Category Archives: dominance

“Lifers”

Recently I had a discussion with someone who had spent significant time in the scene, albeit in another city. He mentioned a non-group of people, since they didn’t get together or necessarily even know one another, that he referred to as “lifers”, i.e. people who lived a 24/7 M/s or similar dynamic but weren’t part of any “scene”, although most had been part of one scene or another at some point.

We discussed the reasons most of these people had no further interest in the scene: they had no interest in the mutual admiration performance art of a play party; they had no interest in the mutual justification societies of the BDSM / leather conference circuit; they had no interest in relationship-oriented groups since, just as individuals individuate and diverge from group interests, their relationship had individuated to the degree that group discussions about relationships had little to no relevance.

One of the reasons I found the discussion fascinating is that it articulated many of the things I feel about the scene and the various sub-scenes, and their relation to emmie and me.

I find no interest in playing publicly, the aspects of the way emmie and I actualize our fantasies are rather personal and playing publicly forces us to “tone down” what we do to the point of disinterest.

I haven’t enjoyed the conferences I’ve been to: the only areas of interest are largely for beginners and, it seems to me, necessarily so, since discussions on more advanced topics would be too specific to the people involved, without enough in common to attract any type of group.

I’ve lost interest in the relationship-oriented groups we’ve attended: I have very little advice to offer that is generally applicable, what we do is too personal and thus irrelevant to others; the inverse is also true, where what others who have been involved in this lifestyle as long or longer do things in such a substantially different manner that beyond mutual respect there isn’t much worth discussing; the idea of teaching or otherwise influencing those new to the idea of a 24/7 power dynamic is both repetitive, since what is common to this type of dynamic is very limited, and irritating, since people whose longest power dynamic has been measured in months or less are aghast at how emmie and I actually live and spend the time telling us that we’re doing it all wrong.

I have no interest in any of the established “groups” precisely because they, as groups, depend for their own survival on inculcating and maintaining group values and interests, while my own desires and interests have diverged further and continue to do so.

Although many of our friends, naturally, are in the scene, meeting at “scene events” gets annoying simply because we’ve said all we have to say to one another about “scene stuff”. While I enjoy them as people, the enjoyment of their company has to do with enjoying things that have nothing to do with M/s or BDSM from the perspective of non-vanilla people. Since people are busy though there is an unfortunate tendency to put off getting together with other people in the scene in non-scene situations, with the idea of “we’ll see them at such and such scene event in any case”.

It appears to be the last point that seals the effect where those my acquaintance referred to as “lifers” often know very few or even no people who share their lifestyle the longer they’ve been involved in it.


Style as Mastery

I’m going to talk about style and mastery, not simply the style of mastery, something that varies from person to person, something optional, but style as mastery, style as the necessary manner of doing things that changes their fundamental meaning from simple acts to dominating acts.

I was reading an article about dominance in a different sphere, specifically English football, or soccer.  The article was focused on a former Manchester United player, now manager of the nascent New York Cosmos, Eric Cantona.

Cantona puts paid to the idea of moneyball.  While statistically he was a good player, he scored plenty of goals but not the numbers recorded by van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney; he assisted on plenty but not with the numbers of a Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs or David Beckham; as far as defending, United fans put their hands over their eyes whenever Cantona went in for a tackle, fearing he’d be sent off again for another badly timed lunge.   On top of that he only played for United for 5 years, retiring young even by footballing standards.  However in fan voting Cantona was picked as the top United player of all time, eclipsing Rooney, Ronaldo, Scholes, Beckham, George Best and Sir Bobby Charlton among many other greats.

The article made the point that after years of mediocrity (United hadn’t won the title for 25 years before Cantona joined, they won 4 out of 5 in the years he was there) Cantona not only taught United how to win, but how to win with authority.  Not the authority of quantity, outscoring opponents massively on a regular basis, but the authority of style.   Cantona’s style was dominating in that it said to the opposition “try this … you can’t?  That’s why you’ll never be at the level I am …”

Looking at a specific instance, with United up one goal in an away game Giggs sent a cross field pass to Cantona with plenty of space around him and one defender plus the goalkeeper between him and the goal.  The obvious possibilities as a striker are to either hit the ball quickly, low and hard, trying to catch the defender and goalkeeper before they’re able to set themselves to block it, or to knock the ball past the defender, run onto it and therefore have a shot available with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Cantona, instead, controls the ball and comes to a dead stop, facing the defender and goalkeeper.  Then he stabs his foot downward under the ball, causing it to float into the air, catch the cold Lancashire breeze and drift over the helpless goalkeeper into the net.   Rather than an ecstatic goal celebration, Cantona then stands there looking at the other team with a disdainful expression.  Not only has he put United 2 up, a difficult score to come back from, the other team is completely intimidated by the style with which he scored it.  I could give plenty of other instances of Cantona’s style, such as the pole dance celebration after a goal against Liverpool, but you get the idea. During his time at United Cantona was referred to, not just by the fans, but by the rest of the team, as “King Cantona” or simply “Dieu” (God).

In another game, Cantona starts from close to the corner flag, skips past a couple of defenders, stops in front of the goal while the defenders and goalkeeper slide across to try to block the coming shot, then casually chips the ball over them into the net.  Cantona’s composure to the point of casualness, his nerve in front of goal and the apparent ease with which he does what he does, is a big part of his domination of the other team.  Showing strain lets the other know about the difficulty involved, restoring some sense of power to them, whether another team or another person in an M/s relationship.  Cantona, like any good master, makes his dominance look easy and natural.

Within M/s dynamics initially there’s a focus on the what, rather than the how.  Once the what is decided and to some degree achieved, however, there is often a sense of “what next?”.  Any specific what’s, whether rules, protocol, etc. can become either habitual, tedious or both, yet dropping them comes with the fear of “vanilla death” creeping into the relationship.  What seems to be missing in terms of understanding how to further and deepen the relationship is an understanding of style as mastery.  Mastery never consists in what is done but in the way that it is done, the specific style of domination required to dominate the specific slave in the relationship.  At best, though, style is often seen as something optional, an accoutrement to what is done.  Someone like Cantona demonstrates that the style changes the act itself.  Conceding a goal can be recovered by simply scoring one yourself at the other end, but Cantona didn’t just score a goal, in a topological sense he removed the level playing field that had existed by putting the other team in its place, and its place was to be dominated by United.  From that there’s no easy recovery.

Of course style remains something personal, the style with which one does things is, in total, how you are as a person to others.  As a result there’s no manual available on how to use your specific style to further an M/s context, and people seem to be constantly looking for manuals or guides on how to make their relationship work.  Having a sensitivity to how the way you do things affects the person you’re with, though, rather than simply looking at how what you do affects them, can lead to a better understanding of what it is about your particular style that is effective, eventually leading to an understanding of the best manner in which to accomplish something specific while simultaneously enhancing the dominant position you enjoy in the relationship and maintaining the appropriate places you and your  slave dwell in.


Refusal Or … ?

Between my post on refusal and now I’ve had a very odd change in my manner of being.

I had what used to be called, in the conceptual world, a “divine revelation”.  Since I live in the post conceptual (post religious-metaphysical-scientific)  world it was no long divine in any sense.   However it was reflexive in a way that no epiphany could be.  It was a revelation of the nature of revelation itself.

The reflexivity made me suddenly understand Hegel’s Absolute Knowing, Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence of the Same, and Heidegger’s vom Ereignis (from Enowning) simultaneously as attempts to provoke the experience.  Not that they do, but they do at least prepare one for it in a similar way to mystic practice preparing one for divine revelation.  Understanding understanding, as it were, doesn’t give you an understanding of anything in particular.  It gives you a different sense of things where understanding precedes self-conscious interpretation.

More on this later …


Collaring

I thought I would post some thoughts on the subject, since although the girls have been collared for some time, mitda for a fair length of time, last weekend we did a collaring ceremony for them together, and as a result it is closer to top of mind than it has been for a while.

Firstly, I love that they are collared.  Their beauty seems that much more radiant wearing their collars, and now that they can both wear their collars 24/7 they are a constant reminder to me of my luck and joy at mastering them.  They are also a constant reminder of my responsibilities in mastering them, and the standard which I have to try to live to.  I am currently studying the concept of unlimited responsibility, something that I think is particularly apropos and necessary in a TPE relationship.

Not that things are always perfect at House Daedalus.  The fact that the collars are identical reminds me of the occasional rivalry between slaves, the envy or jealousy that can poison any poly household.  And treating two very different people differently, as they require, but still equally, as they desire, is a difficult balancing act at times, and one  I don’t always succeed at.

mitda and I, as a former vanilla married couple, had the easiest transition to a TPE lifestyle.  emmie and I have a few more hurdles to climb.  We are in a poly married situation as far as our vanilla sex lives go, but it is new and like any newlyweds we are still learning each other’s tastes, wants and predilections.  And we have our pre-existing, comfortable relationships with our legal spouses to fall back on when things become tense for any reason.  That my spouse is also her sister slave makes her feel insecure.   That her spouse is a “top” sexually, and beginning to dominate in a bedroom bdsm sense, is an additional element and tension for me.  Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t trade any aspect of my family for any other in the world, but it’s only by being honest about the tensions that they will be resolved, as I always trust that they will.  The love I have for emmie, Jubal and mitda, and the love between all of us, makes all the tensions worth it, all the difficulties a temporary thing, and my overall life satisfying and full of joy.


Collaring

I thought I would post some thoughts on the subject, since although the girls have been collared for some time, mitda for a fair length of time, last weekend we did a collaring ceremony for them together, and as a result it is closer to top of mind than it has been for a while.

Firstly, I love that they are collared.  Their beauty seems that much more radiant wearing their collars, and now that they can both wear their collars 24/7 they are a constant reminder to me of my luck and joy at mastering them.  They are also a constant reminder of my responsibilities in mastering them, and the standard which I have to try to live to.  I am currently studying the concept of unlimited responsibility, something that I think is particularly apropos and necessary in a TPE relationship.

Not that things are always perfect at House Daedalus.  The fact that the collars are identical reminds me of the occasional rivalry between slaves, the envy or jealousy that can poison any poly household.  And treating two very different people differently, as they require, but still equally, as they desire, is a difficult balancing act at times, and one  I don’t always succeed at.

mitda and I, as a former vanilla married couple, had the easiest transition to a TPE lifestyle.  emmie and I have a few more hurdles to climb.  We are in a poly married situation as far as our vanilla sex lives go, but it is new and like any newlyweds we are still learning each other’s tastes, wants and predilections.  And we have our pre-existing, comfortable relationships with our legal spouses to fall back on when things become tense for any reason.  That my spouse is also her sister slave makes her feel insecure.   That her spouse is a “top” sexually, and beginning to dominate in a bedroom bdsm sense, is an additional element and tension for me.  Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t trade any aspect of my family for any other in the world, but it’s only by being honest about the tensions that they will be resolved, as I always trust that they will.  The love I have for emmie, Jubal and mitda, and the love between all of us, makes all the tensions worth it, all the difficulties a temporary thing, and my overall life satisfying and full of joy.


TPE, Poly and other Alt. Marriages, less coercive or more?

If the outcome of coercive power is the reduction of the human to human resources, and the reduction of the tradition to resource
allocations, we can begin to take a closer look at the various options open in the field of relationships. Quickly we can note the alignment of marriage with tax structures, religious power centres and family-values style politicking. 

At first glance TPE, total power exchange, a.k.a. internal enslavement, is the most forceful of the marriage options open. Polyamory possibly the least forceful. Traditional marriage falls somewhere in between. But glances are dissembling here as in many areas. There are also the areas of gay and transgender marriages.

So how about polyamory? Poised as it is against the traditional marriage and the upholding of “family values”, and convoluted as it makes marriage from an ownership and taxation point of view, polyamory is in many ways the most radical option for a newly relationshipped adult. The many flavours of polyamory, whether the poly group is in a V, W, quad or other, leads to a delay between expectations and realizations from the moment the group sets foot in society. There are no easy societal labels within the group – husband, lover, partner etc. all seem equally inappropriate. This facet poly shares with gay and transgender marriage. As a result polyamory as well as gay/transgender marriage finds a common element with the proponents of traditional marriage

But since the seat of coercive power in the home is usually occupied by the heterosexual male, doesn’t all this argue the more that TPE is the most outrageously coercive form of relationship dreamt up in the west so far?

The missing element here, is mastery. Were TPE simply a matter of domination, and were the domination available in an exterior form, it would be nothing more than a 24/7 form of the imposed drudgery of Hegel’s bondsman. A marxist BDSM’er might argue that since the relationship is at least explicit, there is the possibility of reclamation, which seems impossible for the wage slave in his battle with the amorphous and mostly unempowered bourgeois. More than this, however, is the internal form of the “slavery” envisioned, where the slave gladly enters the relationship and would not leave it for a moment. And the willing acceptance of that gift by the Master, returning a solid sense of responsibility that traditional marriage and traditional divorce simply leave to the courts. Mastery is not coercion, it in fact abhors coercion, and will only admit of its own existence if that mastery is provided to it by those it masters. Coercion looks for the weak and the subduable, Mastery only finds value in the mastery of equals.

Mitdasein


TPE, Poly and other Alt. Marriages, less coercive or more?

If the outcome of coercive power is the reduction of the human to human resources, and the reduction of the tradition to resource
allocations, we can begin to take a closer look at the various options open in the field of relationships. Quickly we can note the alignment of marriage with tax structures, religious power centres and family-values style politicking. 

At first glance TPE, total power exchange, a.k.a. internal enslavement, is the most forceful of the marriage options open. Polyamory possibly the least forceful. Traditional marriage falls somewhere in between. But glances are dissembling here as in many areas. There are also the areas of gay and transgender marriages.

So how about polyamory? Poised as it is against the traditional marriage and the upholding of “family values”, and convoluted as it makes marriage from an ownership and taxation point of view, polyamory is in many ways the most radical option for a newly relationshipped adult. The many flavours of polyamory, whether the poly group is in a V, W, quad or other, leads to a delay between expectations and realizations from the moment the group sets foot in society. There are no easy societal labels within the group – husband, lover, partner etc. all seem equally inappropriate. This facet poly shares with gay and transgender marriage. As a result polyamory as well as gay/transgender marriage finds a common element with the proponents of traditional marriage

But since the seat of coercive power in the home is usually occupied by the heterosexual male, doesn’t all this argue the more that TPE is the most outrageously coercive form of relationship dreamt up in the west so far?

The missing element here, is mastery. Were TPE simply a matter of domination, and were the domination available in an exterior form, it would be nothing more than a 24/7 form of the imposed drudgery of Hegel’s bondsman. A marxist BDSM’er might argue that since the relationship is at least explicit, there is the possibility of reclamation, which seems impossible for the wage slave in his battle with the amorphous and mostly unempowered bourgeois. More than this, however, is the internal form of the “slavery” envisioned, where the slave gladly enters the relationship and would not leave it for a moment. And the willing acceptance of that gift by the Master, returning a solid sense of responsibility that traditional marriage and traditional divorce simply leave to the courts. Mastery is not coercion, it in fact abhors coercion, and will only admit of its own existence if that mastery is provided to it by those it masters. Coercion looks for the weak and the subduable, Mastery only finds value in the mastery of equals.

Mitdasein


Coercion and Mastery

I wrote a post a little while ago separating abuse and bdsm.  This post is to attempt to tease out the difference(s) between coercion and mastery. 

Coercion is an act of the will, frustrated by opposition, to turn another will by the force of guile.  Ultimately it is dishonest in its actions and in its intent, bending the will of another to its own advantage for the sake of furthering its will alone.

Mastery does not turn the other’s will, and certainly does not operate under any guise but its own open strength.  It is functionally honest in both actions and intent, and its intent is to master the will of the other to the other’s own advantage, for the sake of furthering both wills and conjoining them together.  Mastery is quiet in its manner and mode of going about things, because the noisy “will to power” of the mainstream hides a singular lack of power, a fundamental helplessness when it comes to either their outcomes or the outcomes of those over whom they exercise coercion.

Mitdasein


Coercion and Mastery

I wrote a post a little while ago separating abuse and bdsm.  This post is to attempt to tease out the difference(s) between coercion and mastery. 

Coercion is an act of the will, frustrated by opposition, to turn another will by the force of guile.  Ultimately it is dishonest in its actions and in its intent, bending the will of another to its own advantage for the sake of furthering its will alone.

Mastery does not turn the other’s will, and certainly does not operate under any guise but its own open strength.  It is functionally honest in both actions and intent, and its intent is to master the will of the other to the other’s own advantage, for the sake of furthering both wills and conjoining them together.  Mastery is quiet in its manner and mode of going about things, because the noisy “will to power” of the mainstream hides a singular lack of power, a fundamental helplessness when it comes to either their outcomes or the outcomes of those over whom they exercise coercion.

Mitdasein


Slaves on the Downward Spiral

I went to bed in a bad mood last night and woke up in a worse one.  So I’ve spent from 2am till now pretty much working on my RS/6000 server and feeling pissy.

I’m not the only one.  Both through conversations and reading their blogs I have been well apprised that both of my slaves are down, depressed, suicidal, etc.  Not that this is the first time such things have happened, they both by chance are bipolar, as am I, and handling moodiness is a sine qua non of this relationship.

Unfortunately when it’s all of us it becomes difficult to look to each other for the support we so desperately need.  emelina feels like a third wheel, mitda feels “not good enough”, and me, well, I feel like I’m neither doing my job as their master nor helping myself in any way.

Mitdasein