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.

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.


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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