Fixing an Anal Fissure with Octopuppy

Now that I’ve settled in England and the blog will be returning to regularly scheduled posts it seemed like kicking things off with a piece about healing anal fissures was the best way to get back into things.

Or with a ridiculous run-on sentence. Either. Both. Don’t say I never got you anything.

Really, it’s great to be back–there will be a few changes in the posting schedule as I return to the swing of things–but as I was looking for a post for this week…well.

This was the first one that crossed my path.

It’s an important topic that applies to kinky and non-kinky people (you can get fissures from pooping too hard) and the author–one Octopuppy–writes about it from a place of knowledge and humour.

If you’re on Fet, here is the original post.

How to Fix an Anal Fissure

Hi Fetlife,

As an anal sex aficionado, both on the giving and receiving end, I’ve personally dealt with (and helped others deal with) the occasional anal fissure. I recently wrote all of this to a buddy who Fetmailed me asking why her ass felt like it had “shards of glass” in it the day after getting up to some anal shenanigans, and I thought it would be good advice to post publicly in case anyone else runs into this very common side effect of anal play. Remember that anal fissures are also avoidable, and I tell you how to avoid them at the end.

Disclaimer: I am absolutely NOT a doctor (just a pervert).
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I’m gonna write this the way I talk in my Anal 101 and Anal 202 classes, which means it’s gonna be hella crass but will probably make you laugh. Also, I’m gonna talk really bluntly about some body functions and give you direct instructions about what to do, so be prepared for this to get embarrassing.

What the fuck is an anal fissure?!

Anal fissures are small cuts or tears on the anus – think of a paper cut on your asshole (ow). These may be really hard to see for yourself unless you’re really bendy and have a mirror and a flashlight, so if you want to get a good look at it, lay facedown on the bed and spread your butt cheeks with your hands, relaxing as much as possible so the majority of your sphincter is showing (as opposed to tensing where the sphincter is smaller and more compact) and have your partner take a couple pictures with a hi res camera. It’s a couples bonding act, I tellya. Oh, and try not to laugh, it tenses the sphincter 🙂

How do these weirdo butt-cuts even happen?!

You can give yourself a fissure just by pooping, either with diarrhea where the sphincter gets puffy and irritated, or with hard/large poops where you are literally “tearing yourself a new one.” Often the best way to avoid either of those outcomes is to eat a fuck ton of fiber (or just go grandma-style and Metamucil it up).

Fissures also often happen when you want your body to do a thing (allow a penis or toy inside you) and your body is tense and freaking out (as is often the case when you or your partner are new to anal shenanigans). You often don’t feel the tearing in the moment because you are aroused, but it shows up later and OW.

Any trip to the bathroom can feel like an adventure because if pee gets back there, it burns like fuck. If you have to poop, you grit your teeth and hope for the best because if it’s soft it will burn and itch and if it’s hard it will feel like pooping broken glass and will tear the fissure open again. Don’t be surprised if you see a little bright red blood when you wipe. NOT A FUN TIME.

Oh god, how do I make it go away?!

  • 1.) Start eating that fiber, like now, today, immediately. Fiber pills or supplements are cheap and an easy way to start if you don’t want to go buy a dozen apples. This will cause your poops to be solid (no diarrhea to further irritate the cuts) but not hard or too large (ow). It’s still going to suck to poop, but it won’t suck as bad as it would if you had diarrhea or hard poops. Also, increase your water intake (thanks to Covatar for the tip!)
  • 2.) Get a box of baby wipes and a bottle of witch hazel (Dickinson’s is a good brand). Take the baby wipes out of the box and dump out any fluid in the baby wipe box. Then squeeze the baby wipes (which should all be stuck together in one big block) between a couple of flat objects over the sink to get rid of most of the fluid in them. Put the block of baby wipes back in the box and soak them in witch hazel. You have just created your own Tucks pads. After you poop (or if you get pee in the fissure), gently but thoroughly clean your sphincter with these. They should burn, but only a little tiny bit.

(You can just buy Tucks, but they are itty-bitty 3″ diameter paper circles so you will go through them very quickly; alternatively, you can just squirt some witch hazel on a clump of toilet paper, but anyone who’s ever tried to take fingernail polish off with TP knows this doesn’t work that well either. Trust me on the baby wipes.)

  • 3.) Get some hydrocortisone, 1% or 2% if you can find it, no fancy shit like cooling effect or anything, just plain hydrocortisone. After cleaning with the witch hazel baby wipes, pat yourself dry with some TP and then slather the cut(s) in hydrocortisone. You may need to get some of those “light days” pantyliners so you don’t leave funny hydrocortisone skid marks in your underwear. You can also alternate this with zinc oxide paste (thanks to RoughStrife for the tip!). Also, “sitz” baths (i.e. a bath in which one sits) can help – just run a few inches of hot water in your tub, plug the drain, add some Epsom Salts, and let your angry butthole relax for a bit (thanks to Emi_Cakes and LadyMonterey for the tip!)
  • 4.) Repeat until the fissure starts to heal (you will notice it healing because it doesn’t sting like hell if you get pee in the vicinity). Once the fissure starts to heal, you can switch from hydrocortisone cream to Super Salve (the basic one, NOT the arnica muscle rub one).
  • 5.) If the fissure doesn’t heal, if you are still experiencing hard poops/diarrhea while taking the fiber, or if you are still getting blood when you wipe after a week of doing the above, go see a gynecologist or doctor (you don’t have to tell them how you got the fissure, people get them all the time by just pooping).

It will likely not be a big deal, just a “stubborn” fissure that needs a little more time. I had a stubborn one recently and my gyno gave me 2% fluid lidocaine (usually used orally but hey it works just fine on the butt too apparently) which helped a lot with the pain while it healed up (I put it on about 15 mins prior to using the bathroom.) But definitely go see the gyno or a doc if it sticks around for more than a week because it might be something more complicated.

How do I make sure this NEVER happens again?!

  • 1.) Hella fiber. All day every day, fiber it up. A healthy pooper is the best start for anal funtimes. This is usually as simple as eating a high-fiber breakfast cereal and an apple every day.
  • 2.) Clean yourself out first, about an hour before playtime. You can use a small enema syringe (link) and just fill it with warm water and lube the tip. Don’t try to hold it in, just put the water in and let it out. You may need a couple bulbs’ worth before you feel clean, but don’t overdo it. Give yourself at least an hour before playtime so no water is still hanging out waiting to make you have to jump up and run to the bathroom.
  • 3.) Gentle, slow foreplay. Gloved fingers, one at a time, small vibrators, soft and smooth toys (no texture). No partner pressure to “work up to” a penis or larger toy. I actually recommend people play with their butts + toys while they masturbate alone for a while so they learn what feels good without a partner there, because even if the partner is not pressuring you, you can feel pressured which causes your muscles to tense up and anal fissures to happen.
  • 4.) LOTS OF GOOD LUBE. And use the GOOD lube. I recommend thick, slick oil-based lubes such as Elbow Grease if you’re just going to be doing anal play instead of penetrative anal sex (remember, oil based lube wrecks condoms, and make sure none drips into the vagina!). If you are going for penetrative anal sex, use a thick water based lube such as System Jo H2O Anal (link) so you don’t have to worry about popping condoms (although still make sure no lube drips from the butt to the vagina).
  • 5.) Stop immediately and switch to something else that is fun if things start to sting or hurt. Sometimes this can simply feel like a gritty texture or grinding sensation. You have to be “in tune” with your butt for this, which takes time.

If you have questions, feel free to PM me, but remember that A) I am not a doctor and B) I am in grad school, so my free time is extremely limited and I may not be able to respond quickly.

Hope that helps y’all out there stickin’ stuff in your butts!

Bonus! This comic from Oh Joy Sex Toy is about doing the butt sex safely and features the anal sex safety snails!

The Evolution of Friendships and Polyamory

There was an excellent post on Medium recently about polyamory entitled The Bigger Picture of Polyamory by Jasna.

There were several things that spoke to me, one is that I agree that being poly is a personality trait and not necessarily a relationship choice.

She also put into words something I hadn’t been able to, but this is what I’m looking for–the reason polyamory appeals to me:

I love exploring the way friendships develop. When I meet someone new, I never quite know what form that friendship will take — in the beginning, the possibilities are limitless, and that’s simultaneously an exhilarating and remarkably comforting feeling. I love watching the shape of the friendship evolve and change and discover itself.

Sometimes, there are other layers to it. Sometimes it settles into a space that doesn’t quite have a good name. I have friends whom I cuddle quietly with. Friends whose hand I like holding. Friends whom I hold in my arms when they are sad, and whose forehead I kiss to comfort them. It is still a friendship, but if I were in a monogamous relationship with someone, this type of friendship would begin to blur the lines of what’s okay and isn’t okay.

And then there was this, which was the highlighted by many people, apparently:

Authenticity in life is one of the most important things to me. I want to relate to people in natural, genuine ways. I want to form friendships which feel comfortable for everyone involved. I have found that when I remove expectations for what a friendship should and shouldn’t be, it slowly begins to take its natural form, and becomes something even more beautiful.

I love the idea of allowing friendships to be whatever they are going to be. Rather than trying to prune them or force them into certain shapes due to current cultural mores. As long as everyone is supportive of one another, allowing relationships to take their own path teaches everyone new things about themselves.

BDSM Play Party Etiquette with Myintimia

Myintimia had an unpleasant experience recently at a play party (though this could have happened at a dungeon, as well) with someone unfamiliar with scene etiquette. She’s turned it into an excellent post that everyone new to the lifestyle could benefit from.

Dear Stranger at the “Play Party”

When you walk up to me in the middle of a scene and start asking questions, you might as well be opening my bedroom door while I’m completely naked, to sit down on my pillow to ask; “How does it feel?”

You’re expecting me to say delicious or sharp or like a warm hug. But how it feels is invasive. It’s (sort of) not your fault, no one told you the rules. But it’s also not my responsibility to school you on proper play etiquette when my gloved hands are full of blood and my poor girl is trying hard to maintain her head space while you ask if you can be next.

As a community I think we’ve forgotten how not to take each other for granted. Not everything is a demo. Not everyone is up for negotiating a scene with someone they just met. Not every toy is meant to be shared. I know you’re new and eager but don’t be greedy. It takes time to get here. It takes keeping a respectful distance from two people sharing not only bodily fluids but an intense emotional connection. It takes waiting until the scene is over and the parties have moved away from the space they shared (both physically and emotionally) before you move in to ask questions.

(Because I welcome your questions and your curiosity. Afterwards. I welcome thoughtful discourse either in person or via a well worded and correctly punctuated message sent. Afterwards.)

I know everyone else is drinking. I know everyone else is yelling fourteen octaves above normal speaking volume. I know it’s hard to hear yourself above the sex sounds at every angle. And I know that that sort of environment suggests or infers a certain type of behaviour may be acceptable. But it isn’t. This wasn’t labeled “drunken orgy” (because if it had been I would have been responsible enough not to attend – not my thing), it was labeled “play party”. A play party suggests and infers that a certain type of behaviour is expected – at very least – in the dedicated Dungeon space.

You are entirely responsible for your behaviour. Educate yourself.

You might tell me that I should just stay home if I don’t like it. Well, I have been staying home. For years now. If you want to learn from experienced, knowledgeable, and safe players who value the connection that BDSM brings to their relationships, then learn how to create a space that we feel welcome in. Because I would welcome you into that space, if it were available to me. And understand, too, that I want to share it with you so that you can see what’s possible – what this lifestyle has to offer aside from mere fun and debauchery. There are plenty of environments where fun and debauchery are welcome and encouraged. Context is everything.

I know you wouldn’t purposefully desecrate a sacred space. A Dungeon space is a sanctuary. The one place the bare and bloody bones of what connects me and mine can be expressed. Understand that that is important to me.

Perpetuating Stigmas with Sub-Kittie

This week’s mentor post is about what goes through the mind of a person when they receive an STD diagnosis (in this case, herpes) from panic to acceptance and a call to remember that people with STIs are still people. A diagnosis doesn’t define a person.

“You have herpes.”

Those were the last words I really remember the doctor saying. She continued talking, but I was no longer there listening. You know the sound the teachers make in those Charlie Brown cartoons? That’s what I heard in the background while I was trapped inside my head, those words reverberating within – “You have herpes”. Type 1 genital herpes to be precise.

I drove back to work in a trance, because obviously going back to work was a smart choice. I tried to pretend to work, but I couldn’t stop crying. My co-workers were concerned. My “work-hubby” kept asking me what was wrong, but I would look at him with tear filled eyes and shake my head. He sent me a text asking, “Are you pregnant?” and when I responded with “I wish….”, he thought I was dying. Really, he did; he never thought he would hear me wish for pregnancy.

Looking back at it now, it’s almost comical. Later that day, the “work-hubby” pulled me aside and demanded I tell him what was wrong. When I finally broke down and said those words aloud, he responded with “Jesus Katie, is that all?? You get that just tubing down the Apple River”.

And he was right. Well, I’m not sure about the Apple River part, but he was right that I was making this big deal over nothing and it wasn’t devastating news, just a complication. It just took me awhile to realize it. Have those three words changed my life? Of course they have. Has the change been drastic or did my world come to an end? Definitely not. And the change I’ve experienced has nothing to do with the medical side effects of having herpes. It’s like having a skin condition that’s basically non-existent and I wouldn’t even remember I have it most of the time, if not for the social stigma. The change has come in the way others perceive me and in effect, how that makes me perceive myself.

It really sucks that this basically insignificant detail becomes the highlight of who I am as a person when I tell some people. Suddenly, that’s all they can see about me; it somehow defines who I am. It makes me feel ashamed and gross. Like it’s this dirty part of myself that others shouldn’t have to be exposed to, even if the exposure is just my words. I’m treated like some dangerous, infectious predator, but they don’t even question the person they are making out with (or receiving oral sex from) who has a high percentage chance of having oral herpes (I’m sorry, I forgot; they’re just cold sores when they are on your face – how dare I use that dirty word herpes), the exact same thing that’s on my junk. And please don’t take that as me bashing on anyone who has oral herpes. I have several amazing friends who get cold sores and I would be first in line if they were offering up make out sessions . I get it; people like to say cold sores because there is no stigma attached to that. It’s only bad when you say the word herpes because that implies it’s on your genitals, which correlates to sex. As a culture, we don’t talk about sex, especially not “risky, dirty” sex.

At least I’m a known risk. I’ll tell you up front that I have herpes, or as I like to say, that I’ve gone viral (insert creepy smile and wink), though I don’t have near as many hits as one of those cat videos. If after that you’re still inclined to get down and dirty with me, we can discuss safer practices and what the real likelihood is that you’ll actually contract something from me – which is pretty low on the risk totem pole. That’s not me trying to downplay it, but it is the truth. Yes, you are taking a risk by being with me, but not anymore of a risk than getting with any of the other 50 people at the munch who may or may not know what infections they carry. Herpes is so widespread, that most people have it. About 20% of the population has genital herpes; anywhere from 50-95% of the population has oral herpes. And you know what? About 80% of the people in both statistics have absolutely no idea because they’ve never had symptoms or the symptoms were so mild, they didn’t know.

I’ll admit it – before contracting herpes, I was pretty STI stupid. I knew basics and I knew about the various infections out there. I had a vague awareness of what herpes was as a couple of good friends and play partners had it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there like that who don’t know enough about STIs. That’s why I’m so adamant about educating people now (if you haven’t been to the Newbie Munch 201 on STIs and Safer Sex, you really should check it out). I’ve done a lot of research and try to share the knowledge I’ve acquired with anyone who’s willing to listen and have an open mind. Is there still some scary stuff out there? Yea, but it’s not nearly as scary as it gets hyped up to be.

I don’t want to feel shameful anymore because of some innocuous disease. I don’t want to worry about what people will think of me when they find out. I don’t want to worry about my “secret” being exposed. I don’t want to stress over when the right time to tell someone is. I’m perpetuating the stigma by holding on to all that grief and hiding this aspect of myself. While it may not be my most endearing feature (because we all know it’s my innocent face) and it isn’t something I’m going to glorify, I’m also not going to be afraid of it anymore either. This is a part of me, but it’s not who I am. I’m more than just a disease.

Plus, I’ve got to look at the bright side of things. Like my doctor emailing me a week after my appointment to say, “Good news – you don’t have gonorrhea or chlamydia!” Thanks Doc, because that would have been truly devastating news. You know, to find out I actually had a treatable STI….

Some things you can do to help stop perpetuating the stigma:

  • Remember those with an STI are still people and treat them as such. You’re friends haven’t changed just because medically there’s something different about them.
  • Say that your test results came back negative, instead of saying clean. If you’re clean because you don’t have an STI, then that must make me dirty.
  • Don’t assume that you don’t have one just because you’ve never experienced symptoms or your test results came back negative (those results are only good up until the point you were tested and don’t take into account dormancy of infections or false negatives).
  • Don’t tell some douchebag that you hope they get an STI. That’s like saying the people who have contracted one deserved it. Besides, douchebags are worthy of a more creative punishment.
  • Don’t automatically assume that anyone who has an STI got it because they were sleeping with multiple people and/or practicing unsafe sex. You can take every precaution and still contract something, possibly with the first person you ever have sex with. Go ahead and call me a slut, I get off on it. But don’t call me a slut just because I’ve got the herp; that’s offensive.
  • Educate yourself – The STD Project, CDC – STDs, and American Health Association are some good places to start.

BDSM Play When Trauma is Involved with Dr Wilde

This week’s mentor post concerns some favorite topics of ethical kinksters: safety, negotiation, communication and knowing oneself and one’s play partner.

The author, a_wild_woman on Fet a.k.a. Dr Laura Wilde asked me to link to the original post on her personal website rather than repost, so you may read the full piece here: BDSM Play with a Partner Who Has a History of Trauma

The aim of the piece (taken from the beginning) is:

The purpose of this writing is to give you a few ideas to help your play partner if or when they go seriously off balance into their traumatic history.

There’s a great deal of useful information about what both of you can do before, during and after play to minimize the risk of triggering flashbacks or, if triggered, how to best handle the situation.

The writing is concise and articulate–I highly recommend giving the post a read.

How to Be a Better Male Submissive with ShadowN7

The most recent episode of the podcast was about Female Led Relationships (FLRs). The author of the three books reviewed, Nookie a.k.a. MsNN, was careful to instruct men not to treat the women they wanted to be in charge of their lives only as fantasy/fetish providers.

Then, this week, this post arrived on Fet and I had to asked permission to repost it. ShadowN7 graciously agreed. So here we are.

The post is about how men who claim to want to give up control turn Dominant women into fetish objects rather than allowing them to be people and the many ways that manifests.

Don’t be that guy.

A Primer on How Submissive Men Objectify and Dehumanize Dominant Women

(I told a friend recently that I could write a book about all the ways submissive men fuck up their attempts at bdsm by thinking they are being pro-women or feminists by wanting a dominant woman to hit and fuck them. Instead of writing a book, I’ll just leave this here.)

Fet dating got you down? All those dominant women in your groups, and none of them biting at your well worded, and completely clear ads? Fear not! Help is on the way!

Here are some of the most common failures you may be unaware of in your search for a dom:

1. You identify primarily as a submissive when you only have masochistic desires

In California kink circles, there are significant distinctions between bottom/masochist/submissive desires in our nomenclature:

• A bottom negotiates scenes with tops. The role primarily focuses on physical aspects of what is desired for a short period of time in a scene. Pain may or may not be a sensation involved in the scene.
• A masochist is a lot like a bottom, but will want to include what might be normally be considered painful physical or mental sensations caused by a sadist in their scenes.
• A submissive desires a power exchange with a dominant partner. The primary playing grounds for D/s is in the mind.

These desires or roles are not static (bottoms can be doms, submissives can be masochists, etc.), but generally identifying with any one of these roles gives your play partner a little definition and jumping off point as to what to expect from you in the role, and what you’ll expect as their play partner.

Now, identifying with more than one of these roles is fine, but do mind the distinctions; I can’t tell you how many times I hear guys say “I want a domme to hit me. Why can’t I find one to do that?” Using the nomenclature we just put together, can we see how wrong this sentence is, in terms of discussing desires with a partner?

Hint: D/s does not have to lay a damn finger on anyone to prove the dynamic is real.

So if you all you want is to get hit, what you’re likely looking for is a sadist. If you want to get hit & fucked, but can’t imagine what it’s like to really give a woman power over you–or why she would be interested in power after you were done pretending to let her have it–you probably need to step away from pursuing your D/s desires and think a lot about your preconceived notions of gender roles and power.

I suspect something that adds to this problem is that people often say submissive when they mean masochist, but that’s a collective problem we need to address in our communities. Being less casual about the nomenclature could help all of us find more of what we’re actually looking for in our bdsm relationships.

2. You confuse bdsm pornography with a D/s relationship

Pornography’s main function is to give you the erotic image–not to explain how things got to that point. So for example, what you don’t see in rope pictures is how much work the photographer put into scouting locations, choosing lighting, camera equipment, model positioning–or the rigger’s and model’s years of rope and physical training it took to create and capture that hot moment.

If you think getting into a D/s dynamic is as easy as telling a dominant woman she should hit you and fuck you (like you’ve seen in porn!), then…I don’t even know where to begin with how wrong this idea is. Go back to enjoying your porn: it was meant for easy, voyeuristic consumption. A relationship with a partner isn’t.

3. You make no effort besides creating a Fet profile and putting out an ad for a dom

FetLife is not a dating site; it’s a social networking site for kinky people (again, definitions will get in your way). The developers have said and reiterated this point very often.

If you get frustrated that women are not falling all over your dick pic or swooning over the sexy curves of the white question mark and black background on your non-existent profile picture–as an emotional sadist, I encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing, knowing some day you may just luck out and a porn star will stop in the middle of her satisfying, professional career of exhibitionism and fucking big-dicked porn star dudes JUST to take pity on you and fulfill every desire you’ve ever dreamed of.

Or none of that will happen and you’ll die alone. I think it’s best to try and do everything possible to live your life at the extremities of consequence, don’t you?

4. You demean pro-dommes and sex workers for providing the very services you desire

So here’s the reasoning I usually hear when Submissive Internet Guy shoots down the idea of paying a pro-domme:

Submissive Internet Guy: I want a woman to hit me and fuck me!

Reasonable FetLife Person: Okay, you should probably look into a pro-domme. They’ll do that for you.

SIG: Fuck that, I’m not spending my money on a pro-domme.

RFP: But you want to get hit and fucked. And you don’t want to make any effort to build a relationship with a woman. You can do that with a pro-domme.

SIG: No pro-domme! Aren’t women awful for not giving me what I want?

This point in itself demeans so many reasons why a woman might choose to be dominant: because she likes the power, because it turns her on, because she adores the dynamic she has with her partners, or because she can, and enjoys playing the game of capitalism well in the role, to name a few. When you say she doesn’t deserve to have the time and effort it takes to build emotional security and trust with her play partners, or she doesn’t deserve capital for her skills at providing a service, you are saying she does not deserve anything in her relationships–but you should get everything you want.

The good thing about this particular issue is that it weeds out douchebags who have no experience or enough good sense to know how to build paying or private relationships. Dominant women will read your comments, and will move on to find partners who make efforts to care about them. Pro-dommes don’t need to deal with SIGs who have such petty, male-dominated views about sex and capital. Everyone wins! Well, everyone important, that is.

5. Your view of gender roles is toxic, and dehumanizes your desired partner and relationship

Do you think only two genders exist, and women are nurturing and men are providers?

You are wrong. And chances are, you’ve likely been in relationships with terrible dynamics if you’re a bottom/masochist male, because your partner expected you to be something that you are not.

Socially stratified gender values placed on our superficial observations of differences are toxic to everyone. So try and remember how badly it feels to have people expect you to be sexually dominant, and then think of what it might be like to be a woman who is expected to be sexually and socially submissive–when she is, in fact, neither of those things, and has absolutely no desire to ever be any of those things. But she lives in a world that keeps telling her she cannot have, nor ever expect to be respected for those parts of her identity.

The world is shit to a lot of people (dominant women included) who will not sit down, shut up, and do as they’re told or face the consequences. So a good way to not reinforce that demeaning behavior is to treat a person as a person before treating them as a gender or a fetish. Even if you think they want the same fetishes you want, that still does not give you the right to treat them as a fetish before a person. Their agency matters in any relationship they choose to pursue.

(And that doesn’t even begin to start the conversation on why not all doms are into every fucking stereotypical fetish you can imagine. But that’s for another post.)

6. You are afraid of failed efforts, and failed relationships

Finding compatible relationships takes a lot of effort–and in my opinion, it should. If you want to be with someone who you like, and who treats you well, and who you treat well, and you both have really fun sex and bdsm stuff together–that’s a LOT to ask of someone(s). It should be a long vetting process, and people should be picky, and not settle for things that make them incredibly unhappy. And we should be grateful and feel lucky if we live in places where we’re allowed to pursue our desires with willing partners.

So if you do nothing to risk yourself, you should expect no reward.

If you get angry at women for making no effort to supercede your lack of effort, again, you need to look at the toxic ways you expect women to compensate for your shortcomings (see emotional labor). If the only reward of saving Submissive Internet Guy is preventing him from being a shit about not getting other women to hit him and fuck him–it’s better for us to start laughing now, and save ourselves the trouble of making an effort, isn’t it?

7. You learn nothing from your mistakes, or from adverse reactions to your poor behavior

Ignore this and the rest of what you’ve just read. You will anyway.


Updates: Hi everyone! Many thanks for reading this and making it a K&P writing. A few things of note:

  • I have had many really fantastic people explain in the comments my shortcomings in addressing the work of pro-dommes. For instance sex work is illegal in most U.S. states, and many pro-dommes are aware of this. As a reader, you should be too.
  • Please feel free to link this post in your Fet groups or on your profile with a credit to me as the writer. If you want to share the post outside of FetLife, please message me to talk about that.
  • I’m really happy that this writing has caused so much chatter. I genuinely hope these conversations lead to more writings and other conversations about becoming more empathetic people in our play and our relationships.

Why You Should Ease Into Kink with Aussie-Primal

Imagine if the sweetest thing you’d tasted until you were eighteen were apples.

You knew you liked that flavor, but thought it only came in that relatively small portion.

Then, suddenly, you are legally allowed into a sweets shop that also sells cakes and pastries.

There are amounts of sucrose on offer in forms you had no idea existed before.

Fabulous, wonderful arrays of sugar. In all colors, shapes, sizes and delivery methods.

You want to try it all. Today.

You’re an adult, so no one can stop you, right?

When it was apples and other fruits no one said, ‘Take it easy on that–you have to have a balanced diet or you’ll rot your teeth right out of your head.’

Or, ‘You can’t live on crap–you have to get out of the sweets shop and have other food.’ So you have no idea how to be safe. You just want to explore this new world.

Mostly by slamming your face straight into as many cakes as possible.

But there are people who live for those who’ve only just found the sweets shop. They love introducing new people to everything sugar-related and proclaiming themselves master of all that is delicious without necessarily taking into account that person’s individual dietary needs.

This week’s mentor post is by Aussie-Primal and he has some useful advice on how to avoid the people who are the equivalent of the wicked witch in Hansel and Gretel with the gingerbread house. Looks yummy, but she doesn’t intend to let you out until she’s good and ready.

Welcome to the world of kink. But beginners beware.

Welcome to the world of kink. I don’t like to give advice, but if I can give you any suggestions right now as a beginner, it’s simply stop, assess and take your time. Explore, watch, listen, absorb and learn. But do not commit. There is no rush. Take your time. I repeat. Do not commit. There will be plenty of time in the future, once you understand what you are, and what you seek, to commit. You will grow. You will evolve. Your kink will define. Trust me on this. It occurs to everyone. But for now simply take your time and explore this new world. This is your personal journey into kink. No one else’s.

“Always defend your right to kink at your own pace. You are taking your time. This is your journey. You are allowed to take your time.”

Just like in real life, you will find good and the bad amongst the kink community. The kink community as a whole is an amazing, great place. Full of people that are into fun, laughter, sharing experiences, sharing kink, sharing themselves, sharing love. But do not be fooled. Below the surface is a seething cesspool of opportunistic predators. Those predators lurk in the shadows and feed on the fresh and the new. The naive and the innocent. They also feed on the confused, the washed up, and those that have almost given up. They understand how sub frenzy affects both new, as well as experienced subs, and have honed their skills over time to capitalise on this. Opportunistic oxygen thieves.

Then you have the wannabe kinksters who have watched 50 Shades of Fuckthismoviesucks, and believe they are rock solid Dom’s. They call themselves Doms and it is so. They will order you to kneel at their feet, and you will do as you are told …. Why? Because they told you, of course. They have given themselves the title of Dom, so they ARE Dom…. Blergh. We see them come and go all the time. They aren’t Dominants. More like fucking Dumbinants.

But we also have the Snatchers. They will butter you up with smooth messages, telling you what you want to hear, priming and grooming you. They will enamour you with wordporn. Carefully constructed messages, meant to get into the mind of the vulnerable. But I can almost guarantee you, most of them have stolen those smooth words from someone’s post somewhere. Because they aren’t creative enough to put the words together themselves. Then all of a sudden it’s “Show me a thigh, or a side boob, or a wonderful picture of your dreamy snatch” ….. Snatchers. They just want a picture of your pussy and tits. To them that is kink…. See, abuse, flog the log, move on. That is their game.

You are new. We see you there, all naive and new, see you all excited. So very excited. Everything is fresh, vibrant, exciting. You are also confused as well. So very confused. But aroused. Oh my lord your little lady down below is just buzzing. You are seeing all this debauchery, all this nasty shit, and your little bean is vibrating faster than a modified Hitachi Wand with a 12hp motor. You dare not touch yourself for fear of gushing like a burst fire hydrant. What in the world does all this mean? What is a Top? And I just saw something about a sadomawha? And why do people have pets here? And my Lordy. Owned and Collared? A brat? And what the fuck is a S.A.M.? Like what the fuck? So confused…. And even though it doesn’t make sense, even though it’s so overwhelming, you feel this need, this intrinsic desire, to know more. It’s more than a desire. You feel something inside you has unlocked. This void waiting to be filled. Yes. Welcome to the wonderful world of kink. It did the same to all of us.

It’s so easy to list yourself as a sub and state you are advertising for a Dom, but before you do, please find out more about yourself, what type of sub you are, what your interests are. Once you have worked yourself out, and if you do indeed end up being s sub, then you will know what type of Dom you are looking for.

You don’t need to choose a title or a role. It doesn’t make a difference to your journey at this, or any stage. If you feel the urgent need to choose a title, then choose evolving, or exploring. And please, whatever you do, do not add information to your profile such as “new here, looking for help” or something similar. That’s like a big flashing neon sign for the predators. They will be crowding around the shadows and affixing their gentleman masks, slicking back their hair, clearing their throats, and switching to Mr Nice guy mode just prior to messaging you and offering to guide you.

Many “would be” Doms simply do things for their own personal sexual gratification and benefit, at the cost of a sub’s dignity, and often the longevity of her kink future. That’s not what being a Dom is about. A Doms role is to unlock your inner kink, to get to know you, understand you, learn about you, and guide you through the maze of kink. To empower you as both a woman and a sub. If you get the wrong Dom, or an inexperienced one, then you can be left with a bad taste in your mouth, left feeling used and abused, distrustful, or worst case, physically and emotionally hurt and scarred for life.

Learn to say no. Make sure you set soft and hard limits to protect yourself BEFORE each contact. Not just limits for play sessions. Set limits on contact. Make them firm limits, and non negotiable ones. No liars. No immoral fucktards. Married, but your wife doesn’t know? No thank you. No moral compass? Fuck off and don’t talk to me again. Set your limits. Firmly. Be astute. Be firm. Be strong.

“Whilst you submit your body, your mind, your heart and your very soul to your chosen Sir, you should never submit your voice of reason, nor your humanity….”

If you feel drawn to be a sub, to submit yourself to the will of another, then so be it. But remember, if you choose to kneel at the feet of your Dom, it should be done so at your choice. You choose to willingly give the gift of submission to your Dom. Not because the Dom demands or forces it from you, or treats you in a subservient manner. Give your submission willingly, when YOU are sure and ready. Your submission is an exceptionally important and rare gift. One of the most important gifts you will ever give to another. Treat it like the rare gift it is. Give it to someone that you trust. But never let go of your self respect. Your Dom will take your submission from you, once you give it to him, don’t get me wrong. He will take it and own that shit. That’s what real Dom’s do. But you get to choose the Dom you wish to submit to. Remember, if their is no submission, the only thing a Dom controls is his own fantasy.

Yes correct. You, the sub, actually control the Dom. YOU set your soft and hard limits. YOU choose to submit to Him or Her, or to simply walk away. YOU choose to allow the Dom to exert ownership over you. Without your submission, the only thing a Dom ever dominates, is his fantasies, and the cock in his hand.

Don’t rush headlong into any dynamics or relationships. When you are new, everything overwhelms you. And excites you. You may feel like a certain type of role is what you are suited for, but take a deep breath and give it time. You may be one of the chosen few that knows from birth what you want, what you are. But like most of us, when it’s new, you will have no idea. You will gravitate towards the role that piqued your interest enough to make you delve into kink in the first place. That is natural. But put those training wheels on, proudly wear and display the learners plate (but not on your profile), and absorb everything around you like a sponge. If someone attracts you, don’t fall into that D/s relationship, dynamic or role straight away. Be honest with them and yourself. Say to them – “I love the idea, I’m flattered that you ask or offer or demand. But I would like to get to know you better”.

And for fucks sake, protect your identity. Don’t just give your name, email, phone number, address, work place or any other identifying details out until you at least know someone, and have met them. Or do you want to be stalked on Facebook or have threatening texts sent to your phone, or have photos sent to your family in attempted blackmail or extortion. Protect yourself. Your personally safety and protection of your identity should be your number one concern. Be smart. Please. We beg of you to remain safe and smart, and not become a statistic.

Whether you are male or female and irrelevant if you identify as a Top or a bottom, or are simply unsure what you identify as, go to munches, visit events, ask questions, join groups, read, learn and play. Surround yourself with people that are positive to your growth. Get yourself some mentors who can walk you through the game. Make lots of friends. Friends that offer advice, but have no hidden agendas.

Take your time. Do not rush. It is your journey. No one else’s.

“Sometimes people around you won’t understand your kink or your journey. They don’t need to. The journey is not for them.”

As always, I hope you are enjoying your kink journey.

AP

This is the original writing on Fet.

If you enjoyed this writing, you can view Aussie-Primal’s other writings (including articles and erotica) here.

If you would like to repost this piece, please link back to the original author.

Dominance is Not About Being an Ass with undressedl

This week’s mentor post focuses on something we instinctively know but may not put into words well. That dominance isn’t about shouting or calling attention to how incredible you are.

If you have to tell others that you are [nice/trustworthy/dominant] it means you aren’t confident in your ability to demonstrate those qualities with your actions. You’re probably trying to convince yourself of whatever you’re saying about yourself.

The original post is here.

Did you know you don’t have to be an asshole to be dominant?

I work with this guy named Bob (if you’re thinking “this isn’t going anywhere good”, you’re damn right). Bob is a newer manager who I have strong feelings on. Let’s get this out of the way: you fucking hate this guy. I don’t even need to know you to know that. If we wanted to create world peace by first all coming together on one issue, it would be hating this guy.

There are so many reasons why he’s worth being the most hated person in existence. But nonetheless, someone decided to sell him a suit and allow him a place to make decisions and the world’s only been a worse place for it.

One day, I made a decision Bob didn’t understand. So instead of coming into my office to ask about it like some semblance of a normal person, he called a meeting in the conference room. Just for me and him to sit at a big table (Bob LOVES being at the big table). I walked in, he opened his notepad and clicked his pen like a proper asshole and started talking and taking notes. Probably on himself. At some point I stopped him to clarify his confusion, and he started yelling not to interrupt him. This meeting didn’t last long. He continued, and all but stood up, unzipped his pants, laid his dick out on the table and said, “LOOK AT IT. LOOK AT HOW BIG IT IS”. I responded with the professional equivalent of, “motherfucker, we’re lateral in position and I have no obligation to entertain this” and left.

This is what we call shitty leadership. And I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t detest a shitty leader.

The thing about Bob is, there are a lot of Bobs in this world. The guy with the raised pickup and shitty exhaust driving around in northern New Jersey like he’s ever put anything in the back other than his friend’s mattress when he helped him move…is Bob. Your Facebook friend who flexes in mirrors for selfies and posts their crossfit reps/weights…is Bob. And a lot of the dom(mes) on fetlife… are also definitely, definitely Bob.

We don’t have a lot of models for dominance that are kinky, and we have a lot of shitty ones. So it’s no surprise that some people on here feel the need to call everyone they talk to into a conference room to have a casual conversation or have a fit if their projected power is challenged. It’s insecure or misguided leadership. Here’s the thing: a few people might be impressed, some might tolerate it because they really want to bottom, and the rest of the world thinks you’re an asshole.

Be cool. Just be yourself. People recognize powerful people.

A short list of things you can do as a dominant: cry. Have feelings. Want to please your partner. Bottom. Have a sense of humor. Have a sense of humor about yourself. Admit you don’t know a skill. Admit you’re new and learning. Be polite. Be warm. Adore your submissive(s) and love them fiercely. Apologize. Ask for help. Need the support of others. Listen. Not fucking feel like being dominant sometimes. Not have to always project dominance to everyone always. Not ask people who aren’t your submissive to call you by a title (highly recommended).

I think the most dominant thing I’ve ever done to date has been to do whatever I want and not give a shit about upholding some projection of dominance. That’s dominant because it’s authentic and willful (and honestly, completely self-serving).

Whatever your style is, don’t fucking make your model of dominance Bob. We all know when you’re not swinging a whip or have your dick in someone, you’re a multifaceted person. You don’t need to have a fit over yourself to convince everyone you’re the bossiest boss.

*note- Pros, I get why you have to uphold a certain image and create personal boundaries. I’m so not knocking the hustle.

Service is the Drug with Mollena Williams

In this week’s mentor post Mollena Williams explains the appeal of service and the ways in which it can heal and provide an outlet for otherwise potentially negative impulses.

One of the most ephemeral emotional states is that of satisfaction. The sensation of pleasure. By its very nature fleeting, satiation – emotional satisfaction – is transitory. Emotions do not last. Persistence of vision, that illusory sensation of individual moments weaving together to form a coherent image – is not dissimilar to emotional memory, which can cling to us as we move in time. Of course there are situations where, due to circumstance or chemistry, our emotional states remain on the extremes of experience or lie dormant and create the sensation of stasis.

For most humans our emotional state, while variable, enables us to experience a wide range of feelings and yet retain perspective that reminds us that the extremes are not permanent and time will move us through them.

One of the main motivations for my alcoholism was a desire to control my emotional states, which frequently floundered beyond my control. If I was a little high on alcohol, my social anxiety became manageable, that worry about my finances gnawed less intensely on my nerves, and life seemed less of a meaningless grind. Of course, there is only so long one can short-circuit the organic response to the vagaries of life and eventually you will find yourself dependant – and possibly even addicted – to an artificial emotional modification that has rather unpleasant side-effects. Including death. SO… you can choose that continued oblivion or you can serenity prayer yourself the fuck out of that death spiral and accept the things you can’t change, have the guts to fuck up the shit you can, and have the goddamn smarts to be able to discern the fucking difference.

No, that’s not the original serenity prayer but fuck it. I gotta be me.

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Being involved in BDSM and kink gives me an amazing opportunity. That is to moderate and control the amount of pain and pleasure I experience. I have no control over the shit the world throws at me but I can decide to submit to a spanking and enjoy that for the duration of the encounter. When I submit to another human being I have a unique opportunity to engage in one of the most sacred and profound tasks in which we may engage as humans, and that is service.

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” ― Rabindranath Tagore

I love service. Even when it pains me, even when it drains me, even when it brains me. And that is because I am careful to serve those I love. I know some people in the BDSM community will conscientiously separate love from service tied to slavery. Believing that love and ownership only serve to blunt and confound one another. For me, I cannot have one without the other. They are as oxygen and hydrogen wedded to form water. As that bond sustains life, as do love and loyalty bond to nourish my service. My service is action and that action feeds and informs my love and life.

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” ― C.G. Jung

One of the things I know about my service to my owner and husband is that I can always take pride, pleasure and comfort in it. Always. Even on a shitty day when I go to sleep wishing I had done better, my heart of hearts knows I did the very best I could with what I had that day. I can feed myself on the satisfaction of that service.

I don’t need to medicate with alcohol. I know that the contentment I derive from a job well done is enough. It might be I have just shifted my addiction from drugs to dominance…from ethanol to erotic service. And I am pretty fucking OK with that.

Part of my kink is the eroticising of being submissive, to being owned. I am wired such that just the thought of being collared to my husband – my Spousemeister – fills me with pride and determination. I don’t have to take a shot of Jack Daniels to get through a rough patch. I don’t have to hide from myself anymore. I have modified my quirk to help keep me on track.

“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Is it pathological to be aroused and empowered by having an agreement to be the property of another human? It might well be! But I am too goddamn happy to give a fuck. I have, in fact, declared a fuckruptcy on caring about the judgement of others when it comes to whatever gets me through the night. The capacity to have control over my emotional state as leveraged by my sexuality is its own reward and I’m happy to self-medicate with my service and be drunk on the joy of consensual slavery.

The Saddest Thing About Dick Pics with Ferrett Steinmetz

Dick pics. Cock Shots. Digital photography and the means to send said digital photographs to anyone with an internet connection instantly means lots of women (and men, probably) have seen a LOT of unsolicited peen.

There have been discussions galore about why on Earth senders would choose to do this. Nina Hartley thinks it has to do with the fact that, to these men, their penises are nothing but wondrous things and so, surely, others will see them as wondrous things of happiness as well.

A sort of sharing the joy type of deal.

Then there’s the lazy exhibitionist theory–wherein the sendee gets everything they need out of the situation merely from sending a photo of his junk. He doesn’t expect a response–he just likes knowing someone has seen it against their will. If it’s made that person uncomfortable then all the better.

This week’s mentor post is from The Ferrett. Original post on Fetlife here. In it he brings up an entirely new view on the unsolicited peen pic.

[And I do mean unsolicited. If it’s requested and everyone’s onboard for some naughty time, then go for it.]

The Saddest Thing About Dick Pics

The dick pic is part of a balanced breakfast – or should be, anyway. Hey, you know, women show their breasts, men should be able to show their cocks. All’s a good turn-on.

The problem is, you have an entire swath of mankind who seem convinced their dick is the best part of them.

Seriously. These are some sad brainwashed motherfuckers. They’ve been brainwashed by society’s ridiculous emphasis on the penis that they have, literally, chosen to reduce themselves to a penis in the mistaken belief that a penis is what people want.

And who can blame ’em? When you look at the sad stew of sexual advice men get, it’s this toxic mix of ideas that you have to have a gigantic penis, and the penis has to always be hard, and women want the penis more than anything else, and you can tell whether you’re better than another guy by the penis.

These guys ingest this toxic crap until, literally, they come to believe that their penis is them.

They’re baring their soul to you, and their soul is a half-hard cock.

How pathetic is that?

And it’s not that women shouldn’t be annoyed to get Yet Another Dick Pic, but when you break it down that message is frequently a way of saying, “I believe that the only thing anyone could find desirable about me is this organ.” It’s a hideous reductiveness that carves away their charm, carves away their face, carves away their hobbies –

And they have carved it away themselves. These poor schmucks have so bought into this male-centric penis worship that literally encourages them to self-erase. The only way they believe they can get satisfying sex is to either make this cock bigger or harder or both – and in many cases, they literally don’t realize how common dicks are. They’re baffled because hey, I showed a dick, why aren’t you running to come get it like in the James Bond movies and pornos?

And look. I send cock picks out all the time. And 99% of the time, these pictures are welcomed because I have provided context of me as a human being – here’s who I am, here’s how I can turn you on, here’s a cock for you to think about.

I’m not against dick pics, I am against dick pics as the sole introduction to another human being.

The dick pics are annoying. But they’re also a syndrome of how poorly we educate dudes. Somewhere out there, there’s a message broadcasting the wave of You are your cock your cock is you, and the fact that anyone is buying into this – let alone millions of dudes – is fucking terrifying.

If you’re not on Fetlife, The Ferrett also has a blog where you can read his writing.

Being a Lioness with Rain DeGrey

This piece originally appeared on Fetlife, but when I asked permission to repost it, the author (Rain DeGrey) said the link to the writing on her regular blog would be more accessible to people not on Fet.

I love this piece. It’s about how women who own their sexuality–particularly the ones who get paid for it–aren’t supposed to have working brains or opinions.

It’s also introduced me to the phrase ‘bag of holes’, which I shall be using for the rest of my life.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rain DeGrey.

Hi there. You might have heard of me. You might not have. That part doesn’t really apply to my point here.

But if you HAVE heard of me, you probably have heard of me as some sort of Professional Naked Person, one of those girls on the internet with her tits and ass splayed out all over the place. You have probably heard of me as a bondage and fetish model. Maybe even one of those fetish models that likes to do the more “hardcore” stuff. If you have heard of me.

And there is a funny thing that happens when you become one of those people that plasters their naked body all over the internet…it surprises the shit out of people when you have opinions. It is as if folks think you sign a contract when you become a Professional Naked Person that says “I will keep my mouth shut and my holes open. With an exception clause for open mouths when it comes to blow jobs.”

Here is the thing: I never signed any such contract.

So I kept on being me. And the me that I am happens to be a lot more than a bag of holes. I had opinions. I pondered shit. I talked about things that were on my mind. I gave advice. I tried to help people, educate, inspire, motivate. I grant that it might not be typical behavior for most models. But I never felt defined as a person because I have done some modeling.

Being a bag of holes with lots of opinions didn’t sit well with everyone out there. Many people reached out to inform me of this fact. Especially since one of the topics I happen to talk about and cover a lot is bullying, harassment and sexism. Porn stars griping about misogyny tends to be a boner killer. Nobody wants to fap to that.

But like I said, I have never defined who I am as a person because I have done some modeling. I wasn’t going to be quiet because it might kill a stranger’s boner.

And then something amazing started happening. People started reaching out to me. People I did not know. People started telling me that my willingness to speak up inspired them to do the same. That talking about and discussing the “uncomfortable” things gave them the courage to do the same in their own lives. Women would tell me that because of my writing they stood up for themselves for the first time when they got hassled. That they realized that was ok to advocate for your rights. That speaking up for yourself doesn’t make you “fussy” but rather makes you strong.

These stories take my breath away. They humble me. They awe me. If I have helped just one person on this planet then my time while I was here was worthwhile. And you know what? I think I have succeeded in doing just that. And it feels amazing. It makes my heart melt.

Not bad for an opinionated bag of holes, huh?

I follow her on Twitter (@raindegrey) and recommend that you do too.

On Facebook she’s raindegrey and her website is Raindegrey.com

No-Limits Submission with Pepper Pots

This writing was the subject of some controversy on Fetlife, there was discussion about the use of the phrase ‘no-limits’ in place of consensual non-consent. Or whether it was even possible to ethically have a CNC relationship.

Janet W. Hardy would say it’s not possible, because a top would always be able to read the other person’s body language and tone.

The overall concept of what’s being described in this piece is similar to what I’ve heard people in Master/slave relationships talk about when describing how their relationships work, which is why I’m posting it.

The original writing is here.

On being a No-limits submissive

I, as my Sir’s submissive, have no right to say no in our relationship. This makes a lot of people very, very uncomfortable, and for good reason. What we do is definitely on the edgier side of things, and definitely not for everyone. But there are three very good reasons why I have chosen to have this type of dynamic.

Moral Compatibility

For some reason, people’s first reaction when I tell them I don’t have limits with Sir is to say, “but what if he made you do (something that violates fetlife’s TOU)??” I just….no. If I thought Sir was going to make me do something morally bankrupt, I wouldn’t be with him. We agree on issues such as not involving parties that are unable to consent. I know for a fact he has no interest in doing those things, or making me do them.

He knows the line between hurt and harm

He does a lot of things that I don’t like. Some I even hate. Some terrify me, and others I think I can’t handle. But never, ever, would he harm me. I know that as his property, he feels responsible to take good care of me, and has no reason to damage me irreparably. That just wouldn’t work out in his favor. So although the things he asks of me may push me, and they may seem impossible to me, I know that he may hurt me, but he will never harm me, and he will always put me back together again.

Good communication

This is key to making this work. Remember that hurt not harm thing? everyone has different things that would harm them. I trust Sir to know the difference between what I really, really don’t want to do, and what will cause me severe distress if I do it. He knows this because I have communicated these things at various times, and allowed him to make that judgement call.

Bonus: Trust

This is the key above all. If you wouldn’t trust the person you are playing with with your life, always have a safeword, and always tell them your limits. But choosing to trust him, and to take this step, was an extremely freeing decision for me. Trust is so huge to me, and he has done everything to respect that.

Submitting to Strange Women with Ferrett Steinmetz

I’ve posted a couple of other writings by The Ferrett (Ferrett Steinmetz), but this one is particularly excellent. It compares trying to get a date online with submitting writing to publishers.

The piece works well for me because I’ve been a writer since I was a teenager and have socialized with other writers for a couple decades now.

This is utterly accurate. Utterly.

When I send in a short story to a professional market, I am literally one of a thousand short stories they read that month. They only have so much money to buy stories at eight cents a word, and so the editors there are ridiculously picky.

And I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon:

I have colleagues who are brilliant writers who tell me these magazines just don’t get them. They write elegiac stories that break people’s hearts! The editors are stupid for not recognizing how great my friends are, and sometimes when they get rejected they send snide emails telling the magazine how fucking dumb they are and they didn’t want to be in your idiot magazine anyway.

These people never ever get published.

Then I have colleagues who aren’t brilliant writers, and when they get rejected they go, “Well, it’s a tough market, and even the best writers get rejected more often than they’re accepted. And it may be that I’m not the right fit for this magazine. But it’s also probable my story wasn’t as good as I thought it was, so… what can I do to make my future stories better? What am I doing wrong?”

A surprising amount of these folks go on to get published. It often takes years. And writing lots of stories. But honest self-appraisal gets ’em there a lot better than blame.

I say this because I’m watching reactions to this writing, wherein guys are like YOU CAN’T GET LAID ON FETLIFE I TRIED IT SUCKS MEN CAN’T GET A DECENT BREAK HERE.

And I think, “Wow, you are never getting published.”

Look. It sucks if you’re a guy – as mentioned elsewhere, “Dick is abundant and low value.” Women are beseiged with strange penises coming at them, like some LARP-action game of “Penis Invaders,” and you’re merely one in a bobbing sea of choad.

Kind of like, I dunno, the thousand slush manuscripts piling up this very week at Clarkesworld.

And yeah, there’s a lot of things out of your control. Maybe the woman you really want doesn’t like short guys. Maybe she needs waiflike elves, and you’re a big ol’ bushy bear. Maybe she’s a lesbian, wait, she’s a lesbian and you emailed her anyway and you’re getting upset about getting rejected? Go sit in the corner and regret your life’s choices.

But the point is, writing is a lot like life in that I find the people going, “I’M DOING NOTHING WRONG IT’S EVERYONE ELSE WHO’S FUCKED UP” tend to not really do all that well. This overweening confidence stops them from improving.

Whereas the people who are like, “Wait, maybe I’m not as good as I think I am, what actually works?” wind up eventually having the breakthrough that cracks the market.

And make no mistake: Sometimes that breakthrough is, “That market is not a good fit.” As much as I’d love to be published in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, I’ve come to realize that I don’t enjoy writing dreamlike fiction enough to get good at it. It’s fine.

Thinking of every magazine as basically being the same when you file the serial numbers off is a n00b’s mistake. Thinking of yourself as being this global blob of universal appeal is the other n00b mistake, because part of making yourself appealing as a fiction writer is writing stuff so personal and unique that, inevitably, some people won’t like it.

Writing isn’t about charming everyone. It’s about making something you’re happy with, and trying to find that intersection between “Personal” and “Publishable.”

And yeah, there’s the danger that people read this and take away the message that “Spamming is your only hope.” No. You can submit to Clarkesworld for years and never get in. Your hope is actually to go, “Wait, why is this not working for them? What other approaches are authors using? How can I get honest feedback, if this is what I want? Why is this not clicking?”

Or you can bitch to all your friends about how this is impossible, and the editors are too blind to see your amazing genius, and send ’em nasty notes that the editors pass around and quietly note you as “Being a dick I’d prefer not to work with,” and complain that the people who are getting published are sell-out hacks and it’s all about who you know, man.

It has all the satisfaction of self-righteous rage.

It also has none of the chance of being published.

How to Clean a Flogger and Why with daddyjohny

This is the post to which I was referring in my essay on Thursday about the people preaching abstinence-only flogging education. In it, DaddyJohny talks about possibly unsafe behavior that goes on in the scene and a way to minimize risk by cleaning floggers.

The original post is here on Fetlife, if you’d like to give it some love or contribute (civilly) to the discussion. I’ve decided to keep the entire post in recognition of the ridiculousness that it’s even an issue (see my essay if you don’t know what I mean).

Eeesh. I am still getting emails asking me about cleaning floggers. I recently posted a rant about nasty floggers being used on multiple people in our community. It apparently is a very hot topic. I deleted my rant because it was misconstrued or I didn’t get my point across. I’m going to try again, being more diligent with my words.

(I use upper case for all BDSM titles. You don’t have to like it).

I have seen many bad practices, in my opinion, over the years in the scene. Primarily club play. I’ve seen a Top whip a Bottom bloody with a single tail, then flogged the same person with a leather flogger, then that flogger was thrown into the Top’s backpack, only for that same flogger to come out later that night to be used on a different Bottom. In my opinion, this is an appallingly poor practice. When I confronted this person, his reply was that he can’t afford a new flogger each time he plays. Many years later I saw this same person play, and his practice with floggers did not seem to improve. I have seen Tops flog a Bottom’s vagina, rub the falls up against her, then use that same technique on another female Bottom an hour or so later. I’ve seen it. I know it has taken place. I have indeed read that certain diseases have been known to live without a host for a specific amount of time.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend using sex toys on multiple partners as it may spread disease. The leather flogger is a sex toy, (in my opinion). Any BDSM toy has the potential to carry and transmit infectious disease. I hold the belief that any leather toy which comes into contact with any bodily fluid, should not be used on another person. That being said, we all know that this is taking place in many arenas in the BDSM community.

I try not to break skin when I play. On the rare occasions that I do, I retire that flogger. I have always carried large zip lock bags in my kit, for just such a rare occasion. I separate that flogger so that it does not contaminate the rest of my gear. Anyone that I have played with will attest to this.

Even still, I do indeed use disinfectants on my floggers for the mere funk (gross) factor. It makes me feel better about my floggers. I use disinfectants even on my floggers that have been slated for particular significant play partners. About ten years or so ago, I asked my doctor for her opinion on what would be the best way to clean my leather floggers. My method is to completely saturate, submerse my leather falls in a hospital grade germicidal disinfectant such as Citrus 2 that meets the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. I leave the falls saturated for 15 to 20 minutes. Then with soap and warm water, I rinse the leather falls of chemicals. I let the flogger dry, separating the falls from each other and straightening them. I let the flogger completely aerate, (completely dry) before re-hydrating them with mink oil. This method does not guarantee that the falls are completely free of every pathogen under the sun. This should not be considered a sterilization. Leather is a porous fibrous material. It is not the ideal material for keeping it free of pathogens. Due to the fact that leather is a porous material, even using disinfectants does not mean that the flogger is disinfected. It is more sanitized than disinfected.

My method for cleaning leather floggers will indeed damage or shorten the life of the flogger. There are many other techniques out there that claim equal effectiveness without damaging the leather. There are so many different ideas on how to clean, rehydrate and care for leather falls. Most adult toy manufacturers or flogger craftsman will tell you that harsh disinfectant cleaners will cause damage to your flogger. If you sell something, you can not recommend a method of cleaning to your customer that will destroy the product. It is my opinion, my opinion only, (this is for the flogger owners) that when it comes to cleaning a flogger of the funk factor, the longevity of the flogger should not even be a consideration. If you do not feel that your floggers are safe, replace your floggers.

There are so many good suggestions out there for safety in regards to using floggers. The best one that I have heard is for a Bottom to carry around his or her own flogger. Though, I am not too sure how realistic this is from what I have seen in our community. Plus I personally am limited on how I can flog with a flogger I am not familiar with. A really good friend of mine lets his floggers aerate for a week in-between floggings and never lets the floggers touch bodily fluids. There is also the suggestion that using an autoclave would be ideal. That seems to be sound advice however I am not too sure about the practicality of that. Some people recommend the use of bleach and they claim it is least harmful to the flogger. There are so many different viewpoints on this topic and many of them sound like good advice. You should do your own homework (research) and find out what level of risk you are comfortable with. More importantly, you should find out what level of risk your play partner is comfortable with.

The point of my original rant was not to tell someone how to clean their floggers nor give anyone the impression that my method will free you of risk. I was not trying to get into the particulars of what is the best technique for being safe. It was merely a rant about those who throw caution to the wind, solely because of the high expense of their floggers.

My technique on sanitizing my floggers is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

I wrote in my previous rant…….. Anyone who cares more for the longevity of their floggers than the person they are playing with, does not deserve to be wielding a flogger in the first place. I fucking stand by that statement. You can send me your hate mail now. I promise I will try to respond as soon as I can. As Tops who play with multiple people, presenting ourselves as Masters of our craft, I feel that we have an obligation to be as safe as we can. It is important that Bottoms are informed of all risk. If we present ourselves as professionals, we need to act as such.

I welcome different opinions as comments. I encourage those who might have more information to leave it here. It can only help our community. We should be talking about this. Everyone’s opinion matters in matters of safety.

However, if you should choose to attack me or anyone else with disparaging remarks or name calling in open forum, I will delete your comment and block you.

I borrowed this, please read:

***********
Clean is a relative term.

~Sanitize: to free from dirt as by cleaning

~Disinfect: The use of a chemical procedure that eliminates virtually all recognized pathogenic microorganisms but not necessarily all microbial forms on inanimate objects. Disinfection is often confused with sterilization, but they are not the same thing. Disinfection does not remove all microbes, nor does it eliminate spores. Disinfection is generally used on hard surfaces (counter tops, etc.), but may not be sufficient for tools/toys that come in contact (including indirect contact) with the body.

~High-level Disinfect: Destruction of all microorganisms, with the exception of high numbers of bacterial spores.

~Sterilize: To destroy all living microorganisms, as pathogenic or saprophytic bacteria, vegetative forms, and spores. Sterile is an absolute; something is either sterile or it is not. There is no in-between

*************

Also, another suggestion, if you do feel you will be coming into contact with bodily fluids, perhaps a disposable flogger would work for some. You can learn how to make a disposable rope flogger here:

http://bdsmterms.com/extras/bpcat999.html

Submission and Dominance Are Not Gifts

This post is by someone on Fetlife who did not wish to be credited. It addresses the oft-repeated phrase, ‘submission is a gift,’ and introduces a different philosophy of power exchange.

Submission and dominance are not gifts. Let’s everyone GTF over ourselves.

Yes you gave me your submission and yes, you can uncollar anytime you like but let’s back up some.

I know the whole thing is more about you. Anyone who’s ever served in the military under a selfless, heroic, next-level competent commander knows what submission is and it is fucking amazing. No naughty time there but the process of surrendering your will to someone like that is powerful. A desire to do WHATEVER he says, knowing it’s almost certainly the right thing and a better course of action than anyone else would take…and knowing how his example inspires you to greater levels of performance, where now you’re all that much better with your own men….and on down to the lowest level where the whole thing he stands above operates like a perfect, fearsome machine…it’s great. Everybody knows that they’re looked over in that superior way and are part of something bigger than themselves. If you’ve ever had an experience with a leader like that, you know the joys of submission and what a great dominant acts like and can do.

But anyway…it’s not a gift.

I earned it. I sought it out. I showed you I knew what to do. Whether you were drawn to me or I was drawn to you at first, I felt out your barriers, I broke them down, I showed you I could be trusted. I showed you I could keep you in line and give you the guidance you needed and if you don’t think so, you’re free to leave.

I haven’t received every prize of submission I’ve looked for but when it is given, it’s something I’ve earned and it’s something I know I have to continue earning just like you also have to prove that you’re up to the job. It’s a bilateral arrangement and hopefully a symbiotic one. It wasn’t something you gave me for my birthday or when I was sick. It’s something you gave me after I showed you I was worthy of it.

The recent posts on this topic bother me in that way. My dominance is not a “gift,”‘ anymore than a new job would be and neither is your submission…so everybody ease up on thinking about the wonderful gifts that they are.

We connected. Hopefully it’s a powerful connection that we’ll both get great joy from and some badass kinky sex out of but I’m looking to think more of how I can perform better and less about how wonderfully lucky you are to have me and I expect the same in return.

Non-Sexual BDSM with Pegasus

Beyond the Rainbow is a blog that frequently focuses on asexuality within a BDSM context. I recommend checking out the site in a general, but this post in particular articulately addresses the common question of what asexuals get out of kink.

This was written for the December 2014 Carnival of Aces on “Touch, Sensuality, and Non-Sexual Physical Intimacy”

For me, BDSM is completely non-sexual and I never desire for it to lead to anything sexual. My mind just doesn’t make an intuitive connection between the two. The pleasure I get from BDSM is simply about playing with the physical sensations and emotional states that BDSM involves.

It might be ouchy, thuddy, stingy of impact play. The heat from dripping wax, or the cold of an ice cube. Or tickly, scratchy, soft sensation play. The coarseness of hemp rope. It might be feeling scared, safe, trapped, free, in control, vulnerable, powerful, comforted. Or the shared experience with a friend or partner, creating a beautiful play scene together. Being a canvass for another’s creativity.

For me, it’s not about being turned on or sexual pleasure. It doesn’t matter if I’m not sexually (or romantically or sensually) attracted to the other person. I do BDSM because I want to feel something, with my whole body, mind and soul. And as a way of connecting with a friend or lover.

It’s difficult to describe exactly what is non-sexual BDSM. Everybody feels or thinks differently about where exactly the boundary between sexual and non-sexual lies. To me kissing doesn’t feel sexual at all, but for other people it does. On top of that how something feels isn’t always rational or easy to put into words. Roughly the things I feel to be sexual are any intimate activity that involves genital contact or sight. But my feelings don’t follow that as a hard and fast rule, and there are exceptions.

So when it comes to negotiating non-sexual play, just saying I don’t want to do anything sexual isn’t really enough. It needs to be much more specific. Which sexual acts or behaviours are okay, and which are hard limits. Whether all genital contact is off the table, or just genital contact with hands/body, or are certain toys are fine. Which parts of your body are okay to touch, or are breasts, nipples, mouth, genital region, etc off limits. Whether clothing or underwear needs to be worn, or if you are comfortable with full nudity. I still find these conversations really awkward, but it is better than miscommunications ruining a play session or relationship.

Another thing I like knowing when negotiating play is what the other person enjoys about BDSM and their reasons for doing it. I find this helpful anyway for finding a play style that suits us both, and knowing what to expect from each other. But also find it reassuring to know if they can enjoy BDSM for reasons other than sex.

For many people BDSM is intensely sexual, and there’s obviously nothing wrong with that. It just means that if somebody doesn’t enjoy BDSM without sex being involved, then we’re not compatible.

But finding people who are open to non-sexual play isn’t particularly difficult. The fetish clubs I’ve been to have tended not to have much – if any – sexual play going on. So I’ve always felt pretty safe playing with people in clubs. And since being involved in the kink community, I’ve met plenty of people who are able to enjoy BDSM without it being sexual.

This was re-posted under the Creative Commons license.

Consent Accidents and Violations with Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is a sex educator and all round awesome guy.

This is a longer post, but it’s full of valuable information about consent.

Consent Accidents and Consent Violations

I was at a discussion group recently and someone shared a term that I hadn’t heard before: consent accidents. This is a really valuable nuance in the ongoing conversations about consent and nurturance culture because it recognizes that there’s a difference between a consent violation and a consent accident.

A consent violation happens when someone chooses to ignore or cross someone’s boundaries. People do that for a lot of reasons, including selfishness, arrogance, not caring about their partner, getting off on harming someone (which is distinct from the consensual experience of BDSM), or being somewhere else on the douchebag-rapist spectrum.

Consent accidents, however, are different because they happen because of error, miscommunication, misunderstanding, or not having all the information. That doesn’t make it less painful. If you step on my toes, it hurts whether it was an accident or on purpose. But how I approach the situation and what we do to resolve it might look very different.

There are some really big challenges for navigating this. First, if something happens that leaves you feeling hurt, it can really difficult to know the difference between accident and violation. That might be because of past experiences, wounds, triggers, or trauma which can amplify the hurt. It might be because it’s often difficult to know what someone’s intentions and motivations are. And in a world that excuses perpetrator’s actions and blames victims by saying things like “they didn’t mean to do it,” it can be incredibly hard to stand up for yourself.

Another difficulty is that identifying where things went awry is really hard when you’re feeling hurt. Pain, fear, anger, shame, sadness, and grief are all ways that you might feel when your consent isn’t attended to, whether it’s an accident or a violation. Any of those emotions, individually or in combination, can make it hard to see the situation with clarity, to talk about it with compassion for yourself and your partner, and to hold each of yourselves accountable for your choices and actions.

On the flip side, if you tell the other person what happened, they’ll also have their emotional reactions. Shame, in particular, tends to make us either attack the other person by blaming them or attack ourselves by giving up our right to our feelings and needs. If your partner gets defensive, they might try to dodge responsibility, take on all the blame, or attack you. Those are pretty common ways of reacting to shame, and most of us have done them at one point or another. Unfortunately, they also dovetail with victim-blaming, gaslighting, and the many other ways in which people who have been assaulted or abused get silenced.

Since it can be really difficult to identify what happened and know whether an event was a consent accident or violation, I’m really happy to have discovered this flow chart that Josh Weaver developed (used with permission).

Update: I dislike the top right diamond that says “They’re a dick” for three reasons. First, using sexual anatomy a a pejorative reinforces sex-negativity. After all, we wouldn’t call someone an elbow or a knee because we don’t see those body parts as bad. (Here’s an old article of mine on the topic.) Second, I think that using the word “dick” implies that the person being evaluated is male since we rarely use that word to describe non-masculine folks. People of all genders can violate consent and I see no reason to reinforce that gendered stereotype. And third, I think this flowchart creates a false dichotomy of “good people who don’t cross boundaries” and “bad people who do.” This kind of thinking actually makes it easier for perpetrators to get away with it since it generally takes a lot to convince people to see someone they care for or were conned by as a bad person.

I think if we took that top right diamond out and edited the chart, it would be amazing. But I still think it’s worth using since the decision-making process it guides you through is important. If you want to edit Weaver’s flowchart, I suggest you either do it (and feel free to send me a link) or contact him about it.

This is an great tool for making decisions about our experiences, but there’s one piece that I think needs to be unpacked. The box labeled “was it intentional?” doesn’t offer much guidance for how to know. Of course, in an ideal world, we’d all be able to trust our partners when they say that it wasn’t. And I also know that some folks avoid responsibility for their actions by saying they were accidental when they really weren’t. Plus, when we get called in or called out, it’s easy to slide into a shame reaction and try to avoid, rather than leaning into the discomfort and moving forward.

The tricky thing is that while it would be lovely to assume good intentions, we sometimes need evidence. It’s on the person whose behavior crossed the line to demonstrate where their intentions were coming from, and the way you do that is by taking responsibility for the effects of your actions, regardless of what you intended. When someone tells you that they’ve been hurt by something you did despite your intentions, here are some good things to say to help the situation move forward.

Resolving a Consent Accident

The key to effectively addressing a consent accident is being able to bring in all of the pieces. Most people are more practiced or skilled at some of these than others, and they’re all important. There are a lot of ways to phrase each one, so take these as general suggestions and tailor them to fit your language, your relationship, and your situation.

Thank you for telling me. It’s really difficult to call someone in. It’s hard to take the risk of vulnerability when there’s already pain. It’s a brave thing to share that with a partner, especially in a world that blames, shames, and attacks people who speak up about sexual assault. So if someone tells you that they feel hurt by something you did or something that happened, one of the best things you can do in those situations is honor their courage. Express your gratitude that they told you what happened, even if your perspective on the experience is very different.

I’m sorry that you had that experience. If you can empathize with them, it will start to build a bridge between the two of you and heal the disconnection that happened. Let them know that you understand that they didn’t have the experience they wanted and offer some sympathy. This doesn’t mean that you’re taking the blame for things. It’s simply telling them that you understand that they didn’t have the experience they wanted. Some ways to say this:

  • I’m sorry that you didn’t have as good a time as we both wanted.
  • I’m sorry that you were hurt and didn’t feel comfortable telling me at the time.
  • I’m sorry that we did something that you weren’t a full yes to.

Note: this is not the time to problem solve or assign responsibility. That will come later.

I had no intention of hurting you, and I see that it happened. This is where you start to bring in the both/and. You didn’t mean to injure them, and it still happened. Maybe there was a miscommunication. Maybe you genuinely thought that what you were doing was what they wanted. Maybe you didn’t pick up on their nonverbal cues. Maybe they were saying their safeword but the music was too loud and you couldn’t hear it. While it might be true that you didn’t realize what was happening (and I hope that if you had, you would have stopped), that doesn’t change the fact that an injury happened. Whether it was a physical or emotional hurt, it still happened.

There needs to be room for acknowledging both of these pieces because, by definition, this is the crux of the accident. The way you show that you recognize that it took place is by holding these two elements. It’s important to weigh them both equally because they’re equally true. If you overemphasize to the fact that you didn’t mean it, you’re trying to dodge your responsibility to work towards healing and resolution. While that might be an understandable defense mechanism against feeling shame, it’s going to accelerate the situation. And if you under emphasize the fact that you didn’t mean it, you run the risk of taking on too much responsibility and sliding into self-blame. Aim for the middle zone, where both of these pieces are important, and neither is more important than the other.

I’m sorry I did that thing I did. This one isn’t always relevant since consent accidents can happen even when you’ve done everything you could reasonably be expected to do. Consent is about due diligence rather than absolute safety. But when there is something you could have done differently, you need to genuinely apologize for it.

It might not be enough to say “I’m sorry.” You’ll improve your odds if you say, “I’m sorry I didn’t ask if you wanted me to touch you there/use those words/spank your butt/etc.” If you name the thing, you show that you truly understand where the accident happened. That’s a lot more effective because it shows that you understand what happened. You don’t need to go into every single detail, but you do need to show that you get it.

If you’re genuinely confident that you performed due diligence, you can say something like, “I really regret that this happened.” That’s a good way to acknowledge that there was an unfortunate event without taking on responsibility beyond what you could reasonably be expected to take. But be careful with this one. You need to make sure that you truly performed due diligence, and if you’re feeling defensive or reactive, you might be dodging responsibility instead.

What could I have done differently? There are actually two questions here: What could I have done that I didn’t do? What did I do that I shouldn’t have done? These are both super challenging things to ask because it puts us in the vulnerable position of looking at any missteps we might have made. One reason it’s helpful to start off with thanking your partner for coming to you is that it reminds you that they took a big risk in initiating the conversation. That makes it easier to take the big risk of asking them where things went awry.

There are two things that are important to hold onto. First, your partner might not know how to put into words what you could have done differently. If that happens, you might need to explore that. What was the moment when things shifted for you? When did you first notice that it didn’t feel right to you? What was I doing? And what could I have done that would have kept it from happening? These questions can be really hard to ask, especially since you need to do your best to set your defensiveness aside and approach them from a place of genuine curiosity. You might find it easier if you have a coach or therapist to help with that.

The other important piece is that if your partner is in a place of pain or shame, they might not have an answer to this question yet. Or they might be speaking from that hurt, which can lead them to make unreasonable demands. I find that before you get into the problem-solving, you need to turn towards the feelings and give them their room. It might take some time for them to move through their trajectory. And your partner might need to get support for their feelings from someone else first. It’s hard to hold space for painful emotions that are the result of your own actions. But until the feelings have had a chance to do their thing, it’s difficult to come up with good answers to the question of what you could have done differently.

It might take some time to find those answers, or they might come in stages. One of you might wake up the next morning and realize there’s something to add. If it’s something you’re available for, tell them that this is an open conversation and that if something else occurs to them, they’re welcome to come tell you. Even if there isn’t anything to add, knowing that you’re open to that goes a long way towards demonstrating that this was an accident because you’re showing that you’re taking responsibility for what happened.

This is what I’ll do to keep this from happening again. If there’s something you can do to learn from the experience and expand your skill set to reduce the chances of a repetition, commit to it. You might need to do some reading about how to do that sex act safely. You might need to talk with a coach or a friend to figure out what was going on for you. You might need to change your habits around alcohol and sex, or learn to have a safer sex conversation, or figure out how to talk about what a potential sexual experience means to you. Whatever you need to do, make it happen. Get the support and the learning you need to avoid this accident in the future.

Depending on the connection you have with the other person, you can ask them if they want you to let them know how that goes. In an ongoing relationship, they might want to hear about your progress. Someone you have a fling with might not. The important thing here is that you need to not ask them to perform emotional labor for you. Get your support elsewhere and offer them accountability.

Do you need anything else from me? Does this give you what you need? It’s easy to think that you’ve taken care of things, only to find that the situation feels unresolved to the person who felt hurt. If they answer with anything other than a clear yes, go back and ask them what else would help them feel complete with this. Maybe they need a more specific apology. Maybe they need to hear that you aren’t angry. Maybe they need a specific timeline for your next steps. Maybe they need some time apart to take care of their feelings.

If they don’t feel like the situation is complete but they don’t know what they need, offer them some space to figure it out. Let them know that they’re welcome to take the time they need and come back to you later. They might need to do this in stages, especially if there’s some old relationship patterns at play or if they have a history of sexual trauma. It can be hard to not have all the answers right away, but if you can sit with that discomfort, you’ll probably get much better results than if you push for an immediate resolution.

Moving Forward From A Consent Accident

The value in taking these steps is that they help heal the hurt and make it much easier to keep the pain and anger from crystallizing into resentment. Resentment is the biggest relationship killer and once it becomes habitual, it’s difficult to shift out of it. As John Gottman points out, in happy relationships, we’re good friends who sometimes annoy each other. In unhappy relationships, we become enemies. Resentment is one of the main ways we slide into enemy territory. That’s true for flings and casual partners, just as it is for ongoing relationships.

Consent accidents are going to happen. We make mistakes. We get distracted by our arousal or intoxication. We misremember or misunderstand where someone’s comfort zone is. Our preferences and desires change (and we sometimes don’t realize it until afterward). There are a lot of reasons we accidentally hurt someone. The best way to be prepared for it is to know what to do when (not if) it happens. The time to learn first aid is before someone gets hurt.

You can also reduce the odds of consent accidents happening if you use this simple framework for creating room for consent. If you start off with a solid foundation, you make it easier for your partner to tell you in the moment if something isn’t working. That gives you more room to recalibrate and reduces the chances of things going wrong. An ounce of prevention, and all that.

Sometimes, it’s hard to sort out what to do in these situations. If you don’t know where to look for information, support, or guidance, it can feel like a lot to figure out what to do on your own. As a sex and relationship coach, I work with individuals, couples, and poly groups of all genders and sexual orientations, and I’d be happy to help you find your way. I offer a free 30 minute Get Acquainted call (phone or skype), which gives us an opportunity to talk about your situation and how I can support you. I work with people from all over the world, so get in touch with me and let’s figure out how to get things moving in the right direction.

Here is a link to the original post.

You can follow Mr Glickman on twitter here: @charlieglickman

His website is his linked name at the top of the page.

Being Brutally Polyamorous with Ferrett Steinmetz

Ferrett Steinmetz (TheFerrett to people on Fetlife) is hilarious and honest about the highs and lows of polyamory.

In this week’s mentor post, he offers some advice to someone considering ‘taking it easy’ on the poly for the sake of their new monogamous partner.

Be Brutally Polyamorous

“I’m polyamorous, but my partner’s new to this. They say they’re okay with what I’ve told them about poly, but… I can tell they’re nervous. So I’m going to damp it down for a while just to be kind to them – I’ll go easy on the side-dating.”

Don’t do that.

Your kindness will rip ’em to shreds.

Because if you give someone an artificial trial period, one where you give them the faux-monogamous experience to make them comfortable, then all you’re doing is lulling them into a sense of “Oh, this is what it’s like.”

And when you start up the dating after a while, they’re going to be even more panicky. Because not only will they have the usual assortment of jealousies and insecurities that come when you transition into a multi-partner relationship, but also they’ll be thinking, “But… you didn’t date anyone for a year! Now you’re looking for someone else!

“What did I do wrong?”

And here’s one of the central truths about relationships: What usually scares people the most is deviations from the established norm. For example, I have a sweetie who’s a swinger: she goes to clubs and guzzles cock like there’s no tomorrow. She tells me about her problems organizing gangbangs. I think it’s adorable.

But that’s because I met her as a swinger. That’s who she was, and who she continues to be.

If my wife, who’s fairly conservative in who she sleeps with, suddenly started hitting the clubs every night, I would fucking panic.

I’d panic because my wife’s behavior would have changed, and I’d feel like maybe I didn’t know her as well as I’d thought I did, and wonder what I was doing wrong that she suddenly was into freaky anonymous sex. And whereas I know my sweetie loves me thoroughly because “gangbangs” were just part of our background noise, my wife attending ’em regularly would be different.

Not saying I couldn’t get used to it. I could adjust.

But that switch in behavior is what scares people.

Giving them a “trial period” and then dropping the big change of “Oh yeah, I date other people now” is going to hurt someone unfamiliar to polyamory more. Often, a lot more. You are doing them zero kindnesses.

Because what’ll happen by then is that you’ll be so much more attached by the time you find out the other person said they’d be okay with poly, but really, turns out they can’t handle it. It’s not like this happened in the first weeks of dating, when you were soppy with NRE but also shallowly attached – no, it’s been months, you’re both emotionally entangled. To discover after a year that whoops, this whole poly thing is actually a dealbreaker for your other partner hurts way more.

If you’re going to be poly, own it.

Mind you, I’m not saying to go out and date someone you hate to rip off the band-aid! If they’re the currently only person in your life, cool, drift with that. But for God’s sake, if you were dating other people before, keep dating. Don’t give your trying-to-adjust partner the illusion that this is trial period is what they’re signing up for.

They deserve to know what sort of effects dating other people will have on them. Some of them will be every bit as cool with it as they promised. Others will need some adjustment, and hopefully you can fine-tune your caring to give them what they need without selling out your satisfaction. And still others will freak out so much that really, your choices boil down to “be monogamous with them” or “break up.”

All of these things are better to know early on.

So yeah. It seems selfish, but… be brutal. Show them what they’re in for. Polyamory’s not for everyone, and going out of your way to give people the impression that “polyamory” means “occasionally you flirt but really, nothing happens” can demolish ’em once the first dating happens. And if you drop that hammer after they’ve come to rely on your love and support, you’ll be one of those poly folks going, “How could they not know I was poly? I told them! Why are they shocked now?”

They’re shocked because you told them that what you were doing was what they could expect, and it wasn’t.

So keep dating. Give them as much love as you can. Hug them and let them know that your love for them is a unique thing that’s not touched by other people.

But keep dating.

Though I found this writing on Fetlife, it is also available on TheFerrett’s blog.

Minding Your Own Dynamic with ButtonEyes MD

This week ButtonEyes_MD from Fetlife (who has the best bio I’ve seen yet) explains how to tell when it’s okay to join another dynamic.

PSA — Don’t join the dynamic if no one invited you

This shouldn’t really have to be stated, but it seems to be something many people find problematic anyways.

Don’t join someone else’s dynamic if no one invited you.
The difference between consensual BDSM and just being an asshole is the consent part.

I don’t walk up to a scene and start hitting someone else’s bottom, unless both of those people have told me that it is ok to do so.

I don’t order someone else’s submissive to go fetch me something to eat, unless that is something we have discussed and agreed upon.

So why do people think it’s ok to be mean to someone just because someone else is doing it?

If i’m calling someone an ugly stupid cunt, that is because it is the dynamic that has been agreed upon between me and the other person. I’m not just an asshole who goes around insulting and degrading anyone I want. (Despite what people might tell you.)

Here is an easy way to figure out if you are trying enter into a dynamic where you don’t belong:

Step one – Are you doing something mean to someone? If yes, proceed to step two.

Step two – Did you discuss it with them beforehand and they enthusiastically agreed to it? If no, proceed to step three.

Step three – Stop that, you idiot.

You are welcome.

Link to the original post.

Mollena Williams and Georg Friedrich Haas

I don’t have permission to reprint this on my site, so I can only give you the link, but here’s the link about Mollena Williams’ power exchange relationship with her husband, composer Georg Friedrich Haas.

The article is a positive piece about what a great thing kink is and how it’s enhanced his life and art.

Both interviewees speak eloquently about what kink means to them and how it has changed their lives.

On the front page of the Arts section of the New York Times.

Above the fold and everything.