Cartography of Control: A Map For Areas of Dominance & Submission

When it comes to control in D/s dynamics, there are a lot of questions to ponder and theorize about.

How do you give over even more to your dominant? How do you take more from your submissive?

How do you work out what your limits are?

How do you take or give more control?

How do I start making rules and protocols outside of the bedroom?

Or maybe you’re just in a D/s dynamic that is excellent, but you both want a little … more? So perhaps the question is simply, How do you step up your D/s dynamic?

This theory can help address all of these.

The Cartography of Control is a Map

The cartography of control maps out areas of someone’s (generally the s-type) life, and codes them into categories to share which areas they would like to have under someone else’s control and which areas they would like to keep for themself.

The first step is to brainstorm different life areas. These are probably endless, but there are some broad umbrella categories that applies to most folks. Here are some areas to start with:

Kink/BDSM activities
Orgasms/sex
Partners
Friends
Community
Family
Pets
Tidiness
Money
Spirituality
Gender
Emotions
Sleep
Speech
Stuff/possessions
Medical
Goals
Time Management
Media
Opinions
Education
Work/profession
Body modifications
Posture
Grooming
Dress
Politics
Hobbies
Fitness
Drugs
Therapy
Food
Alcohol

It’s always possible to think of more things, or to get a lot more specific about things within the categories — grooming, for example, could be divided into how someone keeps their hair, shaving, what products they use in the shower, makeup, their skincare routine — all sorts of things. But for now, we’ll keep the categories broad and divide it into specifics later.

Sort the Categories Into Yes, No, or Maybe

Now that you have a somewhat robust list — it doesn’t have to be exhaustive, but at least is a complete enough list for you to start — sort them into three different categories:

  1. Areas the submissive would like the dominant to have control over
  2. Areas that the dominant could possibly have control over, depending on [certain] circumstances
  3. Areas the submissive would like to retain their own control and final decisions over
One of the things rife often says is that he can’t give over any area where he himself does not have control. For example, if he was a smoker, he couldn’t give his nicotine addiction over to me, because he isn’t in control of it. I could help him with a plan to stop smoking, but I couldn’t just say, “You are no longer addicted,” and exercise control.
This is quite simplified; you could develop more categories to sort things in to, like “areas I will give over after the permanent collar is on,” or “areas you can control

For now, don’t worry about whether or not the dominant wants to control these categories. That’s a separate step. Just think about the submissive’s part in it, and whether they could or are willing to give up control.

One way to sort these is to write all your categories out on paper, then use different colors to denote which ones are which. Red could mean “no, I will keep control,” yellow/orange could mean, “maybe, depending on circumstances,” and green could mean, “yes, I would like my dominant to have control over these.”

Yes, you can change your mind — fine tune it, think through it, do thought experiments and make educated guesses about how future you would feel if certain areas were under someone else’s control.

Like this:

After you have the areas sorted, it’s time for the dominant’s part.

Next, make a separate chart of areas the dominant would like to have control over, could maybe take control over depending on circumstances, and would not like control over.

Now you should have two sets of lists. Time to compare them

Start with the yeses — those are the low-hanging fruit, the control that is easily on the table! Find the areas where you are both a yes — that’s your sweet spot. There are probably months of explorations inside just those areas alone!

But if you want to keep digging in, find the areas where one of you is a yes and one of you is a maybe, and discuss. Maybe you’ll discover some places where you want to grow more trust, or some parameters for the relationship that you hadn’t previously discussed.

When you’re ready to start exploring a particular area, brainstorm all kinds of things within that category that you could control, and start experimenting with protocol.

But first, a quick word about protocol:

Remember — only add one or two protocols at a time into a dynamic. It sets up the submissive to actually succeed at remembering what the protocols are, and doing them. Plus, it helps the dominant to remember and recognize when the protocol is or isn’t being done, and to act if it does not happen — which is another key piece of managing protocol.

You’re also perfectly set up to start playing with the Protocol Game, if that appeals to you! The cartography of control is a perfect way to figure out some of your training areas, and build the game from there.

Hopefully, figuring out your cartography of control will help identify areas where you can dive deeper into your dominance and submission.

Methods of Control in Your D/s Relationship: Defining Rules, Tasks, Protocol, and Ritual

Relationships with authority exchange, using dominance and submission, are usually centered around control: who makes decisions, who dictates what happens, whose standards are upheld, who tells who to do what.

For lots of us, telling someone else what to do — or being told what to do — is the core of the fetish. It’s the thing that makes us feel all tingly and yummy and taken care of and important and good.

So, D/s relationships use a lot of rules, tasks, protocol, and ritual.

These words are often used interchangeably, but have nuanced differences. In my personal relationship, we’ve spent a lot of time ironing out what the key distinctions are and how to use them.

Your mileage may vary here — please, find and use the language that works for you. Sometimes I short-hand these in my work, so hopefully it’ll be useful to have a reference point for the definitions I’m using when I do.

”Rules” Are The Big Picture Guidelines

“Rules,” as I use them, are like a moral compass, like the underlying ethical values in the relationship.

You’ve probably been in a workshop or a classroom where the instructor set some expectations at the beginning, such as “One Mic: one person talks at a time.” (I’m sure you can think of many other examples of these.) This is a way we set community agreements with each other about the values we hold collectively, so we can be clear about the kind of behavior we expect.

Same goes for a relationship — these are the overarching guidelines we are agreeing to follow as part of our foundation.

Sometimes people call these things like guidelines, principles, or philosophies, but we call them rules — sometimes we refer to them as “capital-R Rules.” They are best when simple, clear, and straightforward (though that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easy) — I suggest between 5-10, not very many. Because these rules are often words that have multiple definitions, being very clear about what they mean is important.

Examples of rules:

  • Transparency — be forthcoming about what is happening in your life
  • Respect — communication expectations, how we treat each other

”Protocols” Happen Ongoing

You can have dozens, even hundreds, of protocols underneath the rules. Sometimes they are directly related to the rules, but sometimes they are not.

Protocols are the instructions that are followed on a day to day basis. They are recuring and time-specific, meaning they have some sort of trigger that makes them happen. If they can be explained by the statement “if this, then that,” then I consider it a protocol.

Sometimes people call this “procedures” or “rules” in a relationship, though D/s folks tend to really like the word “protocol.” Sometimes I use “protocol” and “rules” interchangeably — such as, “rife has a rule that he asks permission to get in bed.” Meaning, that is a protocol. Or, “Whether or not he uses furniture isn’t a rule for us.” But what I mean is, we don’t have that protocol. (Mostly I do this in speech and am more careful in writing, for clarity.)

Most of us have lots of little protocols like this for ourselves, things that dictate our style and habits. Examples are things like, I never wear a blue shirt with blue jeans; I always wash my dishes after I eat; I never go to bed without a cup of tea. (I bet you can think of at least five that you already have, off the top of your head.)

They should be fluid — especially when one person is making protocols for another. They can be added or removed as the needs or desires of the folks involve change and grow. Sometimes they become so integrated that they are invisible. rife and I call our protocol notes a “living document” — sometimes it changes organically, sometimes we need to have a formal check-in about it and assess.

When introducing new protocols in a relationship, do so slowly, and a few (one or two) at a time. It can be so tempting — for all of us! — to pile on the protocols and get hot and excited about it, but that quickly can become overwhelming, which both means it’s hard for the dominant to track what’s happening and it’s hard for the submissive to implement. Make sure to let everyone have time to integrate and practice the new protocol before adding more.

I’m not going to go in to enforcing protocol, but there are many complicated things to say about it.

How do you figure out which protocols you want to make? Well, that’s a process! I have a lot of theories through my workshops like The Protocol Game and the Discipline Unit of D/s Playground.

Examples of protocol:

  • Brush, floss, and use mouthwash immediately after you wake up
  • No screen time after 9pm
  • Always wear matching bra & panties
  • Get a manicure once every two weeks with a polish of my choice

”Procedures” Are How Things Are Done

Protocol is what I want to be done, and the procedure is how I want it done. “Do the dishes every night before bed” is a protocol; “wash the dishes with this type of soap; put them this way in the drying rack organized by size; wipe down all the counters, sink, and stove; set up the coffee pot to be ready in the morning” might be the procedures underneath that protocol.

Usually, the procedure can be taught once (and perhaps guided or corrected, as time goes on) and documented clearly, and the submissive will have a point of reference. The protocol might happen daily, but the procedure is explained and then enforced.

Procedures are slightly different than rituals because while they reinforce the dynamic through controlled behavior, they aren’t necessarily intending to generate D/s headspace or a spiritual connection. They do often have multiple steps within them, but they are usually concrete steps.

Often, people include how a protocol is done in the definition of the protocol itself. Nothing wrong with that! I’m just breaking down the two different concepts for clarity.

Examples of procedures:

  • “Make my coffee:” add creamer until the color matches this paint chip, approximately two tablespoons; add one dash of simple syrup
  • “Make the bed:” military corners, fluff the pillows, put pillows on top of the sheet and blanket

“Tasks” Are One-Time Assignments

Tasks are assignments which are done one time. Sometimes they have deadlines, sometimes they are open ended.

Tasks could evolve into protocols, particularly over time — for example, “Pick up my dry cleaning tomorrow,” is a task, but “Pick up my dry cleaning every Thursday,” is a protocol.

With tasks … the sky’s the limit! Tasks are great when starting out in a relationship, because the people involved can get a sense of what they like and don’t like, what the dominant’s style is, what works, and what doesn’t. Plus, they are great opportunities for rewards (even if the reward is a spanking).

One fun way to do task assignments is to give them a task with the instructions that they will get another one when they complete this one. That way they can take their time with it — if they have an incredibly busy schedule, or if it is very elaborate, it could take a month, but if it is simpler or they have more time, it could take a day.

Some task examples:

  • Run an errand and pick up [object] at [place]
  • Write me an email with short descriptions of five fantasies
  • Clean the kitchen and bathroom before [date]
  • Make me [this particular] piece of art

“Rituals” Remind Us of D/s Headspace

This could sometimes be known as “routines,” though I use the word “ritual” because it has a slightly different intention behind it — the word “routine” sounds a little more like being on auto-pilot. I think of the intention as being connection to the D/s dynamic, each other, and possibly a larger purpose — a spiritual path. Either way, rituals are intended to get us deeper into a D/s headspace, to bring more consciousness and intention. Toutines are generally intended to become background habits that propel us through our lives.

Routines are often used more in the day-to-day, and rituals are used for more special occasions, but using the word ritual for the day to day — hopefully — brings more consciousness to it.

Rituals are larger events that usually have multiple steps or aspects of protocol. They also have a particular trigger, such as: when we wake up together, then do the morning ritual.

Rituals might be daily or occasionally. We might have morning/evening ritual, or a New Year’s Eve ritual, or we might have a once in a lifetime ritual of a bat mitzvah upon turning 13.

Examples of rituals:

  • When your alarm goes off at 6:30am, get up from your sleeping spot and kneel on my side of the bed until I acknowledge you. I will rise and stand above you, and we will recite our morning poem. I will go to the shower and you will begin cooking
  • When someone graduates from school, we go to our favorite restaurant and invite the whole family
  • When we have been apart, before anything else, the submissive kneels and kisses their dominants boots

That’s my thoughts — how do you use these words?

Do you use them in similar ways that we do? Or different? Do you prefer to call these concepts something different? Totally cool. These are ideas to jump-start what works best for you, and have clarity in the different categories of control in D/s relationships.

Hopefully, having different categories makes it easier to create and brainstorm protocols to try out.

Announcing: D/s Playground! Summer 2019

D/s Playground is a course for dominants, switches, submissives, folks who are curious, folks who aren’t sure where they fall, and anyone in between.

You only have to want to study consensual authority exchange — dominance and submission — in depth from a trauma-informed, queer, nonbinary, intersectional perspective.

Here are the details!

What is D/s Playground?

D/s Playground is an online course. It doesn’t teach you how to be a dominant or a submissive, but rather offers tools, resources, texts, and experiments to explore your own relationship to dominance, submission, and authority exchange, so you can articulate your interests and explore your edges. After these explorations you will be able to better communicate what you’re looking for and desire — which greatly increases your chances of having it!

There is an introduction video & article for the basic agreements and concepts of the course, and then there are four units — Bondage, Discipline, Service, and SadoMasochism (that spells the acronym BDSM).

Each unit has some or all of the following:

  • How-to videos by sex & BDSM educators
  • Dirty stories to read
  • Nonfiction how-to articles to read
  • Additional fun, like quizzes & checklists
  • Journal prompts to reflect on each of the materials
  • An experiment — something for you to do, in person, alone or with someone else, to try out the concepts of the unit

When is this happening?

Each unit will be available LIVE and included with $5+ patrons benefits through Patreon:

  • May 25, 2019 – Unit 1: Bondage
  • July 20, 2019 – Unit 2: Discipline
  • September 20, 2019 – Unit 3: Service
  • November 25, 2019 – Unit 4: SadoMasochism

The units on Patreon will be recorded, but only the parts with rife and myself will be made public; none of the parts from other participants will be included later.

Yes, it will be available for everyone — not just through Patreon!

Each unit will be available for everybody the following month. (This will give us some time to edit videos, set up the payment systems, etc.)

  • June 30, 2019 – Unit 1: Bondage
  • August 30, 2019 – Unit 2: Discipline
  • October 30, 2019 – Unit 3: Service
  • December 30, 2019 – Unit 4: SadoMasochism

How much will it be?

Each unit will be $69, and all four units can be downloaded for $200. You can preorder them this summer, or wait until the end of the year when they are all available.

A few more questions … ?

Do I have to be in a partnership? Can I do this solo?

Absolutely, you can do this solo, in partnership, with play partners, long distance — in any kind of structure of a relationship. The experiments are all built to be adapted to any scenario.

I’ve taken Submissive Playground before, should I do this one too?

Sure! You will recognize some of the materials, but some of them are new. We had many people take Submissive Playground more than once, and because we are always growing and changing, our relationship to D/s is always growing and changing, so they found new things in the activities. Plus, there are many ways to adapt the experiments and do it differently the next time.

What’s the difference between doing it through Patreon or paying for it later? Is it the same material?

Yes — mostly. All the materials are the same. The difference is that through the Patreon, you will have a community of folks going through it with you, and downloading it later will be more of a solo experience.

Signing up through Patreon also gives you access to a private Discord server, which is like a chatroom. The only people in there are signed up through Patreon, so it’s a small, intimate group of people I trust. There are ongoing conversations in there about dominance and submission, and we’ll have a dedicated space to talk about the materials in the course, have accountability buddies, and share the homework.

How do I sign up?

Go over to patreon.com/mrsexsmith and sign up as a $5+ patron, and you’ll automatically get access to the live webinars starting in May.

If you want to download them after and not through Patreon, sign up for the mailing list and you’ll get notifications when they are available. (Keep an eye on my social media, too!)

Are You Game? Guest Post by Dilo Keith

Moments before my boss arrived on Friday, I sent her a message about an especially troublesome client. It was no longer awkward thinking of Lisa as “boss,” though it had seemed damn weird at first. I had almost asked for a transfer when they assigned me to her team three years ago, but it turned out we functioned better as co-workers than romantic partners. Now we were getting along so well that we had talked about having sex again, or at least exchanging massages. Such intimacies, however, required the permission of her wife-to-be Morgan, otherwise known as “Master M.”

My relationship with Morgan had vastly improved since the day we met. I could recall little about our first encounter other than my embarrassment at calling her “Sir” and the fact that she bore an uncanny resemblance to my senior year math professor, Mr. Foxman. I’d swear she wore the same hat. After they returned from lunch that day, Lisa told me Morgan actually enjoyed being called “Sir”, but didn’t elaborate until weeks later.

Lisa was late and wearing a familiar expression that told me her tardiness had nothing to do with snarled traffic. Damp locks on her forehead suggested she’d been up to something that had required a quick rinse afterwards. I shook my head to clear memories of sweaty morning sex with her curly, mocha brown hair tickling my breasts.

“I hate to wipe that smile off your face,” I said, “but Mr. Harrison left three voice messages.”

“Fuck. I wish he wasn’t a priority.”

The rest of the day was uneventful, enabling Lisa to finish the Harrison project and leave on time. I stayed late to make up for a long lunch break, but was almost out the door when Harrison called with “critical” changes. I hastily assured him we could make them over the weekend, only to realize as I hung up that this meant I had to find Lisa.

She didn’t answer my calls or texts, so I emailed what I could and stuffed the relevant hardcopies into an envelope. Considering her house was on my way home, dropping them off would be quicker than scanning and emailing everything. Two cars were in front of the house she now shared with Morgan, but the doorbell went unanswered. After trying the land line and cell again, I decided this qualified as the sort of emergency in which Lisa wouldn’t mind my using the spare key, something I’d done before. Neither woman answered when I called Lisa’s name from the front hall, and there was no sign of anyone on the first floor. Weighing the urgency of the Harrison project against Lisa and Morgan’s privacy, I cautiously headed upstairs. I assumed they’d be in the bedroom and the most obvious place to leave the folder would be right outside their room.

The bedroom door was closed, fortunately, and I was startled to hear the unmistakable cracks of something solid striking naked flesh, a paddle or maybe a hand. The sound didn’t surprise me intellectually – Lisa’s more intense interest in BDSM was one reason for our incompatibility – but I hadn’t expected to actually hear it right then. Sharper sounds, probably from a whip or crop, followed. I scrawled a note on the envelope and bent down for a discreet delivery that had almost succeeded when my phone slid out of my pocket and thumped against the door.

“Anna – that you already?” Morgan called out, referring to a weekend guest I knew they were expecting.

Shit. “It’s Kylie. Sorry to bother you, but something came up at the office. I was leaving some files.”

“Sounds important. Hold on.” After several seconds, Morgan said, “Come in.”

Knowing Lisa’s proclivities didn’t prepare me for the sight of my beautiful, olive-skinned ex kneeling naked at Morgan’s feet, her wrists in leather cuffs clipped together behind her back. Two stripes across Lisa’s reddened ass confirmed my suspicions regarding what I’d heard. Morgan was fully dressed, the severe uniformity of her black clothes broken only by a splash of color from the bright purple cock sheathed in Lisa’s mouth. I’d frequently imagined myself with Morgan in relatively vanilla versions of this sizzling scene.

Lisa tried to pull back, but Morgan twisted her hand in her dark curls and pulled Lisa more firmly onto her cock. “Lisa’s having trouble speaking at the moment. Go on.”

“I… uh… I mean…” I felt my face warming. “I’m really sorry. It’s Harrison again. I stupidly promised we’d make more revisions this weekend.”

“You were right to come. Do you need Lisa now? Can she call later?”

“Later’s fine. Sorry about this.” I turned to leave.

“Wait,” Morgan said. “I could use a second sub tonight. Interested?”

“Me? A sub?” What had Lisa told her? In our mismatched attempts at kink, I had topped. Even so, something about Morgan’s confidence made obeying her seem perfectly natural. It didn’t hurt that she was solidly built, with muscled arms that I could imagine pulling me into an inescapable embrace, or that she was almost twice my age. Her cropped hair walked a fine line between butch and femme, and her square jaw added an extra hint of toughness.

“I think you’ll do fine.”

No matter how hot she was, I had no interest in getting beaten. “Thanks… no… um, I mean, you know I don’t really do that sort of thing.”

“You don’t even know what ‘sort of thing’ I’d require.”

“I have the general idea.”

“Don’t be so sure.”

She might be right, but, fuck, Lisa’s my boss now, and this looks damn private. “Won’t Lisa mind?”

She stroked Lisa’s cheek. “I won’t include Kylie without your consent.”

Lisa nodded – as best she could with a mouthful of dick – and pressed her face into Morgan’s hand.

“Are you sure?”

Lisa glanced at me.

“Is it awkward, considering Kylie works for you?”

Lisa shrugged and nodded. That probably meant “a little”.

“Kylie?” Morgan prompted.

“Nothing will change at the office, boss,” I assured Lisa quickly. “If I join you, that is.”

Lisa nodded again and Morgan caressed her head approvingly. That seemed like my cue.

“Okay, I guess I’m game. I get a safe word or something, don’t I?”

Morgan chuckled. “Sure, but I doubt you’ll need it.”

“How does this work?”

“Follow instructions and be respectful. I won’t hurt you. You may not do anything to Lisa without my permission. She’s not allowed to speak at all. Try not to talk unless I ask you a question or give you an order that requires feedback. If necessary, say something like ‘Please, may I speak?’ You don’t need a safe word – if you’re uncomfortable, say so. Call me ‘Master M’ or ‘Sir’. Clear?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Then strip. Any delays or interruptions will result in punishment for Lisa, regardless of who’s at fault. Lisa, don’t forget you’re to remain completely silent unless I say otherwise.”

As I hastily peeled off my clothes, Morgan led Lisa to the bed and patted the mattress. “Kneel up here.”

That left Lisa facing away from us, below a pair of chains hanging above the bed. Morgan unclipped Lisa’s cuffs and pointed at one dangling chain. “Hand me the end.”

Morgan attached the snap hook on the chain to Lisa’s cuff while I did the same on the other side. “Bring me that blindfold,” she said, pointing to where it was laid out with other toys on the dresser.

“Stroke her gently, anywhere you like except her cunt.” Morgan blindfolded Lisa and double-checked her restraints while I fondled her lovely breasts and smoothed my hands across her toned torso. She pressed her body into my hands appreciatively, and I forced myself to veer away from the forbidden zone. The treasures of her back side weren’t explicitly prohibited, but I limited myself to palming the delectable curves of ass.

During my lustful explorations, Morgan had stripped down to underwear, a black compression tank and silk boxers. She quickly closed the distance to the bed and shoved the side of her hand between her lover’s legs. Lisa made a visible effort to suppress a moan as she ground onto Morgan’s hand.

“I could forbid you to move,” Morgan said with a wicked smile. Lisa froze. “But not now; I’m not that sadistic. Not with company, anyway.” Morgan allowed Lisa a few more thrusts before withdrawing her hand.

Morgan stood and pressed her body against Lisa’s back. Her lover’s sharp intake of breath was loud enough that I wondered if it would count as a noise, but Morgan let her off with the warning, “Careful, love.” She kissed the back of Lisa’s neck and reached around to pinch her nipples. Lisa leaned into Morgan’s hands and parted her lips in a silent moan when Morgan squeezed harder.

“Kylie, bring me the short flogger.”

I touched the nearest implement and glanced wordlessly at Morgan, who was still playing with Lisa’s breasts.

“No, two over. Yes, that one. Bring the one to the right of it, too, but leave it on the bed.”

The first item was a soft, medium-sized flogger that I imagined Lisa would enjoy, unlike the one I’d put aside. Lisa had tried explaining that submission sometimes meant doing unpleasant and painful things. I had no problem with the light play we’d been doing, but it suddenly occurred to me that Morgan might make Lisa suffer for real at some point, something I didn’t care to see.

Morgan gradually reddened Lisa’s skin from the base of her neck to her knees, soft and hard strokes following one another with no obvious pattern. Lisa met the leather with her body, tensing and relaxing in an erotic rhythm that left little in the room but the beauty of two women in perfect harmony. Shockingly, Morgan turned to me and said, “Here, you try.” She handed me the flogger. “Nice and gentle to start.”

I held it, not moving.

“Go on. I know you’ve done this before. Lisa thought you had potential.”

“Really? I thought she was just –”

“Quiet,” Morgan ordered.

So I wasn’t supposed to answer that? Subbing is harder than it looks. I landed light strokes on Lisa’s ass until I felt comfortable enough to strike more forcefully.

“Very good. Harder now,” Morgan said.

Lisa seemed to welcome every blow, and Morgan eyed me approvingly before climbing onto the bed. She played with Lisa’s nipples and caressed her breasts as I plied the flogger. When Lisa seemed lulled by the sensations, Morgan slid her hand between the wet lips of her cunt. Lisa swallowed her low moan quickly, but not entirely.

“Earning a punishment so soon, slut?” Morgan wiped her fingers on Lisa’s hip.

Punishment?! Oh, right, for noise.

Morgan continued, “Since you weren’t expecting the distraction of company tonight, you get a little break. You’ll receive all six, but you don’t have to be silent.” She motioned for me to fetch the short whip – or whatever the harsh-looking single-tailed thing was called. Morgan must have noticed my unease because she said firmly, “Lisa knew this could happen. Stand back.”

Thwack.

Lisa yelped, and a long, red stripe appeared. I winced, but didn’t look away.

Morgan delivered another hard lash to Lisa’s ass and two to her back, evoking stoic grunts each time. Next was an even harder lash to the base of one ass cheek, the sensitive spot just at the top of the thigh, and another on the opposite side.

“You did well. Try not to misbehave again.”

Morgan directed me back to the bed and laid a gentle hand on my neck. “You’re doing well too, and you’ve earned a little treat. Face down.” She stroked my back and ass, traced the ridge of my pelvis, and continued across my groin, lingering close to where I most wanted her. Did she say “treat” or “tease”? Begging for relief for my throbbing cunt was probably unacceptable, and I didn’t want to do anything that would cause Morgan to stop. As I was about to try a suggestive whimper, she snaked a finger into my bush and stroked my clit. Despite my most encouraging moans, it was over far too soon. I could hear the amusement in the blonde sadist’s voice when she said, “Get up,” and held out her other hand for the softer flogger.

She struck Lisa harder this time, and after several lashes, positioned me in front of Lisa. “Keep her from moving around too much. Suck her nipples and use your hands anywhere you like.”

Lisa stiffened delightfully in my mouth as the blows of Morgan’s flogger forced her breasts into my face. I explored her body, glad I didn’t have to avoid the treasures between her legs but not quite daring to delve inside. Instead, I slid my fingers across her swollen clit and around her slick folds, holding her by one hip. Lisa trembled, but managed to remain silent. When Morgan stopped the flogging, I shifted closer to get a solid handful of Lisa’s now-unobstructed ass. She moaned, and we both froze.

Morgan, her hands full of condoms, gloves, and a bottle of lube, exclaimed, “Kylie! What did you do to her?”

“I’m sorry, I leaned in to fondle her ass. Maybe it was my, um, tits?” Lisa had always loved their feel, and she was highly sensitized at present.

“I told you to use your hands, not your boobs. It was a simple instruction.” She glared at me sternly.

“It was an accident, Sir. Please don’t hurt her.”

“The rules don’t change when something unexpected happens.”

I asked, “May I say something else?”

“You may.”

“I volunteer to take her punishment, Sir.”

“Lisa’s willing to go by the rules.”

“I don’t like being responsible.”

“You’re not. Plus, I’m in charge, remember?”

“But Lisa –”

“Quiet. Lisa, tell her. Briefly.”

“I’m fine with the rules, and it’s more… um… interesting with you here.”

“Oh, okay. Thanks.”

Morgan said, “Since you’re feeling responsible, I’ll reduce the sentence. A second offense normally gets double the first, but I’ll deduct three. Stand over there. Lisa, no noise.”

Lisa managed, impressively, to remain quiet for the first several strokes. When one landed on Lisa’s inner thigh, a barely audible “fuck” escaped her lips. Oops. Morgan shoved the whip into my hands and sprang onto the bed.

“No swearing.” She slapped Lisa’s face.

“I’m –” Lisa started.

“And you haven’t been given permission to speak!” Morgan slapped the other cheek, harder this time. “For that, you’ll get the remaining lashes from the original twelve – five more. Be grateful you don’t get another punishment for talking.”

I stood in place, wide-eyed. Despite her clear preference for stricter command than I had ever offered her, Lisa’s earlier assurance of consent wasn’t very comforting. Morgan got off the bed and approached me determinedly. I slowly handed her the whip, this time looking away as the strokes bit into Lisa’s tender thighs.

“Help her down onto the bed.”

Morgan rubbed Lisa’s neck soothingly. “If you endure what’s coming next in silence, I’ll allow you to make noise for the rest. I know having Kylie here makes it more difficult.” She removed the blindfold and ran a finger over Lisa’s lip dented from her efforts at silence. “And don’t hurt yourself. That’s my job.”

“Kylie, on your back in the middle of the bed. Knees up, and spread ’em.” I scrambled into position.

“Lisa, put that talented mouth to work. No hands.”

Lisa crawled between my legs and, without preamble, lapped a broad stroke across my cunt before flicking my clit with her tongue.

“Omigod!” It had been far too long since Lisa – or anyone – had done that. Toys are terrific, but there’s nothing like the wet heat of a woman’s mouth. Her tongue danced around my cunt, not always on my clit, which was good since I didn’t know if I was allowed to come. Should I ask? I also didn’t know if I could touch her, so I clutched the blanket and concentrated on staying in position, not wanting to dislodge Lisa’s sublime tongue. Through the haze of arousal, it occurred to me there was a pattern – she was tracing letters on my pussy. My name, twice, then… I tried hard to follow…“I miss you.” I almost laughed aloud.

“Lisa, stop that for a moment. Kylie, stay put.”

Damn — did she see my face and detect Lisa’s covert naughtiness? I hope it’s just a moment. But it wasn’t. She spanked Lisa for what seemed like a full minute before telling her, “Get back to it.” My guess was that Morgan had warmed Lisa’s ass just because she could.

Far too soon, Morgan ordered Lisa to stop for good, leaving me panting in combined arousal and frustration. She tossed a glove and the lube in my direction. I ignored them and watched Morgan fingering Lisa’s lubed ass, which had Lisa shoving her face into the mattress to keep quiet.

“Very good,” Morgan said when three fingers slid in effortlessly. “You may speak from now on.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

Morgan discarded her gloves and gave Lisa a passionate kiss. “Kylie, too,” Morgan said, and Lisa kissed me almost as thoroughly before returning to her place on the bed.

“Kylie, would you like to fuck this gorgeous ass?”

It was tempting, but I said, “Honestly, Sir, I’d rather watch you take her.”

Morgan chuckled and shook her head. From the bedside drawer, she extracted a small butt plug that she had me cover with a condom before she stuffed it into Lisa. “That’ll hold you, girl. Now, on your back like Kylie was.”

Morgan explained, “She’s not allowed to come yet, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make her. Anything you want.”

I lost myself in Lisa’s familiar, delightful taste and smell, barely reacting when Morgan plunged her fingers into me and rubbed circles around my clit with her thumb.

“Is something wrong?” Morgan asked as she slid her hand out.

What? Why? Put it back! “No, just concentrating,” I managed.

“Well, concentrate on this.” She shoved her cock in, driving my face into Lisa, and went after my clit again. “Kylie, you may come anytime.”

I did, sooner than I’d hoped, clenching around Morgan’s cock and gasping for air as I tried not to suffocate myself in Lisa’s cunt. Morgan guided me down next to Lisa, who whimpered with need.

“Sorry,” I muttered.

“There’s nothing to apologize for. You’ve been a lot of fun, but I’ve detained you long enough.”

Dismissed already? “I have nowhere else to be. Please, Sir?”

After a nod of permission from Morgan, Lisa said, “We need to finish here. Thanks for understanding.”

“Sure thing, boss. I guess I’ll see you Monday. Let me know if I can help with Harrison.”

Morgan pressed a finger to Lisa’s lips. “She will, and she’ll definitely call you about a play date.”

Although the sentiment seemed inadequate for the trust and intimacy we’d shared, I said only, “Thanks .. for everything.”

_________________________

Author’s note: Thanks to Meghan for permission to use portions of her lovely whipping scene from Mon Corbeau.

The Outermost Bracket™: A Theory on D/s and Non-Monogamy

Both non-monogamy and power exchange relationships revolve around sets of agreements between the people involved. Sometimes, those agreements are in harmony — and ahhh, isn’t it lovely when that happens? Not just lovely: it is magic.

Sometimes, however, they conflict.

Both D/s and non-monogamous relationships often have agreements (and arguments) which center around control, ownership, and permission. The difference is, non-monogamy often emphasizes the equality of all parties, while D/s is about someone having authority over the other.

As you can imagine, when both D/s and non-monogamy are both happening within one relationship, that can be very difficult to negotiate.

rife and I were both in non-monogamous relationships when we met, and we quickly knew our play — and then our relationship — would have an ongoing authority imbalance (a.k.a. power dynamic, D/s). As our D/s relationship grew, the non-monogamous and D/s agreements became increasingly complicated. Our authority imbalance continued to strengthen, and sometimes it trumped — or we wanted it to trump — our non-monogamous agreements. That didn’t make sense to a lot of our non-monogamous friends or with the polyamoroy theory that we were reading, and we had a lot of trouble navigating that.

In trying to negotiate all of this (with a lot of trial and error and fucking up), we developed a theory we call “the outermost bracket,” that explores which identity is set within the other.

In other words, is the D/s within the non-monogamy agreements, or is the non-monogamy within the D/s agreements?

Quick disclaimer:

This theory doesn’t apply to everyone. If it makes sense in your world, great! Hope you can take it and make it your own and use it to negotiate these complex things with more ease. If it doesn’t apply, cool. Just take what makes sense and leave the rest.

I’m using the terms “D/s”, “dominant/submissive relationship,” “authority imbalance,” and “power dynamic” as somewhat interchangeable. There are dozens of other terms that folks might be using, too, but these are some of the main ones. All of them mean different things to different people with subtle nuance, but for the purposes of this theory, they are similar enough. Generally, I use them to mean all kinds of authority imbalance relationships in and out of the bedroom.

This theory might be most relevant for D/s relationship where the dominant has a lot of control, but some bedroom-only D/s dynamics might apply here, too, since often there are rules executed in the bedroom. Such as: you will only come when I give you permission, you will call me Mistress and nobody else, you will always keep your genitals shaved. As you can imagine, if someone who has those rules is playing with someone else, they might cause conflicts.

Similarly, I’m using the terms “polyam,” “polyamory,” “open relationship,” and “non-monogamy” somewhat interchangeably. We could have long conversations about the nuanced differences between them, and what applies to what, but for the sake of this essay, they’re similar enough.

The conflicts around D/s and non-monogamy are vast and complicated, and, while there might be some parallels and common concepts, the specific circumstances are unique to each polycule or set of folks involved. I don’t assume to speak for everyone or all experiences, and this might not resonate with you at all.

The Key Distinction of the Theory

Is your non-monogamy restricted by your D/s rules and agreements, or is your D/s restricted by your non-monogamy agreements?

Let’s break that down.

When Non-Monogamy is the Outermost Bracket

When non-monogamy is the outermost bracket for someone, a couple’s D/s relationships happen within their open relationship agreements.

This often looks like making relationship guidelines with a partner, or setting one’s own solo-poly or polyamorous family boundaries, and negotiating D/s within the confines of those agreements. Whatever D/s-based rules, protocols, or agreements are made, they do not extend to other partners — and the D/s might be restricted by non-monogamous arrangements.

For Example:

Let’s say that Mel has a partner they live with, Jay, and another partner, Alex, they are in a power exchange relationship with (and perhaps other partners, too).

The relationship with Jay is long-term and they consider themselves primary partners. That relationship has various agreements for how any other relationships happen — how many times per week, whether or not they sleep over, whether they only do certain things with one person and not another. Mel and Jay made these rules together from an egalitarian place, and both adhere to them.

Mel’s relationship with Alex is a power exchange relationship where Mel is the sub and Alex is the dom. Alex wants to exercise some control over Mel’s sexuality — let’s say they want to restrict the use of Mel’s ass so that only they can fuck it. But Jay doesn’t want any restrictions on what they can or can’t do with Mel.

The agreements within the D/s don’t extend to their primary partnership — at least, not without some negotiations between all three of them, and with Jay’s blessings for the restrictions.

(Sometimes, Alex and Jay might get together and conspire to make wonderfully terrible things happen for Mel. But that’s an exception, because non-monogamy is hard and sometimes Alex has lots of feelings and they have to spend lots of time sorting it all out.)

So Jay might have control over very specific things in Mel’s life — for example, what they wear when they get together for dates, or how they keep their hair. Whatever these are, they are not things that interfere with Mel’s other relationships.

But Jay’s control does not extend to whether or not Mel can have any other partners, and does not extend to any parts of their relationship with Alex.

In other words, the rules of the D/s relationship do not extend to the primary relationship, nor to the arrangements of any other non-monogamous activities.

In my experience, this is how the majority of D/s non-monogamous relationships operate.

Having non-monogamy as the outermost bracket can help the D/s boundaries be incredibly clear. Mel might want Alex’s power and control over them to be in certain realms or within certain time restrictions only, and their power dynamic might flourish that way.

When D/s is the Outermost Bracket

When D/s is the outermost bracket for someone, their non-monogamous relationships happen within their D/s agreements.

The dominant in this scenario would be in control — to whatever degree they arrange — of the kind of play the submissive would have with other people.

Let’s use another example:

Carter is Devon’s dominant. Carter is in charge of pretty much every aspect of Devon’s life. Devon occasionally wants to play with other people, but Carter gets to say how that happens, when, and within what context.

That could look like:

  • The dominant gives orders when the submissive plays with anyone else
  • The dominant is allowed to play with others, but the submissive is not
  • The submissive is allowed to do certain things but not other things
  • The submissive has to ask permission for any kind of play with others
  • The dominant gives permission for all of the sub’s new relationships, but none of their existing ones

Ultimately, the submissive conforms to the dominant’s will, and the arrangements for their non-monogamy are within the confines of the D/s. The submissive’s needs and boundaries are taken into consideration here, and the rules are consented to, but they might be guided by the controlling ideals of D/s and not the egalitarian ideals of open relationships.

This means that the other people Devon is in relationships with must, to some degree, consent to their relationship being underneath the D/s umbrella that Devon has with Carter. Not everyone wants to do that.

How far does the control go?

A dominant controlling the kinds of acts the submissive can or can’t do is one thing; controlling who the submissive is in relationship with is another thing. Vetting or giving permission for a certain relationship to happen or continue can get into tricky territory that can become controlling, unhealthy, or even abusive.

When the dominant controls the kind of non-monogamy that the submissive is allowed to have, it can be a red flag to some folks outside of the relationship. The negotiations of this should be careful and intentional. All parties are in their full agency, give explicit informed consent, and understand that they can talk about it if it becomes a problem between them.

For some folks, it works; for others, it means that the control goes too far.

And this is the key distinction of the Outermost Bracket theory.

Why Does This Matter?

If you know you are into one of these relationship styles more than the other, it can be useful to bring up early on in negotiations. If you can communicate what you’re looking for, you’re much more likely to get it. So, where do you fall? Is non-monogamy your outermost bracket? Is D/s? Or do you structure things in another way?

If you’re having trouble figuring it out, I suggest doing a thought experiment: imagine you are in the most ideal D/s relationship. Do you have control over all aspects of your submissive’s relationships? Does your dominant have complete control over you? What would it feel like if they did?

In Conclusion

For me and rife, this distinction was very helpful as we were figuring out how to navigate the theories we knew about non-monogamy and the desires we had within our D/s. We even extended it with geeky HTML references to talk about hierarchies of other relationship identities (for example, our relationship is M/s first, and Daddy/boy within that). More on this later, or come to our “Art of Ownership” class!

There are probably many other theories and best practices within the overlap of D/s and non-monogamy — no doubt this is not the only one! But honestly, there’s not much out there about it. We know of very few resources, aside from Raven Kaldera’s book Power Circuits: Polyamory in a Power Dynamic.

I’d love to hear about the different kind of theories you all know about and have come up with. Please add your resources and theories to the comments!

PS: Feel free to expand on this theory and apply it to all kinds of other identities! Please do credit us and link back here if you do.

Show Me You Want It

I want you on your knees in the dark. Waiting. Unsure when I’ll come for you but knowing that I will. Of course I will. We both trust I will.

You know you have to be ready. Your knees are sore your back is sore your wrists are enflamed from the cuffs. Loose enough to be safe, but barely. You won’t use the buzzer affixed to you, the one that alerts me if you are in danger. You know it’s there. That is enough comfort for you.

You know you have to be ready because when I open the door I will not wait. It could be a blow to the face, a swift kick, knocking you over, shoving you to the floor. It could be a tight grip, lifting you to your feet. Don’t fall over don’t get thrown off balance keep your composure.

Impress me.

Maybe I’ll let you breathe. Maybe I’ll let you look at me, touch me. Maybe I’ll let you catch your breath, ease off of your red knees, work the kink out of your elbow.

The softest fingertip touch is a tease, is a curse, is even worse because of the pounding force that will come. You don’t trust it. But you trust me, underneath, under the pink of you, inside. You know I can hold this, hold myself and you, hold all of your autonomy and authority and sense of self, and I will give them back to you in morsels you can melt on your tongue. Close your eyes. Don’t bite, just suck. Good boy.

You will be lucky if you taste me. Open your mouth, stick out your tongue. Wider, further. Don’t make me get the gag that opens you too far. I could kneel over your mouth and drip into it, I could urge you open wider and watch you strain to lick, to suck. I like when you strain. I like when you want it.

Show me you want it.

I won’t give it to you, precisely because you want it. This isn’t about you getting what you want. This is about me. This is about my want, my ownership, my craving, my retribution, my dick. It isn’t personal. It’s about the ways my life is so far out of my control, both because that no human is in control of their surroundings and also because I am wired to be passive, to let things happen to me instead of making the things happen. But this, I can control. This is my deepest lust and vulnerability, the rawness at the heart of me, both the raw power and the raw open wound. It isn’t personal, but then again it is: it is the ways that we have grown together and changed

You will take all that I can give and more than I can give. I want it raw, just you and me: I use my fists. I catch you in the jaw, in the chest. One or two in the stomach to remind you of your place. To ensure that it hurts and is too much, sometimes.

I will hit you for so long and you will take it, just take it. Will you ever cry for me? You hold out for so long. You are so tough, so brave. Not so much a masochist, but capable of dispersing the intensity and absorbing the impact with your whole self. But you won’t outlast me. You will cry. You will break down for me. You need it. Maybe we both forget how you need it, but I remember each time you curl in my arms and finally heave sobs of relief and love.

Something in me releases when you do: Relief. I can still do it. I can still break you down to particles, put your puzzle pieces back together. I still have you. You are still, and always have been, mine.

I Want To Be Brutal.

This story contains some physical force, talk of ownership and dominance, the threat of choking, and somewhat forced orgasm.

I want to be brutal, but I want to be nice.

This is a constant conflict in my mind: I want to get that fire in my throat that comes when I see you wince and cringe and cry and beg, that thing that opens through the center of me and smiles when you hurt. And I want you to feel good, I want to touch you and for you to like it, I want to watch you come and give permission for pleasure and encourage you and embrace all the sensations of being in a body.

So maybe I don’t really want to “be nice:” what I want is for you to feel good. I want to be brutal, but I want you to feel good.

Sometimes you tell me that when I’m brutal is when you feel the best. That helps. But I also know that what feels “good” isn’t always loving, caressing touch; sometimes the rough, painful touch is an ordeal to conquer, an experience to withstand, and that too is pleasure.

Tonight, that’s the phrase that keeps coming up: I want to be brutal. I want to brutalize you. I feel afraid of my own desire for this, but I feel inspired by the lines of our contract and things that you’ve said and mantras that I’ve made going around in my head: “I want you to do whatever you want to me.” “I like it when it hurts.” “I want to cry for you.” “I want you to take it out on me.”

You’re working on your computer. I tell you to tell me when you are done, that I need you for something.

You come over to where I’m reading in the leather armchair. I have my reading glasses on and a little lamp next to me.

“Sir?”

“Mmm.” I don’t look up.

“I’m ready for you.”

I glance at you quickly. “Strip. Then kneel there.” I point. And I go back to my book.

It’s not a particularly good book, but it’s easy to read and I get engrossed. You slip off your jeans and tee shirt. You hesitate at your underwear, but I am not paying attention to you, so you don’t interrupt me to ask. You take it off. You kneel, there, with your hands behind your back and your eyes down, and you wait.

I turn pages. Mostly I am reading them, too. I’m waiting for the end of the chapter, but I already know I’m hard and wet and eager and starting to tremble at the sight of you I’m drinking in through my periphery vision. I never stop wanting you. It still feels like it did when we first got together and we had such limited time, that desire, that need to be inside you, to get so deep in you, to claim you, to own you. You press yourself up against me in the mornings with sleepy hellos or in the afternoon with frustrated work stress or in the evenings after coming home from out with friends, and when you kiss me, my desire for you stirs up and rises just like it always does. You are such a good kisser. Something about the softness of your lips and the way you use the sweet part on the inside and its slick and smooth but not too wet and it makes me shiver with pleasure. I want you. I feel embarrassed at how much you turn me on. I’m glad my hard-ons don’t show through my pants because you would know all the time how I just glance at you and it happens. My mouth waters and my cunt gets wet but you can’t see that.

I close the book. It makes a sharp, definitive noise. You were in a meditative state and you jump a little, your muscles tensing as you straighten up.

I stand next to you. I take a few steps around you. I see your chest rise as you breathe in.

I want to lavish praise on you, talk about how good you are and how well you serve me, and while it is true, it is also out of guilt. I want you to know how much I appreciate it when you can take the brutality I need to give, but that can happen after. I give too much praise. It softens the blow.

Tonight, I don’t want the blow to be soft.

I grab a fist full of your hair and I twist so you fall forward to your hands and knees, and pull you so you are crawling. I have some of your weight but mostly you are on your hands and knees. I drag you to the bedroom. I pull you up by your hair and throw you onto the bed with a shove.

“Sit up.” I whip the belt out of the loops of my jeans. You move slowly. You are so quiet, you get so quiet and still when I have you in my palm like this. You will do whatever I say. The noise is gone. There is only me and my commands, demands.

I pull the belt around your right forearm and thigh, binding them together. I grab another belt and do the same on the left.

I sit at the head of the bed, the pillows sweetly behind me, and pull you to sit in between my legs. I spread your legs open, pushing your feet to the outside of my knees. I grab the Magic Wand vibrator from its proper spot between the mattress and the wall and hold it to your cunt with my right hand, gripping your jaw with my left hand, with my mouth right next to your ear.

I turn on the vibrator and it rumbles. You whimper.

“This isn’t for you,” I growl quietly. I savor every shudder as your body starts to tremble and react. You’re so sensitive. I will overwhelm you quickly. That’s the point. “This is for me.”

I might kiss you, sometimes. My mouth is right there and your neck is so sweet and you moan and roll your head against me and I like that, so I might just kiss you again.

My hand covers both your mouth and nose. I take your air. I take your breath. I can have it if I want it. It’s mine.

“I take what I want.”

I let go and you inhale deep and you gasp and you moan when you exhale.

“Aren’t you lucky that you like this.”

I put my hand around your throat, but no pressure, just the touch. It makes you nervous, but there is no danger. Not yet.

“You may as well like it, I’m going to do it whether you want it or not.”

You are straining against the two leather belts. You are pressing back against me. I can feel your pulse in how you are shaking.

“I like to feel you all worked up like this.”

I kiss you again. Why not. You’ve earned it. Or you will.

“I like to remember all the things I can do to you, whenever I want to.”

Your voice is so soft I barely hear you, but you say, “Yes, Sir.”

My arms are in front of your shoulders, holding you back, holding your legs open. I put my fingers to your lips and you reach to have them in your mouth. I tease your mouth. I know how much you like to have your mouth filled, so I won’t give it to you. This torture is for me.

“I get so worked up. I just need to see you suffer. I need to remember my role, my purpose.”

You whisper yes, Sir again.

“It feels so good to see you this way.”

You whimper. You struggle and strain. I let you suck the tips of my fingers.

“It feeds me.”

My lips are on your ear, my voice quiet and low.

“You can do it for me. Go ahead and come when you’re ready. I’m just going to hold you right here and tease you and force you. You don’t have to ask. Just do it.”

You cry out and I let you have more of my fingers. They slip deep on your tongue. Your legs are shaking and you’re pulling against the leather belts, against me, kicking your feet, arching your back. I hold your jaw with my fingers in your mouth, I press the vibrator against you in pulses, softer then harder, feeling the thrust of your hips and the way you’re moving to get it to just the right spot, and I leave it there, and I wait, and I growl.

“Come for me, little toy.”

You do; you come hard, tensing everything, your stomach rippling, clenching your thighs and arms and toes and shaking until you collapse against me, still whimpering, almost crying, releasing.

I’m radiating. I’m giddy. I’m glowing. I’m so fucking deeply satisfied somewhere that I don’t know how to explain or how to touch but seems to only be sated when I force you to do hard things. And I’m so, so turned on. I will have you on your belly with my cock in your mouth next. I will fist your hair again and hold you against me until you can’t breathe. I will thrust my cunt up into you and fuck your mouth. I will come down your throat and you will drink it and swallow it and thank me for the privilege.

But first, I take the leather belts off of you, and you curl up in my arms, and I touch you with long soothing strokes, sweet and comforting, until I can be brutal again.

Lying Down, Guest Post by Kathleen Delaney-Adams

Excerpt from Dirty Dates edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, published by Cleis Press. Reprinted with permission

She presents her back to me, unadorned and shivering in the early morning air. I know she loathes to being naked, the humility and vulnerability of it, so the fact that she’s offered it to me has moved me greatly, made me rock hard. She is spectacular, standing in the middle of the living room, her eyes blinking sleepily, her body already melting in anticipation.

I have surprised her with this, barely allowing her to finish her first cup of coffee before ordering her to take off her clothes and give me her flesh. Although this is our ritual, a Sunday morning play-date we rarely, if ever, miss, I am usually gentle with her. I allow her to wake slowly and warm up to the day, serve her coffee in bed, warm up to the day. The ways in which we arouse each other during these weekly assignations are myriad indeed, sometimes kinky, always juicy. This morning I want kink, demanded it of her. Although this is unexpected, she has scurried to please me, collecting my whips, the lube, the condoms, arranging them within easy reach on the coffee table before she stands before me and offered herself up. She is eager for my instructions, always. I run my hand down the skin of her creamy back and murmur, “That’s a good girl.”

She quivers in response and raises her eyes to mine.

“I didn’t say you could look at me, girl,” I hiss, and we are on.

She knows the drill, eyes now downcast as she slips into her submission. There is a smirk of pleasure and excitement playing about her lips. I should punish her for her sass, but her morning face is so pretty that I decide to allow it. For now.

The first licks of my galley whip are a tease, a flirt of leather on her skin. Kisses promise more to come and render her shaking with desire and a bit of fear.

I like the fear. I let it build slowly, increasing the intensity of the lashes she is receiving until she moves her body in expectation of them, a slight shifting toward the whip. I laugh and hit her pussy, not gently. She moans and spreads her legs open for me, for more.

“Ooh, you liked that, didn’t you, you whore?”

“Yes. Yes, Daddy.” Her voice is breathy.

I hit her pussy again, harder, first with the tails then the handle of the whip. She is moaning louder now, gasping. She blinks back the first sign of real tears—tears of pain or need, I’m not sure—but I give her more nonetheless.

When I stop abruptly her body jerks in response, stiffening, then softening and leaning back toward me. She sniffles, and I flick the whip gently through her hair, letting it caress her long red curls as if it were my fingers touching her.

She has told me it makes her feel cherished, when I beat and whip her flesh, when I fuck her hard and without lube, when I make demands of her. But I want to remind her she is also cherished now, in between the pain—that my whip can be both a brutal weapon and a tender one.

I reach around with my hands and squeeze her tits, rubbing my thumbs over her nipples, tugging them. I slide slowly down her belly, my fingers finding her slick wet pussy. She cries out and stumbles, losing her balance, when I shove three fingers inside her.

“Mmm, nice and wet for me, just the way I like you.”

Just as quickly I pull my hand away. My cock grows even stiffer when she cries out again and there is no mistaking her hunger.

I begin to whip her in earnest now, letting it build, slicing the whip into her skin with enough force to leave marks. That tender spot just under her ass is my favorite, the blood rising to the surface almost immediately in a sweet red welt.

She is fighting to stand still, moaning and sobbing, her entire body quaking. I land a series of intense blows on her back, and she sobs harder, in pain.

“Turn around,” I growl, and she obeys immediately.

Her teary eyes meet mine, her mouth swollen and quivering, and I want to tear into it, bite it, draw blood. I can see juice on her thighs, her pussy glistening. Her eyes are pleading. I know she wants more. She doesn’t have to beg—I’m not done yet—but I decide to make her anyway.

“Have you had enough, girl?” I ask. She starts to shake her head, than catches herself; she knows I prefer she answer me when I ask a question.

“N-no. No.”

“Do you want more then? Tell me you want more.”

“Yes. Yes, please. Please.” Her begging is not part of our play. I know she means it, and I am so stiff for her I might explode.

“Lift your arms for me.”

I demand full access to that delicate flesh. I want to devour her. Instead, I settle for my whip’s access, the ferocity of my own need barely restrained as I slice the tender skin of her breasts, her stomach, her thighs. Her nipples are hard, her breath rasping, her lips trembling. She bites her lower lip to keep from crying but she can’t stop the flow of tears, the sobs. When I lash out at her pussy, she again opens her legs for me, rocking her hips forward so I can better reach her clit, moving back and forth in time with the leather. This is a dance we have perfected over time, a dance not just of desire but of devotion.

I can’t wait a moment longer to enter that tight pussy, and I lay down the whip and grab her, pressing her against me. She collapses in my arms, simply melting, and I feel her wet cheeks buried in my neck.

Read the rest of the story in the anthology Dirty Dates edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, published by Cleis Press. Get more information about the Dirty Dates anthology here. Thanks for letting me reprint part of it!

A toy to do with as I please.

Another excerpt from the NaNoWriMo “novel”, the draft of which I completed this morning! I wouldn’t say the novel is actually done, but it’s 50,000 words strong and ready for revision. This is the beginning of chapter 6, Master Jack Harrison’s second date with Sidra (after they’ve been texting and emailing dirty things for a week).

Sidra is sitting on the steps, shivering a little in a too-short skirt and a long wool winter coat, when I walk up to my apartment building after I park the car. Her heels are high and poised carefully on the steps below her, feet apart, while her knees are together. She’s cute. Desperately so. I can’t believe she came all this way. What a good girl, asking for what she wanted. I’m salivating already.

I walk straight past her, getting my key out and unlocking the front door. She stands. “Come,” I say, a simple, clear command. I hold the door and she walks through it. She blinks at me when she walks by me, catching my eye, but she doesn’t say anything. “Go ahead; up.” I say as we reach the stairs. She looks slightly down and sideways, giving me a flash of her coyness, before she starts up the stairs. Her skirt is so short that I can see the tops of her stockings, which stop at her thighs, and the way her ass switches. She’s not wearing any underwear. I can see everything, the pink of her exposed. That must’ve been very cold, out there, waiting for me.

I just watch. I could watch this all day, her legs, the way her thighs rub together, how she criss-crosses her heels just the tiniest bit. The angles. I get my smart phone out and take a couple of photos, discreetly. I adjust my dick in my jeans, getting hard already. I want to fuck this girl.

But I want to hold the line I’m trying to draw, the line of a hard, strict master, even more.

She pauses at the top of the third floor, and I slide my arm around her waist and guide her down the hallway. The walk to the end seems excruciatingly slow and has never felt this far away. She leans into me, just enough that I can feel it, and I turn to inhale the scent of her hair: clean and floral, with the faintest hint of sweetness. The purple is growing on me. Somehow, it looks so elegant on her. “It’s good to see you,” I say quietly.

The key in the lock won’t turn, and I might burst and break it down if I can’t get it open momentarily. I breathe. Concentrate. Focus. This isn’t going to get any easier; in fact, it’ll only get harder as I get more turned on. Hold the line.

I take her coat when we walk in and immediately point to the floor. “Down.”

She obeys, dropping to her knees like she’s done it a thousand times for me, like she already knows the hardness of my floors and she doesn’t have to calculate how much to let gravity take her weight and how much to resist against it. It’s beautiful, seamless. Her eyes are down, hands behind her back. Her shirt is a small, tight tee shirt, white and simple, almost school girl-ish, but a little more grown up. Her black skirt fans out around her thighs, toes of her heels tapping the floor.

“Good,” I say, and turn to hang up our coats. “Wait there.” I put our coats away, place my keys in the dish by the door, pour us both glasses of water, and fuss with a few other things on the counter before I come back to Sidra. She’s still on the floor, breathing hard, the anticipation of waiting making her even more turned on and ready. Her purple hair hangs in her face, which is still lowered, focused; she’s playing in some internal landscape of submission, focused on her inner senses, not her knees (which are probably killing her by now) or her discomfort.

I step up right next to her, my boots clicking against the hardwood. “Come with me,” I say. She looks up at me and nods, unfolding her hands. I turn toward the dungeon, not watching her rise, letting her stretch and get the kinks out without my gaze on her.

I set the glasses down on the table next to the door. The moment we are both inside, I close the door and turn to press her up against it. Hard. My hand at her throat, hips grinding against her, my other hand holding both of hers above her head in one smooth motion. My mouth close to hers. She gasps, half closing her eyes, lips pursed and almost panting. She’s caught, like prey in a trap, like a fly in a web. I smile at the familiar current of dominance and power that come over me. She melts a little against the door, against me, her hips pushing back against mine, squirming a little, but not to escape so much as to feel the resistance back against her. I hold her firm.

“What did you expect to happen tonight, girl? Did you expect to come over and get fucked, get worked over? Did you think I would spank you for touching yourself, scold you like a naughty schoolgirl? Did you think this outfit would work on me?”

She opens her mouth like she’s going to speak, but doesn’t, and closes it. My hand is still at her throat, though not pressing with any real pressure; just holding it there, reminding her that I can.

“If you want to be mine, you’re going to have to do what I say. Are you ready to show me what you can do?”

She nods.

“Are you ready to be mine?”

She swallows, I can feel it against the palm of my hand. So vulnerable, the throat. So open. She nods again. “Please,” she whispers.

“Please, what?”

“Please, do what you want with me. I will obey you. Sir.” Her eyes are still almost closed, lips pink, cheeks flushing. My feet are planted firm and I trace my hand down her sternum, past her belly, down between her legs, and I hold her cunt in my hand through her skirt.

“Looks like you are eagerly ready for me,” I say, feeling the heat even through the black fabric of the skirt.

“Yes, yes, I am. So ready,” Sidra assures me.

“This could be just for tonight, Sidra; do not misunderstand me. I’m not promising you are mine forever. Just for tonight.”

“I understand.”

I can feel each time she inhales and exhales in her throat. It’s exhilarating, intoxicating, to hold her breath in my hand, to squeeze it just a little. I lean in closer to her, inhale her scent, smell the longing and desire building in her. My shoulders relax. My mind goes so perfectly clear. “I’ve been wanting this too, you know. Someone to play with, to use. A toy to do with as I please.”

“Submission is mine to define for myself.” Interview with Miss Piggy

Miss Piggy was a player in Submissive Playground in 2014, and is signed up to join us again. She is the Social Activities Director of the Society of Janus in San Francisco.

What did you like about the course? What parts of it stand out?

There were a lot of things I liked about the course, but the first that stands out for me is that I felt like Mr. Sexsmith led me through a lot of pondering that I hadn’t done yet, about a variety of topics. I was still/am still very new, and it gave me an organized, thoughtful approach to my own kinks and interests. The quality of the materials was very high – the videos were very informative and entertaining, and I haven’t seen that caliber elsewhere. Mr. Sexsmith and rife are also “informative and entertaining” – you can really see how beautiful and thought-out their relationship is and how that shapes their perspectives.

The other aspect that was very special was the camaraderie with subs from all over the world. Everyone was so different in terms of their dynamics, orientation and interests, but each person was more fascinating that the last! Having people video chat and tell their stories was so cool. I might pay to do the class again just so I can learn from all the next group’s stories.

What drew you to Submissive Playground? Where were you before you took the course?
I was a fairly new submissive when I found out about the Playground. I was reading everything I could get my hands on, taking classes, and getting involved in the local scene. But I needed more, and everything I read pointed me to the Submissive Playground (especially the idea of homework).

What was your favorite part of the experience?
Hearing from submissives of every gender and orientation from all over the world. Having someone share a deep, dark scary secret and several of us all piping in “ME TOO!”

What did you learn?
I learned that I am ok as the submissive I am, and I can strive to become the submissive I want to be. It’s not about the end game, it’s about the journey. The Playground was an important part of that journey.

What kind of skills did you build?
Discovering what kinds of service are important to each of my partners and following through on those things, instead of making myself crazy trying to be perfect with things they couldn’t care less about. And flirting with Tops and Sadists and Dominants (oh my!) while still feeling submissive.

What changed with your relationship to submission?
Realizing it was mine (and my partners) to define for ourselves – there isn’t a right answer.

What changed with your relationship to your dominant?
Watching the assigned videos with Him, or sharing specific readings, was the best part. Further opening lines of communication – me finding my voice to say that something wasn’t working for me (bad pain versus good pain, suffering for His pleasure versus being miserable). Even for a strong, alpha submissive like myself, those are hard things to say aloud to a partner.

What in you feels stronger now than it did before the course?
My trust in my own gut to know when a relationship or scene isn’t right for me. My confidence that as a fat, middle-aged masochist submissive cis-woman, I am a hot catch for the right people and anyone who earns my service or submission better be damn worth it.

How & why would you recommend this to other submissives?
While I got lots of answers to my unresolved questions from this class, I felt more focused on the wonderful questions it brought to my attention. I found myself wandering my neighborhood caught up in a question that came up on a phone call or in one of the videos.

If you are intelligent, thoughtful, submissive (or might be), curious and ideally witty, I think you’ll get a lot out of it, even if it’s not what you think you’ll get out of it. It’s really a bit of a journey – I’m glad I took it seriously.


january-subplay

Submissive Playground
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You’ll Never Find the Perfect Dominant

You’re right: You won’t ever find a dominant who is your most perfect match.

If you listen way down deep, there’s a voice telling you that. You have very particular needs, desires, cravings, and your submission is demanding, sometimes feeling endless. You want and want and want, and who can fill that up with anything that leaves a mark? You won’t ever find someone as good as your ex. You won’t ever find someone as good as the person who introduced you to submission, who whispered those most perfect dirty things in your ear and told you to get on your knees. You will come on too strong to the next sexiest person you’ve ever seen and they will whisper to their friends about how much you “aren’t a real submissive” or are “topping from the bottom.” You are too much. Too big. Too thick. Too mouthy. Too bratty. You will never get your needs met. You will never find someone who matches your particular specialties in submission, your unique perspectives on service and masochism and giving over your body and will and all the dirt under your fingernails. Your dirty hands are too dirty. Your dirty mind is too dirty. Your next dominant just wants to sit on the couch and have you pour more wine, and where does that leave you? You have to wait, to beg, to crave touch, to sit still with skin hunger that may feel like it will devour you, to be disappointed.

You won’t find the perfect dominant for you.

Unless you Do The Work.

Look at the parts of yourself that are yours and only yours. Excavate some of those unknown places until you can see around them and know why they’re there. Acknowledge what it is that you want and what it is you just won’t settle for, and you will have a much better chance to find (and be) the right partner. Until you know what you want, you may not find it. Until you look deep at your part in your patterns, you will probably keep repeating them. Until you fill your own holes, you may continue to have a bottomless pit of desire and need that you think can only be filled by another person. Define your own cosmology of icons and worship and desire. Define your own dictionary of touch and connection and intimacy. Write the perfect love letter to the universe detailing all of the amazing things you secretly wish hope dream for in a lover and mail it off on the wind to fall and float down a waterfall. You can do it. You have wells of untapped strength.

Submissives are the strongest people I know.

Your demands are reasonable. Your desires are reasonable. Your wants are reasonable. Your unique particular weirdo gender is reasonable, and beautiful. Your too-much-ness is exactly the reason why you will be wanted, why you will be craved when you are not around, why someone who doesn’t even know you is craving you right now.

There is nothing wrong with you, or with the kind of submission that you most secretly, way down in your bones, seek.

I do actually believe that. But you have to believe it, too.

And then you have to go after it, with such vigilance that you won’t accept no for an answer, and your own no is an eager blade to get anything not serving your journey out of the way. Take up arms. Take up protest. Take up your favorite friends as armor, as council, as confidants. Take up your rightful space in the room. Take more dessert than you were served. Take the most amazing gift of yourself to the person who really could use it, right now, today.

Take the next step.

“Healing comes through sex.” Sinclair Sexsmith interviews Sophia Chang

How do I know if this kind of dirty kinky sex is *good* for me? What are the healing aspects of D/s play? What kind of biophysical basis for healing does kinky sex have? And how can the sacral chakra and cellular memory assist with healing, and give your sex life even more power and oomph?

These are the kinds of questions I asked Sophia, and we talk about all this and more in the second video in the Sugarbutch series on mental wellness and kink.

Watch it now!

Can’t get enough of Sophia Chang? Here’s more: http://facebook.com/thesophiachang | http://www.sexmoneyuniversity.com

And if THAT’S not enough, Sophia + I are doing a special Q&A version where we’ll talk about wellness, kink, mental health, liberation, feminism, queerness, straight sex, and even chakras (if you ask). Come join us!

Thursday January 8, 2015
6pm PST, 9pm EST
On Spreecast (link will be sent to you the day of the webinar)
Free! Just sign up below:

(PS: There will probably be flirting.)

10 Tips for Tops

There are many styles of dominance, mastery, and topping, from the paternal to the viciously mean, but regardless of where you are, I believe you can be better. I believe this exploration of power dynamics can be a spiritually fulfilling path, and that it can lead us to many lessons and areas of growth.

Those of us who are on this side of the D/s slash, we who are the People In Charge, have a lot of challenges to building a healthy version of this identity, particularly when we are doing it in a context of social activism, intersectional oppression, and general awareness of institutionalized power imbalances. Here’s some of the best tips I have for folks who want to up their topping or dominance game, and be stronger, more resilient, and more compassionate while they are pursuing this work.

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Image by rife of Rowdy Ferret Design & Illustration

1. Create a Palette of Permission

If it’s hard for you to figure out what to do in a scene, or if your perfect submissive looks up at you and says, “I’ll do anything you want!” and your mind goes blank, this is a good thing for you to focus on. Create a list, on your own or brainstorming together with your submissive, of things that you know you have permission to do, in general, in periods where you are both your fit and healthy selves. (They may not apply when one or either of you are having an off day, are sick or physically unwell, or in different states of consciousness—like asleep or playing with some substances. They probably also only apply in certain places, like when you two are alone or in kink-friendly events. Check in.) Make a Top Ten list of things that generally your sub really loves and could do over and over and over. Trust that you can return to each of these things hundreds of times before either of you will get bored. There are infinite variations. Bonus tip: Make a wishlist of things you want to include in your Palette, but don’t currently know how to do, and start learning!

2. An On Switch For Your Dominance

Use your favorite words or positions that make you both feel empowered, deliberate, and sexy.
Many tops and dominants who play with power exchange during scenes, but whose reach and sphere of control don’t extend into other areas of their submissive’s life, need a way to have an “on switch” for their dominance (and an “on switch” for their submissive’s submissiveness, too). Consider building a D/s ritual that will, eventually, when repeated enough times, serve like a kind of Pavlovian symbol for you two stepping into those roles, something you both have a visceral response to. This ritual can be things like: You stand and your sub kneels at your feet; Your sub picks three toys and lays them out on the bed, then gets into a “present” slave position, and you enter the room; You recite a back-and-forth agreed upon (simple) phrases or promises to each other. Use your favorite words or positions that make you both feel empowered, deliberate, and sexy.

3. Receiving as a Dominant

Sometimes it seems incongruous to receive sexual touch or services from the top or dominant position. I assure you: this is common and makes a lot of sense. It’s difficult to feel “in control” and also at the same time to relax and receive. (Sidenote: This is at times very related to one’s gender, and one’s amount of stoneness. Most cis male doms—as a stereotype—don’t seem to have a problem receiving blow jobs, for example, do they?) One of the best ways you can work on this is by being very vocal with what you want to receive, and continuing to give orders and corrections and suggestions throughout the process. You also might want to work with physical levels, where you are physically above your submissive, to remind yourself that you are still in charge, even if their fist is in your hole. And read the essay How to Top Your Master by Raven Kaldera. Though it’s directed more at submissives, there are many useful things in there for dominants.

4. Got Guilt? More Aftercare

If you feel guilty after your scenes as a dominant, check in about it. Ask yourself: Did I really want to be doing that? Was I having a good time? Was my partner having a good time? Did we all come away from the scene generally glad the scene had happened? Scenes aren’t always perfect, of course (and aren’t always full of happy smiles and sunshine and rainbows). But generally, did it go well? Did you want to be there? Because honestly, if you feel that much guilt, maybe you didn’t. Maybe you’d be better suited to less psychologically intense play. But if that’s not the case, and you really do want to be there (and your partners eagerly consent, of course), then you gotta deal with that nagging guilt from an internalized prescription of egalitarianism. It’s okay to create the relationship you want to be in. Normalize it for yourself by seeking more D/s community and sharing your experiences with others. And make sure you get enough aftercare yourself. You might need down time after, or quiet private time, or reflective time where your sub tells you all about what they liked and how all those dirty things you did made them feel. Or maybe cuddles. Experiment, and find your best aftercare methods.

5. Build Trust Slowly

Build the trust you need from your submissive to know that they are honest and they can follow through on what they agree to.
D/s and power dynamics are completely built on trust. Thats part of what I love about it: It requires so much deep knowing and intimacy. It takes work to keep it safe, protected, and intact. When the relationship is going well, the work can feel effortless. But this trust doesn’t just show up when a submissive kneels and offers themself to you. You gotta build this trust between you slowly. Most of us do this intuitively, but it’s helpful to do it consciously too. Not only are they building the trust they need from you, since they are putting their body and psyche into your hands, but also you are building the trust you need from them, which includes the ability to trust that they are honest with you if they get overwhelmed or need to stop, trusting they mean what they say, and trusting for them to reach out for support. Trust builds slowly and is earned over time. Don’t rush it.

6. Two-footing a Scene

This is a concept I learned from Xan West, which is the idea that generally, in a scene, the top is completely “in” the scene and present while still holding the boundaries of the negotiated agreement and some awareness of the surrounding space (though whether you’re at a busy dungeon or home alone would make that slightly more or less challenging)—that’s two-footing, being both in the scene and in the reality. Most of the time, it’s just a given that the top is the one who is doing this two-footing. But some activities really cause us tops to lose our footing. (Has that ever happened to you?) Make a list of activities that you think could cause you to tumble so deep into the scene that you have trouble keeping a hold on reality. Lean on your submissive for support, perhaps ask them to hold the boundaries and negotiations of the scene so you can lose yourself. Bonus: Make a list of realities that keep you so engaged that its hard to dive into the scene at all, like for example a crowded dungeon.

7. Recovering from Fuck-ups

Some of us have really strong reactions to fucking something up. We beat ourselves up about it, our confidence crumbles, and we shirk away from whatever it was we fucked up for a long time after. If you want to up your dominant game, you gotta get good at fucking up, because here’s the thing: You will fuck something up. I don’t mean something huge and irreparable (hopefully not), but more so small things that will stop or delay a scene for a while until you can get things back on the rails. The measure of someone (a dominant or partner or sub or just about everybody, I think) isn’t whether or not they fuck up, it’s what they do and how they respond to that fuck-up. So ask yourself: Do you take responsibility? Sincerely apologize? Understand what went wrong? Integrate that into your being so you will remember not to do that same thing again? And then, when the other folks involved are ready to move forward, can you let it go? Work on your ability to recover from fuck-ups and your scenes will be smoother.

8. Dive Deep into Theory

Read all the books and blogs you can get your hands on. Find your local resources and study those, too.
The power exchange subject isn’t an abundant one, but there are books out there, and really good theorists who from whom you should absolutely learn. Raven Kaldera runs Alfred Press, and they have dozens of books about cooperative power dynamics, limitations, and real scenarios for living D/s and M/s. Andrea Zanin’s writing is largely compiled at sexgeek.wordpress.com and every piece is worth reading. (She also has a fantastic list of kink resources, including many specific power dynamic books.) I highly recommend these: 1) Dear Raven and Joshua: Questions and Answers about Master/Slave Relationships by Raven Kaldera and Joshua Tenpenny, 2) Slavecraft: Roadmaps for Erotic Servitude – Principles, Skills and Tools by a grateful slave with Guy Baldwin 3) The Marketplace Series (The Marketplace, The Slave, The Trainer, The Academy, The Reunion and The Inheretor) by Laura Antoniou.

9. You Are Not An Asshole

If you—like me and like many thoughtful, feminist, and sensitive dominants—have fear that what you are doing is “bad” and “wrong” and difficult to reconcile with your moral code, here are some ideas. First, make sure you really understand the concept of agency. You fully trust someone’s no, right? You can trust their yes, too. You can trust that they, not you, know what they want. Second, remember that everyone fucks up, and work on your ability to recover; don’t expect to be perfect and never make mistakes. Third, take a good, strong look at what you think being an asshole in this context would be, and actively work toward not being that. Remember: Most people who actually are assholes do not spend much time worrying about whether or not they are assholes. That you are concerned and aware tells me that it’s 95% likely that you are not an asshole. (That other 5% is for folks who are not so self-aware. So hey, build that muscle, and follow Socrates: Know thyself.)

10. Masturbate More

Are you getting stuck building scenes, finding creative new ways to use the toys you have, or creating dirty experiments for your sexytimes with your submissives or playmates? There’s an easy place to start for that one: Masturbate more. Spend more time with porn and erotica to fuel the fires of your erotic self, but also make sure you spend some significant time letting your mind wander into erotic territory and exploring whatever may show up there. Take notes and highlight things you’d actually like to try!

“I know I’m submissive. But where do I start?” aka “I just read Fifty Shades of Grey and I want THAT.”

1. Read a fucking book

Read fiction, sure—Carrie’s Story, The Marketplace series, Mr. Benson, The Leather Daddy and the Femme (these are some of my personal favorites)—hell, even Fifty Shades of Grey—read the fiction, but know that it is designed for one thing: Arousal. The reality of it is both much, much sexier, erotic, and mind-blowing and also sometimes very different, full of realistic mundane problems that aren’t sexy at all.

Read non-fiction. There are many good ones: ask a bookseller at your favorite local bookstore for recommendations on where to start if you’re exploring kink (I know, it’s old fashioned, but do it anyway.) Go in to your local feminist queer sex-positive sex toy shop (is there not a good directory for those online yet!?) and ask them for their book recommendations. Go to your favorite queer sex blogger’s list of recommended BDSM books on Amazon and browse around. Go intellectual-butt-sniffing (aka, look over their bookshelves) at your bibliophile friend’s place.

All of those recommendations are worth reading, but these are essential. Consider them assigned to you as homework.

You can do this step while you also do the other steps, but do not skip it.

2. Find a buddy

It doesn’t really matter where you find your buddy, but you gotta have that person you can talk to about this thing that is growing and that you are beginning to voice and give weight and value to. It’s great if that person has lots more information about kink than you do, if they can guide you on the path, if they can be your mentor, but that’s not the most important thing.

They must:

  • Feel safe to talk to
  • Listen to what you’re curious about
  • Be supportive and not judgmental, not shaming of your interests
  • Ask interesting questions

And, most importantly:

When you leave the conversations with this friend, you feel invigorated, empowered, stronger, braver. <— Pay attention to this, to how you feel after visiting with your friends and relations in general. You don’t need anyone else stomping on this new baby-green identity that is just starting to sprout and grow. It needs some scaffolding, a tomato cage of strength and nurturance around it, one that won’t disrupt it’s growth but is there if it needs something to hold on to, some guidance of how to get to the sun, some support if the fruits get too heavy.

Find those tomato-cage friends and lovers and confidants and beloveds. Identify them. They are out there. You probably already know a few of them.

3. Brave up and go to a Thing

BDSM, kink, and fetish events abound. You may not find “your people” or “your community” or your next mind-blowing fuck at the first, second, third, fifth, or even twentieth event you attend—but then again, you might.

Depending on where you live, this might be harder than it sounds. Your Thing might have to be on another coast, in another city, while visiting that one friend from college who is always posts “interesting” things on Facebook.

Look up whatever might be happening in your local kink community on Fetlife. (I wish I knew of another good source for you, but that’s the best I’ve got. And hey, I’ll be your friend!) Yes, you might have to wade through unsolicited solicitations. Yes, you might not have the exact right orientation or gender or fetish event that you’d really most want, in your heart-of-hearts, to attend. But that’s okay. You don’t have to go to the only very most perfect events. Go to the events that kind of weird you out, that you don’t get, that you are totally “meh” about.

Regardless of the Thing, you’ll learn. Pay attention. Put your phone away and really listen. Think about it as if you’re a scientist studying what these kinksters do. Why do they like it? What’s amazing about it? What makes them squirm, in good ways or bad ways? Even if it isn’t for you, you can still observe and learn.

The more brave you are, the more you’ll feel strong and capable and badass, and the more you’ll be able to do.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be in person, though I do encourage you to make sure to attend at least one kinky event every two months. But if socializing is too too hard, if your schedule just doesn’t work, it could be online. Lots of kinksters host online events. I’m just about to launch Submissive Playground for the second time, which is a more in-depth study for anybody who knows they’re submissive (of some kind) and wants to explore more submissive headspace. It’s great for folks who are beginners, for folks who have done so much kinky bottoming that they are practically bored and stagnant, for people without much kink community around them geographically, and for people wanting to dip their toes back in after something hard happened (be it a breakup or a bad scene).

Regardless, the point is to prioritize your kink. Prioritize your submission. It’s important, and nothing to be ashamed of.

4. Brave up and ask a top to play

Step 0: Go to a kink/bdsm/fetish Thing.

Step 1: Identify the hottest person in the room. If you’re trying to develop your submissive self, then filter for whether or not that person is a top. (Hint: You might not know until you talk to them!)

Step 2: Dare yourself to find a reason to talk to them, and say hi. Maybe it’s to give a compliment (people like compliments!) or ask a question (it’s flattering for someone to be curious!).

Step 3: Find common ground, and elevate the discussion. (This is something my mom taught me and I think about it all the time.)

Step 4: If you’ve talked for 2-5 minutes at the event and are still curious and have more compliments to give, offer your phone number. Ask if they’re on Fetlife and give them your user name. Say that you’d love to be in touch and talk more.

Step 5: If you’re really bold, ask them on a date. If you are less bold, ask them on a date via whatever contact information they give you or when they find you on social media or email you later.

One more note about asking tops to play:

They are not better than you are, they are not (inherently) sexier than you are, they are not more entitled to play than you are, just because they are a top and you are/might be a bottom. Tops sometimes act like they own the scene, but they don’t. They need you just as much as you need them, and they are just as nervous/excited/lonely/wishing for the right person to come along as you are.

Sometimes s-types are nervous about asking for dates or being forward, because that is seen as a trait that dominants or tops have. I say, fuck that. There are absolutely ways to hit on someone from a submissive or bottomy or masochistic perspective. The more you hit on people and the more trial and error you do, the more play you’ll get and the more you’ll be able to read the signs better and better.

Rife has some great tips for how to get more kinky play from a submissive’s perspective—Watch for his video on that later this week!

5. One last tip to help you open up your submissive world:

Recognize that no matter what you consume about submission, there’s no one right way to do it, and your way is just as good as anyone elses. You don’t have to love service, or being hit, or playing in public, or being naked, or having your orgasms controlled, or body fluids, or blood, or ANY thing at all really. Your kinks are okay and your icks are just fine too.

Whatever you learn through any sources you take in, people or meetings or mentors or books or events or lovers—you get to remix everything into your own identity, and who you are, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, is exactly right.

PS: AMAZING illustration by rife, who drew an infographic for the stages of kink and power dynamic identity development and formation. (I helped with some words and theories.) Watch for the full thing to be posted in a few days!

Ask Mr. Sexsmith: I’m a sub, but my partner is not a dom. What do I do?

This question comes from Marie:

“My partner and I have come to a difficult place in our relationship. I have long since had the desire and urge to be dominated, to be somebody’s submissive, and to explore the world in its entirety. My partner, however, has no wishes. I’ve sat down with her and tried to explain what it meant, what it meant to me, and what it would mean to our relationship, but she says she can’t bear to hurt me (even if I enjoy it). I’ve been the dominate one, so to say, in our relationship, and I know for a fact that she would never consider me seeking a dom or have an open relationship. I love her, but I’m unhappy. How did you first address all of this? And is there anything else I can explain to her before I have to make a decision? I really want to explore this, and I want to with her, but she really has no budge room, and I don’t want to make her uncomfortable.  All in all, I’m really confused and at ends.”

….. I have one more thing to add that I didn’t say when I recorded the video yesterday, that is whispering to me now that I’m re-reading your question.

Marie, you wrote: “I really want to explore this, and I want to with her, but she really has no budge room, and I don’t want to make her uncomfortable.”

And here’s the thing. You want to explore this with her, but she doesn’t want to explore it. You want to push her a little, because you are very attached to doing this with her specifically and not opening your relationship to some sort of non-monogamy (which is totally understandable!), but you don’t want to make her “uncomfortable.”

But: let me remind you, sweet pea, for a moment, of your own discomfort. You are uncomfortable by not having the kind of D/s relationship dynamic that your secret heart-of-hearts craves. And there is no reason for her discomfort to be more important than yours. Yes, of course, her discomfort is important and consent is important—I’m not trying to say that she should do it anyway and you “win.” But what I’m trying to say is that you have a clashing of needs here, and you two are going to have to figure that out.

You want something. She doesn’t want it.

There’s so many ways to sugar-coat that, but that’s the simplest core of truth.

It’s totally okay to have different wants or needs in a partnership—that happens all the time. What is important is that you two come up with a way to talk about these different needs, be they around sex, or D/s, or monogamy, or what you make for dinner that night, or whether your parents come stay for a weekend, or where you go on vacation.

It’s extra scary to talk about, because it’s sex and extra dirty kinky stuff that you may still have some internal shame or guilt about. Do you have that? Ask yourself, for a brief quiet soft gentle moment: Do you think you should be able to have this deep want? Or are there things in place between you and that want that make it even harder to ask for, to advocate for yourself around?

I mean, if it was … a new car that you wanted, or a puppy, what would you do then? Would you think of those as “legitimate” wants, whereas this is a scary, shadow, selfish want? (I’m just guessing—maybe that’s not how it feels for you.)

I guess what I’m really trying to say is, YOU DESERVE TO HAVE THIS. And it sucks that she doesn’t want to do it with you. That really sucks. I’m sorry. There’s nothing wrong with you for wanting this, but you two might have come to an irreconcilable difference, if she a) won’t allow you to explore it with anyone else and b) won’t explore it with you.

So now comes a very difficult decision on your part, which is precisely why you’re asking me this question: Is your desire for this greater than your desire to be in this intimate, monogamous partnership with her?

Ask yourself that gently, with kindness, as if you are your best friend asking yourself this. It’s okay if the answer is no. It’s okay if the answer is yes. It’s okay if the answer is “I don’t know.”

I know for me, no partnership felt right until I had that D/s dynamic. It just didn’t. As much as I loved them, as much as I wanted it to work, it didn’t, until I had a power dynamic in place. I don’t really know why. For whatever reason, that’s my fetish, that’s how I’m wired. That’s what really makes me pleased and happy and satiated. Sometimes, for me, the love itself—though it was good love and beautiful love and important love and growing love—was not enough.

It sucks that sometimes love wasn’t enough. But it’s true. I needed more. Maybe you do, too.

Got a (different) question?

I’ve got a full inbox, but I love hearing your gender and identity and sexuality puzzles. What’s on your mind? Ask it here! And I’ll do my best to email you when I answer it.

Remember, Sinclair does one-on-one coaching!

I hope my thoughts give you some places to start. If you’re still stuck, remember, I do one-on-one coaching sessions, and I would be very happy to help you with resources, experiments, ideas, support, or just talking in depth through this process. Contact me for more information and pricing.

Comment Zen …

Readers, do you relate to Marie’s question?

If you do, would you share your own story about being in a relationship and not getting the kind of power dynamic that you wanted? What kind of resources helped you on your journey? Books? Anything to recommend for others who are going through this?

Leave your story anonymously if you like; your email address will not be published, and if you don’t want your usual “gravitar” picture of you to show up, just type “+sugarbutch” in your email address (like [email protected]) and I’ll know you want to be anonymous.

And there’s more …

If you want to explore your submissive identity even more, sign up for the Submissive Playground summer school! Registration closes June 30th.

Devouring Magic: January Book Roundup

Little note: I use Grammarly’s plagiarism detection software because duplications, while sometimes necessary, are never as good as the real thing.

I read seven books in January! I’ve had such difficulty focusing on reading the past few years. I think at first it was because of my weird fogged-out grief-brain, but then this past year I think I was just out of the habit, going instead to my Facebook feed or Twitter feed or Tumblr feed if I wanted things to read.

I’ve also been realizing that the massive stacks of books that I read for work are sometimes really hard to get into and not exactly “pleasure reading.” While I love love love to read relationship theories and gender theories and gender memoirs & narratives and sex education things in general, I also don’t necessarily curl up with those before I go to bed. I used to—but I guess that’s the difference between doing that kind of stuff as a JOB and reading them all for fun.

So around the holidays, I put out the question to friends and started accruing a huge list of indulgent novels to try out and read. I wanted to start with some easy page-turners, those “unputdownables” that I bring to the dinner table and wake up wanting to read. I got some fantastic recommendations.

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I started with Divergent, the first in a YA dystopian trilogy. The narrator, Tris, is in a society that measures by value, and at 16 they are sorted into the faction where they will stay. They do have some choice, but they also take an aptitude test to determine where they would best fit. Excellent premise! I was into it, and excited about the story, and devoured it quickly, but the writing was not so great. Thin and definitely plot-based. I would absolutely watch the film, though, and I may pick up the other two books in the series, especially when I need to remind myself that books are easy to read and I can zoom through them in a couple days.

Tiny aside: Do y’all read through a Kindle or Kindle app? I think it’s kind of fascinating that it tracks how many hours you’ve spent reading any particular book, and then it also tells you how many more hours you have to go in reading it. I don’t track time very well, I am coming to realize, so that was really interesting.

After Divergent, I almost picked up book #2 in the series, but decided to try another YA fantasy-type series instead, and I picked up Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. Holy crap, I thought that book was amazing. From the introductory chapters that normalize Karou’s strange life to her romance and the profound reveal toward the end of the book, I was hooked. I read the second,Days of Blood & Starlight, and then was so ready to pick up the third, Dreams of Gods & Monsters, when I discovered that it’s due out this spring! Noooo! So I picked up the #2.5 novella, Night of Cake & Puppets, which was charming and sweet and fun, and I am even more into Karou’s best friend Zuzanna. I hear it’s going to be a movie, and they are going to be big hits (if Twilight and Hunger Games have any precedence, which they do). I would absolutely cast Kenzi from Lost Girl as Karou, and if they cast anybody else I might hold a protest.

I took a little break from YA fantasy after that series, because I am not sure it gets better than that, at least for right now. So I picked up The Delicious Torment: A Story of Submission, Alison Tyler’s second in her recent trilogy. If you like Fifty Shades type of erotic romance fantasy novels, I highly recommend Alison Tyler. She’s the real deal, with actual experience and solid writing talent.

I picked up Night Film by Marisha Pessl on recommendation from an old friend, one whose fiction opinions I usually trust. I couldn’t put it down. It was more dense than the others I’ve been reading, but I got so deeply engrossed in the story of the eccentric horror film director and the narrator investigative journalist dead set on exposing whatever real horrors the director was up to. The strange cast grows, and I was so impressed with the world that Pessl built. I don’t usually read such suspense or mystery, but it reminded me of the years in high school where I used to read book after book of Christopher Pike and Dean Koontz. Maybe I should try some of their more recent books again.

That is precisely the kind of reading I’m looking for these days—something somewhat light, that I can devour, but with some magic underneath it that keeps me enraptured and entranced.

I finished off the month with Jeanette Winterson’s latest memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?. I have read almost all of her books, I think I read everything up to The Stone Gods, though I’m a few behind now. I love her intense writing, her experimental style, the ways she is obsessed with love. Oh, and this book, this book. This book made me want to go back and read all the classics of English Literature A-Z that she talks about discovering, it made me want to theorize about love and loss and the lost loss and healing and grief and how we can ever recover from trauma. I marked all sorts of quotes and cried and wrote things down. I had to put it down and read some of it slowly, connecting deeply to the amount of feeling she is able to convey. After reading it, I feel like I just took a big deep breath. It made me want to pick up many more things of hers, or to re-read some of my favorites, like Gut Symmetries and Written on the Body.

Thus concludes my January book roundup! Follow me on Goodreads and see which books I’ll be reading in February.

What have YOU been reading? Anything amazing lately? Anything to recommend?

This month’s roundup is sponsored by Grammerly. I will receive an Amazon gift card in exchange for that link placed up top, but they had no say over the content that I posted. So that’s only half selling out, right?

On Non-Monogamy, Guest Post by Kristen

A piece by Kristen about our open relationship, dating other people, sex, a leather family vision, and BDSM. Follow her on Twitter @kitchentop.

You know where some of my fear came from when we dipped our toes into polyamory last fall? That Sugarbutch readers would make all kinds of judgments about me, think I’m some kind of doormat, judge our vision and our path for our relationship. But we came to poly from a place of deep strength, not out of weakness. That isn’t to say it hasn’t been difficult; it’s been very difficult, but that’s because we’re intense people with high standards for our lives and big dreams. And what makes it the hardest is not jealousy, it’s that there’s little support for dating other people while you have a long-term partner in this culture. We have to build on the narratives that people before us have created—and create our own.

And in fact, as soon as I looked around, I saw examples of sparkly poly couples—many of whom we already knew—who quietly date multiple people. And I probed deeper, and I realized there’s an entire network of kinky queers who fuck each other and each other’s friends, if you just look below the surface. Sinclair sent me a link about cabins to rent in New York, and I got a vision of five or six or seven of us, cooking and fucking and lazing around near a lake, and I thought, “Maybe that’s what people mean by ‘leather family.’ That’s the kind of adulthood I want.” Because for many of us, that white picket fence—even a gay white picket fence—just isn’t in the cards.

And y’all, I like sex too much to limit myself. I love fucking. I LOVE it. It keeps me grounded and helps me fly all at once, and I can’t really imagine fucking one person the rest of my life, as amazing as the person I spend most of my time fucking is. You’ve met a few guest stars (there have been about eleven in the last three and a half years, not counting erotic energy retreats) – and I would like to continue doing that. I was surprised, yes, when Sinclair’s interest in rife expanded beyond a one-time fuck, and I was even more surprised when that connection went beyond a sexual one. But it’s been just over six months since we had that first conversation, and I’m sold. The details are complicated, and the growing pains have been difficult, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t choose poly. What it actually means is that we are so steeped in monogamy in this culture, and the cultural walls around monogamy are so rigid, that it took me months (and fucking someone else, if we’re gonna be really honest here) to feel really solid.

We need MORE support around this, not less. Think about when you came out: I, for one, had many years of culture telling me queer was wrong, and I needed backup from homos around me reminding me it was okay to be a big dyke. After a few years, it was no big deal, but I teared up at my first pride parade. Maybe I should go to poly pride. Or maybe I should just have a lot of poly sex and I won’t need a parade. Or maybe after I have poly sex I should wave my hands around spirit fingers style and give myself a parade.

So what’s it like? It still feels sort of dangerous, honestly, because I still have a little bit of this “traditional relationship” lens that tells me fucking someone else is cheating. But it’s not—it’s consensual—and it’s incredibly exciting. What’s fun? I flirted before, but flirting with the possibility of actually playing with someone else is different. It challenges me to see myself more independently than I did before, and that’s both fun and nerve-wracking. (It’s much easier to fuck someone else when your Daddy arranges it for you than when you’re in a bar with your friends and you have to make the first move—or when you’ve played with someone once and you want it to happen again.)

Here’s the other thing: before I met Sinclair, dating was a lot more desperate, because I have a really high sex drive and I wasn’t getting fucked especially well. Now that I’m dedicated to my boyfriend but looking for people to play with, I can be very selective about who I choose, and I’m much narrower in what I’m looking for. I’m not going to go home with someone randomly because they’re the best option and I want to get laid, I’m going to hone in on exactly what I’m looking for and see what I can do to find that. I have much, much better boundaries, and I’m able to fuck friends or become friends with someone I’ve fucked (Hi Gabrielle … and the rest of y’all). Part of that is just maturity, but it’s also about a redefined vision of relationships. We don’t have to love everyone we fuck, or maybe we do, but it’s a different kind of love. Love is bigger than “date them fuck them live together get married pop out babies.” Sometimes when I’m feeling stuck between two options, Sinclair tells me, “There are always more than two choices.” This is a lovely example of that concept. There are always more ways to live than you might think. And it is so fucking beautiful that we get to redefine how we love. Our relationship gets to evolve, and we get to go through the hard stuff together, and we get to play with space and restrictions and sex and pain in a conscious, consensual way—which is far beyond what I’d ever imagined.

P.S. The BDSM in our relationship is a slightly different topic (and an old conversation), but rest assured, our relationship is consensual. For what it’s worth, I love getting punched, and that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me or us. It comes from a place of very deep trust.

Review: The Pleasure’s All Mine (book)

pleasureI picked up The Pleasure’s All Mine by Joan Kelly a month or so ago, and it was a pleasing, quick read. Perhaps my hopes were high, thinking she might add to my understanding of being submissive or bottoming, but unfortunately it was moreso a big of a glamorized account of being in a generally dominatrix-dominated field and being submissive.

When I first heard of this book, the idea sent a jolt through me – a professional submissive? Really? I love the idea of a formal study of the skills of bottoming, and I definitely wanted to read that kind of analysis and those kinds of stories.

The memoir, unfortunately, read as a fairly naive linear narrative of her time from discovering that she’s kinky, to working in a dungeon as one of only two submissives on staff, then becoming “freelance,” if you will, and taking private clients. It is incredibly breezy, almost effortless, moving in and out of one place to the next with no change in tone or depth of emotional weight, so I never got the idea that one place was harder or easier than another – even though she’d write “I was happier there than at the first place” for example, there was no emotional connection on my account with the difference between those experiences. She never recounts the problems with professional submission, either – she vaguely hinted at it, and, toward the end of the book, relayed a particularly scary account where she was tied to a shower curtain and seemed terrified. I was very uncomfortable for her, for example, and nothing in the writing told me that she was actually having a good time – I was expecting a few pages of “this is how I recovered from that situation” and “this is what I learned, and I never got myself into such a bad scenario again.” But the situation, once the description of it was over, was barely discussed.

This book got me thinking, too, about the difference between a “sex worker” and a “professional submissive.” I’m not so up on the world of sex work, so do correct me here, but I would guess that sex workers don’t necessarily figure kink or BDSM play into the mix, and professional submissives are more skilled at the various ways to bottom and receive in those scenarios of sensation play or power play. And yet, I went away from her memoirs feeling like she lacked explanation for these deeper BDSM bottoming techniques and consciousness.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh. It was an easy, fun read, and I was quickly absorbed in it. But the writing wasn’t anything special, and her selling point – that she’s a “professional submissive” and ooooh isn’t that such an amazing, wild, sexy thing to do – felt underanalyzed and naive by the end. I would’ve loved to see some analysis that was more intentional and conscious, in a greater context of the kink and BDSM communities.

Have you read this? What did you think?

Submissive Impulses & Why I Heart Sadists, Guest Post by muse

This guest post comes from Muse, as part of a response to my post on The Sadistic Impulse. She adds this PS: “The quote in the story is direct from Big Bad Daddy Lee.”

The first thing I think of when I conjure up images of sex: a fist in my hair, yanking hard, holding me motionless.

I want to be taken, to be thrown around and kicked down and tied up and fucked and spanked and twisted and slapped and bitten and pinched and pulled and made to endure. But I don’t want you to worry about what I want. I want you to know what you want, and I want you to take it. Without asking. I’m along for the ride, I can let myself go, I can be yours to play with. Trust me, I want you to.

But sometimes, I want to fight. I won’t go down without a struggle. I’ll run, bite, wrestle, kick you away. And I’m very wily, very quick, very strong. I’ll twist out of your grip, force you to catch me, grab me harder, pin me up against the wall or down on the floor, drag me by the hair and throw me into bed. I’ll make you do something to wipe the smirk off my face, to get my attention, to stop me in my tracks. I’ll make you restrain me, so I can’t get away again, even if I try. (I will try, at first.)

Finally I’ll look up at you, eyes and mouth wide, wounded, shocked, and I will relent. I will give up. Give in. Give myself over to you.

When I do, you lean over and growl in my ear: “That’s right. I can fuck you any way I want, whenever I want. I can do anything to you. Because you’re mine, aren’t you. And you like it rough, don’t you, you dirty girl. You are such a bad girl. I’m going to have to teach you a lesson. You’re going to get it now.”

Oh, handsome. What you’ve got to give, this naughty girl is going to take so well.

Please, put me in my place.

I dare you.

I like submitting, but that’s a secret

Don’t tell that seriously hot piece of ass, DateDyke, but just between us, my confidence is slipping. She’s got double the votes so far, but aside from that … when I get around another top – a particularly skilled top, if discussion so far is any indication – it makes me all the more bottomy, all the more submissive. I become eager to observe her skills, and eager not to fuck up.

This is probably more about my psychology than my sex play.

Don’t mistake me; I do enjoy pain, I do enjoy submitting, I always have. I’ve never wanted to be the one who tops all the time. And in a one-time (or two-time, or maybe five-time) scenario, I would gladly negotiate bottoming. In the longer-term, though, I want to top most of the time.

It’s like that theory about relationships – if you talk 30% of the time, and listen 70% of the time, you just gotta find someone who talks 70% of the time, and listens 30% of the time.

Same thing applies to sex play, I think. I don’t really know what my topping/bottom ratio is, but probably something like 80/20 or maybe even 90/10. One in ten times, I’ll get under the flogger for you. One out of ten times, I’ll give you my ass. Sounds about right.

Here’s the interesting thing about what DD is doing, though – she knows how to treat me like a boy and a bottom at the same time, and the ways she treats me like a boy are expanding me, and so sexy, and I feel so matched and validated and complimented, that I’m all the more willing and eager to be and do as she wishes. Submitting is not in conflict with my identities when I’m treated boyishly. It totally makes sense – I just never quite realized that most of my submitting and bottoming experience was with the boy I dated for all those high school years. When I started dating women, I got more and more toppy.

I’ve never bottomed with a cock on, for example. I’ve never played with gender and submission quite in that way, and I want to.

She’s not gonna get away with not bottoming to me, sometime. I am salivating at the idea of that slow, hard fuck she’s gonna get. Hopefully it’ll be the return flight, though I’m not sure that’s guaranteed yet.

The other secret, if I may entrust you with it, is that I’d much rather bottom on the way up, because that means I have a higher chance of topping for the second playdate … though perhaps I shouldn’t admit that, quite this early on in negotiations. Never show weakness, right?

Yeah, that’s not quite my style. My heart may be newly behind barbed wire, but it’s still on my sleeve, regardless.

on playing with control

I’m on my way to the airport back to New York City from Seattle; the trip has been fantastic. I may post a few more guest treats tomorrow, but expect some writings of mine soon. Meanwhile, here’s something from lily on control and kink.

when i began playing with control, it was the ideas of being bound and hurt i liked. these were surrounded by a swirl of pleasing associations~ ribbons, bites on my skin, an underground of beautiful ones whose abuses heightened each other’s allure. what i had was sometimes like this, other times wonderfully improvised. a boy was begging to be gagged, and the closest fabric at hand was a washcloth- regardless of the tools, the emotional aspects were powerful. yeah, at times neither i nor the other knew the first thing about where this was going. we laughed, and made things up.

in the beginning i was the shy, the taken one. i’d enjoy certain pain and bondage, and the accompanying lust in my partner/s. then, after telling another these stories, it became apparent they wanted to be the tied one. they asked half with words and half with posture, and i took a deep breath and began to take control. it took a great deal of focus- i’m quiet, mostly, and unused to controlling circumstances. but when you’re intimate with someone, you can read their skin and face and cries to learn how they react to you. when someone loses conscious control, they can no longer play the social, kindly deceptive games people engage in together. they’re utterly honest- this was part of the appeal of topping, along of course with the sensuality of observing and drawing out lust-

and the giving and receiving of control. at some point, while being played with, i began to understand submission. i talked to someone who conflated passivity with submission, but these are quite different. submission is an active process, or it begins as one- to give someone control of you, you have to first gather this self-control. you have to trust the situation, give yourself to someone, and then- i suppose its like using an opponent’s chi against him, but this isn’t competitive. someone touches you, and in a submissive headspace you draw out the touch, move with it- if i can use a physics analogy, its like constructive interference. you move towards a peak or a well together.

i experienced submission first, and then its converse. it also takes a great deal of control over yourself to top someone and not only this, you must be strong enough and… have enough capacity… to hold them while they’re vulnerable and hurt. holding someone while they cry, or while you hit them in the face and growl abuses, takes understanding as well. you must be responding to their headspace every moment, not your own lust. you can’t become carried away, because guiding someone near their edges is tricky. you must be very aware, and connected.

being brought to my limits, and bringing others, shows me things i take into the rest of my life. playing with control, whichever side you are on- opens you up, brings you strength and self-awareness. you find not just edges, but centers. you’re left sometimes strong and immense, feeling able enough to cradle the entire world like a baby; at other times fragile and needing to be held. either way, the aftermath is delicately intimate. sweetness is at the end of all things, especially the cruel ones.

Her Mouth on My Cock

This is an honorable mention Sugarbutch Star submission from the femme top. And yes I know I never posted about our second date … consider it on the way.

I can feel everything. Every breath every movement every inch where my skin is bound with leather. Wrists, ankles. I can hear my heart beat. Can see my chest moving up and down, the skin thin and flushed. I swallow. Focus on the ceiling; you are kneeling, strapping on. Hand on the thick of it, slick with lube. I am exposed. Open to you and you want me here, this way.

My hips are cramping, pulled back like this. Even my underarms are exposed. I don’t want to struggle but my body can’t stop. A twist of my wrist and my ankle is pulled up further, I feel it in my thigh. Everything is connected.

I don’t want to want it like I do. Don’t want to need, to crave to be filled when I’m like this. To be reduced to something empty, inadequate, unwhole.

Make me whole.

Make me scream.

You have your eyes on me and I blink back tears. You slap my cunt. I cringe, cry out. I don’t want to say please. I don’t want to need the sting of your fingers which are wet now, from me. I don’t want you to know how much I crave: touch me again. Twist the bar so I can’t keep struggling, and make me feel. Make me feel even the places I refuse to let you in. Make me.

Your eyes are shining wet like your cock. Your hand is on it. I want to be closed to you but you have me open, unlocked already and spilling my secrets. I need to hide my every imperfection. Need to hide my want. You can have me. My body is all nerve endings and convulses at every touch: your hands on the backs of my thighs. No need to open me further, this is all there is, this is all there is. Take me so I can only ever be taken by you. Take me so I wake inside myself screaming your name. Take me to where I feel again, where I feel anything, all of it, open, receptive, receiving, submitting.

You can have me. I give in, I give in.

It is agonizingly slow, a steady slide, all the way in, tip to base, and I can feel it, feel it, feel it, all the way up to the back of my throat, and I loosen, lose my grip, lose myself, but you keep hold of me, and I am only a vessel, something to hold you, cradle you, something to take it in, to receive, and I become only energy, light, lightning, and I am made whole.

in which sinclair gets off

Part two of three

It’s a challenge for me to be explicit about the sex I receive, for two reasons: there are a select few friends of mine, who I know offline, who read this, and while I am very happy to talk about my sex life, I usually don’t offer up the same level of detail as I do in my writing; and two, I feel a lot more embarassed & vulnerable talking about my own body, my own feelings and sensations, than I do about giving pleasure to someone else. This is, I suppose, part of why I am a top.

The reason I mention that is because I’m going to attempt to be explicit here about my own experience. (That is your fair warning, childhood friends.) You may remember from the last time I tried to write about being topped that I skirted around the juicy parts. So, in the interest of being a better writer, and in the interest of wanting to turn this girl on as much as possible before I see her again (Saturday), I’ll do my best.

(And those paragraphs above, those are called foreplay. And procrastination. Ahem.)

She – this stunningly hot fuckable gorgeous femme top – goes down on me, fingers teasing the opening of my cunt, her lips and tongue pushing back my labia before sucking my clit. She keeps me distracted finding the most sensitive underside places and working her mouth slick along the folds and edges.

I felt like a turtle on my back. Acutely aware of how funny (I feel) I look when being fucked this way, knees bent feet on the bed, hips pressed forward, stomach tight, often one hand behind my head, holding onto the bars of my headboard or the back of my neck, holding my head up, contracting at my stomach so it occasionally seems like I am doing situps. Mouth open and gasping, quiet, be quiet. Pressing against my muscles and bones, pressing deeper onto her fingers, into her mouth, muscles hard and contracted.

But her mouth keeps me from thinking of this for longer than just a flash. Her fingers inside me, two, three – more? – I can feel the resistance of my cunt at the opening, though I want to feel more inside. Want to feel full of her. Her mouth still warm and moving hard on me, the bones of my pelvis pressed against her jaw I can feel the electricity of the space where our bodies are connecting.

With her tongue she fucked me. Hard and thick. Made my eyes roll back, head roll back, back arch, toes curl.

She doesn’t wait long, but rips the condom open, snaps it onto my cock, which she has in easy reach between my legs. Something tightens momentarily in my stomach and chest: I haven’t been fucked with a cock in years, literally years, but I remind myself to relax, I love what she’s doing with her gentle long fingers, want to feel more, love the way my cunt muscles contracting leads me to deeper vibrancy in my clit and, consequently, orgasm. I don’t think about my knees bent in the air, instead only concentrate on the soft head of my cock nudging its way inside.

Fuck I remember this. This pulsing in & out, this thrust inside, this fullness, this pinpoint of pleasure concentrated on my clit and swollen cunt. She pressed that cock inside me hard. I felt every inch of it sliding in. It’s not particularly large, but I felt out of practice, it was shockingly blissful, an impailing, an opening, something thick for me to press against.

She worked it in & out of me with a new speed & pressure, less exploration than her fingers, more force. Left her mouth on my soft spots, sucking, at times hard, sometimes tender, the muscles of my pelvis pulling. I arched my back to get deeper into her mouth.

After moments or minutes or hours (I, my body in a blissfully state resembling pulled taffy, can’t tell), she pulled out and said she was switching to her hand again. Her hot breath on my lips. Still sucking and she knew what to do. Her fingers expertly twisting, thrusting. I noticed myself in that sit-up position again, curling my body into a C shape and pressing my cunt into her mouth deeper. My right hand still behind me, behind my head or sometimes pulling on the headboard, left hand on the back of her head, tangled in the longish hair that fell in her face, touching the back of her head where her dark hair was recently cut short.

I let my hips thrust, fucking her mouth. The detail of her tongue so precise.

I was wrecked, buzzing, wrapped around her if only energetically and not physically, wound tight like a top. (Or, should I say, like a bottom – though not really, more like a top being fucked.) I wanted to scream, wanted to let my whole body release & rip.

I have to be quiet. It’s two am, roommate is asleep, assuming we have not already kept her up. Instead I bottle my noise and feel my body strung tight and then plucked, soaring for a moment before releasing, shuddering against her before grabbing her hair, hard, my fist pulling her up to me by the back of her head and she slid up my body, lays herself over me, curls around me.

Oh lord and this was perhaps my favorite part. The small of her back in my hands, her soft skin, the curves of her hips and ribcage, back of her neck, the feel of her weight on my chest and pelvis, such comfort, such comfort, so I just shudder and release, it takes me embarassingly long to stop breathing heavily and shaking with bodily afterquakes so I just feel her weight on me, the comfort of skin, the tender way she kissed my neck and face, and I grinned and laughed and giggled between whispers of oh god and fuck and ohh, and held her tight.

what I would’ve done

Since we didn’t, since we couldn’t, let me tell you what I would’ve done.

First, I’d want you on your knees in front of me. I’d want the back of your head in my hand. I can still taste the back of your neck from when you sat in my lap, leaned back into me; still feel your haircut, those short hairs around the edges of your ears, under my fingers.

I’d want to unzip unbuckle unbutton slow and watch you watch me. Like you did on the couch, I saw you. Strawberries in your mouth. Bourbon. The shrimp I didn’t try.

Honestly, I’d want to know what you want. I’m a gracious top that way: my favorite scenario would be the one where you tell me what you’d want done to you, and I’d do it. I’d put my own flare on it, you can bet – but you’d get what you asked for.

So what is your fancy? What do you want? Here this is the quiet piece in me, the one that sits back and watches you, the one that takes photos and sucks the cap of my pen, that is all aflutter to know.

But I don’t know. You know I don’t. We operate communicate with a guise of lust and girl-intuition that takes us along the narrative just fine, but we’ve never had that kink/sex conversation over coffee. Likes, dislikes. Secret fantasies. Perhaps we never will, it isn’t really that kind of thing between us. And though I can have at you through your writing (honestly, what comes – ahem – to mind is cocksucking, something I would oh so happily oblige, you know, if I must) I still don’t really know what you love.

So.

Given that I don’t know, I will do what any top would do: improvise, and take.

It becomes about me, quickly, in this scenario then. But that’s okay (it works for me, at least). And I have found, underneath most fetishes, the underlying desire is often the same: we all want to be wanted.

And you know I’m a top. You know how I seek to take. I said it last night (to you) but I’d (eagerly) say it again: I know how to take you. And you’d want that, wouldn’t you? You’d give me your (eager) permissions, that look in your eyes in your face open willing coy submissive and that’s all I ask for, that’s all I need to set my own desire in motion, that tiny moment of permission and submission.

And oh what would I do to you?

Oh what I would do to you.

distracting myself III

Part I

Part II

Her mouth is warm, wet, tightly closed around this penis that is increasingly feeling like part of me. I know the ridges of the roof of her mouth, I know the way her inner lips and tongue are the texture of avocado, so creamy and smooth, not sweet but succulent, smelting. I know the edges of her teeth, the one on the top that is not quite perfectly aligned but makes her smile extra cute. I can almost feel these details through the cyberskin of my cock. The ridge of her mouth on the ridge of the head. Her teeth covered or barely grazing the edge. Sucking. Pulling liquid from deep inside me with the pull of her mouth. Swallowing me.She’s making little noises in her throat as though she’s famished and eating a gourmet meal bite by bite. Strawberries and champagne. Brie and havarti and muenster and gorgonzola. Olives.

I could let this go on, really. Her mouth on my cock. My cock in her mouth. Her hand still on the shaft. She’s kneeling now, feet under her, heel pressed against her own cunt and rocking back and forth as I slide insider her, in and out, in and out. This could go on, just like this, but it won’t. Not tonight.

I tear at her hair, hard, throwing her off balance. I pull her skull back with my fist and push with my hips, guiding her movement. She scrambles, hands reaching, eyes wide, not quite able to get a grip on the floor with her stockinged feet, sliding, until her back hits the wall and I press my hips to her face again. Bring one hand to the wall above her and begin thrusting. She squirms, gasps, cries out a little when my cock goes too deep, pressing her body against the wall and twisting her legs into some sort of half-sitting position after they get caught beneath her body.

Her other hand finds her slit between her legs, wet and slick, clit hard, muscles inside already pulsing. She looks to see if I notice. I do, but my only movement is coming hard from my hips and I let her continue for now. I am glad she enjoys this. She may as well be comfortable now.

And she is, almost. Not quite comfortable, because I’m still inside her mouth on top of her in this vulnerable pose that gives her no room for movement. She can only take my cock however deep I give it to her.

This is when things for me can get dangerous. I will get off from a good blowjob, and she knows it. As desire builds and my brain clears of all clutter, such power mounts in my body that my cock could be steel, the thrust of my hips could be powered by a generator. I can get scared here. I find my eyes rolling back, my body opening, my energy so pointed: I fear I will do something harmful. Want overrides thought and I could hurt her, accidentally, by giving in to this desire, by letting go.

She knows this happens for me. We’ve spoken of it. She has come to expect it at times when my passion builds strong and intense. She’s looking up at me trying to catch my eyes. Holds eye contact for a moment, urging me. Go on. Do it.

distracting myself II

Part I

She does. Tenderly, her lips on the pink silicone. Tenderly, her mouth sucking her teeth, keeping her lips closed. Looking up at me under her eyelashes, movement restricted by my hand in her hair, breasts thrust forward, nipples peaked. Kissing the edges of it gratefully, moist cock against her mouth. Her lips brush its ridges, the head of it, the veins running down the shaft.“Please,” she says, “please.” Whispering, barely.

My hand is still in her hair. Her head is beginning to do that blow-job bob movement and my hips are responding accordingly, straining at being held back. My ass is flexing which makes my hips begin to thrust. She is parting her lips, but barely, touching only the tip of her tongue to my cock.

I try to keep my eyes open, to watch this creature before me and the way her mouth moves, the way her eyes look, remembering the way her lips pinch cylindrical with my dick deep in her throat.

“Please what?” I say. Oh I’m mean sometimes. I want to hear her say it.

“Please,” she says again, softening, hearing the growl in my voice. She swallows, placing her lips back onto just the tip, circling, touching it with the point of her tongue. “Please, may I use my hands?”

That’s not what I wanted her to say, but she’s got those big eyes staring up at me, and she asked so nicely. “Yes,” I say. Breathe out. Go ahead.

She does. Shakes her hands and shoulders free from the locked position behind her and readjusts herself on her knees. Circles the base of my cock near my pubic bone and presses into my clit the way she knows I like to feel it. She’s an expert here. She invented this game. It’s hard for me to stay ahead.

“Ohh, that’s good,” I say, involuntarily, groaning and leaning back into her fingers sliding up and down the shaft.

“Yeah?” she manages to mumble, still kissing, not opening her mouth more than a clit’s width.

“Ohh yeah.” I say.

“I want to drink you in,” she says between kisses, fingers still supple and circling me, “take you onto my tongue. Swallow you, just like this.”

Fuck. I tighten my grip on the back of her head, on her hair, and press her lips apart with my strapon. I can feel her jaw open as I press inside; she moans in surprise, and closes her eyes.

Part III

distracting myself

Embraced, one hand on the small of her back, fingertips gently on the skin between her shirt and skirt, one hand under her hair, at the back of her neck, touching, wispy, softly. My mouth at her neck. Her jawline. My lips to her earlobe.I whisper: “Get on your knees.”

Her body shudders. Softens, supple against me. She sinks to her knees – willingly, eagerly. Looks up at me with her wide eyes. Lips already parted.

I touch my waistband with my fingers and begin to unbutton, unzip. She moves her hands to assist. I hit them away, almost gently.

“Behind your back,” I say, tone low, consonants hard and deep.

Her chest moves as she breathes in. Moves her arms behind her. Grasps one wrist with the other hand. Keeps looking up at me, her chin level.

My belt clinks as I unbuckle it, metal against metal. I shift my hips to pull the split in my jeans apart. Push down the navy blue briefs and pull out my pink packing strapon, cyberskin, bendable. I wrap my fingers around it and flex it into its long, slightly curved shape. Squeeze gently, feeling the give of the material, the lip under the head of it, the ridges on the shaft. I let my head dip back, eyes closed, pressing the cock against my pubic bone, against my clit.

She’s watching me. Mouth parted, lips full and red. Eyes shifting from my fingers on the tip of my cock to my face.

She is three inches away from me. Two. I put my right hand out, palm up, next to her mouth. “Lube,” I say.

She looks at me like she doesn’t know what I mean, then lowers her eyes to my hand, presses her lips together, and spits saliva onto my fingers. I rub my four fingers with my thumb, spreading and evening the viscus liquid, and take my cock in my hand again, sliding smoothly up and down the shaft of it, my thumb swirling against the head.

She is amused. Watching me, smiling. As though she knows that isn’t enough. She’s gathering saliva, pooling at the bottom of her mouth, feeling it with her tongue and waiting. She knows she’ll get her chance.

I take her head in my left hand, cup the back of her skull like a grip on ball, a game piece. I take a tiny step toward her, my feet barely moving, slightly apart, hips forward. I let the pink dick rub against her cheek briefly, just a feather, and say, “Kiss it.”

Her eyes show a little fear, a little nervousness, but mostly excitement. Turned on and wanting. She makes a move to open her mouth wide and turn her head slightly, but I catch her by the hair and she can’t.

“No. Just your lips. Kiss it.”

part II

Part III

southern hospitality – part one

The first time, she said no one ever made her come from inside before. Over the next fourty hours, I did it somewhere between nine and thirteen more times, inside and out; we lost count, the nights melted together.Desire pooled between us and the contours of our bodies were gutters, runoffs, ditches in which it collected and flowed: the line where her thighs touch. In between her breasts. The undersides of my wrists. The place where my pink and red cocks (which are my favorites) press against my pubic bone.

I didn’t get to fuck her strapped on as much as I’d have liked to (which would have been every time). I get shy about my cock sometimes. So much wanting. It’s embarassing to want something so much. Plus, there’s that moment, if I haven’t pre-planned by packing, that I have to get up, disrobe, pull on the harness, slip on the dildo, suit her up in a condom, and then come back to the open wanting girl watching me, waiting. And when I get back to bed I feel like I have to start all over again with foreplay instead of just stickin it in, which is my impulse.

On Saturday, I did pre-plan, and packed after my morning shower. We walked the dog walked around a civil war battleground while I hid my pink packing cock. The tourists stared at me (so obvious) and I stared at her. Watched her body move. Left my hands in my pockets most of the time to conceal the bulge. Did she know I was packing all day? Did she know when we walked off the path into the woods onto the rocks that we could have fucked right there, that I was envisioning her on her knees, sucking my cock through the zipper of my jeans?

I’m not sure when she discovered I was packing. After the walk I slid my fingers into her in the kitchen up against the counter and I think she felt it with her hands. Yes, I know she did. That was the third time I made her come and I knew then what she would do, how her body would fold and buckle, how her fingers on my wrist meant stop – but don’t pull out yet.

She just kept letting me take her, whenever I wanted, where ever I wanted, so I did. I wouldn’t usually be so bold as to push her skirt up to her hips and finger her in the kitchen. I wouldn’t usually assume it was okay to fuck her in the middle of the day, twice, three times – I would think about it, I would wish I could, but she would give me a look that meant stop you’re being inappropriate and I would shirk off to my corner, obedient.

But we didn’t have much time. Barely over fourty hours together, and I wanted every minute to count.

And she didn’t do that. She didn’t turn me away. In fact, she just wanted me more every time I put my hands on her electric body. Conducted her like a gold-plated wire. Completed the circuit and she flowed into me every time I touched her.

Every time I kissed her: forget it. At first it would just be a kiss, just good morning or okay I’m going to take a shower now or thanks for making me that delicious pesto-tomato grilled cheese sandwich but then it became oh god and please do that more, again and if you don’t stop I’m going to take you right here right now. And of course she didn’t stop. So I did take her. When I wanted. Where I wanted. How I wanted.

I told her I would try to restrain myself. She said don’t.

I did fuck her with my strapon that day. I lose myself when I’m fucking that way, different than when I am using fingers or lips. I forget about her pleasure and concentrate on mine. Concentrate on the tight ring of her cunt around the ridge of my cock, how her muscles pull and press. I make noises I wouldn’t usually; instead of listening to what her body wants and the sounds her mouth makes, I’m only feeling the thrust into her. Groaning with the pressure building in my cunt. The way it feels when she squeezes.

Later, I had her from behind bent over the bed, fingers inside her – again my fingers inside, always I was slipping my fingers inside her, searching for something, for life, for that clitoral ridge, for her soft spot, pulling rubies from her cervix – left hand on the back of her head, in her hair, pushing her into the bedspread. Yeah. A little bit harder.

That may have been my favorite part of the day.

That, and later, when I went down on her for hours. That, and when I pressed her up against the door in the kitchen, kicked her legs apart, held her hands above her head. We were expecting guests but she said, memorize. Memorize this right now.

That was Saturday. I was only getting started.