What is dominance and submission to me?

 

aveburysarsenTNOK – usual health warning. This is a personal point of view and I’m not disrespecting what works for others. This is what these things mean to me.

Our dominant and submissive relationship is based on being the best we can be for each other. We’ve previously defined it as being equal and opposite. It is – but it is also complementary and it is always our aim to minimise compromise.images

Our dynamic is founded on strength and responsibility, service and obedience – and there are dominant and submissive aspects to each of these.

Strength

This seems to be a given for the dominant (but I know there are times when I am not strong). It’s sometimes assumed that obedient, non-resistant (the reverse of bratty?) submission is doormat-like and not worthy of respect – because submission is based on resistance that must be overcome by the dominants strength.

That’s not my view.

It’s easy/lazy for both partners in a service/obedience based D/s dynamic  just to pay lip service to what is required. But delighting your partner always takes effort and subsumes self. And that’s a job for both.

She never stops delighting me. I hope I do the same for her. But it’s especially difficult for the submissive to be true to her part of the dynamic when it doesn’t suit. Often simple submission takes strength.

Responsibility

For me (and my partner) this goes a lot wider than just us (and just BDSM). We both reckon that if more people took their responsibilities seriously there would be less need for rights.

For me as a dominant it means I need to use what she has consented to for my satisfaction, but as safely as I can and not abusively. It means I make it possible for her to give me what I want by taking away concerns and worries that stop her doing so.

This includes domestic trivia. I’ll cook if she needs time to do her nails.

Service

Service for us is partly ritualistic. There are small but important things we do (I plait her at bedtime, she makes her obeisance when she leaves the room) which keep us in our places. But they aren’t the essence of who we are – just a way we remind ourselves and each other of who we are.

Service is asymmetric. Mostly she gives and I receive. But it is freely given and something she wishes to give. It’s not a chore to her – it makes me glow and that makes her feel powerful.

She is also the power behind my throne . When I weaken she holds me up. That too is service.

Obedience

BDSM couple, top, bottom in handcuffs, on Euro...
BDSM couple, top, bottom in handcuffs, on Europride Cologne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obedience is something I earn. It is the reward I get for making her feel secure, desired. cared for and respected. If it needs to be enforced then we both have failed.

Obedience will not always be easy. Like service, it is part of who she wants to be, even when it doesn’t suit her: It is only real when it isn’t optional. And that means I have to enforce it – even when I’m in the mood to be laissez faire – or not in the mood for much: She isn’t who she wants to be unless she feels controlled and respected for her obedience.

The Sexbridge English Dictionary

aveburysarsenTNHere as I find them, or as others give them, I intend to list definitions of common English words given a sexual, preferably BDSM, twist – wry or funny please.

This idea came from BBC Radio 4‘s vintage (but still going) antidote to panel games – “Have I Got news For You” which features the Uxbridge English Dictionary, a game where panelists find new and bladder-looseningly funny definitions for words. Delve here to see what I mean.

Here are my first:

  • Flapjack: A speculum.
  • Twickenham: Twisting nipples, sharply and with force.

All suggestions welcome!

“Ask” on StrangelyNormal

The UK BDSM website StrangelyNormal has created a first – or at least I think it is.

aveburysarsenTNThe latest board on the site is called”Ask” and it’s completely anonymous. People can say what they want* on any BDSM topic without anyone knowing who they are.

Now, I like StrangelyNormal anyway – it seems a site where people think a little before they post and robust, but considered debate seems to result – alongside a lot of very human banter. Good mix.

But this is terrific. Anyone can post any query they like without feeling silly, naive, odd, eccentric or on the sidelines. No-one is going to feel singled-out. And no showboater can say “look at me” when no one can tell who you are.

The first few threads on the board seem to be producing much more than newbie queries (which, I think, was one of the reasons “Ask” was set up). Instead, lots of debate on issues which, on boards where people are named, I’ve seen descend into cat and dog fights. Not, so far, here.

StrangelyNormal is, in my view, a damn fine site it’s fast, it works, the site-owner listens to feedback but still does things decisively and HIS way: It has real character.

But “Ask” is its finest hour, so far.

*(up to a point – the site’s admin says: “Should you think the Ask board is the place to have a go or ridicule people you are wrong. There will be one warning and should you ignore it your anonymity will be lifted and all will see your posts. Other than that feel free to post away on it.”)

Matched Pair – 3: Application

email logo

From: minnymouse@yaroo.com 16:59 9 November 2014 To: coupleseekstaff@heatmail.co.uk

Hi (what do I call you, sir?, sir and madam?), I saw the personal ad. you posted  on some BDSM websites. Are you serious? Is the – whaddya call it job? position? appointment? still open? Can you tell me more about the job? What do I do to get it?

Minny

From: coupleseekstaff@heatmail.co.uk 21:02 11 November 2014  To:minnymouse@yaroo.com

Dear girl,

The position is still open. For the purposes of shortlisting you should download this file ( Belasarius_BDSM_dashboard_4.01 ), fill it in and return it to me. It”ll tell us (and maybe you) a bit about them kind of kinkster you are. Also you should tell me why you want the job and why you want what will be a highly demanding position and one which will change you (and the way others see you) permanently.  At this time you do not need to know anything more about the job other than that which I have published already.

From: minnymouse@yaroo.com 21:04 11 November 2014  To:coupleseekstaff@heatmail.co.uk

Err, yeah OK. I just really want to know what you expect from me – I mean, I’m just a girl – nothing special to look at, a bit overweight – not fat you know just ordinary. No one thinks I’m sexy I’m no blonde sex-bomb.

Yours sincerely,

Minny

From: coupleseekstaff@heatmail.co.uk 08:16 12 November 2014 To: minnymouse@yaroo.com

I don’t expect anything from you. Our ad. makes it clear what I hope to do with you. If you want that to happen to you and know it will involve irreversible change (and want that too) then you’ll have fun. If it stops being fun, you can stop too.

From: minnymouse@yaroo.com 17:01 12 November 2012  To:coupleseekstaff@heatmail.co.uk

OK, I’ve done your form. Here it is. I expect that is the last I’ll hear isn’t it.

Minny

From: minnymouse@yaroo.com 23:59 4 December 2012  To:coupleseekstaff@heatmail.co.uk

Shits. Not even a reply.

From: coupleseekstaff@heatmail.co.uk 08:00 5 December 2012 2012To: minnymouse@yaroo.com

You’d have had an acknowledgment if you’d done as I asked. You didn’t bother. Why should I?

From: minnymouse@yaroo.com 17:59 5 December 2012  To:coupleseekstaff@heatmail.co.uk

Hah – it’s just a bloody fantasy anyway isn’t it. Well, I don’t want a fantasy. so you can fuck off.

Minny

From: coupleseekstaff@heatmail.co.uk 18:01 5 December 2012 2012To: minnymouse@yaroo.com

Your choice. Carry on living your life or tell me why you want to change.

From: minnymouse@yaroo.com 18:33 5 December 2012  To:coupleseekstaff@heatmail.co.uk

I’m ordinary, I’ve spent my life being ordinary, I’ve spent my life being the fat friend (but I’m not fat, see). I get to tag along. And up to now I’ve done everything my mum and dad wanted, I went to uni and I wind up in this fucking call centre. It’s only worth doing if I drive more than twenty people mad every hour otherwise it’s just minimum wage.

I’ve always dreamed of being special. It sounded like you’d make me special – cos I’m not going to ever be special if I carry on like this. I am just going to be me. Part of me thinks I want to be someone people look at. Part of me wants to be pushed to be like that. Otherwise I am someone’s daughter who is going to be someone’s wife and someone’s mother and never ME.

I live in Bristol and my mum and dad and my boyfriend are in Leeds. He doesn’t bother with me much either. After Christmas no-one would miss me for a few weeks, maybe a couple of months. If you are real that is enough time for you to show me I’m doing the right thing, isn’t it?

Minny

From: coupleseekstaff@heatmail.co.uk 08:00 6 December 2014 To: minnymouse@yaroo.com

If you get through I’ll use you for my satisfaction. If that suits you and you like it you’ll do well. If it doesn’t you can leave.

I’ll interview you. Joining instructions shortly,

 Last: The Advertisement

Next: Arrival

Get a new picture of your kink

aveburysarsenTNI’ve updated my Excel spreadsheet BDSM dashboard.

Download it here: Belasarius_BDSM_dashboard_4.01

It now has 24 additional criteria including a new section on body

corset 001
Photo credit: skulptress9

modification for those of you who are into corsets, tight-lacing, piercing and tattoos.

It also has new options for recording your interest in pain and a few more play and sex choices.

This is what my kink now looks like at the time of writing.

My kink Nov 2013

The original “picture of your kink” spreadsheet is still available.

I will develop this further – The radargram is getting messy and i’d like to include both more kinks and a new section on BDSM roles.

Enjoy – and let me know what you think.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Hooray for Activists

aveburysarsenTNI am a scaredy-cat in many ways. I write a good write (or, at least, I think I do – and I hope I am a severe self critic). But, I am not one of those who dares to get up in public and defend the right for us to be who we are.

In my utopia the relationship I have would be seen as just another lifestyle choice, no better and no worse than any mainstream lifestyle.

Just another lifestyle choice?

Deciding to live in a poly family, or sharing, or living in a relationship where the partners agree to be equal but opposite – that would be seen as ‘OK’ or ‘not for me – but OK’.

Consenting to parts of your relationship being non-consensual would be ‘OK”: Dispute resolution with the hand, between consenting adults, would be OK too.

I don’t expect any of this to meet universal approval. I don’t need applause: I just want to live the life I live discreetly and not secretly.

My experience is that this is not possible today. I have been outed in the workplace twice over the years. The first time it led to me becoming a behind-my-back figure of fun and the second time I faced an informal internal enquiry into whether I was bringing the firm into disrepute (I wasn’t – phew).

I have had my sexuality used to attempt to restrict access to my children (it failed – but it was worrisome) and I have had it used to attempt to scandalise other members of my family (very hurtful and partially effective).

I just don’t want future generations of people who need to live a D/s life to go through anything like this (or the much,much worse experiences others have had).

There are signs that the public mood is changing, that people like us are a little less feared,

BDSM
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

despised or laughed at than formerly. Recent legal decisions seem to show that this liberality is creeping into law too.

But, the very nature of D/s relationships seems to rub against the zeitgeist of tolerance and equality. For me there is an answer to that – public understanding that an F/m relationship isn’t about a man not ‘being a man’ and that a M/f relationship is not about the oppression of women because it is all based on informed consent.

I am a big fan of the informed consent principle:

The Informed Consent Principle is that BDSM requires the freely given informed consent of all participants; that participants should make genuine efforts to reach a shared awareness of risks and consequences; that if consent is given under duress or is invalidated by mental incapacity or intoxication then it is not legitimate; and that BDSM with this informed consent should not be criminalised or lead to discrimination.

Informed Consent
(Photo credit: Kevin Krejci)

I think if the wider world became aware that we have each other’s informed consent for everything we do, then prejudice would begin, slowly, to melt away.

But, I’m here to praise those who show their faces and stand up for people like me, who fear they can’t.

Thank you. All of you.

I do worry though, that we don’t always help ourselves. There are people like me, who fear the consequences of outing, and there are those who actively want BDSM to stay beneath the surface of public awareness: ‘it’s kinkier if it’s secret’ – its more fun and exciting because it is taboo.

 

 

BDSM and Education Survey – Kinksters vs the rest

aveburysarsenTNThis is the first article on this blog that I’ve written on the BDSM and education survey I did in June 2012 and wrote about on the old UK BDSM website “Informed Consent“. The background to this survey is here and the dataset is here.

It was a short survey, just asking about people’s BDSM orientation and their final level of education. 504 people answered it – but they were all recruited from a couple of BDSM websites and no attempt was made to collect a sample that could be seen as representative. it is a self-selecting poll: People that were interested in it responded, others didn’t. However, with the proviso’s noted in the background article (linked above) the educational levels stated by respondents to this survey were broadly similar to those stated in other surveys I have done (I will do a proper piece on that at a later date).

The table below states what people taking the survey said was their last level of education:

Last level

People who followed the original debate on “Informed Consent” will know that various research studies were cited that purported to show that the BDSM population contained a higher proportion of more intelligent or more well-educated people than the population as a whole. The debate was hot and the studies mentioned were much criticised. This survey also can’t be said to have met any of the necessary conditions for accuracy. But it does show the same sort of result as those other studies:

I’ve tried to compare the survey results with last levels of educational attainment for the UK population as a whole, using the last census.

Lastlevelgraph

It isn’t do-able, accurately, because the census uses different classifications (as will be clear if you follow the link above). However, I’ve tried to combine categories so it has some meaning.

All you can say is that BDSM people who answered this survey said they had quite a different educational profile than the population as a whole.

Fetish dressing – from the styles and relationships survey

aveburysarsenTNI noticed something in the figures  for the BDSM styles and relationships survey which went against my experience, so I thought I’d share: It’s just a bit of fun really…

Fetish dressing. Whaddya know. Men appear keener than women.

In the survey:

  • 21% of women, 12% of men and 17% of Tg folk said they disliked or didn’t do Fetish dressing.
  • 45% of women, 44% of men and 17% of TG people said they could take it or leave it.
  • 33% of women, 45% of men and 67% of Tg people said it was important or essential to them.

When you look at the keenest group, 6% of women, 16% of men and 50% of Tg

RUBBER PROTECTOR
RUBBER PROTECTOR (Photo credit: post apocalyptic design)

people said it was essential.

One lives and learns: Maybe I should have asked whether the dressed party was themselves or their partner. Perhaps I will.

Other articles from this survey:

Safe word survey – dataset

aveburysarsenTNI’ve now done most of the articles I intend to write about the results of the safeword survey I did, details of which and links to articles are here.

I’ve decided to put up the dataset for anyone to download and to do any further analysis they wish. Here it is:

SAfe_1

Attribution

All I ask is that:

  • If you publish anything about this data then please credit me as the source and link aveburysarsento the homepage of this blog  – belasarius.com. If you want to publish it with this image – that’s fine too.
  • That you under no circumstances claim any scientific, academic or statistical credibility for the data. Please make it clear that the responses are a self-selecting sample of 557 respondents recruited through the websites Informed Consent, fetbookfetlife and through this blog, gathered between 19 January 2013 and 3 February 2013: The data is simply what more than 500 people active on BDSM websites said about their views on safewords.

Dataset

The dataset is completely anonymised but otherwise complete. There were peculiarities with some of the data, so in the dataset I used (not the dataset that is downloadable here) I removed 24 records, leaving me with 533 to analyse.

  • I eliminated those records where the respondent only answered the demographic questions.
  • I   took out multiple responses from the same TCP/IP address (It seemed fairer to take out ALL responses from the same address rather than leave the first one in).
  • I also did not use stranger responses, such as the person whose sexuality was “Cod”, the people who had 557,774,456, 100,000 and 9,800 play partners in the last 12 months and, among a few others, the retired 18-20 year old and the 18-20 year old who had left full-time education at 16 and had a doctorate.

Get a picture of your kink

standing stoneJust for fun, I’ve uploaded a BDSM “dashboard” that might help you analyse your own kink or that of others.

I created it a while back, using the list of kink options that the UK BDSM website “Informed Consent” used. I may update this. It’s not a BDSM checklist it’s more a look at how you feel about BDSM stuff right now.

The first thing you need to do is make some choices. In the first tab of the spreadsheet, put “1” into the column that most resembles your attitude to a particular fetish, type of play or BDSM lifestyle element.

The input screen looks like this:

Dash1

Anyway, after a minute (or less) inputting on the first tab of the spreadsheet, you are done and clicking on the second tab, this is what you get: A radargram of your kink.

Dash2

And, then, a tab that gives you two charts (example below), a table of your scores and some ideas of what they may mean (remember there is no science here, it’s just fun).

Dash3The charts above are my results by the way (though I may change – I can be a capricious fellow).

So – do you want to have a go? Here’s the download: Belasarius_BDSM_dashboard1 (it’s an .xls Excel file).

How the ratings work

You end up with percentage scores (which can be negative) for each of:

  • L – a percentage ranking of your interest in lifestyle D/s topics listed in IC profiles. The higher the score, the more these aspects interest you – max score: 100%
  • P – a percentage ranking of your interest in play practices listed in IC profiles. The higher the score, the more these things interest you – max score: 100%
  • K – A percentage ranking (max 100%) taken from all the items listed on IC profiles: It says more about how wide your interests are than the depth and strength of your deviancy
  • KQ – (Kink quotient) the average of all three scores above – (max 100%): compare this with the other scores for an idea of where your main interests lie – and just how kinky you are!

What the ratings mean

Well, not a lot really, you will have your own view. But here are a few score combinations and my interpretation:

  • 41/28/52/40 – Someone whose interests in lifestyle issues strongly outweigh play, but who has a wide range of other interests and some strong kinks (examine the radar diagram to see what)
  • 36/47/44/42 – someone with a balance of lifestyle and play interests, but not hardcore in in any area.
  • 12/55/66/44 – someone who wants scene play far more than they want a D/s life – and who plays hard.

Is it useful?

Up to you guys really – it might be a useful discussion point for people exploring a new dynamic.

It’s very limited – it says nothing about dominance and submission at all, for example.

Feel free to share it, but please link and credit me if you do.

Oh, and, anyone fancy taking part in my BDSM definitions polls?