Obviously I’ve not been on here in a while. I’m still posting, but I’ve moved that activity over to Fetlife. You make with the clicky-click!
Obviously I’ve not been on here in a while. I’m still posting, but I’ve moved that activity over to Fetlife. You make with the clicky-click!
Over the past few years, I’ve been seeing a change in the local BDSM community that makes me smile. It used to be that women would hug each other, and men and women would hug each other. But men would only shake hands with other men. That double standard felt very chest-poundy and was a clear reminder of the uber-masculine locker room culture that always rubbed me the wrong way. After all, you can’t hug another man- You might catch the gay!
Gradually, more men have started hugging each other. If you dig around online, you’ll see more recent studies regarding the importance of touch. Touch is something that, thanks to the wonderful culture we live in, has mostly been off-limits to men. Yet it’s increasingly becoming more evident that touch is helpful in regards to mental health.
There’s also been a more open embrace of male bisexuality. Female bisexuality has always been very out in the open in our community, and often widely encouraged since for many men that is also prime wank-bank material. But male bisexuality was generally looked down on. It only happened behind closed doors. Not anymore. We’re seeing more men being open about it, and this gives me big chunks of happy.
This is progress. Change like this is not so much rapid demolition of the old ways; rather, it’s more like gradual erosion. Not only are we changing our BDSM community, but these changes also slowly leak out into the world through our efforts.
(I’ve deliberately left trans people out of this post since we only have a handful of trans people in our community, and I think that’s far too small of a sample size from which to draw any kind of real conclusion.)
A discussion on the internet machine got me thinking. It was on expectations and protocol, essentially asking if some level of service or obeying small requests should be expected at events. The focus of this conversation was not on couples or people otherwise involved with each other. Rather, the question was more on whether subs should do things that are asked by other dominants, as well as whether to submit in this situation while single.
My response was a flat “no.” Service is not owed. It is to be negotiated. Consent cannot be assumed.
Someone from the local community brought up an excellent point though- High protocol and/or service-oriented events can sometimes be exceptions to this. I agree. If it’s in the rules, and you agree to those rules and show up, that’s on you. Those aren’t events I typically go to though, so I never even considered that in my reply.
Then someone else brought up service to the community as a whole. That’s what fermented in my brain all day.
I volunteer a fair amount in my local community by facilitating groups and events, teaching demos, setup/tear-down, DMing, or helping out at other groups in various ways. There’s also a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that most people don’t see. (When I travel to other cities for events, I look at that as a vacation and don’t usually volunteer there.) My efforts in helping out don’t come from my submission. For me they aren’t related at all. I make the effort to help keep the community well-lubed because it’s necessary. Without volunteers, events don’t happen. The creepers and consent violators continue unchallenged. Volunteers help keep this community healthy. I gain a lot from being part of this community, and helping out is a way of giving back. Yes, it’s service, but not in the d/s sense. It’s not service to individuals, and it’s not service based on d/s orientation or personal chemistry. It’s service to something bigger than the individuals. It’s service to the community as a whole. For me, that is not d/s. A leader does not lead by barking orders from high above. A leader leads by being the first to jump in the trench and get their hands dirty. That’s what this is for me- doing work in order to help keep a good thing going and maybe improve it here and there.
One final thought: If service to the community is a form of submission, why are there so many doms engaging in this type of service themselves?
During the Event
After the Event
I fail to understand the narrow-sightedness of some self-proclaimed activists. We all choose causes to support that are close to us in some way. There is no shortage of worthwhile causes to choose from- equal rights, lack of clean water, starvation, homelessness, cancer, heart disease, malaria, addiction, racism, sexism, various other -isms, poverty, child abuse, elder abuse, animal abuse, oligarchy, pollution, deforestation, etc. You could easily devote your entire life and all your resources to any one of these causes. The reality is that we each have limited resources, whether it’s time, energy, or money. So we have to choose.
What baffles me is when someone takes the approach of, “If you don’t support my pet cause as adamantly as I do, you’re a horrible person.” This lacks a basic understanding: The person they’re insulting may be fighting really hard for a different cause which is just as worthy of support. Not everyone brags about their activism; some quietly work behind closed doors to make things better. You don’t know unless you talk with them.
How lousy would it be for researchers to argue, “Heart disease kills more people than cancer, so I’m going to make fun of cancer patients and their caregivers”? Or, “Deforestation is a huge issue, but pollution is such a minor problem, so I’m going to treat you horribly if you waste your time working against pollution”? Yet we see this all the time with activism. People don’t seem to get that the world is larger than their little bubble.
If you’re working to make the world better by any means, why not join forces with those doing the same rather than engaging in counterproductive infighting? “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
The other night, I engaged in what was probably the strangest scene I’ve ever participated in. I beat a man using nothing but pasta. While wearing a Soviet military uniform.
It stemmed from a conversation years ago. A friend of mine was completely snockered and said to me, “I would let you top me using nothing but pasta.” He said this knowing that I don’t switch at all. But the idea intrigued me, and I saw it as an opportunity to spread the strange. It fermented in my head.
Eventually I realized a problem: His play style is typically very resistance-oriented. Spaghetti bondage won’t hold anybody. It wouldn’t work, and I told him as much. He gnawed on that for a while. His solution: “I won’t resist as long as you’re wearing a Soviet military uniform.”
I looked online, and all I saw were two categories of uniforms: authentic ones there were over a grand total, and cheap flimsy costumes that looked like crap. So this whole scene went on the back burner, and I nearly forgot about it. At one point I started looking again, and I finally found a uniform I could groove with. At a military surplus store in the Ukraine. But it was the real thing, and the price was far more reasonable. Shipping was $40. Thankfully it fit well the first time. Foreign sizes are, um, foreign.
At that point, it was time to walk down the pasta aisle and laugh maniacally at the possibilities. Got a few looks there.
Unfortunately, some things didn’t pan out. The linguine flogger, spaghetti bondage, and pasta collar were all too flimsy, regardless of type of pasta and cooking time used. Grrr. Cheap capitalist pasta. The quality is nowhere near what we had in the Old Country.
I emailed him a picture with the subject line “Soon.” just to taunt him a bit:
This scene was to happen at a public party. When we were about to start, I got in uniform and headed over to the play area. Plenty of friends knew something worth watching was going to happen, but they had no idea what.
In my fake Russian accent, I had him strip to his underwear and get on a spanking bench. Walking around in front of him, I rubbed a cooked lasagna noodle on his arm just so he would see what I was about to use. I walked around behind him and hit his ass with it a few times. It gave a surprisingly loud whack and actually had some sting to it. The noodle held up for about half a dozen hits. Thankfully, I brought reinforcements. I yelled, “FEEL THE WRATH OF MY SOVIET GLUTEN!”
At this point, people were making a mass entrance to the play area to see what the yelling was about. Plenty of peoples’ brains got fried. Knowing I don’t switch, they saw me topping someone. Using pasta. In a Soviet uniform. “Wait, is that… Is he… What???”
After some more lasagna impact, I took another lasagna noodle and stood beside him, facing the same direction he was. Bringing it down in front of his face with both hands, I went lower to his neck, pulled back, and started choking him with it. (I barely cooked the lasagna until it was just flexible in order to maintain some level of strength.) To my surprise, it held up, even when I was using a solid amount of pressure.
After the lasagna strangling, I took a handful of gnocchi and stood in front of him, holding my hand out so he could see what I had. After a couple seconds, I hollered, “GNOCCHI!” and immediately threw them in his face. Getting behind him, I started pelting his ass with them individually. They were rather stingy, which made me happy; I was initially worried he wouldn’t feel much. One of the gnocchi went squarely down his crack and into his underwear, and everyone cheered. At that point, I realized the entire party (over 100 people) was there watching. A barrage of gnocchi ensued.
I once again stood in front of him with another cooked lasagna noodle. I said, “You are seeing this noodle? Is not very sturdy. Does not hold up well. MUCH LIKE YOUR AMERICAN CAPITALISM!” Then I backhand-slapped him in the face with the noodle.
Now it was time for some marks. Going back around in front of him, I took a dry lasagna noodle and broke it into four pieces as he watched. Making a fist, I put one piece between each finger, effectively making a lasagna claw. “Freddy Kreuger was sexy bitch.” I said. I then ran my makeshift knives all over his back. He reacted pretty intensely at first, so I eased up and kept going. After just a few minutes of this, he had all sorts of dark lines crossing his back.
Now it was time for the finale. I told him to get off the spanking bench and kneel. I then took a dry manicotti and stuck it out of the fly of my pants. I got in front of him and bellowed, “SUCK MY MANICOTTI!” He looked like he was about to bust out laughing, but he did it. I then yelled, “AM BRINGING SEXY BACK! DA!” Again, the crowd cheered.
Retrieving something from my bag, I had him stand. No longer yelling, I said, “Glorious comrade, have survive many tribulation. Motherland is very proud. Presenting you now with great honor- membership in noble order. Peoples’ Order Of Pasta (P.O.O.P.)” With that, I put this around his neck:
Afterward, my newly re-indoctrinated comrade and I posed for a picture:
And yes, that is a banana in my holster. That way, I have instant aftercare at my hip.
I’m happy with how this all panned out. While some of the things I had planned didn’t work out, there was still a lot I was able to do. We had fun and got a ton of compliments afterward. It was years in the making, but it was very worth it. Well done, comrade.
Emotional self-care gets a fair amount of publicity within the BDSM community. Most frequently, it comes in the form of advice or classes on how to avoid drop, whether it be top drop, sub drop, or, con drop, though there are also other flavors. I equate that to taking your car in to the mechanic when something needs to be fixed. But what about regular tune-ups to make sure everything is running as it should?
I realized a need for this in my life a while back. The symptoms of not doing this regular maintenance were similar to those of drop- generally “down” mood, increased irritability, and lack of energy and motivation.
Eventually I solidified a three-part plan to help me keep my head well-lubricated:
These are only three points of action, but they’ve made a huge difference in my mood and sense of well-being. This approach has also had the added effect of making con drop after large weekend events less hard-hitting. I recover better and more quickly. I encourage you to do the same, even if your methods may differ. Find out what works for you. Get away from the daily crap for a while. Get your head back together on a regular basis, not just when vacation time rolls around. It makes more of a difference than you might expect.
I’ve noticed a huge discrepancy when it comes to service and gender, at least among hetero couples. (And once again, there is a divide between online and real life, which I’ll touch on later.) Online, it’s common to see women looking for men to do their housework. When they don’t find what they’re seeking, they rail against submissive men as being a bunch of wankers, not really submissive, etc. Then when you look at the dominant men, they take the approach of, “I got this, I’ll take care of my stuff and you take care of yours. Now suck my dick.” And you don’t see many subs of any gender clamoring to do housework. They exist, but they are far more rare.
One obvious part of the equation is that women in our society aren’t allowed to own their sexuality. If you like sex, you’re a whore. If you make the first move, you’re a skank. Men on the other hand are encouraged to own their desire for sex, and being the aggressor is pretty much a requirement in dating. All this gender-based baggage clearly carries over into how much a particular dominant person is pushing for sex to be part of it.
It’s important to break things down further. There is a difference between sex, play, and service. Sometimes the lines between them can get fuzzy, but most of the time they’re pretty clear-cut. Some people enjoy casual play; others don’t. Same goes for sex and service. Out of those three categories, I know lots of people into casual play and sex, but not service. Those types seem to be in far shorter supply. We all have to get something out of what we do, whatever that “something” may be. Those who get something out of doing someone’s housework aren’t exactly the most common people out there. Dominant men seem to understand this; yet many dominant women will bash male subs who don’t fall into this category because they’re “selfish” and “thinking with their dicks.”
In that light, when a submissive woman offers casual play or casual sex, the dominant men don’t make fun of her and say she’s not a Real True sub™. Yet this is the treatment submissive men get frequently. Is it any wonder so many men have trouble coming to terms with their submission? Not only do they have to overcome all the crap society shoves down their throats about being a “real man”, but then they get into this community and are told their desires are not valid, that sadists don’t exist, and that if they want anything kinky, they’ll have to pay for it either in housework or in cash. And forget sex; real dominant women never have sex with submissive men.
All the behavior I mentioned so far in this post occurs almost exclusively online. In the real world, service hardly ever enters into our community’s vocabulary. You see it sometimes, but it’s a fringe interest. Many people, like me, just aren’t wired as service-oriented. (I’m prone to feeling taken advantage of and developing resentment if we’re not both pulling our weight.) In our community, casual play and casual sex are all over the place. Service, not so much. Especially casual service. Yet all the things that submissive men online are told don’t exist (casual play, casual sex) abound.
How do we correct this misrepresentation so common online? Lots of people (including me when I was new) are discouraged from getting involved in the BDSM community because of the way it’s portrayed online. Getting in arguments with random internet strangers is rarely productive. From my experience, correcting misconceptions is more similar to erosion than demolition. Live your life, lead by example, and slowly wear away at fallacies. It’s not a quick or easy path, but it’s one of the most effective processes we have.