Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Not-So-Mythical 24/7 Dynamic

The concept of a 24/7 BDSM dynamic invokes a lot of debate within both the online and meatspace communities. Some who claim 24/7 look down on those who aren't, mainly the bedroom-only crowd as being less...into it somehow. Others claim that they can't do 24/7 because it's just so much more work and you have to control absolutely everything the submissive does. And others still, claim that 24/7 cannot in truth exist at all because there are always moments that you have to step out of the dynamic and communicate on equal terms.

A wall of leather kink items from
the local Ren Faire.
I don't subscribe to any of these ideas. A dynamic, 24/7 or otherwise is what you make of it. You and your partner(s) set the parameters of your relationship. There are no universal guidelines of 24/7 power/authority exchange that you must follow to fit that label. If someone tells you otherwise, I would take any other advice they've given you with a grain of salt. Or a truckload. Whichever amount works for you.

How I personally define 24/7 authority transfer dynamics is simply that the transfer of authority is constant and involves the d-type having authority or control over areas that are not related to sex. The authority does not have to be complete. While I would say Total Power Exchange (TPE) dynamics are 24/7, 24/7 dynamics do not have to be TPE. I would say typically 24/7 does include both sexual and non-sexual authority, but the non-sexual aspects are what are the most important to me in defining this dynamic as some power exchanges do not engage in sexual activity at all.

This is no better or worse than someone who only engages in sexual authority transfers. It's just different.

One issue I have noticed from reading other blogs and listening to people discuss the 24/7 dynamic, is that a lot of people misconstrue 24/7 with micromanagement. They believe that in order to be 24/7, the d-type must control all aspects of the s-types life, from finances, to bathroom use, clothing, diet, etc. This is also a misconception about slavery, but this is not post specifically about slavery, as 24/7 is not relegated to only M/s dynamics. In either case, neither require micromanagement to exist. Micromanagement can exist within these dynamics, but it is not a defining feature. I would wager most 24/7 dynamics do not engage in micromanagement, or, if they do, it is only at certain periods and not a constant practice.

I'm not allowed to cut
or dye my hair without
permission.
I can tell you, for one, Daddy hates micromanagement. It annoys him. He won't give direction like that and quickly becomes weary of a pet who requires that kind of direction. Micromanagement will never be a part of our dynamic. I would still consider it 24/7.

I have found this particular myth has turned many people off of 24/7 because of how exhausting micromanagement is to someone who does not have a micromanagement kink. I don't think people realize how much freedom there is in the construction of BDSM dynamics and abandon things when they feel they don't fit into some imagined criteria others have given them. I would encourage anyone who dismissed 24/7 as a possibility for them due to the idea that it means micromanagement to look at it with new eyes and realize that they do not have to build their dynamic that way.

Another idea that gets tossed around a lot is that 24/7 can't exist because vanilla is a thing we all have to participate in and sometimes you have to step out of the dynamic to deal with problems. I generally keep my mouth shut when this comes up in the local scene, as I do with other topics I might disagree with, because I don't want to start an argument at the table and I don't know that everyone would be open to a debate on it. Our group is comprised of a couple dozen different kinds of dynamics, many of which aren't 24/7. I assume the topic isn't of great interest. I could be wrong, but I don't like to start things like that.

I do not believe that the "vanilla" aspects of life preclude the existence of a 24/7 dynamic. 24/7 does not mean, in my view, that one is practicing some sort of kinky activity on a constant basis. It simply means that the authority is constant. The d-type retains authority over the negotiated areas 24/7 regardless of whether they exercise control over those areas. The established rules for the s-type remain in place at all times and must be followed at all times.

This is not to say that extenuating circumstances won't make it impossible to follow established rules. However, this is not a question of the temporary cessation of the dynamic, but whether or not one is dealing with a reasonable d-type. Extenuating circumstances are not stepping out of the dynamic. One must simply adapt within the confines of the dynamic. However, if stepping out works for you, that's great. All I am saying is that I don't believe that it is a necessary step overall. As long as you are dealing with a reasonable human being, they will understand.

Now, everyone has what are often termed "vanilla" obligations: work, grocery shopping, bill paying, familial obligations, etc. But, you have to do these things regardless of what kind of relationship you have. A marriage is a 24/7 relationship. You don't stop being spouses when you're working, when you're shopping, when you're not together. All of those things exist and operate within the context of the relationship.

My ankle chain.
Perhaps the s-type is only allowed to buy certain brands of foods at the store, or only allowed to spend a certain amount of money, or only allowed to buy what's on the list unless they get special permission. Perhaps the s-type is required by the d-type to dress a certain way for work (within the dress code allowed by the workplace, of course). In my case, I am required to wear a symbol of ownership at all times. Most often, this takes the form of a chain on my left ankle. I inform him whenever I have to take it off for some reason (surgery, airports, dance performances where I replace it with bells, workouts where I use ankle weights), and inform him if I forget to put it back on. All of these are expressions of the dynamic within the context of traditionally vanilla activities.

Even in the face of problems, I don't feel the need to step out of my role to deal with it. Frankly, I wouldn't know how to do this. I don't have separate headspaces. My submissiveness is relative to those around me and depends on the working relationship I have with others. My submissive personality, however, tends to color those interactions anyway. I never have to step out of a dominant headspace to be submissive to Daddy. He never stops being him. He doesn't stop being dominant to deal with a problem.

We are low protocol, so I am free to speak freely always as long as I'm not disrespectful. I pretty much always say what's on my mind when I talk to him. There are some exceptions to this right now, due to life complications, but that is not an issue of the dynamic. I just sometimes feel like expressing certain feelings are a futile exercise and I have no desire to place more on his already overloaded plate right now.

I can see the need for higher protocol dynamics to reduce protocols for certain discussions, but I would not consider this stepping out of the dynamic. Unless one's protocol stifles honest communication, I don't see how one could not have honest discussions or negotiations within those protocols.

There is also the idea from some circles that 24/7 has to be live in to be considered 24/7. Obviously, I don't believe this, as a live together relationship is not currently possible for me. It is the goal, but that will come in time. I still consider my dynamic to be 24/7 because my rules apply at all times. We always interact from the perspective of dominant and submissive because that's just how we are as people. It is a natural response to the personality of the other. The M/s is not separate from our base romantic relationship. It is an integral part of that relationship. They are intertwined. To stop our dynamic is to stop the relationship entirely.

24/7 is indeed possible. It's not a misnomer. It's not a fantasy. It is doable. You don't have to follow any specific guidelines or meet some arbitrary set of criteria to fit into the 24/7 label or any other label for that matter. Your dynamic is what you make it and you can compose whatever relationship makes you thrive.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

e[Lust] #72

An Erotic Adventure Image
Photo courtesy of Tabitha Rayne

Welcome to Elust #72 -

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you're looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it'll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #73? Start with the rules, come back August 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!


~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Broken
Invisible Pride: Bi Erasure
Disabled Gentleman

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Erotic Fiction: "Passerby"
Overcoming resistance

~ Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*

#AskELJames: The Poignant & Profitable Martyrdom of E.L. James

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days.

Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!


Sex News,Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

Tits, Ass, Monogamy, and Muscles
Numbers
ATVOD's Preliminary View

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Perfect Stranger
Remembering my first sex toy
On Relationship Anarchy
In Defense of Big Toys
Unpacking Assumptions About Sex and Stoneness
A Thousand Miles
Six Important Reasons Not to Fake an Orgasm
Flying With Sex Toys
What is your preferred way to orgasm?
First

Erotic Fiction

kotw: anonymous sex
Breathe
Intrusion
A Firm Hand and Lessons
The Sounds Of The Night
Office Assistant

Events

Happy Bloomsday! What Would Molly Do?
Bare Reality: 100 women and their breasts

Poetry

Deacon Jones: A Lusty Limerick

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

Trust Me: On Edge Play in Erotica
Come on Command

Erotic Non-Fiction

Chasing Orgasms
Did You Just Laugh At My Instructions?
I’m always going to get mine.
Humiliation of an ex-Nazi submissive 52
that was intense

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Nothing But

I wanted a nice apron for my culinary adventures. Naturally, I asked his opinion on what he would like me to get.

"An apron where you're wearing nothing but the apron."




Sinful Sunday

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Thousand Miles

I fell in love with the mind long before the man. I was a teenager then, writing amongst other avid readers who had no idea how old I was. If they had, they wouldn't have consented to write with me at all. I didn't write sex at the time, but it was a sexually charged universe within which we were writing. Literary fucking was a common enough occurrence within our intertwining story lines that many were afraid to write with those under 18.

Artwork from Laurell K. Hamilton's
Anita Blake graphic novels. This was
the first universe in which we wrote
together.
I say I was 17 when I first started writing with him. I could have been 16. I wasn't aware of him as the voice behind his characters until the age of 17, but chances are we might have crossed paths wearing other faces before that. I remember being intimidated by the characters he wrote. His words flowed with such beauty and mastery, mine felt almost inadequate in comparison. I was drawn to him, even then, our characters' interactions bordering on the erotic if never quite making it there.

Even when he was playing a bisexual masochist who was traditionally submissive in the source material from which our writings were drawn, he still radiated dominance. All of his characters were remarkably confident, a reflection of the man himself. When I began speaking to him privately out of character, I found him just as fascinating as the characters he portrayed. I looked forward to his messages with an almost disturbing amount of anticipation. Our conversations weren't anything but platonic then, aside from him being a shameless flirt, but he was just that engaging. I was always a little sad when he had to go back to his life outside of that little Yahoo messaging window.

I think it was my first year of college, when I began first truly exploring my interest in BDSM that we became much closer. He became my first mentor, I suppose. My human kink dictionary. I remember asking him questions about various terms and activities, discussing the budding dynamics I found myself dabbling in. If I had listened to him more then, I imagine my experience would have been vastly different. Perhaps I wouldn't have had such negative first experiences. I remember him constantly disparaging my first dom when I'd tell him about things that had happened between us.

He'd known he was a dud long before I did and he'd never met the man.

Conair Pulse Personal Massager
on Amazon
It's funny to me now how integral he was to my sexual awakening. I bought my first sex toy at his suggestion. One of those vibrating cock rings, and shortly thereafter a personal massager. Still a virgin at the time, I wasn't about to get more ambitious than that. I was nervous enough, smuggling the box through the store, hidden awkwardly under my arm, thanking God and all His angels that the WalMart in my college town had self-checkouts.

He was older, unavailable, immensely experienced, and primarily poly, but the connection was still there.  He would have happily gone into more sexual territory, although he said he didn't do virgins. He's...ahem...too well-endowed. He would joke that I needed to go rid myself of that particular status before he could have me. I often jokingly asked if he had a younger single brother who was much like him.

Somewhere in the middle of my relationship with my first dom was the closest we got to writing a sex scene between a couple of our characters, but before that happened, he fell off the face of the earth.

For more than a year, he was silent. My first relationship crashed and burned. I explored with a group of friends I'd known in high school. I had a brief flash of stupidity for a couple months where I allowed a guy to pull the wool over my eyes. My kink history is fraught with dumb.

Then in November, he appeared again, briefly. I had missed him. He was never mine, but I missed talking to him. Missed the awkward phone calls and companionable chats. I hoped he would come back again.

One of the first pictures he ever
sent me, long before I knew his
real name. 
March and April rolled around and he was suddenly back online. I regaled him with my misadventures and discovered his own. He was all of a sudden single, no longer the master of a stable of play partners. Just him.

But, he was too old, too poly, too damned far away.

I said I would never do long distance. It just didn't sound satisfying. But I was okay with the idea of a long distance play partner. A way to scratch an itch I wasn't getting anywhere else. I called him sir then. It was a game, intended to be temporary, a bit of fun before the real relationship came along. He was even going to come through on a road trip and show me was good sex was like.

But it had morphed quickly into something else. Despite his incompatibility with at least half of my deal breakers, I responded to him in a way I had never done with anyone else, online or in person. I realized that he was the only human being on the planet I'd never had a fight with. I resented him for making me love him when I couldn't have him.

Very soon after that point, a decision was made. Sir became Master and that visit was to be the preamble to relocation.

But it never happened. Work got in the way, but there was a promise of early next year. Then injury got in the way, and another year passed. A year of learning more about each other. A year of sexual exploration through writing, because that is our expression, where all fantasies are possible.

The first Christmas present I sent.
Hand painted by me.
However, the slow buildup of frustration was inevitable. Two years have come and gone and I am still finding myself in a cubicle five days a week...just waiting. Waiting for life to finally start. Waiting to fulfill all the fantasies we have been creating for the past two years. $1700 hid away in a safe a year ago, waiting for the moment to cross that thousand miles to fall down at his door.

So, I have made a decision. I am done waiting. He can't seem to come to me. So, in October, I am hopping on a plane for the second time in my life, the first time alone, to where he lives. A few days only, but hopefully the beginning.

The catalyst for crawling out of this Limbo. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Flashes of Confidence

This past Saturday was my local group's fourth anniversary party. The theme was one I'd been pushing for months. A harem party. More eloquently named Arabian Nights. I'm sure my reason for this choice is obvious. I'm a belly dancer. I love any excuse to wear a costume and dance.

I have been dancing for about 4 years now. I am not as good as I could be. I don't practice like I should, but I don't think I'm terrible and I enjoy it. I can't say that I would ever perform for a vanilla audience. I've grown comfortable performing for my kink community because of how kink embraces all body types. Something in me feels I'd be mocked anywhere else. I mean, how dare big women show their bellies, right?

But then, I suppose I don't even do that completely. I maintain that high-waisted look reminiscent of 1940's two-piece swimsuits. I hate the way my belly creases at my navel, so I try my hardest to hide that fact with my costuming. I layer and pin, in hopes that everything will stay at a nice straight line, but sometimes the belt pulls it down and my pudge sticks out over the waistline. This makes me sad.

The Arabian Nights party was my latest performance. I had been stressing all week, going through a number of music choices, trying to find one I could improv to without fucking up, finally settling on Tahtil Shibbak by Fatme Serhan. Peach also performed, doing a lovely tribal piece she'd learned in her classes to her own zil music. I envy her ability to play the finger cymbals and dance at the same time. I have my own set of zils, but I can't even manage to play them while sitting down, let alone moving at the same time. I suppose that will come in time. Maybe.

I will say that I feel the best about how this performance went than any other performance I've done. My skirt didn't drop an inch. It stayed in place a few inches above my navel. I didn't falter overmuch in my dancing. I don't feel that my arms were flailing all over the place as they are wont to do. Perhaps it was that the party was designed to showcase my art. Perhaps it was that I finally had a large space to travel around, unlike the cramped spaces I'd danced before. Perhaps it was the fact that I had a large(ish) audience, but I didn't have to literally dance on top of them from lack of space. But for once, after it was over, I wasn't dwelling on all of the flaws I'd perceived in it. It was a wonderful feeling.

Afterward, one of the other party goers came up to me and told me that they loved that I danced with such confidence.

My response?

"That's funny, because I don't have any."

Which is true. My self-esteem is pretty horrible when I think about it. I have fleeting instances of confidence, but only in things in which I possess a reasonable amount of skill. I would say the only thing I'm truly confident about is my fiction writing.  Everything else is delusions of grandeur quickly
replaced by self-doubt.

This shit right here. I hate it. 
The weekend was fraught with self-doubt. I hesitated to wear a bedlah because of all the blemishes on my back. I hesitate to play in public for the same reason. I was afraid my belt would pull my skirt down and show off the hated part of my stomach. I felt bad about my list of nos when it comes to play because when said back to me, it sounds like a lot. Every single meal I ordered that weekend seemed seemed to be designed to trigger all of my food neuroses. I kept beating myself up over things I had said, in fear that I had upset/annoyed my play partners.
And this too. Stay up, dammit!

At face value, it would seem that the image I present to the world is seemingly unimportant. I'm short and chubby. I have a bad complexion but I never wear makeup. I have 4 hairstyles. Down, ponytail, braid, and braided knot. But I would say that how I am perceived paradoxically one of the things I focus on the most. It is the root of my disorder. I just simply place higher priority on aspects other than physical appearance. Intelligence, in particular.

Most of the goodies from the
raffle prize. A few went to Peach
and Kitty
But for that one brief moment, I wasn't plagued by all the demons constantly gnawing at the back of my brain. I actually felt good about myself and my dancing.

Winning the goodie bag raffle didn't hurt either.

Overall, it was a good night. Even if I did have dirty dungeon feet.


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