Sickness and Mastery

Dedita has been sick. She is hot and cold, has aches and stiff joints. It is the flu and has had her laid up for a day and a half. On Sunday night as the flu set in, she began to show how she acts when sick. She was cranky and combative but incredibly servile and tried with all the energy she had to clean the house and finish her chores. I watched as she fought  the sickness like a little girl fighting the need for sleep and I was enamored. It is in these off moments that we learn more about ourselves and our relationship than anywhere else.

A sick slave is both sick and a slave which is to say that I as her master have to be both firm and caring. She needs to be looked after by the loving and the brutal sides at the same time. If you do not take care of the flu, the sickness will take over and make her miserable but it is the dynamic that gives her comfort and shows love. The strange thing is that as I saw this developing, I could see that it was a place I not only could understand, but one I enjoyed.

I got medicine out and made her take it while she sat on the couch trying to wrap her head around the work she had to do for the day. It was too strenuous for the state she was in so I gave her nighttime medicine so she could sleep. While she slept I got my writing done for the day so as to be able to pay attention to what she needed in the way of care. I left several of the smaller tasks in place throughout the day so she could feel like she was active. She lays out my clothes every morning and packs the boys lunches. These chores are quick and relatively painless so she could work on them in the moments when her energy returned and be done before it waned again. I helped her with a few of the heavier chores such as the dishes to make sure she felt my presence and knew that even though she was sick the house was being managed.

She hates to be touched when sick but like all little girls, she needs to feel strong arms around her, especially in these moments. I would kiss her forehead and rub her back frequently but briefly so as to not over stimulate her sensitive skin. I have clothing requirements for her. She is to wear skirts and dresses, always being sexually available to me but in these moments I know she is not sexual. I let her dress down, wear pants, big wool socks, etc for now but I still have needs so when she is better I will be more than making up for this dry spell the flu has imposed on me. I use this time to think of ways I can use her body. I browse the internet for ideas and let my blood warm with future torments.

The most interesting thing I have noticed about how my Dedita is when sick is that she is a cranky brat. She has a short fuse and is easily irritated. Little things that are the way things are she would normally accept but make her growl and snap when she is sick. I do not let these pass without comment or a stern look that tells her that she has stepped out of line but the punishments will not come until later. A quick word in a sharp tone puts her back into place and then I let it drop. No need to drag out lectures when she is not acting herself. These little bites and barks are nothing more than the flu talking. I am not going to train the flu out of her so while they cannot go unattended, they can not be changed.

Our oldest boy is home today, sick with the flu. Dedita is still sick and lonely as I try and write and take care of him as well as her. I am gathering them together and we are heading out to the thrift store. The fresh air and change of venue will do us all good. I am looking forward to the time away from the house because it helps her to remember her place in the greater world; at my side

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.

Regrouping

It has been nearly a year since ZG and I came out to ourselves and each other and started to live our lives more honestly. A large part of that honesty is living out our sexual desires far more explicitly than either of us ever thought possible. We have gone from never going out and never being social to going out every weekend and having a cadre of babysitters on call for the random weekday event that may call one or the other of us away to explore some new and exciting aspect of this new life and community. But as we grow into this life, the eagerness to experience the new has started to take a toll on our daily lives, so as our anniversary rolls around I think now is a good time to reflect and reevaluate.

Checking the mail

Literally the mail box at our house is overflowing. It used to be that ZG would check the mail daily, religiously and even though it was in the front of the house and we always enter and exit through the back, she would make a pilgrimage to the front door to see what bills, letters, catalogs and junk mail had been delivered. She would keep an eye on Christmas cards, birth announcements and party invitations to parties that we did not want to go to. She would collect catalogs full of clothes and home decorating ideas that did us no good. Now that she has stepped back, I have yet to find value in checking the mail. I have no need for these little messages and am discouraged from checking it knowing that what I am going to find is 99% garbage. When I do check the mail, the pile just moves inside and builds up on the counter where it creeps like a glacier eating up the workspace until bills and information sent home with the school are caught up and frozen like mammoths only to be discovered months later when I decide to unthaw the mess. By then the children referred to in birth announcements are walking and marriages have been annulled.

Do I know you?

I am friends with almost everyone I went to school with on Facebook. Every time I log in I see their newest pictures of their children, their trucks, their vacations and hear how they love kittens and need new tiles for the barn they are building on Farmville. I think what really surprised me was how long it took me to figure out that I had not liked most of the people I went to school with when I lived at home and nothing had changed to make me like them now. The only commonality we had was location, we were all stuck in the little town and forced to see each other everyday but as soon as I was old enough to leave town I did. I took off for somewhere that was not there. The amount of junk information that I was getting from people with whom I had nothing in common became too much and as soon as I found FetLife and realized that I could interact with a community based on a common interest, I let go of Facebook and that world. But that is where my family goes to find out about us. We live three states away and have such busy lives that often it is the only way my dad learns about those special events that make his being a grandfather special.

Man up, little man!

One of the most apparent changes to who I am and how I respond to the world has come through my children. When my oldest son was born I walked out of the hospital room to greet my in-laws who were waiting for news. My father in law met me with a look that said “now you know…” It was true, there is nothing that changes your understanding of life and the world like having a child, but like so many things in my life, I took this aspect and ran with it. I became a dad 100%, losing myself in the role. I should have seen it coming. My dad often talked about how hard it was for him to not just do everything for me and my brother. I was falling into the same trap, leading my children to rely on me for everything, which may have made me feel important but was cheating them of a chance to grow up. As I became aware of this new role as a Dom and leader, I started to think again about what I wanted to do. I was thinking about how to control and organize my own life. The new me did not have enough time to do all these things for the boys. They had to learn to take charge of their own lives. They are five and seven. Is that really an age where they should be taking care of themselves? Our over-protective society would say no, but I think that is just a case of America being over-populated with helicopter parents. The question, though, is how much distance is enough to instill independence and how much ends up scarring with abandonment?

Where is the center?

Where is the center?

My son’s birthday was this weekend and to celebrate we when to the suburbs to visit the in-laws. Since we have been out in the world (not to the in-laws btw) we have been spending less and less time with them. The boys spend the weekend with them about once a month, but where we used to go with them and I used to drink all their beer and ZG would argue with her mother, now we stay in the city and play. So this weekend was a bit of a time machine. We were sent back to the way things were before we had found ourselves and you know what? It wasn’t all bad. True there was plenty of crazy (ZG’s mom has installed a metal panic door to her bedroom and locked the computer to avoid people downloading porn) and the need to bend ZG over the workbench in the basement, fill her cunt with ping-pong balls and fuck her like a pinball machine is still very real, but some of the things that we had let fall by the wayside are good and have been missed. Quiet time, a chance to write, playing checkers with the boys and making drinks for family were all babies thrown out with the bath water. So, what do we do now? We go back and go through those piles of mail, we finish the costume for my oldest gremlin’s school show, we prepare the room for an awesome scene on Wednesday and make plans to meet potential play partners for drinks. You find balance, you find a center where you can stand comfortably that is true to who you are and who you want to be.

What We Mean When We Talk About Scene

This post was written in response to a friend who inquired about the concept of “scene” in kink.

Ok, so this is not to be confused for any sort of authoritative understanding about the kink world. These are only my personal observations as to what others I know have done, as well as to what ZG and I have done. One of the most important things that I have noticed is that, while the whole community is obsessed with labels, no two people have the same definition of anything. All you have to do is look at the various different relationship labels to get an idea of what I mean. That being said, I will tell you what I think is meant (generally) by some of the terms and what play looks like.

The first thing to do is to divide the kink community into two general groups: those that are in it for the sex and those that are in it for the kink. If you think of this as a scale with nothing but getting laid on one end of the spectrum and nothing but kink on the other end, most people fall somewhere along that line. Separately there is the spontaneity vs. planning scale and while the two are interweaved like the double helix of the BDSM world, they are not the same for any two people, let alone any two situations.

That being said I will explain our play style as an one example among many styles. Many people that play are into imaginative, twisted and non-obvious turn-ons. We like creating “situations” and will work to create a situation for a couple of different reasons: for the escapism of the imagined scene, for the isolation of a single or small group of feelings or for the greatest shared pleasure.

Escapism often comprises fantasy and role playing. There are people that use props and sets to create as real a sense of scene as possible (using desks and uniforms for teacher student role play, using religious vestments and churches for sacrilege, etc.) but there are others who simplify the process to simply use titles. Age play is a good example of this. We have friends that age play and, while they are not always acting as Daddy/daughter, she does call him Daddy all the time. It is a term of endearment, but it is also a way for them to remain in character even while going about their daily lives. But escapism is not the only reason for creating a scene.

A large number of people use scenes to isolate emotions that they want to explore. The use of a scene allows for a safe environment for one to feel things you may not feel on a regular basis. The scene that ZG had with P was a prime example of this. P and I had talked about what it was that ZG wanted out of this adventure and came to the conclusion that she wanted to be pushed and degraded, given that in most of her day-to-day life she is respected and looked up to. Also, the idea of taking this classy, well put together facade that is very hard to maintain 24/7 and tearing it down was an attempt to free her from the pressure of being perfect — if only for a little while. She wants to be taken out of her comfort zone and left to deal with a situation that she has no control over. The freedom of not making a decision is very alluring. So the scene is roughly sketched out with an idea of what emotions you want to address (jealousy, humiliation, anger, powerlessness). Sometimes the emotional state will be worked on before hand by having required tasks or seeded thoughts to create fear or anticipation. Sometimes the scene is started cold and built from nothing. A carefully crafted scene is difficult because you have to plan it for a person without letting that person know what they are going to be put through. The more the mind knows, the more it can avoid delving into real emotions, so the Dom usually keeps the sub in the dark as much as possible. The challenge is that even the best laid plans will often miss the real emotional trigger, so a good Dom needs to be flexible and keep the scene at least somewhat fluid. These can be the most intense scenes, and are often cathartic and beautiful, but also not something that you can do in a regular basis.

By far, the most common scene type is built out of the kinks and interests of the people playing. We all have different kinks and preferences and a good host will figure out the games and things that each person likes to do and try and figure out a way to play on all the different perversions. An example of this would be when we had our friend M over the other night. She likes to be disoriented and screwed with, and ZG loves the girl-on-girl time, so what I did was took the two of them and blindfolded and bound their hands behind their backs. I threw them in the bathroom with the fan on to create as much white noise as possible. Then I took them one at a time into the next room where I stripped them and started toying and playing with them. I would get one naked and throw her back in bathroom and then get the other naked and throw her back in the bathroom. They were confused by the time alone, punctuated by the rough use and disorienting walks between the rooms. After a couple of trips back and forth I finally brought them together and let them cling to each other in contrast to the rough handling I had given them. The end was a sweaty mess of fucking and sucking that was fun for all involved. The scene was successful partially because of the built scene, but mostly because of the willingness of all parties to enjoy the scene and roll with it, no matter what came.

So there you have it, a general understanding (as far as I know it) of what is meant when we talk about scene. It is not black and white and often it does not mean the same thing for the different participants but at least it is a starting point. It is a way to approach this monolith that is the mangled wreck of your emotional and sexual desires without the years of therapy. Don’t get me wrong, you will not be saving any money. The truth is you will spend more on toys, lube and condoms than you could have spent on three shrinks, but it will be money well spent.

Being a Dom is… learning to edit.

As most of you already know my girl (ZG) is my editor. There is little that can escape my mouth without her watchful eye scanning it once, twice, and sometimes three times for errors. It is like many of the things in my life, something that I have defaulted to her on, yet another burden brushed off for someone else to pick up. I think it is about time that I started carrying my weight in the area of grammatical correctness.

 I have something to admit. I am a really shitty writer. I have no sense of grammar, I cannot find a way around without the crutches and orthopedic shoes that are clichés, and my punctuation marks are like feral cats living in the attic of my mind. I never have been very good at any of these things and have gotten by on spell check, a quick tongue in person and the unfortunate state of contemporary literature. I let people believe that a few poly-syllabic words thrown into a discourse comparable to that of your average eighth grader are hints at a greater intellect hiding in the kitsch of hipster slackness. I lean on the idea that all great authors have great editors (i.e. Raymond Carver) and that I am merely following a tradition.

E. e. Cummings is a fantastic poet (yeah I said it, you want to fight about it?) not because of his random and seeming erratic style but in spite of it. Picasso was a fantastic artist that left a tradition that he had mastered to explore the new. I have yet to establish an ability to write in a straight line yet and for me to think  that I am anything greater than lazy at this point is arrogant and self-destructive.

So what am I trying to do other than to sound like I am looking for kudos through self-deprecation? Call it proof of concept. I am editing this on my own to see if I can. I will cheat a little and let the spell check look this over but other than that I am on my own. Feel free to correct, harass and mock my issues.

Note from Exile

The holidays are a mixed bag of broken glass and barbed wire dental floss, and every year dragging my ass into the seventh ring of hell known as the exurbs becomes harder and harder. Every year it is the same balancing act of niceties and bamboo skewers from pier1 imports through my heart. We put up with Republican tirades on taxation and traditions that involve door-buster sales, and every year we drive home with a little more of our collective soul eaten by modern America.

It has been less than a year since ZG and I came out and started playing rougher and with others, but I am not going to make some stupid “I’m thankful for a paddle” post. No, I am much more interested in the idea of subversion and change. As I wander around drinking half-caff drip coffee, listening to stories about college parties and coupons, I am comforted by the number of our friends that have started to explore their kinks.

I do not believe that anyone is truly “vanilla.” The idea of straight forward, face-to-face, until we’re done sex getting anybody off is hard for me to believe. Whether it is power exchange, submission or bisexuality, there are so many different ways to explore the mental stimulation that goes along with the physical act. This is not to say that everyone is into extreme games, that you have to have multiple partners or go to sex clubs — you can simply read or flirt online! But, in the end, most find that getting the brain involved in sex will make you a happier, more-adventurous person.

As I wander through the cul-de-sacs, past the inflatable santas and oversized snowglobes, I am comforted by the thought that while most everyone is lying to each other about their kinks and proclivities, they are lying to themselves less and less. People are becoming more honest and seeing that it is okay. The suburbs are awakening to their twisted selves and listening to their perverted hearts. I take solace in the fact that there are new fetishes for McMansion with a dungeon in the partially finished basement, suburban sprawl like a St. Andrew’s Cross and keeping up with the Joneses’ (dungeon edition). Even though they are not for me (not all kinks are for all), they are out there twisting and subverting the well manicured lawns and two and half car garages.

It is not to say that I am moving to the suburbs. I still see the suburbs are the American Gulag Archipelago (to be known from now on as the AGA), a place of exile. There are still many things that I disagree with — religion, politics, gender and sexaulity rights, etc. — but this is a glimmer of hope. A sign that more people are learning to accept themselves, and if they can learn to accept themselves, maybe just maybe they can learn to accept each other. So as the holidays roll along, and I am psychologically flayed by roads that meander for no reason and branded by inane decals on SUVs, I will escape into my own future acts and the hope that someday, these trips will hold moments of twisted pleasure that they do not currently. Already I know the answer to this hope; you make the torture that you most enjoy, and if I am going to find sadistic release, I am going to have to bring it with me and find people in the ‘burbs to play with.

(Mind)Mapping the Learning Curve

Even in the best of relationships there are times when people do not see eye to eye. We are individuals with unspoken hopes and dreams of how life is going to be and when those secret wishes run into other people, they tend to shatter into a thousand sharp slivers. The fewer of these small little jars you keep hidden, the less likely you are to end up with shards of glass cutting you.

ZG and I try to avoid these issues by talking through everything. Our kids will often complain about how much we talk, but even with all that we share, there are little secrets that we sometimes keep even from ourselves. One of these little issues came up the other night when we were talking about the mechanics of the D/s aspects of out relationship. As we talked about what we had done and what we wanted to do it became clear that I was not developing into the Dom that she expected. This, in itself, is not a problem. We are humans and we are going to develop and change and in the end I will become the Dom I want to be and she will become the sub she wants to be. We will play together and with others but our relationship will be fine because we do talk about everything, and even if we are not always perfect, we are great together. It does leave me wondering about something, though, and that is how this little infraction slipped through our dragnet of communications?

We talk, Twitter, e-mail, IM and generally communicate all day long so how is that she had a different idea what a Dom should be? The short answer is multiple intelligences, but that is such a vague set of buzz words that it seems to miss the point. ZG is a researcher and will not go into a new situation until she has thoroughly analyzed it in the most minute detail. I, on the other hand, have to experience everything firsthand. She wants to read everything she can on the subject so she looks and feels like a pro from the very first moment. I would rather show up empty-handed with an open mind and a willingness to observe and learn by watching people. These ideas are almost diametrically opposed. One shows up bluffing their way into real knowledge, the other is a lurker that has nothing to contribute until he has something to contribute. There are other learning methods (e.g., mentors, classes, osmosis) and each has its values and flaws, but what it really comes down to is how you learn the best.

Do not get this idea of multiple intelligences confused with the feel-good, do-as-you-please attitude that seems to ebb and flow in public schools. There is a certain level of understanding and comprehension that must be reached no matter what method you use. Too often we see these different methods as the excuse for why someone is not succeeding, a la “Do not blame him for not knowing the alphabet, he is just a visual learner…” I call bullshit. I have two boys and they learn in completely different ways; one is constantly talking his way through a problem so you can see his learning process step by step, the other sits quietly observing until he has his brain completely wrapped around whatever it is he is thinking about and then starts talking with complete understanding. They learn differently but by the benchmarks commonly used to measure children’s learning, they are keeping up. Just because you are learning differently does not mean you don’t have to try. And just because you learn best in one method or another, does not mean that you don’t have to learn with other methods as well.

Just because my brain would rather see and be involved does not mean I should stop reading. Just because ZG learns through research so that she can talk the talk, doesn’t mean she automatically knows how to walk the walk. So now I am reading more, researching more and getting involved in the learning process in ways I never have before, and ZG is being patient with me so that we have a chance to experience things in real time and learn together. After all, we are a team in the end, and while we may not always be on exactly the same page, at least we are reading the same book.