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  • Make Me Want It

    October 03, 2012
    Make Me Want It © Terraluna http://www.imagesbyterraluna.com
    I am never impressed by sheer brutality in BDSM. I AM impressed when someone can evoke a DESIRE for sheer brutality in BDSM.

    This occurred to me as I was reading page upon page of profiles on a couple of kink oriented sites where dominants were talking about how hardcore they were. Strict dominant this, and bend you to my will that and posturing and preening as though all of the badassery in the world were enough to make them desirable partners in the tango slash chess-match slash hand-to-hand combat slash lovemaking that is BDSM.

    Well, it isn't.

    When I encounter the concept of "breaking" in a submissive or slave, I realize that paradigm still doesn't work for me. I can't be "broken" and remain useful. Brutality isn't the lead-in for successful power exchange.

    I believe there are many reasons for this. One reason is that most people who are planning on launching such brutal attacks are, at the core, wishing to remain in consensual headspace. Whether you adhere to SSC or RACK, the fact is that, eventually, you'll stop. That is the point. SO! Assuming that you can keep dominating until the bottom submits is a shaky premise, at best. As a responsible dominant, you are obligated to refrain from damaging the physical and / or emotional health of the bottom. The paradox of "breaking" comes into focus thusly: if the bottom, sub or slave is willing to really relinquish that control and let you do "whatever you want," are you really going to push to structural failure?

    The visual of a palm tree bending in gale force winds comes to mind. All of that frontal assault and energy, and the tree survives the fury.

    What amazes me, again and again, no matter how long I am involved in BDSM is That Moment. That Moment where I consciously let someone hurt me, and desire it, too. Even to the point of truly drinking in the darkest of energies.

    If I am not experiencing a submissive headspace, pain is not pleasurable. I am not one of those people who experiences erotic pain as pleasurable regardless of the situation. For me, I truly need to have the knowledge that my discomfort, and ultimately my suffering, is pleasurable for the person inflicting it. And I have to want to please them. This combination of emotional and physical masochism can pull me into a place where the intense sensation, even pain, becomes a service, a song, a spiritual path to a deep pool of profound submission.

    Years ago, I was bottoming in a scene with a particularly wicked dominant. She was very fond of needles, and had pierced me repeatedly along the arms, down my sides, on the backs of my legs, and used these needles in a sort of Gulliver’s Travels “tie-down-the-giant” bondage web. Tied as I was by the needles piercing my skin, I couldn’t move very much without causing myself pain. I thought that process encompassed the arc of the scene, and was filled with genuine fear when she started unpacking several canes, clearly intending to use them on me. The sensations of the needles in conjunction with the blows from the cane pushed me to a place where I felt overloaded, like I couldn’t take it anymore, and I was perhaps three strokes away from calling the scene. Checking in, she knelt down beside my head, wiping away the tears and looking calmly into my eyes.

    “It is a lot, isn’t it?” she asked, quietly. I nodded, not really able to put into words just how much too much it was feeling. She smiled.

    “I know it is. And you know you can stop if you need to. It would please me if you would take ten more strokes for me. Are you willing to do that? For me?” and she smiled her sweetest, most dazzling smile, and stroked my face, and in that moment, the pain galvanized me. I felt that I would and could endure anything for her, to please her, to see her smile.

    “Yes, I am. Thank you.” And those next ten blows sent me over the edge into an orgasmic masochistic swirl of bliss.

    She leaned down and whispered in my ear “Good girl. That was beautiful. Thank you for doing that for me.”

    Experiencing the depth of my submissiveness in this way, this feeling that sheer will and desire to please can alter my physical limits is an awe inspiring thing. The absolute sensation of wanting something I ought not to want because it was the will of someone else. It was a combination, of course, of my desire to please and the rush of pain-generated endorphins that pushed me there.

    I have often questioned what it takes to get me to fully surrender to sensations, to discomfort, to pain. After years of play and partners and trials and tribulations I realized that is it simple.

    It is the simple expression of desire of someone towards whom I feel submissive.

    I've played with people who assume that, because they've seen me play, they can go to town and beat the crap out of me. And that doesn't really fly, because I can certainly make it known I am not enjoying that, and the scenes drain away fairly quickly.

    There is an elegance to an interaction where the person yielding to the will of another goes from a feeling of reserve and self-preservation, to trusting the person to whom they are submitting, to a state of submission where they not only accept intense sensation and possibly pain, to having a deep sense of longing for that very depth of intensity.

    Perhaps force of will can break down barriers, perhaps brutality can win the day. But in the end, I truly believe it is far more sustainable for the dominant party to seduce that “break,” to create a safe space where the person submitting can and does submit to the richness of the interaction.

    I am not spiritually impressed by you punishing my body. That means little to me, emotionally. I am not, at heart, a masochist in the clinical sense. My masochism is only reachable by someone who manages to make me understand that what they need, more than anything in that moment, is to get off on hurting me.

    Make me want it.

    If we were to turn on the television and see a program called “The Horse Whipper” where a cowboy was shown beating, berating, bullying, intimidating and abusing an animal with a crass show of strength, using threats and intimidation to bring the animal to his control, we would be horrified. And yet, that is precisely the misconception that so many have about dominance and submission. That only an abuser would be capable of “reducing” someone to a submissive state, cowed into obedience, fearful of repercussions for disobedience. In my experience, it is not the brutal push that gets me to the place where I am willing and desirous of deeper depth of sensation. It is the seduction of the dominant...a revealing of their desires, an offering of affection; the whispers of pride in a job well done...those things evoke a deep and profound desire to submit.

    If you have the capacity to look me in the eye with that smile, slow measured breath in my ear, hard cock pressed against me, hand on my throat and pull from the depth of me the words echoing from within me, mirrored in your own desire, in your own words "I want to hurt you..." I'm yours.

    Have it.

    Tears
    pleas
    sobs
    blood
    sweat
    skin.
    abasement
    oblivion
    me.

    Have it because you've convinced me that you MUST have it. That no-one else will do, and that you know, beyond the shadow of my doubts, that I need this too.

    THEN we begin the play.

    Continue Reading "Make Me Want It"

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  • On Dominance and Drudgery

    August 31, 2012
    On Dominance and Drudgery © Terraluna http://www.imagesbyterraluna.com
    When we think of words like “slavery” and “submission,” the immediate connotations are so often unpleasant. As a Black American, descended from human beings who were enslaved, bought and sold and dehumanized for generations, it took me years to come to terms with my own desire for submission, with my own capacity to eroticize submission to the will of another.

    But in light of the fact that I took my sexual freedom to be a right, and in light of the fact that I refuse to be shamed and intimidated away from my desires based on the fact that my history casts ugly shadows in my past, I permitted myself the ability to explore and delve into the darkness so that I could find the light inside.

    It was a difficult path. It took me years to overcome my guilt as a feminist, as a descendant of chattel slaves who had NO choice, NO rights, NO hope for equality. It is specifically because of the battles fought, lost and won by those who came before me that I have the rarified privilege to explore my sexuality regardless of how it might look to others.

    After a metric fuck-ton of introspection, soul-searching, research, processing my own shit and the shit I'd had dumped upon me by those who judge, my first steps into the Leather community were bold. Once I make a decision to do something, I bloody well do it. I became involved with the BDSM scene, met other kinky folks, and was excited to meet someone who, as my dominant, as my master, would help me to realize the full possibility of a power exchange relationship and find the satisfaction I knew…I just knew…I would find when I was in service to someone I loved.

    My somewhat romanticized view on submission and slavery began to collapse under the weight of reality when I delved deeper in to my explorations and discovered that many, many people who were self-proclaimed masters and dominants seemed to focus a great deal on what I, as a submissive, would do for them, as a dominant, in terms of work. Did I do dishes? Was I adept at housecleaning? Was I turned on by domestic service?

    When I talk to non-kink-identified people about being submissive, many of them will laugh and say “Wow, so you mean I can beat someone’s ass and they’ll clean my kitchen? I can smack someone around and they’ll scrub my toilet? Sign me up!” This oft repeated trope was funny until I realized that it had an eerie truth to it.

    While there certainly are many people who view power exchange dynamics as something of a necessity in their lives, as an organic way to be, as an unassailable factor in their makeup, I suspect that there are just as many, if not more, who view this lifestyle as a way to get their toilet scrubbed, receive sexual service, retain control, and dominate the will of another at their own whim. If we were all up front and honest about this, I actually feel that wouldn’t be an issue! Because hey, who doesn’t want something for nothing, or for very little?

    This emotional bargain basement, however, leaves the person scrubbing that toilet in an emotional lurch. While there are those who do eroticize service, for whom domestic slavery is bliss, most submissives and slaves of my acquaintance crave the emotional exchange, the control, the connection, not the mop and the bucket. While some people would feel entirely emotionally fulfilled kneeling before the imperious dominant, taking orders, submissively obeying their demands and then respectfully bowing backwards out of the room, many, many more of us need the feeling of connection, the sensation of control, the touch of a compassionate hand, the warm approving tones “Well done, I’m pleased with you.” As spoken by their compassionate dominant.

    The expectation of drudgery kills the imagination. Don’t get me wrong. I am happy to do whatever it takes to facilitate ease and comfort to someone I serve. But facilitating ease and comfort goes far, far beyond that which you do with a scrub brush.

    When I speak to kinksters, perverts and Leatherfolk about submission, I encourage them to make a “kink resume.” Treat it as you would your own resume for business. List your skills, your talents, your abilities. Talk about what brings you joy. What you don’t do so well, but would love to improve. What saps your confidence. What you absolutely loathe. And be honest! If you bloody hate housework and have ZERO desire to serve as a nekkid footstool, let potential partners know! Service is best rendered when it comes from a place of pride and joy. Sure, you can do what you’re ordered to do. But doing so with a gleam in your eye and a tingle in your toes makes the service all the sweeter.

    Playing to your strengths means that your time in service is something that is more easily accessed. Just as it is vital to tell your lovers what your boundaries and your preferences are in bed, is vital to tell your partners what you need in order to be the best submissive or slave you can be. It can be easy to slip into the role you THINK you need to play in order to be pleasing. But while role-play can be fun for a scene, or for a weekend, hell, even for a week long camping retreat…your core relationships are best founded on brutal honesty and not imagined characters.

    Dominants, owners and masters: I challenge you to challenge yourselves! Take in the wholeness of the person you wish to serve you. Think about their needs as well as yours. Yes, they have agreed to put your needs first, but consider this: the sustainable slavery is nurtured by compassion, satisfaction, and connection. Anyone can scrub your bathroom. But if your submissive has a background, for example, in law, might they be better used taking care of your legal paperwork? If your slave is also a caterer, mightn’t they be well in their element hosting lovely dinner parties for you with impeccable service? If your property is a personal trainer and yoga instructor, sure, you could order them to rake leaves and sort your mail. But I suggest both of you would be well served by using their existing talents to your own ends.

    Laziness in thinking can lead to a lethargic, backlogged dynamic. A slave or submissive who feels their talents are underutilized can easily become resentful. They may well feel as though they aren’t being “seen” by their master, that their dominant doesn’t care enough to take the time to get to know who they are and exploit their talents wisely. It can be discouraging when someone with a rich life and full palate of talents is relegated to Cinderella pre-Fairy Godmother status just because the dominant lacked the imagination, focus and compassion to use their property wisely and well. Just because you can order your property to wash your dishes and sit in a corner, does not mean that this should necessarily be a cornerstone of your relationship.

    If you do require domestic service, great! It is in your best interests to support the people providing you with this valuable service, giving them an incentive to perform. “Please” and “thank you, well done!” are often incentive enough. For lots of us, knowing we have pleased is enough to give us a heady rush. And there are many ways to incentivize.

    When I was first in service, I did let my dominant know I had no love for washing dishes. Hated it, in fact. Something he acknowledged, and noted. The first time I was ordered to do his dishes, I did so, by my heart sank; this wasn’t really what I signed up for. Color me surprised, however, when I stood to the sink and felt him pressed up against me, pushing my hips into the edge of the sink. I paused, unsure of what I was supposed to be doing, exactly, since it was kind of tough to concentrate.

    “Go ahead, wash my dishes.” Was whispered into my ear and even as I got that twisty feeling in my gut, I began to do the work. I was unbelievably turned on, as he stood there for the ten minutes or so it took for me to finish the dishes. At the end, he ordered me to my knees, thanked me for the service, and smiled. At that point, I’d wash ten more loads of dishes. Gladly. The next few times I was ordered to do dishes, or scrub the bathtub, or mop the floor, he’d be around, with a smile, a kiss, a quick and nimble finger stroking between my legs leaving me breathless and blushing. Over time, I came to appreciate the attention, was moved to motivation, and found chores I saw as mind-numbing and not bloody erotic blossom into a meditation on service. But this wasn’t achieved in a vacuum: it was a result of his care and attention.

    Sure, order your slave to scrub your toilet. But as I’ve mentioned before, saying “please” and “thank you” needn’t be left by the wayside. Hopefully, as a dominant, master or owner, you desire to see your property be the best person they can be. Once we have been seduced to our knees, it is vital to keep that desire alive, to nurture that lust, to create a safe space where service is appreciated and rendered erotic.

    Challenging, encouraging, motivating a submissive or slave to greater heights of passionate service is often as simple as focus. You’ll get out of us what you put into us. Use us to the best of our ability, nurture us, love and respect our submission and you’ll have a motivated, dedicated servant.

    Continue Reading "On Dominance and Drudgery"

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  • What's the Content of your Intent?

    August 17, 2012
    What's the Content of your Intent? © Melvin Moten (mErocrush)
    When I speak about BDSM practices, one of my core assertions about the difference between consensual kink and abuse is intent. The person who verbally humiliates their partner to gain control and erode the self-esteem of the other, or the spouse who beats and harms their significant other, using violence as a means to destroy, is different from the kinkster, pervert or Leatherperson in one central, pivotal way. And that is intent.

    We can argue consent, but in some relationships we play with even THAT slippery edge.

    So I fall back to intent.

    The intention of the person in a Leather or BDSM interaction is mutual satisfaction, whatever form or means that takes. Sometimes it looks so much like an abusive interaction that our only signal is context. The very controlling dominant, the cowering submissive, any of these postures viewed through the lens of BDSM and Leather can be hot and wonderful. If I am at a play party and I see someone slapping the hell out of their partner, I might pause to admire the passion. If I am on the street and I see someone slapping the hell out of their partner I will pause to call the police. Hitting people, in general, is a manifestation of violent aggression. However, we who engage in consensual BDSM have a different intention and a different expectation of outcome when it comes to these seemingly violent interactions.

    In the Default World, people aren’t so aware of how gratifying, beautiful and necessary these seemingly unequal and dangerous interactions can be for the practitioners. So, we use language like SSC, RACK and the like to reassure them…and ourselves…that we are OK.

    But intent is another soft, treacherous landscape to tread. And Expectations can go from happy hopes to cudgels we use to keep one another in line.

    When I first became involved, real time, in Our Community, I was certain that I wanted full submission to a master who would be able to bring me to a place where I would obey without thinking, where their wish really would be my command. I needed for them to be able to reach in and access me in a way that would be complete and irresistible. I was coming off of a life-altering affair that had shown me how that feels and dammit, I wasn’t gonna settle for anything less than that.

    But interestingly enough? The dominant tendency to play their hands close to their chest was precisely the thing that disabled their capacity to disable my resistance. The opacity and distance so many dominants employ to maintain control means it is often difficult to assess what their intent is. And that distance and difficulty can, and will, hinder the development and maintenance of trust.

    NOT telling me, once I have had that resistance, is a recipe for resentment and second-guessing. And though I would love to be able to say I am capable of knee-jerking myself into a submissive, reaction, I cannot.

    If you keep me in the dark as to what your intentions with me are, cool. Fight your way in. I dare you.

    However? If you reveal your intentions to me? You have an ally on the inside. I can help you in. I live here. I want you in, despite my protestations, booby traps and clever distractions designed to keep you out.

    If, for example, I am issued an order and my first reaction is to ask “Why?” the interaction is already past reflexive obedience. My brain has “won” this round over my submission and I really kinda do need an answer so that I can have the hope of moving back into a submissive place. And then hopefully, next time, I can hold that memory and integrate it into my obedience so that I may (re)learn that reflex.

    I have had my fill of dominants who have had designs on my submission and expected me to be obedient in the dark. And I tried. And these experiences, these experiments, these efforts in expunging expectations, had varying degrees of success though they eventually evaporate into that darkness of uncertainty.

    If you expect me to obey, and you choose to hide the “Why?” from me, that may be hot for a while but eventually I will falter. I have done too much work on myself to know that I will never be able to fall blindly into that submission.

    On the other hand, I have fallen into deeply submissive spaces where the dominants in question lacked clear intent. Being skilled players, they were able to shortcut and short-circuit me onto the short bus. Yeah, the play was hot and it sometimes triggered, through physical and emotional means, a doppelganger of my submissive self.

    But.

    But.

    Triggering my submissive nature and holding it close wasn’t their intent. Their intent? At most, a hot scene, a smoky, dusty, fiery interaction, me turned inside out for their amusement, the ego edification that comes to them as a result of seeing an otherwise strong woman reduced to sobbing flesh.

    And that is satisfying, and I long for that dissolution. And I ache to submit to someone who craves the compliment of that intensity! But it is not safe for me to go that far with someone whose intentions stop there, because the nature of my submission, once invoked to now, is to continue. And that is a mismatch right fucking there. I can’t just pull it back to heel so easily once it has been conjured from the airtight lockdown where I keep it in safety.

    Swinging between those whose intentions are opaque to me and those whose intentions form an ill-matched misalliance with my own has been my journey since I first decided to purposefully pursue my path.

    We usually enter into our relationships with the best intentions. Passion, desire, excitement, all of that NRE (New Relationship Energy) builds to a heady flush, and we often find ourselves setting our expectations accordingly. I’ve discovered that the first flush is not always the most trustworthy energy source for setting long-terms goals, and for setting responsible boundaries. We all know the adage about what is used to pave the road to Hell! And good intentions, while they may carry the moment, absolutely need to be backed up by honorable behavior, mutual respect and negotiation of needs, wants and desires.

    For those of us who engage in the intensity of relationships that explore power exchange, clarity of intent must be wedded with consistency of actions. You might intend to be the best dominant you can be, but if you consistently fail to follow through on your promises, if you do not respect yourself, your dynamic, and your responsibility, you are at increased risk for your interactions to inch into the realm of emotional abuse. And if, as a submissive, you utilize passive-aggressive tactics, disrespect the core of the dynamic, and abdicate your personal accountability, you are also increasing the possibility of emotional exploitation. Yes, Virginia, it works no matter what side of the dynamic you claim.

    Being truly honest, transparent and up-front about your desires and your internal process – as risky and as daunting as that sounds – is one of the best tools you’ll ever have for navigating the complex web of power-exchange relationships. It is vital for us, when we submit in consensual domination, to know that our partner loves and cares for us as they torment our bodies and control our lives, and that these torments are not intended to damage or destroy. It is vital for is, when we engage in consensual domination, to know that our partner submits from a place of desire and confidence, not self-loathing and fear.

    As you explore BDSM, fetishes, Leather, Kink, Polyamory, Swinging, open-relationships, anything in our wide and wonderful world of alternatives, take your internal compass with you. Check yourself before you wreck yourself! Make sure you are being honest about your intentions toward your partner(s), and MOST critically, keep an eye to your own intentions as they pertain to your own journey. Start by being honest and forthcoming about your objectives…no, really honest! That puts you in good standing when you venture forth and are living, laughing and loving with your fellow funky freaks. When your intentions are clear for you, you stand a better chance of having your interactions with others be above-board, honest, and vibrantly beautiful.

    Continue Reading "What's the Content of your Intent?"

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  • On Collars & Closure & Why Submission Is Not a Gift

    August 03, 2012
    On Collars & Closure & Why Submission Is Not a Gift
    I don’t mind tropes. Sometimes, phrases that are often used are that way because they withstand the test of time. I don’t even have to finish the following sentences and you know the balance…

    “You can’t judge a book by…”
    “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t…”
    “Good things come to those who…”
    “I got ants in my pants and I need to…”

    And in the BDSM community, we have similar truisms that people hear, jump on, and repeat because they seem to make sense.

    Or do they?

    I’m a questioner. I was the kid with 45 iterations of “Why?” whenever presented with facts. Then I would process and come back and ask the same questions with “OK, so what if…” until I hit the point where the person I was haranguing lacked the vital information, and I trotted off to the library to continue.

    (Let us have a moment of respectful silence for my Mom and Dad.)

    This didn’t stop when I hit the BDSM community. When I first heard things like “A submissive is not a doormat!” “Always use a safeword!” “Always have a safecall!” and “Submission is a gift” I thought “OK, those seem reasonable.”

    I have since learned that a submissive certainly can be a doormat…if they choose to be. Safewords are only good if you are able to use them. A safecall (a person you check in with while you are out and about getting kinky. It is that person’s job to notify the authorities if you don’t ‘check in’ and the agreed-upon time) is a nice Idea, but not reliable for your safety. It takes time for the cops to respond to a cry for help. And if someone is truly intent on doing you harm? They’ll find a way. Regardless of your best laid plans.

    Continue Reading "On Collars & Closure & Why Submission Is Not a Gift"

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