The life of the mind is sexy, even if it’s inadvertent

So, I was scrolling through some pictures and couldn’t help from pausing over this one:

A nice girl, with a lovely bottom. Just another photo, right?

What got my juices flowing is the depth of communication created by the poster in the background. The poster itself can be seen in more detail here, but briefly it is the famous 1911 US socialist “Pyramid of Capitalist System,” showing how capitalism “really works”. (Whatever your politics, its incontrovertible that a handful benefit wildly while most grind through life worrying about their mortgage and health care, and maybe that’s not the best way to organise the world?)

Anyway, the point is the poster in the background changes everything in the foreground. Suddenly it is no longer just another girl showing her bum, but a really quite complex musing on exploitation and choice. Because of course, nudity is political. Who keeps their clothes on, who takes them off, who is the viewer and who the viewed, is all about power.

Women’s organisations have, with mixed success, drawn parallels between exploitation of workers and of women — mixed because, submission and proto-exploitation is a very common erotic choice. Desire is mostly politically incorrect and all that. Also (let’s avoid naivete) the undressed women is not powerless. She has quite significant control over the owner of testosterone and can shape him to her will.

With all that in mind, suddenly there is a lot going on in this picture for me. A statement on many levels. And as one who finds thinking women sexy, I find myself fantasizing what else this woman has to say? Yes, I drool over her cheeks, but an interesting head makes them twice as nice.

It’s likely this is all my construction — the poster probably just what was there in the background when some leering photographer snapped pictures of just another model. But, there is the worker’s cap to make the link, so maybe I’m right…?

Again my Top sensibilities are expressed (in mirror form)

There’s a great post from Finding Sara, where she very funnily describes her minor brush with a cop, finishing up with this observation: “I am an executive. I run companies. I make money. I boss lots of people around! But you know what, faced with a dominant man in a position of authority, and dressed in pink on my way to the fabric store, I dropped into my submissive persona at his first ‘Excuse me M’am’…
“Most times I slip in and out of my various personas and roles in my life without much conscious thought or awareness, but sometimes I step back and wonder how the same woman can be such a ditz and a savvy business woman, a boss and a submissive wife simultaneously. I can negotiate and close deals, and then lose my (unregistered) vehicle in the parking lot all on the same day. I really don’t know what to make of it and I am not sure if all women feel this way or if it has to do with the fact that I have very different sides of me that create this walking contradiction that is me.”

I can totally relate, but from the other side. My role as a Top in anything but monolithic, and I’m not always in “authority mode”, nor do I want to be. That would be so, well, unidimensional. My life is many roles, some authoritative, others egalitarian. I have times when I need to be held, times when I look to be gently guided. I have worked under women. I walk around the office and have no fantasies of dominating them. An then something happens, a look, a flash of naughtiness, a bit of sass, or (less fun) a problem or crisis arises, and I can instantly kick into authority mode. We are many of us (those willing to admit it, feel it and explore it) multi-dimensional, aka “walking contradictions”.

Spanking-discipline is interesting, I think, because it provides a clear position in the shifting sands of our (both Tops and bottoms) everyday relationship with authority. But no sooner has it passed than the clarity fades. This is good because it allows our other dimensions their share of voice. Therefore to spank again. 🙂

Spanking is sometimes a figure/ground study for me

Here’s a picture. It comes from (of course) the one and only Red Charls. Who else dramatises and photgraphs the D/s experience so expertly?

I have a complicated relationship with this image. (Therein I call it art.) I look at it one way and I see a defensless, nude woman under the rod of oppression. Then I look at it again and I see a perfect alignment of wills, a deep yearning for discipline, a most caring hand of authority.

One way; then the other way. Back and forward. My ambivalence, of course. My struggle with all this.

This is just like the figure / ground studies we all know. Look at this picture. Do you see the vase or do you see the faces? Vase. Faces. Vase. Faces. Back and forth.

What am I saying (other than the banal, how we look at things affects what we see)?

I suppose I’m really conscious of how “so-very-right” and “so-very-wrong” are remarkably two sides of the same coin, and how it is quite hard to get that coin to reliably land right side up. It’s not just a question of seeing the postive. It is about putting the positive there for all to see.

New theme, same old ritual fascination

Well, we all need a shakeup from time to time.  I’ve gone for a new look. It will be, I fear, a bit of “old wine in new bottles”, but sometimes old wine is the best. I’ve also been – how can I put it – nurturing my creative juices for a while, in other words neglecting this blog. Yes, over-busy at work, but also trying to decide what to do with it, that is, thinking through whether I want to write and place fiction here or just keep this as an ideas sandbox. I’ve decided to write. That’s the new wine.

I’ve also been thinking about whether to allow other people’s fiction to appear here – I’m thinking of someone who has been sending me the most amazing stories and is happy for them to appear on this site, specifically choosing me as an “ideal dom”. I’m very humbled by this, er, award, and if only she didn’t live in New Zealand! But anyway… on the one hand, this would allow a “submissive” perspective in — there are many other, better, forums for this. But on the other it would also showcase the kind of highly articulate feminist submissive perspective that is very attractive to, well, me. To repost it would say something about the thinking dominant and what it likes…

‘Only as hard as my mind and body need it that day to react’

I liked this take on severity: “It might come as a surprise to some of you, and it actually a little bit of surprise to me as well, but I absolutely do not have a severity fetish. Some people say I can take a lot. And the truth is yes, I can, but I don’t really want to. It’s a little bit like “I have been there, I have done that”. I much more prefer lighter play that I can savour and enjoy than hard play that I can only survive. As far as severity goes I need it only as hard as my my mind and body need it that day to “react”. – this from Kami Robertson’s On the Way of Exploration.

What is like about this is it reframes the “how-hard” question in terms of a means-to-an-end, not an end in itself. I think a lot of people somehow buy into the idea that doing it harder is to be strived for, it shows more dominance (or submission). It is an end to be aspired to.

(I don’t think spanking harder shows more dominance at all. Real dominance is mental-emotional, to be found in resolution, courage, forthrightness, etc., but that’s another story.)

The real goal in spanking — for me and I suspect most people — is not to do it harder. It  is to reach the emotional and erotic heights, and achieve personal closeness and alignment. A spanking needs to be hard enough to get “there”, but no harder.

For me this isolates a key source of frustration correctly: if how hard he needs it to be to get “there” and how hard she needs it to be to get “there” are not in alignment, there will be endemic frustration and, although tolerances can build I don’t see any solution to that incompatibility.

Speaking for myself, I need it to be fairly hot and hard to get there. A good hand spanking or paddle whacking, or strapping: enough strokes so her bottom is genuinely bouncing around and a decidely hot pink. (If she crumbles in the middle of this and ends the event, I am very frustrated indeed.) But if I get that, then I’m “there” and to go on would be pointless and a turn-off.

‘Consenting adults in private’, redux

I’ve been thinking about is whether its possible to come up with a better minimum code of ethical interaction for spanking (and D/s) relationships than the old standard: every practice is okay as long as it’s between “consenting adults in private.”

Consenting Adults in Private evolved from the gay rights world, and may not be quite right for D/s. It is more than apparent that a lot of unethical-by-any-measure (genuinely exploititatve, cruel) behaviour goes on behind the fig leaves of consent and privacy.

I’m greatly in favour of D/s broadly interpreted. I’m not in favour of real cruelty and exploitation (and I feel D/s is messed up by people who are cruel and abusive for real.)

I’m not moralising, nor trying to reign anyone in, nor get anyone else to do what I do. I absolutely appreciate the diversity of practice and opinion in our field. It is all about self- and other-exploration, so there must be freedom to explore. But I don’t think one can say: “don’t judge what I do in my house and I won’t judge what you do in yours”.

Think of it this way: despotic and criminal countries with human rights abuses galore always say: “don’t interfere in our internal affairs, and we won’t interfere in yours.” But in fact the abuses of children, women, prisoners, p.o.w.’s, disabled people, mentally handicapped, people of colour, gays and lesbians, and so on has forced charters such as the Internation Declaration on Human Rights, the Geneva Convention, and so on, which precisely say: “it’s not all subjective, cultural, relative. There is a basic human standard of behaviour ethical nations adhere to.” By the way it’s worth reading the Declaration of Human Rights, which can be found at this link.

I wouldn’t mind this kind of charter for the spanking D/s world. Something everyone could point to, which would glady tolerate the healthy diversity of interpretation and practice, but also flag real abuse.

So what might this look like? Here’s a beginning list:

1. Adults. No D/s interaction with anyone under the national ‘age of consent’. Note, I’m not saying 18. If the age of consent is 16, that means D/s is allowed. If that’s not okay, the age of consent should be raised. (Natural parents spanking children in a moderate way is no problem.)

2. Duty of care and consistency. The dominant must have the submissive’s interests at heart. This is hard to pin down – definitions vary – but I think we all know when it’s not there. There is a duty on the punisher to make sure the punished is not grossly physically harmed. This extends to mental health too. The rules can be strict, and the consequences severe, but the submissive should feel mentally secure, not subject to random witholding of the relationship or other ‘mind games’.

3. Absolute limits on the strike zone. What’s tricky about spanking is it’s hitting, and hitting is also the essence of abuse. We resolve this by saying some zones are smackable, others not. But, you might say, ‘what if she agrees to be punched in the face as part of her discipline?’ This would pose a theoretical problem, but in all my years I’ve never seen it nor heard of it. It can be safely dismissed. There are standard body areas, the bottom obviously (but perhaps also pussy, legs, and back too, according to preference) that can ‘belong’ to the Dominant (subject to 2 above.) But that doesn’t mean he should start the session with a few ‘backhands’, nor that she should feel this is permissible.

4. Freedom of association. This is the consent point. But I don’t think consent is the right concept because in D/s non-consent or partial-consent or overcoming-of-non-consent is intrinsic to the act for many. So a clearer principle is freedom of association. This means that a person should be free to walk away (physically, mentally, socially, financially) without fear of retribution.

5. Private. As with all sexuality and nudity, people who are offended or not interested have a right not to be confronted in a public place. The reverse applies too. Nobody should invade your privacy (subject to 1-4 above).

Think of it this way: the abuser is one who denies freedom of association (you leave me and I’ll kill you, etc); will hit his trusty sub any old how, possibly even in public; and disregard her actual, real physical and mental well-being. My little code of practice is a straight reversal of what troubles me, and I think, troubles most honourable people.

Anyway, I suppose I’m whistling in the wind. There will never be an International Charter of D/s Practice. But it maybe worth checking whether these minimums apply to you.

What a girl wants

Because of my just-no-time-for-tv life, I have no idea what ‘Glee’ is or who this particular character is. (As a media junkie of a sort, that feels weird.) But I had to smile at this little piece of deadpan double-entendre, which gives me hope that are still a few real minds at work, gnawing away at the margins, pushing back the puritan disneyfication of our screens.

Alas, no, I don’t know what happened next. Would be happy to be filled in … 😉

I picked this up on the gloriously titled blog: ‘A rambling editorial on life as a grown-up. a mother and a submissive wife: Life at a Kinky House

The gruff and the beautiful, once again the hands say it all

I’m a ‘hands addict’ because hands communicate so much. Strength, power, vulnerability, reaching out, exposing, protecting, caring. Once again hats off to Red Charls for being the site-of-sites for pictures that talk. Or walk the talk. Or walk the ‘no-more-talk’ …. you know what I mean 😉

‘Take a look at these hands / They’re passing in between us / …’

As I discover what I want to do with this blog, I find that selecting and showcasing pictures that move me and saying why they move me (as a Top) is a big part of it. Alas, so many of the pictures out there are derivative. But this one, which I know nothing about, but which I found at Keagen’s Spanking Memoir is worth noticing.

Keagen comments: “To me, it says, ‘You can fight and struggle, but I promise, it’s ok. I’m strong enough to handle the fight, and strong enough to handle you.’ Yet, she’s not being FORCED into position. She is there of her own free-will. (You can tell because of the relaxation in her lower body and back.) *simply* I like it. His hands come over top of her body, so she is extremely close to him, and he is not simply standing behind her. This is, more than anything, a gesture of love, of support, of safety. It’s a gesture of strength, of containment. . . . of boundaries.”

To which I would only add how much I like the focus on hands. Hands are so important in spanking – what he does with his (obviously) and what she does with hers, or is not allowed to do. And her hands are very open, very accepting and receptive. I like too the different skin tones they have. Something sexy about her paleness and his mustiness. Also this is clearly a ‘bondage’ picture, but without the ersatz chains and crap. What a relief. And, lest I forget my true calling, her bottom is very desirable, spankable indeed.

Lightness and heaviness (or should that be darkness?)

So last time out, I had a mild go at Taken in Hand for getting dull and preachy. Gratifyingly a few people have popped up in my email box to quietly agree. I hope it’s obvious that some of this was reflecting my own evolution, me being ‘in a different place’, although I do think, objectively, the site is not what it was.

Anyway in that post I threw out the idea that “discipline, domestic or otherwise, is serious business because it takes us very close to deep parts of the psyche… but somehow I’m moving on from needing it to be so damn wholesome.”

Let me add something to this because, to explain better, it not that the wholesome is to be shrugged off. It is that there is unreconstructed ‘non-wholesomeness’ to be accommodated too.

To explain: I’m in the cohort of ‘Tops’ who are troubled by oppression and inequality. I’m extremely liberal-egalitarian in outlook, including being shocked by violence and troubled by hitting anyone or anything, most of all a woman, which all sits very uneasily with a liberal world view. I would march in the streets against domestic violence. But I’m absolutely hardwired to spank a willing woman’s bottom (and not remotely hardwired for this to be reciprocated.)

So I  seek a framework of justification and integration. For example, I believe that structure is good, in life and in relationships. I believe a big part of what a male contributes to a relationship is to protect and provide, including providing guiding purpose, strength (real strength, not pumped up jerk strength), and authority. I know too that spanking provides intimacy like nothing else. It also provides very hot foreplay. And so on. I know that many men are wired just like me, and women wired the other way — if it’s a fringe world view, which I actually doubt, it is extremely common.

So I can intellectually and morally justify who I am (in this form of my life). That’s the “evolved” part. This accounts for a lot of what goes on on sites like TIH and many other forums — the elaboration of wholesome (aka heavy) justification of the adult M/f spanking relationship by both men and women, showing the many reason why it is functional not dysfunctional, and therefore is moral and good. I agree with the process and most of what is said..

But there is more. The truth will set you free and the truth is that something else seeks release and expresssion — a violent impulse, a sterner persona, a will to overpower, a totally unreconstructed instinct to “own” the woman through her willingly proffered bottom, to lash it, to see it  change shape as a mightly thwack overcomes it, to hear her gasp, to see her wriggle (but remain “as positioned” or else) in an absolute gift of submission.

That was hard to write.

I can justify this: real thrashing is very like ‘wild’ fucking: the deepest test, providing for the most intimacy, the strongest ‘contract’ of dominance and submission. I would add that events should not happen at this level every time, and when it happens I’m super-ultra-careful to use a soft-ish instrument. I have never caused even close to the kind of damage you see on some sites, and never would.

But … this is just justification again, the mental machinations of the wholesome, evolved, gentle spirit, searching for morality. The bald truth is there is a very dominant, testosterone-soaked, very unreconstructed, non-evolved ‘cowboy’ that rides this path at times.

I suppose, as long as this life force can be fruitfully harnessed (more justification, Alex) it’s better that it’s there than not. Welcome to the mysteries of life as a carbon-based biped on a spinning blue-green planet lost in quantum darkness. To life!

But, anyway, this is the ‘badness’ that I’m talking about. The unreconstructed male that shrugs out of the cloak of acceptibility … which causes some, er,  shifting-up of personnell to make space for on the sofa of the liberal-egalitarian framework, I tell ya. I think the only way this integration can occur is through a certain lightness of being — some things cannot and should not be justified, they just ‘are’.

The ‘other side of the cane’ beautifully described on ‘Bend over Jessica’

As a reflective dom — a state of mind I’ve taken to calling ‘evolved, but unreconstructed’ —  I’ve been meaning for a while to give a warm nod to this text, below, that I found really helpful in giving me insight into the experience of the spanked (caned in this case) submissive. As a dominant one can go through life never knowing. Never really, really, knowing. But this filled a gap in my knowledge, and is beautifully written, proving that a few choice words are actually worth more than 1,000 pictures. Definitely worth quoting at length. Thanks Jessica! Oh, also, the intensity of the authority seems to have been exactly right too – undeniable, thorough, respect-inducing, but ultimately caring and non-abusive.

http://www.bendoverjessica.co.uk/wordpress/?p=566

‘When it began, the first thought was that the cane really bit. Each stroke seemed to sear a red hot brand across my backside, making me suck in my breath sharply from each stroke and the initial sharp line of pain was followed by a wash of sensation as the burning brand spread and rippled across the surface of my bottom.

‘After six strokes, the pain was more constant – there was no longer any relief between strokes, because the itchy burning pain was there the whole time. Now each stroke cranked up the level a little bit more, another step up the pain ladder. At almost the same time, I felt my endorphins start to crowd my body, to speed down my veins and race round my blood.

‘My breathing grew faster, my skin prickled all over, sweat broke out on my upper lip and forehead and I jerked, jerked my body in pain away from the punishing cane but my hips developed a rounded rhythmic dance of pain – a circular motion as cringed away from the stroke, absorbed it and then eagerly thrust my bottom out to meet the kiss of the next stroke. My legs drifted apart and I could feel the hot pulse of lust between my legs and I wanted some relief. But first, I had to take my punishment.

‘The final set of strokes hurt so much that I had to focus madly to stop myself from leaping up and begging. When this happens, my line of vision narrows until I can’t really see or process anything – just the relentless lash of the punishment implement and the body’s reaction as I deal with the burst of agony and tense myself for the next. It’s like tunnel vision and the world shrinks until all you are aware of is the rhythm of hurt and all you can do is wait until it stops.

‘But at the same time, those treacherous endorphins are getting you through it, forcing you to embrace it, your mind willing to take far more than your physical body can. This is where it sometimes gets dangerous as a less experienced or less caring top will take you out and beyond that, not caring if blood starts to run down your skin. But my playmates aren’t like that and sure enough, just when I thought I’d had nearly too much, the caning stopped.

‘Shakily I stood, body wired with pain and pleasure. Uncle Edmund sat me on his knee and I cuddled him, only aware of my blazing bottom. It felt good.’

The apparel oft proclaims the man …

Following a now-quite old post here on why spank pay sites give me cause for pause, someone popped up in the comments box to helpfully point me to Spanking Tube. Thanks. Of course I already know about it. Yes, there are some real couples posting their own clips. But it is mostly a forum for the pay sites to show their trailers and the whole thing is set up by ‘Real Spankings’.

Anyway, not to say that the pay sites don’t do some good work (and I happily pay to see a movie or buy a CD in the vanilla world). It’s just not clear to me what the levels of real exploitation are, that’s all, and as much as I can find ‘play’ or chosen exploitation sexy, real exploitation is a huge turnoff. The thin, um, red line is crossed. And in pay-spank sites (as in all pornography) I often can’t tell whether it’s been crossed or not.

spanking-1

Cargo shorts? Dude, like, c'mon

Anyway, thus cycling back to Spanking Tube after a few months and seeing what’s out there currently, I was given to the following thought. It’s clear that one can’t in the spanking world generally say “what is good for the goose is good for the gander.” The whole field has an awkward double standard: If she’s been bad she get’s spanked; if he’s been bad, well, what happens? And I’m not saying switching is the answer. It’s just a pickle.

But there is one area where I feel certain goose gander eqivalency can and should apply — or at least, speaking for myself, I like to apply it — and this is in dress. I feel if she’s well turned out, in a nice skirt, with elegant heels and so on, I should be more-or-less in the male equivalent: proper trousers, formal shoes, collar shirt. If she’s  in an evening dress, with perhaps …mmm… stockings and suspenders (US translation: garter belt), I should be in a dinner jacket or equivalent.

The blog commenters are going to kill me, I know. (Just kidding, I love it!) I’m not saying one needs to dress formally to spank or be spanked, just that it’s meaningful if the couple dress more-or-less equivalently.

I feel it does two things. First it shows respect. We all want respect, dominants, submissives alike. It just takes different forms. A submissive doesn’t want respect in the sense of simple reciprocity (you spank me I spank you back) but she does surely want it in the sense of having her submission honoured, that is, honouring what she is giving, which is a lot. We dress up for client meetings or job interviews and so on to show respect. Taking the time and care to dress equivalently to her level of dress shows respect in that same way.

A bonus applies too: Dress helps put us both, dom and sub, into the frame of mind. That’s what the heels and stocking are all about. For my part,  I know I feel different in formal dress, real trousers, a suit, or even a tux. I feel more “executive”, a little more styalised in my masculinity, and I intuit that this plays a not inconsequential role in switching on feminine submissive fantasies.

What being in ‘Topspace’ is like for me

Now and then one hears about ‘subspace’ or ‘entering subspace’ as part of the submissive experience. The idea is that a certain transition comes over the sub as she is taken into spanking submission. As I understand it (and I’m happy to be corrected on this, not having “been there” myself) this may come prior to the spanking, in anticipating it or dressing for it, or it may come as it starts, or as it progresses — but one way or another a change is wrought as she ‘enters’ her submissiveness more completely.

I find this concept useful, and it certainly chimes with my experience — with women I have topped and spanked. Looking into their face and eyes during a session, or right after it, or observing their change of voice or body response, it is often clear they are quite deeply in another space, subspace.

But I’ve never seen anything written about entering Topspace, and I think the concept is just as useful. Certainly it explains to me what happens to me if conditions are right.

First I should say, although I’m an experienced spanking Top, with (make-no-mistake) ‘the balls’ to dominate as and when required, I’m not an obvious ‘Top’ in real life. But when I’m going to give a spanking or about to start, I can feel a certain transition happening, a firmness of voice, a clarity of purpose and intent coming over me. As things progress and, particularly, as her consent and submission become obvious, I go further into Topspace. It’s not — just to be clear — physical arousal, although that may be present too. It is something closer to feeling powerful and purposeful. I’m guessing this has a hormonal base; testosterone or even adrenelin flowing.

Further, depending on her responses, but assuming she’s delighting in what is happening, this will progress with smacking her bottom harder, seeing it bouncing and squirming, towards … something I can only describe as progressively peeling away my layers to a state of very basic, absolute, undiluted masculinity. In this state I really can, assuming ongoing consensuality (nothing breaks the escalation), give her a very, very, sound thrashing indeed.

It is tempting to call this state “instinctive”, or “animalistic”. But in my experience it’s really not like that at all. It is more like I have reached the very ‘fountain of masculinity’ and am drinking directly from it. It’s a quiet, almost meditative place, with absoluteness and clarity and purpose and power that don’t exist in normal life.

I should add that in this state of mind, with purpose and power pretty much on ‘maximum’, it is easy to overstep and spank too hard. And I have done this, and deeply regretted it. But this is where experience comes in. We live and we do learn.

Footnote to previous: the erratic

Thinking about it overnight it has become clearer to me that a central element of abusive behaviour is inconsistency or erraticism of demand. I feel – maybe I’m wrong, I’m not a sub – but intuitively I feel that as a submissive it would be possible to adapt oneself to almost any framework, rules, demands, or punishments as long as these are clear and consistent. Or, if not, to find another partner. It is the clarity and consistency that are (… I seek a better word but don’t find it) “nurturing”. But when the rules change mid-stream, or when contact/caring/consequences are given then witheld on an unpredictable schedule, that is impossible to adapt and shape to. Therefore it’s abusive.

To me erraticism correlates with weakness. I’m thinking of “The Secretary” and “9 1/2 Weeks” and other works that we all know, where the abuse was not dominance but its variable and unpredictable nature.

“Just say no” to spanking as the Trojan Horse of debasement and abuse

I had the good fortune to have lunch recently with a fellow spanking blogger. It’s always really special to meet someone whose blog you read and with whom – by definition – you share important world view congruency. There’s so much you don’t have to talk about. And, paradoxically, so much to say.

One the things that came up – the main thing actually – is how many of the dominants out there are “just looking for someone to hurt,” and/or are abusive and demeaning to the sub. And how spanking gives them the veneer of respectability.

Now I’ve enough experience of life to know two things. The first is that there is no doubt this kind of behaviour goes on and many dominants are utterly unworthy of respect. The second is … they get it: respect, adoration, submission. So let’s not be naïve. It’s not hard to to see the difference between spanking as a firm, protecting ritual and spanking as proxy and cover for an abusive mindset. Demeaning and uncharitable cannot be misread as firm, empowered, and responsible.

So my interpretation is that there are many submissives out there who are not clear in their own mind which they want. Or putting it another way – they complain, but they reward abuse and disrespect, and return to it. Power can be addictive. So can “badness” (I’m told – me, I’d run a mile). And everyone knows, nice guys come last.

One of the things I’ve learnt by blogging out my point of view about spanking and traditional relationships is that, even in our specific like-minded community, folks really have different ideas and different preferences. I am becoming more tolerant of this. Personally, I really battle to understand submissives who reward erratic, disrespectful behaviour. But the human psyche and human sexuality is a deep mystery. I’d say “just say no” but that soundbite is taken. If being an abuser or “abusee” is your thing, get to it.

If abuse is not your thing, I offer the old maxim that power and responsibility go hand in hand. The more power one has the more responsibility one needs to show. (And vice versa – one can’t exercise responsibility without power.) I’m sure I’m no angel, but that’s how I see the whole activity: a power play, not a “power trip”.