Monday, February 16, 2015

50 Right Ways to Approach BDSM/TTWD: Second Thoughts

Welcome to part 4 of my "Approach to BDSM" series for the 50 Shades of Grey fan!

Previous posts:

Getting to Know You
Make a Decision
Not So Fast and Furious

The next phase I want to cover is "Second Thoughts," as in, you've met a partner, you've tried BDSM, and maybe it wasn't what you thought it was gonna be. Maybe you want to slow down, or maybe you're re-thinking your interest in the lifestyle altogether. First of all, having second thoughts is completely normal; everybody--even experienced "pros"--has them. Secondly, there are things a good dominant should do if his partner is having doubts that will ease her mind and allow the couple to take a step back.

At this point, it really is needless to say, Christian Grey does not do what a good dominant should do when Ana has second thoughts about their activities together. The following list differentiates what Christian does during "Second Thoughts" and what a healthy dominant does:

36. When Ana says that she can no longer take punishments from Christian Grey, they have an argument and, at her prompting, he hits her hard with his belt--a healthy dominant never, ever spanks his sub right after having an argument; if his partner says she no longer likes the arrangement, he sits down with her and listens to all of her doubts and second feelings; even if she decides to stay, he gives his partner time to think and regroup before resuming any activities.

37. When Ana needs a break from the relationship, Christian Grey sends her roses, cards, emails, and car rides--a healthy dominant stays away when his partner needs a break.

38. When Christian Grey attends a photography exhibition with Ana, he buys seven large portraits of her--when a sub decides that she'd like to spend time with him again, a healthy dominant keeps dates friendly and low-key without any extravagant shows of possession.

39. When Ana tells Christian Grey that she can't relax around him because he intimidates her, he blames her for not communicating with him more--a healthy dominant frequently listens for and pays attention to open admissions of feelings from his sub, and he encourages her to communicate by asking her questions and giving her space, not blaming her.

40. When Ana and Christian Grey are on a break, he takes her into a dark alleyway, kisses her, and tells her she is his--again, a healthy dominant takes a break seriously and gives his partner space when she needs it; he does not show any sign of possession or dominance when on a break from a relationship.

41. Christian Grey berates Ana for not using her safe word when he hit her previously with his belt, and then he threatens to spank her in public when she's too upset to eat--a healthy dominant realizes that, if his sub was too angry or emotional to use her safe word, something was seriously wrong with the scene; he never, ever blames his partner for not being sure when to use a safe word and does not threaten her in public when she has not consented to it.

42. Christian Grey tells Ana that he'll "do the vanilla thing" for her until he can trust her to communicate openly and honestly with him--a healthy dominant does not intimidate or manipulate his partner into communicating with him, but rather earns her honest communication through encouragement and attentiveness to her thoughts and feelings.

43. Christian Grey buys the company where Ana works, so he can control her career--does this one even need explaining? Just, no.

44. Christian Grey tracks Ana's bank account number and deposits $24,000 that she has previously rejected--a healthy dominant does not give his partner unwanted gifts or bribes.

45. Christian Grey takes Ana to get a haircut from his ex-partner--an older woman who sexually abused Christian when he was a child--a healthy dominant gets therapy when he needs it (and Christian Grey clearly needs it) and never takes his partner to a place where she may unexpectedly come face to face with an abusive child molester.

46. Against Ana's will, Christian Grey picks her up, screaming, in public, throws her over his shoulder, spanks her, and takes her to his apartment--it doesn't matter what the situation is, a healthy dominant does not publicly show possession or dominance toward a partner who has not consented to it, especially in public.

47. Christian Grey invites a doctor over to prescribe his preferred method of birth control to Ana--a healthy dominant allows his partner control over her own bodily functions, unless she has consented otherwise.

48. Christian Grey repeatedly tells Ana that he is unworthy of her love until she contradicts him--a healthy dominant knows he is worthy of a partner's love because he has self esteem and confidence in himself; he may share insecurities with his partner, but not as a manipulative tool to earn her love and affection.

49. Christian Grey tells Ana she is not allowed to go to work--a healthy dominant does not hinder his partner's career in any way; he separates BDSM activities from work life.

50. During an argument, Christian Grey "submits" to Ana by refusing to speak or look at her, only "coming around" when she starts to talk down about herself and make general apologies--first of all, refusing to speak or look at someone during an argument is not submission; a healthy dominant apologizes when he's done something wrong and does not use submission as a technique for receiving forgiveness.

I'll admit, I lumped in those last few items with this list, simply because they were too ridiculous to include as a separate section. In summary, Christian Grey is terrible at giving Ana a break from him and terrible at validating her doubts and second thoughts about BDSM. Their approach is so unhealthy, I felt compelled to write an entire series on how to approach BDSM in a healthy, safe way.

Approaching BDSM safely includes validating all second thoughts and negative feelings, and taking a step back or a break, when needed. No one is expected to jump into BDSM head first without ever coming up for air. In order to avoid a scary, overwhelming experience, a healthy dominant:

  • takes all of his partner's apprehensions seriously
  • comforts her and does not place blame for bad experiences
  • is able to recognize red flags--like upset, painful feelings after a session
  • gives her time and space when she needs it
  • slowly eases back into activities after a break
  • gets consent for a SECOND time
  • listens and waits patiently for honest communication
  • re-earns trust

Sunday, February 15, 2015

50 Right Ways to Approach BDSM/TTWD: Not So Fast and Furious

Welcome to Part 3 of my Valentines Day/50 Shades of Grey series, which compares the unhealthy, abusive approach to BDSM in the popular book series with that of a healthy approach to the lifestyle.

The first two portions are here:

Getting to Know You

Making a Decision

This next part deals with the beginning of the relationship--the passionate, can't-wait-to-get-started phase (or the terrifying phase, depending on your experience level). So, at this point, you've gotten to know the other person, you've weighed the pros and cons with getting involved with BDSM activities with this person, and now you're ready to dive in! Not so fast! If you take the approach that Christian and Ana take, you're setting yourself up for heartbreak and/or abuse. Taking the beginning of any BDSM relationship slowly is key to not burning out and getting frustrated two weeks into it.

To repeat from earlier posts, the purpose of this list is to highlight everything that is unhealthy about the FSOG approach to BDSM and to contrast it with a healthy, safe approach that protects both partners. We'll call this phase the "Not So Fast and Furious" portion of a BDSM relationship:

Not like this, ladies! Slow that man down!

Not So Fast and Furious

23. Christian Grey intentionally gives Ana alcohol so that she'll "communicate honestly" with him and more readily agree to what he wants--a healthy dominant knows that honest, uninfluenced communication is the most important part of a BDSM relationship and will only accept consent when his partner is sober and thinking clearly.

24. Christian Grey blames his desire to inflict pain on his abusive past--a healthy dominant knows that BDSM and abuse are not the same thing and will never, ever link the two when speaking with his partner.

25. When Ana tells Christian Grey she felt abused and aroused during her spanking, Christian Grey tells Ana that a submissive would embrace those feelings for her dominant--a healthy dominant will immediately stop and re-think his approach when a submissive says she's feeling abused, regardless of feelings of arousal; he will never ask his submissive to "embrace" confusing or conflicted feelings, as he wants BDSM to be an enjoyable experience for his partner.

26. Also, when Ana tells Christian Grey about her conflicted feelings, he blames her for a) not asking him to stop, b) not using her safe word, and c) listening to  the "wrong" part of her body--a healthy dominant knows that every. single. feeling. is legitimate when it comes to BDSM and will never, ever dismiss his partner's feelings or blame her for not stopping the scene when she felt conflicted.

27. When Ana forgets to call Christian Grey, he tells her to "learn to manage" his expectations, because he's "not a patient man"--when it comes to a new partner, a healthy dominant is, first and foremost, a patient man; he will devote as much time as needed to helping his partner set and manage expectations for him and for herself.

28. Christian Grey tells Ana that he doesn't want to punish her for the missed phone call, but that if she'd caught him the previous evening, when he was angry, that "would have been a different story"--a healthy dominant carries through and punishes for agreed upon broken rules, regardless of how much time has passed, because he does not punish out of anger (!); he never tells his partner that she has escaped punishment because he's "not angry anymore," because he would never punish her when he's angry in the first place.

29. In the same evening, Christian Grey "threateningly" whispers to Ana when she says she wants to visit her mother and says he is "palm-twitchingly mad" when he finds out she had a drink with a male friend--again with the anger thing, a healthy dominant simply doesn't spank, threaten, or engage in any BDSM activity when he's angry with his partner; he also does not isolate her from her family and friends.

30. Christian Grey becomes angry with Ana at his parents' dinner party, so he takes her to a boat house, fucks her, and doesn't allow her to come because he wants her "frustrated"--ugh, so many things wrong here; a healthy dominant, again, does not engage in any BDSM activity when he is angry and certainly does not use a dinner party at his parents' house as the time and place to introduce a new concept of BDSM that has not previously been discussed (in this case, orgasm denial); a healthy dominant introduces all new activities with his partner in a safe space, and only after discussing with her what it may feel like for her.

31. Christian Grey withholds his affection toward Ana because she wants to go stay with her mother for a few days--a healthy dominant gives affection because of the love and care he has for his partner, not as a tool for manipulating her actions with her outside family and friends.

32. Ana can't tell if Christian Grey's threats are serious or joking--this is a tricky one, because dominants and submissives often have a good enough relationship where they can get away with banter, including teasing from the sub and joke threats from the dominant, but a healthy dominant never wants his sub to confuse the two, so he makes sure to use clear communication and indications when speaking as a dominant.

33. When Ana tells Christian Grey that his threats scare her, she admits that she needs some space and time with her mother to think clearly. Christian Grey tracks down her mother's address and shows up uninvited--a healthy dominant would take any admission of fear or need for time and space as a very serious matter and would do everything to honor that for his partner; and for God's sake, he would wait for an invitation to be introduced to his partner's family before showing up.

34. While Ana is gone, Christian Grey goes out to dinner with his ex-partner/ex-abuser who sexually molested him when he was a child--a healthy dominant does not continue to see someone who he admits sexually molested him when he was a child; he is able to let go of the past (assuming there are no absolutely horrific things like this) and/or not let past partners manipulate his current relationship.

35. Christian Grey opens up to Ana about his abusive past, and a) equates it to his current fascination with BDSM and b) uses it as an excuse for why Ana must accept and not question his behavior toward her--a healthy dominant, again, never equates BDSM to abuse, and does not allow past relationships to influence what his current partner's desires are; he allows his partner to negotiate rules, set boundaries, and voice apprehensions.

Any new relationship can be rocky, especially if it involves BDSM. But, unlike Ana and Christian, taking it slowly can lead to some of the most fulfilling and earth-shattering experiences of your life. Instead of constant fear, apprehension, and confused feelings, there can absolutely be fulfillment, trust, and confidence in the beginning of a BDSM relationship.

To sum up what a healthy dominant does with his partner during this phase:

  • gets consent when she's sober and alert
  • validates all of her feelings
  • does not blame her for confusion or conflict
  • practices patience with her at all times
  • does not engage in activity when angry
  • introduces new activities in a familiar, comfortable space
  • gives affection freely
  • communicates dominant language clearly
  • allows her time and space to work out new feelings
  • lets go of past relationships

Saturday, February 14, 2015

50 Right Ways to Approach BDSM/TTWD: Making a Decision

Welcome to Part 2 of my series!

To read the first portion, Getting to Know You, click here. I started this series as a way to differentiate between healthy BDSM/TTWD and the version of BDSM that is portrayed in the popular book series, and now movie, 50 Shades of Grey.

I'm going to call Part 2 the "Making a Decision" phase. This phase happens after partners have gotten to know each other, and are now considering trying BDSM with each other. This is a period where both partners must take the time to consider each other's wants and desires, and make an informed decision about whether they want to pursue the relationship or not.

Once again, this series is meant to differentiate between the wrong way and the right way. Since the wrong way seems to have made its way into mainstream entertainment, I feel compelled to clarify that there is a healthy way to approach decision-making in BDSM, and FSOG is not the manual for how to do it. Here is the next list of points on 50 Right Ways to Approach BDSM/TTWD:

Making a Decision

11. Christian Grey is annoyed by Ana's virginity, and sees taking it as an aggressive means to an end, rather than a special occasion--a healthy dominant who is highly more experienced than his partner starts slowly, and allows his inexperienced partner the time and care to fully feel, savor, and process each new experience.

12. After "ripping through" Ana's virginity with no respect for the occasion, Christian Grey has sex with her again, admitting that he wants her to be sore every time she moves the next day--a healthy dominant, again, takes new experiences SLOWLY, and does not attempt to give his inexperienced partner lasting damage during their first encounter, especially if it's her first encounter ever.

13. Christian Grey tells Ana he doesn't like to share her, referring to a phone conversation she has with a male friend--a healthy dominant realizes that he is not the center of his partner's universe, and that she has a right to time and conversation with other friends and family.

14. Christian Grey attempts to hurry Ana into signing his BDSM contract before she is ready--a healthy dominant does not need to hurry his partner into anything, because he has taken the time to establish a trusting relationship that does not put pressure on his partner to do anything she doesn't want to do.

15. Christian Grey's contract states that Ana must ask his permission to leave the relationship--a healthy dominant makes it clear that his partner can end the dominant/submissive relationship at any time, no questions asked.

16. When Ana needs time to think about what she wants, Christian Grey sends her a series of friendly, flirtatious emails to show her his "nice" side--a healthy dominant gives his partner time and space to figure out what she wants, and doesn't try to manipulate her decision in any way.

17. Ana tells Christian Grey ("jokingly," via email) that she's not interested, and he shows up at her house so angry, that she actually looks around her room for an escape route--a healthy dominant accepts it when a partner is no longer interested, and, if he wants to talk further, asks his partner to talk in person, instead of showing up, once again, uninvited.

18. Instead of talking about the problem, Christian Grey forces himself sexually on Ana, despite her protests and attempts to kick him off of her--a healthy dominant and a decent human being does not force himself sexually on his partner when she doesn't want it. THIS IS RAPE--THIS IS NOT OK.

19. Christian Grey insists on meeting privately, when Ana would much rather meet publicly--a healthy dominant does everything he can to make his partner feel safe and secure, including meeting in a public place to talk about the relationship.

20. Christian Grey uses Ana's sexual attraction to him as a means to getting what he wants--a healthy dominant does not use sexual attraction as a technique for manipulating his partner's wants and desires; he respects her wishes and doesn't try to "change her mind."

21. Christian Grey does not honor Ana's wish for space to think things through--for the love of God, a healthy dominant, again, gives his partner the time and space she needs to decide what she wants.

22. Christian Grey grabs and locks Ana in a locker room to inquire why she hasn't been responding to his texts and emails--a healthy dominant waits patiently for his partner's consent to a relationship, and doesn't forcibly confront her about it.

There we are--the "Making a Decision" phase--that period of indecision or hesitancy that may accompany the beginning of a BDSM/TTWD relationship. How you go about this phase affects everything that happens down the road. In fact, the health of the entire relationship depends on whether this phase has been done right or not. I think we can agree that Christian Grey and Ana have done it the wrong way.

To sum up what a healthy dominant does during the decision-making process:
  • gives his partner time and space to think clearly
  • does nothing to manipulate or influence her decision
  • does everything possible to make her feel safe
  • does not force anything on her
  • takes new experiences with her slowly, and not without her consent
OK, we're almost to the actual relationship phase--stay tuned!

Friday, February 13, 2015

50 Right Ways to Approach BDSM/TTWD: Getting to Know You

Welcome to my new blog series for the next few days!

In honor of Valentines Day and the questionable movie/book series that is being associated with romance this particular Valentines Day, I'd like to differentiate (for anyone wondering) between a healthy approach to BDSM/TTWD and what is portrayed in these popular books.

Yes, I've read them. I won't comment on the writing, since that subject has been thoroughly trashed and exhausted by pretty much everyone. The point is, the books were written, and they were a smash hit. And now many women may be fantasizing about this type of beautiful relationship, that we know to be about a delicate exchange of dominance and submission between two caring, often loving partners. 

With everyone and their mother now weighing in on the subject, I've seen BDSM, as a whole, equated to abuse. In fact, I saw a sweeping statement made by a psychiatrist that said "A healthy woman dreams about wedding gowns, not handcuffs." Really??? What kind of psychiatrist makes that sort of generalization about "healthy women?" (Remind me never to see her, should I seek therapy.) 

This may be a long list--some of the points very obvious--but it's worth writing, and I'm all about symbolism. I'm even dividing them into phases to ensure posts that aren't a mile long. This first phase is the "Getting to Know You" phase of my series. So, here goes--50 Right Ways to Approach BDSM/TTWD:

Getting to Know You

1. Christian Grey finds out where Ana works and shows up uninvited--a healthy dominant asks where his potential partner works in the course of getting to know her and does not show up there, unless invited.

2. Christian Grey visibly changes his demeanor when Ana talks to other men--a healthy dominant realizes that a potential partner will inevitably talk to other men and is OK with the fact that she may even choose to pursue a relationship with one of them--after all, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

3. Christian Grey tells Ana that she should find him intimidating--a healthy dominant is warm and approachable to a potential partner, because he wants to establish a trusting relationship in which neither party is intimidated.

4. Christian Grey warns Ana to stay away from him--a healthy dominant knows that he is a safe person and will do his best to convey that to a potential partner.

5. Christian Grey tracks Ana's whereabouts through her mobile phone and, again, shows up uninvited--a healthy dominant gives a potential partner space to live her own life and, again, only shows up when invited.

6. Christian Grey takes Ana back to his hotel room when she is too drunk to consent and even remember what happened--a healthy dominant only invites a potential partner to his hotel room when both parties are sober and able to consent.

7. Christian Grey says "If you were mine, you wouldn't be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday"--a healthy dominant does not use threatening language like this, unless the potential partner is, in fact, his and has consented to being his.

8. Christian Grey finds out where Ana lives without telling her--a healthy dominant will, at a comfortable and natural stage in the relationship, ask where a potential partner lives, and, again, not show up unless invited.

9. Christian Grey shows Ana that she will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement--a healthy dominant AND a healthy submissive are comfortable and trusting enough of each other, that they can make a mutual, verbal agreement to keep the details of their adult activities private.

10. Christian Grey overwhelms Ana with a long contract and demands a list of her "hard limits" before she is ready--a healthy dominant will make a new partner as comfortable as possible, and will slowly introduce desired elements of BDSM by asking first, when he thinks she is ready.

That's it for this post...and this was just the Getting to Know You phase! To recap what a healthy dominant does when looking for a potential partner in BDSM:

  • asks for details of his partner's life in the natural course of getting to know her
  • does not show up uninvited
  • gives her space
  • makes her feel comfortable and tries to gain her trust
  • gets her consent before doing or saying anything as "her" dominant
  • ensures there is mutual trust and respect for privacy before starting anything
  • eases his partner slowly into his style of BDSM, by introducing one thing at a time, and asking first
Stay tuned for the next phase!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Begging for It

Hi everyone!

I realized I hadn't written in almost a month :( That's just far too long to not write about spanking fun, so here's another recent story for you all, in time for Valentine's Day:

.  .  .

Just like every other couple, we go through our "drought" periods where there is no spanking and no sex for a few weeks. When those unfortunate periods happen, I usually get so built up with frustration, that, one night, I will snap, basically throw myself at my husband, and ask him to pleeeeeeease do something with me.

Well, that happened several days ago. Throughout the day, I physically hinted at my readiness many times, and, when evening came, as we were cuddling on the couch, I asked him to please spank me.

He ordered me to the bedroom, where I eagerly ran. He bared my bottom, and I went over his lap for some rubbing and light slapping. The slaps became harder, but, much too soon, he acted like it was over. I tried back talking, teasing, and making smart ass comments, but he knew what I was up to.

He opened his nightstand drawer, and pulled out my two favorite implements that I thought were long gone (I haven't been able to find them recently!).

"That's where those have been???? I thought we'd lost them!" I said.

"Yes, young lady. Sometimes I am more aware of the whereabouts of these than you are. Do you want me to use them on you?" he asked.

"Yes, please," I said.

"Beg for it then," he said.

"What???" I inquired.

"You heard me. Get down on the floor and beg for it," he said.

I got off the bed, stood up, and asked him to please spank me with my favorite implements. He handed me the light wooden hairbrush.

"Down on your knees," he said.

I got down on my knees, came over to his side of the bed, and begged, over and over, for him to please spank me with it. I gave him my best puppy dog eyes and rubbed him in places that I thought might entice him to give me what I wanted.

After a minute or two of this, he caved. I went over his lap, and, boy, did he deliver what I wanted and then some. He alternated between the stingy, plastic spatula and the thuddy, wooden hairbrush, and I was soon squirming all over his lap with a burning bottom.

Keep in mind, it had been several weeks, and, though my bottom was very sore, I was positively panting with desire. He soon dropped the implements, took me from behind, and together we relieved weeks of sexual tension :)

Afterward, I asked him to rub lotion on my bottom, because I knew my bottom was out of practice. He obliged, but it was still very tender the next day, which I loved. It served as a memory of how he literally made me beg for it. And thinking of that reminded me that, although he is usually happy to oblige me when I ask, he is still the one in control of my fulfillment.