During my service to Mistress I employ some of the things I have learned over the years including Mindfulness Meditation. To my surprise yesterday I ran across these excerpts from my favorite book about M/s relationships, Living M/s by Dan and Dawn Williams. Mindfulness can be applied to any daily activity and when applied to service to ones Master it takes the service experience to a completely new level for the submissive or slave. The service itself becomes the reward and even more so since it is done for the ones we serve and in my case love.
Excerpt from Dan and Dawns book, which I highly recommend:
“When asked what the most important skill is that I’ve learned as a submissive/slave, I’d have to answer that it’s mindfulness; being in the present moment with my focus on what is at hand.”
“When I make our bed every morning, I don’t just straighten the covers. Instead, I think about my Master and how this pleases him. I remember his command that I make the bed in the morning, and I pay attention to the details of what I’m doing. As I serve his coffee, I’m not a wife pouring her husband’s coffee; I’m a slave who has the honor of serving her Master. I make his coffee as he likes it; then, with intention, I serve his coffee, mindful of my demeanor and tone.”
“This is an example of mindfulness as opposed to mindlessness. Were I to perform these rituals in a mindless fashion, of what use would they be? What purpose would they serve? In my mind, the actions would be useless and mindless. There is power in mindfulness; there is a connection in mindfulness. When I am serving my Master, I want nothing in my head other than the service I am providing to him. Something that has been a major help in this endeavor is my experience with meditation. When participating in any kind of meditation, and especially mindful meditation, we learn how to slow the mind down. When we slow the mind down, we are able to focus on the ‘now.’ It’s in the ‘now’ that we are able to experience the moment we are experiencing. In the ‘now’ we are able to be mindful of what we are doing. In the ‘now’ we can be present to the service we are providing, whatever that may be.”
I think its easy to see that the same approach could be applied to a mindful flogging or any other part of the BDSM lifestyle from the perspective of the Top or the Bottom.
Recently my Mistress and I attended a Shibari Rope Bondage workshop with Midori. She had a wonderful way of negotiating rope scenes which I loved. Looking around the internet I ran across this additional resource. Excellent!! Link to this site at the bottom of page.
In the early days of learning to tie, it’s so easy for the focus of learning to be about techniques of rope application, patterns of particular ties, techniques of rope handling and flow, or how to tie with feeling. One really important part of rope learning and play that is often overlooked is how to fully and properly do a pre-play discussion, negotiate what will take place and agree boundaries. It’s also vital to agree how you will communicate effectively during the play, checking in during the rope time and completing the process with post-play feedback.
As a top or rigger you may be caught up in the emotions of tying, the rush of erotic frission between you and your partner, and forget to take the time to agree with your partner what is ok before you start your play. Bottoms may also be so excited at the prospect of rope time that they forget to mention an injury, medical condition or limit that the top needs to know before the play begins, and then not know how to properly backtrack once this is breached.
For these reasons I believe it is essential to do a proper pre-play discussion just as you would before any other play scene or sexual scene. This is particularly important when tying with someone new to you, or when doing something new, but should be briefly checked over every time you tie.
The list of things that need discussing is fairly straightforward, and not dissimilar from a regular pre-play negotiation you’d have for any other type of scene. Both parties are responsible for asking questions of the other person and honestly declaring relevant information to them. Similarly both parties are responsible for being firm on things that are limit or boundaries for them, and walking away if the situation is not appropriate for them.
Things I cover are:
- Disclosure of any relevant medical conditions
- Ideally full disclosure of any medical conditions but particularly those that may cause fainting or fitting, but also things such as impaired circulation, musculo-skeletal injuries or conditions, sprains, breaks, flexibility limitations etc.
- Both parties need to disclose anything such as former surgeries that are now a weakened area, hernias, metal plates or pins, any implants or devices (including breast implants), piercings or joint replacements.
- Female bodied bottoms who have the contraceptive implant should point the location out to the top, so this can be palpated and avoided when placing wraps around the arms. Also please mention if you’re pregnant, recently pregnant or have any issues with your menstrual system, so the top can adapt ties accordingly.
- This is also the point where the top should disclose anything relevant health and fitness-wise, so the bottom can decide if they are happy with potential risk factors, and if a spotter is needed.
- If in doubt, disclose. Say more, not less.
- Intake of medication, alcohol or drugs
- Both parties need to disclose any medication they are on that may affect the play, such as blood thinners (which can increase marking/bruising), painkillers (which may mask bad pain) or beta-blockers (which may cause fainting).
- Both parties need to honestly declare their current consumption of alcohol or drugs that may impair their ability to deal with the play in any way. Both parties are responsible for this, and take the responsibility for walking away if they deem the other person as unsuitable to tie with because of this.
- Personal boundaries and limits
- This is a wide ranging area that needs good questioning and it can help to give examples of things that need to be considered to get answers. This can include things such as:
- Body limits – issues with certain positions, flexibility issues or anything else that restricts where the rope can freely go. If you know you have a tender spot on the thigh or your radial is really exposed right there, tell the top. Similarly if you’ve had problems with nerve damage or sustained a rope related injury previously – tell the top.
- Marks – rope play can leave all kinds of marks, ranging from simple pressure rope lines to bruises, welts and petechial haemorraging. Some people’s jobs mean they can’t have visible marks where clothing won’t cover, others are only ok having rope pressure marks that disappear in an hour or two. Marks and bruises work both ways, mind.
- Style of play – some people prefer gentle, loving rope play, others prefer hard and rough play. The dynamic of rope can vary massively from person to person, couple to couple. Don’t impose a dynamic without agreement. Ask, don’t assume.
- Clothing – wear what you are comfortable in, nothing more and nothing less. Be as dressed or naked as is appropriate for the situation and for yourself – but don’t be pressured into anything else. Bunnies, if a rigger tells you they can only tie you in a TK topless, call bullshit and walk away.
- Touching – some people have areas that freak them out if touched, and some that make them melt. Ask where they are happy to be touched, and where they don’t want to be touched. How someone is touched is important, tickling feet may knock the socks off of one person, but be a red limit for another. Bottoms, also ask the top where they like to touch and how – and where you can touch them. This is a two-way thing. One of my bottoms touches me on the leg as we untie, and it’s an awesome reminder of the connection.
- Sexual element – explicity discuss whether this play has any sexual element and what if anything is permitted. I’d include things like kissing, breast/nipple touching and any touching or contact (including with rope) in the groin/ass area. Don’t assume touching consent equals orgasms consent – be explicit in the discussion and the limits of the consent. Tops: ask what the bunny would be happy for you to do to them, and bottoms: tell your top where you want to be touched (and don’t want to be). All parties should take this agreement as gospel, never overriding what has been agreed and always respecting a change in consent mid-play (ie: I know I said you could touch my bottom earlier but I’d like you not to do that anymore from now on).
- Triggers – some people get hot if you pull their hair, others would freak out if you put a rope round their necks. Ask for any actions or behaviours that might trigger a bad experience for someone and mentally mark it down as a hard limit.
- Safewords, consent and in-play communication methods
- This may depend a lot on your particular play style and dynamic. Adopting the standard traffic light system is useful for playing with people new to rope or new to you, until you decide on some other way of communicating.
- For the avoidance of doubt the traffic light system simple: green = good/go ahead, yellow = approaching limits/check in with me and red = stop the play.
- Both parties should have the ability to use their safewords during play, freely, and for whatever reason. Never be afraid to speak up with an issue, even in a high protocol D/s scene. A good top does not want you to be accidentally harmed.
- Discussion on nerve injuries – particularly for inexperienced tops/bottoms – both parties should learn about nerve placement and how to reduce the risk of injury, as well as diagnostic tools for assessing nerve damage. Make sure bottoms are absolutely confident of their ability to speak up if something feels wrong, even if they think they are being silly and shouldn’t say something.
- If you intend on using blindfolds and particularly gags, an alternative method of safewording is needed. Lots of people go for a visible or audible sign, just as dropping a coloured scarf, or jangling some keys. None of these methods are ideal for clear signals, but are better than nothing. I’d urge you not to tie, blindfold and gag someone you are tying for the first time.
- Checking in during play is important, especially until you learn to read someone really well. Both parties should find this reassuring, rather than jarring. It can be as obvious as asking ‘are you ok’ and waiting for a nod or shake of the head, or asking for someone to give you a colour from the traffic system code. For a more subtle way, a quick squeeze of the hand checks not only the strength of the return squeeze, but also the reassurance that all is ok, and the person is with you.
- When playing with someone, but particularly in the pre-negotiation, if you are in doubt as to whether something is relevant, say it. Better to know something superfluous than be missing a vital piece of information.
- Finally there is the post rope communication and feedback. This can take place in a variety of ways and times, from a quick ‘how are you’ and a reply ‘that was awesome/I need some time to process/ I need a cuddle’ to more detailed feedback post session on what worked, how things felt and what you’d both like more of/less of next time.
- Do you have any new injuries, conditions or medication that I need to know about?
- Any new or different limits or boundaries that I need to know about today?
- What type of rope are you in the mood for today?
- A quick reminder of our safewords
- Anything else you need to tell me? (and I reciprocate for them).
This post is aimed at those new or newish to rope or wanting to improve pre-rope negotiation skills and will hopefully provide some starting points for those new to this or thos unsure of what they need to ask. Every rigger has their own way of dealing with negotiation for rope play, and as rope partnerships become established they may develop their own methods for communicating and dealing with consent and safewords.
The most important points I wish to make are these: that both bottom and rigger have equal responsibility to have a full, thorough and honest pre-rope negotiation to reduce the risk of accidential breaches of trust, consent or accidental injury. Ask questions, demand answers and if you aren’t happy with what you see or are being told, walk away from the potential scene. Seek out people who are happy to talk about their previous experience, areas of weakness, limits and boundaries freely, as you are much more likely to have a mutually wonderful rope time together.
Bondage Workshop In San Francisco with Midori
Mistress and I are attending a Shibari erotic bondage workshop here in San Francisco this weekend. It’s being taught at the Center for Sex and Culture just a few blocks away from our hotel. Today is the first day and we are hoping to come away with some great bondage techniques for our BDSM scenes.
Shibari originated in Japan and the bondage ties are both beautiful on the body and erotic for both giver and receiver. Midori is considered to be the best teacher in this part of the world. 22 kinky participants here in San Fran should make for an interesting workshop.
There is a kinky Play Party complete with dungeon furniture from Edge this evening after the workshop going from 9:30 until 2:00am. We will see what the crowd is like and if we want to participate. Luckily Mistress and I are equally balanced in our interest for kinky sex play such as BDSM. No one needs to be coaxed, we’re both ready to go. Of course Mistress does the picking and choosing as to whom, where, what and when. As her slave I am at her service.
More later …
Dealing with jealousy as a submissive or slave is certainly not any easier than the average poly person. In fact it presents different challenges based on whatever your agreements are in your consensual submissive or slave contract.
In my own relationship there are no holds no bars. My partner has complete freedom and I have none. It hasn’t always been that way and in my case there is an adjustment phase where I recognize her freedom and my lack of freedom. As a result I have been researching various polyamory resources online and within the many books I own on Poly.
Below is another excerpt from an excellent resource on Poly. I have pulled some paragraphs out of a much longer and worthwhile article. Short version is to get to the root causes of jealously to make life much easier for someone in my chosen position.
See article below:
Nature of jealousy:
Jealousy itself is an interesting emotion, because jealousy is a composite emotion, that is based on other emotions. It’s a second-order emotional response–something happens, that thing causes you to feel threatened or to feel insecure or to feel something negative about yourself, and then that fear or insecurity makes you feel jealous. For that reason, the root of jealousy is often surprisingly difficult to pin down and understand.
Instead, what happens is that people look at the event, which is the proximal cause of the jealousy, and assume that that event is the source of the problem. “My partner kisses another person, I feel jealous; therefore, it’s the kiss that makes me jealous. The way to deal with the jealousy is to tell my partner to stop kissing people.”
Get to the root cause:
If you say to yourself that I know that the jealousy is brought about by some other emotion–some emotion, which is triggered by the action, that makes me jealous. I need to figure out what that other emotion is, and I need to figure out why that action triggers that emotion. Until you do that, you are helpless in the face of the jealousy. If you don’t understand it, there is nothing you can do to address it.
The nice thing about doing this is that you can, if you have isolated the emotional response beneath the jealousy and identified positive ways to deal with it directly, end up in a position where you don’t feel jealous any more. Even when your partner does the things that used to trigger the jealousy. You just don’t feel jealous any more. You do not need to pass rules banning certain behavior and you do not need to veto someone, because you don’t feel jealous any more.
From the website http://www.morethantwo.com
Poly-Mono for Subs and Slaves
I found this excerpt from the site http://www.morethantwo.com to offer some good suggestions about managing vanilla Poly/Mono relationships. There are of course some differences between the vanilla, “let’s work this out on an equal footing” version and the D/s, M/s version where there is a TPE (consensual total power exchange.)
Read excerpt below:
The one lesson here that I think is more important than any other is this: the best way to make a mono/poly relationship work is to find a way to make it work FOR YOU.
No, I don’t mean going out and finding another partner yourself. I mean finding a way to be happy in a polyamorous relationship, and discovering ways to build healthy, positive connections between yourself and your partner’s other partners. This doesn’t mean romantic relationships; but simply any kind of relationship that is positive and brings you happiness. The more successfully you do this, the more successful and happy your relationship with your partner will be, and the fewer stresses and strains you’ll encounter. Don’t assume that the relationship between you and your partner’s other partner must be adversarial!
The second most important lesson here: Don’t break your lover’s heart. If you break your lover’s heart, you can reasonably expect it to have consequences; and one way to do that is to agree to a situation which allows your lover to become emotionally intimate with another person, then hurt that person or (worse yet) order, beg, or manipulate your lover into withdrawing from that person. Kindness, compassion, and respect–even toward your lover’s other partner, even if you’re feeling jealous or angry or insecure or frightened–will help prevent this from happening, and are positive and beneficial parts of any relationship.
Make no mistake about it: poly/mono relationships are challenging. Ultimately, everybody has limits, which, if crossed, make it impossible for that person to be happy. Many people in the poly community advise others to steer clear of a monogamous partner. Having a partner whose fundamental wants and needs from a relationship differ from yours is extremely painful–not only to you and to that person, but to anyone else who becomes involved with you as well. Poly/mono couplings are a very common form of polyamorous relationship, but they are also very difficult.
Love, of and by itself, is not necessarily enough. Love does not always triumph over all. There may be many reasons that a relationship simply can not work, in spite of how much the people involved love one another. Everyone has limits of some kind no matter how much you may love someone, there are things which can make you leave the relationship.
You cannot be anyone other than who you are; to thine own self be true. Ultimately, you do have to honor your own beliefs. And when it comes to crossing your own non-negotiable boundaries, you do not have a choice. You cannot be happy if your non-negotiable needs are not met. The question is not “Is it fair that my partner must have other partners,” the question is “Is my need to be monogamous a non-negotiable prerequisite for my own happiness?” If you are debating whether or not you can exist in a polyamorous relationship, that will tell you the answer. If you are not happy in your relationship, you’re not going to make your partner happy.
Personal Note: My marriage partner of 17 years and I have had different arrangements regarding monogamy. With our current M/s dynamic other partners are completely off the table for me as an individual. Recognizing Mistress total freedom to take other lovers and do as she pleases is in stark contrast to my position as slave and owned property. My responsibility is to put Mistress needs and desires ahead of my own in all things. I do honor my self in all things and I am true to myself in all things by making one decision and that is to become property and slave of Mistress. Everything else flows from there.
From the site http://www.ownership-possession.com
What is D/s? In D/s, a submissive is obeying, serving, or being controlled by a dominant. What is M/s? In M/s, a slave is owned by a master.
There is much more to both D/s and M/s than that, but no agreement about what. Some of these disagreements are about form, such as what a collar symbolises; but some are about substance, such as the purpose of a D/s relationship. Using the same names for many different types of relationship perpetuates confusion, causes unnecessary arguments, and makes it harder to find like-minded people.
Instead of using these disputed terms, this manifesto outlines a new structure to describe relationships, O&P (Ownership & Possession), that is nevertheless built from familiar D/s and M/s concepts.
1. What is Possession?
Central to O&P is the concept of Possession: having control and use for one’s own purposes of that which is possessed, involving some or all of the rights associated with property ownership. This is asymmetric and unequal in status. While the submissive is in the dominant’s possession they are fundamentally there for the dominant, obeying the dominant, and subject to the dominant’s decisions. The dominant is the submissive’s superior, just as an employer is their servant’s superior. The unambiguous, honest, and hierarchical nature of O&P provides clarity about what is to be done, and who is to do it, without the manipulation and unstated quid pro quo of so many relationships.
2. What is Ownership?
Possession may be limited in time or scope, but Ownership is the enduring and veto-less form of possession, in which possession has been maintained long enough and deep enough that it has become ingrained, resulting in the enslavement of the submissive, as a slave. Since this is a gradual, overlapping process, it is usually easier to talk of Ownership & Possession together as O&P.
3. Consent derives from property rights
O&P is defined in terms of property, and so uses property as its ethical foundation. People are born owning themselves, under the guardianship of parents. As adults, people have the right to hand over some or all of their self-ownership. Respect for property rights requires that O&P must be entered with the freely given informed consent of the submissive.
4. Responsibility for maintaining property
As with all property, if it is not looked after over time, the ability to use or own it is lost. For this reason, needs cannot be left unaddressed over time, by the definition of “needs” themselves. Maintenance of property demands responsibility, and in O&P this is a cardinal virtue of dominants and owners.
5. Respect other people’s property rights
In O&P, respect for property also informs relations between people outside of their relationships. For example, protocols and etiquette treat unattached submissives as independent people, governing their own lives, and not subject to other dominants; equally, protocols and etiquette acknowledge the status of submissives in other dominants’ possession, and do not presume, for instance, that submissives can still make decisions which are now in the hands of their dominant. Respect for inanimate property is also the basis for the ancient customs of hosts and guests, in both the domestic and public spheres.
6. The House embodies the relationship in property itself
In O&P, the house is the embodiment of property relationships in the form of property itself. Whether they are mono or poly, households, headed by dominants, served by submissives, and visited by guests, provide a more structured form of domestic relationship than, for example, a vanilla marriage. This structure and hierarchy promotes a life of worthwhile purpose, under the authority of a responsible and competent dominant.
Being served is one of the principal reasons why owners and dominants invest their time in establishing O&P relationships. Service is not limited to domestic work and sexual use, but can also include companionship, acting as a social secretary, managing accounts, improving the house, and learning new skills. Service reinforces the difference in status between servant and master, and provides opportunities to overcome feelings of false entitlement and misplaced pride. And yet good service is also something to take pride in providing, and a submissive who serves well is someone to be proud of.
The rest of the steps can be found here
Gorean Male Silk Slaves, Kajirus
The most valuable male slave though is usually the silk slave, a certified woman’s slave, akin to a Pleasure Slave. They are handsome men who have been specially trained to tend to a woman’s needs. They are sold in special women’s auctions that are closed to free men. Silk slaves generally sell for higher prices than many female slaves. Most silk slaves will sell for four to six silver tarsks. This is basically a matter of supply and demand, as there are very few such silk slaves on Gor. Most Gorean men make poor silk slaves. There are masculine and feminine male silk slaves. Some women fear the more masculine ones, worrying that such men will turn on them one day, enslaving them. Others secretly delight in that possibility. The feminine ones are rarely used for breeding. Free women think little of hiding their naked bodies from their silk slaves. Many free women though will not kiss their silk slaves as they do not wish to put their lips on a slave. A silk slave grows to know his Mistress quite well and is able recognize her body even when she is robed and veiled.
“We believe in the Prophecy that predicts a global event that will destroy much of the world that exists today, and that this event will be followed by a big change where all power once held by males is shifted to the females.
“It is called the Prophecy of the “Second Eden” because it is now Eve who will rule, and it is Adam who must now be subject to Her will. The new world will begin as small communal societies ruled by women. Not just ordinary women, but extra-ordinary women who are Dominant. These are women who all share in a belief that it was the Goddess Kali who caused the change that turned the world over to them. These small female dominated communities will evolve into great cities, and then great nations.
“Thus, all powerful women will be those who worship and follow the example of the Goddess who Tramples Man Beneath Her Feet. The new Religious Belief is that it is the Will of the Goddess that man must atone, and that women must rule over men as their slaves as a condition of man’s atonement. A future time is coming when all men shall be slaves in chains held by women, and all man-kind will wear slave collars as signs of their surrender and abject submission to the woman-kind of our new society.
“We can see the Prophecy already beginning as many, both males and females, are sensing the coming Change and beginning to take their places and assume their respective roles for the coming Change. The act of male submission to female dominance increases more each year. A Change is coming. This is why our church makes a ritual out of an event when a woman places a man in metal bondage as it is a sign of permanence. Placing a slave’s collar on a man acknowledges her power as it demonstrates her conquest of still another male to be made a slave in preparation for the coming Change.
“We take care that no woman allow herself to be possessed by the submission of a single slave who would dare think that he alone is her only slave; thus we encourage women to have multiple male slaves. We seek slaves not just for the moment nor a just for a limited time, but for all time, for life. It is a solemn event and a serious commitment.
“Today we are fortunate to witness a part of the Prophecy which begins with a man kneeling to be collared by a woman as her slave. As an Essemian Priestess, I channel the Spirit of the Goddess who subdues man, the Goddess Kali. See the women who stand with me here now. They are my Dakinis. A Dakini is a female assistant to Kali whose mission it is to strike fear in the hearts of men in the name of Kali. Through me, these Dakinis here also channel the power of the Goddess. They are here to witness this event. They may even strike some fear in the heart of the man on his knees here today. Let us proceed.
“Will the woman who is to collar a slave here now, please step forward and identify herself by the name or title she wishes to be addressed, and share with us her thoughts on what it means for a slave to wear her collar.”
At this point, the woman who will present a slave to collar will bring him out. This day, it is a woman known as the “Steel Goddess.”
Website for the full male slave collaring ritual here
- Lets Mistress know he is aware of the order
- Lets Mistress know he is thankful for the privilege of serving
- Expresses his desire to be of service
- Acknowledging Mistress not only demonstrates respect, but also indicates that he understood what was asked for
- When applicable he will ask how Mistress prefers what has been ordered, demonstrating he is aware of options
2. Go to the Kitchen
- Backup 3 paces, gracefully head to kitchen
- The manner in which he does so should be enticing, attractive and sensuous
3. Preparing the Drink or Food
- Fill the container unless it is one to be served at Mistress feet
- If he is serving food, arrange the meal on the plate, prior to taking to Mistress
- Return to Mistress and any guests being served
- He will make it as visually enticing as when he went to the kitchen
5. Approaching Mistress
- Tower position if before any other dominant other than Mistress
- If in service before Mistress, nadu position
6. Presenting the food and drink
- Always use a tray
- When pouring, he will place it in front or to the side if kneeling tower position
- If food is being served, where applicable place the plate on the table next to Mistress
7. Completing the Service
- He will Mistress being served what she has brought
- He will indicate the pleasure it brought him to serve her
- He will wait for Mistress to take the drink
- He will remain in position until dismissed
- If he is not dismissed, he may ask if there is anything else needed in an effort to remind Mistress to release him
- Return to his feet