Mano a Mano

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.)

Service, Sadists, Slut-Shaming, Subs, and Sasquatch (Okay, I’m Lying About That Last Part)

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.

Penis!

Toward the end of my last relationship, cuckolding was occasionally drifting back and forth in my head between a hard limit and a soft limit, or something I’d be willing to do for the right person given enough “persuasion” or outright force.  I didn’t say anything about it though; what if we decided to try it, and that day turned out to be a day when it was more on the hard limit side?  I wanted to make sure I was certain about it being a soft limit before bringing it up.  So I kept thinking on it and processing my thoughts.  Once I reached that point where it became a soft limit with no wavering (maybe a month after we split) I posted on here about it.

I’m currently going though that same back-and-forth process with another type of play.

Strap-on play has been something I’ve found hot for years, but I’ve never experienced a bio-cock other than my own.  At this point, it’s safe to say I’d be up for play and/or sex with a trans woman.  I’d need to be attracted to her (as is the case with any other play partners or sexual partners) but doing something like that is very much within my current limits and something I’m curious to explore.  So I’m not really doing the back-and-forth with that anymore.  That’s on pretty solid ground as far as being feasible is concerned.  I’ve come to the realization that I’m attracted to people who present as feminine, regardless of whether that person has a dick or a vag. With me attraction is more about the presentation, not the parts.

What I am drifting one way and another with is forced bi.  There’s a big problem though in that I have yet to meet a man I find attractive.  One possible workaround would be a glory hole, but not a true random-stranger type setup.  I rather enjoy being not dead and I’d like to stay that way, so random guys in seedy glory holes are absolutely not an option.  If we were to try this, T would know his identity and would need to have the STI conversation beforehand.  But prior to that, the first obstacle is to stop drifting back and forth on it.  There are occasions when I find myself thinking it could possibly be hot, given enough involvement from T in the scene.  Maybe.  But there are other times when it’s still a limit.  I don’t feel safe exploring something when I keep changing my mind on it from day to day; that’s just asking for disaster.

I’ve already been made to eat other mens’ cum on a couple different occasions, so that aspect wouldn’t really be anything new.  From what I can tell so far, the appeal of this type of play for me seems to be more of power and d/s.  Most of my major hot-button kinks are ones that push me hard and make more evident her dominance over me.  Things that cause my brain to scream, “Oh fuck, stopstopstopstop please make it stoppppppp!”  Considering that this is something that has always been firmly in hard limit territory for me, I think it may have that quality as well.  Maybe I’ll find out at some point.  This process took a long time with cuckolding though, so I don’t expect this to be any different.  One step at a time.

Talking the Talk

I was talking with a friend who cuckolds her partner.  She mentioned that language is one powerful aspect of this that really pushes her partner’s buttons.  He gets off on a betrayal or cheating theme, as well as small cock humiliation, so those words and any associated with them will get him worked up.

This conversation made me wonder what words might do the trick for me in regard to this type of play.  While those specific examples that work for him possibly might not work for me, eventually I realized there are certain words and phrases that can add some major spark to it.  These have all come up when T has been taunting me about cuckolding.  Some examples:

  • “make you watch”
  • “clean me up”
  • “fucking other men”
  • “sucking his cock”
  • “make him cum while you’re locked up”
  • “right in front of you”
  • “lick up his cum”
  • and even simply the word “cuckold” – I realized this during a recent scene with a friend who asked, “How was the cuckolding?” as a form of verbal humiliation.  It worked rather well in that regard.  (She was asking about this scene.)

These phrases all seem to trip that yes/no trigger in which I want it to stop yet my cock is standing at attention.  (They also bring forth a lot of mental imagery, and I’m a very visually-oriented person.)  Common elements in those phrases seem to be humiliation, denial, and especially unfairness, all of which tend to be strong themes in cuckolding to begin with.  Pointing these things out and rubbing them in my face really seems to accentuate the power imbalance.  Of course, like any other form of play, doing it makes talking about it pale in comparison.  At least that’s the case based on my experience with it so far.  That scene was more powerful than any of the words used to describe it.  So actions will always trump words with me; however, these particular words and phrases still carry a pretty solid impact and push some major buttons with me.

White Meat? Dark Meat? Who Cares?

Even before cuckolding was on my radar, I’d noticed a prevalence of race play intertwined with it.  After having an experience with cuckolding (and realizing it really got me hot in spite of me wanting it to stop) I started digging around a little more.  And even after looking around in more depth, I see race is still a huge factor for a lot of people.  In nearly every cuckolding resource I’ve looked into, there’s a huge element of race play going on.  The consensus seems to be that when the other man is black, it’s more humiliating and thus a more powerful experience.  (I have a problem with that thinking, but I’ll get into that later in this post.)  A local friend (and cuckoldress) gave her thoughts on this recently, and her perspective made me think.  She was essentially saying that it was playing into the stereotypes of black men being more masculine and more of a threat to the sub’s masculinity.

Men in general are taught from a young age that we have to be hyper-competitive, never show emotion, always be ready for sex, know how to tear an engine apart, etc.  From talking with some black friends, this pressure is even stronger in black culture.  (Full disclosure: As a pasty white guy, I’m no expert on what it’s like to be black; this is just an outsider’s perspective.)  There seems to be much more of a push for black men to toe the line in this area.  So I don’t find it too surprising that they’re perceived as more masculine by some.  (In a way I pity the fact that they have to deal with that level of societal pressure though; I find the amount I have to put up with is already incredibly irritating, so I can’t imagine what it must be like for them.)

So I can somewhat understand the perception of added masculinity considering the way many black men are more heavily indoctrinated with these stereotypes.  However, cuckolding is infused with humiliation.  It’s one of the main reasons to do it.  In that context, I’ve always seen the racial element as insulting to the other man.  Why should the woman fucking a black guy make it more humiliating for the sub?  It always seemed a rather racist mindset to me.  Sort of a “She’s fucking someone else?  That’s humiliating.  Wait, he’s black?  Now that’s low.”  I just don’t get why the other man’s race should make it more humiliating for the sub.

Maybe I don’t understand it because I don’t perceive cuckolding in general as a threat to my masculinity. I’ve never gotten anything out of the whole “not a real man” stuff; I tend to laugh it off. Either that or I take the approach of, “If you have a problem with me, we can talk about it outside of a scene and work towards a solution. If you feel I’m a waste of your time, there’s the door.”  I feel that (for best results) the sub should be secure in himself before engaging in cuckolding.  And so I don’t feel threatened by it or by the other man.  If it’s someone who is perceived as more masculine than me, so what?  I don’t place much value in many of society’s measuring sticks.  I’ve got more important things in my life.

All that said, I feel it’s possible to have fantasies like that without it bleeding over into everyday life.  There are a lot of politically incorrect forms of play out there, and people should feel free to enjoy them as long as they don’t rub them in others’ faces or take any of those -isms to heart.  It’s a matter of personal choice as to whether one should risk doing (or talking about) certain things in the community.  Sometimes it’s worth it, and other times not.  Bringing things into the public eye will always invoke disapproval from some, especially when it’s a highly charged or contentious topic.  But it can be worth it in the sense that it unites those who do enjoy it, and it can be an educational experience for a lot of people.  It may even give someone inspiration to try something new.

Another Piece of the Puzzle in Place

In my last relationship, I was with someone who wanted to cuckold me.  I always immediately shot the idea down.  Wouldn’t even consider it.  It was very much in hard limit territory.  But toward the end of that relationship, my fantasies started to shift a little, as they tend to do over time.  Cuckolding was still a hard limit, but a scene involving being made to eat another man’s cum started to creep into my head now and then.  I’d been made to eat my own cum on plenty of occasions, but there was a tiny spark of curiosity developing; I had a feeling it would be more intense and more d/s-ish if it were another man’s cum.

Those conflicting feelings ate at me.  I couldn’t figure out why I could be open to doing that one thing, yet still be a brick wall when it came to cuckolding in general.  It took me a long time, but I sorted it out.

Cuckolding had always been framed up to me as a relationship dynamic.  That was seemingly the only way to do it.  The dom could go out and fuck whoever she wanted, with or without the sub present.  There could be feelings involved with the other men they fucked (sort of a one-sided poly) or they could just be fuck buddies.  I met women at events and talked with others online who wanted to get into cuckolding because it gave them the benefits of poly and/or swinging without the responsibilities; they didn’t want to share their partners with anyone else, yet they wanted to share themselves with others.  It’s a rather lousy thing to tell someone through your actions, “You’re going to learn to handle the heavy emotional baggage involved with this dynamic, but I’m not willing to make the same effort for you.”  This really rubbed me the wrong way as it’s a horribly selfish way to approach a supposedly loving relationship.

In trying to figure it out, I saw all the typical portrayals in femdom and cuckolding groups online, and for some reason, I believed them.  I watched the pitiful, emasculated subs being told they were nothing.  I read the disdain from the other men (fuck buddies, bulls, whatever you want to call them.)  I witnessed the way the women in the groups talked about how their sub’s needs didn’t matter at all since they were disposable and useless.  I started to believe this crap, not realizing it was yet another stereotypical porn fantasy.  I didn’t realize there are so many other ways to do cuckolding.

The cuckolding purists (every group has its overzealous purists) may disagree.  The standard definition of cuckolding is that the couple is married.  And the sub doesn’t get to fuck anyone else or play with anyone else.  Sometimes he doesn’t even fuck his own wife.

In reality, it doesn’t have to be that way.  It’s possible to do cuckolding as an individual scene rather than as a relationship dynamic.  Marriage isn’t necessary to make this happen either.  This is where I stumbled when I first started having those fantasies; I didn’t separate the stereotypes from the reality of it.  For some reason I hadn’t considered that doing a scene like this was even an option.  I thought it had to be the porn cliché or nothing.  It seems that those who get into this in a non-stereotypical way are far less vocal, so I never saw it.

After all that time arguing with myself, tossing ideas around in my head, and wondering why I couldn’t figure this out, I finally have it nailed down.  It simply comes down to cuckolding as a relationship dynamic vs. cuckolding as an individual scene.  While the former is still firmly in hard limit territory for me, the latter can be a mind-blowing, incredibly hot, oh-fuck-please-make-it-stop type of ordeal.  A scene like this can be a shared experience rather than an exercise in selfishness.  Such a basic solution to a problem that followed me around for some time.

Reservation and Hesitation about Exploration Leads to Less Gratification.

People worry about trying too many new things.  There’s a concern of reaching the end of BDSM.  “Congratulations!  You’ve done it all!  There is no more BDSM left.”  Their main worry seems to be getting bored or reaching a level of intensity where the only new thrill comes from mutilation and dismemberment.

So to avoid flying too high, they choose to barely leave the ground.  To avoid trying too many new things, they stick to what they know.  Out of fear of potential boredom in the future, they create boredom now.

I feel these fears of running out of BDSM are unfounded.  While there may be a finite amount of possible activities, who’s to say they will ever get boring?  I still enjoy lots of entry-level things that I got off on from the start: bondage, impact, foot worship, etc.  I do breath play without being rendered unconscious.  I get into impact without being beaten to the point where I have fractures.  You don’t have to keep ratcheting up the intensity in every type of play in order to get something out of it.  These things don’t get old when you enjoy them.

Adding more items to the menu only helps stave off boredom; you have so many more things to choose from.  You can pull different activities from your repertoire for each scene.  And you avoid the typical “rack-and-whack” boredom trap some fall into.  When you’re only doing a few different types of play, there aren’t many combinations or ways to keep things fresh.  But when you add more and more to the mix, your options multiply exponentially.  A restaurant that served only five items would get old pretty quickly; one that serves five hundred items never gets old.  I see no reason to avoid exploring this vast buffet of BDSM.

We all have a list (either physical or mental) of the things we’d like to try.  Looking at my list, the majority of things that we’ve tried have worked out incredibly well.  If you try some new forms of play like that, why not do those things again and again?  It’s just one more flavor to add to the mix.  We don’t stop doing other things just because we tried something new.

Another reason I don’t understand the aversion to exploration is that sometimes tomorrow doesn’t come.  You end up regretting all the missed opportunities.  Whether it’s due to illness, someone moving, accident, the relationship ending, or any other life-ish stuff, things sometimes end far sooner than we’re prepared for.  You may end up saying goodbye not only to that person, but also to all the what-ifs, all the things that you wanted to do “someday”.

Every day is an opportunity.  Don’t wait for a special occasion.  “Someday” is now.