What We Mean When We Talk About the Long Game

Dedita is fast asleep in the bed where I left her to nap. She has always had insomnia, but has been sleeping better since she moved into my home. She sleeps the best when she is somewhere between safe and terrified. Too much of one or the other and she will fall of the fence into a field of insomnia. If I am too nice, her dark passenger creeps out looking to be hurt. She snaps and growls and fights in ways that she does not even recognize until well after the fact. If she is brutalized too much, there is no moment of solace and she lies awake waiting for the next attack.

The long game is nothing if it is not about patience. The effects of training are often not felt for weeks if not months after the fact. As I sit here and write, I know that I have started to make a new creature out of Dedita. One that is part her and part who I want her to be. This is the dance of Mastery. You are constantly training, constantly tweaking, changing the body and soul you have been given. Some of the changes are practical, some are aesthetic. Some of the changes are arbitrary, but this does not make them any less important, and in fact, in many ways they are more important.

For me, training my slave is not about making a perfect object. I am a creature of chaos and love the imperfections that make us human. If Dedita did everything right the first time what would be left for me to do as the Owner? I need to feel that my guiding hand is vital to her existence and so does she. We both need to feel that there is something more for her to learn and for me to teach. It is about trying. She needs to feel that she is trying to do better. When the Master or the slave or both feel that there is nothing more to learn, the long painful decline begins.

Lessons can be real and permanent but they can be transitory as well. I want Dedita to lay out my clothes in the morning. I like the clothes she chooses. I like to not have to worry about what shirt goes with what pants and yet still look like I did not get dressed in the dark. This is a permanent rule. This must be done everyday without fail. It is a lesson I am teaching her because it has a real world value. When she learns to do this consistently my life will be easier and her life will have less torment.

Aesthetic lessons are all about style and grace. My girl is an extension of me. People see my hand in her actions and I want to make sure she represents me to the rest of the world in a way I want to be represented. By changing her clothes, by making her become more social and activate that vulnerable but approachable piece of herself. Each Master accesses different facets of his slaves. I like to be social. I like to see people. I like to play games and joke and drink. Dedita has social grace, she has shown it in many ways but as we grow as an interactive couple I like to see her skills put to work for me.

For some this is where the training ends. Once your slave has learned to do what you want without a second thought from her or a second word from you, the lessons are over and the smooth sailing begins. I see this as only the beginning. When the hard lessons, the real lessons, the lessons that have to be taught, have to be learned are finally ingrained, then the fun begins.

It is the stable and founded life of a 24/7 Master/slave that you can begin to twisted and play with the subtle nuances. A look, or a word can be sculpted into the perfect tool or weapon.  Rooms can be made to feel safe, or haunted. You have the rest of your lives to study the detailed expressions held within a sigh. Sex can be explored with entire weeks used to explore the correlation between pleasure and pain. You can build a trigger to incite orgasm at the sound of a bell or inspire near catatonic fear with a touch. You can spend the better part of a month working her into a near constant state of arousal without ever letting her come only to spend the next three-month making her collect orgasms in a journal like a philatelist collects stamps. You have the time to play the long game that has not point other that to see what you can make another person do or believe. Not only do you have the time to play out long tortures, you also have time to change the effects back if you find you do not like them. You can spend a month making her fear your touch. You can make her feel the deep-seated terror of a long-term captive and so every night when you crawl into bed next to her you can feel the tension ripple through her body as you take what is yours. Eventually though you will want you girl back. Eventually you will want to have her crawl up onto your chest and fall asleep with the long peaceful breaths of a pet who feels safe. Like a complicated rope scene, some of the best emotional sadistic scenes need as much (if not more) time to untie as they do to tie.

The long game is not just long in the making but long in the unmaking too. The casual player does not understand why some of us choose to live the power exchange 24/7. For them the games are short and to play with feelings or toys that might leave longer lasting marks seems careless. For me these longer term games, these longer term effects are not only more satisfying, the show to both me and Dedita that what we have is going to be around for the long haul.

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House of Leaves: Scening inside 24/7

If you are looking at BDSM as an extracurricular activity, something you do outside your “normal” life, then a scene is pretty easy to define. Top meets bottom. Top hits bottom. Bottom goes home. It is a moment in time that is negotiated before hand; it has a singularity in Time and Space and there are clearly marked entrances and exits. I could go off for paragraphs on the room metaphor – a room has a very clearly defined existence and that existence can not sustain a person forever. You can only stay in one room for so long before you are looking for a door.

If a scene is a room, then the 24/7 lifestyle is a house. A house has more rooms. It has different rooms for different activities. A house is a place that you can live.

When ZeeGee and I first came out it was clear to us that we wanted to live BDSM and D/s as a lifestyle. Neither ZeeGee nor I are people who lead partial lives. This sense of living completely immersed in a power exchange has gotten stronger for me now that my primary relationship has changed and I have taken Dedita into my house. The dynamic is in everything we do: how the laundry gets done, how we sleep, how we eat. It is so apart of our lives that it has become second nature. We do not think about it often or with much fanfare when I take her by the elbow when crossing the street. We do not feel that it is a “scene” if I make her masturbate while pissing. These are the things that make up our everyday life.

These are not the artifacts of a room seperate from reality, this is reality.

What happens when the two worldviews cross? I have play partners besides my slave. They are scene partners that I build special rooms for in the ever-changing house that is my mind. Dedita sees me working on these rooms. She sees me carrying tools and materials, opening locked doors, and she catches glimpses of what I am building, only to have the door shut before she can step inside.

These rooms are not for her. She knows this, and at times, struggles with it. There is a certain sadistic irony in watching her kick around sad about the rooms she cannot go into when she lives in a house full of rooms which only she can access. This sadness is not because she does not appreciate what she has, but because she sees that others have something she doesn’t. Play partners who are exploring dynamics within a scene often experience this envy as well. They can see the day-to-day existence of their top living in a Master and slave relationship and want to experience that. These are common feelings for both parties.

I don’t feel that you need to avoid situations that create these emotions and longings for your play partners and slaves, but as a responsible partner, you do need to be aware that there will be consequences and actions that result from these feelings. It is often easier to deal with any problems that may arise if you know what is coming. For example, I do not like the effects of a play partner who becomes too attached. I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings or create false expectations, so I make it clear from the beginning that I am not looking for a relationship. I make them understand that I am building them a room, not a home. This is simple and can be dealt with almost completely with clear communication at the onset of the adventure, and by using a take it or leave it approach. I do not negotiate on the level of commitment I can give a play partner; if we aren’t a good fit in that regard, we simply don’t play.

However, with my slave, I am in a different situation, one where “take it” is the only option for her. And if I force her to take something, I am responsible for knowing and handling how she will react to that absolution.

A partner can be defined and limited from the beginning but a slave has to be trained. A slave has to be understood more completely. What Dedita is sad about when she sees me working on a room that is not for her is that I am giving another partner physical attention, focus, and time. She sees what I am doing as a manifestation of my caring. If she feels that I care for others, she sees that she is not a priority in that moment. I have found that I can use this feeling to train her in three different ways: active behavior modification; passive behavior modification; and dynamic maintenance. I am sure other Masters will have different lessons and habits but these work for me.

Active Behavior Modification

By directly connecting the scene building and courting process of a play partner with Dedita’s actions, I can quickly make short-term changes to the way she behaves. Tell your slave about the scene you plan to have with another; tell her why you are doing it; tell her what you like about your other partner. Active modification is clearly explaining what you want from your slave that you are getting from your play partner and watching them change their behavior.

For Dedita, it works best to not be too specific. If you can show your slave what games, sexual acts, and physical punishments you like through a play partner, she will focus on ways to please you, and often offer up alternative ways you can do those things to her. However, be aware that playing, “why can’t you be more like your sister…” is fun but can be counter productive. Look for ways of expressing these desires and needs so as to compare and contrast the two without making the competition too fierce. Having two partners at odds is fun to read about but hell to live through. For a slave with healthy self-esteem, comparison can steer their actions.

Passive Behavior Modification

By taking my attention from Dedita and turning them towards an outside partner, I am redirecting a resource and making her realize that she can lose what she has at any moment. Talking about a scene you are going to do with another person with your slave can seem innocuous, but in fact carries a lot of weight. If she is acting out or being a brat for attention, a few well-chosen words that show her my mind is not only somewhere else, but with someone else, can quickly remind her that she does not make the priorities in this relationship.

Likewise, giving her a role in the creation of the scene, using her to measure height settings of furniture, making her stand in as I check lighting or temperatures, can make her feel both used and deprioritized at the same time. Making Dedita know that I am thinking of the play partner and the scene instead of her, as she would prefer, gives her a very quick and real connection to the idea that I make the decisions This all combines to reinforce the inequality in our power dynamic.

Dynamic Maintenance

I am using the word dynamic as both a noun (a method of interaction) and an adjective (changing) here.

The dynamic between you and your slave is managed through her feeling of place and ownership. Every action you take as an owner is making this bond. How you interact with others, and more importantly how you interact differently with others, affects how you are seen in the eyes of your slave. If you use a partner to fill a need that your slave doesn’t fill, she can feel useless. A person does not remain stagnant, and a useless slave can either try harder to be useful or give up. Knowing which way your girl will respond makes all the difference. Do you want her to feel loved? Do you want her to feel used? Do you want her to feel low? Knowing where I want Dedita to be in the pecking order helps m allocate my resources and prioritize my time.

The other definition of dynamic (changing) maintenance is more about the moment. All relationships are in flux. As humans, we are growing and becoming more emotionally complex every single day. Watching how a slave responds to this partner versus how she responded to past partners can be useful for understanding what she is feeling and thinking. It is through these interactions that we learn whether or not our training has taken hold. If Dedita is responding to a new partner as I planned (i.e. jealous, loving, cold, attentive) then my behavior modification has worked. If she is still responding in ways I do not want, then I know there is more training to be done.

I think of my house like the House of Leaves it is larger on the inside than the outside. I like to make new rooms for my play partners but the real fun for me is making it a constantly changing and shifting home for Dedita. A scene may be a room, it may get my attention for an hour, a day or a week but in the end the room dissolves and the scene is over. The house itself is changing and the games I play with my slave are not about the rooms I make, but the way I lead her through them and the feelings I can create within their walls.

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A(n) (In)complete Guide to Bottoming to Me

Introductions

Don’t be shy and wait for me (or anyone for that matter) to make the first move. We are all human beings on equal footing to start off with and it should not be expected that the dom/top/bigkahuna is going to make the first move. Be confident without being arrogant. I like to know a partner knows that she is worth playing with but get turned off by a message which imply I have been graced with your attention. Once the initial greetings are out of the way be willing to meet in person.

Meet Me for Drinks

I am not looking for an online only partner. If I wanted to have hot talk that ended with me masturbating then I would stop taking my meds and get a membership to kink.com. I want to meet you in person and see if there is a real human connection. Who we are online is not the same as who we are in person, no matter how much we may try and be honest. Wear something sexy. Something that shows me you at your vanilla best. There are always exceptions to the rule but generally I feel the best first date is a casual meeting in a public forum where we can have alone time. This should be seen as an interview of sorts so put your best foot forward. Dress well, smile, talk, flirt as if you are trying to impress me. If you do, I will tell you so.

Be Able to Flirt Online

Email, IM, text are all acceptable. This is the 21st century people, get with the program. While the specifics of how and when we flirt will be dependent on what kind of dynamic be ready to send dirty pics and or follow commands. I want to know that we are not chatting up a storm littered with sexual overtones but with no real follow through. Don’t let your fingers type checks your cunt can’t cash. Unsolicited vulgarity at this point is always welcome. These perversions can include but should not be limited to:

  • Public displays of perversion including public sex, anonymous sex, nudity that could end in fines or disbarment (remember: unsolicited I am not asking you to do these things but would love to see the results if you did.)
  • Pics of hot girls in public accompanied by text of what you want to do to them
  • Pics found on the internet that are so disturbing you have to ask yourself, “Is that even really porn?”
  • Voicemail messages of you cumming
  • Creative and humiliating insertions

Likes

I like to experiment; I like to explore. There are really very few things that I am not willing to at least entertain the idea of but for the sake of this post let’s just stick to the knowns.

  • Mind fucks: Fear, sensory deprivation, confusion, disorientation and the accompanying power exchange that comes with this kind of play.
  • Humiliation and Degradation: I like both physical and mental H&D in all the varied forms it comes; from calling a play partner a slut and dirty cum whore, to pissing on her head while she licks the toilet, I like to see how low you can go. It is one part power exchange, one part experiment in human endurance. The point is to see how much you can take and still stand up at the end. I want confident partners who want to push themselves.
  • Age Play: I love to play with the dynamic that is created when I am older and my partner is younger. Teacher/student, Daddy/daughter, Stranger with candy, anything that involves at least some molestation and coercion will work.
  • Carte Blanche Sadism: Look at it like an extreme sport. How far can you push yourself physically? How long can you be tortured, beaten, raped, starved and drown before you break, before you collapse or safeword? There is something truly amazing about endurance not only for the person enduring but also for me. It is a game of seeing how close to the edge can I bring someone and for how long can I keep them there.
  • Forced Orgasms and Orgasm Control: Yeah, what is there not to like about this most sexual of power exchanges?

Dislikes

  • One Trick Ponies: If you have a “thing” that you are into (spanking, rope, leather) and it is all you are into then I am not interested. It may be great, it may be the world and a box of doughnuts to you but I prefer variety.
  • Clinginess: I love to play, I love people and I need to be friends with my play partners but I am not looking for a “relationship”. I am far too lucky already to have one of the most amazing, beautiful and perverted women I know in my life. I want to be friends, I want to chat, I want to play but I do not want you freaking out if I am not available whenever you are.
  • Play sans Sexytime: It is not a deal breaker but as a friend once said, “Play without the sexual tension is just a game like chess and chess [normally] doesn’t make me wet.”

Aftercare

I like to clean up a play partner after taking her apart. I like to see her come out of the shower with her hair clean and the smeared and destroyed make-up washed away. It does not always work out like that. There are scenes when the constraints of space or time do not allow me a chance to see her put back together and smiling before we have to part ways. In these cases I want to hear from you. Just a note that you got home ok, that you had a good (or bad) time. If you have any specific needs or wants from aftercare tell me up front. After a scene where you have given me everything, I deeply enjoy being able to give something unique and special back

Write-ups

After the fact, a day or two later, write down your recollection of the scene. Tell me what you remember, what you felt, what you liked and did not like and what you want to try again. Do not write it for fetlife. Write it for me. Tell me the things that you would only share with the person that was there. If the moment was something you want to put on FL, great! But that is a different write-up.

 

In Closing

I want that look that is at once utter shame and humiliation and pure sexual desire. I want to feel I have given you something — a moment, a feeling, an experience — that is, at once, wanted and not wanted. In that moment when you look up at me desperate and pleading for whatever it is that I want to give, I see why I do this. The beauty and the challenge is that this means different things each and every time with each and every person. What one person easily and comfortable gives of themselves, another may never part with. You may know it is disgusting, may know you should not love it but it if I can’t see that embarrassment, if I can’t see the shame then it does not matter to me. It is proof of the exchange. There in that moment is the gift that I am looking for. If you want to bottom to me be prepared to not just tell me, but to show me that you

 

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The fine line between learning from your slave and slapping the shit out of her

It is not easy. No relationship is and just because you have the final say in everything doesn’t make it simpler. If anything, it makes it more complicated. A good slave is intelligent, able to see things you cannot and able to keep you from spinning a thought out of control by simply having another POV. A good slave is a valuable resource, like a Google you can fuck. The challenge is that a smart slave must be free to speak her mind and feel that what she says is being heard but she also needs to feel her Master is beyond manipulation by anyone including her. So how do you do this? How do you listen, learn and take in that valuable information without coming across as doing whatever she wants?

Good fucking question.

Things are not black and white. They are not as simple as there is one and only one right way. There are many ways to skin a proverbial cat and you have to be comfortable with that point. Just because it is the way she has always done it does not mean it is the only way it can be done and just because the way you have decided to do it is different and makes her uncomfortable does not mean you should change your mind. Her life with you is just that, with you. it is not her old life. She does not get to make the decisions she made before. This can be a bitter pill to swallow. She may not like it at all and be ready for long periods of silence as she shows you how seriously upset she is but if you are confident in what you have decided, if you are comfortable that what you are going to do is what you would do with or without her advice then hold your ground.

The fundamental idea here is that she has to know that you can be trusted to make a choice. She cannot see you being pushed around.

There will always be arguments, she will win some of them (for the love of God, do not let her know that!) and she will be right sometimes even when you decide not to do what she thinks is best. No matter what she has to see that you are thinking about the future, that you are making choices that are for the best of all involved and that while she is being heard, that her feeling are not swaying how you act. You are doing the best for you and her and everyone else that matters and sometimes the best thing hurts feelings.

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The Chronicle of a Newly Minted Master

Original: http://gregorystgermain.tumblr.com/post/30982923852

It has been four years since ZG and I started our first explorations of the power dynamic. Up to then I had no idea that people voluntarily gave up control to others in these types of games and relationship. ZG was reading trashy romance novels where the heroines were strong, brash young things just waiting to be put in their proper places by stronger men. We were on vacation, just the two of us for the first time in years, and in the morning I was feeling horny. She was not and after a little back and forth about who this always seemed to be the case she turned to me and said, “You are in control. You don’t have to stop just because I don’t like it.” It was a revelation for her. She was able to give up control and be used as someone else desired. It took me much longer.

 

When we were young…

That first encounter told me I could use her but at the time I did not understand what was meant by the word “use”. I felt as if it meant that I could roll over onto her in the morning and fuck until I came then I was to  pull out and grab a shower. I thought what I was being offered was nothing more than a warm hole on occasion without the need for foreplay. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of having a fuck toy at your beck and call was alluring even before I knew what that truly meant. I was simply not aware of what that could really entail. What she was really offering me was the ability to use her in any way I wanted. I could fuck her mouth, cunt, ass. I could fold her in half or try and fit both my hands in her ass. I could put my dick so far down her throat she passed out. I could fuck her with bottles or dildos. It meant things I did not even know were things (suturing and genitorture) and things I could not even imagine liking (rape and watersports). What I was being offered was a new way of looking at the very foundation of relationships. What I did not know then was that what ZG was offering me was a way of gaining control of my life that I had thought was not possible.

I am an observational learner. I have to see something happen to understand it. I could not pick up a book on being a dominant or master and read about the ins and outs of power exchange. I had to see the interaction, watch people control and be controlled. I had to try and fail and try again and fail again until I was comfortable. I started with simple D/s and tried to define it as something that happened in the bedroom only. ZG and I were an egalitarian couple and I was afraid that even though she said she wanted it, I was going to end of fucking things up by pushing this too hard. D/s was not enough for us and we struggled to build this new dynamic on the constantly shifting sands of uncertainty. She did not know what she wanted. I did not know what I wanted and more importantly neither of us knew what we wanted.

It has been four years now and I am starting to understand what I want more. I can see what is available in the way of relationships and control. When you have someone who gives of herself so completely, the way they dress, the way they act, the way they sleep and eat, you begin to feel like you have a place in her life. I like having that place. It makes me secure to exert control to that level. A submissive is willing to give of themselves to a point. There is always an implied veto where they can say no to a command if they feel it is too unreasonable and it will not destroy the relationship. A slave does not make that distinction. They give themselves so completely. There is no thought to saying no. This is comforting because it means you can focus on making decisions not figuring out how to make the decision stick. It also means that you have to choose your path with a level of intent and meaning you would not have to have if it were a D/s paradigm. That person who has given everything she is to you must be taken care of. she must be handled in a way that watches out for her because she is putting her faith in you in a way that is pure. It is a lot of pressure but it is also an amazingly liberating way of living.

 

So things change, people change, interest rates…

I do not have the relationship I wanted with ZG. We talk about it now and again and both agree it was a pipe dream to think we could have it. We were not the same people when we met. We did not know what was out there, what we wanted, who we were. It is sad to see things change when you can still remember the good times. It seems so easy to think back and see how you got where you are and feel that maybe, just maybe you can retrace your steps and try again. You can’t. Time is a path we walk down backwards. You cannot go back. You cannot know what you have learned. You can only hope you learn from the past and work to be a better person from what you learned. I hope that I know myself better now. I hope I understand what I need better and the things I did before that let my past relationship slip through my fingers. It saddens me to lose something that meant so much but I will not let that get in the way of me making things better for me and mine.

 

PS – I have been thinking about the idea of ownership because of this but will leave that for another post.

Finding new dynamics

Titles are important. Labels give us a place to start when thinking about someone and how they interact with the world. We know who we are by the names we give ourselves, the names others give us. In this game of musical chairs that is my relationships, I am made to think about this more than I have in a long time. What am I to those I love? What are they to me? What is important to keep in the dissolution of old ties and what can be left behind?

I am still married. I will be for a while since that is not a connection I want to lose just yet. ZG was my best friend and is the mother of my children. I keep that connection to her because it is not a relationship I walk away from easily but the more familiar connections, the protection, the D/s is not there. It is okay. Life changes, we move on. The irony is that this is the easier relationship to define. It is the known. It is the connection that I know and feel most comfortable drawing lines around. What I have with my new girl is much more challenging.

 

Girlfriend

The title is simple and self explanatory. She is a girl and she is my friend but this is conventional moniker. It conveys a vanilla relationship, an egalitarian connection between two people. A boyfriend and a girlfriend ride bikes together and argue over whether they are going to rent a romantic comedy or an action film. A boyfriend makes his move by being smooth and putting his hand around his girlfriend’s shoulder in the theater. We began this dynamic knowing neither of us wanted parity. She wanted someone who would control her and I wanted someone to control. She meets me with eyes that show her desire to be told what to do, where to stand, what to say.

 

Slave

She considers herself a slave. It is a frame of mind for her. I cannot explain it as well as she can. The enslavement is a feeling of belonging, a place in someone’s life. She makes my life run smoother. She is the reason I can be writing now and not losing my shit, trying to wrangle the boys. The problem is in the title. For me to address her to others as “my slave” makes me throw up a little in my mouth. I get a feeling of Gorean melodrama. I see her as collared and branded and memorizing the positions. I am a modern man. I have no need for titles that smack of elitism. My place in her life and hers in mine are based on mental connections and desires. They do not need to be formal.

 

Girl

She is my girl. I look at her as my girl, as someone I protect. I see her as my child, helping me to make the house I want. My home is my castle and I am the king, she is my princess learning to rule as I would have her rule. The trick is that there is more to it than just that. She is a child in many ways but she is also a woman. She has a daddy who has raised her to be strong and healthy. I am not starting from scratch.

 

Captive

A large part of our sexual relationship and our power dynamic is based on my controlling her every move and training her to be mine. I wash her brutally, scrubbing her raw and violating her while cleaning. I hold her in the water and force my cock into her throat. She knows her place when we shower is curled up in the corner with her mouth open. I disrupt her sleep, I control her orgasms. I make her cum on command and fear my touch as much as she craves it. This dance of kindness and brutality draws her to me in a way that allows me to take her shopping and still feel the connection. She has a cast down look that says that she wants to escape the pain but craves the care too much to run away.

 

So what is it? What is the name, the title, the label that I put on her and our relationship? Is she my girl, girlfriend, slave or captive? Short answer is yes, she is all this and so much more. We are mental players. We feel more and see more with our minds’ eyes. She is fulfilling in this connection and I look forward to watching it grow.

Being a Good Dom Means…Waking Up on Time.

I woke up nearly an hour late this morning. This is no small feat when you consider the fact that ZG, M and I all have alarms on our phones set to go off at different intervals with different tones. It was another late night that started out with the intention of going to bed around midnight but as the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” It was after three when I finally pulled ZG from her corner of the couch and told her we had to get to bed. In the morning I crawled over her AND Mariela to shut off the chorus of alarms.It set my whole morning off. I did not get the boys on the bus which meant I had to drive them to school which meant that I was not able to make lunch for ZG and M. In general the morning was a fail. It is the butterfly effect; one small thing can ripple into the future causing havoc along the way. It is the way reality work through a series of chain reactions. If I am going to be able to my job and keep this house running smoothly then I am going to need keep focused on the small victories and defeats. It is incremental that life is won or lost. Day by day we figure out if we are closer to happiness or farther away. Getting to bed on time, making sure the clothes are washed, the garbage is taken out; making sure that the house is straightened up on a daily basis. None of these tasks take more than a few minutes but each of them plays an integral role in the overall success.

The same goes for writing. I have to get something written everyday. It does not have to be much, it does not have to be profound, speak to the soul, talk about kink. It simply has to be words on the page. Every day that I write is a day that is closer to a day where writing is normative. I want to get back into a habit of writing. I will get back into a habit of writing. It will just take time and patience. It will take follow through and most of all it will take getting up on time.