How rife & I Created Our D/s Protocol. Plus: Invitation to the new Protocol ecourse

Take pictures of five different places you’ve had sex and send them to me with a short (2 sentence) description of each one.

Make a mobile.

Download the 100 Pushups app and go through the program, 3x a week for 4 weeks.

Record an audio mp3 of you masturbating to orgasm.

Write up five scene ideas (short, 2 sentences each) that you’d like to experience.

Before rife and I lived together, our relationship was long distance for almost a year and a half. We both had other partners that we lived with and we’d negotiated open relationships. We were experimenting with D/s and we both craved more intensity, more rules, more obedience, more opportunities to serve.

During this time, rife didn’t so much have “protocol” as he had “tasks”, and I’d send him one (like those above) either with a deadline, or tell him that as soon as it was done, I would give him another. Sometimes that meant he was done the next day. Sometimes it took a few weeks to complete the task.

I see protocol as something done routinely that is triggered by an action. Whenever x happens, do y. For example: Whenever I get home, offer to remove my boots. Whenever we wake up, make the bed. Whenever you need to pee, ask my permission first (if I am available). Before you go to bed, make sure the dishes are done. Whenever you address me, use my proper title.

Sure, there were a few protocols that we had set up while we were long distance—he was always to kneel and kiss my boots/shoes/feet first thing, before we even spoke to each other, whenever we had traveled apart from each other. He was to text me good morning and good night. He would reply to my emails or texts promptly, not keep me waiting. Those kinds of things. But mostly, we did tasks—one-off assignments that would thrill me to receive. I kept a long list of things he sent, the kind of love-gifts one creates in the beginnings of a relationship, and I would take note of the things I loved to receive and ask him to send more of them. It was thrilling for both of us to be giving and receiving orders, to have opportunities for obedience, to make requests and have them be met.

Then, we moved in together

When we moved in together, we wanted to up the protocol significantly. I wanted clear division of the household labor, and to set things up so it was clear who took care of what. I wanted clear schedules, clear date nights, clear ways that we organize our time together, doing work, playing, and apart.

We haven’t kept all of the protocol we set up. (Ask me about rife’s speaking protocol experiments sometime—and why we don’t have any restrictions on speech anymore.) There were times when I gave him too much to do, when I failed to monitor or enforce the protocol I told him to do, and when we both just completely dropped some of the protocol we agreed upon because things going on were just too much. And, eventually, we picked it back up again, I tightened the reigns, we check in, and we keep going.

The protocol part of our D/s was one of the most fun parts to play with, for me. I wanted to set up something really fun, and in-depth, and flexible; something that would keep the protocol as lively as it was when we were long distance and playing with all those tasks. So I started experimenting with forms, and this is what happened.

Making The Training Wheel

We were both a bit obsessed with it in the first year we lived together. We created a “training wheel,” areas of training for rife in his enslavement and submission, which we shorten to the acronym L-SHAFTS: Leather, Submission, Houseboy, Assistant, Fag, Trophy, Service. Each category has a short description of the intended ways that he’s “in training” for that subject, and each one has some ideas of what he’ll do to grow in that area.

rife's training wheel

Making The Protocol Game

After we had the training categories, I set up what we refer to as “the protocol game,” where I made little slips of paper with different protocols on them (roughly the same amount in each of the 7 categories, though some of them are easier for me to make protocol in than others).

It helped that we already had weekly check-ins about our D/s set up. At first, we would go over some specific questions: What was the most fun part of this week? What was the hardest? How did we do with protocol? How could we improve it? We would both reflect on the week past and plan the week ahead, gathering data from the experiments we were doing, and implement new protocol.

I set up a notebook, too, so that we could record the little strips of paper in the book and write a little about what each protocol was like. If there was one we really liked, we would implement it permanently.

protogolgame

Some of them, even though we really, really like them for a week, we don’t want to make into something permanent because they will likely lose their luster. For example, if rife had to wear a butt plug every single time he did house chores, it would get old and become ‘normal,’ but if he only does it occasionally, it’s still thrilling.

Making Protocol For Me

After we created 52 of these protocol slips and ‘played the game’ for a year, we reflected on the year and decided that yes, we did want to do it again, but with some changes. Namely: there were a whole bunch of protocol in rife’s set that were actually protocol that relied on me doing an action. For example, the protocol for rife to “wear jock straps every day for a week” he can do himself. But if the protocol is, “receive bruises every day,” that’s something I actually have to do. And we noticed, more often than not, that I wouldn’t actually do those things when he pulled that protocol.

It’s not that I don’t want to … but, well, between you and me? I’ve been struggling with my mental health balance a lot the past few years. I think it’s getting worse. I’m pursuing all kinds of avenues of support for this, but it’s making it very hard for me to do things I love, like write, work, teach, and be the badass dominant that I aspire to be.

(But that’s kind of a different post.)

So when we set up the second year of 52 protocol slips to pull, I also created a training wheel for myself and 52 of my own. Having my own protocol has been mostly challenging, but there have been some great things that have come out of that too.

Want to join me for an experiment in making your own protocol?

If this process of creating, implementing, and enforcing protocols through this Protocol Game method sounds interesting to you, you’re invited to come join the Protocol Game ecourse that starts this weekend. There will be two webinars, one this Saturday, March 5th, and one the following Saturday, and in between you’ll have a workbook to fill out. I’ll walk you through this entire process where you’ll create a training wheel and 52 corresponding protocol, and then make a way to check in about it and enforce.

Click here and reserve your spot!

If you are a submissive or a dominant or a switch, you’re invited—you just have to want to create 52 protocol. There’s even a price for couples to take it together, and create 104 protocol for both of you.

I could tell you a whole lot more about it, but mostly all the info is over on the Academy of D/s Confidence page for the course—so go check it out.

I’m really excited about it! I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Introducing View From The Top: My BDSM Journey

I’m so excited to have started writing a column over on Autostraddle called “View From The Top,” detailing my BDSM journey from being a bottom (before coming out) to being a master (and monogamish and partnered with a boy/boi and happier than I’ve ever been).

Over on the first column, which just came out and is called “I Started as a Bottom,” I kind of came out as a master. I mean, I know I’ve written about it here sometimes, but mostly kind of buried in posts and I haven’t written about it too too directly (yet). It’s scary! It’s a big word, a very loaded word to use and claim, and I hesitate to use it without a whooooole lot of back story to explain where I’m coming from, that I’m part of a community that uses those terms, etc.

So of course, in the comments of the article, there were questions about the use of the terms master and slave, particularly by someone white. I want to highlight my comment and rife’s, too, because I think this is a really interesting issue of semantics, language, and social justice, and I don’t feel 100% good about it, though it’s the best I have right now.

I wrote:

As the author of the post, to be honest, I’m completely uncomfortable with it. It’s something that I struggle with, precisely for the reasons you stated—primarily because I’m a white person and we have a particular, very very recent history of slavery in the US, where I live, the effects of which still benefit white people and me, specifically, and contribute to systemic racism.

There are quite a few folks who use pairings like Owner/property or Dom/sub instead of Master/slave, precisely because of their discomfort with those particular terms.

I’m about 5 years in to this exploration of what it means to be master and slave, and what it means to be part of that community, and it has been incredibly valuable to learn these skills and actually take part in that community. (Maybe I’ll go into this in a future column? Short version: This set of skills is something I’ve done in relationships unconsciously for a while, which was bad; and now that I’m doing it consciously, things are way better.) I resisted the particular words for a while, but after being part of the M/s world for longer and longer, I’ve grown more comfortable with it because of the difference in definition and usage.

I don’t see a lot of consciousness about this issue in the M/s world, which is predominantly white, though. Which I don’t like and am very uncomfortable with, and try to bring up and point out racist language and microagressions when I can (as I do in pretty much all communities I’m in, but I push myself to speak up a little more in this one).

For now, because it’s the most accurate words I have, I’m choosing to use them … but I’m not entirely unconflicted about that.

As a word lover, I think words can grow and change and morph definitions over time. While I do absolutely recognize the particular history that directly affects me, I also know that the words and concepts of master and slave are not a new invention in human history. The enslavement of African folks is just one of myriad examples throughout history. So I think that is one of the main arguments I hear about it—that the experience of ‘slavery’ is not so unique to that one part of history.

I use these words is because these are the most accurate words we have right now. I’m still new to this community and seeking to recognize others and find more friends who know about this stuff, so I’m using the words that are recognized by others so that we can find each other.

Identity words are complicated—some of them just *fit* better or differently than others. And these particular words fit what my boy and I are doing, particularly within the parts of the kink communities that practice them.

Also, if you ever have the chance to hear sex/BDSM educator Mollena do her workshop on taboos, which includes some of her philosophies about M/s languaging, I highly recommend it.

I think pursuing M/s is very complicated … There are many folks who don’t have an objection to those words based on race, but rather on the fact that enslavement is wrong. It’s complex to start unravelling fetishes that are on one hand, ‘morally wrong,’ but on the other hand, totally get you off and satisfy your life in a way that other things never have and in a bone-deep way you feel you need. I think in the RACK——”risk aware consensual kink”—camps, I understand that when things are done with full enthusiastic consent and taking responsibility for what happens, then it’s okay to fantasize and play. Personally, I want it to be done with a lot of consciousness and in a way that aligns with my values, but I also have to balance that with what sustains me, too.

rife wrote:

As a (white, American) who is identified as a slave, I initially struggled with the word, a lot.

What finally brought me around to it (I mean, other than my obvious erotic orientation to that kind of structured ownership fetish) was the realization that slavery has a long, long history. It has been around almost as long as humans. In some iterations, it was even consensual/contractual, like with certain Roman dynamics.

What I do has nothing to do with race play (although there isn’t anything *inherently* wrong with that). And honestly, if a black person told me they found my use of the word disrespectful, I would probably switch back to the more generic “property” descriptor. But here’s the thing: They haven’t, and I’ve had many soul-searching discussions with black friends, many of whom identify this way as well.

Let’s be clear: unconsensual slavery is abhorrent. Consensual slavery is fine. The two are very, very different. Just like rape is awful and consensual sex (even playing with faux-assault) is fine.

Here’s the other thing: it’s the best word for the job, despite its loaded cultural connotations. What else do you call a human who is owned? If we had another word for that, which wasn’t loaded with the unconsensual cultural history, maybe I would use that. But, we don’t. So I’ve made my peace with it.

I hear that it’s not a relationship structure you’d like to be in, fair enough! But be careful not to judge a relationship’s morals by how much you don’t want to be in it. :)

Though I’ve been stewing on this series for a while, and have already written 4 of the columns, I’m surprised and pleased at the impact it’s had so far and I think it’s bigger and more revealing than I expected. I kind of feel like I’m taking on the task of encapsulating my BDSM journey over the last, oh, 15-20 years, and trying to put it into ten or twelve columns to make a story. Feels a bit daunting, and very exciting. The folks at Autostraddle have been super supportive and the editing has been excellent, I so love working with good editors.

I really appreciate all the comments over there, and I’ve been replying to quite a few. (I miss that kind of comment conversation, where folks check back and actually reply—it’s been quite a few years since that’s happened on Sugarbutch, but I have some guesses as to why.)

If you have any particular questions or ideas of what you’d love to see me write about as I keep writing through this journey, I’d love to know. Questions or comments or ideas welcome.

Unapologetic Need

This is an excerpt from the story/novel I’ve been working on all month, still untitled, which is an M/s novel following Master Jack Harrison as he’s searching for the woman submissive/slave of his dreams, and begins dating two women. This is the first scene with one of them, Addie.

I come in my pants despite myself. Sticky against the seam of my jeans, I try to collect myself before Addie notices, before she asks questions, before she thinks herself responsible for such an anomaly. I pause, on guard as if I’m unsure if a predator is waiting around the corner, frozen, but she doesn’t seem to notice. My orgasms often arrive without much fanfare or demand for acknowledgment, so I suppose I have learned to make them gently small and inconspicuous. I breathe with the clarity of someone recently wrung out, recently spent, recently thrilled by the capacity of my own body, and I turn my attention back to Addie. She’s still sucking away at my nipple, her hand against the thin, wispy hairs of my chest, coming through it with her fingers as her cunt throbs under my hand. I continue working my fingers inside her, three now and we’re getting to the thick of my hand, I wonder if she can take any more.

She seems to read my mind. “More,” she whispers, moving her mouth just far enough from my chest that she can form the word. The way she sucks is sweet, so sweet, and I relax into the curl of her spine around my chest, my left arm curved against her back as my right hand works inside her.

I didn’t mean to come. I don’t usually. But her mouth is expert, working against my nipple like she’s pulling milk from it, like she’s suckling me dry, and though I have rare interest in my nipples being touched, let alone sucked, she gets to me and my dick gets hard, I rub myself against my jeans at just the right angle such that it barely takes anything, I come easily, I make a wet spot on the crotch of my jeans and have to compose myself.

“Addie … goddamn, girl,” I mutter as her cunt swallows another finger of mine, the fourth now, pushing up against her hole where the wide of my hand is too much, unsure if I’ll ever be able to get more than this exactly right here inside, but very glad to be feeling every inch of her that I am currently. She is stocky and square and not full of a lot of curve, but her body is solid and sweet and I cannot get enough of her. I feel ravenous, my mouth waters, I want to swallow her, I ache to be inside her. That shouldn’t happen so quickly, but what can I say, it does, it is. It has barely been hours. I want … something. I want, I ache, I crave. How glorious it is to have such desires, to have such an appetite.

I like being hungry even more than I like being satisfied.

It isn’t the way she is working what we usually think of as one’s lips—the pillowy, slightly redder color of skin precisely around the mouth—so much as how she is working the soft, soft inner tissues of her mouth, those just above and below her lips. She isn’t pursuing so much as devouring my chest, and I can feel her hunger, too, her sense of ravenousness, her desire becoming an aching need. I want to fulfill it. I want something even bigger that will produce even more that I can shove in to her mouth. Perhaps that is precisely the appeal of a blow job to the point of choking: passing the point of ravenous desire and moving on to the point of being so over fed that they literally can’t take any more. I crave rough blow jobs the same way I crave mascara running down a girl’s face and telling her what she can or cannot eat. Not because I care about what she eats (honestly I kind of don’t) but because I want to control every single thing that gets inserted into her body. I want that level of decision. I want her to give herself over to me, and I want her to want to.

This time, she does not choke. She suckles gently and sweetly and more vulnerably than I would have otherwise let someone do, but she asked. She begged, really. Requested nicely as she simultaneously toyed with the hair on my chest and I could not say no. No, that is not true—I could say no, but I suddenly didn’t want to. I have known Addie for such a short time, and yet I am already breaking my own rules to feel her tongue, to feel her suck. This is not going to go well.

“Please, something in my mouth, please can I suck, please.”

I crave the way she begs as much as I crave anything else. Something about the unapologetic need. Something about the ways that I wish I could have that need of my own so openly, so purely, so exposed. I admire my submissives. I wish I could receive, could beg, could strip myself bare, as often as they do.

Four fingers might be as much as I get inside her. She is wet, lube pouring from my hand as she tightens and squeezes it out of her hole, hand working in and out of her as slowly as I can. I’m in no rush. I would have her stay here for a long, long time, if I had my way. Her cunt is tight but open, sometimes the muscles balloon and open even wider, a request for more, for my hand, for another date when we can relax again, differently, and maybe she will really be able to take it. All the way. In to the wrist, up the forearm, to the elbow. I don’t want to plow past the resistance of her muscles, but I do, I want to force myself in, to push her too far, for her to be sore tomorrow. I don’t. I can’t, not yet. Maybe someday.

I think she was surprised when I offered my nipple. Perhaps she was expecting my finger, my dick—something less vulnerable, less feminine. But I wanted to feel her mouth. I wanted to feel her mouth, and truthfully that was the best way to do it. The sweetness of having her curled up against my chest is something I would not have expected to desire or permit, but somehow it all came together and now I can’t get enough.

“Is it okay, can I ….” Suddenly, Addie is shy. Reaching her hand down toward her cunt, she looks up at me with big brown eyes, mouth still poised, talking despite her lips and tongue being full of me.

“Do it.” More of a command than permission. I thrill at the shudder that goes through her body at my words. She starts rubbing her clit in pretty little circles and it doesn’t take long before she’s pulsing, I can feel it from the inside. I work my fingers deeper, a little harder against her upper wall, in small circles around her cervix. She contracts, releases, tenses and holds; I can tell she’s close. She’s sucking a little harder, holding her mouth open, tongue working against my nipple. I won’t come again, I tell myself, I won’t, I won’t. But honestly, she could make me. If I just permitted myself, I’m certain it could happen easily.

I want inside her. I want to feel it when she comes. I don’t just mean my hands, I mean my dick, my hips thrusting against her, feeling us moving in rhythm, maybe we could even come together.

She starts whimpering. Convulsing. I can’t wait to feel her come.

She’s so tight, tightening to the point of bursting open, and that’s when I know she is coming, right now, right as my fingers work against the ringed muscles of her cunt and her mouth opens hungrily and she pushes her legs apart, thighs shaking.

“Mmmmmm,” she moans, humming low and long against my chest, eyes fluttering closed as she collapses in that post-orgasm release. I let my hand slowly go still and hold it against her cunt, running my other palm against the fine, sweet skin of her back and shoulders, everything I can reach as she curls and rubs against me.

She stays quiet and soft against me for a few long minutes, breathing and twirling her fingers through the hair on my chest, tracing the curves of my muscles, writing secret messages with one fingertip.

When she stirs, finally raising her eyes to my face and smiling, I drop my chin down to get my lips against hers and kiss her deeply. “Okay?” I ask.

She nods, kissing me back gently, her mouth supple and sweet. “Yes … thank you.”

I smile back. She feels so easy, so comfortable here in my arms, like she’s been here for a long time and my body has conformed to her shape. She sighs happily, snuggling against me a little more before she slides out of my embrace and off of the bed.

“Master Harrison, sir,” Addie drops to her knees, averting her eyes, though stealing glances up at me to punctuate her words. Her hands are folded neatly in her lap. “Please, would you permit me, sir … could I please lick your boots, to express my appreciation?”

I shiver, a thrill of dominance and devotion and lust down my spine. It makes me breathless, leaves my chest constricted and a little confused, unsure if I deserve this, unsure if she is playing, unsure if she is really feeling what she is expressing. I’m not sure what to do with my hands, my arms, my body, even now, as she’s kneeling and looking down, and it makes me feel unprepared, like I am not ready for a ‘real’ submissive, whatever that is. But the thrill of her below me is addictive, and at the same time clicks into a piece of me that has been aching to be satisfied.

“You may,” I say, sitting up on the bed, then perching myself on the edge of it, boots firmly planted on the floor. I hadn’t meant to leave them on, really, but it just happened when we got going and I didn’t want to stop to remove them.

She poises herself precisely and bends at the hips, knees widening as she bends, opening her mouth to stretch her tongue as far as it will go. She licks with wide, broad strokes, eager, as if she hadn’t just been sucking for an hour but instead was famished and only the leather of my boot would satiate her. I don’t usually permit my boots to be licked. I’m too particular. Too picky about precisely how someone does it. They never quite get all the right places, but instead focus on the toe or whatever is easy for them to reach. Me, I want the insole, the heel, the top of the foot, the toes, all to be paid attention to. To neglect any of those is to neglect to do a thorough job, or perhaps worse—that attention is not being paid.

There is something so vulnerable about having my boots licked. I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps it’s that this part of me that is so important and integral is finally getting some attention, this part that is usually just for working, for walking and running, the part of me that is the first line of defense against the ground. It feels like it is finally being acknowledged, finally being recognized as some valuable, sensual part, and that much spotlight is uncomfortable. Maybe it’s because my feet just happen to be an incredibly strong erogenous zone for me; for whatever reason, I’m just wired that way. Receiving touch and that much pleasure always feels vulnerable to me, especially with a woman I’ve just met. It catches me off-guard, makes me wonder what other things about her will catch me off-guard. I comfort myself through control and precision and predictability … perhaps that is why I like power exchange relationships so much, though they are not a guarantee for those things, as much as I would like them to be. Like any relationships, life is complex and interesting and ever-changing, and nothing is certain, even when you agree it will be. Perhaps that too is why I like power exchange, because the intimacy and vulnerability makes things even more loaded and intense, and the ability to hold control and precision and predictability in this particular configuration will be revealed quickly.

Plus, I get to see her on her knees, bending, opening her mouth, working her jaw around something too-big and watching her struggle.

Addie keeps her hands behind her back as if they are tied, which makes her struggle just a little more with control, her abs and back working hard to keep her body in the place she wants it. In the place I want it.

Whatever the reason, boot licking makes me high, and hard. It sends electric shivers up my legs, up my spine, shooting out my fingertips, out of every hair on my head. Intense and sudden and full of zaps of energy. Even through the leather—perhaps especially through the leather—the sensation is clear, honed, focused.

I close my eyes for a moment and everything else falls away, all I feel is the way her tongue and lips work against the leather against my foot. She moves her hands to rub my ankle and calf with her palms, working even more tension out of my muscles. It’s almost more than I can bear. I want to kick her, to topple her over, to press my boot into her chest. Patience, patience. We’ll get there.

The sensation washes over me, the tension drains from me, and my dick gets harder. This girl, goddamn. I drink in everything I can, every kiss from her lips, every touch of her tongue to my leather. She sinks into me, in through the skin of the leather boots, in through the skin of my feet. I feel spent, wrung out, when she gently retracts her mouth and puts both of her hands on my boots, looking up at me to grin.

“Girl, get up here,” I reach forward for her hair, her honey-colored hair just past her shoulders, thin and wispy and straight, but more than enough to get my fist around and pull. She inhales and rises, teetering to her feet and falling against me as I pull her. She is small, curvy, light-skinned, even whiter than I am. Shorter than me by more than a few inches. Master X would laugh at me; I have such a body type, this plump round body on a compact frame. I don’t rule people out based on their frame, but somehow the chemistry I feel is very much related to a particular type. I have dated people with all kinds of body types—tall, slender, model types with the longest legs; heavyset girls whose weight it feels even more amazing to move around when they are bigger than me; even a few athletes, with ropy muscles and hardened bodies. It’s not intentional, on my part, but I’ve never had a long term partnership with somebody other than this petite and plump kind of body. Something satisfies me about the curviness of Addie’s body, the compactness; she’s in shape, pays attention to how her body feels to her, and does physical things, but that isn’t her singular focus in life, and she likes to eat, too. Or at least, that’s my guess about her body. My projections, I suppose. I don’t actually know her body like that yet.

She giggles as I pull her on to me and kiss her deeply, her mouth all warm from working over the leather. She settles her head on the nook of my chest and neck and sighs. “Thank you, sir,” she says. “For letting me kiss your boots.”

“You don’t have to thank me. But, uh, you’re welcome. You did a good job.” I stroke her hair. She straddles my hips, naked, her cunt hot against my zipper. “Are you hungry? How about I make us a snack.”

She nods. “Sir, if you don’t mind, may I … would it be alright if I showered?”

I consider. Not a usual request exactly, but she is sweaty and covered in come, so I can understand how she’d be more comfortable. “Sure, I don’t mind. I don’t mind you dirty and smelling like sex, either.”

Addie giggles. We stir, sitting up together, and she gives me one more sweet look of submission, her hair falling into her face, before she kisses me one more time and hops up out of my lap. I stand, catching my balance for a moment before walking to the hallway linen closet and fetching a washcloth and big, fluffy towel—both dark grey—for her to use. She is fussing in her bag and pulls out a brush, starts running it through her hair. “It gets so tangled,” she says, and I can see how there’s a mat at the back of her head. “With hair this fine.”

I nod, watching her. I set the towel down on the dresser next to her and nod to the door that connects the two bedrooms. “That’s the bathroom there. I’m going to make a snack. Is there anything you don’t or can’t eat?”

She shakes her head. “No sir, I eat everything. I don’t eat much meat, but I do eat it sometimes.”

I nod. “Take your time, please. Feel free to use any of the soaps or things that are in there, if you like. Not that you probably want to smell like me. But there’s some plain things in there, too.”

She smiles at the thought of using boy shampoo, coming out of the shower smelling like musk and forest or whatever it is girls think that boys smell like. I head to the kitchen and make up a cheese plate, pulling things out of the fridge and cupboards: some gluten-free crackers that are mostly made of seeds and nuts; a granny smith apple, which I cut into small slivers; and two different cheeses, a manchego and some plain old cheddar that I brought back from a trip to a local dairy last week when I was up in the north bay. Classic and delicious. I arrange it all on a bamboo cutting board haphazardly and grab a cheese knife and two small plates, a couple of napkins. No need to be fancy about it. I open a bottle of a big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley and pour myself a taste in a glass. That feels indulgent—the bottle was more than $40 and not one of my everyday drinking wines, but this isn’t just every day. Plus, a glass of really good wine is I suppose my replacement for a cigarette, which is perhaps what I really want, though I no longer partake. I bring the bottle of wine, the cheese board, and the dishes, and go back for the glass of wine. I swallow the taste of wine and it blooms in my mouth like fruit bursting, with hints of chocolate and ash. Bringing my glass, empty, and another empty glass into the living room, I go back again for two glasses of water, and finally collapse on the couch.

It’s a little bit chilly in here, fall in San Francisco being what it is, and I button a few of my shirt buttons back up. It is tight against my belly, and the buttons pull at the fabric just a little, though the shirt fit perfectly this morning. Seems like I always get a little more relaxed by the end of the day. I hear the shower going still and ponder stepping in there with her, soaping up her skin, washing her hair for her. But I can’t, not yet. Maybe someday.

I wonder what her passions are, what she wants to change about her life, what she loves about her life. Who has she been in love with? What kind of birthday cake is her favorite? What does she eat for comfort food? Which authors does she read—because of course she must be a reader, I hope; what’s that John Waters quote: “If you go home with someone and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.” But what does she like to read? What does she read for fun, where are her favorite sections of a bookstore or a library to get lost in, what books were formative for her? I want to know so many things about her. I have barely begun to know her. I know she likes whiskey flights, since that’s what she was drinking when I saw her at the bar tonight. I know she can dance—at least the kind of random exciting movements to the hip hop and top 40 that were playing in the bar—and that when songs she likes come on, she urgently feels the need to move. I know at least two of her friends seem nice, who was it who was there with her? Vivian, if I remember right, who was the one who said, “Yeah, she’s available,” with that sparkle in her eyes, when I went up to talk to her as she was ordering another round of drinks. I ordered the same whiskey flight she had and sipped through it, watching her out of the corner of my eye while Dawn and Michael held up the conversation about the latest politics in the Pleasure Society. They want me to get more involved. I’m not sure I want to bother. But meanwhile, the bar had a fundraiser for the current Mr. SF Bootblack, and we figured we would go lend our support. Or at least our drinking money.

When we got to talking, the chemistry was immediate. She was bold and flirtatious and touched my arm and averted her eyes and told silly jokes that made me laugh despite myself, but she got serious when she asked what I was doing later tonight, and when she could see me again.

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” I said. “I’m a … I tend toward the dominant side of things. I’m not sure we’d be a match.”

She looked at me a little puzzled. “Oh I know, Harrison. I know who you are. What makes you think I’m not submissive? Am I being too bold for a proper submissive?” She rolls her eyes, but places her hand on my arm and strokes, just a little. “Your misperceptions about me aren’t actually my problem.”

I’m taken aback. “Oh, is that how it is,” I tease, trying to buy myself some time.

“Indeed it is, sir,” Addie says softly, but also seriously.

“I suppose my misperceptions are your problem, if they get in the way of what you want.” I move a little closer to her and her body responds brilliantly, opening.

“Who says they’re in the way?” she challenges.

I try to backtrack. “So you’re submissive.”

She nods. “I think I know what you’ve been looking for,” she whispers, before she leans in to offer her mouth for a kiss. I take it. It would be rude not to. And besides, I want to. I have had this craving to kiss her since I saw her swirling her hips on the other side of the bar.

It’s not that I thought we wouldn’t be compatible, exactly, I just didn’t want to get my hopes up. At least, I figured it would be a fun one-night stand with a beautiful girl. Maybe we’d find some things in common. Maybe she’d be interested in a few of the things I’m interested in. I’m not sure what she meant when she said she knows what I’ve been looking for, but it was intriguing, I’ll admit. We talked a little more, and when I was ready to pull her into the men’s room for some play, I decided to take her home. Unexpected, even unprecedented. But hey. Maybe it’s the new me. Maybe it’s time for me to make some bolder, more impulsive choices.

By the time Addie gets out of the shower and joins me, I have an idea of at least twenty questions I want to ask. She is wearing my robe, probably the one that was on the back of the bathroom door. “This is so sweet!” she says, piling cheese and crackers and a few slices of apple into one hand and picking up the water glass with the other, then sitting down on the couch eagerly, pulling her legs up underneath her.

“Um, that’s what plates are for,” I say, handing one to her. “Do you want wine?”

“Ohh, yes please,” she answers, setting down her water and popping a slice of apple into her mouth. “Mmm this is heavenly. So perfect.”

I hand her the glass of Cabernet and sit down on the couch next to her, our knees touching.

She grins at me and chews. “So, Harrison,” she says, swallowing. “What do you do, anyway? What’s your story?”

“My story?”

“Yes, that’s right. I mean, what makes you tick. And how’d you get this great apartment? Did you grow up here? What are you passionate about, I mean really passionate?” She waits, chewing crackers and cheese, clearly expecting me to answer.

I swallow more wine and ponder how to answer her, fingering the rim of the glass. I don’t want to say too much, and I want to ask her these kinds of things. But I want to open up. Maybe she’ll be more open with me, if I do. “The apartment, I inherited from a friend. Took over his lease when he left for grad school on the east coast. I guess technically he still rents it, his name is on the lease, but I’ve been here for about five years. Rent controlled; I mean, what can you do? I had to take it.”

Addie nods, taking sips of the wine.

“I went to UC Berkeley, that’s what brought me here. I grew up in Oregon, near Portland, but pretty much out in the woods. I miss the evergreen forests sometimes, but I like it here. I have roots down now, it’d be so hard to move.” I chew an apple slice and keep going, not elaborating too much on the answers but still answering her questions, trying to satisfy her curiosity. “I’m … between jobs right now. I’ve been working in the tech world for a while, I was most recently at a start-up that was sold and my stock options have … bought me a little bit of time to figure out what I want to do next. I’ve been thinking, maybe something with wine.” I swirl the cabernet in the glass. It’s one of my favorites. Addie is taking big mouthfuls of it at a time, clearly thirsty and enjoying it, but not exactly savoring it. I wonder what she knows about wine, what kind of wine she likes. She might not exactly be impressed with this one, even though she kind of should be. If she liked big Napa cabs, anyway. “I’m not sure exactly, but I want to learn more about it. I’m not sure I want to go back to sitting at a computer all day. I was always better at schmoozing with people, in the tech world, anyway—selling them on a project, convincing them they needed to go in on it, to give us money. That was mostly my role.”

She nods, eyes sparkling, following along with my story. I uncross my legs and shift, self-conscious under her gaze.

“What am I passionate about … that’s a good question. Food, maybe. I love cooking, love entertaining. Love making something new or discovering a new way to enjoy something. I really get a lot out of something being deeply pleasurable. It feels a little indulgent, so I suppose it’s not always healthy. But in general, I like indulgence. I like going to the Kabuki spa in Japantown, have you been there?” Addie shakes her head, but stays quiet, encouraging me to continue. “It’s pretty stunning. There’s an all-men’s night, I like to go to that one; it’s clothing optional. The co-ed nights are clothed. It feels indulgent,” I continue, “But I find such deep relaxation and rest in things like that. Maybe that’s what I’m really passionate about: indulgence. Hedonism. Getting … what I want.”

“Maybe,” she says, raising an eyebrow. “Do you always get what you want?”

I consider this. “I kind of do, yeah. I guess that has to do with … privilege. I can expect that I can have what I’m after, that there aren’t a lot of barriers in the way, denying me access. Plus, I can … get away with things. I’m not necessarily proud of that, but I can. I always was a good kid, so that helped.”

“And now, is it your pretty face?” Addie asks, probing.

“Yeah, I suppose so.” I take another sip of wine and savor the flavor, and eat a bit more of the cheese and apple. I don’t want to talk about this. What if she asks me what I’ve gotten away with? I don’t want to reveal so much. I don’t have to tell her, just because she asks. I can stop talking. How did she get me talking so much? I look over to her, and she’s smiling and sipping wine, as if it’s totally normal for her to be asking probing questions to someone she’s just met. And fucked.

I shift on the couch, adjusting to angle my body toward hers a little more. I lower my hand to touch her arm gently. She smiles, tilts her head toward me. I sip more wine. The silence grows between us, but it’s not uncomfortable exactly. It’s just a breath, a small break, a moment of quietude, in and out.

“What about you?” I ask finally.

“What about me?”

“I mean, what are you passionate about? What do you do, what’s your work in the world? What’s your story? What makes you tick?” I could keep going, but I wait for her to answer.

She smiles, considering her response, a mischievous smile on her lips that spreads to her eyes and makes them sparkle. “Oh no, I think that’s enough about me for one night.” She drains the rest of her wine and sets her wine glass down on the coffee table. “I’m going to go get dressed. Will you drive me home?”

She’s not staying? No. Of course not. She has things to do, a job, a life to get back to. Maybe this was just a one-night stand for her. Maybe there won’t even be a next time. “Of course,” I say, and stand.

Image via Javier Kohen on Flickr, used with a Creative Commons license.

Submissive Fantasy vs Submissive Reality, Guest Post by rife

Hi this is rife, Sinclair’s boy. Maybe you’ve read dirty things about me, but that’s not the whole story. So what am I up to when not bent over? Well … I love erotica and porn as much as anyone (honest!), but often when people describe it, we get so hot and heavy talking about the erotic fantasy version of BDSM and the really turned-up power play, and sometimes forget to mention the everyday lived realities and negotiations of it for “24/7” or “live-in” slaves, like me. These real-life submissive moments can be mundane, but also deeply satisfying in ways we might never expect.

So what does that stuff look like? You know, all the boring, in-between times where we try to keep the dynamic hot and tight and present, despite jobs and obligations and sick days and the general upkeep involved with not living in a fantasy world? That’s what I’m here to share. (I’ll try to get your rocks off another time, promise.)

Disclaimer: The following is a true account of my personal experience with live-in submission versus my fantasy version of it. This is only my experience, and please don’t take me too seriously, or assume this is The Way It Is for all slaves or s-types. I’m just speaking for me, here. This is not the right way, just the right way for me.

Submissive Fantasy Morning

7:00 AM Slide out of my spot at the foot of the bed bed before dawn, silently padding out to not disturb the sleeping Dominant.
7:03 AM Shower and shave my cunt with the straight razor, then put on the jock strap that Master left out for me the night before. Wearing only that, I start prepping Master their favorite breakfast, and have it ready on the table when they awake, with ice water with lime, their pills, and morning tea prepared (but not too hot).
8:00 AM Spanking with the wooden spoon over Daddy’s knee because I’ve not cut the onions small enough. Everything else was delicious.
8:15 AM Set up the office for Master’s work day; the heat is up, the shades are drawn, music is on. Sit at Master’s feet and await further orders.
9:00 AM Time for my daily fitness routine. Make sure Master doesn’t need anything, and I go to the little gym equipment in the corner. Master looks up from their work from time to time to watch, singletail in hand in case I should slack off. I make soft, sexy grunting sounds while I pump iron.
10:00 AM Help Master with their website and work tasks, check in on the Submissive Playground forums and emails.

Submissive Reality Morning

7:04 AM First alarm goes off. Wake up warm and cozy in Daddy’s arms, curl around tighter and hit snooze.
7:48 AM Three snoozes later, we stir. We tell each other our dreams and dirty stories, and end up fooling around some.
8:15 AM I groggily ask permission to leave the bed.
8:16 AM Why is it always so cold in this house?! Throw on last night’s PJs from the floor and a big fluffy robe. I go pee, as directed, so I don’t get another UTI.
8:21 AM Daddy finds me staring at the coffee pot and takes over making breakfast. I’m delegated to chopping and fetching duty, out of the way.
8:27 AM I put away last night’s dishes and set the table for breakfast. “Can we eat outside, Daddy?” “No, boy. It’s still too cold out.” “Okay, Sir.” Breakfast is delicious. I thank them lots and apologize for being useless in the morning for about the billionth time. I make the bed like Daddy likes it.
9:00 AM The first round of dishes for today; why does Daddy need so many bowls to scramble eggs?
9:15 AM Planning the day, picking the Most Important Tasks from my boy chores list, and reminding myself, what was that new protocol this week…?
9:22 AM “Daddy, may I use the restroom please?”
9:24 AM Sweep the kitchen floor (didn’t I just do this yesterday? I’m pretty sure I did) and settle in to work.
9:45 AM Email and other admin tasks for my small business, on a cushion in the living room floor, not at their feet, but where Daddy can see me.

Submissive Fantasy Afternoon

1:15 PM Pleasure Master Orally.
2:15 PM Pleasure Master Orally.
3:15 PM Pleasure Master Orally.
4:15 PM Pleasure Master Orally.
5:15 PM Pleasure Master Orally … What do submissives do all day in their fantasies? I.. uh, take a nap maybe? Oh, do some personal grooming! Definitely. And… practice my guitar and other pleasing arts.
6:30 PM – Midnight SEXUAL RELATIONS BDSM FUNTIMES EVERY DAY. Whips and chains and shit in our own personal dungeon in the basement (which is totally not creepy and filled with old mattresses and feral cats, in this fantasy universe).

Submissive Reality Afternoon

1:00 PM Second set of dishes for the day, from lunch and the coffeepot, which is regrettably empty.
1:00 PM – 3:45 PM Work at my job, building websites and mobile apps and stuff. This month I have a variety of fun projects (and the normal cadre of boring ones, too).
3:45 PM “May I use the restroom, Sir?” “Yes, go ahead, boy. Give me a kiss first.” (I also refill their water while I’m up.)
3:48 PM Back to work. Probably time for a tea and fruit break. I offer Master some but they decline.
3:50 PM- 6:00 PM Work, work, work. Small breaks to pay bills and walk the dog.
6:01 PM Freedom!! “Daddy, can we go for a walk? Please, please?”
6:22 PM Night hike around our favorite little lake, followed by dinner at that Thai place I’m not crazy about by Master is really into. Daddy orders for both of us and I ask before sitting.
8:00 PM Catching up on some Downton Abbey. We are way behind. I’m invited onto the couch!
10:00 PM We play cribbage because we are basically old people. Daddy kicks my ass this time.
11:00 PM Where did the time go? I brush my teeth and pick out a bedtime story, strip down to sleep naked and ask permission to get in bed, as I should, grateful for my real-life Daddy and deep spiritual submission. Even when it means doing the dishes 3 times a day.

Okay, so there you have it. My day-in-the-life of your average, everyday sex slave (results not typical. Your mileage may vary). I notice some big differences between the fantasy realm and the real-life versions, namely: hurray! In the fantasy, I don’t have to work because Master supports us both. You know, because writing smut and giving it away for free on the internet is so lucrative (eyeroll).

It hasn’t always been this way, though. The first year and a half of our relationship, we could basically keep the fantasy up, fuck and play the vast majority of our time together. The secret? We only saw each other on weekends, at conventions or hotels (where someone else did the laundry and everything else could wait). I highly recommend long-distance D/s if you want to live your fantasies (and who doesn’t?), it is super fun.

But eventually, we wanted more. The thing about the boring in-between times, the sick days and hours of bad TV and cuddling and cleaning house, is that that’s most of what our lives are made of. And there came a point, at least in my life, where that reality of intimacy with another human became preferable to even my best fantasy. That, my friends, is called winning.

Now, I’m not saying we don’t still have marathon fuck sessions or break out the implements o’ destruction from time to time (because oh, we do). But when I imagine that kind of intensity every day, I kind of lose my boner for it. I remember before we moved in together I was genuinely scared: What if I could just never sit down again because of all the bruises on top of bruises?

We did it anyway, though it was scary as hell. Finally, that “monstrous want” of Master’s calmed down. Don’t worry, it’s still here, but channeled. We found ways to feed it, even on random Wednesdays when we both had to work, that didn’t involve making me purple all over or quitting my job and forsaking all other obligations. We found some kind of… balance.

I’m not going to blather on about my history and congratulate myself on getting here, to “living the dream” of live-in submission. Because honestly, I’m still new at this, and finding my way. But I will tell you this: It doesn’t happen by accident. You have to look for it, hard, for years sometimes (ten in my case!). You have to work your ass off to be worthy of it when it does show up. I wish the same for you, sincerely, that you can make the steps to actualize your fantasies and fantasize the reality, until it’s hard for you to untangle them, too.

Still, I’ll take the reality any day.

—rife

PS: Are you another submissive looking for community? I’ll be active in the forums and chat and video calls during the Submissive Playground. I love it there! No other place on the internet have I found such an active, supportive community of true peers. I’m honored to know all the players. I’d like to invite you to join me there, but you’d have to act super fast—registration closes tomorrow!

I just need to use you.

morningContent warning: Power dynamics, ownership/property play.

Sometimes, I just need to use you.

I don’t know how to describe it: Those times when I wake up and your skin is just right there, you’re not allowed to sleep with clothes on anyway and this is exactly why, so that my hunger stirs the moment I wake and realize that your skin is already under my hands. This particular morning I woke with you behind me and immediately wanted your dick in my ass. I rubbed against you, and you got hard. “You’re hard, aren’t you,” I teased. You woke up and moaned. Ready. Always ready, for whatever it is I need, whatever it is I want to take. It’s what you most want, isn’t it? To be told what to do, to be taken, to be used in the ways that I need. As much as that can be hidden in sex, or desire, or kink play, the same need in you would be filled if I decided you would now only be my footstool and never speak, or be my pet curled up on your little pillow bed in the corner, or my sex slave chained to the bed. I own you, and you know it.

It helps me that it’s what you want, because it is so what I want, but I never thought I’d have it. I never thought this craving for devotion in me was going to be allowed, I never thought I could degrade and humiliate and own and worship and demand in the ways that I can with you. I was always too much for other partners—needed too much, demanded too much, expected too much. I’ve said it so many times, but I am still surprised by how much I feel met with you. You step up, you show up, you don’t shy away from what I need, you don’t let my insatiable hunger scare you.

Or maybe it does scare you, a little. Because you know I’m bigger than you, not exactly stronger but certainly when I throw my weight around I can make you do what I want, what I say, what I need. Not that you would need to be physically overpowered. You’d go willingly, shakingly opening all your holes and skin and mind and will to me, even if it makes you shiver and cry. You are so good. And you like it, I know you do. You can resist all you want, but it doesn’t make the outcome any different. And when you gush and come so hard you drip down my thighs, I know you like it.

That’s what you did this morning, isn’t it. You did just what I told you, and you liked it. You took it just how I told you. You gave all that come to me, because it’s all mine, everything you have is mine now. And I can use what’s mine, I like to use it for exactly what it’s for. And this is what you’re for, isn’t it: To be taken and used, filled and opened. You’re all mine, and this is what I need.

Weight. Mouth. Rough Sex.

Content Warning: Force, coercion, descriptions of rough sex. Also dominance and submission, and depictions of ownership.

Sometimes I just think of the simplest of things.

Your mouth.

That look on your face, that look, when you’re giving over even more, just a little deeper, giving in to the sensation, giving in to wherever I’m moving your body, however I’m touching you.

Your skin.

The way your hands feel in mine. The way my fingers close around your wrist or throat or earlobe. The back of your head in my palm.

I think of these little flashes of your body, of us.

Other times, a more elaborate story.

What happens when I pick you up and drive you somewhere deserted and quiet, an empty kind of creepy parking lot where no one is around, no other cars, and lock the doors before I force your head into my lap. You struggle against me, but you know I will have my way, no matter what you do. You know it’s better to go easy, but not too easy, because then I’ll beat you for liking it.

I don’t really need an excuse to take you, or to hurt you, or to use you. It is so comforting, so deeply validating, to be able to have you in this way. To know that if you are in arm’s reach, I can use you for anything I may need, from fetching me a glass of water to your hands as an ashtray to your holes for my cock or fingers or tongue or whatever I might want to do with them.

Lately, I think a lot about rough sex. Pressure and strain and resistance and using my weight against gravity to hold you down. I think about going too far, pushing too hard, making you gag, spit, sputter, making you cry out and bleed, bruises under my fingers holding you so tight, making you beg and cry, making you take it anyway. There’s something about the release on that level that is different—deeper?—than most other releases for me … knowing I can just pour into someone else and they can hold it, they have to. I love how you do this for me.

You release me in so many other ways, too, though. Moments of energetic intensity come to mind, times we’ve been outside with your hand in me in some way, the earth underneath shooting up and connecting me with … everything. I miss being somewhere with places to fuck outside.

I think about what it’s like to force you, use you, disregard what you’re feeling in your body or your mind. Why is that such a fetish, such a kink of mine, when I am so obsessed with consent and permission and pleasure and connection? Maybe I’ve just answered my own question. And knowing that we are both guided by a deep craving here—me, the craving to play with taking and owning and destruction, and you, the craving of being used and coerced and owned—is what makes the play possible, of course. Without that deep craving underneath the play, it would be completely different, and unappealing.

Fuck, I am so grateful for how our wounds/gifts are attuned.

Lately, I think a lot about your sucking mouth. Maybe that is the equal and opposite of thinking about pounding into your open holes: instead, having this sweet suckling softness draw it all out of me. I think of you sucking your thumb or sucking my toes or nipples or cock, even the uncut packing cock, my current favorite. I get hard with just the thoughts. The way you can nestle in and cuddle up to my thighs, sigh, and relax.

Somehow, when I’m deep inside you, when you’re slowly drawing me hard and all of the things pent-up inside start drizzling out, that’s when I can best let go, feel the tightness in my shoulders unravel, and relax, too.

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