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.


BelasariusHe did not speak. He shut the door of the flat. Her heels clicked sharply on the paving as he  marched her swiftly up the hill toward the pub, two minutes away. They both knew precisely what the evening held. Neither wanted it, both agreed it was needed.

Today, they arrived at the munch well before anyone else. Only the greeter was there, her A-Z prominent on the table. They sat and talked for a while, although she knew she was making little sense, her mind too full of things promised.

More people arrived. “Shall I?” she asked, almost eagerly. “No” he said, “We don’t want to frighten the newbies”.

Friends came. Kissed her. Hugged her. She felt his hand grip her shoulder as he left her side. Now, she knew, it was down to her. Her dignity; her strength.

“It’s time,” said a friend. “Come,” said another. They led her to the pillar in the middle of the room. She placed her nose against it and knew she was alone.  She felt voices echo around her but was not conscious of what they were saying. No one she knew approached her. A drunken man asked her if she was with anyone. She knew she should not answer but blurted, “I don’t know anymore”. Another friend led the drunk away (“He’s gone home”, her friend smiled, softly in her ear; “not long now”). She knew her friend did not mean the drunk.

The voices of the munchers around her were a dull drone. Her ears held a far-off roaring, like sounds from shells picked from childhood’s beaches. She felt bereft and tried just to feel small instead: to remember the smell of sun-dried seaweed and salty seaside donkeys. She wanted to hug the pillar but braced her arms behind her and stood straight. She allowed herself the luxury of pressing her forehead against the pillar’s wooden warmth, rubbing it slightly to feel the grain. She blinked away a tear

Back in the flat, he waited. Anxious and earnest, he stared at the red paddle on the table and put his head in his hands. His palms itched and tingled, though he had done nothing yet. He felt beads of sweat forming in his scalp. He took a handkerchief and wiped his neck. He picked up his phone, breathed deep – and dialled

A red-nailed hand touched her cheek; She turned to see two familiar, concerned, anxious faces. They took a hand each and led her from the bar. Arm in arm the two pulled her over the cobbles, too fast to be steady on her heels.

“Are you sure”, one said to her. She bit her lip and nodded. “I can cane a man”, said one “but I’m not sure I can see a woman get hit”. “Please” she said “Don’t leave me”. They squeezed her and the smallest woman reached up and kissed her. Hard.  They crossed the road, a car weaving around them. She wanted to thank them but already her breath was too ragged and her throat too dry.

They pushed her though the open door and slammed it shut behind her. Ahead she could see him: She caught his eye – he looked startled – almost scared. He shook as he rose and took the paddle from the table. She let herself be pushed over the arm of the sofa. In an instant her swirling, brown ruched skirt was tossed over her back. She felt her legs pulled up and off the floor – one of her attendants was hauling her legs out, holding her straight. The other was holding her by her elbows and looking right into her eyes. She teetered on the brown leather sofa arm.

The first blow came. No warning. Not even time for a deep breath and to brace: Her world exploded. “One” She screamed, her captors in shrill chorus with her. She shuddered and she felt insanely alive. Three more followed – too quick to count. She knew she was already bruised. She exulted.

He had never needed to forgive her. Her return was enough. But they both knew she could not be his once more until she had driven out her needless guilt.

“Go on,” said a firm female voice behind her. Again the pain in her behind seared her brain. “Five” they yelled.

Four more followed. She was sobbing now. The woman holding her elbows was stroking her hair and telling her it was half over. He stopped. She felt his hand on her cheek and turned. She imagined she saw her reflection in his face, red and wet with tears. “Be brave,” He said, ”Be proud”

“I have to have to pay” she said

Three more blows landed. Much softer. She gritted her teeth and swore. He stopped.
“You bastard” She said. “My bastard” She said. “Again” she said. “Now” trembled the female voice that held her ankles. “You want this. Do it right” said the woman holding her elbows.

The blows began again. She could feel him breathing between each one. She knew his passion had gone. That now, it was purely technical. She felt him searching her buttocks for the least bruised areas. Could feel the paddle almost touch her as he measured his next target, aiming to create a dark and even blue. She heard the rush of air as he took the biggest back swing he could. She had time to grit her teeth before her world dissolved in helpless tears once more

They were counting for her now. She tried, through sobs, but the numbers meant nothing. She heard what they said and mumbled in repetition. “ Nineteen” they said. “Nineteen” She responded. The paddle raced skyward once more. “Wait” She cried

“Let go of me” She grumbled and twisted and tossed trying to rid herself of her captors. The attendants, her friends, looked at him. He nodded.

They dropped her and she collapsed in a heap on the cushions. She stood. She wobbled. All three caught her. She brushed them away and stomped to the end of the sofa. She laid her head and shoulders on its arm, rearranged her skirt and put her hands behind her, fiercely pulling her buttocks wide apart. “Hit me” She said. She had stopped crying. She waited

She saw him move behind her once more and raised her hand. “Not yet” She wept – but he heard her determination. She fussed behind herself and pulled the string of her thong to one side knowing he would see the little puckered anus he  adored. Again she pulled her cheeks apart and flat.  “This is not defiance,” she whispered. He knew it to be true and he swore to remember the pride in her voice.

He steeled himself to make the perfect final stroke, flat across both buttocks. Centre of impact – that perfect, accommodating tiny pink rose. He stepped back, measured the paddle carefully over his intended target. He frowned. “Your hands” he said, caressing one set of carefully grown, cherished fingertips

“Buggar my hands” She said. She needed to feel his anger this last time.
The blow came instantly, crushingly: She couldn’t even think about the pain in her arse – because the pain in her hand was all she could feel. She shot upright sucking on her knuckles, tears streaming for the final time. He grabbed her hair – jerked her to him, held her, squeezed her. He waved her friends away. Quietly they closed the door.

She collapsed, He broke her fall and pulled himself into her. She tossed her head back and stared at him – terror in her eyes. Had she done enough? He reached for her throat and squeezed. Hard.

“is it over?” She wheezed. “It has begun,” he said.
She fainted.

Tying Up

Diagram of common shoelace bow knot, a doubly ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’d stopped to pick up pet food and decided we’d grab some supper from the supermarket a few doors away. As we walked, I’m sorry to say I fell into my usual habit – but before he could say “shoulders BACK!” I got in first.

‘Hang on, your shoelace is undone – you might trip over it’.

He stopped, turned and moved his foot forward.

Never let it be said I can’t take a hint: I knelt and tied the lace, nice little bow, pat on the leg to indicate ‘all done’. And we walked on.

Was anyone looking? Didn’t seem to matter. I don’t think they’d have been offended.

Can’t remember what we got for supper but I do remember the first lolly of the year – a Magnum, I’m afraid. Still. sharing it means I didn’t quite blow the diet.

(first published on Informed Consent in June ’09)

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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