Praise for Well-Behaved Submissive Men.

August 27, 2016
It is with a dichotomy that We in the Pro-Domme sphere regard men:

On the one hand, our biggest flakes, most disgusting situations, worst scenes, and godawful experiences are with men.

On the other hand, our biggest fans, most wonderful situations, best scenes, and ecstatic experiences are with men.

A horrible "slave" is a wanna-be, big talker/no action douchebag, a loser of the highest order (whose dick size I won't even give them the satisfaction of addressing), and I've seen accounts of violent stalkers, out-ers, perpetrators of assault, threatening idiots, and other nonsense. I have had quite a bit of luck in the past ten years, Myself - I can count on one hand the number of times I've been so disgusted by a situation I've kicked a slave out of My session. And I don't receive threats or anything else, on the regular. If I did, I would probably address the situation so hard and so publicly (plus I have a wicked terrifying support system to call upon) that they would never leave the primordial slime from which they crawled in the first place. On the "better" end of the shit spectrum, we have these folks: wailing manbabies with terrible excuses for their ridiculous behavior, ones who see they make all of their own problems, who just use BDSM as a band-aid rather than a tool for growth, and who focus almost exclusively on themselves. Gross. 

A good slave is an obedient, appreciative, wonderful being; one with a good amount of pre-existing self-discipline, a sense of duty, and a fastidious nature. They delight in My pleasure, but also their own growth. Whenever I experience a moron slave wanna-be I think to Myself, "you know, if only they knew the sort of slave I deal with on the regular. Then they would feel embarrassed about their own behavior and realize how LITTLE I care about handling an idiot." And then there's a tier higher than this...

An EXCELLENT slave is one who regards Me in the highest honor. Who, like a very adoring boyfriend, would move mountains to please Me. If I mention I want something, he will take great care in finding that thing and gifting it to Me. If I mention I'm having trouble will listen and respond thoughtfully, supportively, and with consideration. This slave will suggest enriching My life in any way possible: book recommendations, places to visit, restaurants to attend, events in the scene. It is with this sort of slave, exclusively, that I have more of a heartfelt, mutually appreciative bond with, whom I will guide from My heart rather than My head (not that there's much of an appreciable difference in output, since I am a professional first and foremost), and whom I will treat preferentially and adore. Groom them like a sweet laboratory animal, on which I will lovingly test all of My new inventions and ideas. 



In a study conducted by Kathryn Klement (with some involvement of My oft-mentioned Dr. Brad Sagarin), Participating in a Culture of Consent May Be Associated With Lower Rape-Supportive Beliefs. Submissive men (who are often more likely to experience sexism in BDSM than to be the target) are painted as weak, disgusting, puddles of useless filth than Dominant women, and I find that heinous. It takes extraordinary bravery to own your submission, and when it is done tactfully, elegantly, and respectfully seeking out the services of a Professional Dominatrix, I can think of nothing I adore more on the planet. I may be married to a vanilla person, but I am also married to My loyal, sweet, humble slaves who contribute great things to My life. The Sadist in Me craves the complimentary opposite masochist in you. And My love languages are many, varied, and primarily sacrifice-oriented. 

As a kid I always appreciated the characters who had lavish lives. Those who were showered with gifts and luxury. When their surrounding cast would go to great lengths just to please their every whim. At the same time, I was cognizant that there was no lap of luxury without the beautiful creatures who surrounded them in that environment. Sure, I could sit on a gold throne, alone, looking down on the world from a television, but I'd much rather have the warmth of a human with a freshly beaten ass to act as My furniture or ashtray. There are few things in life I consider more joyful for Me to envision, or to be a part of. 


And so it is with appreciation that I tell the good and especially EXCELLENT slaves: I bear witness to your growth. I follow you in your struggle. I will dole out harsh words if I find you are abusing My auxiliary body, "yours" that I have ownership of, and will caress it after I bring it to a painful rapture. I appreciate the yin to My yang, and will forevermore be delighted of your existence, dedicating so much of Myself to making it the Best, Strongest, Most Owned, Most Submissive vessel it can be.  
 

Michael Phelps' kink links: BDSM and Cupping!

August 13, 2016
Michael Phelps is no stranger to controversy. Just as he excels in his respective sports, he draws a commensurate amount of attention to his personal life. In 2004, he was arrested and sentenced to 18 months' probation for a DUI charge. In 2009, a photo was published where he was smoking a bong filled with marijuana. This caused him to receive disciplinary action from several sponsor companies, and seemed to damage his relationship with some of his younger fans. In 2012, he was arrested again on a DUI charge. Additional charges were added for excessive speed and crossing the double line. It seems this Baltimore Bullet had personal demons to fight. So he entered rehab and seemed to shape up his personal image. 



But those were his public woes. He's had a few brushes with his private life going public as well. Between 2013 and now, he has been linked to:

  • Kim Petro, a Dominatrix, who allegedly gave him a golden shower and allowed him to masturbate while wearing women's panties. 
  • Taylor Lianne Chandler, an intersex model born with limited male genitalia who admitted she had surgery to construct a "normal" vagina in her 20s and did not reveal the presence of any mutation to Phelps. 
  • A sex worker named Theresa White who had many encounters with Phelps, including a spontaneous threesome. 
  • An onslaught of one night stands which included kinky details, and apparently simultaneous to his relationship with his now-wife, Nicole Johnson. 
Once you see the sort of battles he fought with respect to the onlooking public, it makes sense that he would need to repair his image. An analysis of his repair campaign was conducted and found to have been successful. So is it possible that his "cupping" therapy is actually a veiled way for him to practice BDSM in the public eye without a scandal? Absolutely. 



In both BDSM and alternative "medicinal" therapy, "cupping" is used to refer to a multi-faceted practice (executed several different ways).


"Wet" cupping is a practice where water is introduced into a cup suctioned against the skin, and typically involves drawing a bit of blood, which can look very painful to the average observer.


"Dry" cupping is generally done with a suction pump attached to a nozzle on the opposite side of where the cup meets the skin. This is the kind used by Phelps. It can utilize a fire element, but it is not necessary. 


"Fire" cupping is carried out using a hemostat to rub a flaming alcohol-soaked cotton ball around the entire inside of a glass cup, pulling the cotton ball out, and quickly affixing the glass to the skin. Due to the fire strangling out oxygen and creating a vacuum, this method will draw the skin up slowly by itself, rather than using a pump to aid the process. 

Because many practitioners often love fire play, the third method, fire cupping, is the most widely used method in BDSM. But there are certainly accounts of fire cupping at play in the BDSM community that do not use fire.


All of that said, if Phelps were interested in receiving a BDSM experience without the potential of tabloid exposure* -- a dry cupping in full view of the public while other Olympians engaged in the practice would be a perfect cover. And he should not be shamed for it, ever. 

* I am personally morally opposed, in the most resolute of ways, to a Domme exposing her clientele for the sake of becoming a tabloid star. May a thousand bedbugs infest the sad, garbage life of Kim Petro. 
 

Tickle Torture and the Psychology of "Oochy-Coochy-Coo"

August 3, 2016
Tickling is a phenomenon. Outwardly a playful, laughter-inducing activity, it can be lighthearted and pleasant. But it has a darker side: tickling indicates dominance, can reduce someone to tears, and it has even been used as a method to kill people at various times in history, including the Holocaust.

So, what is tickling? First, it is necessary to note that not all tickling is the same. There are two types of tickle sensations that are perceptible to human touch. The first is called knismesis, a light "tickling" that resembles an itch (as a bug crawling across the skin) which is thought to be an evolutionary trait that signals to our brain that a (potentially dangerous) bug or creepy crawly is on our bodies and needs to be immediately removed for safety. The second, gargalesis, which generally produces a laughter effect, is the result of heavier pressure tickles in sensitive areas. Primates and rats are thought to be the only creatures who experience this latter form of tickling. Both types of tickling create different reactions in the brain, but both are quite interesting (and often misunderstood).



The fetish of tickling is called knismolagnia, and is very underrepresented in academic research/literature.

Neurological information has shown that tickling itself does have a reflexive quality. The same way you might cry when you're intensely sad - but also when you are happy and chop onions - a subject may laugh when they are tickled, but that does not preclude discomfort or even terror. In fact, some studies suggest that tickle laughter is similar to nervous laughter or other forms of anxiety that are expressed in unconventional ways. It was thought that the sole reason for tickling was primary bonding between mother and baby, but that has since been disproven due to the ability of humans to be tickled by robots and other machines. Some research suggests that tickle bonding between a mother and child is a mimicry of play attacks - which, if done too harshly can be perceived similarly to real attacks. Whenever tickling is overdone or non-consensual, it can cross over into insidious territory. 



On dominance and submission: tickling is likely motivated by showing submission to an aggressor. The areas of the human body that are typically the most ticklish are not those which are the most sensitive - they're the same ones that are the most vulnerable to injury. Tickling is not, after all, just a laughing matter



Where has tickle torture been used? It began as a simple, undetectable punishment during the Han Dynasty of China, between 205 CE and 585 CE - members of nobility who did not require public shaming or evidence of punishment to be effective would receive this from the courts. In ancient Rome, victims' feet were dipped in a salt water solution and animals were brought in to lick the soles of their feet, which at first might have been a pleasant sensation, due to the sandpaper texture of the animals' tongues, would become unbearable after a short time. Heinz Heger wrote his account of observing Nazi prison guards torturing gay men through tickling them. Tickle torture is cited as a major abuse in the lives of children, when aggressors take the tickling too far (further indicating submission). 

Now that we know the potential of tickling to be torturous, it is left to a Dominant to consider how to execute this form of beautiful agony on Our willing guinea pigs. For a fledgling Dominant, it is easy to use tickle torture because many of the underlying cues that trigger an empathy response in a particularly compassionate Dominant do not exist when the submissive is being tickled (laughter; not furrowed brow, squeezed eyes, screaming). That said, it can also be a double edged sword, as it is quite possible (and easy) to tickle a person until they lose bladder control or even consciousness. Tickling must be carried out carefully, because despite how fun and exciting it may seem, it can be deadly.

Some submissives may think, "AH, but the 
ecstasy of going beyond subspace, into a part of yourself you had long since forgotten - an unbridled, forced laughter at the hands of a 'big kid' and then being able to stop the action instantly with a single word, unlike ever before." While that is a valid thought to have about the fetish, a safe word may be very important if you're nearing a breaking point.  

And here are some more ideas for the kinkier practitioners of tickle torture!

 

Newsletter! Changes! Updates! *lure*

July 20, 2016
Ch-ch-ch-changes!

MadameRax.com has had some revamping:

Findom menu now includes Bitcoin, a gallery of gifts, and the beginnings of My video catalog
There is now an "Invasive Measures" section, with blackmail and surveillance.
In surveillance, I listed the programs I use for distance monitoring/control.
I added a menu under "About" for Stats - so you can see more about Me.
Writing is a new menu item, and that is where this Blog is located. 
Sessions gained menus for ABDL, Double Domme, and Training.
My blog can now be added to an RSS feed reader.
Madame Rax has acquired a Press Kit!

you can call Me on Niteflirt.
you can contact Me via Email
you can session with Me in Logan Square.
you can fall prey to My extreme findom clutches.

Take a look at My fetish list



And here's My newsletter.
(I read you a bedtime story, in it.)
(Plus a free task for any willing slave.)
Subscribe to My newsletter here!


 

A Love Letter to Servants and Slaves.

June 25, 2016
Despite My very clear and present Atheism, I am incredibly excited by religiosity, particularly of the Christian variety. The imagery, the moral outrage, the judgment, damnation, mortification of the flesh, transmogrification, incest, abuse, torture, withholding, punishment. It's all terribly resplendent to Me, and thus I find Myself very attracted to the deviant, sinful, and immoral behaviors that provoke the wrath of an entire deity. 

We often say in BDSM, that our practice is a "break" from the drudgery of everyday life. But I am positive that there are people who find extreme purpose and fulfillment exactly in that mundane toil. They act as an invocation to all of the messages of the Bible, about having a "joyful servant's heart" - a seemingly oxymoronic sentence, for those of us who dread ordinary, repetitive tasks. To be clear, I am the sort of person who sees no joy in domestic duties. I have not a servant's bone in My body, and I'd rather be a slave driver than push a mop and bucket. I am currently married to someone who is so blatantly uncomfortable about being served that they let Me order their food at restaurants. Such an inverse of Me. 

That said, I'm a huge fan of Drudges. Domestic slaves; those who delight in being a servant, a maid, a scullion. Those who make a conscious effort to gobble up and execute all of the information about cooking, cleaning, servitude. They read articles, watch videos, pine over manuals, books, and magazines in order to perfect their respective crafts. For the same reason Christianity extols a servant, I do as well, so without further ado, here are some Bible verses that begin to touch on the heart of a servant, from a value perspective:

1 Corinthians 15:58 - Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Matthew 23:12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.   

Philippians 2:7 - {Jesus} made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.


Then there are passages dedicated to keeping a servant humble, a rather delightful and subtle dominance put forth by God - and essential guide on not topping from the bottom:

Matthew 10:24 - A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 

Romans 13:4 - For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. 

Then there is the love story of Arthur Munby and Hannah Cullwick. It was a Victorian-era romance, which did not include a consummation of their wedding, but a lifelong prized possession/passionate slave relationship. Not only did they fall in love and secretly elope, they kept their marriage mostly secret until their deaths. Hannah, at Arthur's behest, kept a diary of drudging for 18 years, and he says of her: 

"Fifty years — aye, more than fifty — has she done her best to please ; 
Happy in her humble calling, happy on her hand and knees : 
For she loves the joys of scrubbing, blacking grates and cleaning stairs, 
And she shows her love in that way, as the ladies do in theirs.

She was born for love and labour, and in her, the two are one : 
Nothing checks her, nothing daunts her, till her daily work is done ; 
And she does it, not for wages, not for merit, but to prove 
That no labour is too low to be the language of her love."

   
Hannah Cullwick (top) and Arthur Munby (bottom)

From the onset of manhood, it seems, Arthur had a fetishistic obsession with "working" women -- not sex workers, mind you -- just women who worked domestic and otherwise labor jobs that made them dirty, tattered, and otherwise very muscular or masculine. He seemed to cherish this demographic above all else, and was actually quite disparaging about affluent women who eschewed any income generation. 

He was also very adamant that they chose their station in life: 

"And she does sit there of evenings, when her household toils are o'er. 
When she's wash'd up all the dishes, when she's clean'd the kitchen floor ; 
In her servant's dress she sits there, neat and tidy, fresh and clean. 
And he would not change her presence for the splendours of a queen."'

In the book, The 5 Love Languages, there is a language of love called "Acts of Service." This is a "don't tell me, show me" expression of love. It is clear that Hannah Cullwick expressed her love with acts of service, and Arthur Munby appreciated that. I feel similarly: if you do things for Me, I appreciate it far greater than just saying things. Acts of servitude are valuable, enriching, and even necessary. So what better way to experience someone's value than to observe their acts of service?
 

Help! I'm not like this, it's just my fantasy!

June 10, 2016
Over the years, I have had clients say to Me, "look, I'm really not a misogynist, but I have this overwhelming fantasy of watching women get stabbed in the stomach" - or -"I have this awkward fantasy where I'm yelling racist slurs at people outside my race, and it makes me uncomfortable!"

Know that you are not alone in your apprehension.  

I was speaking to a friend of Mine earlier, and he confided that he was concerned about some of his fetishes, because they involved fantasies which revolved around a few behaviors or -isms that made him uncomfortable. Since we do not have a relationship that is centered around him trying to impress Me (so that I will take him on as a personal slave or client), I knew this was a genuine concern, and one that I felt it was time to address. To the folks who are concerned about your fantasies, I ask one question:

"Would you feel weird or uncomfortable acting out these thoughts and feelings outside of your fantasy, or with someone who did not agree to enact them?"

Likely, your answer is a resounding, "yes." And it is because of that, that you need not worry. The fact that you are cognizant of the trouble involved in engaging in racist, sexist, or homophobic behavior shows that you are concerned about those who suffer from it in everyday life. By caring, and being concerned, you are demonstrating your personal dislike of that sort of awful behavior, and would not treat a person badly on the street based on their sexuality, perceived race, or gender. -- That said, the exceptions to whether or not you should worry are: if you are tortured by fantasies that you feel unable to control yourself about, and you have the urge to act out these horrific behaviors, that is a problem. If you invoke "skirting the line" justifications for why it would be "totally okay" to do that to someone who doesn't consent, that is also a huge problem. If you feel anyone for any reason "has it coming" or "deserves" the sort of thing you'd be doing during the scene (or if you were just watching as a voyeur), I'd actually argue that you really need honest-to-goodness therapy before you even interact with other people. Because in BDSM we realize the differences between a winking "you're a dirty little whore" inspired by roleplay - and a knee-jerk reaction of "wow, you're actually a dirty little whore" as a derogatory statement when the other party discusses their sexuality. --

There are three basic components in kink that may contribute to finding a reprehensible scenario sexually exciting: shame, power, and externalizing.

Shame: If you are normally ashamed of other people that occupy your demographic who harbor sexist, racist, or homophobic attitudes, summoning the sort of shame and revulsion you may feel for others, directed at yourself, may be exciting. There are plenty of fetishes rooted in shame, and that sort of sexual pairing is very common. Do something disgusting or reprehensible - hate your role and make yourself nauseated at how gross it all is - get excited. And if you want to get childhood-related, sometimes occupying the role of a past abuser may give you a sick feeling inside that translates into a throbbing urge: if you grew up with a racist father you were terrified of becoming, it may feel liberating for a second to stop worrying so much and throw yourself into that fire (because it won't actually hurt you, and you can retain your integrity as a person).

Power: If you feel powerless on the regular, or if you feel like your power has been awarded to you but not actually earned (because you were born into a certain demographic), you may feel a special kind of power trip when denigrating another person based their own accident of birth (race, sex, class, etc). Since that is not a chosen thing (one doesn't choose birth race or sex - although they can theoretically change gender and racial appearance), it is difficult to really feel the weight of those characteristics being insulted. Perhaps you actually feel inferior to people of color, and this is a way to act out the desire for power. Perhaps you feel white people (or men, etc) are actually stealing the roles of power and it's cathartic to "win" the power "fair and square," and bring you a bit of merit, instead of just a birthright.      

Externalizing: Sometimes, part of kink revolves around the externalizing of problematic thoughts or urges. For everyone who has a rape fetish, there is someone who would enjoy acting out a non-consensual fantasy (read: NOT PERPETRATING A RAPE IN REAL LIFE, but enjoying rape-play). Perhaps as a kid you saw a film which had a Master/slave relationship in it and romanticized either how devoted the slave was to the master -  or, oppositely, saw what a fulfilling and attractive life was found in being a servant. 

At any rate, no matter how you slice it, there are people who will disagree with the level of healthiness of indulging any kink. Naysayers of race play, age play, rape play, any kink on any level will attack from all directions: institutionalized racism means anyone who wants to be called the n-word is self-loathing and sick, anyone who would get the urge to overpower a woman must be a rapist no matter what, if you find it sexy that someone dresses like a baby you must be a pedophile. Any man who wants to call a woman a whore is obviously a misogynist. Blah, blah, blah. But the chief question is: is this fantasy, or your reality? If it's fantasy, act it out all day with a partner who is extremely willing and capable - and if it's reality or you want to entrap/force a party who is not interested or enthusiastic, get help immediately

So realistically there is no need to feel shame or embarrassment stemming from your urges. Everyone has had some weird desire or fantasy at some point, and as long as it doesn't violate, harm, or assault an unwilling or unknowing participant, you're certainly fine. 
 

On Bad Behavior of Submissives Who Seek Pro-Dommes.

May 28, 2016
Due to the nature of My specific type of BDSM practice, I am woefully disgusted by many things that Dommes endure. When I see reviews of other Dommes using language intended for self-described "whoremonger" review sites. Within the sites that contain testimonials about fellow Dommes in My area, it is not uncommon to see descriptions of body parts or types written as a butcher would describe cuts of their slaughter. For women who don't mind this level of objectification (mind you, I use that term very specifically, not just to describe an overall sexual spark into which most of us fall), this sort of detached checklisting can be appropriate, or even desirable. I am also repulsed by the sort of "slaves" that are full of ridiculous claims or desires, who become violent as soon as they're (rightfully) rejected. Even still, there are slaves who feel entitled to whatever they want from a Domme, because they're paying for it. In each case, these idiots would be more useful as a grease spot on a major expressway. For Dommes who are generally used to being treated as living Goddesses, being exposed to this level of treatment is horrendous. We are aware that for most of you, this is fantasy. But at times, between a slave approaching a Domme and how they end up, includes an annoying disparity. 

Critics: They write reviews like "she was hot. 9/10, good tits, little lacking in the ass department. She'll be prude with a strap-on at first but she can be convinced if you seem sad enough. Her skin is a little too warm, but she's good for when Mistress XYZ is gone." First of all, this doesn't contain any information about BDSM. If you are hell-bent on a completely erotic experience, complete with sexual gratification, you're best visiting an escort who specializes. The rest of us don't care to entertain this sort of annoyance. 

Sour Grapes: They start off with groveling, begging, worship, and clearly delusional wants or desires. As soon as a Domme (no matter how politely) turns down an offer or rejects a ridiculous proposal, this creature morphs into a violent little bastard, full of rape threats or wishes for death. At worst, they become a stalker or a violent attacker. For most, they just remain impotent, in their mother's basement, screaming into the void (also known as "the internet"). Either way, they're unpleasant and disgusting. The best thing to be done about these men already occurs: they should be blacklisted and firmly ousted at every angle from the BDSM community. Don't do business with them, don't go to lunch with them, don't accept their gifts. 

Worms: These are the types of slaves who want to delve into your personal life. Not acceptable. I keep My personal life private. Some slaves do know about My time outside of the dungeon, and I hang out when them on occasion. It is not because My family is somehow unaware of My career (they all know, and have since the beginning), it is simply because there are some facets of My life I wish to keep private. Delving into questions about whether you have a boyfriend or if you're a lesbian, whether or not "your pussy throbs" when you _______, if he can get a free session so you can "do more." They never seem to understand how unoriginal, ridiculous, and frankly annoying these attempts are.

Flakes: No-call, no-shows. In Chicago, and beyond, there are rigorous blacklists which contain the name, number, and other identifying factors of any slave who no-call, no shows a Pro-Domme. This drastically reduces (but might not entirely eliminate, if a Domme isn't meticulous enough about checking) the number of Pros who will accept your session requests.

Honorable mention:


Paranoid Practitioner: Not exactly sure why, since this always works the other way around, but I do occasionally get slaves who, at the start of a session, seem very squirrely. When I inquire as to their problem, they sheepishly ask, "you're... you're not a cop, are you?" That's incredibly laughable. Within the Domme community of Chicago alone, there are dungeon raids, arrests, and more - and they're all focused on the Dommes. NOT the slaves. I'm not sure why this is a question. But really, it's not a thing. 



In conclusion, this is why I do not participate in several practices that other Dommes might. I don't put up reviews or testimonials. If you're wondering how I conduct Myself during sessions, there are videos. If you're concerned that I won't "do enough" in a sexual fashion, I am NOT the Domme you should be seeking. I block liberally. I report threats to the police. If you are not interested on being on your absolute best behavior with Me, you will pay, and not in a sexy, fun, Dominatrix way.

So, that said, I am interested in slaves who:

Communicate, act responsibly, answer emails, show up, behave, do what they're told, follow My orders, bring anything I require for a session, book 24 hours in advance, will be honest about their personal information, are willing to please, and have strong, goal-oriented, and precise personalities. 

AND THAT IS THE BARE MINIMUM.

I am particularly interested in slaves who: 

Bring small gifts or tokens of appreciation to sessions, offer to go above and beyond what they're asked, purchase wishlist items, refuse to exhibit unsightly behavior, answer difficult questions enthusiastically, bring up problematic things if they arise (in a calm fashion), and know themselves pretty well. 
 

Synergy and the Beast.

May 21, 2016


In any relationship, BDSM or otherwise, a dance takes place. This sort of dance may be singularly beneficial, separate but equally beneficial, toxic (to one or both, multiplicative or otherwise), or synergistic. The goal of a BDSM relationship, as well as a vanilla one, should be synergy.

To start, synergy is not some sort of "woo" term with metaphysical underpinnings. It's not what powers the imaginary Illuminati. It isn't the stuff Jesus is made of; it's a concrete principle. Simply put, it is "the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts." The term synergy comes from Greek, and it means "working together." Two things, in this case adult humans with moral agency, merge to make a greater impact than they otherwise would separately. This all sounds well and good, right?

In practice, it's much harder. If you enter into the equation the fear that we will be hurt, I'd wager that most adults in America do not tell even their loved ones how they truly feel about them. They don't give out loud every compliment which enters into their head about someone, even when that someone desperately wants to hear it. When a relationship is more "safe" (i.e. less to lose, ultimately), it's easier and easier. Walking up to a stranger and saying "that's a nice car" is far more easy than telling your wife that you find it enchanting when she sings at the top of her lungs, wild-eyed, passionate. You might not even appreciate that aspect of her personality. Now, add into that lossy equation a marginalized minority of people with non-traditional (often taboo) forms of relating to each other and it can be quite difficult for a submissive to say "Goddess, even when you're being hard on yourself, I appreciate even the tiniest things about You." 

And so it begins. The Dominant feels a slave is waning in their appreciation, perhaps an ebb rather than a flow, so they start to recoil. When they rescind their affections or severity (whichever had been preferred until that point) the slave goes into panic mode and wonders what they've done wrong. Quite often this results in a slave who is unable to guess what they might have done, and then they start to be more critical of the Dominant, thinking They aren't as great as they'd once believed. This starts to dissolve the very root of their union. Honeymoon periods are always effortless and beautiful - it is the carving of the bond into stone that is far more painful and laden with labor-related injuries. 

How can we survive this period, and achieve synergy? The answer seems reductive, it's so simple:

Look at each other with artist's eyes. 

This is not a flowery, clickbait solution. Looking at the art created throughout history in honor of a beloved significant other, we see countless and exhaustive examples of the microscopic level of attention to detail and observation. From songs that feature The Doors pondering rhetorically, "Don't ya love her madly/Wanna be her daddy/Don't ya love her face/Don't ya love her as she's walkin' out the door" and of course a quirky and specific jam by The Butchies, singing "She’s a rocker dressed like a killer/she’s got lips like wine not sugar" it is evident that song lyrics are often very specific about certain things that we would generally miss if we were just observing someone we love in a neutral setting. In the poem She Walks In Beauty, George Gordon Byron tells of his love, "She walks in Beauty, like the night/Of cloudless climes and starry skies;/And all that's best of dark and bright/Meet in her aspect and her eyes". 

Short of composing lyrics and poetry, how can we incorporate these appreciation exercises into our lives? A Dominant must examine exactly what makes a slave unique. Each human, despite attempts at the opposite, is an individual with thousands of snowflake characteristics. A slave is no different! They are beautifully vulnerable creatures, with a desire to serve and give in the most selfless way they can, often losing their own identity to lift up Yours. What do We appreciate most about them? Be sure to inspect each thing, from their communication style, to the habits they retain when behaving toward us - their appearance, their smell, their humor, their resilience, their commitment to Us, how carefully and thoughtfully they tend to Our needs. Do they keep picking themselves up after they falter? Will they always strive to give you the most and serve you the best? 

And slaves: your Dominant is an intense force with extreme responsibility riding on their shoulders. Micromanaging the life of an entire other human and putting aside all conventions about how NOT to treat someone because it is socially unacceptable is a very heavy thing. Being thought of and regarded as a Monster is rarely fun for anyone, even Dominants. But this is the sort of stereotype they face, and they persevere. What do you appreciate most about Them? Be sure to take everything into consideration: their complex methods for solving problems, the seemingly effortless way in which they punish, love, or communicate, how they feel to lay against, the sort of comfort they may give you, how secure or protected you are. Have you thought of everything? What about their encouraging words? The softened edges of tenderness even when severity strikes? The lack of generic behavior and customizing each interaction to be unique and beautiful? 

Instead of commercializing your response, it is best to personalize it. Remember, you aren't showing or telling the other party how YOUR love is present, it is about them. How do they "hang the moon" in your eyes? Lift each other up, instead of chipping away with critical nitpicking. Of course there is a time and place for language that is generally considered to be humiliating ("you're such a dirty little whore" during sex, for example), but there must be an underlying tone of adoration, or at the very least appreciation, or resentment will build. 

Once this relationship pattern has been established, synergy can begin to build. Has Your little adult baby been talking about going back to the gym? Needing to shave their face and keep up more with their grooming? Has the Dominant love of your life mentioned that they want to take more risks in order to grow in their Professional practice? Encouragement, praise, practical offers of help, and being a cheerleader is part of the synergy process. Remember that a person may be fine on their own, but two heads can definitely be better than one. All the total experience, knowledge, wisdom, and troubleshooting of not one life, but two: there's value in that! Why else should people enter into relationships? So that they have another person to whom they must be accountable? Just a frivolous witness to stick by their side in the absence of more involved friendships? These are not the goals of a relationship in the beginning, and they should never become them once the relationship matures. Complacency is to be rejected in favor of construction. It is better to build the tallest building in the world than to walk around a construction site kicking dirt and debris for 50 years. 
 

Living, Breathing TPE.

April 17, 2016


In the BDSM community, there are quite a few mentions of TPE. This is especially true when discussing fantasies. Despite the fact that there are many fantasy-based desires for a Total Power Exchange, very few people are actually comfortable engaging in it, in real life. Slaves are often afraid to give that much of themselves to another person, even though the thought may temporarily excite them. Given that TPE involves a lack of limits and completely entrenched slavery with potentially very little slave feedback, it can be a controversial practice, as well. BDSM often hinges on consent, and the gray area of consensual non-consent is a hot-button issue for the community. Still, TPE remains a desirable dynamic for many slaves. As with any lifestyle choices, it is not without any bumps in the journey. 

Just as in vanilla life, the road to mastering lifestyles in BDSM can be rather arduous. There are factors that will distract, discourage, deflate, and possibly defeat. If mastery were easy, everyone would master something. In practice, we all know that is not the case. Even though it will be difficult, we still strive for the best possible outcome, because achieving the extraordinary is extremely fulfilling. So it is worth the effort to surmount these obstacles. Without further ado, here are some common stumbling blocks and how to get past them:

Distraction is a part of everyday life. Technology, humanity, and the fast-paced modern experience, all contribute to a very distracting atmosphere. As a slave, it may be tempting to "cash out" and let those factors win, over your commitment to servitude. After all, who would rather dutifully check off all of the items on a list (even things they don't particularly find enjoyable) rather than check to see what's happening on Facebook, or Fetlife? 

But this temptation for distraction can be built into the framework of how a life is controlled. If you are aware your slave has a few pleasures revolving around the checking or updating of technology, engaging in chit-chat on social media, or "zoning out" and watching people in their daily tasks, you can take advantage of that. Locking down the television, computer, cell phone, or caging them may be a worthwhile consideration, to gain a measure of control. If you are taking on the great responsibility of TPE, you must take into consideration the fact that automatic obedience is too difficult a task to obtain very easily. When you are gone - working, leisure, vacation, you must consider what the slave will be tasked with, and what will happen if they are able to gain free time. 

High protocol instructions are often the answer to this question of idle distraction. Instructing the slave in how to tackle free time, making a grand, overall list of things to do when there is nothing else to do, and enforcing rules about how to refrain from distraction are ways to combat this problem. 

Examples: 

1. If you encounter free time, a deep cleaning is required - cleaning the crevices of all grout, underneath the cabinets, freeing the corners of cobwebs and dust, removing air vent covers and debris removal (etc). 

2. Things to do, in the long term: painting the exterior of the house, affixing the mailbox to the railing with stronger materials, buying the items to power wash the concrete, filling the basement floor with cement where there are holes, cleaning out the damage from the dry rot. 

3. Cell phone is to be monitored with an app that tracks and reports texts, calls, GPS coordinates, and internet usage. Net nanny and keylogs update Me with computer usage. If necessary, changing the WiFi password until Dominant returns home. 

Discouragement can strike at any time, and it may become debilitatingly demoralizing, which is something that needs to be addressed before it becomes relationship-ending. Slaves will have moments where they feel they did not live up to expectations. Even still, they may feel displeased with their overall performance even when a Dominant is satisfied or impressed. The key is how to navigate the impact discouragement has on a slave. This can be handled a number of specific ways, but there are a few general methods.

Examples: 

1. The "suck it up" approach is taken when a Dominant wants to minimize the psychological or emotional impact of discouragement. Instead of coddling the slave, and therefore legitimizing their concerns, the attitude of "stop your nonsense" is taken. Suck it up, buttercup - life is hard sometimes, and you may be terrible at some things, but through effort, mindful diligence, and practice, you will become the slave your Dominant desires.

2. Empathizing and encouragement is a tactic used by more sensual Dominants. They acknowledge that a slave may have feelings about their own performance, even though they're being controlled in all of their actions and behaviors. They are encouraged through praise or "can-do" statements. Empathy is often important with switches, who may have felt the same way once upon a time, and want to offer the connection of feeling present with their slave during their time of hardship.  

3. Punishment may be a rewarding experience for Bratty TPE slaves. They may provoke their Dominant even if they don't necessarily mean to, just to get attention or a reaction. A physical or psychological reminder of both Dominance and the importance of obedience may be the best way to mitigate feelings of discouragement. 

Deflation is a distinctly different experience than discouragement simply because deflation is a depression in ability rather than a depression in perception. If a slave is deflated it is because they haven't had sufficient attention paid to them, their needs have been neglected, their pre-established limits have been violated too often, or they have not been physically capable of mustering the strength to carry on their duties, because there is an imbalance. Each time this even occurs, it is up to the Dominant to deal with the situation appropriately. There are even situations such as "end of life" care in which the submissive is actively entering the process of death and no longer carries the will to submit, out of self-preservation. Most of the time, there are simple remedies available to the Dominant, to create an atmosphere conducive to further productivity.

Examples: 

1. A Dominant must recognize the deflation and find the source. If it is a motivational one, the slave must be held accountable for a lack of action. If it is a physical one, (barring serious injury) they must be expected to push through a period of laziness and realize their full slave potential. If it is a morale issue, the slave must receive adequate attention and communication - a lack of communication isn't going to go over well with a naturally over-sharer slave. The individual circumstance must be dealt with commensurate with the personality of the slave.

2. If the slave responds best to a system of rewards, the system must be put in place immediately. Praise, kind words, motivational quotes or reading materials should be given to the slave in order to boost their self-image. 

3. If the slave is being obstinate because they are deflated, the Dominant must act swiftly and aggressively to push them out of their rut. This sort of difficulty in behavior can accumulate over a period of years, if untreated. 

Defeat is the last stage in a slave's relationship, and possibly their life. It is one of the silent killers of slavery, and it can be rooted in an initial failure of the slave to appreciate the Dominant. This is not the only route to defeat, however. If a slave is unable to see commitment through and stay resolute in their decision, this can result in defeat, as well. Any time a slave rules that it's not "worth it" to engage in slavery vs. the benefit they receive from doing so (taking into account the fact that some parts may be difficult, unsavory, or unenjoyable), they will go through the motions until they are dismissed - or they may even run. There are also extenuating circumstances that are very difficult to navigate, such as slaves who are preparing to reach the end of their lives (terminal illness, old age, etc), who will react defeatedly as time moves closer to their imminent death. It is vital for the Dominant to determine the next logical step in the TPE, because that will be the deciding factor on how to approach the problem.

Examples:

1. If the issue is that the slave feels neglected or not useful for too long, and they're considering walking away, reigning them in is going to be crucial. Showing them who is boss, as the saying goes. They must be ordered, punished, pushed, attentively handled, given a higher objective; a chance to showcase their worth. One of the most difficult things, especially for an ageplayer TPE slave, is to be ignored - so if it isn't your intention to ignore them, kick your focus into overdrive.

2. When the trouble lies in the slave not appreciating the Dominant, or being unable to appreciate the difference between their fantasy of the Dominant and the reality of who they are, if their recurring lack of self-discipline or inability to follow directions has occurred for such a long time that both the slave and the Dominant are at their wits' end, it is time to decide whether or not a continuation of this dynamic is the proper course of action for both parties. If a slave is immature, getting a handle on their emotional progression is the first step. If they're flakey or full of unmet expectations, it is also worth noting that this is not the right condition for them to be a 24/7 TPE slave. 

3. At the end of their life, a slave will likely start to go through the traditional DABDA (also known as the Kübler-Ross model) phases of dying. This is not different for practitioners of BDSM. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance are the natural course for grieving the loss of one's own life. Though it may happen at a different pace for every individual's life (and earlier in life for some), there will always be a moment of defeat when facing this stage of life. The lack of desire to submit, and trying to reframe one's life as a matter of retrospective importance, are going to be the focus of a slave who knows they are imminently dying. At this point, it is important to take cues from them; if they find comfort in further submission, that is the best route. If they are fighting submission, it is best to honor their desires, because after all, it is their death - not yours - and it must be handled with care (even if that care seems strange for your usual activities). 

Each of these practices, complications, and challenges may contribute to the dissolution of a TPE dynamic. But because the Dominant is expected to keep control of their slave, it rests on them to address a problem as soon as it is identified (either by the slave or the Dominant). Despite the impetus of the Dominant to act, it is equally the responsibility of the slave to bring up any problematic feelings or "baggage" they have. Dominance is a fabulous superpower, but mind-reading should not be an expectation. 

If these various pitfalls are worked through, a successful dynamic will likely be the outcome. But avoidance, failure to address the problem, a lack of communication, or other bad reactions to the problems will contribute to either a miserable TPE or the end of the relationship entirely. The more effort put in by both parties, the more rewarding the power exchange! 

 

BDSM as Liability, Free from Culpability.

March 28, 2016
Within the mainstream media, there are instances of pernicious uses of BDSM terms. Ignorant appropriations with reductive effects abound. Misunderstandings are the norm, rather than the exception. As most BDSM Professionals can attest, there are very few cases, if any, that present D/s dynamics in the proper light. In order to dispel many myths, I will personally go through a few situations, and correct them. 

Jian Ghomeshi.



This case happened in Canada. At first, it was reported (in the US, at least) as a classic case of discrimination. A man was fired because he engaged in consensual BDSM. This is how Jian Ghomeshi framed it. Then, it slowly trickled through that the one two three four women who accused him of sexual assault and harassment were doing so because they did NOT agree to the BDSM terms of the casual relationship he had forcibly tried to establish, with each woman. The media did a lot of hand-wringing and gymnastics - and in the end, so did the judge. Because the victims did not behave as expected by the uninitiated male non-femsubs, their experiences and testimonies were discredited and disregarded - Jian Ghomeshi is free and clear. If Ghomeshi had established before putting his hands on the women that they would be engaging in consensual BDSM play, there would not have been a reason to cry assault. Submissives are not known to rescind their submission and decide to become vanilla in the interest of ruining a man's life. It wasn't as though they gained a fabulous reputation by assuming the submissive role, in the media. They all received threats and further inappropriate treatment. At the end of the day, BDSM must be practiced with constant consent. Nothing initially, nothing during the practice, nothing during the dismissal - without absolute consent. This was not BDSM: this was abuse.

Fifty Shades of Grey.



 This book was essentially a consent violation nightmare. While Christian Grey was busy stalking, intimidating, threatening, and otherwise intentionally causing Anastasia Steele discomfort - the first mention of BDSM and consent didn't happen until Chapter 6, on a page number reaching the 60s. Then, negotiation was only mentioned with regard to this being the first time he had ever considered it. So a stalker with a history of consent violations isn't quite a respectable Dominant. 

50 Shades of Rape.



In this case a student blamed his rape of a fellow student on his reenactment of 50 Shades of Grey. Now, knowing what I do about that book, I can easily see how someone would get the idea that being forceful, refusing to negotiate, and throwing away safety and precaution may seem alluring to a (however) willing participant. But in real life, it's still rape. 

Fashion as Domination.

 

Just as a woman in a skintight latex dress bearing a red cross wouldn't be confused with a nurse, a woman in black leather shouldn't automatically be portrayed as a Dominatrix. Confusing D/s imagery is usually found in these spreads, as a woman may be tied up, shackled, or posing suggestively in a traditionally submissive pose - mainstream media is unable to shake its love affair with presenting women in positions of helplessness, to appeal to their demographics... even when they're supposed to be sexy and powerful. 

The Term "Sadist."



1. The article mentioned many more instances of paranoia, self-harm, delusions, and only mentions "sadistic fantasies" once, in passing, with no regard to substantiating those claims. This is an example of using the term "sadistic" to get draw readers, rather than emphasize the truth.

2. One cannot sadistically watch anything. Eyeballs are input-only. The emotional capacity of a viewer isn't something that should be assumed. A person who is not a sadist will likely experience very few moments of taking enjoyment of another person's pain or anguish, so sadistically watching wouldn't be an activity enjoyed by most vanilla viewers, even if you could sadistically watch something.

3. Here is an example of using the term "sadistically" when you actually mean "brutally." There is no evidence that the killers enjoyed themselves. That someone is killed in a torturous way does not automatically include a sexual or emotional gratification. It's this sort of reporting that makes Sadist a synonym for "psychotic murderer."

4. Quite often, the term "sadist" is used to mean "asshole." Not all sadists are assholes, so it is a bit confining to keep that term in such a box. Similar to using "gay" when you actually mean "stupid or frivolous" this is erroneous nonsense that contributes to the overall digust of sadists by the general populace.

5. Use of the term "sadist" to mean "frightened xenophobe." There is no room for intense fear in sadism - so making aggressive and unwise decisions out of panic does not equate to sadism. Womp, womp.

I can vouch for the beauty and brilliance of many sadists who do all of their pain-enjoying work under a relatively altruistic umbrella, since they only inflict pain and suffering on willing individuals. The above images and stories are examples that not only intentionally represent Sadists in a bad way, but are also incorrect uses of the term. One cannot throw the word "sadistic" at every behavior they personally dislike. Words have meanings, and sadism isn't an entirely useless term that is open to endless interpretation. It is a person who derives pleasure from the pain of others, most usually (and especially in BDSM) the counterpart to a masochist, who derives enjoyment from being physically or emotionally injured.

In conclusion, BDSM is not a loose excuse for assault, initiating aggression (especially sexual), or behaving in a fashion that vanilla folks would find abhorrent. The only time these things may occur is after a long and negotiating conversation about consent, interest, and flexibility. Hard limits and safe words are always to be discussed. A lack of any of these is a failure of a "Dominant," and their behavior cannot be accepted as "just weird BDSM stuff." If you are attempting to initiate a BDSM relationship, but are receiving extreme resistance, that is not a challenge; the other party is just not interested, and you should stop pursuing the idea immediately. Lest you'd like to become one of the awful examples outlined above. 
 


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