Cops n’ robbers

On episode 527 of the Savage Lovecast, Dan related a story in the context of a caller asking if a 24/7 master-slave relationship was possible about how he was once taken to task for describing BDSM as “cops and robbers for adults with your pants off.” He was at a conference and someone came up to him and said it was much more than that and, oh by the way, not being able to literally own another human being was a form of sexual repression. Or something like that.

Not that I would know anything about 24/7 master-slave things (though I do know something of the end of slavery in this country), but the more I’ve experienced and lived the less comfortable I’ve become with the “cops and robbers” analogy. It seems too flippant to me now.

Sure, for some, BDSM is something that’s simply scene-based. They buy their 50 Shades “My First Bondage Set” they found on the endcap at Target, feel very naughty indeed, and then get along with their lives. Maybe they never do it again because they feel incredibly stupid and self-conscious or maybe it spirals into a full-fledged Thing for them, but for most, it’s just a playful aside. In these cases, I totally buy Dan’s analogy. But it can be (and is) so much more for some.

My theme around here lately is “it’s what I am, not what I do” and the cops and robbers thing is all about the opposite. Belle and I don’t live in a scene. When I’m really submitting, I’m not pretending or acting. Bottoming, being hurt by a sadist, really giving of myself and being denied create a deep emotional resonance inside me. Drew and I were talking about this when he visited recently. Knowing what I know about myself now and if I were in a position where I wasn’t married to Belle, finding someone who was capable of accepting my need for domination would be a high priority. Perhaps higher than any other single attribute. That’s not playing.

I suspect Dan knows these things. That an inclination to some aspect of BDSM, like all things, exists on a spectrum. But for those of us on one of the far ends of that spectrum, his description is severely lacking.

General merchandise kink

2015-01-11 10.24.10I once said I’d never post another thing about Fifty Shades of Grey ever again, but I cannot not post about this.

While trying to find my little girl the exact kind of oatmeal she wanted (only had to go to three stores…), I stumbled upon this endcap at our local Target. Right there at the end of the shaving aisle, a veritable “My First BDSM Scene” kit. Blindfolds (“No peeking!”) and vibrating cockrings along with (not shown) teeny tiny bottles of lube and something called a “massage candle” all sold as licensed “Fifty Shades” merchandise.

Look, I get that Fifty Shades isn’t high literature or even a faithful depiction of a BDSM dynamic, but my opinion of it hasn’t changed. Fucking Target is selling kinky shit on an endcap. Not just the book. Actual gear. Yeah, I know it’s just about the tamest things you can imagine (and that Durex has been selling vibrating cockrings there for a long time), but this is kinda like seeing muggles perusing a selection of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes merchandise in the toy department.

Anything that helps people do something other than vanilla missionary stuff in bed has to be a good thing, right? I mean, Jack on Will and Grace was hardly a realistic portrayal of a gay man, but he begat Cameron and Mitchell on Modern Family. And they, in turn, have probably helped buffer America’s acceptance of gay marriage and families. Anastasia and Christian may be horrible representatives (I still haven’t read it, probably never will, and won’t make seeing the movie a priority), but if they’re the price to pay to get D/s-type relationships and dynamics in the mainstream, then so be it. Let the real people take it from here.

Follow-up for Kerri

Hmm…

I keep thinking back to the note I replied to yesterday. The one from a reader named Kerri who said, in part, “I cannot tell you how grateful I am for you to share your journey so publicly because I have found a lot of comfort in knowing that my desires aren’t necessarily singular, alone or deviant,” and, “…I don’t want to bare my soul to anyone who is likely to think I am weird…” and “[I] am so terrified of losing my husband, I either need to not feel how I do, or ask him to be what I need.”

Thing is, she never really came out and said what she needed or what her kink was. Did she want to carry a key? Or be locked? Or something else? Top? Bottom? No idea. But really, that doesn’t make a difference and it’s not what I keep thinking about.

So, I’m going to take another pass at her situation, but this time from a higher altitude. She said, “I either need to not feel how I do, or ask him to be what I need.” I can tell you right now, Kerri, you will not be able to stop being and feeling what you are. That bottle may stay stoppered for the rest of your life, but those feelings will never just evaporate no matter how far down you stuff them or how hard you will them to. They’re yours to keep. They are who you are.

No, you don’t necessarily need to act on your feelings/urges/whatever. Not everyone does (and, just between you and me, not everything you think is sexy ends up actually being that in real life). But I’m guessing that since you took the time to write me, they’re pushing at you pretty hard.

The second thing you said — “or ask him to be what I need” — is equally fraught. He may be what you need. That would be like drawing a straight flush, though. More likely, he is what he is and perhaps he can act like what you need him to be or what you both are has enough overlap to work. That’s the best case scenario, in my opinion. It’s also possible he can’t even think of being what you need him to be. That’s a scary prospect, I agree.

I don’t know you, let alone him, but you fear losing him and destroying your marriage and breaking up your family because of the kind of sex you want to have. Only you know him. Is that really likely? Or are you shaming yourself for being who you are? Are you inflicting fear of rejection and loss as a kind of punishment on yourself for being unlike who you think you need to be? I would know from that as I did it. Many times I felt like a complete freak and, even after leveling with Belle on all my various kinks and desires, making our sexual relationship work often felt too hard and I knew inside it was all my fault. Because I was not normal.

What I know now, and what I want you to hear, is there is no normal. There’s different. There’s compatible and incompatible. There are things each of us like and don’t. But nobody on this earth is normal. Not you, not me, not your husband, not the fucking Pope or President of the United States. People act normally (or, what they think is normal), but I think we all have our little kinks and peculiarities. We’re all kinky little fuckers deep down inside. And none of us are to judge what turns someone else’s crank (as long as it’s all consensual and practiced ethically, etc.). Not even ourselves.

So, please please free yourself from that guilt. Of that dread. You deserve to feel as you feel. You deserve to be happy. There is nothing wrong with you.

I know I’m incredibly lucky. I have a wonderful and supportive partner/friend/wife/keyholder who has made the realization of my sexuality not only possible but also rewarding. And it’s because of her support that I know how empowering it is to feel outside the shell we can make for ourselves when it comes to walling off whatever sexual feelings we have that fall outside the bullshit cultural paradigm. You need to break out of that shell to feel whole. You need to face who you are and give your husband the benefit of the doubt to face it with you.

This advice shit is tricky. Like I said, I know nothing more than what you told me in your note. Your husband may be a dick and maybe you already know he won’t be supportive. In which case, I wonder why anyone would want to live like that. But I’m making the assumption he isn’t. I can’t map out all the moves for you, but I can tell you how great it is not to be living with an important part of you hidden away from someone you love and who loves you.

Sure, do the things I mentioned yesterday. Buy the book, go to FetLife, maybe find a local group of like-minded perverts. But whatever you do, start the conversation with your husband. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but make the commitment and start working towards it now.

And don’t forget: We’re all kinky fuckers, every last one of us, in our own special ways. And it’s great.

Rolling a twenty

the big twentyI clearly remember the first time I played Dungeons & Dragons. It was the summer between sixth and seventh grade and I was over at my friend Steve’s house and he and a few other friends were about to start a session and one of them loaned me a character to play with. I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved the fact that this game (right at the dawn of home video gaming — not even sure the 2600 was out yet) required someone to tell the story we were in and all we had was some paper, pencils, and colorful dice, along with our imaginations, to be able to enjoy it. And, of course, our destinies weren’t fixed since we had to keep making decisions along the way.

Decisions such as mine to try and pick a lock on a door with this other dude’s character. I guess I was playing a thief, but not a very good one, because the lock was booby-trapped and the character was poisoned. I had to roll an icosahedron (fancy word for a twenty-sided die) and get a 20. Rolling a twenty is a very difficult thing to do since, obviously, you only have a one in twenty chance of doing it. I remember how all the other kids leaned over me to see what I rolled (and how the Dungeon Master in particular had a gleam in his obviously sadistic eye) and how the dude whose thief I was playing was especially sweating it (since once that character was dead, it was dead…for the most part). I, as I said, had no idea what was going on except all of a sudden I was expected to do this thing that everyone told me was just not done.

But I did it. Twenty.

And I was hooked. I played pretty faithfully well into high school, made a bunch of my own characters, bought little lead figures, all the various books (which I still have), multi-colored dice, and even played the role of Dungeon Master myself from time to time. I remember going home that night and enthusing to my mom about this awesome new game and the monsters in it and the weapons (like the vorpal blade — I specifically recall telling her about the vorpal blade) and how I suddenly knew what I was going to be doing for the rest of the summer (besides watching Price is Right). She gave me a lot of those “yes, dear”s and “uh-huh”s that moms are occasionally required to give their excited kids (whereas my dad eventually told me how D&D was a tool of the Devil, but that’s another story).

I also remember two girls named Anne and Pam. They were best friends and had attached themselves to the circle of guys I was hanging out with. We’d get together to play D&D at one or another’s houses while our parents were at work and Anne and Pam would always seem to be around so they got sucked in. Not that they wanted to. I have to admit I have no idea what they would have rather been doing since I was a self-absorbed teenage boy and they were outnumbered by a bunch of others just like me, but for some reason they decided to half-heartedly play along (we also played a lot of Diplomacy which they also soldiered through without enthusiasm, but I’m not going to talk about that because I’m trying to make a point here).

And the other day it occurred to me how much kink is like Dungeons & Dragons. I suppose I cannot be the first person to make this connection, but they both involve fantasy sessions where one person is in charge and others willingly submit to their authority. They both are replete with rules and traps and interpersonal dynamics that are only clear to those with experience or a willing guide. They both have friggin’ costumes and personas their players use to escape from the mundane world. Really, it seems to me, the same source of energy that feeds one’s involvement in a game as deep as D&D is where kinksters go to energize for their play sessions.

And, of course, there are adult, real-life versions of Anne and Pam involved. Namely, for me and those like me and many reading this blog, I’m talking about our spouses. My mom didn’t need to get all that into D&D to appreciate how much I liked it. She was on the outside. Our wives, though, (or partners or whatever you have), like Anne and Pam, do. And there’s no reason to think they’ll be any more enthusiastic about it than Anne and Pam were. Except Anne and Pam could have just walked away (they did, eventually) whereas our spouses don’t have that as such an easy option. To them, we’ve suddenly discovered a vast and compelling obsession with a complicated game they previously had no interest in playing (or maybe that it even existed) and, worse part is, the rules are obtuse, unclear, and often being generated on the fly by their suddenly enthused partner.

Imagine that from their perspective.

No, really.

If you’re lucky (like I am), your partner is willing to learn the rules (or, more correctly, establish them with you). If you’re not, they aren’t. But in either event, rushing into it and trying to go from Vanillaville to a fantasy sex slave cuckold in permanent chastity has about as much chance of success as my rolling a perfect twenty almost thirty years ago. It could happen, but nobody can remember seeing it for themselves.

So anyway, think about that. Think about how much guys like us expect our partners to digest and change and how impatient we generally are about it because we’ve just found this awesome new game! No, really, you’re going to love it! Really! There are no Player’s Handbooks (well, there are some that try to be, but the rules aren’t so well defined). There are no Monster Manuals. This shit is complicated and often unexpected with its arrival in a relationship. At least from their perspective.

You can drop a guy into a D&D session without guidance or warning and tell him to roll a twenty and it’ll be OK. You can’t do that with the person you share your life with. You need to go more slowly.

Bifurcated

So I had this dream. Vivid. In it, I was being fucked by a man. In fact, a man I’ve been fucked by before. There was no actual plot to the dream that I can recall. Just him fucking me. Oh, and the device. I was locked up, of course.

It’s been coming back to me lately. Usually when I’m partially asleep or just waking up. Not that I have had the dream again (as far as I can tell) but the memory of it is there. Lingering. Of just being fucked. Being a hole for some big dick to use. Not romantic. Just fucking.

The funny thing is, I still have contact with this guy. Not in person. We play iPhone word games against each other. He was not only my on-again, off-again high school kinda-boyfriend, he was the best man in my wedding to Belle. He’s one of my oldest and dearest friends and has what is in my opinion one of the world’s perfect cocks. Not super long (above average), but thick. Nice and fat.

Anyway, yeah, it’s been in my mind. I can’t get it out. He’s a long ways away so I don’t have the risk of bumping into him. That would be oddly embarrassing. I remember one time, a long time ago, I had a dream where I had sex with a woman I work with and the next day I could barely look at her. It took me a week before I could talk to her normally.

I haven’t told anyone about the being fucked dream. Well, not until now. Certainly not that I can’t let go of it (or that it won’t let go of me). I don’t know how it is for other bisexuals in monogamous hetero relationships, but my desire for being fucked waxes and wanes. I’m waxing gibbous at the moment, if I had to guess. It’s not directly related to being horny since I’m almost always horny and I am not always thinking about the buttsex.

The obsession has led me to realize I’m almost exclusively a bottom (not just in the BDSM context). When looking at images of men having sex, I’m drawn to the receiving guy. When fantasizing about sex with a man, I’m always receiving. I never fantasize about fucking a man. Back when I had actual sex with men, I didn’t really enjoy fucking them. If I’m going to be inside someone, I much prefer women (and one in particular). I don’t know why I never really thought about it before, but I’m a total bottom in every sense of the word.

Why does any of this matter? I dunno. Just that it and this NYTimes essay on bisexuality have been bouncing around in my head. When you’re bi and in a monogamous relationship, I suppose there’s always a bit of you that’s going to be frustrated. Maybe my frustrated halves are merging. Before one of you says it, yeah, I know there are lots of ways to receive the kind of fucking I’m craving from Belle, but she’s never expressed any interest in that whatsoever. So I guess it stays where it is. Bunking with the other frustrations.

Peanut buster parfait

It is in that moment before your beloved drops her balled-up fist with as much might as she can muster between your open legs and onto your exposed and oh-so-vulnerable testicles where you experience primal terror. All the evolutionary safeties, who would usually be screaming at your higher brain to stop and cover yourself, are quivering in fear in the dark little box into which you’ve locked them. Your heart flutters and you have to will your legs to stay apart…

Continue reading “Peanut buster parfait”

Rules

I’ve been reading Discipline: Adding Rules & Discipline To Your BDSM Relationship on Das Kindle. It’s coincidental to the new rule about forbidding me from playing with myself when unlocked, but happily so. The book is by Lily Lloyd of blackleatherbelt and has been enjoyable and enlightening.

Lily identifies three types of rules:

  • Ritual and Protocol – Activities and  standards of behavior in which a Dominent and submissive engage to reenforce their roles.
  • Standing orders – Rules the Dominant expects the submissive to carry out on a regular schedule or when a particular situation comes up.
  • Behavior modification – Rules that are intended to help a sub develop a new habit or shed an old one, with the objective of changing the sub’s life for the better or making the sub’s behavior more pleasing to the Dominant.

In addition, she says the use of rules in a D/s relationship have their own simple rules:

  • They should bring you closer together.
  • They should build a dynamic you both want.
  • They should enhance (or minimally not detract from) the well-being of both partners.

This is, of course, eminently logical stuff. It is true. But that doesn’t mean any of it was obvious to either me or Belle as we stumbled into our D/s overlay. Some of what Lily says in the book we’ve already come to realize but other stuff I don’t think we have or didn’t realize we realized it until I read it all laid out as she has. If you’re a D or an s (or a little of both), you should read this book. I’m not finished with it yet, but am just about half way though. That’s enough for me to be able to say with full conviction that if you read my blog you’re likely to get something out of this book and should do yourself the favor. (I mean, come on. It’s only three bucks.)

As a sub, I love rules. Just thinking about them and writing that statement makes the device’s contents tingle and swell. On paper or conceptually, rules sound boring, but in practice (and specifically how the concept of being ruled percolates through my brain) they’re fucking hot. Combine this with my natural predilection towards process and definition and you get a nerdy subbie squirming mass craving order and discipline. Especially the discipline.

Belle doesn’t love rules. She’s the one who doesn’t measure the ingredients to a recipe and just eyeballs it (which drives me crazy) and is the first between us to do what she wants rather than what is expected. This is a natural point of friction in our foundational relationship, let alone a potential pitfall in our D/s overlay. Without thinking, it makes me want to say I don’t really have that many rules, but after some reflection, it turns out I do have more than just the one. In no particular order…

  • I have to wear the chastity device of Belle’s choice whenever and for however long she says.
  • I’m not allowed to have an orgasm until July 27, 2014.
  • I’m not allowed to refer to the penis as mine.
  • I’m not allowed to use the penis in any pleasurable ways without Belle’s permission.
  • I am to turn the TV off in our bedroom whenever Belle wants it off and I’m not to complain about it. (That one was my idea. I love the TV in our bedroom, she claims to hate it.)

There are a few that have become defunct.

  • I used to have to ask permission before getting into bed. This one suggested that the bed is Belle’s and she decides where I sleep, but she’s never made me sleep anywhere else (like on the floor or in another room).
  • I used to have to ask permission to sleep naked. For whatever reason, I just sleep naked anyway. On the rare occasion that I don’t, she asks what’s up.
  • I used to have to prepare the coffee machine to make Belle’s coffee in the morning. Belle bought a fancy-shmancy coffee machine that only requires the push of a button to make an apparently tasty beverage (I wouldn’t know since I don’t drink it).

Maybe there were others, but I’ve forgotten them. We both need to be invested in rules in order for them to work and these obviously weren’t that important to one or both of us. One that I particularly like that Lily requires of her girlfriend sub is to spend five minutes a day quietly contemplating their relationship and then to text her when she’s done. This is kind of like my desire to have to thank Belle every day for acceptance of my submission. It’s a difficult thing to stay in the subbie state of mind and a daily reminder, even something so simple, is appealing to me. Also, vocally reiterating my position is a profoundly energizing thing for me to do, especially when I’m not feeling it all that much.

As I said above, I’m all about the rules. I love them. I know I loved them long before Belle loved them (or at least appreciated them). When she really took charge of the device and when and for how long I’d wear it, it made wearing it ten times more appealing to me (and it was already appealing). That’s when it became a rule. One that she set and I follow. Same for her recent investment in my denial. Now, we both own that. Her commitment to the rule that I won’t come for another 520 days (it’s true – look it up) makes not coming so much more profound for me than back when she’d fuck me all she wanted and if I came it was my problem. I want to follow her rules. I want to obey. But I’m only a man, after all. You keep fucking me, I’m going to come eventually. It means a lot to me that she wants me to succeed as much as I do.

Same goes for the “no playing with it” rule. I was out this past weekend and that fact kept waking me up (as a hard, sensitive penis will do) and each time the first thing through my mind was that I could not touch it. I’m choosing to interpret “playing with it” to mean no pleasurable touching, not just jacking off, so I have to be very careful not to grab it just because it’s needy. In any event, that one simple rule that you would have thought seemed pretty obvious for us has resonated in me very deeply. I suspect (though I haven’t had a chance to put it to the test) that I feel so strongly about obeying her that she could leave me alone sans device and I would be good. That’s a huge difference from how I felt just a few weeks ago.

Friggin’ rules, man. They’re awesome.

I have more to say about using rules to modify behavior, but will save that for another time.