Making our relationship work

BelasariusHard to write this one. It came in response to this thread on “Informed Consent and at the request of some of the posters

Here’s what I said:

“Okay, here goes. I am not going to go into the ins and outs of c_b’s marriage – that’s their affair. I will try to look at the concepts of ownership and possesion in these circumstances.

The first thing to say is that both he and I love her and that she loves us. The love isn’t apportioned. We both get all of it, just as a parent does with children.

If the love did not exist, then what has happened to the three of us would not be possible.

Ok, the O&P thing.

First it took time – roughly three years between our first meeting and her declaring herself to be a possession. Even when we dedicated ourselves on black pudding day we still agreed she was not possessed (no exorcist cracks please).

Next, our dynamic (which is distinct but inseparable from our love) has evolved slowly. She determines what is included in it (she gives informed consent) and I determine all that happens within the dynamic, she has no veto.

Our dynamic has always been based on the fact that once something has been agreed her submission, in that area, is total. I believe this is important to her feeling of posession.

Now, the fact is I have had a long term O&P relationship before and she has a deep need to submit (not just to have scene time with a Dom – she has tried that and it did not compute). Her husband could not do this for her and she was as driven and as unhappy as I was (My problem was I was without someone to take responsibility for).

Please understand that our life together has real depth. it is a sharing.

Getting to that has had its challenges but I have, to all intents and purposes, half her life and we live it as any couple would do, except that we do it entirely within our D/s dynamic.

And, we do our damndest to be different. I take responsibility, I decide and I adore: She serves and is the best she can be, for me.

Spending time apart means we don’t need time off. This helps the feeling of possesion too. In fact, it feels more intense than my previous fulltime O&P relationship (and I know about intensity).

So, I don’t own her, but when she is with me I possess her. And (you are getting no more details) there are some areas of her life I own, just as there are things that belong in her other life but impact on our life together.

Her life with her husband involves no submission and no aspects of ownership and possession.

Then, our relationship is highly ritualised. It is probably never less than medium protocol at any time. This makes it entirely different from life in her other home and because she is so obviously a possession when she is with me it has become true for us.286723

What has emerged is one wonderful woman with two lives, lived with energy and dedication.

And two happy men (mostly – there will always be challenges).

Best to all.”

Originally posted to “Informed Consent”, 15 June 2010.

Also see:

My Kinda Submission

BelasariusI’ve a particular view, which I bang on about regularly, about what submission means to me, and my girl.

 

I build up a head of steam on this so often that I thought I’d blog.

 

We love each other and we set this relationship in the framework of a D/s dynamic.

 

She shares her life with me and with her husband (a non-D/s setting).
Her submission is mine alone (and we are generally fairly medium-to-high protocol when we are together – made easier, we think, by the fact we spend half our lives apart).

 

We regard ourselves as equal in value but opposite in orientation and consider our roles to be to focus on the other person in the manner which that half of the D/s orientation demands.

 

cuffed I B&W
cuffed I B&W (Photo credit: sweethell)

 

So, I try to take responsibility for her and she aims to serve me.

 

We have hard limits, but within those I act at will and she does not ask for anything she might desire. I provide it, or not, at my discretion.

 

What we do when we play is my choice, not hers.

 

This feels real to us.

 

Recently, we’ve had the opportunity to play with someone and I proposed that, when the playmate is with us for play she should not ask for anything nor be expected to take any decisions about what might be done to her (within her limits). So far this has worked and this feels real too.

 

Originally from Informed Consent, 16 December 2011

 

 

 

Hair – from IC, April 08

acc2_be22Mine is getting longer which, he says, is a Good Thing. It takes forever to dry, though – and as it is so fine, it does pretty well need to be washed every day. There is also more grey these days, so it is coloured. Nothing too wicked – a shade lighter than my natural one.

*sigh* When i was five, my hair was white blonde – it has darkened steadily ever since.

I’ve never been one for major hair re-vamps – an occasional “red” rinse has been about as extreme as it got.

So a recent conversation with someone who was aiming at purple hair for the Lash party struck a chord. Why would you want purple hair, I ask?

Then the Domly one wagged a warning finger (metaphoricaly speaking): he has plans for my hair, he says.

This requires an entry in the book, asap – hair may be grown/cut at his whim, but anything else is a hard limit!

What is it about the “crowning glory” thing for women? And, I’m sure, some men. It is part of me, something i can hide behind or show off, subject to mood. Something that can be useful, tied into rope. Grabbed and pulled. Used to dry something tender and loved after i have “washed” it clean. Why do i want to hold it back as mine and not his?

I don’t want to stand out: i am a shy, conservative (note the small c!) soul. I have changed enormously in terms of dress in recent months, and posture. People have noticed. All of a sudden – I am visible. I am told not to walk with my head down.

The idea of purple or, indeed, any other colour! – is scary as hell.

He may have been joking – but one can never tell and maybe that is why I woke at three a.m. feeling nervous.

Or maybe I was just missing him.

The higher you fly, the harder you fall

286723I’ve never been sure that I’ve actually experienced “sub drop”. I’m still not sure. And I’m definitely uncertain about the pleasure/pain principle. You know the one: if I enjoy myself, somewhere on the horizon is a figurative slap in the face that will “balance the books”.

But – the occasional “low” feeling after a play session, or even after a pretty intense D/s time, had nothing on the misery (yes, I’ve tried to find another less emotive word, but nothing else will do) for my feelings after what was very nearly a 28 hour “day” of amazing sensations and emotions.

OK, I am indeed greedy: i will grab sensations with both hands (assuming they are not bound) and throw myself in to experiences whole-heartedly.

I am also still a great believer in that synergy/vortex thing whereby I please him, he shows it, I try harder, he smiles, I try harder still.

So – I’m back on a more even keel now, and wondering: was it sub-drop? Or just a natural reaction to counter-balance the amazing highs? I may never know.

Originally written for my “Informed Consent” blog – March 08

Disappointment vs anger: rite of passage

286723What’s worse? Doing something stupid & thoughtless and making him angry? or doing something stupid and thoughtless & hearing THAT tone in his voice: you have failed to meet the standards he expects and he is disappointed.

The punishment is swift and not hugely severe – but every stroke feels like a hundred and the tears are not from the pain but from the fear.

Fear that he will decide that I am not worth working at, not worth the effort: after all, why should

see filename

he bother if I am not prepared to make a proper contribution to the dynamic? Why should he persist, if his requirements are over-ridden?

And suddenly it becomes real – rules are rules, and infringements will have consequences.

And it’s a rite of passage, that tiny yet monstrous step into the the D/s unknown that accepts the first rule. That he has been given, and will take, the right to decide what is important. Talk the talk, even write down the rules – but if it is to mean anything, it must also be real.

I don’t learn easily at times, but I think I have learned this lesson the hard way today.

From my Informed Consent blog. March ’08

BDSM Punishment; BDSM Play – and Play Punishment

standing stoneThere are times when I give the girl a good whacking for my entertainment and she takes satisfaction in that: We call that play. Wikipedia defines it thus:

Play is a term employed in psychology and ethology to describe a range of voluntaryintrinsically motivated activities normally associated with recreational pleasure and enjoyment. Play is most commonly associated with children and their juvenile-level activities, but play can also be a useful adult activity, and occurs among other higher-functioning animals as well.

There are times when she is a bit naughty. I spank her. That is punishment of a sort. Wikipedia says this of punishment:

Punishment is the authoritative imposition of something negative or unpleasant on a person, animal, organization or entity in response tobehavior deemed unacceptable by an individual, group or other entity

Punishment Chair
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are rarer times when something hurtful has passed between us and something that hurts helps mend things. That is punishment too. Rather more intense, serious and upsetting to both.

For us, play is joyful: punishment is anything but.

All this is consensual, she lets me do this to her. But that doesn’t make it something she volunteers for. Our dynamic, and the limit it is controlled by, means she has given informed consent to me playing with her, within our limits, when I want and punishing her, within our limits, when i find it necessary. Both things feel real to us and, I believe, to many others, whether they are in long-term relationships or not.

BDSM Punishment

I find it very difficult to think of anything as punishment if it leaves the punished person with a sense of joyful satisfaction. That’s play – and there is nothing wrong with that. But punishment’s satisfaction is in forgiveness and atonement, and not in the physical or mental stimulation of the thing for its own sake.

When I spank her for something trivial it’s quite often quite gleeful for me. Not for her though (and this is the weird-but-important-to-us bit): She reacts quite differently to spankings of similar intensity depending whether it is punishment or play. The head space is different: she is genuinely remorseful and requires comforting, in the case of a punishment. She is quite smiley and proud of taking what I dish out if I whack her just because I want to.

English: The old stocks at Chapeltown.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course, you run the risk of inadvertently making her smile by imposing a penalty she rather likes. But, you can usually find something they won’t love (or that they love to hate) and use that when punishment must be given. YKIOK (Your kink is okay), but my kink, if it is one, would be to make sure that, if real punishment is required (something rare – I’ve not done it this year, I don’t think), that it was something that provided no comfort or satisfaction other than that experienced in atonement and forgiveness.

I think you can draw the distinction between BDSM play and BDSM punishment in pretty much every BDSM transaction from a long-term loving D/s or M/s relationship to a one-off interaction at a club (and everything in between): If it’s enjoyable to both parties, it’s play. If it’s being done to in response to something the Dom regards as wrong and it’s unpleasant to the submissive and, maybe, to the others involved, then it’s punishment, whatever it is.

The Dom’s dilemma

For us, punishment is sometimes part of a process of reconciliation and it does feel uncomfortable,

Punishment
(Photo credit: Toban Black)

sometimes hateful, to me. What if I’m being genuinely unjust? I’ll hurt our relationship, maybe long-term. What if part of the fault was mine (it usually takes two to tango), then it only seems right if the punishment becomes, genuinely, something we both feel bad about. For me to enjoy it in those circumstances could be construed as me pleasing myself, and not as me taking responsibility for our relationship.

So, Play, no matter how severe, is still lovely and light and enjoyable by all. Punishment, no matter how light is something severe and serious which causes unhappiness for the dominant (and maybe his/her partner) because it is necessary, and for the submissive (or maybe both partners) in its infliction.

Making a clear distinction between the two makes it easier to explain both terms and the satisfaction experienced by BDSM people in both. My experience has been, from time to time, that trying to explain the concept of punishment as it works in my relationship ( and in others) has been undermined by the impression some have that BDSM play is the same as BDSM punishment ( as I’ve said above, we do both) and that punishment is always “just a bit of fun”.

This has led to people expressing the view to me that D/s relationships are trivial, unreal fantasies.

This is upsetting: Whilst I feel I am unlikely ever  to live my BDSM D/s  life discreetly but openly, I’d like that to be true for people sometime in the future.

I think it would be useful if BDSM punishment is seen as distinct from BDSM play, Almost everyone in BDSM plays. Some punish or are punished. Being aware that there is a difference gives depth to people’s views of BDSM relationships. I think that’s a good thing.

You can read the definition of BDSM punishment I’ve developed, with the help of of others, and vote and comment on it here.

Money, money, money…

acedc11cbeb3a2a0b4e3bca15378bec4A subject that gets discussed from time to time on BDSM forums is control of a submissive’s finances. Money is very important to most people and controlling access to it is an incredibly touchy subject for most. It isn’t part of my current dynamic with the gorgeous curvy_bottom but it was important in my first long-term D/s relationship, which took place in the days before electronic banking and the internet. But, in that once-upon-a-time,  taking control of her money made me fully aware of my responsibilities as a master and confirmed my girl’s need to be more and more submissive.

I knew her as a student for two years, and then for a year or so after she started training as a lawyer.

We never lost touch, but I spent a period of years working abroad, during which she found several someones and nearly settled down with a chap who was less man than mouse – something with which, curiously, they both seemed content.

Thank goodness (well, from my point of view), that failed. And, some six months later, things were back roughly where they’d started – except I now had a highly successful and deeply bouncy junior corporate lawyer crowding out my one-bedroom flat in Clapham.

In the first few months we had huge fun turning our lives into a beautiful mass of M/s rituals – something we both deeply desired… and soon she wanted me to start to subtly effect her behaviour at work too (not in a way that affected her career, she was a highly professional professional – and deeply ambitious too). We found ways.

But she wasn’t as content as I hoped I hoped I could make her. In fact, she was deeply unsettled and nowhere near happy. It took a while to establish why – basically, thrusting (pardon the unfeminine notion) corporate lawyers earn a lot more than middle-ranking marketing people. She hated it… But she was also damn sure it was her money!

Her money – under my control

The solution – which took a while to get to – came from me and was this: Her salary was paid into a building society account to which she was the only signatory, but I locked away the passbook. Monthly she transferred funds to deal with her living expenses, share of mortgage, holiday, etc, etc, to my account, plus an amount to be used to clothe her, groom her, buy knick-nacks and sundries, etc.

Money - Black and White Money
Money – Black and White Money (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

From then on she only ever had emergency taxi-fare in her purse and a small amount for daily living. Anything she bought she explained to me and presented a receipt. Meanwhile the surplus in her BS account grew and grew (years later, when the divorce happened – it was an annoyingly large amount).

The only rule was that any money of hers in my account had to be used for her benefit (which usually actually meant it benefited both of us).

Her whole attitude changed. She was spectacularly happy that she had given over control of her purse and felt secure that her money would remain hers. And, this prompted the biggest change in me: I realised once and for all that the choice this woman had made was not to have choice in her life. Finally I had the courage, if not the experience, nor yet the patience, to be a master.