage her own time well. She should be grateful for his trust in her, and eager to prove that this trust has not been misplaced. He is also saying that he trusts her to invest her free time in ways that will enhance her desirability and value to him.

By using her time wisely, she will become more pleasing to him. Perhaps he may even find tiny slots of time in his schedule to show his appreciation in the manner in which a Dominant may appreciate a Submissive.

In summary, become his perfection.

Be seeing you,

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A reader's comment: Vesta

Greetings all,

In response to my entry on Honesty and Trust Vesta left the following comment.

Yes, the temptation exists to say 'pleasing' things, or to paint oneself in a brighter light than one knows is the truth. Yet, if the 'complete honesty' rule is applied, the results can be outstanding. Perhaps, the submissive needs to know that her honesty will always be taken into account, even when she is giving bad news. As a dominant, I don't expect you to agree, since honesty is assumed, but I think there has to be some assurance that her honesty will be met with appropriate mercy or at least, taken into account. Otherwise, the only reason for her to be honest is punitive (should he find out the truth...), and thus the positive tone of the relationship may be broken.

I think that Vesta touches down on some very good points here, which highlight some of the differences between dominant-thinking and submissive-thinking. I would like to take a bit more time to explore these points.

I can certainly understand why someone would want to paint themselves in the best possible light, and in particular when it is a submissive trying to do her best for her Dominant. After all, why would anyone want to look bad in such a relationship? And so, it is conceivable that a submissive might wish to embellish the truth at times. I think it is fairly obvious why this is a bad idea. First, a Submissive should be generally docile and humble when interacting with her Dominant, not exaggerate her own sense of worth. Her worth and value is to be judged by the Dominant, not by herself. But there is a flip side here as well. Perhaps the Submissive downplays, or omits, certain things that her Dominant should know. This too removes choices from him.

OTOH - it has been my personal experience that in long-lived D/s relationships there comes a time when the Dominant must trust the Submissive to tell him what he needs to know, which is not always everything. For example, a Submissive might be angry or sad over a decision her Dominant has made, but she also knows that telling him will not change his mind, and may only start a conflict between them. Therefore she says nothing and tries to do her best. He will of course notice the changes in her, but because he trusts her he will not probe deeper. She will speak to him if she must.

Should a Submissive be punished for being honest? Hardly. Yet, it is possible that when a Submissive is honest about an error, that there is a good chance she will be punished. On the surface this seems to set up a problem. Why admit to an error when the consequence is punishment? I would suggest that it is the only choice. Failure to admit to the error, means that there can be no punishment, and without the punishment no opportunity for forgiveness. Without being forgiven the Submissive will be filled with internal torment that will only get worse over time. The key, is to understand that in a D/s relationship punishment isn't a bad thing, rather it is part of the conflict-resolution process, and without it the relationship will probably fail.

The last thing I wish to say is that being honest does not mean telling everything. Rather it means that when one speaks one is as honest as one can be. Certainly a Submissive is entitled to her privacy. I do not require her to reveal everything to me, but what she does reveal must be honest. It is important for new Submissives to understand the difference between being private and being honest.

Do I assume honesty? Not really. Rather, I require it. And since it is a requirement, I check up on a girl from time to time, in particular in the beginning to make sure she is staying honest. This is important since as a rule, if I find a girl has been dishonest that is the end of the relationship. Therefore it makes sense that I try and keep her honest.

BTW - I found Vesta's Blog to be very interesting and I recommend it.

Be seeing you

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fiction - You are (redux)

Greetings all,

So, after two heavier postings I though little fiction might be in order. This is from the "You are" series, from which I posted an entry last year.

Be seeing you,

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You are...
copyright 2008 Mackenzie Cross
All rights reserved

.. lying on a bed, naked, your hands tied behind your back, blindfolded. Your mouth is forced open by a large ring. You have been denied release for a week, but kept in a constant state of arousal. The air is thick with the scent of you. You are needful.

I use the point of a knife on your clit to continue your arousal. It is too much, you can no longer control yourself, and you release in a series of powerful contractions.

"I think you are ready", you hear me say.

I take my place in a chair beside the bed. The door to the room opens and the first man enters.

You are then taken repeatedly, by man after man after man. Your are fucked in every position imaginable, your flesh abused by their blows, and your holes filled with their semen. Your body explodes into release after release, and still there are more men to fuck you. Some finish themselves off quickly, others take longer, enjoying the free access to your mouth, cunt, and ass. Some bend your legs cruelly, splitting you open, while others put you to your belly and close your legs so your cunt will be tighter. Occasionally more than one man will take you at a time.

After a a long time you are spent, unable to move, unable to respond. You feel like a piece of raw meat.

I send the men away before I remove the binding ropes, the mouth ring, and finally the blindfold.

There are tears of gratitude in your eyes as you begin to thank me.
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Being a responsible dominant

Greetings all,

I have written in the past about being a responsible sadist. To me is seems obvious that no masochist should wish to engage in a scene with a sadist who does not feel an acute sense of responsibility to his/her partner.

But does the same hold true for Dominants in general? And if so, what constitutes responsible behaviour for a Dominant?

The masochist needs a responsible sadist to remain physically safe. Once they are bound, and alone with the sadist, is not the time to find out that they are with someone who cannot control their urges. S&M explores the edge of safe behaviours, and someone could easily be hurt or damaged when scening with a sadist who has neither the experience, or the sense of responsibility, required to make sure that their partner is properly cared for both during and after the scene.

OTOH - many Dominants are not sadistic in nature, and their submissive partners are not masochists. Does this mean that the need for responsibility is somehow less, since the chance of being physically hurt is much less?

I would suggest it is just the opposite. If anything a Dominant needs to be even more careful and responsible in their actions, since the possibility for mental and emotional damage is so very high in a D/s relationship. Of course, I am mostly concerned with lifestyle D/s relationships but I would suggest that this need for responsibility is evident even in the more casual or infrequent interactions which seem to be often found in the D/s community.

In fact, I believe that the need for responsible behaviour is so critical that I included it as one of the three pillars for dominant behaviour. In the same way I require a Submissive to be honest, trusting, and obedient, I feel that a Dominant must be honest, trusting, and responsible.

But responsible for what? Good question.

Firstly, I believe that the responsible dominant must be actively involved in the enhancement or development of the Submissive. This development can have many facets, sexual, service, presentation, etc, and might even extend into non-traditional areas such as career, finance, social relationships, etc. It is the Dominant's responsibility to not only mold the Submissive to be pleasing to him/her, but also to recognize that they must be developed as full individual. Why? Simply put because it is only as the Submissive becomes well balanced and well developed that they can really excel at reaching the state of perfection their Dominant wishes of them. True pleasure (at least for this Dominant) comes from seeing the radiant glory and power of a fully realized and developed Submissive.

I also believe that the responsible dominant has a duty to resolve problems which the submissive brings into the relationship. Sadly, I have encountered way too many girls who have been abused, taken advantage of, corrupted, or reduced by a previous D/s relationhsip, their childhood, or even their life in the vanilla world. It is important for the Dominant to keep in mind that until these issues are addressed, that it will be challenging to begin the real development of the Submissive.

This matter is further complicated by the fact that many Submissives (and in particular femsubs) many not wish to reveal the details of their past, for fear it will cause their current Dominant to reject them. "If he only knew what really happened, then how could he want to be with me?" or "He must never know that I am not really good enough for him." are the typical sort of things I hear quite often. IOW - many Submissives do not wish to reveal their issues, so how can the Dominant begin to deal with them?

The need for being a responsible Dominant is clear: The Submissive gives up full control to the Dominant assuming they will be well cared for but also with the knowledge that they could be deeply hurt in many ways. The responsible Dominant is aware of forces and powers at play and behaves in a respectful manner when planning how to develop his/her Submissive. To do less, is to compromise the integrity of the relationship.

Be seeing you,

Honesty and trust

Greetings all,

Here is an essay I wrote for my web site. I have been thinking a great deal about honesty lately and will probably have more to say on the subject soon, but this is a good place to begin.

Be seeing you,

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Bedrocks of a D/s relationship

Although many relationships have elements of power transfer in them, we will confine ourselves to discussing extreme power transfers between adults engaged in a D/s lifestyle. In these relationships there are two rules that must always and absolutely be followed by both parties.


Honesty and Trust

On the surface, the role of honesty in a D/s relationship does not appear that important. In fact, at first glance it may seem counter productive. After all, for many BDSM players, a scene is a suspension of belief, an entry into a world of fantasy. One need only walk into any play club and observe the behaviours of the participants to understand this fantasy. Pony boys and girls, naughty maids, daddies and little girls, etc. The list goes on and on. This is a fantasy world where the players escape from the world of the real.

Or consider the various playrooms and chat facilities available on the Internet. Here, beyond escaping into a world of fantasy, the players can actually take on entire new roles and personas that have nothing to do with who they are. Look at the names they call each other “Master Sir Big Dickman”, and “kitten useme”. Observe some of the conversations. There is no honesty, only subterfuge and hiding behind an anonymous fictional fa├žade.

There is nothing inherently wrong with these fictions. In fact, there is much that is beneficial and therapeutic. They allow the participants to engage in a series of behaviours that would not normally be available to them in their day-to-day life. Further, they satisfy an inner longing that cannot easily be expressed in any other manner. For many players, the persona they adopt during these scenes is often more “real” than their ordinary life. However, honesty is not a requirement to engage in scene play.

The same logic can be applied to the question of trust. At play parties, there is little requirement for trust between the participants. Every party, every club, has detailed rules and protocols of behaviour. In fact, any party will always have monitors whose job it is to ensure no one steps out of line. Go to any website dedicated to BDSM and you are sure to see the phrase “safe, sane, and consensual”. These are excellent words, and the community has gone to great lengths to detail how they should be implemented. For example, consider the role of “safe words”. A safe word allows the bottom to tell the top when he is going too far. While some small element of trust is required to know he will stop, the inherent safeguards of rules, protocols and monitors stand in place of the deep pervasive trust we will promote.

So why the need for honesty? Why the need for trust?

Because we are discussing the way people live together, a lifestyle, not fantasy scene play. A D/s lifestyle relationship exists where two individuals, a dominant and a submissive wish to incorporate their nature into their daily lives. This does not necessarily imply marriage, or even a loving relationship. For example, the need for honesty and trust will be just as necessary between trainer and client as it is between a married couple. The participants are two sides of a symbiotic entity. In order for this entity to exist at any level above fantasy, honesty and trust are absolutely required, but the reasons for this will be different for both parties.

It’s commonly expected for the submissive to be honest in everything from simple everyday recounting of events, to the deep honesty of the soul. She must respond honestly and completely to any question. She must react honestly to any stimulus or situation. She must be able to look clearly at all aspects of herself and her life and offer them to her Dom.

This may sound easy enough but don’t be fooled. For the submissive, the urge to please is so great she may be sorely tempted to react in ways she thinks will please her Dom. She may think to keep some minor detail from him so as not to bother him with it, or to respond with stock words or phrases in order to fulfill perceived requirements, or to pretend to feel something she does not simply because she thinks it is what will please him. However, when the submissives motivations are more closely examined, she will find she is really being dishonest from fear of displeasing her Dom. In this she is cheating herself. She is trying to maintain control and power in herself, trying to ‘top from the bottom’. This is not the path to true submission, but simply to kinky play.

Such dishonesty cannot be allowed. A submissive needs to develop the inner strength to be able to offer complete and perfect honesty without fear, or more often, in spite of her fear. Of course, it takes time and work to develop the confidence and trust in order for honesty of this magnitude to manifest. It is a daily challenge and a daily commitment, but the rewards are worth it.

It is also imperative for the dominant to be completely honest with his submissive. As it is the dominant that has the control, so it’s up to the dominant to be the first to demonstrate honesty. He must be the role model to the submissive, exhibiting honesty at every turn. With his honesty, the responsible dominant will set up the groundwork that will allow his submissive to trust him. It also shows that he values and respects her and her gift of submission.

Trust is also an absolute requirement. The submissive must trust her dominant to do what is best for her, even if she doesn’t agree. She must be able to look beyond herself and accept that her dominant is in control. He is her source. All pleasure, pain, comfort and forgiveness come from him. She trusts his ability to control himself and her. She trusts him.

Again it must be the dominant to exhibit trust first. If he cannot trust his submissive then they have no basis for a relationship.

Of course, because these two virtues are so absolute and so required, both parties must be very careful in choosing a suitable partner. Many submissives feel that they have no rights, and that they must submit to anyone calling themselves dominant. This is a path to disaster. The submissive must be very careful to choose a dominant who exhibits great integrity, honour and self-control and she must also know she can leave if she is betrayed.

It is through this mutual commitment to honesty and trust that abuse can be avoided.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Somewhat off topic: Being in the moment

Greetings all,

Via a private email a woman asking me the following questions with respect to my belief system:

How does your tradition account for that presence of being, that godliness we each experience? How does it teach you to live in the present moment without judgment? I would be most interested to learn, if you can think of it in those terms at all or translate them.

This is a rather challenging topic for me. I will try to answer it along the dimension of D/s since if I was to try and consider it totally I would find myself writing way too much.

When I am working a girl, or training, or mentoring, I feel it is critical to be in the moment. One does not wish to be distracted by thoughts of what has been, or what may be. For myself, if I am to read a girl's responses well, then I must focus my attention on her. Interestingly, I often find that my focus is so directed that I am not even paying attention to my own responses.

How is this done?

Those who know me are aware that I am not a very religious person, in the sense of following many of the rituals and disciplines of my faith (Jewish). OTOH - there is no question that I was raised in a Jewish culture and that certainly has had an impact on how I see things. Too, I have read a bit about Zen Buddism down through the years and find much there that appeals to me. Happily, it has not been difficult to reconcile these two views of morality, ethics, and beliefs. I believe that this is because both have an almost common viewpoint on man's relationship with man. I have taken this adapted it and made it my own. To me, what this means is to always try and be compassionate and responsible when dealing with others. No where is this more true than in a D/s relationship, or even in a S&M session with a girl.

Strange words perhaps, but they make sense to me. The female puts her trust in me to handle her (and perhaps enhance her) safely and well. This can only be done if I am tuned in to her feelings, her reactions, and her state of mind. And, for this to be done I must be in the moment.

So I put all other thoughts to the side, and stay focused on what I am doing. I do not find this too difficult since there is so much to appreciate when I am working a girl. Her body language, breathing, sounds, movements, etc, all combine to tell me exactly what is going on. Of course, sometimes I get it wrong, and that is a bad thing, but happily it does not happen too often.

My faith teaches and trains me to be aware of the other, to extend my empathy to how they are feeling. I can only do this if I am fully in the moment. Being in the moment is easier if I keep in mind what I am doing, and why I am doing it.

While it is true that we must live with ourselves, we must also live with others. How we shape our interactions with others is goverened, in part, by what we believe in. My belief is that those who I become close to (for whatever reason) have a great deal to teach me, if only I can pay attention.

So I pay attention.

Hmmm... I am not sure if I have answered the question though. I may have to re-visit this again later.

Be seeing you,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I get a negative comment

Greetings all,

I have always believed that one must pay as close attention to one's negative feedback, as one does to the positive.

The other day I received the following comments by an anonymous poster in reply to my entry on Cyberpaths, Narcissists, etc:

you are such an incredibly egotististical blowhard - if you really were so noble, you wouldn't even bother with this nonsense. but you issue your pronouncements to a small coterie of folks who follow you blindly and lap up the drivel you post like it was gospel. your ideas are a mishmosh of Gor, conventional D/s ideology and nonsense. you present yourself as an authority when you are no such thing - a 'published' author? give me a break!

and oh yes there ARE predators out there - such as you!

and no i will not give you my name since you obviously feel free to lambast anyone publicly and are not to be trusted.


Now some might be tempted to ignore such a comment. Others might be tempted to remove the post from their blog. Still others might waste a great deal of time and effort trying to figure out who the poster was. But these all seem like losing approaches. The best way to deal with such things, at least imo, is head on.

So, here is my reply:

Greetings Anonymous,

> you are such an incredibly egotististical blowhard

That I have a substantial ego goes without say, although I think the same might be said about every highly dominant person I know. It comes with the territory as far as I know. As to being a "blowhard" I think you are over-reaching. I do not post here often enough to qualify in that catagory. However, with respect to this particular issue, I certainly felt I had something that required saying.

Simply put, when I am attacked, I tend to fight back. And I was attacked.

> if you really were so noble, you wouldn't even bother with this nonsense.

Nobility has nothing to do with it. My name was being smeared, and I took umbrage with the remarks of others. In point of fact, I didn't bother with any of this nonsense until it came to my attention that someone else was rather "bothered" about me.

> but you issue your pronouncements to a small coterie of folks who follow you blindly and lap up the drivel you post like it was gospel.<

It is true that readership of my blog is on the small size. That is because I do nothing to promote it. It is here for those who wish to read it, and it can be easily left if anyone does not care for what I write. There are those who agree with me, and those who do not. And there are a few who may start thinking and trying to make up there mind one way or the other.

Of course, every now and then someone like yourself comes along, who leaves a negative comment, but really doesn't say why. There is nothing of substance in your comment. You do not point out a single sentence of mine which you feel qualifies as "drivel". Rather, you make a broad blanket statement. This strikes me as rather immature. If I have said something with which you take exception then point it out and let us debate. Otherwise, if the best you can do is lob these little verbal bomb shells with the hope of hitting something, well, it is really not the way grownups debate.

> your ideas are a mishmosh of Gor, conventional D/s ideology and nonsense. you present yourself as an authority when you are no such thing - a 'published' author? give me a break!<

Of course my ideas are a sythesis of all that I have read and know. Isn't that true for any thinking creature? Are we to blindly follow the ideology of a single way of thinking, or should we not be open to many points of view.

I have never said I was an authority. I am quite clear about that. My comments and viewed are based on my experiences and my thoughts.

As to being published, I am. You may have to search for me a bit, but I am there. Check for the books "He's on Top", "Enhanced" and "Garden of the Peverse".

> and oh yes there ARE predators out there - such as you

Really? How so? A rather serious allegation I should think. If I am a predator I certainly seem to be going about it in a rather strange way, don't you think? Do you have anyone particular in mind who I have been preying on? You know, I really don't mind people disagreeing with what I have to say, but leveling accusations like this is a rather serious matter, don't you think? Do you have any proof, any evidence?

How safe and secure you must feel within your cloak of annonymity. How curious that you choose to hide in secret and level accusations. I should mention, that by doing so you are not exactly making yourself so more credible.

> and no i will not give you my name since you obviously feel free to lambast anyone publicly and are not to be trusted.<

This is always your choice, however I take exception to being called untrustworthy. What is interesting is how you feel comfortable, coming to my blog, accusing me of being a predator, and untrustworthy (though I suppose that one might come with the other), yet you refuse to be held accountable for your own comments. Hardly what I would call proper behaviour.

I mean, really, are you not slightly ashamed to leave such a comment? Is this really the best you can come up with? Are you so insecure that you cannot even debate in cyberspace? Are you so lacking in self-esteem that you feel you couldn't stand up to mean old Mr. Cross in a debate? Your behavior reminds me of a child, who when unable to get their way, has a tantrum and calls people bad names. Is this really the impression you are trying to give? If you are, then it is working.

Be seeing you,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Submission: Liberation or Validation?

Greetings all,

I have been spending a fair amount of time on FetLife recently. As I read the various posts I often take a look at the poster's profile page to try and get a better understanding of who they are, where they are coming from, and why they are motivated to ask questions and/or offer opinions. After awhile, one cannot help but start classifying these posters into various categories.

One such group I have labeled as "highlanders". In brief, they are normall female and their objective is either to find their "One", or if they have already found their "One" to make it perfectly clear to everyone else that they could only ever submit to, and serve, their current master/daddy/owner/etc. Many statements of love and loyalty are made.

I do not wish to denigrate such people, but it has lead me to ask myself a question. For those female who declare themselves as single and submissive, and searching for their "One", are they seeking the liberation of bondage that comes from satisfying their nature, or are they simply looking for someone to validate their value as a human being? After all, a case could be made that if a man takes a female as his girl/pet/slave/etc then she must be of some worth. In this sense, being made a slave is a validation. Too, are they seeing the Master/slave relationship as another way of saying Husband/wife?

Therefore, could it be that there are certain woman who under the guise of declaring themselves ready to the the perfect slave for a man, are secretly seeking a way to handle their own issues on self-esteem, self-worth, self-image, etc. This does not seem to far a stretch, since I suspect this happens all the time in the vanilla world. Only there, instead of submission, the talk is of love and marriage. IOW - if a man tells a woman that he loves her and wishes to marry her then does that not validate the female's worth?

Long time readers of my blog will probably be able to guess at my own opinion on this matter, but that is not really the issue. My concern is that too many women may be turning to a BDSM-themed lifestyle (and in particular D/s) not as a means to satisfy their nature, but rather because they are dependent on the approval of another to make them whole.

If, as I have always contended, submission is part of someone's nature, and one accepts that nature, then no validation is required. Further, satisfaction does not require a "One", since service to anyone can be a satisfaction. For example, I have seen sandra serve other men, and woman. She does it not because she needs their approval, but rather because this is simply who she is. It feels good and right to her when she is in service. The service need not be sexual. It can be anything from serving a drink, to performing an errand for another, to simply seeing something that needs doing for another and doing it. Too, sandra is not alone in this. Every girl I have mentored or trained (well almost every girl), has felt the same way. Another wonderful girl I know has a tag line of "Joy through service". I could not say it better myself. Here is a girl who knows and accepts her nature, and seeks nothing more than an opportunity to satisfy it.

The liberation of the ropes which I have spoken of frequently is what the submissive seeks. A chance to be themselves. A opportunity to behave in a manner that is consistent with their inner nature, rather than having to be constrained by the dictates of society. This is a liberation that I have promoted down through the years. However, seeking submission/slavery as a way to prove one's value is doomed to failure. Submission does not live in a relationship, it does not depend on the approval of another, no satisfaction is possible besides perhaps a sense of victory at finding the "One".

I should also note that there are many well experienced submissives who are in fact searching for their One, but I view this as another case. The experienced submissive knows her nature, knows what she is seeking, knows what will satisfy. She is not seeking her one for validation, but rather because she knows that she has reached a stage in her life when she is mature enough, and experienced enough, to understand the ramifications of a full time D/s relationship. She seeks her One not for validation, but for the purpose of ultimate surrender which leads to ultimate liberation.

Be seeing you,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Back to basics: Power transfers

Greetings all,

I was reviewing some of my older material and came across this gem from the early days of my web site. I wrote it with the help and contributions of my webslut, amber. As I read through it, I realized that it was still as meaningful today as when we first put it together. I have made some small edits, but it is pretty much the same document.

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The Dominant-submissive relationship is based on power transfer. The dominant wields the power, and the submissive willingly submits to his control. She surrenders her power to him and is, in turn, fulfilled.

Perhaps the question we are asked most often is “why”? What makes people want to do this? The short answer is - it’s in our nature. The dominant is naturally strong and feels the need to express his power and control. The submissive is called to this power and naturally bows to serve it.

It is perhaps easier to understand why someone would want to dominate than to submit. After all, it’s power. Why wouldn’t someone want to control another? Wouldn’t it be an incredible rush to have a willing individual kneeling in adoration at your feet? Perhaps. But remember, control without power is pathetic posturing, and power without responsibility is at best bullying, and at worst criminal.

Control is essential to domination, but what comes first is control of the self. The hallmark of the responsible dominant is a high degree of self-control. This should be considered a prerequisite to entering a D/s lifestyle relationship. Without it, there is a substantial risk that the dominant might harm the submissive, with physically, emotionally, or both. She will trust him with her well-being, even her life. Even if she is unsure, he must be confident of his ability to control his power. Only once he can control himself should he consider extending his control (i.e. power) to another.

There are six basic ways this can be done:

1) Reward - do this for me and I will give you something you want.
2) Punishment - do this for me or I will give you something you don't want.
3) Formal/authority - do this for me because I am more important than you are.
4) Expert/knowledge - do this for me because I know more than you do.
5) Informational - do this for me and I will tell you something you really need to know.
6) Charismatic/referent - do this for me because I’m one hell of a nice guy.

Each of these power approaches has value. The first three are often referred to as KITA powers. They are predicated on the idea that people are basically lazy, and if left to their own devices, they will seek out ways to avoid work. Therefore, if you want someone to do something, you have to give them a Kick In The Ass. While this approach does work, the effects are transitory. Once you stop the kicking, the behaviour tends to stop as well. Of course, the role of punishment and reward are critical parts of the D/s relationship. (See also, On the Nature of Punishment.)

The bottom three approaches (expert, informational and charismatic) are often referred to as Theory Y powers. (Douglas McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise, 1960) They are based on the idea that people can be self-motivating if they see an opportunity to gain a sense of achievement. The Theory Y powers have an added benefit in that once they are acquired, they cannot be taken away. This is another incentive.

While a dominant may use all of these power forms to manage the submissive, the Theory Y powers should be utilized whenever possible. A submissive who is managed using only KITA approaches will never really be able to develop to her full potential. The responsible dominant looks for ways to help the submissive improve her expertise (in service, in trade or craft, etc.), and also her charisma (presentation of self, comportment, self-esteem, etc.). As she sees an opportunity to improve, she will be motivated to better service.

In other words, the use of power is not simply a control mechanism within the D/s relationship. It is an integral component to the bonding that must naturally occur between the dominant and submissive.

With power comes responsibility. This is crucial. This is one of the primary ways we can differentiate the dominant from the bully. When a dominant takes control of another person, he assumes responsibility for her well-being, health, safety and development, even if only for the moment. Further, it must be recognized that simply having power does not qualify one as being prepared for the management of a submissive. Not everyone desires or is suited to this responsibility. However, once experienced, it is a rare dominant who does not find the idea to be attractive.

Understanding the motivation to dominate appears straightforward, but what of the motivation to submit? Why would someone want to give herself over to another? It is one thing to submit on a temporary basis as play in the bedroom, but what sort of individual would give away her power to another consistently, on a daily basis, in every thought, word and deed?

As the dominant is called to express power, the submissive is called to serve power. She finds her satisfaction in supporting and serving someone or something she deems worthy. This can be manifested in various ways. Some will devote their lives to religious endeavours, others may choose helping and supportive professions, still others prefer to simply marry and raise a family.

As the dominant is gratified by extending his control, the submissive yearns to give up her control. Even if she is extremely competent and able to make decisions for herself without problem, she may feel profoundly uncomfortable making them for other people. She will thrive under strict rules and disciplines.

This is such a natural and automatic response in a submissive, that she often does not even recognize this as her nature. Power simply attracts her and she finds it almost impossible to refuse requests from authority figures in her life. She will find herself falling in love with strong people, and when she does, she gives everything.

As with dominants, the submissive must be a powerful person in her own right. This is often expressed in the use of both expert and charismatic power. A fully realized submissive is a force of nature. Confident in her sensuality, secure in her abilities and her worth, she can be seen as intimidating by many. Why? Simply because she has learned to use her mind and body to express herself fully and completely. She is not embarrassed or shy. Rather, she is filled with self-esteem, and this translates into power.

Very often you will hear a submissive say she will only yield to a man strong enough to provoke her submissive response. This does not necessarily mean physical strength (although new submissives tend to seek this out). Instead, she requires a male whom she cannot control through her charisma or expertise. In other words, a dominant in control of himself.

Drawn to such strength, the submissive instinctively finds herself submitting her own power to him and opening herself to his control. In doing so, she learns to see herself honestly and is able to face her fears, which then allows her to become even more open and available to him in body, mind and spirit at all times. This exchange gives her the strength to be able to live in perfect trust and develop the patience and discipline required to serve without laziness or complaint, putting her own desires and priorities after his. The sense of completion and joy the submissive receives from serving a dominant fills her with energy and provides needed balance.

How does the submissive serve? In whatever way her dominant requires. She could be required to be the perfect hostess, or an accomplished domestic manager and housekeeper. Her mind and intellectual skills could be used to help him think through problems or implement solutions. She will always be the best she can be and accept correction when she fails to please completely. She is the geisha, the courtesan, the duchess in the drawing room and the whore in the bedroom. She serves.

This does sound an awful lot like traditional marriage, doesn’t it?

The feminist movement accomplished much to ensure that women in our society have the freedom to choose the kind of life they want. Girls are no longer married off as economic chattel against their will. Both men and women now have the freedom to express themselves in their lives as they see fit.

Mostly.

Sadly, it is the some of these feminists (mostly of the more radical kind, but whose stance is often adopted by the more moderate) who have the most difficult time understanding the concept of consensual submission. Since they refuse to allow others to dominate them, they have difficulty accepting that someone else might desire it. Unfortunately, their fanaticism ends up restricting the range of choices for women instead of expanding them. It’s very difficult for a naturally submissive woman growing up in today’s society to accept her desire to serve and surrender as a legitimate choice for a strong and competent woman. And it’s almost impossible to admit it to friends and family.

We have also heard the accusation that a D/s relationship somehow denigrates the status of women. Some feel a submissive woman is treated poorly and viewed as inferior by her dominant. This is simply not true. The roles of dominant and submissive do not map into superior/inferior. True D/s is a symbiotic relationship. Both the dominant and the submissive will be who they are no matter what the circumstances, but they cannot fully express their nature unless they are in a relationship with a resonating partner. The submissive is highly valued, perhaps even treasured, but firmly controlled, and she feels great comfort, joy and security in this.

Of course, submission is not for everyone. Even people who think submission is their ticket to hot sex, or who role-play at fantasies of master and slave, may not be suited to a continuous commitment to this lifestyle. This playtime submission can be fun and delightful, but when it comes to truly submitting to the desires and priorities of another, or accepting humiliating and fearful punishment, it’s not fun anymore.

Day to day submission can be boring, difficult, painful and scary. It’s hard work, always being mindful of the priorities of the dominant, always trying to anticipate his needs, being there for his comfort without intruding into his peace, but it is also immensely satisfying. The submissive will feel an amazing rush of warmth and pride when she has pleased him. She will live for his touch and his attention. When he focuses his power on her, she will open and serve. They live in balance.

So, then, why do we do it? Because it is in our nature, and we don’t want to live any other way.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Labels: Slave/slut/pet/submissive/bottom

Greetings all,

I was asked a question concerning different labels that are used in the BDSM community. Everyone seems to have their own take on what they mean. To make things easier for those of you who read my blog, here are the ones I use:

Submissive:
Defines one’s nature. A submissive is someone whose natural inclination is to obey and serve. Some submissives feel this inclination more intensely than others.

Bottom: Used to define a particular role of a player in a scene. The Bottom is on the receiving end of things. While this may involve the physical, it can also refer to being obedient for the duration of the scene. It is a temporary role and ends when the scene is done.

Pet: A status of an individual. To be a pet means that one has an owner and one is treated, handled, cared for in the form and manner that one might use to look after any animal.

Slave:
A status of an individual. To be a slave is to be owned. Since this legally can not be done it becomes a consensual agreement on the part of the slave. That being said, it is the duty of the slave to obey at all times. Slavery should be considered a permanent state of affairs. Much like marriage. And, much like marriage, its permanence is often an illusion.

Slut: A catch all phrase to define a particular craving or need on the part of an individual. May also be used as a piece of flattery. Is normally prefaced by the particular attribute being referenced (i.e. pain-slut, humiliation slut, etc, except in the case of sex. The word “slut” on its own implies sex slut).

Be seeing you,

Love and Dominance

Greetings all,

Here is something I posted recently on FetLife in response to a question concerning any issues of being a Dominant in a romantic love relationship with their submissive. It is another variant of what I have written about earlier on this topic.

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Greetings,

I shall take a somewhat contrary position.

It is my belief that the integration of romantic love into the D/s lifestyle relationship is challenging and fraught with dangers. I say D/s lifestyle in particular because I do not think there is the same problems for those who only play or scene, for those who do S&M, or for those who explore B&D.

But for the D/s lifestyler, and the Dominant in particular, the situation is more difficult. I have noted with interest that many of the females who have responded in this thread have spoken of the love for their Master, even how they could not be his slave if they did not love him. While there are certain aspects of this that I would refute (if I had the time or inclination) in general I think this is all to the good for them, but actually makes the situation even more complex for the Dominant.

Let us consider a maledom/femsub pairing where the couple is also deeply in love, perhaps even married. The girl makes an error which requires punishment. In order for the punishment to be effective it must be harsh, but the man loves this woman. How can he hurt that which he loves? For the Dominant with no romantic ties this is not a problem, but between lovers there will be many potential conflicts of interest.

Now let us take a more challenging example. Same couple, but with a different problem. A new female has got the attention of our man. She has been provoked by his power and caught up in the heat of virginal sub-fever. It is the natural inclination of the Dominant to respond to this sort of thing. He would find great pleasure in handling, developing, enhancing this new girl. But too, he may have made vows and oaths to his wife (and submissive). Or, even if he has not, he knows/suspects that doing such a thing will wound his lover. How does he resolve this ethical issue? Again, for the Dominant who is not in love there is no issue. In all probability he has told his submissive well in advance what his intentions are concerning other girls. But for the husband/lover/friend/dominant/Master the answers are much less clear.

All is not lost though. There are many many cases of success in combing love and D/s. In my own experience the key is courageous honesty, unfailing trust, personal integrity, and the ability to balance between maintaining the framework of control for the submissive, and focusing on the happiness of his lover which now has become essential to his own sense of well being.

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Be seeing you,

Monday, May 18, 2009

Narcissistic Humour

Greetings all,

What with all the heavy talk of rage, I thought something a bit lighter was in order. The following is an ancient bit of humour that I first received around 1992. It is university admission letter attributed to one Hugh Gallagher from 1990.

According to the legend, he did get accepted. Perhaps being a narcissist does have its pros as well as it cons?

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This is an actual essay written by a college applicant to NYU in response to this question:

3A. IN ORDER FOR THE ADMISSIONS STAFF OF OUR COLLEGE TO GET TO KNOW YOU, THE APPLICANT, BETTER, WE ASK THAT YOU ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: ARE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE HAD, OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU HAVE REALIZED, THAT HAVE HELPED TO DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON?

I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently.

Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row. I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400.

My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me. I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations with the CIA.

I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid.

On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin.

I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

But I have not yet gone to college.

(The author was accepted and is now attending NYU.)
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Of Cyberpaths, Pathological Narcissists, Narcissistic Rage, and Jane

Greetings all,

This was going to be a long post concerning the events that have transpired since I posted my note on Jane. Happily, events have developed that will allow me to make it somewhat shorter although still longer than I would have wished.

So, first a brief history of what has been going on (for those who are interested) since my last posting. Jane did not allow me to post my comments on her blog. She said if I had anything to say I could say it on my blog. Of course, this makes it rather difficult to have a debate on the subject, but I suspect that debate is not what she wishes. It is so very much easier to convince others of your point when no one is arguing against you, eh? No wonder she moderates her list.

At least two other people have written to me saying that she prevented them from posting as well.

It did not stop both her, and her husband, from posting some additional self-congratulatory comments on how brave Jane was for "coming out". These can be read here.

In addition, Jane wrote me a private email, filled with all sorts of interesting, if somewhat bizarre notions. It was my intent to post it here for public view, and then comment directly, but other events now makes this unnecessary. Why bother defending oneself when one's opponent has provided all the information necessary to make one's case? Besides, if I had to post her long rambling and inconsistent set of comments my response to it would have been equally as long. And two longs don't make a fight. They simply consume valuable time. Still, given all the words she has posted in the last few days it appears that she has a great deal of time (or perhaps nervous energy?) on her hands.

In short order three more entries appeared on Jane's Blog. The first was on the topic of cyberpaths. It appears that (according to Jane) Cyberpaths are Narcissists who are also Predators and who are also very Common. Girls beware, these emotion sucking vampires are out there, waiting for you.

Who knew?

Ironically, someone by the name of Smotp, left a comment after her note reminding everyone that a Cyberpath could be a dominant or a submissive. Good point Smotp. Actually, I don't think those who are dominant or submissive have a stranglehold on bizarre behaviours. At a guess, I would say that anyone who is seriously out of balance probably will find some way to deal with their problems, even if that way is maladaptive. Besides, it is so much easier to blame another for your problem, rather than accepting responsibility for yourself, yes? Blame is such an easy path compared to personal responsibility and accountability.

Her post was rapidly followed by another on the topic of Narcissistic Rage. A quick search of the authoritative DSM-IV lists no such condition. OTOH - Wikipedia does have an article on the topic. However, since Jane gives no references as to the source of all the various symptoms and behaviours associated with this condition I must assume she has some advanced degree in psychology and perhaps has not as yet published her work in any formal journal. I, otoh, lacking any such degrees, was forced to try and actually research the topic. The results of my admittedly cursory research was rather at odds with many of Jane's supposed facts, which read rather more like a laundry list of accusations she would like to level at me, covered in a duvet of seemingly authoritative statements. And fwiw, some of her paragraphs seemed to have been culled from other web pages such as

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Narcissists-Volcanic-Rage&id=1197928

http://www.enotes.com/psychoanalysis-encyclopedia/narcissistic-rage
- It appears that one Heinz Kohut coined the term first around 1972 in his book "The Analysis of the Self"

http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/8097940

But why bother doing research when it is so much fun, and easier, to make it up as you go along?

BTW - if you are going to take the time to read this post of Jane's (it is quite long) my suggestion is that you mentally change every occurrence of the words "he" and "him" to "she" and "her". I find it reads much better, and makes a great deal more sense.

Or in the words of the bard himself: "I think the lady doth protest too much"

Jane concluded this week's missives with a curious and vague piece on the topic of "Psychos on the Internet". It appears that someone (a woman of all things) who knew Jane for less that a week got into her head to cause Jane all sorts of mental pain and anguish by revealing all sorts of personal facts from emails she has been sending around. Something about jealousy, perjury, the fabrication of false documentation, etc. Why anyone would wish to do this is never quite explained, only that this evil individual really seemed to have it in for Jane. For myself, I use Occam's Razor which tells us that given a set of possible reasons to explain a mystery, that the simplest is probably the right one. So, what do you think is simpler, that someone who has known Jane for less than a week set out on a campaign of strange vengeance or that perhaps Jane is seeking to cover what actually occurred?

Hmmm... I hope no one ever targets me for a campaign of slander, libel, lies and deceit. OTOH... maybe someone has?

Frankly, I don't think I could have made my case any better than Jane has in her notes. Why anyone would devote this much time, effort, and words to something that she supposedly had put behind her is a true paradox. Or, in the words of my wife, after having read these recent posts: "she is one weird girl".

I'm going to go out here on the limb of an assumption and take a wild guess that all of her recent posting have been aimed at me. A series of attempts to denigrate my character by layering all sorts of nefarious disorders as a foundation to my seemingly calm and balanced exterior. A complex ranting of innuendos and ulterior motivations which seek to explain how I am the root cause for so many of her current problems, plus painting me as a rather insecure, angry, unbalanced and perhaps even dangerous... Pathological Narcissist.

Not bad for a fellow who, back in her April post, was nothing more than a silly little man with an inflated ego, and some petty anger. In less than 30 days I have been elevated to a serious heavyweight in the world of personality disorders. Stay tuned, who knows what I will achieve by next month!

In the meantime, I really don't have much more to say on the topic except the following conclusions:

- I was the one who introduced Jane to both John Ralston Saul, and the writings of John Norman (i.e. Gor).

- I have had over 1000 email exchanges with Jane since our beginning. If I am such a bad fellow why did she keep writing me?

- I don't know who Phil is (a common poster on Jane's blog who is often quoted) but, like Jane, he has some rather curious ideas and concepts when it comes to D/s. I would be interested to meet him in debate one day.

- While it is certainly someone's right to choose who they will, or will not, allow to post comments on their blog, it is wrong to open a contentious topic and then selectively choose only those who support your position. This is self-serving.

- If you are going to create a tale, at least get your facts to add up to a cohesive picture. According to Jane's own blog entries she described her time with me as follows:

06SEP: "I want to say here that he isn’t a monster, and I am no victim. It just was a situation that went wanting at a particular time, and I didn’t have the ability then to sumup and end it gracefully."
- NB: A reference to her mentoring time with me.

29 JAN: "I won’t go into details here, but I just went through a marvelous experience of rope work, shibari."
- The day of her return from Montreal.

30JAN: "Oh course this egotistical, narcissistic binder wants to take all the credit for this questionable binding, but it’s again…a very many layered issue. He is NOT this all powerful Dominant. He is just a man who has many, many issues of self worth. However, something there did happen. It was many layered."
- Tell me, is it just me, or do you detect a subtle fluctuation in mood here?

02FEB: "I hold in my heart the results. Regardless all the other things swirling around this experience, the questions, the naysayers, the doubters and those that are queered by the totality of it…. I have gratitude for it happening at all."
- This comment about her binding experience with me.


So, according to her, I started out as a "not monster" and have ended up as a Pathological Narcissist, prone to vague Narcissistic Rages, which I implement as a Predatory Cyberpath, because of my need to hide all of my self-esteem and self-worth issues. And somehow I managed to do all of this in about 6 months. Strangely, I can't seem to find my name mentioned too often on her blog though supposedly many people knew of our relationship (according to her own words again).

- If one wishes to divorce oneself from a situation, then do so. If one wishes to confront a situation then do so. Either option is valid imo as a path to healing. What makes no sense to me is to harp, dwell, gossip, complain, agonize, and prod at the thing so that it continues to bleed. But most importantly, if you are going to accuse someone of something do it to their face, not behind their back. Gossip is evil.

- If you think someone is evil, then don't ask to visit with them! I mean... really. How does one reconcile words and actions if they are not consistent?

Sadly, I must conclude that my time with Jane has not been a good investment of my efforts.

I wish Phil, and the others, good luck with her. Hopefully their investments will pay better dividends than mine.

Once again, I encourage any questions or comments anyone might have. Hopefully, no more postings on this topic will be required.

Finally, I would like to thank those who have offered their words of support both via private emails, by their comments, and by the efforts they have made to help out. They were much appreciated.

Be seeing you,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I am pushed past my limit and rise to a challenge - Jane (aka teela)

Greetings all,

For about a 2 year period during 2007/2008 I had interactions with a woman known as Jane. For about 6 months during that period I was her formal Mentor. She was not one of my success stories, in fact she is the only woman who I regret to say was one of my failures. These things happen. I have thought the matter was over between us, but clearly it is not.

Back in April she wrote an entry in her blog (where she calls herself Lady Nyo) about a particular experience with me. It can be read here. While she did not mention me by name she speaks of me as a "rope top" with "petty anger" and an "enormous ego". The comments section also made certain references to the experience of being bound by me. Later she wrote a second blog entry which can be read here. It speaks even more about her experience with me, and not in the most positive of terms.


Still I would have left the thing alone, since my name was not directly mentioned. However, since then some additional information about how she speaks of me has come to light and I believe I must say something to protect my reputation. I have posted a copy of the following note on Lady Nyo's blog as a comment. Since I believe there is a chance she may delete it, I am placing a copy here as well.

Be seeing you,

-----
Greetings all,

My name is Mackenzie Cross. I have been motivated to write this note in order to set the record straight on a number of points concerning my relationship with Lady Nyo.

I should begin by saying that I am the fellow who Lady Nyo (whom I once called teela but will now call Jane) is referring to when she speaks of her second binding. The fellow with the "silly ego", with whom she supposedly shared a "nasty dance of anger". The "rope top" who has "well practiced mind control" and who "claimed the power of his dominance as to the ’success’ of this binding". Etc.

When I first read her blog entries last month my initial response was to leave the matter alone, even though it appeared she had changed her mind a great deal concerning me. Only a few months ago she had been filled with gratitude and thanks. Now she seemed to think somewhat less of me. Obviously something had changed in her thinking. This did not surprise me, since I have seen her do it before. Still, I was not overly concerned since my name was not mentioned. Jane is certainly allowed to think about me any way she wishes.

However, since that time, it has come to my attention that Jane has now started mentioning my name directly in some of her correspondences, and further, that she is portraying our history together as being something that it was not, something wrongful and unethical, something that portrays me at being at the best, pathetic, and at the worse, evil.

I am therefore writing to give my accounting of what transpired between us, so that I may clear my name of any smear which it may now carry because of her actions.

One more point before I begin. Jane claims that I have been, or perhaps still am, angry with her. I am not. In fact, up until a few days ago I haven't been feeling much of one thing or another about her for quite some time. The last emotion I felt was sadness since she still had not accepted her nature, and a certain remorse at my own failure to assist her. But that was back in August of last year. I was well content to leave the past in the past, but clearly she is not. I take umbrage with her comments, and take this action as my response.

--

I was first contacted by Jane in January of 2007. She had posted comments about a story of mine and I sent her a private email of thanks. In response she wrote back saying she was very new to the entire subject of Dominant/submissive (D/s) relationships. She asked if I could provide any references for additional reading materials.

Thus began a rather lengthy series of correspondences with Jane on a range of topics centered around my own ideas, philosophies, and ethics about D/s-based relationships. Over the course of our discussions I informed her that besides being a writer, I was also an occasional mentor and trainer of female submissives, as well as couples, who wished to explore this form of interaction model. I also made sure that Jane's husband was fully informed of our interactions, and even provided him with some suggestions.FWIW - I have lived a D/s lifestyle for close to 30 years now, and have had the good fortune to mentor/train more than a few females of quality, and a handful of couples as well.

Jane had a great number of questions. On any given day she could easily send me 4-6 emails. Too, our discussions were not solely focused on D/s topics. We corresponded at length on a wide range of subjects from John Ralston Saul, to the Holocaust, to genres of erotica, and John Norman's books of Gor. She showed great admiration for my perspective on these topics.

In short order, Jane revealed herself as a latent submissive who craved a dominant hand. She asked me to mentor her. I refused. It was not for another 4-6 months, after she had time to learn exactly what would be required from her in a formal relationship, that I would accept her request.

I should also mention that fairly early on in our email correspondences, and certainly before we ever spoke on the phone, Jane was provoked into a well known, and well documented, submissive condition known as sub-fever. This was brought about by her contact with me, and her latent nature. To help ease some of her tensions I provided her with some small trivial disciplines which helped. On more than one occasion she asked for more disciplines which I also refused since I did not wish her bonding more tightly to me.

Sometime early in 2008, I accepted Jane as my mentored girl. She was grateful for my acceptance.

I must now digress for a moment while I explain one or two items. Firstly: I consider mentoring to be a formal relationship, which is created for a specific purpose. It has a beginning and an ending. Any girl who wishes to enter into such a relationship with me is allowed two choices. The first is when she requests to be mentored. The second it when she requests to leave. In between, she acknowledges that all choices will be mine. I may refuse a girl who asks to enter into such a relationship with me, but I am duty bound never to refuse a girl's request to leave.

Also, I have three primary requirements, conditions if you will, on any such relationship. These are honesty, trust, and obedience.

Jane's mentoring was a time consuming challenge for me. She made many errors and mistakes. Each time she begged me to forgive her, showing great remorse, and promising it would not happen again. Each time I did forgive her (after she had been suitably punished). There was a pattern to her behaviour. First she would misbehave, and then she would be ashamed of her behaviour and beg forgiveness. She did not make a great deal of progress, despite my best efforts. Jane showed an ongoing pattern of extreme fluctuations of both mood and behaviour.

In June of 2008 Jane demanded to be released. I gave her 24 hours to think it over. Within 12 she had changed her mind.

In August 2008 I assigned a task to Jane. Her performance did not meet my expectations and I told her so. She became angry with me for not recognizing the amount of time she had devoted to this project. She sent me a note saying goodbye, and another of thanks. At which point I formally released her.

That should have been the end of it. For me, when a girl demands to be released in such a manner I see no point in any further communications.

Jane did contact me again a a few days, and continued to contact me on a variety of topics. By and large we did not discuss her mentoring.

Another brief digression. While Jane and I did not physically meet prior to Jan/2009 we did speak on the phone a number of times. Certainly less than ten times. Each call was on average 30-45 mins long. A fair amount of this talking could be described as phone sex. This too was part of her mentoring. On each occasion she expressed her gratitude. Her husband also expressed his thanks, saying that I had really helped her to blossom into a wonderful sexual creature.

Around Oct/2008 I was contacted by Jane's husband who told me they were intending to be in Montreal in January, and that they wished to invite my wife, sandra, and myself to a gala event they were attending. While I found this a somewhat unusual invitation (given that no relationship existed between Jane and myself any longer) I felt it was good manners to accept. Too, Jane's husband suggested that this might be an opportunity for me to bind Jane. Jane's first experience at bondage had not gone well, and she longed for the freedom of the ropes, and the discovery of another well known, and well documented condition, known as sub-space. On numerous occasions during her mentoring she said that she was waiting for my ropes.

While they were here, the four of us went for dinner, attended the gala, and spent a day and a night at my home in the country. They were excellent and gracious guests. They were also overly generous in the gifts they brought. sandra and I were good hosts. I even considered offering Jane's husband the use of sandra. I mentioned the thought to him, but in the end decided against it. I did not ask for, nor was I offered, the use of Jane. This did not bother me in the least. I had no interest at all in any personal use of Jane. Why would I? She was no longer my mentored girl, and more, she did not exhibit those qualities I find attractive in a female.

In the evening time I asked Jane's husband if he wished to see me binding his wife. He agreed, but Jane wished to see me binding my wife. I agreed to this condition. I first bound sandra in front of both of them, displaying her responses. Then, in front of her husband, I bound Jane. It only took 2-3 coils of rope before Jane could no longer stand on her own. I was not surprised. As she herself admits, she was well prepared for the moment. I ended up laying her at her husband's feet. She stayed like that for quite some time.

The next morning both of them had rather large smiles. Jane wore a string on her wrist and her husband held the other end. They called it her leash.

A number of further emails of thank followed, both from Jane and her husband. In addition, Jane contacted my wife on more than one occasion asking for additional advice on how to behave as a submissive. She replied and received emails of thanks from both Jane and her husband.

Jane's last email to me was in March of this year. I told her I would respond to it when I had the time. I have not yet had the time.

Throughout my time with her Jane displayed, presented, and responded as a submissive female on numerous occasions. Too, she responded to me in a manner and to an intensity that surprised her, even perhaps worried her. OTOH - she certainly tried her best to cover her nature when interacting with others. As part of preparing her for mentoring I gave her a number of references of other girls to contact, girls whom I have mentored, trained, or owned. In each case these girls contacted me saying they found Jane's behaviour and attitude to be contradictory and a poor reflection on how she was being developed. Later, when she was being mentored, this sort of disturbing feedback continued. I was told that she had an attitude that was neither appropriate nor respectful. I was told that she spoke of me, behind my back, in ways that I would not approve. I allowed these things to pass since I felt that she was still developing and learning. I felt that in time, with enough examples, she would come to understand and accept herself. Perhaps someday she will, but she certainly did not with me.

On many occasions Jane would get involved in situations where she was over her head, found herself in a state of emotional turmoil, and required my help to calm down and achieve balance again. Too, she contacted many people in her local BDSM group. From these people she received a great deal of advice that was in direct opposition to my own. I encouraged her to follow these advices as she wished. Each time it ended badly.

Jane is, imo, a classic case of a female who was not ready, or able, to accept her nature. Too, her self-centric view of the world made it almost impossible for her to focus on being pleasing, which is the primary motivation for a submissive. Unable to satisfy this need, she attempted to find other avenues of expression, or to blame others (including myself) for her state of mind. In part, it was something I was prepared for, since all the mentoring I do is intense and deeply personal, and therefore there is always the potential for periods of high emotions.

Jane was (and perhaps still is) a highly emotional female.

As to the binding of Jane, well, it was neither complex, erotic, or lengthy. Firstly, because my sole intent in doing this binding was to show Jane (and her husband) how easily she could placed in sub-space, and secondly because I simply was not that motivated. Certainly she may claim any reason she wishes for why she so quickly dived deep into sub-space. Certainly she may claim that she was trying to run away from me. Yet, even the most cursory review of the facts hardly backs up her claims. She contacted me. Her husband asked me to bind her. She wanted to be bound. She even turned the binding in a ritual of sorts wearing a special robe, charms, etc. I took no advantage of her. I did not touch her in a sexual manner. I was in every respect a gentleman in how I treated her.

I do not mentor and train for compensation. I do it, because it is my nature.

Frankly, I was more than willing to put the entire period behind me, and chalk it up to a misjudgment on my part. However, it has now become clear to me that she is not. She now claims I am some sort of predator or hunter, trying to lure other females to some sort of unclear doom. She does not have the courage to say these words to my face. She does not have the honesty to admit to the true facts of what occurred. She finds it easier to fabricate her own reality to explain her condition, than accept her own nature. She now seeks to use me as the scapegoat for her own tensions, and more, seeks to promote this view with others, who do not know me, as a way to gain sympathy for having been my "victim".

BTW - this is the same woman who dedicated one of the stories in her book to me. This is the same woman who wrote me countless emails of gratitude and thanks. This is the same woman who begged my protection. This is the same woman who credited me with transforming her life into something much more positive. So much so, that she even introduced me to her son, with the hope I might have some positive affect on him as well.

Those who spread gossip and rumours are the evil ones. Those who speak behind the back, sowing seeds of malice and discord are the ones filled with malice. Those who are unwilling to stand in public forum and lay out the facts, so that all may judge them, including the accused, are the ones who are behaving without an ethic.

I invite any of you who wish to come to my blog and read my writings. There you will find all the information you require to learn about my ethics, my character, and my beliefs. For those of you who belong to FetLife, you are most certainly welcome to check out my numerous postings there as well. I have no secrets about who I am, or what I do. I believe that it is only in the glare of the harsh cold light of honesty that meaningful dialog can take place. To my way of thinking, Jane has abrogated her right to such dialog by her actions. This is why I have posted in public.

Assuming this post is not deleted, I will continue to monitor this thread and responded to any and all questions. I have cross posted a copy of this note on my own blog, with a link back here, for those who might prefer to hold the discussion there. My blog can be found at http://mackenziecross.blogspot.com/

Thank you.

Be seeing you,

Mackenzie Cross

P.S. An update: 10AM 13MAY

I have tried twice to leave this comment at Jane's blog. Each time it has been accepted, but not published. I suspect I have been blocked. I have written an email directly to Jane asking her why I cannot post.

I would ask any of you who are interested to leave a brief comment on her blog asking why my comments have been blocked. Thank you.

More news as it happens.

Being pushed past the limit

Greetings all,

Recently I was asked by a submissive how she could test her sexual and masochistic limits. On one hand, she has had many dark thoughts filled with screams and pain. These thoughts excite her very much. OTOH - she is very fearful of going to these places because they scare her.

She wants to test her limits, to be pushed to the very edge, and wondered how this could be done. She wondered if she could do it herself via masturbation, fantasies, or the watching of extreme BDSM movies. Perhaps she could test her limits by reading of the limits of others and see what excites her. However, this confuses her since on one hand she finds it very exciting to read about, but otoh the back of her mind is saying there is no way she would ever do such things.

Hmmm....

To begin, I don't think this is something one can do on their own. Like trying to hold your breath until you die, it simply won't work. Fantasies, masturbation, and the limits of others are all very interesting, and may even inspire us as times, but they hardly test us. Rather, they may point us in directions which should be examined, but they can't tell us how we would react in the real situation. Too, if one is doing these things to themselves, it is hard to really feel pushed. For that, another is required.

I see two possible solutions for finding the "other". First, if one has a dominant partner, they could be the one to do the pushing. Obviously the submissive would have to open up and reveal their desires, so that their partner could craft a proper session to test their limit. This would be the easiest solution. But it might not be the best, or the safest. A second idea is to find someone who is an expert and have them do the pushing. Certain edge play activities, (pins, suspensions, single tails, blades, etc) are best done by someone with experience. This expert would not only help push the submissive to her limit, but could also help train the dominant partner. As such, both would benefit.

There is, imo, only one way to find out one's limits and that is to test oneself. Only by doing this can real experience, and therefore knowledge, be obtained. My suggestion is to select a particular area for investigation (wet play, hard sex, stimulation, etc) and decide how to best explore it. If one has a partner try and use them if possible. Otherwise find someone who knows what they are doing.

Be safe, and have fun.

Be seeing you,

Dealing with limit failures

Greetings all,

I was asked the other day about how a submissive should deal with failure. Upon further questioning it became clear that in this case it was not a failure in performance of task or discipline (which can be easily handled through punishment/forgiveness) but rather a failure in ability, in this case the ability to handle the pain that she was feeling at the hands of her dominant partner.

She had to ask him to stop what he was doing, because she was simply to uncomfortable and in too much pain to continue.

Now to most of us this doesn't appear to be a problem. After all, when a limit is reached it makes sense to stop. But for the deeply submissive female this is not so cut and dry. After all, it is their nature to want to be pleasing. This very much includes being able to offer their dominant all the pleasures he desires. Not being able to do so is therefore seen as a failure. IOW - she feels that she wasn't good enough to satisfy her partner. No amount of punishment will correct this state of mind. Even her partner saying that he didn't mind, will not help re-balance the girl. In her own mind she has decided that she has been a failure. Therefore she is the only one who can forgive herself and move on.

But how can she do this thing?

The first idea that suggests itself is logical rationale thinking. It makes sense that all people have limits. It makes sense that everyone has their own threshold of pain. It makes sense that there are certain things that some people simply cannot do. For example, I know one girl (an extreme masochist) who loves the idea of being sutured, either at the mouth or the cunt. She also has fantasies of nails being used to pin her to a board. Does this mean that other girls should think of themselves as a failure simply because they could not handle such sensations? Hardly. Therefore, one can conclude that one one is not a failure simply because one has reached a limit.

Sadly, I do not think that the logical argument works well. For the female submissive the need to serve runs far below logical thought. Their need to serve often goes beyond the borders of rationale thinking. So, trying to solve thisdilemma via deductive logic probably won't do.

Another option might be via a self-imposed act of contrition. Even though they have not been punished they may choose to make some act of punishment and offer it to their dominant as a way of asking for forgiveness. The problem with this is twofold. First, the dominant partner may not really understand what is going on, since from theirpov nothing is wrong. Secondly, it is not the forgiveness of their partner that they need, but rather they must forgive themselves.

My suggestion is that they make sure this really is a limit, and having discovered that it is, they determine how they are going to deal with it. What I mean is that they test this limit more than once, until they are really sure it is real, and not something brought about by fear or circumstances. After all, the failure may have been caused by the current situation, not anything that is permanent. Perhaps there is a way for them to break through their limit. After all, people do this all the time in many area of training (i.e. the concept of "personal best"). Why not in BDSM play as well?

Still, regardless of how many times they try it may simply not be possible for them to push past the limit. When this happens, the only solution I can see is discussion with one's partner and a determination of what can be done. In some cases, if it is not that big a deal for the dominant partner, perhaps they simply decide not to experiment in that particular area. If the dominant partner really wishes to explore this area, perhaps asurrogate can be found who could be used instead. While not fully open, the BDSM community tends to be a lot more open than the vanilla world when it comes to the sharing of partners. Or perhaps the submissive can find an alternativeactivity that would be just as pleasing to her dominant.

The key, imo, is not to allow the matter to fester inside. It must be brought, examined, and dealt with. Otherwise the submissive will start getting into a head space of constant "not good enough" and be unable to perform well at all.

Dominants should always be on the lookout for signs of this going on. Remember, submissive require maintenance.

Be seeing you,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Domination vs Abuse

Domination vs. abuse

Greetings,

I know I have approached this subject before, but a recent comment from a reader has prompted me to revisit the topic in more depth.

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of a D/s relationship is the subject of punishments. I have written a fair amount on the subject of effective punishments, but I can appreciate that for those who have never really been exposed to the D/s lifestyle, the following question must still present itself; “How can one tell the difference between an effective D/s relationship, and a woman in an abusive relationship?”

Of course, for those who are in effective D/s relationships this question hardly ever comes up. D/s is empowering, energizing, and liberating. It is a completely obvious thing. Abusive relationships, otoh, are the antithesis of D/s. The abused partner finds themselves stripped of self-esteem and sense of self-worth, not to mention feeling trapped and imprisoned against their will.

Yet, from the outside looking in, how can we tell them apart. Consider the following scenario:

A man comes home at the end of the day. He carefully examines the way the house has been cleaned in his absence. He discovers that it has not been done to his liking. He calls his wife (or partner) into the bedroom, puts her across his knees, and gives her a hard and prolonged spanking. Tears begin to flow down her face as her ass cheeks turn rosy. She begins to scream out in pain and promising over and over again never to fail at her task again. Finally he relents and she falls to her knees thanking him.

Question: what sort of relationship is this? Effective D/s, or abusive? Based solely on the observable facts it could be either, yes?

Let us take this one step further. The next day, this woman is having lunch with a girl friend. Over the course of the meal she reveals the incident of the previous day. Her friend is shocked and tells her she should report her husband to the police for wife abuse, assault, battery, etc. She also says that she should leave her husband at once. The spanked woman protests, telling her friend that she really doesn’t understand. She goes on to say that in fact “she deserved it”, since she failed at her task and knew their would be consequences. She also says that fortunately this doesn’t happen to often and that her husband is a good man, but very strict.

Question: Is it any clearer as to what sort of relationship she is in? I would suggest not.

The issue is further muddied by the fact that she is discussing her situation with a vanilla friend who has no background in D/s and is therefore not qualified to make a judgment (though this will not stop her from doing so). True, there are professionals out there (sometimes called “kink-friendly”) who might be better qualified to reach a conclusion, but ever here it might be a difficult call.

My own feelings is that, in the end, it is only the individual herself who can determine if she is being abused or empowered. She must question herself carefully: “What do I get out of the relationship?”, “Why do I stay with him?”, “Do I obey because I am afraid of him losing control of himself?”, “When I perform my disciplines and tasks, do I do so with joy, or with fear?”, “Are we open and honest in our communications with each other?”, “Do I feel he is honest, trusting, and responsible?” “Am I ashamed to tell others about our relationship, or do I wish I could shout about it from the rooftops?”

It is only through self-examination that a conclusion can be reached.

Of course, I suspect there are readers out there who will say that, in certain cases, these women may have been “brainwashed” or “conditioned” to believe they are being empowered, when their reality is one of abuse. It is very challenging to debate the topic with these individuals since they have already passed judgement, and what they are trying to do is convince others of their point of view. I know, I have tried.

Sometimes, I wish there was an easily accessible site created by women, for other women. The site would be a forum for those who have been empowered by the D/s experience, and for those who have questions. Something along the domestic discipline site known as “Taken in Hand” but more focused on the broader D/s relationship issues.

However, not being female, I shall have to leave such a thing to others.

Be seeing you,

Monday, April 13, 2009

Re-extending an invitation

Greetings all,

I have been noticing that, for whatever reason, there appear to be more people reading my blog as of late.

I am always on the lookout for any essays, stories, anecdotes, or anything else anyone would be interested in sharing concerning their own D/s journey.

Contact me via private email (should be easy to find on my blog profile page, if not let me know in a comment here and I will post it) if you have anything you would like to share. Or, if that doesn't work, simply contact me at cross_mackenzie@yahoo.com

Be seeing you,

Mackenzie

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