Minding her language

BelasariusAn open letter to my girl, re-published from my Informed Consent blog (from 2008).

“it’s sooooooo hard. And it seems sooooo false….” (she thinks she can wheedle almost anything out of me by playing the slightly pouty, slightly sultry card).

“But Darling” I said “I’ll be able to introduce you to the Princess Royal” (not that I’m on nodding terms with the aforementioned royal personage).

“Really Dahling, there are some things you ask that just aren’t me” (stamp of silken trotter).

So she got the lecture. Did she want to please me? “Yes”. Did she want to try to belong to me? “Yes”. So why not indulge me in the things that please me? “Err.. OK, but…”

Did the things I require of her make her feel good – did they in fact make her feel more like the person she wanted to be? “Yes – but it isn’t always easy – sometimes it’s hard” (telephonic arched eyebrow from the domly end of the line) “OK” she said.

The topic we were mostly talking about: language. She has done so well in removing “I” from written communication and is trying very hard orally too (I think I’ve mentioned this before). Ah yes, I mean verbally in this context.

All I’d done was mention that she should now consider abandoning “me” too. And all I got was “But how can I construct a sentence without ‘I’ or ‘me’ in it?”

But she thought about it and tried… and out came: “But one thinks…” at which point I grinned and made the Princess Royal comment – but you could tell that there was still much rankling going on at the other end of the line.

So, I am writing this to let her into a little secret.

Darling. You flog well. I can drip wax onto your beautiful titties until both cats come home. Restrictive bondage is a challenge you relish.

You see the value of our rules regarding dress, grooming and deportment and you find them difficult – because they change the public you and require you to spend time on yourself. But again you try – and you achieve: And you make me proud.

But, do any of these things challenge you intellectually. No, other than in focus and endurance, not at all.

And, what have you found most tricky? Certainly not curtseying, nor your more recent bow. But “Please Sir”? Hmmmm.

Despite my protestations otherwise you are not a bear of little brain. And I see no reason why I should not engage that enormous organ in the service of our holy dynamic.

Set aside for a moment your humanity, empathy, imagination, tenderness, thoughtfulness and all the other qualities that make me love you and ask why I should not challenge your intelligence?

Of course I should. And this does – doing without ‘I’ and ‘me’ is tricky I admit, but I can’t go much further, can I, in focussing you on me, even in my absence, than by asking you to moderate your language.

Now tell me that you won’t enjoy the challenge.

Marcus Aurelius and a basis for dominant and submissive living

standing stoneMy first (pre – curvy_bottom) D/s (maybe M/s) relationship ended more than twenty years ago, and happened  many years PI (pre-internet), so it thrived despite almost no external support.We were both undoubtedly kinky people but the lifestyle side of was definitely the most important part. In constructing the regime by which we lived I found huge help in the musings of a Roman Emperor and StoicMarcus Aurelius.

Below, I’ve put some of his thoughts accompanied by my take on them. I do this because they really worked for us and to encourage debate about the development of dominant and submissive natures in D/s, M/s and O&P relationships, and in creating the framework that controls interactions between partners in these types of relationships. Please, all, do add your thoughts to this:

Marcus Aurelius: “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment”.

For the submissive there’s obvious meaning; you can learn to take what’s dished out. But, at a more pervasive level, this is a reminder to both partners that they can control their feelings toward others attitudes and react logically and calmly. This is especially important for the dominant.

Marcus Aurelius: “Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there”.

The strength of a power exchange relationship comes from the inner strength of both parties. Selfish encouragement of your own specific nature is a human trait that can flourish in D/s – each partner’s interests are opposite to the other’s and few compromises need be made.

Marcus Aurelius: “Whatever is in any way beautiful hath its source of beauty in itself, and is complete in itself; praise forms no part of it. So it is none the worse nor the better for being praised”.

So much of a power exchange relationship is about duty – you need to feel good about it yourself and not expect reward or praise. Understand the intrinsic beauty of what you do for another.

Bust of Marcus Aurelius
Bust of Marcus Aurelius (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marcus Aurelius: “By a tranquil mind I mean nothing else than a mind well ordered”.

For both dominant and submissive knowing exactly where you stand and precisely what your duties and responsibilities are frees you both to be creative, mischievous and fun. Like a train – staying on the railway track keeps the passengers safe to do whatever they want on the journey. It’s not for nothing we say relationships and people go “off the rails”.

Marcus Aurelius “Nothing happens to any thing which that thing is not made by nature to bear”.

A useful maxim when limits are tested. This is not carte blanche for doms. Rather, for the submissive the question should be: does my nature truly preclude me from complying with this new requirement? For the dominant it is “Is it in her nature? Will I harm her by insisting?”

Marcus Aurelius: “Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect”.

For both dominant and submissive this is an injunction to transparency and truth and a warning not to play mind game to get what you want. A useful reminder for those who top from the bottom. And for dominants? Well, I love mind games, but, you can easily trap yourself into using, tricks, falsehoods, aggression, etc in ways that should be shaming.

Marcus Aurelius: “How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy”. Also, “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane”.

I don’t think a D/s or similar relationship can exist completely independently of the wider world: It will have public dimensions. Yes one must not frighten the horses, scare the children nor lose uncomprehending vanilla friends but, you must have the strength to make sure the true nature of your relationship is not compromised when out in the world. At the same time, whilst not acquiescing to the views of ‘the majority” don’t flaunt yourself to the point of being unacceptable in polite society.

Marcus Aurelius: “Remember this-that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life”. And, “You will find rest from vain fancies if you perform every act in life as though it were your last”.

For both dominants and submissives this is nothing less than Baden-Powell’s maxim: “do your best”. But it also in finding satisfaction in yourself from doing everything well. It implies zero tolerance of sloppy pursuit of goals.

Marcus Aurelius: “How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it”.

Anger is always inappropriate in a TPE relationship. It is also always inevitable. D/s couples can formalise responsibilities for decision-making and dispute resolution. We should use the rules we make and never respond til anger has left us. Passion – now that’s a different thing.

037 Marcus Aurelius
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marcus Aurelius “A man does not sin by commission only, but often by omission”.

It’s alright having rules and rituals, but what about the spaces between them – a relationship can be ruined by failure to see a need and meet it.

Going from fifty shades of grey into the black?


The Marketplace
The Marketplace (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“To be thrilled at the touch of leather, aroused by the sound of harsh words, or satisfied by the security of rigid bondage is the mark of a lover.

“To be thrilled at the opportunity to provide useful service, aroused by a pleased nod, and satisfied by the proverbial job well done, is the mark of a slave.

“It may sound severe. Almost anti-erotic. Until you see two people, owner and owned, existing in a complementary relationship where each suits the other like balances on a delicate scale. Until you feel the energy of their rapport, you cannot understand how they fulfil each other, take and give in ways no negotiation could possibly express.”

BelasariusFrom “The Marketplace” by Laura Antoniou

This means much to me. I don’t use the word slave of my submissive partner, but I do understand there are those who use it and for whom it is real. If you’ve read Fifty shades and found a small yearning for an asymmetric life as well as S/m bedroom play, then I think you should, bi, gay or straight, give “The Marketplace” a go. It will give you a very different view of dominance and submission.

The quote at the top expresses, very closely, for me, the difference between 50 Shades of Grey”s primarily erotic BDSM relationship and one based on service and responsibility.

I respond to the balance of owner and owned.

I should also emphasise that my thinking does not encompass inequality in the way some do – I think of my partner and myself as equal but opposite.

And here is a thread I started to discuss this.


Umbrella Hard Limit



Anything for your pleasure: Nothing for my hurt or shame alone,

Knowing I am your treasure: Don’t maim my body, heart or mind,

Use before unconsenting others I will not condone,

Make me yours for your sake, but never be unkind.


We have a book, with a number of rules and rituals, most set a few years back. But this is what we use to test the ways I use her.


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