Friday, 19 April 2013
A while back, billierosie asked me what it's like being a dominant. This post tries to answer that question.
I should start by saying that it's one of those questions where different people will undoubtedly have different answers. There's no 'one size fits all' type of dominant, and I'm not even going to try to create a typology. Indeed even the terminology is flexible. Dominant/submissive isn't quite the same relationship as top/bottom, with the conventional understanding being that the former is more about power exchange and the latter about the administration and receiving of pain and pleasure. Useful links in this connection – though note they all offer different opinions – are:
here here and here
I would say, though, that the essence of domination and submission is about having a sexual relationship – or indeed several, or many, sexual relationships – that include a particular dynamic. The nature of that dynamic is that my play partner is seeking excitement and gratification through being controlled, and I'm seeking those things through exercising that control.
What that means for me is that I need to think in a very precise way about what my submissive is seeking. Do they want the experience of being taken back to some point in their life, perhaps a point in childhood, where they were controlled and perhaps punished by a father figure? Do they want to experience control (and reward) in the same way that one might use with a family pet such as a dog? Do they want an experience they can fight against and yet be forced against their will, as in an interrogation scene? Do they seek a more spiritual and meditative experience, the kind that's common with rope bondage?
There's a sense in which being a dominant isn't about being bossy and bullying – or if it is, that's because the submissive feels the need to experience those things. It's about recognising what your submissive needs and being, as I've sometimes put it, the vehicle through which the submissive can express and explore their desires. My gratification as a dominant is about being successful at doing that.That's not to deny the gratifications of hearing the thwap of a flogger hitting flesh and the soft shriek of shock and pain, seeing the way skin colours up when it's been tortured, and smelling the sex in the air. Those are all great turn-ons. But the key thing for me is taking the trust of the submissive and proving to them they were right to trust that I can deliver the fantasy-into-reality they were seeking. That's the thing that gives me a crazy smile on my face for days after an intensive play session.
Being dominant can be demanding. It requires me to think about what I'm doing at every point: planning what I'm going to do, doing it, being alert to issues that arise during play, and following up afterwards. For example: will it be feasible to tie someone up in a certain way given their known health condition and the way rope constriction can affect muscles? If the sub has, for example, asthma that means they need their inhaler available at all times, is it to hand? Does a particular fantasy – for example being treated as a non-person through the use of a hood – trigger something bad in the sub when it happens for real, so the scene needs to stop? And how do they feel after the whole experience when they've had time to reflect on it?
I've sometimes wondered, incidentally, how dominants manage in dom/sub relationships that are 24/7 because frankly, I don't think I could keep up that level of attention all the time. I'd assume those relationships are more like master/mistress and slave, because they surely can't exist on the basis of being permanent domination sessions.
How, then, did I get into domination? It started fairly early with pre-pubescent fantasies that involved the kinds of things we now term 'power exchange'. As a teenager I found pulp magazines that told me, if nothing else, that I wasn't the only person to have such fantasies. Shortly thereafter I found sexual partners who were similarly exploring their sexuality and not averse to being tied up. And on it went from there.
In real life I'm a pretty laid-back person. I don't impose myself on others, have a particularly dominant bearing, or other obvious trappings of being a 'dominant person'. But I'm generally a good listener and try to understand what my submissive wants. I have a wicked turn to my sense of humour. I've taken time out to understand the range of 'tools' I use in bdsm – from rope and bullwhips to gags and candles. I know what they do, and wide range of ways they can be used.
And I was lucky enough, a decade ago now, to meet the submissive who is now my partner. We met in a fetish club; I was doing an impromptu bondage demonstration and she was a volunteer…
By way of a conclusion, I'll offer these thoughts.
A dominant isn't someone who 'feels dominant to their core', was 'born to rule others' or feels they should always be privileged over others. People who persistently act that way can usually be described using other, less savoury terms such 'pain in the ass' – or perhaps 'bully'.
It is, of course, important sometimes to act in such ways, because that's part of the play of domination and submission. But if someone starts taking that kind of role as the key part of their personality they'll quickly find themselves being laughed at.
A dominant is someone who takes the gift of submission and works with the submissive to make it something more beautiful and more meaningful to both parties. This is why domination is a craft. It requires dedication, self-reflection and an open and enquiring mind – as well as a balanced personality, a sadistic imagination and a rigorous approach to what is safe, sane and consensual.
I'm a scribbler of smut. A writer of erotica. Of the two novels, two story collections, five novellas and many short stories I have published, these two stand out as ones that explore the dom/sub dynamic in some detail:
Addicted to Rope – novella, from here here
and various other places.Sex, Art and Aromatherapy – short story, individually published on
Amazon.co.uk and ebook store here
and various other places.
Friday, 12 April 2013
Ooh! Tie me up…tight…I can take it. Blindfold me; gag me. Show me to your friends as I sink passively into my humiliation. Tighter tighter. Blindfold me as well. Stuff my panties into my mouth so I can neither breathe nor speak. Then you can rescue me; untie me. By indulging me in this secret ritual, you show me that you love me.
Check out Aubrey Beardsley’s dirty picture. The woman is stuffed -- literally. She is being whipped; tormented by her master. Beardsley draws a degrading image; yet the woman does not struggle. She acquiesces. She is passive.
The passivity of women, portrayed in bondage images, struck me, as I put this piece together. It’s the contrast to the piece I put together a few weeks ago, on male bondage that I find intriguing. The men struggle furiously; violently against their tormentors. Their desperate cries can be heard through the canvases; they echo in the marble sculptures. The women do not cry out; they just take it.
If the old Masters are deliberately intending to arouse, is the sight of a strong man struggling, a turn on? And the sight of a docile woman, meekly succumbing to her fate, erotic? Traditionally, the answer has to be ‘yes’. The themes of struggling man and helpless woman, are reflected in contemporary pornography and old stories. Look at Laocoon fighting his adversaries; those muscles! The Sleeping Beauty, the most passive woman in our fairy stories, isn’t just surrendering to her fate, she is sleeping through it; until, of course she is rescued -- by a strong man.
But to get back to bondage; what’s going on? Why do folk want to tie each other up? Are they sexually strange? Is there such a thing as sexually strange? Or are the web sites coming up on the search engine, just tapping into a fetish that’s been going on for centuries, in those very old stories and paintings?
The bondage of Andromeda is a topic that has fascinated artists for centuries.
Edward Poynter paints Andromeda in 1869. She bows her head. She submits. Her hands are tied behind her. Her blue, silken robe, restrains her further.
Here is Andromeda’s story.
In Greek mythology, Andromeda was the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, king and queen of the kingdom Ethiopia.
Her mother Cassiopeia bragged that she was more beautiful than the Nereids, the nymph-daughters of the sea god Nereus and often seen accompanying Poseidon. To punish the Queen for her arrogance, Poseidon, brother to Zeus and God of the Sea, sent the sea monster Cetus to ravage the coast of Ethiopia including the kingdom of the vain Queen. The desperate King consulted the Oracle of Zeus, who announced that no respite would be found until the king sacrificed his virgin daughter Andromeda to the monster. She was chained naked to a rock on the coast of Jaffa. Luckily, the hero, Perseus, was sailing by, fresh from slaying the Medusa. He fell in love with Andromeda and rescued her, just as she was about to be devoured by the sea monster.
Gustave Dore paints Andromeda, also, in 1869. Dore paints her delicately. You can count her tiny toes. Her skin is fragile; translucent. She is a helpless victim.
Rembrandt paints Andromeda in 1629. His Andromeda has a look of desperate fear on her face. Still, she does not struggle.
Tying up women is an ancient art, that is thriving today. You can read stories about it on the web; you can look at pictures. I got 715,000 hits just from typing in ‘female bondage’ to Google. Interestingly, I got twice as many hits for ‘male bondage.’ Why is that I wonder? But that’s maybe a topic for a different discussion. Although, any suggestions will be gratefully received!
Friday, 5 April 2013
Sizzler Editions Launches Exciting, New Erotic eBook Site!
Sizzler Editions, the premier publisher of erotic eBooks since 1998, announces a new site for erotic literature junkies to access their catalog of 1500 titles, sizzlereditions.com. [http://sizzlereditions.com]
Built on a new, more flexible, platform with additional layers of subcategories, the new Sizzler Editions site features the ability to find related books by theme and series. Next to each book cover, readers will see convenient tabs featuring the book's description, direct purchase links and other information. The updated site also incorporates video trailers for featured Sizzler Edition titles, and expanded Author bio pages.
Of the new site, Publisher Jean Marie Stine says, "Perhaps the biggest change is the fact that we no longer host and sell books ourselves. Readers will instead find a links, which take them directly to a book's Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks page.
"At the redesigned Sizzler Editions site, readers can not only easily find the book they like, but they can buy it from their preferred vendor in a new tab – and have it downloaded instantly into their ebook reading device – without ever leaving the Sizzler Editions site. It's a win-win for both readers and for us!"
Jean Marie reveals that the site is continuing to add improvements above and beyond the update unveiled April 2, 2013. "The new site is still very much a work in progress. We will add audio interviews with our authors, include even more features to enhance the visitor's search experience and more titles from new erotic authors are always being added to our catalog!"
Debut releases at the new site include bestselling bondage author, Powerone's new Cold War spy shocker, Slave of the Kremlin, two novellas of paranormal romance by Sarah Bella, author of Bound by Blood, and a first-ever collection of Herotica editor Marcy Sheiner's stories, Love & Other Illusions. Also scheduled for release in the coming weeks are Love's Storm by Margie Church and K. B. Cutter, the second installment of their controversial trilogy about polyamory, plus a new collection of erotic science fiction stories, Skin Effect, by M. Christian. Coming soon to Sizzler Editions are the first of three books books by sexologist Amy Marsh reporting back on Love's Outer Limits, and new books by Terri Pray, David Jewell and other bestselling authors.
Bookmark sizzlereditions.com now, and start exploring the new features rolled out in the first phase of the update, and be sure to come back for the official grand reopening on May 1st, when there will be free eBooks, special prizes and other delights.
About Sizzler Editions:
Sizzler Editions is one of the leading ebook publishers of erotica on the internet. Sizzler issued their first ebooks in 1998, and since that time have published over 1500 ebooks books. As of 2013, Sizzler Editions has more than 1,300 erotic ebooks available for sale, and a growing list of new titles.
Sizzler Editions prides itself on presenting the finest in erotica for every sexual interest and orientation. Sizzler Editions imprints include Intoxication (Erotic Romance), Submission (Bondage and BDSM), Attraction (GLBT Erotica), Scorcher (Hot & Hetero), Hot Flash (Short & Collections), Encounter (SciFi and Fantasy), Sexerience (Nonfiction), HerSelf (Women's Erotica), Platinum (All-Time Best Sellers), Victoria (Erotic Classics), Bounty (Bargain Omnibuses), and Thrill (Mystery & Adventure).
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Associate Publisher, Sizzler Editions
2930 Shattuck Ave. Suite 200-13
Berkeley CA 94705