We Are Human First

This article is about consent and negotiation and mistakes and hindsight. It’s about personal responsibility and compassion.

There are reasons I don’t do pick up play and why I like to be at least friends with someone before I do a scene with them. When you play as a bottom you are trusting someone with your physical, mental, and emotional well-being for a certain amount of time. When you play as a Top you are trusting another person to be honest with you up front and not vilify you if you make a mistake. Notice the running theme? TRUST. Now, if you are just starting to play and have just met that person or have only known them a short time, then a whole lot of trust isn’t necessarily there yet. This is why it’s not recommended that you do heavy scenes or attempt to push boundaries and limits with someone in the beginning. You should be developing more trust first.

So what should you trust about a new play partner? Well, as a bottom you should hopefully be able to trust that your Top has good intentions and is looking to play with you in a safe way while adhering to the limits that you have stated during negotiation. That they are not looking to take advantage of you or do things that weren’t discussed just because “well you didn’t say I couldn’t”. (This is also why I teach newbies to negotiate from an “I want to start with just doing x, y, and z” position rather than trying to think of all the things they don’t want to do.) As a Top you should be able to trust that the bottom has disclosed whatever medical issues, triggers, etc that they are aware of, along with things that may be unique to them as a player. For example, bottoms – if when you go into subspace you are barely aware of your surroundings or what year it is, this is something the Top should be made aware of!

However, guess what? Even after all that things can go wrong. The bottom may have forgotten to disclose something. The Top may have briefly had a brain fart regarding one of the bottom’s limits. The bottom may have been triggered by something they didn’t realize they would be triggered by. The Top may have done something that wasn’t spelled out in negotiations (not talking about major stuff). But remember, scenes are supposed to be fun. Especially with a new partner who is likely not to go too “deep” or too far in play the first time. Not everything will be spelled out in the negotiation – it’s not possible. Or, if possible, it would probably be a very boring, predictable scene.

So what do you do about that? Well, for starters, choose to play with people you can have a conversation with. I’m talking about a conversation beyond the negotiation. If these things happen (which they will) don’t jump to anger and blaming the other person. Start with personal responsibility. Look in the mirror and ask yourself what part of that do you hold accountability for? Acknowledge this to your partner. Hopefully they will acknowledge their part of whatever happened as well. TALK about the little things that happened and assume it was not born from manipulation or ill intent. Are some people douche-nozzles? Absolutely. However, most people aren’t looking to hurt you or create a bad reputation for themselves. Most people are doing the best they can or the best they know how to do. So talk about the scene. Make adjustments in your future negotiations if need be.

Just remember when you strip away the titles and the power exchange – we are all just human first.

 

So many closets, so little time.  Well, ok, only two closets, however, I’ve had to come out of them again and again.

When you hear that someone “came out of the closet” you may think, “Good for them, it’s a big step and now they don’t have to worry about it anymore.”  What people may not realize is that once you come out – that’s just the FIRST time.  Essentially you have to come out every time you meet someone new or run into an old friend or family member who perhaps wasn’t around when you made the big announcement.  (That’s how everyone comes out by the way – big loudspeaker type pronouncement over the radio or in a stadium.)

Every time you tell someone new, you run the same risk you did the first time.  Will they react positively or with criticism?  Will your relationship with them change after this conversation?

When I came out the first time it was at the age of 17 and I came out to my friends as bisexual.  (FYI – this is still how I identify – I know – SHOCKER – it wasn’t just a phase…..)  I am proud to say I have wonderful friends who totally accepted me and had no issue.  I got involved with my LGBT group on my college campus and dated the only other bisexual girl in the group because the lesbians wanted nothing to do with us.  (That’s a topic for another day)  Fortunately she was just my type and we had a nice time together.  It was, however, a short romance and pretty soon after we broke up I started dating the man I would eventually marry.

Fast forward 15 years, marriage, two kids and one divorce later.  Time to get back out into the dating pool.  I cast out my net to any and all on the typical dating sites.  Met a few great people – not great matches however.  Then I met a woman – an amazing woman.  We dated for a couple years with some bumps in the road.  However, it was a serious relationship and I felt that it was time to come out to my parents.  Until this point I was “relatively out” – meaning I was out to everyone except my relatives!

So there I was, in my 30’s, coming out to my parents.  Thankfully they are both totally supportive.  My dad thought perhaps it was a post-divorce phase until I explained that she was not my first female partner.

So then there was the kink/BDSM closet that I had newly discovered as I was going thru my divorce.  For many people kink is something they do in the bedroom and they never feel the need to “come out” about it.  However, for me it wasn’t only my lifestyle, it was also my job.  Only a couple years into the scene I worked as a pro-sub and then a pro-Switch.  I eventually felt the pressure to open up to my mom because she kept asking so many questions about my new job in “customer service”.  Nice cover, right?  Fortunately it coincided with the 50 Shades trilogy and my mom happened to be reading the first one.  I used that to come out to her.  Her biggest concern was my safety and my happiness.  I assured her that I was both safe and happy.  She was supportive.  She has even attended one of my classes to try and gain more of an understanding – which I thought was super awesome of her!

Shortly thereafter I told my dad and he was accepting as well.  All of my friends know and I’m not shy talking about it with new friends I meet.  I am a bit more cautious with friends connected to my kids.  However, if you read my article titled The Outsider, you will see I didn’t have much to worry about.

I know that many people don’t feel they can come out about their orientation, their BDSM lifestyle, or perhaps both.  They may fear family shame, ridicule, or job loss.  As for me I feel extremely fortunate to be able to live my life openly.

I am at the point now in my life (perhaps some of it just comes with age) where I figure if you don’t accept me (and all that I am) then I don’t need you in my life.  If you want to know more, however, just ask and I will answer any question you have!

I come out of two closets again and again….and I’m proud of both!

D/s Concepts That Work for Any Relationship

 

I came across an article recently on a vanilla/mainstream psychology website. The article link is below, but basically it talks about doing relationship check-ins.  The author advises couples to sit down on an annual basis and review their marriage – this article advises doing it alongside a professional, such as a therapist.  She relates it to a performance review that may happen in a workplace.  However, I relate it to the relationship contracts we create as part of D/s dynamics.  Once a D/s couple has created a contract, typically it includes an annual review or even a monthly review – or anything in between.  The author basically describes a check-in that consists of creating a safe space to discuss issues that have come up and give one another feedback.  In this sense what the author describes and what D/s partners do is very similar.  We go over our contract and offer feedback as to what we think has been working and what we have issues with.  We go over protocols that may have been forgotten (which is why written contracts come in handy – they work as reminders), others that haven’t worked out well, and confirming the ones that work.  Depending on what we include in our contract, the “review” may include updating limits and/or rules or boundaries surrounding poly dynamics.

For both the vanilla and D/s version of this idea it creates a sense of closeness and connection while identifying issues that may have come up over the past year, month, 3 months, etc.  It also confirms all the things that have been, and still are, working.  For the D/s relationships it strengthens the bond of the power exchange as well.

What I love about all this is that here is an example of something we have done in our community for decades – and the mainstream community is catching on.  I think as we continue to find and expose more examples like this (there are plenty) and could explain what is happening under the kink jargon to mainstream people, we could show why more and more studies are concluding that D/s relationships are just as healthy, if not in many cases healthier, than vanilla ones.  Perhaps some of the stigma we face would be lifted.

Original article link:

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201510/why-relationship-review-can-help-keep-you-together?utm_source=FacebookPost&utm_medium=FBPost&utm_campaign=FBPost

 

 

A Third Leg

 

No, this article is not about giant members.  lol

So I was watching talk shows the other day.  Well, I use the term “watching” loosely.  More like glancing up at the tv occasionally while they were running in the background as I helped my kids with homework.  Anyway, on one of the talk shows a co-host was mentioning something about how people have been saying that couples last longer if they have a “third leg”.  She went on to describe what this meant.  Basically she was referring to things like having kids, shared tv shows (and being able to watch them together thanks to streaming networks), a common hobby, etc.  Something they can focus their attention on as a couple that is outside of themselves.

The reason for the “third leg” being helpful in keeping couples together and interested in one another is that it gives them something to talk about and connect over.  It’s amazing how much people will thank streaming networks for saving their marriage!  Especially since it used to be that if a couple only had kids to connect over they were at a loss once the kids moved out.  Now with external entertainment at our fingertips we have much more to interact about for an infinite amount of time.

This got me thinking, however, about those of us into kink and/or polyamory.

We have those same things to connect over, tv shows, maybe kids for those in the scene that share children, perhaps common vanilla hobbies as well.  However, in addition we share kink.  For some it is like another hobby we enjoy together, for others it’s our lifestyle.  Either way it’s something else we share with our partner(s) and look forward to.  If we play then we look forward to that – maybe planning scenes or deciding which parties to attend.  If we are involved in a power exchange relationship then we may spend time together communicating about rules, protocol, etc.

When it comes to poly it’s an entirely new level.  If there are other partners then (similar to kids) you have another (or other) actual people to connect over, communicate about, plan things with, and talk to.  With or without other partners you may still be communicating about how poly will work for you.  Discussing finding a new partner or partners.  Perhaps you go out together to meet potential play partners, lovers, and/or life mates.  There are those that have other partners and are also looking for additional partners.  I don’t know where they find the time, but that’s just me!  Also, unlike kids, additional partners don’t necessarily fall under the same developmental timeline of growing up and moving out or away from you.  This doesn’t mean that poly relationships don’t end, however, you are then able to continue opening up to others in the attempt to find and unite with new people.  You can’t just go out and try to find new kids to replace the ones that left for college!

The point of all this is that if you’re involved in kink, poly relationships, or both – you have opened up a whole new world of “third leg” possibilities to connect over.  This not only keeps life interesting, but our relationships as well.

 

 

D-type and s-type Fluid

So you may or may not have heard the term “gender fluid”.  This refers to a person who may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders (male and female), but may feel more male some days, and more female other days.

This concept came up in one of my classes in a different way.  We were discussing one student who knew she identified as an s-type, however, wasn’t really sure which “subcategory” she fit into. Slave, submissive, babygirl, pet, little, bottom, property, etc.  I could relate to what she meant.  I identify (personally) as an s-type – normally I will say submissive, yet I am sometimes more in the headspace of a babygirl or perhaps a pet.  There are plenty of times I identify as a bottom – especially when I am doing a demo or acting as a practice bottom.  I also fall under the category of “service Top” when teaching or doing an educational scene, however, I don’t consider myself a Dominant at all.  For me the slave identifier has not been something I have identified with yet.  I have several close friends that have told me they think I am “slave wired”, yet I continue to put up some resistance there.  (Perhaps an issue for me to work through or perhaps just a matter of partnership)  In any case, I can’t rule out many of the s-type subcategories because I may feel a combo of them or feel like I identify more like one or another from one day to the next or one moment to the next.

So during this class I named this “s-type fluid” or “s-fluid”.

I realized that this same concept probably applies to D-types as well.  Maybe someone knows that they identify as Dominant, however, they occasionally act as a Top or are in the headspace of a “Daddy Dom” or “Mommy Dom” based on their partner or mood.  I would imagine that identifying as a Master is something a Dominant would either feel like all the time or perhaps grow into with a partner.  In any case, I think you can be “D-type Fluid” or “D-fluid” just like an s-type.

 

This concept doesn’t mean you are confused in any way – just like someone who identifies as gender fluid isn’t confused.  It may just mean that you can flow from one subcategory to another based on headspace, partner, mood, or any other reason.  By the way, this is different from identifying as a switch.  A switch may be fluid in terms of being able to bottom or Top (or go between Dom and sub), however, s-type fluid and D-type fluid has nothing to do with switching.  It means you identify as either a D-type or an s-type all the time, but that the subcategories of these identifiers can change.

 

So maybe if you, like me, know which side of the slash you are on, however, feel differently at different times – or if you are still exploring and seeing which subcategory “fits” you best – perhaps this idea of fluidity as applied to D/s identity is the best descriptor for you!

(Perhaps Fetlife needs to add this to their list of identifier options!)  J

 

Pushing a Dynamic

 

This, like most of my articles, is for both sides of the slash.  Let’s start with what you hear of more commonly.  The D-type pushing boundaries or pressuring an s-type, especially the newbies, to act as if they are in a power exchange dynamic.  So all you s-types listen up: Just because you’re AN s-type, doesn’t mean you’re HIS or HER s-type!  If you haven’t heard this before, it won’t be the last time.  A power exchange dynamic, just like play, is something you enter into with consent and communication.

So how might a D-type push these boundaries?

One way can be before you ever meet them.  It could be as soon as their first message to you.  Greeting you, making their intention known and then “giving you permission” to call them Sir/Mistress, etc.  Why? Just because you’re an s-type?  Calling someone by a title is something you do as part of a dynamic.  (By the way this is not in reference to those who refer to everyone as Sir or Ma’am out of politeness nor toward those that have it as part of their protocol.)  You in no way “owe” this to anyone, especially someone you’ve never met! Remember you have a voice.  Let them know you aren’t comfortable referring to them that way since you’ve never met.  Or perhaps it wasn’t their first message, but only a handful of messages in.  Either way, whether you’ve been chatting for one minute or one year, titles are things you discuss.  If they get upset, then I would take that as a huge red flag.  Chances are, at best, they are role-playing the D-type thing and really have no idea or interest in how these things work.  At worst, they are purposefully trying to manipulate you.

Besides expecting titles to be used, there are other ways that D-types can push a dynamic.  It could be at a party or munch where they tell you to get them something or expect you to cater to them.  Key words here are “tell you” and “expect”.  It’s one thing to politely ask for a favor, it’s another to simply assume you are at their beck and call just because of how you identify.

Now on to the other side of the issue.  S-types can push dynamic as well.  Here’s how…

So you, a D-type, find someone to chat with on Fetlife.  Things are going well up to this point, only a dozen or so messages back and forth so far.  That’s when the s-type hits you with, “what do you want to do to me Daddy/Mommy?” or “What did Master/Mistress do today?”

Daddy?! Master?!  Mommy?! Mistress?!

Hold on there!  These are titles that should be earned, discussed, and negotiated.  Now, this s-type could be trying to push for a dynamic or relationship prematurely, or they may not know any better.  I think it’s a common misperception that s-types are expected to use titles for every D-type.  This is especially true for those that are new in the scene.  I recommend, if this happens to you, to let them know that they do not need to call you by a title, that your name (or preferred label) is perfectly acceptable until or unless you both agree to enter into something more.  Now, if they disregard that request, then you may have an issue.

What it comes down to is that a power exchange dynamic is something to be respected and taken seriously.  Try not to move too quickly and be wary of those that do.  It’s ok to move at a slower pace, at your pace, until the time is right.

Know Thyself

 

Know thyself.  I say this a lot to my classes and my clients.  I have lived and continue to live in a way that I discover more about myself every day.  One thing this community and lifestyle can teach you are lessons about who you are, what your limits and boundaries are, and what you strive for.  Over time these things can change of course, however, growth and commitment to self-exploration are essential.

Many of us do this as we go along in this world.  It’s not like you go through a phase of life where you learn everything about yourself and then you’re just done all of a sudden.  I believe we should be growing and learning until we die.  So it’s not exactly reasonable to tell people to not live this lifestyle or begin to explore until they have everything figured out.  It is, however, reasonable to ask people to at least begin the journey of self-exploration and really start working hard on major issues before they enter into a serious D/s commitment with another human being.  Whether it’s issues from childhood or baggage from past relationships – these things should be addressed with serious concern and attention.  I’m not saying if you discover something that needs work and you are already in a relationship, to break it off and seclude yourself until you figure it out.  However, if you aren’t yet in one – take advantage of this time to sink your teeth into issues that may come up in a dynamic.

Now, many people think this is mostly a D-type issue.  That you can’t lead or be in charge of an s-type if you don’t have your own sh** handled.  While I agree that if you are a D-type you should certainly be working on yourself and have the ability to maintain control over your own life before taking the lead of someone else’s, I definitely don’t think it only applies to D-types.

S-types also have a responsibility to work on self.  We commonly talk about triggers when it comes to play and perhaps working through negative emotional reactions when dealing with poly dynamics or other issues the D-type introduces.  However, an s-type needs to also be working on his or her self as an individual.  An s-type cannot depend on their D-type for everything.  First of all, be a whole human being with individual thoughts, interests, hobbies, and friends.  Learn to develop personal boundaries and respect for yourself and those around you.  These are all things that will support you in contributing to your relationship and your dynamic.  Secondly, heaven forbid the D-type is gone – whether via break up or death.  The s-type needs to be able to function independently.  Otherwise their choice is what?  Flounder around clueless or desperately chase the next relationship which may be unhealthy just because they don’t feel they have a choice?  This is not ok.

I grew up with a mom who used to tell me that getting an education is incredibly important no matter my life plan.  She would tell me she would fully support me if I decided (after getting a degree) to be a stay-at-home wife and mother for the rest of my days.  However, if anything happened to my partner (divorce and death are rarely expected) she would know that at least I had an education to fall back on.  This is a very similar concept when it comes to developing yourself independent of your current or future partners.

As a D-type you should encourage your s-types growth, as you continue to grow as well.  As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, continuously work on self.  You can’t afford to ignore major issues.  If other people point out a problem, don’t let ego get in the way.  Stop and examine what they’re talking about.  Be willing to explore and change/work on what you need to.

Know thyself on either side of the slash.  It will do you, your partners, and this community a lot of good.

SAFE, SANE, AND CONSENSUAL – we hear this all the time, but what does it mean?  I want to take this opportunity to discuss a portion of this, which is the ‘consensual’ portion.  One way to make sure that what you’re doing is consensual is to negotiate.

Negotiating tends to get easier the more you do it.  In addition, as you play you will learn more about yourself including more things you need to include when you negotiate a scene.  (Negotiating a relationship or D/s dynamic is a whole seperate article.)

The conundrum is that while you want to cover important things when you negotiate, you also don’t want to negotiate the scene to death.  Many scenes are about an exchange of energy and may include elements that the top/D-type doesn’t want to necessarily devulge to the bottom/s-type.  This is true especially for players that know each other well, are regular play partners, or in a dynamic/relationship.  The negotiation I’m focusing on is the “newbie negotiation”.  Assuming you are fairly new to kink or new to your partner, or both.  Below is an easy way to remember what should be covered and descriptions for each element.

As I have been teaching the 101 series I have gone over what should be covered (in general) when negotiating play almost every week. I decided to come up with an easy to remember acronym. They are not necessarily in order of importance, but I had to make it into a “word”! lol

 

Negotiation Acronym: S.M.A.S.H.T.

 

An easy way to remember the basic things that should be covered in a negotiation for play.

 

S – Safewords

M – Medical

A – Aftercare

S – Soft Limits

H – Hard Limits

T – Triggers

 

Safewords – sometimes it’s not enough to just agree that the typical “stoplight” system be used. (Note: if you are using other safewords please also inform a Dungeon Monitor)  “Green” means it’s all good and you are enjoying what’s happening.  Most people don’t actually shout “green”!  Although that may be kinda funny!  Lol  Usually giggles or moans are good indicators. “Red” is also pretty straightforward.  It means you STOP.  Stop whatever is happening and immediately check in with the bottom.  I have found that people’s understanding or expectation of “yellow” can vary. It’s important to make sure you are on the same page.  If the bottom expects the top to simply “lighten up” when they call yellow but the top assumes they should stop and check in (similar to a red with perhaps less urgency) – this may effect the bottoms head space.  The bottom should tell the top during negotiation that, “if I call yellow it just means you’re going too hard but don’t stop and talk to me because it will interupt my head space.”

 

Medical – not just obvious things like surgeries, joint issues, injuries, etc, but also things like asthma, blood sugar issues, or allergies.  Allergies can be food related but also if they have any allergy to natural fiber you may need to double think about the type of rope you’re using (if any) or if other toys have been stored with rope that can cause a reaction.  Also if there are animal allergies and you have toys made with any kind of fur, etc.

 

Aftercare – this varies from person to person and possibly scene to scene with the same person.  Some people enjoy close snuggling or putting their head in the tops lap while others may need some time alone or to not be touched.  (side note – even if they ask to be left alone they should always be somewhere that you can keep an eye on them)  Always have water at the ready for both parties and food may be desired as well.  If you know you need to eat right after I suggest having something that you bring so that you are not relying on the club to have food once you’re done playing.  Even just throwing a protien bar in your bag is a good back up.

 

Soft limits – this refers to limits that the bottom isn’t interested in or has concerns about, but are willing to try them or push. This may also include activities that the bottom knows they don’t like, however, is willing to do them from a place of service or submission.

 

Hard limits – limits that are a no go. Not happening. Nope.

 

Triggers – psychological or emotional responses that can effect the scene (usually negatively). Can be body positions, for example the bottom may be fine on a cross but if they are bent over furniture it makes them feel too vulnerable or exposed.  It can also remind them of childhood punishments and cause a negative response.  Verbal triggers, often in the use of humiliation and/or degredation play.  The bottom my not be ok with any “negative” talk – only affirmations or positive feedback.  They may also be ok with some types of humilation but not others.  For example sexual humiliation is ok but don’t call them anything negative in reference to their intelligence or weight.  Certain implements can trigger someone.  Perhaps as a child they were always hit with a belt as punishment.  For some they may seek out belts for impact due to this experience OR it may become a negative trigger/reminder.  Particular parts of the body is something else to consider.  You can have a bottom who is a heavy masochist that you can do almost anything to…..except don’t touch their feet!  (for example)  Maybe you have to stay away from face slapping due to it triggering memories of past abuse, or their stomach due to insecurities, etc.

 

All of the above should be discussed with concern for both parties. The top may have medical issues or triggers that the bottom should be aware of, both should be on the same page as far as safewords and limits, and the top may have their own requests for aftercare!

 

Also, make sure you understand the intention of the scene.  I know two people that did a full negotiation – listed all the things they both liked – then as they began, realized they BOTH assumed they were the Top!  Decide together if this is more of a casual, teaching scene.  Perhaps one or both of you are looking for experience but not necessarily power exchange.  Do you want it to have a certain energy?  Energy of the scene isn’t always something you can control, and in my opinion it’s usually best when you don’t try to, however, if one person is looking for a very sensual energy and the other desires a more strict and disciplined energy that’s good to know up front.

 

You may need to add to this depending on the type of play or intensity of the scene – but this should cover all your basics.

 

I hope this helps!

It’s ok to be a D-type

 

Defining “D-type”: general term I use to encompass those that identify as a Dominant, Master, Mistress, Goddess, Trainer, Top, Owner, Daddy/Mommy, etc.

D-types in the BDSM community are those that hold the power or control that their s-type surrenders, or yields, to them.  Why would someone want to assume this great responsibility?  The answers will vary depending on who you talk to.  People are drawn to this roll for a variety of reasons.  Some reasons may include a desire to maintain control, power, or decision making for another, wanting to provide structure or discipline, bestow a sense of safety and caretaking, and/or seeking service from another.

Where does Dominance come from?  Why are some people naturally this way or seek this role in relationships?  Again, just as with s-types, not all paths or reasons are healthy.  Many are quite healthy.  There are complex layers that turn us toward certain partners in life, vanilla or kinky. It may be that it is an extension of how they were raised.  Messages like, “A man is the head of the household.” or “A strong woman is independant and shouldn’t be controlled.” could contribute to someone being a D-type.  It could also be that they grew up with chaos or feel a lack of control in many aspects of their life (ie, answering to a boss, etc) and so taking consensual control within their relationship is empowering.

One complaint about 50 Shades of Gray is that the books portray the main character, a D-type, as a man who has found this dynamic as a result of childhood abuse.  While this may be true for some kinksters, both s and D-types, it is certainly not true for many – if not most.  It’s unfortunate that this popular piece of fiction has perpetuated negative stereotypes.

There are many messages, that D-types may hear from folks around them and pieces like 50 shades.

 

“You’re just a control freak.”

“You are a predator that wants to take advantage and use other people.”

“You need to control your partner? You must be insecure or overcompensating for attributes you lack.”

“You’re an asshole/bitch.”

 

Or worse yet, you hear these types of messages from your vanilla partners before realizing that it’s OK to be a D-type.  This is where I want to tell you about an ex of mine because her story is a perfect example of someone being naturally inclined towards Dominance, yet suppressing it due to external negative messages.

When I met *Lisa she claimed to be “the most vanilla person you’ll ever meet”.  So why did I persue a relationship with her?  I don’t know, perhaps I saw that as a challenge or maybe it was her punny sense of humor.  That part doesn’t matter.  What matters is the part where I started introducing her to the kink scene.  I started with munches, then slowly introducing her to my friends, and eventually taking her to parties.  It was a whole new world and experience for her but after the initial shock wore off she was starting to have fun.  We began to introduce more kinky play into our dynamic and she was taking lessons and tips from so many wonderful people that embraced her.  As our relationship continued I started to encourage her to take the lead with decisions and making demands.  I showed her through my response that not only did I not fight her on these things, I actually thrived in following her lead and supporting her commands.

At first it was difficult for her and we would discuss why.  Turns out she had some fairly strong Dominant traits all her life, yet when she would act upon them in her vanilla relationships, her girlfriends did not appreciate those traits at all.  They wanted to be equal and it would turn into a power struggle as opposed to a power exchange.  After enough of these experiences within failed relationships she ended up suppressing these Dominant traits.  She was attempting to maintain the peace when her partners would accuse her of being “too controlling”.  Her natural Dominant tendencies became “wrong” and “bad”.

So there I was – opening her eyes to a whole world where people thrive with the structure she was attempting to suppress.  She was experiencing a relationship with me, who not only accepted, but encouraged her Dominant side.  She was finally able to accept and cherish parts of herself that she had grown to villainize.

She learned that it is OK to be a D-type.

Something I say in my classes is, “the D in D-type should NOT stand for Douche-bag”. It should stand for Dominant and represent someone who comes from a place of confidence and security.  Someone who can be trusted and someone with integrity.

Dominance in and of itself is not a bad thing.  It’s when people use it in a harmful or irresponsible way that leads to abuse (emotional, physical, or psychological) or intentional/unintentional harm.  If you are Dominant take responsibility for how you express that Dominance.  There are many s-types out there that thrive on and crave what you have to offer.  It is your responsibility to understand what you are offering, continue to grow and learn, take classes, join discussion groups, read more articles, etc.  Don’t take advantage of your role and use it to control your s-type in an unhealthy way.  Part of your responsibilities as a D-type and as a partner is to support your s-type in reaching their full potential.  Know and accept your Dominance, embrace it, and use it for good.

 

*Actual name not used

First, what do I mean by “s-type”? For those that don’t know I refer to anyone that identifies as a slave, submissive, bottom, pet, property, or babygirl/boy (etc) as an s-type.  It’s just an easier way to refer to this group without listing every specific identifier.

What does it mean to identify as an s-type?  Why would someone desire, or even crave, to yield their control or power to another human being?  This isn’t an easy question to answer, as there are many answers out there depending on who you ask.  Some reasons may include a desire to surrender control, power, or decision making, wanting someone else to provide structure or discipline, feeling a sense of safety and caretaking, and being of service to someone else.

The paths that get an individual to this place – this want for surrender – will also vary from person to person.  Not all paths or reasons are healthy.  Many are quite healthy.  There are complex layers that turn us toward certain partners in life, vanilla or kinky.  It may be that one didn’t receive the care and discipline he/she required as a child and therefore finds it in a D/s dynamic.  It could be simply that the rest of their life demands authority (high powered job, parenting, etc) and the ability to release that control with a trusted partner is like going to a spa after a long hard day.  These are only two possible examples of why someone may be drawn toward submission.  Not everyone understands this draw however.

 

“It’s 2015 – you don’t need to bow down to a man!”

“Seriously man – are you that pussy whipped?”

“Slave? How can you let him/her call you that?  You’re a grown adult!”

“You mean to tell me you do whatever he/she tells you to do?!  Hell no!”

“It sounds like you are just being used and taken advantage of.”

 

As an s-type we hear so many things from friends and loved ones who just don’t understand or who view our situation from a skewed perspective.  Female s-types get lip from the “feminists” about how many years were spent fighting for equality, only for us to throw it all away by stripping our power willingly.  However, we need to keep in mind that true feminists would argue that we should have equal freedoms to CHOOSE our behaviors and our lifestyle.  Therefore, choosing to consensually yield power, control, etc is, in fact, a huge leap from the days that it was NOT our choice.  Everything in our life comes down to the decisions we make.  Even in circumstances where we hold no power or control, we still choose how to respond. The movie ‘Life is Beautiful’ comes to mind.  (If you haven’t seen it you should!)  The point is, we all have the right to decide how we live our life.  If we choose to turn over power to someone we trust and respect then that choice should be honored.  Male s-types usually catch flack for different reasons.  They hear messages like submission isn’t manly.  They get called pussies or wimps.  Which is kind of hilarious when you think about the fact that many of them could take a much heavier beat down than their “domly” friends.  (Although they enjoy it, so maybe not a fair comparison. lol)  Again, how is it less manly to CHOOSE how they live their life?  To consent to behaviors, dynamics and protocols that make them happy and enrich their life and their relationships?

To every male or female s-type that finds comfort and satisfaction in their submission, how is it any different than the person who finds this in a bottle of beer, a favorite sport, or the traditional vanilla relationship dynamic?  Human beings seek safety, comfort, love, affection, and happiness.  It isn’t for anyone to judge how you do that so long as nobody is getting hurt (in a bad way!).  So take pride in your s-type identity!  Slave, submissive, pet, boy/girl, property, bottom, little.  Embrace who you are because it’s OK to be an s-type!