Going For the Brass Ring

Whenever she sat down in a staff meeting, the slave liked to imagine that everyone in the room could hear her rings click. A big part of her wanted them towanted the professional mask she wore five days a week to be humiliatingly shattered, revealing her true nature to the world. But that was not allowed. Her orders were to keep her job and support herself in service to her master. And besides, the rings were far too small to actually jingle and clank. It was only in her mind that they loomed large, each one huge and heavy with its own significance.

The highest one on the right side had been the first, anchored into her flesh after she had first truly surrendered her body to master. She remembered the moment with fond amusement now. How startled she had been that he hadn’t asked; he just ordered her up onto the table, spread her legs, and informed her that he was putting a ring in her. Until that moment the full meaning of having given him her body to do with as he liked had not fully sunk in. And afterward… Afterward she’d thought that she was at the end of the road to slavery. Master owned her body and had modified it to his liking. What else was there to surrender? Continue reading “Going For the Brass Ring”

Protecting Yourself From False Allegations

Do you worry about false accusations? Maybe you’ve seen someone get drummed out of some kinky community with no trial, no police report, no physical evidence, and maybe even with no chance to tell their side of the storyjust because someone accused them of violating consent. What if the accuser was just making it all up, or if it was a misunderstanding or an accident, or if maybe they said they consented at the time and then changed their mind later? We might never know. Does it seem like maybe that could happen to any of us?

The preponderance of the evidence suggests that false accusations are quite rare, but they’ve certainly happened more than once or twice in the history of kink. So yeah, there is a non-zero risk. But there are also some straightforward things that any of us can do to reduce that risk.

Here are four ways to reduce your risk of being branded a consent violator. Continue reading “Protecting Yourself From False Allegations”

Five to One

There’s this pop-psychology idea running around that a healthy relationship has five positive interactions for every one negative one. I don’t know about the exact math, but I love the general insight that negative and positive interactions balance one another in a relationship, but they don’t balance one another evenly.

If your partner forgets to take out the garbage and you snap at them for it, just having them remember once and you thank them for doing it once doesn’t bring your relationship back to the same place it was before. You’re both likely to still have wee little lingering questions and concerns that will persist until and unless you see several more confirmations that you aren’t going to make a habit of lashing out, and that they can be relied on to do their share. Even small signs that a partner is pulling away from us, or angry with us, or disapproving of something about us loom large. It takes a bunch of affection and intentional connection and positive regard to really put those doubts to rest and get back to feeling confident and happy with the relationship.

What that gets me thinking about is that D/s dynamics work the same way. For every interaction that undercuts, questions or diminishes the power relationship that you and your partner want to create between you, you need to have five that feed it, reaffirm it or take it deeper. Continue reading “Five to One”

Consensual Dominance

What is Consensual Dominance?

The most concise definition of consensual dominance I’ve ever been able to come up with is that it is the exercise of interpersonal power by the mutual agreement of and for the mutual fulfillment of all involved. Consensual interpersonal power is expressed in the hot, complicated space between what someone wants to do on their own and what they want to do for you. That space can extend in a wonderful variety of directions. It can mean taking someone down to where they beg permission to perform degrading acts they would normally find repugnant, but it also encompasses building them up to achieve heights of discipline and accomplishment that they would not have reached without firm encouragement.

Some people are very specific in which directions they prefer to take their dominance: interested only in degradation, or only in receiving service, or only in nurturing and guiding, or some other particular flavor of dominance. Others are more flexible, exploring different sorts of dominance at different times or with different partners. Regardless of the style, the essence of dominance is in the “because I said so” or the “do it for me.” It’s in the influence one person wields over the thoughts and actions of another.

It is a misconception to say that dominance is about making a person do things, though. It’s impossible to really make another person feel, think or do anything, and competent dominants tend to understand that fact better than most. Dominance works by inspiring, seducing and enabling submission, not by forcing it–it’s dominance driven by an engine of consent. Continue reading “Consensual Dominance”