Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No Means No.

I was in a BDSM forum the other day a sub asked a question that should have surprised me, sadly it didn't. Does a Dom need to ask a subs permission to play with them? The question rang true for me after a recent incident I experienced where a Dom assumed I would be his play partner because I'm now a single submissive. The conversation I was engaged in ended like this.
Him: "As a submissive you should do what I, as the Dom, tells you to do."
Me:   "You are not my Dom, therefore I don't have to do anything you tell me." 
The fact is there are idiots and morons in all lifestyles. It doesn't matter if you live and socialise in the vanilla world, the BDSM lifestyle, the gay community, wherever. It's courtesy to ask someones permission to do anything with them, whether it's going out on a date or getting involved in BDSM play. Simply because someone is submissive, or single doesn't give a Dom/me power over them or the right to assume they are free to play with. Wearing the title of Dom/me doesn't give a person the right to demand anything of a submissive they aren't in a relationship with or have a specific agreement with.
I worry about new people entering the BDSM lifestyle. As an experienced sub, I'm quite capable of telling a Dom to piss off and leave me alone if they overstep the boundaries of decency. And, if standing up for myself gives them the impression I'm not a submissive then so be it, it's not something that bothers me. However, someone entering the lifestyle may not have the strength or belief that they can or should be able to say no.
So, for those new to the BDSM community I just thought I'd give you a few tips.
  • You can say No to a Dom/me.
  • If you tell someone 'no I don't want to play with you' then they should respect that decision. They shouldn't keep pestering you in the hope or belief that they can change your mind.
  • Saying no to a Dom/me doesn't mean you are not submissive, it just means you know your own mind and you know who you feel safe to play with.
  • Other members of the community will usually help you if you are being harassed by someone. If you're at a party/club/munch then find the organisers or the dungeon master and ask for help. If it's online then block the person and let other people on the site and the site owners know that you've been harassed and who by.
As in any community, common courtesy, listening to and respecting boundaries laid down by individuals is part of the social requirements in the BDSM lifestyle. Also, as in any community, there are people who don't respect others and who will overstep the social boundary. Mercifully, as I've said before, most members of the kink community will assist someone if they are being hassled, which makes me feel safer as a single person in a BDSM social setting. What we all need to remember is that in any community, including the BDSM one...No always means No.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How to bring up the topic of BDSM to your man in 5 easy steps

With the recent popularity of the BDSM book-that-must-not-be-named (which we all know isn't really a BDSM book anyway), I've heard several women discussing how they could approach their significant others about wanting to get kinky. First of all, I applaud you for trying something different, but if you don't want to try it, don't. There's nothing wrong with having no desire to be kinky.

But if you do want to delve into the world of kink, and you don't want to do it alone, here are some ways to approach your man:
Maybe not start out with these...
Creative Commons by -JvL-

  1. Buy a book and either leave it where he'll see it or directly show it to him. I'm not talking about buying the aforementioned book, but rather something like SM 101- A Realistic Introduction, or The Ultimate Guide to Kink.
  2. Buy a toy, and do the same thing - leave it out or show it to him. Start small (not literally) here, people. Don't go for the single tail or the eight-inch butt plug right off the bat, or you'll scare the hell out of most men. Try a little paddle. Handcuffs. Maybe a vibrating toy.
  3. Start a discussion, without buying a book or a toy. Some people feel more comfortable assessing their man's interest level before spending money, and that's a great way to approach this.
  4. Rent a movie with some BDSM elements. Secretary is a good one to start with, though the BDSM is really pretty tame.
  5. Suggest he read one of our books! (Sorry, had to throw that in there...)
Can you think of other ways to approach a significant other? Tell me in the comments!

-- Cassandra

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Good Dom/Domme

I recently participated in the Hot in Handcuffs blog hop and the question I posed in my blog post was what sort of Dom/Domme do you like? Overwhelmingly the responses were one who is confident, strong, powerful, in control, kind, caring and sensitive. I think the Doms I write about in my books have those characteristics and they are certainly personality traits I like in a Dom but the responses started me thinking. Are the traits contradictory? If I want all those characteristics plus more in my Dom am I expecting too much? Do Doms with those traits only exist in novels?

Luckily, I'm continuing to be a BDSM social butterfly, getting out and about and meeting lots of new people. So, I decided to do a little observation at a party I went to on the weekend. You’ll be happy to know that Doms with those traits do exist in real life. I’m also sure you won’t be surprised when I say that there are also Doms who don’t have those traits. I had a discussion with the sub I travelled to the party with and we compared notes on Doms we’d been involved with over the years. The stories we shared could have ended in a list titled ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’.

What the discussion reinforced for me was, when I’m ready to find a new Dom, I need to have a perfectly clear idea of exactly what I want. I’ve always had a vague idea but I think I need to be more specific on certain aspects. So yes, I want the characteristics stated above but what else do I need to look for? 

At the party a lovely Dom pointed out to there are other things, apart from personality traits, which I need to consider when considering a new Dom. Some of the things I knew, others I hadn’t thought of before. He pointed out a few lifestyle practices that, in his opinion, a good Dom would do when interacting with someone he viewed as a prospective sub. Here’s what he imparted.

 A good Dom will:

·         Always have a discussion about limits, what a sub likes/dislikes in the way of play and lifestyle practices.

·         Build trust with a sub by getting to know them over a period of time prior to asking them to engage in play.

·         Have absolutely no problem with a prospective sub asking for names of other subs as references so you can clarify what he is like as a Dom.

·         Be happy to answer any questions you ask, no matter what they are. His answers will be direct, not vauge or delayed as if he's trying to think up an answer because you've put him on the spot or trying to hide something.

·         Will start off slowly once they engage in play to continue to build trust and get to know the subs responses prior to proceeding to heavy play sessions.

·         Be communicative, not only explaining their own expectations but also ensuring yours are voiced and listened to as well.

His advice on what to do if a Dom doesn’t do these things was, take it as a warning sign and walk away as the person is probably a player who has no idea what their doing.

So what do you think, what else apart from personality traits would you look for in a Dom/Domme? What action/act would be something that would send up a warning flag for you?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Balancing a BDSM relationship when you're in public

One of my Twitter followers suggested this topic, and I thought it was a great one. I love that I can always count on my followers to give me plenty of fodder for this blog! By the way, for the sake of simplicity I'm gong to use a female sub and a male Dom, although we all know there are all sorts of variations as to who is submissive and who is dominant.

My follower's questions were, "How can you balance a BDSM relationship with being in public? For instance, how do you stealthily show your relationship without being obvious?"

Some excellent questions. Overall, I think it comes down to how, as a submissive, you treat your Dominant, and the other way around. Respect on both sides is important, not just from the submissive to the Dom. Also, there are a lot of rules that work as well in public as they do in the privacy of home, like how to dress, what the submissive is not allowed to eat, etc. Simply abiding by these rules, even when in public, is in keeping with your BDSM relationship.

You don't have to use a collar
like this all the time, you know...
Creative Commons Andre SC - 
As far as the treatment/respect thing goes, a service submissive can still serve her Master no matter where they are. At a party? Maybe the sub can make sure the Dom's drink is never empty, or that he always has someone to talk to. Maybe the sub could watch for signs of fatigue and make sure the Dom sits, or the sub can rub his shoulders.

More overt signs of a BDSM relationship, but ones that can still be subtle, are collars that don't look like collars. Any piece of jewelry, or even a tattoo or the life, can be a collar. It's all in what it means to the sub and her Dom. You don't have to have a ten-pound padlock on the collar for it to be called a collar. Even a string of pearls or a diamond ring can be a collar.

I'm sure there are more ways to signify or honor a BDSM relationship in public, but these are just a few. What other methods can you think of? Feel free to tell me in the comments.

-- Cassandra

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Daily Dose of Decadence: Unjustifiable Violence

Daily Dose of Decadence: Unjustifiable Violence: A topic close to my heart this month. By L.C. Dean Fifteen years ago, on an October night, a young man stopped to have drink ...