Femdom Myth #492

The bdsm crowd online is different in a lot of ways from the in-person/real-time bdsm crowd.  Even in regard to philosophy, there are tons of differences between the two.

One example is the myth that chastity makes a man more submissive.  This is no different than saying that drinking makes you more outgoing.  You may feel more outgoing while you’re drinking, but the next morning, you’re back to normal.  It doesn’t change you.  The percieved effect only lasts as long as the drug.  Same with t&d.  It doesn’t actually change the person; it only changes the way they feel temporarily.

I think part of this faulty reasoning comes from the fact that lots of people feel they have to somehow justify their kinks or interests.  These people feel they have to come up with some sort of reason or validation for the things they’re into.  Instead, why not do the things you’re into without having to think up a list of fake reasons?  Isn’t enjoyment enough?  Why not just admit you’re into it (or curious about it) and have fun?

I’ve seen guys write things like, “I want to get into chastity because I don’t treat my wife as well as I should” or some variant of that.  How about taking some personal responsibility for your actions there, sparky?  If you want to treat her better, do it. It’s that simple.  If you want to be more submissive, more attentive to her needs, or more willing to try new things, do it.  You don’t need to be locked up in order to be a loving partner.  If you’re submissive, submit.  If you’re a lover, love.  If you need chastity to be a decent human being, you don’t deserve a relationship.

Others get into t&d because they claim their constant masturbation is hurting their relationships.  I don’t understand how someone with that much of a lack of self control even has a relationship (or a job) to begin with.  If you can’t control your own actions, you’ve got problems that a chastity device isn’t going to fix.  Same goes for the “I don’t treat my wife right” guys.

And of course, there are those who talk about how, after an orgasm, they become lazy, selfish, and rude.  What strikes me is that they realize that there’s a problem, yet they refuse to do anything about it.  They don’t make an effort to treat their ladies right.  Instead, they try to pawn off the responsibility for their actions on someone else by saying, “lock it up.”

As a side note, yes, that “crash” after orgasm is a hormonal thing.  But hormones don’t give anyone the right to treat others poorly, especially those they claim to love.  Whether it’s PMS or a post-orgasm drop, the feelings are very real, but there still exists a responsibility to treat others right.  Your actions are yours; you can’t pass them off on someone else.  You can’t drive drunk, hit a pedestrian, then say, “It’s not my fault- I was drunk.”

Chastity is not going to fix a bad relationship.  It’s not a magical solution to your own personal shortcomings.  When you buy a chastity device, there’s no leprechaun who jumps out of it and fixes your flaws.  Unless you buy the deluxe model.  Just be sure to remove the leprechaun from the device before you put it on.  We can’t be having any squished leprechauns.  The leprechaun union would have a fit.  And all those leprechaun entrails would make the cock cage smell bad.

Getting Into Your Local Scene

Lots of people are curious about their local scene.  Others spend their time searching online, running into countless idealistic role-players, yearning to meet people who actually do this in real life.  So I’ve put together a little how-to/FAQ for people who want to get involved in their local bdsm community.

Finding the scene-

One way of finding your local scene is to google “bdsm” along with the name of the nearest big city.  If that doesn’t work, try “munch” along with the name of the city. Or “leather” with the city name.  This should hopefully return something, depending on where in the world you are; I wouldn’t count on finding anything if you live in Tehran or Saudi Arabia.  You could even ask in message boards/forums if anyone knows anything about a scene in your city.  Keep in mind that small towns generally don’t have any bdsm events; you’ll probably have to travel to a larger city.

What to expect once you get there-

A munch is simply a bunch of bdsmers getting together for dinner.  Most munches don’t have assigned seating or protocol to follow.  It’s just dinner.  Munches are usually held at regular restaurants in an area separate from the rest of the customers.  While each munch is different, around here, most munches average between 15 and 60 people.

Don’t go in saying things like, “Where are all the parties at?”  If people like you, they’ll invite you in due time.  They have to get to know you first.  It’s okay to ask about public parties though.  It’s generally considered rude to talk about private parties, unless everyone within earshot has been invited.

My biggest obstacle was making progress against my shyness.  Just walking into the first munch was a nerve-wracking experience………but well worth it.  (On the way to my first munch, I was screaming the Oscar Meyer Weiner song in my car, to try to calm my nerves.)  Before going to the munch though, I looked at the munch’s website and e-mailed with some basic questions, like what people normally wore to these things.  The person I ended up talking with was very friendly and understanding, and even asked to meet for coffee before I went to a munch, so that I’d at least know one person there.

Speaking of what to wear- munches are usually pretty informal, and most people don’t wear much (if any) fetish wear.  Jeans and a nice top are fine.  It’s not a formal occasion.  Basic black with blue jeans is a safe bet.  If you’re in doubt, ask someone first.  Be clean.

Workshops/demos are similar.  There’s no need to dress up.  Wear what you’d wear if you were going on a night out with friends.

Parties and clubs sometimes have their own dress codes.  It’s a smart move to try to find out ahead of time if there is a dress code and what it entails.

Workshops are generally pretty informal too, just like munches.  Some are more hands-on, such as in the case of a bondage workshop.  Others are more of a lecture or roundtable discussion.

At a party, don’t touch peoples’ toys (or people in general) without asking first.  If people are playing, give them plenty of space.  Don’t crowd them.  If you need to talk to someone while there’s a scene going on, either take your conversation out of the play area or whisper quietly so as not to disturb the scene.

The approach (how to avoid coming across as an online wanker)-

Once I started getting into the conversations, people were naturally curious about me, and asked questions.  It was a bit uncomfortable, but I expected that since I’m on the shy side.  This is one place where being yourself is really important.  If I’d taken the cliché approach of “I’m submissive, so I’ll do whatever you’re into; I have no interests of my own”, well, that’s just plain boring.  And very fake.  We’ve all got interests and fantasies, and it’s important to be open about them if we expect to live them.  None of us are mind readers, whether dominant or submissive.  Just because someone is a dominant woman, that doesn’t mean we’re compatible, so it’s important to be honest about our interests and expectations.  Even if you’re submissive, it’s still important to go after what you want; if you don’t, you won’t be happy.

I’m honest about not being into protocol, ritual, structure, etc.  These things are pretty popular among some dominants……but I knew that if I pretended to be into them, not only would I feel like a hypocrite, but I wouldn’t be happy in the relationship either.  Online, it’s common to see weak, obsequious, sniveling little twits who think that agreeing with everything impresses dommes.  Invariably, there are a handful of online dommes who will go for this type.  Being that way in the face-to-face world won’t get you far, though.  Doormats attract abusers.  Coming across as too eager to please often reeks of desperation.  If you have a life, if you’re confident and strong, these are qualities that many dommes find interesting.  We are all equals until we agree to some form of power exchange, and I treat everyone as such.

One thing I continually keep in my head is that I’m deserving of respect.  Many subs forget this.  They think it’s their “place” to be treated badly or to be unfulfilled, since it’s supposedly all about the domme’s desires.  Bullshit.  An unhappy sub won’t stay around long; our desires are equally important.  I make it clear that I feel that way early on when there’s someone I’m interested in.  If she agrees that equality and d/s don’t have to be mutually exclusive, that’s a good sign.  This can even show up in little things.  For example, if a domme repeatedly cuts me off in conversation and is nasty to the waitstaff, why should I tolerate that?  It’s rude, and I deserve better.

Seeing dommes as actual people (and expecting the same from them) is a must.  We’ve all got faults and weaknesses.  In a loving relationship, I expect to be accepted as I am.  Of course, I give the same.  If someone loves you, they accept you.  This is important to keep in mind.  If a domme tried to turn me into something I’m not, then that’s a way of saying “you’re not good enough for me, and I want you to be someone else.”  Don’t see the dommes as simply dommes.  They wear other hats too.  Maybe she’s a doctor, a mom, a diabetic, or any number of things.  Ignoring those other facets and seeing her only as a domme is insulting.  Likewise, her ignoring the other aspects of who you are is equally insulting.

Don’t assume that there’s an automatic power exchange.  Just because she’s a dominant woman and you’re a submissive man, that doesn’t mean she gives her consent.  Don’t call her by some lofty title, as that assumes familiarity.  And don’t kneel down and start kissing her boots.  If you want to play, just ask.  If she says no, accept her answer and don’t badger her.

I also realized that finding someone shouldn’t be my only reason for getting into the scene.  I’ve made lots of friends there, and continue to have lots of great times with them………not to mention casual play with friends.  If I’d ignored (or been cold to) everyone who didn’t seem “useful” to me, I wouldn’t have many friends.

About the same time that I got into the local scene, I started looking into forums online.  What I found shocked me.  There were so many people, domme and sub alike, who had totally unrealistic, overly idealistic expectations.  All “real subs” are expected to be into TPE, do all the housework, and do all sorts of things they don’t want to do.  That might work online, but being miserable in a flesh-and-blood relationship just isn’t a way I want to live.  A lot of people, mainly online, take a “more is better” approach to submission.  Isn’t personal satisfaction more important than playing subbier-than-thou?  Submission should cause joy, not agony.  We’ve all got our own particular style of submission; it took a lot of introspection and experimentation to find my way.  It’ll probably take the same for you to find yours.  Be patient, and be yourself.

Here’s the analogy I often use: When I give a woman a single rose, I expect some sort of gratitude….…..not some big showy display, just a genuine show of appreciation.  If she said “That’s it?? Where are the other eleven?”, then she’s not someone I want in my life.  This is how I view submission.  If she doesn’t appreciate me (or vice versa) it won’t last.  I don’t have to sacrifice my whole life in order to be submissive.  We each give what we give, regardless of chosen position, and it’s important that our gifts (and our selves) be appreciated.

So overall, I try to keep all these things in mind.  Keeping that attitude affects my actions, and everything else sort of falls into place.  It can be hard to have the confidence to say “this is who I am, and if you don’t like it, then move on.”  But if I didn’t do that, I’d be going from one lousy relationship to another.  If someone doesn’t accept what I give, too bad.

There is an element of luck as well; even if someone does everything perfectly, there’s no guarantee they’ll meet somebody compatible.  But if you don’t try, you may miss out.

Short-Term Spunk Stoppage

I overheard someone saying, “If I want to punish my sub, I don’t let him cum at the end of the scene.”  It made me chuckle to myself.  I’ve got no problem with them doing things that way, but it made me laugh because most of the time when I play, I don’t orgasm at all.  That’s normal for me.  Plus, whenever my cock has been locked up, it’s usually been for weeks at a time.  So the threat of going an entire scene without orgasm doesn’t exactly have me quaking.  It’s like threatening to spank me with a jelly bean.

When I orgasm, it takes me out of subspace a little.  It eats away a chunk of that high I’m feeling.  Non-ejaculatory orgasms don’t have this effect nearly as much as “regular” orgasms, but the effect is still there.  When I have a choice, I’d much rather enjoy my mild floatiness and orgasm later.

And if I’m playing with a friend, we usually aren’t getting directly sexual anyway.  So no orgasm there either.

But her comment also made me think.  That kind of very short-term teasing and denial is common.  For example, look at strip clubs.  Even the most vanilla guys go there for short-term t&d.  They get all worked up for a few hours, and they obviously can’t play with their joysticks right there in the club.  Even if they don’t call it t&d, and even if it’s not framed up in a d/s context, it is still very much t&d.  (Of course, that makes me wonder how most women working there would react if they knew a guy was locked up, incredibly horny, and unable to do anything about it.  Some might be creeped out, but others might get into it.)

I realize that everyone has different time scales for t&d.  For some, a few hours is enough, while for others, going over a year isn’t uncommon.  I prefer variety somewhere between those two extremes.  Everyone has their own way of doing that, and that keeps things interesting and nicely mixed.  Still, I got a smile out of hearing her say that.  It makes me smile almost as much as jelly bean play.

Scripted Behavior

Some people incorporate punishment, training, and protocol into their d/s relationships.  Others simply dominate on the fly, letting the d/s come more naturally.  The latter is more my style.  It’s more free-flowing, more of an instinctive, personal feel.  I find the former occasionally insulting, unnecessary, and a major burden.  A relationship should not be a burden; it should be a release from life’s burdens.  A sanctuary.  If you weigh it down with all sorts of artificial rules and restrictions, you then become preoccupied with following those rules.  It becomes work.  So you come home from work and………you work some more.  When do you relax?  When do you enjoy each other?  When do you focus on the more vanilla aspects of your relationship if you’re preoccupied with following the next step in the script?

I see training as insulting when it takes on the air of “I want you to change.”  That implies “You’re not good enough and I don’t love you for who you are; I want you to be someone else.”  If it’s something small, like nail-biting, that’s understandable, since it’s not an integral part of who that person is or how he/she behaves.  But when it comes to larger behaviors, our behavior is an important part of how we identify, a part of who we are.  When someone tries to alter that, it can amount to a rejection of a large part of that person.  Whether it’s a ‘nilla relationship or a d/s relationship, if whoever I’m with has a problem with me, I expect her to be able to talk about it with me so we can solve any problem as adults.  I don’t tolerate the manipulative training that vanilla women often try.  And in d/s, I find it insulting to be treated like an animal who can’t understand things on a more cerebral level.  If there’s something I want to change, I’ll make an effort and change it.  No one has to guide me through it as if I’m some clueless idiot.  I can control my own actions without being micromanaged.  If a sub wasn’t motivated enough to effect change on his or her own, is that really someone you’d want to be with?

Plus, training implies that the dominant partner always knows better, which is a mentality I despise.  Dommes are wrong just as often as subs and ‘nillafolk.  Omniscience is not something that comes with the Official Domme Card™.

Protocol strikes me as mostly meaningless and needlessly repetitive.  If I say “fuck” in every fucking sentence, after every fucking word, do you see how fucking quickly this fucking word loses its fucking meaning?  Same goes for protocol.  Having to use a certain title all the time or do a certain thing on cue doesn’t have the same effect or the same meaning as when I do it on my own, and it also doesn’t have the same effect as when it’s forced.  It’s a bleak middle ground between the two extremes.  It’s just empty repetition to me.

Lots of things seem much more meaningful when they’re not required.  For example, if I send flowers on a completely random day, that’s exponentially more meaningful than if I send flowers on Valentine’s day.  When something comes from the heart rather than from a learned sense of expectation, it carries so much more meaning.  That action is then being done out of love rather than out of fear of punishment.

Likewise, when I want to do something and I fail, the disappointment I feel is punishment enough.  There’s no need to add to it.  I already feel lousy over failing, and I want to avoid feeling this way again, which leads to more effort next time.

It’s not just d/s.  Even during my hard-drinking days, I never understood drinking games.  It just seemed like a totalitarian approach to drinking, and it sapped the fun out of what was normally enjoyable.  It was always much more gratifying doing it on our own terms.  I’m not a big fan of structure or prescribed behavior.

If you want to do a certain type of play, then do it.  There’s no need to frame it up as a punishment in order to “justify” doing it.  If you’re into it, do it.  You don’t need other peoples’ permission.  You don’t have to have a reason to cane someone, make him drink your piss, or lock his cock up.  Do what you enjoy.  Don’t worry about finding some arbitrary reason behind it.  Enjoyment is reason enough.

Pharmaceutical Companies are Bumwads

Why do we still not have birth control options for men?  As far as non-surgical options go, women have the patch, contraceptive foam, contraceptive film, the sponge, the pill, injections, contraceptive implants, pills that let them have four periods a year, female condoms, an IUD, cervical cap, the ring, diaphragms, etc.  Men have………condoms.  Women have all the high-tech options, while we have to slap a piece of latex over our hardware.  Not only that, but our only option has a failure rate between five and 40 percent, depending which studies you look at.  That rate is even higher for people with piercings.  Would you jump out of a plane if your parachute had a failure rate like that?

To be fair, not all women can use all the options above.  Then again, not all men can use condoms.  They desensitize, which can lead to loss of the erection.  Having multiple options is important.

Why are the pharmaceutical companies so reluctant to research this?  The market is there.  There’s potential for lots of profit.  And they obviously have no moral qualms about contraception since they already manufacture them for women.  Some research companies have looked into male birth control, but recently stopped, even though the clinical trials were going well.

If you e-mail the drug companies about this, you usually get back a form letter which completely sidesteps the question.  “Thank you for your concern.  Keep buying our ridiculously expensive products.”

Women should not have all the responsibility (or all the power) when it comes to birth control.  Why should it always be the woman who has to remember to take a pill, or keep going back for (and paying for) injections?  And how many women wanted babies and played the “oh, sure, I took my pill” routine?  That’s deliberate deception which ruins peoples’ lives.  And they get away with it.  A male pill (or other option for men) would put a stop to that.  Of course, men could do the same if there were a male pill.  That’s why we need individual responsibility and control of our own reproductive assets.  If both people are using birth control, the chances of failure are minimal, as are the chances of deception.

All we can do is make our voices heard.  But it seems that still may not be enough.

Winter Wickedness

If Ohio is within driving distance for you, I’d highly recommend checking out Winter Wickedness on February 6 & 7, 2009.  Tickets just went on sale- click the link above.

I attended another event put on by the same people a little while back, and I had a blast.  There’s a lot of info on the site, with FAQs and an event schedule across the top of the page.  As of this writing, the workshop schedule isn’t up yet, but there should be about 25 workshops to choose from.  There’s a lot more info on their FAQ.

Check it out- it’s a kinkyriffic good time.

Note: If you’re just looking to get laid, this is not the event for you.  It’s not a swing event or an orgy.

Stealth Submission

Lots of people online talk about how they’re trying to turn their wives on to bdsm.  Some actually (*gasp*) talk about it with their partners.  This is generally the more successful route.

Others try stealth submission.  And plenty of people give advice, advocating this approach.  They tell people things along these lines-

If you want your wife to dominate you, start doing all the housework.  Do the laundry, the dishes, cook all the meals, clean, all without complaint.  Stop disagreeing with herShe’s always right from now on, so what she says goes, in every situation.  Spend lots of money on her, or even hand over all your paychecks.  Encourage her to take other lovers, and start wearing a chastity device.

There are a ton of problems with this approach.  It baffles me that this is advocated so frequently on message boards and groups.

First off, this is not going to turn someone into something she’s not.  She’s not going to come out with a strap-on and piss in your mouth just because you do the housework.  If anything, someone who gets accustomed to not doing their share of the housework will become lazy and selfish.  There’s a big difference between lazy and dominant.  Taking this approach can only lead to a spoiled, whiny princess.  Even if it doesn’t lead to that, it doesn’t mean she’s going to be dominant.  She may just think, “Oh, he’s doing the housework.  How nice.”  It won’t compel her to dominate.  This will not hit some magical domme button inside her.

The idea of never again disagreeing is another common tenet of this approach.  Giving in in every area won’t lead to a dominant woman.  It’ll lead her to take advantage of you and walk all over you.  This gives her free reign to do whatever she likes, without repercussions.  “That’s okay”, they argue, “It’s all about her desires, not his.”  What happens when she does something that’s too much?  What happens when this guy who’s been fantasizing about femdom suddenly realizes that he’s human and has limits?  It’s too late now; she has total power.

Plus, these guys forget that they are the ones their wives and girlfriends fell in love with.  Changing into someone else, acting weak, and becoming a spineless little puppet might cause their wives to fall out of love with them.  Maybe she fell in love with a man who is in control, someone confident.  When he starts becoming a sniveling, obsequious wimp, she’s going to bail.

Stealth submission is advocated as an alternative to actual communication.  But if someone can’t (or won’t) communicate freely, what chance do they have of making bdsm work for them?  A bdsm relationship requires open communication.  If you don’t have that, it won’t work.

To be fair, it’s important to consider the source.  Most of the guys who advocate this approach have little or no experience with femdom.  That high level of idealism is a mark of inexperience.  Maybe they’ve gone to see pros a few times, or maybe they role-play in chat while they wank on webcams.  The majority of them have never had anything resembling a femdom relationship.  And with this approach, they never will.