Category Archives: Power exchange

BDSM 101: Basics made simple

 D/S, S/M and B/D are the terms most often used in society today. They are distinctly different in that D/S stands for Dominance and Submission, S/M stands for Sadism and Masochism while B/D stands for Bondage and Discipline. These are three distinctly different life styles.

But remember at all time and in each of the separate lifestyles all actions must be SAFE, SANE AND CONSENSUAL.

The terms are not interchangeable, yet one lifestyle may lead into the other or may overlap another depending upon the limits agreed upon by both consenting parties.

As the relationship continues to grow and expand the limits may be changed by both parties and therefore lead from one lifestyle to the next.

S/M may be and usually is incorporated in both or either of the other two lifestyles in one form or another or may be considered a separate lifestyle on it’s own.

These lifestyles might better be referred to as a form of alternative relationships, each of them being a form of love in which one person controls and the other person surrenders willingly, never forcefully.

First some terminology is necessary:

Dominant one– The controlling person. They may be a Master, a Mistress, a Dom, a Domme, a Goddess, a Lord, a Switch or a Top

submissive one– The one who chooses to be controlled or dominated. They may be a submissive, a slave, a switch or a bottom.

submissive– One who chooses to be submissive but who does not give total control of all aspects of their lives to a Dominant one.

slave- One who have given all aspects of their lives, physically, sexually and mentally to be controlled by a Dominant one and who usually has a contracted relationship.

Dom or Domme– One who is a Dominant one.

Master or Mistress– A Dominant one who has accepted the gift of submission from a submissive one who then has become theirs.

Floating or subbie space– The state where the submissive one relinquishes all control to the Dominant one and simply put, floats on a cloud, thus reaching a state of euphoria.

Switch– One who chooses at different times to be either a Dominant one or a submissive one.

Bottom– One who chooses to be scened or sessioned by a Dominant one but who is not necessarily a submissive one.

Top– One who chooses to scene or session a submissive one but who is not necessarily a Dominant one.

Goddess– Usually a Domme who have been trained under the “Old Guard” and who has earned the right to be worshipped and obeyed and who trains other Dom/mes, Masters, Mistresses, submissives, Switches, Tops, Bottoms and slaves.

Lord– The masculine equivalent of Goddess

Sadist- One who likes to inflict pain upon another.

Masochist-  One who likes to have pain inflicted upon them by another

Limits- These are actions or areas or degrees of pain and/or experiences that are not to be inflicted upon a submissive one.

Safeword- A word or gesture that has been agreed upon between a Dominant one and a submissive one that should it be used by someone during a scene or a session will cause the other person to have an immediate agreed upon response.

boy- A term used for a submissive one which could be for either gender.

girl- A term used for a submissive one which could be either gender.

Dominatrix- A female Dominant one who gets paid for scening or sessioning a submissive one.

Implements-Toys-Accouterments- Anything that is used during a scene or session by a Dominant one on a submissive one.

Although a Dom or Domme can be a Master or Mistress not all are. If the Dom or Domme chooses to accept a submissive one for their own, they then become the Master or Mistress to that one.

The major differences in the two life styles, D/S and B/D, is that of pain and humiliation. In the D/S lifestyle control by use of pain or humiliation rarely occurs. The control is relinquished by the submissive one willingly to the Dominant one. The Dominant one controls by voice and minor punishment. In the B/D scene the punishment is more severe and pain and humiliation is more a part of the ongoing relationship and incorporated in scenes or sessions on a regular basis. Punishment is given for misdeeds or failure to obey, warmth is given for obeying. One must remember this is a game of love, and that love must be shown at all times, even during the act of punishment.

When one speaks of punishment, one must also speak of limits. Limits are agreed upon prior to the start of any part of this lifestyle. These limits must be adhered to by all parties involved. The submissive one submits and trusts the Dominant one that these limits will not be exceeded. They must never  be exceeded under any circumstances, without first discussing them between the two parties and mutually agreeing to remove or extend the limit in question.

Mutual respect and trust is of the utmost importance in these lifestyles. When mutual trust disappears, the parties should re-evaluate the relationship immediately. remember this trust is earned over a long period of time but may be lost in a split second. Seldom when a trust is truly violated can the same degree of trust ever be regained.

Many Master/Mistresses are good teachers and can teach their submissive one on their own. But in many cases a Master/Mistress chooses to have another Dominant one teach their submissive one for them. They may or may not choose to have their submissive one serve that Dominant one in any other capacity than as a scene. Submissive ones may be trained by a Dominant one without already having a Master or Mistress to serve, be chosen by the Dominant one to serve or stay as free a submissive one with no one to serve.

In all cases the Dominant one and the Master/Mistress are responsible for the protection and safety of the submissive one. They must honor and cherish them as much as they are cherished by them. Love and respect reins above all in these relationships.

The use of safe words comes into play at this point. There are usually two safe words that have been agreed upon and understood by both parties. One safe word usually means that the submissive one is being pushed to their limits and when used the Dominant one eases off slightly and takes more time to get the submissive one to the place where they want them to go. The second safe word, when used by submissive one tells the Dominant one that something is wrong and the scene, session or the actions tops immediately and the Dominant one ensures the safety and well being of the submissive one. Under no circumstances can the action continue unless mutually agreed upon. should the action continue without the permission of the submissive one then it is no longer a consensual actions but one of force.

If you are submissive/slave it means that you consent — or choose — to submit. In other words, your submission is a gift that should be respected by whomever you choose as your Dominant. If you are Dominant, you consent to accept that gift and respect the person who offers it. Failure to do so may ultimately cause you to be ostracized from the community. Whatever takes place in a session/scene is the result of a prior careful discussion by both partners of the submissive’s limits. And it DOES mean that the Dominant one MUST always respect those limits.

Everything in these lifestyles should be

Reference books that should be read and reread:

La Laisse Soduire La Maison Du Raison
Different Loving Gloria Brame, G Brame Villard Books
Screw the Roses, Send me the Thorns Phillip Miller and Molly Deveon Mystic Rose Books
The Bottoming Book Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt Greenery Press
The Topping Book Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt Greenery Press
The Loving Dominant John Warren Masquerade Books Inc.
Ties That Bind Guy Baldwin Daedalus Pub. Co.
Learning the Ropes Race Bannon Daedalus Pub. Co.
Sensuous Magic Pat Califia Masquerade Books Inc.
Safe Sane Consensual and Fun John Warren Diversified Press
The Ethical Slut Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt Greenery Press
Anal Pleasure and Health Jack Morin MD Down There Press
Leathersex Joseph W. Bean Daedalus Pub. Co.
Bound to be Free Charles Moser Ph.D M.D., JJ MaDeson Continuum Pub. Co.

© 1999 by Lakshimi All rights reserved. This information is for educational purposes only. This author advises if you wish to engage in any activity mentioned in this article that you do further research and upon engaging in any activity mentioned upon you do so in the presence of an experienced mentor.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Slave?

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Slave?

By Jack Rinella

There are significant differences between corporal punishment and the infliction of pain for the giving of pleasure: technique, reason, and effect come to mind right away.

A person can endure a significant amount of pain from a whip, strap, hand, or paddle if their application begins slowly and builds to a higher, faster, and stronger level. This technique is used when the spanking or whipping is meant to give pleasure to either partner. “Warming an ass” prepares it for heavier discipline as the body adjusts itself to increasingly higher levels of pain. When the discipline begins at a higher level of intensity, the pain is much more difficult to tolerate.

During the times that pleasure is the reason for the spanking, there is (usually) a warmth, camaraderie, and intimacy that is lacking when the punishment is for the sake of punishment. At such times, caressing, kissing, foundling, and stroking are often intermixed with the application of pain.

And lastly, discipline feels different and effects a slave or bottom differently. Whereas many bottoms enjoy a paddling, most will do their best to avoid the paddle when it is applied as a punishment.. Strange as it may seem, the purpose and technique create a wholly other experience when the top wields a whip as a means of correction or penance.

Many novices (and some not so new to the scene) think that both forms of discipline are the same — but they aren’t. Discipline is a significant tool in a master’s repertoire, but it is one that is often misunderstood and misapplied.

Real discipline “works” best in relationships that have continuity to them. It is meant to alter behavior. That doesn’t mean that paddling and such can’t be part of a short term scene. It certainly can be, though intense discipline demands a level of trust not easily reached in a fleeting encounter. Rule making, breaking, and the subsequent “punishment” are often part of the role-playing that occurs in SM encounters. I’m not going to presume to tell two (or more) people what should happen in their SM scene, but such discipline has a different “flavor” to it.

Some tops impose rules during a scene in order to create a reason for punishment. Likewise, some bottoms break the rules in order to “force” the top to punish them. In either case, if the scene works, then it is right for its participants. But all too often such artificiality is uncalled for. The simple recognition of rights and reasons can eliminate the need for such “play-acting” entirely.

What I mean is this: if a top wants to spank, paddle, whip, or otherwise warm up his bottom’s bottom he doesn’t need to use rules to gain “permission” to do so. As the dominant partner with a consenting bottom, he already has that permission. The sake of the top’s pleasure is reason enough to proceed. In a real master/slave relationship, the top is in control and that is ground enough for him’/her to do as s/he feels, within the limits or sanity, safety, and consent.

But the vast majority of Leather scenes never approach the intensity of a true master/slave relationship. Most of the time, the Leather scene is simply an acting out of fantasy. The “scene” is kept in the realm of play, and is seldom, if ever, allowed to effect one’s life and lifestyle. That’s the way life is, and it’s liable to stay that way for a long time to come.

The problem with imposing rules in order that they be broken, or breaking rules simply for eliciting discipline is that both cases set up a scenario for failure.

At a recent “novice night” I was asked about a top who piled rules upon rules in order to make his bottom break them. It seemed he wanted force the bottom to deserve a punishment. The bottom, for his part, found it frustrating, since his intention was to please his “master”, an unlikely job since the rules were impossible to keep.

The bottom would have been very happy to please his master by receiving the discipline. There was no need to force it on him. He was willing to endure it for his master’s pleasure. Instead he felt a strong sense of failure since he couldn’t keep all the rules his master had imposed.

As Larry, an experienced master says, “You don’t need to break a rule for me to punish you. I’ll do it just because I want to do it. If you want a paddling, don’t fuck up, just ask me for it and you’ll get it.” Larry can speak that way because of his own self-confidence. He recognizes the rights and responsibilities inherent in an SM relationship and is comfortable with the gratifications they offer.

The best SM scenes are learning experiences. Discipline is a useful and necessary tool. With it a master can teach his slave how to behave and can help him modify his behavior to give greater pleasure to his master. Early on in their relationship, Jim, Larry’s slave, often came prematurely, much to his master’s displeasure. The application of a heavy black belt across Jim’s ass cured that habit very quickly.

There is more to the Leather scene than play-acting. It can be more than pleasurable. Like all relationships, SM can provide an environment for personal growth and deep meaningful relationships. When two people come together with mutual respect and understanding, they open themselves to a world of miracles and delight. No matter what connotation you give to the word “rod”, use it wisely and it will reward you immensely.



By softpetal

The word ritual means a process or action that is done and repeated according to specific procedure. A ritual is a sort of ceremony that is usually formal and follows the same pattern each and every time. Simply, it is something that a person does over and over for a Purpose. They set the mood or build an expectation. They are intended to be the same each time, within normal limits.

In a D/s relationship, these are the beginning training issues to the control that is exchanged between a Dom/me and their submissive. A contract between the couple negotiates the limits and boundaries and should include a list of rituals that the submissive will be required to perform for the Dom/me. These should be clear and straight forward so that the Dom is sure that the submissive understands the expectations and the submissive is aware of the requirements. The submissive is NOT to judge or question these rituals ( unless of course it violates the main rule of SAFE, SANE and CONSENSUAL) as the Dom/me is the person who’s needs are being addressed and the power exchange is started. Many Dom/me ‘s use these rituals for their pleasure and as a test to see if the submissive is truly offering the gift of submission.

[ Bad^ note: a “submissive” may well offer input at the invocation of a new practice or ritual during the negotiation phase for said behavior. A “slave” may not]

i began my training with simple rituals. i am a medical professional and on certain days of the week, this girl wore no underwear while at work and on the remaining days i was to wear none. i might caution you that this is not a good choice if the submissive needs to wear white scrubs, mine were royal blue. On certain days i was allowed to wear a butt plug to work or during chores ( my favorite) with the thought that my ass belonged to Him. i was also instructed that each day i was to email Sir, explaining how my day was and what was on my mind. This allowed for further discussion later when we were able to speak more. He also gave an assignment for this girl to do for Him, such as looking up information about the lifestyle or writing essays in who this girl was and demons that troubled this girl. These began my everyday ritual. This enabled Sir to understand me better and to offer a guide in my training and meeting my needs.

If i do not perform the ritual, there are consequences. That is another part of rituals. But the expectations are real from the Dom/me to have these done. Personally it is this girls GREAT pleasure to have these rituals. They enable me to stay in focus with my Dom and remain in a submissive role when i am not able to be with my Dom.

Now as my training has advanced so have my rituals. This girl shall list the current ones that she does everyday if possible or when requested of my Dom.

——shaving of the pubic hair (classic submissive ritual) many Doms prefer bare

——meditation for 15 minutes before retiring to bed (always kneeling)

——sleeping in a collar (one made of quick release and large enough for safety)

——always using the Dom and His reference in UPPER case

——always referring to the submissive in lower case and third person

——journaling everyday

——words of control and meditation: Breath, Focus, Float and Roll

——giving control over not having an orgasm without permission FIRST

——Kneeling at the Doms feet or bed and outside of the bathroom

——waiting at the door for permission to enter first

——not speaking until the Dom/me gives permission

——asking permission to or eat and drink

——foot worship and sexual worship

——waiting in position before play

——counting the number of strokes at the end of play in His name and reciting
“one Sir, thank You Sir may i please have another Sir?” and so forth

——stating when submissive is sexually stimulated eg. ‘i am Your wet slut Sir”

——asking permission for a sexual release

——always carry the Dom/me bag, smokes or business card 

——walking behind the Dom/me and to the left

——driving the Dom or preparing the car for travel (air conditioner or heat)

——accepting curfews, bedtimes, diet and exercise

——writing all fantasy’s and limits both hard and soft

——disrobe when entering the house and remain naked until told to dress

——accept dress requirements as the Dom seems fit

——not using furniture when in the house (sitting lower than the Dom/me)

——do not sit until the Dom/me is seated first

——serve the Dom/me food first

——kneel to the Dom/me and confess behavior and accept correction/discipline

——kneeling with the Dom/me drink in palm, kiss edge and present, eyes lowered

——proper positions for training and pleasure

——sleep at the Dom/me feet or foot of bed (with/out pillow and blanket)

——wearing a butt plug for as long as the Dom wishes and think that He is in your ass

——wearing of the collar in the house and during training

——never approach the Dom/me without permission (ask first and granted)

——never speaks first waits for the Dom to acknowledge

——falls to a kneeling position when their Dom/me enters a room

——NEVER leaves the presence of a Dom/me without permission first

These are just a few of the rituals that this girl has or does now perform.

Tips for the Dom:  be creative and personalize the rituals to suit Your needs and the submissive’s growth. They will be most honored to do these every time with encouragement and praise. A firm hand will allow the submissive to see the importance of the ritual.

Tips for the submissive:  take these very seriously and express your joy in what your Dom/me allows you to have. Discuss possible problems and concerns immediately to the Dom for further discussion on modifications if necessary. Each rituals allows you to bond and grow with your Dom/me. This is about a relationship. Trust and submit all that you have.
Lastly, never stop communicating.



Formal Relationship Structures

 Creating and Maintaining Formal Relationship Structures

Flagg 2002

For purposes of this discussion, I would like to offer some definitions. These ideas have been invaluable to me in the continuing evolution of a workable formal structure.


Structure-       A framework of systems which define the authority dynamic of a given household.

Protocol-         Rules and guidelines facilitating assigned behavior and priority: 1. A positive directive of assigned steps or goals – in the military sense, a directive or series of directive designating the proper course of action in a given situation. 2.  A construct consisting of directives (protocol in definition 1), and/ or rules and ritual in order to create an effective governing structure.

Ritual-            Assigned actions of a consistent and repetitive nature

Rules-             Assigned behavior, specifically, a designation preventing or barring an action, a negative law. “Do not drive above the speed limit”, “Never be out alone after dark”, “Never limit my options in phrasing or action”.

Trainer-          A Dominant whose primary focus is the teaching of systems, and the improvement and refinement of a servant’s skill set.

Owner-            A Dominant whose primary focus is the authority over and possession of servants and properties.

Servant-          A catch-all for submissives and properties for purposes of the conversation. (Seeing as most of the submissives being discussed here are going to be oriented towards service, it is our hope to avoid contentious discussions of terms such as “slave”.)

Dominant-       The power holder in a power imbalanced relationship.

It is my hope that these definitions will allow effective communication of the ideas and concepts I am attempting to present here, they are by no means intended to designate or redefine individual relationships.


What do most people think of when they think of “Formal Protocol”? to my experience, it is almost universally misguided and negative, fictionalized and fantasy based. The contention that such a structure is impossible is based on impossible examples- fantasy fiction and deliberately contrived arguments which prove only that the situation presented is impossible- but have nothing to do with formal training.

Most often, these are based in Ritual.

Ritual has an important place in formal structure- it serves as a reminder of place within the structure creates consistent standards of behavior to keep a servant mindful and a Dominant informed that the protocols are being observed. Some rituals have deep significance, others are simply preference, and, sadly, still others are frivolous clutter. It is most often that clutter that is cited as a reason that formality cannot be maintained, that formality is a myth best kept for bad BDSM fiction.

“No –one can do that all the time. What if you are in the mall? What if the kids are in the room? What if the vicar drops in unexpectedly?”

We will address the whys and wherefores shortly, but the core concept I wish to impart here is:  A well created protocol does not encounter these as problems; it incorporates them into the system itself.

Often, these misconceptions are based in fear and feelings about romance and intimacy…
But the basis of a Formal structure is the separation of the duties from the feelings involved.  At the root of the problem of romance and training is the fact that romance is highly subjective, while training must remain highly objective.

Some people are not suited for that dichotomy; even fewer people are capable of entering into a D/s relationship structure from either side of the leash without love being involved.
I advocate a separation; I am NOT saying that love and romance have no place… I am saying that they complicate each other when they are both present, and such matters must be treated with care and deliberation, not just glossed over, or even expected to somehow magically “balance out”. They do not, and they (to my experience) can not.

A conscious choice must be made- one facet over the other. If it is love over structure, then love is the ultimate answer to the conflicts and questions which plague every relationship. It may have many formal elements, but at heart, it is not a formal structure.

The defining element of a formal structure is structure over romance. When push comes to shove… the rules are the rules, and they are the final answer.

Lastly, the misconceptions are often voiced that maintaining that “headspace” is impossible. “Impossible! No one can live at such speed!” Such people do not really have a firm grip on what a formal structure is, and may be confusing it for elements of formality in their play or “subspace”. One has nothing to do with the other. I may not always be in the mood to live under the laws of my city or my nation- but I do, if I choose to stay here. I may not always be in the mood to manage my staff on the job… but I do, if I wish to keep working there.

Mood? Headspace? Structure is not about play. It’s about everything else.


This is not going to be a step-by-step. It is going to be a series of suggestions, things I found helpful, illuminating, or troublesome.


Very often, contracts are dismissed out of hand. “They don’t mean anything. “ “They don’t stand up in court.” “They are just like marriage vows”.

These things have nothing whatever to do with the use of contracts in this situation, if they are relevant at all. A contract is quite relevant- perhaps vital- for a formal structure. The reasons are varied, but internally consistent.

A: Thought into action

The reason we take notes in school is not just to keep records. It is because listening and writing involves both sides of the brain, not the just the abstract. It means we are thinking more fully about what we are saying, agreeing to. It is capable of assisting in the creation of more concrete thought processes about what can be a confusing and abstract issue.

B. Objectivity

An essential reason to create a contract is that the contract does not change its mind. Memory and personal interpretation play tricks on us, especially when they become clouded by emotion. But a clearly worded contract can eliminate such variables to some degree;  creating an effective “third party” – an objective, consistent point of reference.

C.  Consideration

When writing a contract, it is important to avoid getting bogged down in a few traps.  A few rules might be helpful:

1. Avoid flowery language.  This is not about things being pretty or romantic, this is about things being clear.

2. Avoid abstracts, this is about responsibilities, rights, privileges and obligations.  Make every attempt to keep the document focused on those things.

3. When discussing limits, do not only consider the negatives of what a party cannot live with.  Be certain that you are aware of what the partin in question cannont live without… (Thank you, Sir C)

4. Do not base this agreement on emotional conditions – as concrete as they may feel, they are abstracts.  Love ebbs and flows, emotions run high and cool…and thus cannont be used as a solid foundation for a practical protocol.  Love is fine – but you cannot promise it in a contract.

5. Do not confuse the rituals with the rules or protocols. For example, to declare a list of offenses and assign fixed penalties to them is painting the Dominant into a corner, and creating a world of dilemmas for the servant. Temptation to play lawyer with the rules “You never said I could not do that” or “I know it said I get 5 strokes with the cane- I thought that this time, it was worth it” is just as annoying as the real world bringing forth a dilemma that you have no set answer to, and feeling undercut by your own contract. Such things are ritual- and they may have a place in your life, but not in this document. A list of rituals is a good thing- but they are enforced by the structure… they are not the structure itself.


The action of writing a contract forces consideration of these and other issues, rather than letting it all ride on feelings and concepts which may not be as closely shared by everyone involved as one might think. It forces levels of understanding and objectivity which simply talking may not do.

Another advantage of the contract- especially while creating and testing one’s protocol is the short term contract. One month, three months. Eliminate the “forever” and create a period of optional renewal. This is NOT just to the benefit of the servant, but the Dominant as well. Never forget that BOTH parties have the right not to renew.


One of the hardest challenges I have ever faced was asking myself the question” What do I want?” Much, much harder than it sounded- at least for me. Paring through the mythology and the misinformation, the weight of culture and the pressure of the community… digging through all the concepts to find the few jewels that really mean something to me personally. The responsibility here initially rests with the Dominant. It is an oddly vulnerable time for the Dominant, as the process of paring away the crap, outside pressures and other people’s opinions leaves one showing only what one wants- and exposing one’s wants is a vulnerable place. The more carefully and deliberately worded, the better. Again- skip the poetry, and stick to things you can create and demand- not things you would have to make a special effort to inspire. The inspiration for obedience to inspire the servant should be coming from who you are- not special favors you have to maintain. In short order, the Dominant would feel trapped and obliged to perform the service or services- and then no one is happy. The Dominant feels obliged, cannot be pleased, and the servant is unable to provide any service which would make the Dominant feel any less trapped.

Obedience you can demand, love forever you cannot. Run through protocols to create the dynamic effects you desire, then rules to eliminate things you do not. Finally, pick and choose carefully among rituals- choosing only rituals which genuinely have meaning for you, or those which are worth the effort of deliberately maintaining.

1. Create protocols (the “Do List”) Use it as a tool to allow decision making in your best interest in a given situation, stating the final end result, and what the necessary steps are to maintain it.. Varying levels of formality are often the best way to do this. Define informal, formal, and high formal situations- and write codes of behavior outlining what you expect in all of them. Informal is ideal for dealing with the complications of life, but it does not have to be the default.

2. Create rules (the “Don’t List”) Easier than the “do list”, most people have a better grasp of what they don’t want than what they do.

3. Create ritual last- if it is necessary to you at all.

A note about ritual in protocol.

The easiest thing to be confused by, the easiest thing to be misused. Apply it after the fundamental structure is complete. Remember that every ritual, no matter how small, will need to be carefully and consistently enforced. If you add superfluous ritual which you do NOT enforce, the system begins to break down from there. Again, no one is happy.


Formality vs. Informality:

There is a time and a place for both, and that decision can only be made by a particular Dominant in regards to their own structure. However, as entropy is the natural state of things, order demands effort. Little things make a difference. By way of example, I’ll talk about honorifics.

I am called “Sir” in my structure. The only exception is when the situation would be inappropriate- and I have specific guidelines regarding what is appropriate, and what is not. There is a reason for that. The servant who addresses her Dominant as “Sir” at all times is that much less likely to forget their place and allow their expectations to become inappropriate. “OK and “yeah” are not acceptable acknowledgements, nor are anything but a small handful of designated answers. Why? Would a drill sergeant accept a “yeah”?

Never- because the sense of identity or names gives us and others strongly defines who they are in our lives, and who we are to them.  This is what I consider a useful application of protocol, rule and ritual, to help create a “speech protocol”. (It is far from the entirety of my speech protocol- but makes a fine example to start.)

Informality- uncontrolled, default, casual intimacy- erodes structure quickly on both sides of the leash. It has a place- but I would keep in mind that although it may be the most comfortable mode moment to moment, it can be very alluring, very comfortable, and very costly in the long run.

The Third Party:

I cannot stress enough the importance of the Third Party concept. Once a structure has been created, it should be looked at as the third person in any question or dispute. When faced with a difficult choice, the servant should not think “Would I do that for Him/ Her?” that personalizes the choice- makes it about emotion, likes, dislikes, resentments, personal issues, good and bad. The question is” Is my collar worth this? Is my word worth this? Am I living up to my commitments if I do not do this?” The Dominant, when faced with a difficult decision- especially one that hurts to make- is not asking “Will I still be loved? Will it be held against me? If I really loved… would I ask this? What kind of person am I?” The question becomes “Does my collar demand this? Am I maintaining my integrity? Is this about my collar, or is it about my feelings?”

All of these questions demand answers- but in order to maintain a formal structure, the answers must be separated between personal issues, and issues of the collar. This does not prevent the Dominant from making exceptions based on feelings… but makes that a deliberate choice, and not the default. It takes practice and dedication.

With any luck at all, these ideas will be of some use to those who wish to explore- or even understand – formal relationships. They are more work, more attention, more focus than a standard arrangement.

For some of us- they are more than worth it.


June 18, 2002

Everybody Pays

Copyright 2002.  Flagg.  All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this may be reproduced without permission of the author.

The Dominant Mindset

 The Dominant Mindset

by RebelGent

I often receive requests from Dominants who are on the point of embarking on a 24/7 relationship. Their biggest concerns center around both maintaining control of the relationship while simultaneously ensuring an environment conducive to the fulfillment of both his needs as the Dominant, and his submissive’s needs.

The issue I focus on in these instances is that of trust, in conjunction with the issue of control in “teaching” the sub/slave to trust her Dominant. The mindset is of utmost importance. Try not to separate aspects of the relationship into individual and distinct areas. Think of the process of establishing a D/s relationship, whether 24/7 or not, as a combination of necessary components of one thing…your dominance and her submission.

The goal should be to incorporate your dominance and her submission seamlessly into your lifestyle. It should be intertwined so that just about anything you and your sub/slave do together could be construed as D/s. In other words, don’t complicate your lives by categorizing aspects and activities into “D/s activities” and “non-D/s” activities.

The control factor is a big issue particularly among couples just starting this lifestyle. My advice is always — KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) :> Easier said than done, I will agree.

There is always a tendency to over control and issue a plethora of rules, because, after all…you are “The Dom”. My advice runs contrary to that thinking. Have at the very most less than 10 basic rules. Make sure the rules are doable at all times, and that they do not interfere with everyday living. The most important thing once you have set those rules is: enforce them. The rules should be the kind that will be easy for her to obey. Don’t make them so onerous that you spend half your time punishing her for breaking them. Continually re-evaluate the rules you have given her to make sure they don’t become onerous for one reason or another. Keep in mind that your life situations may well have changed in some ways from the inception of your rules; adjust them accordingly.

The rules should be ones that remind her constantly of your relationship to her, who and what you are to each other, Master and slave…Dom and sub. It is your responsibility to try to foresee every eventuality where the rules might cause a problem and resolve it by adjusting the rule before it gets to be a problem. Always be flexible about suspending the rule if “reality” rears its ugly head.

If you find yourself suspending a particular rule more often than it is in force, don’t be afraid to completely change the rule or drop it altogether. There is nothing wrong with being realistic and realizing that even though you thought the rule would work all the time, it simply doesn’t.

Don’t make the rules onerous for you, either. After all, life should be simpler now that you have your lovely submissive. :>

When you have these rules in place, enforcing them when necessary, changing them when necessary, suspending them when necessary, you both will be on your way.

Consistency and fairness should be your hallmarks as a Master. Your submissive will feel confident in placing her trust in you because she will know that you are confident enough in yourself to enforce, change, alter, suspend and drop any rule you set out there for your mutual benefit.

However, if she breaks a rule, even inadvertently, you must punish and make sure she understands why. Never, ever take the disobedience personally and get angry. You must trust her to want to follow the rules because these rules also address her need to be dominated by you.

If she disobeys, discuss the disobedience. Why did it happen? Were you, as the Master, not clear about the rule? Was the rule impossible for her to follow because real life interfered?

Whatever the reason, always listen, and discuss the incident, but still punish. If the rule needs to be altered, then do it. If that is the case, the punishment would need to be lighter because it was something you had not foreseen. Take responsibility for everything.

As to control over particular areas of your sub/slave’s life, I look at this issue differently from most Dominants. I have complete control over all areas of My slave’s life. Period, end of story. However, her trust in me is, in part, based on the knowledge that absolutely no decision I make about our lives will be unilateral. She trusts that I would never make a decision that would not take into consideration what is in the best interests of us both, no matter what that decision was.

It is just as important for the Master to know when not to exercise control as to know when to do it. The bottom line is that I have the final word. For example, yes, I can tell her to quit her job. But why would I do that? Because I can? That is silly and not mutually beneficial to either of us. Realistically, if your submissive’s job were to become so onerous as to interfere in your relationship, of course you both would sit down and talk about it. You both might decide the job atmosphere has changed and you both might decide the best thing for her to do would be to change jobs. The same might happen with you in your job. As the Master, you must take everything into consideration at all times. You are responsible for everything that happens. She trusts you to deal with it in a way that is beneficial to you both.

Another area where Dominants seem to want to exert an enormous amount of control is in what his sub/slave wears on a day to day basis. I could select each and every day what Rebelsgal is to wear. I am way too lazy to do that. 🙂 I expect her to be able to dress herself in whatever attire she deems appropriate for the occasion. I, however, have the final word. If I don’t like her choice, she changes it. In areas like this, I govern by exception. I find it much easier and less onerous on us both.

The idea is to control the environment you both live in. Some things you will not be able to do anything about…accept that and move on. Don’t fight it. Remember your goal is to get your needs and her needs fulfilled and satisfied. Real life things such as jobs, relatives, friends, etc. will continually interfere…accept this and work around them. If you have your rules right, there will always be continual reminders of who and what you are to each other. Be selfish enough to make her the center of your world and everything revolve around her. Your goal is to satisfy her needs. Her goal is to satisfy your needs. Trust each other to do exactly that.

I do not allow Rebelsgal to put her needs before mine. She is here to look after my needs. I will look after her needs. I trust her to do this and she trusts me to do the same.

All Rights Reserved, Copyright 1997, The RebelGent

A World Of Absolutes

By Jack Peacock

The world around us is one of situational ethics and malleable values. Everything is relative to the moment. The professed standards for today are compromised tomorrow for the sake of expediency. Some people thrive in an environment like that, while others feel as if cast adrift, struggling to stay afloat by clinging to a few straws of consistency. Some of us find those straws in a Master-slave relationship.

An M-s lifestyle is one of absolutes. One’s role in life is precisely defined. Obligations and privileges are spelled out in unambiguous terms. Two people enter into a partnership where one will take the lead, and the other will follow in support. There are no vacations, no time outs, no reversal of positions. Laws and rights are irrelevant; no outside agency dictates how they will live. The structure of their lives together is based on the trust, and faith, each one has in the other.

A Master leads. Not just when it’s easy or fun. There are no breaks because he is tired. There are no open and closing times; it is a 24 hour per day occupation. He answers her questions, every one, every time. She will never hear the words “I don’t care” because he doesn’t have that option. He will have an answer to everything, even if it’s no better than “I have to think about it”. If she has a problem and asks him what to do, it becomes his problem. He does not pick and choose the ways he will be her master; it is all or nothing.

A submissive follows and supports. He is her master because she trusts his judgment. She has a deep abiding faith in his leadership, a faith never shaken by the inevitable mistakes he makes, for she knows he is always motivated out of concern for her. She knows there must come a time in any disagreement when his word will be final. For the sake of harmony and peace in the home, someone must yield, and she will be the one. It is her task to build that place of refuge for the two of them, the island of quiet free from strife. Through her obedience to his ultimate authority, through her love and devotion to the man she calls master, she creates that oasis where he can go to relax and be himself, with her at his side.

He is the rock of stability she depends on. Her security comes from the certainty he will always be there no matter what happens. She sees the love, the desire, the need to own in his eyes, all telling her how important and valuable she is to him. He is her absolute, the one facet of her life that she can count on to be there when she needs him.

And he will be there, for she is the treasure of his life. She gives meaning to everything he does, be it providing for her, guiding her through life’s rocky moments, or just spending intimate moments together. She is the half which completes the whole. Without her he has no purpose, no home, no future. She is his absolute, the one person he can trust to reveal his innermost self, the one he knows he owns, he controls, the one who cannot leave him.

By any definition those in an M-s relationship are extremists. They attempt, and succeed, at what most would consider an impossible undertaking. A timid cautious approach with halfway measures won’t work. Success or failure hinges on the absolutes of keeping commitments, and mindsets, every minute of the day, in every way. Debates about whether she should or should not submit to certain types of orders are counterproductive. Her focus is not on judging the merits of what he asks, but rather how best to accomplish what he seeks. She must use her skills and natural talent to understand his mind, how he thinks, what motivates him when he demands. She looks not only at the letter of his law, but the spirit behind it.

His objective is not to lose sight of her as someone with her own personality and opinions. His job is not to stifle her but encourage her to blossom within the boundaries he draws around her. He doesn’t take away her freedom, he gives her the protected secure space to grow, free of outside distractions. He cherishes the person inside her, using his power to command to draw that inner personality out, to break through the inhibitions and fears that hold her back. He does not use that power in a frivolous manner but with careful consideration. Were he to do otherwise her faith in him would be destroyed, and he would have no one to blame but himself.

Qualities of a successful Dominant

By Polly Peachum

“The Problems Started After I Moved In”

When talking to submissive women about their lives and relationships, the most frequent cause of sorrow and difficulty that gets mentioned is the transition from a non-live-in D&S relationship to a full-time live-in situation. Relationships that seemed to work beautifully when limited to cyberspace hot-chat rooms, email, and the telephone suddenly become rocky and confused when two kinky individuals start to live together in a more intense and demanding sort of partnership. There are a number of reasons why this happens with such frequency.

Cyberspace teaches you that dominating and submitting are easy and are almost always fun. All you need to do to be a very popular and admired cyber-dominant is to know what pat phrases to say at what times. Even I, a person without any dominant desires, could, by assuming a false on-line persona, easily have a huge stable of cyber-submissives swooning over me and vying for my attention, simply because I know the right words to say. Submissives who have only recently discovered or decided to pursue their sexuality are, as a rule, so sexually and emotionally needy for control, any kind of control, that they fall right over if you assume a stern, forceful demeanor in their cyber-presence and issue the sorts of orders that you read about in S&M pornography. Then, in public, if you repeat all the standard tenets accepted by the S&M Scene community as the highest wisdom (again, it’s very easy to learn what these are–you know, inanities like “safe, sane, and consensual” and “the best tops started out as bottoms”–and then rattle them off like a parrot) you’ll get a rep as a wise, respected and (cough cough) “loving” dominant, a paragon of the Scene.

It’s incredibly easy to dominate someone from a distance. It’s so easy, in fact, that many men who are not genuinely dominant have discovered that if they put on this “act,” they can have as many no-strings-attached cyber-slaves as they like. The problem comes when such “dominants” begin, as they often do, to believe their own propaganda and start to consider themselves to be superdoms, even though they’ve never had any experience in controlling anyone in real life. Such a superdork, er–excuse me–superdom, thinks that actually dominating someone in real life is identical to the virtually effortless fantasy play that he conducts on line or over the phone. So, considering himself to be eminently qualified, he orders some poor, lovestruck submissive to leave her home and to move in with him. And when both he and his gullible partner are forced to deal with the reality of dominance and submission, the disaster begins.

Actually to dominate someone who lives with you requires much, much more from you than the ability to create a sexy fantasy on a computer screen or to assume a stern tone or to issue commands over the phone or in email to an always compliant and willing part-time submissive who spends the majority of her largely independent life without you. Very few people actually have what it takes to be successful dominants, and real dominants are actually quite rare, as many more people have the desire to dominate someone than have the ability to do it well. To dominate someone full-time and in person requires a lot of very hard work on thedominant’s part; a successful dominant does this hard work because the rewards, for him, are worth it. It also requires information, even wisdom, about what both dominant and submissive must do to make this sort of relationship work that at present is unavailable in the fantasy-laden S&M Scene community and its written materials.

As an example, to dominate a deep and needy submissive successfully (in other words, in a way that ensures that both of you are happy and fulfilled)–even a highly motivated, sincere, and obedient submissive–requires an ability to cope with numerous emotional freakouts, resistances, and confusions in one’s submissive partner, especially during the first few live-in years of the relationship. Even the deepest submissive has tremendous difficulties–at first–with learning to obey and to submit, because learning to be a good submissive is not a matter of personality or willpower (although these things help). It’s not a matter of being “submissive enough.” It’s entirely a matter of training and experience. The most willing and compliant submissive isn’t born knowing instinctively how to serve or how to put her Master’s needsfirst. In fact, she’s taught from childhood to be independent and willful. Overcoming a lifetime of cultural conditioning takes lots of time; and nothing in the easy fantasy play that people do on line or over the telephone prepares them for the difficulties of actual, real-life daily obedience. The only way a submissive learns to be a good submissive is through extensive practice, through making mistakes and learning from them, through talking over what goes wrong with a knowledgeable and patient dominant, and through extensive and informed assistance from her dominant partner.

The early “hell” years of a live-in D&S relationship require, in every case that I have seen, extensive patience and emotional self-control from a dominant. Such patience and emotional self-control are signs of maturity, of an adult who’s actually “grown up” and who is truly capable of taking responsibility for someone else’s life. When your submissive is screaming and raging at you for “forcing” her to get up early and make your morning coffee, calling you hurtful, inconsiderate, abusive, it’s awfully hard if you’ve had no actual successful experience as a dominant, or if you are emotionally immature, not to be affected by this, even hurt by it, and not to lash back at her. But “getting back” at a resistant or upset submissive who’s wounded you by withdrawing from her physically or emotionally or through angry punishment or emotional rages of your own will simply ensure that your relationship quickly becomes conventional in terms of power. Your submissive learns that you can’t control yourself, that you have no clue about how to deal with her passive-aggressive or manipulative attempts at resisting you, or that you are a coward who runs away from confrontation. In other words, she learns that, instead of being the great and wonderful dominant that you appeared to be on line, you’re really just an angry, scared, or wounded little boy who is no more emotionally mature than she.

As will become evident to anyone who attempts a live-in power-exchange relationship for a significant length of time, D&S is, at times, hard work and requires a rare individual as a dominant: someone whose ability and actions actually match the claims he makes for him, and someone who considers the hard work worth it because of the things he gets out of the relationship.

There are some minimum attributes which any dominant needs in order to make a real power-exchange relationship work. These are qualities which every submissive person must look for in the dominant when they meet. Many self-proclaimed dominants say that they have these extraordinary qualities, but the claim alone means nothing. The dominant must be able to demonstrate, to show you, that he actually has these attributes. Learning whether your dominant meets these basic requirements takes time: submissives who rush into absolute or even partial live-in power-exchange relationships without taking the time to determine the quality of the person they are agreeing to submit to often pay dearly for it later.

Below are descriptions of some of the minimum qualifications which a dominant who hopes to be successful in a power-exchange relationship must have. It is not meant to be complete, just to provide you with some of the more important qualities to look for in a potential dominant partner:


If you can’t control yourself–your vices, your emotions, your tendency to act out–you cannot control another person. You are too weak and self-indulgent to control another. As mentioned above, all submissives, even the best, resist control at times. Dealing with that resistance in a way that encourages good behavior in the submissive and helps to train her to be a better submissive and a happier person means realizing from the start that your submissive’s actions, however much you may dislike them, are not about you. They are, rather, about her problems with submitting. Learning not to respond narcissistically–i.e.: with anger, personal affront, hurt, or defensiveness–when she behaves in a resisting or manipulative way, is part of self-control. Instead of overreacting, a self-controlled dominant will rationally and over time devise workable strategies based on his intimate knowledge of his submissive that discourage the behavior and attitudes he dislikes.

Stubbornness and Emotional Resilience

People who only imagine that they are dominants and who are suddenly thrust into the position of having to control a real human being face-to-face, often ask a very revealing question: when faced with the initial difficulties of training a submissive and overcoming the onslaught of her confusion or resistance, a situation which requires so much self-control and maturity on their part, they often wonder what it is that the dominant gets out of the relationship besides hard work and grief. An actual dominant never wonders this in any serious sense. He knows what he wants to get out of a power-exchange relationship, and he makes sure, despite the difficulties, that he gets it. A dominants must actually be dominant–must actually have a strong enough will to get his needs met, to insist that he get what he wants out of the relationship. In addition, to someone who is genuinely dominant, overcoming the submissive’s resistance in a way that enhances the relationship for both of them is something that, despite his dislike of the actual resistance, he relishes, as in the long run it enhances his control.


Owning someone for life is a very serious endeavor. When you control another person and can do anything to her that you want to, you have a great responsibility toward her. Some people shallowly liken a dominant’s responsibility to that of owning a pet, but it’s much more of a duty than that. In terms of the seriousness with which the dominant must take his charge, it’s more like having a child. You control this person absolutely, and, assuming that you love your slave, you must make sure that the things that you do–or don’t do–are not harmful or damaging to your charge. You have to think first, and carefully, before you speak out in anger. You have to consider how each action you take or decision you make affects your submissive as well as yourself. You have to anticipate how your sub will react to certain things before you commit to them. You’re steering the ship. You’re the only one in charge. If you truly realize that, then you also know that when things screw up and don’t work out, it is not the fault of the person who is helpless before you and who must follow your orders; it is your responsibility, and yours alone.


A dominant has to be grown up enough to take the responsibility when things go wrong. A child in an adult’s body, on the other hand, blames every misfortune that befalls him on others. Nothing is ever his responsibility. It’s always someone else who has screwed up. A mature person also has patience and a willingness to wait a long time, if necessary, for things to work out. Some things in power-exchange take a very long time to achieve, and a dominant, especially, has to have the determination and fortitude to wait for these things without giving up or losing heart. A mature person is able to keep perspective: he doesn’t see every little blow up or emotional difficulty from his submissive as a sign that the relationship isn’t working or as some symptom of the fact that his submissive doesn’t love him. A mature dominant also knows how to walk the very fine line between not letting his submissive partner’s emotional difficulties rule him on the one hand and becoming emotionally distant from the submissive on the other. A mature person tends to have a calm, even personality that isn’t rocked by every little incident that life throws at him. A mature dominant can be looked up to by his submissive partner, leaned on, seen as a pillar of strength and support–at all times, not just when he finds it fun or easy to play that role. A mature dominant has a good understanding of human nature from having encountered its many forms and knows, in general, what works and what doesn’t work when dealing with a submissive. He doesn’t have to learn all of this by experimenting on you.


This may be the most important quality that a dominant must have. Someone who is completely dependent upon another person and who exists only to please that person has to know that her dominant is reliable and consistent–and especially that he is capable of keeping his word. A dominant isn’t trustworthy just because he says he is. He’s trustworthy when he proves to you, with consistent actions over a long period of time, that he does what he says he is going to do and when he says he will do it, that he tells you the truth and doesn’t deceive you, that you can come to him with your problems, whatever those problems may be, and rely on him to lend a sympathetic, loving ear and not to reject you just because those problems make him feel insecure, confused, or upset.

Experience and Knowledge

It helps immensely if a dominant knows what he is doing–knows which activities are safe and which put a submissive in danger physically or psychologically, understands how to get to know his submissive–to delve deeply into her personality so that he can better control her, knows how to keep her serving him happily and enthusiastically, and knows how actually to control someone. Most people who want to be dominants don’t have the slightest idea of how to do the any of this. They may have had a little success at doing fantasy scenes on the computer, and they think this childish play, which anyone–even a submissive like myself–could learn to do convincingly with a couple of day’s practice makes them experienced and worldly dominants. Or they may learn from the terrible S&M advice and etiquette books on the market that there are “training methods” or formulae that work universally with all submissives (nothing is further from the truth). Or they may have gone to a couple of play parties, seen the performances put on by individuals who are only slightly less ignorant than themselves (although these players will usually do everything within their power to convince you they are S&M experts) and concluded that really controlling someone closely resembles these staged and artificial scenes done mostly to impress an audience with how skilled or cool you are. Learning how to control someone, how to overcome her resistances (every submissive who experiences real, permanent dominance resists), how to handle each new situation that comes up takes a great deal of knowledge or experience, and there’s an art to it as well. It’s complex, as each individual situation requires a different, non-canned or stereotyped response. Most people in the Scene, most people who call themselves dominants and promote themselves as wise S&M gurus, know nothing about any of this. They’re fumbling around in the dark. A dominant either learns this kind of thing from many, many years in the school of hard knocks or from learning from another dominant who already has this knowledge.


It’s a sad fact that many people who call themselves dominants these days have absolutely no idea of what to do with a submissive once they are alone in the same room with one. As long as they can bluster and preen and pretend on line or at a distance or for a short period of time they do fine. But once they actually have a real person to deal with 24 hours a day, they quickly run out of ideas. Most of these people have none of the essential qualities described above, and they don’t really want any of the difficulties or hassles that controlling someone always involves. They want to be dominant entirely for the ego boost, or because they believe that it’s an easy way to get girls to do what you want them to, or because it all sounds so much more fun and easier than a conventional relationship. They are not truly dominant. If they were, they’d accept the hassles and difficulties involved with control, as they’d relish that control so much that they would be willing to deal with any problems it brings. Most self-styled dominants, however, do not really want to control another’s life, they do not want to own a slave (although they often believe that they do until they find one), and when confronted with the realities of ownership, they run away, abandoning their responsibilities. The most common form of running away, of abdicating the dominant’s responsibility, is to blame all the relationship problems on the submissive, pretending that she is ultimately the responsible one.

Advice to a Novice Dominant

 There are as many ways to do D/S as there are people, so you really need to know what your partner wants, doesn’t want, is comfortable with, is afraid of, and so forth. A lot of submissives will have great trouble telling you what they want. For some of them, this is because they don’t really KNOW what they want. Or, perhaps, they know how they want to feel, but they aren’t sure what it is that will make them feel that way. Other submissives do have at least some idea of what they want, but they’re too embarrassed to be able to tell you directly. And some submissives know what they want but feel as if it spoils things if they have to ask for it, they want the impetus for the scene to come from you, and if they ask for something, then it’s as if they’re controlling the scene, when what they want is for you to control it. And of course, more than one of these can occur at once. A person can know only what it is they want to feel AND be too embarrassed to talk about it AND feel as if it gives them too much control over things if they tell you.

There are a couple of ways around these problems, but they all take a bit of work on the Dom’s part. For the sub who isn’t all that sure what they want, you get them to describe how they wish to feel. You ask them what things in their past have gotten them to feel this way, even if it’s only a small and mild version of what they really want. And of course you also use your knowledge of your partner to guess at what you suspect would make them feel what they want. You get them to tell you what they fantasize about (bearing in mind that fantasies are often more intense than anything a person would like to do in real life).

And you experiment. A scene doesn’t have to last for hours. In the early stages, when you’re just figuring out what works for both of you, you can try something for five minutes. (But just because the scene is short doesn’t mean that you take it less seriously. You have to make these mini-scenes as real as your usual ones, or they won’t work as a testing ground. Put your all into them, just keep ’em short. Say you suspect that your submissive would enjoy wearing a collar, then put one on her/him, do a few things with it, then take it off and ask them how they felt about it. If you both liked it, you can always do it again for longer. But these mini-scenes let you try out things in the knowledge for BOTH of you that if you hate it, it only lasts for a short time, this takes some of the pressure off. (When an ex-lover and I seemed to be moving in the direction of no-safeword scenes, I bought an egg timer. The idea was that he would have no safeword for the length of time it tooks the sands to run down. Three minutes is not very long, objectively speaking. But it can be a very long time to someone who’s never played without a safeword before and who realizes that this time there’s no way out. I wasn’t going to do a full-length no-safeword scene until after I’d seen how she handled the egg-timer version.)

For the sub who has at least some knowledge of what they want but who is too embarrassed to tell you what it is, there are a couple of routes to go. You can ask them to write it down and give it to you, since a lot of people can write things that they cannot say. You can also try dominating it out of them, try winding your hand in hir hair, pulling their head into a position that lets you stare into their eyes, and demanding that they tell you what you want to know right now. Or you can threaten some sort of physical punishment unless they divulges the information (only with their permission, of course). The punishment isn’t really intended to be a motivator, it’s intended to be a way for the sub to save face with themselves. They can tell themselves that it’s not greedy or forward or too bold or whatever to tell you what you want to know because you’re making them tell you. Sometimes just letting them tell you in the dark, when you’re snuggled up with your arms around them will be enough.

The sub who doesn’t want to tell you anything because they think that means that they are controlling the scene or that they are forcing you into something you don’t really want tends to be a somewhat harder case, but there are a few things you can try. You can tell them that you aren’t promising to do any of the things that they ask for, you’re just asking because as the Dom, you have the right to ask any damn thing you please and to get an answer. “Since you are my property, the contents of your mind are also my property, and you will give them to me when I ask” is something I tell my submissive. You can tell them that you want the information for your own selfish pleasure, “Making you be submissive in a way that’s good for you is likely to be more fun for me than making you be submissive in a way that’s bad for you, because the second way makes me work harder for less return. So give me what I need to know to get what I want.”

Oh, yes, and a type I forgot to mention. Some submissives think that no one really wants to dominate them, that you’re just humoring them, and leaving you to your own devices is sort of a test. It’s as if they’re saying, “If you really want this, you’ll figure it out on your own.” My own submissive had a touch of this, so I just jumped in and started ordering her around, and once she was assured that I wanted it, too, her fantasies started pouring out.

Once you start getting information out of the person, there are a bunch of things you need to know:

1. You know they are interested in D/S, but what kind?

  • Do they want to do D/S for a short time in bed and be equal out of scene, or are they looking for a full-time D/S relationship?
  • Do they want to do D/S for a short time in bed and be equal out of scene, or are they looking for a full-time D/S relationship?
  • Do they want this to be you and him/her, or do they want the two of you to assume some sort of fantasy roles, like teacher/student or parent/child or jailer/prisoner?
  • Do they want to be treated as a valuable submissive, or do they crave humiliation?
  • Do they go for lots of symbols, like kneeling at your feet, wearing a collar, and so forth?

Are there things that they like to be made to say? Some subs like being made to say things like “I am yours, Master/Mistress” or “Please use me for your pleasure, Sir/Maam,” whereas others find this sort of thing too flowery and prefer sharper exchanges and still others get nonverbal when in scene and find speech annoying. (I’m reminded of a woman who told me that she could never bring herself to call a man “Master,” because the word always made her think of Igor saying “Yesss, Massster,” and she would start laughing. It wasn’t that she was disrespectful, she had no trouble with “Sir” or “My Lord,” but “Master” made her crack up.)

What sorts of things would they like you to say? Some submissives like being called names by their dominants, some like hearing that they are your sub/slave or that they are owned, others like being told about the various unspeakable things that are about to happen to them, others like hearing an explicit list of rules and expectations, others like hearing that their dominant enjoys what she/he is doing. There’s a really long list of different things that turn different people on, and I can’t cover it all. (For example, my submissive loves hearing the words “You’re my slave.” Very simple sentence, but it does something to her. She also loves hearing, when I hurt her, “I need this, and I want you to bear it as a gift to me.” To show you how different even very similar people can be, I would hate being told “You’re my slave” but I would love being told “I need this, and I want you to bear it as a gift to me.” (To make it even more complicated, I have no trouble with “You’re mine;” it’s the word “slave” that I can’t stomach.) Getting a feel for what sort of thing underlies your submissive’s submissive desires will help you get a feel for what sorts of things they like to hear.)

The above point leads in to what is the subtlest sort of distinction to make but the one that will be the most useful. Once you’ve gotten the answers to the above sorts of questions, you might be able to abstract some sort of general theme that guides your submissive’s desires and fantasy life. Some submissives have the “I’m worthless, and I deserve to be punished” mindset, some have a “I don’t want to have to take any responsibility, so I want you to control everything” mindset, some have a “I want to be so desirable that you have to take complete control of me” mindset or the “I want us to blend into one person” mindset or the “I want to prove I love you by doing difficult things” mindset or any number of others. Once you’ve talked and played for a while, you might get an intuitive feel for this. It may be something that your submissive can tell you, but it may not be, they may not have thought about it or analyzed it to this extent. But if you can figure out what sort of mindset underlies your partner’s submission, it makes doing new things and guiding your future play a lot easier. You’ll know what new things are likely to work and what won’t because you’ll understand the underlying motivations.

2. What sorts of things do they like besides D/S?

  • Is bondage okay? If so, how much and what kind?
  • Is pain okay? If so, how much and what kind?

Okay. So now you know what your submissive wants. You also have to figure out what YOU want. It’s easy, when you’re first starting out and trying to figure out how to be a Dom, to imagine some stereotypical stern, sneering dominant and try to emulate that image. But not all of us are cut out to fit that mold, and luckily for us, not all submissives like dominants who fit that mold. You need to find your personal style. The best style for you is not the one that’s the closest to the stereotype, it’s the one that makes your eyes light up and your energy rise and makes you feel that THIS is the most alive you’ve felt in a long time. Personally, I’m a pretty gentle dominant as far as manner goes, but manner can be deceiving. One of the things I like to do is to force my submissive to do things that she wants to do but is too frightened to do, the “You are so much mine that I can make you do something that terrifies you” feeling is quite a rush for me, but I know I can let myself give in to that feeling because I’m making her do something that she secretly wants. I also like mental stripping — making my sub/slave be mentally and emotionally naked with me, she must tell me anything I want to know about her. Oh, and making her scream is fun, too. 🙂

Of course, your style will be influenced by your submissive’s style. The sort of submissive who wants to be forced into submission will elicit a different response from you than the sort of submissive who wants to lay thier submission at your feet like a present. And of course, some submissives can do one thing at one time and the other thing at another time. Just to keep you on your toes. 🙂

Don’t worry if it feels sort of strange in the beginning. When I first started dominating my sub/slave, I would look at my face in the mirror and chuckle and say, “This is NOT the face of the sort of person who owns a sub/slave.” But that “WHO? Me?” feeling wore off after a while. That “I’m not cut out for this. I don’t know what I’m doing” feeling wore off after a while. If it’s TRULY not for you, don’t force yourself. But do give yourself a little while to try it on and get used to it before you decide whether or not it’s for you. I felt silly and nervous and out of place at first. But after a while, I came to feel that there were few things I’d ever done that were more satisfying.

From Ugly Duckling To Swan

From Ugly Duckling To Swan

By devilsbane
Property of DevilsTriMaster

I have sat and thought this over for a while and I’d like to express some thoughts. Some may understand and agree, some may not, but I think it is worthwhile. I hope it will be somewhat entertaining as well as internally reflecting.

I think for so many of U/us, as we progress in the Lifestyle, learn more, experience more, we get to a place where we forget what our first days were like when we were first discovering and exploring.

Many times we experience a post from someone asking questions or voicing their inner feelings and trying to understand why. Some times the poster may seem insincere, and sometimes statements made may at first irritate our senses. I think before we are so quick to respond in judgment, it would be better for us to stop and reflect on our past, and if it is something we still cannot relate to, perhaps separate our thoughts from ourselves, and try to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and try to see where they may be coming from, and even why.

I’ll use my own experience for sincerity and to try to show that perhaps some questions which are posted are not so different than what some of us experienced at one time. I was the ugly duckling who transformed into a swan, lol.

I remember when I first learned of the Lifestyle, and that there were people who acknowledged and practiced feelings and needs that I had been experiencing inside but up to that point I kept hidden for fear I was “different.”

I then got involved with a fake and player, but the details are not important here, only that it happened. What matters is after that, I was introduced to a Mentor, who came highly recommended by a friend of mine, a friend well known in the Lifestyle. I honestly think myself fortunate in that I started with a Mentor, and that is one reason I would suggest one to anyone new to the Lifestyle, as long as serious research is done first.

Everything was so new to me, combined with the fact I was just coming out of a bad experience where I felt angry for being deceived. So I was a little less than willing to be “trained” or involve myself in any TPE or relationship where I gave up any control. I was hard-headed and at times disrespectful, though I never intended to be or thought myself so.

The wonderful thing with Mentors is that they teach, but they do not train. They allow one to learn and experience many facets of the Lifestyle in a safe environment. Most Mentors (in my opinion the good ones) will not allow any type of emotional bond to grow between them and their charge, or at least they will not take advantage of the bond if the sub starts to feel things, and they will go to great pains to ensure their charge always understands that they are watched, taught, and protected, but nothing else will be demanded of them, nor allowed, while being Mentored.

My Mentor allowed me to make mistakes, have the normal tantrums and phases of resistance, while all the time slowly teaching me. I was never judged negatively because I was not inclined to want to submit to another. I was simply lead, slowly, to understanding the expectations and rewards or such a relationship. Many times did I question and even argue the merits of this type of arrangement. At that time, I was being mentored, learning my submission, and yet had any of you here known me or discussed it much with me you would probably have considered me a player or a troll. The one thing my Mentor knew, and I did not, was that each time a new submissive fights with herself and resists her submission, it is another step in her learning process, and another opportunity for the Mentor to show and teach her, and thus lead her a little deeper into herself. My Mentor taught me to understand many things through feeling, believing it is sometimes more beneficial to allow someone to “feel” the lesson inside rather than trying to explain it.

For instance, one time when I was rambling (whining) about having directives that needed to be carried out, I didn’t see the point, and I didn’t have the time… all the ramblings of a submissive needing discipline, He allowed me to rebel, and then quietly withdrew his directives and advice, more and more, slowly over several days. I did not know this was occurring and suddenly something started to feel terribly wrong. I didn’t know what it was but after a few days I started to feel panic, sad, lost. When I finally went to Him and explained what I was feeling, He explained that He was in no way upset with me, and that He had merely allowed me to experience what it was like before I started learning with Him, and what it felt like to no longer have what He had been giving me and allowing me to experience. I immediately apologized for being such a blockhead and asked for His direction and control back. He never chastised or shamed me for my mistake, He allowed me to learn through feelings and understandings over time. And boy did that lesson stick with me.

There was the time I didn’t do something I was told, and things started to unwind and snowball. I didn’t want to have to go to him and admit what was wrong. I wanted to fix it myself. But I couldn’t fix it and things kept getting more and more out of control. The longer I waited, the worse it got. Finally I went to Him and asked Him please, I need help. He told me He knew I had not followed His suggestions and how things had probably went as a consequence. I asked Him why He had not questioned me about it when He knew. He responded that I needed to learn that when I am told something, I am told it for my benefit, and when I do not listen, I only hurt myself. We then discussed how I had let the situation drag on for days before coming to Him, feeling the stress, the sadness, and the guilt. I admitted that I had been afraid to come to Him as I had done wrong. I learned that day as well, I will beat myself up more and hurt more by hiding when I have done wrong, than to come to Him and openly admit my error and seek His judgment and discipline. His discipline has never been near as harsh as the guilt I lay upon myself. In essence, coming to Him takes the guilt from me and allows me to start over with a clean slate, not to mention allows Him to help me get back on track.

There are so many other examples I could give on this. But the point I am trying to make is that people come to our group in so many different stages of self discovery, with so many different variances in their past which can affect their mindsets. We cannot fairly label them as one thing or another, question their sincerity, nor should we be less than tolerant and helpful. Not everyone has had the opportunity that I did to know of, or have been under a Mentor who can see and bring out their inner self. Some have jumped into a bad relationship and had bad experiences. Some have no idea yet what it is they are seeking, or the extent of servitude, responsibility, freedom, and reward that being a submissive or slave can hold. They come to our group with questions. They come in sincerity, confusion, and often fear.

As a group who believes in honesty, trust, communication, and respect, let us remember that we were not always where we are at now. What we may now see as silly may be very important to someone new; what we may see as a disrespectful act or statement may be one of fear, confusion, or lack of guidance.

I am happy to say that many, many years later, my Mentor now owns me and is Master. Now, things are not as relaxed, and He is not as readily forgiving. He expects of me what He knows I have already learned. In humbleness, I am ready and eager to please Him for all He has done for me. I accept my slavery to Him with pride and sheer joy, because of who I am inside and my need to be that person. But it all started with a young woman (me) who because of her past, never wanted to be a slave, was not about to take orders, and would not bend a knee to any one… and yet, she had this need that kept tugging at her. She was a submissive in her heart and soul, and eventually she grew into a slave.

It is my sincere hope that as a group, we can accept people to our threads that come from all stages in their discovery and learning. I hope we can offer those newer some opinions and help them to learn in a safe and non-ridiculing environment. And lastly, I hope that those still searching are able to find a M/s relationship where they can experience the fulfillment, freedom, security, and and happiness that before they only had dreamed of.