The one without a title

I asked Belle last night if she only keeps me locked up because she thinks I want it. For instance, if I said I really didn’t care one way or the other about the chastity thing, would she still keep me in the device? Or what if I said I’d really rather not be in the device, but was leaving up to her if we’d still use it, would she leave me in?

Yes, she would leave me in. She likes me in it and has no intention, apparently, of it not being an integral part of our relationship. That made me feel good, not just because I also like it, but because the suggestion here recently that I’m inadvertently (or not) dominating her through my kinks has been bothering me.

To recap, I seem to have three main kinks:

  1. Masochism
  2. Bondage
  3. Sexual submissiveness

Belle, it should be noted, does not have the opposite of any of these. She’s not a sadist and she’s not interested in being anyone’s domme. I’m quite sure none of these things were ever on her radar prior to my bringing them up.

Note that “enforced male chastity” is not on my list of kinks. I left it off because I think it’s an expression, to one degree or another, of the other three. I don’t think of it as a kink in an of itself. When Belle places me in chastity, there’s a moderate amount of both physical and mental suffering which feeds my masochism. I’m denied access to parts of my body which feeds my desire for bondage. Finally, control over my orgasm (or even my ability to self-gratify) fits neatly into my submissive tendencies.

So, you can imagine how happy I am to hear that she’s also really into keeping me locked up because it’s where my kinks intersect with her interests. It’s our unexpected common ground and she’s there because she wants to be. In fact, I probably couldn’t talk her out of being there if I wanted to (short of opting out entirely from the arrangement, something she knows I don’t want to do).

Of course, I still really want to be tied up and bound on occasion, I’m still pretty much a pain slut, and I love to feel like she’s in total control of our sexual relationship. Any desires I have beyond the chastity to indulge these passions fall outside her normal operating zone. Going there for her is sometimes uncomfortable and threatening.

I admit there is within me a conflict when it comes to asking for special attention to my kinks when I’m supposed to be the sub. Subs aren’t supposed to ask for things. They’re only supposed to gratefully accept what their dominant partner gives them. But what about when their partner isn’t dominant? It’s because of this internal struggle that any charge that I’m topping from below causes me to immediately assume a defensive position. I do the very best I can never to do this. In fact, not wanting to be too prescriptive is what caused me to suggest to her to reach out to the readers here for advice.

Asking her to follow me into the darker recesses of my sexuality has caused me a great deal of guilt and embarrassment. If you don’t understand that, then you’re probably one of those people who embraced your kinks from a young age and have never had to reveal them to an otherwise vanilla partner. Good for you. However, that’s not me. I thought I was more or less over those feelings, but I have to admit that I’ve been feeling them again lately. “Topping from below” to me means “asking them to do something they don’t want to do” which, in turn, immediately throws my weirdness into sharp relief. Hence the guilt, shame, etc.

No, I do not think I’m weird. I know now that everyone is weird, to one degree or another. I’m not even sure the word “kink” means anything anymore. But our societal conditioning runs deep. And I know Belle. And I feel bad asking her to indulge me. And I feel worse when she tries and fails. And I feel even worse when it’s suggested I’m being unfair to her.

I have no idea where I’m going with this. I should probably just stop. The fact remains that our relationship is strong and we continue to learn and evolve together. I can’t ask for much more than that.

11 thoughts on “The one without a title

  1. You are both okay. It can’t be unfair that you try to bring Belle to your sexuality and share it. It is, after all, something that you can’t change. Just keep on talking, sharing and giving. No need to be ashamed. It’s a good thing you’re doing.

    I can see how enforced chastity should fit in in all three of your kinks, but the list left me wondering where I’m at. It’s not so clear, yet. The big three. Maybe the exact same three as yoy, but with different outlets?

  2. “I admit there is within me a conflict when it comes to asking for special attention to my kinks when I’m supposed to be the sub. Subs aren’t supposed to ask for things. They’re only supposed to gratefully accept what their dominant partner gives them. ”

    This is (or is similar to) a question I struggled with for a long time. I found a solution that works well for me, though it may or may not match with how other people see things and it may or may not work well for them.

    I view my kink as a sort of game or make believe between my partner and me. Outside of the game, we are equals, and we negotiate as equals and we agree to play a game because that game is fun for both of us. Inside of the game, we are not equals. We do what she wants and I don’t have the power/ability to refuse. Remembering in the back of my mind that the inequality is part of the make-believe helps me to remember that the part of me that chose to play that game wants to do things I enjoy and has the right to pursue those things even though the part of me inside the game has limited rights.

    I don’t think there’s anything at all wrong with asking my partner for what I want. The only trouble comes from the unclean communication that results from not being clear whether we’re talking as equals outside the game or as unequals inside the game. If we’re inside the game, she decides, period. If we’re outside the game we negotiate and each say what we want and what we’re open to. Either way it’s simple and clean and there’s no need to worry whether I’m “topping from the bottom”. In one mode I’m “bottoming from the bottom” and in the other mode I’m “equaling from a place of equality.”

    Anyway I don’t know whether that fits for you, but it’s helped me a lot, by keeping things clear and separate.

    (As a side note, one thing that made me hesitant about the make believe / game perspective for a while was that my submissiveness felt too real to me to be “just make believe”. But eventually I realized that just because I am genuinely submissive and can’t choose to be other wise, that doesn’t mean that my inequality/lack of power/lack of rights can’t be make believe that we play because it’s satisfying to our (real) desires.)

  3. I have the impression you’re thinking within very narrow confines here.
    ‘Subs aren’t supposed to ask for things.’
    Staying within these confines can lead to not seeing the wood for the trees.

    So I’ll elaborate a bit and hope the snag you have recently hit upon becomes clearer.

    It isn’t a dominant or submissive or whatever inclination thing. It isn’t a specific DS or SM thing. It’s about sex in general. How about looking at it at a very basic level of sexual human rights. As I’m in a love and sexual relationship between human beings, who both have the human right to consensual sexual relations, I have the right to ask my partner to fulfil sexual wishes I have. I have the right ask for things that contribute to my sexual happiness, that fulfil inner desires I have. I have this right. Any person has this right to express wishes, regardless of inclinations. Belle has it. You have it. Anyone. There is no need for you to have guilt or embarrassment about asking. Asking is anyone’s right.

    What I don’t have is the entitlement to have my wishes fulfilled by my partner or anyone. I can ask him. He is never obligated. Consent exists when there is an option to choose ‘no’. He can freely, voluntarily consent to do something with me that I ask him, or not.

    To me, it felt like she was just going though the motions because she was obliged to do so. That turned me off and made it impossible for me to enjoy it.

    If it occurs in your relationship that one person does something sexual out obligation, it’s a problem. Not merely because feeling this in the moment might turn you off. If it happens that someone does something sexual out of obligation, where, in that moment, is the free, voluntary consent?

    So if you go back to the basic relationship level: How did this one-sided sense of obligation originate? If you want to get rid of the one-sided sense of obligation, you can find out together what its causes in your relationship were, and get rid of the causes. I don’t know what the causes in your relationship are, but if you both want to identify and get rid of them, I am sure you can!

    However, approaching the problem from this angle shifts the goal. The goal wouldn’t any more be ‘How do you specifically achieve getting your wishes fulfilled?’ but rather ‘How do you (re-?)create your common basis for free, voluntary sexual choices? Your common basis upon which you can ask your beloved to fulfil wishes you have, and she can ask you to fulfil wishes she has, and you can both freely choose to consent or not, without either of you ever being obligated.’ With this basis, there’d be no guarantee ever of any specific wishes being fulfilled, because we all have the right to ask, but only to ask. Do you want this?

  4. I can understand the guilt and shame, and I can understand that people attacking you has made you doubt whether you’re behaving ethically in this relationship.

    But you need to stop, because

    1) This stuff–“Subs aren’t supposed to ask for things. They’re only supposed to gratefully accept what their dominant partner gives them. But what about when their partner isn’t dominant?”–is BS, mostly the stuff of sexual fantasies of control. That’s not how real D/s couples operate in my experience, and it’s a particularly unhelpful view for submissives to have because it gets in the way of dominants getting what the dominants want. After awhile, the “do what you want with me!” fainting swoon isn’t that attractive. Asking lets the dominant play all kinds of hot minds games with you (like saying no!).

    2) What Ranai said–that was brilliant.

    3) This– http://devastatingyet.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/topping-from-the-bottom/

    The real question here is not whether you are topping from the bottom, but whether you are being an asshole in bed (or as you put it, being unfair to her). I think that’s a legitimate question in general for anyone in a relationship (i.e., “am I being a jerk to my partner in any way?). It’s a good reality check to think about that. But it doesn’t mean you have a messed up, twisted sexuality, or that you’re a failed submissive or that Belle is a failed dominant. And you could just ASK Belle if she thinks you are, but it doesn’t sound like it. This is especially true, because, as you explained here,

    4) She seems to kink on control. That’s a kind of dominance–a pretty common kind. Getting to tell you what to do seems to appeal to her. Now, it would be interesting for me (as a distant observer of your relationship) to be able to ask Belle, “Hey, do you get turned on by the control?” Because sometimes it seems here that she mainly regards the control as a mean to an end of a nicer Thumper–she says she “likes you better” when you’re locked up. But anyway, whatever her motivations, she’s certainly getting major things she wants, as you say. And what matters in the end is that you are both happy with your relationship–not that you behave like someone else’s ideal of people in relationships, kinky or vanilla.

    I remember talking to a very smart woman a few years ago about kink. She said, “I got into this to get away from other people’s rules about what I ought to do. I don’t want to get out of the box just to put myself right back in.” Sometimes guilt about our sexual perversions is just another form of what vanilla folks would call a “sexual hangup”. We all have ’em, but who needs ’em?

  5. I second everyone who has said that “Subs aren’t supposed to ask for things. They’re only supposed to gratefully accept what their dominant partner gives them” is total bullshit. Yeah, the idea might look hot for the space of a fantasy, but I’ve also seen this idea perpetuated by the kink/BDSM subculture like it’s a real fact, and even among very thoughtful and intelligent people.

    In every kinky space I’ve been in, I always find some instance of this underlying tension of a submissive person not feeling like they can get their needs met without being an imposition on their dominant partner, and their dominant partner feeling put upon. I was listening to an episode of Masocast the other week where there was a discussion about this, and not once was the assumption that “a sub asking for something from their dom is contrary to the d/s dynamic” questioned.

    I think this tension has nothing to do with the dynamics of d/s and everything to do with the challenges we face in every relationship: how to find our balance of mutuality, respect, empathy, communication, and fulfilling our needs. Ranai really spelled it out beautifully.

  6. Thanks to all for the comments. I should point out that I, too, think the “subs aren’t allowed to ask” thing is also total crap. I should have been clearer.

    But, I still don’t feel comfortable asking. Not that I expect she’s supposed to know it all or anything, but I really do feel weird asking her to do certain things to me (exactly what i want and when). I skate that stupid TFB thing and try to hint and otherwise stay in my place (which is incredibly inefficient, I know). As I said, the accusation that I’m TFB really stings because I try not to do it so strenuously. And I honestly don’t know how I’m supposed to communicate what I want without crossing the line some people have drawn in the sand before me.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the comments. This has been a helpful bunch.

  7. “And I honestly don’t know how I’m supposed to communicate what I want without crossing the line some people have drawn in the sand before me.”

    I think this shows up in every aspect of our lives. We often censor ourselves depending on the social status of who we’re communicating with, whether they’re an acquaintance, a co-worker, a best friend, a partner. We’re so used to having to express ourselves sideways that it’s hard for us to do it directly. I struggle with this a lot, just ignoring my needs and not communicating them, or trying to “soften” it when I do.

  8. Well, do you perceive a problem beyond you having difficulty asking for things, and something happened that was a turnoff for you? What set my alarm bells ringing loud and clear is because she was obliged to do so.

    Rather than downplaying it as a mere ‘aren’t you topping from the bottom’ or a misleading, nonsensical ‘subs aren’t supposed to ask for things’ –

    As Sera puts it in relation to Dev’s excellent post: Is there something fundamental going on that is unfair?

    or

    If it occurs in your relationship that your partner does something out of obligation, what is going on with your basis of sexual consent?

  9. Asking for what I want has been the most powerful part of my submission to my beloved. I think it’s what’s made our current experiment possible. I know it’s totally the opposite of the straw man that you put up “Subs are supposed to gratefully accept…”, but that’s a straw man that exists in a lot of us. It’s a particularly easy one to believe in when we don’t feel good about what we want. “Ahh, I don’t have to ask because it’s sick and perverted and she wouldn’t like it anyway.”

    As opposed to where my beloved and I are trying to go right now, which is that I’m required to share so that she knows what’s going on inside my head. What she chooses to do about that is up to her, and that’s my surrender and submission.

    Your thinking about unpacking what you’re interested in, as opposed to keeping it in one big lump has been very helpful to me, as has this whole thread of comments.

    Thanks to all.
    Jamie

  10. Thumper;

    I have been busy for a while so I have not had time to keep up with your blog, and of couse this at a time when you have stepped up your postings! I was trying to catch up by skimming through this morning. I still have not read all of the comments on your dilemma regarding “toping from the bottom” but here is my two cents worth:

    You suggest Belle is may not be dominant by nature; never being previously inclined the kinky side of bondage, sadisim etc. Yet she has assumed a dominant role in your relationship and it is making both of you happy. Ergo she is a dominant, and like any true dominant, no one here or elsewhere is going to tell her how to run her relationship…

    In that regard she is just being a true natural dominant. She will do what she wants when she wants and how she wants to, including seeking further advice from others including you. What could be more dominant than that? Let it be and let it take its own course.

    In my personal experience, the more you find yourself involved in a female dominated relationship, the less sexual kink of any sort has to do with it. Leather and chains, chastity belts, and collars are not the dynamic in-and-of themselves. They are all simply expressions of the underlying dynamic. Sometimes they are fun, hot, sexy, difficult or even painful, but still they are just a means of expressing a deeper devotion that needs no specific hardware or particular set of rules to exist between two people.

    TO be truly satisfied in this lifestyle go forward without specific hardware or rules, only adopting the stuff that matters to you and betters your relationship. Your chastity device works for the two of you. Fine. But I don’t ever hear mention of a collar. Just because you wear one and not the other doesn’t make one the True Way and the other something lesser.

    What works for you may not work for me. That is a simple enough statement to understand. The more difficult situation to get right in your head is when what works for does not work for Belle.

    The two of you will figure that stuff out for yourselves. Your role as the submissive is to be sensitive to Bell’s reactions to things you may suggest. There is nothing wrong with encouraging her to try new things, but don’t push her into feeling she has to continue doing stuff she doesn’t enjoy. Also there is nothing wrong with offering feedback to her about stuff she does elect to do that makes you happy as well as things that don’t.

    Then look a little deeper: Would you agree to a scene that you dreaded because it would make her very, very happy? And although you dread it would it not also make you happy at the same time becuse it pleased her?

    How about the other way around? After all Bell may dominate your relationship, but that doesn’t diminish her devotion to you… would she agree to try something that she is uncomfortable with just to try to please you? It sounds like she already has. (i.e. the whole chastity thing) And it has worked out to be quite to her liking.

    That is communication and devotion, not topping from the bottom.

    It is only an insecure leader who can’t suffer to hear feedback from their followers. No naturally dominant person is afraid to hear suggestions because, to put it bluntly, they are not in the least bit concerend about rejecting those suggestions if they find them unsuitable.

    Communicating is not topping from the bottom.

    BT

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