Archive for the Men Category

Project August: Day 6 – The Hunger of a Dominant

Posted in D/s, Dominance, Men, Project August with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2013 by Xajow

Okay, students, pay attention. I know some of you have questions about how a Dominant thinks, what does a Dominant need, and what drives a person to want to be a Dominant in a D/s relationship. So pay attention. I am going to talk about these things from a personal perspective. You may not fully understand all of it, but know that your understanding is not required. Continue reading

On Being a Dominant (part 2)

Posted in D/s, Dominance, Men, Relationships with tags , , , , , on June 7, 2012 by Xajow

The other day, I was talking about being honest with oneself. I said:

Also, when we are honest with ourselves, being honest with the other person in the relationship is easier. It makes saying “I want this because…” or “that is a limit because…” easier because what we know and have thought about is easier to communicate than that about which we are unsure or afraid to consider.

Dominants, I would hope, should have no problem with this. Knowing what we want and why should be important to us already.

And then in the comments, Sadey Quinn said:

One thing I’d like to point out is in regards to: “Dominants, I would hope, should have no problem with this. Knowing what we want and why should be important to us already.”

It’s my impression that a lot of dominants, particularly dominant men, do actually struggle with this. They may know what they want, but they might not understand why. And there is guilt that goes along with wanting to dominate a woman, especially in today’s society.

Her comment is quite right. I did not mean that I thought being honest with oneself was necessarily or inherently easy for Dominants. I meant that I thought Dominants should not object to the notion of being honest with oneself.

But more to Sadey’s point, being a Dominant can be very difficult. Our culture predominantly looks at things like Fifty Shades of Grey as degrading, and at Dominant men as predatory villains in the same vein as spouse abusers and rapists. This can make understanding oneself as a Dominant seem like admitting to being evil.

There are no mentors for young men who are Dominant. If anything young men with the traits of Dominants are usually punished for exhibiting those traits. It happened to me. More than once. It left me with severe self-image problems that I am still overcoming.

Once upon a time, I was enrolled in a private school that my parents could barely afford. (Lest you think we were wealthy, my father had to get a part-time job as a maintenance man at the school, and my mother had to get a job as an after-care worker just to be able to afford to pay for my education there.) Anyway, in this school I chaffed under all the rules. Your hair like this, your clothes like this, and here is lots of busy work for you to do at home. I say busy work because most of the time, whether it was right or wrong did not matter. Just doing it was enough. If you would otherwise get a D in the class, doing all the homework could raise your grade to a C. That seemed ridiculous to me even then. And there were times when I reached the end of patience with the rules. And then usually my parents would get told that I have a temper. And I had to get counselling to help me deal with things. Ugh.

No one looked at the young man who did not fit in and said, “Let us help him learn to be a Dominant.” Not that they would have known what a Dominant is. But the sought to push down all of those qualities. I was to accept what authority told me. Buckle under, submit, they said in essence. And they could not understand why I had a problem with that. Of course, at the time, neither did I. I felt like I was wrong any time I went against the grain of what they considered acceptable. I tried to understand why I was messed up. And that was just for Dominant traits. Do not even get me started in how the theology of the people who ran the private school (and the church I attended at the time) messed with my head.

Understand here, I was not a bully (except maybe to my younger sibling, but that was play, not serious). I was not beating people up. I was not actually doing anything wrong. I was trying to understand myself, and continually I was told so much about me was wrong. And some of it was. I was certainly not perfect. Nor am I perfect now. But I was made to feel guilty for things that were not character flaws. And I understand now that they did not know how to deal with me. I was not a trouble maker, but I was not conforming to their ways in the way they wanted. How could they know how to deal with me?

And all around me, at school and at church and even in popular culture, was the notion that dominating women was wrong. Not merely that spousal abuse is wrong. But even the very idea of how relationships work. When a man gets married, the wife becomes “the boss.” The man is always expected to flatter and coddle the woman, regardless of his own opinions. Jump through hoops to please the woman because this is romantic. If the woman asks you to fail, you do it to prove you love her. Basically, the man submits to the woman. I could not do that.

As I tried to work out who I was and my place in society, ever so often some well-meaning person would very politely and tactfully come to me to talk with me out of great concern. And what all their tactfulness boiled down to is “What is wrong with you? Why don’t you learn to be like everyone else?”

All of this left me with feelings of guilt and a twisted self-image. And how did I act with girls when I was left with a corrupted self-image and guilt? It was a disaster. Let’s just leave it at that for now.

Needless to say, I was bullied and picked on all through school. And the only time I seemed to have a group of friends was when I suppressed the parts of me everyone told me were wrong.

Even now, I find myself dealing with doubt and constantly hiding things from people. And the first time a woman said to to me that I should yell at her for being bad, I was hesitant. I almost could not do it, because surely that was wrong.

Coming to grips with being a Dominant can be very difficult. Particularly when it seems like something one can never say out loud. I cannot ever tell my friends at church (a different church in a different part of the country from the one where I spent my youth) that I want a woman to be submissive. Not a one of them would understand. And several of them, if not all, would be offended by the idea.

Being a Dominant in a culture that tends to frown on D/s relationships and the nature of Dominants is more than a little difficult. Basically, our culture tries to say “You are not allowed to be a Dominant.” Oddly, Dominatrices are apparently acceptable. One sees them popping up all over the place. But to be a Dominant, to be a strong willed male who wants a woman to submit, that is wrong and tantamount to wanting to be a bully. And we get taught through our lives that the things that make us Dominant are bad. I do not know how a man with Dominant tendencies comes through that without feeling guilty to some degree.

But I imagine strong women who want to submit would also feel guilty. They are told just as much they are bad for such a desire.

At some point one has to push aside the judgement of the culture. I cannot speak for all Doms, but I am not trampling anyone’s rights. I am not forcing anyone to be a submissive. I am not bad for being this way. This does not make being a Dominant easier, but it helps make it bearable in this society.

 And this does not even touch on the responsibility of taking care of a submissive. Being a Dominant is not an easy thing. But then, that is why being a good one can be so satisfying.

I am approaching 1400 words here. I am going to stop for now, and possibly take up this topic again at another time.

Thoughts on Dominant/submissive Relationships (part 2)

Posted in D/s, Dominance, Men, Philosophy, Relationships, submission, Women with tags , , , , , , , on June 3, 2012 by Xajow

I am prompted to the second part (for the first part, click this link) of this series by two different blogs. First, let’s look at the kinky one.

Kink is about Honesty. In order to be honest with our partners, we must be honest with ourselves.

[…]

Along with basic honesty about what we want, we gotta be sincere about what we don’t want. This requires great thought. I’m debating and reorganizing my thoughts on this, being post-Nate. What do I want from future partners? What don’t I want?

I’ve been talking with a few dominants. Hearing what they want is helping me reorganize my thoughts. The thing is, I used to be a submissive that would look at what a Dom wants and think, “How can I make myself want that?” Now, if I’m not into something, I kinda think, “Eh. Fuck that.” So how sub am I, really?

Anyway. Point being, honesty rules.

That was found at the blog of Sadey Quinn. Now let’s look at the non-kinky one.

What makes you happy?

[…]

7) Being who I am makes me happy.  I am compassionate, empathetic, kind and caring.  I want to help change the world for the better and every day I seek new knowledge because there is an abundance that can be learned and I want to take in as much as I possibly can.

That was found at the blog of Diane Owens.

You are saying, that is nice and all, but what does that have to do with anything about D/s relationships? (Okay, maybe you did not say that, but play along anyway.) In the first installment of this series, I talked about being honest. The Dominant should be honest with the submissive, and the submissive should be honest with Dominant. Oh, you say, as you start to see where I am going. Yes, I say, you also need to be honest with yourself. But I also want to say that to get the most happiness out of a relationship, you should be happy with yourself.

One of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare, and one of the most misunderstood, is this: 

This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

That is from the play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Demark. Many people take the “to thine ownself be true” part and think this means to do whatever you want. They are incorrect. Worse than that, they are wrong. Take the whole quote in context, and what it means is basically this: be honest with yourself and you will have integrity in your dealings with other people. When you are true to yourself—when you are honest with yourself about who you are and what you want—you will not be false to others—you will be honest and true with others.

What this requires is a certain amount of self-examination. Not of the body but of the mind and the soul. So what then, you ask, am I suppose to sit around thinking about myself? Maybe, I reply. Or maybe you have a blog. Or maybe you have a journal. However you do it, set time aside to think about who you are and what you want. Having a blog or a journal works well because then you are working through the filter of communication, which forces your mind to sort and consider as you make the words appear. But sometimes, yes you probably should take time to sit down and think about yourself. Stop watching movies and reading books and listening to music and running about doing this or that. Just stop, be alone and think. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly, and take some time to think.

When you know yourself better, being honest with yourself is easier. And when you are honest with yourself being happy with yourself is easier. And when you are happier with yourself, and honest with your Dominant or submissive, your relationship will be better.

I know in D/s circles we talk about things like sub-space and Dom-space, wherein the person reaches a sort of mental and spiritual plateau away from all distractions. It is a mental space of almost not thinking. Everything is immediate and clear and instinctual. But we do not get to stay there. What are you driving at now, you ask. I believe knowing yourself, being honest with yourself makes getting to that place easier. Right now I am reminded of a scene in the movie “The Mission.” The missionary (I think, but I have not seen it in a long time, so forgive me if I am mistaken) is climbing up a cliff or a waterfall, and he carrying a huge bag of stuff with him. A local native fellow comes along and cuts the bag away to that the missionary can more easily reach the top. (You may now insert your own missionary position joke here.) The point being, shedding the things that hold us back from sub-space or Dom-space is easier when we start with less baggage.

Also, when we are honest with ourselves, being honest with the other person in the relationship is easier. It makes saying “I want this because…” or “that is a limit because…” easier because what we know and have thought about is easier to communicate than that about which we are unsure or afraid to consider.

Dominants, I would hope, should have no problem with this. Knowing what we want and why should be important to us already. But I can imagine some submissives out there thinking all this contemplation and self-knowledge seems like a huge burden. So slow down for a moment. Take a deep breath. You do not have to get yourself all figured out in one afternoon. In all truth, you will probably never get yourself all figured out. What I have been talking about is just a portion of the journey. As you live and experience things, particularly within a D/s relationship, you will learn things about yourself you did not know before. Knowing yourself is a gradual process. You do not have to be perfect at it. No one is. And you do not have to do this by yourself. Part of your Dominant’s job is to lead you to a better understanding of yourself. Breathe deep, submissives, and relax. You can do this.

Gosh, you say, Xajow, you are such a brilliant man. Yes, I reply, I know.

But seriously, we are all, Dominants and submissives alike, hopefully on a path of becoming better people. Taking the time to be honest with ourselves, not just about what we want but also about what we do not know, will help us get there. And this is, I think, important to the D/s relationship.

Gosh, you say, Xajow, you sure are garrulous, and we were just kidding about the brilliant part. Yeah, I say, I know.

Thoughts on Dominant/submissive Relationships (part 1, second addendum)

Posted in D/s, Dominance, Men, Relationships, submission, Women with tags , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by Xajow

Over at the Inquisitive Explorer blog, I found this:

This omniscient Dom doesn’t exist in reality. Yes, sometimes you might work with someone often enough and have enough chemistry that it starts to feel like the Top knows your mind, but the reality is that the dynamic desired stems from deep, honest communication. As a submissive, you have to know your limits and what things interest you, and you need to communicate that to your Top. You have to vocalize when you enjoy something and when you don’t. You need to let the person know if they can push you harder. You let them know if you’re upset. People can’t read minds; being kinky doesn’t automatically make you a mind reader.

Exactly.

And then there is this little gem:

Reality is just that – real – and that means it isn’t always sunny or fun, and sometimes involves dealing with people’s real insecurities, awkwardness, and problems. That said, the harder parts are what make the good parts rewarding, and reality is even better than fantasy because of the difficulty, self-growth, and journey you take with your partner(s).

I could not agree more. 

Thoughts on Dominant/submissive Relationships (part 1, addendum)

Posted in D/s, Dominance, Men, Relationships, submission, Women with tags , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2012 by Xajow

In the immediately previous post I spoke of the need for communication between a Dominant and his submissive. As a follow up to that, I direct your attention to a post at the blog missysubmits(sometimes). Here is a snippit:

So the silent treatment is a good thing. To him. I am still a sub and it still f—s with me. Not to mention a human being.

Expletive edited by me for those who may not be prepared to read it.

The silent treatment, as she calls it, can be a tool of communication. Many Dominants are naturally quiet and a lack of verbal reply seems natural. But the submissive in this instance did the right thing. She communicated with her Dominant about it. The answer she got was not one that pleased her, but she has an explanation now. And in this case, as in many cases within a D/s relationship, the submissive’s understanding is not required, merely her acceptance.

Thoughts on Dominant/submissive Relationships (part 1)

Posted in D/s, Dominance, Men, Relationships, submission, Women with tags , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2012 by Xajow

The other day the issue of trust came up in comments about my post “On Being a Dominant.” So let us begin by talking about trust.

Trust is important in any relationship, but doubly so in a D/s relationship. The nature of the Dominant/submissive relationship demands this. The submissive is turning over control to someone else, the Dominant. The submissive must be able to trust the Dominant for this to work. Without trust a submissive would do this only out of fear, and that is not healthy mentally or emotionally.

I want to pause here for a moment. I can imagine a Gorean sort of person saying to this, “Yeah, so what?” To be clear, I am not talking about a true Master/slave relationship even though in some D/s relationships those titles get used. A genuine Master/slave relationship is an entirely different dynamic. I may talk about that in a future post, but I am not talking about that now.

Anyway, one of the things any Dominant must do for a healthy relationship with his submissive is to build trust. Trust is built only in part by respecting limits in sex or public situations or BDSM play. That is important, but trust is built in all the other ways the Dominant treats and interacts with the submissive. How the Dominant speaks to the sub, touches her, looks at her, treats her in public, speaks about her to others, listens to her, acknowledges her, makes her feel, and on and on. All these things build the infrastructure of trust upon which other parts of the relationship will be placed. The more struts and supports and buttresses, so to speak, that one can give that trust, the stronger that trust will be and the better the relationship will be.

That may all seem hard. It is and it isn’t. It is hard in that it is something the Dominant should be aware of and cultivating. It is not hard in that the submissive wants to trust. She needs to trust, and sometimes the littlest thing that is barely noticed if at all by the Dominant will be the thing the sub remembers as a moment which proves to her that she can trust her Dom. That is not to say a Dominant can get away with not worrying about building trust. But it does mean if you put forth the effort to build it, it will grow in ways you will not expect. This is part of the beauty and wonder of a healthy D/s relationship.

Your submissive will notice when you, the Dominant, do the things you intend to do for and/or to her. Understand that she will also sometimes notice when something you do helps her in a way that perhaps you did not intend. She will notice when the words you say to her reflect that you listen to her and that she is important to you. She will notice when you use a word that resonates with her even if you did not consciously choose it for that reason. She will notice your idle stroking of her hair or her breasts or her arm or her leg or whatever, and that will comfort her even if you are not consciously thinking about it. These things will also build trust because they will tell the submissive that the Dominant cares.

When the submissive believes and/or feels that she is safe with the Dominant, then she will trust. Again, this is and is not hard. And for the same reasons. The Dominant should be consciously cultivating a sense of safety for the submissive. At the same time, the submissive needs to feel safe in her submission. This is part of her drive to submit. She wants and needs to feel that safety. She needs to give someone that much trust. She needs to submit. So if the Dominant is doing his job, the trust and sense of safety will grow.

That said, the Dominant needs to be able to trust the submissive. The submissive needs to let her Dominant know that he can trust her to be obedient, to communicate with him, to behave herself in a manner that reflects well on him, and to appreciate his efforts to learn about her care for her. Because this is not a true Master/slave relationship, this is a voluntary relationship. Either party can end it. This is something that both Dominant and submissive can do. But a Dominant needs to believe he is not wasting him time.

If, for example, a submissive woman tells a Dominant man, “I want to submit to you and be trained by you,” but constantly she is disobedient and only shows an interest in sexual submission when what the Dominant wants is someone who submits in more ways, then the submissive has violated the trust the Dominant placed in her. This may seem minor to some, but this is important.

The point I am trying to make here is that trust goes both ways. The submissive needs to be able to trust the Dominant, and the Dominant needs to be able to trust the submissive.

When the submissive learns the Dominant likes a certain thing, and learns to do it without being told, this builds trust with the Dominant. And I do not mean sexually, although it can be applied that way. Suppose the submissive sees that the Dominant always gets a beer or a glass of water after work. The Dominant may not ask the her to do anything about that, but if the sub begins to make sure that the beer or the water, or whatever little thing, is prepared for him without him having to tell her, that builds trust. And just as trust is cultivated when Dominant proves that he listens to the submissive, so to trust is cultivated when then submissive proves she listens to the Dominant.

And as the infrastructure of trust is mutually created, Dominant and submissive will be able to build a healthy relationship together.

One of the best, if not the best, tools for building trust is communication. Both Dominant and submissive have to, have to, have to communicate with one another. Humans are not (thank God) telepathic. So no, submissive, the Dominant does not always know what is bothering you, and so yes, submissive, you need to tell him. And no, Dominant, the submissive does not always know what you want her to do, and so yes, you do need to talk to her. Never assume the other person knows everything. There is no place, in my opinion, in a D/s relationship for the “if you don’t know what is wrong I’m not going to tell you” bit. From either the Dominant or the submissive.

I know sometimes that saying certain things can seem difficult. But that is not an excuse. Trust and understanding and learning in a relationship requires communication. If the submissive feels she cannot speak of something because she is afraid of disappointing her Dom, the Dom needs to get the submissive to a place where she feels safe enough to say what she needs to say. If the Dominant feels he should not have to say a thing, he needs to get over that and say what needs to be said. When something is bothering the Dominant or the submissive, the only way it will be addressed is if the Dom and sub talk about it.

Which leads me to one more point I want to make. (I know this is a long post. I am almost done.) Honesty is important to building trust.

Submissives, do not lie to your Dominant. If something bothers you, say so. If a certain thing is a limit for you, then say so. If something makes you uncomfortable and you do not know why, say so. If you hold things back from your Dominant, if you lie deliberately or by omission, you are damaging the trust the relationship needs and very possibly setting yourself up for some real harm. Be honest always. When in doubt, speak up. Trust me on this one, however disappointed you might think your Dominant will be by what you say, he will be far more disappointed if you do not tell him something he needs to know.

Dominants, I know sometimes you may play head-games with your submissive, but do not keep things to yourself that your submissive needs to know. If there is something you want her to do and she is not doing it, do not let annoyance fester into resentment. Talk to your sub. If there is something she keeps doing wrong, do not just punish her for it all the time, find out why she keeps getting it wrong. If you are angry about something at work or some other event not directly related to your relationship with the sub, make sure the sub knows that. Do not assume your submissive always understands your moods. Talk to your sub. Be honest. Your sub wants to help you. Maybe that means leaving you alone for a while. Let her know that and the reasons why. If you constantly cause doubt in your submissive’s mind, it will eventually eat away at her ability to trust you and to serve you. Within herself, your sub has a need to trust you and serve you. Let her.

While there is no scientific study on this, as best as I can determine more stupid things happen in relationships due to a lack of clear and honest communication than for any other reason.

Whew. Hopefully this all makes sense to you, O reader. Whether it does or does not, feel free to ask me questions. I enjoy getting questions.