[M/s 365] An upset

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“Upsets” is the term that Dr. Robert Rubel uses in his M/s books to describe when things go awry. Well, last night was definitely an upset. It has been a very stressful few days with final travel preparations, then the blizzard, then cabin fever, then the OMG-only-2-days-left panic (with the requisite “all the work while crying“)…

Well, slave Angie got the car stuck in the snow-plow-hump at the end of the driveway. We hadn’t had a chance to clear it off again. I was downstairs where I can’t hear anything over the dryer and washer.

I come back upstairs, with a panicked slave opening the door. I don’t remember the exact sequence of things, but stress and anxiety and cabin fever just all boiled over and we had a breakdown moment – both of us yelling at each other. We both backed up a bit. I stormed out, helped to push her out of the mound, cleared it away… (much in this fashion) and went back in.

About an hour passed before slave Angie returned, giving us both time to reflect on the loss of control and protocol. When she came in, we hugged and gained a little closure. Later that night, I put her on her knees in front of me, we did our ritual and we both closed it for good. A glitch, to be left in the past. We are not perfect, but we strive to always get better.

It can happen that fast, and without warning, when those “upsets” come. Not always, sometimes we can feel it brewing and can do things to get ourselves into better frames of mind, but sometimes it hits like a pop-up storm. Re-center, forgive, put it in the past, learn, move on. The Sun always comes up the next day and it’s another opportunity to make it a great day.

[M/s 365] A history of my collars

I’ve had several collars over the years that I’ve allowed slave Angie to wear. I’m old school in the thought that these are my collars that she is permitted to wear as a sign of ownership. I am glad, grateful and pleased that she asked to wear my collar, and she earns it every day, just as I earn the right to be called “Master” every day.

The first collar I granted her was a bracelet. She was in corporate America at the time and I wanted something a little different that she would rarely have to take off, but would be easy if needs be due to work. So, the bracelet.

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Angie’s collar/bracelet on her right wrist.

We’ve had a collar that we’ve used for fetish/kink events and high protocol events since we purchased it at Thunder in the Mountains since 2008. We use it less now, with having the Ring of Steel collar.

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I purchased this collar in 2011 to go along with the bracelet. The white collar was starting to fray and wear from a lot of use, and I wanted to save it for special occasions.

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And most recently, to mark our decade anniversary as Master/slave and to step up in her visibility as a slave, I purchased this Ring of Steel collar. The discoloration in the second photo is wax and blood that we used in our private ceremony when I placed it around her neck. I gifted her a charm to wear on my collar, which was the Tree of Life.

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Back on the road again!

[M/s 365] The “why” behind correction and absolution

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I had a very nice exchange with someone on Fetlife over the weekend. I was asked a question about correction and discipline. This person wanted their submissive to do a specific thing, and was very clear about it, but that thing wasn’t getting done. What would I do?

A while back, I wrote about my concepts of “Punishment, correction and absolution” and when I use them, but after this weekend’s discussion, I realized I had missed a good chunk of the discussion – the “why” and the “what type.”

For me, it comes down to two to three simple questions:

  1. What is the rock bottom thing that I’m wanting, what is the end goal, what is the desired outcome?
  2. What are the levers/motivations/strengths I can use to make my slave desire to fulfill #1?
  3. (in the case of coming up with a correction) – What is the blocker causing the issue? The real blocker, not the symptom of just disobedience or displeasing or incorrect behavior?

Now I don’t run through this sort of consideration for each and every correction. No, this is for something that is repeated behavior. Something that clearly needs more thought than a simple “fix XYZ.”

An example is probably a good way to get through this. As a result of slave Angie’s lupus, she needs to take her meds, daily. And for months and months, every day, it was a fight for her to obey me to take her meds in a timely manner. It became a source of great angst for us. Even after 11 years. Even up to this summer.

I was confused because I was convinced this had something to do with her just not wanting to take her meds. Now this is a woman who desires nothing more than to obey. It’s how she’s wired. Of that, I have no doubt. So this nagging forgetfulness was maddening. I could see her frustration, I was frustrated, so I finally started digging.

One of the symptoms of lupus is chronic fatigue, another is called ‘brain fog.’ Combine the two, and you get a potent mix for promoting serious forgetfulness. As we walked through the issue and how a day goes, it became clear to me that the real rock-bottom reason she couldn’t remember… the fog/fatigue. She didn’t want me to think she was whining or making excuses. It was a really good talk and led me to consider:

#1 – I want her to take her meds. She has to in order to be able to function.

#3 – the “blocker” is the fog/fatigue. Although she doesn’t like taking meds, she accepts that they’re important, so that’s not the real reason. No matter how much I may have believed they were.

And #2 – the lever or strength or thing that I can use. Well, the fact that she is close to a computer all day and checks her messages a lot.

So, the Internets to the rescue – an automated messaging/reminder system and along with that, a message as part of the reminder reinforcing how important it was to me that she take the meds. (The site is called FollowUpThen – https://www.followupthen.com/)

It removed the mental block from me that she was being disobedient and that this was just something she could just do. She wanted to, but there were real issues. So, what was my desired outcome? Take the meds. And now she does. Regularly.

So those are the ways I deal with those issues. Things like this do get under the skin, I get that completely. Us Masters, we find some things extremely frustrating. But then, someone is usually in service because of a desire to be pleasing and to be obedient. Usually. So, finding the blockers and ways to get around them is the key, because blockers can be things that the slave can’t always do something about… or may not even realize are a blocker.

Which leads me to the “why” – and that is what those 3 questions answer. “Why” do I want this thing. “Why” should she do it? “Why” doesn’t it happen?

The “why” of things is what reinforces the usefulness of protocols and rituals as well. The “why” is how those things feed our souls and give us a reason to do them, to anchor to them. They speak to our needs within the relationship and the things that give us energy and hope and fulfillment. If the “why” isn’t core, isn’t at the root, then you’re not addressing the need, the dynamic or the real issue.

[M/s 365] You are my slave. Always.

livingms-coverI’ve been reading Dan and dawn’s excellent book “Living M/s“. If you’ve not had a chance to read this, I highly recommend it. It’s written in a very accessible format and I would almost say that it uses the “Screw the Roses, Give Me the Thorns” approach to a Master/slave relationship. (Yes, I’m dating myself with that one…) It can be good for vanilla and those already in M/s relationships.

In that book, Dan described a small ritual/approach he has when reassuring his slave or needing to anchor his slave to him when they are discussing a hard topic or a personal issue that brings up a lot of icky feelings. It’s a very centering ritual, and one that focuses and strengthens and gives an anchor to both.

What I didn’t expect was to need to use it myself after reading it. In a moment when I saw that slave Angie needed some anchoring, needed more than just a simple voiced reassurance. And Dan’s advice/ritual just happened to pop into my head at that moment.

So I called her over to me, had her sit on the bed. I still in front of her, put my hand on her neck, cupping it. I kissed her forehead, told her that she was my slave. Walked her through that it was OK, that I was OK, that what was going on was just a small thing, that it was OK she was struggling, that I saw her struggle, that she was still my slave. I kissed her forehead again.

It anchored me and I could see the reassurance and relief on her face.

And the moral of the story, beyond the listening, the affirmations and the anchor/reminding of our places, is that you never know when you’re going to get your next bit of good advice.

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[M/s 365] Rule #8 – Know when it’s time to STFU and get on your knees.

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You can feel those moments, if you listen to yourself. Those moments when the cracks start to appear, when the words start to feel scratchy, when the energy isn’t flowing, but is feeling like nails on a chalkboard.

We started to have that the other night. Event drop, combined with two extremely odd events – someone pursuing slave Angie in a fit of road rage and some personal family news that was a bit distressing and brought up some past tragedies.

It was a moment that we both recognized and yet felt pulled towards — until I remembered Rule 8. Know when it’s time to STFU and get on your knees. So I reminded her of that rule and sent her to our room. She shut down her computer, made the coffee and went upstairs. I took deep breaths, sorted through my emotions and went up shortly after she had finished the evening preparations. Put her on her knees at my feet and we just breathed.

Centering. Grounding. We spoke a little, reconnected. I lit our candle and we breathed the soft soy vanilla scent and watched the flickering shadows in our room. The moment had receded and we were OK again. In sync.

The Masters that I know and admire all use this rule. To take that step back, to breathe. It can be very hard to put Rule 8 into action. Emotions get hot. We may become irrational. Worse, even out of control. You, Mr. or Mrs. Master, are not always right. The slave is not always wrong. And vice-versa – they could be VERY wrong. That’s not the point – right now. The point is the danger in the actions that could result from those unchecked emotions.

Control your own emotions and your reactions. STFU. Get your slave on their knees. Get back to the core and the essence of what it is that you stand for. They will feel it and you will feel it. Breathe. Be.

The Inheritor – by Laura Antoniou – a “no spoilers” review

81B1rqGEdsL._SL1500_I was one of those who contributed to Laura Antoniou’s Kickstarter back in November, the one where she made The Inheritor, the latest book in the Marketplace series, available to contributors only, as it is still not yet released. It was a $6,500 experiment that turned into an over $35,000 success. And well deserved success at that!

This weekend, I finally flipped the last page on my Kindle reader and let out an amazed sigh. Although it took me awhile to get through all 700-someodd pages, it was worth it. Since the book (e-book version) is not due out until February (yes, the same month as THATGODDAMNMOVIE), I don’t want to unduly spoil the book with details on plots and characters, but I did want to offer a few words about my thoughts after reading the novel.

Marketplace was one of my first introductions to the concepts of M/s as written by someone who actually understood the subject, or wrote well to it. I’m not counting my prepubescent encounter with novels of Gor written by John Norman that I found in my father’s cabinet – as I don’t believe Norman actually knew about or understood concepts of kink and BDSM. Not in the 60s, at least. My only other erotic books that spoke to M/s for me were Story of O and Mr. Benson. And those are hot books, intense and raw in their own way, but … Laura’s Marketplace hit the sweet spot with me. It was in no way “real”, but it had the feel of someone who dreamed of Mastery and slavery, of service and of those dark corners where whips flew and welts bled and the whimpers and moans were a mixture of fear and desire.

The Marketplace series also has the feel of the all too-flawed and all too-human characters, ones that I could connect with. The millionaires and their slaves weren’t caricatures of figures written for a bodice ripper audience, they were written as a love story from someone who dreamed and masturbated to things that were close to my heart. They showed a love for the attention to detail, a flair for the grandeur and an imagination for taking a fantasy and then saying “what if…” The Inheritor gives that, in spades, as well as setting up the series for more. Because there has to be more. Right? RIGHT?!?

As a side note, if you’re familiar with the Marketplace books, I highly recommend you seek out Laura’s keynote speeches delivered over the years. Start with Unsafe At Any Speed, be prepared to shift and squirm in your seat and wonder about that scene where she went a lot further… then jump a decade to Still Unsafe But Making Good Time, still shifting from the brutal truth then forward 4 years to You Must Be This Tall To Ride, where you’ll nod and agree. Just as her Marketplace series books have progressed in character growth, in the way she clearly connects with her characters, but has broadened her view of the world she’s created, you can find a parallel progression in her speeches and in her approaches and thoughts on our lovely little niche of a sexuality niche.

The Inheritor continues that progress in her Marketplace series and it’s a wonderful insight into her love of her world, into the realities of that made-up world and the world we live in… how things must evolve, grow and change. It will bring tears to your eyes and it will turn you on with a lot of hot sex. A lot. And NO FUCKING INNER GODDESSES! (ahem).

The Inheritor is also a book that crossed a boundary for me. It hit home during my shower this morning that Laura had finally given me a language for my own M/s relationship. And that’s kind of funny. That has never happened – even after reading the other Marketplace books, Story of O, Mr. Benson, and the other fun erotica like the Beauty Series, some of that forbidden Nazi/slave porn in those “red books”, the fabulous text files on alt.sex.stories, and other related erotica … and yes, even the Gor novels. I had picked up a lot of the fantasies from those books to be sure, of the dreams and things that made the authors hot and wanting to find a dark corner and a vibrator or willing victim. Those were the stories that could help ignite a fun evening or give me some ideas on role play… but not something that really crossed over into how I do M/s on a daily basis.

Until The Inheritor. Again, no spoilers, but thank you, Laura… because ultimately, I want what Aidan wants. You gave me a word that I didn’t even know I was looking for. And, although I can’t do the same things to slave Angie that Aidan can with his slave(s), I’m doing it my way and OUR way – and I think she’s coming along far more amazingly than I could have ever read in erotica.

As a final note, I think we should celebrate the erotica that inspires, arouses and challenges our daily M/s relationships. If we’re not having fun, if we’re not getting something fulfilled in living in an erotic power dynamic relationship, then why do it? What a better way to have some nitrous oxide injected into the fuel than to read some damn good erotica about M/s?

Buy the e-book in February, or the paperback in August. And if you know someone that has the leatherbound edition from the Kickstarter, start the begging now to borrow it. Because … leather bound Marketplace book. Be prepared to sell your soul for that one, though. (Or a lot of service).