Monday, May 31, 2010

The other side of jealousy

The Other Side of Jealousy

In my last blog entry, I discussed the topic of jealousy as viewed/experienced by the Dominant. One of the comments I received in response used an example of the submissive experiencing jealousy towards her Dominant, which made me consider the other side of the coin. Like many things in D/s relationships, jealousy is experienced asymmetrically. Of course, in both cases I consider the root cause of jealousy to be insecurity, but the way it manifests in a Dominant is quite a bit different than the way it manifests in a submissive. And much of this boils down to a question of choice.

Simply put, the Dominant is the one who gets to choose whether or not to share the girl. Therefore, even if he chooses not to address the issue of his jealousy, he can stay protected by simply making sure that no one other than himself gets to enjoy the service of his partner. IOW - even if he is jealous he can make the problem go away (at least for awhile) by simply making sure that she is never in a position to be used by anyone else.

But in most cases, the submissive does not have this choice. If her partner wishes to try another submissive there is little she can do to stop him, short of ending the relationship (or perhaps threatening to do so). Of course, here I am assuming that the couple has NOT negotiated monogamy as part of their relationship.

True, she could rant, rave, scream, cajole, etc., in an effort to get him to change his mind, but many Dominants do not react well to such behavior on the part of their submissives. Therefore, this sort of technique will rarely work.

It seems to me that some other strategy might be required. But before we get into that, let us try to identify the reasons why a Dominant might seek out a second submissive.

1) He might find it pleasing. Enough said about that.

2) He might be curious. Perhaps he would like to try a threesome for the first time.

3) He might wish to further develop his girl. Perhaps he feels she is a latent bi-sexual, or perhaps he feels watching another girl serve him will teach her some valuable techniques.

These are mostly positive reasons, but of course there are other reasons as well.

a) He might be angry with her and goes off with another girl "to get even".

b) He may be losing interest in her, or becoming bored with her.

c) He may have fallen in love with another girl.

The first three reasons should probably not be considered a threat to the relationship, and if properly managed, might even enhance it. The second three reasons are all significant threats to the relationship.

So, what's a girl to do? One thing is certain - as long as she is consumed by the negative energy of jealousy it is unlikely that any positive resolution will be possible. She must somehow let go of her own suffering, step back and examine the relationship in depth, and then make a reasoned response (more on this later). It is only once the emotion has been defused and tempered that any clear thinking becomes possible.

My key to defusing these feelings is as follows:

1) If he is just curious or experimenting, it is unlikely to be a threat to the relationship. If, however, it turns out to be a threat, then perhaps it is time to learn about it.

2) If he has really lost interest, or has fallen in love with another girl, then there is nothing to be done. It is time to move on.

3) If the submissive feels that her partner is making a big mistake, then logical and rational arguments will work much better than screaming, sarcasm, innuendo, or "the silent treatment".

4) If none of this works, and if the submissive cannot find a way to let go of these feelings, then perhaps some sort of counseling is in order.

I strongly recommend that the submissive let her partner know about her feelings, let him know what she is trying to do with them, and ask for his help. Often some reassurance, some talk, some ground rules, etc., can go a long way towards helping.

And if all else fails, well, you can always write to me. Helping couples deal with these things is something that I do.

Hmmm... I have more to write, but I think this entry is long enough now. More later.

Be seeing you,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jealousy vs. Protection

Greetings all,

Picture this – a fairly new D/s couple are at a play party. Let us say that they have been together for perhaps a year or less, but feel very committed to each other. She has begged his collar, and he has accepted. Their relationship has been going along very well, and both are satisfied with each other.

At the party, the Dominant partner (let us call him Bill) is approached by another Dominant (whom we shall call Frank). Conversation ensues. Over the course of the conversation Frank extends many positive comments about Bill’s girl (let us call her Susan). Bill is flattered, of course. After a little while Frank asks Bill if he may play with Susan. This is the first time Bill has ever had anyone request this sort of thing. He asks Frank what he means by “playing”. Bill responds that it means both S&M play as well as some sexual play, perhaps a blow job or some such thing.

Bill refuses. At this point Frank says something like “If you were a real Dom you would share her” or “You must be very insecure” or “It is obvious to me that you don’t really own her” or something to this effect. Bill replies that Susan is not ready to play with others, and that she is under his protection, so she will not play with anyone else.

Susan says nothing, though perhaps there is a small glint of excitement in her eyes at the thought of being used by another. Or perhaps it is fear.

So here’s the question: Is Bill being possessive and jealous, or is he being responsible and protective? And, how can we tell the difference, or in particular, how can Bill tell the difference?

To my way of thinking only Bill can really answer this question. Only he is aware of his internal state of mind, and therefore he is the only one who can have any real idea of what the truth is here. Yet, if he is feeling insecure and jealous it is highly unlikely that he will admit this to anyone else. He may even hide it from himself. Therefore we need a more objective way to determine the root cause for his decision.

Let us step back for a minute and consider why the dominant partner in a relationship might choose, or not choose, to share his girl with another. To be clear, when I speak about sharing, this would involve having his submissive serve another in a sexual, service, or play session (or a combination of all three), which may be done privately, or in public. What defines it as sharing is that a) another will use her in a manner which is generally reserved for her dominant partner; and b) this use will be of fixed duration and probably have some hard limits associated with it. The Dominant partner may, or may not, be present during this shared time.

Why might a Dominant be motivated to share his girl? A number of reasons suggest themselves. Perhaps he feels she is ready for a new experience. Often, in the development of a submissive these sorts of experiences can be very helpful, particularly when there is a romantic attachment between Dominant and submissive. By sharing the girl, she is given an opportunity to evaluate the difference between being handled by a lover, as opposed to someone who is only interested in her service.

Another reason for sharing is that it may allow the submissive to be trained in ways in which the Dominant does not have experience. Or, it may be as simple as allowing the submissive to experience certain sensations which are normally not part of how the couple interacts. (I am thinking here of certain forms of extreme sensation play which require a fair amount of experience before attempting to do.)

The Dominant might choose to share his girl strictly to stroke his own ego. Perhaps he wants the other fellow to see the quality of his girl. Many fellows will allow a friend to try their new car, or perhaps a new shop tool. Why not one’s girl?

Or, it might simply please the Dominant to see his girl squirming under the hand of another. Some people find this quite exciting.

The Dominant might do it simply as a technique to show the girl that he is not that attached to her. By allowing another to enjoy her intimate services, he lets her know that she is nothing more than a “girl” to him.

Of course, not all the reasons are positive. A Dominant might give in to peer pressure. He might be unsure of himself and allow himself to be coerced. He might be angry with her and use sharing as a form of punishment. He might even be trying to end their relationship and is sharing her in the hopes that she will find someone else.

OTOH – why might a Dominant choose not to share a girl under his protection?

Firstly, it might be because he is being responsible. Perhaps she is not yet ready for such a thing (if ever). Perhaps he is concerned that her nervousness will lead to her failing and he does not wish to set her up for failure. Perhaps she does not yet reflect his idea of perfection and until she does, he is reluctant for others to experience her.

Perhaps he knows enough about her past and history to know she will not react well to being shared. Perhaps he is concerned that the other Dominant may not be responsible in handling his property.

Perhaps he is worried about her safety.

Or perhaps it simply doesn’t please him to share her at this time.

All well and good, but of course there are other reasons as well.

A classic reason would be insecurity, the root of all jealousy. Simply put, the Dominant is fearful that if he shares her, she will like the other fellow better and want to leave their relationship. Or, he feels that by sharing her, somehow their relationship will be made less special. Or, he is intimidated by the other Dominant, and doesn’t want to look bad in front of him.

As you can see, the generally negative reasons are always based around fear and insecurity. The generally positive reasons are based around responsibility, development, and empowerment. All Dominants really know their own motivation, regardless of whether they admit to it or not.

Protection of the submissive, in all its forms, always results in the girl feeling safe and empowered. Jealousy and insecurity, in all its forms, always blocks development and empowerment. I believe a submissive has the right (and perhaps the duty) to respectfully question her Dominant any time she feels he is doing something out of fear or insecurity, rather than a desire for her protection and development.

It is a tricky question, but one that I feel can be answered only if we are honest with ourselves.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rope work - Past and Current

Greetings all,

I have always had an attraction to bondage. Many of my earliest fantasies involved bound and helpless women. I couldn’t really say why I found these images to be so exciting. Perhaps it was some early event in my childhood or perhaps it is genetics. In any event, I don’t worry about it too much. Over the years I have come not only to accept this part of my sexual identity, but to fully embrace it. Part of this acceptance came from learning that there are many women whose bondage fantasies dovetail with my own. One of the happy consequences of this knowledge has been a plethora of females more than willing to offer themselves for binding, or as we sometimes say “to beg the ropes”.

I bound someone for the first time when I was 23 or so. I actually remember the binding. She was on the bed, naked and spread-eagled. I was intending to tie her wrists and ankles to the bed legs, which proved to be a problem because the bed didn’t have any legs. I ended up tying one of the ropes to her wrist, passed the rope between the mattress and the box spring, and tied it to her other wrist.

At which point my cock took over. I didn’t even remember about her ankles, just jumped on top and had some of my best sex ever.

My knot work was pathetic. The rope was loose, I had used dangerous slip knots, and she was able to free herself well before I was done with her, but it didn’t matter. Now I had tasted the reality of bondage and I knew I wanted more. Much more.

My next twenty or so years were spent experimenting with different forms of bondage. Ropes of course, but also chains, leather, plastic wrap, etc. Even before the Internet, there were plenty of BDSM-themed books around offering fodder for my creativity. Of course, the arrival of children meant that I had to significantly curtail the frequency of bondage sessions, although I can’t say it involved too much suffering.

I don’t really remember when I first encountered photographs of women bound in the Japanese Shibari or Kinbaku style. What I do remember is how I was captivated by the grace, beauty, and intensity of the simple hemp or jute ropes cunningly and artistically wrapped around the female’s body. I remember the expressions of rapture and passion on the faces of the models, ranging from utter perfect humiliation to a transcendent orgasmic release. Shibari is all about ropes, but not just the mechanical aspects of binding. In shibari the ropes also act as a conduit of interaction between the participants. Sexual and emotional energies flow and merge creating a special reality which can only exist within the framework of the ropes.

Or to put it in a somewhat abbreviated manner – I abso-fucking-lutely loved shibari from Day One. Still do.

Learning shibari is easier said than done, in particular if you are married with young children. There were very few books available, and those were mostly in Japanese. In addition, it was difficult to find any general agreement on what shibari was, or was not. Lacking any certifying body, almost anyone can call themselves a shibari master (nawashi, etc), and who is to say they are wrong? I did manage to see some performance videos, but these were mostly about suspensions (which I liked but knew were beyond my ability), or only showed the completed binding and not how it was done.

This meant that most of my early attempts at shibari were dismal failures. In fact, not only my early attempts, but almost all of my attempts for quite a few years afterward were perhaps best described as “learning experiences”. Ropes were too tight, or too loose. Knots became stuck and wouldn’t release. My partners were frequently able to escape. Perhaps most importantly, I was never really able to achieve the looks of passion on my model’s face such as those in the photographs I had seen. Because I was concentrating so hard on trying to get the binding right, I was never able to let myself open to the potential energy flow between myself and my partner.

Over time I came to realize that this interaction was much more important than the actual technique itself. This was a major revelation for me. It freed me from the tyranny of trying to get the ropes on correctly, and instead allowed me to be in the moment with my partner. So, while my rope work stayed sloppy, my enjoyment and pleasure in the sessions increased quite a bit.

Still, I have never lost my interest in trying to achieve some measure of competency in my rope techniques. I look forward to new sessions as opportunities for sexual pleasure, the expression of the D/s dynamic, and to improve my techniques.

Which brings me almost up to date.

Over the last six months or so there have been some wonderful additions to my collection of shibari “how to” materials, namely Douglas Kent’s Complete Shibari (which I reviewed in my last post), and Master K’s gorgeous “The Beauty of Kinbaku” coffee table book. I have also come into possession of a couple of shibari videos; one in particular by Mari Masato which has influenced me greatly in a very short time. While the video is in Japanese without sub-titles, I find they really are not required. The bindings are performed slowly, and are well lit and easy to follow. I have watched the video many times now, and with each repetition I have been more impressed with the simplicity, elegance, and cunning in how he uses the ropes.

Last weekend I had my first opportunity to try one of these bindings on a willing and flexible girl. It is called a shrimp (or ebi) tie. At first glance it appears simple, but there are some subtle aspects to it which require special attention. The intent of this binding is to keep the model perfectly immobile yet make it easy to position her in different ways for different purposes.

Even though this was my first attempt I felt comfortable and relaxed as I started the binding. The ropes seemed to flow onto her body. At one point I had to raise her crossed and bound ankles towards her waist. Staying close to her, I used both my thigh and body to bend her over. The sense of energy flow was intense.

By the time I was looping the rope around her neck to bend her over even further, I could tell she was deeply into the experience. She was still and calm, yet also profoundly aroused. I rocked her back and forth on the fulcrum of her ass; leaning her up against the wall, and then rocking her forward so she was sitting on the floor, her head bowed in a lovely expression of servitude.

After twenty minutes or so I judged that she’d had enough, even though all of her extremities were still pink and warm and she was showing no sign of distress. I brought her through about three releases, using tongue and fingers. The last one was done by rocking her back and forth on my fingers which were up inside her hole. Later, she would tell me it was one of the most powerful releases she had ever experienced, and it sent her off into subspace for a good 10-15 minutes. During that time I kept her cradled in my arms, lying mostly face down across my lap. Because of the way the ropes were tied I was able to release almost all of them one-handed, slowly releasing the tensions of the cords, without requiring her to move.

Overall I was very pleased with the results. The binding was not only pleasing to look at, but was perhaps my closest attempt so far to achieving the true shibari experience. I feel I have reached a new level in my rope work. I am looking forward now to trying new and more complex forms.

Any takers?

I just thought I would share.

Be seeing you.

P.S. Tonight, on the spur of the moment, I did a one rope shibari. It was a variant on a front hogtie. I more or less made it up as I went along. I was very pleased with the results.

So was she.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Audio Test

Greetings all,

Here is my first attempt to add some audio to the web site. It is a recording of my reading some of my own written material. You can find it here:


When you click on the link it should allow you to download the file. We will see if it works.

If the response is positive there will be more files made available.

Be seeing you

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