Friday, December 30, 2011

Canes on the Brain

I have lately been delving deep into the subject of corporal punishment canes. Much research and reading has happened as a result of an assignment I was given a few weeks ago, to research 'a short, thin little carbon fiber cane'. This mini cane turned out to be what most people referred to as an 'evil stick', a term I'd heard before but had no clue as to its definition.  So, yes, Mistress wanted an evil stick to do evil things to my poor, innocent boobies. This activity, snapping a thin rod against skin, produces some really neat stripes, so while it hurts like a mofo, I love the marks!

In researching evil sticks, I discovered that it would be relatively easy to make one, and just in time for Christmas! I told my friend (and fellow kinkster), Ollie, who quickly got on board with the crafty project. She wanted to make one for her girlfriend, too.

I ordered carbon fiber rods from an online RC plane shop and the rest of the materials were acquired at Home Depot. Feeling very much like characters out of Harry Potter, awkwardly fiddling with these very wand-like sticks, she and I got a hands-on lesson in evil stick making.

Our first tries were definitely ugly and I swear mine looked like it was made by a 4-year-old. I got much better by the second go and the third one was nearly perfect!  Definitely good enough to give as a gift:

The handle was about 5", total length about 11". I say "was", because Evil Stick #1 is no more!  Sadly, Mistress' new toy broke on its first outing. She said she had bent it back at about a 90-degree angle and it cracked. Well, damn!  So, it turns out that carbon fiber is not the material for this application because it splinters. Back to the drawing board!

Someone's suggestion of kite spars led me to fiberglass as a material and I feel as if I'm nearing the point of figuring this whole thing out. Subsequent research (check out Art of Caning to the right) has led me to a much better idea of cane diameter, whereas before, I was only guessing.  I have fresh supplies coming and once I conquer this project, I am going to try to sell evil sticks and possibly canes, too.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sensuous Caning How-To

Hey, y'all. Sorry for the lack of real posts.. but life and holidays and whatnot. In the meantime, here's another interesting article on sensual caning (as opposed to hardcore owie caning).

Canes have a deserved reputation as The Victorian Terror Weapon. To most submissives, they mean severe punishment; to sensation-seeking S/M bottoms, overload. If we have care and patience, however, canes can be used in a loving and sensuous way. The very stiffness of a good cane, that makes a hard stroke so intense, allows the lightest taps to be given with perfect control. And a light canestroke is easy to aim, unlike a flexible whip that sags and flops at low power. In the kind of sensuous play I'm describing here, light strokes are far more prevalent and important than heavy ones.
 This style is a matter of trust, patience, and finesse. If you can't gain, maintain, and deserve the bottom's trust, the whole thing is probably going to fail, or fall far short of what it could be. As for patience, don't even start a scene like this unless you have at least an hour available, and two is better. Finesse? Well, on two occasions bottoms have gone to sleep while I was caning them. They woke up black and blue, and giggling. That's finesse.
 I'm not bragging, and I'm not saying I'm some kind of Caning God. It's learnable. That's why I'm writing this.
(click here to read more) 

-- Sensuous Caning by Conrad Hodson

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Seven (random) Suggestions for Dominant Types
by Mollena

There is no one rulebook for how to do this thing we call BDSM, Power-Exchange, Master/Slave relationships, etc., etc. One of the things I most enjoy about perverts is our limitless capacity to forge our own damn path, thank you very much! I’ve done a lot of weed-whacking through the jungles of kink in order to find ways that work for me.

I have observed many successful and many more unsuccessful forays into power exchange relationships. And I can report back with a few nuggets of wisdom on which you can nibble as you see fit. You may even dunk the wisdom nuggets in the sauce of sagacity. Whatever.

And yeah, the fact is, all of these can be applied to you regardless of which side of the slash is yours. Top or bottom, dominant or submissive, master or slave, owner or owned, you can twist these tips around to suit you. Think of them as launch pads, if you will, for your own explorations and discussions.

Yeah yeah, I know each and every one of you D-Types are special snowflake lone Alpha-wolves, running along the dark paths of kink , howling at the moon, sniffling the tender flesh of nubile submissives, and doin’ your own thang. Respect. Mad props to ya. But keep in mind? With power comes responsibility. You can call the shots all you want. But without humility, discipline and flexibility, it’s not likely you’ll be the boss of anyone for very long.

Over my years involved in kink circles, I’ve noticed that some dominant-types take pride in not taking advice from anyone, insisting that they make the rules and it is the responsibility of the submissive to adjust themselves and adhere to their world-view. And ultimately, yes: the master masters, and the slave slaves. But without negotiation, compromise and compassion? The stage is set for breakdowns, conflict and the corrosion of resentment.

Feel free to add your own off-the-cuff recommendations and thoughts of helpful hints in the comments! I’m always looking to hear what works for other kinksters!

Insist on having your submissives tell you what is really going on for them…and listen without defensiveness
It can be amazingly difficult for us submissive types to open up on tough things. One of the ways that you, as the one in charge, can facilitate a safe space is to not only let us let you know where we are emotionally, but to make it our responsibility to do so. If you create safe space, encourage and insist upon hearing the feedback, keep it flexible; being encouraging and supportive means that the lines of communication are healthy and open and strong.

I’m currently in a long-distance relationship with one of them dominant type guys. One of the hardest things I had to do, when we were initially seeing if any of this would work out, was for me to share with him my overwhelming doubts about the likelihood that this relationship would work at all. We don’t live in the same state, he’s quite poly, and happily married. I’m...not really poly. I enjoy playing with friends, sure, but I only find myself opening up for love and deep connection with one person at a time. I swore I’d never do an LDR (long-distance relationship) again, and the whole thing just seemed a fool’s errand. He acknowledged that it was a challenging situation, and that the only way it could work is if there was a high degree of emotional transparency. This meant talking about the hard feelings as they happened. Not letting resentment pile up and miscommunication become fodder for issues down the road. Directly ordering this sharing was a way for me to tap into the reflexive obedience I felt toward him and ensure I was set on a path to become comfortable and feel safe telling him how I was doing. Not only when I was feeling lost, adrift or unsettled, but also when things were working. This is reinforced by his consistency in hearing what I have to say, and respecting me enough to try his best to provide me with answers to my questions and to remain candid when there were NOT tidy, clear-cut answers.

Apologize specifically for your fuckups and missteps, and talk about how to avoid repeats
Too many people have this “the dominant is always right” attitude. You are human. Humans are fallible. Putting yourself on a pedestal only means you have that much further to fall. Taking responsibility for yourself reinforces that you can take responsibility for us as well. There is an inherent risk to this level of maturity, and that is that you are indeed partnered with someone who sees apologies or acceptance of poor decision making as a sign of weakness. Or some such bullshit. Fact is, you have a right to be wrong. And you have a right to be forgiven for your mistakes and to lean from them.

Taking the stance that your errors are simply to be accepted by those in service to you and you owe them neither apology nor reparations for your mistakes is not going to serve you well. Humility and humanity are vital facets to being the type of dominant or master who commands loyalty out of love and respect rather than fear and intimidation.

Say “Please” and “Thank you”
No you don’t have to. But doing so is a gracious gesture. And a gracious ruler gains the hearts and minds of their followers. Emotional largesse will gain you faithfulness. It sure as hell can be fun to be dehumanized, taken advantage of, reduced to chattel property and treated like a piece of meat. Like, really REALLY be treated like a slatternly, desperate creature, fit only to be used and then carelessly tossed aside, shuddering in a corner, awaiting the caress or cudgeling from a stern-eyed slave-driver...

...but I digress.

Yeah, the fantasy can be hot. In reality, keeping that up all of the time is taxing and actually not the way many of us want to live. If common courtesies are not your cup of tea? Awesome! Specify that. But respect, courtesy and gratitude are very, very sexy. I find it of profound beauty when someone who could order me hither, thither and yon without second thought actually takes the time to extend to me those small courtesies. Treat me with respect and courtesy and I’ll go to the ends of the earth for you.

Acknowledge your submissive’s service to you
Again, you don’t have to. But again, being seen by the people we serve is a precious emotional jewel that we hold close to our hearts and that feeds and sustains us as we grow in service. For me? Hearing “good girl” is its own unique reward. It is so very, very important for me to hear positive reinforcement while I am in service. Plus, frankly, it makes me wibbly in my nibblybits. And believe you me, when my nibblybits are wibbly, I am putty in your hands.
If correcting missteps is the only time you give us feedback? You’re setting the stage to place the people in service to you in a particularly vulnerable position. Rather than coming from a place of self-assurance and positivity, it can generate an atmosphere of mistrust and fear.

Many people strive to provide what is commonly known as “anticipatory service.” This means being able to look ahead and see what will be needed before the person you’re serving has even realized that they have the need. This isn’t the purview of mind-readers, and it doesn’t happen overnight. One of the ways that dominants and masters can facilitate this flow is to let those in service to you know when they’ve pleased you. From there we can extrapolate what else along those lines may work in service, and those strokes to our submissive and slavish souls go a long way in solidifying the power-exchange dynamic!

Be consistent
It might seem less than exciting but consistency in your behavior provides the structure that many of us actively seek. I have a seemingly endless amount of mental and emotional energy. I can drive myself like a pack-mule for weeks... hell, months and years at a time. However, focus and direction isn’t something that comes naturally for me. One of the things I struggle with is consistency and structure. I look to external sources for this structure. Not because I am weak and can’t do for myself, but because I am strong enough to realize that I flourish in a place where my energy is harnessed and channeled by another. I value emotional consistency. I need to trust that the person to whom I give authority over me will maintain boundaries, continue to provide guidance, and be there for me... for us... regardless of how the winds may blow.

Consistency in behavior is also important! If you insist on certain protocols, follow-up. If you set up an expectation, maintain that connection. One of the common issues I hear from submissives when they experience frustration in their PE relationships is that they are given a set of expectations, assignments protocols, rules and regulations...and then there is not accountability. In my first d/s relationship, I was ordered to keep a daily “service diary.” I was advised that my dominant would be checking up on it, that it would be a place for me to safely share my day-to-day, so that he would have access to my thoughts even when I wasn’t necessarily able to communicate them in the moment. Weeks, months...eventually 2 years passed and never once did my dominant ask to see my service diary. This generated feelings of resentment, and I felt like I wasn’t valuable to him, and that this assignment was merely busywork. Knowing that you will follow through of that which you give us to do, and value our effort, is priceless.

Tell us what you’re feeling
Yeah the big tough dominant thing is a hot and sexy image. But knowing about your process and emotional state creates intimacy and lets us trust you with our intimate thoughts and feelings as well. When you are involved in an intimate relationship, sometimes you don’t even have to hear the emotions of another spoken aloud to know when something is amiss, or when they are simmering with joy. Regardless? Letting those in service to you or owned by you in on your emotional state is absolutely necessary. Lets say you have a rough day at the office. You come home, you’re in the mood to just flop down and be left alone, and Mother Theresa herself, bearing a plate of fresh-baked cookies or an icy cold beer or whatever couldn’t cheer you up. In comes your slave, eager to serve you and unaware of your preexisting mental state. Your energy is ruffled, you dismiss them, and you know what the first thing is that goes though their head?

“What did I do wrong??”

Yeah yeah, the world doesn’t revolve around us. But when something goes off-kilter? It often can feel like it does. Believe me, I have worked very fucking hard to shed that thought process but I still feel shadows of that reaction when I am not connecting well with someone if I am in service to them.
Letting us know when you are feeling off, of stressed, or ready to kick-ass and take names, or thrumming with joy means we have a window into your world. We can be better prepared to give you space when you need it, and share in your life with a healthy respect for your feelings. And it assists in us being able to not take personally and absorb difficult emotions when they have nothing to do with us.

Humor goes so very far in salvaging tough times and makes good times even better. BDSM can be serious, heavy, challenging, and tough. It can also be silly and fun. Remembering your sense of humor and sharing in laughter, even through tears, is a beautiful way to keep joy alive.

And yanno what else?

Laughing at yourself once in a while won’t kill ya either.

Monday, December 05, 2011

For the submissives, what makes you interested in service, what do you get out of it, and how does it tie back into submission for you?

When I think about it, logically, I find it amusing and nonsensical that I would enjoy things like doing chores and housework for other people... but I do! I'm such a sicko. :P

I love doing things for the people I care about and I really enjoy being useful. I am very driven to do... The way I was raised, I just can't stand idly by if things need to be done, or if other people are working/doing things. I get a great deal of happiness and fulfillment from making people happy. I'm finding, particularly, that I really like making dominant ladies happy and that I deeply enjoy things if there is a D/s dynamic.

Service-oriented submission is a safe outlet for me to be myself, to give, to do, to pamper, to please, to go above-and-beyond, and to surprise and delight (if I'm lucky). These are all things that bring me great satisfaction. I can think of few things in this world I love more than the feeling that comes from successfully reading someone and providing what they need/desire without them having to speak a word, or a person's reaction when they realize that I've remembered their preferences. Making other people happy makes me happy.

It's "safe", at least in my current situation, because of the D/s dynamic. I serve a really kind and wonderful Mistress, who is appreciative of the things I do, rather than taking them for granted. In past vanilla relationships, my temperament has led to my being walked all over or taken advantage of. In my D/s relationship, Mistress makes sure that that doesn't happen; she makes sure that others using my service are kind and appreciative, as well. 

Being the D in the relationship, it's her house, her rules, her standards... and I'm quite happy to do things as she prefers because not only is she usually right, it all comes right back to the fact that I love her and I want to make her happy and her life easier. She is Captain of the ship and I'm quite happy that way.