Sub Journal 011: What We Need to Be

We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. –Max De Pre

When I first learned what a submissive was—and particularly service-oriented submissives—thought, ‘My whole life makes sense now! I’m going to be the best submissive ever! This is who I’ve always been! This is going to be a piece of cake. So easy. All I have to do is show up.’

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

Natural vs Learned

Then I learned about natural vs learned submissives. I didn’t think one was superior to the other, but I thought learned submissives had a much harder road to go, since us natural submissives just were the way we were.

Now I look at Natural vs Learned as being right-handed vs being left-handed. Anyone can learn to write with either hand. To play Virginia Woolf in The Hours, Nicole Kidman learned to write with her left hand, as well as learned Woolf’s handwriting, while using pen and ink, for example. Practise and determination is all that’s required.
If Kidman had already been left-handed, that task, while still formidable, would have been significantly less so.
Being naturally submissive (when that’s what you want to be) is like being right-handed. The world is already working in your favour. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be a world-class guitarist the first time you pick up a guitar, but you won’t have to either learn to play right-handed or buy a specially-made left-handed guitar. You’re working from an invisible advantage from the start.

Antoniou on Naturals

There’s a quote from Laura Antoniou’s The Marketplace, which goes:

‘Even the most gifted of naturals, those individuals whose wrists are naked without restraints and whose souls are bleak without guidance, need to be trained.’

The more I read after I first got out there, the more I realised I had a whole lot of work to do. At first I thought I shouldn’t do any work on myself, because my first Domme would want to ‘fix’ me to be just how she wanted. And if I was perfect then she wouldn’t have anything to fix.

Now I side-eye my previous self.

No, honey. Just no. (source)

A submissive or slave’s position is to make life run more smoothly for their D-type (though I suppose there could be some who enjoy looking after a wreck of a person).

I realised I needed to make myself into a person who was worthy of being owned. It didn’t mean I wasn’t allowed to have bad days or be human—it meant being honest about my failings and improve myself to suit the sort of D-type I wanted to serve.

The sort of D-type I wanted was the type who would want to help me be my best so I’d need to prove that I was committed to being my best and improving myself before we met so I’d have something to offer in the first place.

What was I going to say, ‘I waited for you to arrive before working on myself, but now I’m going to develop discipline out of nowhere’?

Sure, self. That’s right.

The sort of Dominant I wanted wasn’t an idiot, so she wasn’t going to buy that, either. I realised I needed to start tidying up the place myself. I was going to have to start being my own D-type until someone else could blessedly take over.

It’s not as though I was going to attain perfection prior to meeting a Dominant and would wind up saying, ‘Sorry, you just missed having someone to improve.’

I even put it on a business card.

What I Need to Be

What I need to be is useful to my Dominant.

I can be that by learning what I need and want (and how to differentiate between the two).

By taking care of my body, with adequate sleep, exercise and nutrition.

By constantly learning about kink, my submission and the wider world.

By communicating (the good and the bad) even when it’s hard & unpoetic.

By recognising that I’m already good enough but that training is eternal.

By being kind to myself when I fail to live up to my own high standards.

 

[This prompt comes from submissiveguide, which I’ve reviewed on this site]

Sub Journal 010: Perversion and Normality

One person’s perversion is another’s normality. –Julie Peakman

This is the unofficial motto of my site and is the opening line of Peakman’s book The Pleasure’s All Mine: A History of Perverse Sex (podcast review, written review). The quote works in a couple of ways, but I think the overall message is that you’re normal for you. Whatever you’re interested in comes naturally to you so it’s natural. And if something’s natural then any shame or disgust is a product of other people’s opinions, which are shaped by culture, time, place, religion, etc.

The quote could be both speaking to someone who is judging another and also a reminder that just because your desires don’t seem ‘normal’ in this time and place doesn’t mean that what is considered healthy always was. The people currently practising acceptable sex are doing things that were considered quite odd five hundred years ago. ‘Normal’ is entirely subjective. You’re never going to please everyone so you might as well please yourself since you’re the one you have to live with on a day-to-day basis. (I mean this within the confines of being a law-abiding citizen.)

This quote also reminds me of a more serious version of ‘It’s only kinky the first time.’ If you naturally express certain aspects of your personality, sexuality or intimacy with your partner using particular acts, it’s not really kinky or unusual—it’s simply the language you use. It may not be the same language that is currently ‘acceptable’, but that doesn’t make it wrong. If both you and your partner understand and appreciate it, and it draws you closer together, then what does it matter if you don’t wish to speak the language of traditional intimacy?

Meditations for submissives 007

The Meditation for April is all-round good advice and completely straightforward, as well.

(For less-than-straightforward, but no less useful entries in this series, start here.)

This is from Book One, Number Ten

The Maxwell Stanisforth translation in full:

It was the critic Alexander who put me on my guard against unnecessary fault-finding. People should not be sharply corrected for bad grammar, provincialisms, or mispronunciations; it is better to suggest the proper expression by tactfully introducing it oneself in, say, one’s reply to a question or one’s acquiescence in their sentiments, or into a friendly discussion of the topic itself (not of the diction), or by some other suitable form of reminder.

This is always necessary advice to us pedants. No one likes an overly-fussy submissive. Or Dominant, for that matter. Be polite, basically.

Sub Journal 009: Tolerance of Others

How tolerant are you of others who live in a lifestyle that would not suit you and who live in such a way it does not affect you? Do you consider yourself open minded? How do you react when others judge your lifestyle as fantasy?

I wouldn’t say I’m tolerant—I would say that I’m accepting of people who live their lives differently, as long as it doesn’t effect me (someone who believes people like me should be denied rights, for example). I tell people to ‘find their level’, because what is normal and healthy for one person would be stressful and unnatural to another person. I certainly know what it’s like to be judged and I’d never want to make another person feel that way.

I definitely consider myself open-minded. I grew up in a place that most definitely wasn’t tolerant, let alone open-minded or accepting, and I didn’t get why or how it was possible to dislike people for something they have no control over. I’m more interested in why people are interested in what they’re interested in.

In terms of what is considered healthy and what is considered fantasy—power exchange is two autonomous (or more) adults, consciously deciding how they want to structure a relationship based on what everyone involved needs and wants with the understanding those needs and wants may shift. ‘Traditional’ hetero, vanilla, romantic relationships rarely involve conversations about consent or desires, hinge on the notion of one person answering another person’s every need and rely on the ‘happily ever after’ trope. Which one of those sounds like a bigger fantasy? One of those two types of relationships acknowledges actual human beings are involved and the other tells the people involved they’ve failed if they don’t magically know what to do with this whole other person—without asking, because that spoils the ‘romance’.

By the same token, it’s understandable for people who’ve been told the way they naturally connect with others is the ‘normal’, correct and healthy way of doing things. People enjoy feeling like their way is the right way. It’s easy to misunderstand something when you’ve only been exposed to inaccurate versions of it in the media. Versions that have been written by other non-kinky people with their own prejudices.

It’s common for people to view the way other people conduct their lives or relationships as a rebuke of their own choices, whether it’s choosing to remain childfree to being polyamorous, and will respond as though, by merely existing, the non-traditional person, is telling the traditional person that they’ve made a mistake. This is is no more true than saying because jeans are comfortable for me all people should wear jeans and anyone who chooses to wear a skirt, kilt, slacks, sari or anything else should be defensive about it, as if my choice to wear jeans is my way of saying, ‘What I wear is correct for everyone. Differ and suffer my disdain!’

What is comfortable for one person—one person’s level—isn’t going to be for everyone else.

Different isn’t bad or wrong. It’s just different.

If people are allowed to be comfortable in something as basic as clothing, why are we all expected to conform when it comes to something as complex as relationships or sexuality or desire?

In terms of how I react to people who judge me, externally, it depends on the circumstances and the person. Some people clearly aren’t interested in being educated and it’s not worth the emotional energy. Usually, I try to calmly explain how I feel and what I think. Generally, people will treat you the way you behave and if you are calm and rational and behave like an intelligent, courteous human who knows themselves and something about what you’re talking about then the least that comes out of it is that you look like the grown up in the situation.

[This prompt comes from submissiveguide, which I’ve reviewed on this site]

Sub Journal 008: Constancy to Purpose

The secret to success is constancy to purpose –Benjamin Disraeli

My third year in the scene begins this week and this is the motto for the year. I’m applying it to both my business (the podcast and website) and my own submission. A person can only advance so far allowing life to happen to them. At a certain point—if they want to advance further—they have to intentionally work on themselves or the particular thing they’d like to improve.

This is one of my all-time favourite quotes and can be applied to every aspect of one’s life. (Benjamin Disraeli was one of Queen Victoria’s prime ministers, if you’re curious.)

No matter what your aim is—whether it’s something practical like improving your health, learning a new language or taking a wood-working class or less easily measurable things like trying to be kinder to yourself or others, practising patience or learning to let go of the things you can’t control—if you keep at it, you’ll improve.

This quote can also be applied to being the best M/D or s-type a person can be. Or the best top or bottom.

The meaning of ‘success’ is fluid

‘Success’ is a sticky word, though. Success doesn’t mean ‘perfect’. It doesn’t mean ‘better than everyone else’. It doesn’t mean reaching a certain point, hearing a DING! and being finished like an expertly cooked ham.

Success means different things depending on your goals. If you’re learning French—it’s possible to learn it fluently, eventually. If you’re trying to have the patience of a saint—that may be a life-long process depending where you’re starting from.

‘Success’ in power exchange

Of course, trying to be the best D or s-type… What’s the definition of ‘success’ there? Knowing you’re improving yourself. Knowing you’re not stagnating. Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses and working to eradicate those weaknesses as much as humanly possible. Making yourself worth leading or worth following. Not feeling like you’ve fooled someone into leading or following you.

‘Constancy’ =/= rigidity

‘Constancy to purpose’ can sound like being rigid in your thinking, like a battering ram is constant to its purpose of getting through a door. If the end goal is to be the best version of yourself (at whatever it is you’re trying to do), then occasionally it’s important to look at your tack and deciding if it’s getting you where you want to go in the healthiest way to get there.

Find your purpose

I like this one because it reminds me of the Stoic philosophy of not going in for complexity when it’s not needed. ‘Find your purpose and don’t get distracted.’

If your purpose seems overwhelming or impossible, break it into smaller steps. No amazing person got to amazing overnight. Cut yourself some slack. Use the S.M.A.R.T. system. There are endless resources out there—find the ones that work for you and what you’re trying to accomplish (I’ll be posting apps for s-types once a month beginning in a couple weeks).

What’s your purpose? How do you keep your focus? How do you define success at your purpose?

Meditations for submissives 005

This post guest-stars Epictetus! Bonus! (source)

For an introduction to this series, please see the first post.

Unlike some selections in this series, this is the entire segment.

Book One, Entry Seven.

From the Stanisforth translation:

From Rusticus I derived the notion that my character needed training and care, and that I must not allow myself to be led astray into a sophist’s enthusiasm for concocting speculative treatises, edifying homilies, or imaginary sketches of The Ascetic or The Altruist. He also taught me to avoid rhetoric, poetry and verbal conceits, affectations of dress at home, and other such lapses of taste, and to imitate the easy epistolary style of his own letter written at Sinuessa to my mother. If anyone, after falling out with me in a moment of temper, showed signs of wanting to make peace again, I was to be ready at once to meet them half-way. Also I was to be accurate in my reading, and not content with a mere general idea of the meaning; and not let myself be too quickly convinced by a glib tongue. Through him, too, I came to know Epictetus’s Dissertations, of which he gave me a copy from his library.

There’s much to discuss here but we’ll take it bit-by-bit.

First, with any of Marcus’ writing (yes, that’s what people call him, I know it sounds like I’m being overly familiar—it feels weird), don’t get hung up on names of people or places that mean nothing to you. Rusticus sounds like a great name for a Rottweiler or a Pomeranian to me, for example, and I haven’t the foggiest clue what his letter written at Sinuessa was like. That’s not important most of the time. We’re looking for the overall meaning.

The take-aways from this one:

Your character needs training and care.

Well. I should think so. If anyone can understand needing training and care it’s an s-type. If you’re not with a D-type you should be improving (training) yourself in order to make yourself worth owning.

Then he goes on a run:

I must not allow myself to be led astray into a sophist’s enthusiasm for concocting speculative treatises, edifying homilies, or imaginary sketches of The Ascetic or The Altruist.

Short version: Don’t be distracted by the unattainable or practically impossible. A sophist is a philosopher and, yes, Marcus was a Stoic philosopher, but Stoicism is a philosophy that can be practiced rather than only discussed. It’s not practical for most people to be ascetic (avoiding physical pleasure) or completely altruistic (entirely unselfish).

Stoicism was about moderation in all things and recognised human nature for what it was and the need to help our fellow man and forgive him for being human.

Next up!

He also taught me to avoid rhetoric, poetry and verbal conceits, affectations of dress at home, and other such lapses of taste, and to imitate the easy epistolary style of his own letter written at Sinuessa to my mother.

We’ve covered the letter part—I suppose Rusticus wrote great letters? No clue. This sentence is about what the French would call ‘farting higher than your ass‘ or being pretentious. This goes back to moderation in all things.

Boy, ol’ Rusty taught Marcus a lot. Next on the scroll:

If anyone, after falling out with me in a moment of temper, showed signs of wanting to make peace again, I was to be ready at once to meet them half-way.

I admit, this is one I struggle with. No one is saying any of these things is easy and I’m certainly not saying I achieve these every day, but they’re attributes and actions I strive for and believe make better s-types and D-types.

This one is pretty self-explanatory, I think.

Also I was to be accurate in my reading, and not content with a mere general idea of the meaning; and not let myself be too quickly convinced by a glib tongue.

At first glance, this looks like it’s two separate thoughts separated by a semicolon, but they’re both about looking beneath the surface. Check the methodology. Ask who funded the study. Read more than the headline. Be aware of confirmation bias. Apparently they had fake news 2,000 years ago.

We made it! We finally made it!

Through him, too, I came to know Epictetus’s Dissertations, of which he gave me a copy from his library.

Epictetus was also a Stoic philosopher. I admit I have not read his work, spending most of my time luxuriating in Meditations. Only fragments of Dissertations remain—his most well-known and available works are Discourses and Enchiridion.

From Wikipedia:

Epictetus taught that philosophy is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are beyond our control; we should accept calmly and dispassionately whatever happens. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline.

That’s a core tenet of Stoicism, along with the other things I’ve mentioned.

Sub Journal 007: Revelations of the Past Year

007. What have you learned about yourself in the past year that surprises you?

I’ve learned that I can be committed and passionate about something if it means a great deal to me. The website and podcast are what have shown me this.

Previously, I’ve lost interest in other projects or hobbies after a few weeks or months, and thought the same thing would happen with the site and podcast. Instead, I’ve only become more committed and passionate about providing resources for people who are not traditional in their sexual or relationship desires.

I attribute this to having found something profound within myself—chiefly service-oriented submission—that has been there all along but I didn’t have words for. Experiencing that relief and (in a way) homecoming, I want to help other people along their own journeys. Whether that’s by recommending various sorts of media the Outsiders may connect with and find themselves in or by reading about my own life. No one should feel like they’re alone. Because no one is. No matter what you’re into or what speaks to your innermost self there are plenty of people out there who are equally interested and some probably have more experience and can guide you on your way.

I like to say, ‘Everything is a thing.’ If a dynamic, fetish or activity can be a profound experience for a person then someone is into it. You’re not the first, you won’t be the last and there’s no reason to feel badly about your natural inclinations.

I’ve got on a tangent—this is supposed to be about what I’ve learned about myself.

In my reading and studying I’ve confronted some of my own prejudices and worked out why I felt the way I did and worked to eradicate them from my worldview. Some were easier than others.

In the Things That Were Blatant But I Was Too Blind to See category: I’ve also realised I have a definite Little side, figured out what sort of power exchange I’m most interested in, and that I believe I would enjoy topping men.

That last one was the most surprising, even though it made complete sense once I realised it.

Also, I thought I would be fairly boring in my kink interests, but over the year, several things that were on my hard limits list have moved to either the ‘I’d try that with the right person to see if I’d enjoy it’ or ‘Yes, I would very much like to try this, thank you, please.’

A note about being ‘boring’–I never felt I should try my boundaries, as I subscribe to the ‘find your level’ philosophy of kink. Whatever feels natural to you is your level and there are no awards for doing more (or less) than that.

This prompt is from SubmissiveGuide.

Sub Journal 006: Submissive or Slave

006. Do you identify as submissive or slave or something entirely different? What is your definition for that identity?

I’m currently unsure how to answer this. In a way, slavehood feels natural—and by that I mean belonging completely to another person and trusting that they have my best interests in mind while also serving that person in ways we’ve negotiated to. In another way, I’m not entirely certain where the line is between submissive and slave.

It seems like a more extreme version of submission, if you view Dominance and submission as a spectrum. I think people fall on the spectrum naturally (or move along it during their lives organically) and no place is better or worse, but I still view Masters/Mistresses and slaves as the far ends of the spectrum and I’m not sure where I am exactly. If I were to begin a relationship with someone I would want to start slowly perhaps as a submissive, though, I suppose all power exchange relationships start as slowly as they need to and progress at their own pace. The difference between D/s and M/s would be the goal of how much power will be exchanged eventually, to my mind.

Identifying as a slave makes me a little nervous, as well, as I don’t have a Mistress and don’t want to deal with people trying to Dom/me me because I’m unowned.

At the same time, I feel like I shouldn’t allow other people to control how I label myself if I know something to be true about myself. It also makes sense to limit the amount of nonsense I have to put up with. Which is related to being a woman or a ‘commodity’–you’re expected to protect yourself rather than being allowed to be your authentic self and know everyone else will respect you as an autonomous human being. It’s a given that some other people will be disrespectful and it’s something certain people (women & s-types for example) have to put up with and expect. Rather than that sort of behavior being unusual, considered rude and the perpetrator dressed down, it’s accepted that that’s how the world works and the receiver of the unwanted attention shouldn’t be surprised.

And I wouldn’t be, which is ridiculous.

This prompt is from the SubmissiveGuide.com

Where I am Led Month 04

Similar to the previous three months, these are the most thought-provoking (for me) posts from the previous months’ prompts from the Where I am Led workbook by Christina ‘slavette’ Parker.

This month had five weeks’ worth of prompts, which is five guideposts and writing assignments each and ten weekly thoughts to choose from.

Weekly Guidepost

Curiosity. A genuine desire to learn and grow is a quality that should be carefully nurtured. Feed your curiosity, but trim it back when it starts to overwhelm you.

This one reminds me of when I start doing research for a book and I get so into the research I don’t want to start writing. There is a plethora of information out there for submissives and I’m so thankful for that. But it’s difficult to know where to start and it’s easy to get drawn down the rabbit hole of FetLife. It’s also difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff when you’re starting out. And I want to consume it all. The blog helps, I think, as it means I have to write one journal prompt a month and find a useful mentor post per week and keep up with my Where I am Led prompts, as well as my book reading and film viewing while writing reviews of those so I’m looking at those more closely. Still, there’s so much more I don’t have the time to get to yet.

Thoughts for the Week 01

Every task you perform for your Owner frees up his or her time to do something else. It is important for you to understand what your Owner is doing with that time since you are, in effect, assisting in those efforts. This is just one reason why it is important for an Owner and a slave to have similar ethical values.

In one way, I feel it shouldn’t be my place to ask what my Owner is doing with her time. I should be focusing on whatever task I’m doing. In another way, I figure if I’m in the sort of relationship where we know one another inside and out and we already know everything about one another then I won’t have to ask what she’s doing because she’ll have told me of her own accord as part of her day.

I would definitely tell her everything I was doing, even if she didn’t ask, though I would assume she’d want to know what I was doing with my time if only as a way of being with me even when she wasn’t physically with me.

Thoughts for the Week 02

Your Owner has offered guidance, protection and comfort. If you hide your feelings or do not seek guidance, you are denying your Owner the pleasure that he or she gains from providing for your well-being. It is the same as if you were denied the pleasure you receive from serving.

That’s a way of looking at it I hadn’t considered. I’d think of it as keeping small problems to myself in order to work on them on my own rather than bothering her with them, as she’d probably have more important things to worry about. It makes sense that, certain types of Owners would want to help their slaves with anything they were struggling with. That alone would be something I’d need to work on (asking for help).

Writing Assignment

In-depth Exploration—Integrity.

Go to the dictionary and find the definition of ‘integrity’. Pretend you are trying to explain ‘integrity’ to someone who has never heard the word and write your own definition.

Integrity was the prompt for week eleven and I said I hadn’t known the definition of the word until I’d read the prompt (which included the definition as being your deeds matching your words). Still, I’ve now consulted by Oxford paperback dictionary and thesaurus and the second definition is: the state of being whole or unified.

I would probably say that to have integrity is to always be the same person no matter who you’re with. A person without integrity may pretend to be one person with one group of people and another sort of person with another person or group of people, but because he’s never his true self, or a good person, eventually the cracks will begin to show.

Monthly Practical
The monthly practical project for the fourth month had to do with planning the packing list for the travel project of the third month including specifics for shopping for particular items.

Meditations for submissives 003

This month’s Meditation comes from Book One, Entry Five.

From the Stanisforth translation:

It was my tutor who dissuaded me from patronizing Green or Blue* at the races, or Light or Heavy^ in the ring, and encouraged me not to be afraid of work, to be sparing in my wants, attend to my own needs, mind my own business, and never listen to gossip.

*The colours of the rival charioteers in the Circus. Roman enthusiasm for these races was unbounded; successful drivers earned large fortunes and became popular idols.
^In one form of gladiatorial combat (the ‘Thracian’) the opponents were armed with light rounds bucklers; in another (the ‘Samnite’) they carried heavy oblong shields.

[Those notes also came from the Stanisforth translation in the Penguin Great Ideas edition of Meditations.]

Much of the Stoic philosophy has to do with simplicity in all things and remaining focused on what’s most important. That was the theme of the selection for the first month, as well.

The difference is this quote is also about not allowing outside influences and trivialities to distract you from tasks and responsibilities.

s-types who are self sufficient in terms of their own needs, as well as being hard workers and who don’t make unnecessary requests will be more highly valued than those who are lazy, demanding and expect their D-type to do everything for them.

(This doesn’t mean to keep difficulties in the relationship to yourself in order not to make a fuss for your D-type–this is more concerning day-to-day practicalities.)

When I use this one I leave it as is and keep the intention in mind, but if you’d like to turn this one into something to use to regain your focus during the day, in the mornings or moments when you find yourself distracted you could substitute names of the things that draw your focus from what’s important. Following sports, television, video games—anything that takes more time than is healthy.

‘It was my tutor’ would be replaced with ‘it is my D-type’ who dissuades me from [time wasting activity 1] or [time wasting activity 2] and encourages me not to be afraid of work, to be sparing in my wants, attend to my own needs, mind my own business, and never listen to gossip.

Sub Journal 005: Obedience

005. Do you find obedience to be easy?

Obedience is easy if I’m obeying a woman I admire and respect. Then I want to please her and live up to her standards and expectations. Obeying a D-type would also be freeing, as I wouldn’t have to think, I would simply have to do as I was bid.

While I want to do the best I can in all things, I don’t feel the need to do as I’m told by anyone issuing an order. I believe that people are equal and recognize that some people are in positions of authority due to nepotism or because they simply worked at the company long enough rather than because of any outstanding personal qualities. To me, respect is reciprocal and is based on intelligence, fairness, level-headedness, etc.

In cases where I am expected to obey someone I do not respect I will do my job, as it’s my job and I don’t want to be lazy, but will grind my back teeth the entire time.

This prompt came from SubmissiveGuide.com

Where I am Led Month 03

Similar to the previous two months, these are the most thought-provoking (for me) posts from the previous month’s prompts from the Where I am Led workbook.

This month had four weeks’ worth of prompts, which is four guideposts and writing assignments each and eight weekly thoughts to choose from.

Weekly Guidepost

Integrity. Your actions are a reflection of your beliefs. Integrity comes when what you do matches what you believe.

Not to be glib, but I didn’t know that’s what integrity was until I read this prompt. I knew it was a positive trait everyone should aspire towards, but couldn’t define it.

I would certainly want my Dominant to have integrity and since I would choose the sort of Dominant I wanted to emulate I should strive for that, as well. Of course, it’s easier to have high ideals than it is to live up to those ideals.

The sort of Dominant I would want would not only hold herself to a high standard, but would expect me to behave in ways that made her look good. And I would want to do so. As I’ve been on this journey I’ve been asking myself how I would behave in certain situations if I knew my actions would reflect poorly on my Dominant. I don’t know why it’s more important to me to make someone else look better than myself, but it is.

Thoughts for the Week 01

Even the most tiresome and tedious of tasks can become pleasurable to perform over time. Initially, focus on the pleasure your Owner will gain from the finished product. Next, focus on the pleasure you give through your willing compliance and continued dedication to service. Finally, take pleasure from what you have learned, your accomplishments, and your added valued as a slave.

This is extremely useful for when I’m looking for any reason not to do something and then trying to talk myself into doing it anything. Generally, I think of it in terms of, ‘I don’t want to disappoint my Dominant’ and ‘I’ll feel badly if she’s unhappy with me,’ but these are three excellent points to keep in mind and I’m going to transcribe them into my assignment notebook as motivation to get on with my assignments.

Thoughts for the Week 02

In ‘vanilla’ society, people are often judged by the company they keep—and this is even more prevalent in the Master/slave community. Your actions are a direct reflection on your Owner, the quality of training you have received, and the standards of behavior that have been set for you. It is up to you whether you are an asset or a liability to your owner.

I absolutely agree with this and would strive to always be the person my Owner knew I could be whether we were together or apart. I view Dominants and submissives as being two sides of the same coin so I would want to reflect the sorts of behaviour—calm, rational, intelligent—that I would appreciate in my Dominant. I’ve always been attracted to (and felt submissive towards) women I wanted to be like. And I would want a D-type who could help me be more like her, if only by modelling honourable behaviour. By constantly being around someone who was the sort of person I wanted to be and who wanted to guide me, I couldn’t help but want to please her by making her look good by being a better person and by serving her.

Writing Assignment

A Song in Your Heart. Name one song that you would sing to your Owner that would describe your relationship and explain why you have chosen that song. (If you are not in a relationship, what song describes how you would like to feel about your Owner.)

The first songs that came to mind were dark—’Venus in Furs’ and that sort of thing, but that wouldn’t be the sort of D-type I’d want. I’d want the sort of person I could sing Natalie Merchants’ ‘Kind and Generous’ too. The lyrics are about a person who is infinitely giving and patient and kind. Very much in line with a nurturing Dominant. And the person singing recognises what that person gives them and is grateful. That’s how I would feel about the sort of person I chose to serve.

These are the lyrics (written by Natalie Merchant):

You’ve been so kind and generous
I don’t know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I’m in debt to you
For your selflessness, my admiration
For everything you’ve done

You know I’m bound…
I’m bound to thank you for it

You’ve been so kind and generous
I don’t know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I’m in debt to you
And I never could have come this far without you
For everything you’ve done

You know I’m bound…
I’m bound to thank you for it

I want to thank you
For so many gifts
You gave with love and tenderness
I want to thank you

I want to thank you
For your generosity
The love and the honesty
That you gave me

I want to thank you
Show my gratitude
My love and my respect for you
I want to thank you

I want to…
Thank you…

Monthly Practical
The practical project for the third month was to do with planning a complex trip. Due to a death in the family and multiple work deadlines I haven’t been able to do the project, though I will still be completing it.

Meditations for submissives 002

Like the first month, this month’s Meditations for submissives also comes from the second book of Meditations and it’s my second favourite piece. (After this one they sort of shake out evenly so I promise the next one won’t be from book two.)

As the previous month, this could be used as a journal prompt or a morning/daily meditation.

The Stanisforth translation original in full:

Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness — all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, which is my brother (not in the physical self sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man’s two hands, feet, or eyelids, or like the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law — and what is irritation or aversion but obstruction?

It’s good to know everyone has to deal with morons. Even emperors of Rome.

This is another good one to start your day with. You’re basically saying:

Okay, self. Today we’re going to have to deal with some idiots. Accept that right off. If we don’t then it’s a plus.
But. Those idiots most likely aren’t trying to be annoying. They just don’t know any better. And even if they are trying, you do know better, so don’t stoop to their level. You know being a good person is excellent and being a jerkface is asshatted behaviour. And after all, we’re all human and have our own difficulties. Another fallible human I give no shits about can’t really hurt me without my permission (sup, Eleanor Roosevelt!)
We’re all together on this wacky ride called Planet Earth so it’s easier to help each other out than be all up in one another’s way.

This one has kept me out of Facebook arguments before. It’s useful.

When I memorised it I only did this bit, as it gets to the heart of the matter:

Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness — all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself…

‘The nature of the culprit himself’ could be anything from someone who enjoys stirring up drama, to someone who doesn’t fully understand the situation, to a miserable person who enjoys making others miserable.

Unlike last month, there isn’t much to change about this one in order to make it more lifestyle-friendly. It’s useful in an all-round sort-of way for D-types and s-types.

Haters gonna hate by their very nature. Don’t let them bring you down–you’re better than that. –Marcus Aurelius (paraphrased by Paige La Marchand)

Where I am Led Month 02

Similar to last month, these are the most thought-provoking (for me) posts from the previous month’s prompts from Where I am Led: A Service Exploration Workbook.

This month had four weeks’ worth of prompts, which is four guideposts and writing assignments each and eight weekly thoughts to choose from. I couldn’t narrow it down to just two Thoughts for the Week and wound up choosing three.

Weekly Guidepost

Surrender. True surrender is a victory, not a defeat. When you can embrace the unknown and find strength in your vulnerability, then you will know real freedom.

The idea of being so comfortable with my Dominant—and so able to trust her—that I could surrender myself physically, emotionally, mentally, etc, is freeing. And empowering. There’s power in both sides of the equation, I think—caring for someone and protecting them and allowing yourself to be cared for and protected and completely surrendering yourself to another person’s will. It must be remarkably freeing to get to the point where you know that, no matter what happens, your D-type will guide you in the direction that’s the best for you as a person and for the two of you as a couple. To not have to second-guess or worry and to trust that as long as you take care of your Dominant, she’ll take care of you.

Thoughts for the Week 01

A slave should not seek to be punished. However, when mistakes are made, a slave should seek to earn the privilege of being punished and forgiven. This privilege is earned by consenting to the punishment deemed appropriate by the Owner, demonstrating genuine remorse for the shortcoming and making a sincere effort not to repeat the mistake in the future.

As I would choose a Dominant I respected completely, her disappointment would be devastating to me. I would rather be punished in whatever way I had agreed to in our contract and whatever way she deemed appropriate at that time in order to earn her forgiveness and prove I was genuinely sorry. Knowing I could be punished would also keep me in line, I think. Knowing my Dominant knew I was capable of so much that it was possible to let her down to the point she would need to punish me to bring me back in line and not wanting to do that (also knowing she had that level of confidence in me) would make me want to live up to her ideals.

Thoughts for the Week 02

As you explore new areas of physical submission, don’t overlook the emotional and spiritual aspects. These areas can provide you with as much fulfillment and satisfaction as you gain from physical acts of submission. As you grow and learn, you will find these areas will become more integrated and very often indistinguishable from each other.

I’ve never understood what ‘spiritual’ aspects are, but emotional submission comes easily for me. And the integration of physical and emotional submission has also been quite natural, as well. I concur whole-heartedly that emotional submission is fulfilling. That was first for me and the easiest—the most natural. Submitting emotionally answers something within me that’s difficult to put into words. The physical part is secondary, and more difficult for me, so it’s interesting that this prompt is worded in a way to suggest that’s what people focus on. I suppose kink is often more focused on the physical rather than the mental. That’s probably worth a blog post.

Thoughts for the Week 03

A valuable talent for a slave to have is the ability to anticipate and fulfill an Owner’s needs, wants, and desires. This ‘talent’ is actually a learned skill that is acquired by remaining focused on your Owner and observant of even the slightest facial expression. Watching your Owner interact with others can be especially enlightening. What traits does your Owner find pleasing in others? What topics of conversation fascinate your Owner? Are these things you can incorporate into your service?

Anticipatory service is something I find both intriguing and baffling. I’m never been able to read people well—it’s why I enjoy being told what to do and why I like routine because then I know what is expected of me. I’m often amazed by the average person being able to just know how another person is feeling so the idea of knowing my Dominant so well as to anticipate her needs is beautiful to me. I would like to be able to do that. I think perhaps it would have to begin by her giving me some sort of non-verbal cue. When she wanted tea she’d do some subtle movement and I’d know—something of that nature.

In terms of watching my Dominant interacting with another person in order to be more pleasing to her—that’s something I hadn’t considered before. I’m not sure I would consider simply being more like the things she likes would be part of service as it would just be part of a normal relationship. A willingness to learn about things my Dominant found interesting would seem to show I cared, to my mind, though I suppose it could also be a part of service, as well.

Writing Assignment

Characteristics Essential for Ownership. What qualities or character traits does an Owner need to have in order to gain your consent to serve? Name at least three or these qualities and explain why you feel they are important.

1. Intelligence. I couldn’t serve a person I didn’t respect and I couldn’t respect an unintelligent person.
2. Controlled. I respect a person who never loses their calm—who responds to difficult situations with a level-head.
3. Kind. I respect a person who is kind. Someone who tries to find the best in others but also doesn’t suffer fools.
4. Able to be vulnerable. I respect a person who is capable of showing their humanity. I couldn’t be with someone who seemed perfect or felt to need to pretend to be invulnerable.
5. Funny. A sense of humour is a must. Life is ridiculous sometimes and it’s important to be able to laugh.

Monthly Practical
The practical project for this month concerned leather care, which I wrote a separate post about. I’ve also posted some links to useful sites in the Service section of the Resources section of the site.

Meditations for submissives 001

Marcus Aurelius was the Emperor of Rome (twice) way back during the early triple digits of the common era (before the year 200). He was a Stoic and wrote a collection of thoughts that were originally titled ‘To Myself’ and are now called Meditations. Some of these would be very useful to submissives.

The first Sunday of each month I shall be posting quotes from the book that s-types may find helpful. They could be used as writing prompts or ways to centre yourself in the morning, evening or when you need a break.

I’m using the Penguin Great Ideas edition, which I highly recommend. I’ve looked at other translations and Maxwell Stanisforth’s is the most accessible and poetic. The Penguin edition is only around 13USD and 5GBP.

Marcus Aurelius was Roman but wrote in Greek because they were more...cultured. (credit)

Marcus Aurelius was Roman but wrote in Greek because they were more…cultured. And limber.

I’m going to start the series off with one of my favourite quotes. It was the first one I memorized. This is from Book Two, number five.

The original (Stanisforth’s) version:

Hour by hour resolve firmly, like a Roman and a man, to do what comes to hand with correct and natural dignity, and with humanity, independence and justice. Allow your mind freedom from all other considerations. This you can do if you will approach each action as though it were your last, dismissing the wayward thought, the emotional recoil from the commands of reason, the desire to create an impression, the admiration of self, the discontent with your lot. See how little a man needs to master for his days to flow on in quietness and piety; he has but to observe these few counsels, and the gods will ask nothing more.

Overall, it’s apt for submissives–particularly service-oriented subs who may have to get on with chores when they aren’t feeling much like it. It advocates for humility and focus and gratitude for what you have rather than what you don’t.

The advice to go about each task as though it were to be the final thing you’d do is a good one. ‘If this was the last thing I did for my Dominant would they view it with pride?’ (The Stoics believed the only moment any person had was the one occurring just then so this line makes sense within that context. You should live your life so you’d be at peace with dying at any moment, basically, but that’s for another day.)

The quote could be adapted for subs (or any s-types) for a morning meditation thusly:

Hour by hour I resolve firmly, as a submissive and a woman (girl/boy/etc), to do what comes to hand with correct and natural dignity, and with humanity, obedience and justice. I shall allow my mind freedom from all other thoughts. This I will do by approaching each action as though it was my last, dismissing the wayward thought, the admiration of self, the discontent with my lot. I see how little I need to master for my day to flow on in quietness and peace. I need but observe these few counsels and my [D-type] will ask nothing more.

This is just a suggestion and it could be altered in other ways, but the general idea of the quote is what got my attention.