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Who Has the Power?

It’s a truism in the BDSM community to say that “the bottom has all the real power.”

What is meant by that, is that whoever is receiving the pain, bondage, humiliation, etc. is empowered to stop all activity with the use of a safeword, and therefore they retain ultimate control of the scene.

My feeling on that is… eh, not quite.

First of all, tops have a right to safeword too. That is as it should be. Anyone involved in BDSM play, or indeed in any kind of sexual activity, or any allegedly consensual human interaction with anyone at any time, should have the power to tap out if their boundaries are crossed.

It also means that the mystic power of the safeword is not exclusive to bottoms. It’s a power equally held by both (or all) partners in the scene.

It’s good that safewording power is shared between all partners. Imagine what could happen if it wasn’t! You’d have tops pushed past their boundaries, flogging, fucking, and fisting long after they’d become exhausted, uncomfortable, miserable, or just plain non-consenting. No good all around.

So if your thesis statement is that “bottoms have all the power” and your evidence for that argument is “bottoms can safeword,” your logic is flawed, since tops can safeword too.

My feeling is that in any interaction, no one person should ever have “all” the power. (Is that my anarchist roots showing, or just my common sense speaking out?)

In any power exchange relationship (or other human interaction), power should be shared. 

That doesn’t always mean it’s shared equally.

Let’s look past transitory top/bottom roles, into the more permanent roles of an ongoing power exchange– e.g. Dominant and submissive, Daddy or Mommy and boy or girl, Master/Mistress and slave, Owner and property.

Some people insist that, even in these ongoing power dynamics, the s-type retains “all the power,” with their continued ability to exit a dynamic which no longer works for them.

But of course, Doms, Masters, Mistresses, Owners, etc. all have the right to do that, too.

(Some dynamics exist where, allegedly, the s-type actually has no power to end the relationship. The viability of that type of power exchange is a complicated discussion, and is actually beyond the scope of my experience, so I am not going to talk about it here.)

So here we are, seemingly at an impasse. Both parties, after all, retain agency in their ability to withdraw consent. Does this make them equals? Has any power actually been exchanged? And if so… who has it?

My answer, after reading some Jack Rinella last night, is that the s-type does not have all the power… but rather, they are the source of all the power.

Think about it. The authority of the Dominant is meaningless without the consent of the submissive. (A Dom who retains authority after consent has been withdrawn is more properly called an abuser.) A Dom can do nothing, exercise no power, without a willing subject.

Does that mean the submissive has all the power?

No. The submissive is voluntarily giving up a lot (but usually not all) of their power. They hand it over. They do not retain it.

The power comes from the submissive, but the lion’s share of it lands with the Dominant.

(If you really think about it, that means submission comes from the Dom, because obviously, without a Dominant partner, surrender is at best meaningless and at worst an manipulative, abusive imposition.)

At the end of the day, maybe this is all a semantic game. But it’s fun to think about.

And I think this framing helps expose some of the guts, the inner workings, of the machinery of D/s.

Bondage without Rope: Part 1- Handcuffs

Rope is probably the most popular medium of erotic bondage, for good reason. It’s secure, versatile, beautiful. It provides a range of unique visuals and textures. It’s traditional, archetypal, the obvious choice for bondage.

I love rope.

But, unlike some people, I don’t love rope itself more than I love bondage in general. I’m into restraint, and while I can appreciate the tactile experience of some fine hemp rope, the end goal– helplessness– is more important to me than the means of achieving it.

(Of course, some people use bondage for purposes other than restraint, such as decoration. I’m not really into that so I’m not going to write about it. Sorry.)

This post is the first in a series about how to do bondage using pretty much everything I can think of that isn’t rope.

For this installment, I will focus on the only form of sex bondage that might be more infamous and obvious than rope– police style handcuffs.

Handcuffs: Not a Beginner’s Toy

If you are like me, the very first kinky sex toy you bought was a pair of police style cuffs.

If you are like many people who did this, you probably used them once or twice, and then discarded them as fiddly and shockingly uncomfortable.

Maybe, in those early experiments, you even had the super fun experience of losing the key– or suffering nerve damage to your wrists.

Subsequently you probably went out and got some rope, or some soft leather buckling cuffs, and let your police cuffs gather dust in the bottom of your toy box forever more.

This is the central paradox of handcuffs– they are the first form of bondage that many people try, and yet they are a poor point of entry to bondage– dangerous, uncomfortable, and perilously inescapable.

At the same time, despite their inherent riskiness, some experienced kinksters have come to look upon handcuffs as “fluffy” toys for kink dilettantes and lightweights, the mark of the newb and the poseur. Fuzzy handcuffs have practically become the official symbol of “that guy from Tinder who said he was really kinky but had no idea what he was doing.”

I’d like to lay all these stereotypes and misconceptions to rest, right now, with some simple facts.

Handcuffs are not “fluffy.” They are highly secure and can be extremely dangerous. Even fuzzy cuffs are generally not well padded enough to significantly decrease the risk of nerve damage. (In fact, cheap fuzzy cuffs from the vanilla sex shop might be even more dangerous because they are shoddily made and often do not double lock. We’ll get into double-locking versus single-locking later.)

Handcuffs are literally used by professionals (the police) to inescapably restrain people. Everything that is bad and good about handcuffs from a kinky perspective is encapsulated in that sentence.

I’m going to take a moment to give you a run-down of the risks and draw backs of using police cuffs in kinky play.

Security

If you put a pair of cuffs on someone tightly enough that they can’t squeeze their hands out, and then lock the cuffs, the person is not going to get out of them without a key.

That’s good for a bottom who craves inescapable bondage. No one is going to Houdini their way out of unbreakable locking cuffs.

That can also be really bad.

For example, if you put cuffs on yourself during an unsupervised solo play session, and then drop the key where you can’t reach it… you are stuck.

If you lock your partner up in cuffs, or let them do the same to you, and then whoever is topping loses the key… you are screwed.

Just imagine if there was a fire or other emergency in either of those scenarios. That’s all you’d need, right?

So that’s rule number one: always keep track of the key. Always have spare handcuff keys, keep them close by and know exactly where they are. I always have at least one handcuff key attached to my key chain, right next to my house keys and all that other important stuff. I also like to wear a handcuff key on a chain around my neck– they are elegant looking and fairly discreet, a good way to quietly signal kinkiness to like-minded people while also keeping track of your spare handcuff key!

On a related note, your handcuff keys should all look like this:

standard-handcuff-key

Not like these:

singlelockkeybig

I will explain why in a minute. It’s related to double-locking versus single-locking cuffs. Hint: that little pointy bit at the top is super important. 

Nerve Damage 

Handcuffs are super unforgiving, being made of hard, completely inflexible metal. That means they can potentially damage your nerves even more easily than rope can.

When nerve damage is happening, you may experience numbness, pain, lack of sensation, or impaired movement in extremities. If any of these symptoms occur, remove the bondage immediately.

Handcuff injuries are more common in people who are actually getting arrested than in people who are using them for kinky play, because unlike cops, tops usually care about the person they are cuffing. Cops often put handcuffs on super tightly, and do not double lock them. They also refuse to remove handcuffs from people who are complaining of pain, numbness and other signs of nerve injury.

Don’t be like a cop. DO double lock. DON’T put the cuffs on too tight. And DO remove the cuffs immediately if your bottom starts complaining.

These are the nerves of your hand and wrist:

fig__11-hand_nerves_copia

As you can see, the ulnar and median nerves run closest to the surface on the inside of the wrist. The radial nerve runs along the side near the thumb and towards the back.

So put the goddamn handcuffs on like this:

arrested-in-handcuffs

NOT LIKE THIS:

250px-hinged_handcuffs_rear_back_to_back

In the first image, with the hands naturally facing inwards, you can see how the backs of the wrists are taking most of the pressure. There’s even a little bit of space between the cuff and the inside of the wrist, yet they are still on tight enough to prevent escape. This is good.

In the second image, with the palms rotated outward and the cuffs on very tight, pressure is going directly on the ulnar and median nerves. Even the radial nerve is probably taking a bunch of pressure, given the angle of the thumb.

So tops, put the cuffs on sensibly.

And bottoms? Don’t struggle a too much while wearing police cuffs. They’re inescapable anyway. You’ll only hurt yourself.

Quality and Double-Locking 

Let me say this loud and clear:

You MUST buy police quality cuffs that double lock.

These are bad, bad handcuffs:

handcuffs_729-420x0

Not because they are pink and fuzzy. In fact, the pink fuzzy sleeves are the only good thing about these. Slide those off and put them on your police quality cuffs if you like.

These are bad because they don’t double lock. How can I tell? The keys are the wrong shape. They don’t have that little pointy tip.

Also, look at the flimsy, crappy chain, the shoddy hollow body of the cuffs. These are terrible. Crappily made cuffs like these might have unexpected failures of the locking mechanism, causing them to either come undone unexpectedly (bad) or not open at all (worse). Don’t fuck with these. You can get good handcuffs for as low as twenty bucks a pair. There’s no reason to buy crap.

This is how your handcuffs should look:

41r8euvhoxl-_sy355_

Solid and double-locking. Feel free to add fuzzy sleeves.

Here is how that double-lock mechanism I won’t shut up about works:

_1

Ahhh, that’s why that pointy key-tip thingy is such a big deal!

To unlock double-locking cuffs, insert the key in the keyhole and rotate first in one direction, then the other. Voila. You are free.

So what IS double-locking?

Well, when you first snap handcuffs onto somebody, they lock automatically in one direction– you can tighten them by squeezing them shut, but not loosen them. That means, obviously, that the cuffs can just keep getting tighter. Since they are made of inflexible metal, that is very very bad.

Just imagine those cuffs tightening relentlessly, pressing your nerves against your bone, eventually cutting off circulation to your hands. Would you want to bottom to someone who gave you that experience? I didn’t think so.

Double-locking means the cuffs can’t loosen OR tighten. They stay in place.

That is GOOD. That is what you WANT.

So, to recap: your cuffs must be professional grade, and double-locking. Buy from a brand like Peerless, Fury, or Smith & Wesson.

Tool of the Police State

Finally, a word about an often neglected topic– the psychological implications of police style cuffs.

We live in a world where a lot of good people have super legit trauma around police and being arrested.

For some of them, police style cuffs will represent horrible, terrifying memories, rather than sexy fun times.

For some others of them, police style cuffs will represent horrible, terrifying memories… that they also have a desire to reenact consensually, through psychologically intense sexy fun times.

Some people who want to use handcuffs, but are super turned off by their associations with police, may find throwing some fuzzy hot pink or leopard print sleeves on the bracelets will be enough to neutralize negative associations. Others will not.

As always, be sensitive to the fact that the things we play with are super edgy, and don’t foist your kinks on others without careful discussion. You might think bringing out the handcuffs will be a sexy surprise for your lover, but end up accidentally triggering a panic attack.

(BDSM “surprises” aren’t usually sexy so much as non-consensual and a terrible idea. Negotiate!)

The Bottom Line

This article is only a start. There is probably a lot more to know about playing with police cuffs that I am not aware of.

As with all things: do your own research, beyond this blog. Negotiate carefully with your partner. Be aware of safety risks at all times. Use good quality gear that won’t fail on you in some unexpected way.

And never, ever, lose your keys. 

 

 

Serving in Dystopia

A belated, highly personal reaction to the U.S. presidential election. 

When it comes to romantic partners, I love with submission.

Submission feels hard right now, because love feels hard right now. In fact, it feels almost impossible.

To be so tender, so vulnerable, feels like the most dangerous thing.

To open your heart when liberty, privacy and life itself seem uncertain– who has the strength for that?

But we must love. If we do not love each other, if we do not come together, we truly have nothing.

It might sound cheesy, but if you don’t believe it, you’re a fool.

So I must love, and that means I must serve. I must submit. I must stay open. And I must be patient.

Because god, I want a collar on my neck now more badly than ever. I yearn to be locked into something solid, that will let me know, with every moment, that I am loved.

But it’s not time yet. There is no guarantee that time will come.

In any case, it’s more important, now than ever, to have faith in intangible things.

The Limitations of Sexual Service

Or, “Why I Find Cooking, Cleaning and Doing Laundry to be Sexy at Times.” 

Sexual submission, as I’ve written before, is great. It’s my favorite thing. I think it’s a completely legitimate form of service, and anyone who thinks otherwise has never forced themself to keeping choking on a cock long after their jaw began to ache and their eyes to water.

But it has limitations.

Knowing that I will be available for his sexual use whenever desired (within my physical limitations) is hot, important, and touches the core of my being.

But what happens to my usefulness when my Boyfriend isn’t in the mood? What happens to my submission when he isn’t currently balls deep in the hole of his choice?

That’s the time for non-sexual service.

Polishing his boots. Bringing him a cup of tea. Cooking a meal. Doing the dishes. Giving him a massage. Cleaning the bathroom. Cleaning the stove. Putting away the groceries.

These things, so seemingly mundane, keep me in tune with his needs, with his power, with my love for him. They reinforce the simple structure of our relationship: I do what he wants. 

Sure, it’s extra fun when what he wants is to tie me up and spank me and fuck me silly. But it’s just as meaningful, just as rewarding, when what he wants is for me to muck out the cat litter boxes so that he doesn’t have to deal with it.

Does that mean I find dirty cat litter hot? No. Does it mean I like cleaning litter boxes? Hell no!

It means I find it meaningful to make his life easier. I find it worthwhile to serve him.

And, let’s face it, despite his high sex drive (and mine) I can’t literally be bouncing on his dick 24/7.

Sexual service is great for when you are currently having sex.

For all those other times… there’s housework.

And thank the Gods of Kink for that.

Sexual Service

0.

This will be long, rambling, personal and painful, but also full of pride and hope.

1.

I recently read Laura Antinou’s “The Marketplace” for the first time. It was an entertaining novel and pretty hot at times. But one aspect of it made me feel like absolute shit.

You see, there’s a character named Sharon. She identifies herself as a “pleasure slave.” She is portrayed as greedy, egotistical, selfish, clueless, lazy, and disobedient– a silly girl who thinks slavery is all about getting fucked hard while wearing a cute tiny outfit. She spends most of the book being brutally disabused of her misconceptions, and yet never really grows as a character.

Perhaps it is a bit of absurd of me to take this personally, but it struck a nerve. You see, I identify as a sexual submissive, or, as I sometimes say, “sexually service oriented.” But I am usually kind of quiet about this, because, ever since I entered the community, I’ve been running into jokes and stereotypes at the expense of this whole idea.

“Sexual service” is seen as an oxymoron, because obviously the submissive just wants to selfishly enjoy getting fucked, right? (And it’s not service if you like it… right?)

Worse, even– maybe the self-professed “sexual submissive” is really just secretly VANILLA (gasp!) since all their so-called kinks presumably center around that most vanilla of things–sex.

REAL service is doing dishes, scrubbing bathrooms, serving elegant high tea. REAL kink involves tons and tons of pain, all the time.

Eh, not quite.

2.

First of all, I know folks who would legitimately MUCH rather scrub a bathroom than get fucked, thank you very much. Different people enjoy different things. (GASP!)

More to the point, different service submissives find their sense of usefulness in different things. Some people feel most useful doing domestic chores. I feel most useful when I am face down, ass up, or choking on a throat full of cock.

And for the record, I will happily do the dishes, and (somewhat less happily but with good grace) scrub the damn bathroom. It’s just… more fun to do those things naked. And, if you want to see a really cool trick, you could try fucking me roughly from behind while I do your dishes, and watch me get them all perfectly clean and not break a single one. (Unf. Talk about feeling useful! I love to multitask.)

Secondly, no, it’s not about me selfishly wanting to get fucked. That could not be farther from the truth.

Over many years, I have come to know myself well. I have identified my core kink, the crux of my sexuality, and it is being used for pleasure. That means I genuinely have a hard time reaching orgasm unless I get the sense that my partner is REALLY getting off on making me squirm and feel and lose control of my body. That absent, I’d just as soon not cum. I don’t want you to do me because I did you, and it’s only polite. I want you to do me because you would find it hot and wildly entertaining, or else not do me at all.

At this point, I’d literally rather die than be service topped in bed ever again. I want to be an outlet for fierce desire. I want to be used at will by a man who is nearly insatiable, and requires a toy like me to satisfy him. And when I say I want to be used, that means I need to be useful to you. There is a huge difference between that and getting fucked by someone who is “doing me a favor.” (Spoiler: you’re not doing me a favor. Without your forceful and genuine lust, getting fucked might be a series of pleasant sensations, but for me, it won’t be erotic at all.)

A few people have service topped me in this way while pretending not to be service topping me, pretending to need me and want me and desire my service while sacrificing themselves to what was at best a boring chore for them. Inevitably, I found out. It broke my heart and caused me to develop a wide range of neuroses and trust issues which have lasted for years, and which I still cry about in therapy. It also caused me to nearly lose hope that I would ever find a match. I started to think that people who would actually appreciate my willingness, availability, endurance and passion didn’t even exist. I started to think I was just a greedy, selfish bottom who was deluding myself into thinking I was a sub. I started to hate myself.

Ultimately, the people who covertly service topped me to try to satisfy my fantasies did me a vast disservice, and tremendous damage.

(For the record, I am no longer angry or bitter towards any of these people. I share this story to illustrate a point, and to underscore the “literally rather die” bit above. I absolutely cannot take that experience again. It would break me where nothing else would.)

3.

I don’t want it to always be easy. I want my partner/Master/lover/top/Dom/or whomever to feel free to make me gag, bleed, cry, and scream, and just keep going. I want to be used when sex wasn’t on my mind, when I am tired and don’t think I’m up to it. My ambition is to be sexually available 24/7, 365, as much as is humanly possible. And I want to be able to accommodate whatever he feels like doing to me, as much as is humanly possible– whether it’s some slow, sensual, seemingly “vanilla” sex, or a brutal beating followed by forced deep-throat and rough anal, or letting him lie back while I give him a long, deep, full-body massage with a happy ending, or an animalistic quickie in the morning where he dumps his cum in me then goes off to work, leaving me hanging.

I am very fortunate right now to be with a man whose drive is even higher than mine. I finally feel like I make sense. With previous partners, I was simply the wrong tool for the job– a hammer when you needed a screw driver. No wonder I felt useless and wrong.

Out of love and service to him, and also in a passionate drive to prove everyone wrong about sexual service and what it can be, I am on a mission of self improvement. I believe it is not sufficient to be a passive object, unless that is what is expressly desired. I believe I should be less like a blow-up doll that just lies there and takes it, and more like a highly advanced sex bot programmed with a tremendous range of skills. I believe I can and should be better.

My short term goals include mastering deep-throating, anally retraining myself, and expanding my lexicon of dirty talk. I am also putting more attention than ever into my physical appearance and health. I am keeping my entire body shaved smooth now, even my arms. I am striving to eat healthier, take my vitamins, exercise more, and continue to take excellent care of my mental health. Stretching and improving my flexibility is also important– a few days ago I had to call halt to a wonderful rough sex session because something in my back went horribly painfully wrong and I knew my boyfriend didn’t want to break his toy.

Longer term, I want to learn massage. I also want to take some classes on strip tease and erotic movement.

Other little discoveries are happening naturally. Yesterday, while running a load of cum-soaked bedding through the laundry, I realized that I really enjoy caring for the bed. It feels right for me to tend to that space, to set the stage.

It also feels right to me to tend to my lover’s body, as well as mine, in ways less explicitly sexual. I’ve mentioned massage a couple of times, but things like giving a haircut or scrubbing him down in the shower are also included in this.

Taking care of his leather also feels like a natural extension of my duties.

In fact, when I put sexual service in the center, the ripples extend out to potentially include all areas of our lives. Cooking dinner, doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, even emptying the fucking cat litter boxes– if taking care of these mundane details lets him relax, feel good, and focus on things he’d rather be doing, I am all for it.

I want my lover to feel like the rockstar, demon prince, and sex god that he is. He is a person who would much rather focus on the sensual, the magical, and the artistic than the mundane. I am the same way, but when I take care of mundane tasks for him, they no longer bore me. They themselves become sensual, magical, and a form of art.

Ultimately, I guess all of my submission becomes sexual submission. But the deep core of who we are is reached most easily when his cock is buried inside me, when he is filling me with cum. Everything else only hints at that, symbolizes that, serves as a euphemism and a metaphor for that moment.

4.

Serving sexually is my passion, my craft, and (part of) my purpose on this earth.

And I am no longer ashamed. I am proud. I know my worth, and what I am good for.

I am going to be the best sexual submissive that I can. I will serve, I will perform, I will give and I will take it, take it, take it.

Self-care for s-types

I’m still sick, and I’ve been wanting to write this for awhile, so here goes.

In this piece, when I say “you,” I really mean “me.” Your mileage may vary.

A lot of this list is common sense, and yet I and many other s-types I know have ignored much, or all, of it for long periods of time.

1. Submission should feed you.

It should make you happy. It should energize you. It should make you feel useful and capable and self-actualized. It should feel good, it should feel right. Even if you are sobbing in agony, even if you are an exhausted, sweaty, cum-crusted mess, even if to the casual vanilla observer you would look like you are having a terrible, traumatic time… it should feel good and right to you.

If submission leaves you exhausted and miserable, you may be with the wrong Dom, or you might not be submissive at all. You might be a bottom, a masochist, a switch, or even a sadist or top or Dom yourself. That’s fine and wonderful. The world needs more of those. BDSM is about finding authentic expression, and having fun. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t cram yourself into it.

If submission doesn’t feed you, doesn’t satisfy a deep need in you, doesn’t make your heart fucking sing… don’t do it.

2. Submission should feed you, but you cannot live on submission alone.

You need food, water, sleep, medical care, and all kinds of other pesky things that homo sapiens require to function. (Submissives are not a separate species… nor even a subspecies.)

Aside from those physical things, you need emotional support from others.

Sometimes, you even need gentle affection, as well as the harsher kind of love that you prefer.

3. Your Dom can’t be your world.

Your Dom should probably be one of the people who helps to take care of you. But your Dom cannot and should not be everything to you. There must be others.

You need friends, you need family (biological and chosen), you might need a therapist. You definitely need other submissives in your life, because you need friends who really get you.

Have a support network. Learn to ask for help.

It’s probably hard, because you are a sub after all, and it’s likely that your default mode is to take care of everyone else. This is a sweet and charming impulse, but recognize the little kernel of arrogance it contains. You’re only human. We all need help sometimes. Surrender to that reality.

4. Learn to take pride in the excellent care you take of yourself.

Stretch. Exercise. Take long showers or baths until you are squeaky clean and utterly relaxed. Eat really well. Drink a ton of water. Get at least 8 hours of sleep as a rule, and sleep in when possible.

Moisturize the fuck out of your skin. Wear clothes you love. Make sure you like your haircut and style.

If you have necessary medications, for the love of God, your Dom and especially yourself, take them as prescribed.

Your Dom might want you to do some of these things differently. They might have stipulations about your grooming, your dress, your hairstyle. That might be fine, but don’t take this type of negotiation lightly. The way you look on a daily basis does a lot to your confidence and mental well-being. If your Dom wants to alter your appearance in a way that will really mess with your happiness, please say no. If your Dom doesn’t utterly suck, they will understand, and try to find a compromise.

If your Dom does utterly suck, leave. More on that later.

5. Do not harm yourself.

I beg you, with the compassion and understanding of a person in recovery, to listen to me when I say this.

Do not cut, burn, or otherwise engage in self-harm. It might not seem that different from consensual S&M. It is different, because chances are you can’t control your self harm. Chances are, it’s compulsive, and you do it when you feel low, insufficient, frustrated, triggered, desperate, furious, or numb. Those are headspaces in which you probably wouldn’t want to play. Right?

(Please avoid play in those headspaces.)

Please do not use drugs or alcohol to excess.

Please do not restrict your food intake. Please don’t purge, either by vomiting or excessive exercise.

If you are struggling with any of these addictions and compulsions, or any others, please get help. (Feel free to message me if you need resources.)

Engaging in any of these behaviors will probably make your Dom miserable, but that is hardly even important if you are at such a dark place yourself. You need to get healthy for you first.

6. Please engage in safer sex (and play).

Get tested regularly for STIs.

Learn the risk factors of anything you want to do before you do it, or let anyone else do it to you. I don’t care how dominant they are. Your consent has to be informed to be meaningful.

Be particularly diligent in learning and assessing the risks of breath play and suspension. All types of play have dangers, but those two are probably the most frequently underestimated in terms of their inherent risk. Get facts, and make your own decisions.

7. Learn the difference between a Dominant and an asshole.

A Dominant negotiates. A Dominant acts only within your consent. A Dominant respects your limits.

(Everyone has limits. Some people have no limits with their Dominant, but those are people who have very carefully chosen a sane and ethical Owner who they can trust to not dismember them with a hacksaw.)

An asshole pushes boundaries. An asshole pressures. An asshole tries to “get away” with things to which you did not consent. An asshole violates and abuses, and will try to isolate you, the better to do so.

You have no obligation to serve such people. In fact, you have an obligation to yourself to avoid them whenever possible.

If you aren’t sure whether you are with a Dominant or an asshole… you are probably with an asshole.

Ask yourself if they regularly make you feel like shit, in a way that you don’t like. Has your life gotten bigger or smaller since you began serving them? Are you changing, and is that change for the better? Is your confidence and mental health deteriorating? Have you somehow lost touch with everyone else you care about… and is your Dom the reason?

Assess your situation with these tools, and hopefully you will know what to do.

Remember here, again, to ask for help.

8. Empower yourself with education

Read everything you can get your hands on about BDSM, leather, kink, D/s, M/s, and whatever else interests you in this life. Form your own opinions. Notice which models of service and power appeal to you, and which don’t.

Learn about risks and techniques. Learn about the history and traditions of leather. Learn everything you can from a variety of sources, so that no charlatan can control you by saying “This is the way it’s supposed to be.”

9. Know yourself.

If you’re a Daddy’s girl, don’t force yourself to be a puppy. If you’re a puppy, don’t force yourself to be a slave. If you’re a Daddy’s girl, a puppy and a slave, more power to you.

But the point is to know yourself. Only then can you find the right Dom and the right dynamic for you, the one where you can be the most satisfied and useful.

A slut who craves sexual use won’t be happy doing non-sexual service in 24/7 chastity. While that might be an appropriate punishment in the short term, over the long term it would simply be a ludicrous relationship. A slut or sex slave is a bit wasted scrubbing floors with their genitals under lock and key– especially when there are so many chastity-loving domestic service types in the world. That’s like using a screwdriver when a hammer is what’s called for.

You are an elegant tool with a specific use that you crave to fulfill. Don’t let yourself be wasted. Feeling underutilized will be your greatest source of misery.

10. You need to take care of yourself to be of use to your Dom.

You ALSO need to take care of yourself because you are a person with needs.

Both of these things can be true.

And are.

A Broken Toy

In an ideal world, I would be a cross between a leather boy, a sex bot, and a 1950s housewife. I would be able to cook, clean, black your boots, scrub the bathroom, and still somehow be fresh, sexy, well-lubricated and ready for use at all times. I would be the perfect fuck toy, the ultimate helpmate, the ideal slave.

In the real world, I’m a human being.

Last night was supposed to be a fun night, a night of hanging out at home alone (finally!) with my Boyfriend. We had no specific plans. We might have fucked, played, or gotten into high protocol mode so I could do service. Or, we might have just snuggled and read to each other. Either way, I was looking forward to giving him my affection, and attention, and care.

Instead, I got rather nastily sick, and was rendered helpless and useless. Far from being able to serve and please, I became dependent on him to pick up medication for me, take me to the doctor, and make me food.

It made me feel horrible.

I’ve worked through the trauma-induced bullshit where I don’t think I deserve to be cared for. I know I deserve it. I think a loving partner should be willing to give care in times of sickness, no matter how dominant they are.

But what remains is my overpowering desire to serve, to be pleasing, to comfort and delight. My longing to be a consistently alluring, constantly available toy.

I can’t do that when I’m so sick.

So here is what I had to tell myself to get through it:

All possessions need maintenance. All toys break sometimes.

If you own a hot car, sometimes you’ll need to get it serviced.

In fact, even the hypothetical sex bots of the future, to whom you so unflatteringly compare yourself, will probably break, glitch, and get weird viruses from time to time.

You’re not a machine… but even machines sometimes break down.

What you are asking of yourself isn’t just something no human can do. It’s something not even mechanical objects can achieve.

Just because you are malfunctioning at the moment doesn’t mean you can’t be a valuable possession, a pleasing and worthwhile toy.

And the man whose toy you are legitimately doesn’t seem to mind taking care of you, so calm down and let yourself mend.

The Deep Throat Diaries

The first time I did it, I think it was almost an accident. I couldn’t believe I’d taken that cock all the way down, around the bend, into a part of my throat that had never been touched before. I couldn’t believe I didn’t gag immediately. Of course, I eventually did gag, and had to pull back. Still, my boyfriend and I were both thrilled by what I had just managed to do.

I immediately started to research, and practice. I read deep-throating tips from professional sword swallowers. When brushing my teeth, I tried brushing the back of my throat to desensitize my gag reflex. I didn’t find that very helpful. Dildos are a little better for practice, but many don’t have very much give. It can be really difficult to get them around the bend. Also, it can hurt a lot to force something down there. That realization was also thrilling. Another place to fuck. Another place to get hurt. It was almost like discovering a whole new hole.

Taking a cock in my mouth is very different from taking a cock in my throat.
I was drunk on submission, on how much I loved this new feeling. At the same time, I was intoxicated with power. I was thrilled to find out that this was something I could do.

I find flesh and blood cocks are the best for practice, if they are what you intend to mostly be sucking on. They tend to have a mind of their own. They grow, they harden, they twitch. They make involuntary subtle movements. Deep in my throat, those little movements can be the difference between the perfect angle and the one that makes me vomit.

Yes, I have thrown up on a cock while trying to deep-throat. No, it’s not sexy (to me or my partner). But unless you are naturally blessed with a total absence of gag reflex, it will probably happen to you if you try this. Avoid doing this immediately after a heavy meal. Also avoid doing it first thing in the morning. I read somewhere that your gag reflex is more sensitive when you first wake up.

(If you are into “Roman showers,” you might want to try doing the exact opposite of the above. Your kink is not my kink, but your kink is OK.)

Find a good angle. Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose. Breathe in as you go down, out as you come up. Try humming—it feels good to your partner, and it suppresses your gag reflex.

The most important thing is to relax. The most important thing is confidence, the belief that you CAN.

Coming back up is often a time when I gag. I’ve got to the point where I can get it down and keep it down for five, even ten seconds. But when I try to come up for air, it tends to hit a sensitive spot that makes me gag like crazy.
When you are just starting out, don’t let your partner fuck your throat. It won’t end well. Maintain control of your body in every phase of the movement, going down, staying down, coming up. Take it at your pace. Pay attention to your body. Be patient. Relax. You will get better at this.

It works best for me when I think about bringing my nose to his belly, rather than thinking about getting the cock all the way down my throat. If I take his cock in my mouth, then gently bring my face towards his torso until it is pressed right against him, his dick naturally slides down when it needs to go.

Watch out for teeth. I know how to keep ’em out of the way during normal cocksucking—in deep-throating, they tend to make themselves inconvenient in completely new and different ways. It’s harder to keep them completely tucked under your lips, for one thing.

If your partner is trying to figure out how to do this for you, be very patient. Be very supportive. It’s about headspace as much as anything else.

Some people say the classic “road head” position is good for deep throat. Some people like to lie on their backs with their head tilted back, so their throat makes a straight line for the cock to slid along. I like him lying down while I kneel over him. Theoretically it should be a trickier position, but it works best for me. Learn your anatomy. Learn your partner’s.

Don’t worry too much if you gag. Gagging is hot. Your job is not to lose your lunch.

Oral sex is a skill, not a talent. It comes easier to some of us than others, but we all had to learn. This is advanced oral. It will take more time to master. And just like any other type of oral, it will be different with every partner.

I haven’t perfected this yet. I can go all the way down, and it’s getting easier every time I do. It’s a neat party trick, and feels great for everyone involved. But I can’t be fucked in the throat yet. That is my goal—to be able to let him fuck my throat as deep as he can, and cum as hard as he needs to while he’s in there.

Introduction: “Submit” is a verb

Hey, look at that! It’s another BDSM blog! Just what the world needs… right?

Well… maybe it’s not what the world needs, but it might be useful to somebody.

In fact, dear readers, I am setting out to create the blog I wish I’d read when I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, wet-behind-the-ears newbie sub.

So who the heck am I? I’m a 27 year old submissive, feminine trans boy (FtM) who is attracted to men. I’ve been doing BDSM stuff for nine frigging years now. That’s right, do the math– I started bright and early at 18.

I don’t regret starting so young. I knew what I wanted, and I began to do it as soon as I was legally able, with the conscious intention of packing my life as full of sweet kinky memories as I possibly could. Mission accomplished. By 19 I’d already tasted many things which most people will never know, and which others only dare to try after weathering miserable vanilla marriages, divorces and mid-life crises. I wasn’t cocky about that fact. I was properly grateful.

I do regret jumping in the deep end so damn fast. I wish I’d done some more reading, attended more classes, and made some platonic kinky friends before getting into power exchange with someone. Instead, I let myself get snapped up immediately by a predatory Dom, like the sweet lil’ new and shiny subbie morsel that I was.

I wish I’d known some more things about consent, and about my rights, and how to stay safer.

I also wish I’d known earlier that “submit” is a verb. It’s not all just lying back and having things done to you (although that can be part of it). And that’s what I really want to talk about here.

Ultimately, this blog is about the fun stuff. There will be content on safety and consent and dodging predators, because that is important. But it’s also part of the bare minimum basics. This blog is about going beyond the minimum. Way beyond. It’s about my mission to get the very most out of my own submission, and to give as much as I possibly can to my dominant partners.

To me, submission is a quest for excellence. Domination is, too, but with the range of fancy skills and tricks many doms and tops are expected to acquire, that can be a bit more obvious. This blog is about the invisible tricks in a submissive’s metaphorical toybag. A lot of the things we do on this side of the whip are subtle. After all, many of us strive to serve with such grace that it seems effortless. Sometimes not even a dominant fully understands what sets a submissive apart, what makes them so especially useful, satisfying, appealing and pleasing.

But while our labor, art and artifice may not always be obvious, it is still labor. There are skills involved in submission, even in its most seemingly passive moments.

I am on a personal journey to identify and develop those skills and qualities in myself. I plan to share what I learn here.

A final disclaimer before the fun begins: I am not an expert. Actually, I don’t really believe in experts in the world of BDSM, kink and leather. There are people who are very good at what they do. Not all of them teach classes or write books. But the very best of the best are those who stay in “beginner’s mind” and remember that there is always more to learn.

With that in mind: I am still learning. I will probably post things here that I will later come to totally disagree with. And if you totally disagree with me, that’s fine, too. I welcome a civil discussion. Just don’t be a dick about it.