How BDSM Saved My Marriage and Gave Me Peace of Mind

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This is my personal story about how discovering and learning about BDSM helped my husband and me come to an important understanding within our marriage, as well as guided me to a place in my life where I am now comfortable with my body and who I am as a person. This is the journey from a vanilla marriage that was quickly falling apart to a 24/7 D/s lifestyle that has helped us become closer than ever. Continue reading

How to Spot a Potential Abuser

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Those red flags are there to expose an abuser if only we were trained to see them. You will read the list and think “Now why oh why didn’t I think of that!” This checklist is a general one, as well all know in the BDSM lifestyle, some of these signs are not that of an abuser but of a good dominant, but like all things it doesn’t hurt to have a good idea about what might fall under the category of a potential abusive relationship/person.

HOW TO SPOT AN ABUSER CHECKLIST

  1. Are you afraid to act like yourself with this person? (no dominant should make you scard to act like your normal self, if you are then that is not right)
  2. Does this person refuse to talk AND listen to you? (The key to a lasting BDSM relationship is open communication, if your dominant is not listening to you, and will not talk with you about any of your fears or the like, then this might be called a red flag by many)
  3. Do you catch this person in lies?
  4. Are you this person’s only friend? (this does not always denote a abuser, some of us do not have a large friend list that we tend to associate with, this does not necessary mean the person will turn out to be an abuser)
  5. Does this person talk badly about other women?
  6. Does this person mistreat their mother/father, siblings or ex?
  7. Is this person mean to animals?
  8. Is this person subject to road rage?
  9. Does this person anger easily?
  10. Does this person hold grudges?
  11. Does this person express their anger physically?
  12. Is this person upset that you have other friends?
  13. Is this person jealous of your friends and relatives?
  14. Does this person try to cut you off from your friends? (This for many that I know if number 1 red flag)
  15. Does this person try to keep you from practicing your faith?
  16. Would you not consider this person a friend outside of this relationship?
  17. Is this person totally fixated on you? (some people say that there is a different between a loving partner and someone who is fixated on you, and its true, but some partners who are considered to be extreamly love and caring unfortunatly by some fall to various degrees into this catagory, thus its up to you to trust you own instints in this matter)
  18. Was this person abused as a child? Was their mother abused?
  19. Is this person co-dependent? (again this is a debated topic among many people apparently, some believe that you can’t have a M/s relationship without developing a co-dependence, others will argue otherwise.)
  20. Does this person have a poor self-image?
  21. Does this person have poor impulse control?
  22. Is this person preoccupied with sex?
  23. Does this person have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or a problem with compulsive gambling?
  24. Has this person pushed for intimacy early in the relationship? Perhaps making all sorts of promises for marriage and hope for the future. Has this person tried to brush aside your concerns as just jitters and tell you to just “trust them”?
  25. Does this person use guilt to try to manipulate you?
  26. Does this person unjustly accuse you of flirting with others?
  27. Does this person take your money?
  28. Must you always watch the TV program that this person wishes to see or go to the movie of their choice? (this for some might be a red flag, but in a M/s relationship its not necessarly so, depending on the level between the two partners.)
  29. Has this person tried “playful” forceful sex? Not stopping until you REALLY objected? (as many might think, that might not be a red flag, but it can be if the dom doesn’t stop when a safe word is used)
  30. Has this person threatened to hit you?
  31. Has this person hit, shoved, bit, kicked or in other ways tried to injure you? (This is not always the case as you might know, but then again doing this in anger is never good at any point in time, also if the intent of injury is more then temp or consentual then well of course its up to you to feel if its abuse or not)
  32. Has this person destroyed any of your property? Has this person threatened to do so?
  33. Does this person have a dual personality? Is this person nice and friendly most of the time, then cruel and heartless at other times?
  34. Does this person have to know where you are every minute and check up on you to make sure? (this might not always be a red flag, if it is something that is already known within your relationship, and has been agreed upon)
  35. Does this person check through your computer history, e-mail, cookies and logs to see where you have been? Does this person read your mail? Listen to your phone calls?
  36. Are you not allowed to be alone with friends and family?
  37. Does this person have a problem with authority figures?
  38. Does this person have extreme highs and extreme lows? Simple questions. Powerful questions. Perhaps even life saving questions.

If you answer YES to more than just even one or two of these you are in what many people would call an abusive relationship. The higher the number of questions checked the more serious the potential of the abuse is likely to be. However, this list is not comprehensive. Your particular situation will likely be somewhat different. If you feel you are being abused, seek professional counselling. Nothing in this checklist should be considered a substitute for counselling.

If you feel you are in an abusive relationship, get help now! You can take the first step by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) (TDD 1-800-787-3224) or go to http://www.ndvh.org

Ten Tips for Bringing BDSM Into Your Bedroom

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“I loved your book so much I tried to tie up my boyfriend while he was asleep. He woke up before I could, but it all worked out anyway…”

Ah, the delicious meaning in that dot, dot, dot. This fan mail is one of my favorites, a definite keeper, but it is probably not the best approach for introducing BDSM in your bedroom. The road to restraining orders starts here.

The truth is, I’ve always had readers interested in this topic but the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena has planted seeds in the minds of millions of Americans. So how do you introduce BDSM into your bedroom in a way that can lead to fun, intimacy and a little dot, dot, dot?

As an erotic romance writer and full-time “sub,” I have some experience in this realm. Below I’ve listed 10 tips to get you started. Given the current female interest in the submissive role, I’m going to proceed under that pronoun assumption, but the following applies if he’s the one tied up, so to speak (but keep him conscious, please!).

1) Talk about it – You’re thinking about it, but it may not have crossed your partner’s mind, so take the time to talk it out. Consider reading him your favorite scene from an erotic romance that sparked your interest in exploring more. Tell him what intrigues you about it. See how he reacts, but don’t judge or push. Don’t take things too seriously. If you’re doing this to spice up your relationship, this probably won’t be a problem, but if you’re exploring innate feelings about being a Dominant or submissive, you can get a little overwhelmed by all the things you want to try. In these first stages, take it slow, relax and have fun with it. That will help your partner do the same.

2) Stay away from the Internet – Trust me on this one. Even if you’re ready to take the pictures that result from a “BDSM” Google search with a grain of salt, your partner might have a full-fledged anxiety attack. That’s not the kind of heavy breathing you’re trying to encourage. There will be time to surf together later, when you’re both more comfortable with it.

3) Give him a safe word – He’s going to worry about hurting you or doing the wrong thing. Having a safe word that you can use to stop or slow down anything that feels scary will reassure him that you are maintaining some level of control over your own well-being.

4) No Judgment Zone – Mutually accept that invoking that safe word is a good thing for both of you, not an evaluation of his performance as a Dom. This is no different from when you first started having vanilla sex. You’re learning what works for you as partners.

Feeling comfortable with all of the above? Okay, it’s time for a dip in the shallow end of the pool.

5) No Tools Required – Start with Something Easy – The psychology of BDSM is what it’s all about. The illusion of being dominated sexually, of submitting utterly to your lover – that’s the turn on. You can have it without a single whip, metal cuff or legal representative present.

Here’s an example. Your lover tells you to lie on the bed. He commands you to hold onto the head rails and spread your legs as far as you can. You’re forbidden to move until he tells you that you can. After he puts a blindfold on you – perhaps something as simple as his T-shirt over your eyes, so you have the reassurance of his scent in the darkness – he proceeds to pleasure you as he would for your normal foreplay, though you’ll find being blindfolded likely sparks even more creativity. Your senses are going to be heightened, your responses even stronger, and the cardinal rule for many men (the good ones!) is “what turns her on, turns me on.” Taking away sight so that you focus all your other sense on what he’s doing with his fingers, mouth, a feather, a sprinkle of fragrant cinnamon powder…

6) Proceed with the Easy Tools – Okay, so that worked well. What? You didn’t notice the dot, dot, dot? Congratulations! You’ve just conducted your first BDSM session. Wait! Do not fly off to the online bondage store and buy out their special Limited Edition Spanish Inquisition Package (yes, I made that up – it worries me that you thought to go look for it). Instead, buy two pairs of Velcro cuffs. The kind that can snap together or have D-rings that allow you to spread arms and legs and fasten them to fixed objects without actually restricting the extremities. Maybe invest in a blindfold that fits comfortably on the face. If you like the looks of that riding crop or the cute paddle that has a “bad girl” cut out, fine. But pull back on the reins right there, and check the next bullet item. And please come out of the saddle-and-spur department. We’ll save that for the advanced BDSM article.

7) Spankings – The more hardcore stuff, like floggings, tend to scare the bejesus out of a significant other who has never associated sensual punishment with his love for you. It may even scare you a little bit, but those erotic romance spankings are kind of intriguing, aren’t they? Few of us think of a spanking as a frightening thing. In fact, it has a hugely arousing impact, giving the endorphins a titillating strum and connecting to that subconscious desire to surrender to your lover’s power. So have him turn you over his knee or bend you over a chair or bed, and see where it goes. [Note: There are many fun, accessible areas for him to play with when he’s resting his hand!] The pain-pleasure aspect of BDSM is the least understood part of its practices, but it’s no different than why a roller coaster is both scary and thrilling. You’re unable to control the ride, and yet you willingly stepped onto it, with certain expectations of your experience. If the engineers and operators have done their job (the Dom), you’re going to enjoy the ride a great deal.

8) Use the Lingo – As I mentioned, the power of BDSM is in the psychology. Often, being allowed to address your Dominant lover only by a title like Master or Sir while you are “in session” gets you even deeper into the experience. You might also want him to do the same, calling you “his slave” or “his pretty sub,” “his kitten,” etc. Don’t be limited by these suggestions – choice of honorifics is very personal to the Dom/sub relationship. Though keeping it down to a couple syllables might be advisable, because getting out “Supreme Commander of My Orgasmic Universe” during the throes of passion is quite challenging.

9) Reach Out – Finding people who practice healthy BDSM relationships can help further your own knowledge and enjoyment. Forums like Fetlife.com have “real people” practicing BDSM and D’s lifestyles. You may be able to find a local community BDSM group that meets for “munches,” or social events held at a restaurant or other public venue to discuss common interests and provide a nonthreatening environment for new members. BDSM “stuff” does not occur at these types of events. (Waitresses don’t consider it a proper use of hot coffee and pancake syrup, and they will NOT clean it up!) Play comes later if you decide to be part of the group and they think you’re a good mesh for them as well. However, as in any online or in-person interaction, always use your best judgment. Even the most mundane online sites can attract crazies.

10) Now What? Once you’re both comfortable with the basics of restraint and the arousing aspects of a little punishment, if you want to go further, this is when you must do your research. That bad girl paddle will be fun, but it has to be used correctly. The human body is tough in a lot of ways, but very simple things – like using ropes too tightly around wrists or a strike with a paddle against the wrong place – can result in injury, which means no fun for either of you. The mantras of BDSM are Safe, Sane and Consensual (SSC) and Risk-Aware Consensual Kink (RACK). I recommend Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns by Philip Miller and Molly Devon as an excellent introduction to exploring BDSM. They have a casual, informative approach that makes it easy reading, as well as further resources in the bibliography. But keep reading those erotic romances for inspiration – I did mention I write those, right?

At the end of the day, BDSM practice is based on a power exchange, where one partner trusts another enough to relinquish control to them for mutual pleasure. It’s best when it’s conducted under a careful structure of safe words and rules that protect everyone involved. How deep you go with it, how elaborate, it all comes back to these basic tenets. Done right, it can deepen your emotional and physical connection with a lover…and be a heck of a lot of fun…

Joey W. Hill is the author of more than thirty erotic romance novels and the recipient of the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement award. She is a practicing submissive in her personal life and has been involved in the BDSM community for over twenty years. Her newest release, Hostile Takeover, is available at www.ellorascave.com.

Source: http://thecelebritycafe.com/feature/2012/09/ten-tips-bringing-bdsm-your-bedroom

Emergency Self-Administered Aftercare by Mistress Abode

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Written by Mistress Abode

There are lots of reasons you are checking out this emergency post…

Perhaps you are a sub who played real time with a Dom/me who was lousy at aftercare. Or you are a dominant or a switch who played with a sub who didn’t realize tops need aftercare as well. Perhaps you have an online Master who doesn’t think aftercare is required after online play – you on the other hand know from prior play experience that you need aftercare, and also sometimes experience subdrop. Or perhaps your normally supportive and experienced Mistress is unable to fulfill their usual “special time” due to unforseen real life commitments.

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Break It Down-The Bones of a D/s Relationship

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BDSM relationships are not easy, they are not simple and there is no “normal” dynamic. I’ve said before that there is no way to describe the ultimate BDSM relationship, however there are certain protocols that create a sound foundation for one. Without a majority of these, a D/s relationship can be chaotic, full of misunderstandings, anger and jealousy.

Photo from saidaonline.com

Photo from saidaonline.com

Honest Communication

When you first meet someone I believe it is best to be honest about your desires, expectations and experience. You don’t need to force them to listen to you while you tell them your life story, but the major events, anything that could effect your relationship should be noted after a few dates/meetings or after things have gotten a bit more serious.

I also believe in voicing any concerns or issues within the relationship freely between each other. If you can, try to approach a problem after you have had time to think about it yourself. This will give you time to detach any emotions you were feeling at the time of the incident and look at it from a different perspective.

If need be, you can always ask an unbiased third party to examine the situation and give you advice.

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Photo from Flickr

Open Negotiations

If you decide to pursue a serious D/s relationship with someone the next step would be to discuss negotiations. You will go over different topics depending on whether this negotiation is for an individual scene or the relationship. You will discuss your limits, safe words, what activities will be involved in a scene, what rules you will follow, punishments for breaking a rule, what daily activities your top will have control over and what daily activities or “chores” the bottom will have to complete. Again, not all of these will apply directly to YOUR relationship, but the negotiations should always take place before you have a scene with someone new.

Without negotiations your relationship may always feel like it is on the edge. The Top could claim they didn’t know that knife play was a hard limit or the bottom could decide to pursue other tops without clarification that their current relationship was supposed to be monogamous. These simple misunderstandings could lead to jealousy and anger, but are easily avoided with thorough negotiations.

(If you want to be formal with your negotiations, discuss your details and create a written contract.)

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Photo from eHow

Respect

Both partners must respect each other. If you do not have respect for that person, then it is going to be difficult to trust them in a scene and then there is no where to move forward. Respect means being faithful to your agreed negotiations and being honest with your partner. Also, being respectful does not mean you have to agree with them 100% of the time. You are allowed to safe word or bring up an issue you feel is important, but how you go about doing that is the key. Be calm and do not break rules in the process of trying to prove a point.

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Photo from tumblr

Safety

There are two main thoughts on safety in BDSM. The first is SSC, which means “Safe, Sane, Consensual” and the second is RACK, which means “Risk Aware Consensual Kink”. They differ on the degree of safety (SSC largely looks down upon edge play because it is dangerous, but RACK would allow edge play as long as the partners are aware of the risks and take the appropriate safety precautions).

One of ASI’s goals is to educate those who are interested on how to be as safe as possible. It may not pertain to a kink we’re really into, but we are not here to judge.

To be as safe as you can, make you sure you do plenty of research before attempting an activity. If you can, speak to someone who has tried it before and get tips and advice from those more experienced.

Be sure you are aware of any potential danger related to the activity. If there are medical issues, do more research on how to avoid an embarrassing trip to the Emergency Room.

Remember, it is the Top’s responsibility to keep the bottom safe. A Top should never lead a bottom into unsafe situation. We trust the top to guide us, safely, and to teach us through new experiences.

These are a few of the things that are needed to create a solid D/s relationship and, really, almost any relationship. Remember, every relationship is different and may require different attributes.

by Jessica Cocker

Safe, Sane, and Consensual

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by Tamar Kay
Copyright©1995

You will often hear it said that the first and most important rule in B&D-S/M is that all things we do with each other must be safe, sane, and consensual. What does this mean? Ask any set of experienced players and you’ll get a different set of answers. Here’s mine.

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Weight Issues

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Fan Question:”I have a question that you guys might have an answer to, or at least some advice on the matter. My Dominant makes it very clear that the only thing keeping me from being perfect is the fact that I’m overweight. Since that comment, I’ve become very self conscious with him. I brought it up with him a while ago and he said he was getting used to it, but when I text him the next day about howe happy that made me, he said it could still be changed. Help…?”

Answer: This is a tricky situation.. IMO, a Dom shouldn’t be looking to necessarily “change” the submissive, but should be encouraging self-improvement. He shouldn’t tell you that you’re fat, that you aren’t beautiful, that he doesn’t find you attractive.. or, in this case, that you aren’t perfect because of a physical matter. If he’s constantly telling you these things, I would consider that emotional abuse.. he’s making you feel as if you aren’t worthy of him or that you need to change for him, which isn’t the case. If the issue really bothers him THAT much, he wouldn’t be with you.. just keep that in mind! He obviously finds you beautiful for who you are. However, staying fit can be something a Dom requires.. for health and mental reasons. If he started requiring you to exercise or you are interested in a certain diet …then that is something you two will need to negotiate. If you are comfortable with those stipulations, then be sure to follow them once you’ve agreed to them! But, your negotiations on this issue should be about your safety and his, not necessarily just about attraction, because BDSM isn’t all about sex.. it’s about the relationship.

Recognizing Abuse

By Drea Martin

Something that I’m encountering with alarmingly increasing regularity is the excusing of abusive behavior under the guise of BDSM.  I have recently come in contact with a number of women who have described to me vicious scenarios of untempered abuse at the hands of their Dominant.  Threats of being left, accusations of not being a ‘real sub’ and many other tactics are used by the perpetrator to force the submissive to go beyond their hard limit boundaries or to endure much more pain, degradation, or humiliation than is reasonable.  I’d like to pause here a moment to explain that, though it has been female submissives sharing their stories with me, this isn’t something that is at all bound by gender. Males can be, and often are, victims of the same abuses that females are subjected to.  This is especially true within the dynamic of Domination/submission (D/s) because a much deeper level of trust is engendered, as well as the element  of perceived control, versus a vanilla relationship.

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Why I Don’t Bitch About My Girfriends/Boyfriends on the Internet

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By HisGoodGirl

It is remarkably easy to convince your child that Santa exists. After all, the child trusts you implicitly – why wouldn’t they take your word when you tell them there’s a red-suited jolly guy who brings them presents via a venison-powered transportation system?

Still, it’s a little declasse to do victory laps around the block, yelling, “See? I convinced Virginia that yes, there is a Santa Claus! What wondrous proof that Santa exists!”

Yet people do it. They do it all the damn time, particularly when it’s about ex-boyfriends or arguments they’re having with soon-to-be ex-girlfriends.

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