Archive for category BDSM Theory

Beauty

Many women believe that being beautiful means being perfect (or as near to it as humanly possible). They therefore strive for perfection–perfect hair, perfect teeth, a perfect smile, a perfect figure, a perfect manicure–and make every effort to mask their perceived flaws, their “imperfections”. However, I believe that this assumed axiom–perfection equals beauty–is fundamentally wrong.

When considering a hypothesis, it is often useful to look at the extremes, the “edge cases”, to see how the hypothesis reacts when it is pushed to its farthest boundaries. The limits are often where a hypothesis fails, and therefore where it can be most easily proven flawed. Let’s consider the idea perfection = beauty when it is carried to an extreme.

Let’s picture a world where all women are physically perfect. “Perfection”, as defined in the USA in today’s culture (established, of course, by the media and entertainment industry), would likely mean that everyone would have blonde hair, blue eyes, be athletic, 5′ 10″ tall, weigh 130 lbs and have D-cup breasts. So that’s exactly what all women, everywhere, would look like.

Now, let me ask you, in this world that we are imagining, what woman would be beautiful?

The answer, of course, is none. The females in this imaginary world are all the same–none can be differentiated from any other. In this world, no woman would be beautiful. What they would be, from a physical perspective, is monotonous. I submit that at the edge, the perfection = beauty hypothesis fails. Instead, we discover that perfection = uniformity = boredom.

Do you know who would be beautiful, though? A stranger, introduced into this world we picture, who has a “flaw”. Perhaps she would have dark hair, or brown eyes, or a crooked tooth, or a freckle on her cheek. Perhaps her body-type might tend more to 160 lbs than 130, she might be shorter or her breasts might be B-cups, or she might have a bit more softness and a bit less muscle. Perhaps she might have many of these “flaws” rather than just one. It doesn’t matter. Because she would be unique, she would immediately be the most interesting and attractive woman in the world.

It is precisely our imperfections that differentiate us from everyone else in the sea of sameness, that make us stand out, that make us attractive. True beauty, for woman or man, lies in the imperfections.

This is a large part of the reason that I am not, in general, a fan of things like breast enhancements. Cosmetic breast enhancement serves as a way to allow a woman to try to copy what she perceives to be the perfect breast. In other words, it allows her to change the distinctive breasts she has owned from birth to match, as closely as possible, some sort of “perfect” ideal. This is also why I generally prefer the unshaven look to a completely bare pubus–removing all pubic hair also removes the individual variations of pubic triangle that each woman possesses, and replaces them with sameness. For both breast and bush, I suggest that it is usually far wiser to capitalize on the uniqueness that each individual has been given than to try to change to conform to “perfection”.

One of the issues Joy struggles to overcome when we engage in a BDSM adventure is the feeling she sometimes gets that she is on display. She feels that she is part of a “show” that I orchestrate for an audience–in this case, an audience of one…me…but an audience, nonetheless. She is usually naked or semi-clothed, she is bound in a compromising position, and I pay close attention to her every move and reaction. Being on display this way exposes, in her mind, her every flaw. All her imperfections are visible and unmistakeable and on parade, and she becomes very self-conscious.

Sexual excitement can help her overcome this feeling, but even at her most excited, it frequently remains a problem. When Joy reaches orgasm, she worries afterwards about how she looked, and whether she did anything stupid or foolish or ridiculous in the throes of her passion. About the only thing that really eliminates this concern for her is if she feels that I, her “audience”, was so distracted by taking my pleasure in her body that I could not possibly have been “watching” her.

Joy is correct in her belief that I see her imperfections when we are together. Of course I see them, just as she sees mine. What she is wrong about, however, is her belief that I see them as flaws. After these many years of marriage, I know her body, its shape and curves, and I revel in it. The things she believes I see as a shortcomings, I instead regard as endearing and distinctive. They are the small things that, together, add up to define the physical shape of Joy. They are the qualities that make her beautiful. Of course I love them, just as I love her.

Sadly, it is difficult for her to accept this. Sometimes I wish that Joy could see herself through my eyes, the way that I see her…that might truly be the only way for her to understand.

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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Skin-on-Skin

I find that physical contact, bare skin to bare skin, is highly beneficial in a couple’s relationship. Note that I’m not referring simply to sex in this case, though sex certainly does bring skin-on-skin contact with it. I mean plain old “pressed up against your partner, hold them close with nothing between you” skin-to-skin contact. There’s something about it that seems to extend beyond the physical sensation—it reinforces a mental and emotional bond that can reach far deeper than just giving each other an orgasm.

A number of studies have been done on this topic, primarily from the perspective of a mother and her newborn baby, but also between couples, and they tend to confirm my finding. Everything from better sleep to improved immune systems to greater perceived general happiness can be correlated to skin-on-skin contact between partners, at least according to the research that’s been done. I’m not sure I can speak to the immune system, but I can definitely confirm that Joy and I have found benefits!

Here’s how I work things to ensure that Joy and I spend sufficient time together bare-to-bare:

When we go to bed at night, Joy is permitted to wear nothing more than a nightgown. Pajamas or anything with pants are not allowable, and Joy may not wear anything (including panties) under her nightgown. I typically sleep naked. Ideally, I’d prefer for her to sleep naked as well, but she gets cold easily and I am a benevolent Dominant–the nightgown seems to provide the best way to accomplish my goal and yet allow her to feel warm.

The beauty of the nightgown (in addition to easy access to crucial parts of Joy required for any late-night romping that may be called for) is that I can pull it up and touch as much of Joy as I’d like, skin-to-skin. And that’s what we do. When we are ready to go to sleep, we lie side by side, spooning. I pull Joy’s nightgown up in the back so that her bare bottom nestles up into my hips, and slide one arm under her neck so that she can lay her head across it. I bring the other hand up over her, slip it up under her nightgown and cup her breast in my hand, feeling her nipple press into my palm. And I hold her like this until we fall asleep, our skin in contact all up and down our bodies.

During the night, after we’re unconscious, we naturally separate, and by morning, we are both generally asleep on our own sides of the bed. However, on weekends, when we can sleep in, I almost always slide over to her side of the bed and pull her against me in the same position, bare butt against me and breast in my hand. I hold her that way until either she wakes up, or I feel compelled to get up and make the coffee, whichever comes first.

We didn’t used to always do this. Oh, the nightgown and no panties has been a long-standing requirement, but we didn’t always sleep like spoons. Instead, this was the way we went to bed sometimes, when we were feeling particularly close. There were also nights when Joy and I were not feeling particularly close, when I had gotten on Joy’s last nerve, for instance. (Yes—I know it’s hard to believe that could possibly happen—I don’t understand it either.) On those nights, we went to sleep on our own sides of the bed, a great, cold no man’s land of empty covers between us. And then there were the in-between nights, neither close nor distant, and on those nights, we might lie side-by-side or something like that.

But over time I noticed something. When we went to sleep this way, spooning skin-on-skin, we woke up happier. Joy seemed like she fell asleep faster in my arms, we woke up feeling closer and more intimate, and our mutual desire for each other seemed to be stronger as well. Holding Joy like this while she slept became one of my favorite things, and I began to look forward to weekend mornings early for the express reason that I could wake up first and simply enjoy the peace and contentment of holding her. Having noticed this trend, the next logical question to try to answer was, “Was this simply a correlation, or was there causation involved?” In other words, was the skin-on-skin contact the reason for these good effects, or was it just another pleasant side effect of the good mood we were in when we went to bed that particular night? With that question in mind, I decided to implement a test.

I made it a rule—we were to always go to sleep in this position, with Joy in my arms, her bare ass snugged up against me and her breast in my hand. It made no difference whether Joy was happy with me or mad, feeling romantic or feeling tired—this was how we were to go to bed, and any reluctance or complaint on her part would not be tolerated.

At first, Joy wasn’t really happy with this, especially on nights when she wasn’t really happy with me. However, complaining got her immediately spanked, and after a couple quick sessions across my knee, she realized that I was quite serious—even when she was angry with me, she was going to sleep with her bare self in my arms. And I discovered something very interesting.

On nights when Joy is angry (or frustrated, or tired, or less-than-happy for some other reason), she initially resists. Oh, not actively—that will get her bottom paddled—but by acting wooden, holding herself stiff and refusing to relax. However, as we lie together and I hold her, her muscles gradually begin to loosen up. It’s hard to stay angry when someone is holding you so closely and gently and intimately. She begins to get sleepy, and soon enough she is pushing herself back up against me, fitting her sweet bottom into the curve of my hips. Her breathing deepens, her body twitches and I can tell she is asleep. There is something about lying with my arms around her bare body that helps her to release her anger and frustration and find peace.
We wake up happier as well, especially on mornings where we have time to cuddle, skin-on-skin, before we get up. And there is definitely an increase in desire as well—many, many mornings find me entering her from behind as she sleepily positions her hips to allow me better penetration. Fights seem less frequent, and in general, Joy seems less flammable, as if the enforced intimacy of our bedtime cuddle acts as a form of relationship flame retardant.

It is difficult to say for certain whether the bare skin contact is the true cause of these phenomena—perhaps there’s some other hidden cause that is the actual driver. If so, however, I can’t see it. And the benefits seem to be real. The rule I described above has been in place in our house for over a year-and-a-half now, and I have no intention of relaxing it. Joy doesn’t want me to relax it either—when I travel, she tells me she has a hard time falling asleep without my arms around her. Perhaps it’s just a habit, but we both look forward to bedtime and the lovely feeling of closeness and intimacy our skin-on-skin contact provides.

Would you benefit from something like this, too? Well, every couple is different, but research suggests that you might. Besides, what’s the downside of giving it a try? If nothing else, you’ll have a nice chance to hold your bare partner in your arms, and what could be better than that?

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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Leather Cuffs and Silken Bonds – the Book

I have finally completed something I’ve been threatening to do for a long time. I have written an e-book. Joy assisted in both the editing as well as adding a few contributions of her own. It’s called “Exploring Dark Dreams: A Beginner’s Practical Guide to BDSM”, and it’s available via Amazon.

It is meant to provide information for people who are curious about, who are just starting out exploring, or who fantasize about bondage, Domination/submission, and sadism/masochism. It covers everything from BDSM basics, to safety, to equipment, to techniques, to adventure starter ideas. In short, it’s a guidebook to help you get started on your journey.

It’s available just in time for Christmas, so if you know a couple who might benefit from adding a little D/s to their relationship (I personally know at least two!), it might make a fun gift. It might even make a good gift for a partner who you hope to convince to play our sort of reindeer games with you.

Full-disclosure—while there is original content in the book, much of it is pulled from the years of blogging I’ve done on this site, and you could gain most of the information it provides by going back and reading through all my various years of posts. However, the book puts it all together in a logical, coherent format and makes it easily portable. Plus, you can’t give a blog to someone for Christmas.

Hopefully it’s also a fun read. If you buy it, thank you! And if you buy it and enjoy it, a review on Amazon would be much appreciated!

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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A Little Discipline

I received a question the other day from a reader in a budding D/s relationship. He is the Dominant half, and, paraphrasing, he asked me this: “Do I really have to discipline my wife? It seems like I’d be hurting her, and I don’t want to be an abuser. Can’t we just enjoy the kinky sex and leave the discipline thing behind?”

The simple answer, of course, is “Yes, you can do whatever you want as long as it works for you and your wife.” However, I am never content to stop at the simple answer–I always have to go deeper. And when looking deeper, the answer changes…it becomes something more like, “Maybe, as long as you and your wife are content to pretend.”

Several years ago I wrote a series of posts about the levels of BDSM relationships. I’ve been back and re-written those posts several times, and I’m still not necessarily really happy with them. Even so, though, I remain convinced that the concept of different levels of the Dominance and submission aspect of BDSM relationships remains valid, and one of the differentiators between levels, I believe, is enforcement of obedience through discipline.

The first level, the level where most people first become involved with BDSM, is that of the “Pretenders”. It is this level at which the Dominant husband who posed the question above currently resides. He and his wife play at BDSM and D/s–it is a game of pretend to them, in which they enjoy acting out their roles during an adventure, but any Dominance and submission ends once the scene is over, and even during the scene, the submissive submits only to activities that she desires anyway. That’s not a bad thing, by the way–I’ve received some feedback that some people don’t like the word “pretend” in this context, but I don’t mean it to be demeaning or to put down the practices in which this level engages. Any new BSDM relationship generally begins with “pretending”. It’s only through practice, familiarity and most especially trust that a greater depth can be acheived. Many people, I think, are content to stop at “pretending”, and that’s okay. However, there is a downside to doing so.

You see, eventually it becomes obvious that “pretending” is exactly what you are doing. When that happens, that power behind BDSM fades. It becomes just another toy–something that was once shiny, new and exciting, but which has now become familiar and even (dare I say it?) dull. It doesn’t mean that breaking out the cuffs and playing bondage games can’t still be fun once in awhile, but the thrill…the heart-pounding, breathtaking, chest heaving excitement that it once provided…is gone.

So if this is okay by you, and it’s as far as you want to go, that’s fine, and I wish you well. However, if you’re not content with the scenario I describe, then I believe you must embrace two concepts. The first, which I have written about numerous times, is taking your submissive partner just beyond their comfort zone. This allows your activities together to be new and fresh. The second, which is my topic for today, is discipline.

Discipline is important because it makes the submission real. To see what I mean, let’s consider a hypothetical situation involving a hypothetical couple, Louis (the Dom) and his wife, Laurie (the sub), in which no discipline is enforced. For the purposes of this example, let’s suppose that Louis sets a requirement for Laurie before they go out for dinner one night–perhaps wearing a pretty pair of lavender thong panties under her skirt. However, on this particular night, Laurie is feeling a little self-conscious and doesn’t want to wear thong panties. She refuses. In this scenario, what happens?

Well, for one thing, the thong panties do not get worn. For another, Louis is disappointed. And while Laurie, on the surface, is probably pleased that she avoided having to do something she didn’t want to do, beneath the surface, she, too, is disappointed. Isn’t the Dom supposed to Dominate? Louis didn’t do his job! And the thing is, Laurie will remember this. She will internalize the lesson that if she doesn’t want to, she can just say “No.” And so the next time she doesn’t feel like doing something Louis requires, she says “No” again. And from there, every rebellion gets a little easier, and eventually…well, there’s no longer any semblance of submission going on, is there?

Discipline counters this deterioration of the D/s dynamic because it provides consequences. If, in the scenario above, Louis enforces his requirement that Laurie wear her pretty thong panties by turning her over his knee when she refuses and paddling her bottom until it turns a lovely shade of pink, and then perhaps upping his requirement so that she must wear her thong panties and her black, anal plug under her skirt, a curious thing happens. For one, the original requirement is now met, and Louis is content. However…and here’s the curious part…Laurie, who now must comply with the requirement, is content as well. In fact, she is more content that she would have been if she’d been allowed to rebel. This is because the respective D/s roles of both Louis and Laurie have been reinforced, and Laurie is more firmly than ever convinced that her partner can and will, in fact, Dominate her.

Just as the refusal described earlier will be remembered, so, too, will the discipline and successful Domination. The effects will be lasting and positive for the D/s relationship. Not only will Laurie have added motivation to comply with Louis’s requirements, but both of them will feel more secure and confident in their roles. And best of all, Laurie will gain the feeling that she, by definition, is seeking…that she is not in control, but is instead controlled, that she may not be willful, but instead must be obedient, that she does not own herself, but is, instead, owned. This feeling unlocks the added excitement that Louis and Laurie seek from their relationship by feeding power to the D/s engine that underlies it.

Note that I advocate only consensual BDSM and consensual D/s! That means that the submissive must agree that the Dominant has the right to discipline them when they do not meet the Dom’s requirements! And yes, safewords still apply! Note, however, that the idea of a safeword can become a bit sticky in a disciplinary situation, for it is possible for the submissive to utilize their safeword to avoid the discipline they are about to receive. In the example described above, Laurie could stop her disciplinary spanking and gain her original goal of rebelling against Louis’s requirement by employing her safeword, and once again, the couple has started down the path of rebellion and the deterioration of their D/s dynamic.

This is a well-known issue, and many D/s practicioners take the stance that the safeword must remain intact, no matter what. This was originally my stance as well, but after much experience and much thought, Joy and I have modified our use of the safeword during discipline (and note that Joy, who knows herself well and recognizes that she has a temper, has agreed to this modification). For us, during a disciplinary episode, if Joy uses her safeword, I immediately cease what I am doing and check to see if she is injured or in danger. If she is, then obviously we stop. If, however, I can ascertain that she is neither hurt nor in danger, then I will continue the discipline. Clearly this requires great trust on Joy’s part that I will not abuse this privilege. However, this appears to be what works best for us.

So, to return to the original question, I would say that if you wish to have a true Dominant/submissive relationship in which the submission is real and lasting, some form of disciplinary privileges must be given to (and accepted by) the Dom.

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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Prove You Are Stronger

Continuing my discussion of taking a forceful approach (see my last post), one of the things that Joy really likes (translated: gets very excited by) is to feel that she is being physically overpowered, that try as she might, she cannot overcome the physical strength I am exerting to make her do what I want. Cuffs and chains and being restrained are fun for her, but don’t have quite the same effect as when we go “mano a mano” and she finds herself unable to prevail.

I suspect Joy is not alone in this, and that many submissives get the same charge out of being physically overcome by their Dominant partners. And if you are a big, burly Dominant with a small, delicate partner, that’s all well and good—the physical Domination can come relatively easily. However, what if you are not necessarily bigger than your partner? Or even if you are a big, hairy man, as I am, what if your partner is a strong, healthy female, like Joy? I know from past experience that when Joy really tries, she can bring a lot of force to bear, and it requires quite a bit of effort to conquer her, while at the same time taking care not to cause any damage.

One thing that can really help with this type of challenge is to be judicious about the situations in which one engages in a physical test of strength with one’s partner, choosing those in which one has the advantage of leverage. By doing so, it is quite easy to convey to your partner that they are helpless in your arms, and that they cannot overcome your strength. Even if this isn’t true in a fair fight, it can be true for a specific situation given proper technique.

Here’s an example—one I highly recommend. Using it will clearly reinforce the image of you as stronger than your partner, even if you are a petite Domme with a muscular, male sub.

Lie side-by-side with your partner—feel free to begin with a little tender kissing in this position to warm things up, if you’d like. Turn onto your side so that you face your partner and embrace them, and in doing so, ensure that you slide your bottom arm over their shoulder and under their neck, so that if they leaned back, they would be able to use your arm as a pillow. Be sure that your partner’s near arm is around you—you don’t want it to be trapped between your bodies.

Once you are in this position, twist your arm (the one behind your partner’s neck) so that it is palm-down, then use it to firmly grasp your partner’s opposite wrist. Once you have done so, you have established control of your partner’s upper body, and there is little they can do about it. Their near arm is trapped as it runs under your armpit and behind your body—your body weight prevents them from being able to easily free it. Their far hand is gripped and controlled by the arm you have running under their neck, and because it is palm down, you can lock your elbow joint behind their neck—when they struggle, they are fighting their own body weight plus your strength to try to free it.

“What good is all this?” you wonder. “What, am I trying to hold a wrestling match with my partner? What is the point?”

Well, you now have your partner face up, with both hands immobilized, while you, yourself still have one hand, plus your head and mouth, free. What could you do with this situation?

Perhaps you’d start by unbuttoning your partner’s shirt and baring her breasts. You then might caress and stroke them, or kiss and nibble them, all while she is fully aware that she can do nothing to stop you, even if she wanted to. Or, if you were me, you might go a different route. You might spank her breasts and nipples firmly and thoroughly with your free hand, until she squirms and whimpers, prompting multiple, failed attempts by her to free her hand, with each failure emphasizing that she is at your mercy. When you sense she’s had enough, you might then use your free hand and mouth to play with her nipples until she writhes against you, aching to be stripped fully bare and taken.

If you were a female Dominant with a male sub, perhaps you’d focus on his genitals with your free hand instead of his nipples, but you get the point. In this position, you have leverage which gives you physical control and leaves you freedom of action while your partner has none.

There are a couple of trouble-shooting points with this position to be aware of. First, know that the weak point of the control you possess is your grip on your partner’s opposite hand—if it is not strong enough, they can free themselves. Take care to keep your grip as firm as possible. Second, if your partner truly wants to escape, they can do so because their legs are free. They can use their legs to lever themselves up or twist themselves around so that you must give up the position of leverage you hold. If you wanted to make this position truly inescapable, you’d need to do something to secure their legs. A set of ankle cuffs and the bedframe might do nicely for that.

However, let’s be honest. If your partner truly wants to escape, they can always use their safe word, so one hopes that isn’t the case here. The point of this is to help them feel that you are stronger than they are, and this position accomplishes that nicely. There are many other positions that offer similar advantages—perhaps I’ll write about more of them in a future post.

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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