On Being a Switch: Picking a Side

March 6, 2013 at 21:15 (M/S) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


When Angelflare and I met we were both Switches.  Don’t get me wrong, we still are, but we have chosen to live as a 24/7 M/s couple.  Because of this, we no longer switch with each other.  While I love the way our marriage has grown and strengthened as a result of our M/s, I also feel like a part of who we were is gone. I used to love that we could explore with each other on both sides of the whip, and at this time it is not a part of our relationship.

Bring in Angelflare’s girlfriend, A, who is a Dominant, and a deep part of myself that I had pushed down when we decided to take on a 24/7 relationship is awakened.  It’s hard for me to suppress feelings of loss and regret.  I miss who we were.  I miss how free we used to be with each other, and

Pulling

sometimes I feel like there are so many rules and so many compartments we’ve built for our relationship that I start to feel stifled and cornered.

This is an issue I did not foresee when we changed our arrangement, and one of the few places where I still find myself holding a lot of jealousy and resentment.  There are very few things that are unique to our relationship, but now there’s this significant one that is unique to theirs, one I really enjoyed and miss very much.  Not that I’ve pinpointed it I can begin to work through it, but it’s going to take some work, and maybe someday we can work out an arrangement that fulfills that desire in me again.

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On Being a Privately Owned Slave

February 7, 2013 at 23:38 (M/S) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )


Image of spanking

There was a post recently in a Fetlife group about appreciating the opinions of slaves which heeded Dominants from punishing honest slaves publicly on the internet for expressing their opinions.  I took no notice of the litany of comments until I realized that the post was specifically directed towards Dominants who had no ownership of the slaves they were punishing.  The post suggested they should bring the behaviour in question to the owner of the slave in question.  I admit I was taken aback.  As both a slave and a Domina, I took it very personally that anyone would ever be so brash as to even make this an issue.

Maybe I’ve got it easy.  While I will show respect to any D-type in my presence, that’s a politeness I extend because of social decorum not obligation.  I am beholden to no Master by my own, and would never stand for anyone punishing me who was not Angelflare.  I would assume that if I ever stepped out of line he would be the first to hear about it, but it does not take a village to raise a slave.  I had a “Sir” reprimand me once at an event for not responding to a question in a way he found acceptable, and it raised my heckles in ways I cannot begin to explain.  Yes, I belong to Angelflare, but the rest of the world is mine.  I owe no loyalty or obedience to anyone, especially a complete stranger.

As a Domina I am very protective of what’s mine.  I would never punish someone else’s property, and I would take it very personally for anyone to do so to mine.  It’s just common courtesy.  My s-types don’t have the same rules I do as a slave, so they definitely don’t have the same rules as every other s-type out there.  In the same way I wouldn’t let someone spank my child, especially in public, I would never tolerate someone else punishing my submissive.  It’s just rude and presumptuous.

I may have lit a couple fires by responding to the thread as a slave, but I felt like it made my point better from that side of the slash.  When it comes down to it, we’re all adults.  I will not be spoken to like a bad child because a Dominant feels I’ve broken one of his rules.  He can deal with that disappointment like an adult.  If he really feels the need for justice, he can contact Angelflare, who will either apologize and punish me or politely thank him and we’ll have a good laugh about it.  It’s out of respect for Angelflare that I don’t laugh directly at someone who tries to intimidate or enforce his rules on me, but I promise it garners you no respect to do so.  Respect from me, whether as a D or an s, is given to those who deserve it and have earned it, not because it’s been decreed.

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A Very Merry Sinbirthday to Me

August 11, 2012 at 22:03 (BDSM) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )


birthday party

It all started with a Tweet.

This year I spent my birthday at the Floating World, a weekend long fet event.  Being my first, I was excited, and admittedly a little nervous, but I went into the mode in which I work the best; pack and prep.  Once that was done, the only recourse I had was to make sure I made an appropriate entrance into the realm of local kink events.  The fact that it would be my birthday had already given Angelflare delicious ideas, and I was anxious to see how the weekend would treat me.

Then there was Twitter, where one of my followers is The Floating World.  I very naively had sent them a Tweet asking if they had any packing sugegstions for newbies, obviously forgetting the kind of smart-assed crowd our community can be.  I received an answer, albeit an entirely unhelpfull one, suggesting newbies be wraped in bubble wrap.  “Not because they’re fragile.  We just like bubble wrap.”    With that in mind, I got to work.

What I ended up with was this:

And so, our adventure began!

I arrived Thursday night straight from work, still in my work uniform and exhausted from the ride, which included two SEPTA trains and a New Jersey Transit double-decker.  I managed to gt us unpacked and organized, double-checked our class schedules, and hit the bed running with dreams of suspended sugarplums dancing in my head.  My classes of the day included tips in suspension for curvy girls, M/s philosophies, and service positions.  I met some new people, made some new contacts, and had some insightful conversations.  I ran into a few people I recognized, which is still a rare but joyous thing for me, and managed to find my foothold in a somewhat overwhelming environment.  I felt immediately upon entering the facility that I was somewhere I belonged, but by the end of the day I felt like I was not going to just follow; I was going to flourish!

That night Angelflare decided it was time to debut my creation, and for him to unveil his plans to honour my birthday.  I bounced in my ebullient plastic skirt as people stopped me to ask for a pop or two, and I considered auctioning off the bubbles in the good bits.  Then it was time to really get the fun started.  I was pierced in both arms with a total of twenty-nine needles with birthday candles glued to them.  Once they were lit, a group of people who had flocked to watch sang the slowest version of Happy Birthday I have ever heard as birthday candle wax started to trickle, drip, and coat the skin around the needles before I could blow them out.  The resulting high was phenomenal.  I don’t remember the rest of that night, but at some point I lost the bubble wrap dress and sang some Eve 6 at Kinky Karaoke.  With Angelflare on his volunteer assignment, the night was mine, and I soaked up as much of it as I could before my head and body demanded sleep.

The next morning we were at it again with classes on cell popping, punishment, service, and single tailing.  I realized a love for swivel handled floggers and mentally added them to my Domme list, but ultimately we walked out that night with a newly adopted Violet Wand.  I skipped dungeon time to save my energy for the last day.  Instead I sat in the hotel room watching Mean Girls with the cheesecake Angelflare had bought me from the diner across the street.

Our last day was a lead up to dungeon time, with classes on duct tape and..well, duct tape!  I bought a new book on M/s, which I will review when I’m done, and we learned yet another suspension harness. Our time in the dungeon that night was intense.  I still have polka dots on my back from the fire play, which left me buzzed and alive all over.  Then there was flogging and my first single-tail experience.  A puddle of myself, I was given the best birthday gift a slave girl could ask for when Angelflare told me I had earned his mark (in the form of a cell popping).

At that moment I couldn’t even properly respond except to keep sobbing and let my mind whirl.  I hadn’t felt that wanted and cherished since he proposed to me.  In hindsight I realize it was the moment I finally felt like I was his, that I’d surrendered, and that I wasn’t just going through the motions.  He had noticed my evolution as a 24/7 slave, and he approved.  At that moment I felt and owned my position as a slave, and it was an indescribable release.  At that moment it felt like my birthday.  I had been given new life, as his slave, with new purpose and new resolve.

I felt like a different person on my way to work Monday morning, still in my event buzz.  I can definitely say this was one of the best first experiences I could possibly have imagined.  The people I met were fantastic, supportive, and immediately accepting, and Angelflare managed to make me feel loved and celebrated.  It was, indeed, a Very Merry Sintangible Birthday to me!

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Choosing Pain

July 28, 2012 at 00:12 (BDSM) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


BDSM activity

I was recently asked to give my two cents for an article about chronic conditions, physical limitations, disabilities etc and kink, the main question being Why would one who is in chronic pain choose to be in more pain?  As some of you may know, I am have Type 1 Diabetes and Fibromyalgia, and because of both I can be anywhere from mildly irritated to severely debilitated on any given day.   This has created a few extra considerations in how I lead a BDSM lifestyle, and at times has been a slight inconvenience.  It  has also not only helped in some ways, but the benefit seems to be mutual, meaning my kink and my chronic pain have found ways to improve each other.  Who knew?

A friend of mine who is a tattoo artist mentioned to be during my last session  that she has noticed a higher tolerance from people with chronic pain when it comes to tattoos.  The theory there is that we have grown so accustomed to dealing with deep aches and pains on a daily basis that the superficial irritation caused by tattooing is not registered as intensely by our nerves.  I have noticed the same can be said for flogging, spanking, scratching, and most other surface sensation pain during a scene.  Unless it’s a particularly bad day for me, as long as Angelflare doesn’t bite into me right away, I have more endurance than I used to.

Having a day-to-day condition has pushed Angelflare to get to know my body language more intimately than he might have to otherwise.  I never have to tell my Master I’m having a bad day or what tasks I may be incapable of performing.  He already knows.  This has strengthened the trust I have that he will always protect me as his slave, and I am more ready to be blindly obedient knowing he has that kind of consideration and ability to read my pain and energy levels.

In what ways has kink helped my chronic pain?  For one thing, fire play and percussion play are an excellent way to massage and loosen muscles, not to mention the endorphin release our bodies naturally experience at times of intense pleasure or pain, but it goes even beyond that.  Being in service has done wonders to fill the hole my illness tore in my self esteem.

When I started to get sick I felt useless as both a wife and a lover.  I couldn’t take care of my family or our house.  We couldn’t have sex at all let alone engage in any kind of kink activities.  I was sure Angelflare hated me and regretted marrying me.  I felt sick, ugly, old, fat, weak, and broken.  It took me a long time to heal those wounds to my confidence, and being in service has helped with that.  I feel wanted, I feel capable, and I know that I will be pushed to go until I need to stop not just until I want to stop.  Being a slave has also given me a constant awareness of my body, which has helped me identify bad days from just feeling down or every day aches and pains, and has given me no wiggle room to make excused.  Angelflare will tell me when to rest.  Until then, I have to believe I still have the strength.

The biggest benefit I have gotten out of kink has been community.  Whenever I have been sick or had a particularly bad stretch our friends in the community have been the first to offer support in any way possible.  It’s always been one of the best unexpected side-effects of our lifestyle, and I would never trade it for anything.

To answer the original question, why would I choose pain?  It’s the same reason anyone in the lifestyle would still be mad at an unrequested punch in the face.  When the pain comes from something I’ve chosen, something that brings me pleasure, or at least brings Angelflare pleasure, the pain is acceptable.  Chronic pain or not, I can’t think of anyone who would get pleasure out of breaking a leg in a skiing accident.  The concept here is the same.

The pain I choose is pain I can harness and transform into something powerful, something positive, something that cannot be replicated.  The pain I choose is mine, and it is bliss.  The pain I choose makes the pain I do not seem a million miles away.  The pain I choose makes me feel desired, and beautiful, and strong, even when I do not feel like it.  The pain I choose makes me feel human again, and that’s something I never want to lose sight of again.

 

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Common Sense as Protocol

July 26, 2012 at 21:48 (M/S) (, , , , , , , , , )


la dame sans merci III duotone

I was recently sunk into several layers of thought after reading this blog by Graydancer.  In fact, I had to read it several times, follow the rabbit hole of links he provided for references, and read it again to begin to comprehend what I was reading.  It seems, friends, as if I’ve been doing it wrong.  Try to suppress your surprise that anyone in an alternative lifestyle should think anyone else in that same lifestyle is doing it wrong, and therefore offensive to the lifestyle as a whole, but this seems to be a more widespread topic of conversation than I thought, and I have come to the only possible conclusion one can in this situation, which I will share at the end just to keep you reading.

Back to the matter at hand.  This all starts when Graydancer types the word “domist”, which I read as the belief that Doms are privileged and subs are devalued.  The topic at hand was third-party permission, meaning this:  As a third-party, should one ask permission of my Master to speak with me assuming our dynamic is obvious and that third-party is familiar with what I have always assumed to be “scene courtesy”?  I have always taken this as a sign of respect for a couple’s dynamic.  If the slave is free to interact on her own I have still done no harm by asking first.  If not I have saved myself the issue of stepping on her Master’s toes.

Apparently there is dissent and disagreement on this matter.  There were two reactions that Graydancer garnered that particularly rubbed me in funny ways, especially as a slave.

The first was, “I don’t like being ignored!”, which nearly caused an aneurysm.  Seriously, I had to walk away from the computer and find something to beat my head against that Angelflare wouldn’t beat me for breaking.  The idea that my Master is the privileged one of the two of us is a bit of a “duh” statement for me.  Isn’t that the role I accepted when I chose to be a slave?  My pleasure is his pleasure.  My life is his life.  I am property.  It really doesn’t matter if I like being ignored or not.  That’s not my choice to make.  Greydancer does point out that if someone is asking permission to talk to me it’s not being ignored, and to me it’s even more than being spoken to directly.  I’m worth asking  permission to talk to!  That makes my slave heart smile!

The second comment that ruffled my slave feathers a bit was the idea that by expecting this courtesy Angelflare and I would be forcing our scene on them without consent!  Yeah, read that again.  What?  Here Graydancer does a great job of explaining that for many of us this is not a scene.  This is how we live our lives.  This is who we are.  Angelflare and I are not forcing you to do anything.  Of course you can ignore our wishes and talk to anyone you want, and I can choose to ignore you until you’ve obtained permission from my Master.  Who are you to assume you deserve a breach in my obedience?

The basis of Graydancer’s post, and the original one he links to about “domism”, seems to be gender.  The original poster seems to focus on male Doms and female submissives, citing “Patriarchal and heterosexist patterns” in a scene that, in her experience, is saturated by male Dominants.  I have to admit I can’t relate to her feelings, as that has not been my experience.  As a pansexual female switch married to a pansexual male switch who just happens to take the role as my Master I have not noticed a dynamic paradigm.  Our local community is fairly balanced, and I had not assumed others to be any different.  Nor is it really any of my business.  As a female I don’t take any offence to it. I don’t assume any of it happens because I’m a woman; I assume it’s because of the collar around my neck.  If I’m the one holding the leash I expect, and am afforded, the same courtesy no matter what the gender of the person on the other end.  This is how it should be.

My conclusion?  That we are all taking how other people live their lives way too seriously, especially for people who are publicly hailing our rights to live the way we wish and talk to who we wish, and so on, and so forth.  This is not high school.  This is not a life or death decision.  You will not die if you speak to me and I ignore you because I refuse to let you impose your desire to be a rebel on my protocols.  Just don’t do so if you don’t like to be ignored, because ignored you will be.

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Opting for Hopeless (Part 2)

July 20, 2012 at 00:57 (BDSM) (, , , , , , , , , , )


Gothic Ballerina, October 2008, Marcillé Raoul...

I wrote a couple days ago about the place for romanticism in a poly relationship.  As I did, I realized that I have heard the same comments about BDSM, D/s, and similar relationships.  Is there a place in a 24/7 M/s relationship for romanticism?  Dear gods, I hope so.

I think the first thing to address about a 24/7 relationship, well mine anyway, is that while I am always in service we are not always in a scene. We do have loving, tender, married couple sex.  We do have dates, sweet moments, and do touching things for one another.  So, yes, there is still room for romance in our life.  No, I would not expect flowers and mushy cards on a dungeon night, although I may expect a flogger or two to show up at the end of date night.  I’m kidding, but you get the point.

Unless the relationship is a completely detached, casual play situation with no intimacy I think romance finds a way in to a loving BDSM relationship.  It’s unstoppable, it’s inevitable, it’s vital.

Just an opinion from a slave who happens to be a hopeless romantic and wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

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SlaveCraft: A Book Review

July 14, 2012 at 22:45 (M/S) (, , , , , , , , )


English: Picture of User:Lady Byron wearing a ...

I just finished reading SlaveCraft: Roadmaps for Erotic Servitude, and while there was not much new information in it, nor did I agree with all of it, it did serve as a useful base not only to explore my own thoughts and feelings but to start a running dialogue between me and Angelflare.

The concept of the book is excellent.  While there are plenty of books on how to be submissive, dominant, or kinky in general, there are few books on how to be a full-time slave written by slaves.  Jumping into a 24/7, M/s relationship can be intimidating, as I’ve discovered these past few months.  A slave runs into emotions she doesn’t know how to process while fulfilling her role as slave, fears and insecurities she didn’t know she had, and situations she is unprepared for and unsure how to navigate.  These things can be a distraction, a hindrance, and a detriment, and the stress of balancing them with new rules and protocol has the potential to bring down the entire relationship.  Having talked about it all with Angelflare, I know that Masters often feel just as frustrated by these roadblocks.  It’s new territory on both sides, and no matter how much experience either person has, each one is different, and each one has its own unique challenges and weak points that need to be addressed and fortified.

SlaveCraft gives refreshing assurance to new slaves and a much needed reminder to those with experience that the things they are experiencing are normal, that they can be worked through, and that in the end they will strengthen both the slave and the relationship.  It offers ideas for solutions and methods to help the process and gives a little insight into why some of these issues exist and arise when they do.

In lieu of writing out a litany of likes and dislikes, I’m going to lay this out the way the book is written, essay by essay.  I will also state now that most of my “dislikes” are not aversions.  They’re simply either not how I view my service or myself as a slave or not how Angelflare has structured our relationship.  There are also certain differences that come with being married to my Master that are not considered in the book.

Essay 1: The Call to Submission

This essay reminds us that slaves come to the lifestyle and decide to be slaves in as many ways as there are slaves, but its main message is “Slavery requires bravery”, something that is often overlooked by Masters and slaves alike.  I have met potential submissives who believe that all they need to do is do everything I say, and that’s it!  I have met Masters that feel the same way and don’t feel that slaves should have any sort of adjustment process or they must obviously not be meant for slavery.  This essay reminds us that it slavery means facing and overcoming fears and insecurities.

Essay 2: The Myth of “Slave Training”

I can understand where the author is going with this essay, but in my experience he is a little off base.  While he has a point that there are many Masters who do not understand what goes on inside a slave at the start of a M/s relationship, some take a very vested interest in it.  Like the author, I do believe in a tiered household situation where novice slaves are trained by other slaves, but I do believe a Master has to have some involvement as well in order to know how each of his slaves operates and each slave’s unique strengths and issues.  I do not, however, agree that Masters are looking for “already up to par” slaves.  Maybe some are for short-term reasons, but I believe that, if a long-term relationship is going to exists, a Master needs to shape his slaves the way he wants them, not the way someone else had at one time.  Angelflare has been very open with me about how he is shaping me as a slave, and it has helped me understand a little what I believe every good Master should go through with each slave individually.  My biggest issue with this essay was the statement that “Love, if it happens, is not usually enough to ensure that we’ll be kept around.”  As Angelflare’s wife I firmly believe that it is our love that keeps me around whether this works or not.  I do not receive special benefits or leniency because he loves me, and I am doing everything in my power to make him happy as his slave, but I do not believe he will tire of my service and dispose of me as his wife.

Essay 3: Finding My Slavery

I found this essay to be one of my favourites.  In my opinion it brings up one of the most limiting blockages many slaves face, definitely the biggest one I have; Intuition.  The author brings up finding one’s inner slave much as one might speak of shadow self or conscience, as something to be fostered, acknowledged, and heeded.  Too often we let the intellectual aspects of service and what is expected of us as slaves get in the way of our natural tendency to want to serve and serve well.  Instinct is a huge aspect of service as long as we stop overthinking and start letting that instinct take over. In Part II the author brings up the poignant reminder that slavery is an agreement we first make with ourselves.  When Angelflare and I started he made sure it was what I wanted.  The decision to do this was all mine, and I made it on my own.  From there his next point was apparent.  By giving I am more likely to receive what I need.  It was a struggle at first, but I’m starting to understand that on a deeper level.  From there he talks about conditions in slavery, and he’s right when he says that total submission as a slave cannot happen if there are conditions.  Does Angelflare know my hard limits, fears, phobias, and physical limitations?  Of course he does, so there’s no reason to put them in writing and speak of them as limitations.  There is only trust that he values me enough not to cross those lines in a way that will be harmful and only cross them when they are no longer useful and need to be faced and cast away.

Essay 4: The Principle of “Identity”

The very first thing I recognized in this essay was one of the first issues Angelflare and I faced together: perception of effort.  In the beginning it may have appeared to him that I wasn’t trying to get over my internal issues and clear my mental blockages.  In reality I was doing everything I could think of, but much as I find it nearly impossible to use a curling iron on my own head I also found it hard to pinpoint and fix the issues within myself.  It wasn’t until we talked about it that he was able to see just how hard I had been trying all along.  What this essay mostly gave me as a slave was a reminder that who I am, everything I am, is his.  My job, my hobbies, my side projects all exist because they are pieces of me he chooses to keep.  It also talks about Identity Drift and how to recenter oneself, a lesson I’ve been learning over the last month away from home.  It’s actually been an extremely useful separation period but that’s a whole different post.

Essay 5: The Principle of Obedience

This essay deals with “becoming accomplished at obedience” as the only concern of a slave.  I do not agree with is the idea that obedience requires all surrender of independent thought, that “the most damaging threat possible” to a relationship is a slave’s thoughts, and that a slave needs to be protected from her thoughts.  While I will put any order I receive from Angelflare first and foremost, if I notice something he does not that could make following that order destructive, dangerous, or costly, I consider it my duty to him to mention it with as much respect as possible, not to blindly follow the order and find myself in a bind.  Of course, this only applies in serious situations, and if I bring it up and he still insists I am to trust his methods and follow the order knowing he is full aware of what I have seen.  The author hits the nail on the head when he says that obedience is more than just following orders.  It’s about doing it without resentment or misery, but with the spirit of service and a desire to please.  This is, admittedly, something I struggle with at times.  I am currently working on finding pleasure in the act as opposed to merely working towards an end.  The final section of the essay addresses working together as Master and slave to fix emotional issues that cause a lapse in obedience, something Angelflare is insistent upon, and I cannot agree more that it has the propensity to strengthen our bond and increase my faith in his role as Master.

Essay 6: The Principle of Transparency

Again I see where the author is going with this essay, but I don’t agree with all of it.  I agree with his point that worry breeds unnecessary paranoia and that I should accept that my Master wants me for all of me.  It also brings up the idea that a good slave lives only in the present state of her relationship, that she should be content that she is what he wants for now and leave the future completely up to him, and as a wife I find it hard to accept that.  I cannot just go blindly into a future with the belief that this is what he wants for now and find that good enough.

Essay 7: The Principle of Humility

This was a long essay, so I’ll try to be concise.  Angelflare is big on pride, but he also wants me to better myself and be the best I can be.  I believe that requires at least a little pride, just not pride that is aimed in his direction.  I belong to him, but outside of that the world is mine.  I can see why the author has his rituals of humility, but I find them hard to relate to.  He strives to remain unseen where there are times Angelflare wants to show me off.  I find it unnecessary to sit in the most uncomfortable seat available as long as I have ensured Angelflare and any guest’s comfort.  I find it wasteful to not finish all the food on one’s plate, and honestly, I don’t think Angelflare cares where I put my clothes in this hotel room.  I don’t think these things foster humility as much as actually practicing humility when dealing with Angelflare and remembering my place in his household.

Essay 8: Permutations

The first thing that struck me in this essay was the discussion about changing a slave’s ideas, opinions, and tastes to match her Master’s.  The example given is smoking, and I’m not sure I’d stay with a Master who made it that important for me to do something unhealthy and detrimental to my health, but I understand the idea.  I am starting to learn this level of adjustment within myself, and it’s getting easier to do so.  The rest deal with attention and sacrifice, something I feel we’ve dealt with in abundance already.

Essay 9: Dealing with Fear

Fear has been one of the biggest things for me to get over as we push forward in this M/s dynamic.  Fear for my marriage, fear for my family, fear for my career, and fear that it would all fall apart if I was inadequate as a slave.  It has never been a fear of public perception.  We’ve been out of that realm for some time now, but I feared losing my self.  I feared losing what Angelflare loved in me.  No matter how many times he assured me that he wanted me as a slave, not just a slave that looked like me, I still held back.  I am still working on what the author mentions in SlaveCraft.  I am still training myself to scan my emotions, find the reasons for my fears, and face them head on.  Only by experiencing what I am afraid of and coming out of it intact can I release those fears.

Essay 10: Using or Processing Pain

Most of this essay is an excerpt from Joseph W Bean’s Leathersex: A Gruide for the Curious Outsider and the Serious Player.  It explains how different people process pain differently and why.  It also discusses how certain means of pain processing can hinder the full experience of a scene, and it’s something I will keep in mind in my next scene.  Dealing with Fibromyalgia I have my own ways to work through pain, but that will be its own post someday soon.

While this book didn’t tell me anything new it did give me a few useful ways to use  information I already had.  I would recommend the book to both Master and slave in any forming M/s relationship, but I would encourage you to read it with an open yet critical mind and decide what best works for your dynamic, your Master, and your inner slave.

To read for yourselves, look for SlaveCraft: Roadmap for Erotic Servitude by a grateful slave, with Guy Baldwin, M.S.  Make sure you read the introduction and afterword by Patrick Califia, M.A.  

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50 Shades- A Complicated Review

June 3, 2012 at 16:28 (erotica) (, , , , , )


In 1965, ten years after its original publication, a book called The Story of O was first published in English.  It’s reception was mixed, but its introduction to mainstream literature has been regarded as a milestone in many ways for both BDSM culture and literature in general.  In 2012 there are websites, books, and even scenes in movies and television that deal with the lifestyle that have been either accepted or ignored, but none have made as much of an impression on Vanilla America as the 50 Shades trilogy.  I finally gave in to the books when my mother-in law assumed I’d read them and asked my opinion, either giving away some of her clandestine knowledge about my and my lifestyle or letting  out a few secrets of her own.  I had read reviews, but I never form an opinion based on those of others, so I decided to take what the nice boy at Barnes and Noble called “The 50 Shades Challenge” myself.  My impression was mixed, but I was not turned off of reading all three books before forming a final opinion.

As far as its literary merit, the books are not fantastic, but better than most fan fic I’ve read.  The language is a little repetitive, the descriptions in some parts are a little wrote, and while some of the language is phenomenal some of it doesn’t quite to justice to the intensity of the situation.

On the side of accuracy, if Ms. James is not a part of the lifestyle herself she at least did some research or reads BDSM erotica.  Terms are proper and the way Mr Grey conducts himself and negotiates his agreements it pretty standard, and who doesn’t buy supplies at department stores? I got a few funny looks in the break room at work for chuckling under my breath at reading the notorious bad boy’s ” hard limits” list and realized that at least half of it is on my “must-have” list, and there were a few inspiring scenes that I made a note to mention to Angelflare, but this was not a unique experience.  There were points were I was dismayed to get the impression that it was becoming a “these people are broken and need to be saved” sort of story, but in the end I was pleased to see that the last book made a point of including play in a very healthy relationship.  I feel it’s important to show that side of the lifestyle to readers, especially when the fan base is so widespread and mainstream.  It’s integral for people to accept this as a relationship option for happy, sane, consensual people.  In the end it made excellent brain candy and became the catalyst for some interesting conversations, but other than that it was not new information…for me, anyway.

One of the reasons I believe this book has become so popular among housewifes and modern suburbia is the same reason Twilight did, and possibly the same way Story of O did in time.  It speaks to that dark side we all share, whether or not we indulge in the fantasies that arise from it, but it does it in a way that is so over the top and so unbelievable that it’s safe and distant.  In Twilight it was vampires and werewolves.  Here it’s the gorgeous bad boy every woman dreams of, and he’s so unbelievable rich and lavish that he becomes a fantasy creature in his own right.  If Ana had met the guy who works at the local bookstore and they had formed this kind of relationship I do not believe they would be as popular in the mainstream.  These women will never meet Christian Grey, so becomes a safe fantasy.  It doesn’t become a strange and dark prospect until they imagine the neighbours having a basement dungeon.  It’s acceptable for this extremely lucky girl to indulge in play, but it’s weird when it’s me.

I was extremely surprised to find myself so absorbed by the books.  Aside from point where the language made me cringe (who says Holy Cow or Jeeze during sex?), I was completely drawn in to the story.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit I found myself emotionally invested.  I laughed audibly, I cried, I worried, and I found myself anxious to get back to my reading whenever I could.  Friends, it has been a long time since a book has affected me this way.  I was baffled by my reaction.

Then I realized what the root was, familiarity.  Without the bells and whistles this could have been our story.  I had been a part of the scene before meeting Angelflare, but it was the first time I had been in a romantic relationship that included that part of my life.  He was a bad boy with a past.  He was cool, collected, and a bit reckless with his own life and the love of those with whom he had any kind of intimate relationship.  The day he told me he loved me he was torn between unfamiliar emotion and the compulsion to run, and the next few weeks were rocky and intense, mainly because he was afraid to let me in, afraid I would see that darker side of him and ask him to leave.  Being as stubborn as we both have been known to be, we worked through it,  and our relationship grew and spread like a wildfire.  Within two weeks he was living with me, not long after that we were committed, then married.

I experienced many of the same concerns and internal crises Anastasia did, and still do at times.  Now throw in health issues, ex lover issues, real life problems, and our decisions to open our marriage and give this 24/7 arrangement a shot.  We have had some of these conversations about fears and insecurities, but we have also had the same exhilarating moments of clarity and passion.  We have learned how to blend real life, love, and an M/s relationship to make a beautiful marriage that works for us.  It’s taken work, it still does, and it always will, but what marriage doesn’t for one reason or another.  These issues have not been caused by our lifestyle, nor do we suffer them because of it.  In many ways the books reminded me of how far we’ve come as a couple, as friends, as lovers, and as people.  We have  an alternative love story.  We also have a pretty interesting basement.

In the end, would I recommend the books? Yes, if you can suspend skepticism and just enjoy a good story.  They were a quick read with some interesting merit.  I must admit I never made it through the Twilight books, any of them, so I don’t really catch the comparison or the fan fic element, and maybe that’s why the origins of the 50 Shades trilogy don’t bother me as much as they seem to bother other readers.  I’m sure I could have found handfuls of reasons to be critical and  argumentative, but I read the books in the spirit they were written, let myself be immersed, and fell in love with the characters and the story itself. I challenge you all to do the same.

Namaste

Go now, fall in love with something dark.

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Attitude Adjustment – A Slave’s Journey

May 30, 2012 at 20:57 (M/S) (, , , , , , , , )


In my last post I addressed the issue of control, mainly my issue with giving it all away.  This week has been a rare opportunity, as I am on vacation from work and able to focus on my service.  Angelflare and I have both given this time the onus of deciding our future as a 24/7  M/s couple.  I had decided it myself before he brought it up, and we both cited the same basic reason: Attitude.

I have been aware for some time that I can be defensive, emotional, and at times I use my words as weapons.  They’re all I’ve got.  I can’t take many people in a fight, I don’t have wealth or affluence, nor am I a particularly intimidating person.  I have also been aware that this is not acceptable behaviour for a slave and have worked very hard to take the bite out of my words, even when I’m upset.  This has not always been successful, but I have been making progress.  At least, I thought I had.

Just as with the control issue I have no problem conceptualizing what needs to be done.  I have no problem understanding how I need to respond when he pushes my buttons.  The problem I have is deeper and entirely emotional, my response burning and angry before  I even have a chance to get my intention and reasoning across more respectfully.  Frankly, I’m not good at holding my tongue, and once it’s out and I realize I’ve gone too far or just don’t care.

Of course, I do care once I’ve calmed down.  I want this to work.  I want to please him, and I want to make him proud of me.  So, what do I do about this?  Count to ten? Deep breaths?  I can hold my tongue in a sterile environment for a short time.  I’ve been pretty calm this week for the most part.  He’s even offered an incentive and consequences.  It’s the moment I’m already stressed and he starts pressing my buttons to get a reaction that I fail miserably.  It’s the moment I think about it always being this way that I feel helpless and trapped.

All I can do at this time is keep working towards the goal, accept the consequences, and hope he doesn’t give up on me.  Am I really cut out for this? If not, does that make me a failure?  I recognize a slave can be independent and strong-willed in the rest of her life, and I’m trying to incorporate the two.  If I can’t “hack it”, as he so eloquently puts it, does that make me flawed and weak?  Or is his term meant to make me try harder and prove him wrong.  Is he using my own stubbornness against me?

Only one way to find out…

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Giving Up Control – A Slave’s Journey

May 20, 2012 at 22:04 (M/S) (, , , , , , , , )


After years of subbing for Angelflare on an event based basis we decided to try a 24/7 Master/slave arrangement.  There were a lot of questions before embarking on this endeavor.  What would it mean for our marriage?  How would I handle a live-in 24/7 arrangement as a switch, with a career, etc.  How would we work this new dynamic into an already established relationship?  It took some convincing and a lot of discussion, we’re talking hours and hours of emotionally charged conversation, but we finally decided we could handle at least giving it a try.

My first big hurdle was confidence.  As a submissive I am proud of my position; as a slave I was a twitchy mess.  It was not a state I could live in all the time.  I was stressed, emotional, and starting to get sick. I also lost all my strong dominant spirit. It took some pretty serious soul searching and a few good heart-to-hearts to process and accept that I could be Angelflare’s wife, Queen, and soul mate and still be his slave.  Then I had to figure out how to retain my willful flame while being in his collar.  While I am his the rest of the world is mine, and it’s a careful balance I had to handcraft from no experience I had ever had before.

My current blockage is control, moreso completely giving up control.  For short term occasional and events I have no hangups, but when it comes to long-term or permanent relinquishing of control I come to a point where I panic and have to make sure things are being properly done.   Why is this such an issue?

Some of what keeps fighting to hold on to my control is habit.  For most of my life I’ve had to take care of my self on some level, and I’ve fought very hard to get what I need and want.  It has been my experience that letting people make decisions for me and not putting up an independent Alpha female front has given people the right of way to take advantage of me.  It’s hard to suddenly give someone those reins and just hope I’m not putting myself in a situation that will lead to real life, long-term issues that would end up being mine, and mine alone, to rectify.  What if it weren’t something that could be rectified?

A more recently formed habit is within our marriage.  For most of our relationship I have been the one to make decisions and take care of responsibilities and agendas.  I held our household together through a lot of rough situations, and have been told by Angelflare himself that I am the one running things, even if just from the sidelines.  I know it’s a simple attitude and perspective adjustment that allows that all to happen even as a slave, but it is not an overnight change.

Another concern of mine is perception on Angelflare’s part.  While he is great at seeing the big picture and steps down the line he is not great at taking into account the little details that make up that big picture.  As someone with fibromyalgia I have to consider all those little details, things he doesn’t realize affect me the way they do.  My needs are not always things he considers needs, so it’s a matter of making him see how important the little things are in my world, otherwise I can’t go to work or take care of my duties to our family.  This is a major concern to me.

My last, and maybe biggest, point of discussion has been our marriage.  There are times where we have real couple issues and real family problems that need to be resolved as a team, and I need to be sure I can address these things honestly without fear of punishment.  My family and my marriage come before any and all things, and I will not do this if I can’t be sure we can work on problems instead of having them swept under the M/s rug.  There are situations where I need to be his wife before his slave, and in certain company it’s important that I have that title of respect and consideration.  I need to be sure he can make that judgment call and not rebuke me for being his wife.

We are slowly working through these things, and I have faith that we can.  He has given this a time frame that I’m not sure is a realistic marker for progress.  It’s taken us four and a half years to get to this point.  How can we get to the next checkpoint in merely 30 days?

There are points where I ask myself if this is a realistic goal.  I know couples do it, but is it for us?  I didn’t know until recently how much my dominant side takes over.  Can she be suppressed in this sort of venue?  I know he wants this, and I know he hopes it will be with me, so I’m giving it a serious try in hopes that he’ll at least appreciate the sacrifices I’m willing to make for this.  I don’t want it to hurt our relationship, whatever the outcome, and I recognize the opportunity for it to make us a stronger couple with at least a better awareness of how we interact and communicate.

In short, do I want to please my Master? Yes.  Do I want to be faithful to my duties to my family and my husband? Yes.  Do I know how to give up the only control that remains in my life?  No, but I’m learning as I go.

 

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