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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The Rules

“I need more structure.”  She had a mischievous grin on her face as she said it. She knew what that meant. The rule is that she can have anything she asks for, she just won’t like it. You want rules? Ok.

This is not going to be a list of the rules that I made for her. I will not sit here and go through the list one by one and explain what the rule is and why it is important. I will not list here for the whole world to see what the punishments will be for breaking the rules. This is where I explain why there are rules. This is where I explore what a rule means to me. This is where I begin the long soul search for internal structure that I can base my rules on.

1. Write rules you care about.

“Do not let her wear shoes in your house.”

I came across a list one day on FL listing rules to make a slave feel owned. I am new to this idea of ownership so it seemed like a good place to start. They ranged from good to crazy which I liked. I could pick and choose from a large list the ones that best suited me. I am not a structured man. I live in a state of chaos. I find its lack of structure reassuring. Coming across a list where the grunt work was already done for me? Win! I decided to try one rule. It would be easier for me to start simple and build my way up.

I told her she could not wear shoes in the house. It was simple and powerful. Our dynamic is built on a Captor/captive role scheme so the idea that she would not have shoes on would limit how far she could get if she ever tried to run away. (The misogynistic allusions were great as well :)) At first it worked. I would watch her and remind her. I would make her carry them down the stairs even in the morning when taking the kids to the bus. I would see her sitting on couch and I would lean over and ask if she was comfortable. When she said yes I would ask why she would risk it all by disobeying. Yeah, that worked well. The problem was that I just did not care whether she was wearing her shoes and frankly waiting for her to put them on at the bottom of the stairs where there was no place to sit was annoying the shit out of me. So it started to fall to the side.

2. Write rules you can enforce.

“In my bed, you sleep naked.”

This was a much more fun rule. It combines a few of my favorite things at once; vulnerability, accessibility, and subjugation. Since it is something that I like it is easier for me to enforce the rule. I notice immediately when the rule is broken and can correct it or not depending on how I feel at the time. I am not a monster. If she is sick and wants to go to sleep in soft clothes then of course I am going to bend a little. The trick is to know when to bend and when to hold fast. A cold is not the flu is not pneumonia. Just because she is a little chilly because I like to keep the fan on does not mean she gets to sleep in clothes. You also have to be sure to address the rule every time it is broken. Just because you are tired when she crawls into bed with your shirt on does not mean you can shirk your responsibility to make note of it. She needs to know that you notice. She needs to know that you care enough to address it. If you don’t then it begins to slip in both of your minds. You let it go yesterday so why not today? She looked great in your shirt so why not let her wear her pjs? Before you know it she is coming to bed wearing muddy boots. This is not to say you have to punish every infraction. Sometimes you are too tired. Maybe you sprained your beating arm playing racket ball. If the offense is small, sometimes you can simply remind her that she is getting away with what you let her get away with. Other times you can chalk it up for a later date. Let the minor issues accrue until she deserves the belt.

3. Write rules for the Master, not the slave.

“Lay out my clothes every night before you go to bed.”

Rules give a slave structure but what do they give you? This question goes back to the first lesson in many ways. If the rule is not something you care about then it is not going to be something you can enforce but it also brings up another point. A slave has a job to do, make your life better. This is good for you (obviously) but it is also good for the slave. She wants to help. She wants to feel useful. If you are making rules that are hard to enforce and do not make your life easier than the hassle is compounded. You are making her do something which takes away from your day and does nothing to reward you. Likewise, if she feels that you are making her do something that does not make you happy then it is going to be hard for her to feel the need to do it on her own. Ideally rules will be ingrained into the slave so you will not have to push her to do them. It is true that some rules are made just to make the slave dance but that has value in itself. It may make you happy simply to watch her prostrate herself every evening when you get home. Humility is an important lesson for slaves to learn.

4. Write your rules like a lawyer.

“Never cum without permission.”

Rules do not need to be fair or fun but they do need to be achievable. I love failure play as much as the next guy but rules are not the place for it. If a slave is given a rule to follow on a daily basis and knows that she will not be able to succeed at least every once in a while, she will lose faith in the rules themselves. Rules are to train and guide, they are not meant to destroy. If you want to make the task difficult know what you expect the success rate to be and make the punishment suitable. As an old boss of mine used to say, “Don’t let the best be the enemy of the good.” There are ways to adapt difficult rules to create a better success rate. The example I give here leaves out an important piece, the permission can be implicit or explicit. This allows me to make the rule easy to follow or difficult depending on my whim. Rules should be thoughtful and crafted. They are one of the main ways a slave can see your hand in her life. Be aware of what you say.

5. Write your rules like a love letter.

“Do not go in my room.”

Rules are a first line of communication. They are personal, they are thoughtful, they should be heartfelt. The rules you put on your slave are going to guide her when you are not there. They are going to give her direction and a feel for what you want from the relationship. Use them wisely. Add variety to the types of rules. Make some sexual and others service. Make some difficult and others easy. Give her a rule she enjoys and rules that she hates. Show her that you are watching and listening to her. It is this understanding of her innermost thoughts and feelings that make a slave feel that she is loved. Likewise, make the rules personal to you. Let her learn to serve you better in ways you have not even thought of by understanding you through your rules. Put them on paper, make them available to both your slave and to you for future reference. They will hold a special place in your relationship next to your contract or wedding vows.

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